Saturday, 30 November 2013

'The Lady's Tale' : An 'Alternative' Review of Monsoon/Accessorize SS14Collection

So, the day finally came that I got to attend my first ever press day as an invited blogger!

The Monsoon Accessorize press day was held inside a very impressive studio in Covent Garden, and I invited along my new best blogger friend Charlotte Lenia.

We had an absolute hoot, drinking our complimentary smoothies, crying with laughter in the photobooth and scoffing down cupcakes adorned with real, blossoming flowers. (which we did eat, then very quickly came to the conclusion that you probably weren't supposed to eat them...)

I'll write about the details of the day over on Scarphelia ETC very soon.

...So what's this blog post then?

In accompaniment to our invitations, each (fashion) blogger invited was encouraged to write a blog post about their day at the press event, which would then get entered into a competition judged by the head honchos at Monsoon Accessorize HQ.

I had no qualms at all about writing a post - I definitely would've done it had we been encouraged to or not.

But it kind of got me thinking...

I'm not a fashion blogger.

Although I've dabbled in a few fashiony type posts on ETC, I've never written anything remotely fashion-related on Scarphelia... because I'm not a fashion blogger.

So why should I write a fashion post?

Not only would blogging about the event from a fashion point of view be boring and completely unoriginal, it's not me at all. 

So I sat down and began to consider myself as a blogger. What is my unique selling point? Why do people read me? What is it about my blog that keeps people coming back?

Then I got it.

Because I'm not a blogger.

I'm a storyteller.

All of my posts, although somewhat unintentionally, are written as if they are novels, with immersive, imaginative language and carefully quoted speech.

I write the mind alive. I build worlds by curating words.

So instead of either a) not writing a post about the event because it doesn't really fit me or Scarphelia, b) sell out and chuck a pointless post about it on ETC, or c) write a powerfully uninteresting fashion post/report of the day/review of the new collections on here, I decided to try something a little daring and a little different.

I'm going to report the day and review the collections from the perspective of me, the storyteller.


SS14: A Season in Style: The Lady's Tale

The poised pen between her fingers hovered, trembling slightly above the smooth, cream card.

A small, tinny voice that echoed around the terminal hall announced her plane was soon to begin boarding, and she knew she didn't have a lot of time left. Biting her lip slightly, she exhaled a long, drawn out breath, as if the force of the air itself would be enough to clear her turbulent mind

After a moment of composure, she placed pen to card.

'Isn't it funny... how even now, as I cling on to but the very last, weakening threads which bind us together, I still struggle to find the right words?'

She gave a small, sad smile. 

'In a few moments, I'll be gone.

I will write to you from every far-flung land I may reach, just so you know that however many worlds away I may be, my thoughts will never stray far from you.

Yours, eternally.'

And with an anxious knot in her stomach at the prospect of the imminent unknown, she slipped the small card into the letterbox, took a cleansing breath, dropped her phone in the bin and headed toward her gate.

"My Dearest, the fist destination of the season is Cannes, and I can tell you since the moment I stepped into to sunshine, I knew this place was alive. The French Riviera is bustling with energy and anticipation for the festival. I cannot wait. Yours, eternally."

The Cannes Look: Nautical Stripes, Crisp white, Navy blue and Lemon yellow, denim and tan leather, 1940's travel nostalgia, retro prints and fruit.

The primary trio of blue, yellow and white featured heavily in this collection, and blended perfectly to give a somewhat Mediterranean impression. The blue could be seen to represent the sky and the sea, and the yellow, the sun and the sand. The kitsch fruit and flowers theme worked well with the nostalgic 1940's travel designs and against the backdrop of classic nautical prints. Definite summer seaside wear. 

"My dearest, I scarce even know where to begin with how to describe the unfathomable, wild beauty of this place. Strangely, there is something about the harsh, desolate Serengeti that makes me feel at home... Will write again soon. Yours, eternally."

The Africa Look: Bold contrasting, vibrant colours, yellow, red and orange, clashing, loud prints, chunky, colourful statement jewellery.

The vibrancy of the yellows, reds, oranges and pinks almost mirror the beautiful African sunsets, and colours of the Savannah. In the blazing African heat, metal would get hot so quickly against the skin, so 
jewellery is big brightly coloured beads. Clashing tribal prints beckon back to indigenous African styles. 

"My dearest, the sunshine definitely has healing powers. Tonight I'm meeting Darcy and the girls for cocktails ahead of Cordelia's wedding in August. I haven't seen them in so long it will be so good to catch up again. Friends are more important than ever... Yours, eternally."

The Malibu Look: Pale neon aztec prints, soft floral paisley, vibrant colours with dusky undertones, heavily beaded aztec accessories, gyspy-style embellishments, playful animal detailing and 80's beach prints, casual bright, layered jewelry, coloured sunglasses.

The bright neon-ness of this collection is the perfect compliment to that sun-kissed California tan. Beachy bohemian vibes come from this style - loose tassley friendship bracelets, flowing chiffony fabrics and a lot of emphasis on beading and sequins. 

"My dearest, back in France again, but this time not for swanning around festivals. It's Cordelia's wedding tomorrow and I'm surprisingly nervous. I wish you could've been here... I leave for Morocco on Monday. Will write next then. Yours, eternally."

The Paris Look: Dramatic bejeweled evening dresses, softy dusky pastel tones, Great Gatsby inspired designs, pastel and floral bags and purses, garden party themed accessories heavy with ivy and flowers.

Dusky pastels dominate this style, ranging from hushed semi-metallic mint, to sweet, exuberant lemon in the children's gowns. The children's collection can really come into play in this instance, as it is a family wedding. Strongest influences are the pastoral, natural elements of flowers and leaves, and the roaring 20's Great Gatsby-style evening dress designs.

"My dearest, my second revisiting, this time to Africa. This is my final destination before I shall return. Cordelia is honeymooning in Fiji, but I've found a home for my soul in the bustling streets of Marrakech. The prospect of home no longer scares me. It's time. Yours, eternally."

The Morocco Look: Gold, gold and more gold, snakeskin, excessive embellishments, outlandishly ornate jewellery, orange, tan, beige, natural and metallic colours, decadence.

The Moroccan traveller look is a look of luxury. The gold, metallics and excessive embellishments mirror the traditional Moroccan style of decoration and ornamentation, combined with the natural, earthy colours of tan, sand, caramel, beige and cream, which would have been the original colours of the materials that would have been available, stemming back to the roots of dressmaking in Morocco. There's a definite Arabian/Middle Eastern streak to this style, emphasising upon the dramatic metal jewellery.


And as the last rays of dying sunshine bade their glistening farewell above the shimmering line of horizon, the warmth of their light did not leave her heart. For seemingly endless months she had travelled far and wide across the planet, she had seen sadness, she had seen great joy, she'd seen old friends, made new friends, made new discoveries, seen things she could never previously have imagined and most importantly, she had found peace.  

But her time was coming to an end, and this did not make her sad.

It was time to go home. 


'The Lady's Tale' - the brief story of one woman travelling the world alone, told through an epistolary narrative of postcards send to her ambiguous love - was inspired mostly from the layout and setup of the event itself.

It was so beautifully presented, from the structure to the lighting and props like sand, real fruit and decking/umbrellas, ornate flower garlands hanging from the ceiling, birdcages, wardrobes and beach decking - the whole room was creatively stimulating, with a totally different and utterly complete world in each corner of the room.

It was visually stunning and really helped conjure these images of the places where the beautiful clothes could be worn.

I also wanted to show that the clothes and accessories featured in the new collections cover a wide variety of different events and places - there really is something for everything you wish to do next summer. The entire season of Spring/Summer is covered; you could wear Monsoon Accessorize exclusively for the whole five months and will never be at a loss for something to wear.

Instead of just simply stating that fact, I wanted to express it by creating this fictitious woman travelling the world throughout the whole of summer, wearing Monsoon Accessorize wherever she goes.

In essence, I wanted to demonstrate a symbiotic link between the WEAR and the WHERE.

And on a more personal level, I created this story to express my simultaneous fascination with strangers and the lives of others, and to show my view that fashion and style is not just about the clothes.

These machine-made, mass produced clothes are worn by real people, people with lives, stories, dramas and dreams, completely unique to themselves. Clothing should not be a uniform so that everyone looks the same, because in reality, the true astounding differences in the lives of one person to the next is staggering, even if they do end up wearing the same dress.

Style is about expressing your individuality and showing that 'I am me', and so I wrote 'The Lady' - Just one customer who wear Monsoon Accessorize, and I told her story - why she wears it, where she wears it, who she wears it with and when.

'The Lady's Tale' demonstrates that fashion is not just about the clothes, it's about the stories of the people who wear the clothes and why - an idea inspired by seeing the Gandy's flip-flop collaboration that Monsoon Accessorize will be showcasing next season.

You can shop the Monsoon collections and Accessorize collections here soon!

Gandy's flip flops is a pioneering and charitable footwear brand, born out of the tragedy of two young brothers losing their parents in the 2006 Tsunami. Now, with partnerships as such with Monsoon Accessorize, the enterprising sibling duo can now turn their profits into aid for other orphans in poverty-stricken parts of the world, who desperately need help, and start making a real difference in the world.

Gandy's describe themselves as a being 'created by two young brothers with a real story and purpose behind them' - a concept I aimed to channel through 'The Lady's Tale', and my little-bit-different way of reporting Monsoon Accessorize's Spring Summer Press Day.

All of the clothing images above were taken by me at the press day of the new Monsoon Accessorize Spring Summer collection, which will be available in store as of next year.

All of the above artwork, including postcards and photo collages, were created solely by me.

The only images that do not belong to me are the photographs used on the front of the postcards.


  1. This was an amazing and beautiful read! I honestly didn't see where you were going with it until the very end - which influenced a want in me to go back and read it all again! Such a beautiful way of portraying the event and a very creative way of avoiding the standard fashion posts. I look forward to more inspirational posts such as this.


    1. Aw thank you so much! Thanks for sticking it out til the end too, I think some are gonna get bored with not knowing where I'm going with it and just give up haha. I'm really glad you enjoyed it, it was definitely tricky trying to create a fashion post not from the perspective of a fashion blogger, but it turned out okay!

      Thanks again lovely!

      Katie xo

  2. This was such a lovely articulated post - I love that you refuse to sell out. You know what people like about you and you stick to it, I think that's a great quality in a blogger xo

    1. thank you so much for taking the time to read it! x

  3. This was an incredible post, such a different and really beautiful way to showcase the clothes! Absolutely loved this :)

    1. aw thank you so much for reading! I realise its quite long and seemingly goes off on a random tangent but hopefully it shows a different way to consider fashion and writing about clothes! I'm so glad you liked it - makes all the effort seem worthwhile! x

  4. Wow this is such an innovative post! Much more interesting than just a straight this is what is coming next season and a few pics of the event. Xx

  5. Loved your interpretation. Do you know when they will release the paris and morrocco collections.?

  6. Beautiful and melancholic, imaginative and forward thinking and very romantic. Loved every bit of your post! You are certainly not an ordinary fashion blogger. Thanks for your wonderful story, it has transported me into all of those places in my mind. x

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