Thursday, June 30, 2011

My name is Cat and I'm a shoeaholic

It was 4.17pm today when I realised I had a problem. "I think i'm gonna go to the River Island sale and see what the shoes are like." I said to my sister-in-law. She texted me back asking why I needed to buy more shoes. "For the 3 weddings i'm going to this summer", I replied. "What about those black ones I bought you last Christmas that you've only worn once" came her reply.


"What black ones?!!" I thought. I racked my brains trying to think of the shoes she'd bought me. And then I remembered. I'd seen them in a boutique at home in County Cork. I'd drooled over them, but being a smalltown boutique I felt they were overpriced for what they were and I somehow, magically, decided not to buy them. Four weeks later and they were in my hands, all wrapped up and pretty! And now, here I was 6 months later and I couldn't even remember that they belonged to me. I was a shoe traitor.

I blame my addiction somewhat on my favourite choice of tv show as a kid. I'm sure you'll all remember this.

Margot the ballet slipper was my favourite, FYI.

In the end I didn't go into River Island. I took a long, hard look at my finances and realised i'd been shopping far too much recently and, rather than buying more, I needed to get rid of lots! (To whit, I'll be having a blogsale soon, just to see how it goes, so keep your eyes peeled!)
I came home & emptied out my shoes. From the bottom of my wardrobe, from 3 large bags, from a weekend bag and from a large IKEA carrier bag - you know, the ones that are used to carry FURNITURE?

And this, this here, is the damage. Eeeks!

Pump up the jam

Hoots Man! there's boots loose about this hoose!

Heeling in the years

Booty and the Blowfish

The Brogue Warriors

Sneaking around

(yes, I am somehow missing one of my Missy Elliot Adidas Respect:Me hi-tops...they're somewhere here!

To be honest, I didn't really feel too bad when I looked at all these shoes. And then I rang my mum and recounted part of the story to her. "But darling, there's 2 tea-chests filled with shoes here at home aswell!" came her retort. 
Tea CHESTS?!!! TWO?! Oh dear, I need to sit down. I didn't realise it had quite gotten this bad. If you want me, i'll be reading Imelda Marcos's life story. 

Newsround #8 - I Link I Love You

Some of my fave blogposts over the last week or so. Enjoy!!

Dreaming Spires - Not really the capsule type..  (because, deep down, who WOULDN'T like a capsule wardrobe of some sort?)
Disneyrollergirl - Vans go Wild
Red Lemonade - Flight Club (interesting look at some oldschool air hostess uniforms)
White Rabbit - Photo of the day #500
StyleScrapbook - Worst Day (I don't even know where to begin..)
Inner Space - Dublin for Design Capital (breaks it down nicely, for those of us not cultured enough to know, ahem)
A Cup of Jo - Deepdish Cookies (Sorry!!!)
Rose Tinted Uncertainty - Yummy...
Save Our Shoes - Hot damn, summer in the city Part 9  (a little interesting musical project, a bit like speed dating...but with music)
Fashion Pearls of Wisdom - HOw to look cocktail fabulous in 5 minutes
Fashion Copious - 33 ways to stay creative
Ringo, Have a Banana - Switcheroo
Fashion Hayley - Small Apartment Living
Style Scrapbook - Round My Wrist

and finally,
Say Your Right Words - My other blog - losing a parent to cancer  - I think this is an important blog to highlight. Last year I lost my brother to cancer. He was 30 years old. He was diagnosed 6 months previously and left behind a beautiful 2 yr old son. Cancer is something that has, or will, affect us all in some way, big or small. It's important for those affected by it, not only the sufferers, to get support and encouragement wherever they can. Even just knowing that someone else is going through the same thing as you, feeling the same way as you, can give you some small bit of comfort. Talking about it and sharing our feelings won't bring the person back, but it will help us to turn our stories into memories and to eventually be able to remember those that we've lost with fondness and happiness, rather than sadness that they're gone.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fast Fashion - The Debate Rages On...

Having read these 2 pieces on 'fast fashion' and making ethical shopping choices, I wanted to write a piece giving my views on this issue. But then both Pearl, from Fashion Pearls of Wisdom, and Jen, from Little Bird Fashion, wrote pieces which put it far better than I could.

Alongside recent reports of the BBC Panorama show having faked scenes of child labour for retail giants Primark, are reports of one of the world's biggest fashion icons, Kate Moss, wearing a Primark poncho on her hen weekend to the Isle of Wight Festival. 
Kate Moss is one of the most respected modern fashion icons and one of the highest earning models of our time. She is often sported wearing Chanel and Louboutin's and can well afford not to have to shop in Primark just to stay on trend. 

So what does this tell us? For one thing, I think it's pretty certain that Primark is here to stay. Gone are the days when telling someone that your dress is from Primark is done in hushed tones and with a hint of embarassment.

 There's a strange sense of pride with some people in letting someone know that they've paid a lot less for a dress that they might only wear a handful of times before you bore of the style, colour, or even size! Does this mean that we are being unethical in our choices? Or does this mean that we want to have the things that we see others have, but we don't necessarily have the means to invest in these pieces? 
Has it even got anything to do with our sense of style, or is it wanting to be seen with different pieces all the time? 
Image via

I often felt guilty buying in Primark, feeling that I was going against what morals I have.
For me, personally, I shop in Primark for the odd essentials. The sizing on most of their clothes simply don't suit me. I used to blame this on the cost of the clothes "oh well, you get what you pay for", but then I realised that sizing is an issue in a large number of shops, all in varying degrees of affordability (another post to come on that one!). 

However, as my previous post shows, I won't shy away from buying a whole outfit in there if the need arises. And perhaps, was I different shape or size, and the clothes fitted me better, I would buy whole outfits in there as often as I buy elsewhere. But the frequency of my purchases in there is irrelevant. 
As was stated by others, sometimes we simple don't have the funds to be able to invest in high quality pieces.
Sometimes shopping in Primark is the only option someone has if they need an outfit for a job interview, or a wedding, and don't have the funds to shop elsewhere. 

Perhaps now that Primark has made clear it's stance on ethical trading we can start to see some positive progress with retailers being honest with where their clothes have come from. As Pearl says "I will be blunt though, what I would like to see is some facts and figures from Primark and all the High St retailers as to how they can afford to sell things so cheaply whilst paying everyone in the chain a fair fee and still make a profit."

Maybe the way forward isn't to just avoid one store altogether, after all, this will do nothing to change the culture of 'fast fashion' and unethical trading. If one chain closes, another will see an opening in it's place. 

Maybe the way forward is for there to be some transparency in where our clothes come from. For clear legislature to be put in place so that WE, the consumers, can ask the questions about where our clothes come from, without having to pay through the nose for designer gear because we have been urged to equate cost with ethics.  Or without being made to feel guilty because we mightn't have the same income as someone able to buy somewhere slightly more expensive
After all, do we know where those clothes have come from either?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday! What a day!

*scheduled post*

Right now I am sitting in the (hopefully) sunshine enjoying a 'decades' themed fancy dress wedding party. The theme of 'decades' extended to the 50's, 60's and 70's. After an unsuccessful order of a 50's style dress online I was forced to find an alternative on a budget  and with a very small timescale.
Eventually Penneys (Primark to all you guys outside Ireland) saved my bacon and the outfit below is what i'll be wearing along with a 50's hairstyle to boot. My boyfriend's outfit has been influenced by Buddy Holly. Mine? Oh, I guess Mary Tyler-Moore or Betty Draper. 50's housewife, woo!

Apologies once again for the sideways photo.
All clothing from Pennneys/Primark.

Hair Inspiration

Friday, June 24, 2011

Le Pliage

I think we all recognise these iconic Longchamp bags. My mother has one that she's had for years and my grandmother had one before her.

Until recently I pretty much associated them with mums, aunts, granny's. Basically anyone but a twenty-something year old. That was until I went to Paris. (Did you know? I went to Paris the other week! Have I spoken about it? No? Sorry. I'll shut up...soon)
Established in 1948 Jean Cassegrain, Longchamp was first established to make leather covers for smoking pipes. In 1955 they started to produce small leather goods and this naturally extended into handbags. Longchamp are now an established luxury leather handbag and leather goods company and have recently enjoyed collaborations with Kate Moss, and more recently, Jeremy Scott.
In Paris I noticed that women of all ages were carrying Le Pliage, in all shapes and sizes and the majority of them coordinating with their outfit. Ever since I have been obsessed. 
This evening, whilst sitting inside and dodging the torrential rain I found myself browsing on the Longchamp website and discovered that, not only do they deliver to Ireland (trust me, quite rare for a brand's own website) but  they also have a facility where you can customise your own Pliage, even engraving the leather with your initials! 
I've designed mine with a black body, red stripe and my initials on the leather. All of this for only €80!

Along with the standard colours and collaborations available it's definitely worth a look on the website to see if you can find your own Longchamp bag. 

Stuff and Things

First off, I can't seem to rotate my pictures & I really was just too lazy to throw them up  via Photobucket or anything. LAYZEEEEEEE. 
I thought i'd try my hand at an outfit post, it might become a regular feature...if I can count on my resident photographer to follow me around the place! (i.e. my housemate)

What I wore to work yesterday. Stripes & leopard print. I like the clash, thousands others don't. 
Oversized jumper - Vero Moda | striped bandage skirt - Material Girl @ Macy's | boots - Kurt Geiger

Wristy Cuffs. 
From L2R: Watch - Marc by Marc Jacobs | Tiffany's | Marc by Marc Jacobs | Tiffany's | Isabel Marant

Twiggy necklace from Camden Market, London. 

And now, we move onto the 'What did Cat buy on her overdraft, the silly cow?' segment. 

2 x rings from Topshop - €6ish each
Freckles - since birth

Pink Blazer from Zara - €49

Twiggy Dress from Littlewoods for a wedding later in the year. 

Also from Littlewoods - pearl embellished peter pan collar tunic

Slouchy handbag from Zara for €12.99 - a STEAL!

Cos Jumper (which I discovered can double as a cardigan) BT2 - €24.50

But LOOK!! They left the security tag on it :( I wanted to wear it over the weekend but as i'm going away for a wedding in the morning I don't know if i'll get a chance to return for them to remove it. DISASTER. 

There's still loads of sales on - please GOD don't let me go near them again. Oh shit, I'm agnostic, I'm screwed. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

She doesn't even go here!

TEN points for whoever can tell me what the title quote is from!!

The lovely Rachel McAdams is looking amazing here, apart from the slightly demented look on her face, ahem.
I love this rather masculine take on a jumpsuit and I've wanted a pair of Pigalle's (albeit the studded ones) since forever.

Image via The Vogue Diaries

Newsround #7 - Link Loving

A round-up of some of my favourite links and news over the last week or so. Enjoy!

Style Bubble - Portraits Reinterpreted
CoCo Celine - Olivia Kim, Opening Ceremony
ACup of Jo - Golden Gate wedding proposal
Glamrocks - Polka Dot Crazy
Fashion Editor at Large - Bigheads are back (a great rundown of some of the best bits of the resort collections)
I Believe In Unicorns - You Big Sissy (I adore this blog & it's owner, Ashley, she is BEYOND adorable)
Fashion Editor at Large - The Week in Fashion 13th-17th June
London Beauty Queen - 5 things I learned at Liz Earle
Adored Austin - Branching Out (fave blogger outfit post of the last few days)
My BareStyle - Stairway
Coco's Teaparty - Gold Celine Belt Buckle
Sunshine with Everything - Scarf Swap
Bare Leopard - Oh, Erin Fetherston
Mrs Bossa Does The Do - Delighted, Destroyed and Dangerous: women in the media
Knight Cat - Sandy Leopard
The Sartorialist - Kiehl's Father's Day Shoot

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Label Love: Beau Coops

Beau Coops, so called as the Beau relates to the French for 'man' and Coops is short for the designer's surname, Cooper.
The Beau Coops manifest is to "offer beautifully designed, classic footwear and accessories, that represent a lifestyle of comfort, quality and style."
Made in Italy, the shoes are inspired by Carrie Cooper's former East London home. Carrie, the designer, has previously worked with Alexander McQueen, and the shoes she designs look familiar in an old-worlde style, but with a contemporary twist.
In Ireland the shoes are stocked in BT2 on Grafton Street, who are currently offering a sale of up to 50% off on some items. Just keep your grubby paws off the grey Beau 5 ankle boots - come payday in 2 weeks, they're MINE. (click on pics to ENLARGE)

Here's a selection of some of the S/S 2011 shoes by Beau Coops. I pretty much want a pair of each style. A girl can never have too many shoes!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Anna Wiintour's five word acceptance speech at the Webby's

Well hello there Mr Ford...

...and I guess Lara Stone doesn't look too bad herself.. What do you guys think? I think if this'll help me pull a stone cold FOX like Tom Ford (let's leave aside the obvious obstructions) then i'm all over this range of make up.

Lara Stone with Tom Ford for Tom Ford Beauty

let Henry Holland pop yer Cherry

Foxy Lady

via Street and City Photos

I love this fox brooch. 

Newsround/LinkUp #7

Style  Bubble - Man, I feel like a woman - really interesting & thought-provoking piece about menswear worn by women by manipulating the pieces in a non-traditional way.
CoCo Celine - Beyonce for Dazed & Confused Magazine
Nicole Richie Anonymous - House of Harlow A/W '11 shoes
Fashion Copious - Helena Bonham Carter for Marc by Marc Jacobs
A Cup of Jo - Weird Fruits - interesting piece about fruit in their natural shapes
Style Bubble - On  All Foursies - so cool to see Finsk shoes taking place, also Finsk = ACE.
Glamrocks - Wildfox A/W 2011
Dirty Fabulous - Gorgeous Dirty Fabulous Bride in NY
I Blog Fashion - Blinkers
Fashion Editor at Large - This week in fashion 6th-10th June
The Licentiate - Clothing as a Memory
Lady Umbrella - Dip in the Nip 2011
Inner Space - Griffith College Graduate Fashion Show
Pink Bow - Vivienne Westwood Shoes Exhibit
CoCo Celine - Useless, expensive but cute accessories
Skinni Peach - Coral lipstick review
Ripped Knees - A response to Julie Klausner's 'Don't fear the dowager: a valentine to maturity'
Couture and Crumpets - Resort Round-up

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Ooops, excuse the caps. I'm tired, cranky and I have dry skin from a short, but eventful Ryanair flight.

Anyhow, the blog is going through some minor changes and may be a bit messier than usual in this time. Hopefully it'll be a much tidier looking blog at the end!


Paris the 'what I bought' edition

A quick little trip through a few of my vintage and not-so-vintage bargains and spends from Paris. Exciting, I'm sure. Sorry!

First up was Coiffeur, a vintage shop on Rue de Rosiers, as seen on and recommended Jen's blog and via Sarenza's very helpful tweets!

First up was this worn leather handbag. I love messenger bags for nights out as i'm a hands-in-the-air sorta dancer and messenger bags = optimum dancing capabilities. I love the worn effect on this obviously used bag and it has 2 deceivingly spacious zipped compartments. For only €5 this is my favourite bargain of the lot, even if it's not the prettiest. 

Next is this white and coral splash tunic - it's cotton and comfy and cool. A bargain at €10. 

My final purchase in Coiffeur was this nautical inspired blouse - I loved the print and the double breast style, the shoulder pads i'm still on the fence about. This was also just €10.

My next purchase was a friendship bracelet from a street vendor. This is very similar to one given to me by my sis-in-law years ago - they're both just cheap old things, but I love little bracelets like this and I rarely take them off. I love the sterling silver tag attached also. 

My stinky old bracelet. 

Next up was this vintage playsuit from Free P'Star - it's quite big, but with a little adjustment it could be good, if not i'll just throw it on eBay with the bag of items I have waiting to be sold. This was a steal at €10 and I love the detailing on the pocket. 

My STAR purchase of  the lot is this Isabel Marant friendship bracelet.  I love it so much, and mixed together with my cheaper bracelets it looks great. I actually wanted the other style that was silver, rather than string, however the concession store I  stumbled into didn't have the whole selection. I'm pretty happy with this one though!

This vintage inspired scarf was, again, from a street vendor for something like €3 or €4. It's obviously synthetic and slightly tacky, but it reminds me of something that my grandmother owns that isn't synthetic or tacky. I like the detailing on it in any case, even if I use it to tie in my hair then i'm getting my money's worth!

And finally, no trip to Paris would be complete without these!