I’m somewhere between being minimalistic and profligate….

 

Warning: this blog post is going to be somewhat contradictory to what I may have written about….because fashion.

Fashion for me is something I have always adored. From beautiful fabrics and textures to extravagant evening wear. Some days I dress as a minimalist would dress; jeans, a t-shirt and white sneakers. And other days, I cram every pattern known to woman in one outfit…along with some sequins! But then my happy-medium probably fits somewhere in between. But what sterotypical group does that fit into you ask?! What blogger doesn’t haven’t a title?! Well, to be honest I don’t fit into any one category. I’m seriously stuck somewhere between a minimalist and profligate!

Saba ruffle top, leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots, Marc Jacobs clutch

Thinking back to my hay days; I tried every trend. Remember corduroy and tencel? I tried it. Remember stirrup pants and low waisted jeans with belly tops? I tried it! And remember low cut tops and dresses that came down to your belly button….Yep, I tried it! For me, the wow factor was something that enticed me. As I grew older and realised the importance of good quality materials, I started to make wiser choices when purchasing staple wardrobe pieces. But I felt I lost that pizzaz, that special feeling a unique dress can make you feel. Those are the outfits that made fashion exciting for me.

Saba ruffle top, leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots, Marc Jacobs clutch

Saba ruffle top, leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots, Marc Jacobs clutch, Viktoria & Woods coatSaba ruffle top, leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots, Marc Jacobs clutch, Viktoria & Woods coat

And yes, I suppose I should be purchasing more conservative pieces as I work in a corporate environment. But why can’t I have both? Why can’t I have a little pizzaz in what would be an ordinary mid-week work outfit?

That’s why I like ruffles, feathers, fringing and sequins. They add an extra element to what would be a pretty plain outfit. The outfit I’m wearing in this post is fairly conservative in terms of the colour palette. But the extra detail in the sleeves and the thigh high boots add a little extra something. And if you’re anything like me, where you’re not really a minimalist, but you’re not widely extravagant (anymore) – adding a little extra ruffle and texture helps lift a somewhat plain outfit.

I really do believe the best way to pull off a few extra pizzazy pieces without compromising your level of classiness, is to pay a huge amount of attention to how well each piece fits you. And that essentially comes down to good tailoring. And there a few ways to accomplish this; size appropriately, wear styles that suit you and buy quality.

Some fast fashion stores will have pieces that fit perfectly, but most of the time I find I have to compromise on the fit. This is ok for the occasional one-season wonder, but for those pieces that are extravagant in their mere presence and have a timeless quality (e.g. long fur coat, sequin pencil skirt, or leather trench), opt for quality via good brands or vintage stores.

viktoria & woods jacket, Scanlan Theodore thigh high boots

I don’t think we need to categorise ourselves into a certain style group. My style is constantly evolving, and I like that. I pretty much know what suits me and what doesn’t, but it doesn’t mean I won’t branch out and experiment. But what I am certain, is that I love that fashion can make me feel unique and inspired. In a world full of stereotypes and social groups, be confident enough in yourself to trust your own style judgment.

I often align style analogies with life…but it resonants with me. If you are confident in your own values and self-beliefs, everything falls into place around you. When you are fearful and doubtful, you’ll second guess every decision you make, which in turn makes those around you uneasy. And the most important lesson of all…don’t be afraid to make mistakes. When you’re not making mistakes and learning from them, you’re not growing.  Sometimes playing it safe is actually the most dangerous decision you can make.

Saba ruffle top, Leather a-line skirt, Scanlan Theodore leather thigh high boots, Viktoria & Woods coat, Marc Jacobs clutch

If you like to pine over fashion inspiration, check out my Pinterest and instagram page –

https://www.instagram.com/leatherandsoie/

Thanks for reading

K- Leather & Soie

What I wore:

Top – http://www.saba.com.au

Skirt – Willow (this brand isn’t available anymore). For similar (and better) styles check out http://www.kitx.com.au

Boots – http://www.scanlantheodore.com

Coat – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Clutch – Marc Jacobs from http://www.davidjones.com.au

One skirt that stands the test of time.

Black leather pencil skirt, Mesh top, Christian Louboutins

One look at this picture and I’m sure you can guess what skirt I’m talking about! The classic pencil skirt that has been seen to be worn effortlessly through different eras. It’s flattering, feminine and versatile. But can it be it timeless in leather?

Black leather pencil skirt, polka dot mesh top, christian louboutin shoes

Black leather pencil skirt with slit

Now there’s no guessing as to why I picked this skirt… because well, leather is my thing! But what I appreciate most about this leather skirt is that fact that such a simple style has been elevated by the fact that the added texture the leather provides, completely transforms this outfit. I also love how the skirt accentuates the body to give it a sexy and edgy look.

Now this look didn’t come easy! I had been looking for the perfect black leather pencil skirt, with a thigh split for quite some time! I finally found it on Revolve.com by a brand called TY-LR. This brand was originally under the ‘Australian Fashion Labels’ umbrella (along with Finders Keepers & Cameo), but unfortunately is no longer available. When I received the skirt, I was disappointed to find that it was more of a relaxed fit. I understood the look it created, but I knew what I wanted. And I also know that a more tailored, fitted look suits my body much better. I went to a reputable leather tailor and we spent weeks tweaking the skirt bit by bit until I was happy with the fit. I highly recommend you do this with your clothing. When it fits and feels better, you are more likely to get more wear out of it. And when it comes to leather, always ask that they are equipped to handle leather garments.

And unbeknown to me, my mum actually had the same skirt when she was 18. In fact, she still has it hanging in her wardrobe! I was quite amused that I had gone out and bought (and tailored) the same skirt! She has such fond memories of wearing this skirt, as it went with everything. She could wear it to numerous events and social outings and never tire of the look. It goes to show that investing in a wardrobe staple like this skirt, really pays off. She has told me that she would like to get it altered to she can wear it again. I rest my case.

Black leather pencil skirtBlack leather pencil skirt long brown hair

This polka dot mesh top by Serpant & the Swan makes me so happy! I love the long sleeves on it, which makes for successful layering. I have wanted to try this top for a while now, with nothing underneath it and throw on a jacket or vest or even a dress with a plunging neckline. The layering effect will look amazing! In fact the styling options are almost endless with this top. I also think polka dots are one of those ‘trend’ styles that never seem to really go out of fashion. What do you think?

Black blazer, mesh top, polka dots, Longines watch, long brown hairServant & the Swan mesh polka dot top, black blazer

In true Leather & Soie style, I added a black blazer with silk (soie) lapels and sleeves. This is a great example of wearing the same colour, but creating a really texturally interesting look. And the best part is, it’s so easy to achieve.

So this is one of my favourite go-to looks. The classic pencil skirt, heels, mesh top and a blazer. There is so much to love about all these individual pieces, but the fact that you can throw it altogether and look so tailored and put-together, makes the OCD-ness (made that word/acronym up) in me jump for joy! When you feel put together, you act put together. Fake it to you make I say!

With good basics hanging in your wardrobe you really can achieve countless different looks. And the classic pencil skirt in black leather has proven to me that it has stood the test of time and can now be added to that list.

Black blazer, black leather pencil skirt, Christian Louboutin orange shoes pumps, long wavy brown hair

Black mesh top, black leather pencil skirt

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a message or drop me an email at k.leatherandsoie@gmail.com. You can also check out my instagram feed  – @leatherandsoie for more inspiration.

 

What I’m wearing:

Skirt – TY-LR via http://www.revolve.com (brand no longer available)

Mesh top – http://www.serpantandtheswan.com

Shoes – Christian Louboutin http://www.christianlouboutin.com or http://www.davidjones.com.au

Earrings – http://www.oroton.com.au

 

K- Leather & Soie

My Hong Kong street style

Honkers

2Y4A5707

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic. In fact the last few months have been absolutely insane! More recently,  I went over to Shenzhen for work for a few days, and then my husband flew over last weekend, and we spent 4 days in Hong Kong (and Macau – next post) together. I had every intention on sharing some great pictures from Shenzhen, but I unfortunately lost the images on my computer, and subsequently deleted them off my SD card. I work a full time job in the medical industry and I’m essentially on call 24/7. I worked whilst being away, which was a challenge in itself. Hence why I am a bit late posting on my blog this week. But do you know what…we are all busy, and life can be really tough. But those moments of sheer grief and unstableness are the moments that make us stronger and better equipped for the future. I truly believe that being uncomfortable and stretching yourself is where you find out who you are and how to grow as a person. I’m also inspired to go read, ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,’ by Mark Manson. Anyone read it?

https://markmanson.net – in the meantime, I’m loving his blog.

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Going into this trip, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be confident. Is it just a case of working on loving yourself? Not caring what others’ think of you? Or simply having the courage to follow your dreams, and put yourself out there? I don’t have the answers. But I sure am working on all those 3 elements. And this constant self-evulation should never end. Every stage of your life will come with a different set of challenges. Feel the fear and do it anyway (that’s a great book by the way!).

Back to my trip! We embarked on this trip to Hong Kong with the intention to see everything we could, eat fabulous food and experience all that Hong Kong had to offer. And boy did we do that! I really wanted to add shopping to this list, but it turned out that Hong Kong wasn’t so cheap when it came to fashion. But I took the opportunity to embrace the casual street style of Hong Kong, whilst enjoying the fact I wasn’t freezing my ass off (like I am back in Australia)!

Let’s start with food…as I am a bit of a foodie too! We had dinner on our first night at a very authentic restaurant in Mong Kok called ‘Spring Deer Restaurant’. They are known for their duck…and they delivered. I have no photos, because well, I ate it! The second day we ate a Michelin star restaurant in the Sai Kung district (fishing village), called ‘Loaf On’. You would have never known it existed if you were just walking the streets, as it’s tucked away in a little alley way. We had the lobster fried rice, and it was fantastic. Again, no photos…too hungry!

But I will share a couple of other notable restaurants. Above you’ll see chef’s cooking up the beautiful noodles from Mak’s Noodle Restaurant. We had lunch there after walking up Victoria Peak, and it was truly delicious. Well worth the visit if you’re on Hong Kong island. The noodles are fresh, the service is quick and it’s very satisfying.

The other really cool place on Hong Kong island was the covetable ‘Under Bridge Spicy Crab’ restaurant (first set of images above). You can see the massive line-up for dinner. We ordered the signature dish – spicy crab. We also thought it would be a good idea to go for the #3 spicy option. Just a word of warning – that is very hot! I can handle hot food (ask my colleagues in Shenzhen; each morning I had pho with a small bowl of chilli in it!), but this was perhaps a bit too much. If you can handle spicy, I’d go #2 on the spicy scale, and #1 or lower if you prefer mild to a little bit of spice. But other than that, it was superb. Absolutely worth the wait.

I did mention that the shopping was expensive, but that didn’t stop me from wandering the beautiful high-end stores sprinkled all throughout Hong Kong. I mean…Chanel.

We really enjoyed walking the streets of Hong Kong. It’s such a melting pot of different cultures, cuisines, and style. I found a lot of women (and men) dressed quite casually. I believe this is due to the heat and the sheer amount of walking they do to get to and from work, etc. They have a very fast-paced lifestyle, where it is quite common to see groups of friends shopping or eating dinner at 11pm. I have travelled to most regions in the world where I have experienced different cultures, but Hong Kong is quite unique in that it’s a wonderful mix of the west and east. Most people were friendly and eager to help.

stretch leg

One of the things I love about travelling is the sheer amount of walking you get to do. And when in Hong Kong, one must always walk The Peak (Viktoria Peak – on Hong Kong Island). I love this image, as it encapsulates just how I was feeling whilst looking over this beautiful view = sore and needing a good stretch, at peace, away from the hustle & bustle and taking in all the beauty. Reflection at its finest.

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As for what I wore when I was there. I was a bit torn to be honest. We had such beautiful weather – between 26 and 29 degrees each day, with no rain. I wanted to get dressed up and explore the night life, but at the same time I wanted to walk all day and see as much as possible. So I opted for cool and casual clothing. Shorts, leather skirt, t-shirts, vests and sneakers.

Thank you Hong Kong, we had a blast!

Watch out for my next post on Macau…

What I wore:

White vest – http://www.seedheritage.com.au

Leather shorts – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Bag – http://www.bally.com

Leather skirt – http://www.aje.com.au

Floral tank – http://www.ausfashionlabels.com.au

Leather jacket – http://www.sandroparis.com

Khaki shorts – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Activewear – http://www.lucashugh.com

K- Leather & Soie

Styles that never fade – part 3

Lace and leather sitting

Lace

Have you ever seen lace go out of fashion? I am struggling to find a time when it wasn’t in. Lace actually started back in the sixteenth century; handmade by a needle and bobbin. Because of the labour intensive nature of lace, it was very expensive. This is why it was seen on Royal families as features on their ruffled collars. Today lace is made with a machine, thus far more affordable for the common folk.

 

lace and leather against fencelace and leather fence 5

Fast forward today; lace is used everywhere, for all different styles. I really enjoy adding lace to enhance the textures of my outfits. It’s such an easy way to increase uniqueness!

I have a few white and black lace tops and skirts that have been in my wardrobe for many years. They are so easy to style, and go with all my other classic or on trend pieces. You really know you’re onto something when items survive my yearly cull!

If you make one smart purchase this year; buy a lace top!

 

lace and leather walk forward

I actually bought this top quite a few years ago, so much so that the brand (Jagged) doesn’t exist anymore. Nevertheless, tops like these can be found all over the world. I teamed this with an Aje leather skirt, white earrings (that I found for $10 at the Plant 4 Bowden Fashion Markets), Tony Bianco shoes, Tom Ford sunglasses and my Bally bag. Casual, effortless and cool.

leather and lace walk forward 3

Love to hear your thoughts on lace and other classic ‘styles that never fade.’

Top: Jagged (by the same group from Australian Fashion Labels) http://www.ausfashionlabels.com.au

Skirt: http://www.aje.com.au

Sunglasses: http://www.tomford.com

Shoes: http://www.tonybianco.com.au

Bag: http://www.bally.com

Earrings: fashion market purchase

 

Styles that never fade – part 2

Leather skirt Willow

A-line skirt

I am very passionate about demonstrating classic wardrobe pieces that can be worn numerous ways. Hence the continuance of my series, ‘styles that never fade,’

The term A-line was originally termed to reference a fashion silhouette by Christian Dior in the 1950s. The shape denotes the shape of a capital letter; by starting out fitted at the hips and gradually widening to the hem.

The A-line skirt has seen its way through a few different eras; starting off in the 1950s, making an impact in the 1960s, welcomed in the 1970s with its flared counterparts, and has swung back around to 2000s to become a wardrobe staple.

White top crossed legs

The A-line skirt is a true transeasonal piece; meaning it can be worn in various different ways when transitioning from seasons such as summer to autumn, or winter to spring.

This skirt is exceptionally special to me as it’s leather and adds such an interesting texture-dynamic to my outfits. The colour khaki goes with everything, but I tend to wear it with white, black, and pink.

White top frontWhite top walk across

I teamed this look with a Viktoria & Woods white flared sleeve shirt, Nine West boots (from a fews years ago), and my classic Chanel double flap bag.

White top pole 2

This skirt is by Willow, which unfortunately doesn’t exist in Australia anymore. Kit Willow (Designer at Kitx) originally started the brand Willow and has taken her design aesthetic to new heights with the likes of her new brand – Kitx. I strongly encourage you to check it out; a beautiful Australian brand with a passion for sustainable fashion.

White top walk front

white top walking down stairs 6

White top walking down stairs

Other ways to style this A-line skirt:

  • Add thigh high boots and cashmere sweater – perfect for autumn or winter
  • Add white sneakers and t-shirt for an effortless autumn or spring look
  • Add stilettos, silk cami and blazer for a sophisticated business or evening look
  • Add an on trend ruffle top and slides for fresh summer look

White top walking up stairswhite top walking up stairs 1

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this skirt/look/post, by adding a comment below.

White top walk diagonal

Skirt – Willow (not available anymore). But check out http://www.kitx.com.au for similar designs

Top – http://www.viktoriaandwoods.com.au

Shoes – http://www.ninewest.com.au

Bag – http://www.chanel.com

 

Leather & Soie – K

Styles that never fade – part 1

Leather & Stripes

budha

I started this blog because I dream about fashion. I have a full time job in the medical industry and love it. I love being challenged daily. But I also have a real passion for understanding my own style. I believe there are some ‘styles’ that never go out of fashion. And I want to inspire others’ to find their own style based on what makes them feel good.

We took a beautiful walk through a very picturesque part of Byron Bay – Crystal Castle. And although not my style it had some spectacular views; the kind that only nature can provide. The perfect backdrop to represent the start of my series of blogs re ‘styles that never fade.’

stripe top under arch

Leather

This Aje leather skirt makes a regular appearance when choosing my outfits. When you find the perfect leather skirt, you can wear it with anything, for any event and in my opinion, in any weather! This Aje leather skirt is crafted to perfection. You’ll see many more of my leather skirts along the way, but this one is special. Tan leather is a little more subtle than black leather, allowing for more casual outfit variations.

Stripes

The other fashion style that never fades, and stands the test of time is none other than stripes. When you really think about it, you see stripes everywhere! This top also features ruffles which are an ‘on-trend’ feature at the moment, but the underlying style is stripes. I am making an effort to incorporate more stripes into my wardrobe; and I’m loving it! When choosing stripes in a primary colour, such as blue, you can mix all different prints together.

stripe top stairs

I really enjoyed my time getting out into nature. As I live in Australia, this is probably the last time I’ll see some warm weather for a while. I will dream about balmy nights until next summer!

crystal castle flowers

Crystal castle walk up stairs

What I wore:

Top – Slide Show via http://www.wildchildstylelab.com.au (purchased in store)

Skirt – http://www.aje.com.au

Slides – http://www.witchery.com.au

Bag – http://www.bally.com

Sunglasses – http://www.tomford.com

 

Leather & Soie – K