Style Tips / How to shop in an outlet complex

30.4.09

Yesterday, I was invited to visit Bicester Village, near Oxford. I met up with the lovely Cate from Bitchbuzz at Marylebone station and we hopped on a train. I was a little apprehensive as outlet shopping isn't really something I would cover on this blog and I hadn't been to such a place before in the UK.
Also, as I can't really afford much at the moment, I had allowed myself a budget of £20 to spend there - which isn't much fun, even for outlet shopping. Thankfully, we were all given a gift card with some money on it when we arrived which made the whole experience different for me. We were basically given the star treatment all day, and that seldom happens to bloggers, so it is worth mentioning!
The point of this post is not to tell you what I had for lunch there, but to try and give you some tips about how to shop in these types of places, as while I was visiting the shops, I had an epiphany about it.

Wear comfortable shoes! You are going to do a lot of walking, so make sure your shoes are made for walking.

Prepare your shopping expedition. Have a look at the list of brands available in the village you are visiting and pick a few that you really care about and where you know there are items you covet. For me, it was Luella, Agent Provocateur & Cath Kidston.

Research previous collections. In an outlet shopping center, you will find mostly things from previous years. They try to make it coincide with the current season, so you will still find spring clothes in spring, but from last year. So for example, in Luella, you could get all the floral skirts and dresses, the Batman sweatshirts, and sequins.

Decide on a budget according to your means. It is pointless to go to a place like that and spend way more than you would on a normal day. You have to keep in mind that even though things are reduced, sometimes you still can't afford it, and yes, you might have to leave a bargain behind. I saw great bags in Mulberry that were down to £200 from £1000, but for me it was still way too much so I had to leave it at that.

Don't get carried away. At some point, I think I was in Jigsaw, I realised I was getting shopping fever. Jigsaw is typically a brand I don't ever go to. Just not my style. But because of the reductions, I suddenly found myself going into every single shop for about 10 min. Then snapped out of it and went for lunch. Phew! Impulse shopping during the sales, or in a shopping village is NOT your friend.

Don't hesitate to have items put aside for you. If you find something you like in a shop, ask someone to keep it for you for the day. Think about the purchase and look around, then pick it up on your way home once you are sure it is what you wanted. I did that with a Luella cardigan. I knew I needed a cardigan, and when I saw it, it was love (love, love) at first sight, but it was the first shop I went into so I didn't want to regret my purchase later.

Always ask yourself "Do I need this?". This was especially useful while about to die of cute overload in the middle of Cath Kidston. I could have gone home with the whole contents of the shop, but every time I picked something up, I had to ask myself: "Do I really need a make up bag? No, I already have 2. Do I really need a kitchen towel? No, I have enough. Do I really need a duvet cover? Yes, but this one is still too expensive." And the list goes on. In the end, I didn't get anything from there.

I hope these tips will be useful to you in the future, if you do go to such a place!

While I was there, I also got to chat a little with Fiona Huntingford from Style Struck, who is also the Style Consultant at Bicester Village (busy lady!), she told me a bit more about her job & gave me a few ideas where to go shopping for myself.



I will show you my purchases in another post...

Modepass & Mademoiselle Robot present: a very fashionable contest!

28.4.09

modepass

Hello everyone,

I am pretty excited to tell you about this Modepass contest... From today till Friday, May 15th if you join Modepass on my behalf, you have a chance to win a voucher of €100 you can spend as you want at Eple and Melk, Valentine Gauthier or Denim Gallery Biarritz.
To enter, all you have to do is join Modepass, go to "My account", then "Edit my profile" and in the "Who I am" section go to the field "Addicted to" and write "Mademoiselle Robot".

I have been on Modepass for a while now and changed my page a few times to match my blog. You can customize your own page completely and if you get stuck, you will find all the help you need in the Backstage section of the site.

If you are a fashion lover, you will find a great community on Modepass, and you get to connect with all the bloggers and designers you like as well! I am really hooked to Modepass, as I get to everything in the same place, but also thankful to their team as they have given me great opportunities, been very supportive of my content etc - so it is time to give back!

For a chance to win, all we need is for 20 people to register on my behalf, and one of you will get a voucher, so register now!!! I will announce the winner after May 15th.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Just to clear things out, I am not getting paid to get people on Modepass, this is actually is a contest for YOU to win stuff.

Style Tips / Vintage wardrobe basics (Spring / Summer edition)

27.4.09

I am getting to a stage now where I try to refrain from impulse shopping. It is always very tempting when I go into a vintage store to leave with 10 dresses, 7 jumpsuits and 45 cardigans. The problem is, I can't afford it and even if I could, I don't exactly have space to keep them at home. I also find that the more clothes I own, the more difficult it is to put outfits together and get dressed in the morning. I end up wearing the same over and over so I don't have to look too deep into my closet. Which is why over the past few weeks (or months) I have been thinking a lot about which vintage basics I needed to complement my wardrobe key pieces.

cardigan
Cardigan from Bows & Bandits

Living in London, there is no way I could go out in the Spring (and sometimes even in the Summer) without taking with me a cardigan. I like mine to be fairly neutral & plain, in cream, navy or powder pink. A good vintage cardigan has to be 100% wool (no acrylic blend please) or cashmere. If the buttons aren't very nice, you can find mismatched ones in some vintage shops and replace them.

fullskirt
Photo Liebe Marlene

A full skirt in the Spring is literally the no-brainer outfit building option for me. Grab a tee-shirt, grab a full skirt, slip on some shoes and you have a perfectly cute attire to go to the park, the museum, the office, a date and more! I like to shorten mine so they come slightly above the knee.

pencilskirt

The pencil skirt is also a fail safe option but this time for more "formal" occasions, like meetings, family dinners etc. When I want to show that I mean business, while showing that I have a nice bum, I slip on a pencil skirt. I dress it down in the day with a simple tee, and up for the evening with a nice blouse.


prettydress

For all those garden parties, you must own a pretty dress. And why not wear it for a picnic as well with a cardigan or a biker jacket?

sailortrousers
Photo The Cherry Blossom Girl


Ditch those jeans for Spring time and replace them with sailor trousers. The wide leg and high waist look flattering on most body shapes (as long as you wear them with some heels) and are way more comfortable when it is hot than skinny jeans!


blouse

A pretty silk or chiffon blouse goes a long way as you can wear it with literally everything. I used to be really into pussy bow blouses, but I now prefer collarless or Peter Pan collar ones.

trench
To brave April showers and Summer thunderstorms, you will need a classic belted trench coat. If you are minted, you have to get a vintage Burberry's one (around £150), if like me you are skinted you will find some more affordable options in thrift shops or online (like the one in the photo) for around £30 or less.

shoes

Dancing shoes are cute. Dancing shoes have heels. Dancing shoes are comfortable and easy to find in very good condition, or dead stock. I find them to be the best way to finish a vintage outfit. I like mary janes in beige or bright colours.

What are your Spring vintage basics?

Inspiration / Los Angeles

23.4.09

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There are only a few cities in the world I am completely madly obsessed with and have been for years. Tokyo, Los Angeles, Stockholm and London.
I now live in London, so that's one obsession under control. I am going to Stockholm in July (merci maman for sharing your hotel room with me). I hope to go to Tokyo sometime soon.
I have been to Los Angeles in 2004. It was only for a week, but I drew so much energy from this city, and so much inspiration that all I want to do is go there again. A lot of people absolutely hate it, mainly because it is "not New York". But this is what I like about L.A. - it is not NY. To me NY is just an americanised version of London, with taller buildings. I don't feel as if going there would be a massive change of scenery.
Los Angeles is a weird one, it is so gigantic, but at the same time, the various areas seem to have a nice community vibe going. It is totally just my impression about the place after a week, so I am sure locals will say I am mistaken.
A giant metropolis by the sea is pretty much my idea of heaven though. Like July Stars, I have a strong taste for nature, but I also come running back to the city and kiss the ground after a holiday in the middle of nowhere.
I shall now stop talking and leave you with images...

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Depuis de nombreuses années, je suis totalement obsédée par plusieurs villes: Tokyo, Stockholm, Londres et Los Angeles. Je vis à Londres, donc je suis tranquille de e côté là. Je vais à Stockholm en Juillet et j'espère aller à Tokyo dans un futur pas trop lointain...
J'ai eu la chance de séjourner à LA en 2004. Un très court séjour, juste une semaine. Mais cela m'a suffit pour tomber raide dingue de l'énergie de cette ville. J'ai une envie folle d'y retourner aussi vite que possible.
Beaucoup de gens détestent LA pour la simple raison que ce n'est pas NY... A mes yeux, NY n'est qu'une version américanisée de Londres, pas de dépaysement, pas de surprise.
LA est étrange, c'est une ville gigantesque, mais constituée de quartiers avec des communautés soudées (en tous cas c'est l'impression que j'ai eu).
Une métropole géante au bord de la mer, c'est pour moi le paradis. Comme July Stars, j'adore la nature, mais je retourne en ville avec plaisir après des vacances en rase campagne.

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Are there some places you are desperate to go to, or to go back to? Did you leave your heart somewhere in the world? Where do you live?

Photos are mine. Maps and postcards from LA Yesterday.

Mademoiselle Robot loves Leon Bailey Green

20.4.09


Leon Bailey-Green is an online Fashion Consultant. I am sure you have all heard of him by now as it was only last week that he released the
Online Fashion 100 in the Independent (you can also download the file from his own website), a list of inspirational,interesting and influential people in the online fashion industry". He very kindly accepted to take some time off his hectic schedule to answer a few questions for MademoiselleRobot.com.


Tell me more about your job.

I help fashion websites raise their profile online to either sell more (if they're a retailer), or attract users (if it's a content website).

How did you start doing it?

I got a PC and the internet for my 14th birthday, taught myself to design websites and my desire to be a TV Producer went out of the window - I fell in love with the internet.

After college I got a job with a web design firm as a junior designer, then started enjoying the idea of marketing the websites I was designing. After a while I wanted to mix all this with fashion, something I have always been interested in.

What do you think of the current state of the Fashion blogosphere?

The more the better! Although (as I've said before on my blog it's really important for new bloggers to write about something absolutely specific; or have a unique writing style.

We need more fashion blogs aimed at niches.

How did you put together the Online Fashion 100?

It was a long but very enjoyable process.

Which blogs or websites do you read everyday?

Media Guardian, Drapers and Brand Republic keep me up to date with what's going on in the industry.

Seth Godin is a marketing genius, his blog is great and he even linked to me once; something I still haven't got over!

I like to read Stylist Stuff by my friend Rebekah Roy, there are always interesting insights from her life as a fashion stylist.

I need my celebrity gossip too. Daily Mail and Digital Spy are two of my favourite websites for this.

Describe your style?

Weekday is all about coloured skinny trousers and shirts, whilst weekends mean baggy denim and ugg boots.

How many pairs of glasses do you own? Which one is your favourite?

I have about 10 pairs. The ones I am wearing in the headshot of my blog are my favourites.


What would you wear on a date?

That's something I would worry about if it happened!

90210 or Gossip Girl?

90210 all the way! I wish it was on more often. AnnaLynne McCord's character (Naomi) is my favourite. I can't wait for the Tori Spelling episodes to air.

Designer or vintage?

Vintage. It's rewarding rummaging through and finding something perfect.

London or Paris?
London. It's home.


Photo - Courtesy of Metropolitan Hotel, London

MRtv - Dealing with negative comments

16.4.09

A stream of negative comments on Mademoiselle Robot and reading this post on KoS and Gala's article about Female Jealousy made me decide to post a video about it.



If you want to read some more about trolls, Princess Poochie also gave her opinion here.

What I am wearing / Milking the nautical cow

14.4.09

The great thing about working from home is being able to see your friends (who also work from home) for an impromptu picnic in the middle of the week. For a couple of hours, the weather was actually on our side and we were able to sit in a little garden and chat about life, boys and the evils of the internet (I might actually dedicate a whole post to the evils of the internet - in the meantime, read this).

I really have to stop with the digressions. Having unearthed those navy H&M trousers, I am falling deeper and deeper into my usual springtime nautical look. It will get boring at some point, and if you remember well, it is not AT ALL what my plans for a spring wardrobe were. I wanted muted colours, looks like I might have got lost along the way. Fashion habits are hard to get out of.

Milking that nautical cow

No vintage at all in this outfit I am afraid, only old high street stuff (apart from the bow and brooch).

Milking that nautical cow

Milking that nautical cow

I am trying really hard to get out of the house this week, after having suffered from an acute case of hermititis lonesomis for a few weeks. Monday night, I went to see Monsters vs. Aliens at the IMAX, I felt like a child and wanted to clap everytime something was happening in the film. The 3D really is spectacular, and the animation close to perfection. It also made me want white hair really bad, but you can imagine that my hair would be a b**** to dye white (or cotton candy pink - my dream hair colour).

All photos and bow by Loulou Loves You

Innerspace - Interiors Adventures.

Whether it is due to a desire for perfection or endless mind changing, my flats have always been in constant evolution. I like to move the furniture around to get the air moving again, paint the walls, add or remove trinkets etc. It generally happens suddenly, I get into a frenzy and do everything at once. It is not as impulsive as it seems though, as my decorating process is pretty much the same as my dressing up one... I look around, fill my brain with inspiration and once everything is properly assimilated, I go ahead and take action. The inspiration process can take weeks, but the actual decorating happens very quickly, giving the impression it was done on a whim.

This time, I am going to share the inspiration process with you (how self indulgent) as with Spring getting warmer, I am sure my house is not the only one desperately needing a little sprucing up. My favourite interiors blog are Apartment Therapy, Bloesem and Design Sponge. I don't read any interiors magazines. I also take inspirations from places I go to (not just houses, it can also be shops, parks, cafés...) and film / tv shows interiors.

I work and live in my flat, which means that I spend a lot of time in it. More than when I used to work in an office. So I see its flaws quicker, from paint chipping to bad feng shui (yeah I know, I just wrote this, and it will probably make a couple of people be sick in their mouth).

I am about to embark in a little decorating journey aiming to make the flat feel more airy (we don't have any outdoor area, so it is nice to let the outside in somehow) and also to create an inspiring work space (at the moment, my desk is by the bed, you can imagine the problems it creates). All this has to be done taking into account a little girl whose idea of decorating is littering giant teddies everywhere.

To let some air in the flat, the hallway is going to get a lick of paint, possibly in a mint green-ish colour, to keep the vintage feel of the rest of the house while making it fresher. I really want to paint the floors white as well as I keep having dreamy visions of white floors, light white curtains floating in the breeze and small plants & candles on the window ledge.

interiors

For my work space, I just have just one image in mind, and it is quite minimal & vintage. Now I just need to figure out how to define an office area in a flat without the extra room... That will be the next episode I think.

Thank you Betsey!

11.4.09


I was really happy to find in my reader a post from Betsey with a link to my blog. I absolutely love her blog and was really excited about the pretty collage! I don't really have much more to say, but I wanted to write a post to say THANK YOU BETSEY, and encourage you all to go and read her blog, if you don't already!

Happy Easter everyone!

Mademoiselle Robot loves... Jemma Jube

9.4.09


Mel Kier aka Jemma Jube is one of those clever ladies who design clothes for real women. Her area of expertise is swimwear with a vintage glamour twist, and she certainly knows a thing or two about making girls experience the vavavoom effect on the beach!

What are your main inspirations?

Retro pink flicks and the films of Russ Meyer, John Waters and Fellini; Vegas showgirls; Bob Fosse; sixties playboy bunnies; Tura Satana, Dolly Parton, Peggy Bundy and Rose Portias. Jemma Jube women are super sexy and larger-than-life!



Who would you like to see wearing your creations?


Wonder Woman, or any of Russ Meyer's screen sirens, particularly Varla (Tura Satana) in Faster Pussycat.

How did you get into swimwear design?


I grew up in a small beachside community north of Sydney, Australia, where swimwear is an indispensable part of daily life. My friends and I had trouble finding swimwear we liked. We had been buying vintage styles, but these were becoming harder to find, particularly in good condition. The man-made fabrics were usually beginning to rot and unfortunately woven cottons are uncomfortable to wear and take a long time to dry. Alternatively, most contemporary swimwear on the market was either skimpy and unflattering for most body types, or the other extreme, overly mature and conservative. There was a huge gap in the market for sexy yet flattering and functional swimwear of superior quality, so I decided to make my own and created a label which utilises the technological advancements of textiles, combined with luxury vintage chic and a modern twist.

Do you think you will even branch out into lingerie?


Jemma Jube does a cute 60's inspired lace lingerie set called 'Linda' and a silk/cotton blend kimono (Miko) which can be worn poolside or when entertaining a lover. Jemma Jube will definitely be branching out into more lingerie and luxe poolside accessories in the near future.

Can you tell me more about your current collection?

Impossibly perky majorettes and vampy tiger tamers.


What advice would you give someone trying to choose a swimsuit?

Just like outerwear, accentuate your assets and disguise your not-so-good bits. Jemma Jube features lots of details and contouring like super high-waisted shorts, one-pieces to suck in tummies and accentuate curves and frills and skirts to disguise those little areas you prefer not to show off. Bust areas are also designed with support in mind, plus ruching to create enhancement for those not so well endowed. Jemma Jube is all about flaunting your curves and embracing your womanly assets. No longer should beachside exhibitionism remain the domain of neat teens and carrot feasting gym junkies!

Why did you decide to make retro swimwear?

Jemma Jube is not so much a retro swimwear label, but infused with the glamour and cuts of fuller vintage pieces. Even the skimpier Jemma Jube triangle styles are cut with a much fuller brief than you're average triangle swimsuit. I've never really understood the Brazil cut and still think even the trimmest derrière would look far cuter in a sixties style brief. Jemma Jube is sophisticated and super sexy, vampy, even tarty but never slutty. There's a difference!



What is your personal style?

Hmm, I'd like to say a little Faster Pussycat with a touch of Fosse-fantastic razzle dazzle and a dash of flamenco spice.

Mel (middle) & the Jubes

What I am wearing / Trousers

7.4.09

I have been searching all over the place for simple high-waisted trousers. From vintage shops to charity shops, in all the high street shops, online and offline... Nothing. Till this weekend when I caught a glimpse of these trousers in the window of H&M of all places. They definitely weren't in store last time I checked. To cut a long and boring story short, they are perfect. Exactly what the doctor ordered. The only problem is that since they are a linen and cotton mix they crease very easily and I don't like ironing.

Trousers

I haven't worn proper trousers for ages. I used to wear men's trousers in the 90's and remember liking them quite a lot. My figure isn't what it was in the 90's though, so men's trousers are a no-no nowadays.

I have been wearing jeans, but I am so sick of them, as they make me feel like a teenager. I don't really know how to do a "relaxed" look. To me, casual means pyjamas in my bed. If I go out, I need to feel non casual. Not dressed up either, but somewhere in the middle. These trousers do just that.
They also happen to be the perfect excuse to start reviving the annual nautical summer look & wear my loafers.

Flower

Shoes
Trousers - H&M
Top - Given to me by Loulou
Flower - Urban Outfitters 4 years ago
Belt & scarf - Vintage

Announcement

Pep up that Portfolio! Become a vintage vixen!

Looking for professional portrait sessions and portfolio development with
an edge? Tom Bolwell who has Brave n Bold, vintagesecret and in
collaboration with Dazed and Confused, is now offering professional
photography suitable for portfolios, castings, or just a nice pic for the
mantel piece. Prices start at £50 for 3 retouched shots.

A huge range of vintage clothing and accessories are also available on the
day with vintage stylist Naomi Thompson on hand to give you a retro
makeover.

Availability is limited. Next session is on 18th April. Please e-mail
Naomi@vintagesecret.com or tom.bolwell@gmail.com to book.

www.tombolwell.co.uk

www.vintagesecret.com

What I am wearing / The Secretary dress

1.4.09

I own only one "evening" dress. And I don't even wear it that much, as it is really quite over the top. I enjoy nothing more than a cute day dress worn in the evening. Which can generally be achieved fairly easily by adding high heels and/or some interesting accessories.

Outfit
Here you can see the Puppy Kitty Bunny tote in full effect!

I find there is something very comforting in wearing day dresses in the evening, almost as if it still allowed me to be completely myself. Being under dressed makes me feel good. It means I can dance and prance and do everything I want without fearing for my boob tube bodycon dress to fall down, for my chiffon skirt to catch on fire or other dangers of the party dress.

Outfit

This is the outfit I wore to go to Simon Henwood's book launch, at Vanilla (they have white damask drapes there *shivers*) and it felt pretty good to be keeping it simple, especially when a man walked by with what seemed to be a toilet on his head.

Outfit

Jacket - some crappy internet shop or the other
Dress - Vintage
Belt - Very old H&M
Tights - ASOS
Shoes - New Look (I ended up wearing my very high black ones instead)
Brooch - Marc Jacobs
Hat - Pretty Good Things

What do you normally wear when you go out? Evening or day wear?

x


MRtv - How to make a scarf necklace

As promised, I am unveiling the ancestral secrets of the SCARF NECKLACE!



Get knotting!
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