If you'd have asked me six months ago about Kaleidoscope, I'd have told you that it was a big catalogue from which at the age of about 9, I used to cut pictures to stick in my fashion scrapbook. It was a weighty doorstop of a publication and I eagerly anticipated its arrival twice yearly. I used to peruse it from cover to cover, from the clothing at the front, through to the office supplies and the toys at the back and dream that one day I would own a photocopier of my very own. The catalogue really did sell everything.
Fast forward twenty, ok thirty years and while Kaleidoscope still sells from its catalogues, it is mainly an e-tailer, the majority of its business coming from online sales. When they got in touch earlier this year offering to send me some occasionwear to review, I'll be honest and say that I wondered what it would be like from a quality and style perspective. I'm always open-minded though and my blog offers me a lot of opportunities to try new things, so I chose two outfits. The first, a satin floral skirt and Bardot top, the second a navy and white prom dress. I couldn't have been more impressed and found the clothing to be stylish and more than capable of giving Ted Baker and Coast a run for their money in terms of quality. I was very pleasantly surprised and love the dress so much that it appears in my profile picture across my social media and my writing work. Since then, I 've had a few more items from Kaleidoscope including the colour block t- bar heels and dropped shoulder striped shirt and have been equally as impressed.
I was invited to the Autumn Winter '16 press breakfast at the Me Hotel close to Covent Garden earlier this week. The presentation took place in the rather nice Personality Suite, the rooftop terrace of which afforded excellent views over London.
The clothing was arranged into separate style stories the first being Anastasia. This was my favourite collection, the tactile textures, faux fur and animal print appealing to my romantic nature. So many of these pieces would slot into my existing wardrobe.
|Photo Credit, Hayley Coleby, PHA Media|
|Photo Credit: Hayley Coleby, PHA Media|
The occasionwear collection, New Opulence is also very strong. Lots of flamboyant fabrics, fringing and metallic lace.
This 1920s inspired gown is what I'd wear should anyone wish to take me to a ball. It comes with both a full-length nude slip and a midi length black slip to give two different looks. The beading is exquisite and this dress reminds me of the Jenny Packham gown worn (in ivory) by my sister-in-law when she married my brother.
I met and chatted with designer Kirsten Emery, formerly of French Connection, Next and Marks and Spencer, who talked of her passion for moving this brand forward whilst respecting its core customers' favourite designs and wishes. She brings a freshness and enthusiasm to the brand and I think it will continue to go from strength to strength.
This collection is quite a transitional one so is appropriately titled Indian Summer.
These t-bar colour block shoes are very similar in style to the two pairs I have currently (I'm wearing the nude and black pair in the photo further up), which are very well made and very comfortable. This version with leather rose gold alongside the burgundy and navy suede to me is utter perfection. These are definitely on my wishlist.
The Island Resort collection is one which I think could be worn in so many different ways. Grey snake-print with lemon, beautiful metallic brocades and pearlised prints elevate the every day into something very special.
Details such as the zipped detail on the black "cold shoulder" polo neck below and the graphic printed shirt dress have given, dare I say, a slightly edgy feel to this Modern Classics collection. The window pane shift dress has a matching reversible coat. So many details.
Out on the roof terrace, I sat with designer Kirsten and Angie (l) and Natalie (r) from Kaleidoscope and took in the views of the capital...
...Before getting a mini manicure with Metta Francis of Nails by Mets.
As I left I couldn't resist photographing the stunning hotel lobby. Those blooms!
I had an hour or so before catching my train back, so called into Covent Garden and then had a wander to Trafalgar Square and to the London Eye which I never tire of seeing.
It was a brilliant day out. The team at Kaleidoscope and PHA Media are absolutely lovely and and made me and everyone else who attended feel most welcome. I'm very much looking forward to seeing the rest of the AW16 collection and pieces will become available at the start of July. The Kaleidoscope website is quite busy and it is a little difficult to see the wood for the trees, but there is an abundance of hidden gems, so do take a look. You might be as surprised as I was.
Love Liz x
*Sequin tunic, £75, Kaleidoscope
*Tailored Trousers. £35. Kaleidoscope
*Colour block t-bar shoes, £60, Kaleidoscope
Double star ring in matt gold (also available in silver) £25 by Danon at Lizzy O
T-bar heart and freshwater pearl necklace, £79 Danon at Lizzy O
T-bar heart and freshwater pearl bracelet, £49, Danon at Lizzy O (sign up to my monthly newsletter in the right hand sidebar of my blog for exclusive discounts for Lizzy O).
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Disclosure: My outfit was provided by Kaleidoscope for the event. All opinions are 100% honest and all content is my own. I was not obliged to blog about these items nor did I receive any payment for writing this post. Thank you for supporting the brands that support What Lizzy Loves.