How London Startup poq Studio is Changing the Mobile Commerce Space

Mobile fashion apps are hot. And the options seem endless. Consumers can now do things like “window shop”, share photos of their favorite finds, and purchase and trade new clothing . But not every brand is able to afford a custom shopping app. Enter poq Studio, a startup located in London that makes this option possible for small and medium-sized retailers at an affordable cost.

Recently, the team launched a new app for Tatty Devine, a quirky British jewelry company, and so far it has been downloaded to mobile phones across the world more than 10,000 times.
The startup has been around for over a year and has launched several successful mobile fashion apps (across iPhone, iPad and Android platforms). The team’s background is in e-commerce and this past May, poq Studio won their first round of investment from UCL’s (University College London) Bright Ideas Award 2012.

Most of the startup’s customers are currently based in the UK and across Europe (about 80% of downloads come from there). Not surprisingly, the next most active markets to download are the US and Japan.

“With every app that we launch, we learn more about what it takes to be successful,” Michael says.

According to Michael, though fashion brands have traditionally been slow to adopt new technologies compared to other retail sectors, this is changing. And the mobile space is the perfect fit for the fashion industry.

“In terms of technology-adoption, many big brands are beginning to develop their mobile strategy, but there’s a lot of potential for smaller brands too. There are more and more, especially young designers, who develop their digital strategy first,” he points out. “By using a fashion-tailored platform, we can keep the price affordable for smaller brands but still create beautiful apps for them. This means, we give fashion retailers an easy and fast way into mobile commerce and the user experience of our apps is as good or better than very expensive ($20,000 – 100,000) custom-built apps from digital agencies.”

“Fashion shoppers will always be keen about buying the next ‘most stylish’ item. Through a mobile application, shoppers are first to get to know about new products and can purchase them whilst on-the-go, before they sell out. Mobile makes fast fashion even faster,”  he says.

He’s got that right. What fashion fan doesn’t want quick access to what’s now and what’s next?

Since we’re so excited about what Michael and the poq Studio team are working on

(and let’s face it, we love anything British), we’re partnering up!

Details coming soon about our first live Twitter chat.


Cinematic Fashion: Water for Elephants

By Caroline Elizabeth, Women’s Style Editor

The 2011 film “Water for Elephants” was one of my favorite films of the year. From adventure to romance to beautiful cinematography capturing the circus grounds and performances, the movie has it all. And of course, the most exciting part for me, the fashion design student, were the costumes. I simply adored every look that Reese Witherspoon’s character, Marlena, wore in the movie.

Marlena is the wife of ringmaster and Benzini Brothers circus owner August, played by Christoph Waltz. However, with her beauty, talent, and charm, she can’t help but fall into the arms of the young new circus veterinarian, Jacob, played by Robert Pattinson, and a love triangle ensues.

Along with being August’ wife, Marlena is also a circus performer. She does routines with four breathtaking white horses and then later an elephant named Rosie that is just the attraction the circus needs during the Great Depression to stay in business. In the film, Marlena has many glittery and gorgeous outfits for her time in the ring, but I decided to focus on her more wearable style while around the circus grounds.

Marlena’s 1930’s style clothing is always feminine and she shows off her figure well by often adding belts. Her wardrobe also contains a lot of stripes mixed with neutrals, which is always a classic option that can become more formal or casual, and is easy to accessorize.

water for elephants


Sacai Luck striped top, $180 / Bustier shirt, $16 / Current/Elliott white denim skirt / Bottega Veneta highwaist shorts, $235 / J.Crew ballerina shoes / Ciao Bella platform wedge / Jessica Simpson stiletto heels / Dorothy Perkins nude sandals / Saskia Diez travel tote bag / Kate Spade bag / AK Anne Klein leather watch / Elizabeth Cole gold bangle / Emilio Pucci scarve / Beret hat, $615 / Alexander McQueen wide leather belt

To get the look, try an uptown inspired approach by starting with a striped cardigan over a pencil skirt with a button detail. Belt the look to show your figure, and add a pair of t-strap wedges or heels to evoke the 30’s even more. Lastly, add a beret and structured bag and you are ready for a day in the office.

Or, if you’re ready to hit the town at night, try some high-waisted shorts and a cropped corset style top with cutouts. Add a belt if you like, and definitely throw on a striped hair scarf, some bangles, and a pair of t-strap flats of your choice. Your favorite vintage bag and carefully coiffed 1930’s style hair will complete this look and everyone will ask about your outfit!

New Partnership with

Recently I accepted an offer to become‘s editor. is a mobile app that helps shoppers find new boutiques in the Bay Area and stay updated on the freshest finds within each shop. My role is to choose my top personally coveted items and feature them on the blog, highlighting the rotating list of the team’s favorite boutiques. Images from each post will also be posted to’s new Pinterest board called “Editor’s Picks”.

As our partnership progresses, I’ll bring you information about local boutiques’ social media savvy and photos from events I attend (these will be on the FB page).

For now, check out my first post which features finds from two boutiques in The Mission, mira mira and HANGR 16.


Get in touch with the Pretty Innovative team at

if you want to collaborate in any way!

Cinematic Fashion: Finding Neverland

Finding Neverland is a movie about how J.M. Barrie (played by Johnny Depp) got his inspiration for Peter Pan. The movie tells the tale of Barrie’s relationship with four boys and their mother, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (played by Kate Winslet), and how this grew into the story of four children who never want to grow up.

Sylvia is a different type of woman for the early 1900s, mainly because of her friendly relationship with Barrie and her children. With her motherly and cheerful attitude she’s clearly the inspiration for Barrie’s Wendy, so costumer designer Alexandra Byrne often adds pale blue (Wendy’s signature color) as a contrast to Sylvia’s heavily cream wardrobe.

Though Sylvia’s style is pretty simple, there are still hints of Victorian fashion elements through the cut of her dresses and outerwear.

To modernize your look, start with a simple blue or cream dress (this doesn’t have to be floor length) and pair this with a cream silk or chiffon blouse. For warmth, layer a feminine style trench; choose a hat if you’re going to a fancy event or trying to keep sun off your face. Lastly, add a pair of cream booties with a contrasting detail like a cap toe. For fun you can also throw in a cute ring, embellished kid gloves or straw satchel.


Finding Neverland

Music & Menswear: Jonathan Pierce of The Drums

By Vanessa Lynn, Men’s Style Editor

Summer would not be the same without The Drums. Ever since I first started listening to them in 2009, they’ve become a fixture in my summertime playlists. Like any really good nostalgic pop, their music makes me want to revisit all of my childhood pastimes.

Lead singer Jonathan Pierce’s personal style is very fitting for the music his band creates. His clothes evoke an image that would perfectly fit a troubled teen cast in a Brat Pack flick. His style is casual yet thoughtful and easily accessible for anyone interested in capturing a similar look. The band’s overall image is very singular and I’m drawn to their aesthetic for that reason. Not many other current musicians could successfully fill the niche that The Drums complete. Pierce’s style is an appealing play on 1980s fashion, his lyrics are rather poetic, and his dancing is adorkable. Seriously.

Jonathan Pierce

To start your own Jonathan Pierce inspired look, find a red jacket with ribbed knit cuffs (windbreaker or letterman style) or a faded jean jacket. Underneath your jacket of choice, wear a color-blocked t-shirt or tank. If you want a slightly more formal look that’s still cool and casual, try a short-sleeved button-down in either a plaid or a solid that has a vintage feel to it, like a chambray.

For bottoms wear a pair of skinny jeans that cuff at the ankle or a light colored chino short. When finishing off your look, think classic. Choose between either a black pair of Dr. Martens or a colored Converse, perhaps in navy. And don’t forget to grab some classy black shades!

For The Drums most recent music video, check out their single Days.

Music Video to Embed: Me and the Moon

Intel and Marie Claire Partner in Ad Campaign

Amidst some late summer and early fall editorial spreads, I was pleased to run across the very fashion friendly ads promoting the Intel-inspired Ultrabook in the August issue of Marie Claire (yes, I still love print mags).

The first, a two-page spread, shows off the fall color trend, plum, and features three well known women in the fashion industry rocking this color while modeling their Intel-inspired Ultrabooks. The women featured include Ashley Madekwe of Ring My Bell, Nola Weinstein of GlamChic and Amy Levin of CollegeFashionista (another blog to which our Women’s Style Editor Caroline contributes!).

I love the play on the word plum in the header, “plum assignment”, love the styling of each woman and love that industry thought leaders are the models for this ad. Not surprisingly, this ad’s call to action is for readers to visit Marie Claire’s Facebook page, click on the Fashion Forward app and enter for a chance to win an Intel-inspired Ultrabook (along with cash prize!). From there, the Fashion Forward app on the Facebook page lets visitors have more interactions with the campaign like voting for their favorite bloggers’ style in the spread and seeing a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot.

The second ad is one page and simply reads, “Ultra sharp. Ultrabook.” This ad shows the juxtaposition between a shoe with a laptop inspired stiletto heel versus the side view of a laptop. Though this ad is sleeker than the first, it doesn’t have a clear call to action, and definitely doesn’t need that laptop in the upper right corner. The stiletto laptop gets the right message across all on its own. However, if I were to save one ad to display in a collage, it would be this one.

Which is your favorite?

Cinematic Fashion: Marie Antoinette

By Caroline Elizabeth, Women’s Style Editor

The 2006 Sofia Coppola film, “Marie Antionette”, staring Kirsten Dunst will probably be remembered more for its fabulous take on 17th-century fashion than anything else. In fact, I’ve heard numerous people say that the movie includes their favorite costumes of all time, so its academy award for such was well deserved.

The overall mood of the period pieces in the film is romantic and feminine, which includes with piles of ribbon details and lace to trim the satin and floral brocade gowns that Marie and her ladies-in-waiting wear. Marie and her ladies also knew how to accessorize, with glamorous shoes, hats, fans, jewels, and purses. Marie Antionette was a true fashion revolutionary of her time!

Using Marie Antionette as inspiration for modern-day dress is a lot of fun. Create a pale, pastel look overall with a lot of pink, green, blue, and cream that will evoke the fundamental colors from the film. It honestly doesn’t hurt to think of pastries, especially macaroons, which the film crew actually used as part of their inspiration for the costumes and set.

A great way to create Marie’s look is to mix florals together (a look that’s right on trend this season). It often works well to combine one bold floral print with another less so, because not all florals can be paired together! A pastel bag and a bit of jewelry in a similar hue will add a nice touch, but make sure they are simple enough so that the focus is kept on your floral ensemble. Lastly, add some flats with lace or bow details to keep the feminine look flowing all the way to your footwear.

marie antionette

Alice + Olivia floral dress, $185 / Zimmermann wrap dress / Frock & Frill floral blouse, $16 / Rochas brocade jacket, $495 / DAY Birger et Mikkelsen floral jacket, $140 / Citizens of Humanity jeans, $200 / Cacharel pleated skirt / Current/Elliott denim shorts, $180 / Oxford shoes / Miu Miu shoes / Melissa shoes, $77 / Charlotte Russe ballet flat / Chinese Laundry shoes / Bow handbag / Dorothy Perkins cross body handbag / Costume jewelry / ASOS vintage jewelry, $31

And, apparently an Apple product is also a good accessory to add to a modern day Marie Antoinette look.

The World’s Most Expensive Watch

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but in this case I bet a lot of guys would be open to claiming the same if they could get their hands on this luxury watch, which is valued at $5M.


The watch was crafted by Swiss watch manufacturer Hublot, owned by LVMH (naturally). Typically Hublot creates watches priced around $24,000, but this watch is definitely unique. After 14 months of work by 12 cutters and 5 setters all 1,282 diamonds were put into place to create this incredibly sparkly time piece.

In March of this year, it was sold to world famous watch retailer The Hour Glass Singapore.


Cinematic Fashion: 13 Going on 30

After her nightmarish 13th birthday party in the 2004 film “13 Going on 30”, Jennifer Garner’s character Jenna Rink wishes she could finally be grownup, cool, and “thirty, flirty, and thriving”. As she slowly adjusts to life at age 30, she realizes she’s not quite the woman she wanted to become because she’s feared at work, and has grown apart from her loving parents and childhood best friend Matt, played by Mark Ruffalo.

Between a series of funny mishaps mixed with some sad realizations, Jenna turns her 30-year-old self’s life around and ultimately learns that others will like her if she stays true to herself.

My favorite part about the fashion in this film is that Jenna’s style stays so young at heart because she is literally a 13-year-old trapped inside the body of a 30-year-old woman. Her dresses are colorful, her hair is playful, and she uses bright makeup and bold accessories inspired by the colors of the 1980s. Thankfully, her job as a magazine editor lets her take liberties such as wearing a silk nightdress to the office and a very bright ensemble to the office party.

When choosing clothing inspired by this movie, think young-at-heart florals, daring dress shapes, bright makeup, and quirky accessories.

Cinematic Fashion: 13 Going on 30

Versace dress, $1,070 / Bright colored dress, $125 / Arden B chiffon dress / Floral dress / Marjolaine Jardin nightdress, $240 / Christian Louboutin heels / Badgley Mischka bridal shoes / Badgley Mischka bridal shoes / High heel shoes / Miss Selfridge rhinestone jewelry, $12 / Miss Selfridge flower hair accessory, $7.76 / Lancôme pink lipstick / Essie nail polish

Music & Menswear: King Charles

By Vanessa Lynn, Men’s Style Editor
“Your own pair of trousers look better on me.” -King Charles, lyrics from Ivory Road.
So I’ve basically been doing happy dance circles around my apartment since the May release of King Charles’s album, LoveBlood. I waited so long for it’s release and it lives up to all of my expectations and more. Everything about King Charles is just cool. For starters, he seems to know absolutely everyone there is to know in the UK music scene. I’ll be watching what I thought was just some random music video and then bam, there he is. And I have a feeling he is going to blowup in the States just like Mumford and Sons did two years ago.

I also love that he has a persona that he puts on, maybe not to Die Antwoord‘s proportions but a character nonetheless. Anyway, anyone who plays glam folk (and I don’t mean Vince Noir’s version although that’s grand as well), frequently makes Oscar Wilde references in his songs, and has hair kinda like this guy is winning in my book.

But I digress. King Charles has a really great personal style with a strong vintage vibe. He acts like a king and definitely dresses the part. You can pull inspiration from his wardrobe through the attitude of your own clothing. First decide if you want to wear a suit or unmatched separates. If you opt for a suit and want to go all out in King Charles glory, find a black suit with tails or an all white suit. Underneath, wear a white button down with a mandarin collar or a bib front tuxedo shirt. Coordinate either of these options with velvet slippers or loafers fit for a king.

If separates are more your style, you have a lot of options. If you want to wear a suit jacket, look for one that has a shawl collar and you can easily pair said jacket with a waistcoat, the shirt styles mentioned above, and a pair of black trousers.

For another option, try a pair of navy trousers (velvet is a bonus) and match with a blue button down. After cuffing your sleeves, try putting on a light colored belt to break up the blue. If you are super daring, you could even try a cummerbund as the King wears them often. However, proceed with caution, because this look requires the style level of “awesome” for one to pull off and not look either really silly or like you work at a hotel (or perhaps both). With the blue separates look, wear brown or cream leather shoes that come to a point at the toe. Try finding shoes that have interesting stitch details.

To finish off your look you could try a paisley scarf, wearing it either cravat style or loose around your neck. And because King Charles is often pictured with a cane, you could accessorize your look by carrying a walking umbrella if rain is in the forecast. Just remember to think British thoughts and perhaps add some Union Jack cuff-links and you’re good to go. Oh. And you may want to start growing your hair out because if you ever want to come even close to emulating King Charles’s voluminous ‘do, you best get started now because it will take awhile.

King Charles