Prints, please

How many prints is too many prints? Given that to most, a printed dress is scary enough, the answer is probably just one. However, fellow fun fabric connoisseurs/lovers of potentially bad taste – call it what you will – may agree that anything upwards of two clashing prints, and the day is looking good. Throw in some lurid colours for good measure and you are onto a winner, fashion friends.

Prints, please

The key is to have a classic foundation; pair a white-based Breton with a cropped dark tartan trouser, with flashes of red a yellow running through it, and you have a solid foundation to work with. Now we can start to have fun. On top of this, how about a crazy take on the perfecto with the black given new dimensions by a melange of green, orange and white? This is probably a good place to end, unless you also feel that the addition of possibly Nike‘s most offensive pair of shoes will add a certain je ne sais quoi. If nothing else, a jaunty juxtaposition of colour, print and texture will have you smiling all day long (as well as scaring and shocking Parisians, my current favourite game).

Nike Air

The aforementioned Nike trainers

Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter are all about prints, so now is the time to try, experiment and maybe even fail. That’s where the fun lies and that’s where your style lies. As Lucinda Chambers, British Vogue fashion director, said “You need to get to know yourself and what works for you; it’s all about trial and error“. Style shouldn’t be daunting, it’s a way to express your creativity, passion and energy. You should never be afraid to try new things, because yes, new ensembles may often crash and burn, but somewhere in there you’ll find what you love, what makes you comfortable and what makes you you. What’s the point in being part of the crowd and following someone else’s style? In the end, you won’t feel comfortable or confident, and that’s what you’ll portray to others. London is renowned as being the home of fearless fashion, which is why London will always be the best; it is the nurturing ground of the young and talented, and yes, more often than not you may look twice at someone in the street because their look is so totally alien and wrong, but when people are looking at you twice in the street, that’s when you know you’re doing something good.

If your own outfit inspires you to write, you must be doing something right…or very, very wrong. Either way, I’m happy with that.

Prada Spring/Summer 2011

Prada Spring/Summer 2011

Marc Jacobs resort 2013

Marc Jacobs Resort 2013

Susie Bubble & Other Stories

Susie Bubble & Other Stories

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Fashion Week Recap: Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 Beauty Trends

Click the link below to read my piece on Vogue.fr’s Huffington Post blog, all about the big beauty trends for next season, Autum/Winter 2014-2015, direct from the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Fashion Week Recap: Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 Beauty Trends

London Showrooms Autumn/Winter 2014-2015

London ShowroomsThe London Showrooms in Paris, a space where the up and coming designers on the eclectic British scene bring their collections during Paris Fashion Week, providing press and buyers a chance to (re)see them post London Fashion Week. Marques Almeida, J JS Lee, Michael van der Ham, Piers Atkinson, KTZ, Todd Lynn, Fashion East, David Koma, 1205, Christopher Raeburn, Sibling, Holly Fulton, Claire Barrow, Danielle Romeril, Nasir Mazhar, Ryan Lo, and a standout collection from Palmer//Harding were all on show in a modern Marais space until yesterday.

Important and enchanting as the runway show is, you get a much better sense of pieces when they’re in front of you and you are able to touch and feel them. The graphic qualities and innovation show through in a way that can only be experienced up close and personal. Take Danielle Romeril for example: she created a collection that had a Christopher Kane circa Autumn/Winter 2011 feel, complete with curved plastic trims that had such a graphic quality as could never be captured on camera or film, hard as you try. Using lenticular, Danielle printed it with polka dots in alternating strips that when looked at, seemed to be 3D and at different levels, but it was all flat. Trippy to the extreme, and a detail that can only be captured up close with the eyes. It gave such a detailed insight into just how innovative, imaginative and thoughtful London designers are. In London, bad taste, clashing prints, loud colours and modernity are all embraced and encouraged, and at the London Showrooms, they were on full display, from Marques’Almeida’s red feathers to Todd Lynn’s neon-tipped fur, all via the colour and ruffle mayhem of Ryan Lo.

It’s meeting some of the designers that is perhaps most valuable reason for popping along: show notes are one thing, but a face-to-face with one of the people behind it, to whom each piece is so personal, is another altogether. The Palmer//Harding collection, for example, was interesting to browse through, full of texture and flashes of colour, however, when one half of the design duo, Levi Palmer, started talking about it and explaining the inspirations behind it, the collection took on a whole new significance. Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding looked to paper for Autumn/Winter 2014-2015, playing with it in all its forms: ripped, shredded, scrunched, smooth. The shredding caught their creative eye, forming a hand-cut white suede skirt, soft, beautiful, 3D. Next, highlighters grabbed their attention, specifically the marks they leave on paper and the way the neon stands out against bright white. Another hand-cut skirt was created, this time with the ends of each strand of suede dipped in highlighter-bright yellow. Strips of neon mesh were plastered over scrunched white fabric like a discarded piece of highlighted paper, and, most subtle and clever of all, a white pencil skirt made of a white stretch fabric with very fine slits featured the same vibrant yellow as an underskirt, meaning that as the wearer walks, quick jolts of lively colour shine through. Would you get all this from just looking at the collection alone? Most likely not. If there is one reason to go to a showroom alone, it is in the hope that the designer will be there, breathing life into his or her collection.

With so many collections together in one room, it’s hard not to pick up on a few trends that appear as a thread throughout the inventive offerings. So, what will the London girl be wearing next season? Pleats, metallics, leather galore and fabrics that make a statement, be it feathers, snaggle fur, plastic or something that looks like shredded paper.

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‘Cover Girl’: A lesson in fashion history

Everyone has seen this by now, how could you miss Lena Dunham, of Girls fame, and fashion legend Hamish Bowles vogueing? The short clip is excellently done, with Dunham in classic Hannah-mode (and some rather delightful silk pyjamas – Olivia von Halle perhaps), being outshone by Hamish’s effortless elegance and grace when posing. Yes, it’s very entertaining, but it is also an important lesson in fashion history, featuring some very iconic images, albeit from only one side of the pond. One would imagine that Hamish had to do very little research for the piece, as he appears to have a wealth of knowledge, casually throwing names into the mix, and if asked, he would probably have no issue telling us the photographer, who the model’s wearing, and even the location and issue. That is so important, and all too rare. These days, so many people claim to love fashion, but have no concept of the basic history. Being able to identify references is so very important and, due to its rarity, impressive. So, watch the video, have a giggle, but then watch it again and again until you can see any of the images shown and know the information behind its creation, and then some. Powerful photographs don’t come out of thin air, they have the past behind them, pushing them into the future.

100 Years of Style in East London…or not

Upon first viewing this clip, for approximately 82 seconds I was charmed and delighted. The video, actually a couple of years old now, is an advertisement for the opening of Westfield Stratford in London’s East End. It is a flirtatious 100 seconds of history, charting the change in British (more specifically East London) style from 1911 to 2011, using music and dance from the various eras to cleverly cut between the decades. A great idea, demonstrating the importance of clothes through history, and how a changing social and political background leads to a change in opinion and thus style, the most accessible form of expressing one’s point of view.

However, the smile faded at 82 seconds, as the horror of the modern day depiction of our style unfurled on the screen before me. Thank you very much, but you will never have seen this blogger, or the vast majority of other sartorially minded women out there, sporting a huge doughnut bun and patent platform heels. If that is how modern day style will be remembered, (fashion) God, help us all. To make matters worse, this is a video about East London, that veritable breeding ground of quirky British style – not always a good thing – and individual looks. No hipster, male or female, would ever don the latter three outfits in this video.

Britain is, and has always been, home to the most diverse, daring and exciting range of styles, looks which across both Channel and Pond are viewed with both fear and delight, but most importantly, respect. This video does not portray that. Forgotten are the likes of (East End-born) designer Alexander McQueen, Shoreditch favourite Meadham Kirchoff, or elegant-with-a-twist J.W. Anderson. No, we shall be remembered by badly made, ill-fitting, nondescript outfits.

If nothing else, enjoy the first minute or so, but then shut your eyes so as not to be offended by how Westfield perceives the sartorial richness of our fair Isle. If I don’t post for a while, it’ll be because I’m busy remaking this video, and doing British Fashion justice.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Hair

Having recently been introduced to the life-consuming wonder that is Game of Thrones, life has been infiltrated with new inspirations for flowing summer hairstyles. There is only one household to blame for this – House Targaryen. Both Viserys and Daenerys are blessed with hair so blonde it’s almost white, through which runs a beautiful soft wave. Not only that, they have mastered the art of the plait (or the hairstylists on set have).

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Viserys undeniably has the cooler hairstyle, sitting just above his shoulders, the kind of hair I would love to work this summer, but alas I do not have a stylist at my disposal day and night to make it look that perfect.

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Just a quick tangent whilst on the subject of Danaerys: the costume designer should be congratulated for their (deliberate or not) nod to Alexander Wang in some of her outfits. The outfit below is particularly Wang-esque due to the reptilian material, structure and strap detailing across the chest.

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Back to hair though, and the stuff dreams are made of; the ultimate in summer hair goes to Drew Barrymore and her bubblegum pink mane.

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Evidently this is not the easiest shade to work, in terms of both the upkeep and limitations to clothing colour. But hey, when your hair looks like that, it’s totally worth it.

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Fence Fashion Moment

First seen prominently at Craig Green during London Collections: Men, then Pier Paolo and Maria at Valentino were inspired by them, not to mention Margiela too; fences are really having their moment in the Fashion Spotlight.

VUI_2892.450x675 VUI_3080.450x675Craig Green

_AGA0094.450x675Margiela Haute Couture

_ARC1217.450x675 _ARC1272.450x675Valentino Haute Couture

While the fence look is quite blatant at Craig Green, and maybe slightly unwearable off the catwalk, it serves as inspiration for the beautiful creations at Valentino and Margiela. Both houses took the pattern of a wrought iron fence, the type you’d see on an elegant Italian balcony, and translated that into breathtaking Couture gowns. The pattern is more subtle at Margiela, but it can still be seen in the intricate beading work. The main question raised: Will you be wearing wooden fence on your face come autumn? Or are you more of a subtle Valentino fence wearer? Maybe you’re still on the fence about the trend? (No pun intended…)

images from Style.com

Best Dressed of 2012

In no particular order, here are Fashion(Ed) In London’s picks of the most sartorial ladies of 2012:

Poppy Delevingne

PoppyDShe’s been on the radar for a while, but last year, the elder Delevingne sister showcased her polished and sophisticated British style with great aplomb.

Alexa Chung

acShe’s still got it. This girl just knows how to dress.

Mira Duma

MiraDThe leader of the new Russian style pack, and owner of many beautiful coats (of course, she does live in Moscow).

Marion Cotillard

MarionCDior, Dior, Dior, need we say more?

Kristen Stewart

KristenSLast year, Kristen upped her game style-wise; she stopped looking like someone else had forced her into an outfit, and took control. Kristen has a fresh, modern take on red-carpet dressing. More please in 2013.