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.

Fashion(Ed) In London Returns

After a brief hiatus during which much time was spent in the library,  I am back in the world of Fashion. What a wonderful feeling! So here are some of the things that have been going on while my head was stuck in books, essays and poetry:

Sign your allegiance

New York boutique Les Plus Dorés have released a range of varsity-style t-shirts sporting the names of your favourite designers on the back, meaning we can show the world our brand loyalty. Not only do they have their names, but the numbers correspond to the year in which each particular designer was born. Nifty. So now in the Simons at Dior vs. Slimane at YSL debate, you can proudly show your team loyalty. Available here.

images from LPD website

Fashion Goes Disney

New York department store Barneys has collaborated with Disney to produce a film named Electric Holiday; the film follows Minnie Mouse dreaming her way to Paris Fashion Week. Along the way, she meets some of Fashion’s biggest names: Anna Dello Russo, Alber Elbaz, Carine Roitfeld, Franca Sozzani (long-standing role model for this blogger), Emmanuelle Alt, Juergen Teller, Pat McGrath and many more. The film looks very cute indeed but unfortunately it can only be seen in store. Let’s hope it’s released to a  wider audience later on!

images from Vogue

Thanksgiving Parade Re-imagined

John Januzzi has created a series of drawings depicting big fashion names as huge balloons in the illustrious Macy’s’ Thanksgiving Parade. A fun (and probably very popular) idea!

images from becauseimaddicted

And Finally…

It’s that time of year again: sample sale time! This week boasts Erdem, Christopher Kane, J.W.Anderson, Alexander McQueen and Nicholas Kirkwood sample sales.

Erdem: Tuesday 4th December 8.30am – 8.00pm
Wednesday 5th December 8.30am – 5.00pm

The Future Gallery
5 Great Newport Street
London
WC2H 7HY

Christopher Kane: Friday 30th November 12.30 – 8.00pm

The Mercer Street Studios
16 Mercer Street
WC2H 9QE

J.W.Anderson: Friday 30th November 4.00 – 8.00pm

37-75 Shacklewell Lane
Lighthouse Studios
Dalston
London
E8 2EB

When Pudsey Met Katie

Following the success of the Louis Vuitton Pudsey bear last year (it sold for £36,000 at auction), Children In Need have enlisted the help of Katie Grand, editor of LOVE magazine, and the biggest names in fashion to give Pudsey the ultimate fashion transformation. That polka dot eye patch is history; the likes of Mulberry, Prada, Tom Ford, Missoni and many others have all put their unique and sartorial stamp on the much-loved bear in an effort to raise money for Children In Need this year. Indeed Balenciaga love Pudsey so much, they’ve given him not one, but five different makeovers! The one-off bears will be auctioned at Christie’s in November but for now, they can be seen on display in Selfridges (of course, it is the best, and most fashion-forward, department store of the lot). It’s worth going along to see them all just so that you can say you were a witness to the most stylish teddy bear’s picnic ever to have taken place. Selfridges are also selling small versions of the Paul Smith and Anya Hindmarch bears, along with one of their own design. I will definitely be getting my hands on one of these cute fashion icons.

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Agi & Sam – New Kids On The Block

A new brand on the menswear scene, making their mark and definitely one to watch, comes in the eclectic form of Agi & Sam. Think sartorially printed shirts and suits, ‘Fresh Prince’ printed t-shirts, and shorts teamed with blazers and you have the look of Agi & Sam; the go-to brand for the ultimate modern cool kids. Based in East London, these two young UK designers have burst onto the scene in a cloud of vibrant print and colour paired with sharp tailoring.

Agape Mdulluma and Sam Cotton got together to start creating their collections in January 2010 after working together at Alexander McQueen. Sam is the print man, having studied Illustration and designed prints for Karl Lagerfeld, J.W. Anderson and Armand Basi. Agi studied Fashion Design and takes on the role of creating the modern silhouettes of the clothes.

Agi and Sam describe their signature as “bespoke print and humour” with trademark uncompromising colour. This is certainly true; their collections are an explosion of striking printed suits and shirting in a riot of primary and secondary colours. One collection was named ‘Tequila, Tabasco and Tomato Juice” whilst another featured duck printed trousers; these two are not afraid to push the envelope – their dream client is Ace Ventura Pet Detective. In order to keep the clothes wearable and not completely bizarre, Agi creates simple, laid back silhouettes providing the perfect canvas for Sam’s print work.

Fashion East gives them a platform to raise their exposure and has allowed them to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Christopher Shannon, Holly Fulton and Jonathan Saunders, amongst others. The design duo has only shown 5 collections so far but their star is rising fast and the fashion world is sitting up and taking note. They manage to perfect the often tricky task of fusing colour and style. Whilst other designers are pulling prints from their archives, it’s intriguing to see these two producing something fresh and unseen. Their work is truly visionary. Fans of bold tones and exciting prints should jump on the Agi & Sam bandwagon, fast! Shrinking violets need not apply.

Fresh Prince – AW11

AW12

Duck Print Suit – AW12

AW12

SS13

SS13

images from http://www.agiandsam.com

Fashion(Ed) In London’s Olympic Round-Up

The past two weeks have been possibly the best that London and Britain have ever seen. There is so much British Pride in the air right now it is slightly overwhelming. In honour of the amazing spectacle that was the London 2012 Olympic Games, here is my compilation of some of the best (looking) bits.

Top 5 Olympic Hunks

Tom Daley – British Diver and Olympic Medallist 

Camille Lacourt – French Swimmer

Louis Smith – British Gymnast and Olympic Medallist

Ryan Bailey – American Sprinter and Olympic Medallist

Steve Lewis – British Pole Vaulter

Best Opening Ceremony Outfit

Mexico take the gold in this category due to their fun and colourful representation of their country and culture. They stand out from all the other countries and really make an entrance. Good work, Mexico!

Best Olympic Hair

There’s no competition, American sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross wins hands down for her beautifully flowing locks.

Best Accessory

US high jumper Erik Kynard wins this category for his patriotic socks. 

Most Fashionable Event

Who knew that synchronised swimmers were so fashion-conscious? Spain and Canada wowed with their costumes which looked as though they were inspired by Gareth Pugh and Meadham Kirchhoff respectively. We can even forgive the awful make up as their outfits were so unexpectedly amazing.

The Canadian team

Meadham Kirchhoff

The Spanish team

Gareth Pugh

Best Fashlympic Moment

The Fashion World wept with joy last night as 9 British models showcased the creations of 8 of Britain’s most celebrated designers last night. Each piece was specially created for the September Issue of British Vogue and was then showcased again at the closing ceremony.

L-R: Lily Cole in Erdem, Stella Tennant in Christopher Kane, Karen Elson in Burberry, Kate Moss in Alexander McQueen, Lily Donaldson in Vivienne Westwood, Naomi Campbell in Alexander McQueen, Georgia-May Jagger in Victoria Beckham and Jourdan Dunn in Jonathan Saunders and Stephen Jones

David Gandy in Paul Smith, with Jourdan Dunn

Best Kit

There is no doubt that Team GB had the best kit of the games. Stella McCartney did a stellar job as always and made British Olympians the envy of all. The US came a close second though with their athletic kit.

London 2012, you exceeded all expectations and did us all proud.

How I’d Style It: Kate Middleton

I feel as though I’m missing a gene – the love of Kate Middleton’s style gene. I simply cannot fathom how she has managed to secure the top spot in so many ‘Best Dressed’ lists. She dresses like someone 10 years her senior and when she does wear a stylish dress, the allure is always ruined by her accessories. It has been said before on this blog and it will be said again – nude shoes are awful at the best of times, and when patent (like Kate’s LK Bennett Sledges) are possibly the most unflattering shoe there is. They do not go with everything, so dearest Duchess, please stop pairing them with everything. I know this is a contentious issue and there are many people who disagree, but there are also many who, like me, find it infuriating that Kate pips true style queens like Miranda Kerr and Diane Kruger to the top spot in style ranks. It is obviously not the Duchess of Cambridge’s role to be a trend-setting fashion icon, but she is a very prominent figure in the public eye and scrutiny of her appearance goes with the territory.

Were I the stylist of Kate, I would continue to push her to wear British brands (something she does often) but I would give her the more exciting, colourful, vibrant and less drab outfits. According to a recent Daily Mail colour chart, Kate wears grey 16% of the time, white 10% and cream 6%. She is also, thankfully, a fan of royal blue, one of the key colours for AW 12, so we know she does have some taste for a pop of colour in her wardrobe.

So here is a compiled list of clothes I would put Kate in from the AW12 collections. All are by British designers and all are appropriate for someone of the Duchess’ position.

Alexander McQueen – In keeping with Kate’s penchant for green.

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