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

‘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.

Hoisery Hatred

There is a disturbing penchant here for the most offensive tights ever to be produced. We all know that tights can be a tricky subject and although they appear a simple garment, can really work against us. Well, tights will never look bad again as I will now forever have imprinted in my mind an image of the favoured style in this transitional weather.

‘Granny tights’ doesn’t even begin to describe these monstrosities. It is the colour which is offensive – not skin colour but also not black, they are a disturbing beige with a tinge of grey. They are like flesh coloured tights in need of a good wash. It is as though the women want to look like they have tanned legs, but all they succeed in doing is looking as though they have a disease. If you then take these hideous tights and add to them open-toed shoes, you have the worst street style trend ever to emerge. I see this sight on about 50% of the women in the city. Kate Middleton, you would love it here (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

From Russia with love.

FNO Manchester

Fashion’s Night Out has moved to Manchester this year, and yours truly is playing a part in making it happen, alongside some amazing colleagues. Keep up to date with all the exciting things going on on Thursday 10th October by checking out and liking the brand spanking new Facebook page exclusively for FNO Manchester – http://www.facebook.com/FNOManchester

Get liking people!

Cx

Ulyana Sergeenko – La Poupée Russe

With impeccable personal style and an unapologetically elegant touch as a couture designer, Ulyana Sergeenko (Ульяна Сергеенко) is definitely worthy of her title from Russian Glamour as ‘Trendsetter of the Year’. Continue reading

Anna Dello Russo’s Fashion Rules

Anna Dello Russo has taken the time out of her busy schedule of adorning herself in show-stopping clothes, head pieces, sunglasses and jewellery to make a little song with 10 of her fail-safe fashion rules. The 3 below resonated most with me. Give it a listen, you might learn something new…

Lesson number 3: Fashion is always uncomfortable. If you feel comfortable, you never get the look.

Lesson number 5: Wearing night clothes in the day time is unexpected.

Lesson number 6: Somebody wearing the same outfit? Wonderful, you made the right choice.

‘Kate in Nude Shoes Shock!’

The above picture is of a recent article in the Saturday Times (29th September) which perfectly demonstrates everything which has been previously said on this blog about the Duchess of Cambridge’s choice of shoe. Hilary Rose writes in a witty way, satirising the awful LK Bennett Sledge, the 3rd person in the royal marriage. I am sure that were Kate and Wills to have a son, Kate would want to call it Sledge as a dedication to her favourite shoe of all time.

The following are some of the best lines from this wonderful piece of writing:

“One style guru describing [sic] them as the white stiletto of the middle classes (bit harsh). But now they’re the Ugg boot of 2012, worn everywhere by everyone from WAGs to yummy mummies at the school gates, from pole dancers to celebs on the red carpet” – Describing them as the white stiletto of the middle classes is definitely not too harsh, it is a fitting description. We’re not talking a Céline or Stella McCartney-style white stiletto; instead picture a very high, pointy, patent white stiletto and that is the sister shoe of the patent heel. They look cheap. End of story. Nude shoes are not actually flattering and I will say it again and again until it becomes a widely accepted fact. They look cheap, especially the patent variety.

“Kate’s job is to be the photogenic wife of the heir to the throne.” – It has always been difficult to discuss Kate’s style without people commenting that it shouldn’t be something people care about. In one sentence Ms Rose has perfectly captured the exact reason why it is, and always will be, something we care about.

“So will she swap the shade if not the style?…According to a spokesman for LK Bennett, the Duchess owns Sledges in different shades – “cream, off-white and taupe”. So probably not, then.” – The perfect closing statement.

There is however one small sentence with which this anti-nude shoe blogger does not agree – “They go with everything”. Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. They supposedly ‘go with everything’ because they are the same colour as your skin. This is hardly ever the case and they end up being some odd shade of greige which draws attention to them, whilst also having the unflattering effect of making the wearer’s skin appear greige too. And there-in lies the other problem with nude shoes; why would you want a shoe which fades away and no one looks at? There is a world of options for women and amazing shoes out there, we should celebrate and wear the most eye-catching, pretty shoes available, not the most drab, ugly ones.