‘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.

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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!

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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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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.

The Giants of Fashion Illustration

René Gruau for Vogue Paris June/July 1985

Before the days of photography and photoshop, magazines and fashion houses employed the skills of Fashion Illustrators for their spreads and advert campaigns. These days fashion illustration is rare, so when I heard of David Downton, it was very exciting news. He follows in the footsteps of the greats, such as René Gruau and Carl Erickson, bringing whimsical romanticism to the world of fashion through his beautiful illustrations.

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Carine Roitfeld: “The Client”

Another fashion video, this time W Magazine are following Carine Roitfeld, former editor of Vogue Paris, around as she tries on clothes from the Haute Couture shows. Since abdicating her throne at Paris Vogue to Emmanuelle Alt, she is now a client and therefore thinking of how the clothes will look on her rather than when photographed for an editorial piece. An interesting insight into her style and the incredible world of Haute Couture masterpieces.

Vogue Covers Colour Charts

These charts show the colours which have been used on the cover of British, Italian, Paris and American Vogue for the past 30 years, from 1981-2011. American Vogue has by far had the brightest coloured covers, followed by British Vogue which uses a lot of neutral pink tones, while Paris and Italian Vogue tend towards darker, perhaps more chic colour choices. All found here.

British Vogue

Italian Vogue

Paris Vogue

American Vogue