Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Boy (Girl) Battle.

It’s that time of year once again when the old masculine vs. feminine battle rears its controversial head on the catwalk and boy do I LOVE it! Boxy trouser suits square up to the harsh competition of floaty and feminine, at both designer and high street level; but who will win? Let the battle commence…

Hermes, Fall 2012 
Miu Miu, Fall 2012

ROUND 1: (ding, ding, ding) Boy vs. Girl.

When you think about women, the sweeping stereotype would presume that a ladies wardrobe should be full of “pretty” dresses, mini’s, maxi’s and midi’s…in all fairness, mine probably is just that; but since Yves Saint Laurent and his breakthrough with the Le Smoking tuxedo back in 1966, a change has occurred within women’s fashion. This season, more than ever, the trouser suit has made a MASSIVE come back and everyone is after a piece of that masculine flare, created by YSL all those years back. Matching suits, blazers, shirts, collars, braces, ties and brogues…not a collection of words to be associated with your average woman, but for Autumn 2012 dresses are taking a step back (only a small one, I enjoy a good floaty number) as we get the chance to flash our male charm.

ROUND 2: Ties vs. Braces.

Not so long ago, bow ties were all the rage, a rage however that I never managed to get my teeth in to, ever since then I have been waiting for their comeback. Fall 2012 however, has seen the arrival of an EVEN better way to decorate you shirts and collars, this time, it’s all about the Ties…an extremely cheap and uber cool way to update your favourite blouse; think charity shops and maybe even just raiding your dad’s wardrobe. If this is a little TOO masculine for you, try adding braces to your trousers and skirts for a boyish outfit overhaul, with a little added sex appeal…I have dug out an old pair from my fancy dress box!

ROUND 3: Brogues vs. Slippers.

Since brogues made a comeback, I have been searching high and low for the perfect pair to add to my seriously lacking shoe collection (surely I can’t be the only girl that isn’t interested in the latest, most expensive heels and footwear?). Typically a male style of shoe, the brogue has a smart yet chunky appearance, fitting in perfectly with this androgynous trend. Most high street stores offer their own version of the classic style, however, if like me and you have twig-like-ankles that aren’t quite cut out for the heavy brogue design…try the studded slipper. A comfortable and practical alternative that adds a punky edge to any outfit…I got myself a bargain pair from Matalan, that have all the appearance of Topshop, for half the price.

Prada, Fall 2012
Ralph Lauren, Fall 2012

When thinking like a man this season anything goes, trouser suits vary from the traditional (Hermes and Ralph Lauren) to the optical illusion-al (Miu Miu and Prada) and everything in between. For a true androgynous effect, accessorize your outfits with bowler hats, glasses and satchels, adding a smear of red lipstick for that extra touch of sex appeal. The high street is set to be full of manliness within the next few weeks, as the build up to Autumn continues. I particularly love these pencil trousers by ASOS, with the bonus addition of braces to contribute to the boyish charm. Similarly, this beautiful River Island blazer has a real Ralph Lauren feel and coming in at only £30, its one not to be missed.

Tailored Trouser and Braces, ASOS £35

Herringbone Blazer, River Island £30

Being a girly girl at heart, letting go of dresses is always hard…but this season I am willing to man up in the name of androgyny, with masculinity being the true winner of this seasons battle…And the gold medal goes to…THE TROUSER SUIT.

Monday, 30 July 2012

The Italian Job.

With it being the summer holidays and money being a touchy subject for many a student, luxuries are becoming few and far between...about the only thing I have been able to indulge in as of late, is a large bar of dairy milk and EVEN THAT was a push. The catwalks for Autumn/Winter 2012 however, are far from shying away from any of life's luxuries, with up and coming trends basking in a rich splendor (some of us have to have the privilege I suppose).

Since flicking through the latest edition of Elle Collections (WHICH by the way is a must-have-buy) one designer in particular has caught my eye. World renowned fashion duo Dolce and Gabbana, once again look back at their Italian roots and channel their collection in to capturing the religious traditions and essence of Sicily. Through layering luxurious fabrics, gold embellishments and mixing textures together; we soon gain an awe inspiring taste for Italy, which without doubt will leave your mouth watering...maybe even more so than my large bar of dairy milk would.

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2012
Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2012
Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2012
Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2012
The collection takes elements from numerous trends that will soon be inspiring us all on the Autumn high street, whilst maintaining a rich, religious undertone. A particular favourite of mine is the black lace dress above, tying in perfectly with the previously mentioned Gothic trend; the matching veil is a genius finishing accessory however, that I WILL NOT be adding to my wardrobe, for fear of looking a little Miss Havisham.

This vast selection of garments portray an almost "folk-like" feel, which when combined with heavy gold embellishment, capture the recurring trend of luxury and opulence. Look out for capes, velvet, lace and tiered skirts; as they will without doubt be EVERYWHERE as the winter months slowly creep up on us all.

Popular high street chain Topshop have put together a "Pennsylvania" inspired collection (a SLIGHTLY different country...I know!) that incorporates similar detailing seen in the Dolce and Gabbana show, at a slightly more affordable price. Here are just a few of my favourite pieces... 

Cream Lace Skirt, £40 TOPSHOP
Crochet Laced Dress, £65 TOPSHOP
This season, it is all about LUXURY. Even if like me, your pay packet barely touches the sides and can just about buy you a stay in a travel lodge and a bar of your favourite chocolate...dress like the rich, in true designer style (no one needs to know that half of your outfit is from trusty Primark) and work your wardrobe as though you are a regular visitor at the Hilton.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A Touch of Gothica.

With the weather resembling that of October and my beautiful Portugal tan fading fast, the only thing keeping me sane this "SUMMER" is the blissful knowledge that in the fashion world, Winter is already on the cards. This week I have happily been nosing through previews of the Autumn/Winter 2012 collections for all of my designer favourites, in a hope to try and rid me of my holiday blues; and ALAS there appears to be a silver lining (or perhaps a rainbow would be more apt, what with all this rain).

For my nearest and dearsest, it will come as no surprise that I have been drawn to this Gothic fairy tale trend, with black proving to be a recurring colour scheme within my wardrobe...what can I say, it goes with everything! This season we are once again being drawn to the dark side, the focus being on delicacy and looking "pretty"; which for many will come as a great sigh of relief, when compared to last winters dominatrix, whips and chains trend.

The fashion gods much to my dismay, seemed to have forgotten all about the powers that lie beneath the simplicity of the colour black, in favour of a crisp white palette; but I knew it wouldn't be long before they came to their senses and reincarnated a true classic. This trend really is wearable for all.

Valentino was one of many designers who opted to bring a little bit of magic to the Little Black Dress. Long sheer sleeves added sex appeal to the long lengths of fabric that skimmed the floors of the catwalk in an enchanting, yet mysterious manner. High necklines and puff ball sleeves gave the collection an almost Victorian vibe, which gave a new dimension to the concept of darkness.

Valentino Fall/Winter 2012
Valentino Fall/Winter 2012

Nina Ricci have created a really strong Fall collection, priding themselves on the "moody feeling" that surrounds each garment. The dresses are playful and whimsical but again, sheer fabrics are used by the bucket load, revealing a more grown up side to the fairy tale stereotype. When combined with deep plum lipstick, it doesn't take much to lure us in to the darkness.

Nina Ricci Fall/Winter 2012
Nina Ricci Fall/Winter 2012

Black is going to be everywhere this Winter, so the highstreet will be full of great bargains to transform you in to a dark romantic. I have already been eyeing up a few items for the wish list and have spotted this Coco's Fortune number, capturing the smouldering feel of the winter in an elegant manner that mirrors those on the catwalk. If you prefer a maxi dress, check out this simple floor-sweeping classic from Religion, that will effortlessly take your wardrobe from Summer to Winter.

Religion Maxi Dress  £100 (available at ASOS) 
Coco's Fortune £55 (available from Topshop)

Sheer fabrics, delicate patterns and an heir of elegance. Dark Romance provides us ladies with a chance to smoulder. Forget fifty shades of grey...the blacker the better.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

A Little Bit Of Sunshine

With winter in full flow, I thought it was only right I brought a little bit of summer and warmth to everyone’s day, so as to help us survive the cold winds, ice and high possibility of snow; reminding everyone that sun, sea and sand DOES still exist. I have spent the last couple of days scrolling through hotel after hotel and numerous airline websites, to book my boyfriend and I a couple of weeks of well deserved rest and reliable good weather this summer and it has got me thinking already about swapping my fur coat and gloves for a bikini and cocktails. So take the time to forget how cold it is outside (even if only for the two minutes it takes you to read this) and embrace the upcoming arrival of the warmer months, in true Sahara style.

With the current climate outside being more closely linked to that of the Arctic rather than the Sahara desert, it can be hard to picture an image of high summer, luckily the ladies of Sex and the City pull off Moroccan glamour like no other, providing the perfect image of inspiration when it comes to turning up the heat in our wardrobes.

With pastel shades seeming to be hijacking our high street at the moment, these warm desert hues act as a pleasant alternative for the summer season. Fabrics are lengthy, layered and heavily draped, combined with evocative colours fit for any sun worshipper. Burnt shades of orange, red and brown are the colours in demand and when combined with gold accessories, an instant element of luxury is added to any outfit…after all, you have to look your best when riding a camel right? With such high impact rich colours, a desert inspired outfit can be finished off with an understated pair of neutral shoes, or even sandals for a day time look.

Numerous designers have caught my eye for this Sahara inspired trend and none other than the brilliance of renowned brand Hermes, who manage to maintain an heir of elegance throughout their collection, using oversized blazers, dropped waists and lady like pleats; all of course in orange sunset hues.

Hermes, Spring/Summer 2012
Hermes, Spring/Summer 2012
Forever searching for new fashion names to follow, this designer really managed to catch my eye…Sonia Rykiel has captured the true essence of Morocco with her sheer, floor length dresses in a modern, yet truly wearable manner. The rich colours work extremely well with each other and are tied together with flashes of classic navy. If I somehow come in to some money before the summer begins, I will without doubt be clearing my wardrobe for both of these desert dreams.

Sonia Rykiel, Spring/Summer 2012
Sonia Rykiel, Spring/Summer 2012
If like me you really are wishing the holiday season was here already and that you were relaxing by the pool reading a gripping novel. Then this swimsuit-esque garment by fashion house Etro will be right up your street. The short shape, combined with the cut out waist line creates understated yet sexy poolside manner, perfect for any water baby.

Etro, Spring/Summer 2012
Although still a little pricey at £115, I have fallen in love with this desert inspired dip dye maxi dress by Evil Twin, available for purchase on the wonders of ASOS. As the summer approaches I am hoping that cheaper, “student friendly” alternatives will be available on the market so as to kick start my Sahara Adventure

Evil Twin at ASOS, £115
It’s time to step out of the ice age and bring on the sunshine.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Pretty In Paisley

Ever since I can remember I have always had a thing for different cultures, perhaps it came from my families enthusiasm for holidaying and seeing the world, but in my eyes there is nothing better than taking influences from other countries and applying them in to everyday life. So this season’s trend for spring/summer 2012 has certainly tantalised my taste buds, as we all go crazy for paisley.

I know what you are thinking; paisley reminds you of the white voile curtains that feature in old peoples homes across the country, but I can assure you that the designers haven’t lost their marbles and taken influences from Zimmer’s and bed pans, the traditional print has been given a modern revival, suitable for any fashion forward individual.

The origin of paisley stems from India many years ago and in fact is meant to resemble the seed of the mango fruit. The swirls and curls have been used for decorative purposes, fabrics and even henna tattoos; my old bedroom was COVERED in silk paisley saris (told you I was obsessed), but now its time for the catwalks to be adorned in the eclectic print and I cannot wait to give this trend a go. With bold patterns being a key element of the summer line up, paisley fits in perfectly, bringing a little taste of India to the bright lights of London.

Just this week I visited the renowned Camden Market and was drawn in to…yet again…the many Indian heritage inspired Aladdin’s caves, selling vast arrays of gorgeous fabrics in every shade of the rainbow and MORE. Surprise, surprise I ended up purchasing a beautiful teal handmade patchwork sheet, for only £7.99, BARGAIN. My spending habits aside, everywhere you turned there was paisley, whether it be on a bag, jewellery or silk top this really is a wonderfully feasible trend (as well as affordable) for all.

Indian Fabric, £7.99, Camden Market
There are many ways to wear paisley, from high drama to simple and subtle. If you are opting for a more classic Asian influence, Jil Sander has put together a collection bursting with ethnic elegance; with white fabric and clean cut shapes acting as a blank canvas, for the high drama print to take centre stage. 

Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2012 
 If like me and you fear looking like a magic carpet, an all time favourite of mine, Matthew Williamson, has incorporated the paisley pattern in a unique manner that brings the ancient design in to the 21st century. 

Matthew Williamson, Spring/Summer 2012
Matthew Williamson, Spring/Summer 2012
With the high street already having jumped on the bold prints bandwagon, there will be no escaping the summer’s passion for paisley. I love this bright printed playsuit from ASOS, as it really captures the Indian essence in a modern and youthful manner, which would certainly sit proudly in my wardrobe. If you aren’t feeling brave enough to go head to toe in Paisley, there are plenty of accessories on offer… check out this Topshop umbrella, perfect for the upcoming April showers.

ASOS Playsuit, £38
Topshop Umbrella, £15
I have already kick started my paisley collection in the form of an electric blue dress from H&M, its laced sleeves are subtly covered in the Indian pattern, allowing me to ease myself in gently to one of this seasons most daring trends.

H&M Dress, £24.99
There really is a print for everyone, so there is no need to shy away from this distinct and vibrant cultural clashGo ahead and release your passion for paisley.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A Race To The Spring Fashion Finishing Line

So the year has finally arrived for London to host the eagerly anticipated 2012 Olympics and with the many events and mass popularity of the global games on offer, it’s no wonder that it’s not just the athletic kind and sports minded that will be glued to the screens throughout the Olympic season. Fashion will be EVERYWHERE, the increase in tourists to the country will bring in new inspiration for designers, diffusing different cultures and lifestyles to make for interesting, up and coming collections; as well as British Heritage wear from UK based brands, such as Mulberry, flying the flag proudly for London and the country.

One trend that cannot be ignored as the build up and hype surrounding the event increases, is the Sports Luxe image that is currently taking the catwalks by storm. Think performance versus femininity and imagine you were back on the running track at secondary school (when P.E was compulsory on a weekly basis…how I hated those days) and you are on to a winner. Sporty separates, neutral shades contrasted with bright sports stripes and practical elegance will form a key basis for the athletic trend, which will guarantee you a head start in the fashion race.

Last season fashion was restricting and damn right uncomfortable for us women, with harnesses and waist belts acting as wardrobe staples, so you would THINK that we would jump at the chance for comfort over high glamour; the revival of leggings and baggy tees acting as a pleasant surprise, right?...WRONG! Personally, this trend fills me with nothing but fear and pre race nerves…how on earth do I wear tracksuit bottoms in an elegant manner, without looking like a skinny Vicky Pollard?

Thankfully the designers in the know how have created numerous teams of track and field worthy garments, suitable for the fitness fanatic fashionista, as well as the girl that never quite made the squad (that’s me by the way). If you are like me, with this in mind, it’s time to put the negativity behind us, grab some team spirit, saunter up to the starting line and shout GAME ON!

For those ladies lucky enough to own a streak of athleticism, you may enjoy some of the more literal sporting shapes, that combine the use of new technical fabrics with function and practicality. Designer Isabel Marant has redefined the connotations that were previously linked with “the tracksuit” and has come up with this clean cut revival, that is both understated and eye catching at the same time…it’s genius! 

Isabel Marant, Spring/Summer 2012
If like me and a little hint of glamour is more your thing, Stella Mccartney has combined both freshness and fitness in her latest collection. Despite the sporting influences being dominant throughout, she has not forgotten a women’s need to feel feminine. I love these simple shift dresses, in an almost tennis-esque style, they are a perfect way to work the trend in to the night time.

Stella McCartney, Spring/Summer 2012
Stella McCartney, Spring/Summer 2012
I know, I know – designer price tags are out of most people leagues, so here are a few simple garments that will be kick starting my sporting outlook on style, taken directly from the highstreet. With the weather still being miserable, it seems like the perfect opportunity to buy my first hoody (although I am partial to wearing the boyfriends) and to focus on simplistic, clean cut t-shirts that give off a no fuss, athletic vibe

Topshop £20

River Island £22
So maybe sports luxe ISN’T so scary after all, the trend is out there ready to be taken to victory…on your marks, get set, GO!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser

Soon the Winter Wonderland will be a distant memory and ALICE in Wonderland will be at the forefront of our minds. This spring the new sensation movement is upon us and there is no time to be a shrinking violet, as designers think BIG and cause an explosion on the catwalks. At first glance, this trend could be your worst nightmare…bold prints, clashing colours, feathers, fringing and flowers. You name it; new sensation has it, as it is all about playing with your senses and creating a mouth watering, eye popping, three dimensional fashion illusion…guaranteed to blow your mind.

Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton

The main influences for this larger than life trend stem from numerous sources that believe it or not, manage to somehow put this mind boggling fashion frenzy in to perspective. Art clubs from the underground scene, exotic flowers, drag queens and even the natural wonders of the northern lights have made this trend the high impact phenomenon that it is today and that we will soon be seeing coming down the runway…and lets be honest we can hardly miss it.

Texture is key, with many designers turning to 3D to enhance the sensory spectacle, creating a fun and excitable playground for our eyes. Christopher Kane, a personal favourite of mine, in true mad hatters tea party style, has used oversized flowers and prints to create real magic on his latest collection; he has even incorporated glow in the dark fabrics for a further twist on the mind.

Christopher Kane, Spring/Summer 2012
Christopher Kane, Spring/Summer 2012
Mary Katranitzou, known for her exquisite digital prints has captured the trend in her own unique way, with outfits covered head to toe in clashing yet equally beautiful prints. Despite this not being 100% to my liking, there is no denying that she does it well and leaves you feeling fun, magical and slightly youthful inside.

Mary Katranitzou, Spring/Summer 2012
If flowers aren’t your thing and you were a fan of the faux fur this winter, maybe sporting a few feathers could be just up your street, or should I say down your rabbit hole. Nepalese designer Prabal Gurung has used these gorgeous purple and turquoise feathers to create a fun yet feminine statement that when teamed with red lipstick, screams Alice in Wonderland.  If you were just getting in to the glitz and glamour of Christmas and are reluctant to leave the festive season behind, then fear not as all things that sparkle are still a must for your senses, as demonstrated by Marc Jacobs in this high shine, high drama outfit.

Prabal Gurung, Spring/Summer 2012
Marc Jacobs, Spring/Summer 2012
Spring is a time for confidence so let it shine through the movement of the new sensation, with 2012 proving to be a big year for the UK, what better way to bring in the new year, than with a high fashion bang. Take this opportunity to make a statement and grab it with both hands, I for one can’t wait to see what the British High street thinks up and to take a giant leap in to the fantasy world of Alice.

Mad Hatter's Tea Party
P.S It’s not only clothes and fashion that have got trapped in the magical world of  Alice, enhance your senses further by provoking your taste buds and enjoying the Mad Hatter’s afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel. This is not a massive hint to those that know and love me…I PROMISE <3