Monday, 19 September 2011

Gender Bender.

Women have had anything but an easy ride over the years, what with being “allegedly” inferior to the over rated men of this world. But slowly, us ladies took a stand, changes were made and steps were taken to level out the differences between men and women for good. From that infamous year all the way back in 1918, when women rightfully gained the position to vote, we have been successfully letting the world know that we have so much more to give, than just changing the beds, running baths for our significant others and washing the dishes. “Who runs the world?...GIRLS!”

Yves Saint Laurent, a name that I am positive all of you have heard of, was the original designer to put his neck on the line for women. As well as the brand reeling out hundreds of fantastic collections every season, he is well known for his life changing position within the fashion industry, altering the way that women were perceived within society for good. All of this was down to his invention of the trouser suit, more famously known as Le Smoking in 1966. Before this, it was expected of women to wear demure full skirts and dresses, but thanks to Mr YSL and his obsession with making women feel fantastic, the trouser suit gained its powerful position within our wardrobes. This movement by Yves Saint Laurent himself revolutionised the position of women and fought for equality in all areas of life.

Le Smoking 1966
Recently women have taken centre stage in the eyes of the media, as we take time to celebrate women of power through the decades. Whether it be modern fashion icon Kate Moss or never to be forgotten Princess Diana, us girls have got a lot to be proud of and without doubt will continue to make great successes of ourselves in the future. What better way to celebrate this triumph than through fashion? The catwalks are mirroring our power as women through great clothes for the Autumn/Winter season, introducing us to the nervously anticipated, Androgynous trend.

This season, leave your dresses behind and embrace the super sexy revival of the Tuxedo. Think crisp white shirts, stiff collars, oversized blazers, bow ties and braces because masculine just got feminine.

You may be thinking, how on earth can a tuxedo be sexy? Well…Dolce and Gabbana have the answer. Their Fall 2011 collection blew me away, as it perfectly represents a powerful, yet undoubtedly sexy, feminine image through what would be described as stereotypically “men’s attire”. Double breasted blazers, large jackets and tailored trousers were the orders of the day along with creative finishing touches such as, realistic side burns and AWESOME oxfords (I want a pair). For added sex appeal the “boy” girls collaboratively did a lap of the catwalk, removing their stunning jackets to reveal white collared shirts and ultra cool braces. Gabbana’s incredible skill for exquisite tailoring really shone through and stole the show.

Dolce and Gabbana Fall'11
Dolce and Gabbana Fall'11
Alexander Wang also played with the masculine vs feminine concept. The collection featured EXTREMELY oversized jackets, that did anything but show off the models womanly curves, yet surprisingly still came across as overly feminine. The main colour scheme was black and white, typical of the classic tux and the designer played with sheer textures, to add that extra touch of va va voom. The shirt below is truly stunning and I love the added twist of a long tail, to create interest.

Alexander Wang Fall'11
Alexander Wang Fall'11
Magazines have provided plenty of inspiration in terms of advertising, revolving around the androgynous hype. I adore the Malene Birger Autumn campaign, it is without doubt sexy, yet the positioning of the model has a certain attitude and edge that screams power; it captures the masculine feminine mix perfectly! I particularly like the way that black ribbon is used in the shot, to represent a bow tie; it’s a modern twist that instantly adds a more "girly" feel to an otherwise masculine look.

Malene Birger Advert Fall'11
The trend however, fills me with a little fear, as I am aware I lack a few womanly assets that could lead to me LITERALLY looking like a man…rather than a powerful woman with sex appeal. However, I love the concept far too much to let that stop me and cant wait to get my teeth in to this androgynous world. Ideally, I have my eyes on this AMAZING cuffed and collared dress from River Island, I have tried it on and I WANT it. A cheaper option however, is this simple white shirt from H&M (Tesco do a good version too) teamed with some black ribbon to form a feminine bow tie a la Birger.

River Island Dress £45
H&M Shirt £15
Ribbon Approx £1


This season it’s all about borrowing from your boyfriend and working their shirts like they WISH they could. Go on, give androgynous a go and rock that tuxedo

GIRL POWER!





Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A New Way To Wear Christian Louboutin.


A girls dream is to own a pair of Louboutin shoes…Well mine is anyway (along with a Mulberry bag - for anyone who loves me and has a lot of money! ). However, for this season only the Louboutin trademark is branching out and the well desired shoe designer is collaborating with knitwear extraordinaire Bella Freud, to create a capsule collection based around the latest trend of fetishism.

The talented duo go back a long way and both have great admiration for each others skills. Miss Freud has an interest in making drawings come to life using different medias and in the case of this particular collection,  only the best is good enough, with 100 percent super fine merino cashwool being the selected fabric…fitting for this fabulously fashion conscious duo, I think you will agree.

Bella Freud has admitted to always being fascinated by Christian Louboutin’s sketches, so it was only a matter of time before such a prestigious collection as this was on the market and available for the likes of me and you to purchase. Louboutin himself says, "I have always loved Bella's jumpers, so I couldn't have been happier when she asked me to give her designs which, Bella thought, would look great once knitted"


Louboutin Shoe Rough Sketch
The one off collection will consist of dresses, jumpers and leotards…knitted of course, in blacks and greens, with a touch of glitter and sparkle. Louboutin has provided four beautiful sketches of his dream shoes that will take pride of place on the garments, adding a brilliantly sexy touch. The lust worthy knitwear plays with our obsessive tendencies as women, for all things sex, fetish and shoes…it really is genius.

Louboutin and Freud Jumper £275
So ladies, if you are looking for a slightly more affordable (I say slightly…it’s still out of my student league) way of getting a Louboutin special in to your wardrobes…without having to take out a loan beforehand, perhaps this capsule collection is for you. Jumpers being a lot less pain inducing than 9 inch heels!! Well done Louboutin and Freud…mission successful!

P.S.  just in case anyone out there DOES have a grand to spare and fancies getting me the real thing…take a look at these beauties <3

Monday, 12 September 2011

If You Go Down To The Woods Today.

There is something really quite magical and equally eerie about the depths of a forest, that really works well within fashion…especially for this years Autumn/Winter trends. The intense atmosphere of the extreme heights, from the mass of trees and the somewhat speckled sunlight that filters through the branches, contrasts perfectly with the delicacy of the creatures that lie within, to create a picture perfect fashion story.

My interest for the great outdoors and combining nature with fashion was spurred on by recent television series “Dirty Sexy Things”. The programme followed London born fashion and music photographer Perou, taking on several talented models from all walks of life. One photo shoot in particular caught my eye and surprise surprise it was set in a forest! The light was glistening as dawn was breaking and Perou’s team of helpers were pumping mist at the models left, right and centre, to really create a magical atmosphere. The results were OUTSTANDING and the final images made the models look like exquisite woodland creatures.


Since then, I have been flicking through the pages of my latest glossy mags and have fallen in love with so many of the Autumn 2011 advertising campaigns, set within natural locations. I love how Chloe have really captured the beauty of their Fall dresses, using movement. The advert depicts two young women running through the forest, with the colour schemes of the garments mirroring those of the woodland. Similarly, make up is kept to a minimum and hair is long, flowing and wavy to emphasise a natural image.

Chloe Campaign 2011
My favourite however, has to be the advertising by Mulberry. Despite not physically being set in a forest, the theme is without doubt based around nature. The images have such a quintessentially, British feel to them; using “typically” English rose models and animals that would commonly be found within our forests, such as foxes, owls and other small birds. The photographs have a larger than life, almost “Alice In Wonderland” feel to them, with what appears to be the contents of an over exaggerated birds nest, within a quaint bedroom. The choice of props and colours combine perfectly with the clothing, to create a truly stunning and eye catching campaign that screams English Countryside.

Mulberry Campaign 2011
Mulberry Campaign 2011
In keeping perfectly with the concept of nature, fashion has gone wild for incorporating the animal kingdom in to our clothing during the colder months. The catwalks were bustling with such a large array of animals; it could give San Diego zoo a run for its money, proving to be a perfectly wearable trend for all of us avid fashion followers. Givenchy’s collection is a personal favourite of mine, the garments themselves are not to my taste, with large jumpers covered in graphic panther prints, HOWEVER the accessories on the other hand are genius. The panther theme continues in the form of extravagant headwear. The hard “helmet – like” hats covered in rich black and violet velvet are given a touch of the wild side, with overly cute pointy cat ears combined with thick framed “cats eyes sunnies”, creating a truly unique runway experience.

Givenchy Fall'11
Givenchy Fall'11
A perhaps more classic look that is certainly more up my street in terms of appearance, is the 40’s inspired elegant collection at Miu Miu. The beautiful tea dresses are covered in delicate bird detailing that reminds us all why vintage is never far from our hearts. This stunning ASOS dress inspired directly from the runway is an EXTREMELY cheap alternative to the before mentioned designer price tag…well worth delving in to your purses for.

Miu Miu Fall'11
ASOS Dress £18 (sale ladies)
This season wildlife and nature is the way forward…so go out and grab yourself an animal covered bargain as a sure way of getting the magic of the forest, in the depths of your wardrobe.





Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Time To Unleash Your Naughty Side.

All girls like to feel sexy right? Well the fashion gods have spoken and this season looking irresistible doesn’t have to be saved just for the bedroom. Our inner sex kittens can be unleashed on the world on a daily basis, according to the designers in the know how, so pull out your lace and leathers from the back of your knicker drawer and get ready to sex it up.

Rubber, leather, transparency, knee high socks and boots... All words, some, including myself, would perhaps describe as trashy and it’s true, this fabulous fetish trend draws a fine line between sexy and outrageously cheap, so getting the balance right is extremely important (unless you like the hooker look). When I think of dressing sexily, I immediately think of black, black and more black, but in this case, designers have opted for hints of colour in shades of deep reds, navys and greens to add understated glamour to an otherwise knock out outfit. Peter pan collars for example, play with this idea of innocence and elegance, whilst unknowingly to us, in Louis Vuittons collection, also mimic that of a nurses outfit…a slightly sexier image.

Louis Vuittons Autumn collection as a whole explores all areas of the term “fetish” and doesn’t fall short of all things sexy. The garments themselves have a definite military feel to them, giving the models an instantly domineering and powerful image. I personally think it’s the accessories that are pure brilliance and create the overall feel to the runway show, with the knee high, heeled rubber dominatrix boots being an instant eye opener and a recurring theme throughout. Over the knee socks play with our imaginations, whilst handcuffs and masks add a certain level of kinkiness that all women desire. Kate Moss was ACTUALLY smoking her way down the catwalk, to add that final dose of sex appeal.

Louis Vuitton Fall'11
Louis Vuitton Fall'11
Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci was another amongst the many designers that worked closely with the fetish theme. He used a lot of transparency in his garments that combined with leather skirts and “on show”  black bras for a high sex appeal look…which on paper sounds like it’s heading for disaster, but in reality, his modest shapes and silhouettes added a much needed touch of class, to an otherwise revealing collection. I hate to mention him again, but Marc Jacobs is a prime example of how sexy doesn’t have to mean over the top. He simply uses black spotty tights to catch your attention, which when combined with his figure hugging designs, undeniably scream sexy.

Givenchy Fall'11
Marc Jacobs Fall'11

As you all know, I am a MASSIVE Alexander McQueen fan and will never utter a bad word about the genius behind the brand. However, when coming across a leather harness in the September Issue of Elle I could not help but think, how on earth would this work? And is it, perhaps, taking the fetish trend a little too far? The only words I can think to use to describe it are “terrifying” and “uncomfortable”…but with it being a McQueen piece and having done a little research, I can confirm it does in fact look fabulous (OF COURSE).

Alexander McQueen Fall'11
I haven’t fully thought about how I am going to work this trend yet, but I do own a gorgeous pair of leather shorts and a black sheer shirt that will certainly do as a starting point; this oversized shirt from Asos is a real beaut and ticks all of the right boxes. Over the knee boots are a massive look for the season and if I can master up the courage, I would LOVE to give these Topshop boots a whirl – very matrix-esque I think you would agree.

ASOS Shirt £35

Topshop Boots £85

No woman in their right mind would be able to say no to this seasons sex appeal, but remember the key is not to go overboard, keep it understated, leaving a little to the imagination and let your naughty side come out to play.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Going Dotty For Spots


That’s right, spots, dots, polka dots and anything in between are hitting the catwalk BIG STYLE for the Autumn season, so it’s time, FINALLY to make those nautical stripes walk the plank for good…or at least until next year; because dots are in the spot light and turning the fashion world on its head.

There is something about dots that I am wary of and I have always opted for the safety of stripes, in fear of looking like I have run away with the circus. But this season I am more than ready to face the trend head on and go dotty for spots.

Designers have well and truly thrown themselves in to the world of polka dots and the catwalk looked as though a fashion frenzy virus of chickenpox had spread from runway to runway. A favourite of mine was Marc Jacobs incorporation of the trend, creating a classic range of 1970’s inspired garments, in an array of expensively glamorous colours and fabrics. Jacobs has been renowned for using polka dots in some of his earlier shows, go back 20 years, so the collection proved to be a beautiful revival of his previous work. 

Marc Jacobs Fall'11
Marc Jacobs Fall'11
Other designers that can’t go without a mention are the likes of Stella McCartney and Louise Gray. Miss McCartney, being elegant as ever, created a classic collection using mainly the sophisticated palette of black and white. Transparency added a modern twist and successfully merged masculine shapes with feminine. As you can appreciate, the spots and dots were used to emphasise femininity. Louise Gray took a completely different approach to the dotty d├ęcor, with bright colours, clashing patterns and eccentric silhouettes creating a knock out show, that can only be described as “eye catching”…we can always rely on Louise Gray for something slightly…shall we say, “different”

Louise Gray Fall'11
Stella McCartney Fall'11
I have already been busy digging out old dotty items from my wardrobe and have even revived an old beach cover up in to an acceptable dress. The shops have all gone potty for dots this season, so there is no shortage of cheap spotty alternatives if, like me, Marc Jacobs is a tad out of your price range.  This Topshop dress is on my MUST HAVE list  when the next pay day comes around, however for the time being, an easy way of inserting polka dots in to your wardrobe, could be in the form of these uber cool tights at only £8!!!

Topshop Dress £60
ASOS Tights £8
Its not only in the way of clothing that dots are taking over, the beauty industry is also having a go. I think that these brilliant nails are a simple and effective way of getting style savvy on a budget, I did my first attempt on my tootsies just the other day and was really pleased with the results.

Spotty Nail Design
My First Attempt (bad photo sorry guys)
I have come to the conclusion that spots don’t have to be daunting and don’t always lead to a look that mirrors that of Coco the Clown…I’ve gone dotty for spots, will you?




Friday, 2 September 2011

I Finally Lost My Camden Virginity.

It’s true. Despite shortly turning 21 years of age and being an avid fashion follower, I have only just visited the notoriously popular Camden Market and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The endless array of stalls, crammed in to what can only be described as a rabbit warren; bustling with hundreds of tourists and locals alike, weighed down with shopping bags and avidly hunting out the best bargains, caused great excitement for me and you can’t help but get swept up in the miraculous whirlwind that is London’s magic market land.

           The smells from the many food stands all merged in to one, tantalising your taste buds and luring you in to the grasps of the awaiting food connoisseurs, LITERALLY pushing their mouth watering treats at you with a fork. Chinese, Indian, Italian, you name it…Camden has it. For someone who loves food (I think I can definitely put myself in this category) you can sample delicacies from around the world in less than 50 footsteps. AWESOME. My boyfriend and I were drawn to “Dutch Dunkers”, small, pancake like balls topped with chocolate, nuts and strawberrys...Heaven.

Mediterranean Potatoes
Dutch Dunkers
When withdrawing my money from the cashpoint before commencing on my shopping spree, I had images of spending every penny on clothes from quirky little boutiques. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of them and all with rails full of unique and truly fabulous clothing, but I didn't get my purse out once. I think I was without doubt overwhelmed by the atmosphere and extreme nature of Camden town; wanting to see what was around every corner and inside every stall before finalising my purchases. I can assure you that when I next visit (hopefully I will have won the lottery by then) there is no way I will be holding back.

Jewellery Stands
Books, Books and more Books
Childrens Puppets
Hanging Hearts
I did however fall in love with a beautiful “Indian-style” shop that felt like you were entering Aladdin’s cave; it was full of skilfully detailed lanterns, cushions, candles and fabrics in rich colours with gold trimmings, that were just screaming out for me to buy them and give them a good home. I did just that in the form of some patterned, hanging elephants (random, I know).

My Favourite Indian Hideaway
Wandering around the market really got me thinking about fashion and individual style, as Camden is renowned for its unique selection of vintage, retro, gothic…in fact any style of clothing you can think of, drawing in customers with a massively creative and eccentric eye for fashion. I find it funny that we all say that style is a great way of expressing our personalities and showing off our differences, when in fact most of us are guilty at some time or another, of following the “in” trends and falling in to the trap of the massive dictatorship that is fashion.

When my boyfriend came out with the statement “Do you really have a style?” despite initially being hugely insulted, after thinking about it, I guess he was 100% right. I don’t think I could put a name to my fashion choices or put myself in a category, but personally I don’t see why anybody would want to! There are so many amazing garments out there, why limit yourself to just a few by categorically stating “I only wear vintage” or “I only shop in Topshop”. If fashion is all about expressing yourself which I truly believe it is, then don’t hold back just because it goes against everything you “usually wear”…make a statement and try something new.

Aside from Camden being an amazing day out, it opened my eyes to the importance of individuality and just being you. From now on, if I like something…no matter how “out there” and “different”, I’m buying it and wearing it with pride, as a part of me. You should do the same.