In my previous trend-related post I paid homage to the wave of femininity (both demure and vampish) that flooded that catwalks back in February so it seems almost ironic that another of the hottest looks for AW11 is androdgyny. Yes, there may have been pencil skirts and pussy-bow blouses galore at Jonathan Saunders, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton but if you can’t see yourself as a lady or a vamp don’t dispair because if the runway edits are anything to go by, this season masculinity is the new black.
From left: Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger, Tibi, Temperley London
From oversized overcoats at Stella McCartney to tasteful tailoring at Tommy Hilfiger, mannish touches are everywhere with even usually ultra-ladylike labels like Tibi and Temperley getting in on the act. It’s time to dig out those brogues and beg, borrow or (more likely) steal your boyfriends’ favourite sweater because for AW11 I can guarantee that all the coolest kids will be embracing their inner dandy. Many of us (myself included) squirm at the thought of forsaking pretty dresses and delicate prints in favour of mannish tailoring and monochrome shades. But borrowing from the boys doesn’t have to be boring. Go for elegant understatement in Nicole Farhi’s super sleek suits or geek chic in Paul Smiths’ supersized layers and retro tweeds. If it’s something a little more high impact you’re after look to Dolce & Gabbana’s embellished tuxedos and Michael Kors’ sparkly suits for mannish tailoring with a glamourous twist. From trouser suits and chunky brogues to bowties, pinstripes and braces, put away your party frocks because this season the boys are back in town.
From left: Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith, Nicole Farhi, Michael Kors
Having spent the entire day chained to my computer sorting out student finance, re-booking my driving test (failed first time, woops) and doing various other tedious tasks I was delighted when a rather exciting email materialised in my inbox. Stylist Pick is a GENIUS online boutique which enables you to get expert style advice especially tailored to your taste, budget and lifestyle at the click of a button. Obviously the fact that something quite this wonderful exists at all is cause for celebration but the real news is that the site is re-launching tomorrow to introduce new product designs, style content and celebrity collections including one with Louise Roe in October. Yes that’s right, in a mere matter of weeks you could be having a style consultation with a woman who not only writes for Vogue, Elle, Glamour and every other fash mag worth it’s salt but ALSO practically nicked Olivia Palermo’s job as face of Elle TV (I’m addicted to The City, shame on me). Not only that, said style consultation is totally free of charge and can be done from the comfort of your own home (AKA whilst wearing pyjamas).
The re-launched site goes live on September 1st (tomorrow, yay!) so check out the new look homepage and happy shopping!
A couple of years ago, September was the month I dreaded above all others. It signals the end of Summer and the start of countless dismal afternoons and commuting to work in the dark. More often than not, the crisp autumn weather for we long for fails to materialise and September instead brings with it an endless greyness not to mention the beginning of the new school term. Fast forward a couple of years and September is undoubtedly the month I look forward to above all others. Obviously leaving school had something to do with this change of heart but mostly it’s because the four weeks that once spelt doom and gloom are in fact THE most exciting on the Fashion calendar. The arrival of Fashion Week season sends everyone in the industry into a state of joyful insanity, further enhanced by heightened stress levels and minimal sleep. And yes, I know Fashion Week comes around in February too but let’s face it, it’s just not as good. The weather is universally dire at that time of year and worst of all, no one can start showing of their new season purchases without running the risk of a) looking ridiculous and b) developing hypothermia. During February Fashion Week we spend our entire time either freezing in style or giving in to the cold, layering up and avoiding street style bloggers like the plague. After 6 months of shivering, no one wants to look at more bloody winter clothes and the idea of partying until the early hours doesn’t particularly appeal. But my beloved September tends to be mild (if a little damp) and plays host to more parties, press teas and other alcohol fuelled events than any other month of the year. With just a coupld of weeks to go until Fashion Week kicks of in New York, things are hotting up and what better way to get us in the mood than Vogue’s infamous Fashion Night Out.
During the first week of September, cities all over the world will be overrun with fun loving fashionistas, ready to let their hair down and celebrate the new season whilst stocking up on goodies doled out by everyone from Mulberry in London to Calvin Klein in NYC. Stores stay open late and fabulous soirees go on even later.
This is only the first of what will most likely be a long line of VFNO/Fashion Week related posts, but I just wanted to intoduce you to a stylish AND charitable project Valentino are launching this year. Generally speaking, couture and t-shirts don’t exactly go hand in hand but that could all be about to change thanks to Valentino Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccoli. The brains behind the red carpet’s favourite brand have come up with a divine range of exquisitely details, hand-crafted t-shirts from which 50% of the profits will go to the Stiller Childrens’ Foundation.
Couture T-shirt Illustration
In certain lucky cities such as New York, Dallas and Paris these one-of-a-kind tee’s will be available to buy on September 8th but for everyone else go to www.valentino.com to get your hands on one.
Some people struggle with super skinny jeans, others can’t handle high heels. We all have our own sartorial issues and mine has always been dressing for my age. Try as I might, I always seem to end up looking either twelve years old or positively middle aged. Maybe it’s the blouses, who knows. Anyway, I’ve always been a sucker for all things ladylike so I was overjoyed by the fabulous 40′s revival that cropped up on the catwalks for AW11. From purple fur stoles at Gucci to elbow length gloves at Donna Karan, at first glance it seemed that this season we’d all be channeling Desperates Housewives’ Brie Van De Kamp – albeit a rather more glamourous version. I was ready and raring to indulge in silk shirts, pussy-bow blouses and cashmere cardigans galore but after a more thorough inspection of the runway edits it’s clear that this seasons’ muse has a rather more subversive side. Whilst Jonathan Saunders and Miu Miu were all about modest hemlines, elsewhere something racier was going on and surprised though I am to admit it, it rather appeals to me. For the first time in, well ever, PVC is back on the fashion menu with Louis Vuitton, Giles, and Givenchy all encouraging us to unleash the vixen within. Mid skirts may be a “must-have” for AW11 but so are peek-a-boo necklines, seductive sheer panelling, black lace and lashings of leather. Obviously adorable little sweaters and chicly tailored jackets went straight to the top of my new season wish list but during a pre-Fashion Week Topshop trip (one of many) the other week I found myself leaving with a skin-tight leather pencil skirt. Not my usual style, but isn’t the point of fashion to take risks and mix things up once in a while?
From left: Donna Karan, Miu Miu, Prada, Jonathan Saunders
From left: Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Mark Fast, Giles
As I’m sure you’re probably already well aware, my obsessions with blouses, Whistles and Starbucks are rivalled only by my obsession with Burberry. From the Burberry checked scarf I owned aged 12 (my first “designer” garment, I practically slept in it), to the campaigns and collections I covet, my love affair with the quintessential British brand shows no sign of stopping. Whether it’s evening gowns, trademark trench coats, live music events or beauty products, the savvy folk at Burberry have a knack for doing both high end luxury and laid-back London cool. Just when we thought the brand couldn’t get any hotter they’ve gone and teamed up with Mario Testino and model-of-the-moment Rosie Huntington-Whitley to launch their latest venture, Burberry Body. The fragrance launches next week (early Christmas/late birthay present from me to me?) but for now here’s a behind-the-scenes snippet of three fashion forces in action. Enjoy…
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