Fashion

Stylenoir: The Monarchy Issue

Stylenoir

It’s not everyday that one of your dear friends launches their very own print magazine so when James Joseph, Editor-in-Chief of the world’s largest dark style digital publication, Stylenoir, did just that earlier this year I was very excited indeed. Well, I’m every bit as excited to share the news of Stylenoir’s second ever print issue which hits the stands today! The Monarchy Issue is an exquisite celebration of all things ominous which explores the way in which power, greed and corruption has pervaded the royal bloodline via 120 pages of darkly beautiful editorials and interviews with the likes of fashion designer Katie Gallagher, the duo behind Fyodor Golan and iconic American Horror Story star, Naomi Grossman. With photography by the talented Merry Phillips, Ekaterina Belinskaya and Jenny Brough and clothes by Vivienne Westwood, Todd Lynn, David Koma and Eudon Choi to name but a few, it’s the kind of mag that could and most likely will double as a coffee table tome. I was lucky enough to be among the small group invited to preview it last night and experience the inspiration behind it by way of a historic walk through Britain’s Monarchy with Alex Marx from Fox & Squirrel finishing up with celebratory drinks at the Golden Lion pub. Congratulations James and the whole Stylenoir team!

You can order your copy (and I highly recommend you do) online here.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

J.Crew Regents Street Store Launch

At long, long last J.Crew have finally opened up shop here in Blighty. But I’m sure you already know that. You may even have been among the hoards who queued half way up Regents Street to get your hands on the embellished beauties within and if so, I applaud you. Fashion folk are notorious for cracking open the champers to celebrate the slightest anything but I’m sure you’ll agree, the arrival of one of the most coveted brands on the planet is more than deserving of a knees up.

J.Crew

After a day spent looking at 1920s couture in the Victoria & Albert Museum archive (fascinating but not as glam as it sounds, trust me) and unsuccessfully attempting to get my head around the technicalities of bias cutting I was more than ready to have a little fun although admittedly, that is my default setting. By the time my party pal Maddison Brudenell and I arrived, the vast balloon covered boutique was already packed. Unsurprisingly, the entire industry were in attendance. It was the kind of event where the combined effect of everyone you’ve met being there and there just being a hell of a lot of people made navigating the crowds difficult but such mingle-tastic fun, no one particularly cared. Eventually we managed to navigate our way upstairs where cocktails were being served from a vintage trolley while the J.Crew dream team, Jenna Lyons, Mickey Drexler and Tom Mora held court in the shoe emporium. When a member of the lovely PR team running the show asked if I might be keen to be introduced to Mickey I practically knocked her over in my rush to get there.

J.Crew

J.Crew

J.Crew

In case you didn’t know (unlikely) Mickey Drexler is the retail legend who’s work at Gap during the 90s grew it into the multi billion dollar global label it is today. As for what he’s done at J.Crew, well, the proof is in every Editor’s wardrobe. Naturally I was more than a little nervous about meeting such an industry legend but as is so often the way with the people you find most impressive, Mr Drexler was not only charming but a real laugh too. I then turned around to find none other than Tommy Hilfiger standing behind me looking dapper beyond belief in pinstriped tailoring! After a few minutes dithering I thought, sod it, and said hello. It’s always better to grow a pair and go for it I reckon and of course, Tommy was utterly lovely. Chatting to the man behind one of the most iconic mega brands ever to come out of the USA about his fantastic, surf inspired SS14 collection was a pretty pinch-me-I’m-dreaming experience.

*Mickey Drexler and Jenna Lyons

J.Crew

J.Crew

As I’m sure you can imagine, I could quite happily have stayed sipping champagne amid the divine J.Crew clothes for hours on end but of course, all good must come to an end. We also had more places to be and people to see but that my friends, is a tale for another time.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

Role Models

role models

As long term LPA readers will know, from time to time I do rant talk about subjects of a non sartorial nature. When half the world lost it over Miley Cyrus twerktastic VMAs performance I joined in the conversation to argue my bit about the grossly unfair standards female stars are held to in comparison to their male counterparts. Well, since then good old Miley’s had the Daily Mail readers tearing their hair out by swinging butt naked in her Wrecking Ball video (which, might I add, promptly snagged the Vevo record for the most views in the first 24 hours after its release and for being the fastest clip to reach 100 million views) and then, just last week, for lighting up a spliff on stage at the EMAs. Naughty. I’m not particularly about to defend Miley’s antics or weigh in on her feminist fued with Lily Allen because to be honest, sex, drugs and who’s-the-bigger-feminist aren’t the issues that really get my goat here. The thing that’s been driving me nuts of late, and has only been further exacerbated by this whole situation, is the fact society seems to have the expectation that every remotely high profile woman should be some kind of role model. This was a subject raised brilliantly by the Dawn O’Porter in her Glamour Magazine column this month. Dawn questioned why the HELL any of us expect or even want Rhianna to be a role model rightly asking, “why can’t some women just be rock stars?”

role models

Plenty of male celebs have, and continue to behave badly in the name of rock n’ roll and while it may cause a few raised eyebrows here and there, no one’s accusing them of being a bad influence on all boys ever. From what I can gather, Justin Bieber’s world tour has thus far consisted of him running around drunk and shirtless, visiting brothels, getting chucked out of hotels and bailing on performances yet while we collectively label him an idiot, no one seems to be suggesting that he should be setting a better example to impressionable young boys. Even when Chris Brown beat Rhianna to hospitalisation it was her who was lampooned for condoning domestic violence when she decided to take him back. Do you remember Brown ever being labelled a “bad role model” or anything much being said about his responsibility to his fans? Admittedly this is a very extreme example. Brown committed a violent crime and the last thing I would argue would be that his actions are in any way condonable but it just serves to illustrate the huge disparity between the expectations placed on male and female stars.

role models

Personally, I don’t feel that being a performer automatically gives you the same degree of responsibility as a politician or a parent but if we’re going to decide it does, then that can’t just apply to women. I would go so far as to argue that condemning female celebrities in this way is not only deeply unfair but harmful to the feminist cause and in many ways, frankly, insulting. Isn’t the implication that women are less capable of mediating their own behaviour than men, or more easily influenced? The response to Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy was the final straw in this matter as far as I’m concerned. As noughties teen I’ve watched the first film at least once a year for the past decade and was beyond excited for the release of book number three regardless. I was gutted to hear it had earned some pretty rubbish reviews but my dismay swiftly turned to rage when I read a couple and learned that much of the criticism was focused not on shoddy plot lines but the fact Bridget had shaped up to be a poor “feminist role model”. Sorry but WTF!? When was Bridget Jones ever meant to be a feminist role model? And are we seriously now going to extend the demand that famous women set a good example to fictional characters?!

As is always the case with spur-of-the-moment opinion pieces, this isn’t going to be brought to a tidy conclusion. You’ve heard my opinions on the subject, what do YOU think?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

On Trend

How many times have you read an interview where the subject claims not to care for trends? To shun the “must have” looks from the catwalk in favour of classic pieces or sticking resolutely to their own, unique style? If, like me, you’ve spent a decade plus guzzling fash mags (the same mags that bring us trend features… Go figure) then you’ve probably lost count. I’m sure many of the people who snort derisively at the mention of trends genuinely don’t alter their look just because, say, Heidi Slimane decided to channel Courtney Love one season and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But equally, there’s no shame in buying a garment you wouldn’t have dreamed of wearing six months ago and goes with precisely nothing else in your wardrobe, purely because it caught your eye in the Vogue trend edit and you thought oh, what the hell.

on trends
From left: Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney & Prada SS14

Back in July I did a shoot for Company Magazine‘s November issue (see the final looks here) and the experience made me question my own approach to personal style. Generally speaking I have a pretty predictable “look”. Summer is all about pastels shades, floral prints, colour popping hues and broderie anglaise. When the temperature drops it’s rich autumnal knits, A line minis paired with knee high socks and princess coats. Peter Pan collars feature highly during both. Don’t get me wrong, I like my style. I feel comfortable and safe within it. But now and again I get so goddamn sick of sticking to the same fashion formula I’m tempted to attack my blouse collection with a pair of scissors. Anyway, back to the aforementioned shoot. We began with a walk through of the six looks I’d be modelling. The first two involved peplum tops, pleated skirts and buttoned up shirting. “We thought you’d love these” the stylist said. They’d got my number, I did. As we proceeded to move down the rail I noticed her begin to look a bit tentative. This, I soon learned, was because the next ensembles involved baseball caps, boyish sporty tees and oversized scuba style jerseys, not exactly very “me”. Unsurprisingly, I adored wearing outfits 1 and 2. With cinched waisted silk jacquard, pink metallics and cashmere all involved, they could easily have come straight out of my own wardrobe. More surprising, was what happened when we got to look number 3. I’ll admit, when I first laid eyes on the sculptural, neoprene top I had my hesitations. Wearing it with OTK boots, a leather skirt and dog tag necklaces, I felt like Rhianna with undertones of Cara Delevingne. As for the baseball caps, my feelings for them really were unexpected. I don’t think I’ve worn a cap since, well, ever and while their presence on the SS13 catwalks and street style blogs forced me to admit they can actually look pretty awesome I never even entertained the notion of giving one a whirl myself. Until now that is.

Call me a fashion victim if you will but I’m currently daring myself to try a few catwalk inspired styles outside my usual remit. Having purposefully ignored the fashion-world-wide fixation with luxed up sweatshirts I now own two (Kenzo and McQ) and feel both far cooler than I actually am and deliciously comfortable whenever I wear them. I’ve even been pairing them with Gap’s leopard print calfskin sneakers (not-so-slight Kenzo rip off) and thoroughly enjoy these brief jaunts down laid back lane. While I’m not about to totally switch up my style because of what I saw on the runway (although admittedly Phillip Lim’s biker molls did tempt me), there’s no reason one has to stick to all the time. Why not be a Park Avenue Princess one day and a plaid clad punkette the next? Or a high heeled Hitchcock heroine during the week and a trainer toting tomboy on the weekend? Playing dress up, taking on a new persona, challenging your sartorial boundaries, that’s what makes fashion fun if you ask me and I’ll be doing a lot more of it in future. Bring on the mannish tailoring, over the knee boots, mid-century hemlines and PVC. Hell, I may even a bit of Saint Laurent inspired grunge-ing. Never fear, there will still be Peter Pan collars, just maybe not quite so many of them.

Will you be trying out the trends this season or sticking to your own fashion formula?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

Burberry With Love

Burberry With Love - Campaign Imag_002

Given the number of gobsmackingly gorgeous ad campaigns our favourite fashion brands treat us to each season, I don’t usually post them on here because once I started I’d never stop! However I do make the occasional exception and can’t resist sharing the Burberry With Love holiday shots. I absolutely adore the pre Christmas period. Ice skating at Somerset House, mulled wine, department store window displays, re-watching Love Actually for the 500th time… These little traditions never get old.

Burberry With Love - Campaign Imag_001

As soon as I clapped eyes on Burberry’s latest array of exquisite images I knew they’d be just the thing to get us all in the festive mood. There’s just something so charmingly British about them, don’t you think?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment