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Monday, 23 November 2009

Good ole Victorian jealousy

I stand corrected, whilst publicly apologising to Victoria Beckham for quick remarks I did not bear enough knowledge to make; also to myself for the upheaval of information to and from the opinions section in my brain.

I, In my younger teen days, internally criticized Victoria for what I made assumptions were 'chav' like ensembles by a plastic who knew nothing.
Victoria, if let loose on me at this stage, could have and SHOULD have made far worse and more deserved insults.

I now am more than a little in love with this woman- not because she's changed because I really don't think she has. It is because I have changed- i've gathered confidence and realisation that the media can portray and image as chalk to the person's cheese, also there are grey areas in style; it is not a case of having good style or bad style.

Regardless of that previous statement Victoria Beckham does have good style. A smart girl who has grown up all over again since the beginning of her media attention. She has now reached the sophisticated young lady level in the style stakes.

The first inclination of change towards my opinion of Mrs. Beckham was her British Vogue appearance in April 2008.

As I tore the wrapper from the magazine, I double took and shoved it in my mum's face in order to quiz who she thought this covergirl may be because I had sheer disbelief that my idolic glossy was capable of such a rookie mistake. My mum's answer aired hope on ths situation with her mistaking the image for a favoured model of mine, making my blood cool. Until my mum's naivety to sense this pressing matter at hand caused her straight after to point out those big pink letters that spelled Victoria's name.
After I carelessly flipped pages to search not for the usual interesting story but justification and excuse for Vogue to do such a thing.

The article not only excused Beckham's cover presence but sparked a respect which has grew ever since. A link on Twitter more recently showed an interview with the Brit in America, it became that moment, like when you are in a relationship and the young fellow does something utterly silly and defining and you get that first urge to utter "I love you"...

Most recently Harper's Bazaar has only furthered these feelings with an article showing others' love for Victoria with the likes of Manolo Blahnik, Domenico Dolce AND Stefano Gabbana contributing.

This article is my favourite piece on Victoria because I see myself in it. Here is the point where I commend that age old mum wisdom and say she was right again. "Girls who don't like you are only jealous". Victoria, I guess it was jealousy.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Final fantasy: fashion?

Have you ever noticed that cartoons for little girls are all very fantasy compared to the practicality of those aimed at boys.
I'd like to suggest this be the reason that women's fashion on the whole is much more inventive and impractical than our male couterparts'.
An example- Bob the builder, Postman Pat and Fireman Sam all represent available, normal careers a boy could grow up and have as opposed to Angelina ballerina, the little princess and my little pony.
The fantasy is predominant in the "careers", colours and basic concept of all the girly cartoons.

These fantasies instilled in little girls do not make for good, or rather, available career choices. So this fantasy needs an output: what better way than style!

The designer John Galliano who designs for Dior is my idea of perfect fantasy fashion. His haute couture show for Dior ss 07 brought back that kid in a sweety shop feeling as I viewed on glossy magazine pages the colours, cut, details... EVERYTHING was breathtakingly perfect. It was a collection that represents that grey area where fashion meets art. Beauty.

Another amazingly fantasy fulfilling, futuristic, artistic, architectural and inspiring designer is Hussein Chalayan- but for very different reasons to Galliano. Hussein is extremely influenced through architecture and his fantasy edge comes through completely in his individual shapes in muted tones. These beautiful, albeit unwearable, designs that lead to thought and utter awestruck silence. The beauty lies in how indescribably beautiful his pieces truly are.

Fashion, true fashion, is fantasy. An unreachable other world that is their to admire, generate thought and bring back a little girl outlook to life.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Who wears tight tights?

Have you ever noticed it's impossible to keep everyone happy?
This is true of life and style.
Your hair will never be neat enough for your grandparents, your skirt never long enough for your parents, your friends will dicuss "what the hell was she wearing!?" behind your back and your boyfriend's friends will just make the same statement to your face. You can't win.

Or maybe you can but that involves rising above it, because when you dress for you and you are confident enough to know these people all are thinking these thoughts but you don't mind. That is true self belief. To walk down the street wearing an outfit that you feel happy in. And one you are confident enough in your choice in to defend yourself. Nobody will change their mind about your outfit if you are shrinking beneath the labels while they jest.

If the self belief step is one too far in the distance to keep everyone happy then there is always plan B. Carry 80 denier black tights in your bag. Black tights go with almost anything- FACT! You're out, plans change and now you have to mingle sociably with friends parents- throw on the tights. You are wearing a lengthy top and jeans for a casual shopping trip that turns into dinner and drinks- throw on the tights in place of the jeans. You're friends tights rip and she is devastated- you have back up(this does not obviously save your outfit but it's nice to be nice and this will make this friend appreciate you undeniably!)

Tights have been around for centuries, though originally for men(you know the Robin Hood concept). INFACT- an article recently in a magazine revealed tights made for men again. I believe the starting price is £80 and the model was wearing them under cut offs. I'm not ready to air an opinion on this because never say never...

The black tights I am referring to have an excellent sixties vibe. And a good example of tights changing the entire look of an outfit is Marilyn Monroe in 'Let's make love'-

Marilyn's jumper minus the tights would be erm interesting, to say the least. But with it it looks amazing! This scene inspired my wearing of tights for a long time. But be careful Marilyn's outfit is not acceptable for outdoor use, that jumper is fairly short. So maybe still trial it past your mum before you go out and if she looks disagreeingly at the length of the jumper even with the tights then she may actually be right. Sometimes seeing a celebrity doing something can deem it ok, but bum visible through tights is not a good look.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Brigitte knows best.

A cheeky bit of backcombing could make the world of difference to the most unattractive person.
Backcombing frames your face, adds height, looks 'sexy' and shows a rebellious side through forcing hair into unnatural positions. Whether for an updo, or a Monday morning backcombing is a brilliant base.

Glamour's December issue features Leighton Meester and I must confess i'm not her biggest fan. But seeing her on the cover backcombed to the max and wrapped in a fur jacket pulled me in like a magnet(that, and the free Nails inc. nailpolish...)

The queen of the backcombed do was Miss Bardot, Brigitte Bardot(whose name appears on a very cute Zara top this season!)
Brigitte mastered the chignon with height that, sad to say, put Audrey's to shame.

Also that sexy, messy bedhair that screams confidence.

Others have represented the trend well. Such as Jackie O, scene kids and ofcourse Britain's biggest girl crush Cheryl would be nothing without that hair(the real and the fake strands...)

Hair really makes an outfit. If an outfit represents a sentence then hair is the punctuation. So go on- add an exclamation mark to tomorrow's ensemble!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Accessory du jour.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: Imagination necessary! Photographs could not be used to save anonymity.

A friend once asked me to give a detailed description of my 'type'.
As I typed. And typed and typed... pressing enter felt like my execution.
It felt as though this was a moment in a movie where all of a sudden he'd appear.
Sad as it may seem, I saved this description... and looking back at it revealed 2 things- 80% of the characteristics were based upon the lads style, also revealing that if I am so sure about what I want from a boys style why do I find it so difficult to have a goal with my own!?!

An ex revealed he thinks I like a boy to be my accessory du jour. But this must be a universal thing, looking back to my second post on the 'Gossip Girl' boys- a person who liked one of these guys could not really like another due to category restrictions. A handful of my friends like rugby guys- you know the ones in their grey joggers, with scarily wide shoulders and an 'Edinburgh' looking face. One likes music kids, where the musical influence just shines through on that t-shirt of theirs and another is into a very specific- and I quote "guys whose style is different from that of their group".

Boys are now seen as the classic 'it' item, as far as i'm concerned, and nothing explains a person more than how they accessorise.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Mr Keats, YOU can leave your hat on,

"Would I were steadfast as thou art", then fashion would not exist.

BBC films have charmed me again, though I find them more like drama series than films, 'Bright Star' is most definitely up their with 'An education'. The life of a charming John Keats whom, if he was as moderately handsome as the actor who plays him, has me crushing ever so slightly. That poetry, his untimely end and hats.

Yes hats, I will pass by the obvious discussion point here being the romanticism of John's words inspiring many a design, or even the fact his love interest(gosh knows why the utterly selfish girl. In my opinion) who is obsessed with fashion/making clothes/sewing. And talk about hats.

One scene in particular as Keats, Miss Brawne, Sammy and Toots(yeah apparently you can call a kid toots, it has shook my life plan for sure) are walking with their silhouettes visible and the shape of their hats is of utter amusement.

London 1881, hats were a way of life under Victoria's reign. She herself often spotted wearing delightfully decorated hats much like our leading lady.

"To feel for ever its soft fall and swell," is how hats exist to the world. Going in and out of style as quick as a heartbeat.
Please note, this season is most definitely a swell however and I would advise an array of hats. I have my eye on a nice little quirky number from River Island actually, but girl rule #1- thou shalt not purchase an item with knowledge of a friend maintaining current ownership. Damn you Lorne, however Mum it is coming up to Christmas and rules can be bent-

Thursday, 12 November 2009

A (Stuart)Rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

Brands in fashion are as relevant as sugar in sweets.
Fashion as a whole is about portraying ones identity for the world to see, brands help(quite literally) to spell it out to us.

Certain connotations spring to mind when some brands are mentioned. Chanel for example oozes 'classic sophistication', Laura Ashley is 'prim and proper', and Marks & Spencer... well that just makes you think of 'mum'.

A current Christmas temp. job in Marks and Spencer has lead to re-evaluation, i've never been one to care where things are from considering half my wardrobe is from a charity shop but I must admit I was pasremarkable about Markies, as it's affectionately known by loyal staff and customers...

It really has to be said that although the brand represents the customer, the customer also represents the brand. So wearing that chunky knit your granny would wear with corduroys with this seasons oh so hot knee high boots and tights would change the image given. Vogue even agrees this season.

I'll let the pictures do the talking-

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Voila Stella!

Walking along, feeling all wintery whilst wearing my earmuffs and eating my cinammon crepe I saw the nicest thing. Stella McCartney doing another collaboration. She does seem to be overly fond of a collaboration or two, but I do enjoy them. What's not to enjoy about the fact at her last collaboration(with Adidas) she had real athletes performing in her designs at the launch- that's innovatively, futuristic fashion!

Anyway this collaboration is a bit different. It's for Gap and it's for children. Now children are most definitely the last thing on my mind but to dress them in this line they are worth considering! It takes childrens clothing to a new level, it gives them style. The outfits are utterly desirable to the point of thinking crazy thoughts such as: "Age 11 could stretch, right!?" or "I wonder if Stella would make one in my size if I asked nicely".

Well think of my extreme wonderment when this line I had saw only briefly in Gap's window as I scurried past with my crepe cropped up in Grazia, where I can view it without feeling like a creep in a kids department. The picture shown is amazing photography as well as an excellent exhibit of the line-

Grazia's title is amusingly accurate also- "Shrink us all now, Stella!" The launch was a Halloween themed kids party in a school, how totally well timed for the fashion world in my opinion. In Grazia Stella points out that these are clothes she'd like to dress her own children in(she has 3!) and because of this she has tried to include alot of practical basics aswell. Practical and stylish! I am really tempted to go out and treat my baby brother to a whole new wardrobe, but then again children's shoe sizes go up to a 4 right?
Maybe i'll just go see if I can squish my size 5's in before I go indulging anyone else. Sorry Jack, that's what pocket money is for.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Srike a pose!

Magazine day. You know that day when everything is going wrong and then you get home and the door wont open quickly enough because of something dragging on the floor as you push it. And in that instant your day goes from awful to AMAZING with the realisation that that dragging is actually a teleport to an evening spent with models, couture and dreamy settings.

Everybody loves magazine day, but unfortunately for me my magazines get delivered to my home address as opposed to my uni one which is why a trip home this up and coming weekend is necessary! To be a complete tease I thought i'd run a blog on this months covers of my two subscription favourites- Vogue & Elle.

Beginning with Vogue which has been around for over a century, UK edition just under. Vogue is high fashion. With exception to their more dash than cash articles(which still are not much less demanding on finances) Vogue remains the provider of fashion information for it's original target audience- middle to upper class women, socialites. Everyone I have this conversation with seems to think of Vogue as old school and past it(it actually hurts me to type that...) but I love that I am not it's target audience. Vogue is an aspiration not an aid. It doesn't give information that will help you further your career or outfits you can afford, it let's you live the dream. It shows you another world which you can escape to through reading it's stories and becoming lost in it's images and I would hate, DESPISE even, if Vogue changed. This month-

Lara stone in the classic taking over ballgown similar to the Kate Moss 2007 December cover. Alot of alliteration is prevalent. Pastel pink for the title, and cool colour tones throughout. And that dash of hope in the swirly lettering of 'wonderful' which appears for no real reason except to appear. Vogue stay traditional in the fact it's always usually models as opposed to celebrities they use as cover girls with few exceptions. Lara was born in the Netherlands, will celebrate her 27th in December, tripped up at a Karl Lagerfeld show and has been face of Givenchy, Calvin Klein beauty and Jean Paul Gaultier. Lara has been commonly used by Vogue since 2006.

Elle is everything Vogue isn't. It's young, fresh and adapatable to change. If Vogue is your dream man whom it would never work out with for endless reasons Elle is a fling, a fun quickie that you will always remember for it's lack of seriousness. Elle was introduced in the mid 80's which goes a long way to explain what it's all about. Elle is read by a range of people, and although couture and premium price fashion is shown it is often mixed with Topshop or Reiss, and more affordable pieces. Elle gives good insight to behind the scenes information also with a monthly video on their website featuring their making of the front cover and not to mention Olivia Palermo's "job" at American Elle. This month-

Elle does go the celeb on cover route and has had the same colour span for the past few issues. It's Kate Hudson this issue and nothing is noticably different from other months as opposed to Vogue making a larger deal out of their December issue. A key trend is highlighted on the cover in the form of leather though. And notice her different than usual make up and hair. Kate looks the complete opposite of her usual carefree, boho style with a structured, tailored, sophistocated outfit and young, edgy eye make up and hair. Kate's facial expression could be said to be similar to the famed i-D wink! This Elle cover is a visual statement of the points raised about it's fling attitude.

Choosing between Vogue and Elle in my mind is like choosing between food and sleep. Impossible because any normal person needs both to make good all round judgement in life(fashion...)

Monday, 9 November 2009

Mr. Floyd, you were wrong.

We DO need an education.

The movie- 'An education' gave me that butterfly feeling in my tummy the moment the word teddy boy was raised and I realised it was set in the sixties. '67 to be precise. Fashion history, having said that 20th century fashion history, is my weakness. I'm a complete vampire towards people with stories from their era and movies can play that card just aswell.

My Papa was a teddy boy, and proud to tell stories of his style. The picture (right) however is of no use to this fact but he does look dashing all the same. The teddy boy look was inspired by Edwardian style and helped in the dressing of young people for fun and decoration instead of routine and musts after the war. Velvet, high waisted drainpipes and chunky brogues. YUM. Sounds completely acceptable for this season. Below is fashion gold-

Jenny is the main character in the movie and goes from school uniform to Audrey Hepburn parisienne chic!
Audrey Hepburn covers most spaces in my room- from my bookcase to movie collection and her funny face in the form of canvases all over my walls. Audrey believed in style and it's longevity as opposed to the fast paced world of fashion: "For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."
Her alliance with Hubert de Givenchy made the both of them what they're viewed today. Below are some Audrey/Givenchy pairings-

The designer and his muse became close friends and created (in my opinion...) style. Everlasting, the ability to look good without being on trend. Classic comes to mind.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

I don't know what i've been told

Military is back. Ironically Miss Cole when starting her solo career was an amazing example of this uniform style live on the X factor. If you missed this controversial outfit choice that must have amounted to atleast 2 hours worth of verbal communication in my life here it is below-
In my opinion *deep breaths* I like it. All of it. Possibly not together for your average night out... But, what's not to like? Balmain (or atleast Balmain inspired) trousers from this season appearing like Harem pants here (with your run of the mill tears down the side...) revealing those thigh tattoos that were so well covered up during the Girls Aloud days. Unleashing a sense of freedom, a visual metaphor for Cheryl's breaking free.

Above is Balmain's slit jersey crystal button harem trouser. Another component you can't hate? The military jacket. She looks amazing in it with that tiny frame and the oversized shoulders(oh so this season) do wonders to dwarf that tiny waist of hers more. And for the rest of us remember 2005. Primark's upward hill to 'necessity visited store', a Vogue feature. That military jacket! We all had it, if not we all wanted it. Or a copy. A copy of a Primark wonder. We'd be a hypocritical nation to make judgement on Cheryl's military choice.
Above are the military jackets that sold out in record time from Primark. The visual metaphor to contradict the breaking free, it shows uniform and need for others in a similar situation. Last main component is the cutaway top. Sure it's risque and Cheryl passed judgement on that girl group on the show for their overly 'sexy' outfits and that makes her pretty unfair but the top worked in a 'this season' style, albeit party girl style such as that seen in Herve Leger collections. And similar to Serena Van der Woodsen's wardrobe(see first post).
Above Herve Leger dress. And the best component in Cheryl's outfit? Those lovely dimples that differentiate her.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

I am the lizard king.

My mind works in ways I don't even understand.
An adoration of Jim Morrison led to me watching 'The Doors' film, as prescribed by my lovely flatmate, this led to me wanting a Doors t-shirt, and whilst browsing adding the The Velvet underground/Warhol tee to my wishlist(see right). The dominating banana print then sparked the need to listen to Gwen Stefani's Hollaback girl because of those oh so classy lyrics-

Let me hear you say,
this shit is bananas
This shit is bananas
Again, the shit is bananas
This shit is bananas
B A N A N A S.

And then still not dressed at 1430 military time I was inspired by Gwen's jailbreak, monochrome, stripy style in the video for 'Sweet escape'- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tEROk-Y27Q and became extremely thankful for my mum's additions to my wardrobe on her visit in order to create the following outfit:

You can't see my shiny shiny brogues. But they're their.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Please refrain from doing that!

I was walking along the other day in a little shopping daydream because for the first time in months I can, guilt free, afford clothes. And then I saw it. Lily Allen being face of Gio-Goi. WHAT!? I like the brand as much as the next person, possibly more for it's alliance with Pete Doherty than the actual clothing but still I hold no issues against Gio-Goi. Or even Lily Allen really. I do however object to her being given a Gio-Goi campaign the same season she has a Chanel one. Yeah. Chanel! Karl chose her because she is fun and he is a genious so i'll just have to trust him. But then she turns into an utter polygamist. And with someone so low(in comparison...) I bet Coco's turning in her grave at these immature antics. Word of advice Lily, if you're given gold you don't actually want the bronze anymore.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Choo choo!

I saw the brand.
I saw the prices.
I smiled alot.
Jimmy Choo shoes- from £49.99!

H&M have really outdone themselves this year following up that must have summer collection by Matthew Williamson with JIMMY CHOO!!!
With a collection of over 40 pieces- clothing, handbags & jewellery aswell as those utterly desirable, utterly of the moment whilst utterly timeless shoes!

Launching on the 14th of November H&M are using their usual methods with celebrities being papped in items already, a launch date to view items(which was the 29th October) and a release date for the items as above. And please note these items will only be available in certain stores. Total teases.

Tamara Mellon(above right) is the ultimate entrepreneur extraordinare who built the brand up(with an investment loan from daddy) from an ill managed brand to a household name. And a collaboration with a global high street chain such as H&M can only increase brand popularity.

H&M's collaboration list is impressive with Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli, Viktor & Rolf and Stella McCartney. When Compared to Topshop's endless collaboration list, with only two real mentionable names, it goes to show that it's not quantity, it really is quality.