Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mad About The Boy

For a short University project we were asked to produce a menswear shoot inspired by London Collection Men and the exhibition shown in London a couple of months ago based on youth culture "Mad about the boy". Typically with my own womenswear style it's very simple so wanted to bring this kind of styling to the menswear.
The theme involved boy-man, so having very tailored menswear mixed with childish accessories such as light up shoes, leaf patterns and backpacks made the look that whole bit more interesting. An old fashioned library proved the perfect location for the shoot for that traditional English education reputation, but also for a very grande and beautiful background. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Take up the attitude of your shoe-drobe and believe in diversity.

Every girl is guilty of a gigantic shoe collection. In fact, in many cases it’s that severe a whole diagnosis should be prescribed. It’s a prize collection a girl can treasure for the rest of her life, you become totally engrossed and surrounded by a whole army of different shoes that you’ll never have to part with (if you take care of them, spit and shine them constantly and cradle them in your arms). This shoe army however isn’t like any ordinary testosterone filled camouflage army. Every shoe is different, fresh and unique to it’s own and surely that’s the correct way to have it.

Gracefully posed is the petite super skinny spaghetti strap pair. The one to please all the media and fashion shows, but not always the one with the most personality. They’ve certainly got the look but after one event they’re usually tossed to the back  and replaced.

Dig a little deeper and you’ll come across one of your favourites, the block heeled shoe, that not only looks the part but is perfect for the night and day with the thicker curves and bulky lines. Style factor certainly does come in bigger sizes from this season.

One to watch shoes that make you wonder why on earth you bought them in the first place and have no idea where or how to even wear them, are often the most memorable. You’ll probably be hiding them at the bottom with maybe a slight coating of dust around the edges, but there’s nothing shameful about the stranger shoe. Take Vivienne Westwood’s outlandish famous blue heels- their moment of fame will last a lifetime.

Summer season is all about the gladiator sandal. From the distant dry land far far away they’ve glided all the way around the world with fashionistas’ now stomping them around the puddles of Oxford Street. Although they started in a different culture, no matter of your ethnicity, they’ve made their way into ours.

The stiletto- tower of all shoes, the intimidator, the one looking down on you that if you’ve got dandruff you better run now. The word stiletto itself makes you instantly buckle to your knees in fear of accidentally being trodden on with an almighty spike for a heel. On the other end of the spectrum you’ve just spotted the trustworthy flats that probably make up 50% of your shoe-drobe. Androgynous loafers, classic dollies, or innocent tie up’s these short shoes are the most reliable and comfortable choice of footwear we have. Even the shorter pair can be just as glamorous as the taller one. 

Last but by no means least are the shoes you’ll keep close to your bedside to be there when you wake up and go to sleep at night. The good old fluffy slippers. It’s unspeakable to think you’d were them in public but now the pajama suit is on trend to wear in the street who knows if we’ll be wearing slippers to our weekly shop. Slippers are often labeled as the older shoe but surely the older the wiser, am I right?

I’m guessing all your boxes are ticked? The thin, the curvy, the weird, the international, the tall, the short and the older... may this list go on further. You’ve already embraced the diversity in your wardrobe, so why is there any difference in opening the diversity up to the people modeling the shoes you’re collecting. Of course, you’re bound to prefer some over the others- for instance that dolly shoe might not be to your liking as much as the slipper. Yet wouldn’t it be tragically boring, and painfully unfair to your feet if your shoe collection consisted of the same old stiletto, spaghetti strap shoe. I’m afraid that isn’t going to win over any girls’ hearts for the most diverse woman or indeed diverse shoe lover. Bring diversity to the catwalks! It’s already in our wardrobes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Paris Fashion Week A/W 16


There's no place like home, and when it comes to fashion weeks the home of sweet homes belongs here in Paris. The birthplace for many fashions, Paris is the epitome of the 4 weeks, there's a reason they save the best for last. Similar to Sportsmax at Milan fashion week, Aganovich played with the contras. Thick black or white lines were a key theme of motif throughout with some intertwined around the neckline like a groovy cats cradle necklace. Long skirts or dresses were clearly the favoured style of Aganovich this collection as many of the garments sent down the catwalk had some sort of ruched flowing fabric gently swishing past your gaze. 


With the creative director Olivier Rousteing being just as famous as the brand Balmain itself and on first name basis with all the latest supermodels, it was obvious Balmain was going to be one hell of a show. The likes of Jourdan Dunn, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Binx paraded down the catwalk in almighty high crotch length suede boots. If it wasn't already obvious the theme for his collection was all about the pastels, although he did include some black and gold versions (a safer option for the winter months). Balmain was one in only a handful of design houses who took to using colour, especially pastel for their collection. Belts were the key accessory that finished the look off with just the colour of gold as an uplifting but subtle blingy touch. As for the details ruffles, fur and sheer fabrics gave the garments a beautiful and light texture. 


With a heavy use of Egyptian reference in Givenchy's A/W 16 collection, all the models needed to do was walk like an Egyptian and they'd have almost transported us back to Nefertiti's rein. However, like any designer rule number one is make it fit into the 21st century for clothes we'd all actually wear and feel up to date wearing and not 3000 BC. Eyeliner flicks were on sharp points and the occasional headress made an appearance, but the best Egyptian reference of them all was the pure essence of the colour gold which featured in many of the garments. With some only a little colour was directed to the likes of lines on blazers for a sharp contrast to black base colours, which worked tremendously well for a simplistic classic style. Of course, like many of the collections this fashion month, fur was a key component on all the garments for that soft furry texture, but also that huggable and snuggable warmth we all need at winter time.


Always one for the simplicity, Hermes kept to a very natural colour pallet for all the garments in their A/W 16 collection. In terms of fabrics; wools, suedes and scuba like materials were repeatedly used for that oversized but very polished edge. Particular garments shout military reference with the symmetrical bulky pockets and high funnel necklines, whilst others take a more feminine approach using gathering on the skirts but in a very stiff fabric for the a very unusual shape. Sure, this collection is very stiff, very big and very wooly but that's right on A/W trend, so if you're like me and are as stiff as a brick (and can't even do the Mexican wave without looking like you're attempting the robot) then this trend will make you feel right at home. Lets the stiffness be appreciated!


Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Lamaire's collection could literally be summed up into one simple timeless famous phrase. The essence of soft light fabric of the skirts and bell bottom/ pirate sleeves makes this collection look as like a feather with the gentle movement of excess fabric billowing in the breeze. Loose tie belts flying around add even more flair and grace to such a unique silhouette produced at Lamaire. One side of the collection was clearly positively feminine centred, however take a swift glance into the high contrast monochrome colour palette, masculine brogue like shoes and oversized coats almost drowning the outfit in black. It may look all girly to start but take a closer look and you're in for a sharp punch of masculinity and androgyny. Although there are 2 sides to the collection, let's be honest the beautiful butterfly side takes the limelight with the clever and elegant shaping of those sleeves. Who knew pirate sleeves could be so sassy?!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Relax... it's only another day at the office

GONE are those basic blue shirt and grey trouser days. VANISHED are those restricted matching black blazer and pencil skirt two pieces. FORGOTTEN is the thought of towering stilettos with an annoying clonk shadowing ever step you take. For it's the 21st century and those old fashioned tailored boring business stereotypes are all in the past. After all, fashion isn't supposed to just be for our leisure time, since we spend the majority of our time working during the week. It makes perfect sense to take more pride in our appearance in the office and challenge that typical and often dull representation the workplace is so unfortunately holding on it's shoulders.

Over the past 10 years the workplace for both creatives and academics has slowly and sensibly become more casual wear friendly. Our work wear has shifted to a whole array of styles to help show off our personality and not be instantly labeled as a worker in a suit. Don't get me wrong a suit is sometimes the only acceptable workwear in certain scenarios, and if being quite literally "suited and booted" is your style then by all means keep that up because after all it's still what a man looks 10/10 in and what a women looks most powerful in. Although, nowadays, even in menswear we're now adding that splash of colour and contrast of pattern. At first it was baby steps with the odd colourful tie or pocket tissue, but now men have it all in their stride taking on bold orange shirts with navy suits, skinny jeans in place of trousers and best of all taking the feminist colour of pink to a whole new level.

Let's call is quits on the menswear for now, as you're pretty restricted to a trousers and jeans image. For women on the other hand, you've got skirts, trousers, culottes, jeans- and that's only the bottom half.

Combine both genders styles and the most obvious rise in office wear lies with the booming success of active wear. No longer for the gym (you don't even need to go to the gym at all but still be head to toe in Nike- that's totally acceptable) this casual wear has made it into the casual boardroom. Trainers with culottes-perfect. Sport stripe jumpers-all welcome. But best of all, comfy casual yoga pants-indescribable. The ideal pair of yoga pants for a smart casual look in the office are available to buy online at Betabrand, a website made for boosting fresh and upbeat designs for the destined future. In fact, their whole trouser range is directed mostly at the workplace and for active wear for a very reasonable price, so if like me you're desperate for the perfect pair of yoga pants they're definitely worth taking. Betabrand pants page

If you're a keen fashion week observer like myself, you'll know the trend that's been on top of all the fashion week's these past few years in tailoring. The smart, clean and precise shapes and fabrics are unbeatable when it comes to classic fashion. Thankfully tailoring has been given a full needed facelift with many designers now opting for ties, ruffles and unusual details that are subtle yet totally transform the outfit. The go to brands for an original edge on tailoring are House of Sunny, Milly, Zara and Atterly Road. Now the year is in spring the sun will soon be making its mark (hopefully-yet being British, let's face we'll be waiting till May at least) its time to dig out the culottes you packed away from last summer.

NOTE: isn't it great how such a weird yet unique design like the culottes are coming back again and again each year for us to celebrate, even though you'd think it would be shunned to the bottom of the fashion pile. 

Anyway... back on track. Culottes are the summer must have (and if you have't already got a pair by now I'm seriously judging you right now) so why not show them off in the office. They're perfectly shaped, modernise any outfit and understandably are much safer than a skirt, say goodbye to the skirt embarrassing going over your head look. Match with a beautiful blouse such as a pussy bow, or a crisp white shirt and you look just as smart as you did in your black blazer and pencil skirt combo, only cooler. Much, much cooler.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Milan Fashion Week A/W 16/17

 Dolce and Gabbana

The exotic and hand crafted Made in Italy label was up for their fair share of Fashion Week. With Milan you immediately think florals, hot culture and the big one- Dolce and Gabbana. This time the show was all a miss mash and a reminder of Alice in Wonderland by the crazy set design and motifs of clocks and bunnies on some of the garments. With their latest fashion campaign Dolce and Gabbana have been all about the Motherhood message, that nothing is more important than family whilst still looking like the hottest Mum in the city. Although this collection waded down the child drawings on dresses and upped the antic of bull fighter inspired design instead. Much like their older collections with bull fighter designs, this one didn't however involve hot pants, for a powerful feminine character but with mid length skirts and wide legged culottes this round.

Les Copains

Of course number one thing to do over the autumn months is build up your winter wardrobe and have a sensible attitude about it, which sometimes we lose in the crazy would of fashion. Sure, we see designs exposing leg (if you're so brave in the winter breeze) but in all honesty all we'd like to do is walk around with a blanket strapped to us for the entirety of the day. But lets face it, that's fashionable not acceptable-although layering, fur and huge think jumpers are the answer to our problems. Les Copains really ticked all the boxes for keeping snug this winter with many of the garments including fur or thick wool, a huge trend shown across many of the shows. For that little edge of femininity with all this layering of materials something was indeed needed to take that bulky edge off, this when voile and soft skirts where added to many of the designs matched with a small dainty ballet pump.

 Max Mara

Like a luminous moon or a heavy gold chain, Max Mara certainly let it shine on their collection for AW/16. Typically metallics are a summer association for that bright and reflective look against the summer sun, however Max Mara let it shine all the way into the winter months with a whole array of their designs using metallic is some way, shape or form. V necks and coats were a clear favourite but it's going to take an Alexa Chung double to pull of a full metallic coat without looking like you've unravelled a roll of kitchen foil around you. Every other part of the collection including colour and shapes was very pared down for a simplistic style letting the contorting patterns of stripes and metallics take the limelight.


Just scrolling on Instagram past one image of Prada AW 16 immediately got me thinking Chinese. No not the urge to indulge and binge on a large portion of seaweed, rice and spring rolls... although that would be pretty perfect right now. See those busy floral patterns on a silky fabric with a little metallic shine- Kimono is all I'm thinking of. Gorgeous design from this material matched with military Khaki made the ultimate postmodernist collection. Even the sintched in waistlines of huge corset like belts took us back another 100 years but with a new modern twist of a relaxed correct (if that's even possible). Although the patterns really did the talking, the shapes were very typical of the New Look in the 1950s and no one can ignore the pure mass of fabrics and the shape it produces, no matter how beautiful the pattern of fabric.


Simplicity is best in my eyes (and if you're a regular reader of my blog- thank you dearly- then you'll know simplicity is basically just me all over) and Sportsmax really gave a 10/10 for their A/W 16 collection. Words can't even express how much love I have for this collection with the thick contrasting monochrome lines, the patch work effect of geometric shapes, and the tied shoulder straps. This collection really is the epitome of beauty. With all this harsh contrast of lines and sharp edges, the skirts were kept loose and floaty along with ruffles and overlap effect in some garments for that little extra dose of girliness and prettiness. Out of all the Milan collections with a stereotypical reputation of the florals, Sportmax challenged this with a sports vibe and certainly pulled it off with me personally awarding it best collection at Milan fashion week. Congratulations from me to you.