Sunday, 21 November 2010

Fashion's fruit cocktail

Everyone knows that fruit is part of a healthy diet but it seems that it now also belongs in our wardrobes. There were rumblings of the trend last summer when Stefano Pilati at YSL gave us a ripe red strawberry print.

But it came to a head on the S/S '11 catwalks when both Prada and Stella McCartney featured fruit on their catwalks and judging by the press days taking place at the moment, it's here to stay. 

Miuccia Prada wore bright yellow plastic banana earrings to take her bow in Milan while her models wore banana print dresses complete with cheeky monkeys and cherubs. 

At Stella the models sauntered down the runway in citrus fruit prints (oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit).

The trend then hit the streets with style bloggers’ favourite Anna Dello Russo who wore a giant pair of cherries on her head and a giant slice of watermelon as a hat.

At press days fruit emblazoned everything from clutch bags to brooches, sandals to dresses. There’s no escaping fashion’s Carmen Miranda moment.

Zac Posen’s Z Spoke line has a cartoonish bunch of grapes adorning a simple grey tee. 

Charlotte Olympia’s banana clutch, and pineapple peep toes are on my wish list. 

While Kate Spade’s gold pailette clutch is the perfect fruity cocktail bag. 

There were berry colours at Herve Leger and citrusy neons at Jil Sander.

Take a bite.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

The view from fashion week

It's autumn already. When did that happen?

 Betty's windows.

Flitting in and out of the country, and real life, like a falling leaf, for the past month and a half has meant that I've missed all the usual pointers - conkers falling, leaves turning from green, through yellow to red before falling crisply underfoot, that smoky bonfire smell on frosty mornings, the gradual slipping of the sun in the sky and now it's time to turn the clocks back and embrace dark evenings and weekends spent fireside in a country pub drinking Guinness and eating roast dinners.

Doing all four fashion weeks for the first time was an eye-opener. New York was still mid-summer (see my last blog) so there was no chance to impress with the new autumn wardrobe. Flying straight back on the red eye into London fashion week was a kind of tiredness I think I can only cope with twice a year (at most) and working more than 21 days in a row without a day off makes you start to feel a little crazy. There was a small breather (2 days) before Milan (the Duomo at night below) where I squeezed in an old friend's work dinner/ masked ball back in Yorkshire before heading onto Paris where our hotel was overbooked and we were shipped miles away from the perfect location.

But there is something in the air at fashion week that makes you forget everything else in your life. Yes, miners might be trapped in Chile but did you see Marc Jacobs seventies inspired show? Did you hear about Tom Ford's womenswear comeback? Did you go to the Marni re-see (photos below) and bump into American Vogue's Grace Coddington? Well, yes actually we did. Why doesn't my wardrobe look like this?

It might sound shallow (and it probably is) but there is a kind of Stockholm Syndrome that stems from fashion week. You see the same faces for a month (like an extended school trip), you don't sleep much, you don't eat much, you only read fashion press and magazines, the only conversations you have are about fashion and the shows you've seen or will see ... The only things that feel real are in your fashion bubble and thank God for the people around you who get you through it (thank you to our lovely crew). And for someone who loves fashion to be there at the start of a trend, at the most important shows of the season, is such a buzz.

So now I'm back and it's all a slightly unreal distant memory.

Autumn soundtrack: Kings of Leon, Come Around Sundown.
Autumn reading: The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet and The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.

First image Tim Walker. All others taken by me.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

New York Fashion Week: Fashion's Night Out

I had a great first day at New York fashion week.

I met the fashion police as you can see ...

We caught some cool shows at the Lincoln Center - the new home of NYFW after 17 years at Bryant Park and did our filming for ASOS Tee-V which launches Saturday morning at 8am on

The best part of my day was the ASOS/ Teen Vogue Fashion's Night Out block party where we took over the downtown street where Carrie Bradshaw lives. It's the most beautiful street. I had serious house envy, with all the pretty wrought iron walk-ups and everyone walking their dogs.

I had my picture taken outside Carrie's brownstone. They obviously get a lot of visitors (check out the No Trespassing sign). Such a tourist.

There was an ASOS catwalk with the most gorgeous, smiley models I've seen in a long time.

VV Brown performed, 90210's Shenae Grimes did a DJ set and Henry Holland rocked up to support us. The 1300 goody bags disappeared in the first 20 minutes and people were still begging us for them at the end of the night.

Teen Vogue's editor, Amy Astley was there having a riot.

She's the blond lady in the gorgeous gold sparkley jacket.

And now with jet lag kicking in and a packed day, including Alexander Wang, tomorrow, it's time for an early night. Well, maybe I'll just go and check out the party in the hotel first ...

Friday, 3 September 2010

Corinne Day: An inspiration

I'm sure you've all heard the sad news already that legendary photographer Corinne Day passed away after a long battle with brain cancer last weekend.

Her shots of a young Kate Moss and her subsequent contribution to the deglamorisation of fashion mean she inspired a whole generation of people, me included.

Here are my favourite pictures by her.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The end of summer

The Reading/ Leeds festival bank holiday weekend always signals the end of summer to me. One last blast of sunshine, drinking in the day, lolling around on the grass and listening to your favourite bands as well as some you've never heard of.

Having kicked off the festival season in the middle of the Californian desert at Coachella back in April (lucky me) I've worked out a pretty decent festival wardrobe. Basically that old addage about 'there being no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices' is true. Thanks Dad. You need to have a basic plan and then you add and subtract from it depending on where in the world you are.

So denim shorts and a tee work well in Coachella with gladiators, a straw hat and big sunnies whereas for the middle of a field in Yorkshire you need to add tights, knee socks, Hunter wellingtons, jumper and Barbour jacket.

Here I am sat in the Guest area - thankfully noodle free (they're all over the ground by the mainstage).
Turns out I needed Raybans in Leeds as well as Coachella.

Some girls just have that festival vibe nailed. Here are some of my inspirations ...

It's all in the mix between the expected and the unexpected. A bit of high fashion or vintage thrown into an English heritage practical uniform works every time.

Hope you all had a great bank holiday.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

We love Lauren

Which cover of Love magazine did you buy?

I chose the Lauren Hutton cover. The man in the newsagent asked why I didn’t buy the Kelly Brook one ... I told him I could see why he liked it but that I was more of a seventies girl.

The gap-toothed model and actress – she starred in American Gigolo and The Gambler – is one of 8 covers from editor Katy Grand.

Gisele, Sienna, Rosie HW, Agyness and a host of others also star.

Aged 66 (she’ll be 67 later this year), Hutton is a lesson in how to look good at any age. She once told an interviewer, “Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be.”

Here are some other great pictures that celebrate her individuality and spirit.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

My minimalist icon

I’ve been thinking a lot over the last couple of days, as we approach September, about the feeling of the new season and the new minimalism mood. As much as it pains me to wave a sad farewell to summer, it’s nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel of sale rails.

The question is how to work the look without looking like a frump. Mid-calf length skirts, pointy-toed kitten heels and ladylike bags are all well and good on a supermodel strutting down Marc Jacobs’ catwalk but in real life, not so sexy.

What I need is a role model, someone who works the look and shows us all how to do it. Minimalism has been away so long that these people are in short supply.

Looking through photographs for an unrelated project, I stumbled across some pictures of Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, who was briefly married to JFK Jr before they were both killed (along with Carolyn’s older sister, Lauren) in a plane crash off Martha’s Vineyard in 1999.

CBK was the ultimate ‘90s girl – she worked in a Calvin Klein shop in Boston before moving to New York and becoming a publicist.

She met Kennedy running In Central Park and they married in 1996.

Frequent subjects of the paparrazzi, the pair were photographed both on the street walking their dog and attending black tie events.

CBK was the epitome of minimal style. Simple, pared back, chic – she could have stepped off a number of A/W ‘10 runways – Celine, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, and, of course, Calvin Klein.

So how did she manage to make a simple black jumper or shift dress look sexy? Her trademarks were her red lips, her blonde hair (worn either loose or in an easy, low bun or ponytail), a white shirt and great accessories. Just check out her Hermes Birkin bag.

It’s undeniable that she had the ultimate in ‘accessories’ in the shape of her handsome, iconic husband. How could she fail to look amazing perched on his knee or arm in arm? But her smile and poise are things we can all attempt.