Thursday, 1 September 2011

Model comeback

Are we seeing the resurgence of model covers as opposed to actress/ celebrity covers? 

Agyness Deyn covers October British Elle while Kate Moss was the star of American Vogue's September issue and Freja made the cover of September British Vogue.

I hope so. I feel like I know everything I could ever possibly want to know about Jennifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway and while I like seeing original images of them, the accompanying articles are always a bit of a re-tread of past interviews. I like the idea of models being allowed to show their personality again.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Styling trick of the day

Totally achievable - and free - styling trick that is going to cheer me up about the fact that it's cold enough (in August!) to be thinking about layering ...
Image from

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Happy birthday Madonna!

In honour of Madonna's birthday today [she is 53] I have been reminiscing about being in a Madonna tribute act with the rest of the kids on my road growing up. This mainly meant listening to Madonna tapes on repeat in our respective garage lofts or parents' cars (this is what we did for entertainment in the 80s). Occasionally there would be a street BBQ where our neighbours would be forced to watch our 'performance' - coordinated dance routines (jumping out from different parts of the rockery) and bad singing. I really hope they were drinking a lot at that point.

My obsession started at the age of six. She was the most glamorous thing I had ever seen - she wore rags in her hair! and armfuls of bracelets! and crop tops! I was an excitable child. And despite the fact that she was nearer to my mum in age (something that never crossed my mind then) I wanted to be her so bad that when my older friends got tickets to her concert and I wasn't allowed to go I cried big, fat, tears into my pillow. About five years ago I saw her at Wembley and my inner six year old rejoiced. It was everything I ever imagined it would be and more. I mentally high-fived my six year old self. "You made it kid, you finally made it."

TRUE FACT: When I was 10 I won a fancy dress competition at my friend Hannah's birthday party dressed as 'The First Album' Madonna. Good times.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Monday, 11 July 2011

A fashion fairytale

There's something about finding a hidden treasure, tucked away in the most unlikely place, just waiting to be discovered that gets me every time.

A couple of weeks ago I was sale shopping and popped into one of my favourite second-hand shops. It's in a really wealthy area (always worth a look) but it can be pretty hit and miss.

Not this time. When I walked through the door, my eye was drawn straightaway to a wisp of yellow floral print peeking out from a rail of dull colours near the back of the shop.

PRADA!!!!! I screamed silently (Thank God) in my head. I calmly walked over and grabbed it before any of the other shoppers spotted it. I could barely breath I was so excited.

From one of my favourite Prada shows, A/W 2000, it has a real forties, Land Girl feel to it. It was my size and a sixth of it's original price. I hugged it to me. It fit as though it had been made specially for me (smug).

And care of Mrs Prada, at Miu Miu this time, the forties are back in vogue again for next season with midi lengths and bold prints high on the agenda.

Prada A/W 2000
I love that a dress well over a decade old is still totally bang on trend. And I love that a dress I never thought I could afford is now sitting in my wardrobe.

I'm wearing it with a pair of vintage tan and gold Miu Miu shoes that I picked up in LA for about £50 but for winter I love the idea of throwing a bit of faux fur around my neck and adding some thick tights.

Image from

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Style crush: Zoe Kravitz

Behold: the fruit of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet's loins, all grown up.

Zoe Kravitz, the 22-year-old X-Men: First Class actress and best friend of Alexander Wang is pretty damn cool and frankly we can only dream of the kind of vintage archive at her fingertips care of mum and dad.

In the new ASOS magazine, out today, she tells Francesca Babb, 'I used to be a little embarrassed by how she and my dad would dress but now I steal their clothes all the time.' And, it seems, they steal hers, 'My dad has totally taken my Cat Stevens T-shirt.' I'd say that's a fair swap.

The Kravitz Show:

Lisa Bonet as Denise Cosby in The Cosby Show
Lenny Kravitz as himself

Olsen inspiration

All images Terry Richardson.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

What is it about Alexa?

Alexa Chung has bagged another British Vogue cover. 

On the June issue, shot by Josh Olins, she wears a sherbet lemon patchwork silk/ cotton dress by Erdem and her own gold locket while the coverline asks, 'What is it about Alexa Chung' in hot pink against a duck-egg blue background.

Inside she wears Louis Vuitton, JW Anderson, Carven, Prada, Daks and Holly Fulton. 

In the interview Alexa admits, 'I'm so glad I've experienced what it's like to be the girl of the moment, so when I'm older I can be like, well, that was fun.' 

Referring to her tomboyish style she says, 'Don't make the mistake of thinking that I'm sexless. Just because I don't pander to men in that way, doesn't mean I don't aim to please. I know what's going on.'

So what is it about Alexa? Do you like her style or not?

All images from Vogue.

Everyone loves a (royal) wedding

Congratulations to the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Having got completely wrapped up in the whole build up yesterday it was with a great sense of excitement and some relief that the dress was so stunning. Well done Kate, sorry Catherine, and of course Sarah Burton who used the Alexander McQueen house signatures - corset, nipped in waist and volume over the hips - yet still allowed the personality of the bride to shine through. Catherine wore the dress, not the other way round. She looked comfortable, elegant and chic.

Not everyone can get their hands on a 1930's Cartier diamond tiara and the chief designer of one of the world's most renowned labels but I hope that the style of the dress influences future gowns. I loved the lace and the long sleeves, so much more flattering than a strapless dress which in headshots make it look like the bride is naked.

There were the obvious comparisons with Grace Kelly, another 'commoner' [albeit a movie star] who married a Prince.
She also had the lace overlay, although with a much higher collar, a nipped in waist and a very jazzily dressed groom as accessory.
Even their bouquets were similar. To be fair, if you're going to take wedding style inspiration from anyone you could do a lot worse than look to Grace Kelly. It's not like she copied Katie Price after all.

Yesterday's nuptials were a very classy affair. How relieved must Pippa have been to be spared the usual peach blancmange dress? Her McQueen gown with it's simple shape, capped sleeves and the button detailing down the spine was as flattering as the bridal gown. No wonder Princes Harry and Phillip were flirting so madly with her. I think half the country would have given the chance. Now a Harry and Pippa wedding would be a LOT of fun ...

To the happy couple!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Fashion's memory lane

I like nothing more than a spot of vintage shopping - that search for the perfect piece, the thrill of actually finding it and then imagining who wore it, when and where ....

A new exhibition by the Yorkshire Fashion Archive at Salts Mill in Yorkshire plays on this theme with a display of treasured outfits - everything from wedding dresses and going away outfits to homemade party dresses and Burberry trenches.
The selected dresses and coats are displayed alongside photographs of their owners wearing them and brief descriptions of where they were bought and the circumstances they were worn in.
This 1957 pale pink wedding dress was designed by the wearer with the dressmaker costing £5 and the material - including the lace veil - costing £10-12. It's displayed alongside her going away skirt suit. Absolutely beautiful.
I love this blue and white print dress. It hasn't dated at all. I love the relaxed pose of the couple by their car, the man with a cigarette in hand, the woman with gloves and handbag, not a hair out of place.
This woman, a glamorous shop owner, illustrates the way that clothes were important class signifiers. She wore her fur coat one day and her fur stole the following day to show her neighbours that she had both. That's the attitude! She liked to visit Blackpool with her mother who looked like her sister. You can build up a whole narrative around her ...
A 1959 homemade dress is shown next to a picture of the owner wearing it to a dance in Jersey. The dressmaker, an art student, made the print using a silk screen. It could be worn today, especially with the bold orange obi belt.
The 1959 peony print dress with train by Cresta was bought from Marshall & Snellgrove, a department store in Leeds. It's my favourite piece. It is pure Alber Elbaz. I dream of dresses like this.
Given that this is Yorkshire, it would be amiss not to have some Burberry represented [their factory is in Castleford]. The classic trenches are the perfect foil to the more elaborate gowns and homemade dresses.

All the clothes exhibited have been either worn or made in Yorkshire with both wearers and items equally represented. With the county's strong link to the textile industry [hello school history lessons] it's no surprise there is such a wealth of material on offer. If you're in the area, or anywhere nearby, it's well worth a visit.

Dress Rehearsal: An Exhibition of Garments from the Yorkshire Fashion Archive runs until May 15 at Gallery 2, Salts Mill, Saltaire. For more information go to

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Coachella: the other Kate

This time last year I was stranded in LA following the Coachella festival (thank you giant volvanic ash cloud from a volcano I can never pronounce). The belle of the festival was one Kate Bosworth.

She hands down stole the show in a blue and white tie-dye dress by Suno (it shouldn't work but it did - it really did). On the shoulders of her boyfriend she epitomised all of the good and none of the bad things about festivals - and ended up on hundreds of design moodboards in the process.

So this year, from the comfort of home (grr) rather than the 100F Californian desert I was intrigued to see who'd topple her from the style podium.

So who was it?

It was Bosworth again. Man, that girl can dress for festivals. Just look at her ...

Her laid back, rock chick Americana look with oversized stars and stripes t-shirt and white denim cut-offs for day and a black midi dress and gladiators for after hours were a lesson in perfect festival dressing. [The man in the Stones t-shirt behind her is so impressed, he's turned to stone.]

Of course the long, honey-coloured limbs and surfer girl hair help but it's the carefree, easy vibe she gives off that really win her extra points.

Well done Kate: A+

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Elizabeth Taylor: 1932 - 2011

'She was unquestionably gorgeous. I can think of no other word to describe a combination of plentitude, frugality, abundance, tightness. She was lavish. She was a dark unyielding largesse. She was, in short, too bloody much. --Richard Burton, Meeting Mrs. Jenkins (1966)

So sad.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

I can't stop thinking about ...

It’s an occupational hazard of being a fashion writer that you will always want what you can’t have. The beautiful creations you see on the catwalk, the luxury goods you write about and obsess over afterwards, plus you always want next season’s things NOW.

I’ve been writing about Isabel Marant’s perfect pink jeans this week and have totally talked myself into them. I’ve already found a high street version of the cream cable knit jumper but the perfect jeans are illusive. They have to be the right pale sugary shade or they won’t work.

Isabel Marant s/s '11
And that got me thinking about other items that are on my ‘want’ list:

Stella McCartney a/w '11
Chanel s/s '11
Chanel a/w '11
I even dreamt that I’d found a vintage Chanel jacket like this the other night for a steal. I was sooo disappointed when I woke up I can’t tell you. And I curse myself for not snapping up a bright orange fabric Chanel 2.55 in a little vintage shop last summer when I was in Paris. Fail. (I couldn’t afford it but still I should have found a way ...)

Taylor Tomasi Hill

I’m going to Rome soon and I will be scouring the eternal city for vintage pieces. I’ve learned my lesson.

All catwalk images

Saturday, 19 February 2011

LFW: Day Two

The main thing to note today was that it rained. Nothing unusual there but it didn't half throw a spanner in the works for everyone's LFW looks. Trench coats and hats were the key pieces (not forgetting umbrellas) as everyone struggled with frizzy hair and wet feet. Thankfully the designers had thought this through. Frizzy, triangular hair was everywhere from Kate Middleton's favourite, Issa, to Charles Anastase.

Anastase even greeted his audience with The Doors Riders on the Storm before launching into Il Pleut (It rains) by Brigitte Fontaine. His clothes were nursery nostalgic with models resembling dolls sprung to life in tweed, velvet and satin dresses.

Kinder Aggugini also had weather on the brain. His white coats had snowflake cutouts reminiscent of the paper chains you make as a child.

Kinder Aggugini A/W '11
His show notes said that he was inspired by "the fictitious marriage of Coco Chanel and Sid Vicious".  This show then was about rock and roll elegance. Coco's LBD was reimagined as a long black dress complete with harness like strappings ...

Kinder Aggugini A/W '11
At Jaeger London the coat took centre stage.

Jaeger London A/W '11

Jaeger London A/W '11

Jaeger London A/W '11

The colour palette consisted of "navy, rust, black, guardsman red, military green, camel, ivory and chocolate with highlights of cerise, colonial yellow, cobalt, rich amber and gold." Both the colours and the styles spoke of Jaeger's love affair with it's British heritage.

Louise Gray went dotty (literally), painting models faces with colourful measle spots.
Louise Gray A/W '11
 And adorning models with giant balloon hats.

Louise Gray A/W '11
I finished the day with Issa (Kate Middleton was nowhere to be seen) and House of Holland.

At Issa, Yasmin Le Bon and Andrea Dellal closed the show looking fabulous while Henry Holland was inspired by bingo, grannys, Horse & Hound and heritage fabrics for his show "Man Alive". He looks set to take the spot Luella Bartley left open with his sweetly subverted tweed skirt suits with neon PVC elbow pads and collars and slogan T-shirt "Hawt Couture". Hawt indeed.

All images from