Saturday, 27 November 2010

Time for a change - Men's Fashion...

Writing about men's fashion isn't really my strength, but after being bugged by one of my friends, I decided that it would be an interesting change, and even helpful for any female readers too (you know, hinting to your boyfriends and all...).

Since not knowing all that much about men's latest trends, I did a bit of research - and by this, I mean have a look at a couple of men's online shops. As I said, detailed research!

Ok, so I may not have done a full-on undercover investigation, but I still have some decent facts and ideas now about the latest male sit back, relax and enjoy.

It's plain obvious that the men's fashion is going to reflect what women are wearing at the moment too - so look out for vintage, miltary and back-to-basic looks. The thing with men's fashion is that, unlike women's, it doesn't catch on at the same scale at all. Women everywhere are strutting around in army boots and aviator jackets, but how many guys wear knitted granny-chic jumpers, or fairisle wooly hats?

Some of the in-trend men items at the moment are definitely for the brave only - things like the "comtempary punk" look - skinnies, leather, and thin scoop-necked tees, and other items such as trench coats and even - yes, I did see this on a men's winter collection - ponchos.

Guys that aren't really in for the quirky look should try and stay clear of these items, and if I were them, I'd follow more simplistic - yet still great - trends, like the miltary look. A pair of grey chinos could take you far (just make sure you don't pick any that are too tight/baggy), as will a decent miltary styled jacket - although, those who want to keep it a bit safer/tougher looking should opt for the shorter miltary jackets, with double-breasted buttons, rather than the long ones with a pulled in waist.

Another item that's pretty good for those safety guys are knitted jumpers. Now, I'm not talking about those overly-decorative styles that look a little bit like what your Grandad wears at Christmas -i.e fairisle styled - but the jumpers that are sophiscated, and very hot at the moment. Plain blacks, greys, dark blues and browns are pefect, and easy to match with other styles too. This knitted look also works well with layers - whether it's tees, jackets or shirts.

Luckily for men, most of their fashion always stays pretty much "in". Hence why, if you're more a denim guy than chino, then that's still working too. Try jeans which look distressed, partly faded (not overly faded or white, no nooo, not in winter) and dark - these can easily be paired with a knitted jumper, or even some army boots if you want to spice up the outfit. Print shirts are also very much in, if the vintagey look isn't your taste, and this very much allows you keep that mordern look. (Try matching it with a checked "lumberjack" style shirt to add some pattern).

However, all those quirky-guys do not despair! This f/w collection is PERFECT for you. Men's style right now is definitely 70s influenced - albeit without those flares - and this gives you a great change to mix and match. Just little things like keeping your top button done up instantly gives you a quirky edge, and adding a scarf is another brilliant tip. Shoes are also a fantastic way of making your outfit stand out - try wearing a pair of desert shoes (bright coloured ones if you can brave it!), as well as brogues and boots. There is a huge variety of boots out there to choose from - braver guys try opt for styles like chelsea boots, or high legged sparrow boots, and safer guys can choose plain brogues, or plain fold-down boots. And finally, simple things like tucking in shirts, short jackets and belts can complete the trend brilliantly.

Basically, whatever your style, just stick to what you're comfortable with - there is so much to choose from out there! (Zara, Topman and H&M will do the trick).

My final tip for all men?

Avoid leggings. (fashion doesn't always get it right)


P.S Yum, male models, hmmm...


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Back to Basics...

In need of a new style or trend to follow? Look nooo further, I have just the thing...

So...structure, elegance and tailoring - the "Basic" Look, and one that isn't everyone's cup of tea..(hmm, tea).

This seems to be emerging into this f/w, and although it looks fabulous, it can be expensive to pull off properly. It's very much about having those few quality pieces - no disposable fashion from Primark - but instead, buying a coat with that timeless style and quality that will last you years. Only one problem - it's prettttyyy expensive - especially for us students!

Saying that, I think this look is one that can work better for those who are older - now, I don't mean 70 year old women trudging around in cape coats or leather pants -"No Nan, just no" - but those who are already moving up the career ladder and need that sophisticated edge - we all need to impress our bosses right? And fashion is actually a great way in doing that.

This style focuses on one item at a time - everything else about the outfit has to be simplistic, plain, almost like a canvas, for this particular item - whether this is a printed tunic, a over sized jumper, or a straight lined coat. Layering, large accessories or more than one stand-out print is a no-no.

Hmmm, this sounds a bit boring right? No big accessories or more than one interesting item? Pfft.

But! Do not fret if you're one those quirky, mix 'n' match people - basics can still look interesting, especially if the stand-out item is something like a knitted jumper, a distressed cargo jacket, or even better a bit leather or leopard. Blacks, creams and brown are perfect for this look, and you can also add a splash of colour, like red or purple.

Just keep it, well, basic...

If you like this look, check out Zara's November collection. It's pretty lush.


Some items from Zara's November collection - to see the rest, visit the website!

(No copyright Intended, I do not own this image)

Thursday, 18 November 2010

'Brush With Fashion' - Spring Make Up Launch

Apologies for not posting for a while, things have been pretty hectic lately, what school work, Uni applications, and all sorts of drama.

But anyway.

Yesterday evening I was lucky enough to have a invitation - courtesy of my brother-in-law - to go and see London College of Fashion and the Body Shop launch their new make up range, a project that they have worked on together.

So I'm here to give you the lowdown...

London itself was busier than ever, especially down Oxford Street and Bond Street where the college was - people always seem to be in some kind of rush in London, even when they aren't in the Underground. The Christmas lights were already up and shining - Rihanna turned them on a week or so ago - and so the festive atmosphere was all around...i.e mad shoppers, freezing cold weather and just thousands of people. The transport itself was crazy - the central line was severely delayed due a suicide earlier that morning, and then the entrance into Oxford Circus was shut off because someone had collapsed. Happy Holidays Everyone...

ANYWAY, enough of my rambling, I'm starting to sound like my Dad.

Once I had arrived, and survived the mayhem, I waited for the show to start.

Now, so the Body Shop are famous, and popular for their organic, natural and non-cruelty-to-animals philosophy, and this was said to be one of the reasons why London College of Fashion wanted to collaborate with them; in fact, the winning artwork creator Katarina Voloder said, "I have always admired The Body Shop ethical, sustainable and cruetly-free approach to make up, so it's particulary exciting that my work is part of this innovative, new and on-trend collection".

The room was packed - ok, fairly full - of press and journalists down the sides of the catwalk, whilst everyone else was situated above, on the seats - rather like a mini-theatre. This experience in itself was quite daunting - I mean I didn't exactly have anything to back myself up with. In fact, as I entered, this happened:

"Hi, so where are you from?"
(Elle? No. Vogue? No. The Times? No. Horse and Hounds? Not even that).

I ended up having to awkwardly explain that I was here because of my brother-in-law. To which the woman behind the desk, understandably, dismissed me like I had just stated that I was a toilet cleaner.

The show itself was amazing; the clothes worn by the models - designs by William Tempest and Jena Theo - reflected the new make up range brilliantly; nudes, metallic silvers, faded greys and bursts of oranges and pinks. The colour palate reflected their organic and natural branding, and was perfect for people who like to have that natural-look, and not end up looking tangoed. Surprisingly, they also included older aged models, which I think was refreshing, and a great way of trying to defy the conventions of the fashion industry and the models that they generically use.

As I wasn't a professional journalist, I was unable to go backstage and see all that wonderfullness, but I DID get a lovely goody bag full of the latest range, ranging from lip gloss, to face base  - which isn't even on shelves yet! Overall though, the show was great to watch, and the make up itself is fabulous.
Inside my goody bag!
- Illuminating Face Base - £14.00
- Limited Collection For Eyes - £18.00
- Tailored Cheek Tint - £8.50
-  Hi -Shine Lip Treatment - £9.50
- Re- useable Bag- £2.00
(extras - face mist, blusher brush, eye shadow
brush and removal wipes!)

The only thing I would have liked to see more would have been larger models maybe - none of this size zero stuff- but this risk may have been one to large to take; after all, its a fact that skinnier models are more effective in promotion and sales.

All in all however, the new range was still pretty fab, and will be hitting the shelves in January - watch this space!


Saturday, 13 November 2010

Oh So Vintage...

What with all this vintage and WW2 orientated fashion going on (of which I witnessed buckets of shopping today), I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite vintage clips.

(I'll admit that I saw some of these in my Media lesson, but this doesn't lessen my love for it!)

I'm a rather nostalgic person and I love everything that's got that old-time touch. And trust me, these three clips are far more entertaining - and talented! - than anything you've seen on TV today, including the X Factor. Even better than Wagner's  Matt's singing...



The Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather (1943)

Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson in the The Little Colonel (1935)

(This last one was shown to me by my friend Jade*'s pretty incredible if you ask me!)
From the film "Hellzapoppin"(1941) - be patient, the first half is music!

*Follow Jade on! x

The Ugly Side of Fashion...

So my wardrobe needed some desperate TLC. Especially with writing this blog - and going to a exclusive fashion show next week eek! - I needed a major shopping trip, and fast.

Now, my ultimate favourite store is Zara - the new collection is greeatt, and plus they have some great items that won't break the bank. Ish. (Anyway, I managed to get some fabulous black pixie boots, a mustard-blazer-like cardigan, and a army-green styled jumper- LUSH).

With all this spending in Zara - after around 4 items or more you can start to feel the purse strings tugging! - I decided to make myself feel a bit better and head down to good'ol Primark.

Primark is crazy at the moment - I swear there was about 50,000 people in there and the queue went back at least 10 miles. I also love the pushing and the snatching - "I got the last 35p pair of boots bitch!", and that lovely warm, claustrophobic and sticky atmosphere that's constantly in there.

Not that I don't like a bargain. Or cheap prices - I mean, I'm (hopefully!) going to be a Uni student next year, so Primark will be my future home - but, it got me thinking.  I bought a pair of basic black plimsolls as mine were breaking apart, and how much were they? A staggering £2. Yes, you read that correctly. Cheaper than a coffee from Starbucks and not far off a Tesco's sandwich.

I was waiting in the queue, feeling rather like cattle as I waited for my turn to pay, when my mind wandered off. The materials alone to make that shoe must need at least half of the price to pay for it, and obviously Primark itself would take a large quantity. So what does the person who made it actually get? 5p? If that? The thought quite frankly is unacceptable. Low pay like that is obviously illegal in the UK, but places like India, China and Philippines aren't lucky enough to have this law.

What would have ended this blog nicely would be me to say that I put the shoes back on the shelf and walked out with my head high. But I didn't - realistically, how many of us would have? The fact is, we can't afford expensive clothes either, and high-end fashion is constantly under scrutiny for it's huge prices.

I think what the message here really is simply to at least think about what we're buying. A tiny blog post like mine, or even a channel 4 documentary on Primark (this was on a couple of years ago) most likely won't make a difference, so the least we could do is stop and think.

Maybe charity shops instead?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

11th hour, 11th day, 11th month.

Two minutes silence.

Two minutes silence for millions and millions of people who died for us, and for things we now take for granted.

I just wanted to write a post for the families affected by war, the innocent who died in tragedy, but most importantly, to the soldiers who fought for us, and continue too - whether that was WW1, WW2 or now.

We owe you everything.

Thank You.


"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard among the guns below."
                                                                             - Lieut.-Col John Mcrae.


Leopard print.

What's the first thing that comes into your mind? Maybe a dress, or a bag. Or even a coat? Right now, I'm picturing a coat, but this image is only a result of the upcoming trend - if you had mentioned leopard print to me this summer I would have pictured some eccentric - and kinda tacky- 80's style fabric.

Of course, the word tacky doesn't apply in 2010 - this f/w leopard print is sophisticated, elegant and quirky at the same time. It's once again another style that can me perfectly miss-matched with any of the upcoming looks; whether its a leopard bag with a vintage dress, or a faded leopard print with some pale chinos.

However, this new look is something that should be done in small doses only - never more that two items should be leopard at the same time (unless it's on the catwalk of course). Keep it simple with one leopard item that stands out in a reserved outfit - plain black velvet dress? Pair it with some leopard heels.

Leopard is big on coats right now too - especially fur coats (fake, of course, none of this real stuff), but make sure it isn't paired with a loud outfit- remember, less is more.  If you're brave enough, mixing leopard with other prints can be really effective too - but make sure you don't end up looking like a Halloween outfit!

Personally, I'd never been that keen on leopard print, especially on fur coats, but this new elegant approach is a great twist on an old classic; this years print is much more Audrey Hepburn than Scary Spice. Divvinnee.


(no copyright intended, I do not own these images)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Lets fly away...lets fly, lets fly, lets fly...

Now, I'll admit, that although I was aware of this upcoming trend - what with the whole Amelia Earhart look going on - it was a conversation with one of my friends that reminded me of this latest "in" item.

"So you know how my Uncle has a glider?" (now, just to let you know, my friend isn't some ultra-rich mega star who had dozens of planes, its just her Uncle reallyyy likes to fly).
"Well, I might get his hat!"
"His hat?..."
"Yeah, like the flying one? And you can get goggles too!"
"OH! The Amelia Earhart look?"

So, it was this conversation that lead me to realise just how serious the new aviator look is. It's odd to think that Amelia Earhart herself was alive way back during the 1930s, and even then she wasn't considered a fashion icon at the time at all - her clothes were for practicality.

Not that I'm complaining; I love the aviator jackets, paired with army-styled chinos and boots. The development of this new style was inevitable really, if you think about it - first was the 1920s/30s chic vintage with antique jewellery and high-necked blouses, then came the WW2 influenced brogues and high-waisted skirts, in which the post-war origins developed into the military/army styling, and then finally hit the only aspect of that era that hadn't been touched - the WW2 jet setter.

The good thing with this look, and all of the styles dominating this f/w, is that, since the origins all circle around the similar era, they can easily be combined together - velvet skirts with pixie boots, army trousers and aviator jackets. They even work with the modern twist - ripped denim, baggy tees, tailored blazers, and a pair of dark (and thick)jeggings. Faabbbbbbb.


(Aviator Jacket - Burberry)

(Rihanna looks stylish is a rather furry trapper hat)

(no copyright intended, I do not own these images)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Velvet; a hint of vintage and this years must-have...

So, I was flicking through my large pile of fashion magazines, as you do, and simultaneously browsing the H&M website - which have some greeatt new f/w items that won't break the bank btw. (They also have this amazing gadget called "fashion studio" in which you can try all the latest clothes on a virtual model, and see how it looks! I spent two hours doing this yesterday. Productive, I know).

Anyway. It was this browsing that let me come across one of the latest trends, but one that even most of the quirkiest girls at my school haven't really worn. It is, of course, velvet, which is becoming more and more this winter's "It" fabric.This reawakened style is definitely in keeping with the upcoming christmasy feel, with the dominating colours of deep red, plum, purple and black.

As velvet was popular during the 1920s, this new trend seems to have stemmed from the vintage-chic that's been significant in fashion in the last couple of years, and it slips in perfectly next to those brogues, and can even be paired cleverly with some chinos.

No longer is it the LBD, its now the LBVD - ("Little Black Velvet Dress") that's a must-have for your wardrobe, and if you want to glide through this years winter in effortless, and timeless, style.

(As seen on the Catwalk)
(Diane Kruger braves a stylish velvet jumpsuit)

               (No copyright intended, I do not own these images)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

College Fashion - Fingers Crossed!

So, I've just spent the last two hours creating my application to become College Fashion's latest fashion journalist!

I really hope that I get this - not only will this look fab on my CV, but also, what an amazing experience this would be!!

I'd get to write about the latest trends, go to fashions shows, and try out products that aren't even on shelves yet. I do really want to get into the fashion industry - a hard thing, I know-  and this could be the first step!

Watch this space - and wish me luck!


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

University - money, money and MORE money...

(I've been eating left over Halloween sweets for the last three days and I'm starting to feel slightly ill. I only got one trick-a-treater this year, and so now I'm left with a massive box of sweets).

Anyway, thats not what I wanted to blog about today. Infact, I don't really have that much TO blog amount-  average week, average day (albeit with drops of drama here and there).

One thing that has been on my mind lately is University. I was watching the news earlier this evening, and it stated that University tuition fees can rise up to £6,000 in 2012, and that Universities can even raise it up to £9,000.

It's ridiculous. How much do students up in Scotland pay for tuition fees? Oh, wait, thats it - THEY DON'T. There's so much pressure on teenagers today - forget the stereotyping of being lazy, eating junk food and gettting wasted (okk, some of that is true, but still). Not only is University now SO competitive with thousands of students applying for nowhere near enough places, but now we get to graduate in thousands and thousands of pounds in debt? Brilliant.

Things like accomodation are now so much more than they used to be (one room, with a bed, desk and basin is around £95 a week - don't even mention an en-suite), and what with the ecomonic status, and lack of jobs, it's not like us students can just skip Uni all together - now, a degree is ESSENTIAL to getting a job, if you're lucky.
I heard a couple of months ago that more and more graduate students go into unpaid internships, unpaid work experience, or even stay on for a post-grad degree due to the lack of jobs out there - and this is after we've worked our socks off for 3 years and got about £25,000 worth of debt. YAY.

I also remember last year the media stated that exams were getting "easier" - now that's a funny story. An article in "Red" magazine spoke about this, talking about an 30-something-year-old woman who tried out an A Level English Lit exam, "...the reading list had barely changed from my day....far worse was the coursework - dissertation with footnotes and self-justification" on Ian McEwan's Atonement? Phew! Don't let anyone tell you A Levels have dumbed down. They haven't".

I'm sorry for the rant-  just wanted to get across a student POV on the recent news. And show that us teenagers don't hang around corners with our hoods up, smoking a fag - nope, we're all actually studying our butts off. Honest.