Oscar Worthy

Today saw the passing of a true icon and fashion legend, Oscar de la Renta.  His genius celebrated the female form with each garment showing off her beautiful silhouette.  Here are my favourite dresses which have been owned by their wearers on the red carpet.

DESIGNER LOOK: Christopher Raeburn

Last night, Brit fashion designer, Christopher Raeburn gave an intimate workshop at the pop-up Shinebright Studio in the Loading Bay of the Old Truman Brewery.  

christopherraeburn

A/W14 Collection referencing the Arctic landscape and the first female polar explorers – sheepskin Siberian Officer coats, merino jumpers, jumper dresses and polar bears!

Raeburn offered an inspiring insight into his world of creativity, not trend-driven but relevant to today’s ever-changing landscape.  The evening itself was an ideal platform for his impending S/S15 offering due to close the first day of collections at London Fashion Week next Friday.

Of course, what makes this artist stand out as a main stayer, is his resourcefulness and ability to stay true to his ‘RE-MADE’ ethos in which he uses only sustainable militarian fabrics.  It is clear to see his definitive style from one collection to the next – desirability in being functional and fun in being prepared.

In the space of eight years, Raeburn has evolved from a part-time pattern cutter who first experimented with a used parachute in a free warehouse space in Luton above a J Cloth factory, to an emerging talent with 60 or more stockists worldwide and collaborations with fellow pioneers in outerwear including Moncler, Victorinox (of which he is Artistic Director) and more recently Barbour.

What remains a constant throughout Raeburn’s foray into fashion, from his humble beginnings to his now cult status, are his efforts to poke fun at the seriousness of it all.  With animal mascots as exclusive gifts he is still very much the boy from Kent.

Autumn Embrace

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The thought of trying on heavy blanket coats and thick shearling jackets during the Summer is always less than inspiring but with bouts of rain and a drop in temperature, I have finally embraced the idea of shopping for the new season and ultimately the inevitable Autumn chill.  Now I can’t wait to get my hands on some of the ripe pickings from the A/W14 collections.

Transitional pieces and clever layering to suit the changeable weather are a must and classic staples are key investments which will get their wear and warrant the price tag. From a fitted white shirt and knee high boots to a long lasting leather handbag suitable for both work and after hours.

My top finds cover all of these and also give a nod to some of the key autumn trends including grid and animal prints, dark florals, shirt dresses, metallics, wrap coats and backpacks.

LAUNCH: World’s First Live Fashion App

Become a fashion designer with your own bespoke pieces designed and delivered within 24 hours. On 12th August, YR STORE (pronounced Your Store) are launching the World’s first live fashion app!

With installations in Liberty, Selfridges and Topshop, YR STORE has already established itself as a pioneer in live all-over print. Now they are giving you the chance to personalise your own garments from the comfort of your own home using a fully interactive app on either an iPhone or iPad tablet.

With varsity style and surf inspired prints, the brand will launch the app with a customisable collection of clothing and accessories, featuring high quality t-shirts and crew neck sweaters, sports luxe mesh tees, crop tops, sleeveless tanks, tote bags and iPhone covers.

YR STORE’s fully interactive customised fashion app!

Available on iOS for iPhone and iPad from 12th August. Printed and shipped within the UK in 24 hours. Prices range from £20-£60. Be the first to download it here: http://www.yrsto.re/app

Don’t forget to post your look book on Instagram with #yrstore #liveinprint

Now it’s over to YOU!

Future of Fashion

Clockwise L to R: Parson's 2014 Graduate Collection, the VIP invitation, with June Sarpong MBE, The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers, more of the Graduate Collection, Speakers - Eric Musgrave, Caroline Rush, Simon Collins

Clockwise L to R: Parson’s 2014 Graduate Collection, the VIP invitation, with June Sarpong MBE, The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers, more of the Graduate Collection, Speakers – Eric Musgrave, Caroline Rush, Simon Collins

I was lucky enough to get an exclusive invitation to the Future of Fashion charity event in the Café Royal’s Pompadour Suite, in aid of the Prince’s Trust Million Makers scheme.

With a warm and bubbly welcome from TV presenter, June Sarpong MBE, (many of you will remember her from mornings spent on the sofa watching T4), the event first saw the book launch of The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers by Simon Collins, the Dean of Fashion at the New School for Design in New York.  The beautifully illustrated publication features collaborations in the form of sketches and interviews from some of its most successful alumni including Donna Karan, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu and Proenza Schouler. 

Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council was also in attendance and made sure to remind everyone of the upcoming London Fashion Week next month along with a speech from Eric Musgrave, Editorial Director at Drapers.

Highly creative talent was on display from the Parson’s 2014 Graduate Collection where, unafraid to push boundaries, it was clear to see a range of innovative designs from some of the School’s future stars.

An auction then commenced with prizes such as a bespoke design by milliner, Alexandra Harper in her studio and front row seats to Busardi’s London Fashion Week show.  Singer, Beverley Knight clearly loves those covetable red soled shoes after she outbid others to take home a signed book by Christian Louboutin. 

Pink champagne and canapés were plentiful to support a thoroughly well organised event highlighting both the creative juices from celebrated designers and emerging talents about to surface.

Looking Swanky

Hilary Swank at 40

Hilary Swank turned 40 today and the ever cool American girl doesn’t look her years.  Looking back over her portrayals in some cult classics including Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry, of which she won Oscars for, it’s clear to see that she is as much an acting chameleon as she is a fashion one.

From sweats and plaids to shearling and wrap coats.  Sports luxe and bold power dressing to military aviator and western Americana, each of her films tick all the right boxes whether you are emulating current season trends or looking ahead to the Autumn.

FILMS: The Next Karate Kid, Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby, The Black Dahlia, P.S. I Love You, Amelia, The Homesman

WEDDING EDIT: Something Old, Something New

 

Something borrowed, something blue!  It’s wedding season and even though it’s not your special day you still want to look your best, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay the Bride’s hefty price tag.

Below are my favourite picks to suit different budgets.  From lace inserts and sheer panels to prints and pleats, these mini to midi dresses are not only on trend but classic staples that will see you through the rest of the summer and even save you the hassle of finding something for next year’s invite!  If it’s a different crowd then who will know you’ve worn it already!

L to R: & OTHER STORIES Graphic Steamer Dress £95, TOPSHOP Lace Applique A-line Dress £40, THREE FLOOR Pleats And Thank You Dress £126, ASOS Swing Dress In Pleated Stripe £75, WAREHOUSE Mesh Lace Bodice Pleat Skirt Dress £80, WHISTLES Cora Lace Dress £225

 

I wore a Whistles blue lace dress with pleats at the weekend that I first debuted to a wedding last year and nobody knew (until now obviously)!

Photo 25-07-2014 19 07 46 (1)

In Her Shoes

Not long after Sophia Webster’s partnership with cult American label, J. Crew, we are soon to be treated to another shoe showcase.

This week saw the announcement of Olivia Palermo’s up and coming collaboration with Italian footwear label, Aquazzura which is set to go on sale in September. Olivia1I first came across the brand a couple of years ago, intrigued by the ornate craftsmanship and how the whole range is sexy and flattering.  Olivia Palermo herself knows this and is frequently seen in a pair of their heels, so much so she has put her name to it.

OLIVIA PALERMO loves AQUAZZURA

OLIVIA PALERMO LOVES AQUAZZURA

I covet her style and in particular the way she pulls off accessories so I fully expect her small (but not to be sniffed at) collection of six ‘survival kit’ shoes to be nothing but lustworthy.  The range includes heels inspired by her Victorian necklace, suede boots, gladiator sandals and pumps and will be available online at Net-a-Porter.

The only downside is that unless you have a spare £350+ to spend you may have to look elsewhere, in which case at a fraction of the cost; Kurt Geiger has the answer.  Their Hattie heels are clearly inspired by Aquazzura’s Sexy Things above!

KURT GEIGER: Eleanor Miss KG Beige £85, Hattie KG Nude £120, Lucrezia2 B Brian Atwood Black £210

KURT GEIGER: Eleanor KG Beige £85, Hattie KG Nude £120, Lucrezia2 B Brian Atwood Black £210

FESTIVAL EDIT: Heatravin’ Style

To cure my Glastonbury comedown I ventured to Lovebox over the weekend, equipped with rain mac (they got it wrong, again!) and jelly shoes, convinced that these are great come rain or shine.

Sometimes I wonder whether I am a festival cliché with my love of fringing and super short shorts (doesn’t faze me!), but as I sauntered around Victoria Park amongst the sea of hunter wellies (just in case), and floral headbands, it was great to see elements of individual style where people didn’t necessarily dress in boho chic for the sake of it being a festival, and who would probably wear the same thing going down to their local.

Headbands were replaced by ‘non-feathered’ hats, face paint overruled by fresh faced barely there make up, wellies and flip flops side-lined by vintage ’hand me down’ boots, denim cut-offs changed for summery shift dresses and those one-off finds from a recent holiday.

Don’t want to let go of your festival crazy? Try out Label.M’s wash out colour powder sprays for either an intense colour injection or pastel effect.

OASIS: Palm Beach Top NOW £12 WAS £32 and Palm Beach Short £32 (check ASOS as sizes limited), SHOPBOP: Kate Spade Corbin Trumpet Case £302.86, BOOHOO: Millie Embroidered Cropped Swing Top £15, & OTHER STORIES: Lace-up leather boots in Grey Dark £125, LABEL.M: Colour Makeover Set £15, THECORNER.COM Opening Ceremony sunglasses NOW £105 WAS £150, SUPERGA: 2790 Linea Up Down Shoes in White £50, ASOS: Catarzi Fedora with Bow Ribbon £30, CIATÉ LONDON: Shell Manicure - Wish Upon a Starfish £20, & OTHER STORIES: Oily Skirt £125

OASIS: Palm Beach Top NOW £12 WAS £32 and Palm Beach Short £32 (check ASOS as sizes limited), SHOPBOP: Kate Spade Corbin Trumpet Case £302.86, BOOHOO: Millie Embroidered Cropped Swing Top £15, & OTHER STORIES: Lace-up leather boots in Grey Dark £125, LABEL.M: Colour Makeover Set £15, THECORNER.COM Opening Ceremony sunglasses NOW £105 WAS £150, SUPERGA: 2790 Linea Up Down Shoes in White £50, ASOS: Catarzi Fedora with Bow Ribbon £30, CIATÉ LONDON: Shell Manicure – Wish Upon a Starfish £20, & OTHER STORIES: Oily Skirt £125

Patience is a Virtue

It’s not too late to find those hidden gems in the summer sale that will last for seasons to come. It’s all too easy to get enticed by current season trends at a bargain price but is it really a steal when it sits in your wardrobe untouched until chucking out time? You may think you’re saving money but would you have considered buying it full price? If the answer’s no then don’t buy it.

The sale started weeks ago so you may think there’s nothing left but new lines are being added and further reductions are being made across all your high street favourites and online designer outlets.  Now is the time to get that otherwise guilty purchase you’ve been eyeing up for months, aren’t you glad you waited?!

Here are some of my top finds amongst the sales clutter…

Clockwise L-R: KURT GEIGER Carvela Carly heels NOW £59 WAS £85, CADENZZA Anton Heunis necklace NOW £71.70 WAS £239, NET-A-PORTER Erdem Sloane silk chiffon blouse NOW £296 WAS £740, MATCHES FASHION A.L.C. Davis bleed hem sleeveless dress NOW £237 WAS £475, ZARA suede leather messenger bag with fringes NOW £25.99 WAS £69.99, REISS A-line leather mini skirt NOW £55 WAS £175, JASON WU ponte and lace flounce dress NOW £337 WAS £1125

Clockwise L-R: KURT GEIGER Carvela Carly heels NOW £59 WAS £85, CADENZZA Anton Heunis necklace NOW £71.70 WAS £239, NET-A-PORTER Erdem Sloane silk chiffon blouse NOW £296 WAS £740, MATCHES FASHION A.L.C. Davis bleed hem sleeveless dress NOW £237 WAS £475, ZARA suede leather messenger bag with fringes NOW £25.99 WAS £69.99, REISS A-line leather mini skirt NOW £55 WAS £175, MATCHES FASHION Jason Wu ponte and lace flounce dress NOW £337 WAS £1125

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