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)

It’s OK to Crochet

For many the word ‘crochet’ means knitted tea cosies and jumpers your Granny made you.  When it comes to thinking of crochet as stylish, you may then be quick to regard it as anything but.  

The intricate craftmanship however can make for a covetable piece, think Missoni and you know where I’m going with this. Whether you favour designer brands or the high street (or like me a bit of both!), you will see various takes on crochet for your upcoming holidays and festival season, whether it be Melissa Odabash’s beachwear or Toms’ slip on pumps.

Looking ahead to the Autumn with some transitional pieces as crochet takes on a thicker wool, you need look no further than Topshop’s colourful patchworks which maintain the boho style but veer away from the pretty pastels associated with the Summer.  Here are some of my top picks…

Clockwise L-R: Crochet shell top £25, topshop.com; Betty crochet detail shirt SALE NOW £45, reiss.com; Crochet patch dress £60, topshop.com; Giselle short crochet dress £228 odabash.com; Baltic dip dyed women's crochet classics £41.99 toms.co.uk; Tory Burch portofino crocheted cotton shorts £130 net-a-porter.com; Missoni metallic crochet-knit bikini £280 net-a-porter.com; Loving crochet flared dress SALE NOW £52 frenchconnection.com

Clockwise L-R: TOPSHOP Crochet shell top £25, REISS Betty crochet detail shirt SALE NOW £45, TOPSHOP Crochet patch dress £60, MELISSA ODABASH Giselle short crochet dress £228, TOMS Baltic dip dyed women’s crochet classics £41.99, TORY BURCH portofino crocheted cotton shorts £130, MISSONI metallic crochet-knit bikini £280, FRENCH CONNECTION Loving crochet flared dress SALE NOW £52

The Chanel Effect

The fashion ‘frowers’ were en masse for the Chanel Haute Couture A/W14 Collection at Paris Couture Fashion Week.

The Grand Palais saw a fantastical display of clean lines mixed with Chanel’s traditional wools and the occasional tartan thrown in for good measure.  

Embellished necklines were aplenty with cross body bags and clever use of layering – peekaboo shorts under a bell shaped skirt.

The 80s made an appearance through the punk inspired hairstyles which were a welcome balance to the more feminine style reminiscent of the 18th Century.

Chanel Haute Couture A/W14: Clean lines, embellished necklines, clever layering, punky hairstyles and cross body bags

Chanel Haute Couture A/W14: Clean lines, embellished necklines, clever layering, punky hairstyles and cross body bags

Be ahead of the pack and ease some of the key concepts from the collection into your summer wardrobe thanks to Cos.

COS: Chambray dress £69, Dress with folded pleat £89, Long layered dress £69 cosstores.com/gb/

COS: Chambray dress £69, Dress with folded pleat £89, Long layered dress £69

Best of the Fest

Anything goes at Glastonbury: Mary Charteris, Jaime Winstone, Alexa Chung

Anything goes at Glastonbury: Mary Charteris, Jaime Winstone, Alexa Chung

The UK festival season is well underway and the fashion darlings are out in force.

With British Summer always a constant guessing game, there has never been more need to layer up! Glastonbury saw all spectrums of the weather rainbow with sun, rain, thunder and lightning! 

So how do you prepare yourselves for all eventualities and what inspiration can you take from our celebs backstage.  In some cases the rulebook was thrown out of the window: mix it, match it, anything goes…

ekat

EKAT: Katsuit £120

kate moss for topshop

KATE MOSS FOR TOPSHOP: Fringed suede jacket £225

le specs

LE SPECS: Wild Child round-frame metal mirrored sunglasses £50

 

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