It’s been a while.
If you haven’t already sussed it yet, the S/S’13 trend most heavily represented so far on the high street is inches-wide stripes.
Stripes make regular appearances year after year, but something about this season’s stripes feels fresh and unique. Their width definitely feels new, the fact that the pieces are tailored yet loose feels new, but mostly I think it’s the way that the stripes clash. By that I mean they’re worn going in different directions. Horizontal, vertical, diagonal stripes meet and twist and repel each other on dresses, separates and suits. See Marc Jacobs and PPQ, Jonathan Saunders and Acne…
Bottom Row: Marc Jacobs, Marc Jacobs, Jonathan Saunders
Images via Vogue.co.uk
Here’s my take on it in this month’s Metro Herald column
At the first spring/summer fashion preview I attended last autumn, a single trend got me immediately; bold, brilliant, black and white stripes. Inches wide and perfectly defined these stripes are inspired by Marc Jacobs’ bold, multi-directional black and white pieces, PPQ’s nautical inspired, off the shoulder dress, and the way Acne and Jonathan Saunders mixed perfect banded tops with plain white trousers. Graphic, monochromatic stripes are here in a big way for SS’13.
Not only are they unique and current, these stripes are definite and dramatic; not pretty, not fine and definitely not subtle. Too fine and from a distance your stripes merge into a dirty shade of grey, but you’re making a monochrome statement everywhere with this season’s take on stripes. Forget school-days, grunge-inspired faded stripes, these are well-defined lines to be worn with cool confidence, not scuffed-up Doc Martens.
Don’t believe that stripes aren’t flattering either; loose fitting dresses, separates and jackets, skim off shoulders and hips. These stripes don’t cling to your shape they merely highlight your angles. They’re easier to wear than you think; team vertical striped trousers with horizontal striped tops, and plain white or black outerwear. Mix up your stripes with accessories in neutral leather, bright patents, and top off the look with luscious red lips.
A key way that stripes were worn on the catwalk was with a flash of flesh, at midriffs, ankles and scoop necklines. These Warehouse trousers (pictured €63) combine this season’s stripes with an ankle-grazing length – a glimpse of flesh makes the stripes less aggressive. This New Look thick stripe jumper (pictured €29.99) is a casual way to combine horizontal stripes with plain white trousers. The chicest way to rock bold spring summer stripes is to team this high waisted ASOS skirt (pictured £40) with 1940’s inspired make up. If you didn’t do your fashion homework, then you’ve got detention, and you’re doing lines.
Inspired by… perhaps?
So with just a week to go till we can shop it, (online and in selected stores March 5th), the campaign images are out and the wait is nearly over for the Rihanna for River Island collection.
Here’s a sneak peek at each piece, in case you haven’t seen it yet. I also thought it was about time to post the rest of River Island’s SS’13 collection too!
First the Rihanna collection: Launched during London fashion week, the collection was very much River Island given a Risqué attitude, targeted at a young market who are in possession of a seriously toned body. There are cropped tops and shorts in their dozens with the collection, but there are definitely pieces similar to those we’ve seen at River Island in previous collections. The footwear for example, huge edgy platforms are the brand’s staple but seem to ring true with Rihanna’s personal style; Bra tops, varsity jackets, maxi dresses and hi waisted shorts, again all very River Island but also pieces similar to those we’ve seen Rihanna in.
I don’t think I’m in the right demographic to be buying from this collection, I’m holding out for the Georgia Hardinge collection in April.
Until then I’ll be shopping the rest of the collection, here’s a round up of what I saw at the previews and some is in store now:
I hope you’re well.
I was lucky enough to visit the Kurt Geiger design rooms at the company headquarters to view the 2013 Spring/Summer collection. I was a little apprehensive… was it going to be like a high-heel massacre, discarded soles, frayed laces, broken stilettos and thrown away designs everywhere? “I’d definitely have worn those” ready to burst from my lips, I went in…
Of course it wasn’t like that, it was actually better than I could have imagined. Huge glass windows, designs being thought up by designers sitting at Mac, inspiration boards, sketches, swatches and photographs covering every table… and you know the odd pair of shoes…
Crazy Ass Heels…
Matchy Matchy Match Matchy etc etc…
Here are a few of my favourite pieces from the Louis Vuitton AW13/14 Icons collection. The Icon Collection features the timeless LV designs; always a part of the standard collection and reinterpreted each season with current trends.
Shoes and Boots
The Leather Clutch
The Noé Bag
First commissioned in 1932 to carry 5 Champagne bottles… you don’t say… (4 the right way up and one upside down in the middle) the Noé bag this season comes in vibrant colours from orange and blue to cerise to purple two-tone. It also comes in different sizes and strap lengths, the longer strap makes a cross-body bag and a more youthful vibrant feel. Stunning,
Pre Fall 2013
“Lace is More”
The collection is a mix of 19th century aristocrat, 60′s miss and
recalls the understated elegance of Jeanne Moreau in Truffaut’s film, “The Bride Wore Black”
Jaquard, velvet, tweed and lace, lace, lace all give texture beyond the staple embossed LV monogram; only on the Speedy Cube bag was the company logo really visible and even these were given a twist with thick luxurious carpeting embroidery.
Thick velvet bow details, and minuscule blue and black sequins gave softness and charm to elegant silhouettes, while frock coats, mini skirts and shift dresses shirt suits were staple pieces that gave the dramatic collection a sweet edge.
Click the short videos to watch the collection on a carousel…
Hello dear readers,
Here’s this month’s Metro Herald Fashion Column
Less about trends, more about maintaining interest in a tired winter wardrobe; as much as well all wear black, it’s not so tricky to add a splash of colour…
Wake up your Wardrobe
I don’t know about you but I think starting a new year in a month like January is a terrible idea. We’re supposed to feel refreshed, revitalised and ready for a new start. In reality we’re exhausted, have the ultimate holiday hangover and all we want to do is stay under the duvet ‘til March…
…March, now that’s a good month to start a new year, the next trend season is Spring/Summer after all.
Except I can’t bring myself to think about new trends yet, I’m happy in my lamb’s wool jumper and riding boots keeping warm. So instead of buying all new pieces, the next two months can be spent spicing up the ones we already have. By taking inspiration from this season’s trends and adding a transitional twist we can brighten up our wardrobe, and hopefully our winter-blues too.
Georgia Hardinge, (available at wolfandbadger.com) and the much-lauded Mary Katrantzou, are modern-day geo print pioneers. Bring a little Art Deco-inspired print into your pre-spring collection; avoid summery, pastel, floral designs and opt for bold blues and vibrant Oranges. This Biba top (pictured £69) available at Houseoffraser.com will work wonders on your all-black winter wardrobe.
Cobalt is a strong colour trend this season, Lanvin’s plain shift dress and Céline’s oversize cocoon coat made true-blue statements on the catwalks. Tame the trend with this Chupi gold ring (pictured €97/£81) available at the Loft Market.
If you’re over this season’s trends and just want to invest in something chic and classic to brighten up your wardrobe then this purple leather Cambridge Satchel Co. bag (pictured €145/£110) available at Harvey Nichols, Dundrum will see you through all seasons. Adding splashes of colour to our winter staples are a great way of preventing ourselves from getting too comfy in our winter warmerland.
Hello dear readers,
After the strong words I had with myself last week it’s business as usual today. Sort off…
Firstly, I thought I’d get things back on track with a short and sweet January Haul type post; including a couple of Christmas Prezzies, Sales Buys, Vintage Pieces and a F***ing amazing tour jacket…
As much as it’s a bit soulless to receive cash and vouchers for Christmas, I rarely know what I want till I see it; I couldn’t possibly write a list for Santa at the start of December because I’d change my mind by the time my advent calendar windows are all opened. But there are some pieces that I’ve always wanted or I always need; leather trousers and Lepel underwear respectively, for example.
Leather Trousers, ASOS
Leopard Print Devore Cape, Military Boots, River Island
Cream Cable Knit Jumper, Jack Wills
Blue Cable Knit Jumper. Farah
Black Lace Bra, Lepel
Vintage 60′s Black Bag, Judy’s Vintage Fair
Siouxsie & the Banshees Leather Tour Jacket, A Gift
Lepel if you haven’t heard of it, is a boutique lingerie brand made in a factory in Nottingham, England. (NB: Nottingham is famous for it vast 19th/20th century lace production). They also make the most comfortable, perfectly fitting, gorgeous underwear I’ve ever worn; and at around £20-£25 for a bra, is on the less expensive side what most of us spend on a good quality bra right?
So this underwear manufacturer is able to sell great quality underwear at a reasonable price. (I’ve been wearing their ‘Fiore’ bras for a few years now and have them in 7 different colours). I’m lead to believe that making products in Britain /Ireland costs too much and so companies outsource manufacturing. Which brings me round to my second point, it disturbs me just how much of the new clothes I buy aren’t made locally…
I started thinking about it when I saw a report from Rochdale, Lancashire on Sky News. It said that the area was suffering from 72% unemployment. If I use Rochdale as an quick example, Wikipedia names well over 100 mills that have known to have existed in Rochdale; 45 of which were textile mills; indeed Rochdale and much of Greater Manchester and Lancashire were known during the industrial revolution for cotton/woollen/textile production. During the 20th century it fell into a deep decline and eventually came to a halt.
There does however seem to be a re-spinning of the mill wheel so to speak, Mary Portas’ ‘The Bottom Line’ (shown on Ch4) highlighted the issue and the Manchester Evening news reported this story last November, it claims that 200,000 jobs could be created in 5 years if plans to re-establish textile manufacturing in the area transpire. But until companies begin to start sourcing components, and manufacturing produce locally, then I can’t see how these kind of problems can be resolved.
But should I care and just how big an issue is it? Not everything is made outside Britain/Ireland surely? I checked the labels in all my new clothes, here’s a list of their origin of manufacture:
ASOS Leather Trousers: Made in India, River Island Boots: Made in Brazil, River Island Cape: Made in China, Jack Wills Jumper: Made in China, Farah Jumper: Made in China, Vintage BLL Leather Tour Jacket: Unknown, Lepel Bra: Made in England, Vintage 60′s Leather bag: Made in England…
So as far we know, 2 out of the 8 pieces of clothing I have bought/received in the last month were made in Britain, and none were made in Ireland. Should we support British/Irish manufacturing? And even if we want to, do we have a choice?
If we want something on trend and cheap we pretty much know it’s not going to be made in Europe, but a Lambswool or Merino jumper that costs the best part of £100/€100, should we expect it to come from a local manufacturer for that price? I’d like to believe that I’d support local producers, (it’s pretty easy food-wise) but based on the above list, it seems I can only viably do it with clothes if I buy vintage.
When I read that both jumpers were made in China, I was surprised and for some reason I felt short changed, but why? Is buying local produce even a quality issue? Are products that are made in Britain/Ireland a better quality and thus they cost more, or it is purely the manufacturing costs that causes the price increase? Is buying local merely a moral issue then, and would places like Rochdale see an increase in employment if we all insist on buying local, the Manchester Evening News seems to think so.
Happy 2013. I hope this one is going to be a better one. 2012 was a bit of a struggle in my world.
As a writer, blogger, columnist, with a fairly low profile, (i.e. I’m not on the TV/front pages etc…) I have to work double hard to make a living from doing what I do best. At least, it’s what I think I do best; because other than dreams of running off with a rock star when I was in sixth form, there’s no other way I’ve ever imagined spending my life, than writing.
I have a genuine passion for creating copy and on top of that, I’m lucky enough to enjoy the subjects I write about; those being property, fashion and travel. I was first published in a local paper in 2006. It was a story about a local man who had opened an exhibition of his photographic work in New York. I wasn’t paid for the piece, nonetheless, I was over the moon; my mum was so proud that she still has the original cutting framed and up in the office at home. A few (long) months later, after much searching, I landed a job in a small publishing house, writing property and lifestyle/fashion features for magazines.
That was 6 and a half years ago… since then I started my blog, was made redundant and began writing as a freelance journalist. I utterly love the writing part of my job; sometimes I can’t actually believe that it’s what I do, and that it makes me happy. The happiness swiftly fades when I look at my bank balance though; the truth is I’m often approached to do a heck of a lot of writing for nothing, or next to nothing.
As my flatmate often jokes, “There are children in third-world sweatshops, making trainers that get paid more than you”… I presume (pray) that this isn’t true, but if I actually worked out how much money I get for the hours I spend working on copy for other people, I may actually be inclined to agree with him.
For every comment I’ve had published, for every photography session I’ve set up, for every submitted interview and photoshopped ‘outfit collage’ I’ve created, for each time I’ve sat up until 3am, stressed and working to a deadline for an editor who couldn’t care less whether or not my copy comes in, for every time I’ve been asked to come up with something by tomorrow because I’ll do it for free, (and if I have agreed to it, for every time that work hasn’t actually been published anyway), for every time I’ve helped out a PR agency with the promise of a ‘thanks’ that I am still waiting for, for every time I have walked miles for the sake of a commissioned article because I can’t afford the travel expenses, more fool me if I’ve done it for free…
… Or for the promise of raising my profile and increasing the visitors, WordPress allows me to see exactly where visitors come here from, and it isn’t from any of the unpaid/low-paid writing I’ve done. (around 90% of visitors get here because of my own work)… see below:
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Referrers: i.e. where visitors have come from:
i.e. of the 2,453 visitors to my blog, 2,162 (88%) came from google/bing/yahoo etc… (NB: ‘Whisty’ resulted in two visits to my blog from web searches)
The truth is that working for less than you deserve gives you nothing but a lack of respect and a lack of disregard, it won’t raise your profile, (though it may add to your CV should you have no experience).
It transpires then, that working hard and being nice to people won’t get you on your way to doing what you love for a living. Only shameless self promotion will get you anywhere. I know I’m not the brash, obnoxious wannabe I’ve met so many times in the fashion game; (often full of delusional self belief and lacking in talent and integrity) – when working at a magazine, I was unfortunate enough to have submitted to me, a fashion feature, by a future TV personality. Alas the copy was never published as it was in fact copied, direct from Topshop.com – Yet after years of working 12 hour days, creating original (and published content), I am still struggling to live my dream, yet said plagiarist is very much living theirs.
So do I blame the people doing the hiring? Hell no. People under pressure will take the easiest route. Why spend effort looking for talent, when you have a willing and flirtatious wannabe with an open mouth, ready to convince you that they are just what you need instead? Why search through all the applicants to find a slightly shy, yet outstanding applicant, when you can have your ego massaged by listening to sycophantic compliments? Better still, how can you refuse your boss/golf partners/neighbours’ kids? Ah nepotism, my old enemy.
Does hiring the person who stamps his feet the hardest make for a better end product and a more enjoyable working environment? Possibly?
Is it really about being pushy or having the right relatives, or does luck play a part? Possibly; some of the most incredible writers are published every day, they can’t all have daddy’s pals in their pocket can they?
So should I blame myself then? I have quiet confidence in my ability, so why then do I continue to work for less than I should, somehow contradicting that self belief. I was speaking to a fellow writer/blogger recently, she said it succinctly “I no longer work for free”. But she said it with such confidence I was taken aback. I was inspired, I wanted to stand up and say, “me neither!!” Except I didn’t, couldn’t.
Maybe if I picked a new years resolution it would be to brush up on my pushiness skills, develop my self belief, learn to swallow my pride or just say no to working for free…
They’re all tough resolutions to stick by, but apparently the best things don’t actually come easy…
Here I am, yes… I’m in actual flats. I saw a great friend of mine a week ago, I was wearing these boots and she didn’t recognise me at first. Which I quite like for some reason; I mean better that she didn’t recognise me out of heels than recognise me in Crocs, right?
Anyway, the riding boots are a rare pair of non-heels in my wardrobe; I walk in and out of the city as much as I can, and so they’re great for wet and chilly weather… only I can’t pack them in my handbag when I get to where I’m going like I can with ballet flats…
Dress, Vintage Jeff Banks
Velvet & Glitter Kimono/Cape ORVintage
‘Gold’ Boyfriend Watch, ASOS
Boots, Ted Baker
Debenhams announced its latest designer collaboration at the beginning of November, along with it, two images. Both maxi dresses, one floral the other monochrome stripes. (Google with happily show you both). The new collaboration with Ossie Clark, the brand; (Ossie Clark the man, was murdered in London in 1996) which is now owned by Alison Mansell Ltd, has St. Martins Collage of art graduate, Nicholas Georgiou, is at the design helm.
Ossie Clark and his wife Celia Birtwell defined the King’s Road style in the late 1960′s. Together they pushed the boundaries of fashion and print-styles and created ethereal, flowing collections that epitomised the psychedelic era.
His story is summed up in the words of a fellow blogger at styleblood.wordpress.com
“In the late 1960s, Clark hit a rich vein for his flamboyant clothing range. The fashion press dubbed Ossie “The King Of King’s Road”. Clark pronounced himself a “master cutter. It’s all in my brain and fingers and there’s no-one in the world to touch me. I can do everything myself.” Clark’s great idol was the famous dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and his love of dance inspired his clothes to be free moving and not to restrict the female form. This style of dressing became quite popular in the 1970s thanks in large part to the popularity of Clark’s clothing. Ossie Clark is well known for his use of muted colours and moss crepe fabric. He also designed shoes, paper dresses, and snakeskin jackets.”
So really, I reckon it’s not so much a Debenhams collaboration with Ossie Clark, it’s a Debenhams collaboration with his name. Still I was excited to see the collection, hoping to find reproductions of the dresses that so many women have adored over the last half century. There were just four pieces from the 95-piece collection there:
I was hoping for more floor-grazing, dramatic, chiffon dresses; I was given a brochure which included an image of this dress…
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