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The Return of the Cape

July 30, 2014

The capeAs fashion news would have it the cape is apparently making a come back for Autumn/Winter 2014. I remember avoiding the capes that swept across the high street a couple of years ago, I don’t think I ever even tried one on, as lovely as they were. Do I regret not buying one? Not really. Although some trends are worth investing for when they return years later, I feel yet again the cape is not a trend I will be investing in.

When I was younger I had a satin baby blue and white dress up cape, with a hood and white fur trim. It was gorgeous! I felt the ultimate real life sleeping beauty. A cape is not only elegant but creates allure and is ever so mysterious, but I just don’t think this can be translated into ready to wear collections without just being a bit silly. Saying that however, even the heavy duty capes suitable for shielding you from the elements are a bit too fussy.

Those with a petite frame and height, like myself, I think should avoid the cape so as not to look like a little girl. It appears to be a trend best suited to the tall and slim, who can carry off both long and short capes. Evident in the pictures above, as stunning as the capes look, the wearers are definitely over 5 foot 7. What do you think, will you be investing in one this season?

FX

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The Instagram Obsession

July 24, 2014

After reading countless articles recently about the website Rich Kids of Instagram (RKOI), a site for all the images posted by teenagers with a lot of cash to spare, I have been pondering why our generation is so obsessed with following, liking and lusting over the material wealth of celebrities and/or simply the Rich Kids on Instagram. I do not follow many accounts that are simply a display of wealth, I much prefer those centered around food or clothes because I just don’t like the vulgarity of some Instagram users. But why is everyone else so obsessed with admiring the lifestyles of the rich and famous? Surely every refresh button would just make you more depressed about your own life?

instagram

From what I have gathered it is all about following icons and knowing (living pretty much) their life through Instagram, which is much more personal than any other social media platform. It seems we just love to know all about a celebrity so that we can talk about them as if we know them personally – which is just ridiculous. And we also take to heart their messages about the meaning of life by reposting them. We even imitate their Instagrams with similar style pictures, but for some reason they just never look as cool or spontaneous. I love Instagram, but only really for one reason. I am no photographer so it makes my images look so much more professional. I post some and keep others for photo albums. Has Instagram then just become another way of gaining admiration for the user, but creates self esteem issues for the viewer due to the social comparison? Not only is it a form of self promotion but Instagram has become the ultimate procrastination tool.  What are your views?

FX

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I recently did a post on clothing that would be perfect for wearing at a festival and after spending three days at a local one I started to wonder why and how has the festival look come about. The crop top and high waisted look is obviously still popular but now we have the kimono layered on top matched with hunter wellies and knee high socks. Increasingly however much younger girls are following the style of all the gap year students who wear their tie dye or lace camis, scrunchies, and chokers that they think are unique to them after four months travelling around Thailand  and Vietnam etc. This comes hand in hand with a lot more girls adopting the ‘indie’ look which I only really discovered when I started university, let alone while still at school.

So where exactly has it all come from? Why do we feel the need to all dress a certain way when we go to a festival? I think Kate Moss wearing her Wellington boots and shorts to Glasto back in 2005 sparked the whole trend off. Following on from her more and more fashion bloggers attend festivals and post their daily looks which provide inspiration for avid followers, as well as first time festival goers who may feel daunted. Take Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast shown below – I would love to try and replicate one of her festival looks,. Take me and 100,000 more readers and you’re bound to find the same look at other festivals!

rumi neely festival

I really do not believe in following a rule book for festival wear, although I am unlucky enough not to be one of those girls that can wear no make up for three days and still look gorgeous – I do like to try and look a bit put together. I hate shorts, so i like to wear a playsuit instead, I get cold at night so I put on super stretchy jeans rather than staying in shorts. I think it is all about personal preference, when you know what makes you feel most comfortable stick to it.

FX

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I’m sure many of you have heard of or even watch the most successful television series to appear on Sky after the success of Madmen. Yes, I’m talking about Game of Thrones and why I love it…from a fashion perspective that is. If you do not like Lord of the Rings or anything related to mythology then it is definitely not the programme for you – but you can take inspiration this summer from the magnificent costumes and hairstyles!

khaleesi

The character Khaleesi spends most of her time it seems in the desert, so I love her Grecian style clothing. The costume designer Michele Clapton has designed her costumes with plenty of movement, using pleats and lightweight fabrics. This creates such an ethereal and elegant look that has been replicated for this summer’s high street collections.

new look grecian dress

New Look Grecian Style Dress 

The hairstyle I admit are at times quite ridiculous but if you have super long hair at the moment then I guarantee you will want to have a go at some of the pretty braided hairstyles. There aren’t really any tutorials for these but why not just give it a go yourself – that’s what I did anyway before my hair was short. I also think it is lovely to style your hair during the summer, especially when it is the season for pretty dresses! Feminine beauty is clearly celebrated and encouraged in Game of Thrones, even the wildling character Ygritte, who is one of the few women not in a long dress, displays natural beauty. If you haven’t started watching this phenomenal series – start now!

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Gangster Squad, with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling

Maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t get the neon gangster trend that seems so popular for teenagers. I can understand wanting to recreate the look of actual gangsters from the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. That’s when a real gangster was identified as being the nicest dressed man in the room, rarely seen outside of a well-pressed suit. His tie was neatly done, his hat removed if in public or the presence of a lady, and his shoes were polished. He was intelligent, savvy, and well-spoken. And the women were dressed just as nicely, donning perfectly fitted clothes, a high-quality coat, the latest heel, and hair and make up beautifully quaffed to perfection. Sometimes, they were even highlighted with a hint of bold, ruby red lipstick.

Personally, the gangster look of bright neon, baggy shirts, ripped apparel, bulky sneakers, sideways hats, and bright sunglasses isn’t one that appeals to me in the slightest. For what I feel is such an unattractive look, I’m surprised that it seems to be getting more common among teenagers.

The most recent exposure of the look’s popularity came in the movie Spring Breakers. The film brought about a lot of discussion after showcasing the gangster culture that today’s university aged and altogether younger crowd seem to be playing with. The movie follows four female college students. While on vacation for their spring break, they get involved in criminal activity after being drawn to the life of a local drug-dealing gangster played by James Franco.

Yahoo drew attention to the significance of the embraced gangster culture shown in stating that “audiences after a dumb teen flick will find themselves the target of an undercover art house film taking smug sideswipes at the same culture that let it slip into the multiplexes.”

Franco’s character as degenerate criminal is completely opposite from that of Martin & Gary Kemp from The Krays. Following the life of notorious English mobsters in the ’50s, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, the characters are described as, “where charm and menace blend brilliantly,” on Picturebox’s movie blog. The two look dapper throughout the entire movie, dressed in the finest suits, and the company they keep is no different.

Now, while I can’t see myself wearing anything like the girls in Spring Breakers—or anything related to the modern gangster trend—I sure as hell would love to rock the look of a gangster girl from the early to mid-twentieth century.

BonnieParkerCigar1933

Bonnie Parker 1933

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, of famous American gangster duo “Bonnie and Clyde,” was one of the first major female gangsters of her time. Although shown in a well-fitted outfit [photo included], Parker’s stance and large cigar displays a rather masculine or even crude stance (for the time). It’s a look that is easily relatable to today’s photos of girls in gangster clothing holding up a bottle with their tongues out. But again, the difference was that Parker was actually a gangster at the time, assisting in over a dozen different robberies when she was at large. At the same time, she wore something that hugged her figure, giving Parker a feminine silhouette as the stance showed her “dangerous” side.

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Bonnie & Clyde

Girls today might pose in ways to look like a wild child for a photo, but if they really wanted to dress like a gangster, Parker should be the one they get their style inspiration from. Or give the men’s fashion a modern-day twist with something like the women’s fitted suit that I talked about before in the post “Does the Suit…Suit?

I have no intentions of robbing banks like Parker, nor would I ever hold-up a restaurant like the girls of Spring Breakers. However, if I’m feeling bold and want to show it with my outfit, I’d much rather wear the following: a form-fitting dress, some kick-ass heels, and fire-truck-red lipstick over a loose shirt that shows my bra straps and a backwards baseball cap.

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Then and Now

June 12, 2014

1920s chanel

1920′s Chanel Ad

When does the time come to abandon old values, traditions or appearances and acquire new ones? Or should there always be aspects of original thought processes and beliefs as we go forward? I always accept change and new ideas but I still love the old and glamorous, so I was completely divided when I saw actress Kristen Stewart as the new face of Chanel. When I think of Stewart I think of Twilight and awkard acting and an annoying American accent. But with Chanel, I think of elegance and timelessness – so how do the two work together? Money and fame seems to be the answer instead of brand identity. I love Chanel for everything that Coco Chanel wanted to represent – elegance, freedom for the female figure and a working wardrobe. But she equally was in favour of modernity and renewal.

kristen chanel

Kristen Stewart for Chanel 2014

Kristen Stewart represents the current Hollywood icon, who many girls look to and aspire to be, so maybe we should embrace a Chanel that is not stuck in the past but expands to meet the needs of the consumer 0r rather entice them. But does putting a modern girl in clothes true to the Chanel trademark  work? Well she is certainly no model that is for sure!

1980s chanel

1980′s Chanel ad

Look at this Chanel ad from the 1980′s in comparison to the Chanel of 2014. It is certainly more classic and opulent, while the Stewart ad has a grungy and Gothic feel to it. I know which one I prefer. There is of course nothing wrong with modernising a brand but I think there must be a balance with old and new. If  Michelle Williams for example, ie a slightly older woman, was the face of the 2014 ad, I can’t help thinking I would like it much more. What do you think?

FX

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Does The Dress Fit?

June 4, 2014

zip up

 

Looking for a new dress can be as easy as ABC or become a nightmare of endless trips between changing rooms and the post office. Don’t get me wrong I love trying on clothes, but when the dress you’re looking for is not quite right then it really takes the enjoyment out of it. While looking for a new dress for an event this weekend I realised that not only was finding the right style and shape a challenge but being in between sizes proves a much harder challenge. You know when you see those girls who look like their dress is just that bit too tight but they have squeezed themselves into it – I feel I have become one of them! Now I know what these girls could be going through – the dreaded saying  ’I am in between sizes’.

What do you do when you feel slightly too big for one size but definitely too small for the size up? My friend’s response was, either loose weight or go eat some cake! Either of which I don’t actually mind – hence why I am probably in this scenario. It is even worse when your size varies from shop to shop. There is one solution, which all retailers and suppliers would firmly reject – tolerances may vary within sizes. Have you ever tried on 3 different dresses but each the same style and size? Your answer is probably no, because why would you think to do that. Interestingly you can try on 3 X smalls and one may be just that bit tighter or looser than the other. Blame it on the person who stretched it before you did, or poor craftsmanship, but either way you get the perfect dress. I will be on the hunt for my perfect version of  a ZARA dress this Friday – wish me luck!

 FX

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mirror

Lorry Newhouse, a/w12-13

If you were sceptical about the title of this post – fear not! This is not an article about the mirror and make up and therefore our own vanity, but mirrors and the importance of dressing. Can you believe I have nearly spent a whole year in university accommodation without a full length mirror and one at home that is no use to anyone on a dark landing! On countless occasions I have left the house without really knowing if my combination works proportionally. I have relied utterly on the opinions of friends – and that is trust indeed – because really only you can tell if you’re looking your best or how you want to. Conversations are an endless back and forth of ‘you look fine’ – ‘just fine, not good/hot/pretty…?’ – ‘No, you look great!’ – ‘Are you sure?’ and so on. Now that I have written that out I realise how petty it is! Equally though, without a mirror I have grown to trust my instincts and inner confidence that I do look great because I am feeling great!

There is much to be said for the positioning of a mirror. Not hanging up a full length mirror surely impacts how you see your reflection, because why is it that certain mirrors actually make us look fatter than we are? And from then on your evening is lost to thinking about how big your thighs are, when really you’re being pathetic! Nothing can be worse than changing room mirrors. Nothing. Who would have thought you had spent a week in the gym when looking in that Topshop mirror? The lighting and angles make my self esteem plummet! Over the years there have been numerous studies of clothing chains to find that many use slimming mirrors in their changing rooms. We unconsciously think we look better than in reality and so we are more likely to buy the item of  clothing – very clever but very misleading! So, although I may complain about not having a full length mirror, I don’t think a mirror that offers a true reflection of yourself exists – a truthful friend is your only ally when it comes to appearance.

FX

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We have arrived at that time of year when all the festival tickets come on sale and we automatically wonder what on earth to wear for 4 solid days! The pressure to feel comfortable but also look festival worthy can be exceedingly difficult, but fortunately, all the high street summer collections  are serenading us with their tribal and Boho chic offerings. George is no exception this year. I have found 5 key items that will update your summer wardrobe and they are all fabulously inexpensive – love the maxi dresses too!

george beaded top

Beaded Cami top – perfect for adding a bit of opulence!

george crochet waistcoat

Crochet waistcoat – oh so hippie, just make sure you avoid the mud if there is any.

george playsuit

Aztec style playsuit – possibly the most comfortable and stylish piece of clothing to wear to a festival.

george print rucksack

The Rucksack – perfect style and size for all your festival essentials.
george shorts

Jacquard Shorts – Love this pattern for summer. Keep it simple and match with a plain tee.

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I have never been one to overly idolize celebrities and sing their praises with every song or film and so on.. but I have just recently found my very own style crush – american actress Emma Stone. I am a great fan of her as an actress. I think I must have first seen her in House Bunny and then fully realised her ability to play serious roles in The Help -  from then on I can hardly criticise her performance in any other films I have seen her in. As the Amazing Spider Man 2 premieres went under way I was instantly struck my her appearance. Absolutely flawless and quite literally simply stunning. It was evident that each outfit had been chosen specifically for the premiere at a particular country. Take for example the dark floral Valentino dress she wore in Rome with the pussy cat bow and neat chignon hairstyle. The look reflected the historical elegance of art and architecture so undeniably associated with Italy.

As a redhead I find it hard to take inspiration from women with different colouring from me. As gorgeous as an outfit may be I always have to remember what colours suit my complexion and hair colour. Although I am not sure if Emma Stone is a natural redhead I have loved seeing what colours seem to work with her hair colour. Equally it is so refreshing to see a celebrity embracing her pale skin rather than being covered in orange tan! Her skin looks so flawless and clear. Of course, Stone has not created all these looks on her own – her stylist Petra Flannery has worked colours and proportions wonderfully to ensure the outfit is well balanced. I don’t have any problem with celebrities using stylists, although it is a daunting prospect to, in a way, completely trust what someone else believes will suit you – and of course if it doesn’t work out you get all the criticism!

FX

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