We Need to Talk About Frills

In any given sartorial scenario, even the very mention of the word ‘frills’ has always been enough to send me running for the hills. When I think frill, frills or, even worse, frilly, I think cloyingly cutesie, horrendously fussy and ridiculously flouncy. When I see an overtly ruffled dress, I immediately imagine one of those knitted doll toilet roll covers old people with pink porcelain bathroom fixtures rely on not only for decorative purposes, but to hide the bog roll’s modesty, obvs.  Quite simply, frills feel cliche. They’re just so blatantly girly.

That’s not to say I’m not all for the overtly feminine. Give me a bodycon dress, a butterfly motif or something sheer and pink and I’m all over it. However, to my mind frills either scream ‘little girl’ or ‘granny’, and don’t do much else for the self-respecting woman in between. That said, this season, I’ve been proven wrong by one glorious, sophisticated, summery and sexy frilled style in particular: the off the shoulder top and or dress.


This Bardot inspired look, as seen in every high street store worth it’s salt, is one I can get on board with. I think it’s the baring of the shoulders that does it for me; this look is low key and makes me feel anything but trussed up. One of my favourite writers, stylists and all-round-envy-inducing insta queens is The Sunday Times Style section’s Pandora Sykes, and it was she who got me first thinking about the possibility of the frill. Sure, she’s tall, blonde and skinny, but it was the effortless ease with which she wore numerous off the shoulder frill pieces that made me realise: this is a look I can work around. So off I went to potter around the shops, and much to my delight I happened upon this lovely number in Zara.

This light blue and white, subtly (vertically) striped cotton dress has been one of my favourite items of the summer. It worked fantastically on holiday, either as a breathable ‘cover up’ to throw on during the day or a pretty evening dress jazzed up with some strappy heeled sandals. I love this dress precisely because of the frill, which enables you channel your inner romantic without being swathing ones self in layer upon layer of fabric.

My boyfriend’s comment was that it was sweet, although he would like it more if it was a little tighter. Well, c’est la vie, I like the sackish vibe here. This is definitely a look ‘for the girls’ as opposed to a man pleaser, which is precisely what makes it so brilliant. The horrendously girlish can also be chicly feminine. If, like me, you decide to take the plunge and invest (mostly emotionally) in something – shock horror – frilly, then there are three necessary things worth remembering.

Rule 1: It must be one frill and one frill only. Layered frills are reminiscent of layered cake or, as per my previous point, fancy toilet roll covers. In the same vein, remember to keep things simple. Print can work, but any extra adornments such as bows or beading is very unlikely to.

Rule 2: Be aware of colour here. White, pastels, or even a bold hue such as a vibrant red can all work wonderfully. But do not go for a garish pink under any circumstance, unless your purposefully attempting the “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” look.

Rule 3: Remember to bare in mind your frame and frill accordingly. If you’re petite, then a giant frill will swamp you and make you look like a present. You want to go for gypsy girl, not gift wrapped.

Aside from Zara, River Island, Topshop and ASOS (Lavish Alice do a great dress with an asymmetrical hem) to name just a few have all done impressive things with the off the shoulder frill, whether in dress form or as sweet little tops, perfect for pairing with denim shorts or a nice skirt. If all of this still doesn’t have you convinced, then remember, as well as allowing your armpits to breathe, this merciful style also covers them up. Pretty and practical, these pieces are perfect for those summer days when you haven’t quite had time to get round to shaving. Nuff said.

Dress: Zara
Sparkly slip ons: Office
Twisted body chain: ASOS



Festival Fashion Guide 2016

Packing for a festival is a demon that most of us must face. Beyond trying to squeeze as much booze into your rucksack as humanly possible, as Brits, we also have to bear in mind that any attempt to look even vaguely stylish may result in pneumonia.

Beyond the whims of the weather, festival fashion is about nailing summer trends, despite the fact that you probably won’t have showered nor looked in the mirror for days. There are now some looks that are so out-dated you’d be forgiven for thinking festival sites have become time warps. You can pretty much bet your last bottle of mixer that at any festival in the UK, you’ll see flocks of young women adorned in floral headbands. The summer nymph look is inoffensive, sure, but it certainly won’t win you any praise from the fashion powers that be.

I’ve established the top fuss-free festival trends for 2016, together with some handy advice on how to embrace practicality whilst looking the part.


  • Turn to Coachella for inspiration, as the stars at this American extravaganza set festival trends for the year. See the next point.
  • Incorporate fringing. Ideally in the style of festival bag of the moment: the tan crossover Hudson by Chloé. Ditto two pieces or anything crochet.
  • Pack shoes that will keep your feet dry. It’s tempting to bring sandals, yes. But don’t. Even if the weather verges on the miraculous, your toes will thank you when they’re not being trodden on at every step.
  • Bring wellies. Hunters may have been around for years, but they’re still the ultimate festy footwear.
  • Pack a good pair of sunglasses. But not so good that when lost to a squelching mud pit you’re left feeling as though you’ve just been made bankrupt.
  • Remember your waterproof jacket. The puffa, as seen everywhere during fashion week, is very in this year. As is the bomber jacket. Be warned, if you don’t pack a coat, you may well end up wearing a bin bag as a poncho. Just saying.


  • Wear any expensive jewellery or your posh watch. Crawling around on the floor in a dark tent filled with hundreds of people is not something you want to be doing. Embrace cheap and cheerful costume jewellery as an easy way to spice up an outfit. If you (ladies) want to be on trend, you can’t go wrong with a choker or a body chain.
  • Dismiss fancy dress completely. As much as you probably won’t feel like ‘going all out’ when you’re battling a three-day hangover having slept in a field, fancy dress can have its uses. Take inspiration from Miss Kylie Jenner and wear a wig, it’s a great way to cover up unwashed hair. Chaps: some face paint, glitter or even an ostentatious hat will do the job nicely.
  • Risk a Native American style headdress. Sure, they look cool, but now they’re just plain tired and predictable. Plus, wearers have previously been blasted for cultural appropriation. Just steer clear.
  • Wear a onesie. The preserve of drunken male festival-goers everywhere, avoid at all costs if you’d prefer not to look like a giant baby.

Follow these golden rules, and you’ll spend the weekend channelling your inner Kate Moss or Idris Elba. And you never know, if you do play your sartorial cards right, you may even get featured in a promotional video for a cider with a name you can’t pronounce.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 11.58.13

Originally published in BN1 Magazine, June edition.

Summer Kicks Wish List

A decent pair of trainers are the ultimate wardrobe essential. Gone are the days of drab, practical kicks worn only to the gym…this is the era of stylish, colourful and fashionable footwear. Trends like ‘Athleisure’ and ‘Sports Chic’ are here to stay, as proven by the launch of Beyonce’s Ivy Park in April, which was so popular it crashed the Topshop website. If you don’t feel quite ready to rock a leotard à la Queen Bee, then a cute pair of trainers is a great way to channel your inner gym bunny on a day-to-day basis.

I’ve compiled a selection of my favourite summer trainers that will brighten up your day and get you dreaming of the holiday season, even if in reality you’ll only be stomping up and down the pavement at home.

Not only with all of these cool creps add a Sports Luxe edge to any outfit, but they’re bloody comfortable too! What’s not to love?!

Nike Air Max in Paradise Island Green (£115)

Nike Air Max in Paris Island Green £115

Adidas Originals Court Vantage White Perforated Trainers (£85)

Adidas Originals Court Vantage White Perforated Trainers £85

New Balance Lilac Trainers (£65)

lilac new balance

Nike Airforce in Noble Red (79.99)- coz they look like Strawberries!

Nike Air Force Noble Red £79.99

Superga Flatforms (£55)

Superga Flatform £55

Nike Cortez in Cherry Blossom (£71.99)

Nike Cortez Cherry Blossom £71.99

Puma Suede Classics in ‘Holiday’ (£55)

puma 1

Mango Slip On Snake Effect Trainers (£35.99)

iChat Icons

Adidas Stan Smith in Sun Glow (£64.99)

Adidas Stan Smith Sun Glow

Nintendo Princess Peach Vans (£52)


Nike Air Force in Radiant Emerald Multi (£120)

Airforce in Radiant Emerald Multi £120

Lacoste Carnaby Evo Rose Gold Trainers (£70)

Lacoste Carnaby Evo Rose Gold Trainers £70

Stan Smiths in Clear Sky Tortoise Suede (£76.99)

Clear Sky Stan SmithsReebok Trainers in Stunning Green (£60)
Green Reebok

Nike Roshe Run in Cherry Blossom (£71.99)

nike roshe cherry blossom

Calvin Klein High Tops (£75)

ck trainers £75



The Met Gala 2016: Best Dressed

Celebrities from far and wide flocked to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York last night for the biggest fashion party of the year, the Met Gala. The annual event is chaired by fashion’s fairy god mother Anna Wintour (Taylor Swift, Idris Elba and Apple’s Chief Design Officer Johnathon Ive co-hosted this year) and it is she who is responsible for setting the theme. The theme for 2016 was Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,  a relevant and thought-provoking choice given the increasingly central role tech is playing in the creation of clothes.

The Met Gala celebrates fashion as a form of art; the red carpet becomes a kind of exhibition space where designers their most innovative, intricate and breathtakingly beautiful pieces, curated especially for this all-important evening. True to the theme, almost all of the dresses gestured towards the evolution of design processes, featuring elements both hand finished and computer created. Cutting edge technology such as 3-D printing is changing what it means for a piece to be ‘hand-made’, blurring the lines between couture and ready-to-wear. This evolution within fashion is often referred to as ‘wearable tech’, a notion encapsulated in arguably THE stand out look of the night, Claire Danes’ Zac Posen gown.


The stunning dress (above) looked relatively conventional until pictured in the dark, when 30 hidden battery packs lit up to make the very fabric of the gown glow, transforming Danes into a princess from a futuristic fairytale.

Similarly, Karolina Kurvkova’s dress incorporated LED lights (one-hundred and fifty of them, all hand placed to be precise!) which also utilised smart technology in order to react to social media in real time. The dress was a collaborative effort, designed by Marchesa and IBM Watson. The latter did copious amounts of Marchesea archival research and data analysis, so that the LED lit flowers could change colour in accordance with the emotions expressed about in on social media. If that isn’t a smart dress, I don’t know what is!

Speaking of Marchesa, for me the duo Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig were the stand out designers of the evening, dressing Nina Dobrev and Poppy Deleveigne as well as Kurkova. Delevigne’s look was probably my favourite of the whole evening as the entire ensemble was styled to perfection. Dark lipstick and poker straight, side-parted bleach blonde hair offset the plunging tiered dress wonderfully. Both Dobrev and Delevigne’s dresses oozed old school Hollywood glamour whilst showcasing a modern intricacy of design. The dresses also ticked two of the major boxes that the evening’s theme alluded to: embellishment and metallics.

Mirrors, feathers and sequins were also in plentiful supply last night, as were unusual fabrics (see Beyonce’s unbelievably amazing latex Givenchy dress), as designers attempted to outdo one another in the creative – and technologically enhanced- stakes. However, the futuristic vibe didn’t necessarily work for everyone, as the weird robo-cop style metal arm armour worn by Zayn Malik over his suit made clear. The same goes for Madonna, who literally showed her derrière in a sheer Givenchy lace number, Solange Knowles whose yellow ensemble looked more comical than cutting-edge and finally Lady Gaga, who seemed to have forgotten the bottom half of her outfit.

As per usual, there was also some impressive train action. Zoe Saldana’s Dolce & Gabanna feathered train (almost) rivalled Rihanna’s canary yellow extravaganza from last year and Stella Maxwell looked amazing in a slinky Topshop gown. As is the norm for any A-lister event,there was also a lot of Balmain, with Jordan Dunn, Cindy Crawford, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West all dressed in Olivier Rousteing’s shimmering signature styles.

Beyond the gowns themselves, there was also some futuristic beauty styling on show, from metallic eye shadows to Lupita Nyong’o’s wild hair-do. Everyone is talking about the actress’s gravity-defying hair style – which whilst rather mad – actually looked incredibly on-brief and really rather chic. Whilst Nyong’o’s look has been compared in the press to a resident Dr Suess’s ‘Whoville’ (not altogether unfairly), this adventurous style certainly made her stand out from the crowd at a night where individuality is key.

Given that tickets to the gala reportedly cost upwards of £17k, the closest the vast majority of us will ever get to that red carpet is through pictures. So, in the spirit of inclusion, so that we might all feel a little more involved in this exclusive soiree, I have put together a slide show of my twenty favourite looks from last night. This way you can – at the very least – know who wore what and how good they looked in it , whilst day dreaming about one day owning a piece of futuristic fashion of your very own.

*All image copyright: Getty

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Wearable Shelter

In the past year, the worst humanitarian emergency in decades has taken centre stage in the British media, and we’ve woken up to the extent of refugee suffering (as embodied in that infamous picture of little Aylan Kurdi). We are now all too aware of the harrowing conditions refugees are facing on boats and in camps like the Calais Jungle, never mind during the long and dangerous journey by foot they face before and after arriving into Europe.

People are finding new and imaginative ways to tackle the problem and help in some way, like the Royal College of Art’s Textile and Interior Design students, who’ve collaborated on developing ‘wearable habitations’ for refugees.

Clothing and interior design are often dismissed as ‘fun’ luxuries far removed from real global altruism, and yet this talented group of students have demonstrated how these spheres can be forces for good. Created in direct response to the Syrian refugee crisis, the resulting coat – which resembles a three-quarter-length puffer jacket and transforms into a sleeping bag or tent – acknowledges the significance of the journey as a desperate struggle for survival. As we know all to well, the weather in Europe can be dismal, and shelter could make all the difference to an unforgiving journey. This coat has the potential to save thousands of lives.

The students used information provided by Médecins Sans Frontières when developing the coat to ensure that it met the needs of refugees. The waterproof pockets on the inside provide a place for passports, important documents, photos and other valuables to be kept safe. The prototype is made from Tyvek, a lightweight and waterproof but very strong fabric often used on aircrafts, and is lined with Mylar; a polyester insulator that is used in emergency blankets, tents, space suits and houses.

The students raised money via Kickstarter and are hoping to deploy the coat as early as this summer via refugee agencies. Author of the project brief, Dr Harriet Harris, says:

‘This project demonstrates the keenness of students to use their design talent to make a difference where it matters’.

I must admit, I’m totally inspired by this practical approach. Whilst this coat is not going to solve the refugee crisis, it encourages us to each think about how we can use our skills to be a part of the solution.

Over a million people arrived into Europe last year and despite the new EU deal that’s sending people back to Turkey, as the war rages on in Syria, the enormous flow of humanity across borders shows no signs of stopping. If there was ever a time to be proactive, it’s now.


Photo source: Royal College of Art

The Choker Edit

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probs noticed that the choker is currently EVERYWHERE. From Kim K’s diamond ‘Saint’ choker to Danielle Bernstein’s (author of the We Wore What blog) seemingly never ending supply of chic plain fabric ones, neck hugging bands are the current must have item.

If you’re on a major budget, you can DIY by simply using ribbon. I often save bits from Christmas and Birthday gifts and then repurpose them, it works like a charm! However, if you haven’t got the time or if you’d like to go for something a little less basic, I’ve rounded up 10 of my cheap and cheerful favourites for you to choose from! Whether you wanna rock a 90’s style fabric choker, a simply chain or something all together more exciting (think ultimate festival jewellery), I’ve got you covered.

  1. black velvet Basic Black Velvet Choker, ASOS £5.00





2. Gold Chain Choker, River Island £8.00






3. Fabric Cut Out Choker, Topshop £10     topshop leather






4. Delicate Gold Choker, Not on the High St £35








5. ALDO Multirow Chokers, ASOS £10ALDO






6. river island decorativeStatement Choker, River Island £35






7.  Suzywan Choker, ASOS £17.50chocker flower asos






8. Engraved Coin Choker, Topshop £12.50coin








9. Lace Choker, Urban Outfitters £8
(comes in black and cream)  lace






10. Jet Stone Choker, Accessorize £6

Sister Act: The Little Sisters Slaying the Fashion Game

Fashion is increasingly becoming a family affair. From Ruth and May Bell to the Delevingnes and the Jaggers, to all three of the sisters of male model of the moment Lucky Blue Smith, there’s no denying that the industry is saturated with siblings.

Four of the hottest names in fashion right now are actually the younger sisters of even bigger names. After all, good genes are good genes, and who doesn’t look up to their older siblings? From the relatively unknown Lottie Moss to established superstar Kylie Jenner, these are the four celebrity little sisters who are smashing 2016.

1. Bella Hadid
Age: 19
Insta Followers: 3.2m

Younger sister of super-star model Gigi Hadid and daughter of reality TV star/ model Yolanda Foster, Bella Hadid is one of the hottest faces in fashion right now. Bella signed with IMG Models in 2014 and has since risen through the ranks to emerge as ‘Model of the Year’ at Daily Front Row Awards a merefew days ago. She walked in numerous shows over fashion month, from Chanel to MiuMiu to Givenchy and Versace, is currently the face of the Joe Jeans campain and has been featured in editorial spreads for almost every magazine under the sun. As if all of this wasn’t enough, Bella is also one half of one of the world’s most enviable couples…She’s been dating the Weekend for a year, even following her older sister’s example by starring and one of his music videos. Her body is legit out of this world, check the Love Advent Calender and you’ll see what I mean. Bella is my number one girl crush of the moment, and definetly one to watch, as she’s only going to get bigger.

2. Lottie Moss
Insta Followers: 51k

The younger half-sister of legendary model Kate Moss has just finished school and is now pursuing modelling full time. Whilst Lottie has stated on several occasions that she absolutely will not answer any ‘Kate questions’, the similarities between the sisters are inescapable. Like Kate, Lottie has been signed to Storm Models and, like Kate, at only 5’5” she is unconventionally short for a model. The blonde sisters both have elfin features and a heart shaped face, and last year Lottie followed in Kate’s footsteps by starring in a Calvin Klein campaign. In January little Mossy landed her first major deal and was signed as the face of handbag brand Botkier New York, asserting her status as a rising star. She has starred in shoots for Teen Vogue and Dazed (Kate’s baby daddy’s mag), but has only very recently bagged her first cover, for the March issue of L’Officiel Netherlands. Seemingly determined to step out from her sister’s shadow, Lottie told the magazine that it’s now ‘my turn to tell my own story’.

3. Kylie Jenner
Age: 18
Insta Followers: 55m (FYI that’s 3mil MORE than Kendall, #justsayin)

Ok, so whilst you’d have to literally have been living under a rock not to have heard of the littlest ‘Kardashian’ sister, Kylie is only very recently emerging as a fashion force to be reckoned with. Prior to 2016, big sister Kendall’s stratospheric rise to model-of-the-moment eclipsed anything Kylie could have achieved, despite the fact that she did model for both Yeezy Season 1 & 2. Her first high fashion moment was shared with her pro big sister, as the Jenners both starred in the Balmain campaign for Fall 2015 (as did the Hadids and Joan Smalls and her little sister). However, despite sharing a number of fashion lines with big sis Kendall, Kylie’s focusing on going solo this year, and has so far graced covers from Elle (February issue) to Wonderland (Spring issue). Beyond magazines, and the fact that she made Time’s Most Influential Teens of 2015 list, Kylie’s big fashion coup has to be her deal with Puma, who have taken her on as both a model and a ‘brand advocate’. Oh, and in case all of this still doesn’t have you convinced, I’ll just leave you with the fact that Kylie’s app is the most popular of all the Kardashians. And yes, that includes Kim’s.

4. Imogen Waterhouse
Age: 20
Insta followers: 73k

Imogen (or Immy to her social media following) Waterhouse is the younger sister of Brit supermodel Suki Waterhouse (most famous for her Burberry campaigns and for an ill-fated romance with Bradley Cooper). Whilst Suki’s look is very much ‘old school glamour’, Imogen has more of a golden Californian girl vibe, as her recent Hilfiger Denim campaign with Hayley Baldwin showcases so wonderfully. Imogen is hot on the heels of her older sister, having recently posed for Urban Outfitters and Coast, and is even starring in a video campaign for Emporio Armani shot by Rankin. This new-found status as one of fashion’s darlings du jour was further cemented last month during London Fashion Week, as Imogen sat on the frow nestled between her sister and industry favourite Olivia Palermo. Immy might be fairly new to the scene, but she’s been welcomed with open arms. L’Officiel Netherlands calls her the ‘Br(it) girl’, and she is also the cover star of the March issue of Tatler, with the headline “fashion falls in love with Imogen Waterhouse”. Place your bets ASAP, as the Waterhouse sisters are sure to bag a huge ‘double trouble’ style ad campaign imminently.

*Incidentally, three of the four sisters (Kylie, Bella, Lottie) featured here recently appeared together in a Vogue video, which only confirms my assertion that this year will 100% prove to be the year of the mini-me! (See featured image at the top!)


Trend Watch: The Bomber Jacket

The bomber jacket is everywhere this season. Magazines have been reporting on this for the last few months and now, armed with my new ‘Light After Dark’ olive green bomber, I think it’s only appropriate to write an ode to one of my favourite jacket styles here on the blog.

Go into any high street store and you’ll see that they are literally inescapable; Topshop alone is doing 29 (yes, TWENTY NINE) different versions.

The reason I love a bomber is because they are so god damn versatile. I’ve got a thin, jaquard print navy blue beauty that is my go to summer jacket. It really is ideal for when you need a light even jacket, or better yet, when your jetting off on a summer holiday and you need something for whilst your in dreary Britain, but you also want to shove it in your bag the minute you step off the plane. The beauty of the bomber is that whilst a classic shape, it has been updated in every which way imaginable, from pink sequined to fur-lined and from thick to thin, every shop and designer worth their salt have sold both men’s and women’s versions of this versatile classic.

Secondly, they always seem  to be in style and never look dated. The navy blue one I just mentioned is like, 6 years old, and still looks just as chic as when I bought it. However, fast forward to this season and EVERYONE seems to have remembered how amazing they are.

A quick look at the Daily Mail (research purposes only I swear!) will tell you that everyone from Cara Delevigne to Naomi Cambell have recently been spotted rocking a bomber.

This popularity is evident in the shops, with every brand, from Miss Selfridge to Chloé offering their own take on the bomber, so I’ve compiled an ultimate wish list- for men as well as women- of the very best on offer.

This is the bomber I have recently bought, made by Urban Outfitter‘s own Scandinavian label, Light Before Dark.  It also comes in black, navy and pink.
Quilted leather Chloé bomber
Tommy Hilfiger Tencel Bomber Jacket (also comes in white with striped arms).
Available from House of Fraser.
Jaded London Festival Sequin Bomber Jacket
available on ASOS
ALICE + OLIVIA Felisa Embellished Silk Jacket
available from Selfridges
Love Moschino Archive Print Satin Bomber
available via ASOS
Two-In-One Reversible Sateen Bomber Jacket (Inside is blue and silver)
Floral-intarsia stretch-knit bomber jacket
Alexander McQueen
Available via Net-a-porter
Padded Black Bomber
was £35.00, now £17.00misguided
Dark Blue Flamingo Print Bomber Jacket
H! by Henry Holland
available from Debenhams
Now onto menswear, where the bomber seems even more ubiquitous! (To put it into perspective, ASOS currently have 555 styles of bomber for men, compared to ‘only’ 103 for women). Here’s my top 5:
1. Hawaii Print Souvenir Jacket
It may be for men, but I want this for myself, desperately! In fact I want all of the Valentino Souvenir jackets, especially the pink one in the featured image of this blog. They are everything anyone could ever hope for in a bomber.

Bryant Jacket (comes in navy/black/green)
was £140 now £70


Sidenote: I got my bf this for xmas and he loves it! I- and he- would definitely recommend!

Fred Perry Tramline Bomber Jacket
available via House of Fraser

Lacoste Live Bomber Jacket in Navy
available via ASOS

Ecru casual contrast neck bomber jacket
River Island
also comes in green/navy/black/dark green
£30-£48 depending on colourri

Fashion Month Round Up #AW16

Fashion month has finally come to an end, heels will be hung up and editors will be back at their desks.  Now it’s time to look back on all of the collections shown in New York, London, Paris and Milan so as to pick out the very best of what the designers had to offer. I’m going to take you on a whirlwind tour through the very best of what fashion month had to offer, from the ubiquitous trouser suit to a plethora of velvet, to cut through all that fashion noise and present my ultimate personal highlights.

New York

One of the most talked about shows of the season was undoubtedly Marc Jacobs, not only because he had Lady Gaga walk the runway, but because the clothes themselves really were spectacular. The show had a haunting, gothic feel to it with models made up to look almost like extras from the Addam’s family. That’s not to say they didn’t look fabulous, marcj jacobs nyfwthe dark lips and 20’s style finger-waved hair (with loose ends that gave the look a modern edge) offset the collection beautifully. There were laser cut skirts, oversize jumper dresses and lots of fur. The collection had a distinctly Victorian feel to it, with an abundance of lace doiley style necklines and pussybow blouses, but this nostalgia was paired with something all together more modern, such as the dark denim jacket covered in appliqué and adorned with chains. The resulting look was one that appeared part Miss Havisham, part steam punk princess and part flea-market finds. There were monochrome polka dots, long coats embellished with sequins and coats covered in feathers (as modelled by Kendall Jenner), but the pinnacle of the collection was undoubtedly the fabulous, fear inducing, sky high platform boots worn with everything.

Now onto Calvin Klein, where the collection was expectedly chic, smart and urban. True to form, Calvin Klein produced plenty of masculine silhouettes but also plenty of ultra feminine, seriously sexy looks such as the silky shift dresses, some of which featured fur. A personal favourite of mine is undoubtedly the brand’s latest take on the LBD, this time with a plunging neckline and decorative fluffy shoulder pieces (below left). The camisole featured rather heavily- unsurprising for a brand so synonymous with lingerie- and there was lots and lots of black. The overall feel of the collection was smart and slick but with an ‘undone’ edge, stitching was left purposefully unfinished and threads were left trailing. Another key look worth mentioning is of course, the two piece suit. As you will see, the trouser suit will be everywhere come Autumn, and Calvin Klein’s offering- with slouchy trousers and a tailored oversize jacket- looks set to be one of the most popular.

Whilst going through New York’s highlights, I’d also like to give a quick mention to Edun, the ethical brand that seeks to promote trade in Africa. Creative director Danielle Sherman’s collection included long coats with white blanket stitching, printed silks, a gorgeous pinstriped floor length skirt, pops of yellow knit amongst darker colours and most impressively, the fringed multi coloured dress and coat.

Lastly, let us turn to Ralph Lauren were- unsurprisingly- quintessentially American looks were the order of the day. The start of the show heavily featured neutral colours; there was ralph lauren goldlots of oatmeal, different shades of brown and that generally preppy vibe so synonymous with Lauren that one almost expects the models to pop off to the stables straight from the runway. The conservatism of polo necks and smart trousers and of shirts and ties worn with waistcoats was off set by the abundance of fringing reminiscent of the wild wild west. There was lots and lots of texture, from the light brown suede two piece suit to tweed, tartan, cashmere and velvet blazers. Velvet featured heavily, and one particular favourite was the black dress with lacy capped shoulders and decorative neckline as seen on Taylor Hill. The juxtaposition of the conventional and the more ‘rock and roll’ so clearly present in the show reached its pinnacle with the final look, a jaw-droppingly wonderful combo of billowing gold skit and black polo neck.


There were so many wonderful shows in my home town that I’ve been hard pressed to condense my commentary to just a mere few labels. However, some collections were so truly outstanding that they deserve attention, most notably Alexander McQueen. Creative director Sarah Burton really did pull out all of the stops; the numerous floor length sheer gowns were so staggeringly beautiful that they appeared as other-worldly as garments can get. The embroidery, the bead work, the ruffles and the feathers gave the collection an overtly feminine, ethereal tone; even the tailored pieces had a sexy edge. There were butterfly, lipstick and floral motifs adorning pieces that were neutral in tone, which gave the collection an air of late night sophistication, rather than comical excess. The pieces- especially the dresses- were undoubtedly glamorous, completely Gatsby-esque and totally gorgeous. I want them all.

mcqueen 4


As the pioneer of the digital print revolution, Mary Katranzou had big expectations to live up to for aw16 and her collection most certainly did not marydisappoint. There was a lot of embellishment and a lot of embroidery, much of which featured star, horse and heart motifs, in which the show’s inspiration- ‘love’s young dream’- was evident. There was a joyful abundance of colour, from multi coloured furs to heavily patterned coats and skirts. As with many of the other collections shown in fashion month, there was more than just a int of Americana and there were also A LOT of pleats.The resulting aura was one that was romance meets rodeo, encapsulated in the final look- a full length embroidered dress. Butterflies featured heavily, indeed my personal favourite has to be the sheer dress with full skirt and large butterfly motif. Here, and elsewhere there was a lot of sheer fabric, lots of lace inserts and let us not forget the fabulous ballet flats- some plain, some striped, some star patterned- all covetable.

Another of my favourite London shows was Topshop Unique (obvs) which had editors and ordinary folk alike salivating at the mouth. There was lots of clever layering, quite a bit of peter pillotoleapord print and once again, a surplus of black velvet. One of the particular highlights was the gorgeous black velvet dress worn by Taylor Hill, as were the coats and jackets.  The Peter Pillotto collection was similarly impressive as- in embracing a kind of nordic romanticism- it appeared at once ethereal and  practical. One of the designers- and namesake of the brand- Peter spoke of this Viking influence, saying that “we translated these poetic motifs into chenille embroidery”. The detail present in this collection is just mind blowing, from fabulous delicate embroidery around the toggles on a fur coat to swirling patterns intricately woven into tops and skirts (see left).It looked almost hand drawn, and complemented the pale, wintery colour palette perfectly.


The Gucci show has been one of the most talked about of the season, and given that colour gucci starsand eccentricity were order of the day, it certainly isn’t hard to see why. As with the Dolce & Gabanna collection, the ‘princess’ ideal took centre stage. The ultra feminine collection was largely made up of ice-cream colours; a pink fur coat was paired with pink tights and a pink bag, the lady-like button down dress in a pastel shade of turquoise was worn with a hat, tights, bag and strappy heels to match, the crazy yellow ‘big bird’ style coat paired with yellow headscarf, bag, shoes and tights . Creative director Alessandro Michele- who has been at the helm for a year- revels in juxtaposition and this was obvious in many of the pieces. The pink and green of the brocade coat with furry lower arms was paired with a shocking turquoise double breasted collar and fabulous red accessories. The funky unexpectedness of it all stopped it from appearing sacharine, as did the geek glasses paired with looks such as the tweed jacket and checked trousers. There was, of course, the obligatory trouser suit, but this time in a bold red with black detailing. There was of course some more sombre looks featuring lots of tailoring that appear more wearable, such as the grey two piece with slouchy bottoms  (baggier trousers are de rigueur this season). However it was the wacky, girlish elements of the show that won me over, with my absolutely favourite dress (right)- featuring billowing skirt, pastel colours and star applique over the boobs- summing up the feel of the collection nicely.

The Emporio Armani show- called ‘New Pop’- was notable largely because of the way it
totally embraced modernity. The collection was rife with allusions to technology; digital designs featured pixelated prints and geometric appliques, and futuristic looking fabrics such as PVC were everywhere. Also present were tailored jackets, metallic pumps, black velvet and pink and black stripes. There was a laid back athletic feel to some of the pieces, especially to the hoodies as seen as part of the menswear. the line felt incredibly youthful and served to remind audiences of the integral part the digital revolution has played in shaping our current fashion industry (need I even mention the word Instagram?!).

At Versace Donatella once again embraced female strength and sexuality with an ultra wearable, versatile collection that celebrated the super model. Versace were at the centre versace blue suitof the ‘supermodel’ trend in the 1990’s, and Dontella has brought this legacy up to date by having top models from Kendall to Jourdan to Gigi all walk in the show. The collection was suitably sexy and featured abstract baroque prints, silk shirts, leather and mini dresses. Dresses with uneven hemlines featuring yellow and blues were paired with fabulous grey boots, and the gorgeous wet look grey coat lined with pink fur paired with a mint green slip dress. One stand out look was the leather jacket and skirt in cornflower blue modelled by Jourdan Dunn, as was the fabulous two piece suit in the same colour worn over a cropped polo neck. Another highlight was the sexy nineties style spaghetti strap pink slip with a cowl neck, which literally screamed Carrie Bradshaw. Beyond pastels there were several navy coats with leather detailing that really would look as chic in the streets as they did on the catwalk.

bottega venetaThe Bottega Veneta collection was similarly impressive, but it embraced a totally different ethos than most of the other designers. Creative director Tomas Maier said his collection was about “personal luxury” and the clothes are indeed all very wearable and would fit seamlessly into the stylish working woman’s wardrobe. The collection was very simple- a far cry from the excesses of the other shows- and featured slim fit trousers, cashmere, pleated skirts and leopard print outerwear. Wool featured heavily, and the clothes came to take centre stage as the handbags so synonymous with the brand were shrunk down considerably. The stand out pieces were the dresses with sheer long sleeves, built in bralets and beautiful pleated skirts. These came in navy, pale lilac, caramel and nude and at once evoke both sensuality and practicality.


There was so many wonderful collections shown in Paris that I’ve had an incredibly difficult time picking out my highlights. The Valentino show was undoubtedly special.valentino Inspired by today’s industry and by the figure of the dancer, the collection featured magnificent ballet dresses, sequins, ballet shoes and a heavily adorned sheer dress that can only be described as a masterpiece (right). The Louis Vuitton show also harnessed the fast pace of the fashion world by encouraging retrospection. Creative director Nicolas Ghesquière modernised old pieces and made them seem relevant to today’s changing tastes; vintage scarf prints became little dresses and leather and mohair featured heavily. Whilst this collection was deemed relatively wearable, coming from experimental Ghesquière, there were still a few stand out pieces that would most certainly not be for the faint hearted. I especially love the shiny trousers in bright red, but admittedly, I’m not sure if it’s a look I’d be able to pull off.

The Stella McCartney collection was, like Valentino, typically feminine. The shapes, stella mccartneywhilst wide, were womanly and the printed silk trousers, pleated gold skirt, and jumper with a ‘woman power’ slogan on it were every bit the kind of pieces we have come to expect from Stella. Faux fur and faux leather were featured heavily, as were beautiful lacey slip dresses which, like so many of the other designer’s offerings, featured sheer fabric and pleats. The quilted over-sized puffer jackets- in rust, black and navy-  proved very popular as they are at once stylish and utilitarian, perfect for the busy urban woman. Stella managed to combine two of the hottest trends to emerge from fashion month by showcasing a black velvet trouser suit, which is sure to be on the ‘most desired’ list of every woman in fashion. The cropped bomber jacket was also a stand out piece, given that every fashionista worth his or her salt knows how big they are set to be over the coming year.

As much as I loved the emoji’s that featured heavily throughout the Chanel collection,  my favourite show had to be Balmain, and not only because of the all-star line up, but because gigi balmainone again Olivier Rousteing has produced the most fabulously opulent, intricate collection this world has ever seen. In a particularly clever marketing coup, the models wore wigs- Kendall Jenner was blonde, Gigi Hadid and Rosie Huntington-Whitely were transformed into raven haired goddesses- which ensured that the collection was plastered across magazines and newspapers globally the following day. Unusually for Balmain, pastel shades figured strongly, and both Kendall and Gigi were clothed in a soft powder blue. As always, it was all in the detail at Balmain. Shoulders were pointy, frills and other decorative features ubiquitous and peplums rigid. Many of the pieces were clearly influenced by lingerie, Karlie Kloss modelled a gorgeous baby pink bodice with sheer lace frilly trousers. The dressing gown style long striped coats as seen on many of the models were worn over the shoulder a la Kardashian, and the more conventionally ‘Balmain’ pieces featured the signature black and gold colours, as well as heavy pearl embellishments. The whole collection was so feminine, so regal and downright baroque in its aesthetic, this time Rousteing managed to out-Balmain himself.

Whilst Balmain in all its grandiose was my favourite show, one of the pieces I love best- for all it’s simplicity- is a jacket by Vetements. The  anti-authority, youthful collection produced by Vetements embraced the casual and the world has not been able to stop AW16CG-Vetements-047-xlarge_trans++-gaKsLgbA6-uokDv4MbJV2o9fJk1VK1SIba-RpWNnOUtalking about it since. The show embraced irreverence; swear-words and ironic outrageous slogans (“You Fuck’n Asshole”, “Justin4ever”, “UltraSkinny” ) featured heavily, as did uniforms, some ‘naughty school girl’ style, others made up of plaid suits with slouchy bottoms.There were plenty of references to goth culture and to heavy metal, and the oversized silhouettes and baggy hoodies synonymous with the brand made several appearances. THE jacket (right) ticks both of those boxes, and in red and orange- worn slouchily off the shoulder on one side-  is just so fucking.cool in that it is at once high fashion and also extremely practical. The designers played with proportion; a key look was a shrunken purple hoody worn over a maxi skirt. All in all the line is so different precisely because in a world of high fashion, the label has embraced sweats and street wear, and by showing men’s and women’s wear together, celebrates modern androgyny. Velvet made yet another appearance, this time in the form of a gold coat, but beyond this Vetements- as a tough, unorthodox cult brand- certainly did operate under the rules of subversion.

So there you have it, a quick fire round of all of my fashion month highlights, from my favourite shows to my most desired pieces. One thing’s for sure, everyone will have at least one piece of velvet in their Autumn wardrobe, and we can definitely expect heavy adornment, sequins, appliqué and embellishment to hit the high street later this year. Whether I’ll be embracing the feminine gothic aesthetic, the tough street style vibe, the super girly lingerie inspired look or the busy working woman’s wardrobe remains to be decided.






FENTY x PUMA: Rude Gyal Grunge

Six days ago, during the craziness of New York Fashion Week, Rihanna debuted her first full winter/fall collection for Puma since signing as creative director of the brand in 2014. This follows on from her first hugely successful venture with Puma, the creeper shoe, which sold out swiftly in September 2015. I for one was desperate to get my hands on a pair, but one missed alarm later and my chance was up in smoke. I was seriously excited to see what was going to be on offer this time, and luckily the original bad gal’s urban-goth game is as strong as ever.

The showcase most certainly did not disappoint, but it also did not particularly shock, as the collection literally screamed ‘Rihanna’. Firstly, there was A LOT of black. Pretty much all of the looks were monochrome and the models were transformed into black lipped, icy haired sports-chic queens.

Speaking of the models, the line up included the most Instagram-able models of the models-stella-maxwell-l-and-bella-hadid-pose-backstage-at-the-fenty-puma-by-rihanna-aw16-collectionmoment, from Gigi and Bella Hadid to Stella Maxwell and Ruth Bell of Ruth and May. Bella Hadid wore one of my favourite looks, the lace up, skin tight flared body suit that somehow looks sleek and sexy whilst at the same time seriously sporty. It’s this mixing of very different looks that set the tone for the whole collection; the grungy-sporty-street wear vibe was offset by sheer fabrics, lace and a lot of bare skin. Rihanna herself said of the collection, that ‘if the Addams Family went to the gym, this is what they would wear’ and this melding of Rihanna’s signature urban- gothic style is evident in all aspects of design.

The collection featured both women’s and men’s wear, but a key aspect of the line as a whole is androgyny. Many of the pieces are unisex and clearly defy any binary notion of gendered fashion. This ambiguity can be felt in the very cut of the clothes, Rihanna has played around with a variety of shapes, sizes and silhouettes in a striking way. The juxtaposition of massively baggy, oversize clothing and then the skin tight- a signature RiRi look- was everywhere, from figure hugging dresses to roomy tracksuits.

I love all of the criss- cross and lace- up detailing, which is sexy and suggestive whilst evocative of Puma’s sporty essence. Different sports are alluded to in different looks, one particular favourite of mine looks like it had been designed for the world’s most stylish female boxer. The crop top with the cross over bottom is at the top of my must-have list, it feels very Alexander Wang, the epitome of sporty chic. crop top

Sports might be a defining feature, but the collection has also clearly been inspired by Japan. From sheer dresses featuring Japanese calligraphy (another highlight for me) to tracksuits emblazoned with the Japanese flag, the influence is palpable.

Aside from the clothes, there was of the course shoes. The new Fenty trainer was unveiled and new creepers were added. Many of the models were dressed in a trainer- stiletto hybrid (some in white, some in yellow as below right) that, I have to be honest, is definitely not for me. They feel very tacky, 90’s pop star and look like the type of shoe that will only ever really have novelty value. But hey, maybe that’s the look Rihanna and Puma were going for!  I do however LOVE LOVE LOVE the chunky white platform boots. They looked banging paired with bare legs, both with the oversized jumper mini dress and the longer dresses (as below). I could imagine wearing them in almost any scenario, from work to nightclubs to the shops to festivals,  and to me they perfectly encapsulate the collection’s sexy rude gyal grunge aesthetic.

All in all, it was a pretty great collection, and Rihanna delivered exactly what we would expect her to. Unfortunately the collection won’t be available to the masses via retailers until Feb 2016, so until then we’ll simply have to channel the Fenty x Puma vibes by stomping around to Rihanna’s new album and wearing a lot of black lipstick.