Tuesday, 1 March 2011

LFW AW11 Trends: Great Lengths

I seem like such a lazy blogger lately but I do tend to get a bit overwhelmed during the fashion week season and ironically end up hardly enjoying the collections at all. Giving the shows a week or so to rest, breathe and percolate is usually the best way for me to deal with them! 

I'm a big fan of anything 'maxi', whether its in terms of lengths or just a general sense of OTT drama and luckily there were so many great maxi looks throughout LFW, with particular examples from Mary Katrantzou and Paul Smith providing a nice antidote to the standard red-carpet-ready designs. These are my favourite looks from across all the collections, with the only common feature of floor-sweeping hems and puddling materials. 
 Roksanda Ilincic - Basso Brooke - Erdem - Giles

 Giles - Julien Macdonald - Paul Smith - Peter Pilotto

 Todd Lynn - Acne - Antonio Berardi - Mulberry

 Nicole Farhi - Osman - Temperley - Topshop Unique

 Betty Jackson - CSM graduates - CSM graduates - House of Holland

J. W. Anderson - Jaeger London - Jonathan Saunders - Sass & Bide

Aquascutum - Fashion East - Graeme Armour - Marios Schwab


Are you a fan of the floor-length? Which were your favourite cross-collection trends this season?

♥ jess

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

LFW AW11: Ann-Sofie Back Atelje

(images style.com)
Ann-Sofie Back's first signature Atelje collection is a sight for sore eyes. Apparently it's inspired by cars, something that's a little lost on me, but that's isn't to detract from the simplistic beauty of this pared-down collection consisting entirely of black and this to-die-for creamy-lavender-nude shade, with accents of metal providing a gentle edge. There's structure, certainly, but its offset perfectly by the feminine hang of the material and the severity is somehow never offputting.

Simply put, I want each and every one of these four looks, which are the highlight of a generally great debut collection.

What do you think of Ann-Sofie Back, and her new Atelje line?
♥ jess

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Going vintage

Oxford is not the most happening of places fashion-wise. Backcombing and body-con tend to be the style buzzwords, both of which are fine in moderation but the rah-girl uniform can wear thin after a while. Happily there is occasional respite in the form of vintage fairs landing in town every couple of months, and on Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair at the Old Bookbinders in the Cowley area of town. There's something about the Oxford mindset which means that little out-of-the-way venues like this remain completely unknown, even to people like me who have enjoyed exploring over the three years I've been here - I was really glad to discover this quirky little space which used to house a bookbinders (hence the name, obviously...) and is playing host to a number of events and a community cafe until it's sadly turned into flats at the end of March. It was the perfect location for the Vintage Fair which last year was held in the debating chamber at the Oxford Union, a somewhat less appropriate place to hold what is essentially the best travelling vintage fair in the UK today.

Bringing dozens of stalls and traders together means that one thing Judy's is definitely not lacking is variety. Shopping for vintage can be so dull: row after row of moth-eaten 'slouchy' (read: ill-fitting) jumpers, battered shoes you'd never dare wear in the rain, vile shapeless dresses in electric-shock-inducing nylon... you know exactly what I'm saying. The joy of Judy's is that there is no room for junk - traders bring the best of their stock and nothing else. There was a wonderful array of pieces, from classic 50s dresses with tiny waists and huge skirts to bang-on-trend leather shorts for a fraction of the high street price and already beautifully soft and worn in!





Accessory lovers were really well looked after, too - handbags and scarves were in abundance, and the jewellery stalls were extensive and so tempting for a magpie like me who can't resist anything shiny. I managed to resist most of the things I spotted as my bank balance is none too healthy at the moment, but I couldn't help but buy this gorgeous necklace and bracelet set:


I think my favourite part of the whole fair was the trinkets ranging from old photographs to vinyls, American motel keys to amazing party masks, French fashion magazines to film posters. I could have stayed all day rifling through the odds and ends, and its great that Judy's embraces the whole vintage feel rather than just the clothing side.


Judy is a busy girl and gets all over the UK so it shouldn't be too hard to track down your local fair and see it in all its splendour for yourself - there are seven events during March alone. If you end up going, please let me know what you buy - I am so poor at the moment that I need to live vicariously through the purchases of others...

Happy vintage shopping!

♥ jess

Sunday, 20 February 2011

LFW AW11: Louise Gray, or sunshine for your Sunday

After whining away yesterday that I had oh so much on my plate and wouldn't be posting so regularly for a while, along comes Louise Gray with a collection that is the sartorial equivalent of a good kick up the arse. There really aren't enough positive adjectives in the world to describe this riotous parade of more-is-more maximalism, but I will say this: if my autumnal months this year are half as exciting as this, I'll be seriously fucking happy.


Everything about this show is wonderful, from the polka-dotted catwalk to the face paint, from the clown-like tailoring to the use of classic tartan alongside day-glo neon yellow. Simply put, I want to live in this world. Hasn't it perked up your Sunday morning?

♥ jess

Saturday, 19 February 2011

LFW AW11: Charles Anastase

Before I launch into what is bound to become an unqualified declaration of love for all things Anastase, let me apologise for not posting more recently. I am feeling very overwhelmed by a combination of university work and personal stuff at the moment, and the mass of Fashion Week excitement is not helping me to feel on top of things! I'm not going to be engaging in that boring who-can-post-about-the-shows-first race because I don't have time and I want to only post about the collections I really engage with and have some sort of reaction to. Charles Anastase is a natural starting point for my LFW coverage, though - his SS11 collection was a joy to behold, with a very sexually-charged overgrown school-girl aesthetic going on, and I am equally enamoured by his latest offering in which outerwear features heavily (unsuprising for an AW collection) and my favourite mid-lengths-and-layers look gets a lot of catwalk-time.


The overall feel is prim-but-somehow-dirty, which I just love, and an almost complete lack of print left the field wide open for rich earthy tones in a multitude of fabrics to shine through - velvet trousers and cable knit dress? Check. Satin with sheer? Check. A mustard snakeskin dress suit? Check. And if anyone can tell me how I get my hands on a pair of those ugly-beautiful towering hoof-like wedge platforms, it would be greatly appreciated...

Are you enjoying LFW so far? What's been your standout of the first couple of days?

♥ jess

Sunday, 13 February 2011

NYFW picks: Rag and bone AW11

I'm not planning on doing a detailed round up of all the New York Fashion Week shows, nor Paris or Milan - my energies will be solely concentrated on London, which I tend to think are the most exciting shows anyway! At the end of each week I'll try to do a 'highlights' post and maybe a breakdown of the main trends that have emerged, but of course if any collection in particular really catches my eye then I won't be able to resist and it'll end up on here in a post of all its own. Hopefully that won't happen TOO often and I will be able to rip myself away from my laptop at some point during the show season! 

This resolution's been fairly short-lived already thanks to Rag and Bone, whose AW11 show has captured my imagination like nothing has for a while. I'm a big fan of maximalist fashion - more is more is more, pile 'em high prints and textures - and Rag and Bone translate this gorgeously rich aesthetic into a collection that, for all its clashes and layers, is ultimately wearable and covetable. The plaid, stripes and tweed prints mesh wonderfully because of the intense colours used, and they bring a quintessentially English countryside feel to a show that is verging on the tribal. The textures are something else altogether - velvet, leather, fur, fine-gauge jersey - yet there is a definite and deliberate coherence and nothing feels gratutitous. Every detail matters, every cut carefully considered. It makes me want to wear everything in my wardrobe at once, although I'm sure that would work to far lesser effect...


 
Have you been keeping up with NYFW so far? What do you think of Rag and Bone?

♥ jess

p.s if you entered from here, with love...'s birthday giveaway, don't worry - I have drawn the winners and will be announcing them when I have a spare moment to sort out postage and all the admin side of things!

Friday, 11 February 2011

H&M's saccharine vision for SS11

If SS11 is going to be defined by colour blocking and the 70s, then H&M can certainly applaud themselves for ticking every trend box going. Their offering for the coming season is a subtle exercise in blending these two big ideas with a wearable femininity and sweetness, and though the pieces can be almost split under the rough titles of 'floaty' and 'hard edges' there is a wonderful coherence that is understated yet tangible coming from the select palette of corals, blushes and nudes. The tailoring and prints remain sharp to offset any hint of sickliness, but it remains a thoroughly delightful collection just made to be worn in a park on a sunny day.

Here are my favourites:

(images marieclaire.co.uk)

What do you think of the H&M SS11 collection? Which side will you be embracing over the next few months?

♥ jess

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Lady Gaga for US Vogue


I can leave or take Lady Gaga's music if I'm perfectly honest, but as a big player in the fashion world she is one of my idols (okay, okay, apart from the meat dress...). The Diet Coke can rollers in the Telephone video? Genius. And if I could have anyone's shoe collection it would undoubtedly be hers. I was really intrigued to see how US Vogue would 'do' Gaga and how they would present her, and these shots are just amazing. They're somehow completely both Vogue AND Gaga at once, and the cover line of 'From Punk to Polish, Romantic to Rebel' really sums up the versatility and range of this editorial shot by photographer-turned-deity Mario Testino. 

After various struggles in the past to track down a copy of US Vogue, before finding a single copy in Oxford's WHSmith of all places, I'll be definitely hunting down March's edition.

What do you think of Lady Gaga's style, and the decision to give her a US Vogue cover? Do you like the editorial?

♥ jess

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Migh-T by Kumiko Watari SS11

The speed with which fashion progresses never ceases to amaze me, and it's incredible to think that the Fashion Weeks will be kicking off in the next week and we'll be cooing over AW11 before SS11 has really begun. Sometimes, though, the real world and the cycles of fashion seem to collide wonderfully and the last couple of days of sunshine have made SS11 seem like a totally realistic thing to be thinking about even though it's only just February. 

Thanks to the lovely ladies at Bloody Gray PR, I was lucky enough to have a nosey around their showroom a couple of weeks ago and I've fallen in love with the simple yet stunning Migh-T label from CSM graduate Kumiko Watari. Regular readers of from here, with love... will know that I am a fan of anything oversized and exaggerated, especially when it comes to silhouettes and tailoring, so these t-shirt-dress hybrids from the SS11 collection appeal perfectly to my penchant for any designer that takes an everyday item to its extreme. I'm reminded of trying on my mother's t-shirts as a little child when I see these lookbook pics, although I can only dream of ever having been able to raid my mum's wardrobe and find such quirky and cute designs.


(images courtesy of Bloody Gray PR)
Bare legs and oversized t-shirt dresses - definitely a contender for my SS11 uniform!

♥ jess

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Zara brights for SS11

It's no secret that, for the most part, I think Zara can do no wrong, and I'm glad to say that their SS11 lookbook continues their amazing track record for producing bang-on-trend yet supremely wearable and classic pieces. Of course, the buzz words on everyone's lips for SS11 are 'brights' and 'colour-blocking' and no doubt these will be just as annoying in a couple of months as 'shearling' was for AW10, but for now I'm in complete lust with Zara's take on the trend. The brights are ever so slightly muted to become rich and jewel-like, and simplicity of cut and shape prevails throughout to stop these outfits looking too showy and 'of the moment'. I especially love the tangerine roll-up skinny pants that come in a whole range of colours - I think I'll be picking up the pink and the blue...


 What do you think of Zara's SS11 offering? Do you have your eye on any pieces in particular?

♥ jess
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