Friday, 24 February 2012

The London Round up...

Mary Katrantzou

Moschino Cheap & Chic



Meadham Kirchoff

Jonathan Saunders

I know, I know its already Milan, blah blah! bit late for my London highlights, but I have been super busy at work etc so I'm a few days out...

I couldn't cram all of my faves into one post, I 'd be here til i am eighty. So I have painstakingly edited my fashion lusts into bitesize chunks of wonderment. Also I have whipped out one biggie into its own seperate post, which came previous to this bad boy.
London is always my favourite week in the month (along with Paris, but nothing compares to those bad boys) and I can't really ascertain why. I love the creativity, the total disregard for commercial selling power, the colour, texture and general mind blowing wonderment of it all. I feel like this season (and definitely last! which was simply mind alteringly unbelievable) was proof that London is pulling out the big guns. For a while, it was sad to say, it fell by the way side. All the big names in publishing and buying started to favour the other capitals...but surely we came back. With those guns blazing, and this season it most definitely showed. I don't know what the rest of the world thinks, but I am getting a definite sense of the lady riding over from S/S right through into A/W... and the best part? London's lady is eclectic, eccentric, bold, colourful and clashing so many prints and textures she looks a little bit cray cray! But dear readers, this is just how I like it... if you read me often you will realise a personal quest for me is to become sartorially more prim and ladylike. So this recurring look or trend is making me very happy. Another reason I love London is the designers that totally ignore these looks, trends and silhouettes and just do their own thing. The ones that ignore the seasons, and a commercial desire for collections to work in certain weather conditions and times of year. Bring on Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchoff, Simone Rocha, JW Anderson and Michael van der Ham among others.
My favourite part...Moschino Cheap & Chic showing at LFW for the second season...why? Because despite being Milanese the collections are so quintessentially English that London is the best place for it!

To London, I salute you!

All images courtesy of

Oh Simone, Simone

There was one shining star among a sky full of stars for London Fashion Week just passed, and that start goes by the name of Simone Rocha. Recognise the surname? You should, she is the daughter of LFW veteran John Rocha, he of the long hair, friendly smile and stunningly gothic collections. I feel for the offspring of fashion greats, it is a lot to live up to when your Mama or Papa dearest are so darned talented and famous. However i have come to realise the new blood can more than hold their own. London is always one of the highlights of the fashion month, mainly for the fact the sheer, unadulterated and uncensored creativity that explodes all over the week. Forget the polish of Paris, glamour of Milan and commerciality of NY... London is where the eclecticism comes out to play. That is why it is the perfect platform for the likes of little Rocha. Just four seasons in and her collections have got all the editors drooling... Twitter was abuzz with praise for Simone and I for one fell in love... The metallics, the knitted collars, the BROGUES!!! Only this collection could make them look so current, so new and my little black ones so boring. I want me some perspex heeled ones. My favourite part of the collection was the fact that it was all creamy, and pale and oh so gentle and delicate for an AW collection. I love this kind of juxtaposition at fashion weeks, when designers turn trends and seasons on their heads. When it simply becomes about the look, the creativity, not being commercial and looking like it should be worn at certain times of year, or like you can guess what season it is. Oh and the woolly bits, that looked like you are wearing a bath mat, so cool, so me!! I can imagine myself skipping through the rain and snow of Winter in the mannish grey coat, and lovely lacy fripperies that were on offer. Oh and black PVC with a 60s vibe?! Even better!

So thank you Lulu Kennedy for bringing Simone to our attention via Fashion East... A star is born!

all images courtesy of

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Coco and Champers...

This evening I had the wonderful privilege of being invited to a marvellous Chanel affair. To celebrate the opening of the Olfactive Bar at the spanking new Chanel counter at Selfridges Manchester... The bar is one of only four UK stockists of their marvellous Les Exclusifs fragrance collection. It was held in the new Aubain cafe tucked away at the back of the lovely new cosmetics hall. We were treated to a magical presentation of the main ingredients of Chanel fragrances... Rose and Jasmin, as well as the history of the fragrance division of the brand. Oh and champers, canapés and macaroons too! Yum! Then we got to go and test their new method of fragrance testing... Ceramic dippers as opposed to paper ones. After experiencing some of the wonderful smells I have decided my chosen Exclusifs would be Beige and Gardenia. Beige is built up of almond based and smells warm and ultimately comforting. Gardenia simply smelt of the most stunning, luxurious garden in the world. Oh and I fell in love with the new cosmetics collection... Vegas. It definitely appealed to the magpie in me. Unsurprisingly it is all gold, gold, gold! Love!!

One of the nicest parts of the evening was to experience the delights of the Aubaine café, which I had yet to visit. The toffee and pistachio macaroons were simply perfection. Although I am biased as a total macaroon hag. However the goats cheese and red onion tartlets were melt in the mouth yummy too... And I never say no to a little champagne! I'm a sucker for bubbles! So all in all I found the event rather wonderful! Thanks Coco...

Monday, 20 February 2012

The New Girl

The Mulberry Del Rey

My BFF presented me with my belated Christmas gifts this weekend just gone...they consisted of Ab Fab series 1,2,4 and 5 (three was sold out and I am owed it) and an iTunes gift card. The gift card is a particular treat because after I fritter away my pennies on clothes, accessories and fancy schmancy cosmetics I rarely have enough left for musical treats.

Well enough babbling and explaining... My star purchase was Born to Die by the utterly delicious Lana Del Rey. The record is ethereal, eery, dreamy, delightful and almost haunting. To say I love it is a vast understatement.
It seems like I'm not the only one that has fallen for her charm, you see from the utterly wonderful Mulberry A/W 12 offerings it seems that creative director Emma Hill has fallen for her too. On her quest to create the next Alexa the lady spearheading the accessories super brand has designed the structured, top handled Del Rey (she comes in teal, oxblood, oak and black. a custom white ostrich was given to Lana). Boy oh boy it's pretty! It seems that Hill isn't her only fashwan fan... The one and only Mr Chanel a.k.a Karl Lagerfeld has been singing her praises too. After an Internet backlash against Lizzie Grant's exotic alter ago Lana Del Rey...accusing her of lip filling, a manufactured siren created by A&R svengalis, and being talentless it seems that as usual the fashion world doesn't care. It has discovered a new darling, and I for one cannot be happier. You see we are all born to die, just some of us are born to be fabulous and have a Mulberry bag named after us. All hail the Del Rey! In every sense of the phrase...

Friday, 17 February 2012

It takes two baby...

images courtesy of

I have a confession. I have been harbouring a secret style crush for many many manifests itself in the shape of the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I love them for many reasons... The shaggy, limp hair. Heart shaped super duper pretty faces. The teeny tiny pocket size of them. Their general aesthetic amazingness - as separate entities and the wonderfulness of them together. Lastly... But not least! Drum roll please..... THE ROW!!! Now I do adore their lesser priced collection Elizabeth and James (very cutely named after their siblings) but I get excited every season for their beautiful collection The Row. I heart the minimalism, the louche tailoring and elegant silhouettes. I love the splashes of fur...and I muchly love their recent addition of handbags. Now one would need a small mortgage for their bags (prices reach an eye watering £20 grand!) but they mirror the chic simplicity of the RTW collection and they make me drool too!

The best thing about this for me is that The Row isn't just some crappy, celebrity endorsed collection with no style, substance or design prowess. It is a brand, a real brand. Good and proper. Not only this but it is desirable, covetable and well stunning. This is a rarity, but along with Mrs Beckham, The Olsens have proved they are no one trick ponies. That they aren't just famous IT girl actresses, they are talented, passionate, stylish designers who know exactly what women want to wear. That little "je ne sais quoi" that all great designers have... I heart them.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

New York, New York!

admittely i am not the biggest fan of see i find it all a bit too minimal and grown up and perfectly put together. in a nutshell the furthest thing from my personal style, and what i like about other people's personal style. however for the second season in a row i have found myself creeping much more towards loving al things from across the fashion pond. for a while now i have had a handful of designers i love that show there, and that never fail to disappoint me. recently i have found myself loving more and more on offer from new york. now i know i shouldn't be biased but that's just me (i am not a huge milan lover either, i know i know controversial.) anyway personal tastes aside, i found myself falling increasingly in love with each collection as the models stalked the runways. now i can't fit them all in, so i thought i would include some of highlights for you to enjoy...

my first highlight so far is the delectable derek lam... my favourite part of this collection was the little character he had clearly created in order to dress her. there was this cool, sixties mod girl look to it all. but totally updated for 2012...i loved the little ditsy florals juxtaposed with lashings of shiny leather and smudged eyeliner. it felt like she was a bookish libraran gone awry. pass the books i say! i liked that there was a simple monochrme pallette with flashes of of my favourite looks was a chunky cable knit sweater (no sleeves) worn over a diaphonous whisper of chiffon maxi skirt. oh and the floral skirt with shiny leather tunic! just to knock things off kilter.

next on my love list is preen...not only are justin thornton and thea bragazzi design partners but they are a couple too. and what a match made in heaven i think they are! i have been a massive fan of preen since they started out back in my college days, and they have never failed to disappoint. i love their bold use of colour and directional silhouettes...and more recently their use of prints. their a/w 12 show has a little place in my heart because i am secretly addicted to florals...they come and go seasonally but seem to be a constant part of my wardrobe. i for one am loving that they are not only on trend for the coming spring and summer but they will still be hot property next season too! YAY! it wasn't just preens use of print, and cutesy ladylike was their bold, blocky use of colour too. i love any excuse for a/w to be not too dark in terms of colour, and for me preen has brightened the proceedings perfectly.

now considering a few years ago she was just another WAG, or ex spice girl depending on which way you looked at it, you couldn't deny that the lady likes fashion. she is a poster girl for designer clothing and super duper high heels. in the past few ears her personal style has become more polished, a little edgy and much more bold. mrs beckham's collections have been a favourite of mine for the past few fashion month, and for a/w 12 she didn't disappoint. she has also proved she is no one trick pony with the addition of those loverly bags too. i loved the graphic lines, the TIGHT slithery sexy silhouettes...oh and those louboutin biker boots and socks! the way every lady should dress.

watch this space for more...

Friday, 10 February 2012

Super Duper!

The old guard is back! it's official. the supers of yesteryear have well and truly made their presence known in the industry again, and i for one am thrilled. now this has been brewing for a while...Kate, Naomi and Claudia have all been the stars of YSL campaigns among others in recent years, showing that you don't have to be fresh out of school and Eastern European to hold down a big advertising contract.

For me this is pretty major, you see I grew up in the era when the super reigned well supreme! in the heady days of grunge and Gianni Versace that were the nineties these girls were known by first name terms only. Kate, Linda, Naomi, Helena, Tatjana, Claudia, and let's not forget the inimitable Kristen, oh and Susie too! i wanted to be them all! and so did the rest of the world, with Linda declaring she didn't get out of bed for less than ten grand, and the fabulous excess of the late eighties and early nineties the world bought into the idea of the super model. what they modelled, women rushed to buy! it seems that this no holds barred selling power is having a bit of a renaissance. with girls seeming to look ever younger, it is refreshing to see powerful fashion houses and big name publishers investing pages (and money) in women that aren't young enough to be your sister or god forbid, daughter to showcase the industry's talents and products. there is something quite refreshing (and fabulous) about it all. especially with all the nineties inspired modern sportswear silhouettes and rucksacks filtering through from the s/s 12 catwalks.

So here is to 2012...with Kate walking for Louis Vuitton (TWO seasons in a row people!), Kristen doing (deep breath) Givenchy Haute Couture and Linda gracing the pages of Love and every other glossy i think we can safely say the Super of yesteryear is having one big revival. I for one am loving it, now don't get me wrong, i adore the likes of Arizona Muse, Lara Stone and Joan Smalls but there is just something about Kate & co that makes the hairs on the back of my neck prick up and I'll admit i don't know what that is, and i'm sure if you could bottle it there'd be a stampede to get your mitts on it.

All hail the Supers!


This post is partly inspired by my friend Stephanie Lou Lou, the marvellous pen smith of the raspberry branch blog...apparently me coining the term "FASHWAN PORN" was highly amusing and in my world simply refers to my fashion magazine habit that unlike blue movies is the kind of thing that gives me goose bumps and gets me all excited. Mostly because I am obsessed with all thing fash related.

So dear readers I thought I would regale you with what has been inspiring me this week... Now I'm no magazine snob, I like a bit of low brow mixed in with my high brow. I am a big fan of Elle and the marvellous writing skills of its contributors, I feel that not only does it cater to my sheer addiction to shopping and dreaming about fashion week it also provides features that tap into the life of the everyday lady that I am. As well as Elle I do like a bit of Vogue and Grazia too. In terms of the early adapter publications the list is long and fruitful, I love imagery that puzzles, titillates and stimulates my appetite for directional imagery. Love is a new favourite and I am in awe that it comes from the commercial powerhouse that is Condé Nast (home of the Vogues) but since it is edited by the fabulous Katie Grand it is unsurprising that it is so bloody marvellous.

I have been a keen reader of Nylon for many years, after discovering the American publication at university. The matt paper, super cute images and awesome culture pages make it one for the cool kids. Despite this it is well written, current and full of up and coming designers and musicians as well the usual famous folk.

My last choice this month was Pop... I have been a keen reader since the days of Katie Grand before she jumped ship to Love. The bi-annual has been at the forefront of directional publications, dressing rabbits, cats and other creatures great and small in accessories and gems as well as using objects as clothes horses. This as well as profiles of It girls, cute boys and artists have made Pop a love of mine.

As well as the aforementioned I heart reading...
Lula (dreamy....)
Self Service
Arena Homme +

What's your FASHWAN PORN?


images courtesy of Pop, Love, Nylon and Elle magazines...