Tag Archives: trends

Tie-dye, the Isabel Marant way

I haven’t posted for a while but that’s cos I’ve been tending to various life upheavals. And just playing The Sims loads. That’s a lie.

Anyway. Let’s get the ball rolling again and celebrate the fact that tie dye is back in fashion for this summer.

Celebrate?! Yes I was horrified too at first, because don’t tie dye t-shirts share wardrobes with ‘Fairport Convention’ jumpers and cheesecloth skirts? Yes they do, but that was before Isabel Marant tie dyed her S/S 12 collection and made it look really cool (minus the football jersey tops). So now tie-dye can share wardrobes with peplum dresses and metallic box clutches, and that’s fine.

Isabel Marant S/S 2012

…Obviously I can’t afford the above, so I’ll be moving in on the below instead:

L-R: // Religion // Topshop // River Island (top and jeans)

Cruella De Vil vs The Orange Skirt


This here, apart from being a bad quality photo, is my current favourite thing: an American Retro, bright orange, high waisted, midi skirt. I’m still obsessing over midi skirts because this is one of the few trends I feel comfortable wearing. I’ve had to avoid so many trends that I’ve really loved before, as it just hasn’t felt right wearing them. I strongly believe that it’s important to feel confident in what you wear because, as they say, if you don’t, it will show. For example lots of girls look amazing in a fur coat, but I just can’t help feeling like Cruella De Vil when I wear one, and if you’re feeling like a Disney villain, you’re probably not gonna come across very well.

This treasure of a skirt just makes me feel good….. especially when it billows in the wind like I’m in some kind of perfume advert! Do you have any trends that you’ve desperately wanted to pull off but that just haven’t suited you?

New Season: Mini Review


Back in February I wasn’t that enamoured with the collection images that flooded the internet off the back of fashion week.  Then 3 weeks ago I bought the Elle Runway Edit and have pored over its images nearly everyday since. This happens every season; I’m not fussed by what I see online but as soon as I get my hands on a hard copy, I’m sold. I defy anyone with an interest in fashion not to obsess over the Elle collections book… with its funky layout, witty captions and above all those FANTASTIC matte pages. Let’s face it guys, that matte-ness is a major contributing factor in the buying of the Elle collections book, over say, the Vogue version (that is, if you’re not already buying both, which I did, but whatevs that’s not the point).

There’s just something so beautiful and professional looking about the Elle Runway Edit. This is why I shoot my all-things-digital-loving boyf down when he proclaims print is dead! To me, having a hard, non-glossy copy of the best collections of the season, to sit with all its predecessors and be flicked through whenever, is unrivalled.

So thanks to Elle I have been re-inspired! I am hugely excited about the forthcoming androgynous and Navajo trends for A/W11 not to mention the crazy mish-mash of prints that’s still flying around – because I still haven’t plucked up the courage to don an outrageous clashing print mix yet.

Firstly, Mary Katrantzou, I have watched you from the side lines since your debut, and now I’m ready to come out and say it, you’re my hero (or heroine, but hero sounds better.) What an absolute feast for the eyes with that delicious explosion of colour and pattern. I would never have thought that an intricate floral pattern with a cheeky chicken’s head thrown in could be beautiful, until you came along, Mary.

Same goes for you, Jonathan Saunders … with your geometric graphical prints that are so visually entertaining they make your eyes feel funny. I love the variety too: damask and leaves and stripes and triangles printed all over bright dresses and midi skirts (yesss the midi’s still here for winter). Plus you’ve only gone and done preppy! Jonathan, thanks, I LOVE PREPPY. I can’t afford your clothes, but I will be buying all the Topshop clones of those button-up shirts with sharp collars.

Stella, great. I look forward to channelling my inner boy this year with inspiration from your collection. This season I will be more focussed on the MadMen as opposed to the ladies – braces, fedoras, oversized blazers, you better watch yourselves!

And Chloe….if I ever needed another reason to love you,  it’d be that bloody brilliant patchwork Navajo shawl (not the emerald green, shiny, shake skin skirt I’m afraid).

 

 

Brand love: American Retro

Before recently I didn’t know much about American Retro as a brand, nor was I ever particularly bowled over by their pieces when confronted with them online and in magazines. However, being able to get up close and personal with the collections, due to a recent internship with their PR agency, gave me a new found appreciation of, and almost obsession with their clothes (see previous owl maxi post). Despite popular belief, they are a French label, not an American one – the brand name / identity sprung from the minds of the AR creators after an inspirational road trip across the States, many moons ago.

Images of individual pieces I just don’t think do the collections the justice they deserve; a lot of the pieces aren’t statement items, rather staples, for instance, there are a lot of simple, but comfy and good quality items: plain, cotton tees; maxis and cardigans (mainly sold via their sister company, Zoe Tee’s [this is the actual spelling, no I don’t understand that apostrophe either…]) You almost therefore need to see and touch the clothing for yourself. I’m no seamstress, but I can say that American Retro knows good tailoring; their S/S 11 collection has such a variety of styles and the more fitted pieces are very flattering. They seem to really understand women’s problem areas and what makes us shy away from certain items of clothing, and have sought to counter that in their collections (again, see owl maxi post..)

What’s more, they may not be trend setters, but they do know what’s in this summer. American Retro’s summer collection is infused with corals, nudes and florals and they have also been careful not to abandon old favourites like lace, fringing and the trusty baggy cardi.

There are, however, some real stand out items… take these lace wedges and booties for example.

These beauts are the result of AR’s recent collaboration with…. (wait for it)… CLARKS!! What Clarks, as in that sort of sad brand that is only associated with school shoes for the under 10s? Yes, Clarks!

Maxis for Pears

The end of Christmas and New Year needn’t be depressing when you remember that all the clothes you’ve lusted after over the last year are halved in price come January! Ahhh the January sales, the only sales where you can be sure that genuinely popular items have been genuinely reduced in price. Because the number of times I’ve been attracted by the word ‘sale’ at any other time of the year, only to find that mysteriously, I’ve never seen any of these ugly sale items before, yet they’ve been generously reduced from £60 to a fiver! Only a fiver!… Well then… maybe I should just…. I mean, perhaps a purple tie dye long sleeved synthetic top is just what I need….

NO.

Continuing with the maxi obsession, I have been scouring the sales for the best of reduced maxi marvels. However the problem I always come up against with winter maxi hunting is trying to look good in the dreaded tight, show-all-the-lumps-and-bumps, synthetic fabric that so many WMs are made of. For pear-shaped ladies like myself, this kind of hip and bottom hugging fabric is an absolute disaster. So us big bottomed girls might have to steer clear of basic (cheaper) maxis,  but all this means is that we can easily justify a little indulgence in chiffon/velvet/linen numbers with beautiful embellishments, like a dramatic flared skirt or cascading layers.

So, here are some of the best maxi sale items I’ve found, best for pear-shapes (think: fall from hips, not cling to hips).

ASOS

Left to right…

1) Side Puddle Maxi Skirt £31 (was £70)

2) Waterfall Chiffon Skirt £30 (was £60)

3) Black velvet skirt £16 (£32)

 

TOPSHOP

1) Kate Moss Lurex Winter Maxi £20 (was 60)

2) Kate Moss Ruche Waist Maxi £30 (was £80)

3) Knitted Kimono Maxi Cardigan £10 (was £46)

 

URBAN OUTFITTERS

1) Sparkle and Fade Maxi Skirt £22 (£48)

2) Reformed Alyson Leopard Maxi £20 (was £65)

3) O&O Sheer Paisley Maxi Dress £20 (was £48)

 

RIVER ISLAND

1) Gold pleated maxi skirt £20 (was £44.99)

2) Chelsea Girl Print maxi dress £25 (was £50)

3) Black Mesh Maxi Skirt £7 (was £29.99)

Maximum Effort

The maxi skirt was another of those trends that instilled an irrational fear within me. I had no qualms about the maxi dress – having seen enough photos of bronzed Lauren Conrad sailing down LA streets in one, to convince me of their beauty. But the maxi… skirt? Is that not just one of those multi-fabric, multi-coloured monstrosities that hung in Topshop etc (as well as those shops that smell really strongly of incense and sell rain sticks..) many summers ago? Or perhaps it’s one of those grey wool, slim line efforts that the over 60s wear because knee length is no longer acceptable? Well, several gorgeous editorials over the winter months, including this one in the January issue of Company, have shown me that the maxi skirt is in fact a beautiful and practical way of staying boho and fairytale-esque after the last of the summer sun. But if you’re not down with such dreamy femininity, you can take the grungy stance and pair with baggy jumpers and worker boots. And so, nobody can say anything about not dressing appropriately for winter. It’s the perfect winter garment!

Next Summer Sensations: D&G

Like Erdem’s collection, but slightly younger, edgier and more… Glastonbury. Old jeans cut into shorts, little tees and denim waistcoats are getting old now, so hows about some shiny red bubble shorts, gingham head scarves and off the shoulder gypsy dresses as the new festival chic? Admittedly, I did initially scoff at the headscarf pirate look, but then I thought of the 3 day unwashed hair and sweaty forehead that they will come to the rescue of! It all just screams festival which is uplifting amidst these darkening and freezing winter eves. Not one of D&G’s S/S outfits wouldn’t look good with wellies.

And if you’re not festival bound next summer, then there’s still the frilly and sweeping floral maxi dresses which are perfect for wafting through the long grass in as the sun goes down, or pirouetting in by some fountains in a French cobbled square. But seriously I do bloody love those dresses… and they’d still look good with wellies.