The Velvet Dress

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‘Make 2017 your bitch’

-Wonder Look

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The Party Season: Dresses

With Christmas looming around the corner, many parties and work-dos have been announced. And with that, their have been many Asos orders (and returns). With the sudden influx of parties and events, the need for an appropriately festive outfit is in need. All throughout the year I find it easy to find a dress I like at a reasonable price, apart from when I actually need one. Alas, the time has come to find a dress for parties, meals, events… and I cannot find one. Endlessly searching every New Look and Asos sale, only to find nothing. As if the month of December is not stressful enough as it is…

One of the bitter sweet things about the festive period is the sudden increase in sales. This can be both a great thing, or quite the opposite. The opportunity to find a great bargain is there, but also the overwhelming feeling of dread as you reject anything as there is. Just. Too. Much. Choice. Refer here.

In order to make your life a little easier (and to give myself an excuse for a bit of online browsing, coincidentally one of my favourite pass times), I have compiled a list of some of my favourite dresses for the festive period that will look great at any event, with a range of prices.

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New Look Red Velvet Wrap Dress £27.99

New Look Bell Sleeve Dress £22.99

New Look Grey Velvet Choker Dress £11.49

Topshop Satin Frill Midi Dress £59

Zara Floral Embroidered Dress £69.99

Pull & Bear Jumpsuit £49.99

‘Dressing is a way of life’

-Yves Saint Laurent 

Stocking Fillers Under £20

It seems like Christmas has popped out of no where this year. One minute, I was starting the new year by setting up my blog, and the next minute it was time to get the decorations out from the attic and start the exciting and yet arduous process of Christmas shopping.

With the shock of Christmas coming so early, the inevitable rush of shopping commences. Whether you’ve put off going shopping this year or you have absolutely no idea what to get the person in your life, I guarantee you there is some one in the same position. Often Christmas shopping can be difficult, especially if you are on a budget. In light of this struggle, I have put together a list of items and advice of gifts that are assured to be great presents for a range of different personalities. Stay calm and happy shopping!

Always remember…

  1. Steer clear of clothes unless you know the person extremely well (and they have directly hinted of what they would like as well as telling you their size), everybody has their own personal style and it is better to get them something else rather than getting them something that will only gather dust and take up space. That being said, pyjamas make a great present and are sized a lot more effectively (when in doubt, most people will take a medium as lounge-wear is meant to be over sized).
  2. DO NOT BUY SHOES. Slippers and socks, yes. But not shoes. If you do, make sure to include a gift receipt.
  3. Jewelry can be great, but make sure it is dainty and not too much of a statement. It is better to go for plainer and yet pretty bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Steer clear of rings as it is difficult to estimate size.
  4. Think about every thing you use and like, but you never buy for yourself. Socks, slippers, stationary, bath stuff. These are usually always successful presents, and shops such as Boots (look out for their great 3 for 2 offer that runs for the festive period) and Lush always have great sets with a range of prices that will accommodate any budgets.
  5. If in doubt, give a gift card. It may seem slightly impersonal, but remember that it would be better to get a gift that you can personalise to yourself than something that you would not enjoy.

WARNING: ROYAL MAIL ARE HAVING A STRIKE FROM NEXT WEEK TO CHRISTMAS EVE. BRITISH PEOPLE ORDER CAREFULLY!    

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Paperchase Notebook £12

NYX Lip and Eye Collection £15

Soap and Glory Clean Get Away Gift Set £10

Sanctuary Candle £10

Primark Slipper Socks £3

Inside Vogue £11.89

Little Women £7.49

Charlotte Tilbury Party Eyes Kit £20

Lush Golden Wonder Set £9.95

New Look Pyjamas £7.49

New Look Mug £5.99

Lindt Chocolate

‘Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping’

-Bo Derek

Gucci Spring/Summer 2017

pic-2In spirit of my never ending endeavor to know absolutely everything about the fashion weeks, by religiously updating my Twitter and Instagram feeds, and social-media-stalking everybody at the event, the Gucci SS17 show completely stole my attention.

The event was completely decked out in 1970s-esque furniture. Plush walls and carpets. Everything in the room was plastered in a vibrant pink/red colour. Alessandro Michele’s creation meant that everyone in attendance was submerged into a dark, smokey bar, old Hollywood glamour was oozing out of everything from the decor.

As per usual, Michele’s shows offers an escapism which is shown from the moment you walk through the door to one of the most sought after shows in the whole of Milan Fashion Week. The clothes only emphasize this sentiment.

There is never a hint of minimalist in the designs at Gucci. The collections are always injected with texture and experimental materials. Michele is skilled in the art of picking both the beautiful and the strange from the terrain  of his mind. The vast collection shows his different mental process’ of Michele, and the collection shows how he manages to pull them together in a succinct assembly that just works. 

Ever aware of their established status as a high couture fashion house, delicate tulle materials are used in flowing gowns, paired with rich, natural colours that prove that the Gucci brand is as demure as ever.

Perhaps this is the most Gucci like show we have ever seen from creative director Alessandro Michele. The weird was next to the wonderful, the collection intended to tell a story ‘steeped in wonder’. The clothes display ‘wonder, phantasmagoria and unorthodoxy’. For me, that is what defines Gucci. Testing the boundaries and being experimental with clothes, while still retaining the established and high fashion name that they have earned for themselves.

In terms of the clothing, it is evident that the 1980’s influence is still a strong running theme throughout the collection. Strong and bold ruffles dominated the catwalk, paired with both coarse and more delicate materials. Despite the setting, 1980’s appear to be the ‘in’ trend for Spring Summer 2017.

Red leather, power suits and graphic tees were spotted down the catwalk. It appears masculine figures, bold colours and all of the eccentricities of the 1980’s will be welcomed back in the new season. One of my personal favourite items of the show were the extremely embellished bomber jackets, with a homage to Elton John on the back. Having the privilege of meeting the man, Michele shows his admiration of John’s music in the throw back theme running through the collection.

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Despite the abundance of kooky designs, the effortless couture of Gucci was apparent. True to the brand, a lot of the inspiration was taken from Renaissance fashion. The new birth could be an indication of a changing of the brand. Being in full stride in his career, most people know what to expect from Michele’s designs. Experimental materials, inspiration from different time periods and a vast pick-‘n-mix of textures. This collection produced much of the same, and yet, millions are still drawn to it. The hats are a major talking point in this show, and the makeup gave a theatrical effect. Perhaps Michele is trying to change a long with couture fashion. His fun shows overload your senses with production. But, it is selling.

Gold embroidery hints at the medieval renaissance period. Romanticism may be combined with modern times to create a hybrid of art.

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The hats were big, and the make up sometimes a bit too theatrical, but I cannot deny the youthful energy that Michele puts into his work. The excitement and escapism that run through the collections complement the Gucci brand that has built it up, while also experimenting with new designs and materials. The reference to different subcultures and times in history make the show enticing and irresistible.

As well as being experimental, the collection was daring. Big coats embroidered with the number 25 (Michele’s lucky number) and dresses with big hearts plastered on them. With awards season coming up, I cannot wait to see what Gucci we will see on the red carpet.

The promise of Gucci shows that no matter what is happening in the outside world, and how fashion is changing, you may always escape in to the art and poetic intentions. The 250,000 bead sequins surrounding the room echo the meaning of the clothes, art, no matter how kooky or subjective, may always be translated into the world. This Gucci show provided an escapism, that we all long for.

Photo Credit

‘Contemporary is whatever your head wants it to be’

-Alessandro Michele

 

#LFW Highlights

Away from the exciting and yet strict New York Fashion Week, London fashion week comenses. London always seems to be the centre of arts and fashion, full of exciting talent and integral talks of acceptance. The city may seem enigmatic, but upon entering, you feel a true Londoner. Everyone here has a goal, and the sheer amount of multiculturalism sweeps you up. Something about the manifestation of people is truly a great experience. Wanderers, dreamers, artists…people. LFW does nothing to tarnish the encounter, in fact, it heightens it. Designers from all around the world come together to display their art. Men and women’s fashion intermingled, with the buzzing culture of the arts. This fashion week saw a new era for fashion emerging. One where art may be combined with the present. The new accepting culture is mixed with English traditionalism to create a culture that many yearn for. Bloggers, Instagramers and reporters a like were left with much to absorb, as this London Fashion Week became the best one yet. And from home, I was religiously checking my social media feeds every second. In my awe and amazement, I have decided to compile a list of only some of my favourite shows that have seemed the most important.

Burberry

One does not simply make a blog post about London Fashion Week without mentioning Burberry…

This years show did not disappoint. As the centre of attention for LFW, all eyes were on Makers house on the 19th of September. It seems like this year Christopher Bailey made a huge change to the art of fashion shows as we know it. A new scheme in which people could buy pieces from the catwalk after the show sees a new change for fashion. A mantra of ‘see-now-buy-now’ is over taking LFW, and the fashion world. In this show we saw men and women’s fashion side by side, and a new form of fashion emerging from the event. In contrast, the clothes, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, hints at a collection inspired by the past. Old wallpaper prints, and ornate drummer boy jackets creates a vintage vibes for the spring summer trends. Golds, blues and reds keep the traditional Burberry style that we all know and love. However, we see the Burberry brand rewriting the conventions of catwalk shows. Remember this show that defines a change of the Burberry brand, and in fact, fashion shows as we know them.

Fyodor Golan

Alas, here I am again. Writing about the shows with bright colours, unique fabrics and quirky styles. I am constantly attracted to the most aesthetically pleasing catwalks shows. Although I am a massive advocate of high couture shows, the newer more futuristic looks really interest and attract me.

Bright colours seemed to be a massive theme running throughout Golan’s show. Blues, pinks,reds, oranges and greens. Despite the clashing colours, they work well together harmoniously, while still creating a striking look. The sheer amount of texture injected into this collection gives it a great sense of movement. Holographic materials, paired with denim, faux fur and sheer/lace materials hint at what is to come this spring summer. The childish and yet futuristic look of the collection just screams fun to me. Matched with brightly coloured trainers, I could not help but include this show into my favorites.

J JS Lee

The main thing that took my attention in this collection is the use of sheer tulle material. Standard, ‘normal’ clothing is spiced up with the material, which gives the clothes an added detail. Not apparent at first sight, the tulle gives the clothes a more angelic and light look.

Different from other shows, the clothes in this collection are wearable. Not too crazy. In fact, the clothes are sensible, using masculine figures to accentuate the elegance of a women’s figure. Monochrome tones used throughout the collection, with a few deep tones of blue and a few bright patterns indicate a lot of darker colours used in spring summer 2017. However, the tulle adds colour and definition into a otherwise bland outfits.

Marques’ Almeida

Again, Marques’ Almeida’s collection injects a sense of entertainment into LFW. Flower prints and delicate lace materials, are paired with denim and frayed edges. The romantic feel and style of the clothes are matched with more urban accessories and shoes. I think this perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere and mood of London. Traditionalism mixed with urban settings. London is steeped in history, and yet exerts business and innovation at it’s core. Something that this collection by relatively new designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida  have created. Despite being from Portugal, the collection screams modern London, which reflects the accepting society we live in. More silver fabrics give off a futuristic feel, and tulle fabric is used again to bring femininity and lightness to an otherwise urban collection. Paired with sculptured shoes and bad-ass boots, who could resist putting this collection in their LFW highlights?

Topshop Unique

Topshop Unique is another collection that I cannot help but put onto my highlights.Another year, and another success.

The over sized jackets are paired with more fitting skirts and dresses. I cannot help but feel excitement towards the 1980s vibes that this collection is giving off. Jumpers tucked into high-waisted loose fitting trousers that reminisces ski suits, as well as large jackets to hint at shell suit jackets. Like other collections at LFW, printed fabrics and denim seem to be a reoccurring theme. Masculine silhouettes which only accentuate hourglass figures, are balanced out with over sized everything. Hinting at what is to come this spring summer. Blacks, white and deep blues seemed to prevail in this collection, with only a few exceptions of bright pops of yellow and pink. This collection seems far from haute couture, and instead displays what appears to be a newly emerged theme in the fashion world. Urbanized pieces dominated this LFW, clothes that you could wear straight off of the catwalk. It seems that Topshop also have adopted the mantra of ‘see-now-wear-now’. And yet, it works. I cannot wait to see the same prints and over sized styles in my local Topshop this spring/summer. Oh, and the same style of shoe that varies only in colour is a nice touch! The hybrid of high heel and boots will look so good paired with either trousers or a dress.

          ‘It’s really important to be disruptive and do things that are actually kind of a little scary and bold’

-Christopher Bailey  

#NYFW Highlights

Being from England, New York seems like another planet. The style and culture have always been alluring, and yet inaccessible. Being a countryside girl, the promise of a fast paced and exciting environment is thrilling, and yet terrifying. Even in my trip to London, I found it difficult to comprehend the tunnel vision that city dwellers adopt. But I found myself captivated, involved and exhilarated.

I digress, but my thoughts are that I have never really given much attention to New York Fashion Week. Of course, I look at the pictures, retweet and read up on the shows, but that is as far as my involvement go’s. Compared to London Fashion Week, I have never really paid much attention to it. I suppose my distance from the show contributes, but to be frank, New York feels like an enigmatic world in which I am not involved. The strictness of the couture fashion differs greatly from the urban freeing atmosphere of LFW.

Wrongfully so, I have avoided delving in deeper to the NYFW world. This year, I have decided to change and really research the big world of New York fashion. I discovered that my aversions were not well founded and I have found the week just as great and thrilling as London. With just as much street style and talent. So, in my excitement, and frustration that I did not research this world earlier, I have decided to compile a blog post of my personal favourite highlights of NYFW.

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta’s Spring 2017 runway show previewed a collection by new creative directors Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim. Renta’s name is iconic in the fashion world, and the collection was inevitably going to attract attention. For me, this collection echoed the essence of Oscar de la Renta throughout. Casual comfort met finesse. Ditching the high heels, comfortable and yet stylish sandals were worn by the models. White, fine lace was used throughout the collection, and white airy materials seems to be a favourite for this upcoming spring. Multicoloured fabrics and bold patterns also make an appearance, hinting towards the new Spring style for the season.

Thom Browne

The first word that comes to my mind when describing this collection is…fun. Perhaps different from the majority of other couture shows, Browne has injected a lot of youthful energy into his spring 2017 ready-to-wear collection. With materials and silhouette shapes that give a distinct nod to the 1960s, a certain amount of polished youth culture and rebellion is echoed throughout the clothes. This is perhaps one of my favourite shows of NYFW, the wacky setting with the clothes makes for a very exciting collection. Cartoon-esque bows and clothing, odd shoes and bright colours, who can resist? Browne also delivers many pastel colours, A-line dresses and dropped waistline to hint upcoming trends in spring 2017.

Tommy Hilfiger

As is his custom, Hilfiger gave a nod towards the nautical theme in his Spring ready-to-wear collection. With Gigi Hadid walking down the pier in  a navy ensemble, I couldn’t help but include this show in my highlights. After stalking everybody that was lucky enough to be invited to the show, it seems that the opening was very fun, and the setting a talking point for the rest of NYFW. Lots of neckties that resemble bandannas from the old American west, were worn. Hilfiger also adopted a few sporty looks into his collection, making it a great mix of sporty and nautical casual, with dresses and high leathers to make the show more edgy.

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham is one of the few designers who still churn out the good old fashioned fashion shows, in which people can sit down in a building and watch the art move past them. This is becoming increasingly rare in the fast paced and ever changing world of fashion, but it seems that Beckham is sticking to her roots. Not only that, but the show is good. The beginning of her fashion career, Beckham was faced with a lot of skepticism. But, through this fashion week especially, I think she has proved those critics wrong. Her collection is simple and yet elegant. The slouchy styles shows a bohemian vibes with structured garments. Beckham tackles the best of masculine trends, adding vibrant colours to spice up the simple garments. Simple and wearable, while still reaching effortless style.

Tune in for some more on New York Fashion Week and updates on the upcoming London Fashion Week.

‘You can never be overdressed or over educated’

-Oscar Wilde  

The #LFW Effect

Source: Pinterest

Ever since I first found out about London Fashion Week, I have religiously checked for updates. I used to marvel at the gorgeous fabrics, the shimmer of sequins and the wonderful array of trends. Now, with social media, I spend the whole five days updating Twitter and stalking the Instagram’s of designers and models alike. Despite never attending any shows in fashion week, it is safe to say that I am pretty obsessed with the cultural chaos that is London Fashion Week.

I believe that LFW was the triggering event that made me realise my love of fashion. When I was younger, and asked what I wanted to be when I was older, the answer was always: Fashion. I wanted to create, design and immerse myself in the culture. Whatever way, I’ve always wanted to be in the fashion world.

With wide eyes, I looked at the shows. Chanel, Dior, Prada. I gawked and absorbed. The fascination and bubbling excitement I felt towards this week has not died, but perhaps gotten stronger with the prospect of LFW becoming part of my job.

Definite that I was going to become a fashion designer, it was not until I really researched into fashion week that I found out about fashion journalism. And, alas, here I am. 10 years later writing on my fashion blog and looking to study journalism at university.

In my mind, I imagined LFW up to be this glamorous and extravagant world. Full of opportunity and wonder, as the FROW snap pictures and look on in interest. The creme de la creme of fashion. The enigmatic and foreign world certainly made me realise my dreams and undoubtedly the dreams of thousands of others.

LFW has changed since I first discovered it. The shows were art. 2015 seemed to be the ‘death’ of fashion. Raf left Dior, Alber Elbaz left Lanvin, shows adopted the ‘buy now, wear now’ mantra. ‘Fast fashion’ has now swept up the entire fashion world, and the art form seemed to be dwindling out. With the ever evolving world of social media, we see it creeping into the fashion weeks. Models Snap chatting, designers uploading to Instagram. While I am not opposed to using technology, in all honesty I encourage it, I feel like the essential art of fashion is escaping us. I feel that it is no longer the essential art form that I first discovered.

Don’t get me wrong, I still marvel over the beauty and completely freak out when I see the Chanel and Balmain shows in their respective Fashion Weeks. But, as I have changed, so has London Fashion Week.

The ‘new age’ of fashion may be challenging for some, but this London Fashion Week, I hope to embrace it. For ages, I felt saddened by the evolving of fashion, but writing this post made me realise something. Although I found like I am complaining, I still love fashion. LFW still holds the same amount of wonder and excitement for me. I should stop contemplating the change of fashion, and instead embrace it. The art of the fashion is still there, the passion is still there, and most importantly my love of the culture. Whether it is the high-end, luxurious couture, or fashion bloggers snapping their street style outside, I love the culture.

So, yes, fashion has changed. London Fashion Week has evolved and developed. Although it might not be what it used to be, there is still undoubtedly phenomenal talent, translating their art form into the modern world. LFW will still hold an important part in the fashion world. From my 10 year old, fashion obsessed self, to now, LFW still means the same. It is the promise of my dream life, of the hope of fashion, the culture and life of fashions greats, brought together for a shared love.

Despite never being to one, London Fashion Week has changed my life and my dreams.

‘Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening’

-Coco Chanel