How To Style: Summer Accessories 2017

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All sunglasses featured can be found via Warby Parker

Summer is undoubtedly one of the best seasons to style. It is time to shove all of your winter boots and thick coats to the back of your wardrobe in order to make room for bright colours and summer dresses.  While the British summer is not always adequate enough to be considered, well… as summer, the new season is always a fitting excuse to undertake a major wardrobe reshuffle and embrace lighter fabrics.

I’m no stranger to shopping. In fact, I take great comfort in bagging myself a few great core pieces to adapt to any outfits. However, in my career as a shopper the one thing that I struggle with has yet to finish haunting my high street escapades: accessories.

In winter it is easy enough to throw a scarf on and be done with it. No thoughts about being too warm, or accessories being a nuisance. The days of styling Autumn/ Winter outfits and throwing on a few basic accessories are behind us. We must now face the battle of not being too overboard with our choices of accessories for the summer months, while still adding something extra to complete a look.

During my never-ending endeavour to find the perfect accessories to complement my summer wardrobe, I stumbled upon the perfect solution: sunglasses.

This may seem obvious- indeed it is difficult not to see everyone sporting a shaded frame in summer. In fact, I rarely leave the house without a pair resting on my head. This proves they are the most versatile and necessary accessory in any summer outfit if you want to actually see when you step out of the house.

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The super accessory can be added to any outfit to instantly add a bit of demure to an otherwise simple look. However, through the summer period I have been through hundreds of pairs. Endless scrolls through Asos and picking up a £2 pair of sunnies from Primark every time I walk past have not lasted me well. The frames also don’t provide a great selection. So, with the weather getting warmer, I decided it is time to start looking to upgrading.

While it is easy enough to follow the trends and order those tortoise shell cat eye frames that you saw Kendall Jenner styling on Instagram; a number of other factors must be considered before pressing ‘confirm’. The shape of your face being the most notable. Admittedly, my slightly rounded face and has prevented me from pulling off many chic Instagram worthy frames. Most retailers show models with thin, pointy faces presenting the glasses and really not giving off the most realistic representation of what the sunglasses will really look like.

After many orders and endless disappointments- the answer to my sun shaded eyes appeared in the form of a website link. Warby Parker the retailer that is the answer to every sunglasses lover’s prayers. Upon entering the website, you can take a frame quiz that asks a series of questions that concern face shape, colour, materials and personal preference. From that, you may make a calculated decision- or rather they do it for you- on which frames suit your face best. In other words, they do all the work for you.  Click on sunglasses from there and the sun shaded world is your oyster.

However, what excited me most was the announcement of a new collection, available at Warby Parker from May 9th.

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This new collection seems to be all about colour. With the new season, there is no better opportunity to sport a pair of vibrant frames. Similar to the colourful sunglasses found at Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci this Summer 2017. Favouring a mirrored lens, the slightly rounded frames are flattering on most face shapes and often a safe bet when you’re not sure which would suit you best. My favourite pair are the blue tinted rounded frames as I find them versatile and a perfect match for most of my summer wardrobe.

All glasses can be found here.

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‘Sometimes you just have to bite your upper lip and put sunglasses on’

-Bob Dylan

Burberry Autumn/Winter 2017 #LFW

When thinking of quintessential British fashion, more often than not, Burberry will be the defining brand of British fashion traditionalism. It remains one of the most sought after and highly regarded shows in the busy schedule of London Fashion Week. This LFW was no exception. Fashion editors and online influencers alike gathered at Maker’s House, Soho to see creative director Christopher Bailey debut his new collection.

The night started with an electric guitar chord, and the hazy voice of Anna Calvi along with her band and members of the Heritage Orchestra & Choir. Live music is always an important part of Burberry shows, and this year was no exception with Christopher Bailey’s newest discovery. Bailey seemed set to combine as many art forms as possible this LFW.

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It seemed that Bailey relied on the sculptures of Henry Moore to enhance the show. The infamous sculpture ‘Mother and Child’ was placed beside the runway, between guests such as Penelope Cruz and Tinie Tempah. Anna Wintour was seated opposite Draped Reclining Mother and Baby. The sculptures themselves transcended their role as a spectacle for the audience; instead the art proved as ample inspiration for the clothes themselves.

The big sculptures present the natural body in an abstract form. For this show, Christopher Bailey took direct inspiration from Moore’s sculptures. He even worked closely with Moore’s daughter and took notes from the artists personal style in the lead up to the show. This is perhaps more evident in the forms of the silhouettes; bold shapes, exaggerated cuffs, shoulder details and deconstructed garments. With the smooth lines of the art surrounding the catwalk, it was easy for the audience to see how this translated into the slick curvature of the clothes. Ruffles, frills, lace and abstract hems gave the effect of a sculptor creating his own piece of art on the human body.

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This show was all about the shoulder. Grey jumpers with embroidery details, white ruffles, denim details. You name it, Bailey made a variation of it. Model after model appeared wearing some sort of upper accessory. Coming out of the recent AW16 season, the high street saw an epidemic of ruffles. Judging by Burberry’s new AW17 show, the trend appears to show no sign of dying out. Instead we should all expect to see more ruffles and shoulder details this upcoming Autumn. In terms of colour, this collection varies greatly from the previous bold prints and exuberant metallics. Bailey seemed to be in a very stripped back and organic head space, with stripped back navy, whites, blues and blacks dominating this catwalk. The clothes, instead focused on craftsmanship, tailoring and different textures in order to echo the omnipotent sculptures surrounding the room.

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The one piece of tailoring that seemed to prevail this collection was the humble cape. Particularly popular in 19th century Britain and important in the 161 years of Burberry history, the cape took a new reimagining in 2017. Capes in feather, lace, plastic- even one made entirely from crystal. Furthermore, in order to kick start the buy-it-now form shows have been adopting, Kendall Jenner picked up her own chunky knit cape worn to a party later that night.

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In light of another successful show, where clean cut silhouettes and smart tailoring hinted at what is to come this AW17 season, one prevailing thought on everybody’s mind. The role of fashion in art. There is a long standing debate on it’s position, but Bailey has just reminded the public, by drawing inspiration from Moore and echoing his style, that he is the ultimate artist. Translating work from sculpture to human is no easy feat. Not only did Bailey prove the place of London as a credible fashion event, he also blurred the rigid lines between fashion and art, reminding us that designers remain some of the best and most successful artists there are.

‘Fashion now is much more than a product. It’s about entertainment and people feeling a part of something’

-Christopher Bailey 

Vivienne Westwood at London Men’s Fashion Week 2017

After completing shows around Europe, Vivienne Westwood finally made her long awaited and much needed return to London to debut her men’s Autumn Winter 17/18 collection.

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The fashion crowd seemed far from restless as they took full storm to the streets of London for the last day of London Fashion Week Men’s. It may have seemed odd to anybody not involved in the multitude of fashion reporters, styles, bloggers and lovers. The contrast of the tube strike and the drab weather with the feverish mob appeared to be a fitting embrace of one of fashion’s greats. The national treasure who led the punk movement and is now a full time environmentalist campaigner, Dame Vivienne Westwood debuted at LFWM.

The themes of environmentalism and politics seem to have been a running trend throughout this collection entitled ‘Ecotricity’. These issues seemed to have dominated Westwood’s mind for the past decade or two, and this notion was only highlighted in the stripped back and seemingly hand crafted clothes featured on this seasons catwalk. Some models wore patches plastered with  anti-climate change logos. Handmade paper crowns and outlandish hats perpetuated the crucial theme of climate change, whilst still adding an edgy side which nods in the direction of punk, as is Westwood’s custom.

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Even those with the haziest knowledge of fashion will recognise Westwood’s name as the pioneering force behind the punk movement. This show did little to disappoint on the punk front. The different location and the barren ambience of the room may have been unfamiliar to the show-goers, but the show had all of the recognisable features of  a Vivienne Westwood display. The show featured designs for both men and women and even featured a plastic knife that had been reworked into an earring.

Rips, tears, mohair pieces and seemingly hand crafted pieces further prove that Westwood and her designer partner, Andreas Kronthaler, are aware of the punk heritage that the name holds. Even with the new interests into preserving the planet, Westwood seems to effortlessly combine her passions into one fluid show that never disappoints the multitude of people watching. There may have been edgy pieces in the collection, but the glamorous dresses and outerwear reminds the loyal fanbase what that Westwood brand is all about.

The show notes read ‘What’s good for the planet is good for the economy/what’s bad for the planet is bad for the economy’. Fashion remains one of the biggest contributors of pollution in our society. Westwood’s collection helped to perpetuate the message that we need to rethink our fashion choices even more. From the string belts to the patched clothing, Vivienne Westwood will not shy away from continuing to convey her revolutionary messages through the medium of fashion; the £33.8 million turnover for 2015 only proves that the Vivienne Westwood brand continues to perform well and provide their customers with the classic style that has become associated with Westwood herself.

With extended applause for her closing of a run of four days of shows, Vivienne Westwood walked surrounded by her models and holding a bouquet of flowers, tears glistening in her eyes. It seems that five decades of fashion will do nothing to stop her, as the leader of the punk movement focuses her talent on the ever impending threat of climate change.

As successfully as she pushed the punk revolution, Westwood will continue to bring the environment to the forefront of all of our minds.

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‘I think it is a good thing to buy less and choose well- It’s good for the environment and to be fair it’s also good for me because my clothes are quite expensive.’

-Vivienne Westwood

On Iris Apfel and the Art of Growing Up Gracefully.

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After finally getting around to watching the Albert Maysles directed film Iris, a great deal of my time has been consumed by thinking about the equivocal process of growing up. More specifically, how to grow up with grace.

Iris Apfel is an encapsulation of style. The experimentation of bright colours and clashing textiles allows her to express herself through the medium of fashion. Isn’t that what we all strive for? The ability to look great and stand out from the crowd. At the phenomenal age of 95, Iris still manages to combine outfits with ease that just work. After watching the film, one quote in particular stood out to me. Somebody once told Iris…

“You’re not pretty, and you’ll never be pretty. But, it doesn’t matter. You have something much better. You have style” 

Upon first reading this quote may seem outrageous. But in fact, it posses a great truth that we are all afraid of. Everyone wants to believe that they have a great sense of style, and I’m sure many do. But, individualism is something else. Something to rare and difficult to embody, that many attempt to grasp only to appear as a ‘try hard’ or a ‘hipster wannabe’. Labels are now a part of our everyday language, and it seems like common practice to box people together under a certain clique. The pursuit of being your own person seems to be futile these days, and Iris completely defies this logic. Yes, she may wear wacky outfits and layer up her jewellery but when you take away her status as a fashion icon, you are able to see her personality and life work embody individualism.

The film seems to be a drop in session, a sort of ‘day in the life of Iris Apfel’ film. Rather than hearing an extensive list of all of her achievements and her wonderful career, the audience are treated to a personal tour of her life and a conversation about her collection of clothes in her swanky New York apartment that closely resembles an Aladdin’s cave. It is incredibly easy to dismiss Apfel as another eccentric, but through the personal lens of the documentary, she seems endlessly down to earth and a perpetual fountain of philosophy. Age does not seem to hinder Iris in anyway; instead age enriches her experiences and adds a colourfulness to her life. Giving advice to younger fashionistas, recounting stories of her life and laying out endless outfits with matching jewellery. This film is a conventional documentary in Maysles arsenal, verging on repetitive, the audience are allowed an insight into the life of one of fashions most iconic figures. The film is very much about living life to the fullest and taking this life of luxury and bringing it into your old age.

Arguably, Iris’ outlook on style is the very meaning of the word itself. There is no need to buy everything from couture fashion houses, as much enjoyment can be taken in assembling outfits from the high street. In fact, Iris is known for not sticking to one designer, instead getting different pieces from all over and combining to make them into a new outfit. The boundaries of fashion are constantly being pushed and moulded by the 95 year old. I think the very secret of ‘growing up gracefully’ is perfectly captured in this documentary-film. Not caring. Pushing boundaries. Learning.

Iris does not seem to care what others think and through her life she has happily accepted new information and trends. It seems that she chooses whether to be old, and her attitude towards individualism means her young soul is perpetual. My admiration towards Iris Apfel has only increased by the ten-fold after watching this documentary. After stripping back all of her achievements, such as interior design and her status as a fashion icon, what remains is infinitely individual. After all striving to be different from everyone else, it seems that Iris is the one of the few that have actually managed to achieve it. Perhaps in our lives, we should adopt Iris’ attitude to become who we strive to be.

‘When you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everybody else’

-Iris Apfel   

Milan Round-up and Highlights

In the third week of fashion week, it seems hardly possible that any more original and breath-taking fashion shows could take place. And alas, Milan Fashion Week commences.

Prada

It seems almost improper to make a post about MFW without starting with the Prada show.

The Prada brand, defined as the pinnacle of high couture fashion delivered it’s collection at MFW. As shown by their half year results, Prada announced a 14.8% decline in its revenue. Inevitably, this makes a gloomy reading, which I think is reflected in their SS17 collection.  Worlds away from the exaggerated embellishment of their AW16 show, this collection adopted a business like tone. In collaboration with David O Russell, a short film accompanied the show which displayed models in corporate interiors. Apparently, the models were sporting serious and even slightly afraid expressions. During a backstage interview, Mrs Prada (the creative director), said that this was completely intentional. The very first look displayed on the catwalk was a bog standard pleated skirt. Little to no embellishment graced the catwalk this season, only the occasional-but beautiful nonetheless-detail of gold embroidery. Ostrich feather trims seemed to have dominated this years runway, complimenting the synced in waists.

This years collection seems to essentially go back to the basics. The more serious and practical tone that permeates throughout this MFW collection reflects the film provided, but perhaps the change in the fashion world itself. Prada are trying to make their ready-to-wear collection more wearable, and thereby, marketable.

Fendi

Another high fashion house hits MFW, this time, it’s Fendi. I think people whose fashion knowledge is hazy at the best of times, still recognise the Fendi brand name. Despite being a power house for couture fashion, the brand has been able to build a shop and a marketable product.

Away from the talk of consumerism, I cannot deny the effortless beauty that this collection exudes. With creative directors, Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, the collection was never going to deliver anything less than experimental, while still retaining the femininity and luxury that the brand stands for. At the beginning of the show, bold stripes and fur fabrics engulfed the models. The baggy trousers helped to emphasise the masculine figure that seems to be a reoccurring theme in the collection. This was only contrasted by the ethereal and scantily clad Gigi Hadid, who emerged sporting  sheer tulle fabrics. Stripes continued to appear, along with synced waistlines and big shoulders, which payed homage to the power suits of the 1980s. Nearing the end of the show, more embellishment appeared. The contrast between delicate fabrics which flowed and pooled around the models bodies, and the more structured figures, which robust embroidery.

The models wore bright, sparkling lipstick and strappy boots, which added to the running theme of both ethereal and structured beauty.

Versace

World renowned for being a luxury Italian brand, this years SS17 did little to disappoint.

With Serena Williams sitting FROW, it seems fitting to see the whole collection based off of a sports theme. Indeed, gym wear seems to be a look that defines the brand, with Williams backing an advertising campaign, the sportswear seems to be at the forefront of Sister Donatella Versace’s mind. Light fabrics of cotton, Lycra and silk seemed to dominate this seasons catwalk. Clashing colours of purples, greens, reds, blues and yellows seem to hint and replicate 1990’s shell suit jackets. This whole collection, in fact, encapsulates a more sophisticated look of the ‘getting fit’ age in the 80s and 90s.

Despite being focused on the sportswear, the collection still saw a lot of 1990s silhouettes being displayed. Crop tops and shell suits indicate a return of the era in spring/summer. Coming away from the show, the only thing being repeated in my mind is the rise of sportswear.

*Disclaimer- I do not own any of the images displayed

‘What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contacts go so fast. Fashion is an instant language.’

-Miuccia Prada 

How To Bring Summer Indoors

Britain never fails to produce disappointing summers. In fact, I am writing this post in joggers…in August. a mixture of rain and strong winds have engulfed our summer, and it is becoming increasing difficult to sit outside, read a book and enjoy the sun.

I love decorating and customizing my room to personalize it and make it my own, and with each new season, I like to add some things to the decor to change it up a bit. Summer was no exception. After countless hours of browsing on Pinterest, I compiled a list of pieces of furniture and decor items to make my room a bit more suitable for summer. Little did I know that this summer would be disappointing and I would be inside most of the time I am at home. So, I decided to share my favourite pins with you to show how to add subtle summer details into your home!

Make sure to check out my Pinterest here.

I do not own any of these images! Check out my board to see the original owners.

From my many pins, the colour theme is the main thing that struck me. During summer, I love to have plain toned walls (white) and add colour and decoration into the furniture and wall art. This is also a good, easy and cheap way to reupholster and give life to old furniture- just give it a lick of paint and… voilà! A whole new piece. Particularly this season, my favourite colours for furniture are extremely bright. But these items of decor are sparse and give the room a pop of colour where it is needed and not to the point where it is overwhelming.  I really like yellows, pinks, blues and greens for summer and the boldness of the colours work well to reflect the vibes of the season.

There is no need to overcrowd furniture in your room, instead keep the walls a white or some sort of solid colour. To decorate, add wall art and garlands for texture and decoration. Embellishing your room can be anything from a bedside table to having a snazzy desktop background on your computer/laptop (just search free desktops on Pinterest). Add pillows, tassels and green plants, especially succulents to achieve effortless summer vibes throughout your room.

‘One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by’

-Jeanette Walls