Victoria Beckham AW17 New York Fashion Week #NYFW

Claimed to be one of her ‘best collections yet’, Victoria Beckham took New York in her stride with the debut of her new Autumn/Winter 2017 collection.

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Her family populated the front row, sat next to Anna Wintour. The family gifted Beckham a pre-show surprise of a bouquet of flowers to wish the brand good luck, as seen on her social media.

In a statement given before the show Beckham appeared to pay homage to the current political climate for women, with emphasis on the importance of speaking up and taking a stand against oppression. It seems that Beckham has the intention of moving away from showpieces and instead creating looks that could be worn in the bustle of everyday life.

This new re imagining of woman power in fashion saw Beckham display baggy silhouettes and androgynous styled clothing. The collection saw multiple pieces of tailored jackets and wide leg trousers, often donned by Beckham herself, take the runway. Very far away from the tightly fitted dresses of her previous collections, it seems that baggy is the new fitted.

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It is notoriously hard to pull off wide fitting clothes in a sophisticated way that does not look like you’ve drowned in material from your parent’s wardrobe when you were younger. In fact, anyone who remembers arriving to school on the first day of term in a blazer four sizes too big and still feels the sting of the words ‘you’ll grow into it’ may not be the biggest fan of the new AW17 collection. The ample clothing, therefore, is not the most accessible to her clients. However, this collection seems to have perfected the best way to style and wear the clothes. Elegant, tailored and fresh. The collection is fundamentally a glimpse into Victoria Beckham’s own wardrobe.

Ahead of her show, Beckham even said “It’s always fundamentally about what I like to wear”. By using tailored suits, rich colours of navy, oxblood, red, oranges and wide leg trousers, Beckham has succeeded in sending a subliminal message of strength. No loud political statement is required, only the subtlety masculine figures.

Coats had large sculptural sleeves and the boots were knee high and slouchy, suggesting that baggy clothes and masculine figures are the way to go for Autumn Winter 2017. Contrasting with the block colours, vibrant patterns were used. Inspired by artist Paul Nash, Beckham created the colourful pattern injected into her collection. Despite the masculine clothing, there is always room for elegance and sophistication.

Before the collection launched, Beckham stated that  “I have always been about empowering women, and that’s never felt more relevant than it does this season.” The result, a collection very much celebrating narrow and yet fluid figures. Beckham described the collection shown in Downtown Manhattan as “emancipation with optimism” and “feminine with a practical streak”. A chic take on big jumpers and double breasted jackets shows a new style for Beckham, but admittedly one that works. The new relaxed style of clothing that could be seen on the woman herself proves successful and another great show was given by the brand; a show that combined political agenda with the power and hope of women, as well as the practicality of fashion itself. It seems that Beckham is accustomed to change up her brand, and perhaps the face of fashion itself.

Victoria Beckham RTW Fall 2017 Source

‘I think the sexiest thing about a woman is confidence, but confidence in a humble way, not in an arrogant way. Sense of humor is definitely important. And sunglasses always hide a multitude of sins. Sunglasses and a great pair of heels can turn most outfits around.’  

-Victoria Beckham

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How to Layer: Winter 101

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Layering remains one of the best fashion trends of the Autumn/Winter season. It can be both fashionable and incredibly warm and cosy. However, it still terrifies most people. In fear of looking ‘bigger than they actually are’ people either incorrectly layer, or avoid the trend all together. In my experience of layering clothes in order to shield myself from the biting British weather (…or rain), I have compiled a list of the best way to layer clothes in order to keep warm this winter.

  1. Start off with the base layer. Much like building something, you need to start out with a good foundation. I recommend a t-shirt. It’s best to keep something form-fitting, in order to add bulk with more layers. I tend to gravitate towards solid block colours in order to get the seasonal colours in, or more recently, a good stripped tee (which is necessary in everybody’s wardrobe!).
  2. Next, we build on top. This is where the real layering starts, so take advantage of it to it’s fullest. I tend to add either a cardigan or jumper, or anything knitted for that matter. I love chunky cable knit items in the winter. Wear something that goes well with your t-shirt. If you have a plain tee, this step is the place to add a bit of colour into your look.
  3. It is finally time for the coat! Either a coat of jacket will work on this step. I am personally a massive advocate of coats and I love them (stay tuned for a blog post coming soon!). Coats can either make or break an outfit, so I suggest staying with basic colour, such as navy, grey and camel. Bomber jackets will also work, as they are a great trend for this season. This is also a great opportunity to start experimenting with textures. Add different fabrics to add some detail to each layer in your outfit. In terms of silhouette shape, it is your preference. I normally either wear a boyfriend coat, or a duster of some sort.
  4. Finally, to keep yourself extra warm, feel free to add a scarf and gloves to protect yourself from the harsh wind!

Coats: New Look Topshop River Island

‘Knitwear can play a vital part in layering. The simplicity of a lightweight cardigan makes it one of the best ways to layer outfits. I love granddad cardis for winter, worn over a vintage lace shirt, waistcoat and full skirt with slouchy boots’

-Twiggy

Why I Love Fashion, But Hate Shopping.

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I am writing this blog post after a full day of shopping in Birmingham, or, lack of it.

It is no secret to anyone who knows me, that I love fashion. I love wearing it, styling it, writing about it and I even intend to work in the industry when I’m older. However, when the opportunity arises to go out to a big shopping centre, although initially keen, I often shy away and never leave with anything that I want. Sometimes I even buy stuff that I don’t even like, just so I leave with something and not feel as if I have wasted a day.

I’m not sure when my shopping habits developed like this. At the age of eleven I would have jumped at the chance to go to a big shopping centre and spend money on clothes. But at the age of seventeen, I struggle to leave with one piece of clothing without doubting myself. Perhaps it is my hesitation to spend money (as it is my own and I have the ever impending threat of budgeting at university), my picky style or even my lack of self confidence.

Since my early teenage years, my perception of myself changed. It is still changing and evolving. This is true of both my style and opinion of myself. Obviously, as I have gotten older, I have refined my style of clothing and have in consequence, become more picky in what I buy. Meaning, there is less clothing available that I like enough to buy. Sometimes, I can become narrow minded in my shopping, I have a particular style (that evolves during the seasons), that often I scrunch up my face and scoff at some pieces on the shelves. This does not mean, however, that there is nothing for me to buy. But I still leave shops empty handed.

Why do I do this? I think perhaps the biggest  obstacle to my shopping experience is my ever building self doubt. About both whether I love the piece enough to commit to buying it, and whether it actually looks nice and compliments my figure. Clearly, my lack of enthusiasm to spend money does not help, but I think my problem is how I view myself. You cannot enjoy shopping until you learn to love yourself.

Every time I emerge from Topshop changing rooms, the wish that I had a thinner body and a fatter purse circulates around my brain (which is rubbish!). Coupled with the busy atmosphere of shoppers, I often feel flustered and rushed. I then give up on the day and start to feel tired and overwhelmed at only 1 o’ clock. I then go home, and regret that I did not buy anything. I even avoid sales, because the amount of people rummaging and the vast number of clothes that are hanging half off of hangers, scares me.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I will buy lots when shopping, but I often find it difficult to find a happy medium. I either leave with lots of clothes (some that I am not even that crazy on), or I leave with nothing at all. I follow fashion closely, and in my mind I know exactly what kind of clothes I want and what my style is, but I can never find that in shops. For these reasons, I tend to sway towards online shopping, as I get to examine all of the brands and styles, without the pressure of shopping centers. However, with this technique I often disregard the concept of saving money, as it is a lot harder to visualize the amount of money you are spending. Plus, half of the fun of shopping is browsing clothes and trying them on.

As aforementioned and probably evident from my previous blog posts, I am a major follower of clothes and fashion. My distaste for shopping has developed from my lack of self confidence and budgeting issues. In order to tackle this, I have come up with simple steps…

  1. Look online before you go at the sorts of clothes/the style that you want and where to get them.
  2. Make sure you are not feeling low on body confidence. Try on some more daring outfits, you never know, it might suit you!
  3. Go with somebody who does not mind going back and forth to shops as you doubt and become indecisive on what you want to buy.
  4. Have a good breakfast and lunch to keep you fueled throughout the day.
  5. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes!
  6. Go to the best shopping place. If big shopping centers are not your thing (they definitely aren’t mine!), then go to a smaller town with good shops that is perhaps a bit more open (do some research on shops local to you).
  7. Relax! Don’t try to find something you love, but rather something you like and you will practically wear. Do not, under any circumstances, buy something you do not like just for the sake of it. If all else fails, there is always online shopping!

I have put together this blog post after a long reflection on my shopping habits. I must not be the only person who feels like this. In the hopes that this helps people who are feeling the same way, please let me know if you also experience this. Remember, fashion is great but shopping is something completely separate, it can be an enjoyable experience. Try and slowly get back into it by entering with a different perspective.

‘Self love is the elixir of an immortal heart’

-Amy Leigh Mercree