Milan Fashion Week: Blugirl F/W 2011

Time for my latest fashion crush: Blugirl – fancifully flirty offspring of the acclaimed Blumarine label designed by the fabulous Anna Molinari.


After drooling over their completely covetable Spring/Summer offerings (think vintage pin-up in cotton candy baby-dolls, polka dots, florals…essentially a Lolita love-in of epi-cute proportions) I have been dying to see their take on Fall 2011…and what a take it is!


Drop-dead gorgeous feminine tailoring with an anarchic mix of retro references and super-chic layering all served up in a 70’s twist on the autumnal palette – think watermelon and ecru with flashes of punchy orange.

Styling steal – ribbed oatmeal mid-calf socks (usually the preserve of Granddads)  and cutesy mary janes; shouldn’t work but so does (and offers a work-friendly alternative to the sandal/sock trend which has been doing the rounds of late).

Check out the s/s lookbook over at becomegorgeous.com or head over to ELLE.com for the full f/w collection (no, really, do).

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Get Flirty in Florals This Spring

Spring is due to, well, spring fairly soon – maybe even this week if chatty recruitment consultants are to be believed, er *cough* – and, naturellement, spring in fashion means the inevitable re-emergence of that perennial favourite: floral prints.

Unimaginative, perhaps, but a welcome break from monochromatic colour blocks and, particularly when you’ve been cooped up in the City for what feels (both in terms of time and temperature) an ice age, a rather refreshing reminder that there is in fact life out there – somewhere.

Unlike s/s 2010 with it’s ditsy, chintzy, fairly unassuming foray into the floral trend, this Spring’s botanicals are big, blowzy and unabashedly in-your-face.

Think feature wall, think Interflora, think Nana’s beloved early 90’s curtains, and prepare to be transported to a hyper-real romantic idyll where merrily chirruping birds replace vocal drunks, where the rumbling, clanking progress of the Number 8 is replaced by the industrious yet soothing drone of furry little bumble bees, and where that gentle tinkling you can hear is an actual stream which in all likelihood flows into an enchanted grove populated entirely by faeries, gnomes and cuddly cotton-tails – not some sweaty guys having a whizz behind the bins next to Ministry of Kebab.

Transmuting the otherworldly floral delights of his couture show to the (slightly) more practical terenne of RTW, nautical meets Hawaiian graphic and 50’s sass in Galliano’s s/s 2011 collection – and single-handledly casts a designer life-ring to the beleaguered and all-but forgotten halterneck.

Christian Dior RTW s/s 2011

In a surprising move away from the cutesy Sunday-Best vibe which often permeates Chanel’s RTW collections, Lagerfeld offers up a bounty of dégradé chiffon florals in retro cuts with a strikingly edgy – verging on Rodarte-quirky – feel.

Chanel RTW s/s 2011

I could – quite literally – go on (and on) … the stand-out summer picnic prints at D&G, the flippant girlishness at Paul & Joe…the garden party garrulousness at Etro, et al…et al… But my personal pick of this Spring’s bunch has to be Kenzo’s gorgeously voluminous sun-bleached collection which speaks of a cool breeze on a hot day. And God knows we could do with a hot day (and a Kenzo in the wardrobe).

Kenzo s/s 2011

 

Faux…but Foxy: Fur Fall/Winter 2010

Winter. It’s here. A fact which struck me as I was stumbling home on the obligatory walk of shame at 8am on Saturday morning (and you KNOW it’s a walk of shame when the local homeless guy who probably hasn’t washed, eaten or enjoyed what one might consider ‘home comforts’ since flares, bell bottoms and Gary Glitter were deemed socially acceptable, inquires after your state of health and well-being).

How, I hear you ask, did this revelation manifest itself (and no, it wasn’t the tramp – he was just an interesting aside). Well. It was the moment I decided that I would quite happily sell my soul – and probably everyone else’s –  for a pair of Chanel F/W 2010 fur trousers…

When legs like Bungle become a viable – DESIRABLE – option you have got to conclude that either a) googlemaps has mistakenly led you to the arctic tundra or b) the season to be jolly has, for the umpteenth time, managed to catch you totally unawares and very unprepared (Soooo… you thought you’d get away without your thermals did you?!…FOOL!!)

With this in mind – and the fact that my wardrobe has, in conjunction with its local Trade Union representative, imposed a ‘No, not ever, not ever ever. Just NO‘ policy in relation to Long Johns – I decided to go and find some warm things I would actually wear. Conclusion? Faux Fur…everything. (Please).

Burberry Prorsum F/W 2010

Let’s start with fur coats which tended to fall into three broad categories for Fall 2010: either, massive, cosy and teddy-bear-esque a la Paul and Joe, slimmed down and chic gilets – see DKNY’s long length chocolate number for this season’s archetype – or edgy and elegant anachronistic beauties (take inspiration from Burberry, Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana).

Gucci F/W 2010

The only issue I could foresee in owning any of these (they all have that magical  ‘go with anything’ factor you’d expect from a coat) would be the fact that I’d be too busy hugging myself to actually breathe. A minor inconvenience I think you’ll agree.

Gucci F/W 2010

Fendi F/W 2010

Christian Dior F/W 2010

Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2010

THIS I WANT with every fibre of my being…

Of course I’d  have to top it off with a  Cossack hat (still lounging in fifties redux heaven here, plus it fits nicely with the whole global-traveller-meets-alpine-ski-lodge winter utility “vibe” which has been doing the rounds) Oh! and a pair of tan leather and fur trim ankle boots (which may or may not exist)…and some Miu Miu cable knit tights.

Santa…you had better be writing this down…

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FAKE London: The F/W Comeback

Iconic Britpop Label FAKE London makes it’s UK comeback this season after a 3 year hiatus with a gritty collection which more than pays homage to it’s Nineties roots.

Hefty plastic zips, good old English tweed and totes masquerading as grocery bags emblazoned with the legend ‘Buy British’ vie alongside spray-painted denim, vintage braces and silver nylon windcheaters for the retro-kitsch top spot. While the woollen parka and tattered red Union Jack dress (Kate Moss already has her name down for one) are sure-fire sellouts.

Based in London and founded by Desiree Mejer in 1997 the quirky label, famous for it’s cult-spawning Union Jack and British Bull Dog iconography and coveted by the likes of Madonna and Gwen Stefani, goes on sale at harveynichols.com from the 12th July: head here to view the collection.

Original FAKE London images courtesey of Grazia Fashion.

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The New Woman: A/W 2010

Finally (rambling apology aside) it’s here: my first post after an excessively long hiatus of quite literally days. So, in keeping with my fresh life, fresh job, fresh start mentality, it’s time for a fresh season (I know, it seems a tad premature to start thinking about a/w 2010/11 but, as we well know, time and fashion wait for no man – or woman – so we‘d best get on with it).

Louis Vuitton a/w 2010 RTW
Like s/s,  a/w looks set to offer an absolutely mammoth miscellany of trend and style options (excellent news for the easily bored) from purist minimalism to gothic Victoriana and androgynous tailoring. But, start somewhere we must and today that somewhere is the understated classic sophistication of the 50’s sex kitten: think Mad Men’s Betty Draper and shelve the overt sexuality of seasons past. Balmania may not be dead but it certainly is not demure and to rock this look you are going to need to unleash your inner Ingénue – or, at the very least, cage your inner Vamp.

Louis Vuitton a/w 2010 RTW

This look is all about grown-up femininity and that mystical concept of ‘lady-likeness’ often touted by well-meaning Grandmothers amidst bouts of disapproving tut-tutting. But that’s not to say go all out and ‘prude’ yourself! Think subtle sexiness meets wide-eyed naivety. In a word: coy.

Louis Vuitton a/w 2010

Prada a/w 2010 RTW

Drop your hem-line, ditch your sky-scraper heels in favour of flats, kittens and baby stilettos and rework a little of last season’s Lolita-look with bow detailing – just keep it sharp and sleek: Fashion’s nostalgia for the girlish has given way to picture perfect pin-up credentials. The cinched waist and the heaving bosom – as seen at Louis Vuitton, Prada and Loewe – provide the key silhouette for the season (raise a cheer all ye of gloriously curvaceous proportions – your time is now!)

Dolce & Gabana a/w 2010 RTW

Prada a/w 2010 RTW

Loewe a/w 2010 RTW

Images courtesy of ELLEuk.com and Style.com

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Alexa Chung for Madewell Fall 2010

Lo! What’s that on the horizon? Could it be a celebrity collaboration to salivate over…one whose sheer awesomeness will coax your long-suffering wallet into submission (recession or no recession)?

Give profuse thanks and sacrificial offerings to the retro redux gods of yore…

The Fashionista’s Fashionista, Alexa Chung’s debut collection for Madewell – hot, hip and hype-worthy Americana brand with prep-tastic credentials – rocks into your world (and mine, pay cheque pending) this August featuring fresh-faced androgynous casuals with a smattering of sweetness and a vintage twist all topped off with an all-American-prep-meets-London-Indie-chic edge of a cherry…

Photographs courtesy of Nitrolicious …go forth and covet!

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Sassy Shades: Summer’s must-have style-staple

Moschino

Lets face it, walk of shame or no walk of shame sunglasses are the perennial morning-after-the-night-before style superhero; a sure-fire way to lift those alcohol-fogged spirits (and hide the dreaded ‘didn’t quite get my 8-hours’ eye-baggage).

Whether you have a hankering for some fifties-starlet glamour, want to relive nineties grunge or are searching for an investment classic, this summer offers more choice than you can shake a stick at, so shelve those excuses – it’s all-aboard for sunny-town and boy does it look hot.

Prada

As a certifiable retro-holic my money would be on 50’s-inspired wings and cats-eye frames as worn by Olivia Palermo, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Richie et al…sweeter than cherry pie and just a little bit sexy…

FYI! Cats-eye sunnies were also all over the fall runways (see Prada for a master-class in quirky panache)…this fabulous pair from Norma Kamali takes super-chic to the max – timeless with a dash of kooky-flair – a definite wish list contender.

Norma Kamali

Of course, for classic kitsch it’s all about heart-frames…cute, fun and very Lolita…

Moschino

Click through to check out some high street alternatives over at Topshop and Newlook (pretty much every style you could dream of and prices that won’t make your mascara run…phew! Shops away!)