The return of tartan!

Now, I could bore you blog fans with my thoughts on London Fashion Week, but you've probably heard enough about it by means of the newspapers, magazines and Anna Wintour's snooty treatment of Alexa and Pixie (who was right? who knows? who really cares?) and if you want my honest opinion, I wasn't exactly blown away.
So instead I return to my failsafe of being inspired by the world around me. And having recently purchased the boxset of Skins Series 3, my style inspiration has increased. The fabulous Effie trots out a series of thigh-skimming 'dresses' (t-shirts to you and me) and massive boots, but the real star is....Naomi Campbell. No, not the phone-throwing, hypocritically fur-wearing superdiva, but the gorgeous and, well, angry blonde bombshell who dabbles in student politics and lesbianism and, let's face it, is the only girl cool enough to wear tartan to her school prom.And, bizarrely, she's not the only one to decide that tartan is cool again. It's subtly sneaking back into the high street stores and the style pages. It's perfect for transseasonal colour experimentation (but it's still so sodding warm I'd leave it for a while) and is all very 'cool Britannia', so even if you aren't a massive high fashion fan, you can still pay homage to the wonder of Westwood.
Like me...(uni newspaper social, representing the Fashion section of the paper. No-one else got it. I am clearly either too cool or too stupid.)
Watch this space for the impending arrival of a fabulous new tartan wardrobe addition and the latest way to keep warm this winter...


Fashion rut....Not-So-Weird Style Icons

I appear to have become totally one-dimensional of late. Aside from my aquisition of some fabulous designer collaborations (Christopher Kane and Emma Cook for Topshop, and Ostwald Helgason for Asos, at last) all I can do at the moment is style myself like my grandmother - ie, all in black. Except with traces of grey. And white.
It's a desperate bid to convince the weather to morph into true autumn so I don't look so silly next to all the women still wearing demin skirts and flip-flops, but I've basically become a shorter, fatter, less blonde version of Jenny Humphrey. I sat down to watch an episode of Gossip Girl wearing a pair of skinny grey jeans and a black and white stripey top, only to notice that Jenny was wearing the same. Is this sad? Did I do it on purpose (no...)?
Am I ashamed?
Come on, people, she's awesome. Only a little. And besides, she's Debbie Harry chic too. So it's ok. Yeah.


Label Love - Rodarte, New York Fashion Week

Sorry to have been distant, blog fans, been busy at my (with luck) new job! One of the perks is, in my breaks, I get to browse the newspapers that are sent in daily, and upon perusing The Times' fashion pages, I spotted some pictures of Rodarte's show at New York Fashion Week.

It's like goth bondage. It's totally amazing.
Impractical, you say? Fashion is foolishness combined with fabulousness. I love.


Tell Me About It, Stud(s)...

I was pounding the treadmill today in my ritual daily workout and taking in some quality dance tunes on VH1, when my fashion brain detangled itself from the single-minded 'feel the burn' focus and clocked what Rihanna was wearing in the video for 'Run This Town'.
Maybe it's a new defence method against Chris Brown (no-one's going to want to punch you in the face when you're wearing those) but whatever the pratical reason behind Rihanna's choice of eyewear, she's bang on trend yet again. Sandy had it right, studs are back, and they're all over EVERYTHING. Whether it's the studded leather biker jacket seen on Pixie Geldof and still on my lust-list at asos.com, or the studs'n'claw jewelry at Dominic Jones (more on him later), the harder, rock edge of grunge is putting the hardwear back onto the high street. I spotted a fab studded bag by Alexander Wang, only to notice a) the price tag and b) the fact it's sold out before it went on sale, thanks to It-girl MK Olsen trotting it around town. And then there's THOSE Prada shoes and the statement bag to match....even Primark is putting studs on everything, producing a black 3/4 sleeved shift dress with gold stud detail around the neck, a dead-ringer for a dress worn by Serena Van Der Woodsen in the episode of Gossip Girl that I'm currently watching....
But never mind just keeping the studs to the bags, by far the coolest way to wear your studs A/W '09 is on your feet. There's a spread in last month's Elle and Glamour dedicated to the hot studs around (accesories, I mean, not beautiful autumn totty) and the real eye-catchers of the feature are a pair of black flats by Christian Louboutin (think the chicest grandad slippers that you've ever seen) covered in gold studs and some incredible Givenchy turquoise heels covered in silver studs. They'd be like having a fabulous pair of lizards take up residence on your feet. Ok, maybe I'll leave that one.
But seriously, a little bit of a stud with every outfit is just the ticket for winter. Whether it's a simple leather cuff, a studded bag (look no further than River Island) or the full-on studded boots-and-jacket ensemble as seen on Pixie Lott in her Boys and Girls video, add a little stud to your outfit, pronto. As well as a hot man, of course.


A Tale of Two Kristen/Krystens...

I was browsing through my stack of vintage magazines (in the magazine world, a week old is vintage) and I found two photos that stuck with me.

The first is this one of the cooly beautiful Kristen Stewart in Rock and Republic, slightly ruined by the chirpy background and the forced smile as opposed to her trademark sultry pout. But nothing can distract from the incredible fierceness of this outfit (all it needs is the Whistles zip clutch). Yet again the rock princess (like Avril Lavigne, but not so faux-cute and annoying) has hit it out of the park. Making the vampire trend as hot as it is right now. Kristen is back soon enough with few more off-beat indie flicks that will only add to her star status as a, well, star. Albeit a decidedly cooler, less polished one without the constant veneer of 'wow, being a teen star RAWKS!'

As for the other Krysten, I have fallen in love with the new campaign for Banana Republic. Not because of the clothes, which are a bit run-of-the-mill, but because of the amazing Krysten modelling them; Krysten Ritter, aka Suze from 'Confessions of a Shopaholic' - or to put it another way, the Girl Who I Want To Have As My Roommate. She's like a cross between Jaime Murray and Courtney Coz Arquette (with a bit of Yoanna House from ANTM), but is far more likely to smile than either of them. There's poise, there's grace, but there's also a slight gawkiness, and the twinkle in the eye that screams fun. Plus there's the chamleon-like ability to jump from fashion genre to genre. True, she was a model, but it's not often you spot a girl who manages to make this Cyndi Lauper-esque attire (for a role in Gossip Girl) look cool and hip (and all the time adding to her persona of fun), and also work the more sophisticated side of the ever-expanding costume closet of any young actress today. I am loving the black and white ensemble she rocked at an Elle magazine party - big black skirt and fitted white top nodding to the universal truth that monochrome never goes out of style, and putting some serious edge into the '50s skirt style.

But let's face it; both these ladies could wear a binbag and look gorgeous. Kristen would just add Converse, a 'who the hell cares, I get to snog Robert Pattison' expression and black eyeliner, and Krysten would probably just grin and wear it. With some amazing shoes.


What's All The Fuss About? Christopher Kane

Yes he's the toast of the town. Yes he's already a made name. But with the recent influx of articles on Mr Kane I thought I had to check him out a bit more.
So I found these photos of his pre-collection - http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/designers_details.asp?DesignerID=69
Wow. I loves it.
And let's not forget his fabulous animal-print t-shirts, inspired by nature but far more of a standout than your common-or-garden leopard print dress. His collection for Topshop, featuring a t-shirt dress with a crocodile printed on the front, is gonna be HUGE!
Yet, ironically, will probably only look good on a size 6. Bummer.

SuperStar Style - Kaya Scodelario

Pouring over Elle magazine for about the tenth time since I bought it yesterday, I stopped short at yet another fabulous grunge-inspired feature to hit the headlines this season. (Yes, I'm in a rut, but it's comfy and it smells of leather. )But this rut was made even better by the model in question.
Move over Emma Watson.
No, way WAY over.
If she wasn't cool enough in Skins, she's now in one of the difinitive fashion bibles grunged up to make Effy Stonem proud. You GO Kaya! This girl's going places, I'm sure. Maybe she's not stratospheric yet, but she will be soon.


Grazia Day Part 2 - A Fashion Lesson

During my usual rainy (ok, torrential) afternoon pursuit of browsing the internet for fashion jobs, fashion pics and, well, just fashion, I came across my dearly beloved graziadaily.co.uk. At last I can freely express my thoughts on fashion to the masses. Well, the masses who read Grazia as opposed to the small legion that read this. Or is even that optimistic?
Anyhow, I was browsing their 'You - The Fashion Jury' section and nearly squealed with excitment when I saw that they were running a special on leather jackets. I am a huge fan of the leather jacket as a jacket for all seasons, and also because I love grunge. I really need to get mine cleaned as I've worn it non-stop since January. But I am relishing trying out the new looks as sampled by grunge heroines Lindsay Lohan and Mischa Barton.
And then I saw this.Now, aside from the fact that it's Cat Deeley (who was never the coolest of the cool and hasn't exactly helped matters with the Walkers crisps ads - that and the fact I still get her and Fearne Cotton mixed up) there is one crucial thing this look can teach you about how not to dress.
Now don't get me wrong, Miss Deeley has put in a valiant effort and looks good. But all this look does for me is demonstrate how important it is, when mixing trends, to put a dominant one, to avoid the 'dressed in the dark' awkwardness of not-quite matchy-matchy.
So, if you're going to mix your trends, chose a dominant. If Cat wanted to play up the 'safari-chic' shading in the skirt, maybe a tan handbag or some colourful tribal jewelry. If she wanted to play up the 'groupie' look, maybe some biker boots and a hobo bag. My main problem is with the sandals. They'd work fine with the skirt and a plain white blouse, or fine with the jacket and a demin mini, but here, they just add to the total confusion that is this outfit.
So my lesson to you, fashion fans, is pick your top trend, your style, the thing people know you for, then use it as the foundation and base to work around it. Me, I dress like a glorified hobo. But I may show a preference for something a little slicker, but I'll never try and go half and half equally. And neither, in my opinion, should Cat.


Hip Hip Hooray, It's Grazia Day!

I woke this morning in anticipation. Today heralds the start of a whole host of things. The start of September, and to me the months ending in 'er' always have good things in them (autumn leaves, winter fashion, birthdays, Christmas, long evenings, the smell of winter fires, festive markets, etc etc, yes a tad premature but who cares, the designers are all producing swimwear already), it also marks the first time in 18 years that September hasn't been synonymous with school.Oh yes, it's something to celebrate in many ways. This photo was taken (by my friend and fabulous photographer Boyd Alexander - he's going to be big, I guarentee) on the day I got my A Level results. It was posed, somewhat ironically as I was the only one of my friends who didn't get straight As, yet I was picked to portray the euphoric student moving on to better things. My graduation, however, was far less euphoric, and as I quit my first job today I couldn't help but wonder if freedom really is all it's cracked up to be. The magazine Company is apparently 'for your freedom years', but with the current climate what is the price of that freedom?
As I was pondering these gloomy thoughts, I remembered that something could pick me up even in these dark times. I am talking, of course, about Grazia.
It is my current mission to enter the hallowed halls of Grazia's offices one day, but until then I will write as many letters, and get them published, as I can (I'm on 4 so far) and make it my mission to appear in their Style Hunter pages (they come to Bristol on Saturday; I'm already planing my outfit). I read the magazine religiously and strive to afford a few more of the items they advertise.
This issue, they came up trumps with a selection of fabulous trends and pieces that I can't wait to start rocking/buy online.
1) A cute little Marc Jacobs cross-body bag (Fashion Charts Number 2, Page 11) It's pink and green, it's chic, it's compact. It's nearly £1,000. One day....
2) Work boots are back in (10 Hot Stories Number 3, Page 24) The more battered the better is the way to wear the boot this season (if it's not thigh-high and Louis Vuitton). Thankfully, as I am the epitome of cool, I have been wearing my (now decidedly) battered Topshop boots all last winter, and have stocked up on two pairs of All Saints boots in advance.
3) News of the Asos Designer Hub collections arriving later this month (SCREAM) and the taster of the fab collection by Ostwald Helgason. They're very Mary Katrantzou meets the Hed Kandi for Miss Selfridge collection, and with a price tag I can afford. Hurrah!
4) The news that snoods are back. Finally, I can dig out the American Apparel one I bought last winter. Now if I could only remember where it is...
Ah, Grazia. Again my Tuesday is complete.
Although they did confirm the horrible rumour that Cheryl Cole is to become the face of L'Oreal.