Thursday, 14 February 2013

NYFW Blogging - Turbulent - The City That Never Sleeps

Fashion Week is a turbulent time, for all those in the fashion industry, in particular for bloggers, who spend endless amounts of time trying to keep up with all of the goings on. For those of us like myself, who are experiencing NYFW from half way across the world, who sit on our arses, glued to our computer screens all day and night (this may or may not be an accurate description of myself...) trying to watch every show and keep up with all of the trends and news flooding in on Twitter (quite literally every second!), the experience is wholly frantic and chaotic! I can't even imagine how turbulent each day must be for those of us attending Fashion Week (although I do not feel sorry for you in the slightest!!)

Perhaps the most energetic locale on the fashion calendar, New York, to paraphrase the Carrie Bradshaw herself, is the fashion worlds epicentre to which fashion-goers flock every season to get a glimpse of the future. This is what makes NYFW so special. New York is known to all as the city that never sleeps, and it is this experience of witnessing the future of fashion unfold which draws an audience from all over the globe, making New York Fashion Week in particular, a truly living, sleepless entity; while those in the west of the world rise and New York's day of serious fashion begins, those in the east remain glued to their computer screens watching it all in the dead of night, not sleeping and never resting.

So how on earth are we supposed to handle it all, I hear you ask. Well first I highly recommend a good supply of tea, coffee or any such caffeinated drink because staying awake and alert is essential, and second a ready supply of concealer to hide those dark circles which form under your eyes due to constant late nights and early mornings. I know I'm making it all sound like a really annoying chore, but it most certainly isn't. This is where we get to have fun, choosing the perfect outfit for Fashion Week (this includes those of us who just like to throw ourselves fully into the spirit of it all, despite being half way across the world sitting in a lecture theatre in England...once again this may or may not be an accurate description of myself). Our outfits need to be multi-purpose, they must be durable and comfortable in order to handle the turbulent city and at the same time they must exude beauty and effortless cool.

This is where we must draw inspiration from the masters. Given that one of the many reasons for my staying up until 2am in the past few days was the eagerly anticipated Marc by Marc Jacobs collection, it is from this which I draw tips and inspiration for an infallible Fashion Week ensemble.

The Details

First we must fine tune the detailing, and Jacobs does this perfectly, first with the bag. It is the perfect size, not too big, not too small, and it is structured which means that essential things will not be as easily lost to the bottomless pit (I know you all know how that feels). However, as well as being functional and practical for the frantic city it also exudes sleek and oozes chic. As well as this, Jacobs clearly understand the importance of time keeping at events such as Fashion Week, where sticking to schedules is of the utmost importance. He has offered up the idea of wearing our watches over our sleeves, so that we're never struggling to know what the time is and to ensure that we are never in the wrong place at the wrong time, because missing a show is simply not acceptable!

The Shoes

Selecting the right shoes is essential, particularly when you're about to endeavor upon a long and hectic day. The guys at Marc by Marc Jacobs strutted down the runway sporting worn converse-style trainers, what could be more perfect!? They're comfortable, durable, wont ruin in adverse weather conditions (because they're already ruined!) and they're effortlessly cool. However, if you'd rather not take this excuse to wear grungy trainers and want to emanate elegance from top to toe, then Jacobs' selection of heels is the perfect example to draw from. They're chunky and sturdy, allowing for stability and durability (since there is little chance of snapping your heel) and a lot more comfortable than thin and high stiletto heels.

The Outfit

This look form Marc by Marc Jacobs encapsulates my perfect idea of a NYFW outfit. Firstly, the jumper is ideal for winter, it will not only keep you warm, it is comfortable and cosy as well as radiating cool with the paneled colours. The trousers help to balance this outfit perfectly, they offset the 'casual comfort' nature of the knit jumper, creating a wonderful air of class and elegance. The shape of the trousers will grab a lot of attention, they cinch beautifully at the waist, the billowing and baggy shape and the cutoff create a beautiful silhouette and show a slash of leg and ankle, exuding sex appeal, but subtly. The bold colour choice only makes this look even more show-stopping.

Durability and Adaptability

The ideas and themes of this ideal Fashion Week ensemble transcend seasons, and can be easily adapted to New York in summer. Only two changes could be made, that is swapping a comfortable jumper for a comfortable t-shirt (Jacobs here adds a shiny satin design to create flare, showing that t-shirt most certainly does not mean boring!) and second, switching from cutoff, baggy, waist-cinching trousers, to a baggy, waist-cinching mid-length skirt. This style skirt is perfect for the hustle and bustle of the city as well as being a good length, in case of any rogue gusts of wind! Once again it offers a subtle sexy element to the ensemble. Note also that a bold colour choice applies to any season, because it instantly draws the spotlight and looks effortlessly chic. Jacobs' voluminous hair styling for the Marc by Marc Jacobs show is also worth adopting for your Fashion Week endeavors; with this style there is no need to worry about looking windswept (because it already does) and it is a style which embraces frizz all while completely encapsulating 70s glamour. Perfect!

I hope that you have all enjoyed these tips and ideas for handling Fashion Week and all of its stresses and turbulence! If you don't feel like listening to my tips because you feel that I don't have any authority on the matter, then listen to a master of the trade, Marc Jacobs, because let's face it he does know best!

Tune in for more Fashion Week inspired posts and follow my Twitter for updates on New York fashion week and all fashion weeks beyond!


Sunday, 10 February 2013

This Aint a Fashion Scene, It's a Goddamn Arms Race

In light of both the announcement of a new Fall Out Boy album (I cant even begin express my sheer delight at this) and the hectic, thrilling and ever exciting beginning of Fashion Month with some amazing shows at New York Fashion Week, I have been exploring the nature of fashion and the 'fashion scene' as an "always being ahead of the Joneses" battle. And it truly is a battle royale.

As a fashion blogger, or so I like to see myself, I understand the need for innovation in the fashion industry. And for anyone who truly values fashion and the world of fashion there seems to be a real need for competition and to out-do everyone else; this out-doing is a marker for success. While many professionals and scholars and even regular Joe's may see fashion as a fallacy, it truly is an industry which mirrors all others. Being the best breeds success. Now for a fashion blogger, what does being the best constitute as? The most pageviews, the most twitter followers, the most brand affiliations? I guess our role and our marker for success is what we make it. My love of fashion, and the art of clothing and the art of creating ensembles, and executing this myself,  is what dictates my feelings of success daily.

The notion of 'fashion forwardness' means just that, one must be forward, or ahead of the trends. We see this every Fashion Month as we all readily get excited for the winter season to come while we're still waiting for last Fashion Month's spring trends to bloom. We have to balance this excitement for the future trends with our knowledge of the trends which are about to consume us in the season to come. This all sounds much like a battle plan; a war strategy in preparation for a fashion victory, one must get this balance perfect to gain success. As my favourite rock band Fall Out Boy proclaims, 'this aint a scene, it's a goddamn arms race', a race for the perfect arsenal of clothing, accessories, creativity, innovation, strategy and balance in order to emerge from the battle unscathed and victorious.

I have, after this consideration, vowed to become more educated in fashion and the fashion world. This is not because I so desperately want to win the battle, but because this entire metaphor for the fashion industry has made me realise how much I bloody love it, and how darn interesting this industry and the art of fashion truly is. It most certainly is not just clothes, (for all those who think it is) it is war! And the battle rages ever on.

Show me your best weapons guys, what are your outfits for battle?

Tune in for many posts and reviews of NYFW in the coming week, and follow my Twitter for Fashion Week updates, as I attempt to break it all down!


Thursday, 31 January 2013

Feel Confident; Feel Kissable

(Photo Source:

The lipstick we wear makes our lips feel kissable.
The make up we wear, the clothes we wear and the way we have out hair all make us feel kissable. Or alternatively can make us feel unkissable.

It all boils down to confidence. 

From experience we all know that confidence comes with that amazing outfit you throw on (it is comfortable but also feels show-stopping!) and with your hair actually behaving and doing what you want it to! It is clear that confidence has a great deal to do with how we look, because inherently if we look in the mirror and like what we see, it makes us feel good about ourselves. As shallow as this may seem it is true, even if only a little bit to some of the more naturally confident people out there (that certainly doesn't include me!)

The way I gain confidence is ultimately being myself. And this is cyclic. Confidence encourages you to be yourself, and conversely being yourself fuels confidence. 

When I got to thinking about this cycle the perfect metaphor sprung to mind, flowers! I attempt reserve the urge to exclaim that we are all just pretty flowers in bloom! However, I will say that flowers follow the cycle of nature; they bloom and create new flowers from their seeds which then create new seeds and thus new flowers (you get the idea...) all with the aid of outside forces such as sunlight, water and minerals. Confidence and being yourself share a similar cycle which can also be fueled by outside forces such as the aesthetics and feeling of a perfect outfit, feeling generally happy and also having perfectly kissable, lipstick-lathered lips. 

So ultimately, feeling kissable comes with feeling like a flower... only joking! It comes with feeling confident and being yourself. So if you feel confident wearing your "Totally Kissable" lipstick, dressing to the nines and rocking those dazzling heels then feeling kissable is a certainty. If you feel confident with no make up, in comfy jeans and a band tee then feeling kissable is also a certainty. If you feel confident after waking up in a brilliant mood, regardless of how you look then feeling kissable is a certainty.

Just be yourself!


Written in association with IFB Project #81: What Makes You Totally Kissable? and Avon's new Totally Kissable Lipstick.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Trends We Can Steal From The Men - AW13

Menswear has been the talk of the fashion industry of late. The high public attention which the Menswear collections of A/W13 have gained is rather staggering. A fair bit of this public attention has posed the question of whether we could see out man wearing some of the more outrageous trends of the season, deeming a lot of them simply too girly for our men. But I say why do we care if 'our man' or any man looks good in these trends, what about ourselves? If they don't want the amazing trends offered up for A/W then we can steal them! So, I have done an edit of a few of the trends seen in the menswear fashion which we can all steal and which would look great incorporated into our own wardrobes. So, enjoy the plunder!

The Oriental Blazer:

Louis Vuitton, AW13

This is a garment offered up by Louis Vuitton. And I have to say that I am in love. We all love a smart blazer to add a clean cut edge to any look, but with the addition of the exquisite fabric and pattern of the kimono-style floral silk is just heaven in a jacket. The marriage of two completely separate notions of the pretty oriental and the clean cut professional is my idea of perfection.

The Contrast Collar:

Prada, AW13

The contrast collar, particularly adorned on coats, has been seen multiple times across the menswear runways including this subtle detailing at Prada and the more overt and bold at Carven. I think this small splash of colour really adds an extra dimension to any grey, black, navy or brown (i.e.neutral) coat. This small detail is also a trend which we can attempt to DIY on our own coats and jackets (perhaps even adding it as a detachable  block of colour, making our outerwear trend transitional) and even stretch to shirts and blouses. The possibilities are endless!

Chunky Sole Shoes:

Prada, AW13

Another trend prevalent at Prada was the chunky soled shoes. We have seen a rise in thick soles in the fashion world of late, with the creepers of the 80s making a glorious comeback, spurring a surge in popularity of platform shoes. The difference with these chunky soled shoes however, it that they are just that. They are not shoes with platforms added to the bottom, but simply shoes with an exaggerated sole and rather hyperbolic grips (which lets face it will be brilliant for snowy weather!) As well as these chunky soles, chunky boots were a popular choice for menswear collections, so take note people!

Zippered Blazers:

Dior Homme, AW13

Zips and "James Bond suave" suit jackets are not two things often spoken in the same sentence. Yet at Dior Homme this A/W season the two were combined to create my favourite tend of the season, the zip-up blazer. They are just an amazing combination between the casual nature of zips and the posh and professional suit jacket. Despite this infusion of the casual, they still exude an air of the refined and elegant. This is a trend which can be transferred between anything which traditionally would have buttons, i.e. blazers, as well as cardigans and shirts etc. Let's just throw a zip shaped spanner in the works!

School Boy Chic - Cropped Tailored Trousers:
Carven, AW13

This trend was seen at multiple shows including Carven and Comme de Garcon (to name but a few) and can be easily transitioned from menswear fashion to women's. I enjoy the playful twist on a traditionally gentlemanly garment, the suit trouser, and the subversion of such with an overgrown school boy look. The cropped suit trousers look as though the models have squeezed into their old school uniforms, and this is a look which I think would look amazing on us women, and a more feminine figure. So lets show them how its done!

Pyjamas in Public:

Comme des Garcons Homme Plus, AW13

Rejoice ladies, Comme des Garcons' menswear collection have deemed it acceptable to wear our comfy pyjamas in public, and better still we're allowed to look like be got dressed in the dark! And the more mismatched the better, as we see models wearing two jackets, both with different prints, textured coats which tie at the waist and greatly resemble housecoats and pastel patterned suits which resemble our grandma's favorutie pair of comfy pink pyjamas. And my favourite trend being the elevation of thrift-store chic. What more could we want!

I could go on forever about the trends I want to steal from the men, but let's just end by saying that the menswear AW13 collections have got me really excited for the coming AW13 women's fashion! Tune in next Sunday for my next feature post.

Written in associated with IFB's Weekly Project #80: Menswear... For Everyone

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Wonder of Marc Jacobs - Can Fashion Talk?

Marc Jacobs, the man who has given so much to the world of fashion, just keeps on giving. I was inspired to write this post after watch Marc Jacobs' brilliantly entertaining interview with Fern Mallis at Thursday's 'Fashion Icons lecture' at 92Y. He offered up his life on a platter, and gifted us with anecdote after anecdote of pure brilliance, and I sat, watched and breathed in every word. Jacobs has always been a great hero of mine since I can remember being interested in fashion (which was quite a long while ago!) His collections at Louis Vuitton never fail to make me swoon, and both of his own lines Marc Jacobs and in particular Marc by Marc Jacobs always offer collections of fashion which I in some way strongly identify with. I find it quite difficult to pin point or explicitly state exactly what it is about Marc Jacobs' clothing which I share such an affinity with. I rather loath the idea that it may be some sort of spiritual affinity, because I'm not particularly a believer in that sort of thing, but to shamefully exploit a popular cliche, his work just speaks to me!

Which poses my question, 'Can fashion talk?' As a student of literature I am constantly submerged in notions of literary technique such as metaphor or hyperbole and in particular personification. For those of you who may not know, this means, in its most basic form, the attributing of human characteristics to an inanimate object. When I claim that Marc Jacobs' fashion "speaks to me", I am essentially personifying it, and I feel perfectly justified doing so! If Keats can make Autumn and the sun "close bosom-friend[s]" and if Shakespeare can make piano keys into "dancing chips" then I can make fashion my very chatty friend who offers me boundless inspiration; and what better friend could you ask for? (perhaps a living one, but that is besides the point!)

Fashion, in my opinion can talk, its words are its materials, fabrics and colours, its voice is its aesthetic beauty and its message is the inspiration and the confidence is bequeaths its viewer or wearer. Just as we create friendships with like-minded people and people who speak to us, consequently forming our own friendship groups, we can do the same with fashion with which we have an affinity, ultimately creating our own style.

After substantial consideration of the matter, there are many reasons why, when Marc Jacob's fashion in particular speaks, it charms me. In his nature Marc Jacobs is fiercely individual, confident and is not afraid to say 'fuck you' to anyone or thing which may attempt to restrict him, and on many occasion has. It is this carefree, self-assured and fearless nature which translates so thoroughly and completely into his work. It is this message which so boldly speaks to me.

I am a fiercely proud 90's kid, and there is no doubt that one of the most ground breaking collections of the 90's was Marc Jacobs' Grunge Collection for Perry Ellis, capturing the tone and the free-spirited nature of the decade perfectly. To bring us to a more recent times, the addition of the Marc by Marc Jacobs line to Jacobs arsenal, only made his message scream in my head all the more loudly. And this SS13 collection of ethic layering, bold clashing of ditsy prints and 80s inspired conspiracy encapsulated Jacobs' affinity with reinventing and rejuvenating the past. This together with his Marc Jacobs line created a not too unexpected bang. The Marc Jacobs collection was a myriad of monochrome in the heat of the summer sun; it was a bold expression of individualism for summer fashion, yet in true Marc Jacobs style, it catered to everyone and by all means anyone who could hear its message, which I can imagine in English would sound something like "Here I am, wear me effortlessly; no compromise". It is not only Marc Jacob's fashion which speaks to me; every day I am surrounded by the more noisy and universal of Jacobs' messages, his perfume, more specifically the exquisite Daisy. It is a scent which I have adopted as if it were my own, and quite frankly I never want to let it go!

These are just some of the ways in which I converse with Marc Jacobs' work, but trust me when I say that the affinity is endless. As long as Marc Jacobs' keeps giving and speaking to the fashion world, I will keep listening.

In the spirit of Marc, I have compiled some looks inspired by his work, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I loved experimenting with them [Warning: not amazing quality, due to being the morning before an exam!]

Grunge Collection of '93

Jumper, Shirt and Skirt - All Topshop

Marc Jacobs SS13
Skirt (really a vest), Bandeau, T-Shirt and Headscarf - All Primark
And a Newcastle United football jersey

SS13 Marc by Marc Jacobs

Both Scarves and Shirt - eBay
Dress - Topshop

Tune in next Sunday for another feature post!


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for the Men in Your Life

If any of you are anything like myself, you will struggle with thinking of Christmas gifts for the various guys in your life, be it your family, a friend or (the most dreaded) your boyfriend.
However, it is important to not get caught up in the stress of thinking of the perfect gift (which I'm sure has now set in given that there are only five shopping days left!) and to remember that the guys you're buying gifts for are exactly the same as the girls; whatever they like will depend entirely on their personality! So all you need to do is stop thinking about the perfect gift and think about what is perfect for whichever guy in question, what is there personality, particular things they like, and what gift would encapsulate that?

I have, very helpfully (if I do say so myself), complied a list of last minute gifts for a variety of different men with different personalities from geeky to hipster and picked an expensive option (for those of us lucky enough to have a rather large budget) and a more affordable option. Hopefully this will prove a great help for those of us in need in the last days before Christmas, so here goes!

        The Expensive:                                                                                           The Affordable:
   Lego R2-D2 (£149.99)                                                                     Pokeball iPhone Case, Etsy (£8.83)

                 The Expensive:                                                                                      The Affordable:
Vintage Cosmos Leather Briefcase, Etsy (£94.01)                           Engraved Cufflinks, Topman (£8)

                The Expensive:                                                                         The Affordable:
  Lomography Metropolis Camera,                                 Green Leather Sketchbook, Etsy (£10.96)
         Urban Outfitters (£100)

                 The Expensive:                                                               The Affordable:
        Stussy Crewneck Sweater,                                   Contrast Cameo Backpack, Asos (£12.50)
           Urban Outfitters (£85)

                      The Expensive:                                                               The Affordable:
      Solo HD Beats by Dre Headphones,                            Guitar Amplifer iPhone Case, Etsy (£11.96)
                     HMV (£169.99)


        The Expensive:                                                                                             The Affordable:
The Damned Clot Man Shoes,                                                                   Geo Print Bow Tie, Asos (£8)
     Solestruck (£126.06)                                                                   

I hope this guide helped you guys, and more importantly I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas (because I'm sure any guy you buy these gifts for will!)