Fashion Week AW 17- High/Low lights from London and the best from Milan so far

A little late with this one (it’s been a busy few weeks!) but here are my high (and low) lights from the recently concluded London Fashion Week.  Follow the link at the end for the best bits from Milan so far….:

#1. Simone Rocha: For using older models. And for nearly changing my mind about velvet. And for a kick-ass collection actually.

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Simone Rocha AW 17

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Simone Rocha AW 17

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Simone Rocha AW 17

#2. Ashley Williams: Could someone pinch me please. Stetsons over hoodies tucked into jogging bottoms finished with a pair of pumps? What the hell.

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Ashley Williams AW 17

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Ashley Williams AW 17

#3. Burberry: For delivering another “See now buy now” collection.  A super wearable combo show of women’s and men’s. Trousers came high-waisted for men (works for me but I imagine it’s not for everyone) and there were white shirts aplenty! I likey very much.

Burberry AW 17

Burberry AW 17

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Burberry AW 17

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Burberry AW 17

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Burberry AW 17

#4. Antonio Berardi: For a bit of  “casual glam”.  High collars and full skirts stand out.

Antonio Berardi AW 17

Antonio Berardi AW 17

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Antonio Berardi AW 17

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Antonio Berardi AW 17

#5. Christopher Kane. For continuing to try to get us into Crocs! Obviously it didn’t quite take off with the SS16 bejewelled numbers and so he’s back with an AW 17 fur-lined version. I’m sorry but this is still a no from me.

Christopher Kane AW 17

Christopher Kane AW 17

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Christopher Kane AW 17

And finally, for the best bits from Milan so far – including Alessandro Michele’s whimsical bumper men’s and women’s show (featuring 119 models!) – click here.

Next stop, Paris!

Addie x

The imitation game: A fashionista’s dilemma

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The trickling down of trends from catwalk to High Street is a key part of the fashion industry – and of course trends are often influenced in the other direction too. Either way, the expectation is that when we shop, we will choose one or the other: the high end piece or its high street version. So far, so sensible.  So then, is it ever justifiable to buy both? For months I’d been drooling over the utterly kick-ass punk inspired Isabel Marant “Rolling” zebra print ankle boots (A/W 16), hoping to get hold of a pair at a less painful price later in the season.  (A strategy that was not without risk and which meant that I had to keep a keen eye on stock availability!)

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Isabel Marant A/W 16

Then a few weeks ago, I spotted the Carvela “Snorkle” – an obvious “tribute” to the Marant Rolling – in black.  Now, the Rolling also had a black version, but the hyper embellishment which elevated the zebra just didn’t do the same for the black. And more importantly, over embellished black boots are in fact not that versatile to wear.  (If you’ve followed this blog for a while you will know how keen I am on practical styling and buying wisely  – for a refresher see my 5 commandments!).  But the Carvela, being far less embellished didn’t have this problem. So, in short I bought them. And a few days later I bought the Marant as well.

Why? Well the Marant boots are simply gorgeous, a keeper that I will treasure and wear for years.  The Carvela version look great on, are very well made and, because they didn’t cost as much, can be worn on rainy days and for generally stomping around when I might have worried about ruining the Marant.  So my friends, it turns out that there are indeed times when it is ALMOST essential to buy BOTH. Go on. You know it makes sense. 🙂

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Isabel Marant “Rolling” zebra print calf hair, suede and leather ankle boots

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Carvela “Snorkle” black suede ankle boots

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Isabel Marant A/W 16

London Fashion Week Mens AW17 – My Highlights

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London Fashion Week Mens (previously London Collections: Mens) recently ended, leaving us with a taste of trends for AW17. Here are my top memorable moments!

#1. The Return of the Queen 

In her debut show on the London men’s schedule (her first in London for years), and in a barely concealed dig at the establishment, Vivienne Westwood had her models in 80’s style pinstripe suits distorted in various ways – my favourite being a pairing with bloomers instead of trousers. All accessorized with tattered crowns and multi-coloured foil sweet wrappers tacked on finger nails. Showing both men’s and women’s, tailoring featured strongly for the men’s whilst fabulous frocks and separates defined the women’s. She’s still got it. In spades.

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Vivienne Westwood AW17 Mens

#2. Craig Green smashes it. Again! 

Craig Green rips up the rule book again as he continues to rework the male silhouette. Somehow he manages to make clothes that are tactile yet utilitarian, cosy yet avante-garde. I want to look at them. I want to wear them (wish I could). And I want to stroke them.

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Craig Green AW17 Mens

#3. Wool for Leather 

I’m not a fan of crochet. However, the crocheting on JW Anderson‘s “Pierce” rucksack (a reworking of his popular women’s Pierce Bag) surprisingly works. Instantly recognizable, it’s likely to fly off the shelves once it hits shops. Mostly because I doubt only the boys will be sporting this. But let me say this people: I am not that crazy about the crocheting elsewhere. And it is everywhere in this collection.

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JW Anderson AW17 Mens

#4. Amazing Grace 

Perhaps lacking the opulence that we’ve come to expect from Grace Wales Bonner, this collection still packs a punch as she continues to challenge ideas of sexuality, gender and black identity. See my post from last Summer “Gender Bending in Menswear – is this the future?” for more on this talented young designer. Destined for great things for sure.

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Wales Bonner AW17 Mens

#5. Hey Boys. Hey Girls

It might have been London Fashion Week “Mens” but several labels (notably Casely-Hayford, Wales Bonner, Matthew Miller, Vivienne Westwood and Sibling) chose to show both their men’s and and women’s collections in combined shows. Whether by necessity (it makes sense financially) or by design (gender-fluid/unisex fashion has continued to grow) this seems to be a developing trend. I quite like the idea but buyers having to rejig their usual buying schedule might not so much!

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Matthew Miller AW17 Womens

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Casely-Hayford AW17 Womens

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Sibling AW17 Womens

So another strong men’s event for London which remains the home of menswear in my opinion.  Next LFWM: June 2017!

Victoria Beckham OBE. Why Not?

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Victoria Beckham at her SS 17 show in New York

A wave of indignation continues to sweep across the land at the news that Victoria Beckham is to receive an OBE for “services to fashion” and for her charity work. I personally don’t attach too much significance to the honours system nor do I particularly consider myself a fan of Mrs Beckham’s (who, before the Kardashians, constantly topped my list of the most irritating and pointless celebrities).  I certainly was among those who scoffed when she launched her fashion label back in 2008.  But over the  years I have come to have a grudging respect for her.  For starters, her product is really good.  Her pieces are excellently crafted, I particularly love her handbags (see below) which are chic, super luxe but practical – essential when you’ve a 5 year old in tow!  Then there is her work ethic. Love her or loathe her, it’s impossible to deny that this woman works hard.

So, here we have a woman who, annoying as she can be, has consistently shown guts, determination, ambition and sheer doggedness, often in the face of ridicule.  And let’s not forget that she has successfully conquered the worlds of pop AND fashion –  no mean feat for someone with “limited” talents. Is this enough to deserve an OBE?  I don’t know but she sure as hell has worked hard enough for it. Sure, I could name several other British designers that deserve to be similarly recognised. However, the fact that they haven’t points to problems with the honours system not Victoria Beckham. Good for her I say.

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“Small City Victoria Bag” (Buffalo/Calf). (As practical as it is gorgeous, this bag is sturdy and compact, with seven(!) various-sized compartments.)

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These sunnies are VB too!

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“Large Zip Pouch” (Buffalo/Calf). (Slim but ridiculously roomy thanks to the beautifully soft leather. With two decent sized compartments, its a perfect day time clutch!)

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“Large Zip Pouch” (Buffalo/Suede/Patent/Calf) (I loved the blue one so much a few months later I went and got this as well!)

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And her frocks are not bad either! I adore the simplicity and timelessness of this dress which I couldn’t resist showing you….

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