Golden nuggets from London Fashion Week

And so we say farewell to another London Fashion Week, concluding what has widely been regarded as a great success in terms of range of designers and talent. No mean feat coming off the back of Brexit and certainly a job well done by the British Fashion Council. So, until the LFW fashion gravy train comes around again, here are my top five moments from this one. And what stonkers they are!

#1. Christopher Kane’s collaboration with Crocs (a.k.a. Crocgate)

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Christopher Kane sending models down the runway in embellished Crocs for his SS17 show nearly sent Twitter into meltdown. Never has Fashiondom been so divided. I LOVE Crocs on children, my daughter practically lives in hers all Summer. But, unless you are a hardworking, on-your-feet-all day and-night, bonafide healthcare professional, Crocs have no business anywhere near your feet in public. Period. Embellished by Christopher Kane or not.  Not that anything could stop this flooding the high street in several months’ time though. Sigh.

#2. Matty Bovan for Fashion East Womenswear SS17

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I just must not be seeing what everyone else can.  This collection has got the world of fashion aflutter and I’m baffled.  The 26 year old Central Saint Martins graduate obviously has talent and flair. His AW15 MA Central Saint Martins show was awesome and since graduating last year he’s already had a stint at Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs. But this collection – WTF? It’s bold, yes. Fun even, with a punk rock/New Romantics aesthetic. But it’s also a little shambolic. And unwearable. By anyone. Has everyone else got a bad dose of the Emperor’s New Clothes or have I just lost my fashion sense? Is it me?

#3. Burberry’s AW16 and first ever “See-Now-Buy-Now” collection

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In a seismic change to seasonal fashion, “shopable runway” seems to be taking hold.  First Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, Diane Von Furstenberg and Ralph Lauren at New York Fashion Week, now Burberry. On one hand, it makes sense. Having to wait for six months for items spotted on the runway to hit the shops is a model that I’ve never fully understood. Also, many of the big houses will surely see this as a way of curbing high street copycats, who are usually able to get their products to market before the runway originals.  But on the other hand, going down this road will surely mean that smaller labels will just not be able to compete, as they are unlikely to have the resources to push things out straight off the runway.  But no one can deny that the idea of buying “in season” is a seductive one to consumers. Key pieces from the Burberry show were sold out within minutes. Is this the way forward? Let’s see.

#4. Sophia Webster’s “Dolly Birds Of Paradise” SS17 show

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Pretty shoes in bird cages. Models in pretty shoes in bigger bird cages. Light, whimsical and fun. A veritable flight of fancy.

#5. Versus Boob Belt (yes I mean a belt FOR boobs)

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Ok, so this probably shouldn’t be such a surprise coming from Donatella Versace.  And it was only one look from the Versus collection and probably just styling for the runway anyway.  But still, it is a belt. Worn around the boobs. A challenging look even for champion boobs.  Let’s just hope that La Versace doesn’t decide to show us how to wear the look. And anyway, didn’t Jodie Marsh do this first?

So roll on next LFW! With a crop of new talent emerging thanks to the British Fashion Council’s NewGen Mentoring Scheme, the future looks bright not just for LFW but for British fashion. Hurrah!

Get Your (Oversized) Cotton Shirt On

CB_S2M0062 A - edited2The humble shirt. Classic, versatile and completely underrated. And they don’t come more versatile than the over-sized cotton shirt: easy to wear, can be dressed up or down, worn in all seasons and in a dozen different ways.  Ladies, if your wardrobe were a store cupboard, this would be the can of tuna!

 

 

Buying Tips: 1. Invest in the very best quality you can afford. In this post, I’m wearing Kit and Ace (black) and Acne Studios (white). The latter has seen many seasons and is still going strong. 2. Choose your colour carefully. White or black will work every time but a pale grey or light denim will work well too. Avoid patterns and stripes – we want a relaxed look not sleep wear!  3. Go a size or two larger than your normal size.  I know that sounds like going against the laws of nature(!) but the looser the fit the better.  4. We are talking about a shirt not a “shirtdress”, so look for a decent collar, cuffs, etc.  Basically, we want more shirt less dress. Styling Tips: Keep it simple. Pair with ankle-skimming skinny jeans (and flats) or slim-fitting trousers (and heels). For a more polished silhouette, iron crisply and wear it buttoned up, sleeves down with cuffs buttoned, over culottes (with statement flats or heels).  Of course, you can always wear it on its own like I’ve done in this post.

And here are three more easy peasy ways to wear it…

ONE  SHIRT, THREE WAYS:

Casual and tough

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Laid back and all buttoned up

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Go girly with straps!

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What I’m wearing*: Black Shirt (Kit and Ace)| Patent boots (Pied a terre)|White Shirt (Acne Studios)|Boots with laces (River Island, yes THAT River Island)|Steel-toe suede boots (Chloe)|Sandals (Top Shop)| Belt (Gucci)| Ring (Vivienne Westwood)|Watch (Tank Solo)|Sunglasses (Ray-Ban)

Photos: Curtis Benjamin and U.W. Ugbenne

*Buying wisely: The shoes in this post are three, five, seven and fourteen(!) years old, respectively. Can you guess which?

Brocade. I don’t think so.

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Dolce & Gabbana (S. 2016)

I wish people would stop trying to get me to wear brocade. Every few years,  it seems, we are told by the Powers of Fashion that brocade is the “new trend”, the “fabric du jour” with related editorials on “how to wear brocade” and so on. I’m blaming Gucci for the current brocade madness, but Prada and Dolce & Gabbana are at it too. It’s not that I have a problem with the fabric itself which is opulent and ornate (and why it works so well as upholstery and drapery). But it’s also a tad archaic (which, not surprisingly, is why it works so well for ceremonial dress and costumes). What brocade isn’t however, is wearable in any real or meaningful way, at least for those of us that live in the real world. For starters it is bulky, heavy and stiff. This does not make for the most comfortable of fabrics.  And most of us will probably end up in an acrylic/polyester mix version anyway (on account of not being able to afford the silk-woven stuff of the catwalks) which doesn’t help on the comfort front! Second, it’s extremely tricky to style. Too much volume and you risk looking like an overstuffed armchair. As you can see below, sometimes even a “style icon” can’t quite manage it….

Alexa gets it right by leaving out all jewellery except earrings in this Prada ensemble.  But the opaque tights and black accessories are a fail. A small clutch and barely there strappy heels (in muted gold) would have been better.

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Alexa Chung in Prada ( Vogue’s 100 Gala Dinner, London 2016)

Beautifully cut jacket. I could probably live with that on it’s own. But let’s not talk about the rest. And don’t get me started on those loafers.

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Alexa Chung in Gucci (Vogue Festival, London 2016)

Are words really  needed here? I respect her commitment to the look though.

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Jess Glynne in Gucci (BRIT Awards 2016)

So, here’s the thing. If you simply MUST wear brocade then the only way to do it is in small doses. Limit yourself to one (preferably small) piece at a time like shorts or a short skirt and remember to keep everything else simple.

Agree, disagree, indifferent? Let me know!

Addie x

 

 

Style Note #1: Got new shoes? Check your soles.

 

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AND THEN CAREFULLY AND COMPLETELY PEEL OFF ALL PRICE AND OTHER LABELS. You may think why bother? After all, you can’t see them and they’ll eventually wear off anyway. True, but in the meantime, you’ll be walking around with tattered bits of paper stuck to your shoes. Whether you leave them on by default (forgot) or by design (can’t be bothered) the effect is an instant outfit downgrade. In other words, scruffy. And anyway, you wouldn’t wear clothes with the price tags still attached,, will you? The same principle applies here.  Remember, you might not be able to see those stickers when you have your fabulous new shoes on, but everyone else behind you will!

We really want to avoid this…..

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Thanks for reading!

Addie x