For boys and girls luxe bomber jackets are the bomb this Autumn.

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With Autumn officially here, it’s time to layer up! But this season, instead of reaching for your trusted trench coat or cardigan, why not get yourself a bomber jacket?  Having had a mini revival back in SS 2013, this handy staple is once again on trend. Only this time, the accent is softer and more luxe coming in fabrics like leather, silk and satin. They featured heavily at Milan for SS16 so fashionistas have been sporting the big labels for sometime. Happily, they are still totally on trend for AW16 and there are now many affordable options available to us mere mortals – nearly every label (high end and high street) has a version so I’ve not bothered listing them here. Styles range from classic minimalist sporty to hyper embellished so there’s something  for all tastes and budgets!

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Detail  – Saint Laurent SS16

Buying Tips: Whatever the hell floats your boat. Bombers are for keeps. I’ve got two – the classic black Gomme and pink Hysteric Glamour in this post – which I’ve had for years. Styling Tips: The length of your bomber matters.  Those that cinch at the waist work best with jeans, slim-fitting trousers, etc. Girls, you’ll probably get more wear out of styles that just skim the hips as these work equally well with dresses/skirts or jeans – a wise option if you are on a budget.

My classic Gomme and Hysteric Glamour will see a lot of action this season but I’m sure I need an embellished luxe version. When it comes to these babies I’m thinking more is definitely more! 🙂

My classic numbers…..

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And super embellished from the runway……

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Saint Laurent SS16

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Gucci SS16

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Roberto Cavalli SS16

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Emilio Pucci SS16

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Saint Laurent SS16

I am wearing: Bomber Jacket – black (Gomme)| Shirt (Stella McCartney for H&M)| Clutch (Victoria Beckham)| Trainers (Adidas)| Bomber Jacket – pink (Hysteric Glamour)| T-shirt (Gap)| Jeans (H&M)| Espadrilles (Isabel Marant)| Sunglasses (Ray Ban)| Watch (Tank Solo)

Trainers or Sneakers. Keep Them Box Fresh Because Age Matters

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There was a time not very long ago (alright, quite a bit ago!) when I would deliberately scruff up new trainers to make them look “worn in” before daring to wear them out for the first time. A time when wearing snow white trainers would have been considered a bit naff and definitely dodgy style-wise. Nowadays though, I am firmly within “that age bracket” that requires no less than box fresh. But when did this happen?!

A friend jokingly asked me about this last week which caused me to think about it and led to this post. So, here’s the thing, and at the risk of coming off a bit prescriptive and possibly ageist(?!), 35 would seem to be the cut-off age.  Not really sure why. The wide range of  grown-up/”fashion” trainers around today thanks to the likes of Acne Studios, Puma and its various collaborations, and the fashionista’s favourite Adidas Stan Smiths, etc. must have something to do with it. But, whatever the reason, get your handy bleach wipes at the ready if you are over 35 (boy or girl) and intent on continuing to wear trainers.  Oh, and be sure to change your laces regularly too.  And try and avoid the rain. Sorry, them’s just the rules. 🙂  Anyway, who can deny that a pair of scruffy old Stan Smiths just don’t look the same as a box fresh pair.  Actually, they might as well be different trainers. Right?

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My “gleaming white” Stan Smiths

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These Puma High-Top beauties have never seen rain. No mean feat when you live in London!

What I’m wearing: Sweater (Hysteric Glamour)| Skirt (H&M)| White Trainers (Adidas)| Black Suede Trainers (Puma)| Clutch (Kenzo Paris)

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?