Tuesday, 23 February 2010

London - the most fashionable place to be

What an amazing week for London, not only is it fashion week but also the stars have descended on the cool Capital for the Bafta's and the Elle Style awards. It has been non-stop glamour!

Quite aptly the Brits flew the flag at the Bafta's for designers from their homeland with Kate Winslet opting for a sexy a black Stella McCartney rather than her usual Yves Saint Laurent, Trudi Styler looked fantastic in a structured Victoria Beckham black peplum dress, Vanessa Redgrave and daughter Joely Richardson both wearing elegant Catherine Walker creation and Burberry was a hit for Saiorse Ronan in a feathered creation.

Other actresses didn't veer too far away from Britain with them opting for French designers. Girl-of-the-moment, Best Actress winner Carey Mulligan wore a floral fitted gown by Vionnet, Kristin Scott Thomas wore elegant black Louis Vuitton and Audrey Tatou controversially wore a fluffy pink Lanvin creation (Chanel will be annoyed, she is the current face of the brand and also played Gabrielle Chanel in Coco Before Chanel).
So London Fashion week... today was the most anticipated day with Burberry hosting the first ever catwalk show to be broadcast live in 3D and boy did the glitterati descend for the event of the week.

Anna Wintour showed up in an elegant trench with a fantastic fur trim to keep her from the winter weather(or just to look fabulous), Kate Hudson was in a terrible bottle green sequin creative but wore mighty black platforms and Mary-Kate Olsen look understated but gorgeous in a fitted black coat and heels.

The show was a flurry of textured pieces in muted tones of green, brown and berry. Of course Burberry disappoint with the coats but animal-rights group won't be happy, fur, sheep-skin and leather will be the order of the day come Autumn/Winter 2010.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

New York Fashion Week

Ohh how I wish to be in New York, my favourite city that is currently showcasing Autumn/Winter 2010 designers collections during the glamorous New York Fashion week.
I bring you a big of gossip and my favourite show... Victoria Beckham (!)

Marc Jacobs - it's all about the clothes
Marc Jacobs has banned celebrities from his front row - fantastic. Celebrities can be paid a ridiculous sum of money for just turning up to sit and pout on the front row of catwalk shows. A pap shot of Gywneth or Beyonce on a front row will more than likely appear in the tabloids guaranteeing publicity for the brand.

However, Marc Jacobs decided against the de-rigeur of front row of A-list stars after apparently branding the celebrity culture "boring".

Madonna apparently phoned Marc to say that she was on her way but the spectacular show wasn't even held for the Queen of Pop.

The show was a million miles away from last year's 80's revival and instead a more understated yet elegant tea-dresses and skirts ending below the knee were the order of the day. Maybe a little safe but totally wearable which in these days of economic crisis is pretty sensible.
Maybe Oscar De La Renta should have taken some advice from Marc Jacobs. His A - list guest, Jessica Biel, arrived late after dashing across New York which supposedly made his usually punctual show start late!
Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckhams fourth collection was an eye-opener, a world away from Wag hot pants, ghetto sunglasses and blinged up jeans, her latest collection was a homage to the tailoring and glamour of the early 20th century. Even the critics were on her side.

Victoria's exclusive show was attended by 25 of the top buyers and fashion editors at a location in the chic Upper East Side and she greeted each of her guests. As the models, who were donned in huge sunglasses for that signature Beckham look, walked down the runway in the divine 25 dresses she discussed the fabrics, colours and textures of garment giving a unique fashion narration.

Dick Tracy comics were apparently the main inspiration and Audrey Hepburns Givenchy dresses from the 1950s also came to mind.

Victoria crossed over with two hot trends, with drapery and structure being intwined beautifully in the design of the dresses.

For a more casual look there was a wool crepe tunic dress that was beautifully cut on the bias making it feel more like an over-sized sweater.

I also loved the glamorous dressing-gown style dress in a subtely glamorous beige, you could imagine Marlene Dietrich wearing it reclining in a chair with a cigarette holder dangling from her hand.

Both neutral tones and rich shades of red and striking turquoise were used along with the ever faithful black.

I think it was such a success as Victoria had obviously designed dresses she would wear her self making them realistically wearable for women.

I'm a fan!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Wedding Belles

I have had the great honour of being invited to my friend Eloises wedding in sunny Portugal in June. Knowing how wonderfully warm it is in June in the Algarve I know I won't have to worry about a soggy dress hem or having to buy an umbrella that will match my outfit.

The invitation has stated that "hats are encouraged" so I will also be on the hunt for a hat. I think the times of wearing hats to weddings has long gone, people just aren't as formal anymore.
The shops are already filled with gorgeous dresses in stunning bright colour or the on-trend nude tones. If I was attending a wedding in England I may have gone down the nude (colour that is) route but for a wedding on the beautiful coastline of the Algarve I think the only way to go is brights!

I love the 70's look, a patterned maxi-dress with a wide-brimmed floppy hat with gorgeous wedged sandals and an elegant throw would look glamorous yet comfortable for the Algarve heat. Although with maxi-dresses I would have to go for a print rather than a block colour or it will look like I had been hampering to be a bridesmaid - not a good look.
I love the draping look that is on-trend this season. It is a nod to the romantic grecian trend and looks fantastic in bright colours. Also it will cover any lumps and bumps after enjoying the food and wine at the reception.

A more fitted look in sexy satin is also another style that would fit the bill - in gorgeous turquoise or a tribal print. This may be the least comfortable as with the hot weather satin may not be the most forgiving or cooling material to wear.

As for hats I am a little bored of fasinators, a little bit over-done for my liking. I love the forties style hats, small and round perched on the side of the head framing the face.

Well the hunt is on and I will keep you updated!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Style Icons

So who are your style icons?

I recently wrote an article about Style Icons - I picked five women who I personally believe fall into this category. Women who may not always be "the best dressed" but created eternal iconic looks that stood the test of time. They weren't fashion clothes horses (wearing designer looks head to toe that have come straight off the catwalk - yes I am looking at you Victoria Beckham) but had their own personal style that has had a significant impact on the fashion world.

Princess Diana - she picked her outfits perfectly for every occasion and always looked immaculate knowing she was the most photographed woman in the world.

After her divorce from Charles she started to champion her personal favourite international designers including Versace.

Who could forget the stunning black chiffon she wore after Charles' interview about his affair with Camilla? All eyes and thoughts were on Diana...

Katharine Hepburn - the woman who championed the trouser and went against the studio-system etiquette and was the first actress to wear the once male-only garment on screen. Her look is still reinvented in today's modern world; the high-waisted, wide leg trouser teamed with feminine blouses. Katharine for me was iconic because she went against the norm and found her own look which she was loyal to.

Audrey Hepburn - how could I not? Yes it is predictable to put her on the list but she was undeniably iconic. Loved by men but maybe women more so, she championed fashion for the flat-chested woman when the screen was filled with buxom voluptuous blonde vamps.

Her long-standing relationship with Givenchy always ensured she was chic and glamorous on-screen and helped make the Little Black Dress the classic it is today.

Audrey's debut in a Roman Holiday not only debuted her talent at acting but also her talent in showcasing how versatile a simple full skirt and white blouse can be.

Madonna - the eternal reinventor who has kept her fans and peers hooked on what she will do next. Predictable she ain't!

The Queen of Pop is often in the dreadful "worst dressed list" for her often daring style choices but I love that she veers away from boring and safe options.

Madonna has done it all from dominatrix to librarian, to hippy chick to cow girl. You could not define her with one iconic look and I think that makes her even more iconic.

Sarah Jessica Parker - loved by women and often hated by men, they just don't get our Manhattan Goddess and her eccentric fashion choices.

SJP has had a huge impact on how women dress, what other TV show has there been that has been watched as much for the fashion as for the story lines?

It has, of course, alot to do with uber stylist Patricia Field and for some SJP is just the clothes horse. But come on! It takes a stylish woman to carry off a tu-tu in a busy New York avenue, an enormous corsage on a skin-tight white dress and a ball gown for a meal with an ex.

SJP's fashion credentials away from the SATC has proven she isn't a one trick pony. She has just been announced as creative director for Halston, the iconic fashion house of the 1970's that is coming back to the fore-front in the industry.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Look of the day

Yasmin Le Bon looks chic and bang on trend in the ever so classic Breton striped top and cigarette pants.

Teamed with the sheepskin cropped jacket and the tightly worn scarf, she looks effortless and greatly achieves the "Oh I just threw this on!"

The dash of red lipstick adds a blast of much needed vibrant colour to the outfit and pays homage to the French origin of the Breton stripe, bringing a Chanel-esque dimension to the look.

Hemlines rising, heels lowering

Even though as I look out of my window I can see a light trace of snow falling from the sky, I can't help but to think forward towards Spring and Summer - my favourite time of year!

Having spent the past four summers in constant sunshine in Portugal I am lucky enough to know when investing in a maxi-dresses and strappy sandals that I am guaranteed to wear them. Summers in the UK are harder to buy for, your maxi-dress will more than likely get a scrapping of mud and rain on the hem during the unpredictable English summer.

Well chuck out the maxi-dress (or keep it to the back of the wardrobe for the time being) because hemlines are getting shorter this summer. Skirts and dresses will be bottom skimming and the must-see item to be seen in on the city streets is the "hotpantaloon" - a bloomer of sorts for only the very brave and lithe.

Last summer we saw plenty of colour-blocking and vibrant colours, this summer it is more low-key - nudity with subtlety. Get ready to invest in some pretty underwear because it will be on show! Drapery is a key look and this goes hands in hands as your new pretty underwear will be covered in swathes of gorgeous sheer chiffon and lace.

The nudity look follows through into the colour spectrum next season. Subtle tones of nude, peach, greys and pale blues were awash across the catwalks and have already begun to filter through to the high street.

If you want to brighten up your summer wardrobe buy coloured check shirts and dresses.

Dresses will be a versatile must-have item for the summer, for the hottest look invest in a style with forgiving drapery for some added shape and interest.

The Jumpsuit hasn't gone away and is a still a fun and chic alternative to the dress, for the most up-to-date look go for strapless or an asymmetric single strap.

The trouser is tapered and loosely tailored preferably in silk for a laid-back but luxe look.

The belt next season is skinny and worn high on the waist to accentuate those curves.

The heel is getting lower this summer for a more low maintenance and relaxed look - the kitten heel is making a comeback along with the clog. For the hottest look go for a tribal and ethnic print to add an "African Queen" feel to your wardrobe.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

"Who are you wearing?"

This is my favourite time of year for red carpet watching! The never ending displays of couture and runway looks all on display infront of the awaiting paparrazi and fans.

The red carpet is big business for the fashion houses. Today the nominees for this years Oscars were announced and the top fashion houses will be clawing to get their hands on a best actree nominee.

In the run-up to the actual ceremony the actresses will have a number of dresses offered to them on a plate and a number of fittings will take place. There may be a favourite but the favourite may quickly change at the last minute. The fashion house will not be informed if their dress will be worn until the actress steps on the glittering trail of camera flashes and the endless "who are you wearing?"

This is advertisement you just cannot buy. Think of how many times the image of the Best Actress in her finery clutching her award will be seen around the world?

Of course actresses may go down a different route and choose a "vintage" piece to really stand out from the crowd. It adds an allure of mystery around the actress and says "I know my fashion and I do not want to look like everybody else!"

Some of my favourite red-carpet looks have come from actresses who went down the vintage route. Renee Zellweger in her gorgeous vintage Dior when she won Best Actress for "Walk the Line", Jennifer Lopez in a mint green dress once worn by Jackie O in the infamous Ben Affleck days and of course Julia Roberts who kicked off the trend in vintage black and white Valentino when she won Best Actress for her role as Erin Brockavich.

If I was lucky enough to walk the red carpet I would definitely go vintage for a truly memorable look.

Welcome to my blog

So I would like to introduce myself...

I am Lizzie, aged 24 and I am engrossed daily by fashion - the history, trends, designers, red-carpet moments, individual style, vintage clothes - I love it all.

I have a degree in journalism and editorial design and have recently worked abroad in Portugal on a weekly English language newspaper, the Algarve Resident, as a news reporter and feature writer for MMS publishing. My favourite part of the job was interviewing local people with extraordinary stories and backgrounds, oh and writing fashion features!

My other obsession is Portugal so I will most likely be telling you more about my second home and hopefully soon I will be able to call it my first home.

So here in my blog I will be keeping readers up-to-date with current trends, who is wearing what and who shouldn't be wearing that!

I have a monthly fashion and beauty column with the Algarve Resident newspaper and will be sharing my ideas and thoughts from my column with you.

I will also be sharing with you my journey to the next stage in my life, since working on the newspaper and having only had a six month contract (it was maternity cover) I have since returned home to live with my parents. Going from one extreme to the other is an understatement...