Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Guys: 5 Reasons You Might Be More On Trend Than You Think...

Fashion month 'proper' is just about to kick off, but let's take a moment to look back at the lessons to be learned from this season's men's shows... could you (or your man) be more on trend than you ever realised?

You're oh-so-AW16 if...

L-R: Off-White, Ami Alexandre Mattiussi, Bally, Topman Design, Raf Simons
  • You rock a suit and kicks combo on your morning commute...
  • Minus the blazer, but plus a bomber...
  • And, on changing out of said kicks, occasionally find yourself sporting mismatching socks.
  • You waited out the whole skinny jean thing...
  • And are still the proud owner of a puffa. High fives all round, Mr. Ice - or can we call you Vanilla?

5 things you might not be wearing yet, but really should...

L-R: Topman Design, Ami Alexandre Mattiussi, Louis Vuitton, Issey Miyake, Bally
  • Flares - take note, guys, as Topman shows you a totally non-scary way to work them into your workaday wardrobe...
  • A statement coat (yes, even if you do have that puffa locked down) - tartan, chevron, checkerboard.... the world - and colour wheel - are your oyster...
  • OR a statement scarf - if you're not quite ready for full body coverage...
  • Berry tones - flattering virtually every complexion, burgundy hues are guaranteed to get you noticed for the right reasons...
  • Roll necks - layer up or fly solo - just get ready to roll now... slip one under your suit blazer for a dose of David Gandy dash, or pop a shirt or sweater on top for a so-hip-it-might-just-hurt hit of '70s prep.

...and 5 you might not be quite ready for...

L-R: Sandro, Ami Alexandre Mattiussi, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, 3.1 Phillip Lim
  • Leather trousers - on the catwalk, leather skinnies + tonal tailoring = all kinds of chic. But serious cheek(bones), not to mention model-esque pins, are required to pull them off. And the same goes for...
  • Sequins...
  • Embroidered denim...
  • And embellished knitwear. Then we have...
  • The wear-it-out onesie - if you're going there, please follow Phillip Lim's eminently sensible example and layer a shirt underneath, or trips to the loos are going to get a teensy bit awkward.

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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Yep, the Bum Bag is Haute Again... Couture Fashion Week Trend Report

Bum bag, fanny pack... call it whatever (vaguely unsavoury moniker) you will - being the persistent and - apparently - practical types that they are, neither Karl nor Elie will call it a day whiles we're not all strapping them over our sequins. Chanel are now officially terming theirs a 'smartphone pouch', by the way, in case that invocation of your one true love (your rose gold 6S, obvs) sways you any.

The Bum Bag, L-R: Chanel; Elie Saab; Chanel

The word 'crochet' may not exactly scream 'couture' but, this fashion week, the homespun threads were not only to be found lurking within the walls of Karl's eco dream house, but loud and proud, front and centre of Donatella Versace's souped up "athletic couture" collection and insouciantly draped over Schiaparelli's classic-slash-surrealistic creations.

Crochet, L-R: Chanel; Atelier Versace; Schiaparelli

If I could spirit just one item into my own wardrobe, it would have to be an embellished bomber, seemingly resurrected in a new guise at every show. Less sports luxe, more sports art - sigh.

The Bomber Jacket, L-R: Atelier Versace; Giorgio Armani Prive; Chanel; Ulyana Sergeenko

Military styling notes met tiger print, red vinyl and even leopard-patterned lace...

Military Detailing, L-R: Alberta Ferretti; Alexandre Vauthier; Alexandre Vauthier

...but their most unexpected incarnations were to be found in recurrent references to the Regency-era gallant - had the designers been banking on cashing in on War & Peace mania..?

Regency Gent, L-R: Dice Kayek; Aouadi; Bouchra Jarrar

Lashings of pleats and ruffles made a rather less surprising showing...

Pleats Please, L-R: Alexandre Vauthier; Alexandre Vauthier; Schiaparelli; Alexis Mabille

...despite their occasional concealment beneath layers of Muppet-blue fun fur gilets and picnic rug-inspired bolero jackets.

Layering, L-R: Ulyana Sergeenko; Schiaparelli; Valentino

The '80s put in a persuasive bid to topple the overweening supremacy of the '70s, with peplums hemming everything from shorts to maxi skirts...

Pep Hems, L-R: Giorgio Armani Prive; Dice Kayek; Giorgio Armani Prive; Dice Kayek

...sleeves puffed to their most voluminous levels yet...

Puffball Sleeves, L-R: Dice Kayek; Chanel; Dice Kayek

...and stirrups cradling the arches of more models than Leonardo DiCaprio has on speed dial.

Stirrup Pants, L-R: Atelier Versace; Jean Paul Gaultier; Ulyana Sergeenko

Whether inspired by the '80s, '20s or C-3PO, metallics were the order of the day at many a show...

Foiled Again, L-R: Alberta Ferretti; Giorgio Armani Prive; Maison Margiela

But who needs tin foil when you have a cat burglar clutch... a dress covered in fairylights... a gold serpent to crown your medieval maiden raiment... or the most beautiful mule (not a contradiction in terms, as it turns out) the world has ever seen, not to mention the best-dressed ankle in Paris?

Finishing Touches, CW from L: Cat Burglar Clutch, Ulyana Sergeenko; Fairytale Fairylights, Yiqing Yin; Serpent Headress, Valentino; Mules, Dior

None of the above to hand? No worries - pyjamas are officially haute. Well, no one's going to ban anyone from doing the school run in these, are they?

Pyjama Party, L-R: Ulyana Sergeenko; Ralph & Russo; Jean Paul Gaultier

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Power Brows in 60 Seconds: L'Oreal Brow Artist Super Plumper

Power Brows in 67 Seconds: L'Oreal Brow Artist Super Plumper Review + Tutorial

So I'm attempting to make up for the wilful neglect of my wall incurred as a result of my customary post-Crimbo hibernation period (prancing around without a coat in sub-zero temperatures: just no. I'm sorry, I love you, but I just can't do it) by resurrecting my neglected YouTube channel...

Anyone else love power brows but hate brow pencil? L'Oreal's Brow Artist (or Stylist if you happen to be in the US of A) Super Plumper is a cheeky 'Gimme Brow' dupe which does a pretty fab job of hitting the (bald) spot(s) without hitting your post-Crimbo wallet too hard...

Have you tried Brow Artist or Gimme Brow? How do they compare?

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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Max(i) Factor

Where did winter come from? Single digit temperatures made an unwelcome return to our shores this week, banishing December's gleefully unseasonably bare ankles and pom-pom topped flats in favour of 100 denier hosiery and heavy duty booties... but, in this tassel-trimmed maxi, H&M have come up with the ultimate weather-beating - not beaten - wear-all-year staple (just don't forget the 100 deniers)...

Floral Maxi Dress, H&M, Tassel, Neck Tie, 70s, Leopard Print Coat, Faux Fur, Very, Peter Pan Collar, How to Wear, AW15, Outfit Ideas, Style Inspiration, UK Fashion Blog, London Style Blogger, Sam Muses






Dress: H&M, Coat: Very, Boots: Stradivarius

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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Looking Back and Moving Forward: 2015-16

2015 may have been a rollercoaster of a year, at both global and individual levels, but we'll always be able to look back safe and sound in the knowledge that at least one thing remained constant - fashion's fixation with the flare... Whether or not the desire to escape the strictures imposed by social media and skinny jeans on our own century would have been better served by more proactive tactics than that of adopting a nostalgically unswerving dedication to the softly comforting suedette of '70s style garb, it was (and remains) FUN. Bring on the '80s... but not until I've claimed sufficient wear from the floaty maxis and jumpsuits I pulled out of my Christmas stocking, please.

From a more personal perspective, the past year has rendered me - and my life - virtually unrecognisable (as the man who, having taught me for two years up until April, failed to identify me in December, can attest). My continuing commitment to the strategy of treating real life as a Choose Your Own Adventure story has enabled me to tally up a roster of experiences I would never have dreamed of being able to add to my CV twelve months ago. Superlative highs were tempered by profound lows, however, particularly during the year's latter months, marked as they were by the loss of three much-loved souls and the narrow avoidance (thankfully) of that of another. So this year? I plan to carry right on embracing the unpredictable and unknowable in my quest to squeeze the most out of every opportunity that comes my way, no matter how inconsequential - or terrifying - it may seem. Because anything could happen - good or bad. And, however scary that may be, it's also pretty liberating...

2015: My Year in Style

January-March 2015
April-June 2015
July-September 2015
October-December 2015

2015 in 15: It was the year that...

1. The ice rink saw the maximum duration of my one-foot glides increase from <2.5 to >10 seconds, along with my first (somewhat) successful attempts at backwards crossovers and one-foot turns... Meanwhile, the aerial silks, sling, hoop and trapeze also saw some action, and, back on terra firma, I executed my first cartwheel, learnt to Charleston and qualified as a dance fitness instructor.
2. Going vegan for Lent was made more of a treat than a sacrifice by the discovery of delights such as this Brighton cafe's amazing banana-choc cake...
3. Brecht's "Fear and Misery of the Third Reich" saw me transform from nosy neighbour to meatball-pilfering teenage boy within the space of 180 minutes, via concentration camp prisoner, judicial inspector, nurse, factory worker, maid and fisherman's wife.
    4. I went RED for real...
    5. Rocked the runway at my first catwalk show...
    6. And scored a part-time job doubling for Ronald McDonald.
    7. I officially became a fashion and personal stylist, single-handedly styling four fashion editorials, one of which made it into both an exhibition and an ad...
    8. Got the certificate to prove it...
    9. And got paid... to... shop.
    10. I became the Fashion Editor of After Nyne Magazine (and perfected the art of DIY dye-stripping)...
    11. Was invited backstage at London Fashion Week...
    12. And made it onto the masthead of my favourite fashion weekly.
    13. I finally attained the pixie cut of a lifetime's worth of dreams (and nightmares!) when my short-lived (albeit much-loved) lob was lopped off live on stage at my fifth hair show of the year.
    14. I ran 10k... through the woods... in the dark... on Halloween... dressed as Little Red Riding Hood... and sporting a head torch... having done absolutely no training. Come 1st November, things were less spritely fairytale ingenue and more aged cowboy.
    15. I bid a sad farewell to my furry partner-in-crime/spoiled adoptive sibling, when Geri, our beloved feline companion, passed away suddenly during the final weeks of the year, within the tragic ten-day period which also claimed a dear uncle and wonderful grandfather.

    2015 in 15: Micro Trends

    1. That M&S Suede Skirt
    2. The Cord Comeback (+ the Super Sleeve)
    3. Suede on Suede
    4. Flared Co-ords
    5. Victoriana
    6. Flared Dungarees
    7. Lace-up Tops
    8. Skinny Scarves
    9. Trans-seasonal Culottes
    10. Fringing
    11. Boobs
    12. Cropped Flares
    13. The Ghillie
    14. The Pom Pom
    15. The Sock Boot

    2015: Resolutions Revisited

    1. Try out the following:
      • Aerial Hoop
      • Trapeze
      • Aerial Silks
      • Skiing
      • Synchronised Swimming
    2. Go to gymnastics classes every week, schedule-permitting
    3. Practise at home every week - by the end of 2015, be able to:
      • Execute a perfect handstand
      • And cartwheel
      • And back walkover
    4. Take a regular meditation/bioenergetics course
    5. Take dance classes in new styles, inc. lambazouk
    6. Take singing lessons
    7. Go vegan for Lent
    8. Film a YouTube lookbook
    9. Cut my hair again
    10. Keep up the good work re: masterplanning and detritus minimisation

    2016: Resolutions

    1. Try out the following:
      • Synchronised Swimming
      • Swing Dancing/Lindy Hop
      • Zouk
    2. Go to gymnastics classes at least three times a month
    3. Work on upper body strength at home - by end of 2016, be able to:
      • Kick into a freestanding handstand
      • Execute aerial inversions in the absence of abject terror
    4. Give up refined sugar for Lent
    5. Publish written articles in at least two publications - and on at least two new subjects
    6. Style and publish at least two fashion editorials
    7. Pitch my secret pet project to potential investors
    8. Teach at least one dance class
    9. Take singing lessons
    10. Act in at least one play or film project

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