Friday, 26 February 2016

5 Style Hacks I'm Stealing from London Fashion Week (And a Couple I'm Not)

London Fashion Week is renowned for styling sleights whose recreation outside the rarefied confines of Brewer Street NCP would see their proponents running the risk of a lifetime Tesco ban. But it's also an inexhaustible source of inspiration for those of us who fancy a little wardrobe shake-up... And nothing need stop you receiving your Ocado delivery in glittery pyjamas, eh?

Here are my Fashion Week-inspired resolutions for 2016...

1. Discover New Layers

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Skirts Over Skirts, Skirts Over Dresses, Skirts Over Suits
L-R: Topshop Unique; Fyodor Golan; Mother of Pearl; Simone Rocha
Skirts over trousers: Yawn. Skirts over... skirts? I'm listening. Skirts over suits? *Yelps with excitement*

2. Try the New High/Low

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Sports Luxe, High Low, Hi Low, Sequins, Ruffles, Slogan Sweatshirt
L-R: Peter Pilotto; Mother of Pearl; Preen; Preen
Sports/luxe: done (over and over and over and...) But prim/prairie, demure/disco and sports/vamp, on the other hand...

3. Ruffle Some Feathers

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Ruffles, Florals, Yoke Blouse, Frills, Bib Detail, Pep Hem, Peplum
L-R: Erdem; Mother of Pearl; Paul Smith; Huishan Zhang
Or, at the very least, some neck and hemlines.

4. Pop Some (Statement) Collar...

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Statement Collars, Coloured Fur, Fun Fur, Faux Fur, Parka, Pie Crust, Ruff, Elizabethan
L-R: Burberry; J. JS Lee; Osman; Roksanda
After 400 years in the fashion wilderness, could 2016 see the return of the ruff? Roksanda (incredibly) put forward a pretty convincing case... But, whilst I muster the requisite courage (and wait for Zara to rustle up a copy), I'll be following Burberry's failsafe formula: fun fur + parka + peppy prints + preppy accessories = trans-seasonal style perfection.

5. Jazz Up My Hosiery

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Pom Pom, Socks with Sandals, Socks with Heels, Pom Pom Coat, Pom Pom Socks, Glitter Tights, Accessories
Clockwise from L: House of Holland; Osman; Mother of Pearl; Ryan Lo
And once I've finished rifling through the darkest recesses of my sock drawers in search of those Burberry-alike textured tights, I solemnly swear to finally try out the socks-and-sandals thing... Before investing in some new-style pom pom-adorned accessories (because, come next season, a bag charm just isn't going to cut it) and (*squeal*) some glittery tights. The '80s party dressing trend is going to be the best Crimbo gift an adult woman ever received.

And 4 I Won't Be Trying At Home...

Style Hacks, London Fashion Week, LFW, AW16, Outfit Ideas, Styling Inspiration, Stylist, Fashion Blogger, Designer, Sam Muses, Trend Report, Contouring, Headscarf, Skirts Over Trousers, Dress Over Trousers
Gareth Pugh; Ashish; Christopher Kane; Mother of Pearl
1. '80s power suiting? YES. Contouring using tights? No.
2. Glittery pyjamas? Yes (please). Hair of Marge Simpson and Krusty the Clown's lovechild? No.
3. Bag-for-life-based millinery? Call me old school, but I think I'll be sticking to umbrellas for the time being.
4. Skirts-over-skirts? Intrigued. Skirts-over-trackies-over-socks-under-slippers? Baffled.

Need to Know: Your LFW Crib Notes

  • The Hottest Colours: Olive Green, Yolk Yellow, Rose Pink
  • The Greater Spotted Prints: Gingham, Houndstooth, Florals
  • Most Referenced Decades: '60s, '70s (yes, I know), '80s
  • Most Commonly Credited Concepts: Fading Beauty, High/Low
  • Most Unexpected Trend: Corsets over everything...

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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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