Monday, October 31, 2011


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

So there might be Christmas lights going up and endless 3 for 2 offers on wrapping paper but we prefer to focus on the finer aspects of the impending festive season, namely what we dream of finding tucked under the tree on Christmas morning. But do we really dream anymore? Once you're past the age of 11, does Christmas become just a list of things to buy and do? Well, not if some of the Best Fashion Brands in the World have their way.

David Sims for Miu Miu Resort with Guinevere Van Seenus, one of the worlds best models.

Chanel, Prada and Miu Miu mostly trade on the fact that, for most people, they represent an escape from the reality of the day-to-day; I know the moment I pull on my one item of Chanel (some two-tone tights with the double C logo at the ankle) I feel lifted away like Wendy flying off to Never-Never land with Peter Pan. This is pretty much the same feeling I had opening my shiny new bike or Baby Born Doll (Ballerina Sindy in FashEd's experience). We may all be used to ooh-ing and aah-ing each February and September at the catwalk shows (just like I did at Toys'R'Us in my younger years)  but these savvy brands know that this is just the door to the Narnia of our imaginations. Once they've sown the seeds of desire, irresistible Christmas collections land in our inboxes and they know that this is the route to making Christmas just as full of anticipation and delight as back in those childhood dolly-loving days.

The selection below will cater to the woman and the girl in all of you. Crucially, each and every item shown is a classic which embodies the brand which has lovingly crafted it to give us a lifetime of satisfaction and a squeal of delight come December 25th.
An Under The Sea cuff
The Chanel Camellia- this could just as easily be from 1960 as it is from 2011. The heather shade is a wintry update
on the usual white.

I have a bit of a thing for pearl earrings- I like to think I wear them in a sort of ironic, eighties sloane ranger sort of way but it is quite likely that I don't really pull that off! Nevertheless, I cannot think of a more perfect combination than my beloved pearls, with that interlocked C Chanel logo hovering above as an explicit indicator of their provenance.
My friends and I have been unbelivably organised about our NYE plans this year. We are off to a Prohibition Party- this necessitates a full-on twenties flapper extravaganza in the wardrobe department. Thus, the shoes below are quite possibly the perfect starting point with their jewels and delicate T-bar. This image is going straight onto the mood board for my look and if I happen to come into a fortune between now and NYE then these will be mine!

All the above available in Chanel boutiques from November/December +44 207 493 5040
 The Miu Miu seletion has a more fun element than the Chanel but then that's what the Prada's little sister is all about isn't it? All these jewels look like they're from a little rich girl's version of Claire's Accessories- in a really good way!

Miu Miu £295, available from November

Miu Miu £150, available from November
 The pearls and gems are a bit Queen meets Little Princess...

Do Miu Miu do Christmas Crackers? Can this fall out of one please?
£395, available from November

Note to anyone who knows me ;) £395, available from November
 We'll be needing this to carry about all our jewels and trinkets. I just really hope Tom Cruise doesn't buy up the entire stock for Suri...
Miu Miu £750, available from November

Even though Miuccia might like to have us think that Prada is all grown- up and ladylike, she has been messing with that very notion for some time now. Last season's banana motif and the flaming car for SS12 show that there is a very childish element to be enjoyed by a Prada woman. The Christmas collection only enhances that philosophy, mixing up modern essentials like leather iPad cases and purses with quirky key rings which could almost be stocking fillers bought in Hamley's.  This means the adult in us can justify the usefulness of the gift, while the little kid will just want to play at attaching the key ring to everything all Christmas day long (and beyond), win/win....
Happy Face Butterfly
All Prada and Miu Miu items range from £195-£990, available from November

Ahhhhhhh! Pengy.
All Prada and Miu Miu items range from £195-£990, available from November

Its Bichon Prada!
All Prada and Miu Miu items range from £195-£990, available from November

 This furry purse hints at the fraggle rock puppet fun fur theme from AW11...

Fraggle Wallet
All Prada and Miu Miu items range from £195-£990, available from November


All images courtesy of Prada, Miu Miu & Chanel

Friday, October 28, 2011


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

Hello Friday Fashion lovers. Welcome once again to your end of week fashion news round-up...

 First up, our immaculately placed sources tell us  that Marc Jacobs will CATEGORICALLY not be taking the vacant role at Dior, despite all the hype pointing to his imminent appointment. I'm afraid we can't shed much light on who it will be but the FashEd is thinking that it may end up being a complete surprise, somebody we've hardly heard of before. Quite frankly, I wish they'd just hurry up and tell us- the suspense is too much.
Marc with Kate Moss after Louis Vuitton SS12 (Image from
In other Marc related news, this week he has been appointed a member of the CFDA board- the panel which represents the American fashion industry and exerts influence in all areas of the fashion world. It seems baffling that after many years at the top of his game, designing for his two eponymous labels as well as Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs has only just been admitted onto the panel. Proenza Schouler duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez also took up their places.
The Proenza boys (Image from
Golly jeeps, I'll stop going on about anything Marc related in a mo, I promise. However our third bit of news is the rumoured development of Louis Vuitton's first perfume. WWD reported that Jacques Cavallier- Belletrud, whose family are long time perfumers from Grasse, the home of fragrance making, will begin concocting something in January. That's all we know at the moment. Many of the world's biggest design houses are summed up by their perfumes; Chanel No.5 and YSL Rive Gauche are just two which spring to mind. Thus if this perfume comes off, it will be an echo of Louis Vuitton's identity, rather than part of it.
Sacks of rose petals used to make Chanel No.5, in Grasse (Image from
 My Monday was greatly brightened by the news that King Karl Lagerfeld is launching a new and very affordable line of clothing. Prices will start at just 60 euros in the 100 piece collection which will be available from 25th January at Net-a-Porter. According to those in the know, Saskia de Brauw stars in the lookbook; highlights include a backless black dress and silver jeans as well as Karl's own personal favourite fingerless gloves.It seems the venture is mostly down to Pier Paolo Righi who heads up the Karl Lagerfeld brand. His philosophy? It would be stupid not to build on the 100 million euro plus which Lagerfeld already generates. Business sense for them, fashion joy for us!
Karl Lagerfeld with Pier Paolo Righi
After her wedding dress was heavily referenced by the Duchess of Cambridge back in April, my obsession with Princess Grace of Monaco A.K.A Grace Kelly hit an all time high. Wonderful timing then for a film about a six month period of her life with Prince Rainier of Monaco when she played a central role is abating tensions with France. After much wrangling, the script by Arah Amelhaving will now be produced by Pierre Ange Le Pogam. I should imagine that Princess Grace would be a dream character to play for any actress. My personal picks would be January Jones, whose Mad Men character Betty Draper has consistently been compared to Princess Grace, or Rosamund Pike who can flit between icy and warm with immense talent. Both have the look to do justice to a woman who is oft called one of the most beautiful ever. Now, who will design the costumes?
Grace Kelly (image from

January Jones as Betty Draper in Mad Men, with Don (Image from
In an interview with WWD today, Raf Simons explains how he took the Jil Sander brand  and made it his own by going beyond the parameters which the label had previously worked within:

'I started with the idea of being inspired by everything that I thought was not allowed in the brand Jil Sander — other cultures, another time, another moment in history,” Simons recalled. “It was very naked, very exposed — at least for the Jil Sander brand. That [2009] show was very well received. When I saw that it started to work, and the followers of the brand were open to it and we also got a new customer in, I thought it was the moment to start exploring a new form of language.'
A 20s inspired dress from Simons' Spring 2009 collection for Jil Sander (Image from
These comments are fascinating in the context of all the SS12 geeking that the FashEd and I have been doing. We've noticed that some our favourite collections have taken reference from a bygone era but made that reference look incredibly modern and right for now. Take a look at the drop waist dresses at Theysken's Theory or Preen's Virginia Woolf influences (which I blogged about during LFW) to see what I mean. 
Raf Simons (from
Finally, this film from is such a treat for anybody who loves fashion- so I assume that's all of you! Cathy Horyn from the New York Times talks to Alexander McQueen Creative Director Sarah Burton. We hear about the fashion industry from their perspective and how McQueen faithfully retains its aesthetic from season to season, apparently eschewing trends, or a desire to set them. I remember watching Sarah Burton explain the royal wedding dress and I could listen to her going through intricate details and elements of artisanship for hours on end such is the depth of her knowledge and the passion with which she narrates it.The film itself also zooms through pieces from the SS12 collection so you can sort of say you've been inside a McQueen gown. If I haven't sold it to you by now then please just watch it!

Diving for McQueen on

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

A panoramic of TopShop's silky scarf print bombers and lingerie looks for next season

The amazing prototype of Mary Katrantzou's first TopShop dress collection. How alike is this to her runway version?? It will retail for £350.

Pretty pastel and leather sporty mesh for TopShop SS12 shoes

Its been a long day attending press days all over London and meeting deadlines. I've got two Grazia stories running next week, so the proofs had to be triple checked, and we're also brainstorming for the next issue of POP. So here I am at 8.19pm still at my desk eating rubbery cashew nuts because I am starving.

The TopShop press day today was held at the Rebecca Hossack gallery just off Fitzroy Square in London. It was the first time ever the brand has broken away from showing with the rest of Arcadia Group with a solo presentation. Their way of asserting their fashion brand status, I guess. Topshop was, afterall, the most tweeted about label during London Fashion Week after Burberry.  It was a street-chic showing - all very Versace and 90s Sportwear, and the first of ex Vogue Senior Fashion Editor Kate Phelan in her new role as Creative Direector.

I expected Salt n Pepa "Push It" to bust out of the speakers while I mosied my way through the silky bomber jackets, pastel pink jeans and silver Y-back tanks but got Neneh Cherry "Manchild" instead. British fashion is having a major 90s moment at street level. I'm not sure who to blame for this, though I'm beginning to suspect Ayishat and Louize (Cher Lloyd's stylists) will be all over this range like a rash. What I saw available at TopShop was so very 90s took me back to my schooldays of wearing hoodies, high-tops and pastel yellow jeans.  #Nostalgia

Oh and one more thing: last week I raised the issue of whether we could/should wear hi-top wedge trainers, and suggested the high-street got on the job because the Isabel Marant Bekket has sold out gllobally, and lookie here at what Toppers has in store for us...Great minds, hey?

from my Twitter feed @fashedatlarge

All photos: Fashion Editor at Large

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

It's all go here at FEAL towers but fear not, we haven't forgotten you dear readers. It may be short and sweet but we wanted to share some rather awesome prints we saw today at Jonathan Saunders and Stella McCartney. Suddenly all the work we're doing on the trends for SS12 seems to have come to life and we can actually imagine wearing them- or dream of it,  more realistically, in the case of Saunders and Stella.
At Jonathan Saunders

The indescribably divine Jonathan Saunders, with models

At Stella...

I thought I could never love a nude shoe...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

In the new Ponystep (OUT NOW) the FashEd has interviewed Donatella Versace. As you would expect, there are some gems in there. Here's the full spread for you straight from the beautifully designed Ponystep pages...

And here's the lady herself, explaining her upcoming H&M collaboration...

Monday, October 24, 2011


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large (back from Istanbul)

Bora Aksu for Armaggan
 Bora Aksu is, by today's standards, a fashion designer with a difference. He is described as having a demi-couture aesthetic which he faithfully maintains, ensuring each project he participates in will not compromise these ideals. He is also very shy and could barely look at the applauding audience as he took his bow after the catwalk show launching his new collaboration with luxury Turkish store Armaggan on Thursday night.
The Armaggan Nuruosmaniye store
Bora (image kindly provided by David from the BFC after Fashion Junior's went AWOL)
Post-show, Bora and his delightful Mauritian wife, Fella, took time to chat to us UK journos who were completely oblivious to the apparent buzz of Turkish celebrity around us at the glitzy drinks event. There were no airs and graces; Bora and Fella both remembered to jibe me several times for my delay arriving in Istanbul (for reasons which will only bore you). Fella also told me how she and Bora were friends for six years before they finally got together and then married ten years ago. Fella now manages the business side of Bora Aksu. I'm sure they won't mind me saying that although Bora is a show to see at LFW, he doesn't make front-page news. Having grown up in Turkey (before moving to London to study at Central Saint Martins), he is their prize design export and everyone wants to know what Bora is doing meaning that his show pictures will grace the front of all the papers!

Bora Aksu's collection employed the expertise which Armaggan's laboratory is famed for, so the pieces are made using traditional embroidery and weaving techniques, along with the purest silks and wools.
The collaboration with Armaggan is not Bora's first; he also works with Anthropologie in America. This is no H and M style, mass market pair-up though. Only two pieces of each design from the 40 piece collection will be made, making it even more exclusive that Bora's main line. In my post from Istanbul the other day, I alluded to the mix of old and new which is a central part of Armaggan's philosophy. But there is a lot more to it than that; this is not a place to search out a bargain. Every item is so lovingly designed and crafted, usually in the store's own laboratory, that prices rarely go below a few hundred dollars. One yellow sapphire ring on display was $33,000. There are several floors where furniture, art, jewellery and handicraft are displayed as if in a galllery- for most browsers that's what it is I suppose. On a tour of the store before the Bora Aksu unveiling, we were shown the traditional Turkish intricate silk crochet-like pieces which are sold as necklaces or appliqued onto dresses, scarves and handkerchiefs.

It was quite baffling to imagine that this is all done completely by hand and one mistake means starting all over again. Cherie Blair has visited the store several times and among her purchases were three of these dresses, I can't think who for but then perhaps she is of the school of thought that that they are far too precious to actually wear!

In Bora's collection, it was clear to see that he had worked closely with Armaggan (he's been commuting back and forth every week between London and Istanbul for months) to maintain these traditional techniques while also blending in strong military- like shapes through the coats and capes which remind me of an Ottoman warrior. But there was also the easy, jazz age allusion of the loose, drop waist dresses which gave the collection its essential modernity. Should you be in Istanbul, Armaggan would make a fascinating stop-off and after December 15th you will be able to see Bora Aksu's collection for yourself. Thank you Bora, Fella, Armaggan and the delightful Antony for a wonderful trip to Istanbul.
From left to right: Fashion Junior a.k.a Bethan Holt, Jayne from WGSN,  Liz from the Daily Mail, David from the BFC and Lucy from Red.
All images, unless otherwise indicated, by Fashion Junior at Large.