Saturday, December 24, 2011


Posted by Bethan and Melanie

In past twenty four days we have brought you some of the most fabulous and covetable fashion items out there. As people who work in fashion, that's our job and we adore it. Fashion is a part of our culture. But fashion does not exist in a vacuum. This year we have seen riots on the streets of London and more stories of economic woe which are likely to continue into 2012. Today we think it'd be nice to remember that there are many people who cannot pay rent, let alone buy into their fashion fantasies.

Around 4,000 people sleep on the streets of London every night and experts are saying that that number will probably go up next year. That thought is bad enough on any normal night but with Christmas upon us- a time for being cosy at home with our families and friends- it doesn't bear thinking about.

There are a few charities out there who are transforming another bleak day on the street into an opportunity for the homeless of cities across the UK, one of them is Crisis. For almost 40 years they have been helping the homeless, serving traditional Christmas dinner and providing all kinds of activities as well as practical assistance to help guests get out of rough sleeping. Amazingly, for just £23.39 (you probably paid more for your Turkey) Crisis can give one homeless person three good meals, advice, skills sessions and somewhere friendly to be on what should be the friendliest day of the year.

So, we reckon on the final day of advent, and in the spirit of giving shelter and food to those in need (Mary and Joseph were given shelter and food too) forking out for 5 places at a Crisis centre could be the best £116.95 you've spent all year.

Fashion Editor at Large just donated £116.95 on behalf of all of you who read us, helping Crisis give five homeless people a special day on December 25th.

                                            MERRY CHRISTMAS!

“Just as modern motorways have no room for ox-carts or 

wandering pedestrians, so modern society has little place for 

lives and ways that are too eccentric.”

― A.C. GraylingThe Meaning of Things: Applying Philosophy to Life

Friday, December 23, 2011


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

The Black Swan ring created by Boucheron

We are reaching the end of our Advent journey. Work at FEAL towers came to a halt at midday today, until 2012. I'm now at home in front of the fire wrapping presents, playing cheesy Christmas songs and putting away home made mince pies. My guess is you are or soon will be doing much the same. I love that Christmas seems to be the only time of the year when we all stop and take time to reflect on the year behind us, and the one ahead. The penultimate advent post celebrates the incredible beauty of Parisian fine jewellery. I'll leave the description to Boucheron...

Not surprisingly, the price is given on request. 

"In nature we never repeat the same motion. In captivity (office, gym, commute, sports), life is just repetitive stress injury. No randomness." 

For today, I'll leave you with an astounding scene from Black Swan in which Natalie Portman demonstrates her awesome power as an actor.  Give that girl an Oscar!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

I may have said that last week's fashion news was the last of the year but then stuff happened and we agreed that it wouldn't be right if we didn't tell you all about it.

Despite the rest of us winding down, the week has been full of pre-fall collections and SS12 campaign imagery. We'll bring you pre-fall news later in the festive period, for now here are the major campaigns which have been unveiled in the past seven days.

NINA RICCI: Raquel Zimmerman shot by Inez and Vinoodh

VALENTINO: Zuzanna Bijoch, Bette Franke, Maud Welzen and Fei Fei Sun shot by Deborah Turbeville

Very beautiful. I love Deborah Turbeville's work and it's nice to see a major label using a photographer outside the usual band of names called upon for the ad campaign job.

VERSACE: Gisele Bundchen shot by Mert and Marcus

YVES SAINT LAURENT: Mariacarla Boscono shot by David Sims

PRADA: Natasha Poly, Meghan Collison, Elise Crombez, Ymre Stiekema and Katryn Kruger shot by Steven Meisel

This is so much more prim and grown-up than AW11's surreal campaign. It underlines the observation that this is Miuccia Prada's most commercial collection for some time.

GIVENCHY: Gisele Bundchen shot by Mert and Marcus

Gisele also stars in the Versace campaign. Funnily enough, Givenchy and Versace were two of the labels whose SS12 made us think of Under the Sea. For their campaigns, they've gone super modern, super sexy mermaid- the water is there but it's in no way whimsical or mythical.

CHANEL: Joan Smalls and Saskia de Brauw shot by Karl Lagerfeld

Similarly, this could have been so mermaidy, but is instead very riviera. Mademoiselle would surely approve.

BALENCIAGA: Laura Kampman shot by Steven Meisel

All campaign images are from
In other news...

Marques' Almeida (image via
The AW12 line-up for Fashion East has been announced this week. The panel decided to stick with the success of SS12 and so there are no new names to report. James Long, Marques Almeida and Maarten van der Horst have been given a chance to build on the success which their collections shown in September have achieved. Panel member and FEAL favourite Sarah Mower said:

‘Fashion East’s 2012 cohort of designers excelled so remarkably that all their Spring collections have already been picked up by stores. So having them back to show together again for Fall 2012 will give buyers and journalists a second chance to spectate as these contenders take off in [the] Olympic year.’

James Long (image via
Maarten van der Horst (image via
Giambattista Valli has been officially admitted to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. The label showed in July as a guest at Haute Couture week but has impressed so much that the usual five year process for acquiring membership has been fast-tracked. President of the Chambre Synidcale, Didier Grumbach said:

“It was clear from his show [in July] that he has caught the attention of a new generation of customers, and he immediately took important orders for his couture ... it’s true that the haute couture appellation gives him legitimacy, but objectively speaking, he is already part of the system.”
A look from Valli's July show (image from

Duchess Kate's five-outfits-in-a-day for Christmas at Sandringham may be causing hysteria among certain sections of the media, but here at FEAL we're slightly more interested in the announcement this week that Princess Diana's dresses are to be displayed at Kensington Palace from 26th March next year. Proper fashion history.

Diana meets Princess Grace of Monaco (image from

Tempted to dress like a panto fairy? Take this Christmas fashion advice from Karl Lagerfeld, via Courtney Love, backed up by Karl's muse Lady Amanda Harlech:

"One time I was standing at the Mercer and Karl Lagerfeld goes, ‘What are you doing in this tutu?’ and I say ‘I have a record coming out.’ So Lagerfeld says to me, 'you are not getting laid in a tutu.' And Lady Amanda Harlech, who I adore who works for Karl, goes 'Courtney, you’re really not getting laid in a tutu.' And I realized, you know, that I did look like Baby Jane Hudson."

Karl says NO (Image from

Everyone seems to be holding their breath for a challenging 2012. This week, Paul Smith announced a 36% rise in profits to £34 million despite the fact that Japan, one of their biggest markets, has had a turbulent year. More pessimistically, Prada's share price has plummeted by 32% since July. Analysts predict that even Chinese consumers will be cutting back on spending in the New Year. Given that over 40% of Prada's revenue came from this market in 2010, that forecast paints a dim outlook for the label into 2012. Hence the commerciality of SS12 perhaps, clever Miuccia. 

We may be awaiting news of Chanel's SS12 campaign but it was revealed this week that Alice Dellal will be the new face of the Boy bag campaign. After spotting Dellal at a photoshoot several months ago, Karl Lagerfeld apparently couldn't get her out of his mind. Chanel said: "Alice Dellal represents the perfect incarnation of all that is unique about the Boy Chanel handbag collection, which strives [to be] far from conformist notions of femininity." In the teaser image which has been released, Alice is looking super girly- where's that undercut?

Image from
Bruno Guillon has been recruited by Mulberry to take over from current Chief Executive and Chairman Godfrey Davis. Guillon is leaving his position as Managing Director at Hermes to take up the position. Mulberry's growth has been nothing short of jaw-dropping but this move makes it quite clear that label has no intention of slowing down. There is plenty of room for Mulberry to expand with more stores abroad. It seems that with Guillon working alongside Davis (who becomes non-executive chairman) there will be the know-how in place to one of Somerset's finest exports a properley global brand. 

Finally, in case you've been living on Pluto then you will know that fashion's favourite TV show, Absolutely Fabulous, is back with new episodes for Christmas after a hiatus of more than seven years. Edina has apparently embraced blogging and tweeting and has replaced her love of Lacroix with a Stella McCartney obsession. Be sure to have the Bolly on ice for Christmas Day at 10 sweeties. 

A sneak peek...

For old time's sake...


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large
The Row Leather Backpack £2,635
 It was not so long ago that rucksacks represented the anitthesis of what we wanted from a bag. It was all about the arm candy, the It-ness, the glint of a designer tag. There were stories of women developing major back and shoulder injuries as a result of tucking their Lariat/ Alexa in the crook of their elbow for far too long. The inevitable return to a more practical model has seen the rise and rise of the satchel over the past year. And, more and more, the rucksack. Despite the usual connotations of practicality, techy fabrics and a pouch for a water bottle, there are a number of super luxe versions for those of us who can only handle this trend when it is taken as far away from potential Jansport comparisons as possible.

Enter The Row. While all their contemporaries are wearing bargain army surplus finds or battered up vintage leather versions of the rucksack, 25 year-old squillionaires Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have created a rather stunning £2,635 taupe objet de back art. Whether anyone besides themselves will be purchasing it is slightly doubtful but it is a thing of beauty we simply had to share. I went to view The Row's SS12 collection in Paris earlier this year. It was pristine and beautiful, all the materials and details hummed with luxury. I spied Mary Kate and Ashley in the corner of the vast room being interviewed. I can only describe the way they looked as reminding me of toys which had never been taken out of their box- so bright and shiny. Their collection is so covetable yet to have an item from it would really only be of any use if you lived your life away from the hum drum of grimy streets, public transport and well, reality.

'Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing' Dodie Smith

Lucy Rose is a friend of a friend. She works with Bombay Bicycle Club and has been supporting Ed Sheeran recently. If you're feeling the effects of pre-Christmas frenzy, close your eyes and listen to this this. Bliss. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

YSL 'Opyum' high heel pump, £440 at Yves Saint Laurent
While out in central London this morning doing the last of my Christmas shopping I couldn't resist popping into Yves Saint Laurent. YSL is the label that most closely resembles my high fashion ideal. If it were possible on a journalist income, which it most definitely isn't, YSL would dominate my wardrobe. 

Nevertheless, the black interior of the brands' Old Bond Street store has cocoon like qualities which swiftly lulled me into a trance while flitting between cabinets of (relatively) affordable and striking costume jewellery and recessed areas displaying shoes and bags. To give you an idea, a large gilt pendant on thick black rope was £365 at YSL, while across the road at Prada a fairly standard diamante necklace with rose motif cost an astronomical £870.  

I had absolutely no intention of purchasing anything at YSL until, upstairs, I came across a new line of shoes from its cruise collection.  One of them is above. It is an elegant pump called Opyum (the brands most famous fragrance is called Opium) and it was love at first sight. Heads up: elegant shoes with refined silhouettes are back in favour for spring as fashion's first adopters are slowly moving away from the platforms, wedges and chunky blingy shapes of the last few years.

So, darn it that the Opyum range, in store for just six days so far, and offered in slingback and with different toe tip colours, was already low on stock. 

I did what I had to do. They are available to buy online if you click the link above.

“Did they know why they knew? Not at all. But 

they Knew!” 

British singer/songwriter/musician Anna Calvi is on my radar for 2012. Her eponymous debut album was shortlisted for the 2011 Mercury Prize, and as we close the year both Frida Giannini of Gucci and Karl Lagerfeld are citing her as an inspiration, and she features in this months French Vogue.  Calvi's music is an acquired taste but her look is straight from a Helmut Newton photograph. I love this video for the track "I'll be Your Man." 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

Heaven is Real (Kate eyes shut) 1991 by Corinne Day

Heaven is Real (Kate eyes open) 1991 by Corinne Day 

In my other life I collect fashion photography. Also in my other life I would have these prints on the wall of my study and looking up at them I would feel happy and soothed by the angelic beauty of the Mossy aged 17.  As it is these prints are top of my fantasy Christmas wish list. I gave Corinne Day's gallery Gimpel Fils a quick call just now just to see how much they cost, a step I haven't taken before. I usually just admire them on the website. They cost £10,000 each + VAT.   

"Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity." 
                    ~Frank Leahy, Look, 10 January 1955

En Vogue "Hold On" 1990 

Monday, December 19, 2011


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

I've now been Fashion Junior for almost five months. When I was chatting with the FashEd the other day, it struck us both just how far I'd come. Six months ago, I was finishing my English degree and wondering what I would do with my life. Fashion Journalism had been my first choice of career ever since I saw a documentary about Anna Wintour, on a plane when I was 12- what a cliché.

I did my best to exploit my very few contacts in journalism as soon as I could and so got a couple of internships under my belt when I was still quite young. However, the gloomy picture which my university (a well-respected red brick) painted for me made me dedicate most of my third year to Plan B- The Graduate Scheme. That meant taking part in endless psychometric tests, assessment exercises which ranged from building a bridge made out of Lego with 10 other people to spending three hours dealing with a fictional earthquake. I got further than many with lots of the schemes which I applied for but fell at the final hurdle each time. So, I can well understand the frustration of young people looking for work who have slogged their way through a degree (a decent one does require considerable dedication, contrary to popular belief) as well as doing voluntary work, internships and taking up positions on committees of university societies but finding they STILL don't fit the bill.

Fashion Junior graduating!
All this meant that by the time I was tweaking the final essay of my academic career (further study was something I couldn't face) I was still not sure where my next pennies were coming from. I had joined Twitter as an observer, following people who tweeted about things which interested me. It became better procrastination than Facebook. So as I wrote about post-colonial interpretations of Shakespeare, My Fairy Twitter Mother, Melanie Rickey, tweeted that she needed an intern for a few weeks. I tweeted back and there began my astoundingly swift journey from unemployed graduate statistic to Fashion Junior at Large, a job which not only involves posting on this blog but also helping out the FashEd with all her other projects.

 Around 100 people applied for the job I have and I still have to pinch myself that I am the one who got it. I see internships and jobs advertised every day via Twitter. In fact, you should follow @katie_jane_rose because she is always retweeting opportunities.  You'd be stupid not to be on Twitter if you want a career in any industry which has embraced it. It is a unique chance to connect with the key people. I was very lucky to get a paid job straight away, I don't contest that and don't want to sound like a brat. I was gearing myself up for unpaid internships like many of my friends. I'm lucky that my parents live near enough to London  that I could have done that. It's a travesty that that fact is a prerequisite for gaining experience in capital-centric industries. Even doing paid work at weekends would do nothing to cover rent in London.

I wanted to write about this because I feel despair about the situation which so many people my age find themselves in. On Friday, Dazed ran the first of a series of interviews with young people about the unemployment they face entitled 'Wasted Youth'.Newspapers are full of gloomy stories about the situation with plenty of jobseekers willing to tell their stories; what's shocking and should send shivers done the spine of every person in this country is that these people range from 17 year olds who want to become plumbers and electricians to 24 year-olds with Masters degrees. No path or background is a guarantee any more.

But I do think we can be more positive and more savvy. I loved Celine Cavaillero's website which even made it onto after she recreated their site as her CV. At the time, everyone was talking about her and being entertained by her way of making herself stand out. I gather that since then she has landed a job with Yahoo in France.

But it's not all about gimmicks; I know I wouldn't have been offered my job with the FashEd had I not displayed considerable fashion geekiness. I gave an impassioned monologue about my love of Jonathan Saunders' AW11 collection. I was also able to explain who Ines de la Fressange and Diana Vreeland were. These people are not completely obscure but you do need to have been immersing yourself in fashion news and history to be able to answer.

So, if you are looking for a job in fashion I suggest you do hours of research, looking through the latest collections, reading about designers, see what Fashion Editors are talking about. Learn to make a fabulous cup of tea and think one step ahead of your potential employer (not always easy!). Be endlessly proactive. 'The harder you work, the luckier you get' a very wise editor I admire recently wrote and that could not be truer.


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Start have this on sale for £115 in XS, if you're not XS then Net-Porter is your place for £185
 I write this from my desk, one handed, as the the other hand grips onto my umpteenth cup of tea of the day, made in a desperate attempt to keep warm. I am layered up with jumpers and scarves but it's not helping. I want to be somewhere warm, like lying on sheepskin next to a burning log fire or on a farflung beach where clothes are not necessary and the only tea needed is of the Long Island variety. So I thought it might help (optimistically perhaps) if I wrote about what I would be wearing on said beach. My hands down first choice is a We Are Handsome swimsuit. These first came to many people's attention last year when Rihanna and Diane Kruger amongst others confounded the usual expectations of celebrity beach attire- a super skimpy, frilly bikini- by choosing the label's Amazon Panther print swimsuit. It sold out rather fast after that. However, if you're still interested, Net-a-Porter have an exclusive re-stock. I love the The Amazon but there are also plenty of other fab designs; The Knight Rider shows a staggeringly handsome horse galloping off into the starry night while The Hunter shows a pensive stag. If you're not into the animals then The Carnival (with a very cool scuba zip) and The Garden might be more up your street. If you're lucky enough to be popping off for some winter sun then Start already have a few We are Handsome pieces on sale. And for those of us stuck with the layering and lying in front of log fires option, this is an optimistic future planning purchase.

The Amazon re-stocked exclusively at Net-a-Porter for £190
Rihanna in her panther print (image from

Sunshine is useful for other stuff than keeping us warm on a beach... George Eliot's rather wonderful  metaphor for egotism...

'He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow' George Eliot

Whatever you think of Rihanna, you can't argue that this is one of THE definining songs of 2011...

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Plattan Quilted Earphones £80 from Urbanears
A few weeks ago, the Fashed reported in Grazia about the new 'fashion-ear-stars' (as in fashionistas, get it? She's so proud of that pun). It's not new to use earphones as a kind of fashion statement, especially since that white wire attached to ipod earphones became such a marker of coolness. However, there are now brands which mark you out as being particularly in the loop. Beats by Dr Dre is probably the best example. It seems that posing with some Solos round your neck/ perched atop your head your hip factor goes off the scale. But then there is the retaliatory group which sees them as just too posey. The FashEd and I have become big fans of Urbanears which are sleek and discreet. They come in an array of sharp colours and when displayed look like a big pantone chart. Our favourites are the quilted plattans which have something of the Chanel about them. They appeal to those in the know, but aren't garish or branded with logos like other brands.

Today's quote and video are random things which my friends have been showing me this weekend...

'I am waiting for a really strong and meaningful pig role' Miss Piggy, of course

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

The FashEd and I are the first ones to extol the virtues of a fabulous fashion book. We are both inspired by them on an almost daily basis. However, this week I believe the ultimate alternative to the coffee table fashion book has been revealed. And that is the full, online archive of US Vogue. Admittedly, it is considerably more expensive than a book, but the wealth of fashion reference which a subscription to this service would provide is immeasurable. Not only can you scroll through each and every issue of American Vogue published since its inception in 1892 but the archive is also very searchable, thus providing a resource for tracing the careers of photographers, models, writers and editors from the past 120 years. The privilege of access to this amazing chart of fashion and social history will cost $1,575 (that's just over £1,000) but if you want to be a favourite with a lover of fashion this Christmas then this would be utterly perfect. I coudn't put the video here, but CBS news spoke to Anna Wintour and Vogue's Editor at Large, Hamish Bowles, about what it means to be in Vogue and the history and relevance of the publication, absolutely worth a watch

'When I die, I want to go to Vogue' David Bailey

Me too. 

I have a bit of an obsession with 90s music at the moment. This seems apt for today. 

Friday, December 16, 2011


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Welcome to the final fashion news round-up of 2011. It's been quite a year; the 'Who will go to Dior?' question has filled a spot most weeks since we began this feature back in June. We thought that the saga might be neatly tied up in time for Christmas when rumours began to circulate again earlier in the week...
Raf Simons, in stark white, couldn't be more different from Galliano (from
 On Tuesday, British fashion woke up to Dior and Raf Simons trending on Twitter- a sure sign that something was afoot. It turns out that WWD were reporting that the Jil Sander designer was near to closing a deal to move to Dior. As with Marc Jacobs before, it seems that the final details of the contract are still being fine tuned and we've heard nothing since Tuesday. Basically, we're not holding our breath. There's no doubt that if Simons is Galliano's successor then Dior will have a very different look about it to the old days of romance and excess. Watch this space.
(image from Huffington Post)
I think we all agree that Meryl Streep is awesome and talented and generally a top lady. This week, her amazingness reached new levels as she became the oldest woman to grace the cover of American Vogue.The cover shoot coincides with the release of  The Iron Lady in which Streep stars as Margaret Thatcher. From what I have read so far, Streep's performance is quite outstanding. She has already been nominated for a Golden Globe and the consensus seems to be that Streep will dominate the awards season. And if not, Vogue has already named her 'America's Greatest Actress'.
This week, the shortlist for this year's Vogue Fashion Fund was announced. I find this a fascinating award because it is one of the only ways for designers to bridge the gap once they've left the likes of NewGen but before they become big businesses. It is a sad fact that due to keeping up with production demands, many designers do not then have the funds to grow again.   The Vogue Fashion Fund has provided investment in the past for Christopher Kane and Erdem. They can use the fund to recruit new members of staff and move to better premises. Basically, it's the missing rung on the ladder. The only problem is that there can only be one winner so when the nominees include Peter Pilotto, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda Illinic the job of the panel is unenviable. We'll find out who wins in February when the March edition of Vogue is out.
Jonathan Saunders SS12 (Image from

Roksanda Illincic with models at her SS12 show (image from
 Today, Phoebe English was announced as the winner of the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award. She will get her own full show at the Fashion Scout venue during fashion week in February. Phoebe makes beautiful clothes with an element of deconstruction. I've had my eye on her for her while now. Phoebe was previously a VFS 'One to Watch'. Big congratulations!

As the FashEd told you earlier, today is Christmas Jumper Day in our office. I feel like we are part of an obsession this year with making Christmas as anti-fashion (the more anti-fashion the more fashionable) as possible. Hence the Christmas jumper which was regarded as unbelievably naff and embarrassing gaining fashion points. Marc Jacobs has got in on all this naffness by asking his fans to send him their awkward family portraits, quite possibly inspired by all those 70s pictures of big families all in matching jumpers and scarves knitted by Grandma. Due to the relative coolness of his fans. most of the pictures posted so far are quite nice. So, I took it upon myself to find some truly awkward examples of the genre...

More gems can be found here
Two significant pieces of fashion business related news to report in brief now: firstly, Hermes, which is one of the very few luxury houses not to have been taken over by big investors, has secured a future free from takeover by creating a holding company which now owns 50.2% of the business. Yesterday, Michael Kors went public on the New York stock exchange. By the end of the day, the company's stock price had risen from the initial listing of $20 to $24.20 which is really very impressive.

If you thought models spent so much time travelling around the world that they would not get much time to attend to such things as home decoration then think again. Agyness Deyn's New York apartment is up for sale for $2.5 million. The pictures show an eclectic space which reminds me of a modern version of Diana Vreeland's apartment. We are particularly loving her Under the Sea bedroom...

A couple of sales to alert you to now...

Rainbowwave will be having a sample sale today (from 6 til 9) and tomorrow (from 12 til 3). Highly covetable brands like J.Brand, Husam El Odeh, J.W Anderson and Peter Pilotto will be on offer. It takes place at 146 Royal College Steeet, NW1 OTA (in London, sorry to any of you further afield) know you want to!

Circus 11 is on right now (until Sunday)  at The Tramshed, 32, Rivington Street, EC2A 3LX. This is a unique kind of shopping experience. Shopping theatre. You can pick up all kinds of wonderful things from fashion to homeware to, er taxidermy. Tomorrow, Susie from StyleBubble will also be selling her wares.

One of the loveliest sustainable fashion companies about, Goodone, have also begun their seasonal sale with some brilliant discounts available. My favourites are the silk shirts and the blanket coat.

Finally, fashion film of the week award goes to L.Ady Dior. It's the fourth film which Marion Cotillard has starred in for the brand. Good fun and sunshine and satire of the L.A film star stereotype.


By Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large
Jumper, by Fine Collection ,
When I checked, there were some left!  
This Autumn/Fall has seen the re-popularisation of jumpers as fashion staples. So enthused are people about them that the fashion for them has overspilled into an ocean of nostalgia for novelty festive sweaters. As I write every single person in the office from which I pen this blog is wearing a Christmas Jumper.  Lets flip back to fashion sweaters for a moment. Regular readers of this blog will know that in addition to fashion journalism for Grazia, POP, this blog and occasional forays into newsprint, the other string to my bow is as a trend and fashion consultant. I knew waay back in March 2011 that we would all be loving sweaters now. So since March I've had it in my mind that I wanted the "perfect sweater". In October after months of searching, and purchasing a few vintage duds, I found THE sweater at Austique, an independent fashion boutique in Marylebone. At first glance said sweater, from new brand Fine Collection, is an unremarkable waffle knit with droopy proportions. On the body it is a different story. The proportions are flattering; I chuck it on over shirts, blouses or dresses and it is a chic as.. Everyone asks where its from, and now you know! The label is French and designed by Ugo Bensoussan. Scroll down for entertaining and slightly surreal shenanigans.....

Long cardigan, by Fine Collection 
“Since I don't smoke, I decided to grow a mustache - it is better for the health. However, I always carried a jewel-studded cigarette case in which, instead of tobacco, were carefully placed several mustaches, Adolphe Menjou style. I offered them politely to my friends: "Mustache? Mustache? Mustache? Nobody dared to touch them. This was my test regarding the sacred aspect of mustaches.”  Salvador Dali

I found Marcel this morning. I LOVE Marcel. Marcel has millions of fans. She reminds me very much of my friend Brix. Only Brix doesn't sleep on slices of bread....

Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp
Written by Dean Fleischer-Camp + Jenny Slate
Starring Jenny Slate as Marcel


Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

I'm doing some creative research into how I'd like my redesigned website to look come next Spring when we relaunch. While meandering around online this morning I came across this film by the L.A based artist and sculptor Allison Schulnik, and was uttterly transfixed. It is brilliant, beautiful and sad but ultimately uplifting because someone created this, and that is a great thing. RIP Christopher Hitchins.

Film by Allison Schulnik
Cinematography by Helder K. Sun.
"It's Raining Today" written by Noel Scott Engel, performed by Scottt Walker

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large.

 It may be cold outside but there's nothing like a ice cream sweet new Louis Vuitton advert to brighten the day. After the merry-go-round setting of the SS12 show, the location for the ad campaign had to be equally evocative of innocent, childish fun times. And where better to go after a fairground visit than for a knickerbockerglory... And so Steven Meisel and Marc Jacobs chose an ice cream parlour as the setting for the campaign which only strengthens the message we got from the show- that is, you can't get too saccharine for Spring this year. The sweeter and prettier the better.

Image from
The models, a blonde and a brunette, are Daria Strokous and Kati Nescher. Both walked in the show back in October.Jacobs told WWD 'It is all very soft and very sweet, yet at the same time very bold and very graphic'. That boldness surely comes from the absolute commitment to sweetness which this collection, and these ads, show. There is also a lot of humour too, from the models' playful poses to the desserts waiting to be eaten. But there is still structure coming from those signature boxy jackets and, of course, the accessories. Oh Marc, you're clever!
Backstage at LV SS12 (Image from
 Today's advent choice is a direct consequence of waking up to these images. I've always hankered after a Pashley bicycle and the Vuitton ads bring that wish back to the front of my mind. Apart from one of those Speedy or Lockit bags, a pink Pashley Poppy is possibly the perfect accompaniment to a Vuitton-like SS12 outfit. I say 'like' because I can guarantee that for those of us who can't quite buy into Marc's vision directly, there will be a wealth of choice on the high street for making your own version pastel-y loveliness. The Pashley will take you from fairground to ice cream parlour very nicely, without ruining the fantasy.

Pashley Poppy in Blush Pink £450
Louis Vuitton sent us these pictures showing some of the latest celebrities showing off their SS12 Vuitton. Although the dresses look beautiful, in a real life setting so much of that sorbet sugariness is taken away that these pieces take on a whole new vibe in my eyes. So basically, you can wear your LV SS12 on a Pashley in the sunshine, ice cream in hand. Or contrast its the lightness with a night time film premiere/ party- the choice is yours...
The ever elegant Cate Blanchett

The ever sweet Elle Fanning

Olivia Wilde (images courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

Today's quote and video come from the most sugarly sweet character there ever was...

'Practically perfect in every way' Mary Poppins

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large.
(Image from
Last night in New York, Elizabeth Taylor's collection of jewellery was auctioned. The £13million estimate was surpassed in spectacular fashion, the final total coming to £74.9 million, a proportion of which will go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. As is always the way with the auctioning of celebrities' possessions, their value cannot be determined by carat charts or knowledge of the craftsmanship and rarity of the components. There is the star factor which is volatile and dependant upon who turns up on the day. Yesterday, buyers were clearly out not just to buy treasure, but the treasure of one of the greatest film stars ever.
The Taj Mahal diamond, given to Taylor by Burton on her 40th birthday in 1972
I have been captivated by the way this auction denotes the end of the material existence of the legend that is The Life of Elizabeth Taylor.  Her jewellery collection (along with her eight marriages) meant that she was not just an actress but an almost unhuman, mythical figure, like Helen of Troy or even Cleopatra, whom she portrayed so famously in the 1963 film. It's funny how just a few rocks can have that effect on a person but the pieces she owned were, or became, part of the history of glamour, previously dominated by queens, princesses and aristocrats. Now though, in our more socially and economically mobile age anybody can rise from obscurity to myth, and that is exactly what happened to Elizabeth Taylor.
(Image from
The evening's most profitable item was La Peregrina pearl which has its origins in the 16th century. It was sold for £7.6 million last night. The pearl was purchased for Taylor by her most famous lover Richard Burton in 1969. He paid £23,800 for it. Elizabeth succeeded the likes of Mary Tudor and Queen Isabel to the ownership of the jewel.

La Peregrina, mounted on a Cartier necklace commisioned by Taylor, image from

The diamond ring, another gift from Burton, which Taylor wore almost every day right up to her death (Image from
Image from
Taylor made her jewels her own, imbuing them with her own brand of legend. £5.7million was paid last night for the Elizabeth Taylor diamond ring. I can imagine that in 2211, the legend of the day, whoever that might be, could be the proud owner of the Elizabeth Taylor diamond, that name adding the kind of resonance which that of a royal from yesteryear might now.

And so to today's advent treat. I COULD show you a piece of Taylor's haute couture, which will be auctioned tonight. But I decided on a kinder option. This necklace is a completely beautiful piece of costume jewellery which will probably turn heads just as much as a Liz Taylor multimillion pound pieces (as long as you're not at a Royal Banquet or The Oscars), however it doesn't necessitate the constant presence of a security guard. 

Parade necklace, £315 at
'I introduced Liz to beer, she introduced me to Bulgari' Richard Burton

The video below is the trailer for the film Cleopatra. I love how it alludes to the fact that the film has been much hyped and discussed, probably because of the romance between the film's stars.