Friday, August 31, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

There's a chill in the air and a big "FASHION WEEKS START" note creeping ever closer on my calendar which means summer is drawing to an end and it's time to pull our socks up and get on with some major immersion in new season shopping and next season trends. It feels like everything is cranking up a notch or two already which means there is plenty of fashion news to share this week. Without further ado...


Vogue's now legendary fashion night out is taking place next Thursday evening and as always there's a packed calendar of events from oriental dressing up at Beyond Retro to a talk by Fran Burns and Bronwyn Cosgrave at Chanel and fun times with Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilinicic and Manolo Blahnik at Liberty. This year, Mr Saunders (as Vogue Fashion Fund winner) has the honour of designing the official t-shirt for event in aid of Refuge. That's a bonus for us as we can get out mitts on a bit of Saunders for just £18... Get it here at Gap Online

Vogue girls Emma, Sarah and Tilly in their Saunders tees (image from

The Burberry designer/ magic brand maestro is reportedly marrying his boyfriend Simon Woods  (a.k.a Mr Bingley in 2005's Pride and Prejudice film) in Chelsea next month. The chosen venue holds just 38 guests so it's bound to be a smaller, more intimate affair than Burberry's famed, celeb-packed fashion shows. The handsome pair wouldn't look out of place in a Burberry ad.

Christopher Bailey and Simon Woods (image from

One of the most exciting things about fashion is the anticipation of the catwalks- how will everything look? What will the mood be? We all know that Marc Jacobs and his three collections (Marc byMarc Jacobs, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton) tend to sum up the season's key trends and general feeling pretty well- for SS12 there was saccharine lady and for AW12 it was all about big gems, Edwardian and covered up. In a new interview for Garage, Jacobs spoke to artist John Currin about what we can expect in the next few weeks. He has been asking himself "How am I going to make this sexier?" and looking at Currin's Gold Coast nude painting. Maybe we can expect more skin for Spring/ Summer?

John Currin's Gold Coast painting- a Marc Jacobs favourite (image from

It's true that President Obama has been one of USA's most fashionably popular heads of state ever what with the support he's garnered from the like of Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker. And, yes, girls tend to be in the majority when it comes to being interested in fashion and shopping but it doesn't mean we can't also hold our own when it comes to talking about undoubtedly more important things like war, the economy and welfare (to name but a few). Some political commentators don't see it that way however. After, POTUS gave an interview to Glamour magazine he has attracted criticism that he is avoiding tougher questioning from hardcore politicos. The interview isn't available yet but I would bet that Obama didn't get a completely easy ride from Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive nor should we take with anything more than a pinch of salt the accusations that fluff interviews aren't what Obama should be doing. Talking to Glamour is actually a great way to engage with a huge proportion of voters who may not otherwise encounter political journalism. I'd like to see Mitt Romney try to explain to Glamour readers why members of his party don't think you can pregnant from rape.


Rihanna in Claire Barrow (image from
Lulu Kennedy's Fashion East initiative is upping its game for SS13 with an installation presentation and salon show at 50 St James. There are two new designers on board- Claire Barrow and Ryan Lo- while Maarten van der Horst returns for a third and final season. You might have herd about Barrow already- she's the girl whose illustrated biker jackets have already been worn by Rihanna and commissioned by Joseph. Susie Lau has written all about Ryan Lo over on StyleBubble this week, so you should head there to find out all about the Hong Kong born boy who, rather refreshingly, hasn't followed the familiar trajectory of CSM to Fashion East. I can't wait for the show!

Designs by Ryan Lo (image from


Sally Singer is to leave New York Times T magazine it was announced this week. NY Times editor Jill  Abramson said "Sally's contributions are clear to anyone who's read the magazine during her tenure. Gorgeous visuals, interesting stories and enterprising features — both in print and online — have been hallmarks of her stewardship. We wish her every success." Sadly it seems the sudden departure is down to disappointing advertising revenues with the number of ad pages dropping from 1,600 in 2007 to 1,087 last year. Although her literary approach seemed like a breath of fresh air, it seems it wasn't good enough to keep commercial interest in the publication.


 NEWGEN  designer Huishan Zhang who will be incorporating
 Swarovski crystals into his work this season (image from
There's an exciting group of designers working with Swarovski this season. There are a total of 11 designers collaborating with the Austrian gem company including Rodarte, Mary Katrantzou, Giles, Huishan Zhang, Marios Schwab, Joseph Altuzarra, Wes Gordon, Maarten van der Horst, Creatures of the Wind. The new collective continues the close relationship Swarovski has had with the industry since Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen's collaboration with the brand in 1999.


As soon as we saw US Vogue's September cover with Lady Gaga in a Marc Jacobs gown, we all knew that a teeny bit of touching up must have been done but now Vogue have released a video of the Mert and Marcus shoot and some careful pausing and screen shots show a pretty stark before and after.

Image from
Here's the video...


Nars has teamed up with Andy Warhol's foundation to create a make-up collection in honour of the artist's signature beauty regime. The collection contains 29 products and takes inspiration direct from Warhol and his many muses (think Edie Sedgwick smokey and Debbie Harry super bright lips). Check out Nars's website for more details and to be the first to get your hands on the collection.

Andy Warhol make-up from Nars (image from


This is probably one of my favourite beach looks of the Summer- the brilliant Duchess of Alba in Formentera sporting a bikini plus digi flower print kaftan and huge shades and hat. Brilliant. 
(Image from

A quick shout out for the Fair Fashion Fair which is taking place on 8th and 9th September on Westbourne Grove in aid of MIND, the mental health charity. The event promises to have plenty of brilliant bargains from vintage and designer fashion to furniture on offer. The organisers are working in partnership with charity shops to highlight  all the wonderful things a charity shop trawl can dig up. it looks like it'll be a really fun few days- find out more here .

One of my first tasks with the FashEd when I began work here last year was to help research a feature on Cambridge Satchel Company which she was writing for The Guardian. So it was great to come across the video of the label's founder Julie Deane. It's a promotion for Google Chrome but charts Julie's progression  from Mum looking for a school bag for her daughter to fashion mega success story.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

After yesterday's post, you know all about how comic book art is playing out in Autumn/Winter trends but the relationship between the oft-geeky world of comics and fashion is not a new one. In fact, I've found out that if you look hard enough (and consult the right experts) then there are plenty of examples of fashion and comic art interplay out there. I spoke to John Dunning a hugely knowledgable comic book enthusiast and author of the graphic novel "Salem Brownstone"- find out more about that by watching this really cool video. I love his approach to talking about comics and fashion. After giving me a trillion leads on the best things to look at-it all started with Anna Sui's Olive Oyl- he told me "I have a HUUUUUGE bugbear about how shit fashion in comics usually is as it is drawn by men who often haven't even met a girl before". That comment puts into context how niche within a niche fashionable comics are. Plenty of designers have used the medium as a fun way to build their brand and create great ad campaigns. Joh also senses big changes, "If you look at comics from the 70s and 80s, the girls look really unrealistic but that has really evolved in recent years". It helps that more girls are getting involved in the comic world with John citing Gail Simone as a major player. Here are FEAL's fashionable comic picks, with a little help from the very kind Mr Dunning.


The ultimate fashion graphic novel is the recently published Paris by Erika Raven and Maarten Vande Wiele. It's not a straightforward fashion love-in but more of a dark look at what happens when three girls- Faith, Hope and Chastity- arrive in the French capital hoping to take the world by storm and become models. Expect a very clever send up of the murkier sides of planet fashion and beauty.

Page 16 of Paris with fashion credits


The FashEd has worked with Trust Fun, an Australian collective who have developed-among other interests- a speciality in creating fashion themed comics. They published Petit Mal in conjuction with their brilliant blog Fashematics -an online space where they develop absurd but completely bang-on equations to pick apart catwalk looks. For example, omelette + Wonder Woman = Chanel Resort '12. Fashematics also spurned a comic series which managed to get a little close to the mark when it unwittingly put a zombiefied version of John Galliano on the cover just weeks before the former Dior designer's fall from grace. One member of the gang, Shane Sakkeus, told Dazed Digital “Petit Mal barely scratches the surface of the hilarity of the fashion world! If one were to draw a line to express the funniness, it would stretch to the moon and back”. The group moved into amazingly printed scarves, bags and robes but seemed to have dropped off the radar in the last year or so with no more merchandise, Facebook updates or blog posts- very sad! It seems that the group are persuing their own projects with Mark Vassallo styling for key Oz designers and Jonathan Zawada getting involved in Japan's CQ store.

John Galliano on Fashematical mag (image from

Petit Mal images from (

Back in 2007, Prada enlisted the help of comic book cover artist James Jean (he worked on the Fables series) to bring some ethereal illustrated beauty to their SS08 collection- remember those silk printed tunics and fairy adorned handbags? If Miuccia endorses it, so the world follows.

James Jean for Prada (image from

Paul Pope is an alternative comic book artist who has a huge scope of work which ranges from reinventing Batman for the future to working with DKNY and Diesel. There's an obvious attraction for brands like these in working with someone like Pope who is a key player in the avant-garde, underground cool culture which their consumers are part of, or aspire to be involved in.

Paul Pope's work for DKNY (image from

Diesel celebrated SS07 fashion week in New York by commissioning Pope to create silk screen manga-like installations for their windows rather than the usual mannequins. The characters were all decked out for their adventures in Diesel looks. 
Paul Pope working on his Diesel screens (from


John could not praise the work of Clowes enough, telling me "the final panel of Ice Haven (Clowes 2005 graphic novel) is just amazing. I'm still trying to live up to it". In 2000, a strip from Clowes' Ghost World was used as an ad for Comme des Garcons. I think this might be my favourite- it's so simple yet says so much. John calls it "Goosebumps". Ghost World was made into a film in 2001 starring Scarlett Johannsson, her first ever film.

Dan Clowes for Comme des Garcon (image from Joh Dunning)

Finally, John has let FEAL have a sneak peak at Dead Cheerleader- a comic which he is working on with illustrator Fay Dalton who seems to be one of those rare (in John's words!) comic enthusiasts who lists fashion as a main inspiration.  John and Fay may or may not realise this, but Dead Cheerleader goes perfectly with the dark girl goth which is simmering around AW12. As soon as I saw the images I thought of Christopher Kane and his references to the shiny fabric they line coffins with. 

Christopher Kane AW12- very Dead Cheerleader (image from

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Most of you reading will be familiar with terms like "having it all" and being a "super woman" which are used unsparingly across the media to describe how females in the 21st century could/should live our lives. No matter whether it is article in a women's magazine advising readers how to fit having a gazillion children around training for ironman triathlons and running a business or a scaremongering piece in a certain daily newspaper warning of all the awful things which happen to society when women work, there has never been more debate around the merits of living up to Helen Gurley Brown's ambition of women "having it all". Inevitably, fashion has picked up on this notion with an ever growing cohort of designers aiming their collections at women who are occupying roles both at home and in a work environment- see Lauren Cochrane's insightful piece in today's Guardian.

Frank Miller's neo-noir Sin City (image from
Pencil skirts and perfect black trousers are all very well, but we can flip this on its head and make everything that little bit more FUN. That's because alongside the office appropriate dresses and mid heels which are the absolute practical investment this season, there is a bit of cartoon wonder woman wit being introduced into the equation by the likes of Nicholas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga and Phillip Lim. Through his AW12 and pre-fall collections, Lim has become the poster boy for comparing the wonder women we all want to be (with a little help from our clothes) with the comic super heroine who's right up there with Batman and Superman . Lim told that "Everyone wants garments to be superheroes. This 'fill in the blank' should save your day, your week, your year."Thus, he gave us fabulous black/white tailored slacks and a completely chic, wear-everyday tweed coat but also threw "ka-pow" knits and accessories inspired by Sin City and V for Vendetta into the mix to make his own cocktail of literal comic book heroism and metaphorical wardrobe wonders.

3.1 Phillip Lim clutch at Matches press day. Now you can buy it £345
3.1 Phillip Lim Kapow sweater £390 at Matches

Mr Lim mixes up his superhero comics with his his superhero clothes for pre-fall '12 (image from
Lim has taken his comic book fixation a step further for Vogue's Fashion Night Out. He's teamed up with Jan Duursema, a comic book artist with a speciality in Star Wars, and comic strip writer John Ostrander to produce Kill The Night which touches on all those issues of multi-dimensional lives but in a properley super heroine kind of way. It is described by Lim's people as a "A story of duality and metamorphosis, day and night, black and white, love and betrayal. Things are not what they seem. Look again."

Ghesquiere's concept for Balenciaga AW12 made the brand a corporation with models transformed into IT workers and Vice Presidents. While the idea was grounded in the reality of modern office life, the notion of something a little more cosmic entered the collection via a series of highly covetable sweatshirts with slogans like "Join a weird trip" emblazoned on the front alongside sci-fi imagery of skyscrapers and far off galaxies- a landscape which a be-caped superhero could fly into at any moment.

Balenciaga AW12 (
While being a 'have it all' woman might be made out to be a pretty stressful role in life, I love that Lim and Ghesquiere are turning this on its head and imbuing us with a sense of wonder woman can-do attitude. This is by no means fashion's first foray into comic book fun. I've been doing some delving around and speaking to an absolute expert on the subject so tomorrow there will be a second installment with full on geeking out on fashion's relationship with cartoon superheroes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

 I've just got back from a blissful week in Ireland where I did virtually nothing fashion related- my days were filled with swimming in the freezing Irish sea, scrambling up a mountain or two in County Wicklow and fulfilling a long-held ambition to see the super dapper Oscar Wilde sculpture in Merrion Square, Dublin which wears a rather fabulous smoking jacket crafted from jade green and ruby red stone which I'm sure would get the seal of approval from the aesthete himself. On my travels, I did manage to pop into Brown Thomas, the department store which is to Ireland what Harvey Nichols is to Britain and most lately famous as the location Harper Beckham chose to take her first steps in public. I thought it was brilliant and could have spent far longer in there than my fidgety boyfriend allowed.

Irish designers on show at Brown Thomas until 9th September (image from

Today is time to get to get back to reality but my "Back to School" feeling was interrupted by tweets from J.W Anderson who is in Dublin to launch this year's Irish Designers Create project which sees a mix of Eire's finest emerging and established fashion designers taking over an area in Brown Thomas in a bid to promote Irish design talent. Mr J- Dubz (originally from Derry) is the biggest Irish name buzzing in fashion right now, but back in the day he worked on the Brown Thomas shop floor to earn his pennies while he was studying. He obviously still has a special place in his heart for Brown Thomas as he tweeted "Obsessed with @brownthomas the store is on another level so modern so sharp.❤❤❤".

J.W Anderson at Brown Thomas this morning (via @LauraJDwyer)
J.W Anderson jumpers in Brown Thomas today(from
Shelley Corkery is Brown Thomas' Fashion Director and came up with the initiative to promote Irish design in this way last year, when the first Create project took place. She describes the "incredible synergy" of exciting talent and one of Ireland's best loved retailers. From now until 9th September, the first floor of the Dublin store (there are also branches in Cork, Limerick and Galway) will become a hub for discovering the likes of Sorcha O'Raghallaigh, who has created numerous outfits for Lady Gaga including that madcap wedding dress which she wore on the Graham Norton show, and Riona Treacy, whose embroidery work featured in Alexander McQueen's final collection. There is also gorgeous looking knitwear from Lisa Shawgi and witty digital printed silks from Natalie B Coleman.

So if you're a week behind me and anywhere close to Dublin over the next week or so then get yourself  to Brown Thomas to discover the great and good of Irish design.

Sorcha O' Raghallaigh with looks from her collection "The world forgetting by the world" which was inspired by the film The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Day of the Dead festival (image courtesy of Brown Thomas)
Lady Gaga wearing a Miss Havisham-esque wedding dress created for her by Sorcha O'Raghallaigh (
Riona Treacy's form flattering prints are also part of the Irish Designers Create initiative (image from
See here for the full list of designers and more info

Friday, August 17, 2012


Note from Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

The FashEd and I will be taking a break from the blog for the next week or so. I'm off to, very ironically, escape the UK heatwave in Ireland. Melanie is having some very well deserved time putting her feet up so FEAL will be having a rest, but I'll be back and raring to go in a week's time with the countdown to fashion month and plenty to say about Autumn/ Winter shopping. In the meantime, Scot style columnist Lynne McCrossan brings news from the Edinburgh Festival. I know several friends who've already been and am still kicking myself that I've never got around to going to the festival which is where Great Britain's cultural heart beats at this time of year. So, if you're heading to Scotland, take heed of some of Lynne's tips and if not, then hopefully you get a sense of what's going on from her report. 

The Edinburgh Festival is in full swing evoking one of two emotions in its residents. Euphoria or dread.

Luckily I say bah humbug to the misery guts who refuse to partake in festival fun. For the full month of August our tiny city is stretched to capacity with comedians, street performers, musicians, artists and actors. Plus drinking licenses are extended and alfresco boozing is embraced giving Scotland's capital a continental feel.

The Udderbelly at Teviot on a gorgeous summer's day
There's no place quite like Teviot for soaking up a bit of everything. Home to Udderbelly and the Guilded Ballon you can take your pick from hundreds of comedic performances within the square. A hit with visitors and residents alike, the place is swarming with punters, perfect for people watching over Pimms. One of the must see shows here is musical comedy Bourgeois&Maurice: Sugartits.

Teviot's made that much sweeter for having one of Edinburgh's best vintage stores straight across the street. Armstrong's is one of the oldest vintage Emporiums in the U.K originating in the rag and bone trade back in the 1800s. Their Grassmarket store is its flagship branch, but this little shopping bolt hole is where you'll find Edinburgh's fashionistas.

Fashion lovers are finally being catered for this year with the arrival of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival at Summerhall. It kicked off yesterday with talks on neuroscience and the sense of style. Exhibitions from Issey Miyake and catwalk shows from Bebaroque, Aimee McWilliams and Pam Hogg round out a pretty diverse festival line up.

There's something for all budgets. Even taking a stroll through the Meadows gives you access to free street performers. So pack a lunch and plonk on the grass, and pray the rain stays off.


Thursday, August 16, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Today is A-level results day which strikes fear into anyone under the age of 18 (crap, that could be me one day) and evokes strong memories for anyone who did the exams. As with many of my memories, A-level results involved a pair of shoes. The day after I found out I'd got into the university I didn't want to go to, I went on a very hungover shopping trip with my Mum and she bought me a pair of nearly thigh high suede lace up pirate boots as a reward for my efforts. Rewind to GCSE results and an abiding recollection is a pair of pink and grey striped stilettos with a huge pink bow on the front- another reward for hard-earned grades. Although my tastes were questionable, these are far more pleasant markers in my personal footwear history than the annual trip to my school's appointed shoe shop which would happen at this time each year, like clockwork, from the age of five to sixteen. It was a hugely painful wrangle to confront the fact that I had yet another year ahead of me in my regulation flat, black, boring lace-ups.

Thankfully times have changed and six years on from A-level results, the Startrites which punctuated my younger years have been replaced by much more exciting options. It is pretty obvious from my browsing, and eventual edit, that footwear is rather glitzy right now- think studs, full on metallic and more glitter from Miu Miu- I swear they're keeping the small bits of sparkle stuff industry in the black. The big game changer is glitz for day- it's now fine for trainers, everyday boots and the like to be just as blinged up as their evening counterparts. There's always further to go in the world though and I feel like I'm perhaps half way up my personal shoe Everest, at the top of which lies the most impractical, out of this world awesome and super expensive footwear- some sort of custom made Laurence Dacade/ Celine with a dash of Nicholas Kirkwood? The shoes below are also fantasies, of course. Unless by some freak of nature I pass an A-level in "Magicing from Nowhere Lots of Shoe Money". Something to work on, Michael Gove?
Giuseppe Zanotti at STYLEBOP £780

ACNE at Browns £440
Miu Miu at My Theresa £325

Laurence Dacade at STYLEBOP £625
Charlotte Olympia at Matches £465
Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem £795

Esquivel at Net-a-Porter £600

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

After all hoo-hah surrounding Azealia Banks co-starring on the cover of Dazed and Confused with a pink condom, we can finally see the offending image for ourselves. It's been banned in seven countries including Singapore, Switzerland and India. Obviously, I won't be taking this to show my Granny but Azealia is a key player in music and culture right now. She's famous for her foul mouth and fearless attitude so why not mark her influence in the appropriate way with a safe sex-centric, cigar allusion, bubblegum blowing metaphor? Or are you of the opinion that condoms are for bathrooms, wallets and male genitalia, not news stands?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

The super cute Haim Sisters from LA (image from
Apologies for the brief post today but just wanted to check in to share this gorgeous cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Hold Me" by the Haim Sisters. Best enjoyed in the evening sun, drink in hand...

And the original. I cannot wait for their reformation next year. Please let them be at Glasonbury.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

We can never hope to achieve this...

But we can get close to this
"Girl power" has had a sudden resurgence in usage these past two weeks. As we have witnessed women breaking records, running fast and far, jumping high and long and displaying seemingly inhuman feats of strength, agility and physical skill there has only been one way to sum it up in a Twitter hashtag and that is #girlpower. Whenever another Team GB female (or females) won a medal, "Girl Power" was sure to be trending and appearing in Facebook status updates within minutes. It feels like a breakthrough. You only have to take a glance at the dreaded DM's sidebar of shame to see that a little something has shifted. In the last fortnight those stories about Kim Kardashian's gym visits or TOWIE Lauren's latest diet have been significantly peppered with stories of women who have triumphed to win medals or just compete, whether that's Saudi Arabia's Sarah Attar running 800m as her country's first ever female track and field competitor or Gemma Gibbons winning her Judo semi-final and mouthing "I love you, Mum" towards the sky, before going on to win Silver. Where girls have been really quite unpowerful in celebrity media until now, the Olympic athletes have shown that girls can worry about more than boys and fat bottoms. Hadley Freeman and Elizabeth Day (both at The Guardian) have written in the past day or two about how we can embrace Olympic athletes as our new body image role models. You see, anyone can look like an Olympic athlete because these men and women come in all shapes and sizes but are united by the fact that they are the very best version of themselves. You don't have to be freakishly tall, thin and ethereal as you do to even approach supermodel standards. While Kate, Naomi, Stella et al looked awesome last night in their golden Brit designed gowns, we could never hope to emulate their figures because they have one in  trillion kind of genes. But go for a run, swim some lengths, pedal a few miles, lift a few weights and elements of an Olympian body will be yours. We need to harness the girl power.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Greeting fashion fans, news is back again after little break for attending some Olympic events which included seeing Team GB win a gold and two bronze at the rowing last Friday. The FashEd has been having fun at the beach volleyball, boxing and swimming- lucky thing. Even though it's August, there's still plenty of fashion news to report this week...

Ryan Lochte is undoubtedly the breakout star hottie of this Olympics with many, including myself, religiously tuning in to watch his races in the hope that we'll get a wink or some other kind of high jinks at the end. The team at US Vogue anticipated Lochte mania so made him star of their June Olympic cover, alongside Hope Solo (a FashEd favourite) and Serena Williams. However, it seems the public weren't quite so into the idea as the edition has been the worst seller of the year so far, ouch for Ryan. Although, I like The Cut blog's assessment that it was probably more to do with Serena and Hope's dodgy nude swimsuits than the star swimmer. Plus, US Vogue went one better than any UK glossy by choosing actual Olympic athletes to grace their cover. Mr Lochte can also take consolation from the fact that US Vogue's bestselling star has been Adele on the March issue- she was British Vogue's worst selling cover girl last year.

American Vogue's worst selling June cover (image from
In other Lochte news, we can apparently expect a fashion line sometime soon. We already knew that Ryan has quite specific ideas about what he likes a girl to wear and now it seems he might be taking the matter into his own hands after his agent confirmed that there are a number of brands interested in collaborating with the swimmer on a fashion line. He's also looking at offers for reality TV shows. I think we can expect to see even more of Mr Lochte, not that I'm complaining.

One of the big fashion events in August is the unveiling of the look magazines have gone for on their August covers. This week, it's a battle of the blonde music stars in pink with Lady Gaga on US Vogue and Gwen Stefani for US Harper's Bazaar. Given that was relatively scarce on the catwalks, it's an interesting coincidence that both titles have gone for a similar look. Stefani's editorial, photographed by Terry Richardson, gives further leverage to the top knot trend (is that still a trend, or just a thing now?) while Gaga looks like a kind of cartoon mermaid.

Gwen Stefani in Alexander McQueen and top knot in Harper's Bazaar (image from

Gwen in Alexis Mabille custom hat (image from
Lion haired Gaga in custom Marc Jacobs on US Vogue's September issue (image from

And it may not have been released yet but Dazed and Confused's upcoming Azealia Banks cover has already caused controversy. It is seen to be so troublesome in fact that in some countries it won't get a place on the newsstands at all. The Dazed and Confused team tweeted:

Just been told our upcoming  cover has been banned from 7 countries so far. Thank God for the Internet, huh?

Thank the lord indeed for the internet as if reports are to believed, Ms. Banks is pictured blowing up a bright pink (continuing the above theme) condom- the accompanying caption reads 'Azealia Banks blows up'. Obviously we haven't seen the cover- we have to wait til Monday- but surely the powers that be could have pretended Banks was just attempting a bubblegum blowing world record?

Naughty, moi? Another Azealia Banks cover (image from
SHOPPING NEWS #1: Browns, the independent London boutique responsible for launching the careers of   the likes of McQueen and Galliano, and, the site which brings together designer pieces from boutiques across the world, are two FEAL favourites. As of this week, we can now shop Browns on after a new partnership was announced which also includes Miami's The Webster. It's another milestone in the increasing importance of the being strategic about your online retail, as Francois Henri Pinault of PPR discussed in an interview about his digital strategy with Business of Fashion. He talks about making the online experience more luxurious by adding the option for fittings appointments to the e-tail sites of his brands, which include Gucci, Stella McCartney and Yves Saint Laurent.

SHOPPING NEWS #2: FYI the owner of Zara, Armancio Ortega, is now the third richest person in the world. That is probably because he gets a significant proportion of the monthly pay packet of women (and plenty of men) the world over.

A couple of dates for your diaries:

AUGUST 23rd: Louise Gray's collection for Topshop will be available online and in selected stores. There are six pieces of clothing to go alongside the beauty range which promises to be mega fun if Gray's bright and beautiful catwalk shows are anything to go by. I love what Louise has to say about the collection: "My mainline collections have always been about pushing optimism, colour and fun and I wanted to bring that to the Topshop collection as well. I want the Topshop girl to stay out all night in it!".

Sequins galore! Louise Gray x Topshop (image from
AUGUST 17th-19th: I'll race you to the Sunspel Sample Sale, taking place from 10-7 at the Truman Brewery with up to 80% off their brilliantly designed, made in Britain basics, something for boys and girls alike.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK #1: We're all getting more and more interested in where and how what we wear is made. Now, purveyors of excellent sunnies RETROSUPERFUTURE have made a slightly science-y video showing us how their glasses are made. If you're into that sort of thing, it's quite mesmerising.

Manufacturing Super from retrosuperfuture on Vimeo.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK #2: Solange Knowles was this week announced at the new face J. Crew's younger sister Madewell- a match made in fashion heaven. The brand had to chose well if they were to match last year's collab with Alexa Chung. Here's a backstage video of Beyonce's little sister shooting the new campaign. I'm so happy I'm going to New York later in the year so I get some of this stuff for myself

FINALLY, most our favourite celebs are in hiding (Kristen Stewart) or cavorting on beaches, so  we're looking elsewhere for our fix of stylish people to ogle. Step forward Olympic athletes: it's the rhythmic gymnasts vs. the sychronised swimmers- any favourites?

Rhythmic gymnastics, Australia (image from
Rhythmic gymnastics, China (image from
Rhythmic gymnastics, South Korea (image from
Rhythmic gymnastics, Uzbekistan (image from
Russian synchronised swimmers (image from
British sychronised swimmers (image from
Sychronised swimmers from Ukraine (image from
American synchronised swimmers (image from