Thursday, May 30, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

It's become a bit of a trend for big cities to open "pop-up" beaches during the Summer months. In Paris, tonnes of sand and parasols are shipped in to line the banks of the Seine so that city dwellers can get some seaside vibes without having to venture beyond the banlieues. This whole thing feels rather odd because it's just so incredibly false- there's no running into the salty waves or long strolls down the sand to find some rocks to climb on. Just a Metro station a stone's throw from your deck chair. There is, however, a pop-up beach in London this summer which is blissfully sand free, full of fashion and all the better for it.

Skating in the pool in Dogtown and the Z-Boys (image via
Last night, Yasmin Sewell launched her brilliant concept Beach in the East which is a temporary retail space housed in a reconstructed old swimming pool. The Dogtown and the Z-boys inspired space (the guys in the film skate in an old swimming pool) is filled with an expertly curated selection of affordable collectible designer items, many of them exclusive and with nothing costing more than £300. Think sandals by Sophia Webster and Ancient Greek Sandals, bags by Reece Hudson and t-shirts by Cecile and The Print Dept. Cleverly, this isn't just a selection of nice but largely unrelated items, but everything adds up to the perfect outfit for the skater trend which is so key in fashion right now. You could feasibly pop to Beach in the East and get pretty much everything you needed for a long weekend hanging out by the beach in Miami or LA; tie-dyed denim culottes, slogan t-shirt, palm print sandals, customised denim jacket and wacky sunglasses.
Get these at Beach in the East: T-shirt by The Print Dept and  Thomas Tait cycling top £270

Basically, the perfect thing to wear this summer. Shirt by Peridot £175, culottes by Frederick Maxwell Kingery £140 and espadrilles by Prism £145

The Changing Rooms
It's perfectly understandable that if you're reading this in Sydney, or even Cornwall, you might be wailing "I totally have a place to wear all this awesome sounding stuff to, but there's no way I can get to East London". No problem because everything from Beach in the East is also on as of yesterday. So you might miss out on seeing printed tote bags merchandised on a pool ladder, or trying on dungarees in a specially graffitied changing room but you can still get your hands on everything in the shop. Genius. Top of my own personal shopping list are the Thomas Tait sunglasses, the Sophia Webster sandals and a Joe Duke jacket. Don't forget your skateboard.

Dungarees by Frederick Maxwell Kingery £190

Brilliant Thomas Tait sunglasses £175

Reece Hudson clutch £220

Sophia Webster sandals

Beach in the East is open until the 24th August and also available on

Open: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm. Closed Sunday

Address: Lower Ground G, 123 Clifton St, EC2A 4LD

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7729 9620

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

It must be so nice to be a Fashion Journalist in a country where the weather is so predictable that you hardly ever need to actually consider it when you're coming up with ideas. You just know that for about six months of the year you write about lovely light, frippery summer things and the other six months is given to coats, woollens, knits and the like. Here in lovely England though, it's a constant unknown; will we be in shorts or sweatshirts next week? Will sunglasses be relevant at all in a month's time? I suppose this predicament does chime with the more general moves in the fashion calendar now to "seasonless" dressing. When a designer is creating a collection to sell everywhere from Paris to Melbourne, it's about covering all potential weather bases. Take Gucci's Resort collection. Traditionally, this would be aimed at spring buying or anyone going on a winter holiday to warmer climes but there is everything from woollen winter coats and polo neck jumpers to silky shorts and dresses.
Quite Wintry: Gucci Resort '14 (image via
Quite Summery: Gucci Resort '14 (image via
Right now, my calendar says it's nearly June but the steaming cup of tea I'm clutching, the extra jumper cuddled round my shoulders and the dismally grey vista from the window really do suggest otherwise. Wardrobe wise, this chilly state of affairs has led to nothing short of a crisis. Having been in a winter coat going on eight months, there's no way we want to carry on traipsing out in that. It's also possibly just not quite cold enough for that any more. And there certainly seems to be minimal prospect of a prolonged stretch of plain nice weather for some time yet. So where does that leave us, fashion-wise? Cold and wet. What we need are spring jackets. An extra layer, perhaps waterproof, which fits with our  other lighter, brighter clothes. These are my favourites...

ASOS £125

3.1 Phillip Lim at Matches £1,070
Zara £59.99

Topshop £175

ACNE at Selfridges £625

ACNE at My-Wardrobe £850
Whistles £95

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Given that I come from a family of keen gardeners and flower growers, my proficiency levels when it comes to anything flora and fauna related are pretty dismal. Even the hardiest of plants have been known to wither away under my supposed care. Despite this, I'm obviously not averse to receiving fabulously beautiful floral creations to adorn my flat with. Last week, I had a very fun opportunity to finally gain some flower arranging skills, courtesy of a Chelsea Flower Show collaboration between the lovely Notting Hill boutique Couverture and the fashion industry's favourite florists, Scarlet and Violet.
Vic from Scarlet and Violet takes us through her floristry basics
Having attempted to dash from North East to West London in an impossibly small amount of time, I was not at my most zen when I arrived. But it's funny what five minutes intently watching an expert florist like Scarlet and Violet's Vic Brotherson create an elaborate arrangement can do to induce a sense of blissful calm the likes of which I'm not sure I've ever felt during my working day before. Vic's style- as you may know if you're familiar with Scarlet and Violet's beautiful work- is free, bountiful and not too "done". Her flowers look like she might have scooped them up as she was skipping around a blossoming country garden. Recreating that vibe is harder than she makes it look though.

Armed with a few good tips- including 1. Make sure you vary the heights of all your flowers 2. Don't have any hanging below the height of your vase/ jar- we set to work on creating our own arrangements under Vic's knowledgable supervision. This is where I come a cropper slightly because now should really be the moment when I tell you about the vast array of options which Vic had brought along for us to choose from for our own mini floristry project. Unfortunately, I'm terrible at flower names but I do know that there were plump roses of many colours, the sweetest sweet peas, abundant peonies, sprigs of rosemary amongst the greenery options and much, much more besides.

Our base was a suitably vintage looking kiln jar, a great alternative to a traditional vase. After gathering an armful of options from Vic's display, we set about tinkering with all our various options to make our own displays. Many of the others were far more disciplined than me with my "wild flower meadow" vibe. I still can't really decide whether that was intentional or just a cover for my slightly chaotic attitude. What I do know is that my thirty minutes snipping and twiddling my flowers and greenery were blissful and fun, especially in the sedate surroundings of Couverture's upstairs alcove. Five days later and my flowers are still brightening up my coffee table. They may not be as professional and stunning as one of Vic's works of art, but looking at them feels that little bit more joyful knowing that I had a hand in making them myself. And wouldn't they make a great gift?

Thank you to Couverture for a wonderful floristry class. Do go visit them if you're around Notting Hill.
My finished flowers, slightly obscured by more flowers

Friday, May 24, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Everything you need to know about the week in fashion is within this blog post. Read, know, then go bank holiday weekend your socks off...

Jenna Lyons (image via
It's seems like it's been a long time coming, but J.Crew has finally hit British shores this week. For today and tomorrow (Friday/ Saturday), the fashionably preppy US label is hosting a pop-up in a rather fabulous converted shed/ stables at Central Saint Martin's. Jenna Lyons, J.Crew's President and Artistic Director, is in town and used the opportunity to announce that J.Crew will be sponsoring a scholarship for CSM MA students. I popped along yesterday to the pop-up shop where you can get J.Crew's famous cashmere jumpers monogrammed and buy a jewelled collar especially designed for the London pop-up by the J.Crew design crew. A permanent shop is due to open on Regent Street in November.

Visit J Crew's pop-up at CSM by getting yourself to King's Cross Tube, and follow the arrows.

J Crew pop up via J Crew Instagram
One of my personal favourite collars from the J Crew pop-up
The BFC this week announced three new menswear designers to join the NEWGEN cohort in time for London Collections:Mens which is taking place in June. Agi & Sam, Astrid Andersen and Nasir Mazhar will get the backing of the BFC to show and sell their collections during the men's shows next month.

Agi and Sam did an inspired AW13 show in which they took the Marquess of Bath as muse. (
Fabulous purple/ florals/ streetwear at Astrid Andersen AW13 (
Nasir Mazhar AW13 (
Issa, the label favoured by the Middleton sisters and friends, announced last week that founder and creative director Daniela Helayel is leaving. Blue Farrier has been appointed to take over. Farrier has great fashion pedigree, having worked at Stella McCartney and Chloe. Issa is particularly well-known for its flattering wrap dresses- Kate Middleton wore a blue one to match her engagement ring when she and Prince William announced that they would be getting married.

The new Givenchy AW13 campaign has been styled by none other than Carine Roitfeld. She cast Amanda Seyfried and up-and-coming Spanish model Dalianah Arekion in the rather subdued black and white images. It seems that Roitfeld also couldn't resist shooting herself, with daughter Julia, as well.

Amanda and Dalianah in Givenchy AW13 (via

Carine and Julia via Michel Gaubert on Instagram
At Issa's latest LFW show for AW13, models wore gimicky polo necks with hoods attached. Here's hoping Farrier might have a transformative magic touch.

Ugh. Issa W13 (
Fendi will hold a special photography exhibition during July's Paris couture shows. As part of its pledge to help save the Trevi Fountain, images taken by Karl Lagerfeld (Fendi Creative Director, and you know the rest) will be on display. There will also be a 120-page book published to accompany the exhibition. Another clever high fashion initiative to make the public feel involved in the very exclusive round of couture shows.

Congratulations to Tatty Devine, The Cambridge Satchel Company, Harris Tweeds and Christopher Raeburn who were among the winners at last night's UK Fashion and Textiles Awards. Go Made in Britain!

Tatty Devine's award. As tweeted by co-founder Rosie Wolfenden.
Skate culture has been permeating fashion for a while now and it seems to be reaching a peak, especially with Yasmin Sewell's Beach in the East pop-up, inspired by Dogtown and the Z-Boys. The Guardian brought all the references together very nicely this week. Dazed Digital have done a great piece on the fight to save the Southbank undercroft. And if you have time for a fascinating long read this weekend, then may I suggest this on what happened to the stars of Kids.

Skating at Southbank. Image by Sophie Wedgewood via
Browsing in Browns Focus the other day, I was particularly drawn to a very sweet Olympia Le-Tan doodled cotton body suit. Le-Tan is, of course, most famous for her embroidered book cover clutch bags. It turns out that Olympia is sister of Cleo, a French novelist and daughter of Pierre, a highly respected illustrator. If you're anything like me and enjoy being nosy about these fabulous kinds of families, then you should read The Daily Beast's interview with Cleo Le-Tan.

Cleo and Olympia Le-Tan (via
Finally, Cannes is STILL going on. In fact, it's been going on so long now that jewellery thieves have managed to strike twice. Yesterday, a £1.7m necklace from jewellers Di Grisogono went missing, despite the fact it was being heavily guarded at a chateau party. My four favourite stories from the festival this week are:

Nicole Kidman potentially wearing the Valentino dress which Anna Hathaway ditched for the Oscars at the lat minute.

Jessica Chastain wearing Spanx dyed vivid purple to match her Givenchy Couture dress.

And a Psy impostor gatecrashing loads of great parties and fooling celebrities.

Last night, the super, duper glamourous AMFAR gala, held to raise funds for AIDS, took place in Cannes. Carine Roitfeld was in charge this year and organised "The Ultimate Gold Collection" fashion show which was crammed full of specially created gold creations by the world's best designers. To round off The Week in Fashion, here are some of the shiniest looks of the night, as modelled by some of Carine's nearest and dearest, of course. Sun, take note. 

Giovanna Battaglia in Miu Miu (via 
Joan Smalls in Givenchy (via 
Anna dello Russo in Pucci (via
Irina Shayk in Prada (via
Carine's daughter, Julia Restoin Roitfeld in Valentino (via

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Reinvention. Fashion wouldn't be the same without it. Until recently, jewellery had been bobbing along pretty nicely for a long time, minding its own business. There were still trends but they pretty much stuck to the traditional necklace/ earrings/ rings/ bracelets shapes and expectations. Of late though there's been a shift with designers and jewellers pushing the boundaries with new kinds of lovely things to adorn our bodies with. Here are the four big new thing things in jewellery...


These are possibly the best established of the new jewellery vanguard, having broken onto the fashion scene in a big way following their appearance in Rodarte's SS13 show. Here, they looked like miniature intricate dragons crouching down the wearers' ears. They were back on the catwalk too for Autumn/ Winter at Dries Van Noten is huge, chunky rock form. Australian jeweller Ryan Storer is also winning lots of fans with his beautifully delicate ear cuffs.

Dries Van Noten ear cuff for AW13 (vi
A gorgeous Ryan Storer ear cuff (via You can buy them here 

Sick of the Hen-Party-isation of the tiara, head jewellery thoughts have turned to its even more regal alternative, the crown. Dolce and Gabbana really, really sold this to us in AW13 show by topping off many of the collection's looks with chintzy Byzantine crowns.

Dolce and Gabbana catwalk crown (via
Katy Perry does crown as punk at Met Ball (via

I first came across these ingenious new finger-location rings at Browns press day, where I had to hold myself back from walking out with a completely beautiful Asherali Knopfer nail ring. They slot over your nail so that even if you can't remember the last time you had a manicure, your nails will look beautiful.

Asherali Knopfer nail rings at Browns
ASOS nail rings £6

Why buy one ring, when you can buy 3 all bonded together in a row? Lots of designers were creating this impression this season, although the effect can be created from, y'know, just wearing a ring on every finger. Delfina Delettrez definitely did a row of 3 though. Expect many imitations.

Delfina Delettrez rings  (via
Row Rings at McQueen AW13 (via