Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Melanie and I have been working with Westfield on a few projects recently and here is one of them… A super fabulous designer sweatshirt collaboration. We got five brilliant LFW talents to make a gorgeous jumper in their signature way to help Westfield London celebrate the fifth anniversary of its opening (doesn't it seem like forever?). The sweatshirts are going to be on sale in shiny new pop-up shop in The Atrium at Westfield London until 6th November. They're completely unique and limited edition plus they're only £65- it's pretty unlikely you'd get anything from one of these designers for that price. The sweatshirts were made in London at Fashion Enter and all proceeds go to Save the Children too. The cliche "what's not to love" has never been more appropriate. So which one will you be buying?

The gorgeous Sophia Webster turned her hand to clothes for the first time, superimposing sparkling jewel images over stripes then adding sleeves and trims in the girlish, cute kinds of colours which we know and love in her shoes.

Thomas Tait, one of London's major up-and-coming talents, added some super chic fashion details to his design; a perfect-for-now polo neck, edgy sliced front panel and a longer length so we can wear his jumper as a top or a tunic.

The lovely Louise Gray spliced two of her digital print designs- one inspired by the London Tube map and the other by the starry night sky- to create her sweatshirt which also has sporty aertex sleeve strips.

Peter and Christopher from Peter Pilotto used a print of sound waves hitting water which also appeared in their Autumn/Winter '13 collection. They call the effect 'a modern check' with its slightly distorted lines. Also ideal for bonfire night, in our opinion.

Richard Nicoll stamped a big number five in beautiful candy floss pink onto his grey marl jumper, very sports luxe- we can imagine wearing it with one of Richard's shiny pencil skirts.

Images courtesy of Westfield

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Isabel Marant in Paris at the launch of her H&M collection today
As fashion legend goes, Isabel Marant is one of the coolest designers around, totally au fait with having her photo taken without a scrap of make-up on, hair mussed into bun and wrapped in a big, old jumper you or I might reserve for Sunday afternoons. She is nonchalant where the rest of us might be control-freakish and overprepared. In fact, Isabel Marant is so cool that she has practically invented a whole new definition for the word. And so it comes of something of a surprise for her to admit that the reason she finally plumped to join H&M for their next designer collaboration is that slightly nerdish phenomenon, fanmail. "It made sense for me to do this collection for the people who love me; they send me letters telling me how much they love my clothes" explained Marant at the preview of her H&M collection which launches with a party in Paris tonight before going on sale on November 14th. So touched is Marant by the contents of her mail bag that she is compiling a book of "all the super-sweet letters I have received".

By the looks of the H&M collection, Marant is about to add to her fan base. Unlike many of the other designers who have worked with H&M (Donatella Versace and Karl Lagerfeld, for example), she is not a celebrity in her own right. Those beyond the fashion world might know Marant's name, but perhaps more as a by-word for the very particular way of dressing which her brand had engendered. H&M call it "boho elegance and rock'n'roll nonchalance" but you only have to look at Emmanuelle Alt, Gwyneth Paltrow or Kate Bosworth to see it in action. And beyond that, anyone who's considered a wedge trainer or ankle boot, a laced leather trouser or anything Navajo has come under the Marant influence, even if they don't know it. It's actually this group which she is keen to reach by designing for the high street- "It's a good way for me to remind everyone that it was me who made these things". It's crystal clear that Marant is a bit pissed off with seeing girls walking around in second (or even third/fourth) rate copies of the products which she calls her "kids".

Although there's not a wedge trainer in sight in the H&M collection, there is a brilliant selection of beautiful, instantly distinctive Isabel Marant greatest hits. Those fringed wedge boots have been reinterpreted in two-tone suede and leather. Then there's a huge selection of ikat printed skirts, loose slouchy trousers and tiered dresses. There are several versions of the super skinny, slightly cropped and zipped trousers which come coated (in red, white and black) rather than the original leather. Among the most fabulous components are sparkling going out clothes; sequinned leggings, a shrug-on silver jacquard bomber and several of those super-sexy teeny weeny mini dresses which appear in each and every Marant catwalk show.
Marant for kids

Isabel Marant jumper- supposedly for kids.

Isabel Marant kids denim jacket
She has also taken this chance to expand her horizons beyond womenswear into men's and kids'- please can somebody photograph a Marant clad family? As with everything Marant, her approach to this new venture came from her everyday experiences; "My husband (the accessories designer Jerome Dreyfuss) often takes my jeans and sweaters- our bodies are the same. Of course, I borrow his clothes too. I think it's very contemporary to share a closet'. The result is a menswear collection which doesn't look so very dissimilar to the womenswear, with plenty of chunky knits, embroidered jeans and slouchy boots making the cut. The savviest of shoppers will be buying bits from across the gender/ age categories. I'll be snapping up the tea dress from the women's collection along with one of the men's sweaters and perhaps even a shrunken little denim jacket or tie-dye skater shoes from the kids range (sizes go up to a generous age 14/ shoes size 39). Marant, meanwhile, might need to buy a bigger postbox.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Are you on a Frieze comedown today? Maybe you're an art world type who spent the last week in a haze of parties and viewings. Perhaps you dedicated several hours of your weekend to covering the vast exhibition in Regents Park. Or it could just be that your social media feeds will be more freed up for variety today after a long run of posts involving selfies inside Jennifer Rubell's "Portrait of the Artist" open-wombed sculpture. Whatever your Frieze situation, the show's moved on for another year.
Kid Acne
So, where to get your next dose of contemporary creativity? May I suggest Sheffield. Unlikely suggestion, I know, given those old hat it's grim up North/ Full Monty stereotypes. But after one of my best friends moved to the city earlier this year, I went to visit her for the weekend and discovered how a  cohort of street artists are reclaiming what could be an area of incredibly depressing decaying industrial buildings, mostly former steelworks, as canvases for their work. It helps if you know someone in the area to show you around, but I reckon that if you just walk ten minutes or so from the station to Sidney Street then you will get a good start, with Rocket 01's incredible mural of Charles Darwin. This is probably the most astonishing thing you will see, with the fine details and old portraiture style defying what you might usually expect "street art" to be. The strokes which make up the Darwinian beard seem to be made all the more delicate as they fizzle out from the sturdy, centuries old bricks they are painted onto. Make sure you search out Rocket 01's portrait of David Attenborough (on Charles Street) and also Faunagraphic's (Rocket 01's girlfriend) Harry Brearley mural at the end of Pond Street.

Just across the road from the Charles Darwin, there is an overgrown yard in which stands the bare bones of some old factory where the brick walls have been covered with all manner of graffiti from the very beautiful to the properly lazy vandalism type. It's not so pristine and lovely as a glossy art gallery but treading over broken glass and sidestepping piles of bricks makes the very existence of each work you come across all the more exciting. Once you begin wandering around this area, turning down abandoned little lanes or even just taking the time to look up or round corners, you'll come across dozens of great pieces by artists who are putting down firm roots in Sheffield but also those passing through, like D7606. I wish I'd seen more of Phlegm's precise and haunting work while I was there too. This tumblr is probably your definitive guide to all Sheffield's street art- it's sad to read on there that the council might start destroying it all as part of renovation plans which would be a huge shame. I guess that threat does give you good reason to go sharp-ish though. Unlike Frieze, or any other big organised exhibition, nobody's ever going to give you an "end date".

Here's a quick tumble of my Sheffield snaps. Artists websites at the end...

Kid Acne

Twiggy postboxes by D7606

 Charles Darwin by Rocket 01

EMA a.k.a Florence Blanchard

Kid Acne
Kid Acne

Richard Attenborough by Rocket 01







Thursday, October 17, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Cadbury purple, less commonly known as Pantone 265c, has been on our collective visual radar for the past 100 years, ever since the Birmingham chocolate company switched the colour of its packaging in tribute to Queen Victoria's favourite colour. We're used to seeing it, ripping it, scrunching it and gifting it but how about wearing it?
Cadbury purple at Balenciaga (via
lilac at Christopher Kane (via
At the latest round of SS14 shows, there was lots and lots of lilac. If anything's going to move us on from pink next summer then it will be a pretty light purple- lilac ball gown skirts, lilac sweatshirts, lilac denim, lilac anything and everything. But coinciding with Cadbury's long-running legal battle to secure copyright on its signature hue came a smattering of true deep dark purple outfits which made me think, very shallowly obviously, that I would really like to buy some purple clothes soon. Cadbury even sent a model down to LFW dressed in a Cadbury purple dress to promote their cause but still unfortunately lost their five year fight. Nevertheless, I still think that we will always associate the colour of Dairy Milk bars and Milk Tray boxes with Cadbury rather any random given confectioner who decides to jump on the purple bandwagon.

Cadbury purple crops up in the new Wes Anderson (via
Cadbury purple at MaxMara (via
Marc Jacobs uniform jackets for SS14 (via
Anyway, I was reminded of this new fashion need again this afternoon when I clicked through to the trailer of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson's latest offering. Lo and behold, the lead character Gustave H is a hotel manager and he, along with all the other members of staff at The Grand Budapest, wears Cadbury-coloured uniforms which also have a hint of the Marc Jacobs SS14 Victorian jacket about them. These are niche fashion observations I know but it never fails to amuse me how various cultural threads can chime together so that it seems like they might have been planned. The hotel is even this season's candy pink in case you're not ready to move on to lilac and purple yet! Now I know that that purple thing I want is a shiny-buttoned uniform jacket.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson's new film (via

Friday, October 11, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

One of my favourite times of year, fashion-wise, is these weeks after fashion month when you're back at your desk drinking in the new season and planning everything which you're going to do with it- stories, trends, moods. It's a case of getting elbow deep in a huge pool of images, notes, reviews, social media posts to dissect everything which is going on. I would love to have the time to pull together a definitvie list of every single possible way we can now see a fashion show; maybe you sit front row, or perhaps you're crammed in at the back on your tiptoes, you might follow the action on Twitter, tune in to the brand's live stream, click "refresh" over and over on until the review is posted, make a Pinterest board or stumble across an image you like as you're flicking through a magazine six months later. It's quite mind-boggling. My new favourite post-fashion week way to see the shows is clicking through American Vogue's backstage imagery which is insanely beautiful and makes me feel as if I am seeing the shows via a fly on the wall wearing magically filtered glasses.

The main photographer is Kevin Tachman, who also made an intelligent photo series called "Overexposed" the other day which he called "an attempt to capture that sense of disorientation" which shows throw up. I like it. The Max Mara images- the headscarf lady is my absolute favourite- were taken by Taylor Jewell, of Anna Wintour #voguestagram fame while the Saint Laurent is by Victoria Will. Even if you were at the show, this photography adds a whole new dimension.

All images via American Vogue

At Dior

At Max Mara

At Max Mara

At Dries van Noten

At Christopher Kane

At Givenchy

At Givenchy

At Saint Laurent
At Louis Vuitton
At Louis Vuitton

Monday, October 7, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

Are you still allowed to think that way at 25? I suppose that's already "grown-up" age really and certainly old enough to know that I will never, never be a ballerina- my default answer to the "what do you want to be when you grow up?' question. They say Darcey Bussell was unfathomably old when she took up ballet but actually she was 13 and already an accomplished dancer. Sigh. Nevertheless, the fact my ballerina dreams will never realistically go beyond the occasional barre class doesn't mean I can't pretend does it? This is why I have several tutu skirts in my wardrobe, the most recent being a Topshop dress which required absolutely zero um-ing and ah-ing and a few of them snatched from the wardrobes of friends when they were clearing out post- grade 8 exams and were bored stiff of ballerina garb. I never got beyond my first class, aged 4, and was completely disgusted by the thought of being a graceful Margot Fonteyn type until a complete u-turn during my teens. Ever since, what I wouldn't give for a day of being able to  go en pointe at the Royal Opera House.

I know I'm not the only one, as evidenced by the ever present gaggle of tourists who congregate at the Repetto shop just off Place Vendome in Paris, having their photo taken outside the always beautifully decorated windows while dangling their bags of ballerinas. I haven't had time to go in for ages but always look wistfully at the ballet slippers in every size and colour, wrapover cardigans and delicate net tutus and wish I had some need for them.  What I didn't properly realise is that Repetto does cater to dreamy types like me with their ready-to-wear collection which has just become available online in the UK.  Designed by Emilie Luc-Duc, formerly at Dior Girl and Vanessa Bruno, there are beautiful jumpers which echo the pretty shapes worn by dancers during practise and skirts which are perfectly poised between dress-up and wearable. At way for us ballet-dreaming grown-ups to dress the part, even if we cannot dance it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

I read this morning that people employed in farming, fishing and forestry are the happiest. If you work in the media, you are less happy than quite a lot of other professions, apparently. Oh dear. While this news is a bit depressing in itself, it does shine a light on why Erica and Faye Toogood might have struck on the idea to 'pay tribute' to eight different trades with their new collection of coats, which launched during Paris fashion week. Admittedly, it's rare that one goes to PFW and ends up having a conversation about the particular details a bee keeper might require from their outerwear.
The Chemist coat
The Toogood passport
You may already know the work of Faye Toogood. She's a furniture and object designer whose studio has collaborated with the likes of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony/ Kenzo fame and Phillip Lim. She teamed up with her pattern cutter sister, Erica, about a year ago to work on the Toogood coats collection. As with all great fashion concepts, there's a lot of theory backed up by thoughtful details. For example, each coat comes with its very own "passport". A label which details who your coat was designed and made by and who sold it. The idea is that you then add your own details as a constant reminder of the trajectory which each coat has taken. "There is no hierarchy here," comments Erica, "we wanted to create a feeling of transparency about the process of making a coat."

Each unisex coat comes in 6 sizes and is handmade in London. Faye does the design while Erica deals with bringing them to life by cutting innovative patterns which reflect how each worker's coat might have been worn over time, see the deep pockets on The Chemist. For The Courier, a fitted waistcoat with short cape, there were 17 toiles made before the fit was just right. The sisters mimic the movements of each worker to show me why certain details have been included, like the curved seams on the sleeves of The Mechanic or the slits on the cuffs of The Roadsweeper. The fabrications are like nothing I've ever seen before which makes trying on these coats a properly novel experience. Imagine a shell-like back created from melted bin bags, the bumpy texture of a baked latex print or the super-shiny and squeaky effect of sprayed and splattered rubber, a job which the sisters commissioned a guy who usually paints cars to complete. The coats are as hard-wearing as their names suggest too, cut from rot resistant canvas. It all sounds terribly tough and rough and ready but some of these shapes are akin to an elegant opera coat or a chic biker, in many ways. The ultimate aim, of course, is that you make it your own. Faye insists, 'we want our coats to look and feel just as beautiful on a 60 year-old man as they do on a 25 year-old girl'.


The Beekeeper
The Courier coat
The Milkman
The Oilrigger
The Roadsweeper