Wednesday, 24 February 2010

London Fashion Week - Day One

For those of you that haven't read my work blog, Self Service, here's the coverage from the LFW shows we were lucky enough to attend!

Tori and I skipped over to Somerset House for the start of London Fashion Week, Day One. We had 7 shows to see, lots of friends to catch up with and LOTS of people watching to do! Here's our run-down of all the catwalks, front row celeb spottings and general LFW goss!

Caroline Charles 11am

Caroline’s show started more like a gentlemen’s hunt than a catwalk, especially with all the fur on display. Her collection consisted of classic gentry silhouettes, draped tweeds all belted to create long hour glass shapes. Country classic tweeds in earthy autumn colours were accented with bright greens all in anticipation of the exquisite, bright coloured sparkles to come.

The shapes and fabrics were nothing new and the collaboration of rural style and Indian cocktail sparkle felt miss-matched, leaving me slightly disappointed and wishing that more of the embellishment was on offer.

However I did like the accessories; intricate net and floral headpieces, a multitude of leather and fur hats, oversized glasses and always a winner ,‘scarves’, they weren’t new but they were pretty.

Charlie Le Mindu 11.15am

The Charlie Le Mindu show had to be pretty special to live up to the hype of his last hair-raising collection (sorry, awful pun!). Charlie is the self styled 'haute coiffure' master of fashion, and his hair collection last year got rave reviews among the fash-set. When I went to his show today I had high expectations, and expected to be entertained and look at fantastic fashion pieces, and I wasn't disappointed!

If Charlie Le Mindu is King of hair, then his Queen was sitting front row - La Roux and her killer quiff snuck in as the lights when down (I was behind her so couldn't get you a pic!).  The show had an eerie, church yard feel (I was expecting smoke machines at any moment!) with bells chiming and dramatic music. As ever with Charlie's designs, the hair and the hats/headdresses were the focal point, with everything from giant glitter crosses to FabergĂ© eggs containing miniature ballerinas, and were complimented with lace leggings and body stockings! The whole collection and atmosphere was sexy, fun and attention seeking - and I loved it!

David Koma 2.15pm

Ok, I'm going to try and be unbiased here, but after the D.R.A.M.A! that was the David Koma catwalk show (1 hour late, queuing on the street, rude PRs and a bit of a hostile atmosphere) we weren't really in the best mood to watch a catwalk show, but I am a huge David Koma fan, so tried to enjoy! David Koma is famous for many things, the piece you will know him best for is 'The Dustbin Lid Dress' as worn by our very own Cheryl Cole on X Factor, but Koma is so much more than that, his first 2 collections saw him masterfully use embellishment and colour to create red carpet ready body con dresses, and won him fans like Cheryl, Beyonce and Keisha Buchanan.

The collection shown today was geo-to-the-metric, with zigzags aplenty, built up, spikey hips and shoulders and a muted colour palette. The look was serve with slicked back hair and the models walking at lightning speed (hence slightly blurry images - sorry peeps!). The collection felt stripped down and edgier than his previous style, which at first I wasn't sure about, but having looked at the catwalk images again, I think it's really growing on me. He's still very much one to watch!

Bora Aksu 3.45pm

There's not a lot I can say about the Bora Aksu show except - I loved everything about it! Very objective, huh? But it really was gorgeous! And what's not to love about dusty pink knitted skeletons/harnesses over jersey dress, puff ball/lampshade skirts with sparkly pink brocade, ruffles, fluffy knits, and mesh insert leggings creating the perfect contrast between cutesy and tough. I can try and describe this one, or just let you look and the pretty pictures!

Ashley Isham 4.15pm

Barberella had Flash Gordon’s baby and Ashley Isham’s A/W 2010 collection emerged here to save our universe. A futuristic explosion of textures and colours inspired Ashley’s intergalactic warrior princesses. Soft drapes in periwinkle, midnight blue and peach combined with gunmetal, all accentuated with purple, grey or blue. A fantastic mix of printed woven fabrics, tube fringing and my favourite, shiny plastic.

Throughout the show these warrior princesses transformed into Grecian goddesses draped in flowing, off the shoulder dresses with amazing beaded and fringed detail. Ashley was hot with the celebs too as Sophie Anderton, Jodie Harsh and one of twins from skins were all visible on the front row.

Jena Theo 5pm

Design duo Jena Theo won Fashion Fringe in Covent Garden in September, so the buzz surrounding their first on schedule catwalk show was palpable. Everyone queuing to get into the show was very eager to see what they would come up with next, and what direction they would take, and the front row saw Hilary Alexander, fashion director of The Telegraph newspaper and Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts.

The collection was based on oversized and draped silhouettes, gorgeous knitwear, draped wool jacket, trousers and jumpsuits, with a de-constructed feel and graphic prints that reflected the ink-splattered invite. The colour palette may have been muted, but it definitely made an impact.

Gemma Slack 5-8pm

Good vs Evil was an evident theme for Gemma’s A/W 2010 collection as she manipulated both delicate chiffon and black leather with more unconventional metal chains which gave a distinct S&M feel.

Other than the pieces being beautiful and intricate, the presentation blew me away. She took her theme of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and ran with it by using stage lights, white walls, eerie headless dummies and a cool film screening. She transported me into another realm.

Most garments used a collaboration of leather and sheer fabrics, allowing Gemma to play with sexuality by exposing the human body. These pieces were highlighted with jewellery designed by Katie Rowland including a metal mouth piece which clearly reminded me of something it shouldn’t. I loved this naughty but nice collection and will definitely be looking out for her in the future.

Carina and Tori x

Saturday, 13 February 2010

New York Fashion Week: Day One and Two Highlights

Day One and Two NYFW
Preen put on yet another fantastic show, with a mix of masculine and feminine cutting, silhouettes and fabrics creating a subtlety sexy mix of dresses and outerwear. I love the peekaboo bras and flashes of skin on show in the many knee length dresses, and the negligée style floral dresses that looked like someone had attempted to rip them off. Preen has shown us that boyfriend fit and underwear as outerwear won't just be for S/S, but will see you through all the way to Christmas! I don't think I saw a single look that I didn't love, or more impressively, wouldn't wear. A++.

Cynthia Rowley
Cynthia Rowley did what she did best in her new collection, print, but also what I love most, fringing!!! Showing that leotards aren't just for Bey and Gaga, Rowley is also trying to get us wearing leotards this A/W.  Her delicate and colourful prints were used boldly over entire looks and also on key pieces, like the a-maz-ing oversized hooded puffa jacket! But that's not all, Rowley took 'fast fashion' to another level, with Gagosian Shop, they created limited-edition copies of her latest looks. With photos of each look printed onto fabric then and there and cut into the shape of the item in question, the copies were ready to wear directly after the show! Read more about this fab idea here at

 BCBG Max Azria
With a similar feel to Preen, BCGB Max Azria layered long sleeve tops with beautiful dresses to create a undeniably laid-back, sexy feel. Fringing and handkerchief hems also made an appearance, with gorgeous geometric prints, layering and cutting. Clean, simple and oversized cutting all pulled together with fabulous accessories and belts created a stunning overall look. And those shoes: they even make white tights look good!

Rag & Bone
I don't think there's one thing I don't L.O.V.E. love from Rag & Bone's first stand alone womenswear collection. We all know I have a weakness for knee high socks and the preppy look, so mix in some old school tweed, layers, cropped knitwear, capes, farmer jackets, chunky knits, more layers than you can count and you have one happy lady! What else can I say?!? I love it so much it hurts a little! Gold Star!

From what I've seen from my favourite shows and looks at NYFW so far, I've come to the conclusion about these key things about A/W 2010:
  • Menswear as womenswear is still a huge trend; boyfriend fit and oversized styling is here to stay.
  • Underwear as outwear is going to get even bigger, don't just flash your bra - show all of it!
  • Layer, layer, then layer some more! Then belt it!
  • Geometric prints and cutting will be a key trend.
  • Fringing is going to be big news (yay!)
  • It's hip to be sqaure - get preppy!
  • Hair and make-up will be simple, slick, straight and unfussy. Cheryl Cole antidote!
  • The top 5 colors for A/W 2010 from Pantone: Purple Orchid, Chocolate Truffle, Woodbine, Oyster Gray and Lagoon.
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Thursday, 4 February 2010

Alexa + Denim = LOVE

Does Alexa Chung have shares in the global denim market, or just a love affair with all things denim???
Well the jury's still out on that one, but she does seem to be all about the denim! And if it's good enough for Miss Chung, it's good enough for us (think Mulberry Alexa satchel being the it bag of the season! What Alexa wears, we want!), this girl has fashion clout!
She's graced the cover of Vogue in ripped jeans, done a relaxed, sexy-cool denim photo shoot for the fashion bible and they named her 'fashion's favourite tomboy' (watch the behind the scenes video here and see why you should be rocking denim this season!) and now she's made a return to modelling as the face of Pepe jeans!  She even dares to test the fashion rules by rocking double denim (dum dum dum!) and even more shocking, she pulls it off without looking like a member of Bewitched!
But that's not all, she's also designing a range for Madewell (hip denim Americana label) called, Alexa Chung for Madewell (originally named? No, but bet it'll be fash-tastic! And their websites adorable!)

Invest in denim now, it's gonna go up, up, up!

Images: Vogue and Pepe Jeans

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Monday, 1 February 2010

Britney, this is an intervention...

...hire a stylist and LISTEN TO THEM! Gosh darn it, I love you Britney, but your fashion choices make me want to weep! The Daily Mail is using you as target practise! This isn't a 2007 Chris Crocker situation, I'm not going to cry uncontrollably while vlogging with a curtain round my head, but come on Britney - sort it out! Her Grammy outfit made me do this post, just look at it!
I am a Britney fan, and I've got to admit, I love her more after her meltdown and especially how she sticks 2 fingers up at anyone telling her what to do, but does that have to involve clothes??? This Dolce and Gabbana outfit is for the Blake Livey's and Rihanna's of the world Britney, not you! Why did you decide is was a good idea to not wear a skirt? And those S&M shoes! Sigh!
The hair and make-up looks nice though, so well done with that Britters! Better luck next time!

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