Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

Yes, what used to be known as the January Sales have crept further and further forward, so now they start before we have even got Christmas out of the way! However, if you find the masses of 'bargains' (we use that word carefully) hard to negotiate, make sure you pick up your bumper double issue of Grazia today, featuring our Sales Guide. The Fash Ed and I have hand-picked the very best pieces for you to buy now and wear in 2011, so that you can chose items that will be on-trend for months to come, rather than yet ANOTHER sequinned dress that you don't need. After all, there is a reason why some things go in the sale.

Hope it helps, let us know if you manage to elbow your way to find the best discounted buys!


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

The Fash Ed and I don't just read Grazia, Vogue and Elle y'know. We actually have an unofficial book club, which primarily involves me borrowing books from her enviable library of fashionable tomes. When we are bombarded with newspapers, blogs and websites throwing information at us all day long, we both enjoy having a good book to escape with at the end of the day.

 Author Lesley M. M. Blume: elegance personified.

Our latest literary treasure comes courtesy of Lesley M. M. Blume, a brilliant author, style editor and columnist at The Huffington Post (essential daily reading!) and her latest book, Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten Yet Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious and Otherwise Commendable Things From Times Gone By was simply too wonderful to keep to ourselves!

Lesley M.M. Blume (apparently, no relation to Judy) is a writer and cultural observer based in her native New York, and has long been a champion of all things traditional and refined in her 'Let's Bring Back' column for the Post. It was turned into this incredible book which is, in our humble opinion, essential Christmas reading.

Normally, this encyclopedia style book is the type you would dip into on a lunch break, treating yourself to a few entries per day. Unfortunately a few weeks back I found myself stuck on a snow-hindered train, which offered plenty of time for an in-depth read. Blume's writing style is witty, sharp and refined; other critics have compared her to Truman Capote for her intelligent, accurate observations of human life and culture. I was engrossed by her incredible knowledge of etiquette, history and cultural icons - one minute I was reading the entry on Fabergé eggs, the next I was learning about Martha Gellhorn, America's first female war correspondent. It's the kind of book that makes you feel like your brain is expanding as you read it.

 From consommé to courtship!

American Vogue are big fans of this lady. They recently chose Blume as a founding member of the Vogue 100, an organization of “influential decision makers and opinion leaders known for their distinctive taste in fashion and culture, [and who] personify the rising influence of women over the past several decades.” High praise indeed!

So if any blog fans are desperately searching for a last minute Christmas present, or just want a tome to keep you quietly occupied after Christmas dinner, then look no further.

For more appreciation of all things vintage, read the Fashion Junior's blog.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

I judged a jewellery competition at Central Saint Martins today with the jeweller Hannah Martin. The purpose of it is to intoduce a new precious metal to the market by the name of Palladium.  

On my way into CSM on Southampton Row I was handed the above by either a student protester, or an anarchist who had infiltrated the march.

It amused the fashion junior and I that the leaflet was headlined using the Comic Sans typeface.

More than that though I'm just glad people are making a stand. We need to fight injustice and take power back.

Comrades Dirk & Flav, you made my week.

The last time we had this much anarchy in the UK we got the punk movement and Vivienne Westwood.

As I press "publish" news reaches that MPs at Westminster have voted in favour of plans which will allow universities to charge tuition fees of up to £9,000 per year. DAMN.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Me in my Meadham Kirchhoff

Last nights British Fashion awards was an intimate affair held at the Savoy hotel. The awards took place in the Savoy Theatre and we were all cooped up in our finery in tiny seats holding our plastic glasses of Champagne.

Things improved greatly once the awards got underway and Meadham Kirchhoff won best new emerging designer. Spent the rest of the evening feeling pleased with myself that I drummed up the guts to step away from my usual formal evening look - leather trousers, Celine jacket and spike-heeled Kirkwoods - to wear the magnificent red chiffon and lace dress from Meadham Kirchoff's Autumn Winter collection.
This look is a huge leap from my usual formal evening wear. I told my friend Justine Fairgrieve I was channelling an aristocratic woman fallen on hard times who has resurrected and dusted off her finery from various eras. She said she was too. I saw her across the room and she looked like Little Edie.
Jewels were important with this; the neckpiece is late 50s Dior costume jewellery.  

Anyway, wearing this outfit gave a sense of a whole new sartorial chapter opening up.   

Following the awards there was an elegant dinner in the Savoy proper, and it was exquisite from the table settings to the food and company. I was a guest of ASOS, and sat next to the young Canadian designer Thomas Tait. Interesting guy. Then it was a quick scoot with Henry Holland, Erdem, Richard Nicoll, Peter Pilotto, Christopher de Vos, Sarah Mower, Katie Hillier and Charlie Harrington for late night drinks at Soho House.

Fun times.

The most deserving winners on the night were
1. Phoebe Philo for Designer of the Year
2. Husam el Odeh for Emerging Accessories Designer
3. Patrick Grant of E. Tautz for Menswear
4. Mulberry for British Brand
5. Naomi Campbell for Outstanding Achievement
6. Last but NOT at all least the totally brilliant Ben Kirchhoff and Ed Meadham. I don't think they even know how great they are. Hopefully this award will go some way to make them believe it.
Find all the rest of the fun and frolics on Grazia Daily
Photo of me by the ever wonderful Mr Dave Bennett


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

...we round up the very chic-est headwear to protect your ears during the cold snap. We've identified the four coolest styles to be seen out and about in, proving that you can be stylish and practical at the same time. Personally I think Paloma wins best headwear for her lovely furry Cossack effort, but decide for yourself in this week's issue.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large
Tina Chow by Bob Colacello

There are very few well-known women walking around in the world today whose style and modus operandi I genuinely admire. We fill our magazines up with celebrities who gad around in lovely clothes, and I happily share that information with our readers. For me personally, though, I find fashion inspiration wanting from today's crop of young style icons.

Tina Chow with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol by Bob Colacello

I admire Alexa Chung's style; its cute and boyish and young. But where does it go from here? Can Alexa move it on? Kate Moss was someone who I once felt could do no wrong in the area of personal style, but she has, seemingly happily stagnated around a pair of grey skinny jeans, Alaia ballet pumps, and an old fox fur. Not to mention her increasing dalliances with peroxide.

Tina Chow by Andy Warhol

In the last few months I've been finding myself being drawn to iconic women from days gone by. One of them is Tina Chow, a beautiful former model who, through marriage to restauranteur Michael Chow became a fashion icon in New York during the 70s and 80s, as well known for her simple elegance and beauty as she was for her charm and ability to make people feel special. Tina was from Cleveland, Ohio the daughter of a german father and japanese mother and the Eurasian clash resulted in startling green eyes and an impish face that could be as boyish as it was beautiful, especially in conjunction with her signature crop.  Most people assumed she was chinese.

Eventually Tina became a couture collector  She had the best: Mariano Fortuny, Alix, Elsa Schiaparelli, Cristobal Balenciaga. She called her collection a "mad passion". She also said that "dedication and the pursuit of craft with integrity are the only values of life and cloth".  I couldn't agree more with that approach.

Tina Chow and the Kyoto bracelet

Her love of jewellery - she was rarely seen without an armful of Chanel or Cartier - led her to design her own and she created simple and instantly iconic work which today are collectors items. If you know me well and are reading this there is a Christmas hint in there.

After the Vuitton show in Paris I knew that Marc must have be having a Tina Chow moment too.

Backstage at Vuitton by Jason Lloyd Evans And the Tina-alike is wearing MY suit!
Tina with her husband Michael Chow

There is a sad end to the Tina Chow story. Following a separation from her husband, she embarked on a couple of affairs - apparently Richard Gere was a lover - which led to Tina contracting HIV, and in 1992 she died of an AIDS related illness at her home in California. She was only 41. Tina was one of the first heterosexual women in the public eye to be open about her HIV status, and her story was told by the New Yorker with an indepth profile by Michael Gross.

Tina Chow by David Seidner

To see more of Tina Chow's jewellery go to


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

If there is one happening I wished I'd attended last fashion week it was Tom Ford's debut own label womenswear show held in New York. Sadly, I didn't make the cut of the 80 most important fashion editors in the world, and was denied the thrill of seeing Beyonce on the runway. Still, there is always next season.

The irony is not lost on me or anyone else in the luxury fashion business that Tom Ford timed the release of his images in print and online (they hit the web in a big way today, courtesy of Harpers Bazaar and the Daily Telegraph), to minimise the possibility of the clothes being copied by the high street.

There wasn't even a chance for a sneaky peek at the clothes in advance of the publication of the images shown here because Ford banned the audience from taking pictures. Ford's closed door approach to publicising his collection is the opposite to Marc Jacobs, who welcomes all comers. Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2011 collection is the most copied by the British high street, a fact I am sure he loves.  Tom Ford on the other hand is making super-expensive dresses for very wealthy women, and tightly controlling how and where we see the work, exactly how it worked in the old days of Haute Couture.

 He explained his thinking to US Vogue: "I do not understand everyone's need to see everything online the day after a show. I don't think it ultimately serves the customer, which is the whole point of my business--not to serve journalists or the fashion system. To put something out that's going to be in a store in six months, and to see it on a starlet, ranked in US magazine next week? My customer doesn't want to wear the same thing she saw on a starlet!"

Hmm. Wonder if he has a list of people he won't sell to?

Or Or maybe the animal print suit?

Tom Ford has really taken his time to build his own brand. First scent. Then sunglasses. Next some verrry high end menswear, and finally...finally he asks his friends Beyonce, Lauren Hutton and Daphne Guinness as well as woman supermodels to walk in a salon show which he comperes like a beauty pageant caller.

'It’s about individuality. Real clothes, real women. For a fashionable woman aged 25 to 75. That’s why I literally put many of my own muses in the show. I hear them say, "God, I can’t find that anywhere!"

‘There used to be a look for women who were older,' he told Harpers Bazaar, published next week. 'You didn’t wear certain things, you did your hair a certain way – but today, 70-year-old women who keep themselves together want to look just like their 25 [year-old] counterpart."

'I want this to be somewhere a woman knows she can go when she wants a great jacket—not a fake expensive jacket, something that has intrinsic value.
'I don’t think fashion has to change every five minutes. I’d like these to be clothes you can wear for a long time—ten, 20 years; pass on to your daughter. Why buy vintage when you can open your own closet!'

I say why buy Tom Ford when you can buy vintage?
My favourites are the animal print trouser suit and the sequin jacket and pendant on Stella Tennant.

All quotes from US Vogue/Harpers Bazaar UK.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

It has got so that I'm almost embarrassed to start blogging again after the intense working period I've just experienced. I was hired by a start-up fashion web business as a consultant a couple of days a week, who asked me to accelerate them into BETA launch mode and set the agenda on how they communicate fashion.

After a few months diverting the energy for what I would be doing here to them, I felt rather empty, despite the huge online learning curve and sense of achievement for my client. A light had gone out. Last weekend I was finally forced to admit how much it means to me to have this as an outlet. I resigned from the start-up.

Now, I'm back and taking my ickle blog to a .com in January. Only something extremely special and worthwhile will take my attention away from this again.

There is such a backlog of thoughts to share, and I have got to start somewhere. So will start in St Petersburg, Russia. I visited a couple of weeks ago with Liberatum Global the organisation that, thanks to its inspiring founder Pablo Ganguli, (a fabulous 26 year old anglo Indian man with a penchant for eyeliner - below), brings together global leaders and creatives in the arts and culture, and parachutes them into a city so they can share and educate.

Pablo Ganguli with art critic/writer/film maker/dealer Danny "Boogie Woogie" Moynihan

Last June Pablo did Istanbul/Istancool. Then in November St Peters Ball with the Corinthia Hotel group. Last week he threw a dinner for Nobel Laureate V.S Naipaul at the Langham in London. Next year he takes his cultural caravan to Rio.

Pablo is passionate and totally inspiring. “It is vital to develop greater understanding between nations through cultural dialogues. People need to speak to each other face-to-face, as opposed to solely through the net, from different continents if we are to truly, broaden our minds and gain better understanding of each other,” is the kind of monologue he launches into daily.

The program for St Petersburg was somewhat stymied when a key component of the schedule, artist Matt Collishaw was rushed to hospital with a perforated ulcer a day before he was due to leave London. However other artists, including photographer Polly Borland, the taxidermy artist Polly Morgan and musician and Razorlight frontman Johnny Borrell delivered interesting talks to the culturally engaged Russians who came to the free events.

The divine Polly Morgan

One of the most striking things about St Petersburg was, of course, the Soviet hangover that lurks in the dark corners of the city like so many ghosts. It is a stunningly beautiful city, but even 20 years after the Soviet collapse it looks and feels a bit unloved.

Imagine being a fashion designer in post-Soviet Russia?

I was fortunate to meet St Petersburg's most famous fashion designer on day two of the visit, one Tatyana Parfionova (below). In the year following the fall of communism, Parfionova was the first Russian fashion designer to do the western thing and open a fashion boutique.

Now in her late 50s the designer remembers "We were all still buying food from street markets, the old system had collapsed. There was no new system, and in this situation I opened my shop. I put my name above the door. I put my name in the tag in the back of my clothes."  This many sound a perfectly ordinary thing to do to western ears, but it was revolutionary in Russia at the time, and Parfionova is an iconic figure for it.

Her designs are all handworked one-offs. The clothes have an indy folky couture element to them that harks back to the 1930s. When one of her evangelical staff informed me that "She makes one of everything, and only sells to you if she like you," I was taken back to the 1990's. Tatyana would have to change her approach drastically, if she were fighting to be recognised in the clamour of the London market.

If you want an exquisite embroidered shawl featuring a detail from a work at The Hermitage museum, Tatyana Parfionova is your woman.

Her distinctly old school work is all created by hand by her team of artisans, who specialise in embroidery. Tatyana spends much of her time painting flowers, (below).

Meeting Tatyana was an eye-opener, reminding me how lucky we are in the west to have the freedom to create without boundaries. Progress creates progress.

51 Nevsky prospekt, Admiralteysky 191025

Photos: fashion editor at large


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large all about the fashion team's Kate Middleton bridal wear predictions. The Fashion Editor at Large called on the elite of the bridal couture world to provide their first sketches for the job of the year. Which one gets your vote?


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

On Thursday night, everyone's favourite fashion brand Acne launched a capsule collection of denim shirts with transgender and transvestite fashion magazine Candy. They are (of course) intended to be unisex. After years of the standard actress/style icon/designer/highstreet collaborations, this project most definitely puts the fun back in fashion. The party was held at Bistrotheque, and it's safe to say that the evening got more than a little surreal...

Candy mag.

Some of the Acne/Candy shirts, modelled by very beautiful girls/boys/girls...who can tell?

Mingling with a crowd of beautiful boys and extremely trendy girls (who were all trying to out pose each other; the drag queens won, hands down) the founder and Editor of Candy magazine, Luis Venegas, told me how he was pleasantly surprised when Acne approached him about creating a capsule collection, and was excited to see the final product. As a huge fan of melodramatic, uber glamorous Eighties soap operas, he has named each shirt after a character from Dynasty. Naturally, the 'Alexis' shirt features a huge denim pussy bow, and is Luis' personal favourite!

Luis Venegas

The party itself saw the usually industrial Bistrotheque transformed into a shimmering cabaret club, complete with walls of tinsel, ruby red heart balloons and a wall of orchids. Even the bar staff had got into the spirit of the proceedings!

Be-wigged barman.

Acne parties are always a hot ticket - the building filled up 10 minutes after the doors opened!

Upstairs there was a white painted garden shed, that contained an old television showing a film of boys in their boxers running around with exercise balls. I have no idea what that was about.

I sneaked backstage to watch the make-up artists work their magic on a group of cross-dressers and male models who had been roped in to give the evening an appropriate 'transversal' feel. Some were happier about having their faces done than others - listening to two queens debating shades of pink nail varnish was hilarious - but all looked lovely by the time they left the chair!

One slightly reluctant customer, who initially insisted he wanted to 'look like Shakira!'...

...but was swiftly told he would be rocking the Annie Lennox look that evening.

 Duncan from ACNE Paper looked breathtaking with his perfect swoosh of hair and immaculate lippy. Jealous, moi?

 Jeanette does her best serorita moves.

Of course, the pros arrived to show us how it is done! We love you Jodie/Jay xxx

My own evening took an unexpected turn when I found myself sitting alone in the bar area, watching the evening unfold. An older gentleman started up a conversation with me, explaining that he was here to take pictures for Candy. I was initially surprised that such a 'mature' guy worked for an uber-trendy magazine, but all became clear when he gave me his name; Barry Lategan. 
(I had to look it up, don't worry) 

He's only the man who took the photos of Twiggy! What a person to meet - the stories he had to tell! I became his unofficial assistant for the evening as he went around taking photos of the drag queens whilst balancing a saucer of pink champagne in the other hand. The consummate Sixties photographer, he was telling everyone how beautiful and fabulous they looked, and every person was happy to pose for as long as he wanted them to, due to his effusive charm and confidence. He even decided that I made an interesting subject, which was a beyond weird moment in my life. I was honoured to have spent a few hours with such a fascinating man, and it was the cherry on the cake of a brilliantly surreal evening. Acne and Candy = the perfect combination.

The video below shows Barry Lategan regaling the story of when he first met Twiggy. He's the perfect party guest!

Images: Candy, Acne, George Langford


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

While the weather continues to be flipping freezing, it is difficult to maintain a level of chic whilst protecting yourself from hypothermia. Fear not, fashion fans, because in this week's issue of Grazia the Fashion Editor at Large has dispensed some handy advice on the most stylish ways to stay warm and dry. How adorable are the Penelope Chilvers Eskimo boots on page 36?!


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education

A rare moment of intelligent fashion conversation on Radio Four this morning as Evan Davis caught Karl Lagerfeld for a chat after he came of stage during yesterdays IHT Heritage Luxury conference taking place in London. I thoroughly enjoyed the precis offered up of his talk by Fashionologie yesterday, so in the spirit of sharing I did my best to capture the essence of his chat in real time straight from the radio. If there are slight errors, its because I was trying to make sense of my hastily touch-typed notes. If you missed it, these were the key points. As always, Karl is utterly illuminating. Even Evan was impressed.

“In difficult times fashion is more interesting.”

“You go to the movies, and then you see Avatar. Today we do a show not only for audience but for whole world. I do a Cecil B. DeMille job for Chanel. To keep Chanel, to keep this image in world of internet if you have a super production movie it is not a bad thing.”

“Journalists talk about these emerging markets. Emerging? Most of them are doing better than we do. America is still important, but China, Russia, the gulf are all big. ”

“I don’t think in terms of markets. I just do collections. I don’t think the market works this way. It’s a very good thing to do it that way, don’t flatter them [different markets] in a fashion way. We know nothing about what they really like. It’s better to do what you really feel.”

“The not so rich like the big labels. The very rich don’t like the big labels. “

“Logos are so important. Do you know why? For people who cannot read English, French or whatever. Peoples who don’t use our alphabet like Russians or Arabic. But they can remember initials. If you don’t have a logo it can be very difficult. The importance of the logo is un be lieve able.”

“How long will I be at Chanel? So many people dream to get the job. My contract is lifelong. If I feel I can no longer do it, I would help owners to find the right person. Of course. ”