Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by the Fashion Editor at Large
CAN'T WAIT NOT TO WEAR: in my Woolrich parka, GAP khaki's and motorbike ankle boots
CAN'T WAIT TO WEAR: my new pair of what I am calling my rose-tinted spectacles from the 70's. 

A quick post on the END OF THE WINTER SEASON. When you are a fashion journalist on daily or weekly print meda, January is a long month.  This is because in fashion-land, winter ends with the cessation of winter sales and the arrival of new season spring stock into stores. Today was that day, and the longest month of the fashion year is now over. I will celebrate with one YAY! 

This is good news for me as a fashion journalist on the simple level that I can now write stories that have follow through (imaginary or otherwise) at retail level for readers. All the information gleaned and absorbed at the SS10 shows in London/Milan and Paris now has relevance to the fashion-loving public and the fashion journalist can unleash all those thoughts, ideas and fashion facts. After all, there is not much use writing about the trend for wearing pink with khaki if there are rails of sale coats in the shops.

For me personally, the first day of fashion spring is a one for me to hit the shops to see how retailers have bought into the collections. What is in a shop - high end fashion, or high street - is almost NEVER exactly the same as what was in the lookbook you saw, or the catwalk show you viewed for that season. Strange, but true and the reason why a shopping recce is essential.  

ANYWAY. I shopped in a carefully planned and perfectly executed manoeuvre on the Marylebone High Street today, and the experience served to remind me 1. that there is a whole new fashion uniform to get to grips with this season and 2. that my wardrobe is in desperate need of an overhaul. There are things that I love, such as my Woolrich parka - the fashion parka of the winter hands-down - and my Gap khakis (three seasons old) and the motrocycle boots by Gap (even older) that I have come to rely on heavily in this lull of darkest winter. Wearing these items yesterday on a jaunt to Brick Lane Market, (which I see through new eyes since being shown around by my old friend Tamsin O Hanlon just before Christmas) I realised they needed retiring.

This brings me neatly onto the phenomenon I have only just cottoned onto in my own life which I am calling the "I can't wait to wear" frisson. The items listed above (and what I'm wearing in the picture at the top) are things I now CANNOT WAIT NOT TO WEAR, because I want winter to end, and to start wearing my new clothes. (More about them later this week - for I bought two items of CELINE!!!! And a pair of Phillip Lim 3.1 carrot leg khaki's.)  

ALSO, I found the rose-tinted spectacles I'm wearing in the picture at Brick Lane yesterday for £25. These glasses are my new Spring facewear, items I CANNOT WAIT TO WEAR a whole lot more!

Now, I'd better go. A glass of Cotes-du-Rhone calls....

Argentina - Asado and Steak

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education One of our favourite parts of the holiday was all the fabulous meat we ate. Lots of great steaks and yummy lamb. So below some photos of our steaks and asados. One thing to note however if you go to Argentina, they don't eat their steak rare, so if you like it that way keep asking, eventually you'll get a rare steak.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by the Fashion Editor at Large
A corset creation from the new Worth Haute Couture collection by Giovanni Bedin

I would like to introduce you all to a very dear friend and mentor of mine, Tony Glenville. When I first became a fashion journalist back in the mid-nineties I was terribly geeky about learning as much as possible about the history of fashion, the origins of the fashion system as we know it today and in particular how to recognise the fabrics and technniques used by designers on sight. My mentor for all of this in those days was Tony Glenville a trend forecaster by trade who was a regular journalistic contributor to The Independent, where I worked from 1995-1998. Tony is a wonderful guy with a distinctive Salvador Dali moustache, and he has been attending the Haute Couture in Paris since the 1960's when he was a fashion design student. 

He recalled to me this afternoon that when he first attended the Haute Couture shows in Paris they went on for weeks, with each design house having a daily afternoon show in order to accomodate the numbers of clients. A house model for, say, Dior, would be employed for three months at a time by the fashion house. Today a model gets employed for just half a day. The system of admittance to a show was equally archaic in the 1960's; "The Chambre Syndicale gave us letters allowing us to attend the shows, but not before asking us to present ourselves to them so they could approve what we were wearing."

In short, what Tony - who is now a creative director at London College of Fashion and resident Haute Couture expert at Luxure magazine - doesn't know about couture, can fit onto the tip of a pin. So I was deeply honoured when after teasing me with his visit to the Worth collection in Paris mid-week (I didn't have the time to see it) he sent me the below report. Charles Frederick Worth is the Englishman who is considered the forefather to the French Haute Couture, and who, by creating The House of Worth in 1871, created the first modern fashion house. Worth's son Gaston went on to found the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. It's nice to know that something as French as the Couture was started by the English.
This is Empress Elisabeth of Austria wearing Worth in 1865; the similarity in the mood of the 2010 pieces above and below is, to my eyes, astounding. 
Today The House of Worth is in the hands of a 36 year old technique-obsessed Italian called Giovanni Bedin. I like the way he has created these gowns with a skirt that can be any length,  I would like to see these pieces on a body soon. But more than that I LOVE how Tony put this together and popped it into my in-box, just like that!

"Suspended in space and time each piece floats as a work of art. Lighter than air and with workmanship which encapsulates hundreds of years of fashion, this is a distillation of Haute Couture. Made to measure for each individual, although shown here with 60 cm skirts which encompass all the detailing of the famous crinolines of Monsieur Worth. Should you order a gown, of course you choose the length of the skirt. 

Giovanni Bedin, the designer of this collection, shows both an understanding of silhouette and exquisite detail in these pieces which include feather and decorative embellishment by legendary French atelier Lemarie and also Rigon in Italy and the craftsmanship of the Ninfa team, also in Italy.
To me, these are truly dream creations which look like works of art and yet also seem destined to dance their way across the world. This may be because they reminded me of something to do with Pavlova, the legendary ballerina, and yet they are even lighter and more ethereal than a ballet tutu."
Tony Glenville  is the Creative Director: School of Media & Communications, London College of Fashion

THANKYOU Mr G xxxxxx


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Posted by the Fashion Editor at Large
I thought I would share my petit photo gallery of the Givenchy Haute Couture show this week. I am a fan of the work of Riccardo Tisci, who is a man after my own heart. He studied at St Martins and last year I did an interview with him for Grazia, where we intantly clicked and talked comfortably about everything from Madonna, and London nightlcubs to reinventing the idea of the codes of Givenchy. I will dig these quotes up, as they are very relevant now that Riccardo is in full-flow with his work at Givenchy. Seven or so years ago, after Alexander McQueen and Julian Macdonald had both "had a go" at making Givenchy a brand for the 21st century, we all worried it would never find its feet again. Thankfully it has.

Photographs by the Fashion Editor at Large

On haircuts and hairdressers

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education I was very excited on Tuesday as I went to have my hair cut by my old hairdresser. She did my hair for my wedding and then went travelling to New Zealand and I hadn't seen her since. And then she came back!

The trip to the hairdressers got me thinking on a few things about hair. The first one being that a really good haircut is worth paying for. I've had a few over the years and they've varied from pants to mediocre to great. But this trip made me realise properly that to achieve a great haircut the hairdresser has to understand your hair. I have fine hair, but lots of it, which waves in ways I don't understand, plus I have a huge cowslick to contend with. Then I'm lazy, I wash and roughly blow-dry my hair but anything beyond that is too much effort for me most days so having a cut which works with that is imperative.

And Christa, she gets my hair and gives me cuts which suit it, and that I request. Not what she wants to do, or thinks best but she talks to me and then voila. Plus she's very sweet and great fun.

And then there's the salon, the new place she's working at is called Ena Salon, it's on Great Queen Street in Covent Garden. Handily close to where I work. And it's lovely, beautifully decorated, great colours on the walls, lovely spacious work areas and really really friendly people. It also does beauty so I've been for a wax there too and can recommend it for that as well. And being somewhere which is calm, but has fun people and looks gorgeous does make a difference, to be greeted warmly and welcomed in makes me feel that much better at spending money on a hair cut.

So the only question I have now is how do you tip your hairdresser? It's one of those things I've always struggled with, I can't work out how much, I feel uncomfortable doing it and then I get all panicked and spend most of the haircut worrying about it. All advice gratefully received.


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

Gratuitous shot of Kanye West's girlfriend Amber Rose wearing a hooded dress, and better still a close up of Derek Blasberg's festive knit.

Is he looking a me?

When fashion is this beautiful, when technique is raised to an art form by a designer who is keeping the old ways alive, need I say more? Well, apart from thankyou, obviously.

Photographs by the Fashion Editor at Large


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
A huge big thanks to my dear friend Brix Smith Start who accomodated my last minute trip to Paris. I stayed at her families' fabulous Paris apartment, in the "Brix" room, which is dominated by the sweet painting of her.

While I'm at it, me and Brix dug these up the other night.
Brix with her ex-husband Mark E. Smith in her The Fall days.
Brix performing with The Fall in mid-eighties
We laughed hard when we saw this one.
My favoutite - she looks so beautiful here.

Check back soon to read a life-story epic interview with the woman herself.

Perito Moreno Glacier Photos

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education So I promised some photos, in no particular order and thought I'd start with some of my favourites from the trip. The photos we took on the Perito Moreno glacier where we did a mini-trek with crampons! The trek was great and the glacier absolutely spectacular. That blue colour is real and the brightness is amazing. Enjoy!

Plus it's amazing how noisy these things are, as they're always moving they crack like a shot gun, a little scary the first time you hear it!


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

Trends Thursday has been reassigned as Trends Wednesday this week, as Fashion Editor at Large is currently en route from Paris and tomorrow the FEAL blog will be dominated by posts on her adventures at the couture shows.

So, lets talk about pastels - lilacs, blush pinks, lemon sorbets, pistachio, pale sky blue and all that good stuff - which were all over the catwalks this season. When FEAL saw them on the runway, she said it was like putting on a pair of rose-tinted spectacles. Check these out and be sure to tell us what you think:

FEAL - Love how Chris made this naughty dress look so niiice just by using pink gingham.
FJAL Christopher Kane - This girly gingham fabric stirs images of quaint picnics in the park. Very new-era English rose.

FJAL Philip Lim - This is a great way to 'edge-up' pastels. Mix them with an intensified version of the same hue  - pale pink becomes scarlet, like so. (I also like that the coat is reminiscent of a Quality Street wrapper. Scrummy!)

FEAL - I would like to get married wearing this.
FJAL Marc Jacobs - Is this boho for 2010? The strands of curling ruffles evoke underwater plants swirling in tidal rock pools. I want to wear it with bare feet on the sand and embrace my inner hippy child.

FEAL - from the side the bra points reminded me of the machine gun jubblies from "The Spy Who Shagged Me". This wasn't my favourite piece from the collection, but it was definitely my preferred colour.
FJAL Louise Goldin - Wowza Lou! The fanned skirt and delicate strips of tulle are beyond gorgeous. Loving the nod to Jean Paul Gaultier with the Madonna-esque points. Oh and well done on Fashion Forward - you deserved to win!

FJAL Burberry - This dress has some really nice touches. The flatteringly wide but shallow V-neck - accentuated with criss-crossing fabric strips which continue to the hips - and the pleasing volume of the knotted skirt.  I'm a fan of the long sleeves as well. Good job Christopher Bailey.

FJAL Luella - This dress is relatively unfussy for Ms Bartley - not a floral print or lace trim in sight. But it's still ultra girly in signature Luella fashion. The candy floss colour (and texture it should be noted) are sweet enough to induce toothache.

FEAL - this Lanvin show was heavenly. The asymetric draping was sexy and womanly, and while this honey colour isn't strictly a pastel, I would r\ther it sat in this section that the nudes trends which I'm saving for later in the spring.
 FJAL - The honey hued silk drape skirt is proof that a mid-length hem line can still be totally chic and sexy (I think its poised  for a come back). I'm feeling inspired by the model's bird-nest bun as well.

FJAL Bruno Pieters - Hoods popping up in surprising places has become a fascination of mine. This nude streamlined dress gets a real design lift from its hood - which I assume you can also wear down, falling over your shoulders. Very modern dontcha think?

FEAL - Pale pink and the brunette. A match made in nirvana. This Burberry collection was sooo sweet.

FEAL - pastel gets the hippy treatment

FEAL - Giles manages to pull off the rock n roll pastel look very nicely indeed

FEAL - Louise Goldin does it for me again in pale lillac

FEAL - this Derek Lam dress will sell out. A commercial winner. But, ask anyone who sells clothes in a large scale way, and they'll tell you "pastels don't sell".  Well they might not have before, but mark my words, this season they will.

FEAL - I can see Victoria Beckham in this before long. I love it.

FEAL - Ackermann is my crush of the season

Photo credits: Chris Moore/

Argentina Itinerary

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education I realise I have very much approached this all in the wrong way so here goes at a second attempt. And one which is less rambling too hopefully. I shall start with the itinerary with some hotel details etc and then some random photos in other posts and then done!

Bariloche - 5 days
Stayed in Hosteria Las Marianas (very nice, friendly)
Did hiking, horseriding, cycling, boat trip to Isla Victoria and trip to El Bolson

Fly to El Calafate - 2 nights
Stayed at Esplendor (not so nice, too stuffy and terrible plumbing problems)
Mini-trekking on Perito Moreno glacier

Off to Estancia Cristina near El Calafate, travel by boat to get there.
Amazing place, very remote, near the Upsala glacier. Staff lovely, rooms gorgeous and food great. Days hiking on fossil trail.

Back to El Calafate for a free day. Much needed. Also our wedding anniversary...

Off by bus to El Chalten.
Stayed at Senderos Hosteria (really nice hotel again very friendly)
Two days hiking near Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitzroy, superb views and great guide.

Fly back to Buenos Aires for one night before transferring to Estancia La Oriental.
Stunning place, decoration amazing, food great, really relaxed. Got to go on a couple of horse rides and generally relaxed by the pool.

Returned to Buenos Aires to stay at Soho All Suites. Great location in Bs As, in Palermo district, lots of shops, bars and restaurants. Finished our stay with a few days here.

Whole itinerary organised by Patagonia Travel Co, who I would wholly recommend. Christie is lovely and everything we did worked a treat. All transfers worked, all hotels fine and lots of insider knowledge and extra recommendations.

If there's anything you are specifically interested in let me know otherwise I shall choose some of my favourite photos to share!


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

Although it's by no means been warm, the last few days have been comparatively milder than recent weeks, and the spring / summer 2010 trends have already begun to trickle into shops. I can see light and daffodils at the end of the tunnel and I'm starting to fantasise about what I'd like to be wearing as spring evolves. Some of my dream items fall into the 'wardrobe staple' category, and some do not. Some of them I can afford, others I most certainly can't! So here it is - my Lust List for SS10.  Feast your eyes...

ACNE wedge boots - £415. Oh my god I love these, and after reading a post by Luxirare charting the trials and tribulations she experienced whilst making suede ankle boots I appreciate them all the more.

These shorts grabbed me at the Whistles press day. The blush coloured suede produces a much softer look than leather versions (which I'm also massively in the market for). These beauties arrive in stores in mid February priced at £125.

Massively predictable I know but the Mulberry Alexa (£795) is bloody gorgeous. I've been admiring vintage men's briefcases for a while now, and this hybrid based on the classic Bayswater is bang on the money. The Fashion Editor at Large and I love cross-body bags in general so expect a post soon.

I came across Litter SF a few months ago whilst researching a story. They hand make all types of jewellery including chain garters, thumb holsters and studded shoulder pieces. Personally I'm loving this beetle 'handlet' (approx £77).

This might be a liiiiittle bit beyond my reach in terms of budget but that doesn't mean I can't sit back and appreciate its brilliance. It's Celine, it's chic as hell, and it's sold exclusively in 24 stores world-wide including Selfridges, Dover Street Market and Harvey Nichols.

At the ASOS press day I was really excited by their Black collection. I'm not sure how easy it would be to sit down in this dress, or if I'd even be brave enough to wear it out (lets be honest, it's in no way a subtle take on the lingerie trend), but I think it's beautiful nonetheless. We'll have to wait until April for this one, and it costs £95.

Who doesn't own a grey jumper? I'm a huge fan of the 'new twist on an old classic' formula, and the sheer arms on this Stolen Girlfriends Club sweatshirt make everybody's favourite staple look very of the moment indeed (transparency is huge huge HUGE this summer). Get it now on ASOS for £180.

Topshop's sheer tube dress is like a blank canvas for limitless creative styling. I'm envisioning all the fun I'll have layering it this summer. It's only £38 and will go into stores at the start of February. MINE!

This is the most exciting print I've seen in a while. Kaleidoscopic exotic birds, Venus fly traps and red lipstick! It's awesome! The dress is by Belle Savage at ASOS (£320) and will be available to buy in March.

I missed J+ at Uniqlo the first time around, and I don't intend to make the same mistake again. In my mind the coats are far and away the strongest pieces. I'll probably be wearing this one (£99.99) sans the belt.

Picture Credits:
ACNE, Whistles,, Litter SF,,, Topshop, Uniqlo.

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