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

One of the many, many highlights of my first fashion week was virtually brushing against Hamish Bowles in his Dries Van Noten suit. Of course, I don't know anything really about the man himself, but he is amongst my top fashion industry 'celebs' who I would be asking to pose for a picture with me if I weren't trying to look nonchalant.
Bowles, in Mugler, with Simon Cowell (Image from
His awesomeness status went stratospheric today when I read this article about his mission from Anna Wintour to audition in the first series of US X-Factor. They say that music and fashion are two peas in pod but I highly doubt that the two have ever collided quite like this before.


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

Burberry was top designer for creating online buzz for their show
Editd came to our attention yesterday when FashEd discovered that she was among the Top 10 Fashion Week Tweeters according to their analysis of more than 300,000 tweets per day over the week. That led to some serious geeking out over fashion week details which we really wanted to share with you all.

Julia from EditD told us:
 'Based on the amount of online buzz generated, our interactive charts give an instant guide to who and what is hot. Our charts are built by connecting a specific fashion taxonomy with what people are talking about online before and during fashion week.

We love making this kind of data public, because it gives everyone an insight into the trends they can look forward to seeing in stores and they’re informative for industry insiders who use this kind of data (though in real-time) to ensure their buying and product decisions are right for the season and their customers'

EditD have also created full buzz reports from London and New York . Geek your hearts out fashion lovers!


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Guest Post by Victoria Loomes

Nancy Cunard

At the Gucci show yesterday, Frida Giannini’s show notes - which cited her inspirations in detail - made for some interesting reading. Her Roaring Twenties homage was, she wrote, an attempt to “explore an optical side of femininity by creating a sculptural glamour for the Gucci woman”. But jarring against the easy jazz age familiarity of Louise Brooks and Man Ray, one name stood out ­– Nancy Cunard. The surname comes with connotations of luxury cruises…but Nancy? Who’s she?

Gucci SS12

Of course she was rich. Her father was Bache Cunard, the heir to the Cunard shipping business. Of course she was beautiful. During her youth, her beauty captivated writers and artists. In Anne Chisholm’s extensive biography, David Garnett recalled her “skin, as white as bleached almonds, the bluest eyes one has ever seen, and very fair hair. She was marvellous.” Later in life, Nancy became obsessed with primitive art, and wore African ivory bracelets stacked up each slender arm from wrist to elbow. Anthony Hobson recounted how “conversation was punctuated by their rhythmic clashing.”
Nancy, a woman who liked a bangle, and a finger wave

Michael Arlen based Iris March, a character in his best-selling novel The Green Hat (1924), on Nancy. Aldous Huxley, in the throes of unrequited passion sealed Cunard’s fate as ‘muse’ in Antic Hay, in which Myra Viveash owes more than a passing resemblance to Cunard. But it was in Paris that Nancy found her calling, becoming increasingly involved with provocative and fashionable artists. Her influence among the Dadaists led founder Tristan Tzara to write and dedicate Mouchoir de Nuages to her, sculptor Brancusi immortalised Nancy in Jeune Fille Sophistiquee. It was the Surrealists however, who truly captured Nancy’s attention, notably co-founder Louis Aragon, who was to remain a close friend for much of her life.

Nancy posing against a very this season polka dot screen

Yet Nancy was much more than a muse. A published poet, founder of the Hour Press, publisher of avant-garde and experimental literature, she was a passionate journalist, and a fearless traveller, but her greatest, and most controversial, achievement was Negro. Published in February 1934, this hefty tome (almost four years in the making) recorded ‘the struggles and achievements, the persecutions and the revolts against…the Negro peoples’ as she herself wrote in the foreword. In a limited run of 1,000 copies, Negro included around 250 contributions from over 150 writers, and was born out her relationship with Henry Crowder, an African-American jazz pianist who hailed from Georgia – a relationship that almost caused her mother to disown her.

Gucci SS12

Recently, shades of the uncompromising personality that Nancy personifies have crept onto the catwalk – these strong women coloured their lives with a splash of assured glamour, a little decadence and an unwavering self-belief.

It started at (where else?) Prada, last year. Spring Summer 2011 saw Miuccia send her models down the runway sporting the distinctive finger waves that Nancy favoured throughout her life. Styled by Guido Paulo, hair was teased into waves around the face, curved round the ear and moulded to the head, throwing the features of the models (themselves chosen by Miuccia for their striking distinctions) were thrown into sharp relief. 
Prada SS11

Fast-forward a season and Mary Katrantzou chanelled the strength and spirit of these women, albeit from a different source. Her striking interior prints were indebted to the stylish apartments of Cunard, Chanel, Vreeland, Paley et al – and their eclectic living spaces were simply an extension of their strong-willed personalities.

Nancy Cunard may be an unlikely fashion muse, but her particular blend of pioneering fearlessness is one that captivates contemporary designers. Her refusal to be defined by glamour and class may now seem inconsequential, her list of achievements overshadowed by an impressive roll call of lovers, yet a remarkable and enduring legacy remains.

Nancy died on March 17, 1965, aged 69, in a Paris hospital where she was being treated for mental illness and alcoholism after being found on the street, destitute, a few days earlier. She weighted 26 kilos. In her healthier, happier days would have recoiled from the epitaph of style icon, but there’s no denying that she is one, and it’s time she took her place among the greats.

Find more of Victoria Loome's writing at

Photographs of Nancy taken from Nancy Cunard: A Biography by Anne Chisholm


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

Fashion weeks come and go, but we will always have Chanel. Harrods are reminding us of that irrefutable fact this month with their Chanel pop-up shop and promenade experience.  Unfortunately, there are just a few days left of the collaboration but if you are in need of some Chanel soothing then Harrods must be your first port of call.
Mlle. Chanel (Image from

Images courtesy of Chanel
The FashEd and I have recently been absorbed by Justine Picardie's incredible biography 'Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life'. And so Chanel seems to have been in the background throughout fashion week, when we were focused on London talent and new trends. In the back of my mind, there was still a little black dress, a matelot striped top and a string of pearls. I knew that any day these could be pulled out as wardrobe failsafes and look just as chic now as they would have done any time in the past 60 or 70 years- that is the power of Chanel. So, it is apt that London's greatest fashion destination play host to the Chanel homage which, I'm pleased to report, has been formulated through close collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld's studio team.

On the ground floor, 23 windows have been taken over to showcase the AW11 collection. Then inside is an ephemeral boutique- I love the frenchified phrase they have chosen for what is effectively a pop-up shop.
The classic Harrods bag has had a Chanel makeover, and can be yours for £1,830
There is also a beauty area which features supersized bottles of Chanel No.5, Chance and Mademoiselle (all of which, apart from Chance, are available for sale). Picardie dispells all myths which swirl around the significance of the choice of number for the first of Chanel's many perfumes: 'Mademoiselle Chanel replied, 'I'm presenting my dress collection on the 5th of May, the fifth month of the year; let's the leave the name No. 5' This number would bring her luck'. Here Picardie is quoting Ernest Beaux who had been commissioned by Chanel to create a perfume to add an extra element to her growing fashion house which had begun just with hats. It was the fifth in the series of scents he created which she chose. And thus the number became a lucky charm for Mademoiselle. Picardie herself speaks about just how much No.5 permeated Chanel's entire existence in the video below.

And then to Harrod's third floor where a space of 350 square metres has been dedicated to taking customers through a subliminal Chanel experience which transports one between a miniature recreation of the set of the AW11 show, a film sequence showing the making a 2.55 bag and Karl's library, amongst others. The promenade experience offers complete immersion in the Chanel brand, its history and many facets.

The House of Chanel has many recurring symbols and motifs which can be be traced right through its archives. One of the most prominent is the camellia which is found not only in Chanel clothes and accessories but also 'in her salon, they glittered as crystals from her chandelier, and were carved into her Coromandel screens'. Picardie traces Chanel's camellia obsession back to the effect which Alexandre Dumas' novel La Dame aux camélias had upon a young Chanel when she went to see a performance of the work at the age of 13. The camelia's odourless quality seems to have captured Chanel's fascination, especially given that she was quite obsessed with cleanliness and lack of dirt; the flower could transcend life and death because there is no palpable transition to be made. 
Harrods bears with Chanel AW11 capes

Chanel clad bears take refusge in a mini recreation of Rue Cambon
Chanel dolls

Chanel's legendary mirrored Rue Cambon salon is recreated complete with mannequins in Chanel Couture.

Oh to open one of these boxes for oneself...
 A complete treat- the chance to look at pieces of vintage Chanel couture in close-up....
Many of Chanel's most enduring items were not created until she reached her 70s. Picardie quotes Life magazine: 'At 71, Gabrielle Chanel is creating more than fashion: a revolution'. The 2.55 bag, supersized below, is a case in point. Chanel took the lessons she had learnt from previous bags she had created and wove into this key signifiers of her past 'the quilted leather was said to be an indication of her love of riding as a young woman, dating back to a time when quilted material was worn only by stable-lads'. Chanel was a magnifent rider and fisherwoman, but you must read the book to find out more! Picardie continues, 'the chain that served as a shoulder strap was just as evocative:golden metal plaited with a leather cord, suggestive of horse bridles and harnesses, and also perhaps of the belts worn by the Catholic nuns who had educated her as a child'. But on top of this, Chanel simply had an inkling that 'women love chains'. An inkling which has proved an unbelievable money spinner and cultural landmark for Chanel, France and fashion ever since.
Karl in his bibliotheque
A giant bottle of Chanel No.5 houses a screen which shows the ad starring Audrey Tatou....

So  I cannot recommend enough a visit to Harrods to soak up the final days of the promenade, followed by  immersing yourself in Picardie's epic, entertaining and brilliant account of Chanel's life.

N.B All quotes taken from Picardie's biography of Chanel. Images, unless otherwise indicated, Fashion Junior 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 Editor at Large

Thanks to Mercedez and Matchesq for making these edited highlights possible.


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 lost track of the times I heard this over London Fashion Week. I remember it most clearly at Christopher Kane. I think we are all about to hear a LOT more from this girl. If you fancy reading more, the Guardian Guide did a funny thing on Lana at the weekend. But listen though, its gorgeous.


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

Polynesian tribal tattoos, the work of artist Kim Joon, Hawaiian grass skirts and Highland kilts informed Koma's show

I like David Koma. He is a very driven, yet straightforward guy. He also reminds me of how I imagine Mr Tumnus from C.S Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia  to look (in a good way). This makes me warm to him. Plus, you know, he is Georgian, partly raised in St Petersburg, and I hung out with him there in his favourite coffee shop last November, and met his friends, and he showed me around a bit and was so charming. There's nothing better than seeing someone in their manor to get the measure of them. Oh and did I tell you his MA St Martins graduate collection was worn by Beyonce and Cheryl Cole?

David Koma

So when I visit him at his studio, he picks up the thread of a conversation we started back in St Petersburg about Pearly Kings and Queens. "Remember?" he says. "Well for the Spring/Summer 2012 I've moved it on. I realised what I liked was the iridescence. So I've been looking into materials that have a pearly light quality to them. I've found a Perspex with an iridescent film coating that takes on the colour of whatever it is attached to," he says showing me the triangular pieces. You can see the pieces attached to the dress as seen at his runway show yesterday, below.
David Koma SS12, check out the way the iridescent Perspex catches the runway lights

David's work is very upscale, for a certain kind of luxury-living-and-loving woman, so it stands to reason that his fashion show demonstrated that hard-bodied silhouette, even in a season that so far is focused on lightness, looseness and layers. While his show had a weightiness to it, and kept up the bodycon silhouette, lightness came in the surfeit of bright white, and beams of bright pink and yellow in the collection and the skin-revealing silk jersey devore he used to create pieces that looked like tattoos on the body. "I was inspired by the artist Kim Joon," he explained, "I like the idea of taking the way he drew on the body, and explored how I could develop the idea of a second skin in fashion." Having handled the pieces, I can tell you they are as light as air.

David Koma SS12

David was also working from a hybrif idea he had that was something between a Hawaiian grass skirt, and a kilt. You can see exactly what he was trying to do with the below outfits. It's so fascinating seeing how an idea can go from a moodboard to a runway. After his last polka dot inspired show, David Koma the business gained four international stockists. With this collection, he will keep them happy. 

David Koma SS12 - are you getting the hula-hula feeling?

David Koma SS12 - kilt inspiration

The clothes packaged up and ready for the runway.


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

Over the Summer, we heard that Anna Wintour had given London based designers a brief: your muse must be the Duchess of Cambridge. It has already been shown that, like it or not, our new royal sells clothes in unprecedented numbers. If she wears it, a certain kind of everyday-stylish blow-dry obsessed girl/woman will want it.

The Duchess of Cambridge is under considerable pressure to wear British designers so it makes sense for them to play to her clearly demonstrated taste levels. But they can't explicitly write 'This is for you, Duchess Kate' on their show notes now can they?

The Duchess has already dipped her toe in the water of experimenting the current London line-up by choosing Erdem to wear for stepping off the plane as she embarked on her Canadian tour. This initial promise though failed to materialise as she stuck mostly to old faithfuls Issa, Temperley and McQueen for the remainder of her time away (apart from another Erdem dress for morning prayer on Day 3)
Kate, in Erdem, and William arrive in Canada (image from Daily Mail)
So, how did the London crew approach Wintour's call to arms? It is likely that the idea of using Catherine as their woman might grate, she's hardly on the cutting edge of glamour and modernity in those nude heels and fascinators is she? Well, we noticed a number of references to a kind of deranged housewife figure. The next chapter in a book begun by January Jones' Betty Draper. And actually, at the moment, that is how many people see the Duchess because she is overwhelmingly defined in the public eye by her role as wife. We don't know what she thinks or what she's passionate about. So, in my first attempt at replicating the previous Fashion Junior's Big Head feature, I have scoured images from the past few days to see what we might be seeing HRH in next Summer, and she'll have a lot to dress for what with the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations....
Burberry- Kate and Wills were engaged in Kenya so she might be quite taken with this Kanga print
Clements Ribeiro. Lace is a sure hit with the Duchess

She already likes Erdem, florals and shifts so this is a must-buy

Giles does classic Princess-y shapes

Kate is Issa'a number 1 fan but this would be a change from the slinky wraps she usually chooses from the label
Sara Buys, Harper's Fashion Director and a relation by marriage of Kate's, chose Osman for her outfit to the Royal Wedding so surely on the radar
The most Kate worthy dress from Peter Pilotto's offering

Add heels and a fascinator and ta da, a classic K-Mid wedding outfit from Richard Nicoll
Daytime prettiness from Jonathan Saunders

Perfectly demure for a black tie event, again from Jonathan Saunders.
I don't even need to add a head to this, it has vintage Duchess Kate written ALL over it...
 And what she won't be wearing....
Meadham Kirchhoff weren't bowing to Wintour's memo, and good for them!

Images from


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 Sunday, I spent some time looking around this year's Estethica exhibition- LFW's ethical arm and a chance for some of the most exciting people doing ethical fashion to display their wares. There were some brilliant stories to be heard so I thought I'd share some with you.
Eva at her Estethica stall
One of Eva's most recent designs, using organza and leather
Eva Zingoni well and truly eschews any remotely hippie, sack-cloth elements that may still be associated with ethical fashion. She has always been involved in fashion, starting out as a trendspotter before retraining as a designer. She worked at Ralph Lauren before moving to Balenciaga where she eventually became the label's 'special orders' person. Basicallly, she was the middle woman between Nicholas Ghesquiere and Balenciaga's super special clients, including world famous actresses like Nicole Kidman. Zingoni says that this time meant she was' very close to the manufacture process of these houses. I saw all the fabrics they didn't want'. In 2008, Zingoni decided to leave Balenciaga and go it alone, creating a new kind of business which had formed its structure in her mind as she had witnessed the huge amounts of material wasted by big fashion houses. She had created her first collection by September 2009.
Eva Zingoni SS12
Eva Zingoni SS12

Eva Zingoni SS12
(Images from
 She may have taken time out to have a baby since then but her maison is now a destination for Parisiennes to get their own piece of couture at a fraction of the price they would usually pay, simply because Zingoni can buy her fabric, top designer quality, at extremely reasonable prices. Her industry contacts are arguably her greatest asset. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Eva's pieces are very limited edition they are not available online. At the moment, the main place to find Eva is at her workshop in Paris, but she is also stocked at a handful of shops in Spain, Japan and Belgium. This means that any purchasing desires are not so easy to fulfil as clicking through to an online site, at the moment. The very nature of Eva's business means that items are limited and so cannot be made available on any kind of mass scale. However, if you were thinking of buying Balenciaga or the like but are now thinking of Zingoni then you could afford a long weekend in Paris on top of your purchase for what you would have spent; her pieces retail at between 95 and 550 euros. Keeping it local is also an important principle which Eva works on 'It must be made in France' she says 'there is a lot of emotion which goes into creating my clothes'.
Pieces from Eva's AW10 collection. Images from LoPetille

I love that Eva's version of ethical is a completely practical one- it's all about making the most of resources and mechanisms which are already in place so it's cutting waste right now. Her business model accepts the way the industry works and slots into its own niche to improve thing the status quo rather than going for a big shake-up. Crucially the clothes are beautiful too, but we wouldn't expect any less from a Parisienne with such a stellar CV, now would we?

Find out more about Eva at

Top Images: Fashion Junior at Large

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