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

It's Day Three at the Westfield Big Wardrobe, and I decided to have a snoop around each individual wardrobe and pick out the cream of the crop. If you are heading down this weekend, be sure to check out these beauties...

Ted Baker
Lovely summer brogues....

A stunning shift dress featuring the print of the season

Chelsea Girl

Enjoyable retro displays and fun shoes...

...along with this perfect lace summer dress with angel sleeves. Very Florence-ish. 

Pauls Boutique

If you are brave enough, green denim hotpants for when the weather decides to warm up! 


You can enter a draw at the Firetrap wardrobe to win £500 worth of their delectable denim

Or you could opt for the leather jacket of dreams!



Super hot pink skinnies - must have item of the moment! 

French Connection

There are a lot of giggles to be had at the French Connection wardrobe - not only a lovely selection of clothes, but the opportunity to win the entire wardrobe just by entering a draw. 

Not forgetting the infamous 'cat's cradle game' as mentioned yesterday, where you have to complete an Eiffel Tower in less than a minute in order to win a beach bag. I tried it out....

And promptly failed. Maybe you can do better? Let us know if you succeed!!

There are loads of great things to see, do and shop - not forgetting the fashion show on Saturday, which will feature looks from Ted Baker, DKNY, Kurt Geiger, Coach, Accessorize, Oasis, Warehouse, Mango, Next and New Look. There will be all kinds of trends on show, including Seventies, Festival and colour pop styles, so come down for your summer inspiration! The first show is at 1.30pm on Saturday and if you scan the front row, you might just spot 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 Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

Working in fashion land generally means no two days are the same, which is great, but it also means that sometimes your job description can be a little...flexible.

Fashion Junior at Large: Blogger, assistant, part time model?!

I do love it when the Fash Ed comes up with one of her 'schemes'. So today I found myself in the Westfield Big Wardrobe, with my fairly distinct personal image entrusted to the hands of hair and make up artistes.

 The Go Style area at Westfield's Big Fashion Wardrobe
Before: do I look a little bit nervous to you?

Now, it's safe to say I'm a little picky when it comes to my look; in particular the hairdo that led Brix Smith Start to christen me 'Kandifloss'. What can I say, I enjoy a bit of backcombing. So I was a little bit afraid at the sight of many a GHD. However, the lovely Haf of the Ginger Group vowed to give me bubbly, voluminous hair that no tail comb could ever achieve, and she dutifully set to work untangling the crispy hairsprayed cobwebs that masquerade as my actual hair.
Work in progress...
It was truly a work of curl-tastic art.

About half way through the curling procedure we decided to go a bit mad and attempt a full on Sandy from Grease look, so the curls got steadily bigger. By this time a small crowd had gathered to watch the tongmaster at work as she produced platinum ringlets. The final look was definitely something I could never hope to achieve without her expert skills!
 The Make Up Store's vibrant eyeshadow selection: which to pick?!

Next up, I popped to the Make Up Store's multi-coloured stand for some seriously vibrant lipstick, an eyeliner touch up and some coral blush. The kind people at Firetrap loaned me a wonderful leather biker jacket (which, to be honest, I didn't really want to give back) and all I needed was a handsome bequiffed fellow to play my Danny...

Did somebody say Katie Waissel? 
 ...unfortunately, that particular fantasy didn't happen, but I did get to try out some Tyra-approved moves and work an imaginary red carpet, which was fun. Check back tomorrow for the finished results!

In the meantime, the photo area will be open until Sunday, so why not have a go yourself? Remember to 'smize!'

Also, if you want to check out the photo-finish of your fashion finds at the Big Wardrobe, don't forget to try out the Tweet Mirror too, which some of you may have seen in action on the Queen Of Shops 'Secret Service'. It's all good fun! 

PS I'm looking forward to meeting new friends from the blogosphere at the Go Blog! tutorials tomorrow. See you there! 

Photos: Mimi Richman


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 this season's high street hit, the Whistles Carrie Skirt. The most tweeted/blogged about item of the moment, apparently. And the frenzy surrounding this skirt looks set to get even more ferocious when two more colour variations are soon to hit shop floors!


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 have a lot of a soft spot for Westfield London. My other half  Mary Portas helped launch it, and during my time as fashion news and features editor at Grazia I came up with the idea the we move the office in there for a week to make an issue of the magazine. It was a mad idea - and we had a total ball doing it. It took popping to the shops during the lunch break to a whole new dimension. We also won a Campaign award for doing it!  As a result of all the Westfield involvement ( I was on site in a hard hat before launch, and live locally) I've spent more time than is seemly inside this wonderful behemouth of a shopping centre. And yes, I like it.

So I was happy to say yes to working on a project with the Westfield gang this week. The project, as evidenced by the above photograph, is called "Big Fashion Wardrobe". The location is the same spot Grazia built our very real working office, and it is there for fashionistas to have a deeper experience of shopping at Westfield. It is also rather good on the feet as it is all in one space.

Chelsea Girl is there at Big Fashion Wardrobe - flashback to the Eighties! I'm sure I had a phone like that when I was a kid and dreaming of being able to shop at Chelsea Girl

The idea of the Big Fashion Wardrobe is to get fashion conscious girls and women to come in and engage with some of the brands who have stores at Westfield - the bonus is the stores have exclusive product and special offers it would be unseemly to ignore. Reiss, French Connection, River Island (who are in the midst of reviving Chelsea Girl - what River Island used to be called back in the day) Jaeger, DKNY Jeans and LK Bennett to name a few have Wardrobes in the space.  There is also this attractive shoe wall.

I do like a multi-brand shoe wall.

A view across the catwalk to some of the wardrobes.

The view from above - you can see the various brand wardrobes and runway to the left and centre. On the right in the bottom corner of the picture is the photo studio and make-up area where you can get a makeover and have your 'cover photo' taken - George Langford my fabulous Fashion Junior at Large is doing this tomorrrow and reporting back for  us. Along from the photo area is the bloggers lounge where we will be later this week.  

There is plenty of fun to be had in the midst of all that retail therapy - we particularly love Daisy Lowe's lomography exhibition, all in aid of the British Heart Foundation, and the chance to win a bag at the French Connection wardrobe simply by achieving the perfect cat's cradle 'Eiffel Tower' in less than a minute. Now that's something we haven't tried in a while.  To finish the whole event with a bang, on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd April there will be live catwalk shows all through the day. 

Find out all the details by following @westfieldlondon on Twitter. Or click here

More from Big Fashion Wardrobe tomorrow when Fashion Junior at Large gets a makeover - I am looking forward to that!


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
Here at FEAL HQ, each season we devote ourselves to analysing catwalk trends until we know them inside out. However, every now and then a certain style will become the look of the season, and have very little to do with the catwalk at all.
It has become clear that Summer 2011 will be the season of the Seventies, but not the colour-popping, grown up glamour of the Studio 54 styles that swished down the runway. Instead, there is a huge movement towards the scruffy, rocky, fringy, Stevie Nicks-y and maybe even bohemian-y look of the Seventies Woodstock chick. Yes, you did just see the word 'boho', but fear, we are not stuck in a 'Sienna Miller circa 2006' timewarp (a scary thought indeed). 

 The original queen of rock chick bohemia: Stevie Nicks

This is a decidedly darker, more mysterious take on hippy-trippy chic; we might be wearing flowers in our hair, but we'll also have thickly smudged black eyes and layers of leather, velvet and at least one item with serious fringing. Navajo details - turquoise, suede, beading - all play a key role.
Personally, I knew something was up when I had an uncontrollable urge to bid for this beaded, fringed kimono on eBay...

Now, you could blame this street style trend on our perennial love affair with free spirited music festivals and a desire to rebel against a frankly depressing state of affairs this year. However there is a more obvious culprit, who goes by the name of Topshop. Yep, the high street dictators have once again come up with the most covetable collections. What's more, they have seemingly gone against the catwalk grain - and it's working incredibly well. 

Topshop's 'Snake Valley' is exactly where we wanna be.

Smart people, those Topshoppers; they took the grains of Seventies catwalk inspiration, and have transformed it into what we all want to wear. Their behind the scenes film from the SS11 shoot sums up the Stevie Nicks feeling perfectly.

So it seems the scene has been set. Time to dig out those fringed kimonos, kohl pencils and snakeskin hotpants (maybe). No matter how you look at it, it seems bohemia is back.

Images: Stevie Nicks, Huffington Post, George Langford, Topshop


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

Surely she is the most beautiful and sensual woman who ever lived? Those eyebrows! "The most violet eyes I've ever seen," thats what people said, though they just look intensely blue to me. If you've never seen the woman act, wait until you get to the bottom of this post, and see her in action as a drunken, bitter professors wife in Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf, her finest hour.

She can lasso me, anytime

The eyes have it

By Richard Avedon, photographed 1964 when she was 32

In 1940 - an adorable 8-year-old

Here she is in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, in my opinion, her finest hour as an actor.
She won the Best Actress Oscar for this in 1967.

Goodbye Liz and Rest In Peace.
You will never be forgotton.


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

Put it this way, I don't normally spend my lunchbreak lurking around the 'sparkling' end of Bond Street, where all the luxury jewellers display their wares in gilt-lined salons. However when De Beers extended an invitation for me to play with an one-of-a-kind diamond artefact, I thought I should probably check it out.

Walking into the store, you are faced with an array of glass cabinets, each containing the kind of jewels you see in those adverts, where a woman looks ecstatic as a man casually passes a necklace over a restaurant table. But the most glittering piece in the shop is kept behind extra thick glass.

A small group of bloggers gathered round, each of us giggling with the weird excitement diamonds provoke in the female of the species. The De Beers Talisman was brought out from behind it's glass shield, practically blinding us with it's sparkle factor!

This incredible artwork has been created by De Beers in order to celebrate the true beauty of rough diamonds. Most of us never think about diamonds before they reach us in their finely faceted, dazzling state, but as raw, uncut stones, they also hold a kind of ethereal wonder.

We had a look at rough diamonds, which was definitely a first for me! I liked the way there seems to be an inherant light in these stones, even when they have not been cut.

This huge medallion-style piece contains 691 diamonds, totalling 271 carats.

Just to reiterate that: 271 carats.

Some are rough, some are cut, and there are an array of beautiful colours. Each stone was individually selected and hand set in the white gold background - the whole project took 10 years to complete, including sourcing the central 17 carat rough diamond.

(From the 'Making Of' pictures. There are no claws holding the stones, each hole was uniquely cut to fit an individual stone. These De Beers folks clearly enjoy attention to detail.)

Next up, the staff decided it would be an excellent idea to pass this object d'art around for us to touch. The below picture captures the moment where I'm thinking 'I know that this could probably do more harm to me than I could to it, but my clumsiness really knows no bounds. Please don't drop it, please don't drop it....' I had frightening visions of a Mr Bean style scenario taking place.

It really is an incredible thing. And by incredible, I mean it is actually hard for me to process it as a real thing - it is basically priceless, and something created purely for the sake of beauty. The Talisman shape and unusual stones did lend an air of mystical, spiritual properties - you could imagine it round the neck of an Aztec king - but that may have just been the aforementioned diamond euphoria taking hold. 

After the Talisman had been safely ensconsed back in it's glass cage, the bloggers ran amok trying on other De Beers pieces - including this 10 carat engament ring. If you want to give your boyfriend a mild heart attack, just text him this picture. Funny times.

Emily from FashionFoieGras was a braver woman than I, and opted to try on the De Beers 'Princess Leia' necklace, worth the tidy sum of £2million+. Apparently, Sharon Stone wore it to the Oscars a few years back, and if it's good enough for Sharon...

All in all, this was an unbelievable experience. Jewellery and diamonds in particular are perenially fascinating, but this was truly something else.  


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 was a monumental Paris. A game-changer, at least in terms of the business of fashion. The last time there was more to report on than the customary new trends and fashion shows was in the late 90s and early 2000's when LVMH and Gucci Group were snapping up designers and brands for their respective conglomerates.

Who knows what will happen between now and September/October when the next runway shows take place. Will Riccardo be moved to Dior as is the word in all quarters? Is Haider Ackermann commercial enough for a move into Givenchy? Can John Galliano recover enough to be seen in public, and can he hope to resurrect his career? Is Sarah Burton designing the Royal wedding dress; or is she, as she protests, busy working on the McQueen brands' hugely significant Met Museum exhibiton, and dressing the attendees of the accompanying ball (three days after the wedding) instead? One thing is certain, right now the fashion industry is the perfect muse for a contemporary Shakespeare. The actual fashion isn't bad either. I'm working on that too. As is customary post the catwalk shows, for the next week I will be sitting in a darkened room with the fashion junior creating a trend report of the season before it all dissolves from my mind...

So welcome to my Paris fashion week tumble.
At the end of the Dior show, which was pretty but surreal after years of seeing the Galliano spectacle, atelier staff came out to take a bow in place of John Galliano. The team, in their white coats, stood and modestly clapped us the audience, while we clapped them. It was a masterful and emotional moment, reminding us - following a decade in fashion that championed fashion designers as stars - that while the creative talent of a fashion house can be disposable, the fashion house itself remains sacrosanct.

This little book is indispensable to me throughout Paris, telling me where to go, when, and who to see about what.
David Bowie taken from Phoebe Philo's inspiration book, placed on seats at the Celine show. Phoebe has hit her stride at Celine. Her show was solid.
Rather loved the Jean Paul Gaultier invitation, and the show was the first one of his I have loved in a long time..
The Jean Paul Gaultier show finale
The Givenchy invitation tickled me; this is a close-up of the Jaguar head featured on one side of the invite. The eyes reflect the silhouettes of a naked make and female. I wonder if this is the exact print Riccardo used in his collection? (below) On closer inspection I don't think so, more's the pity.

The Hakaan invitation was beautiful; this is going into a memory box for future use.  
Below is the translation of Sidney Toledano's address from the beginning of the Dior show. While I respected and admire the manner in which the Dior brand reasserted its power, I still cannot help feeling sorry for John Galliano the man. I hope he will be forgiven for his outrageous conduct.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since its founding by Monsieur Dior, the House of Christian Dior has lived an extraordinary and wonderful story and has had the honor of embodying France’s image, and it’s values, all around the world. What has happened over the last week has been a terrible and wrenching ordeal for us all. It has been deeply painful to see the Dior name associated with the disgraceful statements attributed to its designer, however brilliant he may be. Such statements are intolerable because of our collective duty to never forget the Holocaust and its victims, and because of the respect for human dignity that is owed to each person and to all peoples.
These statements have deeply shocked and saddened all at Dior who give body and soul to their work, and it is particularly painful that they came from someone so admired for his remarkable creative talent. So now, more than ever, we must publicly re-commit ourselves to the values of the House of Dior.

Christian Dior founded his House in 1947.

His family had been ruined in the Crash of 1929 and his own beloved sister had been deported to Buchenwald. In the aftermath of the dark years of the war, he sought to free women, to give them back their sparkle and joyfulness.

Christian Dior’s values were those of excellence in all that he undertook, of elegance and of craftsmanship reflecting his unique talent. His mission was not only to make his clients – indeed all women – more beautiful, but also to make them happy, to help them dream. He saw himself as a magician who could give women confidence and make them ever more feminine, more sublime. He believed in the importance of respect and in the capacity of this fundamental value not only to bring out the beauty in women, but also bring out the best in all people.

His values, his genius and his legacy have contributed to enhancing France’s image and culture around the world for more than sixty years.

The values that Monsieur Dior taught us are unchanged today. Those values are carried on by the wonderful and diverse group of people within the House of Dior who devote all their talent and energy to achieving the ultimate in artisanship and femininity, respecting traditional skills and incorporating modern techniques.

The heart of the House of Dior, which beats unseen, is made up of its teams and studios, of its seamstresses and craftsmen, who work hard day after day, never counting the hours, and carrying on the value and the vision of Monsieur Dior.

What you are going to see now is the result of the extraordinary, creative, and marvelous efforts of these loyal, hardworking people.
Thank you.

Chanel AW11 by Karl Lagerfeld. Chanel I would wear.

More Chanel pour moi.
Roland Mouret always sends us a little note.

The show notes for Nina Ricci, one of the highlights of my Paris and one of my favourite catwalk looks. I am making it my business to profile Peter Copping, that is if he will let me after I compared his looks to an old photo of Monsieur Dior. He took it well though.  
It was lovely for Phoebe Philo to share some of her visual inspiration with us. I can totally see how these images have inspired her work.
Stella McCartney is another designer sweet enough to add the personal touch to her fashion show notes. In her show Stella had a bit of an 80s Miyake, Alaia and Montana big-shoulder-small-waist moment that I have a feeling will be mighty influential in the coming months.

Stella McCartney AW11. Is Stella studying 80s Miyake and Claude Montana "State of Claude Montana" silhouettes? I like this a lot.

Chloe show notes, and a look from a show that can only be Chloe. I hope Hannah MacGibbon stays on there. She has her own very good thing going on.

The novelty show of the week was Nicola Formichetti's work for Thierry Mugler, the show began a week that was topped and tailed by fetish inspired shows - Louis Vuitton ended the week. (Givenchy was also rather fetish, as was Giles show in London.) By the end of Paris fashion week I was taking the fetish trend seriously.
Mulger by Nicola Formichetti

It also begs the question: why can Lady Gaga get away with smoking on a runway, and Kate Moss can't?
 Lady Gaga smoking on the Mugler runway

Kate smoking on the Vuitton runway

Another still from Phoebe's book.
Finally, to my fashion-show music of the week; Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld seemed to take inspiration from the 1979 Cure track A Forest (my all-time favourite Cure number).

Come closer and see
see into the trees
find the girl
while you can
Come closer and see
see into the dark
just follow your eyes
just follow your eyes

I hear her voice
calling my name
the sound is deep
in the dark
I hear her voice
and start to run
into the trees
into the trees

into the trees

Suddenly I stop
but i know it's too late
I'm lost in a forest
all alone
The girl was never there
it's always the same
I'm running towards nothing
again and again and again

The show setting felt like we were in the middle of a post-apocalyptic forest with the models stomping in their flat boots through scorched, smoking earth. The quality of the sound coming from the speakers was pretty awe-inspiring. Five days afer the show, the song is still going round in my head. The collection also had some great not-typically Chanel elements too - the butchy trousers, workman inspired boots and some fantastic tweed capes. I leave you with The Cure in 1979. Here, Robert Smith looks like Ben Affleck. Clearly his thick eye-liner and badly applied red lipstick wearing days were just around the corner.

Images: Modem, Celine (Artists Research Management and Anna Kustera Gallery), Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Modem, Hakaan, WWD, Chanel, Kenzo, Chanel, Roland Mouret, Chanel, Nina Ricci, Celine (Larry Fink, Sibylle Bergemann) Stella McCartney, Chloe, New York Times, Celine (The British Council), Christian Dior, Chanel All catwalk images: Chris Moore/Catwalking