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

Earlier in the week, we noticed two of our London based designers had been making an impact on the red carpets of international celebrity soirées, but little did we know that that was just a precursor to a brilliant week for British designers!
When Mr and Mrs Obama touched down on British soil on Tuesday, they kicked off a celebration of some of the our brightest and best fashion talent. Indeed, from the second Michelle O stepped off Air Force One in this dazzling (next season) Preen number, we knew this was the start of something big. (Have we mentioned how much we love her? Whether shaking her thang in a school hall to get kids dancing, or being the coolest First Lady in the history of time, Michelle Obama officially rocks our world.)

Michelle Obama in Preen AW11, looking sensational.
The original catwalk look Preen AW11
 Next up, SamCam continued to wave the flag for British fashion as she welcomed the Obamas to Number 10 in a beautiful - and borrowed - Peter Pilotto SS11 number (some of you will remember Paula Reed carrying out her royal fashion correspondent duty for the Beeb in this very same style). It's a fabulous dress, managing to be unusual and elegant at the same time.
Samantha Cameron in Peter Pilotto SS11
Peter Pilotto SS11
Of course, it wouldn't be a British fashion parade without the now uber-tanned K-Mid, freshly returned from her royal honeymoon and creating yet another high street mania in the 'Shola' dress from Reiss. No doubt the £175 number has already sold out, it looked great on her, with her waist still waspish post-wedding and the neutral colour set off her tan wonderfully.
K-Mid - Sorry, the Duchess of Cambridge, in the Reiss 'Shola' bandage dress. She's creating her own trend bubble. 
Back at Number 10, SamCam showed that you can accessorise Jonathan Saunders with salad tongs as she served up potato salad at a barbecue for servicemen. The dress was the perfect choice for an almost-summer sunny afternoon.
That's one garden party we would have liked to have been at. Pass the ketchup!
Jonathan Saunders SS11

Finally, it was only a matter of time before one of the First Ladies busted out some McQueen, and Michelle Obama chose the suitably dramatic setting of Oxford University to wear her Sarah Burton-designed outfit. 

All in all, British designers did us proud this week, and it was fantastic to see their incredible designs being worn by suitably inspiring people.
Images: Daily Mail, Catwalking, Style.com, Getty


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

Charity t-shirts are not always the coolest – harsh but true. However, everybody knows the place to go for cool t-shirts is Japanese wonderbrand Uniqlo. So it makes perfect sense that Uniqlo have teamed up with Vogue Nippon to help Save Japan. Unveiled at the brand’s AW11 press day yesterday, this latest t-shirt project is one we feel is worth investing in, not only for the cause but because they are very good T-shirts. The creatives behind the T-shirts include Queen Gaga and everyone’s favourite Uncle Karl. The 10 tee designs will be available in store from 25th June, and Uniqlo have pledged a donation of 100 million yen (approx £750,000) towards relief efforts in the areas most affected by March’s earthquake and Tsunami.

We were really impressed by the unique designs, the common thread in all the designs is the message of love, solidarity and hope. Some are more fashion-y others are more conservative. Weirdly, one of the coolest is by 80s icon Cyndi Lauper (LOVE her). It’s bright and cheery, embodying her inimitable personal style. It is perhaps a little known fact that Ms. Lauper is a huge fan of all things Japanese and visited Japan in the wake of the recent disaster. 

Karl Lagerfeld’s design is somewhat of a departure from the formal Chanel aesthetic; he has fused the Japanese flag design with a sunny, happy landscape, and written the simple message ‘Love’. Meanwhile, Alber Elbaz has added a little Lanvin fun to proceedings with a his sweet personal message decorated with cute hearts.

UN goodwill ambassador Nicole Kidman’s expressed her inner Picasso with a beautiful design featuring an outreached hand offering love and support to Japan.

Blake Lively, Charlize Theron, and Orlando Bloom also leant their scribbles to the project, along with Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow. Nicola Formichetti (who worked with Uniqlo pre-Gaga, and still styles their seasonal lookbook) posted a picture of himself wearing his customised Gaga for Uniqlo design.

The tees will be on sale from 25th June 2011 at £12.99 each.

Images: Uniqlo/Nicola Formichetti


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

This week I'm having a Kate Bush love-in. She has released a new album "Director's Cut," featuring re mastered and refreshed versions of her greatest hits, and I've broken out my Kate Bush iPod playlist. Grazia were into the idea too, and this week's issue has a Kate Bush fashion story for your reading/shopping pleasure.

I only got into Kate Bush relatively recently, certainly long after she had retired to semi-obscurity. It is more than thirty years since her debut, yet to my mine and many others minds there is still nobody quite like her. Kate Bush began songwriting as a young teenager, and by the age of 18 was performing using her trademark falsetto voice, and balletically flapping her arms about in what became an iconic style. At the age of 19, in 1979, Kate had a worldwide number one hit, Wuthering Heights which I was surprised to discover, was her first and remains the most successful single of her career.

The Kate Bush Look is another matter. With the rush of 1970s trends currently zooming around the fashion landcsape, it is refreshing that her highly individualistic style is coming to the fore in both high fashion and high street. All spring, the Fashion Junior at Large has been sporting a fringed oversize rose embroidered kimono-style jacket that is straight out of the Kate Bush tour wardrobe. She bought it on eBay, but I've seen similar in multi-variations at TopShop. Then there's the unitards, jumpsuits and kitschy/Cirque du Soleil-esque gear that is stock Bush, as well as the uniform du jour for hipster girls all over the world on their Saturday night out.

I saw Karolina Kurkova in a Viktor & Rolf red jumpsuit in Cannes last week which is fairly well in keeping with the one Kate wears in Wuthering Heights.

Karolina Kurkova in Cannes wearing a Viktor & Rolf red jumpsuit

Here are a few of the iconic Kate Bush fashion images that have kept me entertained over the last week.

My favourite! Britney eat your heart out.

Photos: Rex, LFI, Retna


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

Here are a couple of outfits you will NOT be seeing in the BAFTA fashion round-ups in the red-tops this week. Not enough fake tan and flesh for the tabloids. Which is exactly as it should be.  For my first stumble up a red carpet with Mary the objective was to work a high fashion look while remaining very firmly within my style comfort zone. There was always going to be a trouser-y skew to my look.

I was thinking of a cool skinny Balenciaga trouser suit, but my friend Sarah Mower suggested thinking about a coloured trouser with a white jacket, "to break up the suity-ness of it". I seized on her thought and visited net-a-porter for ideas. White jackets were not a problem. In central London I tried on a brilliant Maison Martin Margiela white tuxedo jacket, and ooh-ed and aaahed over the cut of Balmain's white tuxedo jacket, but at £1650 it was a fantasy too far. In Selfridges I found the perfect white jacket by Dries Van Noten.

Coloured trousers were less easy to source. Jeans were not an option for a black tie event, but when I saw that Maje the classy French label making a splash in London, had red crepe high-waist cigarette leg trousers, I went hunting. It seemed every Maje I called had just sold the last pair in my size. In the South Molten Street store I saw a girl buying them as I walked in. Grrrr. Eventually I tracked down what seemed to be the last size 10 pair in London. Success!

To pull the jacket and trousers together I wore a body with a double deep-v and long sleeves. To garnish, my pieces de resistance  -  totally fabulous and amazing wooden platform sandals with gold peep-toe tips - were put into play. The shoes are the result of a collaboration between Roland Mouret and Christian Louboutin and created for Roland's SS11 show in Paris where they were used to accessorise every single catwalk look. My reasoning for buying the shoes from Matches was that if they could work for every single outfit in a fashion show - from day time trouser looks through to red carpet gowns - they could work for me. I was right. I'm proper delighted with my outfit, and unlike a one-wear dress all of the elements have an afterlife.  And of course I love Mary's outfit too. Her jumpsuit (from by Malene Birger at my-wardrobe.com) is as fashionable as it gets right now. Trust me when I say jumpsuits are set to be the biggest fashion sensation of the latter half of 2011. 
christian louboutin
The shoes.....buy them here



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

This weekend's spree of award ceremony's led to a plethora of Monday morning celebrity eye-candy from the red carpets. While perusing what the great and the good had worn last night, we couldn't help noticing two of our favourite pin ups had plumped for two innovative London based designers, both famed for their ways with wool.

At the TV Baftas, Daisy Lowe took this Craig Lawrence dress (one of our hot SS11 picks) to new stratospheres of sexualness...

(Seriously, how brilliant does she look? An unusual choice that she has completely made her own)

Craig Lawrence SS11

Meanwhile, over in LA, Nicki Minaj walked the Billboard Awards white carpet (so LA. You'd never get a white carpet in London) wearing SS11 Mark Fast. If anyone could pull off a stretchy pale blue bodysuit with chunks of Swarovski crystals down the leg, it's Ms Minaj. Funnily enough, the Fash Ed and I actually witnessed this jumpsuit being made in Fast's studio, back when we didn't even know Nicki existed. Now it's hard to imagine the music biz without her unique bubblicious style. 

Pink hair + pale blue glitter combo = winner!

Both these girls stood out a mile from the usual red carpet choices (TOWIE girls, we're looking at you...) so it is great to see London designers making their mark in award season. More of this please!

Images: Rex, Style, Daily Mail, Style


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

Just when you thought she couldn't get any wackier (and wacky truly is the best adjective to describe her) Anna Dello Russo goes and releases a fashion music video. A promo tool for her fashion tips segment on Milan's Radio Deejay, it features ADR busting some moves in a Mark Fast dress and DSquared2 ice-skate heels. When we say 'moves', obviously we mean adopting the lotus position in evening wear, doing a lot of pointing to the face and voguing (of course!)

Sorry, did we forget to mention THE RAP?

The fashion rap rules according to ADR: "Fashion should never be comfortable" and to get the look, you need "a fashion shower". We are still awaiting confirmation as to what a fashion shower is, exactly, but in the meantime, we are just grateful to have someone like Anna on hand to steer us straight on the path to style. The world would be a much duller place without her. 


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

Part of what I've been up to since returning from the shows is deciding on the trends for Autumn/Winter. As regular readers know trend-hunting is a geeky hobby of mine as well as being proper work. Making educated guesses is fun -and after viewing hundreds of shows, visiting dozens of showrooms and taking in every fashion retailer press day in Britain I reckon I've got it sussed. I will share my predictions on the way we will wear next season over the next week. There is something for everyone, and I mean everyone!

Gaga smoking for Mugler by Nicola Formichetti
Visible underwear, lots of shiny stuff and boob handling at Mugler by Nicola Formichetti
Marc Jacobs
Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci is decidedly pervy.  Yes, an outfit comprising a cat-woman riding hat, Bettie Page bra and thigh revealing sheer netting over thigh socks CAN be feted as fashion.  
Ferragamo takes the simple Helmut Newton photography approach to the fetish trend, using a chignon, smear of red lipstick and judicious leather slicing to full dominatrix effect.
How to fetishize the fetish of Louis Vuitton at Louis Vuitton

Its dirty, its leathery, and it plays peek-a-boo with thighs and torsos, and ooo there was a lot of it about at the shows. Marc Jacobs topped and tailed the Autumn/Winter 2011 show season with fetishistic displays using Latex and strictly tailored ponyskin at his Marc Jacobs collection, and The Night Porter style peaked military caps, handcuff bangles and severe sheer at Vuitton.

The nearest most fashion lovers get to kinkiness is leather trousers. So it remains to be seen if they will take to Latex pencil skirts, rubber knee high boots, corset belts and control underwear as outerwear. 

Personally I liked Lena at Les Chiffoniers stretch leather dress with peekaboo net underskirt.



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 windows of London’s most iconic department store always attract attention, but yesterday large crowds gathered throughout the day to goggle at Selfridges’ incredibly fishy makeover. Each of the 24 windows has had a spectacular makeover as Selfridges launch Project Ocean, a joint initiative between 20 environmental groups, the Zoological Society of London and various Michelin chefs, artists and fashion designers to raise awareness about the threats to the ocean. And they are doing that in the most stylish, fun, and innovative way.

Many fashionable ladies are partial to a nice bit of fish (everyone knows it’s lighter on the figure than a steak) but we don’t often think about the impact our supper has on the sea. Over fishing and bad practise means that unless things change soon, whole varieties of fish will soon be completely wiped out. Case in point: one of the brilliant window displays features a box of everyone’s favourite cod fish fingers, held in a classic bank vault. It’s a horrible thought – as a pescetarian (or vegequarian as my housemates used to call me) I only eat fish, and quite frankly, a life without fish fingers is just too unbearable to contemplate! 

So, what are Selfridges going to do about it? For a start, the window displays have more than aesthetic value; one features an interactive underwater film, where passers- by can actually tap on the fish, name them, and donate money to the ZSL to help create Marine Reserves (oceanic safe havens where there will be no fishing). Inside the store, there are various fish related displays, including an army of mannequins wearing Katherine Hamnett’s iconic t-shirt designs, exclusive to this project. 

 Judith Clark, fashion curator, has put together an superb exhibition of ocean-inspired fashion. 

So if you fancy seeing Philip Treacy’s Gaga Lobster hat, Alexander McQueen’s sea creature prints, or Iris van Herpen’s mind blowing Octopus dress up close, take a trip round the coral laden boardwalk in the Wonder Room. 

 Philip Treacy


Iris van Herpen 'Octupus' couture

Down in the Ultralounge, you can watch Beth Derbyshire’s thought-provoking video installation, or have a go on the Whale Rodeo (has to be seen to be believed). Michelin-starred chefs are doing cooking demonstrations in the foodhall and Mark Hix has brought the menu from his Lyme Regis restaurant to London (fancy salmon that is smoked on the roof of Selfridges? Who knew?!) 

However, one of my personal favourites was Jason Hackenworth’s spooky sea creature balloon installations that hang in the central atrium. 

It’s a great cause, and a fantastic event: find out more at selfridges.com/projectocean.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Saskia de Brauw in her own words: ‘a sensitive, worrisome, strong and observant thinker’.

Every season, one girl stands out among the sea of new faces. And this time around, that face isn't that new at all - in fact, this is girl of the moment, Saskia de Brauw's second innings as a professional model. The hauntingly androgynous 29 year old (yep, that's 29) first started modelling aged 16 in Europe, before quitting and returning home to Amsterdam to study visual arts.

After graduating and making ends meet with waitressing, an old modelling pal convinced her to give fashion another go.On reflection, that was probably a pretty smart decision, given that de Brauw is currently enchanting the fashion world with her striking looks and equally fascinating personality (more on that below.)

Shot by Dancian for i:D

 Firstly, her star is currently burning bright in the world of fashion editorials. She is a muse of Nicholas Ghesquiere and a close friend of Riccardo Tisci (they bonded over their mutual love of art). Carine Roitfeld selected de Brauw for her last ever cover at Vogue Paris - and roped in Mert & Marcus to produce the surprising camera-still shot.

Because, y'know, one Vogue cover a month isn't enough for some people, de Brauw also appeared on the cover of the Vogue Italia March edition - shot by Steven Meisel, and looking completely different. This girl is something of a chameleon.

Then of course, there are the stunning campaigns; she looks incredibly strong in the shots for Givenchy SS11, and replaced Lara Stone as the face of Eres.

Shot by Mert and Marcus

Shot by Viviane Sassen

Saskia stands out; not only for her statuesque, unusual appearance, but because this model has an awful lot going on upstairs. Her creativity and knowledge of the visual arts informs her work, and when she is not posing for the world's greatest photographers, she is producing artwork with her documentary photographer boyfriend, Vincent van de Wijngaard. The Cut blog asked her to describe her artistic process:

"I do not work in one particular medium. My work is in its base conceptual. I use different media depending on the project I work on. My work is about the way people move through space and the traces they leave behind while doing so. These traces are often invisible. I like to make these invisible traces visible through my work. [For example] I did a work on daily routes of people in a certain neighborhood. I was curious where random people's routes would cross. These were invisible encounters to me. Everyday they would meet without knowing. I wanted to show these meetings to other people as well"

She also writes a beautifully poetic blog, documenting her art, and observations of the people and cities her work exposes her to. A small snippet, referring to Café de la Mairie in Paris:

"People keep coming in and going out. Waiters wear their classical black and white outfits. Lovers kiss softly. A grandmother a daughter and a granddaughter enter the cafe. Outside the light is slowly disappearing and the streetlights appear. People outside are smoking cigarettes and are lit by a reddish light coming from the upper floor of the café.

We finish our glass of wine and decide to have dinner here tomorrow."

Read more at http://sdebrauw.blogspot.com/  and keep your eye on this lady; she's on course to be the face of the year.

Images: DNA models. iD, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Givenchy, Eres