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

Gotta switch off for a bit now, and go native. No communication devices. Back first week August. Happy Summer!


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

Excuse these very cheesy, but superbly effective, photos from the Heidi Klein website. I am not about to put myself on my own blog in a bikini, I'd need Mert & Marcus and French Vogue for that. However, these two are my summer 2011 bikinis. My wardrobe for a couple of weeks in the sun, give or take a Club Monaco white T-shirt, TopShop pink shorts and a throw-on cotton dress that I've had aeons.
I haven't needed to update my bikini collection for ages. At the end of summer they go back in the bag for another year.  But when I went to fetch the bag a few weeks ago, the bikinis had aged like an old woman. The elastic had crisped up, and the cheaper bikinis had lost their lustre and gone baggy. That's the thing - cheap bikinis like the fun ones at TopShop, last one summer. Which is absolutely fine when you've got a taut 20-something body and change your style with the wind, but not fine when you need, as I do, to make my boobs appear bigger my butt smaller and to get a shot of beach confidence. Lets face it, it's difficult to look sleek and chic when nearly naked in 30 degree heat, and a good bikini is more than half the battle.

So, onto my choices. The "Capri" in plum and the "Chile" in chili. The Capri's cleverly padded bra gives the impression of more upstairs by filling out the outer planes of the boob area and pushing them together to create a bit of cleavage. The bra doesn't look padded when on the body either, which was the clincher. That and the fact the bikini bottoms are so low-key they do not draw the eye in any way.  Also, the colour is really flattering and very on-trend, (fashion has to come in somewhere), and the high quality fabric can handle a daily sluice of seawater followed later by laundry soap. It comes in a slate colour too, which I would love to have bought but I'd already smashed my budget buying these two.

The Chile bikini, apart from the divine orangey red colour, has four widgets on it - two on the pants, and two on the bikini top. These widgets move, and in moving them you can play with the shape of the bikini, thus making your body proportions appear different too. It is rather miraculous how effective these gilded plastic widgets are. When I'm wearing mine the widgets on the bottom stay pretty much where they are, as shown in the picture above, but I pull them down about three inches on the bikini top, and ta-da, my boobs look a little more pert.

The moral of the tale is this: don't scrimp on your skimpy bikini. 

Photos: Heidi Klein.com


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

One of the huge privileges of being the Fashion Editor at Large and working with Grazia is that, for the last four years, I've sat on the NEWGEN panel for London Fashion Week. NEWGEN is about recognising and nurturing fresh new talent, and giving it a platform through TopShop sponsorhsip. When I see how well former NEWGEN designers such as Chris Kane and Erdem are now doing, the rewards speak for themselves.

But NEWGEN is not the only fashion sponsorship program in town as I discovered when asked to sit on the selection panel for Vauxhall Fashion Scout. VFS is the junior version of NEWGEN. David Koma graduated from VFS to NEWGEN 18 months ago, and indeed got noticed when his VFS show was rammed and editors tried to squeeze in to his off-schedule event housed at their permanent show space at the Freeemasons Hall in Covent Garden. In short, Vauxhall Fashion Scout is a force for good.

The most coveted sponsorship prize from VFS is the Merit Award. The recipient gains a fully sponsored catwalk show and exhibition space at Vauxhall Fashion Scout during London and Paris Fashion Weeks, and three years business support. I have to say that when I first saw the upcoming September  SS12  Merit Award winners Leutton Postle, comprising knitwear production expert Samantha Leutton, and CSM  MA 2011 graduate Jenny Postle, I was somewhat lost for words with a sense of awe at the handmade brilliant madness of the work. At first it was as if Michael Van Der Ham had taken crystal meth, but then it sinks in that this is ALL KNITTED....

Jenny Postle's Central Saint Martin's MA graduate show

With knitwear having a resurgence much in the same way print has done over the last five years, Leutton Postle have possibilities for growth and development that we can't even imagine yet.

The girls mission statement: "[our work] freely embraces riotous colour, unusual surface texture and rich pattern to create beautifully offbeat knits for women. Each piece is handmade and aims to produce truly original couture-quality knitwear by pushing the boundaries of technique and design."

Kicking off their business with a sponsored catwalk show is most fortuitous; now its over to them to design and create summer knitwear (a challenge) that will keep the Browns Focus customer (they have an exclusive AW11 deal with the above collection with the store) and hopefully others clients and retailers happy.

I know all of us on the panel of VFS are very much looking fowarsd to the Leutton Postle show in September.

Photos: Catwalking.com


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

Gucci's was the number one most influential catwalk collection for Autumn/Winter 2011. Frida Giannini is on a roll. From a high fashion perspective it was a slam dunk in evey way - the colours, shapes and silhouette's will have a massive uptake at red carpet events globally for the next six months. And just you wait until you take a stroll to your local high street retailer - those colours, shapes and silhouettes - ops, I mean clothes inspired by them - will be everywhere. I've seen the evidence.

Luckily for us, we can enjoy the purity of the design as it was intended before the stylistas of the world ruin it with overkill, by taking in these rather fabulous photos of Flo on her American tour. I hope Flo brings out some new material soon...in the meantime this new material suits her just fine.
Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine performs on stage at Central Park SummerStage on June 24th , 2011 in New York City.

Flo works her chiffon as she opens for U2 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Wednesday, June 29th , 2011.

Flo offers up her best Kate Bush impression at Spartan Stadium on June 26th , 2011 in East Lansing, Michigan.

Photos: Courtesy of Gucci/Getty


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 realised after posting my Haute Couture wishlist on Friday that I'd over-looked Givenchy and Alaia. So here is Givenchy. I need to post these images if only to maintain my tradition on this blog to wax in awe at the work that goes into the modern masterpieces created by the lovely anbd talented Riccardo Tisci . OK, so the delivery is much the same, a "team" photo of sorts, and the silhouette, look and feel of the clothes follows directly from the last Givenchy couture, but if it ain't broke...

In terms of the girls in this picture, the casting agent responsible has placed the worlds hottest young editorial and advertising models in the world now together. Quite a feat in every which way you look at it, from logisitcs to having the innate knowledge that each of these young women, in their own way, have the magic of "nowness".  Nice to see Saskia de Brauw in there (she's the only short-haired model), her outfit is my favourite too.


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

Haute Couture is the ultimate rarefied world of fashion. It occupies its own fashion space, one populated with women of wealth whose lifestyle most of us can only begin to comprehend.  Generally, the designers who excel in this area are several shades apart from everyday ready-to-wear designers. The fashion houses who cross over, successfully serving both sides of the clientele, are Chanel, Valentino and Armani.

To pass an hour or so on this fine morning I imagined what, after viewing the catwalk shows, I would order from the couture ateliers for myself (should I be forced to spend my money on such frivolities). In the case of Dior I felt it neccessary to purchase from what is probably the most derided Haute Couture collection ever designed, with a spirit of fun of course. There is a certain charm to the mad tranny-ness of the whole thing if you look at it from a certain angle...

Christian Dior Haute Couture - think I might just order the top as my local vintage shop has a room full of those skirts

Rock n roll couture from Chanel

Black tailored elegance from Bouchra Jarrar

I've always hankered after a couture parka - Jean Paul Gaultier Couture

For that Venetian ball I might be invited to - breathtaking beauty from Elie Saab

Divine Valentino Couture

There was something quite magical about this collection, so two purchases! - Valentino Couture

Beyonce wore Alexandre's gold jacket for her epic Glasto performance. Anything Beyonce can do, right? Alexandre Vauthier revives the Mugler/Montana 80s silhouette

Ideal coat for a Christmas party (that does not serve red wine) - Giambattista Valli

For tough-girling it around town at London Fashion Week? Maison Martin Margiela

Photos: Catwalking.com


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

There's a heatwave underway on this speck of Greece, so waiting until 2pm to face-off with the harsh rays is sensible, and what better way to pass a few hours than with a meander around online watching short films?

Yesterday I was directed to look at the fashion films being created by Mr Porter, where my dear friend and great editor Mr Jeremy Langmead is the majordomo. Fashion Film is what fashion retail websites should be doing to express themselves. The male approach to fashion and style is vastly different to that of women. Men let practicality and usefulness guide their choices, and most fashionable men I know are not that catwalk led. A combination of street style, tradition and sartorial etiquette seems to be the blend that drives them. Correct me if I am wrong.

I absolutely LOVED everything about this film that documents stylish male cyclists in Amsterdam.

While locked into Mr Porter's youtube channel I also came across this. It seems the existence of Mr Porter has inspired Jimmy Choo (who have a highly successful shop-in-shop on sister site Net-a-Porter) to debut a snazzy menswear collection with the site. The film directed by Carter Peabody and styled by Dan May is charming, jazzy and not too fancy-pants thus doing its job in a lovely way. I defy any man not to want a pair of Jimmy Choo sneakers to dally around town in. Girls will fall for them too. There are several styles to choose from that actually seem OK to wear with a suit. And for the man who can successfully work a Dalmation spotted cowhide slipper loafer, there's something for you. Oh and there are smashing brown lace-ups too.


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

When I met Stuart Vevers of Loewe recently at the launch of the Spanish luxury brand's flagship boutique in Mayfair it was our chance to have a good old catch up. Since he has moved to Madrid to be the creative director of Loewe he has left a social gap that is nigh on impossible to fill. There are not many fabulously be-spectacled, be-suited secret agent lookalikes with broad Carslisle accents in fashion.

Stuart is a wonderful designer. What he doesn't know about what makes a good handbag would fit on the head of a pin. When he was in London in March we talked handbags (as usual) and while showing me his various spins on the Amazona bag (below, from backstage at his SS11 collection by Jason Lloyd Evans)....

...we also talked about his new handbag launch for Autumn/Winter 2011, the Flamenco. The lucky bag - there's two of them at the top of this post being clutched to model Mariacarla Boscono's naked body for Loewe's new advertising campaign - come in various colour pops and colour block combinations, and it really is as cute and fun as a puppy. As always Stuart has collaborated with Katie Grand, who in turn has worked with her best buddies Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot to realise the images which are currently being released at one a day on Loewe's Facebook page. I like how they used Madrid's Ritz hotel as a backdrop. The Madrid Ritz is the setting for many glamorous goings on that involve Ava Gardner, Ernest Hemingway and Loewe.
The first image from the set is above, now press play to see the fun little film they made showing all the ways you can play with your Flamenco...


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

In the run up to my getting the hell out of London, I missed quite possibly the best pre-collction lookbook of the Resort 12 season, by Henry Holland. Ok, so its not quite a look-on-look display, and you don't feel you get the measure or feel of the collection but damn if its not the most perfect expression of the House of Holland brand possible. Fashion Film viewed via the Internet is shaping up to be the best way forward for young brands to express themselves. As evidenced by the beyond sexy British model Eliza Cummins (who really can dance)working it to Neneh Cherry's Buffalo Stance (I like, know every word)in the style of the Groove Is In the Heart video by Dee-lite, this House of Holland lookbook is my favourite bit of fashion fluff right now.

PRE COLLECTION SS12 from House of Holland on Vimeo.


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 you're wondering why I'm not at the Couture, its because this year I took my holiday earlier than usual. So here I am on the holy Greek isle of Patmos looking out over the sea from my vantage point high on the hill. While here I will be sharing fashion and holiday as well as holiday fashion musings. In August the new Fashion Junior at Large joins me and this blog will start to grow up a bit as I want to see what happens if I make it more than a hobby.  

I'm a huge fan of Daphne Guinness. Had she been around during the 1920s and 30s, she could have hung out with Nancy Cunard, Coco Chanel and Diana Vreeland (junior version, her later years are what inspire most people, but having read everything about DV in print I'm a fan of every year). People would have understood her better in that context. Daphne is a relic of women past, a rich and rarefied creature who exists in a bubble of art and philosophical musings. She is a woman who wholly believes in the romance of art, craft, creativity and couture and wishes to keep the old ways alive, which she does in the only way she knows how, by commissioning artisans to create works for her.

Below is one-such. Everything about this "launch" of a chain mail made-to-measure gauntlet glove  made up of 5000 pave diamonds and 1000 grams of gold makes me want to scream. But I'm torn between screaming at the ridiculousness of it, and the wonder of it. 

Had I been at Jay Jopling's house for the "launch" and watched Daphne "lie in state" shrouded in white silk tulle with just the glittering glove on show, I know I would have tittered uncontrollably at first and then been sucked in by the beauty of it.

I know plenty of people who will rubbish Daphne's project with Shaun, but in 100 years when its in a museum somewhere and people gather around to marvel at it and the memory of Daphne it will be a treasure. So I leave you with the press release, as I couldn't take it apart. Forgive me for lifting it.


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

And so, the time is near... no don't worry, I'm not going to get that dramatic, but I am posting here to let you know that I am riding off into the sunset, and this is my last missive as the Fashion Junior at Large.

I have been working with the Fash Ed since May last year and boy, what a lot has happened in that time. Much more than I could ever fit in to one solitary post. We have been through three fashion seasons together, two rounds of shows, and had adventures I could never have imagined before I joined the weird and wonderful world of fashion.

Highlights have included whizzing around London Fashion Week in a Mercedes, day trips to Paris, and all number of crazy fashion events. Not to mention the Grazia stories, and reams and reams of blog posts that we have filled this website with; who will ever forget the Big Heads? (I have a funny feeling you'll be seeing them again soon.)

 George and Mel, Mel and George, at our big head best!

But anyway. I am spreading my writing wings and from next week you'll be able to find me posting over at Handbag.com, as well as the usual Glitterbird randomness. But don't worry, I won't be leaving the Fash Ed to roll solo; I have met the future Fashion Junior, and you know what? You're gonna love her.

So that's all folks.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Ladies and gentlemen, here is the weeks' fashion news in brief.

 The US hair craze that is rubbing fishermen up the wrong way.

1. One of the most random stories we have ever come across: Over in the US, a hair accessorizing trend is stripping fisherman supply shops of their fly-fishing stock! A craze for attaching skinny, coloured feathers to your 'do means that hairstylists are buying up hoardes of the 'hackles' to attach to their hair, which is causing a shortage for the fishermen. The men are a tad peeved that fashion fans are interfering with their hobby, although, according to the New York Times, some of them think the look is " kind of sexy, to be honest."

2. Victoria Beckham - whose baby egg timer is due to go off next Tuesday - has given a sneak peak at her new younger, less expensive line, called Victoria by Victoria Beckham (not the most original title, but we'll let her off). Apparently it's inspired by cartoon character Emily the Strange, which is strange in itself because we never had VB down as a graphic novel fan. However the dresses themselves are cute, colourful, and most importantly, cheaper than her usual styles! Look out for the big unveil around Fashion Week.

Victoria by Victoria Beckham: due out Spring 2012. We are calling this one 'pea chic'. LOVE the colour! 

3. Rosie Huntington Whiteley has been on form this week, rocking various stellar dresses at the multitude of Transformers 3 'Dark of the Moon' premieres. Seriously, the girl has been wearing the cream of the fashion crop on a different red carpet every night, and while the reviews indicate that Julia Roberts won't we threatened by Rosie's acting skills any time soon, the girl does look seriously hot.

In Antonio Berardi AW11

In Gucci AW11

In custom Burberry
In Michael Kors.
She's so flawless, it's like having a life size Barbie to look at. Still not sure we'll go to the movie though...

4. There is a minor event going on this afternoon, that involves possibly the biggest superstar of British fashion, her rock n' roll friends, and about 17 marquees by the looks of the paparazzi pictures. Yes indeed, everyone's favourite model/hot mess Kate Moss is finally becoming Mrs Jamie Hince, and has confirmed she will be wearing a Galliano gown. Last night, however, she was a vision in blue at her rehearsal dinner (how very American!). This is Kate at her 70s hippie rock groupie best, and what's ever better, she looks happier than we have ever seen her. Bless!

Kate Moss and her (probably now) husband, Jamie Hince.

5. Lastly, there was possibly only one woman to have a bigger impact than Miss Moss on British fashion, and that was the late Princess Diana, who would have turned 50 today. Weirdly photoshopped magazine covers aside, there has been a flurry of nostalgia for Diana's inimitable style, elegance and grace. And rightly so; she was definitely one of a kind!