Trend Alert: Printed Trousers

I've noticed a major trend recently - and not just because I have been wearing it - for printed trousers.

Fast replacing last year's trend for maxi skirts in our hearts and minds the printed trouser is going from strength to strength, and be they skinny, tapered styles, wide leg palazzo's or relaxed pj pants it seems everyone has a pair.

The high street has come up with great alternatives to this predominately designer-led trend and I've laid a selection of my favourites out below.

Now all you have to decide what to wear yours with - either buy the co-ordinating blazer and wear together for a polished style statement or take a slouchy t-shirt or sweater in a block colour and sling it over the top for a more causal vibe. The choice is yours...

1. DKNY, £220
2. Karen Millen, £105
3. 3.1 Philip Lim, £410
4. Dorothy Perkins, £29.50
5. T - bags, £140
6. Warehouse, $45 
7. Tucker, £295
8. River Island, £30
9. Topshop, £28
10. Miss Selfridge, £35

Friday fashion round up

This week my usual fashion round up will be concentrating on the annual Serpentine Gallery Summer Party.

Or as I am going to rename it: the place where once good outfits go to die.

I've rounded up the best (of which there are few) and my least favourite looks from the event which you can see below. These are the celebs that either have not got the memo about the dress code or have divided opinion - either way its a frocky horror show. And don't even get me started on the fact I could see Tracey Emin's thong through her sheer dress, my eyes are still burning.

First up its two ladies who were all white on the night (see what I did there) - Lydia Hearst wearing an embroidered white gown (by Temperley maybe or vintage?) and a suprisingly well turned out Misha Barton.

Points to Mischa to getting it right this time in a Luisa Beccaria gown, but I still feel improvements could have been made. For example the bag might have been better held as a clutch and I feel like the dress is too much of one colour - how about a statement necklace or belt to break it up next time.

Mischa Barton and Lydia Hearst at the Serpentine Summer Party

Donna Air wore a metallic print short suit with Prada lipstick heels - a fabulous combo if I ever saw one. Meanwhile, Amber Le Bon was also understated but elegant in a forest freen dress and nude lace up sandals with silver jewellery.

Donna Air and Amber Le Bon arriving

For me though the two best dressed had to be stylist Caroline Sieber and model Cara Delevingne who both wore Chanel.

Sieber teamed her vintage cap sleeve dress with the perfect black Louboutin heels, whilst Cara matched her black gown with a Chanel clutch, on-trend ear cuff and top knot to perfection!

Stylist Caroline Sieber and Cara Delevingne, both wearing Chanel

See more looks after the jump

Atelier Versace Jewellery to be launched

Donatella Versace has announced the launch of the Atelier Versace Jewellery collection, which will be unveiled during the Autumn/Winter 2012-13 Atelier Versace catwalk show in Paris this July.

This inaugural collection will be composed of one-of-a-kind rings mounted with a variety of precious stones such as diamonds, yellow diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and amethysts, as well as aquamarine and citrine gemstones.

Targeted at discerning couture clients, the collection will be available for sale by appointment only and will not be reproduced.

“As a designer and a collector of fine jewellery I have always wanted to offer the same quality of craftsmanship in jewellery as we offer with the Atelier Versace fashion collection,” says Donatella Versace. “Each individual ring from the collection is a work of art.”

The return of Atelier Versace to the Paris runway on July 1st is a highly anticipated fashion event. Scheduled for 7.30 and 8.30 pm, the two Atelier Versace runway shows will be held in the Ritz’s Salon Vendôme.

Although I will be in Paris that weekend for fashion trade show Who's Next tragically I don't think I'm of the right calibre to warrant an invite. Still there's no harm in having tea at the Ritz at the exact same time...

Pay day alert: new in stores this week

Pay day alert! Yes its finally come around after what felt like years and to celebrate I'm perusing the virtual shelves, tracking down the best of what's new in store this week - for every pay bracket, naturally.

And what better way to celebrate the big P day with some peplum's, prints, pleats, polka dots, platforms, catch my drift.

Apologies if its not your pay day just yet but whilst you wait why don't you fill your basket ready with this line up of lovelies. I know I am heading straight to Warehouse for the midi dress for my big trip to Paris next week.

1. Peplum top, River Island, £25
2. PVC bag, 3.1 Philip Lim, £600
3. Peplum top, Topshop, £32
4. Prada-esque earrings, Asos, £20
5. Printed dress, Miss Selfridge, £45
6. Peplum top, Dorothy Perkins, £26
7. Pleated skirt, Karen Millen, £105
8. Platform sandals, Zara, £49.99
9. Printed midi dress, Warehouse, £70
10. Pleated dress, Oasis, £65

Sneak Peek: Givenchy Spring 2013

Riccardo Tisci introduces a spirit of relaxed urban couture in his Spring 2013 collection for Givenchy, blended with a gypsy influence expressed through prints and volumes.
The designer label's signature sophisticated tailoring, architectural lines and clean cuts are revisited across staples such as the boxy jacket, the men’s shirt and sarouel pants. Opened sleeves or panelled extensions of tops and rounded balloon volumes add a new contour element.

new volumes at Givenchy Spring 2013

Print-wise patchwork panels are on offer silk satin, twill or jersey. A pure long dress combines black and white graphic blocking with bold colorful paisley prints. Lace, frills and tulle also translate the gypsy influence. These contrast with more masculine vintage washed denim or nappa leather looks.

patchwork and paisley are key print elements in the collection

The colour palette strongly leans on summer whites, monochrome blacks and zingy reds reds alternated with three key paisley, scarf like prints.

From boxy shapes to small clutches, bags incorporate soft calf, quilted and vegetal leathers. Other versions present paisley-printed textured PVC, caged crystal embroideries or braided nappa.

Meanwhile footwear looks cover knee high sandals - gladiator style, boots and high heeled loafers in braided and lace-covered leather. Large geometric belts and sculptural rings in brass and crystal round off the collection.

Accessories and footwear from boxy clutches to gladiator sandals

What do you think of the collection? Are you going gaga for Givenchy like me? Hopefully these fantastic prints will crop up on the high street (Zara maybe?) so i can afford it!


The rise and rise of Miinto

Shopping site - the one-stop online shop for the UK’s best independent boutiques - has gone from strength to strength since it’s official launch in the UK over 8 weeks ago.

The site now boasts 102 boutiques, stocking over 6686 products from 698 brands - over double the number it launched with and these figures are rapidly increasing on a daily basis. This has been aided by the recent expansion into childrenswear in addition to it’s offering of womenswear, menswear and accessories.

Notting Hill’s infamous treasure trove for the fashion savvy The Village Bicycle, is one of the latest boutiques partners stocking a wealth of hot, fresh labels including the likes of Lulu & Co, Opening Ceremony, We are Handsome and Eleven Paris.

Bearing in mind my love of a good boutique (Iris in Queen's Park just round the corner from me is my latest discovery) I figured it was about time I took a closer look at what Miinto has to offer.

Below is my pick of hot buys currently on the site.

From left to right: Clutch from Olympia Le Tan, £817.60, Sunglasses from Elizabeth and James, £245, Cuff from Rosie Fox, £18.

Notes on Miinto: provides a dedicated full-service online sales outlet for independent fashion retailers to expand their business through the web, giving these boutiques an international platform and significantly wider reach.

Over the last three years, this concept, originally developed in Denmark, has witnessed successful launches in markets including Norway, Sweden and the United States. has also just launched in Ireland and is set to be introduced to the Dutch market this Autumn.

The anatomy of a shoot

Ever wondered how the professionals pull together a fashion shoot?

With blood, sweat and tears that's how!

From conception to seeing the final product in print the process can be just as painful as it is fantastic and my lack of posts this past week has all been down to one thing - two of my biggest shoots of the year in one week.

It began with a mad dash back to the office where I unpacked samples and started to pull looks together. The easiest way to do this is to take emotion out of the equation. Don't pick out a dress just because you think it's pretty, rather look for a recurring theme and stick to it.

This is where a mood board comes in handy - usually a group of tear sheets from other magazine shoots or adverts you find inspiring along with fabric swatches or accessories -that I always keep on the table or pinned to the wall when selecting outfits.

I also find it always helps me to create a character for the shoot. For example this time my muse was a bored, 50's Miami housewife.  

The chaos that is me at work and my mood board / tear outs

The next thing to think about is the actual product itself. I was shooting for S/S 13 so first of all it needed to look totally different from the past two seasonal shoots we had done. For me this meant pastel colour clashes, pleats and retro prints all came into play to go along with my character.

When shopping for accessories I picked out 50's sunglasses including cat eye frames and earrings which were a mix of bright crystal and kitsch plastic fantastic - as inspired by the Prada S/S 12 ad campaign. Everything that wasn't sourced from the high street came direct from the bargain-filled Walthamstow market.

The rail and accessory table on the day of the shoot

Finally pulling everything together on the day is the hair and make up artist.

For the make up I wanted to stick to the theme of brights. I figured if my housewife was bored she might be more inclined to take some risks. She'd wear a bold lip and vivid eye colour, kitsch, sometimes tacky jewellery and she might even pair a conservative twin set with denim hot pants.

And for hair we started with a soft wave, went up to a tucked in bob and finished with a beehive. Pure perfection!

retro hair and clashing make up were a must for my bored housewife

So there you have it, that's a shoot from start to finish (minus all the technical bits like casting models and finding a location) and if you don't beleive me about the blood, sweat and tears part I'll send you a picture of my hands next time after they have been stabbed with pins and stamped on. I'm officially too embarrased to go for a manicure!

Hubble Bubble

My lack of posts in the past few days has been down to my attendance at the fantastic Bubble London trade show for kids.

Whilst on Saturday I helped with the build and Homegrown Installation - an initiative saluting brands who have stayed true to their British roots by designing and manufacturing in the UK - sunday was spent on a photo shoot for the next issue of trade publication CWB magazine.

The shoot featured two models showing of the S/S 13 collections from Bubble exhibitors. The styling, provided by Fran Lee, was directional, funky and fresh whilst the set design featured cut outs of iconic London landmarks and hand made signs.

Here is a sneak peak from the shoot below..

A rainbow of tiny shoes

Our rail of samples from exhibitors

Our adorable models from Urban Angels

Graduate Gold Winner Announced

Chloe Jones from Bath Spa University won the eighth annual Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award judged and presented by industry giants, Daphne Guiness, Suzy Menkes and George at Asda's Fiona Lambert this week.
With a prize of £20,000, and invaluable industry recognition from judges Jones now also has access to a mentoring panel to help her through the next stages of her career.
The judging criterion for the Gold Award is that the collection clearly demonstrates exceptional ability in design, cut and construction as well as excellent use of colour and fabric.
The judges reviewed shortlisted collections made from 17 catwalk shows and put the students through a rigorous interview process, before selecting the winner.
This year’s Graduate Fashion Week brought to the industry and media’s attention talent from all branches of fashion from over 39 universities across the UK and Europe. An elite industry panel of preliminary judges including Hilary Alexander, Jessica Bumpus of and Melanie Rickey, Grazia fashion editor at large, joined the audience of press (one of which was me!!) students and the general public to scout the hottest talent from each university. 
Full award winners are below and you can catch up with my posts from GFW here.
Chloe Jones with her Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award
Womenswear Award: Chloe Jones from Bath Spa University was also the winner of the Womenswear Award.
Menswear Award: Riona Horrox from Edinburgh College of Art
Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textile Award: Xiaoping (Fiona) Huang from UCLAN University as the winning student.
Stuart Peters Visionary Knitwear Award: Jousianne Propp, from Manchester School of Art and Caitlin Charles Jones from Kingston University.
International Award: The winner selected was Karen Jessen from Esmod Berlin.
Fashion innovation Award: Ami Collins, UCLAN
David Band Textiles Award: Emma Hardstaff, Edinburgh College of Art
Ethical Award: Sarah Murphy, Northumbria University
Per Aquun Marketing Award: Hayley Oldfield, UCLAN
Karen Millen Fashion Portfolio Award: Jousianne Propp, Manchester School of Art
Mulberry Accessories Award: Laura Smallwood, Kingston University
Barclays New Business Idea Award: Holly Reid, UCLAN
Stand Award: Edinburgh College of Art
Media & Design Award: Kerrie Donelly, UCA Epsom

Friday fashion round up

Its Friday which can only mean one thing! No not wine (though that will be happening after the week I just had) It's time for my weekly fashion round up.

First off the mark its Zoe Saldana, Dianna Agron and Jamie King who proved that all good things come in three's at the Persol Magnificent Obsessions:30 Stories of Craftmanship in Film event in New York.

The actresses, who posed up a storm together, all wore vastly different looks but looked equally fantastic.

Zoe wore top to toe Louis Vuitton pre A/W 2012-13. The statement top and cropped trousers are a typical ensemble for her but what I really love is the colour - I would lay bets on that shade of green cropping up all over the High Street come Autumn.

Zoe Saldana

Diana Agron also made my best dressed list for the below outfit which featured a black knit over a black printed dress - not earth shattering I know but Dianna kept it young and fresh with chunky wedged heeled boots which I adore.

Dianna Agron

Jaime King wore a Peter Pilotto S/S 12 printed dress to the event, paired with Persol sunnies. I'm not sure how I feel about the gold heels - a nice beaten silver or bright yellow or pink like Eva Longoria below might have been better - but overall I like her style.

Jaime King

Next up its a bevy of lovely summery ensembles including Eva Longoria wearing Versus Spring 2012 to the 52nd Monte Carlo TV Festival in Monaco. She paired the bright print dress with her signature Brian Atwood heels in a bold but effective fuchsia pink. I feel like this is a brighter, bolder version of Eva after years swathed in nude tones. I approve!

Eva Longoria in Versus S/S 12

Also wearing a statement colour well this week were Chloe Moretz and Jennifer Morrison who both attended the Women In Film MaxMara Face of the Future 2012 award, of which Chloe was the recipient. 

Chloe wore a MaxMara aqua blue dress and I am loving this style on her - she looks grown up (but not too grown up) polished and sophisticated at the same time. Jennifer meanwhile, went for a strapless tangerine dress and whilst I still think she looked better as a brunette the dress hit all the right notes on the night.

Actresses Chloe Moretz and Jennifer Morrison

Last on my winners list this week is Hilary Swank and Jessica Hart who both attended the Salvatore Ferragamo pre S/S 2013 show at the Louvre this week. Naturally both wore designs by the brand, Hilary a black and gold embellished dress and Jessica a knitted bronze jumper and printed skirt.

Hilary Swank and Jessica Hart, both wearing Salvatore Ferragamo

See more looks after the jump

Sneak Peek: Emilio Pucci Resort 2013

When the first Emilio Pucci Resort images dropped in my in box yesterday I just knew I had to share them.

The 2013 Resort line by Peter Dundas is a full on Safari expedition crossed with classic sportswear references. Dundas’ looks are sharp edged and urban cool grounded in the earthy colours of military khaki, black, and navy laced with sunflower yellow and hydrangea green.

Many pieces are embellished with intricate floral and Asian embroidery motifs, a nod to the 90’s when customising military surplus finds was all the rage - which yes, I vividly remember. Isn't it awful when you start to remember the trend from the first time around?

Embellsihed khaki designs from the Emilio Pucci Resort collection

The collection also subtly balances masculine and feminine; the technical feel of military undergarments appears as fine lingerie netting for example whilst Dundas implements yet more menswear influences with a sportswear-driven mentality. Here a slick trench coat has been relaxed with over sized lapels and a sash belt - a popular accessory run throughout.

Full on Safari: Earthy colours, caps, head scarves and waists nipped in with utility belts round off the look

But my highlight, as always at Pucci, has to be the prints. The idea of camouflage is given an abstract restructure as botanicals and a magnified orchid adorns silk pyjama pants and lace applique simulates the signature swirls of the Emilio Pucci archive. Elsewhere, a silk jumpsuit done in a pixelated floral print is mixed with crocodile jacquard to great effect.

Prints at Pucci: Oversize blooms mixed with crocodile skin

By far the most feminine pieces in the collection were the sheer, floaty maxi dresses and kaftan's and I'm craving a holiday just so I can wear one, but where can one Safari whilst wearing a maxi dress? The answer after much googling is Tanzania. Sign me up now!

Maxi lengths and sheer fabrics make for perfect resort wear

What do you think of the collection? Is it Pucci perfection in your eyes?

H&M announce Maison Martin Margiela collaboration

Its been announced that French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela is the latest name to collaborate with H&M.

The exclusive partnership is thought to include womenswear, menswear and accessories, and will launch on November 15 across an exclusive 230 H&M stores worldwide as well as online.

“Maison Martin Margiela is one of the most important and influential fashion houses of the past three decades,” says Margareta van den Bosch, creative adviser at H&M.

“I am so excited about this collaboration, which will give fashion lovers around the world the chance to wear special pieces by Maison Martin Margiela,” she continues. “This collaboration will be a great and memorable fashion moment."

Though no pictures have been released yet of the planned collaboration we can probably take a stab in the dark and say it will be very modern, edgy, conceptual and definitely will include a lot (if not all) of white.

Signature pieces by the fashion house push boundaries, reinventing volumes, modifying traditional shapes and change the original uses and movements of garments - quite a departure from the past few designer mash ups for the Swedish retailer which have been loud and print based from Versace and Marni - not to mention Anna Dello Russo's accessory line, set to launch October 4th, which I blogged about here.

What do you think of the announcement - are you excited or underwhelmed?

Great Scots

Scotland’s top fashion, design and textile talent were honoured yesterday evening at the country’s 7th Annual Scottish Fashion Awards in association with InStyle magazine.

Hosted by Alexa Chung, the event saw many of the biggest names in British fashion scoop top honours including Christopher Kane who deservedly picked up the crown for ‘Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year’.

Meanwhile, supermodel and face of Chanel, Stella Tennant was inducted into the
‘Scottish Fashion Awards Hall of Fame’, with personal video messages broadcast from Karl Lagerfeld and Mario Testino to boot.

Earlier in the week I blogged about the nominees for Scottish Fashion Icon 2012 and I am happy to report my predicted winner Karen Gillan was victorious whilst fellow nominee Tali Lennox took home ‘Scottish Model of the Year’.

A full list of winners is below but first I wanted to take a look at the impressive array of celebs who attended (and more importantly what they wore) including more after the jump.

Model Tali Lennox and presenter Alexa Chung wearing Christopher Kane

Models David Gandy and Stella Tennant in a dress by Christopher Kane

Holly Fulton in her own design and Dionne Bromfield who also wore Holly Fulton

Graduate Fashion Week: Day 2

Today was my second day reporting from Graduate Fashion Week and I am happy to say the show was once again packed to the rafters - not to mention full of celebs.

After a quick whizz around all the stands (meeting some of the designers who didn't have a catwalk show but were no less amazing) I ran along in the afternoon to see the De Montfort University show where I was frow and centre to catch all the action.

Here I was met with intense colour and creative fabric combinations. Sportswear was clearly a huge theme running throughout with mesh and sheer panels, technical fabrics, futuristic metallics and pastel colour blocking all on offer. Designs were teamed with embellished wedges, running shoes, more backpacks than you could shake a stick at and visors galore.

This was by far the most assured collection of graduates I have seen so far an in particular Charlotte Booty caught my eye as one to watch for the future - so watch this space! 

Next I met up with fellow blogger  la fashion folie for a catch up and another catwalk show, this time from Nottingham Trent.

I found this a slightly more toned down affair and a much more commercial take (which is not a bad thing) and the technical skill of the graduates did shine through, especially with the knitwear, print based and men's tailoring collections. By far my favourites were Laura Grant and Florence Bridge who both presented resort ready collections worthy of any Ibiza going A-lister.

After the show we headed to the drinks reception where champagne, canapes and, best of all, Jamie Laing and Francis Boulle from Made In Chelsea awaited us. After some convincing I decided to stop trying to play it cool and ask for a picture. The result is a somewhat blurry image with my huge grin taking up most of the picture. How Embarrassing!

Whilst I mull over my shame see below for all my picks from day 2 of GFW, including more after the jump.

De Montfort University

Alison Woodhouse

E.L. Patten

Charlotte Booty

Charlotte Casey

Elysia Yeoh

Kelli McGuinness

See more from Nottingham Trent Uni after the jump

Graduate Fashion Week: Day 1

I am very fortunate in that my day job allows me to some great events, including Graduate Fashion Week which kicked off today at Earl's Court 2.

I love GFW because everyone just seems so (to bluntly put it) KEEN!

There is none of the jaded "been there and done that attitude" which you can sometimes see at London Fashion Week and everyone is very optimistic about the new wave of talent coming out of the UK's top Universities.

As a result there is a good buzz about the show and on the first day it was packed as usual.

I started my day off with the first catwalk from the University of East London and was instantly blown away with the maturity of some of the collections. Clearly these designers had thought about the buyers, the press, their end customer and everything in-between.

Two of the graduates showing with University of East London came from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) in Singapore where they partner with UEL to offer a BA(Hons) Fashion degree, 2012 seeing the first graduates of this course.

My favourite looks were probably the print based collections including Lulu Ghebre who reminded me a lot of Georgina Hardinge. Others that caught my eye were the architecturally sculptural yet feminine collections of Aimee Ward and Uma Kangai.

I then went on to the University of Central Lancashire show before my camera died (apologies for the blurry images) where i found more of the same. Sculpture and beauty from Samantha Messias, prints from Steph Cunningham, including a baroque jacket I just have to have, and the two were combined by Xiaoping (fiona) Huang to great effect. Accordion trousers anyone?

Below i have highlighted some of my favourites from today's opening shows and I'll be back tomorrow with more looks from the likes of De Montfort and Nottingham Trent. Enjoy!

University of East London

Terri-Leigh Finnegan

Felippe Johan

Tiffany Baron

Lulu Ghebre

Uma Kangai

Aimee Ward

See more from the catwalk after the jump

Spot the difference #4

It's my last spot the difference post today and this time I'm taking a look at one of my favourite young designers - Holly Fulton.

And if you too want your own slice of Holly Fulton's Tribal aesthetic this season there is no better place to look than Karen Millen.

Now I am in no way saying Karen Millen has copied Fulton's vibe this season - the brand has always included a safari trend each summer and animal print is a big staple for their customers - but the similarities are striking. Both are carrying round neck print dresses, zesty yellow dresses with lots of bead work, zebra print accessories and a racy selection of swimwear.

Not only is this a great trend to buy into for now it is also a recurring one each summer - so if you choose your investment pieces wisely you can wear them again and again.

Spot the difference #4

Having been a loyal Karen Millen employee many years ago i know that my khaki pencil skirt, silk safari dress and taupe beaded dress will all be coming out of the wardrobe at one point this summer. Below is a selection of my key pieces you should invest in now.

Left to right: Zebra swimsuit, £65, Giraffe print Dress, £140, Limited edition modern Tribal Dress, £295, Dress, £160, Zebra tote bag, £185. All from Karen Millen.

Friday fashion round up: part 2

The MTV Movie Awards this week provided the stars with another chance to come out and get all dressed up and whilst some fell flat on their faces (cough cough Leighton Meester that means you) others excelled themselves.

Among the best dressed on the night was Emma Stone who got her fashion mojo back after a slightly disappointing Met Gala appearance and Kristen Stewart who just keeps on suprising me (in a pleasant way) this past month.

Also topping the list are actresses Shailene Woodley and Mila Kunis, and doing it for the slightly older set were a very sexy Kate Beckinsale and Charlize Theron.

Emma Watson and Jessica Biel complete the selection, and though I am not overly in love with either look from them, I think they deserve some credit - Emma for going for something much shorter and directional than her usual fare with this printed dress by Brood and Biel for thinking outside the box with a more casual white knit Chanel dress paired with zingy green heels.

Take a look over my edit below and decide for yourself..

From top left to bottom right:

Kristen Stewart in a GUiSHEM metallic dress with Christian Louboutin heels
Emma Stone in Martin Grant strapless dress, accessorised with Brian Atwood nude heels
Shailene Woodley in a menswear inspired two-piece from stella McCartney A/W 12
Mila Kunis in a Fendi pre A/W 12-13 dress and Jimmy Choo sandals
Charlize Theron in a Lanvin A/W 12-13 red strapless dress and Jimmy Choo sandals
Emma watson in printed dress by Brood
Jessica Biel wore a Chanel S/S 2012 white dress


Ps. The usual Friday fashion round up will be back next week showing you the good, the bad and the downright ugly offerings from the week ahead.