Fashion is...

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." - Coco Chanel.

This blog looks at fashion in its many incarnations, from the haute designers to the high street and from the trend-setters to the avid fashion followers. For this blogger, fashion is far more than the shirt on your back; it is communication, art, culture, anti-fashion, gender, revolution and resistance. It can instantly define or defy your identity. It is one of the most personal and unique things about you...

Monday, 19 April 2010

Festival Fasion: The Good, The Bald & The Über-Stylish

Festival season kicked off this weekend with Californian Music Festival Coachella. Armed with an eclectic line-up that included Jay-Z, La Roux, LCD Soundsystem, MGMT, Miike Snow and the curiously titled, Infected Mushroom, Coachella was guaranteed to draw an equally as diverse crowd. So, with more celebrities in the audience than on the stage, the start of the summer style statements were made. Agyness Deyn sported her new buzz-cut and all in attendance seemed to be channeling their inner haute hippies. Here's a round up of some of the trends spotted over the weekend...

Devon Aoki looks adorable in denim hotpants and an on-trend bumbag.

Camilla Belle upholds her 'belle of the ball' title in a crochet knit, floral dress and biker boots.

Agyness Deyn and Henry Holland rocking distressed denim and slogan tees.

Agyness Deyn's new statement hairstyle does the talking in a pale pink dress and vintage DMs.

Alexa Chung looks effortlessly chic in her lemon playsuit, khaki shirt and comfy espadrilles.

Katy Perry adds some pop-sparkle to the occasion in a risque black dress.

Jesse Metcalfe looks laid-back in his all-American charcoal cut-offs, navy tank and classic trilby.

Dita Von Teese stays true to her pin-up persona in a statement hat and demure dress.

Matt Smith and Daisy Lowe. Lowe's red sequins bralet and thigh-high tights add a vampish glamour to her floral sundress. Smith is spot-on trend with his grey trilby.

Kristin Cavallari the queen of Californian cool wears a simple, black, fringed t-shirt-dress.

Kelly Osbourne channels her inner sixties siren in a floral frock and John Lennon-style sunglasses.

Kellan Lutz also rocks a trilby, teaming it with in a cheeky tee, aviators and classic black slacks.

Whitney Port, the starlet looks typically soignée.

Solange Knowles makes black and white look anything but boring.

Paris and Nicky Hilton, Paris looking like a golden goddess as always while sister Nicky goes for a psychedelic, printed dress.

Alessandra Ambrosio makes an enviable bohemian babe in her Wildfox t-shirt and headscarf.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Devil Drives a Toyota

How do you imagine the editor of Vogue magazine to look? Skin so hard and shiny it looks impenetrable, long lacquered talons all the better for drumming impatiently on the boardroom table, a sleek mane of hair in a colour that is unachievable by any conventional means, permanently swathed in fur and towering above other mere mortals in ten-inch Manolo Blahnik’s? Is she just as Meryl Streep portrayed; formidable, callus, cold and overbearing? With this common preconception in mind I decided to take a proper look at the editor of the UK’s most prominent style bible. Namely, Vogue's Alexandra Shulman.

Shulman is quite a shock. Once rather unceremoniously described as a “chain-smoking 50-year-old Toyota-driving divorcee” she is indeed not quite how you would expect the editor of the glossiest of all the monthlies to look. In reality, yes, she is in her early fifties, has a personal style that could best be described as ‘dishevelled boho chic’, she regularly cycles to work and attends most Queens Park Rangers football matches—but the woman is far from frumpy or ordinary. Although she is decidedly curvier than her American and European counterparts, Shulman concedes that she is confident in herself and relatively unfazed by body woes: “there are more interesting things that one can offer than a flat stomach.” It is surprising that a woman so immersed in a world that equates a diminutive waist with success, is so unashamedly at ease with her voluptuous proportions. Her resistance to figure fascism is perhaps down to her parents, not for their unsuperficial outlook on life but for their regular attempts at coercing her to lose wight. Her father frequently berated her regarding her size and told her she would never find a husband unless she slimmed down and her headmistress once unceremoniously announced in front of her schoolmates: "Alexandra Shulman's mother has said she is not to have potatoes". Shulman has turned these negative experiences into something positive and is now an avid campaigner against the use of underweight models in fashion shows and photshoots. In fact, last year she wrote a letter to leading designers, asking them to increase their sample sizes. She received zero replies.

Shulman aged 10 with her father

Other issues that Shulman has spoken out on are the contradictory opinions’ on wearing fur in the fashion industry and maternity leave. She is a woman who’s thoughts extend much further than what shoes will match her new Birkin. She studied social anthropology at Sussex University and has a varied journalistic background, having worked for a record company, the Sunday Telegraph and as editor of GQ. Remarkably, she manages to separate her working life from her personal life and unlike most Vogue editors is not personally acquainted with any fashion designers. She is completely focused when she's at work, and immediately switches off when she leaves. She's chic, but refuses to dress as though she's providing any kind of fashion leadership: “I think, particularly in this industry, where image is so important – if you try and be something that isn't what you really are, it can be terribly damaging.” It is these qualities that have made her the perfect editor for a magazine of such Godlike revere. She is dedicated to her work but she doesn’t let it overwhelm or consume her. Having taken the helm at Vogue way back in 1992, Alexandra Shulman continues to make it the UK’s most aspirational magazine, despite her candid aversion to many of fashion’s frivolous tendencies.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Úna Burke Facebook Fanpage

I have recently found myself in the very privileged position of being a personal assistant to up-and-coming designer Úna Burke (see post below for more information on her "wearable art"), and so I have just set up a Facebook Fanpage to help blog the amazing designer's fashion journey. Here's the link to have a nosey at what she's up to and if you have a Facebook account (which at this stage even most cyber-savvy mums do) be sure to become a fan to get instant Úna updates!!/pages/Una-Burke/113497628676536?ref=ts