Wednesday, 30 November 2011


When you get a season that manages to make huge trends of both fetish and androgyny, what do you get? Gothic Victorian of course. Giles, Alexander McQueen and Tory Burch took a trip back in time with high neckline tops and dresses. Black buckled boots also make up this trend. 

Victorian Lookbook
Below are some Victorian themed links for both style inspiration as well as items that you might actually want to purchase.

Modern Lady. This pussy bow dress is also available in blue and pink but I would suggest the black because it is the most vintage inspired and will look awesome in the fast approaching holiday season with some sparkly tights and black suede ankle boots. I will be doing some Christmas party outfitting posts in the near future. This style suits curvy, womanly figures well because of the floaty material and the way that it flows around the figure of the wearer. It puts a modern twist on Victorian party-wear.

Vintage Victorian. This would probably be seen as vintage in Victorian times too as it reminds me of an Elizabethan ruff only slightly more understated. This season, all shapes and sizes of collars and chokers are popular. Peter Pan collars have a classic 1960s feel, especially when the outfit is monochrome or they add a luxe look in metallics. On the right, this collar from Asos is very Victorian, perhaps even Medieval or Renaissance. The colouring is opulent but the collar is sort of like a ruff. The outfit on the right has the correct amount of minimalism that nods towards good Victorian middle class schoolgirl; just swap the mini skirt for a maxi. Or perhaps the oh-so chic midi length with some cute ribbed socks. For a touch of androgyny go for a bow tie instead: a rising trend that can also be found on Asos.     

School Boy. The vintage brown satchel is so classic and quite similar to that of a Victorian school boy. You can even get your initials engraved into it so it can become a sort of family heirloom perhaps. I have just ordered the red one as I wanted to put an original spin on the classic and I also got my initials emblazoned in it to make it extra personal. I became aware of the brand through looking at various different fashion blogs. The fluro collection seemed to be very popular among style bloggers. I like it and even though I wanted to get one in an original colour, I did want it to go with the rest of my wardrobe so that it would be money well spent as they are not cheap, mine's a Christmas present.

Lady. Wear with a black maxi skirt if you are really daring but this shirt will look good with a range of bottoms. A long, thin silver chain would look super understated chic with it. I know I said about the maxi skirt but I cannot help but imagine this shirt with some printed leggings and black suede ankle boots and a trilby hat.

Poor Boy. The chino has seen a phenomenal success on the high street this year which will hopefully continue onto next year as they are so flattering. The dark orangey shade of these from Debenhams remind me of chimney sweepers because of both the shape and the colour. This style in black is also very Victorian and black is definitely the colour for trousers this season.

Upper Class Lady. This detected this dress and instantly fell head over heels for it. For £789, to say that it is a little out of my price range is an understatement. Jack Wills is a classically British brand with sometimes Victorian looking items. This season it is a lot classier and more glamorous. Out with rugby tops and tracksuits and in with the maxi dresses and tweed blazers.

Oliver Twist. Baker boy hats are very cute. Although they sort of originated with Dickensian characters in the 19th Century nowadays they have been reinvented and can look quite glamorous. Like this one below with the opulent button and thin gold ropes. If you buy a plain one from a cheap/thrift/charity shop then you can get creative and customise it in a number of different ways, like adding a button or rope, or maybe some jewels/diamantĂ©s and ribbons.

The Hardcore Vintage. I have recently discovered an array of online vintage stores thanks to Paperdoll- Vintage. I think Adore Vintage is my favourite because it goes the furthest back in time and, as you probably know, I love the 1920s. However, it dates as far back as Victorian times as you can see here in this vintage blouse. It is perfect for 1950s/60s hooped dresses and swinging skirts.

The Individual Investment. Rice and Beans Vintage has a range of one off designer vintage items and lots of Chanel. This Victorian jacket is $600 but is a one off so no one else will have it. The same goes with everything else on this site. It really is all a piece of history. I will definitely be purchasing some Chanel from there in the future. It is vintage and a lot cheaper than you would get it in store.

Celine. The androgynous trend has not been phased out with the new season. This is a look that was sent down the runway at Celine's Spring/Summer show. I also think that the reinvention of the tuxedo for women would make a perfect Christmas outfit. I'm thinking black sparkly blazer, trousers and bow tie. I love bow ties at the moment. 

Chanel. Chanel is definitely my favourite S/S collection, not just because it's Chanel but because lots of clean cut silhouettes were presented. Everything was so neat and just so. This floaty maxi skirt to the left oozes gothic femininity. The collection featured rich embellishments and over-flowing ruffles. 

Givenchy. Just from browsing through the shows on I can tell that suits are a massive up and coming trend. Givenchy took the classic suit and changed its colour and proportions until you get what I am predicting to be one of the next big things: the pale pink suit. 

(Runway images from

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Wilson tartan (a.k.a my tartan)
There has been such an array of checks and tartans in high street stores and in catwalk shows that I would be surprised if Scotland has any left! This winter make sure you mismatch the prints to make it completely of the present. By the way, if your surname has Scottish roots (like mine does) then it is more than likely that their is a type of tartan with your name on it (literally.) 

Whilst on the topic of checks, tartans and the like I feel I should mention tweed and my current love for it. I am adoring tweed skinny cropped trousers at the moment. I have pictured a marvellous outfit in my head. Picture this: a navy blue silk scarf worn as a headband, a navy blue jumper with some sort of animal motif on it, skinny tweed cropped trousers and heeled brown loafers. 

Meanwhile, on the catwalk this year Rag and Bone have been embracing cosy blankets; creatively reinventing them as skirts. Whilst Carven have presented a flock of tartan mini dresses: forget the LBD, LTD FTW. Louis Vuitton took a step away from fetish (well, sort of, they kept the hats) to a different sort of discipline with blue check coats that nod towards school girl. Oscar de la Renta really took clashing prints to extremes with a quirky evening gown. Bright red check paired with a bouclĂ© jacket worked wonders at Moschino Cheap and Chic. Burberry incorporated both the checked trend and the out-sized look into their monochrome coats that shift slightly back into the 1960s. Step forward a decade and find fur scarf clad 1970s-esque models in more tartan at Sonia Rykiel. Missoni cheated on their trademark zigzag print with the new look that is checked- well, who can blame them, it is simply irresistible. Vivienne Westwood went for a kooky cool look by pairing one of her T-shirts for Comic Relief with a cute tartan skirt and blazer- geek chic all the way. Tory Burch wrapped up warm for winter with furry sleeves. Maxmara are all festive with a tartan sparkly coat. (Courtesy of 

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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Pop Music and Fashion Magazines

Rihanna's Vogue Cover
Lady Gaga: style icon of the music world
What is it with the fashion world’s fascination with pop and R&B singers? The answer is pretty simple. I mentioned a week ago, in my Pretty Passion, Fine Fashion post, that designers find awards ceremonies a good way to promote their latest collections. In today’s consumerist society we watch celebrities’ every move. Sites like Twitter make it easier than ever to do so. We are so influenced by what these people do that we, either knowingly or unknowingly find products endorsed by them more appealing. They are like Gods who have taken human form.

Pop Magazine
One of the main perks of being a singer is that you can get away with wearing totally weird, wacky and wonderful outfits in all your music videos. Lady Gaga, Queen of Music Fashion says “I'm mostly inspired by shapes, and using the body to create iconography. Leather culture and high-street punk fashion. I would say perfecto jackets occupy most of my fashion thoughts.” Gaga has built herself up as a brand using fashion. If she does not dress as she does then she would be like any other singer of this generation.

Adele's Vogue Cover
Another successful artist is Rihanna, who was Vogue’s cover girl for November 2011. In the photos for the magazine, she had blonde hair and wore grown up, sophisticated outfits. Adele was the magazine’s cover girl for October 2011. I was proud of Vogue for featuring a girl with curves on the cover. She is really beautiful and a true inspiration.

I have never purchased Pop magazine but it is one of those magazines that looks so nice, like Love or Vogue. This is because their covers are so stylish. In the past they have featured Sienna Miller, Drew Barrymore, Lindsay Lohan, Jourdan Dunn, Tavi Gevinson, Naomi Campbell, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and many, many more.

Guitarists and Folk Music

Emmy the Great
After playing guitar for four years I finally managed to find the sort of music that is really for me, my niche. I had tried classical on my acoustic nylon string guitar and I had tried rock on my pink electric guitar. However, for Grade Three last year I decided to have a go at folk guitar. So, this year I am taking Grade Four folk guitar and I have to buy a steel string acoustic for Christmas. I love the sound of it and the possible tunes. It produces a Taylor Swift-esque noise. I just wish I was better at singing.

Folk music is very suited to busking in a park. The scene is just so picturesque; especially when one is wearing a trilby hat, a loose knit jumper, a floral skirt and a chic pair of ankle boots.

Alex Winston
The good thing about guitars is that they sound just as good on their own as they do in a band. Emmy the Great and Alex Winston both started out by playing the guitar on their own but they now both have recorded albums and perform with backing bands.. They are both incredibly chic and stylish. In the world of fashion, music is nodding in their direction.

The culture of folk is an ever growing trend. In a recent Vogue issue they featured a huge spread on all the different parts of the culture and the different roles that people play; from witches to, well, guitarists. Oversized blankets have gone from hobo freak to hugely chic.

Inspirational People: Lily Allen

In her video for No.1 single, The Fear.
For many people, Lily Allen seems to have faded from view in the past year or so. At the start of 2010 she decided to take a break from music to focus on her family. In 2008 she miscarried after four months. However, the then twenty three year old really wanted to become a mum and when she got pregnant again in 2010 she did not want to take any risks. Her last album, It’s Not Me It’s You, was released in 2009. Not FairThe Fear and 22 were the three most successful singles from her second album. She later on featured in Just be Good to Green by Professor Green. Recently a new single has been released featuring one of her songs from It’s Not Me It’s You that has part of the song, Who’d Have Known. This single features Wiz Khalifa. 

In Chanel earrings and with pink
hair too!  Lookin' good. She almost
makes the burger look stylish.
To give up music must have been a huge sacrifice for Lily as it had been a prominent aspect of her life for over eight years and she was absolutely devastated when she miscarried again at six months. Friends at this time were worried for her as she was so distraught after her loss. However, she found hope through none other than fashion and her and her older sister, Sarah. They opened a boutique in London called Lucy In Disguise. It sells vintage and retro clothes. When it first opened in September 2010 there was a lot of speculation over its success. Sarah Jessica Parker apparently visited and left with nothing and it is said that the siblings’ understanding of fashion and retail is flawed. In July this year they were forced to close their boutique in Covent Garden but it is not necessarily over for Lucy in Disguise. The pair may reopen in another location in the future. 

Although she has slowly sort of faded out of the mainstream media, the singer turned fashion designer is still controversial. A lot of people dislike her but she has not let that stop her from achieving her dreams and that is why she is so inspirational. 

New Song:

rock and roll

Rock is another movement and music type that originated in the mid sixties. It is sometimes associated with emo style and lots of black. Today it can be incorporated into our wardrobes in a toned down manner with a few rock-star accessories and a bit of attitude.

Like the hippie movement it is also often associated with drugs and people refer to the “rock-star lifestyle” a lot. It can be said that Frankie Cocozza, who was recently kicked off of the popular TV Talent Contest, The X Factor, lived this sort of lifestyle. He had slept with a lot of girls and liked to boast about it, he was a hardcore partier and, by the time he was banned from the show, had gotten into Class A drugs.

Rock is portrayed a lot by the media. A TV show has already been mentioned and a film will be mentioned in the next paragraph. The book “Johnny Be Good” by Paige Toon is about a young woman who gets a job as a personal assistant for an internationally known rock-star who lives the stereotypical “rock-star lifestyle.” It shows how difficult it really is to work for someone like that. A well known song by Nickleback which was featured in a DFS campaign a few years ago has these lyrics in its chorus “’Cause we all just a wanna be a big rock star and live in hilltop houses, drivin’ fifteen cars and we’ll hang out in coolest bars with the VIPs and movie stars, every good gold digger’s gonna wind up there, every playboy bunny with her peach blonde hair and hey, hey I wanna be a rock-star.” This time we are not necessarily responsible for stereotyping. How can we be when every type of popular media is telling us the same thing? There are rock-stars out there that do not go to such extremes as they just want to work hard on the music, which is why they got involved in the first place but they probably still have a bit of a rock-star attitude. We cannot blame them for their behaviour as there is probably temptation around every corner.

If you have watched the film Grease, if not then I highly recommend that you do as it is my favourite film, then you will probably have heard a lot of rock and roll at the school dance and talk of rock and roll in the songs i.e. “rock and roll is here to stay, it will never die. It was meant to be that way, thought I don’t know why.” The most influential musicians from the early rock era were probably The Beatles and Elvis Presley, who both focused on the rhythm and blues side to rock which was paramount in the early rock age. In H&M at the moment they sell t-shirts with both photographs of Elvis and photographs of The Beatles on them as well as ones featuring Guns and Roses and The Rolling Stones. Jimi Hendrix was a very talented rock guitarist during this era and his style of music was more like the rock that we hear today.

From the late sixties up until the eighties, rock became an art form. Andy Warhol even became manager of rock band, Velvet Underground. Fashion is an art form so with all the rock and art merging together, let us takes a look at the style from that era. Expressive patterns and structured jackets were in abundance which signifies art’s influence at the time.

The punk movement was a large one that shifted popular music a lot. Today, we often refer to “punk style” in magazines or on style blogs. The Sex Pistols were probably the most significant artists of this era and the ones that we have heard of today.

Heavy metal, this is the sort of thing that I wanted to get to. I listen to Aerosmith sometimes as I have their album on my iPod but there are some people that say that Aerosmith are not heavy metal. Some of their songs are like “Toys in the Attic” are closer to heavy metal whereas songs like “I don’t wanna miss a thing” are bluesier. Heavy metal is arguably the most commonly misunderstood rock form.

Nowadays, the most popular type of rock is Indie rock with an Indie rock boyfriend being one of this season’s most stylish accessories. Keira Knightley is currently dating a member of Indie rock band, The Klaxons. Stylish couples are so hot right now. It is just so aesthetically pleasing to see two good looking people walking hand in hand. The Kooples campaign, French Connection campaign and Jack Wills all feature very stylish couples. 

To conclude, today, rock can be incorporated into our wardrobes through wearing T-shirts that commemorate previous rock heroes. I have seen a lot of people wearing the Guns and Roses T-shirt that you can see above and every time I see someone wearing it I think that they must have something to do with rock and roll. Wearing them with some distressed skinny jeans and battered black converses gives off the "I don't care" look but if you want something more glamorous opt for a black tube skirt, holey black tights, black platforms and lots of gothic make-up. Chokers are huge this season and a black choker will add a touch of rock to the tamest outfits as will black eye make-up, so there are many ways in which you can rock out. Have fun experimenting.

PS. If you want the look to work really well, join a band! If you don't already play an instrument, take up bass guitar as you can join a band almost straight away as the simplest sequences are easy enough for a beginner to learn.     

Friday, 18 November 2011


The stereotypical image that has a habit of forming in one’s head when the word “hippie” is mentioned is that of a 1970s looking orange and purple floral flare clad man or woman in the sort of costume that you might perhaps find in a dressing up shop. However, it was originally a youth movement formed in the mid 1960s in the USA and since then has taken many shapes and forms in other countries all around the world.

In today’s society, hippies are often almost synonymous with drugs and music; however, again, that is another stereotype. A person who rejected established institutions and values and sought spontaneity.” This extract from the dictionary definition of hippie infers that hippies just want to have fun and be themselves. That, perhaps, is why music and drugs can sometimes become involved. Music is a way of expressing oneself and it can be used to fight against what is expected of you but it is fun also. This side of it is an inspirational one. However, the drug side is a more extreme way of “rejecting established institutions and values.” Drugs are often portrayed in the media as spontaneous and accidental (i.e. when drinking a considerable amount of alcohol one may do things that they would not normally do, which could be getting involved in more dangerous drugs.)

Seventies style is tantamount with hippies. “Often expressed externally in the wearing of casual, folksy clothing and beads, headbands, used garments, etc.” The Navajo, Aztec, folksy look is very now, so, will we see a rise in hippie behaviour or are clothes really just clothes? How much does fashion affect the way we behave? Fashion is about the way we present ourselves to other people so, if one did decide to take this trend to extremes they might get a few odd stares or maybe some rumours flying around. The beauteous thing about working in the fashion industry is that style endeavours are commended but if you turned up to a normal office job in hardcore hippie style dress you are running the risk of getting fired. Although hippies were established in the mid 1960s, the 60s are associated more with Hairspray-esque dresses and cutesy hair bands. They were a time when dresses were again in style for women, even after Chanel’s hard work on establishing women’s trousers, the legend herself was mostly seen her classic skirt suits in her old age. Hippies definitely seem to be more of a seventies thing. Images of men and women sitting under a tree with a guitar springs to mind; the men and women are both wearing similar attire and smoking cannabis.

Are we bad people to make stereotypes? There are some stereotypes that are morally wrong in today’s society when developed countries are as diverse as they ever will be. Is the hippie stereotype a negative one though? Surely, associating hippies with drugs is a bad thing and there must be modern hippies who do not dress like they have just stepped out of the seventies. As humans we often remember the negatives as opposed to the positives. Hippies believe in love and peace and that is a positive to the subculture. They also believe in not judging others by their appearance so perhaps a hippie inhabited world would make it a better place.

Like many subcultures there is a sense of solidarity through style, though grossly commercialised today. However, next time you take hippie style inspo from hippies walk round saying “Peace out!” and people will be like “Same to you bro.” And if they are just a budding fashionista they will hopefully take that comment as a compliment as it proves that their style efforts have succeeded and have not gone unnoticed.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Pretty Passion, Fine Fashion #2

An award winning outfit by eco-friendly designer, Sara Emilie Terp Hansen who won the award for Unique Balance at this year's Centre for Sustainable Fashion's Fashioning the Future Awards. Image courtesy of
To read more about the ceremony and to see other award winners go to

High profile awards ceremonies are synonymous with style. They are a chance for fresh, young designers to establish themselves as a brand and a chance for already popular labels to broadcast new collections and boost current sales. What about less mainstream award ceremonies though? OK, waaay less mainstream. I'm talking about school ones of course. I would, however, like to point out that although I described it as waaay less mainstream and it certainly was not the Oscar's or the BAFTAs; the mayor did attend, it was in a special off site venue and it shall be in the local paper. 

The shortage of couture however, did not equal the shortage of style or (dare I be so cheesy?) the shortage of talent. My friend and I were constantly commentating on the outfits throughout the morning's rehearsal. The headteacher's black suede knee high boots were nice, we decided, but the suit+roll-neck ensemble was not working out for her. Then there was a sixth former who wore a cream sheer blouse with black silk details paired with burgundy trousers that we loved. I did not notice until later how much I loved the elaborately designed top that looked very Versace-like. It was slightly out-sized but fitted at the same time. It was navy with gold embellishments. As far as footwear was concerned there was no lack of chic boots, chunky heels or brogues. Silk/sheer shirts were in abundance as were erm...short skirts. 

However, as Year 10 we were under strict orders not to roll up our skirts but I do not roll mine up anyway and I have a post planned that will explain my reasons for that choice. 

An awards ceremony is not unlike a fashion show. For me this meant ensuring that both my hair and my make-up were looking chic and smart. I tied my hair up in a high bun. I put on a bit more mascara than usual and added blusher to my cheeks. 

I won the award for Japanese by the way (thank you very much) whilst the friend whom I was commenting on the style with, won the award for Food Technology (talk about friends with benefits!) 

Although it was all a bit of a drag I was inspired by the ceremony. You know, inspired in the kind of geeky way that the school wants you to be inspired. 


This is the exact shirt that one of the sixth form girls was wearing. I had loved this style before anyway. I really want to get a new chiffon shirt. I only have one that is really floaty and I would prefer something more subtle and versatile. 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Annie Hall

I did not entirely understand this film so I will not pretend that I did and bore you in my attempt to describe the plot. To sum it up though, it follows the lives of two lovers during their relationship. Perhaps the reason I did not pay too much attention to the plot was because I was admiring her clothes; Annie Hall's that is. 
At first I could not quite put my finger on her style but as the film progressed it definitely grew on me. It was a kind of cool, bohemian chic. However, throughout the film she also wears some more androgynous styles. She quite often reinvents herself with different outfits but keeps the same look at the same time, if you get what I mean. 
For £4.99 this dress is fabulous; so bohemian, hippie like. It also looks very comfortable. It's the sort of thing that would be perfect to chill out in but can be dressed up too. 

So, you look at this top and you think: oh, a polo-neck. However, this is not just any polo-neck. It is a (wait for it) heat generating long sleeve thermal top. Perfect for going underneath summery maxi dresses like the one above. Polo-necks are very controversial at the moment. Some people think that they are frumpy and cover up too much. However, they are fabulous for wearing under summer tops like in the same way that tights and leggings go under skirts and shorts. Vogue recently did a feature on polo-necks with an argument for and against. 

Dress, Republic. Top, Marks and Spencers 
Shirt, H&M. Waistcoat, Tammy @ BHS. Chinos, Primark.

 Above, are my takes on both Annie's outfit in her first appearance and her signature look (the shirt, waistcoat and chinos.) She wears the waistcoat with the top button done up and the rest of them loose. Her mentioned her androgyny earlier and now you probably see what I mean. You can purchase the shirt here.

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