Sunday, 26 February 2012

Summer Dressing: By The Pool

I love the whole vintage Americana thing going down at Prada this season. However, the distinguished car print is not yet available in high street equivalents but there is no shortage of crop tops and pencil skirts; the perfect pool side recipe for this summer. It is so '50s glamour. 

This is what I wore by the pool last summer:

Summer Dressing: In The City

Items in this set

Here I'm imagining that the weather is moderately cool. Perhaps you are dressing for London or maybe Paris. For Milan or New York you can make a few simple adjustments. Wear a sleeveless chiffon top for the day and lose the boucle jacket for the night. The clothes are budget buys but the bag and shoes are classics that are incredibly versatile and instantly make any look grown up and sophisticated. 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

18th Century

If you take into consideration how many of today's films that are most notable in fashion for their costumes are set in the 18th century it is surprising how this era often seems overlooked. Of course, with it being such a long time ago it is difficult for a modern woman to relate to every aspect of life back then but it is still recent enough for it to not be entirely alien to us. It would of course be a struggle and a huge set back in women's rights if we went back to living how they did in the 1700s . The class divide was huge, but the wealthier females (the ones who the films tend to be about) would have worn corsets everyday and large skirts that would often leave scarring like the wedding dresses in Big Fat Gypsy Weddings. The fashion goes against everything Coco Chanel stood for but there is still such a storybook fairytale like intrigue with 18th century style. Practicality aside, there is such a magical ambiance around an extravagant (if not entirely uncomfortable) 18th century gown.

Marie Antoinette and The Duchess; two modern film interpretations of two influential, interesting women in the 1700s. They are both too similar. They marry a rich man with a title and lead miserable life due to this man. Women are so suppressed by heavy gowns and society's rules that there is nothing Marie or Duchess Georgiana can do about their situation. They remain rich girls in pretty clothes, who lead scandalous lives that make brilliant 21st century movies. Of course, it is the clothes that really make them so brilliant. Marie Antoinette is written and directed by Sofia Coppola in such a glamorous way. It really is modernized but not in a tacky ruin-the-whole-story kind of way but a chic, fabulous way. From the opening scene of luxury with modern music to the mischievous way that Marie Antoinette is portrayed; it has all the ingredients for an award winning film. And that it was with an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design among others mostly for either costume design or directing/writing. The Duchess is much to do with fashion because Georgiana was very much an 18th Century British style icon. She was witty and intelligent and always setting the new trends. I have bought the book of The Duchess and will let you know when I have read it. I am hoping that her love of fashion will lead to vivid description of costumes like the ones in the film.

There are two ways in which to channel the modern 18th century woman. A bit of a contrast right? How do you blend today's women with a woman from 300 years ago? Well, the first way is the maxi gown. These have been abundance for the past two years now and this season is no different. Luxurious fabrics and rich tones are the most opulent and upper class. Think couture gowns like these beauties from Alexis Mabille, Maxime Simoens, Dior, Elie Saab and Armani Prive. I think it is fair to say that Dior is the gown guru. Ever since the world famous "New Look" Dior has been building up its collection of gowns. Coco Chanel hated the label because she brought back everything that she had fought so hard to get rid of; corsets, extravagant dresses etc. Coco Chanel might be legendary and inspirational but she could not get between a girly girl and the allure of a fabulous gown.

The second option for 18th century dress code is slightly more pro feminism. The 1700s was when pirates were at large (cue the next movie to discuss; Pirates of the Caribbean.) The below catwalk photos are all actually from 2007 but they provide general swashbuckling style inspiration  for when you want to find your inner pirate in a more legal way than sailing the seas and taking hostages. Military jackets, skulls, knee high boots and oversized feathers all add a touch of the high seas to high fashion.

Which look do you prefer?

What good films have you seen set in the 18th century?

Pretty Passion, Fine Fashion #12

Pretty Passion.
Last month I watched The September Issue and The Devil Wears Prada back to back. Afterwards I felt inspired by both of them. I know it is a very heated debate that The September Issue is actually just like the real life version of The Devil Wears Prada but I love both of them so I don't have a problem with this. The Devil Wears Prada is such an iconic classic. Nearly everybody who has seen it. Like Mean Girls it is just one of those chick flicks that you have to watch.  
Fine Fashion.
I was very proud of myself when I thought of a rather creative title for this week's Fine Fashion about pastel colours. Drum roll please..."Light as a Feather." Of course, I am talking about Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior's omnipresent idea of pastels as the colours of the summer. My favourite pieces were in a pastel glacier blue but the lemony yellow is growing on me. Frosty hues do not need a contrasting orange-brown skin to compliment them. Frosty shades of colour look super modern on frosty-pale skin. However, light colours will keep you cool in the sun. You might want to buy some pastel-y clothes soon because in the UK we seem to be having our summer days super early this year (February, seriously, what is that about. Only a few weeks ago it was snowing.) Midi dresses are my favourite style for pastels; longer lengths add to the feeling of fresh summer purity. Pleats are chic as are broderie anglais details. You can wear them in any situation and they are ideal for summer. Wear in the garden, on the beach and perhaps even to work. Although these pieces are sweet, more frosty tones are the most stylish this season. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Trendy Muse-ic

If any photograph epitomizes the link between fashion and music in the world of today it is this one. Karl Lagerfeld and Florence Welch standing side by side whilst the models, draped in clothes that are so elegantly present; the sort of elegance that can only be pulled off by the fashion house of Chanel. Karl and Florence have their arms round one and other symbolising that this is not the first time they have met. They have actually become quite close. Florence sung at Chanel's fabulous spring/summer '12 catwalk show. This show in particular took the fashion world by storm. The creative buzz was omnipresent and I think it reminds everyone why we love fashion. 

The newest musical prodigy on the fashion scene is Lana Del Rey. She is this month's British Vogue's cover star. It is her Vogue cover d├ębut; the sort of thing that occupies the dreams of us mere mortals. Lana had her first big hit with Video Games which was released last October. Personally, I adore her voice and her style of music. You can listen to her new single Born to Die here or you can purchase her album by the same name here. She has definitely made her mark in the fashion world. Her track "Video Games" was played at Christopher Kane's spring/summer '12 London show, she sang at a Dior gig in Beijing and also at a Mulberry party at the Chateau Marmont. Her make-up always makes a statement; the artistic designs and the long pointed ends on her nails and the interesting shapes of her eye lashes and eye make up. She has some very strong facial features and knows how to work them to her advantage. The make-up in the above collage is the actual make up from her Vogue cover. I think of Lana's style as cute and pastelly like her Vogue shoot and like the chiffon shirt on the album cover for Born to Die but she adds edgy details that include make up. Her songs are not lovely and sweet and happy but they are haunting. They are beautiful nonetheless but in the kind of beauty that is more difficult to understand and interpret.

Other Trendy Muses 
- Rihanna
Her hairstyles are always changing, her songs are always controversial and she is said to be executive producer for a new TV show due to air in the spring. This show will aim to find a new fashion designer and will be available to watch on Sky Living. She says, "I always had a great love of fashion."
- Adele
This woman is the star of music at the moment; stealing the night at the BRITS and the Grammy's. Being that famous and dressing nicely go hand in hand but Adele is so inspirational because she is so beautiful but not stick thin. Although she is curvy she still dresses fabulously and always looks happy and healthy. 
- Lady Gaga
You can read my post on Lady Gaga here. She is clearly an icon that will go down in history; for her dress sense perhaps even more than her music! 
- Eliza Doolittle
In January of last year, Eliza was signed by Select models. She has modelled for Nike and Moschino. You can see her Select model portfolio here.  

Summer Dressing: On a Night Out

Catwalk photo from
Suit, Topshop, SOLD OUT
Shoes, ASOS, £21.50
Clutch, River Island, £28

Forget the LBD and its more colourful sisters. This summer its all about pyjamas; yes pyjamas. You can go out in them and relax on a night out just as you would at home. Well, not quite. These pyjamas have class, style and sophistication with the best of them made of silk with bold prints (paisley is a runway favourite.) Pyjama suits that suit the evening are tricky to find but suits with a bold print work just as well. There is something refreshing about this trend. It is so comfortable and functional yet it is also a big statement as it's a giant leap from the ordinary evening mini dress. My personal reassurance that this will work is that it is not dissimilar to a jumpsuit and possibly it has evolved from that as the jumpsuit was a chic evening wear choice last summer and jewel toned jumpsuits were at Gucci in their autumn/winter '12 collection.

For a fresh summery allure the pyjama suit is just what the fashion doctor ordered.   

Last summer I went on holiday to Cyprus where the evenings were warm so I dressed like this:

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Pretty Passion, Fine Fashion #11

Pretty Passion. 
It's been out for over a month and already I am on the prowl for items that fit into the trend categories in it as I am sure many other Vogue worshippers lovers are doing also. Pale and Interesting, The Great Gatsby, Pyjama Party: just a few of the creative names that conjure up spring/summer catwalk images in my mind. But now, not only catwalk photographs invade my brain but cute high street finds as well. My ever growing Styloko scrapbook contains my favourite pieces that may find their home in my closet before August comes around and I take them with me to Portugal. I love shopping for summer. The Vogue Catwalk Guide for spring/summer is what helps me decide what to take with me on holiday in the summer. Last year it was midi skirts, tangerines and blues but this year it will be pastels, whites and animal prints. Without further ado I present you with my amended Vogue Trend Guide that features all the high street equivalents to the best looks from the runway. Enjoy and I hope this also helps you with your packing. I know summer seems like ages away but you can never prepare too early and I love thinking about all those blue skies and sunny days ahead.

Fine Fashion.

Monday, 13 February 2012


Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Dolce and Gabbanna
Spring/Summer 2012
The conventional dress for the spring is bright and full of flowers to blend with the blossoms as they bloom. But do you really want to just blend in with your surroundings? Once again, florals are a trend for the summer season but this time some designers have decided to put a slightly unorthodox twist on the classic sun dress. It may not be gothic in the sense that images of vampires and Victorian graveyards conjure up in your mind but it does make me think of more of a distorted spring. Probably the sort that we would have hear in Britain; one that is swallowed up by the clouds and the rain. Pessimistic as it may sound, it is an ominous fact that there will always be rain in England. The contrast from previous floral patterns and the distinction between monochrome and rainbow makes me think about the contrasts and distinctions between the grotesque and the beautiful and the good and the evil. It is true that spring is not all bright daffodils and fluffy bunnies like you see on your average Easter card. Bad things happen in the spring too; dark things. However, the flowers remind us that there is still hope and happiness whilst the black tells us not to just ignore the bad things that happen. This trend is classy and sophisticated also. Whilst pinks and yellows are fun and happy and create images of picnics and rolling around on bright green grass, blacks and whites could easily be worn to the office or in the evening to a formal dinner party. To spice up the look add a bright contrasting pair of shoes and a bag; preferably red. Then add some silver chandelier earrings and you're good to go.

Baroque Tiara - 08BRQ-SB801
Slim Barrett Baroque Tiara
Costume designer, Slim Barrett has an array of medieval inspired collections that are a nod onto the gothic side. His Baroque Tiara has been purchased by the Victoria and Albert museum after being used on the catwalk for Anthony Price. Personally, I feel that there has been a gothic side to every era before the 20th Century. After that people were inspired by the past and used it to become what is known today as a "goth." 

Goths have been in the media and there are a fair few celebrities who have either been goths or still are. In general, goths are accepted into society in a normal way and they are not the most discriminated minority. I suppose it depends on how far you take it. It could just be a teenagery stage or you could go really hardcore goth for the rest of your life. Some celebrity goths are Taylor Momsen and Avril Lavigne. 

Taylor Momsen: Get the Look

When I picture Taylor Momsen, she is still a sixteen year old girl who wears a ton of make-up, dresses in a uniform of t-shirts and suspenders and openly jokes about sex toys on live radio but when I started to Google her style for this post I found this look which I find rather more sophisticated than the others. I really like the MAC lipstick that I found and there is no denying that these 6.5 inch heels have the WOW factor. 

Get The Look: The Victorian Goth

Many Gothic styles originated from over a century ago in the Victorian era where people wore lace up boots and gothic, swirl embellished gowns whilst carrying precious stone encrusted coin purses. There is something spooky about the past. Many dark thrillers are set in the Victorian era where hanging was still legal and what now look like ghostly mansions were constructed. If we look even further into the past we will find evidence of witch hunts and gruesome tortures that  all too often occurred. However, the subculture that is gothism did not begin until the 1980s. It originated from gothic rock music. The Pearson's Renaissance shop is perfect for anyone who has a taste for spooky styles of the past. Among dresses and accessories are eerie cloaks and knight's adornment and equipment.   

Get the Look: The Modern Goth

Monochrome flowers might be in style on the catwalk but on the high street gothism is being channelled through the medium of crosses. Black will always be in style as Coco Chanel once said, "Black wipes out everything else around" meaning that the wearer will stand out although because it is such a plain colour and so popular, it does not stand out much. Nevertheless, gothism is not all about black and cross t-shirts, dresses and jewellery are the main focus of the high street's gothic antics. The purse in this collage gives the overall outfit a costume style touch.  

The Hardcore Goth

Corsets, platforms and skulls should grace a serious goth's darkened wardrobe. I like the vintage black shirts as well; peter pan collars and pussy bows are best. The main outfit in the centre of this collation is the leather skirt, fishnet tights, creepers  and peter pan collar top. This look is not too gothic but I really like it so put it in the foreground anyway. I love creepers at the moment; black ones, leopard print ones, dalmatian print ones: all of them. 

Gothic Event- Le Bal des Vampires
Carine Roitfeld threw a clever costume party to celebrate her biography Irreverent. The fashion celebrities all came dressed in gothic styles for the party had a vampire theme. Carine herself wore a gorgeous Givenchy gown with dramatic make up. The decor was also wonderful; fur and blood red velvet.

Best Gothic Books
Teen vampire novels seem to have taken over the world right now but there are many other gothic related classics that are still widely recognised today. I included the future classic, Twilight seeing as that is the original famous teenage vampire novel (even though Vampire Diaries came first but never mind.)

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer

Best Gothic Films
Many thrillers have a gothic ambiance to them; especially the ones set in scary mansions. Below are some of the best:

Bride of Frankenstein
Sleepy Hollow
The Others
The Haunting
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride

Best Gothic Music
The term goth originated from '80s music but which artists are the most successful today? The below names were taken from the 2012 goth charts. 

Lacuna Coil
Anneke Van Giersbergen

Gothic Styles on the Catwalk- spring/summer 2012
Images from

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Pretty Passion, Fine Fashion #10

Pretty Passion.

(image from wikipedia) 

I have been wanting to call Vogue my pretty passion ever since I first started the weekly pretty passion, fine fashion but it inspires me every month so I was not really sure when to use it. However, I think the time is now right. The March issue is the second biggest of the year and contains a large mass of trend reports and new ad campaigns. This year Lana Del Rey is on the cover. I love this because she is so new to success in the music industry so once again Vogue are ahead of the trends but this time not only in the fashion industry but in music as well.

Fine Fashion.

(image from

Referring back to Vogue again when I write about this but last month when they released their official spring/summer catwalk trend guide, the biggest spread was honing in on pastels and this Dolce and Gabbana dress is what jumped out of the page for me. That probably sounds odd as pastels are very pale so tend not to jump out the page as much as the past colour blocking trend did but when I let my eyes skim over the delicately beautiful array of looks, this was later on the dress that stuck in my mind. I got straight on the trail of finding a high street equivalent and luckily I did in none other than River Island.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Absent Friends

(all images from google)

Last night I went on one of the most spontaneous trips of my life so far. During the morning at school my friend asked me if I wanted to go to the theatre after school and I told her that I was going to Starbucks with someone but she said that would be fine and I could go anyway. I assumed it was local but soon discovered it was in London. It was all quite rushed but in the end I got to London and watched a show called Absent Friends.

The style was '70s galore; flares, roll-necks, paisley, platforms. It was all there. The stunning Kara Tointon was in the opening scene with a baby in a perfectly pretty vintage pram. Kara herself wore a roll-neck, navy velvet flares, brown ankle boots and a string of pearls whilst she also carried a round tan brown bag. The second character to arrive on the stage was dressed in a paisley maxi dress. This caught my eye as I had read an article in Vogue about paisley just a couple of days before. I kept thinking that I really wanted her dress but I would cut it shorter. River Island do a nice paisley dress here. The third character came in and started talking about shoes right away before getting out some burnt orange suede platforms (could anything be more synonymous with '70s style?) This character wore a blue chiffon midi dress with brown court shoes.

Overall, the play was a fabulous experience. I recommend seeing it and I'm glad I went.