Saturday, 22 December 2012

Ay, Caramba!

I have been a fan of Jeremy Scott for many years. To me, he represents the epitome of young exciting designers that have burst onto the scene in recent years and his collaborations with Adidas have been hugely successful. The thing I love most about his work are the eccentric prints. The rose and plane print from Spring 2009 was an obsession for ages and I get really envious every time I see someone with a bag from the Longchamp collection.

Jeremy Scott x Longchamp (image credit)

As usual, Jeremy Scott’s fall 2012 collection was an explosion of colour, sequins and cartoons. Bart Simpson’s face adorned many looks in the collection. As someone who has been a life long Simpsons fan, I absolutely love that it has worked its way onto the catwalk.

Jeremy Scott Fall 2012 - images from

Model Cara Delevingne has really set this trend off after she was sighted in the sweater and skirt backstage at various fashion shows. She is so effortlessly cool and I think this is the spirit of Jeremy Scott’s clothing so it is a perfect pairing. I think the best way to work this trend would be to keep the rest simple so I’d probably pair the jumper with black leggings and doc martens or (if I was lucky enough to own some) UNIF Hellbounds. Cara Delevingne paired hers with a backpack and trainers which channels the fun childhood element of cartoons.

Cara Delevingne in Jeremy Scott (image credit)

Blogger favourite Romwe has got some impressive Jeremy Scott inspired pieces for a fraction of the price. However, the increasing popularity of this trend means they keep selling out. I've got my eye on this shirt like a hawk and should it restock (fingers crossed) I will more than likely snap it up. To me, this faded denim shirt with cartoon references feels really nineties – maybe it is the connection with my childhood?

'Cartoon Portrait Head' Shirt - Romwe

However, I think there are cheaper and more creative ways to channel this trend on a student budget. Many high street stores like Primark have children's sections full of cartoon prints (usually Simpsons merchandise!) and a boy's t-shirt, in a large size, would look great with the sleeves rolled up, high waisted jeans tough silver accessories and docs. You could even chop it up and make it into a crop but you’d have to be really brave to do that in this British chill!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Anna Wintour as US Ambassador to the UK?

I know this is a somewhat rather late weigh-in on the argument as it seems to have died down on the internet but I thought I'd give my ten pence anyway.

Rumours have been snaking around the internet that Anna Wintour is to be approached by Barack Obama for the position of US ambassador to the UK. Wintour’s publicist has outright denied that she would take up such an offer in the unlikely event she was offered it. However, regardless of this many have been speculating about whether or not Wintour is a suitable candidate for the position.

Anna Wintour is arguably the most powerful person in the global $200 billion fashion industry today. In her 24-year career as editor-in-chief of US Vogue, she has engineered some very successful business and fashion partnerships. The documentary ‘The September Issue’ showed the blossoming Thakoon and Gap relationship, put together by Wintour who singled out the young designer for the position. She has also raised substantial amounts of money for charity and over $500,000 for Obama’s re-election fund. Furthermore, in an age where many are mourning the death of the printed word and many newspapers and magazines are struggling to gain a decent readership, Wintour has pushed Vogue to the very forefront of fashion publishing.

Nile Gardiner, of The Telegraph, was quite spiteful in the way in which he talked about fashion and dismissed Anna Wintour as merely part of Obama’s ‘obsession with celebrities’. Wintour is not the celebrity face on the front of the magazine as Gardiner woefully dismisses. Instead, she is the woman behind it. The driving force that keeps Vogue as one of the world’s most successful fashion magazines and has a considerable influence in the careers of both established and up-and-coming fashion designers. It seems Gardiner expects Wintour to take on the persona of her supposed Devil Wears Prada alter ego Miranda Priestly with the headline ‘the Special Relationship is not a fashion statement’. I imagine the only reaction Miranda Priestly-esque reaction Wintour would have to that wholly patronising headline is a dismissing roll of the eyes.

However, dealing with business issues does not necessarily translate well into dealing with important diplomatic issues, which is the central role of a US ambassador. ‘A Rose in the Desert’ was the headline of a 3,000 word glowing report of the Asma al-Assad, first lady of Assad’s murderous Syrian regime, printed by Vogue in march 2011. Many consider this mistake to have blighted Wintour’s chances at the post and would be a shady point in the unlikely event she were offered it. Fortunately, Vogue later distanced itself from the deplorable Assad regime and the article was pulled from their website. However, somebody in such an instrumental diplomatic position, as the US ambassador to the UK would be, cannot afford to make a mistake like this.

Ultimately, I think Anna Wintour is unsuitable for the position of US ambassador to the UK because of her lack of political experience, and on this basis only. Her position as a powerful business woman simply cannot be disputed and I want to tear my hair out when I read online articles in relation to this issue that belittle her for the position purely on the basis of her role in the ‘seemingly pointless’ fashion business.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

1205 / Paula Gerbase

Paula Gerbase is one of my latest discoveries and fits perfectly into the kind of style I’ve been feeling lately, which are really tailored and masculine cuts that still manage to retain femininity. (Think Cos)

Gerbase studied womenswear at Central St Martins and later took up a Savile Row apprenticeship at Hardy Amies where she learnt the art of fine British tailoring. After this, Gerbase spent five years as head designer at Savile Row giant Kilgour before launching her own brand, 1205 in 2010. 1205 is named after her date of birth. On her website, Gerbase herself picks up on the fine blurred lines of femininity and masculinity in her work. The quality of fabrics used is central to the vision of 1205 as a brand. 1205 seems to have gathered quite the following in Japan but, much to my amazement, seems to be quite a secret elsewhere in the world.

I’ve selected some of my favourite pieces from her AW12 collection below, all images from the 1205 website:

Friday, 7 December 2012

Festive dressing

I've had a H&M long sleeved chiffon dress as my trust LBD for nearly two years. It has been reliable and I've worn it over and over again. However, it started to look really tired and tatty so I started to search for a new 'going out' dress. Anyway, over the past few weeks I'd spotted this 'Gabby' dress from Motel on a few bloggers and decided to go for it (20% student discount, score) and it is utterly amazing. It is definitely a statement dress and I'm looking forwards to wearing it out over the holiday period. Was a bit gutted when I discovered they did the 'Gabby' dress in an iridescent blue/purple colour after I'd bought the green one but this is really lovely and rather festive. I'm a bit blah about the top of my arms (and cold weather) so I prefer long sleeved dresses but it is cut quite low at the back which is a really nice subtle way of showing some skin. I think nail varnish and lipstick would have improved this look a bit but I'll definitely be doing that when I actually wear it out.

At Christmas, the more sequins the better. The festive period is definitely a reasonable excuse to bring out the beautifully eccentric. I've selected a few of my favourite dresses in price ranges to suit all pockets.

£100 +

For those with a slightly more generous budget this christmas, the Topshop Limited Edition range has some really lovely festive dresses. Like the black one on the left, most are really elegant 20s/30s inspired pieces. However, the one on the right is just amazing. The repeat pattern print reminds me of gold baubles and the structure of the dress with the front/back cut outs is really striking.

£50 - £100

This ASOS dress is really festive, it reminds me of multi-coloured christmas lights and baubles. The main reason I went for the long sleeved version of the Motel 'Gabby' dress was chilly Sheffield weather. If it wasn't for that, I would have seriously considered the off-the-shoulder version as it still covers the arm issue and is really striking.


This plunge maxi dress isn't exactly for the faint hearted and I probably wouldn't wear it out to go clubbing but the festive period usually means cocktail evenings, balls, and dressy parties. For those kind of occasions, this would be amazing. Crimson velvet has always seemed really festive to me. The misguided skater dress is a steal at £19 and would look great with some black sparkly stilettos and and discrete gold jewellery.

While not a going out dress, I stumbled across this christmas jumper dress while searching for dresses to include in this post and was immediately taken with it. This would be great to wear with sparkly black tights on christmas day.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Alexander Wang at Balenciaga

Again, sorry to be massively late on posting about such big news but uni work blah blah blah. Perhaps I haven't been paying attention to fashion news very well lately but I definitely did not see this one coming. However, now it has happened, it totally makes sense. Wang's style is very much in keeping with Balenciaga's clean cut image. Wang is still maintaining his own label which enforces the idea that he will try something a bit new at the helm of Balenciaga. This is an opportunity to maximise on the opportunities that an established fashion house can provide for someone who is still a relatively new designer.

Its interesting that many believed Christopher Kane to be the next at the helm. Perhaps he is headed for a role at a major fashion house in the next few years. I can image Christopher Kane at Burberry for some reason (not that I want Christopher Bailey to leave!).

Now my university deadlines are over and the holidays approach, hoping to make more frequent posts. Ordered the Motel Gabby dress in Iridescent green the other day so I'll post about that when it arrives and some christmas wishlists etc.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Nicolas Ghesquiere Departing from Balenciaga

I've been super busy with uni work and will be for a bit yet but wanted to just acknowledge (though pretty late on this one!) the departure of Nicolas Ghesquiere from Balenciaga after 15 years. Throughout my younger teenager years when I was just getting interested in fashion properly and discovering various fashion designers, labels and their styles, Balenciaga was one that always markedly stood out. I'm writing this as though its an obituary and its not of course! I look forwards to seeing what his next move is and what direction Balenciaga take after his departure.

Just a select few of my favourite Ghesquiere Balenciaga designs. The last one is from my all time favourite collection of his, spring 2011. Been trying to work a similar look recently (with jeans instead of the shorts...):

Fall 2006 RTW

Spring 2008 RTW

Spring 2011 RTW

Monday, 22 October 2012

Oops... Recent Haul

Sorry for the absence, been very busy with general uni stuff but I'm making a concerted effort to get back into blogging. Meanwhile, I've not been so sensible with money over the past month or so and have quite hastily stocked up on my winter wardrobe. I've tried to justify most of them by claiming they're things I needed but some... not so much.

Coat - Zara - £139.99

Yeah it hurt to type that out. The coat did indeed cost me £140, no student discounts or anything but its damn beautiful so that consoles me slightly. I'm in the process of selling my Debenhams coat from last year to lessen the price blow a bit but I am really pleased with this one. I've been after a leather jacket and a smart black winter coat so it kinda kills two birds with one stone.

Backpack - Urban Outfitters (Mens) - £44 (includes 20% discount)

This is the first of my student discount purchases. The big shopping centre in Sheffield is Meadowhall and every year they have a student 'lock-in' where big stores like Topshop have 20% off. While I don't turn my nose up at Topshop 20% off (as you'll find out in a minute...) they do it quite often but its great for shops like Urban Outfitters that rarely do above the usual 10%. Last year I used a tatty leather satchel I'd gotten off ASOS for uni. It had frankly seen better days and carrying books on one shoulder was starting to hurt so I decided on a practical purchase for once. Its a guy's bag and kind of oversized but I love it. I kind of want it to get beaten up a bit and look worn and the badge collection was bigger than that but they have a habit of falling off! I had a really great one that I got from a gig where a sub-pop band called Jaill were playing.

Leather Bag - Topshop - £60 (includes 20% discount)

When I got my first part time job at 16 I spent my first pay check on a lovely leather bag from Topshop that I used day in and day out religiously. Last year one of the handles dropped off and I reverted to using my beloved Rough Trade canvas. However, it's not really ideal for everyday and when I spotted this on a shelf in Topshop I instantly fell for it. I seriously love the shape of this bag and it feels like amazing quality.

Nighthawk studded boots - Office - £75 (includes 10% discount)

I remember seeing the original Chloe boot about two years ago and being a bit unsure about them but I needed to get some winter boots so I decided to try these Office copycat versions on and fell for them instantly. The buckle/stud detail is pretty badass so they're definitely the statement part of an outfit. They're also incredibly comfortable.

'a' Necklace - Accessorize - £4

I don't have much gold jewellery, always been more of a silver person, but this dinky little necklace just caught my eye. Works great on its own with white shirts and t-shirts.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

NYFW/LFW Favourites

Mary Katrantzou (LFW)

It has become pretty much a given that Mary Katrantzou will be featured in my favourites. She has never done a collection that I've disliked and I fell for S/S13 hard. I love the exotic stamp theme that runs throughout it and the odd structures to some of the dresses.

Lacoste (NYFW)

I'm not usually one for sports wear but this was by far one of my favourite collections from NYFW. I love the repeat pattern sports detailing on some of the pieces, especially the polo shirt print and the simple outfits. It seems I love the two extremes: crazy structures (Mary Katrantzou, Vivienne Westwood etc) or just really simple like this Lacoste collection. The splashes of cobalt blue throughout the collection went well against the crisp clean white.

3.1 Phillip Lim (NYFW)

Dungarees are that one item I've always secretly wished I could get away with. So when these wonderful pink creations graced the catwalk at 3.1 Phillip Lim I was over the moon. I'm also quite taken with the floral word t-shirts, they remind me a bit of the craze for Frankie Goes to Hollywood style 'RELAX' t-shirts that were everywhere in 2006 but in a good way.

Mulberry (LFW)

Didn't like the ochre leather at the start of the collection (for some reason it reminds me of the 1970s, in the worst way possible) but as it went on it just got better and better. I'm really into tailoring at the moment and can't seem to get enough of the metallic brocades that are popping up everwhere. There is a rather lovely pair of metallic brocade cigarette trousers in Topshop at the moment that are tempting me...

House of Holland (LFW)

I loved the House of Holland collection so much. It feels a lot more grown up than any of his previous collections but there were still elements of his trademark bursts of youthful fun. This dye tie was a particular highlight for me and I am desperate for it to trickle down into the highstreet!

What have been your favourite collections from the recent fashion weeks?

All images:

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Dolly's Delights

Published on Forge Press Online, the University of Sheffield's Student Newspaper 10/09/12
Back in May, Lifestyle went down to the Nicholls Building in Shalesmoor to speak with Dolly (AKA Jan Lupson) of Dolly’s Delights. Saturday August 18 marked the first birthday of her vintage clothing business, based in the vibrant setting of the Nicholls Building, with a weekend full of celebrations to mark a very successful year. Alice Burrow went to represent Lifestyle and see what was going on…

It was my first visit to the Nicholls Building and I couldn’t believe that I had been missing out for all this time! Situated on the main road in Shalesmoor, the Nicholls Building was home to a grocery wholesalers from the late 1800s but it is now home to an eclectic mix of vintage clothing and antique dealers, Dolly’s Delights being just one of them. It is the first unit you are greeted by when you enter the large first floor of the building, bursting with antique treasures. I spent ages browsing through Dolly’s wonderful wares and was particularly taken with an amazing vintage fur stole and a kitsch Coca Cola tin.
I found Dolly (Jan) upstairs in Gordie Cavill’s studio amongst piles of vintage clothing and I was immediately graced with some free dolly mixture (much appreciated!). Fortunately, the strangely murky weather hadn’t damped spirits and she excitedly ran over the day’s events, which had included a radio interview with BBC Radio Sheffield.
As part of the birthday celebrations, Dolly was collaborating with photographer Gordie Cavill of Source Photography who occupies the top floor of the Nicholls Building. He kindly let me take a photo of Dolly and it was much appreciated that he didn’t laugh at my simple point and shoot camera, which looked pretty feeble amongst all his equipment! Dolly’s Delights was offering 10% off all weekend and released 12 red balloons, one for every month of the business, into the Sheffield sky with gift vouchers attached. They’re still out there so keep your eyes peeled for deflated red balloons lurking in the bushes! For those who sadly missed out on the weekend, there are still various competitions running onDolly’s Facebook page. If vintage clothing, crafts and creative vibes are your kind of thing then get yourself down to the Nicholls Building and explore the treasures lurking within.
We’d like to wish Dolly’s Delights a very happy 1st birthday, hopefully there will be many more years of antique treasures and celebrating to come!

Alice Burrow
Photos by Source Photography

Thursday, 6 September 2012

A/W Trend #2: Dark Glamour

I've coined this term myself because to me its all about luxury with a gothic twist. In the dark glamour trend, black is the integral colour. It is brought to life by metallics (particularly gold) and jacquard patterns. Think smart cuts, tailoring, metallic detailing and classical prints like baroque and jacquard. Soften the trend up with velvet and light fabrics like chiffon.

(Primark have a similar pair of trousers for £16)

This trend aso translates into beauty. Dark lipstick with simple eye makeup was huge in the fall collections and a particularly favourite of mine was Pat McGrath's work on the Gucci collection which was all about bleached eyebrows, simple eye makeup and strong lipstick.

Gucci A/W 12 Makeup Details (Image credit)

MAC Dark Shine lipstick / NARS Larger Than Life Lipgloss / OPI Nail Varnish

(Runway photos from

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A/W Trends #1: Coats

This weirdly humid but horribly rainy weather that has been  on a constant for the last week or so is getting me in the mood for autumn and uni starting again. I was going to do one big blog post on A/W trends but I'm going to split it into several individual posts instead. Coats are like my thing so naturally they get to go first. A coat graces nearly every single outfit I wear in late autumn and winter so I like it to be perfect and usually get a new one every year (or every two years if it was a particular expensive affair).

1970s Luxe

Matthew Williamson, Mulberry, Moschino Cheap & Chic

'Fuzz' sums this trend up better than 'fur' and to me is very 70s inspired. I could image walking down the street in a coat similar to the Matthew Williamson one with orange bell bottoms and platforms with 'Get It On' by T-Rex blasting in the background. I also highly recommend taking a look at Mulberry's latest ad campaign inspired by 'Where the Wild Things Are', I think it is great.

English Heritage

Ralph Lauren, Daks, Vivienne Westwood

English heritage made an appearance in quite a few A/W 2012-13 collections. Forget quilted jackets and Jack Wills, this is all about fine tailoring - dog tooth, tweed and argyll. These kind of coats would look amazing with brogues and statement knitwear, in a similar style to Ralph Lauren.


McQ, Altuzarra, MaxMara

The military coat surfaces every year but slightly different each time. This year the focus appears to be on khaki (such as that seen at Burberry Prorsum, McQ by Alexander McQueen and MaxMara) or sharp black jackets with brass buttons.


Matthew Williamson, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Paul Smith

This is one of my favourite coat trends and the one that I'll probably try and buy into once autumn comes around. I really like the look with a fitted suit underneath similar to what Paul Smith has done above. However, for those that aren't confident fully embracing the masculine trend this winter then a mannish coat paired with a feminine dress would look great, or if you do decide to go for the suit then pair it up with heels.


3.1 Phillip Lim, Jil Sander, Acne

Celine, Balenciaga, Celine

This trend featured so heavily in the fall collections that I had to include more than just a select few designer pieces. For the most part, this is kind of entwined with the 'mannish' trend because of the oversized tailoring of the coats but Jil Sander and Celine managed to put a feminine edge on these masculine shapes by using feminine colours. A few years ago I had a coat from Topshop that would have fit this trend perfectly - I regret getting rid of it now!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Louise Gray for Topshop

When it comes to the Scottish fashion designer Louise Gray, think glitter (LOTS of glitter), fun, colour explosions, clashing prints and organised chaos. Gray has recently joined the likes of Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Kane and has collaborated with British high street giant, Topshop. Interestingly, it is the first makeup collaboration Topshop have ever done and there is quite a bit of excitement surrounding it.

Louise Gray (image credit)

Louise Gray Fall 2012

The clothing collection is only a very compact one with six pieces but I think that together they sum up Louise Gray's style. A style that has been generating much excitement at LFW since she burst onto the scene in 2007. For me, personally, there are a bit to many sequins going on and I certainly couldn't wear them casually (though I wish I had the guts to!). However, this t-shirt below is amazing and with it's long length I could see it being a perfect dress for a night out with a pair of ruby red heels.

Sequin Long T-Shirt (image credit)

Louise Gray for Topshop trousers

Unsurprisingly, the makeup collection channels Gray's signature eccentric style. It is all about strong colours and adventurous looks. Gray is rarely seen without her strong eye makeup which reminds me of a child that has been let loose on their mother's makeup (in the best possible way!). The collection includes blusher, lipstick, glitter, eye liner, nail varnish and surprisingly even makeup brushes. In an interview for The Sunday Times Gray explained that she wanted everything right down to the packaging to have the wow factor.

Mascara (image credit)

Lipstick in 'Legend' (image credit)

Nail Varnish 'Junkyard' (image credit)

I'm not very adventurous with make-up; liquid eyeliner or a smokey eye on a night out is about as crazy as it gets. However, I'd like to try this collection as perhaps it'd encourage me to change my ways! While I doubt I'll be walking down the street with blue and orange lines around my eyes any time soon, it might encourage me to venture into brighter colours and different looks. I do particularly envy that Gray doesn't care what onlookers think. I also love that she is modelling the collection herself as its a bright and colourful collection so who better to do it!

This collection goes on sale this Friday.