Take me to the beach!

Whenever I walk or ride the bus past these new images from the H&M summer campaign, (and that’s a LOT; they’re absolutely everywhere at the moment) they never fail to put a smile on my face.

With the swathes of bright blue water, tanned skin and pretty fabulous bikinis on offer, it’s hard not to wistfully imagine the Summer when exam woes and grey Manchester skies will – hopefully – be long gone. Plus it’s all shot by super photographer Patrick Demarchelier. What’s not to love about that?

 

 

 

Posted by: Brodie

 

 

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Capes at the ready…

Walking in to her first day at American XFactor, you could forgive Cheryl Cole for wanting to make an impact.

But in a crazy take on her usual bouncy waves, the Geordie lass debuted her part lion-mane, part Wonder Woman hairstyle on the first day of filming in L.A. this week.

 Of course, the references all make sense to her cause. As step one of a campaign for Stateside domination begins, what else could a girl need but a strong, fierce and literally unmoving style, representative of the personality she will need to demonstrate in order to win over an American public which is notoriously hard to impress.

Wonder-Woman: Cheryl’s apparent icon for the American X-Factor

Bizarrely, the trend seems to have caught on. New York style Queen, Sarah Jessica Parker, has also been snapped out-and-about  with an enormous bouffant style. Maybe, just maybe, come next season we’ll all be overzealously showering ourselves in hairspray too?

Or not.

 

Posted by: Brodie

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Embellishment begone…fresh faced and beautiful.

Beauty’s obsession with the fake has hit fever pitch during recent years, with unparalleled growth in make up, tanning and hair industries. Indeed, the rise of gossip magazines and 24-hour paparazzi coverage has created an intense and worldwide search for false “perfection,” whereby the pressure on women to look permanently flawless is colossal. Surely, you may assume, this would be most prominent in the fashion industry which, by its very nature, is entirely fixated on looks. This would, suprisingly, be a mistake.

I recently read an interesting article by The Telegraph’s Suzi Boyle, exploring the flipside of this coin and the women in fashion who have chosen to buck this artificial trend. Take Phoebe Philo, for example, head designer at Celine, or Franca Sozzani, editor of ItalianVogue…

Phoebe Philo

Franca Sozzani

Franca Sozzani

…two powerhouses of the fashion world who both prefer to keep their looks make-up free and natural.

But, as Boyle points out, “to cohort with the truly chic it seems you need to grab yourself a good cleanser,” and of course this is undeniably true. Without a doubt, these women have the money to spend on expensive facials and natural-glow-giving skincare products, something us mere mortals (and especially students) do not have access to. The basic principle behind their refusal to conform to modern “beauty” stereotypes is, however, still a highly commendable one, and as this season’s make-up trends also pointed towards a naturally beautiful face, it would seem that the backlash to false eyelashes and lashings of fake tan is already underway.

moda stil

Stella McCartney, Spring Summer 2011

So, hard as it may seem, forego the heavy foundation and put down the eyelash glue. And if you’re wondering at all whether the decision is the right one, just take a look at photos like this…yikes.

Lauren Conrad at the US Weekly party, Hollywood

 

Posted by: Brodie

 

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The dress that wowed millions

Well, I was wrong.

As Catherine Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, stepped out of her Rolls Royce at Westminster Abbey this morning, a  real-life fashion fairytale came true. Sarah Burton, head designer of Alexander McQueen and successor of the British label after its founder’s untimely death, has successfully pulled off the ultimate honour of creating a beautiful and elegant wedding gown for our country’s future Queen.

Royal Wedding: Kate Middleton waves to the crowd (Pic:AFP/Getty Images)

Kate Middleton enters Westminster Abbey with her father, her exquisite train held by sister and Maid of Honour Pippa.

Months of speculation have culminated in this big reveal and in a stroke of pure genius, the Duchess’ ivory satin dress both echoes the classicism and elegance of years gone by, while simultaneously symbolising the breath of fresh air its wearer will undoubtedly bring to the British monarchy.

Just married! HRH Princess Catherine emerges from Westminster Abbey, wearing an Alexander McQueen dress, holding hands with her new husband Prince William

Kate and William emerge from the Abbey as husband and wife.

The sweetheart neckline, full skirt and delicate lace sleeves are reminiscent of the gown Grace Kelly wore for her 1956 wedding to Prince Rainier, another stunning and ladylike Princess beloved the world over.

 

Grace Kelly in her wedding dress, 1956.

Kate Middleton making her way from the Goring Hotel to Westminster Abbey with her father Michael.

An absolute triumph, both for the radiant Kate herself and indeed for the whole of Britain.

Posted by: Brodie

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Its all in the collar.

All of a sudden, attention to detail has become necessary, from Chanel to Alexander McQueen, there has been a flurry of dressing up the basic shirt. I personally find it an attractive edit of the standard collar and so am very excited flicking through the different versions that each designers have brought to the table. The collar is officially more important than the shirt itself and so here a few I particularly admire.

The high street have also cottoned on to this trend and have rustled up some of their very own cute day pieces: such as Asos and h&m

 

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The Return Of The Pony Tail…

Sporty, practical, and goody-goody by nature, the ponytail couldn’t be less European. Yet at the London, Paris and Milan collections, the style kept cropping up. Here’s how the fashion capitals interpreted – or in some cases – subverted it:

Spring/Summer Fashion Weeks 2011, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Emanuel Ungaro..

Keeping with the hair trends at Paris Fashion Week, Lebanese fashion designer George Chakra also showed his S/S 2011 collection during the week. His runway models rocked the 1960′s voluminous and exaggerated high Ponytails, pulled off the face, nicely complementing the designs and vision of the designer.

George Chakra Paris Fashion Week 2011…

Gucci

Louis Vuitton

Vera Wang

Valentino

Posted By: Amy

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Earn your stripes…

With the official start of Spring this week, it seems that we can finally start to wear the new season looks that swept the S/S 2011 runways back in September. One of the most notable trends this season will undoubtably be stripes; many a designer showed horizontal bands in red, blue and white for a fresh take on the nautical theme.

Stripes were paired down and elegant at Isabel Marant

 

while Moschino offered up a bold, graphic take on the trend, pairing stripes with bright pops of primary colours and playful polka-dots

The Moschino S/S 2011 advertising campaign was an ode to the Ancient Mariner

 

and we saw French Riviera chic at Maxmara

Style queen Sienna Miller has been spotted about town wearing this red striped jumper, just £40 from Topshop…

…and the trend continues to blaze a trail through high-street stores and boutiques everywhere

Ann-Sofie Back for Topshop £50

Kain at netaporter.com £90

 

H&M £3.99

Posted by: Brodie

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