London Fashion Week: autumn/winter 2012/13 collections day 4

Peter Pilotto, Antonio Berardi and Pringle of Scotland all kicked off with trend led pieces on day 4 of London Fashion Week.

MCQ AUTUMN/WINTER 2012/13 COLLECTION

Erdem followed with his colourful collection showing off super soft leather which could have easily been mistaken for tweed and silk. Lace overlays on tops, jackets and dresses were also a huge inspiration for the designer while colour clashes on cap sleeved tops and soft tulip shaped skirts were vivid, vibrant and fun for a harsh winter day. His palette consisted of purple, black, blue, yellow, cream, green and turquoise with a hint fuchsia.

Next up was the hotly anticipated showing by Burberry, which did not disappoint. Chief creative officer Christopher Bailey watched from behind the scenes as FROW guests such as Will.i.am, Alexa Chung, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and actress Kate Bosworth were packed in before the show started. the range itself was quirky, fun and different to what Bailey has shown before. All extremely wearable and want-able this cute woodland inspired collection consisted of owl and bird print motifs on tee shirts and jumpers some emblazoned with sequins. There was also a selection of peplum style padded jackets, striped skirts with billowing blouses and cute soft leather bow belts which cinched in all waists. Menswear was dapper and very quintessential with fabulous duck head umbrellas on show. To end the show (although it was dry outside) Bailey made it ran over the roof of the glass house he had constructed in Hyde Park just to show his collection, as models opened umbrella’s and walked down a runway of fake paper rain inside.

Although some spectacular showings the day had to end on a high with McQ and for next season designer Sarah Burton (who had brought the diffusion line back to London this season to show) created a dark eery forest in which press, buyers and private clients sat above a floor drenched in crisp autumnal leaves.

The collection itself was extremely wearable, edgy yet chic and obviously a lot more affordable than the mainline Alexander McQueen label. For men there was Gestapo style creations with militant green suits, ties and jackets as well as plastic pvc coats and stark black tailoring. Womenswear was slightly less formal; there were still military style coats however softer hues and tartan check a-line coats which led to beautiful evening wear of rich berry red velvet dresses alongside floral layered prom dresses.

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How to buy Spring/Summer 2012 trends from the sales

My favourite thing in the world, apart from good food and drink, is shopping. So it comes as no surprise that I have eyed a fabulous array of clothing in the January sales that are simply must-have pieces. However, if you are a savvy sale shopper then you will know that it’s all about wading through the re-hashed seasonal stuff (yes all shops end up cracking out items that are 4/5 seasons old amidst the new) to find those few ‘gold-dust’ classic pieces that will last you the test of time i.e. a classic shift dress, smart blazer and your favourite skinny jeans. Aside from this if you are really clever and fashion forward then you will spot those rare items that you know are perfect for the season ahead.

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Mine has come in the form of a skirt courtesy of designer Emma Cook from Cocosa.com. This silk layered skirt in black and white comes with remnants of sea shells and bubbles; perfect for the aquatic theme which swept through the majority of shows last September for Spring/Summer 2012 and which was seen at Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Versace, Chanel and Alexander McQueen amongst others.

Alongside this was a flurry of deep blue hues from midnight to sapphire and beyond as shown at Armani, Yves Saint Laurent and Victoria Beckham. If you are keen on keeping a demure profile opt for these shades in a silk, satin or lace tops, skirts and dresses which which should flow perfectly as you walk through the office or as you hit the dance floor on a night out. My favourite is a Notte by Marchesa evening dress from Net-a-porter.com reduced from £575 to £287.50.

Lastly the spring/summer 2012 catwalks were full, as you would imagine, of clashing prints, lace and exploding floral content. You can find these sorts of prints and materials everywhere so try not to be a wall flower and opt for an exciting new print that flatters your shape and complexion. Start by looking through high street stores such as Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Zara, but if you want to splurge then head to TheOutnet.com for some series retail therapy and purchase something like this fabulous Aztec inspired print top from Diane von Furstenberg (was £445 now £178).

Kate Middleton shines at The Sun Military Awards 2011

This morning the papers are awash with news of The Sun Military Awards. Our nation which had been dragged into a war that initially was not ours to fight are still reeling in the aftermath, so it is poignant that we reflect back and salute those brave heroes who protected the country they were sent to fight for peace in and others around them.

Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge attends A Night of Heroes

The Duchess of Cambridge was on hand with her RAF fighter husband, Prince William, to hand out awards and speak personally to those who had been involved and deserved to be recognised at last night’s ceremony which was held at the Imperial War Museum in London. The awards which were originally set up by Prince Charles to mark the achievements of the Armed Forces and those who support them on operations at home and abroad was led by Kate’s brother in-law Prince Harry with his emotional speech (as another serving officer in the family) paying tribute to military colleagues and those in the forces. This was a mature and heartfelt note to which catapulted him in the eyes of the press; a far cry from his fancy dress days.

Kate shone in a stunning customised Alexander McQueen dress with sweetheart neckline and fishtail train costing approximately £3,995 just off the rail, however this piece is now sold-out nationwide. Teamed with a diamond and ruby necklace which was gifted to her on her wedding day earlier this year, and matching earrings and bracelet, Kate also adorned flat satin Prada pumps for comfort and her trademark dark eyeliner; looking every inch the Princess in her classic gown, but cleverly trying not to steal the limelight from this worthy cause.

The Duchess and Prince William presented the award for Most Outstanding Soldier to Sergent Ryan McCready, 26, of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment with the Prince commenting that, “You exemplify the unique qualities that make the British soldier second to none courage, steadfastness, sense of humour, professionalism and a deep sense of humanity. Congratulations.”

Royalty and celebrities such as Phillip Schofield and Amanda Holden (who presented the awards) David Walliams, Myleene Klass and Jimmy Carr (who all presented individual awards to soldiers) alongside stars from Coronation Street, Helen Worth, Catherine Tyldesley, Sacha Parkinson and Brooke Vincent, TOWIE’s Amy Childs and Mark Wright, DJ Sara Cox, model Jerry Hall, TV’s Ross Kemp, Ben Fogle, singer Peter Andre and rugby’s Lawrence Dallaglio were all in attendance and fought back tears to honour these truly inspirational soldiers.

Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd was also on site to present an award with judge Alesha Dixon (who looked fabulous in a Philip Armstrong creation) to Para Scott Meenagh for Overcoming Adversity.

As reported in The Sun Meenagh, 22, lost both legs in January after he was blown up by a Taliban mine in Afghanistan — then watched on as his colleague and friend Private Martin Bell, 24, was killed as he tried to rescue him.

Ever since Meenagh has devoted his life to “living for two” in honour of his brave friend. He has not only learned to walk on his new legs, but has also taken up ice hockey, archery and sailing and won medals at the Endurance Games in America for waterskiing. He now intends to cycle 3,000 miles across the US.

When accepting the award Meenagh explained “There are a lot of young lads who are faced with the injuries I have and a lot of guys that have worse injuries. They all just get up and crack on with it. It’s just what we do — what we are trained to do.” With Judd adding: “It’s truly inspirational to meet you. I’m humbled.”

You can watch The Sun Military Awards/ A Night of Heroes on ITV Wednesday 21 December 2011 at 8.30pm. 

Paris Fashion Week: Spring/Summer 2012 round-up trend review

Coral

Over the past week Paris has flaunted it’s fabulous array of talent resulting in a string of apparent themes and trends for spring/summer 2012. 

First and foremost a continuation trend which initially started in London and swept through Milan onto Paris; this was the ‘under the sea’ theme. Seen at Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Versace, Armani, Chanel and Alexander McQueen, models were transported thousands of feet under the ocean showing off shimmering scales, aquatic prints and mermaid-like apparel on dresses, tops, jackets, trousers and cardigans which comprised of jelly fish, sea horses, oversized diamante star fishes, coral and more, creating the perfect tranquil ambience; apart from the occassional delighted fashion gasp in the front row. 

Other trends that emerged throughout the week came from such designers as Valentino and Jean Paul Gaultier showing sheer and lace (Gaultier added leather, PVC and corsetry throughout). This trend was then escalated into laser cut pieces and 3-D sculpturing at Gareth Pugh. 

Midnight blue hues were also big on the catwalk seen everywhere from Lanvin to Jean Paul Gaultier and Viktor & Rolf to Miu Miu. 

Embellishment was also key at Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel amongst others. Alongside this was classic florals and a barrage of usual summer white pieces all seen at Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Nina Ricci and Celine. 

Stella McCartney thought outside the box with her oversized tie prints showing on pyjama style tops and matching bottoms, but aside from this there was also the models that included Orlando Bloom’s beau Miranda Kerr whom also took to the catwalk at a variety of shows. 


Alice Temperley for Barbour

One of my favourite fashion designers, Alice Temperley is about to collaborate with one of Britain’s most famous heritage brands – Barbour.

Alice Temperley for Barbour

Alice Temperley for Barbour

The iconic wax Barbour jackets are set to be revamped by Temperley using her own trademark style (incorporating leopard print linings) alongside classic winter knits from a reasonable designer price tag of just £249.

The debut label will be named Barbour Gold Label by Temperley and will comprise of eight key pieces. These range from cosy knitted cardigans to leather and wax jackets with belts; but the collection does not stop there as it is rumoured that this will also continue through to spring/summer ’12 adding accessories and other apparel to the already buzzing collection.

“I grew up in the countryside and have worn Barbour since I was a child so I was thrilled when asked to collaborate.

“The collection has elements of both Temperley and Barbour and is a great mix of fashion and functionality.

For all those Barbour-loving enthusiasts (like me), I’m assuming pre-order be an option…

Alexander McQueen leaves £16 million to charity and his dogs

Alexander McQueen (17 March 1969 – 11 February...

Image via Wikipedia

A man after my own heart, it seems that Alexander McQueen has left £50,000 of his £16,036,500 million fortune to his dogs.

Noting that they be cared for and well-looked after for the rest of their lives Lee, (as he was known to friends) had also motioned for £100,000 to be given to each of the following charities; Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and the Blue Cross sick animal centre. The same amount will also be distributed to The Terrence Higgins Trust and the London Buddhist Centre, showing his love for charity and for animals alike.

McQueen, aged only 40 when he died last year, hung himself after the loss of his mother and struggling with depression and the pressures of work, leading to his untimely death.

Although the majority of his money will go to charity McQueen also left a substantial amount to his siblings which included £250,000 each, and a further £50,00 each to his godson and nieces and nephews. The remainder of his estate has been left to the Sarabande charity, with which McQueen’s spring/summer 2007 collection shares a name. He also asked that this money be used to fund bursaries and grants to students at Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design, in London, where McQueen studied fashion.

An influential designer throughout the world McQueen’s fashion shows always bordered on fanatical displays with exquisite designs, culminating in him never being able to see the triumphs his fashion house had achieved earlier this year when Sarah Burton designed Catherine Middleton’s wedding dress. A true tragedy indeed.

 

 

 

Kate Middleton wedding dress exhibition launches today

Royal Wedding of William and Catherine Duke & ...

Image by Defence Images via Flickr

Only a few short months after Catherine Middleton walked down the etherial aisle at Westminster Abbey to marry her Prince, (Prince William) the now infamous lace Alexander McQueen wedding gown – as designed by Sarah Burton –  the Duchess of Cambridge wore is set to go on public display at Buckingham Palace.

It is noted that the Queen herself will attend the exhibition today before it opens to the public this weekend, with latest figures suggesting that advance sales are up 107 per cent, to view this Royal Collection display, on last year. A staggering 125,751 tickets have been sold already with the viewing capacity edged up to 643,000 to allow extra visitors.

The exhibition – as part of the annual summer opening at Buckingham Palace – will also show off the Queen’s Cartier “Halo” tiara, (borrowed of course for this showing) alongside floral displays, The Duchess’ shoes, wedding cake and the famous acorn diamond earrings that were especially created by jewellers Robinson Pelham for the Duchess’ parents as a wedding gift from them to her.

There will also be a five-minute video from designer Sarah Burton on the technicalities behind the wedding dress, explaining her choice of effect, fabrics and design. 

With such an iconic dress on display it seems imperative to steal a glance before the dress goes back into secure storage under the Queen’s guard.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s dress exhibition is open at Buckingham Palace until October 3, 2011. For more information visit www.royalcollection.org, or call 020 7766 7300.