Tag Archives: TOPSHOP

CELEBRATE THE JUBILEE WITH STYLE

The year 2011/ 2012 is definitely one to make us proud to be British, with the Royal Wedding, Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, and what better way to kick-start the Jubilee weekend than a TOPSHOP/ Meadham Kirchhoff collaboration? From 5pm today TOPSHOP Oxford Circus will be presenting the Meadham Kirchhoff Fashion Spectacular. You will be able to pick-up sweet treats such as candy floss, pink glitter popcorn and rainbow millions, get painted up in Meadham inspired Jubilee face art, and for those of you who want to indulge in some payday retail therapy too, you will receive a Jubilee paper crown for every £60 you spend.

However don’t worry if you are unable to make it down to the flagship, as TOPSHOP.com will also be streaming the event live at MEADHAM KIRCHHOFF FASHION SPECTACULAR

Have a nice Jubilee weekend, and try not to eat too many scones!

Fx

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The little mermaid…

I have always loved the idea of mermaids, despite the myths about their cruel and evil behaviour. In folklore, it is believed that mermaids would use their beauty and charm to lure sailors to their deaths. However I am still not the first to be seduced by the little mermaid, after all, although wicked, they also present confident, sexy, headstrong women (ok, half women) that could teach us all a small lesson or two. Now, I am not suggesting we start to spurn or spark revenge on the male form, but if we take at least one thing from these mythological creatures – it would be that we should all be more confident in ourselves.

Perhaps this is why the runways of S/S12 also took inspiration from the mermaid? Versace adorned dresses with diamante starfish and sea shells, Giorgio Armani used a pearlesque palette of navy, turquoise and silver, which was accompanied by patterns of swirling water and ripples, whilst Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen topped her collection off with a showstopping tiered fish-tail gown. Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel even set his show ‘under the sea’, sending models down a runway of oversized oysters, pearls and bubbles, with coral reef shaped ruffles and encrusted shell clutches.

Versace 

Giorgio Armani

Chanel

Alexander McQueen

This has to be one of my favourite trends of S/S12, because it instantly takes me away to the clear blue seas of summer, but unfortunately my bank balance isn’t going to stretch to a Versace dress, or Chanel clutch (one can dream). Instead here are my favourite purse friendly finds, so we can all get some of that mermaid confidence into our wardrobes this season…

GET THE LOOK

Lipsy stud detail corset £45

Topshop animal jacquard shorts in mint £30 (also available in silver and pink)

Accessorize clam shell chanelier earrings £6.00

Accessorize ballroom diamante clutch £40

ASOS cupchain and cord statement necklace £15

River Island scallop hem top £30

River Island cream sequin mini skirt £60

TO FINISH

Bourjois little round pot eyeshadow in BLEU CANARD £5.49, available at BOOTS

*Don’t feel brave enough for a dramatic eye? Just add a sweep of BLEU CANARD along your lashes to act as an eyeliner.

Topshop nails in MERMAID £6.00

Charles Worthington front row rough and tousled salt spray £6.29, available at BOOTS 

*Spray onto wet hair and scrunch dry for natural off-the-beach waves.

Fx

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Ice cream sundae…

Finally the Christmas rush and winter sales are at an end, and despite the horrible cold spell of weather, I am beginning to get very excited about the S/S12 collections hitting the shops. Pastels in particular have really taken my fancy this season, from floral notes of rose, daffodil and daisy, zesty infused hues of apple, peach and lemon, to the sugared coated goodness of candy, marshmallow and almond. So if you have a sweet tooth, this really is the season to indulge in sugar and spice and all things nice.

For the little girl inside of all of us, these colours bring back memories of picnics in the sun, cream tea with Grandma and jelly and ice cream parties. Inspiration should be taken from the catwalks of Louis Vuitton, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Richard Nicoll and Chanel, who all showcased the most wanted shades of powder pink, sky blue, peppermint, lemon, peach, lilac and vanilla. You should also look out for fabrics such as lace, broderie anglaise, tulle and feather appliqué to embrace the ultra feminine nature of the trend.

Louis Vuitton

3.1 Phillip Lim

Richard Nicoll

Chanel

Here are a few of my favourite picks from the high street:

ZARA

Embroidered silk top £59.99

Coloured denim light yellow £35.99

Skinny jeans mid pink £35.99

TOPSHOP

Lilac lace strappy sundress £36.00

OASIS

Multi natural colourblock lantern dress £65.00

Mid blue lexi lace skater dress £65.00

ASOS

Sleeveless skater dress in green £45.00 (also available in pink)

Just add some bouncy curls, a sweep of pink lippy and a box clutch to complete these looks!

Fx

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Let’s go bananas…

Stella McCartney S/S 11

Prada S/S 11

Fashion has adopted a fruity vibe this summer, taking inspiration from the Caribbean and Pacific Islands.

The dreary palette of Autumn and Winter is replaced with a wash of colour for Spring. After all, how else can we embrace the sun and brighten up our wardrobes in our ever pouring, and economically stressed climate?

At the S/S 2011 shows, there was a fruit cocktail of tangerine, lemon, and lime, ready and waiting to quench the thirst of our winter blues with zesty infused blouses, tunics and bags at Stella McCartney, and apple and banana prints at Miu Miu and Prada. While fuchsia pinks, vixen reds and emerald greens were on display at Jil Sander, Ateliar Versace and Gucci. Dior and Vanessa Bruno even drew inspiration from tropical heritage with hoopla leaf patterns that added to the exotic vibe.

Jil Sander S/S 11

Versace S/S 11

Gucci S/S 11

Dior S/S 11

Meanwhile, footwear has attracted a similar theme with glamorous chunky heels and knee-high boots in acidic tones with a touch of tutti frutti luxe like Charlotte Olympia, Kurt Geiger and Manolo Blahnik.

Charlotte Olympia

Jodie Ball, fashion editor at Worth Global Style Network (WGSN) says: “Designers are always looking for the up-date to the perennial floral story for summer. We created a high summer capsule trend called South Pacific, inspired by the musical that mixed retro 40s and 50s pin-ups, World War 2 military drill and hula girl chic.”

Key pieces vary from kitsch and retro prints, peekaboo detailing and high-waisted shorts for a pin-up silhouette, with macramé and crochet in raffia adding texture and a different fabrication to the look.

1920s starlets Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker, who were famous for their exuberant fruit hats and banana skirts, are key style icons for the trend. In their heyday the bombshells epitomized an optimistic spirit and energy during the Great Depression and war-stricken world between the 20s and 40s. No question, given our uncertain economic climate fashion has drawn inspiration from such characters to bring the same idealism to our wardrobes.

Carmen Miranda in her famous fruit hat

The Pantone Fashion Week report last September recorded that S/S 2011 would take consumers to foreign lands to escape the everyday challenges they face at home. Coral rose and blue curacao, are just two shades that are said to evoke thoughts of faraway locales, and oversea destinations. This conjures up feelings and memories of travel and relaxation, as a calming affect for anxiety and stress amidst a recession.

Natalie Kingham, a buyer at Matches Fashion says: “Fruit prints are very feminine and sell well. I have bought into the fruit and colour blocking trend with Stella McCartney and Charlotte Olympia because their pieces evoke the feeling of sunshine and happy days.”

Fashions favourite eccentric Anna Della Russo has also jumped on the fruit bandwagon, wearing headpieces adorned in oversized warermelons and cherries on a number of occasions. Designer, Piers Atkinson uses Alice bands decorated in fanciful foliage, studs and netting to create a quirky alternative to headwear. His S/S 2011 collection again infiltrates a fruity feeling with a 24-caret gold apple and crystal split pomegranates, perched on top of satin and suede bands.

As we edge towards summer, the high street has started to whet our appetite too. Topshop has fruit printed socks and swimwear, faded pineapple and banana print tops and leggings, while ASOS is selling apple shaped rings and sunglasses. The accessories and beauty counters have been filled with sherbet clutches and skinny waist belts, to nail varnishes and lipsticks in coral hues as well.

Pineapple cropped shirt Topshop £24

Banana print leggings Topshop £20

Disney couture Snow White red crystal apple ring £38, available at ASOS

Rhianna Mayer a fashion design student says: “I just bought a kitsch pineapple print top from Topshop, because the trend instantly makes me think of summer even when it is raining. When I put it on I can go to my favourite holiday destination, despite my lack of funds for travelling.”

Colour blocking is yet another way to add an exotic motif to your look, according to Ball: “Colour blocking definitely fits in with the palette of seasonal macro trends that we predicted two years ago. Intoxicating brights, weird flamboyant chemical shades, and acid infused levels.”

Think bold neons and fluros with bundles of gold accents to finish. The key is to clash; contrasting an orange skirt with a purple blouse and a green bag for a dramatic kaleidoscope of colour, that will add a punch of spice to your wardrobe.

Lindsey Anderson, fashion News Editor of fashion blog myfashionlife.com is also hot on the trend: “My favourite fashion houses to incorporate colour blocking were Lanvin, and Alber Elbaz. A fuchsia camisole or lemon cardigan is the perfect way to match your clothing to the sunshine season.”

There seems to be no escaping the bold fruit and colour designs that are trying to bring out the best from our British climate. So why not slip on a pair of tangerine jeans, get out that fuchsia maxi, or pick up an apple cardigan. Then layback, relax, take a sip or two from a coconut cocktail by the pool, and run your toes through the sand. I can feel the warmth of the sun on my back already.

Fx

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THE PERFECT PARTY DRESS…

New season new party dress, but with the rails a flood with LBDs, LLDs, bodycons, bandeaus and asymmetric pieces (to name but a few), how do you pick a number that is not only on trend, and within your budget but also screams the ‘this is me’ factor.

LBDs are a classic, and this is probably the one dress that will never fail to impress, making it ideal for those of you who want to keep your look simple and sophisticated this season. Invest in a traditional smock or shift shape for a timeless buy – you can always reinvent it every time you wear it with different accessories, hosiery and shoes. What’s more LBDs come in all shapes and sizes today varying from mesh cut out panels, pleats/ ruffles, lace and Grecian designs (a great way to mix trends too) so you are guaranteed to find one which will tickle your fancy and add a twist to your wardrobe.

Red is also a huge trend this year, and has been for the last couple of seasons – a party dress in a vibrant pillar box, scarlett or cherry red will most definitely stand you out from the crowd. Again you can mix and match trends with different lengths and cuts just like the LBD, and if you fancy adding some texture to your look play with fabrics such as velvet which is always festive, or leather which has been huge this year.

However my favourite party trend this season has to be embellishment, whether it be a sprinkling of sequins or an all out beaded number. This is again a trend that can work for any dress or personality – the conservative or the brave, and will instantly add some Christmas sparkle and va va voom to any outfit. It is also a great trend for those of us on a budget – just pop down to your local haberdashery store for some Gok Wan inspired DIY.

My top picks to suit any budget:

Luxe:

Osman Yousefzada one-shouldered dress, available at Browns Fashion

Versus velvet dress with leather straps, also available at Browns Fashion

Under £200:

Iconic heavy beaded dress, Kate Moss at TOPSHOP

Limited edition red bow twist dress at TOPSHOP

Under £100:

Sequin wave dress by Rare at TOPSHOP

ASOS strap detail ponti bodycon dress

Just add your favourite heels, makeup staples and accessories for the perfect after-dark dressing combo!

Fx

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LOOK OF THE WEEK…

Snake and Bead Tunic Top £65 by Topshop

Destroy Hotpants £25 by Topshop

Black 80 Denier Opaque Tights £6 by Topshop

Formal Tumbled Dita Handbag in Red £35 by Oasis

Knot Studs £6 by Topshop

Chunky Ethnic Style Studded Bangle was £10 now £7 by ASOS

Womens Courts Shoes £320 by Kurt Geiger America 

Rouge Dior Replenishing Lipcolor in Celebrity Red £21.50 by Christian Dior

Black Liquid Eyeliner £4.50 by Barry M

Dior 2 Couleurs 8 Colour High – Contrast Eyeshadow £27 by Christian Dior

Raspberry Nail Paint £3 by Barry M

Diorshow Black Out Spectacular Volume Mascara £21.50 by Christian Dior

KEY TRENDS

1. Red

2. Embellishment

3. Glam – Grunge Make Up

– Mix and match with sandals, flats and heels depending on the occasion, and wear with or without tights depending on the weather.

Fx

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CATCHING UP WITH KALIKAS ARMOUR

I am currently working on a number of investigative fashion features as part of my dissertation, looking into the fashion – recession relationship. After working at London Fashion Week in 2008 I got back in contact with designer Jatin Patel – Kalikas Armour to talk about his new collections and how high-end fashion has been affected by the recession.

How did you get involved in fashion?

I kind of fell into it during my foundation course, because I was going to go into graphic design. I had a place at Westminster, so I went on my foundation thinking I have already got my place so I can use this as a sort of experimental stage. I came across this fashion module and really fell in love with it, and my tutors were like go and do this, so I got really inspired by it then.

What would you consider as your big break?

OnOff was the first real opportunity to take the label to a bigger audience, and to be selected as one of their 22 designers was special, I was acknowledged and taken seriously.

What do you do between exhibitions and catwalk shows?

We are doing a lot of bespoke at the moment, bridal and made to measure; we have just started doing a lot more men’s wear as well. I also do special lecturing and work in school’s doing creative projects.

Where do you get your inspiration from for your designs?

Probably anything and everything really, I like to use a lot of theoretical concepts, the art of dressing, semiotics, but then also looking at architecture. Sometimes it is starting with materials and then using the format of the materials to create the shape of the garment, or it is fabric manipulation of fabric techniques and being creative with the garments.

What do you want women/ men to feel like when they wear your clothes?

A lot of inspiration comes from the masculine dress, but you obviously have to feel good. I try to give them a sense of confidence and a sense of power, not power of rage or anything but to really build on their confidence so they feel good in what they are wearing, because if you look good you are going to feel good. The garments are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside, the linings and materials we use are all silk, you feel glamorous and you feel good. Quite a lot of our pieces are statement pieces.

Would you prefer your clothes to stand out or follow traditional trends?

Absolutely stand out, almost like those timeless classics in a way.

Where would you like your customers to wear your clothes, the workplace or out in the evening?

Mostly out in the evening, and perhaps at events but then there are things that the right women could wear to work, but that depends on where they work really. I mean somebody working in the office could easily wear the tailored shirts under the blazers, and then you could either dress it up or dress it down depending on where you have to go.

Where can you get hold of your clothes?

Through the website, and then by appointment at the studio.

Are you working on any interesting new designs?

We are part of the major midway product project in Kent at the moment, and they asked us to put a proposal in to create a product that was diverse but yet still retained our core brand values and our core identity and technique. They then match you up to a manufacturer to get you into the market place, and we have made good luck ganesh bears. We are doing them in leather which has been embossed with an undertone of gold, they are good luck bears but they still have the key techniques and core values of the brand, we are just diversifying into a different market.

Any interesting upcoming shows or exhibitions?

I am looking forward to the September fashion week, we especially want to try to do a trade show in Paris but you need a London presence so maybe if we do a show with OnOff or Vauxhall and then do a proper trade show in Paris.

How did London fashion week go for you last week?

We didn’t show in the end, mainly because of financial restraints, so we just decided to concentrate on September and really give our show a bigger collection instead of do everything too quick too soon.

How did you come up with the name for your brand?

Kalika is a Hindu goddess, and she represents power and protection. On the one hand she is represented as the real strength and aggression of womanhood but she is also the mother goddess as well. You have the whole concept of women who really want to portray themselves as really powerful and in control but also feminine on the other hand.

Do you think the next year is looking quite promising for you?

Very promising.

Do you experiment with different designs and colours?

A lot of it is trial and error, you have the period once you have done the research and you know which sorts of colours and fabrics you want to work with, but I like manipulating fabrics and adding detail. You just have to try different things and see which ones are successful.

Do you think the recession has directly affected the fashion industry, has it affected your designs and the fabrics you have used?

Yes definitely. We didn’t get as many bankers and clients at big Christmas events, and others wanted us to rework the things that we had made or just add accessories in terms of making little jackets to cover up things, or shorten evening dresses, and add less detailing.

Did you cut back during the recession or accommodate your designs around consumers who maybe on a budget?

You used to have people who would normally show their wealth off with what they wear who became more cautious,  it became unfashionable to show your wealth.

How do you feel personal aesthetics and appearances played in people shopping during the recession?

I feel that there is that group in society who still spent and still invested but where very careful in what they invested in, and it then became a real thing about quality over quantity. I think the big brands and established fashion houses did really well there because they still had their loyal following. So you have the market before where people were experimental or willing to buy into newer brands, but it stopped, and there was a bit of a pause and people kept to buying into their Gucci or their Burberrys.

Has the situation improved over the last few months?

I think people are a lot more confident and willing to experiment again. The women who buy into this fashion lifestyle are looking for the next big thing and to support and nurture new labels.

Have we moved into a slow fashion era instead of a fast fashion era?

The clients who shop in your higher end are not going to go into Primark even though there is a recession on. I think the high street used to be considered as a real bane on high fashion, and it is interesting how over the last five – six years designers have kind of realised that high street  is where the money is. If you can’t beat them lets join them. The production capabilities of the high street are far beyond some of the other fashion houses, and if you see something on the catwalk in a couple of weeks it will be out on the high street. So instead of letting them do that I think a lot of designers have been clever enough to now work with the high street so at least they are getting a slice of the action.

Which shop do you consider the most successful during this time?

It is quite difficult really in terms of high street but I would still say Topshop. Topshop just excels, whether you like it or you don’t, again with their marketing and with their accessibility and their production capabilities it is very hard to walk into Topshop and not come out without anything. There is something for everyone in there, I think everyone there is a genius.

For more information please visit http://kalikasarmour.com/

 Fx

 

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THE PRICE OF FASHION ON A SHOESTRING

Here is a feature I wrote about eco fashion for my web research unit at uni in my first year…

Ever brought that new top to wear on your next date, or a pair of flashy new heels from Primark? You may be trying to resist saying yes, but you have to admit it Primark is every girls new guilty pleasure. 

At the back of our minds we try to be eco-friendly, but walking around work wearing tesco bags or other peoples hand me downs is not exactly very desirable. So instead we go to Primark and get fashion at affordable prices, we do not care if it damages the planet, so long as we look good.  Except for the steep price tag and designer logo there is really not much difference between a Polo Ralph Lauren jumper and a Primark jumper.

However it is our constant demand for cheaper fashion items that leads to the increasing profits of these shops. We do tend to overhaul our wardrobes, looking fashionable is always top of our agenda. However the rapid turnover of clothes increases environmental harm at every stage from growing cotton, through burning energy to making and transporting the clothes, to disposing of them in landfill waste dumps.

Josie Nicholson of the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) says “when it comes to the environment, the global fashion industry has an enormous impact, through the use of toxic chemicals and pesticides, polluting and depleting water supplies, inefficient processes, transport, and waste”.
‘Value fashion’, as the shops prefer to call it, has been hot ever since Vogue featured a £12 Primark military jacket in 2005. Fashionistas fell over each other to shop there. They found t-shirts at £2, trouser suits at about £15 and women’s tops at less than £5.

I cannot lie Primark is amazing for buying a cheaper pair of heels on a budget or in a rush for the next party, but at the same time we need to start thinking about what damage we might be causing to the environment. We cannot change the world, but perhaps we should sit back and see how the little things might be affecting the bigger picture.

Kate Meakin, membership support officer of the British Association of Fair Trade (BAFTS) says “a lot of us make ethical choices when it comes to tea and coffee but this all goes out of the window when we see a dress for £5 or coat for £15. We love a bargain and when it comes to cheap clothes forget that someone always has to pay”.

So why has the fashion industry been so slow in embracing eco fashion? Famous fashion designer Wayne Hemingway creator of RedDead was a pioneer of eco fashion, a spokesman for Hemingway design said “fashion has been one of the slowest to embrace modern environmental, ethical and fair trade values, and it’s time to change”. Is it the high price tag, the lack of interest in environmental issues or the general style of the clothes? “People’s choice in organic fashion is often a self based choice on vanity, and in general eco fashion has been slow in competing style wise” he added.

Many eco-friendly fashion groups like EFF, BAFTS and Hemingway Design have been created in promoting the harmful effects of fashion on the environment. Junky styling also made its way into London Fashion Week last year with its range of clothing made from eco-friendly materials and recycled fabrics, and aims to change consumers views on eco fashion.

Some high street shops like Topshop and H&M have also been introducing some eco-friendly clothing into their range, with organic cotton t.shirt and fair trade leggings. But even if Primark and other stores did begin to embrace eco fashion would we the consumers be interested in buying the clothes?

In an online questionnaire results showed that consumers would be interested in eco fashion, if they knew more about it, and as long as it was at an affordable price. Jenny Buttress a student who regularly shops at Primark said “you can find information on the internet. But there is no other easy access to information I do not think”. Katy Yearsley another regular shopper said “Yes I would buy the clothes, let’s get rid of global warming. It obviously depends how much more expensive they are but I would definitely give it a go”.
Ruth Beckman for PAN UK also says “surveys show that consumers would prefer to buy clothing that has been ethically and sustainably sourced, if cost and quality were the same”.  

So is our fashion competition effecting the environment? And more importantly will we be doing anything soon to save the planet if it means substituting our own wardrobe. I will leave it up for you to decide. But with the increase in eco fashion charities and high street lines, maybe we can afford to spend that little bit extra on a new top, and you never know eco fashion might become our new guilty pleasure.

Fx

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