A few months ago I worked on a horror film The Thompsons which was set in the depths of Kent, the shoot was great fun, terrifying and exciting but one of the best things about working on it was the fantastically talented people that I met and worked with. Lara Crudgington was one of the make-up and hair stylists on the shoot and my, she is a super talent! A month after the film we did a shoot together along the lines of glam sequins, leather and fur….as the stylist this was a major task as all three of those fabrics only look as good as their pricetag – or so I thought! I set myself a mission to create a look for £100, £50, £30, £15 and even under £10 just to see if it could be done! There were some tweaks and additions made but it is all high street and very affordable.
Models: Tunde Marthe and Pang
Photographer: Ani Lang
MUA: Lara Crudgington
And Stylists : Me – Here are the results.
Taking stationary love to new levels…
Mary Portas and her infamous tangerine bob have hit House of Fraser. I feel that whenever Mary Portas is involved ‘hit’ is exactly the right word. She lands upon shops like an enthusiastic head girl- bossing and knowing it all but generally with good, sensible ideas. This recent project with HoF is no different. Mary believes in better dressing for over 40s- fed up with matching cream and beige cardigans and knee skirts she has noticed the gap in the market for stylish, savvy shoppers that fits somewhere between Topshop Teen and orthopaedic shoes. TOO RIGHT! Certain shops such as Whistles, Hobbs and Jaeger are slowly noticing that as soon as women turn 40 they don’t melt into indescribable beige sacks, most women are working and have reached the point in their lives when they have a bit of cash to splash too!
Design was crucial with this collection, luckily, Mary’s partner Melanie Rickey is Editor at large of Grazia magazine which is ever so helpful. The key to dressing, as described by Melanie is this- one part simple chic, one part edge, then decorate. Apparently this is the formula Kate Moss uses and, in theory, it is a good one. I think the importance of cut and fabric is key with a collection like this, quality beautiful fabrics that skim, shape and look expensive. If you haven’t seen the collection I bet you are thinking exactly what I was- beautiful easy silk jersey t-shirts, silk utility shirts, edgy waterfall jackets, classic cut trousers, elegant draped dresses, bold jewellery, brilliant shoes….I wish!
In fact, the concept and the tools were there for this collection yet the products, I think, are lacking. I am disappointed that the clothes are so basic, they lack design and look rushed and compromised which is EXACTLY the opposite of how they should look. Less pieces, more time, better design. Maybe I should take over!
Aurora dress £150- figure hugging….
Short leather dress £300!!!???!!
Ehhhh BEIGE CARDIGAN EXCUSE ME?!! £99!
Shapeless sack £135- presumably a token item for the fatties.
Above I mentioned I was disappointed, after seeing the clothes close-up I am plain frustrated. Why bother claim to be changing things and then make a luke warm, same old, tired collection like this, it is offensive!! This isn’t how she dresses so why expect anyone else to. Next time Mary, why not pick a couple of your and Melanie’s fave pieces and recreate them, then you might have something worth having a channel 4 programme about.
The biggest crush I have had in a long time (including people I have actually dated) is Caitlin Moran. Times columnist and feminist, she writes how you imagine her thoughts to be – a constant stream of powerful, mostly sensible, always funny ideas that flow like a drunken 2am conversation with your best friend. I recently finished her book- How To Be a Woman and since devoured as much as I can find of her wise words, including a trillion tweets.
Starting the book on the tube did warrant some funny looks from the guy reading it over my shoulder as the chapters are named, example – “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO CALL MY BREASTS!” and “I START BLEEDING!” which is giving the illusion that it is exactly what most would expect to find in a book about feminism. However…whilst taking us through the pretty hilarious moments of her puberty, first jobs, marriage and other major events in her life (like a drunken evening in a sex club with Lady Gaga) this book isn’t about burning bras and girl power. It is simply a proudly accurate account of some of the more interesting parts of having lady bits instead of boy bits and all that comes with it. It’s mostly a long, hilarious rant that happens to sometimes be about fannies…..the best kind of rant.
If you haven’t read it, do, and also read her interview with Lady Gaga. I picked out a bit of the book, at random, in hindsight possibly also my favourite bit…
Context: Talking about waxing all your lady hair off-“I can’t believe we’ve got to a point where it’s basically costing us money to have a fanny. They’re making us pay for maintenance and upkeep of our lulus, like they’re a commumnal garden. It’s a stealth tax. Fanny VAT. This is money we should be spending on THE ELECTRICITY BILL and CHEESE and BERETS. Instead, we’re wasting it on making our Chihuahuas look like a skanky lidl chicken breast. God DAMN you, mores-of-pornography-that-have-made-it-into-my-pants. GOD DAMN YOU.
And, of course, it is pornography that’s costing us all this money, time and follicular pain. If you ask the question ‘Why do 21st-century women feel they have to remove their pubic hair?’ the answer is, ‘Because everyone does in porno.’ Hollywood waxing is now industry standard. Watch any porn made after, say, 1988, and it’s all hairless down there: close ups are like watching one of the Mitchell Brothers, with no eyes, eating a very large, fidgety sausage.’
Very funny lady- my definition of hero!
The new conscious collection for H&M is so absolutely, terribly perfect I want it all. It’s so matchy-matchy it makes me want to dance….
I wrote that exactly as I’m thinking it, in a fluster of love and lust. Cheap too – everything, including the coats, are under £70. The prim perfection of the neck and hemlines, with feminine, classic, super autumnal prints make this collection the dream for everyday office dressing.
I know what you’re all thinking and YES it is OKAY to get the floral skirt, shoes and bag and lie on the matching print bedspread….in fact, that would be glorious.
The last few days of rain have given us all the affirmation that it is officially Okay to start shopping for/thinking about/wearing the A/W wardrobe. The last tattered dregs of the sales are gone and in their place a woolly mammoth of knits, jackets and dresses have appeared to tempt us. Although sad that the sunshine is disappearing it beckons the long awaited return of black tights and with them the end to summer leg maintenance which, for a pale creature like myself and most Brits, takes its time! So, black tights in hand- what are trends are hitting the shops?
A big deal throughout A/W collections was the androgynous look- girl/boy, heritage, new mod and tux love all combine masculine tailoring with feminine, quirky touches. Us girls are in the mood for a sharp suit.
Jason Wu’s sharp tailoring mixed with feminine bow is spot on savvy and sexy.
For the High Street Version head to M&S- the A/W Lookbook is a delight and it seems M&S are on top form combining the perfect mix of hard and soft fabrics and tailoring. That lace dress is unbelievable for the High Street and absolutely an investment item as lace is rarely out of A/W trends. As for the shirts, keep them buttoned high but with a sexy touch of leather or a bow/ribbon.
This sheer shirt from Topshop is a worthy comparison to the spots we saw from Stella McCartney (below left) and would look perfect for the evening under a tux jacket and tight trousers for the perfect amount of controlled flashing.
Spots were big news at Marc Jacobs (above right) too, so for a quick and cheap wardrobe update, these sheer spotty tights are perfect at £8 (below left) and this spotty t-shirt from Hobbs (below right).
New Mod was another trend that saw the mix of masculine, monochrome basics and footwear with a quirky edge. Think sixties graphic prints and colours, boxy shapes, collars and power jumpers. Jil Sander (below left) and 3.0 Philip Lim (below right) paired colourful block jumpers with tailored high-waisted trousers and stacked brogue heels.
Topshop and Warehouse have both edited this trend with an emphasis on the 80s mod- slim drainpipe trousers, creepers and pork pie hats in as many colours as you can fit in!