Posts in Fashion
LFW Spring 2018

London is nothing if not unpredictable. 

It has been a few weeks since the spring 2018 shows ended but I want to take a moment to look back at London. Why London instead of New York, Milan or Paris? It's where I first experienced fashion week. London designers were the first to invite me to their shows. London will always be, for me, the expression of fashion in the way I understand it best. London champions underdogs. I'm grateful for that. It's experimental. It doesn't conform. 

utility |yo͞oˈtilədē|: the state of being useful, profitable, or beneficial

Utility isn't something I ever really associated with London Fashion Week. Sure, LFW is of course profitable. Of course, it's beneficial and useful to some degree. But the designs themselves? If I had to pick one word to describe them as a whole? It wouldn't be utility. For me, the trademark of fashion in London has always sort of been it's lack of practicality. It is wild and avänt gärde. Sometimes, it's offensive. It can be difficult to digest. But it pushes the envelop. It inspires. It breathes youth and creativity and beauty into a world that can sometimes feel rigid and dark. And the amazing thing? People in London actually embrace it. 

Tina Leung & Susie Lau, both in Molly Goddard - shot by  Phil Oh  for Vogue.com

Tina Leung & Susie Lau, both in Molly Goddard - shot by Phil Oh for Vogue.com

This season though, the thing that stood out to me about London Fashion Week (as I watched it from afar) was that it felt decidedly more utilitarian.

Some of my favorite designers were the ones that were really wearable. I've always loved Eudon Choi but this season his collection was one of my favorites. It was packed full of separates perfectly suited for a day at the office or a stroll down the promenade. Whether you're fashion-forward or style-delayed, his collection is understandable - especially when you break apart each look and consider the pieces for what they are alone. Anybody could wear it. You. Me. Your grandma. I literally want to wear everything from the collection. Right. Now. Especially the pink suit (gasp!). 

EudonChoi_SS18
EudonChoi_SS18

So many designers presented collections that felt useful, essential and easy-to-wear. Does this represent a shift in the industry? It's not minimalist or normcore. It's something else. It's looking at a catwalk and thinking you could actually wear what you see. You could wear it to walk your dog or pick up the groceries. You could wear it to class or to pick up your kids after school. There is beauty and attention-to-detail and a magic sparkle that emanates from the clothes but there is something else. There is a use. And you don't have to squint or work hard to figure out the use. It's glaringly obvious. The clothes are wearable.

To see what other people thought of the collections, I reached out to a few of my favorite people and asked them for their favorite look from London. Their responses reinforced what I had been thinking. London fashion is embracing practicality but there will always be an element of unexpected surprise that leaves you starry eyed and dreaming of another world. So yes, it seems London is embracing utility but there are still wild cards. ✨

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Joseph

"I loved this super clean look inspired by girl-scout uniforms, which was given a luxurious twist with Alighieri's giant silver hoops."

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J.W.Anderson

"Underwhelming but the devil's in the details, as it usually is with this designer."

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Gareth Pugh

"Architectural full tower outfits reminiscent of dark sci-fi. Particularly the opera scene from The 5th Element."

Runway photos from Vogue.com

Hayley Menzies

Simplicity and order are where my heart lies. I like routine. I don't like feeling confused in the morning when I'm getting dressed. I think that's why I have come to rely so heavily on pieces that work hard and that I know I can count on. I'm all about an elevated essential. Timeless pieces that are understated enough to work season-after-season and don't scream a particular designer's name. 

But, that's not always the case. 

If it were, I never would have bought this Issey Miyake Pleats Please skirt or worn this Natar Georgiou multi-color rainbow knit dress to fashion week. Yes, I like a good basic but I love a bright bold off-the-wall unexpected piece that makes a grand statement. The reason? Sometimes it's nice (and important) to inject a little carefree fun into our lives. An easy way to do that is with our clothing.

The desire for a relaxed freedom is exactly why Hayley Menzie's AW17 collection caught my eye. 

Hayley Menzies AW17

It's young. It's bold. It's colorful. It doesn't take itself too seriously. It's a bit kooky. It has a slight throwback seventies vibe. But it's elevated and something you'd still want to wear next season (or even in five years time). It represents exactly what I want to be wearing. The pieces are luxurious and refined but with a dose of something you'd never expect. 

Read on to get to know Hayley a bit better and be sure to check out her new fall knitwear collection. I'm particularly taken by the charcoal arm warmers. 

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Hayley Menzies

 

Bold. Luxurious. Accessible. 

Tell me a secret.

My next collection - SS18 is my favourite thing I’ve ever done. Blushing as I say this ;-)

Favorite thing about autumn?

Wrapping up in my Portobello Blanket… and not having to think about wearing a bikini for a few months so indulging in naughties!!

iPhone X. Hot or not?

I've not even caught up with hype yet...

Coffee or tea.

Thankfully not a caffeine addict, much more inclined to whiz up a smoothie. 

Biggest fashion mistake in your youth. 

I went through serious grunge stage and dyed my blonde hair red and wore patchwork trousers with DM boots. But i love all the different styles I experimented with in my youth and look back at them in fondness rather than horror!

Biggest fashion mistake recently.

I honestly don't make them anymore. My taste and style is established and Im considerate when making a purchase. 

Fashion is for everyone. What does that mean to you?

Go forth and experiment and express yourself!

Trend Watch: Yellow

Finally.

Big bird is having a moment...

It was bound to happen. Minimalism. Normcore. Stripped-back, no-fuss, grey-white-and-black fashion. It couldn't last forever. Of course, color was never truly dead (even if it might have felt that way). There were always people, designers and brands that continued to embrace it. And now, it looks like a burst of light is about to make its way to the masses thanks to a selection of designers at New York Fashion Week who are embracing the color with full force.

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Christian Siriano

Bigger. Bolder. Better.

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Sophisticated and timeless, Siriano takes yellow and transports it to an entirely different dimension. Who wouldn't feel like a modern day Cinderalla shooting on a star in a floor sweeping golden gown? It is what dreams are made of. The straight necklines feel a bit nineties, the fitted bodies and delicate tied shoulder straps remind me of Cher's Calvin Klein dress, and yet it all maintains a very modern sensibility thanks to the touch of unexpected proportion play. It's yellow. It's bold. It's big. And yet, it feels doable.

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Tibi

Youthful. Feminine. Unexpected.

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Tibi, by contrast, presents yellow in an entirely wearable way. Yes, it is still YELLOW (and a lot of it) but it's yellow that you, or I, or even our moms might wear. Why not wear yellow denim shorts that reach towards your knee next summer? Why not swap your black slacks for a yellow pair at the office? The subtle variation in hue makes it easier to digest and the best thing is these separates work just as well together as they would paired with a denim jean or a white tee. Tibi is for the modern woman. Sometimes she wants to make a big statement and sometimes she doesn't. But either way, she wants to look (and feel) effortless. She will in these clothes.


If you're a bit skeptical, take your cue from the fashion elite. Pops of yellow are already visible on the streets of NYC this fashion week. And, we all know, if it's happening in street style then it's going to be happening in a store-near-you soon.

How long though until head-to-toe makes an appearance?

I, for one, can hardly wait.

Street style photos by Phil Oh for Vogue.com

Essentials

Bright and bold accessories are fun but simple pieces in classic color-ways are what we love the most.

Take this TRIWA watch, for example. It will never go out of style. The face is large without being overbearing and the gold accents make a statement but don't look obnoxious. It works just as well on a man as it does a woman. It's the perfect, wear anytime/anywhere, watch. 

These glasses by Hardy Amies are also a keeper. I've had them for years and keep coming back to them season after season. They have a retro old-school glamor about them but not in an obvious played out sort of way. They have little details that make them feel special (the brand's signature square monogram sits along each arm) but they are incredibly discreet. 

Quality craftsmanship and attention to detail are what make a brand compelling. Much like this USA greeting card, it might not look like anything special at first but when you dig a little deeper there is a whole history and process behind its creation. That is exactly what we are looking for in our essentials.

Sunglasses by Hardy Amies via Task PR, watch by TRIWA via Sane Communications and USA postcard from I AM HERE found at the Firecracker Press print fair.

Words & photos by Jennifer Inglis

Timeless

Trends come and go each season but, to me, what's really interesting are the pieces in your wardrobe that are able to stand the test of time. 

A chambray shirt, for example, or a simple black leather skirt might be pieces that you reach for continuously. An easy go-to cross body bag could also be something you come back to. Sometimes our staples change. I used to be a die-hard Converse devotee. But, in the last couple of years I've switched over to loving slip-on Vans. They might not be timeless in the same way that Audrey Hepburn is but they've got a certain longevity - at least in my wardrobe.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for a funky trend.

Oversized plastic lightning bolt earrings? I've worn them. Socks and sandals? Been there. Floral jeans? Well, I haven't had a pair recently but I did wear them back in 1999. 

Every once in a while I'll buy a throw-away fashion magazine just to get reacquainted with what's trending this season. It's fun to know. Plus I love seeing how ready-to-wear collections filter down and how the street style stars are wearing their clothes. Trends give you ideas and help you think about your closet in a fresh new way.

All I'm really trying to say here is that I'm a sucker for a trend just like the next fashion blogger but I like my go-to staples more. They are the building blocks that your whole wardrobe is based on. If you don't have the timeless basics down then your foundations aren't solid. 

Timeless pieces might look ordinary but they can actually be beautiful and inspiring - much like a cow's face or a winding road.

Words by Jennifer Inglis

Photos by Stephanie Bannon Photography

Shot in Stienen, Germany. Featuring: chambray denim shirt from J. Crew, cross body croc bag from & Other Stories, teal plastic sunglasses courtesy of River Island, checkerboard slip-on sneakers from Vans and leather skirt courtesy of IPR London

A bright future

Headlines and conversation might lead one to believe the future is bleak. Daily tragedy outweigh human triumph in the news and often cast shadow over how we perceive ourselves. 

The contrast between those that have and those that have naught is abundantly clear. At no time in the fashion calendar is that more apparent than during the couture shows. The mentality of 'us' versus 'them' runs rife. Separation is apparent in society as well as in fashion.

But there's reason to think these boundaries are beginning to break down. Digital media is morphing our understanding of everything from political imagery to art and daily occurrences are now being digested and remembered in a new way. For the first time attendees are able to stream couture shows from their front row seat via Snapchat (doodling on the clothes and giving dog faces to the models) thereby giving anybody with a smartphone immediate access to a world that was once kept apart from most of society. 

The repercussions of this democratisation of fashion are up for debate.

At the Christian Dior show the models wore, what essentially looked like, a pretty bog-standard flip flop. Does me (or you) knowing this information impact society in any great way? Probably not. It was, however, the reason I reached for my Havaianas this morning when I haven't worn them in years. My excitement for the couture shows is lost on most people. Undoubtedly there wasn't a single person I came across today that saw my shoes and drew any connection to Dior. 

I did though.

When I wore those shoes today I knew every time I looked down at my feet that I was channeling a little bit of something special. Sure, they are old dirty flip flops but when I look at them now I imagine them adorned with jewels and a ribbon that wraps around my ankle and ties in a perfect little bow at the front. I see their potential. I see myself as part of something bigger and more beautiful than my everyday life. I see a connection to couture - a fantastical dream world that transcends reality and the simple (or sometimes not so simple) struggles we face everyday. 

Christian Dior Fall 2016

Photos by Alessandro Garofalo via Vogue.com

Words by Jennifer Inglis

 

The Super Sleeve

The super sleeve isn't totally new. Rosetta Getty, Jacquemus, Vetements and Charlie May have all been championing it in recent seasons.

Say those brands and you automatically summon an effortlessly cool vibe. One that is discreet, edgy, laid back and, most likely, worn by the type of girls you wish you were.

Michael Kors definitely doesn't fit into the same mix.

Kors is decidedly more mainstream than most of the designers that have been embracing the super sleeve. He's known for a refined aesthetic that's tailored and reserved - the sort of clothes that are practical and veer somewhere between what you might expect from Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren. He's as American as they come and doesn't usually mess with the failsafe styles that keep customers coming back time and time again. To summarize, he's conservative. And the super sleeve, which obscures your hands thereby making it difficult to eat or use your phone, is the opposite of conservative.


Thankfully Kors decided to relax a bit with this collection and embrace a styling trick that transformed the feel of the whole show. 


Predictable and preppy looks suddenly got roughed up and messy due to the super sleeve. Kors shows that the easiest way to update a classic white shirt is to stretch the length of the sleeve a few inches. There is a youthful nonchalance about this collection and it's all due to that wonderful super sleeve.

Benefits of wearing the super sleeve include the ability to go without gloves, the lack of a needed manicure, and the fact that you have an ever present tea cozy attached to your arm. Personally I'm quite keen because I figure I'll be using the extra long sleeve to wipe up the snot of a newly acquired tot come fall.

Photos via Vogue Runway

Michael Kors fall 2016
NYFW SS16

NYFW comes to an end today.

If you aren't following all the action on Snapchat, what are you doing with your life? Get. On. It. Here's a selection of our favorite collections from the SS16 shows and the key things to take away from the season.

Boss: felt much softer than past seasons. Normally, I think of the Boss girl as being one that's headed to a very serious office but that's no longer the case. It seems she is now a bit younger and a bit more carefree. I am now officially craving a suit. No actually, three suits: one in black, one white & one grey please. It seems that ethereal sheer pleats should come standard on every dress, a narrow wrap around belt is a must, and the chic leather sandal is staying around and must be worn with everything.

Thick electric blue eyeliner is also a must according to Jason Wu. But with it you may need the constant attention of someone that can apply it for you because, for real, that stuff looks messy.

Calvin Klein: highlight of the week. Something about this feels so much cooler and more effortless than past collections. Everything is very fluid. The skater sneakers paired with every look really brought it down to earth. I love the long coats over slinky silks, the gold body chain (yeah, for real), and the splattering of light neutral colors. 

Brock Collection: high. All about an easy dress and Brock had them in spades. They look chic, wearable and flattering. Exactly the sort of thing people would actually want to wear and look good in. The pieces make sense. I especially love the button up striped dress worn over jeans. It feels contemporary and quite grown up but still with an added edge. 

With that I bring my NYFW thoughts to a close. 

Photos via Vogue.com

Charlie May

There is an undeniably effortless look about the Charlie May girl. Her seams are raw and frayed, her cut almost always oversized. With her first stab at resort, Charlie has shown there is no deviation in her brands aesthetic and more importantly she has proven she has a strong business acumen. 

There's a push from stockists for designers who produce more collections than just the traditional fall and spring ones. Stores are investing more in pieces from resort wear than spring so it makes sense for new designers, like Charlie, to expand into producing the extra collection. Some argue this extra season puts unnecessary stress and financial strain on designers. The saying goes that resort simply fuels a society of shoppers who constantly need more and are never satisfied. Is it a step too far to expect new designers to venture into resort? Charlie doesn't think so. With her newest collection she has shown she's just as capable at producing this in-between season as any of the big names in fashion.

Photos c/o Charlie May

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Charlie May Resort 15
Charlie May Resort 15
Charlie May Resort 15
Charlie May Resort 15
Jason Wu

I'm willing the autumn/winter 2014 season to come to an end. Spring is floating in front of us like a distant mirage yet we're still stuck in the confines of layers and knits.

Now that New York Fashion Week has started we're bypassing spring altogether and going straight into next winter's wardrobes. It's all a bit hard to get your head around but, with collections as beautiful as Jason Wu's latest, it's worth making an effort to comprehend.

His show was stocked full of covetable separates and a slew of drool worthy dresses. The shapes were simple and streamlined. Necklines were either plunging or crew neck. The colour palette paid homage to an old school Banana Republic one with army greens, blacks, creams and a splattering of blood red. He has been criticized for lacking drama with this collection but I'd argue the normality of it provides its strength. What's lacking in extravagance is made up for in sheer wearability. 

The coats were perfection, the leather shift faultless, and the knotted back black dress the perfect companion for any unseasonably warm winter's night. To top it all off there was a little red structured bag that would look effortless draped over any girls arm. 

Jason Wu's fall show felt less White House and more youthful. It wasn't corporate or overly structured. Not too girly or too blatantly sexy. It walked the fine line of being perfectly conservative in a way that Americans do best. Because for all its reservedness it still packed a serious punch. Add a black leather biker jacket and Converse to any of these looks and your golden in my book. 

Photos via style.com