As we begrudgingly prepare summer frocks, shorts and bikinis (which were worn…oooh all of twice) for hibernation, now seems like a good time to initiate the seasonal wardrobe cull. To some this is the perfect opportunity to fully utilise the label maker/fabric steamer/clip-lid boxes and emulate an IKEA catalogue spread. To others, it generates feeling of dread as the never-ending knitwear drawer unravels itself, covering every surface inch of the bedroom.
What is a seemingly straightforward update often becomes an emotional and conflicting task, resulting in over/under culling and causes much angst over the old adage: what if it comes back into fashion? Be warned, once started, it’s difficult to abort the wardrobe clear out mission.
I love a wardrobe cleanse and find even the task of refolding the aforementioned jumper drawer therapeutic, regardless if any eliminations have been made. I’ve adopted a consultancy role and gladly advise friends on their incoherent collections. I relish the Simon Cowell ‘it’s a no from me’ authoritative position, employing a cruel-to-be-kind policy, which can be quite cathartic itself.
Despite excelling in wardrobe management, I still aspire to the illusion of a perfectly coordinating capsule collection. I envisage, in the event of a missed alarm or impromptu catch-up, I could fall out of bed into an effortless ensemble, eliminating that disappointing mid-morning ‘outfit regret.’ I know people who have reached this pinnacle and digitally catalogue outfits on their phone and set-up home collection/direct debited dry cleaning accounts. I’m yet to reach these dizzy heights, but each season I aspire to this harmonious wardrobe relationship.
I think a wardrobe purge not only makes your hanger-space less of a premium but also cleanses the soul and signifies a new-start. Let’s be honest, January is never a good month to kick-start ‘new year, new me’ regimes. A change in clocks is a much better time to implement fresh starts. Additionally, empty hangers in the wardrobe rationalise new purchases, which can be justified fully when twinned with that fact that you’ll wear it all winter (which let’s face it, is the bulk of the year).
In light of the fact that holiday season is someway off, it’s comforting to know a change is as good as a rest.
|When embarking on this seasonal challenge, make sure you tackle it fittingly by following these guidelines:
- Ensure you have enough time; this is not a spur-of-the-moment chore to do just before bed.
- Arm yourself with storage solutions. Kicking your boots as far as they’ll go under the bed does not constitute suitable stowage.
- Emulate Carrie and categorise your clothing piles into: Keep/Store/Sell/Charity. If you’re being really thorough add a dry-clean/alterations pile to reinstate occasional or forgotten items.
- Utilise a benchmark: would I want to bump into my ex-boyfriend wearing it? There’s no room for mediocre outfits.
- Be ruthless; don’t keep too many things ‘just in case.’
- If it’s too small, get rid of it. You’ll either torture yourself with it or squeeze into it with unflattering consequences.
- Enlist the help of some trusted friends; ensure a rigorous honestly policy by providing wine.
- Don’t enlist the help of your mum, good as her intentions are, she would still have you in your brownie uniform if it were up to her…
- …similarly don’t ask your boyfriend, he will become instantly bored and won’t have strong convictions on skinny versus straight jeans.
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Following on from the festively ‘fun’ intarsia, fair isle, alpine knit of Winter 2011 (also known as the Christmas-jumper), a quirky contender is taking its place: Critter Knits.
I can’t remember a time when you could solemnly wear animal-feature clothing to work meetings so I, for one, am excited. This trend is not to be muddled with ‘eccentric teacher-dressing’ which (for example) may feature a painted version of a Labrador pet emblazoned on a sweatshirt. No. This look is more a nod to novelty whilst maintaining a current look.
H&M Jumper, £19.99
Burberry Brit Fox Print T-shirt, £135
Mulberry Double Tiger Motif Jumper, £395
French Connection Lady Owl Jumper, £67
J.Crew French Hen Sweater, £78.58
See Kate Bosworth for appropriate critter-knit pairings:
Enjoy the novelty while it lasts (note the shelf life expires on Boxing day) and let’s start betting on the knit theme for Autumn/Winter 2013.
At the Forward PR press day a couple of days ago, Katy Spry discovered that a pair of designers, both tipped as definite ones to watch, have produced a collaboration that’s doubly desirable.
It all started just over one year ago (cue ghoulish background music). First, there was a Royal wedding. Then came the wedding guests, which led to the inevitable crazy hat parade. More often than not they turned out to be horrendously ill-advised head sculptures – most certainly not fit for a queen – as opposed to actual hats. However, some ladies, such as the ever stylish Mrs Beckham, got it spot on. Her classy attempt, a simple yet inventive little black number, temporarily redeemed the reputation of the hat on the day, so all was not lost.
Soon after the art of millinery was thrust back into the spotlight, no doubt in part due to the popularity of the Royal nuptials, hats have been big news on planet fashion. So much so that Grazia magazine created a competition to find Britain’s next generation of avant-garde hat designers called, ‘Grazia’s Hat Factor’. Out of almost 100 hopefuls, the panel of judges – which included the two main Brits synonymous with innovative headgear design, Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy – managed to whittle down the number to six runners-up and the winner, Sophie Beale. I was lucky enough to meet Emma Yeo, a Central Saint Martins graduate and one of the runners up at the Forward PR autumn/winter press day, where she was more than happy to chat and show me her impressive creations. They were formed from laser cut styled wood and plastic with the skeleton like structure often encased in duchess silk.
Yeo created her collection in collaboration with up and coming London based designer Corrie Nielsen. Corrie has received a lot of attention due to her recent London Fashion Week autumn/winter 2012 show (which fellow blogger Katie attended in February). That collection was also showcased at the Forward event and I was able to grab a few minutes talking to the talented lady. Despite winning the coveted ‘Fashion Fringe’ award back in 2010, this is fast becoming her break out collection. Entitled ‘Vestarium Scotium’, it came about as a result of Nielsen drawing inspiration from her roots which after some investigating, she discovered were Scottish. The tartan and traditional Scots dress influence is plain to see; here are two of our favourite pieces.
The Florida-born designer told how she was thrilled about the positive reaction she had received from Scotland. It was recently announced that she has been nominated for an award by the prestigious Scottish Fashion Awards for ‘Best Use of Scottish Fabric by an international Designer’, up against the likes of Mulberry. Due to take place next month, the winner will be determined by a group of judges including the extremely influential fashion writer Sarah Mower. As the British Fashion Council’s Ambassador for Emerging Talent, if you want to get anywhere in the industry then, to put it simply, you need this lady on your side. Here’s wishing Corrie all the best.
You can buy Emma Yeo hats on LoveHats.com. Visit Corrie Nielsen’s website.
MyEdo.co.uk held it’s autumn/winter 2012 catwalk show alongside a pop up shop last Saturday at Café de Paris. Million Michael (yes I know, doesn’t she have the best name ever?) went along on behalf of Style & Then Some and wrote this guest post for us.
I thought I’d just be browsing the menswear (and, let’s face it, the men) at this show, but the blazers were some nice I found myself wanting one. MyEdo (which stands for ‘my exclusive designs online’) is a new online shop specialising in emerging menswear designers such as Di Biasi and Alan Hayden. In an age where men really take pride in their looks, MyEdo wants to be the go-to site for debonair city men and preppy metrosexuals who want tailoring, shirts and accessories. The creators of the site think that ‘mainstream fashion has become so easily identifiable that you can practically guess the price tag!’ so they want to bring men clothes they won’t see on anyone else. To that end, limited edition blazers are perfect for the trendsetter, the man who doesn’t like to follow the crowd.
At the catwalk show, MyEdo presented a capsule collection of blazers, ranging from classic linen and tweed with leather elbow patches to luxurious silk and duchess satin. My personal favourite of the designers on show was Neil Katter, whose line includes a sleek black silk blazer with intricate embroidery and detailed gold buttons.
While women have a whole host of ways to find limited edition and one-off items, either bespoke or vintage, I think there’s definitely a gap in the market for menswear with real individuality, and MyEdo looks set to fill that gap.
To shop the collections visit www.myedo.co.uk.
What: Pam Hogg AW12 at London Fashion Week
Where: Vauxhall Fashion Scout
When: Sunday 19th February 2012 at 7.30pm
Who: Alexandra Burke, plus loads of ageing celebs including the original supermodel Janice Dickinson, Jo Wood, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and Siouxsie Sioux on the front row. Also actress Jaime Winstone modelled.
I love a bit of LFW drama. And boy was there plenty of it on Sunday night outside the Pam Hogg show. A very pushy lady was being ejected before she’d even got in the door, and she was not happy about it, shrieking and shouting at the bouncers. The drama continued on the catwalk, with a typically jaw-dropping delivery from Hogg. I had to squeeze in at the back of the extremely crowded venue and strain to get a decent view in between other people’s heads, hence my less than perfect photos.
The skintight full-body catsuit is Hogg’s stock in trade, and this season that stock was rendered in myriad variations of red, white and black panels, and silver metallic lycra too, each crowned with a huge neckpiece reminiscent of old fashioned ladies bonnets (or, to be completely honest, those collars that vets put on sick dogs). The suits got skimpier as the show went on, until all that remained in the midst of an entirely see-through gauze number was a tiny strip of black lycra preserving the model’s modesty. Another, which, as you can see from the photo, had Nick Rhodes in stitches, was completely opaque, but had a huge brown fur bonnet attached and a strip of matching fur on the crotch. You’ve got to love Hogg’s sense of humour.
Jaime Winstone’s blushes were saved as she sported a high-necked red, white and grey dress with a stiff full skirt for her turn on the catwalk, during which she stopped halfway for a little dance with another model. There was then an uncharacteristically girly interlude that featured a long sequinned gown and a catsuit, both in baby pink – not a colour you’d associate with punk icon Pam. The sweetness didn’t last for long though, because the final look was pure sex: a confluence of lipstick red bows and a pair of knickers that barely concealed the model’s naughty bits, it could have come straight off the rack at Agent Provocateur. It’s the sort of thing that makes Hogg such a hot LFW ticket each season. When a show features this much nudity, no wonder people are clamouring to get in.
What: Spijkers en Spijkers AW2012
Where: Vauxhall Fashion Scout, Covent Garden
When: Saturday 18th February, 2012
Who: On the way out we were behind singer Kate Nash.
Last season I loved, and I mean LOVED, Spijkers and Spijkers at LFW. So I was pleased to see some echoes of SS12′s fantastic 1920′s vibe remained for autumn/winter. Skipping forward precisely one decade, this time the focus was on the thirties. Ewing Bouvier Beale and ‘Little Edie’ were the muses – a mother and daughter duo who were known for their glamorous but eccentric wardrobes and hectic social lives, well, before they were left abandoned and penniless when Mr Beale upped and left one day, that is.
Whimsical fairground waltz music opened the show and the whimsy continued on the catwalk. Again the Dutch designer twins sent out a lot of silk knee length dresses constructed of graphic coloured panels but the colour palette was much richer than last season – mustard yellow, deep purple and burnt orange clashed in scallopped panels and circular tessellating prints. A couple of mannish trouser suits played up the androdgyny slant the designers are so fond of.
Fashion writer Tim Blanks said something recently about fans of Marni liking the ‘sensuality of expression’ the clothes afford, rather than any obvious sexiness, and the same could be said of the Spijkers’ output this season. Some of these looks were very busy visually, especially where prints were doubled up on jackets and dresses. Pulled apart, though, they’re much more manageable. And for evening the eccentricity factor worked really well with feathery fringing and cute little fabric bird brooches, the ‘birds of paradise’ for which the show was named. The only question that remains now is: will Spijkers en Spijkers head for the 1940′s next season?
Image and Video credit: Samantha Meachin.
What? Elisa Palomino
Where? Vauxhall Fashion Scout, Freemasons’ Hall
When? Saturday 18th February 2012, 10:30am
I could tell from the invite that Elisa Palomino’s show was going to be floral. Exotic, orchid-like bursts of colour splashed across the catwalk, and silouettes were decidedly 1930′s Hollywood glamour with a few flapper dropped waists appearing again. (It’s nice to see that this is a trend that will carry through to the Winter, in case you’re considering investing in any 1920′s style garb.)
Elaborate hair pieces unfolded their petals of net and satin in hues of yellow and cerise, with black offsetting the bright colours. Velvet, satin, chiffon, and feather trimmings gave the impression that the designer had raided some old-school Hollywood actress’ wardrobe – which I was thoroughly in the mood for after recently seeing the brilliant film, The Artist.
Silks printed and embroidered with Oriental patterns and sheer negligees increased the sense of behind the scenes luxury. I’ve noticed a lot of leopard print around this season, and it was out in strong force at the end of this show, too. (Glamour edging towards the tackier end of the spectrum?)
Photos taken by an Olympus E-PM1