Thursday, 23 September 2010

Our London Fashion Week Wrap S/ S 2011

I barely had a second to stand still this LFW. I’m talking up and out of the house by 8am, spare dresses in my bag, changing after the shows for the after parties getting in at 4am and doing it all over again. For 5 days, all day long I was running the fashion gauntlet (literally- there were shows all over London!)
It was fun but damn being a lover of fashion isn’t easy. I felt like I needed a bit of group therapy after the experience, so I thought I’d share the highlights of my hardships with all of you lovely readers!

When the first day rolled around (Friday 17th of September) I praised the fashion gods that it was a sunny day (hallelujah…can I get an amen?) because I was able to slip into something that wouldn’t require me to rock knitwear resembling something belonging to an Eskimo (well London is cold at the best of times). So I set off to Somerset House(the mothership for LFW) in a very nice halterneck jumpsuit and as soon as I got there- pap! Photographers wanted to capture my look for the “what they were wearing this fashion week” columns! Yay for me!

The first show I hit was Maria Grachvogel a designer so exalted that she is rocked on the red carpet frequently by A-lister’s such as Victoria Beckham and Angelina Jolie. Her vibe was sexy cool 70’s, lots of long floaty gowns, bright oranges and blues (think posh tie dye)

I stepped outside of the show with some notes on what to wear next season when I bumped into Uber cool designer Bolshie and her BFF. This 19 yr old designer is so edgy that she wears knickers with spikes and decapitated Barbie dolls around her neck. The bold and brave need only apply if they wanna get with her design aesthetic. (Sabrina Washington has been fearless enough to wear Bolshies label).
Bolshie and BFF

I also saw Henry Holland outside with his new muse doing some promotional pics. He was not to happy when he was asked to pose with some furry dice- seriously though asking the King of cool Brittania to hold furry dice is like asking the Queen to cut the ribbon at a supermarket opening ceremony (it ain’t gonna happen).

I hit a couple more shows schlepping from Somerset House to Bloomsbury House and the Freemasons where some On/ Off and Vauxhall Fashion Scouts shows were happening, giving me the chance to to see the rising superstars in the design world and allowing me to sample the edgier outthere designs a la Bolshie.

I managed to catch the Bora Aksu- where the models were dressed like sexy shiny beatles- lots of metallinc plates on the clothes and woollen ants in their hair.

Creepy crawly styles!

Next up was Ashley Isham where the style was all diva glam and red carpet ready. You got a sense of this from the ladies who strolled in at the last minute and took the best seats at the show. It was only Paloma Faith and Shingaii, lead singer from the Noisette’s! Shingaii looked fabulous in leather shorts (this girl has the most perfect bopoty I have ever seen) and Paloma looked quirky as ever rocking a gold plated, metal headdress.

To round up my shows for the day I went the A La Mode show where 7 emerging designers got models to strut their stuff and showcase the blood sweat and tears shed over a sewing machine. The event was put together by LGN Events and featured Amato Couture who has dressed the Swedish Supermodel Heidi Klum and Mr Lipop Project Catwalk alumni.

By the time I’d left A la Mode I though I was done for the night but I somehow found myself examining the insides of a London Cab en route to a private do in the West in but sssh it’s a secret- so I’ll say no more (they wouldn’t even let me take pictures!)

Despite rolling in around 4ish (am) I had to be at the Bernard Chandran show for 9am!!! By the time I got to the venue(The Old Sorting Office in W1) the show had started and they had blacked out the reception so I had to fumble my way to the catwalk area by blackberry light (it didn’t help I fell over, losing my dignity and an earring). But Bernard’s show was worth the grazed knee. On reflection it was the highlight of my whole fashion week experience. His clothes were very much the kind of thing you would imagine a very sexy cool, young royal to pack for a month long holiday in the Carribbean to ensure she is looking like a bone fide babe from sunrise to sundown. Then I headed down to the lovely Patisserie Valerie in …..which became my saving grace this fashion week. Don’t believe the hype. Girls who like fashion do not all hate food. I was cramming down coffee cream cake faster than you can say size zero!

Anywho it was time for another show “Where The Wild Roses Grow”. Tha fashion was very dreamlike girly, romantic and soft (as the name would suggest) and everybody’s favourite Rose popped up. Yep Amber- Rose Kanye’s ex was front row. She was repping the denim factor that day in a full on denim suit along with geek chic glasses and her trademark blonde crop. We spoke briefly she said she was enjoying London , she has this whimsical Marilyn Monroe-esque essence about. A type of sexy that can’t be imitated (Kanye we understand why you found it hard to leave A-R alone!) It was on to some more shows (I won’t bore you with the deets but they were fabulous darling) before once again I had to hit a party. This time it was the UMA’s. It felt weird punctuating my fashion life with my lust for urban beats but when I saw Damage on stage perform their first ever single (Love To Love) I forgot all about dresses, shoe’s and who was wearing who. I bumped into Sam Pepper from BB11, the model Caprice. She left in a hurry, perhaps because she was keen to make off with more than her fair share of weave which was to be found in the goody bags. I didn’t get any unbeweavable (sorry bad joke). Again I got home at stupid O’Clock, and when I woke up at 7am on Sunday morning I thought, nope I cant do it anymore. That was until I realised it was the Esthetica Brunch ( a breakfast party which honours an ethical designer). There was champagne, for breakfast. The ligger in me whispered “go Mary, sip from the cup. Do it!” So I did precisely that. After the brunch I bumped into the stunning Olivia Palermo- super bitch fashionista from The City. As Whitney’s arch nemesis in the show she seems like a total ice maiden. But I LOVED this girl. She was super sweet and very complimentary about how I looked (even though I was particularly bedraggled that day due to a lack of sleep.
After a little down time with Ms Palermo, it was off to Vivienne Westwood. So this British maverick pulled in all of the heavy hitters, I spotted Tolula Adeyemi (Vivs muse) making her entrance and inside were the likes of Nicola Roberts, Marvin (JLS) and Rochelle (The Sats) and the original Baywatch Babe Pamela Anderson. Unfortunately the show was so packed that I couldn’t see the designs drifting down the I headed home for some down time in my bed (queen sized, spring mattressed thing of beauty I missed you!)

On Monday I had to do some work (grrr), interviews and write ups so I only made 1 show Romeo Pire’s. And what a show it was. Whilst queuing up I spotted notorious pop artist Pandemonia- a 7ft tall living piece of art, who only rocks pvc- including a gimp mask). Romeo’s show was at VFS and his line made me think of two movies. These Hills Have Eye’s and Child's Play. The clothes were ‘hillbilly will drag you back to our shack and make you one of us’ chic and the hair styles that the models rocked resembled the locks on Chucky. Shudder. I went to bed early that night. But I didn’t have a good nights sleep, I kept thinking about a doll dressed in PVC coming to get me…

I managed to get into the Ashish show by the skin of my teeth on Tuesday. It was the last day for women's wear and Ashish is a never to be missed show. The label always sets a strong standard for trends that will filter down to the high street. When I reached the venue The show had started and the doors were locked. To burly security guards taking up a mean stance outside. “No one is getting in alright” they said to the crowd of stragglers . I noticed a well known fashion journalists protesting with the old chestnut “Don’t you know who I am?” It didn’t work. The security guys couldn’t care less. Said journalist walked off in a huff, with her Louboutins clacking on the floor. I looked up at the men, doe eyed “I really need to see the show, pretty please- I’ll squeeze in at the back!” I said. “Ahh, look at her go on get in there girl, quick!” And with a peck on the cheek for my two new best friends I skipped into the show.
I ended up right at the end of the runway so I got to see the design pretty full on. It was all wild west, fringing and cowboy hats. The girls stormed the runway to bashment beats and the front row was loving it! I spotted 1xtra breakfast show host Gemma, Paloma Faith and Shingaii again, Diana Vickers, Pixie Lott, Jodie Harsh, VV Brown, Victoria Hervey. Paloma even got up and started shocking out to one of the Bashment beats.

When the show was over everyone got to their feet and gave a rapturous round applause. I had a word with Pixie who raved about the line, loved the cowboy boots the models had worn and mentioned she had her eye on a sexy little green dress that she had spotted in the collection.

The Dolce & Gabbana/Naomi Campbell party was up next. I hopped in a limo (bus) to get there and stepped straight into the venue (queued for an eternity). Miss Campbell was signing limited edition T Shirts (£200 a pop!) emblazoned with her beautiful face. The diva model wasn’t rocking any diamonds and she was on her best behaviour, however she wouldn’t take pics with party goers. The event drew in a lot of the Ashish crowd Pixie and Paloma. Ms Campbell looked gawjus as ever in a little black dress made to measure by her boys Stefano and Domenico.

To end the night I headed to the Rev Run Footlocker Party, where all of the guests were laced with free trainers and people like Bashy and Jamelia rocked up. The biggest baddest deck dawg Tim Westwood handled the decks for a few hrs until Mr Mark Ronson rocked up (with his super blonde quiff and some very snazzy shows) and he kept everybody moving.

Moment of the night? Amber Rose stepped in and all eye’s were on her (and her booty).

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Willow Smith- Whip My Hair ( Official New Music)

'Where my ladies at' 9 yr old Willow Smith cries on her first single..erm, waiting at the school gates to take you home little madam. Her voice sounds far beyond her tweener years and the subject matter is rather all grow'd up for someone who should be watching cartoons and playing video games.

With a voice this slick is Willow a child prodigy or acolyte of the autotune? On first listen I was leaning towards the latter but whatever your opinion her debut track Whip My Hair is catchy and she's fast establishing herself as the mini Fresh Princess. Jay Z has already snapped her up with a record deal and her style is as punchy as Rihanna's. Little Miss Smiths 'tude is just to cool for school!

Monday, 13 September 2010

Give The Stylist a Medal!

Check out the latest single from the UK mc Skepta. The songs catchy and you may recognise the female on the vocals as Sayeed's long suffering missus from Eastenders but the thing that caught the my eye was the styling in the video.

From Skepta's slick suits and Preeya in all of her lace gloved, strapless dress, armlet glory to the video models writhing around in the cutest mac I've seen in ages this video is a visual festival of fashion. FIN

Cross My Heart will be out on the 17th October

The Wanted- The Return of the Boyband

Oh its a hard life us journalists lead...I had the sweet pleasure of hanging out with the prettiest boys in pop, The Wanted recently. Not only did I discover that, yes they are so yummy looking, that observing them for too long makes your teeth ache-they are also very, very naughty.
Its safe to say that besides JLS the UK has been lacking on the bonefide fresh boyband front (I love Take That but they're less boy more man). Now that The Wanted are on the scene that hole has been filled, tweeners- and ladies whom are old enough to know better *ahem*- can scream with wild abandon at a bunch of cute boys with vocal ability once more!

I met the boys whilst they were filming a show with Katy Brand and never before have I heard the words, threesomes, semi and the phrase "what are you doing after this" within the first 60 seconds of meeting a group of fella's.
I quizzed the boys on their late night antics. Their frequent visits to London hotspots like Movida and Mahiki rival fellow boyband liggers JLS! "Yeah we party a lot" confessed Max (the sexy one with the shaved head) "But all we've wanted to do since our number one is celebrate, and we don't intend on stopping just yet!" So rest assured these boys will be partying hard for some time to come.

Riding high on the success of their single All Time Low the boys aim to storm the charts again with the track Heart Vacancy(check out the vids below). Having heard the guys sing (yes they sang to me accapella and I briefly passed out from the effects of the eargasm) they deserve to hit the top of the charts and ride 'em with longevity! Long live The Wanted- long live the return of the boyband!

Our Fashionable Night Out!

All fashion land dwellers stayed out late last week Wednesday, not because there was an all night sample sale at Louboutin, it was the now legendary preamble to LFW that is known as Fashions night out!

Mr Manolo Blahnik!

Bella got to spend time with the legendary Manolo Blahnik (shoe-king foreva!) I had a lovely chat at Liberty's where he told us "a woman always needs to balance comfort and style when it comes to picking a shoe. Never buy something beautiful that will in turn cause you pain and make your feet ugly!" Couldn't have put it better myself Manny B (we're tight like that- nickname levels). The fun continued at libertys when we bumped into one of the first supermodels to hail outta blighty in the 80s, the forever young Yasmin Le Bon. Looking half of her 45 yrs we had a little chinwag with the former model about style "when it comes to clothes I'm all about comfort, although when you're finding your style its good to step out of your happy zone and get a little fearless. Also pain is sometimes fashion! Some beautiful things are worth suffering for!" Well said Mrs Le Bon. Minus her rockstar husband she still rocked out, we spied Yasmin getting down to Lady Gaga's Telephone- the Liberty's DJ was on fire!

Yasmin Le Bon

I headed over to Furla with a few friends. The design house had oh so yummylicious cocktails laid on courtesy of Isolabella- we couldn't get enough of the mojito based drinks or Furla's luxe Wizard of Oz inspired collection.

We then made a quick stop at Topshop to get some style advice- we were told to channel vintage-esque festival chic, with lots of layering. Thats a sexy little look right there!

Styling @ Topshop

Post Topshop we decided to get our party on and hooked up with non other than Matthew Williamson at the Moroccan restaurant/ club Momo's.
All I can say is, that designer can dance. From Beyonce's Single Ladies to Katy B's On A Mission the man didn't stop shaking his perfectly formed derrier. FIN

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Tinie Tempah - Written In The Stars (Official HD) - Ft. Eric Turner

Check out Tinie's next single due for release on the 27th of September. There is nothing more satisfying than watching an exciting young artist break through to the mainstream and manage to make the transition from catchy phenomenon to musician with longevity and Tinie Tempah has done it. The stylish maestro of the UK urban scene is sounding all grown up in this slick, deviation from his standard club banger style. Eric Turner tinkles the ivories and pours passion all over the heart felt hook that ties together Tinie's brilliantly penned verses. Written In The Stars is a certified future chart success.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

If you buy two things this Autumn...

...make sure you're splurging on a shearling aviator jacket and a pair of OTK's (over the knee boots dahling).

Nothing says sexy but warm like this dynamic duo. Spotted all over the runways last Feb for the A/ W 2010 shows, done to perfection by British fashion powerhouse Burberry, both pieces are the key to Autumnal elegance and winter splendour.

The Jacket

The inspiration for this jacket is the fighter pilot from the 50's. That lot sure knew how to fly those choppers with style- nothing to do with the figure of eights-it was all about the The Shearling Aviator jacket. Its tough but sexy, pilot Amelia Earheart set the bar for this trend over 50 decades it girlfriend!

This piece looks best in a deep brown weathered looking leather (though tan can look equally sexy), add to that the divine sheep lining and fur collar and you have a jacket that will act as the perfect winter warmer for this season. Rock this piece with skinny jeans and plain t's during the day or with flapper or ruched style dresses, headbands and kitten heels in the evening.

The Aviator by Burberry £1000

Jacket £110 from

The Boots

Whoever thought we would be looking to Ms Whiplash, the notorious 1980's brothel madam, for style inspiration! But fashion knows no bounds and OTK's are still the hottest way to trot this winter following on from their success in A/ W 2009.
These boots that scream naughty night time can can work during the day over slim fit trousers paired with a chunky knit cardigan. For the evening wear a slinky, embellished top and a pair of dark skinny's. The brave can go for an a line mini!

OTK's by Topshop £110

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