Biba reigns..



So, I finally got to order the dress I have been lusting after since I saw it in the preview lookbook for Barbara Hulanicki's collection for Topshop.
After a wakeful sleep through sheer panic that I would awake at 9, missing College and the entire collection altogether, I woke at 7.20am, 20 minutes after the collection had dropped online.
When I went to purchase my chosen dress my size had already sold out! I knew I had to have it anyway so promptly purchased an 8 before that too sold out!
The buzz of knowing it was soon to arrive wore off rather quickly however, knowing that I would have to get it taken in to get the desired effect of nipped in/oversized shoulders without a belt etc.



However, on my arrival home at lunchtime today I thought to myself, I will check it again anyway, afterall you never know...and luck was on my side! After being notified that the site had been having technical difficulties earlier it all made sense.
With a sneaky phone call to track my order and subsequently cancel and reorder whilst on the phone I managed to snag my desired size. Hurrah!



Barbara Hulanicki, alongside husband founded the clothing company Biba in 1964. Throughout the 60's and 70's it was at the forefront of the British high street and was the Topshop of it's time. Biba closed in 1976 whilst Hulanicki continued working in fashion for some time before progressing into interior design.

The collection itself features body con dresses, oversized shoulders, buttoned, nipped in waists, wide legs and bikinis all adorned with either Hulanicki's own interpretation of leopard print through a coral/grey colour way or her youthful linea cartoons. For the less daring she has produced scarves and shopper bags.

A couple of other items from the collection:



Source: Topshop.com

Family Affair

Barca cont...
Day three and we were graced with ray upon ray of sunlight. After the hearty breakfast we had now become accustomed to we set off for shops galore!- And they did not disappoint! First stop was a basement Zara Home. I now know where I will register if I ever get married and do the American gift norm. Purchased a simple white candle for mum and lusted after gold cutlery. Thought twice about purchasing the cutlery as student living will never quite live up to it's gold utensils. Next up was the shop Trust Nobody located just off the busy Las Ramblas we were met with a serene calm bathed in shadowy sun. Unfortunately the shop did deliver, but not in sizing, so I left empty handed with no holiday gift for J. Next up was the vintage search. Having done a little research prior to the trip I had found a couple of places worth a look. Again, I left empty handed, choosing against buying faded slogan tshirts and army surplus just for the thrill of the purchase.
Found the compulsory Topshop(why do they get the new Kate Moss collection in a tiny store when our megastores don't?) and numerous more H&m's, Zara etc.
A break was in order, after making our way up eight floors of Barcelona's most famous department store we picked up a cake and coffee and sat ourselves down infront of the cafe's panoramic view of Barcelona.



We were then met with a crowd surrounding some talented individuals showcasing their break dancing skills. Have to fault them on their choice of music however: Prodigy? No.



The final evening was accompanied by yet more tasty delights and strolls up and down Passeig De Gracia, looking into the window of the YSL store and admiring the light reflecting upon the cage heels.
Lovely casual Sunday spent with boyf to prepare myself for the ensuing torture of College this week. After the confusion from waking at 7am and driving into the so called nature's garden that is Kent needlessly we strolled down row upon row of wallpaper paste tables to view other's unwanted wares. I left with a pair of genuine Rayban wayfarers for £5!!, a cosy, gold embellished jumper dress and beautiful candelabra.
With the arriving of the sun we zoomed to Chislehurst for a bite of lunch at Cafe Rouge.

...Currently continuing in my role as ultimate procrastinator through overindulging in five episodes of Come Dine With Me, painting my nails, writing to do to lists and gorging on forgotten Green and Blacks easter eggs. Just waiting for the new episode of Louis Thereux to round off a lovely day.


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Habla usted Ingl├ęs?


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On Easter Sunday dad and I took an impromptu break to Barcelona. Having only previously been there in passing I was excited to explore the city in detail.
Day One involved numerous parma ham baguettes and siestas following the 7am flight from Heathrow. As it was Easter Sunday we prepared ourselves for most amenities to be closed for the next few days in this religious city, we relished in the chance to experience the city in a somewhat comatose state and then again on Tuesday when it would be back to its regular lively, animated form.

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Forgetting my usual holiday routine of a complete TV ban we could not think of anything better then an early night laughing at the humorous dubbing of TV programmes on Spanish television. However, when the Hotel informed us there was a flat screen Sky television in each room they forgot to mention that the only English channels would be CNN, BBC news and TCM. Needless to say we watched some very oddball films in our sleepy state.
Day two called for much of the same, starting with a mountainous breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, potato and bread followed by 'bravas' tapas and tea.

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The weather soon picked up as layers fell off and sunglasses came out of hibernation. After another stroll down Las Ramblas we approached the port which held a lovely little market selling trinkets and fascinating junk-esque items that people could spend their life searching for and others would haphazardly stumble across.
We then approached the new riverside development, reached by a mobile swing bridge that leads the way to an IMAX cinema, tasty restaurants and spanish high street stores...and to our suprise, it was all open! We then put shopping back onto our radar and headed into the mall. After seeing the shutters on multiple Zara's, Mango's and H&M's we relished being able to hear the English sounds blaring out and seeing the nudes, chiffons and pastels highlighted throughout the store's visual merchandising.

Ten.

If I could choose just one magazine currently on the market to take onto a deserted island with me it would be Ten. Ten magazine is a quarterly fashion magazine with a satirical twist. Launched in 2001, it has since created an incredibly well respected name for itself as the leader in its sector. As a quarterly magazine, it if often very thick in pages thus would last me longer on a deserted island then any other fashion magazine.
The magazine celebrates luxury, not only unaffordable fashion but luxury through any means, be it through a witty rumour or a do-it-yourself project to transform an old garment. It unashamedly showcases the best products on the market in fashion, jewellery and beauty. Ten does not hope to sell an image that is accessible, it instead, flagrantly chooses to provide an unattainable image but have fun with it.
Ten has no set writers, except Editor Sophie Neophitou-Apostolou, instead choosing to vary its contributors seasonally. This allows readers to experience an abundance of some of the best writers, photographers and stylists in the industry.
The magazine does not feature celebrities but rather relishes in rumours flying around the fashion industry. The ‘gossip’ page on Ten is more then just your typical celebrity gossip page in a fashion magazine but rather a well articulated, humorous page containing tongue in cheek one liners and comical clues into the identity of the culprit.
The magazine is text heavy and not just reliant on visually appealing fashion spreads. Through its use of some of the world most respected journalists Ten is able to provide articles written with an opinion that are often more daring and bold then the rest on the market today.
My favoured contributor to Ten magazine is Hadley Freeman. Whilst being the deputy fashion editor at The Guardian she has also written a book, ‘The Truth About Sunglasses’. Her wit, intelligence and her ability to put the reader at ease during her opening sentence through speaking to the reader in a very casual, yet formal manner, as if one was a friend who she is recalling her recent trip to Paris to has ensured she is the writer of my favourite article every issue.
I considerer Ten magazine to be my fashion bible and would choose it out of any other magazine on the market today for it’s cutting edge approach to fashion and the industry as a whole.


Image: google

LFW



On Friday 8th March 2009 I, along with a good friend, Celia, attended London Fashion Weekend. This being my first experience of an event like this in London, having previously only attended Birmingham’s Clothes Show Live, I was excited at the prospect of sampling some of this years best designers, the goody bags and being in the tents usually reserved only for the fashion pack.

As I embarked upon the sloping path down to the tent’s entrance I could already see a sea of girl’s dressed in this season’s most publicized trends; wet look leggings with oversized t-shirts and heels. I, personally decided to play it partly safe by wearing a pair of Topshop tailored trousers, rolled up to flood length to expose ankle, Topshop photographic ‘it’ dress of the season, tucked into my trousers, vintage Moschino belt and Emma Cook Spring/Summer ’09 pale green zip ruffle heels.
Celia and I then eagerly made our way to the goody bag desk where we found greatly appreciated snacks, Elizabeth Arden make up and Tony and Guy hair products amongst other delights.

Fashion Weekend shopper in hand we proceeded to the champagne area to lap up our complimentary glass of pink champagne, sure to get us in the shopping mood. After a lap of the downstairs area we proceeded upstairs to sample the clothing delights. With stalls presenting Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Luella alongside brands such as Sass and Bide we were not at a loss for choice. Having told myself I was to only purchase one item I limited myself to two Luella garments. At a 70% reduction it would have been a crime not to! I left the clothing shopping area, ready for the ensuing catwalk show, with a Luella Autumn/Winter ’07 dress and cardigan, happy purse and happy heart.

This year, with Fashion Weekend being granted the use of the London Fashion Week catwalks for the first time ever the show promised to be the biggest and best yet.
Louise Roe, the energetic journalist and presenter of VogueTV, opened the show to hordes of excited teenage girls, anxiously perched on the edge of their fashion seats, camera in hand, ready to snap their favoured looks of the upcoming season.
The show took inspiration from cinema, religion and all aspects of popular culture. The trends showcased on the 450-seat catwalk were labeled American Idol, Domestic Goddess, African Queen and Ethereal Nude. Designers shown included Luella, Matthew Williamson, Tommy Hilfiger alongside high street shoe names Kurt Geiger and Office.

As we left the event, sponsored by Elle magazine, I felt myself especially lucky to have been able to access so many respected designers and classic labels in one room. Events such as this not only give one access to retail but to experience a world of it’s own, for one evening anyone can be part of the fashion industry.
London Fashion Weekend 2010 is definitely a recommendation to anyone.




Blogging is a medium in which one can simply type down their thoughts on any given topic and know that at least one other person in the world will be thinking exactly the same thing. One can express themselves through words, pictures or even video (vlog) through technologies such as YouTube.

Blogger Tommy who founded Jakandjil (http://jakandjil.com/blog/) a blog unashamedly about aesthetics and what ones idols are wearing to take their seat at a particular fashion show. Tommie’s particular favourites at the moment are Carine Roitfield, Editor of French Vogue, Emanuelle Alt, fashion director also at Vogue Paris and Kate Lanphear, style director at US Elle. Readers are given the chance to see the backstage antics at Fashion Week in London, New York, Paris and Milan. The blog predominantly features photographs with simple, one-line explanations.

With the rise of personal blogs comes the emergence of the next step in blogging: micro blogging. Websites such as twitter allow users to communicate with friends, family and famed celebrities and voice their opinions on topics such as the weather, television or even just what they are having for their dinner. Particular favourite ‘tweeters’ are Stephen Fry, Jonathon Ross (‘Wossy’) and Dominic from band The Others, who relishes in telling ‘followers’ his daily meal intake and how many of his five-a-day he is yet to consume.

The majority of companies, be it specializing in clothing, food or simply media products, have their own blog. Through the use of these, companies are able to access a large number of consumers easily and without cost. This method of communication benefits the consumer through establishing a bond, which is then further increased through retail store and advertising campaigns. This will build an increased connection for the consumer helping them feel they are in a special clique in the company; this will then increase sales, thus revenue, for the company as one will want to buy into the brand further.

Clothing company American Apparel, the increasingly popular Los Angeles brand famed for its simple designs have cashed in on a revolutionary idea through mixing blogging with fashion, culminating in advertisement campaigns for their regular American Apparel lines and their new vintage stores, California Select. Karla Derass from blog Karla’s Closet (http://karlascloset.blogspot.com/) wrote in December 2008, “I was approached by Shawn from American Apparel last week to do some sort of campaign which is basically an advertisement banner.” Through campaigns such as this consumers feel an increased involvement with the company, not only can they wear the clothes but also could even model in the advertising campaigns.

In the world of amateur fashion blogging, be it daily outfit posts or simply scans from favourite magazine editorials, trends are apparent. With the slow emergence of the Spring/Summer trends arriving in high street stores one can see trends throughout each individual stores line. Previously this would have been the first sign of that season’s trends one would see if that had not been avidly following the shows the previous season. However, this season a noticeable amount of blogger’s have been speaking of studs, most famously the Rodarte and Balmain studded sandals, and helping readers to create the look themselves through a simple method of gluing haberdashery bought studs onto plain black items. Now the high street has brought out a number of similar versions, most noticeable the Zara Balmain replicas at a price of £90, although sold out they are now selling for over £300 on eBay. However, it brings up the question that the high street may be in fact too late on the trend.



Images: google, jakandjil,karlas closet & netaporter.