Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Spotlight: Manuela Dack

Manuela Dack is a designer that until very recently, I hadn't heard of. The Central Saint Martins graduate launched her London label in 2010 and her first season was instantly snapped up by uber-cool store The Shop at Bluebird. Dack's tough but feminine aesthetic has become something of a signature aesthetic and I really love her attention to cut and detail. 

Dack's Autumn/Winter 2012 collection was inspired by a selection of carved wooden boxes which translates beautifully into cut-away leather, clever layering and a neat, angular silhouette. I'm really excited about Dack's Spring/Summer 2013, which she will be showing at Vauxhall Fashion Scout in September; there are so many incredibly talented designers emerging from London at the moment and Dack is another name to add to the growing list. Bring on London Fashion Week!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Style Envy: Frida Gustavsson

I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to off-duty model style: I'd quite happily spend hours looking at street-style websites ogling at images from various fashion weeks. Stockholm Fashion Week doesn't officially kick-off until Monday but the brilliant Craig Arend from Altamira has already captured this gorgeous photo of one of the most stylish models around, Frida Gustavsson.

From top to bottom: Prada, House of Harlow 1960, Miu Miu, House of Harlow 1960 and Thierry Lasry

The black tailored jacket and cropped trousers are a models style-staple - the statement necklace and oversized sunnies just add that certain je ne said quoi that us ordinary folk don't always pull off so stylishly. With Stockholm and then New York Fashion Week just around the corner, we're going to be seeing a lot more images like this and I for one can't wait. Do you have a favourite model and are you excited about Fashion Week?

Photo from www.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Shopping for: Gothic Glamour á la Vogue Paris

The whole 'gothic' trend has been bubbling up from the streets for quite a while now; Underground brothel-creepers, upside-down crosses, ripped t-shirts, fishnet tights and a healthy dose of purple lipstick  recently infiltrated the wardrobes of every cool-kid on the block. However, it all got incredibly tacky and cringeworthy as soon as Rihanna and Topshop jumped on the bandwagon; think Courtney Love meets Hannah Montana. Scary, right?

Saying that, the brilliant Katy England (along with a whole host of talented stylists) has managed to take the trend back into fashionable territory. Gone are the 90s platforms and dodgy dye-jobs - gothic glamour is all about an inventive use of texture and shape, death-defying heels and clever accessorising.

Mert and Marcus photographed the stunning Saskia de Brauw (above) and Kate Moss for the September issue of Vogue Paris and I think the editorial perfectly encapsulates what the gothic glamour trend is all about. There are so many incredible pieces around and the moment, both designer and on the high-street that it's hard to pin down any one look. Always one for a challenge...

From left to right: coat by Mandarin & General, jeans by Nok Nok, sunglasses by House of Harlow 1960, top by Preen, scarf by Beta Fashion, heels by Alexander McQueen, ring by Kat&Bee, bag by Christian Laboutin and necklace by Topshop.

This is definitely a safe look compared to what the East London kids are championing right now but then again, there's a very fine line between looking 'cool' and just looking like you're in fancy dress. I know which one I prefer...what trends are you loving for Autumn/Winter 2012?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Love it or loathe it? Gwen Stefani covers Harper's Bazaar

Terry Richardson is one of those photographers that you either love or hate. When I was younger, I thought he was God's gift to photography and desperately tried to emulate his over-exposed snaps for my Myspace profile picture (this was pre-Facebook, by the way). As the years have passed, I've come to dislike his work more and more; besides making everyone look exactly the same, his photos are predictable and somewhat outdated.

With this in mind, I'm pretty gutted that Harper's Bazaar US chose him to photograph the incredible Gwen Stefani for their September 'Fashion' issue.

Gwen Stefani is, in my eyes, one of the most talented and iconic female musicians in the world. I could still listen to Tragic Kingdom on repeat and I definitely still want to be Gwen. Her style, her attitude, her looks - everything about her is inimitably cool. However, this cover does absolutely nothing for me.  The styling is average, the photography is average and as a result, it makes the gorgeous Gwen look average too.

There are some nice images from her editorial but there's no real 'wow factor'; this whole shoot would better suit some young Hollywood actress, not a musical legend. I appreciate that she's now a mother and isn't the eccentric 90s pin-up she was in her hey-day, but this is just bland. 

What do you think of Gwen's cover? Am I being too critical or should Harper's have done something more exciting with the choice of photographer and styling?

photos from

Friday, 17 August 2012

Spotlight: Mandarin & General

For the fashion nerds among us, there are few things more exciting than discovering new brands; Mandarin & General, the brainchild of New York based designer Peggy Tan, is fast becoming one of my current favourites.

The subtle Eastern influences gives the AW12 collection a chic fluidity; from pussy-bow graphic printed blouses and cropped at the ankle trousers to smart tailoring and luxurious fabrics, Mandarin & General lends New York's fashion scene a glamourous Eastern-inspired edge. I'm a huge fan of a classic Arun-knit sweater so this indigo version is like my idea of heaven; it would look great styled with the oversized asymmetric coat (far left) and a pair of metallic brogues, very 90s and god forbid, 'on trend'.

The Mandarin & General SS12 collection (see below) is still available to buy on their website whilst the AW12 collection is available for pre-order.  What do you think of Mandarin & General and who are you're favourite lesser-known designers?

photos from Mandarin & General