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New York Fashion Week: Day 2#

Day two of fashion week, and the fabrics are floating, caffeine is flowing, selfies are flying from NY to LA to UK and every un-abbreviatable city in between (yes, I’m aware that ‘in between’ is largely saltwater, but the Little Mermaid probably follows MB Fashion Week’s Instagram account too. I may be here, in my quaint little London apartment, watching the live feed while gorging myself on coffee and far too many biscuits, rather than enjoying/suffering in the hustle of New York’s seasonal moment in the spotlight, but my opinions on what the runway has to offer this season are just as strong as if I were a sunglasses-donning, front-row fashion celebrity. I mean, that’s the whole point, right? Fashion is there as stimulation, be it artistically, inspirationally, controversially…

A few of today’s favourites so far…

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Peter Som

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Tess Giberson

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Wes Gordon

Tanya Taylor Tanya Taylor2 Tanya Taylor3 Tanya Taylor4 Tanya Taylor5 Tanya Taylor6 Tanya Taylor7

Tanya Taylor

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Zimmermann

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Jason Wu

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A Detacher

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Monique Luhillier

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Nicole Miller

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Suno

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Nonoo

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Rodebjer

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New York Fashion Week: Day 1

It’s here! It’s begun! New York Fashion week has finally arrived for SS15! I’m literally quivering with excitement.. or, judging by the pounding heartbeat, I’ve drunk one coffee too many, too quickly. While there are still a few more shows to go before the day is up, I couldn’t wait any longer to share a few of my favourite runway looks.

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Creatures of the Wind

That second outfit… can you not picture Keira Knightley wandering around Canonbury in that? She has baggy, high waisted paper-bag trousers to perfection, after all. Though I’d change the shoes. I’ve seen too many 50+ citizens limping down high streets in similar. There’s ‘granny chic’ and then there’s…

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Honor

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BCBG Max Azria

My evening’s inspiration.. tomorrow I shall be experimenting with karate-style fabric belts, that’s for sure.

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Tome

This is hands down one of my two favourite shows of the day. Tome have done well for me, fixating on beautifully cut silhouettes, silks mixed with lace details, modesty mixed with flashes of skin.. all the things I love most about fashion at the moment. And the combination of navy’s and blacks, with creamy golden pastels works wonderfully together.

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Nicholas K

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Tadashi Shoji

Ok, so I may as well have dedicated a whole separate post to Tadashi Shoji’s latest collection… when I would ever have a chance to wear most of these outfits, I have no idea, but my god, they are beautiful – the detail, the colour pallet, everything is just so intricate and perfect…

I’m already noticing a trend that I’m particularly excited about: that of draped, billowing fabrics which fall into wonderfully feminine, flattering silhouettes with cinched in waists. Yes, yes, yes!

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Emmys 2014

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love to watch to see who’s wearing who and who looks great and who looks… not so great, at each red carpet event? There are certain big star events that will always be top of the list, such as the Oscars and the BAFTAS, but when it comes to TV, it’s the Emmys. As ever, I found myself caring more about the beautiful dresses than the wins. Not that I was entirely oblivious – I just don’t watch all that much TV. I was especially chuffed (is that not the most English word ever?) to hear about Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Jim Parsons’ wins (though as for the latter, how many consecutive years has he won an Emmy for best comedy actor now? Six? It’s a wonder they bother going through the nominations at all anymore!)

But anyway, I’m here to talk about the fashion, you’re here to see the fashion… here are a few (slight under-exaggeration) favourites from last night.

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Allison Williams in Giambattista Valli Couture

My love affair with the colour yellow continues, it seems. For such a dramatic dress, it’s really so simple; the yellow sash is the final touch that brings it all together and ups the drama by about 1000000000x. Very elegant but fun… I can’t help but see it as a modern take on a Grace Kelly design? Does anyone else see that?

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Betsy Brandt in Olivia & Alice

This dress should be too much, but it works so well. The blue/purple shoes are also a great choice – it can be tricky deciding on a shoe to go with such a canvas of colour as this, and I think most would have made the mistake of black or white… or red. I have such a clear image in mind as to how I would wear this dress; I’d wear it with a simple, fitted black jumper, a white bead collar necklace, and black suede kitten heels (yes, I know that I just stated that Brandt teaming black pumps with this dress would have been a mistake but just go with it…). It would look amazing.

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Camila Alves in Zuhair Murad

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Kate Walsh in Stephane Rolland

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Claire Danes in Givenchy

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Heidi Klum in Zac Posen

 Even though I doubt I could really pull off this colour, this is probably the dress from last night that I would love to see in my wardrobe most! In fact, no, forget it being in my wardrobe! This is the dress that I would most love to see on me… but you know, in pretty much any other colour but this one. It just wouldn’t work. On Heidi, however… wow.

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January Jones in Prabal Gurung

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Keke Palmer in Rubin Singer

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Teyonah Parris

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Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier

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Lucy Liu in Zac Posen

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Michelle Dockery in Rosie Assoulin

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Natalie Dormer in J. Mendel

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Sarah Hyland in Christian Siriano

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Zooey Deschanel, channeling Marilyn-meets Audrey in Oscar de la Renta. I know it’s not the first time, but I still can’t get over just how different she looks without her fringe/bangs. She looks beautiful, but… ordinary, and then suddenly, the bangs are back and it’s such a ‘wow’ look in comparison. I’ve never seen so much power held in one fringe before.

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And the ones that missed a beat for me:

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Kelly Osbourne in Honor

Very few people can pull of this hair colour as well as Kelly Osbourne, and I love that she frequently incorporates similar violet-grey tones in her wardrobe, while the rest of us are still thinking about what works with our hair. Red heads should avoid pink (though I think The Little Mermaid proved that rule to be completely unnecessary), and stick with blues and greens, brunettes look great in any colour, and no one works pinks and reds better than blonds, etc etc. However, here, there’s too much lace. When your hairstyle is so out there, you should tone down the embellishments to an absolute minimum. Perhaps this would work on the right celebrity… but even then, I think a bodice would look much better, rather than this high necked, 3/4 sleeved top.

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Sarah Paulson in Armani Privé

The 1980s were a well known disaster, and it scares me how revived it has become in recent months on our runways. The spotted, tulle prom dresses were among the worst, and to see that one has managed to reemerge like this… do people never learn?

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Julianna Margulies in Narciso Rodriguez

I’ve seen dresses like this hanging in numerous charity shops; ill fitting, cheap fabrics, causing general confusion among staff and customers as to whether it ought to be displayed in the dress section, or the nightwear section. As for the visible bra straps at the back, it just makes the whole look tacky.

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Lena Dunham in Giambattista Valli

There are no words. I get that Lena Dunham is a big deal, especially in America, I get that everyone adores her for challenging celebrity stereotypes, especially regarding the ideal female figure, and good for her – so she should… there are too many dieting sheep in Hollywood, all conforming to the same rules, all fighting to look just the same as each other. She’s talented, she’s gorgeous, she’s humble and intelligent. However… far too often she just gets it so, so wrong, and this one is a doozy. The hair and eyebrow contrast, The weird grown-out bowl cut, the tattoo, and not to mention, that dress… which, by the way, looks amazing on the runway. Here, however, it’s frumpy, ill-fitting, unflattering, contrasts horrendously with that over-bleached ‘do, and basically gives her the appearance of someone who’s attending a halloween party dressed as an animated Pixar character… the story of a workaholic bird of prey, or something. I’m getting a bit bored of seeing her frumpy red carpet fashion again and again, if I’m honest. I’m just going to focus instead on her talents: acting, screenwriting, directing, producing… please, can someone take over her wardrobe, because Lena Dunham does not have a talent for fashion.

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Mayim Bialik in Oliver Tolentino

Mayim Bialik wrote for her official blog over at Kveller.com that she hoped that this year’s Emmy dress balances between ‘hot and holy’… while it’s not a bad dress, and I admire her for her strict rules on modesty in a world so set on showing as much skin as possible to gain attention, it just doesn’t… quite work. I feel like there’s too much lace (I’m sensing a pattern among the fashion police victims this year), which makes the whole thing too fussy, and tied in with that neckline, it’s all just too much.. way too much. The colour looks amazing on her though. Had she opted for satin, or something sleek, then I think it would have worked. I’d also love to see her with a sheer bateau neckline and sleeves, but would that be sticking with her modesty rule? Or is sheer fabric out?

(*Update, having just found this dress, I can confirm that she looks great with sheer sleeves and a wider neckline. She. Looks. Amazing.)

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Katherine Heigl

 I don’t know who Heigl is wearing here, and I have very little to say, except that it’s just too.. old.. too motherly.. too matronly. Much better things could have been made from this fabric.

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AW14: How to wear… Folk Fairy Chic

You don’t have to look hard at this season’s runways to the heavily layered influences of folk and fairy tales. From romantically dark, Grimms brother-esque graphics to sheer, floating florals, woodland decals and Germanic prints, all __ atop a deep pallet of emeralds, navy’s, rubies and deep golds. This trend compliments the overruling trend of statement coats, capes and ponchos perfectly, combining to create a romantic, whimsical look which will send us all harking back to those childhood days of playing make-believe as our favourite fairy tale characters.

Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti

D&G

Dolce & Gabbana

Emilio Pucci

Emilio Pucci

etro

Etro

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Temperley London

Temperley London

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Valentino

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Valentino

Get the look…

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1. Traffic People. £100 £58. Available here. 2. Topshop. £55. Available here. 3. Topshop. £55. Available here. 4. Free People. £58. Available here. 5. ASOS. £38 £15. Available here.

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1. Mata Traders. $79.99 $55.99. Available here. 2. ModCloth. $59.99. Available here. 3. American Apparel. £12. Available here. 4. Mantaray. £29. Available here. 5. ASOS. £60 £30. Available here. 6. Topshop. £14.50. Available here. 7. My Flash Trash. £22.50. Available here. 8. River Island. £8. Available here. 9. River Island. £3. Available here.

To recreate this look this winter, opt for keeping warm with thick tights, rather than packing away your dresses and skirts; have you ever seen a fairy tale princess in trousers, after all? As the air chills, swap light, floating fabrics for thicker fabrics like velvet, wool or flannel; brocade, embroidery and gemstone shades are all in. Team with leather accessories, and keep yourself snug in a thigh-skimming cape. If you find one with a hood, even better, but if not, pinning a fur collar will complete the look.

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If you’re a fashion minimalist and so not a fan of the woodland-animal themed motifs and extravagant florals that have flocked to the runway, you can still inject some folk influences into your look. Stick with block colours as your base; such as this dress or this skirt and top combination, teamed with folk tale themed jewellery such as this or this and a laser-cut leather handbag, such as here or here. Keep yourself with a blanket cardigan such as this or this coat, while this scarf would look great tied in a bow around the handle of a leather tote. A cute pair of leather boots, and of course, don’t forget those thick winter tights (or socks, if you’re feel you can brave the icy winds), and your look is complete.

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The 10 Worst First-Date Looks…

Last night I was struck by a strange realisation. It occurred to me that when choosing that perfect date outfit, my choices become more and more eccentric, experimental and… repulsive, if that dreaded feeling of first date cold feet sets in. Does anyone else get that, or is it just me?

I am known for being the most fickle person in the world, as far as my love life is concerned. It has to be said, it’s entirely true. I can wholeheartedly accept a man’s offer of a date one day, and within twenty-four hours, frantically spend a sleepless night trying to think of a genuine reason to cancel. Genuine, so that I’m not suddenly that bitch who lied to get away. It doesn’t matter how much I fancy the pants off of him, I get nervous about dates in the same way that I get nervous about job interviews, business meetings, dentist appointments and basically anything that requires me to behave like a grown up.

Somewhere along the lines, this ‘fear’ of first dates commitment has manifested into a strange inner Iris Apfel who pulls together the craziest outfits my usually conventional wardrobe can muster; a combination of stripes and spots, neon and print, over-sized and extravagant, all in a strange hope that it will send him running. It’s extreme, but it works like a charm. No man wants to date a glittering, glimmering, animal-adorning traffic cone who jingles with every step due to the sheer amount of jewellery stacked from fingertips to armpits.

I’ve spent my evening giggling as I ponder over which of the latest runway pieces would send any man running to the hills fastest…

1. Excessive amounts of fur/wool/feathers/general fluffiness.

If you walk into a restaurant wearing this scarlet Prada fur dress, for example:

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Prada

You could probably chase him out of the building so fast, you wouldn’t even have chance to ask about the specials. It’s no secret that men do not like fussy fashion, and while a fur coat can definitely be sexy, there’s fur… and there’s Muppet. Equally, while shearling lined jackets reappear every autumn, this fluffy blue item would have the same effect… wear the two together, and you’ll definitely not have to worry about stammering over his offer of a second date!

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Gucci

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1. Dolce & Gabbana. 2. Chloé. 3. Vladimiro Gioia. 4. Givenchy. 5. Chloé.

2. Sparkles

If he can see you from miles away, the two million hand-sewn sequins of your evening dress sending millions of tiny beams of light into the sky like Tinkerbell on LSD, it only means that he’ll have plenty of warning to make a run for it before you even arrive. If you actually like your date, a sequin skirt or a sequin-encrusted lapel on a silk blazer would look amazing (but not together – that would be too much), or equally, a crystal bracelet or necklace (again, just one) can really complete an outfit, but something like this…

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Marco de Vincenzo

…will probably a) blind him, and b) repel him.

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1. Dolce & Gabbana. 2. Yves Saint Laurent. 3. Manish Arora. 4. Tim Ryan.

3. Glitter Boots

In the same strand as the sparkly, sequin coated garments of above, but these deserve a point all to themselves… they’re just so… disco.

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Saint Laurent

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1. Saint Laurent. 2. Saint Laurent. 3. Saint Laurent. 4. Saint Laurent. 5. Saint Laurent.

4. Strange geometric patterns

The mysterious creature that is the human male is easily startled, confused and extremely judgmental. If you’re walking around looking like a walking set of traffic lights, a human puzzle set for children, or generally just like someone who is overly fond of your basic shapes, they will get spooked. Maybe it’s a lasting trauma of all of those hours that they spent stuck on a ‘peg-and-hole’ game at nursery (sorry.. kindergarten?)

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Chanel

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1. Peter Pilotto. 2. Stella Jean. 3. Chloé. 4. Just Cavalli

5. Orange or Purple lips

Neon eye makeup (3)

I tend to stick to the two signature shades of nude-pink or bold red, and while I’m yet to meet a guy who doesn’t like red lipstick, I can still see that wary glance at my lips if every they have been coated in lashings of MAC’s Ruby Woo before they lean in for a kiss. Nevertheless, those glances only last a moment, but as soon as I step into experimenting with more daring shades; hot pinks, oranges, purples… no more kisses for me. It suddenly just isn’t worth the lipstick marks, and the strange explanations that would have to take place if anyone were to noticed that bright purple stain on his neck.

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1. Mac Pure Heroine. 2. Bobbi Brown. 3. Dior. 4. Illamasqua. 5. Barry M.

6.  1980s

While I’m a 90s kid, I have always strongly believed that what happened in the 80s, stays in the 80s. They can keep their big hair, big shoulders, big, noisy, flashy clothes. They can keep bright leg warmers (but blacks and neutrals, however, are acceptable) and parachute pants and disco-gym gear, and they can definitely keep Madonna. We don’t need such nonsense here, regardless of what the trends tell me. It will only end if tears if we allow the 80s trends back into our lives, I can tell you. Are we so incapable of learning from our mistakes? Walk into a bar dressed as Bananarama, and he’ll be sure to make his excuses. Especially if you go for a matching haircut, but let’s not go that far…

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Chanel

80s

1. Fay. 2. Tsumori Chisato. 3. Topshop. 4. Mango.  5. Vivienne Westwood.

8. Monsters Inc.

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Schiaparelli

Do you suspect that he’ll prove to be particularly difficult to get rid of? Go couture, in the fluffiest sense of the word, and take a very large leaf from the Monsters Inc book for your evening’s inspiration. Seriously, what man would want to be seen walking down the street with a character of a Pixar movie?

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Schiaparelli

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1. Just Cavalli. 2. P.A.R.O.S.H. 3. Yes London. 4. ASOS. 5. Cédric Charlier.

8. Bag Lady/Homeless Chic

The clue is in the name with these two…

Most often known as the signature style of the Olsen twins, very few people can pull off homeless chic like they can. For one thing, drop the sunglasses – they are a vital part of making the look work, and you’re going for a look that is one step too close to actual homeless person.

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Vivienne Westwood

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1. Junya Watanabe. 2 Barbara Bui. 3. Brunello Cucinelli. 4. The Row. 5. ASOS.

9. The Walking Laundry Bag

While tartan is in, I had no idea that tailoring a plastic laundry bag into a dress or coat was acceptable? If you add a well-told tale about how this is your only outfit, because you had to give your clothes to a [insert ridiculously eccentric character here] on your way to the laundrette, he’ll disappear quickly enough. It brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘crazy bag lady’.

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Celine

tartan

1. Comme Des Garcons Vintage. 2. Comme Des Garcon Vault. 3. Vivienne Westwood. 4. Lavinia. 5. Comme Des Garcons Vintage.

Wear these five items together in a crazy mis-mash of tartan, and you’ll be somewhere close to the Celine laundry bag outfit.

10. Runway Beauty…

Runway makeup is all about art and extravagance, and therefore, as we all know that the average man’s understanding of makeup is limited to a more natural look, 80% of the looks that emerge on catwalks will chase any guy away…

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Alexander McQueen

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Yohji Yamamoto

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Vivienne Westwood.

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Trend of the Day: Turbans

Today as I walked down Brick Lane, ungracefully stuffing a freshly made, still-warm cream cheese bagel in my face, I found myself, as usual, admiring the wardrobes of the people around me, looking at what they were wearing, and how they were wearing it. After all, there are certain streets of London that are used as a public runway, and Brick Lane is definitely one of them – everyone consciously dresses for these public domain runways, myself included. There was one woman whose outfit struck me more than most.

She was wearing a turban.

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Behind the scenes. Prada SS 2007.

Remember when that trend first took off (in regards to 21st century trends, I mean), back in 2007, and then again in 2010? They first appeared on our runways, introduced to the trend pool with Prada’s spring show, followed quickly by Hermès (because of course, if there is a brand that are going to use turbans in their collection, it would be Hermès), and Jean Paul Gautier. Topshop swiftly brought Prada-esque turbans to their high street stores, while celebrity fashion icons such as Naomi Campbell and Mary-Kate Olsen were papped wearing them. Their reappearance in 2010 was a big part down to the Sex and the City sequel, and ever since, they have been a fairly frequent item to see on both catwalks and our local high street, reappearing every season since, paraded by everyone from Luisa Beccaria to Issa to Armani and Jason Wu. And it looks like they’ll be here to stay for a while.

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However, while I did give the look a try once, they’re a tricky thing to pull off… the amount of confidence that I think a person must have to wear a turban.. it’s a bold look, wrapping a scarf around your head, that’s for sure. My style of turban was a knotted scarf (a clumsy version of the Carrie), with my at-the-time Rapunzel hair pinned up, with lots of carefully plucked strands falling around the back of my neck and framing my face. While I remember walking around self-consciously, in my defense, this was while I was living in Derby – a city that will garner stares if you were anything more daring than a floral tea dress. I think I will have to wait for my hair to grow before I try that same knotted style again, here in fashion-friendly London. Visible hair with a turban is pretty much a must, after all.

The woman on Brick Lane, however, looked incredible. Sadly, she denied my asking to take a street style photograph, so I can’t share just how incredible she looked with you. It wasn’t simply a scarf wrapped around her head and dubbed a turban, nor was it the sleek, neatly knotted, optionally pre-tied turbans that line the high streets; the most common style of wearing it, a la Carrie Bradshaw. It was a big, messy, clumsily wrapped mass of cocoa coloured fabric, teamed with a coffee woolen wrap cardigan that skimmed her ankles, black boots, black jeans, black tank.. honestly, I’m starting to wish I hadn’t been polite enough to ask for her photograph, and instead gone for the old snap-and-run.

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Milly SS12. Issa SS11.

A few of my favourite turban looks of the moment:

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Priscila Diniz.

2

Maja P.

3

Samii Ryan.

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As for this lady, I hope I look as cool as her when I’m her age.

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A Perfect Pyjama Party

As you eagle-eyed fashion followers may have noticed, pyjamas are following suit with lingerie’s underwear and outwear rebellion and are no longer bedroom-only garments. And no, I’m not talking about those lazy pyjama days slouched with a box set in front of the TV in your living room. Pyjamas are venturing outdoors … they are leaving the building! It’s been toted as the best solution to the summer heat, and frankly, I think it’s a great idea.

Like all trends, this one began on the runway, seeping into the consciousness of the catwalk models who clearly can’t help but draw fresh inspiration from each show, from them to the celebrities who line the runway each year, and now, dear readers, we have begun to sit up and take note. Vogue is talking, and we’re listening.

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Stella McCartney.

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Clements Ribeiro.

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Jonathan Saunders.

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Haider Ackermann.

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Ferragamo.

This trend, however, is not an opportunity to be lazy. Styling is still required to transform your nightwear into sleek day wear or elegant evening wear; have accessories at the ready, and a killer pair of heels!

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Cara Delevingne.

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Rihanna in Pucci.

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Jessica Alba

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Sofia Coppola

I’ve been scouring the internet and have put together my favourite pyjama-inclusive outfits in all their adventurous glory!

1

Olivia von Halle. Lila Nika striped silk-satin pyjama. £330. Available here.

2

Olivia von Halle. Bella silk-satin pyjama. £185. Available here.

Carine Gilson. Silk-satin pyjama bottoms. £415. Available here.

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La Perla. Stretch-silk pyjama bottoms. £245. Available here.

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Raphaella Riboud. Roxanne Silk-crepe pyjama shirt. £648 £324. Available here.

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Temperley London. Silk-satin pyjama set. £160. Available here.

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Altuzarra. Redwood printed techno-satin trousers. £605 £220. Available here.

This entire outfit would cost £2640… so what’s that? One kidney, or two?

And for those of you us who who are looking for this trend on the high street, at high street prices, here are a few more affordable options for you to consider:

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1. Rosie for Autograph. Floral short pyjamas. £29.50. Available here.

2.  Untold Memoir. Plain silk pyjama shirt. £65. £52. Available here.

3. Topshop. Floral cigarette trouser. £38. Available here.

4. Topshop. Floral chiffon robe. £32. Available here.

5. Topshop. Geo jacquard trouser. £42. Available here.

6. River Island. Light pink floral shirt. £38. Available here.

7. Topshop. Clean rose cigarette trouser. £42. Available here.

8. River Island. Black and white striped shirt. £15 £7. Available here.

9. River Island. Dark red floral print slim cigarette trouser. £40. Available here.

Also, I’d just like to point out, I was wearing a silk pyjama top as a shirt way back in 2011… and I’m pretty sure that as a kid, I managed to slip by my parents a few times in my pyjamas (the top, anyway.. bottoms would have been too conspicuous) when when reluctantly accompanying them on their boring grown up errands… does that make me a trendsetter? I’m going to count it.

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