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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

fur

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.

sequin

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

shoes

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

print

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.

lipstick

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

monster

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

bag

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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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!

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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.

3

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

4

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

5

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

6

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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Co’s Fashion Week Lookbook

I’m a little fixated right now on Co’s amazing photo shoot for their new collection. I’ve always loved painterly photography; dim, almost crepuscular lighting, dark tones and deep colours contrasting against a model’s pale skin. Photography aside, I love the silhouettes of this collection.

 Co’s SS14 collection is available here (EU) and here (US).

Also, I’ve just discovered their Film page on their website. They’re a talented bunch, the Co-collection team.

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Catching up on the Catwalks: AW14

I miss the good old days, when I could curl up in my armchair with a coffee, and watch the live catwalk feed each fashion week. Of course, it’s a good thing that those days are over – I’d hate to still have so much time on my hands that I can sit and watch the live feeds of fashion week (London, Paris, Milan and New York!). Being busy is always good.

So tonight I’ve been catching up on what so far I’ve only caught glimpses of. I especially love the creativity with tailoring, full midi skirts and feminine, flowing layers that are awash over the catwalk this year – these trends have been around for a while now, of course, but it just seems to get better each season. Thank you Vogue.com (the source of all photos below)!

Dior

Lanvin

MSMG

Versace

Fendi

Chloe

Erdem

Temperley London

Let’s just throw the entire Temperley collection in there – I’m in love it all!

Julien Macdonald

Holly Fulton

Mary Katrantzou

Jasper Conran

Marchesa

Naeem Khan

Jenny Packham

Zac Posen

Alice & Olivia

Victoria Beckham

And then after an evening of perusing Vogue’s catwalk reports, comes that horrible sink in my heart as I remember that I can’t just nip into town and buy any of these outfits. Even if a Chanel or a Marchesa store were to pop up overnight five minutes from my house (ha!), I dare not even guess as to how much every item on this page would cost me in total… and when I would have the opportunity to wear most of them. Sigh. I have to keep reminding myself that to most of us, these catwalks are to be looked at in the same way as the artwork in a gallery. Depressing as that is.

Ah well. I have a thousand ideas in mind for re-working my own wardrobe to get me started. I think it’s about time I ought to inject some more ‘regal’, brocade and berry-toned pieces. I’ve been searching for months now.

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Chanel Couture SS13

Apparently the inspiration behind this collection was a ‘gothic Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and quite frankly, I would give anything to have been there and seen it for myself.

Vogue’s description: We stepped into an enchanted forest beneath the dome of the Grand Palais and into a world seemingly straight from the pages of Shakespeare, a wooden auditorium surrounding us, and edgy fairies about to come to life before us.

I am waiting impatiently for clearer photos of the rest of the collection to appear online, but I love what I am seeing so far! Black feather eye makeup has been teamed with more black feathers woven into their hair or placed in a bunch precariously above the eye see here. Again it sounds like they have stuck to the monochrome colour pallete that they are so damn good at, with splashes of colour such as this dark floral dress, which really ought to belong in my wardrobe.. as do those boots! Those boots are incredible, and I need them!

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Chanel Couture SS13

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Every blog I go on lately has been talking about MAC’s new cover girl: bodybuilder and fitness model, Jelena Abbou. It makes sense of course, who better than a beautiful bodybuilder to model a collection entitled ‘Strength’? But people still seem to be pretty shocked by it, though shocked in a good way, luckily. I think fashion is finally beginning to embrace the fact that not everyone is a skinny minnie, teeny tiny size zero, and MAC’s new collection is just one example of that, though there is still a lot of catching up to do, for example, Vogue’s summer spread didn’t exactly go about celebrating the bulging biceps of the female olympic athletes, did they? They were still instead, for the most part, stuffed, as much as their biceps would allow, into that ‘perfect model’ box.

It’s not the first time that MAC have shocked with their choice of cover girl, such as last year, when 90 year old interior designer and fashion icon Iris Apfel collaborated with MAC to create her own makeup range, and went on to act as cover girl for the range. Everyone was shocked that MAC, a top cosmetics brand, if not THE top cosmetics brand would ever use a model past her twenties, let alone a woman in her nineties! However, I can’t help but have noticed that people seem to be rebelling about the obsession with youth that our society has, and the fashion and beauty industries seem to have started listening. For example, this Vogue cover, published January this year, featuring 62 year old Meryl Streep, Vogue’s oldest ever cover girl, a few years back in 2009, Ellen DeGeneres first appeared as the face of CoverGirl, then aged 50, and all over the catwalks more mature celebrities are dressing their age, while still looking incredible, rather than leaving us to cringe at their ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ attitude that we used to see so often.

It’s about time.

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MAC’s Bodybuilding Cover Girl

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The Alexis Mabille Couture SS 2013 Collection hit the catwalks yesterday at Paris’ Mode à Paris and, as ever, I want to buy every single piece of the collection for myself.. if only I had both the money to afford such a luxury and a big enough wardrobe to store it all.. but then again, if I did, I wouldn’t hide away such beautiful dressed in a wardrobe, I’d want to display them around the big house that I would of course have (I mean, obviously I’d buy myself a big house before I but myself an entire designer couture collection!). When I’m not waltzing around my big house in my lovely designer dresses, I’d hang the rest of them from the ceiling as light shades, and centre them in big gold empty frames, and use them as curtains between rooms.. but of course that would be ridiculous, and so I’m glad that I don’t actually have any money to fund my ridiculously over-active imagination.

Welcome to the contents of my head, people, this is the sort of silliness I have to deal with on a daily basis! And now it’s a blog.. oh dear :’)

You can see the entire collection here.

It’s a collection that is about as feminine as it is possible to get, all about delicate floating fabrics, pastel hues with pops of dramatic black details and the occasional splash of eye-catching colour, and Mabille, has managed to weave perfectly between remaining exactly on trend, meeting the exact desires of beloved fashionistas worldwide, while adding his own bold streak to the styles that have been floating down the catwalk again and again for quite some time now. The lace details and net skirts are very Black Swan, while the bigger ball gown dresses would not be out of place in the next big budget fairy tale adaption that Hollywood throws our way. The models sported slicked back, white-streaked updo’s that complimented the pale colour palette, their makeup always a few shades paler than their necks and shoulders, a slight rosy blush to their cheeks and natural, glossy lips. Nails are painted a mushroom colour, completed with white french tips. I love the shoes! So simple, though I can’t help but wish that they had gone as far as quick swipe of mushroom varnish on their toenails too!

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Alexis Mabille Couture SS13

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