Monthly Archives: May 2012

British Stars Shine at Cannes festival 2012

Brits pull off Hollywood glamour to perfection at the star-studded Cannes film festival.

The Cannes Film Festival has it all- the sunny climate, the best designer gowns and some serious VIPS. Every year, the world’s best known stars jet off from all areas of the world to attend movie premieres, galas and charity events whilst wearing some of the most sought-after designer garments. This year British Stars including Cheryl Cole, Tilda Swinton and Kelly Brook flew the flag for British style, exhibiting some of the most stunning gowns that would make any lady envious!

Cheryl Cole, always willing to try out a daring outfit, wowed the red carpet with a striking Stephane Rolland number. The nude dress which featured cascading scarlet ostrich feathers at the bottom fitted the petite star like a glove and was sure to have all eyes on it. Kelly Brook also wowed crowds and showed off her enviable hour-glass figure with a S/S12 design from ‘The Blonds’. The multi-coloured embellished gown emulated an almost mermaid-like fantasy image and sparkled in all the right places with all the flashing cameras.












Channelling her signature individual style, British actress Tilda Swinton attended one event in an unsual yet beautiful Haider Ackermann dress. The full length, satin origami-folded creation in a sublime butterscotch colour was the definition of the ultimate luxurious gown.








Karen Gillan, star of Doctor Who, suffered every girl’s worst nightmare when she wore the same £130 Acne mullet dress as Kylie, but pulled it off and looked effortlessly stylish, teaming the dress with some very on-trend neon sandals.








The Brit stars looked every inch the Hollywood icon, and the American attendees at the festival did not disappoint either. Diane Kruger became everyone’s style crush of the week with stunning gowns by Nina Ricci, Jason Wu and a Giambattista Valli Couture dress. Jane Fonda proved that age was just a number as she sizzled in a sexy red Cavalli floor length gown and Eva Longoria displayed the fact that fashion is not always  functional, whilst struggling with her  beautiful Marchesa Gown and its huge feathered tail! 


The Looks That Will Last Longer Than Your Wardrobe Will!

The fashion world- a fast moving industry where the most innovative look can transform into the most dated look in a matter of weeks. Aesthetics mean everything in the fashion industry and designers are constantly striving to create something completely original…hence the existence of trends. But there are some failsafe looks that have resisted being thrown into the fashion bin. Here are some of the looks that will never go out of Vogue.

The Blazer

Kate Moss says that she is at her most comfortable in a pair of jeans and a good blazer. And Kate is definitely one to listen to where fashion is concerned. A staple item in her VAST wardrobe, the blazer is timeless because of its simplicity and versatility. Dressed up or down, day or night, the blazer makes a bold statement of sophistication and can complement so many different looks. With its androgynous roots, it’s also a great way to power dress. A must have for every woman.








The leather jacket

The iconic piece which sums up the rock and roll era of the 1950s and a favourite signature piece for Hollywood stars including James Dean, John Travolta and now Brad Pitt, the leather jacket is the epitome of cool. A timeless classic if you will. With so many different styles of leather jacket out there, it’s not hard to believe that the majority of people have owned one at some point in their life. The top tips for buying a leather jacket- invest some money in it and don’t opt for a cheap version. It’s going to last you a lifetime!









The pencil skirt

Saucy, sexy or smart, the pencil skirt is one of the most flattering garments a woman can wear, accentuating the curves and lengthening the leg with a good pair of heels.  If womanity was a piece of clothing, it would be a pencil skirt! Mila Kunis shows women how to make the look work with a black leather pencil skirt teamed with a pretty white top. Black is always a flattering shade as its simple and slimming.








The Trenchcoat

We have a lot to thank Burberry for! In 1914, the War Office commissioned Thomas Burberry to adapt his officer’s coat design for the war; hence, the trench coat was born. Now seen as the signature piece of Burberry, a fashion house which is experiencing great success with current creative director Christopher Bailey, the unisex trench coat is still as popular as ever. It gives off a sense of respectability, due its roots with army officers wearing the garment, but it’s also effortlessly stylish. High street stores including Gap and H&M offer fabulous versions of the Burberry garment at much more affordable prices.









Perhaps THE most timeless garment in history, the LBD was described by Vogue as ‘a sort of uniform for all women of taste’. In 1926, American Vogue published a picture of a Coco Chanel LBD and history was made from that point on. The LBD was intended to be long-lasting, versatile and accessible. The ultimate key to its success was its simplicity- it couldn’t look dated if it tried. Victoria Beckham models a classic LBD- short and with a simple cut and Audrey Hepburn looks perfection in hers. Whilst some may see black as a safety piece, it’s often the celebrities who rock a simple LBD with fab accessories on the red carpet that end up catching the limelight.

Why a trip to the museum might just be the making of you

Forget the Olympics; London’s museums are presenting some of the most hotly anticipated exhibitions this summer to get your creative juices flowing.  Exhibitions can offer the perfect forms of inspiration for your own graduate collection and also teach you how some of the most successful fashion designers in the world got to where they are now.

The V&A have a spectacular selection of fashion-based exhibitions which range from fashion through the ages to Fashion Drawing and Illustration. The museum is a wonderful backdrop to exhibit some of the most beautiful creations that Britain has to offer. It’s also host to the annual Fashion in Motion event which has seen designers including Giles Deacon (Judge at the 2009 Graduate Fashion Week), Erdem Moralioglu and more recently Peter Jenson and Olivier Saillard showcase their creations. Exhibitions at the museum never disappoint- previous favourites include the Grace Kelly exhibition and the Kylie exhibition which displayed the iconic gold hot pants outfit designed by Graduate Fashion Week success story Stella McCartney.

 Ballgowns- British Glamour since 1950 is due to arrive on the 19th May and is sure to be inspiring to all fashion-lovers. Celebrating the opening of newly renovated fashion galleries, this exhibition will present over sixty designs for social events such as red-carpet, state occasions and royal balls. Alongside these dresses will be designs fresh off the catwalk in order to celebrate the continuing strengths of British fashion and tradition including designs from the Alexander McQueen collection- whose career was launched by Graduate Fashion Week all those years ago.  Featuring dresses worn by Princess Diana, Elizabeth Hurley and Bianca Jagger, the exhibition is also exclusively displaying a show-stopping metallic dress designed by Gareth Pugh which was specially created for the occasion.

Other exhibitions to consider include the Christian Louboutin exhibition at the Design Museum (1-9 May) which showcases 20 years of the most famous red-soled creations and the Leather Forever Hermes exhibition (8-27 May) at 6 Burlington Gardens. They’re sure to get you wanting to create your own masterpieces! 




Retweet, Repin, Like….how to get your designs out there for the world to see and share

(Written for the official Graduate Fashion Week Blog 2012) 

Let’s set the scene. You have spent the last few months tirelessly working on your graduate portfolio. You can’t remember what sleep is.  You are prouder of your work than you feel you could be of a human baby. So naturally you want as many people to see it as possible. This is where social media comes into play. It’s now viewed as the best way to network but with such a plethora of sites available for you to use, which ones are the best to help you on your way?


Pinterest is a virtual online pin board which allows you to group together anything that you desire. It’s also a perfect way to get inspired as you can view other people’s boards. For graduates, this is a great visual platform to publish mood boards, designs and future ideas for the world to see in a creative manner. A quick search for Stella McCartney reveals hundreds of pinboards inspired by the Brit designer’s collections.


Graduate Fashion Week has just launched their very own Tumblr on their official blog. It aims to exclusively showcase the best up and coming designs and create a friendly and exciting sense of competition between universities in the lead up to Graduate Fashion Week. And if the saying is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then this is the perfect forum to display your work through simply uploading  sketchbook images, designs and even street-style.


Don’t forget to follow all your favourite designers and labels on twitter for guidance and inspiration. Why not follow Pheobe English, winner of the 2011 Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award to see how she has progressed since winning last year and of course @OfficialGFW for all the latest news, competitions and interviews. A handy fact to remember- many fashion houses and establishments use Twitter to advertise internships and jobs. And Henry Holland, one of the newly appointed judges for this year’s ‘This Morning Viewers Award’ at Graduate Fashion Week never fails to post an amusing tweet!


LinkedIn is arguably the best site for networking and collating all your contacts that you gain from university, internships, jobs and of course from contacts made at Graduate Fashion Week. And the bonuses of having an online CV which you can constantly add to and amend makes the standard paper CV seem like a pre-historic concept! With 150+ members, this website offers one of the best opportunities to sell yourself to potential employers. You can even follow a company of your choice. For example Vivienne Westwood lists over 142 of their employees on LinkedIn which allows you to see what skills you will need if you want to follow in their footsteps.


The old favourite, Facebook enables you to create groups, events and share links to help showcase yourself to a mass audience. Graduate Fashion Week have their own page with links to exclusive interviews and images and their sponsors including Mulberry, Rimmel and George at Asda all use pages as visual platforms to present all the latest news and events. Mulberry have recently posted exclusive pictures of Emma Watson and Emma Hill enjoying themselves at Coachella so expect pictures galore when Graduate Fashion Week comes around in June. Who knows, you could feature in one of them! 


Designers can’t get enough of the high street!

It’s official, designer collaborations with high street stores are officially in vogue! H&M recently experienced mass-hysteria from fans with collections by Versace and Marni and Designers at Debenhams with collections by Brit favourites Matthew Williamson and Henry Holland have been celebrating success for a number of years. So is this a sign of times changing and could this mean that designer really is more accessible than ever before?

I remember a couple of years ago purchasing a Christopher Kane for Topshop dress. Only slightly more expensive than a typical dress from Topshop, it made me feel a million dollars when I wore it. And I think I partly felt that simply because of the label in it. Designer collaborations with high street stores are so successful because people want to wear something and feel special. And this is the whole philosophy of the designer garment essentially.

British fashion designer Olivia Rubin, who graduated from the highly esteemed Central St Martin’s has collaborated with a number of high street names from ASOS (where she started) to Very and now most recently Dorothy Perkins. Giles Deacon had his Gold range for New Look and even Stella McCartney had an unlikely collaboration with Adidas.

But it’s not only the more established designers who are bringing more to the high street. Topshop’s NEWGEN scheme launched in 2001 aims to nurture up and coming designers through sponsorship for catwalk, exhibitions and presentations.  Members of the NEWGEN alumni including Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou recently designed t-shirts to be sold by Topshop during LFW 2012.

And not forgetting Rory Longdon, winner of the 2011 George Gold award at Graduate Fashion Week who celebrated the launch of his capsule Christmas knitwear range at ASDA stores nationwide.

Graduate Fashion Week 2012 promises to add even more promising up and coming designers into the mix!

Celebrities give a helping hand to aspiring fashion students

(written for the official Graduate Fashion Week Blog)

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of- a top celebrity picking out one of YOUR designs to wear in front of a global audience ensuring maximum exposure. But this dream is fast becoming a reality for more and more fashion students. And where better for celebrities to spot your work than at Graduate Fashion Week, the leading event for showcasing the best in UK talent.

In 2011, after seeing Rebecca Short’s graduate collection at Graduate Fashion Week, Lady GaGa appeared in one of the students unusual rubber dress designs. Putting her own spin on the design, GaGa teamed the dress with a startling green beehive, rimmed glasses and white gloves- ever the eccentric! Previously a student at Birmingham City University, Rebecca now works for a boutique fashion label and has high hopes that Lady GaGa will wear more of her designs in the future.

Another success story for up and coming fashion students is Claire Barrow, who specialises in designing leather jackets painted with designs inspired by gang subcultures. A Westminster University student, Barrow has had the privilege of designing for the likes of Rihanna (she wore two of Barrow’s designs on her LOUD tour and also on the back cover of Rihanna’s Talk That Talk single).

And De Montfort University embraced the celebrity trend when they launched a competition to design a shoe for the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year. Designs by six students on the footwear design course were judged, with the winner Becka Hunt being crowned winner. Inspired by Kate’s sapphire engagement ring and the lace from her wedding dress, the distinctly 19th century inspired shoe design caught the eyes of everyone. Becka described having one of the world’s leading fashion icons as her first job as ‘incredible’.

Graduate Fashion Week is the perfect platform for exposure and is the ultimate opportunity to show the world (and indeed the famous faces) all your hard work and potential for what you can achieve in the future!