Monday, 30 June 2008

Do try this at home: The scarf strap

Mark our words, old-lady silk scarves are going to be a biggy come autumn. And how could they not be? They're affordable, they're versatile and they're a change from those tatty Palestinian scarves we've been draping across ourselves for the last two summers. Silk scarves add a touch of dandy to a check shirt if you fold them up small (diagonally dummy) and tuck them inside the unbuttoned collar. Or wear them cowgirl-style to zhuzh up a tee or sweatshirt. Our favourite trick however is one we stole from bag bloggers Bag Snob. Fold your scarf into a strip and use it inside your clutch bag to turn it into a shoulder bag. Now this is what we call credit-crunch chic!


Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Micro Trend: The Summer Ankle Boot

Proof that there's no such thing as defined seasons any more, a new footwear trend has emerged...the summer ankle boot! When it's warm enough for tailored shorts and mini-dresses but there's still the chance of an unscheduled shower or evening chill, we take our fashion cue from Alexa Chung and Kate Moss by revisiting our winter ankle boots. But we're not talking Uggs, ooh no, we're keeping a bit of decorum about us so only a heel will do. Keep it neutral, chunky and just a little bit rock n roll.

The Fake Flutter Debate

We've always been a bit sceptical (as well as nervous) about anything fake, especialy eyelashes. Branding them as the beauty item "reserved for WAGs, ex Big-Brother contestants, men in drag and seven year old sisters" they weren't exactly high up our must-have make-up list! But at a recent beauty event held by Eyelure (the leading fake lash brand sold in Boots and Superdrug) we were suprisingly converted. Cornered by Girls Aloud's favourite make-up artist Liz Martins, before we knew it our eyes were "dressed" in a pair of Naturalites (a.k.a the casual Juicy tracksuit version of fake lashes). Yes, they felt heavy at first and yes, we were blinking ten times more than we would normally, but after a few minutes we couldn't feel them and they made our lashes look like Penelope Cruz's on that L'Oreal advert! Even wearing them in public (try on the tube at 9.30 in the morning) they felt and looked natural - just very long, full and black - just the way we dream them to be! They might not be an everyday beauty staple, but for special occassions they are now definitely part of the "pair of heels and oversized clutch" dressing up gang.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Lip Service

Sometimes we're so busy that we wish there was an easier way to apply lip gloss. All that faffing with the cap, twisting up the lippy, putting the cap back on... life's just too damn short no? But hey, guess what, those clever beauty brand people feel our multi-tasking pain! Avon have released Pro-to-Go, a lipstick that you open and push up in an easy one-handed motion - yay! Plus remember Bethany Hamilton, the teen surfer girl who survived a shark attack but lost an arm? She has a line of lip products called Stoked designed to be pushed up and down with one hand (leaving the other free to text, carry your Fendi-style box clutch or um, flip through Lula) available at And if you're the kind of apply-on-the-go girl who needs all her lip accoutrements in one place, L'Oreal Paris's Infallible Lip Colour is for you, it has a lipstick, lipbalm and lids that are fixed to a mirror compact. Now if someone could just invent a way to stop our hair sticking to our lipgloss our lives would be complete.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Five things To Do This Weekend

1) Get a new style crush. London model-about-town Alice Dellal's bad gal style is floating our boat

2) Head to Kensington Palace for The Last Debutantes, an exhibition celebrating the posh young socialites of the '50s. Feast your eyes on couture frocks by Dior and Balmain while learning how to execute the perfect curtsey

3) Lust after TopShop's fruity beauty mock patent-leather apple-shaped bag (out of stock but you can add it to your wish list)

4) Check out the new Luella for O'Neill collection. We love the mini sundresses, tie-dye tees and frill-edged check shirts.

5) Chic up your cheeks with Benefit's Posietint, the cult Benetint lip and cheek stain in a new petal-pink shade.

Pic:Desmond O'Neill Features

Monday, 16 June 2008

Graduate Fashion Week: How to get ahead in fashion

So did anyone make it to Graduate Fashion Week? We did! It was really impressive and we discovered a whole heap of untapped talent out there. Naturally, we homed in on the fashion promotion graduates and found some great writing talent at the University College for the Creative Arts at Epsom. One student called Kate Tregoning had interviewed the editor-in-chief of Grazia (our fave mag). Kudos! We are hoping to publish it here but are waiting for permission first. We were also lucky enough to be allowed in to the Careers Clinic on Thursday which was the newly created 'education day' for 14-18 year old fashionistas-in-the-making. Caryn Franklin compered the talk, an insightful panel discussion about how to nab a career in fashion. Among the panellists were Lorraine Candy and Avril Mair (editor and fashion features director of Elle), Christopher Hodge (Fashion Programme Leader from Northumbria University), Catherine Bell (senior editor of fashion forcasting agency WGSN), Richard Bradbury (CEO of River Island) and Henry Holland (needs no introduction).

Even though we though we knew it all we did pick up some handy hints so feeling generous, we thought we'd share them here:

All fashion peeps from designers to fashion editors to fashion PRs get inundated with work experience applications. To distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack, Catherine Bell advises you to use visuals to help your application stand out. Mood boards, scrap-books or a print-out of your blog could all give you the edge over the next person. Richard Bradbury implores you to do your preparation. If you do your research and pepper your application with proof that you know your stuff, you're more likely to get that oh-so-elusive placement. Avril suggests keeping up with fashion blogs to stay ahead of the curve. She regularly reads and Style Bubble. Who knows, maybe she even reads yours?

One of the fun parts of the discussion was finding out what everyone's school reports said. Lorraine's said she was a hard-worker (swot!), Avril's flagged up her passion and curiosity (essential journalist qualities), Chris's said he was interested in everything and Henry's bemoaned that he was too creative. Too creative! How can there be such a thing? Caryn quite proudly revealed that her school report said 'Caryn will not get a good job by being the most fashionably dressed girl in the school.' Of course, she promptly went on to be the fashion editor of ID and present Britain's best-loved fashion TV prog.

Fashion is all about knowing what's going to happen next. Henry Holland stressed the importance of trying to look ahead beyond what's happening now. Richard backed this up suggesting that by observing and people-watching you can tune your trend radar into what's bubbling under so you can predict the trends of the future. We would add that this is top advice and fun too! So keep tabs on what people are wearing (and not wearing) fashion and beauty-wise around you at school, in the park, on street-style blogs and among your friends.

All the panellists agreed that you don't go into fashion for the money. The thing that keeps them all loving what they do is the fun and creativity they get from their jobs. No-one said it was easy and this is a lesson well worth remembering. Working hard is the number one quality you need to succeed in fashion, crazily enough it's even more important than having talent (don't believe us? Just look at Victoria Beckham).

The most useful message we took away with us was one we already knew but can always be reiterated. Keep pushing ahead. Often, whatever stage you're at in your career, you'll find there are times when things aren't moving. Maybe you're not motivated, maybe you've lost your creative mojo or maybe you're just not getting the breaks. Don't give up and don't dwell on it. Just keep pushing ahead. Go through the motions and keep doing what you have to do. After ten unanswered emails you'll get an answered one. After ten false starts at customising a T-shirt you'll get your breakthrough. After ten job rejections you'll get an interview. And when you do, all the effort will be worth it.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Do try this at home - the preppie shirt

We're loving the abundance of preppie-inspired shirt combos around at the moment. Who knew a fitted shirt and skinny jeans could look so hot? Tip: the tuck-in, rolled-up sleeves and chunky sandals are what make this work (and the A-lister sunnies and wasn-n-go hair don't hurt either). Tailored high-waist shorts are perfect with a crisp shirt which make up for the big expanse of leg. A dressy shoe is a must for these though, how about a high-heeled peep-toe bootee?

The Sartorialist

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Five Things To Do This Weekend

1) Ogle the Chanel pop-up shop at Dover Street Market

2) Customise your bike for National Bike Week

3) Fashion an old typewriter case into a handbag

4) Dig out your old badges, they're due a come-back

5) Be nice to your dad - it's Fathers Day!

PICS (top to bottom):
Dover Street Market

Underage Festival

Get out your neon pink highlighters and circle 8th August. Yep, it's the second Underage Festival in Victoria Park. With a host of hot indie bands including Poppy & The Jezebels (who we photographed for CosmoGIRL! many months ago), Mystery Jets and The Horrors, this is the must-go-to event of the summer. Tickets are available from Ticketweb but remember:
*It's strictly 14-18 only

*You must take ID or you won't be allowed in

*Mums and dads can meet you outside but aren't allowed through the gates

*Dress up in your finest, there are bound to be model scouts and TV cameras on the prowl.

Pic: Poppy & The Jezebels

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Head Girls

If the credit crunch is affecting your pocket money handouts, it's time to think outside the box where sartorial matters are concerned. Instead of a new jacket, dress or shoes, adornments! It's not just the braided headband that's floating our boats, we're seeing fifties fascinators and Gossip Girl inspired tiaras teamed with everything from prom dresses to tank-n-jeans ensembles. The message? Get creative and give a scarf, ribbons or bow-tie a new lease of life by wearing it in your hair.

Pics: Vogue

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Ditto Does Evans

Wow, what a coup for Evans who has signed Beth Ditto up (for £200k!) to design a line of fashion-fabulousness for big girls. Ok, we know it's a bit late to be jumping on that particular bandwagon but we're still mucho intrigued. Ditto does have her own individual style which makes a change (Lauren Conrad anyone?) and it will bring hoards of cool young girls to shop at Evans. Result! One small request though Evans, please go easy on the polyester. Thanks.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Five Things To Do This Weekend

1) Go and see Kamikaze Girls, a new Japanese feelgood movie about two fashion-obsessed teens

2) Invest in a name necklace with a difference - this knitted one from Lady Luck!

3) Find out what it's like to be an intern at Teen Vogue

4) Plan a boat trip and dress the part in Lazy Oaf's sassy sailor-girl tee

5) Give your festival-goer face a trial run with a theatrical make-up sesh. A good excuse to splash out on some new glitter eyemake-up, no? (Try Miners, MAC or

Spreading the Lulu love

We couldn't help but get excited when we went to the Lulu Guinness autumn winter preview a few weeks ago so we had to share. The range has got a lot younger and funner (is that a word?) with more affordable pieces like this lipsmackingly lovely make-up bag. The range doesn't come out for a few months but in the meantime why not prepare by dejunking your make-up bag? Come on, you know you're never going to wear that dried-out mascara now or ever.
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