Burberry

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“See Now, Buy Now” at NYFW

NYFW SS17 has come to a close and I’ve got to be honest Voyeurs, was a little underwhelming *sadface*.  There was a time that NYFW was regaled as the mother of all Fashion Weeks and the barometer for those that follow, but now?  Not so much, and I’m not the only Fashion Influencer to feel this way.

 

I was however, intrigued to hear that Tom Ford would be showing during NYFW this season after a last minute cancellation in February, albeit shunning the traditional and expected format and showing a “See Now, Buy Now” collection during the FW16 season (including cosmetics and skincare).  Let me explain -  The fashion industry is set up to make you feel that there are two seasons: Spring / Summer (SS) February to September,  and Fall / Winter (FW) October to March.  We all know that fashion is cyclical but the idea of funding these multi million dollar campaign is that after one season (6 months) a person will shun the current “trend” and move on to the next season, buying items from the next collection to tap into the next “trend”.  Since the first NYFW in 1943, this has always been the case and designers have shown a season ahead in order to allow time for manufacturing and creating garments to sell “on season.”  Hence, you see the FW collections in February / March and the SS collections in September / October.

With me so far?  Ok, now I’m going to scramble your brain a little more -  I am of course, assuming you don’t already know this, I’ve had a lot of emails over the last two weeks from Voyeurs asking what the difference between “on season” and “off season” shows is, and although I’ve replied to all of them, this might help a little and give you something to refer back to, or even share with your friends and future Voyeurs.

Ok, now you have a very basic concept of Fashion Week as a ‘thing’, let’s fast forward to 2014 - Blogging was becoming serious business for the fashion industry, with Conde Nast representing some of the biggest names at the time including Bryan Boy and Susie Lau and Bloggers were taking their place on the Frows of huge shows.  This is when came the shift; the difference between Blogs and traditional print media is that magazines are also cyclical, printing once per week or once per month meaning you have to wait for your fix, but Bloggers make it instant, with content produced immediately and shared immediately, readers, fans and followers get a glimpse of the collections in real time.  Sure, Fashion Editors of your favourite magazines have been doing this for years, but not everyone follows or even knows who these Fashion Editor are, Bloggers have become known, recognisable and now, marketable.

People often ask me about the difference between blogging and fashion journalism, as you know I do both and there’s one clear difference to me and that’s The Voice.  Let me break it down; when you buy a magazine, you buy a piece of journalism, a feature that someone has written about a topic they’ve been asked to write about, the account is factual, and delivers a point.  Sometimes, in the case of a column, there will be added elements of humour and sometimes not but when you’ve read it, you’ve left with more information than when you started.  Blogging however, is conversational.  Sure we’re sometimes paid to write features but ultimately a blogger writes about whatever they want, they have full creative control over their content and frequency of publication.  When I’m writing for you guys, I’m writing as I would talk, it’s light, it’s fun and it’s sometimes not politically correct but the only person accountable is me.  Remember, it’s immediate and when I’m showing you those covetable items from Fashion Week, they’re not available to view or buy for another six long months.  Got it?

Ok, where were we?  Ah yes, the shift in the fashion industry….

Sooooooo, in February 2015 Burberry announced that it would shift to a “See Now, Buy Now” format which sent ripples across the industry.  The naysayers gasped, saying it would never work and was a crazy idea, and anybody in fashion manufacturing quaked in their leather rider boots at the thought of prepping an entire saleable collection pre-runway show.

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Basically the concept of “See Now, Buy Now” is simple: In September / October when an SS show would normally be shown, Burberry will show a season appropriate collection for FW, the season we’re actually in and the collection will be shoppable immediately.  Simples.  When Tom Ford announced plans to follow suit, people sat up and took notice.  Ford has the ability to pack out a show space like no other, the Grand Master of fashion with a legion of celebrity disciples so this idea must have legs, right?  Sure enough, this season alone Rebecca Minkoff and Vetements  have announced their intention to follow this model along with smaller labels.

Never one to sit quiet on a subject so prickly, Karl Lagerfeld proclaimed “Its a mess, the reality is that you have to give people the time to make their choice, to order the clothes or handbags, and to produce them beautifully so that editors can photograph them. If not, that’s the end of everything.”  Not a supporter of the See Now, Buy Now movement then eh Karl?

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With huge slumps in sales, mega discounts offered in outlet malls and the rise of fast fashion and runway reproduction on the high street, it’s no secret or surprise that the luxury fashion houses have been hit hard.  With ‘micro trends’ (think glitter roots, perspex heels, fur slides) on the rise due to online influencers, we’re seeing a new mini trend every fortnight and as a result, the designers have become the outsiders.  Now that NYFW SS17 is over, it’s time for those fashion houses to take stock; Tom ford showed an awesome See Now Buy Now collection with a whole marketing campaign designed around the very concept.  Although Calvin Klein, didn’t show this season the brand plans to emerge in February under the creative leadership of ex-Dior front man Raf Simons, and Michael Kors has unveiled his plans to show See Now Buy Now in February.

It’s clear that there are huge and exciting changes afoot for the fashion industry and although NYFW SS17 has been mediocre as best, the most memorable shows of the season are the ones which adopted a See Now, Buy Now format (I’m looking at you Tom Ford).

Over to you London….

Pixie xo

 

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Show Me Some Skin….

The Fall Winter 2015 runways were awash with lavish suede and leather.  From fringed suede at Burberry to patchwork suede and leather at Tom Ford and everything in-between, it was clear to see that skin is most definitely in.

I’ve always been a huge fan of heavy luxury fabrics - velvet, crepe and now leather and suede, they have a way of upping the glam factor of any outfit and have the weight behind them to hang amazingly.  I couldn’t wait to write about how to jump ahead of the pack and get in on the trend early by working it into your Summer wardrobe too.  Both fabrics can be surprisingly versatile and easier to wear than you might imagine, coloured pieces can add drama; leather separates in bold primary colours can look rich and vibrant and soft, pastel coloured suede can be toughened up to create a great juxtaposition of textures.

There are some simple pieces you can pick up on the high street to update your wardrobe and they’re all hard working and not at all scary!  Not just for play, both fabrics are smart enough to be worn as workwear and with some clever dressing and accessorising, can take you from day to night in a flash.  Consider this my guide to the simplest way to get in on this trend, I’ve done the hard work and found you your dream pieces which will take you through Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter…..

First of all, dress to your usual style, you need to be comfortable, think of this as simply substituting textures rather than a complete style overhaul.  Personally, I like to play with textures and finishes and often like to mix a soft tailored piece with something that has more of a ‘rock’ vibe for a street style look, but there’s no reason why you can’t wear a suede jacket and a suede skirt, hey, it’s 2015 - anything goes!

I love wearing a structured pencil skirt with an oversized tank so let’s start with a suede skirt; this particular one is from ASOS, at £70 it’s a great way to get in on the trend without shelling out too much initially.  This one is a wrap over style so it’s real flattering and it has a D-ring fastener which gives it a high end finish.  I like to juxtapose this skirt with a tank and recently wore it to a fashion event with a Givenchy tee (minus the original sleeves).

Tempted by that gorgeous tan suede skirt from Marks and Spencer, you know, the one that’s been featured in Vogue, Elle, Look, Grazia, Marie Claire etc.?  Stop right there!  There are two reasons to proceed with caution: 1. You’re very unlikely to find it anywhere as it’s the most coveted suede piece around, and,  2.  If you are lucky enough to find it, you’re going to bump into at least four carbon copies of yourself the first time you wear it making you wish you’d kept the £200 in your purse.

So, in light of this, for really great unique leather and suede fashion pieces, my top tip is to try vintage and thrift stores first (make sure you check each piece thoroughly before buying).  We’ve all got at least one leather biker jacket in our wardrobes but I’ve picket up some amazing ones in thrift stores, and the great thing is, you won’t bump into another version of yourself on the high street.  Every time I go to the states, I come back with at least one great vintage leather or suede piece and last time was this super cute suede Pocahontas style fringed skirt.  It cost me $60 (a snip at around £30) and it attracts compliments every time I wear it, plus it makes me feel like Carrie Bradshaw and who doesn’t want that, right?!

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A black leather skirt is a really hard working, versatile option.  If you haven’t got one of these in your wardrobe then you need one, pronto!  Smart enough to be worn for the office but rock chick enough to be worn for a night out this is one item you’ll pull out of your wardrobe time and time again.  This one is from Year One Collective, priced at £120, it’s great quality leather and if you’re patriotic you’ll like this one as it’s made by a British designer.  Things to look for when shopping for a leather skirt: 1. A good strong zip - the last thing you want is your zip failing on you after a heavy dinner, and, 2. A split. Front or back it doesn’t matter as long as there’s a split. We’ve all seen that YouTube clip of the super glamorous girl who can’t traverse the staircase because of her unfeasibly tight skirt right?  Don’t let that be you.  River Island do a great leather skirt, it’s a repeat style which usually comes in to store around September and there are new colour ways added each year, this is last years red one and I’d highly recommend it, at £90 it’s a great buy but the downside is you’ll have to wait until later in the year to get it.

On the high street there are a gazillion options for a black leather pencil skirt, choose wisely.  On the investment end of the scale ASOS with a wide variety of shapes, styles and finishes.  From real leather to PU they’ve got you covered and if you head on over there now you’ll find that a lot of these styles are in the sale just waiting to be snapped up.

Not a fan of skirts?  Then maybe culottes are your thing.  Since Spring Summer 2014 the trend for culottes has grown exponentially and now they’re everywhere.  From New Look to Margiela, culottes are more than just a trend, they’re here to stay and with new leather and suede styles hitting the high street it’s easier than ever to tap road test this look.

My favourite leather culottes are from Topshop Boutique, buttery soft and smokey grey coloured, these culottes add a little luxury to any outfit, there’s just one rule with culottes: Always. Wear. Heels.  On top anything goes, I like to pair mine with a floaty black camisole, again, to juxtapose the textures but you could pair these with anything from a band tee to a cropped tee and duster coat - as long as you remember the golden rule and always wear heels.  These particular ones are pricey at £250 but River Island has some great PU alternatives for around £30.

This suede pair from this pair which are currently in the sale at Topshop for £65.

A great way to nail the trend in one piece is to try a dress.  Leather dresses have been around for ages, you may even already have one in your wardrobe, if you haven’t then your Mum is bound to so try her first.  Suede dresses however, are a relatively new concept on the high street and with so many of them sent down the runways during Fashion Month, you’d be wise to jump on this trend now.  My favourite leather dress is by Raoul, it was an investment piece at £695 but it’s my old faithful and something I come back to time and time again as it always makes me feel ‘dressed’.

There are a huge variety on the high street depending on which style you favour, ASOS has skater style, slip, pinafore, A-line and shift dresses available in leather and this one is my favourite, I’m awaiting my delivery but I know it will see me through the seasons and it’s a change from black.  At £120 I’d say it’s pretty reasonable.

In suede the style is more seventies in feel, think dropped waists and huge pockets and you’re on the right track, exposed zips also work really well with this look.  Mango does a great suede shirt dress but my best buy is this little beauty from Warehouse and at £110 it’s a complete outfit which isn’t too bad right? (It also comes in pink).

For Winter I’m a big fan of leather trousers and have two top picks:  Marks and Spencer does a great recurring style and new colourways are stocked each season.  The great thing thing about this pair is that the leather is super soft and the back section is ponte fabric meaning you don’t get the dreaded sag in the butt area and at £99 these are a steal.

Another of my favourites are the Paloma by PU) if you prefer for £290.

We all know that good quality leather and suede can be expensive and that it needs to be maintained, if you can’t stretch to either of these fabrics then alcantara makes a pretty good substitute for suede and there are some decent vegan / PU options out there instead of leather.  If you are opting for PU, bear in mind that it can, and will make you sweat so choose where you wear it and always try it first - if you can’t take the heat in a store dressing room then you’re probably not going to wear it out to dinner in the Summer.

In terms of jackets it’s simple - if you’re opting for suede then fringing is your best friend.  The high street is full of fringed and tassled suede jackets in a variety of colours - If they’re wearing it in Nashville then it’s definitely ‘in’.  For leather jackets, you can’t go wrong with a leather biker and that goes for any season.  If you want to mix it up a little then try a different colour for Summer, the SS15 runways were a parade of bold colours with cobalt blue being a standout.

So, now you’re armed and ready to hit the high street with bells on.  And probably fringing.  But most definitely a leather biker…..

Pixie x

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Cannes Film Festival 2015 Red Carpet Winners & Sinners

As the 2015 Cannes Film Festival draws to a close, I’m taking a look back at the fashion triumphs and fails on the red carpet.  Cannes always brings out the best in the A-list and this year was no exception, we even had some fresh new faces mixing things up.  The collaborations were top notch this year with Chopard showcasing some amazing pieces and this time choosing to work with some younger talent, something I think will work well for the brand.

Joan Smalls and Kendall Jenner chose midriff baring two piece gowns that seemed wrong for an event as prestigious as Cannes, but were oh so right.  Kendall wore the style two nights running and cemented her place at the top of the Fash pack as she twirled for the waiting paparazzi.

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The L’Oreal posse were out in force and looking every inch as glamorous as they do in the commercials (after all, they’re worth it), and whipping up a storm on social media as they captured their every move.  Eva Longoria, Jane Fonda, Karlie Kloss et al played to the media perfectly, posting videos of them dancing, being made up and just generally larking about pre red carpet.

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Karlie Kloss was a front runner in the beauty and style stakes, doing Cannes proud in an ankle length custom Versace gown on day one and setting a precedent for the rest of the Festival.

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This year in an unexpected move, the organisers banned flats from the red carpet insisting that in order to uphold the glamorous reputation of the Film Festival, heels must be worn by all gals making an appearance. Although everyone managed to scrape an A+ in the heel test, the organisers weren’t so lucky in their mission to ban selfies from the event.

Chopard didn’t skimp on the shiny for the event lending out some amazing jewels to models, actresses and society girls.  Kendall Jenner was selected to wear a million dollar collar necklace with her gothic black two piece and Poppy Delevingne wore some serious showstopper jewels with her custom Burberry gown.

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There were so many style winners throughout the Film Festival including Kendall Jenner, obviously, Karlie Kloss, Lea Seydoux, Natasha Poly, Jourdan Dunn, Diane Kruger and Natalie Portman.  The bar was set high but these girls kept their game strong night after night, Diane Kruger went a little left of centre opting for a Dolce and Gabbana mini from next seasons collection early on, followed by a stunner of a floorsweeper at the closing of the Festival.

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Some of the more daring competitors in the style stakes were Fan BingBing, Lupita Nyong’o and Li BingBing.  Exhibiting bold colours and fairytale looks fresh from the runway.

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Special mention to Sienna Miller for ‘Services To Hair’ throughout the Film Festival. Miller managed to twist her shaggy bob into an array of different styles without it ever looking overdone or processed, and her style wasn’t too shabby either.  Top marks Miller, you’ve done us Brits proud.

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Style sinners at Cannes included Lady VIctoria Hervey in a golden foil disaster with some frisky fish…..

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Irina Shayk in (more) gold Versace….

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Mindy Kaling in an ill fitting porange number (sorry Mindy, I’m a huge fan, just not of this outfit)

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And last east but not least, Victoria Silvstedt for just way too much sheer and not in a ‘cool like Beyoncé’ way…

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This year Cannes gave us not one, but two contenders for the ‘What Were They Thinking’ award; feast your eyes on these…

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So Cannes is over for another year and you know when your monthly magazine haul drops its going to be filled with pictures from the Film Festival but you can rest assured that you were ahead of the curve dear Voyeur and you’ve probably already picked out your favourite…..

Pixie x

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