Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

Category: Fashion

5 of the Best: One Piece Swimsuits

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It’s not often that the British sun graces us with its presence but the past two days in England have been beautiful!  What better way to celebrate the sunshine than by hitting the coast with the girls or persuading that one friend with a pool to host a cocktail party? If there was ever an excuse for showing off the summer body you’ve been working for since March and dusting off your mum’s thigh baring 80s one-piece it’s certainly now.

The swimsuit is undeniably the hottest swimwear trend of the summer and there are countless options to choose from. As usual, I do like to keep things simple which means that if I do buy into a trend, the colour palette needs to be neutral so that there is more longevity and I can wear it for more than just one season.

Here is a selection of my favourite monochromatic swimsuits that will fit any budget and  feature details such as romantic ruffles, sporty straps and Parisian polka dots. When the weather decides to turn wintery again in a few days, wear your one-piece under boyfriend jeans as a body substitute and I guarantee nobody will notice the difference!

Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture Fall 2016 in Pictures

via numero,
immabilliusmiss-mandy-m,
nobackstagepass , midnight-charmbelshadidfashionalistickmulticultural modelsinivie

Dior Haute Couture Fall 2016 in Pictures

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Images via vogue, forlikeminded, itsaleph and nobackstagepass

Sleepyhead

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Choosing to venture outdoors in sleepwear could once cause a few raised eyebrows or upturned noses, but now, the classic pyjama shirt has been reinvented as an alternative daywear option by designers such as Dolce and Gabanna.

Not only does this versatile item offer an opulent update of the cotton shirt, it also puts any former slobbish stereotypes to bed

Try casually layering one over a vest or pair with heeled loafers and boyfriend jeans for a polished Parisian effect. Dress it up with bold gold accessories, or dress it down with denim. The soft silk is sure to keep you warm during the breezy summer evenings and what’s more, it doubles as bedroom attire for those long nights where changing is just a contemplation too far.


Topshop high waisted jeans
£62 – nordstrom.com

Gucci suede loafer
net-a-porter.com

Lipsy man bag
lipsy.co.uk

Maison Mayle chain belt
£615 – barneys.com

True religion mens jeans
vanmildert.com

Vans mens black shoes
urbanexcess.com

Ray-Ban mens round sunglasses
£130 – ssense.com

Ray-Ban ray ban mens sunglasses
£155 – bloomingdales.com

Valentino mens silver necklace
£180 – lindelepalais.com

L L Bean bed pillow
£36 – llbean.com

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If a minimalistic approach is something you favour when it comes to fashion, be warned, this season the 80s are back with a vengeance. Among the red PVC boots, fishnet tights and other questionable items, a statement belt is one accessory you simply can’t avoid.  Recycled season after season, they are perfect for accentuating waistlines whilst demanding attention.

Try a gold Chanel chain to establish an element of vintage luxe, or for a tribal feel, look no further than Vanessa Seward’s geometric staple. If a wide belt is too brash, BCBG’s leopard print design certainly counts as a neutral item, creating subtle safari vibes when matched with khaki or camel.  Pair with some antique earrings and Baywatch-worthy waves for a night out or to cinch a white shirt in the daytime for added elegance.

Balmain leather belt
£630 – yoox.com

Gold belt
£325 – 1stdibs.com

Vanessa Seward braided belt
£28 – net-a-porter.com

Chanel belt
£2,895 – 1stdibs.com

BCBGMAXAZRIA waist belt
£36 – bcbg.com

Leather belt
£48 – wolfandbadger.com

Blurred Lines

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Pink embroidery and patent Mary-Janes are details that could be expected on any girl in the playground, but take time to explore beyond the school walls and you will find we have a new breed of man on our hands who could be just as comfortable in these garments as any young female. With the evolution of gender fluidity, we have to wonder, is fashion influencing society or does society have a pronounced pull on the trends of today?

There has always been a dispiriting lack of choice for men when it comes to fashion. Even I found it frustrating sourcing styling inspiration for photoshoots, spending hours flicking through countless images of ‘The Dapper Gentleman’ , ’The Edgy Rebel’, or ‘The Gay Icon’ who was usually smothered in copious amounts of baby oil and wearing speedos tight enough to cut all blood circulation. You get the picture – there was not a lot of creativity in the mix. Another thing I noticed was that these characters were normally portrayed as either Alpha Male types or sex symbols for the gay community. It was one extreme or another with no room for grey areas.

Cue Alessandro Michele joining Gucci as Creative Director at the beginning on 2015. Italians are renowned for their flamboyant flair and Michele is no exception. His first collection paved a way for an alternative approach to men’s style, adorned with pussy bow blouses, red lace and chiffon. It wasn’t an overpowering statement, but it was an indication of Michele’s direction at the brand. He was challenging male stereotypes in fashion and this has only evolved with each men’s collection. This season saw Barbie pink turtlenecks, larger-than-life bow-ties and floral embroidery with Warhol-esque vibes. More risks were taken and Michele really expressed his vision of what men can (if they choose to) wear in this era. After all, why should men’s fashion be dictated by social norms?

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Another big brand that has followed in Michele’s footsteps by questioning gender roles in fashion is Louis Vuitton. The Spring/Summer 2016 womenswear campaign sees Jayden Smith modelling women’s clothes alongside female models Sarah Brannon, Jean Campbell, and Rianne Van Rompaey. The campaign suggests that fashion should not have a gender, instead it should be unisex, which is certainly an interesting concept. During my time in Seoul, I came across a number of popular clothing stores with a whole floor dedicated to unisex fashion. I also noticed Asian men seemed less resistant to wearing feminine colours, textures or styles with a huge influence coming from KPop culture and the Genderless Kei pack.

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Genderless Kei is a style which is becoming extremely popular in Japan with members who display a penchant for pink, pretty nails and platforms. It is a look that was inspired by J.W. Anderson’s Fall ’13 show which saw masculine male models sporting frilled shorts and bandeau tops along with other feminine features. Although, make no mistake, being a Genderless Kei does not necessarily mean you are trying to convey a preference for dressing as the opposite sex. It is more about incorporating elements from all genders collectively as one style. Toman, a GK model states ‘There are no rules!’  This suggests it is possible to be both male and female at once, not either or.

From a young age I refused to wear to wear dresses, favouring dungarees or trousers on a day-to-day basis. I couldn’t tell you why I made this early choice as a child and this is not to say I haven’t dabbled in the odd party or body-con dress in my time, but when I have I always wish I hadn’t. I don’t feel comfortable in skirts or dresses and they just aren’t for me. Imagining my life now without t-shirts and jeans is unthinkable and I believe as women we have more free reign to experiment to find the right combinations for our shape, preference or even mood.

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How can men fully express themselves through clothing if there is so little on the market for them to choose from? It could be argued that although such styles can be seen on the catwalk, they may not translate as simply in real life, especially in Western markets. However, even mass market brands such as ASOS and Topman are jumping onboard with androgynous cuts, colours, models and even poses featured in their Fall 2016 lookbooks.

Rules on school uniform and identity are also becoming less binding in the UK. Boys can now wear skirts, while girls can wear trousers in 80 state schools under a new gender-neutral policy introduced to eliminate LGBT discrimination. I’m someone who doesn’t enjoy wearing overtly feminine clothes and it is likely that there are many men who don’t like wearing quintessentially masculine items. It doesn’t need to become an issue of sexuality and how this defines us by the way we dress. A woman can wear boyfriend jeans or a baggy shirt and it’s NBD but a man in a leather skirt is still not viewed as socially normal. This is a double standard and it needs to change.

This is not to say that men’s fashion should or shouldn’t become more feminine, but what can be said for this blurring of lines in society’s gender roles, is that creative directors such as Michele and Ghesquière (at LV) are certainly exploring the unknown. They are celebrating fashion as an art form whilst opening the doors for a new wave of creativity to resonate in fashion, suggesting that society is steering fashion rather than the other way around. The fact that such prominent luxury brands are choosing to include niche markets is a huge step forward as they are fundamentally educating the mass market on the importance of gender identities in this day and age. They are not showcasing new ideas but instead acting as a platform for the diverse community to express themselves which will hopefully inspire more choice and creativity in the industry during the years to come.

Best of MFW

 Fashion Week only starts getting interesting for me when the shows start in Milan. Italians just seem to get fashion and they do femininity and charm so well without it being garishly girly.

They also seem to understand the influence that the past decades have on fashion and are great at updating vintage styles whilst making them appeal to a younger crowd. There were lots of shows I loved for the S/S 16 collections but I have shared my favourites below.

Francesco Scognamiglio

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This collection was similar to Givenchy in the way that there was an abundance of delicate details, fine fabrics and strong romantic notes. I rarely stray from wearing black or white and a monochromatic colour palette is something that I believe looks both classic and polished.

Ruffles can look overstated but Scognamiglio managed to get the balance just right, pairing sheer slip tops with tailored trousers and babydoll dresses with sock boots, giving looks a mod doll element.

By mixing Victoriana details with 60s shoes and modern styles, Scognamiglio successfully created an array of looks ideal for the cool girl, unafraid to channel her softer side.

Fay

fay

Fay is a brand I had heard of but never followed too closely. That was until I saw the designs showcased for S/S 16. Reminiscent of Isabel Marant‘s understated French girl image, the looks were layered, tiered and belted in shades of navy, stone and dusty pink with prints that looked as though they had been influenced by North Africa.

The masculine military coats looked great with patterned skirts and I particularly liked the silver trimming on the deep blue jackets. After seeing this collection, I am really looking forward to seeing what else the brand has to offer.

Philosophy

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Philosophy is a brand that always seems to hit an equilibrium when combining masculinity with femininity. Soft ruffles and Victorian details were still present from the previous collection, but there was not one fussy frill in sight. The nude slip dresses were breezy and beautiful while pointed ankle boots offered an edgy element making the looks perfect for city strolls in the summer.

I love the neutral shades that the creative director, Lorenzo Serafini, uses throughout his collections for Philosophy. The looks he creates are much more wearable than many other brands while there is always a strong hint of Italian Romanticism in the silhouettes and details – a clear homage to the brand’s heritage.

Game, Set, Match

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Jacket: Mango
Shirt: Next (Mens)
Scarf: Zara
Jeans: Zara
Boots: Topshop

Photographer: Rob Langman

Park Life

Coat - H&M 
Necklace - Tiffany
Bag - Steve Madden

Photographer - Rob Langman

Best of LFW

I’ll be honest, when it comes to London Fashion Week, I never expect too much. There has not been a large shift in variety from the sheer boxy fit crop tops, 3D flowers and laser cut fabrics that I remember from 2009. I see them every single September during the Spring/Summer shows and it’s starting to get extremely tiresome. Isn’t London supposed to be the fashion capital of the world with some of the best design schools around? The answer is most certainly yes, so why is there such a lack of originality from our current British designers?

I really had to think hard about which shows I would include in this post and although Erdem was outstanding (usually a given), there were only a couple of other shows that really stood out for me. While it may seem like fun and games designing sheer shapeless silhouettes in pastel tones, not all of us want to look like we have just rolled around in an ice-cream shop. I am really hoping to see more diversity next season but at the same time, I know better than to get my hopes up.

Versusversus

Belgian designer, Anthony Vaccerelo showcased a collection that stayed true to the Versace ethos of supermodels and 80’s rock and roll – a look which verged on the brink of being trashy but somehow worked. There were plenty of cut out details on asymmetrical dresses that can be seen on current Versace designs. Strappy bralets were crafted out of leather to add edge, while brass buttons were emblazoned on waistcoats which were worn as dresses. Silver appeared in the form of piercings, lion crested hardware and zips which was a pleasant change from Versace’s signature gold. I find silver is more understated and less brash than gold which is why I tend to favour it on clothing details.

This show was only Vacerello’s second season for Versus but he seems to be taking a different angle than his predecessor, Christopher Kane, something that Donatella seems thrilled by. She has been quoted saying that Vacerello really gets the brand and even named him ‘The One’. It was, however, nice to see Christopher sat front row for the show, suggesting that there is no hard feelings between him and Donatella since he left as creative director.

Erdem
erdem

Erdem Moralioglu is known for his beautiful floral creations that one could only describe as ‘delightful’ and ‘charming’, however he definitely took a different approach to Spring with a collection full of darker flowered patterns and melancholy vibes. The Victorian era was ever present in floaty Dickens-esque creations complete with dramatic sleeves and high ruffled necklines.

A personal favourite was a baby blue organza dress with a black ribbon, partially tied at the neck and left askew. I love when looks are not too ‘done’ and there are slight imperfections; it looks less pristine and more effortless. Another interesting element to these dresses was that some possessed cut-out arm details making them an innovative modern take on the 80s trends arising.

Marques Almeidamarques

I remember seeing a recent collection Marques Almeida did for Topshop, it was all one-tone frayed denim and Barbie pink crop tops – clothing that displayed all the things I hate about 90s fashion and would also be very out of place in my wardrobe. It was such a refreshing surprise to see their SS16 collection was miles away from this with the two designers, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida (both Portuguese), describing the collection as their true identity. There was still lots of their signature rips and frays but the colour palette was largely neutral giving a softer approach to the designs that were crafted from sheer fabrics and adorned with ruffles giving a glamorous grunge vibe.

Although their designs may not be so wearable on account of being very shapeless, I can really appreciate their talent as designers.  They strike me as similar to J.W. Anderson, who started with very unwearable garments, but is someone I feel is really starting to find his feet in the industry with his Spring collection. Marques Almeida are still finding their way but I am extremely interested to see what next season brings for them.

What did you think of LFW? Let me know in the comments box below!