Fashion Lessons From The Nougties

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 23.29.40 In the year 2000 I was eight. That is a very vulnerable age to deal with the start of a very bad fashion decade. I spent my time ordering from the children’s section of the Next catalogue before progressing somewhat to the ‘bad girl’ looks at Kylie and Tammy. Mainly I was just running around in a Bench hoodie that could zip over my head and pining for every piece of Juicy Couture inspired velour I set my eyes on.  Belts were low slug, skirts were peasant and these trousers happened. For some reason there was also a lot of crochet. It was a dark, dark time. Admittedly things picked up circa 2004 when a branch of Zara opened up in my hometown and Sienna Miller hopped onto the scene and showed us how boho chic was really done.  Still, it was uphill struggle and WAGs and It bags continued to dominate the pages of every trashy tabloid and fashion magazine. Even the current Queen of Chic Victoria Beckham fell victim to the botched boob jobs, dodgy hair extensions and Cavalli dresses – a look currently being revived by the ladies of Towie, but desperately being forgotten by the rest of humanity In the midst of Lizzie McGuire’s hairclips and Marissa Cooper’s polo shirts there was one saving grace throughout the whole shoddy decade. Her name, of course, was Kate Moss. Her confidence never wavered and her style never flailed. She didn’t even wear Cavalli ironically. While everyone else wore a horrific combination of ponchos, Uggs and cargo trousers, she brought us the yellow dress, the David Bowie Vogue cover and her Coco Chanel ads. Even now, her noughties rock ‘n’ roll chic remains the epitome of modern style and her classic blazer, skinny jean and boot combo is still the go to look of most Made and Chelsea girls. In the words of ultimate noughties queen Lauren ‘LC’ Conrad: 2000s, we want to forgive you but we also want to forget you. Except for you Kate, we should have blocked out the charms of All Saints’ Black Coffee and listened to you all along.

How to Shop Stylishly on a Red Stripe Budget

I really need to stop keeping up with the Kardashians. With more consistency than I’d like to admit, I always keep up to date with the who/what/wear of the Kardashian clan.  Kylie and Kendall have undoubtedly upped the family’s fashion A-game (or K-game as I guess they’d prefer) with  eighteen year old Kendall  recently seen walking in Paris Couture week and dripping in designer garms for Givenchy’s latest ads, while I sit at home, a recent graduate the wrong side of twenty two, shopping low to high on bargain sites.

For now, it seems that my budget is more Red Stripe than Raf Simons but does that mean I’ll be going cold turkey on the fashion front? Hell no, couldn’t even if I wanted to. And although some girls are able to work thrift store finds, I have neither the patience nor the ounce of hipster authenticity that this pursuit requires. So for now it’s just about being sensible rather than stupidly ignoring the inevitable lure of the shops. Here’s what I’ve learned from being poor and and having a savings account that affords little more than a Red Stripe, never mind new Topshop’s new red sandals:

You are never too fancy for Argos.

Okay now, don’t roll your eyes fashion snob. I’m not advocating that you go all Jeremy Kyle and get your engagement ring here, but for low priced (real) gold you really can’t beat the big A and it’s gigantic catalogue. My new favorite guilty pleasure Niykee Heaton layers up her ghetto fab gold necklaces which she herself declares are from ‘ratchet malls’ and I can’t wait to follow suit and splurge in Argos guilt free. No maxed out credit card, no green fingers and no one needs to know.

H&M is a good as designer

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Everytime I go into H&M I practically sprint past everything and head straight to H&M Trend, or what me and my friends affectionately refer to as Pink Label, the Holy Grail of High Street Fashion or just, em, Pink Label. It really is amazing stuff that looks like it was designed entirely for fashion fanatics and street style bloggers. I usually woose out and buy the safe stuff rather than the off the wall stuff that I really, really want but it’s all good, and most importantly, it’s all cheap.

You can do the Whistles look on an ASOS budget

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As mentioned above premium lines from high street brands are your new best friend. ASOS White essentially rips of Whistles (in a really, really good way) and like H&M, it’s slightly more expensive than the regular ASOS stuff but is still cheap enough to add to your online basket with only minor pangs of anxiety.

Do some investigating, like a shopping Sherlock.

Superga is great. When I first started buying them they were only £25 – now you’d be lucky to get them for under £45 – buying trainers is daylight robbery these days. While Superga sales are great for bargains (£17!) their range of sizes isn’t always great. Don’t be afraid to look them up on Ebay. Just don’t make the same mistake as my friend did – if they are NWT and only £6 they are pretty much guaranteed to be children’s size, even if that’s not made explicit. ASOS Marketplace, similarly, is a great place to find what you want for less. I’ve picked up a few American Apparel pieces for next to nothing while my friend found a new season men’s Cos coat for 20 quid.

Unineed is my latest find. Admittedly a rubbish name for a site that sells heavily discounted beauty and fashion buys, but it’s pretty much like shopping duty free. While their fashion side of things is a bit dodgy, their beauty bargains are amazing – with everything from YSL Touche Eclat to Benefit brow kits being sold at a fraction of their usual price.

I’ve also been recommended to try Lyst – a comparison site that promises to be the shopping equivalent of Skyscanner.

Aspirational footwear in unlikely places

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Zara and New Look are undoubtedly the reigning Queens of fast fashion footwear. Each season you can buy a couple of on trend shoes without feeling too guilty and/or strapped for cash. But may I also recommend shock contender River Island? A seriously cool girl was rocking silver flatform sandals under her robes at graduation and I was deeply jealous until I found them in the sale days later along with a few other gems.

The ultimate footwear surprise however has to the suburban mum superstore Next – I got some pretty great strappy heels from there – very Rhianna- that have taken me from nights out, to graduation, and then out to work the next day. Despite having a fair few cringe chiropractic looking shoes on offer, they also stock dead ringers for Birkenstocks (in a cool navy suede) , fashion forward clogs and a pair of low heels that would make Olivia Palermo squeal with jealousy.

M&S does it best.

So much more than the home of Two for Ten, national treasure Marks and Spencer have been trying to up their fashion ante for a while now. Despite pulling in the big celebs for the campaigns and an even bigger supermodel to design lingerie, Marks recently admitted to yet another slump in sales. Every time they announce a slump it honestly pierces my heart but shopping there goes far beyond my sense of british duty. Their stuff is actually really good. I’ve bought my ‘comfy’ jeans there for ages, you can’t beat their snazzy indigo denim jeans for only £17 a pop in the sale. Right now they are also absolutely nailing the humble jumper. These two remind me slightly of Hannah Reid’s enviable style and I reckon they’d look great with some high waisted vintage jeans when winter finally creeps in. Also worth mentioning is their cheap as chips cashmere (not really cheap as chips, but you know what I mean.) Spot a cashmere jumper on Net a Porter and it will cost you upwards of £300, in Markey’s you can get them for £30. Try the men’s section for oversized knits with a round neck and grab them in navy or grey. Perfect for wearing with a statement skirt.

Hungover Headlines

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Catch up with all that’s new in the world of celebrity and style news this week. From Kanye rants to Zac Posen’s opinion on hipsters, TASTE has got you covered.

Lauren Conrad was labelled a basic bitch by Allure magazine, and she did not take it well. 

Miranda Kerr kills it again with her enviable wardrobe. 

Jessica Alba opens the doors to here home and reveals her brilliant bedroom make-over. 

Kanye says weird stuff again. This time he dishes more on married life to Kim, fashion and er…dinosaurs. 

Watch Lily Allen’s incredible take on Raleigh Ritchie’s Stronger Than Ever performance for Radio 1’s Live Lounge. Compete with minor word changes #porridge

Someone had enough time to collate every brand ever mentioned on Sex and the City. What brand had the most call outs? Dolce, dolce, dolce? 

Zac Posen speaks out about ‘adult hipsters’, bad shoes and more on Reddit.

 

Beyonce and Solange Festival Fashion

 

Move over Olsens, fashion has a new ultra talented twin set in town.

As if their gorgeous looks and amazing vocals were’t enough, Beyonce and Solange have the wardrobe every girl wants to have this summer. Beyonce may have burst on to the Grammy stage earlier this year in little more than gaffer tape, some BeDazzled tights and a very elegant thong (and a vegan body to die for) but Queen Bey looked like she was taking style tips from sister Solange this weekend. Beyonce jumped on to the stage and joined her little sis in an impromptu dance off at Coachella, and both sisters rocked it out wearing clashing prints and matching wild curls.

Bold prints, crop tops and citrus colours – these sisters really know how to nail festival dressing. Look below and see how you can get the girls’ ultra stylish summer look and check out the video of them dancing along to ‘Losing You’ together at the bottom of the post.

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 22.12.501. T-shirt, £85 by Lulu & Co  |2. Top, £30 by Zara |3. Sunglasses, £25 by Quay Charlie at ASOS |4. Earrings, £78 by J.Crew |5. Trousers, £26 by Zara    |6. Skirt, £30 by Zara |7. Shoes, £40 by ASOS

Screen Shot 2014-04-13 at 22.18.18|8. Sweatshirt, £19 by TWINTIP (zalando.co.uk) |9. Skirt, £38 by Topshop |10. Rucksack, £30 by Herschel (coogles.com) |11. Bra, £17 and briefs £7 by Other Stories |12. Sunglasses, £165 by Karen Walker |13. Suede clutch, £30 by ASOS  |14. Heels, £35 by Topshop

 

 

Made in Chelsea Wardrobe Make Over

Why is everyone obsessed with Made in Chelsea?

I say everyone but  I’m really referring to twenty-something uni girls, who grab their flatmates and sit down every Monday night to scream at twits on TV. Really, I’m talking about me.

But why do we love to hate it so much? We’re getting degrees in Biomedicine, Engineering and Law but week after week, we tune in to watch the lives of the uber privileged people who believe that genius is spelt with a J.

 We live off cup-a-soups and tetley, can’t afford our roots to be done and spend our life in onesies and/or dingy sportswear yet we judge people with weekly holidays, champagne on tap and who dress like they just popped into Harvey Nicks and rolled around a bit.

Wait a sec, that’s exactly why they judge them – the way the dress. Yes they are all stuck up, selfish, ignorant bimbos – they cheat, they lie (they don’t steal – far too rich for that) but all in all, without a shadow of a doubt, they are bad people.

But in my eyes all is fair in love and bitching as long as they have a good blow dry. Remember way back at the start of MIC when the storylines were far more tame and the love lives far less incestuous? They still cheated (Hugo and Millie) and lied (all of them) but I could overlook all of their flaws if they wore a nice top. It was as simple as that. Yes its petty and superficial – but you have to remember I am the student living off beans, toast and Primark knock offs, I just want something nice to look at and some unrealistic dream (aside for a graduate job) to swoon over.

Back in the days, a perfect tan, highlights and a strong statement necklace was all it took for me to overlook their bad behaviour. We had Millie’s statement wardrobe, Caggie’s pout and Amber’s knuckleduster rings.The fashion was almost a cast member in its own right and certainly more exciting than Cheska.

But suddenly everything went downhill – the cast started to look more like TOWIE expats than SW3 chic. The tans got deeper and the extensions got longer (Binky I’m looking at you). Now it all feels a bit more Sauchiehall St and a lot less Savile Row.

Monday, its back and I think a make over is long overdue. Here is how I would re-style the leading ladies.

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The Next Big Style Statement

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Statement necklaces have been big news for a few years now but the same old heavily jewelled necklaces are not longer looking as on trend as they once did.

Trust Rihanna to solve the problem: yesterday the queen of cool stepped out in a sleek white dress and a pair of fantastic ice-cream earrings. It seems the answer to keeping statement jewels a fashion statement is to make them interesting.

‘Edible’ jewellery has removed on from Haribo engagement rings and candy necklaces and into high fashion. Although it might not be a look for everyone, online fashion emporium Wolf and Badger have an amazing selection of accessorise that will make sure you stand out from the crowds – I imagine the Glenda Lopez Popcorn necklace would be a real conversation starter.

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1. Burger Necklace £58 by Glenda Lopez | 2. Popcorn Necklace £125 by Glenda Lopez |3. Pizza Necklace £133 by Glenda Lopez | 4. Popcorn Earrings £48 by Glenda Lopez  | 5. Popcorn Ring £33 by Glenda Lopez

However, if you are looking to make a statement in a more subtle way, try accessorising your look with these dainty Mona Mora necklaces that still pack a fashion punch.

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1. Peace Sign Necklace by Mona Mara £48 |2. Slogan Pendent by Mona Mara  £40 | 3. Okay Necklace by Mona Mara £40

REVIEW: Nina Nesbitt – Peroxide

Here is the copy of the review I did for Nina Nesbitt’s debut album for Source Magazine. Peroxide is out now. 

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What to expect from an album named Peroxide? Something a bit brash, a bit obvious? A bit too much? In fact the result is the exact opposite; acoustic and upbeat, Nina Nesbitt’s long-awaited debut album is unpretentious pop at it’s best.

The Scottish singer made a name for herself at 16 after catching the eye of Ed Sheeran, going on to support him on three arena dates before beginning to gig solo around the UK herself. Like Sheeran, she has attracted a loyal fanbase (the self-proclaimed ‘Nesbians’) from singing catchy songs about the joys and pitfalls of teenage life. Her energetic and euphoric anthems have the foot stamping appeal of KT Tunstall with a pinch of Katy Perry’s wit and charm.

Peroxide begins with her best known singles Stay Out and Selfies, getting the album off to an energetic start and introducing Nina as the perfect playful popstar, singing soulfully about kissing strangers and the mysteries of adulthood.

Not one to sit back and let the catchy riffs and toe tapping rhythms speak for themselves, Nina’s snappy lyrics take a shot at everyone from overconfident teenage boys “who think they’re gangsters, when they’ve barely started sixth form” to mini-skirt clad girls dressed like “they’re in Barbados, outside it’s minus three”. Nina’s menacing observations continue in tracks like Two Worlds Away where she huskily sings of working away in clothes shops by day and drinking under bus stops by night.

While there is nothing new or groundbreaking here, Nina proves that sometimes a strong voice, an acoustic guitar and a whole lot of talent is all you really need. Her shamelessly poppy tracks are both honest, accessible and the perfect antidote to the soulless manufactured hits churned out by Miley and co.

Songs like Selfies, Mr C and Back For More are typical teenage anthems, cheeky and charming in equal measure, but those over 21 will be left wondering what all the fuss is about. According to Nina, “The world began in 1994″, an idea that resonates throughout the album. However as Peroxide progresses away from her wise cracking, feet stomping chants, the pared back ballads suggest a subtle maturity beyond her years. Nina leaves the best till last: The Hardest Part is undoubtedly Peroxide’s standout track and, according to Nina, her personal favorite from the album. Here her vocals are laid bare accompanied by only an acoustic guitar and stellar lyrics, proving Nina can hold her own both as a songwriter and a singer.

Such a strong final track suggests big things are ahead for Nina but for now she seems happy enough to provide the sound for young Britain, living her very own teenage dream.

★★★

Hungover Headlines

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So, these headlines are brought to you a little a late (and hopefully not on a hungover, mondays are hard enough) but hopefully you will still enjoy all the latest celebrity, fashion and beauty gossip. Think of it as some monday morning gossip relief.

Take a sneak peek at Rosie Huntighton-Whiteley’s gorgeous home (and wardrobe).

Who said that? Crazy dating advice from stylish celebrities. 

The power of the celebrity stylist – backstage secrets and backstabbing ahead of red carpet season. 

Kendall Jenner talks about the future of her modelling career following her fashion week debut at Marc Jacobs.

Make-up tricks to transform you into a Victoria’s Secret Angel. 

How to make raw nut-free chocolate coconut bites. 

All the best dressed from this years BAFTA awards 

The 9 Most Instagram-Worthy Things From London Fashion Week So Far

H&M Pink Label SS14 Collection Preview

 

Moves Like Jagger

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This post was inspired by my flatmate’s new found love of Bianca Jagger, so when she asked me to do a post on Bianca’s flawless style I couldn’t resist. The former Mrs. Mick Jagger was one stylish lady – all silky jumpsuits, low cut dresses and backstage passes attached to killer platforms heels.  As I was looking up pictures of Bianca I came across Jenny Packham’s latest collection that showed yesterday during New York Fashion Week. The Fall collection paid homage to the seventies socialite with the satin jumpsuits, oversized blazers, sequins and slits. This collection proves that over 30 years later we still all want to dress like we dated one of the Rolling Stones and danced on tables at Studio 54. 

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Just like Jagger herself, the pieces are elegant, decadent and effortless.The contrast of the flowing fabrics and the structured tailoring is certainly a departure for Packham, the designer know for ‘dressing Princess Catherine’. Personally I love the light jumpers paired with evening wear and the fabulous red silk trousers – I can imagine Rosie Huntington-Whitely stepping out in any one of these looks.Image

As for Bianca herself, check out the slideshow below for her best looks. If you are looking to inject some seventies style into you wardrobe Reformation and Stone Cold Fox are classic labels to look to – the Stardust Jumpsuit and Desire Gown look like they were made for Jagger. But if your bank balance is more high street than high end, Missguided have some fantastic options, with three great jumpsuits (floral, polkadot and classic black) and a standout Bianca gown you are spoilt for choice. 

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