Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Perfect Bohemian Statement: Stackable Rings

Pile Them High- Photo from Tumblr
       First came the ear cuff, then the hand chain, and now the traditional ring has had a funky makeover and joined the line of fresh and innovative jewellery. Just as the ear cuff modernised and funked up the intrinsic stud earring, the classic ring has moved on from being a statement evening piece or a subtle form of beauty. Balenciaga's rule for S/S '13 was 'plenty is powerful', as models rocked numerous gold bands on their fingers.

Balenciaga S/S '13- StyleSketchBook
Catwalk close-up- Balenciaga S/S '11
      Lately, rings in every shape and form have been my essential accessory, and have actually become somewhat of a comfort blanket! Ring collections can now be split into endless categories- the famous, never-dates knuckleduster (a finger staple of Olivia Palermo and Kate Bosworth) retains its place as a confident piece of femininity, though linked versions are the new thing. Rings covering two, three or even four fingers are bound to grab attention and their generous length means that intricate patterns and out-there designs can be maximised! 

Mary-Kate Olsen stacks assorted knuckle dusters for a
quirky, 'glamorous traveller' effect
      The midi ring- a fine, circular piece worn high up on the finger: above the second knuckle joint to be precise- has also made its way into the finger-bling fetish. Slim star, flower and symbol woven bands carry a delicate, artistic feel yet can instantly be converted to rocker-chic when combined with bolder, bigger designs. Try buying a size or even two sizes too small to get the right fit! 
     The return of the small but perfectly formed signet ring- that's the one worn on the pinkie finger- offers an elegant twist on ring stacking but can even look cute worn alone, while the link-up ring injects an exotic, Bollywood flavour to hand jewellery. Link-ups are multiple ring fusions attached by fine chains- they are different from the hand chain in that they link up horizontally over the width of the fingers or hand. 
    Mixing and matching all these variants of rings creates the perfect, understated, and effortless statement. Whether you choose to really flaunt your best cocktail rings by spreading them out over your hands ala MK Olsen, play jenga with teeny tiny rings or compliment an ethnic knuckleduster with a hand chain (Gillian Zinser style), stacking is the venturesome yet eclectic way to make the most of your trinket box. 

Gillian Zinser embraces her inner hippy and pairs her armour
knuckleduster with a beautiful hand chain
      This versatile, 'make it your own' trend is the key transition from the gloomy residue of fall to the true beginning of summer. A simple stack of colourful rings can brighten up a rain-appropriate outfit and boost the anticipation for upcoming warmer days. Just looking at the incredible and vibrant mix of rings on the high-street makes me dream of summer. Cross and aztec designs scream festivals, while flower-embellished pieces transport you to a blossoming botanical garden, and delectable little tea-cup rings are made to remind you of tea-parties in the sunshine. Get collecting some pretty rings (like the ones I've picked out below!) to try out your stacking abilities and exude a summer-ready, bohemian-cool vibe.

Alexa picks unconventional, eye-catching designs to add an interesting
dimension to any outfit

From Top Left, horizontally to Bottom Right: Topshop Triple Trellis Ring £8.50, Mango Square Stone Ring £5.99, River Island Rose Gold Tone Watch Ring £12, Dolly Bow Bow Freya Moon Knuckle Ring £12, Rock N Rose Pixie Lott NOEMI Set of Three Midi Knuckle Rings £18, Rock N Rose Azure Natural Crystal Druzy Ring £19, ASOS No Comment Ring £5, Topshop Flying Birds Ring £8.50, Topshop Floral Bow Ring Multipack £12.50, Topshop Semi-Precious Cross Ring £12.50, Miss Selfridge Leaf Armour Ring £10, Love Hearts and Crosses Alice and the Drink Me Bottle Ring £20, ASOS Multipack Floral Stone Rings £18, Not On The High Street Teacup Ring With Red Hearts £9.50, ISWAI Turquoise Gold Ring £25, Chelsea Doll Pumpkin Carriage Double Ring £10, Dolly Bow Bow Twisted Above Knuckle Charm Rings £4, Junkie Lover's Boutique Little House On The Prairie Ring £7, Pret A Portobello Live Love Dance Sing Stackable Ring Set £6, Dorothy Perkins Semi-Precious Irregular Ring £7.50, Dorothy Perkins Sparkly Rhinestone Ring Set £8.50, Accessorize Sparkle Cupcake Ring £7, Urban Outfitters Star Little Finger Ring £8, H&M 7 Pack Rings £2.99.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Best Dressed at the Chanel 5th Annual Pre Oscars Dinner

Kate Bosworth in a Chanel S/S '13 Haute Couture Dress-
     The most style-savvy of the stars united last night for the 5th Annual Chanel and Charles Finch Pre-Oscar dinner party, held at the Madeo in Beverly Hills. My ultimate fashion noteables were polished-bohemian-goddess Kate Bosworth, youthful dresser Lily Collins, my go-to style inspiration Poppy Delevingne, and risk-taker Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.  
    Kate Bosworth looked the epitome of refined in one of Karl Lagerfeld's more demure designs for Chanel S/S '13 Haute Couture. You would not think, looking at this powdery shift on natural beauty Kate, that this piece walked among the brave and bold of Lagerfeld's gothic Midsummer Night's Dream of a catwalk. However, there is still an edginess and a lift to the pastel frock in its stiff structure and gorgeous origami-look neckline. Unsurprisingly, Kate didn't go for one of the complimentary black feathered headpieces worn in the Grand Palais, sticking to an elegant, understated aesthetic. She kept all eyes on the dramatic structure of the dress with simple but sleek round-toed pumps, a box clutch and a few carefully-selected pieces of Chanel fine jewellery.

Lily Collins in a Chanel navy tweed shortsuit -
     Lily Collins pops up now and then again-(she manages to stay off the daily style radar, coming across as very down-to-earth and a little reserved)-wearing something I can really identify with. This Chanel navy tweed, shorts jumpsuit with matching cover jacket embodies the refreshing and youthful playfulness she is known to exude in her wardrobe. I love that she has picked shorts for such a high-class event and the neon pink trim and matching Giles-esque lipstick is a hint to her signature feminine edginess. I adore her casually teased beachy waves too. 

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (and her endless legs!) master the stripe-
     Ever the courageous in channelling every marmite-reminscient (that's love it or hate it) trend, Rosie stole the show in this wide-legged blue and white striped jumpsuit by Chanel S/S'13. The pyjama-style shape and nautical colour scheme reminded me straight away of the holiday-perfect pieces on the Tommy Hilfiger catwalk. Like Hilfiger's explorer-targeted designs, the Chanel onesie is laidback and slightly sporty, yet Rosie makes it red-carpet worthy by layering on a pretty pearl necklace and carrying a dainty clutch. The suit fits like an absolute glove and Rosie's classic, glossy Hollywood sideswept hairdo takes the look from fresh and fun to effortlessly glamorous. 

Poppy Delevingne went summery in Chanel RTW S/S '13-
        To me, Poppy always looks divine and her look immediately transported me to a sunshine-flooded beach. She opted to wear a Chanel RTW Spring '13 strapless gown with a green and blue sequin trim. These beautiful colours mixed together to form the fairy-tale image of a shimmering mermaid's tail. Poppy loves a little embellishment, and added gold glitter sandals for that extra sparkle. While others may have gone for a lustrous clutch too, Poppy knows her boundaries and a sophisticated, clear Chanel-logo clutch perched in her hand. Again, fabulous textured waves, and I love her subtle smoky eye with its illuminating pigments of emerald. 

Monday, 11 February 2013

What Would Olivia Wear: Tibi A/W '13/14

Catwalk Images:
    Amy Smilovic's Fall '13 offering for Tibi screamed nineties girl, albeit with the kind of immaculate coating that Olivia Palermo exudes in everything she wears. Amy's biggest fan (Olivia was even Tibi's model for S/S '11) naturally sat front row with her boyfriend Johanne Huebl, presumably noting exactly which pieces she will snap up to wear this coming autumn/winter. 
    The collection had Olivia written all over it, to no-one's surprise- the relaxed American brand makes a regular appearance in her wardrobe. Smilovic merged sportswear (her ode to the 90's) with glossy leather, rich tweed and matte materials for a luxe-urban and contemporary styling. Comfort and practicality were as usual, vital factors in the design, with Amy focusing on layering solutions and slouchy structuring. In fact, she said backstage before the show commenced: "We already have enough cocktail dresses in our closets", hinting that what we would see would function for the everyday city girl. Although there were skirts present, the collection was dominated by trousers and leggings, such as the racing-striped leather pair above- a gift for Olivia's perfect pins perhaps. There was a huge influence on minimalism; a palette cleanse of monochrome, khaki and grey directed the eye to the art of layering. However, Amy did incorporate a rare pop of emerald green and cobalt blue to keep the audience guessing and to accentuate an impossibly modern vibe. 

Block colour and leather make for a modern feel
     So, what would Olivia wear? Layering seems to be a rule in Olivia's fall wardrobe, as every sun-lacking season she is photographed in chunky knit after chunky knit, accessorized frequently with a silhouette-defining belt. 
    Before putting her Fall '13 ideas into action, Amy is said to have posed herself a very significant question: "How do we make clothes that will take our customers from August to February?" Her answer to this was utilitarian genius: detachable hoods featured on an array of shearling-lined moto jackets, quilted vests and baggy, neoprene sweatshirts. Amy's khaki and black jacket is a high-fashion update on the sell-out Zara contrast-sleeve parka that Olivia wore religiously last fall. Olivia favours the military look as a whole, so my guess is that she would be more than happy wearing any of Amy's olive-hued pieces. Olivia is all about embracing a stylish sensibility, as she has demonstrated at this year's blizzard-like NYFW in her extra-fluffy trapper hat, long layers and fur jacket. 

Olivia's Zara Khaki Jacket
Amy's update on Olivia's Zara contrast-sleeve parka
Olivia layers up at NYFW:
    Olivia tends to favour turtle-necks to avoid the chill- so she is sure to appreciate Amy's elegant, cream, ribbed roll-neck sweater. Although she is, refreshingly, a high-street devotee, Olivia does love a high-quality texture- Amy's glossy, pony-hair pull-overs certainly fit the bill. Olivia is known for experimenting with 'Starburst' (that's the sweets!) colour, but she keeps it subtle, toning down a vivid hue with neutrals and darks (except for when she masters print on print: think Tibi's blue cobweb print silk blouse and pants combo!). Olivia is also an avid fan of blazers, so with these two fetishes in mind, Amy Smilovic's boyfriend-style, cobalt blazer definitely steps up to the mark.  

Olivia in a cosy, roll-neck cream knit and maxi skirt combo
Amy's ribbed roll-neck sweater with bib detail
Besotted with blue: Olivia channelling Tibi head-to-toe print
Olivia in a colour-popping, orange blazer
Amy's cobalt blazer
    Olivia is not afraid to play with pattern, and chose a dogtooth-printed sweater to wear to the Tibi AW '13/14 show on Saturday afternoon. We may see her put her own spin on Amy Smilovic's dogtooth V-neck shift soon! It's possible she may experiment with the bold, patchwork pieces, as she occasionally ventures into the quirky, though what seems very likely are the odds that she will adore Amy's reoccurring leather accents. A pair of slimming leather pants are a closet style staple in Olivia's eyes, as she mix and matches hers with everything and anything. From Dior's peplum leather top to Reiss' tan leather midi skirt, Olivia reuses the plush material to create a sophisticated edginess. I can see Amy's leather-checked pencil skirt, tomboy leather shorts, leather bodice and of course, her pointed and cut-out, polished leather shoe boots making an appearance in Olivia's event-wardrobe.

Dogtooth and polished leather toe-capped boots= Olivia all-over

Olivia in a Dior peplum bustier similar to Amy Smilovic's below

Leather bibs on sweaters are definitely Olivia's calling
     Overall, Amy Smilovic's collection alluded to the coolly-crafted wardrobes of refined, metropolitan fashionistas like Olivia herself- though to me Olivia is naturally the leader of this style niche, ever being tracked down by the paparazzi for her impeccable dress sense. Olivia holds such wide style appeal because she blends enviable up-market finesse with a girl-next-door likeability; she is also, amazingly, her own stylist and takes only personal direction in what she wears. Tibi's realistic, laidback yet in vogue approach to day-wear connects with Olivia's flair for down-town fashion perfectly and makes the brand her go-to label of choice. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Cara Delevingne Gets Dressed For The Telegraph

Why have I only just discovered this?! Too cool. Cara fan for life. Blink and you will miss an outfit. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Rosie Tapner Is 'Rad' In Topshop's S/S '13 Ad Campaign

Topshop's S/S '13 Ad Campaign
   I've been contemplating a post on newcomer to the modelling industry, Rosie Tapner, for a while now, and to see her grace the cover of Topshop's S/S'13 Magazine confirmed that my instinct was right! I first put a name to Rosie's unbelievably smooth complexion when I saw her bio in one of my magazines. It was then that alarm bells rang in my mind; she was the girl that undoubtedly stood out the most on the Chloe Spring '13 catwalk. It is not surprising that Topshop are hot on the heels of rising talent Rosie, considering their prior expertise in snapping up the hottest of the ones-to-watch crowd. The high-street retail giant has previously championed Jourdan Dunn, Lily Donaldson, Lily Cole, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Gabriella Wilde and Tali Lennox in its campaigns, addressing these girls' potential long before they hit the big, big time. In fact, the Jourdan Dunn was scouted in a Topshop store in 2008; naturally, she sealed her first ever ad campaign alongside the equally-gifted Karlie Kloss. 

Rosie is the cover girl of Topshop's S/S '13 Magazine
Rosie pictured with Bambi in Topshop's Spring Magazine
    Seventeen year old Rosie exudes youthful beauty as she poses on the cover of Topshop's S/S '13 magazine in their 'Rad' slogan crop tee, yet she has an ever-growing portfolio of experience under her belt. The London-based grammar school student (rumour has it she's from Clapham, which is oddly, literally just down the road from my university!) was spotted by Storm agency at Birmingham's Clothes Show Live in 2011. At fifteen, the style world sat up when she impressed Nicholas Ghesquière and bagged a role in Balenciaga's Spring/Summer '12 campaign, showing her to be on par with 2011's star, Gisele Bundchen. Returning for the fashion houses' Autumn/Winter '12 campaign and their Spring/Summer '13 catwalk run upped Rosie's model credentials even further- modelling for three consecutive seasons screams power. The pure fact that Rosie was chosen over the other three Topshop spring campaign names- Bambi, Juliana Schurig and Numue Smit- to deck the store's magazine cover proves that she has an edge. I can't wait to pick up a copy of the magazine- sadly it wasn't in store the two times I popped in this weekend! 

Rosie for Balenciaga AW'12

Rosie by Angelo Pennetta for a Salt AW'12 Magazine Shoot 

Rosie walks for Balenciaga S/S '13
    The appeal of Rosie in my eyes is that she is an exemplary English rose with an intriguing sense of schoolgirl audacity. She is the ideal role model for Topshop's upcoming campaign; effortlessly cool, completely natural and she has a down-to-earth, off-duty life in education that is compatible with high-school and even university-going Topshop shoppers. Rosie says herself in the feature pages of the magazine, that she loves going back to school and experiencing normality. She does not seem at all removed and is not just a model but a game-some young woman with an enthusiasm for lacrosse and high-jumping. While Rosie is rather straight-laced for a high-fashion model, she has a maturity about her, a sense of poise and a beauty that harkens back to the icons of past fashion decades. This maturity allowed her to take centre-stage in Clare Waight-Keller's spring and summer 2013 offering for Chloé. Opening the show in a black swing top and skirt, she radiated the aura of femininity that distinguishes Chloé from every other Parisian-vibe brand. She just embodies that pleasing Chloé spirit. Rosie resides in the classy kind of beautiful category, epitomizing the line between commercial and edge with her sensual features, stand-out full lips and killer cheekbones. 

Rosie's fresh-faced, school-girl persona
A picture of sophistication modelling Chloe Pre-Fall '13
Backstage at Chloe Spring 13 (Rosie is centre)
    Rosie stars in British Vogue's February issue along with a crop of famous British faces- Edie Campbell, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Charlotte Wiggins, Stephanie Hall, Sam Rollinson and Lara Mullen to be specific. The stunning feature, which was shot in Avington Park, Winchester and is entitled 'Collective Spirit', highlights those pieces from the spring/summer '13 shows that made a real catwalk impact. Vogue Fashion Editor, Fran Burns described how there was something for each of the models within the fashion cupboard for the shoot: "from Bottega Veneta's vintage tea dresses to the wunderkind that is Christopher Kane, to the glamour of Gucci" (VogueUK). The retro wackiness and repitition of the daisy print handbags make Prada's shot my definate favourite of the editorial.
   Although all the girls are incredible in front of the camera, Rosie truly stands out as having an authentic and instinctive camera-ready quality. She is clearly not simply a photogenic beauty, instead she exudes character and a freshness which I can't put my finger on yet which draws me to her. I love the bed-head look she's rocking too in some of the photographs!


Ralph Lauren by Angelo Pennetta for British Vogue February '13
Prada by Angelo Pennetta for British Vogue February '13

Burberry by Angelo Pennetta for British Vogue February '13
   So there's my lowdown on the girl that's sure to make waves this coming season and who will be rising to the competition of the most-booked-model. Although I couldn't find many snaps of her off-duty wardrobe, these few pictures below show more than a bit of raw potential. Commit this girl's name to your memory now- once the paps get hold of her local hang-outs she may be your new style inspiration.

I see a bit of Clemence Poesy's polished edginess here!
Casual cute and making use of staple pieces- the fitted blazer,
 versatile scarf and handy tote
Who else could pull off Christopher Kane's
quality street- alike spring/summer collection?