Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Holiday Chic

It's official - whilst the weather may be far from snowy and our present shopping far from complete...the holiday season is here. Nativity plays are being put on, candy canes are being handed out and festive lights surround the city streets. Christmas is all around and whether we celebrate it or not, a day off is at our doors and the chance to sit with the family, put our feet up and reflect upon 2011.
And fashion is embracing the Christmas spirit too – one need only look at the Selfridges window displays to see that Christmas cheer is here as it sells an array of AW designs in a winter wonderland theme. Even Karl Lagerfeld has appeared to take the season to heart in Paris with his quirky new doll displays for Chanel. As they indeed suggest that, if any of us are lucky enough, Lagerfeld could be our very own Father Christmas this season. Here’s hoping…

And that's what's so wonderful about this time of year - regardless of profession or background it affects us all.  Even in the fashion world people stop for a day to appreciate tradition. We take a pause and look at what's most important in life: family. In fact, if we are lucky, it's the products of the fashion world which bring our families together. As we give and receive the produce of AW designs, be they Topman fair-isles or Calvin Klein knitted snoods, in prospect of the winter weather to come.
However, this year my Christmas will be different. It will not be full of winter relevant gifts this year because this evening I fly to Australia. I will be spending two weeks with my family down under. The Christmas spirit will be there but the weather will not; it will be summer. Cardigans and jumpers will be locked away at home and shorts and shades will be out on show. I will have the chance to embrace SS fashions once more as I make an escape into the luxury of holiday chic.

And it is holiday chic which we all enjoy when abroad, whether our escape is to the Alps or Argentina. It allows us to select a collection of clothes from our wardrobes which will allow us to look fabulous for each and every day of our holiday: from Jerry Hall swimsuit perfection to Missoni après ski glamour the holidays are our very own fashion parade. Holidays after all are full of photos – appearance is important and heaven knows if you’re like me you pack everything you can to give you options. You won’t wear everything you pack but you will look good every day of the holiday because you can.            
It is this spirit which we as fashionistas should attempt to apply to our day to day lives wherever we are – there may not always be a camera in front of us but that doesn't matter; we needn't be in a special place with special people to make an effort. We can make an effort for ourselves. As British Vogue focuses on in this month’s issue – escapes abroad are important. They provide interest and intrigue to our lives but we can achieve this escape through fashion…the backdrops of the shoots below merely reflect what the clothes the models wear themselves achieve: escape.

            And so this Christmas wherever you may be: at home, on holiday – escape with holiday chic. Utilise fashion for its purpose and enjoy because with fashion every day can feel like a holiday…fashion and a bit of  classic Maddona.

Friday, 9 December 2011


   You had a bad day...chances are you had a bad hair day.

Whether we like it or not our hair in many ways defines our look. It can enhance our facial features, complement our complexions and even change our moods. If your hair looks as though it's just flicked off of a L'Oréal commercial, chances are you will feel as though you have too. If it looks as though it's need of a bit of TLC, chances are you will be in need of some too.
I myself am in the TLC stage...my hair has grown out of its shape and as a result doesn't feel quite right. It isn’t my style. As a result, I have booked a haircut for this week. My hair will be transformed from its long and swishy state to a short and slick cut. Simples - but as I wait, I can't help but look at the ways in which hair has changed and developed along with the fashion world.

From Bridget Bardot beehives and Beatles mop tops in the 60s to Jackson 5 afros and Farah Fawcett feathered dos in the 70s, hairstyles like fashion define eras; they hand in hand with fashion represent and reflect culture. Moreover, their presence is exemplary of what's popular at the time because people imitate their idols through hair. It wasn't long after David Bowie decided to take on that infamous mullet that his army of male fans began to adopt the experimental look, something which remained popular up until the 90s.
However before Bowie's mullet there were other culturally important dos. Twiggy’s 1966 crop cut along with 1960s mini dresses not only represented fashion's change in image but  women’s emancipation. With the snip of a pair of scissors the 1950s housewife image was torn apart and it became clear that women were no longer forced to conform to the long locks and frocks of years gone by but could finally embrace the more androgynous and revealing aspects of their looks. Women could look and dress how they wished.

Similarly feathered dos and afros represented their eras; they were reflective of the luxury and excess which the 70s and 80s invoked both in fashion and in life. Unsurprisingly hair continues this trend today. The popular Mad-Men-esque cuts that so many men sport right now reflect our needs to have 'no muss no fuss' within our lives, whilst women's sudden fascination with colour evokes our sudden wish to explore in hair and in life.
It is this new obsession with colour which is interesting right now seeing as not only is red hair taking over blondes and brunettes in popularity stakes but fluoros are too. Thanks to natural beauties such as Florence Welch and Lily Cole and the dye brigade red hair is no longer dismissed but longed for. Likewise stars such as Rihanna prove that fluoros are cool too, not to mention the likes of Katy Perry and American model Charlotte Free whose pink styles have along with the colour of this years collections, brightened up the face of fashion.

It is this experimentation within hair which is so exciting. It recalls Christopher Kane's resurrection of neons and proves that, as Free's name would suggest and Lady GaGa sings, we really are as 'free as our hair'.