The Best of Autumn Winter 13/14

The London Lassie celebrates the top shows of the season…

5) Chanel

As models strutted around a giant globe to the tune of Daft Punk’s Around the World in the Grand Palais one thing became clear. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock it’s pretty apparent Karl Lagerfeld has taken over the world. And really he can do no wrong. Season after season he manages to capture the attentions of even the style evaders with his avant-garde and unique designs. The hula bag of this season for example – who woulda thought?

After the AW13 show it’s clear the international style savvy will be picking up on key trends such as super sexy thigh high boots, dropped hem coats (chamaaaazing), fluffy pink and teal hats, small boxy bags in bright pink blue and yellow, slit-front skirts to show shorter ones beneath, and high collared crisp white shirts.

Karl, now you’re just showing off…

chanel3

chanel2

4) Burberry Prorsum

Arguably Christopher Bailey’s best work yet – ‘nuf said.

Who would have thought sheer latex could be classy? Who thought a collection heavily utilising safari prints could still look British? Bailey has the innate talent of keeping a legendary label to its traditional routes whilst keeping it oh so now. Burberry’s hero piece, the trench, was revamped by adding sheer latex sleeves and brash gold pockets and belt. Tailored traditional pencil skirts became either sheer showing everything, or were made using shiny reptile skin, leopard print, or daring pvc. Take note: pencil skirts are now edgy.

Burberry is known in recent years for being one of the best brands to embrace social media marketing. And this became clear in the collection as instagram style hearts dotted their way across much of the deliciously caramel, chocolate and honey hued collection. Because of the juxtaposition between past, present and future – Burberry nailed it. 

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3) Balmain

If you believe less is more – look away now.

Think Dynasty, Arabian nights and MC Hammer. Sounds wrong doesn’t it? Well, Olivier Rousteing got next season’s Balmain concoction oh so right.

Following a similar vein from last season, the catwalk glistened with dropped crotch metallic trousers, wrestler style cinched in metallic waists, strong shoulders and draped clothing. The garments in rich shades such as plum, fuchsia and teal, were complemented with chandelier style earrings and slicked back flowing tresses. This Glam Rock array is a collection no-one can wait to get their hands on (unless you’re a wallflower, power hips and power shoulders at once may be too much for some).

Sure, Rousteing keeps giving us his signature stand out metallic and power shoulder styles but hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

balmain2

balmain

2) Louis Vuitton

Marc Jacobs’ latest injection into the house of Vuitton rendered a vigorous applause in Paris. Not just because the supermodel, Kate Moss made a runway appearance, but because of the designer’s stunning take on classic 50s ladieswear. Traditional became modern and poised became promiscuous.

Models were topped with Elizabeth Taylor style short black wigs that made even Kate and Cara look unrecognisable. Cute floral blazers were worn with no bottom half showing off ivory limbs. Pastel coloured Pyjama like skirt and trouser suits were rocked with modern attitude. Petticoat like pencil skirts were worn with lace bra tops under oversized masculine overcoats. Silk mini hot pants were worn with over sized traditional cashmere sweaters. And tweed was given a modern makeover by adding fur, feather and sequin encrusted hems. Vintage style fur coats were worn over silk nightdress-like lace trim dresses, like a sexy 50’s glamour puss making a dash from the Savoy at 4am.

Marc Jacobs stated before the show “Some of my friends in the show, who shall remain nameless, have spent a lot of time with me in hotel rooms, all dressed up but not going out. I like the louche implications of all that”. The collection certainly did have a boudoir feel, and looked like the most glamorous walk of shame ever.

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louis vuitton 4

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1)      Dolce and Gabbana

Dolce and Gabbana’s AW13 dose of glamour was a regal affair. Mixing renaissance opulence with British traditionalism and the usual Sicilian sexiness, it’s no doubt this collection comes top of the list.

“This collection is very Brit,” Stefano Gabbana said before the show began. And with hints of British history such as medieval style crowns, highland inspired plaid and tapestry style garments onlookers eyes set ablaze.

With dresses encrusted with mosaics of patron saints, opulent crowns, and lavish sunglasses the designer duo’s obsession with religion became clear. The mosaic styles were inspired by the Monreale Cathedral, a Norman structure outside Palermo, gothic and elaborate gold crucifixes were worn around necks and of course, Dolce and Gabbana’s signature black lace was utilised heavily.

The glistening yet gaudy eye opening display was paused a little by showcasing a more sombre palette of grey, black and white in the form of tweed three piece figure hugging suits with Elizabethan style corset peplums.

And just when the aroused audience had calmed down, the blood red finale took to the stage. This is probably a moment that will go down in history as one of the most magical moments in the temple of Dolce and Gabbana. Pure regal, pure splendour. Bravo. 

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La Beauté de la Simplicité

The London Lassie looks at the purest new beauty trend fresh from Paris…

Whilst watching the Paris runway shows in awe style followers from around the world witnessed many stunning collections from the likes of fashion connoisseurs Lanvin and Margiela. Nevertheless, the obvious trend is a simple one. Shown through Paris showcasers Chloe, Stella McCartney and many more it is apparent that the only wear to wear our face next season is fuss free.

Dozens of fresh faced beauties graced the runway in non-existent lip and eye shades with beautiful fresh skin that let the clothes do the talking. It seems back to basics is the only way to go. Boring and unimaginative you say? Think again.

Celine AW13

Celine AW13

Chloe AW13

Chloe AW13

Isabel Marant AW13

Isabel Marant AW13

Jean-Paul Gaultier AW13

Jean-Paul Gaultier AW13

Stella McCartney AW13

Stella McCartney AW13

With shows such as Geordie Shore and TOWIE showing wannabes heading to the supermarket in make up so heavy you’d need a trowel to remove it, it’s time women went to the bare necessities. Surprisingly the new series of TOWIE has shown stars Lucy Mecklenburgh and Jessica Wright without make up. It seems even Essex girls are willing to bare all!

But do you dare to bear? It’s not as scary as you might think! With more and more BB creams hitting the shelves it seems no surprise that this is becoming an apparent trend. BB creams smooth out imperfections and give a flawless complexion resulting in not much need for foundation. Also, Nail Inc and many other brands have released nude collections to keep your nails as simple as your face.

Top tips for a naturally beautiful face:

  • Have regular facials to keep your skin in tip top condition
  • Start with a good BB cream (Rimmel do a great one)
  • Use a light reflecting foundation or tinted moisturiser (Guerlain’s Parure de Lumiere is amazing) and apply using a brush for a flawless, natural looking complexion
  • Use a cream blush on the apples of the cheeks to give a natural glow (Try Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in Uber Beige)
  • Use a nude or white kohl pencil on the lower lids to create the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes
  • Use a good lengthening mascara (can’t go wrong with YSL’s false lash effect)
  • Pencil your eyebrows in using feather like strokes in a shade lighter than your natural colour. A good set of eyebrow do wonders for your face.
  • Use a nude lipstick such as Mac’s lippy in Creme d’Nude and finish with a dab of clear lip gloss

This trend may be more difficult for some to adapt to than others, especially if you’re addicted to smoky eyes or scarlet pouts. But just think, this look doesn’t take long to achieve -you can have an extra 20 minutes in bed in the morning! Pass the cleansing wipe…

London calling…

The London Lassie explores the best trends seen at London Fashion Week…

It’s that time of year again. We’ve not even managed to slip a toe into Alexander Wang’s SS13 white strappy sandals before we’re witnessing the styles of next winter. Fashion is exhausting. A lot of worldwide editors used to take a breather during London shows, going straight to Milan from New York. Not any more  It seems every season, the British dose of catwalk stomping gets stronger. And with British designers such as Christopher Kane growing rapidly, it seems things can only get better from here.

This season London showed a hell of a lot of textures, colours, and cuts. But, after putting the looks through the fashion filter here comes the top trends. Take mental note though: you’ve yet to embrace the summer styles…

 PUNK:

After London collections it’s clear punk is huge for next winter, and with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art launching a major punk retrospective in May, it came as no surprise. What better place to celebrate this rebellious culture than the big smoke – the birthplace of the movement.

Ashish used Mohican rocking tomboy models dressed in plaid smocks and stilettos. Clements Ribeiro showed us glamour puss punks who wore fierce pointed leather ankle boots with cute kilts and embellished collared black shirts. Todd Lynn juxtaposed the sleekness of his tailored suits and beautiful lace combos by piercing his models’ septums with bull hooks. Holly Fulton, who usually showcases ladylike designs, showed the eagerly awaiting crowd red and black speckled biker jackets, leather pleated skater skirts, pointy punk ankle boots and red lipstick lined with dark pencil. And the star studded Unique show showed PVC is the fabric next season with the likes of Cara Delevingne rocking the catwalk in PVC pencil skirts and oversized aviator jackets.

Clements Ribeiro

Clements Ribeiro

Holly Fulton

Holly Fulton

Next winter we’ll be wearing: plaid, PVC, quiffs, stiletto ankle boots, black, red, oversized biker jackets, facial piercings, and bright eye make up.

Olive:

Although London showed that winter shades need not be dreary with copious pinks and cornflower blue hues, there was one clear shade that made an appearance – dark olive. Think the colour of a really rich and expensive olive oil mixed with an army uniform. Thanks to Jonathan Saunders, John Rocha, Mulberry, Daks, and many more for giving us this delicious shade to wear next season.

Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders

Issa

Issa

John Rocha

John Rocha

Next winter we’ll be wearing: all-in-one rich green leather combos, olive A-line dresses with PVC belts and dark khaki macs.

Skirts over trousers:

The likes of Mulberry,Clements Ribeiro and Todd Lynn have reconciled an unusual pair – the skirt and trouser. They had a brief fling in the 90s and early noughties when teenage girls wore the combo to Boyzone and B*Witched gigs nationwide, but the trend didn’t last long. Could this pair be back together for good? As The Reunion hits our TVs, perhaps there will be a bit more than nostalgic music memories coming back…

Mulberry

Mulberry

Todd Lynn

Todd Lynn

Next winter we’ll be wearing: ask again later…

Metallics:

Winter can be a dreary time for the style savvy – but never fear, the likes of Antipodium, Giles and Issa showed that metallics are the way to go next season. Think brash gold shown by the likes of KTZ, Giles, L’Wren Scott and Issa.

Antipodium

Antipodium

Giles

Giles

Issa

Issa

Next winter we’ll be wearing: Metallic gold party dresses, shiny silver suits, and gleaming parkas.

Big Beanies:

There’s only one way to keep your head warm next season – an extra large beanie. Yeah yeah yeah, this was shown a lot in New York by designers such as Alexander Wang and half of the attendees but everyone knows this is a British trend!? Started by East London kids (ahem last year, Manhattan) designers have picked up on the street style trend. And anyone who people-watched at Somerset house must have been blind if they didn’t notice the army of Prosecco sipping camera snapping bright beanie wearers. Shown by the likes of Giles and Sister by Sibling in London – it’s clear a giant knitted wonder is the only thing to wear on your head next season. But Brits did it first, okay?

Giles

Giles

Sister by Sibling

Sister by Sibling

Swinging Sixties Style

The London Lassie explains how even though the year is 2013, the vibe is definitely the sixties…

60s IT-girl, Edie Sedgwick

60s IT-girl, Edie Sedgwick

The sixties was a special decade. We landed on the moon, the Beatles wrote songs that would nestle longingly forever in our heads, skirts got dangerously short and classic beauties like Bridget Bardot and Grace Kelly were in their prime. This summer it’s time to celebrate this amazing decade, as spring summer 2013 style brings with it an array of minis, shifts, psychedelic prints, felt tip eyeliner and bouffant locks. The dark gothic themes of winter have melted into an array of bright and bold geometry, lines and prints. Groovy baby!
As Louis Vuitton’s chequered twins glided down escalators last September one thing was clear: psychedelic chic is back with a bang. As Marc Jacobs brought monochrome and primary coloured checks to Vuitton, he brought similarly toned modish lines to his own collection with barcode clad Edie Sedwick style models. At Moschino the vibe was sixties meets Lana Del Rey as models donned with bouffant locks wearing belted and pocketed floral shifts along with matching plastic handbags and white bug eyed glasses graced the runway.
Louis Vuitton ss13

Louis Vuitton ss13

Marc Jacobs ss13

Marc Jacobs ss13

Moschino ss13

Moschino ss13

Just like the pop art of Andy Warhol caused a storm over fifty years ago – colour blocking, popping and contrasting is huge for spring-summer’13. Michael Kors utilised black and white as well as bold colours such as scarlet, emerald green, canary yellow and sapphire together with stripes and sixties inspired curves in shift dresses, A-line skirts and crops to create a collection any sixties chick would kill for.

Michael Kors ss13

Michael Kors ss13

Fashion genius Tom Ford showed that sixties can be modern. Nostalgia was brought in the sense of Bouffant topped models in monochrome looks that mixed innocent covered up suits and hoodies with dominatrix style thigh gladiators, sheer panelling and suggestive bandaging. As for PPQ, the sixties hippy was brought back with colourful paisley high necked mini dresses mixed with teased Catherine Deneuve style tresses.
PPQ ss13

PPQ ss13

The sixties is too great a decade not to bring back into style now and again, but why now? Quite possibly the release of “Hitchcock”: the biopic based around the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic horror, Psycho. The suspense master’s heroines were always, classy, understated and beautiful (he famously dismissed Marylin Monroe as being “too obvious”). The likes of Miu Miu showed us how to create the heroine look right now with over the knee skirts, demure blazers and faux fur stoles. Grace Kelly and Janet Leigh, eat your heart out!
Scarlet Johansson in 'Hitchcock'

Scarlet Johansson in ‘Hitchcock’

Get your eyeliners st the ready girls and get the Kinks on the iPod – it’s time to embrace your inner sixties goddess. For skinny minnies, go for the chop and rock the Edie Sedgwick/Twiggy pixie cut with a monochrome mini skirt and crop top a la Vuitton. For buxom blondes, grab your backcombing brushes and make that hair sky high. Finish off by slipping into a Hitchcock style skirt and jacket combo. And for anyone who fancies a sixties vibe on a night out, make your eyes dark, and slide your figure into a bright shift dress from PPQ or Moschino. Nostalgia never looked so good.

Boys will be girls…

The London Lassie explores the latest gender shuffling trend…

 Remember the nineties classic ‘Boys and Girls’ by Blur? Being a nineties kid, the words of the album Parklife are still carved into my nostalgic brain. *Grabs mic (aka hairbrush*) “girls who are boys, who like boys to be girls, who do boys like they’re girls”. That was a cracker. However, it has to be said, the words of this classic song cannot be more current for what’s going on in the fashion world right now…

 French model Casey Leglerm, signed to the men’s division at Ford Models, is now starring in the All Saints Portrait series – in menswear. Ruuska, signed by Paparazzi, is now Finland’s first male-female model. Ruuska says he is happy to be involved in “breaking down gender barriers”. And there’s more where that came from. The world is in awe of the beauty of Andrej Pejic, the male model who featured in the Marc Jacobs womenswear campaign. And who can forget the re-branding of Yves Saint Laurent which brought with it a new face for its menswear – female supermodel Saskia de Brauw. This wasn’t too surprising since new Creative Director, Hedi Slimane is known for his androgynous approach to design, and he once said that his ‘perception of genders ended up slightly out of focus from an early age’.

Female model Saskia De Brauw in the Saint Laurent menswear campaign

Female model Saskia De Brauw in the Saint Laurent menswear campaign

And it’s not just the models, but the gender bending clothes they’re wearing. Like Slimane, another designer known for his androgynous gender shuffling approach is J.W. Andersen. However, his Autumn Winter 2013 collection has to be the most experimental to date.  Ruffle-hemmed skirts and shorts in white, slate grey and sand were all featured in the womenswear spring/summer 2013 collection. Nevertheless, the menswear collection showcased in January showed that men can adopt a similar look. With kinky leather boots with femininely frilly knees, mini leather pinafores and long-sleeved shirt-dresses with seductive low cut backs and a slim-cut grey shift dress we saw one of the more feminine menswear shows to date.

J W Anderson menswear AW13/14

J W Anderson menswear AW13/14

Compare this with the Dior Spring Summer 2013 collection – full floral skirts, and flowing bright shifts in girly tones such as pretty pinks celebrated femininity. But this was heavily contrasted by the masculine jet black streamlined suit. This androgynous, slick tuxedo was one of the most talked about pieces of the spring collections and shows that for ladies next season, it’s all about the Y chromosome.

The much talked about Dior SS13 tuxedo as worn by Jennifer Lawrence

The much talked about Dior SS13 tuxedo as worn by Jennifer Lawrence

But should we be shocked? Should men embrace the mini skirt as they please? Of course. This fashion gender hopping has been done before, and it was much more shocking the first time round. Trousers date back as far as 6BC – yet they have only been a socially acceptable form of women’s clothing for around fifty years. And men in skirts? Well, Scottish men have been wearing them for millennia.

So gents, grab your frilled knee highs and mini shift dresses, and ladies, it’s time to wear the trousers…

As published on Avanni.

Shop online at: http://www.avanni.co.uk/

A Hole in One Won’t Impress Anymore…

The London Lassie explores the rising trend of piercings and their shift from ghetto to glamour.

Hedvig Palm in Vogue Jan'13

Hedvig Palm in Vogue Jan’13

Piercings aren’t new: some of the oldest mummies discovered wore earrings, nasal studs and hoops date as far back as 1500BC and lip and tongue piercings have commonly been found in African and American tribes. Even nipple piercings date back to Ancient Rome and female genital piercing dates back to Ancient India. Price Albert famously pierced his genitalia to help hide the appearance of his large penis in tight trousers (lucky Victoria) and thus, the name for that specific special piercing was born.

It’s true that piercings have been around for eternity, but it feels like the way they are perceived is about to change. In modern times, puncturing the body (apart from the ear lobes) has been seen as rebellious. Punks in the seventies adorned their faces with spikes, nineties kids pierced their brows, Christina Aguilera changed her name to X-Tina and pierced every part of her body, and remember the absolute horror of the Royal family when teenage Zara Phillips got her tongue pierced? Nevertheless, it seems this shock factor is about to disappear as the fashion world embraces body modifications.

British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman recently stated “I had my ears pierced, but…I have never been tempted by any other kind of piercing. However, recently I’ve found myself starting enviously at those who have multiple piercings”.

Hedvig Palm in British Vogue Jan '13

Hedvig Palm in British Vogue Jan ’13

January Vogue included stunning beauty shots by Patrick Demachelier of model Hedvig Palm adorned with multiple ear and nose piercings decorated with thousands of pounds worth of exquisite studs and hoops. Model of the moment, Abbey Lee Kershaw recently said of her 10 bodily punctures, “I see my body as a blank canvas that’s aching to be decorated. 40-year-old model and Vogue contributing editor, Laura Bailey says of her newly pierced ear cartilage “I did it to feel a tiny bit like that pretty, carefree teenager. To make grown-up life and fashion feel a bit more punk, a bit more free”. With a boost in popularity with the fashion pack could it be that piercings are now chic?

Chanel RTW and Givenchy couture tried it last year. With elaborate nose ornaments and pearly punctures we all stared in awe, partly due to our love of the movie Girl with the Dragon Tattoo where the heroine had plenty of piercings. But they didn’t really catch on. Too much too soon perhaps? It seems like steadily we are seeing more discreet piercings on the catwalk and even earrings are becoming much more ornate, large and impossible to miss at Dolce and Gabbana, Balmain and Gucci this Spring.

High fashion piercings at Givenchy Haute Couture (left) and Chanel pre-fall 2012.

High fashion piercings at Givenchy Haute Couture (left) and Chanel pre-fall 2012.

In London’s east end you are never more than 10 paces away from a facial piercing, but more and more ‘mainstream’, pretty girls are adopting bull hooks and nose studs. Also, very few people now have a single stud in the ear, with every groove on the lug being a possible puncturing spot. Celebs like Miley Cyrus, who used to be girly, now have nose rings.

Singer of the moment Emeli Sande with her nose ring

Singer of the moment Emeli Sande with her nose ring

 So you want to go for the plunge and get pierced? According to New York’s prestigious piercing salon, New York Adorned, a consultation is recommended. J. Colby Smith, resident piercer says “Everyone’s ear is totally different. One thing works for you, it won’t necessarily work for her. I spend the majority of my day batting with people about that” As for the trends he recommends, “Septum chains have gone out a little bit, and backdrop chains are in”.

Yes, this could be a trend that could come and go, but they’re not permanent! Getting a piercing is like jumping on a seasonal trend. So for Spring Summer ’13’s trend piece, if you’re undecided between a nose piercing and the Prada toe-break platforms-we suggest the nose ring. After all, it’s exceedingly cheaper, and to be fair, less shocking.

As published on the Avanni blog.

Shop online at http://www.avanni.co.uk/

Patt Your Lips Matt

Long gone are the days of the slick lip. This summer it’s all about the matt pout!

matt

Let’s face it; we all feel a bit sexier and more glamorous with a sleek layer of lip gloss on. But the good feeling is often short lived. A burst of gale force wind and our perfectly styled tresses are sticking to our oil slick of a mouth, leaving our lippy and hair tarnished. And once inside away from the extreme weather, the shiny smile is still not safe. A swig of Pinot Grigio and there’s more Juicy Tube on the side of the glass than on our pout. Remember when Bridget Jones agonised over the decision of the G-string and the Marks and Sparks contour pants? Lip gloss brings a similar dilemma. The sexy sheen may increase your chances of a cheeky kiss, but once the lips are locked, your date ends up looking like Julian Clary at the Christmas panto.

But never fear. It’s now time to step away from the shiny yet sticky smile. The beauty looks on the SS13 catwalks mean for the trend followers it’s time for a less problematic look. And from the terrors just described, this may be a welcome change for all. It makes your lips look super hot too…

This season lip trends were more about texture than colour. From Burberry to Missoni, the runways were teaming with models such as Cara Delevingne sporting the matt lippy look. In shades of acid bright (Burberry showcased vibrant pillar box red lips for the first time ever), lips looked textured and seductive.

Coral textured lips at Missoni SS13

Coral textured lips at Missoni SS13

Matt Red Lips at Burberry Prorsum SS13

Matt Red Lips at Burberry Prorsum SS13

To get the look at home, pat a few layers of your favourite matt lip colour such as Nars Semi Matt Lipstick on with your fingers and blot with tissue paper. For the oh so stunning finale, dust a little translucent powder. You can also get the look by using your regular lipstick with a layer of concealer below to diffuse shine.

One problem with the matt look is that it can have the tendency to show off any signs of dry and chapped skin. To avoid this, exfoliate your lips gently. You can make your own exfoliator at home by mixing equal amounts of sugar and olive oil. Sugar is a natural exfoliant and olive oil a natural moisturiser so this mixture works a treat! Leave the mixture on your lips for a couple of minutes, then wipe clean with a tissue. Finish with a touch of Vaseline and allow to dry before applying your chosen lip colour.

Now you can pout (and more) to perfection whilst looking mega on trend!

As seen on the Avanni blog.

Shop online at: http://www.avanni.co.uk/

 

The Prophet Wears Prada

The London Lassie Explores the Modern Day Predictors; This is the Rise of the Trend Forecasters

forecast confirmation

In the past millennia predictions were made by the likes of Moses and Jesus, crystal ball clad gypsies, Nostradamus, and the Mayans. But now, we have new prophets – the trend forecasters. Involved with an ever growing industry worth billions, these new fortune tellers are here to stay, and they’re stylish as hell.

It’s no coincidence that everyone started wearing wedged hi-tops or how tribal prints were weaved into high-end garments as well as Next cushions last summer. Trend forecasting organisations such as WGSN predict fashion and lifestyle trends years in advance, and they’re making mega bucks for designers, retailers and themselves. Chuck Richard, vice president and lead analyst of research company Outsell, believes trend forecasting, could now have a global market value of $36 billion.

 WGSN, the biggest trend forecasting organisation today, was started by British brothers Julian and Marc Worth in 1997. It was later bought by EMAP for £140m. In January of this year, EMAP revealed WGSN had created £40m of revenues, up 5% on the previous year. That’s roughly the same amount of revenue generated by all of EMAP’s magazines put together. In an age of social media and increasing communication it seems trend forecasting is becoming extremely important.

With offices around the globe, WGSN has proven expertise in telling the fashion and lifestyle future for over a decade. It has over 38,000 subscribers including Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, who pay up from £16,500 a year for the service. Subscribers can browse over 20,000 crystal clear catwalk images per season as well as browse over news, forecasts and analysis. WGSN was involved with Graduate fashion Week in June this year and Martyn Roberts, Event Director commented, “With their world-renowned expertise on trends, there can be no one better to collaborate with”.

However, WGSN is not a lone wolf in the trend forecasting sector. Due to the increasing popularity of this industry, they now have serious competition. Stylesight, who are based in Tommy Hilfiger’s old New York office, yet translate their site into numerous languages, came on the fortunetelling scene in 2008. They offer subscribers a much cheaper service at $7,500 a year, and compete for similar clients to WGSN such as Prada and Zara.

 Nevertheless, there are even cheaper forecasting companies on the rise, and they don’t charge a penny. Trend Hunter, launched by Canadian Jeremy Gutsche, is a free trend predicting website that anyone can subscribe to. Nevertheless, is paying a vast amount for this providing the feeling of authority and expertise? If the service is for free, anyone can access it. This may be important, as wallet-busting WGSN is still on top. According to Isham Sardouk, senior vice president of Trend Forecasting at Stylesight, “People will always pay for something they require to get their job done”.

So how do they do it? Does it involve magic powers, or a spiritual gift? Apparently it’s simply about noticing things. Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory in East London, who funnily enough predicted the economic downturn to a reluctant banker in 2005, states “social, fashion and spending trends are all interconnected. You can look at young generations – their environment, concerns, and sexual attitudes – and guess how that will impact later on as trends.”

 Melika Imoru, past designer for ASOS, River Island and Jane Norman and founder of brand, Melika M describes trend forecasting as simply “a gut feeling”. “It’s an art, all about keeping up with the consumer and what they’re doing.”

 Isham Sardouk, senior vice president of Trend Forecasting at Stylesight, states fashion fortunetelling is based on observation and research, almost to the point of “obsession”. “There isn’t really a limit to where our research should stop…Predicting what’s going to be popular or successful is simply the process of detailed and thorough observations of what has occurred in the past, examining the present and based on our expertise, we build logical evolutions to everything that exists today”. He also articulates “We sometimes also predict trends that have no past or present, by simply scouting what’s happening in the art world, in politics, in music, in design and fashion.” Sardouk states one of his favourite predictions was the African tribal summer trend “The entire Burberry collection reflected our predictions, with identical colours and patterns, as if Burberry had used our forecast – but of course they didn’t since they aren’t clients”.

burberry spring summer

 Sue Barrett, a denim specialist for WGSN, agrees that prophecies are based on observation, but this has to be combined with travel. She makes her predictions through “travelling around Sweden, Italy and France, scoping out what styles are popular in each country”. Sue states that interestingly trends are adopted at different rates and in different ways across the globe. For example, Italians iron their jeans, opposed to Brits who would wear them crushed for an edgy look.

Cher Potter Senior Editor of Creative Direction at WGSN, the department that looks the furthest ahead in terms of trends, states her job also involves lots of continent hopping, “every six months, I look into all major exhibitions around the world and travel to the important ones, we identify regions that are generating a lot of interest and travel there to understand the creative scenes”. But they don’t just travel to New York and Tokyo; these prophets go way off the footpath, to dive into bubbling future trends. When asked about the craziest thing to happen whilst researching for WGSN, Potter states “a 48-hour trip to Kazakhstan that involved 2 lectures, a workshop, 2 studio visits, a trip up a mountain, a visit to a turquoise-toned communist era caviar market, an evening in a club with a women who owned 3 diamond studded mobile phones and a short period of being held in a locked metal room at the airport by Russian-speaking attendants”.

 Crazy travel tales and excessive observation aside, Potter states trend forecasting has more to it than meets the eye, “There are in fact many aspects to trend forecasting, beyond what people commonly think” she says. “Most people know about the trend spotting aspect …But trend forecasters also analyse what is happening on the catwalks, identifying major trends and predicting how they may develop over the coming seasons”. She also explains “we study youth groups and online themes to understand new modes of identity. And then there is the cultural side that I work on – we look at architecture, design, arts, music, and philosophy. We also study big cultural movements and how these will impact on the fashion world. Based on these we create WGSN’s Macro trends”.

 But why does the fashion industry need these trend predictions? It’s slightly mind boggling how an industry based on creativity pays thousands a year for someone else’s ideas, albeit unproven ones. According to designer, Melika Imoru, founder of Melika M, “On the buying floor the ‘we have it first’ ethos is key!”

But, can a trend forecaster ever get it wrong? According to Melika Imoru, it’s the forecast followers that get it wrong, and one of the current victims is Next. “Their current campaign is too one dimensional” says Imoru, “It is too much based on the Prada SS12 collection and their sales are down! I think the key is to not try too hard with catwalk trends as it can turn out to look like knee jerking. The trick is to stay true to your brands ethos, and take small elements of a trend to look new”.

Next AW12/13 Campaign

Next AW12/13 Campaign

 According to Isham Sardouk, trend forecasters really can’t get it wrong. “It’s not so black and white. If you look carefully at the runway or even retail, you realize that every trend imaginable appears all in one season”. Think about it: tribal, floral and pastels are spring/summer wardrobe favourites, yet every year the trends are embraced as if they’re revolutionary. Is trend forecasting just a case of the Emperor’s new clothes? (Pun intended).

 Derek Carter, chief executive of EMAP’s communications division hints that the increasing popularity of trend forecasting may be a growing paranoia instilled in designers, and fast fashion may be to blame. Many of us are guilty of buying a cheap Zara dress or Topshop skirt and wearing them once. “The trouble with fashion, which is good news for all of us forecasters, is it changes so rapidly so these things become incredibly disposable and really, really fast,” says Carter. However Cher Potter says forecasting has moved on from fast fashion and it’s more about helping businesses to be current, “We’re living in an information age, where knowing what is happening in your industry is a kind of necessary power…[forecasting] has moved beyond the production of constant newness and into the field of cultural research”. Carter and Potter both describe trend forecasting as a “must-have”, “To get a season wrong as a designer is cataclysmic”, says Carter.

Nevertheless, trend forecasting may just be a time saver to assist with the growing demands of the information age. Sardouk states the fashion industry needs trend forecasters because they are “simply a great way to kick start the season with lots and lots of tools and inspiration… it’s a breath of fresh air for designers who have been entrenched in the process of developing the previous season’s collections and have little time to research.” WGSN’s Cher Potter agrees, “Trend forecasting is a full-time job! Companies and brands do not have the time to look as deeply as we do into what is happening in design, fashion and arts – so we give them an edited version of what is happening in the world”. Julie Anne Sloan, a buyer at Next plc seems to be pleased with Potter’s expertise, “Without WGSN, we would have a limited view of the world,” she says. “I can see what’s happening from LA to Sao Paulo without leaving the office.”

So, are trend forecasters almost doing the designers job for them? According to Sardouk, this is not the case, “We trust our clients to use our content to adapt our message and make it their own”. Martin Raymond of The Future Laboratory states “we make two promises – to innovate and to inspire”. WGSN’s Cher Potter believes “a designer’s job is really about clothing, the details, feel and uniqueness of each garment and about knowing the messages of your own brand”.

 The impact these Prada wearing prophets have on designers seems undeniable. Almost like what black shades are to Karl Lagerfeld. Forecasting is becoming a mega-buck business, and with the chance to travel and sip coffee whilst observing street style and partying in wealthy Kazakhstan nightclubs, we doubt they’ll be short of employees. This is the business sector to watch, and it can only go up from here. As Stylesight’s Frank Bober puts it, “The fashion industry always needs feeding. I don’t see anybody naked”.

3000 BC (before couture)

The London Lassie looks back at how Ancient Nile Style has been carved into the modern fashion world…

Millennia before couture there was a world that has facinated designers, architects, and film makers alike. Ancient Egypt was enriched with luxury, spirituality and style. Style that still sporadically resurects. Everytime we skillfully stroke kohl eyeliner, we’re engaging in a trend thousands of years old.

In the 1920’s Tutankhamun’s tomb was found, introducing the world to Egyptian style.  This decade sparked a change for women – discovering they had a voice. Fearless flapper girls were born. They adopted sharp bobs and heavier use of cosmetics like kohl, similiar to powerful Pharoh Cleopatra.

Decades later in the swinging sixties iconic model Jean Shrimpton was photographed wearing a Pharoh-style gorgerine necklace. Shrimpton caused a sensation when she wore a dress ending above her knees to the conservative 1965 Melbourne Cup. Elizabeth Taylor also caused controversy whilst filming Cleopatra (1963) due to her turbulant love life. She famously asked the directer for a million dollars as a joke – he gave it to her. There seems to be a correlation with Egyptian style and powerful woman.

By looking at the current SS12 collections it’s clear to see the Egyptian theory that nothing dies was right, the trend is reborn. Be awed by Alber Elbaz’s Lanvin collection. With luxuriously draped material, gold plated shoulders, and encrusted snakes teasing their way towards the neck, it’s clear Elbaz had a lady of the Nile in mind when designing this collection. Marni’s collection delivered structured statement pieces infused with exotic prints which would look at home on ancient beauties. Holly Fulton added a playful edge to Nile Style with body-con pieces with startling shades such as turquoise and canary yellow. As well as this, Burberry Prorsum showcased gorgerine styles and colourful woven handbags.

Something to remember is that Egyption fashion in previous millenia was not just for the wealthy – peasants made exquisite jewellery from colourful pieces of clay. This is the same today. Cast your all seeing eye on the highstreet where Topshop is giving Egyptian fashion eternal youth. Accessories include elaborate arm cuffs, Scarrab beatle rings, and mummy earings. The Unique collection includes a ‘Cleopatra Tee’, and a ‘Hyroglyphic Dress’.

So why has this trend stayed for millenia? Simple. Ancient Egypt was ahead of its time. We feel modern and on trend when dressed like this, even though we’re wearing ancient styles. Egypt was home to powerful woman, like Cleopatra. Also, we are still learning about this fascinating era. Hence, a woman who wears this style will encompass these wonderfully special traits – beauty, power, and mystery.

‘Hieroglyphic Dress’ by Topshop Unique


The Dangers of Mixing Dolce with Drum ‘n’ Base

The London Lassie explains why her conflicting interests can sometimes make her feel like a fish out of water…

‘It’s a Drum and Bass night, but, you get the people you get unfortunately’.

That’s what an on looking wannabe hipster said about me whilst stepping out of a cab onto cobbles and tripping outside my favourite Edinburgh nightclub – the ultra hip and underground, Cabaret Voltaire. My DJ friends were playing that night, I love drum and bass and I’m not an asshole. So why did the guy say this?

Because of the way I was dressed.

I arrived with my best friends, all dressed in their ‘I-don’t-care-how-I-look-because-I-look-awesome-and-effortless-all-the-time-even-though-I-secretly-have-put-a-lot-of-effort-in’ look – very fitting to Cabaret Voltaire with its clientele of messy haired indie Cindies. However, with me, I guess you can say I know just as much about Deadmau5 as I do Donatella Versace. I was wearing a simple, yet elegant white shift dress and 6 inch KGs (which I can still dance like a maniac in by the way). Did I care I was going to a grungy underground club? Hell no. That’s how I like to dress. People can surely deal with that?

My friends found this hilarious of course. They knew the guy was wrong. They know me. However, it bothered me that this ‘you get what you get guy’ couldn’t deal with it. It infuriated me that because I was dressed differently from the usual clientele I wasn’t allowed to like or even be in that club. With a nightclub that over the years has showcased some of the most individual talent; did he really expect all the punters to dress the same?

He may have thought I was the kind that listens to the Saturdays and cries over a broken nail (if only he’d had a closer look at my horrendously untidy talons). He didn’t know that I’m a loud mouth, I watch the history channel and I read National Geographic. He didn’t know that I would choose the Strokes over the Saturdays any day, and at the time I was working for The Skinny, a publication he probably read every month. I wonder if he thought differently when I stepped onto the stage, hugged my DJ friends, started downing copious amounts of cheap cider and danced the night away like a mad man on the dance floor…

First impressions can be deceiving and we are all guilty of making snap judgements. I guess society doesn’t believe my personality matches my dress sense, and FYI: I don’t plan on changing either of them for anybody.