Thursday, 20 August 2009

Fashion - It's a risky business

So if summer was all about jumpsuits and harem trousers, then winter is all about leather pants and shoulder pads. Now I'm not just highlighting two trends, I'm talking about fashion risks.

To clarify - those items of clothing that appear on catwalks and in designer stores that you just don't know if you could pull off. It's not like people really believe that they have to obey trends anymore but somehow the other day, quite subconsciously, I found myself drawn to some high street leather trousers. Now I know I'm not some stick figure supermodel and they won't look the same as me as they would on say..Kate Moss. But hey, if I could wear harem pants, maybe I could wear these....

Chances are that next year I'll look back and think - what was I wearing?? But for now, I want to be that girl who is brave enough to try something that most people won't. I truly believe that with a pair of black heels and rock t-shirt, that leather pants CAN and SHOULD be done. The same for shoulder pads! Even though I think people are slightly more willing to experiment with them.

Just think with all that volume and leather it won't be long until our high streets resemble a Balmain runway show ...

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A Blast from the Past .. 80's Style

I’ve noticed the 80’s fashion revival for some time now but I don’t think I appreciated how big an impact it would make this year. I mean right now it’s all about 80’s sounds and styles.

I was watching an interview on GMTV yesterday and they were talking about how all this techno music is back, eg. Little Boots and LaRoux. I thought maybe it was the music influencing fashion – it wouldn’t be the first time – but instead I remembered another point they made… ‘its because we’re the kids of the 80’s.’ That’s right, so if like me you born in the 80’s now that we’re in our prime apparently we’re bringing the 80’s back. Apparently jumpsuits and shoulder pads must have influenced me more than I realised because now.. I love them! Maybe even as a tiny baby I had eyes for fashion, maybe we all did. Hey, I used to mock old photos of my mum’s big hair and yet this morning I spent twenty minutes backcombing? If you take a pause for thought I’ll bet I’m not alone.

So pull out the techno patterns, the leggings, the neon brights and embrace your inner 80’s child, because this decade is our time, our prime, our chance to splash a whole load of electric colour over 2009.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Make a Fashion Investment

Having reached my twenty-second year of life, I have finally begun to appreciate one major rule in fashion; invest in key pieces that will last a lifetime…or at least ten years anyway. Contrary to past posts, I’m starting to reconsider Gok’s theory of a capsule wardrobe…

Does anyone else notice how all of a sudden your wardrobe is filled with clothes you find excuses not to wear? I believe that women, who claim they have nothing to wear, which means most of them, are just like me. The reason you have nothing to wear is because what clothes you do have are those you bought on the spare of the moment, or because it was payday or just because you needed a carrier bag to hold. Fashion is so much more technical than people anticipate. Styling fashion is what people do as a full-time career, so what do we do when we don’t get paid to think out our wardrobes?

I have always been a Primark over Prada girl, mainly because of my financial situation. Surely rich people never have this problem, as their solution is to just buy something else. But guess what, my financial problems don’t allow for that either. The point I am getting to, is in Primark you pay for the quality you are getting which, lets face it, is low. In Prada, you pay high and you get a high amount of return wear.

Now Prada is only for those who can afford designer clothes but I think now is the time that we stop spending £100 on five skirts, two dresses and a belt from Primark and instead buy that amazingly detailed, high quality dress from Ted Baker. Face it, you know it will fit like glove and you’ll feel a millions dollars wearing it. You can pretty much bet that you won’t be seeing fifteen other people wearing on a night out.

Ted Baker falls in a category of middle brand shops, alongside the likes of Reiss, Jigsaw, Karen Millen, French Connection and sometimes, Warehouse. Yes the clothes aren’t cheap but they are high quality and you’ll get your value for money over the amount of times you wear them. When you buy something for over £100, chances are it isn’t going to be money easily parted with, so at least you will know if you really, really want something. In Primark it’s so easy to say ‘Oh it’s only £5, I’ll get it,’ and that everybody, is why you end up with wardrobes filled with things you won’t wear!!

So every time I’ve been shopping recently, I’ve really been thinking about what I want to buy. As you know, I bought my harem trousers recently and I’ve just bought a white vest top and statement necklace to team them with. I could have so easily bought both items for less that £10 from you know were, but I didn’t. I invested that little bit more and guess what, I’m sure I’ll be wearing them a lot longer.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Verdict on Harem: A dream or a scream?

I, Charlotte Penketh, have actually dared to take on one of the catwalk trends this season that I have never tried before … harem trousers! It took me an hour alone just to figure out how to pronounce harem, so to save you the same amount of time I’ll tell you now it rhymes with scream or dream, hence the name of this post.

I actually saw these trousers ages ago on but at £30, I wasn’t quite persuaded. What did eventually win me over was when they hit the sale for just £15. Not only a bargain but also I was encouraged by the fact that no one else had been brave enough to try them. Well I’d show them! Step aside fashion fearers because here comes me, the new queen of the harem.

And do you know what – I actually mean that! I officially love my harem trousers. Now they don’t hang to my knees but they are nicely loose until mid thigh. With a plain vest top and high heels I think I’ve found the perfect pair of trousers for summer. They don’t cling to you, they don’t dig in your crotch and have war with your French knickers, they don’t even leave you with a builders bum when you sit down. They sit slightly higher on the hips than jeans do and they tie around the waist, which means there’s no hitching them up and they are actually really flattering. They even got the boyfriend seal of approval! Which means a lot. When I first tried high-waisted jeans, my boyfriend couldn’t stand them and said they made my bum look huge – so I sold them the week later.

So fear no more my fashion lovers, harem are dream. Think not of MC Hammer, think of a Ralph Lauren advert. Think not of Aladdin, think Jasmine – after all she was the prettiest Disney princess. Or at least I’ll be saying that until big yellow ball gowns and a beast for a boyfriend come into fashion ….

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Say Gok now!?!

I can’t honestly be the only one who watched Gok’s Fashion Fix last night and thought he was talking absolute madness??

Now I’m not talking about his runway show because to be fair this weeks high street finds kicked designer clothes expensive little butt right off the catwalk. What I’m talking about is this over-hyped focus on a 24 piece capsule collection for your wardrobe – yes, let me say that again, 24 pieces of clothes – only!

I roughly figured out that it would mean you would wear the same outfit every three weeks, not to mention the fact that every night you went out you would have the choice of the same three evening outfits. I can’t even face wearing the same dress again if I know my friends have already seen it! Could you imagine, how boring those 24 pieces of clothing would soon become. Yawn! And as for photographs, it would go a bit like this, “Well here’s me in my smart blazer and red dress, oh and here’s me in my smart blazer and black dress, and here’s me, in the red dress again….” Do you see where I’m going with this? Madness!

What made me laugh most was ‘an outfit for shopping with your girlfriends’ well a fat load of fun that’s going to be! “Sorry I already have my 24piece capsule collection, I don’t need anything else.” Soon the outfit Gok planned for your lunch with the girls will be of no use because friends find other friends who WILL shop!

Buying clothes in the truckloads, yes that’s excessive. But not everyone needs to be limited to 24 pieces, how boring. No to mention the fact you’re putting the shops out of business by encouraging such behaviour. Believe me, I reckon I keep half the high street going with what I invest!

So Gok, I love my 100-piece wardrobe and I’m kind of thinking everyone else does too. So stop trying to impress us when all it does is send me into a nightmare with images of the same dresses and only three pairs of shoes and just one pair of jeans! I’m so traumatised in fact that tomorrow I’m going out to buy piece number 101 of my capsule wardrobe – and Gok there ain’t nothing you can do to stop me!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Love for H&M

Oh my goodness – how much am I loving the window display in H&M at the moment! It’s official – I love this safari look so much. I already intend on buying the white safari jacket with coordinating shorts and the skirt with bronze buttons aligned up the middle. I’m even going to try and brave tan shoes! In fact all I need now is some insect repellent and I’ll be ready for some jungle action.

I did buy this gorgeous pale lilac dress though..

Oh and to put the cherry on top of all this love for H&M - Matthew Williamson's H&M collection hits next week, a girl can only hand so much!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Spring/Summer 2009 - trend OVERLOAD!!!

So the chance to write my own fashion blog. Impressive for someone the fashion world would claim knew nothing. Well they need not worry yet - there’s no thinking I’m Carrie Bradshaw. I’m not exactly sitting in front of my window with my hair blowing and miraculously being able to afford living in a plush New York apartment, just from writing a weekly column, oh and not to forget my wardrobe spilling over with Jimmy and Monolos, I mean how much does the New York Star pay for goodness sake!

So lets talk fashion. This season I think we’re in the middle of a trend mix-up. I asked my friends the other day what they think we should be wearing Spring/Summer 2009. Their answers were a mixture of nautical, safari, 80’s revival, chunky necklaces and neon. Now I don’t know about you, but how many trends can one person be expected to wear in a few months?

I watched a programme with Fearne Cotton recently and she said something that inspired me. “You shouldn’t try to dress like someone else, you should dress how you want to dress.” Another saying I find helpful - “You wear the clothes, so don’t let the clothes wear you.”

So no I am not going to sit here and tell you what to wear and I think the fashion industry is starting to realise this as well. What we have this season is variety. If the khaki safari colours drain you out – don’t wear them. If chunky necklaces are a bit too bling for you – then stick to what you know best.

This season invest time in discovering what styles and shapes suit you. Believe me, Carrie might have been able to pull off the jumpsuit – but me, I’d look like an escaped convict.