uk fashion
When it comes to tracing the development of the fashion industry, most people turn their attention to international trips which take in the major fashion cities of the world: Paris, Milan and London. However, turn your attention a little closer to home and you might be surprised by the fashion tips you could pick up right here on home soil.

Edinburgh

The Scottish capital, Edinburgh is perhaps best known for its association with arts and culture. Yet alongside the annual Fringe festival, Edinburgh is also home to some of the best fashion styles around. Whether you’re interested in traditional Scottish attire or something a little more contemporary, this is one city which will provide both in plentiful supply.

To get your hands on opulent kilts, stunning jewellery and the latest on-trend clothing, head to one of the city’s many shopping districts. Lothians Shopping and Livingston Designer Outlet are great places to find high quality garments at affordable prices while the Royal Mile should be your first port of call for unusual trinkets and one-off statement pieces that are sure to make an impression on the fashion world.

London

Turning your attention to the English capital, London hosts a number of high profile fashion events for a reason – it’s a melting pot of inspiration and diverse tastes. Whether you’re hitting the markets of Camden Town or trawling the exclusive boutiques and designer stores located around Oxford Street, you’re sure to find something that is fashionable.

Head off the beaten track to explore some of the deeper corners of the city and become surrounded by vibrant and colourful individuals who have plenty of style inspiration to share. One of the best things about London is its multicultural status and this means you’ll witness fashion styles which have been influenced by trends from throughout the world.

If you want to compare the fashion styles of these two capitals then why not journey between them? Weekend trips are more than possible thanks to rail services operated by firms such as East Coast Trains and you can find plenty of cheap train tickets online so that you have more money to spend in these fashion centres.

Brighton

Of course, it’s not just capital cities which are known for their contributions to the fashion world – virtually every city or county in the UK can boast some claim to fame when it comes to creating their own style. The southern coastal town of Brighton is a perfect example and is known as a hive of vibrancy and eccentric tastes. Journey down the quaint Lanes and stumble across unique shops which stock virtually everything you can think of before marvelling at the individualism which is painted on every street corner, shop front and outfit.

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oxblood fashion
Oxbloodthe colour – has received the fashion industry’s stamp of approval for Autumn/Winter 2012 and, like all good trends, it seems to have started with the Duchess of Cambridge. With Princess Charlene of Monaco showing up to Akris’ Paris Fashion Week show last week in an oxblood sheath, it seems other royal ladies are quickly falling in line. Catherine (ah, let’s just call her Kate Middleton) was most recently spotted in an oxblood-coloured suit by Paule Ka.

Thankfully, you don’t need to rock a title to rock the trend. The trick to wearing the colour is working with rich, heavy fabrics and keeping clear of strong purple tones that will shift the tone into the ‘burgundy’ category.

Get The Look:
Guess Handbags Gerri box satchel
Alexander McQueen leather iPad 2 case
Topshop ribbed pleated skirt
Dune asymmetrical point court
Glint Wisteria earrings
Prancer croc riding boots
Topshop sport bra
Opening Ceremony babydoll coat

love girls

The F word. The worst one around. The one tied with unpleasantly preconceived notions of bra burning and man-hating.

Recently, after overhearing an explosively sexist comment on a lunch break, I asked a friend, “Do you consider yourself a feminist?”
“Oh, NO!” she snapped back with a level of enthusiasm that shocked me, spitting the word out like a worm in an apple, “…no no no.”

Really?, I thought to myself. This friend is a woman who I consider to be kind, strong, and ultimately…a woman’s woman. Not a feminist? I considered it again, and got to thinking…

I know very few women who would openly admit to being a (here comes the F word again) feminist. I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the number of times that labelling myself with the term has been responded to with an eyeroll or uncomfortable “oh…”

The excuses that I have been expected to throw out for being a feminist who works in the fashion industry? That’s an entirely separate and complex issue on its own.

Frankly, I am over the double standards, the being taken advantage of, the sexist comments…from both sexes. Somewhere between giving the ability to vote and the “Girl World” we saw brought to life in Mean Girls, it has become standard practice to self-loathe as a woman.

Misogyny is no joke, but the utter imbalance that the anger towards it has bred? We’re not just mad at the society anymore, we’re mad that we were born with that unfortunate vagina-giving chromosome in the first place. Feminism scares women. Instead a feminist standing as an advocate for women’s right, we are now labelled as man-haters, angry hippies, or – god forbid – lesbians.

Feminism is about equality….about rights…not a battle of the sexes. Not ‘me’ against ‘you’. It breaks my heart to see that some women can’t see past that, that some women laugh at feminism in spite of the constant conquest of their reproductive, financial, and sexual rights, et al.

Young girls are now growing up in a culture that promotes self-hatred; hate your body (you’re not a Victoria’s Secret model!), hate your boyfriend (a man needs to live at your feet!), hate your friends (because it makes you cool!), hate that you’re a woman (because guys have it easy!) – I could go on and on. If women only start to appreciate what it means to be a woman when they have a child (and hey – that isn’t for everyone)…what the hell are we doing with the rest of our time?

When was the original idea lost? It is not about man-hate, it’s about women-love.

Remember that for yourself and our generation’s daughters will, too.

london fashion week aw12

Nicole Farhi

To be backstage at Nicole Farhi is a beautiful thing. Getting a sneak peek and uber-close look at her Autumn/Winter 2012 collection was an absolute dream. With mustard, grey, and gold on the mind, Madame Farhi managed to balance the sensibly pristine with a dash of sequins. Minimal magic and new-age embellishments on classic pieced? Be still, my heart.

Bora Aksu

Though the models rocked pale foundation and blue lips, Bora Aksu’s collection was anything but frosty. The Turkish-born designer has a knack for taking fashion out of its comfort zone and displaying ornate detail on soft and feminine materials. This season gave a lot of white, pink, grey, and a whole lot of lace. A sensual juxtaposition of light and dark. If you love the idea of “Erdem meets Mary Katrantzou”, Aksu is your guy.

Felder Felder

I was really surprised by Felder Felder this season. Known for their definitively dark presentations, the flaxen-haired duo gave us “Blonde” – a collection that appealed to a versatile, more contemporary buyer. The colours ranged from golds, to oranges, to impressively dark prints; dare I say there was a real Rodarte feel to the collection. This was a collection that any woman could create a capsule wardrobe from, and I am never one to complain about that. View Post

Hypnotherapy
I am well-informed about nutrition. I love raw food, fresh foods, and drink litres upon litres of water. The problem for me? Chocolate.

Through most of my life, I haven’t felt any connection to chocolate, and due to medical advice, didn’t eat any chocolate for many years. The past year, however? A new fixation on the bad stuff – one that made me feel truly unhealthy (have you seen what ‘chocolate’ is made from?) and one that I did not want to become a habit.

Which is why when Channel 4’s recommended hypnotherapist, Jennie Francis, invited me to a session, I was more than ready to run out of the door.

As I passed the freshly botoxed faces of Harley Street, I wondered what would await behind Jennie Francis’ centrally located doors. Prior to my visit, I had beat the fashion industry’s addiction to Diet Coke with the hypno help of Marisa Peer, in one afternoon, and hoped for similar results.

The great news? Jennie is one of those women who immediately put you at ease, a woman that I would imagine anyone could ‘click’ with. With 13 years of hypnotherapy practice under her belt, she is also a woman with a lot to offer. Everything from weight loss to fertility treatments.

So, what happened in the hour-long session? After a best friend-esque catchup (she really is lovely), I was wrapped under a blanket while peacefully treated to aversion therapy.

Though…the details of the session have no real baring on her service, do they? You simply want to know if it worked! And, almost a week later back in the ‘real world’, I can confirm that it has. Not only have I not eaten any sort of ‘dessert’ or sugary food, but the thought has actually escaped my mind. Even while having the flu (a time which would usually trigger comfort food desires), all that is left is my pre-existing desire to eat rich, natural foods.

Jennie Francis works. I have no doubt about it.