Vogue’s Fashion Night Out

Vogue’s sponsored Fashion Night Out, as many of you in the know will be aware, started as a drive by the notorious Anna Wintour in New York as an attempt to bring attention to the recession’s effect on big name fashion houses and to encourage investment into brands of all shapes and sizes. Now two years on, having spread to the equally chic cities of London and Paris, the night attracts a curious combination of the fashion elite, celebrities linked to the promotion of names and those everyday folk, interested in style and excited about being at the fore-front of the industry if only for one night.

And it was with this demographic in mind that Fashion SOS, accompanied by a couple of friends hit the streets to join in the carnival of beautifully-dressed chaos stretching from Knightsbridge to Soho.

Dressing for these kind of events, where everyone is quietly noting the array of outfits on show and the A game must definitely be brought, is half the fun, and we used this opportunity to showcase high street brands with an expensive looking edge. Our range of chosen outfits included a cobalt blue H&M customised dress worn with clashing fuchsia loafers and lipstick and a statement white slitted column dress, accessorised with a butter-soft leather jacket. More than enough to keep up with Alexandra and co.

We started in Harvey Nichols where on the 1st floor they had taken the ‘fun and accessible fashion’ theme literally with fairground stands dispensing anything from Mr Whippy ice-cream to souvenir ‘FNO’ t-shirts. Nestled between the Lanvin and Stella McCartney the ‘Beauty’ stands also seemed extremely popular, where make-up artists and manicurists decorated body parts with glitter and colour in the shape of daisies or stars (big motifs of the high street now, by the way). Sipping ice-cold rum cocktails we amused ourselves by drawing comparisons between high-end and high-street items currently on sale, with one of my companions noting a Chloe snake-skin dress resembled an H&M item she was lusting over. Trends for everyone, evidently.

Transfer Make-Up at Harvey Nicks

After seeping ourselves in the heady combination of glamour and frivolity we followed the inevitable pull towards Bond Street. We popped into Myla to indulge in fantasies of lounging in lace camisoles and matching French knickers in our future “apartements” in Paris. While we decided it worth pointing out that the brand remains the ONLY lingerie company to make red satin and black lace a classy choice, we hit the madness of outside.

Literally every shop had something like this parked outside

Following on from a trip to Burberry to lust over the square structured handbags and old English tailoring and knitwear (Topshop always replicate the heritage feel) we headed up Maddox St to dodge the crowds outside newly opened Coach, craning their necks on already towering heels to catch a promised glimpse of Gywneth Paltrow, new spokesperson for the brand.

We also had time to explore Box Boutique, a curious little shop displaying a selection of shoes from the “I would die for this” (spiked Ruthie Davis peep-toes) to the “Hmmm” (jewelled Uggs in any colour). Unfortunately the crowd seemed more interested in the mint juleps than shopping so we cut through to Regent St where there were rumoured to be massive discounts on a wide range of high street brands.


Cake and Shoes <3

We came to Topshop to the sound of music DJed by Sunday Girl and a rather alarming interactive TV boards featuring previous shoppers jumping up and down and waving cardboard with phrases like “little black dress” printed on them. It was just as surreal as it sounds. Following that All Saints, running an impressive 20% campaign, almost tempted me to splurge two hundred pounds of hard earned money on an authentic leather one-shouldered dress (kind of Tulisa, if we’re allowed to use that as an adjective yet).

But with the more affordable shops closing and our feet aching, we stopped our brief flirtation with being a Voguette and headed home, leaving the after-parties to the celebrities but with a definite admiration for Fashion Night Out’s ability to open the doors of luxury brands to the everyday fashionista. Would recommend for all!<

Last Week on the High Street

Mid-May Media Madness

Last week saw the Autumn/Winter 11 style previews for a couple of huge names on the British high street circuit, from easily the most stylish example of supermarket linked names, George at Asda to simple-chic Uniqlo, a leading source for affordable basics and tailoring via one of the leading online-only fashion marketplaces, Very.com.

George at Asda recently turned 21 years old, explaining the abundance of mystifying balloons and banners you may have seen in your local Asda (I’m looking at you, Old Kent Road) and have made trend-spotting as easy as it is ever going to be this upcoming season by aligning all their products with one of three decade-spanning collections: “Factory Girl”, a fun 60s-themed line, featuring patterned mini-skirts in heavy durable tweeds contrasting with bright autumnal tops and muted accessories; “70s Harlem”, referencing the chiffon blouses and tan-coloured tailoring, a look already firmly established in widespread shops and set to develop as the colder months approach; and a so-called “transitional collection”, with a “Global Traveller” theme, printed dresses and kaftans suitable for now with bare legs and massive sunglasses, and also for winter with a warmer berry-hued coat and opagues.

Added to this is the fifth collection from Biba legend Barbara Hulanicki, as expected picking up the 70s trend once more but with a more adult structure with tailored dresses and trousers in 70s shades, making it more suitable for the older shopper or a work wardrobe than the rest of the urban-inspired pieces from the main collection, but no less covetable.

Undoubtedly the just-invented-by-me“Most Whimisical Layout for a Press Review” awardwould have to go to Very.com who previewed their Love Label , Holly Wilboroughly, Fearne Cotton and Diana Vickers ranges in a warehouse room designed to look like a little city complete with signposts, circle of “grass” and … over-sized glittery chesspieces.

Most of the areas of each collection were no less bombastic and glamorous, with Love Label featuring heavy beaded details on feminine cut dresses, made fresh and unexpected by the neutral, yellow-accented palate.

The four collections are obviously very (pun intended) different, yet rooting in the changeable nature of s feminine style – Fearne Cotton demonstrated a love of Peter Pan collars, while Diana Vickers anchored her choices around delicious edibles shades of colour, and in contrast tight Roland Mouret style dresses were omnipresent through Holly Wilboroughly. This remains no negative thing however since the benefit of a site like Very.com is the choice you can have while browsing.

Very.com supports Fashion Fringe with displays of one-off designs

The key pieces at Uniqlo, as with the last couple of A/W seasons, were all (and it pains me to write this, sitting in my garden in 25°C heat) coats with a twist. The sleeveless, wide-collared item and the open-less dress-coat were the freshest example of tailoring seen so far.

And to end on a charitable note, Uniqlo’s campaign for the Japanese earthquake is also gaining more momentum as a series of t-shirts were previewed by such fashion heavyweights as Karl Lagerfeld, Victoria Beckham and Lady Gaga, all doing their bit to continue donations to a cause close to the heart of Uniqlo, originally itself a Japanese label, and a disaster that, although it may have fallen from British newspaper columns needs funding to help those still affected. Save Japan!

This made me very happy.

H&M Press Day

If there is one thing that the high-street obsessed British public can agree on, from office workers trying to liven up the 9-5 to students for whom that period constitutes a good night of sleep, it’s how much we all love H&M. Dangerously affordable, always on the money when it comes to fast fashion and possessing one of the most varied shop floors in the entire industry, it was this blogger’s point of focus for press showings last week, where the main line for Autumn/Winter 2011 debuted. H&M love a decade based collection (remember the short, sparkly, shoulder-focused trend that screamed “80s” two years ago), so it will be no surprise to the clued-up that they have wholly, and almost solely, embraced the 70s this year, reflecting on the trends pushing down from the runway and doing for winter what the maxi dress and wide chiffon palazzo are doing for summer.

While this collection contains lots of accessible colours and textures to get struck into,

It also contains a wider selection of looks for the keener trendsetter– mustard and orange feature heavily, and boot cut trousers are the most noticeable shape but thankfully paired with a neutral palette of brown and cream, taking influence more from a sophisticated Jerry Hall than a shiny suited John Travolta.

Pretty like an autumn leaved tree.


Modern styles feature in retro colours

However it was the accessories that will take a particularly experimental person to pull off. Hats! And lots of them. Like this chocolate mohair number;

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Incredibly practical for cold days, wear with a cosy coat and a simply cut blouse in a delicate so as not to look too cluttered. Or the turban, which brought me a huge amount of glee, knowing now that H&M are more than living up to their reputation not only as one of the most all-inclusive fashion brands in the UK, but also forever one of the most fun.

Even the decor reeked of 70s glamour.

Press Daze

Hello fellow followers of fashion,

Before I launch into the latest exciting store previews, a quick apology for not having posted regularly – Fashion SOS has been super busy writing and traveling and absorbing loads more amazing tips I look forward to passing on to you readers.

Now while most of us are looking forward to exotic summer holidays and respite from the Royal Wedding, the fashion world has its attention firmly planted in Autumn/Winter 2011, but with the selections from the latest press showings as versatile as they are, there will be plenty of opportunity to test key new pieces as soon as these latest lines hit the shops.

First up was notable American high street staple Forever 21, renowned by our transatlantic trendsetters for their snappy approach to recognising the most desirable looks and massive affordability (think somewhere between H&M and Topshop in UK terms). Previewing their second autumn/winter collection, the line both looks ahead to colder times with ethically edgy faux-leather and fur pieces, and revives a quintessentially British look with cute tea dresses and chiffon jackets exuding a mixture of class and easy wearability.

Punk styling takes on a certain glamour with a sparkly setting
In contrast in other areas the brand’s LA roots are firmly felt in pieces suited perfectly to both Sunset Boulevard and Sunday night at Glastonbury. Dresses remain maxi, jumpers are boldly printed and mostly lightweight and masculine shades finish a look that is likely to linger as long as the hardy members of the fashion-conscious British public are prepared to go winter-coatless.

You’d never think we were in Soho, would you?
Forever 21 is set to open its new branch on Oxford St sometime in July or, if you can’t wait that long, head to Birmingham where the label is unsurprisingly making a large wave in wardrobes.

The big news at La Perla was the unveiling of a brand new shapewear range, encompassing shorts and bras, not only practical in their design and fabric (a new mixed stretch material developed uniquely for this line) but with added sheer panelling somehow – and FINALLY – managing to retain a certain degree of essential sexiness. A short body-con style skirt completes the range, which normally would be only recommended for the brave, if it weren’t for the nature of the fabric, both lifting and flattening in all the right places. And the coral red. Which is irresistible.

Statement shoes were among the most eye-catching designs at Urban Outfitters, which all had the chunky wedge shape in common but thankfully showcased a massive choice for an eager shopper. A wide selection featured, including twee pompoms off-set with a bright turquoise, animal print and cherry-red patent loafers, all contrasting beautifully with the vintage style dresses and jewellery UO do so well.

The attention to detail was particularly impressive. The shop previewed frivolous additions, like these tiny sewing machines and printed cushions, and made them feel as essential to your life as the clothes and accessories.

And when do these get released into shops?

Happy shopping!

Out with the old and in with the New

It maybe sunny outside (sometimes) but the high street is telling us that Autumn is here.
The end of the sale season brings a new influx of the first flush of autumnal trends.

Shopping during this time can be trick as many of us are still holding on to the last traces of summer. Who wants to think about the cold winter ahead with we can enjoy ‘the now’!
I think it’s always pays to think ahead when it comes to all things fashion and being prepared is ideal. There’s no need to rush out and start the annual search for your winter coat just yet but arming yourself with a few key pieces will see you through this seasonal transition.

Here are some FashionSos tips to guide you through.

Look out for items that will wear with your current summer wardrobe, like a parka or leather biker jacket.

No need to purchase a chunky knit cardi. Instead opt for fine knitwear and different lengths as these work well with layering and will make an ideal buy too.

Choose your pieces in neutral tones of camel, taupe and tan. These colours work well with the current summer palates and will also complement the warmer tones of the season ahead.

Lastly don’t forget your current wardrobe, it’s time to pack way your spring wear to make room for new purchases.

Contact FashionSos during the month of August and receive a 20% discount on any wardrobe detox.

Happy shopping !