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Model Abbey Lee Kershaw leads the models at Pringle SS'12

The undoubted kings of cashmere and knit, Pringle of Scotland, unveiled a contemporary collection for Spring Summer using graphic archive and vintage prints.

The two hundred year-old brand has recently welcomed a new head designer, Alistair Carr, who ventured back into the label’s history to look forward for SS’12.

Carr joined in March after a stint at Balenciaga and you can see utterances of his previous work for the Spanish brand in his Pringle collection. The beautiful textured Sixties knit lace dresses had sleek black leather sleeves which created the perfect juxtaposition of tough and feminine. Balenciaga for me – is all about softness with edge.

The look

Alistair Carr’s statement of intent began with his use of models, the ethereal Abbey Lee Kershaw opened up the show. She was wearing a luxe knit of which the background colour was grey, to breathe life into this classic piece the designer brightened it up with multicoloured geometric squares around the neckline.

Links and chains were the print du jour, seen on tops, dresses and granddad cardigans; and in an array of colours from black, bronze and a brilliant turquoise.

The pièce de résistance had to be the nonchalantly flirty, split back dresses and tops. Little buttons were done up at the nape of the neck, then the material curved down models backs revealing a flash of flesh. This look is guaranteed to bring us all out of hibernation next spring. I think we’ll see it cropping up on celebs (Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and Kate Winslet) and on the High Street – our backs have never looked so good.

The people

If you can name them, they were there. Editors Anna Dello Russo in a super sexy green sequin mini, Eilidh MacAskill (editor of Instyle), Jo Elvin (Glamour ed), Trish Haplin (Marie Claire) were all cosying up. As for the celebs, Pringle ad-favourite Tilda Swinton was front row in a beautiful argyle jumper with skinny trousers and sky-high stilettos; as was Harry Potter star Bonnie Wright and actress Rosario Dawson in one of the amazing knit-lace and leather Pringle creations.

The item

The most lust-worthy item at the show for me had to be the eye-wear. These specs were a mixture of John Lennon-esque frames and swimming goggles – all in a bright and spring-like array of colours.

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The past decade has given us nothing if not a plethora of diverse beauty. Break-through models of such variety continue to challenge and readdress our perceptions of what is attractive and the model landscape is currently the healthiest it has been. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. What do you think?

Here’s my argument…

Models with character

In what other decade would a semi-shaved head with long tendrils of dip-dyed hair on the other side be classed as beautiful? Alice Dellal, granddaughter of Jack Dellal, the Brazilian property tycoon, revamped the undercut 80‘s punk style by adding flowing fairytale locks. Models like Dellal and Agyness Deyn charmed fashion insiders by being themselves and introducing a healthy dose of individualism. Alice’s offensive on all things pretty has marked her out as the poster-girl for all things alternative and cool.

In this model tribe: Pixie Geldof, Agyness Deyn, Georgia May Jagger.

Transgender models 

Gender in fashion has never been as flexible as it has been in the noughties. For his couture show this year Jean Paul Gaultier transformed a model into a bridal vision of loveliness. The catch? This sultry blonde with feline eyes was actually a man. Andrej Pejic looked beautiful and proved that stereotypes are made to be broken. Brazilian transgender model Lea T has blurred the lines of gender even further. She kissed Kate Moss on the cover of Love magazine, modeled for her former boss Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, and has been photographed naked for French Vogue. “She’s always been very feminine: superfragile, very aristocratic.” Tisci told WWD.

In this model tribe: Valentijn de Hingh, Andre Pejic.

Curvy models

As a barometer for all things fashion, Vogue Italia, is unrivaled (except perhaps by its overseas sisters). So when editor Franca Sozzani decided to create a plus-sized Vogue issue, you know the industry is changing. The waif no longer dominates the catwalk and gradually the industry is becoming more accepting. Curvy girls like Crystal Renn, Daisy Lowe and Tara Lynn are here to stay. Lynn features on the front cover of Italian Vogue’s plus-sized edition with two other voluptuous models and has also starred in H&M’s Big is Beautiful campaign. When it comes to whirlwind years it is impossible to compete with Crystal Renn in 2010; the model tucked Glamour, V magazine and French Vogue under her belt and became the darling of the fashion set and most notably of Karl Lagerfeld.

In this model tribe: Daisy Lowe, Hayley Morley, Gwyneth Harrison.

Asian models

The latter half of the decade saw Asian models gliding into mainstream fashion in a big way. After waiting so long for representation these supermodels are quickly ticking off campaigns, shows and designers from their to-do list. Liu Wen became the first Asian model to appear in a Victoria’s secret show and as an Estée Lauder’s spokesmodel. She lent her razor cheekbones and striking looks to no less than 18 houses during the autumn/winter’11 shows. Meanwhile Du Juan had Vogue covered becoming the first Asian model to feature on the front cover of the French edition, she has done campaigns for Louis Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent. Angelica Cheung, editor of Vogue China, spoke to The Guardian about the rise of Asian models in the market, “even in the last two or three years it was pretty much about Du Juan: she was the only one going big. Now they have all appeared.”

In this model tribe: Fei Fei Sun, Tao Okamoto and Shu Pei.

Actresses turned models

Models have always faced serious competition but this decade saw designers turning to different muses for their ad campaigns and sometimes even for the shows. Julianne Moore looked quite at home posing nude with various animals in front of the camera for Bulgari and Chanel have featured Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Audrey Tatou and most recently Blake Lively in their adverts. Meanwhile Harry Potter star Emma Watson found fame in between filming with campaigns for Burberry and People Tree. Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whitely is now returning the favour and trying out her hand at acting, she stars alongside Shia LaBeouf in Transformers 3.

In this model tribe: Dakota Fanning (Marc Jacobs), Angelina Jolie (Louis Vuitton’s Core Values campaign) and Helena Bonham-Carter (Marc Jacobs).

Models from the past

The noughties saw clocks rewind as a clutch of truly beautiful models from decades past took the the catwalk to reclaim their supermodel status. Poignantly Kristen McMenamy, 47, who was Karl Lagerfeld’s muse in the 1990’s walked alongside 18-year olds in his couture show this year as his bride. Other Lagerfeld icons who were also included in the show were Karen Elson and Stella Tennant. Lagerfeld wasn’t finished with McMenamy yet, she also featured in his Chanel cruise collection for 2012 in a chic black and white bathing suit and swirling cape. Giles Deacon used women in their 60’s amongst the younger girls at London Fashion Week signaling the arrival of the age of experience.

In this model tribe: Elle Macpherson, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell.

I’m interested to see what people think, do you agree? Where do you think there is room for improvement within the industry?

Get in touch!

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After a recent foray into a stand-alone Office store I found myself quite excited. A fluttering heart, a dizzying feeling and the indescribable urge to take out my purse, this my friends is label lust.

Being a student all over again I have had to seriously restrict my spending, I said no to a beautiful Zara frock coat, no (with regrets) to a potentially expensive night out in central London and no to indulging in a Halston Heritage purple pleated number.

That last one really hurt as we all know how important pleats will be come spring/summer.

Anyway, with this in mind I went to a friends news patch (Covent Garden) to help her research a new story and we MIGHT have wandered into Office.

The Breakdown

Strictly speaking, their prices are not the cheapest on the high street but what makes a difference is that they have variety.

There is a range of prices and there is generally a few sale items lurking about if you are willing to look.

In the sale pumps and flats are a mere £20.00 whilst their full price beauties can hit the £70.00 mark.

Office is the Spice of Life

However you often don’t see this kind of selection elsewhere, they champion handfuls of styles and are not afraid to try a few weird combinations to make a truly special shoe.

I thought I’d pick a few styles and detail exactly why they have been chosen, and also what I’d be teaming them with.

After all a perfect outfit is redundant if you wear it with trainers (trainers whilst cycling to work, or for exercise purposes are definitely acceptable).

The Chosen Few

1. The Brogue is a style that is both practical and fashionable for autumn. If you are looking for a pair of shoes that are a step away from your average run-of-the-mill brogue then try this pair in suede.

With a ’60s style buckle and fringing they are the ultimate fashion accessory to team with your winter tea dresses, thick tights and a faux-fur stole.

Coming in three equally amiable colours, all you have to decide is which one is for you?

Dale Shoe, £60.00

2. A killer heel is an essential and the fashion-pack have recently been wandering about town in black court shoes, sometimes with a kitten heel, always stylish.

This pair have sexy curves and would look great with a pencil skirt. The heel is high enough to give you confidence but also not ridiculous. Three cheers for Office!

Black Court Shoe, £72.00

3. A perfect flash from the past these black ’60s mid-heels would compliment your  a-line skirt and silk blouse a treat.

Office themselves note that ‘channelling the 60’s trend, these are perfect for any Mod madame’s out there.’

I’ll be wearing them with little velvet minidresses.

With a chunky heel they are functional and the suede and buckle detail is clearly a running theme for Office this season.

Fiasco '60s heel, £72.00

4. I was thoroughly entranced by these little boots, an interesting colour contrast equals bags of style.

I’d pair with some cream opaque tights and a knit dress.

Slightly Victoriana with their lace-up style they tick all the boxes for me.

Keeper lace-up boot, £78.00

5. These tassel loafers are another favourite.

 

A close cousin of the Moccasin and smoking slipper the loafer is hot to trot this season.

Remember fashionlog.co.uk‘s nod to the smoking slipper?

If you haven’t jumped onboard yet here is the perfect slip-on. Just remember not to wear your loafers with jeans.

As they are casual you need to dress them up with a-line skirts, or peg-trousers.

Suede Loafer with Tassle, £65.00

 



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