Guest Post by Fashion Junior at Large
(George Langford)

Coco captured by Mert & Marcus for Love Magazine in 2009. Those eyes!

Fashion Editor at Large and Fashion Junior have this week realised we have developed a significant style crush on Miss Coco Sumner, who you will already know to be a key player in the London scene, lead singer of I Blame Coco, and the daughter of some old bloke called Sting (but we don't mention that part).

There have been rumblings of interest about this singer/songwriter for a while, and her striking look first came to our attention in a Burberry campaign last year:

That's Coco in the middle. Doesn't she scrub up nice? Photo by Mario Testino

However, this talented 19 year old is not content with a life in front of a camera. She is carving out a musical career with her band I Blame Coco and recently played the first in a string of summer festival dates. Sumner's unusual, husky voice (some of that musical DNA helps!) blends with 80's influenced electro-pop-rock, which makes for a very distinctive sound. However, where her music may stem from influences 30 years old, her fashion sense is fresh, new and very much her own.

In true fashion speak, her style would probably be described as a grunge-preppy hybrid, but basically, she is a bit of a tomboy. Rarely seen with makeup (aside from the statutory rock n'roll eyeliner), her hair is a tangled mess of dark, natural curls that infer she has been on a beach all day -  you get the impression Coco doesn't do 'high maintenence'. Whatever the outfit or occasion, she loves to cover up with a big hoodie/parka/wax jacket, and is a big fan of the new Barbour styles we posted about recently.

Red carpet event? Forget couture, Coco cracks out the wax jacket!

This is also a girl that doesn't do heels, and she is amassing a pretty impressive collection of vintage ankle boots, Doc Martens and Church's brogues (also the Fashion Ed's favourite, she has increased her collection from one to three pairs in the last month). Her style may be more on the scruffy side of casual, but she chooses strong, classic pieces with a masculine feel. Her super slender frame allows her to carry off tougher, over sized looks whilst still looking elfish and feminine.

Coco (and her scarf) perform at Glastonbury last weekend

 One key Coco piece is the woolly scarf, preferably of the type worn by public schoolboys, draped casually round her neck come rain or shine (she was even rocking one in the 90 degree heat at Glastonbury!). This makes a very refreshing change from the usual Afghan scarf/pendant combo still seen on many festival goers, with the added bonus of making her easy to spot in a crowd. She also favours a classic, plain button down shirt, which continues the androgynous theme but is pretty chic at the same time.

Fashion Editor at Large is wearing an almost identical outfit today. Spooky

It is extremely rare to spy Coco in any form of skirt, and she wears the recent mannish trouser trend with aplomb. Comfort and practicality obviously factor heavily in her outfit choices, but at the tender age of 19, she is already impressing us with her unique and innate style. Everything about her fashion sense exudes self confidence and an assured manner beyond her years. If nothing else, these straight talking, directional looks compliment her dynamic songwriting, which if the hype about her debut album 'The Constant' is to be believed, is where her true talent lies.   

Watch Coco's latest video for single Selfmachine (available to download from the 11th July)

**UPDATE** Funnily enough, just a few hours after we had posted this, I had the pleasure of witnessing Coco perform up close at the Lula/Harvey Nichols dinner yesterday evening (more to follow on that). She was just as beautiful in the flesh, wearing the same outfit that she had performed in at Glastonbury, and super tiny - she is a proper waif. She performed brilliantly and sounded even better live than on the radio, which is no mean feat! A genuinely talented, unique character.

Coco before she performed at the Lula/Harvey Nichols dinner - that's some attitude!

(Images: Love magazine, Burberry/Mario Testino, Rex Features)


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Back in February I wrote a piece for this blog on Hakaan, solving the mystery of who this unfamiliar name was that had cropped up on the London Fashion Week schedule. (Click the link, there are some great pictures!)

Writing "I made a couple of calls and discovered that he is a 39 year old Istanbul based designer, who won a major Turkish fashion competition. This earned him the attention of Mert Alas, one half of Matt & Marcus the photographic duo who shoot half of the worlds fashion campaigns."

The show was a success, attracting Kate Moss and Carine Roitfeld to the front row, and models included Natasha Vodianova, Anje Rubik, Lara Stone and Natasha Poly. Next Harvey Nichols signed Hakaan on an exclusive one-season deal, and to top off the designer's brilliant year today it has been announced that he has won ANDAM. For a young designer this is like winning the lottery !!

With a purse of E200,000, the ANDAM fashion grant is one of the biggest in the world. Chaired by Pierre Bergé, directed by Nathalie Dufour and backed by the Ministry of Culture and the DEFI, ANDAM has been identifying and promoting the most promising talents in contemporary fashion, in the process contributing to the vitality and international prestige of the Paris fashion scene for over 20 years.

It means we will lose Hakaan to the Paris schedule, which is a shame for us, but great for him, and also puts Istanbul on the fashion map. The iconic 90s designer Rifat Ozbek lives there full time, and now he has a fashion buddy. Go Hakaan!

Now I REALLY hope I run into him this weekend in Istanbul at the Istancool event organised by the amazing Liberatum organisation. It promises to be mindblowing, and I will be reporting direct from the event Friday through Sunday, and cannot wait! The program is totally inspiring.

The five designers who lost out are
Alexandre Vauthier, Francesco Scognamiglio, Bouchra Jarrar, Calla Haynes and Mark Fast

For more on the Andam Award 2010 finalists see Fashion Windows

Photo: Cuneyt Akeroglu/Grazia Daily


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

As holiday discoveries go, this was a good one. I met Corrado quite by chance. He was coming to meet a friend in the hotel we were staying at on Sardinina (see previous post), where he also happens to sell his jewellery. It is rather fantabulous to admire a designers work and then find yourself meeting him, seconds later.

Here he is with one his multi-strands of pearls. I bought a black pearl version, and it is sooo beautiful.

There is much more to Corrado than these images. He is so new he only had a few decent photos, but his body of work is large and varied. He is in the midst of a creative frenzy by all accounts. A day after meeting my other half he came back with a stunning Amethyst pendant piece he had created for her that day. How lovely is that?  His influences are mainly Chinese and Mediterranean and his work something to wear through summer to autumn and in the evening. My black pearls, however, (a black version of what Corrado is holding above) will become my constant evening companions!

As I said in my previous post, Corrado - an interior designer by trade and a trained costume designer - may be about to dedicate his career to making jewellery. Up until now it has been a hobby. He is looking for a London stockist, and I can confirm his prices are competitive.

Find Corrado at


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Never been a Glasto person. Love watching it. Especially on the BBC from the rural splendour of my room with a view on the North Eastern coast of Sardinia, nestled into the hills above Olbia. For those of you looking for a quick getaway from the UK, or a more glamorous far-flung jaunt from the Americas, look no further than the emerald isle of Sardinia. Located in the Med, beneath Corsica, this Italian island is a perfect escape. Warm, but not too hot weather, gentle breezes, a rocky but lush landscape and to boot we have discovered the ideal spa hotel to help us cut-loose from the world at large.

The view from the balcony of our room.

 To get to the room we need to pass through these dramatic boulders. Last night the moon rose above them creating this magical scene. 
The food is good. The wine excellent. There are two local Syrahs on the wine list that are pure pleasure on the palate. This journalist has just been given a tough Shiatsu massage by Paolo and am covered in a slick of oil and under strict instruction to stay out of the sun for two hours. 

The hotel pool

Last night we met an amazing local jeweller whose work has caught the attention of the Cartier president who came here for a team building dinner last week. An interior decorator by trade he began to design jewellery and is doing so well with word of mouth recommendations, he finds himself at a cross-roads in his life. Should he do the jewellery on the side, or should he take the plunge and do it full time? With his talent I suggested the latter. He is to bring me a CD of photos of his work later and I will share them with you so we can all judge.

Going into the main town for social activity tonight, the billionaire's playground of Porto Cervo. Will report back on the hot and not so hot spots tomorrow. Flavio Briatore's Billionaire Boys Club opens for the summer tonight. However we are going to drop by the Louise Alexander Gallery (run by some friends) and then head with them to the brand new restaurant by Mirko "Cortes", who is the ex manager of Phi Beach and Nikki Beach.  If you already know Sardinina "Cortes" is at the place formerly known as Sopravento.

Maybe after a few Mojito's we may venture to Billionaire to gawp at the fabulosity of the Eurotrash.

We are here: Petra Segreta Hotel, Sardinia. 
Photos: Fashion Editor at Large

June 21 Fashion Parade *Three Cheers for Red, White and Blue*

June 21 Fashion Parade *Three Cheers for Red, White and Blue*

A classic combination at this time of year.

Find a great vintage selection among the VFG member's offerings!

Vintage 1940s WWII Sweetheart Patriotic Celluloid Wood Pin from METRO RETRO VINTAGE


Vintage 1960s Patriotic Basket Purse from DAISY FAIRBANKS VINTAGE BOUTIQUE


Vintage 1950s Patriotic Bombshell Halter Dress from VIVA VINTAGE CLOTHING


You can find more fabulous vintage items from more sellers at the VINTAGE FASHION GUILD FASHION PARADE!

See more vintage clothing and accessories at the JUNE 24TH *FRESH VINTAGE* EDITION

All About Resort

Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Onto a dinner attended at the weekend with Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton of Preen to celebrate their resort 2011 collection. We were at Asia de Cuba at the St Martins Lane Hotel. While I marvelled at the fact ALL of my contemporaries no longer eat carbohydrates (and look fabulously glowy and slimline for it) I sat next to Thea and we happily ate carbs - that dangerous foodstuff known as brown rice - with the Preen Resort 2011 lookbook opened out poster-size in front of us pointing at pieces and jotting notes.

Here's a preview, with commentary from the designers.

"This is our new long skirt. It has a tailored section at the waist. The skirt itself is sheer. So when you walk, you see leg. But there is a tube skirt that sits above the knee, so you see this graphic shape underneath."  PREEN

"We are slightly obsessed with jumpers at the moment."

        "This is our new Power Dress. The straps move up and down. You can twist them."

"The thing about resort," said Thea, "is it needs to have a bit of everything. It hits the shops in November, and this is when buyers need an injection to their autumn buy. This could be holiday wear for a hot or very cold climate [beach or ski], red carpet dresses, or party dresses for the Christmas and New Year period in Europe and America," she explains. "Or it is summer fashion in the southern hemisphere. For us it is also a chance to develop the ideas, shapes, proportions and colours that propel the label forward."

Hearing Thea explain resort so simply was pure pleasure. Time was it was known as "Cruise" but only 0.00001% of the world population go on Cruises in December so Resort it has become, and I properly love it.  The fashion-geek I am, I spent all weekend perusing resort and made myself a little trend report on Powerpoint for  posterity

Indeed so good is the Preen resort, and pre-fall collection, that the couple - who have a 20 month old daughter named Fauve - have said that these in-between ranges have been tripling in sales season on season. "We launched our resort line 2008 and since then it has become a significant part of our business."  

Looking at it you can see why. I am particularly loving their new full above-knee skirt shape, the shade of Preen red the designers use, and the animal print. Have decided every single item in the collection ought to take residence in my wardrobe asap.

"We put a lacy white bra over a white T-shirt. This is the skirt shape we are feeling for now."

 "This is the dress I am wearing tonight," said Thea Bregazzi, "I'm wearing it as a dress, but the model here is wearing it with her legs through, like a playsuit. I love it when a piece has a dual purpose." 


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Models wearing (L to R) David Koma, Michael Van Der Ham, Mark Fast, Peter Pilotto
I am a NewGen panellist and am very proud of the fact. The wealth of emerging talent we have in the UK is managed so well, the result is we have an envied program that is yet to be bettered in the world. The chosen group of NEWGEN winners is given the correct advice, care and cash at exactly the right time in their careers. Sarah Mower the UK Ambassador for Emerging Talent is totally instrumental in this, as is TopShop for funds and the British Fashion Council and their stellar team who impress me ALL the time.

When one is involved with an initiative like this, seeing the winners all together on the day is quite an emotional experience. This journalist certainly found herself welling up at the sight of David Koma and Michael Van Der Ham taking their position in the line up. And seeing Christopher de Vos and Peter Pilotto, who are on their last round of suport and funding before they go it alone, take their place and knowing how well NEWGEN has served them is wonderful. When you know how damn hard these guys work its nice to know talent and hard work get recognised and nurtured by our system.
Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos
David Koma and model wearing a Koma AW10 dress.
Michael Van Der Ham with a model wearing an AW10 dress
                 Ed Vaizey the new Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries.MP 
                                            Lady Amanda Harlech, Jonathan Newhouse (Conde Nast)
                         THE CLASS OF SPRING 2011 COLLECTIONS
Top row: Models!
Second row (l-r): Peter Pilotto, Christopher De Vos, Jordan Askill, Craig Lawrence, model, JW Anderson, model, Henry Brown (Felicity Brown), David Koma, Dominic Jones, Michael Lewis, Michael van der Ham, Heikki Salonen.
Bottom row (l-r): Fannie Schiavoni, Holly Fulton, Jo Sykes, Louise Gray, Jackie JS. Lee, Atalanta Weller, Mary Katrantzou, Chau Har Lee, Yang Du.

Photos: Fashion Editor at Large and Alistair Guy/BFC

June 14 Fashion Parade: Get the Look: Marilyn Monroe

June 14 Fashion Parade: Get the Look: Marilyn Monroe

The effortless sensuality, beauty and glamour that Marilyn exuded both on and off screen make her one of the greatest fashion icons of all.

Find her timeless style in vintage strapless and halter neck dresses, flirty swimsuits, sexy yet elegant fitted cuts, sparkling jewelry and beautiful shoes. Red, white, black, beige and gold are favorite Marilyn colors...and don't forget your red lipstick!

Find a great vintage selection among the VFG member's offerings!

Vintage 1950s Blue Cotton Bombshell Halter Dress from POPPY'S VINTAGE CLOTHING


Vintage 1950s Foster Grant Cats Eye Sunglasses from PROPER VINTAGE CLOTHING


Vintage Hardy Amies Gold Tissue Lame Goddess Gown from DENISE BRAIN


You can find more fabulous vintage items from more sellers at the VINTAGE FASHION GUILD FASHION PARADE!

See more vintage clothing and accessories at the JUNE 17TH *FRESH VINTAGE* EDITION


Guest Post by George Langford (Glitterbird)
aka the NEW Fashion Junior at Large

Fashion and politics don't always mix, but it seems that Mr Cameron's recent arrival at Number 10 has had a significant effect on the style set. It may be 20 years since the Conservatives were last in power, but it has taken about 20 minutes for two very Tory garments to become essential fashion items for young cool scenesters everywhere. The Barbour jacket and straw boater hat, previously the uniform of public schoolboys and huntin', shootin' country folk, are now two of this summer's must-have items.

       The Barbour "Bedale" jacket £179 from

Barbour is an authentic, family owned British brand, which has long been the favoured supplier of outdoor garments to such style doyennes as the Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen.

 HRH Princess Royal showing the cool kids how it is done back in 1988!

The extremely Conservative, upper class jackets are traditionally dark forest green with a tartan lining and particularly pongy waterproof wax coating - so why on earth have they suddenly become fashionable?

This trend has been a slow-burning phenomenon of the power of street style - without any involvement by the brand itself, these jackets have fast become the only outerwear to be seen in, and if you aren't sporting one at a festival this summer, you might as well not have bothered going. Over the last three years, the Shoreditch set have embraced these chunky, hard wearing coats, and Barbour-fever has quickly spread across the rest of the UK.

Boys are rocking the 'Hackney Farmer' look, and smartening up their t-shirts and skinnies by slinging on a wax jacket, whilst girls are teaming theirs with floaty mini dresses and chunky boots for a surprisingly practical festival outfit.  Most bright young things are snapping up second hand Barbours at bargain prices - a brand new one can set you back around £200. However Barbour are quickly producing new styles to keep up with the fickle tastes of the festival crowd - wearing last years model is almost as bad as wearing some neon Wayfarer sunglasses (quelle horreur!). Alexa, Pixie Geldof et al were all wearing their Barbour "Bedale" see below and above at last weekend's Isle of Wight festival, so this trend ain't going nowhere (for this summer at least.) The other Barbour style storming up the popularity charts is the "Antique Coastal Durham".

 Alexa Chung at the Isle of Wight festival in her Bedale

The Antique Coastal Durham, £199.95 from

To get the genuine, country-fied Barbour look, have a look at Oxfam's vintage selection here or get a brand new one from BarbourByMail.
Also making a comeback is the straw boater hat, which has quickly usurped all other styles to be the headwear of choice. Boaters were usually only seen on the heads of very, very posh public schoolboys - they have been regulation accessories at Harrow and Eton for hundreds of years. Apart from a once yearly outing at the (also very posh) Henley regatta, boaters had been consigned to the fashion skip.

Public schoolboys at Henley

A minor celebrity called Lady Gaga wore one last year and kick started the boater revolution - now these cute, easy to wear hats are all over the high street and on the heads of many a style maven.

Gaga in 2009, looking fairly normal, wearing a boater

 CherryBlossomGirl's best pal and fellow blogger, Louise, at Paris Fashion Week.

They are infinitely more chic than the trilby and cowboy styles that seem to reappear every summer, perhaps because they are remain true to a traditional design, just like the Barbour jackets. Gabrielle Chanel originally made boaters fashionable back in the early 1900s - and anything that was good enough for Coco is good enough for me. I bought my own boater from the Angel's Vintage sale way back in March, much to the ridicule of my peers, but look who is laughing now...

If you want to buy your very own boater, check out the Urban Outfitters version here or this classic style from Albertus Swanepoel at Net-a-porter.

Perhaps this move towards traditional British heritage garments is some sort of ironic protest against the Conservative government - a subversive sartorial mockery of the class divide. Wearing a Barbour or a boater is no longer the sole territory of Home Counties residents - everyone is at it! Young, old, 'have' or 'have not', it doesn't matter anymore. Wear your countryside garments with pride and the knowledge that you know you are being ironic, even if no-one else does.

(Images: Wayne Tippet, Rex, Peter Stigter)

Me & Mrs Jones

Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Mrs Jones, Fi Doran by Jill Furnanovsky

The other day myself and the new fashion junior at large George Langford nipped along to see Fee Doran, aka Mrs Jones, the pop stylist and designer at the Clerkenwell studio she has just opened as a shop.  I've known Fee's work for years. She is totally inventive, clever, fun, and super-talented. She first came to my attention a decade ago with the label Doran Deacon which she co-owned with Giles Deacon. Yes, the same GILES who has just got the job as creative director at Ungaro.

Fee properly came to fame as an individual fashion force at Christmas 2001 when the white jumpsuit she designed for Kylie Minogue's worldwide Number 1 hit Can't Get You Out of My Head  became the unlikely star of the video. These days Florence Welch is wearing her gear onstage.

Flo's dress as seen in Mrs Jones Lookbook AW10

What I was not prepared for as I climbed - and climbed - my way to the top of a building more or less opposite my favourite London restaurant St. John, was the cacophony of costume madness that met me on the top floors. This apartment contains a design studio, and roomfuls of clothes that Mrs Jones refers to as "a decade of pop history." However, first of all I met this black fluffy dog with a dyed red streak down its back.


Turns out that little black Betty the poodle puppy was so black she blended with the variety of inky black rugs in the studio, and to save a visitor from becoming a dog killer, Mrs Jones gave her the red streak. V logical.

"All the clothes here represent my history and a pop history of the last decade," Mrs Jones told me at the event. "The way I innovate comes either from me having no money, or the artists I'm working with having no money." One of her favourite designs is the flared trousers made for Justin Hawkins of The Darkness from the pants thrown up on stage by fans. She refers to the raggle-baggle brilliance of what occupies her studio/shop as "Pop Stars Droppings." These include leftovers from Goldfrapp, The Killers, Rihanna and Madonna.

                                              These trousers could be yours for £2,500.

  Mrs Jones aka Fee Doran with a dress she created from a vintage find for Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters

"Take this dress, (above) I saw it in Portobello Road. It was a rejected piece. It was down to a few quid and I thought it would look great on Ana Matronic [Scissor Sisters]. My thinking is why not give something like this a second life? So I turned the dress upside down, added the string vest element, and voila! It was worn on stage by Ana." 

Is she still working with Scissor Sisters? "Well...this is the thing," she says. "I met the Scissor Sisters when they had no money and worked with them through their Comfortably Numb period [mid-noughties]. Then they met Elton John and got confused," she deadpans. Me and the new fashion junior George Langford (a girl) ripple with laughter.  Then a man comes over preening in a full-on leather jacket, (below) and we all burst out laughing. "God!!!" says Mrs Jones. "I did that for Bros back in the eighties!!" He bought it, too.

Luckily for us, Mrs Jones work is still coming out as unaffectedly individualistic as ever. "I'm not into fashion, I'm into music. I don't read magazines." Indeed, her new shop is amazing, just like a pop version of the classic kids show Mr Ben - you really can be who you want to be in here. Her new collection is fun (lookbook coming) and she is collaborating with young creatives including Parrillo London  and  special projects from Tatty Devine as well as Daddy's Favourite. 

As we are leaving I meet the latest musical artist to get the Mrs Jones treatment. Meet Kirsty Almeida, who released her single Spider yesterday, and releases her album Pure Blue Green on Decca in September. Mrs Jones created all the looks for the video shown on her home page link, and it is magical. Here is Kirsty posing with one of the dresses from her video. Paloma Faith and Florence watch out!
     The totally talented Kirsty Almeida with one of the sheet-music dresses Mrs Jones created for her new single Spider. 
Photos: As stated and Fashion Editor at Large

Pretty Girls all in a Row

The Past Perfect Vintage team on a shelf

I have always been struck by plaster millinery display heads. It's the glamor. Clearly these were sculpted and painted to be a version of the current fashion ideal. I am struck by the stylization. The closet thing out there today are wig heads, which are composite and of course have to be bald. It's just not the same.

These are 4 of my 6 display heads. The other 2? A 1950s dark brunette, very Joan Crawford in style, ................ for more: Past Perfect Vintage Blog