Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

It's safe to say that the AW11 collections in London were all about print. Our eyes were bombarded from every side with a rich feast of colour and shape blended into graphic patterns, and it was exciting to see so many designers embracing the allure of prints. We were transfixed, so decided to put our art-historian hat on to discover what the inspirational pieces which may have inspired the London designers.

Three stand-out collections deserve a closer look: the amazing prints at Erdem, Jonathan Saunders and Mary Katrantzou.


We always have high expectations of Erdem's exquisite print designs, and this season their stunning beauty took on a new level of depth.

This statuesque column dress features an array of vibrant jewel tones; the velvet fabric adds to the rich depth of colour and gives the impression that different fabrics have somehow been burnt and fused together.

This trench - which no doubt be gracing many a Fashion Editor's back come next Fashion Week - has distinct echoes of Monet's Waterlillies series of paintings.

Blood red, stunning floral explosions and dappled colour. There is something about the drama and romanticism of these prints makes me think of Pre-Raphelite paintings.

Monet's Reflections of Clouds on the Water

Nymphs Finding The Head Of Orpheus by John William Waterhouse

La Belle Dames Sans Merci by John William Waterhouse

Jonathan Saunders

This collection was breathtaking in it's simple, yet beautiful elegance, and Saunders' amazing use of colour. The incredible repeated floral prints and bird imagery had strong similarities to the William Morris aesthetic of the late 1800s, but the colour palette ensured the looks felt contemporary.

The primary motifs were these intricate floral and botantical designs...

...interspersed with these blocky graphic shapes, which recall 1930s styles.

This lovely bird print was confirmation that birds will be EVERYWHERE by the time autumn comes around.

Prints upon prints upon prints! Inspired by nature, but made much more exciting with these bright hues!

William Morris ceramic tiles from the late 19th Century

The Strawberry Thief by William Morris

Snakeshead by William Morris (1867)

An original 1930s dress pattern, which echoes the shape and prints of Jonathan Saunders AW11

Mary Katrantzou

Quite possibly the best collection of the week, Mary's designs were spectacular, each print a complex hybrid of artistic references, including the superlative extravagance of Fabergé eggs, traditional Oriental designs and Russian Orthodoxy.

This painting-within-a-print is a beautiful example of ancient Japanese artistry.

The combination of graphic shapes and floral designs call to mind the decadent interiors of Russian cathedrals...

...while another Russian influence is clear to see: the gorgeous artwork of Fabergé eggs.

The Rose Trellis Fabergé egg, created in 1907 - a direct reference for Katrantzou's AW11 collection

The original Fabergé Imperial Clover egg, created in 1902 for the Tzar, Nicholas II, to give to his Tzarina. We'd settle for a piece from Mary Katrantzou AW11!

The interior of St Basil's Cathedral, with its beautiful floral designs

Traditional Japanese painting and kimono fabric, a distinct inspiration for the collection.

The scene has officially been set: prints will be at the forefront of fashion for AW11, and this time around they are intricate, bold and entirely beautiful.

Harry Angelo Catalog,March 1923 Installment #2

The House of Agnes is certainly well represented in this catalog. I haven't made a strict count, but I would say they? she? sold Harry Angelo the most models that season. This is a house that was open 1906 -1931 and then until 1963 as Agnes-Drecoll. Not the milliner. That's a different Agnes. Ans here's an interesting note. These are Spring fashions. The catalogue is dated March. Today, fashions are shown almost 7 - 8 months in advance.
Correction: I just found a write up for the house of Agnes in the 9/26/1899 New York Sun. So the 1906 date is wrong.

No. 6 Agnes
"Formal coat and dress costume of white crepe romaine with heavily embroidered pattern in white soutache. The three quarter length coat is made on mandarin lines with a narrow collar of tailed ermine. The bodice of the dress is extensively embroidered and the skirt is made with four embroidered panels posed on a foundation also embroidered. Embroidery pattern No. 106"
for more:

Snow Day Sale at NorthStar Vintage!

Even though it's snowing like crazy outside, I am itching to move some inventory so I can start adding spring items.  So it's time for a sale.

Use the coupon code SNOWDAY in my Etsy store for 25% off.

Or use the coupon code SNOWDAY in my webstore and get 25% off.

Or heck, use the coupon code in both stores! I promise I'll use some of the proceeds to buy some seeds.

February 21 Fashion Parade: First Ladies

In honor of President’s Day, we salute the often highly influential style of America’s First Ladies. Jackie Kennedy’s style will surely be represented, but who knows who else will show up…including our current very stylish First Lady, Michelle Obama. Let's find out!

Find a great vintage selection amongst the VFG members' offerings!

Vintage 80s CHANEL Boutique Heather Blue Wool Tweed Skirt from RETROWEAR


Vintage Early 30s Decorative Chiffon Bodice Navy Silk Day Dress from MARIAN'S VINTAGE VANITIES CLOTHING


Vintage Early 60s Irish Couture Tailored Navy Blue Suit from KICKSHAW


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


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Girl #1: Abbey Lee Kershaw after the Issa show at London Fashion Week on Saturday. 
Look: Abbey is wearing a key look for A/W 11 - the grand gesture fake fur jacket.

I'm a moth to the flame of great photography, especially fashion photography. Recently added to that category for me is the art of street fashion photography. The last few years has seen it become a significant genre both online and in book publishing, complete with its own visual rules and power players. So many people want to be the 'next big thing' in street style photography it has got to the point that walking into any fashion show venue anyplace in the world is akin to a game of British Bulldog.

Of course most senior among the street-style photographers is Scott Schuman; I also appreciate the work of Tommy Ton and Garance Dore. I'm not a fan of Facehunter - his images feel bland and un-engaging to me. But I do have another name to add to my list and that is Phill Taylor.

Phill Taylor

Taylor is 28 and from Leicester, he is a professional fashion photographer who has worked with serious players, notably Nick Knight, Gemma Booth, Alice Hawkins and Ruth Hogben since graduating with his photography degree in 2008. Last year he started taking street style pictures with his Canon 5D mark II for his girlfriend Hannah Almassi (my former assistant, currently the junior fashion news editor of Grazia), for the magazine's Style Hunter pages, and started a blog with his unpublished works. In a short space of time his blog has gained a large following for its wry and warm written observations of the girls and women he captures, and of course for the wonderful photographs.

His work always stops me in my tracks. Unlike Tommy who has an penchant for the eccentric character (Anna Dello Russo, French turban-loving stylist Catherine Baba) and a sublime eye for capturing details and accessories, Phill has an emotional connection with the girls and women he photographs, and it is not predatory unlike some people I could mention. He captures them being themselves seemingly when nobody (especially a bloke)  is looking, except he is a guy. How does he do that?

Girl #2: Clara Paget attending London Fashion Week. 
Look: bright blonde hair, all-black leather and chiffon outfit with an animal print bag. This feels like the London look for now.   

"I learnt a lot from Gemma (Booth) and Alice (Hawkins,)" he told me today when he popped in so we could edit the pictures here to encapsulate five women and five distinct fashion looks that I feel are right for now. "I came to understand a more gentle approach through them. It doesn't feel abusive. When I take a picture, whether it is for a main fashion shoot or for the street style work, I'm guessing what this person is like, and how they are naturally. In a fashion sense I am trying to guess the character they are playing that day. I start a dialogue with them in my head."
Girl #3: Model Charlotte Free taking a pre-show fag break before the TopShop Unique show last Sunday. On his blog Phill wrote "Charlotte Free introduced herself to all the street photographers by bursting out the doors, [from backstage at the Unique fashion show, where she was modelling] leap- frogging over a wall and steps and screaming "oh my god, no way! I fucking love Geese!". She then proceeded to chase two Canadian Geese that had appeared from the Thames behind us."
Look: As for me I love tough girls like Charlotte. She is a total tomboy and full of angst. She is also a bit of a midge for a model, but I expect she will become a fashion icon in the space of a week (well she is to me already).

Girl #4: Bip Ling between shows at London Fashion Week this week. Look: The cute DJ and blogger is working a neck-to-ankle print look very successfully.

"The difference with me," says Phill, "is that I'm a photographer who shoots on the street, not a blogger who shoots street photography.  My work is an observation. On the blog I'm in a position to express how I feel about a girl's style and how they draw my attention when I see them walking down the street. I guess its an emotional response."
Phill's current favourite girl to capture on the fashion circuit is 20 year old Swedish model Dorothea Barth Jorgensen. This picture, he says, "makes me feel like Dorothea's about to get a flight in the mid-70s, except for the phone of course. I absolutely love this look and Dorothea is...just chic, polite and naturally beautiful."

Girl #5: Dorothea Barth Jorgensen. Look: cropped jacket and wide-leg trousers with platforms. The seventies remixed for 2011. 



Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

I think we can all agree that Chanel is the greatest fashion brand in the world. Perhaps in the Universe. All the best aliens wear Chanel.  If you have ever been to Colette in Paris, you may well also agree on the fact that it is one of the world's most-exciting-to-shop-in-shops.

So it delights me to share that over Paris Fashion Week Chanel and Colette are joining forces to open a pop-up boutique at 336-340 rue Saint-Honoré. (Moments from my paris hotel, oh happiness.) Stretching over 200 m², the space will be assembled in the industrial surroundings of a former garage. Chanel does love an industrial interior - as evidenced by their regular showings at the Grand Palais, below.

Chanel finale for Spring/Summer 2011

Their installation will combine, says the press release:

"fashion, visual arts and musical performances, resulting in a fun-fuelled, creative mix by Chanel and Colette with a rock ‘n’ roll vibe. The headlining creations from Chanel Spring-Summer 11 collection will be juxtaposed with a selection from young designers chosen by Colette. Classic Chanel bags and this season’s bag designs will be originally customised by various artists.  ÉRES [the swimwear brand owned by Chanel] will be included in the mix with pieces from its collection in a palette of black and iridescent hues that will beautifully contrast with Maison MICHEL’s spotted veils. Also waiting to be discovered, or rediscovered, is a selection of books published by Éditions 7L and back issues of Visionaire magazine. "

Sounds too good to miss in every possible way. See below for the schedule - if, like me, you're in Paris through fashion week, this will offer a perfect break from the madness.

Sketch of Coco with her Colette bag by Karl Lagerfeld 

A collector’s doll by Karl Lagerfeld,
A cupcake bar from Chez Bogato 
A special playlist created by Michel Gaubert provides the finishing touch, available to all boutique customers.
The harpischord performace on Friday March 4th
The Chanel nail bar on 8th and 10th of March

 FRANCOIS CLOUET Half-length portrait of Catherine de’Medici, 16th century. Collection Institut de France, Musée Condé, Château de Chantilly (France)
GEORGE HOYNINGEN-HUENE Gabrielle Chanel with a white collaret1939© Horst
DUSAN RELJIN Carmen Kass wearing an outfit from CHANEL’s 2009 Fall/Winter Ready-to-Wear collection © RMN (Domaine de Chantilly)/René-Gabriel Ojéda
Images taken from CULTURE CHANEL exhibition at the MoCA Shanghai until March 14th

Tuesday, March 1 : between 4pm and 6pm

Kevin Lyons, designer and illustrator, will be customising bags
Wednesday, March 2 : between 3pm and 6pm
Camellia demonstration by a LEMARIÉ craftsman
Thursday, March 3 : between 4pm and 6pm
The illustrator Soledad will be customising bags
Friday, March 4 : from 5pm
Harpsichord performance by the pianist and composer Maxence Cyrin, 
Saturday, March 5 : between 3pm and 6pm
Graffiti artist André will be customising bags
Monday, March 7 : between 4pm and 6pm
Graffiti artist Fafi will be customising bags
Tuesday, March 8 : between 3pm and 6pm
CHANEL nail bar
Wednesday, March 9 : between 4pm and 6pm
SO-ME, graphic artist and illustrator, will be customising bags
Thursday, March 10 : between 3pm and 6pm
CHANEL nail bar

LÉON BAKST Costume design for Potiphar’s wife in “Joseph’s Legend” 1914 Watercolor, gold paint and pencil on paper © Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Theater and Dance Collection, don de Madame Adolph B. Spreckels
KARL LAGERFELDnThe “Coromandel” coat, 1996 Fall/Winter CHANEL Haute Couture Collectionm © Photo Karl Lagerfeld
BORIS LIPNITZKIGabrielle Chanel in front of the Coromandel screens of her apartment at 31 rue Cambon, Paris. 1937© Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet
Images taken from CULTURE CHANEL exhibition at the MoCA Shanghai until March 14th



Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

So, that's over with for another season. Over the past five days, the Fashion Editor at Large and I have been to 40 different shows and presentations scattered all over London town, whilst also finding time to blog, network, and in the case of the Fash Ed, carry out a live Q&A session in Topshop with the brilliant David Koma.

None of this would have been possible (or at least, it would have been a darn sight more difficult!) if it wasn't for the wonderful people at Mercedes-Benz, who supplied our transport for the week, along with our lovely driver Nick (he rules!)

He got us to every show, and didn't offer a word of complaint as highly strung fashion girls piled in and out of the backseat, which steadily filled up with press releases, goody bags and hastily-eaten lunches!

Having this magical form of transportation allowed us to do so much more...

Here's the Fash Ed doing her thing:

Tweeting all the latest news on the move:

And even being interviewed in the back of our car:

So that's another fashion week officially in the bag: Mercedes, we couldn't have done it without you!

Images: Copyright FEAL


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

We have been dedicated worker bees this Fashion Week, and have been getting up early and going home early, in order to ensure we had the energy to keep going, helped along by our Mercedes and driver Nic! However there was one event yesterday that topped of our list of social activities: the Charlotte Olympia cocktail party at Mark's Club in Mayfair, held to present her AW11 collection and the accompanying short film, a glamorous murder mystery starring Portia Freeman.

Not usually being one to frequent exclusive Mayfair members clubs, I was confused at first about the entrance, which appears to be the normal front door of a town house. However, one foot inside, it was clear to see why this typically English, elegant and genteel club was the perfect setting for a Murder Mystery themed soiree. 

 Delicate petit fours were positioned around the sumptuous surroundings, while guests drunk proper tea from proper porcelain and whisky from crystal tumblers. The general atmosphere was one of a decadent yet civilized sophistication. The perfect respite for a group of weary fashionistas!

Shoes and cake, delicious!

Now, on to the serious matter of the shoes. Charlotte Olympia rocks our world - her designs are always incredibly sexy, colourful and fun. Their special platform and gold spiderweb logo sole are instantly recognisable. So I for one was desperate to see what she had in store for AW11. The shoes were dotted about the room, hidden on bookshelves, next to cake stands and - most perfect of all - placed under antique glass bell jars. A befitting protection for shoes that are beautiful enough to be considered works of art.

 Charlotte herself was wearing this delectable pussycat pair.

These Victoriana boots wouldn't look out of place on an Agatha Christie heroine...

 Bruce, Charlotte's porcelain leopard mascot, usually reclines in her shop window, but his face has popped up in the AW11 collection!

 Tinkling the ivories whilst drinking some single malt. A dangerous combination...

 The shoes to surpass all other shoes. Bedazzling crystals in an alluring 1930s design, be still my beating heart. 
We retired to a sitting room for the screening of the short film, which stars Portia Freeman as three different muses, each going to murderous lengths to acquire the crystal shoes. There are sultry close ups and mysterious glances, as women in disguise sneak and trick their way into each other's boudoirs. It's terribly kinky! 

Portia Freeman, Charlotte Dellal's longtime friend and muse

Charlotte, Portia and film director Jam

I caught up with Charlotte, who was looking polished and poised as always, and asked her about the collection. She told me that as usual, she had taken inspiration from fabulous women of the 1930s and 40s, in this case Agatha Christie heroines. Even though, personally, I can't think of a more wonderful pair of shoes than the crystal stunners that star in the film, she finds it impossible to pick a favourite from the shoes she designed, although she leans towards the leopard-face pumps for AW11. Mainly because they are inspired by her shop mascot, the magnificent porcelain leopard named Bruce!

Charlotte's personal favourites.

Stills from the short film show off the amazing detailing...

... well as comedy moments of darkly gothic humour, with a slightly fetish theme

For a dedicated high heel wearer, these are the most glamorous slippers Charlotte could imagine!

Portia is the perfect screen siren to show off Charlotte Olympia's sultry designs. And from a journalistic note, watching this gorgeous three minute wonder is a whole lot more fun than flicking through a lookbook!

Enjoy it for yourself here.

All pictures: FJAL and Charlotte Olympia