Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

So there might be Christmas lights going up and endless 3 for 2 offers on wrapping paper but we prefer to focus on the finer aspects of the impending festive season, namely what we dream of finding tucked under the tree on Christmas morning. But do we really dream anymore? Once you're past the age of 11, does Christmas become just a list of things to buy and do? Well, not if some of the Best Fashion Brands in the World have their way.

David Sims for Miu Miu Resort with Guinevere Van Seenus, one of the worlds best models.

Chanel, Prada and Miu Miu mostly trade on the fact that, for most people, they represent an escape from the reality of the day-to-day; I know the moment I pull on my one item of Chanel (some two-tone tights with the double C logo at the ankle) I feel lifted away like Wendy flying off to Never-Never land with Peter Pan. This is pretty much the same feeling I had opening my shiny new bike or Baby Born Doll (Ballerina Sindy in FashEd's experience). We may all be used to ooh-ing and aah-ing each February and September at the catwalk shows (just like I did at Toys'R'Us in my younger years)  but these savvy brands know that this is just the door to the Narnia of our imaginations. Once they've sown the seeds of desire, irresistible Christmas collections land in our inboxes and they know that this is the route to making Christmas just as full of anticipation and delight as back in those childhood dolly-loving days.

The selection below will cater to the woman and the girl in all of you. Crucially, each and every item shown is a classic which embodies the brand which has lovingly crafted it to give us a lifetime of satisfaction and a squeal of delight come December 25th.
An Under The Sea cuff
The Chanel Camellia- this could just as easily be from 1960 as it is from 2011. The heather shade is a wintry update
on the usual white.

I have a bit of a thing for pearl earrings- I like to think I wear them in a sort of ironic, eighties sloane ranger sort of way but it is quite likely that I don't really pull that off! Nevertheless, I cannot think of a more perfect combination than my beloved pearls, with that interlocked C Chanel logo hovering above as an explicit indicator of their provenance.
My friends and I have been unbelivably organised about our NYE plans this year. We are off to a Prohibition Party- this necessitates a full-on twenties flapper extravaganza in the wardrobe department. Thus, the shoes below are quite possibly the perfect starting point with their jewels and delicate T-bar. This image is going straight onto the mood board for my look and if I happen to come into a fortune between now and NYE then these will be mine!

All the above available in Chanel boutiques from November/December +44 207 493 5040
 The Miu Miu seletion has a more fun element than the Chanel but then that's what the Prada's little sister is all about isn't it? All these jewels look like they're from a little rich girl's version of Claire's Accessories- in a really good way!

Miu Miu £295, available from November

Miu Miu £150, available from November
 The pearls and gems are a bit Queen meets Little Princess...

Do Miu Miu do Christmas Crackers? Can this fall out of one please?
£395, available from November

Note to anyone who knows me ;) £395, available from November
 We'll be needing this to carry about all our jewels and trinkets. I just really hope Tom Cruise doesn't buy up the entire stock for Suri...
Miu Miu £750, available from November

Even though Miuccia might like to have us think that Prada is all grown- up and ladylike, she has been messing with that very notion for some time now. Last season's banana motif and the flaming car for SS12 show that there is a very childish element to be enjoyed by a Prada woman. The Christmas collection only enhances that philosophy, mixing up modern essentials like leather iPad cases and purses with quirky key rings which could almost be stocking fillers bought in Hamley's.  This means the adult in us can justify the usefulness of the gift, while the little kid will just want to play at attaching the key ring to everything all Christmas day long (and beyond), win/win....
Happy Face Butterfly
All Prada and Miu Miu items range from £195-£990, available from November

Ahhhhhhh! Pengy.
All Prada and Miu Miu items range from £195-£990, available from November

Its Bichon Prada!
All Prada and Miu Miu items range from £195-£990, available from November

 This furry purse hints at the fraggle rock puppet fun fur theme from AW11...

Fraggle Wallet
All Prada and Miu Miu items range from £195-£990, available from November


All images courtesy of Prada, Miu Miu & Chanel

Oct 24th Fashion Parade: The VFG Goes Goth

Goth as a style is now vintage, and it was certainly vintage-inspired from its start in the early 80s.

This week the VFG takes a walk on the dark side with Victorian clothing, black leather, mourning jewelry, fishnets, corsets, lace, black, black and more black (tinged with the occasional purple and scarlet).

Black Velvet 1920's Clutch Evening Coat offered by Viva Vintage Clothing

Antique Beaver Top Hat available at Poppy's Vintage Clothing

Victorian Black Mourning Bodice Top with Sequins & Beads offered by
Vintage Devotion

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


Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

Hello Friday Fashion lovers. Welcome once again to your end of week fashion news round-up...

 First up, our immaculately placed sources tell us  that Marc Jacobs will CATEGORICALLY not be taking the vacant role at Dior, despite all the hype pointing to his imminent appointment. I'm afraid we can't shed much light on who it will be but the FashEd is thinking that it may end up being a complete surprise, somebody we've hardly heard of before. Quite frankly, I wish they'd just hurry up and tell us- the suspense is too much.
Marc with Kate Moss after Louis Vuitton SS12 (Image from
In other Marc related news, this week he has been appointed a member of the CFDA board- the panel which represents the American fashion industry and exerts influence in all areas of the fashion world. It seems baffling that after many years at the top of his game, designing for his two eponymous labels as well as Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs has only just been admitted onto the panel. Proenza Schouler duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez also took up their places.
The Proenza boys (Image from
Golly jeeps, I'll stop going on about anything Marc related in a mo, I promise. However our third bit of news is the rumoured development of Louis Vuitton's first perfume. WWD reported that Jacques Cavallier- Belletrud, whose family are long time perfumers from Grasse, the home of fragrance making, will begin concocting something in January. That's all we know at the moment. Many of the world's biggest design houses are summed up by their perfumes; Chanel No.5 and YSL Rive Gauche are just two which spring to mind. Thus if this perfume comes off, it will be an echo of Louis Vuitton's identity, rather than part of it.
Sacks of rose petals used to make Chanel No.5, in Grasse (Image from
 My Monday was greatly brightened by the news that King Karl Lagerfeld is launching a new and very affordable line of clothing. Prices will start at just 60 euros in the 100 piece collection which will be available from 25th January at Net-a-Porter. According to those in the know, Saskia de Brauw stars in the lookbook; highlights include a backless black dress and silver jeans as well as Karl's own personal favourite fingerless gloves.It seems the venture is mostly down to Pier Paolo Righi who heads up the Karl Lagerfeld brand. His philosophy? It would be stupid not to build on the 100 million euro plus which Lagerfeld already generates. Business sense for them, fashion joy for us!
Karl Lagerfeld with Pier Paolo Righi
After her wedding dress was heavily referenced by the Duchess of Cambridge back in April, my obsession with Princess Grace of Monaco A.K.A Grace Kelly hit an all time high. Wonderful timing then for a film about a six month period of her life with Prince Rainier of Monaco when she played a central role is abating tensions with France. After much wrangling, the script by Arah Amelhaving will now be produced by Pierre Ange Le Pogam. I should imagine that Princess Grace would be a dream character to play for any actress. My personal picks would be January Jones, whose Mad Men character Betty Draper has consistently been compared to Princess Grace, or Rosamund Pike who can flit between icy and warm with immense talent. Both have the look to do justice to a woman who is oft called one of the most beautiful ever. Now, who will design the costumes?
Grace Kelly (image from

January Jones as Betty Draper in Mad Men, with Don (Image from
In an interview with WWD today, Raf Simons explains how he took the Jil Sander brand  and made it his own by going beyond the parameters which the label had previously worked within:

'I started with the idea of being inspired by everything that I thought was not allowed in the brand Jil Sander — other cultures, another time, another moment in history,” Simons recalled. “It was very naked, very exposed — at least for the Jil Sander brand. That [2009] show was very well received. When I saw that it started to work, and the followers of the brand were open to it and we also got a new customer in, I thought it was the moment to start exploring a new form of language.'
A 20s inspired dress from Simons' Spring 2009 collection for Jil Sander (Image from
These comments are fascinating in the context of all the SS12 geeking that the FashEd and I have been doing. We've noticed that some our favourite collections have taken reference from a bygone era but made that reference look incredibly modern and right for now. Take a look at the drop waist dresses at Theysken's Theory or Preen's Virginia Woolf influences (which I blogged about during LFW) to see what I mean. 
Raf Simons (from
Finally, this film from is such a treat for anybody who loves fashion- so I assume that's all of you! Cathy Horyn from the New York Times talks to Alexander McQueen Creative Director Sarah Burton. We hear about the fashion industry from their perspective and how McQueen faithfully retains its aesthetic from season to season, apparently eschewing trends, or a desire to set them. I remember watching Sarah Burton explain the royal wedding dress and I could listen to her going through intricate details and elements of artisanship for hours on end such is the depth of her knowledge and the passion with which she narrates it.The film itself also zooms through pieces from the SS12 collection so you can sort of say you've been inside a McQueen gown. If I haven't sold it to you by now then please just watch it!

Diving for McQueen on


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

A panoramic of TopShop's silky scarf print bombers and lingerie looks for next season

The amazing prototype of Mary Katrantzou's first TopShop dress collection. How alike is this to her runway version?? It will retail for £350.

Pretty pastel and leather sporty mesh for TopShop SS12 shoes

Its been a long day attending press days all over London and meeting deadlines. I've got two Grazia stories running next week, so the proofs had to be triple checked, and we're also brainstorming for the next issue of POP. So here I am at 8.19pm still at my desk eating rubbery cashew nuts because I am starving.

The TopShop press day today was held at the Rebecca Hossack gallery just off Fitzroy Square in London. It was the first time ever the brand has broken away from showing with the rest of Arcadia Group with a solo presentation. Their way of asserting their fashion brand status, I guess. Topshop was, afterall, the most tweeted about label during London Fashion Week after Burberry.  It was a street-chic showing - all very Versace and 90s Sportwear, and the first of ex Vogue Senior Fashion Editor Kate Phelan in her new role as Creative Direector.

I expected Salt n Pepa "Push It" to bust out of the speakers while I mosied my way through the silky bomber jackets, pastel pink jeans and silver Y-back tanks but got Neneh Cherry "Manchild" instead. British fashion is having a major 90s moment at street level. I'm not sure who to blame for this, though I'm beginning to suspect Ayishat and Louize (Cher Lloyd's stylists) will be all over this range like a rash. What I saw available at TopShop was so very 90s took me back to my schooldays of wearing hoodies, high-tops and pastel yellow jeans.  #Nostalgia

Oh and one more thing: last week I raised the issue of whether we could/should wear hi-top wedge trainers, and suggested the high-street got on the job because the Isabel Marant Bekket has sold out gllobally, and lookie here at what Toppers has in store for us...Great minds, hey?

from my Twitter feed @fashedatlarge

All photos: Fashion Editor at Large

Fading Shades ~ VFG Etsy Treasury

'Fading Shades' by bigyellowtaxivintage

Vintage 50s Hat Pur...


Vintage 1950s Ribbe...


Vintage 60s Eduardo...




Vintage 60s Dress M...


Gold lurex lame pla...


Vintage Dress Gold ...


Vintage 1960's ...


SALE Vintage 1950s ...


50s Vintage Dress B...


Boldly Printed Vint...


50s vintage baby bl...


Edgy Cropped Motorc...


Vintage 1980s Silve...


OOOH LA LA a 1950s...


Vintage 60s Sheath ...


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

The Couture Allure Halloween Costume Contest!

Want to win a $50.00 Couture Allure Gift Certificate?  
Announcing the Couture Allure Halloween Costume Contest!!!!!

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?  If you are incorporating actual vintage clothing or just dressing up as someone from another era, we want to see your costume!  Send me a photo of you in your Halloween costume and I'll post it here on the Couture Allure blog and Facebook fan page for all to enjoy.  The winner will be chosen by random drawing on Friday, November 4.  The winner will receive a $50.00 gift certificate to use at Couture Allure!

Whether you're dressing up as a flapper....

...a 1950s housewife....

...a 60s modster.....

...or a hippie.

Whether you're dressing up as Scarlett O'Hara....

...Marilyn Monroe...

...Sonny or Cher...

...we want to see your costume!

Contest rules:
1.  Your costume must incorporate actual vintage clothing or it must be inspired by the fashions or a person from the 1980s or earlier.  If you're dressing as a robot, a mummy, or Lady Gaga I know you'll look fabulous, but your costume will not be eligible for this contest.
2.  You must be willing to have your photo published on the Couture Allure blog and on the Couture Allure Facebook page.  
3.  Your photo can be a costume you wore this year or it can be from previous years.  The photo must be of you, not a friend, not some random person you saw at a party or parade.  Photos of children will not be accepted for this contest.  I reserve the right to not publish photos I deem offensive or inappropriate for this blog.
4.  Email your photo to info at coutureallure dot com.  Include the name you want posted with your photo.  If you have a blog, I'm happy to link to you so send that information too. Tell me whether you are wearing actual vintage or were just inspired by another era.  Include an email where I can contact you if you are the winner.  Photos must be received by Wednesday, November 2, 2011.
5.  Winner will be chosen by random drawing on Friday, November 4.  Winner will receive a $50.00 gift certificate to be used toward any purchase at Couture Allure.  Gift certificate cannot be redeemed for cash and must be used by April 1, 2012.  Item(s) purchased with the gift certificate cannot be returned.