Thursday, 21 August 2008


Two of the biggest Festivals this summer are over, but thankfully we still have three big festivals to look forward to! Creamfields (23-25th Aug), Reading (23-25th Aug) and Besitval on the Isle of White (5-7th Sept).

With British weather and rustic camping to contend with, you may find it a little tricky to dress accordingly without losing your sense of style, so I’m here to help!

Seeing the likes of Sienna Miller, Kelly Osborne, Ferne Cotton Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Moss (to name just a few of my favourite festival junkies) looking comfortably stylish and chic in festival snapshots has made festival wear a new, unique style of its own which doesn’t necessarily need to be restricted to festivals anymore. Festival style clothing is comfortable, refreshing and non restrictive. People tend to push their own personal boundaries a little with a happy blend of hippy, bohemian, retro, nu-rave and emo... anything goes. We’re now seeing plenty of festival inspired clothing on the street, so even those who don’t plan to attend any of the upcoming festivals - read on for a little fashion inspiration.

Dresses are a super easy, simple and comfortable option for festivals. They also add a little glamour and femininity for those who choose to go it au-natural (sans make-up). Amongst a huge selection of great dresses at Asos, I found this lovely ditsy print dress which would be a perfect dress for any festival (£55).

Click to buy: Link to item

This type of dress would look fantastic teamed up with a brown waist-belt and thick black tights. I also found this gorgeous long knitted waistcoat at Miss Selfridge (shop online at for a hippy, boho ‘Sienna’ look (and to add little warmth).

Click to buy: Link to item

If shorts are more your style, Topshop ( and ASOS ( have a fantastic choice, from high waisted ‘Mischa Barton style shorts’ to hipster ‘Kate Moss style’ hot pants. I love these eye catching turquoise coloured hot pants (£25); coloured denim is tipped to be a very popular trend this season!

Click to buy: Link to item

For a relaxed, dressed-down but funky festival style, I’m also loving these logoed t-shirts from ‘Junk Food’s’ latest range as seen recently on Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

Click to buy: Link to item

To keep warm in the evenings, I suggest either a trendy warm hoodie or a lightweight jacket. You’ll find a decent selection on the high street, but this Animal Print Bomber from New Look is our favourite at just £20.

Click to buy: Link to item

A sensible bag is a definite ‘must’ at a Festival, something stylish yet practical, which will allow you to dance to your hearts content without losing your valuables. Messenger styles are the most appropriate, and we just adore this gorgeous Woven bag from ASOS.

Click to buy: Link to item

For the Nu-raver’s amongst you, bum-bags are the way forward, and Topshop have delivered, offering them in both blue and pink for £15.

That’s the clothes sorted, now lets talk wellies! If you prefer a plain pair of Wellies, then Hunter’s are the way to go, seen on the likes of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. This year they have launched their new ‘Festival’ range retailing at £75.

For the more fun-loving festivalgoer who wants something a little special to splash around the mud in we love these Babycham Wellies (£29.99 at dr shoes)
If wellies really aren’t your thing then how about these leather boots from Topshop? You could even team them up with your favourite pair of knee high socks.

Click to buy:Link to item

Of course, no festival outfit would be complete without your favourite pair of sunnies and plenty of good accessories. We love these Jeepers Peepers in candy colours (£12) and this leopard print scarf from Oasis to keep you warm. (£20)

For the perfect Festival outfit, dress comfortably, fields and stilettos do not mix! And remember layering is key!
Post written by:
Alexa Gilbert
(London College of Fashion)

Saturday, 16 August 2008

The clutch bag

So, we're seeing the clutch everywhere this season, but are you hesitant to try them? My first thoughts on the clutch bag trend were: 'extremely stylish, but totally impractical!' I mean, what if I need to use my hands? Having a bag over my shoulder, or in the crook of my arm is what I'm used to and definitely seems a much more sensible and practical option. That was until I spotted a beautiful cream croc skin oversized clutch a few months ago and tried it out... I fell head over heels in love! Seriously, it was so comfortable in the palm of my hand. I bought it and wore it out that weekend, kind of expecting to get irritated with it halfway through the night, but I took the chance anyway because it looked so good.

From my own experience, I would highly recommend a clutch bag now, I love this style. The clutch really fits super comfortably in the palm of your hand. When you sit down it looks pretty on your lap too, and if you need to use your hands - it clutches neatly underneath your arm. The clutch is feminine, stylish arm candy. For those who really can't imagine a bag without a strap, thankfully - you'll find many clutches come with a detachable strap too.

Clutches are extremely versatile and adaptable, they can be worn casually as Kate Moss does in this pic, or on a night out with a stylish dress.

Victoria Beckham looks amazing here with her Special order Hermes Baccara Crocodile Clutch at the Oscar de la Renta Spring 2008 Fashion Show. ( To me, the clutch is the best and most striking piece of Victoria's well thought out outfit. As I said earlier, they sit perfectly on your lap too when you're sitting! In fact, I think the clutch looks a lot neater than a bulky arm handbag.

I particularly love the style of Mary-kate and Ashley Olsen, they make the clutch look effortlessly stylish here in 2007.

I'm loving Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. 'Signature - Carlisle' Convertible Clutch Tote - $425.00 at and

This Topshop Navy Leather oversize clutch is also beautiful, it's currently selling at £30.00 ( This bag is perfect for day and night and has a bit of a hippy, bohemian feel to it.

I found this little funky Retro "Yellow Submarine" Beatles clutch bag at selling at $29.50. It would brighten up any daytime outfit. Would look fab with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. I could imagine Agyness Deyn or Peaches Geldof pulling this little clutch off perfectly.

New Look make plenty of really cute and inexpensive clutches, such as this Limited Edition Over Sized Snake Print Clutch ( which is selling at £20, you can buy it in Gold or Black. Personally, I love any kind of animal influenced items, be it skin or prints, it can add a real edge to Accessories.

I also found this gorgeous little woven clutch for only £5, which you can buy in Brown, Red or Silver.

Though at $795, this is probably over many of our budgets, I love this MCM Women's Pop Croco Medium Clutch ( Click to buy:*1*24*-1*-1*6

Monday, 11 August 2008

Fashion’s Tartan Army

OK, so when you hear the word ‘tartan’ thrown into a sentence, you’re probably not alone in picturing a man in a kilt... but not anymore!

With thanks to a few inspirational figures such as Vivienne Westwood, Agyness Deyn and her close friend, designer Henry Holland, to name a few, tartan became one of the prints of the season for Spring/Summer 08 and it looks to be staying well into the Autumn.

The eccentric partnership of Henry Holland and Agyness Deyn first experimented with tartan when Holland produced a tiered tartan wedding dress (along with eye-patch and antlers!) for London Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 08.

Fast-forward to Paris Fashion Week, for Autumn/Winter 08, D&G featured the pattern across coats and dresses with House of Holland, Ralph Lauren and Just Cavalli echoing the movement.

With the likes of Aggy and Gwen Stefani pioneering the look, the High Street has caught on quickly with tartan appearing across a wide range of products from dresses to jackets to shorts, all in a variety of colour ways.

The way to wear tartan differs depending on you really. Personally, I would go for one key tartan piece like this tartan trench coat from Topshop at £80.

Partner it with a simple vest, super skinny jeans and of course the standard skyscraper heels like these from Carvela (£85) for a Vivienne Westwood feel.

If even this is a little bold for you then accessories are a great way to introduce this trend into your wardrobe. We love this Tartan Flower Headband Topshop, £6

Or perhaps you could try a check shirt for a more muted attempt at the trend. Make a trip to New Look for this stunning check shirt (£14).

Alternatively, for the more adventurous, the way to wear tartan is to mix and match multiple checks throughout your outfit. Perhaps teaming a plaid prom dress, like this one from Oasis with a fitted jacket like these from Topshop, similar to the D&G look this season.

Bow Prom dress Oasis (, £70

Tartan Peplum jacket Topshop ( , £55

Cinched waist tartan jacket from Topshop ( , £50

Whichever way you decide to wear your plaid, just make sure it is vivid with shots of bright colours like violet, emerald and turquoise giving the whole look a younger fresher feel.

And remember; you needn’t be head to toe in plaid, make the trend work for you and your style!
Post written by:
Alexa Gilbert
(London College of Fashion)

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