The New 1950’s Lost Generation

Topshop Windows Summer 2013
The 1950’s are known for its rock n roll look and for the generation of the “teenager”, for all the wrong reasons. In the 50’s fashion was far far more limited that it is now, there was fashion for kids, and fashion for adults and nothing in between. Teenagers and mid twenty something’s dressed like there 50+ year old parents! Can you imagine shopping in the same shop as your Mum & Gran now?! I don’t think so. The 60’s gave way to teenage or young (18-30 fashion) as we know it now, however I have recently noticed a trend amongst some mid 20 year olds, they are starting to dress like their parents, wearing matchy matchy outfits with now sense of style or some might say identity. Now I know fashion is not life or death but it does matter on a subconscious level. Who would you rather sit next to on the bus the scruffy guy or someone who looks clean and well presented? Who would you give a job over the person who turned up in a dirty outfit or someone who made the extra effort? And the list goes on.

Topshop Windows Summer 2013

So I began to wonder way are people, my age, dressing like their parents? I think that it is a mix of two main reasons;

1. There is a saturation of fashion news, trend and the new latest must haves from blogs, mags, twitter, fb ….. That they have information over load and go for the “easy” option.

2. They feel that the fashion is too young for them and I can see why, from looking at the window displays on the high street now the windows do appeal to the younger teenagers, especially H&M’s neon window.

H&M Windows High Summer 2013

The solution you say? Well personally I think that fashion should be fun and make you feel confident, don’t worry about trends dress for yourself and you will soon find your personal style.

Mod Fashion 2013

Marc Jacobs Mod Fashion 2013
As we are trying to fight our way into Spring, there is a “new” fashion trend hitting the street. Mod & Rocker are back with a 2013 update. Quiff’s, high-school American style bomber jackets, like the ones worn in Grease. Even brothel creepers or now known as the Flatform. 50s & 60s style seems carefree and wild  at the same time to me giving it an intriguing appeal that is catching on.
Mod Womens Fashion
The secret to this trend is all in the detail, that goes for Men as well as Women. It matters that your jeans are not to new not to old, worn just low enough but to low your showing off you bum crack, cuffed hem and Levis are a must… 501’s if you can. Wallet chain swinging from pocket to pocket is also a must.  White plimsoles should be white with the odd scuff on the plastic toe, laces loose and not ties but tucked in.
Mod Fashion For Men
Looking back at 50’s & 60’s fashion now seems like it was a time or preening and dandifying for Men & Women. The decade which created the teenager, the 50’s, created the uncompromising vanity of youth.
Bradley Wiggins Velvet Suit
Bradley Wiggins in the Modern Man to take to “Peacock Dressing” with a Mod/Rocker edge- suit Mod, Sideburns all Rocker baby. His style stood out for all the right reasons, the meticulous detail, fine cut of the suit and accessory choice were all perfect!
I am welcoming the return of this trend, showing the teenagers of 2010- 2020 how it was done, good bye Bieber lookalikes, hair as straight as their faces for girls. Express yourself be individual and dare to dress how you want.
Good I think I am starting to sound old!

V&A On The Highstreet

V&A Coast Collaboration
The Victoria & Albert Museum is collaborating with high street chain Coast on a capsule- aka small- collection of 6 dresses.
V&A Coast Collaboration
Inspired by last years exhibition Ballgowns; British Glamour since 1950. Coast has taken inspiration from the Museums vast archives to create styles that exude glamour. With the more and more people turning away from fast disposable fashion, wanting to by key pieces that they can treasure and enjoy for years, I think that this collaboration for Coast will be very successful, not just in profits but in widening their customer demographic to a younger client base.

V&A Coast Collaboration
With prices starting at £550 for the Daphne Dress and upto £895 these are definatly investment pieces.
V&A Coast Collaboration


So as the nights begin to draw in and there is a slight nip in the air, we know that summer is slowly slipping away; and London Fashion Week has begun. I personally love looking at all the latest catwalk collection and can get lost looking at them for hours, literally. But I wanted to share with you something different than a show report, which is in every magazine and on more or less every blog.
What interests me most about the new collections is where the ideas came from, how the different ideas can end looking the same and how they were developed from there starting point.
For example Markus Lupfer’s inspiration was The Jetsons, the space aged cartoon that I used to love watching as a child. From this he has developed a collection that is both feminine and edgy.
Willow too their inspiration from playing with transparency and buy using 1950’s lingerie as outerwear. The result is a mixed bag in my view, with some interesting material choices for the evening dresses; mixed with striking shirts/tops with beautiful cut out detail shirts, where you can see the 50’s influence.
 Vintage fashion is a popular starting point for fashion designers, 1950’s lingerie is massively popular, with the sexy, feminine yet lady like silhouettes I can see why. I do find it funny though how “modern” fashion takes its inspiration from “Vintage” fashion. The 1950’s were especially known for kids or young adults- 18-30’s dressing like their parents. For being rebellious and daring and for trend setting, new designs. In 62 years do you think people will look back at 2012 fashion and think the same? Or will they still be taking inspiration from the 1950’s?

The 1st English Diamond Jubilee.

Was achieve by Queen Victoria On 23 September 1896, who served 64 years on the throne. The 1st Diamond Jubilee was also a reason to party and celebrate and was made the festival of the British Empire, at the time Britain ruled 1/4 of the whole worlds population!! Pretty impressive stuff.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee procession through London included troops from all over the empire. The parade paused for an open-air service of thanksgiving held outside St Paul’s Cathedral, throughout which Victoria sat in her open carriage, as she was suffering from Rheumatism and was unable to walk up the steps, there is a plack in the place where the carriage stopped. The reported cost of the festival was a whopping £500,000!

The Slogan T-shirt Tribe….

So the second Elizabethan age has not been without its fashion moments. The 50’s saw the 1st rebellion of teenagers who for the first time wore clothes that weren’t the same as thier parents, the freedom that we have now was unheard of.  The 1st fashion revolution began with the Teddy Boys and has never stopped growing, Every subculture began with the need of self expression.

The swinging 60’s saw the teenage dominance of fashion grow again with the mini skirt, with Mary Quant & Twiggy leading the way. The 70’s were Hippie Chic and a all love, peace and flower power and in stark contract Punk with DIY fashion and safety pins there design choice. 80’s saw women taking to the business world with Power Dressing. The 90’s was all Herion chic and saw a rise in body piercing and Tattoo’s. The noughties saw the influence of celebrities and throw away fashion influence our shopping habbits. 
From Biba to Ossie Clarke, Vivienne Westwood to Alexander McQueen, the most groundbreaking inspiring designers have emerged from the British Fashion Scene, I am not the only one in agreement, in the top French, Italian and American fashion house British designers are influencing fashion around the world .

From Carnaby Street in the 1960s to Glastonbury in the 2000s, the Queen’s country has led the world in street fashion. The slogan t-shirt has been around for literally decades, with the 1st being sold in London’s Kings Road by Mr Freedom. The designs have changed from Disney characters to shock political slogans such as “Destroy” designed by Vivienne Westwood and partner Malcolm McLaren, which they referred to as the ultimate punk-rock T-shirt. It was the 80’s that the slogan T-shirt reached saturation point because of Katharine Hamnett, dressed in a “58% Don’t Want Pershing” T-shirt, she was photographed shaking hands with the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher at a Downing Street reception for London fashion week designers in 1984. Her designs were copied world wide with megastars such as Wham wearing slogan T-shirts such as “Number One” and “Choose Life”, to “Frankie Says Relax”, “Just Do It” to J’Adore Dior. Sixty years ago, the slogan  T-shirt simply didn’t exist; now, there is one in most wardrobes. (Before you exclude yourself: what about that FCUK T-shirt you wear to do the gardening?)
Fashion has always been about communication, and the slogan T-shirt shows how communication has changed, wearing a slogan T-shirt is a modern form of tribal branding. We are less interested in listening to received wisdom (whether these be dress codes or expert analysis of the world around us) and more interested in telling the world what we think (by wearing a slogan T-shirt or by posting our views on social media).

In the last decade, as fashion has taken an ever more central position in pop culture, slogans have become increasingly self-referential: think of Carrie Bradshaw wearing a J’Adore Dior T-shirt in Sex and the City, and the designer name-dropping T-shirts with which Henry Holland made his name at London fashion week.

With the reasuregance in DIY fashion I think that slogan T-shirts will be around for decades to come, the sad thing is that the slogans of the 80’s would still be relevant today. These problems- Nuclear Weapons, World Hunger and Faminie are still around. I would wear a Katharine Hamnett design with pride.

Queen Chic

Elizabeth as young child.
 So its Queenies Diamond Jubliee in a little over a week and what better way to celebrate 60 years on the throne that looking back over her wardrobe.
At Balmoral with Charles and Anne.
She is the most photographed women in the world with a varied working life, from welcolming world leaders one day to visiting charities or local hospitals the next no day is the same, you could say her clothes are her uniform. The Queen always wears a two inch heel, hemlines are always well below the knee and she always carries a handbag.

Hints of the Hippie Trend with a Butterfly style hat.

The Queen is known for her conservative outfits, accessorised with sensible comfortable shoes and handbags, five years ago she was listed in Vogue magazine, beside Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell, as one of the 50 most glamorous women in the world. I can see why, she is, and always has been stylish, she looks comfortable in her outfits and is not a slave to fashion and that is important. Everyone has an image of what she should look like in their mind and she knows that. She also surports British design.

The year of here coronation, with a sharper shilouette.

6-7 years ago traditional British style was very cool, with all the Dolce & Gabbana models wearing below the knee tweed skirts and headscarves and big, boxy bags- A look that Queenie has been rocking for years.

Very cool lace outfit, with gloves and parisol.

In her younger years The Queen was in step with fashion and certainly had an influence on the fashion of the 50’s and 60’s. But now she has developed her own style which is appropriate for her age, you could never say she’s mutton dressed as lamb! “The Queen is not terribly interested in fashion- fashion is what other people do” Freddie Fox

Monochrome outfit with bold shapes and ankle length dress.
Queenie always looks smart, elegant and never overdress, which I think is a sign of an amazing working wardrobe. She is now a women in her 80’s and what she wears is well cut and flattering. The point I feel is that she always looks like The Queen- We would be very disappointed if she didn’t.
Two pieces outfit very 80’s and very cool.

Welcolm back Schiaparelli…..

Schiaparelli is one, of many, iconic fashion designers from years gone by. The WWII-era designer and rival of Coco Chanel, have you heard of her ;), was celebrated for her modern outlook and individual way with decoration. The brand has been dormant since 1954, Tod’s acquire Schiaparelli’s archives and trademarks in 2006.

The planned relaunched label will extend to accessories, fragrances and cosmetics, with some clothes too. The idea with Schiaparelli is to propose the brand with all its modernity and represent dreams, art and the fine sophisticated things in life, to express itself at its best.

Schiaparelli’s Shoe hat, Tear dress and other surrealism-influenced creations have ensured that the designer’s legacy enjoys a devoted following among the fashion crowd, including Miuccia Prada.
Shoe Hat

Tear Dress

There has been no news who could be the new designer of the re-launched brand, but there were rumours of John Galliano, which have been denied.

Can a relaunched brand, known and loved, for its modernity and forward thinking design really work? Usually I would be hesitant but after looking at just these pictures I really thinking yes it can.
Schiaparelli was a master of here trade and 58 years on here designs still look fashion forward, creative, fresh and inspiring. And rightfully so the New York Metorpolitan Museum of Art is opening its new show, dedicated to Schiaparelli & Prada, tomorrow until the 19th August 2012.

I want these Sunglasses! Amazing!

How To Dress Through The Ages.

So we all like finding that bargain piece down our local charity shop, that everyone asks “where did you get that from?” I love that smug feeling I get. But its not always easy to spot the diamond among the rough, so I though I’d share with you some tips on how to spot clothing from different era’s, so you can dress through the ages.


French Women 1945
Women wearing dresses to resemble Allied flags- American, French, British & Russian 
Italian postcard of a bathing beauty, showing the transition from bare midriff to fully exposed belly button 1947.

In the 40’s with the WW2 going on the world saw the 1st mass use of man made fibers in clothing manufacturing. The classic 1940’s style is A-line skirts/dress, but mainly workforce and utility dress, there was a focus on DIY fashion with many articles on how to change a mans suit into a women’s suit. It was illegal to buy clothing from abroad, including Ireland which was a neutral country, in Britain when clothing rationing was going on, if you were caught you would get a serious fine.


Couture Chanel 1950’s
Cristobal Balenciaga’s day dress  
Dior’s New Look 
The Teddy Boy’s

The 50’s saw a change in female dress after Dior’s New Look was unveiled in 1947. Following wartime measures in the 40’s women wanted to look feminine again. Designers such as Balenciaga, Laroche and Givenchy (the designer of the classic little black dress in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) were iconic in this era: they embraced feminine fashion and determined the looks of the decade.

Key features of the decade:
Pencil and full circle skirts
Sack and Sheath dresses
Empire lines, especially empire line LBD’s
The American influence, wide belts, gloves, hats, nipped in waists.

1960’s Biba

Trends from the 60s are well known for their wide-reaching influence on fashion. A revolution was approaching and fashion was extremely important among young people. This generation had more power and more money, and Britain — in particular London — was where everyone wanted to be for the most experimental clothes and accessories. Hemlines shortened and prints became ever bolder, inspiration was taken from music and a change in lifestyle. The 60s also saw the revival of Art Deco, with the opening of the famous Biba store.

Key features of the decade:
Miniskirts, shift dresses
Space age and psychedelic looks
Graphic lines and cut outs
Materials included PVC, chainmail, sheer and transparent fabrics, chiffon, hosiery and synthetic materials


Westwood 1970’s 

The Sex Pistols 1975
1970’s colour blocking
Fashion in the 70s saw a wide variety of trends, from folk to disco to punk. The influence of disco was seen widely in fitted lycra clothing, flares and hotpants. For some, fashion became more natural, in line with a more ethical lifestyle. The hippy looks were reworked with a folksy feel. Hemlines fell and shapes and structures became more relaxed. Designers took inspiration from traditional crafts such as weaving, knitting and tapestry. Collaborations became more popular — designers such as Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell worked together. And the famous designer Vivienne Westwood lead the punk movement.

Key features of the decade:
Disco (flares, hotpants, wraparounds) and punk looks
Folk style included blouses, frills, maxi skirts, floral prints, knits, lacing, patchwork and waistcoats
Eastern influences (kaftans, kimonos, prints)
Jumpsuits and bodystockings
Prints included florals, geometrics and stripes

Power Dressing 
Adam Ant 
The New Romantics 
Fashion in the 80s took great influence from political changes. Anger over the economic depression was reflected in street style. But by the second half of the decade things were beginning to look up, and this was shown in the clothing. Two themes emerged: power dressing became popular among women as they became more dominant in the workforce — pencil skirts and shoulder padded power blazers reigned for working women — and 80s sportswear was important, with brands like Nike leading the way, and bright colours, neon shades and shellsuits gaining popularity.

Key features of the decade:
Power dressing- shoulder pads, suits, bright colours and black and white dogstooth
Streetwear- graphics, tartan, stripes, denim and leather.
The new romantics
Sports and dancewear influences
Body con (lycra was the main influence