I love London Fashion Week. There I said it. I love the chaos, I love the pretence, I love that my Instagram feed gets flooded with crazy outfits and I love the way London becomes the fashion focal point of the world for five whole days.
This season I was invited backstage with Toni & Guy, which was a new experience for me. Normally I’m used to watching shows on live stream, or standing squeezed between many other #FEditors at an oversubscribed show.
So the idea of seeing how it all comes together before the flashbulbs go off was really pretty appealing. My journey began on Friday night backstage at PPQ. The location? A private members club so hidden I walked past it twice before I clicked the people with clipboards and ear pieces…. epic fail, I’ll admit.
Heading underground I was quickly introduced to Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck, the Global Creative Director for Toni & Guy. Wonderfully down to earth she explained her concept for the show- something intriguingly called ‘tiara hair’ and the model patiently bent her head for me to take a quick snap, or twenty, as the case turned out!
I really liked the look- painted glitter crowns on the parting, teamed with poker straight unfussy locks looked sensational. I saw the look on three different models, and all wore it in a different way, despite the style being identical; I guess that’s what comes from years of experience and 10 years of sponsoring London Fashion Week!
There is a new ‘do right now sweeping the celeb world right now, with just about every A- Lister jumping aboard the ‘Power Bob’ craze. So much more than just a shoulder length cut, the power bob is offish the hottest look of the season!
Case in point? One of Beyonce’s recent Instagram post generated over 1 Million likes with the subject being, you guessed it, the debut of her new wavy bob.
With this in mind, it got us thinking about the other ‘Power Bob’ players of the celeb world, who have chopped their locks and gained column inches instead.
Here’s five of the best celeb power bobs around…
5.Beyonce: When things get rough, ditch the extensions. This seems to be Beyonce’s motto, as once again she has shed her long locks, debuting a cute wavy bob in its place and generating something like 14k comments in a matter of hours. “Marriage issues, what marriage issues? I have new hair and that is MUCH more interesting!” is what we imagine she was thinking as she posted this pic!
4. Emma Stone: Suddenly oh so sexy now she has chopped her locks! We’ve seen you Miss Stone, casually smirking over your shoulder at the Emmy’s, making sweatpants look chic and generally looking like the cat who got the cream with your new ‘do. We heart. Lots.
It’s Monday and we know it’s crappy, but we have a new Designer Store promo which is going to brighten up your day… guaranteed! Welcome to the start of our #10DaysofShopcade campaign, which gives you access to exclusive products sold on our store for, wait for it, 20% off the normal price.
What’s the catch, we hear you cry? Well, kicking off today until the end of the month, every day we’re giving you, our lovely Shocpaders the chance to get 20% off a selected product, as part of our Festival Must-Haves from the Designer Store.
The best part? You’re in control! Each day we’ll feature some of the most wanted products on either our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and all you have to do is Like, Double Tap or Retweet to unlock a unique code to that product. Each code is locked until we get 20 likes, 20 double taps or 20 retweets (depending on the social platform for that day) and we will update the product every day too!
FYI, the codes last only ten days, so hurry and order – these products are only available whilst stock last! The codes are unique to each product and if we don’t reach our quota each day, then the code will stay LOCKED. So what you waiting for? Get on it and start getting savvy with your social, so the treat can be enjoyed by all!
Top Tip: You can keep up to date with everything by searching #10DaysofShopcade on Twitter. Enjoy!
We took blogger, model and all rounded fashionista, Bee (AKA Prettysickly) from I Dress Myself blog for her fave food, sushi, to talk about the life of a blogger, her style and being part of the Shopcade Style Council!
OMG! Stop everything and listen up because we have incredible news. In fact our Twittersphere has just exploded with said news.
You ready? OK prepare to scream… WE’RE GIVING AWAY TICKETS TO SEE ONE DIRECTION IN LONDON! Yes really, this is not a joke, do not check your computer for bugs, we really are giving you lovely Shopcaders the chance to win this incredible prize.
We’ve had to wrestle the tickets away from our lovely Social Media Guru, Sahar (big Zayn fan) but she’s over it and ready to provide you with some savvy social updates throughout the comp on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!
If you want to be in with a chance of winning, then here’s what you have to do…
We have a lot of love for Very right now. Their awesome ‘Bring the Colour’ campaign has us dreaming of Summer, even though we have only just hit Spring! Hayley Phipps, Visual Merchandiser for Very gave us the inside scoop on the new collection, her styling secrets and why Victoria Beckham’s haircuts shouldn’t always be copied!
What are the key trends we should all be shopping this season?
For Spring/ Summer 14, Very is particularly loving colour (the brighter the better), all things tribal, pastels, sporty inspired pieces, blossoming florals, monochrome is still key too, the list could go on! We have loads of trends for our customers to shop this season.
Tell us all about the ‘Bring the Colour’ collection. It’s super cool for spring!
Well I think the fashion speaks for itself, all our collections are really strong this season. ‘Bring the Colour’ is as much about our attitude to fashion and dressing as it is about the trend. The message is about being brave with colour, wearing these bright hues wherever you’re going, even to the office. I think this winter seemed really long and dull so launching the collection and campaign at this time was about saying a firm goodbye to winter and a big hello to spring, and what better way to signify that change than with colour? We wanted to brighten everyone’s mood with our fabulous fashion. That is where the concept for the campaign came from, with the world appearing dull and grey and the fashion injecting the colour in to it.
Who is the collection aimed at?
The great thing about colour and this campaign is that it includes everyone. Anyone can wear colour no matter what your age, size or style, and as an online department store we have something to suit everyone too!!
How would you style it?
If you’re brave and you want to make a statement this spring, wear one colour in different tones, head to toe. In past seasons we have seen colour blocking as a key look but this season try to stick to one colour for a more modern take on the trend.
However if you’re not so confident with colour, start with just injecting pops of colour with shoes and accessories.
Psst. Want to know a secret? We know what everyone is going to be wearing next season and what’s more, we’re going to let you in on it. Welcome to the Shopcade Style Insiders guide to SS14…
Cool As Candy: Pastels made a surprise appearance this autumn (sold out M&S pink coat anyone?!) so if you have invested this season, nicely done, as this will carry you into spring in style! The hot new colours to invest in are cool mint, baby blue and mellow yellow. Burberry Prorsum owned this look on the runway- alongside their hot monochrome and spots came pastel perfection teamed with delicate lace. LOVE.
Check On It: Miranda Priestly once said ‘Florals in spring… ground breaking’ so maybe the designers took note and decided to give us a new print to rock for SS14. Checks edged ahead in the style stakes in all four cities, banishing florals into second place. House of Holland’s checkerboard of hot pink, white and blue was fun, yet wearable (think small checked trousers, full skirts and checked shirts) whilst Balmain and Sister By Sibling also deserve a mention for their dropped hem and dolly mixture shift dresses respectively.
Denim Delight: Banish all thoughts of ill-fitting jeans and dodgy patchwork, because denim just went luxe. Bleached, dark, light, you name it the designers showed it! Ashish gave us frayed, relaxed and slouchy denim on his runway, whilst Holly Fulton’s cut out denim t-shirt is going straight on our lust list. Fitted light denim from Christopher Kane’s resort collection was a winner, whilst Chloe’s denim smock dress will look fab teamed with chunky sandals and oversized sunglasses come summer.
These are our top picks, but what are yours? Share with us your 2014 trend predictions below!
Images from Balmain | Instagram & Burberry Prorsum | Instagram
Kelly Brook parties in style: The gorgeous Kelly Brook celebrated her 34th Birthday in style this weekend wearing the sparkly jumpsuit from her recent party collection for New Look. Kelly posted a series of pics on her Instagram page over the weekend in the back of a cab and needless to say she looked stunning. Shop the exact same jumpsuit here!
The X Factor’s Hannah Barrett Sent Home:Nicole Scherzinger was not a happy bunny on last night’s results show was she?! ‘Furious’ with the British public for putting Hannah in the bottom two for the third week running, Hannah faced a sing off with Rough Copy and was promptly sent packing. The question is… do we actually care?! The best part of the show has to be One Direction lighting up the stage (it’s OK to fancy them all isn’t it?!) and hear the hot goss that Niall Horan has a crush on Tamera Foster! Stay tuned for how that little romance plays out…
We Heart Cropped Knits: Think cropped knits were a passing phase? Well think again as they are the thing to be seen in this season. Just because temperatures are hitting sub-zero (ok slight over reaction, but brr! It’s getting cold out there!) is no excuse, all you have to do is cleverly layer up. Think cropped knit over a long top or shirt and voila instant trend revival. You’re most welcome.
La Moda launch a clutch for £1: Ok hold everything. A clutch for £1, surely this is some kind of joke?! No? Ok we’re sold! Accessory label La Moda are launching a gorgeous ponyskin (hottest texture of the season no less) leopard print clutch bag in an array of colours for just £1. Available from tomorrow, we’d start hitting the refresh button nice and early on Lamodauk.com if we were you!
Fashion Ed’s pick of the day: Today I’ve come over all Christmassy with these ADORABLE reindeer gloves from ASOS. A steal at only £10, these will see you through the festive period in style and keep your mitts warm. Who said functional couldn’t be fashionable?!
Courtney Blackman, founder of Forward PR and Managing Director of The Industry London, chats to Shopcade about her unusual Christmas wardrobe this year, hanging out with Kate Nash and why David Gandy is a true gent…
Hi Courtney! Thank you for joining us for this Christmas Special. What’s in your Shopcade Wish List for the season?
Do you have an ‘it’ fashion item that you are planning to wear for this year’s holidays?
I’m going to Kauai for Christmas – I’ll be in bikinis, cut-offs and t-shirts with a surfboard.
What are your favourite tunes for the festive season?
Kate Nash is putting out a Christmas EP, so obviously the songs on the EP will be my favourites. I’ve also just starting representing indie band Early Morning Rebel from Los Angeles, and while their music isn’t Christmassy it is awesome and I will have it on my iPod over the holidays.
Which film puts you in the spirit of Christmas?
I love the film Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thornton – it’s hilarious. Also, Home Alone and Elf.
What would be your dream holiday destination? Would you prefer Santa’s village or someplace warm and sunny?
Anywhere around the equator! I grew up spending my winters in the British Virgin Islands and The Netherland Antilles. Sun for me please.
Dolce & Gabbana were the designers behind the famous Claridge’s Christmas tree. Who would you choose to design it and why?
Alice Palmer. She’s a knitwear master and I can’t think of anything cosier than a knit Christmas tree – but with Alice’s trademark spikes as such to make it edgy.
What type of Christmas tree would you be?
I would be a Balsam Fir Christmas tree, grown in Nova Scotia and I would be covered in lots of crystal icicle ornaments, white ribbons, white globe ornaments, tiny white fairy lights and star on top.
What is the one thing that you can’t have enough of during Christmas and what is the one thing that you absolutely can’t stand anymore?
Food! I revel in gorging on food. Christmas is permission to really go for it and I do. I could do without the non-stop Christmas advertising everywhere. It makes me feel stressed out.
OK enough of Christmas! Shall we talk business? You started Forward PR in 2004. How has the fashion scene in London changed since then?
Fashion has changed a lot and in some places not at all. We’re still on the antiquated six-month lead-time from shows to retail delivery, but I’m sure that will change soon enough. On the flipside, social media has revolutionised the way the industry interacts, especially from a PR angle. With the launch of Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006, Instagram and Pinterest in 2010 and the onslaught of bloggers over the years, fashion has exploded. It’s more transparent and has a larger voice than ever before. Conventional methods of PR have completely shifted. Companies across fashion from designers to photographers to retailers to magazines now have a huge opportunity for direct communication and engagement. All it takes is time… and being a clever communicator.
Can you tell us about The Industry London? What is the concept behind it?
The Industry is a members-only private networking group for fashion professionals. It was launched in order to bring together the people that form the foundation of the fashion community, as often times stylists, milliners, etc. work in solitude, so coming together at regular meetings gives people a chance to interact and create new business together. Our members span the industry from lawyers to bloggers to pattern cutters to filmmakers to manufacturers – emerging to top-level, well-known industry personalities. Our meetings are relaxed and fun and we’re currently working with London’s Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design as our venue partner.
You work with celebrities like Kate Nash and you recently hosted a talk with David Gandy. What does it feel like collaborating with all these high-profile people?
Kate Nash is honestly one of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered. Not only is she insanely talented (she writes all her own music, plays piano, guitar, bass, drums… and starred in three films in 2013), she’s so kind with her fans, she’s genuine, honest and generous. Working with someone like Kate is amazing and I feel really lucky to be a part of her team. David Gandy joined us for one of our Industry meetings, where he was interviewed by the legendary Hilary Alexander and he was very charming. He shared so much about ‘brand Gandy’, which was fascinating and he stayed on for ages accommodating every single person that wanted a photograph with him, which was a lot – a true gent
How has your work in fashion changed the way you view this exciting industry?
I love working in fashion. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most creative and respected people in the industry, and some of my closest friends also work in fashion (i.e. superstar fashion and celebrity stylist Rebekah Roy) – it has a tendency of melting into one’s personal life.
You were born in the US. How is London different to NYC when it comes to trends and style?
I was born in Denver and I’ve spent most of my adult life in London, with stints in Central America (Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic) and not really in NYC, but based on visits to the Big Apple (I have family in Manhattan and Brooklyn), I would say New Yorkers dress a bit safer than Londoners. Londoners aren’t afraid to look “creative” and experiment and mix colours, patterns, vintage, designer…I definitely think the way people dress in London is more fun.
Speaking of style, what is the one thing that you wouldn’t want to be seen wearing?
Revealing sandals. I have the most unattractive feet. Ever.
What kind of combinations make you cringe when you see them?
Not really anything. The way someone chooses to express themselves should be completely free and liberating.
Which strategy is best according to you: investing in some quality, yet expensive staples or spend on a lot of cheaper items for a more diverse look?
A bit of both. Having good quality investment pieces in good fabrics is really important, especially as you get older, as quality fabric, good cuts and structure are going to be far more flattering. For testing out seasonal trends, it’s nice to be able to incorporate a selection of high street finds, but I’m not a huge fan of buying too much throwaway fashion. It feels kind of irresponsible.
If you could press a button and control everyone’s taste, what would you make people wear?
Anything they wanted. I couldn’t think of anything more boring than controlling other people’s creativity.
What’s the one thing that you are waiting patiently from a fashion designer to discover/ come up with?
Shopcade live at the Isabel Marant for H&M launch!
We here at Shopcade love a designer-high street collaboration and they come no bigger than Isabel Marant for H&M dear readers, which is why Team Shopcade camped out from 7.30am with the rest of the fashion obsessives for a peak at the collection which is already flying off the rails. Here’s the live diary of our progress…
7.30am: Coffee in hand, four bleary eyed girlies (Sanjeela- our Social Media Manager and shopping princess, Marion- our Partnerships Queen, Kriti- our Trending Feed expert and me, Laura, the Chief UK Editor and all around fashion goddess! Haha not really, but I digress) are on site and ready to suss out other like -minded ladies who are also on the hunt for a piece of fashion history.
8.00am: We’re given wristbands by the lovely H&M peeps. 10 minutes to shop at an allocated time- how civilized! The only downside is it’s not until 9.40am… more coffee anyone?!
8.30am: The fash pack are getting restless now, you can see it in their eyes! We almost forget that we’re here to cover the event for Shopcade and start sharpening our elbows. We overhear some pretty clever strategies… one person plans to run in and buy it all for her friends, another is already peeping in the windows, sussing where everything is and planning a clear run, grab, buy. These girls have clearly had their Shreddies this morning!
9am: We managed to sweet talk the lovely doorman and get a sneak peak of what is to come! We are the ULTIMATE insiders!
9.20am: This is by far the most civilised collaboration launch we have ever been to! Everyone is politely making small talk and waiting their turn. We’re uber excited for our turn to go in and shop… only 20 mins to go Head over to our Twitter & Instagram pages for more images and live updates as well!
9.30am: We’re first in the queue! People are coming out with Isabel Marant for H&M bags left, right and centre!
9.40am: And we’re in! All sense has literally gone out of the window as we fight for the key pieces. Marion has grabbed the first five things she’s seen and has wandered off in search of something else. Kriti has managed to bag the last Aztec woolly cardigan and I am manically searching for the metallic dress and shredded knit I’ve had my eye on since the teaser for the collection came out.
9.50am: 10, 9, 8…. shout the H&M staff as we all scramble for last minute purchases. I actually ask the security guard if I should buy the jumper I’m desperately clinging to… his advice is ‘take it and go’ so I heed it and make one last dash around to make sure I’ve got the best items I can.
9.55am: And… it’s over. Exhilarating, crazy and totally nuts is how I would sum it up! Sanjeela made a friend during her time slot however, and they both helped each other find the size required. Mine and Kriti’s experience was not so friendly… Kriti nearly got rammed and I was pushed into a pile of scarves! In any other situation I’d be annoyed, but hey, they were ISABEL MARANT scarves, so I was pretty OK about the whole thing.
So lovely Shopcaders, that’s it! We’ve packed up our things, paid for our goodies and are now heading back to Shopcade HQ. Our verdict of the collection? TOTALLY worth it! I picked up the last lust worthy red ‘painted stripes’ sweatshirt, which will look great paired with jeans and wedge trainers for a cool off duty look. Sanjeela meanwhile invested in the gorge muted grey and blue tribal print tee after much deliberation and will wear to death with her skinnies I’m sure.
The beauty of the whole collection is that it is wearable, versatile and well priced considering the designer behind it. It feels like a diffusion of her mainstream high end line for the high street and it really doesn’t disappoint. The fab tote bags to showcase our purchases also made us feel like royalty. Well done H&M, you have done it again!
To check our more images from this morning’s launch, visit ourFacebook album here!