Trend Alert! Ugly Shoes

Manolo Blahnik recently said if he was queen for a day and he could ban any trend right now it would be platforms. As one of the most successful and worshiped shoe designers he would know. But I can’t help but despair because I adore the ugly shoe.


Arguably there are some outlandishly ugly shoes at the moment but they have so much to offer. Designers such as Stella McCartney, Jill Sander, Sandro, Miu Miu, Prada and Celine have shown us from the catwalk how it’s done. Yes I am aware that we are not all 6ft tall lampposts but in terms of practicality it seems like a savior has spoken.


I have fallen victim to the unimaginable and am head over heels for what I can only describe as my new venture into orthopedic heaven. The transition from high heels to the safer option of a clunky unfeminine shoe has been a decision I have not regretted despite some abuse from my fellow peers.

Stella Faux Leather

Admittedly I detested and was very critical of the over powering clunky, less than pretty shoes until I bought my first pair of creepers pre summer followed by my mannish stable biker ankle boots which offer more than enough stability circa wine o clock.


Teamed with tailored cigarette pants, jeans, shorts or feminine dress they add the chic boyish vibe we all crave this Autumn. Paired with an oversized coat they offer the height needed to carry it off, especially if you’re the size of a garden gnome like myself. From creepers, to thick brogues and platform styles this will add shape to many of this season’s attires and provide the androgynous feel similar to the runway.


Celebrities such as Alexa Chung and Chloe Sevigny opt sometimes to combine socks with their multiple varieties of the shoe. We’ve had it engrained in out heads with our moral fashion compass it is a no go but these girls demonstrate quite the opposite. The sock shoe combo is actually very manageable and quite chic. We applaud girls who manage this look while still covering up the ugly feet panic or dreaded toe cleavage.


Aside from helping out the vertically challenged they offer huge comfort while adding length to the leg so you can still remain hot property. These shoes are reminiscent of the 60’s and early 90’s the edgy cool kids choice was usually a platform that spoke for itself in a rebellious bid to turn heads. The cycle of fashion moves backwards as much as forward it would seem.


If you’re one of the lucky minority who can splash the cash on a pair of Miu Miu’s or Stella’s faux leather stabilizers for £685, lucky you! For the rest of us who don’t have time for piggy bank collecting, don’t fret as the high street is our answer. Topshop has various colors and styles so you don’t have to repent for you’re out of season kicks.


When Pheobe Philo revealed her new collection of quite unattractive shoes in 2011 some critics almost thought she was joking while others lusted after her for the reinterpretation of the Birkenstock shoe (A fresh pedi is always necessary for an open toe even if it is a Birks). We now have also been introduced to Teva, Birks’ equallyugly relative which Philo spread all over her 2014 S/S catwalks.Celine


Ashley Olsen teamed her Birks with a dressed down shirt and jeans combo but then the nimble singer added her $35,000 backpack! Surely then all questions of wearing birks go out the window? It would seem the conventionally ugly shoe isn’t just for in doors or pottering around the garden.


These shoes offer something “cool” about the looking “uncool image”. They reek of nostalgia and even demand some attention. Is it too far fetched to think crocs could creep into our wardrobe next? “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months”, said Oscar Wilde of short lived mini trends.


From 90’s show Clueless, to pop princess Britney Spears and currently Nicki Manaj we’ve seen how it’s been demonstrated with so much variation and choice now it’s a matter of which one. How long is this trend here to stay for? That’s a difficult one to answer but if Philo is still putting them on her runways for Celine that’s a good enough sign. Simone Rocha opted for a thick pink shoe platform that looked effortlessly cool previously for her Respect Your Elders show, which went down a treat. Flashback Prada 2011 was ahead of the game with S/S “flatforms” so there has been signs for some time now.


Just remember you now have the advantage of availing of a comfortable shoe and no long term pain for your later years if you choose to let your feet be at peace this season. Lower chiropodist bills and descretley smaller corns while still looking fabulous. There just so bad there good! Haters goina hate!


Below Prada and Simone Rocha


Simone Rocha Pink platform shoes


J.W Anderson

I was’nt quite so sure what to think of men in dresses but J.W Anderson does and maybe we should pay closer attention.

Over the past few year’s men’s runway looks have become increasingly feminine. From make up, floral prints, skinny jeans and platforms. But nothing we havn’t seen before in the 70’s 80’s and beyond but that aside if we take one major designer out of the spectrum of gender neutral fashion designers it’s a whole lot tamer.

I am now ready to embrace and understand the significance of it all. While in the past year many critics have voiced there surprisingly like for the designers collection at fashion week 2013 and 2014 it really has pushed the boundaries of social normality.

The enterprising fashion genius has made what would usually be classed as women’s clothing is for men, including ruffles, dresses and skirts knee high boots. The S/S 2013 collection was well received and branded a stroke of creative mastermind.

When his 2014 collection came it was different from the last with leathers or neoprene tunics in black white and beige hues and bow details. It seems obvious the young designer doesn’t find the boy/girl thing challenging.


S/S J.W dress, ruffles, boots

S/S J.W dress, ruffles, boots

In a recent interview with Fabien Constant Anderson he expressed clearly that he believes it only to be a big deal because we make it one  “were more backward than we’ve ever been”. He then goes on to defend his men’s dresses comparing them to the oversized rapper style t-shirt in relation to length so why is it unacceptable. He also explains he finds it confusing that a guy can be on a billboard in just underwear yet people make a bigger deal of his dresses for men. “Were uncomfortable with things we don’t understand” he said.


Andersons direction seems distinct he’s not willing to change it or let people make fun of it because he genuinely believes in breaking the traditions of gender coding and redefining the male image. And that is what he intends to continue doing.

For 2014 bows, mesh and halter tops

For 2014 bows, mesh and halter tops


Mademoiselle Coco Chanel

An undeniable landmark in fashion history that still remains celebrated and respected today is a staple in every women’s wardrobe that never stops recurring. Coco Chanel  made the little black dress essential to women while reinventing it time and time again. In 1926 when she first designed the iconic LBD it was unusual as black was seen for people in mourning or the clergy predominantly. It was a stroke of genius that would define many of her collections and be a highly worthy investment piece for many women.


She adopted different styles and variations including black georette, chiffon and velvet. She essentially made the black dress the key to a woman’s femininity and sexiness. Her legendary design then became subject to copy all over the world. The magazine industry was rejoicing and promoting it to women world wide including British, French and American Vogue.

Chanel Today

Chanel Today


Arguably Chanel’s  black dresses were revolutionary for there sensuality teamed with mysteriousness. She opted for uneven hemlines and low dropped backs of dresses which still remain and are distinguishing and defining look in the designs today. Adverts such as Nicole Kidman’s Chanel No5 campaign and Keira Knightley’s Coco Mademoiselle advert. It seems even to date and with many passed decades since the LBD became famous by Chanel and as Vogue highlighted is smartest of evening colors.

Chanel remains one of the most highly respected French Couturiers. Her style included layering, ruffles tweed and her dedication to providing practical femininity for women was obvious. She was a firm believer in completing the looks with a string of pearls or diamonds to accompany the LBD for finishing touches. “A woman can be overdressed never over elegant”. Today the LBD still remains as important as it can be dress up or down and accessorized to fit almost any occasion appropriately. Chanel remains celebrated all over the world today for as a woman who was not afraid to break out and because she was the definition of the quintessential chic French woman.

The daring Chanel

The daring Chanel



Cara for Chanel



book: Vogue on coco Chanel by Bronwyn Cosgrave



Fashion Faux-cused girls!

Griffiths Fashion Faux-cused Girls!

Last week I sat down to interview two of Griffiths very own girls studying fashion. Rachel Browne who is in her second year and Liz Bennnet who is in her third and final year. Both optimistic about the fashion industry with a clear and obvious dedication given the long hours there course entails which involves heavy designing picking fabrics and creating there own clothes. After a very insightful and enjoyable  chat it was obvious both girls are going places and are extremely dedicated to learning and broadening there craft when it comes to fashion. Liz has high hopes for the future as she takes off for New York and onto an internship after in September. Rachel is giving herself final year to figure out her niche area.

Firstly I asked the girls what they had learnt so far from the course. Rachel responded saying “Griffith has taught me to broaden my imagination, the things I thought of before were creative to an extent, but now I know so much more. I look at magazines and fashion blogs where before I wouldn’t have”. Liz explained to me that before she thought the course would involve more just pure drawing and designing but she learnt “They teach you to broaden your mind”. Liz has a learnt a whole new way of developing thanks to skills she’s has obtained like photoshop illustrator in college.

When I put the question to the girls if they were worried about working in the fashion industry because it is so notoriously bitchy and cut throat both of them calmly responded they weren’t particularly. Rachel said she’s ready but feels she may have underestimated it, but she’ll be ok when she reaches that point. “Final year has been a good eye opener into how hard it is going to be. There is so much criticism but you have to learn to take it constructively not personally” says Liz, who has a very realistic and optimistic take on things. What she said would remain true for any budding designer .

Rihanna and Cara do street style best according to Liz who for her this year were inspirational

Rihanna and Cara do street style best according to Liz who for her this year were inspirational

The girls reminisce on the last year, for who has earned there spot for fashion icon of 2012 until this point. Both agree on English model Cara Delevingne who has won model of the year and shown us how versatile she is in her style on the runway and off. Liz agrees both Cara and Rihanna are her two favorites. “I love the new street phase and grunge elements they lead in”. Rachel’s winner is some what different in her dress sense and chooses Kate Middleton. “She elegant and everything fits her well”.

Hats are a must for chic everyday wear

Hats are a must for chic everyday wear

The girls and I discuss designers Rachel is a D Squared fan because it’s cool and funky while Liz adorns Givenchy haute couture and looks forward to there Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter shows. Her favorite ready to go designer is Simone Rocha “Her style is young and fresh ad the fact that she’s an upcoming Irish designer”. Both of the fashion students agree when taking it high street Zara and Top Shop serve the best.

To style Liz would pick Beyonce “I love her and think she would be so cool to design for. Her concert outfits are so out there and different”. Rachel chose Kate Middleton “everyone sees what she is wearing and everyone is interested”.

Liz would choose her idol Beyonce if she could design for anyone

Liz would choose her idol Beyonce if she could design for anyone

Rachel adores the Duchess polished style

Rachel adores the Duchess polished style

Just to make sure there is no confusion about what to wear this summer no better people to ask then two who currently eat,sleep and breathe fashion! “Neon” Rachel responses enthusiastically as if thats it she’s said enough that’s how important it is so factor into your wardrobe! “Neon muted down with lace not like blocks of it like last summer”. Liz nodes and agrees “Monochrome black and white with a pop of color also suit jackets with nothing underneath”. Presumably very safely secured!  A little white dress to add to your must have summer purchases the girls advise and Liz also suggests a pair of statement sandals “they add something to any plain outfit”. Lastly the recommend hats and lots of them!

A little White dress can do no wrong the girls agree

A little White dress can do no wrong the girls agree


A more day and night sassy LWD

A more day and night sassy LWD


For the girls although fashion is the chosen path for them they seem keen on expressing not to take it to seriously. They see it as a form of expression and it s what you make it. “It’s really important in how you present yourself” says Rachel. She adds “it’s the first thing people see”. Both students agree a necessity in fashion is being comfortable in what your wearing.

Neon the fashion forward student urge for summer!

Neon the fashion forward way they urge for summer!


Looks great with black two in one with lace also!

Looks great with black, two in one here as Rachel suggested with lace also!

While fashion is fun the girls are not oblivious to the down falls of the industry such as child labour, making leather and the horrible mutation that is carried out on animals for there fur or testing. The harsh realities of this are pretty shocking as well as upsetting. They explain how there lecturer just uses faux fur and leather and hopefully most fashion students will lead by example because of that.

The future is bright. Rachel tells me how she would like to kick Anna Wintour out of her job in Vogue eventually but before that happens just to find out what she is good at and enjoys, the perfect logic. Liz is unsure where she will lead weather it will be styling, buying or designing but hopes to figure it out next year in London. Im sure the girls will be on our radar in no time. Watch this space!


Get the London look and take the Plunge and go Grunge

Get the London look and take the Plunge and go Grunge!

Model of the year Cara Delevingne with Jourdan Dunn pretty in party ready sequins

Model of the year Cara Delevingne with Jourdan Dunn pretty in party ready sequins


London’s Fashion Week has now come to an epic end. The fashion capital subjected us to some of the biggest statement shows to date. Londoners, the rich and famous, and a huge selection of international fashion lovers assembled for their daily fixes of fashion. By the looks of it they drooled over the latest and upcoming collections for S/S and A/W.

Following the intensity of New York Fashion week the critics were out in force. Nothing less than originality, a classic comeback, or a mind blowing collection of new prints and designs would get designers in their good books.

Dusty pink hues were a hit on the cat walk at TopShop Unique and Simone Rocha. The Irish designer and daughter of  John Rocha payed homage to her two grandmothers who inspired her 2013 Autumn/Winter collection ‘Respect Your Elders”. The show consisted of light pink dreamy smart suits with uber-chic nude shirts and tinsel tweed LBD’s that epitomized the perfect winter wardrobe for any sophisticated girly girl. The 26 year old upcoming young designer didn’t stop there. Her shoes and soft cream colors spoke to each onlooker as her looks under took the most perfect of transactions from the rails to the runway. Simon Rocha almost challenges Chanel with her collection with an evidently similar, yet strikingly different approach to the popular masculine/feminine combined look.

Velvet also featured unsurprisingly a recurring theme almost every year. But this year the colour scheme was very much the dark side with blacks, burgundy and navy at Christopher Kane and Issa.The dark romantic mood descended over Mulberry with dark layers of chiffon velvet and lace which ultimately created a stylish sinister look on the catwalk. The flow sleeves were admired at Christopher Kane while PVC skirts featured at the aforementioned Topship Unique and Simone Rocha.

Pretty in Pink Simone Rocha's beautiful Autumn/Winter 2013 collection at Fashion Week

Pretty in Pink Simone Rocha’s beautiful Autumn/Winter 2013 collection at Fashion Week

Shoe envy at Simone Rocha

Shoe envy at Simone Rocha

Matthew Williamson made the quite the statement hosting his show in the conservatory of the Royal Opera House. The aesthetically spectacular display provoked jaw dropping reactions from the surrounding fashion cubs. Williamson took us to the bright, enchanting, ‘Northern Lights’ with horizontal lines and zig-zag prints. His quintessential attention to detail was further magnified by the clever use of strobe lighting, which illuminated his beautiful colours and distinctive patterns. His majestic dresses embodied his vision of the English Rose. Chunky winter knits still remained youthful grace to his well cut suits and rainbow colours inspired by a Scandinavian look. His formal collection showcased sequins with an apparently haphazard mix of timeless accessories and delicate fabrics. As the models left the runway he closed the show with a fake snowfall, completing his ‘Northern Lights’ vision.

It's Northern Lights and pretty stripes at Matthew Williamson Fall 2013

It’s Northern Lights and pretty stripes at Matthew Williamson Fall 2013

Grunge is back and appear to be a prominent part of Topshop’s future, especially with the staples, such as oversized leather jackets, fur and boots. The Topshop Unique show was one of the biggest hits at LFW bringing all the latest and affordable high street trends adorned the catwalk show. It is said to be the most digitally advanced show ever in fashion history which allowed the high street captain to keep its shows current and technologically exciting. The collection has everybody buzzing at the Tate from the dusty pinks and sequences for party wear alongside some classic grunge like ‘bad girl’ pieces. Topshop proved as fun and flirty as always with an exceptional 21st Century that can only ensure continued success for the renowned high street chain.

90's vibes at the Topshop unique show at London Fashion week!

90′s vibes at the Topshop unique show at London Fashion week!

Mulberry and Holly Fulton proved amongst the most popular. Industry figureheads and casual spectators alike gathered to support both labels. A swarm of celebrities turned out their support for Mulberry including Alexa Chung, an iconic female in the Mulberry handbag world of course, following the ‘Alexa’. The Holly Fulton collection was cool and collected. A mastermind of geometric prints inspired by the 70’s girl, were whirled up and down on display. The playful collection was striking and different featuring animal inspired logos which she teamed with retro skirts. Each look struck that delicate balance of individual, yet effortless. The mix and match looks were suited to both day time and night time wear.

A media frenzy surrounded each show. Don’t stay in the dark, for rather follow the enthusiasts and fill your wardrobe with the upcoming seasons designs which have proved to cater for every style and taste. Check out the links (containing photos, footage and prints) below to further immerse yourself in the artistically renowned fashion whirlwind that was LFW.

Models do the Harlem Shake in style at Top shop unique


Leap into Spring with the help of NYC fashion week 2013

Leap into Spring with the help of NYC fashion week 2013!

Miu Miu exhibiting the crop top for Spring/Summer Collection 2013

Miu Miu Spring/Summer Collection 2013

With the much anticipated  arrival of New York fashion week nothing has disappointed to date and along with it came a hoard of celebrity crushes, iconic designers and  more media coverage to keep us not so fortunate goers involved. New York is one of the fashion capitals of the world so where better for buyers and the media to witness previews of what’s in store for 2013. Each day has brought us the hottest trends to grace the runway from some of the worlds biggest designers. An array of pastel, neons and the studded kitten heel comeback draped with sinfully attractive accessories. Every show has offered something desirable to all women regardless of personal style to add to the collection of timeless pieces.


The spiky stiletto are back with a vengeance  and are the fashion packs way of looking whip-smart, elegant and super polished.From Christian Louboutin to the color popping Stella McCartney range.Shoe porn is at it’s best!

The irresistible collection from Victoria Beckham

The irresistible collection from Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham has been planning to unveil the crisp clean tailored look which includes whites, reds and blacks for her simple chic S/S 13 collection. She has been applauded for her attention to detail and designing for her customers as opposed to her iconic style. She has even choose Manola Blahnik over Christain Louboutin to design the flat shoe, something she is so early seen in.

It’s all about volume control this Spring. Designers such as Miu Miu and Chanel are opting for the unstructured feel. Hermès have shown us elegant and exotic detailed prints attractive to any shopaholic.

The gentle drapes and ruffles from Dior, Céline and Chloé mark a new millstone of femininity. The newly adapted minimalism look is fresh and pretty for the season and is right on trend with the less is more idea.

The crop top has made it’s way from high street to high fashion steadily. Always appropriate for summer and still beautiful with simple jackets and high waisted trousers for the not so brave women. Miu Miu, Balenciaga and Balmin have demonstrated this vision in there shows.

Check out all the latest Catwalk shows from New York fashion week on the comfort of your couch with just a touch of a button nothing disappoints!

Photograph VB