Friday, January 13, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Happy Friday Fashion lovers and welcome to the first Week in Fashion of the year. It's certainly no slow start to 2012...

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is up for a design award (image from Alexander McQueen)
It will be the resounding fashion image of 2011 and this week Sarah Burton's design for Kate Middleton's wedding dress was among the nominees on The Design Museum's longlist for its Design of the Year award. In further recognition for Alexander McQueen, the Savage Beauty exhibition (which is still on track to come to London in the not-too distant future) also appears among the contenders.

Miu Miu SS12 (image from
  A few interesting announcements on new brand faces this week. We're loving Mia Wasikowska for Miu Miu. The star of 'Jane Eyre' and 'Alice in Wonderland' fits perfectly with the dark kookiness of their SS12 collection. Not so cool though is this morning's news that Kristen Stewart (yes, she of Twilight megastardom) will be the face of Balenciaga's as yet unnamed perfume which will be released in the Summer. It's not that I actively dislike Kristen, it's just that she doesn't Wow. She follows in the footsteps of the aspirationally chic Charlotte Gainsbourg which kind of makes it worse.

Charlotte Gainbourg for Balenciaga (image from
 While us fashion press might have our opinions about Crocs, the ultimate 'ugly' shoe, it seems the world's love affair goes on. It was reported this week that the plastic clog company has raked in $1 billion revenue this year, a peak in its ten year existence. If any of us were sort of hoping they might quietly disappear then then we will be sorely disappointed to hear that they have gone from 'a casual fashion trend to a phenomenon with staying power'.

Rick Santorum is claiming the sweater vest as his 'thing' (image from
 For Britain, 2012 will be the year of the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. In the US, it's election year and Barack Obama is seeking a second Presidential term. Just a week into election year and we already have TWO fashion stories to report. First up is Republican candidate Rick Santorum who is responsible for reintroducing 'the sweater vest' back into the collective consciousness. He has hailed the sleeveless jumpers as central to people starting to notice him, he claims they give him 'power'. And should you be inspired to follow Santorum's sartorial lead, then you can purchase your own sweater vest from his website. Unfortunately, this also means you'll be contributing to his campaign, hence I'm not posting a link.

A cute photo of the Obamas on their wedding day (from
 Obama's Democrat campaign has a tad more fashion kudos behind it after the launch of Runway to Win. Anna Wintour, a big supporter of Obama from the start, has spearheaded the project (a repeat of the 2008 one) and persuaded 22 American designers to partake, including Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, Diane Von Furstenberg and Joseph Altuzarra. Various accessories will be sold with proceeds going to Obama's Victory Fund. Wintour will be attending numerous events as part of Runway to Win, starting with a reception which Scarlett Johansson will co-host in February.

A Derek Lam tote for Obama $75

Karen Gillan and Aneurin Barnard in We'll Take Manhattan (image from

Shrimpton and Bailey (image from
 On January 26th, a new film, We'll Take Manhattan, about the relationship between David Bailey (played by Aneurin Barnard) and Jean Shrimpton will be shown on BBC4. Shrimpton is played by Dr Who star Karen Gillan and there is thus plenty of buzz about its screening. From the images released this week, it looks set to be a visual delight. As part of the renewed interest in 'The Shrimp's' career, images taken by Ronald Falloon- a friend of Bailey's- have gone on sale here and they are quite gorgeous.
Jean Shrimpton by Ronald Falloon (image from
It's hardly unusual for celebrity offspring to venture in their parents' footsteps- see the Geldofs and Jaggers for prime examples- but the moment when transformation from child to it-teenager takes place is quite intriguing. This week, Meg Matthews tweeted a photo of her daughter Anais, whose Daddy is Noel Gallagher, taken by Mario Testino. Although she's only 11, the image will surely get model agencies excited at the prospect of the dynamite combination of beauty and famous genes. Watch out Anais and enjoy being a little girl a while longer, however hard that may be when you have Mario Testino taking casual snaps of you. We suspect Noel was a bit pissed off.
Anais Gallagher by Mario Testino (image from Meg Matthews via Daily Mail)
 As big fans of anyone who take it upon themselves to support young design talent, FEAL was happy to hear about the new H&M Design Award, details of which have been announced this morning. The winner of the International Award will receive a very helpful 50,000 euros plus the chance to show at Stockholm Fashion Week which, as judge Hilary Alexander says will 'catapult them straight to the front line of fashion'. Other judges include London design genius Christopher Kane and Head of Design at H&M, Ann-Sofie Johannson. You can follow the progress of the designers from Europe's most prestigious design schools (including London College of Fashion and St Martins) at the  project's site. The winning designer will be announced on February 1st.

The awards season is getting under way already.Last night, the Critics Choice Awards took place and The Artist, my cinema choice for this weekend, swept the floor. Nevertheless, Meryl Streep is set to be the actress of the season and so all eyes will be on her designer choices- she's been loving Stella McCartney thus far. Yesterday, the FashEd bumped into Christopher Di Pietro of Vivienne Westwood, who revealed that the brand was in the final two for Meryl's Golden Globes dress. We'll be keeping our eyes peeled. And before you ask, Meryl is sorted for the Oscars apparently.

Christopher Kane styled by Francesca Burns for SS12

New season Jil Sander styled by Francesca Burns for British Vogue
 We are loving some of the fresh approaches to showing the SS12 collections. Two standout favourites this week are British Vogue's 'Spring Forward' SS12 Spring Collections story by new Fashion Editor Francesca Burns, which is fresh with just the right smattering of quirks, and Steven Meisel's IVC film (a pun on QVC) for Italian Vogue. You can see it for yourselves below, but I completely love how they take a tired, outdated yet consistently cheesy and hilarious form of shopping and pop in the coolest, most desired new pieces in place of fish poachers and slankets.

A sale tip-off now: Hermes are having sales today and tomorrow of their Men's and Women's collections plus accessories. It's taking place at: Music Room, 26 South Molton Lane, London, W1K 5AB until 7 today and 8 til 6 tomorrow. Judging by Francesca Burns' twitter pic this morning, most of you are already there.

The Hermes queue, courtesy of Francesca Burns' Twitter
On Wednesday evening, I went along to the launch of Smile for London's new project for London Underground, Words in Motions. They've teamed up poets and animators to create short films which will be shown from Monday in tube stations. They were some brilliant performances from London poets, particularly fab were Salena Godden and Musa Okwonga. If you're not in London, or just fancy a sneak peek then press play below...

SfL: Word In Motion Teaser from Smile for London on Vimeo.