Monday, November 29, 2010

Fight the cold weather with faux fur - fabulous and cruelty-free!

It can be tricky to look stylish in wet, windy weather. Rain and snow ruin hair and make up, and our favourite glamorous skirts and shoes must be put away for the winter months, and replaced by sensible boots and layers of warm clothes. However, there are some pros - the chilly weather is a great excuse for us girls to treat ourselves to cosy coats, cute scarves and gloves. My personal favourite winter accessory for 2010 is faux fur - not just the elegant jackets, but also faux fur bags and accessories. In simple colours like cream and grey, faux fur adds class to an outfit; for a more edgy look, go for bold animal print. Nicky Hilton shows us how its done in this classic leopard coat.

Many celebrities now choose to shun the real fur industry and wear cruelty-free faux fur. Wonderful as this is, it can be difficult to imitate celebrity fashion - the Hilton sister's clothes tend to be a little bit out of the average woman's price range! However, luckily for us, there are many great, affordable high street options available. River Island currently has a wonderful range of faux fur jackets and gilets in stock, which can be bought in stores or online.

The River Island faux fur range includes classically beautiful items, such as this gorgeous cream coat...

...or, if you prefer the quirkier look, you could opt for this edgy grey boyfriend cardigan, with its unusual eyelash pattern.

Oh and remember, sleeves aren't essential either - to mix it up a little, you could always throw this gorgeous gilet over a long sleeved top!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nicola Roberts : Fashion Icon. How the "ugly one" from Girls Aloud has transformed into a style queen...

  Right from the beginning, when Girls Aloud were first created in 2002 by the ITV reality show Popstars: The Rivals, Nicola Roberts was always considered the plainest member of the group. With her pale skin, freckles and unconventional looks, she was constantly singled out and ridiculed. Lily Allen famously referred to her as “The Ugly One”, a title which stuck. Aged only 17 when the group was formed, Nicola was just an awkward teenager with braces and freckles, yet to find her own style, going through the same journey of mistakes and self-consciousness that all young girls go through at some stage, in order to blossom into confident women who feel comfortable with themselves. However, unlike other young girls, Nicola had to endure her awkward stage under the cruel scrutiny of the public, her every mistake highlighted and criticised.

  People can be cruel, and no-one stopped to think that Nicola Roberts, Girls Aloud superstar, was in reality just a young girl, as vulnerable and easily hurt as any teenager. For years she endured constant taunts from the public and media, who regularly mocked her looks, particularly her fair skin and the distinctive flame-red hair which has now become her signature feature. Surrounded by beautiful bandmates such as Cheryl Cole and Sarah Harding, with their typically good looks, and regularly insulted by the press, it is no wonder Nicola Roberts felt insecure and unhappy in her own skin.

  My self-esteem was at rock-bottom,” she has since revealed. “"For years I felt like the ugly one in Girls Aloud … The odd one out … I felt awful. Turning from a teenager into a woman is hard enough without dealing with snide comments.
As a teenager, Nicola was yet to find her own style...
  Instead of embracing her own differences and dressing for them, Nicola spent years trying to force herself to fit the girl-band stereotypicl mould of a “pretty, bronzed, blonde commercial-looking woman.” Using layers of fake tan and thick, heavy make up, she coated her light skin with products in an attempt to look as tanned as her four bandmates. In an attempt to completely disguise her fair complexion, Nicola also dyed her hair darker. Old pictures clearly show a self-conscious young girl, trying hard to be somethings she’s not. Under such constant criticism, it is no wonder it took Nicole so long to find her own style, and work with her pale skin and red hair, instead of against it. But thankfully, the “ugly one” from Girls Aloud has finally learnt to celebrate her differences. The ugly duckling has blossomed into a beautiful swan.

  Gone is the spray tan and orange make up. The hair dye and extensions have been ditched. Nicola’s skin is back to its natural, clear white, which perfectly compliments her eyes, features and distinctive red hair. Never before has the phrase “pale and interesting” been so true. Nicola stands out now not as the plain band member, but as the striking, glamorous, different one. She proves beyond a doubt that to look your best, you must work with your natural looks – never try to change them completely. And with her new-found confidence, Nicola has begun to experiment with fashion, quickly finding her own original style which suits her fair skin and hair. This amazing transformation has seen Nicola Roberts swiftly becoming a style icon.

  Nicola has become an inspiration, not only to fashionistas everywhere who admire her fabulous clothes, but to anyone who has felt uncomfortable in their own skin. She recently released her own make up range, appropriately named Dainty Doll, which is aimed at women with very fair skin. Nicola explained, “Seeing that no other brand on the market cater for paler skinned women really frustrated me.” Music career aside, Nicola is now becoming well known for her passionate interest in make up and fashion. However, when asked about releasing her own fashion range, Nicola pointed out that celebrities who put their name on clothes for the sake of it are taking opportunities away from hard-working, up-and-coming young designers, saying; “I have too much respect for the industry.”

  Personally, I adore Nicola’s style, and admire her obvious, genuine appreciation for fashion. For too long, she has been overlooked. Now she is coming into her own as a style queen, a unique beauty and a champion for girls who don’t want to follow the tanning bed trend. People are beginning to sit up and take notice of Nicola Roberts. Her outfits are both daring and stunning, her hairstyles and make up are flawless, and it is clear that she has finally made peace with her insecurities, and learnt to be comfortable with her own particular brand of delicate prettiness. She is definitely a style icon and someone to watch. When Nicola spoke out about her new look, she seemed happy and confident as she explained how she loves what she is doing now and no longer feels like the ugly one. She also added that if anyone disliked her style, she “couldn’t give a toss.” Good for you Nicola!

* Attention, fashionistas! A few final thoughts…

Check out Nicolas outfits at London Fashion Week – they are all fab and inspiring!

Pale girlies who wanna rock the natural look – look up her Dainty Doll Range! Pale is beautiful, if you know how to work it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kim Kardashian glows in this edgy patterned dress.

It can sometimes be hard for curvier girls to work the edgy look - hourglass figures are generally more suited to classic styles. However, Kim Kardashian proves it can be done in this gorgeous black dress with it's fab gold pattern. The dress is dramatic, so Kim keeps the accessories simple - a dark clutch and shoes, with her hair tied back. Beautiful!

(Also - I noticed this in a "Worst Dressed" section - some people are so clueless! Fashion is about taking risks and daring to be different, and Kim totally pulls this off.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rihanna rocks red hair, red skirt and red lipstick!

LOVE this outfit - it's simple and stunning, and suits Rihanna perfectly. The shoes and corset set each other off without being too obvious, and only minimal jewellery is needed as her statement hairpiece is enough of an accessory. Gorgeous!

Georgia May Jagger - unique and beautiful.

After she posed as the face of Rimmel - get the London look! - I remember being stunned by a Facebook group mocking the gorgeous Georgia May Jagger for her gapped teeth. Could it be jealousy, I wondered, or could it be that some people honestly look at Georgia and believe that her teeth make her ugly?

I have come to the conclusion that it is simple ignorance - there are many people who believe that models should all fit the same dull mould. They want models to be like human clothes-horses, with no individuality - just identical thin girls with neutral expressions; blank canvasses for clothes to hang on. But personally, I much prefer models with striking, distinctive features, who stand out and give the clothes they are wearing personality.

Look at people such as Kate Moss and Lily Cole - their unique beauty is what makes them special, and makes them such popular models. This is also true of Georgia May Jagger. Her trademark mouth, with her huge lips and gapped teeth, is part of what makes her so wonderful. Also, I must confess; I simply adore her modelling. The camera loves her, and she takes incredible photos - not to mention showing up at recent red carpet events in some fabulous outfits. The girl is one of my favourite models at the moment - I'm loving her photos for Hudson Jeans. You go, Georgia!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Deliberate or not, the clothes you are wearing make a statement…

  I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a girl who loves her fashion – really loves it, with a passion that borders on the obsessive. I adore the clothes, the colours, the glitz and glamour; I get ridiculously over-excited while accessorising and experimenting with make up. I can spend hours window shopping alone, gently stroking beautiful clothes and shoes as if they were fluffy pets. I have even been known to become attached to items of clothes which I simply cannot afford – while I know I will never be able to buy them, I still visit them in their shops, just to look at them, touch them, imagine owning them. My closest friend, less style conscious than I, has learnt to accept my madness. She patiently endures my cries of “Oh-my-god I am NOT letting you out in that” and “I don’t care if you don’t like it you’re wearing it” and “How many times do I have to tell you!? ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE, ACCESSORIZE!”

  When you’re a bubbly sort of girl who loves clothes, shopping and partying, people make assumptions about your intelligence, especially if you have long, blonde hair like mine. People’s opinions don’t bother me much, but the one thing that really does irritate me is being patronised, especially by some moron who’s IQ is without doubt far lower than mine. When it comes to my love of fashion, I’ve heard some snide remarks. I’ve heard those who think they are too broad-minded to “follow the trends” refer to anyone with an interest in fashion as “conformists”, and of course those who think they are too intellectual for fashion make comments such as “It doesn’t matter what people wear – it’s who they are inside that counts.” Then of course there are those who simply assume any girl who squeals out loud with joy at the sight of the perfect pair of sparkly shoes just cannot be that bright.

  I don’t waste time trying to explain myself to these people. They simply cannot see how WRONG they are. There is no point pointing out to them that all individuals conform to the society in which they exist – yes, that includes all of you high minded wankers who call others “sheep”, you, too, are conformists – it’s human nature. Those who claim that “it’s who you are inside that counts” cannot see that your style, your choice of clothing and make up, is a direct reflection of self. Whether you like it or not, what you wear says something about you and whether you like it or not, others will judge you on it. Would you go to a job interview at an office dressed in an old tracksuit?

  Many people claim they don’t care what they wear, but every outfit makes a statement. Showing up at that job interview in a smart suit and shoes would say, “I want to make a good impression.” Add a subtle hint of lipstick, an elegant hairstyle and a piece or two of understated but expensive jewellery, and you’re also saying, “I’m confident and successful.” Even an old pair of jeans and a pyjama top worn around the house on your day off makes the statement, “I’m relaxed and comfortable, and not trying to impress anyone.” Dressing all in black with matching lipstick and multiple facial piercings sends out the message “I don’t want to fit in, I want to be different.” Think of the different outfits you wear, and the statements they make. Going out in a sloppy outfit with untidy hair says, “I haven’t made the effort.” Dressing up for a night out is often the time that women consciously try to communicate with people through their outfits. Bright eye-shadow and lipstick screams “Fun!” Red lips and smoky eyes just cry out “Sexy.” Stylish clothes and hairstyles say “I’ve made an effort; I look and feel good about myself.” This is the most important thing about clothes – that you feel amazing in them. Confidence looks good in any colour.

  For me, it always varies – I like to dress to suit my mood. Fashion is extremely relevant to my life, and I often express my feelings through it. Smudged black make up and untidy hair feels right on me when I’m unhappy. Colours and glittering jewellery and fluttery fake eyelashes represent happiness and fun. Being versatile is important, as is being confident about your own taste and style. There is no point to fashion without style. Trends and fashion icons are not there to be copied, only to give us suggestions, and expose us to new, exciting ideas. There is a lot of flexibility in fashion these days. It is up to you to take what you want from current fashions, and to give it your own unique twist.

  I see fashion as I see writing, painting and photography – fashion is art. It is a way for people to express themselves – through clothes, hair, shoes, accessories, make up. It is a way for people to be creative in their everyday lives, while at the same time making them feel confident, comfortable and good about themselves. And while I do take my fashion seriously, at the end of the day that’s what it’s really about. It is about feeling good, looking good and having fun. As Christian Dior said, “There is no beauty that is attractive without happiness.” So no matter what fashion choices you make, be sure to enjoy them. I leave you with one of my personal favourite quotes; “You can buy fashion. You inherit style.”