Winter In Bloom

This year florals haven’t been relegated to the Spring and Summer months. Dolce and Gabbana, Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen and Erdem to name but a few have blown wintery breath into florals as we know them and ressurected them as a hybrid of the inescapable femininity they represent but with a darker, tougher edge. This is what I love about fashion-there are no rules…..designers twist nature itself to deliver ground breaking creations. Love this trend!

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A murkier palette but non the less definitively girlie, this trend can be styled in any direction you wish to go. Toughen up the look by pairingwith leather and spiked or studded accessories, turning the flirty floral stereotype on it’s head. Nobody likes to be predictable after all….

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Another option is to make like Olivia and pair your so-hot-right-now florals with another print….leopard. Who’d have thought they’d clash so well? Word of warning though-this an incredibly blurry line-when do they compliment each other and when do they just conflict? Even the always confident Olivia knows to keep her leopard print to a minimum…..albeit with a flurry of feathers thrown in for good measure! Yet somehow this still is one of my favourite looks. Again it’s the unpredictability that makes it worth taking a second look at. It breaks the normal formula to make fashion interesting and yet somehow still groomed.

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While we’re on the topic of floral trousers, it’s a trend that’s grown faster than the speed of a weed (sorry, couldn’t resist!) and they seem to be the go-to trouser of the a listers both on and off the red carpet. I absolutely love Chiara’s take on the trend-utility meets girlie meets neon…. Are we starting to realise that normal rules seem to go out the window when it comes to new season florals?

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Of course for those who aren’t quite ready for full on floral, there is the always appropriate flirty dress option. Dare to bare the stems or just add black opaques to keep out winter’s chill.

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HarperWinter In Bloom

Dotty for a spot of Polka

Fun, flirty, feminine-you can’t take yourself too seriously when wearing polka dots. They’re like the fashion equivalent of candy floss!

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Yet, for something apparently frivolous and lightweight, they’ve been a designer’s darling for decades.

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They’re most often worn in a tongue in cheek way. Perhaps why when Carrie was discarded in Paris in her red and black polka-dot creation, her viewers cried just that little bit harder for her. She embodied the little-girl-lost look that she had intended to wear with irony.

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Surprisingly, this is a trend beloved of some of the most famous rock chicks. And this perhaps explains the longevity of their appeal-they can be moulded to suit almost any personality type or desired look depending on how cleverly you style them due to their instant eye-catching wow-factor. Just look; Gwen Stefani loves hers so much she wear it twice-styling it day and night just incase we were ever I doubt of her style credentials. If I owned this Vivienne Westwood dress I’d never take it off either…..

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And of course no trend would really be a legitimate trend unless Kate Moss puts her own spin on it. I am obsessed by her Marc Jacobs sparkled mini.

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They’ve even been given Oscar worthy status as Natalie Portman proved at last year’s awards. Knowing that the pressure was off now that she was passing over the mantle, she was out to enjoy herself and to party and what better style to do it in than in a smattering of ladybird speckles on
vintage Dior?

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What I love about them is the versatility of what is often thought of as a ‘difficult’ trend. A speckling of polka dots on a work blouse instantly softens a hard edged business suit. Just keep everything else simple. Although I have been known to enjoy pairing black and white polka dots with a plain red shoe or a black on black spiked Pigalle for evening……the whole point is its meant to be fun after all!

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HarperDotty for a spot of Polka

The 1950s-my Ultimate Pin-up

Betty Draper, Jackie O, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe; these women’s style transcend time. They embody the breathtaking glamour of the 1950s.

Each time I see an image of one of these women, it has the ability to stop me in my tracks and wish I still lived in an era of such ladylike perfection-where women were feminine, refined and eternally groomed.

Of course this would have been a curse to sustain long term-bound by the necessary corsets, no heated hair tools to achieve those glossy waves, nor the option of setting foot outside the door in jeans and uggs!

Nostalgia has the exasperating ability to file away the flaws and imperfections of the past and leave a golden aura upon memories-thus leaving us chasing the impossible. But rather than resent this, I look at it as inspirational.

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The women of the silver screen and public stage were masters at improving and concealing their flaws and maximising their assets. Jacqueline Kennedy hated that her smoking habit stained her finger tips thus always wore gloves in public. And so followed a generation of perfectly fingertipped women! (and me if I had my way!)

It was in the 1950s that Christian Dior came into his own and other design houses took his lead in nipping women’s waists into waspish proportions, enrobing them only in the frothiest and most sumptuous of fabrics to emphasise their femininity-the perfect antidote to the previous post war decade of the ’40s.

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Mad Men has gone some way to filling the void that Sex and the City left. I’ve bought each box set and often find myself fast forwarding the scenes with the office politics (and actual story lines!)and pause on the stunning costumes that Betty, Joan, Jane and Megan model. Although the less said about Peggy the better! I love all things Betty-her Grace Kelly-like style sung to my very soul and encapsulates everything I love.

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Nothing screams true Hollywood glamour like hint of luxury fur. It’s luxurious texture oozes decadence and even a hint of it gives an ordinary outfit a touch of golden age sumptuousness.
I couldn’t be more obsessed than I already am than with Louboutin’s Artemis evening bag….sling it over your shoulder and it looks like a vintage stole. Only Mr Louboutin could realise that every woman is in need of one of these!

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HarperThe 1950s-my Ultimate Pin-up