Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Don't Forget Your Manners

Excitement is in the air as the end of this week holds promise of a thrilling fashion event. I am pleased to say that I, too will be joining Windhoek’s hip and trendy at the Jameson and 99Fm Fashion Show this Saturday evening.  

However exciting the prospect of new designs gliding down the runway may be, fashion events can leave both fashion insiders and wannabes wondering what to wear. Fashion show outfits and etiquette is thus the inspiration for this week’s post. I've done some research and put together my own take on fashion do’s and don’ts to help you along.

Your outfit
When planning an outfit for a fashion show the general rule seems to be to wear black. The idea being not to compete with designer pieces being showcased. I personally don’t think black is a ‘must’, but would agree that a fashion show outfit should be kept neutral in colour and simple. It should be non-fidgety and comfortable. If its versatile and can be integrated into your existing wardrobe - something that can be worn often- then that's an added bonus. Keep in mind that at fashion events, the fashion belongs on the runway and the style in the audience.

From my research I have stolen a few tips from fabulous fashion bloggers out there. They all agree: 
  1. Keep the outfit simple (in colour and style) 
  2. Wear something you're comfortable in (nothing worse than constantly having to tug at hems or fiddle with straps) 
  3. It’s all about the bag 
  4. And the shoes. You don't have to wear designer shoes or have a designer bag but having the accessories as the statement piece could work to your advantage. If you’re lucky enough to be seated front row, make sure the soles of your shoes are in good condition, you don't want to be spotted across the room or in photos with nasty heels.
  5. Wear at least one trend, but don’t try combining all the trends together. Otherwise, you really will look like you’re trying way too hard.
  6. Let your own style show through. Fashion is about the individual–don’t lose your own style in the midst of it all.
Kim K is perfection in a neutral ensemble, statement neck-piece and gorgeous Louboutin shoes. 
(Rachel Roy Fashion show)

Your behaviour
Click onto Fashion TV and you will see the celebs and fashion gurus wearing their shades at fashion shows; tweeting and texting on their phones; and chatting away nonchalantly. At any other function this would be considered rude, but as always fashion plays by its own set of rules.

Eboyne Jackson, Fashion Editor of DAM Magazine and a blogger for AOL black voices, insists that talking during shows should be kept to a “hushed” minimum. In most cases, people will side-glance each other to show their disdain or approval, and whisper to each other, but for the most part, talking is kept at a bare minimum. “Most people are so engaged in the show, and are trying not to miss a single beat. If people are texting, they are most likely trying to be the first to “Twitpic” the latest hot dud straight off the runway!”

Then there’s the awkward question of clapping at a runway show.  According to my favourite fashion mag, GLAMOUR, this is a fashion newbie mistake. Yes, that dress coming down the runway is the most beautiful thing you've ever laid eyes on. And no, you can’t contain your excitement anymore. But you must! A simple golf clap—reserved for the end of the show—is the respectful amount of enthusiasm to show for the clothes. Oohs and aahs may be used sparingly. Fashion events are all about maintaining a cool and aloof vibe.

Of course, on the other hand fashion is about fun, and if you’re planning a ladies night out (like I am), then let your hair down. Remember, fashion is visual art and should be enjoyed!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Revamping the Roaring Twenties with the Embellished Dress

With the premiere of the Great Gatsby and shows like Downton Abbey it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to ignore the roaring twenties. I’m a huge history buff and have always been fascinated by anything antique or vintage, but there’s just something about the twenties that has never caught my fancy. Yes this the time when the world began to modernize, a time when women were finally permitted to wear trousers, and of course when the darling Miss Coco Chanel liberated and inspired the fashion world. Despite all of this, however, I was never drawn to the twenties. Until the revamped emergence of the embellished dress, that is.  

The embellished dress is a sexy new take on twenties style. Shorter formal dresses are ornamented with lace, embroidery, jewels, beads, and sequins this season. Even fashion accessories with heavy embellishment can make your simple LBD a hot number this coming winter.

If, like me, you’re still hunting for an outfit to wear to the upcoming 99Fm Loves a Namibian Fashion Show and thinking of a embellished dress, then steer clear of over the top embellishments. Some designers, like Marc Jacobs have really pushed this trend to the limits with garments so covered with decoration that it's difficult to discern the fabric that lies beneath. This kind of look you want to avoid.

If you’re petite, then keep it shot. Too much embellishment on a garment may be overwhelming for your short stature, and it can make it more difficult to maintain a slim, sleek appearance, but a little embellishment is certainly not out of order. After all, a girl has to have some fashion fun. Use touches of embellishment to your outfit by selecting a dress with sequin detail surrounding the neckline, rather than a dress that features all-over sequins; this will give a nod to the trend while maintaining style that's most flattering to a woman with a short build. For the curvy woman- embellishment on the middle of the body, and black on the side of the mid section and thighs, is the perfect way to look slim and on-trend.

Always keep in mind that this trend needs no extra accessories and really only requires a simple pair of heels, sleek and simple hair, and eye-pencil rimmed eyes, for that ultra sexy look. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Stepping Out In The Statement Sweater

This week I’m loving the trend that has taken the streets of New York, and even New York Fashion Week, by storm. The great thing about it is that it doesn't require much effort, and if you’re like me, you've probably been rocking it for years during those lazy “sweater weather” days. 

Finally, the sweater has made a fashionable comeback that’s easy, comfy and oh so chic. Designers like Burberry  had fun with what was once a discreet staple, at their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, using bold knits and colourful comic book-inspired prints, which I LOVE.

To be honest, I wasn't initially sold on this trend, thinking it might be sloppy and thoughtless, but I am now fully convinced that the statement sweater is this season’s fashion essential. It's trans-seasonal and can be worn with anything in your wardrobe right now, making it the ultimate quick-fix update for pretty much everything.

Whether you team yours with a pair of jeans for a more laid back approach or a cute skirt for a more lady like look, the possibilities are endless. For the super chic out there, wear yours with clashing prints or muted palettes, ladylike pencil skirts or androgynous tailoring.

Above: This is what I call nailing the Statement Sweater look.
Either way, this isn't the season to reach for your old grey or beige waffle knit. Now is the time of the statement sweater!

I believe winter knitwear should be the main style event rather than just a layer of warmth. So make your mark this season and embody one of the most accessible and downright comfy trends to wear right now.  

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