Take inspiration from Nicola Roberts and opt for a maxi dress
We love how when LFW rolls around, absolutely all the celebrities make a huge effort – even if they try to act all “oh, this old thing?” about their outfits when they’re there. Everyone’s favourite annoying radio presenter Fearne Cotton is no exception, as she wafted in to London Fashion Week yesterday to show off her new collection of designs for Very.co.uk in a gorgeous lilac maxi (we have to find out where she get it from).
Clever Fearne may just be the absolute queen of contrasting different shades and colours – after all, lilac is not the easiest colour to co-ordinate – but the tattooed nostril-ed one pulled it off with an elegant vintage bob and a plummy fuschia lipstick to contrast with the sugary tones of her dress. Adding a rock and roll twist were a pair of perfect leopard-print heels on her feet, which were teamed with a zinging yellow pedicure for a fun, playful look. We love.
We can’t find the maxi that Fearne wore (WHERE IS IT FROM??? I NEED IT!!), but there are still plenty of lilac beauties available on the high street that are great for a girlie party look. The star of this gallery, though, has to be Topshop for it’s amazing make-up range, which offers a whole rainbow of different colours of nail polishes and lips – thanks to Toppers for making the perfect fuschia lipstick just like Fearne’s, which you can find in the gallery above.
Earlier today we reported that one of our favourite celebrity mummas, Jessica Alba, had finally given birth to her second daughter – congrats to her etc etc – and in tribute to one of our most beautiful and stylish heroes, we’re taking a look over her mum-to-be style over the past few months.
Jessica has taken on the challenge of fashionably dressing a bump with determination, and we think she totally succeeded. Pregnant ladies, take note of how the actress teamed floaty, comfortable maxi dresses with costume jewellery and hippy-inspired hair for a beautifully effortless look. We particularly loved her outfit at the 2011 Costume Institute Benefit Gala (a place where we can imagine baby bumps aren’t exactly en vogue), where she teamed a gorgeous floor-skimming silver chiffon gown with romantic, soft hair for a look that was pure Midsummer Night’s Dream.
We’ve put together a gallery of Jessica’s best maternity outfits, which you can see above. The best dressed mum in Hollywood? Oh, we think so.
By Emily Borrett.
It was a return to cool, slouchy bohemian style yesterday at Kenzo’s A/W 2011 show. Famed for their explosively vibrant florals and bold colours, this season saw the label working in more muted tones of dark blues, browns and creams that we think will work perfectly come winter.
By Emily Borrett.
Poor old Jaime Winstone. Famous for her mish-mash of different styles and fun dress sense, she’s had a bit of flak in the gossip rags and tabloids for the monochrome Holly Fulton maxi-dress she wore out recently. (Which, I might add, I really loved.) Where lovers of high fashion saw drama and edginess, the “What were you thinking?” pages saw a woman that they thought looked downright silly. But what is so wrong with looking a bit silly? Is silliness not, after all, what the British fashion industry has been built upon? The fashion world would be a different place if the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Pam Hogg decided to stick with Queen Mother-esque twinsets and kitten heels, no?
And ’tis the season to be silly, after all. Tinsel, glitter, jewels, embellishment and brocade – Jaime just whacks it all on and heads out to the party, and that’s why ShinyStyle likes her. Whether she’s dressed like a futuristic punk, a 1930s débutante or a spaced-out acid hallicunation of colour, she works the look with gusto and confidence. Check the gallery below for three of our favourite of the actress’ latest outfits, and the places you’ll need to go to get her style.
We’ve been talking about ballgowns today as a result of our “celebrities love” series so we thought it only right to carry on the theme. And what better way to do this than with a Christmas outfit lowdown.
Ball gowns are not the first thing you think about when you’re picking that party dress, unless of course you’ve been invited to a black-tie event. However, thanks to the maxi dress trend you can get away with wearing a long frock to an event without looking too overdressed.
And there’s some great styles on the highstreet ranging from that traditional black embellished frock to kimono style long dresses which give a nod to the style worn by Christina Hendricks and Kate Moss.
Give a nod to the 50s in one of these or bring the look bang into the 21st century with a strappy number.
We guarantee you won’t need that mistletoe to get that Christmas kiss in these sexy numbers.
By Emily Borrett.
A clear highlight of this past weekend’s X Factor wasn’t Treyc’s depressing rendition of “Whole Lotta Love” or Katie Waissel’s hammy performance of that song from the jungle book, but Liverpudlian Rebecca’s jaw-dropping performance of “Why Don’t You Do Right”, the song made famous by busty cartoon Jessica Rabbit. Yes, you might be baffled that I’m telling you to start dressing like a cartoon character, but your boyfriend will thank me.
Rebecca herself showed everyone watching at home that Jessica’s look is still a classic and sexy one, as she wiggled onstage in a red dramatic sweep of 1940s film noir hair, ruby-red lips and a shockingly bright taffeta dress that had hella emphasis on the hips. See, you don’t have be drawn by a pencil to pull it off.
Obviously this is more of an evening, formal look than something to wear down to the post office – unless you’re trying to make the old guy who sells stamps fall in love with you – so save it for winter parties and swanky nights out. For a daytime adaptation of the look, leave the red maxi at home and add a few glamorous details to your outfit; a pair of red heels, a pin-up hairdo and a pair of cats’-eye sunglasses are an easy way to put of a Jessica wiggle in your step.
Or, failing that, just buy everything in the gallery above and be Jessica Rabbit for Halloween. You’ll look better (and sexier) that all of the naughty nurses/maids/vampires that are out flashing their knickers on October 31st.
I’m off on holiday tomorrow (don’t worry ShinyStyler’s we’ve got two great ladies who will be giving you all the latest fashion and celebrity news while I’m away).
However, that’s not the reason I’m telling you, it’s actually the fact, like many girls who are going away this year, until this weekend I was completely lost about what to wear to the airport and on the plane.
Yes it needs to be comfortable, and if you’re a celeb such as Kristen Stewart or Jessica Alba then you can get away with those, but it also needs to be cool enough for when you get to the other side, which unless you want to be rushing into the toilets to change into shorts (believe me I’ve done it and I’ve nearly missed my luggage), rules out jeans.
However, you also need to be warm enough on the plane. So this weekend I had a scout around the shops to get an idea of the airport must haves. View the gallery below to see my top five.
For about the last five years or so, I have considered any skirt or dress that reaches as far as my knees to be deeply unflattering. Or at least, deeply unflattering on me. On other people they might be elegant, chic, sexy even. But on me, I instantly look like someone dressed as a mum for a school play.
Being top-heavy, my legs are my slimmest part and therefore the bit I want to get out at every opportunity. It deflects from my bulkier bits up top, like wearing a subtle sign that says, “Just so you know, I’m not built like a tank the whole way down.”
So I’ve spent a draughty five years pushing the boundaries of hemline decency. Every dress has been shortened, then shortened even more the next year. My tights have got more and more opaque to compensate, my heels lower and tops more voluminous to balance out the harlot potential. It has been a long work in progress, but finally I’ve found a look that works for me. Hurrah.
The snag, of course, is that saying you’ve “found a look that works for you” is waving a red flag to the fashion bull. It’s like when someone on Eastenders says, “this is going to be the best Christmas we’ve ever had.” As soon as the words leave your lips, a flashing alarm goes off somewhere thousands of miles away, in a big control room, where I like to picture Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld and Alexa Chung all sitting round in massive leather chairs. “Lauren Bravo’s found a look that works for her!” They cry. “Quick, make fashion do the opposite!” And so, summer 2010 became the summer of the maxi dress.
Maxis have been creeping up (or down) on us for years, but up to now I’ve been able to ignore it, dismiss it as a micro trend that will never catch on because Brit girls like to flash the flesh too much. But not so, it seems. Everywhere you look this season, women are flapping about in acres of fabric. And, more distressing, most of them look good. They’re elegant, chic, sexy even.
There is a crucial ‘most’ in the above sentence, though, and that is the deceptive secret of the maxi – it DOESN’T WORK ON EVERYONE. For starters, they cover up a significant portion of our bodies, leaving us only with arms and décolletage on show. Which is great if arms and décolletage happen to be your best bits, but how many of us claim that? And how many of us, alternatively, spend entire August afternoons sweating it out in inappropriate jackets so that nobody sees our bingo wings?
Then there’s the maxi’s lack of shape. This can be a blessing – skimming over your hips and thighs, providing ample coverage for a belly full of fried calamari – or a curse – making you look like someone of indeterminate gender hiding in a shower curtain.
And then there’s the lack of accommodation for, um, ample chests. The vast majority of maxis come in two styles – ruched bandeau or triangle halterneck. Neither are friends to any bosom bigger than a C-cup, with the former looking a bit like two puppies in a sack, and the latter presenting the age old dilemma of cavernous cleavage vs wearing a prudish camisole underneath. And I do not approve of clothes than necessitate extra things worn underneath just to protect your modesty.
But don’t flee back to your underwriting quite yet, busty ladies! There is hope out there. Maxis like this one from Julien Macdonald or this New Look number give the well-endowed goddess and little more dignity. Urban Outfitters and Oasis even have a few with that all-too-rare feature in women’s dresses, SLEEVES.
There’s the length issue to contend with. Maxi propaganda states that long, wafty dresses can only be worn by long, wafty people; one of those hideously unfair fashion diatribes like ‘only skinny people can wear skinny belts’ (you notice there are no trends named ‘stout and dumpy’). But it’s a rule made for breaking. The secret to pulling off maxi as a shorter lady is picking your shape wisely and being nifty with a needle and thread if need be. Make sure it covers your ankles, but isn’t sweeping the floor, and fits properly up top so you don’t look swamped. Try to find something relatively slim-fit so that you’re not wallowing around in a paisley marquee, and if all else fails, crank up the heels.
But body issues aside, the real key to maxxing it up is deciding on your style. Are you a Grecian goddess (draping, chiffon, upswept hair), a prairie girl (broderie anglais, denim waistcoat, belt), or an urban hippie (straight jersey t-shirt maxi, minimalist sandals, iPhone)? Or will you, like me, be keeping a firm grip on your minis until Anna, Karl and Alexa come round to prise them out of your hands?