Monthly Archives: March 2010

The bum bag is back

If you’re American it’s the “fanny pack” to us Brits it’s the “bum bag” something reserved only for tourists and grandads for the past 20 years.

The bum bag has been a hopeless fashion victim’s disaster but now it’s back and with an 80s rave campaign flocking through the fashion world, the bum bag is well and truly here with a vengeance. Firstly exclusive fashionistas magnated to American Apparel to buy one, now even Marks and Spencers plans to launch one this summer.

The catwalk shows for spring/summer 2010 were stacked with them. British designer Ashish Gupta somehow made it sexy with a studded black leather version and Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton have launched their own versions and even created a man-bag version.

It’s certain to say if the bum bag isn’t fashionable by the end of the summer it never will be.

Here’s a selection of the best around, my advice, embrace it – if all sense of coolness leaves you, at least you will have your arms free…

American Apparel, £15.00

Topshop, £28

Louis Vuitton, £230

French Connection, £28.00

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Not your daughter’s jeans

These tummy tuck jeans are apparently responsible for making you drop a dress size instantly, slimming, defining and even lengthening your legs. This all sounds a little too good to be true and with a price of more than £100 it possibly is.

However with endorsements from celebrity power women like Elizabeth Taylor, Rachel Ray and Diane Sawyer – this jean craze that started across the pond a few years ago now seems to be taking the UK market by storm.

The name gives away the target audience, 30-something plus women who would prefer to spend £120 on a pair of jeans claiming to instantly improve your figure rather than fork out thousands on surgery. It seems women can’t resist the possibility of instant weight loss without any of the hard work and the designers have well and truly cashed in on this.

Hyped as one of the most innovative products offered by the fashion and beauty industries since control top pantyhose, these jeans are proving very popular in shops like John Lewis.

But is there any truth behind their outlandish claims?

Firstly they come in a range of very dark shades of denim, which are instantly flattering to wider figures.

They are also high waisted, avoiding any aspects of muffin-top exposure and with a corsetting effect, they effectively slim down any wobbly bits producing a firm and toned effect.

There are 11 styles, from drainpipes to flares, suitable to flatter any figure, from the petite shorties amongst us to the long tall Sallys.  The stretchy denim used produces an effect of wearing leggings which will hold you in, firm you up and look amazing, if you can afford the price tag.

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Canapé chic

The world of fashion is not usually associated with food and the tabloids love to slate models for endorsing anorexia or misrepresenting women.

For once the designers are turning their creative hands to the edible world of sweet delights and London fashion week served up an array of delectable wonders.

Catering has evolved from cheese and pineapple sticks and pigs in blankets to something of an elevated art form. The fashion crowd may not be able to eat more than two or three nibbles, but the army of caterers should be well praised for the exceptional culinary treats served.

If you want to sample something amazing all year round, the Berkeley Hotel in London has made quite a name for designer influenced food.

Prêt-à-Portea, one of the restaurants, is fine dining at its most exceptional.

Afternoon tea at the cafe should be reserved for special occasions only, due to the bank breakingly high price tag, but the experience should not be kept exclusively for the rich and famous.

The menu is inspired by the themes and colours of the fashion world and is transformed every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion.

Inspired by the spring/summer 2009 fashion collections, this season’s afternoon tea at The Berkeley in London includes designs by Christian Dior, Burberry, Christian Lacroix , Louis Vuitton, and Mulberry.

On this season’s menu you can sample a collection of cakes and fancies including; a Mulberry ‘Bayswater’ white chocolate and coconut truffle, an Emilio de la Morena caramelized banana mousse with red currant jam and a Matthew Williamson joconde sponge cake dress filled with lychee cream and spun sugar ruffles.


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Tesco gets ethical

What was once an ordinary supermarket on the UK high street has now become a global company who are slowly taking over the world. On arrival to Pedang, a small island off the North coast of Malaysia last year the first thing I saw was a giant Tesco extra store. Proof the company is set for world domination? Possibly.

Throughout the UK there are weekly battles against small towns fighting off, or failing to, Tesco extras and the company are well-known to buy huge areas of land to stop other competing stores building.

But…enough of the Tesco rant, it seems they might be doing something positive for once in the launch of an ethical fashion range in connection with the designer, “From Somewhere“.

The new clothing line was featured at London fashion week and consists of six different styles, created out of end of the line Tesco products (which would have previously been destroyed).

The collection is aimed at the twentysomething market, which until now has been slightly left out of Tesco’s clothing lines, and the range of body-con bright colours matched with a low price tag will definitely appeal to this market.

Not only do the clothes look fantastic, come at a pretty reasonable cost, but also they are produced in one of the worlds “greenest” factories in the world.  This is not just fabricated Tesco lingo either, the factory, in Sri Lanka, is actually the first in the world to be awarded a gold rating for environmental responsiblity by LEED, the international green building certification system.

The benefits for Tesco are obvious – a company traditionally known for not really caring about their carbon footprint suddenly goes green…and the people at From Somewhere are also happy to get a huge name behind them and to force the store to look at, and deal with its own waste.

It’s easy to slate Tesco, we all know the alarming statistics about £1 in every £7 spent in the UK spent in the shop, and however much this new partnership is a giant PR stunt – it’s also a very tiny step towards improving the planet.

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