Category Archives: Fashion

The Adidas Originals ‘90s runner is back

Womens Tech Super Pack 02

All across London people seem to have turned running crazy recently, whether it’s marathon training or just pure enthusiasm.

While we haven’t (quite) gotten on board with all this physical activity we’ve spotted the ultimate running trainer to help us out when we do.

It’s the classic retro runner from Adidas Originals which may bring back some nostalgic memories of your youth.

The ‘Tech Super’ is back for women in a mix of colours with EVA cushioning and a rubber out sole making it the perfect thing to boost your running performance in style.

It was originally a training show for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, remember them?,  and now you can get your own for £90 from the Adidas website.

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The V&A Teams Up With Coast

The Victoria and Albert Museum has collaborated with Coast to bring out a range of ballgown dresses which are now on sale in the high street branches.

In the collection there are six beautiful dresses reminiscent of the glamour and glitz of the 1950s.

The range was inspired by last year’s exhibition – Ballgowns: British Glamour Since 1950 – and features both floor-length gowns and shorter knee-length dresses.

Suki Waterhouse was brought in to model the gowns and they look slightly magical, with piles of delicate tiered chiffon and art-deco style applique.

Lauren Sizeland, the V&A’s business development and licensing director, said: “The designs truly reflect the allure of ballgowns and grand occasion wear evoking the glamour and splendour of their inspiration,”

“These gowns will give the opportunity for customers to indulge in a little piece of fashion history.”

However, although they look spectacular they come with a starting price of £550 so won’t be in everyone’s price range.

Images: Daily Mail

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Is it time to rent your next dress?

Ever had the feeling when you delve through your wardrobe before a night out and can’t find anything that feels right or fits the occasion? Of course you have and us women (and I’m sure men feel the same) seem to be in a continual search for the perfect outfit, hairstyle or look.

Luckily for us if your bank balance isn’t set up to pay for a new dress every time you feel indecisive there is an answer on hand, and that’s to borrow. Of course if you’ve got willing housemates or friends they are a good place to start but if you’re not the same size as those around you and want something a little different and a little more designer then why not hire from an agency?

One such place is That-Dress which promises to take the stress out of shopping and end the eternal question of “What should I wear?” And from the surface it looks like an easy solution for the time short and fashion hungry. Whether it’s a wedding, drinks reception or a special Birthday – if you’re not prepared to cough up for a brand new label then it’s worth trying out.

Although it’s not been around for long, That-Dress has an impressive range of outfits to choose from. At the moment most are Italian-inspired and there are all the names you’d expect – Versace, D&G, Diane Von Furstenburg – and several new designers such as Ophelia is Lost and Narciss. Prices start from around £28 per dress and seeing as most of these dresses cost at least £300 to buy new, it’s a brilliant way to always be wearing something different without running up massive debts in the process.

So you pick a dress from the website, pay for it, and in no time at all (around 12 hours) it’ll be couriered over to your desk. The day after you can pop it back in the enclosed pre-paid packaging and return. If it arrives and it doesn’t fit you’ll be refunded the price and there’s instant help – via phone, email or instant messenger – if you need any advice about sizes and what to wear.

As well as an impressive range of dresses there’s also all the extras you know you’ll need – such as fashion tape, ballet pumps, handmade jewellery and tights – so you’re all set for the perfect outfit.

That-Dress is not the only site around for dress hire but it’s quite an easy one to navigate through and most of the dresses on offer come in sizes 8-14. It’s up to you how you use the site – either through renting a one-off dress or if you get into it, becoming a member and renting a few a month (which works out cheaper per dress).

There are also a lot of extras, such as discounts and points to collect for renting which can be redeemed off the price. Jon Hammond, the director, has also arranged events for members to meet new designers, including an evening with Alise Trautmane who recently won the Baltic Fashion Federation designer of the year for the second consecutive year.

Hammond says renting is the “ultimate recession chic” and an answer for all those people in search of something new to wear without the endless budget to do so. You can also get £15 off the first dress you hire with the code ‘welcome’ at the checkout.

“For the same price as a dress from H&M or Topshop you can have a Versace cocktail dress for the night, it’s no secret celebrities ‘borrow’ designer dresses for big events, and men hire dinner suits and morning suits, so why shouldn’t women be doing the same thing?” argues Hammond.

“This way you have access to a constantly evolving wardrobe of beautiful designer dresses to hire, at a fraction of the retail cost. It’s ‘our little secret’ and there’s one for every occasion,” he adds.

This article was originally written for Who’s Jack.

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V&A late night and Bombay Sapphire Imagination Bar

What better way to spend a Friday night than surrounded by craft workshops, original and exciting new designs and a few specially designed gin-based cocktails.

This is exactly the concoction created for the latest Friday late night at the V&A, based around the recently launched Power of Making exhibition.

Crafting has become an overnight sensation and more people than ever are donning a needle and thread and knocking out anything from bunting to a floor length dress. The V&A has trumped on this trend creating a lovely collection of hand crafted curiosities from the puppets from 2009 film Fantastic Mr Fox and a six-necked guitar to a working wooden bike, a lion-shaped Ghanaian coffin and a spun metal rotating chair.

The exhibition isn’t huge but it’s well worth a visit – even if you’re not into craft you’ll be impressed by some of these creations, such as the giant gorilla made from coat hangers.

To match the eclectic nature of these crafts – Bombay Sapphire made some perfectly suited cocktails to enjoy. For gin lovers this bar is a little piece of heaven offering twists on classic drinks. The most impressive visually was the Imagination cocktail – served in a giant martini glass with the words “Imagine” magically formed on top in a bright blue sherbet. The light cocktail is made with lemon juice, Maraschino liqueur, Crème de Violette, gin (obviously) and egg white and the flavours balanced each other perfectly creating a mythical-looking summer cocktail.

The Imagination Bar was located in the V&A courtyard – an excellent choice for such an unseasonably hot night – and the bar was busy all night with thirsty crafters. This was a great end to the V&A’s series of summer camps and we hope they will return (along with the nice weather) next year.

This article was originally published on Who’s Jack.

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Tattoo me

Tattoos are everywhere. According to one recent survey, 20%  of all British adults have one.

I’ve debated getting one several times but I’ve never been able to pick something important enough to scar my skin with for the rest of my life and have somehow managed to talk myself out of it. I even watched a friend getting one done once and although watching the tiny needle pressing ink into his skin was a little off putting, I’m still slightly fascinated by them.

Celebrities are certainly to blame for the recent onslaught of tattoos. Wayne Rooney has ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’ (I’m sure the Stereophonics are proud), Coleen’s name, a Celtic motif , a flag of St George and “English and Proud” (delightful),  and a pair of clasped palms and angel wings across his back. To top that, David Beckham has that winged angel, his sons names and Victoria (in Hindi, spelled wrongly), among others.

And it’s not just the boys. One of the top Halloween costumes last year was Amy Winehouse, pile your hair into a beehive, cover yourself in eyeliner and you’re there. Angelina Jolie also has her fair few,  the coordinates of her children’s birthplaces, “Know your rights” in English and Latin, a tiger, several rambled quotations and a black cross, plus the names of her two divorced husbands (proof you should never get a tattoo of a partner).

Once something left to soldiers, sailors, bikers and criminals, today every second person seems to have one. And although some can be subtly, hidden works of art. There is a seperate category for the ‘babes’ slashed across bare backs and hips. On a trip to Thailand I gazed in shock at the half-passed out travellers getting inked at 4 am by slightly drunker looking artists.

A decade ago, there were 300 tattoo parlours in Britain; now the estimate is 1,500-plus and there’s even one in Selfridges.  At school they were an ultimate symbol of rebellion, but now even Sam Cam flashes hers around making the whole business a touch more middle class.

There really should be a warning book in every salon. Yes some tattoos can look good, but 80% do not. You can’t be sure your partner of three months will be there forever so do not get their name stained permanently on your body and do not decide to get one done when you’ve had more than one unit of alcohol. It’s not romantic, and you will regret it.

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Spring 2011 fashion

Last September’s fashion shows might seem a distant memory now, especially when dressing for cold, wet, dreary January days focuses more on staying warm, dry and de-frizzed rather than glamorous, cat-walk numbers.

However, there are some trends you should be aware of, and once you head out to the shops will probably be bombarded with.

I’ve rounded up my top five, skipping the scrunchies which should remain in the 1980s where they belong and skin-tight flares, only to be worn (and look good on) 1% of the population, to bring you out the of January blues and have you longing for the warm, carefree days of spring… (hopefully).

1) Swan lake-inspired ballet is everywhere and with Natalie Portman’s film, Black Swan, soon to hit the screens, high-street shops across the country are bringing out dancing-themed outfits. If, like me, you spent hours of your childhood at ballet classes, you might be wondering about the navy leotards, uniform pink tights and head bands. Forget the tutus of your past, ballet in 2011 is neat, subtle and can be easily added to any outfit.

2) Bold colours are back, banishing any winter blues and wiping the floor of the endless rows of neutral and camel colours from last season. Bright, strong colours look good but remember less is more, don’t dress from head to toe in red, but add a jacket or scarf to brighten up and update an existing outfit.

3) Fruit is another strange but true trend of the season featuring in everyone’s shows during fashion week. Miuccia Prada and Stella McCartney went for in-your-face bold prints of bananas and citrus fruits. A word of warning, these trends don’t always translate to the high street and it might be worth sticking to a strawberry broach or something equally small and subtle if you’re not prepared for the whole fruit-cocktail look.

4) In at number four is a look I don’t like myself as I’m hampered by being only 5 foot 4 inches and therefore unable to get away with a maxi dress unless adorning 6 inch heels. But they are back with a vengeance and if you’re the right height (damn you) then you should own one. Watch out for those that flow or gape too much as you might look more tent than boho chic.

5) Pleats are a must, giving girlish detail a more grown-up look. They follow the preppy-American college style which is another hit this year, but can introduce elegant shapes and charm to day or night outfits.

Finally, if you’re not keen on any of the above, soon fashion week will be back and accompanied by pages of more looks to choose from, or better still, why not create your own.

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Why clutter can be good

Every year around this time I make a list of resolutions to keep, spend the first few days of January attempting to abide by them until I’m persuaded off the holy trail and out to the pub with friends.

One goal I usually try is clearing out my life, starting with the hoards of clutter I seem to build up each year, which mainly consists of clothes, shoes and bags I’ve bought, but I find it impossible to part with some things.

However, news this week has comforted my squirrel side.  John Lennon’s white suit, worn on the infamous cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album, is up for auction alongside some of Lennon’s other outfits and the auction house in Connecticut says the clothes epitomise ‘the ultimate in rock and roll collectibles’.

The suit has already generated a lot of money, selling previously at auction for $120,000 in 2005. It was custom-made in Paris in 1969 by designer Ted Lapidus and Lennon wore it with white plimsolls for the cover shot.

Although my wardrobe contains few items to be compared, there are things of personal value I find hard to throw away and the history student inside me remembers everything (pretty much) comes into fashion again so it is worth hanging onto a few items.

I seem to have inherited this habit for holding onto things from my parents and now as maxi dresses once again become the key item of spring, my Mum reminds me how popular they were back in the 1970s and that those wise enough to hang onto them will now be laughing.

Another Rutt family fashion item are my Dad’s vintage, white, leather platforms from the seventies. These sleek shoes are still in mint condition and those brave enough to slip them on can literally step back in time.

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