Monday, 20 December 2010

Gok's Fashion Fix comes to Nottingham

Gok's fashion roadshow is touring the UK and on the 20th of Decemeber both high street and designer battled against eachother once again. We were both really excited to see what would actually happen when voting because many believe it's a 'fix'. By the way obviously  Fashionstrand can't post everything we saw or it would spoil the show.

Styles Nottingham saw come down the runway:

 Unfortunately Harriet had to rush off so the blogging, and most importantly voting, was left to Evie.
As a regular viewer of Gok's Fashion Fix I always grit in my teeth when high street wins because we feel they are over-accessorized, poorer quality and sometimes ridiculous.
But on visiting Gok's visit to Nottingham, he drasitically changed my opinion as unknowingly I voted for the one I thought looked best, the highstreet.

I think Gok's Fashion Fix proves that all design can be good or bad no matter what the price and in Gok's words, "there's only one winner: fashion!".

Fans swarming Gok for autographs and photographs

Brix Smith manages to look radiant compared to my flushed complexion.

Brix Smith rigourously searches in Gok's Fashion Fix for the most gorgeous garments and accesories that designer can offer.
Brix Smith launched an East End boutique in 2002, her success has enabled her to expanded to four boutiques and an online store. Her persona is undoubtly mesmerising and fabulous through her thrilling energy and whole-hearted enthuasm for fashion.

Brix told Fashionstrand that she loves fashion because you can use it as a tool, through styling and different looks it gives you the ability to wake up a different person!

The show had to be filmed twice, with various camera angles and 'audience shots' making it an interesting experience into the making of a television programme.
However you'll be pleased, or not so pleased to know, that Gok's Fashion Fix isn't a fixed.

Friday, 17 December 2010

The British Fashion Awards

The British Fashion Awards: the highlight of the industry's calender, the fashion pack's Christmas party, and most importantly, the British Fashion Council's celebration and recognition of the most influential and talented contributors to the industry. Sitting in the stalls amongst Fashion royalty was, without a doubt, the highlight of our time as fashion bloggers so far. We took a lot from the ceremony, which was thought provoking, inspirational, and filled with applause that couldn't have been more deserved.   
All the glamorous people who shape the fashion industry began to take their seats.

Daisy Knight, a graduate from Central Saint Martin's, showed us her hands and wrists which were covered in her own handmade designs, we especially loved the feather ring, you can find her punky yet delicate creations on net-a-porter.
The black tie dress code was clear around the theatre, our favourite outfit being Henry Holland's quirky suit. Evie wore Christopher Kane for Topshop, and Harriet wore Malene Birger. The Goodiebags contained a mac lipgloss, a small British flag to fly in the name of the British Fashion Awards, and our favourite traditional sweets; flying saucers!

Harold Tillman, Chairman of the British Fashion Council delivering the opening speech.

Nicholas Kirkwood receiving the Best British Accessory Designer award
After receiving the Emerging Talent Award last year Nicholas Kirkwood was in good stead to win the award for being the leading British designer of shoes, jewellery, millinery or accessories within the past year. Other shortlisted nominees were Camilla Skovgaard and Emma Hill for Mulberry. He has designed for Ghost, John Rocha and Rodarte and was recently appointed Creative Director of the The Italian footwear label Pollini
The hiking boot was the biggest footwear trend for Autumn/Winter 2010, and these gorgeous floral boots designed by Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem make braving the British Weather a most  fashionable affair.
image courtesy of MissB blog

Lara Stone is not scarce of awards, she was photographed as 'The Girl of the Year' in British Vogue and made Number 1 on's Top 50 list. This time it was due to her success as a leading name in the modelling industry, as over the past year she's certainly made a strong mark on the international fashion scene. Other nominees were David Gandy and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Lara is absolutely stunning, but also showed a sense of humour on a par with her husband, David Walliams', when she made a joke about being compared to Matt Lucas...
Lara Stone changed our catwalks from Louis Vuitton to Chanel in Autumn/Winter 2010 through the celebration of a real woman's silhouette.

Menswear Designer
Despite having our fingers crossed for Paul Smith because of his inspiring lecture and Nottingham heritage, we were delighted to see that leading menswear designer Patrick Grant gained the award due the aspect in menswear which E.Tautz excels in; bespoke tailoring. Other shortlisted nominees were Christoper Bailey for Burberry, Margaret Howell and Paul Smith.

E.Tautz A/W '10 mixed military with British traditional wear,  through heritage tweeds and a splash of gold.
image courtesy of

We can safely say when Alexa Chung was announced as winner of the British Style award, it came as no surprise. After becoming Mulberry's brand ambassador and muse, Alexa makes anyone in their right mind want the satchel which is named after her. This award was the only one for which the winner was to be decided by the public, we've seen her popularity first-hand, as when doing 'The Vintage Fair' street style, our question 'Who's style do you admire?' often came with the answer, 'Alexa Chung'.
Alexa Chung is not only a presenter and model, she has even turned designer for Madewell in 2010

Emerging talent - Accessories

The Emerging Talent Award for Ready-to-Wear and Accessories, created two years ago by the British Fashion Council, recognises and financially rewards Designers as they establish their emerging fashion businesses. Husam El Odeh collected the award for Accessories.

Naomi Campbell receiving her award of Special Recognition
Naomi Campbell  was discovered as a model at the age of 15, appeared on her first cover on Elle magazine, and was the first black model to grace the cover of French Vogue . Since then her career has made her one of the most known supermodels in the world. Her speech was touching as she mentioned her dear friend, the late Lee McQueen, and emotionally voiced her pride in all women of colour's mark on the fashion industry.
Naomi Campbell ISSA Spring 2010 one-shoulder leopard print swimsuit. No surprise there; Naomi Campbell has a body of a goddess.

From streaming all their catwalk shows since September 2009 and launching its Autumn/Winter 2010 collection as a fully interactive, motion-responsive experience. The Design-a-trenchcoat computer software left everyone in awe of the brand, and desperate for a studded trench with their initials embroided inside.

Let's be honest, Burberry revamped the aviator jacket to create the must-have shearling of the season.

A British stylist, make-up artist, photographer, art director or producer whose creativity has been a major inspiration and influence in the past year is chosen to receive the Isabella Blow Award. Other shortlisted nominees were Nick Knight and Rankin.
Stylist Nicola Formichetti
Consultancy for McQueen, image courtesy of
The British Brand of the year was awarded to Mulberry.
A leading British designer brand that has excelled and made an impact on the international stage over the past year could be none other than Mulberry. Despite declining sales, Emma Hill has revamped their brand image to a new market, and to celebrate, a new 5,400sqft flagship store on Bond street is opening soon! Also nominated for this award which, caused quite an interesting surprise, was none other than Victoria Beckham, between Pringle of Scotland and Burberry.

 The ultimate award, which recognises an internationally acclaimed British designer of couture, ready-to-wear, knitwear or accessories who has made a significant impact in the past year both in the UK and internationally was presented to Phoebe Philo. Others nominated were Christopher Kane and Erdem.
Clean, minimal silhouettes were seen at Celine for Autumn/Winter 2010. This was essentially one of the most celebrated shows of the season due to it's simple yet feminine look.

An award recognising one designer who throughout their career has influenced and inspired the global fashion industry.

To commemorate Lee’s life and celebrate this Award, the ceremony opened with a film featuring Lee’s most iconic pieces directed by Nick Knight, styled by Edward Enninful, all to a soundtrack by Bjork. In less than 10 years McQueen became one of the most respected fashion designers in the world. Alexander Lee McQueen is not shy of winning awards, he has previously won the British Designer of the Year Award four times, his influence on this generation has been celebrated due to his outrageous style on and off the runway.
McQueen is recognised globally for his innovative tailoring and raw energy within his shows. Contrasting all elements of humanity through fragility and strength, tradition and modernity, as well as fluidity and severity. Born in London in 1969, Lee began his fashion career with an apprenticeship at the traditional Saville Row tailors, Anderson and Sheppard. A few years later, he completed a Masters degree in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, showing his MA collection in 1992, which was famously bought in its entirety by Isabella Blow.

Everyone in the Theatre was clearly touched by the film, which reminded everyone of the terrible loss that Fashion has faced this year.  
Alexander McQueen’s latest and last collection is shown at Paris Fashion Week
McQueen's last collection in Fall 2010 captures the elegance and dynamic of a fairytale monarchy with the strength and beauty of a swan.
So, there you have it, The British Fashion Awards. We have to pinch ourselves a little bit when we think about how we attended, but it really did make us realise why we're so passionate about what we're doing with Fashionstrand, and what we hope is still to come. 

Monday, 13 December 2010

Clothes Show Live

It was an early morning for Fashionstrand as we took the train to Birmingham International Station for Clothes Show Live 2010, the girls day out held at the NEC, with stalls upon stalls of clothing and a fashion theatre where fashion and dance are fused with celebrity guests and musicians. The presenters on the day we went along were George Lamb and Caryn Franklin. We had a cheeky catch-up with George back stage, where we found out he was of course wearing A.Sauvage, but hadn't been blessed with dough balls as on his last visit to Birmingham. Below is our review of Clothes Show Live...   

So this year Clothes Show decided to offer something a little different, the 'Sknitch Zone'. Promising hands-on experiences in everything sewing and knitting, we thought it sounded like a refreshing change to the usual stalls. We had a wander round and thought the concept was great, however, if we're completely honest, we were a little disappointed when we found it sparse in visitors and severely lacking in energy. That's not to say we lost heart in the woolen department, as we stumbled across Susan Crawford, the recently-published vintage-knitter.

 We had a good rifle through the delicate hand knits displayed on Susan's stand, which were all inspired by the classic femininity that Susan loves, such as the women you see in old films. Susan's love affair with vintage knitting stems from her past; she told us she started wearing vintage as a teenager, even though this wasn't as popular a way of dressing as it is nowadays, also it's a past time which she first shared with both of her nans (maybe it's genetic).Susan has co-written a book of kitting patterns, 'A Stitch In Time', so that anyone can recreate the look. If you've got the time and patience, it's well worth a look, whilst if you need more persuading to pick up the needles, it will instantly be done when you visit her blog.

The second gorgeous stand we stopped by in the Sknitch Zone was The London Bead Company. The shoes pictured above were customised with the glittering swarovski crystals by owner, Alex Kidd, whilst we spoke about the gadget she was using. Anyone can by one and recreate this effect for themselves in a flash, as all you do it pick up the bead with the little iron, and press it onto any surface apart from vinyl or leather, genius. The London Bead Company is based in London, ofcourse, but you can order online at their website. We think one of the crystal-stickers and a pouch of the little gems would make you a very popular present giver this Christmas, so take a look!
The Red Carpet catwalk, in association with OK! Magazine showcased dresses fit for each of the red carpet events we all dream of attending. We found there was a diverse range of styles, many gorgeous, although a few seemed quite dated... we'll let you make your own mind up from our shots below.

The Clothes Show holds a variety of competitions, which is really great as it attracts so many young people hoping to pursue careers in the fashion industry, and gives them a platform upon which to be noticed. One of the competitions is Young Designer of the Year, this year's brief was to 'design a dress, drawing inspiration from the country across the world that most inspires you.'

We spoke to Shivani Chavda, who was announced as the winner at the show. The country in which her inspiration lay was China. From here, she looked at flowers and beliefs, painting peach blossoms in ink, then blowing them up and working with them on the body for a 'modern edge'. We thought the dress was really interesting, composed of a neoprene body-con mini and a floating ink-flowered under-structured layer on top, it's movement with the body reminiscent of a Chinese dragon. As a fashion student in her third year as De Monfort University, Shivani told us her £1000 prize will be going straight into her major project! 

This year, the Clothes Show Live Catwalk took on the theme of a night at the movies, taking us on a tour of style inspired by all genres on the big screen. New boy band Inju5tice performed 'All the Money' and 'celebrity' guests to the stage were reality stars from The Only Way is Essex.
Audience members who screamed the loudest were awarded a goody bag for their efforts by male models. We can't explain how much the one on the right loved himself, he may be pretty but at the end of the day, George makes him look of measly height...
A Hollywood themed walk kicked off the show, set to 'Diamonds are Forever', Bond Girls prowled the runway. Russian hats, capes, maxis, leather, Fur, blazers and satchels were all hits.

High School Musical was the inspiration for the second installment - preppy, big bows (ahem, Louis Vuitton) red and white, varsity jackets, 1950's influences, jocks, one pieces (apparently set to be big, we're not backing them however), American flags, tartan, knee high socks, and geek chic with books as the main accessory!

Next, we were transported to the Wild West - high-waisted denim paired with checked shirts, folksy dresses, boho, feathers, head dresses, floral prints, a-line skirts, camel coats, faux fur gilets, pale green, and ofcourse, shearling.

The Fairytale Romance walk was opened with a beautiful ballet dance! Once the audience had stopped swooning, we saw embellished dresses, exaggerated shapes, more feathers, maxi, everything floaty and girly, puff ball hems, silk satin, and capes on the runway, all bound to bring out the Snow White in each of us.

The Science Fiction theme was very imaginative, as you can see! Kylie was the soundtrack to the models' futuristic performance. Key elements were silver and white, bodysuits, cut-outs, exaggerated upper halves, and armour, all giving the impression of cosmic warrior.
Horror mystery channeled the vampire craze, with bow ties, a dark red riding hood look, leather jackets, body-con, black gloves, leotards, red and black, high waisted skirts with bralets, leopard prints, faux fur, and black shiny circle skirt- similar to those seen at Henry Holland SS11.
The show had an energetic finale, with sequins and six packs.
So now we're going to be completely honest. We didn't like everything. The thing with Clothes Show Live is that there's hundreds of stalls, and a disappointing amount of them are either nothing to do with fashion, stocking badly made clothing, or manned by women making you feel bad because you won't buy the £10 goodie bag they're thrusting upon you. It's such a huge space to fill, but we just think if the selection process of exhibitors was down to more than just profit, it would make for a far better experience. 
But of course it wasn't all bad, we really enjoyed the 45 minute performance in the Fashion Theatre, as spectators saw reams of well-styled outfits on the catwalk. If more of the stalls were as inspiring as this, we'd without question, have called this a perfect girls' day out.