Country Life

Three traditional British brands are in the midst of a style resurrection:


Barbour is synonymous with country pursuits like shooting and hunting, but they have now found a new market with trendy festival goers. The wax jackets are waterproof and perfect for protecting and dressing down your glam Glasto outfit; well, you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard do you? Barbour, which was a menswear brand until 2003, have been concentrating on reducing the weight of their jackets and defining the jacket’s silhouettes, but it seems that their most popular jacket is their traditional heavy, sludgy green coloured jacket.

The worn look is key in this country chic trend, and many are taking to making their jackets look more rugged with a penknife; be careful though if you’re doing that, safety first kids. Celebs caught wearing Barbour jackets include Lily Allen, Alexa Chung and the cool Geldof, Peaches.

Harris Tweed

Tweed is all over the catwalks this year, in shows from Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfield and Christian Lacroix. It’s had an urban update as it’s all about salt and pepper shades worn as mini-skirts or oversized boyfriend jackets. In 2004 Nike joined up with Harris Tweed to create a limited edition line of trainers.

They were so successful that other designers and manufacturers took note, and now Harris are the only name you need to know in tweed; I bet you never thought you’d need to know a name in tweed.


Try and think of a Wellington boot maker that isn’t Hunter…. yeah, I didn’t think you could. The staple boot for country folk has had an injection of style from none other than the iconic shoe brand Jimmy Choo. Now as shoe makers go, you probably couldn’t get more worlds apart than Hunter and Jimmy Choo, however, their website describes the style partnership as the ‘ultimate fusion of fashion and function.’

The Jimmy Choo wellies are designed with their signature crocodile print and lined with leopard print. Tamara Mellon said that the boots were inspired by the girls she’d seen at festivals, but they are the nicest wellington boots that you will probably ever see, so you probably wouldn’t want to get mud on them.

So you don’t need to go hunting, shooting or get muddy to embrace your inner country girl; just take advantage of the new rural trend, even if you live slap bang in the middle of the city.

Wear Summer Clothes into Fall

So I’ve noticed a lot of the recent posts featuring in this blog have been “new season this, new season that” very fall-centric. But I personally haven’t invested in a lot of new pieces for the autumn season and instead I’ve been clinging onto my summer tops, dresses and shoes for as long as humanly possible, as well as raking in the last of the in hopes they’ll still be in style next year.

The temperature’s dropped but I seem to be handling it ok. Here are some quick tips I’ve been using and hope you’ll draw inspiration from on how you can wear your summer pieces while making a statement for the rest of the year:

Open toed shoes

Definitely keep the shoes alive throughout fall. With coloured tights, printed tights, stirrup leggings, regular leggings and of course the all important leg warmers, there’s still hope for sporting the peep-toe and hosiery style until it gets too icy to wear them. If peep toe boots are the new style, why can’t we pull this off for a few months longer?

Summer dresses

If you have a lot of thin material summer dresses, this one is a lot of fun in the experimentation stage: Pick ones of different lengths, putting on the longest first and the shortest last. The layered effect looks great on the bottom (especially when there’s a big mix of patterns for a nice boho-chic look). Top it off with a chunky cardigan and a waist belt for shape.

Invest in a long sleeve tee

I bought myself some basic long sleeved tops and they are proving to be the most practical buy I have made. They look great under cardigans, but they can also be paired with summer tanks, t-shirts and dresses. Plus it feels like wearing a completely new outfit when all you’ve done is added an extra layer – love it!

Everything – 3-quarter length leggings with tights, shorts with leggings, short sleeved blouses with chunky cardigans. Layers make for a unique and personal style statement so experiment as much as possible – you’ll be surprised how many outfits you can create from a few summer pieces.

Christy Turlington

Where have all the supermodels gone?

The 90s were the heyday of the supermodel. Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and later Kate Moss (to name but a few) reigned the catwalk supreme. They were powerful women in the world of fashion and entertainment, who famously would not get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day. Over the past few years, these supermodels have been making a comeback; Naomi, Claudia Schiffer and Eva Herzigova are the faces of Dolce and Gabbana’s new fragrances, and Christy Turlington was recently seen posing for YSL.

Maybe the reason that the models are making a comeback is because there have been many pretenders to their thrones, but most of these models have been flashes in the pan and have never edged to the super level. The closest that the noughties have come to a supermodel is Gisele Bundchen, who earns $15 million a year. There are many more who earn a lot of money, but we may only know their faces and not their names.

I’m sure you are unbelievably sick of the size zero debacle, it does seem to be everywhere these days, but one of the reasons why it is believed that there aren’t any new supermodels is the army of skinny waifs on the catwalks today who women may not personally relate to. Back in the day, supermodels were athletic, beautiful and they were real women. They had character (no one can deny that Naomi Campbell has ‘character’) and they were not just clothes horses for designers, they were famous for themselves.

Of course there are models that might still become super; Agyness Deyn has made a definite name for herself with her platinum hair and northern charm, and Lily Cole has become a household name over the past few months. Models such as Natalia Vodianova and Daria Werbowy are staples in our magazines, but I couldn’t tell you one fact about them. I could tell you who Cindy Crawford is married to and what her children are called (she is married to Rande Gerber, and her children are called Presley and Kaia, and I am aware that knowing that does not make me very cool).

Of course it could all be retrospective, and they may only seem Super due to our hindsight, maybe we are harking back to the good all days when they were all in that George Michael video with rose tinted Oliver Peoples glasses. But maybe if there was a bit more of character injected into the new models and a bit more food in them; they may become super yet.

Louboutin Barbie

Louboutin Barbie

It is a sad day in the world when people give a doll body image issues. Christian Louboutin, who has launched a range of Barbies, has been criticizing the 50 year old toy’s legs.

To celebrate her birthday, the dolls have been launched in special collector’s editions which include four Barbie sized pairs of Louboutin’s iconic red soled shoes. Unfortunately, the shoe designer was not pleased with the size of Barbie’s ankles, and he asked for them to be redesigned, ‘Barbie’s foot has always been shaped as less ‘curvy’ than the rest of her perfect body,’ he said. ‘But fat ankles she didn’t have, she just could have thinner ankles, that’s all.’ So the people at Mattel have given her a makeover from the ankles down; her foot is now more curved and her ankle is thinner.

Louboutin’s official title to Barbie is her yearlong godfather, and after the offense he caused through his criticism of Barbie’s plastic feet, he said, ‘I apologize to my goddaughter. There has been a bit of confusion there, but it’s just the proof that Barbie has real serious fans.’

There will be three Louboutin Barbies in all; a safari themed Barbie, a Barbie who goes to the Cannes Film Festival and a jewel thief Barbie. He has also created a pair of shoes for us real people, in Barbie’s trademark colour, Pantone 219 Pink. All of the dolls will be released over the next year and they are exclusively available through the Barbie Collections website.

lindsay lohan

Lindsay Lohan Ungaro Collection

God bless Lindsay Lohan, nothing seems to be going right for that girl. I wrote a while back about celebrity models, and Lindsay was one of the stars that had dipped her toe in the fashion pond; now it seems that she has dunked her whole foot in.

The design house Emanuel Ungaro has hired Lohan to work as their Creative Director in a multiyear, multimillion pound deal, in a bid to inject some youth and energy into their line (and get some attention, if some critics are to be believed). Her debut collection was shown in Paris a couple of weeks ago, and goodness, has she had an absolute panning and a half for it. It has only been over the past few days that Lohan has defended herself and the collection, saying that she still has a lot to learn.

Lindsay has been working with the company’s chief designer Estrella Archs, who admitted that the collection was very rushed, in fact they only had three weeks to create it. I don’t even think that Coco Chanel herself could have created a good collection in three weeks. Lohan and Arch’s bow at the end of the show was described as not ‘radiating chemistry’. I personally think that if looks could kill, from the one on Estrella Arch’s face (above), there could have been a front row fashion show massacre.

The most common word that the critics have been using to describe Lohan’s efforts is ‘disastrous’. The main colours throughout the show were hot pink and orange, and there was an unusual amount of heart shaped nipple stickers going on. Some models were even given larger heart shaped stickers to wear on their foreheads. Hmmmm.

The chilly press response has been likened to the kind of behavior expected from the characters of Lohan’s most famous film, Mean Girls. Moreover, it seems that some of the fashion industry feel offended by Lohan’s collection, with one critic writing, ‘No one ever said that fashion was brain surgery. It’s a different discipline altogether. But it is indeed a discipline and a commercial art, a fact variously muted and underscored by the celebrity infiltration of the last decade.’ Oh dear.

So the fashion world didn’t like it, but Ungaro are still planning to keep Lohan on, and she has another collection due in January. When asked about this collection, Lohan replied that she thought it was in March. Erm, good luck Lindsay!