Fashion-Mommy loves – A review of January style.

Wow! What a month January has been in the style stakes. The awards season has started with a vengeance, with The Golden Globes, The SAG awards, The People’s choice awards, The National television awards, The Palm Springs awards and the Art of Elysium awards all taking place this month. This has meant a whole host of fabulous frocks and outfits for Fashion-Mommy to peruse over for your benefit. In addition – an amazing array of collections at Paris Couture week left Fashion-Mommy drooling.

January has been the month of the pregnant fashionista, with Victoria Beckham, Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Devon Aoki, Marion Cotillard and Amanda Holden joining the pregnant ranks already swelled by Holly Willoughby, Jayne Krakowski and Mylene Klass. On the High Street, the sales have ended, although there were still bargains to be found for those prepared to dig deep, but the new collections have been so mouth-watering that shopping has been a must do activity.

So, lets look closer at the style and events that have impressed Fashion-Mommy in the first month of 2011.

Awards Style

Angelina Jolie and Anne Hathaway were the big style winners at the Golden Globe Awards. Angelina sported a stunning green Versace dress that proved to be the most popular colour on the night, whilst Anne shimmered in a backless Armani Prive dress.

 

Many other stars have shone on various red carpets this month. Kim Kardashian looked amazing in a coral Vera Wang dress at the Critics Choice awards, whilst I loved Anna Kendrick’s look at the Art of Elysium event. Eva Mendes looked like a beautiful princess at the Art of Elysium, whilst Julia Stiles showed that slinky jumpsuits are now perfectly acceptable red carpet attire in her black strapless suit.

 

Kim Kardashian in Vera Wang

Anna Kendrick

 

 

Eva Mendes

Julia Stiles

The National Television awards showed that yet again, most small screen stars have no idea how to dress for red carpet events. Flesh was on display in abundance as the stars of Hollyoaks and Coronation Street jostled for the tabloid front pages. Thank goodness then for the pregnant Holly Willoughby, who once again showed that she is a natural, glamorous dresser for red carpet events. Cheryl Cole, on the other hand, did not look great, contrary to what you might have read in the press. Her bondage style dress showed off a back that now contains far too much body art, which frankly looked cheap and tacky.

 

It has been a great month for curvy and plus sized fashionistas. Amber Riley was pronounced on of the best dressed stars at The Golden Globes by no less an authority than Fashion Police, whilst Monique looked amazing with her slate grey dress (and shaven Legs!) whilst announcing the Oscar nominations. Queen Latifah was simply stunning at the Critics Choice awards in a beautiful turquoise gown, whilst Beth Ditto looked fabulous at the Etam catwalk show in Paris. Ruth Jones was one of the stars of the month, and looked fantastic, both as herself on ‘the big fat quiz of the year’, and as larger than life star Hattie Jacques in the BBC4 biopic ‘Hattie’. She proved that the 1950s silhouettes clearly suited a curvaceous figure.  My girl crush Christina Hendricks proved to be one of the best dressed at a seriously underwhelming SAG awards in form-fitting black L’wren Scott.

 

Amber Riley

Queen-Latifah-Kim-Kardashian-2011-Peoples-Choice-Awards

Monique

Christina Hendricks at SAG Awards

Ruth Jones as Hattie

 

 

Ruth Jones on The big fat quiz of the year

 

Beth Ditto at Etam Show

 

 

More looks I’ve loved this month include Carey Mulligan in a gorgeous purple Prada dress at The Palm Springs Awards, Michelle Obama in a glorious Alexander McQueen dress during the Chinese State visit to Washington, a casual Kiera Knightley wearing Burberry. Diane Kruger showed again why no-one today wears Chanel like she does in soft pink straight from the catwalk, whilst Kate Moss had a glamorous return to form in day and evening wear. Andrea Riseborough was definitely one to watch in hr striking black ensemble.

 

Carey Mulligan in Prada

Kiera Knightley in Burberry

Jessica Alba attends the Vogue Paris Dinner in Gucci

Olivia Wilde

Kate Moss at the Wolseley

 

 

Diane Kruger in Chanel

 

 

 

Andrea Riseborough

 

Fashion showed this month that it has the ability to be fun, to provoke thought and argument, and to shock. A gaggle of Kate Middleton lookalikes descended on Buckingham Palace in blue Issa dresses, providing photo oppurtumities for many bemused tourists. Oxford Street saw a march of mature models in their underwear to promote a new fashion website promoting a new body mentality, and protesting at the ‘one size fits all mentality’ that it believes the High Street currently has. Jean Paul Gaultier raised more than one highbrow when the beautiful blonde ‘Bride’ in his catwalk show, actually proved to be a groom, male supermodel Andrej Peric. Transsexual model Lea T was photographed kissing Kate Moss for the Love front cover under the headline ‘This is hardcore’. Clearly, anyone wo believes fashion is just about pretty clothes is sorely mistaken!

I’ll end with my personal favourite things from January. I feel in love with the Rose n roll sandals from by Roger Vivier, I think they are stunning, although they probably cost a few months salary. My own bargain of the month was this great Lulu Guinness tote, which I am using everywhere at the moment, and got for just £25!

That’s it for another month…but February brings London Fashion Week, the Oscars…and Valentines day! I can’t wait…

Paris Couture Week – Valentino, Gaultier and Elie Saab

Paris fashion week was full of beautiful outfits, catwalk surprises and star appearances, and the shows of Valentino, Elie Saab and Gaultier had all three. From the buttermilk shades on display at Valentino, to the mixture of Punk 76 and Moulin Rouge Gay Paris 90s at Gaultier, the shows had colour, drama and, with the male model bride that closed the Gaultier show, the ability to shock.

As expected, the front rows were filled with stylish fashionistas sporting a sea of black outfits. Dita Von Teese made appearances at both the Jean Paul Gaultier and Elie Saab shows, wearing her trademark Black Dahlia look. Catherine Deneuve was also front row at Gaultier, showing that real style is endless and ageless, whilst Alexa Chung and Caroline Sieber were perfectly colour coordinated on the Valentino front row,

Valentino – Soft and floaty

This was a beautiful collection from Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli. It featured soft and ethereal designs in buttermilk, nude and caramel shades that seemed as light as air. There were delicate frills, lots of lacy Elizabethan style high neck ruffs, and lots of scalloping for edges and frills that gave the impression of waves on costumes.

There were romantic ruffles and pretty butterflies and flowers added onto dresses like applique, and there was a lot of sheer fabrics used in this collection.  The overall impression was of pale and interesting, although there were some striking splashes of colour, including the beautiful red dress that I would love to see Kirsten Dunst wear. I thought that this collection was beautiful, but eminently wearable. Think stars like Natalie Portman, Thandi Newton and even Tilda Swinton,whose bone structure would look amazing in the rose-coloured scalloped frock coat.

 

Jean Paul Gaultier – revisiting can-can and Punk in One show.

Who else but Jean Paul Gaultier, the original enfant terrible of French fashion, would use the influences of Moulin Rouge era Paris and London 1976 punk in the same show? There were fish nets stockings, humbug striped can can dresses and Mohicans on display, as Gaultier showed his schizophrenic side. Hot model Lindsey Wixson bought to mind a young Angela Lansbury starring in ‘The portrait of  Dorian Grey’ with her doll-like features and stripy gay 90s tight hobble style dress. This era was also evoked by the rich colours, the multitude of feathers and the cartwheeling catwalk show. I particularly loved the bright orange frock coat style orange dress.

 

Lindsey Wixson

 

But this was also a collection heavily influenced by the birth of Punk in London in the Summer of 1976. Models were sporting Mohicans and brightly coloured zoot suits, whilst designs had names like ‘The Clash’. There was also some bondage style outfits like those sold by Vivienne Westwood in ‘SEX’, these reminded me of Madonna’s blonde ambition outfits from 1990.

Gaultier ensured his show would gain extra column inches when he used supermodel Andrej Pejic as the bride in his catwalk show. Andrej is a tale, beautiful blonde who also happens to be a man. I feel that this was a controversial gimmick that a show as visually exciting as this didn’t need, and that the attention it has received has been at the detriment of the clothes. Still, you can never accuse Gaultier of taking the safe option!

Elie Saab – Simply stunning!

The first thing I want to say is – Expect to see lots of these gowns on the upcoming red carpets. This was a collection that just screamed grown up sophistication. A range of beautiful gowns that went from chic little cocktail hour dresses to those that fully deserved the title full length and fabulous, there was a real feeling of couture about this collection.

There was a good mixture of romantic dresses in soft peaches/golds and whites, but also more dramatic looks in blacks and reds. My favourite shade was the stunning periwinkle blue dresses. There were VaVa Voom designs that would suit Jessica Rabbit, or her alter ego Dita Von Teese, but this is also the collection I would love to see Kate Middleton wear, albeit with some modifications.

As you would expect from an Elie Saab collection, many of the dresses are exquisitely beaded. There are sheer panels, but with beading that spares the blushes and stops the dresses from moving into more risqué territory. Elie Saab is the undisputed master of red carpet dressing, and this collection confirms this.

 

I would love to see Kate Middleton in this dress!

 

 

A feast of style and colour – Selfridges/Vogue new season fashion show

Fashion-mommy was lucky enough to be invited to the preview of the new spring/summer 2011 seasons at a special fashion show held by Selfridges/Vogue on Thursday night. The show took place in the Birmingham branch of Selfridges for a specially invited VIP audience, who were first treated to an acoustic set from up and coming singer Tom Wardle, along with champagne and canapes, and then to an amazing array of fashion looks that would suit all occasions.

Tom Wardle

The presenter of the show was Vogue’s executive fashion editor, the beautiful Calgary Avansino, who look amazing in a sequined gold dress from Phillip Lim, She was the perfect presenter for the event, offering advice on styling, accessorising and colour combinations.

Calgary got the evening off to a fine start by introducing one of the main trends of the new season – BRIGHTS! This season Dayglo colours, colour clashing mixtures of blues and oranges are all on the style agenda, but with an elegant ladylike feel, rather than being an extension of the urban/new rave trends we have seen in the past. A beautiful Victoria Beckham purple dress was used to highlight this trend. A stunningly simple dress, this has the look of knotting silk fabric to make a dress – it shouldn’t work – but actually looks amazing. I love that this was worn with hot pink accessories, showing that brights can be clashed and look fabulous.

Victoria Beckham

Calgary also showed that head to toe brights in the same shade is no longer a fashion no-no when she introduced a stunning Roland Mouret orange dress, that was worn with Michael Kors shoes and a Mulberry bag (YES PLEASE!), of the same shade. This showed that matching your shoes to your bag is now perfectly OK. The look was very reminiscent of early 1960s Jackie Kennedy, and also bought to mind Victoria Beckham herself, who once wore a pink Roland Mouret dress, with a pink Birkin and pink shoes. Then the look was frowned upon, you get the feeling that now it would be applauded.

Head to toe orange - a fashion yes!

The next big trend that Calgary introduced was florals.  There were mixed florals on display, from Stella McCartney, Milly and Jonathan Saunders. The Milly dress had the feel of a real desperate housewife, very 1950s, like something Julianne Moore might’ve worn in ‘Far from Heaven’, it was teamed with another statement bag, this time from Chloe. The Jonathan Saunders dress was totally different, almost like a subversion of the feminine, romantic look that floral evokes. This was a bodycon style dress, very sexy, with florals that seemed to be seen through a stained glass window. This was a strong, sexy look.

Milly - romantic florals

Jonathan Saunders - strong and sexy florals

Gathering was the third trend on display. But Calgary explained that you need to move away from the flowing/boho styles that this trend has meant in the past. This look is now far more streamlined and formal. The Alexander Wang dress showed this, it was a very modern design, with a 1970s Studio 54 look, whilst the beautiful blue Paul Smith dress was correctly accessorised with flat sandals. It was the perfect look for a beautiful warm summer evening, maybe attending a barbecue or taking a moonlit walk along the sea front.

Alexander Wang dress, Carvela shoes

Paul Smith dress - possibly my favourite look!

Probably the most show stopping dress on display was a beautiful one sleeved, blue lace dress from Stella McCartney. This was a real statement piece, and seem to elicit the most gasps from a clearly impressed audience. This is a dress that has already seen some red carpet action, with hot actress Emma Stone, and Dior supermodel Karlie Kloss but wearing the look.

Emma Stone and Karlie Kloss wearing the Stella McCartney dress

 

 

Other looks on display included an update on sportswear from Philip Lim, which showed the Glee look adapted by the use of silks and luxurious fabrics. More my cup of tea was the amazing Anglomania dress from Vivienne Westwood. This seemed like a progression from the pirate look which used cotton, canvas and knotted fabrics in the early 1980s. Now the emphasis was on the body, with knots and draping all on display, along with acres of perfect back!. These looks seemed to be perfect for curvy figures, which is probably why they are adored by Leona Lewis, Helena Bonham Carter and Beyonce.

Calgary turned the talk back to the nude trend. This has been a big style story for a few seasons now and shows no signs of going away. A stunning Malene Birger animal print dress was soft and floaty, evoking images of the heyday of Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. This was worn with bare, pale legs, showing that nude shades can look ethereal on pale skin, and are not just for the heavily tanned amongst us.  The Alexander McQueen dress showed that the label is in safe hands with Sarah Burton, with draping and elegance the name of the game. Teamed with a MIU MIU clutch and Kurt Geiger shoes, this was a perfectly functional, but oh so elegant, daytime look.

Malene Birger

Alexander McQueen

The show ended the way it had begun, with Victoria Beckham. The perfect, pretty little dresses that ended the show were in her favourite, trademark, tulip shape. They also feature those long back zips that are becoming an instantly recognisable feature of a Beckham dress. The first dress was a blush coloured terracotta shade, whilst the second was white, and looked crisp and structured.

The show was a wonderful showcase for the new season at Selfridges. Calgary was  knowledgable as only a Vogue Fashion Editor could be, and was around after the show to answer questions on body shape, make up trends and the best spring hairstyles. The store remained open for those who wished to browse further around the new collections, whilst those leaving had a goodie bag of champers and chocs to take with them.

All the clothes/shoes are available at branches of Selfridges Nationwide and online at www.selfridges.com (follow the link in my blogroll.)

Special thanks to Helen and Caitlin of SKV Communications for the before show chat.