Spring/Summer Fashion Ad Campaigns – The Good, the Bad and the Just plain weird.

The Spring/Summer ad campaigns had their grand unveiling last week in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and the rest of the glossies. It’s always an exciting time for fashionistas, a chance to examine a range of beautiful images from the likes of Mert and Marcus, Steven Meisel and Mario Testino. Fashion Mommy has enjoyed the last few days perusing the images, and here in my opinion, are the good, bad and the just plain weird.

The Good

Bottega Veneta. This is absolutely stunning. Karolina Kurkova channels Tippi Hedron in The Birds, with beautiful 60s style tailoring and long black eyelashes. The serene blue sky is perfect except for the sinister black bird hovering ominously overhead.

Dior.  Beautiful. Karlie Kloss, with a mane of tumbling auburn curls resembles Rita Hayworth playing Gilda (although she does remind me of Jessica Biel too). The clothes are amazing – think Yacht club still of the 1930s, especially the pretty prints covered with the white raincoat. I love the mixture of prints too. Shot by Steven Meisel.

Armani. Very dark and glamorous. Elisa Sednaoui reminds me of the dark, dangerous glamour of Wallis Franken in this campaign. Love the focus on all black when most of the other campaigns are awash with colour. Shot by Nick Knight.

Bally.This is a great campaign featuring mismatched brights and fabulous wedge heels. It has a real 70s feel to it and the model, Constance Jablonski reminds me of a young Lauren Hutton. A great feel good, fun campaign.Mulberry. This is a gorgeous fantasy shoot. Based upon ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett, it actually reminds me more of Alice in Wonderland, with the models resembling some sort of beautiful Tweedledum and Tweedledee figures. A stunning visual, the girl’s hair matches the amazing satchel bags and ankle boots. Crazy and wonderful.

Louis Vuitton. This is so different from the Mad Men inspired shoot of A/W 2010. This suggests the Paris of The beautiful fall’ era of Lagerfeld and St Laurent. It has a luxurious disco vibe which makes me think of Angelica Huston and Tina Chow at their most beautiful. Very San Tropez vibe, and featuring a whole range of supermodels, Freja Beha Erichson, Raquel Zimmerman and Kristen McMenamy, this is destined to become an iconic set of shots that just scream decadence, glamour and two-tone bags!

Chanel. Freja is still the star of the show in this inspired shoot. It takes iconic pieces of Chanel, Coco-esque tweed suits and acres of pearls, but sexes them up with tiny hot pants and pixie boots. I love how this shoot reflects both the past and the future of Chanel, Duchess of Devonshire suits and pearls, but with acres of leg on show.

Versace. Featuring January Jones from Mad Men. These make you wonder – is it an updated Christine Keeler? A millennium Angie Dickinson. These are beautiful black and white shots of Betty Draper in the buff!

The Bad.

MIU MIU. I love the red dress, but the hall of mirrors style shoot, with the model, Kasia Struss resembling a shop dummy wearing an Evel Knieval style jacket leaves me cold. It’s frankly quite spooky.

Chloe. What! Oh No! Tacky football style shorts and a cousin it hairdo. NEXT!

D&G. Suntanned skin. Victorian style lace slips and corsets. Very Helmut Newton style, but doesn’t really showcase anything other than some lesbionic fantasy images.

And the just plain weird…

Givenchy. Did you watch This is England 86? Remember the main characters Lol and Woody, with their terrible hairdos? Well, you could be forgiven for thinking they were starring in the new campaign for Givenchy! Androgynous – most definitely. Stylish…err…I think I’ll pass on that one.

This is England 86




So there you have it. Some fantastic campaigns, some amazing clothes. Now, roll on the Spring!!!

Fashion moments of 2010 pt.2

Alexander McQueen's logo in London

Image via Wikipedia

2010 had so many memorable style moments that I couldn’t limit my list to just ten happenings. So here are my next ten moments from the world of fashion and style from what has proved to be a pretty amazing year.

Fashion for Relief Haiti

This event, organised by Naomi Campbell, saw a whole host of stars taking to the catwalk in order to raise funds to help mother and babies in the Earthquake stricken nation of Haiti. Denise Van Outen, David Walliams, Nicola Roberts and Jo Wood were amongst those who strutted their stuff on the catwalk. My favourite star turns were from the gorgeous Kimberley Walsh from Girls Aloud, and a rare walk from Kate Moss, who wore a beautiful Alexander McQueen dress as a tribute to the designer who committed suicide in February of this year.

The death of a genius

The world of fashion was shocked by the suicide of British designer Lee Alexander McQueen in February. McQueen had been left shattered by the death of his beloved mother just days before, following on from the suicide of his close friend and mentor Isabella Blow.McQueen was an amazing, irreplaceable force in the world of fashion, he had both stunned and delighted with his innovative, creative designs and will be sorely missed. Sarah Burton has taken over at the helm of  the Alexander McQueen label.

Biba and Barbara

Biba and Barbara Hulanicki re-emerged in the fashion world this year in very different guises. The Biba label was relaunched by House of Fraser as an opulent, glamorous collection fronted by a stunning ad campaign featuring Daisy Lowe. However, the collection was criticised by Barbara Hulanicki, the founder of the original Biba, for being far too expensive. She launched her own affordable collection for Asda George in November. This was a great collection that adhered to the Biba effects of being affordable (most of the range under £30), and more inclusive (sizes up to a size 20).

Biba at House of Fraser

Barbara Hulanicki dress £25 Asda George...I'm wearing this New Years Eve

Barbara Hulanicki Cardigan - a great glamorous cover up

Lanvin/H&M mania

Alber Elbez  fans (and, lets face it, eBay sellers!) turned out in force for the launch of the Lanvin for H&M collection in November. Many shoppers queued overnight to be the first to get their hands on the wristbands that gained entry into H&M stores. The collection itself was a critical hit, with fabulous shoes, cute t-shirts and glam and girly dresses. The whole collection was sold out within hours and was appearing on eBay the same day for double and triple the retail prices. My favourite piece from the collection were these red shoes.

X Factor Fash-Off

With all the scandal concerning this series, thank heavens for the fashion on show each week. Danni and Cheryl provided fashionistas with lots to discuss after each show, with Danni Minogue coming out on top as the most stylish X Factor judge.  Showcasing couture from her own Project D range, Victoria Beckham and Emilia Wickstead amongst others Danni never put a fashion foot wrong. Cheryl, on the other hand, faced criticism for many of her X Factor looks, including her too orange face (from Simon Cowell no less…talk about the pot and kettle!!!), her return to her long extensions, and a range of trashy looking dresses. However, it was not just Danni and Cheryl whose style was dissected. X Factor uncovered a new style star in the stunning Rebecca Ferguson, whose mixture of High Street and designer labels looked polished to perfection.

Rebecca - a new style Sade?

Victoria Beckham – World Domination?

An amazing dress collection worn by Cameron Diaz, Leighton Meister, Courtney Cox, Oprah Winfrey, Danni Minogue and Katherine Jenkins amongst others. A newly launched, sell out Handbag collection. A nomination for best designer brand at the British Fashion Awards. This was the year that Victoria Beckham was finally acclaimed for her designing skills. She was the best advert for her brand, wearing a range of elegant, ladylike looks that banished the WAGTAG for good.

Louis Vuitton Channels the 1950’s.

My favourite ad campaign of the whole year was the one that featured Natalia Vodianova, Karen Elson and Christy Turlington in How to Marry a Millionaire mode as 1950’s style models. The ladylike dresses, the Grace Kelly style grooming, the bouncy ponytails. I just totally loved the whole look and feel of the style. This Louis Vuitton campaign was shot by Steven Meisal, and just fitted in so perfectly with my Mad Men obsession.  Marc Jacobs – I salute you!

The rise of the mini fashionista.

One of 2010’s more worrying trends was the arrival of the mini fashionista. Willow Smith, just nine years old, yet looking like a mini Rihanna whilst singing the irritating ‘Whip my Hair’, was the toast of Milan Fashion week, wearing D&G and carrying a leopard print clutch bag. Chloe Moretz, the star of ‘Kick Ass’, aged 13 and wearing Chanel Resort. How I long to go back to the days of the badly dressed 13 year old Emma Watson on the red carpet!

Gossip Girl styles.

The main stars of the series Gossip Girl showcased very different looks this year. Leighton Meester had the edginess, trying a series of directional styles, but Blake Lively looked far better with her sun-kissed blonde babe image. Taylor Momsen modelled for Madonna and resembled a mini Courtney Love with black kohl and ripped tights. You couldn’t escape them if in the style and gossip magazines this year.

And finally…the wedding of the year!

On a personal note, my beloved little sister Jodie got married on December the 4th, and to me, this was the fashion event of the year. A beautiful bride in a dress inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker, bridesmaids clad in black, handsome groomsmen in dinner suits, and a host of stylish guests, this was my favourite fashion moment of the year…and yes, I am biased!

Well, that’s my fashion moments for 2010. Here’s to a very stylish 2011. Fashion Mommy wishes everyone a happy, prosperous and stylish New Year.

The Sales – a survival guide

Outside Selfridges, Oxford Street, London.

Image via Wikipedia

It’s almost that time of year again. The one that gets you so excited that you can hardly sleep, thinking of all the goodies you are going to find. No, I’m not talking about Christmas, I’m talking about the SALES! The time of year when you find all manner of bargains at rock bottom prices, from dresses to designer bags, from boots to gift sets, from jumpers to the best shoes Selfridges can offer.

I have always loved the post Christmas day sales. For many years I spent 27th December with my mom and sister, braving the Birmingham crowds in order to grab bagfuls of bargains. Favourite buys included Carvela purple heels for £9 from House of Fraser, a leopard print faux fur swing coat for £35 from River Island that I am still wearing three years on, and a Jasper Conran bustier that bookended my year by serving for a ball in January, and then for New Years eve that same year. Alas, now I have Baba in tow, I often take the softer option of shopping on-line, spending even more money filling my little on-line baskets to the imaginary brimful.

I love the sales with all my heart, but they can be a minefield if you’re not careful. What should you buy? What constitutes a bargain? When do you walk away? All these are questions that many ask about the sales. With this in mind, Fashion-Mommy is offering the benefit of years of experience of jostling for bargains with a few handy shopping tips. Keep these in mind,and happy shopping!

  1. If you like it – pick it up and hold onto it. The sales are no time for hesitation. If you like an item, but are unsure about buying it, pick it up and hold onto it whilst you’re making your mind up. You can make your mind up before heading to the till. If you don’t pick it up, someone else is sure to buy it.
  2. Take cash and vouchers, but leave cards at home. It is hard to set a limit on how much to spend if you are pushing the plastic. The sales are a good time to spend vouchers as you get more for your money.
  3. Find out exactly when the sales start in your favourite stores. Some now start BEFORE Christmas. I had a fantastic time in Wallis today, buying two dresses, one blouse and one pencil skirt for just £45. Many online sales start before Christmas, and there are also seasonal offers. If a stores sales start before December 26th, there may not be much left after Christmas.

    I got this great cardigan in the Wallis sale £20

  4. Don’t think about trying things on. The changing rooms are horrendous places at this time of year, and we are currently bulked up with extra layers to protect against the awful weather. Trying things on is just a nightmare. Instead, check out the stores return policy and if they offer exchange or refund against sale goods, buy it and try it on in the comfort of your own home. But make sure you do check out that returns policy – some stores, like Monsoon for instance, change the returns policy from 28 days to 7 days for sale goods.
  5. Avoid the Christmas glitter. Unless you are looking for a specific party dress for New Year or an upcoming occasion, don’t be sucked in by the sequins. Look instead for knitwear, boots, leather bags and shoes, day dresses in classic styles and basics in neutral shades. These are real bargains that you will wear again and again.
  6. Dress sensibly – comfortable shoes or boots and a messenger style bag that will leave your arms and hands free. Take a bottle of water and a snack. Shopping is hard work – you will build up a thirst and may get hungry!

    This strap satchel from New Look is great for the sales and is now just £5

Follow these easy tips and snap up those bargains!

Some early sales bargains worth snapping up.

I love this kimono dress from Evans now £20 from £65


LK Bennett Halle long coat from £450 to £295 John Lewis

scoop back maxi dress from Topshop from £28 to £5


Angora bead cardi Awear from £30 to £22

Vanessa Bruno laser cut shopper from £394 to £275 at Matches

Lanvin red leather court shoes from£555 to £278 at Matches

Check corsage blazer now £20 at New Look

Principles by Ben de Lisi Edna pumps now £14