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Big Style Crush – Florence Welch

She’s a muse to Karl Lagerfeld, cites 1970s drag queen troop ‘The Cockettes‘ as a fashion influence and has described her style as ‘Lady of Shallot meets Ophelia.’ Is it any wonder that at the moment I am totally besotted by the wardrobe and pure style masterclass that is Florence Welch?

In Chanel

The Titian haired Florence and the Machine songstress is an ethereal, alabaster beauty, a Lizzie Siddall for the 21st Century. And whilst promoting her latest album, ‘The Ceremonials‘ she has adopted a look that has taken in influence from my favourite Art Deco era. Her look is a covered up look, Isadora Duncan style scarves and sleeves, acres of Chanel and Elie Saab.

In Gucci

Florence has a knack for taking catwalk looks that you believe should remain on the catwalk, such is their intricacy, and yet she transforms them into walking works of art. You truly believe no-one else could wear these looks but Florence. She’s a true style icon and a total one-off.  A little bit Kate Bush, a tiny bit Sarah Miles and a whole lot of attitude makes Florence a star always worth watching. No wonder Lagerfeld imagined Florence as a modern-day Venus in a giant clam for the October Chanel show.

In Elie Saab

In Jason Wu

off duty

Florence style is definitely having an influence on the High Street. Just look at some of the Florence inspired items I found trawling the web.

Black Victoriana Blouse £39 

Lurex Pleated Maxi Skirt £39 

Burgundy Snake Clasp Maxi £55 

Biba Waterfall jersey maxi dress £149 

Biba Mixed print maxi dress £87 

Amy Winehouse.

Back to Black (song)

Image via Wikipedia

I was devastated to hear about the tragic and untimely death of Amy Winehouse today at the far too young age of 27. I saw Amy perform live in 2007 and she was truly amazing – an iconic talent with a style and voice that was truly unique. Back to Black is my favourite album, one I listen to when happy(Tears dry on their own is so uplifting) or sad (is there a more poignant song than Love is a loosing game?). I followed Amy’s story in the hope that it might have a happy ending, but it was not to be.

It would be easy to remember the dishevelled Amy in her bloodied pumps and bra, running through North London streets as the defining image of a troubled life, but when I decided I wanted to write something about a women whose talent was supreme, I  knew I wanted to celebrate Amy who was a much admired and copied style icon. The women who was an inspiration to Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel, who wore Preen dresses and Cleopatra make-up, whose 1960s bouffant and beehive hairstyle evoked images of Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes.

Amy, at  her wonderful  peak, at the height of Back to Black and before the re-emergence of Blake, had a unique style that was truly amazing. In neon Preen at the 2007 Brit awards, wearing a cute puffball mini for the Ivor Novello awards – Amy favoured flirty mini dresses, acres of lace on show, and sexy bras peeking out. She made her sailor tattoos part of her outfit, and added tattoo style accessories to her hair, like the loveheart Blake clip she famously adorned her beehive with. She wore designers who appealed to her love of the quirky, wearing a cute Betsey Johnson anchor print dress when she married the ubiquitous Fielder Civil, but could also be sophisticated when the occasion called for it,  such as when she sang backing vocals for Dionne Broomfield on Strictly Come Dancing.

Amy made the beehive her trademark, it got bigger and more outrageous over time, and she somehow didn’t look like Amy when she adopted more natural looking curls. Her make up favoured a heavy 60s sexbomb style, think Sophia Loren at her height. That make up and hair was a telling marker as Amy descended into her drugs hell. She was photographed widely with the hair matted and her make up smudged down her face as she slide further downhill.

But Amy and fashion had a love affair that didn’t go away, and she launched a range of sexy mod inspired sportswear and clothing with Fred Perry just last year. Amy had worn a Fred Perry dress on the back cover of the album Back to Black, and she looked great in the publicity shots for the range, which were taken by Bryan Adams. At this time she was also photographed looking healthy and stylish in little wrap dresses with her new boyfriend Reg Travis. It seemed that life had turned a corner for Amy, but it was not to be.

RIP Amy. We will remember your style, your passion, your couldn’t give a damn attitude and above all, the music. Wish we could’ve had you a little bit longer, but Back to Black will be your epitaph. And what an epitaph to have.


Style Influence