Christmas is coming, and that could only mean one thing – time to dig out your best party dress!

One trend which has been storming the party dress world this season is jewel-toned colours. Yes, that’s right, from ruby to amethyst, to silver and sapphire, the fashion wolves are howling away if you don’t invest in one of these huge trend babies!

Jewel-toned dresses were huge on the catwalks of Gucci, Versace and Christian Dior, who all included them in their Autumn/Winter 2011 collections. Take inspiration from fashion power-house Versace, and invest in this sexy sapphire number from ASOS, or if you’re feeling a lighter shade of blue, then bag this Gucci-inspired Quiz dress.

(Images sourced from Vogue UK)

Fashion designers were not the only ones who have spear-headed this trend. Celebrities such as Stacy Keibler, Mila Kunis and BBC Radio 1 presenter, Fearne Cotton, have sported a range of dresses across the jewel-toned spectrum. If you’re not lucky enough to be able to afford Stacy Keibler’s Maria Lucia Hohan number, then don’t worry, as Select have a sequin mesh amethyst dress just for you!  Going for gold? Then hit Topshop and invest in this one-shoulder dress, and you’ll be ready to hit the Christmas parties Fearne Cotton style!

Here are some of my favourite jewel-toned party dresses:

L-R1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6

My must-have pick of the bunch is the River Island pink Grecian dress! This dress is not only perfect for a night out with the girls, but it is also practical for special occasions too!

Now all you need is your killer party heels, and you’ll be walking in a winter wonderland before you know it!

What jewel-toned dresses are you currently coveting at the moment?

styleb

As you may have seen from my previous post, I went to Style Birmingham this weekend. Here is a feature about the event, as well as a review of one of the two fashion shows I attended and the latest looks Retail Birmingham have predicted for Autumn/Winter 2011!

Style Birmingham was a three-day event which ran from the 23rd September to 25th September. Plenty of shoppers had the opportunity to bag exclusive instore offers and goodie bags, as well as having the chance to see two amazing fashion shows at the famous Birmingham Bullring, as well as the Town Hall for only £10.

Not only that but those who bought a Gold VIP ticket were granted a champagne reception in the VIP Lounge as well as bagging a meet and greet with the gorgeous George Lamb! Lucky so and so’s!

The event kicked off at 10am with scores of eager beavers waiting at The Mailbox to receive an exclusive shopper bag designed by Birmingham-born designer, Osman Yousefzada. This lovely illustrated bag was wrapped with a cute pink ribbon around it.

After everyone had collected their designer bags, they had the whole weekend to enter luxurious competitions such as the chance to win an Alexander McQueen scarf, as well as the opportunity to watch a couple of catwalk shows.

Bullring Fashion Show: Redefinition
The first fashion show I attended was ‘Redefinition’ in the Bullring. It was an half an hour catwalk show which showcased some amazingly-styled high street clothes. The show only had a limited number of seats available for Gold VIP ticket holders, however me and Ali  (who bought standard tickets) managed to bag ourselves a seat and a couple of goodie bags.

These goodie bags consisted of mostly men’s perfume samples (which was unfortunate for me but good for Ali), and a couple of beauty samples.

goodies

The show itself featured eight different ‘scenes’ from ‘Dark Romance’ to ‘Feathers and Fur’, here are a few of the scenes in detail.

‘Dark Romance’ was the first scene, and was one of my favourite ‘scenes’ of the day!
darkromance I love the styling of this particular picture I took, which reminds me of my style. I love the classic clashing of monochrome colours, as well as the detail that the gold chain belt brings to the outfit. As you can see on the image, all of the clothes are more or less an affordable price from top high street stores, so you don’t have to break the bank to achieve a simple, but seductive on-trend look.

‘The Mod Squad’ channelled the 60s vibe with the classic A-line skirt, graphic printed dresses and neck-tie blouses, as well as adding bright colour-blocking into the mix.
modsquad
I especially loved this bold look above and I think that this outfit, out of all the looks in this scene, was the best one to embody the current 60s trend! As much as I love this look, I don’t think I’ll be buying the clothes anytime soon, the choice of colours is not really ‘me’. However, I will be definitely hitting Claire’s and grabbing those sunnies!

Scene three was ‘Heritage’, and showcased mostly autumnal colours such as brown, orange and tan, as well as autumn’s must have: the tweed jacket. Here is a video of the ‘Heritage’ scene (ignore my hand shaking about, and the heads of those in front!) Enjoy!

‘Forties Flair’ is another Autumn/Winter’ trend which graced the Bullring catwalk. Think faux fur stoles, plenty of grey hues and polka dot designs!

As you can see, I have included some of the men’s looks too, for all you male readers out there! Guys, take inspiration from 1940’s music icons such as American clarinettist Artie Shaw and other jazz artists.

Another one of my favourite scenes was ‘Mannish’. I love the masculine look, which has been seen on hot celebrities such as Ellie Goulding and Fearne Cotton. So I couldn’t resist sharing this picture that I took of this model donning an all-black mannish outfit.


The leather coat is a bit too pricey and long for a shorty like me, but I do love how incorporating a classic black long coat with a masculine touch of leather can instantly make you bang on-trend!

Deliciously-styled ‘Decadence’, was the penultimate scene of the show. Think teal and green hued dresses, blazers and for men, hoodies!
This look was all about elegance, with an attention to blue and green colours and gold accessorising. I especially love the gold clutch on image two! This trend for men is pretty simple to achieve, try mixing the above colours with suit jackets and denim jeans for a casual on-trend look.  Girls, stick to one colour and accessorize with gold jewellery, bags and shoes to achieve the ‘Decadence’ trend.

And finally, ‘Feathers and Fur’ was the last scene to grace the runway. This trend is all about clashing textures (feathers and fur), such as sporting a faux fur coat from Republic with a Topshop feather Alice band, or if you want to keep it simple, stick to accessories such as this brown £16 faux fur headband from Miss Selfridge and an Urban Outfitters feather necklace for only £20.

I love this picture because of the clashing textures, which breaks all of the typical ‘fashion rules’! Many people have believed for years that you are not meant to mix prints, textures or colours, but for the past two or so seasons, it seems that today’s generation of designers are forming a rebellion and creating a new direction for fashion to grow.

It seemed fitting that this last trend ended the fashion show as all of these trends do redefine fashion. This is after all, the show’s title.

And just when you think you had the fashion rulebook sussed…

Look out for part 3 of Style Birmingham in the near future  Trust me; you wouldn’t want to miss it!

 (All pictures were taken by me)

Earlier this summer, former X-Factor star Diana Vickers launched her new collection on popular online fashion store; Very. The website, which hosts many ‘celebrity’ brands including Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton and TV presenter Holly Willoughby, gave 20-year-old Vickers a chance to design an Autumn/Winter collection for the store.

I had a cheeky look at Vickers’s new collection; Dee-V and I must say, I am very impressed with how fashion-forward the ‘Once’ singer is!

From current seventies trend, denim flares to two-trend sixties sequin dresses, it is clear that Vickers can now add ‘fashion designer’ to her ever-growing CV!

Here are some of my personal favourites from the Dee-V collection, with items clock-wise round:
Dog Print Playsuit, £49 – This dog print playsuit is so cute, and is a perfect transitional piece from summer to autumn! The playsuit has a vintage feel, and will be perfect for pairing with these brogues, which is another Autumn/Winter trend! This playsuit also oozes Diana’s eccentric and playful style, which I’m sure anyone can pull off!

Sequin 60s Tunic Dress, £49 – The sixties era is in trend at the moment with Fendi sporting patchwork furs and eccentric coloured tights as well as Prada who were working the 60s disco era with style! So it is no wonder why Diana has incorporated sequins, which were also another hot trend in the Autumn/Winter shows such as Diane von Furstenberg. Despite the colour (light lilac) not being to my taste, I love the sequin circle detailing on the pockets, so maybe if she expanded the colour range this would be right up my street!

Knitted Mini Dress, £49 – This knitted mini dress is oh-so-simple and elegant! It can be dressed down with some on-trend Chelsea boots for a day out shopping with the girls or it can be glammed up with accessories galore and a cheeky leather jacket for a dinner date with the man! This is what I love about Vickers’s style – it’s so versatile and you can create quite a few different looks with this garment!

So there are my three favourite pieces of Diana Vickers collection, let’s hope she has the chance to create a Spring/Summer 2012 collection which in no doubt will be just as good – or even better!

This week’s Steal Her Style feature is all about the lovely and style-savvy Fearne Cotton.

Fearne Cotton has always been a style icon of mine; it seems that whatever outfit she throws on, she always looks fashionable! And with her own clothing range available online at Very, Fearne is letting her fans and style followers buy her very own designs for high street prices!

But, if you’re like me and want a similar outfit to Fearne’s for less, then fear not! I have scoured high street stores on the web, and found similar items to what Fearne wore earlier this summer when she was leaving work at the BBC Radio 1 studios.

Here is what Fearne wore on the left-hand side of the image, and what I found similar on the right-hand side:

Navy Stripe Curve Seam Dress, £29, Topshop This stripy but simple dress was the only one I found which was the most similar to Fearne’s eclectic dress! Stripy prints are in for Autumn/Winter 2011, with leading fashion stores: River Island, Zara and Miss Selfridge incorporating this trend into their collections. This stripe seam dress from Topshop is perfect for achieving Fearne’s laid-back style here for the daytime, and by teaming the dress with these colourful court shoes, you will have the perfect on-trend night time look too!

Black Ankle Leggings, £12, Miss Selfridge Simple black leggings can elevate any outfit, as these staple pieces of clothing can be dressed up for the day (like Fearne, here) or can be paired with a show-stopping tunic for those cold girly nights out! These £12 leggings from Miss Selfridge are a worthwhile investment as leggings are here to stay.

Bambi Bow Bar Patent Flat, £25, Schuh These Bambi bow bar patent flats from Schuh are too cute! They colour-block with the dress perfectly, which is still a hot trend for Autumn/Winter. But not only that, they are also very functional to wear for those long hours window-shopping too! At £25, who said fashion could not be practical and affordable?

Navy Cord Tote Bag, £40, River Island To finish Fearne’s outfit off, I have found this oh-so-similar navy tote cord bag from one of my favourite stores, River Island. At £40, it is the most expensive item on this week’s Steal Her Style list, which is amazing, compared to the actual price of Fearne’s bag! Not only is this bag functional to use as a handbag, but it also has a long shoulder strap if you want to wear it more securely, across your body. Plus this bag also has two compartments at the front which is perfect for your purse, make-up and those shades of yours! A perfect finishing touch to yours and Fearne’s outfit!

That’s another Steal Her Style feature finished! Look out for future posts on the styles of Alexa Chung, Agyness Deyn and Jameela Jamil, to name a few!

Another week, another wishlist. This week I am focusing on another one of my favourite stores, Republic. Republic has a diverse amount of brands from Crafted to Miso to Soul Cal, so whenever you’re stuck for something to wear for a particular occasion, Republic can cater for that.

Once again I have created three outfits from some of my favourite Republic pieces. However, this week there was one piece which I could not incorporate in the outfits, but I loved it so much I have decided to let it have its own spotlight here.

The Soul Cal Deluxe Cricket Jumper

Cricket jumpers have become the fore-front of sports-based fashion with cricket tournaments such as Twenty20 highlighted on sports channels such as the prestigious Sky Sports channel or as part of BBC’s sports coverage.

This jumper is a beautiful shade of blue, which teamed with red lipstick, will make your outfit ‘pop’! At £29.99 it is definitely an investment for not only summer but for winter too!

Here are the items from clockwise-round:

Outfit 1
Miso Layered Feather Necklace, £4.99
– This week I’m going for a ‘laid back’ look. So for outfit one I thought I should ‘spice’ things up with this feather necklace worn as a hair accessory.  Being festival season, feathers are in at the moment – check out the feather headdress from last week’s wishlist! This alone is the perfect accessory for this outfit and compliments the green skinny jeans nicely.

Bench Tricky Birds Top, £19.99 – I love my white print tops, and this Bench birds top is no exception. This top can be worn during the day for the ‘laid back’ look I am trying to achieve here, or it can be dressed up for night time with some black skinny jeans and shoe boots. The one thing which makes this top ‘summery’ is the fact you can tie the ends up and show off that beautiful tummy of yours!

Soul Cal Deluxe Summer Skinny Trousers, £29.99 – Many celebs have been sporting the coloured denim look with style-savvy Fearne Cotton making the most of this trend by wearing blue, red and even pink skinny jeans! So I couldn’t help but feel like I didn’t want to be left out of this cool trend. While most A-List stars are wearing pink coloured jeans – think Victoria Beckham – I decided to wear this trend differently and I have my eye on these cute green skinny jeans!

SALE! Crafted Lace Peep Shoes, £20 – Now not many people suit skinny jeans, so to elongate my short legs I thought I should include these lace peep shoes which are on SALE, onto my wishlist. These complete the outfit perfectly as the fabric colour matches the feather ‘headband’. Perfecto!

Outfit 2
Soul Cal Deluxe Vintage Floral Playsuit, £22.99
– I haven’t featured something floral yet, so I thought that it was time to include this big summer trend into outfit two. This vintage floral suit is perfect for the casual day time look. I love this playsuit so much I even bought it! Look out for it in future outfit posts!

Miso Brogue Lace up Shoes, £39.99 – I am a massive brogue fan! Not only are they super-comfortable, they will look amazing with the floral playsuit to complete the ‘vintage’ look! At £39.99, despite being a tad expensive, they are well worth the investment as the autumn/winter 2011/2012 forecasts prove.

Miso Woven Barrel Bag, £29.99 – For this outfit, I wanted to keep the accessories minimal as the floral print looks good by itself without the need for a large amount of accessories. So this brown woven Miso barrel bag is the perfect finishing touch for this look. Not only does it compliment the brogues, it adds to the ‘vintage’ look which I am hoping to achieve. That’s outfit two done!

Outfit 3
Crafted Printed Tassel Cropped Top, £19.99
– Tassel tops are big in fashion at the moment! Take Eliza Doolittle, who never fails to amaze me with her quirky style! Sticking to my own personal style of white print tees, I have decided on this grungy-looking Crafted printed tassel top. As Miss Doolittle is sporting denim shorts, I thought I would have my own take on complementing this trend with Soul Cal’s Americana Hotpants.

Soul Cal Deluxe Americana Hotpants, £29.99 – These Hotpants are not only different, but they look amazing with the tassel top – which is great if you want an on-trend outfit for the festival season!

Miso Ram Head Ring, £5.99 – This outfit wouldn’t be complete without a nice silver ring – and you know how I love my rings. This Miso Ram Head ring is no exception, and will complement the outfit perfectly.

Crafted Wedge Sandal, £29.99 – Finally, in order to achieve this festival casual look, I had to include this Crafted Wedge sandal into my look. This look is all about the grunge, and I think that all of these wishlist items achieve that.

Well that is another wishlist complete! Look out for next week’s where I look at the eccentric Student Boutique website for three looks which I am sure you will love!

Every budding journalist has something which inspired them – or still inspires them – to go into journalism. For me, it was magazines. Specifically, Glamour magazine.

When I was little I was a magazine-hoard. I used to buy the latest issue of Girl Talk, Sneak, Sabrina’s Secrets and (blushes) S Club 7 magazine. All of these magazines I used to read cover-to-cover, and unlike most girls who simply threw them away, I kept mine in chronological order (I’m a bit of an OCD freak) in colourful folders under my bed.

When I started to hit my teens, I soon moved on from girlie-children’s magazines onto ‘teen’ magazines such as Bliss, Sugar, Shout, Teen Vogue and Cosmo Girl. I was fascinated by their features, pictures, oh – and the freebies! I then moved onto sticking the covers onto my wall like the picture above.

It was these children’s and teen magazines which paved way for my aspiration to work at Glamour magazine.

Fearne, on July 2009's cover of Glamour.

My First Issue
I first purchased Glamour magazine in July 2009, which featured blonde-bombshell, Fearne Cotton on the cover. From then-on-in, every month, hit-and-miss, I religiously bought this magazine and started to rip out features and pictures to put on my wall or stick into my scrapbook.

I wanted to write my own features, conduct interviews and discover the latest fashion-buys. I wanted to write for Glamour.

A History of Glamour
The UK version of Glamour magazine launched in April 2001 with Kate Winslet gracing the cover. This first issue was not only a major milestone for the Glamour team, and their publishers; Condé Nast publications, but Glamour magazine pioneered the popular ‘handbag-sized’ format. This new format was the answer to the prayers of thousands of women who wanted to carry a magazine in their small designer handbags.

Kate Winslet, on the cover of the first issue of Glamour, 2001.

The magazine then set up the prestigious, yearly event: the Glamour Women of the Year awards. An awards event where role-models in the arts/music industry are given awards for their aspirational place in society. One Glamour Women of the Year award event which took the media by storm was the infamous 2010 James Corden-Patrick Stewart spat. This provided Glamour magazine with even more publicity for the event, even if they did not expect two actors to swap insults on stage.

Editor Envy
Not only that, but the age of the editor Jo Elvin, who was 30-years-old at the time of Glamour’s launch, suggests to all budding magazine-journalists that you don’t have to be an Anna Wintour, who was nearly 40 when she grasped the reins of American Vogue,  to be an editor of a highly regarded magazine.
Jo Elvin is also one of my idols, and I would love the chance to work with her. Jo has even been the editor of one of my all-time favourite teen magazines; Sugar. At what age you ask? Well, she was only 23 when she got the top-job! That in itself is something to aspire to.

My Dream
Working at Glamour magazine, as an editor, whether that may be of fashion or features, would be a dream come true. As cliché as it sounds, and no matter how many The Devil Wears Prada and The September Issue movies I watch, nothing will put me off my goal.

Imagine, in three years from now, I could be the editor of one of the best-selling teen magazines in Britain. Well, we can all dream….

[GLAMOUR COVER IMAGES ARE FROM: Glamourmagazine.co.uk]