Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gossip Girl Returns...

I've been having serious Chuck Bass withdrawal symptoms since Gossip Girl's farewell from our screens. Constantly taunted with images from series two on my favourite websites stateside, it's taken all my willpower to stop myself from engaging in illegal activities - resorting to downloads online. But survived I have - taking strength from the knowledge that GG will return to ITV2 in January, and with visual aids such as these. Thank god for the internet.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tales of the Unexpected

December's Vogue features a dreamy, whimsical fashion spread based on the works of children's author Roald Dahl (which include Tales of the Unexpected, the title of the photo story).

Shot by Tim Walker, it is a beautifully composed tribute to Dahl's most loved characters and has more than a little of the Bjork about it. Featuring the elfin beauty of Karen Elson, Helena Bonham Carter, Imelda Staunton and Jamie Bell, amongst others, it certainly beats morose models dressed in black. Enjoy.

"We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams" - Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bring Back: Legwarmers

As winter sets in and the cold encourages us out of our ballet pumps and into our knee boots, I reluctantly wonder: whatever happened to legwarmers? In my case, they remain alive and well, lurking at the back of my drawers.

You may remember (if you have not already chosen to forget) the resurgence of legwarmers a mere 4 years ago. Worn by many with tights and short hemlines, they covered the curve of your foot exposed by a ballet shoe (or stiletto, if Jordan was your fashion icon).

As a student, they made me feel at once comforted, ridiculous, rebellious and cool. That's a tall order of emotions for two tubes of fabric. Sometimes that fabric was plain and black, in luxurious wool. Other times it appeared on my legs sparkly and pale pink; the FAME extras had nothing on me. They were my shelter in a city of wind and rain and if I'm entirely honest, I miss them a lot around this time of year.

The truth is, they retired about the same time as my flares, Laura Ashley print shirts and 80s batwing jumper dresses disappeared. However, unlike my motley crew collection of 70s and 80s second-hand finds, the legwarmers never did make it back to the charity shop. They remained with me, keeping my feet cosy in bed and occasionally making an outing on a winter run (the run itself happens maybe twice, possibly only once a year, hence the occasional).

Recently, I have seen my faithful furry friend (the legwarmer, not a dog) making the odd appearance on a commuter's leg on the tube, and constantly at my place of work where I often find myself sharing a lift with a legwarmer-clad ballerina.

So why the stigma? What, really, was so bad about 80s fashion? Yes, it was the era responsible for the shoulder pad and blue mascara but it also bore Herve Leger bandage dresses, championed the riding boot, and re-introduced the world to colour. See where I'm going with this? Legwarmers are not just for Flashdance fans, they are practical and flattering, if worn correctly. If worn with a short skirt (I wouldn't recommend shorts, unless Katie Price, as she is now known, is still your fashion icon) and rolled up to just below the knee, they can give the same advantages as your trusty knee boot whilst offering extra warmth! So why not join me people, as I take it upon my own shoulders (or should that be legs?) to single-handedly bring back legwarmers! Rejoice.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Have a Haute Halloween...

As if we need an excuse to dress up! Halloween is here and it's time to root around in that closet of yours for a stylish get-up which is both camp and sophisticated at once. Sound impossible? Fear not.

It just so happens that AW08 is full to the brim with trends that are couture costume-bound. So grab your gothic black velvets and lace, bohemian folk embroidery and (fake) fur, and heritage tartan and plaid because baby, it's time to play dress-up!

Songstress Stevie Nicks is the perfect poster girl for this season's gothic trend for black. Victoriana blouses, wool capes, velvet coats and lace dresses can be layered with aplomb for the perfect Stevie look. Pair with black lace-up ankle boots and big hair and you've not only got yourself a fashionable costume but a spooky one to boot! Winner.
Almost Famous was surely an inspiration for many designers when they sent Babushka babes down the catwalk for AW08. Penny Lane's fabulous 70s wardrobe of floaty dresses, lace belly tops, denim flares, fur lined boots and sheepskin coats were a hit with Gucci and others for their fall collections. Pop down to your nearest vintage store now or raid your mum's wardrobe for delightfully cosy and carefree costume.
I believe every girl my age is at some level influenced by Clueless in every decision they make, and it seems the designers are no different. Matchy-matchy suits in bubblegum colours? Check. Plaid and tartan? Check. Pleats, boxy cuts and blazers? Totally. Whether you choose to tell people you're a Clueless Betty or Gossip Girl Queen Bee, there's no avoiding these checked suits are totally Baldwin. Psyched.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

These Boots Were Made For Walking

While the majority of the hipster crowd at Interview’s construction site launch party chose edgy blacks peppered with neons and prints, supermodel, actress and make-up designer Lauren Hutton looked fabulous in her AW08 equestrian inspired get-up. Proving less is more and wisdom comes with age, Hutt looks hot to trot in her Hamptons in the City threads but what’s got me in a real frenzy are those beautiful boots.
Part riding boot, part Victorian brogue, with a dash of Vivienne’s pirate and a definite nod to Ralph Lauren, I’m desperately seeking the author of these beauties. Answers on a virtual postcard please…

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Fashion Life

You can now read my fashion rantings and recommendations over at My Fashion Life.

"Launched in 2003, My Fashion Life redefines the boundaries between a weblog and an online magazine. Regularly updated with industry news, exclusive interviews, reports on latest trends and diary dates for exhibitions, shows and sample sales, the site remains a varied and informative space and focuses on talent rather than hype!"

You can read all my posts for MFL: here. I'll be contributing twice a week but fear not, Frankie's Fashion Footnotes will not remain neglected. Watch this space for more ramblings.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

90s idols

I'm having a serious 90s nostalgia moment. I long for those days when layering was a fine art form of leggings, 'bodies', floral dresses, culottes, crop tops, lumberjack shirts and baggy tees.

I would like to remember the Kings and Queens of 90s fashion that shaped my youth as well as providing inspiration and hilarity on a daily basis. A winning combination if ever there was one.


Besides being my all-time favourite teen series because of its painfully accurate portrayal of adolescence, My So-Called Life also stayed true to 90s teens favoured wares. Angela was often seen wearing (shock, horror) the same outfit in different episodes and is arguably responsible for my first ever experiment with red hair dye, desire to wear dungarees past infancy, and pairing of polo neck, baggy floral dress, leggings and heeled desert boots on a daily basis at the age of 13.


Before she turned good, Drew Barrymore was the bad girl we all wanted to be. Her style was frequently described as 'kooky' during the 90s; teaming flowers in her hair with antique silk slip dresses, wedge espadrilles, and vampy make-up. Not only emulated by teenage girls, gal-pals Courtney Love and Amanda de Cadenet followed suit too.


Kate Moss and Johnny Depp were, for me, the ultimate 90s power couple. Gorgeous and effortlessly cool, they looked as good off-duty as they did on. As sickening now as it was then.


It's back! One can only hope the new Beverley Hills 90210 can live up to its older 90s sister. Who can forget Kelly, Brenda and Donna? The Big hair, the body con, the sweaters and pearls...I can't wait for the reunion.


A sarcastic cartoon heroine is hard to find, even more impossible is to find not one but two in the fine form of Daria and Jane. Daria was as acerbically funny as it was stylish. I loved D and J's allegiance to army boots and mini skirts, muted colours and baggy top layers.

She of floppy hats, floral shifts and crochet sweaters - Blossom's dress-up approach to fashion is still a delight.


If I had to trade wardrobes with any one of my 90s favourites it would be without a doubt style chameleon Cher Horowitz, whose fashion choices were anything but Clueless. Why? Azzedine Alaia dresses, knee high socks, leather mini skirts, marabou trim and dolly shoes all in a revolving walk-in wardrobe, like, d'uh! What a betty.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gossip Girl Catwalk Queens

September the first feels a lifetime away when the M.I.A object of your affection is the gorgeous, glorious Gossip Girl.

It seems I am not the only one having GG withdrawals; the pre-fall collections have revealed a wealth of Blair, Serena, Jenny and Vanessa fans.

Not content with taking over our screens, the Gossip Girls are invading the catwalks and taking no prisoners.

Queen Bee's winning combination of smart yet sassy was evident at Shipley and Halmos in the form of this eye-catching citrus shift and monochrome cardigan, nipped in Waldorf-fashion with a narrow patent belt. Add a string of pearls, gloves, and a bow and you have a classic Blair ensemble.

S's siren style is a mixture of sexy and boho and Balmain's little lace dress and moccasins combo is pure van der Woodsen. Cascading blonde extensions, a California tan and a bit of bling are all you need for Serena's so hot right now look.

Little J is quite the fashion maverick what with her nifty skills on the sewing machine and nimble fingers in friend's closets. Sweet but slightly off-beat, Humphrey's all about Wren's school-girl duds. Throw an over-size print tote, on-season cuff, and signature mac into the mix and you're good-to-go Jenny.

Layers, prints, and colours are all key to V. John Galliano's drapes, mis-matched proportions, chunky heels and necklaces ARE Vanessa. Nothing else required.

The finale left it unclear as to whether she'll be making a return but I'm certainly hoping we've not seen the last of the deliciously wicked and brilliantly named Georgina Sparks. Seems Balenciaga's in agreement. G was rarely seen out of cold-as-ice grey and silver and this get-up is just about as Georgie as you can get.

If you're one of the misfortunates yet to discover the joys of Gossip Girl, I reccomend you check out The Genius of Gossip Girl.

If you're hooked like me, get your kicks with this tantalising trailer.

As Gossip Girl herself would say, until next time, XOXO.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What happened to 'Carrie'?

Did anyone else notice the absence of Carrie's name necklace in the Sex and the City film? Considering its prominence in the final episode of the series, and the fact that you can buy your very own 'as worn by Carrie Bradshaw' necklace on costume designer Patricia Field's website, I was surprised and quite frankly a little disorientated by its M.I.A status on SJP's chest throughout the entirety of the (most fabulous I must say) film.

As multi-tasking as Film Carrie's string of pearls were, I longed for some of the carefree, child-like abandon with which Television Carrie put together an outfit. While I appreciated Pat Field and Sarah Jessica's desire to reflect the characters' maturity not only through their dialogue but also their wardrobe, I do believe there are other ways to do so than having them constantly co-ordinate!

Known for their individual and uncomprimising styles; Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha were alarmingly similiar in their most recent reincarnation. Perhaps most painfully so at a Mexico restaurant, the fabulous foursome looked ridiculous in matching floor length gowns in a cocktail of tequila sunrise colours. At Bryant Park, the effect was more pleasing as their ice-queen hued ensembles blended in beautifully with a snow covered background. However the most glaringly obvious was not between the fabulous four, it was in fact Samantha and Smith's his and hers black sequin dressing gowns that flew the flag for co-ordination. They were almost as camp as Stanford's suits!

Matching moda aside, the film certainly had its moments. My favourite five had to be:

1. The simply gorgeous feathered wedding dress Carrie tries on first at her Vogue shoot. So beautiful me and my companion felt the need to tell each other so.
2. The Eiffel Tower bag by Timmy Woods carried by Carrie. What I love about this bag is that it screams CB. Perfect accessorising from PF.
3. Samantha and Smith's matching robes. See above.
4. Charlotte's black gown for Carrie's wedding. While everyone else was swooning over the Westwood wedding dress, I only had eyes for Charlotte's gorgeous mermaid like frock.
5. Miranda and Steve's Brooklyn Bridge reunion. Not a fashion moment but for me this was the better than any designer or vintage creation. Priceless.

If you haven't already seen the film then all I can say is, why on earth are you reading this?! Don't spoil yourself anymore and get thee to a cinema pronto.
For those of you who have seen the film, I'm sure you'll agree with me going to see it a second time wouldn't be at all shameful but a guilty pleasure. Fabulous.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Octovision: Sweet and Creepy

"Sweet and creepy at the same time" is how one silversmith described their octopus pendant necklace. And I can see why.

For me, 'octopus' can mean cuddly, cartooned eyed, and cute, or blood sucking, strangling, and slimy. Either way, it's not exactly what I'd imagine I'd want wrapping itself around my neck, curling round my finger, or pinned to my lapel. However, I must admit, a quick browse of the wave of octopus jewelry and I'm ready to do just that. Snap him up while you can and flaunt your inner sea goddess with one of these beauties...

Reform Jewelry's beautifully abstract gold necklace is simple yet stunning.

Perhaps the most original of all, OctopusMe's sterling silver creations include these interesting earrings.

Stephen Douglas' white gold, diamond and pearl ring makes for a glamorous octopus.

If you're a tatty devine fan, you're bound to love Alex and Chloe's natty silhouette pendants.

Celebrity fans Mischa Barton and SJP should snap up this cute Kenneth Jay Lane turquoise and crystal ring.

Another OctopusMe creation, these suction cup stacking rings might not sound so pretty but they sure are nice to look at.

This Autore beauty will glam up anywhere you wish to pin it.

For those of you who like your necklaces loaded with vintage charm, then look no further than MadArtJewelry's 'deconstructed' charm necklace.

Got some money burning a hole in that fur coat of yours? Why not drop a grand or two on this showstopping Reef Jewelry platinum ring with a twist.

Happy shopping! x

Monday, May 26, 2008

Having a fashion moment: Pushing Daisies

The fantastically sweet and dreamy dramedy Pushing Daisies is a visual delight in every way. Framed beautifully on screen, the carefully constructed set and costume design is a technicolour treat.

An alluring mixture of Alice in Wonderland, Audrey Hepburn, Amelie, Despertae Housewives' Bree, and songstress Kate Nash, Pushing Daisies Charlotte "Chuck" Charles is always perfectly put together in full-skirted 50s skirts and dresses, accessorised with ladylike wrist gloves, januty little hats, and shiny red lips. Part homemaker, part femme fatale, Chuck keeps things interesting by covering up with sharp trench coats, Jackie-O shades, and silk head scarfs. Steering clear of black, grey and white, Chuck champions colour and bold, beautiful prints.
Get the Chuck look at Carolina Herrera, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Laura Ashley, DKNY and, especially, vintage. Happy shopping!

Ebay your heart out: Shareen Vintage

Ebays' Shareen Vinatge is the place to go for summer-loving sirens who like to flaunt some flesh in flirty frocks.

With a small but perfect collection of 70s and 80s mini and maxi numbers, most Shareen Vintage dresses have been re-worked to add a modern edge. Free flowing 70s maxi dresses and seriously sexy 80s body con minis will take you nicely from a picnic to a party.

My favourite number is this bright and breezy pucci-esque paisley mini dress, with gold chain straps and a definite Nicole Richie vibe.

You've got less than 12 hours to snap it up before I do! Happy bidding.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

S/S Trend Report '08

All That Glitters…is gold.
S/S 08 collections were given the golden touch with a treasure chest of sequins, mirrored discs, chains, glitter and jewels burnishing dresses, coats, trousers and tops, shoes and bags.

Sexy and glamorous, gold sequins lit up almost every catwalk. My favourites were the Studio 54-esque items: Givenchy’s leggings, Jean Paul Gaultier’s sailor trousers, and Derek Lam’s dressing gown coat.
Givenchy S/S 08
Jean Paul Gaultier S/S 08

Causing mass hysteria amongst shiny happy celebs like Ashley Olsen, were Missoni's dresses and waistcoats, given an extra dose of gilt with the occasional colours-of-the-rainbow jewel studded between luscious layers of gold and silver sequins.
Ashley Olsen in Missoni S/S 08

Silver was also present in Chanel’s Ice Queen themed couture collection; updating classic suits and coats, shimmering silver threads added interest to knits, while pure as snow white dresses were given a silver lining with a sequin trim, and models hair shone with glittery headbands and twinkling tiaras.
Gold chains, sparkling white jewels, glittery fabrics and silver knits gave an otherwise conservative collection youthful appeal aplenty at Moschino. Mirror discs and jewelled panels were all uniform and present at Armani Prive, Naeem Khan and Missoni, lending an understated layer of embellishment to gorgeous gowns and flirty frocks.
Moschino S/S 08

Lanvin was one of the few designers who chose to use sequins and shimmer to give further dimenison to drapes of black fabric, and sent a dress down the runway in this season’s favourite hue, yellow, dripping with sunshine coloured sequins and feathers.
Lanvin S/S 08

Taking their inspiration from the catwalks, high street stalwarts have embraced the trend with magpie-like enthusiasm, showering their collections with gold dust and attracting more attention than usual with their luminous styles. So while you may not have enough gold in your pocket to splurge on Gaultier, rest assured that Topshop have you covered (in gold).

If you prefer grosgrain to glitter, satin to sequins, and are less rock chick and more Pretty Ballerina then fear not.

Feminine and romantic styles made a comeback this season as ballet-inspired fashion and beauty floated up the runways to riotous applause. At once elegant, innocent and chic, ballerina style influenced many a S/S 08 catwalk and continues to dominate F/W 08 shows. Worn with blush pink tulle tutus at Blumarine, the dancer’s warm-up garment of choice the cardigan will take you nicely from summer into winter as a cute cover up. With summer fast approaching though, who wants to think about winter?
Let Pretty in Pink be your summer mantra as the colour was seen sweetening up Ruffian’s, Barbara Tfank’s, and Martin Grant’s collections, and adding a fabulous futuristic finish to Jil Sander’s sporty styles.
Molly Ringwald is Pretty in Pink
Martin Grant S/S 08

At Givency, dresses channelled Swan Lake with feathered skirts and ruffled tutus, finished off with ribbon-tie sandals. Lanvin also favoured feathers and strong, jewel colours found in Renoir’s ballerina paintings.
Givenchy S/S 08

At 3.1 Phillip Lim, the designer embraced off-duty dance wear, layering stretchy tube stops and tutus with sporty jackets in muted colours.
3.1 Phillip Lim S/S 08

Chanel returned to its roots with frilly and flouncy frocks paired with chic ballet flats.

Chanel S/S 08

Perhaps most noteable though, was the return of the dancer’s hairstyle of choice: the bun.

Worn towards the front of the head to give the appearance of a hat, the over-exaggerated bun was everywhere. So if ruffles, chiffon, tutus and pink are too girly for you, add a directional spin on the trend to your outfit with a giant messy bun, adorned with a sparkly gold bow. Two trends in one? My work is done.