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I wish I was wearing…

…this fantastic outfit from the Burberry Prorsum Pre-Fall 2010 collection. There are so many things right with this coat I couldn’t possibly list them all, but put it this way, ‘fur’ (faux, of course) and ‘trench’ should tick two priority boxes when searching for winter wardrobe additions.  And although it’s not a new trend, I just love how the trench has been closed with the leather belt. I do this with most of my coats; it can give an old classic a new lease of life and combining a tough leather belt with softer fabrics adds dimension to the look. Oh, I think I’m becoming a bit of a Burberry obsessive. Sigh.

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The Boyf is getting nervous. He thinks I’m all set to get wed. And I’ll admit, I have thrown coal into the fire with my current obsession with all things bridal related. But it’s nothing to do with him; I blame reality TV.

If you haven’t yet seen Living TV’s fantastic Four Weddings you’ve missed out. And don’t get me started on BBC3’s Don’t Tell the Bride, it’s, like, The. Best. Show. Ever. Gets me yelling at the television every time. The concept? The Beeb gives one (un)lucky couple £12,000 to let the groom plan the entire wedding in three weeks, with absolutely no input from the bride. Yep, it’s my idea of hell too!

Since the boy wonder manages to fall alseep during every episode, I am inevitably forced to call the BFF to rant about the ridiculous Jordan-esque monstrosity the groom has picked out for his chic bride who’s looking for a dress that’s elegant in its simplicity. Why is it that men can look at a woman and what she wears every day for years and still have no idea how to judge her personal style?

Anyway, all this has me thinking about Bridal trends and what route down the aisle I might (one day!) take myself. I’d like to think my day-to-day wardrobe is fashion-forward yet understated and believe a wedding gown should reflect that. But then there’s the part of me that wants the once-in-a-lifetime ‘Hey up! Over here, yup all eyes on me please!’ show-stopper of a dress. Whichever you choose, it’s the one day in your life that you absolutely must get it right. There’s no margin for error.

Gosh, it’s stressful just thinking about weddings even without the fiancé, ring and mounting credit card debt. The Boyf needn’t worry, I’m no fan of premature ageing. I think I’ll stay single, with my only dress-dilemma being how much to fork out for a Christmas party frock.

But, just for fun, here’s a selection of my favourite bridal gowns from the fall collections.

Angel Sanchez

Badgley Mischka

Reem Acra

Marchesa

herstylerHaving been a styling iron obsessive since the age of eight when I was given my first set of Babyliss crimpers, I always find I get a bit excitable by new and seemingly innovative products. You name ‘em, I’ve made a mad dash to buy ‘em: cordless straighteners, steam shot tongs, even the dastardly wet2straight irons (I’m still blaming those for every damaged strand of hair on my head!).

So when the HerStyler Onyx straightener landed on my desk with its oddly angled head (it supposedly makes styling easier and more comfortable) I was intrigued to say the least. But could the Onyx really compare with my BFF the GHD? I had my doubts but (sorry GHD) I decided to court the Onyx for a couple of weeks nonetheless.

The day the Onyx arrived just so happened to coincide with a much anticipated dinner date at a plush London eatery. It seemed a happy coincidence that I now had fabulous fresh-out-the-box irons to style my hair with for this all-important occasion. After excitedly whipping the Onyx out of its packaging, I began to twist the iron down sections of hair in a manner that creates sexy barrel waves when done with the GHD styler. The result was disappointing: limp hair with a few annoying kinks down it. After a lot of faffing, I had little time to spare and so was forced to grab the GHDs and rework my magic.

The next day I felt bad. Maybe I shouldn’t have blown the Onyx off so quickly. After all, it markets itself as a straightener not a styler; perhaps it’s solely meant for Houston-straight, not Hudson-curls.

I decided to use it again to straighten my hair and was pleasantly surprised by the result. Although I failed to understand the point of the angled head (it didn’t make styling any easier or more comfortable than a straight head), there were other innovative features of the Onyx that did impress.

The Tourmaline plates generate negative ions, which are said to renew the hair’s natural softness and shine while eliminating frizziness.  And in the shine stakes the Onyx did not fail to impress. After straightening, my hair had a glossy sheen that I hadn’t managed to achieve before, despite a bathroom cupboard filled with products promising me ‘shine, shine, shine’.

Exciting stuff. But now, after a two week fling with the Onyx, I’ve realised I’m just not ready to break up with my GHDs. Sure, it was fun; the Onyx does create fabulously poker straight hair and the shine factor certainly turns heads. But essentially it’s a one trick pony. What’s more, I seemed to be waiting forever for the iron to heat up (OK, 60 seconds, but you know how it is – places to go, people to see…), and I never felt the plates were quite as hot as the GHDs (though admittedly some may consider this a positive).

If you’re in the market for a new styler then by all means give the Onyx a whirl (you can pick up one online for as little as £35.99, though, somewhat confusingly, it retails on the official HerStyler website for an exorbitant £190). Just don’t expect to ditch your GHDs any time soon. For better or worse, I’ll be sticking with old faithful.

Emma Watson for Burberry

There is but one word to describe my reaction to this news. Jealous. As hell. How did Emma Watson, the plain-Jane, frizzy-haired child star of Harry Potter turn into such a bombshell? It’s just not fair.

As much as I relish hating on Emma (I know, jealousy is so unattractive, but who can help it?), I am forced to concede that she epitomises what is fresh and cool about Burberry in 2009. (Aggy’s just so ’08 darling.) The smokey eyes, the tousled hair, the sultry half-smile – Ms Watson has Brit sophistication nailed.

Shot by Mario Testino and directed by Christopher Bailey the Burberry AW09/10 shoot unveils her as a true British style icon. Move over Alexa.

Could this girl be any more annoying? Only if her next move is bagging Robert Pattinson.

Finally, the day I’ve long been awaiting has arrived. As I was walking to work this morning my Blackberry buzzed with excitement in my pocket; it had just received word that theOutnet is live. 

logo1Sorry that this morning wasn’t a Saturday so I could spend hours perusing the site and its offerings, I still couldn’t resist stealing a sneaky five minutes to take a peek. During those five minutes I took a bit of an emotional battering. Jimmy Choo gladiators reduced by 80% to £77.50. OMG! I clicked on the gorgeous bejeweled sandals, heart thumping. Sold out. OK, OK, quickly, keep looking. Determined to bag a bargain I moved to the clothing section. There I spied a 3.1 Philip Lim jersey dress also reduced by 80% to the crunch-tastic price of £24. Again I waited with baited breath as the item loaded. Sold out. And so it went on. You get the picture: joy followed by despair, followed by joy, followed by, oh yeah, despair again. 

You’ve got to move fast girls. 

Check back later when I’ve had time to post my favourite picks from theOutnet.com. 

image: theOutnet.com

Fashion news

image: Flickr Caro’s Lines 

My first attempt at a fashion news podcast. Bear with me, they should improve with practice.  Click here  to take a listen.

There’s so much on offer for feet this summer you’d better start saving now because you’re going to want it all. Summer shoes are no longer limited to plimsolls and flip flops, this year it’s all about deck shoes, loafers and the ubiquitous gladiator sandal. 

Forget your grandpa holidaying in Devon and think Alexa Chung yachting in St Tropez when you head out to buy your deck shoes. Don’t, however, go for an all out nautical look, I doubt even Alexa could work that. Instead team with 7/8 or turned up boyfriend jeans and a simple tee-shirt. A panama hat would inject some south of France chic and a bit of fashion edge into the look. 

Those who prefer to play it a bit safer should surely be comfortable with gladiator sandals by now. First spotted post-Caesar three summers ago, they’ve made a comeback year after year and for good reason – they go with anything and instantly sex-up a pretty summer dress. To really vamp it up go for a Balenciaga-esque studded pair. Girls on a budget should head to New Look who have a good range starting from £16. I particularly like this pair, which will add detail to a simple outfit. Adventurous types might like Topshop’s jelly gladiators (£10). They’re fun for summer, but be warned, I had jelly shoes from Topshop (though they didn’t have straps) two summers ago and as soon as my feet got hot they slid around in the shoe making them near-impossible to walk in. Not for strolling round hot cities, but ideal for the beach.  

Interested to know what other people are looking forward to wearing this summer, I took to the streets (and the City University journalism department) with a FlipCam to find out.