Fashion month is officially upon us, as is the timely panic about what I'm going to wear to the shows. As I've had to learn the hard way, managing to live out of a suitcase for nearly a month while keeping one's satorial dignity in tact is a challenge, even for the veteran show goers. Thanks to Smythson, though, I can cross one thing of my list of bits to buy.
The brand have just released an updated version of their classic currency case for A/W12 and what makes these ones particularly special is that they all bare the name of one of the fashion week cities, inspired by their 'London Paris Milan New York' address books. As you would expect, the design is classic and beautifully made but the bright violet version adds a modern twist. And besides, if you're anything like me and travel heavy with a bag big enough to carry your house in, having something that stands out and that you'll actually be able to find is always a plus.
The A/W12 currency cases are available at Smythson now at £170
Zoe Saldana has kept a relatively low profile recently but last night she made a return to the red carpet last night in a major way at the Hollywood premiere of her new movie, 'The Words'.
The actress opted for this gold emboridered knee-length cocktail dress from Elie Saab's A/W12 collection to do so and finished the look off with a relaxed up-do and T-bar heels. Everything about the look works, something that isn't hard when you're wearing one of Saab's designs, and I'm sure this is only the start of what is set to be a strong series of red carpet looks from her as the promotional tour begins.
Elizabeth Olsen in a Marni collar at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association luncheon
Collars have always been seen as saying a lot about you. Think white collars for professionals and blue collars for workers and you'll see where I'm going. Decorative collars on the other hand say less about your professional standing and more about your sartorial one and this season it's all about embellishment.
Following on from the love of all things elaborate that has slowly gained pace after the minimalist days, the A/W12 shows were decorative and the accessories even more so. Thanks to the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Marni, the statement collar isn't going anywhere and the offerings are really good. Consuelo Castiglioni nailed it again this season at Marni creating neoprene styles in black, white and red colourways with resin broaches and geometrical applications. If the Marni price point is out of reach, don't worry because the styles will no doubt be making their way to the high street very soon.
Are you a fan?
SHOP THE EDIT: Navy collar, £66, Marni; Red collar, £348, Marni
Topshop always deliver amazing collaborations. Over the years they've teamed up with everyone from Michael van der Ham to Mary Katrantzou and now the fruits of their partnership with JW Anderson are about to drop.
Today images from the designer's women's collection for the store were released online ahead of the launch on September 14 to coincide with the start of London Fashion Week and the line is everything we hoped for. Rather than being a watered down version of his mainline, Anderson made it clear that he wanted the collection to feel like more of a continuation of what he does best. 'It's for the same girl and is based upon the same idea. I feel collaborations should be a reflection, not something that veers off into another zone,' he revealed. The high street and luxury market are inherently close. Without one the other doesn't exist. I feel like that is modernity now.'
'For me, Topshop is integral to London Fashion Week,' Anderson told Vogue. 'It's everything that sums it up. I have worked on this collection with my sister in mind because I wanted it to be accessible. I feel like we are at a time where we want a fanfare; something fun, accessible and easy,' so expect fun prints and his signature pieces alongside classic shirts, footwear and stationary pieces too.
Stella McCartney has long been dressing celebrities for the red carpet. I mean, that goes with the territory when you call the majority of Hollywood's leading ladies close friends, right? You'll be surprised to know, though, that it is only this season that she's decided to launch a special collection dedicated to evening wear.
Never one to do things by halves, McCartney used her return back to London in February to showcase the long overdue line and called on everyone from Alexa Chung and Kate Moss to Shalom Harlow and Amber Valetta to model it at London's North Audley street hall.
While the line may be new, the collection felt familiar but in a good way. Harlow sported a floor-length halter neck version of Stella's much-loved illusion dress and the line also featured a good selection of lace dresses that seemed to be a continuation from the lace looks in her 2010 resort collection. It wouldn't be a Stella collection if there wasn't an unexpected eccentric twist and this came from a handful of a marble printed silk dresses that I'm sure we'll see a lot of very soon.
New York has long been recognised as the place offering wearable, practical designs and Elizabeth & James continue to prove that that's not necessarily a bad thing. One of the greatest thing about the line is that if you're a fan, you're pretty much guaranteed to be in love with each and everyone one of the collections featuring those all-important updated wardrobe-ready pieces that none of us can live without.
So with that in mind, it was business as usual at their fall 2012 presentation. Mary-Kate and Ashley offered up just what their customers want. The trusted parka came in a new dark shade rather than the usual khaki colour we've become accustomed to. Following on from the current penchant for comfort, they also offered a great pyjama suit alongside their signature tuxedo with cropped ankle grazing trousers and the perfect khaki jacket with a quilted overlay.
I love Solange Azagury-Patridge. As someone that often suffers from bouts of work-induced insomnia, it's not unusual for me to ponder on what I would do if I won the lottery to help me go to sleep and I must admit, the British born jeweller's designs are always up there on my list of imaginary purchases. Whether it's her luxury designs combining bright coloured precious gems or her much-loved hot lips rings, everything she does just works.
If you're a fan too you'll be pleased to know that Astley Clarke have just announced that the designer's latest offerings are available to buy on their website. The collection is small but is perfectly edited to make sure that you have the really impressive luxury items like her aquamarine and sapphire cocktail 'cup' ring alongside more accessible every day pieces like her gold 'love' ring and 'lonestar spike baby' earrings.
In the campaign Smith sports everything from cropped leather jackets and faux fur to plaid shirts and metallic skirts and if you like what you see, you'll be able to pick up the pieces when they hit stores in October.
Gwen Stefani absolutely nailed her September cover of US Harper's Bazaar in what was by far the strongest September cover and now she's done it again on the November cover of ELLE UK.
The magazine has always supported British designers so it comes as no surprise that they opted to style Stefani in one of the tops from Peter Pilotto's Fall 2012 collection. My only wish is that they had opted for a full Pilotto look rather than teaming it with the McQ skirt, even though it is nice to see two British brands on the cover.
Will you pick the issue up when it hits newsstands on Wednesday September 5.
J Brand has always been one of my favourite denim brands. As a South African with more than my fair share of junk in the trunk, it's one of the few denim brands that actually compliments my shape and over the years I've become a sucker for a good pair of cropped jeans (I blame Kate Moss). You can imagine my delight, then, when I heard that the brand has just launched a special range of them.
The collection, which is available exclusively at Net-A-Porter, completely has you covered. The styles come in great colourways ranging from more muted and easy colours like navy and brown to bright blue, red and green for those days when you want to make a statement. And besides, the length is perfect because it works just as well with heels as it does teamed with ballet flats for daytime.