As much as I love the high street, there's always that concern that everyone will end up buying 'that' key piece and after all, who actually wants to sit across someone in the office or at an event wearing the exact same outfit? But don't worry, that's where Whistles come in.
Starting early September, the high street favourite will unveil their new Limited Edition by Whistles collection and as the name suggests, the line is small. Each of the 70 pieces in the collection is only being produced in editions between 20 and 50 and will be available in limited stores to make sure that each piece is truly special. The aim of the line is to tap into the core pieces of the Whistles brand so expect classic tailoring, cashmere knitwear and leather leggings along with printed pyjama-like separates.
The trouser suit has long been a stalwart piece in women's wardrobes. Since Yves Saint Laurent created his 'Le Smoking' women's tuxedo back in 1966, the piece has no doubt morphed into one of the single most transformative pieces of women's wear and for A/W12, it made a serious comeback. Just like Saint Laurent, this season designers seem to be more attune to the fact that women need clothes that make sense as much as they appeal aesthetically and as a result, we're spoilt for choice.
You can generally guage what the big trends will be by watching the Prada show and this season Miuccia Prada made a big statement. At both Prada and Miu Miu the trouser suit dominated sending a clear message that if there's anything you need to buy this coming season, it's that.
Throughout the shows in February there was a lot of talk about the clothes being like an armour, preparing women for the tough world out there right now and it's true. At the rate things are going, we can all do with as much help as we can get and there's no denying it's transformative powers. Even Caroline Issa spoke about it recently in the latest issue of ELLE UK. Talking about her recent Tom Ford suit purchase she said: 'When I wear it I feel like the chicest person alive - it is wearable art.' Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson shared the sentiment. 'It's about authority,' she said in an interview with Karen Dacre about the suit's power in the workplace. 'If I feel I need 'armour' any day, then I will pull on a trouser suit. It let's people know you're serious and not to e messed with.' My-Wardrobe's founder Sarah Curran said the same thing. 'There's definitely an attitude that goes with wearing one,' she told Dacre. 'There is something about a trouser suit that gives an air of confidence that a dress could never do.'
From top left: Acne, Dries van Noten, Miu Miu, Todd Lynn, Todd Lynn, Alexander Wang, Celine, Elizabeth & James, Miu Miu and Prada
I've always been a trouser suit girl. Whether that's the result of falling in love with Helmut Newton's iconic 'Le Smoking' shot that appeared in Vogue Paris back in 1975 I'm not sure, but nonetheless it has always been a style that I've been particularly taken by. Anyone that follows The Fash Pack on Twitter will know that these recent images of Solange Knowles and Ashley Olsen wearing variations on the look has only fuelled my quest to find the perfect version.
The styles that appeared on the runway for S/S12 were particularly good because they came in a range of block colours from reds and multicoloured prints to pastel yellows and pale pinks. Preen really lead the pack showing a great classic version available in both pink and yellow while Givenchy had a much more modern feeling and came with skin tight trousers. For a budget friendly alternative head to Whistles as they undoubtedly have the most affordable but quality style on the market.
As I write this post the weather outside is less than pleasant (I blame the good weather from the past few weeks for getting me excited for summer prematurely), which makes now the perfect time to start planning your sunnies before summer really begins. When it comes to shades, nobody does it quite as well as Nicole Richie and the Olsens and with that in mind it comes at no surprise that their respective lines, Elizabeth & James and House of Harlow 1960, are delivering some of the best styles this season.
Over the past year I've been sporting my tortoiseshell wayfarers but Richie's House of Harlow 'Chelsea' shades in black will definitely be my go to pair of sunglasses this year. If you're looking to make an investment the round-framed styles from Linda Farrow for The Row are equally as good, especially if you like the black version that Mary-Kate Olsen has been sported over the last few years. For more wallet friendly styles, head to Topshop who have very similar styles but for less than £30 or if the cat-eye is your shape of choice, Whistles do the perfect reinterpretation of Tom Ford's much loved frames.
When Rihanna stepped out in this blue Emilio Pucci pyjama suit at a press call for her debut movie, 'Battlefield', she made a statement in two ways. Firstly, the singer's decision to sport the style on the red carpet showed that the trend that has been gaining pace and resonance over the past season has officially moved in the consciousness of the mainstream. More than anything else it proved that dressing, particularly for the red carpet, doesn't need to mean that comfort must go out of the window.
It's this feeling that Stella McCartney developed last season at her S/S12 show. After all, it was her relaxed silk pyjama styles that started the current fascination with the style. Since showing that collection brands like Balmain and Celine have tapped into it with their respective pre-fall collections and according to the Guardian, the high street are lapping it up too. Whistles, H&M and Topshop have all reported that the trousers are proving a hit in their stores and are selling out fast.
As someone who spends the majority of my writing time in comfortable clothes sat in my home office, the idea of working in something that felt as comfortable as pyjamas without being the real thing, was an instant draw. But the big question is how did this new found love for comfort happen especially in an industry where most women are glutton for punishment when it comes to their sartorial choices? After all, there is a reason why people are touting it as the most unlikely trend of the season. In my noble opinion I think it is a sign of big changes. A few years ago we were all in the thick of Balmain fever where everything was about the bling, the sequins, the shoulders and the equally garish and ultra mini dresses but over the past few season things have changed. With the economy as it is, our clothes are one thing that we can't afford to be restricted by or worry about and as McCartney continues to prove, comfort and fashion are not diametrically opposing notions. But that's not it. As many retailers have noticed, the great thing about them is that transcend generations. Unlike season past where the pieces would look strange on anyone above a size 10 and on beyond the tender 20s bracket, this look is resonating with women of all shapes and sizes.
So the only question now is will you sport the style this season?
In a recent interview, Mother of Pearl head designer Amy Powney praised the quality on the British high street saying that brands like Jaeger, Whistles and Joseph are really bridging the gap between the high street and designer lines and often with the same quality - and it's true. Jospeh in particular have been producing great collection after great collection so it comes at no surprise that they have decided to follow Jaeger and show at London Fashion Week.
‘We felt we were ready for the next thing, hence the show,’ a representative from the brand told ELLEUK.com. ‘Shows make such a strong impact, and showing at London Fashion Week was a natural choice as obviously we are such a London-centric brand.’ Last week Peter Pilotto had no qualms in saying that unlike before, London Fashion Week is now the place to be and with strong accessible brands like Joseph joining the show rooster, it looks like things will stay that way.
Roksanda Ilincic isn't new to collaboration with retailers after working on a diffusion line with Whistles but now she is launching a brand new line with another retailer. The British designer has teamed up with Debenhams to launch a capsule collection, called RI by Roksanda Ilincic, featuring her signature evening dresses
"It's great to be able to offer some of my mainline aesthetic to a wider audience through this collaboration," she told Vogue.com. "I wanted to create contemporary occasion-wear for fashion conscious woman that combines fashionable shapes with intricate details and rich colours." When asked about why she decided to work another partnership she explained: "I think that designer/high street collaborations are mutually beneficent and completely fitting to the way that fashion is moving these days," explained the designer. Everyone is so much more aware of designer fashion and to make an aspect of this so accessible is a great opportunity for designers."
The collection is in Debenhams stores now with prices starting at £200.
As fans of high street giant Whistles and beauty brand Cowshed you can imagine out delight when the pair announced that they would be working on a collaboration.
Called Whistling Cow, the collection features four of Cowshed signature products - their freshening hand wash, moisturising hand cream, relaxing bath & shower gel and body lotion - with each bottle wrapped in Whistles stand out high summer print, which appears on pieces from their first ever swimwear collection. The print, dubbed the 'Love' print was inspired by all things Riviera and 70s chic.
"When Whistles approached us regarding a collaboration we fell in love with their High Summer ‘Love’ print and couldn’t resist combining it with our signature wild-crafted products to create Whistling Cow," Christina Russillip, Managing Director of Cowshed explained. "Featuring our four top selling products – Hand Cream, Hand Wash, Body Lotion and Shower Gel – this limited edition partnership is a first for Cowshed and we are very excited to be working alongside the team at Whistles!"
Whistling Cow is available now in all Whistles stand alone stores and in Cowshed shops and spas, as well as on their website and you can pick up the Whistles swimwear collection on their website and in stores nationwide today with prices starting at £35
Roksanda Ilincic continues to go from strength-to-strength. After revealing a collaboration with Whistles last June, the designer has just confirmed that she is set to launch her first swimwear collection.
"It has been really exciting to branch in to this new line and to translate my design aesthetic to swimwear,"she told Vogue.com. "One-pieces are the focus of the collection. They are all reversible and feature sculpted cut outs and flattering multi-straps details which are designed to flatter the figure from every angle. The timing for this launch is perfect especially as London is currently experiencing a rare hot summer!"
The line, which features cut out and assymetric styles, was inspired by the East African Kai tribes and will be sold exclusively at Harvey Nichols.
Baring all for a shoot with iconic photographer Mario Testino, it is fair to say that Kylie Minogue's participation in this year's Fashion Targets Breast Cancer is something she holds close to her heart, with the issue being so close to home. Posing alongside fellow beauties Sienna Miller and Claudia Schiffer, the trio aim to raise over £1million for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. "It means so much to me to be part of this years' Fashion Targets Breast Cancer," the Australian singer told Vogue, "I wholeheartedly support their efforts to raise funds for vital work undertaken by Breakthrough Breast Cancer".
Only five years after being diagnosed with the disease, Miss Minogue is looking healthy, happy and as beautiful as ever for the cause, which whilst began as a small t-shirt campaign launched by Ralph Lauren back in 1994, now has the likes of M&S, River Island, Topshop, Warehouse, Laura Ashley, Coast, My-Wardrobe.com, Whistles, Superdry and Melissa Odabash on board creating special pieces to raise money for groundbreaking research, campaigning and education work. It's a hard call to pick favourites, but we'll be picking up the Olivia Rubin LBD from My-Wardrobe.com, and the Love to Love vest from Topshop. With money from the pieces going to such a good cause, we can look fabulous and feel good about it, too.