How many of us have been tempted in the last few months to buy cheaper clothing that may not be built to last? Certain items such as school uniforms and some other children’s clothes can be picked up at surprisingly low prices right now from certain stores. These low-cost items are often considered disposable fashions by the buyer – they are cheap, they get a lot of wear and tear and children grow out of them quickly. Before you know it, they are in the bin.
Then there are the adult and child fashion items from outlets like Primark. Shoppers know that some of these items may not last, but they are low cost, often quite up to date in terms of fashion, and, as they will probably go out of fashion altogether within a season or two, why not treat them as ‘throwaway fashions’?
Is this acceptable? Or do we need to think more about the implications of this type of purchase?
Mike Webster, a representative of the charity Waste Watch, believes we should consider the real cost of ‘affordable fashion’. “If manufacturers and retailers had to bear the environmental cost of producing such cheap clothes, they might think again about their prices and quality,” he says. “Every time a £2 T-shirt gets thrown into the bin, it ends up costing the taxpayer in the expense of taking it to the landfill, and it taking up space in the landfill.”
According to a committee of MPs, council tips have seen the proportion of textile waste rise from 7% to 30% in the last five years.
Asda, Tesco and Primark’s clothing sales all performed well last year, and with all three offering ultra cheap clothing it is good to hear that Asda for one is addressing this issue. They have stated that their clothing is not intended to be ‘disposable’ and that any parent can return the George school uniform range for up to 100 days rather than the usual 28 days if they are unhappy with the quality. If the scheme is a success they may go on to review their entire refund policy to cover adult clothing in this way.
Tesco said it would consider looking at its return policy, but for now insists that their school uniform offers (which can buy you –two pairs of trousers, three shirts and a sweat top for less than £11) are simply “good quality at good prices”.
The time has come to cover up and don your hat and scarf. However, many of us struggle with hat trends – where do you start? A hat can completely change your look, as well as keeping you warm, so here are a few tips on hot hat looks this winter from the Models Direct team.
Faux fur hats
Great news! Big, warm, comfortable fur hats are in – and you don’t have to condone killing animals to wear them. Faux fur is out in full force, so grab yourself the ultimate hat for warmth and comfort. Anyone can wear them and you can even get away with earflaps this season!
Berets appeared on Armani, Missoni and Ann Sui’s runways this year, so wear yours with pride. They look great in knit or velvet and will brighten up any day.
Beaded and feathered hats
Ladies, don’t be afraid of embellished, beaded or feathered hats. They can be worn to glam up an outfit and look fabulous. Vivienne Westwood featured some gorgeous beaded hats in her shows this year, to great effect.
Brightly coloured hats
Bright headgear will lift your spirits and those of people around you, so embrace this trend for winter and take a leaf out of designer Michael Kors’ fashion book.
Leather hats are the most weatherproof of all, so if it’s raining you can’t go wrong with this edgy option. Wear them with a peak to stay dry and look great.
A perennial favourite. Woollen hats such as beanies are flattering on most people and offer both comfort and warmth. Pair with your favourite scarf and team the look with a casual or sporty jacket and jeans.
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For many women these days a huge percentage of our time is spent at work. Those of us who get to choose our work attire should not underestimate the power of the image we portray. The way we look at work will undoubtedly have a direct influence on our networking opportunities, the relationships we make with our peers, and may even determine how seriously we are taken by our superiors.
Dressing for the office can be a daily challenge, whether you are hoping to get a raise, catch the eye of a colleague, or clinch that deal with a tricky client, your image choices are constantly influencing how successful you are at work. In this article we would like to share some tips on how to get the most from your wardrobe and help you move on in the work place.
It is well documented that 50-75% of all our communication is non-verbal, the majority of the rest is visual, with attire and body language coming high on the list! If you are feeling confident in your look then your body language and posture will naturally be greatly improved, this should prove a great way to start making the most of your image at work.
Whatever your current style says to those around you, for most of us there is room for improvement, even if you are a model employee!
Try following Model Direct’s simple steps to ensure you are saying something positive to the people you work with, without even opening your mouth. So make sure you:
Plan ahead: Come on girls, get organised! Decide on your outfit the day before work and preferably have it laid out ready to put on in the morning. This will not only ensure that you avoid those last minute bad choices but will also make your morning far less stressful.
Iron it: There is no excuse for looking like you’ve just woken up in today’s outfit and rolled in to work. Ensure that your clothing is washed and pressed before you leave the house.
Keep it classic: Classic lines create a timeless and stylish silhouette and we recommend them as a fantastic way to project a professional, competent and stylish appearance.
Traditional colours: Combine use of traditional and neutral colours as a basis for your working wardrobe. Navy is associated with trustworthiness, grey is conservative, black with chic, and white will compliment any of these. Remember that black and navy should never be worn together!
Introducing other Colours: Introduce other colours into your look if you feel confident to do so, with a (preferably structured) handbag, or some appropriate heels. Pastels and neutrals are safest, but, if you think you can pull it off, an accessory in this season’s berry shades could look fabulous. Brights and prints can be harder to adapt for office wear, so choose wisely and please remember that red can appear aggressive or confrontational.
Attention to detail: Style your hair, look after your nails (varnish with a clear or neutral polish), keep your shoes clean, accessorise carefully with a statement necklace or ring to acknowledge the latest trend, carry spare hosiery to avoid unsightly runs (a great tip is to spray hosieries with hairspray before wearing, which will actually protect against runs).
Expect the unexpected: Let’s face it, the weather could do anything on any given day (and so could your boss!), so be prepared for unscheduled meetings or being caught in a sudden heat wave or downpour. Try to go to work equipped with as many as possible, of the following: a compact umbrella, sunglasses, compact hairbrush, hairclip, compact deodorant, breath mints and emergency make up kit (see below), or even better leave these items permanently at work, along with a Mac and some flats for any unexpected challenges
Emergency make up kit: Your favourite make up wipes, concealer, mascara, eye pencil, lip stain/gloss, blush – as compact as possible and kept in a washable bag for hygiene.
And once you’ve mastered the art of office chic, all you will have to worry about is making sure you have enough time for all the new engagements you will be involved in!
If you’re fed up of seeing the same logos and slogans on t-shirts and want something more personal, you’ll love the concept of the I Love Boxie t-shirts.
I Love Boxie, a London-based t-shirt design company, rebels against using clothing as a way of advertising brands. Instead they want the clothing to represent the wearer themselves. You could say they are providing a way to advertise yourself.
They make T Spoke (bespoke) t-shirts for which you can email them a story from your life and from that one line will be taken and printed onto the t-shirt. It really could be anything. The result: a t-shirt that actually means something.
The founder of the company is a writer called Moxie. She says “Everyone has a story, and everyone should have it put on a t-shirt. You look at a person and judge them in two seconds, the t-shirt says, ‘there’s more to me than what I’m wearing’.” She understands that in its own way the company is acting a bit like a self-help group. She’s also planning to make a film featuring the stories of some of the t-shirt’s creators.
Models Direct think they’re great, what better way to express your happiness, sadness or anger than having it printed across your chest! They’re pretty affordable, £32 or $43 (and this is coming from me, someone who refuses to pay more than a tenner for a t-shirt).
Now I just have to think of my story…
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If you were to look at supermodel Erin Wasson’s CV you’d be impressed. In her 27 years she has walked international runways for some of the top designers, is an occasional stylist for Alexander Wang, is a favourite with some amazing photographers and has now turned to designing, directing her own jewellery line, LowLuv, and a womenswear collection. She even worked alongside Justin Timberlake in the multimedia campaign for his clothing line William Rast.
Wasson grew up in Texas, and believes this southern upbringing has directly influenced her success in the industry. “You can’t take the Texas out of the girl,” the supermodel told Teen Vogue. “I wouldn’t have gotten this far in the fashion world if I didn’t have a little bit of that Southern hospitality in me.” Read articles about the model and you will be sure to find her endearing and charming personality mentioned.
Erin’s modelling career began when her father entered her in Kim Dawson’s Modelsearch. It was 1997 and the first year of the competition, which Erin ultimately won. She left the south and started a new life in New York. Being thrown straight into the deep end, Erin had her first campaign in 2002 for Dolce & Gabbana.
Erin has appeared on the front cover of fashion magazines internationally, including Vogue, Esquire and Elle. One factor in her success is her versatility when it comes to campaigns; Erin has proved popular in both high fashion and commercial advertisements. She has an extensive portfolio, too long to list, but it includes fashion giants Gucci, Chanel and Versace.
In her spare time, the former ‘sports freak’ enjoys surfing and snowboarding. This directly influenced the model’s decision to design for skate and surf fashion lifestyle brand, RCVA. The end result, Erin Wasson x RCVA, is a stylish but understated collection that reflects the model’s own laidback style.
Erin also dabbled in a bit of acting as part of the William Rast campaign, starring in short films as Justin Timberlake’s love interest. Ladies, if you weren’t jealous already, no doubt you are now!
Talk that Ridley Scott will be directing a film based on the story of fashion house Gucci has been around for years. Now it has been reignited by rumours of early casting decisions. Could it be Angelina Jolie and Leonardo Di Caprio playing the tempestuous couple Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani?
If rumours are to be believed, director and producer Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven) will be starting the film about the Gucci legacy next year. The family behind the Italian fashion label were known for their heated arguments, but nothing could compare to the relationship of Maurizio Gucci, the founder’s grandson, and his wife, Patrizia Reggiani.
Soon after Maurizio sold Gucci to investment group Investcorp, he was shot and killed by a hitman. His fashionista ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, was convicted for arranging the murder. “The film certainly has all the ingredients for a classic tale of intrigue, hubris and family infighting,” comments Ben Child for the Guardian newspaper.
If rumours are to be believed it will be Angelina Jolie who will be playing the murderous wife, who famously said “I’d rather cry in a Rolls-Royce, than laugh on a bicycle.” The famous actress even bears a physical resemblance to Reggiani. It is also rumoured that Leonardo Di Caprio will be playing the former head of the Gucci empire, Maurizio.
The film has been in the pipeline for director Ridley Scott since 2007, and is eagerly anticipated. There have been a number of fashion-related films this year, including Coco Before Chanel, Vogue documentary The September Issue and Rage, so it will be interesting to see a darker tale behind one of the world’s most famous fashion houses.
Models Direct favourite Daisy Lowe was turning heads (as usual!) at this season’s Fashion Week in Milan. Modelling for Dolce & Gabbana, the 20-year-old supermodel donned a provocative, unique and interesting red outfit, which left little to the imagination!
There are rumours that the former London socialite will be returning to her British roots in 2010 after appearances in the city over London Fashion Week and after breaking up with on-off boyfriend Will Cameron, whom she moved to New York for.
What do you think of Daisy’s look in the images above?