Friday, 31 July 2009

Hilary Duff is the new face of DKNY Jeans

Earlier this month, it was announced that Hilary Duff would be joining the cast of fashion-centred teen drama Gossip Girl this autumn. The show, set in New York, follows the lives of ‘Manhattan’s elite’ – the rich, stylish and beautiful of America’s fashion capital.

Hilary Duff seems to be getting herself well-prepared for her new role as a famous film star looking for a ‘normal’ college experience in Gossip Girl. Photographs of her modelling a DKNY fashion line that she partially designed have been released today, and have received much acclaim from media reps.

“There is truly something in this line for every girl whose styles change every day, like mine does,” Hilary told “Sometimes I want to wear tight leather leggings with a big plaid shirt, or other days I want to wear a floral-print dress but make it look edgy. Some days I like to be a bit more punk rock, but in a girly way. I love wearing layers and scarves, and I love that this line can be mixed and matched just the way you want it to. I think it’s the perfect line for young girls who can’t afford to buy a lot of clothes these days.”

The line is called ‘Femme For DKNY’ and is aimed at fashion conscious twenty-somethings. It launches in the autumn – at the same time the Gossip Girl episodes starring Duff will air in the USA.

Elixir of Youth??

What's the point of having youthful skin if your scent gives away your age? have picked up on this idea and claim to have created one of the first anti-aging perfumes. The scent is formulated to mask the smell of aging and it contains, pink grapefruit, mango, pomegranate, jasmine, musk and antioxidants.

The brand's research found that when men smelled a woman wearing the fragrance they thought she was an average of eight years younger!

Priced at $120 for 100ml are any ladies out there curious enough to consider a purchase?

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Collins Dictionary to Include Fashion Terminology??

The next Edition of the Collins English dictionary will apparantly include some new fashion-lingo! The new dictionary should feature words such as; Body-con, flanny, treggings and frugalista. Definitions are added below.

body-con n a a style of skintight clothing that emphasizes the contours of the body b (as modifier): EG: a body-con skirt [C21: shortened from body-conscious]

flanny, flannie n Austral, slang a shirt made of flannel or flannelette

treggings pl n thick close-fitting leggings

• etymology blend of trousers + leggings

frugalista n informal a person who tries to stay fashionably dressed on a budget

• etymology a blend of frugal + fashionista

Can you think of any to add to this?

Biker Inspired Fashion

You can release your inner Hells Angel (motorbike optional, better behaviour preferred) with this ‘biker glam’ fashion trend for autumn 2009.

Fashion website WWD says, “Details such as contrast insets, quiltlike stitching or patches at the knees are in heavy rotation on jeans, which work well with biker jackets and battered Ts.” To achieve the look you’ll need leather, studs, zips and a pair of aviator sunglasses.

The biker look has recently featured on the catwalk with Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy and in the Sweet Child of Mine photoshoot for Vogue Nippon, and has been described as as “lingering in the space between fetish, biker, and rock-chic.”

Also worth checking out is the Autumn/Winter shoe collection from Nina Ricci which features some rather dramatic high heels.

At Models Direct experts feel that the key to this look is to keep it subtle. A full-on Biker ensemble may be hard to pull off, and very sweaty!

However, if you want to have a play around with this style it is pretty easy (and fairly cheap) to adapt clothing with studs, zips, badges etc.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Lily Allen – the beautiful new face of Chanel

After much speculation and waiting, Lily Allen’s beautiful Chanel photos are finally here!

It was announced at the beginning of May that the 24-year-old English beauty would be the face of Coco Chanel’s autumn/winter accessories line, alongside her successful music career and the launch of her own jewellery range earlier this month.

Despite expressing discomfort with modelling in the past, Lily looks stunning in this ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ style photo shoot, where she models handbags, sunglasses and princess-style tiaras.

I’m looking forward to seeing much of more of Ms. Allen in the fashion world! What do you think of the photos?

Fashion model Jourdan Dunn is pregnant!

The 18-year-old exotic beauty has announced she is expecting her first baby with her boyfriend in December of this year.

Jourdan rose to fame in 2007, debuting at New York shows for Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren in the autumn of that year. She has since featured on the cover of Italian, American and British Vogue, as well as modelling for Topshop, Gap and H&M among others.

The young star is from Hammersmith, London, and was discovered in Primark at age 16 and later signed to Storm Management. Until last year, she still lived with her mother and two brothers in their family home in London.

Sibling Smiles

Girls from the Models Direct office have only just discovered twenty8twelve, the fashion collaboration from actress Sienna and her (slightly less well-known) sister Savannah.

For those who don’t feel it is too late to pick up a pretty summer dress, the twenty8twelve Spring/Summer 2009 collection has some lovely ones.

Collections are very feminine, young and contemporary but with an edge.
There are lots of ruffles and colours range from subdued pastels and earthy hues to vibrant blues and purples, with some bold prints thrown in.

It’s nice to see the sisters working well together, seemingly void of rivalry (although surely they must have their moments) especially as they’re in the public eye.

Could you work alongside a sibling?

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Lily Allen - New Jewellery Line...

Lily Allen has made the common transition from music to fashion, and now she’s moving on to jewellery. On July 27th Lily will be revealing her new jewellery line and I can’t wait to see what it’s like.

Lily’s got an individual style that has changed dramatically over the last few years, so it will be interesting to see what her designs are like, chucky gold chains or something a bit more refined? According to one article the jewellery line will have nine styles featuring flowers, traffic signs, coins and animals so it should be pretty interesting!

The Rise of the Mature (Role) Model.

As we get further into the Autumn/Winter fashion campaigns this year there is an extraordinary trend developing.
More and more mature faces are featuring in the latest ads, many of which are being premiered in August issues.

Olay choose 60 year old Twiggy to head up their campaign, Louis Vuitton and 50 year old Madonna pair up for a second campaign, Christy Turlington fronts Bally and YSL at 40, and Pringle have shunned younger models this year in favour of Tilda Swinton (49).

So what is motivating the fashion industry into this sudden increase in the use of more mature models? Apparantly sales have gone very well for Vuitton since Madonna was asked to star in their ads. People are even requesting the ‘Madonna Bag’.
“Madonna brings so much more to the clothes than a model' says Marc Jacobs. Jacobs says he chose the Queen of Pop for 'her presence’ and ‘her strength’ and he described her as ‘an iconic woman'.

This appears to be the point. Clearly none of these older ladies are typical of their age group in terms of looks, however, more than anything they represent women of character, who have achieved and have this advantage over the teen ‘mannequin’.

Madonna is a healthy, driven woman, a mother, who eats and works out and continues to enjoy her life to the full.
As for Turlington, her outlook again illustrates the appeal of her maturity. This is a family woman, who’s studying and charity work is her biggest priority.
'Now I'm 40, I might be on the cusp of the career that I always wanted. I can't justify [expensive clothes] — honestly, I'd rather feed people.'

What is the biggest appeal of these (role) models?

Bespoke T-Shirts with a twist...

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. They make T Spoke (bespoke) t-shirts, you could say they are providing you with a way to advertise yourself.

The idea is this; you email ( them a story from your life, 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'." Moxie 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.

The t-shirts are pretty affordable, approximately £32 (or $43)

Now I just have to think of my story…

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Avril Lavigne launches fragrance and expands clothing line

Pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne has launched her first fragrance this month, and today it has been announced she’ll be expanding the clothing line she launched in 2008.

Avril Lavigne entered the limelight at just 17 years old back in 2002 with the release of her first album ‘Let Go’, which sold 16 million copies worldwide, and peaked at number one in Australia, her native Canada and the UK. Now married to Derek Whibley of pop-punk band Sum 41 and pursuing an acting career alongside her music, she is expected to release a fourth album in September.

Her fragrance, titled ‘Black Star’ went on sale in Europe on July 1st, with an American release set for later in the summer. “It’s really me in a bottle,” she explained to of the new fragrance, which contains elements of pink hibiscus, black plum and dark chocolate. This is the first creation in Avril’s line of cosmetics, though more products are expected next year.

Last year she launched her own punk-inspired clothing line ‘Abbey Dawn’, exclusively to the American retailer Kohl. Photos of the starlet modelling her fashion line can be viewed here: People Magazine have reported today that she will expand her line to include clothing for children – apparently a ‘cuddlier’ version of her own rock ‘n’ roll style.

Considering Avril’s musical success, and the fact that throughout her career she has been a fashion icon for teenage punks everywhere, I’m incredibly surprised that more hasn’t been made of the clothing line and fragrance. Looking at the triumph of Sarah Jessica Parker’s fragrance collection and the successful but short-lived existence of her Bitten clothing (the line’s retailer Steve & Barry's went bankrupt in 2008), it’s truly surprising that Avril’s entrepreneurial exploits aren’t being publicised much.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

William Rast Clothing

Another pop-star taking his talent into the fashion industry is Justin Timberlake. He has recently released his clothing line William Rast, a combined effort with his good friend Trace Ayala and Johan & Marcella Lindeberg of J. Lindeberg fame.

The Autumn/Winter 2009-10 collection was on show at New York Fashion Week and is now beginning to pop up in stores around the UK in Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. The team didn’t do anything outrageous for the catwalk show, instead everything was very wearable (not boring, wearable) and was described as “the wardrobe of a stylish Southern boy and girl who were plucked out of Tennessee and plopped into the gritty streets of the city.”

After checking out the website: generally I like it, the women’s collection has some nice jackets, none of which I could justify spending that amount of money on though (I wasn’t expecting anything different) and I like the men’s shirts and t-shirts.

What do you reckon? Does JT have a fruitful fashion career ahead of him? organises the UK’s first clothes swapping ‘roadshow’, a website that allows you to swap and sell clothes you don’t want for ones you do, has just announced it will be taking to the road from September, for a series of ‘swishes’ (clothes swapping parties).

It works like this: you bring at least one item of clothing you no longer want, and you swap it for one you do. It’s as easy as that. If you see more items you want than ones you have to swap, it’s just a £2 donation to charity for that must have extra item.

The first one takes place in Leeds on September 17th, with more to follow nationwide over the next year. Tickets cost £5, and this covers lots of other fun and games at the parties – including burlesque performances, free makeovers, butlers ‘in the buff’ serving canapés and cocktails, DJs, customising areas (to make your own bags, corsages and more), fashion shows, and market stalls selling cool, eco-friendly products.

We’re very excited about this here at Models Direct, and us girls in the office can definitely see this as an opportunity to update our wardrobes!

Another Harry Potter actress hits the fashion world…

After Emma Watson’s relatively quick entry into the world of fashion, another young Harry Potter actress is following suite.

Bonnie Wright, who plays Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, has recently been photographed and interviewed for Grazia magazine in a shoot so beautiful it may very well be the beginning of a fashion career for the red-haired siren.

Bonnie told Grazia that her ultimate goal was to leave acting and work in fashion. The 18-year-old is the daughter of two jewellery designers and was raised in London.

I’m keen to see if any other Harry Potter cast members will be popping up in the fashion world in the coming weeks and months. Looks like they’ve all grown up!

Disney Inspiration

It looks like a couple of designers have taken inspiration for their collections straight from Disney.

For his Spring/Summer 2009 collection we saw Marc Jacobs create pieces inspired by the 1920s through to the 1940s, all with a modern twist. One spectator at the show described it as “it was as though you were looking into the past, present and future of fashion all at once.”

A number of outfits looked like they should be worn by a modern day (and rather stylish) Mary Poppins. This was mainly thanks to the straw boater hats and the nicely tailored jackets, all the models needed were umbrellas and some wires! Vogue loves this chic-nanny style and recommends the flat style boater hats for the summer, available from Topshop for £20.

Jacobs isn’t the only one using Disney themes, Stella McCartney’s Autumn/Winter 2010 advertising campaign features the cartoon animals from much-loved Disney film Bambi. I’m not really sure if this was a good move or not. I’ve seen a couple of responses to the campaign on forums online and many think that the cartoons are drawing attention away from the designs, and that the use of both real and cartoon animals seems a bit redundant. Apparently she went for the characters to lighten up the photos and bring a bit of innocence to images that were deemed to look too “fierce”. I like the idea but I have to agree with the people on the websites. Any thoughts?

This has got me thinking of the other Disney styles that could be brought into the high fashion world, or the ones that could already be linked (I can’t help but think of Aladdin each time I see a pair of harem trousers).

I couldn’t resist having another look and my favourite link (it’s probably based more on Lewis Carroll’s book than Disney, but there’s still a link!) has to be the Alice in Wonderland photoshoot from American Vogue in 2004 featuring designers alongside their models and creations.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Cameron Diaz - Blonde Ambition.

Today you can pick up the V Magazine Beauty Issue 2009, featuring a dramatic new look for Cameron Diaz. The 36-year-old actress was photographed by duo Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott in London, for the cover of V, in a style reminiscent of a late 80’s – early 90’s Madonna, with an Agyness Deyn look peroxide crop to top it off!
This is a far cry from the usual all American girl next door that we have come to associate with Diaz “I'm not going to be the 23-year-old ingénue again. If I tried to hold on to that, I'd be a pretty unhappy individual.” She comments.
Diaz has already taken a step back from her usual ‘romantic comedy’ type character in her most recent film ‘My sister’s keeper’ and has expressed a desire to play meatier roles in future.

What do you think of her new look??

Monday, 6 July 2009

Agyness Deyn leaves modelling to spend more time with her partner

The 26-year-old English model has announced her decision to leave her modelling career behind today, saying that she isn’t spending enough time with her boyfriend.

Agyness became a model after she was discovered shopping on the streets of London. She quickly excelled in the industry, featuring on the front cover of Vogue in the USA in May 2007 and being deemed as ‘the next big thing’ soon afterwards.

She recently moved from Primrose Hill in London to New York, where her career has gone from strength to strength, but the modelling sensation has now announced that she wishes to spend more time with rockstar boyfriend Miles Kane of The Rascals rather than pursuing modelling.

Damian O’Connor, Managing Director of Models Direct, believes that modelling can easily fit around personal commitments:

“Models Direct works with models from all walks of life and lots of different backgrounds. Many of them have families and loved ones they want to spend time with and support, and the majority even maintain a day job or other commitments while modelling occasionally.”

The True Fashion Capital

London. Paris. Milan. New York. There’s no doubt that these are cities with fantastic fashion scenes, and trying to say any one is better than the other certainly sparks debate, but how is it that four such immensely different locations all compete for the same title?

London’s fashion scene is perceived as flamboyant and edgy. On the catwalks and especially in high-fashion and couture, London is full of eclectic designs and unabashed creativity. The top end of high-street fashion is characterised by the young Topshop and H&M shoppers, who may not be able to afford the big designer names, but certainly know how to wear a style! London is still an established fashion centre, with a very successful fashion week, which is 25 years old this September.

The French capital, of course, is known for its smart, tailored-to-precision fashion, and still retains huge respect and intrigue from fashionistas worldwide. Even in the smouldering heat, Parisian women of all ages can be seen in their perfectly cut, perfectly faultless outfits, looking totally aloof and completely unbothered by the weather, by tourists or street vendors. Paris is also home to its very own Musée de la Mode et du Costume (Museum of Fashion and Clothes), located in the so-called ‘upper class’ 7th arrondissement of Paris, which somehow seems to envision the feel of the whole French fashion scene.

Milan encompasses the stereotypical vision of the fashion and modelling industry. As you fly into the city, you are greeted by an enormous Giorgio Armani billboard, which really sets the scene for anything you might discover beyond the airport. Milan is truly all about the fashion, and this famously chic city really does adhere to the idea that “you can never be too rich or too thin”, though notably this year the Elena Miro fashion show opened with size 14 and size 16 women modelling new designs, created for ‘real women’. Though the styles of Italy vary from season to season, Milan is home to the chic-est of the chic in the world of fashion, and rightly has a reputation to match.

New York City is best-known for its semi-annual fashion week, which attracts international designers, artists and superstars into its audience. New York is certainly the fashion capital of America, being home to a countless fashion designers and hundreds of thousands of hopeful models, and an incredibly diverse and shifting fashion scene. In the United States, Los Angeles is where all the famous people hide out (or perhaps not hide, given Michael Jackson not even being able to die privately), so it’s interesting to note that the main fashion scene happens away from sunny California.

Each city has clearly earned its place in the list of fashion capitals, but the fashion they present and the way fashion is perceived within them is utterly different. So which is the True Fashion Capital? I think it depends on your style and your persona – when it comes down to it, it’s all relative.

High-street designer George Davies announces new fashion line

The designer behind Next, Marks & Spencer’s Per Una and Asda’s George, George Davies, has announced plans to launch a brand new fashion line this October. The line will be called GIVe and is aimed at women aged thirty and over.

Stores will be located throughout the UK, as well as through six UK department stores and two Dutch ones. The accompanying website which will also sell the brand launches in October. Davies has called it “affordable luxury”, saying it will be more pricey than the other ranges he has been involved with but not as expensive as international designer brands.

I’m unsure quite what to think about the idea of GIVe. With a huge number of high-street fashion chains struggling during the recession, do you think there’s room for the launch of a new line? And do women over thirty necessarily want something in between high-street designer labels and international designer labels? I’m undecided, but I’d love to hear some other opinions. What do you think?

Friday, 3 July 2009

A skinnier Lily Allen to be the new face of Chanel…

It seems like 24-year-old Lily Allen has been pretty busy recently. After talking to newspapers about her blossoming friendship with supermodel Kate Moss, sending topless pictures of herself to Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson (apparently intended for eighties popstar Rick Astley – yes, Lily, that makes it all better) and announcing she’ll launch her own jewellery line later in the year, it’s now been confirmed that she will front Chanel’s October 2009 fashion line.

The young pop princess has been in the spotlight since her single ‘Smile’ hit the charts in 2003(?), and since then has been an object of huge media speculation and conjecture. Today, the Daily Mail has posted pictures of the star in her new slimmed down frame, performing at Glastonbury Festival and the Belgian Werchter Rock Festival.

Last December, American popstar Katy Perry called herself “a skinnier version of Lily Allen” on live TV when asked to describe her image and music. It’s probably comments like this combined with signing her Chanel contract that have led to Lily’s recent weight loss.

Lily Allen has always been known as an incredibly down-to-earth, girl-next-door type – surely she should be using this opportunity to promote the use of size 12s (the average in the UK is size 14) in top-end modelling, rather than trying to adhere to the stereotypical requirements of the industry. When will stars realise that size zero isn’t attractive?

Photos of the new Chanel campaign can be viewed here.

I have to admit that she looks great, and I think the campaign will probably be brilliant too. Still, it would be nice to see a size 12 in the spotlight – especially one with such a solid fanbase already. What do you think of the campaign and Lily’s new look?

Ageless style

How refreshing to see an older face on the cover of vogue this month, albeit the undeniably beautiful and stylish Julianne Moore.

“What always emerges is that fashion, as you get older, is about confidence, and enjoyment and the ability to find a look you feel comfortable with” says Alexandra Shulman in her editor’s letter.

I don’t think anyone could deny that Julianne illustrates this statement very well.

Who else in the public eye is looking great at over 40 and why?

By Louise, Models Direct

Madonna and Vuitton unite for a second season.

Madonna has been photographed by Steven Meisel for Louis Vuitton’s forthcoming autumn/winter campaign. The images were inspired by Surrealist Man Ray’s work and have been enhanced with a solarisation technique.

Madonna is shown looking amazing in ruffled silk puffball dresses with luxurious accessories and thigh high boots, against lush drapery backdrops.

The campaign follows the success of her spring/summer appearance for Vuitton.

Madonna in Vuitton shoot

Posted by Louise, Models Direct