Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Look Show : your high street loves you

I was very lucky to win tickets to the Look Show, held at the new Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, last week. My tickets, courtesy of Warehouse, meant that I was also able to treat my sister to a peek of the high street's current and future offerings. The show opened with Sarah Harding, of Girls Aloud, modelling the Shivani Chavda collection for Warehouse, which uses gorgeous prints and vibrant colours.

It wouldn't be Autumn/Winter without a glimmer of gold, and this dress - also from Warehouse - adds a classy edge. The slit sleeves are modern but the shift shape is timeless. I always think it's much easier to wear gold than silver in dresses, because too much silver can lead to the inevitable 'she's wrapped herself in tin foil' comments.

Keeping warm doesn't have to mean cutting out style, as Warehouse proves with this pink double-breasted coat on one model and faux fur stole against an inky blue maxi skirt on another. It's about adding a shot of pure colour to keep things fresh. Alongside the hot coat, this model's neon pink lipstick looks great - Barry M and Sleek do some brilliant shades if you want to recreate it.

As you can see, the models' hair was suitably autumnal, with a lot of backcombing and texturising spray making up the final look.

Forever 21 gave us a zig-zag maxi in scarlet, with a bright red hat to top things off.

This corset top is made into a fashion item, rather than something for the lingerie drawer, with the addition of a tan blazer and a white skirt. Very creative styling - love it.

Another example of inventive styling was at New Look, where this slinky yellow shirt-dress was given an under-layer in cream and a pencil-thin red scarf to accessorize. It's a much more interesting take on day wear than the dress alone, because it becomes part of a layered blend of autumnal colours.

Dionne Bromfield was an excellent choice for the guest singer. Not only was she flawless, but she seemed genuinely lovely and had been styled appropriately for her age in a petal-cut silver top and skinny trousers with heels.

The dark denim shirt has been everywhere in the past few seasons of menswear, but it is refreshed next to this tomato red cardigan and slicked back matinee idol hair.

I love the silhouette made by this model as she stopped for the cameras. Her teal jumpsuit ticks several trends: Studio 54 glam, new season colours and sharp tailoring.

Dorothy Perkins has often disappointed me in recent years for its uninspiring stock, but this model's outfit was a pleasant surprise. Pairing mustard shorts with a pale coral top and vermillion jacket with gold buttons is a winning combination.

I not only love this dress because it's burgundy, but also because it feels like something from a Romantic-era painting. The corsages and the pleats bring it more towards modern dressing, but it would work just as well with bare feet and a touch of fairy dust at the bottom of the garden.

Marks and Spencers opens with a strong red coat - its 3/4 sleeves mean that there's a fashion edge over function, but the forgiving shape will prove popular.

I am badly lusting after this M&S dress (£39.50), which uses ecru panels on a black tube structure. One of the biggest motivators for me to get fit and tone up my stomach - it's good for being flirty, with contouring detail, but not slutty.

M&S Menswear takes on the log cabin look with check shirts, plain chinos and outdoorsy imitation Barbour jackets - more quilted padding than you can shake a stick at.

Kimberley Wyatt (formerly of the Pussycat Dolls) was in closest celeb proximity to me, just across the aisle and down a few rows. I loved her burgundy shorts and boxy jacket.

Kelis was another celeb at the event, and she seemed to be going for a Vivienne Westwood feel with a corset-style red top and tartan trousers. I also love her friend's hair, which has been ombre-dyed purple at the ends.

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