Farmer Fashion

Most people (well, around 12 million) have now probably seen the Yeo Valley advert cleverly sandwiched each week in the first ad break of the X Factor (if you haven’t you can check it here, aside from it being genius advertising, it also milks (sorry) this winters new crop (I just can’t help myself…) of Farmer Fashion.

When I first heard murmurings of this trend, I have to say, I wasn’t convinced. My

Nice look Miss Chung

parents wear Barbour’s. They tried for years to make me wear something equally practical but I tended to stick to the ‘less is more’ side of winter fashion. Now, top of my wish list are a cosy knit, a waxed jacket and a nice pair of sensible shoes. Really.

I’m not sure when country wear went from sheep to chic but there’s something incredibly British about the whole idea: tartans, tweeds, flannel shirts and wellies. A black Labrador, however, is optional.

How to get rural…

First up: the coat, as I said khaki waxed jackets are very in right now, as styled out by Alexa Chung. The idea to keeping it modern is to pair it with the unexpected, like evening wear. Whilst, the other top coat this winter is the Cape; not as hard to wear as you might think but for the best silhouette pair with slim line trousers or tights.

Next, ditch the high heels. Never thought I’d say those words! Hiking boots have made a surprising appearance this winter, along with riding boots. Giddy-up! And both are best teemed with chunky-knit, cream socks, just to keep your tootsies extra especially warm.

Jodhpurs are also a big trend this A/W. If you can’t quite see it, just think, who would have thought we would all end up wearing nappy-bum Harems!

For jumpers it’s all about hard wearing wools, like Aran Knits – which, believe it or not, are actually meant to be water resistant! How very, er… sensible!

John Galliano for Christian Dior A/W 2010

Then there are the tweeds and tartans, which work for pretty much anything from accessories, like scarves and hats, to full-on suits or even trousers. I might even be tempted by a tartan maxi, more than just a nod to my Scottish roots!

So, with temperatures set to fall to Arctic this week, you know it makes sense to follow the tractor crowd and channel your inner rosy-cheeked farmer.



Fur Sure!

Autumn’s arrived in all it’s chilly glory and along with it, the shops are wrapped in winter coats and woolly hats. And fur. Lots of fur.

Not of the real variety, of course, unless you are spectacularly brave and have a bank balance with more body than your stole.

However, it does strike me as a little odd (despite my staunch belief that animals should not be killed for fashion victims) that we choose to wear this fakery. I know we also do it with leather (and I for one, am very fond of my pleather jacket). I suppose the difference is, that leather jackets don’t usually look like cows.

I love the glamour & warmth of a lovely man-made fur, it can make me feel like a 50’s siren or a regal princess. However, there is something relatively ironic about choosing to wear a coat which looks as though it has been whipped off a poor animals back and placed on your own.

As a teenager I had a particularly hideous pink and black spotted fake fur skirt though, and as a result I’m not sure that a wilder colour palate is the answer. Perhaps there doesn’t need to be; the dichotomy between a beautiful but agonising pair of heels will always have staying power, even when the wearer does not.

In the same way, it would seem that due to a fur’s warmth & decadence (fake or otherwise), girls love affair with them will never die.

PPQ asks a Pretty Personal Question… Do you Fez?

I’m a highstreet girl, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take style cues from the catwalks. The last London fashion Week offered some interesting inspiration, and one particular collection has really stuck in my head…

The PPQ show was the last of the first day at this year’s LFW, so the atmosphere was buzzy, almost celebratory. Which is odd, because this cheery lot fulfilled none of my fashion stereotypes. However, that is very PPQ. It’s the gang of hipsters (what is the collective term?), cool kids and extroverts. PPQ did reinvent the skinny jean after all. Oh yes, and the celebs that were there: Paloma Faith, Jamelia, Amber Rose and out of left field, Reggie Yates.

On to the after party: there were round the block queues to get into the curiously chosen Plaza Hotel, near Waterloo. Perhaps the venue choice had something to do with the coziness of last years, however, this impersonal hotel ballroom felt more conference than concept. A crowded bar and a set by the Like, who although likeable didn’t really blow me away, didn’t do anything to overcome the limitations of the location. However, what I was pleased to see was lots of cool kids wearing H&M. Seriously. I would have expected the fashion elite, not your high street super heroes to be the clothing of choice. What I saw was lots of oversized skirts in sheer fabrics and shorts.

The high street and high fashion really aren’t so far apart…