Is Sugar The New Black?

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It began, as it almost always does these days, with Miuccia Prada. In the past, it has been heels in the form of vintage American sports cars, or perhaps dresses synthesising with mural art. This Autumn Winter however, it was the turn of a Wes Andersonian, saccharine-hued, girlish maximalism to set fashion editors alight with joy and bemused outsiders aghast. The cartoonish theme of the Prada Autumn/Winter 2015 collection was writ large (in bubble-writing, no doubt) upon unnervingly immaculate trouser suits, sweeping ponytails that would put Penelope Pitstop to shame, and Mary Janes on acid.

With a venue painted mint and a spread of pastel treats to set the scene, fashion’s dress-up box was well and truly plundered for this show of floral embellishment and elbow-length gloves. It wasn’t just Prada that favoured the pink lip shimmer over kohl black liner for this winter either: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Erdem, Giambittista Valli, and Fendi, to name just a few, also hopped on the pumpkin carriage.

It may seem strange for me to champion Ms. Prada’s syrupy collection just days after pronouncing my love of all things Hedi Slimane, but therein lies the beauty of fashion: while I live for sulky black and white photography and leather from head to toe, I’m also a confident believer in the power of pastel. After all, a woman in a pink pantsuit and kitten heel is merely a woman in a biker jacket and six-inch suede stilettos, but in a different mood.

The maximalist princess did not therefore, sound a death knell for black (will anything?) On the contrary, Ricardo Tisci, Marc Jacobs and Sarah Burton’s Goth girls prowled the catwalks to just as much critical adulation; Prada’s hyper-girlish line merely offered a sugar-coated alternative.

And what a delightful alternative it was. I, though partial to black, tend to ignore the colour when dressing for an event, because I find that an LBD will most probably fade dully into the crowd (I’ll make exceptions for a good tuxedo.) Instead, I opt for something a little more…well, a little more Prada AW15.

During a long and extremely unfruitful shopping trip in which black dress after black dress smiled weakly up at us, my friend Kirsty and I were delighted upon entering French Connection. There, shining in the doorway like a beacon of light, was an ombre pink sequin dress. I knew from that very moment that it was my graduation dress, and I wore it with sparkly pride on stage to collect my degree. It did feel extremely gratifying to indulge every girlish fantasy whilst picking up a certificate of higher education – rather like when Elle Woods arrives at Harvard in Legally Blonde.

And yet, for the post-ceremony celebratory lunch, what was it that I opted to wear as a coverup? Why, a heavy black biker jacket, of course.

Buy the dress here

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A Day With Karen Millen

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After a chock-a-block third year and deliriously fun summer, I’m finally back on the event scene with my blog…and I couldn’t be happier. Today I made a visit to the new Karen Millen store in the Trafford Centre, followed by a hedonistic lunch at Hawksmoor.

I admit that I don’t own a piece by the designer, though that is largely due to the fact that I’ve been in full student mode for the last three years, making Karen Millen’s higher-priced, workwear focused fashion rather out of reach. Perhaps after my move to London, a visit will be on the cards.

The AW15 stock is dominated by a fabulously sleek aesthetic that combines the modernity of the contemporary woman with the sexy flippancy of the seventies muse, who is sticking around after an enormously popular summer.

Luxurious suede is a highlight of the collection, with the butter-soft and deliciously impractical fabric making sienna and forest-hued appearances on knee-high stiletto boots, fitted biker jackets and slouchy, gold-hardware heavy bags.

Elsewhere, there were several workwear-appropriate dresses that had me looking forward to my first London pay-packet. Primarily cut in a sixties-esque mini, the best dresses took inspiration from the ephemeral trench coat with lapelled detailing and cinched waists.

The star of the show though, was the forest green satin trench coat. Each and every blogger/journalist approached it with reverence: that royal colour combined with the luxury of the satin and the perfection of the cut made for a really exquisite piece of outwear.

After out Trafford Centre store tour, we were treated to a truly phenomenal lunch at Deansgate’s steakhouse Hawksmoor – already exceptionally popular in London, my expectations were high. As a genuinely harsh critic when it comes to steak, I was extremely impressed: we were able to try the chateaubriand and porterhouse cuts, both of which (done medium-rare) make Hawksmoor one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten steak.

A big thank you to the Karen Millen team for a wonderful day!

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