Fashion’s Big Cover-Up

Modest style is on the rise (as hemlines get longer and necklines become higher)…

We’ve had under-boob, side-boob and full-on flashing – thanks to Anthony Vaccarello’s nipple pasty-strewn debut for YSL – but is it time for the boob backlash? Modest dressing is on the rise; an antidote to the second-skin style of the Kardashians, perhaps, or proof that we all need a little cocooning in these fractious times.

Modest style (think long sleeves and below-the-knee hems, high necklines and opaque fabrics) has always been the defining style of the Middle East, of course, but now it’s catching on in the UK – and with an increasingly secular, fashion-forward customer.

Take Sienna Miller, who rocked a pair of short-shorts and a strappy vest with the best ofthem back in the day. Now, though, she prefers ‘do not fancy me clothes… The less flesh I can possibly show, the better,’ she told WWD.

And she’s not the only one. In February, the capital hosted the first London Modest Fashion Week at the Saatchi Gallery, where over 40 designers showed collections that were as vibrant as they were covered-up.

*The likes of Lemaire, Céline and Preen sent models in long sleeves and ankle-skimming hemlines*The likes of Lemaire, Céline and Preen sent models in long sleeves and ankle-skimming hemlines

And a new website, The Modist, aims to revolutionise ideas of modesty with its thoughtful selection of high-fashion brands. Filled with inspirational photo shoots and covetable click-to-buy designer pieces from the likes of Christopher Kane, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Marni, the site is anything but frumpy.

‘It’s a misconception that modesty is dowdy and far from fashionable,’ says CEO and founder Ghizlan Guenez, the ultimate poster woman for this movement, who explains that signing up the 70 or so designers for launch often took some educating. ‘We’ve had to share our knowledge of the woman, and of what dressing modestly looks like,’ says Guenez. ‘Many a time this changed their perceptions.’

Cannily, Guenez has avoided defining modesty too strictly, all the better to speak to more women, and she’s been overwhelmed by the positive reception. The site’s biggest market is the Middle East, but the US and UK are already second and third respectively.

‘The most gratifying thing has been the response of women from different faiths, cultures and age groups embracing The Modist. It’s a validation of our thinking that modesty transcends a particular religion or culture that is truly universal.’

As well as long sleeves and hemlines, the site showcases layered looks, which allow the wearer’s personality to shine through. London Fashion Week favourite Preen fits effortlessly into the mix.

‘Clients have always found our style to be flattering, and enabled them to layer pieces regardless of body type and modesty. Our shapes have an effortless style that works so well in this market,’ say the designer duo.

As UKIP announced a burka ban that demonstrates just how much ignorance remains about modest dress, Guenez should be applauded for moving the conversation on with style.



The final thread — the importance of fashion

I was first introduced to the glitz and glamour of the fashion world as an impressionable little fourth-grader. My mom and I came across a fashion show on TV, and I remember being absolutely mesmerized by the flock of leggy models strutting down the runway in the highest of heels, beautifully made up and wearing clothing reminiscent of art. That’s when I realized that working in fashion could be a real job, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that wondrous world.

I went from naively wanting to be a designer — despite not knowing how to sew and definitely not having the patience to learn — and then to a stylist, but neither was right for me. So, I combined my love of fashion with my strong writing skills — thanks to my writer and English teacher of a father — and eventually decided on a career in fashion journalism. It was the only thing I was good at, so I dove right in.

For years, I’ve had people eagerly ask me what I aspired to do after college, and I’ve watched most of them lose interest or fail to take me seriously after uttering the F-word. There’s this stigma that surrounds the fashion industry that the work they do is menial. But what many fail to realize is that we’re engaging in the art of fashion with the clothes we put on every single day. We can deny it all we want, but first impressions matter, and fashion plays a main role in how we’re perceived.

In case you’re in need of further convincing, take this into account: fashion is business. It provides employment in our country and around the world, from garment workers to marketers, skilled artisans to models and journalists, like myself. The fashion industry makes our economy run.

Not all of us are in tune with the right side of our brain — the side that compels some to go on to be brain surgeons and engineers. Some of us need a more creative outlet, and fashion is a form of art that can help us express ourselves and make our world more beautiful. Just because creating a new line of clothing isn’t as crucial as curing cancer, it doesn’t mean fashion doesn’t take skill and hard work.

Fashion has helped me discover my identity as a feminist. The more I exposed myself to the industry, the more I learned about its flaws. There’s an obvious lack of diversity in the various facets of the industry, not to mention the cultural appropriation, body-shaming and unrealistic standards of beauty that run rampant to its core. None of this ever sat well with me, and it made me want to use my power and abilities as a writer to advocate for positivity and inclusion of all races, ethnicities, religions, genders, body types and so forth in an area that’s so significant to me.

For me, fashion has always been about empowerment. Wearing stylish, well-made clothes makes me feel good. It makes me feel like people can understand even the smallest part of me, and it gives me the confidence to take on whatever challenges life throws my way on a daily basis.

So before you go and criticize what I choose to invest my time and energy toward, think back to a time when an outfit you put on made you feel genuinely fierce. So many minds went into the creation and production of that outfit that need to be acknowledged.

Meryl Streep’s The Devil Wears Prada character Miranda Priestly summed it up best: “You think this has nothing to do with you,” she said. “You go to your closet and you select that lumpy, blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back…However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and it’s sort of comical how you think you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room.”

As for writing, it’s something that fills my whole being with a sense of purpose. Thank you to everyone, whether it was one reader or 100, for allowing me to indulge you in my very own fashion obsessions — many of which were Beyoncé-related. Thank you for letting me tell your stories and my own for the past three years. And thank you to The Breeze for providing me with numerous opportunities that helped me flourish as a writer and explore my passions. Rest assured, my career in fashion journalism is just getting started. I’ll never stop counting the thread.

Met Gala honours Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo

The stars of the entertainment and fashion worlds are descending on New York for the annual Met Gala.

Each year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art ball – the biggest night of New York’s social calendar – has a different costume theme, and this time round, will be honouring Japanese fashion legend Rei Kawakubo.

The fundraising gala kicks off a special exhibition on the avant-garde designer at the museum.

Ultimate renegade’

The reclusive 74-year old is known for pushing boundaries, blurring the lines between art and fashion. With her Comme des Garcons label, she has over the past decades built a global fashion empire.

Celebrated in the fashion press, Kawakubo is described as a “trailblazer” by Harper’s Bazaar or “the ultimate renegade designer” by GQ, making audiences “question everything they know about conventional clothes”.

“Rei Kawakubo was part of a movement of Japanese designers in the late 1980s where they subverted everything that was popular in fashion,” Sharon Lim, former editor of Elle Asia, told the BBC.

“Japanese designers at the time were famous for not glorifying the human form – they were kind of punk because they destroyed any notions of the traditional female form.”

With a reputation of breaking with tradition and convention, Rei Kawakubo is considered by many to be more of an artist than a designer – a distinction that she herself, though, has described as “immaterial”.

“What I’ve only ever been interested in are clothes that one has never seen before, that are completely new, and how in what way they can be expressed,” she says in the notes to the Met exhibition.

“Is that called fashion? I don’t know the answer.”

Defying convention

The exhibition, titled Art of the In-Between, will open on 4 May and sets out to show Kawakubo’s “ability to challenge conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability”.

According to exhibition curator Andrew Bolton, “she has influenced a whole generation, not only of designers but also artists and architects through her practice”.

“She forces you to rethink notions of beauty, notions of the body, notions of fashion, notions of wearability – breaking down these barriers by creating hybrid identities.”

As with many haute couture creations, Ms Kawakubo’s designs often stray so far from conventional fashion concepts that they’d be hard to imagine in a setting other than a fashion show runway.

But by building her company as a multi-tier brand, she has managed to have both a runway collection and also several other in-house brands to cover a wider range of designs and price levels.

The outsider perspective

Kawakubo’s rise to the top of the fashion avant-garde has been an unusual one, starting out in Japan far from the limelight of the global fashion capital Paris.

Rather than training in fashion or design, she studied fine arts and the history of aesthetics in both Asian and Western art.

Moving into fashion and design as an outsider, she founded Comme des Garcons in the early 1970s in Japan.

After she began to be featured in French fashion shows, she expanded to Paris and eventually worldwide.

Proving herself to be not just a designer but also a savvy businesswoman, she turned her firm into a global fashion empire. Recently, she has also launched the upscale global retail chain Dover Street Market.

Herself a rather reclusive figure, she rarely gives interviews and tries to avoid public attention.

Fashion or art?

The exhibition of her work is the Met’s first exhibition of a living fashion designer for more than 30 years.

According to Bolton, the last one – a 1983 retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent – was criticised for what people saw as commercialism not fit for the hallowed halls of an arts museum.

Over time though, he says in the exhibition catalogue, “the status of fashion has changed, both in the art world and within the museum”.

Sharon Lim agrees that Kawakubo’s work can be seen as art, describing it as “architectural, with an incredible technique when it comes to silhouettes, draping and fit”.

“She also tends to keep taking apart traditional notions of fashion,” Ms Lim explains. “It takes a while to understand what she does and very often what she presents is very ugly – but in a strange way there is an allure to her clothing.”

Future Had to Be Persuaded to Wear His Met Gala Look

Future preparing for the Met Gala on Monday in a suite at the Carlyle Hotel. Credit Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

You see a lot while waiting for Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, a.k.a. Future, at the Carlyle Hotel on the first Monday of May. You see, for example, Mel Ottenberg, Rihanna’s longtime collaborator, carrying in bags to the singer’s suite to complete her Comme des Garçons look. You see Jenna Lyons, the former J. Crew creative director, in the lobby checking in. And you see Jennifer Connelly stepping out of a car in a short Louis Vuitton frock while photographers lining the entrance yell her name.

You see all of this because this isn’t just any Monday in May. It’s the day of the Met Gala. And the Carlyle is the epicenter of preparations for the fashion industry’s elite. In that context, Future’s room is pretty much a microcosm of the action taking place all over the hotel.

Future getting help with the bow tie for his organic silk shirt. Bobby Wesley Williams, his stylist, right, persuaded him to wear an H&M suit. Credit Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

“Bobby picked it; he had to convince me to wear it,” Future said of the H&M suit he was planning to wear to the ball (“Bobby” being his stylist, Bobby Wesley Williams, who was tying a bow on his organic silk shirt). “I feel good about it, I feel great about it,” Future continued. Simon Hallin, a developer from H&M’s design team who had flown in from Sweden, reached over to help him pin down the bow.

This would be the third time Future was attending the Met Gala. Last year, he wore a custom Ermenegildo Zegna suit, and in 2014, he wore a Calvin Klein suit by Italo Zucchelli, with whom he attended the event. This year, to pay homage to Rei Kawakubo, who was being honored, he chose a black tailcoat jacket embellished with a black skull and Swarovski crystal heart that was inspired by the Japanese designer. “I feel like it’s more artistic, more dramatic,” Future said of his look this year.

Mr. Williams, while keeping his eye on the fitting, said: “I knew he wouldn’t want to be in a traditional-type suit. It’s mellow, cool and super-edgy. Taking more chances.”

His black tailcoat jacket was embellished with a black skull and Swarovski crystal heart inspired by the night’s honoree, Rei Kawakubo. Credit Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

“Is this bow tie supposed to be off?” Future asked while carefully inspecting the alignment of the shirt’s tie in the mirror. Mr. Williams replied, “You know, with your earrings, it’s more rock star.” From the rapper’s ear hung a safety-pin earring from Enfants Riches Déprimés. “He’s from Atlanta; that’s my boy,” Future said of the brand’s designer, Henry Levy. Mr. Hallin was still thinking about the bow. “It’s sustainable as well,” he chimed in.

Future, who is known for his outré style and accessories, added a pair of gold Bottega Veneta glasses to complete his look. He has 150 to 200 pairs of sunglasses, Mr. Williams guessed. The rapper would describe his look as “versatile,” and when asked, he could rattle off his favorite designers without missing a beat: “Saint Laurent jeans, Balmain jeans, Chanel … Chanel is my favorite. Tom Ford, Linda Farrow shades, Valentino, Loewe, Stella McCartney, Dior, Bottega.” He’s particularly into Gucci socks right now, too, though he thinks the brand may be becoming “too trendy” for him.

“It’s always a fashion-forward event of what’s to come,” Future said of Vogue’s annual gala. “That’s why you go to fashion shows; it’s all about setting a trend. So that’s what the Met Gala is great for.” And setting a trend is very important to Future. “My style is always evolving because I’m always getting inspired,” he said. “You evolve with time. It’s like a process when it comes to fashion.” To help, Mr. Williams scours Pinterest in his free time researching up-and-coming labels like Martine Rose, Amiri and Fear of God.

An array of eye wear from which to choose. Credit Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

So what if Future could choose the theme of the Met Gala for next year? “I would want to see vintage style, like ’70s-style vintage,” he said.

The time was creeping very near to 5:30 p.m., and Future still had to make his way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he would show up arm in arm with the model Jourdan Dunn, whose dress was also H&M. “The girls, they take forever,” he said. He picked up a glass of white wine before heading out.

“They just need to get drunk before they go, that’s my advice,” he said of how he would describe the Met Gala to someone who has never been there. “Be there but don’t be there.”

Reviewing the Met Gala: The Good, the Avant-Garde, the Absurd

Rihanna in Comme des Garçons. Credit Lucas Jackson/Reuters

What does it mean, as the invitation requested, to dress “Avant-Garde”?

This was the question on Monday night at the Met Gala, the annual fund-raising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and the answer was always going to be a doozy. On the one hand, the term avant-garde implies all sorts of things: pushing boundaries, breaking rules, going where no one else has gone before. On the other, the gala, one of the most-watched, celebrity-packed red carpet events of the year, has come to imply a lot of other things, chief among them major fashion-brand marketing moments (you know: put movie star in dress, have movie star identify dress, send picture round the world). These are not necessarily compatible imperatives.

Caroline Kennedy, former United States ambassador to Japan and an honorary chairwoman of the 2017 Met Gala, in Comme des Garçons. She was accompanied by her son, Jack Schlossberg. Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

How to reconcile the two was the challenge. Especially because the obvious move — wear clothes from Comme des Garçons, the brand being celebrated at the event, the subject of the exhibition the party was honoring, and the inspiration for the dress code itself — seemed largely off the table. Though whether that was because the truly avant-garde nature of the work of Rei Kawakubo, the brand’s founder and designer, was simply too scary for most people-page regulars, or because CdG does not pay celebrities to wear its clothes, and has no official “face” or “ambassadors,” was unclear.

There were, for sure, some brave souls: Pharrell Williams, an event co-chairman, in ripped jeans, “Rei” inked on the knee, plaid shirt and motorcycle jacket; his wife, Helen Lasichanh, in a red jumpsuit that flattened and haloed the body and had no armholes; Michèle Lamy, the partner of the designer Rick Owens, in snaking red and pink vinyl waves; and Rihanna, swallowed up in a boa constrictor of chintz ruffles, femininity on the rampage. In CdG, all.

Kendall Jenner in La Perla Couture. Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Also Tracee Ellis Ross in a terrific sapphire swaddling CdG coat dress that skewed her proportions in an elegantly off-center way and — best of all — Caroline Kennedy, the former ambassador to Japan, in steroid-stoked floral tiers that put paid to the idea that CdG was unwearable. If she could do it, well, what was everyone else doing?

Paying homage (or playing it safe — but that’s another story). Which is to say, taking bits and pieces from the CdG oeuvre and attempting to make them their own. The exhibition itself is titled “The Art of the In-Between,” and the ethos of the evening seemed to be “In Between Rei and [insert brand name here].” The results ranged from the interesting to the pretty silly to the eye-rollingly banal.

Bella Hadid in Alexander Wang. Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid seemed, for example, to have taken inspiration from Ms. Kawakubo’s statement in 2013 that she had decided to stop making clothes for her runway collections (she was making “objects for the body”) and decided that they, too, would stop wearing clothes; they would wear underwear!

So Ms. Jenner was in a La Perla crystal mesh scrim-like gown atop a body thong with a giant slash cut down the front, and Ms. Hadid was in an Alexander Wang crystal mesh catsuit. Nicki Minaj wore H & M satin hot pants beneath a flowing cape-dress of sparkling red and black, and Hailee Steinfeld wore a Vera Wang version of the same look, both open in the front to show the legs.

Nicki Minaj in H&M. Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Because really, who needs a dress, when you can have the idea of a dress? Not Kylie Jenner, in floral-and-tinsel-strewn see-through Versace, or Halle Berry, also in Versace, with black and white feathers sprouting from the train. Though, pointedly, that former proponent of the naked look, Jennifer Lopez, was demure in powder blue Valentino. Ditto Kim Kardashian West in baptismal white Vivienne Westwood that showed — shock! — her shoulders. Sometimes what’s really startling is upending expectations.

Katy Perry in Maison Margiela. Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Still, red, apparently in reference to Ms. Kawakubo’s “Roses and Blood” collection of 2014, was the color of the evening, on everyone from Katy Perry, an event co-chairwoman, who wore a sparkling, skeletonized Maison Margiela Artisanal red trench under a floor-length red veil decorated with a variety of doodads; to Emma Roberts, in a simple Diane von Furstenberg sheath dress; Ashley Graham in ruffled and corseted H & M; and Rami Malek in a crimson Dior Homme tux. And the yin and yang of shredding and exaggeration were the design strategies.

Jaden Smith in Louis Vuitton. Credit Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

See, for example, Kerry Washington in patchworked silver-and-black Michael Kors, the edges not quite lined up; Celine Dion in a cut-and-paste Versace ball gown/T-shirt; and Claire Danes in a rent-and-ruffled Monse pirate shirt, the asymmetric train framing her skinny black trousers (There were a lot of trousers, though my favorite was Evan Rachel Wood’s Altuzarra midnight-sky slip-dress/cigarette pant combo). See Janelle Monáe frothing and foaming at the skirt in Ralph & Russo, and Gigi Hadid in a half-samurai, half-boudoir Tommy Hilfiger number that got compared, on social media, to bad sushi.

Priyanka Chopra in Ralph Lauren. Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Less obvious, and better for it, were Jaden Smith in simple black Louis Vuitton clutching his cutoff dreadlocks as an accessory (really), and Priyanka Chopra in a classic Ralph Lauren trench coatdress — with a witchy collar and a swirling, stair-sweeping train. Both played to tradition and entirely undermined it. Which is to say, they managed to enter into the spirit of the evening while also maintaining a certain elegant integrity.

It’s not an easy balance to achieve. Little wonder that many guests threw up their hands and chose to go with a theme of a different kind: Elle Fanning channeling “Frozen” in a strapless empire-waisted ice-blue princess Miu Miu; Zendaya in a Tropicana fantasy ball gown from Dolce & Gabbana; Katie Holmes in a ye olde Hollywood Zac Posen fishtail; Dakota Johnson in sexy Victorian-governess Gucci; and Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen in outfits that looked like they had been sourced from the costume department of “Game of Thrones.” That’s breaking the rules in a way, I guess.

Though perhaps ultimately the most avant-garde of all the approaches was the one evinced by both Anna Wintour, a co-chairwoman of the event, and Ms. Kawakubo herself: Ignore the dress code entirely. Ignore even the idea of a dress code.

Zendaya wearing Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda. Credit Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Instead, Ms. Wintour chose Chanel, as she has done at every Met Gala in recent memory (this time a sparkle-encrusted T-shirt gown with a swath of fur at the knee giving way to lighter underskirt). Ms. Kawakubo chose a white jacket and black skirt, a simple variation on her usual uniform — with sneakers. It’s their party, and they’ll wear what they want to.

Is Fashion Experiencing Its Own PC Backlash?

Is Fashion Experiencing Its Own PC Backlash?

Three days ago, when Stefano Gabbana (of Dolce & Gabbana) posted an illustration by the artist Jumpei Kawamura of a hand holding a Fall ’17 Dolce & Gabbana runway shoe on Instagram, the comments were largely positive. The sneaker is an on-trend white low-top with studs around the laces and heel, decorated with hand-drawn embellishments that recall a middle school student’s doodles. “Love you more,” it says in girly script around the ankle. And beneath that, a self-affirmation in all-blue capital letters: “I’m thin and gorgeous.”

The choice of words ruffled a few feathers. “You don’t think it’s a little unresponsible [sic] to push a message of “Thin and Gorgeous?” one follower wrote. Others agreed. Cut to stories over the past few days inFootwear News, Yahoo Style and Refinery 29, about the way Dolce & Gabbana has offended some fans by using its design to equate a slender body with beauty.

Meanwhile, in a separate corner of the internet (read: Twitter) another product was eliciting strong reactions, ranging from derision to outrage. On Tuesday, a pair of $425 Prps jeans, for sale on, started trending on social media. The issue? They’re covered in stains that look like mud, to give them “a coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty,” according to the department store’s product description.

You would think, in this age of public skewering, that designers and department stores alike would adapt and start anticipating the potential ways their products might offend people. After all, who wants to sell a shoe that might encourage eating disorders (as one expert suggested in an article about the Dolce & Gabbana sneakers on Yahoo Style) or a pair of pants that underscores the country’s “war on work” (as Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, wrote on his Facebook page).

Probably no one. But the questionable designs keep rolling in, like the $495 pre-distressed Golden Goose sneakers that critics compared to the notoriously offensive runway collection “Derelicte” in Zoolander, Ben Stiller’s 2001 parody of the fashion industry. And just this past week, the internet looked on with a collective sense of gleeful indignation as a $2145 Balenciaga tote drew comparisons to the well-known $0.99 blue bag sold at Ikea.

Why does this keep happening? If the old adage is true, and all publicity is good publicity, then it certainly can be argued that brands benefit from social media outrage. The cynical view is available, that designers release controversial designs hoping for the kind of no-holds-barred press that money just can’t buy.

But I’m wondering if there isn’t something else at play. In response to the debate surrounding his shoe, Stefano Gabbana did something unusual and addressed it directly – and aggressively. He posted a screencap of theFootwear News article on his Instagram, with this caption: “When idiocy distorts reality…next time we’ll write LOVE TO BE FAT AND FULL OF CHOLESTEROL…the most stupid post ever.”

His response is telling. Nobody wants to be muzzled. And in the fashion world, which has long been accused of spreading unrealistic, irresponsible messages about bodies and race and weight and money, it’s notable to see a fixture like Gabbana fight back and say no, we’re not sorry, in fact, thin isbeautiful, we meant it.

PC fatigue is real. It’s a common argument that it got President Trump elected. Fashion has spent a lot of time apologizing for itself, and there’s a real possibility that among the ranks, designers like Gabbana are tired of it – tired of answering to critics who want hold them accountable for the messages that their business conveys.

With this in mind, I’m starting to believe that the person who designs a pair of $425 mud covered jeans, or a $2145 Ikea bag, is doing it with a sense of mischief. Then, the real question becomes the intention behind it. Are designers standing up for their right to be irreverent? Or are they just having fun watching us squirm?

In the closet with model and TV presenter Vogue Williams

THE TV host mixes outdoorsy style with designer chic.

THE TV host mixes outdoorsy style with designer chic.

Vogue likes Australian clothes, such as this white dress by C/Meo Collective at Very Exclusive. She wears it here with a pink-fur Joanne Hynes jacket and silver Superga trainers

The fitness fanatic teams a grey Regatta zip-up top and pink jacket with crop top and black leggings, both from gym brand Varley

“Black always looks cool,” says Vogue, who teams leather J Brand trousers with an AQ/AQ top. Her heels are Louboutin

Vogue, 31, is a model, TV presenter and DJ. In 2015 she was crowned the winner of Bear Grylls: Mission Survive and has hosted BBC Northern Ireland travel show Getaways and the documentary series Vogue Williams Investigates. Originally from Ireland, she now lives in east London.

How would you describe your style? My style always depends on my mood. Some days I can dress really girlie and other days I’ll be more androgynous. I don’t like loads of glitz and glam, though. I like to keep it more simple and stylish.

What colours and shapes suit you best? Black, white and grey mostly but I like pastels for summer. Black is just such an easy colour to wear and always looks cool and slick. I like my jeans fitted but I wear quite baggy tops and slouchy jackets.

What is your favourite fashion era?

It’s hard to choose one because fashion is so cyclical. My mum, back in the 80s, was incredibly stylish – quite bohemian – and I love her clothes from then. I wish she’d saved some of them.

Who is your style icon? Kate Bosworth and Diane Kruger are so chic and well put together, I would quite happily steal their wardrobes. I like Olivia Palermo, too. She’s a bit girlie for me but I love what she wears.

Do you own more high street or high end? Definitely a mix of the two. I love high-street shops – they cater for how easily fashions come and go.

What are your favourite high-street stores? I love H&M, especially their Studio line, River Island and Zara. I’ve really got into Very Exclusive recently. It’s the more affordable end of designer and I always find things I want on their website. They do amazing sales, too.

If money was no object, what designer clothing would you buy? Maison Margiela, Gucci, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Céline. I’d love to be dressed head to toe in Céline all the time. I love some of the Australian designers like Zimmermann, Bec & Bridge and Maurie & Eve, too.

You are the face of outdoor clothing brand Regatta. What do you love about the range? Regatta is not only stylish but really good quality and not overly expensive. You can get a good-quality jacket for about £50, so it’s really accessible.

And their clothes really last. I’ve had one of their jackets for three years and it’s still in great condition. I’ve always been really into fitness and wear gym gear most days.

What is your favourite piece from the Regatta SS17 collection? The raincoat. I had it in yellow, then my sister stole it from me, so I got another yellow one and also a red version – then my sister pinched the red one, too.

Do you own anything vintage? A few things, some coats and things my mum has given me, but I’m quite a lazy shopper. My mum can spend hours in TK Maxx, but I don’t have the patience, and it’s the same with vintage. Also, because I’m tall, vintage clothing doesn’t really fit me.

What is the oldest item in your wardrobe? My granny’s fur coat. I don’t wear fur anymore as I don’t want to promote it, but the coat has got sentimental value.

Are you a hoarder or do you clear out your wardrobe regularly? I have so many clothes. The more I get rid of, the more I buy. I do have big clear-outs, as I think it’s good for the mind, but I struggle to get rid of coats.

I have an obsession with coats and trainers.


“This Marc Jacobs jacket is my current favourite,” says Vogue. “It’s big and baggy and has a bit of colour on it”

Vogue’s favourite perfume is Terre d’Hermès, seen here with two Aspinal handbags

This quirky top is by the Irish designer, Joanne Hynes

The presenter has more than 200 pairs of trainers. These are by Superga, Adidas and Reebok

“I just love shoes,” confesses the radio host. Her blue heels are by Christian Louboutin, the fluffy sliders are from Zara and she bought the leopard-print slip-ons from River Island

Vogue picked up her Just Cavalli and Needle & Thread bomber jackets at Very Exclusive

How many pairs of shoes do you own? About 200 pairs of trainers alone, possibly more. My logic is the more pairs you have, the less time you spend in each, so they last longer. After damaging my knee earlier in the year they were all I could wear. I’ve a lot of heels, too. I just love shoes.

What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe? Probably an Alexander McQueen or a Louis Vuitton handbag. I tell myself they last forever, although my friend’s dog chewed the sides off the Vuitton one.

How much do you spend on clothes each month? I buy something every month, for sure, although I have been known to put myself on shopping bans if I go too crazy. Now I’m about buying more expensive pieces, although fewer of them.

What is your best beauty secret? I swear by good facials.

I’ll get one at least once a month.I get a Collagen Wave facial at a salon in Notting Hill, and the Renaissance Laser and Skin Clinic in Dublin has totally transformed my skin. I think it’s so important to look after your skin.

What is the best piece of fashion advice you have ever been given? Make sure things fit well and don’t try to fit into a size you’re not.