WE spent some time with TV presenter Laura Whitmore, 32, to find out what she wears underneath her red carpet dresses and what item of clothing she would never be caught dead in.
Where: ITV Studios, London.
Laura, you always look super-stylish on the red carpet and when you dress down. How do you do it?
I kind of do because I have to! I actually wore a full-length yellow dress to the NTAs in 2013 and I had comfy biker boots underneath, but nobody could see them. I dress for my mood. It’s so eclectic but my go-to is J Brand skinny jeans with biker boots and a shirt.
Have you had any fashion faux-pas?
I wore some terrible things in the ‘90s. I went through a stage of wearing baggy pants that would drag against the ground and get ripped, with a pair of Vans and a little top. I dressed like All Saints, but not as cool!
What’s the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
A Burberry trench coat. I bought it at the airport in Australia after doing I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Now! so I think I got it cheaper. I do price per wear, so if you buy something for £1,000 and wear it 1,000 times then it only costs £1 per wear.
Is there anything you’d never wear?
I don’t wear real fur. That’s why I love my pink faux-fur jacket. I wear it with skinny jeans, a T-shirt and trainers, and then I throw it on and feel fabulous. It’s by an Irish designer called Joanne Hynes.
Who’s your fashion icon?
I really like the Olsen twins’ style. I love Kate Hudson, Kate Bosworth and Kate Moss. Anyone called Kate! And Sienna Miller.
Which men do you rate in the style stakes?
Dougie Poynter has great style and looks like he hasn’t tried too hard. I always say I won’t go out with someone who spends more time in the mirror than me. Thankfully my boyfriend [Iain Stirling, 30, comedian and the Love Island voiceover] doesn’t try at all!
Do you ever comment on Iain’s choice of clothes?
Yeah! Like, do you really want to wear that?
Do you ask for his opinion on your outfits?
I do, then I normally go for the opposite of what he’s said! He asks for my advice, while I don’t ask for his much!
The 27-year-old Scream Queens star attended Mulberry’s “Beyond Heritage” runway show at the Spencer House in London, England, on Friday, stepping out in a cobalt blue ensemble that undoubtedly turned heads.
The actress went bold for the stylish soirée, rocking a long, sophisticated blazer, which she paired with tailored shorts of the same hue. She styled the chic pieces with ankle-strap heels and a vibrant bag, keeping her beauty look simple with subtle waves and natural makeup.
Roberts sat front row for the presentation, alongside Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Mary Charteris, Amber Anderson, Emma Greenwell, Andrea Riseborough, Jourdan Dunn and Millie Brady, who all looked equally fab.
The blonde beauty later took to Instagram, sharing an artsy shot of herself all dressed up and ready for the show.
“London I love you,” she captioned it, tagging @mulberryengland.
Earlier this month, a myriad of celebrities flocked the Big Apple for New York Fashion Week, which took place between Feb. 8 and Feb. 16. Click through the slideshow below to see what stars like Cardi B, Blake Lively, Zendaya, Margot Robbie, Paris Hilton and Selena Gomez wore to the various runway shows!
London Fashion Week has gotten off to a political start thanks to Vivienne Westwood, who began the proceedings with an anti-fracking protest.
The British designer is famed for her outlandish designs that combine feminine cuts with a distinctive punk aesthetic.
Staged on the streets of Knightsbridge, the event was a direct attack on Ineos, the British petrochemicals firm which aims to develop shale gas projects in the UK, advocating controversial energy extraction techniques that may pose severe environmental threats.
Westwood took to the streets of London to stage her protest (Rex Features)
The pop-up protest quickly trended on Twitter under #IneosVthePeople and took place right outside Ineos’ headquarters on Thursday.
Partaking models and activists wore garments emblazoned with slogans such as “Fracking Climate Ineos”, with the corporation’s name written over the word “chaos”.
“Fracking is over,” Westwood’s son, Joe Corré, said at the event.
“The people in this country are not going to accept it.”
The protest was staged to mimic a runway show and featured models walking down a catwalk holding placards with anti-fracking slogans such as “Frack off Ineos”.
An injunction preventing anti-fracking campaigners from interfering with Ineos’ operations was granted to the company in 2017, something Corré and fellow protesters said they were “not frightened of”.
A spokesperson for Ineos clarified that Westwood’s protest was not unlawful in light in the injunction.
“Our injunctions prohibit unlawful acts by protesters and in no way impinge on the right to peaceful protest,” they said.
“These injunctions simply protect Ineos and our people from hard core activists who game the system and treat the law with contempt.”
Day one highlights from London Fashion Week
Westwood has long-been hailed as fashion’s poster woman for environmental activism, revealing to The Guardian in 2014 that “climate change, not fashion” was her priority.
The 76-year-old designer explained how she intended to use her public platform to promote her political values moving forward.
It was a spectacular turnout for the Fijian Fashion Festival model call in the Western Division yesterday.
Fashion Council of Fiji chairperson Faraz Ali said: “What an incredible turnout for our first Western Model Casting!
“I believe this is the largest number to ever turnout in the west for a model call, and matches our record breaking Suva casting as well (where 110 potential models showed up).
“We are truly committed to bringing fashion to the people, and that’s why we called this Western casting.
“Anyone who hasn’t been selected has been offered the opportunity to be involved in other elements of the Festival to find where they fit in the fashion ecosystem.”
Under the umbrella of the council the FijianFashion Festival is scheduled for June 1 and 2 at the Grand Pacific Hotel.
The Festival is committed to diversity in ethnicity, body shape, and gender expression.
“We are really pleased with the significant turnouts which have allowed us to select models who represent the fullness of Fiji,” Mr Ali said.
“We hope that the public will see themselves in these brave young people as they appear in our campaigns, and strut down our runway.
“Every model who goes through the Festival will leave better, stronger, more confident, and aware of their personal brand.
“Fiji has never had an event so heavily focused on personal development of youth before, and the Festival in partnership with the Fashion Council of Fiji looks forward to creating innovative, confident, and socially conscious future employees and employers. It’s all about holistic development,” Mr Ali said.
There were 68 potential models who showed up and 35 were chosen.
Xuan-Thu Nguyen hadn’t been back to Vietnam in eight years when she landed in Ho Chi Minh City for the annual Vietnam International Fashion Week last April. Xuan-Thu, a Vietnamese-born, Dutch-raised fashion designer, is based in Paris, where she’s going on her third season as an invited member of the exclusive Paris Haute Couture Week — basically a designer’s life achievement unlocked. But that global exposure still hadn’t fully prepared her for what she saw in her birthplace.
The scene in Vietnam had changed. The style, design and quality Xuan-Thu saw were more refined, international, creative and, well, just better. She remembers one dress in particular by Vietnamese-born designer Devon Nguyen, who was also raised in Europe. The dress was white and sleeveless and included surreal 3D details that surrounded the model, “like paper airplanes, flying by in a warm summer evening,” she recalls.
I SAW THE GROWTH [IN VIETNAM’S FASHION DESIGN INDUSTRY].
XUAN-THU NGUYEN, VIETNAMESE-BORN FASHION DESIGNER
When “Vietnam” and “clothes” are used in the same sentence, it usually has to do with that “Made in” tag. Vietnam’s garment and textile industry is the country’s largest source of exports and employs millions of people. But visit Vietnam’s fashion weeks, take a stroll around trendy Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City or even browse Rihanna’s Instagram and you’ll see that cool is on the country’s mind. With more designers returning from abroad to share their skills — and with new homegrown talent — Vietnam’s fashion scene is bursting at the seams. The country known traditionally for manufacturing clothes is increasingly becoming recognized for designing them. And from the avant-garde to the traditional, it’s a beautiful scene to watch.
“I saw the growth,” says Xuan-Thu.
The country really started wearing its fashion heart on its sleeve in the ’90s, says Hang Vo, a fashion design lecturer at ADS Vietnam Design Institute in Ho Chi Minh City. One of the first designers to go global was Minh Hanh, also from that city. She toured her collections — which embraced traditional Vietnamese weaving techniques and intricate patterns inspired by minority tribes — around Asia and Europe. Designers like Do Manh Cuong, who worked with Christian Dior and Dominique Sirop in France, also returned to Vietnam after studying fashion abroad and helped inspire Vietnamese not only with new designs but also with new business acumen.
An outfit by Vietnamese-born designer Devon Nguyen shown during Vietnam International Fashion Week 2017.
When Hang started out in fashion design 10 years ago, there were only four options for formal study in fashion. But last October, at the Fashionology Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, she was amazed on the final night when students from 15 fashion schools packed the venue to show off their talent. And those 15 were just the schools located in the city.
There’s plenty of inspiration to go around. The more experimental designs of Nguyen Cong Tri, the Vietnamese designer of the moment, can be too much for the average human. But they’re perfect for U.S. pop stars. Rihanna posted a photo on Instagram of her wearing one of Nguyen’s designs this year. His oversize white dress shirt looks like it has been zapped by a grow ray — ending up more dress than shirt. Rihanna’s head and wrists poke out of the huge collar and cuffs like an elegant Fievel’s. Katy Perry ordered Nguyen’s stageworthy designs for her 2017 Witnessworld tour. Hang describes Nguyen’s clothes as trendy yet glamorous and, perhaps even more important, “100 percent made in Vietnam.”
Tam Nguyen, 21, says his parents first thought he wanted to be a tailor when he began studying fashion. Now, he is about to graduate from ADS and is already selling his own clothing line in Australia. And his parents get it. With all the various fashion weeks and glossy Vietnamese magazines, Tam says, fashion design has increasingly caught on with his generation. Vietnam is especially great if the designer’s focus is traditional techniques, he says; it’s sometimes a struggle for students to get material for something more modern. For that, you’re better off being in one of Asia’s other fashion capitals like China, Japan or Thailand. But maybe not for long.
Vietnam has gone through enormous social and economic change in the past few decades, and so have people’s ideas of fashion, says Hang. As luxuries multiply, she predicts, open-minded young talents will contribute more conceptual and avant-garde collections. There are also creative nostalgic trends like “pop-art áo dài” or “minority tribe streetwear,” she says, and a new emphasis on sustainable and ethical fashion brands.
Singer Rihanna wearing Vietnamese designer Nguyễn Công Trí’s design in March 2017.
Vietnam is in some ways still finding its place on the international fashion scene. Designers are experimenting with their “heritage, methodology and ethos,” says Hang. But with high-quality craftsmanship taken from the country’s tradition of garment-making — and the boundless creativity of the younger generation — Vietnam, says Hang, is just getting started.
Meanwhile, Tam wants to work and study abroad after graduating. But after he gains some experience, he says, he’ll return home: He wants to connect generations of Vietnamese through fashion design. And besides, for fashion, Vietnam might be the place to be by then. It’s already getting there.
Finally, some clothes that make you sit up and stare.
New York Fashion Week finally came to life Tuesday evening in the shadow of the valley of — well, not death exactly. More like a post-apocalyptic prairie seen through a B-movie lens. Toto, what happened to Kansas?
Raf Simons buried it under 50,000 gallons of popcorn.
Or, to be fair, he buried the floor of the American Stock Exchange building under 50,000 gallons of popcorn, trucked in for a wackadoodle Calvin Klein show. It piled up in drifts around the weathered sides of four skeletal barns hung with blood red Sterling Ruby mop heads and papered with spectral black and white Warhol reproductions. It was crushed under the shoes of guests, so little motes of popcorn dust blew through the air. They landed on the coats and skirts and hair of Michael B. Jordan and Nicole Kidman and Millie Bobby Brown (among many other famous people), making everyone look as though they had an unfortunate case of dandruff or had wandered into a Food Channel version of nuclear winter.
Then a model in a bright orange hazmat suit and waders appeared. Let’s rephrase: Welcome to the pop-calypse.
Since he arrived at the brand that bluejeans and minimalism built, Mr. Simons, who is from Belgium, has been fixated on defining his own brand of twisted Americana, largely built on the twin pillars of Laura Ingalls Wilder and “On the Road” (the Netflix versions) — after the rot set in. This season he took it even further, with women in giant tweed coats over sweeping lawn skirts and men in sweater vests that looked more like life vests over skinny suits and shirts buttoned tight to the neck. Everyone wore knit Fair Isle balaclavas and often big firefighters’ gloves in silver foil, which also was used in false-front A-line cocktail dresses trimmed in white lace that turned into camper-blanket sheaths at the back.
Also the two-tone cowboy shirts and placket trousers that Mr. Simons has used in every collection since his Calvin debut, and skinny striped sweaters and sweaters with Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner knit in, plus apron dresses with nothing underneath, so the breasts were exposed (a strange segue into Naughty Nellie from the general store). Quilting squares were pieced onto crisp white shirts and reworked as bias-cut chiffon evening gowns. The effect was all very survivalist. Simon & Garfunkle’s “Sound of Silence” played in the background. So did “California Dreamin’ ” by The Mamas & The Papas.
It was both a reductionist view of the country’s most accessible myths and also stomach-churningly right. That’s where we are now: drowning in a sea of puffed corn kernels and empty calories, appropriating the appropriators.
You might not like it all (though it’s not hard to imagine those homespun balaclavas becoming a thing the next time the temperatures hit minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit), but it was viscerally recognizable, the way really good fashion — which is not the same thing as wearable clothes — is supposed to be.
The kind of fashion that suggests a different way of expressing how you think of yourself or your world at that moment. The kind of fashion that has been largely missing from the runways this week.
Instead it has seemed like most designers were strolling around, heads turned to the sky, la-la-la-ing and minding their own business (in every sense of that phrase) rather than pushing themselves to confront the cultural mutation occurring around them. Maybe it takes an outsider’s perspective, or gumption. It’s risky to pontificate on national identity.
Fashion often likes to talk about how it offers an escape from everyday ugliness, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with beauty for beauty’s sake. Run off to the stage! Flee into show tunes!
Michael Kors did, with a variety act set to a medley of “Raindrops on Roses” and “Respect” (and Beyoncé and “West Side Story” and Madonna and more), featuring a medley of his greatest hits. Mod tartans mixed it up with bejeweled 1950s starlet sheaths; leopard furs with striped coed sweaters; flirty slip dresses with swaddling puffer stoles; camo leathers with sunflower gowns, all with matching medley footwear (pumps and winkle-pickers and boot stompers and kitten heels).
There was something for everyone — even a KO sweatshirt (get it)? — but in a time of turmoil, such style schmaltz can seem a little empty. Confrontation often isn’t pretty, but it gets you somewhere.
It’s probably not a coincidence that Stuart Vevers, the creative director of Coach and a Brit, shares many of the same American obsessions as Mr. Simons, especially when it comes to the Badlands and biker dressing. It’s expressed differently — his men and women look like luxe hobos, loaded up with tiny prairie florals in vintage lines, rough shearlings, laces and lamés, everything dangling leather tassels and charms — but the ingredients are similar. So, this season, was the sense of dystopia.
Though instead of wading through snack food, Mr. Vevers’ models had to wend their way through a forest of denuded trees, like something out of the Brothers Grimm or “The Blair Witch Project.” Maybe that’s why the bags and knapsacks they all carried were cavernous enough to fit a large part of their worldly goods inside.
(For what it’s worth, big bags are a trend this season. They were everywhere, including at Monse, which had a top-handled carnie-striped version that also can be folded and squished under the arm. So are amped-up white shirts: See Vaquera’s dress versions, sporting portraits of its fashion forbearers, including Vivienne Westwood and Miguel Adrover, over the left breast. And wide-wale corduroy — Maria Cornejo did an especially appealing cherry red jumpsuit in her Zero Maria Cornejo line.)
But back to Coach.
“I was thinking, ‘What is our goal?’ ” Mr. Vevers said backstage before the show. Then of the people who populate his imagination: “What are they doing here? Where are they going?”
He didn’t have an answer — his Elvises just left the building — but he did have a convincing proposition for a look. We all have to start somewhere.