So the cool kids of the fashion world have shown their stuff at New York Fashion Week and a few key trends have emerged. Keep in mind when buying now, whats going to be hot next year.
1. All White
2. Sheer, delicate fabrics
3. Get conservative
Hello high necklines! Goodbye upper arms! Ready-to-wear got decidedly conservative at NYFW this year. Maybe it's the economy, maybe it's insecurity, maybe everyone has just had too much of the Kardashians and not enough Kate Middleton, but whatever has caused it, it's a win for workers. Staying on-trend and professional has never been easier.
4. The Digital Age continues
6. Behold the blazer
They were everywhere! (score for the corporate fashion blogger) Get amongst it with coloured, detailed blazers that are heavily tailored to the female figure - none of this boyfriend rubbish in 2013. The new style, as we saw on the runways last week is the blazer as a uniquely feminine piece - often paired with a dress or skirt in midi-length, often very tailored and often decoratively embellished. Always strong, and always wearable.
This was the real win for corporate women this NYFW.
7. Go mono
8. Going pant-less
It happened. Not generally advisable for the corporate wardrobe but hey, for those willing to test the bounds of the office "casual friday" policy...
So the Vogue Fashion's Night Out hits Sydney tomorrow from 5pm. It's the third incarnation of the now annual shopping extravaganza and it seems to just keep getting bigger. Nearly every shop in town is hosting some type of "event" although there is considerable range in there quality of events on offer. For us mere mortals with only 5 hours to shop, sip and soak up the glossy atmosphere, how to prioritise? Which are the events that are REALLY worth attending, and when? Never fear, in an attempt to sort the wheat from the chaff, the silk from the polyester, I present my guide to the best of VFNO Sydney!
1 - Get your game plan sorted
Generally speaking there are three types of benefit on offer to shoppers at this year's VFNO: the blanket discount (10%/20% off all stock etc) the gift with purchase (eg. spend over $200 and receive a free $50 gift card) and the party (free cupcakes/giftbags/photoshoot/manicure/DJs etc). If there is a particular item you have been eyeing off for a while, it is well worth checking out what that store is doing - if you can pick up a 15% discount on an item you were already going to buy it is definitely worth dropping in on Thursday night. However, if half of Sydney are going to be crammed into that postage stamp boutique, it might not be the best time for an extended fitting.
If, like me, you haven't got much of an agenda, it is essential to determine who is doing the best freebies. Read on.
2 - Get in early
So, a number of places are doing special things for the first few shoppers in the door/who make a purchase. He's my pick of the places to head early to maximise your goody bag action:
The strategic celebrity appearance is also a big thing at this year's VFNO. If you have had your fill of goody-bag grabbing and are ready to chill out and soak up the atmosphere, head to these places to enjoy some sweet beats:
As well as the myriad little treats, there are also some serious prizes up for grabs this year. A lot of them involve liking various products and brands on facebook, so make sure your phone is on hand and fully charged!
Limited edition is always a big thing in fashion, so naturally it is huge thing on Fashion's Night Out. For those who love a little exclusivity, the following items will only be available for purchase on Thursday night (and then in the bargain bins on Friday… lol, jokes… they wouldn't do that, would they?!).
Ballet fans head directly to Sambag, who are releasing a limited edition swan lake collection to celebrate 50 years of the Australian Ballet - and there will be canapes and other good things too:http://www.vogue.com.au/fno/retailers/sambag,87
Fashion is, and always should be primarily about having fun. No matter if it's on sale or not, no matter if you get a gift with purchase or not, no matter if it is exclusive or not, if you see something you love, that’s fits you and makes you feel great - buy it. It's as simple as that. Worry about the credit card bill later, or at least that's what I predict Louboutain's fortune reader will tell you...
The rule here is simple - just wear it. Sure it will ladder, it will catch, but that's why you have a spare. The occasional summer scorcher excepted, pantyhose should be an everyday item. As a professional, it is just the classy thing to do. If it's good enough for Kate Middleton, it's good enough for you.
And if that is not enough, it pulls in your tummy and means you can go an extra day without shaving. Win.
A good pair of pantyhose can be worth spending a little bit of money, especially if u find a pair that consistently work for you. I love Jonathan Aston personally, all the tights I have bought from his range have always been excellent quality, excellent fit.
Myer and David Jones both frequently have blanket 25-30% discounts on hosiery so it's worth finding a pair you like and stocking up (oh yes I did go there...) while they're cheap.
However, I have one disclaimer: be VERY careful about wearing pantyhose with open-toed shoes. Sure, if you are sporting a pair of Chloe sandals with a chunk knit sock, the look is obvious, and pretty cool. But don't rely on your employer thinking the same. As a general rule, with sheer or skin-tone pantyhose, never expose your toe.
But as an exception, if you have a fresh pedicure and a great pair of peep-toe heels to show off, perhaps try a pair of No Toe pantyhose...
When it comes to a pair to keep in your desk as a backup, the supermarket brands do just as good a job. I like to buy my tights in just a shade more tanned than I actually am... helps avoid feeling like an albino in the depths of winter!
I say: do it. As long as they are worn to work rather than at work you are fine. And when it is raining as heavily as it was today, no one wants to risk ruining a Louboutin on the commute now, do they?
Besides, waving your hosiery under the hand dryer in the ladies is just so last season.
As for which wellies to wear, for me there is no question...
Sadly we can't all have a crocodile-skin birkin to tote our essential files around town, but there are a few slightly more attainable options that will do you just as well. (ok, maybe not just as well, but they are a good place to start)
Prada's Galleria bag sure has been a hit in the city. It seems I can't dash across George Street for my mid-afternoon sugar fix without running into a corporate lady wielding one of these beauties. Of course it comes in just about every colour and size imaginable, which means that at least a half-day should be allotted to choosing the right one for you. A half-day in Prada, what a chore!
I must confess, my personal favourite is the Bayswater. It is a classic, no question, and will happily fit your ipad, makeup bag, spare cardigan, foldable umbrella, and even a few important documents if you so desire. Again, there are enough different leather and colour combinations to keep you occupied for at least a few online hours. Mulberry also issue a few new variations on this classic seasonally, so if you are looking for a bag that is uniquely yours, this might be a good place to start.
The new contender from Mulberry is the much-anticipated Del Ray. While I have only seen one example on the streets of Sydney (and on the arm of my housemate, no less!) the twitterverse has been abuzz ever since the bag was announced during London fashion week earlier this year. Combining the luxe of this blue-blood leathergoods specialist with the hot-right-now star power of Ms DR, it seems certain that this will become the it bag of 2012. Sure, it won't fit a lever-arch file, or probably even an ipad, but all you really buy it for are the jealous oohs and aahs of other office fashionistas, right? Besides, you never take work home with you anyway, right? As for what will become of last year's Alexa, we must wait and see. But for those ladies who are inclined to be the first in the office to carry the hot new thing, order it now, it's available on mytheresa if not in stores.
Sydney's perennial favourite seems to be Louis V's Neverfull. The jury is still out as to whether the damier or the monogram is more chic, but let's face it - neither is particularly subtle. If you are going to carry this bag you really have to own the look and in this regard I tend to prefer the monogram. But really - you're the one buying it, do what you want.
This bag is perfect for that "sure I carry around my trainers and gym towel in Louis Vuitton" casual chic look. It's big, it's practical, and it's perfect for those of you who, like me, often find yourself running out of room in a conventional-sized handbag. But it doesn't quite cut it in the boardroom. Then again, if you live in a cubicle or leave your bag in a locker, this might be just the thing to add a bit of bling to your working day.
and of course its always handy to take on your yacht
An honourable mention also goes to Vuitton's alma bag. The classic elegance of this silhouette makes this a true investment buy. It will look as chic on the arm of a 60-something as it does on a 20-something, possibly more so. As with all LVs, there are a range of leathers available - all customisable. I love the epi leather or a glossy patent. Buy it in black - I doubt that's going out of fashion any time soon.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the big bag shop next week, and in the mean time let me know: what is your favourite bag for work?