Friday, 26 February 2010

The beehive buzz

You can always trust Miuccia Prada to kick-start a trend and at the A/W'10 Prada show in Milan, she did just that. Sending her models down the catwalk sporting 1960's-esque beehives, Miss Prada has resurrected a classic style that has taken on many different guises in recent years.

We're not talking about the Amy Winehouse bouffant (as far as I am concerned, she's carrying round a bird's nest on her head and probably a lot more to boot) or the vertiginous up-do of Marge Simpson (she's a cartoon for god's sake), this is the real McCoy. Miuccia Prada has brought back the genuine article that first entered the spotlight in the late 1950's and early 1960's, thanks to glam, old school icons such as Dusty Springfield:

Dusty Springfield

Adding a slight Naughties twist with a knitted band and a lot more smoothing hairspray, Prada's coiffeurs ended up with this:

 Prada A/W'10

I am totally, 100% in love with this look! It's perfect for day or night, not just the red carpet (its normal play ground). But seriously, could we ever create this look ourselves? It looks bloody difficult and with just one pair of, how?! Well, always dedicated to the cause, Miss Magpie thought she'd give it a whirl. Here's what happened:

What do you think? Not bad, even if I say so myself!! However, it did take a whole morning (Miss Magpie does not accept failure well) and I had to enlist the help of another pair of hands. I reckon it's a case of practise making perfect...good job we've got at least 6 months before the A/W'10 trends go live.

If you'd like to look like a Prada model, here's how:

1. You'll need a hair brush, a backcombing comb and a hell of a lot of pins 
2. Start by brushing the top section of your hair forward and work down to the ear on both sides, brushing the hair forward.
3. Next, start taking sections of the hair from your crown and backcomb with firm movements from the tip down to the base of the hair. Work all the way through your hair.
4. Then gather up the back-brushed hair and start moulding it round to create height and gather up at the base to support the beehive at the front. Secure with pins to keep the hair in place.
5. Start smoothing and pulling the front sections loosely round the backcombed hair to give it a more polished finish. Secure these sections at the back wth more pins.
6. Keep it all in place with lashings of strong hold hairspray. I recommend L'Oreal Elnett - there's nothing it won't hold and smells amazing (I think I might be hooked on it)!

The alternative, of course, is to just pop down to your hairdresser...

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Magpie Spy 4 (x 10)

Uh-oh, Miss Magpie has been shopping again! Unfortunately this time I couldn't buy anything (do I hear sighs of relief from Mr Magpie?! I think so) as I was at the London Fashion Week Designer Exhibition, where designers, new and old, from all over come to exhibit their collections. It's a fashionista's feast of clothing, shoes and  accessories and boy did i gorge myself on the offerings.

I've had to cut this list down to my top 10 fave pieces, but trust me there were many, many more. I've got photos of everything I liked (read: want to buy) and they are neatly catalogued away (from the prying eyes of Mr Magpie) in preparation for next autumn.

Here are my absolute must-haves...

The accessories:

Erickson Beamon
Oh dear heavens above, I think this piece was made for me. Isn't it just magnificent?! It was actually made for the Ashley Isham A/W'10 show, absolutely nothing to do with me in fact. BUT I think my shoulder needs it. Shoulders have been big business over the past few seasons and this beauty is the best i've seen yet. I wouldn't expect anything less from my OTT jewellery brand of choice.

This is a fairly new label on the scene and considering how fussy I am about my arm candy (incredibly by the way), I was quite surprised that I found something I simply can't stop thinking about. I love how this clutch is totally OTT, even verging on tacky (tacky can be very good). With a simple black number, it will add just the right dose of va-va-voom!  

Heather Blake
It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to footwear. Shoes are my 'thing' and I know what I like. This pair is my 'thing'. They ooze sex appeal in absolutely the right way and the cut-out detail just cries for attention. My one wish is that the heel be a teensy bit higher - I have a preferred in-step height and these fall about 1/2cm shy, though that's no bad thing for my poor old feet. Nevertheless they are my equivalent of sartorial perfection.

Mawi jewellery is made for magpies like myself. Every piece is a statement: a statement of sparkling gems and chunky metal work. To wear Mawi you have to be confident, because you are 100% guaranteed to attract attention. This piece is not just eye-catching, it's an outift in itself. I need to add this to my Mawi collection.

Angel Jackson
Yes, that's me. Where's a model at London Fashion Week when you need one?! Anyway, I was nearing the end of the exhibition, my Loubs were begging for a break and I thought i'd seen the best there was on offer. Then I saw this. An Angel Jackson bum bag. I've been trying to bring the bum bag back for a while, so i'm over the moon to see such a great, totally desirable brand flying the fanny pack flag. With studs and tassles galore, this is not any old bum bag. This is THE bum bag.

The clothes: 

Georgia Hardinge
I was at a stag do over the weekend (yes, girls were invited) and i'm sure the stripper was wearing something similar to this. In any case, she looked awesome and this creation is pretty high on the 'wow' scale too. There's a lot of work gone in to this and I can see it looking fantastic worn on top of a brightly coloured tube dress.

I'm in utter astonishment that the genii at PPQ could turn a pair of velvet curtains in to this: a bustier dress complete with peplum, that I want, want, want. I know everyone already adores this uber cool brand and I jumped on to that bandwagon some time ago, but I think I love PPQ even more now. This dress is so wrong, it's right.

Felder Felder
Don't ask me when you are meant to wear this bad boy, but i'm just gaga over it (see what I did there? She's bound to love it.)?! A dusky pink, leather, frilled leotard - bet you never thought you'd hear all that in one sentence. As a piece of design, I think it is brill. In terms of practicality, there is none. But then fashion isn't meant to be practical is it.

I'm leather crazy at the moment and the look is set to stay for A/W'10, so why not go all out and snap up this quilted, embellished, power-shoulder number? It looks like it has stepped straight off the set of an 80's music video. Even I may have to admit defeat with this one...but split up the cropped jacket and the cleavage revealing dress and you have two mighty fine separates to add to you wardrobe. I'm sold.

Pistol Panties
It was love at first sight when I spotted this sparkling at me from across the room. Pistol Panties have really excelled themselves this time and I can't imagine lounging by the pool wearing anything else (although i'll have to). Made from hundreds of Swarovski crystals, this rainbow hued cut-out swimsuit is just made for a magpie. Alas at £2000 a pop, it's definitely not made for this magpie.

There you have it, my top 10. All beautiful and perfectly formed, and one day they'll all be mine...mwahahahahahahahaha!!! 

LFW: Part 2 - Miss Magpie's picks

LFW is pretty much over for another season and boy has there been some awe-inspiring shows. Equally, there have been some shows that have left me either bored or horrified (or both), but let's no go there.

Here are some more of my highlights from LFW A/W'10:

Christopher Kane A/W'10

This look ticks all of my boxes - slutty without being smutty, chic yet fun and enough daring to make sure you stand out (Miss Magpie is no shrinking violet). Though I adore this look, there was some pretty dodgy floral embroidery and Oriental collars going on that i'm not entirely sold on. Will they grown on me? They've got until next autumn to work on it. In the meantime i'll stick to some of the great separates Kane threw in.

Erdem A/W'10

Erdem has always been the master of the print, but this season it was this utterly lustworthy trench coat that caught my eye. It is my idea of perfection, especially with this totally luxurious shearling lined hood. The printed dresses were pleasant enough (read 'blah') but weren't the usual vivid colours we are used to...and I miss that.

Paul Smth A/W'10

Paul Smith came as a bit of a surprise to me. I'm not normally that interested (sorry Sir Paul) but this season, I could really see the collection working. I thought the mix of country casuals with city chic worked really well. I'm not too sure on the PVC macs and highly unoriginal torn tights, but i'll forgive that on the strength of the rest.

Marios Schwab A/W'10

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Marios Schwab, so I hate to admit that this season I was a little disappointed. Going back to his Austrian roots (because Lederhosen have always been such a huge hit on the fashion front?!) the collection went a bit too themed for my liking. However, there were some great shapes that are very wearable (that's the other thing: it seems that Schwab is now going more commercial and dampening down his previous flamboyance - I guess he has to make some money like the rest of us).

Antonio Berardi A/W'10

OMG. Total and utter triumph. Antonio Berardi designs for the woman we all aspire to be: mature, sophisticated, sexy and comfortable in her own skin. This collection included some magnificent silhouettes that really worked on the curves of the female body. There was nothing about it I didn't like. I want it. All.

Basso & Brooke A/W'10

Because I love a crazy print every now and again, I always look forward to the Basso & Brooke show and this season I was in print heaven. Almost like the Magic Eye poster I had in my youth, this collection drew you in and had you mesmerised. Pulling away from the prints, there were some gorge dresses and coats that are bound to liven up next winter.

Nathan Jenden A/W'10

How could you not like this show? Full of excitment and zing, every single look delivered a burst of energy. I have a particular penchant  for all things animal print, so to see so much zebra trotting down the catwalk, I was delighted.

Buberry A/W'10

I just had to save the best for last. Christopher Bailey is without a doubt, an absolute genius. Firstly, I love how Burberry are persuing their aim of world domination with their live screenings and 3D showings. What a stroke of brilliance! Secondly, the collection. Wow. Comprised of military uniform style cover-ups and super-sexy OTK boots, there was nothing I didn't like (or want). My fave coats were the shearling, pilot styles with big collars (I love a dramatic collar), but i'd wear any one of them to be honest. Burberry must have known they would be in demand as they begain taking pre-orders on their website straight after the show. Oh, how I can't wait for next winter...

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

What Miss Magpie wore next

Miss Magpie loves getting dressed up and London Fashion Week provides the perfect chance for me to put on my gladrags, look a bit 'silly' (why do boys never get 'it'?) and have a bit of fun with my wardrobe. Because some of you have been asking me to post some pics of myself (and only because you asked so nicely), here are some of my outfits from the last few days:

This look is a bit Balmain...i know it's a bit out of date...but I just love it. Wearing a really, really short skirt is a great way of elongating legs (at least that's my excuse for always wearing barely there hemlines).
Black sequin jacket - vintage; dress - Topshop; shoes - Carvela (I lusted after the real thing for a very long time before I caved in to imitation); necklace - By Malene Birger

Well i'm never one to fade in to the background and the rain was getting me down so I decided to put on my brightest, warmest dress and make a big statement. My attempt at sticking two fingers up to the rain left me dragging round a sodden dress and a pair of heels in a very sorry state. Boo!
Dress - vintage; fur jacket - vintage; necklace - Mawi; shoes - Balenciaga; Bag - Luella (R.I.P) 


Since the Ashish show took place this morning, I thought i'd pay tribute with my ever so quiet, blend-into-the-background Ashish number. Walking around the mirror filled exhibition at Somerset House I was reflecting light left, right and centre...much like an angel...or perhaps like an annoying person wearing a ridiculously OTT jacket.
Jacket - Ashish; dress - H&M; shoes - Christian Louboutin; bag - Chanel

Monday, 22 February 2010

Miss Magpie's bag spy

Every fashion week I wait with excitement to see what fabulous bag Mulberry has designed for us. The LFW canvas bag is not only essential (not matter how much I love my 2.55, I can only squeeze so much in), but the only carrier to be seen with right now. I adore this season's animal print version:

I'm guessing you want to know what I fill mine with? I don't often reveal the contents of my bag so count yourselves lucky!

Inside my Mulberry LFW canvas bag is:

1. KG snake skin ballet pumps - just in case the cobbles of Somerset House get the better of me/my heels. Strictly for use in case of emergency.
2. LFW pass - without this, you'll have the doors closed firmly in your face.
3. Tickets - natch.
4. Fur head band - it's February in London, i'll need some way of staying warm whilst queueing for shows
5. The White Masai by Corinne Hofmann - my just-in-case-of-any-downtime book. Needless to say, I haven't even opened it.
6. Canon SLR camera - I'm always a little snap happy, so you can imagine how excited I get at LFW
7. The LFW guide - London is a big city, venues are all over the place, there are hundreds of shows...this is the Bible of everything you need to know. Ever.
8. Moleskine note book - the fash-pack jotter of choice.
9. Spectacles - unfortunately my eyes are getting the better of me and the specs are a necessity. All the better to see you with.
10. Uni-ball pen - the only pen i like writing, scribbling, sketching with.
11. Smythson 'Fashionista' diary (in pink croc) - I never leave home without it. It tells me everything I need to know about my day...and it looks beautiful!
12. Blackberry - I'm hooked. And the British Fashion Council has a special LFW application. I heart.
13. Marc Jacobs umbrella - rain is always on the menu. I like to be prepared as stylishly as possible.

Over and out.

LFW: Part 1 - Miss Magpie's picks

London Fashion Week is now in full swing and Somerset House has been a buzzing hub of activity, dolled up fashionistas, rain soaked shoes (not liking that so much) and the odd fall (why they don't cover the cobbles at Somerset House is beyond me?! Who wears flats to LFW?). We've had some moments of genius, some not-so-inspired looks and some shows which have been so popular, that people have still been queueing to get in when the show is nearing an end (having been on the receiving end of this, I was far from impressed!).

I'm bursting to show you all my fave looks and what I will be attempting to replicate next season - unless I win the lottery, in which case, this is exactly what I will be wearing come October:

Todd Lynn AW'10 - loving the winter appropriate lingerie look

(Topshop) Unique AW'10 - Not quite sure how i'll get on the tube at 8am sporting this antler hat (I'll certainly give it a go), but really like the wild-feral-military feel. The whole collection is a bit bonkers and a complete delight to the eyes

Charles Anastase AW'10 - OMG I totally adore this look. Who'd have thought that the 1960's mum look would be given a revival. More of a summer colour, but I reckon the mix of coral shades will liven up my autumn/winter wardrobe no end.

Louise Goldin AW'10 - Ever since I saw LG's first collection, I knew she was heading for big things. Taking the peplum to new levels, her structured knitwear is just to die for. Love love love the glittering gothicness of this collection.

Maria Grachvogel AW'10 - now i'm not really a fan of Maria (it's all a bit mumsy and bland), but i really liked this Halston-esque full length gown.

Matthew Williamson AW'10 - I was surprised to see this from Matthew Williamson as he's most well-known for his youthful, bright, flirty dresses. This seems rather grown-up but i'm super excited that leather is here to stay.

Erin O'Conner - just had to get a pick of Erin. She was looking absolutely radiant!

I'll be back soon with another round-up of the best from LFW...

Friday, 19 February 2010

Miss Magpie gets ready for LFW

London Fashion Week starts today - the contents of my wardrobe are in a heap on my dressing room floor...

...but at last I am ready. My leather trousers are restricting the blood circulation in my legs and a coat is going to make me look too bulky, so I am going to freeze. This is the price we pay for fashion.

Trousers - Topshop; denim corset - Topshop; cardi - Zara; shoes - Gucci; bag - Chanel; hair - Charles Worthington.

Right, i'm off to Somerset House to absorb all things fashion.


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

And the Brit award goes to...

Who does Lily Allen think she is? As far as I am concerned, she'll always be the chav wannabe (why you would want to be that, I have no idea), wearing tacky prom dresses and trainers, that she first found fame as. First impressions do count my dear. I don't care if she is the face of Chanel (well, actually I do and I think it is an atrocity), she should not be attempting this on the red carpet:

What was she thinking? She looks like the half-melted candle on my dining table. Leave the dressing up to the professionals Lil.

The professional:

Gaga was the first to arrive at the Brit Awards last night, wearing this tiered ensemble - all eyes were on her. It's totally bonkers but then we'd expect nothing less of LG. (Don't you think she looks like she's about to start singing the Gospel?!) The mega bouffant hair and lace mask are simply magnificent. Little did we know that she was preparing to reveal this:

Total and utter genius! I love, love, love it. So angelic and yet verging on pornographic!

Gaga may appear to be a complete freak to most, but I for one applaud her for her courage and confidence. Fashion should be fun! She wins Miss Magpie's Brit award for Style Icon of 2009.

Oh yes, and well done on your 3 other Brits Gaga.

I'm off to start back-combing my hair - there's only 2 days left before LFW after all...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Magpie Spy 3

Hello dear Magpie followers,

I've fallen in love!

Let me explain.

Ever since I went to my first Marios Schwab show at LFW, I've been mesmerised by him. Creating 'just-got-to-have' pieces, alongside 'how-on-earth-would-you-wear-it-but-i-love-it' items, i've been obsessed with Schwab's genius as a designer. I was over the moon when he was appointed Creative Director of Halston. The revived 70's label needed an injection of Schwab magic and this NY Fashion Week...finally...we've seen the results.

Just look:

Halston AW'10

So you see, i've fallen in love with this dress. I've fallen hard. My only saving grace is that I have until Autumn to save up for it and then it just has to belong to my wardrobe.

Bravo Marios!

Monday, 15 February 2010


Miss Magpie's heart is still fluttering after a V day spent with her delicious beau, gorging on afternoon tea (and several flutes of bubbly) followed by a screening of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', at the always fabulous Soho Hotel. It was terribly romantic and Valentine's indulgent - such fodder for all those V day cynics out there, but I loved it.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Here's Audrey in all her glory:

Isn't she just divine?! No matter how many times I watch Holly Golightly literally light up the screen, I can't get over how perfect she is. And her costumes. Simply to die for. So beautiful and immaculate. So classic and feminine. So iconic.

Cooincidentally, another style icon (I call her that, much to my chagrin) was simultaneously showcasing her AW'10 collection in New York. Victoria Beckham, now in her fourth season, has managed yet again, to wow the fash-pack with another collection of figure-hugging dresses, that tend to give me a funny sense of deja-vu.

I've never been a fan of the ex-Spice Girl (though will always be a huge fan of the Spice Girls) and i've tried very hard not to fall for her fashion line. Did you see her on American Idol and her critiques of the contestants' outfits? Not only cringey, but so, so wrong. But it's hard to dislike a collection that resembles one of my style icons so much.

Uncanny isn't it?!

I guess you have to giver her kudos for revamping a tried and tested style, but I just can't help feeling that VB's fashion line is just an amalgamation of previously seen winning looks.

'Too much of something'...can get a bit dull Posh.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Christian Louboutin presents Dolly Forever

Squeal! Miss Magpie hasn't been this excited since she finally got her old Loubs re-heeled the other day (it's like having a brand new pair of shoes!). Ok, i'm more excited than that.

...drum roll please...

Christian Louboutin reveals the second doll in his limited-edition collaboration with Barbie. Let me present to you Dolly Forever. Sporting a khaki tunic dress that is so utterly SS'10 (think urban jungle and safari chic) and to-die-for fuschia tassled OTK (over the knee) boots, Barbie is the very height of style. And like all fashion loving girls, Barbie comes with three extra pairs of red-soled heels, to suit every occasion and mood! I'm loving the dinky little shoe boxes too.

Remember Cat Burglar Barbie (clad head to toe in PVC - fantastically slut chic) and the frenzy she caused when she became available online exclusively at Net-a-Porter a few months ago? Well i predict that Dolly Forever may have exactly the same effect. She's not up for grabs 'til early March (just enough time to save up for her) but I can feel the tension mounting already.

Now you're never too old to own a Barbie!

A tribute to the late 'bad boy' of British fashion

We've all read the news, i'm not going to rehash every other website out there. It's an incredibly sad day and reading about it just adds to the grief. Instead, I choose to celebrate his life with my pick of his most ingenious creations:

1994 saw the infamous 'bumster' trousers provide the shock tactic that McQueen became famous for

In 1995, his 'Highland Rape' collection displayed his expertise in tailoring

Spring Summer '99 saw the masterpiece of the spray painted dress

By 2001, his shock tactics become more intense

SS'04 - who didn't enjoy watching this show ;-)

And the beauty of McQueen, was that you could never guess where he was going to go next (SS'05)

SS'08: And more recently, just beautiful

AW'08 - an exquisite tribute to British colonialism

In SS'09 I nearly wet myself with excitement and delight!

AW'09 - shocking McQueen returns. So bold yet so beautifully made

SS'10 turns out to be a very poignant season...McQueen at his best

I wonder what AW'10 will bring? I wonder if the show will go ahead? I wonder what will happen to the McQueen empire? So many questions, too soon for answers.

For now, rest in peace you genius xxx