Oh what an inspirational year 2014 has been in the kingdom of technological advances, clothing and accessories with so many stars wearing the most unexpected ensembles and setting global trends overnight. I was amazed to hear the make-them-yourself “Loom Bands” even made it onto the wrists of royalty, the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing one in native red, white and blue. The technology so familiar on our smart phones and tablets has made it onto our wrists too with the likes of the Smart Watch, Apple, LG and Samsung all bought out wrist wear that enables you to not only check time and weather but also your social network feeds, e-mails and some even enable you to listen to your music, how can something so clever be so small!
Technology has undisputedly developed way beyond a lot of peoples’ imaginations, things you can do on a PC you can also successfully do on a phone or tablet, or your smart watch, if you have one. A swathe of high street fashion stores such as H&M, River Island and New Look have most likely benefited from extra revenue since adding lines of iPhone and iPad protection cases, headphones and even headphone splitters to their accessory stock. Technology gives something back to the economy too if you think about how many jobs its evolution has created over time.
This year has been extremely successful for style and beauty as new discoveries and trends unfold across the world. Here is a compilation of some of the best in fashion and accessories from the high street and beyond and reasons why I chose to give them their own ROCKS Award right here on Fashalia 101, I hope you enjoy reading this “best of 2014,” and really it doesn’t make sense to wait till January 2015 to do this does it, so, have a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year…
BEST HIGH STREET STORE FOR VARIETY & CHOICE:
Winner: NEW LOOK
New Look is great at bringing the catwalk within reach of thousands of people that shop on the High Street and has extended it’s client base to children with its Generation 915 clothing range, which is notorious for having the edgiest choice of fashions for teenagers. NL is family friendly because it stocks a variety of clothes and accessories for men that are wearable for most. It has gone beyond simply a clothing shop and has extensive underwear, costume jewellery, shoe and handbag ranges, at Christmas the gifts are so tempting you’re going to want to keep them for yourself! You’re spoilt for choice if you shop New Look online too. I cannot fault the durability and overall quality of anything from New Look be it a bag or boots!
Another High Street chain shop with several flagship stores across England and Ireland (Primark trades as Penneys in the Republic of Ireland). Primark pays attention to more expensive designers, from where they draw the inspiration for their affordable-for-all pieces. Primark constantly update their racks of £25 jackets, £12 dresses and £7 jeans according to what colours, cuts and shapes are freshly squeezed from the catwalks. Primark and their customers are doing their bit for the environment too, when you get to the checkout with your £8 band t-shirt you’ll leave with a luxe looking paper carrier, Ireland stopped using plastic years ago and England followed suit not long after that. If you shop on a budget or just looking to save some money on your fashion shop, you can easily pick up a whole outfit or bag full of goodies for under £50. Primark know their colours too, and the £2.50 go-with-everything vest tops are just one of their can’t live without pieces that come in an endless choice of hues.
Winner: Clothes Show Live 2014
The style carnival that is the Clothes Show Live. Highlights from the one of the biggest events in the style calendar included the all new designer outlet, where savvy visitors could get their hands on the most sought after labels at discounted prices. Muubaa, Bora Aksu and Gushlow & Cole offered their collections for the winter, while My-wardrobe.com bought a line of lust-have brands to this outlet. Exclusive trend presentations took place on the Olympus PEN catwalk with presentations from Dame Zandra Rhodes, Sibling, Fyodor Golan and Julien Macdonald OBE.
Clothes Show Live 2015 will take place at Birmingham NEC from 4-8 December.
BEST SOUGHT AFTER LABEL (ICONIC):
It’s every girl’s dream to own a piece that is Chanel. You could be lusting after their signature 2.55 quilted handbag as spotted on many a celebrity or you may dream of one day buying Chanel perfume or cosmetics, it doesn’t matter what you’re after, Chanel is the best of the best and Coco knew how to turn everywoman classic styling glamorous and iconic, Chanel No5 is all Marilyn Monroe wore to bed.
BEST SOUGHT AFTER LABEL (MODERN DAY FASHION TRENDS):
Winner: MICHAEL KORS
Michael Kors was originally known for designing women’s classic American sportswear, more recently the MICHAEL Michael Kors and a line simply called KORS were launched in 2004 in addition to a runway collection of womenswear, the MICHAEL line consists of ready-to-wear apparel, shoes and handbags. The Michael Kors MK handbags have been one of the most sought after accessories of 2014.
Winner: LOOM BANDS
It’s amazing that in an age where children and young people appear to be keeping the internet in constant use, that they found a craze that involved making something from scratch without using up a single spark of electricity or data. All of a sudden everyone got making their own bracelets. Making a Loom Band entails looping multi coloured bands over each other to weave them together, not forgetting your figure of 8 at the beginning and end. Looming wasn’t just keeping the kids quiet, a lot of adults were buying bags of bands and cottoning onto this do it yourself craze, some turning to YouTube for the occasional tutorial video. I didn’t know how to start or end a band at first without it coming apart, but I soon got the hang of the finger trap and fish tail designs.
Winner: GRUNGE / ROCK CHICK CHIC
Style has come full circle and it seems now there is an undercurrent of people who opt for that lower-maintenance, grungy skinny jeans look with biker or ankle boots to add that rocky edge, where I live I’ve seen more girls and women like myself adopt this easy to wear look. It may boast a colour palette inspired by the city before or after a storm, but it’s such a refreshing alternative to more “girly” trends with high heels. It’s more practical for productive days too. It’s comfortable and casual but oh so rock chick chic.
BEST BEAUTY & COSMETICS
Winner: MODELS OWN
Models Own know a thing or two about contemporary make up & nails, they have recently added to their extensive nail polish collection by adding a range of lust-have colours that give the look of gel-nails, HyperGel. That’s not all, they have recently started to sell at selected Superdrug stores as well as larger Boots, making their products more available to many. I cannot fault their wanded lip gloss, it has a nice feel to it and just glides on, without being sticky. The colours are so wearable for everyone and I like how the all clear packaging gives the illusion the product is cased in all glass. Whatever the catwalk beauty trend, Models Own make it available to you, continuing to expand their ever growing lines of professional standard products whilst making sure you can comfortably afford a gorgeous new nail or lip colour.