Diary of a Cherwell Girl

In the spirit of this week’s affordable fashion theme, and the rate at which my student loan is disappearing, I’ve decided to take a look at the fashion obsession du jour. High-street designer collaborations and designer diffusion lines have become ever more popular since the high priestess of fashion herself, (yes I mean Kate Moss not Gok Wan), whipped out her pencil for Topshop. Unaware of the extent of her powers, Ms Moss’ design debut incurred dramatic scenes on 24 hour news channels showing screaming fans breaking doors down in frenzied riots. Far from the days of Lilly Allen’s ill-advised collection for New Look; Lily’s BC (Before Chanel) prom dress ‘n’ trainer look; celebrity and designer collections have become a serious business. For the celebrity or international designer, allowing all us little people to aspire to such high fashion stakes, it’s a little bit like donating to charity.

While Kate Moss is no longer designing lines for Topshop there have been plenty of designers willing to swoop in on this so apparently profitable venture. The new Lanvin for H & M collection is full of oh so fabulous party dresses – big billowing ruffles on block colours. My two favourite pieces are a black netted meshy blouse and a beautifully tailored double breasted women’s dinner jacket – androgynous sub fusc anyone? The other collaboration catching the attention of the fashion pack is Emma Watson’s collection for the fair trade brand People Tree which she modelled and ‘collaborated’ on. It’s full of dreamy floral dresses, slouchy t shirts and checked shirts in the brand’s ethically sourced fabrics. Apparently set for world domination, Emma Watson is also working on an organic clothing range for Alberta Ferretti which may be mildly less affordable given the given the rather large price tag normally attached to her whimsical dreamy creations. This season Christian Lacroix is also set to design a capsule collection for Spanish high street shop Desigual for the well-travelled amongst you.

Yet, despite the obvious draw of buying designer clothes without having to foray into your overdraft, shopping designer–high street collaborations still contain their own risk. For one thing, just because it’s designer it does not necessarily mean it suits you or that it’s a bargain. The big plus of designer items in high street shops is that they are generally far better cut than most high street clothes but in a collaboration line garments are not likely to be made out of designer fabrics. Buying designer clothes in a high street shop is a great way to explore edgier and more distinct fashion – and you won’t be kicking yourself if someone spills your drink down it in Park End.

Item of the week: This gorgeous red playsuit is perfect for transitional dressing in between seasons. Wear with woolly tights and knee-length riding boots now and bare legs, sandals and straw hat when the sun comes out. Check it out
here..

Blog of the week: So fashion it barely mentions clothes. This anonymous blog from Elle’s fashion insider is a whirlwind of sending assistants for coffee; organising fashion week wardrobes; and ending up in foreign countries after wild nights out. Find it
here..

Magazine of the week: Grazia. Grazia satisfies that perfect spot between trashy celeb stories and high end fashion making it the perfect disposable weekly mag for fast moving fashionistas who don’t want to spend hours interpreting arty fashion shoots…