Searching for new Christmas trends on the high-street, stores hang festive placards in their windows boasting of having the latest trendiest Christmas clothing lines. On entering various shops there is little difference between each, rail upon rail of faux fur leopard print jackets, little black creations frilled with lacy hems, seventies cable-knit jumpers and fur-lined wedges. Practically every item I saw resembled some sort of attire that was still in my wardrobe from last winter. ‘Oh, but this season’s all about vintage,’ fashion magazines claim but it seems every year it’s all about vintage, everything in the shops nowadays seem to be a recreation from a past decade, we are forever living in the sixties and eighties fashion trends but when will this vintage actually become too old?

Leopard print has seemed to arrive roundabout this season for the past four years and black lace reminiscent of a young eighties Madonna appears to never leave the shelves over the Christmas period. Of course the sixties had some good styles but do we really need to reinvent it at every chance we get? Flicking through fashion mags they are completely adorned with pencil skirts and glamorous fur jackets and models sporting bouffant hair-do’s as if they’re attempting fancy dress and the theme is Brigette Bardot. Obviously designers need to get their inspiration from somewhere but this is getting to be a bit of a joke, where are all the pioneers at? We need new clothes!

Topshop and Urban Outfitters are the key places to shop if you’re attempting to buy new clothes that look like they should be worn by ninety year olds. Chunky knit cardigans that you could probably find at the back of your granny’s wardrobe for free are being grabbed of the shelves typically at around £40 a piece and if you want to complete the pensioner look, or the ‘geek chic’ trend as people are naming it, you can’t forget a pair of oversized plastic rimmed reading glasses, (tortoiseshell design is you’re super-cool) don’t worry if you have 20/20 vision they are completely lens free. Did people not used to get made fun of for wearing this getup?
Fashion seemed to be innovative and forever changing, the variety of styles, colours, patterns and fabrics used from the early 1900s up until the nineties was tremendous and the variety of fashion trends pioneering subcultures from punk to mod to glam to goth were iconic. Then when we reached the millennium we seem to stop and instead of going forward we looked back for inspiration. Yes, the nineties was an extremely tough time for fashion and some of the garments that were deemed ‘fashionable’ were not far off horrendous but should we not be over it by now? Everything else in the world is moving fast forward whereas fashion is going back the way, how can we have run out of ideas already?

Since when was it cool to dress like your granny?

To be fair all the cool kids did seem to live in the past James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Elvis Presley the music was better the whole scene in general seemed to more interesting and avant-garde at the time but fifty years on and we still appear to be copying them, is it not time to move on? Or have we just lost all imagination? Who are the style icons of today? Advance on another fifty years and what will everyone think of fashion trends of the 2000’s? What even are the fashion trends of today? A continuous reinvention of a style that wasn’t even so cool when it was the genuine article.

It can be cool and funky to have the odd retro item to give you a bit off edge, I often used to aspire to those people I saw sporting the beehive, long faux fur coat or the high-waisted bottoms strolling around Glasgow because they were deemed different and ‘cool’ but now someone has caught onto this look and it seems like they have dug up every trend ever created, subsequently this attire has been flooded into mainstream fashion stores and everyone is now just a copy of someone else. I don’t understand why there’s such a craze to wear old people’s fusty clothes, take some inspiration from the past, reinvent it and add your own signature style, don’t copy it stitch for stitch!

Audrey Hepburn, Kate Moss, Lady GaGa, and Michelle Obama have all been branded one. But what does a supermodel living a rock n roll party lifestyle have in common with the First Lady? How can such a variety of women with such diverse styles and attitudes all be crowned a fashion icon that will ensure to go down in history for being the best dressed?

Celebrities are constantly abused and can be renowned for a lifetime for making a simple fashion faux pas, magazines take out full pages to go out of their way to bash those unlucky individuals that seem to be having a bad hair day but who decides what is completely outrageous one day and what is kooky but stylish the next? Does it all just depend on the time or maybe some celebrities just pull certain looks off better than others.
From the 1930’s style icons encompassed classic chic looks, among the Hollywood greats Greta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn became legendary for their sophisticated elegance, the simple timeless classics they donned years ago may seem bland in comparison to the outlandish creations of this era but these women will always be noted as having the perfect knack for knowing what to wear.

As we moved through the decades the fashion spotlight didn’t just shine on those on the big screen, a sophisticated presidential style was brought to light during the 1960’s. Wife to John F. Kennedy, Jackie O served as more than just the First Lady. Still considered a style icon she produced elegantly tailored pieces that merged both femininity and authority which have often be copied by the likes of similar women trying to make a good impression such as current First Lady Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton.

Sometimes the best style icons prove their worth through daring edgy looks and it’s not all about neutral colours, perfect hems and not having a hair out of place. The rise of the rock chic, Debbie Harry of Blondie brought her two-tone hair and glam-punk style to the forefront of iconic fashion which still inspires looks today. And of course Madonna who swapped undergarments for outer-garments and was crowed style queen of the eighties. A woman who is continuously reinventing herself and continuously having others reinventing her original creations, black lace, big hair and an abundance of accessories Madonna proved to be one of the most innovative and influential faces of the cultural world.

I think it certainly has a lot to do with who is wearing it, some people just exude a certain ‘cool’ that the rest of us just don’t. Half the time supermodel Kate Moss appears on a magazine page she looks as if she’s just stepped out of bed, messy tousled hair and just a flick of eyeliner to conclude her looks but it works so well for her and she pulls it off by still managing to look amazing every time. In the early stages of the 2000’s we are surrounded by a world of post-modernism and creative reinventions of past styles, we are presented with a mix match of wonderfully and often peculiar trends. I guess it just depends on whether fashion critics are feeling accepting that day or not, we often find items that were slated last year now this season’s must have. A style icon can be concluded from a variety of people whether they are elegant or edgy, a pop star or a governmental figure, history of fashion is forever changing, some trends just stick, others we often burn the evidence that it ever existed. A true fashion icon won’t just know what to wear, but how to

wear it, they know how to be creative and also stand out from the crowd even if they are wearing a simple LBD, having the right attitude and confidence goes hand in hand with the clothes they wear. We have come a long way from the simple elegance and glamour of Hepburn and Monroe and if a 21st century icon now consists of celebrities such as Lady GaGa being awarded for wearing attire made up of animal carcasses then I’m sure elegance is not on the cards for the future fashion world.

2011? That’s so last year, embrace the past and step into a simpler era. American icon Marilyn Monroe is reinvented by Michelle Williams, approaching 50 years on
from her untimely death, in film My Week with Marilyn, out now in theaters. The film documents the tense relations between Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier while they were shooting The Prince and the Showgirl. Williams embodies the star wonderfully and now it’s your chance to get some inspiration, hit the shops and release your inner blonde bombshell with the fifties classics trending right now.

         You don’t need a film star budget to dress like one just have a look out for some high street brands offering those timeless classics. For day outfits think figure hugging blouses and tight pencil skirts in various beiges and creams. Try this cream pussybow blouse available from Topshop for only £32.99 and pair it up with this season’s hottest trend, the pencil skirt, enhance your curves with this black bodycon creation also from Topshop at the amazing price of £25.00 to emulate that perfect vintage chic Marilyn managed so well.







Cover up with this camel coat from Marks and Spencer’s that captures a classic Monroe day look, add a vintage headscarf and you’ll be working that Monroe glam, and it’s a bargain at £129.





Add some glitz and glam this festive season while embracing Marilyn’s iconic look, this black sequined wrap dress will flatter curves and give you that hour glass shape the star was so famous for. Similar to the one Marilyn donned during her promotion of The Prince and the Showgirl, this is available at Warehouse for £90.





Not big on accessories Marilyn opted for an understated look besides those revealing waist-hugging dresses. Match your vintage attire with simple court shoes or kitten heels, these black pumps from Zara
will recreate the demure side of Marilyn’s persona (£39.00). One of the most inspiring women of the world Marilyn was far from a size zero, embrace your curves or enhance them with a thick classic belt, this one from Miss Selfridge with cinch that waist and boost those assets (£12.00).


Don’t forget about the make-up to add those finishing touches in completing your Marilyn look. Monroe was said to have washed her face fifteen times a day to ensure she was clear and blemish free but you don’t need to go to those extremes. Check out Soap and Glory

cosmetics available at Boots that pay homage to the vintage look, start off with Hocus Focus Instant Visual Flaw-Softening Lotion (£13.00) to achieve a bright flawless look. Try the Arch de Triumph brow shaper and highlighter, (£8.00) to get that perfect Marilyn eyebrow arch. To top it off a sweep of Marilyn’s trademark siren red lipstick will give you that extra star quality. Oh and before you go always remember a spray of Marilyn’s favourite scent, Chanel No. 5.

Apart from embracing those vintage fashion looks and celebrating the life of the world’s most famous blonde what else is making an appearance from the past?

Chain smoking, champagne drinking, Lacroix wearing Eddy and Patsy are back on our screens. Nineties sit-com Absolutely Fabulous returns to mark its 20th anniversary, showing three thirty minute episodes over Christmas following the pairs uninhibited, mental lifestyle be prepared for lots of Versace, fabulous darling!

Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire are currently working the set filming an adaption of the classic, The Great Gatsby. This will be making an appearance in 2012 so why not step back into the golden age and delve into the literary genius of F. Scott Fitzgerald to conjure up images of the roaring twenties and the flapper scene.

Create a playlist of retro classics and generate the soundtrack of yesteryear. The Stone Roses were resurrected last month after fifteen year, tickets for the beginning of their official reunion tour starting in Manchester sold out in fifteen minutes but the band plan to hit the festival season next year and will be headlining T in the Park, a limited release of tickets will be sold at the beginning of December.

Over the past few years we have seen a rise in the amount of places we can shop online, I can even think of three new online stores I have heard of in the past couple of weeks. Now there are many shops that don’t actually even exist on the high street, only on the web. But what is the reason for this, is it convenience? Or that we just cannot be bothered going round the stores when we can do it sitting in front of our computers?

1994 saw the beginning of online banking, commencing on from that Ebay and Amazon arrive. Now, 2011, we reach the year where we are turning everything that we possibly can digital, we’re swapping proper books for Kindles, hard copies are on the way out, everything we need is under a click of a button.

Many fashion stores have recently begun to offer an online shopping service but one of the most popular of these is ASOS.com which sells both men and women’s clothing, this is an online store only. With hundreds of stores all in the one place, that being wherever you connect to the internet, it does seem a clever way to shop. ASOS continuously offer deals and there is new clothing lines added practically all the time. Next day delivery is available, free returns are offered, the only downside I can see is that you don’t get to try it on. Other up and coming virtual stores include, boohoo.com, very.co.uk and more recently misguided.com.

And of course you don’t get the queues at the checkouts, the annoying search for your size on the rail that is just out of your reach, or the trailing from one end of the Buchanan Street to the other to check out various shops, and with winter coming up it means you can sit all cozied up drinking a cup of tea while you find a great outfit for that Christmas outing. It is convenient and it is easier and it is relaxing to take your time and browse easily through such a range of clothing.

The thing I find that most attracts me to online shopping is paying for it. A couple of clicks and that’s you. Done. You’ve got an item on the way to you and it feels like you haven’t spent a penny, this is where you need to learn to be precautious. I could spend all day shopping online and not worry about it until I check my bank balance, but by then it’s of course too late.

ASOS now even offers their own ASOS marketplace which means all those lovers of vintage clothes can get to swap their old clothes for something equally old and worn out, it just keeps getting better! Online shopping is great for procrastinating, it’s like window shopping but you don’t need to get cold and wet and you can be simultaneously checking your Facebook as well.

 

Like Crazy gives us a sentimental insight into the ups and downs of falling in love in the 21st century. Endearing but wistful, writer and director Drake Dormeus picked up a well-deserved Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance film festival for this story.

Up and coming actor Anton Yelchin plays Jacob, an American student who meets and falls in love with British girl Anna, beautifully portrayed by a fellow newcomer Felicity Jones. The couple fight to keep their relationship alive after they are forced to live on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean due to visa problems.

With superb acting and an honest plot which anyone who has been far from a loved one can relate to, this makes for good watching, however, it may be a good idea to have a box of tissues at the ready as the saying goodbye at the airport scenes can get a bit much!

4/5

Woody Allen creates a beautiful romantic comedy swirling with fantasy. Midnight in Paris allows us to delve further into the streets of the beautiful city and the mysteries that lie between them.

Owen Wilson plays Gil, a struggling writer, travelling to Paris with his fiancé Inez (Rachel McAdams). Gil finds himself wandering, searching for inspiration through the city of love after dark which he comes to find truly lets his imagination run free.

A beautifully captured creation, the wonderful shots of Paris add to the enchanting atmosphere of the film which allows viewers to open their mind to magical possibilities. A city already bursting with vivacity and wonder is further brought to life and made to sparkle.

Wilson and McAdams have a charming, humorous connection which was first caught in Wedding Crashers, and they were definitely the right choice to cast. We see other memorable performances from the likes of Michael Sheen and Adrien Brody. Overall, a witty, surreal and charming watch.

4/5

The ‘Tree of Life’ (2011) focuses around a 1950’s American family. We follow the story of the eldest son from the day he’s born through his childhood and get a glimpse of his confused adult-life.

The film seems slow to start and after a twenty minute long sequence of various earthly landscapes and close ups of erupting volcanoes and waterfalls which then continue onto clips of dinosaurs I started to wonder if I was still viewing the same film. Although it continues like this throughout, giving little meaning away and focusing more on visual imagery, it is certainly thought-provoking.

Brad Pitt plays the controlling antagonistic father, alongside Jessica Chaistain (The Help, The Debt), the permissive mother.  We watch their three sons grow up, almost day by day it feels like, and then catch Sean Penn (Milk, The Interpreter) in the present day playing the eldest son, still consumed with his childhood and strained relationship with his father. Although there are big names in this we see little acting, Penn is shown for no longer than ten minutes. Pitt gives a powerful performance with what he can, there is more long silent stares than conversing.

Built around many ‘meaning of life’ questions and worries about humanity and faith the plot holds little excitement, which I was quite disappointed as I had expected a completely different angle from this movie. Some of the imagery is fantastic and would be nice to look at for a few minutes, however not through two and a half hours of film. The plot is difficult to connect to as it is so detached and I often found myself getting agitated at the pace it was progressing with.

This definitely could be the film for you if you like scenes of the grass growing and listening to an operatic soundtrack instead of dialogue, I’m all for artsy films but I’m afraid I had a lot of difficulty in sitting through this to the end credits.

2/5

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.