THE BEST OF LFW AW17

Pre-Doris, stylish Brits lined the streets of London hopping from one show to the next in what can only be described as a fashion frenzy. The designers of LFW reflected the high-standards and political activism of NYFW. We saw anti-Trump slogans projected in glitter at the Ashish AW17 show and Mary Katrantzou pay homage to Walt Disney’s third feature length animation, Fantasia, in sequin embroidery and velvet. LFW was a true celebration of British talent and all it has to offer, setting the standards ever higher for Milan.

Ashish AW17 Ready-to-Wear

This Indian-born designer is not afraid to make political statements on the runway. Following the Brexit vote that divided Britain, Ashish dedicated his SS17 collection to the immigrant community in Britain. The source for this seasons inspiration can be found in the protests following the inauguration of America’s controversial new President. With a rainbow palette, sequins and catchy slogans of resistance, Ashish pays respect to those marginalised by the oppressive Trump administration. Ashish is not afraid to use his platform as a designer to inspire and unify the masses, an approach more designers should follow.

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Mary Katrantzou AW17 Ready-to-Wear

Mary Katrantzou’s latest velveteen collection was like something you’d find in a fairytale, paying tribute to the master of animation’s third feature length film, Walt Disney’s Fantasia. Disney’s magical creatures are woven in to the sequin embroidered dresses, jacquard knee-length coats and soft velvet pantsuits. These exquisite pieces are every Disney-fanatics dream and are likely to ingnite the child at heart in everyone.

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Ashley Williams AW17 Ready-to-Wear

There appeared to be a hidden message behind Ashely William’s latest collection, on a not so hidden agenda. With Stetson cowboy hats fit for the wild West and preppy varsity style jackets branded with the words ‘misery’, I couldn’t help but interpret such as a political commentary of Trump’s America. It appears that the up-and-coming fashion brands, like Ashish, have no fear when it comes to standing up for whats right, whilst the established fashion-houses hide behind their prestigious names.

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House of Holland AW17 Ready-to-Wear

I was drawn to Henry Holland’s eye catching 60’s inspired collection as soon as I saw a flash of pale candy-floss pink, my all-time favourite colour (0f the moment). Like others, inspiration can be found in American culture, with funky non-conventional cowboy boots littered with cherries and vibrants colours, accompanied by checkered dresses with pointed collars, a homage to the British ’60s pop-scene. This exciting collection is bound to add a pop of colour to your bland monochrome winter wardrobe.

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THE BEST OF NYFW FW17

As I sit in the stuffy concrete slab that is the university library, stylish men and women from across the globe scurry like mice from show to show whilst fighting the icy winds of a very snowy NYC. Determined not to let the freezing climate compromise their style, show-goers immerse themselves in the fashion frenzy that is NYFW. It all began with the return of one of my favourite fashion duos, Raf Simons and Pieter Mulier, at their debut Calvin Klein Collection show and it all ended with Marc Jacob’s old-school hip-hop inspired finale.

Calvin Klein Collection FW17

Raf Simons and his right-hand man Pieter Mulier kicked off their domination of the all-American brand, Calvin Klein, in true American style, literally. This colourful collection was a celebration of America’s past, present and future littered with motifs and symbols of its diverse history. Stiff denim shirts, oversized leather jackets and wrap shirts fashioned out of the American flag hit a home run when paying homage to the nations rich culture. Raf provided the brand with the exact regeneration that it needed. This collection offered a true insight into the brands future under new leadership.

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Marc Jacobs FW17

Marc Jacobs’ diverse array of models hit the streets of New York, utilising the concrete sidewalk as his very own catwalk to parade his ‘70s hip-hop inspired collection. It appears Jacobs took on board the backlash that came with the dreadlock controversy of his SS17 collection. Jacobs ensured his army of models comprised of those representing diverse cultures and origins. The neutral palette collection made up of oversized corduroy jackets, bellowing bell-bottom trousers, oversized ‘70s inspired bling accompanied by large Stephen Jones hats. Jacobs ended fashion week with a bang and set the standards high for London.

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 Coach 1941 FW17

Those attending Stuart Vevers’ FW17 show found themselves immersed in a post-apocalyptic derelict world were the all-American brand appeared to be the surviving attire. As always there was a star-studded front row with the likes of it-girls Emma Roberts and Selena Gomez making an appearance. Vevers signature floral patchwork dresses and oversized outerwear, made up of bombers, leather-clad jackets and varsity jackets, graced the runway once again. The British creative director has certainly found his voice at Coach, securing the brands new distinct style and establishing the brands prestige among the stars.

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Anniesa Hasibuan FW17

Anniesa Hasibuan has made history once again with her new FW17 collection. Hasibuan made the headlines following her first diverse collection, which was the first collection to be presented with hijabs at NYFW. This season the Indonesian designer made the conscious decision to only employ immigrants and second-generation immigrants to walk in her show following the controversial Muslim immigration ban put in place by the Trump administration. Enabling a sense of inclusion, acceptance and unity to be found following the implementation of the immigration ban. Hasibuan conveyed the true beauty of Islam with her exquisite collection and her bold casting criteria.

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Yeezy FW17

I must admit I have never understood the Yeezy attraction. The rapper’s ability to plagiarise and merely merge the signature looks of hottest brands of the moment has resulted in the production of bland collections which lack any real uniqueness. However, in Trump’s new America where bans and walls are put in place to keep diversity at a minimum I could not help but admire the rapper’s choice to use a female Muslim model who chooses to wear the hijab. A clear message that diversity and love will triumph in Trump’s America.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK

The city so good that they named it twice…

Well, it’s been named three times actually (Manhattan, New Amsterdam, New York) but let’s not get into technicalities. Never have I laughed so hard and smiled so much than during the four nights and five days I spent in New York city. The fog and mist may have dampened the air but it could not dampen our spirits. It was a trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget. I was in awe of the beauty of the city and its people, which felt so familiar from movies and television despite this being my first time in the Big Apple. My hotel, The Roosevelt, was situated in the heart of Midtown, just off Madison Ave, and was a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from the magnificent Grand Central Station, 5th Ave (every shopaholics dream), the Empire State Building and Times Square. I was able to explore and soak in all the city had to offer on The Big Bus tours and witness some of the cities most iconic pieces of architecture (my personal favourite being the art-deco Chrysler building) and well-known hotspots. I would also highly recommend the Radio City Music Hall tour to anyone heading to Manhattan, as it offer a true back-stage insight into one the world’s most iconic venues and gives you a chance to explore the beautiful interior and décor dating back to the 1930s. However, it was the opportunity to see history in the making which made the trip extra special. As if arriving on inauguration day wasn’t enough, to be in the city for the Women’s March was an inspiring and moving experience. It was humbling to be a part of the 300,000-people walking in New York that day and the 2.9 million people walking across America in the country’s biggest march in its history. The march and its message is definitively close to my heart as a young woman in the 21st century and as an advocate for peace and equality for all. It was incredible to see so many standing up for what is right and it is an experience that will remain with me for the rest of my life. This trip certainly gave me a taste for all Manhattan had to offer and left me hungry for more. I am beyond excited to return to this magical city in 7 months’ time to explore the city further and create more memories that will last a lifetime.

Empire State Building

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The Rockefeller Centre and Top of the Rock

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Radio City Music Hall
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The Chrysler Building

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Grand Central Station

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Trump Tower and the Women’s March

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The Flat Iron Building

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St Patrick’s Cathedral

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Central Park

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New York Public Library

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Shopping

Victoria’s Secret

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Tiffany’s

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Places to Eat

Carmine’s – Italian

Carmine’s has an incredible, buzzing atmosphere and is exactly the type of restaurant you expect to find in the Big Apple; serving hearty Italian cuisine in gigantic sharing platters.

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Junior’s

Junior’s is known in the local area for its famous mouth-watering New York cheesecake, which apparently is a favourite of Oprah Winfrey!img_7512

PURPLE REIGN

And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams. – Hilary Clinton

There she stood; the woman who to many was a symbol of hope, the woman who to many deserved to be the first female president of the world’s leading superpower, the woman who was meant to break the glass ceiling once and for all.

Many are disheartened by Hilary Clinton’s defeat by the Republican’s misogynistic and racist candidate, Donald Trump. But Hilary, in her concession speech, reminded the world yesterday that we must not lose hope, we must fight on united and stronger than ever. I believe that many young women like myself will find hope in her conscious decision to show the world that she’s not done fighting for women’s rights, evident not only in her inspiring words but through the colours she chose to wear. There she stood this beaming beacon of hope in a Ralph Lauren pantsuit with a bright purple lapels partnered with a silk purple blouse. Her husband, Bill Clinton, also coordinated with his wife wearing a vibrant purple tie. The Clinton’s choice to wear purple was no coincidence. Firstly, if you combine the colours red (Republicans) and blue (Democrats) you get purple. Here, Hilary can be seen as promoting a sense of unity among the American people. Secondly, the colour purple was used by the global suffrage movement in the late 19th and early 20th century as a symbol of dignity. In this Hilary is sending a message to all women, across the globe, not just American women by using this symbol of the universal suffrage movement.

What Hilary went through yesterday is what women across the world experience daily. Everyday highly qualified women and members of other minority groups lose out to educated males in employment and the likes. And if they are successful they are often seen merely as a tick in the box of diversity, a necessity to meet a diversity quota.

In this time of uncertainty, we must not let fear consume us. We must remember how much we have achieved as women and what other minorities have also achieved. We must be ready to face the challenges ahead. We must remember that love trumps hate. Hilary and the efforts of women and public figures of other minority groups have made a crack in the glass ceiling. They have given us the tools to break it and when we do let’s make sure it shatters.