The race is ON for Karen Millen’s Ascot collection

The race is ON for Karen Millen’s Ascot collection

As the official partner for Ascot 2018, Karen Millen is racing away with thoroughbred threads.

Karen Millen are Ascot’s official fashion partner for 2018

Karen Millen have served up sartorial winners ever since they first raced out of the traps and now they are odds on favorite to be a wardrobe winner at Ascot this year.

As the official fashion partner for Ascot 2018, Karen Millen has created an exclusive collection which puts the occasion into occasion wear with hand printed florals, lush lace work, terrific tailoring in on-trend pinks and blushes. Honed in the Karen Millen in-house Atelier and crafted in the most luxurious fabrics the designs make use of couture techniques for a seriously flattering silhouette. Talk about thoroughbred threads!

Naturally race day dressing decisions demand a head-to-toe approach and for the first time Karen Millen has added hats and fascinators to its occasion wear edit. Whether you are OTT Princess Beatrice or a demure Duchess of Cambridge there is the hat size for you.

Our personal bets are on the white tailored two-piece topped off with an asymmetric black hat and the hand printed white strap dress that can easily be taken off the turf and into wedding season. Lord knows a girl has to have a summer dress that can be fitting for many summer social commitments.

The collection is available online at Karen Millen now – we will race you for it!

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The cult dress brand you won’t see anyone else wearing on holiday

The cult dress brand you won’t see anyone else wearing on holiday

Shh, don’t tell anyone

Isn’t it frustrating when you carefully curate your holiday wardrobe but as soon as you land, see someone else wearing the exact same (probably Zara) dress or bikini as you?

Which is why you’ll understand my excitement at discovering the not-so-new but still fairly niche Bali-based designer Innika Choo. I instantly fell in love with her playful and timeless dress, smocks and blouses, just in time for my next holiday. I’m not even joking when I never got so many likes.

I got chatting to the designer via DM, and learned that she started dreaming of her own label from a very young age. ‘Mostly my mum would find me doing a custom hack at a hem line with scissors, sometimes in the mirror while wearing it. I was rather impatient and didn’t mind snipping off the length, tying it all together with a belt, and dancing out the door – which horrified her. She was always figuring out ways to stitch them up, without compromising on the structure of the garment. Perhaps that’s when it all began. I was 12. Add a few years, a husband, 3 kids and Instagram; Voila.’

But as with many cult mid-range designer brands these days, Innika Choo’s journey really kicked off on this little ol’ thing called Instagram.

Innika says, ‘The first piece I ever made was inspired by an antique Romanian boys’ costume I’d accidentally bought on eBay (obviously, I did not read the description). I found off-cuts of gingham fabric, re-worked smocking details with embroiderers and ended up pulling together a few pieces with a tailor. I wore it a few times on Instagram, and that sort of wet the palette so to speak. Since then each collection has become an evolution of the next.’

22,000 followers later, and you could say it’s hit that sweet spot between cult brand, but niche enough to not spot a hundred other people wearing it on holiday. Innika stays pretty modest about it though, jokingly putting it down to being able to do cartwheels (‘also, my baklava eating abilities’) she adds.

Jokes aside, it’s easy to see why the embroidered designs have hit such a sweet spot. The ‘one size fits all’ approach means you can tailor the dresses to your own shape, creating a flattering curve thanks to strategically placed belts, or going for a looser, more bohemian feel.

And then there are the extremely wearable gingham prints which scream summer (the green gingham dress is one of the designs snapped up by Net-A-Porter and has to be re-stocked regularly), and traditional embroidery that make the dresses stand out from the ones you see on the high-street.

Plus, the prices are relatively affordable, starting at around £160 for a top, not too bad for a timeless piece you’ll be wearing every summer.

Shop now: INNIKA CHOO Embroidered linen top for £160 from Net-A-Porter

And that’s exactly the ethos behind the brand. Rather than sticking to trends, Innika designs what feels right for her at that moment.

She says, ‘All I know is that these are the clothes that I want to wear today and tonight, and tomorrow and the next day, and I thought it only fair to make them for you too. This collection is all about favourite embroideries re-imagined (bigger and bolder!), flirty hemlines and as always volume, but now with a bit more skin.’

And if you’re finding it hard deciding which pieces to invest in, keep it simple: ‘ Go with the pieces that people will remember you in, conversational pieces that spark curiosity, and turn a few heads,’ the designer says.

Shop now: INNIKA CHOO Tiered embroidered gingham cotton midi dress for £405 from Net-A-Porter

‘I always try to imagine a woman walking into the room wearing the garment I’m about to buy – if I’m slightly jealous of the look, aching to be that girl, then I will definitely buy the piece!’ which is exactly how you feel when you see a brilliant #ootd post, non?

So what’s next for the brand? Hopefully more fab collections, and perhaps a new celebrity fan or two: ‘I’d love see Julie Andrews wear my designs.  Let’s make this happen.

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Best Fair Trade Shoes – Ethical And Sustainable Brands

Best Fair Trade Shoes – Ethical And Sustainable Brands

Fair Trade Shoes. How often do we hear this in today's world of fast fashion? Not enough, but not non-existent. In fact, whether it's shoes, clothes or accessories, many companies are moving away from the use of fur or other materials that are extracted from torture and killing of animals and destruction of the land in the name of fashion. If you are in fashion, you will hear Versace's recent statement that you have given up animal skin and real fur – which are her bestsellers. While we are pleased that big brands give examples, there is more to sustainable shoes than to the skin. Fair trade, ethical and sustainable shoe industry is an end-to-end process that ensures that you do not use resources of any kind in the process of getting these dream shoes. If you've been on the lookout for these or you want to know what your options are, you've come to the right place.

The Best Ethical Shoe Companies

1. Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney chose resilience before it was anything. Ironically, this should be a priority for brands anyway, but unfortunately it was not. Fortunately, we have some pioneers to look for a solution in the luxury brand segment. However, as it is the brand that it is, Stella McCartney has never compromised or had to give up a style of recourse to ethical standards. And the best part of this brand is, although most customers turn to Stella McCartney for their sustainability, many of their loyal customers do not even know that their apparel, footwear and accessories are made of genuine leather, fur or wool.

2. Veja

Veja believes that the world must move towards sustainable, environmentally friendly and environmentally friendly clothing, and taking into account the kind of carbon footprint we collectively leave to this planet, which is not yet enough. Veja thinks the fashion world is always less talk less action, and it forces him to do little. All shoes are manufactured in Brazil and France and in accordance with International Labor Laws. Rubber is delivered to him at premium prices from the Amazon Forest to ensure a sustainable living for families who make a living from it; its cotton is extracted from organic cooperative groups. All this without compromise on style.

3. Veerah

When there are brands that open stores at low prices, brands like Nisolo are trying to push the idea of ​​sustainability with outstanding design, quality and, most importantly, time. They really believe in the reason for sustainability and that our style and personality should be more than cheap and cheap apparel, shoes, and so on. No intermediaries and everything you pay reaches manufacturers in Peru, the third largest footwear manufacturer in the world to provide health care, fair wages and safe workplaces. All types of production methods they choose not only meet but exceed the expectations of fair trade and ethical production standards

5. Matt & Nat

The name Matt and Nat is derived from "Materials and Nature," which surrounds us and where the idea comes from. It is inspired by nature, its colors and its resources; the idea is to create designs that are inseparable and beautiful. They must fully protect the environment and the people involved at every step of the way. If you look at his collection, you will find it quite unreal. Whether it's recycling or using new materials, Matt & Nat is constantly climbing into the learning and design curve

6. Tom

Toms is a company that was created by Blake Mikoski, who realized that people, especially children in Argentina, had no shoes to wear. In this way, efforts were made to produce shoes, moccasins, boots, etc. by ethical methods. This is deeply rooted in its unified business model, which means that each child has a shoe to wear. It has so far provided over 60 million pairs of shoes and continues to help lift communities in Africa and other countries

7. Indosole

Indosol was created by Kyle Parsons of California, who started this company to deal with a specific but enormous problem that causes pollution in the world and for centuries – tires. It is almost impossible for the tires to collapse, and so the idea came up when he thought about how even the first tire is still in the universe. Third World countries use rubber and tires as fuel for fire, etc., which is extremely dangerous for the environment and for their health. In this way, the idea of ​​making shoes with soles made of recycled rubber appeared. The idea began with the purchase of such Kyle shoes from his first trip to Bali and he was attracted to this beautiful country. He returned to start his company by making rubber shoes. What an Incredible Story

8. Sseko Designs

Sseko is a clothing company based in Uganda that helps local women and girls who would otherwise quit college due to lack of resources. Each piece that is made comes with ethical skin; in addition, each pair sold helps a girl to get to college. They hire women in need of financial assistance and give them the opportunity to make money and to be independent. Sseko also allows women in the US to sell their products and, in turn, help women in East Africa. So, buying shoes from brands like this means someone somewhere stays at school

9. Coclico

Sustainability, minimalism, muted nuances, neutral palette, ethical trade, fair production values, local fur, renewable, recyclable forests, etc. are the periphery of the Coclico ecosystem. Slow fashion in the real sense of the word. This is the family business of his founder, who originally came from Spain, but is now a New Yorker who has established his headquarters there. However, he continues the design and production in Spain. Buying from such brands is a matter of pride – it never gives you a luxury brand

10. Mamahuhu

Mamahuhu begins when Luis Moreno travels to Bogota and moves from a small artisan craftsman who gave up because the mass production moved to Asia. She realizes that there is pure talent in places we do not realize, and works with him to make some handmade shoes that are made to perfection. Every pair of shoes made by Mamahuhu is stylish but ethically made. In addition to being ethical in its practices, the brand helps craftspeople to improve their skills by signing up for seminars, and so on. and eventually help them become entrepreneurs

If you are thinking about moving to shoes for fair trade and something ethical,, etc., that's the way to go. This is easier than you think, and a couple, even if it is expensive, will go a long way. Most importantly, you are doing a good case in an amount that is higher than you imagine.

What are your brands for shoe shopping – which fall into the sphere of fair trade, of course?

Banst Image Credits: Instagram

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Here’s why Meghan Markle chose to wear a sheer dress in her engagement photos

Here’s why Meghan Markle chose to wear a sheer dress in her engagement photos

According to Alexi Lubomirski…

Announcing their engagement last year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to wed next month on May 19th at St. George’s Chapel, in Windsor castle.

With a month to go until the big day, wedding updates are still coming in thick and fast, from who is in charge of the flowers to Prince Harry’s best man – according to reports, he has only just asked his brother, William.

Just last week, the royal couple announced their latest update confirming their official wedding photographer as Alexi Lubomirski, the same photographer behind their iconic engagement portraits.

‘Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have selected Alexi Lubomirski to take the official photographs at Windsor Castle following their wedding at St George’s Chapel on 19th May,’ Kensington Palace announced on Twitter.

The now iconic photographer has spoken out about his experience taking the engagement portraits recently, even going on to talk about THAT dress – the £56,000 Ralph & Russo sheer number that surprised the public, breaking royal protocol.

‘[I was] very shocked with the reaction,’ the photographer explained to Entertainment Tonight at The Daily Front Row Fashion Awards over the weekend. ‘To be honest, we tried on a couple of different things and that was just one that she felt comfortable in, so we weren’t really thinking, “Is it nude?” Or anything. We just thought, “Feel comfortable and let’s make some nice pictures”’

‘It was a very surreal end to the year because it came out of nowhere,’ he explained in an earlier interview. ‘I think one of Megan’s friends saw on Instagram that I was in England during the announcement of the engagement and I was told later that this person said to her, “You should meet Alexi. He’s great, you’d love him” and that was it.’

Going on to explain the shoot, he stated: ‘It was one of the easiest, most joyful jobs because they were so deliciously in love,’ with the photographer even going on to recall that all he had to do was to tell the couple to be themselves.

Judging by Alexi’s official photos, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding photos are set to be the most millennial to date – and we cannot wait.

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M&S Curve launches for summer

M&S Curve launches for summer

Dying for some spring/summer wardrobe newness – and not just the ones that look good on a size 8? Hurrah for the brand-new M&S Curve collection! Shop our favourite pieces and get some hot styling tips from Marie Claire’s resident curvaceous columnist Hayley Hasslehoff.


So long Beast-From-The East, the sunshine is out and Spring is finally in sight. And if your wardrobe is in need of a refresh, and you’re also not a typical size 10, there’s some seriously hot fashion news heading your way. It’s called M&S’ newly-launched Curve collection. Thoughtfully designed for curvy figures in sizes 18 to 32, the collection has been developed using insights from more than 2000 customers and offers styles that are trend-led and super-flattering for dressing your curves come summer.

Marie Claire’s resident columnist Hayley Hasselhoff has tried out the best of the collection, testing out their new season style offerings. Sitting alongside some of the best trench coats and the best jewellery, the M&S Curve collection goes major on vibrant colours, cute tailoring touches and classic staples.

As Hayley tells us, “Right now, it’s all about bringing in a pop of colour, diving into embellishment and reinventing the trusty trench. Luckily, Marks & Spencer’s first ever Curve range ticks all these boxes – I’m adding so many versatile pieces from the collection to my wish list!”

“The Cobalt blue dress is my day-to-evening staple. To make a block-coloured dress stand out, layer up multicoloured necklaces.”

Double Layer Bodycon Midi Dress, £59

Jelly Petal Collar Necklace, £15

Rectangle Collar Necklace, £17.50

“This chic navy trench is a key buy, and the white blouse brings casual sophistication to the jeans.”

Belted Trench Coat in Navy, £69

Cotton Rich Long Sleeve Shirt, £27.50

360 Contour High Waist Straight Jeans, £29.50

Faux Leather Circle Handle Cross Body Bag, £39.50

Woven Striped Visor Hat, £12.50

M&S Curve

“Team a yellow blouse with navy satin trousers for an easy elegant vibe. Then throw on a cool cape for extra style points.”

Satin Wide Leg Trousers, £39.50

V-Neck Longline Camisole Top, £25

Shop More of our Top M&S Curve Picks


Belted Trench Coat, £69


Longline Long Sleeve Shirt, £35


Cotton Rich Longline Trench Coat, £69


Pleated Front Wrap Jumpsuit, £65


Floral Print ¾ Sleeve Wrap Midi Dress, £45


 V-Neck Ruffle Sleeve Blouse, £29.50


Linen Rich Wide Leg Trousers, £29.50


Front Knot Half Sleeve Maxi Dress, £65

Simple, elegant, and right in line with our Summer Fashion Trends, these versatile M&S Curve pieces will transition your wardrobe straight into the summer season ahead…

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This dress is about to get you a helluva lot of likes on Insta

This dress is about to get you a helluva lot of likes on Insta

Introducing that one dress that’s so colourful that not only will it elevate your summer wardrobe (that’s assuming summer’s actually a thing anymore that is), but it’ll probably get you all the Insta love.

It’s part of the ASOS Made in Kenya collection, which has just landed on ASOS today. It features a multi-coloured paint print with gold details, and a cute off-the-shoulder design.

Shop now: ASOS MADE IN KENYA dress from ASOS

But the best thing about it is the story behind it. First off, it’s cut and manufactures by SOHO Kenya, who ASOS collaborated with to improve the lives of members of the local community.

Then it’s part of the collection designed by a special series of collaborators, including brother and sister duo 2manysiblings (@2manysiblings) , Beats 1 Radio presenter Julie Adenuga (@julieadenuga) and model Leomie Anderson (@leomieanderson).

The dress itself hasn’t gone live yet (it launches in August), but you can already buy the matching tote bag, which in itself is a #flatlay waiting to happen.

And if you just can’t wait, there are plenty of other great choices, including a matching tropical print crop top and trousers.

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How to pull off the trickiest SS18 fashion trends

How to pull off the trickiest SS18 fashion trends

Digital Fashion Editor Penny puts them to the test so you don’t have to

spring summer trends 2018

It’s one thing when you see all the gorgeous spring/summer 2018 trends on the catwalk, but it’s a different thing altogether when you’re trying them out IRL.

That Balenciaga model may have looked like an angel from heaven in her head-to-toe buttercup yellow look, and the Loewe girl gave us major envy in her pastel checks, but how does this translate in your normal day-to-day wardrobe? I decided to put the trends to the test so you don’t have to, and you can shop all my looks below.

Summer fashion trends 2018: Crayola colours

spring summer trends 2018

Photo: Will Goldstone

Shop my look: Ceffin top (£150), Topshop trousers (£40), Topshop shoes (£46) and STAUD bag (£310)

From Givenchy to Balenciaga, designers took inspiration from their favourite Pantone colours for spring, and I don’t blame you for being a little scared of this trend – head-to-toe red isn’t for everyone. I wanted to add a bit more depth to the look by going multi-tonal and pairing some primary colours together.

Despite appearances, there are some rules to follow, namely don’t go over three colours, and make sure at least two items are matching so it looks a bit more pulled together. If this is still too bold for you, swap the trousers for a dark denim, and keep the shoes neutral too.

Summer fashion trends 2018: Pastel colours

spring summer trends 2018

Photo: Will Goldstone

Shop my look: H&M blouse (£29.99), H&M skirt (£29.99), M&S bag (£29.50) and M&S shoes (£65)

Ice cream shades were everywhere on the SS18 catwalk, from Preen to VB and Chanel, and as well as mint, the surprising hit of the season was, as Jess Wood excellently put it, ‘Queen Mum-sy lilac’. So I stuck to those two shades for this look. By picking a sheer blouse, I ticked another trend and gave the look a bit more edge as pastels can look a bit ‘cute-sy’ for my liking.

Summer fashion trends 2018: Puff sleeves

spring summer trends 2018

Photo: Will Goldstone

Shop my look: Zara shirt (£39.99), Rejina Pyo skirt (£345 at Browns), ASOS earrings (launching soon), ASOS bag (£30) and Zara shoes (£79.99)

By now, you’ve probably noticed puff sleeves all over your Instagram feed, so there’s no avoiding this trend, which is fine by me as it’s one of the most wearable ones. Opt for a versatile white which you can pair with everything from denim to a floral midi skirt. I jazzed up this number with a few colourful accessories.

Summer fashion trends 2018: Check print

spring summer trends 2018

Photo: Will Goldstone

Shop my look: Zara blouse (£29.99), Zara skirt (£49.99), Aeyde shoes (last season), Anissa Kermiche earrings (£360) and STAUD bag (sold out)

This winter’s check print has successfully transitioned into spring, you’ll be happy to hear. There are two takes on this trend, which I happily took on.

On the one side, you’ve got a feminine take on the heritage print (Victoria Beckham, Burberry). Think tailored trousers, silky materials and midi skirts.

spring summer trends 2018

Photo: Will Goldstone

Shop my look: Lee Mathews dresses (launching soon), Shrimps bag (£450) and Topshop shoes (sold out)

At the other end of the sartorial spectrum, you’ve got your folksy prints (Loewe, Fendi) which allow for a more bohemian look. Here, I layered two dresses to add interest, and kept accessories paired back.

Summer fashion trends 2018: Beach clothes

spring summer trends 2018

Photo: Will Goldstone

Shop my look: Left: Rixo blouse (£175), Rixo skirt (£215) and Zara sandals as before. Right: As before, with Ganni skirt (£140 at Coggles)

If you’re a maximalist fan, you’ll have no doubt loved the tropical offering seen at Gucci, Versace and Marc Jacobs. Your inspiration? The 1960s Palm Beach socialite. I opted for a fabulous Rixo print top, worn with a matching skirt one day, and with a leopard print Ganni skirt later (other unlikely style icon: Kat Slater obvs).

More is more here, in case you hadn’t guessed, but you can of course pair things back with the accessories. I’ve opted for a basket bag here, another key trend for SS18.

Summer fashion trends 2018: Suit shorts

spring summer trends 2018

Photo: Will Goldstone

Shop my look: Zara blazer (£89.99) and shorts (£49.99), Mango shoes (£59.99) and Mulberry bag (£950)

I was excited to try this trend (see at Off-White and Balmain) as I love a good blazer, and I wasn’t disappointed. Suffice to say, your summer workwear just got elevated. Try a check number like this Zara two-piece, or a pastel one to make sure you tick two trends in one.

Summer fashion trends 2018: Floral dresses

spring summer trends 2018

Photo: Will Goldstone

Shop my look: Anna Glover x H&M top (£24.99) and skirt (£34.99), Zara shoes as before

Yes yes, florals for spring and all that. But this season, florals do get a little bit of a shake-up (Chloe, Rocha, Emilia Wickstead) in the form of ditzy prints and sugar hues. Try mixing and matching or going for a sheer floral for a bit more edge.

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