Between A Frock And A Hard Place

Just a few years ago the financially challenged fashionista (aka, the student) was rejoicing at the revolution taking place upon our humble high-street. Gone were the days of Etam’s skirt-pants and Tammy’s plethora of sequined monstrosities; the catwalk had come. Rails were full of Missoni style prints and Chanel-esque tailoring, and all at a reasonable price. Of course, as is the nature of obsession, we were blinded to the looming danger ahead: The Credit Crunch.

Due to this unpleasant reality a few changes must be made. Luckily, the trends of the moment – gothic, heritage and tailored – can all be achieved by simply adding to what you already have.
Everybody has an LBD: fact. This is the basic component for gothic chic. The headliner for this look was Prada’s showcase of the most spectacular lace of A/W ’08, along with Emma Cook and her floral-inspired lace tights. New Look displays the cheapest and most effective versions of these. The important thing to remember with this look is that it’s the texture, not the colour, which changes. If you’re brave enough, add leather. If not, wet-look leggings are a great alternative.

Brit fashion has always been a leader in the global style stakes. Ever since Helen Mirren strutted her poker-faced stuff on the silver screen as our beloved Liz, heritage-inspired pieces have been flying off the shelves. McQueen and Westwood are famed for their innovative use of tartan and their A/W shows were no exception. Check, tweed and corduroy are all a must. Thankfully Nottingham is an Aladdin’s cave of vintage and charity shops, perfect for finding such fabrics. There’s also an equestrian vibe this season for the look of the upper crust, even if the only horse you’ve ever owned was made of plastic. This style can be affected by something as simple as a slicked-back pony.
The point of this article is to give alternative ideas on how to create a show-stopping outfit without breaking the bank. So if you buy just one thing this winter, it has to be a tailored jacket. Thanks to our high-streets these don’t have to cost the earth. Why not embrace a patriotic look with a Barbour jacket or opt for the minimalist style of Marc Jacobs and YSL. Alternatively a blazer is the simplest and most cost effective way of conveying this look.

Students are undoubtedly resilient. One word alone can sum up our ability to live on the cheap; Vodkat. Until we can amble down Bond Street satisfied with our enviable careers, Swiss bank accounts and houses that don’t resemble the squalor of a Brazilian shantytown, let’s unite and show the world that although we make sacrifices, style will never be one of them.

Grace Gordon


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