Thursday, 31 January 2013


The first ever song I heard from Florence And The Machine was her cover of 'You've Got The Love' and from that moment on, I was hooked and anticipated more and more albums and singles to be released from this wonderfully talented woman, but one big question that bugged me for months was who are 'The Machine?'

There is something mesmerising and wonderful not just about her music and lyrics but also her voice, a unique one that I had never heard anything like and something I admire in this performer. Her album to follow from her cover of 'You've Got The Love', 'Ceremonials' remains to be one of my all time favourite albums with the songs 'Only If For The Night', 'Shake It Out', 'What The Water Gave Me', 'Never Let Me Go', 'Breaking Down', 'Lover To Lover', 'No Light, No Light' & 'Spectrum' remaining my favourites from the album with another live album 'MTV Unplugged' which showcased live versions of the songs after her second album was released. Her live performance of 'What The Water Gave Me' at Chanel's Spring/Summer 12 catwalk show was also mesmerising, with the song fitting in perfectly to the theme of the show of sea life and underwater. Standing inside a huge, oversized shell only to be relieved around 10 minutes into the show whilst the models strutted their stuff flaunting the wonder and magic that only Chanel could flaunt.

Her fashion and style have also been something that mesmerises me, in the fact that her clothes always seem to have a simplicity to them with their lines but are beautiful and eye-catching to look at. My favourite outfit she wore has to be the purple, Gucci, V-neck dress for the LACMA 2012 Art & Film Gala. The simplicity of the dress mixed with the sexiness of the low neckline and exposed back and with fabulous gold accessories gave out a feeling and look of sheer class and style. From chic to simple, edgy prints to head to toe colour, there isn't anything Florence can pull off. So what's in store for her in the future; well, of course, I anticipate more music from her but also I'd love to her collaborate with a high street store such as Topshop, just as we've seen with Rihanna for River Island and Lana Del Rey for H&M. I think if you could compare her style with any high street store I instantly think of Topshop, it's a fun, young, a daring brand which is exactly how I see Florence's style, daring, fun and chic. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

January 2013: Jessie J Lookbook

Ever since Jessie J found her place in the spotlight with ‘Do It Like A Dude’, I have loved and admired everything about her. Not only is her journey to success inspirational  and emotionally moving, she also has a fantastic personality hidden behind bucket-loads of talent, something quite difficult to find in celebrities these days. Jessie J’s style is unique, and hence often controversial, but in my opinion, it is when she stays true to herself that her bubbly personality is reflected by what she wears. Jessie J does not need to be told what the definition of beauty or glamour or perfection is, because, as we all know, nobody’s perfect.

Look 1 - As a judge on the first season of The Voice UK, Jessie J shone in many outfits, often bringing eccentricity and vibrancy to the stage. The jewelled skirt and crop top combination works wonders; the skirt is quite literally radiating light! Pair these with the season’s must-have, killer Jeffrey Campbell boots and the result is a look that has ‘Jessie J’ written all over it.

Look 2 - When I saw Jessie J’s choice for the red carpet of the 2012 GQ Men of the Year Awards, I firstly wanted to gasp and secondly wanting to sing “S-E-X-Y! YOU SEXY!” Although this is not your conventional, red-carpet glamour, the little touches of Jessie J - note the silver shoes - are unmissable. She is, however, bang on trend, with a seductive blend of tailoring, a thigh - high split, sequined collars and red lipstick.

Look 3 - What I love about Jessie J is that despite her quirky, original sense of style, she can still pull off a conventionally glamorous red carpet look. She stepped out in this Julien MacDonald lace number for the 2011 Mobo Awards, the detailing of which was simply bewitching. The chunky, gold jewellery is not to be left out, because a Jessie J outfit would be incomplete without her own kooky additions.

Look 4 - Hands down one of the best dresses of the 2012 Grammy Awards. It seems to have been planned and executed to absolute perfection. Julien MacDonald was, again, the man to thank for putting reflective panels onto a dress and putting that dress onto Jessie J, who shone and sparkled the whole night, the way a true star should.

Look 5 - And when someone fabulous looks this good dressed-down, you know there may just be hope for the rest of us mortal beings. Spotted out on the street - style scene, Jessie J introduced a cute red beanie to a hilarious graphic t-shirt, star-printed bomber jacket and blue creepers. It is a reflection of her own lively, dynamic character that peeps out through the singer’s love of bright colours, power prints and individuality.

What's your favourite Jessie J look? Let me know in the comments below and as always, let's be social:

Written by Sharlene Gandhi, follow or tweet her: @Sharlene_Gandhi

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

January 2013: The Young Apprentice And Beyond!

Ever since the show began, I've watched contestants battle it out to win amazing investments from probably one of the countries best and most formidable businessmen: this man, of course, is Lord Alan Sugar. Patrick McDowell was part of the 2012 Young Apprentice competition, a young fashion designer who creates clothes and accessories for women and although he didn't win, he did an extremely good job at getting into the finals. I caught up with Patrick to see how he's getting on after his experience with Lord Alan Sugar and the show.

"I have always been creative and I love that I can use this creativity within fashion design to make a wearable product, for me it is much more interesting combining creativity and wearability. When brought together you create a walking piece of art that is magical to behold."

"Liverpool style and fashion are known for being big and over the top, for example, the girls in their rollers when shopping or the 10-inch heels. Whilst it is loud, it is fun and outgoing. I would much rather be in a city with people who express themselves than in one with those who do not."

"In 5 years time I will be studying fashion design at St Martins university in London , whilst still building my own label. I am currently looking for a sponsor to fund my further education and would urge anyone to get in touch."

"Three big trends I am looking forward to for Spring/Summer 13 are Plastic, Whites, and Metallics. I love layering, clean lines and a little bit of sparkle so all these are perfect for me."

"The Young Apprentice taught me to be much more business savvy, I am now much more on the ball and feel that I have also developed my approachability tremendously."

In the near future, I will be producing my signature bags and selling them online and in selected boutiques. Watch this space.

I don't have style icons but instead, create a style, I do not want to follow in the footsteps of others, but create my own footsteps in fashion.

British Fashion is excellent, it is experimental, interesting, different and above all creative. Thankfully it has not been bitten by the commercial bug as in New York and this is why it does so well. People who want the most creative clothing come to London

When shopping on the high street my favourite store is Zara, then I go to vintage and charity shops and have a secret love for Marks & Spencer!

All my clothes have been adjusted or altered in some way by me, my wardrobe is a mix of 'made by McDowell' and 'butchered by McDowell'.

The most expensive piece of clothing in my wardrobe is actually one of my dresses, 'Bubbles of the Sea' it's a 100% silk dress which I hand dyed and then made, it is so lovely I couldn't bare to sell it. 

To anyone wanting to progress in fashion, find your voice and sing as loud as you can. Shrinking violets won't cut it.

I loved seeing Patrick on the show, and I have loved looking through the images he has sent me, and the work on his website, you can check out some more of Patrick's fantastic work on his website, which I thoroughly recommend or you can tweet him @a_boy_who_sewed. What is your opinion on Patrick and his work? Leave a comment below and as always, let's be social:

Saturday, 12 January 2013


So I know that my blog is mostly about the British fashion industry, and I know that this designer is French, BUT I simply had to write about the wonder that Jean Paul Gaultier did for his spring/summer 2013 collection. I'm talking of course about his ode to the wonder that is 1980's style icon, mixing in his own trends for the Spring/Summer season for his collection. From Grace Jones to Madonna, Michael Jackson to David Bowie there was something really refreshing about the way the designer had his models strutting to the classic music, in classic 1980's attire and something that is a must see for any and every fashionista, to relive a decade that was all about being unique with your fashion sense and your style.

Boy George
Boy George

David Bowie
David Bowie

Grace Jones
Grace Jones



Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson


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