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OMB! Special – Vintage 101 by Guest Blogger Molli Edwards

Our New Guest Blogger – Molli Edwards

OMB! is extremely excited to introduce our very first guest blogger – Molli Edwards. Molli is a savvy shopper who effortlessly blends vintage finds with high street fashions to create her own unique yet chic style.  However, not all of us are blessed with this ability to work vintage so Molli has written a ‘How to Guide’ to inspire vintage virgins to flock to their nearest Oxfam.

As the great philosopher, Dolly Parton once said ‘it is amazing how much it costs to look this cheap’ but in the world of the charity shop and vintage store, the opposite holds true. If you know where to look and what to look for, any wardrobe can be given a new lease of life by an item that has seen many more before yours. Trawling the shelves of your average vintage emporium or charity shop however differs greatly from browsing the high street, so here is a ‘how to guide’ for finding yourself some pre-loved bargains.


First things first, it is a good idea to have a mental picture of the kind of item that you are looking before you embark upon your second-hand scavenging. Don’t get me wrong, it can be great fun to wander round with no clue what you are looking for, but you are far more likely to be successful if you have a goal in mind. Whether it be the hunt for a roughed-up leather jacket or a new dress to wear out on the town, know what you want before you start looking. Having said this, it is equally important to keep an open mind. If you see a skirt in a fabric that you adore but at a length that you just don’t think you can pull off, don’t dismiss the item immediately. Consider how much effort it would really take to turn it into the perfect piece. If it will only take a couple of snips and stitches and it costs a mere few pennies, then why not put the effort in?

Molli’s Vintage Wedding Outfit

Talking of effort, charity and vintage shopping takes a lot of it. Unlike high street or designer stores, items are not organised according to style, and sometimes not even divided into item type. You have to hunt and forage like there is no tomorrow if you want to find a gem. When you do find this gem though, don’t think the journey is over! With second hand clothing, whether it be from a charity shop or a vintage store, it is important to check the quality and the price. You may find, especially in the vintage shops, that an item in relatively poor condition may be being sold for quite a hefty sum and it is in cases like this that you need to be careful. More often than not however, the opposite will hold true and you will find unique items at incredibly affordable prices, particularly in the knitwear and accessories departments. If there is one thing that second hand shops do well I tell you, it is knitwear!

Rocking a Vintage Jumper and  Sheepskin Jacket

Finally, enjoy it! Shopping for ‘old’ clothing can be great fun and a good trip will invariably provide you with some hideous shirt to laugh at while you root around for diamonds in the scruff

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Girl seeking… Ankle boots. Trendy but practical please?

The temperatures are dropping and those festive Coca-Cola ads are back on our televisions… yup, winter is here. If like me, your toes have lately been feeling like they’re about to drop off (if you can feel them at all) then you’re probably scouring the high street for a good pair of boots.

The perfect boots would of course be heeled (feminine) but not a 4 inch stiletto heel (ridiculous), compatible with jeans and dresses, and warm (real leather helps). Sound difficult to find?

Here are a few OMB! favourites…

Topshop £75

Ted Baker £165

Dune £110

River Island £70

Office £60


The Big Debate: Too much too young? Fashion & the sexualisation of children.

It was the 15-page spread in a French Vogue issue, guest-edited by fashion designer Tom Ford back in January that added fuel to the flame in the debate on the over-sexualisation of children. Wearing heavy make-up and gold stilettos, Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau at the tender age of just 10 years old, sprawls seductively on leopard print bed covers.

10-year-old Thylane Lena-Rose Blondeau in the Tom Ford-edited January issue of French Vogue

“[The photos] clearly create an image of the girl as an adult woman, both in the clothing, the postures and emotional content of the images,” Paul Miller, associate professor of psychology at Arizona State University in Phoenix, has said of the Vogue spread. “The message is that very young girls can be dressed and viewed as young adult women.”

Dr Emma Gray of the British CBT & Counselling Service (www.thebritishcbtcounsellingservice.co.uk) added that ‘this picture is the antithesis of what childhood in our society should be.’

Experts have warned about the psychological implications of such young children being involved in the modelling industry

Thylane Blondeau, though perhaps the most shocking recent example of young girls in the world of high fashion, is not alone. Hollywood child actresses Elle Fanning, 13, and 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld have both recently signed modelling deals with Marc Jacobs and Miu Miu respectively. Now however, Marc Jacob’s Oh, Lola! advert starring Dakota Fanning (17) has been put under fire.

The Advertising Standards Authority received several complaints after seeing 17-year-old actress Dakota Fanning posing with an oversize bottle of the scent between her legs. The makers of Oh, Lola! responded by saying that they did not believe the ad suggested the model was underage and that the giant perfume bottle was “provoking, but not indecent”.

Dakota Fanning’s Oh, Lola! advert for Marc Jacobs

Given that Fanning actually looks about 14 years old in the image, this statement released by Coty seems a little off the mark. In addition, designer Marc Jacobs himself has if anything celebrated the provocative undertones of the ad, recently describing the new fragrance as: “sensual” and “more of a Lolita than a Lola”.  (For those of you that don’t know – Lolita is a novel written by Vladimir Nabokov, notable for its controversial subject: middle-aged literature professor Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he then becomes sexually involved after she becomes his stepdaughter. His private nickname for Dolores is Lolita.)

14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld for Miu Miu; Does childhood not exist anymore?

Of course, those that disagree with such images do so out of concern for society, and the increasing emphasis that has been placed on appearances and retaining youth. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to ignore the many ordinary young girls that slap on the make up, dress like women twice their age, pose like glamour models and then post the images to Facebook.

One of my good friends (he has a 15 year old sister) calls it the ‘iPod generation’. Too much, too fast, too young. Or is it just another sign that girls can’t go 10 minutes without thinking about their looks? Little Thylane’s Vogue shoot will arguably only push the tyranny of the pressure to look “hot” to ever-younger ages. Every parents worst nightmare with cases of pedophilia increasingly in the press?

But it hasn’t just affected the young. Has anyone else noticed how all women seem to aspire, whether they’re 10, 30 or 50, to look 21? Alongside young girls posing as young adults, magazines feature middle-aged models (air brushed/surgically enhanced) posed in the same way as the teens and tweens.

Madonna, 53, looks as youthful as protégé Andrea Riseborough, 30

It seems the damage has already been done. And what next?


Trending: #Halloween

Helloooo Halloween. There is no better time of year to ogle at Stephen Webster’s Murder She Wrote 2011 Collection. And OMB! does his jewellery make me want to cry and wish I had the money to throw at it. (The Hangman ring above is priced at £2,800)

In case you didn’t know… Stephen Webster, Founder and Creative Director of Stephen Webster Ltd and now also Creative Director of the world’s oldest jewellery house Garrard, is one of the leading British jewellery designers. Webster has built a dedicated fan base and is a firm favourite with celebrities across the globe; from Madonna to Christina Aguilera, Kate Moss, Sir Elton John, Mickey Rourke and Kate Beckinsale to name but a few. Check out all of his work on http://www.stephenwebster.com – his Seven Deadly Sins collection is a work of art.

P.S. Money too tight to mention?

ASOS has an array of goulash offerings that’ll do just fine whilst we’re waiting to win that Lotto jackpot (any day now…) including this Claw pendant necklace for just £8.


The Big Debate: Everyone’s talking about Versace for H&M. But are designer/high street collaborations a fashion trap?

The highly anticipated Versace for H&M collection hits UK stores on November 17th, and will feature a 40-piece women’s line and a 20-piece men’s line.

With the recession showing no signs of loosening its hold over our purse strings, you can be sure that fashion hungry women across the nation are currently salivating over the latest designer/high street collaboration.

Will this collection live up to the hype, or is it just another marketing ploy to keep us spending our money? In other words, are designer/high street collaborations providing accessible designer clothing at a fraction of the cost (as advertised) or are they selling high street clothing with an extra charge for a designer label (daylight robbery)?

Karl Lagerfield, never one to shy away from honesty, has voiced his disregard of such collaborations. Although the Chanel and Chloe designer lent his name and face to H&M’s first ever designer collaboration in 2004, Lagerfield criticised the partnership and objected to the chain selling his pieces in larger sizes, controversially stating that they were designed for ‘slender and slim people’. And designer Antonio Berardi, when questioned about the potential for a high street collaboration stated, ‘I’ve been asked many times to do things that were ‘mass’. But if you could buy Berardi on the high street then you wouldn’t want to buy Berardi’.

 It must be remembered that luxury, quality and exclusivity are included in the cost of the full designer package, and in the process of translating designer items to the high street, the very nature of what makes them designer is perhaps lost.

An Americano coffee with milk is still technically an Americano, but in reality it is now just a white coffee.

Designer Alber Elbaz has said of Lanvin for H&M (a previous collaboration) that the collection was ‘about trying to translate the dream of luxury to the masses’. Personally, I think the dream of luxury should focus more on providing quality fabric and fit to a mass market, and less on overpriced and outlandish designs. Perhaps the biggest criticism that Versace for H&M will face is that, judging by the recent previews, the collection really only appeals to the young but still comes with a hefty price tag.

This is not fashion for the masses.

Needless to say, designer/high street collaborations have brought new meaning to the phrase ‘poor man’s Versace’.


Girl Seeking: Black and White Tuxedo Jacket

So, I was on a recent shopping trip with our lovely Beauty Editor Amy, when she randomly (as she does), she turns to me and says ‘You know what I want, I really want a black and white blazer. You know… with the trimming?’ At first, I honestly had no idea what she meant. And yet in every shop I couldn’t help but search for this ambiguous, but undoubtedly fabulous, jacket. Which, gave me an idea for a blog feature.

Girl seeking? I’ll find.

(Send me an email or a tweet: @oksanadorohov)

                                      ASOS Double Breasted Blazer with Contrast Lapels/Whistles Ashley Double Breasted Tux

                               Miss Selfridge Contrast Ponti Blazer/ Mango Contrasting Lapel Jacket /ASOS Satin Lapel Tux Blazer

Alternative?

                                             ROMWE.com Epaulette Lapel White Jacket/Sister Jane Contrast Trim Jacket


Uh-oh… I smell something fishy. Versace makes a splash with new collection for Spring/Summer 2012.

Everyone seems to have been talking about Chanel’s aquatic wonderland set for the Paris show this year. But here at OHMYBLUE! we can’t help but notice that this theme has cropped up in more than one Spring/Summer 2012 collection.

So (with some trepidation) I ask the question: will we all be dressing like mermaids next summer?

Stella McCartney keeps the maritime theme workable.

Versace Ready-to-Wear…

Daryl Hannah? No no, it’s more Versace Ready-to-Wear SS12

Alexander McQueen Ready-to-Wear opted for the use of real cockle shells.

No doubt about it we shall be seeing these designs filtering down through to the high street next year. Add this to the latest phenomenon of every other girl dying her hair red or orange, and we may well see Disney’s Ariel brought to life en masse. Lovely. Personally, it will take some convincing before I am seen with large starfish and seahorses attached to or printed on my clothing.