We’ve got an eye on Isa Arfen

March 18th, 2014 by Caryn Franklin
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Art is a huge influence for spring/summer 2014 – from Chanel’s epic art gallery, Miucca Prada’s muralists who emblazoned fronts of dresses with bold female faces, to Mondrian-esque work of art at Alexander McQueen, tribal African Art at Givenchy and Graffiti at Celine.

It is therefore a great time to be introduced to London-based womenswear label Isa Arfen, a fledgling brand, which was founded in 2011 by Serafina Sama. Spring/Summer 2014 sees Serafina introduce the first ever print to her collections via an multi-hued illustration of an open eye done by Marcela Gutiérrez, an illustrator who she attended Central Saint Martins with.

The resulting statement printed skirt is a show-stopper that can be dressed up for a glitzy occasion or simply worn on a relaxed day. That is the appeal of Isa Arfen – the separates are supremely wearable (you can live your life in them, they fit nicely and feel good), elegant and appealingly simple yet they combine to give a sophisticated feel.

Other highlights of her Spring/Summer 2014 collection include white bias-cut dresses with asymmetrical seams, a voluminous full skirt and coat done in organza cloque and in a lemon sorbet colour as well as signature embellishment. These integrate well with more straightforward looks like an anorak in duchesse satin and basics in a range of rich purples, neutrals and fluoro-bright neons to give the wearer an easy effortlessly put-together nonchalance.

Isa Arfen was founded after Serafina created a small collection of dresses that were sold exclusively through private sales and the enthusiastic response let the designer to develop these initial themes into a broader collection. The collection is stocked in Opening Ceremony and The Corner and you’ll find clean and feminine designs in unexpected silhouettes and unusual fabrics.

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Categories: Body Shapes · Intelligent Dressing · Trends

Tags: art trend spring summer 2014,colour,Fashion Advice,fashion tips,fashion trends spring summer 2014,how to dress,How to Look Good,Isa Arfen,print,print spring summer 2014,Serafina Sama,spring summer 2014 fashion trends,spring summer 2014 trends,Style Advice,Style Tips,Styling Advice,Styling Tips 

Capsule Wardrobe Item: The White Shirt

March 15th, 2014 by Caryn Franklin
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Madelyn Shirt, £129, Sizes 8-18, Hobbs

The white shirt is a classic items that should be a staple piece for any wardrobe.

It may have many-a- Fashion Editor rolling their eyes at it’s lack of wow factor but, on the contrary, this season, rather than just being a foundation piece of your wardrobe, the white shirt is taking centre stage for Spring all with a bit of a twist – think new interpretations with asymmetric cuts, ingenious panelling, necktie detailing and embellishment.

Examples of such can be seen at Victoria Beckham, Paul & Joe, Preen, Valentino, Theyskens’ Theory and Tods.

This shirt from Hobbs gives a clean, contemporary aesthetic offset by detailed embroidered eyelets and rolled sleeves.

Team with the skirt to perfectly offset the florals and keep the look modern and fresh. It’ll also work stylishly with tailored ensembles or more dressed-down jeans looks.

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Tags: bodyshape advice,bodyshape tips,capsule wardrobe,capsule wardrobe item,catwalk trends,Fashion Advice,fashion tips,Fashion Trends,high street fashion,Hobbs,how to dress,How to Look Good,runway trends,spring summer 2014 capsule wardrobe,spring summer 2014 trends,Styling Advice,Styling Tips,white shirt,white shirt spring summer 2014,white spring summer 2014 

Capsule Wardrobe Item: Skirt (florals, pleats and longer length)

March 15th, 2014 by Caryn Franklin
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Betty Jackson.Black Pink Pleated Border Skirt, £60, Sizes 8-20, Debenhams

Welcome to your new Spring/Summer 2014 capsule wardrobe which we’ve started in true Spring style with florals!

There would certainly be something amiss if we had Spring without some florals so in true Spring/Summer fashion beautiful blooms are back for 2014. As banal as flowers in Spring might sound – there were plenty of novel interpretations to mix up the bunch.

With science-book dissected florals at Christopher Kane, 3D appliqué flowers at Mary Katrantzou and Dolce & Gabbana and hothouse blooms at Dior, flowers are more than just flowers this season.

The key to give florals a Spring 2014 spin is to team with a bit of an edge and off-beat styling such as pairing this floral skirt from Betty Jackson at Debenhams with the clean, contemporary white shirt that we have selected as your other capsule wardrobe item this month.

This skirt is one of those items that is ticking off a number of trends yet still has a classicity that will serve you for many years to come. You’ll be able to update with seasonal accessories to give it a fresh spin.

The blown-up, colour-injected floral print taps into this season’s artwork trend as well as that more edgy non-obvious floral feel of the season. The longer length skirt trend is also here to stay. What is more, pink remains a favourite in fashion’s colour palette and tight pleats were all over dresses, skirts and even accessories. This skirt is certainly a fashion all-rounder.

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Tags: Betty Jackson,Betty Jackson Black,bodyshape advice,bodyshape tips,Debenhams,Fashion Advice,fashion tips,Fashion Trends,fashion trends spring summer 2014,florals,florals spring summer 2014,high street fashion,Hobbs,how to dress,How to Look Good,spring summer 2014 fashion trends,Style Advice,Style Tips,Styling Advice,Styling Tips,white,white shirt,white shirt spring summer 2014 

How can I make the heritage trend work for me and my style?

February 20th, 2014 by Caryn Franklin
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Hi Caryn

I read that this season heritage style fabrics and looks were one of the trends on the catwalk. I really like some of the heritage fabrics and prints especially as they have a more classic and refined feel to them. I’m not sure how to make them work for me though as I am quite curvy and trousers and heavier jackets just camouflage my shape and make me bulky.

Could you give me any ideas on how to make this trend work for me? As I said I am quite curvy – I have an hourglass shape and am a UK size 16. I am 5”6 tall. I like to wear fitted dresses but just want to try something different.

Any advice you could give to me would be greatly appreciated.



Hello Danielle

As you so rightly mention the ‘trends’ are there to give you ideas and inspirations to take away and adapt to your own style and bodyshape rather than to dictate a set of getting-dressed-rules. Actually, this season everyone from Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, Dries Van Noten to Stella McCartney at Tommy Hilfiger took a new way to look at the old British Hertiage classics with draping, embellishment and lavish decoration.

A good way to show off your own fashion credentials to take elements from a number of trends and mix them up for your own individual and modern fashion recipe.

We suggest mixing up a this season’s ladylike trend (with some subversive eroticism), a touch of houndstooth and a splash of monochrome tones (this is a trend that always appears season after season).  And what do you get? This gorgeous Houndstooth Illusion dress with leather panels from Simply Be (another autumn/winter 2013/14 trend!) which is mightily trend-worth yet will also flatter your curves. The central panelling will draw focus inwards and downwards in an elongating fashion while the leather at the panel will draw focus at your waist and enhance your hourglass silhouette.

Styling is an important consideration and can lift your look from ‘meh’ to yey! Red accessories will work well here for a more classic take but why not try neon yellow which will really pop against black and the houndstooth print as well as adding a more fashion-forward edge. We have put together some accessory ideas for you.

440 Micro Mini PVC Crossbody Bag, $150, Available in Smoke and Electric Lime, Diane Von Furstenburg

Rachel Roy Ayce Mixed Media Pumps, £155.77, Sizes 3.5-7, Shopbop

Co Vert Marble Effect Earrings, £106, Tom Binns at Matches

Geometric Crystal Ring, £45, Karen Millen

Hope this gives you some ideas.

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Categories: Accessories · Body Shapes · Intelligent Dressing · Trends

Tags: autumn/winter 2013/2014 fashion trends,autumn/winter 2013/2014 trends,autumn/winter fashion trends,bodyshape advice,bodyshape tips,cross-body bag,Diane von Furstenberg,DVF,Fashion Advice,fashion tips,heritage trend,houndstooth autumn/winter 2013,houndstooth dress,how to dress,How to Look Good,illusion dress,Karen Millen,Matches,monochrome dress,monochrome trend,Rachel Roy,Shopbop,Simply Be,Styling Advice,Styling Tips,Sutumn,Tom Binns 

Help! I need some suggestions for hairstyle and accessories for my upcoming Ball!

February 16th, 2014 by Caryn Franklin
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Hi Caryn

My Year 12 Ball is coming up and I’ve bought my dress (right) but I’m struggling with how to wear my hair which accessories would match.

Your help would be greatly appreciated!




Hello Caelan

You don’t tell us what you hair is like so we would perhaps go for a Grecian feel to match the style of your dress. You could try soft loose curls, a half-up half down style or a soft loose updo with having curled your hair first.

You could try a half up down with a braid tying the top half up. You could add a headpiece to the braid or to any of these styles.

16braunton has a lovely selection of headpieces, headbands and brooches that will work really well with your dress. Here are some that we like – and can also give you some ideas about hairstyles.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Enjoy the ball!

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Tags: 16braunton,accessories advice,Fashion Advice,fashion tips,Grecian,hair accessories,hair brooches,hairbands,hairstyling advice,hairstyling ideas,headpieces,how to accessorize dress,how to dress,How to Look Good,Styling Advice,Styling Tips