by Sophie Gates
AS June draws in, we hope you had a fun and eventful one, especially with Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee allowing us in the UK a lovely four day weekend. If she’s your Queen too, did you celebrate in style, or attend a fabulously patriotic street party? We do hope so!
We could not write an editorial to wrap up June’s events without mentioning the fabulous fashion at The Diamond Jubilee. It was in fact, as you can imagine, Her Majesty herself that outshone in the fashion stakes. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge also looked the picture of elegance throughout.
Her Majesty looked radiant in her gold Angela Kelly design with antique gold lace and Swarovski crystals during the Jubilee Concert, as she was entertained by a vast array stars from the music industry across the decades. Kelly designed all The Queen’s outfits for the celebrations, including a stunning silver and white dress with matching coat [above] worn for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, all of which were a year in the planning. As for the royal gents and HRH The Princess Royal, they all looked resplendent in their military regalia on the Royal Barge.
At the Thanksgiving Service, The Duchess of Cambridge arrived at St Paul’s Cathedral with Prince William wearing a Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton lace dress (the legendary label behind her Grace Kelly inspired wedding dress) and a Jane Taylor Hat. Catherine looked breathtakingly gorgeous as ever - she never seems to get it wrong. She is pictured here with the Duchess of Cornwall in an understated Bruce Oldfield coat and Philip Treacy hat.
To see how all the Royals turned out for Her Majesty in the fashion stakes, head over to the Vogue gallery…
Back to the real world, and we cannot promise to make you out-style The Duchess, Catherine herself, but with the summer festivals now in full swing, we can promise you that with our top festival essentials you will look fabulous!
Rule no. #1: NEVER go to a festival without your trusty Hunters (or equivalent); they are the only festival footwear and if you have to get stuck in the mud - get stuck in style. And the best thing about Hunters, you can go traditional, or go wild…whatever tickles your festival fancy!
We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again - make sure protect yourself from harmful sunrays this summer (if it happens to make an appearance!). So a stylish panama is the perfect accessory for both boys and girls.
We are hoping the sun really does come out (and stay out) this summer, so when it does, you need to be prepared to bare your legs. These French Connection Pop Denim Shorts look great on, teamed with a oversize tee or a simple vest top tucked into the waist, channeling your inner Sienna.
As for the gents, these Polo Ralph Lauren Country Club Reversible Shorts will see you through all summer and will look great with a polo shirt.
Another thing you should never leave home without is, of course, your tent! If you have yet to get yourself one, then head to for inspiration. Their tents are of such innovative design - fun and very cool. You will epitomize funky fashion, and never lose your tent again!
There are so many festivals throughout the summer, so here are the dates of some of the best the rugby nations have to offer…simply click on the logo to visit the official site.
Moving on to the rest of the summer and here's what is on the cards at Fashion Unplugged….
As Wimbledon comes around for another year, we look into the dress etiquette and what to wear to the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament. It’s Pimm’s O’ Clock and time for strawberries and cream, so keep an eye on Style Files for our Wimbledon feature later this week.
And finally, gentlemen, keep on top of Men’s fashion with our highlights from the catwalk as Men’s Fashion Week Spring/Summer ’13 gets up to full speed. With LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN SS13 a fait accompli in mid- June, Milan Men’s Fashion Week 23-26 June and Paris Men’s Fashion Week from 27 June-1 July, expect some fashion filled entries!
by Sophie Gates
MAY is another fashionable month with the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, otherwise known as the Met Ball, together with the more well-known 65th Festival de Cannes – primarily for the great and the good of the film industry. However, the Met Ball is exceedingly glamorous and the red carpet fashion cannot be ignored.
The Met Ball Gala is one of the biggest nights of the year in the fashion world and is the equivalent to the Oscars. Held in Manhattan on May 7th to celebrate the work of Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, a number of celebrities made a much anticipated appearance. We have our best dressed, and of course the worst!
Scarlett Johansson, The Avengers Black Widow, looked fabulous in a Dolce & Gabbana gown. It’s a big difference to the leather catsuit the beauty wears in her latest hit, but let’s faces it, she could wear anything and still look amazing.
Talking about amazing, not only that, but Gerard Butler looked extremely dashing in his Alexander McQueen suit. He always gets it right, doesn’t he!
And we are sorry to say this, (because we love this Twilight star) but Kristen Stewart, what were you wearing?! We love your laid back jeans and tee look, and even salute you for wearing your Converse’s on the red carpet, but no, we are really not sure about this one!
Another fashionable event to watch out for is the 65th Festival de Cannes from the 16th – 27th May. With the main intention to raise the profile of films, we can expect to see the most prestige actors and actresses along with some other celebs dressed in their finery. Who will you be looking out for? We'll have our verdict at the end of the month.
And here’s what is coming up this Summer for Rugby Unplugged...
Its tour time as England is set to travel to South Africa to play a three test series in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth throughout June. So with the Summer Tour you’ll need to get your bags ready – South African style. And as the Polo season begins, we will be looking into what to wear and what not to wear to the matches. Hey, you might even catch a glimpse of Prince Harry at the games, so you will want to look you best.
by Sophie Gates
APRIL has finally arrived so we hope you have had a fantastic Easter and gorged yourself on many chocolate eggs – because we certainly have! Spring is now in full swing and this means that one minute it is lovely and sunny (and warm!) outside and the next we are blessed with the well-known April showers we are all so found of… not! So with the weather in mind, this gave us a great excuse to hunt around the shops seeking the best springwear coats out there. Take a look at what we have found…
This Leather neckline parka from Mango is beyond stylish and suitable to wear with jeans, and a light cardigan to shelter you from the breeze.
Or try this Contrasting Leather Detail Trench Coat from the international renowned brand Zara. This trench has a simple but elegant design and would go well anything from jeans to a day time dress.
And if you are looking to splash a bit of cash then this Ted Baker Full-skirted mac, is just what you need! It comes in Olive or Tan (we love the Olive), for a feminine, military-esque look.
And as for you gents out there, Original Penguin is launching its first collaboration with men’s retailer, Scotts. The collection is made up of 15 sportswear inspired pieces including graphic printed tees and turn-up shorts. The pieces are available to buy from all Scotts stores and online. We have picked out a few top pieces from the exclusive range that we especially like…
This Earl Polo Shirt is a firm favourite of ours. The slim fit polo goes up to size XXL and features the brands iconic penguin logo embroidered on the front and also comes in an ice blue ‘Alaska’ colour. Original Penguin is over 50 years old, but has only really been placed at the head of men’s fashion within the last decade. Designs are inspired by the 1950s heritage, with classic American sportswear mixed in.
The graphic printed tees in the exclusive range are also a big hit, with this Motel T-shirt catching our eye! This stylish motel print also goes up to size XXL and is available now.
We also love these premium leather look Washington plimsolls from Original Penguin exclusive’s range with Scotts. We particularly envy the dark brown, as the photograph features, however the plimsolls also come in navy, denim blue, stone and black.
In other news, the England Sevens player Chris Cracknell and Women’s Sevens captain Michaela Staniford revealed the new controversial England kit at Twickenham Stadium recently.
The pair seemed to like their new uniform but we are not so convinced! The home kit is in white and the away kit is in purple with a white boarder around the rose. Both shirts also feature a rather bright, fluorescent yellow distasteful strip down the arms and chest.
We thought the sevens kit could not get any worse, with the previous design sporting the ‘tequila sunrise’ effect, but we were wrong. We most certainly are NOT impressed! Let us know your thoughts via twitter…
by Sophie Gates
AND breathe... fashion month is now over and what a month it was! There were a lot of brilliant collections from the world’s most fabulous designers but we do have our favourites...
The stunning ice blue/pink sparkly collection from the legendary Oscar De La Renta at New York Fashion Week was one of our top highlights, followed by the very British, very countryside look from Burberry over at London. Whilst in Milan, the romantic black and gold Dolce & Gabbana designs stole our hearts and lastly the incredibly beautiful sequinned evening wear from Elie Saab finished off Paris Fashion Week with a bang. If you missed all the action, take a look at Style Files for all our fashion week reports.
Spring has sprung, so make sure you know of your trends for another fabulously fashionable month.
The top trends for you gents out there are: boat shoes, print tees, sweatshirts, blazers, tribal, denim and chinos. Here are our top three picks for the Spring 2012 trends...
Denim will never go away and nor will denim shirts because they are right on trend this Spring/Summer...
Chinos are always great for a smart causal look, with the colour stone being the most popular of choices – but why not be a bit daring this Spring with these cool burgundy ones from the MQT Jeans Company.
Another recent trend is the desert boots – as lately seen on Prince Harry. The Prince of Wales wore the Russell & Bromley boots whilst on his Caribbean tour to mark his Grandmother’s Diamond Jubilee, and in the mean time has caused a mad rush on the high street. The boots are not even on sale for another two weeks but you can pre-order them now, with three colours to choose from: tobacco, brown and blue suede, there is no guessing which one will sell out first.
And as for you ladies, candy colours, ethnic patterns, sportswear, lace, crop tops and the USA Fifties style are everywhere.
One of the coolest trends for this spring has to be candy colours, it has been all over the catwalks and is also very fitting with the USA Fifties style trend, think cute crop tops, think cat’s eye sunglasses – think Grease is the Word! Have a look at our top three picks for Spring 2012...
This candy colour pink tie crop brings together three trends all in one – team it up with some light tailored trousers and say hello to 1950s America.
Maxi’s are always on trend and perfect for the holiday season – but that does not mean you cannot get your hands on one/a few now. This beautiful Ethnic printed maxi skirt from Mango would look great styled with a white strap top.
And it is all about sportswear in the run up to the Olympics, so arrive to the gym in style with this ASOS oversized bright yellow holdall.
I’ll be in mid-April with all the latest news and trends…
by Sophie Gates
FASHION month has officially kicked off and it might just be the most glamorous time of the year with the red carpets of award season and fashion weeks all arriving at once!
We all know it is a big event in the calendar for you fashion-conscious ladies (& gents!) out there, so if you do not know already, here are the dates for showcasing the Autumn/Winter 2012-13 collection.
Here’s the line up – go grab your diary…
- New York fashion week - Thursday 9th – Thursday 16th February
- London fashion week - Friday 17th – Tuesday 21st
- Milan fashion week - Wednesday 22nd – Tuesday 28th
- Paris fashion week (Ready to Wear) - Tuesday 28th – Wednesday 7th March
Expect to see nipped waists, wallpaper florals and beautiful fabrics, and that is just from NYFW designer, Tory Burch. We are also very excited to see Victoria Beckham’s ‘Victoria’ collection…we have high hopes! We will be following all the fashion weeks to give you a roundup of which model/designer stood out with their fabulous designs/presence, what trends impressed us most and how to create the look, from the catwalk to your closet! It’s all go!
And if the fashion weeks are not enough to keep your fashionista-self busy, we have some “Lust Have” items for you...
Turn up on a date or on a night out with the girls, in this light beige chiffon side dress from River Island and you will be sure to turn more than a few heads. As the dress cuts just above the knee, you will feel like a million dollars as the chiffon sides float down beside you.
And because of these gorgeous chiffon sides, it is best to team this dress with some platform wedges instead of opting for heels. Can you imagine, you go to stand up and you have accidently caught your heel on one of the sides, what a nightmare! So avoid all disasters by choosing these nude Lipsy Trinity platform wedges, with a peep toe and a slim ankle strap.
And my last Lust Have item finishes this look off perfectly! Nab this gold sequined embellished clutch from Miss Selfridge, to store all of your going out essentials – phone, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara (and maybe some cash, but hopefully your hot date will pay) and done!
And in other fashion news...
Many of you may have heard by now, Karl Lagerfeld – fashion designer and Chanel creative director, has caused a storm of controversy as he called British singer/songwriter Adele: “...a little too fat.” In the same sentence to the Metro World News in Paris he said: “...but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice.” Whoa there, the damage has already been done and he then goes on to compliment, a little odd don’t you think?!
It seems the nasty jibe did not affect Adele too much, as she hit back with: “I represent the majority of women and I’m very proud of that,” she told the London Metro.
However, Karl Lagerfeld has since apologised over the comments he made, telling Metro World News: “Sometimes when you take a sentence out of the article it changes the meaning of the thought...I actually prefer Adele, she is my favourite signer and I am a great admirer of her.” Great comeback Mr Lagerfeld!
Stay tuned for a fashion packed February! And don’t fret gentlemen, I’ll be bringing all the latest from Menswear on the catwalk too.
And in the meantime, check out Style Files for my look at the BAFTA red carpet, and hot on its heels will be the Oscars at the end of the month...
SEPTEMBER always feels like an exciting time; not only does it bring back memories of new pencil cases, fresh uniforms and the freshness of a new school year to most residents of the Northern Hemisphere, but it’s also the start of the European Rugby Season. More importantly for this section, the dawn of September also means that the Autumn-Winter fashion season fully gets under way.
There seems to be a bit of a war of the trends this year, with the ‘Homespun’ (crochet, macramé, corduroy and checks), 1940s and 60s looks sitting side by side on the high street with burlesque-inspired looks including feathers. The look even goes so far as fetish wear as led by Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.
The good news for those of us who have a few extra contours to disguise, is that the tunic trend continues. On another positive note, the long, flattering lines have been cleaned up and rather than the leggings that have been as much of a curse as a blessing for the last few seasons, the tunics are now being paired with smarter trousers. Choosing the trousers to go with your on-trend tunics, however, is going to be a tougher job as anything goes from ultra tight drainpipes and androgynous flat-fronts to slouchy palazzos. Thankfully, the death knell has rung out for the harem trousers and culottes which have been enjoying an unwelcome renaissance over the summer.
This season’s collections –no matter which trend they have been showcasing– have been flashing forward to Christmas with their colour palate. That’s not to say there have been garish clashes of reds and greens the like of which would bring any modern day Ebenezer Scrooge out in hives; it has been the drinks cabinet that has been raided to splash over our wardrobes. Claret, merlot and burgundy are leading the charge in this flood of autumnal colour and the basic rule of thumb right through until the first thaw will likely to be ‘if you can’t drink it, wear it’.
Among this merry band of eclectic looks that will see us through the colder months up here, there is one common theme: there will be no rolling over and hibernating until the sun comes back out. Vibrant colours and bold looks will give your wardrobe enough lift to chase away any winter blues.
Although the Southern Hemisphere is just rummaging into its spring and summer wardrobe, it’s from little old Blighty that the biggest fashion development of this season comes from. The saviour of many a wardrobe and bank balance, ASOS, is about to fling open its virtual doors in Australia. Though the UK, USA and German sites have been popular with those below the equator for some time, September sees ladies and gentlemen of all shapes and sizes finally get a store stocked with ranges and trends specifically for them.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks and months, as we’ll be bringing you updates on all the shows as London, Paris Milan and New York showcase their talents and trends in the next round of Fashion Weeks, and our sartorial guide to the imminent Rugby World Cup.
THERE are not many people who would openly admit to shopping in the same place as their grandmother, let alone get their wedding dress there, but then, not many brides have their grandmother on a stamp, either.
Zara Phillips walked down the aisle on Saturday to marry her England Rugby captain, Mike Tindall (who was sadly lost in a morning suit identical to both his ushers and a large proportion of his England Rugby friends), in a dress designed by Stewart Parvin, the man behind both her mother, HRH Princess Royal, Princess Anne, and Grandmother, Her Majesty the Queen’s wardrobes for the past decade. Parvin, as well as having his bridal outfit, The White Room in the royal couple’s neighbourhood, has his alma mater in Edinburgh where the ceremony took place, and where his links with the Royal Family began.
The dress itself was a beautifully simple ivory duchess satin bell shaped gown with taffeta straps. She complemented the gown with ivory Jimmy Choo shoes, and a bouffant, cathedral length veil held in place by a Greek Key tiara borrowed from her , her mother, Princess Anne. The ensemble was uniquely Zara - classic and understated but with something a little more daring; from the strong pleating at the front to the full length seam of looped buttons, and the spray effect of her veil, this was tradition updated.
This tweaking of tradition is something of a theme across all the pillars of fashion at the moment. While in recent years we have seen a return to 80s angles, or 70s hippy chic, the theme for the middle stretch of 2011 seems to be one of making one’s own retro. Catwalks across the globe are switching between 90s-inspired acid neons, 40s matinée heroine looks and slouchy 70s maxis, and this is being reflected on the high street.
The style icons of the moment, from the royal ladies to British TV presenter Alexa Chung, are so influential because they have their own signature style that incorporates trends as opposed to constant reinvention. HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has made clean, almost 1940s like lines her trademark, while Chung rocks the ‘too cool to care’ look with aplomb, and yet they are both bang up to date even when stepping out in vintage and high street pieces. Innate style is winning out over explosive fads and as a result the fashion industry has rarely been so exciting as it aims to capture our diversifying imaginations.
Fashion has never been so open to interpretation and individualisation; no longer is embracing a trend about being part of the crowd. It’s 2011... time to be the centre of your own sartorial universe.
SOMETIMES, the anticipation before summer can be sweeter than the actual event itself but all it takes is one glorious day to make one realise there is nothing nicer than Summer itself. From a fashion perspective, finally, one can wear things that have been waiting avidly in the wings since March to be worn, complimented upon and lived in. Summer also brings the prospect of holiday with people gearing up to take a well deserved break from the grind of life. In the rugby world, it may be downtime but life around continues with no signs of stopping. For fashionistas, the sales are everywhere but the smart fashion type will be keeping an eye out for those Autumn ranges that will hit the shops stealth like as the sales draw to a close.
I was lucky enough to visit one of my favourite cities in the world, New York, which was basking in a glorious heat wave and was a treat for all five senses. I give you a soupçon in . Top of my itinerary was a visit to the Savage Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which hosted a retrospective of the late Alexander McQueen’s works. Showcasing different pieces from his collections, the show was not only a timely reminder of his creative genius which continues to play a part in high fashion today but also the tragedy of his passing and the loss of a real talent of our times. There were reports that the exhibition was being packed out by tourists and had queues of forty-five minutes to enter. Luckily, I managed to go early in the day, which was still very busy but I did get to see those works of art close up and pleased I did so. Anyone who doesn’t think fashion is art would do well to visit this exhibition – a true and fitting tribute to a great artist.
With summer also comes the onslaught of blockbusters at the cinema and red carpet moments galore – expect many fashion hits (and a few misses) as the red carpet is rolled out on almost a weekly basis. Finally, this summer sees yet another royal wedding with rugby’s own Mike Tindall wedding Zara Philips, and so the excitement for another amazing dress begins to build…
Whatever you do this summer, have fun, stay safe in the sun and most importantly, do it in style!
FASHION. What does it mean to you? Does it make you roll your eyes with cynicism? (Clothes are just clothes, right?) Does it fill you with dread? Or does it excite and enthuse you with equal measure? The truth is everyone has their own individual relationship with fashion and even those who claim to have nothing to do with fashion are actually very much a part of it (to prove my point, I direct you to the cerulean blue belt scene in the film The Devil Wears Prada – a much smarter film that is far above the chick flick genre it is assigned to). Are there rules in fashion? Yes and no. Do you have to follow them? Yes and no. Essentially, fashion is what you want to make it and once you find the style that is right for you and expresses who you are, in a world that is increasingly image conscious, it becomes a rather empowering and satisfying extension of yourself.
So who is BK Talley? Paying tribute to one of the most influential men in fashion, André Leon Talley, BK Talley is a humble attempt to emulate the way the real André Leon Talley (ALT) appreciates fashion as an art form and has discovered numerous designers who have gone on to forge very successful careers as well as continually promoting new talent. In addition, Fashion at Rugby Unplugged are addicted to America’s Next Top Model where ALT serves as a judge on the judging panel and often dispenses classic lines including the key phrase “dreckitude” (which is something inappropriate or not suited to the occasion or quite simply wrong).
Whilst high fashion may not be to everyone’s taste or understanding, not only will BK Talley demystify the messages from the oracles that are the catwalks but will also ensure one size fits all – so whether you are a Dan Carter, a Jason Leonard or Francois Pienaar or indeed, your own unique shape, there will be something here for you. And ladies aren’t to be left out either as the fashion landscape is simply waiting to be explored and conquered by women of all shapes and sizes, all beautiful in their own ways.
So, whether you are a fashionista or reluctantly styled, there is a whole world of fashion out there waiting to be explored and here at RU is a small part of it, with all the dreckitude sifted out and the fierce rewarded, especially for you. Enjoy!