Royal Mail Great British Fashion + Win a Vivienne Westwood Bag!!


Shooting the look for the Vivienne Westwood stamp

Ok so stamp collecting in not generally seen as the coolest thing these day, but I think you will be more than a little excited about these. Royal Mail have created a series of stamps featuring British fashion legends:

Hardy Amies, Norman Hartnell, Granny Takes a Trip, Ossie Clark, Tommy Nutter, Jean Muir, Zandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Alexander McQueen

Shot by renowned fashion photographer S├©lve Sundsb├© the stamps go on sale today, you can view and purchase the full collection and special editions online at Royal Mail.

Each stamp includes prime examples of the ten designersÔÇÖ work, these include Tommy NutterÔÇÖs suit for Beatle Ringo Starr, which was recreated especially for the shoot, and Vivienne WestwoodÔÇÖs 1993 Harlequin dress.

When shooting the outfits that appear on the stamps S├©lve Sundsb├© worked with live models, but did not use their facial features, to allow the designs to speak for themselves. The shoot lasted two days, and relied on the use of the actual original clothes ÔÇô either obtained directly from the designers or meticulously sourced from specialist vintage fashion stores.

The idea for the stamp issue came from the British Design Classics stamps of 2009, which featured Mary QuantÔÇÖs iconic mini skirt. This proved to be one of the most popular of the ten stamps featured in the issue, prompting the decision to dedicate an entire issue to our world-class designers

As you all know I’m utterly obsessed with Vivienne Westwood and got far too over excited when I found out about the stamps. But it gets better!!!! The Royal Mail Facebook app has a competition you can enter to win a VIVIENNE WESTWOOD HANDBAG!! What an amazing prize, so brush up on your fashion knowledge and get over there to enter.

Latest H&M designer collaboration: Anna Dello Russo

Anna Dello Russo to design an ‘over-the-top’ accessories collection for H&M

H&M is proud to announce a special collaboration with fashion icon and legendary Fashion Director Anna Dello Russo. An idol of the blogosphere whose flamboyant outfits are endlessly documented by style photographers and broadcasted globally through the web, Anna Dello Russo proved her unique sense of style creating a special collection of accessories for H&M. Unabashedly glamorous, precious and playful, the range is an expression of Dello RussoÔÇÖs taste for ornamentation. Available from October 4, 2012, at the peak of the global fashion weeks tour, in around 140 stores worldwide and online. The collection features jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, bags and a trolley allowing H&M customers uniqueness at an affordable price.

ÔÇ£I am excited by this collaboration: this is the first time H&M involves a Fashion Director in a special project. This is the sign of an important evolution in fashion, and I am both thrilled and humbled to be the one chosen to lead it. I wanted to create precious accessories that are impossible to find. As a stylist I know accessorization is essential: it is the personal touch to any outfit. With these pieces everybody can have fun, turning an ordinary day into a fantastic fashion dayÔÇØ, says Anna Dello Russo.

ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs been extremely exciting to involve Anna Dello Russo in this project, something completely different from what we have done before. Anna has a fantastic eye and a strong taste, apart from being a veritable fashion icon. She produced an extravagant range of accessories that will get H&M customers and everyone in love with fashion excited. The collection is a celebration of excess, fantasy and decorationÔÇØ says Margareta van den Bosch, Creative Advisor at H&M.

Famously described by photographer Helmut Newton as a ÔÇ£fashion maniacÔÇØ, Anna Dello Russo is one of contemporary fashionÔÇÖs driving forces. An unparalleled eye, she has shaped the way we see fashion today through her groundbreaking work at Vogue Italia, where she served as a Fashion Editor for over twelve years working with photographers such as Helmut Newton, Michel Comte, Walter Chin, and later as the Editor in Chief of LÔÇÖUomo Vogue. Currently holding the role of Fashion Director at Large and creative consultant at Vogue Japan, Dello Russo is a darling of the fashion bloggers, whom she likes to please with extravagant get-ups, and countless changes of outfits, during the worldÔÇÖs fashion weeks.

Information about Anna Dello Russo:

I think Anna is just awsome and a lovely lady too boot. I for sure will be looking out for those crocodile embellished sunglasses! I have to confess I have no idea what a fashion ‘trolley’ is, but I sure want to see it!

Ethical Fashion, Meet Lucy.

Ajok Lucy with her new bike

Look down at the outfit you are wearing. Do you know who made it? Unless you made it yourself or sit reading blogs whilst wearing Haute Couture I am guessing you have no idea. This is something I’ve talked about on the blog before, the frustration of not knowing where our clothes come from. I’m not saying I need to personally know who sewed every stitch but it would be nice to be able to buy things actually made in England supporting our own economy. It is also vital to know that our clothes were not produced in sweatshops by mistreated employees. I also think that it is of the utmost importance that everyone, worldwide, has the chance to use their skills and earn an honest wage. People don’t want hand outs and charity just a little help to set themselves up. As you know I dearly love TK Maxx and hark on about them all the time, could they really give me reason to adore them even more? Something even better than feeding my designer shoe collection? Well yes!

Today I found out about their new initiative to support disadvantaged communities. In store from tomorrow a special range of accessories, all sustainable and hand made will be available. Always with their eye on the latest fashions the tribal prints are bang on trend for this season too. The bags, purses and aprons, all at affordable prices ┬ú3.99 – ┬ú7.99, are sure to win you over. All products have been made by a group of women in Gulu, Northern Uganda. Made in locally sourced 100% cotton featuring traditional African prints, every item is personally signed by the lady who made it. So you will know where your new bag came from, who made it and most importantly that proceeds from the sale will help the women creating it improve her life. In fact it will change the women’s lives and help them improve the lives of their families. The brand is called One Mango Tree and TK Maxx will be helping support them by making their products available in store.

ÔÇ£This is part of an exciting initiative we have taken to help improve the lives of disadvantaged communities in Uganda. By promoting trade, providing skills and employment, we hope to be able to make a real difference to their lives and at the same time provide our customers with some beautiful unique productsÔÇØ said Jo Murphy Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, TJX Europe.

TK Maxx has been working in Uganda with Save the Children since 2008 to provide education facilities to more than 10,000 children.

Adong Kevin with her family; Akello Pamella with daughter Innocent

Meet Ajok Lucy

Ajok Lucy is 22 years old, has three children and cares for her two younger sisters as well. She comes from a small village about an hour away from Gulu called Odek. Life was really different for her before she came to work at One Mango Tree. When Lucy lived in Odek she was a farmer. Every morning she woke up early to dig, usually with a baby strapped to her back. In Odek she traded her harvests for a few other small things like salt, sugar, soap, clothes, and sometimes, if she was lucky, school fees. The biggest problem in Odek was getting enough money for school fees and getting clean water. Now Lucy is working at One Mango Tree, she has bought a bike and hopes to earn enough money to buy her own sewing machine and build her own house. She also wants to buy a cow and chickens for fresh milk and eggs. Her dream is to learn how to make clothes and sell them.

Meet Akello Pamella

“Pamella is a tailor at One Mango Tree. She was born in Awac (pronounced ah-watch), but when she was just two years old, her family fled to join relatives in Gulu town. Awac was a serious fighting ground for the conflict in Northern Uganda and the rebels killed or stole PamellaÔÇÖs familyÔÇÖs livestock, and thus, their livelihood. The family scraped by in Gulu, but after twenty-one years away, they returned to their land in Awac last year. With nothing left of the home they had fled so long ago, they began to build anew. Pamella herself lives in Gulu town with her children, Innocent and Maria, and she cares for her nephew, Felix, whose mother passed away in 2009. Through her job, Pamella has become a beacon of pride for her family, but with her accomplishment also comes responsibility. All of the family members in the village now rely on her for support. But this doesnÔÇÖt seem to bother her one bit. “I am very happy,” she says.”

Meet Adong Kevin

Adong Kevin, 21, is enjoying motherhood and doesnÔÇÖt seem to mind at all that infant daughter Aber Juliet comes to work with her every day. Skilled at juggling her sewing tasks with frequent breastfeeding time-outs, Adong Kevin sits happily at her sewing machine for hours with her baby strapped to her back, Ugandan style, or sleeping nearby. To get to work, she bicycles four to five miles over bumpy, traffic-filled roads ÔÇô and, yes, itÔÇÖs with a baby tied to her back. At home, her family is larger than it sounds. She and her carpenter husband, Odong Geoffrey, care for three other children whose father is dead and whose mother is in a village some distance away; the children live with them in Gulu in order to attend school. Adong Kevin, who enjoys playing netball, dancing, and entertaining friends, is one of One Mango TreeÔÇÖs more experienced tailors; she was already sewing in the Gulu local market before One Mango Tree started production. SheÔÇÖs happy that now she is earning a larger income at One Mango Tree and hopes to save enough to buy land and build a home.

Bag £7.99 One Mango Tree at TK Maxx

To find out more about supporting education in Uganda

Help Pearl! Please!

I have some wonderful, amazing, brilliant news, I received an email this morning from the Editor of Company Magazine Victoria White to say my blog has made the ‘long list’ for the Company Blog Awards!!!

I have been nominated in three, yes three categories!!!

Best ‘What I’m Wearing Today’ Blog

The Best Fashion Insiders’s Blog

Best ‘We Love Vintage’ Blog

and the

Overall winner: The Blog You Love The Most

Wow, I am nominated alongside some of the mega bloggers so it is a real honor and makes me very proud how far Fashion Pearls of Wisdom has come, can you believe this is my fourth year blogging!

So, thank you very much to those that nominated me!!! I also want to take the chance to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who reads the blog, it wouldn’t have come so far without you. Also a big thanks to my sponsors and all the great brands I have been working with for your support.

So please click on over to the Company voting page, you have to tick a blog in every separate category so you can’t just vote for my blog, but I am sure they will appreciate every vote too. You can also be entered in to win ┬ú250 vouchers for your efforts!

Just make sure to tick in the Best ‘What I’m Wearing Today’ Blog, The Best Fashion Insider’s Blog,┬áBest ‘We Love Vintage’ Blog and┬áOverall winner: The Blog You Love The Most categories.

Here are some example page shots of the form, luckily its in alphabetical order!


My Fashion Bitching Quoted in Grazia

Remember the ‘Quality street’ frock Tulisa Contostavlos wore on X-Factor? Why how could you forget, there she was stood like a glamour puss in her custom Fydor Golan gown. But then she tried to walk to her seat. Epic design fail. She had to grab Louis’ arm to keep up right as she shuffled across the stage, the dress was too tight and too heavy for her to walk in. I admit I felt mortified for her but surely she had walked to the stage from her dressing room to see that the dress was impossible to walk in. Had it been me I would have slashed the bottom ruffle off and slashed the skirt to the thigh. But fault also lies with the designers, there is nothing good in a design that cannot be worn. Dresses are not art but clothes, especially those designed to be worn for an event. Anyway my opinion was voiced on Grazia’s Facebook page which they choose to print:

“Onto Sunday’s extravaganza and you’d think Tulisa would’ve learnt her lesson and opted for a more comfortable, less err, dramatic number. But oh no. Instead, she chose a full-length, mermaid-style gown that was certainly breath-taking, but so tight she was forced to cling onto Louis and shuffle to her seat rather than elegantly glide across the stage. On Grazia UK’s Facebook page, the dress has garnered comparisons to ‘a blueberry boiled sweet’ while Pearl Westwood argues ‘there is nothing chic about not being able to walk in your frock!’ Oh dear.

Despite the criticism, Grazia Daily can’t help but salute Tulisa for championing up-and-coming design talent in front of a gazillion viewers. Yes, this blue number was made especially for the N-Dubz-er by Fyodor Golan, the winner of this year’s Fashion Fringe. The design duo presented their collection during September’s London Fashion Week and as you can see from the examples above, their eveningwear creations are wonderfully intricate and creative, winning them the admiration of Fashion Fringe judges Roland Mouret and Claudia Schiffer. Now they have the support of Ms Contostavlos herself and if Cheryl Cole’s support of London-based designers, such as David Koma, on X Factors past is anything to go by, we’re predicting big things for these two.”

Whilst I wholeheartedly agree that such exposure is a fantastic opportunity for up and coming designers, I really feel this was the wrong dress for the occasion. That is unless they were following in David Koma’s footsteps where Cheryl Cole stepped out in his ‘Dustbin Lid’ dress, hideously accessorised with huge hoop earrings and too tight thigh high boots. For it is a beautiful dress that is pleasantly appraised, but only a fashion disaster can create such column inches. If I were the stylist I would have chosen one of the above looks from their collection, design forward yes, wearable yes indeed!

Vivienne Westwood

Internship Opportunities

Vivienne Westwood offers a variety of internship opportunities.

An internship is a great way to start your career; it gives you valuable leadership experience and important networking opportunities that can help in a competitive job market.

Look below at the opportunities now available and see if any of them match with your skills.

If there are currently no work placements that match your criteria, you can send your CV for a future application stating:

– department/role you are interested in;
– period and length of availability

Please make sure your CV is formatted in Microsoft Word and does not have embedded images, supporting images should be sent in a separate .pdf document which should not exceed 5mb in file size.

Click here to send an updated copy of your CV and covering letter

Or check below to apply for a specific internship.

Current Internships Available

Stock Administrator Assistant

The London office of Vivienne Westwood is currently recruiting an intern to assist in the Jewellery Stockroom Department.

The role will primarily involve assisting with Vivienne Westwood jewellery and deliveries from the suppliers but also general administrative duties:

– unpacking and allocating jewellery to customers orders

-making packing lists and preparing the shipment of jewellery and packaging

-updating the jewellery stocks regularly

-assist jewellery manager and assistants

This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience of the fashion and retail sector and it would be a good opportunity for those aiming to work in the fashion industry or related field.

The candidate must be computer literate, precise and have good organizational skills.

The role will be for approximately 5 days a week, Monday to Friday between 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, although as this is a voluntary position, these requirements are flexible.

To apply for this internship please send your CV and covering letter here.

Please also state your availability.

Sales Administrator Assistant

The London office of Vivienne Westwood is currently recruiting an intern to assist in the Jewellery Department as Sales Administrator Assistant.

The role will primarily involve assisting with the marketing research, assistance with the sample collection but also general help to the sales administrator and product manager:

-orders data entry

-system data update

-issuing order confirmation

-sorting returns from customers and following related customer service

-update data on return files

-ship returns to customers

This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience of the fashion and retail sector and it would be a good opportunity for those aiming to work in the fashion industry or related field.

The candidate must be computer literate and have good organizational skills.

The role will be for approximately 5 days a week, Monday to Friday between 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, although as this is a voluntary position, these requirements are flexible.

To apply for this internship please send your CV and covering letter here.

Please also state your availability.


Coupon Croc – Save Money Win Prizes!

Now I know you guys like to save money and win prizes so thought this was worth sharing! Coupon Croc is a website dedicated to find you discounts all all your favourite brands which includes big fashion brands such as ASOS, Evens, Very, Debenhams, John Lewis and Office!
I admit I have become slightly obsessed with checking the site for coupons before buying anything online, its so easy and can make you really good savings. Recent offers include 50% off dresses at Simply Be and free shipping at Debenhams!

You can also win prizes on Coupon Croc’s facebook page, right now you can enter to win a 42″ 3D Plasma TV just by Liking their Facebook page, and double your chances by also sharing the contest link on your wall.

Well worth a look I hope you will agree!

H&M Uses Fake Models

Have you ever wondered why the models on the H&M website are spookily stood in the exact same stance? Perhaps you never even noticed, as the models are just live mannequins aren’t they? Do you solely focus on the clothes or do you look at the model trying to imagine how the garment might look on you?

Either way it might come as a shock to you to know that none of the models on the site are real, not their bodies anyway. They are computer generated ‘virtual’ bodies with real models heads superimposed on top, the skin tone of the virtual body is then altered to match the face.

The fakery was brought to light by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, who confronted H&M suggesting they used the computer generated images as they were not impressed with the real models bodies.

A spokesperson from the H&M press office replied ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs not about ideals or to show off a perfect body, we are doing this to show off the garments. This is done for all garments, not just underwear. It applies to both womenÔÇÖs and menÔÇÖs clothing.ÔÇØ

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation state ÔÇ£This illustrates very well the sky-high aesthetic demands placed on the female body. The demands are so great that H&M, among the poor photo models, cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.”

It may of course all be to do with cutting costs superimposing clothes onto a standard is a lot faster and cheaper than shooting each garment in the studio with a number of different models. In this case however I don’t see the point in having the clothes on ‘models’ at all why not go back to simple shots of the garments. The entire purpose of using real models is to show how garments hang which is totally lost using computer generation.

What do you think, does this bother you? Should they be using real models or are the ‘virtual models’ just like mannequins?

(Sources Aftonbladet,, Jezebel, Yahoo)

Meet Jeff Banks at Cheshire Oaks this Saturday


On Saturday 3rd December, shoppers at McArthurGlenÔÇÖs Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet will have the exclusive opportunity to get expert fashion advice from one of BritainÔÇÖs leading menswear designers, Jeff Banks.

Between12pm-3pm, the iconic designer will be at the Jeff Banks Outlet to meet with shoppers as they browse the latest tailoring collections and suiting accessories available at the store.

With over 40 years of experience in the fashion industry, Jeff Banks offers a range of quality, tailored products, ensuring an exceptional cut and finish.

For the best dressed man on the day, a prize of ┬ú500ÔÇÖs worth of vouchers will be up for grabs, with Jeff Banks himself stepping up to judge an overall winner. The centre will also host a competition to win a makeover to the value of ┬ú200 via Twitter (@Cheshire_oaks).

Mark Schofield, Deputy Centre Manager at McArthurGlenÔÇÖs Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, says: ÔÇ£Jeff BanksÔÇÖvisit to McArthurGlenÔÇÖs Cheshire Oaks is a great opportunity for shoppers to get some top tips on tailoring from one of the countryÔÇÖs most cherished designers. At the forefront of British fashion for over 40 years, Jeff Banks has had a store here for five of those, where the range of stylish suits and accessories perfectly complements our other designer and premium brands.ÔÇØ

The leading shopping destination in the North West, McArthurGlenÔÇÖs Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet has over 145 high street and premium brands including Charles Tyrwhitt, Calvin Klein and Reiss, all at up to 60% less all year round.

Gabbie Cowley, Style Consultant at McArthurGlenÔÇÖsCheshire Oaks, says: ÔÇ£The tailored look is on trend for this season ÔÇô from dapper cool to Sloane style ÔÇô as can be found at the Jeff Banks Outlet here. Clean lines and sharp tailoring can make a huge difference to how fashion looks and feels; with quality-made suits available at up to 60% less from brands such as T.M.Lewin, Austin Reed and Moss Bros, male shoppers at McArthurGlenÔÇÖs Cheshire Oaks donÔÇÖt have to spend a fortune to achieve a slick designer look.ÔÇØ

As well as formalwear, the Jeff Banks Outlet at McArthurGlenÔÇÖs Cheshire Oaks also has a broad range of casualwear including polos, t-shirts, casual shirts, jerseywear and jeans.

You can find out more information on the Cheshire Oaks website

(Image via Jeff Banks)