Monday, January 27, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014 Year of The Horse

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Dear Unlikelies, 

We wish you a very happy and prosperous 2014 ahead for those celebrating the Lunar New Year starting this week. 

We will be away for a month during the holidays to bring you the best in fashion from all around the world. 

Stay tune for an exciting new year in fashion to come when we return.



Sunday, January 26, 2014

January Jetsetter Style - Celebrity Edition

It's that time of the year when celebrities and who's who in the fashion industry start planning their trip to fashion week in Paris, London, Milan and New York for Fall Winter 2014 runway shows in February.

As for the rest of the world, some lucky folks prepare to take off for the Chinese Lunar New Year 2014 holidays that commence on the 31 January at the end of this month hence we decided to feature some of our favourite airport travel styles inspired by celebrities and supermodels.

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Airport Style Tip 1: Baggy Wins
Cara Delevingne knows how to travel in comfort without hiding her quirky style. From bulldog face wifebeaters to roomy sweatshirts and gorillia plushie sneakers, the British supermodel is unafraid to show her real age unlike most of her peers at the same age.

Airport Style Tip 2: Leather up with Love
What's not to love with leather? Lindsay Lohan loves leather everything - from leather biker jackets to jeans, shoes and bags, this young Hollywood style chameleon nevers fails to look prim and polished even while she's jetting from one airport to another.

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Airport Style Tip 3: Leather Carry-all
The Celine happy tote and Givenchy Antigona bag seems to be all the rage still in Asia or America as Hilary Duff and Rosie Huntington Whiteley are frequently spotted with each of their favourite designer handbags.

A roomy leather carry-all is more fuss-free, durable and cool alternative to bulky nylon weekender bags or a trolley luggage - a perfect essential for short trips to tropical destinations.

Airport Style Tip 4: Luscious in Lace
Actress Kate Bosworth never fails to look chic as she dashes to and fro one airport to another for awards and movie premières. She is spotted above wearing a leather coat with contrasting pink lace sleeves for that extra touch of sexy femininity.

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Airport Style Tip 5: Stay Safe in Earth-tones and Neutrals
Kate Bosworth is seen with her husband Michael Polish in a earth-tone ensemble consisting of brown leather shorts and a knitwear top which complements her porcelain complexion.

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Airport Style Tip 6: Accessorize or Die

Everyone dresses in drab colours for winter, black, white and grey. If you still want to remain identifiable at the airport by your friends, family or whoever whose coming over to pick you up the airport, make sure you wear something different and the simplest way to do it is to accessorize.

Dakota Fanning wears a boater's straw hat to make her stand out from the crowd while her sister Elle Fanning chooses a contrasting pastel blue Prada bag. Supermodel Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley chooses a pair of crystal studded rim cat-eye sunglasses.

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Airport Style Tip 7: Wear Something Comfortable

No matter how bad you want to wear something gorgeous but impractical on the flight, refrain from doing so. Pick a baggy pair of pants like Bella Thorne and Lindsay Lohan. Throw on a loose fitting jacket you can snuggle in during your 18-hour flight.

Mix and match something from your favourite stash with a practical item and don't you ever think of dressing sloppily for a flight. 

We'd love you to share what your airport style or travel staples are on a flight!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chanel Pre-Fall 2013/ 2014 Short Film by Karl Lagerfeld

We love the way how Chanel presented their Pre-Fall Autumn Winter 2013/ 2014 collection in a short film featuring the hottest models of the moment such as Cara Delevingne, Edie Campbell, Lindsey Wixon, Ming Xi, Soo Joo Park, Xiao Wen Ju, Yumi Lambert, Ondria Hardin and more in a casual setting where exclusive to only some of the most stylish women reflecting the brand's motto.

We just wished their runway collection pieces would live up to the same standards and consistency as their advertorials.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How to Prevent Acne: 5 Social Media Mistakes Swedish Fashion Brand Made On Facebook

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In our final instalment of the Acne Studios online shopping experience gone wrong where the simple issue of an item exchange gone so wrong, we will cover the Top 5 Social Media Mistakes a Brand Can Avoid When Using Facebook.

Purchasing online was created to make both the lives of the company and customer easier yet Swedish fashion label Acne Studios did not have an automated computer system to check their stock balance or adequate policies on online/ store exchanges to facilitate customers who have bought the wrong size/ colour or defective items.

Considering the fact that Acne Studios is a very small company compared to retail giants like Burberry, Prada, Fendi or even high street retailers like Topshop or Zara, it is without a doubt that their capital and revenue is smaller hence they are inadequately staffed and even when they are staffed, junior, unskilled or inexperienced candidates are chosen as it would cost much more and fewer quantities of experienced, professional candidates can be hired with a smaller pool of money.

Social Media Lesson No. 1: Responding too quickly without thought

The Acne studios customer service rep copied and paste a chunk of material from the e-mail which did not address the customer's query in the first place

Social Media Lesson No. 2: Choosing to delete a user's facebook post

Choosing to delete a user's or worse still a customers' facebook post or feedback and not spam or malicious hate speech just goes to show how inexperienced Acne's customer service team were and how inadequately staffed the Swedish luxury brand was in the marketing department.

Social Media Lesson No. 3: Banning a customer from their facebook page

Minutes after responding to the customer's feedback on facebook, Acne chose to delete the thread of comments. By opting to use such a drastic measure, Acne shows the world that they would rather ignore customer service issues and complaints instead of rectifying it. The fashion brand has made a clear statement that it has complete disregard for after sales service and customers who were suckered in and made a purchase with the brand. 

Worse still, Acne is preventing the public from hearing about their poor customer service standards and bad social media management skills because Acne was deleting them one by one immediately after a post was made.

Unfortunately Acne Studios's untrained customer service rep's poor response and badly executed social media action plan (if there is one in the first place) will not only fail to provide any short term gain for this inexperienced fashion house but present long-term problems if they do not act quickly to sort out their critical customer communication and management skills.

Social Media Lesson No. 4: Not hiring a dedicated or qualified team of social media staff to handle customer feedback and enquiries.

The Swedish fashion house management's lack of foresight to hire trained and experienced staff dedicated specifically with the responsibilities of leading and managing online social media experience for customers will have a detrimental effect on the brand image immediately as show in this badly handled after-sales customer service case study

Social Media Lesson No. 5: Poor use of content management on social media channels

Almost every single post revolves around the brand's products - fashion apparels and accessories and there are no posts done to engage the fans on facebook. This goes back to the original issue of not having a dedicated team of staff in-house or a competent digital agency to handle their social media management.

The irony is business expansion for a small brand would be more painful if they choose to rely on traditional models of sales and marketing to a small handful or privileged customers and pay no attention to the burgeoning luxury market in Asia, Middle East and Africa outside of their hometown in Europe.

Why I Will Never Buy From Acne Studios Again

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Acne Studios deleted their Facebook post and mine just minutes after they responded to my feedback post.

The Incident - My Acne Problem

The incident may be simple. Acne management and their customer service were unable to handle a simple size exchange request from a customer.

However, the issue here is skin deep and goes beyond inflexible customer service reps, poor or non-existent after sales service or lack of proper policies in place.

Refusal to Support A Company with A Huge Management Issue - How Acne Affects You

The way an organisation handles their customer feedback or complaints is very telling how they operate and whether their leadership is questionable and management is broken.

Broken Company Return/ Exchange Policy

Acne Studios has terrible or non-existent after-sales service. Don't buy anything on the Acne online shop unless you want trouble. Their exchange policy is rubbish. E-mailing customer service was a HUGE waste of time just to exchange a wrong size item. The "company policy" of not allowing customers to exchange online purchases in actual stores is simply ridiculous and inflexible. 

Incompetent, unprofessional customer service staff

Worse still, when I called Acne Studio's head office in Sweden, a lady picked up the phone in Swedish and went silent when she heard me speak English and then hung up after a long moment of silence. When I tried calling back again several times, no one picked up the phone and the call went straight to a voice message. Obviously Acne had paid some Swedish teenager who could not speak English to mend the phone for a cheap hourly pay. I wrote to "Jesper", "Helena" and "Malou" and all 3 "customer service" reps gave me different answers to my questions. 

One customer service staff was even amazed at how I could craft an e-mail much better than them just because I live in Asia and am Asian. Quote: "Thank you for your well formulated e-mail." What has it got to do with my simple issue of a size exchange?

Money is the only motivation for Acne Studios

When I contacted one of the Acne Paris outlets, they offered to order the correct size for me but when I told them it was for an exchange I never heard from them any more. I paid so much money to get myself into so much trouble.

Acne's acts like a big company when they are in reality a very small-time company whose entire management and staff lack of outside-world knowledge. In other words, they are better suited to doing business in their own home country Sweden, instead of selling globally.

Inconsistency and contradicting information

At first, they asked me to check and see which store would be able to perform the exchange and when I asked them to help me call up the stores to see which one carried the item in my size, they said they had not enough manpower. When I asked them if they had an automated computerized system to check the stocks in store, Jesper said yes. The next day they said the item in my size had sold out. Today, a customer service rep responded to me and said something totally different - they do not carry my size in stores and only online.

Socially Inept on Facebook

Frustrated about Acne's customer service reps being unable to assist me in any way, shape or form possible, I turned to Facebook to post my feedback so the public could see how poor my customer service experience was.

Acne responded to my comment and mirrored the way how I talked. It was as if I was offering them a lesson in English every time I wrote back to the staff. My English language skills are very good and better than some native speakers but it sure isn't top of the line. Perhaps Acne has to hire some non-Swedish English speakers. 

Minutes later, they deleted my comment and banned me from posting on their facebook page therefore formally cutting off all ties with me - a customer of Acne.

Acne investors better run. - How to Get Rid of Acne

Talk about globalization and the irony of Acne's "modern", "fashion-forward styles". The company's image just doesn't go in line with their shoddy customer service standards and messy, chaotic internal organisation. Perhaps it's time for Jonny Johannsen to "restructure" and get rid of his lousy team of staff.

The problem however for such a small size company is that the leader on top is most likely to be blamed as he or she would be responsible in overseeing all the hires in  the company.


Life after Acne is simple as the brand's touted cutting edge designs are easily replaceable. 

Helmut lang, Alexander McQueen and even DKNY has the similar designs to Acne even better quality. For example Acne's resort 2014 silver metallic biker jacket bears a striking resemblance to DKNY's resort 2014 silver biker jacket. 

For style staples such as leather leggings, Helmut lang, LNA and Jil Sander are perfect alternative options in better quality and of course service standards too.

Acne's over-hyped Velocite and Vera shearling bomber jackets can be easily replaced by Burberry London's impeccable shearling jackets. Burberry's much better quality of English shearling stems from the fact that it's a 158-year-old company that constantly keeps evolving and their customer service level is unbeatable. 

The Acne shearling jacket I currently own in an ill-fitting size looks cheap and tacky. The shearling looked fake and was rough like bristles on a toilet scrubbing brush. The jacket was lightweight at 500 grams when proper shearling jackets were supposed to be heavier due to the nature of the animal pelt. The shearling material on my green acne jacket was obviously of inferior quality. My friends even said it looked like cheap, fake shearling jackets people used to wear in the 70s when they were younger. The Acne sizing was incorrect and the jacket was bulky, unflattering and disproportionate and looked different than on the Acne online shop.

Service Levels - Acne is Not Your Friend

Acne leaves a bad taste lingering as I still shudder recalling the amateur night with a non-English speaking scaredy-cat receptionist from the Acne Studios head office in Sweden who hung up on me right after hearing her very first call in English. When I tried calling back three times later, the phone just rang and went straight to the voice message. 

Acne is clearly not wired to do business outside of Sweden, their home country, not to mention globally. Acne's Europe sales rely heavily on clueless and airhead European teens and youth without a job who sponge off their rich parents. Acne's global sales rely on hipsters who know no better and are too afraid to explore other brands.

Lastly - Acne Prevention

Unlikely You hopes we can save those poor souls who already have Acne and help inform the luckier ones who have not yet got Acne to avoid this lousy fashion label with lousy service.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Acne Studios' Deplorable Customer Service

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With the price tag similar to the likes of Burberry London, but the service level of a monkey and clothing quality of a redneck's tea towel is the Swedish luxury brand from Stockholm - Acne Studios.

From their amateur antics of deleting user Facebook comments to conflicting statements issued by their inexperienced and unprofessional customer service team, we will let you in to the world of some of the worse customer service in the world of fashion brands.

Stay tune tomorrow and find out why Acne Studios suck so much despite the fact that we posted about them just last week.

Friday, January 17, 2014

No. 21 Alessandro Dell Acqua Pre-Fall 2014: Out Loose in the Urban Jungle

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After Covering Mesmerizing Menswear Fall 2014 runway shows for the past few days, we are back to the womenswear pre-fall 2014 collections. Our choice pick for this week would be Alessandro Dell'Acqua's No.21 label which is full of youthful vibes done in an elegant and lady-like style.

Boat shoes made of black calf-hair upper with contrasting white soles add a statement to an otherwise grungy casual office-wear ensemble. 

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Sick of dressing up formally 9-to-5, five days a week for your office job? Then relax in this completely slack and shapeless but ultra comfortable and stylish dress-down look from No. 21 by Alessandro Dell'Acqua.

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Faded tartan sweaters are such a librarian staple. Pair it with a dramatic high split sequin skirt for that ultimate seductress look.

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The key to Alessandro Dell'Acqua's No. 21 Pre-Fall 2014 fashion collection s layering. A loose-fit sequin and embroidery jumper is paired with a triple layer tight skirt creating a fine balance.

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Be careful about the fluffy faux fur coat you may be about to purchase. Make sure it doesn't look like a massive floor mop textured carpet.

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Who needs bright and cheery floral prints for fall? Fall in love with romantic monochrome floral prints this fall 2014.

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Our favourite from the No. 21 Alessandro Dell'Acqua pre-fall collection has to be this lovely midi-length, silk, ruffled blush rose petal shade skirt. Pair it with a feather trimmed cardigan and you're all set for an evening event.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Versace Fall 2014 Runway - Wild West Biker Chic

Crimson red coat check, gold handcuff chained man clutch check, sluck-back gelled hairdo check and the Versace man is all set to rock the runway for Fall 2014's menswear fashion collection at Milan Fashion week.

One cannot help but notice Dontella Versace's homage to bikers and cowboys in a perfect chaotic mix of punchy red colours, studded, beaded, fringed and paint-splattered.

We would say usher in the Lunar New Year wearing all red from head to toe isn't tacky any more as demonstrated by Versace in this red hot bohemian cowboy combo - fringed scarf style coat with a shiny red leather bandana, red turtleneck and sparkly bead embroidery covered red jeans.

Herding cattle never looked this cool in Versace's studded red leather cowboy shirt and two-tone jeans mimicking a cowboy chap.

Damaged & distressed is they key to contemporary fashion that appeals to the younger, fashion savvy crowd who are tired of clean and perfect pieces. This blood red denim top and jeans splattered with black paint from the Fall 2014 collection addresses this market.

Mixed natural materials such as wool, leather and silk meld perfectly to created a rugged yet refined look even with a sexy codpiece. Ever since the knicker-shorts was introduced on the runway last fall, it is only fair that fashion-forward men have an equally sexy piece for their wardrobe.

Textured, distressed denim and metal studded leather codpiece, need we say more? Versace's menswear collection has outdone last fall's womenswear collection.

Sexually desirable: The iconic Versace medusa head on a sexy Western style bandanna print muscle tank top.

Roar! This outfit is not for the faint-hearted. You don't need guns but a whip to look this lashing hot - Leather beads and sequin embroidered chap worn with bandanna print brief.

The quintessential leather biker jacket with cool lapels and big round studs for that more kinky than rocker touch.

Can you spot the Versace medusa head graffiti paint splatter print on the distressed denim jeans? Style tip: Luxury doesn't need to look prim and proper all the time cos' that's stifling boring. - Navy fine wool coat with motorcycle motif T-shirt and distressed, iron-on patch prints.

Our final favourite piece from the Versace Fall 2014 menswear runway that inspires us the most is the dead-chic styling of a simple turtle-neck. How do you wear a turtle-neck sweater with style? Firstly, make sure it's of finer material such as merino wool to remove the bulkiness. A finer material would make it easier to roll up the sleeves. Next, pair your turtle-neck with a contrasting colour silk shirt with bold graphic prints and finish off with a fine pair of leather pants with lovely traditional horse-stitching detail and a chunky gold chain with charms. Who says charms are only for girls?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rock & Rebel: Iceberg Fall 2014's Tokyo Street Style Look

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Iceberg's Fall 2014 menswear runway collection in Milan took a page from the street style of Tokyo preppy school chic boys and young men who dress with a understated tone of rebelliousness in a tightly oppressed society where social norms overtake personal needs thus a hint of outlandishness in the form of one's personal style whether borrowed from the West. Iceberg's Fall inspiration came from the classic revival of 80s punk rock band fashion where men or ladies wore unisex clothes such as tartan or check prints for that skirts. 

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Extra long black silk shirts in red tartan or check print are worn underneath blazers and stick out to resemble skirts in a traditional Japanese visual-kei band style.

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The refined snood is one that is a tightly wrapped coil of fine merino wool enveloping the neck, adding a softer touch of refinement to the otherwise masculine look consisting of baggy jumper and slim pants.

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Burgundy wine oxfords in a comfortable cut to die for from Iceberg's Fall 2014 runway.

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Style Tip: Try wearing bright colours on the top half of your body (bright blue and red on the top half as seen above) and warmer, darker tones on the bottom half (burgundy red trousers and tartan print shoes) to achieve that effortlessly cool look for fall.

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Gender Equality for All: While women wear check shirts tied around their waist, men can have them just fine hanging from their long shirt. Backpacks are unisex too and looks like their here to stay for another season!

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Earn street cred in this ghetto style preppy chic ensemble. The accessories add a tough edge to the look - thin, grey ribbed beanie and red finger-less merino wool gloves. 

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Graphic print college or school-boy jumper showing a distorted face of a human

Style Tip: Who says you can only wear dress pants with suits? Pair it with an over-sized shirt and statement jumper to achieve a cool, casual weekend look.

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This menswear look screams "I'm with the band".  Iceberg designer Federico Currad plays with the graphic prints and smudges the fine check lines on this college sweatshirt.

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Our final choice pick from Iceberg's fall 2014 runway show would be this cool grey moiré print suit. Something for a truly stylish man to wear to the next Golden Globe awards.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2014 Menswear Runway Show, Milano

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Dolce & Gabbana's Fall 2014 Menswear runway show in Milan was inspired by Norman Kings in Sicily during the 11th century. Male models walked down the runway with crowns, scarves, gloves, coats and snoods studded with crystals to resemble crown jewels. Some jumpers and coats had prints of the Sicilian kings, knights, saints and cathedrals. It was overall, a beautiful, artistic direction to take paying homage to forgotten Kings and history of the great Roman empire.

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Lovely, poetic history you can literally wear on your sleeves, hands, head and around your neck. We love the jewel studded and gold embroidery detail on the leather gloves.

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Shearling, as mentioned before in previous posts seem to be making a return to the runway this Fall 2014. This elaborately print knight armor shearling lined coat has to be one of Fall 2014's most iconic mens' outerwear from Dolce & Gabbana.

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Aren't we all saints and sinners at the same time? Try as hard as we may, we still are not able to resist the charm of this religious-ridden printed suit.

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Natural materials made from the oldest form of clothing material - animal skins bring out the prowess of a raw and rugged man. The all-over crystal embellishments resembles a royal chain-mail fit for a king to wear when he goes out to war.

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Runway statement - This comfy grey head snood cleverly studded with black crystals resembles a medieval knight's mail coif or mail hood. The blend of old and new melds together perfectly from top to bottom in a uniform grey colour except for the bright pop of blue from the leather high-top sneakers which add a touch of funk to this elegant and out-of-this-world menswear look for fall.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Acne Studios Vintage Style Shearling Jacket

Acne Studio's vintage style Vera shearling jacket caught our eye with it's manly fighter pilot style inspired by the B-3 military jacket build for cold-weather flight back in 1934 during World War II.

This WWII style bomber jacket is re-created by the Swedish luxury brand founded by Jonny Johansson in 1996 in luxurious English shearling in four colours - Navy, black, white and a unique pastel shade of mint green.
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The navy Vera shearling bomber jacket is our number one choice as it is the closest to a military or public service uniformed officer's code-wear of colour with it's contrasting brown leather straps and black shearling trimming. If you really want to work the military air force fighter pilot style, pair the bomber jacket with parachute pants that have cargo pockets.

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One can never go wrong in a classic black shearling jacket only the fact that's it's too boring and you probably have too many black colour winter clothing in your cupboard. Nevertheless, you can dress this little black style staple with a skirt, dress or long shirt and layer with pants to keep warm this winter.

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In natural white, the colour adds a feminine touch to this otherwise chunky and slightly over-sized fighter pilot style jacket.

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The Vera jacket is mint green or what they chaps at Acne Studios call "seafoam green" provides a light and airy, versatile look in contrast to the austere navy or black varieties of the shearling jackets.

Which one would you go for?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Lindsey Wixon for Chanel Spring Summer 2014 Campaign

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We're not a fan of sold-out brands but we're a big fan of Chanel's latest Spring Summer 2014 advertising campaign shot by Uncle Karl Lagerfeld featuring the stunning Lindsey Wixon and Sasha Luss (not pictured here).

What's cool about the Chanel campaign is that Lindsey Wixon's hair is cropped and styled to look like controversial pop sensation Miley Cyrus' as she wears ridiculously sized baubles on a cheap-looking metal choker and tattered tweed cloth on her body.

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Looks like Chanel recycled the schoolgirl and lolita image for they used for the Fall Winter 2013 campaign as Lindsey pouts in a pose with white school socks and high heels.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Military Chic: Diesel Black Gold Fall 2014 Menswear Runway Show

Psyche yourself up with Rihanna's hard rocking military inspired music video, Hard featuring Jeezy while you read our review on designer Andreas Melbostad's first menswear collection for Diesel Black Gold's Fall Winter 2014 runway show in Milan yesterday.

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Masculinity is back at Diesel Black Gold with simple and minimalistic styles of shearling trimmed leather jackets thrown over immaculately tailored black suits.

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This all-white ensemble with studded white leather belt, white leather motorcycle skinny pants is a flamboyant and sporty look more suitable for K-pop stars or flashy rappers. All it's missing is a good pair of shield sunglasses to perfect that rock star image.

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Go discreet, rock an roll chic with a clean black coat if you want to don on  a pair of bad-ass studded leather pants.

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We love how all the primary colour blends in perfectly in this bold red, white and navy blue outfit from head to toe.

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This Diesel Black Gold outfit is an experimentation of different textures and styles - rugged yet girly. The shearling lined utility parka jacket is matched with stiff leather slouchy, knee-high combat boots and balanced off with a flirty silk ruffled mini skirt plus equally lightweight silk top.

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This outfit is a clearly an overdose of military camo prints and it looks like any Spanish or British high street fashion chain could steal this look and replicate it in their mass-market factories in a heartbeat. We are not impressed by this one.