The Golden Globes 2014: Fashion Hits and Misses

It’s the start of award season again and one of my favourite times of the year for celebrity fashion (after the Met Gala of course). The Golden Globes are a breath of fresh air fashion-wise; everyone is in their stride getting ready for the SAG awards and the Oscars but it’s still the first award ceremony in the bunch so we’re not getting that celebrity ennui already! Last year was so tedious in terms of real style, the boredom of the colours and same cuts on every celebrity set in very quickly and we cried out for something a little bit different. Finally, we got it. The Golden Globes 2014 were full of daring and bold choices which made fashion lovers everywhere squeal with delight. I had my favourites of course so I’ve written down my favourites and what styles we’ve been seeing on some of the world’s most famous!

Bright Blues/Greens

Golden Globes

Caitlin Fitzgerald in Emilia Wickstead, Helen Mirren in Jenny Packham and Reese Witherspoon in Calvin Klein

Bold colours were a very big trend on the red carpet this year at the Golden Globes and these three ladies had some of the best style by far. Caitlin Fitzgerald’s Emilia Wickstead dress has been named by many companies as the dress of the night and she was definitely flying the British flag for fashion. Helen Mirren looked fabulous in Jenny Packham and the colours complemented her without looking too young for her. This seamless Calvin Klein gown looked beautiful on Reese Witherspoon teamed with Harry Winston jewellery and her haircut was extremely flattering.


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Emma Watson in Dior Couture, Lupita Nyong’o in Ralph Lauren and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Narciso Rodriguez

I do love a vibrant red; anyone that has looked at my lipstick collection could tell you that. However there were some fantastically stunning red outfits at the Golden Globes and these were three of my favourite! Anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge Emma Watson fan and her style never fails to disappoint. This Dior Couture ensemble is genius, ensuring she is comfortable and warm in her trousers while still being ahead of trend and daring in the completely backless dress. Lupita Nyong’o caused waves with her Ralph Lauren dress with a futuristic style cape that is very en vogue. The colour of her dress complemented her complexion perfectly and gave her a great glow. Julia Louis-Dreyfus looked stunning in her Narciso Rodriguez gown and those arms, wow! You can tell how much work she’s done to look amazing in that dress and I applaud her for that!


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Emilia Clarke in Proenza Schouler, Emma Thompson in vintage Lanvin, Kate Mara in J. Mendal, Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad and Michelle Dockery in Oscar de la Renta

Emilia Clarke looked ever the goddess in Proenza Schouler and after watching her in Game of Thrones, I adore her original brunette colour! She accessorised that with Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and a Baird & Baird clutch, not too shabby! Emma Thompson, despite having a dodgy blowout, was fabulous in gold and black metallic vintage Lanvin and her outfit wasn’t too young for her, which can be the trouble sometimes with older actresses at award ceremonies! This blonde is a gorgeous look on Kate Mara and the translucent sheen on her J. Mendal dress makes is look so expensive. Kate Beckinsale has been getting a lot of negative feedback on her dress but personally I think she looks so beautiful and the cut of the Zuhair Murad dress gives her an enviable hourglass figure. One of my favourite Downton Abbey actresses Michelle Dockery always seems to get her fashion choices spot on and this Oscar de la Renta gown is spot on. With simple accessories, this look compliments her figure and places her high on the style stakes.


Golden Globes

Julie Bowen in Carolina Herrera, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting in Rani Zakhem and Sandra Bullock in Prabal Gurung

Julie Bowen gets it right almost every time and this dress is no exception. The colour blocking on this Carolina Herrera is so flattering and the colours are a beautiful hue for her skin tone. The newly married Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting looked gorgeous in a vintage-looking floral Rani Zakhem gown with Jimmy Choo accessories. Her love for pink gowns is obvious by now but this gave a little bit of a different twist to her style. Another colour-blocking fashion choice was made by Sandra Bullock in Prabal Gurung. Again, this dress divided critics but Sandra looks beautiful and chose the right hairstyle for this outfit. This looks a sure sign that colour-blocking could be in this season!


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Leslie Mann in Dolce & Gabbana, Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé and Emma Roberts in Lanvin

Black is always a good colour, especially for award ceremonies in January. It’s a flattering colour and all these women have chosen hourglass silhouettes to flatter their shapes further. Leslie Mann delighted the critics in her lace Dolce & Gabbana gown, proving that she will never age! Cate Blanchett, winner of ‘Best Actress’ award won our adoration for this Armani Privé dress teamed with some Chopard jewellery. Newly engaged Emma Roberts dazzled in a Lanvin fishtail gown.


Golden Globes

Laura Carmichael in Viktor & Rolf, Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta and Margot Robbie in Gucci

Cream and white is always a big trend coming into the Spring/Summer season but it’s surprising that these colours were worn so much in the cold weather. However these three ladies killed the pale trend and they were bold choices. Downton Abbey‘s Laura Carmichael looked gorgeous in a Viktor & Rolf column dress and that little monochrome detail gave it a bit of an edge. Zooey Deschanel’s Oscar de la Renta gown suited her like a dream and the New Girl star’s nude shoes and daisy manicure were gorgeous. Margot Robbie of nominated film The Wolf of Wall Street looked beautiful in her white Gucci gown with emerald detailing; it’s just a shame her hair was so manicured, looser would have been better!


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Idris Elba, Chris Pine in Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, Usher in Calvin Klein and Bradley Cooper in Tom Ford

These gentlemen were definitely the pick of the bunch when it come to looking sophisticated and dapper on the red carpet. With the lack of options for men for a black tie event, these actors stood out from the crowd and made their own bolder fashion titles. Hats off to Usher who’s plum Calvin Klein suit really stood out and nominee Idris Elba who went for a more casual look with no tie.

Pregnancy Fashion

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Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhuillier, Olivia Wilde in Gucci and Kerry Washington in Balenciaga

Pregnancy is big in Hollywood at the moment (I’m not joking) and we’re constantly watching to see what style these pregnant ladies are sporting. I’m not a huge fan of Barrymore’s dress in general but as a maternity outfit, this works. It’s vaguely reminiscent of Kim Kardashian’s Givenchy dress at the Met Gala but much more flattering! Olivia Wilde looks phenomenal in this green sparkly Gucci dress and it’s a dress that can be worn again when she has had her baby. Win win! Kerry Washington’s Balenciaga dress is extremely beautiful and the colour looks great on her. The pregnancy fashion has been in the public eye a lot more thanks to Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton and these ladies haven’t let the side down. Looking forward to seeing them at the SAG awards!

Fashion Misses

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Amy Adams in Valentino, Heidi Klum in Marchesa, Lena Dunham in Zac Posen and Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior

Sometimes there are some fashion misses at these events and these are my picks. I know that it’s everyone’s opinion and a lot of people will love these dresses but I just can’t like them. I’m not a fan of Amy Adams at all but I find this Valentino dress really washes her out. The colour for me is all wrong and this wouldn’t be the first choice for a redhead; blue or green would be better. Heidi Klum’s Marchesa dress is alright but the choker and the frumpy haircut are just too much. This outfit makes her look much older than she is which is a real shame. Lena Dunham’s Zac Posen outfit has definitely divided people but I think it’s just that little bit too clingy and that little bit too yellow for my liking. Jennifer Lawrence can usually do no wrong in my eyes but this dress just looks like a cotton wool bud. She’s a slave for Dior but this particular gown does nothing for her.

Anyone else looking forward to the SAG awards? I can’t wait to watch all the glamour!

Until then,

Emily Fashion Fiend

All photos c/o,,,, she,,,,,,,


Is Fashion Now All About The Shock Factor?

THE FASHION industry is that intersection where the subtle meets the extreme and the innovative meets the downright crazy. Each season, designers have to come up with new ways to stay on top of the game, making their collections and catwalk shows as theatrical as possible, ensuring their show sticks in your mind. But when does the crazy become too crazy?

There has been uproar in the fashion industry the last six months over the infamous brand Yves Saint Laurent. A fashion house that has been at the forefront of the industry, YSL was taken over by a new creative director last year called Hedi Slimane to shake things up, and by god he did. When taking over a company that is so established, it is usually a risk changing anything but Slimane went one step further and changed the brand name to Saint Laurent, a move that had many critics speechless.

Since his time in the newly named Saint Laurent, Slimane has pushed the boat out on a number of projects. For the new menswear line, he chose a very unlikely candidate to front the campaign – Marilyn Manson. As part of the latest series of ads being debuted this month – titled the Music Project – Manson and other musicians such as Courtney Love will be featured in a move that is set to ‘cement the ties with the music industry’. But why?

The fashion industry loves a challenge. It loves having something to analyse and ponder about. But did Slimane push it a bit too far? With only a year in charge of one of the biggest fashion houses on the planet, he has altered everything he can about its original form, including its name. When John Galliano took the helm at Christian Dior all those years ago, he made it his own but he still stayed respectful and truthful to its original designer, who made the line as successful as it was. So why can’t Slimane do this?

Of course, he is not the first designer to try the shock factor to get the critics talking. Back in 2012, Tom Ford edited an issue of Vogue Paris and used young girls in his Cadeaux editorial, including 10-year-old Thylane Blondeau. Many were up in arms about the way these young girls were posing and the make-up and clothing they had on. This led to a huge controversy about the use of young models and led in part to the setting up of the Vogue Health Initiative.

In a piece entitled, “Why Tom Ford was right to photograph vamped up six-year-olds,” Libby Banks of MyDaily UK wrote: “Ford has created a dialogue about the fashion industry’s attitude to age; in an industry where teenage models are encouraged to have the physique of a small child in order to promote women’s clothing, surely the next ‘logical’ step is to use a small child to model grownup fashion. It’s meant to be absurd and offensive.”

It appears that the fashion industry has bowed down to this shock factor need. No collection or show is enough without the prospect of it blowing you out of your seat and that means a bleak future for some in the industry. It will be interesting to see how critics react when the Music Project is unveiled later this month and for Slimane’s sake, hope it doesn’t go down like a lead balloon!

The Designer Highlights of Spring/Summer 2013

It’s been such a long winter in Ireland that everyone is getting a bit sick of the cold weather, the frostbitten hands and the sneezing all over the shop! I’m always so looking forward to the winter, I love wrapping up in warm coats, scarves and hats but there comes a time when even a person like me who is allergic to sunlight has to take a step back and think, ‘My god, I just want to wear a light jacket for once’! So for all those people who are missing the presence of a bit of warmth and want to change up their wardrobe a little bit, here is what we should be wearing this Spring/Summer 2013 season all the way from the major catwalks.

We got a huge mixture of everything for the S/S 2013 shows, from graphics to floral print, pastels to neon and everything in between. It was a season of change, with Hedi Slimane at the helm of the newly named YSL and Raf Simons taking over from Bill Gaytten at Dior (does anyone else miss Galliano?). Even Jil Sander returned to the fashion house she had started in 1973 much to the surprise of many. Throughout all this upheaval, our favourite designers managed to create some show-stopping creations, astound us with their visual displays and reminded us all why we are in this game called fashion.

As always the fun began in New York City and we saw influential people like Anna Wintour and André Leon Tally enjoying the spoils of fashion’s most prominent designers, who didn’t disappoint. Carolina Herrera’s show, a favourite with the fashion elite championed ‘lightness and fluidity’, which reflected beautifully in the cuts and hues of the clothing. There was an Alice in Wonderland-style vibe throughout the runway show, using a powder blues and creams as a running theme. Collared blouses and A-line skirts were the order of the day modelled by up-and-coming stars like Cara Delevigne and the sleeve style on the jackets and cinched waists created a school-girl aura, a look not usually championed by Herrera. The subtle colours continued throughout the show on tea dresses and maxi-skirts. Karlie Kloss finished the show in a three-quarter-length sleeve cream dress with intricate beading on the edges, closing this young but elegant collection with a bang.

Marc Jacobs used a psychedelic style in his collection for this season with the use of horizontal stripes in many different colours from monochrome to candy-red. Every piece had simplicity, like it had been stripped back to basics and started again. Crop tops with shorts were a big part of the show and the midi-trend continued with the use of knee-length skirts. There was the odd ruffled collar and scalloped hem and the psychedelic mood changed from stripes to houndstooth to leopard print, a true sign that prints will be all in this season in all shapes and forms. All the accessories were petite and ‘cute’, something that ran parallel to the sixties theme, a tribute to the days of Twiggy and simplicity.

Tom Ford, the man of the moment thanks to his new Diet Coke campaign, continued the sixties vibe into his show with teased beehives and biker boots. His mixture of glossy biker jackets with upturned collars, buckles and leather this was truly a nod to the days of mod, an era that made James Dean comfortable and makes women to this day feel sexy and in control which is exactly how these clothes are meant to feel. The mixture of black, cobalt and metallic shades made for a contrast made in heaven and the utilitarian feel that moved throughout the show made Ford’s show an uproarious success and will have the Swinging Sixties swing all the way into 2013.

Next was London. Home of the most articulate and grungy designers on the planet and home to muses from Edie Sedgwick to Princess Diana. Here is where we see the use of florals and pastels, showing our European and American counterparts how it’s done in London. Emilia Wickstead told the press she had championed a Truman Capote society woman vibe, slick, polished and most importantly, desirable. Her outfits that would stand out on the set of programmes like The Hour create a marriage of youth and polish and bring it together to output a late 50s aura. The neat, simple hair and the chic Manolo Blahnik shoes made the elegant tailoring complete and the models shows an iron-willed but effortless demeanour in the clothing. There were plunging necklines in demure dresses and full skirts in sherbet shades, combinations that screamed Sunday best but also independent woman.

Mary Katrantzou, although sticking to some of her exquisite printing, had a different style this season. The prints she usually uses have such an intricate and old oriental quality about them and these new styles that Katrantzou uses was a nod to her flourishing style, a more modern approach to printing. The use of money, flowers and postage stamps was a surprising change on styles like shirts and bootleg trousers. Her colours that usually stick to a scheme were fresher, white mixed with metallic blues and blacks. The designers showcased A-line dresses, trousers and blazers mixed with bowling-style shirts. Her oriental-inspired vase shaped skirts haven’t made their usual appearance at Fashion Week for this season but it could be the breath of fresh air that Katrantzou needed for her new collection.

A print overload was had at the Erdem catwalk show. Again with the sherbet shades, we got an eyeful of lemon yellow, oranges and pinks, all adorning pretty, ladylike dresses – an Erdem speciality. Erdem really broke out of his comfort zone with the use of snakeskin and the continued use of textiles, texture and applique. The show was saturated with femininity from demure fitted dresses to umbrella shaped skirts, to pencil skirts. The use of lace and crochet with sheer fabrics and pastels was a signature Erdem move but the show moved forward and made changes that no fashion editor could have expected.

Milan was next on the agenda, the home to high and expensive fashion. The standards are high and the prices are even higher but the Italian fashion capital always comes up with the goods and this season was no different. The monochrome and Oriental trends were ever present in Miuccia Prada’s catwalk show. The silhouettes were boxy and angular from the silk jackets to wraps to Judo-style jackets. The jackets that opened the show were black with a single white flower that looked like it had been spray-painted on with stiff pleated skirts. The flower motif crept into each look that turned the catwalk from the fur coats to the clutch bags, always in either red or white. The shows were golden booties with ribbon details, giving a very delicate feel to the outfits. The mixture of monochrome with pastels was very heavy and has people in two minds about the collection but Prada’s show has triumphed with the critics again who think the use of monochrome in the S/S13 collection works against the sweet colours that after two weeks of fashion shows can start to get a bit sickly.

Jil Sander has returned to the helm of her own ship after Raf Simons moved to Dior and this collection was bound to cause a lot of interest. The modern clean lines has everyone talking and her use of colours like burgundy and navy were a welcome difference to the pastels and patterns of every other collection. The collection was about lines and shapes more than colours and the shirts and jackets had a stiffness and structure about them. The jumpers had graphic lines on the shoulders and sleeves and everything was cinched and tapered – because that’s what Jil Sander does. The contrast between the square cuts and the round necklines was a smart one and Sander returned with style to the fashion elite where she can rightfully take her place. This collection was astounding, not just because of the clothing but the difference between now and last season, under the wing of Raf Simons.

Frida Giannini, the designer who kicked off Milan Fashion Week, opened with a bright pink bombshell in the form of a streamlined trouser suit showing that Gucci was too in a sweet mood. However, the design house was packing a punch and instead of following the crowd, Gucci used expressive jewel colours in their collection. Turquoise, pink and yellow all played a huge part in the show and it said no to the summer pastel unspoken rule. There were double-breasted jackets and shift dresses with patterns and Giannini put a lot of focus on back detailing in this new collection, creating high necklines with plunging backs. We saw beading and encrusted necklines and snakeskin to boot, showing that Gucci likes to give the fashion groupies of the world a lot of options.

It was time to go and enjoy the romantic fashion in the city of love and our last port of call: Paris Fashion Week. Amazing designers have hailed from this city and the beauty that has been created in design houses like Chanel and YSL cannot be beaten. Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton took our breath away as per usual and she has proved yet again why she is the best. There was an erotic feel to the show and Burton described the collection as being about the ‘worker bees’. This led to honeycomb style mesh being used to make pencil skirts and sharp jackets with a beekeeper style hat. Crinoline was the buzzword in this show and we saw extravagant and indescribable corseted gowns that belonged in a Russian society novel. Thick gold belts were wrapped round the waists of the models and the corsets/crinoline style dictated how well the jackets tapered on the waist. Unbelievable isn’t strong enough a word: Burton, you did McQueen proud.

Chanel, a favourite amongst the fashion society, was as always lady-like and fantastic. Lagerfeld used pearls galore in this show-stopping catwalk, on wrists and necklines and clothing, like pollen that had just rested on their clothes. It was one of the simplest shows that Chanel has ever done and that, in itself, is a statement. Lagerfeld showed that the house of Chanel didn’t need fresh blood; it was still the king of the jungle in the fashion world. We saw little cropped jackets, a Chanel favourite but with bell sleeves for a modern twist. There were strapless column dresses with sequin flowers, sequined jackets and huge hats with see-through brims. The wind theme that ran throughout the show was a breath of fresh air both for the brand and the audience and the entire collection was calm, collected and a total classic from Karl Lagerfeld.

Last but certainly not least, the show that everyone has been talking about: Louis Vuitton. The use of neon and graphic print was genius and set this show apart from the rest. Escalators played a huge part in this ingenious designs and created drama. Marc Jacobs focused on stripes for his own show but when it came to Vuitton, Jacobs was seeing squares: plenty of them. The sixties style was evident yet again and the models donned beehives and kitten heels to strut their checkerboard creations down the runway. Pencil skirts and maxi-skirts both played a part with demure jackets and crop tops, a staple in Jacobs’ own show. The designs themselves were simple and elegant but the use of the checkerboard pattern and the sixties theme made this show one to remember.

The designers over Fashion Week gave us a few clear messages: graphic patterns like stripes and squares will be all over the high street this season and don’t be afraid to steer clear of the failsafe pastels and try something a bit bolder or darker. Flowers are all in as a usual spring staple but with a twist and make sure you channel that 50s/60s vibe to your hearts content! Keep styling, Em x

Vogue’s New Rule: A Futile Effort?

Hi everyone! I’ve already posted this article as part of my press features section, but I really enjoyed writing this article and I think its always a really current issue. It was posted on The Genteel, a Canadian fashion website back in May but over the last few months, with all the changes in Vogue issues across the world, this matter of age and size in the fashion industry is an issue that comes up all the time! So I hope you enjoy reading and let me know your thoughts and opinions on the matter!

It’s understood that a modelling career, more often than not, comes with an early “best before” date. The fashion industry relies on the celebrated beauty of youth, curses age and fights it and its effects until the bitter end. As Heidi Klum has said more than once on Project Runway, “In the fashion industry, one day you are in and one day you are out.”

According to The New York Times, Condé Nast International, Vogue’s parent company, announced on May 3 that from their June issues forward, the 19 international editions of Vogue would “not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models that, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.” Condé Nast International chairman, Jonathan Newhouse, said on Thursday, “Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.”

Paris Vogue Tom Ford Cadeaux
Cadeaux editorial in Vogue Paris.

The announcement may well have been brought about by the controversy surrounding Vogue Paris’ use of Thylane Blondeau, a 10-year-old model who had already appeared in Vogue Enfants, for its December 2010/January 2011 issue. Blondeau was seen posing provocatively, in a Brigitte Bardot style manner, in a spread with other models in the magazine, both young and old, which caused a stir not just in the fashion world but with wider audiences as well. Parents and fashion critics alike protested against the Tom Ford-edited issue of Vogue Paris and his use of six-year-olds dressed up in furs, high heels and glossy make-up.

Vogue’s decision may change the face of Fashion Weeks everywhere and the concept of the size zero models who are still lingering on catwalks. According to the Washington Post, model Coco Rocha applauded the release by Condé Nast saying, “Not every model appears in Vogue, but every model and every magazine looks up to them as the standard (bearer). I can only imagine this will be a solid step in a direction that will benefit models for generations to come.”

Sara Ziff, a former model who was discovered at 14 and has since founded The Model Alliance, said, “The use of underaged models is linked to financial exploitation, eating disorders, interrupted schooling, and contributes to models’ overall lack of empowerment in the workplace. We simply believe that 14 is too young to be working in this very grown-up industry, and we’re glad that Condé Nast International is making this commitment.”

But, will the Vogue initiative be effective? The “six-point pact” was peppered with vague words such as “not knowingly,” “encouraging” and “help,” which raises questions about the extent to which Vogue editors will go to enforce it. While some of the 19 editors might enforce the rules to the best of their ability, what happens if one or two slip through the cracks? More details are needed about the protocols designed to carry it out. At the end of the day, it’s an ethics policy, not a legal one, and it may well become an initiative that weakens over time unless clear procedures and consequences are set.

The most encouraging news of the announcement was Vogue’s commitment to “help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to theCouncil of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative,” and “be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.” But by using the same ambiguous words, we can only wait to see how Vogue will go about these initiatives and whether we’ll be seeing a very different shape of model gracing the pages of Vogue in the months to come. Perhaps there will be a collective change in the way we see modelling and a return to the athletic and healthy shapes we saw in the likes of Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen back in their modelling prime, all of whom have slimmed down considerably, possibly in response to the beauty standards put forth by the magazines they used to feature in, including Vogue.

It seems Ford created a window of opportunity to address the issue of age in the modelling industry with his December 2010/January 2011 issue of Vogue Paris, but perhaps it wasn’t the right time. Libby Banks, editor of British fashion site MyDailyUK, had a few opinions on why Ford used these young girls as models. In a piece entitled, “Why Tom Ford was right to photograph vamped up six-year-olds,” Banks wrote: “Ford has created a dialogue about the fashion industry’s attitude to age; in an industry where teenage models are encouraged to have the physique of a small child in order to promote women’s clothing, surely the next ‘logical’ step is to use a small child to model grownup fashion. It’s meant to be absurd and offensive.”

The concept of using a child to model in this day and age is absurd to the general public and maybe they’re right to think that way. But at the same time, if we nip this issue of child modelling in the bud now, will there just be another radical change in the world of modelling in another six months time? It may just be a case of not giving publicity stunts like this the attention they crave to make the world of child modelling obsolete.Maybe it’s a question of understanding what Ford had supposedly intended in his guest-edited edition of Vogue Paris: that we expect models to be so child-like in their features and angles that it’s almost our own fault that children are being used. We’re being played by our own game. The photos are shocking and provocative, but are they any worse than some of the other changes that we have seen occurring over the last five to ten years, with the Gucci Guilty advert of simulated sex or Lara Stone and Kate Moss being completely nude in the 2012 Pirelli Calendar? There is always going to be another shock or rebellion around the corner to turn heads and using children in these ways is an obvious ploy for publicity that has – let’s face it – worked.

Keep styling, Em x