… a word from the Editor and Blogger

Welcome to most miserable week of the year – some lost place in January.

It’s certainly not cold by winter standards, but it’s still single digits. You’d expect lots of hats, coats and scarves all over London, but I have seen a disturbing trend in these chilly temperatures amongst 18-40 year old men. Having spotted at least 6 men on the tube this winter’s week, all wearing trainers without socks, plus rolled up jeans, I did a double take. It’s a look we’re used to seeing on the summer beaches of Ibiza and Mallorca. But it was too much of a coincidence and Leicester Square is nowhere near any airports. So I decided to check out this crazy trend, featured in this instalment.

Plus we say Happy Birthday to my style icon, Kate Moss. She and I are the same age, which makes me feel better about myself. Also this time around, if you thought ‘sleeve tattoos’ where hideous and the sole domain of wannabe Beckhams, then check out a massive new trend amongst women – Armpit Tatts. Yes, you read that right. Tattooed armpits.


On a more boring note, those amongst us wanting to look “on point” whilst it’s minus two outside should invest in ultra bright woolies.

Hats and jumpers in red, yellow, green and blue – basically any colour of the primary rainbow, except black, white and grey – appear to be happening right now.

Which is a boo from me.

Enjoy it all in this issue of Amanda Zips It Up.

Armpit Tattoos

Armpit tattoos – they don’t sound sexy, do they? But to many women in 2018, they’re the latest tattoo trend, looking unexpectedly beautiful. And certainly better than hairy armpits,  a worrying trend. Thanks for that Lourdes and Madonna.

credit for story: Mira Manley

We’ve seen countless types of tattoos, in all manor of body regions. From the black arm sleeve, to the horny devil on the shoulder, to the misspelt and grammatically incorrect 5am job after a drunken night in Magaluf, many of which will cause huge regret one day, if not now.

We thought we’d seen it all, but armpit tattoos are new to us.

From super cute strawberries and toad stools, to hyper realistic floral and insect designs, check out the best armpit tattoos to provide inspiration for your next inking.

Got a sleeve but run out of space? Extend it into your armpit, for the ink that keeps on giving.

Armpits can be a super sensitive area to ink, but the pain might be totally worth it if you end up with a hyper realistic tattoo that’s a lifetime piece of art.

Is it just me or is the idea of a secret flower tattoo under your armpit kind of fun?

My concern is the hair growing through, so perhaps laser hair removal should be the first thought. Otherwise “growth” would surely interfere with such a pretty picture?

NOW TRENDING: EXPOSED ANKLES FOR MEN

Why are men casting their socks aside, and what does it mean for modern menswear?

You don’t have to be a seasoned menswear professional to have noticed that as far as the bottom half is concerned, less is more. Men’s trousers are in the midst of their own swinging sixties micro miniskirt moment, shaking up the establishment on the way. Kind of.

The desired effect of raising leg lengths raised eyebrows everywhere last summer, when it became the staple look of the “wide boy” in Ibiza.

And men are hitching up their strides all year round now.

What does it mean for menswear? On a practical level, there are obvious drawbacks. Gently bronzing your ankles is all well and good during the height of summer, but an up close and personal meeting with winter’s worst weather is hardly desirable and something that your mother surely wouldn’t welcome (we’re taking her side on this one). Then there’s the whole socks or no socks debate. For the record, I’d take the potential emasculation of wearing dainty pop socks over sweat soaked soles any day.

For men’s style, hitched-up hems are significant in their implication. This seemingly small – yet doggedly persistent – act of change signposts a shift away from the assumption that men are devoted to practicality. And importantly – unlike many trends which live and die in the insular world of menswear – exposed ankles have been adopted by a hefty number of men, both here in Britain and the Balearics.

The unveiling of the ankle means that men cannot be roundly dismissed as creatures of habit, so terrified of change that they’re almost allergic to spending more than five minutes in a clothes shop.

But as trends “not be silenced” go, bared ankles have loudly asserted their intention to stick out for the foreseeable future. Viva la revolution.

Kate Moss At 44

Kate Moss turned 44 this week, and she’s as successful now as she was over 20 years ago. Her status as a style icon is immortalised in fashion history. She inspires everyone, from designers like John Galliano, Marc Jacobs and Vivienne Westwood, to Hollywood stylists, plus buyers at retail chain stores. And me.

So how did Kate get her unique take on style? As a cash-strapped teen, she hunted down secondhand clothing in London’s Portobello Market. Unlike the chic, carefully coordinated merchandise on display in fashion stores, these stalls jumbled different types of clothes together. The unusual combinations inspired her to mix things up — mens’ suits with Adidas trainers and high-heeled suede boots with antique silk nightgowns (which later triggered the underwear-as-outerwear trend).

Kate, this week celebrating her birthday

As Kate once said: “I don’t follow a trend. I just have a thrown-together look people can relate too, not too ‘done.’ ”

 

Still fabulous doing ‘slouch’

I love her for taking the snobbishness out of fashion. She’s the ultimate party girl and doesn’t take herself too seriously. There’s always been a youthfulness and sense of fun to her outfits, and it’s no wonder so many want to dress like her.

Little surprise, then, that designers have fallen over themselves to gift Kate Moss their clothes. When Kate wears your gear, it sells out. Take, for instance, the Balenciaga Motorcycle bag. Nicolas Ghesquière, the company’s head designer in 2000, wasn’t even intending to put the bag into production until Kate picked one up. Waiting lists exploded worldwide.

Kate can change fashion overnight. Just when everyone began copying those ballet flats, she started wearing gladiator sandals. When boot-cut jeans were the style of the moment, Kate was photographed in skinny drainpipes, dressed like a rock chick in shaggy coats and vests. The boot cut was history, and skinny jeans were all over the runway and the new must-have fit.

Inevitably, Kate wanted a piece of the action for herself. She chose British retail store Topshop to launch a collaboration in 2007, which I bought in abundance. Fashionistas were thrilled, and stars from Cameron Diaz to Sienna Miller proudly wore pieces from the collection. Sure enough, first-year sales were a smash hit, reaching £6 million in the first week alone.

At 44, Kate claims her sense of style is mellowing — “You can’t walk a dog in a heel,” she’s said. So she doesn’t do that. She can wear Uggs and a Parka, refuse to wash or brush her hair, fall out of clubs with a fag hanging out of her mouth and get escorted off planes, drunk – AND STILL LOOK FABULOUS.

Little make up, zero botox, fillers and plenty of black roots.

A basic bitch she is not!

Me, if you mistook me for Kate

I am forever converted to the leopard print coat in honour of my style icon – much to my husband’s annoyance.

I say, she’s still got it. Long may we follow.

Happy Birthday Kate.

… a word from Amanda

Welcome to a brand spanking New Year. Whether you loved or loathed 2017, it’s time to embrace ‘18 and the next chapter of fashion and wellbeing.

I spent the festivities in Mallorca and Dubai – which were both memorable, and distinctly non-rock’n’roll. Peaceful and healthy – no dramas – just sunshine, snoozes and a good book.

I hate January, mostly because it’s cold, dark and miserable. Everyone is bloated and a little depressed. Plus, it’s back to school or work, which is never fun after a big blowout.

Here at Zips It up, we aim to brighten up this bluest of months with colourful fashion predictions and healthly lifestyle hints to make you feel tip top again.

In this issue, we check out Men’s London Fashion Week 2018, which the girls will love, as we feature David Beckham and Tinie Tempah’s collections, plus your diet & mood changers. Plus, is it the end of the SELFIE as we know it?

I’m predicting some new up and coming fashion trends from London to Ibiza, which look set to make 2018 a stylish year to remember. Here are a few sneaky peeks at what we’ll be wearing this season.

Crayola colours

Pastel colours

Puff sleeves & Palm Beach Glam

Check print

Feather clothes

Fringing

Suit shorts

Rubber & Plastic

Transparent rain macs

Bad Sportswear

Floral dresses

Happy New Year everyone, from Amanda and the Zips It Up office.

Men’s London Fashion Week 2018

Men’s London Fashion Week happened this week, celebrating and discovering a vision of modern British menswear.

the usual ‘shocking’ nonsense at London Fashion Week

David Beckham, Essex boy, football captain, dad, style setter and outright brand, has been a pin-up of mainstream masculinity for two decades now. Kent & Curwen, a brand founded on Savile Row in 1926, has been working with the Beckham since 2015, when he became majority owner. To celebrate a new store on Floral Street – a move from Savile Row – Beckham hosted a lunch on Sunday. The menu was appropriate: pie and mash followed by sticky toffee pudding.

Kent & Curwen feature striped knitwear, duffel coats and checked jackets. There were also bomber jackets and a T-shirt with the emblazoned with “no guts, no glory”. Other repeated motifs included the rose, as seen on the brand’s signature rugby shirt, and the familiar Three Lions crest.

Beckham, sporting a neat man bun, commented that it’s multi-generational. “I can go in the store and find something great and my 15- or 18-year-old kid can go in the store and find something great too.”

Over the course of the weekend, the British Fashion Council showcased a parade of cutting-edge talent, both home-grown and international. Here are a couple of designers who caught our eye, here at Zips It Up.

What We Wear

In only its third season, What We Wear might be considered a relative newbie on the schedule, but the latest collection proved to be one of the most anticipated shows.

 

Created under the guise of chart-topping rapper Tinie Tempah, the brand has become known for its signature tracksuits, which took on a whole new form for autumn/winter 2018.

Here, the south Londoner cited the capital’s public service workers and manual labourers as the influence behind a collection that offers a contemporary take on uniforms.

Shapes were slimmer and more structured, as sportswear elements were combined with more formal aspects, such as traditional suiting, for added sleekness. The colours were more muted than we have come to expect – with shades like olive green, black and royal blue vivified by sporadic bursts of orange.

Knitwear also made an appearance in the collection for the first time, while trim cargo trousers and Breton shirts formed part of what could easily make up a hardworking day-to-day wardrobe.

These were the more wearable collections, amongst the predictable host of ridiculous offerings, more suited to a stag night in Ibiza, than an evening at Soho House or The Ned.

Diet & Mood Changers

NEW YEAR spells new bellies, bums and bulges. Bringing with them fresh diet plans, for millions of us. However, if boosting your mood – as well as maximising weight loss – is your goal, make these tweaks to your diet. My 2018 goal is to feel better as well as slimmer.

With what is supposedly the most depressing day of the year, ‘blue Monday’, occurring on 15th January, some preparatory tweaks to your diet to boost your mood are surely worthwhile. Here are some easy tweaks to your diet to brighten up January.

Balance blood sugar

Swap white bread and chocolate for protein-rich beans and pulses, fibre-packed wholegrains and essential fat-rich oily fish.

White refined carbohydrates and sugary foods are absorbed quickly into the blood stream. This may cause an initial ‘high’ or surge of energy, but it soon wears off. A blood sugar ‘high’ is often followed by a blood sugar ‘crash’, leaving us feeling tired and low.

To balance blood sugar, include protein, fibre and healthy fats into each meal and snack. All three components help to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Don’t skip meals

Missing out on meals will not only hinder your weight loss efforts by putting your body into ‘starvation’ mode, but it won’t make you feel good either.

Ensure that you eat at least three meals a day.

Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, causing low mood, anxiety, irritability and fatigue.

Don’t skimp on omega 3 fats

With 60 per cent of the brain made up of fat, it is important to consume enough of it.

Most of the fats in the brain are similar to essential fats called Omega 3s, found in eggs, oily fish and seeds such as chia.

Additionally, eating enough of these ‘good’ fats – found in salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines anchovies and seeds -could help stave off dementia.

Don’t fear carbs

While many weight loss diets advise culling carbs, they are actually crucial for your mood – just eat the right type.

Instead of white bread and white pasta, eat wholegrain bread, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, oats, white or sweet potato with the skin, quinoa, buckwheat, beans, lentils, chickpeas, vegetables and fruit.

Top up on vitamin B6

A lack of B6 could be a reason if you’re feeling down.

Low levels of vitamin B6 have been associated with symptoms of depression as well as PMS and mood swings.

Marmite, more beans, nuts, legumes, eggs, meats, fish, whole grains, bananas, and fortified breads and cereals are the best.

Do ‘Dry January’

Whilst in moderation it is absolutely fine, we have to remember that alcohol has a depressant effect on the brain that can result in rapid worsening of our mood.

Don’t overdo the caffeine

Going back to work makes it tempting to fuel up on coffee, but doing so could make you feel more anxious.

If you notice that caffeine makes you feel jittery or anxious it may be time to cut back. Although caffeine is fine in moderation, people’s sensitivity to the stuff can vary greatly.

Get more vitamin D

The winter months can leave you low in the ‘sunshine vitamin’ and this can have an effect on how you feel.

As well as taking a supplement, you can top up by eating more oily fish and egg yolks too. Get outside for at least 20 minutes a day.

Overall, the key is to lower your calories to under 1000 a day, as well as frequently trying to burn at least 500. Do this for four weeks and I can almost guarantee that you’ll drop a size or two.

Good luck.

The Rise & Fall Of The Selfie

Last summer, some commentators hinted at the imminent demise of the ‘selfie’, including the ‘Snapchat selfie’ Queen herself, Kim Kardashian.

The truth is, selfies are an unavoidable presence in our lives, worshipped by some and barely understood by others. I am a secret sucker for a selfie. My excuse is that I just don’t trust anyone to take the “right” picture. So I do it myself.

Selfies are a cultural phenomenon dominating the social conversation. They involve significant time, deleting and retaking pictures to ensure perfection before being uploaded. At their best, selfies can create ‘front cover’ looks for us ordinary folk.

It’s no secret why selfies are popular: people love attention, people like to look attractive, and people like looking at attractive people.  However, it took a while for selfies to become such a hot topic.

The history of the selfie, according to the BBC, kicked off when the word appeared for the first time back in 2002, after a man snapped a picture of facial injuries he had suffered following falling down drunk, and posted them to an Australian forum.

From there, the expression was used sporadically on photo-sharing websites until the advent of the Hashtag Revolution, which accompanied Twitter and Instagram. However, selfies didn’t begin to get much interest online until 2013.

Snapchat, one of the largest catalysts for the selfie explosion, caught on in 2012 and kept growing from there. It seems like you can’t go anywhere now without witnessing a girl taking a picture of herself.

2014, marked the peak of the selfie Era. “Selfie” was declared Word Of The Year by the Oxford Dictionary, after the Oscars, when Ellen Degeneres and Bradley Cooper took THAT pic for Twitter. But the general rule of thumb is that once a trend becomes too mainstream, it has officially run its course.

Since 2014 we’ve begun to see the dark side of selfies, from a stupid bank robber, being arrested after taking a selfie of himself with a gun, to being inundated with millions of Kardashian pictures with bunny ears and cute freckles and noses.

Kim Kardashian herself announced the demise of the selfie last year, and gradually they are becoming rather uncool. The new social media “cool” is location shots or, if you insist on being in the picture, somebody taking the shot for you. The old fashioned way.

Selfie-distance close-up are shots don’t provide much scope for any one photo to look much different from the next, and the aim of social media is to claim your own unique social space. Whilst they might not die a death completely, keep an eye out in 2018 for photos with a more exciting degree of content variety.

RIP outstretched arms, hello scenery.

A Christmas Word From The Editor And Blogger

Ho Ho Ho Zipsters.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Apparently.
This is my last instalment for 2017, before returning in early January 2018 after holidays to somewhere warmer.
Inevitability, we round up 2017’s fashion must-haves, month-by-month. Plus, it seems like we all have flu at the mo.… especially the guys in our life. Man Flu – it’s a thing. More about that later in this instalment.
But here’s another thing to truly haunt your holidays… Christmas Brows. Just in time for December 25th, a bold new eyebrow look trending on Instagram.


Yes, Christmas Tree Eyebrows are here. But why stop at your sweater?
Use some brow wax to hold splayed brow hairs in place before applying crystals and a gold sticky star, nail gems, and a gum wrapper. There are no rules.

And the icons?


So, as long as you’re rocking your Xmas brows, jumper and avoiding the flu, I wish you all a very merry Xmas and a happy new year. Thanks you for all your continued support here at Zips It Up.

Here’s to more fashion mayhem in 2018.

Fashion Trends of 2017

The ultimate fashion must-haves of this year are here Zipsters, including a high street-priced skirt and a £2,000 quilted jacket – two extremes.

The cheapest item is a plaid mini skirt from high street favourite Forever 21
Most expensive is the extravagant £2,000 Balenciaga Swing Puffer Jacket.

From stylish jeans to must-have sandals, the most coveted fashion items of the year are listed here in my end of year reveal. These dresses, skirts, bags and shoes are the pieces that were most searched-for by shoppers around the world in each month of 2017. They represent some of the year’s biggest style trends, including the slogans, streetwear and designer logos, that dominated high street rails and designer stores alike.

They also prove that fashion devotees do not mind splashing out on their investment pieces, with more than half of the most popular items retailing for over £100.

January: Champion Sweatshirt

Retro: This £37.46 Champion sweatshirt perfectly channelled 2017’s retro sportswear trend.

A brand beloved of Instagram It-girls Gigi Hadid and Hailey Baldwin (my two fave models from 2017), it is of little surprise Champion made an appearance on this year’s list. Indeed, retro sportswear proved so popular that combined searches for Champion, Fila and Kappa increased by 460 per cent year on year.

Once the preserve of athletes and sports fans, Champion has reached a more style-conscious shopper thanks to a number of high-profile collaborations with streetwear brands like Supreme, Vetements, and A Bathing Ape. As well as A-list fans. With its easy-to-wear colour and distinctly retro feel, the grey sweatshirt was perfectly on trend for 2017 and was equally perfect for snuggling up in during the winter months.

February: Forever 21 Plaid Skirt

Plaid skirts were huge in February this year, with this Forever 21 skirt becoming the most searched item in that month, proving that style does not have to be expensive. Nipping wearers in at the waist, this skirt is effortlessly flattering and perfect as the bitter winter chill begins to set in.

The seasonless item can be worn over bare legs in the summer or with tights during the colder months. The print goes perfectly with plain tops, letting the pattern do all the talking.

March: Puma x Fenty Bow Sneakers

Puma Fenty Bow Sneakers, £70. The combination of street and millennium pink made these shoes irresistible.

One person searched for these shoes every seven seconds in March, making them a runaway hit. The perfect combination of street style with a touch of sophistication proved immensely popular.

The millenium pink shoe was designed by Rihanna, who was inspired by PUMA’s retro R698 sneak. High street shops such as Zara were quick to recreate their own pumps and trainers with that thick bow across the top.

April: Levi’s Wedgie Jeans

Kendall Jenner is a big fan of these flattering Levi jeans, a spin on the classic sixties style, at £85.
Another retro look for April was these Levi Wedgie Jeans. High cropped trousers have been theme for the year in general, and combined with the high waist and tight fit, every fashion box is ticked.
Typically paired with mules, it is an effortless yet trendy look that can be dressed up, should the occasion arise.

May: Needle & Thread Dragonfly Maxi Dress

I love it, and I’ve reported on this many times in 2017.

Vintage Gucci made the top spot for June this year, with its weathered look and 1980s vibes, seen everywhere during the summer and around £370.

Logo prints were an essential item as well this summer, but the Gucci logo cotton t-shirt was particularly popular. Albeit cheaply copied by far eastern companies galore. The vintage top was inspired by prints from the 1980s, using an old-school Gucci logo with a slight weathered look. The fabric has small tears in the fabric for a worn effect. Toppers did a great version too.

Surprisingly, the eye-watering price was not enough to put people off, as this oh-so-simple t shirt topped the most searched in the month of June.

July: Le Specs x Adam Selman The Last Lolita Sunglasses

Celebrity favourite: The £75 shades were seen on Rihanna, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid
These £75 shades were perfect for fashionistas once the weather warmed up and the sun came out.
Pictured on everyone who mattered, cat-eye sunglasses — named after the Stanley Kubrick film that inspired them – were an unadulterated hit of the summer.

They were the standout design from the wildly successful collaboration between Australian eyewear brand Le Specs and American womenswear designer Adam Selman. Spoiler alert: I didn’t like these at all. The cats eye look has long gone, in my eyes.

August: Versace Medusa Slides

On trend: Slides (flip flops) were one of this year’s must-have styles, and this pair by Versace stood out. Whilst personally I hate ‘Slides’, they were to go-to style for fashion-forward men and women this summer, and this pair by fashion powerhouse Versace are among the best of the bunch.
The shoes, which retail for around £200, feature a Medusa emblem. This sign was chosen by the late Gianni Versace as denoting seduction, and has come to define the fashion empire he built.

The slides came in a dazzling range of colours, including white, burgundy and vibrant red, making them even easier to match.

September: Balenciaga Speed Sneakers

My favourite: These fashion-forward Balenciaga trainers were a big hit with shoppers.
With their chunky heels and sock-like fit, the Balenciaga Speed Sneakers are among the more fashion-forward pieces to make this year’s list. The low-top version of the shoe, pictured, retailed for around £495 with metallic offerings priced at more than £500.
The brand made headlines with a number of unusual designs this year, including an oversized blue shopping bag that bears a striking resemblance to the Ikea tote. Something else we featured in Zips It Up in 2017.

October: Topshop Shearling Biker Jacket

Another personal Zips It up fave: This £595 leather and shearling jacket by Topshop was an instant success.

In a list dominated by high-end designers and streetwear heroes, high street giant Topshop managed to bag a spot with their £595 shearling biker jacket. The effortlessly cool outerwear is a slightly more affordable alternative to the cult favourite £2,000 Acne Velocite jacket, which it closely resembles – although it is by no means cheap.

However shoppers do get what they pay for – the jacket is made from real leather and shearling lining, making it a perfect investment piece. My friend Analisa Dingle has one!

November: Balenciaga Swing Puffer Jacket

Following November’s cold ‘snap’, fashionistas (with the exception of me) found themselves rushing to ‘snap’ up the Balenciaga Swing Puffer Jacket as soon as it went on sale.

The quilted £2,000 statement piece is packed with details, including a hood, a rear logo stamp, a wrapped scarf neckline, snap button pockets, a chain detail on the neck and a double zipper closure. For those who can afford it, the jacket continues to be a go-to piece. Never thought I’d endorse a ‘puffer’ but I have to go with the 2017 flow here.

December: Gucci Marmont Bag

On my Xmas list? For sure. Experts predict this Gucci bag will dominate all of Santa’s sack space this Chrimbo.

While the figures have not yet been tallied for December, experts have predicted that this glamorous Gucci bag will be the hit of the month, if not 2017. Celebrating the label’s timeless elegance and luxury appeal, the brand’s Marmont collection is characterised by softly structured shapes, clean silhouettes and sumptuous finishes.

Costing up to £2,000, depending on the size and material, the bag is a significant investment, but will add style clout to any ensemble.

Happy Christmas everyone.
See you in Jan 2018. xx