fashion inspiration: the oc

Is it really ten whole years since The OC first graced our screens? Back before Gossip Girl, this was my first glimpse into the fashionable teenage lives of privileged, American society.

Rather than bemoaning the passage of time (“am I really that old?”), it’s time to relive the past and take fashion inspiration from Marissa, Summer and the rest of the gang!

New Year’s: Oh, Marissa. Your character ultimately ran itself off the rails but sometimes you got your fashion oh-so-right. One of my favourites was this gorgeous black cut-out gown which she wore to welcome in 2004.

Marissa Black Dress

Recreate the look 2013-style in this One by Contrarian maxi dress ($425).

One by Contrarian Babs Bib Maxi Dress (Photo: Shopbop)

Prom: Unfortunately Marissa got it all wrong this time. Sure, it was Chanel, but seriously, what was she thinking? I hated it then and I hate it now.

Marissa OC Prom Dress

If you want to recreate this look in a slightly more fashionable and modern way, try the Mark + James by Badgley Mischka Strapless Flower Dress (currently on sale for $171).

Mark + James by Badgley Mischka Strapless Flower Dress

Taylor and Summer got it very much right (and somehow still look somewhat stylish ten years later – not bad!)

Taylor and Summer OC Prom Dress

For a sassy take on Summer’s look, try Milly for BHLDN’s Sparked Daisy Dress (now $480).

Milly for BHLDN Sparked Daisy Dress

And tone down the shine on Taylor’s look with this gown from Laundry by Shelli Segal ($275).

Laundry by Shelli Segal

Chrismukkah: What’s not to love about this look? Best of all, you can make it yourself!


Did you watch The OC? What was your favourite look?

The OC Cast

fashion inspiration: gangster squad

If it wasn’t for the risk to life, I’d sign up to be a 1940s gangster girl in a heartbeat – the clothes are fabulous! Here’s some tips for channeling your own underworld glam from the safety of your everyday life.

Elegant formalwear: Who doesn’t love that red dress Emma Stone is wearing in the Gangster Squad posters?

Emma Stone in that red dress in Gangster Squad (Photo: Warner Bros.)

It’s not an exact match, but this Ann Taylor silk georgette dress ($365) is pretty close.

Ann Taylor silk georgette one shoulder dress (Photo: Ann Taylor)

Belted day dresses: A 1940s classic, the belted day dress is sophisticated, stylish and – best of all – it works perfectly for today’s office.

Emma Stone in a belted dress in Gangster Squad (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Modcloth has some fantastic belted dresses in a range of prices. One of my favourites is the Networking for Me Dress ($129.99).

Networking For Me Dress (Photo: Modcloth)

Furs: I know that can be controversial but they’re an essential part of a gangster girl’s look.

Emma Stone wears furs in Gangster Squad (Photo: Warner Bros.)

If you don’t like the idea of wearing fur, you can get a similar look with the Felicity Feather Bolero (£60) from Coast.

Felicity Feather Bolero (Photo: Coast)

Sparkly accessories: Every gangster girl worth her salt needs some glamorous jewels and a great clutch. Grace Faraday certainly know how to work them.

Emma Stone with her accessories in Gangster Squad (Photo: Warner Bros.)

Anthropologie’s Giltwork Pin-Fringe Clutch ($78) would add a touch of vintage glam to any outfit.

Giltwork Pin-Fringe Clutch (Photo: Anthropologie)

Pin your hair and you’re good to go!

fashion inspiration: the great gatsby

It’s still another five months before the film hits our screens, but designers are already taking inspiration from Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby (noteably Gucci and Alberta Feretti).

This is going to be a big look for fall so here are some ideas on how to jazz-age up your wardrobe.

Dresses: The 20s are all about the dresses. Channel the era into your day wardrobe by adopting a dropped waist. Be warned, this look works best on those of us with less curves.

The Rauma Drop-Waist Dress from Anthropologie ($158) has a shorter length to keep you looking modern.

The Violet Lights Sequin Collar Dress from Ruche ($39.99) has a dash of modern sparkle from its gleaming collar.

Floaty layers: Another daytime look is the floaty layers, as demonstrated below by Carey Mulligan.

Get the look with the Rise embellished cape dress from Dorothy Perkins (currently £45.00)

Alternatively, throw a cape like Modcloth’s Photographic Flashback Cape ($57.99) over a simple white frock.

Heavy beading: If you want evening style like Daisy Buchanan, your evening gowns should be embellished with heavy beading.

Go all out, but in an edgy shorter length, wearing this Lipsy VIP Bandeau Embellished Dress from ASOS ($198.84).

Sequins have just as much impact but can help keep your dress from weighing more than you do. Try French Connection’s Peal Queen Strappy Dress (on sale for £99.00 in the UK store or $199.99 in the US store)

Alternatively, a sequinned art-deco pattern coupled with a straight style dress gives a fabulously modern take on the look. This Warehouse 1920s dress with fluro sequins ($165.70) is divine.

Neck details: If all over beading is too much for you to bear, try going for embellishment just around the neck.

The Cage Embellished Bodycon Dress from Topshop ($118) is a modern take on the dress above.

A word on accessories: While jazz-age accessories are divine (like Daisy’s headband below), avoid over-doing your look by pairing these extras with the dresses above. You don’t want to look like you’re an escaped extra from the set! Keep make-up fresh and hair modern too (no pin curls unless you’re going to a fancy-dress party).

Now go get your Charleston on, you fabulous thing!

fashion inspiration: the spice girls

When the Spice Girls hit the big time, I was the perfect (tween) age to love everything about them – their poppy music, their “girl power” message, and, of course, their fabulous outfits.

This week, the band reunited to launch a West-End musical featuring their music, Viva Forever (think Mamma Mia with Spice Girl music instead of Abba) so I thought it was the perfect time to take inspiration from their famous fashion. Apparently the fashion world agrees, because so many of their signature looks are bang on trend right now. Come take a walk down memory lane with me…

Baby: More than any of the others, Baby Spice rocked the platform sneakers. As a shoe-lover, I have to admit that it is one of my least favourite shoe trends ever.

That said, somebody must like it because flatforms (as they’re now called) were everywhere last season. Try a ballet flatform instead of a sneaker for a more modern twist. The ASOS VIBE Flatform is white on one side, silver on the other, and a whole lot of spice in between (now $41.42).

Scary: What was Scary Spice always wearing? Aside from her signature afro, it was leopard print!

Try a less scary take on the print in silk, like Kate Spade’s Roxanne Dress ($448)

Sporty: Even Sporty Spice’s look is having a moment this year, with sporty chic one of the hottest catwalk trends in the last round of shows (check out Cashmere Kinetic for some of the best looks).

Add a bit of sporty style to your wardrobe with Anthropologie’s Laced Up Hoodie ($88).

Ginger: One of the most famous Spice Girl looks was Geri’s Union Jack dress from the Brit Awards (it was supposedly made from a tea towel!)

With the Jubilee and Olympics this year, Union Jack clothing is everywhere. Consider Religion’s backless Union Jack top ($74.56) – pants recommended!

Posh: When it comes to fashion, Posh was always my favourite. I guess it makes sense that she was the one who went on to work in the fashion field.

If you want to work her look, what better way than to wear her own label. I adore the very posh asymmetric stitch-spotted crepe dress, currently on sale at Net-A-Porter for $1,247.50.

And there you have it, my friends – spice up your life!

fashion inspiration: new girl

One of my favourite new shows this year was New Girl. After watching the season finale last week, I’ve decided to combat my inevitable withdrawal from the show over the summer by injecting some Jess (Zooey Deschanel) style into my wardrobe.

Almost everything Jess wears is from stores like Anthropologie, Kate Spade and Zara. That means you can convert almost everything you see her wear on screen into real life (unlike some of our earlier TV and film fashion inspirations). If you’d like to take a twirl in Jess’ clothes, here are the key elements to bear in mind.

Bring on the colour: Jess is not a black-and-white girl. Her outfits always feature vibrant colours – and not always ones you would expect to wear together. Take a risk with complimentary colours, like orange and blue or yellow and purple.

Copy her exact look from the above scene in the Striped Jillian Dress from Kate Spade (now $219).

Go nuts with patterns: One of the most distinctive traits of Jess’ outfits is that she’s not afraid of patterns – and definitely not afraid to combine them. One of my favourite items she wore this season was the cute bicycle pattern dress from the season finale (below – click to enlarge).

While that dress is now sold out, I think Jess would love to get her hands on this Scenic Print Dress by Oasis via Asos ($86.97). It has a similar colour palate to the above dress and would be super cute to wear on summer vacations.

If I were a betting girl, I’d put money on Jess turning up next season in the gorgeous printed pieces by Charlotte Taylor currently at Anthropologie. The Hummingbird Poplin Skirt ($98) and Juggling Figures Silk Blouse ($128) are two pieces that would suit her perfectly.

Show some leg: Has Jess ever worn a pair of pants other than her PJs? I can only remember her ever wearing above-the-knee skirts and dresses. Make like Jess and show off your pins – it’s summer after all!

Kate Spade’s Louella Skirt (now $220) is fun, flirty and summery all in one – and the neutral background of the print will be kind to even the pastiest of legs!

Ballet flats: Being a teacher means Jess needs practical shoes, but she keeps them cute by wearing brightly coloured ballet flats.

J.Crew has an amazing range of colours to suit every outfit (from $125).

Let your personality shine: Jess is a bit quirky and her clothes emphasise your personality. Regardless of whether you share her style, take her lead and wear outfits that reflect the inner you – before you know it, everyone will want to know “who’s that girl?”