Life and style Archive

Children's fancy dress costumes still a danger, say British fire chiefs

UK fire chiefs are warning parents of the potential dangers of children’s fancy dress costumes in the run-up to Halloween and Bonfire night. The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) claimed there have been no improvements to safety legislation over the outfits – still classified as toys rather than clothing – despite the torrent of negative publicity triggered by the 2014 fire that seriously injured the …

Meet River Island's emo, selfie-taking millennial mannequins

Ever since Kim Cattrall winked knowingly as Starship blasted out of cinema speakers in the 1987 film Mannequin, culture has given plastic shop models a touch of existential gravitas. After Topshop’s were criticised for being too skinny, a strong argument was made for making mannequins more realistic, with many high-street chains taking note. River Island has taken this to its logical conclusion, with its new …

The Fashion Awards 2016: diverse models and streetwear to be recognised

The Fashion Awards – formerly known as the British Fashion Awards or BFAs – which honour key members of the industry who have made an impact over the past year, have released the 2016 nominations. Among the usual suspects and usual categories – which include Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane for best british brand and Alessandro Michele and Donatella Versace for international ready-to-wear designer – …

Creepy clowns, Rattata and Trump: Halloween 2016 costume inspiration

Clown Nothing about this Halloween is going to plan. First, one of the most popular costumes is basically an ageing My Chemical Romance fan (Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn) and an online troll (the guy from V for Vendetta slash Jack White in Get Behind Me Satan-era White Stripes). Second, the innocent tradition of dressing up like a clown has taken a turn for the John …

In Vogue: what’s the difference between a ‘real woman’ and a ‘non-real woman’?

I’ve been reading a lot about how fashion has to represent “real women.” But what does this mean and who are these “real women”? Caroline, by email Excellent question, Caroline! I’ve been thinking about this a lot, especially since the publication of the latest issue of Vogue, which proudly proclaims itself to be a “model-free zone”, in which clothes are photographed – as editor Alexandra …