Last night, with a slash of orange lipstick, a stapled together Summer sandal and a spritz of dry shampoo we hot footed it to the Topshop Fashion Forum Event. Awaiting us was a table of treats from local hotspot Lovecrumbs, along with more bubbles than any well heeled fashion maven could shake a stick at. The main draw? A panel Q&A with some of Scotland’s top industry trend setters. From style tips to wardrobe essentials, they covered it all- read on for their insider tips…
The Topshop Fashion Forum panel
What’s the trickiest new season trend?
LG: For me, definitely crop tops. Many of our shoppers think they’re only for those who are a size 6-8, but in truth anyone can wear them; it’s all about how you style them. They’re great with high waisted skirts or jeans. Our Joni or Jamie styles are particularly good for teaming with crop tops. To finish off the look, throw on a duster coat or long kimono to give some coverage.
WG: I love crop tops layered with other pieces. If you like the style but don’t want to flash the flesh try layering a shirt or dress underneath.
What was your favourite S/S collection?
WG: Burberry. I loved everything about it, from the feminine silhouettes and cinched in waists to the pastel colours and lace detailing. But their shows are always good!
Favourite A/W collection?
SF: It’s a cliche, but it has to be Isabel Marant. I’m a huge fan of black and in Winter you’ll usually find me head to toe in it; that said I loved the olive, brown and charcoal tones throughout this collection. The juxtaposition of grunge and glamour was sublime and I particularly liked the styling of oversized knits with dressy skirts.
Which is the best season- S/S or A/W?
WG: For us, definitely S/S. It’s so short as it’s never really hot here! But that means we make the most of the short opportunity we have to wear Summer fashions.
What’s the one piece every girl should have in her wardrobe?
LG: Moving on from the LBD, I think the jumpsuit has taken over as the fallback piece every wardrobe should contain. They’re so versatile and can fit a multitude of occasions- keep the look slick in a tailored block colour style or have some fun and play with print.
SS: Good underwear! Seriously, nothing feels better. Nowadays there’s such an opportunity to play with different looks, to show off cute bra straps and flash bondage inspired styles. Underwear can be an accessory and really add to an outfit.
WG: Great shoes and a classic bag. They go with everything and can just as easily dress up basics or add the finishing touch to a show stopping evening look.
SF: A black biker jacket. I used to have a pile of them but upon finding the perfect one I ditched all the others.
Most influential fashion designer?
SF: I’d have to say Yves Saint Laurent, who totally championed the androgynous look and changed the face of fashion with Le Smoking. For classic styles it would be Chanel.
WG: I agree but I’d also throw Missoni in there for their incredible and unusual fabrics.
SS: I think it’s also important to remember the samller designers all over the world, beyond the well known fashion houses. There’s so much talent all around us.
LG: I’d have to say Chanel. They have so many iconic looks, from tweed to quilting, which are instantly recognisable and always on trend.
What are the best transitional trends?
SS: Texture. There was so much leather and loose knitwear across the S/S shows which will work perfectly for A/W with distressed knits. I’ll be breaking out the pom pom maker and going texture crazy with my old knitwear for the new season. Leather jackets are also a dream to rework so I’ll be adding some elbow patches and embellishment to my old one.
Any trends you’d like to see ditched?
LG: I’m all about reworking, not ditching! I have a massive wardrobe and I always hold onto pieces as you never know when they’ll come back into fashion. even the top I’m wearing at the moment looks like it came straight out of the 90s! (But if you push me- velvet Juicy Couture tracksuits!)
SS: I’m sorry Laura, but it would have to be the 90s trend… I pretty much was Blossom when I was younger!
WG: I’m going to have to go for another era and ditch the 80s- especially lycra and body con on everyone…
SF: Florals. They’re just not for me. I wore a floral co-ord set to work and felt like I was in my pyjamas.
What’s your personal style secret?
SS: For me, my glasses and hair make every outfit. I think what’s most important is to wear what makes you happy. People may laugh at you but just go for it!
Best investment piece?
WG: A great coat. You’ll wear it all the time as it’s always so cold!
Best styling tip for flattering and enhancing the figure?
SF: Candlelight and wine. Or layers.
Who’s your style icon?
SS: I take a lot of inspiration from cartoons, in particular Penelope Pitstop. Also fictional characters like Myrtle Snow and real life favourites Doe Deere and Daphne Guinness.
LG: I pick a lot of things up from girls at work and style on the streets- I’ll often see someone wearing something I wouldn’t have dreamed of and it’ll look great.
Any style advice for the fellas?
SS: There’s more to life than checked shirts! Experiment with your wardrobe and shake things up a bit. Get out of your comfort zone. I love a sports/ formal wear mash up which looks really fresh right now. Finally- dare I say it- it’s not all about beards…
Best place to look for fashion inspiration?
WG: I use Bloglovin a lot to keep up to date.
SS: Crave is a really exciting new publication which creates shippable editorial and is based right here in Edinburgh. They’re doing some really exciting things and are well worth a look!
LG: For me, it’s always Instagram- my feed is chockfull at all times! I’m very visually inspired and prefer to look at imagery as opposed to read words.
LG: Nylon. It’s a great mix of music and street culture and gives a great sense of where trends come from.
SS: For something a little closer to home I love Hope St– it’s so beautifully put together.
What’s the best way to create your own style and be a fashion leader rather than follower?
SF: Try things out! Don’t spend a lot of money at the start, just take the time to work out your signature style and then invest.
Any tips for dressing for success?
WG: Dress in something you feel comfortable in. There’s nothing more off-putting than a girl who’s constantly having to hitch her dress down or who can’t walk in her shoes.