Fire and Ice

Last week I went to Iceland with my brother and our mum. I don’t usually talk about holidays on this blog, but I photographed so many beautiful places that I wanted to share. As you might expect it was freezing, with temperatures dipping to -10, but feeling more like -20 with the wind chill. I didn’t shoot any outfits, primarily because fashion has no place in arctic conditions, at least not for me. It was quite nice not to bother with my appearance for a week and focus on the stunning landscape. Iceland is pristine, stark and spectacular. When we travelled up glaciers and mountains, our tour guide told us that nothing lives in these frozen deserts apart from the occasional, hardy arctic fox. Coming from London, where everyone is heaped one on top of another, […]

The simple Slip

After the festive hullabaloo has died away, it’s refreshing to look forward to the coming season. One of the key trends for SS16 is the slip dress, which isn’t particularly new. 90s inspired, slinky frocks have been knocking around in one form or another for a while. It’s not an easy look to master, especially for those with a generous bust. However, I think they looks great layered over a marl grey t-shirt or a lacy long sleeved top. When shopping for a slip dress, look for something with a little structure and try to avoid any material that’s too static. A slinky dress clinging to you like an amorous shower curtain is not a good look. I have a black one from Whistles that I picked up in the January sales last year, I’ll wear it with a classic […]

Writer at work

I feel I should explain why my blogging has been so infrequent over the last couple of weeks. I’m in the final stages of a writing project that I’ve been working on for the last year or so. I can’t reveal what it is just yet, but I’m very excited to share it with you all  when it’s done! Thank you to all the Haute Hoskins readers for your patience, normal service will begin very soon.

Death by finance

I often marvel at how multi-talented emerging designers have to be to break through and make it. It’s not enough to make beautiful, interesting clothes – financial and commercial concerns lie in a delicate balance with creativity. In the last 10 years, two great British brands bit the dust, Luella and Meadham Kirchhoff. Luella, which shut up shop in 2009, was a label I loved and tried to replicate with vintage and high street finds. One of my favourite collections was AW08; a rather literal take on a witches coven, complete with pumpkin coloured tights and pointy hats. Luella Bartley has made welcome return to fashion, designing for Marc for Marc Jacobs with Katie Hillier. In March this year the pair launched their own label, Hillier Bartley, which is more sophisticated and restrained than Luella; no bad thing in my book. The […]

Rare Birds

I’m not scared of ageing. When I was in my twenties I was terrified that I wouldn’t achieve my goals within a pre-disposed time frame. Now, with the passing of years and the accumulation of wisdom I no longer care. Things happen when they happen and fretting is a waste of time. I’ve also become more confident and assured in my style and I don’t attempt to fit into what other people consider ‘normal’. I’ll never be a jeans and t-shirt girl, it’s just not me. Many years ago, I was getting ready to go to a party with a friend of mine and I had a confidence wobble, I asked her – ‘Do I look over dressed?’. She responded with the rather brilliant line – ‘Yes, but you can’t stop now!’. One of […]

Confidence Trickster

Like nearly everyone I know, I have days when my self-esteem plummets and all I want to do is wear my mangiest old tracksuit and hide behind the sofa. The variation in mood has nothing to do with how I look, events in my professional or private life, or even the number on the bathroom scales. My confidence is often ephemeral and illogical. One day I’ll feel great, and another day like a troll, destined to stay under the bridge forever. One might assume that writing a fashion blog, where I splatter images of myself all over my little slice of the web, I’d be brimming with confidence and bravado. Not so. There are days when I would rather do anything other than pose for photos. I’m not suggesting I don’t have an ego, that would be a flimsy and disingenuous […]

Ekaterina Kukhareva: Fruits of the Loom

I recently had the good fortune to visit Ekaterina Kukhareva in her London Studio. The Ukrainian knitwear designer studied textiles at Central Saint Martins and worked at Temperly London before launching her own label. Her SS13 collection hit the ground running with vibrant colours and textures, which have since become Kukhareva’s calling card. This dress from her AW15 collection is a great example of Ekaterina’s use of colour, texture and structure. The softly padded skirt gives the knitwear shape and elevates the dress into a potential evening dress. What I find extraordinary about Kukhareva is that she manufactures her own textiles. She has an industrial loom in her studio that she uses to produce her designs. Along with the structured knitwear, Ekaterina makes flowing gowns and skirts that are as light as chiffon. Because she is […]

Life’s a Beach

Last week I was trundling along a tube station platform when I was besieged by a lurid black and yellow advertisement for Protein World. The ad was bedecked with a seemingly perfect young woman, demanding to know if I was ‘beach body ready’. My answer to the obnoxious advertisement is no, I am not ‘beach body ready’. I used to be toned within an inch of my life, but then I broke my arm and suffered a painful bereavement, so my work-out regime fell by the wayside. I’m back on the exercise wagon, but I’m not in my 20’s anymore and I have to work harder and longer to achieve the same results. I’m more pear-shaped than the woman in the Protein World advert; consequentially I don’t have the prerequisite breast to hip ratio to ready myself for […]

Plus Points

This week the media has been picking over the term ‘plus size’ – Australian reality TV star, Ajay Rochester, started the social media campaign using the hashtag #DropThePlus on Instagram. She’s won support from the likes of Dita Von Teese and Stefania Ferrario.   In industry terms, any woman bigger than a British size 8 is considered ‘plus’. The average woman in the UK is a 16, the term implies that normality is actually fat. Although the subject is being dragged out and chewed over, it’s by no means new. It’s been nearly 4 decades since Susie Orbach’s seminal book, Fat is a Feminist Issue, yet we’re still pestered by the notion that our bodies are not good enough.   There are two distinct issues at play here; the label in our clothes and the number on the scales. […]

Judy Wu: The Story Teller

I often wonder if I’ll ever grow out of my love for vintage clothes, after all, unearthing a second hand gem is a time and labour intensive endeavour. I used to spend hours riffling through the rails and bargain bins in Camden Market. I dug up many treasures, including an ostrich feather ball gown worthy of Ginger Rogers for £35. Unfortunately that particular masterpiece only lasted a couple of outings before it fell apart, but for a glorious moment, I swanned around like a 1930’s movie star. Those happy free days in Camden are long gone, but I still can’t shake my vintage obsession. When I buy clothes, I love to imagine the story behind them. My favourite designers have narrative woven into the fabric of their collections. The aesthetic may be modern and […]