September 25, 2011

With her shock of pink hair, American model Charlotte Free has been brightening up the catwalk like a Stabilo highlighter.

The modelling world is undoubtedly transforming into a much more democratic arena; after years of seemingly blank and unmemorable teenage faces stalking the runways, vanishing into the abyss after a mere season, a personality with a unique selling point is the new vogue.

Pink hair: the hottest hair trend
In the space of just a few months we've enjoyed the emergence of the transsexual Brazilian in possession of the most enviable pair of legs in the industry ( Lea T ); the man with a skeleton tattooed over his entire frame ( Rico , handpicked by Nicola Formichetti at Mugler); the Serbian boy with a deceptively girly face and hourglass physique (Andrej Pejic ); and now the girl with the pink hair, Charlotte Free.
Fashion blurs gender boundaries
The 18-year-old model from Los Angeles was 'discovered' while shopping in an arcade, and pouring through endless catwalk images from the autumn/winter 2011 season, it is easy to see why her platinum-bleached and fluorescent-dyed hair makes her so incongruous.
Free's pink mane caught Dame Vivienne Westwood's eye, who chose her to open her Red Label collection at London Fashion Week. At Topshop Unique, where every model's hair was tightly-styled into two top-knots, Free's pink variation was the quirkiest of them all.
What makes Free's USP all the more endearing is learning that she dyes her hair herself, bleaching and colouring it from the comfort of her own home.
This autumn/winter 2011 show season is seeing the American picking up bookings day after day. At New York Fashion Week her spunky pigtails were on display at Jeremy Scott; she peppered her 5ft7" presence throughout London and now she's in Paris, where our hair-watch continues.

September 24, 2011









Preen never fails to deliver, with each collection Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi expand the horizon of their brand with a fresh round of creativity. Spring finds the duo in a feminine mood, with soft colors and sculpted shapes combining to create a refined yet daring look. Pastels and prints are de rigueur on the runways this season, but no one is doing them like Preen. Their mix of pixels and hand drawn patterns is completely original and after a seemingly endless stream of NYFW shows that felt culled from the ghosts of collections past, it is nice to see designers who value uniqueness over familiarity.

For all the uniqueness there are a few historical allusions – Thornton and Bregazzi were inspired by The Bloomsbury set, an English group of intellectuals that included Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster. Rather than making their literary reference overt, they let the artistic spirit of that group’s dynamic influence things subtly. As we all know, Preen is a thinking woman’s fashion line, as pretty as things get on the runway it is the substance and skillful technique found in each piece that keeps fans coming back for more.

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