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Katie Trotter: the unglamorous life of the fashion editor

Sometimes, the worst style offenders are the fashion editors themselves, whose harried job of producing the glossy images that we aspire to leaves little time to live the dream.

I had an unusual moment last week. I was wearing exactly the right dress. It ticked all the boxes. I was prepared - not my normal fraught self. My hair was just so, my shoes were the right height, and my bag actually matched some of the other things that were going on. I was, as they say, well turned out.

This is a rare moment, which may surprise you. After all I am, ahem, a fashion editor. Shouldn't we all look like something special? Well, I'll let you in on something - we don't. Yes, we keep a pair of heels in the back seat of our car just in case but that's about as far as it goes. Sure, we scrub up well if duty calls but most of the time we dress purely by default, lucky enough to have our arms and legs encased in something that allows us to get on with business.

After my recent polished incident, however, I've come to realise that, yes, at least occasionally planning is worth it, even if it's simply to remind ourselves that we can.

Take some time and look to the trends, as they are there to help. This spring it's all about the Seventies, from the wide-leg trouser to the pussy-bow silk shirt. If that all sounds a bit much, look to Phoebe Philo, who started at Céline this year and brought us the most beautiful whitewashed palette in clean lines and ever so flattering fabrics. High-octane prints, as always, are back, except with a little more volume. Think bigger, louder and more playful than ever. In terms of length, most of us will be glad to know that short is out and mid-length is in.

As for colour, it's all about vibrant blocking. Orange, turquoise, hot pink and yellow - all dominating colours most of us avoid, but if used cleverly look playful and fun.

But dressing like a pro takes commitment and preparation. It takes time - a 9-to-5 sort of time. It takes not rolling around the sand or the floor of an old factory getting just the right shot for the next fashion editorial, or pelting around Dubai Mall with 13 bags - only to drive right back to Abu Dhabi for a 5am start.

Don't get me wrong, we would all love to be planners. To lie in bed working through the next day's look, which necklace will set off which neon shirt, et cetera. But we don't. In reality most of us have about 28 minutes to prepare for the day - including shower time.

Fashion can't, and trust me on this, even make itself happy. So for all those fashion haters - those who sneer at the part-human, part-computer-generated-looking fashionistas you see on television and in glossy magazines - know that the real fashion people, the ones behind the scenes making the whole thing happen, are usually a whole lot worse off than you.

 

M-ometer

This week's highs and lows:

A TALLY OF TWO CITIES We're in love with this blog's clever cliché comparisons and graphics. parisvsnyc.blogspot.com

FOR THE BIRDS On Aura Tout Vu's couture show featuring a nest full of eggs crosses the line.

REDHEADS They're stealing the spotlight: singers, actresses and now models.

NOT FOR KIDS Lady Gaga's song Telephone is now a children's book. What?!

DARK LIPS Our favourite new vampy shade is Magnifica by Dolce&Gabbana.

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Editor's Picks

 Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Thoughtful tailoring at Asudari

The womenswear label Asudari showcased a collection that featured sharp masculine tailoring, but with feminine silhouettes.

Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games.

Designer Lamia Asudari says she was influenced by Delftware ceramics from the 16th century, as well as the imagery of weaponry and artillery. Indeed, pistols, grenades and guns were emblazoned over jackets and dresses.

 Several of Jo Baaklini's pieces featured fruit prints. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: At Starch, watermelon shirts, anyone?

“We need to cultivate our own fashion heroes — our own regional brands,” stressed Fashion Forward’s honcho Bong Guerrero in a press con two weeks ago.

Aptly, the slot for this season’s opening runway show was given to two newbies: Jo Baaklini and Timi Hayek, whose talents were scouted by Starch, a group dedicated to launching emerging Lebanese designers.

Between the two, Mr Baaklini had a stronger showing.

 Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece. Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Jean Louis Sabaji’s debatable debut

Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece, the floral crop top, and the radiant yellow pleated skirt.

But most of the time he went too far. There were bell-bottoms, separates that looked like costumes from The Jetsons, and a yellow dress reminiscent of Bjork’s infamous Oscars swan dress — several disparate elements in one multicoloured, multilayered show.

 Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all.” Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Kage pleases all palates

Did the designers of Kage aim to showcase every type of basic clothing on their latest show?

Because there were skirts, shorts, trousers, off-shoulder tops, short dresses, cocktail dresses, long flowy dresses, spaghetti straps, jackets, hoods — and even pyjamas, which with the incoming summer heat, looked especially appealing.

Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all”, they said in their statement.

 The standout was a grey hooded cape that created a tension between edge and elegance. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Polish, craft (and fur!) at The Emperor 1688

The best show of Day 1 at Fashion Forward was delivered by the three Golkar brothers behind The Emperor 1688.

The coats and capes were the clear winners: they came in all sorts of interesting colours and sizes — and featured exceptionally tailored proportions. There was a lot of volume, but also stiffness.

And whimsy: two favourites were a green double-breasted suit and a blue overcoat with a red clover pattern and gold buttons.

 Midway through Ezra's show, snow started falling from the ceiling. Ian Gavan / Getty Images for Fashion Forward

Fashion Forward: Ezra stuns in snow-covered show

Turns out the Filipino designer Ezra, known for his dreamy couture, still had a few surprises up his sleeve.

Midway through his show, snow started falling from the ceiling.

It created a starkly beautiful atmosphere for his intricately constructed gowns that seemed to be designed for an Ice Queen transported back to the 1950s.

He showed a collection that had a lot of technical firepower behind it: glittering iridescent fabrics paired with head and neckpieces that were moulded and stiffened to stand out in odd angles.

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