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Oh the fashion times are a changing and fashion magazines  are encouraging us to bin our beloved skinny jeans and replace them with culottes. Yes- those unflattering trouser wannabes and ditch the failsafe black for arty prints.

Yes, if money was no object it would be fabulous to embark upon a springtime makeover but alas, most of us are not so lucky. So how do you avoid getting over-excited by new season trends and shop in a sensible way? Here’s our 5 tips…that we will TRY and follow.

Arty amazingness - Celine has started another new season obsession of mine
Arty amazingness – Celine has started another new season obsession of mine

1)    Make a wish-list from magazines of the key looks you want to try this season. I love Celine’s arty print skirts but haven’t got the budget. I’ll use www.snapfashion.co.uk to find something similar on the high street instead of buying any old thing from the sales because it’s discounted…we’ve all done it!

2)    Don’t buy into new trends if there’s an IF. I would love to wear Dior cropped tops IF I do 100 ab crunches a day until July, or I would totally get on board with Isabel Marant’s cropped tracksuit pants IF I were cooler and less pear shaped. Just don’t go there.

If only. How many ab crunches must Rihanna do every day?!
If only. How many ab crunches must Rihanna do every day?!

3)    Do style old favourites in a new way. A favourite white shirt can be SS14 –proofed with the addition of a perspex necklace and you can wear metallics in day time. My personal New Year’s Resolution is to buy better and less but to rediscover the clothes I have and wear them in a more creative way.

4)    Never buy an item of clothing in the sale or otherwise in the wrong size unless you really are going to alter it on the day. Buying something a size too small and promising yourself you will go on a dismal diet is just depressing. Embrace the trends that suit your shape and make them your own instead of trying to be a catwalk clone.

I love this 'Aloha' shirt dress from Topshop. It's a little bit sporty, floral and great for holidays - so it could last a few summers and become a firm favourite with careful washing! All that for £40
I love this ‘Aloha’ shirt dress from Topshop. It’s a little bit sporty, floral and great for holidays – so it could last a few summers and become a firm favourite with careful washing! All that for £40

5)    Investing in the basics can be boring but IT items age very quickly. Pastels and florals are almost always in fashion in some way in the summertime so pick the ones that suit you and not the most-fashionable-this-week according to Vogue.

6)    Dos and don’ts aside what are you most excited about embracing this season? On my wish list is a structured pastel top, inspired by Balenciaga and a really brash arty skirt. Yup, I will crack that one.

Although London Fashion Week continues to keep everyone busy for another couple of days we thought we’d updated you with a few of our personal highlights so far…

1. Cut-out backs

Felder Felder definitely showed us which bit of a dress should be cut out to reveal the most flattering flash of skin on a woman… the back. The sibling designers kept their silhouettes simple and their colours fairly neutral, but when the models walked away from the photographers and flashing lights, it was the backs of their outfits that we found the most captivating.

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2. Playful prints and face lace

Lulu Liu’s show transitioned from fresh white outerwear, through warm winter colour blocking, and a range of playful prints, keeping us fully entertained from start to finish.

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The models were also decorated with some rather exquisite face lace designed and provided by Phyllis Cohen that saw the models achieve both a futuristic and elegant appearance. The ornate make up designs are made ready to peel off and apply, which means anyone can accomplish an instant and dramatic effect without the worry of your make up art fading or smudging.

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3. Super sandals

Lulu Liu has made it into two of our top moments as a result of her range of leather and wood platform sandals that the models were walking in. The shoes looked wearable (even comfortable) and seemed to pair easily with pretty much any of the looks going down the runway. We get the feeling they’ll be a go-to shoe for adding instant cool to any outfit, whether you’re working tights, socks, or bare legs next autumn/winter.

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4. Frills equal a full house

John Rocha’s show on Saturday was impressively packed with a room full of fashion followers. The models were wearing ultra-feminine dresses with frills to spare. Some were more toned down with doc martin style shoes and gothic make up, while others were swamped with flowing headpieces that gave them the appearance of art drifting down the runway.

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5. Not for the fashion…

John Rocha definitely won our award for the happiest designer to take to the runway. Following his show, Rocha bounced alongside a rather steely-looking model, smiling from ear to ear. We fully approve of his enthusiasm and overall excitement about this years AW show.

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Lulu Liu kept the crowd content in the run up to her show by allowing her super cute son to have a go on the runway. Whether she was aware he was trying to steal the limelight is unclear (obviously she was stuck managing behind-the-scenes madness and getting models prepped), but we don’t think it caused any offence as the FROW were seen to be swooning over little Liu.

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6. Trends from the FROW

Our favourite trend taken from the FROW so far was the selection of pink hats that we spotted. From beanies to wide brim fedora’s and pastel pinks to vibrant fuschia – they all looked fun, feminine, and added a touch of happiness to our grey weather of winter!

LFW FROW Style

Best bag has to go to the leather back pack we spotted when queing for one of the shows. It’s perfect for carrying a good supply of fashion week needs (heels, flats, make up etc) and looked chic with the leather plaits and tassel detail.

LFW Streetstyle

Christmas is definitely a period of endless excuses to get dressed up and celebrate, but not much time to consider which outfits you want to make the most of. We know how busy those last few weeks at work are, allowing maybe enough time to squeeze in the ever so important and daunting task of present buying, and limiting any chance of preparing yourself for festive parties and the much-anticipated few days off around Christmas.

We love that bit the best, and although everyone has their own holiday traditions, we’ve decided to help you out with a few of our favourite looks for the occassions that are guaranteed to crop up in your Christams calender. That’s right people… we are literally days away from the big family get-together, piles of presents, plenty of eating, tons of drinking, and general craziness that is Christmas.

Here’s what we’ll be wearing for the key events that lead us into the New Year, and don’t worry, we’ve taken into consideration the need to accommodate outfits pre and post the mega Christmas meal…

english bulldogs dressed up as santa and rudolph

Christmas eve… I don’t know about you guys but this has quickly become my favourite night of the holidays, probably because it’s the time of year you can catch up with old family friends, and are guaranteed to see your local pub full of familiar faces. Everyone’s flocked to their family homes and are out to enjoy the build up before the big day. We figured something simple and smart like this monochrome look will work perfectly for a night out with friends, edgy enough that it’s bound to be noticed and understated enough that it’s pub appropriate.

Xmas Eve Outfit
French Connection Top | Topshop Wrap Skirt

Christmas day… This is a tricky one because I know some people stay firmly in their pj’s while other like to go super smart and play formal families for an afternoon. We’ve picked two dresses that just can’t be beaten; they’re pretty, floaty, and relatively loose fitting so you won’t feel uncomfortable when you’ve eaten your body weight in turkey, trimmings, and roast potatoes galore. We figure it’s a time of year when you won’t mind spending a bit more on your outfit and both of these can be reworn hundreds of times so you don’t have to feel guilty for splashing out on a desginer dress for the  day.

Xmas Day
Love Moschino Printed Dress | Acne Ruffled Chiffon Dress

Boxing day… So if everything went to plan the previous day, you’re probably feeling hungover, over-fed,  and over-familied (maybe not be the technical term but I’m sure you get the idea). You will also hopefully have been spoiled rotten and received all the gifts you hinted heavily for in the run up to Christmas. You might be wearing some combination of new clothes, but if not this super cool Zoe Karssen jumper and baggy Pull & Bear trousers make for maximum comfort (as well as style) while you lounge around watching TV and munching from tins of chocolates…

Boxing Day Outfit
Pull&Bear stripe trousers | Zoe Karssen Bat Sweater | Pull&Bear Leopard Print trousers

NYE… The night that people love to hate and worry that everything will go wrong, but really if you manage to get yourself to a half decent party with a few good friends, you’re pretty much sorted for a top start to the New Year. The outfit is of course a major part of any NYE night out, and although there’s room to go wild with this one (there’s always someone in hotpants decorated with sequins and glitter galore), we’ve stuck with a black and gold theme that we think looks appropriately sparkly enough to make it special whilst not over-doing it so as to keep it classy.  Both skirts are gorgeous, which is lucky considering there’s quite a price difference, so whichever one suits your budget best is hopefully all the indication you need. We love Topshop’s silk strap tops and although they’re a given basic, they still make for a super smart and sexy look tucked into trousers or a skirt. Plus, the pop of the candy floss pink or fringing on the black top add a touch of ‘NYE night out’ to the standard design. Dorothy Perkins’ black and gold flapper dress is definitely fun and festive for anyone not feeling the idea of separates, offering an easy-to-throw-on-outfit that doesn’t require too much styling, it’s the perfect last minute look.

New Years Eve Outfit
Topshop Pink Cami | Dorothy Perkins Flapper Dress | Alice+Olivia sequin mini skirt | Topshop Black Cami | Zalando gold and black pencil skirt

Anyway, have fun, enjoy the holidays, and let us know how your festive fashion run goes down..

Triangles are my favourite shape (like Alt-J the song says) and I spotted these cute plastic shoes when out shopping in Covent Garden.

The Hybrid shoes by United Nude look like 90s computer graphics and lots of different triangles connecting to catch the light thanks to the shiny plastic surface. I really liked the flat versions and the lines of the heels but I’m not such a huge fan of the leather strap – why not matching plastic?!

Hybrid heel in metallic blue
Hybrid heel in metallic blue

 

Hot pink - these remind me of a pair that my one-and-only 90s Barbie used to wear
Hot pink – these remind me of a pair that my one-and-only 90s Barbie used to wear
I really like this green pair but I'd lose the leathers strap (it unclips)
I really like this green pair but I’d lose the leathers strap (it unclips)
STRUT!
STRUT!
I think this is my favourite shoe - around £75
I think this is my favourite shoe – around £75
I really like the soles
I really like the soles
Neon rainbow!
Neon rainbow!

I am however fascinated by the boots designed by architect extraordinaire Dame Zaha Hadid – they are simply a work of art. The lines and sculptural shapes transform the foot into a mini modern building, which is exactly what you want from a Hadid shoe.

Zaha Hadid designs amazing shoes as well as buildings
Zaha Hadid designs amazing shoes as well as buildings
I'm not so keen on the silver but the're SO eye-catching
I’m not so keen on the silver but the’re SO eye-catching
Just amazing
Just amazing

One small niggle was the incredibly unfriendly and needlessly snooty shop assistants in the Covent Garden store – there’s just no excuse for it now-a-days and yes it did stop me browsing and potentially buying!

By now you’ll have noticed that the shops are chock-full of checks, tartan and plaid but lots of the items are embellished with punky safety pins or teamed with black PVC trousers/skirts…not so handy for most offices or college.

Rouched red tartan has almost always been a signature look of Vivienne Westwood, while Alexander McQueen brought red tartan into high fashion circles in 1995 with his charmingly named ‘highland rape’ collection.  Both designers put a lot of emphasis on a full cleavage and flashes of flesh – probvably not advisable for the workplace.

But the late, great Alexander McQueen’s diffusion line, McQ has produced the perfect pencil skirt for the office with just the right amount of attitude. Yes it’s tartan and has black zips, but it makes for some rebellious ladylike glamour.

Staying with prim and proper, M&S has got fantastic separates in houndstooth and monochrome check that are sophisticated and on-trend.

Also on the high street, we really like Warehouse’ sheer ombre shirt. The black tones down the tartan a little, while the sheer fabric allows the wearer to be as nice or naughty as they like.

And at Zara tartan takes its cue from heritage pieces instead of punk, but the zips add edge. These are our personal favourites because of the cute retro shapes. We could style them up with a cute fitted biker jacket or chunky woolly cardy, sheer black tights (no punky ladders thanks) and ankles boots.

McQ zipped-hem tartan wool skirt £325 from Net-a-Porter
McQ zipped-hem tartan wool skirt £325 from Net-a-Porter
Love this mini skirt £39.99 from Zara
Love this mini skirt £39.99 from Zara
Super cool ombre checked shirt £45 from Warehouse
Super cool ombre checked shirt £45 from Warehouse
Love the 60s shape of this checked dress...and the zips. £69 from Zara
Love the 60s shape of this checked dress…and the zips. £69 from Zara
Last but not least, this checked jumper, £35 from M&S is as versatile as a plain one this season
Last but not least, this checked jumper, £35 from M&S is as versatile as a plain one this season

 

We’ve been busy here over at Snap HQ listening to your feedback and improving Snap Fashion (as well as blogging like mad and lusting over new collections!)  We’ve made some exciting changes recently to make shopping online even easier.

We’ve got a new app!

We’ve updated the Snap Fashion app.  We’ve got a new look front page, a trending section so you can see what everyone else using Snap Fashion is loving right now, plus you can add your favourite labels to a list so you can just see results by them.  Enjoy!  You can download it here.

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You can Snap things on the move using our mobile app

How to Snap

We’ve changed the way you Snap. We’ve made Snapping anything off any website super simple with our Snap It buttonJust drag it onto your bookmarks bar to install it.  Then when you’re on any website and see something you love, click on the Snap It button and click on image to Snap it.  There are some great instructions here on how to use Snap.

Shop from our Blog

Speaking of loveable items, the home of all things coveted is our blog!  You may have noticed that you can Snap directly from the blog.  When you hover over an image your mouse will turn into a small hanger.  Click on the image and we’ll Snap it for you straight away.  Voila!

Shop from the blog
Just hover over something and click on it to Snap it and find something similar

Bag a Bargain

Last but by no means least we’ve got an uber cool sales tracker.  See something you love, add it to your wishlist and we’ll drop you an email when it’s out of stock.  (You can opt out of emails at any time too and we don’t share your information with anyone.)  I’m ridiculously tempted by these Chloe shoe boots at the moment.

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My wishlist is a nice mix of aspirational and affordable

If you have any suggestions for changes, more things you’d like to see or just want to say hi we’d love to hear from you, just drop us an email at hello@snapfashion.co.uk

OK- something a little different from our usual fashion posts but we had to tell you about our success at the Tech All Stars competition.

Snap Fashion is the only UK-based start-up business in the penultimate part of the European competition and consequenly voted a top three start-up in Europe. We’re super chuffed and can’t wait to see Jenny (the brains behind Snap Fashion, CEO and tech-spert) do her in thing in London in a bid to win the whole shebang!

If you enjoy our blog, you can click on any of the pictures to try Snap Fashion- the visual search engine for fashion.  Or visit www.SnapFashion.co.uk or if you have an iPhone, you can download our app by searching for us. Don’t say we don’t spoil you!

Thanks for all the support so far x

Tech-all-stars-snap-fashion

Snap Fashion is voted a top three tech start-up in Europe

Snap Fashion, the UK’s first completely fashion–focused visual search engine, will be flying the flag for the UK to compete as one of Europe’s top 3 tech start-ups in the European Commission’s prestigious Tech All Stars competition.

Snap Fashion is a new online shopping destination that uses a photo of a piece of clothing to let users find and buy similar fashion items from over 170 fashion retailers. Its unique algorithms have brought visual search technology to the fashion world. The technology is available free to shoppers via the Snap Fashion website, www.snapfashion.co.uk and an iPhone app.

Snap Fashion is the only company from the UK left in the competition from over 300 entrants. The company was one of three European technology start-ups to progress to the next stage of the Tech All Stars competition, which is part of the European Commission’s drive to promote tech entrepreneurship within the European Union and recognises the best start-ups to have completed accelerators or have won other start-up competitions.

Snap Fashion’s mixture of cutting edge, fashion-focused visual search technology, user-friendly website and app, as well as its many retail partners, earned it a place among Europe’s top start-ups after a panel of judges filtered the hundreds of entrants down to 3.

The company’s founder, Jenny Griffiths, delivered a Dragon’s Den style pitch to a group of angel investors and panel of judges, at the Berlin Angelsbootcamp on 8 June. Jenny won one of three places in the next round – the Founders Forum at the Talent Track in London on 13 June. Flying the flag for the UK in London, where Snap Fashion is based, Jenny will mix with successful entrepreneurs and investors (with past forum participants including Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg) in a bid to win Tech All Stars and attend the Digital Agenda in Dublin on 19 June.

Jenny says: “I’m really pleased to be in final three of Tech All Stars. It’s especially rewarding to be recognised because the competition was so tough and all the companies are amazing. I can’t wait to take part in Talent Track and am proud to be a UK start-up competing in my home town. After Snap Fashion’s win at the Cisco British Innovation Awards last year it’s great to see that we’re measuring up against European companies as well as British ones. The next step for Snap Fashion is to focus on raising investment and continuing to build partnerships with key brands.”

ends

Notes to editors

1. Snap Fashion’s clever visual search technology is available to users in three simple steps – See it, Snap it, Buy it:

  • See it:  Browse your favourite blogs and online magazines for fashion inspiration or spot someone’s outfit you like on the street and get ready to turn style inspiration into a shopping reality.
  • Snap it: Take out your iPhone and launch the free Snap Fashion app or visit www.snapfashion.co.uk on your computer. Select the clothing you want to search – a dress for example – and then ‘Snap it’. If you are using a computer, upload an image that you have already saved or paste a web address. If you are using the Snap Fashion app, you can take a photo for street style stealing made simple!
  • Buy it: Snap Fashion then searches through a vast selection of clothing from new designers, luxurious labels and high street favourites so you can buy direct from over 170 retailers, including Topshop, Selfridges, French Connection and NET-A-PORTER. Your search results appear in seconds with matches sorted by cut, colour and pattern. When you’ve found the match you love most, just click ‘buy’ to purchase items directly and safely from trusted retailers.

For more information and to try the technology for yourself, please visit: www.snapfashion.co.uk.

2. Jenny Griffiths is 25 year-old graduate of Bristol University with a degree in Computer Science. She developed Snap Fashion because she was tired of shopping on a student budget. While she admired designer looks in magazines, she struggled to source items she liked to suit her budget and searching for images seemed like the most obvious solution. Jenny worked on her algorithms for her final year thesis and while entering competitions as part of her course, saw the idea was getting people excited and won awards.

3. Snap Fashion has won numerous awards before launch.  The company won the Cisco British Innovation Awards last year as well as Decoded Fashion.  Jenny was recently named as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Women in IT by Computer Weekly and one of the Top 50 Young Social Entrepreneurs by Ernst & Young.  Snap Fashion is proud to be part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Tech City initiative as a winner of the Technology Strategy Board’s Future 50 Competition.

4. Tech All Stars is a program chartered by the European Commission to connect the 12 best European start-ups and take them to Europe’s hottest start-up events each summer. Start-ups get the chance to network with influencers and connect with VCs, mentors, potential partners, and other resources. The aim of the competition is to foster an environment of growth for start-ups in the EU and look for tomorrow’s start-up superstars within the EU tech community. For more information, please visit: http://techallstars.eu.

5. Snap Fashion will join Dutch environmental supply chain management software company, EcoChain and online identification verification tool, Trustev, based in Ireland, at Talent Track in London on 13 June.

In the words of Dr Seuss: “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.”Here are five suggestions of what to get up to, watch and try this weekend. We’ll report back and tell you how we get on!

Our fashion moment of the week was seeing Anna Wintour and Marc Jacobs wear matching Prada coats to The Great Gatsby premiere. Was this one of those awkward ‘OMG we’re wearing the same thing’ moments or a planned fashion thing to raise the stakes in coordination? One thing’s for sure, who would dare say who wore it better!

‘You take it off,’ ‘No, you take it off’ ‘OK, let’s just stick with this and pretend it’s a thing’ [Pic: The Daily Mail]
If you’re in London, the kick-ass Tate Modern has its Hyperlink festival happening all weekend, with loads of art, music and fashion. If you have tickets to take part in the photography lesson with the legendary Rankin, we’re green with envy! The festival explores the idea of the ‘six degrees of separation’ and there will be a series of interventions, workshops, performances and installations with artists, photographers, designers and musicians…erm, plus free street food #JustSaying.

Really want to see the Cassette Playa fashion installation

Eat fashion! We treated ourselves to The Biscuiteers’ biscuit cook book and plan on making some elaborate fashion-themed cookies.

Ours will def not look as amazing as this!

Today I will be trying to work the dungaree trend as a rather short female. Yes, we all know that 6ft 4 models look amazing in dungarees, but is there anything flattering on the high street for those of us not blessed with super long legs? I intend to find out.

Of course I will look like this and not a mum from a 1990s bad sitcom

And lastly, watch ‘The Man Who Discovered Egypt’ on BBC4 (via iPlayer) to feel instantly cleverer! Yes it’s geeky and about archaeology in Egypt (think Indiana Jones without the whip!) but it also explains how make-up and hairstyles can be used to age mummies and is generally pretty fascinating. Plus, the presenter is better looking than 99.99% of history programme presenters!

Makes us want to go to Egypt

A good mixed bag of fun I hope you’ll agree. What are you getting up to?

Calling all App Developers!  Snap Fashion is looking for 2 awesome app developers (1 Android and 1 iOS) to join the team full time.

We’re looking for an app developer with a proven track record of creating beautiful and efficient apps.  You’ll be working closely with a UX designer to create new features on the ultimate fashion app, and putting your coding skills to the test to deliver a great app that’s easy to use, quick, and doesn’t drain battery!

Essential skills:

  • Java, Objective C or cross-compilable app language such as Platinum.
  • Experience in bringing apps to market and getting them through the Apple approval system first time!
  • Social networking integration, creating online and offline accessible content and being used to integrating with server side technologies.
  • For the Android developer, your first task would be to perfectly recreate our existing iOS app, so an eye for detail and a perfectionist streak would be appreciated!

Big Pluses:

An eye for design, Windows Mobile development, and lots of ideas!

We’re a small and friendly team based in the Clerkenwell/Farringdon/Angel area.

If this sounds like your cup of tea we’d love to hear from you.  Drop us an email at recruitment AT snapfashion.co.uk, explaining a little bit about who you are and linking to examples of your work.

No recruitment agencies or companies please

We’ve been busy here at Snap HQ and we have an early Christmas present for you- a brand new feature!  You can now track the January sales live on your phone and your computer so that you never miss a bargain.

Just create an account with Snap Fashion by clicking on the ‘register’ link – you can use your email or your Facebook ID, super simple!  Now when you Snap things using our iPhone app or our our website you can add them to your wish list by pressing the heart icon next to the item.  (Don’t forget that you can also buy them then and there if it’s love at first sight!)

Click on the heart to add it to your Wishlist

This is where the waiting game begins.  Every time something in your wish list drops in price we’ll send you an email or a pop-up notification on your phone.  You won’t be continually spammed (we hate spam!) – you’ll just get a daily sales roundup in your inbox telling you which of your much loved items is on sale.  If there hasn’t been a price drop then we won’t email you – but we’ll keep an eye on all of the prices for you.

We’ll email you to keep you on top of all of the sales bargains!

You can also check your wish list by logging in online or on your phone.  Mine is looking far too tempting at the moment!

Oh to own all of the things in my Snap Wishlist!

We hope that you enjoy this new feature and that it makes it easier to find all of your favourites in the January sales.  As always we’d love to hear your feedback.  If you’d like to get in touch, email us at hello@snapfashion.co.uk and give us your two cents on our product!