Style isle – Your weekly guide to fashion with Lorna Weightman

Where fashion meets showbiz

Celebrities are the most powerful tool in the world of fashion. What they wear sells millions worth of stock for retailers every season. So when the singer-slash-actress puts her name to something, well there are only two words to describe the fallout -— “cha ching”. The celebrity endorsement and brand ambassador phenomenon has fast become the key to surviving the retail decline and affirms a label’s place in the eyes of the bright lights of showbusiness. Over the last number of years there has been a surge in collaborations, from guest designers in department stores to celebrities having a go at some sketching themselves, although I always question the level of involvement they have in this end of things. Then we have celebrities who present and judge fashion design television shows with the aim of broadening their career aspirations into fashion. For all the many ways that the world of the rich and famous infiltrates the fickle world of fashion, the results, more often than not, translate into the one thing that makes the world go round, and that’s hard cash.

The most famous hook-ups

The world of celebrity endorsement is a multi-million euro/dollar/pound industry, there are even PR firms who solely deal with finding the right face for the right brand. Take Cheryl Cole, for example, who not only gets to say “cos we’re worth it” on L’Oreal ads, she also designs shoes for UK website stylistpick.com The shoes are definitely representative of Cheryl’s style, and are very affordable too. As for mega star Beyoncé, well she did not want to collaborate with anyone, she just went and set up her own label with her mum, Tina Knowles, called House of Dereon, which has had huge success in the US, and is now available in Europe (online stockists include very.co.uk and lipsy.co.uk ).

What’s next

Swedish chain H&M is the most recent pioneer of the collaboration; Lanvin, Jimmy Choo, and now this year with exclusive Parisian fashion house Maison Martin Margiela. But the hot news coming from H&M this summer is that songstress Lana del Rey will front its autumn winter 2012 campaign. Del Rey, who has already become an unofficial fashion icon (she has a Mulberry bag named after her ), is leading the way with a retro 1960s vibe, which is very easy to emulate too. And it is not just Lana who is jumping on the bandwagon. Rihanna announced this month that she is teaming up with River Island next spring to design her first capsule collection for the chain. Now we can probably guess what her collection will look like, but nevertheless, the fact that the singer is associating with the brand will make this project a sell-out. And not only that, Rihanna is about to launch Style to Rock, her latest TV venture to find the next big thing in fashion design, and is the face of US drink company Vita Coco, which is now available in Ireland.

My favourites

I have some firm favourites from celebrity designers, and most recently I really like Colleen Rooney for Littlewoods (littlewoods.ie ) simply because it is so wearable. Colleen knows how to design for women and the collection of dresses, blouses, and playsuits has a vintage vibe which can be matched with more contemporary looking pieces (white ruffle blouse, €47 and snake print dress, €79 ). This is very seventies and I love how she works the look with head scarves. Also take a look at Fearne Cotton’s very chic collection, also with Littlewoods. Slightly more edgy than Colleen, Fearne channels her very bubbly personality into her pieces; I am in love her houndstooth jacket (€109 ), a must-have for next season.

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