Talia Lee-Skudder, Fashion and Beauty Editor, shares her fashion thoughts for the last issue of The Mancunion
How would you describe your own personal style?
I feel like now that I am at the ripe old age of 21 I can finally start to wear more womanly clothes, without looking like I’ve raided my mum’s wardrobe. So recently, I’ve been wearing more fitted clothes and midi skirts.
When I was younger I was desperate to wear heels all the time but since I started uni I have realised the benefits of comfort, and so now I am a fully converted trainer gal, but they usually have to be flatforms. Supergas are my favourite. I still throw on my heels on at any chance I get, especially for the evening, but somehow even my modest black heeled boots don’t seem to have a place in the main library.
I tend to always wear something with leopard print on and it’s usually never an accident. From trainers, to jackets to shoes and shirts, I literally have every item of clothing in leopard print — except trousers. I like to think that my love for leopard print is less Scary Spice and more chic… As you can see from the photo, this is my dressed down look with sensible footwear and my leopard coat stops the outfit from being completely boring. I am currently coveting the perfect blue jean and I am still on the hunt for the ideal pair.
When it comes to jewellery, I definitely do not go for the simple look. I am usually draped in bangles, necklaces and rings by my favourite jewellery designer Daniella Draper, a brand started by a local girl from Cleethorpes. A battered silver aesthetic complete with stunning stones from citrine to amethyst and rose quartz, the jewellery is completely different to styles you would ordinarily find on the high street. These accessories complete my look and give me, along with most of the female population of Cleethorpes, a signature jingle-jangle with every movement. Not quite appropriate for the lecture theatre.
Most of the time I don’t tend to follow the rule ‘less is more’; instead I live by the motto that more is absolutely fabulous.
Who is your biggest style and fashion icon and why?
I don’t know if I could choose just one fashion icon because I take inspiration from so many different women. But I have loved Blake Lively since her Gossip Girl days and of course the icon that is Victoria Beckham.
What are your favourite luxury and high-street brands?
I don’t have one specific favourite high-street brand. I am willing to look everywhere and anywhere to find cool pieces. I never tend to shop in River Island for example, but last year I found an amazing pair of leopard print heeled mules that are such a staple in my wardrobe.
Of course I love Zara, who doesn’t? I also absolutely adore Never Fully Dressed; it’s a small boutique that is based in Essex and designs the most gorgeous silk pieces. Their wrap skirts are my go-to item, they’re so versatile for day and night.
If at some point in my life I can afford Dolce and Gabbana then I hope that I will also lead the type of life that requires me to wear their extravagant clothes. I also love Tom Ford’s clothes; so simple, yet stunning.
What are the beauty essentials you cannot live without?
My ultimate beauty essential has got to be Batiste’s dry shampoo. I am a big believer in the natural benefits of not washing your hair and letting the natural oils just work their magic. My mum encouraged me to train my hair so that it would not get as greasy in between washes, therefore meaning I have to wash my hair less frequently. On this one occasion I took my mum’s advice on board, and at the age of about 14 I trained my hair to not get greasy.
By ‘train’ I mean I had to leave my hair until looked like I’d dipped my head in a pan of grease before washing it. It was a long, difficult and at times smelly process but if you persevere it really is worth it. You save a fortune on shampoo, your colour lasts so much longer and your hair is in an overall healthier condition. To tide me through my greasier hair days, batiste is my life saver. It revitalises my hair, allows it to go a little longer without a wash and adds a bit of volume.
I couldn’t talk about my beauty essentials without mentioning fake tan. I have managed to trick people for about four years now that I am naturally tanned and whilst admittedly I have been fortunate enough to be able to top up my natural tan yearly, I mostly owe this reputation to my trusty fakes. Garnier gradual tan is my go-to product when I need a light coverage, but Thursday night it’s game on and the extra dark mousse gets lathered on ready for the weekend. Not only do I wake up glowing (the good kind of glowing, not the orange kind), I also, with just one application, lose a few pounds. What’s not to love?
Which fashion trend would you like to see burn and die?
I absolutely despise leggings. Unless they’re activewear leggings in which case I am guilty of throwing on a pair to run to the shops. Plain black leggings are just my worst nightmare, as they are so unforgiving and unflattering. They are so scruffy and nearly always see-through, and they never make an outfit look finished. Yes, I know they’re comfortable and yes, I know they’re practical, but they are definitely a look that should be left in 2008. There is no place for them in 2018. Girls, I urge you to scrap the leggings and put on some proper trousers.
Another, more recent trend that I just cannot get on board with are the cut-out swimming costumes that frequent my Instagram feed and every online retailer I browse. There is so much body, so little material to cover it. A bit of material is used for the top that is so small it reveals both underboob and cleavage and the super high-cut bottoms also leave little to the imagination.
My main issue with these swimming suits is that the design really is just revolting and again often very see-through. My wish is that these style of swim suits don’t make it any further than summer 2018.
If you could be transported in time to one fashion era, when would it be and why?
The 1950s would definitely be my go-to decade. The fabulous dresses with cinched in waists and the cigarette trousers were definitely created with a curvier girl in mind and were oh so chic. Beautiful women like Diana Dors, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe are the epitome of the 50s aesthetic and some of the most iconic faces in fashion history, who wouldn’t want to look like these ladies? There is something so glamorous about the decade and the women always looked impeccably dressed. It truly was a great decade for fashion.