The Fashion Network’s Future Generation Series – Making It in Etail

Howdy internet peoples, I’m back online! I tell you, I had no idea I was so dependent on the internet for my pure existence. But, I am! I’d used all my stupid Data on my stupid Dongle and then used the data on Adam’s phone and was running low on my own phone when I was switched back on this morning by the horrible people at Three Mobile Internet.

Anyway, less of that, more of this:

I’m playing Chair-person at one of The Fashion Network’s Future Generation events.

If you’re a fashion student/enthusiast that is looking to make it in the world of etail (that’s retail, online), come along on the 18th of April at 7:00pm to TFN’s Making It In Etail Event!

On the panel will be yours truly,’s Catherine Turner,’s Anjeli Patel and Umbro’s Aaron Lavery!

Reserve tickets here!


A Guide to London Fashion Week: the Dos and Don’ts

I’ve done it again, and I’ve survived it. London Fashion Week is nearly over and I’ve managed to cram a lot in a one-day visit before boarding a train back oop north away from the insanity.
I popped down on Monday 20th to catch a few shows, meet a couple of people and soak up a little LFW. I saw Mark Fast, Fashion East’s show for Maarten van der Horst, James Long and Marques’Almeida, Christian Blanken, popped by Simone Rocha’s gallery, Holly Fulton’s, said hello to the lovely Husam el Odeh, met the Tatty Devine girls and saw the new fine jewellery collection, saw Hannah Martin’s stand and people watched a little bit.

 Mark Fast

Now, I did this LFW on my lonesome because my partner/Boss in fashionable crime (Jo Davies the MD and Founder of Black White Denim) is on her holly-rocks and I had no one else to go with. Bar-humbug. So, as a result of this I was hypersensitive to the madness that was going on around me and I thought, as a result of my new found wisdom, I would compile a list of the dos and don’ts of London Fashion Week. I’d love to hear if you have more, @ me on Twitter @jordanjmcdowell!
LFW Dos and Don’ts:
Don’t register as anything but Press. All other categories are substandard and you will be treated as such.
Don’t eat, it’s expensive and there is too much booze to drink anyway.
Don’t drink Vitamin Water, it’s foul.
Do drink Fiji water, it’s so this season.
Don’t expect a Goody bag, if there is one, it’s usually crap (unless it’s Beyonce’s gaff where you get her perfume and her candle!)
Don’t admit to being a Blogger unless (A) you want a ton of girls with business cards making small-talk with you and (B) you are so desperate for WiFi you’re prepared to sit at the ‘Blogger’s Bar’.
Don’t make eye-contact with people sat next to you at the shows, they’ll tell you their CV and want to know your Twitter handle.
Do use Twitter to navigate a show, you’re more likely to talk to someone important than by smiling to the person next to you.
Do get a Starbucks at Euston, you’ll be hard pushed to find a coffee cup bigger than a thimble at Somerset House.
Do people-watch at TOM’s Deli, it’s like a trip to the Circus and the Zoo in one.
Do wrap up warm. Wearing less because you look good gets old VERY quickly.

Do understand that unless you have a ticket, no one will make eye-contact with you.
Don’t flirt with Bouncers/PRs to get into shows you’ve not been invited to.
Don’t shout at Bouncers/PRs when they say: ‘we’re full’, ‘you’re not on the list’, ‘please leave the area immediately’.
Don’t pout and pose when someone asks for your photograph, chances are it’s because you look like a tit.
Don’t expect Bouncers/PRs to care about you or who you know inside the show.
Don’t expect anyone to care about you.
Don’t be shocked when they shut the doors in your face when the show is shut and you’re too late, even when you’ve got a ticket.
Don’t get on a LFW Bus unless you’re sure you know where it is going.
Do expect everything to run around 30 mins late
Do wear any of the following if you’re keen to get pap’d:
– Bin Bags
– Neon weaves/wigs
– Wooden platform shoes (preferably if you’re male)
– Rubber
– Alive animals
– Dead animals
– Clashing prints layered over more clashing prints and a hat made of metal
– Stilts
– Sea-life
– Face-masks (especially those covered in Rhine-stones)
– Jeans rolled up to show colourful socks
– Anything plastic
Do say things like, ‘it’s his/her strongest collection to date’ or ‘it was a very wearable collection’ if you want people to think you know what you’re talking about.
Don’t ask Hillary Alexander a question when she’s having a fag at the back of the BFC tent. She needs her down time, yagetme?
Don’t expect anyone on the tube to move out of the way for you because ‘don’t you know it’s Fashion Week, I need to get to the Richard Nicoll show NOW, move!’
Don’t expect anyone not at Fashion Week to know what Fashion Week actually is.
Do expect your family to think you’re on holiday.
Do ask the LFW girls and boys in white coats questions because they’re lovely.
Do visit the exhibitions and galleries if you’ve got time, tomorrow’s Gucci is waiting to be discovered and you may get the chance to chat to the designers themselves.
Do select your off-schedule shows carefully, you may end up at what can only be considered a school fashion show.
Do expect to be treated much nicer when you visit off-schedule shows (they’re glad you came)
Don’t expect to be treated nice when you’re queuing for on-schedule shows (they’re glad Kanye West came)
Do soak it up, laugh it off and get back home before you collapse.

Fashion Rambler meets Lulu Kennedy

I’ve been very quiet lately, want to know why? I have NO internet. I am officially living in the Stone Age. I’ll be back online on the 25th but in the meantime I’m sat in a cafe at London Fashion Week using their WiFi. I’m about to run off to see Tatty Devine’s new collections and swing by Simone Rocha but before I do let me point you in the direction of my latest interview for Body Confidential with the fairy Godmother of British Fashion, Lulu Kennedy!

Click here to see the interview!

BBC Radio Manchester’s Retail Therapy – Listen Again 11/2/12

Missed last Saturday’s show? Listen again to my last mission on BBC Radio Manchester’s Retail Therapy here.

Minted or Skinted was the name of the game and it was my job to replicate high-end designer looks on the high-street.

Shirt, The Kooples, Selfridges Manchester Trafford Centre, £135.00

I presented the perfect Valentine’s looks from Victoria, Victoria Beckham for the girls and Paul Smith with The Kooples (above) for the boys. 1 hour later and I was able to present my findings on the high-street!

Click here to listen now to the show, broadcast live from Manchester Trafford Centre last Saturday morning!


‘professional’ Blogger

Allow me to put the name of my blog to the test. Allow me to ramble.

Of late I’ve been the recipient of a few different emails from fashion bloggers from around the world looking to work with retail companies that I represent in various capacities.

Each one of the has left me wondering about the state of the Bloggersphere.

I feel Blogging has lots its mojo and too many blogs are springing up with very little to say except that they want free clothes!

My disheartened revaluation began with the announcement that Company Magazine were launching their Style Blogger Awards. Of the tonnes of nominees some really successful and exciting blogs were listed. However, so were some blogs that had not been updated since 2010. No one at Company had checked to see if their nominees were even still blogging. What’s the point of the award?

So. Back to the emails. Am I old fashioned when I believe the email should stick to the formalities of hand written letters? Since when did ‘lots of kisses’ become an appropriate sign-off for an email between two supposedly professional organisations that had not previously been acquainted.

Do these girls (and I am allowed my generalisation as I have yet to receive an email from a male fashion blogger) know that asking, quite blatantly, for ‘freebies’, is actually against the law? Is that all they’re interested in?

It seems 2012 has delivered a cross-roads and some Bloggers want to (and expect they can) take both routes. The first route leads to them and their craft being considered ‘the future of fashion journalism’ and a legitimate form of editorial expression. The second is their wish to remain every inch as far from the professional sphere as they can and instead create a celebrity out of themselves and get a free seasonal wardrobe. Do they think that’s how this business works?

I personally DO NOT believe that Bloggers are the future. (Oh no he dint!) Instead I think blogging, as a media, is the future. 

Fast, reactive, opinionated, exciting, multi-media based and viral. That’s the exciting thing about blogging, not the Bloggers. Bloggers will have their super-star status for five minutes and they’ll drop it for that Fashion Assistant role at a magazine or they’ll grow irrelevant and boring and their devotional readers will stop clicking. The ones that will survive the fad are those that actually have something to say. The girls and boys that actually have an opinion on fashion that stretches beyond what they wore today.

Blogs are exciting for personal and professional use (yep, I love brands with Blogs too!) but those tip-tap-typing on their mac in Starbucks need to remember, it’s not necessarily all about them but about what they have to bring to the table.


Jordan McDowell, your ‘into’ fashion insider.

Popped into the depths of Ancoats the other night to attend the North West premier of Carnage (Dir. Roman Polanski). The event was hosted by the Dog Ate My Wookie film site and the ‘Into’ app for Windows Phone. Dog Ate My Wookie is an ‘into’ insider which means the site updates the ‘into’ app with exclusive film orientated content and stages events to being ‘into’ app users closer to what their ‘into’, gedit? This event was the first for the North West and other events in London have been curated by the ‘into’ face-of, Mr Alex James of Blur.

The gorgeous space was decorated to replicate the room the entire film takes place in. Also, those saddies that watched ‘Hot Like Us’ on BBC Three while recognise the loft from the show’s cringe-worthy ‘elimination rounds’

An awkward impromptu dramatic performance, a scene from the film we would later see.

Sitting down for the film!
Why did I attend the event? Well, other than the free booze yours truly recently upgraded from my battered BlackBerry Bold to the new Nokia Lumia that operates Windows Phone. Not only that but I’m your North Western ‘into’ insider for Fashion. Yep, fashion Rambler will be updating the ‘into’ app from now on with exclusive content from the fashion scene here in Manchester and the North West of England.

Stay tuned for exciting developments and keep an eye on your ‘into’ app for your fashion Rambler updates!


Raoul, an Asian Invasion

I love a good surprise. If I’m off to the press day for a new brand that I’ve never heard of I try my best not to pop their name into Google. I like to come to the table with a clear head and take the clothes as they come. I’d never heard of Raoul when I stepped into the Aubaine restaurant at Selfridges but when I stepped back out, I had a new style crush.

As well as being introduced to Singapore’s latest import (I’ll get to that in a minute!) I also got to have a coffee and a chat with Kim Hersov, editor-at-large of Harper’s Bazaar and Raoul’s Joy Yaffe, an international style-lady with her roots in Manchester! Kim is known for her style. A Californian girl at heart who paid her dues at American Vogue in NYC before up-sticks and moved to London, Hersov is a champion of British design and works with the British Fashion Council. However, today Hersov was endorsing an Asian brand, set to take over the womenswear departments across the UK’s Manchester and London Selfridges stores. 

Before I tell you about the girl’s stuff, I have a confession. You know I said I try not to Google a brand before I go into a press day. I lied. Well, I didn’t find much out… I just had a quick glance at the brand’s virtual look book…. The menswear is a dream. Think super sci-fi, 1984, Bladerunner – you could be a futuristic robo-cop in this minimalistic look. BUT, as Kim pointed out to me, it’s also tres tres ‘90s! Perfect, should go with my new hair do!

Raoul Men’s AW11 Catwalk, Singapore Fashion Festival
Raoul began it’s life in 2002 as a men’s shirt retailer. Douglas Benjamin (son and heir to the F J Benjamin conglomerate) bought some expensive shirts in London only to find they fell apart after a few washes. He made a vow to good quality at a good price there an then and began the first F J Benjamin own-brand, Raoul. Since 2002 the brand has expanded to include womenswear, accessories and footwear. 2012 marks its first step outside London and into the other UK markets.

I was visibly stunned at the collection. I’m such a useless fashionista, I’m supposed to wear dark sunglasses and not care but my face was a picture and even Joy said, ‘I can see you’re convinced’.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking but for more on the collection click here to read my piece for Manchester’s Finest. Scroll down for more of my chat with Kim and Joy.

Eclectic Silk n’ Leather Dress

The Racer Dress

Cascading Gown

Lace Shift Dress

My chat with Kim and Joy was lovely. I was the only press member there for a while so I got to know a lot.

fR: Is Raoul of the moment?

KH: Very much so of the moment, because I think it really is in the proper price range and it captures that ‘90s minimalism but in a much more modern interpretation.

fR: Is this sophisticated, chic look something you personally shop for?

KH: I’m not sure, I think I’m eclectic.

fR: I think you are (I’ve been looking at your back catelogue..)

JY: You can see both of us with a piece of Raoul on, what’s interesting is that we’re both people who mix n’ match. Raoul sits within an accessible luxury, certainly not an inexpensive one, it’s not a Zara or a H&M…

KH: No, because it’s about quality and I think that’s important to stress…
Some how, we came to the subject of Manchester
JY: Girls know how to club here! This is clubland, I used to be out five nights a week! Manchester has always been cool.

KH: I think British fashion in general is about true style. It’s so eclectic.There is such a freedom to the English way of dressing. I think right now in time looking at fashion it’s about a mix. High and low, vintage and new, that is what keeps it fresh. People don’t wear top-to-toe looks anymore.

I wear Calvin Klein Shirt, Kim wears Raoul Pumpkin Buttonless Extended Vest
fR: No, well you can’t afford to buy into just one look anymore.

KH: It’s also the mood of the moment, people are reacting against always buying the new thing. I mean I love it, working in fashion I’m always going to want to buy something new but its about mixing it up with something that might already be in your wardrobe.

JY: There is defiantly an inverted snobbishness toward someone who walks into a show wearing a top-to-toe look, well apart from when supporting a brand…

KH: There is a role in the industry for that and it’s respected…

JY: Generally we don’t appreciate someone being top-to-toe, It eeks of not having your own style or knowing who you are.

To read more of this interview visit The Fashion Network here