Iconic Fashion: Pencil Skirts

first_imgWhere oh where would we be without The Pencil Skirt? How to look smart in a work environment without succumbing to The Trouser Suit? How to look sexy without flashing acres of flesh? And how to look ladylike? This wardrobe staple had its roots in the ‘hobble’ skirt. Initially designed to impede the wearer so much that they were forced to ‘hobble’, it was the contemporary equivalent of last season’s ‘turban’ look: doomed in fashion reality (and quelle surprise, designed by a man, Paul Poiret). The first trendsetter for this look was Katharine Wright, sister of the Wright brothers, who tied a rope around her skirts to stop them flapping about in her brothers’ new airborne invention – practical beginnings for a popular style considering women were still hoiking themselves in with corsets. Pencil skirts returned with a vengeance during the late 1940s and ‘50s: they were considered the ‘practical’ option in a world without trousers. So where does this leave the current pencil-skirt wearer? She is a woman (probably), and proud of it – this is not a style that allows for half measures. She does not cycle (for how does one get one’s legs over the saddle?) and is hopefully wearing heels (never wear flats with a pencil skirt unless you want to look like an overweight hobbit). A bit of Googling also alerted me to its pre-eminence in the fetish market. Nice. Despite this, the pencil skirt is swiftly becoming a byword for high-powered office-wear: this is a lot of effort to go to on a regular basis. But why should this style be restricted to the imaginary fashionista I just described? This is actually the most flattering style of skirt for any shape, guaranteed to accentuate curves for those lucky enough to have them, and create a voluptuous illusion for those who don’t. Pencil skirts tap into a million male fantasies.It seems the designers agree. Hundreds of models minced down the a/w runways in high-waisted, calf-skimming skirts, and looked damned good for it too. Who are we to question Yves Saint Laurent or Hermès? Patents, jewel colours, slight fetish undertones – a pencil skirt will work all these trends and give maximum impact. Even this season’s make-up evokes the pencil skirt and all that comes with it, so shift the Ugg boots, slick on some red lipstick, and be a lady.By Josie Thaddeus-Johnslast_img read more

Push for estranged student policy reform begins

first_imgAlmost half of Oxford students who have been estranged from their families are forced to “couchsurf” during the vacations, or would otherwise be homeless, according to a new SU report.Authored by SU VP for Welfare and Equal Opportunities, Ellie Macdonald, the report gathers testimonies from 41 estranged students studying at the University.The report also reveals that over a third of estranged students worked during term time, as well as in the vac, in order to make ends meet.Macdonald said she wrote the report because it is “an issue close to my heart”. She said: “it’s a shame that although colleges do deal with it on an informal basis, there are no formal processes in place to help students who find themselves without family support whilst on course.“Before this research took place, there was no information at all around estranged students at the University of Oxford and so I’m really hopeful that this report can help change things.”Macdonald submitted her report for to the university-wide Domestic Bursars Committee yesterday, aiming to get the University and its colleges to adopt the Stand Alone Pledge, a statement committing educational institutions to supporting students without a family network.Whilst the report is based on the experiences of 41 students, the SU estimate there are at least 200 Oxford students who have no family support.Further statistics detailed in the report show that half of the estranged students involved in the report felt they could not approach their college for support, whilst 58% reported severe mental health problems as a result of burnout, stress, and isolation.43% of the students interviewed had difficulty in securing college accommodation, and 45% felt that bursaries were not enough to survive on and had difficulty accessing other funds.Macdonald told Cherwell: “If Oxford is interested in helping its graduates use their Oxford education as a foundation stone for their later success, then the University must recognize it has a duty of care towards estranged students especially in ensuring their university experience is at no significant disadvantage to their non-estranged peers.”last_img read more

This isn’t Fantasy Football, Pochettino! – Twitter reacts to Tottenham’s ‘Captain Kane’

first_img Tottenham’s Harry Kane Tottenham hero Harry Kane added another huge milestone to his season as he was named captain for their clash with Burnley.The Spurs sensation is top scorer in the Premier League, along with Chelsea’ Diego Costa, having netted 19 goals, so far.Across all competitions his tally is 29 and to top it off the 21-year-old also scored on his England debut against Lithuania.But now, with Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Emmanuel Adebayor all out of the team it is the starlet who will wear the skipper’s armband at Turf Moor.And you can see how Twitter reacted below… 1last_img