Made in Chelsea's fashionistas: the many reality stars getting into fashion
I've never watched an episode of TOWIE, I gave up on Jersey Shore after a couple of episodes, and (shhh) I never saw The Hills or The City. But give me the semi-fictional lives of the twentysomething faux-ristos of SW3 and I'm hooked. I admit it. I'm obsessed with Made in Chelsea.
Maybe it's because I'm a South London dweller myself, and I like pointing at Battersea Park and shouting "I WAS THERE LAST WEEK!" at the telly. Perhaps it's because I keep seeing the cast at the same parties we bloggers are invited to. But I think it's more likely I'm just addicted to stupid moments like this...
...because let's face it, now Hugo and his meta jokes have gone, all the best bits of Made in Chelsea involve Mark-Francis.
But let's stop talking about my trashy TV preferences and get right down to it. Pseudo-reality TV seems to be the fast-track to building a fashion empire. Think Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port, Jessica 'Newlyweds' Simpson, Amy Childs...even JWoww is flogging bikinis. And the Made in Chelsea cast are no exceptions. Some of the cast used the show as a way of pushing their exisiting fashion-based businesses. Others played off the popularity of the show as a way to launch new projects. Whichever way they're doing it, these kids are invading our world, and there's no way to escape. Just look at the number of cast members who've stuck their fingers in the fashion pie already...and we're not even counting those Candy Kittens hoodies.
Series 1 - 3 star Caggie launched her own fashion label, ISWAI (it starts with her idea) off the back of her Made in Chelsea success. She works with young design talent (illustrators, graphic designers etc) to produce an ever-changing range of t-shirts, jewellery and bags. She's also the face of Lipsy's Christmas campaign.
Like her friend Caggie, Millie also models for Lipsy - she's the face (and pout) of their VIP line of eveningwear. She's also collaborated with Nouveau lashes on a range of false eyelashes and stripped down to her undies to promote 'incredible body' hairspray for Umberto Giannini. As well as modelling, Millie is persuing a career as a makeup artist (before Made in Chelsea, she worked at Space NK).
Her Made in Chelsea profile describes 22-year-old Art History graduate Rosie as 'part of the fashion pack'. She runs her own fashion blog - At Fashion Forte - which shows off the outfits she wears in the show, and she's a regular at London fashion events. She's also modelled for her twin sister Lily's ethical underwear range, Cheek Frills (above, available at Austique).
One of the driving forces behind Made in Chelsea and a cast member for seasons 1 - 3, Amber is one of the few MIC stars who had a successful fashion business before the show began. She's the brains behind boutique jewellery website My Flash Trash which she set up when she was only 16. Amber's also modelled extensively for likes of Vogue, Love, Harper's Bazaar, The Sunday Times Style and Tatler.
Made in Chelsea's second Ollie, forced to go by his surname on the show, launched his fashion label Serge DeNimes in 2011. It started with a line of limited edition, individually screen-printed t-shirts inspired by 70s photography. There are now branded logo tees and celeb-inspired designs too, and given the name, we're expecting denim some time soon. Ollie also has his own fashion tumblr - Proudlock Style. There are topless photos. Enjoy!
Pint-sized 'Weez' might not have the height of your average model, but that hasn't stopped her from getting in the game. First of all, she is the face of Gorgeous Couture's SW3 collection, and she has recently collaborated with Goddiva on The Louise Thompson Collection of party dresses and separates. Her latest endeavour is Pocket Denim, a range of jeans with coloured pockets created with friend Edward Page. The jeans retail at £110, with a £1 donation made to Jeans for Genes for each pair sold.
When she's not arguing with Jamie or giggling with Ollie and Cheska, Binky has also been known to turn her hand to a spot of modelling. She is the face of the first clothing line from cult brand Punky Allsorts, sporting their sweetie-covered dresses and quirky tees in a shoot for the website. She also wore the brand's Mona Lisa dress for the Made in Chelsea series 3 finale party.
Occasional cast member and frequent troublemaker Victoria is the brains behind the new high-end swimwear line Elle en Jette, which has featured on Made in Chelsea a few times ahead of its official launch for S/S 2013. Most recently, the cast descended on St Tropez for a pool party, with Victoria, Rosie and Louise all sporting styles from the line, which features a lot of black and white, a signature snake print, and figure-flattering ruched details. You can see a behind the scenes video of the first shoot here.
Season 2 star Chloe has perhaps the most obvious fashion connection - her dad is Arcadia CEO Sir Philip Green. So it's no surprise that Chloe has persuaded daddy to let her design her own line for the jewel in the Arcadia crown, Topshop. Her CJG (Chloe Jade Green) shoes have signature pale green soles and surprisingly high price tags, though styles from the first collection are now reduced to £75 a pair in the sale. The Autumn / Winter collection launches in a few days, will be stocked in Topshop and Selfridges, and also includes jewellery and scarves.
Season 3's femme fatale is another Made in Chelsea alumni who's apparently trying to make it as a fashion designer (though her twitter profile only says 'model'). For Kimberley, the move into fashion apparently involves turning up at high profile events with as much of her top half exposed as possible - like when she wore one of her own designs to the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises (above). Well, if you've got it flaunt it.
Sorry, but I can't mention Kimberley without posting this...
So, what's next? Gabriella Ellis rainbow hair extensions? A range of aviator shades and ill-advised leather jackets from Spencer? The Ollie Locke Union Jack Collection? Or range of trenchcoats and dark glasses for Cheska to wear while she's spying and meddling in other people's lives?
Personally, I'm holding out for the Mark Francis Resort Collection. With separate capsule wardrobes for St Tropez and Sardinia, natch.
[thank you, MIC Tumblr]