On behalf of Voice of London, myself and colleague Jessica Penfold were invited to spend the evening alongside Jo Elvin and River Island Style Studios for their last #AnEveningWith of the year.
Reporter: Grace Brown | Sub editor: Jessica Penfold
The event hosted at River Island’s flagship store on Oxford Street saw stylists, students and River Island personal shoppers gain an insight as to how and when Jo started her career in the industry, how her life with fashion has developed since starting her first job, and her infamous #clothesmyhusbandhates hash tag. Previous sessions of An Evening With have welcomed filmmaker Naomi Shimada, and bloggers We Are Twinset.
Jo, as ever, was on top form continually amusing guests with anecdotes from her life and told us she knew it was the right decision to move to London from her hometown Sydney, Australia saying, “If you grow up loving the media, London is such a pull and it was always that way for me”, before revealing she became a journalist because: “I wanted to meet pop stars”.
The now editor in chief worked on several different magazines in various positions, working her way up the ladder before landing her dream job at Glamour. After receiving a phone call from her boss 16 years ago explaining a British version of Glamour was launching Elvin said: “I kind of threw myself at his ankles and didn’t let go until he told me I had the job”.
“American glamour was my favourite, favourite, favourite, thing in the world so that was kind of like a dream come true”, she continues. That was 16 years ago and she admits, “I always do say to people I’m slightly embarrassed I’m not bored of being the editor of Glamour, it just gives so much, it gives me so many opportunities”.
On the subject of fashion, she lets on that she hasn’t always been as fashionable as she may be now. It is since working in magazines that she was put on the right path and given a style trajectory that’s got her to where she is now. Addressing the crowd about the commerce in the UK today, Elvin explains, “Fashion is democratic, eclectic and inclusive, one of the things that I love about Britain over Australia, anybody can find what they like wearing and what their style is and work the trends in between that and I really find that quite liberating. This city is about ‘you wear what you want to wear’ and you wear it the way you want to wear it”. Which is how the ‘clothes my husband hates’ hash tag began.
The hash tag is seen almost daily on her Instagram where her husband ridicules her outfit choices in one-way or another. Jo chose this opportunity to raid the rails at River Island to find clothes she adores but husband Ross will loathe. Here are a few of Jo’s choices that she believes her husband will hate for her to wear.
Black ruffle trousers and matching top:
The “silly” trouser and top ensemble is a strong example of the ruffle trend that’s made it through the last few seasons. For a simple daytime look Jo recommends a t-shirt and trainers for the day and with the matching top for the evening and a pair of heels.
River Island’s Alannah jeans:
These jeans have a dog-chewed appearance to them. The trend, which has remained a constant for the past year, doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon. Her husband claims that she’s too old to wear ripped jeans.
The coat of dreams! The Pink tied duster coat:
The coat has a big dressing gown feel to it and features some of this seasons hottest colours, grey and pastel pink. Jo say’s the coat is: “so pretty, I’ve become absolutely maniacally obsessed with pink. There was a time when you felt a bit frivolous and Barbie to wear pink. You could wear a bin bag under that and you’re dressed. It’s a statement coat. Such a brilliant investment buy, you’d be amazed with all the colours you can wear with this.” Denim, black and khaki are all colours she recommends. Despite the coats loud qualities, it may not be something that her husband hates.
“They are everything I love, comfortable with an elasticated waist. They’d look great with a flat heel, a trainer, a blazer for the evening. I just think absolutely the dream trouser”. The perfect trouser to wear when you invite your friends round for a big dinner Jo insists.
“Nodding to the novelty trend starting with Anya Hindmarch. How could you not like this? He would probably say to me he assumes I’ve got it out of my 11 year old daughters closet”. This jumper is perfect to wear around the office Jo claims, if you’re working somewhere a little more conservative she suggests wearing under a blazer. The perfect jumper to make yourself and everyone around you smile.
Elvin reviewed a few more products from the range including the ever-popular daytime pyjama range; declaring whoever made it acceptable deserves some kind of humanitarian award. The style, which we’ve seen on the streets for the past couple of months, doesn’t appear to be disappearing from the trends, just as ripped/distressed jeans have held their position. Many of the products Jo picked and reviewed are available from River Island’s limited edition range currently available in-store and online.