Fashion Collaborations

In the wake of the lustworthy chaos of Balmain’s exclusive collection for H&M, the fashion industry has been mulling over designer-high street collaborations. 

Are they a great way of expanding the market for luxury brands and allowing ‘regular’ customers to access high fashion, or simply an over-hyped limited edition, poor quality fuss over mediocre clothes that people will quite literally fight over and camp overnight outside a store to get hold of? And are we just becoming slaves to labels, splashing the cash just to get hold of anything by a couture house?

Ruth is currently creating a designer t-shirt collaboration for a fashion concepts project at university, and chose to use Anthropologie and People Tree (more specifically, the founder Safia Minney) to collaborate on an ethical product range. 

There is no end to potentially successful designers and retailers teaming up to create something special, and we would love to see more upcoming designers in mainstream stores and high end contemporary brands on the high street. Collaborations are all about picking the highlights from both parties to combine, so often perceived polar opposite companies can complement eachother beautifully. 

Our dream collabs? Commes de Garcons for Cos, Chalayan for American Apparel or Vivienne Westwood for Oxfam. But until these perfect combinations materialise, here’s our top three past and ongoing fashion collaborations!


Kate Moss x Topshop

An unforgettable fashion moment that worked so perfectly because both are such established British style icons it just had to happen, and will keep coming back as long as Kate stays the fashion legend she is and Topshop keep nurturing model and designer relationships.

Stella McCartney x Addidas

Two brands with perceivably different ethics- one is a high fashion designer with a strong penchant for saving the environment, and the other a sweatshop heavy mass market sportswear company. But this collaboration was, and continues to be, effortlessly well designed and wearable.

Karl Lagerfeld x H&M

How could we exclude the most eccentric man in fashion? The genius behind Chanel and Fendi collaborated with Scandinavian high-street giant H&M for a surprisingly affordable collection of beautiful clothes. Love or hate H&M, it will always be the home of limited edition designer bargains, from Jimmy Choo to Alexander Wang.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Cruelty Free Fashion

Picture from (a great read!)

Hello lovely reader, it’s Ruth here! About two months ago, I decided to turn vegan after a long stint of being an ethical vegetarian. It’s been tough-going at times especially while being a new university student learning to cook for myself, being pretty strapped for cash, and because of my eating disorder (which you can read about here) but I’m not giving up anytime soon! In fact, I’ve been thinking about extending this veganism, which by definition is a means to reduce the exploitation of animals, therefore isn’t confined just to food, so of course I’m referring to the big scary fashion world. Read more to find out my top ethical fashion blog and cruelty-free wishlist.

Honey Pop Kisses, a ‘Cruelty Free’ Fashion and Beauty blog run by Amanda Wilson is one of my go-to sites for style inspiration. You can check her out at .Amanda responded to my questions on her Instagram (@honey_pop) that she doesn’t use any make-up or skincare tested on animals and tries to shop as ethically as possible; trying to make better decisions when shopping to reduce cruelty to animals, and human workers (Think about the true cost of cheap clothing- who is really paying for your Primark bargains? Veganism is about compassion to all creatures on this earth, including humans).

There are several retailers now making a real push to produce cruelty free fashion products, making a positive impact on the environment and increasing custom from the growing number of vegans in the UK (see this article for the stats and click here for more information about veganism). Here is my wishlist of some ethical products available online:

This limited edition beautiful burgundy satchel is £79.95 available from Vegetarian Shoes.

These classic autumnal faux leather chelsea boots cost £69.00 and are from Wills London.

This stunning organic cotton, fair-trade coat from ethical retailer People Tree is just £85.00, available here.

Let us know what your stance is on leather, fur, suede, snakeskin, and of course, sweatshops!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Body Positivity

I  have suffered immensely throughout my life with my body image; whether that be my height, weight, shape, size, facial features, hair, skin or whatever else my negative brain decides to hassle me about. But I am working to combat this though various techniques, which I will outline below (click read more to see my 5 ways of dealing with bad body image days. Disclaimer: This has several shameless selfies in a futile attempt at self love. For more bad photography, follow my personal instagram @urbanity_blog !

As Drake would say, you only live once. Life is too short to let what you feel is ‘wrong’ about how you look and how others may or may not perceive it affect the important things in life, like your ambitions, achievements, relationships and most importantly your happiness and health. But sometimes the wee monsters in our head don’t care about who we are on the inside and project both our insecurities and the pressure of society’s body ideals onto our exterior (which- and this is a top secret here- is actually just a vessel for your inner soul; that’s what really matters.) and here are my two cents on how to manage when they do…

  1. Treat. Yo. Self. A phrase coined by Parks and Recreation (most hilarious show on Netflix) but it rings true. Feeling a little blue? Book a massage or a facial (I recommend Pure Spa) to really take your mind off things, or order that pair of Jefferey’s from Nasty Gal you’ve been lusting after. May not be a long-term solution but it will certainly give you a boost!
  2. If feeling ‘fat’ is the issue, you may just be a little bloated, whether its too much food/ certain types of food, such as salty things like sushi and ramen or heavy carbs like white pasta and potatoes. Instead of dwelling on what you ate, try distracting yourself, with a movie marathon or phone call with a friend. You can also help remedy the bloating with peppermint tea (my saviour!) or gentle yoga- cat,cobra,pigeon,frog,happy baby and downward dog poses all really help! If you’re a newbie, subscribe to Tara Stiles on youtube for tutorials.
  3. Dress for your shape! Nothing makes me feel good like putting on my favourite outfit. But first you have to know that not every look is made for every body, and no one, not even supermodels, will be flattered by all clothes, so don’t put yourself down if that leather pencil skirt-halter tank combo makes you look like a stripping orca. On my bad body days, I love throwing on leggings and a baggy jumper, or using layering to trick the eye, like with scarfs and jackets over a different length of dress or skirt. is a great resource for body-dressing tips.
  4. Make a list (fun fact about me- I live by lists). Draw three columns- Acheivements, Strengths, Goals. In here could go things like “I helped a relative move house” , “I’m great at cooking” and “I want to get a promotion”. Basically, you are writing down the amazing things about you and showing the huge future ahead of you but in an easy way that won’t make you feel egotistical. Trust me, it will put things in persepective.
  5. Finally, look up. What do you see? I just did this, and I saw through the skylight in my little box-room at university. I saw clouds, tree tops, and the little feet of a bird pattering about. I saw autumn leaves scattered on the window. I also saw heart-shaped bunting hung high up on my walls, and I saw an inspirational message written on my whiteboard by my wonderful boyfriend. My point is, things are different when you realise what surrounds you. Step outside of yourself for just 30 seconds and you will realise that no matter how ‘huge’ or ‘ugly’ or whatever you feel, people love you, and the world continues spinning.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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    The Fashion Library

    My name is Ruth MacGilp, and despite that mysterious grade A in Higher English, I am terrible at reading. Fiction, that is. The only fiction books in my possession that have been read cover to cover are embarrassing teen flicks and romantic comedies, with the occasional classic by Bronte or Austen thrown in when I’m feeling brave. 

    What I am excellent at, however, is being the proud owner of a 3-page-long Amazon wishlist of non-fiction books, which includes self-help guides and autobiographies, but overwhelmingly consists of Fashion books. Imagine my joy at being told explicitly by my lecturers to go out and read as much as I can about the industry, and having access to a fantastic library full of hidden fashion gems. 

    Read more to here about my top 5!

    This book from the Design Museum does exactly what it says on the tin. From Audrey Hepburn’s LBD and Cher’s Oscars gown, to Twiggy’s Bill Gibb masterpiece and Mary Quant’s mini. A fun compilation of fashion that made history!

    More of a biography than a fashion book, this is 173 pages of pure hilarity and inspiration from Karl Lagerfeld’s crazy brain.


    This book is so dog-eared as it came into my possession at 14 years old, and subsequently helped me decide I wanted to make my name in the fashion industry. It really is the most comprehensive and detailed careers guide out there!

    My most beautiful possession. Literally endless stunningly gorgeous photographs and text from the decades that dramatically changed what women wore and how they lived.


    This is probably the most widely renowned resource for those in the know. It’s essentially an A-Z of the names (from designers and retailers to models and hairstylists) that have influenced fashion as we know it today.

    Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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    Boux Avenue

    A recent visit to lingerie boutique Boux Avenue (, during the Union Square shopping centre ( student lock-in, brought me two unwelcome surprises. 

    Firstly, I discovered the bra size I thought I had was entirely wrong by a long shot, and secondly, I realised that the remainder of my student loan is going to have to be spent on the irresistible products at this ridiculously inviting store.

    A lovely sales assistant, Emma, gave me a free fitting and then I went on to peruse the selection. I knew I desperately needed some good basics, so started out with the Microfibre T-shirt Bra ( which I bought in both black and white. One for the wishlist was this gorgeous Lace and Satin Plunge Bra ( which came with perfectly matching undies as part of Boux Avenue’s buy one get one free deal.

    The pretty pink bra on the left fit beautifully and was smooth like a t-shirt bra so would be perfect for sheer/tight tops. The lacy navy and neon yellow bra on the right was actually in the sale for £12 so I snapped it right up!

    Overall, i think my experience was actually more about the service than the products. From incredibly helpful and reassuring staff, free fittings, gorgeous interiors, and tiny details other stores don’t consider, from the lighting in the changing rooms, a concierge service, student discount and a VIP club. Boux Avenue has, much to my bank balance’s dismay, become a regular hit on my shopping trips!

    Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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