Company High Street Edit

Often, my non fashion friends query my buying high fashion magazines when I can't afford any of the quadruple figure price tags, and I kind of think they're missing the point. No, I can't afford Stella McCartney, except while asleep, in my wildest dreams. There again, I'm really not that fussed on a day-to-day basis because while designers produce something of utmost quality, the high street we enjoy today makes stuff of often great quality of design, even if ou do have to hunt for it and take the risk that it might fall apart by this time next year. What's more, with all that vintage inspiration around at the moment, charity and vintage shops are a bona fide treasure trove for quality and style at amazing value.

So in answer to these people, I say I and many fashion fans like me read for inspiration and to understand what's out there, not to shop. Best for this is that each season, the magazine giants produce a runway edit. Vogue's version, which retails at about £20. Elle's, at £6, is less thorough in the sense of detailing each and every collection, but with their whimsical presentation style, trend inspiration diagnostics and behind-the-scenes stats, it makes for a highly readable bi-annual must. They are essential if like me you like to know exactly what's what and get ideas for your own thing.

BUT. I totally get that some people would prefer their runway hit ready-rolled. Let's face it, you might like clothes but you aren't about to dedicate hours of your week trawling magazines and clothing rails for something that looks a bit Chanel-ish. Pour vous, Company's High Street Edit is a great wee buy. Reading more as shopping guide than fashion geek text book, this focuses on how high fashion influences the design teams that create what we lowly mortals buy.

This season, they open with PRs talking us through each of the high street giants current offering (Topshop, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Oasis and New Look are among those featured). Even the most dedicated shopper has a snob in them somewehre and I was surpirsed to be coveting stuff from places I never dream of entering. There's "Top Ten" features with the best of a kind, four ways to wear the same piece and mood board spreads on key trends. Good old fashion and beauty shoots are standard, while articles on Snog, Marry, Restyle - a style guide to your typical British blokes, an interview with Sartorialist street style snapper Scott Schulman and the soundtracks most likely to be playing at you "fave" shops this season are entertaining and informative.

I especially loved the bit where they matched current style icons with stylish women past with bits and pieces for those bent on werquing their style - Alice Dellal vs Chrissie Hynde, Edie Sedgewick vs Edie Campbell, Kate Bush vs Florence Welch...... It made for a great read on the plane to Amsterdam as I relaxed with a rather cheeky afternoon tipple. Thank God there's no internet in the sky as I was constantly jumping in my seat at pieces I would have bought in a flash had I been able to... Miss Selfridge cut out print dress, I'm talking to you.

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