Fashion Vs The Tan: can they exist together?

Sophia Loren 1

SOPHIA LOREN – my fashion and beauty ideal. Simply timeless.

BEFORE I get started I have to admit………..I work in the world of self tanning, so you could say I am biased. However, when it comes to my fashion I know my Balmain from my Balenciaga, and as an experienced  Beauty Features Writer, my own beauty point of view isn’t the only point of view. Now that’s out of the way I can begin…..

I have just been reviewing pictures of the Venice Film Festival and checking out my favourite catwalk looks for Autumn/Winter. Now, obviously, as we don’t exactly live in the Los Angeles most of us are going to get paler in winter. I understand. However, it seems that when it comes to haute couture and high end, everything is looking very pale indeed. From Dakota Fanning to Michelle Dockery, everyone is baring a leg the shade of a lily. It seems that pale is interesting once more, and Coco Chanel’s golden invention has been sidelined. So what is going on?

It’s COMPLICATED. A tan used to be a fashion accessory, until we all realised that a tan from the sun or, even worse a sunbed, was a health hazard. Without getting too PC on you all, skin cancer rates in young people are rising, so obviously the safe sun message still has a way to go. However, it seems that deeply-bronzed look you once fought for on a two-week holiday wouldn’t go down well at FROW London Fashion Week. So if you want a glow then you must go faux. A certain company have signed a very famous supermodel to this end, and good luck to them. However, the faux tan is still fighting its corner fashion-wise. Why is this? Well it’s very easy to blame celebrities and reality TV, but the stars on our screens are not from another planet. They are just a part of modern society and their looks reflect what is going on in my street, your street, and most streets up and down the UK. Except Dover Street, perhaps.

It is all about perception when it comes to fashion. Mention Burberry to a young fashionsita and they will extol the virtues of Christopher Bailey, Romeo Beckham and how fabulous Sienna Miller looks in the new campaign. Mention it to someone older, (i.e. me), and you think of Daniella Westbrook pushing that pram, with that kilt, all done up in the signature check. And I am not poking fun at Daniella, either. She was not alone in her love of that check at the time: from bikinis to bandanas it was everywhere. It took a few beautiful collections from the aforementioned Mr. Bailey and the bandana memories were laid to rest.

The same goes for a golden glow. While fashion people may turn up their noses at a bronzed thigh these days, Gisele Bundchen is still the highest paid supermodel on the planet. She earns that much from her campaigns she doesn’t need to catwalk anymore, but when a place like H&M wants to sell clothes to every girl and woman, then Gisele is on speed-dial.


When you want to pick a girl that we all love looking at, Gisele is still Number One!

It seems as though the world of very high fashion and what we actually we wear seem to have created a gap that just gets wider and wider. As the models at Fashion Weeks seem to get slimmer and paler each season, we have stopped knowing their names, in general. Very few become a Gisele anymore. And when it comes to what women really want to look like, some might say they want to be a size zero, whatever that is, but I would sell my granny (if I had one to sell) to look like Eva Mendes. Possibly with Beyoncé’s legs. No, definitely with Beyoncé’s legs! And when it comes to models I kind of miss these ladies. Because when Gianni met Cindy et al. he always created some magic…………

Versace ad campaign 1994

VERSACE S/S campaign 1994 – a little bit OTT but everyone needs a little Versace in their life!

Listen, my love affair with fashion is never going to wane. I am never going to stop devouring my fashion glossies and pouring over Fashion Week coverage. When it comes to what I like for myself, I am a hands-up classic girl every day of the week. I love Oscar de la Renta, Saint Laurent, Carolina Herrera and Chanel. I am not into directional and I don’t do obvious trends. When it comes to beauty, I know all about hair extensions and eyelash trickery and the myriad of treatments and procedures we can consume to make us look pretty. For me, though, that obvious look that has been around a while has got a bit old. Luckily, as technology moves on a pace all the weapons in our beauty kits are getting harder to point out. You can still wear hair that you didn’t grow yourself very tastefully these days. And why not?

So how do you do a tan with taste, something that you can wear with your finest things and look like a cover girl and an absolute knockout all in one go? The thing is, be subtle. Work with your skin tone. Perfect your art. With all of the formulations out there, at every price point, there is something to suit everyone. Go easy with the application. You can always add more later. I think sometimes less is definitely more, as it is so less obviously fake. And I can be the queen of fakery. I have lovely teeth because I bought them from my dentist. I haven’t seen my natural hair colour since Madonna was Desperately Seeking Susan and you would get a shock if you saw what was underneath my concealer. However, when I put it all together and put on my new skirt from Coast (a little nod to Dior without the price tag) and the Chanel bag that was in my wardrobe when WAGs were at nursery, that shall one day get buried with me, it all seems to go along well. I did enjoy being a bit wilder in days gone by. I still have some absolute gems at the back of my wardrobe, but they are memories now, along with the Factor Zero carrot oil they probably whiff of.

doutzen balck and white

Even Vogue does a tan now and again. Check out Doutzen. This picture still rocks every time I see it!!!!


ROBERTO CAVALLI does jet set glamour like no-one else!

When you experience the thrill of a real haute couture show you drink it in, and anything seems possible. It is art and beauty all at the same time, and the creatures wafting up and down are like mystical beings. However, for the rest of us, when you are trying on your Designers at Debenhams dress and you look down and see thighs the colour and consistency of cottage cheese, you need a bit of assistance. Fashion can literally go and and Coco, it’s not like Anna Wintour is going to be at the party and tell me off for my wash-off bronzing lotion. However, there might be a single man there who is a leg man, and so I like to be prepared to impress.

So Fashion and Tans, put down your guards. Step way from the sun and think a little. You got to get a little perspective. Sometimes I like to look a little bit Audrey Hepburn, but underneath it all I might be a bit more of a Victoria’s Secret Angel. I quite often go pale. But when it comes to an occasion, or a holiday, or a party, at the very least, I like to have a little bit of a golden glow. It shouldn’t be a fashion crime because sometimes every girl looks better with a bit of help, no matter what shade of skin she is in. Whether you go minimal or maximal it’s up to you, but only Cheryl Cole can get away with no make-up. So sometimes I like to look like I have just had a little cheeky break on my yacht in St. Barths, when going on a little jaunt in my beloved home city. I also hold my hands up here and say that if I went out sans-glow in Liverpool, I would probably be put into an ambulance and sent to A and E. I would like to see Ms. Wintour take on @ScouseBirdProblems on the subject, because the lady with the bob and the Prada skirt would literally rather take on the The Devil, if you see what I mean!

So here’s a little selfie to prove I do sometimes like to fake it…………………..


Tan courtesy of FAKE BAKE GOLD (OK, OK, so I am little biased……….!)


And last, but not least, Here Comes The Hautestepper, Julien Macdonald, who is going to out-glow everyone on the new series of Strictly and bring the worlds of Fashion and Faux Tans together once more.

julien mcd

Go forth and get golden, in a peaceful fashion……………….

Image of Doutzen Kroez courtesy of Vogue

Image of Julien Macdonald courtesy of BBC TV

Fake Bake Gold Self Tanning Lotion is available at


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