Yougofurther Blogger of the Year winner

The competition, in association with The Independent, the Clothes Show Live and the yougo website, has been running for the past month and the judges have selected a worthy winner they felt captured the imagination.

Katie French was crowned
yougo Blogger of the Year at the Clothes Show Live on 9 December 2009. Katie, a journalism student from Brighton was handed her award up on stage at the Birmingham NEC by Vogue TV's Louise Roe and yougo's very own Giles Ursell.

Katie watched the ceremony from the front row with the other short-listed contenders, and was named the winner at the end of the presentation in front of a huge audience of fashionistas and trendsetters.

"I can't believe it. I'm absolutely shocked," she said afterwards. "It was like an outer body experience," she added. "I was running in my heels which I really shouldn't have been running in, but it was amazing. I felt like I had won already to be asked here on the shortlist, but this is incredible. I thought the ceremony went really well. I spoke to Louise (Roe) after the show and we talked about the dress I was wearing. She was so lovely. I've had an amazing time, and I haven't even been shopping yet!"

Members of yougo were asked to submit a 200-word blog about fashion and all the entries were shortlisted down to five (see below), who were invited to the show to discover the winner.

Louise Roe, who began her career writing for Elle magazine, selected Katie's entry about Alexander McQueen heels and she will now have her work published on The Independent website and blog for both the yougo and Clothes Show Live websites.

THE WINNING ENTRY

The full cost of your little black dress

Being a cash-strapped student in these recession fuelled times limits me to only gaze dreamily at McQueen heels through the windows of Selfridges, therefore the high street is my saviour in all its retail priced glory.

I shriek with delight as I grasp the last remaining £4 dress off the bare rails at Primark, but along with the sheer exhilaration of locating the last size 10, a surge of overwhelming guilt floods over me.

Yes, the high-street is fantastic, but how clear is its conscious? It’s a survival game in the basement of my local Primark, women clamber over each other, skillfully swiping each other’s legs with their oversized tote bags, and all to feed their appetite for cheap fashion.

Children as young as nine are working for pennies to produce that one-night fashion fix that instantly gets thrown to the back of our closet.

We are constantly battered by television programmes documenting the horrific conditions workers endure to supply us with our perfect LBD, leaving me on a constant quest to unearth ethical and environmentally friendly gems on the high street.

The question is, are we really willing to trade our discounted goods for peace of mind? Easier said than done.

THE 2009 SHORTLIST

The power to make crab feet look cool

I was wrong to think that McQueen’s S/S 2010 collection was certainly NOT ready-to-wear. Judging by the latest fashion news, the armadillos or McQueen’s alien looking shoes are the next big thing.

Futuristic, alien-looking, extra-ordinary – call the armadillos whatever you like. To some they are inspirational, to me they look like lobster claws. I wouldn't wear them. That’s why there are celebrities who make clowns of themselves by sporting ridiculous outfits before anyone else. This circus is called trend-setting.

We already saw Lady Gaga in THOSE shoes in her newest video. Daphne Guinness also rocked them. Wait, who? Out of nowhere her name causes a lot of controversy, not to mention scores her some extra Google hits. That’s not a remake of Alien, that’s Daphne in McQueen’s armadillos.

Put a few other big names in the armadillos and we’ll start to see the beauty in the beast. They suddenly don’t look that intergalactic.

Star Wars jokes aside, superstars have the power to make crab feet look cool as well as crab feet can make no news a splashing story. The question is how many more celebs have to wear these apocalyptic shoes before they hit the high street? Edita Lozovska, Surrey

Fashion is for the elite

The title of this post is slightly paraphrased, but it is still essentially the advice of fashion journalist (and minor deity) Hadley Freeman on how to “get into” fashion journalism.

This is something that’s always bugged me; I’m a fashion journalist at a student-run publication, and I have a good portfolio, built up over nearly three years now, of work to prove it.

But in this industry, that means nothing. My fashion blog, Confessions of a Fashion Editor, grew out of an article in Teen Vogue about “the next generation of fashion editors” - essentially rich kids who can afford designer labels, and blog about what they wear on a daily basis.

And yes, that summary's harsh - but it really bugged me. A lot. Because, what about those of us, their age, who are already fashion editors? What about people who can’t afford those clothes, but who’ll work 1000 times harder than they ever will? What about us? Huh?

That’s why I started my blog: someone had to tell this industry where it was wrong… how hard work and passion are worth more than cash and clothes. Someone had to; and that someone, it seems, was me. Amy Claire Thompson, York

Will it always be this way?

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” says Kate Moss. Seriously, what message is she trying to relay here?  Moss is, undoubtedly, the ultimate supermodel.

However the effect she must have on teens (sometimes younger) is extraordinary.  Just as we were thinking we'd heard enough on the ‘size zero’ debate here comes round 567!

Try as we might we simply can’t ignore how ‘perfect’ celebrities’ (with figures to match) make us feel.  They’re everywhere: magazines, TV, internet, even mannequins are getting slimmer by the season. 

If this is to continue, western society will be as desolate as Li-Lohs world to live in.

Yes, we'll be beautifully thin with a walk-in wardrobe packed full of designs by Chanel to Christopher Kane (once the recession ends and we all become famous . . . because that's what happens doesn't it?).

Will we then be happy?  For us normal people out there we won't become famous or a size 0, we will NEVER fit into sample pieces, we may always have a little debt and no savings and oh, the horror of horrors, may not be able to afford the latest Laboutin.  But really is that all life is about nowadays?  Will it always be this way? Jodie Balmer, North Shields

They’re invading our kingdom of realism and sanity

I’ve absolutely no qualms in the want to look chic, stylish and sexy. In fact, I relish a one-off purchase of affordable leather and humble cashmere.

But this new age of fashion-hungry creatures, vicious wannabees and editorial beasts, ready to pounce on the latest logo-emblazed tat are slowly but surely invading our kingdom of realism and sanity.

Although this species of narrow-minded human strut down to the high-end department of Selfridges, one clumpy Chanel heel after another, classy clutch in hand, shimmering with arrogance.

Deep down, danger sirens of doubt are piercing their ears and desire for status coils their bodies.

In reality they are just another flock of wimpish girls who believe that a Fendi purse will reload their style ammunition, ready to psychologically shoot down enemies who stupidly possess last season’s attire and therefore are obviously not as fabulous.

Fortunately we do have a beacon of hope. High street names are flourishing and gaining major brownie points over the egotistical world of designer.

The king of camp, Gok Wan is maybe the only sincere celebrity who is springing to action, highlighting the handy-work of the high street.

This evolving species need to end their triumphant march, silence their cheers and descend from the heavens of Prada and pettiness to a place we like the call ‘Earth’. Robert Davies, Milnthorpe

Visit yougo.co.uk see all the entries.

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