BATD ON Nov 21, 2013 AT 11:51 am

by Annie Vischer

Phlo Finister for the Chelsea Girl Collection at River Island

Phlo Finister for the Chelsea Girl Collection at River Island

For those not in the fashion history know, River Island stems from a store branded Chelsea Girl in 1965, an era currently being revived everywhere you look in the world of beauty and fashion, from the candy coloured creations that Karl Lagerfeld sent down the catwalk for Chanel in his SS14 collection, to the puffed up bouffants that bounced in front of the front row at Jeremy Scott SS14.

In 2011 River Island revisited their 60s style roots when they released Chelsea Girl as a capsule collection. The designs boasted vintage influences with a decidedly feminine flair, and have maintained an avid following throughout the seasons that have come and gone since.

This year River Island are injecting the Chelsea Girl collection with a little more edge, through their involvement with up and coming Californian singer, songwriter Phlo Finister. Currently a big thing stateside, the striking musician has a colourful background and style that fits in perfectly with River Island’s edged up line. Phlo Finister, born Elijah Finister, was initially surrounded by all things reserved and traditional. Banned from listening to hip-hop and R&B records, when she relocated to LA at eleven years old, Phlo seized upon the opportunity to shake things up, dropping out of school to make it as a performer.

She quickly found her place in the music industry, initially fashion focused, working as a stylist in her late teens. In this time, Phlo became familiar with the 60s ‘Youthquaker’ movement, a term coined by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Diana Vreeland to epitomise the teenagers who came to the fore in the worlds of music and style in that era. All at once her style and music came together in the idea of a revived ‘Youthquaker’ girl, and Phlo Finister began to make her mark.

Who better then, than a self-styled 60s inspired starlet, to represent the latest collection for Chelsea Girl at River Island this winter season? Dresses dominate the designs, leather pinafores, velvet swing dresses and fringed shifts giving a feminine range of contrasting looks. A classic 60s monochrome palette stands alongside bright pops of bubble-gum-esque colour. Coloured tights and knee-high boots make up the must-have accessory list, and novelty knitwear, black skirts and leggings provide for en trend everyday wear.

If, like us, you can’t wait to get your Edie Sedgwick on, then you’re in luck. The new collection launches today on 21st November, and Phlo Finister herself will be performing at the River Island flagship store , Park House on Oxford Street at 6.30pm. In collaboration with the event customers will receive a 20% discount on the Chelsea Girl range from 6pm – 10pm. What better excuse for a party? Flick on that black liquid liner, shimmy into that mini skirt and join the 60s revival at River Island.

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