Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas one and all!

Well I was hoping for snow but apart from that today has been pretty lovely. I am officially spoilt rotten. 

Here are some of my favourite gifts:

My sister subscribed me to Vogue!!

I received this silver jumper which I have been wearing out as a dress. 

Got this lovely little black lace top.

I also got some gorgeous lingerie I had picked out myself a while back but forgot all about. It caught my eye because of the pleating and delicacy of it and I thought it made a change from black underwear. I love the little silk padded hangers that came with it. 

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. I'm looking forward to the New Year and wish everybody the best of joy.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shock horror! It's Agy!

Oh my goodness! I saw this on another blog. 
Check out Agyness Deyn done up like Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Korean Vogue! I didn't know who it was at first.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

D&G's new 'blogazine'

I signed up on their website a while back to receive emails from Dolce & Gabbana. So I opened my inbox today and was told of a new 'blogazine' of theirs called Swide.

The website done in the style of a D&G magazine, tells you everything that is happening in the luxurious world of D&G such as moodboards and descriptions of their SS09 collection which is inspired by Roman Polanski's first feature film 'A Knife In The Water'...

"a chic 1960's sailing trip on the French Riviera. The Women look quirky, classy, and stylish in the former playground of Coco Chanel - in over-sized sun-hats, Breton stripes, bermudas and glitzy wedges all styled with a cheeky twist."
(I must admit, seeing another Nautical theme for another Spring Summer made me a little disheartened).
Other sections under 'Style' such as the gift ideas are really nice although it will take many years of saving before family unwrap Dolce & Gabbana gifts from me.

As well as the obvious style section that you would expect, in true magazine style, Swide offers its opinions on food, art, music and more. All worth checking out. One of the quirkiest parts of the website is its 'Dirty Laundry' email section where (I think) it imagines emails they would receive and their responses - some in a slight agony aunt or fan page style. 

The best thing about the website is its design, how it is layed out entirely different from the main Dolce & Gabbana website; its video clips from old black and white films and its stylish images of fashion illustrations.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Rockstar boyfriend accessory.

For decades there has been a distinct relationship between fashion icons and rockstars (think Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall). This year there seems to be a resurgence of the musician man-candy on the arm of the UK's favourite style icons.

Here's a few examples:

Agyness Deyn & Albert Hammond Jr (of the Strokes). 
She previously dated Josh Hubbard of the Paddingtons but has now bagged the Strokes guitarist. For Britain's new favourite style icon it is so suitable that she partner up with one of the men who brought indie rock 'n' roll back to the forefront. The 2 being completely down-to-earth, seem very happy and extremely natural despite the constant attention from the press.

Daisy Lowe & Mark Ronson (Musician, Producer & DJ).
Ok so they're not together anymore but for the up and coming model to snatch up Mr Cool himself increased her already celebrity status. Her parents are Pearl Lowe (singer turned fashion designer) and Gavin Rossdale (lead singer of the band Bush and now happily married to Gwen Stefani). Having such parentage, it is understandable that Daisy partnered up with one of the world's best known producers. Unfortunately it didn't last unlike Daisy's model career which has went from strength to strength this year.

Katy Perry & Travis McCoy (of Gym Class Heroes).
The 'I kissed a girl' singer has been dating the hip hop star for over a year and the 2 try to keep their private life exactly that. Recently McCoy was arrested after an incident where a fan insulted him whilst he was performing. Katy has stuck by him and the incident only adds to his, indeed their, rockstar credibility.

Alexa Chung and Alex Turner (of the Arctic Monkeys).
The model turned TV presenter turned model again had previously been linked with a member of the Lost Prophets, the Horrors and the Klaxons before getting together with Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex. The pair have been going out for long over a year and Alexa recently starred in the Arctic Monkeys music video for their song 'My mistakes were made for you'.

Kate Moss & Jamie Hince (of the Kills).
De ja vu. Kate Moss has been romantically linked with a whole host of musicians and has been close friends with Primal Scream lead singer Bobby Gillespie for many years (even dueting in a single with him). Kate has also starred in a White Stripes video. 
The supermodel previously had a tumultuous relationship with Pete Doherty but it seemed like her relationship with Jamie Hince was more evenly matched. The couple have had an unsettled relationship however. The cynical part of me thinks that Kate seeks out those who will increase her "indie" cool factor but time will tell if their relationship will survive. 

Peaches Geldof & Max Drummey (of band Chester French).
Daughter of Bob Geldof, 19 year old party girl Peaches married American singer Max in Las Vegas in August this year. The married couple have each others names tattooed on their hands. There have been rumours of divorce already but Peaches seems happy enough following her husband on his band's tours. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Giles Deacon Menswear Collection at New Look

Giles Deacon's Gold collection for women was a huge success in New Look when it launched. Now he's paving the way for Designer capsule collections for men on the High Street with 'Giles'.

The collection includes the likes of lumberjack shirts, a canvas satchel, polo shirts and baggy jeans. I will need to pop into Glasgow's New Look next time I'm about to get a proper look and see . 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sad Christmas for the High Street

There's an interesting article on msn at the moment about the effects of the current economic climate on retailers. It mainly discusses the price wars between supermarkets but also mentions the current need for high street shoppers seeking bargains and deals. 

This is so evident in every shop window on every high street or mall nationwide and coming from a retailers perspective also, I know that we are trying everything to meet targets. 

Even the UK's biggest retailer, Marks & Spencer have reacted with one-day special 20% off day events. Executive Chairman of M&S Stuart Rose has said he is taking a "glass half-full" attitude to the struggling M&S sales from recent months. The one-day spectacular was a huge success according to Rose.
During the summer I was lucky to do a work placement within one of the Marks and Spencer Head Office buying teams and was privileged enough to sit in on an employee talk with Stuart Rose where he discussed the up-coming struggle ahead and dismissed the rumours of a take-over. I came away thinking he was one of the most charismatic people I'd ever came across and a very inspiring man to work for so I think if anyone is going to get the brand through a tough, competitive period, he is the man to do it.  

(On a further note, how good is the latest Christmas campaign advert featuring the nations favourites, Take That!?)

Tim Walker 'Pictures'

This quote from The Design Museum's website describes Tim Walkers work so much more eloquently than I ever could. I was given his book 'Pictures' recently as a gift. The images are breathtaking and I have admired his work in British Vogue for the last few years but it wasn't until I flicked through my cousin's (a fabulously talented designer for John Lewis) book that I fell in love with them. Here are a few of his well-loved photographs.

New Diesel campaign

OK so I was never really a fan of the Italian brand Diesel's clothes before but I have to admit that they have a way with advertising. I particularly have loved their 'Fuel for life' perfume and aftershave tv advertisements and bottle designs.

Here is the new provocative Diesel Spring Shoe campaign that seems to suggest a seedy foot fetish. The good thing about it is that it features the gorgeous model Jon Kortajenera who doesn't appear to be able to put a foot wrong at the moment. (No pun intended).

Creative Director William Das has decided to address the hype around the images which have caused a bit of a stir:

"There are no messages, themes or commentary to understand. Our objective is to intrigue and provoke a thought."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buying gifts for different shapes.

I do not pretend to be an expert in gift buying but recently quite a few people have come to me for help and advice in clothes and jewellery buying. It feels really good to know that people value my opinions and I tend to really consider body shape & colouring as well as of course the person's taste. I better not show any examples as 1. It's not Christmas yet and 2. It might not be fair on those who asked for my help. 

Recently I was looking at the very basic but brilliant Gok Wan 'Body Shape Guide' on the Dorothy Perkins website. It was very clever of DP's to jump on the fact that their target consumers are all of extreme sizes, ages and shapes and they are probably more aware of the need to dress to suit them rather than wear something straight off the catwalk meant for people of model proportions only. 

Have a look at the guide. I'd say I'm a 'Curvy Queen' in that my hips and bust are more or less the same and my waist much smaller. As you can see Gok also has a way of trying to make even 'flaws' sound amazing.

Michelle Obama - spoiled for choice.

The President-elect Obama's Inaugural day is in the not too distant future (January 20th) and it seems that Fashion Designers are clambering over themselves to dress the stylish and chic Michelle Obama (& children) for the day and evening events.

On you can see drawing after drawing of proposed dress designs for Mrs Obama and they are all absolutely gorgeous. Here are a few fashion illustrations from just a handful of the most sought-after designers hoping for a chance to be a part of American History.

Oscar de la Renta
Marc Jacobs
Christian Lacroix
Diane von Furstenburg

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chanel Pre-Fall '09 - Paris to Moscow

OK so most of us are still trying to get our Winter wardrobes right but if you are a major fashion house, there's no time to wait about. Chanel has just presented its pre-Fall '09 collection inspired by Russia, called 'Paris to Moscow'. As you can see, even the graphics and setting were very Russian.

Karl Lagerfeld also debuted a taster of his his silent movie dedicated to Coco.

Although of course held in Paris, the gorgeous couture collection featured Russian military jackets, fur hats, coats and boots and Russian doll style embossed hand muff. It was particularly exciting to see such an injection of colour to the usually monochrome classic Chanel style. The burnt orange/red colours add to the luxurious feel of the collection which is at the same time, all very wearable. Beautiful.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

'The King and I' Costumes

I have recently joined a local Operatic society with 2 of my friends because I love to sing and be involved in productions. We will be professionally performing 'The King and I' in March. I have taken some screenshots from the movie. This is a gorgeous scene where the King of Siam's slaves put on a show for the visiting British.

On Thursday we were all measured up so that we could have our costumes made to fit. I am extremely excited about this. Most of the time we will be dressed in Siamese traditional dress with gorgeous exotic colours and detailing. But there is also a scene where myself and others have to dress in mid 19th century Western dress. I love that the Siamese women in the film initially think that Western women's bodies are shaped the way their crinoline dresses suggested.

I watched the film the other day and I really hope the costumes are similar to these. I can't wait to wear a crinoline dress like this! I'm also hoping there might be some way of me being able to get involved in the costume making process but we shall see. 

Arrival of my Topshop dress

My dress arrived yesterday just in time for a night out in Glasgow with friends! Unfortunately it was not so nice on - it was like a jersey t-shirt dress that clung to all the wrong bits. Needless to say I am not uploading a picture of me wearing it and will be returning it asap. I'm really disappointed. I ended up wearing a pink dress that I've worn loads and it burst most likely due to some wild dancing moves.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

All Saints Spitalfields

The cult British fashion brand All Saints has some amazing clothes but the thing that I really love about them is their branding and shopfits. It completely compliments and reinforces the values of the product.

In some of their stores, (such as one of my local Glasgow stores above) hanging cruciforms are lit up acting as a rock'n'roll centerpiece reflecting the edgie, grunge fashion on their scaffolding fixtures. During the Summer I visited the flagship store in Spitalfields - round the corner from Spitalfields market in the now trendy part of East London. I instantly recognised the open-plan converted loft type space; exposed brickwork and aged wood flooring. But the displays were a lot more exciting and inventive than I had seen in Glasgow, with butcher meat hooks and industrial sized hanging items and mannequins from the ceiling as well as distressed 'vintage' style pieces spread out throughout the shop.

Although quite expensive (All Saints say their clothes are High Fashion at an affordable price), traditional artisan techniques are still used to make their unique clothes. At the moment I just admire but when I have a bit more money I shall be a regular shopper.

Another downside is that although their flash website is gorgeously designed to reflect the brand and its customers, it's not the best to navigate through. In doing this, I couldn't find any information about their ethics and history or any pictures of their stores on the site. They possibly need to work on getting this up to the same standard as their fashion and shop interiors.

Prada phone

Currently I own the Prada LG phone, the touchscreen phone that was much talked about a year and a half ago when it first came out. I first spotted it in Dazed & Confused magazine so waited with baited breath for its release.

The packaging was gorgeous and I had a bit of a honeymoon period with my phone overlooking the fact that it was difficult to write text messages and a not so great 2 mega pixel camera. Also, I stupidly never used the protective Prada sleeve that came with it so over time the Prada logo has completely scratched off.

Other designer phones such as the D&G, Chanel phone etc have came out, which I haven't liked as much. But in Amsterdam I saw an advertisement for the new Prada II LG phone with slide out QWERTY keyboard. It also has a 5mega pixel camera this time, which will be a lot better for when I see things I want to blog. And so I am in lust again.
I popped into Orange to see about upgrading but it isn't to be released in the UK for another couple of months yet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Courtney Love photoshoot

I get emails from Elle UK and I saw that Courtney Love is on their January cover and looks pretty damn good. She still looks like her usual rock star self as she is wearing this season's trends but this time it looks a bit more polished than the usual smeared red lipstick look. I used to have really mixed feelings towards her as I was a huge Nirvana fan growing up but I'm so glad to see her looking so good. Speaking of which, I got a Nirvana t-shirt in Urban Outfitters recently as it was reduced from £32 to £15. I used to have a vest-top like this when I was younger which I bought off another girl in school who was a whole lot bustier than me at the time. The Nirvana logo was therefore a bit stretched horizontally but I loved it anyway.

Ferragamo shoes

Here's a couple of pictures of some shoes I got in Topshop Oxford Street a couple of months back. I was going into the Arcadia group (Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burtons, Evans & Outfit) offices for an interview but couldn't resist the flagship store round the corner.

I was looking at vintage shoes and couldn't believe it when I came across... white sling back genuine Salvatore Ferragamo shoes in good condition, a perfect fit and at a bargain price. If you look cloesely at the photo below it says on the inner sole 'Saks Fifth Avenue. Salvatore Ferragamo Florence. Made in Italy.'

Here is what the Ferragamo website says about some of his vintage pieces:

"Precious. No, extremely precious.They're not just shoes and bags.They are symbols of style and creativity, icons of the Ferragamo brand, and shoe models created over the Twenties to the Fifties for famously seductive women such as Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner and Marilyn Monroe.
Entirely hand-made and using original constructions, lasts and hides, they are collectors' pieces, the beginning of a limited and truly exclusive series."

I only managed to get a couple of wears out of them as it got a bit too cold. But rest assured I shall get them back out in the Spring time.

My Burberry Mac

A couple of years back I bought a second hand Burberry Mac in a vintage store in Glasgow's West end called Watermelon for £30. I usually only find larger sized ones so when I saw this UK size 12 petite I had to have it despite being a UK 8 - I just convinced myself it kind of fitted. But 2 years down the line, I still hadn't worn it and was tempted to sell it on ebay.
Instead, I decided a few weeks back, to have it altered by a local seamstress who is fantastic and has fantastic prices to match (only £20 for this job). I asked for the hem line to be taken right up to update it and she took the whole thing in a few inches. And now I wear it all the time! (I have cut my face out this picture because I look miserable.)

The great thing about a Burberry mac is you know you are wearing a historic item of clothing (Check out the Burberry website to read all about the history of their iconic trench coat - so-called because it was originally worn by soldiers in trenches during the Boer War.) Also, I stupidly spilled my Pepsi Max all over it whilst waiting on a train and it just rolled right off: no mark or stain left what-so-ever.