Monday, 25 June 2012

Flying the Flag...

It seems everywhere you look at the moment everyone is proud to be British, despite England crashing out of Euro 2012 yesterday people are still proud of the Red, White and Blue. Even with Wimbledon kicking off this week it seems the Brits have even adopted Andy Murray as one of their own. This year we have been more patriotic than usual and of course we had the Queen's diamond Jubilee and we're also going to be hosting the Olympics in a few weeks time. But it's not only the nation that gone British flag crazy it seems the fashion world has too. Even Vivienne Westwood decided to take a flag wrap it around a mannequin and create this stunning dress.

Now if your off to a festival this Summer and you don't want to miss out on showing your true colours these hunters wellies are perfect. They will keep you looking cool when ur up to your ankles in mud as well as showing how much you love your country. Just another way in which the fashion community is turning Red, White and Blue into cash. This Moschino dress is the perfect way to show your love of the Brits and their quirky sense of style. But be careful at the bus stop with London being a lot busier than usual this Summer people might try and catch you. Form a n orderly queue boys!!!

Now British Designers are bound to show their love of the Union Jack and Alexander McQueen is no different as if being on speed dial for the royals wasn't enough. They have also launched a range of clutch bags highlighting all that's great about Great Britain. You would be mad not to get your hand on one of these designs. It will still be a cool now as it will be for the next jubilee. I love the Alexander Mcqueen trademark skull it definately makes it more special.

Finally Stella McCartney has designed the Team GB kit for the Olympics and I have to voice just one rather large concern. Where is the Red from this patriotic kit? Not to mention the fact that it wasn't even manufactured in the UK, that doesn't really show our true love of all that is Brilliant about Britain. If you love the Union Jack as much as we do, grab yourself a accessory that will show your love for this fair isle and remind you we may be small butwe're still great!!!

My Favourite Dress

I have always loved the fashion from 1920's and 1930's and my favourite dress is this one from the movie Atonement, it is 1930's design at its finest and Keira Knightly makes it look even more beautiful if that is possible. I love the Green silk, the exposed back and the draped front. I have never been more stunned or fallen so quickly in Love with any other piece of clothing, design or dress. What's your favourite dress? Do you agree with my choice?

A Change Will Do You Good?

On June 21, 2012, it was announced that the brand would be renamed Saint Laurent Paris, so why have YSL decided to change their name. I don't know what brought about this change of name from an establlished brand that everyone knows and everyone loves but it got me wondering will it actually make a difference? YSL have been an establlished French brand for 50 Years in fact this year is their 50th anniversary. YSL is a luxury fashion house founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé.

First to think about their future it is important to consider the history of this iconic brand that everyone knows by three iconic letters. YSL was founded in 1962 and it was during the 1960s and 1970s, the firm popularised fashion trends such as the beatnik look, safari jackets for men and women, tight pants and tall, thigh-high boots, including the creation of arguably the most famous classic tuxedo suit for women in 1966, Le Smoking suit. Some of his most memorable collections include the Pop Art, Ballet Russes, Picasso and Chinese ones. He also started mainstreaming the idea of wearing silhouettes from the 1920s, '30s and '40s. He was the first, in 1966, to popularise ready-to-wear in an attempt to democratise fashion, with Rive Gauche and the boutique of the same name. He was also the first designer to use black models in his catwalk shows, in fact one of YSL favourite models was Noami Campbell.

Among St. Laurent's muses were Loulou de La Falaise, the daughter of a French marquis and an Anglo-Irish fashion model, Betty Catroux, the half-Brazilian daughter of an American diplomat and wife of a French decorator, Talitha Pol-Getty, who died of drug overdose in 1971, and Catherine Deneuve, the iconic French actress. Ambassador to the couturier during the late 1970s and early 80s was London socialite millionairess Diane Boulting-Casserley Vandelli, making the brand ever more popular amongst the European jet-set and upper classes.

In the 1998-1999 seasons, Alber Elbaz, currently of Lanvin, designed 3 ready-to-wear collections. Pierre Bergé appointed Hedi Slimane as Collections and art Director in 1997, and they relaunched YSL Rive Gauche Homme. Hedi Slimane decided to leave the house 2 years later. In 1999, Gucci bought the YSL brand and asked Tom Ford to design the ready-to-wear collection while Saint-Laurent would design the haute couture collection. In 2002, dogged by years of poor health, drug abuse, depression, alcoholism, criticisms of YSL designs, Saint-Laurent closed the illustrious couture house of YSL. While the house no longer exists, the brand still survives through its parent company Gucci Group. The prêt-à-porter line was produced under the direction of Stefano Pilati after Tom Ford left in 2004. His style is decidedly more French than the overtly sexy image that Tom Ford perpetuated.

Now YSL have had a very interesting history and the fashionable A List have been rocking their designs for years. YSL have also had the Hollywood A List queueing up to front their clothing, make up and perfume campaigns from Emily Blunt to Liv Tyler to their latest poster girl Jessica Chastain everyone wants to represent the French and their favourite brand. YSL seems can do no wrong. So with all the success of the brand why change the name now? Is it because of the 50th anniversary, is it because the brand had been diminished? I just can't say. YSL will soon be known as Saint Laurent Paris and will be shortened to SLP to me it doesn't really have the same ring as YSL.

YSL will always be YSL the brand everyone knows for their tribute sandals and gorgeous handbags and Touche eclat so will changing the name really make a difference. I don't think it will but for me YSL is all about the iconic letters and the way you feel when you wear pair of their shoes or hold one of their handbags. SLP may be their future but YSL will always be the essence of classic French design, style and Elegance and as YSL said himself 'Fashion may change but Style is eternal.'

My Magazine Collection

Yesterday I spent a number of hours sorting out my magazine collection into date order sad I know but it was oddly satisfying when it was done. After telling you all about my magazines I thought it was only fair to show the extent of my collection/addiction.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Destination: Edinburgh

With all the adverts telling us to Holiday in Britain this Summer I though I would share my favourite place for a weekend away. I love Edinburgh, having studied there I fell in love with the city and have a few favourite places you should visit if you go. If your looking for somewhere special to stay The Balmoral is perfect, situated at the top of Princes Street it's the perfect location in the heart of Edinburgh's city centre. The expensive is definitely worth the luxury experience you will get from the moment your arrive to the moment your leave.

For the perfect afternoon of shopping there are so many places to splash the cash, you can't go wrong at Harvey Nichols, where you can treat yourselves to a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choos, A Mackintosh trench coat or the perfect Party dress for a night on the town. You can't go wrong in one of Britain's favourite Department stores and why not treat yourself to a Champagne Lunch at Harvey Nichols restaurant with views across Edinburgh, Champagne and a great view what more could you ask for...

If your looking for something a little bit different, try visiting the Grassmarket with some of Edinburgh's more exclusive boutiques and quirky shops to find something that will make you stand out from the crowd. However if you gonna be walking around the grassmarket you'll need the perfect outfit to cope with all the cobbled streets and to keep looking cool. These Jimmy Choos boots are perfect teamed with a Chloe jumper and trousers and matching Jimmy Choo bag. Perfect...

For the perfect Saturday night out in Scotland's capital head to The Kitchin at Leith Docks for a Michelin Star Dinner cooked by executive chef Tom Kitchin who creates some of Scotland's most delicious and local food. Then head to the bar at The Balmoral for a few glasses of their best Champagne, the bar has a great atmosphere and friendly staff it will be a great addition to your evening.

Finally dedicate most of your evening to Le Monde the best Cocktail bar in Edinburgh, the cocktails are delicious, the staff are very friendly and the champagne can flow til late in the night. For the perfect outfit to party the night away you might want to try this Alexander McQueen fine knit dress as it will keep you warm in Edinburgh's unpredictable weather and keep you looking sexy on the dance floor, pair with Jimmy Choos and a Alexander McQueen clutch and your outfit is complete.

Edinburgh is a great place to spend the weekend, there are so many place to explore, shops to visit and many, many Scottish men to flirt with, who could ask for anything more?

Style over Percipitation

With the weather changing every five minutes at the moment it is important to have the perfect jacket in the back of your wardrobe, and there is no better solution for a Summer Shower than a Mackintosh. Now nearly everyone has got a Mac in their wardrobe for a day like today but the truth is if you truly want to own a timeless piece of clothing there is nothing better than a Mackintosh.

Charles Macintosh patented his invention for waterproof cloth in 1823 and the first Mackintosh coats were made in the family's textile factory, Charles Macintosh and Co. of Glasgow. But in 1830 the company merged with the clothing company of Thomas Hancockin Manchester. Hancock had also been experimenting with rubber coated fabrics since 1819. Production of rubberised coats soon spread all over the UK. Every kind of coat was produced with rubberised material including riding coats and coats were also supplied to the British Army, British Railways and UK police forces.

The classic Mackintosh, is handmade in Cumbernauld just outside Glasgow, the factory nearly closed in the early 1990's, however due to it's British Heritage and Historic significance the factory was saved. Every jacket takes between 25 and 50 hours to make by a team of highly skilled designers, pattern makers and machinist, making everyone unique. The Mackintosh can be made in any colour that the client desires. The Mackintosh is beautiful piece of fashion engineering, and no wardrobe would be complete without one. The trench coat is a classic shape with it's belted waist and fitted style and will never go out of style. It will be in your your wardrobe the saviour of every rainy day the British weather has to throw at us and lets face it that is usually quite a few...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Destination: Dubai

It seems like everyone is off to Dubai this Summer, for the ultimate Luxury destination Dubai is top of most peoples lists. With sunshine, shopping and sandy beaches, Dubai really has it all. As soon as you arrive in Dubai, there is Luxury at every turn. It's first class service, amazing hotels with stunning rooms and awe inspiring views. Dubai boosts some of the worlds most expensive hotels including The 7* Burj Al Arab which is more commonly known as The Sail. Rooms can cost as much as £10,000 per night. It is the Ultimate Luxury holiday destination. The flight to Dubai is around 7 hours making it perfect even for a few days away. If your going to splash the cash this Summer on a trip to the Jewel in the Middle East Crown then Dubai is the only place to be seen.

To get your fashion fix in Dubai there is only one place to go and that is the Mall of Emirates, from Chanel to Burberry to Christian Louboutin there really is something for everyone but perhaps not everyones price range. The Mall of the Emirates is a shopping mall in the Al Barsha district of Dubai. The Mall has 520 stores to explore and is the second largest shopping Mall in the World. If that won;'t satisfy your need for fashion nothing will. Be sure to take a spare suitcase, as I'm sure it will be filled with many, many purchases.

If you are off to Dubai this Summer you will need a Holiday Wardrobe to match the luxury surroundings, Here dressing for dinner is never a request it is definitely expected. This gorgeous Green Temperley London Gown will make the right impression when Dining at The Burg Al Arab, it also gives a subtle nod to the Middle Easts culture with the floaty fabric and bejewelled neckline. Perfect.

When your relaxing around the pool you will need to fit in with the Designer Loving crowd, this Gucci Bikini will do the trick, you will be the envy of every woman poolside.

Team it with perfect cover up if your going to the beach, as Dubai is a strict Muslim country who believe that less is more. This gorgeous Haute Hippie laser cut Kaftan will do the trick, it will be perfect paired with your Metallic Jimmy Choo Sandals.

After Dark, let your hair down in a Roberto Cavalli dress that will also look great on the Beach and these Giuseppe Zanotti Wedges, that will take you from beach to Bar but try not to drink to much as the design of these may prove a problem. Dubai is all about dressing up and this outfit definitely allows you to do that.

Dubai really does offer the Ultimate Luxury holiday experience, there is no place like it, It has become the most desirable place on Earth to visit, the Ultimate Millionaires playground. If your off to enjoy yourself there this Summer my advice is simple don't forget your Sunglasses Victoria Beckham has those covered!!

Time for the Men to hit the Runway

There's a first time for everything and over the weekend the first Men's Fashion Week (end) took place making London no exception to trying something new. With Designer favourites Burberry, Tom Ford and Gucci and High Street one stop shops, Topman, H&M and Next, no fashion stone was left unturned. With most men probably occupied over the weekend with the latest game of the Euro 2012 tournament, the more fashionably inclined headed to the capital for the best looks every man will be wearing in the coming months. While some looks weren't to every ones taste, on the whole there was something every man will want to wear.

It is surprising that this was the first Men's Fashion Week in London, how did men know what to wear before. The truth is the reputation of men and their interest in fashion, has long been tarnished by the image of begrudging males sitting outside female changing rooms holding handbags, offering their undervalued opinion and hating every single minute of it. However Men want to look good as much as Women do but have never really had the outlet for this. For British men it's even worse due to the memories of their fathers wearing sock and sandals and their grandfathers wearing unflattering cardigans. Men aren't as proud as their European brothers to express their love of fashion as openly. The Italians seem to have a flare for fashion, where as the French seem to be able to make any thing work, leaving British Men not knowing where to turn. Thank God Men's Fashion Week in London came around.

The Truth is today Men are spending more and more of their hard earned cash on what they are wearing, Burberry saw an increase of 26% in sales of their suits in the last twelve months following the launch of their marketing campaign featuring Brit Actor Eddie Redmayne. So clearly Men know what they like. It certainly looks like Men's Fashion Week has come around at the right time, inspiring men to be a lot braver with their fashion choices. However maybe some looks should be avoided. MFW certainly showed some of the next great trends for the coming seasons. Although some of the trends maybe missed the mark and may find themselves on the sale rail come Christmas.

Recently however, it has been revealed that Men don't shop for pleasure, they're more pragmatic; they also, for the most part, don't seem to care what they look like. But that's changing – percentage growth in menswear sales is now higher than those in womenswear. High-end websites such as Mr Porter and my-wardrobe are proof enough of a new strain of bloke that is style- conscious in a way his father and grandfather were not.This blossoming in men's retail harks back to a more nostalgic time, when men were louche and dandified. At Hackett, models wore three-piece suits, seersucker blazers and chinos, summoning the lawns of Brideshead and Gatsby's drawing room. Yet another brilliant marketing technique to make men's fashion relevant, and tempt men into arraying themselves in new season pieces.

Men's Fashion Week has given Men the encouragement to burst out of their well stocked and fashion conscious wardrobes and enjoy Fashion as much as Women. If you want to look good Guys you shouldn't be ashamed, in fact it will make the weekends hanging around the shops with the Girlfriend much more fun. However I can't promise you'll be fighting off the models like the Lovely Benedict Cumberbatch, but it's worth a try. I'm definitely looking forward to next year Men's Fashion Week, and I'm sure a number of Guys are feeling the same.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Love is composed of a Red sole inhabiting two Shoes

Christian Louboutin has been a master of the most stylish, beautiful and desirable shoes in the Luxury market for 20 years. With their instantly recognisable Red soles, every women wants a pair in her already over stuffed wardrobe. Men you have been warned Women are likely to trade you for a pair of these beauties and clearly you can see why...

Louboutin helped bring stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, designing dozens of styles with heel heights of 4.5" and higher. The designer's professed goal has been to "make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as he can." While he does offer some lower-heeled styles, Louboutin is generally associated with his dressier evening-wear designs incorporating jewelled straps, bows, feathers, patent leather, and other similar decorative touches. Despite being known for his celebrity clients from Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron and many more A List Stars, he rarely gives shoes away, offering discounts instead to his high-profile fans. This policy also extends to his personal family, because he feels that giving shoes away as gifts is unimaginative However I disagree they make the perfect gift, if a man buys you a beautiful pair of shoes and you love them, then he truly knows the real you!!! It is also rumoured that he created the famous red soles when he had some red nail varnish lying around that he painted the sole of  the first shoe he designed.

This year Christian Louboutin turns 20, a landmark Birthday for any designer brand as trends change and fashions fade. However the shoes that he has designed have stood the test of time, and evolved from season to season. To mark the 20th Anniversary of Louboutin, a range of 20 shoes and 20 handbags were commissioned to commemorate the occasion. All the designs were bold and made a clear fashion statement and were clearly a investment piece of fashion and worth putting in any women's wardrobe.

As well as turned 20 this year Christian Louboutin is holding an exhibition of his designs at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London displaying his gorgeous designs and if you have the chance I really do recommend that you go and see the collection. It really is a shoe lovers dream, but hurry most weekends are sold out and the exhibition won't be in London forever with other exhibition planned around the globe. DO NOT MISS OUT!!!!

The number of different designs created by Christian Louboutin highlight his love of shoes, there are shoes for everyone from heels to flats to special occasion shoes, he really has though of everything. I love his designs and could easily buy a number of pairs. I know that they are very expensive with prices starting at around £350 and increasing to £4000 for some of his bejewelled designs. This may seem excessive for shoes but they will last a life time and therefore I believe in the theory of price per wear if you will wear a pair of shoes 100 times in your life then they are worth it and who can put a price on beautiful shoes?
These Silver Studded Christian Louboutins are a personal favourite of mine and as I have previously mentioned I have big feet, and therefore I am never likely to own or wear a pair of these Red soled beauties, but it will never diminish my love of shoes or these ones in particular. However I did come to realise something, if I love shoes as much as Mr Louboutin does and I believe I do, maybe it's time to design my own taking inspiration from my favourite designer. Surely there is a market for this kind of thing?
Finally I am in awe of Christian Louboutin. I adore his designs, I love his passion and I would give my left arm to have a pair of my own. Women are so lucky we get to wear these beautiful creations that make us feel confident and sexy and a million feet tall, so if you don't own a pair, then your really should. These Sex shoes are another favourite of mine and are selling out fast. No fashionista's wardrobe would be complete without a pair of these Red soled and handmade beauties. It's like owning your own piece of Art. I know I speak for every women when I say I Like my shoes but I Love my Louboutins!!!!!

Remember a classic style will last forever and a seasonal style will come back again. Grab your favourites at Net a Porter, Selfridges and Harrods.

Does the bag make the women, or does the women maketh the bag?

I can't think of a more iconic bag than the Hermès Birkin. From Victoria Beckham to Lady GaGa it seems you're nobody until you have had this handbag on your arm, but what makes this bag so special?

Well the truth is this is last piece of luxury loot that is hand pieced together and made from the softest leathers and the most exotic skins. One medium sized Hermès Birkin takes an individual 18 hours to make and larger ones take 30 hours. Hermès only make 5 bags a week hence the five year waiting list for one of these exquisite handbags. However are celebrities waiting five year to get their hands on one of these bags... My guessing is no.

The  Hermès Birkin was named after British Actress Jane Birkin, born in 1946 Jane Birkin first came to acting in the swinging 60's and became an icon of the era starring a number of great British films such as Blow up and Wonderwall a film in which she didn't say a word, even so she became a legend of film. In 1981, Hermès chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas was seated next to Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London. She had just placed her straw bag in the overhead compartment of her seat, but the contents fell to the floor, leaving her to scramble to replace the them. Birkin explained to Dumas that it had been difficult to find a leather weekend bag she liked. So in 1984, he created a black supple leather bag for her, the Birkin bag, based on an 1892 design. She used the bag for herself then later changed her mind. Nevertheless, the bag has since become an icon. It is the most desirable piece of luxury fashion, I know I would kill for a Birkin.

Now Victoria Beckham and her collection of Hermès Birkins are clear to see, she has a number of Birkins in a number of colours, skins and sizes, to match practically every outfit. Her collection of Birkins has an estimated worth of £1 million, she even owns the Diamond Birkin worth £150,000, it was a gift from David Beckham how lucky is she a gorgeous man and a gorgeous handbag to match. I adore Birkin bags and Iwould love to own one but why wait for five years to get your hand on this bag when you can get your hands on a Vanilla Paris bag that looks identical and is so much cheaper... Ok if can afford it buy a Birkin it will last forever and never go out of style and will always be the envy of every women who see it.

I own this Vanilla Paris bag and I love it, it looks like a Birkin, it feels like a Birkin, ok I know it's not but Istill love it. I know it will never date and while i'm waiting five years for my Hermès Birkin I can enjoy this. Every women would be lost without their handbag, it is the one place we can keep all our things safe, and if it's a Birkin well that is extra special but if not, it will always be special to you.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Oh, you come from a land down under?

Over the last few years, a number of Australian brands have taken over the luxury fashion world. The ones I want to focus on in particular are J'Aton Couture and We Are Handsome.  Both completely different in design but both of equal importance.

J'Aton couture have had a lot of press recently and have seen the likes of Amanda Holden, Katherine Jenkins and Danni Minogue wearing a number of the duos designs. Perfect product placement considering that most of their gowns have been either seen on TV or photographed to death and put in the next days papers. The truth is their designs are simply stunning and really show off the female body. I honestly can't think why J'Aton didn't come to the UK sooner to promote their stunning designs surely women would of been clamouring to wear them.

Established by Jacob Luppino and Anthony Pittorino in Melbourne, with a showroom and atelier, creating bespoke evening and bridal wear. With a reputation for skilled handwork and attention to detail, J'Aton is favourite amongst Australia's society and celebrity elite. Both designers are from sartorial Italian backgrounds, and use traditional methods in their unique gowns. Over the years, the fashion house has succeeded in cultivating a wide and discerning national and international clientele, based solidly on the quality of items produced and the designer's reputations. They were an instant hit with a number of Australian Hollywood stars, expanding their reputation and desirability factor. This dress in particular stand out to me as a gorgeous use of colour fabric and design. Danni Minogue thought so too, wearing it for her X Factor return.

Now lets look at We Are Handsome a swimwear designer that everyone sat up and took notice of when Rhianna poured her enviable curves into two of their designs making them practically an over night fashion sensation. Everyone wanted to get their hands on their amazing one piece swimsuits making covering up the beach hotter than ever. We Are Handsome take their inspiration from 1960's pop art, 1950's shapes and end up creating ultra modern designs that everyone wants to rock poolside.

One thing is for certain if a music star like Rhianna endorses your clothing everyone is sure to want a piece of the action. Despite their price tag that was not in reach for everyone, they were still a massive seller, with their Leopard design selling out with 24 hours of Rhianna rocking it on the beach. The classic shape and the variety of designs definitely make their costumes a worthwhile investment for any fashionista. I personally love their designs and would consider putting one in my wardrobe.

Australia has given us so much from Sam Worthington to Hugh Jackman to the gorgeous Hemsworth brothers who really could ask for more, but the truth is they are designing some amazing and original clothes that definitely deserve a place in your wardrobe. I know that next time I am picking up another magazine I will be looking out for Australian Vogue to get my latest fill of the hottest Aussie designers, and who knows next time I might find a designer before everyone else does and I will be telling everyone I wore that first mate...