Friday, 10 December 2010

But you can choose your friends

I'm just watching a re-run of an old Friends episode. For me, Friends is like an old friend. No matter how many times I see it, I don't get bored of it. I believe that is how you can measure how good a friend is.

I have friends I don't have to see for months on end but as soon as we are together it is as if no time has passed.

I haven't been feeling my most positive this week and it's times like this that you realise how important friends are. I know it isn't real, but when my friend Deb and I were watching the live episode of Corrie last night, it had quite an impact on both of us. It was so emotionally draining with the deaths, birth and even a marriage wrapped up in one hour, it made us realise how lucky we are to have such good people around us. We both reached for our phones to text messages of love to people closest to us. Soppy, me?

My school friends are very special to me and we somehow have all stayed in touch no matter what direction our lives have taken. We all share a bond through our memories of first drunken times together, kisses and break-ups, leaving our teenage years and going into our early (and now mid) twenties. We now have new additions to the group in the form of babies, which has created a whole new dimension. We're proper grown-ups now but our stupid sense-of-humour and knack of being immature together will never go away.

I have two crazy girls coming to visit me next week. Lyndsey and Claire are my friends I met in Portugal, who both live across the sea in Dublin.
The last time I saw them was in May but I know as soon as I meet them in arrivals we will be giggling together. We share special memories of an amazing summer together in Portugal. I think we would all say that we are a bad influence on each other!

This Christmas I am very thankful for my friends... my life would be incomplete without them.

I will keep you posted on our antics next week!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

This life...

It has been a tough couple of months. I have barely had any inspiration to write about anything, let alone the glamorous world of fashion.

I have gone from being editor-in-chief of two national magazines to not having a job at all. I knew the job only ever came with a temporary six month contract, but those six months sneaked past me very quickly. I was unprepared to be labelled with that depressing term 'unemployed'. Going from interviewing Tinie Tempah and the Klaxons to watching Loose Women talking about 'jiggy jigs' with their husbands is a tad depressing, to say the least.

This economic crisis we have continued to be in for the past few years has had a dramatic effect on university leavers with bundles of ambition. After three or four years of working hard, yes really, we are all gagging to enter into the working world - but hang on - where are the jobs?

Like so many other graduates out there, since leaving university it has been one hell of a ride trying to get a job in the area I studied in - journalism. The journalism world has changed dramatically - journalists are now expected to take on around five job roles just to cut costs. The internet has also had a dramatic effect on print journalism -why read day old news in tomorrow's paper when you can get the latest news online, right now? So yes, trying to get a job in journalism has always been competitive but it has definitely got harder.

It is far too easy to fall into a depression after having non-stop rejections from job applications and being 'in the house' too much. You think back to all the hard work you have put into to kick -starting your career, the weeks of unpaid work experience and taking on jobs where the pay was awful but gave you the opportunity to 'experience' the industry you want to be in. Talk about losing all your self-confidence and esteem!

I worked a whole year before I got my 'break' in journalism. I did temp-work as a receptionist in a hospital. I actually really enjoyed my self and look back at that time fondly. It got me used to the 9-5 routine, I met and worked with lovely people, I built up the confidence of working as a team and I continued to write at home. It was monotonous and wasn't what I wanted to do forever but that only made me more determined to become a journalist.

I got my break into journalism in Portugal - not on a local newspaper in Birmingham (my hometown) or in an agency in London - but on a local expat newspaper in the beautiful country I will now always think of as my second home. I already had worked several summers behind a bar in the Algarve so I had foundations there - it wasn't like I stepped off the plane in a totally new country and had to build my life from scratch. However, it was still daunting!

Seeing my first story published was a moment I will never forget - to think that people were going to be reading my work every week was a complete thrill! As well as news reporting I was able to gain experience in my most favourite form of writing - feature writing. I found out that this was my forte - I think my imagination just runs too wild to stick to news reporting. I interviewed local residents (and friends) who had moved to the Algarve who had the most amazing life stories.

I returned to Birmingham on Christmas Eve last year, my contract was up. I was ready to come home, the winter in Portugal had been a real learning curve. The usual crowds of summer hadn't been there so I pushed my self into meeting new people and making new friends.

I had an amazing experience editing the magazines back in Birmingham - I got to interview all the latest bands and singers, had press pass to Glastonbury - it was a blast. It was also extremely stressful as I had to write, edit and plan the entire magazine, which had to be completed in under three months. They were 300 + pages long - guides rather than magazines. It was, however, the best experience that I could have asked for.

Then it was over - I treated my self to two amazing holidays where I completed chilled out with my friends but then it was back to reality

Job hunting - with absolutely no results. I was back to being at home everyday, inspiration for writing dwindling, the 'amazing experience' I had had seemed to be all for nothing. My self-esteem started to catapult downwards, the confidence I had in myself and my ability seemed to vanish. I had to remind myself what I had achieved so far, but that only made my situation feel worse.

I got my self some freelance work for, where I could claim articles I wanted to write from a big database of subjects. These subjects could range from writing about Ralph Lauren paint collections to the less glamorous subjects of different types of video arcade games from the 1980's.

I was back at home living with my supportive parents. Living back at home is fine if you're working and are out of the house everyday, but the constant feeling of guilt you have when they're out at work everyday and you're at home on your laptop looking for jobs and trying to write interesting articles about 'types of Velcro' is horrid.

When you're not working you have more time to think - time to think about whether the career you have chosen really is for you. You also imagine that everyone else in the world is having a far more fulfilling and thrilling life than you. You also start to compare your own life with others around you, which can be a very dangerous game.

Things are looking up and I am definitely feeling more positive. I have created a portfolio of work I have had published so far and I have even turned down a well-paid job, which may seem crazy in some peoples eyes but it just wasn't the career path I wanted to go down. I have always believed in following your heart.

My friends and family always say 'something will come along', thankfully they have always been right. It is just difficult to believe in that when you have had months of rejection.

I have something new on the horizon, when everything is sorted with contracts etc, I will be able to divulge.

For now, I will have to play the waiting game for a little longer.

I think it is all about training the mind - the mind is a powerful tool. You can either wake up in the morning and lie in bed worrying about getting a job or just get up and get on with finding one.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Favourite item of clothing?

What is your favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe?

I have many things in my wardrobe that I have worn again and again. Other things I have barely worn and others, I shamefully admit, still with their price tags on.

There are dresses that I can put on and instantly feel glamorous and there are others I put on and instantly feel cool and casual. I also have dresses that, no matter how I style them, I just regret buying. The pale blue lace tea dress from Primark - it just doesn't go with anything.

I have a little black dress I bought from New Look six years ago. A simple black dress in a fitting style with two spaghetti straps and two more crossing from the middle of the straight neckline meeting the other two spaghetti straps. It is one hell of a sexy neckline.

The dress is sexy, classic and can be updated easily, according to the current trend. Last year I teamed it with a sequinned cape, the year before that I wore it with a beret, lace gloves and pearls (I think I wanted to be Madonna that winter). This year I have teamed it with my pale pink lace cardigan with a vintage brass brooch and ankle boots.

My favourite accessory is a gold shawl from the 1970's, which I bought from a vintage website. The triangular shape means I can wear it thrown over my shoulders or tied round my neck, letting the tassles dangle across my dress or top. It just doesn't go out of style and goes with absolutely everything. It can make a daytime outfit turn into an night time outfit. Whenever I wear it I receive compliments from girls in the pub toilet queue and even guys are intrigued!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Winter is coming...

So, the nights are getting darker and the orange tinged leaves are on the ground. It can only mean one thing, time to get the winter wardrobe out and wrap up warm!

I love winter wear. As I was living in Portugal last winter, I'm really appreciating this autumn so far. I do miss being able to sit outside to eat my lunch in the middle of December, yes, but I remember finding myself pining for a roaring fire and a chunky knit.

There is nothing like walking my dog through the leaves in knee high boots and a long chunky cardigans.

Having done the autumn and winter 2010 fashion section for The Student Guide all the way back in May, I have been yearning to pull out my favourite coat and knee high's since spring! After trawling through images of the high street collections, choosing what to put into the fashion pages, I think I am pretty well informed on what's hot and what's not!

This season it is all about the outerwear. The great thing about winter is that getting away with adding tights and boots to a dress from spring. Jeans layered with fine knits or one big chunky knit. The important part of your outfit is what pulls it all together - the coat (or cape!)

Yes, capes. They are big this season. I know images of Sherlock Holmes may come to mind but bear with me. Capes are in all shapes, sizes, colours, styles and textures this season on the high street. With fur being the must-have material (fake, of course), fur trimmed capes are the most on trend piece to invest in and perfect to wear for evenings out in the winter months.

Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins have come up trumps with their collection of fur- trimmed capes. This is my absolutely favourite from Miss Selfridge:

Expensive, but it will last a lifetime. If you always ponder what to put on over your dress on a night out in winter, and don't want to swamp your outfit with a coat, then this cape is the answer to your problems.

For the more fashion forward girl, a military cape is stylish for the daytime. Combining two key trends, the military cape would be perfect worn over over jeans or with a pencil skirt to the office.

This is my favourite military cape, from Dorothy Perkins:

If a cape really isn't for you and you like your coats to have somewhere to put your arms, then it is time to invest in some fur... fake fur. Fur trimmed, double breasted coats are a key look. Fur trimmed parka's for a more casual, daytime style are also awash over the high street.

Full-on fur coats are also everywhere, I have three... two are vintage finds on the internet, one being knee length brown fur and the other a trashy 1980s style leopard print, which came in handy at Glastonbury! The other is a cropped fluffy white fur coat from New Look, which I have mainly worn for fancy dress...

Fur coats are more versatile than you think. In the daytime they look 1970's cool teamed with jeans and a blouse or even denim shorts worn over tights. In the evening they will enhance any outfit for some all out glamour - just leave the long evening gloves and pearls at home or you may be mistaken for an extra from Downton Abbey.

I have just invested in this coat from and it is an absolutely stunning fit. Nipped in at the waist, the perfect fake fur trim - all I need is a slick of red lipstick and my beret and I will feel like Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.

For those indian summer days and when you don't want to wear a full-on coat, the aviator jacket is on the top of wish-lists for fashionistas the world over. Warm yet stylish, the aviator jacket will go with everything in your wardrobe. The little black dress, the high-waisted trouser, the pencil skirt... the trend for shearling is look set to remain with us into the new year.

This is a great aviator jacket from Matalan. Not an overly offensive price but well-cut and good quality.


I have always wanted to visit Marrakech. Before going, I had dreamt of the bustling souks, exotic flavours in the air and the awe-inspiring architecture. I was not disappointed.

My obsession with Marrakech started after watching Hideous Kinky - a small, independent film Kate Winslet starred in after Titanic. It's based on the novel by Emma Freud and is about a single mother and her two daughters escaping the rat race of London and instead are living within the craziness that is Marrakech, back in the 1970's. The film shows the beauty of Marrakech but also the downsides of making a living there and bringing up two young girls, on your own. The mother wants adventure for her daughters, whilst the daughters battle for a 'normal' life.

My obsession of wanting to visit Marrakech grew even more after watching the hilarious episode of Absolutely Fabulous, where the two friends stay in a Riad and end up selling Saffy at the market!

I love the hustle and bustle of cities, I find it addictive and I end up wanting to see as much as possible. I wasn't disappointed in Marrakech, we got on the coach and started our journey through the city towards the hotel.

My ears were filled with the beeps of the horns from the scooters being driven by men, sometimes with large crates balanced on the back or their whole family hanging on for dear life. Shocking to us, normality for them. The scooters and bikes zipped through the cars, there was no highway code.

We drove along the side of the city walls encasing the old medina, the old part of town. I caught glimpses of the markets inside, all lit up offering everything from leather goods to spices. We then ventured into the new town, plush fountains and familiar high-street stores such as Zara and Mango. No - get me as far away from them as possible, I thought.

The first day we lazed around the pool as it had been such a long journey and a late arrival. The hotel staff couldn't do enough for us, my friend Jas and I were amongst the only single girls there. Surrounded by couples we somewhat stood out, my blonde hair and her dark curls. I think the hotel staff were pleased to see us!

Moroccan men are reknowned for their obvious 'love' for women, many said they would be overtly sleazy and touchy-feely. I found them charming and flirtatious but in no way offensive and they never made us feel uncomfortable.

When we first roamed around the souks (markets) I was just awe-struck. We started our day in the main square, roaming around the market stalls offering fake Chanel and Dior scarves and bags (yes I bought a few fakes) and being beckoned in by all the keen to sell market stall holders. 'Asda price,' 'genuine fake!' and 'lovely jubbley' were regular hearings as we made our way round the souks. Young lads offering wooden snakes to purchase would run past, pushing the snakes towards my face. Snakes are my one phobia, even though I knew they weren't real I still let out a small shriek.
I was glad I took my many maxi dresses teamed with pashminas for my shoulders. I wanted to respect the culture of the country, no matter what I thought about women having to cover themselves from head to toe.

The colours of the authentic rugs, slippers, bags and pashminas were overwhelming, I think I saw every shade of red, orange, pink, green and blue. We had a go at haggling, I got a very good deal for two leather handbags and a pashmina. I found the most beautiful pashmina, red and orange with sequinned embellishment. It goes with absolutely everything and has become a real conversation starter.

The pashmina would later become very useful on our excursion through the Atlas Mountains and then on towards the start of the Sahara Desert. It was the most amazing two days, a lot of travelling in our chauffered jeep but I didn't notice the many miles we did. My eyes couldn't be taken away from the views before me. Our tour guide told us stories of how the children rode their bikes or walked for miles to get to school each day. They would leave their mud and straw houses, situated in the scattered little villages along the tracks and make their way to school.
We drove along the bumpy tracks through the mountains, the children cheerfully waving at us as we climbed up higher and higher, the air getting cleaner and the views getting more and more beautiful. Each village had it's own mosque, the beautiful islamic towers stood out.
At one point we stopped for a break from driving, a viewing point overlooking a terracotta village. A donkey was escorting it's owner through the village making it's ee-orr noises, a man was chanting the Quaran through a speaker and a small stream ran by where women were washing their clothes. I closed my eyes to let it all sink in.
We stopped off at a ruined Caspar (a castle) that was once used by the Moroccan Royal family for holiday retreats. The Caspar's interior was being restored and was adorned with intricate tile details that Morocco is known for. The views across the village below and then towards the mountains were breath taking.
We had lunch (a gorgeous lamb tagine with slices of orange dusted with cinnamon for dessert) at a famous film destination, a now unlived in village situated on a hill that was the backdrop for Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and more recently, Prince of Persia.

Eventually, we arrived at our base for the night, a small campsite at the beginning of the Sahara. We arrived late at night so could not see the surrounding sand dunes that we would wake up to at sunrise. That night we were treated to a four course meal and bottles of wine followed by live music. Our tour guide told us we must climb the sand dune, so we ventured up the large sand dune at midnight. I was dressed appropriately - my pashmina had been turned into a turban by one of the waitors!
With a strong wind and only the stars and full moon to guide us, it was pretty tricky climbing the dune, however, it was worth it. We got to the top and sat on the sand, staring up at the stars that were shining down on us above us. No horrible orange glow guarding the stars, just a sea of darkness with clear bright lights.

I'm back

I have neglected my poor blog. My friend Suzy, a fellow fantastic writer, has inspired me to get back and start blogging again!

Since my last blog I have been a busy bee, instead of returning to Portugal for another summer I somehow got the job as Editor-in-Chief of two magazines, The Student Guide and The Festival Guide... it was an amazing experience but I was only covering the editor who went away on sabbatical.

I was there for just six months but in those six months I learnt and experience a hell of a lot! I interviewed some amazing musical talent, including Paul Oakenfold, Klaxons, Eliza Doolittle, Tinie Tempah, Ade Edmundson and Faithless.

I had to plan, write and edit two huge magazines, with just a few contributing writers. To say it was a challenge is an understatement, but I did it and I feel proud of both magazines. This is one of the big reasons why I neglected my blog so much - it is, however, no excuse!
Check out the online versions of the magazines here:

So now I am back to square one, applying for jobs and trying to get more known within the writing world. I have made the decision that I definitely want to go down the fashion route, more so now than ever. My favourite part of doing the magazines was creating the fashion section, styling the editorials and interviewing fashion stylists!

Since finishing at the magazine I have been lucky enough to go on two holidays, to my favourite place, my beloved Algarve, and to a place I have ALWAYS wanted to visit, Marrakech in Morocco... more of which later.

So that is me and my world... I am also soon to be an aunty to two babies. My sister-in-law and best friend are both about to give birth any time soon! For me, it is just another excuse to buy baby clothes!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

London - the most fashionable place to be

What an amazing week for London, not only is it fashion week but also the stars have descended on the cool Capital for the Bafta's and the Elle Style awards. It has been non-stop glamour!

Quite aptly the Brits flew the flag at the Bafta's for designers from their homeland with Kate Winslet opting for a sexy a black Stella McCartney rather than her usual Yves Saint Laurent, Trudi Styler looked fantastic in a structured Victoria Beckham black peplum dress, Vanessa Redgrave and daughter Joely Richardson both wearing elegant Catherine Walker creation and Burberry was a hit for Saiorse Ronan in a feathered creation.

Other actresses didn't veer too far away from Britain with them opting for French designers. Girl-of-the-moment, Best Actress winner Carey Mulligan wore a floral fitted gown by Vionnet, Kristin Scott Thomas wore elegant black Louis Vuitton and Audrey Tatou controversially wore a fluffy pink Lanvin creation (Chanel will be annoyed, she is the current face of the brand and also played Gabrielle Chanel in Coco Before Chanel).
So London Fashion week... today was the most anticipated day with Burberry hosting the first ever catwalk show to be broadcast live in 3D and boy did the glitterati descend for the event of the week.

Anna Wintour showed up in an elegant trench with a fantastic fur trim to keep her from the winter weather(or just to look fabulous), Kate Hudson was in a terrible bottle green sequin creative but wore mighty black platforms and Mary-Kate Olsen look understated but gorgeous in a fitted black coat and heels.

The show was a flurry of textured pieces in muted tones of green, brown and berry. Of course Burberry disappoint with the coats but animal-rights group won't be happy, fur, sheep-skin and leather will be the order of the day come Autumn/Winter 2010.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

New York Fashion Week

Ohh how I wish to be in New York, my favourite city that is currently showcasing Autumn/Winter 2010 designers collections during the glamorous New York Fashion week.
I bring you a big of gossip and my favourite show... Victoria Beckham (!)

Marc Jacobs - it's all about the clothes
Marc Jacobs has banned celebrities from his front row - fantastic. Celebrities can be paid a ridiculous sum of money for just turning up to sit and pout on the front row of catwalk shows. A pap shot of Gywneth or Beyonce on a front row will more than likely appear in the tabloids guaranteeing publicity for the brand.

However, Marc Jacobs decided against the de-rigeur of front row of A-list stars after apparently branding the celebrity culture "boring".

Madonna apparently phoned Marc to say that she was on her way but the spectacular show wasn't even held for the Queen of Pop.

The show was a million miles away from last year's 80's revival and instead a more understated yet elegant tea-dresses and skirts ending below the knee were the order of the day. Maybe a little safe but totally wearable which in these days of economic crisis is pretty sensible.
Maybe Oscar De La Renta should have taken some advice from Marc Jacobs. His A - list guest, Jessica Biel, arrived late after dashing across New York which supposedly made his usually punctual show start late!
Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckhams fourth collection was an eye-opener, a world away from Wag hot pants, ghetto sunglasses and blinged up jeans, her latest collection was a homage to the tailoring and glamour of the early 20th century. Even the critics were on her side.

Victoria's exclusive show was attended by 25 of the top buyers and fashion editors at a location in the chic Upper East Side and she greeted each of her guests. As the models, who were donned in huge sunglasses for that signature Beckham look, walked down the runway in the divine 25 dresses she discussed the fabrics, colours and textures of garment giving a unique fashion narration.

Dick Tracy comics were apparently the main inspiration and Audrey Hepburns Givenchy dresses from the 1950s also came to mind.

Victoria crossed over with two hot trends, with drapery and structure being intwined beautifully in the design of the dresses.

For a more casual look there was a wool crepe tunic dress that was beautifully cut on the bias making it feel more like an over-sized sweater.

I also loved the glamorous dressing-gown style dress in a subtely glamorous beige, you could imagine Marlene Dietrich wearing it reclining in a chair with a cigarette holder dangling from her hand.

Both neutral tones and rich shades of red and striking turquoise were used along with the ever faithful black.

I think it was such a success as Victoria had obviously designed dresses she would wear her self making them realistically wearable for women.

I'm a fan!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Wedding Belles

I have had the great honour of being invited to my friend Eloises wedding in sunny Portugal in June. Knowing how wonderfully warm it is in June in the Algarve I know I won't have to worry about a soggy dress hem or having to buy an umbrella that will match my outfit.

The invitation has stated that "hats are encouraged" so I will also be on the hunt for a hat. I think the times of wearing hats to weddings has long gone, people just aren't as formal anymore.
The shops are already filled with gorgeous dresses in stunning bright colour or the on-trend nude tones. If I was attending a wedding in England I may have gone down the nude (colour that is) route but for a wedding on the beautiful coastline of the Algarve I think the only way to go is brights!

I love the 70's look, a patterned maxi-dress with a wide-brimmed floppy hat with gorgeous wedged sandals and an elegant throw would look glamorous yet comfortable for the Algarve heat. Although with maxi-dresses I would have to go for a print rather than a block colour or it will look like I had been hampering to be a bridesmaid - not a good look.
I love the draping look that is on-trend this season. It is a nod to the romantic grecian trend and looks fantastic in bright colours. Also it will cover any lumps and bumps after enjoying the food and wine at the reception.

A more fitted look in sexy satin is also another style that would fit the bill - in gorgeous turquoise or a tribal print. This may be the least comfortable as with the hot weather satin may not be the most forgiving or cooling material to wear.

As for hats I am a little bored of fasinators, a little bit over-done for my liking. I love the forties style hats, small and round perched on the side of the head framing the face.

Well the hunt is on and I will keep you updated!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Style Icons

So who are your style icons?

I recently wrote an article about Style Icons - I picked five women who I personally believe fall into this category. Women who may not always be "the best dressed" but created eternal iconic looks that stood the test of time. They weren't fashion clothes horses (wearing designer looks head to toe that have come straight off the catwalk - yes I am looking at you Victoria Beckham) but had their own personal style that has had a significant impact on the fashion world.

Princess Diana - she picked her outfits perfectly for every occasion and always looked immaculate knowing she was the most photographed woman in the world.

After her divorce from Charles she started to champion her personal favourite international designers including Versace.

Who could forget the stunning black chiffon she wore after Charles' interview about his affair with Camilla? All eyes and thoughts were on Diana...

Katharine Hepburn - the woman who championed the trouser and went against the studio-system etiquette and was the first actress to wear the once male-only garment on screen. Her look is still reinvented in today's modern world; the high-waisted, wide leg trouser teamed with feminine blouses. Katharine for me was iconic because she went against the norm and found her own look which she was loyal to.

Audrey Hepburn - how could I not? Yes it is predictable to put her on the list but she was undeniably iconic. Loved by men but maybe women more so, she championed fashion for the flat-chested woman when the screen was filled with buxom voluptuous blonde vamps.

Her long-standing relationship with Givenchy always ensured she was chic and glamorous on-screen and helped make the Little Black Dress the classic it is today.

Audrey's debut in a Roman Holiday not only debuted her talent at acting but also her talent in showcasing how versatile a simple full skirt and white blouse can be.

Madonna - the eternal reinventor who has kept her fans and peers hooked on what she will do next. Predictable she ain't!

The Queen of Pop is often in the dreadful "worst dressed list" for her often daring style choices but I love that she veers away from boring and safe options.

Madonna has done it all from dominatrix to librarian, to hippy chick to cow girl. You could not define her with one iconic look and I think that makes her even more iconic.

Sarah Jessica Parker - loved by women and often hated by men, they just don't get our Manhattan Goddess and her eccentric fashion choices.

SJP has had a huge impact on how women dress, what other TV show has there been that has been watched as much for the fashion as for the story lines?

It has, of course, alot to do with uber stylist Patricia Field and for some SJP is just the clothes horse. But come on! It takes a stylish woman to carry off a tu-tu in a busy New York avenue, an enormous corsage on a skin-tight white dress and a ball gown for a meal with an ex.

SJP's fashion credentials away from the SATC has proven she isn't a one trick pony. She has just been announced as creative director for Halston, the iconic fashion house of the 1970's that is coming back to the fore-front in the industry.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Look of the day

Yasmin Le Bon looks chic and bang on trend in the ever so classic Breton striped top and cigarette pants.

Teamed with the sheepskin cropped jacket and the tightly worn scarf, she looks effortless and greatly achieves the "Oh I just threw this on!"

The dash of red lipstick adds a blast of much needed vibrant colour to the outfit and pays homage to the French origin of the Breton stripe, bringing a Chanel-esque dimension to the look.

Hemlines rising, heels lowering

Even though as I look out of my window I can see a light trace of snow falling from the sky, I can't help but to think forward towards Spring and Summer - my favourite time of year!

Having spent the past four summers in constant sunshine in Portugal I am lucky enough to know when investing in a maxi-dresses and strappy sandals that I am guaranteed to wear them. Summers in the UK are harder to buy for, your maxi-dress will more than likely get a scrapping of mud and rain on the hem during the unpredictable English summer.

Well chuck out the maxi-dress (or keep it to the back of the wardrobe for the time being) because hemlines are getting shorter this summer. Skirts and dresses will be bottom skimming and the must-see item to be seen in on the city streets is the "hotpantaloon" - a bloomer of sorts for only the very brave and lithe.

Last summer we saw plenty of colour-blocking and vibrant colours, this summer it is more low-key - nudity with subtlety. Get ready to invest in some pretty underwear because it will be on show! Drapery is a key look and this goes hands in hands as your new pretty underwear will be covered in swathes of gorgeous sheer chiffon and lace.

The nudity look follows through into the colour spectrum next season. Subtle tones of nude, peach, greys and pale blues were awash across the catwalks and have already begun to filter through to the high street.

If you want to brighten up your summer wardrobe buy coloured check shirts and dresses.

Dresses will be a versatile must-have item for the summer, for the hottest look invest in a style with forgiving drapery for some added shape and interest.

The Jumpsuit hasn't gone away and is a still a fun and chic alternative to the dress, for the most up-to-date look go for strapless or an asymmetric single strap.

The trouser is tapered and loosely tailored preferably in silk for a laid-back but luxe look.

The belt next season is skinny and worn high on the waist to accentuate those curves.

The heel is getting lower this summer for a more low maintenance and relaxed look - the kitten heel is making a comeback along with the clog. For the hottest look go for a tribal and ethnic print to add an "African Queen" feel to your wardrobe.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

"Who are you wearing?"

This is my favourite time of year for red carpet watching! The never ending displays of couture and runway looks all on display infront of the awaiting paparrazi and fans.

The red carpet is big business for the fashion houses. Today the nominees for this years Oscars were announced and the top fashion houses will be clawing to get their hands on a best actree nominee.

In the run-up to the actual ceremony the actresses will have a number of dresses offered to them on a plate and a number of fittings will take place. There may be a favourite but the favourite may quickly change at the last minute. The fashion house will not be informed if their dress will be worn until the actress steps on the glittering trail of camera flashes and the endless "who are you wearing?"

This is advertisement you just cannot buy. Think of how many times the image of the Best Actress in her finery clutching her award will be seen around the world?

Of course actresses may go down a different route and choose a "vintage" piece to really stand out from the crowd. It adds an allure of mystery around the actress and says "I know my fashion and I do not want to look like everybody else!"

Some of my favourite red-carpet looks have come from actresses who went down the vintage route. Renee Zellweger in her gorgeous vintage Dior when she won Best Actress for "Walk the Line", Jennifer Lopez in a mint green dress once worn by Jackie O in the infamous Ben Affleck days and of course Julia Roberts who kicked off the trend in vintage black and white Valentino when she won Best Actress for her role as Erin Brockavich.

If I was lucky enough to walk the red carpet I would definitely go vintage for a truly memorable look.

Welcome to my blog

So I would like to introduce myself...

I am Lizzie, aged 24 and I am engrossed daily by fashion - the history, trends, designers, red-carpet moments, individual style, vintage clothes - I love it all.

I have a degree in journalism and editorial design and have recently worked abroad in Portugal on a weekly English language newspaper, the Algarve Resident, as a news reporter and feature writer for MMS publishing. My favourite part of the job was interviewing local people with extraordinary stories and backgrounds, oh and writing fashion features!

My other obsession is Portugal so I will most likely be telling you more about my second home and hopefully soon I will be able to call it my first home.

So here in my blog I will be keeping readers up-to-date with current trends, who is wearing what and who shouldn't be wearing that!

I have a monthly fashion and beauty column with the Algarve Resident newspaper and will be sharing my ideas and thoughts from my column with you.

I will also be sharing with you my journey to the next stage in my life, since working on the newspaper and having only had a six month contract (it was maternity cover) I have since returned home to live with my parents. Going from one extreme to the other is an understatement...