Saturday, October 25, 2014

RIP Oscar

Fashion icon Oscar de la Renta passed away this week. Oscar is one of the first fashion designers I came to know, mainly because of his perfume Volupte, which I stole off my mum aged 19. High fashion was a world away from where I grew up! It was a sweet, heady oriental fragrance with notes of mimosa, melon, mandarin, watermelon, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, patchouli, incense and vanilla. Totally suited my 90's vibe. Over the years I admired his over the top confection-type tulle & taffeta creations.
Indelibly burned into my fashion reference brain is the divine smoky grey gown Carrie wore in the Sex and the City final, swathed in tulle whilst being stood up by The Russian.
Here are a few fabulous quotes from Oscar:

“Walk like you have three men walking behind you.”

“I hate pretty. It’s a very empty word. It gives a bad name to beauty.”

"I love now and tomorrow. What I did in the past doesn't interest me."

“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself.”

“Luxury to me is not about buying expensive things. It’s about living in a way where you appreciate things.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Freshen up! 10 tips to fool a hangover & fake a good night's sleep.

More tips here from Vogue Australia
When my daughter was a newborn, I constantly looked like I'd aged 10 years when facing my reflection in the morn. Some days after a sleepless or alcoholic soaked evening, you need to look your best the next day. Here are a few good tips to looking slightly less bedraggled and refreshed.

Top 5 Tips

1. Moisturize moisturize moisturize
Dehydration makes your skin look creasy & cracked, so first thing's first - Plump up your skin up with a good moisturizer. For every day, high end creams I like are Estee Lauder's Day Wear, Clarins Super Restorative Day cream or Clarins Multi Active Day cream. I also love Dr Hauschka's Rose Day Cream, it is quite oily but smells delish and feels rich & emollient on your skin. On days where my skin is looking especially parched or for super dry, I'll actually use a night cream during the day on problem patches, like Clarins Super Restorative Night cream. Lately I'm on a budget so using cheaper options and am quite into moisturizers with antioxidant-rich Rosehip oil right now. I just picked up an Essano one from the supermarket. *Day creams are typically to protect (SPF & barriers against air-con, wind etc), night creams are to nourish (loaded with vitamins & minerals to repair your skin while you sleep). 
2. Tinted BB Cream or Moisturizer
Another good tip for a fresh look is to use a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer, rather than blanket your skin in a foundation that is too thick or opaque. Matte & opaque foundations can be aging. If you don't have a good tinted moisturizer or BB cream, mix a little of your regular foundation with your day cream. The moisturizer will pump more glow into your foundation. Laura Mercier has a great tinted moisturizer. I use a Garnier BB Cream which is a great cheaper option, and there are also good reasonably priced versions from Maybelline, Covergirl and L'Oréal.
More tips here from Vogue Australia
3. Skin Brighteners & Highlighters
As most of us know, a good under eye highlighter is a life saver for tired or hungover days. YSL's Touche Éclat is the benchmark. Once available in 1 shade only and now available in 10, 1 Touche Éclat is sold around the world every 10 seconds! Skin brightening highlighters across the cheek bone will  give you a healthy glow. I also like MAC Strobe cream which has an iridescent glow and is loaded with vitamins and green tea to brighten you up. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is an oldie but a goodie, a brightening balm which isn't a pigmented highlighter like Touche Eclat or Strobe, but it does give your skin a nice dewy glow.

4. Concealer
Concealers are a must for dark circles, spots, pigmentation & any other blotchy problems. I find Touche Éclat better as a highlighter rather than a concealer. If anything, to me it draws attention to spots. MAC Secret Cover Up and Benefit's Erase Paste are good, and for a more heavy duty cover, Estée Lauder's Disappear Smoothing Creme Concealer.

5. Eye Serum
Day eye serums are used to de-puff, reduce dark circles and/or as a protectant. They also work well as a smooth base for the concealer. When I worked at the YSL beauty counter at Harrods, we'd slather the latest day eye serums under our eyes then blend Touche Éclat on top. I do like Clarins products too, having also worked for them. I want to try Eye Revive Beauty Flash. Alternatively, you could just throw on a pair of nice dark sunnies and cover the offending area altogether, a la Kate at Glastonbury 2013.
*Now you can get many double-duty highlighters - under eye concealers with a built in eye cream or serums. Right now I'm using Benefit's Erase Paste over an Estee Lauder Advanced Eye Repair sample but I want to try Benefit's Fake Up - a concealer & hydrator in one. I had a sample of Lancôme Rénergie Yeux Multiple Lift which was brilliant too. 

More Tips, if you have time.

6. Colour
A natural tint will brighten up a pasty pallor  My number one is Benefit Benetint on the apples of your cheeks. A pop of colour will pick you up in an instant. Even a dab of lipstick blended into your cheeks will do. Alternately, a brush of bronzer will perk you up - nothing says health like a sun-tan! NARS Multiple sticks are brilliant for both blush colours and bronze. "My festival look is always natural, never too much make-up. I also carry a lip stain and eyeliner, you can always put a bit of the lip stain on the cheeks and you are ready" Kate Moss
Kate's natural look, Glastonbury 2005
7. Eye liner
A great trick that gives you a natural look but still picks up the eyes is to apply a tiny, very thin line of liquid eyeliner just above the lash line. It's a trick I read in Vogue from Linda Cantello called 'invisible eyeliner', used on many a celeb 'no make up' photo shoot. It's quite hard to do but looks fantastic. You need a really thin liquid liner for this, like Blinc by Sephora. "Just a millimetre-thin trail along the top lash line, drawn right down against the roots, frames the eyes and gives the illusion of lusher, more prolific lashes - without the need for multiple coats of mascara. If you're a dab hand at drawing in a thicker, more feline eyeliner, then simply keep the nib closer to lashes. If you're a novice, begin by stippling the eyeliner in between lashes to form a continuous line."
Joan Smalls' 'invisible eye-liner', Vogue 
8. Good lash
Long lashes will open up your eyes, so invest in a good old eyelash curler. I also love Covergirl & Maybelline lengthening mascaras like Define-a-lash.

9. Lips
A dab of tint or a nice clear gloss adds vitality to the face. I use Benetint for a natural colour, then slather something shiny and nourishing like Paw Paw Ointment or Blistex on top.

10. Hydrate
Drink water! Not only is it good for your skin & general well-being, but it will help with your fatigue - and any hungover headaches! I also find coconut water is a life-saver for tired or hungover days, plus is  it full of electrolytes. Straight from the nut is best. You could also do a Kate Moss - "If I wake up in the morning and look tired and puffy, I fill a sink with ice and cucumber and submerge my face. It instantly tightens everything making you feel and look instantly better."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pop of colour for Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham's designs have come a long way since her suck-you-in body-con dresses. I must say I prefer her corseted, hour-glass dresses, but was also impressed with her latest collection. The immaculate cuts and structure is still there. It's hard to pinpoint VB's aesthetic now, as many of her collections seem so different. Some of the geometric lines of the SS15 dresses and bold prints remind me of Prada. I love the languid silhouettes of the maxi dresses, and the tapered cuts are still there to a degree. I'm not so keen on some of the baggy saggy designs, like the blue cloqué dress from last Spring.
The florals reflect the quirky side of her aesthetic (as does her rather 'island style' frilled pink dress she wore the day after, below). The suiting & neutral colours are very VB - chic & cool, yet sexy. 
"This collection seemed more like a turn in a new direction than ploughing over seasons past (although, yes, the hemlines remained midi, Beckham has explored this length before and it suits her well, proving that women don't have to be 5ft 9 and up to pull it off). There was a cheery pink floral print that popped up on natty trousers and army jackets which Victoria said she employed to "perfume" the line up. It did look pretty - and new. Everything certainly had great hanger appeal - but some of the dresses which she has built her brand upon were disappointingly missing here, so too an element of wow evening wear (yes, she's a mother of four but we all know she's a sharp dresser come night). Those ideas would have been good to have witnessed - and they do exist in her broader selling collection - just not in the edit of her catwalk show." Vogue

"If you were to psychoanalyse the clothes, you could say that they have become less about a perfect body and more about personality. The Victoria Beckham woman has a shape to her as a person, which is no longer defined by her waist size. I put this to Victoria. She is sceptical – “there was more corsetry at the beginning because we were a small team, with a smaller skill-set, as the atelier expanded we’ve been able to try more things” – but agrees that the way she herself dresses has changed. “Because I’m coming to work every day, I tend to wear things that are a little looser; if I want to look dressy, I put on my sunglasses. I used to wear clothes which would make me stand out and now I don’t so much because I don’t feel I have anything to prove.” Her day look seldom swerves beyond navy, black, cream and grey; as well as her own label, she wears Céline, Saint Laurent, Comme des Garçons." Jess Cartner-Morley for The Guardian

As well as some chunky 90's style heels, VB has also designed brogues! Her first flat shoe. Describing the woman she imagined would wear her footwear line, VB told MailOnline: "She is cool and confident - as happy in a pointed flat as well as a platform‎." I'm not  fan of brogues at all, but I do like the leopard pony-hair show. They looked fab with the white suit.
"As her brand has grown, Beckham has branched beyond the sexy, fitted dresses with which she made her first big splash. That's necessary and good, though not always easy. You couldn't fault the cool precision of this collection, but it did make you long for the days when she put a little wiggle on it."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Wolf in Her

This beautiful grainy film shot in Super 8 is directed by Kate Moss. It shows a behind the scenes look at her second editorial as contributing fashion editor for British Vogue starring Lara Stone, accompanied by the haunting Good Bad Morning by the Kills. The Wolf of Her was photographed by Mario Sorrenti. 



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Styling the Bump

Zanna Roberts Rossi
With my second on the way in two years, I feel like I've been in maternity clothes forever! Living in NZ I seriously feel like there is a lack of decent maternity clothes. They're either matronly, or twee or plain sack-like & unflattering. If you are naturally slim or don't go crazy on over eating when pregnant, you can almost live in non-maternity clothes for 2/3 if not most of your pregnancy. Baggy tees, jumpers and cotton stretch dresses are great and yoga pants are brilliant. The old adage of "eating for 2" is a compete crock. You only need approximately 200-300 'healthy' calories a day when pregnant. I mean that is equivalent to just one slice of grainy toast with peanut butter! During my first pregnancy I managed to stay fit and healthy and if anything, I wanted to eat healthy food, knowing everything I put in my mouth was helping to grow a human! I felt very responsible. This time around wrangling a toddler & and constant Winter colds, I've found myself comfort eating and a little larger. Am just past halfway, and am now back to trying to walk daily & not eat too many treats! One thing that makes me feel better is a good wardrobe. Here are my pregnancy staples. The more you can mix and match, and use non-preggy clothes, the better. And, it's easier on your wallet!

Maternity Staples
Maternity Staples. Click here for full breakdown.


Like my last pregnancy, I'm living in jeans. If you're lucky you won't need maternity jeans for a while, or can squeeze into a size larger than usual which I did. First pregnancies you generally put on less weight, I am in maternity jeans earlier this time around. But there are plenty of great maternity jeans. J Brand maternity jeans are fab but cost a fortune here, so I buy High Street/Chain Store jeans, which are very reasonable, & you can get ones with the elastic panels band at each side - not all the way around the belly (a look I didn't like). I've bought a black & a dark blue pair. You can also by belly bands that you use to attach to your regular jeans at the top. I also took to rolling the tops of my jeans down before I had to concede and get into maternity jeans. Or you could be very handy like Victoria Beckham and make your own maternity jeans by customizing your usual pairs! She wasn't keen on the elastic panel inserts either (See below).

Black leggings & Yoga Pants
My boot-cut collection of yoga pants lasted throughout my pregnancy, which I was thrilled about! They had a roll down flap at the waist, which I just rolled up when pregnant. I also wore my black ASOS maternity leggings to death in the latter months. Not being a svelte celeb with a neat tidy bump in that last trimester, I found that thighs rubbing together was one of the most uncomfortable side effects, so leggings & tights need to be worn! Not very glam - but necessary! 

Long v-neck jumpers

I've got through Winter by living in jeans and long, baggy Sambag cashmere jumpers. Long v-neck jumpers are the best! Rag & Bone do a lovely one worn by Zanna Richards Rossi (see below). A bit beyond my budget, but gorgeous none the less! 

During warmer months I mostly wear jeans & baggy tees. I buy long v-neck tees a size or 2 bigger than usual. I also invested in a few fitted maternity tees for the latter months, as sometimes I just felt like something fitted and not baggy!

T.Shirt dresses
These are so handy and non-maternity cotton stretch ones are fine to wear throughout pregnancy. With Summer coming, I'll have to switch to my Foxette tee shirt dresses with black leggings for those final months. Short empire line dresses work well too as you can mostly wear non-maternity ones.

Maxi Dresses

Loved my non-maternity long stripey Maxis during Summer. They can be worn before, during and after pregnancy, although for the latter months, maternity maxi dresses are great. ASOS have some good options. Long vintage empire line maxi floral dresses also look great - check out Elsa Pataky below.

Black Blazer
A black blazer is always handy to throw over & dress up jeans and a tee. Always dresses up your outfit and can be worn day or night, before, during and after pregnancy! You'll see loads of celebs wearing blazers during pregnancy, as below.

Office Wear
One of the other few maternity items I invested in was a black maternity pencil skirt - very handy and went with my jumpers, tees and blazer. 

Dressing up
On rare nights out, I wore my stretchy black lace Foxette dress a lot for my last pregnancy, which was a life saver! I love lace dresses on pregnant women, they always look chic and feminine, especially the fitted versions.
Rachel Finch in LOVER® Ceremony dress, Billie Faiers & Teresa Palmer Pallas Couture wedding dress 
I also adored Kim Kardashian's Carine Gilson camisoles she wore during pregnancy, they really dress up black pants & a jacket for a night out.
 Kim Kardashian in Carine Gilson cami
Now mid-trimester, I'm again looking to some styley new fashionista mums for a bit of inspiration! Two of my faves, Gwen Stefani and Sienna Miller, pretty much dress the way they always do when they are pregnant and I love that. It looks like they simply tailor outfits, or buy larger sizes to fit their bellies. It helps that both have experience with fashion design. Interestingly, there is virtually no maternity style tips or advice online from any Sienna or Gwen interviews - which is surprising especially coming from Gwen, who has been lauded for her maternity style throughout all 3 pregnancies. Instead, they seem to let their pictures do the talking. I also love Elsa Pataky's grungy rock chick pregnancy style, in her black boots & pretty vintage dresses.
Elsa Pataky
 Gwen Stefani
 Sienna Miller
I have loved reading the following tips from pregnant fashionistas. Their wardrobe staples are very consistent.  I've been loving following Marie Clare Fashion Editor & E! fashion correspondent Zanna Roberts Rossi's seemingly effortless looks. 
Burberry jacket, Kimberly Ovitz dress, BLK leather jacket, Marc Jacobs pants & Alexander Wang Tee
"Lots of people said, ‘Oh just get a pair of leggings and a white shirt,’ and I was like I can’t live my life like that for six months! When you have fun dressing, it motivates you so I’ve embraced it. I decided I’m not going to wear sweats and I’m going to go for it" from Metro US
Marchesa dress and leggings
Zanna Roberts Rossi 
Interviewed on the fab blog Romy & the Bunnies, Zanna outlines her top tips for pregnancy dressing:
1. My most important tip is to stay true to your own style. Pregnancy does not mean you dress like a different person (there are enough changes happening!).
2. Buy a couple of quality basics that you can style in different ways. Mine were the black J Brand leather leggings and a Boden black Cashmere sweater.
3. Don’t start wearing tight maternity clothing until you are sure you look pregnant, not in the ‘is she isn’t she’ tricky phase when you look like you may just have eaten too many burgers!

Burberry jacket, Kimberly Ovitz dress, Rag & Bone jumper & J Brand leggings
I loved the Marc Jacobs sparkly tight dress I wore for The Golden Globes. Its ironic as I NEVER would wear something this tight when not pregnant but all of a sudden with a baby bump, I have more confidence in my body. For anyone who has followed #stylethebump they know I never take my leather J Brand leggings off! They are the perfect antidote to feeling too mumsy and uncool, plus they work with everything! From a silky long dress layered over, a chunky sweater stolen from my hubby or a cool vintage Tee. The only maternity brands I gave into were Hatch, such as the overalls I was wearing on the shoot and the new Mommie maternity bra from Cosabella and its brilliant!! Comfy and pretty." Check out more pics & full interview at Romy & the Bunnies

Rachel Zoe
I also loved mother of 2 stylist Rachel Zoe's pregnancy looks. Mind you, both her bumps were so teeny, but she still had some great tips that apply to those of us who do not look like skinny minnies throughout our pregnancies! As she loves layering anyway, Rachel was able to maintain a lot of her current wardrobe for her pregnancies, which you can totally do with roomy tees, stretchy maxi dresses& skirts and tee shirt dresses.
 "I don’t really have maternity clothes. I don’t dress that much differently pregnant than I do when I am not pregnant, honestly. I live in kaftans, ponchos, and drape-y tunics because I like to be comfortable, so dressing is not that different.” In Style 

"Black leggings, oversized tees, super soft knits, jersey and cashmere, cropped jackets, flat riding boots, smoking slippers. Anything with stretch, and stick to dark colors. A great black pair of leggings – you can wear them with everything and they grow with you during your term.  I also think oversized loose knits are great – whether you opt for a super soft and cozy cardigan, or an open knit pullover. It’s effortlessly cool without having to put too much thought into your look. I also think a great pair of ballet flats and riding boots are the perfect shoes to mix and match into your wardrobe.  Or, if you’re anything like me, I wore heels to the very end." from Romy & the Bunnies

"Keep the dresses long and loose. Column-style maxi dresses are always a great option because they're effortless yet chic -- perfect for those days when you're not in the mood to put together an entire outfit. Just throw on a long dress and you're done. I love this look paired with a belt worn under your belly to accentuate the bump -- after all, you only have it for a couple of months. Anything A-line is great if you want to go short. If not, I think a bare neck or shoulder is always super sexy -- but never too revealing. An empire waist is great if you want to show off your belly" from ABC

Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Romy & the Bunnies blogger
“I didn’t want to change the way I dress, or the way I feel about myself. I wanted to keep dressing in a very sexy, girly way. It’s so strange how people can be judgmental when they see a pregnant woman dressed in high heels and tight dresses. Being pregnant shouldn’t make you feel less of a woman, but more of a woman!” British Vogue

"My mum managed to stay stylish through her whole pregnancy. I found amazing photos of her, wearing tight Alaïa dresses and beautiful Victorian high-waisted dresses. And I see all my friends who manage to dress sexily while they are pregnant, but I felt like there wasn’t a platform for those kind of mums." Metro UK

Kristin Cavallari
"I don't think you need to spend tons of money on maternity clothes," admits the star, who is due this summer and still wearing her normal jeans. "I just can't zip or button them, so I wear the belly band that goes around the button to hold them up." Kristin also recommends stocking up on cheap tank tops and pairing them with blazers for trendy mommy-to-be style. She even plans to keep them in rotation once the baby arrives: "If they get ruined, it's not a big deal because they're inexpensive." baby arrives: "If they get ruined, it's not a big deal because they're inexpensive." Life and Style

Actress Molly Sims
"I’ve never met a maxi dress I didn’t like and was particularly attached to them during my pregnancy. I also wore a lot of long, stretchy skirts and paired them with either a cardigan or leather jacket. During my pregnancy, I continued to buy the same clothes I bought before but in larger sizes. Except during my final month when not even the largest size would fit me. At that point I knew it was time to give birth!"  Romy & the Bunnies

Model Missy Rayder 
"My favorite things I wore while pregnant were large vintage dresses and American Apparel stretch paints. That’s it. I lived in them. For me it was not about putting any effort into dressing. I couldn’t even fathom it. And forget about trying to squeeze into the shoes you wore before. My feet were so swollen that just observing my former shoes was painful! I did purchase a couple pairs of maternity jeans but even those didn’t fit once I got to 7 months." Romy & the Bunnies

Model Lily Aldridge 
"It was very hot towards the end of my pregnancy so I was living in beautiful cotton dresses with leather sandals. I especially loved a form-fitting dress to show off my growing bump. Rick Owens tops were my absolute favorite because they grew with my belly.  I loved wearing J Brand Jeans while pregnant. Hatch Maternity also has amazing dresses in cottons and silks. Wear whatever makes you feel the most beautiful and comfortable!"Romy & the Bunnies

Victoria Beckham 
"I refuse to accept that I have to change my look when I’m pregnant. I do still wear my stilettos when I’m pregnant, but I’m not recommending it for anyone else. I make my own maternity jeans by taking a normal pair and cutting V shapes in the side by the pockets and stitching elastic there. That way, I keep the normal zipper fly in front, which is a lot nicer looking than a big strip of elastic...I fell in love with ponchos when I was pregnant with Cruz. They were my pals, the only things that had room for my tummy, my boobs and my back. My boobs get so big during pregnancy that they practically start around my back. As your boobs are changing so much, it is worth getting them re-measured." The Independent


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