Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Vintage Glamour and New Trends

As a lover of all thing glamorous I can't help having a love of all things vintage.

I guess I wear something vintage every day even if it's only the bag I carry or a brooch that I pin to my lapel. I love mixing it up as all good fashionistas do - a little bit of designer, high street and vintage to get my look.

As we know so many designers are inspired by past collections but I think that it is an amazing way to interpret the current trends whilst wearing something different that you will never see on anyone else. I like to find a fabulous dress from a 50's cocktail frock to a flowing 70's with a pair of great shoes; Tamara Mellon and Rachel Zoe, as well as Kate Moss does so this really well.

A recent article in British Vogue said that their was something out there for everyone and I think this is true - many women feel that vintage is for the young fashionista's and students and that it doesn't translate to their every day work life - but what could be more fabulous for the office than a sharp fitted 40's or 50's suit and how many times have they trawled around the shops for the perfect outfit for a party or wedding only to turn up to find someone else wearing the same dress.

Getting the mix right is the hardest thing to do, you don't want to look as though you are going a fancy dress party (Unless you are going to one!)

One site to check out is Shrimpton Couture - Cherie has a fantastic eye and knows her stuff - check out her blog and unique sense of style. I love the Atelier Mayer site - the Style Me feature is such fun.

So how do you get the mix right - here is some of my favourite vintage pieces and how I going to work them for Autumn/Winter.

Gold vintage skirt - vintage, white shirt Thomas Pink, vintage chain belt and Jimmy Choo's. Runway inspiration - all the metalics.

Teal blue Travilla dress with Nine West platform sandals. Runway Inspiration - teal the hot new colour.

Vintage YSL leather skirt, black polo neck Zara, necklace Top Shop, Black shoes Dune and opaque tights.- Runway Inspiration Michael Kors.

Vintage beige and black trim dress, Moc Croc boots and vintage Dior bag. Runway Inspiration: Bottega Veneta - nude shades and classic dresses.

Vintage grey velvet dress, Top Shop shoes, Primark bag, earings House of Fraser. Runway influence - Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren.

Vintage print dress, belt Primark and shoes Bertie. Runway Influence -vivid shades of teal, viridian and grape seen at Vivienne Westwood Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs.

I am sure that I will create many more outfits throughout the season - I will post some more as I wear them and tell you of their outings.

My new favourite thing - Afternoon tea.

Inspired by the most recent photo shoot that I worked on my new favourite thing is afternoon tea parties There have been fabulous places to have afternoon tea for ages but one has just opened locally and we used it for this photo shoot.

One of my favourite places to have tea is The Ritz - my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary with champagne and cakes in their Palm Court.

One place I have yet to go is the Berkeley for their Pret a Porter Tea - I have stayed in one of their fabulous suites and sipped cocktails in The Blue Bar but this is on my to do list.

While the summer is still here - just - I am going to invite a few friends over for a girly afternoon. So here is my guide to create your own fabulous Afternoon Tea Party.

There are so many places doing cup cakes now - even good old M&S are do really cute ones in lemon, raspberry and chocolate and they are only £2.99, or what about the French Fancies that have been around for ever - they look so pretty with all that icing.

Try to find some champagne coups - I always think that they have an old Hollywood glamour about them and make the fizz pink! I float a couple of raspberries in the glass just to add a little extra.

Make some simple sandwiches and to make it fun get some of the kids cookie cutters and make them into hearts or stars.

Have look around your local antique shops for some tea cups, don't worry if you can't find matching ones just go with a theme say all roses or all one colour. While you are there see if you can find a cake stand or some plates to display your cakes.

If the weather is good set up a table in the garden - throw some pretty floral cushions on your chairs, add a vase of summer flowers - use a teacup or little jug.

Ask your friends to dress up - take inspiration from the 40's or 50's and have yourself a fun girly day.

This is a lovely way to spend an afternoon and any excuse for me to get glamorous is enough!

My Fabulous Job

The great thing about my job is that I get to play dress up nearly every day! What could be bad about a job that lets me go into shops and borrow fabulous clothes then create a story for fashion spreads. The only one downside is that I have to take it all back a few days later although I must admit that sometimes some pieces do seem to end up in my wardrobe!

Although we only have a double page spread it is a weekly paper so we are constantly having to come up with new and exciting ideas so my brain seems to be always switched on. I find inspiration every where and never quite know when it is going to strike!!

When I was fashion editor for Urbane magazine we had more fabulous glossy pages to fill I was looking through my old pictures and came across one of the shoots we did - it was shot in an amazing garden that looks like a tropical jungle; you would never believe it was in the middle of a city!

Pictures Nick Clarke Ekiko Photographic Models Sandra Reynolds

It prompted me to go through some of my archives - here's a few of my favourites I have done over the past few years:
All pics courtesy of Archant Ltd, Models Sandra Reynolds Model and Casting Agency and Power Model Mangement.

The other aspect of my job is to help others look fabulous everyday - as a stylist and personal shopper I love watching the face of clients when they look in the mirror and see how good they look for the first time. It is so rewarding to be able to give someone confidence and make them fell great about themselves.

It is amazing how much a change of image can change your life - a profound statement I know but it really can make a difference. You only have to watch Trinny and Suzanna, or my new obsession Style Her Famous and Style By Jury on Sky.

If you look fabulous you feel great. Wearing the right styles for your body shape really do make you look younger and slimmer.

I'm planning a series of "How to wear the Trends" whatever your shape - so watch this space and if you have any particular questions let me know?

Monday, 10 August 2009

Icon - The LBD

Following on from Chanel says and after seeing Coco Avant Chanel film; which is fabulous beyond words - so beautifully shot and Audrey is wonderful as Chanel. It made me think of all those iconic, classic items that every girl should have in their wardrobes. We owe her so much for the way that we dress today - I am sure that somehow these items would have found they way into our wardrobes eventually but the Little Black Dress, the simple jersey, the tweed suit, costume jewellery and loads of pearls.

I am sure that you all have at least one LBD in your wardrobe - they can be worn is soo many ways so if you haven't got one this is the time to buy as there were many fine examples for A/W. It can be worn for every occasion and in many many different ways so here is my top 5 ways to wear you LBD -

1) Layer it up with a classic black polo, add this season's statement necklace and killer boots.

2) Chanel it up with layers of costume jewellery and pearls.

3) Add a tux jacket - very Kate Moss or Alexa Chung

4) Throw on a fur wrap and glam it up for evening - very Micheal Kors looks for winter.

5) Add a leopard coat with this season's skinny belt.