Is it me, or was the Golden Globe style a little ‘meh’ this year. Beautiful dresses were plentiful, but nothing really caught my eye in the ‘I am sensational, look at me now,’ way that one would hope when all of Tinsletown’s beauties flock to the red carpet. With newspaper and magazine columns so mocking of the those they deem having gotten it wrong, it’s no surprise that the stylists of Hollywoods finest are hiding beneath the folds of a full chiffon skirt, lest they incur the wrath of the ‘worst dressed’ pollers. But It’s sad – dressing up to the nines is as much about experimenting as it is about glamour and really, with some of the worlds most talented designers at your disposal, why wouldn’t you jump at the chance to wear something audacious, fantastical and over the top. Red carpets were most definitely made for pea cocking!
There were a couple ladies who had me all a dither over their bold choices. Jennifer Lopez definitely brought the golden age glamour in her bedazzled Zuhair Murad caped gown and frankly I could’ve gawped at her all evening (not that I did, that would be weird). Amy Phoeler looked super chic and demure in a simple Stella McCartney column gown, proving how enticing simplicity can when paired with a punch of nonchalance. (It’s the pockets that did it I think, I’m obsessed with pockets! All clothes should have them, for the nonchalance giving properties they so fabulously display here.) And Amelia Warner – just bloody beautiful. Glamorous, different and accompanied by Jamie Dornan, she was exquisite in every way. I’m practically drooling into my keyboard…
I am a feminist. It’s not something I really mention in the same way I don’t drop snippets like “I’m not a racist” or “I’m a brown person.” Call me crazy but I believe wanting equal rights for men and women should be a given. Why state the obvious! But sometimes it seems that old stereotypes die hard and for some reason feminism is still a dirty word. The misconception that to be a feminist is to hate men is outdated and bloody ridiculous. It’s about equality and that’s equality for both sexes. Emma Watson summed it up perfectly with the launch of the HeForShe campaign. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all. But it’s not just men that need to get on board for equality to be achieved. Stereotypes of what defines a feminist come from both sexes and until those are dispelled, equality will remain in the distance. To paraphrase Zooey Deschanel, “We can’t be feminine and be feminist and be successful? I want to be a feminist and wear a peter pan collar, so fucking what?” Not only do I share her endless love for peter pan collars (lets face it, they’re fricking adorable) but the I love the message she’s pushing here. If you think feminism is a byword for hating men, hating femininity and living a hateful androgynous existence then it’s time to wake up and smell the Chanel No. 5. I’m all for baking a dozen cupcakes. I like my high heels, my lipstick and rocking a full skirt. Caring for my husband is important to me. Does that mean I’m not a feminist? Does it hell! Being equal means equal choices and you can choose to be whomever you want. And I am an apron wearing feminist.
There’s something a little naughty about wearing sparkles during the day. Like eating chocolate for breakfast, the festive season is the perfect time to break the rules and indulge in the inappropriate. My adored Chanel brooch has been enjoying many a breakfast meeting over the last few weeks and slowly but surely, the sparkles have been creeping onto my wrists, my ears and snaking around my neck. Because really, why should engagement rings have all the fun – diamonds are not just for dinner time!
If pulling the gemstones out of the safe feels a little devil may care for your day to day commute then fear not. There’s an abundance of palpation inducing costume jewellery available at this time of year just yearning to adorn your fair self. Go on, give in, be sparkly.
Here are a few that are making me gleeful right now.
Kenneth Jay Lane wants to be wrapped around me neck – that’s what this beauty is telling me anyhow.
The late Oscar De La Renta was the authority making women sparkle. Additional sparkles optional (read: necessary).
And then there’s Tiffany.. Obviously.. *Sigh*
I’ve had my eye on the Clarisonic cleansing brushes for a while now. Whilst the system has received rave reviews I found it slightly *very* challenging to understand how an oscillating brush could cater to my rather sensitive skin. However, I gave in, thought it was time to give it a whirl and lets just say it was a bloody marvelous idea.
There are three nifty little speed settings for varying levels of cleansing, you know, depending on how *ahem* dirty you’re feeling. Speed 1 is perfect for a gentle daily clean for even the most sensitive of skins whilst speed 2 is suitable for all skin types and offers up to six times better cleansing that using hands alone. Speed 3 is a handy function for when you need that extra little boost of clean, providing the power to loosen and remove set-in debris; quite the perfect pick me up for skin after a day of heavy make up or a night out.
Whilst the Aria can be used to remove make up, it’s advised to remove eye make up before applying a layer of cleansing cream to damp skin and moistening the brush slightly before using it on the skin. It’s recommended to use the system for a minute each day, 20 seconds on the forehead, 20 seconds on the nose and chin and 10 seconds on each cheek, with the device helpfully beeping between each lapse of time using an in built timer. The feeling of fresh skin was instantaneous, giving a level squeaky cleanliness usually only achieved through a facial. The beauty of such a deep cleanse is that your products then sink so easily into the skin. The hyper clean leaves the skin even and prime for any post cleanse products; my evening serum absorbs perfectly, as did does moisturiser, leaving my face feeling super hydrated, as well as super clean. You wouldn’t quite believe the difference a perfectly cleansed face can make to your complexion, giving a hint of luminosity and clarity that no one can quite put their finger on, making the Clarisonic a must have in my beauty arsenal.
I’m having quite the love affair with oxblood of late. Complete with all the moody and sultry tones of black but with a more seductive depth, there’s something fabulously grown up about the hue. The obsession began with a gorgeous new Bayswater and suddenly it seems the shade is seeping to all areas of my wardrobe.
So banish any thoughts of school uniforms firmly to the back of your mind and embrace oxblood like a trusty neutral – black won’t be offended, promise.
Having enjoyed a mid season holiday (a grown up half term as it were), preparing to return to work this weekend feels as though I’ll be returning into Winter. The most exciting thing about the drop in temperature (one has to find joy in the small things) is that it allows for a revamping of the wardrobe and the addition of new cashmere, which is always a joy. A wondrous day spent at Westfield resulted in a seriously good haul of gorgeous new pieces, leaving me almost excited (almost!) for the cooler weather.
Whistles has long been a go-to brand, apt as they are for achieving the fine balance between smart, sharp and feminine that is just unfailing perfect for workwear. This Cliche Jumper is both adorable, neutral and ridiculously warm, the perfect whimsical partner for slim black trousers or a leather skirt. The Jumpsuit is a serious departure from my usual silhouette but a new season is as good a time as any to try something new and paired with a slim blazer and a killer pair of pumps this may well become one of the hardest working items in my wardrobe.
Cos is rapidly becoming another favourite for those essential pieces that you just can’t do without. This gorgeous blue Waterfall Cardigan is a throw over anything, wear anytime piece that has already been worn nonstop since I purchased it earlier this week. The merino wool is uber luxurious and the cobalt hue gives style to even the simplest of ensembles. I love it with this Sweater Skirt from Gap for a super cosy outfit. And the crowning jewel in my winter wardrobe will undoubtedly be this divine printed Jacquard Dress. Edgy yet simple this will work for the day, partnered with opaque tights and a pair of biker boots or with bare legs, peep toes and slinky gold jewellery for evenings out.
Something about the approach into September, despite many years having passed since I was at school, feels like the beginning of the year for me. A fresh start, a new ‘term’ and a whole host of sartorial possibilities as the sun sets and autumn starts to take hold. As the bank holiday weekend comes to a close, *cries*, the approach to ‘the new year’ is set and it seems the perfect time to make plans, resolutions and set goals.
Having come not long after my 25th birthday, this autumn coincides quite nicely with my sartorial quarter life crisis. My youthful, rather saccharine wardrobe suddenly feels out of place and so it’s been a resolution of this new year to add a grown up polish to an overtly feminine aesthetic.
Something like waiting for a bus, after a quiet few months on the designer collaboration front, this week saw the announcement of not one but three upcoming collaborations all at once.
Following the success of their pairing with Isabel Marant, it was only a matter of time before H&M thought up another frenzy inducing partnership. Interestingly however, this time, rather that pairing with a behemoth luxury design house as with previous collections, they’ve pipped for the rather contemporary Alexander Wang. Whilst he’s quite the darling of the fashion industry it’ll be interesting to see how someone know for a easy, slouchy, contemporary aesthetic will translate his designs for the high street. A luxe t-shirt, sweatshirt or bomber are all staples but without the expensive fabric to give the pieces the luxury factor, how will the designs hold up against H&M’s own offering of sports inspired basics. Whilst a collaboration with him through Balenciaga may have produced more inspired silhouettes, it will be interesting to see how the collection plays out none the less.
A collaboration that’s more intriguing is the pairing of Banana Republic and Roland Mouret. Renowned for his beautifully cut dresses, designed with flattering the female form in mind, Mouret has said “It’s not a copy of my clothes in a less expensive [version], but the experience of a fitted dress for the Banana Republic customer.” Banana Republic are already apt at producing quality (for high street standards), well made garments so it’s likely that the collection will be quite successful with women looking to recreate the expensive, feminine look of the his famous Galaxy dress.
The third major collaboration of the season is between Mary Katrantzou and Adidas, promising to be a commercial riot of print and vibrant hues. Known for her ultra feminine silhouettes and fantastical prints, Katrantzou will undoubtedly bring a rather fabulous dimension to the sportswear brand. Whilst Stella McCartney’s line for the label follows a clean but expensive looking cut, Katrantzou’s can be expected to scream colour and digital prints. Launching in November, the collaboration is said to be long standing so we’ll have a few seasons for her to really get her teeth into the project. Gym attire is definitely about to get kicked up a notch!
Stay Tuned – Whether these collaborations are gorgeous or hideous, they’re definitely set to cause long lines, hysterical shoppers and endless headlines.