For the love of Valentino

Hi there! I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from my blog as I’ve been pretty busy with other commitments, such is life ay!

However, for this edition I want to talk about one thing and one thing only, the wonder of Valentino. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in fashion, everything from the Haute Couture to the accessories. I’m lucky enough to work on the marketing for Valentino Eyewear in the UK and part of my job is to know the brand and fortunately this is far from a chore.

The brand was established in 1960 by now legendary designer Valentino Garavani and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino S.p.A. in recent years celebrated a major cornerstone, its 50th anniversary further consecrating its heritage and success story. In October 2008, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were named Valentino Creative Directors, which has proved to be a game-changing move for the brand as the duo have been credited with re-inventing the brand with an astonishing success. They have an unparalleled attention to detail and focus their attention on every element of the brand, they’ve also become household names in themselves as any designer does with a brand they revolutionise, as Karl Lagerfeld became a part of Chanel and Stella McCartney became a part of Chloe. This has just been further recognised as the designers have won the CFDA International Award, which has been won in the past by the likes of Raf Simons, Riccardo Tisci and Phoebe Philo. As a brand Valentino in the past were known for its high society female customer, opulence and pure luxury, now the brand has edge, a younger following and designs which we have quickly seen replicated down to high street level. The Rockstud is now an iconic element the brand, the Camu is now synonymous with the brand whether it be on the leather goods or the trainers.

The recent PR stunt during the Fall/Winter 2015-16 fashion show at Paris Fashion Week at the Jardin des Tuileries, where two stars of the upcoming Zoolander 2 film took centre stage on the runway was a resounding accomplishment. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson took over the runway in a mix of custom suiting and pieces from the Valentino 2015 Collection and then took part in a photo shoot on the streets of Paris in head to toe Camu (I’d especially like to note the Valentino sunglasses worn by Ben Stiller). The stunt once again proved the brands new direction and was talked about on everything from Vogue to Buzzfeed.

The brand is a perfect example of what fashion is best for, expression, designs you can only dream of, re-invention, I may not have a Haute Couture gown or a pair of Rock Stud heels but my Valentino sunglasses and my Camou glasses are my little piece of Valentino and hopefully just the start of my collection.

Valentino Blog

Choices, Choices

There is one thing in life which is unavoidable, making decisions. You wake up in the morning and it’s what do I wear today, in my case at the moment however this usually involves mastering the layered look (or trying to) as my office has sub zero temperatures; you decide what to have for breakfast and so on. It is these individual choices which are superficial you might say but there are other small choices which can often depict the person you are. You can choose to have an opinion, make your point heard, have an impact or you can keep your thoughts to yourself. Whichever you choose I think it is important for people, especially women to not be afraid of having their opinion heard and if you’re labelled opinionated, so be it. It’s hard to imagine waking up in the morning and having to choose your clothes for the day with strict guidelines in mind. I recently came across a video of an Iranian woman dancing on a train on the Tehran subway without her veil covering her face or head, breaking two laws. The video was posted on the website My Stealthy Freedom, a sharing page for women in protest against the strict regimes. An outlet for those who would like to be able to make a choice in life. I believe that feminism can often be misconstrued and unfortunately the sheer word ‘feminist’ is tainted, however it isn’t about women being better than men it is about gender equality, which works both ways. As a fashion enthusiast and a feminist I’m always thinking of the two things combined, a book next on my reading list does exactly this Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism, it covers exactly this explaining how wearing a 5 inch heel and a red lip doesn’t diminish your morals and doesn’t give anyone else a reason not to take you seriously. This post is in no way intended to preach, it’s simply stating that your choices make a difference and when you’re putting on your favourite jeans in the morning remember for a moment, that there were people in the past that fought to allow you to be able to wear trousers, go in to further education, earn your own money, the list goes on and on.

Life is about choices, just make them your own and no one else’s.

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Armed with Style

Khaki, camouflage and anything army style were usually things that I either associated with my younger tomboy self and my favourite camouflage khaki trousers, worn with a baby pink hoodie of course or with a student fancy dress night, always a firm favourite during my university days, however it is now fast becoming one of my style staples. Ever since the Khaki army jackets made a comeback the colour and style has gone from strength to strength and can now be applied to anything from shoes to nail art designs. I was looking for something to wear for a friends engagement party this past weekend and wanted something quite classy for the occasion but at the same time not overdressed and I decided on Khaki tapered trousers (as seen below) and a boxy white leather cropped T shirt; there is something about khaki that can make an outfit that little bit more interesting. There is also an element of fun with this genre of style, camo can always be played with and moved away from different shades of green and instead pulled together with pop colours, have a look at my multi-coloured camo nails below, so easy to do, it’s just all about Y shapes and joining your top 2 colours in my case pink and blue! If you’re looking for true army style then I always recommend a vintage renewal, Check out Urban Outfitters, ASOS Marketplace or an army surplus store, you’ll get the best deals and undoubtedly the best quality.

Happy shopping cadets!

Khaki

Are You Taking A Coat?

The age old question asked by girls every where when embarking on a night out… ‘Are you taking a coat?’ echo’s around the house, whilst you’re stuffing your lipstick, bronzer, and various necessities, of any night out into your handbag. Now if I look back to 5/6 years ago, when I was a student this wouldn’t even be a question as paying that extra £1 for the cloakroom was simply not an option. Time’s have changed however at as we enter the second half of our twenties, we now consider a coat as a necessity not only for those bitterly cold walks to the tube or long waits for a cab but as part of our outfit.

I never used to be a lover of a coat, I would always avoid buying one as I thought they didn’t suit me, until I realised I just needed to find the right shape and cut for me. Once found, I can’t get enough of them. There are so many styles out there you can always find the one for you, oversized, bomber, trench, longline, cocoon and so on and so on. I always felt being short and not a size 6 I would need a coat which nips me in at the waist, complete opposite I have found, my personal favourite style is the cocoon and oversized. So when looking for a coat what I recommend, try them all, an oversized coat may seem as if it is for someone of the model variety, but you may find it is what suits you and your style the best. Also don’t be afraid of a coloured or patterned coat, I bought a cobalt blue one last year and still love it again this season!

coats

Oscar De La Renta 1932 – 2014

He was quite simply a master in his craft and I find it quite hard to believe he is gone.

Oscar de la Renta blessed us with some of the most beautiful designs ever to grace fashion and dressed some of the most poignant women of our time, including the most iconic first ladies, Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton and Jackie Kennedy.

Having truly launched in the 1960’s he went from strength to strength and only just recently made an appearance at his Spring Summer 2015 runway show at New York fashion week, which I only wrote about recently.

A winner of the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award, among many other awards, tributes have been flooding in for the designer since the news of his passing on Tuesday night, including celebrities, fellow designers and well any one who came into contact with him.

His passing is deeply saddening however his presence, outstanding contribution to fashion and honest love for women, will always live on.

oscare

Paris Fashion Week S/S 15

After a busy work week and a heavy weekend, few too many cocktails and then a boot fair Sunday I am a couple days late, however here is my look back on the wonderful Paris Fashion Week!

Under Alexander Wang’s direction the star studded (full Kimye collective front and centre) Balenciaga show was a dark and geometric spectacle.  It was a great mix of sports luxe elements and fabrics combined with chic laser cut skirts and dresses which will no doubt see their way translating into the high street stores over the next few months. The models oozed edge and futuristic sex appeal and the stand out piece for me has got to to be the extreme statement overcoat.

In a stark contrast to Balenciaga the Valentin Yudashkin show was supremely feminine and full of pastels. It was simply a stunning show, where I struggle to pick out a favourite piece, the colours were beautiful and not at all over done or overpowering next to the elegant silks and drop waist skirts. The perfect show that could epitomise the perfect wardrobe for the next Spring Summer season.

Elie Saab is always a stand out for me and this show was no different with one element reigning supreme, colour. There is something so simple about the designs, yet they feel completely fresh and new. Each design is feminine and ideal for the red carpet ranging in colour from rich teal to sunburst reds and yellows.

I couldn’t talk about Paris Fashion Week without the ultimate show, Chanel. The classic tweed ran throughout the show along with stunning water colour patterns and florals galore. I love the idea of going back to their roots with fabrics and textures and quintessential Chanel designs. However, the show stole my attention for one major reason a protest down the cat walk, including placards and mega phones and the genius Karl Lagerfeld himself. We can say there are subtle ways to make a statement, make your ideas known, but sometimes this is what is necessary. I am a self confessed feminist and not ashamed of it (or the word for that matter) and hearing of this show really was music to my ears. We are lucky that at the moment young female icons, such as Emma Watson and her recent UN speech, (which if you haven’t watched I urge you to, Youtube she may be a Harry Potter star but she delivered this flawless speech with nothing but poise and grace) Beyonce and her Ban Bossy essay and so on, are making an impact on a younger audience, however there is always more to be done.

They say every street is a catwalk but maybe now it’s a case that every catwalk is a platform.

Until next time!

Balenciaga S/S 15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Balenciaga S/S 15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Valentin Yudashkin S/S 15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Valentin Yudashkin S/S 15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Elie Saab S/S 15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Elie Saab S/S 15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Chanel S/S 15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Chanel S/S 15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Milan Fashion Week S/S 15

As the finale of Fashion Month has taken place in Paris, I firstly wanted to have a look back at the splendor of Milan Fashion Week with some of my favourites from the Spring Summer 2015 shows.

Luisa Beccaria  was a stand out show, which had an air of A Midsummer Night’s Dream about it, the colours were warm and perfectly combined with detailed floral prints and layering. The show really was the epitome of Spring Summer, down to the soft fabrics and flowing skirts and sleeves, the kind of dresses any girl would long to wear.

Ignoring the supposed back stage drama concerning one reality star turned high fashion model and her fellow models, the Ports 1961 show was utter elegance. The simple colour palettes worked perfectly with the uniquely tailored designs and mix of light and flowing fabrics and heavy striking leathers. The designs were completely at home in the Milan surroundings and, even though it’s not a European brand, illustrated great European fashion.

Giamba, the new younger line for Giambattista Valli, is exactly that, I have two words for you, spotted tights. The fun designs were supremely girly as if you were dressing your favourite doll from childhood, only these dolls are 5’10 and walking the biggest cat walks in the world. As well as being girly the show was full of 60’s mod inspirations, from the daringly short dresses to the graphic floral designs, all combined to make a refreshing show.

And finally, you can’t really talk about Milan Fashion Week without the mention of Dolce and Gabbana, which as ever delivered. I have loved the ‘family’ campaign the brand have ran over the past through seasons and the Dolce and Gabbana woman seems to only be getting stronger. The show had an underlying theme of costume drama, with matador suits and supremely Gothic gowns there was something quietly haunting about the show. There is something undeniable about Dolce and Gabbana and that is its brand identity and every aspect of the Ready-to-Wear show exemplified this.

Luisa Beccaria S/S 15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Luisa Beccaria S/S 15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Ports 1961 S/S 15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Ports 1961 S/S 15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Giamba S/S 15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Giamba S/S 15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Dolce and Gabbana S/S 15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Dolce and Gabbana S/S 15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

London Fashion Week S/S15

London Fashion Week has finished and Milan is in full swing, however I’m still thinking about the greatness of LFW. I am a proud Londoner and am happy to see how important this great city is in not just fashion but music, Mary J Blige recently announced her new album The London Sessions, all recorded in London with the likes of Disclosure and Sam Smith playing a massive part.

The music scene and fashion scene have always put our capital on the map and these were my four highlights from LFW, starting with Giles. Animals, pink and stripes, never a combination one would put together but somehow this show simply worked. From the preppy stripes to the stunning and whimsical over sized jungle prints there was (dare I say it) something for everyone to fall in love with.

Free and feminine the best possible way to describe Richard Nicoll’s show, if ever you could imagine a great Summer wardrobe (of dreams) which would take you from day to night it’s this. The layering was soft and flowed effortlessly combined with Summer greys, perfect lilacs and splashing of metallic and deep deep blue. Stand out outfit for me was the light sleeveless trench with a matching a metallic cami and metallic sliders, simply combination but executed so well.

Marchesa is always something of a spectacle and as the US label made its one off appearance at LFW, it surely didn’t disappoint. I’ve said it before and I will say it again Marchesa is something dreams are made of, a feast for the eyes, something that you could look at and simply be blown away by the detail rich accents of each design. No doubt it will be seen lining the red carpets, adorned by the most beautiful of stars.

I don’t think I could round off without mentioning my favourite show, Temperley London. I’m a sucker for the androgynous look, if I could wear culottes and a co-coordinating blazer I would be happy, only this body of mine wouldn’t quite allow it. Temperley London was a beautiful mix of tailoring and fantastic prints. For me, there was something very 80’s inspired, through the layering, prints and alternative representations of the blazer. There was also the ongoing them of fashion week so far, in both obvious and subtle forms, checked and gingham print.

I’m already excited about what I have seen so far in Milan….So, until next week!

Giles S/S15 Photo - www.vogue.co.uk

Giles S/S15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Richard Nicoll S/S15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Richard Nicoll S/S15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Marchesa S/S15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Marchesa S/S15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Temperley London S/S15 Photo: www.vogue.co.uk

Temperley London S/S15
Photo: http://www.vogue.co.uk

New York Fashion Week S/S 2015

As we roll into undoubtedly one of my favourite times of year, LFW, where my Twitter and Instagram are a wash with updates from the shows, I simply have to check them on the hour every hour, otherwise it would just be rude really, I wanted to take a look back at the stunning New York Fashion Week.

I could go on for hours talking about every shade every layer and every outstanding collection, but we would be here all night, so I’ve some how narrowed it down to three that for me stood out that little bit more.

Juan Carlos Obando, I will be honest is not a designer I could talk about in detail, however this show caught my eye in a big way and I am now a fully fledged fan. The draping of the lavish fabric was effortless and there was something familiar about the styling but with a modern twist, something you may have seen on a Bond guy in the late 70’s. The frills were what caught my attention, something so simple that I thought was executed brilliantly, not to mention the use of lilac and peach which was completely memorable.

Onto a show which over flowing with elegance from start to finish, Badgley Mischka. It doesn’t really get much more feminine than the detailed floral patterns, lavish layers and wearable (dare I say it) styles. The collection displayed simple colour palets, pastel pinks and purples and creams and whites, perfect for the Spring Summer season and perfect to make any woman lucky enough to wear a piece simply feel her best.

My stand out of the whole week however has to be thanks so 82 year old designer, Oscar de la Renta. The collection was filled with range but flowed beautifully, with a mix of opulent florals and gingham. Now for me to see baby blue gingham means only one thing, my childhood favourite and life long obsession, The Wizard of Oz and to see the iconic pattern re-worked in such a way, well I think Dorothy would have been proud. As always Oscar de la Renta is already something I can see popping up on the red carpet, sure to bring any celebrity a hit on the well dressed list. The use of colour, especially that knock out lime green, brought the collection to life and I especially like the slicked back hair and minimal make up, causing all our attention to be on the creations.

Now onto LFW, see you at the front! (I wish!)

Juan Carlos Obando S/S 15 RTW Photo - www.vogue.co.uk

Juan Carlos Obando S/S 15 RTW
Photo – http://www.vogue.co.uk

Badgley Mischka S/S 15 RTW Photo - www.vogue.co.uk

Badgley Mischka S/S 15 RTW
Photo – http://www.vogue.co.uk

Oscar de la Renta S/S 15 RTW Photos - www.vogue.co.uk

Oscar de la Renta S/S 15 RTW
Photos – http://www.vogue.co.uk

Blue Tips

Summer is now officially over.

As much as it pains me to say September is rearing its ugly head, back to school items are littering the high streets and Autumn/Winter is well and truly on the shop floors, with the bikinis looming in the distance covered in red pen. Time to think about what this Autumn has to offer, what we have to look forward to and of course what styles to take on. We can start small for now and venture into the Autumn nail trends, if we can take inspiration from the Autumn/Winter 14 Ready to Wear shows and focus on Calvin Klein Collection, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga, then it has to be deep dark blues, bright blues and bedazzling blues.

Black is black especially for A/W however especially in the case of Balenciaga blue shines through brightly, the shade of cobalt is effortlessly used to highlight shapes and textures in the designs. Follow this trend with your nails and go for a sharp cobalt blue, to bring a bit of brightness to your nails.  Calvin Klein as ever kept to the brands core values of sexy, simple and chic only showing a hue of blue in the form of a dusty blue, try replicating this with a matte nail varnish or a textured nail varnish. Sarah Burton delivered once again with the Alexander McQueen show, it was dark, gothic and everything we have come to expect from the name. Mixed in with the mesmerising use of black were pops of blue and even purple, try a midnight blue colour or if you’re needing a little lift go for a baby blue and a statement black ring finger nail.

I can’t count how many nail varnish’s I have in my collection, especially after my birthday I have acquired quite a few more! However for me you can never have too many, whether you change your nail varnish once every full moon or once every hot dinner, this Autumn look out for the blue tips and try your own!

alex nail calvin nail