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Chantecaille foundation, my new favourite

Whilst having a nose around my local SpaceNK the other day, I was recommended the above product – and now I’m in love. It was a heady romance and I fell fast…

Chantecaille is a French beauty brand known for its uniquely high concentration of natural botanicals. The foundation I have purchased in Porcelain (£55.00) contains 60% charged water and seaweed which, in my books, means no heavy unnatural ingredients layered onto the skin.

I have quite a congested complexion but this lightweight gel product glides on seamlessly, covering imperfections without that awful cakey-feeling you get with other products.

My SpaceNk assistant informs me that Chantecaille are just about to open a UK head office, meaning we are bound to see more of them over here soon!

 

Christopher Kane, aqua gel-filled PVC clutch, £385

 

Go old school with Christopher Kane’s gel filled pencil case style clutches in his signature brights. Bringing back memories of playtime, boisterous boys and ‘Ring a Ring o’ Roses’ this truly innovative clutch cannot fail to put a smile on your face.

The Scottish designer has also adorned crisp white shirts with scalloped gel-filled collars. You cannot fail to be impressed by Kane’s design prowess, he is forever creating interesting new garments and products that make me giggle and go green with envy.

Who says you can’t get well made items that follow in the footsteps of  designer pieces but are a fraction of the price?

Alexa divulges some great facts about her sixties obsession, definitely pick up October's Harper's

 

After flicking through Harper’s Bazaar, the October issue, featuring the feline beauty Alexa Chung on the front cover (she pulled me in at the news stand), I was inspired to update my black suede tassel loafers for autumn winter. Chung is styled in full sixties gear for the magazines British issue and she talks to various famed models of the decade (my idol- Pattie Boyd, model Penelope Tree and Marianne Faithfull).

In all of the shots her footwear is undeniable cool, shiny loafers with big silver and gold buckles. Now I have red, and white versions of these shoes (See: Am I stuck in my shoe ways?), but a pair in black has always proved elusive.

The Chung wears Daks shoes, £175 and Rupert Sanderson kitten heels, £475. I just don’t have that kind of income at the moment and so I took to the internet and I’d like to share the results with you!

 

My crusade started on Ebay, key words, ’60’s vintage black mod loafers’ – de nada, nothing.

I then took to Etsy.com and was pleasantly surprised, there is a lot of stock on that website! Using similar key words in the vintage section I managed to track down my very own pair of perfect soles to transport me to my favourite fashion era. And – wait for it – I only paid approximately £30 with postage from the USA, result? I think so..

 

My vintage loafers from Willamina Vintage on Etsy.com

 

Get hunting….Now I just need to track down the equivalent chic, sharp day dress, or billowing cape.

 

Model Abbey Lee Kershaw leads the models at Pringle SS'12

The undoubted kings of cashmere and knit, Pringle of Scotland, unveiled a contemporary collection for Spring Summer using graphic archive and vintage prints.

The two hundred year-old brand has recently welcomed a new head designer, Alistair Carr, who ventured back into the label’s history to look forward for SS’12.

Carr joined in March after a stint at Balenciaga and you can see utterances of his previous work for the Spanish brand in his Pringle collection. The beautiful textured Sixties knit lace dresses had sleek black leather sleeves which created the perfect juxtaposition of tough and feminine. Balenciaga for me – is all about softness with edge.

The look

Alistair Carr’s statement of intent began with his use of models, the ethereal Abbey Lee Kershaw opened up the show. She was wearing a luxe knit of which the background colour was grey, to breathe life into this classic piece the designer brightened it up with multicoloured geometric squares around the neckline.

Links and chains were the print du jour, seen on tops, dresses and granddad cardigans; and in an array of colours from black, bronze and a brilliant turquoise.

The pièce de résistance had to be the nonchalantly flirty, split back dresses and tops. Little buttons were done up at the nape of the neck, then the material curved down models backs revealing a flash of flesh. This look is guaranteed to bring us all out of hibernation next spring. I think we’ll see it cropping up on celebs (Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and Kate Winslet) and on the High Street – our backs have never looked so good.

The people

If you can name them, they were there. Editors Anna Dello Russo in a super sexy green sequin mini, Eilidh MacAskill (editor of Instyle), Jo Elvin (Glamour ed), Trish Haplin (Marie Claire) were all cosying up. As for the celebs, Pringle ad-favourite Tilda Swinton was front row in a beautiful argyle jumper with skinny trousers and sky-high stilettos; as was Harry Potter star Bonnie Wright and actress Rosario Dawson in one of the amazing knit-lace and leather Pringle creations.

The item

The most lust-worthy item at the show for me had to be the eye-wear. These specs were a mixture of John Lennon-esque frames and swimming goggles – all in a bright and spring-like array of colours.

Louise Gray's eclectic and vibrant collection did not disappoint

More than with any other designer, I would love to spend a day in Louise Gray‘s brain. She’s playful, eclectic and definitely does not follow fashion ‘rules’ – what could be better than a tour of her limitless imagination.

Her fashion fairy Godmother, Lulu Kennedy of Fashion East, champions her like no other. Kennedy’s company exposes the latest and greatest design talent that is on offer, she was at the SS’12 presentation proudly wearing Gray’s last season designs, reports Vogue.co.uk.

The designer cites “freedom, technology, mirages and sunny days.” as inspiration for this latest collection, after a long cold winter we could all do with a bit of brightening up from Gray. Her knack for mixing textures, prints and most importantly colours is unmatched. Sprinkle in a bit of a punk edge et voilà, you have a whole new vision for SS’12 dressing.

The look

As soon as Gwen Stefani’s dulcit tones, laden with pathos blasted out from the speakers, I knew I was in for a treat. The models, some with their hair dyed candy floss pink, walked the runway with such nonchalance. Attitude just oozed off them.

The collection, entitled ‘Trust me’, beckons you into a world where play and character are all that matters. Sheer dresses with sequins sat over striped neatly collared shirts; panels of sheer fabric diluted the loud prints underneath, and jumpers and tops were appliquéd to the nines.

The people

DJ and girl-about-town Bip Ling was front row snapping looks with her pink smart phone and designer Henry Holland also came to support Louise Gray.

The item

The most covetable garments in my humble opinion were the amazing dizzy printed skirt and short suits. Cute little box-jackets with matching skirts or shorts came in mint with soft pink and greyish blue with red. The print featured distorted spots and was flecked with all sorts of tiny details that confused the eye. One things for sure, my eye is now firmly on Louise Gray.

 

Fellow designer Henry Holland sat front row to support Louise Gray

Organisation station

Unveiling the shiny new Filofax

Fairly recently I entered a Harper’s Bazaar competition with Filofax and although I didn’t quite conquer the competition to win, I was still luckily enough to be given a prize.

Ta daah! I’m now the proud owner of an Italian crocodile print calf leather organiser from the Osterley range at Filofax.

I promise I’m not trying to be smug, I just wanted to enthuse about this pretty new collection from the brand! Priced at£129.00 they are at the top-end of most people’s budget for a diary, but as a one-off payment that will deliver a year’s worth of super organisation -I can see the allure.

Coming in chocolate brown and ostrich grey and of course deep plum, I’m wishing away the months until 2012.

As the great philosopher and honey guzzler, Winnie the Pooh once said: “Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”

YES Pooh I did, but now I’ll know exactly where to start again! Three cheers for organisation, I’ll see you in 2012…


The intricate beehive takes a lot of careful teasing of the hair and hairspray, photo courtesy of SportSuburban

 

Now – I love a good backcomb (or tease if I’m being gentle with my hair) so you can only imagine my excitement when I saw Jean Paul Gaultier’s vision for A/W’11. Grannies with chic up-do’s, it was a big grey beehive bonanza!

Take a look at the lovely Karolina Kurkova, Jourdan Dunn and Coco Rocha modelling Gaultier’s grown-up tailoring.

The beehive was the favoured do of the late great Amy Winehouse, but has obviously been around a whole lot longer. While we fondly remember Winehouse popularising the style in the noughties, the look dates back to the swinging Sixties.

It’s pretty obvious why the bouffant style is named thus – it looks like a great big beehive. It was also known as the B-52 for its similarity to the bulbous nose of the fighter plane. A crisp shiny shell on the outside and perfectly coiled fluffy hair on the inside, the hive was a style with serious staying power.

The 60’s New York girl group, The Ronettes, were rarely seen not sporting matching big hair. Their dulcit tones and sweet as honey harmonies elevated them swiftly to the top but it’s undeniable that their style also helped them to stand out. Veronica “Ronnie” Spector, the lead singer of the band said in a Village Voice interview: “We had high hair anyway, We used a lot of Aqua Net (hair spray).”

The equally iconic Audrey Hepburn also sported a particularly polished beehive in 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

 

Some of the best beehive tips I’ve heard are as follows:

-Section the hair from the crown back, spritz the roots with hairspray then begin to brush the hair down to the root.

-Use a hair doughnut, keep it clean ladies, no jam and sugar involved in this do. Make sure it is the same colour as your own tresses and place it at the crown of your head underneath the backcombed hair. Fix it in place with grips, and style around the doughnut. It makes a good base for your beehive.

-For a less dramatic ‘bouff’ section off a small slice of hair at your crown, tie it together with a thin hair band (top knot style) and backcomb that. Then you can backcomb and style the rest of your hive over this using it as a base.

 

Here’s a Youtube tutorial for a Beyonce inspired bouffant look, I think it is a pretty good beehive video. Get practicing now to be ahead of the fashion pack for the S/S’11 shows…

For more vintage inspiration take a look at the not so ordinary blog by Velvet Cave Vintage.