Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Fade To Grey

If you are in your forties (or even younger) and finding the odd stray grey hair, how do you feel about it?

I have lots of friends, particularly those who have very dark locks, who have actually started to go grey quite young and it certainly seems to be a time in a woman's life that begins to set off " hair colour panic buttons" and calls for a decision almost as important as whether to have Botox or not.

For me, I started noticing the grey hairs in my otherwise dark roots, about three years ago and gradually my hair dressing colour appointments went from 6 weeks, down to 4 (funds permitting) and although there are lots of things that I am not at all vain about, my hair is certainly one thing I am!  So what do you do, grow old gracefully and allow yourself to turn into some sort of "Silver Fox or Vixen" ? but surely for those who already colour their hair, this is no easy achievement as opposed to somebody who has naturally coloured hair?  I mean, I can not imagine having half of my hair blonde with 6 inch roots which are 50% my natural brunette and 50% grey, which is probably what the percentage is at present, once it starts to happen, there is no stopping it!

For his Autumn and Winter 2011 Ready to Wear collection, John Paul Gaultier sent models down the catwalk wearing grey coloured bouffant wigs and we saw a few young "celebrities" joining the "blue rinse brigade" last year and I have to admit, on somebody in their 20's, it does look quite good and I don't necessarily think that it ages them.  I also think the models on the JPG runway look gorgeous, but do you think that it ages a woman in her 40's? and do you like me, feel that your hair colour is the last sign of youth, one that you would do anything to hang on to?

What are your feelings about grey hair?  Do you colour your hair or are you happy to go grey?

Monday, 26 September 2011

She Magazine ceases publication.

Was I the only person who was completely shocked when I received a note in with my September issue of She magazine to tell me that the publication was closing down?
She magazine was not really on my monthly glossy radar until the Blog got a mention back in September 2010 and once I rushed out to buy it, I wondered why I had never really bought this magazine before as it was packed full of everything I want from a glossy and some, and then earlier this year when Celebrity Stylist Angie Smith got a regular column, its monthly arrival was greeted with even more excitement than usual.

The last edition had the most gorgeous fashion editorial which for me, hit all of my fashion buttons, it contained everything one could possibly want for stylish autumn and winter dressing with the most luxe looking, high street pieces one could wish to purchase.

I keep checking the Marks and Spencer website for this leather sleeved Trench, but no joy as yet!

This Dorothy Perkins Tunic is the perfect trans-seasonal piece but I still can't find it online.

I love this A Line Leather skirt, it is the perfect style for apple shapes as it will balance out the top half of your body. I want! but sadly the warehouse blouse and reiss skirt, don't appear to be online either and that is one thing that drives me completely nuts about monthly publications, the photoshoots are done months in advance so many High Street items have already been in store and sold out by the time you see them in a magazine, or else they are not in stores for months to come!

So sadly, She is no more and now that I have received my cheque for the balance of my yearly subscription, I have to believe that I will never see this glossy magazine on the mat in the hallway, ever again. Sad but True.

Were you a She subscriber, or did you regularly buy the magazine?

Great Plains

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Coat Edit.

As most French Connection devotees will know, every London Fashion Week, French Connection celebrate the event with a specially designed, LFW dress at a greatly reduced price (I should know, I've had to buy them many times in the past for my daughters) but this season they have pulled out all the stops with a winter wardrobe essential, "The London Coat".

With its 40's inspired shape and double breasted style, the coat also has a luxe faux fur collar to add a touch of glam to your winter wardrobe and I am all about the faux fur, come winter.  So if you are looking for a coat to smarten up your jeans or one that works over dresses for day or evening at a great price, then look no further than The London Coat at a very purse friendly £100. Buy here.

I remember back in February whilst tweeting about the live streamed shows from New York Fashion Week, that a fellow tweeter asked me what coats we would be wearing come Winter and my answer was "Parka's" much to the other Tweeters disgust.
Now I have to confess, I love Parka's.  Maybe it is because they remind me of my childhood, I had my very first khaki green one at Middle School! This could also be why I love Khaki, but forget about Khaki outwear more often associated with "Mods" and crank up the luxe factor with this gorgeous Elizabeth and James version.

Don't think for one minute that a Parka only provides a casual coat option.  Go for one with a huge fur collar (and optional cuffs) and it will work with every outfit.  I expect to be seeing a lot of these keeping the chill out at next February's Fashion Week.  £775 buy here.

Faux Fur:
Just like a classic camel coat is the wardrobe hero of any elegant dresser, the shaggy faux fur is fast becoming the wardrobe staple of the more glamorous fashionista.  I bought one last winter and can not wait to get it out again when the temperature drops.

Marc by Marc Jacobs. Buy here.

Any Mum who still has to walk the school run or who spends every Sunday morning watching her Son play football, will realise the importance of having a padded coat to keep her warm and dry on the coldest of winter days.  This Down padded coat by Burberry Brit is a real investment purchase that will last you years making its price of £495, when worked out on a cost per wear basis, literally pennies for every day you wear it!

Buy here.

Top Tip: Don't assume practical has to be boring, padded coats can still look glam if you opt for styles with fur trimmed hoods but always avoid high shine fabric as it makes even the most expensive coat look cheap.

Are you in need of a new winter coat this season or have you just bought one?

French Connection Limited

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

London Fashion Week - Photo Diary

Almost as exciting as actually attending a show at London Fashion Week, is passing the time with a bit of people watching.

Celebrity spotting, trend spotting and a general soaking up of the atmosphere, are what make the whole fashion week experience so much fun, I have to confess to feeling like a child let loose in a sweet shop and I have some really random photographs taken during my two days at London Fashion Week which I would love to share with you.

The cutest Dog, like ever.....

Spotted: Two of my favourite prints, leopard print and snakeskin.  Skirt by Whistles is the autumn and winter alternative to last seasons "Carrie" and is selling fast. Out of stock in my size, otherwise I wouldn't be able to resist. Bag is Vintage.

The gorgeous Kirstie Allsopp after the Jasper Conran Show.  Kirstie was lovely and happy to pose for a photograph.

There is a snakeskin bag in the middle somewhere!  I love snakeskin bags right now.

The British design legend, John Rocha, walking so slowly as if on a Sunday afternoon stroll only two hours before his show was due to start! Yikes!

Simpsons on the Strand for a breakfast of Fried Banana's, Maple Syrup and Pancakes with the lovely Pearl Westwood on Day One of London Fashion Week. I feel sick everytime I think about it!

Pearl's amazing Vivienne Westwood Shoes and boy did they get some attention from the Paps!

I totally heart the Celine Tote. Always have and always will.

Show Tickets for Day Two.

Hermes. That. Is. All.

Pretty in Pink (and red) at Jasper Conran.

Essentials for the Journey Home: Coffee to keep me awake so that I didn't miss my stop and a good read.

Roll on February!

Browns Fashion Shop for Bags

Monday, 19 September 2011

London Fashion Week Day Two - Daks

Living by the seaside, I was really excited to receive the official Daks London Fashion Week show invitation, with its pop up Ferris Wheel in the centre.

We used to have a "Big Wheel" in our local town at the Amusement Park when I was a child, but sadly it has long gone to that big "Ferris Wheel graveyard" in the sky, but anything that is inspired by English seaside resorts gets my vote, as I have lived near one all my life, so when I read the show notes to find that the collection was inspired by the ease and glamour of summer dressing on the coast in the 1950's, I knew we could expect a collection of beautifully tailored sun and shirt dresses, which in keeping with the seaside theme, would consist of a nautical colour palette of navy, red and white, sitting alongside the brands signature check and I was not disappointed.

With a new designer at the Daks helm, it is always interesting to see how they will interpret the modern day needs of a long established British heritage brand and with a history that includes working for Oscar De La  Renta, Halston and Donna Karan, American Designer Shelia McKain-Waid did an amazing job updating classic shapes, but put the fun factor into the collection with the inclusion of towelling playsuits in an oversized version of the classic Daks check and captured the nostalgia of a bygone era with a modern day twist.  Candy Floss anyone?

The Outnet have a fantastic selection of Daks clothing and accessories (including some gorgeous classic trench coats) at bargain prices if you are looking to add some of the brands distinctive heritage check or classic pieces to your wardrobe here

Shop the new season collection directly at Daks online and view the s/s12 collection London Fashion Week show here.

Competition Time!

Looking for some London Fashion Week Action?

I have two VIP front row tickets to give away to London Fashion Weekend on Sunday 25th September at Somerset House.

Prize includes:

  • 2 Tickets to Vodafone London Fashion Weekend.
  • 2 Show Bag Vouchers.
  • Entry into the Shopping of Vodafone Fashion Weekend where over 100 designer brands offer discounts of up to 70%!
  • Front Row Seats at the 1.30pm Catwalk Show.
  • Vodafone London Fashion Weekend Show Bag.

How to enter: Simply "Like" this Blog on Facebook by clicking on the link on the right hand side and leave me a comment on Facebook to confirm your entry. If you do not have Facebook, please email me to confirm your entry.

A random winner will be selected on Wednesday at 12pm and tickets will be posted out first class recorded delivery by myself on Thursday and I will contact the winner via Facebook or email for their details. 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

LFW Day One, Caroline Charles.

This is not the first time I've been to fashion week, my very first Fashion week adventure took place back in February 2010 but ever since then, I usually have good reason not to attend (lack of funds, paid work booked in etc) but I was determined to have some Fashion Fun this year.
It is always a difficult outing to plan as Tickets come in right up until the last minute, so you never know what you may get and for which day, but it just so happened that I knew my blogging friend Pearl (from Fashion Pearls of Wisdom) had a ticket for the Caroline Charles show on Friday so we hatched a plan to meet up for a spot of Breakfast at "Simpsons in the Strand" before the show and indulged in a feast of Fried Banana's, Maple Syrup and Pancakes to set us up for the day (and to make us feel so sick we couldn't actually finish them) before we headed up the road to the BFC Tent at Somerset House for the Caroline Charles show.
Now whoever said the iphone 4 takes great pictures was lying, but as I found out today, good pictures depend purely on where you are either seated or standing inside the show space, but sadly all my pictures of this particular show had the models looking like extra terrestrial beings, just a bunch of white blurs strutting down the runway, so I really must invest in a decent camera at some stage!

The elegant daywear had me visualising a modern day Downton Abbey hosting a garden party on the lawn, which then gave way to sophisticated evening wear featuring heavy beading and sequins for the kind of grown up glamour we have grown to expect from a designer with over 40 years experience in the Fashion Industry.  Evening wear was accessorised with large medallion necklaces and daywear was topped off with an assortment of jaunty straw boaters and panama hats to add a twist to an otherwise refined collection fit for a princess.

Which was your favourite look from the show?


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

What Facial Products are currently on my bathroom shelf.

I almost go into a state of hyperventilation when a monthly glossy magazine contains a beauty awards supplement.  I have to run home from the newsagent really quickly to get my product junkie "fix" of all that is new and exciting in the skincare and beauty field!
I love to see the products highly recommended by industry experts and get especially excited when a product that constantly makes its way on to my bathroom shelf, gets a mention, so I thought this was a good time to show you what I am currently using and what has made it onto my product "lust list".

When it comes to skincare, I must admit I pretty much stick to the basics.  I don't usually invest in any kind of serums except if they come in the form of a freebie, so its pretty much just cleanse, tone and moisturise for me.

As most regular readers will know, I have used Liz Earle cleanse and polish (£13.75) since it first went on sale, some 16 years ago.  I used to be obsessed by Liz, who often had a Beauty Slot on morning television and then went on to host her own early afternoon show on ITV, where you got a peek inside her home and lifestyle.  This was when I worked in London and all the girls in the office used to have their lunch hour together and we would watch the show in the comfort of the Staff Room.  It was shortly after this time that Liz decided to develop her very own successful brand of skin and bodycare which continues to expand its product range.

A hot cloth cleanser was a new phenomena back then and it was only in recent years that I gave the Eve Lom cult cleanser (£50 for 100ml) a try, and now I alternate between the two, depending on funds.  Although it sounds expensive, the 100ml size lasts for months and if you can afford it, you will save £20 by investing in the 200ml size for £80. I find this cleanser feels a lot more luxurious than the Liz Earle but it is all a matter of personal taste and more often than not, budget!

I also keep a Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser as a back up and to Tone, I love the Dermalogica Toning Mist as one quick spray and your done! Failing that, its Liz Earle Toner but sometimes I just splash with cold water as most mornings I am in serious need of a freezing cold wake up call!

Liz Earle constantly features in Magazine Beauty Awards and again it comes highly recommended by Harpers Bazaar.
What the experts say: "More of a facial treatment than just a cleanser, this works wonders on all skin types.
What I say: Love this, Love the price but the Eve Lom is more rich, thick and luxurious.

When it comes to moisturisers and eye creams, I have no loyalty whatsoever.  Unlike the cleansers that I am happy to stick with, nothing has taken my wrinkles away, so I just move on in hope that something will!  At the moment I am using a Clinique eye cream but have 3 day creams. Dr Zelens is a recent purchase from the Space NK summer sale (it seems they no longer stock this brand). It is a cream I had wanted to try for ages but usually way out of my price bracket. It is a very small pot and I doubt if it will end up lasting a month and I still have wrinkles.  I also keep a Dermalogica soothing day cream to hand, as this makes your skin feel comfortable as does the lovely Eve Lom Moisturiser (£40) which contains a SPF 15 and has a very silky consistency, sinks in beautifully and again, lasts ages.  I am currently using Clinique Youth Surge night cream.  P.S. I still have wrinkles.

What will I be buying next:

Described by Harpers Bazaar as the Best Day Cream, Estee Lauder Time Zone Line and Wrinkle Reducing Creme, also with a SPF15 and costing £49 will be winging its way onto my must have list.  
What the experts say: "This is packed with all you need to protect and repair.  It's the daily no-brainer to guarantee a great complexion.

My next eye cream will be:

OK so it is almost £20 more expensive than my current eye cream, but you can't put a price on softening crows feet and this product is described as the total anti-ageing solution for eyes.  They "had me" at anti-ageing and the fact that it also contains a sheeny balm to brighten and de-puff instantly, only serves to provide another reason why this will be mine!

I don't often use an exfoliator on my face as the cleansers I use, both have an exfoliating effect when used with the muslin cloth supplied. I do however, sometimes like to frighten the life out of everybody in the house by slapping on a Face Mask, but its not something I do often enough (slaps wrist) but when I do, it is usually with a Dermalogica Age Smart mask that is packed full of vitamins and anti-oxidants. The product is orange in colour that darkens when on the skin and leaves you looking like Samantha from Sex and the City when she had her chemical peel! Luckily, this only lasts for the 10-15 minutes you keep the mask on!  My other "go to" mask is the Eve Lom Rescue which I first tried when it came in a travel set of mini sized holiday companions. 

You may wonder why I keep the Dermalogica products as a "back up" to everything else, well sadly it is a question I can not answer.  I adore having Dermalogica Facials at my local Salon and I have to confess, everybody I know who uses these products on a regular basis does seem to have great skin, I think I'm just a product "whore" to be honest and can't stay true to anything other my cleanser!

You can purchase the full range of Dermalogica products here.

So what face products are you currently using and is there anything currently on your lust list?

Simple, beautiful, effective skincare

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The Look for Less

After my sneaky little bargain Miu Miuesque Dandelion print dress purchase from Wallis the other week, I decided that I must keep this brand on my fashion radar in future and check out their collections more often, so this morning I decided to have a little peek at their new season offerings and got more than a little excited when I spotted some more High End Designer look a likes.....

Wallis has really "upped the ante" this season with Stella McCartney and Prada type prints, so that you can get the look for less.....

Prada Check Dress A/W11.  Wallis Multi coloured Check Dress £45.

Have you been searching for designer looks on the High Street?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Your One Stop Denim Destination

I recently read that Londoners actually buy more pairs of jeans than any other City in Europe, which comes as no surprise with denim being that "go to" wardrobe staple when every other outfit choice fails and it was through a love of jeans that denim devotee, Donna Ida Thornton, decided to create her own dedicated denim emporium, known as Donna Ida.

You can find Donna Ida stores in Belgravia, Chelsea, Westfield and Guildford, but fear not if you don't live anywhere near the Capital, as this one stop "Denim Destination" also aims to bring a personalised service to its online shopping experience, with an easy to navigate website (which has just been relaunched) and a designated online Denim Clinic to help you chose the perfect pair of jeans for your body shape, Donna is one lady who has all your denim dreams fulfilled with just one click of a mouse!

Stocking the top 25 premium denim brands in the world, you can be sure there will be a style to suit you whether you are looking for the hottest style of the season or the perfect wardrobe hero.

The Current Elliott leopard print jeans sold out as soon as they hit the rails, but I am told more are arriving soon, so in the meantime check out this seasons boozy and berry colours which are far more flattering than the brights we saw last season.
J Brand 511 Skinny Jeans
J Brand Skinny Jeans in Black Cherry £200.

Go wild in these Current Elliott Leopard print jeans.  More coming soon.

Donna and her team are taking part in a 5k run in support of the Jeans for Genes appeal on September 11th and although I was invited to take part, I soon realised that I am probably one of the few fashion bloggers who only start running when the Cake Shop is due to close, so decided to give it a miss, but if you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause (1 in 25 babies is born with a genetic disorder) then please sponsor team donnaida here and remember every penny counts.

Donna Ida