Friday, 28 September 2012

Milan fashion week favourites

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Here I am, a Russian Brit, sitting in an empty house somewhere in the South East of England, drinking a cup of Mexican coffee, picking on a soft as a down pillow slice of French brioche and gathering my thoughts on Milan fashion week. “Everything was in confusion in the Oblonskys’ house” as Tolstoy would say…

Milan overindulged me. There was a lot of beauty and plenty of white, enough to send me into my happy place where dreams are real. There was also a lot of transparency cleverly covered with either layers of fabric or frosted illusions of lace and embroidery. There were splashes of colour, mostly of a floral nature that screamed summer and joy.

Milan was definitely a good place to be…

Bottega Veneta, as always, was about quiet quality and craftsmanship that you feel but can’t explain. It was a beautiful collection, head to toe. In fact, one of my favourite in Bottega’s history. The most interesting thing is that the more I look at those dresses the more I fall in love with them.

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Vietnam-inspired Pucci collection was like a breath of fresh air, particularly, “the white part” that I loved the most. This and the carved shoes that go up there to join McQueens and earlier Prada and Miu Miu’s. If only I could have them all. Make-up was very natural, yet again, so it looks like “the no make-up make-up” will be among Spring 2013 beauty trends again. And why not? It’s so beautiful.

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More of the Orient-inspired designs sprinkled with a signature paisley print and cinched with an obi at Etro. Such a gorgeous collection that made me think of paradise, fantasy, comfortable elegance and summer. A burst of joy!

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And more white courtesy of Ports 1961 that made one fall into a trance intensified by layers and layers of transparent silks and lace to be suddenly awakened and surprised by the pops of brightest colours.

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Photo source: elle.com, vogue.com

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Passion for fashion: 5 looks under £200

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A few days ago I heard about Passion for Fashion competition and since then I spent hours and hours every evening putting together five looks each costing less than £200 in total.

When I was picking items for each look my main rule was combining the high-end pieces found on sales with high-street items that would complete the look without costing a fortune. This simple trick has always worked for me because, for some reason, a clever mix somehow made less expensive choices look more designer’y. Of course, treasure hunt would often take a bit longer, but fashion challenges are always so exciting to complete!

The results are below – please let me know what you think.

The office look began with the dress. I loved the shape so much that it clicked as a must-have. I then added a bit of energy with touches of oxblood by pairing the dress with a beautiful waterfall jacket and statement ring. The shoes were a sale’s find – you’ve got to have the right shoe to feel confident and beautiful.

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Where to buy: Striped knitted wrap jacket by Warehouse (£80), Dogstooth printed dress by Dorothy Perkins (SALE! £22 was £38), Patent lock bag by Oasis (SALE! £20 was £38), Attack black leather pumps by Carvela at Kurt Geiger (SALE! £49 was £120), nude Class tights by Levante (£6.00), textured faux stone statement ring in Cherry/Gold by Forever 21 (£3.90), lipstick Made for Me in Natural by L’Oreal (£8.19)

The first date for a real modern princess who likes living on a budget. I’ve already shared my thoughts about dressing up for dates, but in case you’d rather not to read several posts, the brief is that you’ve got to look feminine, feel comfortable and, seriously, forget about jeans and trousers and wear a dress AND colour. I know we all believe in a power of LBD, but men do have an ability to appreciate beautiful colours and first date gives you a perfect opportunity to stand out and really really capture his attention (mind and heart).

The dress was chosen for its comfortable fit but very sensual look (nobody can resist silk). Then I topped it up with a classic blazer to keep my princess warm. The lace booties compliment lace details of the dress and the nail polish is to be used for your tootsies, so there’s a little touch of colour in those peep-toes.

The clutch, floral bracelet and fruity perfumes add a very romantic touch.

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Where to buy: classic blazer by Mango (£34.99), floral applique silk dress by Vanessa Bruno Athe at theoutnet (SALE! £63.00 was £180), lace ankle boots  by Forever 21 (£27.75), all over pansy & lace envelope clutch by Accessorize (£32.00), flower finger cuff bracelet by Miso at Promod (£7.00), nail varnish in Shiny red by OPI (£11.00), lipstick Made for Me in Natural by L’Oreal (£8.19), perfume VIP for Women by Bjan at Cheapsmells (£11.95 was £30.70)

Oh, the good old outdoors! Perfect time to wear a bit of merino, the sweetest gloves and wrap yourself up in an adorable duffle coat. The bag and boots are found on sale.

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Where to buy: Extra fine merino round neck sweater in off white by Uniqlo (£19.90), skinny jeans by H&M (£19.99), navy bonded duffle coat by Miss Selfridge (£65.00), colourblocked crochet scarf by Forever 21 (£8.90), Fox fingerless gloves by Forever 21 (£4.90), leather & canvas bucket bag by La Redoute (SALE! £22 was £55), Special white ankle boots by Carvela at Kurt Geiger (SALE! £59.00 was £160)

For a casual outfit I thought of a young Parisienne who loves classic Breton stripes, red lipstick and Isabel Marant. Since authentic Marant would never fit into £200, I just shopped around a little bit.

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Where to buy: Breton striped top by Jaeger at House of Fraser (SALE! £48 was £80), skinny jeans by H&M (£19.99), herringbone coat by Mango (£39.00), Lock tote bag by Oasis (£40), dark red wedge high tops shoes by River Island (£40.00), iridescent heart charm bracelet in gold by Forever 21 (£3.15), Colour Riche Lipstick in True Red by L’Oreal (£8.69)

And now we are off to a party! Another Vanessa Bruno Athe dress that just begged me to be picked! Next stop was Zara where I spotted gorgeous ankle booties. The duo reminded me of Dolce&Gabbana baroque collection for Autumn/Winter 2012-13, so I did a little bit of browsing and returned, happy and pleased, with a pair of most perfect earrings, simple suede clutch and some neutral, but straight to the point, make-up. The hair would have to be up to open up the shoulders and show off the earrings – it’s so very sensual and playful.

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Where to buy: Love & Beauty Essential Mascara (SALE! £1.99 was £3.15) + High Shine Lip Gloss (£1.65) by Forever 21 (£2.64), Strapless grosgrain satin dress by Vanessa Bruno Athe at theoutnet(SALE! £87.50 was £250), studded ankle boots by Zara (£89.99), Cut out teadrop earrings by Forever 21 (£5.65), Leather quilted & studded purse by ASOS (SALE! £12.00 was £15.00)

I must admit, I haven’t had this much fun for a long time. Playing with outfits reminded me how much I enjoy creating fantasies of my own, so I have a feeling I am going to make it a frequent feature on the blog from now on.

Photo source (main): Elle Russia November 2010

Stylish quote

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“Anyone, anyone, anyone can be wildly attractive. Fitness, grooming and an open heart can do way more than any designer dress.”

Rick Owens

Photo source: Elle France 2004

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Old song, new shoes

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So the story is pretty much like an old song – “I love shoes, la-la-la… and all that jazz”. I sing it every once in a while and whenever I find something special the lyrics take up my blog space. Because I just have to share.

I got these Billy platforms a few days ago. Couldn’t help it – it was love at first sight and the inner girly girl demanded an immediate purchase. Truth to be told, I was shopping for a parka or some kind of warm hooded jacket for my autumnal and often rainy walks with pupster, but then I saw the shoes and the rest was done on autopilot. No jacket, but no regrets either.

Just like all Kurt Geiger/Carvela shoes, these are very comfortable and walking-friendly. The tan leather and those perforated details make the sandals look a lot more expensive than what you pay for them. Oh, and they have sweet gold stars on their soles – such a nice finishing touch.

If you like them, the shoes are still available on the website in most sizes and in either tan or red.

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Monday, 24 September 2012

Vogue Italia July / August 1989

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How do you choose which editorials to publish on your blog? For me it’s a 6th sense thing – an image had to trigger something to pass through all the emotional and aesthetical filters. Since the emotions are never static, the choice changes accordingly. Last night I had a completely different story in mind, but it didn’t feel right today at all. So I sat there staring and browsing, took the dog out for a very long walk in a very heavy rain and then the idea became crystal clear… Grey skies, clouds and clothes that shield you from the elements just like in "Assolutamente Nero", an editorial from Italian Vogue featuring Rosemary McGrotha shot by Wayne Maser.

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Photo source: Vogue Italia  July / August 1989

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