Christmas gift guide: every shade of RED



It is official - I am getting in a mood for Christmas. I think my inner Russian would never allow me to embrace the holiday spirit too soon – first of all, for years, since the revolution, New Year’s was the only official holiday to celebrate and when Christmas was, lets say, re-introduced, it would fall on 7 January according to the Orthodox Church Calendar. History aside, I don’t like wishing my life away too soon either. I like preparing for the holidays a few days before they happen – think of the menu, decorate the house, buy gifts, you know, the usual extravaganza.

But since the world and world wide web seem to be practically celebrating already and we only got just over three weeks before the big day, I decided to go for it and give you a few Christmas Gift Guides a la Fashioned by Love.

There are a few things I always think of when it comes to presents. I do not believe in practical gifts – anyone (and men are guilty of it) who thinks that a pan or an iron or anything remotely related to housekeeping make a wonderful Christmas present, would fail in my eyes miserably. Christmas and practicality are two different planets, no, Universes. They would never be a part of one another. Ever.

On the other hand, I believe in everything  beautiful, indulgent and luxurious. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but needs to be very special and pretty because when the present is opened it’s got to be about love, beauty and joy.

My Gift Guides will be grouped by colours – I really like the vibrancy of the same shade and it’s been a real pleasure playing with the ideas below.

I picked some expensive gifts, like the Chloe bag and Jimmy Choo shoes I recently found at Cruise Fashion, a great on-line destination that stocks quite a few fabulous brands, added some gorgeous candles that I would love to receive as a gift myself, sparkling jewellery, delicious Christmas treats and a few very special high street finds that won’t break the bank including a beautiful dress, a cashmere sweater, bags and more. Hope you will find something special.

christmas gift guide red

Where to buy: 1. Red frame Andy round sunglasses by Selima Optique (£91 Was £260), 2. Red feather collar by Miu Miu (£242 Was £440), 3. Gold plated crystal earrings by Kevia (£88 Was £195), 4. Paraty medium red leather bag by Chloe (£1145), 5. Dawn lava red dress by Reiss (£94 Was £189), 6. Red suede shoulder bag by Mango (£59.99), 7. Red cashmere gloves by Gladys & Pixie (£48), 8. Nazareth cinnamon, orange and clove scented candle by Cire Trudon (£60), 9. Japanese camellia body oil by Elemis (£29.50), 10. Naked glamour set by Calvin Klein (£35 + £29), 11. Red satin twist lock clutch by Moschino (£166), 12. Christmas blend spiced tea at Harrods (£8.95), 13. Cashmere sweater by Uniqlo (£59.90 Was £79.90), 14. Lena M pony skin red tote bag by Alan Hayden London (£190), 15. Large bead bracelet by Marni (£105.47), 16. Crown red glitter peep toe shoes by Jimmy Choo (£455), 17. iPhone case by DvF (£28), 18. Rouge pur couture matt lipstick by YSL (£23.50), 19. Little red riding hood hand-made doll by Laura Long (£25), 20. Italian blood orange soapette by MOR (£9.50), 21. Berry crocodile embossed bag by Wallis (£21 Was £30), 22. Empress cuff in red lizard by Aspinal of London (£79), 23. Crystal zone watch by FolliFollie (£165),  24. iPhone case by Alexander McQueen (£135), 25. Oriental disk bracelet by Accessorize (£4), 26. Strawberry truffles by Charbonnel et Walker (£11.93), 27. Red patent and ruby crystals key ring by Aspinal of London (£35), 28. Jasmin rouge perfume by Tom Ford (£135-195), 29. Allure by Diana Vreeland at Amazon (£16), 30. Ana scarf by Reiss (£45), 31. Red leather gloves by Agnelle (£77.63), 32. Brick suede mercury sandals by Aperlai (£490), 33. Lucky butterfly in ruby red crystal by Baccarat (£66.29), 34. Tubereuse candle by Diptyque (£55), 35. Ballerina bow shoes by Oasis (£15), 36. Le pomme rouge candle by DL & Co (£78).


Candy change purse by Anya Hindmarch (£100), available on-line via official website, here and here.

Photo source: Glamour US 2005

It’s time to fall in love with Reiss


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Reiss look books makes me wish every item magically appeared in my wardrobe here and now, but alas it seems that I am a bit of a dreamer when it comes to fashion desires. I know I talk a lot about Reiss, but it’s only because I really really, yes, really, like what I see and find it easy to imagine myself wearing, well, everything…

Last night I received the Spring/Summer 2013 photos and almost dropped my iPad as soon as I saw the first image (yes, the one above).

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Just look at these clothes! It was impossible not to feel the familiar tingling sensations some people refer to as “love”. Although my initial plan was to keep the images until early February and talk about the Spring/Summer collection when it becomes available, I changed my mind pretty much on the spot – I had to share this look book with you because I needed to release my emotions – this collection is so me that it hurts.

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The understated, classic, modern, feminine and a little flirty, it’s like a perfect fashion symphony where every note, whether it’s the muted colours, sophisticated vibe or beautiful floral prints made of light as air cherry blossom petals, sound in harmony.

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And then come the lattice shoes that remind me of the Yves Saint Laurent cage sandals, only these won’t cost a fortune and add such a gorgeous candy pink pop of colour to the spring and summer outfits unless, of course, you choose the second, nude-coloured knee-high option – equally stunning and tempting.

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It’s time to fall in love…

Photo source: courtesy of Reiss

Stylish quote



“It’s horrible when people are only interested in buying labels, because it doesn’t bring them the happiness they think it will.”

Miuccia Prada


Photo source: W September 2009

Why Shalom Harlow is looking so unhappy



Once upon a time in 1997 Carter Smith photographed beautiful Shalom Harlow for a story published in the October issue of British Vogue. The editorial was indeed so special that it inspired photographer Chris Craymer and fashion director Charlotte-Anne Fidler who obviously hit the inspiration wall and decided to use the original for their own creation published in the November issue of Glamour UK. Well, as Rose Bertin, the French milliner and dress maker to Marie Antoinette, said once, “there is nothing new except what is forgotten”. And how embarrassing it must be when the iconic image loved by many for years just pops up out of nowhere…


Related Deja Vu posts: Vogue Paris vs Vogue Italia, Marie Claire Spain vs Vogue Nippon, Roberto Cavalli campaign vs Versace ad, Elle Ukraine vs Russh & Vogue Paris

Photo source: Vogue UK October 1997, Glamour UK November 2012

Angela Lindvall in Vogue US 1998



Don’t these photos make you want to dream, dissolve in a moment taking every second in, one at a time, lose yourself in the pages of a good book and let the world go by?

Have a beautiful week!




Photo source: Vogue US October 1998

5 dresses every woman should own: the sweater dress


marie claire france october

The sweater dress, a cosy, body and soul warming cocoon of pure (cashmere) bliss, it is definitely a must-have for every woman. Mine was a spontaneous buy. I was in a post-accident depressive mood worsened by winter blues and in need of some retail therapy when I saw the deep sea blue Patrizia Pepe dress - shaped to flatter the figure, caress the skin with its delicate cashmere strands, and on sale. It was mine within minutes. Needless to say we became best friends. I think I have worn this dress more than any other item in my wardrobe – for nights in and dinners out, work and walks in a country, whenever I needed a bit of colour or warmth, an imaginary hug or extra coverage.

It made me realise that impulse shopping is good and having a sweater dress in a wardrobe is essential.

They, of course, come in many shapes and materials and you need to pick the one that speaks to you just like the LBD. My only tip would be to buy cashmere or wool designs (a dose of added silk is good, too) – if you see any acrylics or polyester on a label, put the dress back. It may cost less, but it will be scratchy, itchy and suffocating for your body. With appropriate care, the real yarns, on the other hand, will last you a lifetime, the CPW (cost per wear) will be next to nothing and wearing the dress will make you feel feminine, sensual, beautiful and loved.

sweater dresses shopping li

Where to buy: 1. Silk scarf front cashmere dress by Ralph Lauren (£884), 2. Char cashmere jumper dress by AllSaints (£165) 3. Luan merino wool sweater dress by Calvin Klein Collection (£81 Was £180), 4. Polka dot cashmere dress by Chinti & Parker (£380), 5. Striped cashmere sweater dress by Chinti & Parker (£350), 6. Maggie cashmere dress by Crumpet (£136 Was £340), 7. Olive belted cashmere and silk dress by Ralph Lauren Black Label (£326), 8. Merino wool dress by DKNY (£81 Was £180)

sweater dresses shopping 2

Where to buy: 9. Roma M cashmere dress by Zadig & Voltaire (£175), 10. Cable sweater dress by Jigsaw (£109), 11. Extra fine bi-colour dress by McQ Alexander McQueen (£299 Was £995), 12. Wool & alpaca sweater dress FARHI by Nicole Farhi (£87.75 Was £195), 13. Branitta wool and cashmere dress by Diane von Furstenberg (£309), 14. Embellished cashmere dress by L’Wren Scott (£430 Was £1435), 15. Hella jeans blue dress by Humanoid (£270), 16. Charlot merino knit lace overlay dress by Malene Birger (£255)

sweater dresses shopping 3

Where to buy: 17. Cashmere midi dress by Pure (£199), 18. Cashmere and silk blend dress by Pringle of Scotland (£150.50 Was £430), 19. Wool blend sweater dress by Maison Martin Margiela (£490), 20. Fair Isle mohair blend sweater dress by Vanessa Bruno Athe (£87.50 Was £250), 21. Silk & wool blend sweater dress by Stella McCartney (£535), 22. A-line sweater dress by Stella McCartney (£610), 23. Shetland wool dress by Bouchra Jarrar (£702), 24, Intarsia wool blend dress by Sonia by Sonia Rykiel (£360)

P.S. Just in case you love the dress the model is wearing on the photo, you can buy it on-line here and here.

Related posts: 5 dresses every woman should own: the little black dress

Photo source: Marie Claire France October 2012

Saint Laurent campaign by Hedi Slimane


saint laurent hedi slimane kati nescher campaign Fall 2012 3

I must admit, I am enjoying the reign of Hedi Slimane as a driving force of Maison Saint Laurent. I really, really do. His first collection left me overflowing with emotions and almost brought me to tears (of joy, of course, for beauty often has this effect on the sensitive fibres of my soul).

His latest campaign (as he shot a separate one for the website) made me stare at the photos of Kati Nescher thinking of how beautiful her eyes were, how fragile yet strong she looked on every picture and how well Slimane captured the spirit of Yves.

With all the madness and changes that have been happening in the fashion industry in 2012 I seem to have found my happy place, in a dream world of Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. And I am grateful to him for that.

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Photo source:

Stylish quote


bcbg campaign 2006 jessica Stam demarchelier 4

“Don’t wear what you question, wear what you think is right for you.”

Karl Lagerfeld


Photo source: BCBG campaign Spring/Summer 2006

No make-up make-up inspiration



Taking inspiration from the Valentino Spring/Summer 2013 collection that gave us dreamy dresses and a very natural, simple and clean make-up look that makes you look like the real you, only more groomed.

According to Pat McGrath, a cream blush is used to create softly flushed cheeks (think RMS beauty Lip2Cheek as the most brilliant and natural multitasking little hero), followed by brown shadow on the lids and under the lower lash line and finished with a few layers of brown mascara and powder.

Yes, powder is definitely back to give us the fresh and matte rather then dewy finish. If you are dreading a thought of a cakey face, think translucent invisible powders: HD Perfecting Powder by Chantecaille, Hyaluronic Hydra Powder by Terry, Un-powder powder by RMS Beauty, Zodiac powder by Estee Lauder (which also makes a wonderful and very thoughtful gift!), Sensai loose powder by Kanebo. For those looking for pigmented products, Tom Ford finishing powder or Luminous silk powder by Giorgio Armani will work beautifully.


Photo source:

Natalia Vodianova in A Grand Affair


natalia vodianova vogue us september 2005 grand affair 6

Do you know that A Grand Affair, inspired by the end XIX century Russia, Chekhov’s “Cherry Orchard” and Olivier Theyskens’ collection for Rochas, was supposed to feature several models and sixteen outfits? What we ended up seeing is a second take – a version that had to be done after Anna Wintour found the first story too static and formal.

Natalia Vodianova styled by Grace Coddington and photograped by Steven Klein at his country house on Long Island, brought the much-needed energy and charm to the shoot while “mixing elements of reality with artifice to create a tension of contradiction” as Klein later explained in his interview for In Vogue book.


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Photo source: Vogue US September 2005

Ralph Lauren in Downton Abbey


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There aren’t many TV series or fashion collections that touch your very soul straight away and once they do, it’s difficult to get enough of the beauty, grandeur and magic they bring to our lives. Imagine how special it felt to find out that Ralph Lauren recently held a private show at the Highclere castle that inspired the Downton Abbey series and was used for the movie. I can only imagine how wonderful it felt to see beautiful models in Ralph Lauren gowns walking down the stairs blending timeless classics with the air saturated with molecules of history and some incredible stories.

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ralph lauren downton abbey highclere castle

ralph lauren downton abbey highclere castle lookboard

ralph lauren downton abbey highclere castle-shoes

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Photo source: photos by Chris Allerton via Ralph Lauren Facebook page

Mid-season sale and special offer just for you



I’ve received an email from Monnier Frères HQs asking me to share some exciting news with you. Not only they are running a mid-season sale offering most beautiful accessories by crème de la crème of fashion.

Marc Jacobs, Nina Ricci, Sonia Rykiel, Dolce&Gabbana, Isabel Marant, Alexis Mabille, Azarro, DvF, 3.1 Phillip Lim, See by Chloe, Valentino, Jil Sander and Vanessa Bruno just to name a few are waiting to be loved, cherished and proudly worn.

You can find a trendy burgundy Sonia Rykiel messenger, Valentino tote or Nina Ricci city bag, fix your craving for neon brights with MySuelly, Michael Kors and DvF or acquire a timeless treasure created for you by Escada, Jil Sander or Marc Jacobs.

If bags aren’t your thing, I suggest Etro and Kenzo scarves, Isabel Marant jewellery and Missoni gloves.

Although everything has already been reduced down by up to 60%, Fashioned by Love readers can claim extra 10% off by entering FBYLOV10MNF at the checkout.

If you were secretly admiring one of the bags, scarves, glasses or gorgeous jewellery, but couldn’t quite afford them, this is your perfect moment to treat yourself.

Visit the website to shop and remember about your unique discount code – FBYLOV10MNF


Here is my personal selection, which is a visual proof that, although I adore scarves, sunglasses and sparkling trinkets, I am still very much a bag lady at heart.

Photo source: Vogue Paris November 2012

Stylish quote


natasha poly for muse 19 by david hamilton

Elegance is a physical quality. If a woman doesn’t have it naked, she’ll never have it clothed.”

Karl Lagerfeld


Photo source: Muse #19 2009

Tom Ford documentary



In 2010, six years after Gucci and YSL, Tom Ford revealed his first collection modelled by a glamorous cast of “many of the world’s most inspirational women” to 100 special attendees. This documentary is a peak into designer’s mind and a very interesting behind-the-scenes story – it will be your 40 minutes of fashion bliss, I promise.


Photo source: Vogue US December 2010, plus accompanying article

Kate Moss in Vogue Italia 2006



I am starting this week with a story shot by Mario Sorrenti for the March issue of Vogue Italia. For me this editorial isn’t so much about the model, but the clothes and the light that make me stare and absorb every single detail, almost feel it physically – the rocky little grains of pearls, the frost of lace, the feathery light haze of silk – all blending into the warm glow of velvet skin, creating a sensual dream, a fashion shadow play…





Photo source: Vogue Italia March 2006

Isabel Marant “Poppy” on a budget



If you don’t recognise these shoes, you must have been living in a parallel Universe where neither fashionista nor Isabel Marant ever set their foot… And if any of those abovementioned name do make your heart skip a beat, then you would definitely want to continue reading.

The thing about Isabel Marant designs is that, whether you want it or not, they get under your skin and penetrate brain cells as soon as you see the looks on a runway. Isabel Marant is like a fashion equivalent to sweets(or whatever food delight you find most irresistible) – she knows how to give you the strongest craving for something you cannot have in large quantities, if at all…

isabel-marant-ready-to-wear-fall-2010-poppy isabel-marant-ready-to-wear-fall-2010-poppy-shoes

Although I would not exactly consider myself an Isabel Marant aficionado (Vanessa Bruno is more me in case you are interested), there are designs that even I remember vividly…

Take her “Poppy”, for example. They were everywhere. I loved the red version and my desire to have a pair of red pumps was likely caused by the memory. However, since I am pretty calm towards Isabel Marant I didn’t find it essential to rush out, credit card at the ready, to get the shoes.


Imagine my delight when I found a much more affordable version of “Poppy” pumps – identical and in the most gorgeous (and perfect) shade of red.

So let me demonstrate…

This is a pair of “Poppies”…


And this is a pair of “Eliza’s”…


If you can’t spot the difference and absolutely love to have a pair, “Elisa” pumps can be yours for less than £40/$60. Impressed? So was I. And yes, I did place an order. Follow the link to buy them on-line.

Photo source: Isabel Marant campaign Fall 2010,