It is official - I am getting in a mood for Christmas. I think my inner Russian
Christmas gift guide: every shade of RED
"It's horrible when people are only interested in buying labels, because it doesn't bring them the happiness they think it will."
Photo source: Sasha Pivovarova in W September 2009 (photography: Craig McDean)
Angela Lindvall in Vogue US 1998
5 dresses every woman should own: the sweater dress
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.
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)
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)
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: Martha Streck in Marie Claire France October 2012 (photography: Satoshi, styling: Claire Dhelens)
Saint Laurent campaign by Hedi Slimane
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: Valentino Spring/Summer 2013 via style.com
Natalia Vodianova in A Grand Affair
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.
Photo source: Natalia Vodianova in A Grand Affair | Vogue US September 2005 (photography: Steven Klein, styling: Grace Coddington)
Ralph Lauren in Downton Abbey
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.
Photo source: photos of Ralph Laurent at Downton Abbey collection by Chris Allerton via Ralph Lauren Facebook page
"Elegance is a physical quality. If a woman doesn't have it naked, she'll never have it clothed."
Photo source: Natasha Poly in D'Ete de Poesie / Muse #19 2009 (photography: David Hamilton, styling: Zoe James)
Tom Ford documentary
Photo source: Tom Ford & Stella Tennant in Vogue US December 2010 (photography: Steven Meisel), 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: Kate Moss in The girl of a singular beauty | Vogue Italia March 2006 (photography: Mario Sorrenti)
Isabel Marant “Poppy” on a budget
Chanel No.5: good buy and good-bye
On 6 November it was announced that Chanel No. 5, the iconic fragrance that embodies the spirit Chanel, may be banned because, according to scientists, some ingredients may cause an allergic reaction.
Although no reaction to the perfume has been reported in the 90 years of its existence, the scientists insist that it is vital to list eugenol that found in rose oil within the ingredients and entirely ban the tree moss – one of the natural substances that gives the perfume its distinctive smell, which means the death of the perfume.
Other fragrances that may also face the ban include Guerlain's Shalimar, Dior’s Miss Dior and Angel by Thierry Mugler.
It is incredibly sad to see this happening not only because so many women around the world may lose their signature fragrance forever, but also because the history and heritage can be lost with a stroke of a pen.
The European Commission are expected to propose new regulations within the fragrance industry in January 2014, so if you love your Chanel no. 5, stock up now (full range is available here (Europe) and here (US)). When unopened the perfume will keep for several years, especially refrigerated or at least stored in a cool place away from sunlight.
"The most challenging part to dressing well is knowing how to be elegant while being casual."
Photo source: Sophie Holmes in Golden Twenties Elle Germany June 2011 (photography: Pasquale Abbattista, styling: Kathrin Siedel)
Who's next at Balenciaga
Following the announcement of Nicolas Ghesquiere's departure, Balenciaga bosses have confirmed that they have already picked a few designers, though still have to choose the one to be name the new creative director. So far according to the rumours the list includes Christopher Kane, Joseph Altuzarra and Alexander Wang, none of whom leaves me tingling with excitement as far as the future of Balenciaga is concerned. I can somewhat imagine Bouchra Jarrar, whose name was also mentioned, feeling the house aesthetics well, but at the end it's not up to me to decide.
Russian top-models: Inna Zobova
Natalia Vodianova in Vogue UK 2002
Ghesquiere leaves Balenciaga
Nicolas Ghesquiere is leaving Balenciaga after dedicating fifteen years of his creative life to the Parisian fashion house as was confirmed by Vogue earlier today. His contract will end on 30 November. His successor is yet to be announced, and he or she will certainly need to be rather special to fill Ghesquiere's shoes and match his level of creativity and talent.