Having a ball with US Vogue and a little surprise from Lanvin

31/12/2012

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It’s almost here, the new year, the unknown, exciting and special chapter of our lives. What are your hopes and plans for 2013? Are you celebrating tonight?

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P.S. And what would be a better way to wish any fashionista a Happy New Year than a whimsical animated card from Lanvin… 

Photo source: Vogue US December 1997

Dressing up for New Years night (and the Year of Snake)

28/12/2012

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Admit it, horoscopes do have their appeal for the good ones seem to posses mysterious ability to tell us a few things about our personalities. That’s why I read them once in a while. I like magic and the idea of fate and fortune.

As the Year of the Snake approaches I am eager to please the gorgeous reptile in advance, hence today we are going to discuss an appropriate outfit to celebrate the arrival.

If we were to keep everything as authentic as possible, the real meet and greet ceremony would take place on 10 February 2013, but lets be honest, nobody is going to wait until then because New Year’s Eve is such a perfect excuse to dress up according to the rules written in the stars.

Since the 2013 Snake loves attention to details, remember the following when picking the most perfect outfit:

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* go for dark colours, ideally, black or dark blue (colours of the Water Snake) and, maybe, dark emerald or burgundy, but avoid white at all costs

* choose the clothes that show off your figure in an elegant way – nothing too tight, short or revealing

* smooth and sensual silk and rustling whispering taffeta and organza are the most perfect choices, but if you like prints and textures, the shimmering or metallic materials as well as leather and patterns that resemble snake skin will work just as well (for obvious reason, leave your real python clutch or shoes behind)

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* wear some jewellery – a serpent-shaped statement ring or cuff bracelet are ideal or add metallic, beaded or sequined accessories as a finishing touch

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* be bold with the make-up and take inspiration from Roberto Cavalli – blue and emerald eyes shadows and glitter will be your best friends. When focusing on the eyes, keep the rest of your make-up simple – even sparkles need to be elegant and classy.

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Where to buy: 1. Two toned sequined dress by Lanvin (£930 Was £1550), 2. Sequined silk dress by DvF (£387 Was £775), 3. Sequined cocktail dress by Marchesa Notte (£468), 4. Halter maxi dress at Mango Outlet (£24 Was £114), 5. Tali spakle bodycon dress at Reiss (£132 Was £189), 6. Black lantern dress at Warehouse (£50 Was £80), 7. Midnight blue sequinned dress at TopShop (£59), 8. Sheer emerald sequinned dress at Reiss (£97 Was £195)

Photo sources: Vogue Japan January 2013, Vogue Russia 2009, Flair

Anne-Marie Van Dijk in ELLE France

27/12/2012

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The official launch of CLEANSE: One body, one planet was one of the most exciting events of 2012 for me. Not only I absolutely adore Anne-Marie Van Dijk, the stunning model and founder of CLEANSE, but also think of the initiative itself as an amazing and beautiful project for it provides the knowledge and support to the young models in the most caring and pure way.

When I heard that Anne-Marie appeared in the December issue of Elle France I felt proud and happy. No longer she was just a fashion model, but a gorgeous ambassador whose opinion matters. It was a little victory, a new chapter for CLEANSE and a sign of appreciation and support by the fashion industry insiders.

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Photo source: Elle France December 2012

Currently loving…

26/12/2012

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… this beautiful Sandra silk dress by Bastyan that somehow reminds me of Bottega Veneta styles. It’s currently on sale reduced from £350 to £50, so I am very tempted. Not only it’s pure silk and an absolute perfection, this gorgeousness comes with a tan leather belt and antique style necklace… It’s one of those lucky finds to treat yourself to.

Stylish quote

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“The difference between style and fashion is quality.”

Giorgio Armani

 

Photo source: Vogue US November 1989

Merry Christmas!

25/12/2012

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You know, it warms my heart thinking of everyone who decided to stop by Fashioned by Love today. Just because…

I want to thank you for being out there, reading these lines, visiting my blog every day, commenting, sharing your thoughts. It means the world to me.

Wishing you a wonderful, beautiful, magical, sparkling, warm and happy Christmas!

12 days of Christmas in Vogue US 1998

24/12/2012

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I couldn’t think of a better editorial for my Monday post that falls on Christmas Eve. Gorgeous Shalom Harlow & Co. in a story styled by the one and only Grace Coddington and photographed by Steven Meisel for the December issue of US Vogue 1998. 12 days of Christmas, Vogue style.

Magical, fabulous, sparkling, festive and perfect in every single way.

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Photo source: Vogue US December 1998

Christmas gift guide: every shade of GOLD

21/12/2012

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I was torn (yet again) between two different shades for this post. At the end the gold, as predictable as it is, won because, well, it’s so Christmassy, festive and sparkling and it was one of the Autumn 2012 trends, too.

I also quite like the look of gold as a part of room deco – not to the extremes of massive gilded frames and gold chairs, of course, but a few pretty touches here and there.

The magpie in me adores make-up and beauty products that come in gold packaging because they always feel like little luxuries that can be used daily.

When it comes to clothes and accessories, I prefer the latter, but would never say no to a gold pencil skirt, especially if it was made of beautiful lace or sequins and beads – I just haven’t found “the one” yet.

And as far as the timing goes… Just as I don’t believe in practical presents I also don’t really fuss about receiving them on time. I always pick something for Christmas day and allow myself to indulge during the post-Christmas sales. This strange-to-some schedule helps my inner Russian to have a beautiful treat on New Year’s Eve – this is when we get presents in my native country and that’s a tradition I am used to. 

And now my last Gift guide for 2012 (looking at it made me realise that I seem to like bows, too… The Ted Baker Adelina bag, the Oasis note book and ballerinas, even the chocolates… )

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Where to buy: 1. Chocolate by Godiva (£15-100), 2. Adelina gold gliter wash bag by Ted Baker at Tucci (£25), 3. 18-karat gold plated cubic zirconia bracelet by Kenneth Jay Lane (£178 SALE! Was £445), 4. Gold lace dress by Issa (£483 SALE! Was £690), 5. Honey pot by Michael Aram (£56), 6. Sandalwood and Patchouli Scented Candle by Floris (£40), 7. Leaf necklace by Caterina Mariani (£192), 8. Metallic sweater by Michael Kors (£148.75 SALE! Was £425), 9. Danielle snake-effect shoes by Sam Edelman (£84 SALE! Was £120), 10. Rouge Volupté lipstick by YSL (£24), 11. Zodiac compact powder by Estee Lauder (£65), 12. Mini hearts key ring by Juicy Couture (£42), 13. 18-karat yellow gold star earrings by Marian Maurer (£350), 14. Sphere box clutch by Diane von Furstenberg (£209), 15. Pistol ankle boots in gold metallic leather by Acne (£360), 16. Gold note book at Oasis (£4 SALE! Was £8), 17. Dolce Vita EDP by Christian Dior (£38), 18. Bow gold ballerina pumps at Oasis (£15 SALE! Was £35)

Photo source: Chanel Iman by David Sims in “American experience” for Vogue US May 2010

Stylish quote

20/12/2012

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“You don't have to be born beautiful to be wildly attractive.”

Diana Vreeland


Photo source: Vogue Paris May 1999

Tracy Anderson and the annual fitness post

19/12/2012

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If you follow Fashioned by Love from the very beginning you may remember a couple of fitness-related posts I wrote in 2011. I know, it’s been a while… Not that I don’t like exercise – it’s quite the opposite. I get my endorphins topped up regularly and feel out of my comfort zone whenever something prevents me from sticking to my routine. I just don’t tend to blog about it unless I feel there’s a need for a muscle-strengthening-body-fat-reducing story of my life that might grab your attention.

Today was the day that felt right. I had my usual “happy hour” and decided to share a few post-workout thoughts. How knows, maybe some of you will find them interesting or even adopt a few new habits comes 2013… At least this resolution will be very easy to stick to.

Just in case you haven’t read my previous posts (which I totally understand), I would like to start by saying that when it comes to exercise I DIY, big time. I don’t do gyms or personal trainers. I met a few, it was a total disappointment, so I decided to go with what I know best and that’s good old home workouts.

I like exercising in a comfort of my room, using my own shower afterwards and not wasting time on packing my belongings and travelling back and forth. I do, however, spend plenty of time choosing my DVDs and that’s exactly what I am going to talk about today.

Two years ago I’ve discovered Tracy Anderson workouts, tried them and fell in love. Her routines made me feel good and re-shaped my body exactly how I wanted even though I chose not to follow her advice 100%.

Diet-wise, I just did what I preach since it would be unwise not to use the knowledge I’ve got.

When it came to the fitness part, I used her body shaping workouts three times a week rather than every day as she urged everyone to. The sensible schedule allowed my body to rest and recover in between, so instead of burning out (it will always happen if you aren’t careful) I kept on going. In addition, whenever I felt like it, I mixed in a bit of Tracy’s cardio, on alternative days, of course.

Which DVDs did I use? I have a few and rotate them every 6-8 weeks. If you’ve never tried Tracy’s workouts here are my suggestions to get you started.

As much as you may  be tempted to go for the 30-day Method, pick the Post-Pregnancy Workout instead. Although it may sound like an odd choice, it is the best one for any beginner. I received it by mistake, but once used it became one of my favourite DVDs. Both abs and legs routines are mostly floor-based and target the areas that can be very difficult to deal with – the lower abs, muffin top, bottom and thighs. She also included some arm exercises, too, so the area won’t be left untouched. Frankly, once done you are going to feel like you just had a muscle strengthening massage that made you tired to the core. It’s a wonderful feeling (if you like to feel the burn like I do).

And just in case you are still reaching for 30-day boot camp – fair enough, but be prepared to concentrate more on your remote control on/off button rather than your routine in order to complete the exercises. This is the only DVD that does not play continuously.

Once you feel that you can easily complete the first DVD (or did it for 6-8 weeks), move on to Tracy Anderson Method. It’s a bit more challenging than the first workout, but it’s just as enjoyable and beautifully presented. This time most of the leg exercises are of a standing kind (you will need a chair for that) and so are some of the abs. Although both parts are good, my favourite one here is the arm section because it really is brilliant, made my arms ache (in a good way) and improved the muscle tone. Sometimes I just use the arm section after doing a cardio or even on its own if I am short of time but fancy a bit of exercise. I really do love it.

It’s also worth mentioning the cardio routine because there are a few of them and Dance Cardio Workout is the only one I like. Ironically this video received quite a bit of negative feedback on amazon – please do not be put off by reading those reviews. I understand that everyone is different, but the DVD really is fun and worth trying. As I mentioned above, I use it 1-2 times a week on days when I don’t do any other exercises.

There are eight routines, each lasting about 10 minutes or so. Some are definitely more complex than the others, so it’s a good idea to watch the whole video before starting your workout just to familiarise yourself with the moves and challenges you are about to face. I never used the break down part – I always find that most manuals take away my enthusiasm for life, so I only refer to them in case I get stuck, which, when it comes to dancing, never happens.

The only downside to the video is the missing cool-down part, so normally once I am done, I walk around the room for a few seconds and then move onto doing some simple stretches. If you have no idea how to stretch, there are some good routines and advice on Shape website.

I didn’t find the technical part (i.e. the moves) too complicated, but my cardio levels were rubbish, so I was out of breath and very beetroot-like after my very first attempt. Instead of being a hero and going through the entire workout (which would probably be a matter of life and death), I began by completing part one, then adding part two a week or so later and so on. In four weeks I was able to dance through 6 routines without feeling uncomfortable. I deliberately skipped two parts because I wasn’t too keen on the music, but the rest was absolutely brilliant and made me believe that I could actually dance.

If or when somebody mentions that this DVD is not for beginners, don’t count yourself as one (even if you are). Go for it, have fun, try and try again and you will notice the difference in a few weeks. Just make sure you have plenty of water, hard floors and very good sports shoes. The latter is crucial because you will be doing a lot of jumping and if you ignore the footwear you may have to deal with an injury at some point. As soon as I watched the DVD I went and got myself a pair of appropriate trainers at JD Sports to dance happily ever after. My calve muscles still ached after the first few sessions, but trainers provided the much needed cushioning for the joints and ligaments. Please bear this in mind.

In addition to these trio, I’ve also got Tracy’s Perfect Design Series, but I will tell you  more about those next time.

 

Photo source: Vogue Italia October 2010

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Bottega Veneta Pre-Fall 2013

18/12/2012

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I’ve recently read somewhere that sample designs shown to the buyers are often better than the pieces that are later sold in the shops. Perhaps, it’s true for some labels, but when it comes to Bottega Veneta you just know everything, absolutely everything, every tiny stitch, button and zipper, is going to be absolutely painfully perfect.

After Chanel and before Bottega Pre-Fall 2013 shows I was slowly getting into fashion hibernation. There were beautiful clothes here and there, but nothing really moved me.

Then the miracle of Tomas Maier happened again and I felt the tears coming a bit too close to the surface. I loved this collection. I love every element of it – the structure, the muted colours, the simplicity of lines, the feeling of comfort and protection that would come from wearing one of those stunning coats. I loved the choices of fabric, pumps and dreamy bags. I couldn’t get enough of the dresses and jackets. I had an urge of hugging the clothes, giving them names and making them my best friends.

I am a woman, I love all things beautiful. And I really am in love with Bottega Veneta. Maybe even more than I’ve even imagined.

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Photo source: wwd.com

Natalia Vodianova in Vogue Italia 2002

17/12/2012

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I’ve always thought of this story from the October issue of the Italian Vogue 2002 as one of the most perfect editorials to publish at Christmas and yet up until now I only used a couple of shots.

Whether you adore Natalia Vodianova or Elle von Unwerth, tend to lose yourself on pages of Doctor Zhivago that inspired these shots or, like me, feel nostalgic about beautiful Russian winter, The Splendid Allure is here for you to enjoy.

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Photo source: Vogue Italia October 2002

Christmas gift guide: every shade of GREEN

14/12/2012

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There were many reasons for me to choose a green-themed gift guide as a part of the series. Emerald is my birth stone, so I guess our love for each other was written in the stars. Whenever somebody asked what my favourite colour was I would always respond with “Green… and blue”. Those two are the ones I’ve always worn and adored. They also changed the colour of my eyes accordingly, which was a bonus.

My emerald green memories began early. I had green dresses, loved my grandma’s jewellery, dreamed of wearing a dress like the one I saw in Gone with the Wind on Scarlett, adored the practically liquid creation worn by Keira Knightley in Atonement (do you know they had to have several dresses made as it was so fragile it hardly lasted through a scene?), was mildly obsessed with gorgeous emerald earrings on Angelina and strangely attracted to the Dolce&Gabbana sequined dress from their 2011 collection. As you can see, the mysterious colour and I have quite a history. And I already blogged about it in the past.

It made me smile when Pantone announced that emerald was the colour of 2013. In the blogging world it will probably be the same as it was with mint last spring and summer – everyone was suddenly wearing it. I’ll be curious to see what happens in a few weeks or months. For now, get ahead of the queue by treating yourself to some emerald greens – or something slightly different in case you prefer warmer shades.

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Where to buy: 1. Green jewel box clutch bag at Dorothy Perkins (£20 Was £29), 2. Little treat bath and shower oil by Aromatherapy Associates (£12), 3. Privet Bloom perfume by Hampton Sun (£59), 4. Emerald green silk blouse by Tucker at TrilogyStores (£245), 5. Vintage Modernist brooch by Yves Saint Laurent (£229.46), 6. Crystal gold plated snake bracelet by Kenneth Jay Lane (£114 Was £285), 6A. Cashmere sweater at Uniqlo (£59 Was £79), 7. Green silk dress by Issa (£368), 8. Cour Byzantine ring by Sylvia Toledano (£125), 9. Green stone drop earrings by Sikara & Co (£87), 10. Faux fur Frances scarf by KG (£15 Was £60), 11. Ana bracelet by Ela Stone (£75), 12. Vintage Paris Proues scarf by Hermes (£254), 13. Crystal tealight holder by Seletti (£39.76), 14. Lingerie Elferine set by Mimi Holliday here & here (US/Canada) & here and here (Europe) (£98), 15. Zip front green tote bag at Oasis (£25 Was £45), 16. Hamilton Saffiano leather key ring  by Michael Kors (£30), 17. Python ankle boots by Alexandre Birman (£406 Was £1015)

Photo source: Marie Claire UK December 2011