Timeless chic: Alberta Ferretti Spring 2004

31/07/2014

Alberta Ferretti: the story

29/07/2014

Alberta Ferretti | Spring 2000 campaign

28/07/2014

Precious metals

25/07/2014

Karolina Kurkova in Elle US May 2005 (photography & styling: Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele)
The trend that's not really a trend, but very much a fashion statement so beautiful that it keeps coming back, metallics cannot be ignored, especially when the clothes are as glorious as the Spring/Summer 2014 offerings.

From every shade of gold and silver to copper, midnight blues, mysterious greens and shimmering magentas, these dresses give woman a feeling of glamour and style decadence, moulding around her as if the body heat is all that it takes to melt the delicate fibres...

Linda Evangelista wearing Versace chain mail dress in Harper's Bazaar US 1995 photographed by Peter Lindbergh
Magical and captivating they bring memories of the supermodels posing in their Versace gold dresses made of the Orton chain mail, the images of gorgeous Tatjana Patitz photographed by Ritts and Demarchelier, the Elle editorial where Karolina Kurkova is dancing in a gold DSquared2 number and my most recent love, the Altuzarra barely there seductive creation. 

In a league of their own, these glistening lam├ęs are waiting to be minecrafted by you... The question is - are you ready to shine?

To make this look work as daywear, keep everything simple, including the hair and make up. 

Unless you really are going for that Dolce&Gabbana glamour or imperconating Lanvin's good-girl-gone-bad, leave all (or most) of your jewellery at home. 

Go for nude sandals, rock chic peep toe or lace-up booties.

And if the full-on gold outfit is your idea of Hell, dilute the shine with a few wardrobe basics - there's no outfit that wouldn't work when paired with a simple white shirt, cigarette trousers, a delicate cashmere sweater or semi-concealed by a classic trench or jacket thrown over the shoulders.

Spring/Summer 2014 trends, metallic trend, must-have season pieces, shopping
Ombre-effect rose metallic dress | Silver foil patchwork vest | Metallic fine-knit sweater | Gunmetal gauze dress | Metallic white gold boucle skirt | Silver midi skirt | Green metallic camisole | Gold lace pencil skirt

Photo source: Elle US May 2005 (photography & styling: Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele), Harper's Bazaar US April 1995 (photography: Peter Lindbergh), metallics on a runway at  Zimmermann Spring/Summer 2014, Tory Burch Spring/Summer 2014, Max Mara Spring/Summer 2014, Rochas Spring/Summer 2014, Altuzarra Spring/Summer 2014, Salvatore Ferragamo Spring/Summer 2014, Lanvin Spring/Summer 2014, Sonia Rykiel Spring/Summer 2014, Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014, Versace Spring/Summer 2014, Julien Mcdonald Spring/Summer 2014, Trussardi Spring/Summer 2014, Dolce&Gabbana Spring/Summer 2014

Sasha

24/07/2014

Vogue Paris August 2014 (photography: David Sims, styling: Suzanne Koller)
A few stunning photos of Sasha Pivovarova from the latest issue of Vogue Paris... I just couldn't keep these to myself - too beautiful, too intense, too shame not to share...

Vogue Paris August 2014 (photography: David Sims, styling: Suzanne Koller)
Vogue Paris August 2014 (photography: David Sims, styling: Suzanne Koller)
Photo source: Vogue Paris August 2014 (photography: David Sims, styling: Suzanne Koller)

Stylish quote

23/07/2014

Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2013
"The runway show is the one opportunity we get to show our clothes our way. It's an invitation; it's certainly not dictating."

Jean Paul Gaultier

Photo source: Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2013 via stylebistro.com

Gianfranco Ferre: The white shirt according to me

22/07/2014

Quiet days

19/07/2014

Bag of the month: July is for Alfie Douglas

18/07/2014

Alfie Douglas Alfie tan leather shoulder bag
I am so excited to share this little gem with you today. Meet Alfie... A gorgeous Alfie Douglas shoulder bag that I've recently found and fell in love with.

First of all, it's British, which makes me feel rather proud. Secondly, I adore the name - the way "Alfie" glides off the tongue transforming into a sweet, coquettish sound makes me want to treat the bag as if it was a toy, a precious find, a piece of delicious toffee - one of my favourite traditional candies and, when it comes to fashion, hues...

What makes it even more special is all the care and hard work that goes into production, from the choice of the finest leather and dyeing techniques to the traditional saddle stitching and copper finishes, all done by hand making each piece unique and one-of-a-kind.

A sort of bag one would be happy to carry around and keep for years. And since it can be yours for on£100, Alfie makes a rather smart investment for those girls who appreciate finer things and timeless style that don't require a special loan in order to be acquired and maintained.

Available on-line, in the most perfect shade of tan or classic black.

Photo source: avenue32.com

Shall we talk about couture?

17/07/2014

Chanel HC Fall 2013
"They don't do it like that anymore..." was the first thought that went through my mind as I finally managed to drag myself away from a softy lit display at V&A. Behind the glass there was an original Balenciaga suit, once a part of the Golden Age of Couture exhibition and now residing in the museum permanently among other stunning ball gowns. Seeing it out there, in a vast dark space invisibly cushioned by the distant sound of music (I was very fortunate to visit the place before the opening hours) felt as if I was in a different universe, not exactly stepping back in time, but thinking about the future.

Dovima in chloche & suit by Balenciaga, Dafe Des Deux Magots, Paris, August 1955, photographed by Richard Avedon
I don't think I've ever seen anything quite as perfect as that suit where every grain of grey tweed seamlessly followed the lines of the garment, the 3/4 sleeves hit the arm at exactly the right point to make a woman's wrist look particularly slim and fragile, not too exposed, but never - too covered, the precise cut and the delicate row of stitches running alongside...

Myrtle Crawford wearing Balenciaga tweed suit photographed by Frances McLaughlin-Gill for Vogue September 1952
A stunning specimen of the original couture and quality, the impeccable timelessness, the elegance - all made it so easy to understand why women were in mourning when Balenciaga closed the doors of his atelier in 1968.

Gitta Schilling wearing Balmain dress from "Perle Oceane" Spring 1959 photographed by Regina Relang
Indeed, there were a few other stunning examples in that room... The day dresses and gowns by Schiaparelli and Lanvin, Balmain, Fath, Givenchy and Dior, the lavishly embroidered Roger Vivier shoes, pillow box hats covered in delicate flowers and the original Rene Gruau illustrations... 

I walked out of that hall, in awe, feeling dizzy with emotions... Somehow those almost a century-old frocks made me realise how much we once had and how carelessly a huge part of that legacy was lost, wasted almost... Not because it was necessary, but for the desperate need to be... something else, modern, as many put it these days. But what is modern anyway? The odd shape here and there? The careless cut? The lack of love? Yes, it would be unfair of me to say that everything we are presented with nowadays is bad - no, not at all... In fact, I do truly love what Lagerfeld, Saab, Dolce and Gabbana, Chuiri and Piccioli send down the runway. Even more so I admire some of the clothes designed as ready-to-wear, but, in reality, borderlining on couture -  just think Ferretti, Bottega Veneta, Dolce&Gabbana, Balmain and Valentino collections.

Valentino RTW Spring/Summer 2015
And yet, over all, it seems to me that the balance between the marvellous couture traditions and wearability (even if we are talking princess gowns) is not always there, lost in a rush, in a phenomenon of fast-moving modern fashion that makes one forget about the elegance, the made-to-last quality, love and allure. Even more it makes one forget that, in fact, everything new is often well-forgotten (or skilfully copied) old...

The truth to be told, the last couture season left me in shreds... It made me wonder how I would feel if I saw these dresses in 50 years from now... When are we going to have another Worth, Balenciaga, Ferre, Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, Galliano or McQueen - the visionaries who enhanced the world of fashion with the dreams and ideas of their own, moved it forward without destroying the past? Do we, in fact, need another Balenciaga?

I could have said "At least we will always have Chanel...", but, in our mortal world, even this statement is rather ephemeral... Pretty much like some fashions these days...

Chanel HC Fall 2010
What do you think?

Photo source: Chanel HC Fall 2013, Dovima in chloe & suit by Balenciaga photographed by Richard Avedon, Cafe des deus Magots, Paris, August 1955, Myrtle Crawford wearing Balenciaga tweed suit photographed by Frances McLaughlin-Gill for Vogue September 1952, Gitta Schilling wearing Balmain dress from "Perle Oceane" Spring 1959 photographed by Regina Relang, Valentino RTW Spring/Summer 2015, Chanel HC Fall 2010

Stylish quote

16/07/2014

DKNY Fall/Winter 2005 campaign via fashioned by love
"Fashion goes with the feeling of the moment. It's related to movies, to art, to young people's taste."

Gianni Versace

Photo source: DKNY Fall/Winter 2005 campaign

Moss and Klein are making headlines again

15/07/2014

It took big names to make The Little Me

14/07/2014

Christy Turlington in The Little Me editorial, Harper's Bazaar US May 1993
Whenever I read a little intro that accompanies a magazine photoshoot like this I wonder how it is even possible to find the right words without constantly being distracted by the content of the visual story. On one hand we have the fashion made of little tees and oversized cardigans, on the other - a photography in its art form: Christy Turlington, Peter Lindbergh, black and white theme, a signature behind-the-sceen shot, the timelessness of it all. 

I also happened to notice that the make-up was done by Stephane Marais who began working with Lindbergh in 1984 and later created the one-of-a-kind "couture look" for John Galliano's Spring show in 1994 followed by the "Chinese pin-up girls" for the Dior's Autumn 1997 collection. I became familiar with the name a few years ago after Galliano mentioned Marais in some of the interviews and seeing the credits on a page of Harper's gave me that warm "heart-wraped-in-a-blanket" feeling... 

Quite a special editorial, after all... The legendary one, if you think about it.

Christy Turlington in The Little Me editorial, Harper's Bazaar US May 1993
Christy Turlington in The Little Me editorial, Harper's Bazaar US May 1993
Christy Turlington in The Little Me editorial, Harper's Bazaar US May 1993
Christy Turlington in The Little Me editorial, Harper's Bazaar US May 1993
Christy Turlington in The Little Me editorial, Harper's Bazaar US May 1993
Photo source: Christy Turlington in The Little Me editorial, Harper's Bazaar US May 1993 (photography: Peter Lindbergh, make-up: Stephane Marais)

Designer look for less: Trussardi Spring/Summer 2014

11/07/2014

Designer look for less, inspiration Trussardi S/S 2014 via Fashioned by Love
Searching for some fresh ideas to update your summer style? Then take a look at my latest offering created with a few high street pieces and inspired by Trussardi Spring/Summer 2014 collection. This time I didn't want to copy the designer outfit completely, but rather adapt it a little by changing the length of the shorts, and introducing a subtle touch of snakeskin print and mirrored sunglasses that I spotted on the runway.

To me, this is a perfect idea of an elegant but easy to ensemble for enjoying the essense of summer without a care in the world.

Summer outfit, white romper, designer look for less, trends, all white look inspiration, how to wear snake print via Fashioned by Love

Photo source: Trussardi Spring/Summer 2014 via style.com

Mulberry dreams

10/07/2014

Mulberry Fall/Winter 2004 campaign
What does a normal British girl buy when she is in Paris? Something French, obviously, and maybe a little Zara and a box of macaroons. I returned with a soft burgundy drawstring pouch hiding a precious content. It was a Ledbury in Darwin oak leather, a small robust beauty that became one of my most treasured bags. It wasn't a planned purchase, oh, no, not at all. In fact back in those times I favoured large and roomy totes that housed pretty much my entire life and a few little souvenirs picked up on my travels. 

Paris was different. Everything was smaller in Paris, more dainty, more feminine, more... compact. The city of lights made my hobo look too bulky and space-consuming. I needed a replacement. Besides I wanted a present. Just because...

And so off we went to the Galerie Lafayette where I marched through the isles of Fendi's, Gucci's and Celine's (oh it was a beautiful season for Celine bags!), trying hard not to admire them too much for my heart would be broken by any close encounter.

Then suddenly I saw the Mulberry corner, the proud little Ledburys, the elegant Bayswaters and the classic hues of tan, chocolate and black. As soon as I held one of them, I knew it would be coming home with me. It was 2007 and the price of a Ledbury was 450EUR or just under £300. Expensive, of course, but realistic. "An accessible luxury" as Mulberry called it.

Designed by Stuart Vevers (the brand's creative director at the time who's impressive CV includes such names as Calvin Klein, Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and the most recent - Loewe and Coach) that sweet bag with its simple timeless appeal, handcrafted body, warm hue of a clover honey, made me fall in love with Mulberry and, as a result, eventually lead to a dream of acquiring a classic Bayswater, too.

I almost made it mine once, the Baywater, you know. It was around £500, which meant that I had to put some cash aside for a few months (call it a year, lets be honest) in order to make it happen. As painful as it was, the waiting game felt exciting... What I didn't account for was the changes the company decided to introduce. Emma Hill became its creative director bringing fresh ideas and attracting celebrity clientele, and the prices began creeping up... The numbers on the tag attached to my dream bag were changing... £495... £550 (in early 2009)... £595 (a few months later)... £695... £895... £1100... The shareholders rejoiced at the fivefold profit increase while I filed my dream in a memory box and put it away until further notice.

I've loved Mulberry, always have and always will, but those prices were intolerable for my mind and made me feel alienated, almost as if I didn't deserve to be a part of the Mulberry world. I know that the company simply played on consumers desperate need to own a piece of Alexa or Del Rey design at any cost, and they made the most out of it. That's business. 

Then, after dedicating six years of her life, talent and several gorgeous collections, Emma quit her job and left the company - a sudden move that made Mulberry bosses revaluate their tactics and current affairs, particularly with Bruno Guillon, the French executive who moved to the British quarters from Hermes and was partially responsible for the whole idea of taking the brand to the fashion universe made of £1000+ bags. At the end it was clear that he failed to deliver,  and so Guillon became the past of Mulberry in March 2014.

Often a drama like this means bad news, but for Mulberry it was the beginning of a very interesting chapter starting with a brand new collection of Tessie bags priced between £495 and £595 depending on the design. 

Mulberry Tessie tote bag
And what a beautiful addition it turned out to be! Freed from oversized hardware, sleek and modern, the Tessie family oozed the quintessential British charm and looked so very elegant and grown-up! The satchels, hobos and totes in tan, black, red and oxblood small grain leather retained their functionality and structure, but were sensual, tactile and darling. I doubt there will be anyone able to resist these new classics because they are meant to last, make us happy and are such a joy to hold!

Now I know I will be taking that memory box of mine out of storage... Yes, I still love the Bayswater, but I want a Tessie, too, especially the mini satchel. Lets see what happens next... 

What about you? How do you feel about the latest Mulberry adventure?

Photo source:  Mulberry Fall/Winter 2004 campaign, mulberry.com

Stylish quote

09/07/2014

Karlie Kloss in Hermes scarf photographed by David Sims for Harpers Bazaar US April 2013
"A scarf has to be the most beautiful thing ever invented to wear! It's a winding, a continuity, an infinity!"

Sonia Rykiel

Photo source: Karlie Kloss wearing Hermes scarf in Harper's Bazaar US April 2013 (photography: David Sims)

The most iconic sandals - find your sole mate

04/07/2014

Kate Moss wearing the Nudist sandals photographed by Mario Testino for Stuart Weitzman Spring 2014 campaign
Is it even possible not to love these sandals? From the moment Saint Laurent released the Jane, it became an instant hit -  the barely there shoes looked gorgeous on everyone, gave an illusion of lightness, could be worn with jeans or an evening gown and rewarded most women with the lean and long legs of a top model. Looking like a sharp thin line, gently contouring the feet, refining the shape and defining the style, the Saint Laurents were a stroke of genius and a very tempting investment.

I don't often say this, but these sandals are definitely one the timeless pairs every woman should own. There were similar shapes in the 70s and 90s, so the newly reincarnated Jane will look modern and style appropriate for at least a decade. However if the original Saint Laurent is still more of a wish list item, there are plenty of gorgeous alternatives to make every girl happy - I've done the legwork, picked the best of the best and if you can spot the Saint Laurent without fail, then grab yourself a biscuit from a treat jar to enjoy whilst shopping.

Which one is your perfect sole mate?

Saint Laurent Jane ankle strap sandals & fashionable alternatives for every budget

Photo source: Kate Moss wearing the Nudist, a sandal co-designed by Nicole Fritton for the Harper's Bazaar & Stuart Weitzman capsule collection (photography: Mario Testino)