Bag of the month: October is for Smythson

31/10/2014

Smythson Panama tote bag
Am I the only person not talking about Halloween today? Well, there's a huge bowl of sweets in my kitchen for the kids, so I feel like my job here is done as far as the scariest night goes.

Instead I am going to talk about my latest bag of the month and introduce you to this monochrome beauty from the Smythson Panama collection, inspired by the portable diary created by Frank Smythson in 1908 and nicknamed "the Panama hat of books".

This classy tote is not just a life-saver for those girls who love or need to carry their life around, it's a statement that the owner of such a bag appreciates true elegance and knows the meaning of timeless style. 

It's classy, spacious and crafted to perfection from the cross-grain calf leather. It has just the right amount of light gold hardware. And the most scrumptious rose suede lining that does not only make it easy to navigate inside the bag, but puts a satisfied happy smile on your face every time you see that powdery surface. 

The tote is waiting for you at Smythson and Matches. Make a date and make it yours - you'll be best friends forever. 

Beautiful dozen: grey coats | 2014 edit

30/10/2014

Lydia Willemina Collins in Harper's Bazaar Australia September 2013 (photography: Simon Upton, styling: Tamara McQuillan)
Lets move swiftly from the classic camel coats to the ones in every shade of grey, the colour I adore and the garment that always brings back memories

Grey cover-ups were a part of my "Beautiful dozen" series last year, in their most classic versions to treasure for years to come, and it was interesting for me to go back and see how the fashion offerings of shapes and colours has changed since then: the coats became more sporty, more masculine, but still retained some feminine softness, the cocooning effect, the cosiness... 

And, of course, grey became one of the 2014 trends. The classic turned the latest must-have (and, wonderfully so, it was more about the colours of nature and not a certain over-hyped book/film) and made my job of picking up the cream of crop much easier - the high street had plenty of beautiful and affordable options that looked just as gorgeous as the designer ultimate fantasies without being too dramatic on the wallet, but still delivering that sublime quality we all dream of.

After all, our coat is what we end up wearing and seeing the most. It conceals pretty much everything we have underneath, our most stylish choices and occasional faux pas, satisfies our natural need for warmth and even more natural desire to take somebody's breath away and, lets admit, it really is a grown-up version of a comfort blanket. Obviously, it's got to be good.

Do you even think about that sensual movement of your coat when you walk? The soft lines? The moment that feels like a hug? To me, these are the signs of a perfect coat.

And how would I wear my greys? Keeping the lines simple and playing with textures instead. Going for cashmere, merino, wool and silk. Head to toe, monochromatic, blending two or three different grey-on-grey hues, or mixing with a little white, dusty rose or burgundy as long as the result is muted, calm and quiet. 

via fashionedbylove: grey coats edit for all budgets | Jaeger, Joseph, TopShop, M&S, MSMG, Valentino, Stella McCartney
Where to buy: 1. Slim colourless coat, 2. Single breasted light grey coat, 3. Light grey felt long coat, 4. Oversized two-tone wool coat, 5. Grey wool coat, 6. Double-faced herringbone coat, 7. Grey wool-blend oversized coat, 8. Wool & angora blend coat, 9. Grey wool cape, 10. Cashmere-blend coat, 11. Straight cut wool-blend coat, 12. Fluffy double collar coat

Photo source: Lydia Willemina Collins in Harper's Bazaar Australia September 2013 (photography: Simon Upton, styling: Tamara McQuillan) via fgr

Stylish quote

29/10/2014

Codie Young wearing Sonia by Sonia Rykiel | Sleepwalker editorial | Nasty magazine January 2014 #4 (photography: Nhu Xian Hua, styling: Francesca Pinna)
"As soon as you have found your look, your shape, you don't need to alter it too much. In fact I would say that you should not change it. 

Women who retain a unique shape are usually unique people."

Sonia Rykiel

Photo source: Codie Young wearing Sonia by Sonia Rykiel | Sleepwalker editorial | Nasty magazine January 2014 #4 (photography: Nhu Xian Hua, styling: Francesca Pinna)

Wonderland

27/10/2014

Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
"We are all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. 
"You must be," said the Cat. "or you wouldn't have come here."

Yesterday I felt rather miserable and under the weather. I got out briefly, but then ended up among the pillows and blankets, with the dog by my side, naturally. And, while my husband was enjoying the re-run of the Lord of the Rings, probably rehearsing for the movie marathon we usually start comes Christmas, I was away in the fashion wonderland curtesy of In Vogue: Editor's Eye documentary.

Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
It's been a long time since I wanted to see it, so discovering the film on one of the iPad apps was such a fab surprise! The movie was only an hour long, but packed with precious insights into the Vogue's behind-the-sceenes and history seeing through the eyes of its most influential fashion editors including Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman, Polly Allen Mellen, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Camilla Nickerson, Phyllis Posnick and Babs Simpson.

Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
One of the moments that totally captured my imagination was the story about the Alice in Wonderland shoot, one of my most favourite editorials ever. I thought it's such a shame that we hardly ever discover any details about the preparation that goes into creating something like that. We never get a chance to learn that the Balenciaga dress had to be remade on the spot by Nicolas Ghesquiere just to get the photo right or that Marc Jacobs might have not made it to the issue... Perhaps, this is part of the reason we can skip a certain glossy photoshoot without admiring it for just a tiny bit longer... or forget that these moments are what makes fashion a form of art and not just a plain attempt to sell a few collections.

Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
I hope you'll enjoy revisiting this beautiful editorial with me. And should you wish to watch an video clip about Alice in Wonderland, see this Vogue exclusive.

As for the opening quote... It made me think of the world of fashion, the Wonderland, and people, the mad ones and the dreamers, who love it no matter what.

Vogue: The Editor's Eye is also available as a book, which I really want now, having seen the documentary.



Photo source: Natalia Vodianova in Alice in Wonderland editorial | Vogue US December 2003 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)

Parisian style | Wardrobe essentials

26/10/2014

When I first started this blog, I shared quite a few posts dedicated to Parisiennes and their style. Naturally, it's time to add another story, a list extracted from the How to be Parisian book I talked about a couple of days ago and a shopping guide that combines everything I recently found online and have been thinking of. 

I must admit that, whenever I happen to create this kind of "essential wardrobe", it makes me wonder why on Earth I'd need anything else. Perhaps, the only items I'd add here would be a skirt, a black dress, a pair of trousers, a coat and a pair of classic court shoes... 

via fashionedbylove: Parisian style | French style | Wardrobe essentials | #howtobeparisian

A long trench (for warmer weather): you know it doesn't keep you as warm as a down jacket. But when you put on a down jacket, you feel like you're voluntarily adding extra love handles.

The oversized sweater that slips off your shoulder: it's as soft as a teddy bear, as calming as Xanax, as wide as a screen, perfect for days when you feel your hips too much. If you only have one, make sure it's cashmere. 

The little black blazer: it smartens up a scruffy pair of jeans and you wear it on days when you don't want to make it look too obvious that you don't feel like making an effort.

An oversized shirt: you always undo one extra button, so it doesn't look too serious... 

Jeans: any time, anywhere. and any way.

Ballet flats: your equivalent of slippers; you don't choose between comfort and elegance; for you, it's all or nothing. 

A small silk scarf: first, it adds a touch of colour to a dark outfit without running the risk of a fashion faux pas. Then, when it rains, you wear it over your head like Romy Schneider.

Basic oversized sunglasses: every day, even when it's raining...

The bag: it's not an accessory, it's your home. Beautiful on the outside, that's just to keep up appearances.

A very simple, but very expensive t-shirt whose finely woven and slightly transparent thread make it feel like cashmere.

A thick scarf: precisely because you don't own a parka. And despite pretending otherwise, sometimes you get cold. 

Men's shoes: the very essence of your style.

The white shirt: it's iconic and timeless.

A little treat / a signature item, the vital detail that brings the outfit together, head to toe, a gift that a woman gives to herself depending on her age, her taste and the size of her purse, something that states "it makes me happy" - like this hand-made rose gold and silk cord bracelet...

***
You may also enjoy these Parisienne-inspired stories from the past...











Photo source: Edita Vilkeviciute at Paris fashion week via PopSugar

Saskia & Mr Louboutin | Le Rendez-Vous

25/10/2014

Saskia de Brauw in the Louis Vuitton by Christian Louboutin collection styled by Carine Roitfeld and filmed by Gordon von Steiner.
A charming fairy-tale to start off the weekend.

Saskia de Brauw in the Louis Vuitton by Christian Louboutin collection styled by Carine Roitfeld and filmed by Gordon von Steiner. And lots and lots of Paris.

How to be Parisian: Wherever you are

23/10/2014

via fashionedbylove: How to be parisian: wherever you are | book review + preview

"Yes, she'll admit that her charm is somewhat artificial. Et alors?"

My first memory of a Parisienne... A girl on a bicycle cycling down one of the quiet streets in soft shadows of golden autumn trees. Petite, dark hair kept in a dainty chignon, black cardi, black full midi skirt, espadrilles... Here one moment and varnished the next.

An elegant lady. Snow white long bob. Black very expensive-looking trouser suit. The time followed her, not the other way around.

A student crossing the square... Long main of ash blond hair dancing in the wind, men style trousers, shirt, sweater, brogues, carrying a couple of books.

A sales assistant in Gallerie Lafayette. Stunning and unforgettable. Ebony skin, tall, model-slim, shaved head, glorious platform heels, classic Gucci-like horse-bite print dress, scarf and pearls. One of a kind.
via fashionedbylove: How to be parisian: wherever you are | book review + preview

I think those were the moments of falling in love with Parisiennes... They stayed with me forever. Even more so, I've become fascinated with those women, their allure, attitude and charm. I wanted to know more, to live in those moments... create my own. And since I couldn't be in Paris or in a company of Parisiennes, I turned to movies, music and, of course, books...

Once in a while I'd add another title to my library and indulge, lose myself in words and memories of my own. The process of choosing each books was a rather special affair for me - it had to have something new, something exciting and be a bit like a fantasy rather than another ode to ballerina flats and stripped jumpers (not that there's anything wrong with either of those, but my brain can only take a certain volume of cliché) or a tale about women who do absolutely nothing to remain beautiful and slim (honestly?...)

With so many demands my choice of reading material was, indeed, limited to a few selected titles - enough to satisfy me for a while, but not at all useful to rid me of my permanent craving for learning about Parisiennes. I kept looking...

September brought back a familiar feeling of nostalgia for Paris, glorious weather, fashion week and a new book written by Caroline de Maigret together with her three friends - Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan and Anne Berest. The title, "How to be Parisian whenever you are", sounded good. Very good. Tempting. Too wonderful to be true. I put it in my basket. Walked away. Came back three days later wondering "Should I? Shouldn't I?" 

At this point I didn't have a daisy to help me decide. I decided to start with the preview. It read:

"The truth is out: Parisiennes aren't privy to a secret "skinny" gene, they aren't always easy to be with and aren't all perfect mothers. In fact, they are very imperfect, vague, unreliable and full of paradoxes. But they can also be funny, attentive, curious and ironic, and they know how to enjoy life."

I was almost convinced. I scrolled down to the next page and found the aphorisms... The book was on its way to me within seconds.

via fashionedbylove: How to be parisian: wherever you are | book review + preview
Why? Because How To Be Parisian... is nothing like any other book about Parisiennes you've ever read. Yes, it does cover the usual style and wardrobe dilemmas and rules. And yes, the girls do talk about beauty, achieving those famous Parisian curls, natural skin, having plastic surgeries, no-make-up make-up and a few home treatments (including a hair mask I swear by, though I've always thought it had Russian origins, naturally). Of course, there's a mention of exercise and diets. And best books (phew, I read most of them by now - proud moment!). And movies. Paris. Places to be and not to be, for various reasons. Attitude. Men to adore and walk away from. Love. Children and motherhood. Home comforts, dinner parties and cooking. Life.

But it is not simply about the subjects and words. What makes How to be Parisian so different is how all those stories are told. Some are beautiful etudes like the watercolour paintings, light, emotional,  dreamy, with a note of melancholy, joy or humour. Others are witty and wise rules, quotes, how-to's and faux pas'. It's like a conversation you would have with your girlfriends over a cup of coffee or glass of wine - funny, sad, happy, supportive, cool and.... real.

And the best of all? By the time you get to the last page you realise one very simple thing - you have already got a little bit of Parisienne in you. Wherever you are.

Stylish quote

22/10/2014

via fashionedbylove | fashion editorials | Michaela Bercu photographed by Pamela Hanson in Vogue Paris March 1989
"Birthdays are only important to a woman before 18 and after 90. In between you never ever talk about it. Because after all, age is in your mind."

Coco Chanel

Photo source: Michaela Bercu photographed by Pamela Hanson in Vogue Paris March 1989

Good bye, Oscar!

21/10/2014

via fashionedbylove | Oscar de la Renta
I woke up this morning to the tragic and surreal news about Oscar de la Renta who died last night. True legend, a man of impeccable taste, a remarkable designer, one of the old school bunch who truly understood the meaning of elegance, he left us with beautiful memories, exquisite fashions and a void in our hearts. 

Good bye, Mr de la Renta... R.I.P.

***

"Fashion is about dressing according to what's fashionable. Style is about being yourself. It is about being comfortable in your own skin."

"To be well dressed you must be well naked."

"There is more to femininity than just wearing skirts and dresses alone. I like the idea of an eternal beauty - a woman whose style transcends what is popular today."

"Elegance is an old world. A lot of anonymous girls walking along the street have a style of their own."

"I hate "pretty". It's a very empty word. It gives a bad name to beauty."

***

Cosy is the word

18/10/2014

Vogue Germany November 2014 (photography: Nick Dorey, styling: Katie Mossman)
This week went by in a flash. It was busy, stressful, eventful, with lots of running in the rain and home-based work when the sun was actually shining. At night I'd put my head on a pillow thinking "Boy, I just love to sleep!" I know, it sounds dull, but it's true... 
Vogue Germany November 2014 (photography: Nick Dorey, styling: Katie Mossman)
So today is going to be cosy. Sweaters, blankets, a book, a movie of some description and my men, of course. I may even treat myself to a piece of carrot cake, just because. And put on a much-needed face mask when the darkness fall.

Vogue Germany November 2014 (photography: Nick Dorey, styling: Katie Mossman)
Vogue Germany November 2014 (photography: Nick Dorey, styling: Katie Mossman)
Photo source: Vogue Germany November 2014 (photography: Nick Dorey, styling: Katie Mossman)

Outfit inspiration: grey days

17/10/2014

Stylish quote

15/10/2014

tella Tennant wearing Hermes & Bottega Veneta in A Highland Friendship editorial | Vogue Italia October 2012 (photography: Bruce Weber, styling: Joe McKenna)
"Luxury is something private. It's not at all flashy stuff, it's not at all telling everybody that you've got five Birkin bags. It's much more something that gives you personal pleasure. It's about the feel, and the touch, and the way it's made."

Suzy Menkes

Photo source: Stella Tennant wearing Hermes & Bottega Veneta in A Highland Friendship editorial | Vogue Italia October 2012 (photography: Bruce Weber, styling: Joe McKenna)

Peter Copping heads to Oscar de la Renta

14/10/2014

Peter Copping goes to Oscar de la Renta | Photo: Vogue US September 2012
It hasn't even been two weeks since the news about Peter Copping departure from the Parisian Nina Ricci, but it was enough to confirm that the rumours of his new venture at Oscar de la Renta were, in fact, true. For the first time in history of the iconic American house, de la Renta will be introducing a creative director to possibly replace him as the time goes by and it is Copping who is going to take the position. 

"I'm very happy that Peter has agreed to join us. He is a great talen and along with our shared design sensibilities, we both have a deep curiously about the wider world, from music and art to architecture and gardens."de la Renta said to WWD. I think he definitely made the right choice.

Copping will be showing his first collection for Oscar de la Renta in February 2015 during New York fashion week.

Photo source: Vogue US September 2012

Nostalgia

13/10/2014

Cover me

11/10/2014

Giedre Dukauskaite in Cover Me editorial | Marie Claire UK September 2014 (photography: James Macari, styling: Tiffany Fraser Steele)
This is my perfect memory of autumn. The scent of faded grass, the crisp whisper of the fallen leaves,  the sunshine gently caressing my face... The air, so fresh it never seems to be enough of it to inhale, to soak those precious molecules with every cell... The half-melted smoke from a distant bon-fire... The old wooden fences and crumbling little houses built some centuries ago, or simply two quickly to care about their future... And the country side. The Russian one. In all its wild golden glory sprinkled with cranberries...

Giedre Dukauskaite in Cover Me editorial | Marie Claire UK September 2014 (photography: James Macari, styling: Tiffany Fraser Steele)
Giedre Dukauskaite in Cover Me editorial | Marie Claire UK September 2014 (photography: James Macari, styling: Tiffany Fraser Steele)
Giedre Dukauskaite in Cover Me editorial | Marie Claire UK September 2014 (photography: James Macari, styling: Tiffany Fraser Steele)
Giedre Dukauskaite in Cover Me editorial | Marie Claire UK September 2014 (photography: James Macari, styling: Tiffany Fraser Steele)
Giedre Dukauskaite in Cover Me editorial | Marie Claire UK September 2014 (photography: James Macari, styling: Tiffany Fraser Steele)
Photo source: Giedre Dukauskaite in Cover Me editorial | Marie Claire UK September 2014 (photography: James Macari, styling: Tiffany Fraser Steele)

Beautiful dozen: camel coats | 2014 edit

10/10/2014

Aymeline Valade wearing Mango camel coat in S Moda August 2014 (photography: Damon Baker, styling: Francesca Rinciari)
Are you still looking for that perfect camel coat? Then I may have something for you. I know I talked about them last year (and probably a year before that), but despite being a classic, the camel coat is something that has to be revisited every season. Our lives change and so do the figures and collections - naturally, the wardrobe has to reflect that somehow. 

Perhaps, buying a new coat every year is not for everyone. I, certainly, believe that it's best to invest into something rather special than spend the hard-earned money on a piece of clothing that will only last you a year or two... But then, again, it's all relevant... Some may only be satisfied with the ultimate MaxMara luxury, while others will be just as happy wrapping into a Mango or Uniqlo

As somebody who's experienced both, I can honestly say that the most important thing is to find a coat that makes you feel feel protected and beautiful. Something with a great fit and cut. Ideally, made from wool, cashmere or camel fabrics, and not acrylic or polyester (including the lining - definitely look for silk, cupro or viscose) . Something that gives you the most mind-melting feeling of cosiness and makes you close your eyes and smile.

Once you are ready to begging your search, remember to have fun shopping! It's not a military operation or chore. It's a search for your new best friend. In reality, we are spoilt for choice these days - the high street has so many gorgeous options that a girl can truly indulge without fear of going broke. The edit below is a great example of that, though there are some MaxMara's there, too - it would be unfair, disrespectful even, to forget about the classics...

via fashionedbylove: camel coats for every budget, autumn/winter 2014 edition

Photo source: Aymeline Valade wearing Mango camel coat in S Moda August 2014 (photography: Damon Baker, styling: Francesca Rinciari)

Natalia Barberi: exclusive interview

09/10/2014

In a way writing about Bionda Castana shoes rather than the brand's co-founder Natalia Barberi was a much easier job. Shoes.... They were

Stylish quote

08/10/2014

nne-Marie Van Dijk wearing Emanuel Ungaro and Dolce&Gabbana in Flight of Fantasy editorial | Harper's Bazaar UK January 2009 (photography: Kayt Jones, styling: Nathalie Riddle)
"Fashion is a mirror of our times so it can't last forever. It's not like furniture or art. The clothes represent one moment, then: finito."

Stefano Gabbana

Photo source: Anne-Marie Van Dijk wearing Emanuel Ungaro and Dolce&Gabbana in Flight of Fantasy editorial | Harper's Bazaar UK January 2009 (photography: Kayt Jones, styling: Nathalie Riddle)

John Galliano | The documentary

06/10/2014

John Galliano documentary
I've been keeping this film for later... To share simply because it was one of those moments when I saw John smile, happy and inspired. In his element. I watched it last weekend - and cried... Then patched my bleeding heart and crossed my fingers, once again. I guess, sometimes dreams do come true because hearing about John Galliano coming to work at Maison Martin Margiela just a few hours ago made me the happiest person in the world. And yes, I cried, once again, but this time I was in floods of happy tears.... Because this was the moment when everything finally fell into place.

Enjoy the documentary - it really is rather precious... Especially now.


Shades of grey

Esther Canadas in DKNY Fall/Winter 1998 ad campaign (photography: Peter Lindbergh)
And just like that, the fashion week is over... Now we have  six months to calm down, pop-in some much needed vitamin C, digest the news, share the favourites, spot the trends, write up the ultimate wish list, and prepare for another round comes February. 

Last weekend was the first one when I truly allowed myself to forget about my computer for more than a day. Instead I read, walked, did a bit of gardening and watched two fantastic fashion documentaries.

Esther Canadas in DKNY Fall/Winter 1998 ad campaign (photography: Peter Lindbergh)
Then I sorted an outfit for the Cosmo blog awards ceremony tomorrow and, while I was at it, pulled out my "fifty shades of grey" - an oversized cashmere and wool coat that I bought on a whim, for practical reasons, but fell head-over-heels in love as soon as it arrived; favourite jumpers, the most wonderful See by Chloe trousers, much-adored Vanessa Bruno mini and Jaeger midi and, of course, the boots of all sorts. All that I am missing (well, dreaming of) right now is a huge, soft-soft-soft grey scarf and a cosy cardigan a la Stella McCartney... I think some DIY'ing and a trip to Zara (or NAP) are inevitable.

Esther Canadas in DKNY Fall/Winter 1998 ad campaign (photography: Peter Lindbergh)
The timing also seemed perfect for sharing this DKNY campaign photographed by Peter Lindbergh back in 1998 - so relevant it's difficult to believe it's been 16 years since Esther Canadas put on that long sleeved sweater and white skirt outfit, the simple elegance in its purest form, and posed for one of my favourite photographers somewhere in New York.

Esther Canadas in DKNY Fall/Winter 1998 ad campaign (photography: Peter Lindbergh)
Photo source: Esther Canadas in DKNY Fall/Winter 1998 ad campaign (photography: Peter Lindbergh)