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I love the changing seasons and the new fashions that they bring.
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Wednesday 29 May 2013

HERMÈS - FESTIVAL DES MÉTIERS




On Sunday, I went to the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea to see the very interesting Hermès exhibition, Festival Des Métiers.  Skilled craftspeople from the legendary French firm were there to demonstrate and explain the processes of making their beautiful objects. 

As I entered, I saw a display of their iconic silk scarves in orange shades



and then in deep pinks.



The exhibition was divided into sections - one for each different craft.  

Imprimeur Sur Soie (Silk Printer) was about the printing of the wonderful pictures and patterns on the silks.


The next demonstration was Confectionneur De Cravates (Tie Maker).


Then came Dessinateur (Engraver)Remailleur (Twin-Set Linker), Peintre sur Porcelaine (Porcelain Painter), Horloger (Watchmaker) and Sertisseur (Gem Setter).

Finally, at the Maroquinier (Leatherworker) table we could learn about how the famous bags were made.  (Who hasn't heard of the Kelly Bag or the Birkin Bag?)  There are new colours each season and we were told that currently they are pale yellow, bright red and shrimp. In the Autumn there will be a new malachite green.





The exhibition drew a large crowd of visitors and as I left the Saatchi, I reflected on how the very names Hermès,  Louis Vuitton,  Dior or Chanel have such an allure.  It's mostly their luxurious accessories, perfumes and makeup that seem to have a magical hold on us.  Perhaps this contemporary world of cheap, "fast fashion", leaves a craving for something expensive and elegant. Certainly just one of these French designer pieces, a bag perhaps or some shoes or sunglasses, (or even a lipstick or nail varnish) worn with inexpensive, casual but well chosen clothes, adds an indefinable chic.   

Wednesday 22 May 2013

DEAUVILLE, TURQUOISE CAT EYES AND EXOTIC SUMMER MAKEUP

A century ago, the young Coco Chanel opened her first boutique in Deauville,  To mark the anniversary, Karl Lagerfeld has directed a short film starring Keira Knightley.  

The Chanel Cruise Collection 2013/2014, presented earlier this month in Singapore, echoed the mood of the centenary and the film.  Many of the pieces in the collection evoked the retro elegance of Deauville and early Chanel.  There were wide white trousers, ropes of pearls, camellias and cricket style jumpers. all updated by the contrast of the contemporary, punk style makeup worn by the models.  Their hair was worn tucked away neatly in a pleat at the back with a long side-parted fringe at the front.  The effect was of a boyish crop.  Eye makeup was vibrant with bold turquoise cat-eye eyeliner.

Soon, L'Été Papillon de Chanel, their new Summer 2013 makeup, will be in the shops.  Inspired by the "dazzling colours of butterflies", this is a collection of bright pinks for lips, blues and jades for eyes and nails.  It includes Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Aqua Blue (47) and Blue Note (57), Stylo Yeux Waterproof Eyeliner in Jade (50) and True Blue (57) and Le Vernis nail varnish in Azuré (657) and Bel-Argus (667).

Dior's summer makeup, Bird of Paradise, is already in the shops.  Reflecting Latin-American tropical birds, here again the shades are colourful pinks, blues and greens.  Their eyeliner, Diorshow Waterproof Liner, comes in Aqua Green (348).

Browsing through Rimmel's eyemakeup, I found their Scandaleyes Shadow Stick in Tempting Turquoise, Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl in Bright Blue and Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in Aqua Sparkle (below).


Rimmel's Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in Aqua Sparkle

I decided to give the Rimmel Aqua Sparkle Eye Definer a try.  I normally go for a subtle, smokey eyed makeup but perhaps a little line of colour in cat-eye shape on the upper lid might brighten up an otherwise dull, cloudy "summer day" in London!

Tuesday 14 May 2013

SUMMER PIECES

Recently I wrote about Coachella and Festival Style and I mentioned white lacy tops and denims. I've looked around and bought both a top and new jeans at H&M.

The top is so pretty, with three-quarter, trumpet sleeves and finished with lacy hems.




The blue jeans are from H&M's &Denim Super Skinny, Super Low Waist collection in a deep blue, soft, lighter weight denim.



I added these drop earrings from the Orelia jewellery concession at Topshop.  The filigree discs are made in base metal with Swarovski Elements.



It's just a shame that the weather has turned cooler and showery!

Saturday 11 May 2013

A PUNK MAY


If the April fashion buzz was all about Coachella and Festival Style, May started on a Punk note.  The mood of the May edition of French Vogue was Punk, preceding the Met Ball on May 6th at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  This year, the theme of the annual gala event was Punk, to coincide with the opening of their "Punk: Chaos to Culture" exhibition.  Many stars attended dressed in clothes with a punk influence.  To see who was there and what they wore, just take a look at French Vogue's Red Carpet feature, "The Met Costume Institute Gala 2013" on their website, (http://bit.ly/Met_ball_gala_2013).

The shops are now full of punked up accessories.  Boots, shoes, bags, jewellery are spiked and studded.  I haven't stopped wearing my spike necklace from Accessorize that I wrote about back in February.  Here it is again.




Now I'm going to look at all those studded boots and sandals again.


Wednesday 1 May 2013

FESTIVAL STYLE............. EVEN WITHOUT THE FESTIVAL

Coachella, the recent music festival in L.A., sparked off a lot of publicity about "Festival Style". In their website feature, "Coachella 2013: Top 20 looks", Vogue Paris showed how the celebrities dressed for the occasion.  Key pieces were shorts in white lace, denim or leather, teamed with tee shirts or white lacy or embroidered tops and ankle boots.  Star accessories of the season, worn by Alessandra Ambrosio, were the "Caleen" studded boots from Isabel Marant and a caramel calfskin fringed and studded bag by Giuseppe Zanotti.

Retailers here are now promoting Festival Style as an important look for the season, even if we are not going to a festival.  At H&M and Topshop there are denims, shorts, tee shirts, white lacy tops, jewellery and accessories.  It's a mixture of 90's grunge and pretty bohemian style.  

Given the unreliable weather and the gloomy economic climate, this style makes sense. Going out and doing a big spend on a new summer wardrobe may not be on the agenda but buying one or two of these key pieces can update our existing grunge clothes.

A starter could be a new pair of ankle boots.  I liked both these pairs of taupe suede ankle boots at Topshop - they'd look good with white and pale denims.


Millicent Taupe Suede Ankle Boot with Studded Heel




Arlene Taupe Suede Western Boot with Cuban Heel






There's certainly quite a selection of these pieces in the shops now to think about.