I love the changing seasons and the new fashions that they bring.
For my overseas readers -GOOGLE TRANSLATE:


Wednesday 26 June 2013


Earlier this month, Chanel opened a magnificent flagship store in Old Bond Street, which is to date their largest shop in the world.

The windows displayed the collection from the Métiers d'Art Edinburgh show, presented last December at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland.  This is their Pre-Fall 2013 collection.  These designer pre-collections are becoming increasingly important and are actually coming out twice a year as a Pre-Fall collection in the summer and a Cruise collection just after Christmas.

The inspiration here was Scottish style and heritage and, not surprisingly, the collection includes tartan and traditional knitwear and patterns.  These are often teamed with romantic, long, lace-trimmed dresses in black or cream.

I loved this grey knitwear and red tartan teamed with a long black dress with lace-trimmed hem and tough little black leather lace-up ankle boots.


I stood for a long time just gazing into the window at the mannequin below.  A Black Watch Tartan Tam o'Shanter with a red pompom on her head, she wears gold, pearl and red stone chains on a long black dress with lace-trimmed bodice and hem.  Notice the detail of the three vertical pearl buckles on the bodice and the thick patterned tights and lace-up boots.

Then there was this cream, lacy dress with plaid stole around the shoulders.

The mannequins all wore red lipstick and nail varnish.

I think this look could be inspiring for the season ahead.  Fashion has become very much a two-way process between designers and street fashion.  Whilst key points from designer collections often influence high street and street style, young street style fashion in turn seems to  inspire the designers.  Just look at the thick tights and tough little boots above teamed with fragile dresses and the grunge theme of the Yves Saint Laurent Autumn 2013 collection.

Thursday 20 June 2013


Here we are in the second half of June.  Although it's warming up now, it's unsettled and hardly great summer weather.  Meanwhile, the sales have started and soon the next season's collections will be in the shops.  In fact, at the designer end, the Pre-Fall Collections have arrived!

I've been shopping for a few more things to take me through the season.  I went back to the Orelia costume jewellery collection at Topshop (remember the lovely earrings I bought some weeks ago) and found their Foxglove Bracelet (ORE 4050).  Made from base metal and green glass beads, it has a tiny metal teardrop.

Then I saw their Flower Necklace (ORE 4459), a stone flower pendant made with a central green Swarovski stone set in a diamanté surround, on a gold colour plated chain.

Both pieces are from Orelia's Jardin Botanique collection, as were the earrings that I featured in my post, "Summer Pieces" on 14th May. 

I think that the khaki shirt below from H&M is a really good basic, wardrobe staple.

News of An Exciting Collaboration!   Isabel Marant will guest design for H&M on a collection this Autumn.  I have long wondered when this would happen because I thought that her rock/boho/ethnic style would be exactly right for H&M.  I am really looking forward to seeing this collection, due to hit the H&M stores on 14th November and feel sure that it will be one of their most successful designer collaborations.

Tuesday 11 June 2013


At the weekend I went to the Allergy + Free From show at Olympia in London.  This is an annual show, where products suitable for people with allergies are exhibited.  These include food and drink, skincare products and cosmetics.

Judging by the number of visitors at the show, it seemed to me that there are many people who suffer from allergies and some have bad reactions to cosmetics.  How sad, I thought, that they can't wear the lovely makeup that I so often write about.  It isn't all doom and gloom though because I found that there were some good alternative products available to them, made by UK companies, which are free from the ingredients that commonly cause such bad reactions.

My first stop was the Green People stand.  Based in West Sussex, this firm received an award in the 2013 FreeFrom Skincare Awards.

They produce an excellent selection of natural and organic skincare and makeup products.  I am going to focus on makeup.  They offer a pressed mineral powder face makeup, a mineral powder blush, a concealer, a pencil eyeliner, an eyeshadow duo, a mascara and a lipstick. 

Their colours, which are updated to suit contemporary looks, are soft, subtle and flattering.  For example, there are some good eyemakeup shades for achieving fashionable "smokey eyes".

Eye Duo eyeshadow colour choices are City Sky (Slate Grey/Hazy Beige), Night Forest (Tawny Owl/Mink Brown) and Royal Tea (Peacock Teal/Fondant Pink). 

Anti-Age Pencil Eyeliner comes in City Grey (deep grey) and Forest Brown.  

Volumising Mascara is available in Black or Brown Black.

Eye Duo in Night Forest

Eco Lipstick is currently available in Cherry (soft red), Cinnamon (warm brown) and Candyfloss (soft pink).

Eco Lipsticks

For more details about ingredients and how to buy the products, see their website: www.greenpeople.co.uk

Next, I visited the NATorigin stand.  Based just outside Banbury, this is another firm that produces a very good selection of natural and organic skincare and makeup products.  

I will concentrate again on makeup. They offer a compact face powder, a loose powder foundation, a powder blusher, lipstick, pencil eyeliner and lengthening mascara.  In the FreeFrom Skincare Awards they received a Silver for their NATorigin Pencil Eye Liner and a Bronze for their NATorigin Lengthening Mascara.

NATorigin Mascaras and Pencil Eye Liners

These mascaras and eye liners are available in an impressive range of colours.

Lengthening Mascara comes in black, brown, blue and green.

Pencil Eye Liner comes in black, brown, blue, green, grey and lilac.

For more information, see their website: www.natorigin.co.uk 

I then discovered an exotic and vibrant little treasure trove -  Bohemian Chic Minerals.

This company from Slough offers an extensive range of pure mineral makeup, "suitable for Vegan and Halal use".  There is a really good selection of products for complexion, eyes and lips.  I was quite excited when I saw the little pots of eyeshadows in so many different colours. In the photograph below, I have selected three shades - Green Aqua, Ocean Blue and Monday Blues (dark navy).  Now these are shades like this season's vibrant and tropical colours!  

Although their eyeliner is not available in these colours, I was told that an effective line could be achieved by using a dampened eyeliner brush with these eyeshadows.

For more information, see their website: www.bohemianchicminerals.co.uk

I have not given details of the ingredients contained in the products described.  I would recommend that anyone looking for hypoallergenic makeup should study the websites indicated above to find out whether these cosmetics are suitable for their own specific allergies.  I do think it's heartening though that there are cosmetics which may enable allergy sufferers to not only wear makeup but achieve both natural and high fashion looks.  

Monday 3 June 2013


Now there's a real hint that summer is on the way.  Walking through the park on a sunny, Sunday afternoon, there were flowers

and the squirrels were all out and about

but I didn't see any butterflies yet.

Butterflies have arrived at the Chanel beauty counter.  At last L'Été Papillon de Chanel, their beautiful summer makeup collection, inspired by the "dazzling colours of butterflies", has arrived in the shops.  I loved Le Vernis Nail Colour in Azuré (657), a beautiful blue-green metallic nail varnish.

The colour changes all the time in different lights - sometimes it's more green, sometimes it's a blue, mostly it's a blue-green aqua shade.

I couldn't resist it but I know that I am going to love wearing it this summer.