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


Saturday 17 December 2016


Although December is a dark month with short days and the longest nights, traditionally it is always lit up by seasonal festivities. Christmas lights and decorations, displays in shop windows, gift wrappings etc all add a glitter and glow to the darkness.  This year, there's a lot of glitter and sparkle in fashion everywhere, to be seen in clothes, accessories and jewellery. There are even sparkly boots!

I am personally going for a subtle take on glitter that can add sparkle to a dark day as well as a dark night:-

a long-sleeved shirt in a Black/Glitter woven fabric, which looks just as good in the day, teamed with my dark, casual, athleisure pieces, as it does with a tuxedo jacket in the evening;

Black/Glitter Shirt from H&M

inspired by the recent Chanel Métiers d'Art show at the Ritz in Paris, I'm tying a low ponytail with a ribbon - to add sparkle, I'm using a piece of black glitter ribbon (from a box of 6 assorted Glitter Ribbons from Paperchase);

Yves Saint Laurent BLACK OPIUM Eau de Parfum, a "glam rock" fragrance - mysterious, addictive, edgy with notes of black coffee, white florals and sweet and sensual vanilla, it's really in the mood. Even the design of the spray bottle and the box exude dark glitter!

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium Eau de Parfum 30ml Spray
the dark romance of a sheer black lace top with ruffles -  just add sparkling earrings to provide the glitter.

Black Sheer Lace Top with Ruffles from Topshop

Earlier this month, I really enjoyed going to a private view of Ceremony, an exhibition of new works by Dan Hillier at the Saatchi Gallery.  Inspired by his recent travels to the Amazon rainforest and working with shamans, the artist has created a collection of beautiful, mystical prints. I loved the dark pen and ink etchings and hand-applied 24 carat gold leaf.

"Sorceress" by Dan Hillier
from Ceremony, an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery

Ceremony runs until 3 January 2017

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays to all!

Friday 25 November 2016


Yesterday the USA celebrated Thanksgiving. In recent years, we in the UK have become much more aware of this festival, especially in the context of the traditional food we associate with it. Visiting Wholefoods, the American food store in London, was an even more delicious experience than usual!  There were pecan and pumpkin pies in their Bakery and their Hot Buffet counter included turkey with herb gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce made with lots of port.

Thanksgiving Day is on the fourth Thursday in November and to me it always announces the beginning of the festive season ahead.  It's followed by Christmas shopping in the stores, an outbreak of office parties in the restaurants and bars around town, school concerts and carol services, all leading up to Christmas, Chanukah and seasonal holiday festivities for all.  Naturally, I'm thinking about what to wear to meet the occasions!

This Autumn, the trend in clothes and beauty has been towards an explicit glamour, often inspired by the eighties.  In fact, I have already been adding little touches of glamour to my everyday athleisure style - a silver chain choker, a gold chain necklace, red lipstick, dark red nails - which all work well with my staple black pieces.

Now I have bought a black satin frilled blouse from H&M, with long sleeves and a frill-trimmed V-yoke at the front.  It looks beautiful tucked into skinny black jeans. 

Earrings have become very significant this season and are often large, opulent and sparkling, with a retro feel.  Searching in my jewellery drawer, I found my own "vintage" Butler& Wilson pieces and some faux diamond long drops from H&M, bought some years back.  Whilst they are in the current mood, they are not too large and are right for my petite proportions.  I've also bought something new and more contemporary from Accessorize -  gold toned metal and sparkling crystal ear jackets.

In the photograph above:

Top left: My vintage Butler & Wilson faux diamond bow and emerald heart drop earrings
Top right: My vintage Butler & Wilson faux diamond heart drop earrings
Top centre: My H&M faux diamond long drop earrings
Below centre: Crystal Leaf Ear Jackets from Accessorize, designed to sit behind and in front of the ear lobes.

NEWSFLASH: Yesterday was also opening day at the new Design Museum in Kensington.

Sunday 6 November 2016

MISS DIOR Eau de Parfum Spray

It's Penelope's 12th birthday today! What would be an ideal gift to mark this important occasion? I thought about her interest in fragrance and how she sometimes tries to create her own perfumes with little cuttings of flowers. She loves to go round perfumery departments trying out the test sprays and one day she came back with a Dior sample card splashed with Miss Dior. "This is my favourite perfume", she said. It seemed to me that this would be the perfect present for a girl taking her first steps along the path of glamour and sophistication.

I bought Miss Dior Eau de Parfum in a 30ml spray and the lovely consultant at the Dior counter in Boots gift-wrapped it beautifully in a white and gold Dior box tied with white satin ribbon.

So what does the box hold?

The iconic Miss Dior is a Chypre* floral fragrance. The citrus top notes of Sicilian mandarin orange and wild strawberry combine with a floral heart of Grasse rose and jasmine and a base of oak moss, patchouli and amber. 


*"Chypre" describes perfumes with citrusy top notes and a woody, musky base, often combined with floral mid-notes, i.e. rose and jasmine.

Saturday 8 October 2016


Now it really feels like Autumn is here and it's time to dress for the new season.

Urban Outfitters  - (find them on URBANOUTFITTERS.COM ) - have long been the place to go to find a selection of grunge, boho and sporty/athleisure clothes and accessories. With the current accent on 90's style, they have truly come into their own.  This Autumn, the collections from their own brand labels are full of covetable pieces that are just right for now.  I was looking for the two "must haves" on my list and I found them there!

Number One, a Cropped Black Hoodie in a soft cotton/polyester knit, finished with a rolled hem and black ties on the hood.  

Number Two, a Hammered Black Satin Slip Dress (from UO exclusive label, Pins and Needles), mini length with a deep v neckline and thin shoulder straps. I will wear this alone under a bomber jacket or leather biker, or sometimes layered over a t-shirt for a 90's look.

Whilst there, I saw this Camo Mini Padded Nylon Cross-body Bag from UO's BDG label.  I couldn't resist it, especially as there was a price reduction!

Since then, Urban Outfitters have more new lovely things in for the Autumn/Winter, including some great graphic t-shirts and beautiful pieces in black crushed velvet.  It's definitely worth taking a look there.

Friday 23 September 2016


In my last post, I wrote about new shades of makeup for a beautiful Autumnal look.  I always like to be able to suggest hypoallergenic alternatives for those of my readers who are allergic or sensitive to many brands of cosmetics.

Often, I mention NATorigin, an award-winning firm based in Banbury in Oxfordshire, who offer gentle products made from natural and, where possible, organic sources.  Their cosmetics and skincare range are made by Contapharm in France. 

Following on from my Autumn Makeup theme, the NATorigin range includes an excellent eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, lipstick and nail polish, all available in a good selection of colours. 

For this season, I would suggest:-

NATorigin Powder Eye Shadow in Golden (97) or Bronze (93), as below.  There is also Brown (89), which could work well with this look.  This is a soft and gentle eye shadow made with ultra-micronised shells of organic argan nuts from the Tree of Life and extracts of pomegranate.

Golden (97)

Bronze (93)

NATorigin Pencil Eye Liner in Brown 700) or Black (701) to outline the eyes and

NATorigin Lengthening Mascara in Brown (200) or Black (201) to lengthen, thicken and deepen the eyelashes.

Both of these products are very comfortable to wear and stay on well.

NATorigin  Lengthening Mascara and Pencil Eye Liner

NATorigin Lipstick is sheer and shiny with a soft and smooth texture.  Good colours for Autumn:

Fig (50 BIO) (Plummy Red)
Copper Rose (54 BIO) (Nude Brown)
Coral (51 BIO) (Brick Red)

Finally for Nails - NATorigin Nail Enamel in: 
Salvia 1407 (Bright Red)
Peony 1408 (Dark Red)
Free from the toxic ingredients contained in some brands of nail varnish, NATorigin Nail Enamel is easy to apply and stays on well.

To learn more about NATorigin and to view all their products and shades, please click on


You can order straight from their website and I have found their delivery service to be really good.

Recent News From NATorigin: Most of the NATorigin range of cosmetics and skincare products are now registered with The Vegan Society (with the exception of mascaras, pencil eye liners and lipsticks, which contain beeswax and lanolin).

Wednesday 14 September 2016


September seems to have come round very quickly! Now the Fashion Weeks are on and even though we are having an Indian Summer here, it's certainly time to be thinking about new trends for Autumn.  I always begin with new makeup, which gets me into the mood for the season. 

I love CHANEL's "Le Rouge" Autumn makeup collection.  Shades of red, ranging from orange-red and intense reds to burgundy, combine with brown and copper to create a perfect autumnal palette. 

I was looking for a bronze or copper toned eyeshadow, an eyeliner and a red lipstick.

The collection includes two new shades of eyeshadow:

ILLUSION D'OMBRE Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow
Rouge Brûlé (128) - copper/orange

ILLUSION D'OMBRE VELVET Long Wear Luminous Matte Eyeshadow
Rouge Contraste (132) - chocolate

Although I thought Rouge Brûlé was a beautiful and exciting colour, I thought it would be too bright for my colouring and I opted instead for their ILLUSION D'OMBRE in Mirage (95), a golden bronze with a metallic glow.  This eyeshadow has a silky, cream texture with a lovely shimmer.  it comes complete with a little brush and can actually be used as an eyeliner as well as a shadow.

STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF Long-Lasting Eyeliner is a waterproof eye pencil complete with integrated sharpener.  There are two new colours for Autumn:

Eros    (928) - burgundy
Agapé (929) - reddish brown

I chose Eros as I thought the burgundy suited my grey-blue eyes and looked really good with the golden bronze eyeshadow.

I generally go for shiny, semi-sheer lipsticks or lip glosses but I thought that I should at least try one of the new matte lipsticks.  ROUGE ALLURE VELVET Luminous Matte Lip Colour is luminous and really does have a lovely soft velvety feel.  There are four new colours for autumn:

Rouge Feu (57) a bright orange/red
Rouge Vie (58) crimson
Rouge Charnel (56) a flamboyant red
Rouge Audace (59) burgundy with a hint of chocolate brown

Although I was very attracted to Rouge Audace, I decided that I needed a brighter shade and that Rouge Feu was the right colour for me.


There is also a beautiful nail polish in the collection - LE VERNIS Longwear Nail Colour in Rouge Puissant (528), a deep red shade.  I resisted the temptation to buy this at the moment because I do have three nail polishes on my dressing table in ideal colours for this Autumn's look.

Hypoallergenic makeup for Autumn: My next post, out shortly, will suggest some lovely makeup for those of you that suffer from allergies or choose to wear products made from natural and organic ingredients. 

Friday 22 July 2016


Shop windows, promotional emails and tweets - they're all inviting us to the summer sales and tempting us to spend our money. These are uncertain times for the economy and I am being cautious about how I spend my limited fashion/makeup budget. I keep reminding myself to focus on what I really, really want and need.

At the more expensive end of fashion, brands like The Kooples are making genuine reductions on their Spring/Summer collections, to make way for the new Autumn clothes. Speed is of the essence here.  If that piece that's been on your wishlist all season is on the sale rail in your size, it's likely to be snapped up at the first markdown.

High street and fast fashion shops are a different matter. With new stock coming in every week and ongoing mid-season reductions, the "really, really want pieces " are rarely in the sale right now. (You can be lucky!). 

At this time of the year, I'm wanting those desirable bikinis, swimsuits and sandals which are not usually reduced yet. I did get lucky. I had been interested in classic Birkenstock Black Madrid mules and I found a pair in my size at SOLE, reduced from the usual price of £22.95 to £15. These are single strap mules made in EVA, a light weight, waterproof material. Birkenstock sandals are designed to allow a natural rolling motion of the foot without restriction.

Black Birkenstock Madrid Mules

I always visit the Neal's Yard shops at sale time to buy one of their deliciously fragrant gift sets of bath/shower gel and body lotion. This time I opted for Rose & Geranium Shower Gel and Body Lotion (now half price at £7.50). Their larger Lavender gift set was also reduced from £20 to £10.

Neal's Yard Rose & Geranium Shower Gel and Body Lotion

A trap I have fallen into a few times in the past was buying pieces in the summer sales that appeared to be Autumn's incoming "must haves". Whilst those items were in the genre of the new trends, somehow the fabric, colour, length or shape were just not quite right for the season and I wished I'd saved my cash for the real thing.

But, I do have to mention that black, quilted bomber jacket that I bought last summer at Uniqlo, which has been a star piece in my wardrobe ever since! Uniqlo offer reductions all the year round, as well as in the current sale and their ultra light down jackets and knitwear are always a good idea. Right now, I'm hoping to see some reductions soon on extra fine Merino knitwear in dark colours.

That about wraps it up for me with the sales! The weather's warm and August will soon be here - time for some sea air and of course the August issue of French Vogue, featuring the Autumn/Winter collections!

Saturday 2 July 2016


Now that the summer sales are on, it might seem to be a fashion limbo between the first thrill of new Spring/Summer clothes and the excitement of packing a small bag for a beach holiday.  This is not so.

The shops are displaying the Pre-fall collections and the fashion world is already hinting at the new moods for Autumn 2016.  90's styles look set to be a strong trend. Certainly, those slip dresses, inspired by Hedi Slimane's Spring/Summer 2016  "Glastonbury" collection for SAINT LAURENT, are still going to be important pieces in the Autumn.  For Autumn/Winter 2016/17, he presented a very glamorous 80's look and no doubt this will also influence the new season's fashion.

Meanwhile, despite the showery weather, it is supposed to be summer. YVES SAINT LAURENT's Summer Look 2016 makeup collection, "Savage Escape", takes its theme from the skies and scenery of a desert road trip. Beautiful pinks and dark, sparkling, metallic blues are teamed with Sahariennes Bronzing Stones. 

I chose a shiny, glossy lip gloss and a sparkly, irridescent nail polish from the collection:

& GLOSS VOLUPTE in Rose Eldorado
In the photograph:

YSL Gloss Volupte in Rose Eldorado (55), a deep pink with ruby undertones, inspired by a desert sunset. 

La Laque Couture in Night Escape (72), a dark, metallic blue, like a night sky in the desert.

These lovely shades are intended to be worn with a sun-kissed complexion. Sahariennes Bronzing Stones, a powder bronzer, gives a natural bronzed glow. There are 3 shades: 01 Sunstone, 02 Fire Opal, 03 Jasper.

Fashion News:
Hedi Slimane has now, of course, left SAINT LAURENT and I am waiting, with bated breath, to hear what he is going to do next! 
In the meantime, Anthony Vaccarello has been appointed artistic director of SAINT LAURENT. I am looking forward to seeing his first collection and discovering the future direction of SAINT LAURENT.

Friday 3 June 2016


Right now, athleisure pieces have become my daily "uniform" but with summer on the horizon, the thought of dressing up in something pretty for a change is appealing. This season, pretty means lace boho style dresses, white tops trimmed with lace or frills or made in broderie anglaise fabric, lace-trimmed camisoles, slip dresses, black velvet chokers, pink lips and nails..........

My little moodboard below reveals a few of my summer favourites:

Whats on the moodboard:

White broderie anglaise sleeveless top with a scalloped hem from H&M and a black silk and lace camisole from The Kooples.  Both these pieces could be worn with denim jeans or more formally under a tailored black jacket.  

Little finishing touches - Black velvet choker from Urban Outfitters, Grey velvet slippers and round sunglasses from H&M, Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine fuchsia lipstick (Mighty 116), NATorigin's candy pink Natural Nail Polish (Lobelia 1405).

Style Note: Hair worn in a messed-up bun or loose and natural, French Girl style. See the Twitter link below for tips from French Vogue on how to do French Girl Hair.

Recently, Lou Doillon appeared on "Later...with Jools Holland". In a black lace-trimmed camisole under a red jacket, teamed with skinny blue jeans, silver buckled belt, ankle boots and a big black hat, she was the epitome of Parisian chic and yes, she wore pretty lipstick and had loose, natural, French Girl Hair.

Two useful links:
The Kooples are great for chic French style.

NATorigin for excellent, hypoallergenic makeup and skincare products, made from natural ingredients.

Friday 13 May 2016


"Athleisure" is currently a very popular word in the fashion dictionary, meaning sportswear that can be worn outside sporting activities. Sporty pieces like hoodies, sweatshirts and sports leggings have become part of streetstyle. In fact, right now it often seems that Athleisure is streetstyle! 

Even, celebrities like Kanye West (Yeezy) and Beyoncé (Ivy Park) have launched sportswear collections and designer Alexander Wang has presented sport inspired collections.

How did this happen?  The emphasis now on healthy lifestyle and exercise created an increased interest in sportswear. Brands like Adidas collaborated with leading designers and produced clothes that became chic fashion pieces that we wanted to wear all day.  Meanwhile, important changes in the workplace (flexible working from home or in coffee shops and a more relaxed attitude to dress code in the office) meant that many of us could now dress casually for work. It's so much easier and more comfortable to throw on a sweatshirt and leggings in the morning and get up and go! Anyway, sportswear gives out a message that makes it ideal for work - energy and action!

Here are three logo-less sports pieces that I've bought this Spring, which are good basics to add to my wardrobe:


The cropped shape of this black sweatshirt from Uniqlo makes it ideal for a petite person like myself. I like the slightly wider neckline and it has pockets too.


This little black stretch pique polo shirt is also from Uniqlo. The curved collar and slightly puffy sleeves add femininity to an otherwise masculine style.


These black leggings from the H&M sports range in a 92% polyester/8% elastane fabric fit really well.  Wide ribbing holds in and shapes the waist and there's a small, concealed pocket.  

Perhaps trainers have been the real phenomenon. Now they seem to be worn with everything - even couture dresses on the catwalk - but undoubtedly, for comfort and speed, they are unbeatable.

Fresh from the box, my new pair of iconic CONVERSE Chuck Taylor All Stars, in black canvas, are ready to take me from Spring to Summer.

Latest exciting news:
Olivier Rousteing, artistic director of Balmain is collaborating with NIKE!

Friday 1 April 2016


Whilst it is officially Spring now and I'm dreaming of the season's "must have" slip dresses and camisoles, the weather is still too chilly for them.  

In the meantime, I've bought some essential pieces to greet the new season with.

  • A black soft bra in microfibre and mesh, which gives a natural shape and light support, with matching hipster briefs, both from H&M.

  • High-waisted, skinny, dark blue jeggings from Calzedonia.  I do find that Calzedonia's jeggings are a perfect fit and are very comfortable to wear.

  • A black belt with silver, embossed, Western style buckle from H&M.

I am now searching for the perfect camisole.

Eyebrow Tips: I had my eyebrows shaped really well at a Blink brow bar, where they use the ancient threading method.  For a Blink in your area, see the Blink website, www.blinkbrowbar.com
I like Rimmel's BROW THIS WAY Brow Styling Gel - good for grooming brows and adding a tint. It comes in 4 shades:
Blonde (1), Medium Brown (2),Dark Brown (3), Clear (4)

Friday 19 February 2016


Inspired by the Glastonbury Festival and 90's grunge, the SAINT LAURENT Spring/Summer 2016 fashion collection brought a new glitter and glamour to grunge. Predominant in the collection were the beautifully cut satin slip dresses - the show opener was a long, silver slip dress.  Rubber boots (Kate Moss at Glastonbury style) and sparkling little tiaras were worn with the clothes.

Echoing this mood, BOHO STONES, the YVES SAINT LAURENT Spring 2016 makeup look, was created for "the modern, free-spirited woman".  My favourite piece from this collection is the COUTURE PALETTE COLLECTOR eyeshadow palette in INDIE JASPE.  The attractive green opaline compact, trimmed with gold, (in the photograph below), contains five beautiful eyeshadows.      


The five colours are silver, pale green, sage green and two peach shades, all with a subtle shimmer and glint.


The collection includes two new shades of LA LAQUE COUTURE nail polish, both with a lovely pearly finish:
PEACE GREEN 70 (green jasper)
LOVE PINK 69 (opalescent pink)

and two new coral shades for lips in ROUGE PUR COUTURE GLOSSY STAIN

More news on SAINT LAURENT:  On February 10th, Hedi Slimane presented his AW2016 Men's Collection at The Palladium, Los Angeles.  The mood of the collection, which also included Part 1 of the Women's Collection, was rock music icons.  There was a new silhouette for women - longer, midi length skirts with belted waists, worn with long boots. I'm looking forward to seeing Part 2 of the Women's Collection on March 7th in Paris. 

NEWS UPDATE:  March 7th Paris - Hedi Slimane presented Part 2 of his FW16/17 Collection.  In contrast to Part 1, this was an 80's inspired brash but beautiful glamour with wide shoulders, short thigh length dresses, dark sheer tights and brightly coloured high heeled pointed toe shoes. 

Tuesday 9 February 2016


CHANEL'S new Spring 2016 makeup, COLLECTION L.A. SUNRISE, has been inspired by the vibrance of Los Angeles in summer and the colourful tones of "Californian morning skies".  Shades of purple, teal and green (for eyes and nails) mix with pink, coral and raspberry (for lips). 

These are my choice from the collection:-

CHANEL'S ROUGE COCO SHINE is a hydrating sheer lipshine. There are three new colours for Spring and I bought MIGHTY 116, a beautiful fuchsia.


The other two new colours are:
SHIPSHAPE  114 (coral), ENERGY 118 (raspberry).

CHANEL'S ROUGE COCO SHINE is one of my favourite lipsticks because even with bright or intense colours, the effect is sheer and subtle, just a shiny wash of colour on the lips.

I also bought the STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF LONG-LASTING EYELINER in PURPLE CHOC 926.  It was smooth and easy to apply and the deep purple shade was very pretty, giving a soft, smokey look with a little sparkle added.

This is a retractable eye pencil, containing its own small sharpener. Other colours for Spring are:-

I thought that LE VOLUME DE CHANEL MASCARA in ARDENT PURPLE 100 and CHANEL LE VERNIS NAIL GLOSS in SUNRISE TRIP (dark purple) 683 were very beautiful too.

For a flamboyant take on Spring makeup, mix and match the shades from the collection, or for a more subtle approach, try just one or two for a lovely flash of colour.  

LOS ANGELES is fast becoming an important fashion centre. Perhaps it was significant that Hedi Slimane, Creative Director of Saint Laurent, moved his design studio to L.A.  On February 10th, he will be presenting Saint Laurent's Men's Collection and Part 1 of the Women's Collection for Fall 2016 at the Palladium, Los Angeles.  Part 2 of the Women's Collection will be shown on March 7th in Paris during fashion week.

More on Saint Laurent in my next post.