Thursday, 30 May 2013

Designs Of The Year 2013 | Colour Porcelain

The other day the boyfriend and I decided to hit the Design Museum. I hadn't been for years. The Designs Of The Year exhibition was on, covering all aspects of design, from graphics and furniture to fashion and digital. This was one of the few museums I didn't whizz through as I sometimes have a tendency to. (There is something in me whereby they will always remind me of a school trip on a rainy day, cagoules, clipboards, depressing historical stories and soggy sandwiches.)

But anyway this was cool stuff. Interesting stuff. AND STUFF YOU CAN FIND LATER ONLINE AND BUY. Uh-oh.

As we are about to move into our first proper (bought) house together I am mostly obsessed with anything home-y and am spending every spare penny on things for the house. No more Ikea shelves (well maybe a few),  goodbye Asda duvets, and definitely no more glasses that come free with a Happy Meal.  Come on - we've all got those McDonalds/Coke glasses...

So, not surprising my favourite exhibit was the Colour Porcelain collection. Which now I obviously want to buy all of and have for our home. This is a range of tableware made by one of the oldest porcelain manufaturers in Japan, 1616 Arita (I love the design of this website), collaborating with Dutch designers Scholten & Baijings. The pieces are hand-painted following the companies traditional use of colour. Hence the retro feel I love. The traditional Japanese colours are aquarelle blue, light green and yellow ochre and they are layered delicately and fired with different shade of glaze. Wow. Who knew a plate could be so interesting?

So anyway you CAN buy them, they are QUITE expensive, so like me I suggest you just have a little peruse at the pictures instead ...  Good inspiration though - am now determined to find something similar that is a little more affordable.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Accessories love | Reiss AW13

Oh hello, it's a sneaky little preview again!

Last week Reiss held their AW13 press day and although I've been ultra-busy, this was one event I was really keen to get to, as Reiss is one of the more top-end brands I get to work with on a regular basis. I do work with designer, but not that often. In fact I pride myself on making cheap-as-chips clobber look luxe (nearly every single item in the fashion editorial section of my website is High Street). Reiss makes that job a little easier for me with it's high-end quality and design.

I thought their shoes and bags this Summer were spot on, and chatting to the team at the press day in their plush boardroom (which has the softest thickest carpet in the world FYI) it seems the idea was to turn that up a notch for AW and really make sure they outdid themselves when it came to accessories.  And they did.

The Reiss design team's key idea was to merge not only male and female collections (men's and women's sat seamlessly next to each other throughout the space), but also fabric. The big 'thing' for them - they don't like to be mega trend-led - was mixing texture. This filtered to accessories too, which for me, were the stars of the show.

I love the simple, expensive designs that subtly say "I cost more than £80", without screaming designer.

Here are a few phone snaps of my edit of their AW accessories... (angles and space are never in abundance at press days, sorry!). Check out the different leathers, texture clashes, the beautiful designs... Gorgeous.

Reiss accessories designers, if you are listening, you did good. Very good.

Look out for these AW pieces hitting down from July.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Behind The Scenes | The making of a Press Day

Whilst away in Barbados, PR agency Lee Publicity contacted me to ask me to work with them on their upcoming Autumn Winter Press Day for one of their biggest clients, Littlewoods

They wanted me to edit the new Autumn Winter collections (including their regular celeb ranges from Myleene Klass and Coleen Rooney), style up all the mannequins for the show, and select what goes on the rails for the London Fashion Press to view at the show - which was held earlier this week.

It was a really great opportunity to help the PRs understand what we as Fashion Editors want to see at events. You'll often find journalists snap/Tweet/Instagram/Facebook the same pieces at press shows, that's because we are all looking for the same things - key pieces that really represent the new season, items that will photograph well - whether on a model or on a still life shopping page - and things we know readers will want to buy. 

So it was fantastic to have the chance to work with an agency to select the winning pieces and style them into outfits that will catch the press' eyes. And I really wanted the Littlewoods product to look as cool as any High Street fashion brand.

When I arrived at the venue, The Hopsital Club in Covent Garden, the day before the event this week, my first task was to get to work on unpacking the huge trunks of clothes. I needed to establish and understand visually the brand's 3 key trends for AW13; Campfires, Full English and Urban Uniform. From there I worked the rails into outfits, and then had an edited rail of selects to sit next to each visual display for the press to browse through.

Each trend had it's own area at the event space to tie in with the trend. 

The first trend, Campfires, was all about comfy check shirts, chunky knits, navajo details and lots of denim, so had an area covered with patches of canvas and littered with tea lights in mason jars.

The next, Full English, highlighted traditional British looks like wax and quilted jackets, mixed with vintage-looking tea dresses and quirky prints and had a stand decorated with old books and vintage lampshades.

The final, and biggest, trend, Urban Uniform, was a modern urban collection with a monochrome and khaki palette, big on stripes, including maxi skirts, combat trousers and cool jersey. It had it's very own zebra crossing to work with.

The event went brilliantly the following day with lots of compliments on the styling. Hurrah!

It was a busy day so just some phone photos to show some behind the scenes of the making of a Press Day...

Hello ladies!

Starting the set-up operation

Unpacking and sorting into trends



Full English mannequins
Campfires and Full English mannequins done - props getting added

The Urban Uniform girls await their set

The making of the zebra crossing

In their place!

Urban Uniform

Myleene Klass suit and shirt

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Wednesday, 15 May 2013


It seems to make perfect sense to be thinking about Winter clothes at the moment. Because it's so ruddy cold!

AW13 Press Shows are in full swing, with too many to even get to at the moment. So I thought I'd bring you a sneaky glimpse at what High Street legends Topshop will have in store (literally) for Autumn.

Heavy 60s and 90s influences are still apparent in this Topshop collection, following from their strong Summer presence. Check out the Christopher Kane-esque wedge heel Chelsea boot with neon elastic, just like the ones I swooned over back in April! Also I'm loving the update to the biker that I'm starting to see everywhere for next Season - fur-lined aviator styles. Let's call them the Hairy Biker...

So while bikinis are filling the rails in the shops, think warm thoughts with my edit of what I love from the first of the new Topshop collections hitting down in mid July...
Matte sequin sweat

Bird print skirt

Leather collar top

Neon detail Chelsea boots

Grey patent skirt

Fur-lined leather jacket

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Monday, 13 May 2013

WIBTW (What I Bought This Week): Insider Beauty Buys

Whilst I was away in Barbados for work, I was lucky enough to get my make-up done a couple of times by the very talented (and also VERY lovely) make-up artist Jose Bass. (Psst - he's the make-up guy Abbey Clancy tweeted about).

Jose hard at work on one of our Barbados shoots

Jose is well-known in the industry for his beautiful skin make-up, so I made the poor guy, at the end of a long day shooting, give me a make-up tutorial. 

I let Jose work his magic and have to say my skin looked amazing. And people noticed. A glow, not too heavy, but any annoying blemishes covered. Result!

So what was his trick?

Well I have quite dry skin so needed something moisturising, but I also get the odd blemish and blocked pores still (WHY?! I'm in my THIRTIES!) so need some coverage. Jose likes to keep things natural, so he used Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Mousturiser, which is now my new favourite beauty product, and then mixed with Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Foundation - but only where needed. The tinted moisturiser also has SPF 20 so great for the day.
Forget applying with fingers - Jose reckons the key to flawless skin is a great brush and the only one for me is Shu Uemura number 18 apparently - a goat hair brush that allows make-up to sit "just-so" on the skin without clogging pores and giving even cover. The brush is sold out in so many places I figure it must be good!

So when I got back the first this I did was go out and buy these 3 things and follow his tips. And I've had people notice my skin since. 

It adds up to buy it all, I admit, but you don't need to use much, particularly as the brush makes it go a long way.

Both the Laura Mercier and Estee Lauder come in at least 5 shades so this natural look can suit any skin tone, and I have to say if you have dry skin like me, don't want to feel caked on, but need a bit of coverage, this is the kit for you!

Thanks Jose!

My new skin kit

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Fashion trip | And the winners were...

So I finally managed to get my two girls for the LOOK magazine trip to Barbados - the very beautiful Vera at Select and Lyza at Storm.

And unbeknownst to me, they are best friends! How nice! That meant they got to hang out for a couple of days together.

These girls have a great look but are also versatile which is perfect when you are away and shooting so many stories. Plus I have worked with them before so I knew how fab they both are.

Vera at a cafe one lunchtime. How cool?

Lyza doing an early morning fitting on my tropical balcony!

Barbados was mega hard work for everyone but rewarding. We achieved 6 very different stories, despite both heavy rain (non stop all day) and shine (sweaty, draining shine!).

The shoots will start to come out in a couple of weeks then through out Summer so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime here are just a few random behind the scenes snaps from all the team -some teasers of where/what we shot from the trip...

More to follow!