Last minute Valentine’s Day gift guide for her…

Valentine’s Day is literally upon us so with that in mind I’ve compiled a very short, but sweet, guide to the best pieces that have been spotted both online and in store; pass over to your beau and let him/her do the rest…

Classic gifts such as chocolates, flowers and jewellery will always be a winner, make sure to have the prosecco is on ice and you can’t go wrong.  Stores such as Interflora, M&S, Selfridges and all major supermarkets stock award winning bouquets, champagne’s, truffles and more, so no need to venture far if you have run out of time.

Perfume is always another certified hit and now Cartier have created their own luxurious scent aptly named La Panthère. However this sensuous number doesn’t launch in stores until April 7, (£49 for 30ml) but with a mix of floral and ephemeral notes is the perfect winner for spring and the perfect gift to pre-order for someone special. However if your beau is more of “the moment” then head direct to Penhaligon’s for one of their more heritage scents, or try their new Lily of the Valley perfume which is the official scent of London Fashion Week, boasting sweet, fresh and graceful floral tones.

Valentine’s lingerie is also a great idea if done tastefully. M&Co have a gorgeous range of underwear all for under £15 a set and are sold in a range of colours from strawberry to nude.

If your loved one favours trinkets more than aphrodisiacs then why not opt for Mulberry’s Rose Gold Metal Keyring, £70, www.mulberry.com; or Aspinal of London’s very quirky Heart Trinket Box, £95 (perfect if you are preparing to propose!).

Engagement rings are of course another mind field in themselves so you can always play safe opting for an on-trend alternative option such as Kat&Bee’s Daksha’s Rose 18ct gold ring (below left), £180, or if you want something more traditional then why not head to Arctic Circle for a range of chic styles; www.thbaker.co.uk – prices start at £1,595.

If you are planning to spend the evening in town with the gals you may want to treat yourself to a new shade of nail varnish for your manicured nails. Topshop’s Nails in Precocious (blush), £5, is a great way of getting noticed by that someone special without having to shout from the rooftops.

Lastly if you want to think outside the box and try a new experience then why not book in for a luxury spa package for two with Elemis? Their Day Spa offers everything from an exotic steam rasul therapy to a couple ritual or even detox for two; prices start from £85. For more info visit www.elemis.com.

View Trevor Undi’s enchanting video of the Erdem Spring/Summer 2014 Collection

Renowned British/Canadian filmmaker Trevor Undi, who has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga to name a few, has compiled an enchanting video to showcase designer Erdem Moralioğlu’s gorgeous new collection for spring/summer 2014.

Erdem SS14 from Trevor Undi on Vimeo.

The short film highlights several key trends for SS14 with white, sheer, monochrome and a hint of florals taking centre stage amid fabulous perspex 90s sandals and vintage 1930s-inspired sunglasses, creating a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action of what takes place at a fashion show including the runway finale, all in an ethereal light.

Designer Erdem decided to “extract colour” (with a few exceptions) from the whole collection hence retaining the monochromatic feel, however even if the designer had taken inspiration from the 1930s cross-dressing boy, it was clear that he had spun his magic, and genius, on this collection creating a tailored look that most definitely gave feminine appeal.

The mix of biker and bomber jackets with stitched detailing, sheer outfits with embroidery and marabou style feathers on dresses appeals even more to the girl in me.

I hope this gives you inspiration for your forthcoming spring wardrobe!

#ChristmasJumperDay Style: How To Wear Yours…

It may be Friday the 13th, but all across the country people are helping to celebrate Christmas Jumper Day as part of an initiative to help raise money for Save The Children charity.

Aside from the fun element you can also make your outfit super stylish if heading out tonight after work or to the office party by mixing with plenty of bling or working in a casual element for the rest of the weekend.

I’d team this simple number (which I’m sporting today, below left) from Dorothy Perkins with skinny jeans and heeled ankle boots for a low-key evening. However if you’re heading out for dinner with your beau or the gals why not opt for a more chunkier knit or sweater (such as Internacionale Christmas Charcoal Pug Jumper, £17.99) adding in a sequined skirt (like Missguided’s Achima Sequin Midi Skirt, £29.99) and sky-high pointy courts or sandals for that ultimate Parisian chic feel.

Oversized jumpers such as this Littlewoods.coom one below, first left, are perfect with leggings for cosy nights in or winter strolls, just add a pair of wellington or fur-lined boots and a statement parka like Oasis’ Ellie Faux Fur Lined Parka, £88. Pastel colours are also massively on-trend for AW13; pick from a growing selection of sorbet hues from New Look, below right.

 

Brands such as MissGuided, M&Co, Topshop, Asos.com, Bank Fashion et al also have a fabulous array of Christmas Jumpers still in stock so if you haven’t caught on to the trend just yet, remember there is plenty of time with just under two weeks until Christmas Day, so why not purchase one now to achieve maximum usage or buy as a novelty gift option for a family member to wear on Christmas Day.

Happy Shopping!

#ChristmasJumperDay @savethechildren

Ultimate Christmas Beauty Gift Guide For Her

If you’re stuck trying to think of the perfect beauty buy for a loved one, friend or family member this Christmas then do not despair as I’ve found the perfect range of gift sets that will suit all ages and skin types.

First up is an assortment of beautiful scents from one of my favourite perfumeries; Penhaligon’s. This iconic brand has managed to cram together five luxury fragrances in an adorable box culminating in the Ladies Miniature Collection, below, for a mere £35 and includes a mixture of signature scents; Lily of the Valley, Malabah, Ellenisia, Artemisia and Gardenia.

If perfume is your penchant then you should also consider Clinique’s ‘A Little Happiness’ box set (£30). The bright box set contains five miniature notes: Happy Perfume Spray, Happy Heart Perfume Spray, Happy in Bloom Perfume Spray, Wealth of Flowers Perfume Spray and Hint of Citrus Perfume Spray (all 7ml).  Clinique also host an assortment of amazing make up and skin care sets online too and as an added extra when you spend over £60 online you will also receive a free cracker gift set stuffed with goodies… what’s not to love?!

When we can find some time for well deserved rest and relaxation during this busy period I always tend to return to my all-time favourite bath/skin/shower sets from Elemis. I’m a huge fan and it seems that millions of you also agree. So for Xmas I am thrilled to see that they have created a combination of classic products in a variety of sets which cover every price point from stocking filler duos (£9) to anti-aging sets (£199). My particular fave has to be the Frangipani Secrets Collection, £37.50 (below left), which allows you to recreate the comfort of a spa at home. You could also veg out with Cowshed’s ‘Knackered Cow Bathing Set’ (comes complete with a bath and body oil and relaxing room candle, £28.50).

If purchasing for those who are obsessed with beautiful hair and recreating the latest catwalk styles, then you should head direct to ghd for their new ghd V Wonderland limited edition styler. Priced at the usual £135 the multi-talented styler showcases a spectrum of cool blue, lilac and teal shades creating a beautiful and festive iridescent finish. The hair straighteners also provide flexible styling for all hair types and carry an automatic sleep mode after 30 minutes. The pack comes complete with sectioning clips and a heat-resistant bag; perfect for those on the move.

If you are looking to impress the ultimate make up junkie then take note, as Bobbi Brown’s Old Hollywood collection will dazzle come Christmas morning. The limited edition eye palette (£59, below left) works as both a day and night capsule featuring nine sparkling and matte shades which can work as well on their own as they can built up into a smokey eye effect; ideal for New Year’s Eve.

However, if you want to achieve the look for less or purchase make-up for experimental teenagers then why not opt for Studio London’s Smokey Eye gift set, £6 (available at Superdrug stores nationwide) which provides a step by step guide for beauty novices.

When it comes to nails we all want the latest on-trend talons so picking out a suitable gift can sometimes be hard. Having said that below are a selection of some of the nicest sets I’ve seen around in a while (from Revlon, Clinique and Bobbi Brown). Any of these will put a smile on a beauty obsessives’ face but it seems that Nails Inc. have nailed it (excuse the pun) with their fun range of avant-garde sets. Choose from ‘Monochrome Manicures’ to ‘Bling It On…‘ packs, all from as little as £18.

For stocking fillers, secret Santa or general smaller gifts for a work colleague etc then these adorable – yet affordable – pieces will do just the trick. I particularly love Jo Malone’s limited edition Christmas Cracker which is full of scented surprises (Tart-juicy Blackberry & Bay Cologne, Reviving Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Wash and Enlivening Grapefruit Body Crème), £30. This fab Ginger Sparkle, Shower, Scrub and Moisture Collection from The Body Shop (below middle) is also a must-buy for just £17. The special edition spicy gift set offers a Ginger Sparkle Shower Gel, Ginger Sparkle Body Butter, Ginger Sparkle Body Polish and Ginger Sparkle Mini Heart Soap all cased in a fun gingerbread man tin. Topshop have also come up with an adorable miniature gift (Mini Nail in Dark Knight) for just £5! A range of mini nail varnishes that come already pre-packed in a hanging acetate carton: stick them on the tree and watch them go!

Lastly try QVC… Yes really. It may sound old-fashioned but they now sell all their amazing beauty deals online from a wide variety of reputable brands with huge discounts, PLUS they offer an easy pay system on most items which allows you to spread the cost over a few months should you still want to purchase something special when funds are seriously low.

Happy Christmas Shopping!

Quiz Clothing launches Christmas party wear collection

It’s pay-day and just under a month until we wind down for Christmas, so what better way to celebrate than to check out all the latest party wear pieces for the upcoming festive season ahead.

Whilst prepping for shows and shoots I’ve noticed a plethora of amazing party wear accessible from all major high street shops and online stores, from Coast’s £95 dress collection to designer hire at WishWantWear.com. However it’s with Quiz Clothing that I’ve spotted a potential one-stop haven for all must-have occasion wear.

These key items below are fun, stylish and above all affordable. Adorn the elegant embellished maxi dress (£69.99) to winter balls or weddings, dress for a girls night out in the brands quirky yet on-trend sequin jumpsuit (£59.99) or impress the family or in-laws on Christmas day with this super chic sheer panel front embellished dress (54.99), below right.

With such a huge variety of styles and occasion wear (PLUS accessories) you’d be silly not to take a peek.

Visit QuizClothing.co.uk to check out the latest styles…

Happy Shopping!

Lady Gaga announced as new face of Versace Spring Summer 2014 campaign

Bearing a striking resemblance to Donatella Versace herself, Lady Gaga has just been announced as the new face of Versace’s spring/summer 2014 campaign. Image

Shot by renowned photographer duo Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott, Gaga looks stunning as she casually lays across a luxurious backdrop in a set of stunning designs by the Italian fashion house. Stripping back to bare self Gaga appears with minimal make up aside from a tangerine matte lipstick and lightly dusted eye make up.

The multi-platinum selling singer is shot wearing a risqué violet bandage style dress from the forthcoming collection which is adorned with signature Versace clasps and neckpiece with matching jewels.

Image

In the second shot Gaga opts for a more demure looks sporting a metallic black dress with black Palazzo handbag (brand new for SS14) and strappy sandals; all cleverly shot under dramatic lighting.

Donatella and Gaga have of course remained friends since the performer borrowed archived Versace pieces to dress in for her video Edge of Glory, and has most recently titled a track on her new Artpop album Donatella – after the designer herself.

Speaking about the new collaboration Donatella commented: “I am honoured that my friend Lady Gaga is the face of our new Versace campaign. I wanted to capture her true beauty and spirit in images that are elegant and alluring. She is like family to me, the embodiment of the Versace DNA.”

And the brand clearly has done that. I can’t wait to see the next instalment of images….

New York Fashion Week: Spring Summer 2014 Beauty Trends

Aside from all the fabulous fashion collections that have adorned the catwalk’s this week at New York Fashion Week, editors were also taking note of the exciting emerging beauty trends for Spring/Summer 2014.

Making a huge impact at NYFW for next season was Revlon’s Global Artistic Director Gucci Westman who covered runways with fresh, vibrant and exciting new styles. For her latest venture at Oscar de la Renta, Gucci opted to focus “on a soft, super­‐glossy peach lip complimented by a subtle plum eye” (below left).

“The clothes in Oscar’s collection this season have a 50’s vibe that made me think of that kind of polished beauty that’s iconic and cool,” Gucci commented. “It’s not a precise, retro look but rather overall peach and coral tones paired with really luminous skin and a soft and subtle, purple and brown eye. I’m using a small powder brush to blend all three shades to be freer with the application.”

“Oscar always likes the models to have color on their cheeks and lips,” she added. “On the lips, I mixed several peach shades and topped it with a gloss, which is easy for everyone to wear. I’ve been wanting to do a glossy lip look since New York Fashion Week started; it’s been so long since we’ve done one.”

However, before hand this maestro of make-up had also created a series of enigmatic looks as well as creating a contrasting style for fashion house Assembly (above right). The look started with a minimalistic, beach inspired base that was given an edgy twist and pop of color for Assembly’s Spring/Summer ’14 collection, adding a playful bright summer vibe and style.

World-renowned cosmetic brand MAC were also on hand at a string of shows including Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen, Edun, Nicole Miller and Peter Som amongst others. For DVF’s latest summertime venture the look was simple yet solid with make-up artist James Kaliardos commenting that “It’s all about the little details… The girl is fresh from vacation in the Hamptons, so she doesn’t need make-up” as he created a mineralized matte look with hydrated skin tone and a hint of eye detail and lipglass.

Aaron de May also produced a strong make-up free look at Edun for MAC noting a “no make-up look… [It was] more about perfected skin. Flawless. Not to shiny, perfectly matte but natural.”

But as you can see this is only a faction of beauty trends from New York. I personally can’t wait to see what London produces for the next instalment of fashion month…