Thursday, 31 January 2008

Shoe Crush: Balenciaga

It's been a slow burning love affair that's finally reached it's peak and I'm happy to declare that I'm head over heels in love with the Balenciaga gladiator sandal. When I first saw them on Jennifer Connely I was unsure attention grabbing yes but they seemed altogether too flashy. But I'm thinking come summer and the trend for all things romantic and floral all that floatiness will need to be anchored by a statement item to pull the look together and this could be it! As for the robo cop inspired dress I'm still on the fence on that one.

Naomi & Kate do French Vogue Feb 08

Temper tantrums and drug scandals aside it's undeniable that after all these years Naomi and Kate are still the hottest chicks in the game. The new crop of mini supers Gemma Ward, Lily Donaldson and Chanel Iman look amazing and strut the catwalk like poised giraffes but when it comes to sheer enduring magnetism these two can't be outdone. The French Vogue cover is exactly what a cover should be striking and they both look smouldering and cool. The pics are understated but that's what's great aout them you're just focusing on Naomi and Kate and almost drinking in their fabulousness. They aren't just models they've become iconic. Wherever you roam mention the name Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss and you'll get an instant flicker of recognition. And there are rumours that Naomi has caught the eye of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez when she interviewed him for GQ so we could soon be referring to her as Naomi the first lady now that would be interesting to say the least!

SAG Award Update: And the award goes to...

Her husband may have bagged an Oscar for his portrayal of a Ugandan dictator in 'The Last King of Scotland' but at the SAG awards Keisha Whittaker showed that she reigns supreme in the style stakes. Looking resplendent in pink she definitely scoops the style bazaar award for best dressed on the night.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

SAG Awards:Highlights and Lowlights

Afer the fashion wasteland that was the golden globes - due to the ongoing writers strike - it was a joyful thing to behold the fancy frocks at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Kate Hudson did earthy and gorgeous in Balmain like only she knows how and I've never been a fan of Ellen Pompeo and have always found her too skinny and whiney but I've got to give it to her she glowed in silver Ninna Ricci. My only gripe is she would've looked better with her hair down. It was only half a look for me. Kind of like when you're in a shop trying on a dress but because you're only in the changing rooms you don't have the accoutrements needed to pull it all together e.g big earrings, hair blow dried, flawless make up. The dress looks great but she lacks finishing touches. Top Marks go to Vanessa Williams in Escada who looked gorgeous and glowed in yellow. Loved it!

Less impressive was Cate Blanchett in Balenciaga. I love the woman's acting but when it comes to fashion sensibility we just don't mesh. There was just too much going on with her outfit. It was a cloying take on flower power and she looked like she was in good need of a J-lo bronzing session.
As for Anne Paquin I did not believe the girl was wearing Marchesa until I read it with my own two eyes. How could she unwittingly reduce such a power label to drabness. The look lacked sparkle and to be fair to her she didn't look hideous it was just boring.

OOh roll on the Oscars the fashion frenzy has just begun.

SB Recommends: Skincare

The cold weather has been wreaking havoc on my skin. I'm the girl that would sleep in her make -up and never get a single blemish (a fact I took pride in) that is until horror of horrors I broke out in what can only be described as it's too gross to say ....acne. Yup tiny pimply, crusty rash like spots. And nothing helped until I stumbled upon gold old clean & clear spot gel. Anyway turns out my skin was mega dry and that was what led to the awful breakouts, which are now thankfully under control. In my quest to keep the face looking pretty and moisturised I turned to Bobbi Brown Face base. It's a super hydrating moisturizing complex with vitamin A & E, it smells yummy and keeps everything as smooth and supple.

Laundry Day aka Less is More

I think I've single handedly solved the never having anything to wear quandry women worldwide owe me :). It all started last week when due to a combination of factors- a renewed interest in Bette Middler movies I watched Beaches and Outrageous Fortune in the same week and ang a growing obession with gadget blogs don't ask it's a whole other frontier I managed to push all thoughts of doing my laundry into the farthest recesses of my mind until I kid you not I was literally down to 8 clean garments. But then something fantastic happened. Because I had less choice I started dressing better. Adding a funky belt here and putting together unusual quirky combinations that I wouldn't have in my most psychadelic moments dared had my trusty failsafe's been hanging up in my wardrobe. So all this time there I was thinking I had nothing to wear when in actuality I had too much and it was clouding my style chi.

And it's done wonders for my style cred the look was basically tight black Seven jeans, dove grey pointed ballet flats with a bow at the front, and a cute biscuit coloured short Warehouse puff sleeved blouse cinched in with a wide Topshop navy stretchy belt. Add an oversized slouchy bag (mine's from Whistles) and I was on fire! Several compliments later and after spotting a co-worker who's one of those women who seems surgically attached to her 4 inch stilettos in a pair of leopard print pointed flats with a bow at the front - she was only fooling herself if she thought I hadn't noticed the copycat-I knew I wasonto something good!

I don't know how long it'll last as I caved in and did my laundry over the weekend so I'm once again faced with lots of different bits and getting dressed in the morning has reverted back to a full 45 minute bout of umming and ahhing but it's good to know that when in doubt less is indeed more.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

SATC the movie is almost here!

Carrie and co will e back on our screens in May when the SATC movie comes out. And I for one am squirming with excitement. I've just found the official trailer and as it's a Sunday evening here's something to put you in a fab mood for the week ahead.

Donatella on the Versace brand.

The queen of evening glamourwear talks fashion.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Celeb Endorsed Chaos

Penelope and Monica Cruz for Mango, Kate Moss for Topshop even bloody Lily Allen for New Look it seems these days celebrities are only too aware that cachet can be traded in for truckloads of cash. And high street shops desperate to get us through their doors are only too happy to push this modern phenomenon of CEF (celebrity endorsed fashion). And insultingly, they seem to credit us with the brains of an amoeba and will power of a sex addict. And the sad thing is that - they are right. Like lambs being led to the slaughter or in this case tills we are only too happy to part with our hard earned cash for a slice of mass marketed beautifully packaged celebrity tat.

Yup that’s right the often unspeakable truth is that most of it isn’t great. The gloss of the campaign poster never quite fulfils its promised. On me, the waistcoats look drab and a bit try hard instead of draping in that louche boho way favoured by Sienna and the Olsens. The fabrics are inferior quality and the cuts often sloppy and unflattering. But what does that matter for a celeb endorsed stamp of approval? It seems we lose all power of reasoning when it comes to this the most acceptable of modern day addictions. It’s a bit like what happens during sale season but with a double downside the clothes are ugly and you’ve paid a premium for them. Ooh and those rich celebs are laughing all the way to the bank.

Not to sound like the Germaine Greer of fashionistas or anything (what would that make me a fashionist or a fashionable feminist) but whatever happened to individual style and creating a unique look? Style is not about uniformity it is about expression. Taking a bit of inspiration from here and there, matching, having fun is its essence.

So I for one will not be joining the huge queues outside Topshop next time La Moss decides it's time to dust out the old clothes in her wardrobe and make cheap copies of them.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Fashion Faux Pas

Here in London it's been ridiculously cold recently. I'm talking about the kind of cold that ruthlessly infiltrates your clothes and seeps into your bones inducing severe chill. And over the weekend my 08 resolution to always look stylish - and failing that halfway decent - was quickly put aside when confronted with the reality of freezing weather. On the Friday night my black flared trousers got completely soaked at the bottom almost rendering my toes useless - so much for being at the cutting edge of fashion. I got so frustrated that for the rest of the weekend I planned my outfits like I was an eskimo going out to hunt for food. My big Diesel puffa coat that I haven't reached for since like 2000 came out paired with straight leg jeans, converse trainers, a huge beanie hat, my boyfriends oversized fleece (yes you heard right a fleece) and a scarf - not the thin printed Hermes kind favoured by Nicole Ritchie either - wrapped over my entire neck. I looked like a puffed out Sumo Wrestler but you know what? I did not care. And as I sauntered past city chicks in uber stylish winter wear: skating skirts, navy tights, ballet flats, thin cardigans and red noses although let's face it I looked completely wrong inside I felt smug knowing that they might look great but I felt warm and toasty. And in that moment there is nothing on this earth that could've made me trade my supercomfy oversized fleece for their cute cropped jackets. Looking good and feeling great is the ultimate goal but I figure one out of two isn't bad and tomorrow's another day so weather permitting style will be back on the agenda.

Monday, 14 January 2008

"What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet" - Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

Buying a ticket for the latest Will Smith blockbuster "I Am Legend" got me thinking abput the power of a great title or name. Smith is someone who knows this all too well. All of his recent movies have punchy names that are are instantly captivating and emanate a certain gravitas. When you think 'Independence Day' images of overwhelming acts of patrotism spring to mind, 'Men In Black' - secret service and undercover security measures, I, Robot - advanced technology meets human being in some bizarre Blade Runner -esque twinning. So you see my point names can conjure up an idea in people's minds before anything concrete is presented. They're a perfect starting point. And it's the same for fashion. I was reading about US based sister design due Rodarte the other day and so love their clothes - very Grecian and sexy - but there is something about the name of the label that almost doesn't work. Mostly because they say Rodarte I think Rodent. Their only saving grace is that it does sound semi Italian and therefore retains an iota of sexiness.

A great label name is simple and usually made up of one or two syllables you can picture inflated into big brassy gold letters hanging at the top of a New York skyscraper. Gucci, Dior, Versace, Chloe, Balenciaga, Marchesa, and Chanel all make the cut.

Conversely a not so great name is something hum drum and a bit too ordinary. I must admit I'm not feeling the label name Tod's. They do some great bags and shoes but the name just lacks that cachet there's no drama to it.

But of course shakespeare was right. A Chanel blazer or Topshop dress by any other name would look as great it just wouldn't sound as cool.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Be Beautiful...

I was shown the most fantastic new way of putting on mascara the other day and I'm pleased to report my lashes are looking luscious.
My hairdresser even asked me if I'd put fake lashes in - result!
Ok so I was at the MAC counter (again) a couple of days ago - hey some people do yoga to de-stess I make up shop - looking at the new collection of eyeshadows called 'Originals', which by the way is a cornucopia of gorgeus colours, and the new contourng powders (from the new Sculpt & Shape range) when an assistant asked if I needed help. Not wanting to be rude I obliged. And she tried the contouring powder on me and it was fab I actually looked like I had Grace Jones style shapr cheekbones.

But I digress when she was about to apply mascara to my lashes she asked me to close my eyes then applied it to both lashes at once. What I hear you say?? But yeah I'll repeat it for those at the cheap seats in the back I closed my eyes and mascara was applied to both the top and bottom lashes at the same time and better still I didn't get that horrible clumping effect that sometimes happens wen mascara is applied to the small lower lashes. Zoom Lash was used and personally I think it's much better than YSL's Faux Cils which I find tends to dry out very quickly. And I know I'm always going on about MAC make up but it gives instant results and that's wha I like. Something that does what it says on the tin or in this case tube.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Glamour Inc.

Now it's no secret that I have a penchant for all things glamourous and glitzy. If I could I'd sport smouldering smoky eyes and full length evening gowns 24/7 you know I would but alas the life of a supermodel wasn't to be so instead I look to certain designers for a daily dollop of the fabulous life. My love of beautiful design and it's power to transform not only how you look but intrinsically how you feel all began in the early 90s with the rise of the supermodel - Naomi, Linda, Cindy, and Christy - and the first designer to put these women out there looking nothing short of amazing - Gianni Versace. Versace as a brand has continued to flourish with Donatella at the helm. And it's designs still ooze aspiration, gloss, and woman power. An iconic brand for strong, powerful women who know they can rule the world an look gorgeous doing so. It's striking poster campaigns shot by uber photographers such as Bruce Weber and Mario Testino are works of art in my eyes comparable to anything Rembrandt ever did and a damn sight more sexy. Versace Style Bazzar salutes you!

Check out Patrick Dempsey in the latest versace Menswear campaign:

Demi Moore and Halle Berry looking ultra fabulous in previous campaigns:

Monday, 7 January 2008

Quick Fixes

As I scrambled out of my flat this morning looking more hobo than boho it hit me that scarpering into the office sans make up and looking rough was so not hot! In my defence it was 5am - don't ask - and I'd overslept. But even in these sorts of mad dash situations there should be a fashion/beauty minimum. I mean what if there had been some mega opportunity on offer and I missed out because I didn't look the part. As they say in life there are no second chances but luckily in fashion there are plenty of shortcuts so here are some failsafe ways to avoid being caught out looking H.A.M (a hot ass mess!):

- Ponytails are your friend : But instead of scrunching your hair into a scrunchie get a pack of blax elastic bands and you'll look pulled together as opposed to frantic. A plain double headband will also achieve the same effect.
- Clothing wise bright colours always draw the eye. So if like me you're often in a rush and don't always have time to iron out trouser creases always keep a soft pashmina in a muted pink or soft looking beige to hand. This will immediately give your whole look an extra polish and doubles up as comfort blanket in boring meetings.
-No time to apply foundation? Don't stress a matt bronzer will do the job and brighten your features. Just make sure it's buffed on with a big fluffy powder brush. Avoid using a puff at all costs you'll just look sun baked and not in a flattering way!
-Lipgloss often requires some concentration so just dab on an intensely moisturizing libalm with a sheen instead. Kiehls do a great one!

C'est tout!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

"Fashion fades; style is eternal" - Yves Saint Laurent

This is how winter style should be - laidback and casual yet pulled together.

Skin is Always In

Fendi Python Belt

Oscar De La Renta Doctor Bag

Alena Bag, LK Bennett

No I'm not about to endorse hitting the streets in next to nothing. By Skin I mean reptileskin. There's nothing like a scaly accesory to boost any outfit. Instantly upgrading it from 'yeah fine' to 'wow' status in seconds. Unlike leopard print which can look a bit dated depending on the season and what's in/out a snakeskin or crocodile skin bag, shoes, or belt adds pure class. It's popularity with designers is a testament to it's enduring fashion status. Zaglinani's metallic oversized python skinned bags were a big hit with everyone from Kylie to Beyonce in 07. And I personally feel incomplete without a silver or gold clutch adorning my arms when I hit the town. In fact I'm lusting after an amazing LK Bennett version as I type this!!! Jimmy Choo always so in the fashion moment do some great pythonskin sandals. Keep a lookout for other great finds both on the high street and in boutiques.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Quality Control

Marc by Marc Jacobs Jumper:

Paul & Joe Sister Cardigan:

Chloe Patent Bay Bag:

Quality. What does this really mean? And does this concept stand a chance in our mass market, 'I want it now', quick fix, fast fashion consumer driven culture. Proust I'm not but I was reading the book 'Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty and Everything Glamour' by uber stylist Rachel Zoe and in it she talks a lot about having good quality things that stand the test of time. And it got me thinking about how in 07' I got completely carried away by cheap chic. Now by my own admission I am a magpie and a hoarder. I adore shiny, pretty covetable things. But now I realise perhaps it was a bit of a fashion faux pas - let's call it a blip. I mean do I really need 8 pairs of grey skinny jeans? Probably not. Worst case scenario if I wear them all in a week I'll be mistaken for a soap dodger too lazy to change her clothes. Best case friends and co-workers will think I look trendy-ish but lack imagination. Also for the price of the jeans I could have bought myself a seriously cool designer dress. You know the kind you fantasize about owning and accidententally on purpose bumping int your ex while wearing it radiating a casual cool - while he stands there speechless and mentally cursing himself for breaking up with you. But never actually get round to buying because it just seems so out of your price range.

This is what I call a price comfort level block. For some reason spending what I consider to be lots of money on one garment makes me jittery. It's derived from the same logic that makes me stop and mull over paying more than £4 for a shower gel I'll use every day but goads me into spending £50 on a ridiculously high pair of crippling stilletos that I'll only wear a couple of times.

Iman said it all when she uttered the phrase 'My image is my currency'. And if so shouldn't we be putting our best foot, face forward at all times. So I've decided to make more of an effort to mix high and low. And as I've got tons of low trust me I'm a high street addict prioritising quality above quantity will be my new shopping mantra. In comes items from great diffusion lines Paul & Joe Sister, McQ by Alexander McQueen and sartorial gems from Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, and Boutique Labels. And I thinking of going the whole hog and even finding a good tailor. Fit is everything after all. And I suspect that this pared down approach will be the making of my overstuffed wardrobe. It's a work in progress but I'll post updates soon.

Girdle Talk

So in the run up to Christmas I was feeling a bit 'over indulgent' shall we say and ate every meal as if it was my last. Mealtimes became something to look forward to and I'd plan them with military precision. I mean I would actually slip into reveries about chicken stir fries. Now, I've never really been a foodie. Yeah food tastes good and it keeps you going and sure I'm partial to pistacio nuts and the odd packet of malteasers ooh and walkers BBQ crisps but on the whole I can control myself. I mean I've always known that I'm not one of those women who wakes up weighting 30 stone and wonders with actual shock how she got so huge. To put it plainly I know when to back away from a Snickers bar. There's a thin line between curvy and fat and I tow it.

Ok so the point of my ramblings? Well as I was saying I got a bit too into the 'festive spirit' over the holidays but I also blame the cold weather I was probably unknowingly suffering from seasonal affective disorder. Anyway to cut a long story short I've packed on the pounds. Now I'm a UK size 8-10 so you know I thought it's no problemo I'll lose it in the New Year after all isn't that what resolutions are all about. So there I am thinking it's all gonna be ok as long as I avoid my skinny jeans for a bit when post christmas my aunt pulls me aside and she's like 'Um T, I want to give you some advice'. ok I'm thinking pearls of wisdom from someone older and wiser heck I could so do with this especially with my whole self improvement in 08' plan (more on that later). She then drops this bombshell: 'I think you should invest in a good girdle becaue you know this *she pinches what are admittedly generous thighs* run in the family'. Gobsmacked does not begin to describe my expression. Yeah I'd filled out a bit. But aren't girdles for ladies of a certain generation. I mean there is no way a happening (ok now I'm even starting to sound old!) 20 something like me could possibly need one. Suffice to say I'll be ignoring that comment but the post new year gym sessions starts now!! And for those of you into the idea od body hugging lycra - apparently they're great worn under tight body con type dresses - I'm yet to be convinced. How can you feel sexy when in the back of your mind you know you're wearing a garment akin to a stretchy chastity belt? But for those who want to give it a go below are some options.

Magic Firm Control Thigh Slimmer £20.00 M&S from

Firm Control New Magic Cup Body £35.00 from

Spanx Hide & Seek Full Slip £57.00 from