Get some flavour here:
Spoilt alert - it will involve this pleat beaute
Every season Zara amazes me more and more with its high fashion look-a-like pieces on high street budget. Each and every dress, top and shoe looks like a perfect copy of the luxury label design. I am amazed and happy. Zara is my trend update resort. I go in there, purchase three or four pieces, pay less than £100 and I'm sorted. True, ZARA - as a mass brand - will not give you that exclusivity level as unique boutiques or luxury designers but hey, it can very well mix & match them. And one more thing - very rarely will it serve you for months! If you need classic long lasting pieces (I always advise) - reach for solid quality from the price range outside your monthly budget. ZARA is the place to shop for trends and current style.
Get some flavour here:
Celine is written all over Zara this season. Here are some more examples:
Which ones are your favourite pieces? Soon you will see which ones are mine in I A.M. the Brand post next week. Stay tune...
Spoilt alert - it will involve this pleat beaute
UK is not necessarily the sunniest place on Earth. Let's face it - it's somewhere at the end of that list but hey, sunglasses should be part of your outfit in first instance and then sun shades. Just one ray of shine can be an excuse to wear them. Ok, but what are funnies? Funnies in ianmthebrand vocabulary are sunglasses with humour twist. If you're one of these girls who like to sweeten up your life, who doesn't take every day too seriously, funnies might be a great accessory to express your fun nature.
Here are a few from Nasty Gal which I find so sweetly cute.
Do you dare?
Get them here: Nasty Gal
Inspired by the black & white trend at the New York Fashion show and still coming
Layering and incorporating leather... To be honest - this one was spot on, on predictions, when prepping my outfit for the show of Jean Pierre Braganza
(By the way the model showing above - amazing face)
And my recent fascination on Shades of Purple I put together the look below.
The pleated black & white skirt is a hit of the season and can be observed in a few brand stores - Asos, Zara, Whistles, Donna Karan, Christopher Kane, or Kenzo.
I came up with the below - leather look trousers matched with a pleated black&white skirt, river-island leather look bomber jacket, ASOS leather burgundy oversized clutch, purple snood, Marc Jacobs watch and Ted Baker belt bracelet.
And to finish my blog I would like to thank the American Express Staff for all their help (had a large umbrella held over me by a very friendly staff member to protect me from the pouring rain, feeling like a V.I.P.). Their capes cleverly thought through and designed by Christopher Raeburn - inspired by the collection piece below.
Until my high school years Valentine's Day had been exciting. Checking my mailbox (at those times - the traditional, good all mailbox) just to find a card from a secret admirer. Yes, there were a lot, but most of them - to my sister. Gosh, that girl knew how to play her charms. 14th February was the time of the year when we had to fix or replace the postbox and the intercom because of my sister's popularity. And there, among all these heart-studded letters, kiosk-rings, flowers and chocolates, there was always one or two cards for me. Until I had my first long-term relationship I had never known the sender. Excited but envying the record holder - my sister.
Then I reached my 20s and Valentines Day became less important. I guess I gave up. When in relationships I never had a need to celebrate love on that day(perhaps scarred by the past:) ); the idea of mass celebration of love was somehow off-putting. A few years later, as a married woman, deeply in love my "philosophy of the Love Day" slightly changed. Still not keen to get into the all-together-flowers-chocolates-romantic dinners romance festivity 14th Feb became a signpost for love nurturing. We need this day to remind us all to care about love, to express our love, to cherish love and loved ones here and there. Not always... Because it becomes mundane and worn-out. From time to time. To keep it exciting...
And now when the D Day is approaching I put together a few looks for the evening romance.
Have a look...
Have you seen 2014 fashion shows? If you browse random photos just for one minute you will see one pattern irrespective of the season - SPORTS SHOES is the link. It was bound to happen. All designers aware of what happens on the street finally acknowledged the trend and decided - if we can't get a woman out of a flat shoe, we must make the flat shoe worth it. And they did. It has been around for quite a while, but when Chanel designs a sports shoe to rule the catwalk for spring couture 2014, come on, even those not interested in trends must follow the pattern.
And we will, because we already have. Now, time for making sports shoes worth it.
It's not that Cara Delevigne (in picture) - the coolest model of the 2010s made it happen:
We did. The underground was full of women wearing in their best dresses matched with slightly worn out NIKEs (used for jogging in the morning) was a common sight a long time ago. It just never looked graceful, stylish or feminine at all.
And all hail designers - designers helped to join the two.
Google "street style trainers" and you will get such an inspiration on what with and how to wear trainers.
First of all - get a few types - white adidas by Stella McCartney, funky colourful Nike, a pair of tennis style trainers any shade but white and match them with long coats (it's still winter), pencil dresses and a-line midi skirts. The furthest your outfit is from sport the better.
For some ideas check out this blog: A tangerine inspiration.
And now, here it is. Joining strengths with awesome Jade Broom - a Make-up Artist whose work you will see more often in this blog I decided to put together the sporty stylish look. One foot still in winter, the other driven by spring trends - visible in the match of colours and styles - disheveled pony tail, maroon and deep blue, short sleeve & tennis shoes (shiny, oh how shiny they are, and on a platform sole - will love them this spring), quick on the go but still feminine enough. What do you think.
Nü Woman is a way of thinking about clothing that will allow every item in ones closet to match perfectly with its fellows, essentially rendering a bad outfit wholly impossible.
Sounds familiar if you're an I A.M. the Brand client.
This philosophy is taken now a bit further and evolves into a sort of wardrobe feng shui.
Read more here:
We've seen them at Spring Summer Fashion Shows, we've seen them at Golden Globes, we will see them more often. We have to have at least one. They will be the hit of the season and this is not the only reason why we should own one. Well, not so much own one, but wear one. They are soooooooo romantic and "princessy" and now finally we will be incorporating them into a street look. Sooner or later - we will. Believe me on that. I have predicted many things before it was loud on them in the media. High-street will translate the red carpet beauties into their market, then it will move towards designer inspiration on a bigger scale. But enough on preaching, let's see some stunning examples.
It feels good to be on top of everything, doesn't it. Well... unless you're in favour of other positions;) Anyway, keeping up to date with current trends doesn't need to belong to fashonistas only. They don't have a patent to sport it. You can do it too and if you do with a touch of your style - you're a genius, I say.
Here are a few pieces that I spotted in "just in" section on high street. Why these? Because they hold some spring summer 14 trend here and there which is awesome to flaunt ahead of their time. Brave, huh? Nah, just try it.
In 2014 I will step outside my comfort zone. I already accepted the whole me, so why not taking it up a notch.
Think about a style you like and flaunt it, dare and set trends.
I will wear heels more often. One evening put them on when popping up to your local Sainsbury's, then for lunch, for the two of you, serve my Sunday roast high on 7 inches.
I will be all about colour.
Learn your colours, choose your favourite tones and hues, so many of them suit you - just pick the palette and build your wardrobe with it. When perfectly apple, OMG - you rule.
I will show the world a different dimension of flats.
Flip flops and sports shoes matched with flowy dresses??? Whaaat? Yep, it's a new era and you must have already noticed it on the streets. Why shouldn't we legalise these at work? The world is going forward and we need to speed up with it.
I will embrace trends.
Browse the spring summer 2014 fashion week photos and choose a trend that reflects you and put it together ready in your wardrobe to fire off.
I will have fun swapping.
Don't throw away your clothes or (I think, what's even worse) - don't pile them up down at the bottom of the scariest, loneliness corner of your home. Donate or even better - attend Swishing Parties. It's fun. Off with the old, on with the new. Viva resourcefulness. Viva You.
I A.M. the whole package.
Take care of yourself from top to bottom, from within to the outside.
Plan your outfit, plan your hairstyle and your make up - when you know You, it takes 10 minutes to plan, 5 minutes to prepare and another 15 minutes to do it. I AM NOT JOKING. It's tested, it's proven. And how long does it take you to get ready for that evening out? Standing in front of the wardrobe, crying: "I have nothing to wear. I'm not going" and throwing a dress after a dress until your cat disappears from that bed under the textile mount
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Sales are coming to town
So it's happening - Boxing Day is just around the corner and we're all ready to set and go. Most of the retailers have already started tempting with their offers and so much for our family festive time. It's coming, but you'd better watch out.
Here's how to shop for for so called bargains:
* as always - know your sizes (your body shape is not a size), your skin tone
* before opening an internet browser (or stepping into a shopping zone)
- sit down with a pen and paper and write down how much reasonably you are willing to spend
- check your wardrobe and think what staples you're missing or would need an update with
- think about current trends and decide if you like any, then think if they would suit your style, your body and your lifestyle
- now open the browser/enter the world of retailers and browse… Browse and try on clothes with your list. Keep to it and never let it go.
It all seems to you like a tedious labour rather than a Christmas joyous time of making yourself happy by buying things for yourself, but please understand:
Shopping should not be your pastime, this should not be a competition (with yourself or others) how big bargain you got, this should not be your adrenaline injection. This should simply be a task (a mere task) helping you with developing/maintaining your image. It should be a help to express yourself through your look.
Also remember - You Are a Brand, not the labels you purchase.
Now, sales are always a trap. If we let ourselves go, they will devour us (and technically you lose as the retailers got what they want, you… not necessarily).
* For staples - reach to a shelf from a higher tier of the market, so if you usually shop on high street, during sales check out Reiss, Jaeger, Whistles, Hobbs… etc. The key is quality and here you will get real bargains
* for trends - pay less - the trends this season will end in one or two months and you don't want to spend a fortune on something that will land at the bottom of your wardrobe after you wear it twice.
* the best to shop at sales are shoes and accessories - go for them as much as you can as these are the items you very often neglect yet, they can massively change your outfit. You have no idea how magical these little things are - you can carry them in your tote and despite wearing the same dress the whole day, you can transform twice or trice with no effort at all. TRY IT
And lastly, have fun wearing your clothes, enjoy your looks and pat yourself on the shoulder for being smart!
At Christmas and New Year a little bit of drama should be a staple. Yes, it's a season to be jolly, la la la la la la la la la but drama too. Families reuniting at the big table full of food, and there will always be an incident - an argument between two cousins who haven't seen each other for a million years, an embarrassing dance by your extravagant auntie with a bottle of vermouth in her hand, or your sister's baby boy has just left a food mark imprinted on your silk dress just when you started to get to love him. And then this magical moment happens and all is blissful and holy and perfect.
So at this time you need to wear this showstopper - something to wow and impress even if everyone agrees there's a little bit too much here and there. But oh, the Santa, it's Festive Time.
So here are I A.M. the Brand choices - the ultimate Christmas dinner dresses.
Skin Tone: Any, although soft autumns should avoid black
Body Shape: Column, cone, bell,
Age: 15 - 50
Accessories: This dress is amazing, as you can wear it with the zip work detailing at the front or the back, giving you two classic styles in one. Also you can wear it with leggings (leather would add a show-stopping twist to it). Wear shoes as your imagination tells you - this is where you can really make the look shine. As to jewellery - don't add too many pieces, especially if your shoes tell the story, a chunky bracelet will do the job
Occasion: Literally any, depending on the accessories
Skin Tone: Deep Autumn or Deep Winter
Body shape: Column, cone
Age: 20 - 50
Accessories: long statement necklace, gold or black heeled pumps
Occasion: Dinner Party
Skin Tone: Deep Winters, Deep Autumns, some summers
Body shape - Apple, hourglass, lollipop
Age: 20 - 55
Accessories - a choker, strings of pearls, shoes - plain, mono-tone, delicate
Occasion: Decadent style Christmas dinner
Skin Tone: Summers, Deep Winter
Body shape: pear, hourglass, vase, cello; remember to wear Spanx or other body shaping underwear. It's a must, irrespective of your size!
Age - 20 - 100
Accessories: just earrings - long, black or silver, shoes - sandals or pumps - either the same colour as the dress or black, blue could get all eyes on you
Occasion: Any festive occasion
More still to come...
Oasis Oriental Jacquard Dress - £85
Skin tone - springs and autumns
Body shape - skittle, column
Age - teenager to 30 years old
Occasion - any festive party
Accessories - since the dress is pretty glamorous itself, reduce your accessories to a gold bracelet and a cocktail ring or long earrings
Oasis - Amber Lace Sleeve Dress - £85
Skin tone - Winters and Summers
Body Shape - hourglass, lollipop
Age - teenager - 30 years old (if you're a petite 40 year old you can still get away with this dress, forget about it though if you're tall)
Occasion - Christmas dinner, office dinner
Accessories - a nice black furry boa will add chic vibe to the outfit, silver sandals or pumps and a matching clutch, delicate, almost invisible silver chain
House of Fraser - Eliza J 3/4 sleee ruches waist dress
Skin Tone - Winters
Body Shape - ANY!
Age - 45 - 100
Occasion - Theatre (perhaps the Nutcracker + dinner, host at a Christmas dinner
Accessories, Victorian style cape, perhaps with some ornaments, kitten heels, cameo necklace
House of Fraser - Lipsy Kardashian Cut Out Bodycon Dress
Skin tone - Summer, Spring
Body shape - hourglass, pear (WEAR SHAPEWEAR!!!)
Age - 20 - 30
Occasion - Club, New Year party
Accessories - killer heels, long earrings and a long gold or silver cuff
More to follow
In today's post I would like to present Shirt & Jumper Dress for two pockets. As always - the aim of these posts is NOT to show which one is better based on a price tag but to make you aware that each pocket can dress you according to the budget/lifestyle/status you hold.
This time I chose an item that is getting more and more popular - a two-part dress. We will be seeing these more and more. One of the masters in this field is Victoria Beckham in her junior brand - VICTORIA VICTORIA BECKHAM.
These dresses are available in NET-A-PORTER and are (from the left) £495, £720, £640.
Below are more toned-down, conservative options, perfect to the office or simply if we feel like a good girl for the day.
So, what do you think?
Is this your style?
Just a small tip - these dresses will look best on summer skin tones.
I have been told by many people who know me, that they have never seen me wearing the same outfit twice. When I tell them that this is always my aim while choosing outfits, I hear: "You must have lots of clothes then". Well, no. That would make me totally vain (I'm not saying that I'm not vain at all, I think all people have at least a small dollop of vanity, otherwise we would never seek pleasure).
You would be surprised to see that for a stylist who according to stereotypes should have three walk-in wardrobes bursting in seams, I actually possess a rather medium size collection. The key is:
- recycle every four or five months - donate to charity or to friends. Swishing parties are amazing in this regard because someone else's unwanted dress can become your staple for a next few months;
- have your items organised according to your most frequent use (work/socialising/dating/client meetings/office etc) and then according to the type (trousers/skirts/tops/ etc)
- have a space for jewellery and belts - don't pack them in a tiny box or a drawer where you can't see them properly. Let them be your inspiration, let them help you reveal your creativity. If you have them hang spread out you have a clear view of what you can match with the outfit you're going to wear. You do not realise how important an accessory is. It can make it or break it. Lack of it makes the look very boring and the variety of them helps to create amazing outfits.
The power of your look and how you feel about yourself is unlimited irrespective of the budget you hold.
Here are a few (not so much anymore) secrets of mine:
It all seems to be incredibly time consuming and many of us would give up before even starting but trust me - IF YOU LEARN ALL TECHNIQUES OF WARDROBE AND IMAGE MANAGEMENT you literally LOOK EFFORTLESSLY CHIC/ELEGANT/STYLISH (however you always dreamt to look)
So these days, leggings are a huge deal in our wardrobe and on a fashion scene. A massive quirky trend from the 80s (those lycra ones I'm talking about) now evolves into the most stylish part of our look. Drop the trousers, get the leggings, or better boots/leggings, take example from Lagerfeld's Chanel collection
I MEAN… PERFECTION… GENIUS of CREATION
But, well, let's face it, leggings has always been this leisure accessory, almost like a pyjama, that we snug into when back after a tough day at work or a dress-code for jogging in the morning. They evolved, though, and standard issue cotton black leggings are not enough. Get a work-style leggings, party leggings, stylish pop-up for shopping leggings. And what's important - they can be dirt cheap.
Yet, make it interesting. Get patterns, prints, quality, a few pairs, in the style that represents you, but for various occasions.
So I have this pair of BIBA leggings - absolutely in love with them. I got them last year, stretch, Biba Logo - again PERFECTION. I keep asking BIBA customer service staff when they will have these again as I so need another pair. No sign yet.
So I keep them for a rainy day (and the best occasions) - fancy blazer, oversized jumper, heels or PRADA brogues and I'm sorted.
Find your own leggings. Print, pattern anything you like, as long as it goes together with the rest.
Now, can it suit you? Of course. If you're a rhubarb shape - get a large knitwear and flaunt the new hourglass shape which is THE CONE. If you want some feminine shape - I dare you - wear an A-line skirt with them - all in one colour - SOOOOO in VOGUE (take example from Chanel Autumn Winter 2013 collection - pictures above for inspiration).
Oh, and pair shape ladies - get a loooong shirt and a tailored blazer.
That's my advice. I A.M. the Brand and U.R the Brand.
This post is one of I A.M. the Brand regulars - how can one style be represented irrespective of the budget.
Today I'm presenting an optical illusion dresses by Lipsy, Karen Millen and Diane Von Furstenberg - perfect for smoothing all these feminine shapes. What's so great about them is that the pattern rules over the tailoring. The capped shoulders don't matter if you're a cone shape (an encyclopaedic no no for inverted triangles), apples can get away with body-con shape around the hips and tummy, because of all the geometry and colours working to all the benefit. With these dresses you can forget about your shape - they will turn you into an hourglass anyway.
So this is Whistles high-street dress from the Spring Summer 2013 collection.
And here's Victoria Beckham's creation from Victoria by Victoria Beckham Spring Summer 2014 collection
Just saying. Not commenting on the dress either.
Cone has been reigning the catwalks stronger and louder since last winter. SS 2014 shows featured even more cone-idolising tailoring and I would like media to finally notice that.
- curves covered up
- giant sleeves, either batwings or over-sized cap sleeves, irrespective of the length
- waist usually covered, as opposed to the previously idolised hourglass
- no belts
Take a look
"Body shapes" subject is as vast as an ocean. We can talk about the influence of media on the perception of body shapes. We can talk about ideal body shapes, we can talk about body shapes and various diets, etc etc.
I see various body shapes every day and I can tell you I haven't seen one perfect shape. Well, I do think that Naomi Campbell body is very close to the ideal and yes, I do have a certain fascination with its chiselled contours, so fine despite passing years. I am also obsessed with sculptures of heroes and gods of Ancient Greece and Rome but these are just examples of my personal aesthetics and there're as many of these as there are people in the world.
Naomi Cambell is not an hourglass at all and I do not think that an hourglass should be the most desired shape we should aim for while dieting or dressing. WHAT????? That's atrocious. How can you say this. All stylists put us in the clothes that create a figure of an hourglass. Is that wrong?
This is what I think:
Despite being not-fashionably late with invitations requests I received a couple - one of each was from Giles.
Cara and her Wings were definitely the sensation on the catwalk.
Prom dresses and trainers, elegant plaits with some disheveled tapered streaks here and there ruled the catwalk.
My biggest obsession at the show? The winged fascinator and the pale beige feather-adorned tulle dress.
The medieval cape and adidas trainers combination - so Giles. The delicate, sheer fabric felt amazingly when the model was passing by. So mystic and floating above the ground, yet modern and stomping boldly.
Also, spot I A.M. the Brand behind the cutest wings.
Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), if I'm not mistaken, wearing one of the Giles new collection dress has arrived. Also Lily Allen, Derek Blasberg and Nick Grimshaw sat at the front rows.
Prom dresses and trainers