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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Zooey Deschanel + Tommy Hilfiger collaboration

It is, to me, a match made in sartorial heaven: the all-American, timeless preppy style that is so typical of Hilfiger designs and the quirkiness and unique aesthetic of one of my favourite actresses and undisputed style icon, Zooey Deschanel.  'To Tommy, From Zooey' is perfect - and so much up my stream that it is 'To Mariel' as well.

The minute I read about the collaboration between these two favourites of mine on Women's Wear Daily I almost had to catch my breath.  And looking at the first images from the capsule collection comprising of 16 short dresses, I felt warm on the inside and an immediate connection with every single piece.  The reason for this is that they all reminded me of outfits my mother wore in the late 60s and I always wished she'd kept.  The dresses have a mod London feel which nonetheless carries a certain Americana inspiration in the choice of red, white and blue for colour palette.  The dresses appear easy to wear for a day-to-night lifestyle and are, as Deschanel herself has oft been described, adorkable.  I know that I want more than one of these dresses ... and I'm going to be counting the days until they hit the stores in April, and definitely praying to all the saints that they would be stocked here in Malta.  If not, I might actually have to fork out a flight to anywhere on the mainland too ...

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Designer dreams

For men, it's a bespoke suit. For women, it's a designer handbag.

At least, this is based on the impressions I get from people I know or have come across during these almost 35 years on planet earth.  Of course, for some of the women I know, some even much younger than me in fact, owning a designer handbag is already a fait accompli, if not something which is done on a regular basis during their weekly/monthly/seasonal shopping spree. I suppose they are lucky in that way. 
Chanel 'Classic Flap Bag'

But at the same time, I am glad to be striving to make this dream come true.  As the saying goes, the chase is better than the catch.  And there is a greater sense of achievement when you know you've worked hard - and saved hard - to make that dream come true. 
Hermes 'Birkin'

I have in the past been more obsessed with owning a designer bag, going as far as getting knock-offs which I stupidly paraded proudly.  I actually felt as though I was part of an elite clan - maybe subconsciously I wanted to, and the more monogrammed and big the brand logo was, the better I felt.  I will blame that stupidity on immaturity. 
Louis Vuitton 'Neverfull'

As I grew older, and learnt how to distinguish between an original and a knock-off, I realised more and more that the clan I wanted to pertain to was not the monogrammed, ostentatious one, but the more discerning and subtle one.  I now find myself at a juncture where a number of changes are taking place in my life and I am months away from reaching that ominous age of 35. It might not be an old age, especially now that the 30s are the new 20s and the 40s are the new 30s.  But it is still a milestone which I feel must be marked in some way or another. 
Burberry canvas cross-body
In my bucket list, I always listed owning an original designer bag - bought directly from the actual boutique, not off some dubious eBay store, complete with dust bag, guarantees and sturdy paper bag - and running a marathon as the things to do by my 35th birthday. Being the lazy chubby ass that I am, I am nowhere close to achieving the latter, so I might give myself a few more years for that.  
Gucci Boston
But buying a designer bag is closer to reality.  And I want this to be a real investment.  I want to wait another 35 years before I actually buy another one, unless of course I win the euro millions lottery, which I don't play in any case!
Mulberry 'Bayswater'
So let me start calculating how much I should be saving in these 10 months  ... already looks like a lot but it will definitely be worth every penny!

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Monday, 20 January 2014

Trend Watch: Moody Blooms

If there's one pattern you should be investing in at the moment - be it from the sales or from the new collections already making their way into our favourite stores - it is definitely moody blooms.  Look out for dark floral patterns, preferably botanical with bugs and butterflies included, or digitally manipulated florals abstracting the essence of the the nature-inspired motif.  Palettes are dark and moody, in rich jewel tones contrasted with saturated yellows, rose and green.  Go for head-to-toe if you dare or sport a patterned bag or jewelled statement necklace for a more subtle look.  For more inspirational images, view my dark floral trend Pinterest board here.

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

App of the month: Covet Fashion

As you know, I'm pretty equally obsessed with fashion and gadgetry and all the apps that go with the latter.  So whenever these interests come together, I get a bit jelly-kneed and over-excited. Since all this excitement can't always be contained, I've decided to start bringing you an app of the month post every third week of the month.  It's my little way of sending some love back to the apps that keep me company on flights, bus rides and when I just want to zone out!

The first app of the month is COVET FASHION.  Did you actually think I could start with a non-fashion related app!?!
image courtesy of Crowdstar
I actually came across COVET FASHION during my Christmas vay-cay as I was browsing the app store on my iPad in search of games to keep me busy, or rather help me relax as I intended to when I wasn't out and about.  Over the last month, I have become terribly hooked on it, and for good reason.

First off, this app has the blessing of stylist to the stars and designer Rachel Zoe.  The game, which has a paper-dolls concept, is developed by Crowdstar, which have also brought us games such as Top Stylist and Social Girl, among others.  Playing COVET FASHION, users can dress up their avatars with digital renditions of real life clothes which are really available during the current season collections available from real brands.
“Everyone knows that I’m completely obsessed with fashion, style and anything glamorous and beautiful. I think everyone can and should have style, and what better way than to experiment and play with it online?” - Rachel Zoe
I'm emphasising the word 'real' here: yes, because the digital renditions are so fantastically accurate that it's truly as though you are dressing your doll up in real clothes.  Moreover, if you like a look so much, an online interface allows you to find it directly from the online store.  Having said that, I will concede that this being a US-based app, us Maltese may not always be able to get our paws on our coveted items ... unless we actually fly out for them!

Anyway, back to the game: On a daily basis, players are given daily styling challenges with a theme on which other players vote for.  Other challenges include $10K / $25K / $50K wardrobes and feature brand challenges.  Players get to use their own closet items, borrow from friends, or 'shop' for the right items from the game's store to perfect their style.  It's almost like going on a trip to the mall on a daily basis.  In fact, besides Rachel Zoe's own label, users can find gorgeous clothing and accessories from brands like  Rebecca Minkoff, French Connection, Hudson Jeans, Joie, Nanette Lepore, Dannijo, Fallon, Halston Heritage, and a whole host of other names, marking the app's edge over other fashion / styling games.

Another great feature of the game is the social sharing aspect - you can share your styles on your Facebook wall as well as your Pinterest boards (see mine here!); and, for every Facebook friend who joins, you get $1,000 in game money to shop till your finger-tips drop!

The game is available for download from App Store, Google Play as well as Amazon apps.

All in all, having myself tried other gamified styling apps, I believe this to be the one which is most enjoyable, not just for the ease in playing, but also for the realistic rendering of the clothes, making it appealing even to the more seasoned fashionistas.

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Tuesday, 14 January 2014

great lengths

I'm not sure if it's a question of age (I'll be turning 35 this year, God help me), but the more time passes, the more I'm attracted to skirts which fall below the knee - way below, to mid-calf or more, really - otherwise known as midi-skirts.  I'm not talking about the pencil / body con / 'can only walk in tiny steps' kind of skirts, but the full circle or pleated variety which are just as gorgeous, and so timelessly elegant.

Being petite and wide-hipped, this kind of skirt could possibly look rather disastrous on me.  But I'm craving owning one really badly ... Just look at all these fabulously elegant outfits found on Pinterest! Even the more casual ones have that chic je ne sais quoi which make them so utterly perfect ... so utterly Parisian! So until I find the perfect midi length full skirt to fit my less than perfect figure, I'll just keep day-dreaming by browsing more outfit posts and pins ...

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

my ASOS sale picks

I'm not good with sales.  That might be a bit of a shocking statement, coming from someone who reputedly lives to shop (of course, I do many other things, and my interests go beyond shopping and fashion, but I do seem to come across as a uni-dimensional character to some).

I like to get my new clothes / shoes / accessories as soon as they hit the stores rather than after weeks (or months!) hanging on the rails or lurking in warehouses.  Having said that, it doesn't mean I don't do any shopping during the sales! I do like to keep the economy going all year round, you know! So after spending most of my weekend cooped up at my desk catching up with work related matters, I'm treating myself - and you, dear reader - with my ASOS sale hit list.  In case you're not aware, the ASOS sale is currently up to 70% off so there are some very good bargains to be had.  Smiles all around. So without further ado, and in no particular order of preference:

ASOS Trench Mac With PU Trims (€105.35 NOW €63.21)

You can never go wrong with a classic mac, and the PU trims, though an adornment which follows a current trend, are not in any way interfering with the classic allure of the garment.  

ASOS Pencil Skirt with Ruffle Front in Tartan (€56.18 NOW €39.33)

OK so tartan was HUGE this year, but when is it not, come winter? This skirt will take you through a few winters to come, I promise you.  Plus, the midi length means that as you grow older, the cut will remain age appropriate.  A second plus, is the ruffle which adds that Vivienne Westwood kind of punch to anotherwise plain shape.  

Reason Homies Vest (€42.14 NOW €29.50)

Now, we've seen these designer pun t-shirts all over the place in the last month, and if you haven't got yours yet, this is the time for it.  It doesn't matter if they'll no longer be the trendiest item come next month - you can always wear them to the gym and look cool while fulfilling that annually renewed new year resolution!

KG by Kurt Geiger Calista Leather Pointed Block Heel Court Shoes (€154.51 NOW €92.70)

I prefer getting classic shapes during sales - which most times is like going on a treasure hunt - because when classics or more high end lines are a tad out of reach during the rest of the year, they suddenly become more affordable.  Hence, this pointed pump with contrast block heel.  Modern, yet timeless. 

Pop Boutique Coco Sleeveless Dress with Collar (€42.14 NOW €29.50)

If there is a shape and style that is 'me', then this is it.  I lost count of the collared dresses and outfits I own and wear, but I know that this is the style I feel is mostly representative of me.  So this is a time where I 'invest' in it - who cares if I won't see any peter pan collars on the runway during the year? It's the personal style that really counts!

Meghan Fabulous Sofia Clutch Bag (RRP €154.51 NOW €84.28)

Maybe I'm a bit late in getting on the clutch bag bandwagon, but I'm currently obsessing on these.  I think it's also because I'm trying to reduce the amount of junk I carry around with me.  I can't be likened to Mary Poppins all the time, can I?! 

Traffic People Metallic Wrap Detail Top With Open Back (RRP €91.30 NOW €49.16)

If you buy one trend item from the sales, make it this.  Forget anything flapper or Gatsby inspired, this year will be all about late 70s / early 80s glam courtesy of American Hustle.  I can't wait to rock the Farrah Fawcett flick once again!

Now, let me see how much more damage I can do to my bank balance ... 

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Saturday, 11 January 2014

holiday blues

It takes exactly one week to start coming to terms with the fact you are no longer on holiday.  The week is really and truly not over yet so I'm well, actually hoping that I would have gotten over it by Sunday.

This week has been quite a re-baptism of fire in terms of getting back to the office craziness after two weeks of bliss.  What kept me going was the knowledge that in less than a month I'll have another little escape, and going through my holiday snapshots, rekindling memories of the beautiful Christmas season spent with my love, in a city I adore: Krakow.  Some snow would have made it even more special, but it wasn't a deal breaker for sure! Hope you enjoy this little collection of pics from my trip xx
The beautiful Rynek Glowny, even more stunning at night
Christmas market on the Rynek Glowny
Gingerbread latte @ Coffee Heaven
our baubles were almost bigger than our Christmas tree!
Collegium Maius @ Jagiellonian University
smooching under the mistletoe

a little stroll around the Planty Krakowskie
every day should start with macaroons @ Charlotte
goat's cheese, honey & thyme toast - breakfast as it should be @ Charlotte
fairy tale bed room for a new year's eve at the mountains @ Aparthotel Bella Monte
view from our hotel room @ Aparthotel Bella Monte
heaven in a ramekin - chocolate souffle with hazelnut ice-cream @ Wedel
another Zara store in Krakow - thank you, thank you, thank you!
Galeria Krakowska
the beautiful St Mary's Basilica
some gorgeous art nouveau balusters @ Hotel Royal
sunny freezing days
not when they run out of vegetarian fare *sad face* @ Ambasada Sledzia
just ironically liking those glasses ... @ H&M

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