Fragrance – a scent or a dream

There are tonnes of fragrance brands out there. Many send in generous samples to my work place, in the hope of getting some free press. The no-return policy of cosmetics also applies here. Results? The beauty sale!

Today I bagged an unreleased fragrance (French, an ex-designer who now owns only a perfume line. Clued up enough to guess?), and many haute make-up: 18 pieces from the best fragrance or make-up makers, tallied up a grand total of £19. I probably have over £200 worth of merchandise in that black little bag!

Call me skanky, but who doesn’t love a bargain? And indeed, the fond memories of today will be sealed in the molecules that make me smell a million. So, don’t underestimate the efficacity of scents. Malodourous or aromatic – they can evoke the strongest memories.

It took me sometime to get over Davidoff’s Cool Water per homme: and Boss by Hugo Boss will forever be about the summer spent in Holland Park. I’m sure many out there have similar experience.

Even miasma can transport you out of the current space-time continuum. If you had witnessed a dear somebody on their sick bed. You’ll know.

But the intangible liquid isn’t just about the past. It’s about the presence. The je ne sais quoi of a presence. Tamara Mellon, in a 2006 interview with the ES Magazine, said that as clothes are becoming more casual, it is down to the accessories that add the glam factor. She revealed that she wanted to dress all the accessories on a woman. Shoes, Bags, Sunglasses, Swimwear – and, last but not least – perfume. The easiest entry to the haute lifestyle. A spray of Chanel No.5 makes one feels as if there’s some cosmic connection between thy and the legendary couturier.

Perfume – the ultimate weapon to convey pleasantry, sophistication, elegance and most importantly, mystique. Jacque Polge, the perfumier of Chanel, says, “when a woman disappears, the only thing that is left of her, is her fragrance”. And indeed, the importance is so significant, that a perfume is more than just meets the eye. Guerlain’s retired perfumier, Jean Paul Guerlain, had it so right,”if the perfume smells disgusting, it’ll be a disaster when you turn on the light.”

A perfume is a lifestyle item too. It was said that Elizabeth Taylor’s toilet is full of Chanel’s toiletries. And the significant smell of Chanel’s ubiquitous No. 5 is quite a tough scent to forget. It’s not musky. It’s not flowery. It’s not feminine. Nor is it masculine either. It goes on to say that a woman who wears Chanel No.5 is quite an undefined figure. She is a business woman. She is a housewife. She is 40. She is 20.

This is not the 20s anymore, unfortunately. Perfumes are everywhere. Even Jordan, the tasteless glamour model, can lend her name to something which is traditionally perceived as an item of class and style. To the contrary of popular belief though, a cheap perfume doesn’t necessarily equate a nasty smelling fragrance, as Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, both scent connoiseur with Luca being on the forefront of olfactory science, suggested on a Guardian article.

So what’s to take away from this article? The time has changed, as the old perfume aged, the new wave of scent will challenge the old-school point of view. You may not like Jordan’s lifestyle, but her perfume could potentially be a very unobnoxious smell.

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Dior Cruise 2011 – Parisian Chic in Shanghai, Barbie’s Dream

The ideal accessories to Dior’s Cruise 2011 collection will be a doll house and a pink Cadillac. Although the collection was shown in Shanghai, the clothes have  little oriental touch.However, Galliano has his own way of explaining it, that “I didn’t want to come here and present a Chinese-inspired collection to my Chinese friends”. And indeed, Galliano does what he knows best and as he has Godard’s girls on his mind, the clothes exudes every bit Parisienne. The ready to wear are chic, girly and colourful. The thin silhouette will require a diet of fine wine and cheese to pull off the looks.

The heavily 60s influenced clothes also have little reinventing in question. The outfits are pulled straight off the pages of the sixty’s fashion magazines, and put right back on a good cast of models. Nonetheless, the collection will score high marks in the eyes of all fashion lovers, for the series of clothes are beautiful , very very pretty indeed.


The good news is, the collection is very wearable. In the current economic climate when even Alexander McQueen’s brilliant collection doesn’t render a profit in his own house, it is expected that the clothes will sell like a dream. Presented in Shanghai, the cutsey frocks and the reinvented and younger looks of the house’s highly sought after Diamond bags will bid in well with the Asian market.

Although Galliano didn’t bother to do any research on the Chinois look, a remote reference to Shanghai has been paid with the combo above. Styled like a mobster in an old Shanghai gangster movie, a top hat and a tweed coat is followed by a loosely fitted turned-up suit trousers. The weapon of choice is a pair of sky high stiletto and a Diamond bag.

Treading into the evening wear territory, madamoiselle Dior turns into a prom-belle. Some dresses carry the shadow of Dior’s AW08 Haute Couture collection. Nevertheless, the pale palette looks very pleasing to the eye. The collection, no doubt, will expand Dior’s client portfolio to cover a much younger generation.

The wardrobe of Barbie is every girl’s dream. And seems like Galliano has done well in capturing the hearts of the heiresses.

Cannes Film Festival Picture Special

Forgive me if you’re craving for my wise words. But I guess the Cannes gowns are best left for your own eyes to see. The only thing I want to point is the the prominence of the red lips and porcelain skin. Gucci couture seems to have dominated the red carpet as well, as seen on Kate Becksindale, Camilla Belle and Salma Hayek.

Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing below dons a beautifully Empirical China influenced frock, which stands out from the crowd. Let me go and find out who designed it.

My Crazy World List. Brand or No Brand – High Fashion Changes Lanes

The news one hears one day can sometimes be hard to stomach. I am compiling a list of Crazy World news on Twitter (#CrazyWorld), and we’ll see when will the world get sick of the randy brand diversion eh?

1: Valentino designs T-shirt. It’s pretty tough to believe the house which produces £8000 mink throw, £100,000 couture gowns and dresses for Elizabeth Taylor will come to designing accompaniment to mine workers’ jeans. Read more on fashionologie.com.

2. Gucci to design couture gowns. Last time I check a house can only call their products “couture” if they can pass the stringent criteria set by the official couture board in France. I want to know: how much of a gown is handmade and secondly, will Gucci flex their fashion muscles to hoax the strict Frenchmen into accepting their propositions? On a completely different note, Frida Gianni has dressed Selma Hayek, Kate Beckinsale and Camilla Belle on the Cannes red carpet. These are possibly the best walking mannequins you can get to promote your company’s new agenda eh? Crazy, crazy!

3. Ashley Olsen to design furnitures? Running a successful multi-million pound fashion house, The Row is clearly not enough to fill the Olsen twins’ insatiable appetite in world domination. Some has even suggested that they will find somebody else to design their fashion, and the siblings will focus on their furniture. Gosh. What’s next?

4. While we’re on entertainment, Beyoncé has plans to design homewares. Maybe if I were a boy, I’ll want a Beyoncé spoon so I can spoon her whenever I eat. Now seriously… Beyoncé and household chores? Designing a butler maybe a more credible job for you hun, for a doubt you even know how do kitchen utensils fit in the dishwasher…

5. Harrods is sold? I cannot imagine Harrods without al-Fayed. And for him to not mill around the shop floor whenever he fancies and greets shoppers anymore, that just takes away the fun of shopping at Harrods, no? But £1.5 billion, which is £1,500,000,000 if you must, I guess al-Fayed can buy a very nice retirement place indeed!

6. Prada tea? The editors such as Jo Elvin of Glamour, Jess Cartner-Morley of Guardian and Lorraine Candy of Elle have been boasting the calmness a little Prada tea bag brings. Following the brand’s expansion into mobile phone in collaboration with LG, don’t know who makes the Prada tea? Care to place a bet? PG, Yorkshire or Twinnings? Don’t think it’ll be Tetley, if I’m honest!

7. This one must have sunken in already cos this is really old news: Armani and Versace both have their branded hotel in Dubai. The last guest you want will be Ross from Friends, seeing how an Armani bathrobe will set you back £200. And will they security tag every items in their rooms? Armani’s rooms have more to lose, as every items can be purchased… Can I have an Armani toilet roll please? Just one bit of info: is the roll made of silk?

8. The size zero issue: Marie Claire UK appoints a plus size columnist, which is a good sign to combat insecurity issues in teenage girls. After all, all of us are born in different shapes and sizes and as a trained Biochemist, I can tell you there’s nothing we can do about our natural and basal metabolism.
At the same time, the country which has produced some of the finest models of our catwalks today – Abbey Lee Kershaw and Miranda Kerr – has asked a 120lb, Australia’s Next Top Model contestant to lose some pounds. Unless she is 4 foot 3 and aged 3 year-old, I’d say the request is pretty immoral. Having said that, Australia is known to be quite tardy in picking up any new fashion trend. Editor in Chief of Vogue Australia condemned the rise of internet bloggers in an article in The Australian. I hope no one reads Susie Bubble’s tweet as she was the one to link the article. But oops, unlikely, and ranging wars against the man is a futile as crying over spilled water. Waste of effort. There, I’m slashing the Australian fashion world. (Those bus stop adverts, what, Aussie Pants? Who gives a fuck?)

9. Models as writers. Modelina has reported that Miranda Kerr is about to finish her book titled “Treasure Beauty”, or something. This one is about all women have insecurities (including the Victoria’s angel herself. Oh really?!) and recipes for healthy eating etc. If I can eat away to look like Miranda I’ll place an order on the hardback straight away.
Tyra Banks is also penning a book on “Modelland”. I read about what the book is about but I forgot. Forgive me. But I don’t think you should look it up.

I am one item away from collecting 10. If you know any crazy news to complete the list, hit the comment button below…

Aganovich 0.3: Classy and futuristic, clothes that play like jigsaw puzzles

There is a time when you see something so brilliant, you feel ambivalent about announcing the awesomeness to the whole wide world because you may selfishly keep the news to yourself. The Serbian designer who is truly international – grew up in Copenhagen and educated in Rome and now finally bases in London, Nana Aganovich, a Central Saint Martin MA graduate, creates a captivating collection that makes me feel just like that. Nana and her partner Brooke Taylor explains this AW11 collection in their own words:
The collection emulates equal portions of a glamourous old movie as well as a futuristic flick. The protagonist could be a lady, chauffeured around in a Karmann Ghia, exiting the car into flashes of limelight. At the same time she can be a feminine commander, marches into a space shuttle, calling through the tannoy, announcing each andriod’s daily duties.
The couture is simple, and the aesthetic is respectful for the natural beauty of a woman. The forward thinking emulates from these clothes and the excellent craftsmanship adds to my enthusiasm for the label.
There is a mathematical quality about these dresses. A precise and executed curve rests on the chest which is reminescent of a camel back. The colour-blocked fabric juxtaposes each other to accentuate the contrast. Asymmetry is the certainly the keyword here, but having the correct balance in pushing such a design is of paramount too.
The AW11 collection was presented in Paris. The clothes featured in this article center on this collection.
Take Alexis Mabille, the new ‘enfant terrible’ as an example.By no means I am trying to villify Alexis’ creations – and as a matter of fact I’m rather fond of the collection – but the in-your-faceness somehow hinders the masses to stomach the clothes. Aganovich’s Spring Summer 2010 collection, on the other hand, spelt out the key to an auspicious result: be as adventurous as you want, but never tread too far from wearability.
The magic of the SS10 collection lies in its simplicity. The idea pivots on puzzles. The main dress can be topped with an asymmetric ornament piece – a strong shouldered pelerine like a short cape; a part truncated long cloak which can be cinched at the waist or an oversized single collar. This is a nice concept where one or two top pieces plus a couple of dresses give you an assortment of looks.
This is not to say that the dress in itself cannot survive without the decorative ‘puzzle’. Without the funky top-half, the main body is an elegant structure of fluidity and elegance. To inject the funk, some of the dresses are Kruella styled to split in the midriff: both colourwise, and pleat-wise. Clean pleats, clean decorative lines are all exquisitely sewed on. It’s funny how a combo can look so minimalist, but yet posseses so much details at the same time.
Put it simply, I haven’t felt so excited about a collection in so long. Etro, yeah, yeah. Louis Vuitton, meh. Sometimes I wonder why individual designers don’t get more credits than they deserve. This one here, conjures up so much
excitement I can barely contain myself!
Fact file
Nana Aganovich launched her womenswear label in 2005. In 2006, she showed a collection centered around ‘The Dream of Beef’ in Vauxhall Fashion Scout in 2006.
An activist since she was 15, she and her former partner designed a collection of clothes to take part in the May Day Riot in central London, with the models wearing clown make up.
She now designs with partner Brooke Taylor in Whitechapel with an atelier at a factory outside Hong Kong. The CSM MA graduate is a co-founder of the Missing Sock studio in Hong Kong, as well as a contributor on ShowStudio. Her label is now named Aganovich 0.3 and shows in Paris in the form of sculpture/installation and clothes exhibition. Her website is www.aganovich.com but it is currently under construction.

One stop shop for all your summer shoe needs

The French shoe staple Robert Clergerie joined the likes of Chloë Sevigny, Spike Jonze, Pendleton, Levi’s, Timberland and Keds to join force with the global trendy retail store Opening Ceremony. The collaboration results in an admirable laced up espadrille, the bread and butter of the season’s casual wear.
Albeit seemingly under eulogised, the label’s creations frequent titles across America and Europe (Italy, Germany, the UK…) In fact, I’m going to do a lot of praising here!
Truth to be told, prior to the return of this season’s 70s hedonistic shoes, many digital-age kids wouldn’t dream of paying Robert Clegerie’s site a visit. Their priority at producing comfortable shoes is dismissed as a dated approach to shoes. Think high end Clarks, think wedges with a 1 degree inclination and gold buckle fastenings.
But people forget about the real job of a shoe, which is exactly Robert Clergerie’s simple ethos: to produce comfortable and walkable shoes. The inanity of the whole shoe industry hits home when I saw this with my own eyes the other day: a 5 ft 3 woman in South Kensington, outside the porch of her lush pad, carrying bags and bags of shopping, sans shoes… I could understand why the pair of 4-inch Louboutin – worn by the super models in last issue’s Love – were ditched on the roadside.  These are limo-shoes. These are – to put it crudely – fuck me shoes. These are shoes for posing. These are shoes for Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe lounge. There’s only so much love you can give a 2.5 inch stiletto courtesy of Jimmy Choo, Giuseppe Zanotti. The love affair pretty much ends after 100m of walking, when love turns into hatred.
So I’m best pleased when I stumbled upon Robert Clergerie’s catalogue last week. Efforts have been put into attracting a younger clientele. No moral has been forsaken along the way. Painted organza heels, bang on trend, are coupled with a reasonable sized platform and hence a realistic arch. Wedges, one of Clergerie’s best repertoire, veered into a more complex territory. You may argue my fondness for Clergerie’s current season stems from the serious return of the 60, 70s aesthetic, but let’s not deny pretty much every shoe have wished this season can be realised at Robert Clergerie. Clog? Tick. Oxford brogue (with an edge)? Tick. Printed organza shoes? Tick. Grandma’s wedges? Tick. Espadrille?


Innovation and attention to detail has always been on the agenda of the French shoe maker. As early as in 1981, Robert Clergerie introduced a female version of the laced up Oxford. Before then, the shoe had always been a man’s copyrighted shoe. Every year since, the shoes are being polished and revamped. And such is the current season edition of Robert Clergerie’s Oxford. Much deviated from the original staidness, the shoe featured Robert’s best piece of innovation: the sole. It has always been the wedge or the bottom that always get a face-lift… Remember the three-tiered wedge on the black sandals last season?
Some glamazons – who are used to the thin heeled and glossy finished shoes – may scratch their heads when it comes to a face-off with these minimal designs with a chunky flooring. The June issue of British Vogue reinvented the 50s housewife glamour, featuring the sepia styling of the 70s. The sock and sandal combo is the only way forward without looking a retirement home inhabitant. After years of over sexualisation, a bit of demureness surely does make a nice change?
Some of you may scratch your heads when it comes to ‘what do I do with these granny wedges!?’. Fret not, for the June issue of British Vogue has done a shoot featuring the sepia style of the 70s. The sock and sandal combo is the only way forward with these without looking like a retirement home inhabitant.

Clergerie’s offerings are plenty, considering the brand has been around since the 80s. But if your banker will only consent to one pair of expertly made shoe this season, let’s forget about the non-funtional shoe candies, shall we? This pair of organza printed heels is the summer of love. Red socks, blue socks, white socks and no socks. Jeans, circle skirts, pencil skirts, black tuxedo. The possibilities are endless.
As always, I do too much talking. I’ll let you browse Robert Clergerie’s wearable shoe art.


Sexy, Strong and Care Free – Guilty Brotherhood.

While I was sorting the lookbooks in the fashion cupboard, a little catalogue fell from the shelf. It was as if god wanted me to read it. The clothes were striking, very strong and sexy. They are a combination of rock and roll and curiously, serenity. It helps when you’ve got a model who has an enviable body, a very expressive face and a palpable attitude. The eye-catching  clothes – strong and soft at the same time – have schoepentoetered my curiosity.

But try to sequester information about the brand. Aside from the little bits and bobs on variuos blogs that are ripped off from the French brand’s website, not much at all. This is deliberate. Guilty Brotherhood’s designer, a young Parisian called Kevork Kiledjian, created the label 2 years ago. The designer has lived in New York for a few years in the 1990, hanging out with Cypress Hill. He was travelling a lot during this time –  New York, LA and Asia – and it was around this time when he created his first label called Triiad, selling chic streetware, in Paris.

Every bit the rebel he is, the glamourous creations are crafted by a man who has never attended formal art school. But the design juice runs in the family blood – Kevork’s father was a couturier for Lanvin in the 1950s.  As a designer, Kevork draws references from architecture, films and the urban lifestyle.

The clothes – hard-edged, with an undercurrent of elegance; one can possibly draw reference to Yves Saint Laurent’s masculine tailoring, Balmain’s reinvented man-eater style as well as DVF’s Upper East Side casual chic. So is it any wonder that it has already accumulated a celebrity following? Kate Moss, Nicolas Roberts and Doutzen Kroes were spotted in Guilty Brotherhood. The brand boasts Abbey Lee Kershaw on their Spring Summer 2010 campaign. Not to mention the numerous coverage in Vogue Paris, V magazine, Numéro…  Not bad for a brand which is only two years old, and hasn’t even had their a first catwalk yet! But fret not, more glamour is to come, Guilty Brotherhood has already put a catwalk on their agenda and it is likely to be in October this year.

Whether or not this catwalk will happen in Paris – the brand’s birthplace; or New York – where the company’s headquarters locates, remains to be seen. Although it is likely and wise for Guilty Brotherhood to debut in the fashion capital of Europe.

Expect some serious world domination by Guilty Brotherhood. From day one, Kevork Kiledjian has been planning and treading a carefully planned route for the brand to expand. The lack of online and offline information originally has built some intense mysteriousness about the brand. When Guilty Brotherhood’s website launched in August in 2009, the site looked so professional, glamourous and grown up that it is hard to believe the clothes were only available at carefully selected locations. Initially, to get your mitts on these clothes you have only 5 stores to choose from. These privileged places include the USA (Los Angeles for celebrity following and New York for some serious big spenders), France (Paris and Rodez)  and Hong Kong. The fleet of stockists now extend to South America in Domenican Republic and Australia. Now the brand is the Arctic and the Antarctica short of collecting their presence across seven continents.

Guilty Brotherhood’s flagship store is expected to open in 2011 in Paris on Rue Saint Honore. Anything less than spectacular will not be associated with the label. Hence the multistorey store is designed by – none the other – Jean Nouvel, whose bulky and impressive portfolio has led him to an architecture Oscar, the ‘Pritzker Prize’

So much for the intro. Indeed with such a meteroric rise of a label in such a short time span does not happen everyday, a bit of a rambling is needed to emphasise the bravura of all this. So, so much for the clothes eh? But to put it in Kevork’s own words, they want people to ‘see the clothes for themselves’. If the tactic of hush-hushing their press/online presence was to limit any damage bad critics may cause, the tactic may just as well not exist in the first place. Because the clothes do speak for themselves. And without further ado, I’ll let you see them. From AW09/10 to current season SS10.

The Surrealist’s Accessories

 Who says black dresses are not in season at all? With these comedy pieces of brooches, earrings and handbags, you almost forget the need for digital prints and colourful pieces in the real world. Yazbukey is the company that produces all these caricatural 2D and 3D accessories.

Based in Paris, the designers behind the scene are two sisters, who always model their own collections.Yaz and Emel, descendants of Mehmet Ali Pasha King of Egypt (woooooah) churn out two imaginative collections a year – spring and summer. They have done so since 2001. And so far they have 18 collections in the archive. All of them magical and very out of this world.

Enter the magical world of Yazbukey, and you can immediately feel the anti-reality of it all. Yaz and Emel dress boldly in colour-blocks and wear tasteful make up like a MAC advert, tongue poking out, dogs here and there. You’ll know they are in for a good joke.  Much like a Tim Burton film, even a poignant theme like the Corpse Bride don’t channel sadness at all. So a sexual rolling stone lips? Not really that sexual at all. So a serious Karl Lagerfeld? Not so philosophical at all.

The real gem are their 3D pieces. Totally anarchic and poking fun at the staidness, the most genius of it all is their brief case. Luxurious no less, turn to the back and poof, it’s Ratatouille!

 

Their current collection is dubbed Happy Birthday. It centers around the birthday party. Who do you want to bring to the bash? Lady Gaga? Check. Karl Lagerfeld? Check. Barbie? Check! King George the IV? Check! Oh and the best of all… Princess Diana!

How can the fun end there? More brooches and necklaces feature party food: cake, ice cream. Entertainment: clown and endless conversation (in the shape of a speech bubble). Presents: that decorative bow… How ratatouille got an invitation, I have no idea.

 This year, the sisters have launched a handmade collection. Slightly more serious and grown up, the elegant necklaces, bracelets and alice bands are based on winding roads, where a lost commuter struggles to go home but find fun along the way, picking up gems and stones.

The whole web-browsing experience is super exhilarating. If you want to join Bjork, Danni Minogue, Courtney Love, Mick Jagger and the like, Yazbukey’s accessories can be purchased online at shop.yazbukey.com. Alternatively, their UK stockist is at Blue Bird on Kings Road in West London.

A 50s Lover’s Worry

High Fashion enters the Golden Age of fashion. From left, Louis Vuitton AW10; Dolce & Gabbana AW10; Prada AW10 and Bottega Venetta SS10.

Choose a word to describe the new millennium, it will have to be materialism. The age when repairment is costlier than a replacement; it only makes it all too easy to let go of something you think you’d cherish.
One of the worries I had when Prada, Bottega Venetta and Louis Vuitton put 50s dresses on their runways for AW/10 was that they’ll make the golden age of fashion not so polished anymore. While 50s’ glamour dressing has always somewhat received an exclusive following from retro enthusiasts, once high fashion jumps on this bandwagon, the high street will soon follow suit.
Everybody knows that the high street conglomerates such as Topshop and H&M no longer operates in a two-season rota. I wonder how many weeks can the 50s glamour sustains on the track of fast fashion, before the “trend” becomes an tired old cow like the sequins schoepentoetered by Christoph Decarnin a season ago?
The thought of some fervent Heat magazine believers donning throw-away circle dresses from Primark sends shivers down my spine, and not in a good way. What happens when the cheap fashion rota turns? Will the public discard and dismiss the whole post-war glamour as they would with sequin leggings and bodycon dresses?

My cup seems half full here. But my worry has basis. Trends come and go, however, regarding the 50s style as a “trend” is a grave sacrilege. It was an era which gave birth to the best designers the world has ever seen – Cristobal Balenciaga, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior… Such was an era when the creation of the new look laid the foundation to what we nowadays perceive as “beautiful”. The well-defined waist, the lengthy legs, the demure busts and the elegant and bourgeois demeanour. Tell me which Miss England hasn’t got legs up to there and an hour glass figure?

After preaching about the importance and grandeur of the 50s, I hope you have come to realising the deference you must possess when it comes to dressing The age with a capital T. So instead of being overly patronising and depressive, maybe I can highlight a few dresses that are worth investing this season, as well as finding you the best accessories to go with this style (or trend if you’re not a firm believer)? (Note: Trend, is ephermeral while style can stand the test of time)

The bang on trend dresses are sepia, like a faded and rust-spotted photograph. Choose in the palette of mustard, milk chocolate, off-white and faded navy blue.

All dresses are from Hobbs.com. Verdi dress, £149; Polka dot Rochas £129; NW3 Stripe dress, £169; NW3 Mohair blend shirt dress, £169. All 50s country mama style.

Hobbs have many 50s housewife dresses on offer – from sepia to classic polka dots – prices start from £125. They even have a dress not dissimilar to the £4500 Bottega Venetta one that was worn by everyone and featured on every photoshoot. Carey Mulligey as well as Rosamund Pike posed in the mustard/beige raffia dress. The bond girl modelled for a Guardian 50s style shoot in honour of the late Princess consort of Monaco, Grace Kelly.

Accessories on the other hand, require chunky necklaces, almost chokers like, flamboyantly decorated with large gems and thick ribbons.

Heaven Tanudiredja AW10 Jewelry.

Without a pair of round-ish, thick rimmed glasses in brown, green or ivory, your trendy outfit is incomplete.

When it comes to shoes, the blockier the wedges the better they are. Choose those with demure buckles and minimal décor, in maroon, grey and sepia. Oliver Goldsmith does a range of mixed coloured, nicely crystalised thick rimmed glasses.

Oliver Goldsmith’s shades, received wide press coverage from Vogue Destuche, Heat and Grazia to Fantastic Man and Wallpaper.

Clarks has a good flat wedge in grey patent leather that is reminescent of Marni’s wedgy flats circa 2008.
Bags should be as simple as they can. Ted Baker has a cross shoulder bag in white patent leather for £56 in absolutely minimum decor. To push out the boat, look no further than Céline where they have lots of immaculately made mimimalist handbags.
50s dressing should be fun. So much to be said on the subject but so little time and space. I’ll let you do your own research. Google “50s Trend”, you’ll be amazed how much knowledge is to be learnt on the said style!

The Battle of the Political Wives

Well. The thursday-gone involved some frantic telephoning at the Telegraph fashion desk, and I imagine the same goes with every other dailies.

So what’s the deal? Yes, you’ve guessed it, the reclusive Miriam Clegg. Or the Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as she prefers to be known. Unlike Sarah Brown, who prepares a sheet of paper documenting the clothing items she is wearing for the day for the curious newspaper hacks, the Head of Trade of DLPipers in the city chooses to stay out of the spotlight. This makes it über difficult to pinpoint exactly where her threads and accessories came from.

Praise has to be given to Melanie, my colleague at the Telegraph who taught me a bucket worth of tricks. She alone, in one morning, in three hours, telephoned 10 shops and 10 ethical brands. The choice of those 20 10-digits is surprising logical for the fashion desk. Where do the Cleggs reside? Putney? Phone every shop within a mile radius. What are the Libdem’s manifestos? Green? Phone ethical designers and boutiques.

Mel eventually tracked down where Miriam shops: an ethical boutique in Chiswick; and what she wore on polling day – a patch work dress from From Somewhere.

But I digressed. Where Miriam (Megg as Hilary proposed how Miriam should be known), or Sam Cam or Sarah Brown shop is of no interest to me whatsoever. Nor should it to you. I couldn’t care less about what Michelle Obama wore to whatever event she went to. So let alone the pregant Sam Cam who for the few months ahead will be wearing nothing but stretchy trousers and loose skirts; or Sarah Brown who is forever the soigneé political wife/ professional PR/ charity campaigner/ mum – coding for nothing more than an M&S cardy and 1.5inch wedges; or Miriam Clegg, who mistakeningly chose not to wear a bra for the red patchwork dress she wore to the poll station. (After 3 children and under 40 years of gravity, unless you are Cindy Crawford or McMenamy, one should really consider containing those pups.)

The thing is, there are bazillion style crushes out there. Olivia Palermo (yes… Don’t despise me please), Anna Dello Russo, Diane Kruger… And not to mention the many, many street style heroes. And why has all of a sudden, these political wives, whose style is donned by every other mama on the high street, received so much media coverage?

Have we run out of stories to cover? Nope, not really: how about a preview of the RCA graduate fashion show? How about Brown’s exhitbition next week? Well, how about just give us a break over the who’s worn what? Especially when these women don’t really have much style to begin with?

You can blame my raging youth for not being able to appreciate the extricate combo of flair maternity trousers and a pair of black converse topped with a cocktail jacket. But hey, people dress their mood, and I usually throw the said combination on when I owe some serotonin to my biological system. So don’t tell me she’s particular stylish ok? It’s a trashy casual combo that a two year old baby can put together. You and I both know it.

Secondly, isn’t the whole political wife and their style thing a bit of a sheepish following? Who started it in the first place and why did everybody start following? When Andrew Marr wrote that journalists became lazy down the timeline, I never thought that it indeed rings true that journalists don’t get out of their air-conditioned office anymore… Stories, in the form of a phone call and finding out where did the clothes come from, will suffice the 500 word limit and quota for the week. Those are easy money per word, eh?

Come on, a month of excessive coverage on a story that isn’t even particularly captivating nor inspiring… I petition the spotlight to be turned away from these women, or we’ll be heading towards… The following:

Now Sam Cam is the pregnant wife at No. 10, get ready for another few months of coverage on maternity wear until Mothercare becomes the next Topshop, J Crew or Jaeger on her due day. You watch, the Cameron baby will be the next style crush.

***** Update*****

On the 12th May, Thursday, Sam Cam has announced that she will step down from her full time job as Creative Director at Smythson the stationer. Her husband has previously formed a coalition government with the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg. He will be holding a non-constitution role as Deputy Prime Minister. Britain now has two first ladies. Although as a city lawyer, Miriam Gonzalez will not step down from her role as Head of Trade. She was asked before the General Election whether she will forfeit her full-time role should her husband becomes PM. She said she will give up her job only if her husband becomes the leader of the country.

What are you wearing to the Royal Ascot?

These just came through my mailbox and they’re absolutely wonderful. The PR has associated Suzannah’s dresses with SATC2. So not true. I think they are more demure and classy than the typical Patricia Field outfits (not that I have anything against her, in fact, I love her. I just find it bizzare that somebody will associate classic and elegant designs with four sexually charged women. Not that I have anything against SATC either but hey… I’m gonna go on correcting myself so let’s just focus on the clothes eh? LASTLY, while I’m on the topic, why don’t I let you know that Sex andthe City 2 is just around the corner? The exclusive screening is set on the 24th May at the Soho Hotel in London, dressed up and be seen!)

At the first glance, I can immediately associate part of them with Lanvin. Fluid and frivolous, yet totally cocktail classed, not to mention the glossy finish and the exceptional tailoring. Most of the fabric comes from Italy as detailed on Suzannah‘s website. Majority of the dresses are made in the UK. Definitely penned in the UK though!

Suzannah – whose boutique and studio is based in Bristol Gardens in London – has been working in the fashion industry as a stylist, a trend forecaster and not to mention the fifteen years spent as a designer. Her clothes draw reference from vintage glamour, Parisian as well as Upper East Side chic. Her lovely dresses have been featured from Grazia to Easy Living. But I say no matter what magazine features her work, one fact that cannot be denied is that the dresses, from greek goddesses to audrey hepburn inspired frocks,  are all extremely flattering and confidence boosting.

My favourites are definitely her heavily vintage influenced tea-dresses. Colourful prints and playful fabric, wonderful for a summer picnic, sipping Champagne and eating cheese and biscuit on a velvety blanket. Here are a few that I’ll definitely get, should my employer decides that my words are worth more benjamins than they already do! And if you’re going to the Royal Ascot, these are the no-fuss choices for the day? Minimal accessories required, all you need is a nice hairdo and a good lipstick!

The prices for these tea dresses start from £210, and are all available from Suzannah.com. You have a fitting period of 14 days and you may return them if they don’t fit. But the website is kind enough to give you a size guide. And I guarantee you once you put them on, there’ll not be a desire to take them off?

It may be too late for those out there who are enarmoured by these dresses now, but don’t say I haven’t told you that Suzannah’s press day is held today at the Grosvenor Hotel on Park Lane, W1. Lo and behold, this shopping event also grants you exclusive discounts for these well-tailored, girly and elegant dresses too! And then we come to the more flamboyant, still very very vintage and Dita Von Teese-esque 50’s dresses. They are tailored like a dream and a pair of vintage Bally mid-heel and a pair of arm length white gloves are all you need.

From the past to the presence, how thrill are we that we are in a position to show off our sexy kitten boudoir dresses, courtesy of Mr. Galliano who’s made garter belts, bustiers once again acceptable in the style scruntiners’ eyes. Some of us are daunted by the sheer and nude colours, laced and overtly exposing dresses that are on the market. Fret not, for there are some very colourful and dignified choices!

And for the girl who needs to work for her diamonds, there are office-friendly designs that set you apart from the high-street gang!

What I love about them is the care that’s taken into draping and folding a very simple silhouette. The seams are seamless, the look is perfect. But beware, if you’re not the every bit perfect perfectionista, maybe more care has to be taken in doing up your hair (lots of hairspray to fix that Beehive as well as the precise application of lipstick!)

Gang Orient

This Monday saw the Hong Kong singer-songwriter Eason Chan performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. His energetic rhythms and quirky lyrics attract a cult of trendy youth followers. The 5000 seats at the home of Proms were at capacity. The spotlight tho, also points to the well-dressed crowd. The Oriental tribe’s anglomania dress sense deserves a round of attention and not least, applause!

The Quirk Factor

You may almost mistake this lady as Tavi Gavinson. The hair is certainly eye catching, but the funky headphones and the frog purse is no less. And where are those sandals from? Don’t they look Marni to me?

One of my most favourite outfits of the day. This gent is from Italy and the gentlemanly green jacket has diffused the shock value of the patchwork cropped chinos. You have to give it to the Italians. Check out the shoes and the crocodile skin bag!

The Reserved Trendiness

What have caught my eyes are the lady-like velvet pencil skirt and the mohair jumper. A cashmere motif-ed scarf? Checked. A Roger Vivier Miss Viv (or Carla, whatever your prefer) handbag? Checked!

Not a Miss Viv, but 1o times more brilliant!

The Imperfectionist

That casual demeanour, the relaxed posture and the look as if it was put together last minute. Nah. The calculated colour blocking and the precise length of the jersey trousers. This man has perfected the imperfect.