Fashion Editorial and the Digital State of Mind…

This blog was supposed to be about Tumblr, but then I found myself staring at my magazine collection, which has remained untouched for months, and realised this is so much more than Tumblr – it’s my digital state of mind…  

There are still many a people out there that simply choose to reject social media.They refuse to create a Facebook Page, deny how powerful Twitter is,  have never heard of Pinterest, they are likely to hate Fashion Bloggers and still do all of their fashion, music and lifestyle reading in print! As a writer before I am a blogger, I respect anyone that still picks up a print magazine and takes pleasure in displaying them in bookshelves and coffee tables – I do.  However, as a fashion lover, I will be as bold as to say – anyone that is still yet to embrace social media cannot be deemed a true fashion devotee – they are missing out on the whole damn thing.

It makes sense that fashion and social media walk hand in hand together. Fashion is an industry that finds its foundation in change and trend – a creative expression of human behaviour. Social media is the tool that documents the change, picks up on the trend and is the platform that displays the behaviour. Admittedly, as much as I love the two,  I struggle to keep up! Fashion is quicker, social media develops at lightening speed, trends change almost weekly, my personal likes and dislikes change almost as fast. One week I’ll be in love with Celine’s lux interpretation of the Birkenstock and can’t imagine having my feet in any other shoe, the next week I’ll hate them, consider them ugly and un-sexy and then it’ll be another shoe, another trend, another hashtag and a new fashion blogger to follow!

At least, with a print glossy, you can take your time, refine your shopping list, shop it and feel satisfied for a whole entire month. And that is exactly what I used to do. But, I have developed a digital state of mind. I consume 99% of my fashion editorial via online content. My magazine subscriptions have subsided and each night before I go to bed, I routinely check the weather on my BBC weather app and then flick through Pinterest, Stylecaster or Who What Wear to research the ensemble I will adorn myself in the following day. I absolutely hate to say it, but a Vogue magazine doesn’t seem relevant in terms of style any more. I say style as opposed to fashion, because Vogue is chiefly fashion focussed; if you’re concerned with runway trends, designer’s inspiration and the opinions of big wig fashion  journos and those in the industry then Vogue is indeed your fashion bible.

However, if your love for fashion is more about manipulating and interpreting trends, piecing together ensembles, finding new and interesting ways to wear your clothes then  there’a whole world of Street Style Fashion out there that changes daily and that should not be missed. Imitating Runway looks is too cliche and for most of us, runway looks aren’t usually suitable for our lifestyles – of course Anna Dello Russo would tell you differently.

And since having to sadly make a conscious decision to stop buying fashion magazines, after realising that I just never read them any more, I have noticed my dress changing. I will always have my own inherent style. I will always be the girl that wears lots of gold and costume jewellery – a little less now since I have my beautiful 1920s-esque diamond cushion cut halo engagement ring -I will always love long Naomi Campbell hair and still love being made up. But with so many trends, so many different styles, so many social media platforms and so many different fashion bloggers so readily available and easily accessible at the swish of an iPhone, the way I am fashioning myself changes from one day to the next.

My daily website reads:

Stylecaster.com

Once you start reading StyleCaster you literally won’t be able to stop! There are endless style concerned posts – many written in list formats, featuring images of Street Style bloggers and icons. The StyleCaster’s editorial style is easily digestible with posts like Ten Ways to Wear the Denim Shirt, Ten Ensembles to Copy, Ten Emerging Street Style Bloggers etc. This is the perfect read on the train to and from work, in the hairdressers or the nail salon. Check out StyleCaster for wardrobe inspiration – I do!

StyleCaster image

Mr. Blasberg

Fashion writer, Editor at Large of Harpers Bazaar, Editor of VMan and Vmagazine and too many other credits to mention, Derek Blasberg is fashion’s ultimate Man About Town. He parties with Naomi Campbell, Giselle and Marc Jacobs, he travels endlessly and writes lengthy blog posts accompanied with the most tantalising of pictures with the most beautiful human beings wearing the most beautiful of clothes for his website Mr Blasberg.com. Derek Blasberg’s success and career is very inspiring for any writer that loves fashion. If you don’t mind spending some time online reading then check out Mr.Blasberg.com. However, Blasberg’s website is less street style concerned and more into displaying the world that surrounds fashion, the parties, the travel, the people – most of which emerging fashion bloggers won’t have access to. I check out Blasberg for an instant insight into the fashion world from a perspective that I quite like, although a little envious.

Who What Wear

Again, like StyleCaster, Who What Wear is addictive for anyone that likes to get a little creative when piecing together an ensembles for a Sunday Roast in the pub or needs some inspiration for a holiday wardrobe or wants to see what Olivia Palermo would wear on a rainy summer’s day – this is the site for you! I use Who What Wear to put together my work ensembles for the week, to see what wardrobe items I am missing or just to kill time whenever, wherever.    

 

ElleUK.Com

Needs no introduction, but the digital arm of this fashion glossy is just as successful as the print version. After subscribing to Elle for many years, I couldn’t get to grip with the new design they introduced last year and once my subscription ran out I never renewed it. But I am glad I can still enjoy Elle.com in digital form. The style section covers street style, models off duty and offers style advice. I think Elle have been really good at interpreting the magazine for online readers, so you might not get to indulge in the smell of a new magazine, but you still get the Elle tone of voice.

Having said all that…how could I not purchase the Victoria Beckham August Vogue edition?

Be charmed, stay inspired!x 

Ayesha @COAD

A Social Media – Existential Crisis…

she has pretty girl fabulous life social media syndrome

So today I woke up with a desire to write. I mean, I live with the dull ache to write, everyday.  Ayesha, why aren’t you writing that book? Leave Twitter and Tumblr and Pinterest and LinkedIn and Charms of a Dandizette alone – stop digitising and just put pen to paper and write that book. OK, so I am not putting pen to paper now either and I have turned to WordPress to pour out my soul this morning. But the beautiful thing about this digital world, which, ironically, is heavily dependent upon one of the greatest elements of the human condition, is how simple it is to share and self express. I am not talking about the over sharers whose only dealings with social media is to put cringe worthy or tasteless narcissistic posts on Facebook. I am talking about artists and illustrators, poets and playwrights, the – creatives that use social media as a tool to offload, as a platform to produce something. With a click of a button it’s published or posted, shared and exposed for the world wide web to see and just as quickly you have offloaded. Of course, there is using social media too freely, offloading a little too quickly, not employing enough thought and ending up with a Facebook page full of moments you wish to forget and posts that are far too personal to be broadcast on a ‘wall’ or alternatively, with a Facebook page full of ‘Hashtag look at mes’ and ‘OMG I am so fabulous’. I have two friends who fall into each category.

A friend going through a break up that documents the pain and heartache she is experiencing with posts written in riddles as cleverly as the Khloe and Lamar drama has been written into season 9 of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. This particular friend  thanks her family members, that she claims have  ALWAYS BEEN THERE for her on her Facebook wall, with responses like ‘You’re a strong woman, you just don’t know it yet’!! (I just threw up in my mouth a bit!)  Surely her family’s constant presence in her life would suggest she have their telephone number, their email address, their home address and should all else fail, what is so wrong with a private message? Surely that is the  level of respect these amazing people deserve! Surely that is the level of privacy such a PERSONAL issue deserves! That’s one friend.

The other, she works in Events and  has mastered the art of the Selfie. Of  course, since the digital camera we have all learnt how to position a camera and take photos of ourselves. However, at twenty nine I am not quite sure I will be adopting the term Selfie. It sounds like an alternative word for masturbation, rubbing one out, self pleasure and I just don’t like it. This friend’s Facebook page is full of HASHTAG Selfies and pictures of herself eating burgers, pictures of herself taking pictures of herself (not technically a selfie), pictures of her shoes, pictures of herself and her office dog, pictures of pictures of her in magazines, yes, with a caption ‘Oh there I am!’ feigning surprise. Surely she had enough time between the taking of the photo, to the printing and publishing process for the surprise to falter. I sound ever so bitter – but have you seen this Facebook page? Her posts are ultimately photos of her doing anything, captioned with hashtag #lovemylife #lovemyjob #myfabulouslife #myfabulousjob. She’s my best friend – it’s hard.

On Valentine’s Day just gone, she posted a picture of herself on Facebook with a beautiful red rose, the status read ‘Not sure what’s worse..not receiving flowers on Valentine’s Day or receiving a pity flower!!#FML’. Make of that what you will. I say she has pretty girl, fabulous life, social media syndrome and wants to show the world just how good she looks DOING EVERYTHING and how good EVERYTHING SHE DOES looks – even when she’s pretending to show real emotion beyond being ‘Fabulous!’. But the truth be told, aren’t we all a little too well versed in the likes of Facebook and Instagram and Tumblr  to be fooled by the best edits of life on a social media site? A site that also preys upon less attractive human traits, like vanity and narcissism. And isn’t she too old (29) and too well versed in REAL LIFE to think she might actually have the world fooled? It’s very hard to listen to your friend’s worries and their concerns, engage in deep, meaningful and frank conversations with them and then get an update on your Facebook page a day later #LOVEMYLIFE. So, who is actually being fooled here?

I am irked by my friend that uses social media to pour out her soul and deal with her sadness, although she is honest – lack of control of emotion in the public domain is generally unattractive and unrefined. Then again, I am also irked by my friend who uses social media in a far more contrived and strategic way – documenting the best times in her life, disguising the truths behind hastags and fabulousness. It’s not really a big deal how anyone uses social media really, is it? It’s not that deep, unless you work in content marketing or online communications and even then it’s not that deep. But I suppose I am more concerned right now, about the way I feel about social media and online communications, because I do work in the aforementioned fields and I am concerned about the significance of social media for my ultimate career and how it has and will continue to impact my dreams. The both needn’t be synonymous with the other.

Although I never document the lows of my life on Facebook – ever, I too am known to engage in a little of the bullshit from time to time. Pictures of me and my partner out and about on the town, with the general essence of, ‘Look how loved I am’, ‘Look how good we are together’, ‘Look how much fun we have’ blah blah. But I stop there and I am conscious of it. Why? Because I think social media used at its best are by those that use social media as a means to display creativity and any creative aspirations they happen to have. I used to use Facebook to share my love for fashion and promote my blog, but it turns out that Facebook users aren’t interested in anything that requires them to invest more than a second of their time to engage with. It just isn’t that deep.  It has to be funny, fabulous, inspirational, personal or depressing and it has to be any of those things quickly! That is it!

Indeed, blogging is also part and parcel of social media, however, I feel there’s more of a therapy to the whole thing. Especially for writers, that take to their blog as a means to put pen to paper, to offload or to share inner thoughts. Charms of a Dandizette is my solace. It allows me to continue to write the way I enjoy writing, on the subject matter that concerns me and it allows me to do something with all the inspirations and thoughts that I have. I can retreat to my blog and feel better about myself for knowing that I have done something productive and creative with a thought or  a visual that I had the other day. Admittedly – for the likes of J K Rowling, a blog post may well be just as significant or as insignificant as a Facebook post. I am sure a completed blog post is nowhere near as gratifying as finishing a novel – not that I have ever finished a novel. But I know what it feels like to finish writing a play or a short story and something just feels better about that than this.

But that needn’t undermine the therapy doing this gives me and millions of others. And those of you that usually read Charms of a Dandizette will know that this post is a little different than my usual posts, where I’d usually share my style notes, fashion stories or trend reports. Today, I just wanted to come on here and write from my soul, to try a little automatic writing – an exercise I was told to do everyday by my Creative Writing teacher all those years ago at uni, and find out what’s really going on in my mind without being contrived or strategic.

I realise, after the way I have written about my friend’s desire to take to Facebook to express her vulnerable and sadness, I appear a little hypocritical. And the truth of the matter is, I probably am. I think I am mildly undergoing some kind of existential crisis. Because right now, I am as conflicted as I have ever been.  It is in my character, my nature to be conflicted.  My personality is extreme. I want to read and write and be quiet and creative or I want to be dressed up in the latest trends, in somewhere glamorous and expensive and I want to party and spend loads of money till the party ends. All human beings are conflicted, right? Surely we all live with that quite murmur within us, with that feeling that at a moments reflection rears its head and says, ‘Surely there is more to life than this.’

For me, I believe there is, but I just don’t know whether I am brave enough to go out and get it. I suppose I am at a point in my life where suddenly everything feels like it’s up in the air and I am trying to figure out how much control I have over the things in my life I want to change or progress further in and whether I should change these things. Would I be happy in a high powered or well paid job? Or a job that is artistic and I am passionate about? I am trying to buy a house with my partner, but I am not sure whether I should be buying a house when I am hoping I will grow the balls to step out of the rat race and do what I love. I am not sure whether I should be buying a house with someone I am not yet married to, nor even engaged?

I am trying to figure out, with my thirtieth birthday approaching ever so rapidly, will I ever want children? And should I decide to have children, do I want them before or after I have achieved my ultimate goal – which is to complete my book? If I spent less time writing my blog, could I have completed my book by now? Should I start writing plays again, rework my short stories and start sending out my film scripts?  Should I stop blogging and write?Really write. And at what age do you stop blogging? When you no longer have the time? Why haven’t I found time to write creatively? Should I start going out less? Isn’t this my reward for spending eight hours a day in an office? Should I be working in an office? Should I be embracing social media and content marketing as much as I do? It’s my career, it’s my day job and I enjoy it, but  do I really love it? Is it a talent? Can it be considered creative? Is this the career I am meant to have? Should I be working harder? Am I happy with my work ethic? Am I settling in life? And is this ever OK?

My writing is my passion, my self expression, my form of vulnerability – its success, at this moment, dependent only upon me. My desire to conform, to acquire materials and wealth, is my protection, dependent upon my job and my current career. Do I want to be protected by Hashtags and Acronyms and Likes that have no emotional affiliation nor meaning ? Do I really want to hide behind the likes of selfies and these so called fabulous lives, so much so that it clouds my vision from reality and truth – from My reality and My truth.  When is it time to start being honest about the things you aren’t happy with and when is it the time to do something about them?

So, indeed, conflicted I most certainly am. On the brink of an existential crisis? Possibly. Feeling the pressures of turning thirty? Definitely. Needing to write that book? Yes, yes and yes. Feeling better about writing this blog today? You bet!

Be Charmed, Stay Inspired! x

Kim Kardashian’s Style, Improved?

Whilst reading through my list of favourite blogs this morning I came across a post on Style Snooper Dan’s site, in which he refers to Kim Kardashian’s style evolution of 2013 as the ‘Most Improved’. Of course style, like beauty, is subjective. Whilst the general consensus would have it that, since the reality TV star has been linked with Kanye West, her style has seen many better days, the fashion world appears to be embracing her more so than ever.

Needless to say, having a ‘Fashion God’ as a fiance, who has a very special and personal relationship with the likes of hash tag worthy Givenchy designer Ricardo Tisci, won’t hurt your fashion career and presence in the industry. Let’s be honest, Kim’s beauty, body and sex appeal are what put her in the face of the media. She’s no Miroslava Duma or Anna Dello Russo or any other street style star papped to popularity by street style photographers because of their strong sense of style. So, besides the fashion god fiance and the acceptance from fashion’s cream of the crop, such as the aforementioned Ricardo Tisci, Carine Roitfield and praise from the likes of fashion bloggers such as Style Snooper Dan, my ultimate question is, has Kim’s style REALLY improved?

As Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s began to establish itself as a staple on Channel E and Kim’s face slowly and miraculously began to change its shape, her style also took on a new form too. In the first series or so of KUWTK, Kim would showcase her life hanging about the cluttered and mis-match Kardashian-Jenner home wearing the tacky Clobber, Jane Norman and Bay Trading (remember Bay Trading?!) type garb we all stopped wearing when we left secondary school. At this point Kim definitely needed to revisit her image. Girls dressed head to toe in Primark could have put together a more chic ensemble than what she was rocking at this point in her career. 

However, as expected, as the fame and the money came rolling in, no doubt a stylist rolled in with it and this would be when Kim became ‘stylish’. She started to adopt a far more stylish approach to her dress, which would see her papped  throughout the day in a simple top and jeans ensemble with a statement jacket and shoe. The jeans were skinny, sometimes ripped, sometimes sleek, the jackets were smart, the shoes were edgy, admittedly sometimes a little too high for day wear, but this just added a little frivolity and glamour to the whole thing.

In Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Kim’s style danced between the polished, sleek and put together with precision approach to dress – similar to an approach you’d imagine the likes of Olivia Palermo or Victoria Beckham might take and the excessive glamorous, dressing to display wealth; wearing luxurious fur stoles and coats with large floppy hats, clunking gold Hermes bangles and pave diamond earrings, a style typical of Jennifer Lopez. Later on staple Kim K ensembles were shirts and camisole tops tucked into high waisted skirts – usually stopping above or just on the knee, leather trousers worn with a blouse and a pair of stilettos and the occasionally piece of statement jewellery.

And when dressed for the night, club openings and appearances, because let’s face it, before Kanye West there weren’t many red carpet events or front row opportunities, Kim dressed in body con dresses and towering heels that would display her well honed hour glass figure perfectly. This would be when the true Kim Kardashian emerges. When Kim shows the world exactly why she has found a place in the world of entertainment, why she is not only a Reality TV star, but the queen of  Reality TV, and that is  for no other reason than the fact that she happens to be the most impressive to look at and of course, because sex sells. Kim is dazzlingly beautiful, she’s ridiculously hot and she has a body so womanly and overtly sexual that no matter what she wears, no matter what she might do with her career, her greatest talent will always be her body.

Of course, the likes of Jourdan Dunn, Cara Delevigne, Rosie Huntington Whitely or any model for that fact, have all come to fame for the genetics they too have been blessed with and we enjoy their to be looked-at-ness just like we enjoy Kim’s. But the difference is, models circulate in a world that is considered far more cultured than Kim’s. Models embody the vision of  some of the most creative, talented and influential artists on the planet (if you believe that fashion is art). What does Kim embody? Fame, celebrity, sex, glamour, vanity, excess…?

Kim may shed her fake eyelashes, the hair extensions – that were at least twenty inches long and a few layers of make up, so we might see her actual skin tone and the fashion industry may well and truly embrace her. Carine Roitfield may feature her on her Fashion Book cover, Ricardo Tisci may be her new GBF and her boyfriend may even be a fashion designer himself, but the bottom line is, Kim Kardashian does not translate in the world of high fashion. The effortless chic look that she is currently championing with the bed head blonde hair and the barely there make up is refreshing, if anyone ever doubted whether Kim would still be pretty without all her glamorous armour, now they know. Nevertheless, style is a personal expression, it’s what makes fashion and trends unique to its wearer and I can quite confidently say that this new image is no personal expression of Kim’s.

Whilst she might try to play down her sexuality with the way she is fashioning herself, her actions say something different. She’s still laying across a motorbike faking an orgasm in Kanye West’s Bound Two video and she’s still posting almost naked pictures of herself on Instagram. Unfortunately neither the video or the post baby body Instagram picture appear artistic or fashion, like an exposed breast on a catwalk would. They serve no other purpose than to be sexual, as she is, and there is nothing wrong with this. Kim is sexual and sexy and it’s this that is HER style, she does it well and it’s ultimately what she does best. She made the most style mistakes by far in 2013 trying to deny herself of this.

Since becoming a mother it would appear that Kim seems to have re-established her style a little more. Full length coats, jersey tees tucked into pencil skirts and delicate stiletto heels seem to be her go to look. Yes the full length coats are chic, would I personally style someone of her height and shape in such a coat? No. The pedal pusher type leggings she has been wearing of lately are a complete fashion faux pas, mostly just in general, but again because they just aren’t flattering for her shape. The latest Paris ensemble that was the black long sleeved leather peplum top and velvet midi skirt, worn with black heeled sandals and tights (yes Kim wore tights!) wasn’t a bad outfit – if it was worn by Victoria Beckham and definitely without the tights, however, worn by Kim it’s just not working.

 Admittedly, Kim’s world has changed and being ‘fashionable’ definitely includes knowing how to style and dress yourself appropriately, as well as fashionably. No, the lashes, the big hair, the eye makeup fit for an Arabian princess and the towering platforms Kim once wore, aren’t exactly Parisian chic. Her new world, her frequent trips to Paris, her consorting with the fashion aristocracy – most of which are European and with a European sense of style – and motherhood should change her style and it has. Albeit, I might argue that this evolution seems a little too tactical to be deemed as personal style, unless social climbing is what she is trying to convey in her dress.

So, in answer to my question, has Kim’s style improved? Does she dress any better? I can quite simply answer ‘No’. Her style has undeniably changed, yes. But why would we think it has ‘improved’? Because Carine Roitfield says so? Because she’s now attending red carpet events that are a little more significant than a new club opening? Kim is dressing for the world she aspires to and as she is welcomed by the world of high fashion, she is alienating the fans that supported her in the world she’s leaving behind. No, Kim’s style hasn’t improved, she’s just dressing for a different audience – a more cultured, more elite and more powerful one.

allblackerrthingus:Everything Hip-hop/FashionJanuary 6, 2014 - Kim Kardashian shopping in Beverly Hills.-

Before…

Be Charmed, stay inspired!x

An Ode to the Givenchy Bambi Sweatshirt?

Charms of a Dandizette takes a look at what the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt says about its wearer…

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The sweatshirt gained its advancement from gym garb to key wardrobe piece in 2011, emerging as a simple grey sweatshirt. In 2012 the sweatshirt was still trending, however it became bolder and braver, establishing itself as a refined and investment worthy piece of vesture, hence the Kenzo Tiger sweatshirt. Everyone that was anyone was either coveting this tiger headed sweatshirt or were pounding the fashion week pavements adorned in said sweatshirt with the bold Kenzo letters emblazoned across their chests.  Now the world is coveting the Givenchy neoprene Bambi print sweatshirt. The ‘It’ sweatshirt of the moment, with a price tag of £750, worn by the likes of Beyonce, Milan street style queen Anna Dello Russo and Lilly Collins. You know you’re a member of the privileged fashion community if you already own or personally know anyone that owns the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt, the t-shirt, the tote or the clutch.

As fashion’s only promise is change, it could not have been predicted that the sweatshirt would remain so a la mode three winters in a row and wrack up such an expense (for a sweatshirt?). However, to remain as coveted as it is, it was only expected that the sweatshirt had to be changed up a little, evolve and push the boundaries. Of course stranger things have happened, but I am pretty confident in saying that nobody ever expected to be on the waiting list for any fashion item that concerned Bambi, let alone a sweatshirt. Having said that, Ricardo Tisci’s idea to place the adorable Disney character on the front of t-shirts, sweatshirts and even handbags was clearly a phenomenon we didn’t know we were all waiting for. The likes of Matches, Selfridges and Net – a – Porter could barely hold on to the ‘It’ sweatshirt – in fact retailers across London have all sold out of the wistful and warm Givenchy item.

Funny that, isn’t it? That this wistful and warm sweatshirt, ultimately as sexy as a Disney film, has within seconds become the wardrobe piece of the season. Who’d of thought we’d want to wear Bambi printed garb? Admittedly we’re accustomed to seeing Disney icon Mickey Mouse printed on t-shirts and sweatshirts every now and then, usually of the vintage nature. Nevertheless, this is still a pretty bold move in itself. No matter how respected the Walt Disney company might be, most wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing garments with Walt Disney’s anthropomorphic mouse friend printed on them.

Mickey Mouse ultimately acts as an emblem for the Disney company, a company with such a strong sense of branding that it can overpower any outfit and communicate messages we might not be prepared to express via our clothes. Disney is magical, whimsical, a little childish,  appeals too easily to the masses  and therefore  isn’t necessarily considered high culture or high fashion. We want our clothes to say that we’re stylish, socially and fashionably aware, sexy, serious, individual or confident. So what are we communicating when we wear Walt Disney’s Bambi on our clothes?

Let’s be truly honest, we’re not wearing Bambi on any old piece of clothing here, are we? Wearing a Bambi sweatshirt from the Disney Store communicates something very different to wearing thee ‘Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt’. Of course the Bambi print on this garment evokes a sentiment, a sense of nostalgia, memories of our childhood and a cause to recall this sad Disney tale, but this is all an after thought. First and foremost this sweatshirt is Givenchy and its wearer will wear it for no other reason than that it is Givenchy, it’s fashion and most significantly because this item is totally and utterly frivolous – Anna Dello Russo wearing this garment is evidence to this. Only those that can afford to be totally frivolous with their money would pay £750 for a sweatshirt with a Disney character printed on it, the Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt, that will be just as recognisable ‘as so last season’ next season as quickly as it has been recognised as the ‘It’ sweater of this season.

As I have demonstrated, this sweatshirt fascinates me and peoples reactions to it has fascinated me just as much. I don’t get it – why Bambi? Would I wear this sweatshirt? Do I even really like this sweatshirt? The truth of the matter is I love the concept, probably moreso than I actually like the sweatshirt. I love how creative and unpredictable the design is and I like the fact that I find it so thought provoking – so I suppose fashion is art, then? And for all those reasons I do like this sweatshirt. Having said that, I gave up on conspicuous consumption after my Chloe Paddington bag was no longer deemed the ‘It’ bag and wearing the ‘It’ sweatshirt says exactly the same thing the ‘It’ bag does, ‘Look at me, I’m part of that club. I can afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on fashion because I’m privileged.’ Do I want my clothes to say that about me? It’s just as crass as the nineties logo mania, but it’s also just as fashionable as Anna Dello Russo.

I sit somewhere between the two – I like fashion for its language, it’s power and it’s beauty and for these very reasons I enjoy dressing and like to look as though I enjoy dressing. If my wearing the ‘Givenchy Bambi Sweatshirt’ secures my fashion savoire faire then I’m all for it. And of course I want to be part of ‘that’ club. I’m just as aspirational as the next person and my dress also communicates that too.

 

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

The Givenchy Bambi sweatshirt

Keep checking back at Charms of a Dandizette for more fashionable charms.

Be charmed, stay inspired!x

Sex and the City – Fifteen Years!

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For those like myself, that were barely even teenagers when Sex and the City graced our TV’s late on a school night on channel four, Sex and the City was a little more special than it was to those of an older generation. Arguably, maybe we should not have been watching Sex and the City at all – after all, it was aired after the watershed – but we all watched Friends and that was pretty harmless, so what made Sex and the City any more special?

Well – it just was, wasn’t it?

For those of us that were in the early years of our secondary school education, we were still trying discover ourselves and work our way around our friendships – many of them new. We were starting to experiment with make up, trying to decide how we wanted to dress, which fashions we wanted to follow and most importantly, we were just starting to realise the opposite sex and getting used to being realised!

At such a young and impressionable age there is no denying it, those of us at the tender age of thirteen or fourteen that were reading Vogue and thinking ourselves as writers, fashionistas or ‘relationship experts’, Sex and the City had a far bigger impact on our adolescence than any parent might like to admit. Throughout the course of our teenage years, from tweenies to late teens, most girlfriend groups will have assigned each in the circle their very own Sex and the City character. Most girls will have emulated at least one of Carrie Bradshaw’s ensembles or referenced her somehow when dressing and most will have compared our own relationship dilemmas or triumphs to either Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha or Carrie (Samantha and Carrie mostly – let’s be honest!)

It’s been fifteen years since Sex and the City first aired on TV and all I can say is, those of us that went through our teenage adolescence with these amazing empowering women to watch each and every week – how lucky are we?

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Sex and the City

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Be charmed, stay inspired! x

An Ode to The Half Tuck

Half tuck layout

This tucking phenomena has been around for some time now, but so in love with this simple garment manipulation am I, that I just had to commend the trend and write an ode to the Half Tuck! In my humble opinion the half tuck is the perfect and most simple way to manipulate almost any garment worn on the upper body, be it a shirt, t-shirt, jumper or whatever else we might care to wear. Unlike say, the embellished collar trend, that’s dependent on many factors; it requires a shirt with the perfect collar,  a statement necklace – the necklace needing to be the right size to sit perfectly between the front band and point spread of the collar and it has to do this without dishevelling it, the half tuck doesn’t require nearly half as much technique. It’s merely a tuck! Having said that, there are many ways to wear the tuck and many reasons to do so; Those of us  rocking the half tuck will have our very own reasons to rock this upper garment manipulation and will have perfected our very own way of tucking – one that works for just for us! The rule of thumb would have it that the less contrived the tuck appears to be, the better it looks. This doesn’t mean, however, that the tuck isn’t contrived!

I personally wear the half tuck for its slimming effect. Being that I am curvier than model straight up and down, wearing a jeans and shirt ensemble for example, with the half tuck makes all the difference. The tucked in element reveals my waist – exposing one of the smallest parts of my body. Consequently, the loose element of the shirt conceals my derriere – a particular advantage for me when I’m wearing skinny jeans. I wear my skinnies tight enough to be a second skin, to make my legs look slimmer, however this also pronounces the derriere – which I am not always entirely comfortable with – especially when I am in the office. The half tuck offers some concealment of my derriere. Of course shirts worn loose, particularly if they are over sized or loose fitting, disguise my derriere too, but in the meantime they also disguise my waist line – the half tuck allows me to reveal and conceal all at the same time.

The way the tuck’s worn can be dependent on a number of things – the length of the garment being tucked in, the occasion we’re dressing for, the type of garment we’re pairing our top with, the belt we might be wearing – if we’re wearing a statement belt we won’t want our shirttails disguising the statement, our body shape and many other factors. Some of us half tuckers might tuck the front of our garment in, others will tuck just the front corner away and some might tuck one side of the shirttail into a waistband whilst wearing the other shirttail loose. Some of us will tuck in every which way possible. Regardless of how we’re tucking, those of us that have adopted the half tuck will appreciate the aesthetic brilliance this effortless manipulation can have on an ensemble.   I would argue that the half tuck is miraculous – I really would. I think I first discovered the half tuck being worn on Victoria Beckham seven or eight years ago and I’ve been half tucking in this fashion ever since!

Of course the half tuck isn’t all about accentuating waistlines, disguising bottoms, flat or rounded, saggy or wide, this tucking of the upper garment adds a stylistic edge to an ensembles; making a simple jeans and white shirt appear effortless yet stylish, a sheer shirt and black jeans ensemble appear more casual as opposed to stuffy and make an otherwise sexier or more revealing garment, cutaway shorts or mini skirt for example, appear less sexual and more relaxed and easy. For all the half tuck’s massive feats it must be celebrated!

 

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Olivia Palermo wears the half tuck

gold and black boots

Rosie Huntington Whitely

street style

hakf tuck - floral jeans

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My Thing About Stilettos…

 

If you’ve picked up a Vogue magazine, scoured the Street Style pins on Pinterest or admired the spring summer 2013 ad campaigns of the major fashion houses in the last six months you will know that the stiletto is back and with a vengeance. These days you rarely spot the likes of Olivia Palermo, Kim Kardashian and the the recent addition to my fashion radar, Miranda Kerr, out and about without donning these ever so simple, ever so classic, yet suddenly ever so chic shoes. In my fashion lifetime, which consists of twelve years, defined by the period of time in which I have been a contributor and a consumer of fashion goods afforded by my own pocket as opposed to my parents – this is not the first time the stiletto has been coined ‘chic’. When I say chic, I am not referring to the days when the stereotyped Essex girl claimed this pointed heeled shoe in white leather. No, the stiletto has reigned once before within my fashion life, with a lot more fashion kudos than the Essex girl was rewarded, and if my memory serves me correctly, this was circa 2001.

I remember it categorically. It was about the time when I was studying Performance Art Management at the Brits School and dating a French man 13 years my senior. The pointed stiletto I owned a plenty, mostly from Faith, a few pairs from Ravels and one pair from Karen Millen, complete with matching handbag. I wore them to feel grown up, elegant and worthy of dating an older man. I wore them in pink with a wooden heel,  black mesh with a leather toe cap, silver with a metallic heel, monochrome with a white toe and black heel (which would have been perfect for the trends of the coming spring) and my very special pair from Dune, in gingham check red and white.  On their debut, I wore these shoes with an asymmetric little black dress from Miss Sixty. It was Monday night and I was at Ten Rooms. Indeed, it was about the time when Ten Rooms was the hot London night club and the ultimate place to be Monday nights. That particular night, the night I wore my gingham check shoes to Ten Rooms, John Legend was just launching in the UK. So fresh out of water was he that he required an introduction from the master of ceremony for his performance, which won over the hearts of me and my friends . That was the era – my era, when stilettos were the only shoes you wore.

However, if you weren’t a fan of John Legend nor a fan of the live music scene in London night clubs in the early noughties, then a better reference point to draw upon for any fashionista will be Sex and the City. In 2001 Sex and the City was into its third year. Carrie Bradshaw, my ultimate icon, idol, maybe even professional guru at the time, was flitting all about the streets of Manhattan in these delicate stilettos. And, like I said, she was my life coach, therefore I flit about the streets of London in stilettos too! During this period I wouldn’t have been seen dead without my stilettos, but like all trends, the day came when the pointed shoe was ‘so last season!’ And after becoming very mindful of getting my heels stuck in drains and in between decking and mastering the art of walking on my tip toes when visiting homes that boasted parquet flooring, the stiletto disappeared. In fact, the stiletto didn’t just disappear or slowly fade out, they were thrown out, considered hideous, unfashionable – those items that you’d look back and think, ‘God, I can’t believe I ever wore those’, and very quickly the world became adverse to the pointed toe, pointed heel and all.

Nothing quite confirms you’ve got a few miles on the clock like witnessing a trend complete a full cycle, however the stiletto is back, and in its second term in my fashionable life.  Although the world hasn’t gone stiletto crazy just yet, by Spring 2013 it’s likely that fashionistas will be getting their heels stuck in drains, sunk into grass and ruining parquet floors left right and centre. But, the stiletto uptake has been slow. Stilettos were on the shelves of high street stores as far back as 2011. That may not sound particularly long ago in real life, but in fashion years, two years ago is a long time. I remember because I bought two pairs of stilettos that year, a pair from Zara inspired by the Christian Louboutin Helmut shoe and a pair from Office with gold spikes on the back of the shoe. But I found I never really wore them and by 2012 I had forgotten about them entirely.

You see, nobody was really wearing stilettos around the time I purchased mine and although I’d delight in spotting a snap of Victoria Beckham or the occasional fashionite in a Tommy Ton photograph wearing their thin heeled shoes, truth be told, the stiletto wasn’t really making much of a presence on the high street and therefore I wasn’t enjoying them as much as I would have if they were totally on trend and all the rage. I’m not a fashion victim, at least I don’t think so, but fashion is a two way street and no matter how proud one might be to be fashion forward or fashion savvy, part of the reason we all follow fashion is so we can be in it. If nobody else is really getting it and nobody else is wearing it – then the trend doesn’t really work. So I hung up my stilettos…. but only momentarily.

Now I am keen to add to my stiletto collection – a leopard print pair, a nude pair, a red pair and a designer pair. I am wearing the stilettos I already own as and when I can, but let’s be honest, with the violent cold we have been experiencing in England and the recent downfall of rain, sleet AND snow, wearing stilettos is a major commitment that I cannot make at the moment. This is my thing with stilettos, you see, as excited as I am that I grabbed hold of this trend and have been donning these shoes before they become populace, I am only able to wear them on very select occasions.  Reason being, I can’t flit around town Carrie Bradshaw style in stilettos the way I once did. I have become way to accustomed to the support and protection a platform or a chunky heel provides.  I am not used to the ball of my foot being so close to the ground, I am not used to being able to make out a pebble beneath the sole of my shoe and I am not used to relying on such a thin heel to hold the weight of my body. In my late twenties I have also realised, I am not comfortable having any of my skin exposed to the harsh outdoors of an English winter, apart from my face of course, and this includes my feet. I wear boots and brogues and that’s as far as it goes.

I recently went to dinner with a friend who wore a pair of red suede stilettos with a metal cigarette heel. When she arrived I was a little sad that I had opted for a pair of black suede wedged boots instead of my stilettos and admired her commitment. Let me tell you about my friend – she’s tiny, about five foot tall and she wears heels relentlessly. Even to walk around Portobello Market she’ll adorn her feet in the highest of heels. However, as we readied ourselves to head home, she slipped off her red stilettos and swapped them for a pair of Converse. I was flabbergasted, a little disappointed even – but I got it. Stilettos are not a commuters friend and they are no walk in the park. If you’re jumping in a cab, driving or doing something that involves very little walking, dancing or time on your feet in general, then by all means opt for your stilettos, but these shoes will not see you through hard times, in fact they might create them!

So, I wear my stilettos as and when I can. I wear them when I am going for mid-week drinks or dinner and am driving or jumping in a cab. I wear them to the cinema – as just like drinking and dining, you do this sitting down. I wear them on house visits and I recently wore them at a work conference, (not to, because I carried them in my bag) which also involved lots of sitting down. They look spectacular with a pair of leather trousers, and with skirts and dresses stilettos really elongate your legs and give your feet that perfect ballet dancers arch (think Victoria Beckham’s feet in a pair of court shoes). If I’m wearing my stilettos in the daytime I generally tend to pair these very elegant shoes, which can be looked upon as particularly sexual, with a more casual look. As someone who isn’t a particularly casual dresser, but has desperately been trying to pull off the casual sporty winter trends, namely the sweatshirt, the stiletto has been my game changer. Since committing to my stilettos I have bought four sweatshirts and am feeling very proud! These shoes will glam up any sweatshirt and skinny jeans ensemble instantly and appear almost effortless.I say ‘appear’, because only you will know the effort you are making to wear these shoes. Whether it’s  paying extortionate cab fares to and from a location, driving on a night out, therefore compromising on the merriment of alcohol consumption and knowing, if the night kicks off and the crowd gets dancing, you’ll be spending most of it dancing with your bottom on your chair. 

So, for those like me, not braving the cold in stilettos just yet, I say we enjoy the spring in our step for the rest of the winter, come Spring 2013, we might not be able to. 

Victoria Beckham in stilettos

 

 

Stilettos
Tom Ford Black Pumps with Gold Lock #heels #shoes

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Redefining A Love Affair with Dresses and Statement Separates

Perfection...

So, first of all I should probably start by saying Happy New Year to you all! So, ‘ Happy New Year’. I hope you all celebrated in style, adorned in your very best. I personally had a small panic attack selecting the perfect dress to make a first impression on 2013. Because I have spent much of my Christmas holidays writing my novel, I’ve had very little time to shop, so thought New Year’s Eve would be the perfect opportunity to don one of the many loved and forgotten dresses that hang patiently in my wardrobe awaiting their outing. After my said panic attack I opted for a Holly Fulton for ASOS black and yellow shift dress I bought a year and a half ago – which, in hindsight, is probably one of the most unique and expensive dresses in my wardrobe and pretty fitting for the occasion. But this dress was selected under the strict instructions of my ever changing body.

It was about the time when everyone was watching The Hills, and I was not only obsessed with my weight, but very much in control of it and a very happy size eight, when Heidi asked Lauren Conrad, ‘Have you been working out a lot?’ and Conrad responded with something along the lines of, ‘No, I just wear dresses’. Immediately I scribbled into the notes section of  my That Extra Half an Inch by Victoria Beckham, ‘wear dresses to look skinnier’, this new fashion tip was added to the bottom of my never ending list of how to dress myself skinny. It doesn’t take Karl Lagerfeld to know that black is slimming, so with this in mind and in the light of my newly acquired Lauren Conrad fashion tip I bought myself six black dresses from ASOS all in one pop – it was 2007, my partner was living in Sicily and I was partying frequently. These six little black dresses was merely just the beginning of a frenzied episode in my life where I purchased nothing but black dresses. They were draped or backless, prom or puffball, bat winged or off the shoulder, short or even shorter. I partied attired in black dresses for four years – never wearing the same twice out to a big night out and if so, rarely was it documented on Facebook.

The black dress was my thing, at least I thought so at the time. Occasionally I’d worry whether I had gotten too predictable – friends used to comment that I always wore black dresses, but I was convinced that this was my style and that I was very lucky to have found one – a style that is. I suppose the colour black in itself, although slimming, refined, classic and elegant, can also be associated with being boring, safe, Gothic and worst of all – death. So, one summer I made a conscious effort to invest in a whole array of poptastic brightly coloured dresses in canary yellows, warm corals, floral, striking oranges, emerald greens and a rainbow of prints – even though I love a black dress on a summer evening. So, albeit my effort to rid myself of the black dress, I had moved away from black, but was still very much wearing dresses. I wore dresses to mark occasions, I wore dresses to look glamorous and mostly I wore dresses to feel dressed up – because surely only a dress can do all of these things in good and proper form without each and every time.

After a 2011/12 winter spent dressed in a variety of black midi dresses, by summer 2012 my affair with dresses died officially died. It was around the time that I had split up with my partner – a Sicilian man ten years older than me, a workaholic, very rarely seen without donning Cartier shirts and Hugo Boss suits, who has the utmost appreciation for formal dress. My black dress fitted into all occasions suitably and complimented his formal attire. However, when we split up I began hanging around in Peckham, a setting more art chic than and far more quirky than what my wardrobe was used to. The affair ended also about the time that I started using Pinterest ardently, pinning street fashion photographs by Tommy Ton, admiring the manipulation of garments and  the styling of an ensemble and falling completely head over heels in love with Olivia Palermo’s ability to dress. Magazines were featuring articles that celebrated statement separates as opposed to the statement dress and suddenly the black dress felt so irrelevant. It felt boring.

I wanted to be more interactive and involved with the way I was dressing – I wanted a challenge. I started with skirts and lots and lots of tops in different materials, cuts and colours. I had emerged from the Victoria Beckham-esque dress and was completely inspired by Olivia Palermo and the thought she put into creating one ensemble. It involved the pairing together and experimenting with colours, fabrics, silhouettes, mis-matching, prints, layering, accessorising and most importantly, being brave enough to be totally unpredictable. I had opened up a whole new approach to fashion, which very quickly managed to empty my bank account and burst my wardrobes. I was enjoying a more youthful approach and it wasn’t about being classic or timeless – it was about being fun. My skirts rose from midi-length to short and I purchased a selection of shorts, short shorts, in wool and twill, leather and silk. It was a very special moment when I purchased myself a pair of denim Topshop shorts! I’ve worn them three times now and each and every time I do I have to mentally coax myself into doing so.  Denim shorts have always been my biggest fashion no-no for anyone above the age of twenty four and four years senior, I am prancing around Garage raves adorned  in denim shorts. Oh the irony!

So, after the best part of a year piecing together separates and implementing my new unpredictability styling technique, I was especially looking forward to being plain old and predictably glamorous -stunning dress, skyscraper heels and a clutch bag. The art deco style Holly Fulton dress I ended up wearing on New Years Eve went up against a red peplum dress inspired by Lanvin’s peplum, frilled sleeve dress from the Lanvin Spring Summer 2010 collection and a black midi dress with a sheer decolletage embellished with polka dots inspired by the remarkable  dresses from Stella McCartney’s autumn winter 2011 collection – you know the ones that took the world by storm. Ultimately, I was most excited about wearing the red dress – I hadn’t worn it in at least two years –  it’s hot, it’s sultry, it’s powerful and when I previously wore it to Kensington Roof Gardens the compliments were endless. Let’s just say this dress makes me feel special. Or, more aptly, made me feel special. When I modelled my very special red dress in the mirror yesterday afternoon, during what I like to call my ‘dress rehearsal’ or what my partner calls ‘Ayesha’s catwalk’ I was getting ready to look and feel the most dressed up and glamorous I had felt all year – all for my first meeting with 2013.

However, I quickly realised that the ‘wear dresses to look skinnier’ style tip that I had been swearing by for the past four or five years no longer applied. The very garment that I have always gone to to make me feel protected and safe, glamorous and womanly, refined and special no longer made me feel either of the above. To put the realisation into context, imagine really looking forward to wearing your favourite pair of jeans that you haven’t worn for a while, you know the pair that suck you in, lengthen your legs and go perfect with your favourite pair of boots or stilettos, only to realise they no longer fit or are no longer flattering. Neither my Lanvin or my Stella McCartney inspired dresses, or any of the dresses in my wardrobe for that matter, could hide the fact that in my new found youthful approach to dress, I had also been eating like I had  metabolism to match. The dresses clearly displayed the pounds that I have piled on over the months and have been covering up beneath my statement separates without even knowing it.

 As much as I have enjoyed piecing together separates, and as much as this has become my new go to look, the irony of fashion would have it that I am now eager to look and feel just as confident   being refined and glamorous in my dresses as I feel confident being fashionable and stylish in separates. Fashion isn’t all about dressing ourselves skinny, it’s mainly about feeling good in our clothes. On the other hand, life is about balance and you can get too much of one thing; whether it’s junk food, partying, work or even black dresses. The black dress and the denim shorts are indeed metaphors for the two extremes of my personality and my approach to life. My desire to now find balance in my life between the two extremes and redefine my affair with dresses may be enthused by the rekindling of my relationship with my partner. Of course I am not about to let go of all that I discovered in the four months I was single and I am not going to take away from the great moments that I had playing around in my denim shorts, but I cannot deny my affection  for the black dress, the respect it commands with its elegance and refinement and how powerful, yet safe and protected it makes me feel. With some balance implemented into my life, less junk food consumed, less nights spent partying and a lot more time exercising I’ll get excited about wearing the black dress as a means to show off as opposed to covering up, because let’s face it, there’s no fun in dressing up if it’s just to hide lumps and bumps anyway!

So, to all of us planning to shed those extra Christmas pounds, working to fit into a favourite pair of jeans, trying to tone up to look stunning in the perfect party dress and whatever less fashion concerned ambitions we might have for the coming year – here’s to embracing a challenge and never losing sight of our goals for 2013!

Of course, till the pounds are shed – I’ll still be opting for the stylishly fashionable in street chic separates.

OliviaPalermoLondon FashionWeek
Olivia Palermo

 

London Fashion Week #StreetStyle #Fashion #LFW #LondonFashionWeek #OliviaPalermo

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Olivia Palermo - Monochrome

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The Sweatshirt and the Kenzo Tiger Sweatshirt!

Trending #Sweatshirts

It was winter last year that the grey sweatshirt became one of the key wardrobe items to for super savvy street style dressing. The sporty garment, a staple for the gym, once taken out of its context and paired with skinny jeans and strappy sandals or a tailored pair of trousers and brogues seemed risque and innovative. Although it would appear, as seen in these photographs taken by Tommy Ton, that the reign of the sweatshirt sill very much resides this winter 2012-13, we have become so accustomed to the sweatshirt trend, that for super savvy-ness and ultimate fashion manipulation we can no longer play it safe by simply nodding towards the sporty trend with the initial grey sweatshirt. This norm has been accepted and it’s time to innovate once again and push the boundaries. Now the expert sweatshirt wearer creates a more stylised sweatshirt ensemble or selects a more statement making sweatshirt.

Those of you that have adopted the new approach to dress that Vogue has coined ‘Haute Casual’ for your winter wardrobe may have coveted the utmost seasoned sweatshirt wearers donning the, albeit conspicuous, admittedly cool Kenzo Tiger sweater. This Kenzo sweatshirt has indeed become the queen of this evolving sweatshirt trend and will buy you plenty of street style kudos in this fashion jungle. So much so that all 2,000 Kenzo tiger sweaters sold out in just two days and in a matter of hours at the Parisian Kenzo store earlier this year. This sweatshirt literally does all the talking, so you don’t have to do too much to look super stylish in it, no matter its sporty nature. Having said that, in my humble fashion books, the most street style kudos clearly comes from how creative you can get with incorporating this practical and functional sportswear item into a trendy chic ensemble.

Admittedly, as much as I adore the creativity and unpredictability of this new sweatshirt glamour, I am yet to invest in a sweatshirt myself. Habitually, in the winter months I take on a more Olivia Palermo/Victoria Beckham perfectly preened and neat image, seeking more inspiration from runway looks as opposed to street style. Unfortunately the sweatshirt creates a couple of concerns for me; firstly, with such a casual garment I would be very keen to wear a shirt beneath it that can smarten the round neck with a nice collar – this I can imagine would leave me feeling very hot, especially when I am commuting. Secondly, I wear a lot of slim lined coats, which I doubt a sweatshirt and shirt ensemble wouldn’t fit beneath comfortably. Thirdly, I fear that wearing the sweatshirt beneath a cape or the voluminous coats we have seen at the likes of Celine a/w 2012-13 can make me appear particularly top heavy and again, leave me feeling extremely hot.

However, for those of you that are tiny, whose commute does not involve power walking or taking the London Underground, that acclimatise to temperatures quickly, if you are thinking of trying out this new Haute Couture sweatshirt ensemble don’t let my sweatshirt concerns stop you. Opt for placing statement jewellery around the neckline, juxtaposing the sporty garment with a tailored shirt collar or pairing the sweatshirt with a glamorous skirt, evening clutch or an elegant shoe. The key is to play that push and pull game between conformist and alternative, formal against disorderly. And hey, if you can nail this look and are prepared to invest, why not go the whole hog and purchase the highly coveted tiger Kenzo sweater?!

I don’t think this sweatshirt trend is one that will stick with me for long, so I’ll definitely be giving the Kenzo tiger sweatshirt a miss. However, I am keen to try out the trend and am currently on the hunt for a grey Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, that I’ll wear with a white shirt, black skinny jeans and a pair of black pointed court shoes and statement necklace. So, I am still playing it safe with the colour, but with Mickey Mouse emblazoned on the front, it’s still a little quirky and most importantly, easy on my bank balance. Having said that, should someone wish to purchase the Kenzo Tiger sweatshirt for me as a gift, I most certainly won’t say no!

Grey sweatshirt ensemble

Black Neoprene Sweatshirt ensembles

Kenzo Sweatshirt

Anna dello Russo with grey sweatshirt dress

grey floral sweatshirt

Pink Letterman Sweatshirt

Black sweatshirt

Pink sweatshirt with blue peplum skirt

blue, red and grey sweatshirt

Green Kenzo SweatshirtBe charmed, stay inspired! x

Balmain a/w 2012-13 Fashionising for the Girl About Town…

Balmain -Winter 2012-13 Runway Show…

Balmain 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

It’s over the top, I mean it’s very very embellished. I don’t know quite where you’re going wearing those clothes, but if you have the life for it, I envy you.’ Said Cindy Weby Clearly from Instyle Magazine at the Balmain’s a/w 2012-13 runway show.

As I begin to write this post I am realising how ironic and funny life can be…I am even deliberating the theory that life would have it that we are all literally walking talking contradiction – if you’re not, I know I definitely am.

When I first began writing this post I had a future set out in front of me with my partner – marriage, children, a house in Sicily where I’d write my novel and buy beautiful clothes and a house in London where I’d come to see family and friends …of course these are all ideals and I am summarising. Something happened in between the time I started writing this post and I completed it. When I began writing this post I was at a point in my life when I was literally hanging up my dancing shoes and was mentally assembling a wardrobe for myself that resembled neat and clean Celine and Parisian chic, all accompanied with the versatile, sexy but practical court shoe. I was writing style posts that referred to my new refined approach to fashion as opposed to my uniform of little black party dresses and sky scraper heels perfect for partying.

What happened between the time in which I began writing this post and today (the day in which I am completing it) is life-changing. My partner and I split up after seven years. Parties and social opportunities began to arise in abundance, whilst civilised dinners and drinks almost disappeared off my radar.  As did the ties to my future and even my life as I knew it. Ironically, on the top of my shopping list now is a new pair of dancing shoes. Fashion and life is ever so interchangeable, when I began writing Charms of a Dandizette I swore I would never wear a pair of brogues – when I graduated from my Masters and found myself a job that involved commuting daily I realised how impractical navigating my commute in six inch heels was and what did I do? I purchased myself a pair of brogues. I may have written extensively about a recent refinement in my life, and equivocally my wardrobe…but with my loosened ties to my future that I once envisioned comes a looser approach to refinement and a far more stringent approach to having fun.

Of course, the best lives are those that are balanced – so although the glamorous approach to dress finds itself at the forefront of my mind and my dancing shoes and party dresses have once again found themselves at the most accessible regions of my wardrobe…I’ll still keep it cultivated and totally inspired by this alluring and majorly desirable Balmain collection.

After all, isn’t that how every single girl out on the town wants to feel?

Balmain-Fall-Winter-2012-RTW embellished dress and waistcoat runway look

Balmain 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

Balmain winter 2012-13 cream skirt and jacket ensemble

Balmain Winter 2012-13 velvet embellished suit

Balmain Winter 2012-13 velvet embellished dress

Balmain-Fall-Winter-2012-RTW-collection

Be charmed, stay inspired! X

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