10 Sixties Chic Fashion Items Inspired by Mad Men!

Mad Men's Megan DraperOver the Christmas I became a box set night owl and watched endless episodes of Mad Men back to back over the holidays. Funnily enough it was the Gucci Autumn Winter 2015 collection that inspired me to take up watching Mad Men, which centres itself around a New York advertising agency set in the sixties. It dawned on me one day, when putting together an ensemble to wear for drinks with the girls on Christmas eve, that the culmination of Gucci’s modern mod and the wardrobes of Donald Draper’s ex-wife, Betty Francis, and his current wife, Megan Draper, has given my recent ensembles a distinctive sixties feel. One of my favourite ensembles at the moment is a retro print shift dress from Primark, patent knee high boots from Dune and my hair styled with a deep side parting, a la Megan.

Although my ultimate favourite era will always be the Roaring Twenties, I have recently discovered a new found love for sixties fashion. I love shift dresses, mainly for their versatility and their ease to wear. But as I love to wear statement jewellery, the shift dress’s simplicity offers lots of styling opportunities. Ironically, as I enter my early thirties I have also rekindled my relationship with shorter hemlines and A – Line skirts, which comes just after my affair with midi-skirts. The advantages of the shorter hem lines and skirt shapes of the A – line are three fold; Firstly, they allow me to enhance one of my favourite features, which are my legs. Secondly they add a youthfulness to ensembles, a considered factor in my styling since turning thirty. Thirdly, because I enjoy piecing together ensembles and will always opt for skirts and separates over dresses.

I am sure it won’t be much longer before I am once again of the belief that I am far too old for mini-skirts and dresses, but for now, these are the fashion items I am loving!

See the items I am coveting and the Mad Men ensembles I love!

1. Gucci Leopard Print Sleeveless A-Line Dress available at Flannels

Gucci Leopard Print Dress

2. Lanvin Iconic Love Ring available at Net-a-Porter

3. Victoria Beckham Lace and Cotton Dress

Victoria, Victoria Beckham Dress

4. Planet Pale Blue Double Breasted Coat available at John Lewis

Pale Blue Planet Coat

5. Valentino Garavani pumps from Valentino

Valentino Pumps

6. Orla Kiely Sixties Stem Embossed Handbag from Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely sixties style handbag

7. Givenchy Vintage Door Knocker Earrings from Farfetch

Givenchy Door Knocker earrings

8. Stella Jean Pussy Bow Blouse available at Farfetch

Stella Jean Rosella Blouse Top and Clothing 

9. Black and Grey Large Dogtooth Print A-Line Skirt from Matches Fashion

Carven Houndstooth skirt sixties fashion

10. Oscar de la Renta Gold Statement Necklace from Net a Porter

Oscar De La Renta gold plated disk necklace

Be Charmed, Stay Inspired! x

Fashionable Fourth of July Wishes!

Fashionable Fourth of July Wishes!

 

Here’s a fashionable little token to my American Charms of a Dandizette readers…

Enjoy Fourth of July wishes from Diane Von Furstenburg, Kenzo, Jimmy Choo and the adorable fashion illustration of Lady Liberty from Lanvin!

 

Diane Von Furstenburg - Happy 4th July
Happy 4th July from Diane Von Furstenburg
Kenzo 4th July
Kenzo 4th July
Jimmy Choo 4th July
Jimmy Choo 4th July
Lanvin 4th July
Lanvin 4th July

Be charmed, Stay Inspired! x

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

...

OP

Olivia Palermo - Monochrome

Be charmed, stay inspired. x

Alber Elbaz for Lanvin Quotes

Inspired by: Alber’s Philosophy at Vogue Online 

I have always adored the work that Alber Elbaz has done for Lanvin, in fact, just as much as I adore listening to him speak at fashion shows or reading his interviews in the magazines. I delight in Alber’s humour and lightheartedness just as much as I covet a Lanvin asymmetric black dress worn with long black leather gloves, or those wonderful court shoes with the contrasting ankle strap and, those to die for statement necklaces that have the ability to make the simplest of ensembles dazzle. Unfortunately, I don’t possess the pecuniary strength to adorn myself head to toe in Lanvin, but I can afford to bank the quotes of the charming Alber Elbaz.

Lanvin, Alber Elbaz ceative director at Lanvin

“I don’t understand this marathon of fashion,” he said. “Today, designers are expected to produce work that is bigger, better, faster and – these days – cheaper. A singer can quit once he or she has made ten great songs, a director can finish once he or she has made five amazing films, a writer just needs to write three great books. Now let’s look at designers – they produce six to eight shows a year, most designers have a 20-year-long career, so I need to create about 250 collections in that time. Not even Danielle Steel could write 250 books.”

“I don’t take drugs because if I did I’d love them – I’d be a junkie. And because I’m Jewish, I’d probably be a dealer too……I don’t go out to parties because I’d look terrible in pictures. My escape is television – it’s like meditation to me.”

“At Yves Saint Laurent I felt like the son-in-law, like I was part of the family but not quite….When I was fired, I felt like the widow. It was painful and destroying, but it didn’t crush me. I have never been Alber from Saint Laurent, just like I’m not Alber from Lanvin. I am just Alber short. And I am very short.”

“I thought about becoming a doctor,” he said. “I am a hypochondriac, so it made sense to go into medicine – I like nurses, I like hospital food, but I thought ‘ten years is too long to train…'” 

“Yves Saint Laurent gave women power, Chanel liberated them and when I joined Lanvin, I thought ‘what do I bring to women? One day, I received an SMS from a friend in New York – she was in a taxi on the way to court to face her arsehole ex-husband, and she said to me ‘Alber, I am wearing a Lanvin dress, and I feel so protected.’ That to me was the biggest compliment I ever received. To have a 500 gram piece of silk make her feel protected – that made me very happy indeed.”

Read the entire article at Vogue.co.uk 

JLO wears Lanvin

JLO wears Lanvin

Lanvin SS2010

Lanvin SS2010

Seriously Hot

Intensely provocative, seriously sexy or femininely flirtatious, Alber Elbaz has created something enchantingly clever and aesthetically magnificent for every woman, wherever she spends the hotter months of the year. Inspired by strong and stylish Argentine women, lunching in a cafe in Argentina, the culmination of love, lust and life come together to create an anthology of ensembles perfect for the real woman.

The show opened up with a black dress, slick hair pulled back in a hard pony tail, eyes dark and rocky in smokey black, the face bare and framed by a projecting structured, saucer like collar. The silhouette continuously transformed itself, from tailored a Le Smoking, leg o mutton, one shouldered, puffed sleeved, harem, tulip and bubble hemmed dresses and all-in-ones in a selection of jet blacks, powder and fuchsia pinks, soft peaches worn against nude and cappuccino colours. Draped and voluminous dresses billowed and fluttered, taking on a life of their own as the models breezed dreamily down the runway. Elbaz reiterated the intricacy and difficulty constructing this collection, but they breathed an air of comfort, of ease and that heavenly feeling of luxury when cool materials brush against hot skin.

Mlanvin spring summer 2010, peplum dress, spiral dress, red dress, fashion 2010otifs of spiralling and tumbling ruffles, waterfalls of soft pleats and supple folds fell to perfection. Svelte dresses were embellished with exaggerated tousles of material that snaked their way across the entire length of the dress, working its way across the body, titivating the peplum dress.

V necks, collapsing plunging necklines and sleeves purposely falling off the shoulder in asymmetry bought the décolletage to the focal point. Gold tribal antic chokers, necklaces and chains embellished with pink and green lacquer piled up around the model’s necks and chandelier earrings cascaded from their ears in a beautiful overkill.  Leather ankle strapped court shoes in nude, black and ivory ornamented with shackle like chains forming t-bars or ankle chains accompanied the dresses, occasionally worn with a single long black leather glove, ruched down the wrist adding a tough edge to the ensemble.

As if there wadrape, harem, black, lanvin, alber elbazsn’t enough mouth watering extravagance overwhelming the audience, the final part of the parade, models left behind the subtle colours and lit up the catwalk with dazzling emerald greens, flaming reds and burnt oranges. Bullions of gold beads, sequins and studs reminiscent of the flapper girls’ dress spilt down mushroom brown polyester. Black leather as soft and supple as lame made fluid cocktail dresses.

The collection was as exciting as a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel; a hint of magic, a Latin zing and just enough reality to create a completely hypnotic experience.  Young, modern, yet completely classic – the show worked entirely to my taste, the feminine wasn’t too girly, the sexy wasn’t too suggestive and the rich colours weren’t too bright. Hail stones and snow haven’t prevented me from feeling the heat from this work of art, this summer I will Tango dressed up in Lanvin. XRed lanvin dress, alber elbaz, draoed, red dress, spring summer fashion 2010Green dress, lanvin, alber elbaz, spring 2010, fashion 2010