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

Budapest – The City Beautiful

Budapest – The City Beautiful

It’s been just over a month since I have returned from my visit to Budapest. However, I could not allow such a magnificent experience and such a beautiful destination to pass without a devoted blog post – so here it is!

I took my fiancé to Budapest, Hungary as a surprise for his 40th birthday. Admittedly, I knew very little about the destination before I booked our trip and had absolutely no idea what  kind of city break we might actually experience.  Most city break destinations don’t need much more  than a good cityscape and some pretty bridges to justify itself as a city break destination. However, as it was a surprise for my fiance’s birthday I really needed Budapest to be extra special.

In all honesty, Budapest was not a destination I had romanticised over, like Paris, which possibly would always be my first choice for a European city break. Nevertheless, my fiance is not a big fan of Paris, we’d visited Milan, Barcelona and Berlin together in the recent years, so I needed a destination that was in Europe, that was not Amsterdam,  that neither of us had ever been to and that would wow him. Budapest completely blew us both away. And maybe, just maybe, blew Paris out of the water too!

 The features that lured me to the destination was the architecture, that I had been told was spectacular. The views of the river Danube, which I read were breathtaking and the Chain Bridge, that lights up the night with stunning lights. However, what intrigued me more so than anything was that the River Danube literally and physically splits Budapest in two, creating Buda and Pest. 

Indeed, Budapest is a striking city, arguably as pretty as Paris in its femininity, less modern than London, but more masculine and grandiose. Nevertheless, despite the beauty and the distinctive uniqueness of Budapest,  we never picked up on an ounce of pretentiousness or even arrogance, one might expect from those that inhabit such a breathtaking city and this made exploring such a striking city just as pleasurable as its appearance.

Admittedly it rained our entire trip and was significantly cold, but this gave me the opportunity to wrap up and layer my winter armour. I packed my biggest oversized knits, my recently purchased black watch check cape with giant fur hood a la Dolce and Gabnana from Zara. I walked the streets of Budapest in my longest boots and complimented my ensembles with one of my many fur accessories, be it a fur snood, a fur collar or fur scarf – a winter styling technique I have adopted from Olivia Palermo.

It turns out that pretty much everyone in Budapest was dressed this way. However, the fur, worn in abundance, was everywhere and of course, it was real. Exploring the Christmas Markets, which were naturally freezing, involved lots of standing still outdoors, whilst we ate ghoulish soup or paprika sausages, so it made complete sense why these Hungarian women walked the markets in fur coats with hemlines just around their ankles. I am not sure whether all the luscious fur on display was worn worn out of glamour, frivolity or a display of wealth, because they were indeed completely functional, but they looked divine!

We stayed in Pest, the livelier side of the country, strolling through the Christmas markets drinking mulled wine,  hanging out in the Jewish Quarter and drinking in the ruin bars. The impressive Parliament building, the third largest in the world, the extraordinary art-nouveaux Gresham Palace, which makes home to the Four Seasons Hotel and the Roman Catholic church, St. Stephen’s Basilica made for an awe-inspiring backdrop to our stay. However, it wasn’t till we hopped on board the local tram across the Danube River to Buda, that we could truly appreciate the Budapest cityscape in all its glory.

Buda sits on the right hand side of the vast Danube River and is connected to Pest with nine bridges. It’s mountainous and hilly land means it is able to offer views of both  Buda and Pest which are unimaginable. Once the tram had dropped us in Buda, we walked a steep and rolling San Francisco-eque hill with an idyllic and quaint little town atop of it. Although, completely overwhelmed by how picturesque this town was, it was what was at the heart of this town that truly overwhelmed me – St Matthias Church,  

 In the pouring rain we spent hours in awe of the looming gothic church, with it’s colourful mosaic surfaces and just when we thought Budapest had reached it’s stunning quota, we walked behind the church, to find Fisherman’s Bastion. Located at the edge of the hill, Fisherman’s Bastion offers the best views of Budapest. The panoramic view, elevated from a top the hill allowed us to take in sights of the parliament building on the Pest side of the river, lit up in all it’s glory. We could see the chain bridge twinkling with white lights and it’s glittering reflection on the Danube river. With all the castles and palaces, churches and bridges, Budapest is indeed a sight for sore eyes. The vistas were something unimaginable and despite the pouring rain, we indulged in the vistas of Budapest from the Fisherman’s Bastion for hours.

Take a look at the photos of the views, the food, the markets and the bars we visited during our time in Budapest.

Xxxx

Ayesha Charles Mini Bar Budapest
Mini Bar Budapest
Zenit Palace Budapest Hotel
Zenit Palace Budapest Hotel
Zenit Palace Hotel Budapest
At the Zenit Palace Hotel Budapest – Lift Selfie, of course!
Charms of a Dandizette's Ayesha Charles in Budapest Christmas Markets
Marzipan Stall
Ayesha Charles, Charms of a Dandizette Blogger
Budapest Christmas Markets

Charms of a Dandizette's Ayesha Charles in Budapest - Christmas MarketsCharms of a Dandizette's Ayesha Charles in Budapest

Ayesha Charles, Charms of a Dandizette Blogger Budapest HungaryCharms of a Dandizette's Ayesha Charles in Budapest Christmas Markets

Charms of a Dandizette's Ayesha Charles in Budapest Tram Line along the River Danube
Tram Line along the River Danube
Charms of a Dandizette's Ayesha Charles at Budapest St. Stephen's Basilica from Mini Bar
St Stephen’s Basilica from Mini Bar in Budapest
St Stephen's Basilica - Charms of a Dandizette's Ayesha Charles in Budapest
St. Stephen’s Basilica Budapest, Hungary
Charms of a Dandizette's Ayesha Charles at Budapest, River Bus Land and Sea Cruise
River Bus Land and Sea Cruise Budapest, Hungary
Ayesha Charles, Charms of a Dandizette Blogger at Bock Bistro, Budapest, at the Corinthia Hotel
Bock Bistro, Budapest, at the Corinthia Hotel Birthday lunch

 

 

Ayesha Charles, Charms of a Dandizette Blogger at Bock Bistro, Budapest, at the Corinthia Hotel

 

Life…The Beauty is in the Detail

life

If blogging is an art form and this is art, then in this case, art imitates life... 

It’s been far too long since my last blog Dandies and I have been longing to get back here so I can do what I love to do the most – write. I am glad to say that what has kept me away has all been good stuff! The past few months have been crazy, productive and somewhat life changing. In fact, it’s nice to have been so occupied with my life for productive  reasons, so that I can now sit here and write this blog feeling one hundred times more content than I did the last time I wrote for Charms of a Dandizette.

Of course, I am always in a pretty serene and constructive place when I am writing my own blog.  However, the last time I blogged I wasn’t completely immersed in these two very significant projects; the planning of my wedding and the design of my new home. Indeed, I am feeling very adult at this juncture in my life, but mostly I am feeling really proud and very happy.

Finding someone that makes you genuinely happy, whom you want to spend the rest of your life with and whom returns the feeling is indeed one of life’s many challenges, but creating and designing a wedding and building a home that represents your journey and your life together is a creative challenge that I am relishing at the moment! I have assigned myself the role of creative director and have found myself exploring design forms other than fashion. Admittedly, not all will approach a wedding like I a creative project, and at times I do feel even a little guilty for referring to my wedding as a ‘project’. But I can’t imagine that any fashion concerned being would look upon the style of their wedding or the presentation of their home, be it grandiose and glamorous or small and simple, any differently to the way we style ourselves, create our blogs or throw our parties. Every opportunity is an opportunity to be expressive and my wedding and my home are offering me endless creative opportunities.

My partner and I have worked so hard to get to this point and I want to love and cherish every moment and every single last detail. So, I am putting that love into these two amazing life projects I am so excited about. At any one day I could be admiring white orchids – which adorned  scenes from Baz Luhrman‘s Great Gatsby so heavily, or selecting chiavari chairs (Italian of course) in white or gold. The next day I am studying layering techniques in interior design and figuring out how I might create a nook in my bay window which leads out to my balcony.

I am finding the designing and styling of my wedding far more natural to me than that of my home. My love for fashion, my love for an exquisite party and my obsession with the 1920s has made this project a glamorous one. Indeed, glamour is also another of my passions. Can you be passionate about glamour? I think so!

However, my approach to the style and interior of my home is very different. As a writer, space is important to me. This will be the space that I write in, that I need to calm me from the crazy, to lure me in even when there’s so much going on outside. I don’t want my home to be glamorous, or even to sleek. Unlike my fashion, my wedding or the hotels and bars that I love to hang out in, I want my home to be soothing, the sort of home that gives you the biggest hug once you’re inside. I am thinking light, airy, welcoming and inspiring.

See what’s charming and inspiring me…

www.dandizettecharm.com
Some of the charms from my Pinterest Boards inspiring my home and my wedding

Be charmed, Stay Inspired! x

9 Fashion Tips To Help Define Your Trans-seasonal Style

How to fashion yourself now…

Jenna Lyons

For most, September is the hardest month to dress oneself. Of course this makes sense – it’s the time of uncertainty for dandies and fashion concerned clothes wearers. We have been so busy honing and compiling our summer wardrobes, taking to Pinterest and Tumblr for street style inspiration and then shopping accordingly, that we haven’t even given much thought to the 2014-15 autumn/winter catwalk shows that we watched back in February.

I personally feel like, just as I truly got into the swing of my fashioned summer self – lots of shorts, printed trousers, Birkenstocks, camisole tops and a general laid back Celine inspired approach – were the shops displaying winter garb too warm to wear and the magazines discussing new coat trends far too early to invest in.

Yet, in London, August just gone, it was far too chilly to be sporting shorts and camisole tops, however, not quite the season for tights and boots. And, here we are in September, the appearance of the sun is slightly unreliable, but there is a much warmer temperature than the previous month. Indeed, we have reached the time in the year when our summer wardrobes need to be adapted slightly to contend with the colder mornings and evenings and days that may not be as bright as they were in the height of summer.

It is the transitional seasons that I find to be the most intriguing in terms of fashion, particularly the summer to autumn as opposed to winter to spring. The glossies are fatter and more overwhelming than ever. The spectrum of styles and trends worn by street style icons varies more vastly than ever and the commuters that I see every day in London are a mash up of ankle boots worn with dresses, cut off shorts with kimonos, to coats with sandals.

The transitional seasons can bring about uncertainty because the season hasn’t actually managed to synch itself with the edits in the fashion magazines – there is no definitive fashion rhetoric stating that this is what should be worn NOW. The silver lining of this very short lived moment in fashion is, it is our time to shine – to wear whatever we want, to interpret the trends that we loved of the summer just gone and piece them together with the purchases we have made for the coming winter season.

My approach to defining my look and streamlining my wardrobe for this ‘in-between’ time is almost like creating a capsule collection of garments that include pieces from my summer wardrobe, pieces from my winter wardrobe and a few pieces that I have purchased specifically to hack these trans-seasonal dilemmas. I think the challenge is to feel as though you are dressed appropriately as well as fashionably and so far, these nine tips have been my solution…

1.Wear your mum jeans till you can’t wear them any more…

street style fashion spring 15 shows

When in doubt, don’t we all just opt for jeans? I know it’s not very creative, but this is the perfect time to really value mum, boyfriend and tapered jeans. I only wear these more relaxed fit jeans at an ankle grazing length and with heeled sandals, stilettos and shoes that tend to expose the foot as opposed to cover it. The combination of the shoe and a bit ankle on display helps to keep these relaxed fit jeans a little more sexy. I generally don’t enjoy wearing jeans in the height of summer and feel that these particular cut jeans are far too casual for my winter wardrobe, so the transitional seasons are perfect for ankle grazing jeans with stilettos. So I am wearing these mothers as much as I can right now!

2. Wear ripped jeans till the winter fairytale calms the distress…

ripped jeans street style fashion

The distressed jean is back – a little more refined than it was in the early noughties and maybe not as long lasting as it was in its last fashion reign. The 2014/15 winter trends are dreamy, sleek and refined, think shift dresses and long boots at Gucci, cinched waists and pencil skirts at Balmain and the Sicilian fairy tale at Dolce and Gabanna. It seems pretty that ripped jeans won’t be cutting it for much longer.

3. Don’t Cover Up to Soon…Hold off wearing tights and boots 

Leather culottes

My mother once told me, “Stay away from tights till October and boots till November.” I don’t always take her fashion rules on board, but adopting my respect for fashion and dress from her, I do like to consider them. Ankle boots, of course I will wear with a skirt or a dress throughout summer and autumn months, but I will not wear them with jeans and most certainly won’t wear my boots with tights – that’s far too much protection and coverage too soon. If it’s raining so heavily that a court shoe or a sandal is out of the question, I opt for brogues, driving shoes or slip on sneakers and if I can’t get away with wearing a skirt or dress without tights, then I simply go for a smart trouser.  I think a  wardrobe should change and transform as the seasons do. If we  start wearing tights in September, the likelihood is we’ll be wearing them till March next year and where’s the fun in that? With the midi skirt back in fruition this winter, who needs tights anyway?

4. Throw some black trousers into the mix…

Black trousers street style

If you’re opting for a little more elegance than jeans can offer, but are also avoiding tights, like myself, how do you stay warm and tasteful? Tailored trousers! Like jeans, a pair of simple black trousers are trans-seasonal, but they have a slightly more mature edge on jeans. They look sexy and sleek paired with stilettos and smart and androgynous worn with loafers and brogues.

5. Smarten up your maxis….

olivia palermo stye

You can call them maxi skirts and dresses I suppose – but something about the word maxi reminds me of summer and floatiness. Full length skirts and dresses paired with a chambray or denim shirt or a simple round neck jumper lengthens the longevity of a garment mostly associated with the sun. Biker jackets naturally toughen up this typically feminine garment. Wear these full length skirts and dresses with heeled strappy sandals, peep toe heeled shoes and even boots – Olivia Palermo has nailed this look to a T!

6. Replace your camisole vests with tops that cover your decolletage…

Miroslava Duma

As versatile as those camisole tops were for the summer, it’s time to phase them out. You’ll find yourself needing a jacket or a cardigan to cover up wearing these thin and strappy tops – which can be unnecessary fuss, unless of course, your cover up is adding something aesthetically to the style of your ensemble. Never underestimate the good of a great t-shirt to tuck into jeans, culottes, midi skirts or a pair of tailored trousers. And if you’re looking for something a little more pulled together, opt for shell tops, sleeveless or short sleeved. These tops and tees won’t expose too much of your décolletage, therefore you can wear them without a jacket or scarf during the early months of autumn, but still have your arms on show whilst trying to hold on to summer.

7. Don’t be all buttoned up just yet – opt for a casual shirt…

Miranda Kerr in double denim

On the days when it is slightly cooler, maybe too cool for a short sleeve, I opt for a casual shirt. My first choice is denim, but chambray and oxford and even my fiance’s shirts will make the cut. I pair these shirts with skinny jeans and a strappy heeled sandal or stiletto. I know in the midst of the winter I will head to Zara and purchase myself a shed load of smart, sharp and will-dress-up-any-ensemble- Celine-esque shirts and blouses and I will wear them right through till March. However, in the warmer months I like to keep things a little more relaxed than my winter wardrobe.

8. Show off your waistcoats This is a waistcoat’s prime time…

Olivia Palermo Waistcoat

This is a waistcoat’s prime time! In the colder winter months I will wear a waistcoat over my shirt and beneath my coat, which is great for those that see me indoors and coat-less, but not so much when I am running about outside in the cold. If you want to give your waistcoat, which is a seriously cool garment, some serious airtime, now is the time to do it. For me, it is still too warm to wear a leather jacket and I feel too stuffy in a blazer. I am still flitting around London in short sleeve tops and tees without any outerwear at all. But if I want to add a little something to an ensemble, I pull out my waistcoat and throw it over over a shift dress or a shirt and jeans ensemble. Never have I worn it so much!

9. Say goodbye to flippy sandals…

birlenstocks

Stop wearing your strappy flat delicate sandals and opt for a heeled sandal, a heavier and chunkier sandal or Birkenstocks. Strappy sandals are just a little too easy breezy for this transitional autumn period and boots are too wintery, so now is the time for peep toe boots, ankle sandals and shoes in colours or material you fear to wear in the winter. I say wear your Birckemstocks now and keep wearing them till you go off them – if you haven’t already. I think I have already gone off mine!

 Be charmed, stay inspired!

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

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…

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An Ode to the Black Leather Skirt

An Ode to the Black Leather Skirt

All hail the black leather skirt…

black leather

Although this garment is hardly breaking new ground, it has found its second wind and seems to be the new go to  leather item after the much loved leather trousers we’ve all been rocking since last winter. It’s a fact, the black leather skirt will revolutionise our wardrobes this winter which is why I want to write an ode to it, so it might find itself beneath my tree this Christmas.

Although I own two pretty impressive leather skirts already, a wine red knee length skirt and a black leather tasselled shorter skirt, both from Zara, neither of these skirts quite have the ‘je ne sais quoi’ the black leather mini skirt has. You see the wine red skirt and the black leather tasselled skirts mentioned above are game changers, statement makers that need very little styling to look impressive.

Whereas the black leather skirt is impressive because of its massive impact albeit its simplicity. It has just as much versatility and wearability as the trusted black skirt, be it cotton or wool or even velvet, but with loads more style kudos and loads more edge. It’s what the leather trousers did for the black jeans last winter, you’d always just rather opt for the leather, wouldn’t you? At least I would.

The LBS  (leather black skirt) can translate from day to night and is an easy garment to opt for when jeans feel a little too predictable and familiar. Wear the LBS with a pair of tights and boots in the rain, a high platform shoe for a glamorous night on the town or a loafer or brogue to nod towards the youthful back to school trend. Pair it with a blouse or shirt of any colour or print, make it casual with a jumper or edgy with a t-shirt.  

You can’t go wrong with your simple black leather skirt in the winter. Not too dissimilar to your favourite pair of leather trousers, your favourite LBS will see you through your best and your worst days, through job interviews and first dates, meetings at work and dinner with friends – it will never let you down. And although you won’t be the trailblazer of a new fashion trend, if your LBS is conspicuous enough, it will never go out of fashion either.

Olivia Palermo black leather skirt white shirt black cardigan black tights black clutch bag

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

An Ode to Anna Dello Russo – The Queen of Street Style

An Ode to Anna Dello Russo – The Queen of Street Style

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So, we are in the midst of Milan Fashion week! And whilst the fashionites, like Anna Dello Russo and BFF and fashion partner in crime Giovanna Battaglia flit around the Milan attending runway shows to seek out the emerging trends for spring/ summer 2014 – Anna Dello Russo wowing street style fashion photographers with her ever so ‘a la mode’ ensembles, the rest of us are still trying to style our way into winter 2013/14.

For the fashion concerned functional girl or guy about town, the change of the season leaves us hanging momentarily in style limbo. The pages of Vogue are covered in winter coats and boots and all things in deep and dark hues – too soon to be worn just yet, models strut the runway adorned in floatier, lighter, brighter materials for the summer season, whilst we are left pounding the pavements in a combination of last year’s winter wardrobe and this year’s summer trends – still trying to figure out where we stand in all of this – or at least how to be best dressed!

When building that new turn of the season wardrobe, the place to start are the streets of Fashion Month; these streets are the perfect fashion edit, manipulated, streamlined and styled for the individual, even for the weather of  said day, if not the season. And, if like me, your day job doesn’t allow for you to hang around the streets of whatever fashion venue it might be, waiting to spot the carefully selected ensembles of your favourite street style icons, then Tommy Ton and social media are your saviour!

Now, I am not championing Anna Dello Russo as my favourite street style icon, but I admire her dedication to fashion. She means to street style fashion what Jay Z and Beyonce mean to music – everyone (in the fashion sense of the word) knows what ADR’s wearing, and ultimately everyone (fashion again) should care, even if not particularly keen on her style.

She is the perfect point of reference, because she is the perfect indication of exactly what fashion is. She’s limitless, she’s unpredictable and she will wear ANYTHING – even from the Gucci menswear collection. My style might be sleek, sharp lines with a touch of sport luxe, Anna’s style is fashion. That’s it! Therefore you can trust that whatever Anna Dello Russo is wearing is sizzling hot right now. And if it’s that hot then it can’t be a bad place to begin navigating the trends for the coming season!

Anna Dello Russo - Milan Fashion Week Sept 2013

AnnaDelloRusso

Anna Dello Russo

anna [urse

 street_style_milan_fashion_week_septiembre_2013_387751170_800x907b5648_7370298_north_883x - CopyAnna Dello Russo    090613_tommy_ton_s2014rtw_slide_137

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Anna Dello Russo

Want to manifest fashion? Take a look at Anna Dello Russo’s ‘Now Manifest’ blog!

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

 

A Dandies Approach to Festival Fashion!

A Dandies Approach to Festival Fashion!

Getting festival ready…

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice (USA & OZ RIGHTS ONLY)
Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice – looking pretty festival chic

We are now officially in the thick of the Festival Season! Oh the festival, the emblem of summer, synonymous with denim shorts, spent in vain without Hunter wellies and not a summer at all if you’re not attending at least one! Well, truth be told in my twenty nine years of living I must have lived only a handful of summers, because I am far from what the likes of Glastonbury and V-Fest goers would call a ‘Festival Goer’. In fact, I’m not. I just happen to wander along to the odd festival the occasional summer, and I am delighted to say that this is one of those summers. Indeed, on Friday I will be attending Wireless Festival at the Olympic Village park and as you would imagine, the ensemble preparation has begun.

My stylish thoughts have led me to the conclusion that festival fashion can be easily imitated; firstly it’s functional, so common sense and practicality, before aesthetic, dictates many of the garments Festival Goers select as a collective. Secondly, festival fashion is pretty much preordained; cut off denim shorts (Levis), sunglasses (Rayban), wellies (Hunters), parka (Babour) and an across the body bag (of your choosing) and of all the aforementioned designers for hardened fashionista festival attendees. These are  what I have called the non-variable garments of a festival ensemble –  although the designer can be varied in accordance to your bank balance, the actual items themselves can’t really be argued with. 

If like me the rock chic/boho/festival/fashion student/Topshop look (all styles make up festival chic) isn’t ‘honestly’ your style remit, then putting together a festival ensemble you feel comfortable and chic in poses a slight fashion challenge. Readers of Charms of a Dandizette will know that I love a fashion challenge –  such challenges allow you to dip into different styles and fashion sub-cultures outside of your comfort zone – giving  you a broader scope to draw upon when creating ensembles, which can only add to your styling capabilities.  

As tempting as it is to go against the grain, which is an approach I would usually take, for my festival ensemble I have looked at what has been working for the masses and imitated the essentials, the non – variables. As much as  what Solange wore to Coachella this year is closer to my own personal style than the likes of denim shorts and wellies, I am not confident enough in this realm to be able to break the rules just yet – so, you could say in this context I am playing it safe. Did I just say that? Admittedly, following the crowds isn’t an overly dandyish or dandizette like approach to dressing, but you see, the festival would not have been a dandies typical playing field anyhow – so I believe there’s no need to feel bad about not being overly creative at this point. Besides, this is just the beginning.

In line with this way of thinking, I was able to select the key garments in my festival ensemble quicker than you can say ‘denim shorts’ and indeed, those cut off denim shorts I have an on again off again relationship with are on again, not Levis but Topshop. My footwear, not Hunters, but black zip up stack heel ankle booties, also from Topshop and my across the body bag, the only one I own, from Marc Jacobs, have all been selected. The variables, on the other hand, the  sunglasses, jacket (or something to keep warm), jewellery and head wear – are the more fun and more expressive elements to the ensemble. These are the game changers and I am going to be using these items to be more expressive, more individual and more on trend – hopefully showing off some fashion savviness at the same time!

My Tom Ford sunglasses, my summer investment piece, will be replaced with a non-designer pair that are loud enough and conspicuous enough to earn their right in the sea of Raybans. And can do so without denting the bank, because let’s face it, although the opulent and frivolous sunglasses, think Dolce and Gabbana, are trending right now, we’re sure to hate this trend by next summer. I’m adopting this attitude for all the variables, replace my everyday cuffs and chunky Marc by Marc Jacobs turn lock bracelet for wrists embellished in a pile up of gold bracelets and plenty of  bangles. And, instead of opting for the conventional parka I’m opting for an elaborately printed  silk bomber jacket.

I am now in the midst of selecting the perfect top, but that’s nothing that a visit to Topshop won’t solve! I am feeling festival ready and pretty fashion confident! Should my ensemble be a success, there could be some personal photos to look out for!

Take a look at my inspirations…

Solange-Coachella
Solange Knowles at Coachella – not so practical, but loving the ensemble
2012 Rihanna
Rihanna rocking the crazy glasses – up the ante on those festival accessories
Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2010 - Day 1 Beyonce
Beyonce at Coachella 2010 – copy this entire outfit and you won’t go far wrong

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice (USA & OZ RIGHTS ONLY)

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Chanel Iman at Coachella 1013
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Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at Coachella 2013 – hat lovin’
Rihanna looking festival chic
Rihanna – if you can pull it off go for it!
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Jay Z and Beyonce perform at Coachella
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Kate Moss at Glastonbury – queen of festival fashion
Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel at Coachella
Miranda Kerr rocking out with her Victoria Secrets Angels Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel at Coachella
Miranda Kerr at Coachella
Miranda Kerr at Coachella
Rihanna Performs at the V Festival
Rihanna Performs at the V Festival

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Is Your iPhone Looking Fabulous?

Giovanna-Battaglia-for-Case-Scenario-1
Giovanna Battaglia for Case Scenario

 

We would once be considered on trend and stylish just by the mere fact of owning the latest lifestyle gadget, be it the latest MP3 player, tablet, mobile phone, e-reader  and so on and so forth. These little technological devices were once a worthy testament to our fashion savoir faire – particularly any device designed by Apple and predominantly the iPhone – because everyone needs a phone and any fashionista knows it needs to be an iPhone. Such a staple have these little pieces of technology become and so dear to us they are, that we are no longer merely protecting our iPhones in functional cases, we’re embellishing and adorning them like we embellish and adorn ourselves. I think of my Biba iPhone case as an investment, with massive cost per wear value, like a statement coat, a belt or pair of sunglasses. And like anything that has massive cost per wear, the iPhone embellishment offers big fashion kudos.

Admittedly, embellishing our iPhones is pretty frivolous, even for fashionistas – we wouldn’t pimp our phones before we have the shoes that we want, the sunglasses we’ve been coveting or the handbag we’ve fallen in love with – phone pimping is for the girl that has everything – at least that’s how she might appear and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to look  like they have it all? It’s why we buy handbags that cost more than our rent. Fashioning our iPhones is just so frivolous it’s fabulous and designers, fashion houses, fashionites and fashionistas aren’t missing out on the opportunity to make yet another part of our functional lives fabulous; the likes of Marc Jacobs and Moschino have created some super frivolous and massively recognisable cases, Marc Jacobs’ with the bunny ears, Moschino with the teddy bear. Celine continues to take the minimalist approach, and fashionite Giovanna Battaglia has designed her own line of baroque style  iPhone clip on cases, which she can often be seen sporting when attending fashion events. If you haven’t yet made your iPhone fabulous with its functionality, why not get started? And then after that, your iPad, your Kindle and so on…

Viviana Volpicella with a Bunny iPhone Case

iPhone case - Giovanna Battaglia

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giovanna battaglia

chloe phone case

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iphone celine

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phone case

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green hair

Anna dello russo chanel iphone

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Be charmed, stay inspired!x