The good, the bad, and the golden

As dawn approached in England this morning, pictures started to emerge of the red carpet fashion from this years Golden Globe awards. I was awake all night as I kept dreaming about buying furniture after a day of hell at IKEA, so I decided to use my time wisely and have a long look at some amazing and not so amazing dresses. No, I may not have an extensive knowledge about the fashion world, and I don’t really have any place in saying what isn’t great, but I have devised my top five favourite and top five least favourite looks from the night. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues I am unable to publish pictures alongside, but if you are unaware of who I am talking about, then give it a quick Google and you will soon see.

1) To begin with, despite what most people seem to be thinking, my absolute favourite outfit of the night was Emma Watson strutting her stuff in Christian Dior. I think she looked totally incredible, and I loved the quirkiness of the outfit with the backless bright red gown, the black trousers and navy heel. By the sounds of it, Emma seems to have hit the bottom of the best-dressed list over in the States, whilst fashion worshippers over the pond love her unique style, and I agree. This would be a prime example of an outfit that I’d personally want to wear if I was to ever hit the red carpet, although I would never look half as good!

2) My second favourite outfit was the stunning Sofia Vergara in an equally stunning Zac Posen floor length, black ball gown. It accentuated all her best features, including some ridiculously toned arms! Despite changing for a GG after-party, (I don’t know why she did, if I ever wore that dress I’d never take it off… ever), Sofia looked just as amazing in a revealing Zuhair Murad metallic fishtail dress.

3) In third place is the gorgeous Maria Menounos in Max Azria Atelier. Opposite to Emma Watson, it seems that the reaction to Maria’s dress over here is not as great as it is in America, however; I completely beg to differ with us Brits. The cheeky cutouts on this beautifully shaped dress creates the perfect ratio of daring to darling in this look. The colour suits her so well and the simple ponytail does not take anything away from the dress, keeping the whole look elegant. I just think she looks completely gorgeous and I need this dress in my life.

4) Zoe Saldana takes forth place in my ranks out of last night’s looks. With everything going on, this fitted Prabal Gurung dress should technically be wrong, but it is so incredibly right. The highly detailed embellishments, the contrasting pink off-the-shoulder silk straps, and the transparent skirt all add to the uniqueness of the outfit, which has been paired with Louboutin heels and Lorraine Schwartz jewels. For some strange reason, I could just imagine Carrie Bradshaw/Sarah-Jessica Parker wearing this dress in an episode of Sex and the City.

5) My final favourite look was from 12 Years a Slave star, Lupita Nyong’o, wearing a totally unique caped, red Ralph Lauren dress. Personally, I would never wear this dress because I wouldn’t have the gonads to do so, and it is made for Lupita so perfectly; but I appreciate how extremely well designed this dress is. (I know Ralph Lauren would be so pleased to have my approval). Matched with her short hair and simple gold jewellery, this girl looks so effortlessly beautiful.

Now for the bad bit – my not so favourite looks. I hate to say negative things about the outfits because I’d never even be able to afford one of these dresses – but I’m speaking as if I had to go to a red carpet event, and these would not be any of the dresses I’d wear. Sorry!

1) I haven’t heard of Girls until recently, but even so Lena Dunham’s bright yellow Zac Posen dress is pretty heavy on the eyes. She admitted to not exactly dieting in the run up to the big show, stating that she actually ate a thick patty of hamburger meat like a cavewoman, which probably isn’t the greatest idea before putting on a tight bodice. For someone that is supposed to be BFF-ing with Victoria Beckham at the moment, she clearly hasn’t picked up any style tips. If you want to do yellow justice, then wear a gown like Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch’s dress made by Romona Keveza.

2) I really do hate to say it because it’s Dior, one of my all-time favourite designers, and also Jennifer Lawrence, one of the best actresses on the planet right now; but this really does not work in anyway whatsoever. It looks like someone attempted to kidnap her with Gaffer tape mid-wedding, but failed to do so, leaving a very unflattering wedding dress. Unfortunately, social networkers are already mocking her internationally, taking pictures of themselves in a rolled-up duvet. For someone like Jennifer with a lovely figure, it seems a shame to hide it behind a frumpy, shapeless dress, but I suppose she does like to bend the norm, so if she likes it, then kudos to her!

3) My third choice is utter bullocks, (sorry I couldn’t help myself). Sandra Bullock has done extremely well so far in the ranks of awards, and is set to win many more, but this Prabal Gurung dress is not going to win in my charts anytime soon. It’s a bit too ‘try hard’ different, so much so, that it doesn’t work in any shape or form – probably because the dress has neither. Also, the poor design and colouring of this dress looks like something that could have been made in my A-Level Textiles class, but then again that would be an insult to us. Despite this, I do love her hair and makeup, and admittedly, she looks incredible for her age.

4) Paula Patton comes forth in her white Stephane Rolland dress with ruffled draping. It’s not the worse dress in the world, but for someone with such an amazing body, she could wear so much better. The dress would look miles nicer if it didn’t have that draping down the right-hand side. Her jewellery is gorgeous and she genuinely looks stunning, however; this dress is a no.

5) In fifth place is Drew Barrymore with her Monique Lhuillier gown, which to me, alongside the baby bump, flowers and long trail, slightly resembled Kim Kardashian’s Givenchy’s dress at the Met Ball last year… no comment. But hey she’s pregnant. If I ever look that pretty whilst up the duff then I’d be extremely happy.

Overall, my views on some particular designers like Christian Dior, Zac Posen and Prabal Gurung seemed to vary. Nevertheless, there were hundreds of lovely outfits seen last night and were very few terrible outfits – even some of the dresses mentioned above aren’t hideous, but just not up there with the standards of some other gowns. This is only an opinion and I guess everyone will think differently, as everyone has their own unique style.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with anything in this post!

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House of Halos

This Tuesday brought the Bloggers Love event for the upcoming, innovative accessory brand, House of Halos. Located eight floors up at the Penthouse London in the centre of Leicester Square, it was the perfect opportunity to display various – and very stunning – jewellery and accessory designs, created by couture hair accessory art designer, and owner of House of Halos, Arlene Barclay.

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View from The Penthouse London

Having 24 years expertise within this market, it was clearly an overwhelming situation for Arlene seeing so many beauty and fashion bloggers and people from the fashion industry supporting the event and the products. “I was unbelievably nervous and at the end when everyone was taking all the photos I was shaking like mad with fear and trying to hold back the tears, very, very grateful to everyone. What an emotional and special moment”.

At the young age of fourteen, Arlene’s love of accessories emerged and she started crafting her own jewellery, however; her passion was heightened at 23, when she initiated her first company, “Angel’s Halos”, after being disappointed by the lack of formal hairpieces on the market whilst trying to find her own bridal accessories. With great success and numerous bridal designs being featured in all major Scottish Wedding Publications and various Northern England exhibitions & catwalks, Arlene decided in 2012 to end Angel’s Halos on a high, and start a new chapter in her life – House of Halo’s, which brings us to the current day.

The latest designs from House of Halo’s sees a variation between couture; such as the eccentric feather head piece seen in picture four, and classic; including the chic pearl necklace worn in picture two. Despite the quirky designs, there are definitely some vintage inspired pieces that could be worn on a day to day basis, or on special occasions, including the pearl and crystal encrusted headband and bracelet seen in the Ocean collection (see below).

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Photos taken by me @ Bloggers Love event

Past the intricate designs, however; Arlene wants to use these designs as a platform to help make a difference in the world – you could say she wears a halo of her own. “Why should the younger youth inherit such a mess? It’s time for a change“, which is an extremely refreshing mindset from a designer.

What is incredible and highly unique is that the majority of the lines in the brand have their own name in regards to what the proceeds will go towards; for example, the ‘Peace’ design, which is going to help support charities like War Child, the ‘Ice’ designs – which will help with the results of global warming in the Arctic and Antarctica, and also the ‘Ocean’ line which will support marine life issues.

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Peace Designs – Picture from Twitter @HouseofHalos

These three jewellery pieces have a definite goth/Victorian inspired twist on an otherwise, fashionable look; especially the choker necklace, which has been seen exclusively on number one selling artist – Emili Sandé.

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The Ice Designs – photo’s taken by me @ Bloggers Love event.

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Ocean Design – Picture from Twitter @HouseofHalos

Arlene maintain’s the slogan “a genuine desire to exceed client expectations“, which she has always been determined to exceed. This could definitely be achieved, as the first design she wants to release is the Peace collection. These pieces could definitely be added to any outfit to add an edge.“I think this will be a good initial design because it is on trend and a timeless fashion design, but also the fact of personal satisfaction in knowing by making their purchase they could be helping children less fortunate in this world. Things have to change and I’d be honoured if I could start a change just by a little necklace or bracelet.”

After 15 years at a professional level, Arlene has set herself high ambitions of making House of Halos a global success and the current aspiration is to see her products stocked in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. However; in order for this to happen, Arlene needs an investor who will help, along with her passion and fortitude, to create a brand that is world-wide established. Therefore, it is highly important that everyone passes the word around about this company!

So with certain motives of not only creating stunning pieces that would fill a huge gap in the market, but wanting to help make positive changes within the world, it’s only fair that this kind, and incredibly creative lady gets an investor on board so we could see these products in our stores as soon as possible.

Please do take a look at her website to check out the portfolios and photo galleries, and make sure you show your support by following her on twitter!

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@HouseofHalos

Facebook: House of Halos

Models in these photographs are seen wearing dresses designed by Kevin Freeman of Renaissance Couture, and Isabelle Randall.

Kardashian Kollection part 3

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Photo taken from Dorothy Perkins

I’ve got to admit I am a huge kardash-aholic – from the show to the clothes, I am always keen to keep up with them (excuse the pun). So when the first Kardashian Kollection line came out last August, I was down my local Dot Perkins as k-wick as possible. And here were are now, three trends down, and I’m still doing the same.

I have to say that yes, I was initially drawn to the clothes at first because of the name, but after trying on the clothes and feeling the fit, I feel that this is more than just a line of clothing made by some celebrities. This is because I find it extremely difficult to shop for my size. I’m 5ft 10ins tall, with a prominent hourglass shape. I have a large bust and booty (proud of it!) but a very tiny waist, which makes it really difficult to find clothes that fit me properly. Both dresses and skirts are too short, and tops will be too tight around the bust but then way too baggy around my waist.

However, the Kardashian brand is famous because of the Kim Kardashian kurves (yes I am going to use a ‘K’ wherever necessary!!), so they are designed to accentuate an hourglass figure. And since, I haven’t yet found clothes that fit me so well, whilst looking so fashionable like theirs do. They are also made really well and the fabrics used are extremely comfortable.

This Spring/Summer 2013 collection includes some fabulous pieces which you can see have all been designed specifically by the girls to match their tastes, such as the cream metallic high-waisted shorts and matching jacket that are advertised by Kourtney.

The seasons colour palette sees summery whites, marble-printed effect greys, essential black pieces and subtle pinks; including the gorgeous pink and grey ombre blazer.

So far (I say this lightly as I’m pretty sure in an hours’ time I’d have persuaded myself to buy the white bodycon dress) I have ordered the metallic high-waisted shorts mentioned above, the black PU panel leggings, and the pink blush sleeveless blouse. I think these pieces are essential for summer, and better yet I can match the blouse with both the shorts and leggings. What’s great as well is that I received a few Arcadia gift vouchers for my birthday so I used one to help pay for my order, but also you receive 15% for student discount on the Dorothy Perkins website.

I am able to pick up these lovely pieces tomorrow from my local store, and I can’t wait to try them on and see how they look – I’m hoping good! I will add another blog tomorrow to show you what I think.

In the meantime, if you’re interested at looking at some of the other beautiful pieces from their collection, and some amazing accessories, then head over to the Dorothy Perkins website now.

Enjoy!

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May favourites..

This month has been a bit of hit and miss weather wise, which I suppose is good thing during my exam period, however; the weather I wanted was the wrong way round (which is typical). At the start of the month I was doing some hardcore law revision in the sunshine and having major hay-fever attacks where I thought at one point I was going to lose my sight, and by the 12th, (my birthday) it was torrential rain all day, which is highly unusual for this time of year. Nevertheless, it’s not stopped me thoroughly enjoying some beauty favs; some of which I have bought, and others which I received as gifts for my Birthday.

First and foremost is Marc Jacobs Daisy Sunshine Eau de Toilette 50ml

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This perfume smells absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, I ran out of my Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, which is my strong scent I like wearing in evenings (mentioned it in previous spring tag blog), so I wanted to replace it with another as Light Blue, I find, is quite a scent suited for winter. On a recent trip to Boots, however, I noticed that this limited edition perfume had 20% off, which is always appreciated! I’ve always been a fan of Marc Jacobs Lola and admittedly, I’m a sucker for great packaging so loved them even more because of the lids, it just makes it that more appealing, so when I saw this offer I knew I had to buy it. This perfume oozes summer and is a perfect scent to wear at any time of day. There is a strong scent of citrus with a hint of flowers, and reminded me of Escada Pacific Paradise that I have worn summer a couple of years ago. It is long-lasting and I have worn it every day since I purchased it. It is limited edition and there is still a 20% discount so for a 50ml bottle you can purchase it for £36 instead of £45.

Secondly, is Mac Lip Pencil in Dervish.

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I only bought this lip pencil yesterday, but I know this is going to be one of my summer favourites. I wanted a lip pencil which is pretty much the same colour as my lips – but better. I know people may not see it but I have slight lip discoloration from an accident when I was two years old. I smashed my lip open on a radiator and had to have microsurgery to stitch my lip up back together. Considering the scale of the accident, I’m surprised my lip wasn’t left completely mashed up, but luckily has only left a white scar, however; I can notice when doing my makeup, if i leave my lips clean they do not look as full as they could. Therefore, using this I am able to fill my lips out whilst  maintaining a natural look – perfect!

This third product is something that I have sworn by for the past six years. It is the Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Face Mist.

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I use it during the winter when I’m feeling pale, and I use it even more as the summer months begin to near and I want to get a head start with my tan. I put it on at night after cleaning my face, and then by the time I wake up in the morning, I have a natural, streak free face and neck tan! It is simple to use, doesn’t leave strange streaks on the face and is still natural looking.

Now my next product isn’t a beauty one, but fashion! It’s a yellow and white clutch bag from Primark.

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I haven’t used this bag yet as I haven’t been able to go out because of revision! But I just know it’s going to come in very handy over the summer, due to the pastel colours which will match most things! I’m hoping to buy a few more as Primark offer a great selection. I’ve been fed up of using m bog-standard black studded shoulder bag so I’m going to try buy a few more to brighten up my outfits!

Cath kidston products are amazing. I’m loving this seasons new floral pattern, especially in this Washbag and Padded Coat Hangers.

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I received these as gifts off my Mum and I love them. I’ve always been a huge fan of theirs and love how every season they bring in new patterns. The washbag is going to be perfect for when I go away and I have used the padded hangers for my coats!

My favourite nail polish at the moment is the OPI Lacquer Nail Polish in ‘a good man-darin is hard to find’. 

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My nails have grown out a lot at the moment so I want to use loads of colours! But this nail polish is one of the most long-lasting and vibrant polish’s I’ve ever used so there is no need to constantly change it. I’m also obsessed with orange so this matches most of my outfits at the moment!

My favourite skin scrub is the St. Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Scrub.

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This is another item I swear by. I use it every time I shower and makes my skin feel silky smooth. It actually has kept spots and blemishes away from my face at the moment and smells amazing! It lasts a long time and is worth every penny.

Finally, is the Cath Kidston Blossom Set.

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These are two other products that I received as gifts. I’m not a big fan of using non-sensitive products because I have sensitive skin, however, these Blossom shower gel and body lotion have been very kind to my skin. They both smell like talcum powder which I love the smell of, and are very gentle to the skin. I’ve never used Cath Kidston beauty products before but after trialing these two I will be definitely using them again.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my May beauty fav’s and you may share a few of them! Let me know what you think below, and all products have links to a webpage where you can purchase them.

Products included:

Marc Jacobs Daisy Sunshine Eau de Toilette 50ml

Mac Lip Pencil in Dervish.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Face Mist.

Yellow and White Clutch Bag from Primark.

Cath Kidston Washbag & Padded Coat Hangers.

OPI Lacquer Nail Polish in ‘a good man-darin is hard to find‘.

St. Ives Blemish Fighting Apricot Scrub

Cath Kidston Blossom Set.

Fantasy Shopper…

Fantasy Shopper does exactly what it says on the tin. It is an online shopping market where females (and males!) that are obsessed with fashion and shopping can create their fantasy outfits, whether it be designer or high-street, without spending the huge price label that comes along with it. It is perfect for many kinds of people including those who spend their days browsing different sites for clothes, or an outfit they would love to buy but never can afford (that would be me) – or for the people who can’t help but spend their money online, but don’t want the guilt!

With an excessive wardrobe that holds thousands of different pieces for boys and girls, Fantasy Shopper provides a platform for users to pretend that they are a top stylist where they are able to design any outfit they like, without the judgement of others. And it’s just fun to get away from the stresses and strains of life by doing so!

With regular competitions, users are also able to have the opportunity to win (real money) vouchers for a variety of stores, simply by designing an outfit specific to a theme. What can seem easier than that?!

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Click to enlarge a photo. This outfit is designed for the latest event – Country Chic. I thought I’d take a different approach to this look by adding a punk/rock edge to the outfit – however kept the fringing and studs which is always a key part of a Southern look. 

What I think is great about this website is that it is a big community filled with people from all over the world, each one having a unique and individual style.  Each time someone uploads an outfit, they can be sending inspiration from different countries to someone who is in need of trying out another style to add to their wardrobe, but wouldn’t necessarily know what to choose, or maybe someone that is completely clueless of what to go for.

There is also a part of the website called ‘Style Assist’, where a user can ask for the assistance off others, whether it be if they’re not sure what dress to buy and want some help deciding, or wanting to know what kind of top to pair with an A-line denim skirt. The list is endless but the way users are able to communicate is great.

People are able to follow, like or comment one another, which makes the social interactivity of this website perfect.

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Click to enlarge a photo. This was my styled outfit for the event Snow Style and came in at a whopping £479.00 (was mostly the Michael Kors bag!) It was my first look I made and I got 19 likes which I thought was impressive!

Another great thing is that if someone was tempted to buy something but not sure what to pair it with, they can find the piece, or something similar in the online wardrobe, and try out various outfits before going out and actually buying the piece of clothing. This way they can figure out whether they want to buy it or not.

I log on a couple of times a week, yes for competitions, but also because it’s just fun. You can spend half an hour just making up crazy designs for the fun of it, and it doesn’t make you depressed like you do when browsing online stores when you know you can’t afford to buy something.

So if you fancy pretending to spend some money, want a bit of fun, or to have the opportunity to win some great cash prizes then log on to Fantasy Shopper and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter, it’s so worth it!

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http://www.fantasyshopper.com/

Twitter:

@fantasyshopper

@fernbjournalism