My work on STYLE.etc Magazine & Meeting will.i.am

Those of you who follow my Twitter and Facebook will know I’ve been up to quite a lot of things of late. One of them is writing for STYLEetc magazine. Above are photos of the AW12 edition for which I wrote a piece on London Fashion Week. You can pick up the magazine at various locations around Manchester, Liverpool and Chester or read it online. I have also been in London this week to meet the fabulous will.i.am, who was launching his new iPhone camera accessory. The range will be coming up North but it launches in Selfridges on 6th December, do go take a look at the set up in store as my friend Clarie who works with Will has designed it. You can read my article ‘It’s dope, it’s freaking, it’s jammywammy… it’s STYLEetc meets will.i.am’ online. It was fun meeting Will, he is such a nice guy and we shared a mutual appreciation of each others bling!

Airstep Winter Boots

I love getting a new pair of winter boots to stop around in. After my old army boots bit the dust I was debating what to go for this year. You can’t beat uggs for warmth but they aren’t the best shoes for walking dogs through muddy fields. When I saw these Airstep boots I was made up, with shaggy sheepkin and thermal insoles they combined the army and ugg boots. What is really cool is that the leg has a thin wire in the seam so that you can fold them up or down and they hold the shape. Have worn them most days since getting them, they are really comfy.

I hadn’t come across the brand before, this is their philosophy “Since their creation in 1972 near the Lac de Garde in Italy, Airstep has combined tradition and innovation. Quality materials and modern technology come together in the manufacturing process of their models for an unparalleled quality and design. Deeply rooted in the legend of Italian shoe making, AirStep creates audacious and creative models each season – perfect for fashionable urbanites as well as those looking for a stylish, sleek shoe.”

They have tons of gorgeous new styles, I am lusting after another pair. The tan ‘Page‘ are such a rich colour and would work well into spring too. Ah I know, we have only just had the first frost, well doesn’t hurt to think ahead right?

What do you think of Airstep, ever tried them?

The Original Crinoline

Crinoline 1860-65, sprung steel frame covered with wool and linen, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

I saw this beautiful crinoline at the V&A during my last visit. Looking up close at all the wire involved, made from steel and how it would hang from the waist by a slim belt really makes you reaslise how uncomfortable, even painful they could have been. Yet wear them women did. It doesn’t seem to matter what decade or country you look at in history, there will always be people going to extreme lengths for fashion.

Hello 6″ Platforms!

ÔÇ£Shoes must have very high heels and platforms to put womenÔÇÖs beauty on a pedestalÔÇØVivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood’s 1990 ‘Portrait’ collection was all about stepping out of a painting. Vivienne was hugely inspired by the Wallace Collection taking inspiration from things she saw there. With prints taken from Andre Charles Boulle furniture transformed into black velvet dresses with gold leaf. Details from Francois Boucher paintings were made into waist cinching corsets, pearl chokers and drop earrings adding to the opulent look. The key to the collection however were the pedestal’s the models were put upon, the 6″ platform heels. My black suede platforms are from that first collection, though you can still have a pair custom made from Vivienne’s shop today. Due to the sturdy platform and chunky heel they aren’t as difficult to walk in as you might think. I would only wear them for a night out, however it makes me smile to think in my teens I used to wear a pair of boots with this heel daily! These days I am lucky if I can manage a night out, ah the joys of youth.

Portrait collection and cabinet from the Wallace Collection

Vivienne Wore a pair of patent platforms to collect her OBE, she also flashed the photographers too!

A few years later Vivienne created the Super Elevated Platform shoes, which Naomi famously fell on the runway wearing. Here she is with Kate moss in looks from the Anglomania 1993 collection, I adore this photo of them. How I would love Kate’s coat.


You can see this great video of Vivienne taking a tour of the Wallace Collection and explaining the influence it had on her collections.

(Other images courtesy Vivienne Westwood Ltd)

Vivienne Westwood speaks out for Azza Suleiman

Amnesty International UK have just finished producing a video with Vivienne Westwood. Every winter, they ask people to send letters to those imprisoned unfairly, targeted for speaking out or seeking justice against all odds. A simple letter can bring hope, comfort and support to those suffering such human rights abuses. But it also shows those in authority that we will not stand by as they try to oppress such individuals or communities.

This year, Vivienne Westwood has come on board to support the campaign. Together they have made a film highlighting the injustice and abuse experienced by Egyptian woman Azza Suleiman, who was beaten unconscious simply for trying to help another protester. No one has been held accountable for the assault.

In the video, Vivienne talks about how it was a sense of injustice that first got her involved in punk.

You can find more information on Azza Suleiman here: http://action.amnesty.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1194&ea.campaign.id=17021 where you can find details on how you can help, be it signing the petition to the Egyptian president or sending a card of support to Azza.

Those of you who know me already know of my connections with Egypt so this is a cause close to my heart in many ways. I think it is wonderful that someone like Vivienne will lend not only their support but their celebrity to highlight cases of injustice.

My love of Panache Lingere

Is it just me or do all party dresses seem to create a problem for underwear? Why do they all seem to have these crazy straps and fabrics that make your regular bra super visible! Carrie Bradshaw might have been able to pull of the bra on show look but it isn’t for me, so I have the festive joy of having to find a bra to match my dress. I hate shopping for undies, hate it. I find it so boring and so annoying trying things on, so what I usually do is once I know the size I need from a brand I just stock up online. My fancy pants come from Agent Provocateur but my every day brand is Panache. The Moulded T-shirt bra is my favourite bra ever, it is so comfy and you can wear it under pretty much everything without having to worry about it. It comes in standard black, white and beige, what more could a girl need. Well going back to the party dress bra situation I can’t tell you how made up I was to discover the Panache porcelain bra range has been extended. There is now a Strapless bra and a Plunge bra in the collection. With the addition of the Viva to offer the bra in a different fabric and with more colour options. This has made me very happy indeed. I have been taking a look around their website and discovered they also do this fun range called the Cleo which you can see here – as much as I am partial to a plain bra they don’t make for an exciting blog post! The Cleo range however comes in all sorts of colours and styles, I really liked the cute candy shoot. What I noticed even about the fancier ranges is that they all have the same classic fit, designed for comfort. I am feeling tempted to stray from my basics. Whether I can cope with the pressure of having to match my undies every day is anther story.

Do you wear Panache? What’s you favourite lingerie brand?

Street Style: Westwood Darlings

Had to share this photo I took of my wonderful friends Chris and Christine, both head to toe in Vivienne Westwood – except Christine’s Dr Martins boots which are from the new Agyness Deyn collection, though we have doubts about how much designing she did. Christine is always being stopped by street style photographers, she says it puts a smile on her face. Love you guys!

Even the socks are Squiggle! With bright blue shoes.

Beauty: 18k Gold Nail Varnish – DIY or OPI?

After seeing my nails in my last post I got so many questions about them, were they a DIY or one of the expensive real gold nail varnishes?

Rarely for me they were a DIY! Ah now don’t get too excited it doesn’t end well – it never does. I first came across the gold leaf nail varnish when I saw the limited edition OPI ‘Man with the Golden Gun’ in honour of the new James Bond film. I tested it and was really taken with the shimmering, gold flakes – real 18k gold, but at ┬ú30 I was a bit hesitant about paying so much for a nail varnish, real gold or not. I went home and deliberated over it, agonised on Twitter where we debated trying it as a DIY.

Hmm I thought, lets see how much gold leaf costs – ┬ú2 for ten sheets of real 24k gold leaf, bargain. So I ordered it, it came, I scrunched it up, cut it into tiny pieces with sharp scissors, used a folded sheet of card as a funnel to pour it into a bottle of spare clear top coat, poked it in with the brush, gave it a good shake and that was it, simples! I painted it on and the results you can see on my nails above.

As you know I suck big time at DIY, so I was amazed I’d managed to pull this off. About an hour later I went to get my newly made nail polish to show off and erm it was starting to turn green. Yep that’s right real gold leaf dissolves in nail polish, in fact it totally dissolved over night and left me with a green lagoon coloured varnish yuck! I scoped around online to see if anyone else had managed to pull this off and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can do this so long as you use fake gold nail art foil and not real gold leaf foil, the fake gold foil doesn’t dissolve woop! But if you are a bit like me and find the beauty in this being the sheer luxury of having real gold on your nails there still is another DIY option. Cut up the gold leaf and just sprinkle it onto the nail, you can use a clear base coat or a colour, the leaf will stick to dry polish so let it dry or it gets messy, sprinkle it on and press down – I just used my fingers but you could use tweezers, then use a clear top coat to seal the gold onto the nail. This is what I did on my toes below, over Chanel ‘Rouge Carat’.

The DIY’s were very easy to do and they achieved a nice larger piece effect – you could cut smaller if you wanted to, I also think it would be great if you wanted to cover the whole nail. Whilst I was on ebay I managed to snag an OPI polish for half price, because by then I really wanted to try it for comparison. You can see the OPI varnish in the first photo over Chanel ‘Blue Satin’. The OPI is a richer, warmer toned gold and is in smaller pieces than my own DIY, the flakes sit flat on the nail bed but I put a clear top coat over to seal it. As the bottle is opaque it is hard to see how much you are getting onto the brush, so be sure to give it a good mix up. You can also use the brush to move the pieces around if you end up with a bald patch and of course layer it up for a more dramatic effect. I have to say I really do love the OPI and I think it is worth the money, however this is such an easy DIY if you only want to spend ┬ú2 then go for it. I will be trying out some different looks with the OPI and the DIY. Yes, I did wear my OPI to go see Skyfall, I confess!

Which do you prefer OPI or DIY?

Outfit: Uniqlo Heattech + 100 Giveaways

 (Wearing Uniqlo HEATTECH polo-neck and leggings, Marc Jacobs jumper, Vivienne Westwood skirt, Guess shoes, Fendi Clutch, vintage belt, Roberto Cavalli H&M ring)

Because the folk at Uniqlo are very nice and also because they believe in their product so much they have decided to giveaway 100, yes 100 items of HEATTECH clothing away to my readers!

If you have no idea what HEATTECH is well it’s a really great concept, clothes which retain the heat but without the bulky layers of traditional thermals. The designs are also really on trend and fun, ranging from lace trim leggings to vibrant print bobble hats. You can take a closer look online to see the full range and learn about how HEATTECH works. So, does it work? I hear you ask, well in a word yes. I’ve been living in these leggings which are so comfy paired with Keds and an old baggy plaid shirt. I layered up this outfit here to purposely show you just how fine the HEATTECH is, you could invisibly wear the leggings under trousers when it gets really cold. What else I was impressed about was that if you get hot the HEATTECH doesn’t cling or go all sweaty, it really breathes, leaving you comfortable at all times. What can I say I’m sold.

So if you would like to try out HEATTECH four yourself, for FREE no is your chance! All yo have to do is send me an email to:

fashionpearlsofwisdom at googglemail dot com

and the first 100 will receive a code which they can take into Uniqlo and exchange for a free item! Easy as that. There are a few T&C’s which are outlined below. The main thing to note is that they code can only be used in the Oxford Street, London store by the 18th Nov 2012 – so if you can’t make it down there by then please don’t take a code which someone else could use.

You can also interact on Twitter with the #HEATTECH tag and on their Facebook Page

Enjoy!

Giveaway T&C’s
1. codes issued are redeemable at Uniqlo 311 Oxford Street ONLY
2. Each code entitles the participant to one item of HEATTECH clothing only.
3. Codes can be redeemed until 18th November 2012 ONLY.
4. Offer only valid until stocks last.
5. Uniqlo (UK) Ltd maintain the right to withdraw this offer at any time for any reason without notice.
6. Uniqlo HEATTECH clothing will be distributed randomly based on size and gender of successful campaign participant. Participant’ HEATTECH samples can only be redeemed from valid in store redemption points. Participants cannot swap their given item with any stock on the shop floor, and cannot exchange their sample once redemption in compete. Nor can the sample be refunded for any monetary value in any Uniqlo (UK) Ltd store.

Have you tried HEATTECH before? What do you think of the concept?

Sponsored Video: Dr LeWinn – If It’s Good Enough for Jen

┬áJennifer Aniston, does she actually age? She’s one of these age defying celebs like Demi Moore and Michelle Pfeiffer who always look great, whilst the rest of celeb-dom end up like scary puffy faced aliens. I don’t know if they just have better surgeons or just good genes, but one thing I do know is that Jen is a fan of Dr LeWinns┬á non-surgical facial toning mask. There is a full range of premium skin care products designed to keep the skin looking smoother and rejuvenated – without surgery. What is really interesting is that the range was created by renowned plastic surgeon Dr LeWinn, as a response to pleas from celebrity clients wanting to improve their skin.

I had a play around on the Dr LeWinn website which has a skin analysis feature. All you do is tick the boxes which most apply to you and a series of products are recommended. I’m obsessed with targeting early wrinkles especially those around the eyes, I also want to tackle dark circles and┬á uneven skin tone. The products above are those recommended for me, I liked how it gave a few different options for me to choose from. The Line Smoothing Triple-action Day Defense caught my eye first, I’m a sucker for a fancy looking product and the coloured micro-sphere are just that. They aren’t just pretty though, the gold and lilac capsules contain caviar extract and blackcurrant oil to nourish and regenerate the skin. The high potency treatment mask sounds interesting too, I am intrigued by the fact that it come as an infused cloth to place over the face as opposed to a cream or gel. It would be especially handy for traveling since there would be no mess.┬á As a premium range the products are cheap (┬ú40-50 for skin care) but since they get such rave reviews and have received awards from high end glossie magazines I do think it would be nice to splash out for a treat. I will be sure to let you know if Santa slips any into my stocking!

You can find out more about Dr Lewinn on their Facebook and Twitter or check out the video below to see how the non-surgical toning mask works.

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