Sunday, 24 March 2013

Launches at the West End

It is a time for launching new ventures and projects and in one night it can happen to be invited to different events to celebrate something new. This is just a normal evening where fashion and food went hand in hand.
First stop at the Hippodrome Casino for the launch of Kapow! PR and  the international launch of the magazine Urban Coco.

Quite few celebrities came for the party. On the red carpet Madelaine Duggan and Cheryl Fergison from Eastenders and Baroness Oona King posed for the paparazzi while inside assistant coach for Tottenham Hotspurs Steffen Freund posed at the branding board for me and the photographers onsite.

From the Hippodrome, a short walk took me to 21 Romilly Street Soho W1D 5AF in a beautiful Georgian townhouse, the discreet site of the French restaurant Gauthier for the launch of the book " Vegetronic" by the  Michelen starred chef Alexis Gauthier. During the evening it has been possible to sample some of the recipes from the book, delicious I must admit, and then I had the privilege to receive a signed copy from Monsieur Gauthier, which I'm going to experiment with. A perfect excuse to eat more greens in a stylish way. This book is not a vegetarian cookbook at all, but it emphasises the use of vegetables putting them on the front rather than being just a side of the main dish.

Kaffe Fassett " A Life In Colour" at the Fashion and Textile Museum

This post is dedicated to all of you needlepoint, knitting lovers. Kaffe Fassett, the American artist who with his colourful artworks has given in the last 50 years a new life for these manual craftsmanship has got an exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum at 83 Bermondsey Street SE1 3XF from the 22nd of March until the 29th of June.
During the visit, Kaffe Fassett answered questions about his works, declaring that nothing has been used apart from his hands to make all his gorgeous quilts and rugs  and cushions etc. He doesn't use the computer to create the prints, actually he doesn't own a mobile phone or a computer or an iPad, nothing of those modern technological gadgets that everyone is a slave of. All of Kaffe Fassett 's drawings have been done freehand and then hand stitched or knitted or embroidered by himself or in the case of large commissions with the helps of his assistants.
This festive work has been commissioned by Marks and Spencer for a Christmas limited edition merchandising few years ago. Kaffe Fassett designed this composition and it has been depicted on biscuits tin boxes, bags and other items sold during the festive time. Maybe somebody has still got a box with Kaffe's design somewhere in the house.

I love these hats, I'm sure that if you ever visit this exhibition, the temptation to recreate this work will come to you in a jiffy. I'm sure because this is what I want to do, start looking for sweet buttons and when I will have a great selection I will put my efforts in creating a beanie hat inspired by the Pearly Queen's style.

As well as the exhibition, the Fashion and Textile Museum has organised a series of talks and workshops where Kaffe Fassett will be present to talk about his works and to sign copies of his book that is sold at the museum's gift shop. Check the website for dates during the next 3 months  where tickets can be bought in order to be certain that a place is  reserved given the limited availability.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days

Four new Ukraine fashion designers have been launched with the Mercedes Benz fashion showcase during London Fashion Week at Fashion Scout, held at the magnificent Freemasons Hall.
Anna Kolomoets, Iuliia Paskal, Yasya Minochkina and Anna October, shared the catwalk with four mini shows sewed together.
The show introduces these four new fashion designers all of them recently graduated but with firms ideas in mind and a precise goal, leaving a mark in the fashion industry.
Anna Kolomoets is the youngest of the group of these Ukraine designers. Her debut came when she was only 16 and now she is studying fashion design  in her country. I love this monochromatic ensemble and the coat with the leather sleeves in contrasting colour.
Yasya Minochkina enhance the female body with garments that give curves and using silk, velvet and brocade. This collection takes inspiration from the Hollywood glamour in the 1950s. I like the Prince of Wales fabric in pastel colour. It is something that Katherine Hepburn would have wanted to wear it.

Iuliia Paskal  has founded her label " Paskal" in 2010. Graduated as an architect, she transferred her professional formation into fashion. This black coat with metallic inserts is very new and I love it. It is perfect for those grey wintry days, the metallic fabric might catch some sun rays  for a mood boost.

Anna October uses high quality fabrics and a great attention to details. This coat follow the body's silhouette and the metallic trimmings give light to the whole outfit.

KTZ Autumn Winter 2013

KTZ shows are always much coveted because of the breath of fresh air and ideas that this team of designers bring every season to an audience ready to be surprised by the bold designs of the collection. Staged at the Courtyard Tent in Somerset House during London Fashion Week the security officers had to contained a huge queue eager to see the new collection.
This season the invitation came in the form of a tarot card. The inspiration for this collection already appealing to me.
And I wasn't disappointed at all. All the 22 Major Arcana cards came out to life in the most striking outfits.
Tarot reading has always been a fascinating field for many with all the symbols depicted on the cards and this collection has managed to bring all the mystery surrounding this clairvoyance practise. If you ever seen a tarot deck, every single card is a small work of art, with known artists who have given their skills to create a deck especially in the last few decades. Tarot reading was born in Italy in the 15th century and it is still very popular all over the world.
I love this jumper with the " Wheel of Fortune" on the front. Teamed up with a white shirt underneath it complete the circle of life from the lightest colour to the darkest one.
In here I love the collection of jewellery. Chunky chain holding huge tarot cards charms. And the wrist cuffs are bended tarot cards. I think that they may feature in my wish list.

This coat remembers the Order of the Golden Dawn, an esoteric society whose members included one of the wickedest man in the world Aleister Crowley creator of one of the darkest tarot decks in existence. One meeting points of the Golden Dawn members wasn't so far from Somerset House where the show has taken place. The Covent Garden area has always been very occult and esoteric.
The card number VI or 6 is the favourite of everyone because it calls for the lovers, so it is a love card. This beautiful ensemble with  fur patchwork will give just the warmth of a lover's embrace.
Bright and colourful, I love this dress and the clutch bag that is a huge tarot card is a favourite of mine. The print reminds me of the back of a tarot card, often as beautiful and arty as the front. I'm looking forward to see the collection in store and maybe gift myself with something. I will either go to 57 Greek Street in Soho W1D 3DX or at the Notting Hill one at 86 Golbourne Road W10 5PS.
The duo of the Kokon Tozai aka KTZ label Koji Maruyama  head of design and Marjan Pejoski creative director and the end of the show greeting their guests.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Carlotta Actis Barone Autumn Winter 2013 2014

Carlotta Actis Barone will never "only" create a collection. All her designs have  cultural inspirations  that  set her apart from other fashion designers. Social messages, revisited operas and this season contrasts are the star of the catwalk with monochromatic  garments. The images and the concept references for this season have been inspired by the Italian artist Manuela Corti and two of her original 1990s works have been given exclusively for this collection for the prints on some of  Carlotta Actis Barone's creations. The slogans for this season are " Fashion Forgery " and " Fashion Clockwork".
As you can see the clothes are very sophisticated, black and white the main palette with cream and grey for a bit of a twist.
This sheer long dress with shorts underneath is beautiful and I like the diagonal cut of the top. Gives movement and a figure.
This coat is gorgeous and the lining sports the Manuela Corti  work of art. The leggings have the same print on the side and the top in total black with the white hem is just great.

Monochrome  dress with sheer pleated skirt. The contrast is evident between strong and soft materials.
In here as well the sheer net is in contrast with the fabric for a peek a boo effect.

Evening dress in dark grey and black with contrast of soft net and opaque jersey.

Carlotta Actis Barone at the end of the show greets her guests.

"photos by Marco Fazio, LBIPP, mjfstudio photographic bureau"
Backstage at the Freemasons Hall for the Fashion Scout, during London Fashion Week just before the show, Carlotta Actis Barone, artist Manuela Corti and me.

Cosmetics A La Carte Stay Put Eyeliner

Cosmetics A La Carte makes the most delectable cosmetics, I've used them regularly and they last long on the dace, they smells deliciously and the choice of colours is enormous. The shop is at 19b Motcomb Street Knightsbridge SW1X 8LB. The idea that any cosmetic in store can be personalised to suit the colour and composition of the skin is amazing and with 30 years experience and the fact that this company has been founded by two chemists is a better guarantee that anything else.
I've been testing their fabulous  " Stay Put Intense Liner", a product that is going to be a fixture in my make up bag. The black colour, the precise nib, the drying time of only 15 seconds and the fact that it stay at its place until removal at the end of the day are all factors that make this eye liner the new best friend of all of us.
I've road tested it while on the bus. Raise your hand if you've never had your make up applied while on public transport....I can't see many hands up, so all of you know what does it mean apply a liquid eyeliner while on the go. We all end up looking like that David Bowie cover " Aladdin Sane" with the lightning on our faces. Well, with the "Stay Put Liner" no mistakes like that, the trait is firm and it doesn't smudge. Easy to draw a flick as well. Pop at the shop in Knightsbridge or order online for this amazing tool of beauty.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Paolita Swimwear Fashion Show at Baku London

I've been a fan of Paolita swimsuits since when I've met Anna Paola, the designer, during a London Fashion Week few seasons ago. This February, during London Fashion Week, the brand teamed up with Pink Powder Jewellery for a show at the sophisticated Baku London  at 164-165 Sloane Street SW1X 9QB.
Showing swimsuits during the Autumn Winter collection ? Of course, most of us during these cold months stay at home, but now quite a few people are  taking their holidays to go to Jamaica, Barbados, Thailand and other warm places and they need a swimsuit and they know that they can buy one, or more than one at Paolita Boutique  at 18 New Quebec Street W1H 7RX.
All Paolita designs are very sophisticated and with a hint of vintage making them unique. The colours are bright because wearing a swimsuit means that it is time for a holiday and brightness is a part of the holiday mood.
This bikini is sooo sweet, the line has got cover ups and shorts as well for the full beach look. The cover up is perfect worn while having lunch or going for a walk with some serious shopping involved. The necklace and bracelets are part of the collection by Pink Powder  where semi precious stones are used together sterling silver, velvet and silk.

Beautiful pastel colours for this fullsuit, pale lavender, yellow aquamarine in an intricate print that shows off any tan. Here the model is holding a huge beach bag in organic cotton by Antonello, handmade on a traditional loom , dyed with natural dyes from Sardinian plants and flowers and perfect to carry all the essentials during a day on the beach.

This cover up is great as a mini dress as well. Light fabric and original prints by Anna Paola makes this garment a small work of art. A line of swimsuit is available as well for a complete look.

Another cover up that match a collection of bikinis and full suit. Great worn with denim as well, a perfect solution for a very light suitcase for a week and away or just for save space in case a shopping spree is on the cards. The Antonello bag is in white organic cotton, perfect for a walk in the afternoon.
This cover up is fantastic in see through lace, bright orange or pink. Even after one day on the beach, wearing this cover up will enhance a tan barely there.

This stripy bikini is a Paolita classic. Every season different colours are going to be used for both bikinis and fullsuits. The design is very 1950s especially the fullsuit reminding me of those Hollywood divas with platinum blond hair and huge sunglasses.

The end of the show, Anna Paola, designer of Paolita and Vasso from Pink Powder greet their guests as well as press and buyers who enjoyed the collection. Among the celebrities Steffen Freund assistant coach of Tottenham Spurs and boy band Times Red who surely appreciated the models on the catwalk.

And here they are, Times Red fresh from X Factor together with singer Kady Z, fresh from the Grammy's and the sponsors for the ice cream offered before the show Francesca ed Ariela from Il Gelato di Ariela. Nothing better than a ice cream to team with a swimsuit catwalk.

Dans La Vie " Invisible Enemy Threat Found"

Dans La Vie by Rira Sugawara is a show that I always looking forward to. It is fun, it is colourful, the music is great and the collection is always a nice surprise.  For the Autumn Winter season Dans La Vie sent on the catwalk beautiful coats in leather and oilcloth fabric, a Rira  Sugawara signature, with her colourful prints depicting among other what I think it's her favourite Raphael's painting " Madonna del Cardellino".
The theme for this season is very dark and the models covered faces bring drama to the show, inspired by the threat of cyber attack.
The show has been hosted by Fashion Scout at the Freemasons Hall during London Fashion Week and as usual it attracted a big crowd.
This jacket is gorgeous with its intricate print with the High Renaissance painting's detail repeated like a pop art work.

I love this coat with the huge collar and the wide belt that gives a nice shape to the whole outfit.

This mac in snakeskin print with a hint of a peplum at the waist makes you want you to wish for a  rainy day any day just to wear it with pride and be the envy of everyone else.
Another Dans La Vie signature trait is the crinoline and every collection I can see a new take on this garment. Personally I love it.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Belle Sauvage Autumn Winter Collection 2013

It is true the everyone remembers the first love or the first kiss. In Belle Sauvage 's case, it has been my first ever fashion show and I will remember forever. So I was quite happy to see this fantastic fashion couple's new collection. Gothic and baroque and Renaissance  are the inspiration for this season. The patterns are very rich, reminding me of tapestries  hanging in medieval  castles. The colours used are red, purples, black while fabrics range from crepes, wool, taffetas and jaquards. The style is quite tailored with pencil skirts, blazers and dresses. The print of the Tigers against the Dragons give that hint of Far East look seen as well on make up and hairstyle for the models.

Virginia Ferreira and Chris Neuman are behind the label Belle Sauvage and now they've got a huge following thanks to their collections, always wearable and the prints that are a signature for the brand.

This fur cape in purple is gorgeous and match perfectly the outfit. We need colours during the cold, dull winter months and Belle Sauvage collection gives us just what we need, colours.

Dresses became my new staple. This one for example would be perfect with thick tights, maybe in some colour that could recall one in the print. Or it can be worn as a tunic over a pair of denim or black leggings. And in the summer, ditching the fur collar is perfect on its own.
Another favourite of mine with the purple print. It really takes you through all the year, just changing the accessories and you've got a new look every single time.

This outfit is amazing. The magenta fur cape and the suit is something that will put a smile on everyone's face, especially if worn on a cloudy day. The print is exquisite, with Belle Sauvage there will always be high quality patterns and prints.
At the end of the show Virginia Ferreira and Chris Neuman are greeting their guests. The show at the Freemasons Hall organised by the Fashion Scout  was packed, literally hundreds and hundreds of people came to be amazed by this fantastic show, a guaranteed success from this golden couple of the fashion industry.

Nico Didonna Autumn Winter Collection at Baku London

During a four days event at the prestigious Baku London at 164-165 Sloane Street SW1X 9QB Italian designer based in London Nico Didonna, amazed again the fashion pack with a sophisticated collection reminiscing of the Jazz Era during London Fashion Week.  Through the freedom of that music period that  " The Modern Jazz Era" collection has been created. The beautiful soundtrack arranged by Alex Blanco gave a fantastic atmosphere during the show with covers of jazz classics while the models came down from the staircase in a flurry of silk, crepe and magnificent colours.
The show was beautiful and the place was absolutely packed. The show started from the upstairs lounge where many guests were seated on plush leather sofas then they were coming down from the spiralling staircase in the restaurant, transformed for the occasion in a catwalk stage.
Nico Didonna put emphasis on a woman's body. Every curve is enhanced to the max. This dress is fabulous in a plum tone with metal chains on the front. The jacket is  silver grey with a surprise purple lining.

These red trousers have got a double life. They can be either let loose like worn by the model, or they can be tied up around the leg for a different look. As well as in red, these trouser are available in cobalt blue.
This wrap around blouse in iridescent purple is a beauty. Teamed up with Karen K shoes and Nadia Minkoff clutch.

White and blue brocade mixed together for this line of dresses. With the same concept the collection has got different models in length as well as cut. It is so feminine and really gives a waist even if there is a lack of it thanks to the shape formed by the brocade.
Floating blue cobalt nipped at the waist dress. It is complete, just add great shoes, in this case Karen K 's and a clutch bag to die for.  
A red carpet version of the white and blue brocade cocktail dress. In here the fishtail has got a iridescent purple petticoat and matching shoulder strap.  The effect is very mermaid like.

Nico Didonna at the end of the show together with former supermodel and shoe designer Karen El Khazen who supplied the Karen K shoes for the runway. On the front row, among many celebrities, the latest star of the universe, the dog Pavarotti who has been photographed by everyone and he landed on premium magazine Forbes and many other websites.
At the after show party, held at the bar Lounge in Baku London, pop singer and songwriter Kady Z, spokeperson of Herbal Essences and  whose last appearance has been at the Grammy  treated the guests to an acoustic gig introducing her single " Crashing Down". Daughter of singer and actress Pia Zadora, she is a real daughter of art, talented and at the same time very genuine and a pleasure to be with. Check her music at
Supportive as always, Nancy Dell'Olio came to the show with a friend and she met Pandemonia, the conceptual artist and blond bombshell, a habitue of the best fashion shows. Ms Dell'Olio appreciates Nico Didonna's work and often she can be seen wearing one of his outfits.