Monday, September 28, 2015

Things Taylor Swift taught us about life

There are many things that Taylor Swift has contributed to the world: countless boy-trashing love songs; country-pop music to the masses; a renaissance of Romeo and Juliet and the coordinating crop top and short style, but here are some of the things Taylor has taught us about living life...

1. Sometimes you've just got to lose your shit. It's okay.

2. SHAKE IT OFF. Everything. Just shake it all off.

3. Dance like you're in your bedroom with a hairbrush. 
Taylor clearly does it so it's fine for the rest of us.

4. Bad blood is not for the faint hearted. Don't cross a Swiftette or else.

5. Eugh. Justin Beiber is not the one. Soz. 

6. A life is complete with cats.

7. Sometimes people are just......

8. Pulling these move out at an awards ceremony, or in our case, any walk of life is never frowned upon. Anything Miley can do you can do better.

Thanks Tay-Tay.... 



Thursday, September 24, 2015

Culture Couture Exchange: How Fashion Trends from Different Cultures Became Popular Worldwide

In modern fashion, there are no clearly defined boundaries – any part of a folk costume can be easily adapted to and fused with modish clothes and accessories belonging to remote parts of the world. That’s one of the upsides of globalization: instead of hundreds of ethnicities defined by their unique clothing style, we now have only people with infinite possibilities of reinventing their looks using clothes the wear of which was once limited to one nation only. Thanks to fusion of different fashion trends, you can find inspiration for your outfit literally anywhere. Here, we bring you five nation-specific items that have become ultra-popular across the globe over the past decade.

1. Japan – Kimono

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Once used in Japan only, kimono stands for ‘a thing to wear’. Back in Japan, kimonos were straight-cut dresses with a waist belt (obi) and were made from silk and other premium fabrics, so they were expensive for an average American or European. Today, modern polyester and rayon kimonos are available in online stores at an affordable price. The traditional Japanese kimono designs and colors indicated political class, wearer’s virtues, clan belonging and season of the year, but the tones and patterns of their modern counterparts have nothing to do with the original symbolization.

2. India – Saree

Indian sarees are draped dresses crafted from a single long piece of fabric, and its use is not resorted to India alone: they’re worn in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, too. The saree’s stylistic versatility, infinite adaptability and aesthetic simplicity inspired fashion designers across the globe to create their own takes on the Indian costume. Often worn with an underskirt and a tight top (choli), the saree comes in a variety of fabrics, colors and designs and can be draped over a woman’s body in dozens of ways. From the subcontinent, the saree has spread to the rest of the planet, so don’t be surprised to see a European lady donning a piece of India at a formal ceremony.

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3. France – Beret

A headpiece worn by members of the Resistance in WWII, the beret is an easily recognizable clothing symbol of France that has recently become a part of the global fashion scene. Usually associated with rebels, army and the bohemia, the woolen cap can be worn with one end pushed to the side or it can be pulled over the forehead – both styles are hip and both denote a rebellious, progressive spirit. If you’re looking for a statement clothing item to add to your avant-garde wardrobe, you can go no wrong with the beret.

4. Chile – Poncho

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If you want to stay on the cozy side, try the poncho. Worn throughout South America, this warm, boho-chic clothing item is called chamanto in Chile. The chamanto differs from the traditional poncho getup in that it has a two-in-one design with reversible girlies: one side is light-colored for use during the day and the other is dark for nighttime wear. The Chilean chamanto was once made from silk only but can now be found in stores worldwide in many different fabrics, such as wool, polyethylene and cotton.

5. The Aztec tradition - Tribal prints

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Tribal prints have been a major fashion fad over the past years, but few people know the true origins of this unique clothing design. Although they have been somewhat modified to suit contemporary trends, tribal motifs such as plaids and stripes have their roots in the Aztec era. If you opt for tribal prints, make sure you wear them in moderation, outlined against a monochromatic outfit or as an accent on leather handbags, shoes, belts and socks.

When it comes to fashion, inspiration is everywhere – kimonos, sarees, berets, ponchos and Aztec prints are only some cool ideas for your next getup combination. Being multicultural wardrobe-wise is chic - just be careful which items you combine and what attitude you pair them with.

About the Author

Amy Mia Goldsmith is an Australian literature graduate who loves to read and has been writing since she was little. Her passion is beauty and fashion and she loves to spend her free time travelling and of course…. shopping! You can contact Amy on her Facebook page.


Monday, September 21, 2015

M IS FOR... An A to Z of fashion & beauty careers

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Continuing the new weekly blog feature, an A to Z of careers in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industries. 

There are a number of ways that you can become a make up artist and a variety of career paths you can follow within the industry. Firstly, you can go to make up school at somewhere like the London College of Fashion, or train on a make up counter like MAC and learn your craft or you can teach yourself with YouTube videos and practice on friends. Then once you are in the industry you can go down the retail route, working in a store with customers, work in TV, film or theatre as a special effects make up artist, work as a wedding make up artist, or work in the fashion and beauty industry as a red carpet and editorial make up artist. There really are so many doors open to you. Pay varies depending on the area you specialise in, celebrity make up artists who are usually freelance can earn six-figure salaries and retail make up artists who are guarenteed a monthly salary from their employer, can earn a lower salary and then commission on their sales. If you are creative and absolutely LOVE make up and beauty, this might be a fitting career for you!

As a machinist you will be making samples, clothing, shoes or accessories for a company or brand. You'll have to be a very skilled sewer and have great attention to detail for a role like this. There are number of ways you can train to be a machinist, taking a fashion degree or working as an intern in a design house and learning the ropes from the experienced machinists. For this role you will work very closely with the designers, pattern cutters and fabric buyers and play an active role in creating samples for fashion shows, one-off bespoke couture creations and altering samples for press or celebrity wear. The hours can be long, especially in the run up to fashion weeks and major red carpet events, but you have the ability to contribute to creating one of a kind pieces! Just imaging if you were a machinist working on the wedding dress of Kate Middleton in the McQueen design house!

All A to Z entries will be compiled in a little ibooks download in a little while, including further career suggestions, tips & insider information & a contacts list. Watch this space for the download link...


LOOK BEAUTY: Brow Perfect Palette

My final Look Beauty purchase was the Brow Perfect Palette. I used to use a Rimmel Brow Pencil, but have never really been satisfied with the results. With the ever more increasing prominence of the perfect brow -a new investment was required to keep up the grooming. Basically, the palette consists of 7 powder shades to fill and define brows, with an applicator, tweezers and fixing gel. Then there are a selection of brow stencils to ensure a constant shape. I like a good brow, nothing too 'Desperate Scousewives' but definition. So this for me is perfect. After tidying up my shape, I have used the fixing gel daily and on smart day, I powder in my brows using the second to darkest shade. Brow perfection!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Autumn wallpapers...

1. here 2. here 3. here
4. here 5. here 6. here 
 7. here 8. here 9. here
Download 'em all from the links to pretty-up your devices!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Five things when you're a twenty-something woman

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Yes, all us twenty-somethings have these thoughts. No it doesn't make us crazy, it makes us normal Gen Y ladies - so give us a break.

1. If you still don't know what to do with your life it's okay. Regular thoughts of packing it all in a relocating to the land of Aus or joining a wildlife conservation trust in the Lake District happen to the best of us.

2. It's okay if you aren't married or engaged. Don't let any man be putting a ring on it. When it's meant to happen it'll happen.

3. In this same vain, your biological click may be ticking, but it's not a time bomb. You're a long way from forty and have plenty of time for babies if you so wish. Calm yourself.

4. My bum/tum/thighs/*insert word here* look big in this. Well... maybe you ate that tub of Ben & Jerry's last night *big deal* if Cameron Diaz has days looking in the mirror and wondering if her bum looks big, you can be forgiven for thinking you aren't a Greek goddess, 100% perfect all of the time and sometimes worry your bum looks fat. 

5. You haven't got a winged eyeliner down and you can't rock a red lipstick. Neither of these things mean anything, ever (probably just a career in make up artistry isn't for you!). If you don't wear a spec of makeup, there are millions of women who would love your confidence. If you can rock a red lip and can flick your eyeliner on in a flash, good on you, please teach me the tricks of your steady-handed lining trade!

Good luck ladies, it's a crazy world out there!



From her Valentino shoes to her French Sole flats -the fashion conscious are falling over themselves to dress Olivia Palermo. She just seems so put-together, rarely a hair out of place and she knows the importance of layering and accessories. 

I think its because, although every outfit must be put together with meticulous planning, OP never  looks like she is trying that hard to be chic. She always manages to look quite effortless and natural. 

She epitomises the New York Chic look - think J Crew meets DVF. 

Don't even get me started on her handbag collection!!


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Surviving Fashion Weeks: A Little How To....

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So in the midst of Fashion Weeks, running around from show to show or working shows, here are my little tips to have the smoothest week so far.

1. Wear items with pockets. Getting a good shot at the last minute is crucial for both behind the scenes and in the audience, having phones handy in pockets to snap away is a must. Passes and tickets that can fit in pockets too is essential for easy travel and entrance. You don't want to be the one getting tutted at for holding up a queue of stressed fashionistas!

2. Yes it is okay to move forward a few rows if there are empty seats. You want the best view and the producers want the rows full. Just don't get caught, or do it at my shows!

3. This is your once chance to get happy snapping without annoying everyone. Everyone is Tweeting and Instgramming at fashion shows, so you won't clog up news feeds and get on followers nerves.

4. It is okay to hashtag millions of things in one tweet. The designer, the venue, LFW, front row tweets, the lot. Do it, Fashion Weeks last just a week, so its bearable for that time.

5. Navigate your route between shows prior to arrival. The worst thing is rushing from show to show and then getting lost or on the wrong tube line. Plan your journey to avoid missing shows, once they start you won't be allowed in as a late arrival!

6. Give tickets out to friends. No one wants to see an empty seat. If you can't make it or have a show clash, let someone else have your ticket or notify the PR agency so they can re-allocate your seat. Everyone wants a piece of the action and no one likes to see an empty seat!

7. Wear the designer to the show. Yes, well if you managed to slip into the McQueen show and aren't kitted out in the couture collection, that is okay. But appreciate the crowd, ambiance and dress appropriately. Gothic leathers are great for Acne, but not so great at Issa, where a floral trouser would be far more designer and audience appropriate.

8. Chat, chat and chat. The guest next door to you might be your VIP ticket to another show or party, so use the opportunity to network. Fashion Week's are the place to build your contacts and get some facetime in the industry. As a journalist or blogger Fashion Week is prime time to scoop exclusives and build rapport or as a PR or industry member it is the week to secure sales, clients and coverage.

Good luck over another season of fashion weeks fashionistas, see you on the other side!


Saturday, September 12, 2015


My favourite shoe shop has to be Russell & Bromley lately. Their shoes are just so chic, timeless and once you have worn them in -comfy too! I had been lusting after these patent loafers for too long. They fit well as they are a 38.5, 38's tend to be too small, 39's a bit too big, so its perfect when a brand makes half sizes (although you pay through the roof for it!) Anyway, I'm not complaining, these classic babies will serve me well and you can just get them re-soled when they wear out so hopefully they will last me a life time. Price-per-wear, that's mighty good value!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

L is for... An A to Z of fashion & beauty careers

Continuing the new weekly blog feature, an A to Z of careers in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industries. 

L IS FOR... Layout technician  
In the make up of any outfit or garment, fabric pieces have to be cut before they are sewn and assembled to make a piece of clothing or any accessories, and a layout technician' closely works with the pattern cutter to maximise space use when cutting out pattern pieces. A layout technician will ensure the best and most fabric-economical way to cut out a whole series of items to minimise fabric waste. For this role, a technical course in pattern cutting with a strong understanding of CAD technologies would be very useful and you also need to understand how a garment is put together and have a logical and creative way to see how to maximise the most space on fabric pieces. 

L IS FOR... Lab tester
Cosmetics and makeup are usually formulated in a lab environment, to add all of the ingredients to the product and package then to ensure that the products aren't harmful they will be trialed and tested to see how they perform. Nowadays, I am a firm believer that there is no need to test products on animals, human skin cells can be grown to test products on for allergic reactions and sensitivities. As a scientist or lab technician working with the development of new products, you will work with dermatologists and biologists to create new formulas for cosmetics and makeup, so a degree in biology or cosmetic science would be a great place to start. Combine your studies with some work in a lab and work experience with cosmetic companies where possible, and you could be developing the makeup, skincare, hair care and body care of the future!

All A to Z entries will be compiled in a little ibooks download in a little while, including further career suggestions, tips & insider information & a contacts list. Watch this space for the download link...


Insider Interview: Sarah Dillingham of Wedding Dress Sample Sale

In our next Insider Interview, we chat to Sarah Dillingham, founder and director of the Wedding Dress Sample Sale about changing careers and entrepreneurship.

1. What’s your usual working day like?

 My typical day falls into two categories:

I'm either helping our boutiques and newly weds create affordable dress listings on Wedding Dress Sample I'm talking with brides on social media and helping them discover the perfect designer dress that fits their budget.

During wedding fair season you may find me at a Chosen Wedding Fair or Vintage Wedding Fayre. Those are the days when I'm up at 6am, putting together racks of dresses and cursing my iZettle (online payment device - the wifi always goes down when you get a sale!).

Whatever I'm doing, I get to look at stunning wedding dresses day in and day out.

2. What was your dream job when you were younger?

I always wanted to be a journalist, so it was rather odd that I ended up in IT for 20 years!

After shelving that ambition for so long, I'm quietly chuffed that I have written two ebooks ('How to Buy your Wedding Dress' and 'How to Sell your Wedding Dress').

3. What's the best piece of career advice you've been given?

Opportunities don't always come when you expect them. Keep an eye out!

4. What's your number one style tip?

Be comfortable. Be yourself. Buy quality over quantity.

5. If you weren't doing the career you are now, what do you think you would be doing?

Probably still working in the City doing IT. I'd still be miserable too.

6. If someone was looking for a career change into your industry, how would you propose the best way is to start?

Get out there and talk to people. The bridal industry is pretty friendly so take the time to build genuine relationships and listen to what people are telling you about brides, the market and wedding trends.

Be realistic with yourself about whether your business model will work - how much do you need to charge for your product or service to break even? Remember to include the cost of sales e.g. advertising, wedding fair fees and travel.

If the numbers add up, then go for it - retrain, flex your existing skills and don't let anyone stop you.

I left my IT career due to burn out and decided to focus on my other love, dressmaking. I started a stall selling upcycled dresses and had a great time working at wedding fairs for a couple of years.

It was a natural step to combine my contacts in the bridal industry with my tech skills. I set up Wedding Dress Sample Sale to help brides find affordable wedding dresses.

There's no way I'd have known this was even an option when I was working in my corporate job.

Sometimes it's hard to imagine the future - you have to make a leap!

7. What's the best thing about your job?

Looking at beautiful dresses, chatting to excited brides and hanging out with wedding industry friends. Our conferences are something else - the cakes alone are incredible!

8. What's the toughest part of your job?

Keeping out the counterfeiters. I regularly say no to people wanting to advertise poor quality counterfeit dresses via our website. They can be very persistent which is tedious.

For this reason, we started a Quality Mark badge for genuine sample sellers to display on their websites.

9. Most proud career moment to date?

I'm proudest of the lovely feedback I've had from both brides and boutiques.

There are so many brides on tight budgets who fret that they won't be able to find the dress of their dreams. Knowing that I help to connect them with that perfect affordable dress is a great feeling.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Sitting on a beach somewhere sipping a cocktail.

Right now, we're looking to expand Wedding Dress Sample to the USA. There's no reason why we can't include Canada, New Zealand and Australia too.

When that happens I'll be heading straight for Bondi beach. Purely for research purposes of course. People get married on beaches don't they!?!? is the UK’s first website exclusively designed as a store front for Bridal Boutiques and Designers to promote and clear their sample stock, along with Newlyweds to sell on their pre-loved sample wedding dresses to savvy brides on a budget for up to 70% of full retail prices.

Read more insider interviews here and look out for our next Insider Interview.  

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