Thursday, 15 March 2012

Fashion: L'Odyssee de Cartier.

An epic achievement. Just brilliant. Well done, Cartier.


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Fashion: Going Backstage - Hunger for Insider Access

Whilst undertaking my degree in Fashion Communication, I gained a placement working for a well known and acclaimed model casting director during London Fashion Week. During this time, I became utterly fascinated with the behind the scenes of the fashion industry; the hard work which goes into creating fashion productions, the endless months of planning for creating a collection for subsequent shows and presentations, right through the chain to how ad campaigns are produced and publication photo shoots and fashion film.

I was fascinated by this so much, that I based my entire final year project around exploring the behind the scenes of the fashion industry, and subsequently created a luxury image-driven fashion publication entitled 'BACKSTAGE', for my final major project. This documented the processes involved in producing a fashion show, giving the growing fashion hungry audience a chance to explore elements of fashion shows which are usually only seen by those working in the industry, from the initial model edits through to castings, hair and make-up tests and production teams working behind the scenes.

My publication won me the Hachette Filipacchi Media and Design Award at Graduate Fashion Week 2010 and since then, I have only seen the hunger build  and build for fashion consumers desire to see more than just an retouched image on a magazine page, or the final cut of a video on SHOWstudio or Nowness; they want to know everything about the initial processes of a photoshoot, what the fashion director is wearing for work, the months of planning behind features and securing interviews; every last detail.

This trend is really hitting hard now across all industries, and particularly fashion, with events like the Vogue Festival including Q&A sessions with Jourdan Dunn and some of fashion top models for their view on the industry and a behind the scenes look at a Burberry shoot, ELLE UK's 'What the Editor Wears' and 'What ELLE Wears to Work' blogs and ELLE UK live tweeting from cover shoots. 

The demand for an access all areas insight is only increasing brand awareness (and profits) - most notably, heritage British fashion house Burberry are leading the way with access for everyone; catwalk shows are streamed live online, looks are instantly shoppable and their Twitter stream previews each look before the models head down the runway (Tweetwalk), making the fashion enthusiast sitting at home watching the show just as important to brands, as the fashion editor on the front row.

It's really interesting seeing how fashion houses, designers, magazines etc are really making an industry that was once only laid bare for select insiders, now open for everyone. I wonder how brands/publications/designers will develop this idea of access for all and what they will do next...

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Fashion: The Cambridge Satchel Company.

The Cambridge Satchel Company have been on my radar for sometime now. They make classic satchel bags which are all made in Britain in a fantastic array of colours and you can even personalise them with your initials in gold, silver, black or blind de-bossing. Very, very covetable and purchasing one has been high on my wishlist for a long while.

Now, on Thursday whilst typing away at work my phone buzzed and I saw a tweet from the Cambridge Satchel Co announcing that I'd won their 8,000 Twitter Followers Sparkly Satchel Giveaway! I was randomly selected out of their Twitter followers to receive one of their beautiful Sparkly Satchels - a new design for 2012. Such a wonderful surprise to receive one of these beautifully made and very covetable satchels.

After a few emails back and forth with the wonderful Emma at the Cambridge Satchel Co, I decided on the 13" Graphite Grey Sparkly Satchel, with my initials blind debossed on the front. And because this is a special giveaway prize, they debossed the number 8 (for 8,000 Twitter followers) on the satchel strap, so it is truly very special. Joe (my better half) was born on 8/8/88 so not only is 8 his lucky number, it's also now mine.

My satchel arrived safe and sound this morning and I did a little squeal when I opened the packaging! Thanks Cambridge Satchel Company - my sparkly satchel is perfect!


Beauty: Liz Earle & favourite new products

Over the the past 12 months, I've become completely obsessed with all things beauty - it all started with a love of nail art which has grown into a bigger love of new beauty products, not just for nails but across skincare and make-up lines - and of course, I've discovered some brilliant beauty blogs in the process (NB: gh0stparties and Sparkly Vodka)

I'm not saying I was a beauty novice before - I've always been a Chanel lipstick and perfume kind of girl, but never really sought out new products to try. Fashion and beauty sit very much hand in hand for me, so I'm not sure why I haven't delved into the brilliance of this industry sooner - I now read as much into beauty trends as I do fashion trends. Adopting beauty trends can be an easy access into the world of high fashion trends - catwalk looks can easily replicated at home and products are very much affordable for the average person; it doesn't cost much to look good.

My daily beauty routine has significantly changed in the past 12 months. No longer being limited to student funds, I have a (small) disposable income to spend on higher quality skincare, make-up lines and beauty treats; gone are the days of using Simple facial wipes (although these are good and practical for when I'm away or feeling lazy) but I'm very much a Liz Earle girl now.

The most significant change in my beauty routine has been the skincare products which I use, which have  resulted in my skin being clearer and softer than it's ever been before.

I'm currently using the complete Liz Earle skincare line; Hot Cloth Cleanser, Instant Boost Skin Tonic and Skin Repair Moisturiser. They complement each other brilliantly and as a result of using this skincare line, my skin has dramatically improved.

For that stubborn eye make-up (I daily pile on the mascara and black, black eyeliner), I've been using Caudalie's Cleansing Water as recommended over on Liberty London Girl -  a very, very gentle cleansing water which removes every last trace of make-up. This is a product I use probably a couple of times a week - it's slightly more expensive that an average cleanser, so I'm savouring every last drop.

Favourite new products

Primers have become a staple in my make-up bag. I can't believe that I hadn't previously used these under my foundation and they have quite literally revolutionised my make-up staying power. I'm currently using The Present by Philosophy (although I do have Benefit's The Porefessional winging it's way to me in the post to try out too). The first time I tried out this primer under my foundation, I had several complements saying I looked glamourous, which, after a long day at work, was a real surprise! The Present makes your skin look beautifully airbrushed and quite literally erases pores. A real keeper.

My good friend Catherine recently introduced me to Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. My eye make-up seems to dissolve into thin air or crease heavily as the day goes on, and since purchasing this a couple of days ago, I can't believe how I ever managed without it! My eyeshadow and liner are kept firmly in place by this miracle product so I don't need to re-apply if going out straight from work.

Lastly, a new little addition to my make-up bag is Bobbi Brown's new Ink Liner from her Neons and Nudes Collection. I picked up this gem on Buyapowa and it's perfect for when I just want a quick flick of eyeliner for those rushed mornings before work.

What are your current favourite products?

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