I like the idea that New Year’s Day is the new New Year’s Eve! There’s so much pressure to have so much fun on New Year’s Eve that if you haven’t drunk enough you might notice that the service is a bit crap and the sound system isn’t that great, and your ticket was overpriced (but that’s supply and demand). Also I’m not really big on queuing for events (especially when you have a ticket) and I really hate that there is always a queue for the woman’s loo.
This season quite a few people I know are having a quiet night in and are celebrating New Year’s Day! There are lots of venues that are having New Year’s Day parties like Old Queen’s Head pub in Islington and Ministry of Sound. It does sound tempting but I can’t resist tradition, so for me it’s New Year’s Eve, a fun frock, cocktails and dancing with friends!
For some reason it feels quite exciting to sit in a big chair! You can’t help but feel a bit silly and delighted at the same time! This chair is the largest rocking chair ever made and is at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
William Tempest in a big chair at Kensington Palace.
I love carousels. They are just so beautiful and magical. I’ve wanted to rent on for a shoot for ages! Saying that, I’ve never been on one, not even when I was little but I’m fascinated by them and can’t pass them by without stopping and taking a photo. This carousel is currently outside the Natural History Museum in London.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with the lovely model Max Rogers (you may recognise him from the recent Tommy Hilfiger campaign). I recently worked with Max at the Birmingham Clothes Show and I noticed a t-shirt he was wearing in the finale. This shirt was actually in support of a charity he has been working with, the Environmental Justice Foundation.
"From my point of view I feel that as a model it is ultimately my business to sell products and in particular clothing, therefore I feel that to campaign for the cause of the ethical trading and manufacture of that clothing is a good way to use what I do for a living in a positive way." Max Rogers
As a consumer we can all help directly by simply considering the source of our purchases and how they were brought to market. EJF is committed to eradicating child labour and the deadliest pesticides from cotton production and promoting organic alternatives.
Over two thirds of the world’s cotton is grown in developing countries and the former Soviet Union (including Uzbekistan). Valued at over $32 billion every year, global cotton production should be improving lives, but although some progress is being made, the unsustainable, inequitable and abusive conditions under which much of the world’s cotton is produced, continues.
Pesticides – Pesticides are hazardous by design — these are chemicals manufactured with the aim of killing, repelling or inhibiting the growth of living organisms.Cotton grows on 2.4% of the world’s arable land, yet it is responsible for the release of over US$ 2 billion of chemical pesticides each year. Nearly half of these are considered toxic enough to be classified as ‘hazardous’ by the World Health Organisation. Endosulfan is one the worst deadly chemicals used in cotton production.
EJF is campaigning for a global ban to end the wide spread of Endosulfan. Up until now, a growing number of countries have instituted national bans preventing the manufacture or use of this deadly pesticide.
I saw this picture at a location house that we were shooting in and thought it was perfect for Christmas Day. I used to love Christmas Day when I was little but as I got older it lost that magic. A few years back I found the magic again by simply going for a walk outside. The city is so quite, almost deserted but you don’t feel alone – it has this otherworldly feel that you don’t have any other time of year.
Fudge has always made me happy. I associate it with fairs, fun, going to Niagara Falls and Christmas. It’s one of those treats that is simple to make and always festive. This picture was taken at a market stall in Spitalfields.
350g/12oz dark chocolate, at least 70 per cent cocoa solids, chopped
1 x 397g/14oz can condensed milk
150g/5¼oz unsalted pistachios, shells removed
1. Place the chopped chocolate, condensed milk, butter and salt into a heavy-based pan over a low heat and stir until melted and well combined.
2. Place the nuts into a freezer bag and bash them with a rolling pin, until broken up into some large and some small pieces.
3.Add the nuts to the melted chocolate mixture and stir well.
4. Pour the mixture into a 23cm/9in square tray, smoothing the top with a wet palette knife.
5. Let the fudge cool, then refrigerate until set.
6. Cut into small pieces approximately 3cm x 2cm/1¼in x ¾in. Cutting 7 x 7 lines in the tin to give 64 pieces best achieves this.
7. Once cut, the fudge can be kept in the freezer – there’s no need to thaw, just eat straight away.
So Christmas is only a few days away & for those of you still struggling to find those last minute gifts, I have a few suggestions from my beauty wish list:
Candy Eye’d Eye Shadow Helper by Lime Crime
This is an amazing new eye shadow primer. The texture of this product is unreal. It helps to intensify pigment colours without changing the tone of the product. Its also gets more wear out of your eye makeup by helping the eye shadows to last longer on the lid. It’s definitely one of my favourite break-out products for 2010!
Make is Art Book- Creative Makeup Book by Jana Ririnui and Lan Nguyen.
A new addition of the fabulous, creative collaborative beauty book by AOFm. This addition has 70 new added pages to inspire you and get your creative cosmetic juices flowing. Available on the AOFM pro website http://www.aofmpro.com, from Soho bookstore in London or on Amazon.com
Lashes at EyLure
So many women these days crave that extra bit of lash but also want it to look like lush natural lashes. A lot of false lashes look too false. These lashes from Ey Lure are inexpensive and give natural enhancement to lashes. A perfect little stocking stuffer! Don’t forget to include a tube of Duo Adhesive!
Body Butter at The Body Shop
Nothing feels as soothing and luxurious on the skin as the Body Shops Body Butter. They come in so many delicious flavours but I am totally yearning for a tub of their new Spiced Vanilla. Sounds Sinfully yummy!
Apom pour Femme by Francois Kurkdjian Paris
I received a sample of this fragrance last New York Fashion week in a goody bag and have been obsessed with it ever since. It’s a beautiful scent that incorporates orange blossom, cedar and ylang-ylang. I wore it recently while working backstage at the Clothes Show in London and all the models kept commenting on how much they loved my perfume. A definite hit!
I have always been a huge fan of sportswear. Sportswear is more exciting than most people realize as it’s really all about innovation of fabrics and technology. Speedo’s revolutionary LZR Racer swimsuit was so effective that it was able to reduce race times by around 2%. During the The Beijing Olympics 94% of all swimming races were won while wearing a Speedo LZR! The Federation Internationale de Natation deemed it unfit to use the Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit and it was banned from competion – many considered the suit "technological doping."
This caused a surplus of the suits. Instead of sending the products to a landfill Speedo had a more responsible solution. They chose to work with London College of Fashion, University College Falmouth and University of Huddersfield’s students to create new designs.
Here are a couple of the re-designs that I saw at Fashion Press Week!
Speedo have created a new range of the LZR Racer Elite that are fully approved by FINA. Here’s a bit of info from Speedo’s press release about why the Speedo LZR Racer Elite is so special:
LZR Pulse Fabric:
The Speedo LZR Racer Elite is constructed from Speedo’s unique LZR Pulse fabric. Ultra Lightweight, powerful and water repellent, LZR Pulse reduces muscle oscillation and skin vibration through compression. This fast drying fabric is water repellent and also offers low skin friction drag.
Unique 3-D Three Piece Pattern:
The Speedo LZR Racer Elite is constructed with Speedo’s unique 3-D, three piece pattern. Derived from more than 400 body scans, the 3-D, three piece pattern is dynamically engineered to optimize the shape of the swimmer.
The Speedo LZR Racer Elite range utilizes a fully bonded construction. As in the revolutionary LZR Racer, which was the world’s first fully-bonded competition swimsuit, the Speedo LZR Racer Elite features ultrasonically welded, bonded seams to create a smooth yet flexible streamlined surface.
Hydro Form Fit System:
The Speedo LZR Racer Elite is engineered (with the LZR Pulse fabric) to provide a streamlined shape across the whole body. This provides flexibility with optimum economy
Gant has recently been making some major changes and one of their biggest and most exciting changes has been the hire of designer Michael Bastian. If you know anything about sportswear you’ll know that Micheal Bastian is one of America’s most talented sportswear designers. Michael Bastian has worked with Sotheby’s, Tiffany & Co., Polo Ralph Lauren, and Bergdorf Goodman, where he was the men’s Fashion Director.
Bastian launched his own menswear line, Michael Bastian, 5 years ago and it’s sold worldwide. He’s been nominated three times for the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award, in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He was also nominated for the 2007 CFDA Newcomer Menswear Designer of the Year Award, and was a finalist for the 2007 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award.
So what has he been doing for Gant? Well, Gant is almost 100 years old and there’s quite a bit of heritage to play with. Michael first menswear collection for Autumn Winter 2010 was insired by lacrosse. Yes, it’s not your most typical sport but I always found lacrosse to be a very cool sport so I’m quite delighted that the collection was inspired by it. It’s quite astounding what a designer can do for a sport. Will Gant do for lacrosse what Ralph Lauren did for rugby? Well lacrosse is actually becoming more popular at American Universities. I quite like the collection – it’s young, a bit preppy with bow ties, slim trousers and pea coats.
Michael Bastian has also done his first womenswear collection, for Spring Summer 2011!
I was at the Jaegar Spring Summer press day. I loved so many of the bags – right on trend and perfect for festival wear. I had the opportunity to chat with Jaegar’s Junior Accessory Buyer, Vivien Hsu.
What’s your favourite accessory for SS 2011?
I love the sunglass’ bag from the Jaeger SS11 catwalk show. It’s so practical and stylish! Even though it’s designed specifically to hold your sunglasses, its "roomy" enough to fit your phone, purse, keys and even some makeup.
As an accessories buyer do you work closely with the design and fashion team?
Yes, we have a very good relationship. To achieve the best result, it’s important to be able to give and take advice from one another, since we are all here to make beautiful products.
Where did you work before Jaeger?
I previously worked at Smythson for 3.5years, in the position of Leather Product Developer. Before that, I worked at J&M Davidson for 3 years in production.
Did you always want to work in fashion?
I’ve always had an avid interest in fashion, contemporary as well as vintage, so I was drawn to the industry from an early age, although my career in fashion didn’t kick off until 2004. I can often be found rifling through the rails at Portobello Market and other vintage fashion haunts.
What advice do you have for new accessory designers?
Keep an eye on the market, but without losing touch of your individual signature!
Too many people think that a photographic studio is just about white walls – but many studios have lots of options inside. It’s great for editorials or commercial shoots to have a selection of furniture and even different textures of walls. Sometimes a couple of props can add so much to the mood of the shoot. Usually you might choose a location house – which is really someone’s home, which they rent out for photo shoots but in the right studio you can get lots of different options in a very shootable space.
I had this bag sent to me for a shoot and we were all coveting it. It’s so beautifully made and just feels so luxurious. It’s by Be & D – the Genius bags can be purchased at www.beandd.com. They also sell at Harrods, Harvey Nichols, and MiMi on the Kings Road.
Be & D was founded in 2004 by Be Inthavong and Steve Dumain in New York and each piece is constructed from premium leathers, exotic skins and custom hardware. They make shoes and belts as well, and have quite the celebrity following including Blake Lively, Katy Perry, Mena Suvari and Kate Moss.
Just doing a few more shoots for spring before the Christmas holidays begin! The shoot focused on new designers. I’ll post some of the images when it comes out it February. Soon it will be time to be thinking about London Fashion Week – my favourite time of year!!
Love this super cool BarryM Instant Nail Effects – nail paint. You need to start with coat of nail polish, any colour red, purple, gold – for my shoot the model was wearing a beige nail varnish. Then you paint a coat of ‘Instant Nail Effects’, it goes on like a normal black polish but when it drys it has a cracked/scratched look!
This afternoon my taxi passed by Trafalgar Square and there were several hundred Santa Clauses singing Beatles songs. I wasn’t sure if it was a genuine flash mob or an iTunes promo but whatever it was it was very festive!
I love this hat – it’s not me, I couldn’t pull it off but I would admire the person that does! I love the tweed lining too! It’s by Emmanuel Katsaros, who has quite a few cool and quirky pieces.The collection consists of a limited number of pieces, each individually made and entirely sourced and crafted in Italy.