High Street Filtration

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This is my favourite part of the style year…watching as the Spring Summer looks we were treated to last year filter down to the high street. It’s a worrying time for me, when some SERIOUS spending could occur, snapping up multiple imitation items, instead of  one luxury designer piece.  I keep reading in magazines that the current trend is extremely juxtaposed to my personal pattern – saving to buy one stand-out, authentic piece as opposed to lots of High Street equivalents.

(A tangent tale – I speak and teach French and was mildly shocked to find there is no one word or phrase that conveys the English meaning of High Street. High Street to us means affordable and on-trend clothing. “La Rue Principale” just means the main street in a town. The nearest equivalent I could think of was, “Des vêtements à bon marché et à la mode achetés des magasins d’une chaîne” cheap and fashionable clothing bought from a chain-store. Let me know if there is a better equivalent! TANGENT OVER)

Each item on my wish list is catered for best by a different High Street store. Richard Nicoll’s catwalk colour block dresses are beyond my means but a maxi-dress from his Topshop fusion range is within my reach. Chloé’s pastels are definitely 3 price brackets too far but Cheap Monday’s skinny lemon jeans are a bargain at £50. I could go on and on… So which tribe do you divide into – save for a single item splurge or multiple spend for less? Let me know. Also I had little response to my multi-lingual posting; if you’d like me to continue, drop me a line.

Shu Uemura

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The New Year. For many of us it brings the opportunity for a “New You.” I haven’t made any official resolutions this year but I have made some realisations; I am getting older and physically the signs are starting to show. I read a really interesting article in Sunday Times’ Style supplement today entitled - look good, look better, look younger. It talked about the different tribes that are formed as the aging process kicks in; the naturals vs the plastics. The article must be read to be fully appreciated but it encompasses my gripe on where the bar is set on aging. In a world where “procedures,” injections and fillers are the norm, what does “good for her age” actually mean any more? So many Hollywood starlets look nowhere near their actual age but are never forthcoming about the amount of effort that allows them to remain ageless. This gives us mere mortals very little hope and unrealistic, false expectations. Then, once a certain, unknown age is passed and the same amount of monthly treatments continues, the freak factor sets in. So what can I do as the wrinkles start to appear? I have chosen to utilise a little more of a cover-up tactic that will begin in my beauty regime (that doesn’t currently exist except for some over-use of vaseline.) The now ubiquitous Shu Uemura eyelash curlers are first on my shopping list, followed closely by some of their lashes; if I get some longer, more feathered examples they will surely cover the creeping crows’ feet! So as age catches up with me, I shall try my best to embrace the changes, safe in the knowledge that the facade of the celebrity world can be as false as the characters portrayed.

Hurwundeki

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Hurwundeki…what a name, what a concept – a fashion boutique/beauty salon. Exceptional and unique clothing pieces fuse with beautiful products and haircuts. The clothing is wearable yet unique and styled enviably on their website. Next time you are in Spitafields or near Marshall Street in the West End, please pop in and prepare to be pleased.

MAC loves Fafi!

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Regular readers of my blog will know of my appreciation for French graffiti wonder Fafi. The cosmetic giants MAC, have harnessed her creative power in a new make-up range, covered in her eclectic, bright doodles. MAC’s Fafi mini-site is a sheer delight; it is a flash insight into Fafi’s fictitious bedroom. You can view and purchase the collection, see key looks and watch an exclusive video with Fafi herself. I’m not sure if the colours would suit me but if ever there was a case for seduction via packaging…this may be it! See the full range on MAC’s website.

Spray de Mode

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I am intrigued by a hair product. This doesn’t happen that often and especially not over a hairspray. Nylon magazine first sparked my interest. They posted about the new Bumble and Bumble Spray de Mode and the involvement in its creation of milliner du jour, Stephen Jones. The spray will be easy to manipulate, while still strong enough to hold any style firmly, even beneath one of Stephen’s coveted designs. It was conceived and tested back stage at runway shows, in which it apparently performed brilliantly every time. I have read that it is comparable to “hairspray with memory” and will always bounce back to its original style. If it does what it says on the tin, then we really are entering a hairspray revolution. Bumble and Bumble had a launch party last week and have even created a website dedicated to the commercial distribution in March, exaggerating the hype even further. So excuse my excitement, it has been encouraged by the slick media machine and lets all wait with baited breath and see if Spray de Mode lives up to its promises.

Eyelash Whiteout

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While I perused Erin Fetherston’s collections, I stumbled across a piece of styling genius, that escaped my attention during the spring/summer ’08 shows – the use of white mascara. The “tipex eye” look is very achievable, especially for anyone in the possession of double ended, lash extending mascara. I did try it this weekend. For a night out, I think it would create a very stand-out look; I soon realised that for daytime, it’s a little too scary! I am very pale and my lashes seemed to disappear into my skin! Alternatively, for anyone blessed with very thick eyelashes and non-alabaster skin-tone, this would be effective look.

Angular Hair

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The toast of the 2008 couture shows, angular hair seemed to be everywhere (crap rhyme unintentional…sorry!). The angles varied from boldly dramatic at Dior, to wavy subtlety at Armani Privé. The thing that impressed me most about these recent couture collections, has to be the onus on “the look” as an entirety, rather than just the garment. The dramaticism behind the make-up and hair, were as inspirational as the clothing. See the complete collections at Style.com.

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