Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Return of the Outfit Posts


Well, well, well look at this. If it isn’t an outfit post making a rare appearance! Long term readers may remember outfit posts from the very early days of Fashion Daydreams, six years ago when it was completely acceptable to post pictures of yourself taken in your bedroom with dodgy lighting and your head cut off – back before blogging really became a thing. Times have changed since then, everyone and their mum has a blog and with the increased ‘competition’ came increased standards and expectations. Outfit posts are now akin to full blown editorial shoots and quite frankly, with my day job and constant travelling, I haven’t been able to put together a whole production around what I’m wearing so I’ve steered clear of cobbling together subpar outfit posts just for the sake of it. If you’re going to do something, do it well.

 That’s not to say I’ve been shy about my outfits and new additions to my wardrobe, but I felt like a quick snap and caption on Instagram would suffice for that medium. I’ve noticed that my outfit posts on Instagram are the most popular, along with food and travel, and I’ve been trying to dip my toe back into posting outfits for a while. But it’s a little daunting, isn’t it? Actually putting your face and sartorial choice out there to be judged and potentially ripped to shreds by strangers – I’ve been absolutely slated in the previous post many moons ago. But hey, sticks and stones and all that. I’m back.

So…this is me, just trying to ease back into sporadic outfit posts. I want my outfit posts to be genuine, much like my tweets and Instagram snaps. None of this has been called in and this outfit is actually a variation of my default weekend look, with pieces that I love to bits and have worn to death.

Jeans are sadly a no-no for my day job so I find myself living in them come the weekend. This pair is from Topshop, who are absolutely the best for high street jeans. These jeans have a lot of give and really retain their shape, which is key. I paired them with my beloved Isabel Marant Andrew boots, which add a cool, understated vibe to outfits. I threw on a slightly cropped tshirt from M&S and tied a plaid shirt by Rails around my waist. While Rails aren’t super well known here, they’re a cult favourite in America and particularly their hometown of LA. Known for their plaid shirts and denim pieces, they epitomise LA’s laid back chic.

My jacket is by Levi’s luxe label Made & Crafted, I love the cosy sheepskin collar. Last but not least is my Alexander McQueen tote bag, which fits all my essentials plus a lot more that I carry around for fun.

So that’s it, a teeny , tiny little outfit post that I’m absurdly nervous about posting. Please be kind! And let me know in the comments below whether you’d like to see more.
Outfit details:
Jacket – Levi’s Made & Crafted
Shirt – Rails
Tshirt – M&S
Jeans – Topshop
Boots – Isabel Marant 
Watch - Timex

Monday, 16 May 2016

National Vegetarian Week 2016 – Why I Chose To Become Vegetarian

As you may know, today sees the launch of National Vegetarian Week and this is my first time celebrating it as a vegetarian. I decided to go meat-free towards the end of last year and while I’m completely happy with my decision, it’s not something that I have written about – for me, being vegetarian, vegan or a meat-eater is a personal choice. But as National Vegetarian Week is all about celebrating and sharing stories about the food we eat, I wanted to share my story.
I became vegetarian quite abruptly; it’s not something I ummed and ahhed over at all. I just decided. While that may sound like a decision made on a whim and something that I may regret, I couldn’t be happier. For me, being vegetarian just feels right.
From a young age, I’ve never really enjoyed eating meat. It was more out of necessity, my mum cooked it and so I ate it. But as I grew up, I actively chose to eat less meat and completely cut out fish and seafood. I only really ate chicken and even then, I wouldn’t cook it I’d just eat it while I was out. Overtime I grew to like burgers and tried to get myself to eat fish but I just didn’t like it. After a while, I questioned why I wanted to go against my natural instincts to just eat veggies.
In the last year or so, my interest in spirituality has grown and eating animals just didn’t sit right with me for quite a few reasons related to my beliefs – which are very personal to me. Spiritual or religious beliefs aside, documentaries like Cowspiracy and Forks Over Knives have shown me the environmental impact of animal farming and the negative effects meat has on our health. And of course there is the humane element. We should all be aware that animals are kept in crowded, squalid conditions and injected with growth hormones, antibiotics etc. For me, it’s worrying that I didn’t know what was going into my body. And it goes without saying that the idea of mass animal slaughter, almost in a conveyor belt style, doesn’t sit well with me.
After I made my decision, I went cold turkey – excuse the pun. I very rarely cooked meat anyway so going meat-free was pretty smooth. In fact, it a natural and totally seamless transition. Friends have been very accepting but I got asked why quite a lot, which I found funny as it’s just a personal life choice. I haven’t really felt any different after becoming vegetarian, people often ask if I feel fresher but to be honest my diet was about 80% vegetarian anyway so the extra 20% hasn’t made a huge impact to my life or health.
It’s sometimes tricky to find something nice to eat in certain restaurants (why it is always mushroom risottos and goat’s cheese tarts?!) but waiters are quite accommodating. While I was staying at Desert Palm Per Aquum in Dubai, I had dinner at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, which happened to be a steak restaurant. Whoops. The lovely team very sweetly rustled up a delicious beetroot carpaccio with a butternut squash risotto. It’s not hard to eat out as a vegetarian. Having said that, I do miss burgers. And no, Portobello mushroom burgers are not an acceptable veggie alternative!
There you have it, a little snapshot about my decision to go vegetarian. I know it’s very brief but there are a lot of very personal spiritual beliefs behind my decision, I’m happy to go into more detail via Twitter or email if you’re interested in hearing more. I didn’t want to go into detail about the conditions animals are kept in or how they are slaughtered because, honestly, I’m not an expert and I don’t feel qualified to quite about it. But I think we all have a responsibility to ourselves to be aware of what we are eating and where that food comes from so please do your research; I’d highly recommend Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy as a starting point.
Happy National Vegetarian Week! 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Hotel Review: Palazzo Versace Dubai

When I think of Dubai, I naturally think of opulent luxury. It’s hard not to. Home to the world’s tallest building, the world’s largest mall and one of the few places in the world where you can order an Uber Chopper, the glamorous emirate is a place for indulgence and excess. I’ve travelled to Dubai on several occasions and knew this all too well. Deciding where to stay in Dubai is quite frankly mindboggling. The competition between hotels is extremely high, which each hotel aiming to redefine the notion of luxury in their own way. There truly is something for everyone in Dubai but if you’re after sumptuous extravagance, there really is only one place to stay in Dubai, the newly opened Palazzo Versace.
Palazzo Versace Dubai is the second hotel from the iconic fashion brand, the first being on Australia’s Gold Coast. Opened in December 2015, the hotel is an ode to luxury with Artistic Director Donatella Versace overseeing design for all of the interiors, including each of the 215 rooms and 169 condominiums. Design elements include hand-cut marble, stained-glass mosaics and ceilings hand painted in gold as well as the Medusa head, Greek Key and iconic Versace prints.
Situated on the rather quiet Dubai Creek, Palazzo Versace has an imposing presence on the waterfront. Styled after a 16th-century Italian palace, the hotel is one of the first to be opened in Dubai’s new Cultural Village and therefore enjoys a premium position in what is sure to be Dubai’s hottest spot. Currently, the Cultural Village is a work-in-process, with building work going on around Palazzo Versace. This wasn’t a problem at all for me; it’s totally unnoticeable once you’re in the hotel and its grounds, which act as a lush paradise amid the construction. One of the buildings currently being constructed in the vicinity is set to be the tallest building in the world – overtaking Dubai’s own Burj Khalifa.
Once inside the hotel itself, you are transported to an oasis of Italian luxury. The floor of the 1,000sqm lobby is decorated with 1.5 million mosaic pieces while the ceiling is adorned with the most spectacular chandelier. It’s a truly breath-taking space and sets the tone for the rest of the hotel. While furniture features Versace prints, the textiles are decorated with peacocks, falcons or horses.
I stayed in one of the sumptuous deluxe rooms with views of the lagoon and Dubai Creek.
The room was truly magnificent. The high ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows gave the room a super spacious feel while the details just oozed luxury. Beautiful timber parquet flooring was paired with the most luscious rug in the room and dressing area while the bathroom mirrored the lobby with marble and mosaic elements. My room had a soothing salmon pink colour theme with Versace-printed linens and textiles. The bathroom, complete with a walk-in shower, his and hers sinks and a huge bath, was as luxurious as you would expect from the House of Versace.
The service more than matches the opulence of the hotel; each member of staff was so friendly, accommodating and welcoming – the staff at the pool always made sure I had a shady cabana to read in and kept me cool with cold towels while the doorman, Victor, gave me a warm welcome every single time.
Staying at Palazzo Versace was truly an experience. The entire hotel is a sublime design spectacular, which the photos are able to capture more than words could. My entire stay here was wonderful. I’ve stayed at a lot of incredible hotels during my travels but my stay here was a very, very special experience. Hotels in Dubai better watch and learn, Palazzo Versace has really raised the bar and redefined the meaning of 5* luxury.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Interview: Marcelo Burlon

Ahead of the launch of his second collaboration with G-SHOCK, I caught up with jetsetting jack of many trades Marcelo Burlon to talk about how he went from PR and one of fashion's favourite DJs to Creative Director and global fashion influencer.

RR: Let’s start by going back to the beginning. How did your first collaboration with Giorgio di Salvo, and the birth of your brand County of Milan, come about?
MB: Giorgio is a close friend of mine. He’s a graffiti artist, in Milan the fashion kids and graffiti artists came together. We were a big group and we started a party.
When I wanted to start the label, I went back to Argentina to do my research. I came back and spoke to Giorgio and he translated by vision.

He is very important to the creative process. With the G-SHOCK collaboration, we met and discussed ideas…exchanged information. We used our design signature, the snake. It’s a power animal.
RR: In the last few years streetwear has gone from the fringes of fashion to being a key aesthetic. How have you found that it’s evolved in the 4 years since you launched County of Milan?
MB: Streetwear is the new wave. We have great brands like Hood By Air, Off White, Nasir Mazhar. Now, it’s luxury streetwear and we sell next to the big houses, it’s like a revolution. I started in PR then putting parties together for these big designers and now I’m a Creative Director. Virgil [of Off White] comes from an architecture background. We have lots of space, we’re allowed to create.
Fashion is a mix now, now you see A$AP Rocky in Gucci. Even Gucci is more street. It’s down to how you style it. We really have to compete with the big brands, it’s not just about the image and what it looks like, the product must be high quality as well. I partner with other brands like Off White on their products; we use the highest quality leather, embroidery, jersey. The tshirts for County of Milan take 2 hours to print, it’s artisanal.

RR: What was it like showing at Pitti Uomo as a streetwear brand?
MB: It was amazing. Even though the brand was a couple of years old, it was like a proper debut and everyone knew about it then. Before that, I worked with designers on parties, I DJed for them. My friends flew in from all over the world and walked in the show, it was like a celebration, a party. All of the people I love and were involved in the process were there. Pitti is known for its suiting and everything is made in Italy so it was special that we were there.
RR: County of Milan has been seen on the likes of LeBron, Pusha T, Drake and ASAP Rocky. Who would you love to collaborate with?
MB: I’m really lucky that everyone has actually bought my pieces, we haven’t gifted anything. We had a lot of support from stylists and personal shoppers. I’ve worked with great artists - I worked with Future on the creative direction of his album artwork, I worked on a collection with Pusha T for his tour and right now, I have a collaboration with Tyga.
But I think real people are more important. My work helps me to discover new people; that’s how I met Lebron [James] and we ended up collaborating. In the beginning, when we first started I met a guy at a party at Opening Ceremony. He worked with some artists and athletes and wanted to work together, but we just started and we couldn’t gift anything at that time. Then a few months later I saw Pusha T’s video and he was wearing one of our tshirts. I knew him from Clipse but I didn’t know him as an individual artist then. He wore one of my wings tshirts in his video with Fabolous, it was a big moment for us.

RR: How did your collaboration with G-SHOCK come about?
MB: We first collaborated two years ago. Normally, brands come to me for collaborations but I actually approached them. We worked on a watch, which was released in 2014 to the Italian market – we were still a young brand so they didn’t really believe in us. They know that, you can put that in there. We only made 500 pieces but they sold out in 4 hours. We had so much press in Japan.

G-SHOCK wanted to do a second collaboration and it took us 2 years to build it. I worked with Giorgio on the design, it’s snake print but also kind of camouflage. The watch is 3D printed and our snake print and if you scratch the strap you can still see the print, it’s printed through the strap not just on the surface. It’s a really special watch, very luxury for G-SHOCK.

RR: You’re a self-described jack of many trades, where do you get your inspiration from?
MB: At the basis, I want to share where I come from. I love Argentinean culture and power animals, like the snake. Most of my designs are a mix of the symbols of Patagonia and rave/club culture. It’s an unusual mix but it’s my life and journey.

The G-SHOCK x Marcelo Burlon watch is available to buy on the G-SHOCK website.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Top Five: Off The Shoulder Pieces

Forget flashing your midriff, fashion’s new favourite erogenous zone is the humble shoulder. Celebrities and designers alike have been making a strong case for shoulder baring for the last few seasons and the high street has finally caught up with everything from tops, dresses and even the odd jumpsuit. While the ‘cold shoulder’ look is great for winter, I love exaggerated off the shoulder looks – the type that looks like it’s about to slip right off. Here are my top picks from the high street:
  1. ASOS button through midi sundress - £32This pretty dress is the tamest off the shoulder look, with support straps in place to make sure you don’t feel too exposed. I love the nautical stripes, a subtle nod to the other ground-breaking trend that always appears in spring.
  2. Topshop cold shoulder bardot blouse - £42For me, exposed shoulders and big, flouncy frills are like a match made in heaven! This top obviously lends itself to be styled up with a pretty skirt for a feminine look but I think it would also look great with black culottes for a bold, minimal look.
  3. Zara off the shoulder printed top - £29.99Now we’re talking! This is my ideal silhouette, acres of bare shoulders and a top that looks like it’s about to slip off. Also obsessed with this pretty china blue pattern print.
  4. Kiss The Sky off the shoulder playsuit - £38This playsuit is essentially my dream summer wardrobe condensed into one piece. An easy, breezy playsuit and a bohemian embroidered detailing and huge fluted sleeves and the essential off the shoulder neckline. Perfection.
  5. I fell in love with this jumpsuit as soon as I saw it. It’s one of those pieces which probably wouldn’t look great on the hanger but as soon as you have it on and move, it’s a dream. I love the understated vibe and slight flamenco vibe. Obsessed.
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