Monday, 4 August 2014

The BFC Rock Vault Line Up 2014

It’s that time of year again; with London Fashion Week just around the corner the likes of the BFC and NEWGEN have been announcing the best of London emerging design talent in their various mentoring schemes.
As a jewellery obsessive, I always look forward to the BFC’s Rock Vault line up. Now in its fifth season, the initiative aims to nurture emerging fine jewellery talent and is undoubtedly the best mentoring initiative for jewellery talent globally – essential for jewellery magpies to discover tomorrow’s fine jewellery masters.

The chosen jewellers have been selected by a panel chaired by celebrated jeweller Stephen Webster; with over 38 years’ experience in the fine jewellery game he has the most discerning eye in the business. This year sees two original members of the Rock Vault line up graduating, Fernando Jorge and Melanie Georgacopoulos are well on their way after 5 years of mentoring and support. Beth Gilmour and Shimell and Madden have joined the line-up which also includes Alice Cicolini, Hannah Martin, Imogen Belfield, Jacqueline Cullen, Jo Hayes Ward, Ornella Iannuzzi, Tomasz Donocik and Yunus & Eliza.

The Rock Vault installation will be in the Designer Showrooms during London Fashion week, featuring a diverse mix of twinkling materials from Brazilian gemstones and Whitby jet to pearls and Persian enamel. If you're at LFW, be sure to pop by or check back here as I'll be reporting on my favourites from the Rock Vault.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

How to steal Olivia Pope's style

A couple of days ago, I was fortunate enough to be whisked off for an evening of scandal and intrigue. Collected in a swish Mercedes by a dapper driver, we were soon joined by a motorbike escort (!) to safely transport me to my destination, the W hotel. Apparently this is how main character Olivia Pope travels…and I can see why! After enjoying a delicious meal at Spice Market with some fellow bloggers, we were ushered upstairs to preview the first two episodes of the new season of Scandal before it airs on 31st July on Sky Living.

After just two episodes, I am absolutely hooked - I’ve already cleared some space and put the new season on series link! If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly suggest catching up with the first two seasons before next Thursday because season 3 is explosive. If you need further convincing, Tony Goldwyn who plays the president is pretty tasty.

One of my favourite things about Scandal is Olivia’s impeccable wardrobe, which mainly consists of 50 pristine shades of white, lots of tailored Armani and Prada handbags. Her style is very classic, favouring neutral tones with the odd peplum or exaggerated collar and is accented by classic, chic accessories. In a nutshell, exactly how we all wish we dressed for work. Olivia favours separates in neutral tones, all business with slightly feminine fabrics and touches, never short dresses or skirts and no strappy tops. 

Here are my top pieces from the high street to help you get that Olivia look:

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Five things you need to know about Gigi Hadid

Aside from having a great name, Gigi Hadid has an absolutely banging figure, mesmerizing face and is destined for big things.. Gigi is described as a model and TV personality, owing to her occasional appearences on the Real Housewives of Beverley Hills with her ex-model mum Yolanda Foster. Don’t let that put you off though, with Tom Ford and Carine Roitfeld as fans, Gigi is headed for a more high end career rather than becoming just another reality tv starlet.

Here are five things you need to know about Gigi:
  1. Her exotic looks are a result of her Dutch and Palestinian ancestry and her real name is Jelena Noura Hadid. 
  2. She was discovered aged 2 by Guess founder Paul Marciano who promptly cast her in her first campaign.
  3. She’s successfully transitioned from Sports Illustrated to high end model, landing two Tom Ford campaigns this year.
  4. She’s dating Cody Simpson (no idea, apparently a big deal) and is besties with Alec Baldwin’s daughter and fellow model Ireland.
  5. Carine Roitfeld is a fan, casting Gigi for the cover of CR Fashion Book as well as the 2015 Pirelli calendar.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Top 5: High street sliders

Recently. I found myself thinking about pool sliders. After dismissing them as a footwear abomination a couple of months ago, I suddenly found myself a little bit obsessed. I couldn't stop thinking about them. The fashion lightbulb finally went off and I realised that they are a stroke of minimalist, low-key genius - if you wear them right. That means less Snoop Dogg/Lion's sock and sandals combo and more Celine's pared back, minimalist elegance.

I prefer sliders with either a short hemline or skinny trousers cropped a few inches above the ankle to balance out the heavy flats but they look equally good with calf-length midis, pretty dresses or slouchy trousers for a more nonchalant look. Whichever way you choose to wear your slides, make sure you go sans socks! Here are my top 5 sliders on the high street: 

Adidas Taedia sliders are for purists, fans of the classic pool sliders and a total bargain at £14. 

Whistles Maddy pool sliders are the perfect marriage between luxury and sportswear. The best thing is they're only £35 in the sale. 

Topshop's £65 Flashy slides prove that this trend is do-able even for the most bling-obsessed fashion magpies. 

These chic snakeskin sliders look deceptively high-end, you'd never think they were only £20 from boohoo.  

Of course Zara have some of the chicest sliders on the high street. My favourite are these metallic crossover sandals, which are only £19.99 in the sale. 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Five rules for detoxing

Following on from my previous post – Diary of a Detox – I’ve put together my 5 tips to surviving a detox, from pre-detox preparation to post-detox diet.

1. Prep for your detox.

Generally speaking, the biggest gripe people have when doing a detox is headaches and mood swings. These are actually more to do with caffeine/sugar/alcohol withdrawl rather than the detox itself. As I don’t drink coffee, drink much alcohol and had cut down on sugar, I didn’t really experience any negative effects of the detox. In fact, my colleagues and I kept waiting for the mood swings to kick in! To make your detox a little easier, I’d recommend cutting out or at least cutting back on coffee, alcohol, sugary and processed food for a couple of days before you begin your detox.

2. Make sure you time it right.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding when to do my detox. Although it was only 3 days, it was a total change in routine and lifestyle. I knew I wanted to do it while I was at work as it would be easier if I’m sitting for most of the day and I don’t have to lug juices around with me. I timed it around my ballet and yoga classes as I didn’t think I’d have the energy to get through the 90 minute classes! I’d also recommend keeping plans fairly relaxed post-work to allow you to have some early nights.

3. Drink lots of water.

As the name suggests, your body will be getting rid of lots of toxins over the duration of your detox. Are you ready for the science bit? If your body can’t effectively eliminate toxins, it absorbs them and surrounds the toxins with fat cells to protect your body from them. As you go through the detox, your body will be breaking these toxins down which is why most people experience a little weight loss…but the key thing is to flush toxins out of your body so you don’t absorb them. Water is one way to help flush toxins out, I was drinking 3 litres a day. Here’s another science nugget for you, your skin is the last organ to reap the benefits of water, ergo the more water you drink the better your organs function. My skin was glowing on my detox so I’m pretty sure my organs were well hydrated too.

4. Plan some light exercise in the morning.

I am not a morning person, by any stretch of the imagination. However, on my detox I was sleeping like a baby and waking up before my alarm. I made the most of this by kick starting my day with yoga, which is normally in my pre-bedtime routine. I figured I should go with how my body felt and it certainly didn’t do me any harm.

5. Take it easy post-detox.

After your detox, your body will be a clean, lean machine. Juices are super easy to digest and all the fruits and veggies you’ve been eating have done you the world of good. You can’t go straight from that to having a greasy Big Mac, as much as you may have been craving one. Your system will basically go nuts if you flood it with processed food that’s hard to digest and you’ll get an awful stomach ache – I speak from experience and all I had was a bit of falafel with a big salad! Do yourself a favour and stick to a vegetarian diet and try to eat raw as much as possible while easing back into ‘normal’ eating.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Friday, 11 July 2014

Giambattista Valli Couture AW14

IAs much as I love pouring over runway shots, the backstage shots are always a little more revealing and fun. Here's a little sneak peek backstage at the Giambattista Valli Couture autumn/winter 2014 show. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Diary of a juice detox

Recently, I've been on somewhat of a health kick. I've been embracing healthy eating and exercise, heading to Florence a couple of months ago for a yoga holiday and a couple of weeks ago I successfully survived my first 3-day juice detox. While I can't recommend the company I used (Nosh Detox, who messed up the delivery AND ended up delivering the wrong detox kit), I highly recommend undertaking a juice detox to give your digestive system a break as well as giving you some food for thought when it comes to, well, food.

During my detox I thought about food a hell of a lot, though I wasn't hungry often. I also realised that I ate due to boredom and habit rather than actually being hungry, which was a bit of a revelation and as a result I've been snacking much less since I came off the detox.

I wanted to share my detox diary with you to give you a glimpse first hand at what it's like to go on a detox.

Day 1
10.45am - No sign of delivery man, no sign of juice. Have emailed Nosh Detox and had some water. Someone at work has bought in Cornish fudge - becoming an increasingly attractive food option as opposed to fresh air and water. 
10.52am - Apparently my detox box is being delivered TONIGHT. Despite emails yesterday saying I will be starting today and letting me know the juices will be delivered in the evening AND another one this morning saying enjoy the programme. 
11.28am - After a not too pleasant phone call (sorry, I get angry when starved), my juice is finally going to be delivered today by the Business Manager. He's going to be an hour but I'm tempted to kiss him when he arrives. 
12.20pm - My juice arrival is imminent. I'm hungry but coping surprisingly well, whizzing through my to do list and even taking part in office banter. This is probably the longest I've gone without eating, ever. 
12.44pm - Ever seen someone down juice like a shot of tequila? My colleagues have. 
2.52pm - Triple fried truffle fries. 
3.58pm - Colleague jogs my memory to drink juice 2, I hadn't even realised. My Eliminator juice tastes really nice and healthy, must be the acai powder. 
5.23pm - Triple fried truffle fries...with ketchup. 
7.21pm - Third juice drank. Still dreaming about chips, which I haven't eaten in forever. I kind of miss chewing. 
7.34pm - Leaving work, skipping a party and going home to snuggle on the sofa with a blanket. I have no energy whatsoever. And I still miss chewing. 
8.52pm - Been lying on the sofa wrapped in a blanket for an hour. Just had my last juice and surprisingly, I don't really feel hungry. Genuinely don't, convinced that 90% of my eating is habit. 
Midnight - Bedtime, zzzz

Day 2
7.30am - Woke up after a very deep sleep feeling pretty good! Not drained or tired but very rested. 
8.52am - Juice time, really enjoy the taste of the Lemon & Ginger Tonic.
10.32am - Two hour meeting. Goes well. Thank goodness for herbal tea. 
12.47pm - Juice one, done. Craving pizza pretty badly but actually not that hungry, just miss food rather than needing it. 
1.44pm - I really want cheese on toast. 
2.34pm - Another juice down. Still want cheese on toast. 
3.29pm - SO TIRED. Just want to sleep. Seriously contemplating crawling under my desk for some shut eye. 
4.56pm - So hungry now. Slight headache. Daydreaming about eating food. Safe to say the detox blues have hit. 
7.18pm - At a picnic surrounded by cheese, crackers, sausage rolls, chicken and fruit. Slightly suicidal, not going to lie. Juice time soon, thank God. 
8.21pm - Juice has curbed any food cravings. Still, turned my back on the picnic! 
10.34pm - Bedtime. Earliest I've gone to bed for a long time. 

Day 3
7.30am - Another blissful deep sleep. Today is supposed to be the worst day as my system will really be detoxing. Cannot wait....
10.53am - Not even hungry. Breezing through with juices and water now. Waiting for the side effects/mood swings to hit. 
2.54pm - Still nada. Honestly, this has been a breeze. Not noticed any drastic changes in my body but I'm finding it easier to concentrate, sleeping much better and I feel a bit more glowy. 
3.07pm - Getting a bit peckish so having water. Daydreaming about Vapiano's pasta. Water tastes the same. Kinda. 
4.32pm - Penultimate juice done. Already planning tomorrow's post-detox meals.
7.04pm - An HOUR to go til my last juice. Already pretty hungry but I haven't experienced any mood swings or, more crucially, regrets. It's been a little tough at times but overall not as terrible as I expected. Roll on the 8pm juice and an early night....and my eggs florentine tomorrow. 
8.23pm - Last juice. A bit emotional. Debating doing another detox in a couple of weeks.

So there you have it. A few wobbles and hungry times but I got through the detox in one piece....and already planning the next! Although I felt tired at times and had a couple of early nights, I actually slept like a baby and woke up with more energy in the mornings. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post where I'll be sharing my top tips for getting through a detox in one piece!