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♥ always do sober what you said you'd do drunk... that will teach you to keep your mouth shut ♥

WELL DON'T YOU LOOK GORGEOUS: Leighton MeesterNov 25, 2010

I couldn't believe it when I found out last night that there wasn't going to be an episode of Gossip Girl shown! I'm not too sure as to why it happened. Apparently it was the same in the States though so I couldn't break my pledge to Holly of promising not to view ahead of the UK episodes online. (I got a severe telling off for watching the entire series of Pretty Little Liars on the internet last weekend).
So though I missed my usual Chuck Bass and Gossip Girl fashion fix for the week, this morning I woke to an email on my Blackberry showing Leighton Meester looking absolutely stunning at a Herbal Essences event in Madrid last night. It made me blog before breakfast! I guess this goes some way towards making up for missing out on the great style of what will now be next week's episode. She's been an ambassador for the brand for a while now and has recently added another string to her bow by becoming the face of Vera Wang's new perfume.
Glad that Leighton is back to a more classic look than the whole horror of that jumpsuit the other week. I couldn't even bring myself to do a proper post on it! I recognise that she's quite different in the style stakes to her on screen personality as Blair Waldorf, but I do like it when she dresses a little bit more like her character!
I could completely be her stylist ;) Leighton Meester wore the black velvet detail Versus dress which I included in my 'Crush on Velvet' post at the beginning of this month. I picked it as one of my 'splurge' items for the trend. It really does look sensational on her.
Loving the exaggerated a-line cut, cute leather belt and shoulder tab detailing along with how the velvet panelling contrasts with the more delicate chiffon fabric. I'm not a huge fan of the Pierre Hardy jewelled shoes and can't decide if they completely work with the outfit. However it shows that Leighton always wants to do something a little different and doesn't opt for the expected accessories. Her make up is natural with those signature smokey eyes and of course her amazing tousled hair which truly confirmed why she's secured the sponsorship deal with Herbal Essences.
I'm hoping Leighton might launch into perhaps designing some clothes of her own with her mixture of classic and avant-garde style which isn't always predictable! (Think the orange Louis Vuitton jewelled leggings and matching dress of the New York Costume Institute Gala a couple years ago).
This is actually the second 'Well Don't You Look Gorgeous' post I've included Leighton in but I couldn't let it go unrecognised! I've made no attempts to hide my adoration of Leighton, so thought I'd also include one of my favourite song's of hers in this post too - is there any end to this lady's talents?!
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FOREVER 21 ~ Favourite 21Nov 24, 2010

Earlier this month, (12th and 13th November) Forever 21, went transatlantic opening their first UK store in Birmingham and also a store in Dublin. I've been aware of the budget American store from my travels in America last summer and from reading fashion blogs and websites throughout the years. In all honesty when I did actually venture into the store, I could never find anything - I found it a little cheap and nasty!
American fashion I've always thought gets it right either with casual clothes, think Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Old Navy or with the high designer end clothing. Perusing through the Floridian malls in August, I never saw anything in all the girls stores that I could say I liked, the couple of exceptions being Urban Outfitters and H&M. So I returned from the States only armed clothes wise with joggers, tshirts and my first pair of jeans ever from A&F. (I cushioned the blow by treating myself to some Tiffany & Co earrings though)!
In contrast to that it seems the UK's gone crazy for the launch of Forever 21's store in Birmingham's shopping hub, the Bull Ring. I'm half wondering if that's just because us Brits love a good bargain. I don't think that the store will have quite the same impact as the exportation of Topshop to NYC. However, after my friend at work Hollie said she'd managed to pick up a few really nice dresses this weekend in store on a trip to the Midlands, I thought maybe I should revisit the idea of shopping there. </p> <p>I must confess, I am loving the Disney/Minnie Mouse inspired pieces (hence them dominating most of this post). Amber Le Bon is the face of the campaign and items are available to buy online. I've checked out what the American retailer has to offer the UK and put together my 'Favourite 21 at Forever 21'.
LIGHTS. CAMERA. ACTION.

*Forever 21, Cap Sleeve Herringbone Dress, £21.80

 
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<p>*Forever 21, Coy Minnie Graphic Tee, £12.80
  

*Forever 21, Confetti Heart Dress, £19.80

<p>*Forever 21, Classic Textured Tights, £5.80
<p>*Forever 21, Polka Dot Pullover, £15.80


*Forever 21, Looped Poncho, £21.80

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*Forever 21, Jewelled Heart Ring, £3.80

<p>*Forever 21, Minnie Mouse Sequinned Skirt, £17.80

*Forever 21, Field of Roses Skirt, £17.80

*Forever 21, Floral Shift Dress, £21.80

 
<p>*Forever 21, Fleece Textured Coat, now £38.80

I LOVE A GOOD LOOK BOOK: Valentino for GAPNov 24, 2010

All the hype surrounding the Lanvin ♥ H&M collection peaked yesterday with many people camping outside the London store queuing to get their hands on a designer piece for a fraction of the price. I was a dedicated shopper too, but from the comfort of my laptop from 7.00am hoping to bag the yellow one shouldered ruffle sleeve dress I've been harping on about since the collection was unveiled. Unfortunately, it reminded me of The Outnet £1 sale, lots of refreshing, browser crashing and everything had sold out by about 7.30am! This was despite shoppers being restricted to one purchase per item- ie: one pair of shoes, one dress, one accessory.
It's not too surprising and although I'm a little upset to not be able to strut out in the yellow frock this weekend - I am thinking I'll probably avoid a lot of 'snap, same dress' moments as we pop from bar to bar in Manchester on Saturday night.
And so, another week, another high street and design house collaboration is unveiled. The pairing of Valentino, perhaps one of the most luxurious and feminine labels out there celebrating amazing gowns is juxtaposed with GAP the reliable high street store home of basics like hoodies, tshirts, denim and cargo pants. The partnership of Valentino and GAP was announced back in September and will be ready to hit London stores this weekend. (The collection is already available in Italy). I'm planning on an afternoon shopping at the Trafford Centre on Saturday, however after finally seeing the look book - I can't imagine that the queues will be anywhere near as crazy as they were at H&M yesterday or Topshop a few weeks ago.
The label's designers recognise the combination of the two brands really is an attempt to bring two design styles at complete opposite ends of the spectrum together. I'm not too sure whether they do successfully meet in the middle. Is there a correct way to work ruffles and khaki?! I can't help feeling this attempt of a partnership is the equivalent of oil and water. But then just like fashion, oil is a multi billion pound industry.... I'm sure that some people will buy into the seven piece capsule collection.
Cargo pants have been a must this season, but I can't see how these cargo pants would be flattering on anyone apart from size zero girls. The rest of the range probably relies on the same - a flat chest is prerequisite to suiting a piece in this collection as let's face it, that's a lot of ruffles! The pieces are cute in some respects, but whether they work for your average GAP customer or high street shopping fan is questionable. It's all a bit military barbie, which unfortunately would look more like I was channelling a military toilet roll holder. It's not going to work on me, especially the parka or cropped ruffle shrug.
Prices start at £75 and go up to £145. I think I'll hold out for the yellow Lanvin ♥ H&M dress!
"We love mixing different cultures and we have been excited to mix gap's timeless essentials with our roman culture of couture. It brings together the iconic world of Valentino and Gap's fashion staples, synthesising the current trend of combining luxury with basics."
~ Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli.
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XOXO: The Witches of BushwickNov 18, 2010

Can Vanessa just disappear off the face of the earth already?! This week's episode explored team Jenny, Juliet and Vanessa (in order of relevance) and their quest to 'bring down Serena'. This whole idea, as I discussed last week in my 'Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore' post, is absolutely laughable. It's very 'Mean Girls' taking down Regina George, apart from there's no plus size token gay guy wanting his pink shirt back and Blair Waldorf is clearly Queen Bee, not Serena!</p> <p>Credit to this horrific trio though. I'm surprised they actually managed to achieve so much in terms of damaging Serena's reputation and friendships in all honesty. However, there are a few things that make me grumble about this episode!
1. Surely Serena would have twigged that she hadn't received a text or phone call all day and if she did try and call any of her friends, the caller ID wouldn't have been correct as it was a different number so they'd say "who's cell are you calling from?!"
2. I'm sorry, but even if someone was wearing the exact same outfit as one of my best friends/love interests I'd completely be able to tell that it wasn't her, mask or no mask!
3. I felt so disturbed when I thought that it was just Jenny dressed as Serena, hoping to re-experience the Jenny/Serena mix up of the masked ball event way back when. This made me grimace for a second mistakenly believing Jenny had kissed Dan! Step brother and sister incest is enough for me, never mind blood related. Very relieved about that one!
4. If both Jenny and Juliet chose to wear a wig to achieve Serena's hair - why couldn't Vanessa?! Nope, that useless girl just stayed home.... or perhaps Juliet's credit card could only fund two Carolina Herrera gowns!
5. You can now text a Dean to resign from University?! Doubtful. As if the Dean would give out her phone number to pupils and accept a text message as an 'official withdrawl'. Come on!
I'm not a Vanessa fan (how she bagged real life Chuck Bass is beyond me) but all prejudice aside - what did she even do of note in the plotting?! So she invited Nate round to the loft to see Dan - 'boys in place'.... it wasn't even really an important part of the plot, it would have worked whether Dan and Nate were talking at all or not. She's so Brooklyn - not one ounce of Uptown plotting about her! Clearly Juliet was only using tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber to get to Serena and has now kidnapped her and disappeared off the radar - quite interested to see where this story line goes from here!
Loving that Gossip Girl threw another masquerade event. As you can tell from the pictures down the right hand side of my blog layout - I'm obsessed with masks. Hopefully in this lifetime I'll be able to throw a masquerade event. Maybe I make that the theme of my charity function for #14 of my 'thirty before thirty'.
My mum couldn't stomach the episode, as she thought it was 'too bitchy' and evil. In contrast, this is back to basics Gossip Girl and part of what I love about the programme! She wouldn't have lasted an hour at the all girls school she insisted upon sending me to for my teenage years!
Additionally, the emotional roller coaster of Chuck and Blair continued and ended on a downer.... I don't know how much more I can take! At least Blair looked absolutely amazing while confusing and frustrating the hell out of me! And on the plus side, Chuck is now free to come and accidentally announce that he's in actual fact in love with me! (And now I wake up.....)
I've spoken before about the idea of underwear as outerwear and how I feel I'm not quite cool enough to pull it off. But throw this look on a body as amazing as Leighton Meester's and bingo, it works! Though I don't know how I felt about her red carpet style this week in that sheer lacy Marchesa jumpsuit, minimal make up and bright purple lips - her on screen counterpart's lace look in this week's episode completely worked.
  
 For Chuck's 'Saints and Sinners' event at The Empire Hotel, Blair literally stripped off her dress and attended in a gorgeous Josie Natori red chemise with black lace detail. Again, providing lingerie envy all round. If I stripped off my dress, you'd be greeted with Spanx.... I don't think it'd achieve quite the same effect!
The Bensoni lace print wrap dress Blair wore earlier in the episode worked a treat in the seduction scene with Chuck (also loved her Marni underwear).
So below, I've found a few pieces with lace prints and embellishment or inspired by a corset structure, which would achieve a sense of the 'underwear as outerwear' look, without having to actually venture outdoors in your under garments! My absolute favourite has to be the black Reiss dress, going to be hard to resist purchasing that for this Festive season! Perhaps I should just ask for vouchers this Christmas and then it'll be like it never happened (as far as my bank balance is concerned, my wardrobe will know all about it)!

*Oasis, Raquel Lace Sexy Dress, £75

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*D&G at Farfetch, Fitted Lace Dress, £495

*Jaegar, Lace Pleat Front Shorts, £159

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*Topshop, Knitted Lace Open Back Top, £56

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<p>*Matalan, Lace and Shoulder Stud Cardigan, £18
<p>*Marc by Marc Jacobs at Net a Porter, Abigail Lace Dress, £490

THIRTY BEFORE THIRTY: #25Nov 16, 2010

"Find some sunglasses that actually suit me!"
Recap: "Unfortunately when it comes to the genes I've inherited from my parents, the large nose was one of them! Growing up with the name 'concorde' from numerous class mates has never been cool. I've been on a sunglasses mission for over ten years. It's really bad but I've not owned a pair since I was little."
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Last month, I decided to publish a manifesto if you will, of my 'thirty things to do before I turn thirty'. I pledged to blog my progress and I'm proud to declare that I've managed to get to the position where I can tick another off my list! 
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In actual fact, it was one of the tasks which I thought would be quite difficult. People may laugh at this but as I've explained before, I have the misfortune of having a nose to rival Gérard Depardieu! Most likely, I've been damaging my eyes for a number of years as I've failed to find a pair of sunglasses which I felt didn't accentuate the unfortunate feature and I'd be happy enough to wear.
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As I stated in a weekend report, on Sunday 7th November 2010, I made my way to The Trafford Centre, more specifically into Sunglass Hut and made a purchase! I probably spent a little more that I'd have wanted to but when you go shopping with a companion, peer pressure always rears it's ugly head and you make decisions which you perhaps wouldn't have done if you'd gone shopping solo. However, I do think that my cousin gave me the little push I needed!


<div align="justify" style="border-bottom: medium none; border-left: medium none; border-right: medium none; border-top: medium none; text-align: justify;">I managed to get the sunglasses for £91 as they were the display pair so bartered 10% off! This does make them non returnable unless they are faulty, however I still get full warranty and the option if I break them to buy another pair half price. Perhaps this is actually for the best, so I can't return them in a case of buyers remorse, or panic that they don't actually hide my nose sufficiently!


So in that case, many thanks go to Ray Ban for designing, producing and distributing a pair of sunglasses which are not only lovely, purple and sparkly but also cover a good 75% of the conk in a manner which isn't too bug eyed to handle!

<p>So I make that:
5 down...... 25 to go.</div>

I ♥ BC: The Breakfast Club ~ HoxtonNov 16, 2010

I met a strange lady...
she made me nervous.
She took me in...
and gave me breakfast.
Not quite in 'a land down under' but somewhere around the back alleys of Hoxton Square, East London this weekend I could be found queuing up for breakfast. In typical English fashion, everyone who was walking past the place, presumably on the way somewhere else, saw people gathered in wait for a table and thought "queueing for breakfast, this place must be good..." and joined the line. It wasn't a long wait - perhaps only about ten minutes, during which time you're always being reassured by the effortlessly too cool for school staff as they danced around to the music which played, that your table was coming right up.
I can't claim to have discovered this little gem on my own. My friend Laura who lives in Hackey declared this as one her her favourite places for brunch when she's in the mood for treating herself and wants something which is a little more classy/cool than a greasy spoon on Hackney Road.
As soon as I got close enough to the door to peak inside, I pretty much fell in love. I wanted to take so many pictures of the amazing kitsch decor. However my party pooper friends groaned, labelled me a tourist and urged me not to... and I'm a push over, so I didn't. I don't think I'm 'cool enough' for East London!
The Breakfast Club was launched by two children of the 80's, which clarifies the hotch botch of 'teenager's toy box' interior decor, the name of the restaurant and constant allusions to other 80's films and concepts. (The cocktail menu is entitled 'cocktails & dreams', gotta love 80's Tom Cruise)! The Hoxton venue is the most recent addition to the portfolio of BC locations - they also exist in Soho and Angel, with another launch planned in Spitalfields. Apparently the restaurants all share the same East London vibe, while maintaining their own individual identities, so still a long way off losing this charm to the feel of a chain.
The 'Men at Work' lyrics which introduce this piece can be seen emblazoned on the diner walls above the counter. Hoxton, being home of the skinny fit jean and heroes dressed in pink, according to Hadouken was never really going to produce a cafe within this collection which would prove to be anything less than ridiculously trendy. (Did I just use the word trendy?! I sound like my mother). The cafe has parasols inside, old television screens dotted around, antlers on the walls and I spied a rather cool old school Kylie record sleeve on top of an old piano; all set against a classic black and white chess board floor. I didn't need a trip to the toilet but I wish I had. Apparently it features 'the world's smallest disco' with glitter balls and strawberry wallpaper, which Laura neglected to mention until we were leaving.
We took our seats at a picnic bench rather than one of the old diner tables with mix match chairs or awesome vintage brown leather armchairs. Food envy had already kicked in within two minutes of sitting down and seeing what the surrounding diners had ordered. The menu is quite an eclectic mix of traditional English breakfasts and classic American dishes. I'm terrible when it comes to ordering food. I take far too long and then when the wait staff turn up to take my order I make a panicked last minute decision, which I usually regret. The vast array of scrumptious sounding food did little to help my indecisiveness, however the fault there lies with me, rather than the BC! After much toing and froing, while my friend opted for a States classic - pancakes and bacon, I decided upon smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, accompanied by both a latte and a passion fruit, papaya, pineapple, melon, apple, mango & orange, TWISTIN’ MY MELON MAN smoothie, a touch of Manchester I welcomed with open arms!</p>
The coffee was gorgeous and as if I'd been watched from afar, just after I had finished it, a waitress with long flowing hair, dressed in crushed velvet and doc martins delivered our food! I was actually really pleased with my decision! Though not to diminish the awesomeness of the food, but just for the record, after a two week stint on the Special K diet I think I'd have been glad of anything!
If breakfast isn't your thing (you strange person), The Breakfast Club are open for lunches, dinner and drinks throughout the week, with happy hour in Hoxton and Angel being 6-8pm. However for me, breakfast or brunch is not only the most important meal of the day but in fact my favourite when it's done properly. It was definitely done properly and had a great accompanying soundtrack.... smoked salmon and Spandeau Ballet, perhaps one of the best combinations I've experienced!

XOXO: Juliet Doesn't Live Here AnymoreNov 11, 2010


Outrageously and mistakenly, I delayed watching this week's episode of Gossip Girl in favour of football, choosing to watch the Manchester derby. I spend the whole 90 minutes bored out my head as neither team showed a glimmer of hope or displayed any exciting play. After the match, I just thought - "I wish I'd just watched Gossip Girl".


"Sex in a limo.... we've literally gone full circle."

In contrast to that lacklustre match, were the games occurring on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The declaration that Blair and Chuck were 'enemies with benefits' was hilarious. I don't think it will be too long before we see a whole hearted reconciliation between the two.


Even though the idea that Chuck was hiding underneath the covers up to no good while Serena was sat on the same bed talking to Blair makes me feel icky, I want them to get back together more than anything. And Blair just looks amazing as she sleeps - obviously I know she doesn't really sleep like this! But she has amazing nightwear, lingerie and blindfolds to sleep in. Meanwhile I'm sleeping in flannel pyjamas! However, sleeping in a blindfold does give you such a good night's sleep. Recently it's been a struggle to wake up between wearing an eye mask, having black out curtains that are awesome and also investing in an aromatherapy sleep spray for my pillow!


<p>*La Senza, Silk Eye Mask, £8


<p>*Jet Masks, White Lace Roses, £11.95




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*Agent Provocateur, Meow Eye Mask, £75


(PS: I worked with this model, Karina on a shoot for work - she was amazing and absolutely lovely)!


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*Mary Green at Fig Leaves, Dream Embroidered Eye Mask, £20



I think this week's fashion highlight was definitely the sleepwear, especially Chuck Bass in Blair's nightgown - the way it was just far too small and the way the shoulder detailing stood up was hilarious!

Apart from that (hehe), this week's fashion didn't thrill me. I wasn't a fan of Blair's oriental style Ralph Lauren halter neck gown she wore for the ballet. Serena's Zuhair Murad was just overly lacy - the top half I loved and the colour really suited her, however the sheer lace bottom half of the gown was just a no no and looked more like something Taylor Momsen 'trying too hard to be the new Courtney Love' would wear in this weird, vile overkill Gothic stage she's going through at the moment. I think my favourite gown was actually Juliet's J.Mendel dress - the mix of nudes and blue was really lovely. If I could get away spending over £1000 on dresses and taking them back all the time, I can't promise I wouldn't!

Just when Juliet seemed to be changing her mind about taking down Serena when there was a hint of Nate giving her a second chance, vile Vanessa reared her ugly head and ruined everything. How she's bagged the real life Chuck Bass I've no idea! Hopefully she's not as annoying as her character off screen then it's semi justifiable! I'm not impressed with the alliance of Vanessa, Juliet and Little J - I know I adore Blair, but really if someone 'banishes you' and you dare not obey it, then what chance do you really have of taking someone down?! I'd still like to properly know the background story of Juliet so I can stop cooking up stories and scenarios in my head!

Some more style inspiration this week on the interior decor side of things. In the final scenes where Blair and Chuck sat on the bench drinking champagne and edging towards a rekindling of their romance, again they sipped from the gorgeous square shaped champagne flutes. I remember seeing these back in last season at a Thanksgiving episode and they were used in last week's War at the Roses episode also for Blair's birthday party.


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When I was younger, I used to work in a gorgeous gift shop in the small village I live in. I basically wanted pretty much everything that came in to the store on the costume jewellery side of things and mentally decorated my house to be with all the interior goods. I could've bought so many cushions, throws and vases. The glassware we stocked was the amazing LSA polish glass, long before the likes of Selfridges and John Lewis got their hands on the brand.

I've scoured the web and found the LSA Olya range, which is still available online - it's definitely the closest I can find to the Waldorf's glassware.

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<p>*LSA at Contemporary Heaven, Olya Wine Glass, £7.95 for one or £44.95 for 6.

WELL DON'T YOU LOOK GORGEOUS: Lauren ConradNov 11, 2010

The Hills wasn't the same after the departure of Lauren Conrad. Though through the years of watching Laguna Beach: The Real OC, I was actually a Kristin Cavallari fan and despised LC! However, as soon as she got into The Hills I actually grew to like her. I don't think she's the completely perfect innocent girl she was trying to portray herself to be - always extremely self righteous with a 'mightier than thou' attitude, however I forgave her for it as it produced some classic one liners and hilarious home truths. Her elevated sense of self importance and moral judgement provided some amazing professions and words of wisdom out of Miss Conrad's mouth during her time on the show. I bet/hope she cringes when she hears some of her sayings back. But she's a girl after my own heart, using cheesy metaphors often likening feelings to fashion.
"A good roommate is like a good pair of jeans, you hold on to them no matter what."
"Having someone do your dirty work doesn't make you a good person."
"Sometimes whether you did something or you did nothing, its just as bad."
"He's a sucky person."
"She did the worst thing a friend could do, she believed it."
"Homeboy wore combat boots to the beach, I know you don't want that to be your boyfriend?!"
Ah.... after recapping on those gems it makes me so excited for her new programme, especially with the heart shattering news that The City isn't going to be renewed for another season! An absolute outrage. I love Whitney, Erin (especially with Seth in her team) and Kelly... and I love Olivia for simply being gorgeous, with awesome style and the audacity to be ridiculously bad at her 'job'. I wish I could be Accessories Editor at Elle Magazine with her lack of experience, knowledge and work ethic! Apparently Lauren wants her new reality show to be something more like 'The September Issue' following her progress throughout the fashion industry on a professional level, rather than the personal angle of both The Hills and Laguna. I'll definitely watch it, whether it will make me want to buy her clothes is something else.
So.... back to the point of this post! LC was looking absolutely stunning at the 'Save The Music' annual gala, a charity which Lauren is involved in, presumably because of her connection with MTV. She looked absolutely gorgeous sporting new darker, mature locks in a sleek side bun (wish I had enough hair to do this), gorgeous dark red lips and a Kate Moss for Topshop silk ink blue maxi dress.


*Kate Moss for Topshop, Tiered Seemed Maxi Dress, £250

She wouldn't look out of place at the Bloomsbury Ballroom London Prohibition 1920's Parties which I blogged about earlier this week. She's definitely channeling some old Hollywood vibes, absolutely stunning! She's come a long way from her greasy hair and oversized headbands :)

I love when celebrities wear high street gowns, especially when it just works so well and you'd have no idea if something was £250 or £2500!
There's a post on Lauren Conrad's website which details how to get that gorgeous side bun for yourself. So if you're lucky enough to not be 'follically challenged' as I am, use the following tutorial for a sexy screen siren look.
- Start with smooth, straight hair. Gently wrap 2-inch sections around a large barrel curling iron.
- Next, create a strong side part and brush the hair back to the side of your nape. Secure it in a pony tail. Twist the pony into a large figure-8 twist, and pin it in place.
- Glide a finishing cream over the hair. Then, on the opposite side that the bun is on, pull out a strand from the front to frame the face.
(Devin Toth, Ted Gibson hair salon, NYC)

DIOR ILLUSTRATEDNov 10, 2010

In my quest for things to do in London this weekend I thought I'd see if the ice rink had gone up at one of my favourite venues our capital has to offer - Somerset House. While browsing the website, I found that last night saw the private viewing launch of the 'Dior Illustrated' exhibition. René Gruau and the Line of Beauty is a celebration of the work of this influential illustrator, who was responsible for that iconic Lisa Minelli illustration - tuxedo, sharp bob cut, red lips and a cigarette, you all know the one! I'm sure his work has influence many illustrators and graphic designers of the modern day.
I feel shocked to the core that I didn't know anything about this event before hand and simply stumbled across it this morning! But at least I did before I went to London and not afterwards - I really hope I can force my friends into coming along with me as I'll be devastated if they won't and I miss out! Tickets are only £6! What a steal! The exhibition runs until 9th January 2011, so hopefully if I can't go this weekend, I will be able to go before the exhibition closes. It would be a crime against fashion not to attend!

The exhibition displays many pieces of artwork including original illustrations for Christian Dior Parfums, vintage perfume bottles, sketches and magazines. The exhibition will also showcase a dress designed by John Galliano in homage to René Gruau along with his chosen selection of Dior Haute Couture dresses. Now this I can't wait to see!
There's a great time table of events which is available to view on the Somerset House, Dior Illustrated web page. Many things are actually hands on providing the opportunity to talk to a panel and get the chance to design and make head pieces in a workshop! The event I'd be most interested in attending would be the Special Documentary Screening - Dior: The Man behind the Myth on the 27th November. Unfortunately, unsurprisingly is already sold out.
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Along with the dresses made by John Galliano, there will be a number of specially commissioned illustrated pieces by five modern day illustrators who have been inspired and influenced by Gruau's work. I'm overly excited about this as Jasper Goodall will be one of them!
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I've been aware of Jasper Goodall's work for a number of years now after the Birmingham boy's artwork after seeing his graphics for The Face magazine and later in an advertising campaign for Ooshka sex shop. I'm not perverted I promise, it was on a programme about a couple moving to Australia and deciding whether they were going to stay or go - Ooshka was their investment in Oz to stay there. Quite a lot of his work is in the vein of sexual artwork, with 'Sex & Design' work and a 'Pornogothic' project. It looks like the shop doesn't exist anymore but Jasper Goodall's flying.
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You may know him best for spending six months with Muse creating artwork for their album 'Black Holes and Revelations' along with merchandising and graphics for the live tour. 
However, the launch of his JG4B (Jasper Goodall 4 Bikini's) line back in 2008 saw the beginning of a real connection with the fashion world. His awesome graphic prints became available on great pieces of swimwear - both bikinis and monokinis! The collection completely sold out - keep an eye out for a new range which will be launching soon.
Hopefully I'll get to go to Somerset House this weekend, see how the history of Dior has influenced Jasper Goodall, check out some new frocks and amazing artwork. Fingers crossed I can blog my report of the exhibition!

PROHIBITION PERFECTIONNov 09, 2010

Growing up, one of my favourite books has always been 'The Great Gatsby'. I'm tempted to treat myself to a really nice Penguin classic fabric cover of the book, I adore that whole collection. A first edition is definitely out of my reach, I remember reading that one copy sold in 2009 for $180,000 - wow, that's a lot of money for a novel - no matter how good it smells! (This is a joke by the way, just referencing my weird fetish for the smell of old print). I bet one has probably gone for more too since then! Quite fitting for a novel with one of the themes/motives running through it including grandeur, excess, the quest for wealth and in the end, the decline of 'The American Dream'.
Gatsby is set in 1922 Long Island, two years into the prohibition era. The movement where the manufacture, transportation and sale of alcohol were banned simply drove the consumption of alcohol into an underground world controlled by criminals and money and caused havoc on society. It's likely that Gatsby has made his 'new money' through the trafficking of alcohol which enables him to throw wild and lavish parties to capture Daisy's attention. While I could continue with a literary review, what I want to talk about in this blog post is the glamour and fashion of the 1920's Speakeasy.
"I've been drunk for about a week now, and I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library."
~ Owl Eyes, Chapter 3, The Great Gatsby.
I adore the whole 1920's era and art deco movement. Frequently watching old episodes of Poirot for the gorgeous drop waisted, beaded flapper dresses of the time and constantly jealous of anyone who has been to Claridges in London for afternoon tea.
While investigating what to do in London this weekend, I came across the 'Prohibition 1920's Parties' which are held at the art deco Bloomsbury Ballroom. The evening looks absolutely fantastic and I can't believe that I've just missed one held on the 6th November. I've signed up to find out when the next event will be held and shall definitely clear some room in my diary! I can't believe that tickets are only £15 too!
Here's what they say about it:
Calling all tassel-clad flappers and pencil-moustachioed cads for a night of unbridled decadence and 1920s hedonism. London's illustrious Prohibition night is being revived in magnificent fashion on Saturday 6th November in the splendid surroundings of Bloomsbury Ballroom (but shhh...keep it a secret!)
Having become one of the most sensational parties in London, November's event promises to be another exciting foray into the glamorous 1920s. Dandies will surreptitiously quaff bootlegged booze at gambling tables while bobbed-cut good time girls dance the Charleston - all in this beautiful art deco ballroom.
The images from the event look amazing, with everyone really dressing up in amazing clothes and joining in the whole Speakeasy culture sipping cocktails from china teacups! I have a really nice black beaded flapper dress I bought from Oasis two years ago, which I think would be absolutely perfect for the occasion - with feather headdress and long gloves of course. I can't believe I never knew about this!
The whole 'Bright Young Things' campaign at ASOS should definitely serve up some suitable treats. Below are a few items I've found available to buy now which would completely work for the occasion.
~ Contraband couture! Delectable drop waists! Speakeasy sirens!</p>
<p>

*Red Valentino at Net a Porter, Sequined Tank Dress, £495

*ASOS, Vintage Style Corsage Stretch Headband, £6

<p>*Karen Millen, Beaded Dress, £250

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