Wednesday, 30 June 2010
I'd seen the perfect skirt a short while ago but never bought it, but as I was skimming the rails at Zara again, I came across the same skirt again. It must be fate! I had to get it, clearly it was calling my name, plus it was a bit of a bargain too!
I'll have to share my other super cool purchase I picked up once i've built it! Zara home, you are a legend!
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
I saw this image a while back on 'Because I'm addicted', I love it - isn't M.I.A smokin' gorgeous? Loving the pink lips, which reminds me I must dig out my hot pink MAC lippy 'Girl about Town' and show some fuchsia love. The headgear is pretty incredible right? Have you heard about the curse of The 'Evil Eye'?
In Greece (as this varies from country to country), this is a glance believed to have the ability to harm those on whom it falls, can come from anyone at any moment, or you can draw it to yourself. The cause can be zealous admiration, envy or even malevolent jealousy. Freeeeaky!
So, the funny thing is (or not), I've often suffered from really bad headaches usually after being out & about. Migraines are bad, but this was different, no amount of painkillers or ibuprofen helped. These headaches were seriously heavy and made me feel nauseous... ugh! Anyhow, it turns out I was given the 'Evil Eye' aka & 'Shiva Eye'. Lucky for me I had someone recite some prayers for me and a short while later I felt heaps better. Call me superstitious, but I wear a lucky charm religiously now (above) and weirdly enough, no more headaches! Here are some other protective charms I found on the net.
Hamsa Hand & Evil Eye charm Necklace by Vanessa Kandiyoti
Evil Eye ring by Kara Ross for Tory Burch
Sunday, 27 June 2010
By now some of you will have hit the beach at some point & flaunted your sizzling hot bikini bod.
I don't know if I'm the only one admitting this, but all those honed & toned bikini bodies & articles on Bikini Boot-Camp i've been seeing in all the glossies lately are kinda subconsciously screaming silently at me to get my ass in gear to get fit & healthy. Whilst i'm totally comfortable with the way I am, there's always room for self-improvement.
Oh and there's that great shot of Jennifer Aniston flying around on set of her new movie, 'Just go with it', her legs... arms... everything just looks really toned. Is it me or does this woman look better with age? She's as radiant as ever!
I've been telling myself I really ought to join a Yoga class here, although I'm struggling to find a Bikram workshop or join a gym (which really isn't my thing) but seriously, I've been procrastinating for... ooooh maybe a year and a half now and have done nothing, zip, diddly squat about it. The over-indulgence of ice-cream isn't helping either.
I used to love running in Hyde Park (great for people watching whilst being in the zone) or running around town, but in Athens, you just can't do that - pavements aren't made for walking let alone running (i'd wipeout in 5 seconds), the ridiculous scale of hills, i'd probably die running up one or trip & fall flat on my face running down one. A friend of mine who doesn't take to doing any kinda exercise at all, once told me, "the only time you ever run, is for the bus/train on the way to work or away from someone really bloody scary"... ok, then.
Right now, I just want to feel fitter (less sluggish and tired), aspire to be more active, maintain strength and vitality (so much more important than just looking good, but it sure is a bonus) and stop eating so late all the time- this is one thing I didn't get used to when i moved here. Dinner can be anything around 10pm-midnight... which results in me eating at least 5 times a day.
Deliciously Organised recently posted about cleansing, which is brilliant if you increase energy, clear your skin and basically rid your body of toxins.
So what's on the agenda for me? Organise the fridge so it looks a bit more like this for starters!!!
Whilst I do actually eat healthily, cook everything from scratch - even hummus! My fridge is jam packed with the green stuff (plus a tub of feta - the size of my head and a huge watermelon) it's just not organised in a fashion that is appealing. I'm going try & pre-chop and organise meals so they're ready to go on a daily basis to save time. I'm one of those people who need variety everyday, so thinking ahead is necessary.
Ok, Work-out vids are a little cheesy i know..., but I'm going to share this Tracy Anderson Workout for Adidas (Gwyneth Paltrow's work out guru) with you. Its only 10 mins long, pretty easy going and you can build on the moves by increasing the reps.
For those of you who want to incorporate other kinds of exercise regime, check out this Bikini Body Quick workout tips by Marie Claire.
So ladies, what are you doing to shape up for summer? Or are you procrastinating like me!?
Friday, 25 June 2010
I didn't really get the commotion when I moved to Greece at first (I thought there was an idiot blocking the road & lots of angry drivers or something), but this is tradition for cars following the bridal car to have blaring car horns, beeping pretty much non-stop! You see, the bride is supposed to pass the church three times before stopping (or is it two and out on the third) whilst the groom waits at the church.
There are heaps of wedding traditions, all of which vary from region to region & countries too. Personally, I like the tradition where they pin money on your dress and stuff money in your shoes, yes puuur-lease!!!
Anyhow, I am so deliriously happy to introduce my first ever Guest Blogger, who had me at "Drinking wine at lunch & butchering the Greek language each & every day" - Sounds like my kinda gal!
Meet the incredibly super stylish Fashion Butter (sorry blog is now currently inactive), who ALWAYS looks gorgeous on her personal style & fashion blog (filled with hot tips & dreamy Island shots of course!). I just had to ask if her island wedding was as dreamy & stylish as all those stunning pictures she keeps posting.
My husband and I were both born and raised outside of Greece, but we were still lucky enough to have our wedding on the Greek island that both of our fathers were born on (and where we now live). Traditionally around here, a couple is married in the town that the bride's family is from, so we had our wedding on the streets of the mountain village my grandfather grew up in - population 20 and a goat. It was kind of amazing to be married there - the tiny little village only plays host to a couple weddings a decade! We had the ceremony outside, complete with a choir, two priests and 400 of our closest friends and family.
So, let's start with what I wore. The only thing I knew going into the big dress search was that I *didn't know* exactly what type of dress I wanted. It actually wasn't that big of a search - I went to one place and chose the sixth dress I tried on - a platinum colored strapless column dress with a ruffled train and a skinny belt accenting the waist. I have to admit, I am not one of those brides who were head over heels in love with their dress (just head over heels in love with the groom - awwwwwwwwwwww). I kind of made the purchase under distress - but in the end, it did the job it needed it to do that day, especially after I removed all of its beading and strass.
I kept the accessories very simple - a simple pair of stud earrings, my wedding band ... and my summer tan. I did opt to have a little sparkle (okay, a lot of sparkle) on my bridal shoes though, much to my mother-in-law's delight, who kept trying to sell me on wearing a tiara.
Afraid of prom hair, I kept my bridal 'do pretty relaxed - it was basically a more refined version of the messy bun. I did test out three more *done* hairstyles, but honestly, they didn't quite mesh well with the vibe of the island surroundings. I did, however, go a little heavier on the makeup than I normally would have. At first I figured a summer island wedding needed summer island makeup ... boy, was I wrong. After testing out a more natural look with a few digital shots, all that bronzer, shimmery shadow and dewy foundation just didn't translate well on camera. So, since I didn't want my pictures to suck, matte drag queen makeup it was.
And of course, no wedding is complete without someone to marry. Shuddering at the thought of my husband in a tuxedo during the summer (do they even sell tuxedos in Greece?), he instead ended up wearing a gorgeous gray Hugo Boss suit, striped shirt, silver tie and camel colored shoes. He looked amazing. The perfect summer groom.
With him in gray and me in platinum, I decided to put my bridesmaids in short, yellow Maggy London cocktail dresses and plum colored platform shoes. They looked like sex-ay pinup girls and the strong punches of color seemed to work well with the wedding's island backdrop.
I'm not going to lie, getting married on a Greek island was a pretty unforgettable experience, but in addition to the typical wedding planning, I also had a lot to learn when it came to traditional Greek wedding customs. Here's a quick rundown of what's what as I understood it (I should also mention that some of these customs can vary by region):
- The bride is brought to the ceremony in a car (or horse-drawn carriage, old school style) by her father, and the procession of cars honks all the way to the church. My dad actually broke the horn of the car on our way to the ceremony. Ha!
- When the bride arrives at the church, it is customary to fire guns in celebration. Totally awesome ... and damaging to the eardrums.
- The bridal bouquet is given to the bride by the groom at the church. We have a hilarious picture of my husband holding my bouquet before the wedding and posing for a picture with his brother - it totally looks like they are getting ready to tie the knot in Vermont.
- Typically, Greek weddings do not include bridesmaids and groomsmen (even though we did have them) and usually just feature flower girls and boys.
- The rings are given to the priest before the ceremony and they are waiting for the bride and groom at the altar. I should also mention that it is customary in Greece to wear your wedding band on your left hand from the night you get engaged and then on your wedding day it is then switched over to be worn on the right.
- Greek weddings include the stefana (see image above). These crowns have religious significance and are joined with a white ribbon, which represents the couple's unity. The crowns are exchanged during the ceremony three times between the couple by the koumbari. In a Greek wedding, the koumbari are kind of like the godparents of the wedding ceremony - they assist in officially marrying the couple. In most cases, the couple chooses one man and one woman to be koumbari, but here on the island where I live, additional koumbari are also recognized during the ceremony - pretty much anyone you know who wants to exchange your stefana can get in line! The last local wedding I went to had about ten koumbari. Almost enough for a soccer team.
- And speaking of local customs, another one is that wedding invitations are delivered in person to wedding guests. A nice gesture indeed, but a little challenging when you have 250 to deliver to guests. We were delivering invitations for about six weeks. A couple invites even made it to guests after the wedding. Whoops! Don't worry, in true Greek fashion they had heard about the wedding from a family member and hit up the festivities anyway.
- There is a fun part of the church ceremony in which your guests hurl rice at you as you circle a table three times. It has kind of become a bit of a rite of passage these days as the married wedding guests WHIP rice at you as hard as they can to get back at everyone who whipped rice at them. Not only was this painful and I was picking rice out of my hair for days, when I took my wedding dress off that night after the reception, about a pound of rice fell to the ground. I found rice in places rice should never be.
Phew! - I think that's enough for today. There are quite a few more, but I am going to stop here because this post is getting ridiculously long and I want to be invited back. Many thanks to A Brit Greek for the opportunity to be a part of her wonderful blog!
Well that's all folks! Hope you enjoyed and have a fantastic weekend! Thanks so much for sharing your amazing, dreamy & super special day with us Fashion Butter!!!
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
We all know how fabulous Topshop is, it's the mecca where everyone, from fashionistas, celebs to teens & mums alike go to get their fashion fix without breaking the bank.
One of my oldest gal pals, Jo whom i've known since our days studying for our Fashion Degree has a job to die for! Shoes, lots of beautiful shoes get dumped on her desk, like everyday! Lucky her!
I've also added some additional bits in black - stuff like buying speak really.
Job Title: Shoe Buyer
Where do you work: Topshop Head Office, London
1. What do you actually do?
- Buy shoes for Topshop (TS), ensuring that we build a great range for our target/potential customers.
2. What's your general working pattern like?
- MONDAY - Go through the sales pack* and analyse last weeks sales. We generally look at each line and new reaction to see if we need to repeat (buy again)/move on (develop the style) or limit/review anything coming in that isn't working and monitor it's progress.
- * The sales pack is usually one big fat printed pack with all the styles in store or at the warehouse due for delivery into stores, including style/line numbers, colours bought, quantity (qty) bought, qty sold, how many weeks is left before product sells out according to average weekly sales and quantity bought.
- TUESDAY-FRIDAY varies depending on whats happening but we generally buy monthly and are constantly reviewing the range and adding in new key styles/colours that we need in quickly.
- Day to day I tend to be: visiting suppliers to see what they have, in meetings with design working on new developments, trawling the internet and magazines for inspiration, looking at the competition and shopping for new ideas, liaising with merchandisers re: quantity's/dates/price points and ranging, placing orders with suppliers, negotiating prices and dates, visiting TS branches across the country, in range reviews* with management, buyers' meetings looking at the trends and highlighting key items and fit sessions with shoe technologists.
- As a Buyer it is important to keep building relationships with potential/current suppliers as well as ensuring deliveries come in on time, being aware of all kinds of trends-reacting to them and what the competitors are doing in store - the team will always go Comparative Shopping (Comp. Shop) and produce a report to share with the team.
- * Range Reviews - working with the merchandising team, a review is compiled of the previous season/or months performance - so the products both best-sellers and worse sellers (Dogs) are analysed and reviewed to understand what the consumer liked and disliked.
- Designers, Press/marketing, Merchandisers & Store managers
- The buzz when something comes in a flies out and the constant excitement/urgency of finding the next big thing. Also working with people that are so creative, passionate and proud about the product and the brand we work for.
- No! Its hard work...You have to roll your sleeves up and get involved whether its rifling through 100's of old dusty vintage shoes, shifting boxes and rails of shoes around the office to different meetings, spending all day in a factory or trawling round exhibition halls with thousands of shoe stands - it can be painful if you've woken up at 5am to get a flight then gone straight to a trade show!
- India, LA, Paris, Milan, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, New york....
- There's a lot of pressure (to constantly have and create newness) and you can't miss a thing so it can be tiring at times if you don't give yourself a break occasionally! There's also a lot of personal preferences and expectations you have to manage so you have to stand by what you think is right for the brand.
- In addition to this, the hours can be long, especially if you are preparing a presentation/range review (which needs to be agreed and signed off with management), or dealing with everything - last minute emails, deliveries etc before you have to go away on a business trip, the work load can pile up substantially, dealing with a late delivery (and the suppliers).
- To ensure the range is always new and sales are potentialised on key items.
- To push and seek the next big trend
- Plan the range with merchandising to ensure we meet our sales plan, target margins and that we offer a balanced range at all times with out going over the budget. Work out initial order quantities/colours to be bought in range planning.
- Critical Path - plan the key dates for product development, production and delivery.
- Manage Supply Base (A no. of qualified suppliers my team work with) ensuring we meet our targets in terms of quality control (QC), cost prices
- Manage Buyers Admin Assistant (BAA) and Assistant Buyer (AB) to ensure orders go on the system, deliveries are managed and on time and the general running of the department
- Ultimately to make sure our profits are up on the year and our markdown is kept to a minimum!
10. What skills do you need to be a great buyer?
- Have the ability to juggle 100 things at once and have your finger on the pulse at all times!
- It helps if you're quick, efficient, adaptable, enthusiastic, energetic, creative, passionate about the product you're buying, confident in your decisions, a good communicator, fairly good with numbers (analytical & strategical) and good at using your initiative
- Apply for a BAA role in a brand/company that you feel suits you and your style/personality. Get work experience or work in retail to get a feel for things.
- Be passionate about fashion, know your trends, push your ideas forward, aspire to buy those Mui Mui platforms (even if you can't afford them!), experiment with your own style and always think ahead.
- Spiral - Strappy peep toe heel £65
- Prima- Sling back clogs £80
- Saffron - Mint strappy heels £70
- Frances - Stud sandal £35
12. What's the salary range like from a BAA to a Buyer on senior level ?
- Hard to say, but for the lower end - starting around 16-18k for a BAA to 60k for someone at a more senior level
- It takes on average around 5yrs from BAA to become a Buyer if you work hard & are passionate about what you do.
- By looking in Drapers Record (Fashion Business magazine in UK) and sending my CV. Most brands have a recruitment page on their website so you can go through that.
- Just because a job isn't advertised (the fashion ones usually aren't by the way), contact an agency (who specialises in fashion) and sign up with them or contact the brand you see yourself working for directly and make sure you have a CV that is up-to date, ready to email/send the future employer. Having gone through loads of CV's myself (believe me, everyone wants your job or a BAA, BA, AB role) everyone usually starts with an introduction about themselves/personal statement. Whilst this is great, I also suggest mentioning what you have done for the love of fashion (be it organising a fashion show to raise money for a charity-you get the idea) in that first opening paragraph about yourself. That is something that usually catches my eye as everyone can be 'passionate', 'enthusiastic' about fashion and read magazines etc but are they really? What have they done to prove it?
- Try not to lose your cool under pressure and always stand by your decisions. (Believing that a product will be a best-seller even if someone else can't see or share the same vision).
Mastering Fashion Buying & Merchandising Management by Tim Jackson via Amazon
Agencies in UK:
Missed out on last weeks "I want this Job" feature? Click here for the low-down on Ladieswear Designer, Christine Macaulay.
If you love food & fashion, happen to be in London, you get your fix at Pret-a-Portea, at The Berkeley, Knightsbridge.
That said, the little Chanel Clog biscuit just looks way too cute to bite into... What a great place for the girls to get together eh?
For the full Marie Claire article, click here.
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Anyhow, I stumbled across these fabulous videos via Grazia - which can be re-created in a jiffy. They're bloody brilliant if i might say so and they're less than 6 minutes long! Check it out!!!
Hair: Glam messy bun
p.s You can probably pick up a sponge doughnut from Hondos Centre or Claire's Accessories in Athens.
Otherwise in Boots, Superdrugs etc in UK.
Make-up: Summer Aqua Smoky eyes
I have a penchant for turquoise or aqua make up... This look is easy as chips! Love it!
I dare you not to try these looks and look super duper glam after! You'll have to let me know how you get on - show me some picture love girls!
Sunday, 20 June 2010
images via Christina's amazing portfolio here
Friday, 18 June 2010
Throughout the 90's & noughties Milla rode a fashion high, then there was her acting roles - remember 'Kuffs' with Christian Slater and 'Dazed & Confused'? She has since packed in a few kick-ass roles such as 'Fifth Element', 'Joan of Arc' & the 'Resident Evil' movie franchise(-really not my thing at all).
Her film choices really didn't quite do it for me but her red-carpet style always did. She always looked so glamorously quirky.
Anyhow, I'm so so happy that Milla has gone back to her fashion roots recently, especially with her new Escada Fall 2010 campaign (see below) and this fabulous shoot she did for Harper's Bazaar, Singapore back in April. Check it out!
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Well, today I'm introducing a new feature called "I Want This Job", i'll be sharing varied jobs within the Fashion Industry with you all.
First in the series, is super talented Red-Head, Christine Macaulay, who studied Fashion at Manchester University before launching her career as a Designer.
Who: Christine Macaulay
Job title: Ladieswear designer
Where do you work/who do you work for?
A: based in Manchester, I work for a company called 'Influence', we design a range that is sold to various retailers across the U.K high street (House Of Fraser, New Look, Republic, Peacocks, NEXT, River Island)
What's a typical day like/work activities?
- Researching trends (catwalk, internet, magazines, blogs)
- Looking at websites of competitors on the market
- Drawing flat sketches of garments that fit into the relevant stories (i.e key looks of the season)
- Preparing design packs to send out to factories
- Meeting customers to discuss design briefs (identify what they're looking for)
- Answering emails from customers and factories
- Posting garments to customers upon request
What do you love about your job?
Firstly the team I work with! They're the most amazing fun and creative group of people. My job allows me to be creative, travel and work with clothes...what more could you want?
What's not so great about it?
The work load is heavy and there's a lot of pressure to design clothes that will actually sell and not get too carried away, being a lover of all things floral, bright and shiny, this can sometimes prove tough!
What core responsibilities do you have as a designer?
- Researching trends (catwalk, internet, magazines, blogs)
- Shopping trips, identifying product direction/ gathering inspiration, photographing what people are wearing (H.K, NYC, L.A, Tokyo, China, Korea, Europe). We get alot of inspiration from vintage clothing, which I love!
- International trips sourcing trims & fabrics (India, China, Korea, Turkey)
- Designing placement and repeat prints/ graphics for woven & jersey range
- Flat sketches, preparing tech packs for overseas production (China, India, Turkey)
- Requesting mock up samples that demonstrate designs
- Supervising fit sessions with technical staff
- Amending garments dealing directly with international factories from initial design through to production
- Attending meetings to present range to customer base
- Making amendments according to customer brief
- Overseeing factories to ensure garments arrive with customer on time
What skills do you need to get into Fashion Designing?
- The ability to work quickly and accurately under pressure!
- Strong communication skills
- CAD skills (Adobe PhotoShop,Illustrator)
- Drawing ability (both freehand and technical)
- Proficient creative pattern cutting
- Competent sewing skills (freehand and machine)
- Understanding of market
- Knowledge of fabrics/ garment construction
Do you have to know how to design for all different areas of fashion? i.e soft separates, wovens, coats or accessories?
At the moment I'm designing woven garments (dresses, skirts, tops, playsuits) and also some jersey garments. It is not essential to have knowledge of all product types as such.
I have known people to switch from designing denim to say...outerwear, it is important to be adaptable and versatile and also pick up knowledge from others around you (in case you were ever to want to design other types of product).
Is it essential to know how to use CAD, use a sewing machine if you're designing for a retailer?
- It helps to be able to use CAD although not essential, most people can pick it up quite quickly if required. Some people still only draw designs by hand which is cool as long as you can communicate your ideas clearly enough for a factory to understand. I find CAD is great when designing an intricate beading layout or embroidery design, it saves you drawing each individual bead and allows you to play around a lot more efficiently.
- We don't use the sewing machine very often at our place, but you need to have a good understanding of garment construction to be able to identify if something has been made incorrectly and advise what needs to be improved/ changed.
- It helps to be able to use a sewing machine if you want to mock up...say a sleeve or detail that you want to demonstrate to the factory for them to follow for production.
Did you have a portfolio when you started your career?
Yes! Most design graduates have a portfolio of some variety, you need to be able to show prospective employers your skill set/ drawing ability...your portfolio evolves quite quickly as you improve and learn new bits and bobs. - Keep building this up with new material.
How did you start networking/find your dream job?
I was approached by River Island at Graduate Fashion Week and offered my first job, so things have just evolved from there, you meet people everywhere you work and find out just how small the World is!
Any other advice you'd like to share?
- Stay focused, it can be a hard industry to crack into, but just keep working hard at what you enjoy.
- Get a much experience as you can, be it internships (work experience), local clothing projects, absorb everything that will give you a better understanding of how the business works/things are made etc.
- Be yourself.
Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones - this is a highly amusing, witty, (insight into the Fashion World) can't put it down book.
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Anyhow, this gorgeous DVF dress (now £275) is still available - last time i checked!
Remember i blogged about these beauties here a while back? Well they're also on sale for £315 from £630!
French Connection is awesome for Sales - i have always picked out some amazing pieces with a whopping 50-75% discount. Check out these beauties below!
- Pixies Peony dress: now £52
- Tan 70's sandal (very Michael Kors!): now £80
- Black platform Jainell Sandal: now £66
New Look is best on trend bargains. You're not really looking at quality here but for fashion at great prices.
I know the Hondos Center (Greece) has a 25% discount on beauty bits and selected perfume... not bad eh?
Monday, 14 June 2010
In one of my fabulous books I was given as a gift (The Goddess Guide by Gisele Scanlon), I stumbled across the über talented Nathalie Lecroc, a French Artist who paints the contents of clients (from Fashion Editors, Models, Socialites, Parisian Housewives) handbags at her kitchen table.
So what the devil's inside my bag?
I always carry the key essentials in my day bag:
- Re-usable bag for groceries
- Sunnies - i tend to switch on a regular basis, depending on what i'm wearing
- Book - very useful when stuck in a queue, this seems to be a common thing with me - especially at the bank or the Post Office.
- Wallet - No surprises there.
- Pen - for scribbling randomness
- Keys - with mini Swiss army knife (why i need it, i don't quite know), supermarket club card & lucky Jade charm
- Random: Eye-drops, inhaler, tissue & effervescent vitamin C- I have the sniffles & a cold right now - I don't get how though, it's like a gazillion degrees in Greece!
Er,,, beauty bits: mainly lots of lip glosses and a strawberry lip balm, perfume, hot pink cream blush and a hair accessory. I often carry a nail file too, looks like the bags chewed it up.