Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Hollywood touches down in M&S AW11 campaign

Holy smokes, Ryan Reynolds and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley make British high street retailer M&S look good! These dreamy images taken by Greg Williams were unveiled today for their new Autograph collection. (Launching instore and online from 1st September)

Admittedly, when I first read the headline, I was a little gobsmacked at the casting of such high profile stars and whether it was right for M&S' image but it's only for their Autograph collection, a contemporary sub brand, which ultimately caters for a younger market than the main M&S brand. What do you think? Likey or no likey?

Previous Marks & Spencer (M&S) Spring 2011 marketing campaign, featuring Dannii Minogue, V V Brown, Twiggy, Lisa Snowdon and Ana Beatriz Barros. (Of which only Twiggy and Lisa will continue to feature in future campaigns)

images via here & here

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Sunday, 28 August 2011

New York, I Love You! Stay Safe East Coasters!

Times Square on Saturday night, via LA Times

I've only ever been to New York once, and in those four memorable days, I fell head over heels with love with New York City. I remember the buzz of Manhattan, the amazing diversity, the food, the fashion, the smells, sticking my head out of a yellow cab and seeing the stunning skyline, the bright city lights, giant billboards, people casually playing chess in Washington Square Park... ah, the memories.
I know the East coast has been hit hard (the news and the images pretty hard to digest), but my thoughts are with you all, I'm just hoping and praying that you are all safe!

Here are just some of the stunning photos I came across of New York, a deserted ghost town. It's so eerie seeing New York like this...

Panorama short of Manhattan with Hurrican Irene on the way
Brooklyn bridge almost deserted, via Huffington Post (AP photos)

Lower Manhattan via Huffington Post (AP photos)

34th Street by Damon Scheleur, Huffington Post

Grand Central Station Terminal, deserted, all but the 2 guys
via AP Photos

NB: All images have been edited slightly by me!
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Friday, 26 August 2011

Simple, Sexy Chic: Kate Beckinsale & Sienna Miller

Who knew that a simple shirt/blouse, sexy hair and simple bra & boy shorts underwear could look so smokin' hot? I haven't seen many editorials featuring Kate Beckinsale, this is actually a shoot from 2008 for Mean Magazine, but I have to say, WOW.

One of my all time favourite looks (similar to this Mean Mag shoot) has be Sienna Miller's character, Nikki from "Alfie". Aside from the jaw-dropping 60's wardrobe, it's the combination of bare skin & pale lips teamed with lashings of black kohl, falsies, choppy fringe and thick wavy hair in a half up do which just kinda blows you away.
Photos after the Kate Beckinsale shoot.

Even though Photoshop might have had a heavy hand in this photoshoot, I do love this profile shot of Kate, she looks beautiful here.

Sienna Miller's character Nikki in Alfie

See what I mean? Sienna just oozes gorgeousness in this movie, (although I think the original 1960's version of Alfie with Michael Caine is way more brilliant).

The hair half up half down is an easy look to create and works with both straight or wavy hair.
  • Separate a little bit of hair from the front & tease the hair underneath, near the crown using a fine tooth comb and a healthy dose of hairspray (if you want extra staying power).
  • Pull & smooth the front top bits over the teased area and twist the back part & secure with kirby grips (bobby pins). Et Voila!

Sienna wearing Jude Law's pink shirt (by Osward Boateng)
There's something undeniably sexy about wearing a guys dress shirt and not much else, no?

Lookin' groovy baby!

Aww, I loved the Jude & Sienna years, she dressed so much better & more free spirited then.

For full shoot of Kate Beckinsale click here
Alfie Movie screenshots via here

Wishing you all an amazoid weekend!

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Things my Grandmother taught me

Ever since my weekend of watching a marathon session of Chinese movies (I do that when I need a hit of Hong Kong fabulousness), I've been reminded of my Grandmother - "Po Po" (grandma in Chinese-on mothers side), who was a remarkle woman.
'In the Mood for Love' , a super stunning and amazing movie, brought back memories of how stylish my grandma was, 'Ip Man' reminded me how crazy awesome she was at martial arts, yes, she totally kicked ass and was also a survivor of the 2nd Sino-Japanese war.

My grandmother in 1966, she always swept her hair up in a chic chignon with beehive, Amy Winehouse would have been proud!

Like I said, she's pretty extraordinary. Sadly, she passed away last year but I'll never forget the influence she had on my life. In a way this is my little tribute to her, my fabulous Po Po, I'm so lucky to have had her in my life.

Wong Kar-Wai's stylish masterpiece - "In the Mood for Love" screenshot

It was after watching a random selection of movies that reminded me of some of the things she used to always drill into my head whenever we saw each other or whenever we spoke.

Family is important.

Be kind, generous and courteous to others. A huge thing my grandmother instilled in me & my brother is respect others, especially the elders.

Exercise & eat your greens
Whilst eating right and exercising is important so is vitality. My grandmother was trained from the age of 6 by different Sifu and grandmasters in all types of martial arts (even by the same sifu as Bruce Lee at one time) and she continued doing Tai Chi throughout her later years in life. It brought her great inner strength and focus. Oh, and you can bet your ass she taught me kung fu when I was a kid! After all it was my late great grandfather, Grandmaster, Chan Dau's ( 陳斗 ) wishes that this be passed onto other generations.

Being scrupulous with money
My grandmother came from an extremely wealthy family, but all that changed after the Sino-Japanese War, when her family lost everything. Life was extremely tough but she hung in there and she worked hard to get where she was. (She never really volunteered her experiences of this war on me and I never asked). She also taught me the importance of saving up and not spending more than I earnt - especially on credit cards.

Hard Work, Excellence & Success
She always encouraged my brother & I to work (really) hard and strive for excellence in everything, which meant that getting anything less that a 100/100 mark or an A grade at school was out of the question. I think by the time our other cousins were born, the academic pressure to succeed was greatly reduced but that still didn't stop my supergran from wanting either of us to become doctors, lawyers, engineers or accountants (- all relatively Chinese stereotypical career choices)! Still, she truly believed that hard work equated to success.

Cook things from scratch
Po Po was an amazing cook, she knew how to pick her greens, fresh fish, meat and all sorts of weird and wonderful Chinese ingredients from the market. I used to marvel at her cooking loads of amazing, nutritious dishes & the daily 3 litre vat of soup over a tiny 2 gas ringed stove for 10 people. Alas, for me, I haven't quite mastered the art of cooking like my grandmother, my only talent is that I love to eat. That's good enough for me.

Sometimes when we just wanted a quick meal in under 15 minutes, she used to make us a funny dish for lunch of macaroni or ramen noodles in a bowl of steaming soup with spam, a common dish in Hong Kong and S.E Asia! I don't think i've had this dish in 2 decades!

Keeping a clean home
She would wax lyrical about this one! She also used to break out the Dettol, when anyone had just flown over to HK and give their suitcases a full-on wipedown - for real!

Giving yourself an egg white face mask - not as gross as it sounds!
I didn't think this used to work, but it's actually great for tightening pores & providing a temporary face lift! She also believed in removing every trace of make up before going to bed and not putting anything on your face that you wouldn't eat.

Po Po celebrating her 80th!

Overcome your past
My grandmother endured a lot throughout her life, if anything she's always said it's good to let go of the past (including mistakes & failures) to bring peace into your life. Otherwise you'll be fighting a life long battle of regret/frustration/pain.
She always said life doesn't always go as planned, there will always be highs and lows, but that it's important to embrace the highs and keep strong & positive when enduring the lows.
Ah, such wise words.

Believing in A Higher Power
No visit to Bonkers Honkers was complete without a visit to the temple, especially if we were visiting in the New Year. My grandmother firmly believed there were greater powers above looking after us all.

Guys, do share if there's something you've learnt from your grandmother! I'd love to hear your little bite of wisdom.

(Yeah I know, some of you thought I was Greek right? For those of you who might be a wee bit confused about my nationality after reading this post, I'm 1st gen, British Born Chinese who has been residing in Greece for 3 yrs, all in the name of love!) Wanna know which animal ruled the year you were born in on the Chinese Lunar calendar?

One more for giggles:
My Grandmother, my aunt, my brother and me (almost 4 yrs old)
Po Po told me that Peter Pan collars will always be in fashion. She said accessorizing is important and she also assured me that page-boy style, bowl haircuts really were the norm!
Man, I really loved that studded frame bag! It went everywhere with me on my visit in HK.

Other movies I watched:
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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Fashionably Late: Joining IFB

Yup, if anything i'm probably a million light years too late in joing the IFB crew, but it's done!

What an awesome and welcoming community! I don't know how they know that you've registered so quickly, but floods of emails came with hi's, welcome & whatnot. How lovely.
Hope to see you on IFB, send me a friend request if you're also a member, you'll catch me here or let me know you're a member.
If you're also a fashion blogger and looking to spread your wings, this is the place to hook up with other like minded and fabulous bloggers as well as your go-to resource for all things blogging. Haven't signed up yet? Find out more here.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend kittens!

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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fabulous Thursdays: Fashion Heroes

Quite a while back I watched one part of the series called "The Day Before" and I remembered being fascinated by fashion legend, Diane Von Furstenberg, her persona blew me away-so confident, alluring and also a brilliant business woman. Inventor of the wrap dress, Diane has seen her business soar in the 70's, crash in the 80's and also rise significantly with an impressive comeback.

One of my favourite things she has ever said has to be about her looks and not giving in to plastic surgery. Earlier this year, following a ski accident left her with a broken nose and fractured face, DVF said, "If I ever had any desire to have plastic surgery...I know for sure, I would not want it. I was so terrified that I would lose my old face," adding, "I don't want anybody else's face. I don't want a younger face. I just want my old face back." Don't cha just love her? At 64, she is still a total rock star.

DVF back in the 70's

Diane’s 10 Rules to Live by (from Elle Magazine)

  • Trust yourself. “The secret to feeling attractive, and to being attractive, is the confidence that comes from knowing who you are and what you believe in.”
  • Accept the passage of time. “The older you get, the more you should learn to love life and appreciate the beauty that comes with age.”
  • Document your days. “Carry a camera and create an inspiring visual diary of your life.”
  • Your suitcase symbolizes your life. “The best way to know a woman is to open her luggage. If she knows how to pack well, it means she understands , and cherishes, how to live a simplified life.”
  • Fashionable friends. “Choose fashions that make you happy. I hope the clothes I design will become my clients’ best friends. That way, when they open their closets, they will always encounter someone special.”
  • Dress your personality. “Always choose styles that also accentuate your personality. Don’t use fashion to try and project a different persona. Authenticity is key.”
  • Use your feminine power. “My mother taught me that being a woman is a privilege because the world revolves around us! It is a precious gift, and its power should be used in a subtle and respectful way.”
  • Your handbag is your guide. “Before leaving home, check your agenda and organize your bag according to what you have to do that day. Keeping everything in order makes life easier.”
  • Indulge yourself. “If you are like me, and don’t want to resort to Botox, book regular massages. I’m sure it helps to keep everything firm and in it’s place!”
  • Lead a balanced life. “The best regimen is to keep moving! Never stop working, travelling and seeking adventure. Drink plenty of water, limit alcohol and sugar and get to your yoga class!”
Another major inspiration, is Marilyn Monroe... I really enjoyed Jennifers post on 'Beautiful Misfit' via i know, right? Oh, and she totally she cracks me up in a huge way, but don't be surprised if you learn something new from her posts too.

Loving these rare Marilyn Monroe photographs via time.com circa 1950
& Marilyn Quotes

image above via I know, right?

"Everyone's a star and deserves the right to twinkle."

"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

"Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about."

"If you're gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty."
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Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Controversy: Lingerie for 4 year-olds?

Ok, I'm going to have my 2 pennys' worth of say here, but seriously it's kinda getting way too much, too young??? What am I referring to?
It wasn't long ago when I read B's brilliant post on "Children and the fashion industry: When are they TOO young?" regarding 10 year-old Thylane Blondeau's visually jaw-dropping (and questionable) shoot in the French edition of Vogue. Some may defend the shoot & say that it's a stunning high fashion shoot, or that it's blatantly inappropriate and somewhat creepy.
Only a week or so ago I picked up on
this article in the Daily Mail about Thylane's mother closing down her daughter's Facebook account which boasted 700 strong fan base following the bombardement of all the criticism she received. (I've been told that her online portfolio consist of much worse and even nude photos too!)

Yesterday, I read another pretty disturbing article about how a mother of a girl as young as 12 posed in revealing clothes, complete with belly piercing had posted these images on the internet, seriously WTF was she thinking? Oh yes, she wanted her daughter to be noticed in hope of launching her modelling career. OMGG.

She is now 15 years old and 16 weeks pregnant and her goal/ambition in life? To be a glamour model... (since posting this yesterday, I want to be clear in saying that there is nothing wrong with becoming a glamour model. I hope I haven't offended anyone here,
I sure as hell didn’t mean to come across like that. My concerns lie of that with the mother's actions and the welfare of the child. Is the aspiration of becoming a glamour model what the child really wants when she grows up? Or is this the profession that her mother is pushing her into? She is only 15 years old and potentially quite vulnerable still. Does she really know what she wants (in life)? It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to become when I grew up and that changed at least a billion times, but I guess everyone is different. More worryingly and the main issue of the post is in regards to the sexualisation of young girls & inappropriate imagery of kids online/in the media. In 2008, The Times quoted that “MySpace reported that it had identified and removed 29,000 convicted sex offenders caught using the site.” I don’t really know if there are any other networking sites or childrens modelling agencies that have had to deal with similar issues such as this, but it is pretty worrying.)

I had a momentary brain fart as so many thoughts sped through & collided in my brain...I'm not even going to go into what her mother was thinking because in a nutshell, she is just going to come out of this situation with the possibility of a bigger council house for her other kids and pregnant 15 yr old daughter. (Surely not fair to low-income families who are on waiting lists with serious health and welfare concerns and in need of a suitable home too? I have no issues with council homes, but am concerned that this mother could be abusing the system, but appreciate her circumstances too, tricky). But that is the UK after all and they are rather generous with the tax payers money.

Now this...

image via Jour Apres Lunes

In addition to all this, currently under fire today is French Lingerie brand Jours Après Lunes, for their rather inappropriate campaign photoshoot their Fille range of lingerie designed for kiddies as young as 4 (up to 12 years old). I think most girls are at least in their double digits before donning even a training/first bra, right? Whist some of the range does provide some decent cover up, the imagery can be potentially seen as marketing to pedophiles amongst other things.

Anyhoos, talk about can't get these kiddies sexualised quick enough! I guess waiting til a slightly more maturer age of 13 is considered way to OLD these days??? This kinda reminds me of that episode of SATC 'Hot child in the City' where Samantha's super rich & rather grown up teen client is already talking & dressing like a grownup, appears to have missed out on her childhood innocence.
How sad.

What are your thoughts on all this controversy?
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Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Consumed by Monochrome

I hope you're all good blogger buddies! I'm afraid I'm at a loss for words for today's post... Actually, I have to seriously resist from opening my mouth today and letting a whole load of endless curses from spilling out. It seemed that whilst yesterday, the 3rd most important religious day in the Greek calendar, everyone had scooted off either to the villages or on holiday, thieving scoundrels happened to be lurking everywhere.

The apartment block basement, where I live got broken into, and also my mother-in-laws cake/pastry shop in another part of town too. All the money (meant for wages, bills & suppliers etc) got taken and not a cent left.
I guess it doesn't matter where you live, whether it's a good, safe area or not, not so nice things can happen, only it's about a billion times worse now since the recession kicked off.
Anyhoos, excuse my minor venting... Whilst i'm not in the mood for much colour today, I am feeling the love for monochrome. Enjoy!

Lastly, I know that...

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Friday, 12 August 2011

W for Wow and Who's that Girl?

Seriously, WOW! I did a double take at the headlines when I saw these images shot by the marvelous duo, Mert & Marcus for W Magazine. Yes, it really is Twilight star Kristen Stewart looking rather Glam might I say.
I'm so used to seeing Kristen looking super grungy, moody and even awkward on the red carpet, that this editorial came as a real surprise. I can't quite place who she reminds me of either in this shoot. Answers on a postcard please folks!

Ms. Stweart in Gucci chiffon gown
Useful piece of beauty info via W: "Stewart gets sultry bedroom eyes with Clé de Peau" Intensifying Cream Eyeliner. “A modern take on this look is keeping the eye makeup intense, but in a clean and not smudgy way,” says makeup artist Lucia Pieroni.

I must say, interesting choice for a cover shoot from W mag though, since K-Stew isn't exactly known for being fashion forward, but I do love a surprising & fabulous transformation.

Friday is upon us lovelies, I hope you all have some awesome plans! Have a good weekend!

Photographers: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Hair by Luigi Murenu for John Frieda
Makeup by Lucia Pieroni for Clé de Peau Beauté; manicure by Lorraine Griffin for Chanel.
Stylist: Edward Enninful

For full interview click here
For more images here

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Monday, 8 August 2011

Inspirational seasonal shift: Autumnal flavours

We haven't even touched on the last days of summer and yet somehow I'm on a totally different vibe today. I blame the September Issues, magazines have gone into hyperdrive with the new season in a major way. Furthermore, autumnal looks have been easing their way into stores with mini transitional lines available on the high street now.

Tickling my fancy today and sucking me into the autumnal mood are the stunning AW11 press shots from River Island's Lookbook. Seriously, they've got it bang on trend, filtering all the hot looks from the catwalk. It's just a darn shame they don't deliver worldwide even though there are stores in Singapore, Turkey, Poland, Ireland, Netherlands and the Middle East.

Super glam maxi frocks in bold, brights - LOVE it!

River Island have come a long way in the past 5 years (not forgetting the former Chelsea Girl years), their accessories line (especially the bags) are simply to die for.
For quite some time the likes of asos, Topshop and even H&M (in the UK) have been the go to brands on the highstreet, but i'd say that River Island are really on top of their game right now and clearly in a league of their own.

There's a real mix of exciting trends coming through in their AW11 collection, I guess I might be tempted to hop on a plane back to London after all.

What looks and trends will you be coveting in the upcoming new season?

images via River Island Press shots

p.s To everyone at home (UK), stay safe...

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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Lusting after... Bad A$$ rings & pretty things

I was recently asked if i'd bought anything lately... in my head I was kinda thinking 'so, does this include online splurge or do you actually, physically mean walking into a shop and purchasing something which involves the exchange of hard earned cash?' Other than my dream dress purchase via Cocosa, it has been forever since I bought anything. Scout's honour...

I can't remember the last time I swooned at anything exciting, but whilst doing the rounds and looking for some summer accessorizing, I came across this long chained feather necklace and large stone cocktail ring from H & M. Yup, I swept these up in a jiffy and both weren't crazy expensive either, job done.

Even after my mini shopping stint, I still can't help but go gaga for these gorgeous rings!

1. ID knuckle duster ring by Mawi 474 euros
2. Bronze Lizard Onyx ring by Kara Ross reduced to £66.50 also via asos
3. Topshop triangle cut out ring £7.50
4. Low Luv 14ct Tripe bar ring by Erin Wasson redeuced £67.50 via asos

5. Vivienne Westwood silver square box ring £195 via asos
6. McQueen Spiral Twin skull ring (also available in gold) £150 via Harvey Nichols
7. This is so reminds me of the YSL Arty ring, but gorgeous otherwise. $16.95 Via Sportsgirl Aus
8. Agate cocktail ring £10 via River Island

Lastly, whilst grabbing the links for these rings, I've just spotted Lanvins new Medailles Crystal ring via Harvey Nichols, it is gorgeous!!! Which of these are tickling your fancy?

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!
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