Monday, 31 October 2011

Pachacuti: Panama hats with a conscience

I am a big supporter of ethical fashion and when I can, I always post something about these labels. Being ethical doesn't mean being dull. Pachacuti is a living proof that being Fairtrade, being ethical  it means being glamorous. This year it scooped the Observer Ethical Award, I was there, great evening, and now it presented its new collection at London Fashion Week at the Estethica's wing.  All the panama hats are made  in Ecuador by several groups of women associations. The work supports the weavers, their families and community projects. These hats are made using old weaving tecnique, tipical of the Andean communities. The look is very vintage but at the same time, these hats can be rolled and put in a suitcase ready for your next holiday. Panama hats are embellished with ribbons in silk or feathers sourced in Scotland from hunting estates. The straw used for Pachacuti 's production is sourced locally in Ecuador, organically grown. I've told you everything, now you just have to go out and look for one of these gorgeous hats, Christmas is close and this is a great idea for a gift full of meanings.

The black Chicago hat and the Marquesa, with bow and heart

Casual Classics and Sustainable British Luxury

Daisy, the green Windward Seaglass and Vita with "Liberty" fabric band

Wilde with silk ribbon and feather pin

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Nicole Farhi Spring Summer Collection 2012

Colours and colours and colours for Nicole Farhi SS2012  collection at London Fashion Week. Buttercup yellows, ice cream pinks, raspberry sorbets, and prints, huge pixelled flowers. Cotton and laser cut leather , sequins. and sheer silks. Many of these looks were accessorized with a judo belt, finishing the whole outfits with great strappy wedges and sunglasses, the latest venture of this great designer. Look at the pictures and you will understand my excitement. Spring and Summer are warm and sunny seasons and this collection describes exactly the mood, the weather and the colours during these months.

Beautiful ensemble with this perforated sequin dress teamed with a pink vest and a pink pair of shorts. A judo belt and nude leather wedge complement the look

This outfit closed the show at LFW, look at the beauty of this floral swimsuit and the wrap skirt. White leather wedge finish this monochromatic look.

A spectacular silk and cotton dress with tan leather wedge

Laser cut leather dress with white leather wedge

The new sunglasses collection, a wink to the 1960's

Buttercup yellow floral sequin dress

A sleeveless coat in bright yellow and white with the original judo belt in pique.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Tracy Rose's Hats Off Exhibition

What a busy day I had, running from various press day events from  Nicole Farhi etc,  to  end my evening in  the latest gallery in Fitzrovia, the "Different" Gallery in Percy Street for the Tracy Rose 's retrospective  of 30 years in the industry. Tracy is a milliner famous for her spectacular hats as seen at Royal  Ascot, London Fashion Week  and social events where hats are de rigoeur.
Tracy and her husband Russell Rose where hosting a private view before opening the exhibition to the public, and in this occasion they launched their new much awaited shopping guide " Fashion Fabulous London".
When we've stepped inside the gallery my first thought was that I was inside a rainbow. Rows of colourful hats that have been seen on Tracy 's head were there for everyone to look at. And while sipping  a perfect espresso by Lavazza and biting into a scrumptious little cake by Caffe' Concerto, I've started looking at all these wonders, made out of feathers, ribbons, Swarowsky crystals and colourful fabrics.
Brava Tracy, this pop up exhibition  will run for  only few days and I felt  this exhibition  merited  to be shown at the V&A  museum

Tracy Rose with one of her creation holding her shopping guide " Fashion Fabulous London"

The Different Gallery full of hats

Chocolate box

Feathers and Tracy 's signature nails

Supporting England at the Football World Cup

Little hearts

Zoe Griffin's Halloween Pampering Party at Smooth You Salon

Have I written previously that when Zoe Griffin organizes something it is always a great party, great fun and incredibly stylish? Her Halloween Party was absolutely fabulous. There I was treated to beauty treatments and  a delicious buffet, at 70 Essex Road in the Smooth You Salon. This newly open beauty salon  is owned by the Queen of the hair extension Luma Mitchell . Upon arrival the guests were greeted with a glass of champagne or  refreshing fruit juices,  and then were whisked away to the various rooms for our chosen treatment.
The treatments included were  manicure, facial, make over and a blow dry. All this while we savoured the delicious food, comprising little pizzas with pesto, prawn and avocado cocktails, yummy gorgonzola and courgettes focacce, trays of cured meat, courtesy  of "Food Lab" only two doors away.
The theme of the shop was purely Halloween with cobwebs hanging from the ceiling and grinning pumpkins welcoming the guest behind the till. A huge pumpkin was the container for a tasty pumpkin risotto prepared by the chefs at Food Lab specialized in Italian and Tuscany delicacies.
I decide to have a make over and I was taken downstairs were the walls were decorated by paintings from Emma Crammer. I and sat on this comfy chair where  Sophie Stafford started working on my face, brushing, pencilling, mascaring (well this word does not exist ok), when she finished I've looked in the mirror and I did not recognize the new pampered me. Throughout the procedure Sophie informed me of all the products  she used from Chanel to MAC to Bobbi Brown.
After Georgina Boyle, the junior stylist transformed my hair into a lively healthy look in an express hair style. All the team in the salon were  so nice  and the quality of the treatments was high, the attention to details of the fixtures and fittings gave Smooth You Salon  a luxuriuos  stamp. Zoe as usual, is taking high the name of her website  and gave to all her guests an unforgettable evening.

The invitation to the Party

A view of the salon

Pumpkins and the lovely Yasemin at the reception

The shop in 70 Essex Road

Me and Zoe Griffin

Cinema and Fashion at the Italian Cultural Institute

I love a great party where it is possible to meet stimulating people and this is what happened to my friend Stephen Mahoney & I, when we were invited to the Italian Cultural Institute, to celebrate Italian in the film industry, participating at the BFI. This is a small account of the evening from a fashion point of view, the place oozed  with style :

This years 55th British Film Institute London Film Festival, hosted their Cinema Made In Italy party at Italian Cultural Institute. 
The night was as a veritable visual delight of fashion, from the classically elegant dress sense of the UK Italian Ambassador Giorgio Alain Maria Economides in a grey super 100 wool suit, the jacket was worn over a powder blue window pane check shirt with deeper shaded cobalt blue lines, that's lines were matched by a  same shaded silk tie, to the informal stark white t-shirt and black slim fitted trousers worn by Italian film Producer Carlo Cresto-Dina, Carlo's beautiful film "Corpo Celeste"  was shown at BFI 55th festival.
Giving the party a festival feel with tinsel woven in her hair and dangling over body conscious A line fitted, to the knee dress, was extraordinary singer Gunnlaug Thorvaldsdottir, who's Italian cinema link, was she'd sang sound track for "I Do Air" the Bafta winner of  short film 2010.

To Professor of Economic's  Mariana Mazzucato, Mariana is  known as a high academic residing in the UK and married to Italian film producer Carlo Cresto-Dina. Hence her being at the bash, but hey, this New Jersey gal's chic American look, ruled supreme, in her loose navy pinstriped single breasted jacket, that encased a scoped necked-black silk vest, paired with high waisted-wide boot legged trousers, kitten heels, and the finishing touches, a single string amber necklace and to combat inclement weather a reversible navy & tomato red wool scarf.  A contemporary story, straight out of the pages of American Vogue.

From the USA to far reaches of Hackney, forget Shoreditch, that's so passe'.  Hackney is pulling in all the new creative's and they were out in force, from Film director David Easteal, who'd aired his short film "The Father " at this years 55th festival, who was celebrating with his pals, fellow film director Edward Housden and his partner Sarah Lyngler  (a wardrobe stylist), Nicolette Carrapetta and her chum, yet another film director Ariel Kleiman.  Sarah's passion for clothes came pouring out, when Patricia Field name was mentioned, saying Patricia's choice was ground breaking moment in fashion, when she dressed the cast of Sex and The City. 

Amid all the hustle and bustle, Nanni Moretti one of the Godfathers of Italian film industry strolled in, dressed as if he'd just stepped away from shooting his next movie, in a casual get up, comprising of a button down check shirt, under a super fine black marino crew neck wool sweater and black straight legged jeans.

 All eye shifted to doorway when the modern day glamorous babe, Italian actress Nadir Caselli, a star from Italian movie "La peggior settimana della mia vita" (roughly translated)  "Worst Week of My Life" eased her way in dressed from head to toe, in Italian designer label “ La Fornarina”   Not that I thought a girl as attractive as Nadir could ever have a bad week.  And as if to confirm my suspicions, I saw her,  chit chatting, with the handsome and talented, film director Matteo Rovere, who told me, he was walking on air, after the reception his movie "Drifters" received at the BFI Festival.  And that the film will be released in January. 

Tonight was like runway show, and one that Carlo Presenti, Director of the London Italian Cultural Institute, & any Italian could be proud of." by Stephen Mahoney Fashion Editor

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Carlotta Gherzi for Sado Spring Summer 2012 at London Fashion Week

Carlotta Gherzi for Sado 's new collection is just absolutely stunning. Colours were rippling on the runway  and the beautiful prints that are Carlotta Gherzi signature were amazing during London Fashion Week  at the Freemasons' Hall for the Vauxhall Fashion Scout. The inspiration for this collection has been taken by the fossils, a visit to the British Museum at the fossil department has been the culprit for this Triassic Glamour theme.  Fabrics like silk jersey, crepe de chine, silk chiffon and Lycra  and the colour like equatorial sea-green, coral, jet black, Ivory with shades of purple and sabbia have been a feast for the eye.
Enjoy the full show

This is my revenge, it's official orange and purple are great together

Carlotta Gherzi 's unmistakable prints

A gorgeous evening dress, we'll see it next on the red carpet

Only a word , gorgeous

Claudia Bradby a new way to wear pearls

I've been to John Lewis  during a Fashion Night and I've been struck by Claudia Bradby "chicness" and purity of her collection. Pearls necklaces that most people might think only for over 70 are interpreted with a modern twist retaining a certain charme even with this new look. Pearls and freshwater pearls are teamed with smokey quartz, silver and other semiprecious stones. The prices don't break anyone's bank account and at the end you'll end up with a nice piece of jewellery. In two months time is Christmas so this is could be just right up your street for the perfect gift to a friend, to Mummy, and why not to yourself, unless you've got somebody special who might read this page and pick up some ideas to be left under the Christmas tree. Just go to Claudia Bradby ' s website  or John Lewis and look for the "Arctic Fox Collection". What you'll see here it's only a small example of what you can find online or at the shop.

Claudia Bradby

The beautiful display with a jewellery box owned by Claudia's grandmother

Necklace Cotton Candy at £ 72.00

Northern Angel charm in silver with a small pearl at £ 33.00

Silver Hoops earrings with pearls at £ 40.50

Striking Tiffany pearl necklace with a smokey quartz and silver charms at £ 108.00

Vixen bracelet with freshwater pearls smokey quartz charm and silver at £ 63.00

Dominique Mosley's new handbag collection

You'll remember those gorgeous scarves I've blogged last month. The ones made in cashmere with warm and beautiful colours right? Well, Dominique Mosley hasn't been at rest after the success of her collection, but she has been working on a handbag range as gorgeous as her scarves. You can see for yourself, big totes, bright colours sturdy leather straps because our handbags are an extension of our homes, and luckily the kitchen sink is integrated with the rest of the furniture if not it would have been carried by us all day long. The set is made in coated cotton canvas, so very practical when it's raining, leather trimmings made the collection a step above more commercial brands and the prices are so great with a starting price of £ 18.

My favourite colours put together for the Rose bag range

Multi flowers range bag

Honeycomb very 1970's

Flower bag range

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Leee Black Childers' first Pop Up Art Show in London by Stephen Mahoney

An event not to be missed, and I can tell you, this is Fashion with capital F, thanks to Stephen Mahoney:

"As London goes all arty this week.
I raced off to London WestBank Gallery, Westbourne Grove, W11, for private view of New York based, iconic photographer, Mr Leee Black Childers, at his first ever UK pop-up gallery show.
Mr Childers is a living testament, that a Kentucky corn fed lad, could and did make it in New York city, armed with a camera his brother bought him when he was in high school. The camera bug bit into him and he continued to use this device, to good effect, snapping Drag Queens, Rent boys, Pick Pockets, Rockstars and Punks.
Having cornered Leee, at the show, he confessed to me, "my career all took off when I accompanied Andy Warhol's superstar Jackie Curtis to the White Factory".
There, "I showed Andy my photo's", and he said, "what are you"? I was at a loss for words and stared at Andy Warhol, he pointed at another one of his superstars, Candy Darling and went on to say, "Candy, says he's a woman", "so you say, your a photographer".
"From that day onwards, with Andy's encouragement, I told everyone I met, I was a photographer.
And Mr L Childers, went on to take amazing reportage images of the most unorthodox people, from 60's, 70s and 80s, the likes of which have never been seen, of Mr Andy Warhol and all his Factory superstars, Jayne/Wayne County, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and from UK The Clash and Sex Pistols having dinner together, to Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood in the kitchen of Caroline Coon's home, at Ms Coon's Christmas Eve dinner.
I'd caught LBC on a role and he related another time, when he was searching for the venue of NYC punk Cherry Vanilla's launch party of her Biography.
This was held, at one of those, then, down town hotels, that didn't have a name on outside. It was a bit of no go area for most upscale NY, but I was use to it, having lived in the Chelsea (a notorious Hotel, where, he'd open the door to make sure the cost was clear of undesirables, so he could leave ). But still, roaming around that part of the city at night, was a bit-you know-then, luckily a I saw the party queen of NYC, Patricia Field, composed and leaning against the outside hotel wall, having a puff on her cigarette, Ms Field recognised me and tilted her head, to indicate I was at right place, and seeing Pat there, I knew, I was at right joint and it was going to be a hot party.  
If you miss this 1st pop-up gallery, that's on until Wednesday. The 2d pop-up G, is going to be next week, at 44 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP from noon to 7pm for 2 weeks.
An absolute essential show, for anyone interested in Art, Rockstars and social commentary exposed, in some of the most unlikely locations. 

Stephen Mahoney "

Leee Black Childers
photo by Stephen Mahoney

Monday, 10 October 2011

People and Parties

During London Fashion Week, we should need a day with 34 hours at least because of all the parties and shows we get invited. I took some pictures, just a nice way to introduce myself to everyone:
Photographer Johnny Thornton in a beautiful jacket made with bullfighters' attire fabrics and Daryl Rita wearing gorgeous ESSKA shoes by Souraya Karami at Daniel James London after show party

Autumn Phillips on the front row at Paul Costello's show

Artist Kuky de Zubeis, flown especially from France, with friends...the lady in red is wearing a great dress by kew.159, at Carlotta Gherzi's aftershow party at MyHotel in Bloomsbury

Diane Pernet with her trademark black mantilla

Tracy Rose with one of her incredible creation,

A guest at the Estethica Brunch

A performer at the House of Evolution's after show party at "Le Cirque Soir"

Jimmy Choo front row at Paul Costello

Pandemonia rules Britannia