Saturday, 22 February 2014

Fashionista Show Girl

Hello Ladies!

Well a week has passed since Valentine's Day and boy have I got lots to tell you!

Last Thursday me and my beautiful sister packed up the car with a selection of our wonderful wardrobe and took ourselves off to The Strand in busy London town. Thank goodness the weather was ok!

London Frock Exchange did their very first show for London Legal Support, JustFashion at The Royal Courts of Justice. The venue was beautiful with an eerie feel as the show opened, glittered with blue spotlights shining on stands full of gorgeous vintage dresses and accessories. A brilliant cause which raised lots of money! Thank you to Bob and Natalia for a great night!

We parked ourselves right at the side of the catwalk, eagerly waiting for our guests to arrive having glammed up our stand with a hand-picked selection of frocks from the collection.

Drawing excited ladies in, we popped the gorgeously flamboyant Amy And Grace Li number on a mannequin dolled up with sparkly shoes, a delicious peacock feather hat and draped in my dazzling pearl, bead and bow necklace.

Lots of wonderful feedback and swaps there and then; but you better hurry if you don't want the frock you had your eye on to go!

The night was rounded off with an electric performance by Py. Beautiful soft haus tones with a funky beat. Have a listen!

Valentine's day was just bliss and I was showered with jewellery and cuddles all weekend. Thank you my love.

 How was yours?!

Sunday took me from a very early start up to Birmingham for three days of hunting at the Moda Fashion Show at the NEC. With hundreds of trading brands, everything from dresses to ball gowns to lingerie and accessories, I strolled round the arena, eyes out on stalks, assessing all the beautiful trinkets and ladies wear. 

A/W 14 looks so glorious and exciting! Here are just a few brands that caught my attention!

B's Style File

Eucalyptus Clothing - following a period of extensive research into the UK manufacturing process, British women's wear brand Eucalyptus is launching a Made in the UK range for this Autumn/Winter. Entirely sourced and produced in the UK, the capsule collection includes cute party dresses in a variety of styles, including shimmery winter fabrics, florals and brocade. Reflecting baroque influences, prints are subtle as is the colour palette including hues of pinks and greys. 

Jungle Fever - Penfield Clothing are introducing a vibrant and colourful collection this season with jungle prints and patterns. Quirky florals with pop-cultured flowers and large palm leaves printed onto luxe sweaters, tailored chinos and wax-coated trenches. Adding to the ferociously out there trend are chunky backpacks, totes and duffles as well as retro bucket hats and visors. Roarrrrrr! 

Style flash - Surf brand Reef are celebrating their 30th anniversary soon with a heritage capsule collection highlighting its key products from its three decades in the active wear and lifestyle sector.

Check out Uzma Bozai. A luxury lifestyle brand that aims to reinvigorate traditional textile techniques working with artisan communities to ensure time honoured crafts are kept alive. Known for their bold patterns juxtaposed with contemporary silhouettes. Daring and delightful! Right up our street! 

Billie Be Mine Jean Fix- Label DL 1961. Having trouble finding a pair of perfect fitting jeans? Look no further than US Label DL 1961. They have teamed technology with craftsmanship using exclusive four-way stretch and 98 per cent retention to help contour the body and flatter the female shape whilst plumping up the behind! Score!

Dirty Flirty- UK luxury lingerie brand Dirty Pretty Things has launched its diffusion line. From popular demand, this fast growing retailer has created a more accessible range of beautiful, understated sexy underwear ensuring you feel great in whatever you wear! 

On my radar!

Leon And Harper- Parisian designers offer skilfully reinterpreted wardrobe basics constructed around masculine and feminine dress codes making for an ageless and timeless yet very current collection. Inspired by music, art and travel, this brand boasts everyhitng from biker jackets to chino trousers through to colourful tees and printed knitwear. It adapts to a modern silhouette and elegance. 

Kilian Kerner - A German brand hailed as a landmark on its native fashion scene, this label is also growing internationally with the UK a key focus. Phew! A collection of clean lines and impeccable tailoring characterising the range with an eye on stand out detail. 

Luella Some Love - Luella, a family run brand brings soft calm colours and fabrics to its Italian colletion this Autumn. At a great price, their signature sweaters and down time tops see wool and cotton mix textures teamed with floaty opaque designs at the back. From the front it looks like a beautiful top, then from behind, a glorious edge of sexy meets slouchy. I got The Isabella in grey and beige and the Alisa in sky blue. Perfect with trackies and jeans! 

Also check out these sassy stilettoes! James Lakeland introducing the edgey and bright patterned shoe. Another grrrrrrrr I think!

Dress and drape- Miss Shorthair. This gorgeous jewellery range is so simple it oozes elegance and style. You know I love over doing it with my jewels but this collection sees plain silver, gold and brass rings and long pendants as well as one band bracelets and cutesy heart earrings.

And for a sensual new scent- Nina Ricci La Tentation infuses the romantic aroma of grapefruit, Bulgarian rose absolute and Bourbon vanilla. Its irrestistibly sweet and enticing!

Trend Watch

Be a blue jean baby and invest in a pair of denim dungaries this season. Pair with a white button up shirt, blazer and pointed toe heels and you've bagged youself one of the hottest yet effortlessly cool looks!

And lastly my amazing Sarah gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Friday! Much love and hugs to my second family and especially little Lilah Charlotte Rose!

The Warmest of Swishes,
See you soon,
B x

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Hearts For All

Hello my lovely ladies!

Some fun thoughts and ideas for you to have a peep at...

Hair flair- nope, not this February! Flat packed and sleek more like! We are going back to the curtain! Poker straight locks as seen on the Mui Mui catwalk sees us ladies dusting off our GHDs this season with an acute and fierce middle parting. Unless my hair is cut in its last year's short bob, think Posh way back when, my hair insists on the curl! And with my round shaped face, its a side parting for me all the way otherwise I tend to look terrible...Oh well, hat please!

Movie of the month- go watch The Book Thief. The book was simply stunning and such a melting heart read. I had the devilish sneaky pleasure of reading the movie script when I was in LA. It really has done the story justice. A good one for the girls.

Dress Up to Dress Down- Loving the sport luxe look meets prom queen fairy style at the moment. Team your boyfriend's old running tee with a frou frou skirt or an over-sized basket ball jumper with a huge bag, in at the ankle trackies and killer stilettoes and you've bagged yourself an uber trendy, dress up to dress down look!

You can flip it too by sticking with the trackies and teaming a sequinned vest or plain white T with a blazer and heels. Add an oversized leather bag and you are good to go! Check out all my delicious little finds on our Pinterest Page.

Tasty Tasty - Why not add some wonderful protein powerhouse chai seeds to your breakfast or a smoothie each day? They provide 4.5g of easily digestible protein per 2tbsp serving and they are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These help improve brain function, lower your cholesterol and protect from heart disease. Sprinkle on your toast or cereal in the morning or add to a delicious salad or yogurt. Go get or 

Deliciously Designed- One of my favourite deigners right now is Serafina Sama. A graduate from Saint Martins and former freelance designer for Acne and Vuitton. Her style and cut breaks convention and her separates give a fabulous multi-tasking range of outifts that are designed so exquisitely. With such an edge, you just feel like you're the only one wearing this type of clothing. The label is by Isa Arfen....Check out this delectable two-piece culottes suit. Obsessed!

Get it from the Grocer's? - What? Yes indeed, go grocer glam and gleam with none other than Tesco's beautiful retro-esque two piece in mesh and white. A steal at £20 each, this jumper and skirt teamed with some Rayban sunnies...well here's my holiday outfit for Spring! 

And so Valentine's Day is fast approaching! Is it a good time of year for you? I can remember this time last year, after a ten year relationship ended very sadly a few months before, I was in a deep hole of misery. And love? I couldn't even spell the word, let alone say it, share it, or feel it for anything. Heartache and break is just the worst and although I look back at how painful it was then, for the love that I have now, I am grateful I experienced it. 

Not to be an idiot, but I wasn't supposed to be with that 'love'. It is only now I can really appreciate love in all forms and so I shall be celebrating this Heart Day with full on goo and sickening kisses and cuddles and poetry! Whether you are dressing up for a night out in search of a cheeky kiss, or a snuggly night in with your partner, even a movie with the kids or a swanky meal for your pet...spread the love! There is never enough to give and share. And pop the frock on that makes you feel your sexiest! Go on! Slap that red lippy on, lacy underwear and heels and feel fabulous! 

Quote me Some Love

 'Hold my hand and I'll go anywhere with you.'

 'I didn't plan on falling in love with you and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But when we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us.' 
The Notebook

 'Your voice is my favourite sound.'

 'When I saw you, I fell in love and you laughed because you knew.' William Shakespeare

 'True love doesn't mean being inseparable, it means being separated and nothing changes.'

 ' You will forever be my always.'

 ' You are pretty much my most favourite of all time in the history of ever.' 

Happy love Day Ladies.

Warmest Swishes,
B x

Friday, 7 February 2014

Best Birthday, Beautiful Friends, Big Trends!

So as you know my Birthday has been and gone recently and we danced the night away and sipped on delicious martini cocktails. We started off the day with beautiful sunshine at the house then onto a wonderful surprise arrival by a very very good friend of mine, Dan. As you know I used to write for his fabulous men's blog Last Style of Defense. We don't get to see much of each other as he's always jetting off to Europe and the likes for shows and launches so it was wonderful to spend some time together. Plus my girls, my love and my siblings were there so after a few happy tears, bubbles and huggles it set us out for a gloriously fun and special weekend!

Delicious Birthday Bee Choccies

LA Birthday Bound B Card

I wore one of our stunning Frock Exchange frocks, the delectable short Philip Lim LBD and paired it with a very hot trend right now, metallic silver! I wore my favourite killer Sam Endleman heels, my H&M wool padded, painted silver jacket and a 'Primani' £6 silver clutch. Designer mixed with high street at its best!

Phillip Lim LBD
Funky 'Feather strand extensions' by Chi Chi's

Jumper and Silver Skirt by Maison Rabih Kayrouz, from Joseph

Now I know 'Heart Day' is coming up, but let me share that love next time! In the meantime I thought I'd help you to prepare you for 'that' date, looking great and feeling fabulous.

Here are a few of my favourite things right now. Everything from tips for your health, fitness, make-up and a hair product update. As well as your positive mantra for the week, inspiring quote and of course the hottest trends (naturally!), and some songs to get you going!

We all know the secret to looking good starts from within and what we eat. Read this great article in the Sunday Style Magazine last weekend...yum!

Health- Just Go Green

Green veggies are the key to boundless energy, mental clarity and an increase in immunity. Amelia Freer, a nutritional therapist explains, 'Whether you eat or drink greens, it's the fastest way to infuse the body with a cocktail of compounds to support the immune system, essential for fighting disease, promoting energy production, regulating digestive health, reducing sugar cravings and slowing down the ageing process.' She encourages us to eat at least 5 portions a day!

They are loaded with vitamins and minerals, fibre, disease-fighting phytonutrients and alkalising properties, rich in chlorophyll - the miraculous molecule that gives plants their green colour and acts as an oxygenator, blood cleanser and a powerful detoxifying agent in the liver, colon and entire digestive track.

Greens to keep you keen- kale, spinach, beet greens, dandelion greens, broccoli, swiss chard, collard greens, watercress, dark leafy lettuces.

Fitness Fun

Ballet Bootcamp is a fun and elegant way of keeping fit whilst using stretching, breathing and toning techniques.

'It combines military-style pace and energy with posture-correcting movements of ballet to sculpt and strengthen your physique.'

Sweaty Betty, my top sportswear shop (I used to work there in my very early twenties and I religiously wear their training sweat pants...I have 5 pairs!) are running free weekly classes across the UK from today. Check out their website for more details. And if you can't make it to one of their boutiques, there is an exclusive virtual class available online, so there's no excuse!

Face And Locks Me Beautiful Please!

I simply can't live without my Rhodes To Heaven Orange Skin Food with this chilly weather right now! My skin constantly changes during the month; oily, dry, hormones gggrrrrrr, depending on my sleep and water intake too of course, but this deliciously smelling cream quietens my blemishes and red areas, softens my skin and reduces my fine lines. With its collagen boosting ingredient, Lupin, I am left with the silkiest, most moisturised face. It also acts as my day, night, eye AND anti-ageing cream and is a great primer for my make-up so I am ready to 'slap on and go' whatever I am doing in a flash without worrying what my skin looks like!

I don't know about you but I need to change my shampoo and conditioning treatments every 8-10 weeks as my hair seems to get used to them too much - starting off lusciously shiny then becoming a little dull...even after my hairdressing colour session! I am currently using a wonderful duo by James Brown London; it's rich moisture conditioner and rich moisturising shampoo leaves my hair healthy looking, soft and glowing without any greasiness with its deeply hydrating properties. I add V05 'Give Me Texture' Volumising Powder after a day or so to add some 'ooomph' meaning I only have to wash my hair every 2-3 days giving my locks a break from styling, heat and unnecessary fiddling! As I have a bob hair cut, it also allows me to structure my hair in fabulous 'up do's' without using hair spray. It brushes out easily but be careful as it can make your hair delicate. I advise to wash your hair before combing through properly after using it!

Fix For The Week - keeping your resolutions going! Tips from The Sunday Times Style Magazine

Focus on a goal - visualise that frock on a fitter, more toned version of yourself.

Think of the wider health benefits - you'll sleep better, have more energy and be less stressed, and your heart will be stronger!

Reward yourself - you'll so deserve a healthy snack or smoothie once you've reached your target for the day.

Lean on those positive mantras - write them on the wall in front of your desk, be the best version of yourself!

And if you're ready to quit half way through? - Say this to yourself, 'Today it hurts, tomorrow it works! I can do more, I can always do more.'

Quote Me, Inspire Me

'Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.' 
The one and only, Coco Chanel

And my tunes for the moment...loving Sam Smith's cover of RY X's Berlin, Bombay Bicycle Club, Luna and this one....oldy but just discovered it! Jai Paul, Jasmine- perfection!

This blog is dedicated to my brother, my Peter. He gave me an amazing Birthday week. Love you darling- see you in Berlin soon! I, and the Webbs miss you already!

The Warmest of Swishes,
B xxx
London Frock Exchange