Monday, 26 September 2011

London Fashion Weekend

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, I've been busy settling back at uni and getting back into doing project work, as well as going to London for various exhibitions (which I will post about in the near future), and, most recently for London Fashion Weekend. I had the great pleasure of going twice (albeit in the same day), as I bought a ticket and then later won a pair of tickets thanks to MyDaily, and it meant I got to catch up and explore Somerset House's fashion-filled halls with two of my best friends. This is Steff, who modelled in my shoot Double Take a few months ago:

I asked Annabelle, who modelled for my 1950's-style shoot last year, if I could get an outfit shot of her but we completely forgot! She was wearing a sheer cream shirt, black skinny jeans and patent black peeptoe heels. Here's a snap of us eagerly awaiting the catwalk show:

The catwalk show consisted of three designers' A/W11 collections (Jaeger, Bryce Aime and Osman) and two trend shows ('The Great British Autumn' and 'Rive Gauche'). Jaeger used great pops of colour such as burnt orange and mustard, and updated winter jackets with skinny belts to reveal a feminine silhouette despite thick layers of wool jersey, cashmere and brushed mohair. Osman also used colour, but with a more vibrant palette of shocking pink, lime green and pillarbox red against black, camel and charcoal. My favourite designer show was Bryce Aime's, for his use of structure and tailoring. The trend shows featured A-line silhouettes (skirts and capes), print mixes, smart tailoring (with ribbon neckties, peterpan collars and draping) and 'evening wear meets casual wear' - a bodycon dress was worn over a jersey long-sleeved shirt and teamed with a snood, a maxi dress was worn with a cosy jumper - I think this works best when there's a real contrast between the fabrics, such as silk or chiffon skirts with heavy or slouchy knits.

Presenter Grace Woodward, editorial stylist and judge on Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model; Jaeger; Bryce Aime; Osman

The freebies are definitely a highlight of London Fashion Weekend and this year I was not disappointed. My show bag included a Karl Lagerfeld Limited Edition Diet Coke bottle (which I refuse to ever open), Label.m protein hair spray, Kleenex Extra Gentle face wipes, Kiss false eyelashes, Kleenex pocket tissues, Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules, Johnson's Baby Oil, Lavazza coffee, GU Millionaire's flapjacks (not pictured because I ate them) and a £25 Jaeger voucher, all contained in this year's show bag designed by David Koma.

I also subscribed to Elle as there was an offer for 12 issues for about £22, and it came with a free goodie bag which included Benefit Thrrrob blusher (worth £23.50), Maxell Crystal Budz earphones and Reiss vest.

I picked up this canvas bag with lovely floral print, designed by Richard Nicoll and exclusive to Vodafone customers.

Diet Coke was providing a 'Cover Girl' experience, taking a photograph before swiftly printing it and framing it with Diet Coke artwork.

Finally, here's a photo of me and Grace, I was kicking myself for not having a business card to hand! However, I did have in my hand my lovely new 'Doctors Bag' from Topshop, £36, that I picked up from Oxford Street the day before.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

déjà vu

This is my most recent fashion buy, a gorgeous mulberry/burgundy Pins & Needles pleat neck dress from Urban Outfitters. If it looks familiar, that's because I also have it in a coral colour (which I posted about here). I usually avoid buying the same piece of clothing in different colours as it reminds me of a programme I watched once where it showed Simon Cowell's wardrobe and he had about a hundred of the same grey t-shirt and black high-waisted trousers, but it was £22 in the sale from £48 and free delivery at the time so I couldn't resist. I love this colour for autumn/winter as it isn't garish but adds some colour to the dreary weather. I also think this colour is a bit more versatile than the coral version; I can wear this one with black tights whereas the coral dress looks best with bare legs.

Friday, 9 September 2011

review: argan oil

I haven't done beauty reviews before as my vision for Fabric Religion has always been first and foremost to become an established fashion blog. However, since I've chosen to share my new love for nail art, I thought it might be a nice addition to my blog to occasionally review a new product.
My friends will all know that I regularly complain about my split ends and my refusal to have hair cuts - I've had it cut once in the past year, and had it done by a close friend who has been trained in hairdressing as I trusted her to cut off the minimum amount. I have a sort of fear of hairdressers as they seem to have some scissor-happy language which means that when I say I want "one inch" off, it translates as "however much you want to cut off, three inches is absolutely fine". I've been trying to grow my hair long, whilst maintaining a healthy look, for the past three years, and have tried hair, skin and nail supplements, weekly intensive conditioners, regular haircuts, serums, leave-in conditioners... pretty much anything that promises length and health to my hair. At one point, I got so sick of my split ends that I went to the hairdressers and willingly had about three inches cut off so it was just below shoulder-length. It looked healthy for a while, and despite conditioning and using heat-protection products, the split ends were back in a matter of months. Since then, I've learnt to accept that this is just the way my hair is, and, although a better diet and better hydration would no doubt benefit my hair in the long-term, I want a quick fix.

I've heard about argan oil or moroccan oil before, and when I saw V05's Miracle Concentrate on offer in Boots (also currently on offer in Superdrug), I decided to give it a try. I think it was just over £3, usually retailing at about £5, which is the cheapest argan oil product I've seen so far. Lee Stafford and Proclere also sell argan oil treatments retailing at over £10. I've used the Miracle Concentrate for about a week now, and I am very impressed. I warm 4-5 drops (as I have long hair) between my hands and apply from the mid-lengths to the tips after towel-drying and before blow-drying. The product claims to reduce drying time, which I believe to be true - my hair would usually take up to 15 minutes to completely dry and now it takes just under 10 minutes. The result is that the ends of my hair are smooth, soft and sleek - miles away from the crunchy, dry texture I had before, and my split-ends are no longer noticeable. Sometimes I apply an extra 1-2 drops after I finish styling my hair for added shine, but the product is not greasy at all. The consistency is thinner than I would expect an oil to be, and the product has a lovely light scent. The pipette allows me to choose how many drops I wish to apply, and the tiny amount needed means that the 50ml bottle will last a while - I will definitely continue to use this product.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

twinkle twinkle

I'm getting really into nail art now, and after seeing galaxy nails on Lily Melrose's blog, I decided to give them a try. I used eight nail polishes (sounds ridiculous but you really need to layer them to create this look), the only ones I can tell you are Barry M 47 Black, Barry M 296 Coral and Rimmel 60 Seconds 805 Grey Matter as the other five I used are old cheap nail polishes from when I was about 10 years old. I created this look by first applying two coats of black nail varnish. To create the nebula, I used an old eyeshadow applicator sponge to dab on some coral polish diagonally across my nails, fading the line out at the sides. I used a yellow-gold polish with glitter particles to highlight the nebula, applying it in the middle of the coral. I found that doing this before the coral dried made it easy to blend. I then used a bright blue glitter polish close to the coral and gold. I used a cocktail stick to dot grey and white varnish onto the black for the stars. Finally I used an iridescent blue/green glitter and silver glitter over the whole nail to add star sparkle. The silver glitter polish I used contained fairly big particles of glitter in a clear varnish. If you use a polish which has loads of glitter in it or has tiny pieces of glitter then the design underneath may get hidden.
I'm really pleased with these considering it was my first time creating galaxy nails, they do take a while (about half an hour) so don't do them if you're in a rush! They gave me some use for my old glittery nail polishes I thought I'd never use again and also tie in to the star trend for this Autumn/Winter. Maybe I'll translate the trend more literally next time and try star print.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

leather and leopard

Above is me with my gorgeous friend Jazzy, who's wearing the leopard-print playsuit I featured in my last post. She's wearing it with light brown zip-front suede wedges and a soft boyfriend blazer - I love how she's working it with smoky eyes and a high ponytail too. I'm wearing the blouse I've worn before in a couple of blog posts since my birthday, from Zara, with leather-look H&M skirt, patent white clutch bag, patent black Faith shoes and coral bangle from Accesorize.