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A Dandies Approach to Festival Fashion!

Getting festival ready…

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice (USA & OZ RIGHTS ONLY)

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice – looking pretty festival chic

We are now officially in the thick of the Festival Season! Oh the festival, the emblem of summer, synonymous with denim shorts, spent in vain without Hunter wellies and not a summer at all if you’re not attending at least one! Well, truth be told in my twenty nine years of living I must have lived only a handful of summers, because I am far from what the likes of Glastonbury and V-Fest goers would call a ‘Festival Goer’. In fact, I’m not. I just happen to wander along to the odd festival the occasional summer, and I am delighted to say that this is one of those summers. Indeed, on Friday I will be attending Wireless Festival at the Olympic Village park and as you would imagine, the ensemble preparation has begun.

My stylish thoughts have led me to the conclusion that festival fashion can be easily imitated; firstly it’s functional, so common sense and practicality, before aesthetic, dictates many of the garments Festival Goers select as a collective. Secondly, festival fashion is pretty much preordained; cut off denim shorts (Levis), sunglasses (Rayban), wellies (Hunters), parka (Babour) and an across the body bag (of your choosing) and of all the aforementioned designers for hardened fashionista festival attendees. These are  what I have called the non-variable garments of a festival ensemble –  although the designer can be varied in accordance to your bank balance, the actual items themselves can’t really be argued with. 

If like me the rock chic/boho/festival/fashion student/Topshop look (all styles make up festival chic) isn’t ‘honestly’ your style remit, then putting together a festival ensemble you feel comfortable and chic in poses a slight fashion challenge. Readers of Charms of a Dandizette will know that I love a fashion challenge –  such challenges allow you to dip into different styles and fashion sub-cultures outside of your comfort zone – giving  you a broader scope to draw upon when creating ensembles, which can only add to your styling capabilities.  

As tempting as it is to go against the grain, which is an approach I would usually take, for my festival ensemble I have looked at what has been working for the masses and imitated the essentials, the non – variables. As much as  what Solange wore to Coachella this year is closer to my own personal style than the likes of denim shorts and wellies, I am not confident enough in this realm to be able to break the rules just yet – so, you could say in this context I am playing it safe. Did I just say that? Admittedly, following the crowds isn’t an overly dandyish or dandizette like approach to dressing, but you see, the festival would not have been a dandies typical playing field anyhow – so I believe there’s no need to feel bad about not being overly creative at this point. Besides, this is just the beginning.

In line with this way of thinking, I was able to select the key garments in my festival ensemble quicker than you can say ‘denim shorts’ and indeed, those cut off denim shorts I have an on again off again relationship with are on again, not Levis but Topshop. My footwear, not Hunters, but black zip up stack heel ankle booties, also from Topshop and my across the body bag, the only one I own, from Marc Jacobs, have all been selected. The variables, on the other hand, the  sunglasses, jacket (or something to keep warm), jewellery and head wear – are the more fun and more expressive elements to the ensemble. These are the game changers and I am going to be using these items to be more expressive, more individual and more on trend – hopefully showing off some fashion savviness at the same time!

My Tom Ford sunglasses, my summer investment piece, will be replaced with a non-designer pair that are loud enough and conspicuous enough to earn their right in the sea of Raybans. And can do so without denting the bank, because let’s face it, although the opulent and frivolous sunglasses, think Dolce and Gabbana, are trending right now, we’re sure to hate this trend by next summer. I’m adopting this attitude for all the variables, replace my everyday cuffs and chunky Marc by Marc Jacobs turn lock bracelet for wrists embellished in a pile up of gold bracelets and plenty of  bangles. And, instead of opting for the conventional parka I’m opting for an elaborately printed  silk bomber jacket.

I am now in the midst of selecting the perfect top, but that’s nothing that a visit to Topshop won’t solve! I am feeling festival ready and pretty fashion confident! Should my ensemble be a success, there could be some personal photos to look out for!

Take a look at my inspirations…

Solange-Coachella

Solange Knowles at Coachella – not so practical, but loving the ensemble

2012 Rihanna

Rihanna rocking the crazy glasses – up the ante on those festival accessories

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2010 - Day 1 Beyonce

Beyonce at Coachella 2010 – copy this entire outfit and you won’t go far wrong

Jay Z and Beyonce Knowles Leaving The Hotel Meurice (USA & OZ RIGHTS ONLY)

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Chanel Iman at Coachella 1013

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Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio at Coachella 2013 – hat lovin’

Rihanna looking festival chic

Rihanna – if you can pull it off go for it!

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Jay Z and Beyonce perform at Coachella

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Kate Moss at Glastonbury – queen of festival fashion

Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel  at Coachella

Miranda Kerr rocking out with her Victoria Secrets Angels Alessandra Ambrosio and Candace Swanepoel at Coachella

Miranda Kerr at Coachella

Miranda Kerr at Coachella

Rihanna Performs at the V Festival

Rihanna Performs at the V Festival

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

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Is Your iPhone Looking Fabulous?

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Giovanna Battaglia for Case Scenario

 

We would once be considered on trend and stylish just by the mere fact of owning the latest lifestyle gadget, be it the latest MP3 player, tablet, mobile phone, e-reader  and so on and so forth. These little technological devices were once a worthy testament to our fashion savoir faire – particularly any device designed by Apple and predominantly the iPhone – because everyone needs a phone and any fashionista knows it needs to be an iPhone. Such a staple have these little pieces of technology become and so dear to us they are, that we are no longer merely protecting our iPhones in functional cases, we’re embellishing and adorning them like we embellish and adorn ourselves. I think of my Biba iPhone case as an investment, with massive cost per wear value, like a statement coat, a belt or pair of sunglasses. And like anything that has massive cost per wear, the iPhone embellishment offers big fashion kudos.

Admittedly, embellishing our iPhones is pretty frivolous, even for fashionistas – we wouldn’t pimp our phones before we have the shoes that we want, the sunglasses we’ve been coveting or the handbag we’ve fallen in love with – phone pimping is for the girl that has everything – at least that’s how she might appear and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to look  like they have it all? It’s why we buy handbags that cost more than our rent. Fashioning our iPhones is just so frivolous it’s fabulous and designers, fashion houses, fashionites and fashionistas aren’t missing out on the opportunity to make yet another part of our functional lives fabulous; the likes of Marc Jacobs and Moschino have created some super frivolous and massively recognisable cases, Marc Jacobs’ with the bunny ears, Moschino with the teddy bear. Celine continues to take the minimalist approach, and fashionite Giovanna Battaglia has designed her own line of baroque style  iPhone clip on cases, which she can often be seen sporting when attending fashion events. If you haven’t yet made your iPhone fabulous with its functionality, why not get started? And then after that, your iPad, your Kindle and so on…

Viviana Volpicella with a Bunny iPhone Case

iPhone case - Giovanna Battaglia

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Anna dello russo chanel iphone

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Be charmed, stay inspired!x

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Sex and the City – Fifteen Years!

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For those like myself, that were barely even teenagers when Sex and the City graced our TV’s late on a school night on channel four, Sex and the City was a little more special than it was to those of an older generation. Arguably, maybe we should not have been watching Sex and the City at all – after all, it was aired after the watershed – but we all watched Friends and that was pretty harmless, so what made Sex and the City any more special? Well – it just was, wasn’t it? For those of us that were in the early years of our secondary school education, we were still trying discover ourselves, work our way around our friendships (many of them new), we were starting to experiment with make up, trying to decide how we wanted to dress, which fashions we wanted to follow and most importantly – we were just starting to realise the opposite sex and getting used to being realised!

At such a young and impressionable age there is no denying it, those of us at the tender age of thirteen or fourteen that were reading Vogue and thinking ourselves as writers, fashionistas or ‘relationship experts’, Sex and the City had a far bigger impact on our adolescence than any parent might like to admit. Throughout the course of our teenage years, from tweenies to late teens, most girlfriend groups will have assigned each in the circle their very own Sex and the City character, most girls will have emulated at least one of Carrie Bradshaw’s ensembles or referenced her somehow when dressing and most will have compared our own relationship dilemmas or triumphs to either Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha or Carrie (Samantha and Carrie mostly – let’s be honest!)

It’s been fifteen years since Sex and the City first aired on TV – and all I can say is, those of us that went through our teenage adolescence with these amazing empowering women to watch each and every week – how lucky are we?

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Sex and the City

Sex and the City

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

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Jourdan and Cara – Model Love

Young, beautiful and fabulous! Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevigne  – fashion’s breath of fresh air…

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Cara-Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn Victorias-Secrets

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Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevigne

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Oh to be young!

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

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An Ode to The Half Tuck

Half tuck layout

This tucking phenomena has been around for some time now, but so in love with this simple garment manipulation am I, that I just had to commend the trend and write an ode to the Half Tuck! In my humble opinion the half tuck is the perfect and most simple way to manipulate almost any garment worn on the upper body, be it a shirt, t-shirt, jumper or whatever else we might care to wear. Unlike say, the embellished collar trend, that’s dependent on many factors; it requires a shirt with the perfect collar,  a statement necklace – the necklace needing to be the right size to sit perfectly between the front band and point spread of the collar and it has to do this without dishevelling it, the half tuck doesn’t require nearly half as much technique. It’s merely a tuck! Having said that, there are many ways to wear the tuck and many reasons to do so; Those of us  rocking the half tuck will have our very own reasons to rock this upper garment manipulation and will have perfected our very own way of tucking – one that works for just for us! The rule of thumb would have it that the less contrived the tuck appears to be, the better it looks. This doesn’t mean, however, that the tuck isn’t contrived!

I personally wear the half tuck for its slimming effect. Being that I am curvier than model straight up and down, wearing a jeans and shirt ensemble for example, with the half tuck makes all the difference. The tucked in element reveals my waist – exposing one of the smallest parts of my body. Consequently, the loose element of the shirt conceals my derriere – a particular advantage for me when I’m wearing skinny jeans. I wear my skinnies tight enough to be a second skin, to make my legs look slimmer, however this also pronounces the derriere – which I am not always entirely comfortable with – especially when I am in the office. The half tuck offers some concealment of my derriere. Of course shirts worn loose, particularly if they are over sized or loose fitting, disguise my derriere too, but in the meantime they also disguise my waist line – the half tuck allows me to reveal and conceal all at the same time.

The way the tuck’s worn can be dependent on a number of things – the length of the garment being tucked in, the occasion we’re dressing for, the type of garment we’re pairing our top with, the belt we might be wearing – if we’re wearing a statement belt we won’t want our shirttails disguising the statement, our body shape and many other factors. Some of us half tuckers might tuck the front of our garment in, others will tuck just the front corner away and some might tuck one side of the shirttail into a waistband whilst wearing the other shirttail loose. Some of us will tuck in every which way possible. Regardless of how we’re tucking, those of us that have adopted the half tuck will appreciate the aesthetic brilliance this effortless manipulation can have on an ensemble.   I would argue that the half tuck is miraculous – I really would. I think I first discovered the half tuck being worn on Victoria Beckham seven or eight years ago and I’ve been half tucking in this fashion ever since!

Of course the half tuck isn’t all about accentuating waistlines, disguising bottoms, flat or rounded, saggy or wide, this tucking of the upper garment adds a stylistic edge to an ensembles; making a simple jeans and white shirt appear effortless yet stylish, a sheer shirt and black jeans ensemble appear more casual as opposed to stuffy and make an otherwise sexier or more revealing garment, cutaway shorts or mini skirt for example, appear less sexual and more relaxed and easy. For all the half tuck’s massive feats it must be celebrated!

 

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Olivia Palermo wears the half tuck

gold and black boots

Rosie Huntington Whitely

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Be charmed, stay inspired! x

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Miranda Kerr – How Pretty

Miranda Kerr…

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Have a beautiful weekend Dandizettes,

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

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Inspired By: Stylish Thoughts…

I’ve been thinking about style a lot of lately, possibly because I have been shopping excessively and going out at just as much – requiring the styling of many new ensembles for many different events, locations and situations. When I studied fashion two years ago I was lucky enough to truly discover exactly what it is exactly that beguiles me about fashion. Beyond the delight I find in dressing and dressing up, what I am so curious about and so deeply intrigued by is simple…it’s style. STYLE! That simple one syllable word that has such a weighty significance in terms of self expression. We all know the famous fashion quote ‘Fashion fades, style is eternal…’ But do we truly know how to define it? We know it when we see it -‘That’s stylish, she’s stylish, he’s got style etc.’

We all generally tend to have a universal understanding of who and what is stylish, hence why the world covets and henceforth creates style icons. And style icons vary from classic and sharp Victoria Beckham, to masters of the glam rock chic Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, preened to perfection and always neat Olivia Palermo  or forever casual and cool in a leather jacket, skinny jeans and boots combo Kate Moss.

But asides from using the word to identify a form of dressing, Classic, Casual, Trendy, Sporty etc, what constitutes as style and how can we identify what it looks like?

I like to define style as fashion’s cousin, her much cooler cousin and a trend is fashion’s sister, possibly even twin sister. Without going too deeply into semiology and linguistics, fashion is the object – the signified and the trend is formed by the signifiers, in this case the consumers (us), who with our consumption of said object  eventually make the object fashionable or/ and trendy.

Style, I refer to as fashion’s cooler cousin because it’s more expressive and offers more of a personal communication. If we could all afford to wear runway looks straight off the catwalk of the season’s most coveted look, regardless of how fashionable and on trend it might be, we’d all look like clones, or the alternative terminology, fashion victims. Style is not the possession of, or the monetary strength to, own and dress in fashionable items.  Style is the dance between conforming and rejecting, between being predictable, ironic and unexpected.

We can all wear a runway look and be fashionable, but  we’d have no credit to take for our ability to dress, because the look has already been packaged and parceled by another stylist. In fact, the only thing we might express dressed head to toe in a runway look is our undying love for fashion and our ability to keep up with its capricious nature. Ask Anna Dello Russo, Fashion Editor and Creative Director at Vogue Japan, who’ll tell you ‘I don’t want to be cool, I want to be fashion’. I have never seen a woman wear so many runway looks, in fact so fashionable is the passionate fashionista that she has been described by Helmut Newton as a ‘Fashion maniac’.  Anna might be considered ironically cool, like wearing nineties patterned  Moschino in the twenty first century or a black woman wearing a t-shirt that reads ‘Blondes have more fun,’ but too much irony or too much of one thing is never good.

So, back to this dance of conforming and rejecting. Style is a personal interpretation of the signified object – the fashion item, it’s the way in which we  choose to hangout with fashion’s sister, the signifiers, the masses that form the trends and its how we choose to reject it, by refusing to wear it, altering it or manipulate it. A white shirt might be fashionable, neatly buttoned down and tucked into a pair of jeans, we conform to the trend by wearing the white shirt, but we reject it by tucking only the front of the shirt into our jeans and leaving the back out, wearing the first three buttons undone or placing a statement necklace around the collar and so on and so forth.

In my humble opinion, ‘styling’ is the way in which we manipulate fashion. The most stylish of people in my belief are those that always have their eye on fashion but have the ability to manipulate, to innovate, to be unexpected but respectable, ironic and predictable and know exactly when to conform and when to reject.  Style is formed once we develop a particular method towards the way in which we approach dress, over a period of time this will form a motif which eventually becomes our own unique style.

Here’s to some of my personal style icons at the moment…

Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City

Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City movie wearing pink cut out dress and black studded belt.

Carrie Bradshaw

Carrie Bradshaw – Sex and the City

Victoria Beckham wearing DVB Jeans

Victoria Beckham wearing DVB Jeans

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham dressed in grey

Rihanna dressed in pink and orange

Rihanna dressed in pink and orange

Olivia Palermo in pink

Olivia Palermo wearing pink lace at the Valentino Couture at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild

Olivia Palermo in black and navy blue

Olivia Palermo in black leather peplum top and navy blue shorts with pointed wedges

Kourtney Kardashian casual in flats

Kourtney Kardashian casual in flats

Kourtney Kardashian

Kourtney Kardashian dressed in blue patterned dress

Kim Kardashian wearing black and grey

Kim Kardashian wearing staple skinny jeans, heels and waterfall jacket. Dressed in black and grey.

Kim Kardashian dressed in leggings and longline blazer

Kim Kardashian dressed in leggings and longline blazer with statement necklace

Kourtney Kardashian dressed casually in flats

Kourtney Kardashian dressed casually in flats and brown hat

Be charmed, stay inspired! x

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