Style Note: The Isabella Oliver Cape

Posted by London Darling

Yesterday was one of those cold and breezy days in London when you really need something warm and snug to wrap up in. And what better way to wrap up than in a cape. It's the perfect alternative to a winter coat. I received this beautiful one as a Christmas Gift from one of my favourite labels Isabella Oliver.

Isabella Oliver Cape

London Fashion Week Diary: BODYAMR

Posted by London Darling

The BODYAMR show was one that I was particularly looking forward to, and it was well worth the wait. The signature draping that I love still played a huge role in the collection as an abundance of luxe fabrics and beaded embellishment.

BODYAMR show

Giveaway: Win Tickets to the 2010 Vitality Show!

Posted by London Darling

The lovely team at Vitality are treating three lucky readers to a pair of free tickets! Running from 18th-21st March in London’s Earls Court 2, Vitality is the UK’s largest health, beauty, fitness and wellbeing event for women.

WIN Vitality tickets

Beauty Buzz: Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare

Posted by London Darling

I recently changed my beauty regime to include the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, the Instant Boost Skin Tonic and Skin Repair Moisturiser. It's been just six days, and already I've seen a noticeable difference in the clarity of my complexion and the texture of my skin.

Liz Earle Skincare
For the past two weeks there's been something different about me... I've not worn mascara and Ive been applying very little eye makeup. Yet, random people have been telling me "You have beautiful eyes, pretty eyes.." and friends constantly ask "What mascara are you using, and where can I get it?"

Nouveau-Lashes-new

Oh it's been fun keeping my girls guessing and the compliments from complete strangers have been amusing, but today, I'm finally going to reveal my secret to everyone: I'm wearing falsies!! "Nooooo! " said my facialist when I told her last week "I would never have guessed, they look so... real".

The ironic thing is that I swore I'd never give into the fake lash craze, but last year I was glued to the TV watching Cheryl Cole on X-Factor and I loved her lashes. Since then I've been curious and I just had to see what all the fuss is about. Now I see...

It's pretty impressive just how naturally WOW false eye lashes can look. They truly enhance your eyes, giving them a certain je ne sais quoi without looking OTT. I'm wearing Nouveau lashes - one of the best in the industry; I opted a natural look but there are dramatic options. Extensions were placed individually on top of my natural lashes with an adhesive that keeps the lashes bonded perfectly for at least two weeks. The false lashes fall out with the natural pattern of your real ones and with the right care, you won't have to worry about them falling out prematurely or damaging your natural lashes.

lashes-Nouveau

My lashes are still looking fabulous and it's just over a fortnight since I had the treatment. However, it is advisable to maintain the lashes every two-three weeks for optimum fullness.
Well, it's safe to say that I'm completely hooked! Nouveau lash extensions are available from £75 and maintenance costs around £40. Available London-wide.

Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole

To find your nearest salon visit the website:
www.nouveaulashes.co.uk/salon-finder

Image Credit: Cheryl Cole - Solarpix
Clothes Show London 29-31 May 09

Clothes Show London kicked off yesterday. The excel centre was heaving with shopaholics and beauty junkies, and there wasn't one spare seat in the fashion theatre. I attended the 3pm catwalk and was expecting to see Katie Price make her debut appearance wearing her KP Equestrian range, but she was a no show! However, I hear that she was out and about on the grounds and made finally an appearance later in the day. Erin O'Connor presented the catwalk and she looked stunning, but it was her co-host George Lamb that had the majority of the female audience feeling a little hazy.

Clothes Show London 09

The bargains at the show are just too vast to mention, it was literally one big outlet bazaar.
I was so tempted to spend but my sensible side kicked in and I deliberately left my plastic at home! So with the £100 I took with me, I bought four summer shades of lacquer from Jessica; my favourite being a delicious melon orange shimmer called 'Bright Lights', it's perfect for tanned feet and adding a little bejewelled elegance to the toes. I also treated myself to fruit and chocolate fondue and bought an oversized clutch from Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair.

So, after 4 hours of non-stop fashion goodness, I left the event with some great notes on the new labels to watch and utterly pleased with my new purchases. Plus I got a little video footage too! Take a look and hope you enjoy. Check back soon for style notes and beauty news from the show.




Clothes Show London is still on!
Dates: Friday 29th May 2009 - Sunday 31st May 2009
Location: The Excel Centre, London, E16 1DR

Book Now Online
Web: www.clothesshowlondon.com
Peony Wedding by Shane Ryding London

Today I had the exciting opportunity to witness the launch of Shane Ryding's new bridal collections, designed exclusively for London boutique Luella's Boudoir. And what a show it was! Set in the stunning grounds of Christ Church Spitalfields E1, the venue was the most picturesque setting and entirely fitting for the occasion.

There were two collections in total, the first entitled Peony Wedding, was sweet with a hint of rockabilly vintage. The second, self-titled was ice-maiden meets old silver screen glamour with curvaceous shapes, and stunning accents - all tied in with utterly gorgeous headpieces and dreamy veils.

The show made me reminisce on my own nuptials back in 2007, and the dresses? Well they made me want to say "I Do" all over again. The editorial team from You and Your Wedding and Cosmo Bride were out in full force, and we got to chatting. It was a unanimous opinion that the collection was fresh, enticing and ultimately inspiring, encompassing the luxury and fairy tale romance of a high society affair and yet there was enough versatility in shape, cut and price tag so that the collection has something to offer almost every bride.

Now all I have to do is convince my hubby to renew our vows so I can wear the 'Libby' Dress (which you'll see in a moment). Wish me luck, and in the meantime, enjoy my pick of the best from the catwalk.

Jules
Jules

Minnie
Minnie

Sabrina
Sabrina

Libby
Libby

The collections are available now at Luella's Boudoir:
Luella's Boudoir
33 Church Road
Wimbledon Village,
London, SW19 5DQ

Web: www.luellasboudoir.co.uk

See the Shane Ryding London Website for more stunning dresses:
Web: www.shaneryding.com
Internationally Stylish: Brittique

Offering the latest in high fashion and accessories, Brittique is an online shop that features exciting, new, British designers. Since the launch in 2006, the company has developed a reputation for stocking the key looks of the season from the likes of Emma Cook, Hannah Marshall and Gil Carvalho to name a few.

Brittique.com

I like to think of it as the queen bee of British online boutiques - the stylish website is more intimate than Matches and yet equally as glorious a net-a-porter. With worldwide shipping and hassle free returns, Brittique is flying the flag for the UK with a style offering coveted by fashionistas across the globe.

Web: brittique.com
When I started this blog, I already new this fact, but for those in any doubt, I had to share this news: London is officially crowned the UK's most stylish city! 1,000 people across Britain's biggest cities found London leading the way in style diversity, the latest trends and key looks.

Style Sightings 01
A great look and a fabulous nautical ensemble, love the beret.

Hailed as one of the epicenters of the fashion world, London topped two categories: Britain's Most Stylish City and Britain's Most Eclectic Fashion Taste. All this according to Clothes Show London. To pay homage, I've selected my favourite pics from the blogs that are Style Scout - London's answer to the Satorialist and Style Sightings, the global fashion emissary. Enjoy!

Style Sightings 02
The foxy librarian look of mini skirt, statement socks and t-bar mary janes are really working here.


style-scout-pics3
Retro with a modern twist - the red band with bow adding a hint of Alice in Wonderland.

style-scout-pics2
Fantastic layers, so effortlessly casual and yet smart!

style-scout-pics1
Pink socks and stilettos - a brave move that works well with this stylista's skinny jean, leather bomber look.

View more stylish Londoners at:
stylescout.blogspot.com
stylesightings.com

Image credits: Courtesy of Style Scout and Style Sightings

Clothes Show Live 2009

Dates: Friday 29th May 2009 - Sunday 31st May 2009
Location: The Excel Centre, London, E16 1DR

It's that time of the year again fashion luvies, this week London becomes a fashion and beauty haven for all us style junkies. The Clothes Show Live, officially the world's largest ever fashion event is back and this year promises to be bigger and better. Quite frankly, it's a shopaholic and bargain hunter's dream with an impressive selection of high street, designer and boutique brands as well as unique beauty products and plenty of preening for that added indulgence.

Yes, the three day fashion fiesta is going to be packed with celebrities, catwalk shows and the all important goody bag. After shopping the latest fashions, be sure make a pit stop at the Jessica Natural Nail & Champagne Bar to enjoy a manicure and the KitKat Senses Café will be perfect place for your elevenses or tea time pick me up.

But it's the Style Stage that's not to be missed - presenter and style guru Lisa Roe will be hosting a series of informative presentations by fashion bible Drapers and high street chain New Look. There's also the chance to see Erin O'Connor, George Lamb, Nicky Hambleton-Jones in action. Tickets start from £24.

Book Now Online
Web: www.clothesshowlondon.com
Worthless! Project, Summer 2009

Date: Starting on 22nd May
Location: 37 Endell Street in Seven Dials, London WC2

They say one man's junk is another man's treasure. Not convinced? Well a visit to 'Worthless' in Seven Dials may just change your mind. The live art installation has been inspired somewhat fittingly by the current recession. The project organised by the team at Pollocks, a creative organisation, fusing art, music and life, promises to transform everyday junk into priceless pieces of art.

From the 22nd - 29th May, you're invited to bring along your own worthless items and see them artistically recycled, ready for auction at a later event in June. And the reason is to challenge the notion of what we consider worthless, as Josef Valentino, founder and creative director of Pollocks explains; “Worthless is a harsh, derogation word - but what exactly does it mean? The term applies as much to every day junk as it does to retail casualties of the current economic climate – none more dramatic than the recent demise of retail giant, Woolworths.”

Don't miss the specially created 'Worthless' store, that will celebrate the institution that was Woolworths, via ironic references throughout the installation space. The pick of the best ‘worthless to priceless’ creations will be exhibited in the store from 1st – 5th June.
This morning I woke up to hellish hair. Yesterday's damp weather really took a toll on my tresses and I was having a VERY bad hair day, that's until I made an emergency visit to the nearest hair salon within reach!

rush-london-hair1

Hallelujah for Rush London; walk-ins are welcome! I hurried in, sat down to a lovely cup of tea and my appointed stylist told me everything was going to be okay. After a deep conditioning treatment, a bluster of the blow dryer, a little celebrity gossip and a good dose of GHD, my hair is looking heavenly.

I was so impressed with the speed that they tamed my hair (and the tea service) that I booked my next visit on the spot. A conditioning treatment, trim, blow dry and straighten costs around £60 and they have specialists for all hair types - thankfully that included mine! I have the type most hairdressers frown at: thick, unruly and way too much trouble!

rush_london_hair

Rush London
71 St. John’s Road
SW11 1QX
Tel: 020 7738 2733

Web: www.rush.co.uk

For information on your nearest Rush London salon click here
Taxi London Lipstick

They say that us British women are adept at beauty on the move; slicking on lipgloss while striding down the street, touching up mascara on the bus or puckering up for lipstick while reading on the tube. Well if this is true then Taxi London is a celebration of makeup on the move.

The cosmetics designed by husband & wife team Pete Kelly & Jane Williamson feature a fantastic range of practical, functional products to make applying easy speedy. The Taxipure™ Mineral Make-up promises to achieve a flawless look without the mess, and the City Lights Plump and Lipgloss have built in LED lights and mirrors for maximum application power.

Since the launch in 2004, Taxi London is quickly growing into a household name. Magazines Grazia and Heat have featured the products as well as Gok Wan's Fashion Fix. Will Taxi London take the capital by storm? The future looks bright. Sold at Superdrugs in and around London.

See the full product range online here.


Taxi London Passenger Range

Web: www.taxicosmetics.com

Taxi London is available at the following Superdrug Stores:
The Strand
Ealing – Broadway Shopping Centre
Harrow – Station Road
Dartford - Bluewater
Bromley – The Glades
Uxbridge – High Street
Croydon – Whitgift Centre
Sutton – High Street
Kingston – Clarence Street
Wood Green – High Road
Beckton – Gallions Reach
Today I'm introducing a talented designer who combines boho chic with interesting shapes and clever tailoring. This emerging designer is definitely one to watch, I'm talking about Hilda Maha.

Hilda Maha SS/09 Collection 1

I've recently learnt that Hilda Maha was a fellow Londoner for 8 years before returning to Italy to work as a fashion and textile designer. In 2008 she achieved her degree at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and during the same year she won the Elio Fiorucci Love Therapy prize in "Mittelmoda the fashion award". During her studies, her work had been featured at Albanian Fashion Week in 2007, and this year she showcased her print collection at Premiere Vision in Paris. Her work is creating quite a buzz.

So when Maha got in touch with me to introduce her latest collection for SS/09 I anticipated it would be something different and exciting, I wasn't disappointed. As I viewed the look book, the words that came to mind were crazy, sexy, cool. Her work has the distinct boldness of designer Ashish, the sharpness of fashion house Noir and the fluidity of Jenny Packham couture.

Hilda Maha SS/09 Collection 2

Indeed her new collection has much promise, the inspiration rooted in her love of Albanian culture, after a trip there last Summer. Maha was both fascinated and impressed by the vibrancy of the community and she set about capturing the beauty of Albanian style and substance through her designs. In creating this collection she embraced traditional methods of production with the new; using age old embroidery techniques with modern digital print.

When asked who her designs will appeal to she answers "A trendy, unique, confident, original and eclectic woman who likes to be different and not unnoticeable". I think Agyness Deyn would be the perfect muse for Hilda Maha don't you? View her look book here.

The Rockwell Hotel

Boutique hotels are my little indulgence, I love to stay for a night or two and make a change from the routine and familiarity of my abode. Yesterday I stayed at The Rockwell, an independently owned hotel with an emphasis on intimate yet understated style. Its location is just a stone's throw away from the capitals' coveted attractions including the Royal Albert Hall the Science Museum, and Harrods department store.

Although considered one of London's luxury hotels, there's nothing overly lavish about it. You won't be welcomed with a glass of rosé or receive a personalised 'enjoy your stay' note placed in your room. Instead, this hotel it prides itself on a more laid back approach, where guests are encouraged to do away with all the fancy stuff and just make yourself at home. Of course the hotel does have the essential personal touches; there's 24 hour room service available and friendly staff willing to assist in any special needs you may have.

The interior has strong contemporary finishes that you'd imagine to be somewhat out of place within the walls of this traditional Victorian town house, but you'll be pleasantly surprised. Alongside the modern furniture and clean lines, you'll also see reclaimed floor tiles to highlight some of its historical aesthetics. And the juxtaposition works well.

The Rockwell Hotel Double Room

I stayed in a double deluxe which was a simple and smart looking room. Perhaps for some, the rooms may be considered a little compact, but in my opinion, the smart layout does well to open the space and make you feel very comfortable. Most rooms feature fresh, bright walls with bold patterned wallpapers, soft caramel and beige tones enhanced with cherry beach furniture. There's no grandeur involved at all, just contemporary, neutral resting space.

I was impressed by the small but perfectly formed restaurant and bar One-Eight-One. The menu boasts modern interpretations of classic British cuisine including sweets like lemon cheesecake and good old apple pie. The restaurant decor is simple and stylish - combining minimum fuss with a chilled atmosphere, in fact, that sums up the hotel perfectly.

One Eight One at The Rockwell

The Rockwell is currently offering a great "2 for 1" weekend package until the 31st May. The offer includes two nights, breakfast and a bottle of wine for £340. For more information and reservations call: 020 7244 2000.

The Rockwell
181-183 Cromwell Road,
London, SW5 0SF
Web: www.therockwell.com
Eyola - Acrifa Collection

Africa Fashion Week starts in June and London is being represented by new luxury womenswear designer Aloye, who will be unveiling her latest collections at the Johannesburg fashion show. Having studied at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan and interned at Alexander McQeueen, her brand ‘Eyola’ is making quite a name for itself within the fashion industry.

The label presents a distinct and eclectic blend of Victorian aesthetics and modern-day couture. The inspirations behind Isimey - Eyola's debut collection include the historic work of Parisian fashion designer Charles Worth, remembered for the opulence and intricacy of his designs.

Eyola - Isimey Collection
Isimey Collection

Isimey features the hallmarks of Victorian fashion, a splash of couture with a modern twist. Later collections Acrifa and Noiranche also achieve the clever merger of vintage style with contemporary ideas.

I love the concept of Eyola because not only is the brand incredibly visionary, but the collections also have wearability and longevity, which is key. Aloye's designs are currently sold at Pipa's Boutique on Warwick Avenue, London and online globally.

The label was recently featured in Italy's 'Fashion Magazine' and there's a packed schedule this year including Africa fashion week and the New designers exhibition in July. I think it's safe to say that we can expect a great future for this cutting-edge fashion house.

Eyola - Isimey Collection
Isimey Collection

Eyola is available at:
Pipa Boutique
1 Formosa Street
Warwick Avenue
London W9 1EE
Tel: 020 7266 2365

Web: www.eyola.com

See Eyola at AUDI Johannesburg fashion week in June
www.africanfashionint.com

See Eyola's exhibition at New designers from the 9-12 of July
www.newdesigners.com

Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair

British Designers Sale

Oh I do love a good sample sale and this weekend there are two worthy of note. The British Designers sale starts today at 1pm and continues on Saturday 9th. Clothing and accessories from the UK's coveted designers will be sold at ridiculously low prices including Marithé + Francois Girbaud and Jenny Packham.

Dates: Friday 8th, 1-7 p.m.; Saturday 9th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Location: Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, SW3 2EE
To reserve entry call: 020 7627 2777

Vintage Fashion Fair

Sunday will see the opening of Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair. Held at the 20th Century Theatre, the event is now in its 4th year and will feature classics by Christian Dior, Biba and Jean Varon with prices starting at an astonishing £5. Insane but true. This sale is a retro shopaholic's dream.

Date: Sunday 10th, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Location: 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, W11 2QA
For more information call: 020 7229 3179
Web: www.vintagefashionfairs.com
The Milestone Hotel

Picture the scene: Dinner and wine within stunning 19th-century architectural surroundings overlooking Kensington Palace and Gardens. Sounds blissful doesn't it? Well it's all taking place on Wednesday the 13th of May at the Milestone. Voted No.1 in World for Service by Conde Nast Traveler, the hotel is opening it's doors for an evening of luxury wine tasting and sumptuous dishes to savor.

The Milestone will be hosting a special evening as part of the Red Carnation Hotels Wine Dinner season. Guests are encouraged to enjoy tipples from the Bouchard Finlayson winery based in South Africa. Pinot Noir, Sauvignon and Chardonnay will be ready for the tasting - all made from flavorsome grapes, cultivated in the rich wine-growing region in The Cape.

As a special treat, the celebrated wine maker Peter Finlayson will be in attendance to reveal secrets to the winery's success. The wine tasting is complemented by a 4-course dinner and costs £85 per person. This event promises to be an ideal evening for wine lovers and foodies. From 7:00 pm onwards.

To make reservations for the Milestone Hotel Wine Dinner call 020 7917 1000 or email dosborne@rchmail.com.

The Milestone Hotel
1 Kensington Court
London W8 5DL
Web: www.milestonehotel.com
Beauty 100 at Selfridges, London

Date: Thursdays, 7th-29th May 09

London department store Selfridges has reached a landmark 100 years in service, and in recognition the Big Yellow Festival was launched on the 1st of May, honouring the store's centenary achievement.

The store will be dedicating Thursday nights to Beauty 100 - an evening of free makeovers and pampering delights. The beauty counters will be open for you to enjoy a glass of pink bubbly and be preened by the resident beauty team.

The fun starts at 6pm, kicking off with special 'vogueing' workshops where you'll be able to learn the art of looking fabulous. There will also be scouts from Storm Models sizing up future models in the making and Grazia magazine's beauty hunter will be checking out the latest beauty looks to cover in the next issue.

Beverley-Knight scheduled at Beauty 100

Special celebrity guests will be in attendance every week and on the 7th of May, soul songstress Beverly Knight will be in-store to share her beauty secrets. And to really get the party started, Kiss 100 DJs will be live on the decks in the beauty hall, playing the latest tunes.


Selfridges London
400 Oxford Street
London W1A 1AB

Web: www.selfridges100.com
Hurray, Summer is nearly here! The season of weddings, garden parties and of course ladies day at the Royal Ascot. To celebrate, Pretty Stylish London has joined with Monique Luttin Millinery to give one lucky reader the chance to design their very own fascinator created by Monique Luttin herself!

Monique Luttin Millinery

If you haven't already heard of Ms. Luttin, where have you been? Her hats and headpieces feature striking colour schemes and oh so pretty accents guaranteed to add serious wow factor to your ensemble - she's the hat specialist on every celebrity stylist's speed dial darling!

Visit: www.moniqueluttin.com for more info.

Monique Luttin fascinator 2

Sorry this competition is now closed.

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The Brooklyn Diner


Yesterday I dined at the Brooklyn Diner on 43rd Street, located near the heart of Times Square. Stepping inside takes you on a journey back to the times of rock n' roll. The plush red leather booths, warm furnishings and 1950s interior transports you back to a time when rockabilly ruled and Elvis was king. The eatery serves authentically American ethnic cuisine; dishes include Italian, Irish, Jewish, Caribbean and African influences all under one roof.

The portions are deliciously filling and the desserts are to die for. I treated myself to the Brooklyn Diner's simple but signature dish of Cheese burger deluxe with French fries and onion rings. I had just enough room to sample an indulgent ice cream sundae, topped with chocolate sauce and cherries. Mmmm mm.

The Brooklyn Diner


Brooklyn Diner

Times Square
155W 43rd Street
NYC, NY10036
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