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
Vintage Hart, Crystal Palace

I do like discovering new places to shop and recently I came across an cool destination for eclectic vintage clothing. Stocking a diverse range of items, this little gem of a boutique is a great place to find that special piece you'll covet. Whether your style is rockabilly throwback or 1980s glam, you'll adore the hand-picked range at Vintage Hart.

It's quite a unique concept, being located inside the White Hart Pub in Crystal Palace. Now this may seem an unusual place to host their weekly vintage shopping events, but you'll be pleasantly impressed with the surroundings and whatsmore, whilst browsing, you can enjoy a cocktail or two. Sounds like the perfect weekend outing doesn't it?

Vintage Hart Items
Inside Vintage Hart

Vintage Hart Shoppers
Shoppers browse whilst sipping on a weekend tipple



Opening Times
Friday 12-8pm
Saturdays and Sundays 12 - 6pm.

Vintage Hart
White Hart
Public House
96 Church Road
Upper Norwood
SE19 2EZ

For more information visit the website:
www.vintagehart.co.uk

Montagu Place - Swanky Room

I've always loved the intimacy of townhouse hotels, there's something warm and inviting about them. Montagu Place is no exception to that, except it offers more. Located on a quiet strip of Marylebone and around 10 minutes from Baker Street station, it's not a renowned hotel, and that adds to its private appeal.

With 16 cleverly designed bedrooms, you'll find a modern take on classic décor and experience a foretaste of luxury without the expensive price tag. A swanky room (one of the best at hotel) costs £260 per night.

For that price, you'll get an good size room with an executive feel. The colour scheme of soft oatmeal, golden browns and dark chocolate is rich and relaxing whilst the space is complete with all technology essentials. There's Wi-fi connection, a DVD player with a vast selection of films available to borrow at reception, completely free. As a big fan of interior design, I fully appreciated the gorgeous damask curtains, the contemporary fabric bedhead and the velour bed covers.

Montagu Place - Bathroom
Swanky Bathroom

In the bathroom, I was pleasantly surprised to see more luxury by way of Molton Brown spa products, a large standalone bath and a walk in power shower. But for me, the best part of the layout, was the twin sinks - such a good idea!

Elsewhere, the hotel continues with its classic meets modern feel. The lounge featured black and white artwork, wooden sculptures and again, rich fabrics throughout. The dining area is cosy in its simplicity, and despite only serving continental breakfast, I felt quite at home sipping on a tea and enjoying a croissant with a complimentary copy of vogue magazine.

What's very good about Montagu Place is the balance between homely appeal and boutique chic. The facilities are ideal for both businessman and family alike. It's not the place to go if you're a stickler for a turndown service, but having said this, the little extras like the DVD collection and a copy of vogue with your coffee do make up for that. You'll love this hotel, if you prefer to simply kick off your shoes and feel right at home.

Montagu Place - Lounge
Lounge Area

Montagu Place
2 Montagu Place
London
W1H 2ER

Tel:
020 7467 2777
Web:
www.montagu-place.co.uk
For reservations email
stay@montagu-place.co.uk
SmoothShapes

When it comes to treatments that promise a solution to all cellulite woes, I do approach them somewhat skeptically. My reason is that I am often approached with offers to try miracle cures all guaranteeing visible results after just one application. I've tried a few in my time, and found myself disappointed. Out of politeness, I never write about them, but in my opinion most of them are just playing on the concerns that most women have with their wobbly bits and the treatments just 'go through the motions' creating a temporary fix, a mere pseudo effect in the mind rather than a genuine improvement.

So when I was invited to try out the new SmoothShapes system, I was more than a little skeptical and yet pleasantly surprised. This new non-invasive anti-cellulite treatment features Photomology® technology to reduce the appearance of fatty build-up and to smooth the skin for long lasting results. The system has been six years of scientific development in the making.

Just last week there were rather unkind photos of Elle Macpherson in the press with dimply thighs. It just goes to show that cellulite can affect the slimmest of people and it's not always the result of poor diets or lack of exercise. In fact, cellulite affects 90% of women and it's the result of changes that occur within the layer beneath the skin called the hypodermal or subcutaneous fat layer. These fat cells become enlarged and take on irregular shapes, resulting is the dimpled surfaces that some of us women battle with.

How does it work?
The SmoothShapes treatment combines laser and light energy with contoured rollers and vacuum to specifically impact the underlying causes of cellulite. First the light energy penetrates the fat cell membranes whilst the laser is targeting the problem area and liquifying the lipids within the fat cells. Next, the vacuum massage using suction and movement to guide the liquified fat out towards the body's lymphatic system, creating better circulation and encouraging the increase in collagen. The treatment facilitates changes in the skin resulting in an improvement in the appearance of cellulite.

SmoothShapes
Example of results: Pre and Post treatments

But does it really work?
Well yes, I think it just might. I experienced a taster of the treatment for myself. Up until now, treatments that I've tried have been more like a massage, admittedly a little too relaxing and unfortunately pointless. However, this treatment wasn't relaxing at all - I could really feel the vacuum and laser working on the treated area and it did feel a tiny bit uncomfortable at first. But after 5-10 mins, I became used to the tugging sensation from the suction. The treatment lasted around 30 mins and I actually felt very thirsty afterwards. The technician suggested, this could be the result of my body wanting to flush out the toxins that the treatment dislodged from the problem area.

So, after finishing a bottle of water on my way home, I went to the mirror to see if I could recognise a difference. I could not. Unlike other miracle cures, the SmoothShapes system doesn't boast immediate results and it's recommended that a course of 8 treatments is undertaken to maximise the improvement, so I wasn't at all surprised. However the next day, my husband commented on how smooth my upper legs were in appearance. I went over to the mirror for the second time to examine them myself and much to my surprise, they did look visibly smoother and tighter. There was still cellulite in the area of concern but, at least I could tell that with a course of treatments, the results would be impressive.

The treatment doesn't come cheap, it's available exclusively at Destination Skin and prices start from £200 per area for a single treatment and a course of 8 sessions will set you back £1250. It's definitely a pricey option but thankfully it's not just a temporary fix (which is the downfall of many cellulite treatments) so if you do invest money into the treatments, it's reassuring to know the results last.

Destination Skin is listed on Wahanda, the online spa community so check out their page for the latest special offers and discounts available.

Desitnation Skin SmoothShapes

For more information on SmoothShapes visit:

House of Fraser
Westfield Shopping Centre
London
W12 7GA
UK

Tel: 020 3372 6453

Make Me The Next Model Competition

Over the last few weeks, fashion retailer Next has been searching for two new, unsigned models to feature in a forthcoming Next Directory. The shopping pages goes out to over 2.2.million people in the UK and with entries surpassing 3,000, the competition is creating quite a buzz.

The top 50 entrants have recently been announced and details are available via the nextonline facebook page. I've checked out entrants myself and there are some very strong contenders. I'm loving the look of Dan Clarke, Muna, Natasha Musson and Fabio (all pictured above). I think they could go far.

The final round is on the 31st July, where the hopefuls will be narrowed down to just 10. Hosted by Alesha Dixon and Paul Sculfor , the finalists will battling it out to wow the judges and Next will be officially revealing their A/W collection on the night.

Want to be part of the action? There are free tickets up for grabs; for your chance to win entry to the exclusive 'Make Me The Next Model final, all you have to do is become a fan on the facebook page and email your details to nextofficial@next.co.uk. The deadline for the next draw is mid-day on the 26th July, good luck!

For more information visit: www.facebook.com/nextonline
Click here to go to Next Online
Sara, Behind The Mask

Today I'd like to introduce you to the work of Georgina, the founder of Bolton King Photography. We recently worked together on a photo shoot and it was a very creative experience. Based in Harlesden, North London, Georgina has a home studio where she does mostly portrait work, and on location, she's an incredibly versatile photographer, with a real flair for reportage style and fashion images.

What I particularly like about Georgina is her passionate approach to achieving atmospheric shots and creating beautiful images. You'll see from her portfolio the painterly qualities that she aims for and the sheer elegance of her shots. Needless to say, with work like this, it's only a matter of time before she's commissioned for glossies. Georgina is definitely one to watch, you heard it here first.

Kiss, Behind The Mask

Behind The Mask

Visit: www.boltonkingphotography.com
Image Credits: © Bolton King Photography
Lambeth Country Show

Date:
18th and 19th July 09
Time: 11:00 - 19:00
Admission: FREE

The Lambeth Country Show is taking place at Brockwell Park this weekend. The two day festival will be packed with a wide variety of music, food and entertainment. There will be arts and craft available to buy, trade stalls and hands-on activities for children and adults. And of course the show wouldn't be complete without its ever popular funfair, there’ll be something for everyone.

Brockwell Park,
London, SE24 9BJ
Web: www.lambeth.gov.uk
July sales now on in Seven Dials

There are some great reductions at selected shops in Seven dials.
Head down to Covent Garden's hidden village during July
and grab a bargain, up to 50% off. Happy Shopping!


50% off at Fifi Wilson
Designer boutique, Fifi Wilson currently has a sale of up to 50% off selected lines at the store on Monmouth Street until stocks last. Filled with designer clothes, accessories and jewellery, the items at Fifi Wilson are cherry picked and include top labels such as, Manoush, Cacharel, Bella Freud, Sonia Rykiel, Odd Molly and Laundry Industry.

Fifi Wilson

38 Monmouth Street,
Seven Dials,
WC2H 9EP
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up to 50% off at Koh Samui

Koh Samui, the fab designer shop specialising in up and coming designer talent as well as the old favourites currently has a sale on selected lines and jewellery in store. Hurry though; the sale only lasts until stock runs out.

Koh Samui

65-67 Monmouth Street,
Seven Dials,
WC2H 9DG
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
50% off selected items at Imso
IMSO, the independent, womenswear trend brand are offering their customers the chance to get their hands of some of their cute designs for half price. The sale is on selected lines only and is available until stocks last.

Imso

69 Neal Street,
Seven Dials,
WC2H 9PF
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
30% off selected lines at Mint
Mint, the on trend vintage mecca has a sale on selected lines in the store until stocks last. Mint’s concept is to provide unique, wearable vintage clothes, which can sit alongside designer and high street pieces drawing inspiration from the catwalks to the pavement.

Mint

20 Earlham Street,
Seven Dials,
WC2H 9LM
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Over 50% off selected designers at Poste Mistress
Poste Mistress, the ultra edgy shoe store on Monmouth Street is offering customers the chance to snap up shoes by top designers for half price. Poste Mistress also stocks rare Japanese brands, limited edition trainers and old school sneakers.

Post Mistress

61-63 Monmouth Street,
Seven Dials
WC2H 9EP
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Junior-Suite-with-bath

I've visited many hotels in London but the Sanctum Soho is truly in a style league of its own. As soon as you enter the place, you step into a world of French decadence, cosmopolitan finishes and a hint of rock n' roll.

Designed by interior specialist Lesley Purcell, whose portfolio also includes the Berkley and Claridges, I had the pleasure of meeting her. She explained that her goal was to achieve a elegant and intimate feel to the hotel, with a personality that would appeal to savvy media personalities and entertainers alike.

She wanted to achieve a gimmick free zone, where guests can enjoy the confidence of the décor and the subtle grandeur that exudes every corner. When asked whether she had a muse in mind when planing the design, Lesley mentioned the actor Jack Nicholson as someone who she could imagine finding the place an ideal restbite.

overallsuitesmall

I recently stayed at the hotel for a photo shoot with Georgina, founder of Bolton King Photography, and the rooms are stunning. There are five mood schemes across the bedrooms: from flirty and feminine to glittering and glamorous.

Some rooms were a picture of pale nudes and pinks featuring French Louis XiV style furniture. Others took on a very fashionable monochrome theme with mirrored surfaces, silver drapery and liquid silver tiles - think old hollywood glamour with modern day touches.

The in-room entertainment is impressive; with movies on demand and a Wii Fit so that you can workout without leaving your room. Whilst the hotel doesn't have a spa or gym facility, it does have an exclusive deal with a nearby spa to arrange mobile beauticians direct to your room, making it easy to book your pampering session.

no20
No. 20, Restaurant and Bar

Other facilities include a hot tub and roof top garden with an adjacent bar: host to celebrity bashes and home to the coolest game box I've come across to date. The hotel's restaurant No.20 serves traditionally English cuisine with a contemporary twist. Featuring artwork by Xavier Pick, I love the rich, warm feel with its art deco lighting and golden leather booths.

You can also expect a very sophisticated service from the team at Sanctum, with a 24-hour room service that extends beyond convention. Personal shopper Emily Cash is available on call and it's not uncommon to hire a Harley Davidson from the front desk, or to call in the hotel's guitar doctor for an impromptu jam - now that's what I can rock n' roll. Prices start from £175.

garden
Roof Top Garden

roof-top-lounge
Garden Lounge with Game Box

reception


Sanctum Soho
20 Warick Street,
London, W1b 5NF
Tel: 020 7292 6100
Email: reservations@sanctumsoho.com
Web: www.sanctumsoho.com
Mary Portas - Living and Giving Shop

The buzz surrounding Mary Portas’s Living & Giving Shop at Westfield London continues. In the 3 weeks that it was open, shoppers have managed to rake in a fantastic £113,000 for charity.
The is quite an achievement, especially as Mary was aiming for half that amount.

The charities benefiting from the money raised at Living and Giving are Save The Children, Mind and Trees For Cities. Jasmine Whitbread, CEO of Save the Children reminds us of how important it is to continually show support, when she explained, ‘Saving a child's life can cost as little as £5 - so every T-shirt, handbag or designer dress bought has stopped children from dying.'

It just goes to show the difference we can make, if we all put our minds to it. There are charity shops all over the UK that still need donations, so let's keep contributing. I hope this news inspires you, as it has me.

For the updates on the shop's proceeds, visit:
uk.westfield.com/thevillagelondon/events/charity-shop-update
morena

Morena

A big congratulations to Pretty Stylish London reader Morena, aka Miss Too Haute To Handle! She's won the Personalised Necklace courtesy of MyNameNecklace.co.uk. The Sterling Silver name necklace (worth £23.95) will have Morena coveting her name ala Carrie Bradshaw, SATC Style.

Check out her blog, you'll love it. The fashionista and philosophical princess has some really thoughtful posts. I always love to see what the California girl has in her closet.

Visit: morenarena.blogspot.com

morena-blog

Don't forget to subscribe to email updates or follow the blog for the latest news, exclusive offers and your chance to win the next competition coming soon!

Subscribe to Pretty Stylish London

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

37° Fitness1

How many times have you joined a gym at a pocket burning price and failed to visit it more than 10 times that year? I'm completely guilty of this. I still have a membership that I'm tied into for another 12 months, reluctantly paying, and in all honesty, I've visited the gym three times this year.

I originally sighed up for the fitness classes. At the time the gym had brilliant options like street dance, Soca aerobics and boxercise (with a rather delicious instructor). But when the new timetable came into play just a month after I joined, I was disappointed that they had struck off all the classes I loved, and replaced it with kundalini yoga (really not my thing).

Looking back, I wish I'd been savvy to the abundance of free gyms and fitness classes currently available in London. Admittedly, I doubt that it would have radically changed the fact that I can count the amount of times I've worked out on one hand, but, at least I wouldn't be out of pocket! If you're like me and much prefer to participate in group activities, rather than go it alone, here are some options for you, absolutely free:

37° Fitness


Body Attack
Wednesday until the 26th August
7.30am – 8.30am

Join the fitness professionals from 37° for free fitness classes in The Scoop at More London. Classes are suitable for all fitness levels and abilities. Classes are limited in size; therefore it will be run on a first come first served basis. At your first class you'll need to arrive 10 minutes before to register.

Gym Tennis™
Wednesday 26th July - 26th August
7.30am – 8.30am

Wimbledon may be over but if you've still got the tennis spirit, then Gym Tennis™ may be just class for you. The Gym Tennis Racket replicates the basic shots such as the forehand and backhand swings, volleys and smashes, to give you a conditioning fitness workout.

For more information visit:
www.morelondon.co.uk

The Adizone Outdoor Gym

Green Legacy Gym


I love this idea - a place for everyone to work out, a free, outdoor gym with safe, robust equipment. There are a lot of these popping up in London. Owned by The Great Outdoor Gym Company, they hope that the service will continue to expand beyond parks and reach destinations like outside health centres, housing developments, in the grounds of hotels and health spas. The low impact, resistance based equipment is suitable for the whole family, young and old.

To find your nearest gym visit:
www.tgogc.com/find-a-gym
Cowshed, Carnaby

It's been a while since I had the pleasure of visiting a day spa and normally I opt for somewhere rather luxurious like the Sanctuary or Austin's but today, whilst scouting for the perfect Summer sandals, I popped into Cowshed, an all together cosy beauty spot. My feet required a little pampering so I booked in for the Ultimate Cowshed Pedicure.

Aside from the routine cuticle tidy, skin smoothing and foot rub, this deluxe option includes a scalp and shoulder massage. As I sat with my feet cocooned in a soothing hydration mask, all the tension and fatigue from a week of endless errands was eased away. By the time the polish was applied (in a beautiful metallic red), I felt revived and my feet were sandal perfect. It's just a shame I still didn't find any to wear! I would definitely visit the spa again - a fabulous pit stop when shopping in Carnaby. The Ultimate Cowshed Pedicure costs £55.00.

Cowshed
31 Fouberts Place,
London
W1D 7QG

Tel: 020 7534 0870
Web: www.cowshedonline.com

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday 10am - 8pm
Saturday 10am - 7pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm
Gok Wan

Author, presenter, fashion expert and a girl's best friend, Gok Wan is this week's pretty stylish person. With two fashion bibles under his belt; How to Dress: Your Complete Style Guide and How to Look Good Naked, plus the TV show Fashion Fix, his mission to help women look and feel in vogue has been by no means an easy feat, but he's gradually helping us to win the battle against our own body hang-ups.

I like the fact that the he knows exactly what he's talking about, having had his own body issues. At the age of 20, Gok was 21 stone and had been bullied as a child for being overweight and rather ignorantly, his mixed race heritage. But the boy's done good now, having shed the extra pounds and proven to himself and those who doubted him that he is fabulous.

What impresses me is that even with Gok achieving his ideal body, he hasn't gone on to promote the fashion industry's 'stick thin' mentality nor does he condone obesity. He encourages, so that whatever stage you're at, whether you're dealing with being a little too voluptuous or you're completely happy at your size, he explains how to make your body shape work for you.

So when he's giving women a pep talk, telling them how gorgeous they are and teaching them the secrets to looking good, I'm not of the cynical opinion that it's all too sickly sweet. Being a woman that can easily fluctuate from a UK size 10 to a 12, I too share some of the same hang-ups as the women on his show and I think he does a great job in educating us that we can look and feel good whatever size you are. Ultimately, his work is about achieving the feel good factor. I'm so look forward to the new season of Fashion Fix.

Q&A with Gok
Fashion Guru Wan will be judging the 2009 Spectacle Wearer of the Year, and as part of the competition, he's on hand to answer any style advice and questions the online fashion community, has via the Specsavers facebook page. Check it out here.


Gok's Timeless Tips for Summer




Spectacle Wearer of the Year 09

When I was growing up, I thought wearing glasses was very uncool. Maybe it was because my dad had the most horrendous 'Should have gone to Specsavers' type that were far too big with shockingly thick frames. I remember him always peering over them, and I used to think, why wear them if you don't actually look into them? Childhood memories aside, I now have far wiser take on glasses which is that with the right shape, colour and frames, glasses can look uber sexy actually. Think, Johnny Depp, Jenny McCarthy and Julia Roberts, who have all at some point looked stylish in spectacles.

Celebs in Spectacles
From the left: Johnny Depp, Jenny McCarthy and Julia Roberts

It seems fitting then that Specsavers are running a competition to find the 2009 Spectacle Wearer of the Year. The winner will receive a modeling contract with Premier Model Management who have represented Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista and is the current home to Vogue cover girls Georgina Cooper and Kirsty Hume. They’ll also receive an all expenses paid trip to Barbados or St Lucia. Mr. Gok Wan - fashion guru and spectacle wearer himself judging the finalists come October.

Spectacle Wearer of the Year 09b


The team at Specsavers, ASOS and social media agency Jam are still scouring the streets and the internet to find the all important winner. So if you'd like to enter click here Good Luck!

Web: competition.specsavers.co.uk
Where has the British Summer gone? It's all be a bit too gloomy of late, but in the hope that the sun will shine brightly again, I've put together an optimistic list of must-have beauty products that will see you through the heat wave. (If it comes back!)

Summer Beauty Kit

1. Love Me Naked - Rose Body Wash, £3.91
This rose infused wash leaves skin feeling soft and the scent is fresh and pretty. Packed with anti oxidants to help protect your skin, it's an ideal prep before applying your body butter or soufflé. It certainly perks me up in the morning!

Web:
www.nakedbodycare.co.uk
Also available at Boots stores.


2. Butter London 3 Free Lacquers, £12
I love the polishes from Butter London; free form Formaldehyde, Toluene, and DBP, you can apply a fresh coat of polish as often as you like without the worry of excess toxins. London Underground, Portobello Pink and Jaffa are the hottest summer shades.

Web: www.butterlondon.com
Also available at ASOS.


3. Mac Minreralise Skin Finish Natural Powder, £17.50
I swear by this powder. It cleverly combines a natural-matte finish with a little sun-kissed glow. I use it without foundation to even out my skintone and keep my face shine free throughout the day. It's light and non-clogging, so you won't have to worry about makeup breakouts.

Web: www.maccosmetics.co.uk
Also available at Selfridges.


4. Sanctuary Sculpting Anti-Cellulite Treatment, £12.71
As far as home cellulite treatments go, this is the best I've used. After giving daily treatments with the gel, I can see a good visible difference in the typical problems areas. Use the treatment with the special cellulite massager and it helps to break down fatty deposits and encourages lymphatic drainage. My thighs look smoother and firmer, just in time for those mini shorts.

Web: www.thesanctuary.co.uk
Also available at the Sanctuary Spa, London and Boots.


5. Impulse Romantic Spark, £0.99 (Superdrug Web deal)
I'm not usually one to wear body sprays, I'm an 'eau de toilette' girl myself but this Impulse spray is quite lovely and perfect for Summer. I received a sample last month and have since bought a second to keep in my handbag. It's very subtle so you can reapply throughout the day and not smell like a perfume counter.

Web:
www.superdrug.com


6. Sleek Makeup Eye Dust, £2.59 (Superdrug Web deal)
This highly luminescent eyeshadow glides effortlessly onto the skin leaving a sparkling film of colour on your eye lids creating a sleek and stunning look. Tried and tested by yours truly, it has great staying power and won't melt after a few hours in the sun. Scuba and Glory are my favourite hues to combine.

Web:
www.superdrug.com


7. Scholl Intensive Night Treatment, £5.86
Pop some of this lotion onto the feet at night and let it work its magic. If you're prone to dry, hard skin on the soles, this treatment penetrates deep into the skin to seal in moisture and restore the skin's softness. So you wake up with soft, supple, gladiator-worthy footsies.

Web:
www.scholl.com
LAURA-LAINE4

As an illustrator, when your work has been published in NY Times, Viva La Mode and Muse, you're doing very well. But to also be commissioned by labels Zara and Escada is double confirmation of your sought-after status. One woman who has achieved this is Finnish illustrator Laura Laine.

At just 25, she's received global critical acclaim and won the hearts of key fashion editors through her hauntingly beautiful, amazingly detailed art. In an interview with Charlies Design Diary, she explains that she takes inspiration from a host of different things but mostly fashion, literature, browsing through magazines and traveling to Italy.

I've been following her work for some time now and I have to say that I absolutely covet the selection she produced for Muse magazine. The combination of Laine's free-flowing drawing with fashion photography in such a flirty, playful way is just inspiring. Don't you agree?

LAURA-LAINE9

LAURA-LAINE8

LAURA-LAINE6

LAURA-LAINE7

Web: www.lauralaine.net
DP Collection - Dorothy Perkins - Military Jacket

If like me you've been admiring the military style Balmain Jacket, (safe in the knowledge that the price tag is above your spending threshold) then here's some good news. Dorothy Perkins has just launched their new designer inspired line of courtesan chic pieces, including a jacket that is the closest I've seen to Balmain on the high-street. The military jacket is a bargain at £100 and I'll admit that it will never match the sheer beauty of the original crystal-embellished canvas jacket, but when you haven't got £6,560 to splurge, is this not the next best thing?

The new DP Collection is rather delectable; boasting rich embellishments, deluxe brocade, 3D jewels and silky velvet. Other pieces that stand out are the gold boyfriend blazer, £80 and the purple velvet power shoulder dress, £35. The items mentioned do not appear to be available online at the moment so it's best to check in store, but there is still a cool selection from the new range via their website, with more being added soon. Watch this space.

DP Collection - Dorothy Perkins - Power Dress

DP Collection - Dorothy Perkins - Boyfriend Blazer

Find your nearest Dorothy Perkins store

Web: www.dorothyperkins.com
The Madonna Nudes Exhibition

Date:
2nd to 19th July 09

Admission:
FREE

The launch party for The Madonna Nudes exhibition took place on Wednesday evening and I took along my very good friend to check out the 'artwork'. Jointly organised by Seven Dials and Impure Art, we were greeted by Madonna herself (well a very, good lookalike: Evelyne Brink) who donned the singer's signature black leotard and knee-high boots combo whilst dancing to 'get into the groove'. It was all very entertaining, especially when the designated photographer initiated a dance off between them ala Step Up style.

As for the images, they were certainly baring all. With Madonna's short and curlies on full display and armpit hair that had been cultivating for some considerable time, I was feeling both surprised, uneasy and yet celebratory. Surprised that the icon that is Madonna, was at the time just hungry for fame dancer, aged 20, who stripped for just $30. Uneasy at the sight of her front bottom and its desperate need for a wax, and celebratory for the fact that I could see cellulite and little flaws. The fact that images were created before the years of Photoshop brought about a feeling of nostalgia. It was good to look back and remember a time, some 30 years ago when it wasn't the norm to perform a digital nip-tuck.

The Madonna Nudes
are available to buy from £3,400 and being showcased at the gallery Monday to Saturday, 12-7pm, and Sunday 12-6pm. No doubt the pictures will become serious collectors' items.

Address:
Impure Art Gallery,
19 Earlham Street,
Seven Dials, WC2

For more information visit:
www.sevendials.co.uk or www.impureart.com
LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs
Become a fan on Facebook!
Look who's reading now...

♥ My Other Blogs

  • On Tuesday 20th October, Pretty Stylish London hosted a fundraising event entitled The Big Pink Pamper Party, in aid of Cancer Research UK and to highlight...
  • When you get tired of that Dior bag of three seasons past and fancy a new addition to your collection, ebay is probably your first port of call, right? Wel...

♥ Useful Links

Abazias
Who in their right mind purposefully wastes hard earned money? Especially when they don't have to. If you're looking for engagement rings, design your own for affordable prices, only at Abazias.

♥ Snaps of the Editor

♥ Snaps of the Editor
CommentLuv Enabled