GOODBYE…

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You may have noticed that I haven’t posted on The Yellow Dress for a while. I have been very torn as to what to do as I love the blog and love passing on my fashion finds. However, I start a new chapter in my life/career this week, and that is an MA in Curatorial Practice at university. In other words, apart from probably being the oldest student on campus, I will be learning about galleries, museums, exhibitions and archives. However, I will be specialising in fashion, so I am not bowing out of the world of fashion by any means.

I have decided to put The Yellow Dress on hold for now, as I believe it needs time and dedication which I just cannot give it. I will however, be chronicling my way through my life as a fashion curating student on my new blog, Curated Couture, so if that is of interest to you, please take a look and sign up.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two years of The Yellow Dress, especially all the people I have met on Instagram as a result. Nothing changes there, simply the name, and I will continue to post my favourite fashion finds and outfits.

So it’s bye for now, and never say never…

 

 

 

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CELEBRATING OUR 40’S (AND 50’S)

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As you know, The Yellow Dress is a blog about fashion for those of us in our 40’s (and above), but it is also about celebrating our 40’s. And nobody has done it better than Olivier Rousteing at Balmain Paris. At the end of last week, Balmain launched their new Spring/Summer 16 ad campaign, by re-uniting three of the great supermodels of the 1990s, Cindy Crawford (one of my all time favourite models), Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell, shot by the infamous Steven Klein.

What makes this campaign so great, is that these women are all in their 40’s, with Cindy hitting 50 this year. Olivier Rousteing is well known for his love of using young famous faces in his campaigns such as Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, which makes this so exciting.

Just like for Rousteing (“You made me love fashion yesterday , you make me love fashion today , and you are going to make me love fashion in the future”), the supermodels were very much part of my entry into the world of fashion back in the 1990s, and were a huge influence in the way I dressed, looked and approached fashion back then, and even now.

Obviously, the majority of us don’t look like this in our 40s, or after having children, but it certainly gives me something to aspire to. Not in terms of appearance – I’m under no illusions there – but that we are strong and amazing, and the world is still very much our oyster!

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MY HANDMADE CHRISTMAS WREATH

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Last week, as a birthday treat, my friend Michaela from the beautiful Swedish House at Home, showed me how to make my own handmade Christmas wreath. Growing up in Sweden, Michaela grew to love the outdoors – the harsh weather and lack of natural light during the long winter months, and the bright sun-drenched  summers when the sun barely sets – where picnics in the snow, outdoor barbecues in the winter, and foraging for wild blueberries and strawberries was the norm. So it only made sense, that if anyone was going to make a handmade Christmas wreath from their natural surroundings, it would be Michaela.

And I was in for a treat. She lives in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside, so we foraged for ivy, herbs and laurel from her garden and the surrounding country lanes, and put our wreaths together next to the warmth of her aga, with a pot of hot steaming coffee and copious amounts of candles (they do this in Sweden!). It was idyllic.

 

This is how we did it:

1.We went foraging in the country lanes for twigs, ivy (hanging off the trees), laurel and rosemary (from Michaela’s garden).

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2. We bent long twigs into a circle and secured with twine. We kept going until we had a relatively solid base with which to work.

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3. We then threaded tendrils of ivy through and around the twig circle.

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4. Once the twigs were pretty much covered with ivy, we started adding other bits of greenery to add texture.

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5. We threaded clumps of rosemary into the wreath (the scent is amazing), as well as sprigs of laurel with it’s pretty white flowers. You could also use holly and/or sprigs of pine if you prefer something a little more traditional.

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6. The finishing touches: twine knotted at the top to hang the wreath on the door, and some festive ribbon. You could go for something gold and sparkly (as above) or go bold with a bright red or pink.

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MISS MAGPIE FASHION SPY FESTIVE CARDS

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One of my favourite fashion illustrators, Miss Magpie Fashion Spy, otherwise known as Niki Groom, launched a gorgeous range of cards and stationary back in the summer. In addition, she has now added the most fabulous Christmas cards to the range. Now that we’re into December, I feel I can finally mention the ‘C’ word.

Each card features Niki’s whimsical drawings all in Miss Magpie Fashion Spy’ signature style, with each girl wearing ‘must-have’ outfits, whether it’s a cheeky red cocktail dress and heels, or a cosy Christmas jumper and bobble hat.

Of course, like every parent with school-age children, we have a pile of Daisy’s beautifully designed Christmas cards that she did at school, which will go out to all the family. However, my favourite girlfriends will be receiving these beautiful ‘fashionable’ Christmas cards. You know who you are!

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NEW TERM, NEW ME

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New term, new me, that’s my motto for the next few months (in fact, the next year). A New Year’s resolution four months early if you like! Last week, while we were in the South of France on holiday, I made a pledge to my husband that I would wear a bikini next summer. For those of you who don’t know me, you may well think I’m planning rather far ahead, which I am, but for those who do know me, it will probably make a lot more sense.

Since I gave up smoking (ahem) in my late twenties, I have always struggled with my weight. I am what is known as an emotional eater. I eat when I’m stressed, I eat when I’m unhappy, and on the whole, I eat when I’m happy too. I love food and also have a tendency to be greedy.

Last year, with the help of a personal trainer and sheer determination, I lost two stone. I was fit and healthy, losing weight, and for the first time in years I didn’t wake up with a huge foreboding sense of guilt that I had ‘failed’ again. And it felt good.

I thought I had faced my eating ‘demons’ and dealt with them. I even wrote about it for Red magazine, under a pseudonym because I didn’t want my mother to read it. However, late last year, my mother was diagnosed with dementia and over the following eight months, we went to hell and back. I wrote about it for Grazia magazine back in March, but that was only the beginning.

As a result, I stopped exercising (I was visiting my mother in hospital everyday and simply didn’t have the time or energy), and started eating. It was a gradual process, but as time went on, all the weight I had lost piled back on. So here I am, back to square one.

However, my mother is now finally settled and as Daisy goes back to school this week, I can start focusing on other things, such as getting to the weight I really want to be. Summer 2016 feels like a realistic goal for losing four to five stone in a slow and steady fashion. No fad diets for me, been there done that.

So it all kicks off tomorrow. No more wine, no more bacon sandwiches for breakfast, no more snacking on crisps and tortilla chips, it’s now high protein, good fats and low carbs. Healthy and realistic. I’ve booked a personal trainer for twice a week (I loathe exercise, but perhaps one day I will start to enjoy it), and I’ve signed up to a beginner’s Ashtanga yoga course.

To keep up the incentive – apart from a wardrobe of things I can no longer wear – I am going to give myself mini goals to achieve, so that I have something to look forward to. I have lusted after the dress pictured above and below, from my friend Anna Mason, for over a year now, and finally I am going to treat myself to one. But there’s a catch. Anna took my measurements back in October 2014, when I was over a stone lighter, so that’s my first goal.

I have ordered the dress in fuschia pink and I am going to wear it on my birthday at the beginning of December. So there you are, I have made it official. It’s not a matter of if it happens, but when it happens. Watch this space…

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Anna wearing the beautiful Bardot dress