VOGUE 100 EXHIBITION

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Yesterday I treated myself to a day ‘in town’ and went to the Vogue 100: A Century of Style exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. A culmination of five years of research (and a total of 1,800 copies of Vogue) by curator and former Vogue picture director, Robin Muir, it truly is a labour of love.

Taking over the whole ground floor, each room promises familiar faces along with exquisite prints I had never seen before. Vogue Editor in Chief, Alexandra Shulman, along with Robin Muir, had not wanted rows of black framed photographs, and as a result Vogue 100 is a real feast for the eyes. I’m not going to give too much away, because you really must go and see it.

Including the first ever issue of Vogue in September 1916, the exhibition houses original prints where possible from all the greatest photographers including Cecil Beaton, Man Ray, Irving Penn, Horst, Bruce Weber, Herb Ritts, Corinne Day (and that famous Kate Moss shoot), Nick Knight, Mario Testino and Tim Walker.

However beautiful a print is on a magazine page, something is always lost, so to see these photographs in their original form – vibrant and sharp, with such attention to detail – was incredible.

Please do go, it’s worth every penny. And I may bump into your there because I’ll be going back.

Vogue 100: A Century in Style is open until 22 May 2016 and you can book here.

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VALENTINE’S WISHLIST

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For the first time ever, I have given my husband a Valentine’s wishlist. When we were newly weds, he surprised me with a beautiful pair of dusky pink Jimmy Choo shoes (he enlisted the help of one of my girlfriends), which I have never forgotten, but gradually over the years, standards have slipped.

It hit rock bottom a few years ago when a card and a box of Maltesers were hurridly bought from the local Smile shop on Valentine’s morning, and last year it was a washing-up brush in the shape of Queen Elizabeth II, chosen by Daisy, so I had to pretend to love it. But enough is enough, let’s start bringing romance back, and with it, proper Valentine’s gifts.

Admittedly, there is only one item on my Valentine’s wishlist, which is the handmade-to-order La Luna Pearl Ring from Alighieri. I have had my eye on this ring for months, and I have done most of the work for my husband – confirmed the size and sent him the link – and he has agreed to the purchase! I can’t wait.

Although it is a bit of a cliché, I love the idea of jewellery as a Valentine’s gift. It’s something that lasts and you can treasure it for years to come. I rarely buy jewellery for myself, so for me, it’s a real treat.

I absolutely love Monica Vinader’s initial pendants, particularly the diamond ones. When I can afford it, I might treat myself to my family’s initials. I’m also tempted by Astrid & Miyu’s initial rings and bracelet. The ‘t’ bracelet is the next item on my wishlist.

One of my all-time favourites is the Tiffany Elsa Peretti open heart pendant, the first piece of jewellery I ever bought from Tiffany in Old Bond Street, in my early twenties when I worked at Harpers (& Queen, as it was then). I could just about afford it, and have treasured it ever since. I also love Mimilamour’s heart bracelet… the list really could go on and on!

So, if like me, you’d like to see a touch of romance back for Valentine’s Day, along with something that you can treasure, starting hinting, filling out wishlists and emailing links…

 

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  1. Astrid & Miyu Initial Rings, £39 each
  2. Astrid and Miyu Initial Bangle, £59
  3. Monica Vinader Silver Alphabet Pendant, £65
  4. Monica Vinader Diamond Alphabet Pendant, £150
  5. Monica Vinader Gold Alphabet Pendant, £75
  6. Latelita London Zodiac Bracelets, £49 each
  7. Monica Vinader Engraved Havana Friendship Bracelet, £75

 

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  1. Chupi Fly Away With Me Bird Twig Silver Bangle, £104
  2. Tiffany Elsa Peretti Open Heart Pendant, £165
  3. Tiffany Paloma Picasso Love Ring, £140
  4. Shourouk Athna Love Bracelet, £80
  5. Mimilamour Silver Heart Bracelet, €135

 

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  1. Alighieri La Luna Pearl Ring £150
  2. Carolina Curado Jewellery Explosions Ring, £63
  3. Alighieri Meteor Ring, £150
  4. Accessorize Eternity Hoop Pendant, £15
  5. Accessorize Neptune Pave Disc Pendant, £15
  6. Accessorize Crescent Moon Pendant, £12
  7. Mimilamour Rose Gold Heart Ring, €55
  8. Accessorize Delicate Crystal Eternity Ring, £12
  9. Glenda Lopez The Heart Stickering, £30
  10. Mimilamour Rose Gold Heart Bracelet, €95

 

 

WEAR NOW, PAY LATER!

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My current favourite pre-loved designer fashion website, Vestiaire Collective, has come up with the ingenious idea of WEAR NOW, PAY LATER – interest-free credit spread over three months (on purchases over £400). What’s not to love?

What I love about Vestiaire Collective is that it is awash with everyone’s favourite designer labels, from Chloé, Isabel Marant and Stella McCartney to Burberry, Chanel and Gucci. I am just about to buy myself a pair of Miu Miu sunglasses that are £100 off the original price and have never been worn. I had my eye on them at Miu Miu over Christmas, but they were too expensive. My patience has paid off!

There are the more unusual labels too, such as my love-of-the-moment, Vita Kin, and although not generally reduced in price, at least these impossible to get hold of dresses are available and most have hardly been worn. In fact, I will be selling one of my Vyshyvanka by Vita Kin dresses on Vestiaire very soon, so watch this space.

So the idea of wear now, pay later, is rather tempting. Perhaps it’s time to invest in that long-coveted Chanel handbag?

 

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  1. Burberry Cotton Trench Coat, £501.37
  2. Aquazurra Black Patent Flat Ballet Flats, £300.06
  3. Chanel Leather Bag, £2,810.71
  4. Chloé Jeans, £70
  5. Valentino Pink Rockstud Ballet Flats, £448.19
  6. Chloé Susanna Suede Boots, £516.56
  7. Valentino Black Rockstude Heels, £445.03

 

 

JEANS FOR REAL WOMEN

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For as long as I can remember I have struggled with jeans – my hips are generally too big and my legs too short – so at last, I can breathe [in] a huge sigh of relief, as finally there jeans for real women are here.

Admittedly, they’re nothing new, but for the last three decades, what I would have called ‘ladies’ jeans, were just not ‘in’. The last time high-waisted, straight legged jeans looked cool was when Debbie Harry wore them back in the early ’80s.

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My last memory of wearing real jeans for women, was when I was on the cusp of teenage-hood, and even then had to lie on the bed to squeeze myself into them, using the end of a hanger to pull up the zip. Then it all became about vintage men’s 501s from American Classics on the King’s Road, and ‘ladies’ jeans’ were history.

However, years later when it became apparent that my curves were set to stay, the search for the right pair of jeans became an impossible task. If they fitted on the hips, they were too loose around the waist, and for about a decade I didn’t wear them at all.

The introduction of stretch denim was a life saviour, and made the skinny jean just about bearable (and possible). I find low-rise jeans really uncomfortable though, and if you have a muffin top or have had children, they are really not your friend.

Perhaps it’s my age, but I am happy that jeans for real women are back. The waistband is on the waist, where it should be, and because of this, they’re much more flattering from behind. Instead of androgyny, they show off your curves.

You could go a step further, and opt for non-stretch denim – remember that? – but I’m not sure I could let go of the stretch that finally made jeans a comfort to wear, rather than torture all day long, especially sitting down for any length of time. Or was it just me?

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So here are my TOP THREE jeans for real women:

  1. Levis new Wedgie Fit, £95. High-waisted and straight-legged, this new style of jean from Levis contains only 1% elastine, so if you want as close to the non-stretch original jean, this is it.
  2.  Topshop Mom High-Waisted Jeans, £42. My favourites, these come in a wide choice of denim shades.
  3. M&S Collection Sculpt & Lift Straight Leg Jeans, £35. M&S jeans are my guilty secret, not something I like to admit to (M&S jeans still have that frumpy image for me), but they are so comfortable.
  4. ASOS Farleigh Slim Mom Jeans, £32. Comfortable and flattering.
  5. Lee Marion Straight Leg Jean, £42.50. Another of the orignal jeans’ brands, these jeans are half price and are the perfect shade for summer (thinking ahead!).

 

RAINBOW FASHION (IS NOT JUST FOR CHILDREN)

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Rainbow fashion for grown-ups

Daisy loves a rainbow, whether it’s splashed on her bedroom wall, in one of her many drawings, or on her clothing, but 2016 is going to be the year that rainbow fashion grew up, and is no longer just for children. Trust me on this, it’s not as scary as it sounds!

It’s also that time of year when we could all do with a splash of colour in our lives. Summer feels like a lifetime away and this winter has been pretty grey and grim so far. Shoes and accessories are the perfect (and safest) way to embrace the rainbow trend. A rainbow clutch with an LBD or multi-coloured shoes with a pair of girlfriend jeans  (which will take you through to summer) – gorgeous!

Anya Hindmarch, famous for her love of gimmicky bags, has gone all-out with rainbows for 2016. I particularly love her leather rainbow bag stickers, you can completely transform a bag, clutch, wallet, or even a diary. They adhere properly and don’t come off.

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  1. Anya Hindmarch Rainbow Leather Shoulder Bag, £695
  2. Red Valentino Cady Mini Dress, £570
  3. Mary Katrantzou Rainbow Striped Clutch, £390
  4. Anya Hindmarch Small Rainbow Sticker, £45
  5. Anya Hindmarch Small Heart Rainbow Sticker, £45
  6. Anya Hindmarch Small Star Rainbow Sticker, £45
  7. Miu Miu Glittered Sandals, £515
  8. Anya Hindmarch Valorie Rainbow Glitter Clutch, £450
  9. Lanvin Colour Block Suede Sandals, £355

 

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Rainbows for little ones

What I love about rainbows on children’s clothing, is that they are not too girly (they look great on boys’ clothes too), and they’re fun. Over the years Daisy has had various tops and dresses with splashes of rainbows and she’s loved them.

This winter we have particularly loved Jools Oliver’s Little Bird range for Mothercare, with retro sweatshirts and denim skirts with rainbow logos. Daisy has worn them to death, and they were so cheap too. The range goes up to age 8, so we have another year in which to enjoy it. Mini Boden do colour so well, and they have plenty of rainbows going on in their new spring collection. Daisy is dying for the skirt pictured below. Worn with a stripy top and a pair of cosy tights, she’ll brighten up the greyest of days…

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  1. Rainbow Shoe Laces, £2.59
  2. Mini Boden Fun Jumper, from £29.50
  3. Toby Tiger T-Shirt Dress, £23.99
  4. Little Bird by Jools Rainbow T-Shirt, from £6
  5. Mini Boden Rainbow Skirt, from £29.50
  6. Claire’s Rainbow Hair Bobbles (pack of 10), £2
  7. Mini Boden Retro Jersey Dress, from £24.50