Young British Designers

If you are anything like me and like fashion, than you know how interesting it is to keep an eye on the new designers, who haven’t become huge just yet, but possibly have that potential. With read more

Star bag

jigsawThis past year, like any before it, gave us many fashionable trends, some realistic, some not at all so, some that will linger and some that will disappear without trace.

One of those trends with a staying power has been the star motive on clothes and accessories-just think about the latest Ugg collaboration with Jimmy Choo as a latest example.

My own ‘downfall’ arrived in the form of a Jigsaw bag that I glimpsed on a page of a magazine . Jigsawis not a shop that I pop into often, mainly because the styles don’t suit either my shape or my style, but as they say, many people, many opinions, and thank god for that.

I popped into my local branch but unfortunately they were sold out of the ‘Star Cluster tote bag’ that I was looking for, but the sales person, a pretty and very sweet girl called Emily, suggested that she calls another store, to see if they had it, especially as they had a 50% off bags promotion that weekend.

I am not going to bore you with the long story of how I got my hands on that bag, but let me just say that Emily turned out to be a sales superstar, diligent and efficient, who actually went out of her way to acquire this particular bag for me. 

It is stylish and beyond trends, I wear it either on my shoulder or slotted across, if I want my hands to be free, it fits many things in but best of all, it makes me smile. And that is not a bad look to be walking about with .)

Life’s unfairness and ways to fight it

I always find it much more interesting to read a story about a regular person than another, mostly meaningless (with rare exception) interview with a celebrity, which unfortunately most magazines rate highly on their list of priorities, in order to push more copies.

December edition of American Elle carries a story called ‘Love, actually’ and in it Heather Vandenberghe tells what happened after a sober (!) driver reversed into her 3 year old daughter while he was looking for a parking slot and she was on the pedestrian crossing at the green light…..

What follows tugs at your heart in the worst possible way because you are re-living every loving mother’s worst nightmare put into simple but profound words. However dire circumstances seemed to be at the time the accident took place, Ms. Vandenberghe not only fought very hard (together with the skilled doctors and support of family members and friends), for her daughter’s recovery but she also tried to make a stand and change the unchangeable, by creating Elle’s law.

Even if you choose to buy the magazine for Jessica Alba on the cover (and the interview inside), I urge you to read the ‘Love, actually’ to start with. It might even inspire you to make a change for the better in your or somebody else’s life or just appreciate what you already have, if your child is safe and healthy.

Invisibible Zinc-start protecting your skin now!

IZ1Autumn might not be the most obvious time to start thinking about sun protection but any good dermatologist would tell you that if you want beautiful skin that ages well, you need to consider sun protection and its daily effect on your skin!

Invisible Zinc is an Australian brand (and Australians do take their sun protection seriously!) and I first read about in one of Elle Macpherson’s interviews. Now it’s available in Selfridges and Cult beauty (online) and there might be some other UK stockists too.

Why this brand you would ask? Well, their active ingredient is zinc oxide which is a natural mineral reflector of UVA and UVB rays, so basically when you put it on your face or body, it will stay there and reflect very effectively UV which can damage your skin and lead to brown spots or even skin cancer later in life.

My two favourite products from this range are the ‘Tinted Daywear SPF 30+’ which is effectively a 3-in-1 product: moisturiser, zinc sunscreen and sheer foundation and the ‘Tinted lip + cheek balm’ which will moisturise, protect and prettify your lovely face. A simple solution to an important dilemma .)

‘No Woman, No Cry’-directorial debut of the supermodel

ChristyTWhen you are healthy, successful and fulfilled it is very easy to take things in life for granted. After all, if you have never struggled or suffered, how can you relate to people who have? Would you sympathise with a cancer patient? A homeless man? A childless couple? A parent with a sick child? A person with special needs?

I think la person’s level of humanity depends on a lot of things, including how you were brought up and what kind of people surround you. But deep down, I think it is up to each one of us to remain human and compassionate, to be able to cry, to help a person in need and not just be a soulless passer by in life.

Christy Turlington, one of the original ‘supermodels’, who remains incredibly beautiful and elegant  and very much demand to this day, chose to remain human and get involed with issues that are important to her but bring goodness to society at the same time without seeking an ounce of self-promotion, which a lot of celebrities do. There was her wonderful yoga book ‘Living Yoga: creating a life’s practise’, full of wonderful pictures and poses and advice on yogic practise; her skincare line Sundari, her sports gear Nuala range. She seems to have a vision and follows it wholeheartedly, with determination and passion. This year Ms. Turlington Burns went a step further, self financing and directing a documentary on maternal health called ‘No Woman No Cry’.

I am not going to say that pregnancy and delivery are always straight forward in the Western world-I know of women having died while giving birth or had complications be it in the UK or Russia (even in very well-known hospitals and at times privately) but can you imagine the hardships that many woman in the Third World countries face each day when there are not just no hospitals or medical facilities close by, but often they don’t even have access to clean running water…….

Christy Turlington Burns had a complication after delivering her daughter but even though she was in safe hands, that scary experience spurred her on and the end result was the documentary that was filmed in the four parts of the world, including the Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum in Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala and a prenatal clinic in the US. 

It is a sobering fact that reproductive health problems are the biggest death cause worldwide in women aged 15 to 44. And the fact that someone who is very privileged and well-educated takes the time to learn about the problem and teach us, raising awareness and funds is very humbling lesson in humility, don’t you think? After all, a lot of us can relate to that, learn and take it forward, be it by supporting our pregnant friends/family members or making a donation to help a complete stranger give birth to a beautiful baby safely.

Lanvin collaboration with H&M-was it worth it to queue?

In the last few days everywhere you looked-TV, magazines-there were ads for the upcoming Lanvin collaboration with H&M, so not surprisingly expectations were high and we ladies were at the ready .) I had my eye on one of the T-shirts and a pair of leopard heels with ribbons-girly but so cool!

November 23rd arrived and when I went on the H&M internet site at 11am it was busy, so I was asked to come back later, later, later…I tried and by the time I went through to online shopping everything…. had a ‘sold out’ sign.

Not the one to give up so easily, I thought I would call Brent Cross’s store to see if they had anything left. The young lady who picked up the phone said they had plenty of stock still. Ok, I thought, I will drive there with the kids…

We arrived to the not so busy shop floor which had security barriers at the back and a small line of people. I joined in, only to be asked by the security guy whether I had a bracelet? ‘What bracelet?’, I asked puzzled. ‘The one that you need to get to go in this queue’ was the reply. ‘Where do I get one?’, was my next question-apparently at the store entrance, where I trotted feeling silly already.

A glaring shopping assistant said that they gave away the last one a while back and I needed to come back in 40 minutes i.e at 1pm when there will be no need for bracelets. My enquiry as to why I wasn’t told that when I phoned fell on deaf ears and I was even asked why I was so rude to her. Me? Rude? I was clam and collected but I did feel frustrated that they were making a big deal out of nothing really-plenty of stock and no riots, so why make it look so ‘exclusive’ and unavailable? In the end I told her that it wasn’t helpful and I couldn’t just mop around for 40 minutes-who can in our crazily scheduled world, especially when you have small children and approach life with military precision. So, my dears, I walked away from Lanvin. Did I ask or want preferential treatment? Absolutely not but I would rather not have Lanvin beautiful pieces at all than be treated with fake haute contempt and rudeness. I bought this week’s Grazia and a Decleor Aroma Cleanse foaming cleanser-the lovely shopping assistant gave me plenty of samples to try without me even asking- and calmly went back to the car. The beautiful day stretched ahead of me…..