Thursday, 24 October 2013

I'm in Grazia!

I was ecstatic to open Grazia magazine this week and see my name and comment on the lovely Carey Mulligan's Erdem dress in You The Fashion Jury! What a nice surprise! I can't express enough my adoration for Carey's look here; she looks stunning doesn't she?! Her divine chocolate coloured locks are even tempting me to change my hair colour, and I would kill for this beautiful dress- it's so individual while at the same time exuding a timeless allure, what with its fifties collar and etherealness.
A close-up on Carey's houndstooth frock with a digital twist, and those enviable cocoa waves
As for the other three featured A-list outfits in this week's issue; here's what I thought! Laura Carmichael's 'rib cage' effect dress had me perplexed. Despite wine being one of the 'it' colours of this season, I find it really unflattering on Laura. Though the Kane boots would look ideal with my trusty leather jacket, toned-down, elegant sandals and a soft up-do would have elongated her figure in such a clingy frock. I gave this 2/5!

Laura Carmichael in Christopher Kane
   Rita Ora's Moschino tartan suit was an eyesore to say the least! Now, I love a bit of plaid like everyone else but tartan should be worn in moderation; I would have stopped at the cutsie bow tie! The emblems on Rita's suit for me look tacky, and the boots look more suited to a climbing expedition. Top marks for bravery but the catwalk girls did it better- head to toe tartan should be for performance purposes only. 1/5 for Rita!

Finally, Grazia put Katy Perry's holistic outfit (worn for her appearance on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show last week) up for slaughter. While I respect Katy for her ever playful dress sense, the schoolgirl look is a bit much. The contrast of a religious motif with shiny leather and biker boots is edgy enough without the knee-highs. I say ditch them and the pigtails for sure. I'd say 2/5 for the potential of the tee (actually liked it with the lilac, python skin pants on the H of H runway!)

House of Holland Spring 2014

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Possibilities of the Parka: Fresh Magazine

Sienna Miller wears a traditional green parka
while out and about in the city
You may have noticed I have recently been expressing my admiration for parkas on Twitter, on my 'about me' section of Vintage Beauty itself and in my 'Fragments of Autumn' post. It's fair to say I have a thing for them! Here is my latest piece, published in my university magazine, 'Fresh', on the versatility of this essential autumn/winter coat! 

Jessica Hart merges tomboy chic with her casual parka
Looking for that perfect coat to tide you over for autumn and winter? Look no further than the ultra stylish and functional parka jacket. The parka proved its appeal on the A/W ’13 runway circuit, with colour-popping quilted styles appearing at Miu Miu, and long-line striped and camel (hot colour of the season) versions stepping out at Max Mara. The parka is a multi-tasker- as well as ensuring you’re toasty on those chilly Richmond Park walks, its utilitarian feel can add an urban twist to the sweetest of outfits and even work for eveningwear. Basically, it is a firm favourite of mine in the outerwear stakes. 
     On first glance, parkas are classed as tomboyish, but this can work for the most girlish of girls (it does for me; the pastel queen!) Take it from Jessica Hart, above, who’s emphasised the masculine roots of her green jacket with bags of monochrome yet maintained an effeminate aspect. Jess has stamped her inner femme onto the ensemble by adding a leopard print scarf, the embellishment on her cross-over bag and large framed, studious glasses. Jess’s key outfit pieces can easily be swapped for others- if there’s one vital style rule Coachella festival has taught it’s that jean material looks good underneath a khaki or coffee-hued parka. Swap Jess’s black skinnies for an indigo pair, or try out a denim shirt on top for a laidback vibe. Brown lace-up or Chelsea boots are a trusty equivalent to black bikers and your colour palette can be mixed up in an instant with circle scarves and bobble hats, beanies or fedoras galore.

Olivia makes earthy tones street chic
If you take pride in the sophistication of your wardrobe, Olivia Palermo may be your city-chic icon. In an earth-toned leather-sleeved short jacket, white blouse, co-ordinating pants and courts, she demonstrates how to dress up the parka. A tailored parka like Olivia’s with accents straight from the catwalk will have you feeling en vogue in even the harshest of weather. To make the most of your parka from day to night, throw a honey-hued version over a floral blouse and pencil skirt or an ethnic-patterned frock and finish with daintier ankle boots or pumps. There are endless ways to channel the versatile parka and endless models to pick from on the high-street. If you can afford to splurge, then Zara’s combination parka at £59.99 with its zip detail and cute toggles is irresistible. Its slimming structure combined with a Breton tee would add a touch of Parisian class to military mien. However, if you tend to think with your head, not your heart, this £25 fur trim parka from George at Asda would look gorgeous with a woolly knit, checked scarf and ribbon-tie wellies on damp days.

Zara Combination Parka £59.99

George at Asda's Fur Trimmed Parka £25

Friday, 4 October 2013

October's Recipe: Baked Peaches

I have always wanted to try out baking my own peaches, ever since I had a nibble of one at a wedding I was helping to cater at. I still remember the sensation in my mouth- it was incredible. Definitely on par (as a fruity version) with a warm-you-up hot chocolate! So, last week I decided to go for it and bought a four pack of peaches, thinking- "I've got four takes at this- one's got to turn out yum!" As it happened, baking peaches could not be simpler!! Here is my recipe below, and you could of course try substituting for other fruits! I will be!

Peaches, (up to you how many- I find two at once very filling!) sliced in half and de-stoned
2 teaspoons brown or golden caster sugar
1 tablespoon of butter
Optional: A handful of raspberries, a handful of flaked almonds, clotted or double pouring cream or vanilla ice-cream, a few squirts of honey or golden syrup!

How to:
Place the peach halves in a small oven dish (on foil to save washing up!).
Sprinkle with the sugar, and dab on/lightly spread the butter over the flat tops of the peaches. Don't worry if the butter is slightly lumpy, it will melt in nicely!
Sprinkle over almond flakes and drizzle with honey (a nice combination!), or solely add raspberries for an extra fruity kick.
Bake at 200 degrees Celsius/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.

On the side: Spoon clotted cream into the peaches/pour cream over the peaches, or alternatively eat with real vanilla podded ice-cream!


Vanilla pods.
My baked peaches: butter and sugar for me
Peaches with an almond crust: courtesy of Tumblr