BIBA and Beyond Exhibition at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 23 - 2013

Whilst in Brighton on Tuesday, I went along to check out the BIBA and Beyond exhibition at the wonderfully-quirky Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, situated just behind the Royal Pavillion building. The museum is hosting a fascinating retrospective on the designs of Barbara Hulanicki whose iconic work span the last 50-years. She’ll forever be known as the woman who brought affordable fashion to the high-street back in the 60s with the launch and opening of her first shop in West London.

The exhibition centres around an impressive display of vintage BIBA clothing, donated largely by one Angie Smith, better known as “Biba Angie” for her obvious passion for the designer’s creations. From graphic dresses to flared trouser-suits, sharply-tailored coats to cute swimsuits, the display captures the essence of the polish-born designer’s imaginations and brings them back to life with a narrative that tells the story of the brand from conception to current-day.

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Barbara’s work, first as a freelance fashion illustrator is documented via a series of drawings and sketches, most notably the one below of Audrey Hepburn.

The accompanying quote sets the tone for the exhibition that pitches the designer (quite rightly) as someone who was acutely aware of how the “real world” worked, she comes across as someone who has never lost touch with what it means to be a dedicated follower of fashion minus the limitless budget of the modern celebrity.

Her feistiness and determination to provide real-world glamour for the archetypal Biba Girl – feminine to the max but with a tough, untouchable edge – reached its peak in the early 70s when Big Biba, a seven-storey department store opened under the moniker “‘the most beautiful store in the world”.

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The hallowed Art Deco building on Kensington High Street housed everything the BIBA fan desired, from trendy clothes to designer furniture, from makeup to paints and wallpaper, you could even buy Biba-branded soup and baked beans!

The collection of BIBA cosmetics on display at the exhibition has been loaned to the museum by none other than the wonderful Lisa Eldridge who has a great demonstration on You Tube dedicated to creating the Biba Dolly look as worn by the girls in the shop. BIBA was the first store that let customers try makeup before buying it, leading the way and creating the blueprint that other stores would follow.

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The colours are vibrant and richly-pigmented, vampy Clara Bow-esque lips were the order of the day and smokey eyes with plenty of lashes contributed to the finished look.

The packaging featured the dinstinctive black-and-gold logo and delivered practical performance, something that was almost as important as the contents to the modern BIBA shopper.

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I’m going to leave you with the rest of my photos from the exhibition, I’m not great at talking about or thinking about fashion and design… but if you have any interest in learning more about a true pioneer and forebearer to the modern high-street, do check out the BIBA and Beyond exhibition at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery before it closes on the 14th April. Adult tickets are £6, student tickets (with an NUS card) are £4.

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Tiffany & Co. enters its 175th year looking rosy with RUBEDO™

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 10 - 2012

Thanks to my pale, cool-toned colouring, I’m usually restricted to white-toned jewellery, gold can look quite brassy against my skin tone.  My wedding ring is a plain, silver band… not the most luxurious of metals but I’m not a fan of white gold and platinum stretched way, way beyond our student budget at the time.

A few evenings ago, I was introduced to Tiffany & Co’s new metal.  Yes, a whole new metal – created specifically to mark the iconic brand’s 175th year.  RUBEDO™ (pronounced roh-bay-doh not roo-bee-doo!) is a beautiful, glowing rose with a warm pink hue which promises to be universally flattering on any skin tone.  And indeed it complemented my colouring very nicely, sitting perfectly between the yellow and white spectrum of the usual jewellery options.

Looking at the collection in person, the new RUBEDO™ metal looks to be a little pinker than standard rose gold, perhaps a touch cooler, with more brilliance than I expected and a little less creaminess – if that makes any sense at all.  Each piece from the RUBEDO™ metal collection made in this, the brand’s anniversary year, carries the signature of its founder Charles Lewis Tiffany.

I tried on a couple of pieces, the Tiffany 1837™ wide ring in RUBEDO™ metal (£505) and the Tiffany 1837™ cuff in RUBEDO™ metal (£3,050) – funny story, I couldn’t get the cuff off after I’d tried it on.  And by funny, I mean so embarrassing I wanted to die.  My wrist did the best impression of a sharpei puppy as I tried to wrangle it off.  “Oh sorry!  It won’t come off so I’ll just have to take it home with me”.  Can you imagine?

Anyway, you’ll be pleased to hear that prices for the collection start at a slightly less bank-breaking £160 for the Tiffany 1837 Bar pendant in RUBEDO™ metal but if we’re going to play my favourite ‘price is no object’ game, the most lustworthy piece, in my opinion, is the exquisite Tiffany 1837™ interlocking circles bracelet.

Which is your favourite piece from the new RUBEDO™ metal collection?

Fusion@London: 25th & 26th February 2012

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 25 - 2012

Back in the depths of December, a group of bloggers were treated to a fashion show from Fusion@London – an organisation which aims to unite students from across the capital whilst raising funds to support Cancer Research UK.

image credit: Fusion@London (www.fusionatlondon.co.uk) Giovanni Barsanti

Next month, on the 25th and 26th of February Fusion@London will launch their first gala, which promises to be an inspiring combination of fashion, music and dance to be held at the Troxy, Limehouse.  The show has been designed by a creative committee who work alongside professional and student choreographers and designers to bring the show to life.

There is a real buzz and passion around the event, as evidenced by our sneak peek at the fashion show last month.

image credit: Fusion@London (www.fusionatlondon.co.uk) Giovanni Barsanti

The dresses were flowing, the laughter was infectious and the glamour a-plenty thanks to some surprisingly edgy looks from mineral makeup gurus Sheer Cover.  All in all, the main event promises to be a spectacular occassion and all for a good cause!

Tickets are available online now from the Fusion@London website.

Ugg Boots by Whooga

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 29 - 2011

Whoo?  Whooga!

Whooga are widely considered to be one of the fastest-growing Ugg boot brands – thanks in no small part to their competitive pricing and quality materials.  I took delivery of a pair of their (now discontinued) weave style Ugg boots a couple of months ago.  I have to say that I’m not a massive fan of Ugg styling in general and I was curious to see if my sensibilities would fare better with a weave style boot and whether or not these boots would actually live up to some of the hype surrounding them from independent reviewers.

Delivery

Firstly, the brand need to work on some packaging issues.  My box arrived so badly tattered that I couldn’t store the boots in them.  If I had been giving them as a gift, they would have been an instant return for this reason.  I have read other reports of Whooga boots arriving in bashed packaging and of course, Royal Mail need to take some blame for this but I believe that a double layer of bubble-wrap would go a long way to protecting the corners of the box against this problem.

On the flip-side, I can’t fault the speed of delivery and we all know that when we buy something online, we want it like, yesterday!

First Impressions

When you first take them out of the box, they have a distinctive smell of glue.  It’s really a little off-putting and ultimately, it makes them smell quite cheap.  Chinese factory cheap.  You know what I’m saying.

Leave them in a place to air for a couple of days and this smell thankfully disperses.

A thorough inspection of all the seams, joins and nooks and crannies reveals no obvious manufacturing flaws, everything is in sound condition and neatly stitched/glued/constructed.

I have an EU size 40 and I’m a UK 6.5 – these are sadly slightly too big.  Definitely go for a size down.  No arguments.

Breaking Them In

As a virgin Ugg boot wearer, I really wasn’t sure how I would fare with these on my feet.  They are indecently snug and haven’t left my feet since the weather changed for the colder on Saturday but I will be buying a pair of quality sheepskin insoles to put in them because I feel the foot-bed is a little hard.  This may also help solve the sizing issue.

The knitted weave styling is more to my taste and I feel works far better with dresses than the usual Ugg style but I won’t elaborate too much on this, seeing as they’re sadly no longer available to purchase.  I will say however that these really hug my calves beautifully (when pulled up) with no sagging or over-stretching and I feel that this is testament to the quality of the manufacturing.

Ultimately, get your sizing right and I believe that for the price, these Ugg boots from Whooga would be difficult to beat.  Other than a slightly hard foot-bed and a bashed box, I can’t actually pick fault with them – they feel well-supported and solidly-constructed with quality, authentic materials.

Ugg Boots by Whooga are available to buy online from www.whooga-boots.co.uk – prices start from £75.00

* press sample

 

Dr Hauschka gets edgy with Louise Amstrup SS/12

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 24 - 2011

When I think of natural makeup brands, I immediately think of sheer, ethereal colour.  Perhaps a bit of pastel, a lot of dewiness and anything that would normally epitomise a harmonious relationship with all things…. natural.

I wouldn’t especially associate grungy, edgy looks and bold colour.  It’s a common misconception and one that I was pleased to see blown away with Dr. Hauschka’s colaboration alongside Louise Amstrup for her Spring/Summer 2012 salon presentation.

But first, a quick look at the collection…

Beautiful prints and pretty pleats that drape gently and soften the bold, patterns.  The presentation was accompanied with a short video that featured makeup created by makeup artist Ayami Nishimura alongside Dr. Hauschka’s range of skincare and cosmetics.

Lithuanian model Egle Jezepcikaite looks androgynous with slicked back hair and the focus placed heavily on the precision liner.  The lips are toned down and some heavy contouring accentuates the model’s chiselled cheekbones.

The second still from the video displays the same precision liner looking a touch more deconstructed than before, mirrored with a vibrant flash of orange over the lids.  Most interestingly, the orange comes from a lipstick(!) in the range and picks up the warm tones in the Amstrup SS12 collection beautifully.

If you’d like to watch the video yourself, click play on the video below and enjoy having a few misconceptions about natural makeup challenged.

Would you associate these kind of looks with a natural brand?

Alex Byrne with Benefit Cosmetics for Jean-Pierre Braganza SS/12 LFW

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 20 - 2011

Yesterday, I talked about the behind-the-scenes atmosphere at Jean-Pierre Braganza’s SS/12 show which took place last Friday at the BFC Show Space in Somerset House.

Today, I want to focus on the look that makeup artist Alex Byrne created with Benefit Cosmetics to complement the designer’s graphical, almost art-deco tailoring.  She wanted a strong look that remained feminine, working with and not against the strength of Braganza’s designs.

are those new brushes I spy?

Alex in deep concentration (where did I put that brush?!)  Faces were kept light with Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer where needed and a light layer of You Rebel Tinted Moisturiser mixed with Porefessional.

Loose fishtail plaits from the Toni&Guy team accompany the structured styling of the SS/12 collection

Eyes were kept neutral with Benefit Creaseless Cream in Birthday Suit, Browzings in Light and many, many coats of They’re Real mascara as an alternative to false lashes.

Some gentle contouring with Hoola Bronzer

BrowZings to define the top edge of the brow

ChaChaTint painted heavily onto the top of the cheekbone…

…and blended out with Coralista Powder Blush, the picture-perfect slices of cheek colour mimic the graphical edges in Braganza’s designs.

Benefit’s latest release Watt’s Up was used to highlight and define the top edge of the cheekbones…

…and a sneak peek of the new product in question.

Full Finish Lipstick in Mod Squad completes the look.

Jean-Pierre Braganza looking pleased with the entire team’s efforts immediately after the show

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Thanks to Benefit Cosmetics for letting me have a sneak peek to see what goes on behind the flashbulbs at London Fashion Week!

Backstage at London Fashion Week

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 19 - 2011

I was generously invited backstage on opening day at London Fashion Week with Benefit Cosmetics who were sponsoring the makeup for the Jean-Pierre Braganza show.

I’ll be doing a separate post this week on the makeup the models wore down the runway to complement his SS/12 collection but I wanted to share some backstage shots showing just how much effort and how many people go into making these fashion spectaculars run smoothly.

Remember, this is just hair and makeup.

Makeup Artist Alex Byrne (and is that Benefit Hoola I see?)

How many hair stylists does it take to… *insert punchline here*

don’t forget the nails!

Backstage is hot, cramped, riotous and full of tension.  It’s not a place for shrinking violets and if you want to spectate, you need to be aware of your surroundings so you can get out of the way, quickly.  All eyes are keenly trained on the clock, instructions are given and taken without questioning and there’s a tangible sense of working together to get a million different jobs done.

3 o’ clock.  It’s show time.

Come back tomorrow to see how makeup artist Alex Byrne interpreted a look to complement Jean-Pierre Braganza’s graphical Spring/Summer collection.

Smells like… Fashion Week?

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 18 - 2011

They say that ‘the devil is in the detail’ and frankly, there’s nothing quite like paying attention to these finer points than when you’ve got the world’s media breathing down your neck.

So much works goes on behind the catwalks at Fashion Week that us mere mortals would never even consider, and it’s some of these less obvious details that are getting plenty of attention this year!

What’s the first thing you notice when you enter a room, the one thing that can instantly add or detract from its appeal?  Scent.

Which is why we’re all supposed to be baking cookies and brewing coffee like demon baristas when it comes time to sell our homes.  It’s all in the name of adding atmosphere to your surroundings and show designers are understandably, certainly up for a bit of that.

Show scenting is big news this year and across the Atlantic, Victoria Beckham chose to scent her Spring/Summer 2012 presentation at New York City Library with a sea of Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin and Grapefruit Candles.

Moving closer to home, the British fragrance company will also be scenting the British Fashion Council Tents throughout London Fashion Week with Jo Malone Orange Blossom as well as Erin O’Connor’s Model Sanctuary with Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin and Grapefruit.

 

One of London’s most established fragrance houses, Penhaligon’s will also be working hard to make the capital smell delicious as they get to work with Meadham Kirchhoff to scent their Spring/Summer 2012 collection for the fifth season together.

The design duo have chosen the fruity floral Artemisia as a celebration of all things feminine.  Described as a tumble of green apples and nectarines, washed with jasmine tea and sprinkled with a luxurious medley of violet, cyclamen and lily petals.

The scent will be used to fragrance the invitations and the venue, whilst each model will receive a liberal spritz just before heading down the catwalk.

 

Finally, lest we forget, London Fashion Week isn’t just there for scenting, it’s for showcasing and what better place to launch a new perfume than off the back of your Spring/Summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection?

Verónica Moncho Lobo launched her first fragrance Verónica last Friday alongside the showcase of her latest SS/12 collection.  The fresh, floral scent employs a bouquet of jasmine and cyclamen at the heart of the perfume.

The fashion designer coupled these spring and winter florals to evoke memories of  her childhood in Argentina.  Classic base notes of sandalwood and white musk promise to add a timeless touch to the fragrance.

 

Do you have a favourite fragrance that you’d scent your show with?

Men in tights…

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 30 - 2010

…sensible in this cold weather?  Or just plain funny lookin’

I like to pretend that I’m a completely free-thinking, non-judgemental and generally super-cool human being.  I’m not, but on the bigot scale I’m definitely not setting off any alarm bells either.

Which is why I don’t know why I can’t get my head around the idea of men wearing tights without giggling about it like an 11 year old.

I think it’s the feet.  If they were a bit more legging-y I could probably contain my giggles.

I love how he’s pointing his toes… mind, he’s probably got better legs than me.

Would you be cool as a cucumber if your man whipped off his trousers to reveal a pair of Charnos 20 deniers?

I think I could possibly handle it… I reckon it’s one of those things that you’d get used to once the novelty had worn off…

…that is until he asked to borrow my clear nail polish to fix a run in his stockings. *dies*

Tightsplease.co.uk have launched a selection of man-sized tights perfect for blokes to layer underneath when the cold weather bites.  You can check out the selection online.

I don’t need style to mock these

Posted by Lipglossiping On September - 15 - 2010

It’s 2.30am and I was just about to head to bed when I quickly logged onto ASOS to check out the ankle boots (as you do).  When horror upon horrors, my eyes alighted upon these.  I can’t call anyone at this indecent hour… so you’re gonna have to humour me and nod your head in all the right places instead.

Skechers Hyperto Shape Up Boots, apparently.

It’s that wonky bouncy seesaw sole innit, the one where you either get buns of steel or need to take a Stugeron before you go for a walk round the park.

I’m pretty tolerant of fashion, I don’t give a chuff what you wear… I only get a bit ranty when I see larger ladies with it all hanging out at the midriff.   Tunic tops have been my wardrobe staple for the last 12years.  Get acquainted with them.

But these… these… moonboots.

Wait, let me show you…

Really?

I mean… really, really?  You’d pay £110 to look like you’ve been drawn by a 3 year old?

I hear on the grapevine that Skechers are planning on making some Hyperto Shape Up Gloves next.

I’m off to have nightmares of giant footwear.  Sleep tight!

Remind you of anything?

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 14 - 2010

Regular reader Julia couldn’t resist emailing me this link after she saw my January feature on the Chanel tattoo sensation that was “Les Trompe L’œil de Chanel”.

The original Chanel set was priced at £49 and I’m not sure if they’re still available?

The looky-likes (they also have swallows and other what-nots) from ‘Ink Wear’ are a less eye-watering £6.99

I haven’t bought from Ink Wear, so can’t personally recommend them… I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long for “inspired by” versions to put in an appearance!

What do you reckon? Thrifty Alternatives or Tacky El-Fake-O’s?

Edit: credit to the lovely Lisa Eldridge who first featured the inspired-by alternatives here!

15% Discount at Dollipops

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 12 - 2010

Dollipops wants to offer my lovely readers a 15% discount off your orders.

I’ve already shared my appreciation for the retro Jackie necklace, but I’m also particularly coveting:

1. Je T’aime (£5.99) – Silver plated chain with frosted heart charm and cute Eiffel tower pendant.

2. Black Leaf (£7.99) – Beautiful leaf hair slide, with sequin and bead detailing.

3. Monochrome Buttons (£3.99) – Set of two cute monochrome button grips.

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To get 15% off all orders online at Dollipops, enter the exclusive code LIPGLOSSIPING at checkout.

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