Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 - Part Two

Milan Fashion Week
Fall 2012 Favourites
Part Two

This is the last segment in my coverage of Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2012. On a whole, cut-outs, texture and tapestry ruled the Italian runway. Will Paris follow suite? Please click on the pictures for a larger view.

Antonio Marras
Antonio Marras told a folkloric tale at his Fall 2012 showing. It was a vintage scrapbook of fabrics pieced together, not so randomly as it appeared, but rather with conscious intent. There was pattern clashing, lace paneled pencil skirts, fur trimmed coats and a patchwork of floral tapestries. A medley of different textures in interesting 40's style silhouettes spoke of the designer's eclectic, yet refined discernment.

Emilio Pucci
The Emilio Pucci woman is intrepid this fall, daring to wear sheer slashed dresses with cut-outs in all the right places, never showing too much, but just enough. Prints were kept to a minimum, with more focus on shape-shifting from masculine tuxedo jackets and narrow trousers, to figure-hugging silk and chiffon gowns.

Dolce & Gabbana
I haven't seen a Dolce & Gabbana collection that I didn't like. This season was no different, as the design duo enthralled with a baroque-spun romantic affair. Opulent gold embroidery garnished black dresses, coats and skirts. The looks conveyed an innocent sensuality; models in demure dresses made of sheer chiffon, ruffles and unlined lace, completely blasé about the bustiers and bloomers showing through. Colour appeared in the form of charming floral and cherub prints. The styling perfectly reinstated the feminine theme, with bejewelled headbands, lace socks, wooden heels, velvet and floral bags and gilded waistbands.

Giorgio Armani
A freshly squeezed chalice of punchy colour was an appetite pleaser at Giorgio Armani's Fall 2012 presentation. Tangy citrus orange and saturated fuchsia pink coalesce to create colour-blocked looks with panache. Armani also sent a few menswear-inspired suits down the runway, polishing them off with wide-brimmed fedoras and two-tone oxfords. Chicly tailored jackets, trousers and shift dresses make for a sophisticated season ahead.

Precious gem tones and rich tapestry flavoured the Fall 2012 showing of design team Aquilano e Rimondi. Jacquard, silks and velvet sustained the grandiose offering. Although it's roots lay in baroque Renaissance paintings from Italy, it still retained a sense of modernity with arced and exaggerated tailoring. Collars were raised, but hemlines kept short, double-breasted coats skimmed over the knee, while pants were slightly cropped. Artfully crafted and intriguing. 

Byblos refreshed our fashion palettes with a much lighter and casual collection for the upcoming winter. Sporty elements were elegantly enhanced to serve a wider field of dressed-up weekend wear and relaxed cocktail looks. Lumo leggings were so skintight, it appeared to be painted onto the models. The delicate selection of neutral toned dresses were nipped in the waist with skinny belts. Accessible and unpretentious, this is one for the masses.

Roberto Cavalli
 My first thoughts of Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2012 show was 'excessive'. It was a visual sensory experience unlike any other. Hot pink, aqua and green sequined baby doll frocks with bubble skirts and fur hems. Every endangered species was represented in the different animal prints, which were layered over each other in varying proportions, creating a multi-dimentional effect. Silhouettes were more floaty than fitted. If separated, it's possible these looks could somehow transcend into the realms of normality. 

I appreciated Marni's fall 2012 collection for it's simple spin on boldness and being completely unique compared to all the other shows. Strong, vivid lines and geometric shapes gave rise to graphic looks that rouse interest. Designer Consuelo Castiglioni didn't wear out the colour-block trend, but instead revamped it by stealthily layering textures. Fur vests, jackets and capes were belted, adding some contours to the otherwise boxy silhouettes. Most striking: White tights with crossed ankle strap heels, fur stoles and blunt 60's style bangs. 

Jil Sander
Amidst all the exuberant furs, overpowering prints and sequins, we have the gratifying calm of Jil Sander. Soothing pastel shades drifted across the runway in rose petal pink, lavender blush, gentle fawn, vanilla and ice grey, which was later washed away by bright red and navy. Designs were seamless and modern, minimalistic but arresting. Coats were oversized with a rounded appearance and absence of any type of closure. Silky slip dresses resembling negligees were pretty and effortlessly ladylike. Cocktail gowns were corseted, with cut-outs, trimmed just above the ankle. Beautiful in both proportions and simplicity.

For part one of Milan Fashion Week, hop over hereWho has been your favourite? 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oscar Party Dresses 2012

We've seen all the Oscar gowns, but where most of the glamour happens is at the stylish after-parties. Tinseltown was lit up even brighter by a galaxy of starlets, trying to outshine each other in their best party frocks. Red was a predominant trend, as seen earlier at the Academy Awards show. This was followed by white and sheer dresses, as well as cut-outs. 

Emma Stone once again uped the ante in a gorgeous chiffon striped Chanel Couture gown. Kate Bosworth went futuristic in a filigree designed Prabal Gurung dress with longer sheer hem. Gwen Stefani wore a crystal beaded black and red Zuhair Murad dress. Not my favourite look on her. Zoe Saldana picked out a black bejewelled satin dress with sheer skirt and by Marios Schwab. Ginnifer Goodwin in a sheer cut-out Peter Som peplum dress.

Red Alert
Salma Hayek looked beautiful in a scarlet YSL gown. Claire Danes opted for a girly Valentino frock with sheer spotted yoke and ruffled skirt. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was statuesque in a crimson red Antonio Berardi dress. Diane Kruger in a plunge-neck Calvin Klein gown. The exposed lace bra bothers me. Kate Hudson wowed in beaded and fringed vintage Versace. Abbie Cornish wore a minimalistic cherry red look from Tommy Hilfiger.

In Supermodel Form
Marisa Miller wore a glorious gold sequined Joanna Johnson gown. Bar Rafaeli in a Roberto Cavalli frock strewn with metallic beads. Irina Shayk was all vixen in white hot Versace. Karolina Kurkova in a shimmery silver ensemble from Armani Privé with red heels. Different but can't say I like it. Brooklyn Decker wore a scallop beaded Valentino gown.

Modern Elegance
Mia Wasikowska wears a two-tone charcoal grey Antonio Berardi gown straight off last week's runway. Malin Akerman in a silver embroidered Sportmax gown with cut-out neckline. Victoria Beckham looked trés chic in her own strapless and leather belted design. Katie Holmes was a picture of grace in a twilight blue Elie Saab gown. Zhang Ziyi also wore Elie Saab, incidentally in a similar blue shade. Her dress had a cut-out v-neck and high slit.

 The Pop Stars
Miley Cyrus was rather dowdy in an ice grey Roberto Cavalli gown with fishtail chiffon skirt. Vanessa Hudgens chose a gold scallop-tiered gown by Georges ChakraSelena Gomez, please show Miley how its done. The singer/actress was glamourous in a silver embellished Dolce & Gabbana gown. Ashley Tisdale looked elegant in a ruby one-shouldered silk mousseline dress free by Maria Lucia Hohan. Only Katy Perry can mix a blue bob with silver sequined Blumarine...And get away with it.

A Little Off The Length
Anna Paquin rocked a black and gold long-sleeved Emilio Pucci number. Paula Patton charmed in a black fringed Naeem Khan frock with metallic bodice. Maria Sharapova picked a frothy feminine look from Alexander McQueen. Heidi Klum was stellar in a neon yellow Versace mini with gold shoulder accents. Shailene Woodley mixed it up in a green leaf-print Proenza Schouler shift with matching DVF heels. Amy Adams was polished in a silver draped Vivienne Westwood dress. Doesn't it look like metal that's sculpted onto her.

Colour Surge
 Venus Williams was bold in a cerise and violet colour-blocked dress by Christiane King. Julie Bowen wore a Grecian-style draped Halston gown in saffron orange, with heels to match. Stana Katic stunned in a royal purple Alberta Ferretti gown with wrap-waist and high slit. Cameron Diaz opted for a simple frills-free look, wearing a fitted Victoria Beckham dress in tangerine. Rosario Dawson donned a colour-blocked Salvatore Ferragamo halter-neck gown in plum, orange & turquoise. This is not how I expected the dress to look off the runway. Rashida Jones wore a mustard yellow deep V-neck gown with lace cap sleeves by Elie Saab.

White Out
Sofia Vergara wore a heavily embellished dress by most popular designer of the night, Roberto Cavalli. Paz Vega chose a crisp white Stephane Rolland couture gown with extruding 3D hip pleats and gold belt. Georgina Chapman in a (simple for) Marchesa ensemble with folded sleeves and peplum waist. Mena Suvari was frosted in a frilly white Romona Keveza dress. Rachel Zoe went for an unfussy look in a long column gown with statement jewels.

Sweetly Subdued Hues
Dianna Agron wore a summery printed pink & white Carolina Herrera frock. Lydia Hearst was fairy-like in soft pink tulle gown with embroidered bodice. Dita von Teese in a pale pink Jenny Packham gown with sliver embellished shoulders and keyhole neckline with crossed straps. Surprisingly, I loved the lemon chiffon Georges Hobeika gown with white floral motifs that Kelly Osbourne wore. Lily Collins wore a nude tulle Monique Lhuillier Pre-Fall gown embroidered in blue. Pretty, but a tad overdressed. Olga Kurylenko delighted in a soft moss green Georges Hobeika kimono gown, adorned with floral appliqués.

Bronzed Earth
Jennifer Lopez changed into another plunge-neck Zuhair Murad gown, this one in lacquered burgundy-brown. I liked how distinctive January Jones looked in this Wes Gordon ensemble. It has a Tuscan green silk organza top and bronzed velvet self-stripe skirt, along with leather belt. Anne Heche in a glittery gold and black Dolce & Gabbana dress. Kate Beckinsale was alluring in Atelier Versace, with cream, bronze and black beaded detail and cut-out waist and back. Maggie Grace was top-to-toe in gold sequins.

Black is the New Black
Olivia Wilde looked elegantly graceful in black strapless Gucci with gorgeous gold clutch. Kim Kardashian was unusually covered up in an Azzedine Alaia gown with mini cut-outs on the skirt. I loved Elizabeth Olsen in this Christian Dior gown, which has a silk t-shirt like top and alternating chiffon and leather skirt. Nina Dobrev's star power is rising, she was riveting in a J. Mendel Fall 2012 gown with cut-out bodice and low V-neck. Felicity Jones did understated sexiness in a 'Noir' leather Joanna Johnson dress with pin-tucked skirt.

Who wore your favorite Oscar After Party dress?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Divas and Darlings - Academy Awards 2012

Red Carpet Fashion
The 84th Annual Academy Awards 2012

Awards season reached its pinnacle at last night's Oscars, where the red carpet was abuzz with Hollywood's biggest stars. And every single actress from the movie Bridesmaids. There were far less extravagant looks than I expected, simpler silhouettes that prevailed instead. Popular trends of the evening were shades of red and white, one shouldered sleeves, and mermaid skirts with a short train. Here is the Academy Awards 2012 style file.  

A Twist On Black
Nominee Jessica Chastain was regal in an opulent strapless Alexander McQueen gown, lavishly threaded with gold embroidery. Angelina Jolie put her best foot forward in a luxe black velvet Atelier Versace gown with daring thigh high slit and Salvatore Ferragamo heels. The lighter hair colour does wonders for her. Sandra Bullock wore a black and white Marchesa dress with low back, featuring gold embroidery on the waist and sleeves. 'Bridesmaids' actress Rose Byrne chose a high-gloss sequined look with asymmetric shoulder from Vivienne Westwood. Jimmy Choo sandals fit her feet.

Snow White
Gwyneth Paltrow was superhero-chic in fitted column gown with floor-length cape, bringing designer Tom Ford back to the forefront of Hollywood glamour. Milla Jovovich was breathtaking in an iridescent white one-shouldered Elie Saab gown. She wore complimentary white nail polish, along with a red lip. 'The Descendent's' Shailene Woodley took on a more mature and demure look, wearing a long-sleeved Valentino gown with high neck and empire waist. Best Actress Nominee Rooney Mara was captivating in a white structured gown with fishtail skirt by Givenchy. It's not so much the dress, but her signature blunt bangs and red lipstick that makes her stand out.

Red Haute
Michelle Williams was spellbinding in this gorgeous pleated pomegranate silk mousseline gown with organza ribbon detailing and peplum by Louis Vuitton. Kudos to her for carrying a pink clutch. Emma Stone looked fresh faced and ravishing in a fuchsia red Giambattista Valli gown with floaty skirt and large token tie-up bow. Livia Firth (wife of Oscar winner Colin Firth) didn't shy away from the attention, opting for a scarlet Valentino gown with sheer long Bishop sleeves. Last year's Best Actress winner Natalie Portman went through the archives of Dior and picked out this red and black polka dot dress from 1954. The necklace bothers me.

Glimmer & Gold
Stacey Keibler mirrored the Oscar statue in sumptuous gold Marchesa gown with one-shoulder and large draped rosette on the waist. Her Veronica Lake waves are one of my favourites of the evening. Best Actress winner Meryl Streep wore a molten gold Lanvin wrap-gown with belted waist. 'Bridesmaids' Ellie Kemper opted for a fire-inspired gown by Armani Privé, fabricated from red, yellow and gold palliettes...which also matched her hair colour. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer glowed in her beaded ivory Tadashi Shoji gown. Jennifer Lopez turned up the heat in a plunge-neck shimmery nude Zuhair Murad gown which has cut-out sleeves and linear crystal embellishing. Too risqué for the Oscars perhaps?

Pretty in Pastels
'Bridesmaids' actress Wendi McLendon Covey in a dusty pink lace and tulle gown with crystal beading. Maria Menounos looked charming in a candy apple green Maria Lucia Hohan gown with halter-straps. Kate Mara was ethereal in a petal pink and belted Jack Guisso gown, with intricate floral appliqués and just one sheer draped sleeve. The Artist's Berenice Bejo in a mint embellished Elie Saab gown with deep v-neck and matching clutch. A different hairstyle would have glorified this look. Her co-star in the movie, Penelope Ann Miller wore a pale pink halter-neck Badgley Mischka dress. I'm getting a Miss America vibe from this one.

Dusky Hues
Nominee Glenn Close wore a dapper dark green corset gown with folded fishtail skirt by Zac Posen, and included a matching blazer. Age appropriate I would say. Leslie Mann looked elegant in a form-fitting strapless navy blue Roberto Cavalli gown with embellished bodice. Busy Philipps was toned down in a grey lace Dolce & Gabbana dress with gathered waist. Tina Fey adopted the peplum trend in a deep blue custom-made Carolina Herrera dress.

A Splash of Colour
Missi Pyle wore an attractively shaded and eco-friendly aquamarine dress by Valentina Delfino. Nominee Viola Davis was arresting in emerald green Vera Wang. Her corset dress flows into a fully pleated skirt. Sarah Hyland wore a silky draped amethyst Alberta Ferretti gown. Penelope Cruz was engaging in a lavender blue organza off-the-shoulder dress by Armani Privé. 'Bridesmaids' Maya Rudolph opted for aubergine, in a Joanna Johnson gown with embroidered sleeves and waistband.

A Pale Tale
E! News presenter Giuliana Rancic has really refined her look, she was impressive in a creamy white Basil Soda gown with leaf-like embroidery along the sides and a beaded bodice. Stylist Louise Roe was exemplary in this innovative origami fold gown by Black Halo. Loved her hairstyle too! Cameron Diaz looked a little washed out in a strapless nude Gucci gown, with a layered chiffon ruffle skirt, edged with silver beading. Kristen Wiig is much improved since previous award shows this season. The 'Bridesmaids' star wore a strapless nude J Mendel gown, the lure-factor lying in the fully shredded tulle skirt.

My favourites from the 2012 Academy Awards show are Milla Jovovich in Elie Saab and Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli. Who are your picks?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Milan Fashion Week Fall 2012 - Part One

Milan Fashion Week
Fall 2012 Favourites

This is the first chapter of my Milan Fashion Week overview. Click the pictures to enlarge. 

Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti's flair for sensually graceful gowns shined through at her Fall 2012 showing. There was a striking contrast between the thick wool 'cocoon' coats and wispy chiffon dresses. The monochromatic colour scheme highlighted the delicate beauty of each look, wavering between black, cherry red, bright blue and plush purple. I'd most love to see the v-neck purple gown (6th on bottom row) worn on the red carpet.

Blugirl's buoyant range dresses four types of girls for Winter 2012. The preppy collegiate in red and blue argyle, polo necks, striped knits and stockings with socks. A phantasmic pastel princess in minted prints, pink and peach fuzzy coats, tights and earmuffs. A woolly white snow bunny, wrapped in chunky knits and Mongolian fur with fluffy knee-high boots and oversized beanies. And finally, the jaunty party girl in sequined and fringed little black dresses. A collection that covers style from the classroom to the nightclub.

The dark and esoteric ambience at Gucci's Fall offering was detected through dusky shades and opulent fabrics such as lavish velvets, jacquard, leather, lace and fur. The 19th century inspired range featured luxe-loungewear with slouchy trousers, smoking coats, capes and flat riding boots. Decadent evening wear began with belted floral dressed and ended with sheer silk chiffon and tulle gowns, embellished by sparkly floral appliqués.

The swinging 60's mingles with the military at Moschino's sprightly Fall 2012 showing. A youthful pageant of colourful and sporadically quilted coats were bedizened with gold buttons and chunky jewellery. Pants were skinny and colour blocked, skirts never below the knee. Quirky little drop-waist dresses were decked out with fringes and frills. Models were alternated with cowboy hats and beehives with large head bows.


Longer-lengths and geometric prints were the vanguard of Prada's Fall/Winter collection. That's if the sleek dip-dyed ombré hair and fierce neon smoked eyeshadow didn't already hog the limelight. The show opened with bejewelled black jackets and sleeveless tunics, navigating on to clashing mosaic printed suits in rusted orange, indigo, blue and mustard. Everything was worn over straight-leg trousers that grazed above the ankle. Models carried structured duffle bags and wore two-toned rubber-soled Mary Janes. Retro Appropriate. 

Iceberg tackles the 70's inspired rock-chic trend for Fall/Winter 2012. Swanky fur coats and tailored blazers were paired with chic leather trousers and cozy knit sweaters. Variegated patterned sequins covered skinny pants, shirts and long-sleeved mini's. While all pieces retained a luxurious edge, they were still wearer-friendly. Models were styled with tousled hairdo's and angled cat-eye sunglasses.

Bottega Veneta
Bottega Veneta proposed a sultry elegance for next season, with ladylike shapes adorned by shredded chiffon and peplum waists in midnight blue, ebony and plum. Pencil skirts and fitted dresses fell just over the knee, seen in rich velvets and decked with jewels. Designer Tomas Maier dispersed a few abstract prints through his collection, along with tailored coats and cropped trousers. Skinny belts, statement brooches, long leather gloves and ankle strap heels with socks accessorized the ensembles. 

Versace took a glam-goth warrior approach for the upcoming winter, with a side of cross-baring dresses and Lisbeth Salander. As bewildering as all that seems, Donatella succeeded in sending forth an army of blunt-fringed models in dresses that moulded to their Amazonian forms. Flashes of citrus orange and yellow met with black leather, metallic strips and large letter-block-prints. Slinky corseted chainmail gowns engineered like armour closed the show...if fashion was a battlefield, Versace leaves undefeated.  

Part Two to follow.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Holiday Snapshots

I took some photographs of my mini-break while I was away last week, so I could share the splendor of the South African East Coast with you.

I spent the week at the coastal resort village of Umhlanga, which is a stone's throw away from the city of Durban on SA's eastern coastline. I'd like to say we stayed 'on the beach', but according to dodgy internet bookings, that means behind the hotel that's 'on the beach'. The weather treated us a little too well, it was tremendously hot at over 30 degrees Celsius everyday. Above left is a picture of North Beach, where you can dine at Moyo restaurant right at the edge of the pier. Bottom right is a view of the Umhlanga Lighthouse, set alongside the beautiful blue sea, shadowed by five star hotels and ocean view apartments. If you're going to retire in style, this is the place to do it.

I made a little trip to the Spa on Fairways while I was there. They offer the most luxurious pedicures in serene surroundings. Once you get on one of those comfy leather couches with a cup of coffee and good conversation, it's really hard to leave! With more time, you can enjoy use of the pool and outdoor jacuzzi on the deck, which provide a panoramic view of the lush green Beachwood Golf Course and azure ocean. Utter Bliss!

Being an animal lover, I visited the uShaka Sea World, which is the largest marine habitat in the Southern Hemisphere. We saw the most astounding and incredible sea creatures, including many different types of sharks, which, if you're brave enough, you can say "Hi" to one during a shark-cage dive. Sea World also houses seals, penguins and a large variety of fish, some native to SA and others from international waters. I also got to see the dolphins up close during a show. I now realise how magnificent and intelligent these lovable mammals are.

My dearest friend from Dbn, Ms M, kindly took some time off work to take me around the best spots in her city. One of them was the glorious Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Hotel, which is set atop a hill that overlooks the picturesque Indian Ocean. We drove 30km out of the city for an indulgent afternoon tea, where I tried out one of the in-house blends called 'Safari Chai', along with scones and cream. How very 'English' of us. That is a very rare black & white picture you will see of me standing at the infinity pool. These heavenly views come at a price, to stay the night at one of the Indonesian style houses costs around $330. 

That was a little snippet of my seaside getaway, as good as it's great to be back.

*All photos by me. Special Thanks to Ms & Mr M for taking me around their city and for the royal treatment!

Friday, February 24, 2012

London Fashion Week Fall 2012

London Fashion Week
Fall 2012 Favourites

I was away on a mini break during London Fashion Week, so this is a just a brief overview of what transpired in Britain's style capital. We see the metallics theme from New York Fashion continue, along with interesting prints, an overflow of peplums and a punch of blue & orange.

Antonio Berardi
Shapes were sculpted at Antonio Berardi's Fall 2012 showing, with strong, sharp lines and a more geometric approach to pleats and peplums. Duo-coloured dresses flowed in a vertical curl design. He added splashes of turquoise and red to the black, blush and grey palette. Boxy haircuts matched the squarish silhouettes.

Burberry Prorsum
Christopher Bailey once again reinvents the classic trench coat for Burberry Prorsumthis time with exaggerated puff pockets and leather bow belts. Jackets were paramount in different forms: riding, bomber, military, cropped and long, few with the popular peplum flounce. Skirts were asymmetrically ruffled, while an owl motif found it's place on tops. Stripes and prints met with neutrals like khaki, tan, mustard, brown and burgundy.

Lace and latex combined to form a complex but triumphant relationship at Erdem's Fall 2012 show. These two unrelated materials were washed with pretty watercolored florals in royal blue, chartreuse and bright pink.

Michael van der Ham
Michael van der Ham has adroitly incorporated his signature collaging technique into his Fall 2012 collection. The designer is masterful at intermixing different strips of fabric, this season with shimmery metallic wool, abstract prints, crushed organza, jacquard and lace.  

Mary Katrantzou 
Mary Katrantzou showcased a myriad of enigmatic and imaginative prints for Fall 2012. Everyday items inspired her avant-garde patterned designs: pencils, clocks, hangers, spoons telephones and even typewriters. She kept individual dresses in a similar shaded playing field, animating them with prodigious peplums and a surge of floaty chiffon.

Matthew Williamson
Matthew Williamson gives basic shapes a glamourous and futuristic twist with rich fabrics this Fall. Sequin patterned shifts were overlaid with gauzy organza t-shirts. Gilded trousers were paired with oversized blazers, while brocade and bejeweled dresses featured split sides and cut-out hemlines. Pale blues and blazing oranges collided to create billowy evening gowns. 

Stella McCartney
 Stella McCartney shared her simplistic view for Fall 2012 using a few famous faces like Amber Valletta, Alexa Chung, Kate Moss & Yasmin Le Bon. Prismatic marbled dresses and heels were accompanied by shiny metallic gold belts. Tangerine and cobalt blue coloured in demure lace dresses, while understated evening gowns were shown in black and white. 

Giles Deacon
Giles Deacon told a glamour-filled story with operatic flair for Fall 2012. The prelude saw luxe masculine inspired looks with black decorous tuxedo coats, high collars and chic trousers. The collection then caught alight, revealing cream and gold gowns that had been tinged by the flames. There were also ash-laden, silver soaked brocade dresses. It seemed that the singed tapestry of a burnt down house was used to forge this intriguing range.

Image Credits: and Vogue

Friday Frills

A smile cost nothing, but gives so much. 
It enriches those who receive it, without making poorer those who give it. 
It takes only a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. 
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, 
And none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it. 
A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business, and is the countersign of friendship. 
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, 
And it is nature's best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen...
For it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. 
Some people are too tired to give you a smile. 
Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

Photo via Google Images.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Closet Confidential With Cara McLeay

This edition of 'Closet Confidential' features stunning style blogger Cara McLeay from Vancouver, Canada. Cara shares her effortlessly chic and sophisticated style, along with an impressive collection of shoes on her blog, A Fashion Love Affair. Read on as she gives us an insight to her personal love affair with bags, heels and classic yet contemporary clothes.

Describe your personal style
It is hard to pin-point my style because I love to try new things and switch it up on a regular basis-but I can say that I like classic, simple pieces, layering and adding jewellery or pops of color to make an outfit interesting.

What is your most treasured item of clothing?
My sister bought me my first DVF wrap dress for Christmas this is definitely a favorite!

Most extravagant fashion purchase
I recently just purchased my first Coach bag...

What is the easiest way to accessorize an outfit?
I am a big fan of simple bracelets (Leah Alexandra's "Erin" Bracelet is a perfect one to stack up without looking over the top) or a statement necklace. You can also never go wrong with a great pair of sunglasses (My favorite right now are Karen Walker's "Perfect Day" sunglasses) or a great quality bag

What beauty products do you always carry with you?
Lip gloss is my only must!

What designer items are on your fashion wish list?
I am currently lusting after a Celine Luggage Bag, Alexander Wang Stella Heels and the Acne ‘Malakit’ Leather skirt.

You are widely admired by other bloggers for your glossy locks. Do you have any hair styling (or hair care) tips to share with us?
I dye my hair, which can make it super dry. To prevent breakage I make sure to use a deep conditioner once a week that has Keratin in it (structural proteins that help repair the hair) Right now I am using Joice K-PAK Bio-Restorative Treatment, and I use Moroccan Oil daily to keep my hair looking shiny and healthy.

Favourite shade of lipstick/lipgloss?
I prefer natural shades, nothing with sparkles...peach/coral/light pink

Who are your personal style icons?
I am inspired by so many people-other bloggers including Blair from Atlantic-Pacific and Jules from Sincerely Jules, as well as starlets such as Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen, Kate Moss, Olivia Palermo and Clémence Poésy, to name a few...

If you won the fashion lotto, at which designer store would you chose to spend it?
Tough question! It would be a tie between Chanel, Celine, Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant

What are some of your closet staples? 
Plain V-Neck Tees (my favorite are by James Perse), Jeans, Pointed Pumps, A Leather Jacket, A Trench, A Great Bag, Big Sunglasses, and a dainty, everyday necklace.

Your Biggest Fashion Do
Having fun with fashion

Your Biggest Fashion Don't
Wearing clothes that don't fit

Fabulous fashion advice?
Know your body, find clothes that look fabulous on you and be comfortable and confident everywhere you go!

*Special Thanks to Cara for partaking in this interview and for the use of her photographs. This is an automatically scheduled post.