Saturday, June 30, 2012

Stylista of the Week - Blake Lively

The beautiful Blake Lively has been on a triumphant fashion tour while out promoting her new movie, 'Savages'. The Gossip Girl star has impressed at every red carpet event, experimenting with different styles and interesting designers. She also has one of the most enviable shoe closets in Hollywood. Blake keeps things fresh and exciting, and always has us guessing as to what she will wear next.

Blake appeared on the 'Charlie Rose Show' in a look by Marios Schwab, featuring a black leather laser-cut top with floral design and fern green chiffon skirt with mint underlay. A pair of bejewelled bow-front Giuseppe Zanotti heels fit her feet. For the 'Savages' press conference, Blake put on an azure blue jacquard print dress with frilled hem and black waistband by Opening Ceremony. Her quirky pair of wavy print red and black tie-up sandals are by Nicholas Kirkwood.

Pictured first, Blake wore an elegant white number by Marchesa with a jewel encrusted neck motif and butterfly sleeves. A sparkly pair of silver Louboutin 'Pigalle' pumps complete her look. Middle: Blake is the first to wear a look from Monique Lhuillier's Resort 2013 collection. The blonde actress sported a cream mini, with vividly shaded floral-print side panels. She added a whimsical pair of neon pink fur-back Louboutin pumps to her outfit. Right: For an interview on the Letterman show, Blake looked stunning in an ivory silk chiffon Jenny Packham wrap-dress, with crystal strap neckline and cuffs. Her crystal covered Christian Louboutin heels are the perfect accompaniment.

Blake also added a shot of bright colour while on promotional duties. She stopped traffic in a siren red menswear-inspired suit by Michael Kors, with black cami worn underneath. A black strappy pair of Louboutin 'Nueron' suede sandals finalize her chic outfit. For an ABC event, Blake went for a saccharine sweet look in a custom-made fluorescent pink Lanvin dress with flair skirt and matching waist bow. Her choice of footwear was a spiked pair of nude-shaded Christian Louboutin 'Alti' pumps.

At the LA movie premiere, Blake oozed sensual glamour in this show-stopping strapless gown by Zuhair Murad. The curve-hugging nude dress is enhanced by a shimmering black beaded linear design. Side-swept waves, crimson lips and nails compliment her look. For the New York premiere, Blake toned things down in a flowing primrose yellow silk-chiffon halter gown by Gucci. A touch of turquoise was brought in via statement drop earrings.

Which is your favourite look from Blake's promotional tour for 'Savages'?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Frills

You are not made up of the words that hurt you. Or that number on the scale. 
Or the expectations that you feel you will never meet. 
You are made up of nothing more than you. 
Simply, beautifully, wonderfully, uniquely you. You are an enchanting and complex soul. 
An individually fascinating combination of thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions. 
True beauty is being the best possible version of yourself,
On the inside, and out.
So look past the mirror. Look at your soul. 
Only then will you see yourself as you truly are. Beautiful. 

*Author unknown. Adapted by me

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Marchesa Resort 2013

We have all come to expect frills, feathers, tulle and high-octane drama from Marchesa over the past few years. But for their Resort 2013 collection, Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman have turned the flamboyance down just a notch. 

Dreaming of an English garden under the romantic summer sun, this range sees raspberry, turquoise and fuchsia shaded dresses, twirled with folded petals of taffeta and silk. Delicately beaded net rests over classically shaped evening dresses, necklines are kept modest and hemlines vary from the knee to a stiletto's end. Beaded metallic gowns that embrace every curve, ruffled skirts and finely woven lace depicts the sheer femininity of the label. A line of all white gowns are given Marchesa's signature touch with a dose of feathered trims and crystal embroidery. This exquisite collection has to be one of my favourites for Resort 2013.

*Photos via

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Selena Gomez Styles Up Elle Magazine

Cover Girl Selena Gomez
Elle USA July 2012

Singer, actress and the envy of Bieber fans everywhere, Selena Gomez sheds her Disney darling image in July's issue of Elle Magazine. The 19-year-old star grows up glamourous in an alluring range of seductive designer wear and red hot Dior Rouge in this beach inspired shoot. 

On the cover Selena is dressed in an exquisite sheer black mesh Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2013 dress, adorned with gold floral appliqués.

A romantic seaside look by virtue of a Jil Sander blush pink bustier tea-length dress. A pair of pointy-toe Jimmy Choo heels defies the myth that pink and red can't be worn together. 

Offsetting the natural sandy background, Selena dons a metallic chain-mail Yves Saint Laurent dress with very low neckline and leather belt.

An unconventional mix of pieces for a star of many talents. Selena wears a digital print silk georgette dress in white and purple by Prabal Gurung. The outfit is styled with leather Herve Leger harness belt, as well as an outré pair of red fishnet Alta Dentelle open-toe boots by Christian Louboutin.

A day at the beach has never been more stylish...Selena heats it up in a ruby red stretch dress with peplum frill from Lanvin. A peek of her neon orange Manolo Blahnik heels can be seen to the right. Her chunky rope necklace is also by Lanvin, with gold and diamond angled earrings by Dean Harris.

Selena sports a racy ensemble that includes a vivid orange strapless Vera Wang bra, paired with a blue and white striped skinny pants and roped belt by Marni. It's a pity that we couldn't see more of her gorgeous multicoloured Brian Atwood heels in this photo shoot. They deserve a page of their own, don't you think?

Selena wears an embroidered Fabergé-designed Balmain sweater, styled with a mini skirt by Mugler. I prefer this top on the model, when worn with trousers.

Which is your favourite of Selena's looks from this shoot?

*Photos via &

Monday, June 25, 2012

Treasures of Istanbul

Hello from the mystical city of Istanbul...I stopped by this historic Turkish wonder during my travels this past week. Istanbul is a melting pot of European and Asian heritage, these two culturally-rich continents are separated only by the deep blue Bosphorus Strait. The opulent architecture of the Old City is richly influenced by Byzantine and Ottoman designs. Grand mosques, bustling bazaars, steaming Turkish baths and museums that house sacred relics from centuries ago. Then there is the other side of Istanbul - the New City, flecked with hip hotels, fine dining restaurants, shopping malls and buzzing night spots. 

It's the best of both worlds; ancient and modern, classic and upwardly mobile, old traditions collide with 21st century technology, and through it all, Istanbul's practice of time-honoured hospitality has remained an integral part of it's steadfast foundation. The best way to explore the city is on one of the many Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing buses. Which is when I got to capture some of these important historical sites.

The Blue Mosque, which probably the most iconic landmark in Istanbul, has towered over the city since the 1600's. The eight domes and six minarets that are perfectly proportionate, the faint blue tiles gave the name to this palatial monument.

The half-hour long queues to enter the Topkapi Palace was an indication of how intriguing and fascinating it would be. The Ottoman empire ruled for three centuries from within the grandiose walls of this castle. Inside is a spectacular treasury of artifacts worth far more than it's weight in 22-carat gold. Lavish thrones and everyday household objects that were carved from solid gold and silver, encrusted with rubies, diamonds and emeralds the size of your mobile. Unfortunately they do not allow photographs to be taken inside the museum and is under constant security. Jewel thieves and everything. 

Walking underground in the icy chambers of the Basilica Cistern was like being on the set of The Vampire Diaries. Built in the 6th century and held up by 336 Corinthian-style columns, the cistern was used to store water. A strange but very interesting feature of this reservoir are the two upside-down heads of the Greek mythological character, Medusa. It's most likely that her presence was to ward off evil spirits in those ancient times.

The exotic scents of earthy spices and rose-water, pistachio rolled Turkish delight led me to Egyptian Spice Bazaar, and from there, the famous Grand Bazaar, where I tried (very unsuccessfully) to haggle my way to a not-so genuine original imitation Birkin bag. There are 4400 indoor sidewalk stores selling silk pashminas in every imaginable shade, enticing pieces of jewellery, leather jackets in all styles, luxurious Persian rugs and local handicrafts. 

A traveler's street side view of the Hagia Sophia, once a church, a mosque and now a museum, it retains features of both Roman and Ottoman architecture. With an awe-inspiring 56m dome, antiquated chandeliers, intricate mosaic finishings, sturdy pillars and soaring arches, the 'Aya Sofya' is one of most extraordinary historic buildings in Turkey.

The serene blue waters of the Bosphorus waterway.

A marvelous vista over Istanbul in a very warm 34 degrees. A city of many faces and traditions, the ripples of it's captivating history has made way for a very exciting future and a present which is just that, 'A Gift'.

*All photographs by me. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Frills

When you feel like frowning,

When you feel like crying, 

When you feel like quitting,
 start over.

When you feel like yelling,

When you feel like hating,

When you feel like falling, 

When you feel like giving up, 
hold on tighter.

When you feel like talking,

When you feel like complaining, 

When you feel like closing your heart,

When you feel like you can’t do it, 

When you feel sadness, treasure the happier times.
When you feel anger, keep composed.
When you feel like you're lost, discover something new. 
When you feel like you can't reach it, aim higher.
When you feel like all hope is gone,

*Author unknown, adapted by me. Image via

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heavy Machine - Shoes or Art?

At what point do shoes become more than just a piece of functional footwear? Innovative brand Heavy Machine introduces us to shoes that are more than just your average pair of high heels, they are modern pieces of fashionable art. The trailblazing brand finds its inspiration in the strong, sturdy lines of industrial machinery, hence the name.

For Summer 2012, Heavy Machine has created futuristic designs with solid architectural shapes. Leather lined geometrics with angled cut-outs are appended to chunky lacquared heels in dazzling colour-blocked brights like turquoise, yellow and coral. Heavy Machine holds no restraints when it comes to bold creativity. These avant-garde pairs may not be timeless classics, but they certainly do pack a punch.

Shoes or Art? You decide...

*Images via

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monique Lhuillier Bridal Wear 2013

Bride-to-be...or not, there's something about looking at wedding gowns that bring out the romantic side in most of us. Monique Lhuillier taps into that idyllic feeling of opulent glamour and romance with her Spring 2013 Bridal Wear collection. 

Sumptuous fabrics are spun into fairytale designs in delicate ivory, frosted white and champagne, expertly constructed in Chantilly Lace, the finest satin and silk, textured organza and layers of diaphanous ruched tulle. If the Cinderella look is not your cup of vanilla tea, there are simpler elegant sheath dresses and trumpet skirt ensembles that enchant with their grace and sheer femininity. 

This dreamy collection of dresses finds it's signature in corset bodices, bow-embroidered waist belts, rows of ruffled organza, tufted skirts and lace long sleeves. Fit for a princess, Monique Lhuillier wedding gowns are the 'happily' before the 'ever after'. 

My personal favourite from this exquisite collection is Belle. Which is yours?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Frills

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. 
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
 Do good anyway. 
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
 Succeed anyway. 

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
 Do good anyway. 
Honesty and frankness may make you vulnerable.
 Be honest and frank anyway. 
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
 Think big anyway. 

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
 Build anyway. 
People really need help, but may attack if you help them.
 Help people anyway. 
Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked down to the ground.
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway. 

Adapted by Dr. Kent M. Keith

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Greetings from Granada

A bright hello from Andalucia...I am currently touring the magnificent city of Granada, set against the glorious Sierra Nevada mountains. While here, I visited the awe-inspiring Alhambra Palace, a World Heritage Site built in the 14 century, boasting elaborate Moorish architecture and idyllic gardens on a vast complex that overlooks the entire city.

One could only imagine what the palace must have been like centuries ago while in its prime. Royalty weaving their way through the extensive hallways, echos of laughter, secrets and debate heard through the ornately carved stucco walls, golden honeycomb domes shadowing polished marbled floors, poetic gardens painted with shades of eden, beautiful queens dripping with diamonds and the king sitting upon his lofty throne.

Alhambra translates as 'Red Castle' in Arabic, a name given to it due to the reddish tinge on the palace walls. The original colour has faded over the years, along with some of the ornamented interiors - lost to weather, wars and the sands of time. The building is still in excellent condition and has been well restored. It is a perfect example of Spain's rich and decorative history and has to be one of the most impressive ancient marvels that the country has to offer.

These are some photos I took of the palace and the surrounding gardens.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A McQ Summer 2012

Summer isn't always about pretty florals and floaty sundresses. At least not according to the vision Sarah Burton has for McQ by Alexander McQueen. The contemporary label brings forth high end designs at a more affordable price, with clothes that retain that unique McQueen edge, but without the theatrics. 

For Spring/Summer 2012, the McQ collection takes a ride on the Texan side, with a few Western inspired looks set in red, black and white, with all the elements of a high fashion rodeo. Floral embroidered shirts, ribbon-tied collars, tailored blazers, cropped cigarette pants and dashes of two-tone denim. A more feminine appeal comes in form of ruffled and A-line skirts, bound by wide leather belts.

The range then dips into animal print pastels in soft pink and powder blue, laid upon pencil skirts, peplums, button-up shirts and bodycon tops. Metallics make an appearance in burnished red palliates, lustrous silver cocktail wear and and flaired out pewter skirts. A vintage twist on trends, this McQ collection will take you from a country music festival, to the office, onto a weekend away, and to a glitzy party and back again.