first look – miuccia prada designs costumes for the great gatsby

Gatsby Prada dresses

Coinciding perfectly with Haute Couture WeekPrada released these sneak preview sketches of the costumes designed by Miuccia Prada for the upcoming film The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Luhrmann and featuring Leonardo DiCaprioCarey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire to name just a few!

Although the relationship between Prada and Baz Luhrmann may seem slightly random, it is actually not the first time the duo have worked together and costume designer Catherine Martin shed some light on their friendship,

‘Baz and Miuccia have always connected on their shared fascination with finding modern ways of releasing classic and historical references from the shackles of the past… This connection is central to our relationship with Miuccia Prada on The Great Gatsby, and has connected our vision with hers. In the same way Nick Carraway reflects on a world that he is within and without, we have tried to create an environment that the audience will be subconsciously familiar with, yet separated from,’ the designer said in an interview with The Telegraph.

We can’t wait for the release of this movie (even if it isn’t for another 6 months!!), especially now that we’ve had this little teaser of the costumes which just leaves another 36 unseen Prada costumes!

Working with L.K.Bennett & Five Five Fabulous

L.K.Bennett sale

Last week I was lucky enough to find myself working on a very exciting campaign for our forthcoming flash sale with L.K.Bennett on vente-privee.com! As this is the first sale we are running with the brand, we decided to celebrate with a video competition in partnership with one of my all time favourite blogs, Five Five Fabulous.

Having worked with the brand on deciding a suitable look and brief for the video and after multiple brainstorming sessions with vente-privee.com‘s internal creative teams, we selected our favourite storyboard which you can check out in the video trailer below and on the Five Five Fabulous blog.  During the shoot, I also invited FFF blogger Reem Kanj to Paris where she was covering all the action behind-the-scenes and I really recommend heading over to her blog for a sneak peek which includes some fabulous shots of the shoes featured in the sale… you’ll find an incredible 50 – 70% off the styles and having had a little look for myself, I have to admit there’s already a list of 3 pairs for which I’ll definitely be setting my alarm clock.

Reem Kanj Five Five Fabulous

For a little head’s up, the sale will open at 8am this Saturday (27th of April) on vente-privee.com and last for a very limited time so it’s best to sign on early to snag the pair you really want – these pieces will certainly not be hanging around for long!

Worth noting: You do need to register to the website in order to access the sales but I really think it’s worth the 30-second registration form as you’ll have access to some incredible brands with new sales each day offering discounts you won’t find easily elsewhere!

Reem Kanj Five Five Fabulous

And if you want an extra little treat, there’s a great competition running on FFF right now with the chance to win a £200 gift voucher to spend on L.K.Bennett‘s online store.  Stay tuned!

shoe crush: gold ankle boots by les composantes

sezane chaussures

I am literally all over these gold ankle boots which my friend Leslie purchased at the one-day shopping event by independent French label Les Composantes in Paris.  The online fashion boutique offers amazingly cool selections of unique vintage pieces as well as their own collection however each sale lasts only 48 hours so you need to be sure you’re on the mailing list to receive your invitations in time – trust me each time a sale opens, the pieces fly off the ‘virtual’ shelves!

Sadly this model was from the September collection but if you sign up now you’ll be in time for a new range come March!

In the meantime, I spotted these cute alternatives in the Maje sale (reduced from 245 euros to 112.50!) which also have a signature tassle from this season’s trend but they are selling out quickly!

Maria Grachvogel AW13 at London Fashion Week

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Maria Grachvogel AW13 at London Fashion Week – all photos by my great friend Latiff Napoleon-Johari

One of my favourite collections from the AW13 shows at London Fashion Week has to be from Maria Grachvogel. The perfect cuts and stunning prints are full of attitude, a reflection of the British designer’s strong character and determination, and the result is one of the most ‘ready to wear’ collections from the LFW shows. Aged only 17, Maria Grachvogel passed a London Stock Exchange exam, briefly embarking on a career in the city until she had raised enough money to start her own business. When she was 12 years old, Maria Grachvogel had learnt basic pattern cutting and fabrics at school, creating her first collection when she was just 14 years old and eventually starting her own label at 18.

With a celebrity-filled front row, including Yasmin Le Bon and Dame Kelly HolmesMaria Grachvogel opened her AW13 collection with classically tailored designs such as apron-fronted trousers, high necked blouses and strong shift dresses in a solid, neutral colour palette inspired by ‘the quiet calm of winter woodland landscapes’. Following on were the most beautiful floor-length gowns, wide-legged trousers and dresses in haunting photographic prints, a darker, more eerie side of nature, where one can just make out the whispy branches of a winter forest.

My favourite look from the catwalk however, has to be a full A-line black skirt with asymmetrical hemline which looked absolutely stunning paired with pastel ankle boots and a simple high neck top, I was literally dreaming of wearing the outfit myself and can’t wait to re-create a similar look for my next evening event.

An incredible collection which I’m hoping to see soon on the red carpet! All pictures from the show were taken by my wonderful friend and incredibly talented photographer Latiff Napoleon-Johari and you can check out more of his work on his website.

Maria Grachvogel

Maria Grachvogel

Maria Grachvogel

Maria Grachvogel AW13

A Weekend in Amsterdam

Amsterdam market

This weekend I was on a mission to do a little research in the Netherlands for a fashion feature which I am currently working on so I left Paris behind and prepared myself for tulips, canals and red lights… and something a little less cliche! I didn’t pick the best weekend in terms of the weather as it was absolutely freezing and the snow was falling heavily but despite the less than favourable conditions, I had a perfect time and loved the bright colours and incredibly welcoming and friendly locals of Amsterdam.

The hotel I was staying in, Hotel Okura Amsterdam, was slightly outside the city centre but with a tramway stop located less than 2 minutes away, it was an ideal spot.  Its 5 stars are truly merited as everything about the reception, 23rd floor bar and my ‘superior room’ was absolute perfection. I enjoyed the most comfortable double bed (there was even a ‘pillow menu’ should I prefer a softer or firmer pillow) and my 14th floor room allowed for views over the city… the Sunday morning breakfast was also to die for but I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

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The lobby leading to the reception area at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam

Hotel Okura Amsterdam

My ‘Chambre Superieure’ at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam with a blind which  opened onto the bathroom at the click of a button meaning I could enjoy a hot bubble bath with views straight out onto the city… heavenly!

Hotel Okura Amsterdam

Breakfast was simply delicious and the choice of food endless… Fresh  mango juice was an unexpected treat and the warm croissants were the perfect wake-up treat!

Amsterdam market

I decided to check out the local flea market and especially loved all the bright colours of shoes, bags, cosmetics, textiles…

Amsterdam market

… even smoothies and fresh juices were available in all colours!

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

I may have been researching fashion but there was no way I was going to miss visiting the Rijksmuseum… I highly recommend paying the additional 2,50 euros for the audio guide which was fascinating and I discovered a new passion for 17th century Baroque artists.

Amsterdam

Claudia Strater, a higher end Dutch womenswear brand similar to Maje and Sandro in Paris.

Amsterdam

The internationally renowned Dutch fashion label Vero Moda.

Hofje Van Wijs

Despite heading to the recommended district for bars and restaurants, I was not overly keen on the grotty looking pubs or clinic-like modern restaurants but finding this discreet, almost hidden little restaurants was a wonderful surprise.

Hofje Van Wijs

Very much looking forward to my ‘Emmental, Gouda and Truffle cheese fondue’ at Hofje Van Wijs which seemed to be filled with locals and not another tourist in sight.

Hofje Van Wijs

My yummy Emmental, Gouda and Truffle fondue was total perfection accompanied by a glass of Prosecco!

Hofje Van Wijs

I also loved being surrounded by the antique items which made up the unusual decor of Hofje Van Wijs…

Amsterdam Red Light District

A quick trip to the heart of the infamous Red Light District was a must although I can’t say I was a fan of seeing groups of leering men and boys all commenting on the physique of semi-naked prostitutes… quite a surreal environment.

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