Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

5 of the Best: One Piece Swimsuits

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It’s not often that the British sun graces us with its presence but the past two days in England have been beautiful!  What better way to celebrate the sunshine than by hitting the coast with the girls or persuading that one friend with a pool to host a cocktail party? If there was ever an excuse for showing off the summer body you’ve been working for since March and dusting off your mum’s thigh baring 80s one-piece it’s certainly now.

The swimsuit is undeniably the hottest swimwear trend of the summer and there are countless options to choose from. As usual, I do like to keep things simple which means that if I do buy into a trend, the colour palette needs to be neutral so that there is more longevity and I can wear it for more than just one season.

Here is a selection of my favourite monochromatic swimsuits that will fit any budget and  feature details such as romantic ruffles, sporty straps and Parisian polka dots. When the weather decides to turn wintery again in a few days, wear your one-piece under boyfriend jeans as a body substitute and I guarantee nobody will notice the difference!

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Alexandre Vauthier Haute Couture Fall 2016 in Pictures

via numero,
immabilliusmiss-mandy-m,
nobackstagepass , midnight-charmbelshadidfashionalistickmulticultural modelsinivie

Dior Haute Couture Fall 2016 in Pictures

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Images via vogue, forlikeminded, itsaleph and nobackstagepass

Sleepyhead

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Choosing to venture outdoors in sleepwear could once cause a few raised eyebrows or upturned noses, but now, the classic pyjama shirt has been reinvented as an alternative daywear option by designers such as Dolce and Gabanna.

Not only does this versatile item offer an opulent update of the cotton shirt, it also puts any former slobbish stereotypes to bed

Try casually layering one over a vest or pair with heeled loafers and boyfriend jeans for a polished Parisian effect. Dress it up with bold gold accessories, or dress it down with denim. The soft silk is sure to keep you warm during the breezy summer evenings and what’s more, it doubles as bedroom attire for those long nights where changing is just a contemplation too far.


Topshop high waisted jeans
£62 – nordstrom.com

Gucci suede loafer
net-a-porter.com

Lipsy man bag
lipsy.co.uk

Maison Mayle chain belt
£615 – barneys.com

True religion mens jeans
vanmildert.com

Vans mens black shoes
urbanexcess.com

Ray-Ban mens round sunglasses
£130 – ssense.com

Ray-Ban ray ban mens sunglasses
£155 – bloomingdales.com

Valentino mens silver necklace
£180 – lindelepalais.com

L L Bean bed pillow
£36 – llbean.com

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If a minimalistic approach is something you favour when it comes to fashion, be warned, this season the 80s are back with a vengeance. Among the red PVC boots, fishnet tights and other questionable items, a statement belt is one accessory you simply can’t avoid.  Recycled season after season, they are perfect for accentuating waistlines whilst demanding attention.

Try a gold Chanel chain to establish an element of vintage luxe, or for a tribal feel, look no further than Vanessa Seward’s geometric staple. If a wide belt is too brash, BCBG’s leopard print design certainly counts as a neutral item, creating subtle safari vibes when matched with khaki or camel.  Pair with some antique earrings and Baywatch-worthy waves for a night out or to cinch a white shirt in the daytime for added elegance.

Balmain leather belt
£630 – yoox.com

Gold belt
£325 – 1stdibs.com

Vanessa Seward braided belt
£28 – net-a-porter.com

Chanel belt
£2,895 – 1stdibs.com

BCBGMAXAZRIA waist belt
£36 – bcbg.com

Leather belt
£48 – wolfandbadger.com

Blurred Lines

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Pink embroidery and patent Mary-Janes are details that could be expected on any girl in the playground, but take time to explore beyond the school walls and you will find we have a new breed of man on our hands who could be just as comfortable in these garments as any young female. With the evolution of gender fluidity, we have to wonder, is fashion influencing society or does society have a pronounced pull on the trends of today?

There has always been a dispiriting lack of choice for men when it comes to fashion. Even I found it frustrating sourcing styling inspiration for photoshoots, spending hours flicking through countless images of ‘The Dapper Gentleman’ , ’The Edgy Rebel’, or ‘The Gay Icon’ who was usually smothered in copious amounts of baby oil and wearing speedos tight enough to cut all blood circulation. You get the picture – there was not a lot of creativity in the mix. Another thing I noticed was that these characters were normally portrayed as either Alpha Male types or sex symbols for the gay community. It was one extreme or another with no room for grey areas.

Cue Alessandro Michele joining Gucci as Creative Director at the beginning on 2015. Italians are renowned for their flamboyant flair and Michele is no exception. His first collection paved a way for an alternative approach to men’s style, adorned with pussy bow blouses, red lace and chiffon. It wasn’t an overpowering statement, but it was an indication of Michele’s direction at the brand. He was challenging male stereotypes in fashion and this has only evolved with each men’s collection. This season saw Barbie pink turtlenecks, larger-than-life bow-ties and floral embroidery with Warhol-esque vibes. More risks were taken and Michele really expressed his vision of what men can (if they choose to) wear in this era. After all, why should men’s fashion be dictated by social norms?

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Another big brand that has followed in Michele’s footsteps by questioning gender roles in fashion is Louis Vuitton. The Spring/Summer 2016 womenswear campaign sees Jayden Smith modelling women’s clothes alongside female models Sarah Brannon, Jean Campbell, and Rianne Van Rompaey. The campaign suggests that fashion should not have a gender, instead it should be unisex, which is certainly an interesting concept. During my time in Seoul, I came across a number of popular clothing stores with a whole floor dedicated to unisex fashion. I also noticed Asian men seemed less resistant to wearing feminine colours, textures or styles with a huge influence coming from KPop culture and the Genderless Kei pack.

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Genderless Kei is a style which is becoming extremely popular in Japan with members who display a penchant for pink, pretty nails and platforms. It is a look that was inspired by J.W. Anderson’s Fall ’13 show which saw masculine male models sporting frilled shorts and bandeau tops along with other feminine features. Although, make no mistake, being a Genderless Kei does not necessarily mean you are trying to convey a preference for dressing as the opposite sex. It is more about incorporating elements from all genders collectively as one style. Toman, a GK model states ‘There are no rules!’  This suggests it is possible to be both male and female at once, not either or.

From a young age I refused to wear to wear dresses, favouring dungarees or trousers on a day-to-day basis. I couldn’t tell you why I made this early choice as a child and this is not to say I haven’t dabbled in the odd party or body-con dress in my time, but when I have I always wish I hadn’t. I don’t feel comfortable in skirts or dresses and they just aren’t for me. Imagining my life now without t-shirts and jeans is unthinkable and I believe as women we have more free reign to experiment to find the right combinations for our shape, preference or even mood.

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How can men fully express themselves through clothing if there is so little on the market for them to choose from? It could be argued that although such styles can be seen on the catwalk, they may not translate as simply in real life, especially in Western markets. However, even mass market brands such as ASOS and Topman are jumping onboard with androgynous cuts, colours, models and even poses featured in their Fall 2016 lookbooks.

Rules on school uniform and identity are also becoming less binding in the UK. Boys can now wear skirts, while girls can wear trousers in 80 state schools under a new gender-neutral policy introduced to eliminate LGBT discrimination. I’m someone who doesn’t enjoy wearing overtly feminine clothes and it is likely that there are many men who don’t like wearing quintessentially masculine items. It doesn’t need to become an issue of sexuality and how this defines us by the way we dress. A woman can wear boyfriend jeans or a baggy shirt and it’s NBD but a man in a leather skirt is still not viewed as socially normal. This is a double standard and it needs to change.

This is not to say that men’s fashion should or shouldn’t become more feminine, but what can be said for this blurring of lines in society’s gender roles, is that creative directors such as Michele and Ghesquière (at LV) are certainly exploring the unknown. They are celebrating fashion as an art form whilst opening the doors for a new wave of creativity to resonate in fashion, suggesting that society is steering fashion rather than the other way around. The fact that such prominent luxury brands are choosing to include niche markets is a huge step forward as they are fundamentally educating the mass market on the importance of gender identities in this day and age. They are not showcasing new ideas but instead acting as a platform for the diverse community to express themselves which will hopefully inspire more choice and creativity in the industry during the years to come.

Best of MFW

 Fashion Week only starts getting interesting for me when the shows start in Milan. Italians just seem to get fashion and they do femininity and charm so well without it being garishly girly.

They also seem to understand the influence that the past decades have on fashion and are great at updating vintage styles whilst making them appeal to a younger crowd. There were lots of shows I loved for the S/S 16 collections but I have shared my favourites below.

Francesco Scognamiglio

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This collection was similar to Givenchy in the way that there was an abundance of delicate details, fine fabrics and strong romantic notes. I rarely stray from wearing black or white and a monochromatic colour palette is something that I believe looks both classic and polished.

Ruffles can look overstated but Scognamiglio managed to get the balance just right, pairing sheer slip tops with tailored trousers and babydoll dresses with sock boots, giving looks a mod doll element.

By mixing Victoriana details with 60s shoes and modern styles, Scognamiglio successfully created an array of looks ideal for the cool girl, unafraid to channel her softer side.

Fay

fay

Fay is a brand I had heard of but never followed too closely. That was until I saw the designs showcased for S/S 16. Reminiscent of Isabel Marant‘s understated French girl image, the looks were layered, tiered and belted in shades of navy, stone and dusty pink with prints that looked as though they had been influenced by North Africa.

The masculine military coats looked great with patterned skirts and I particularly liked the silver trimming on the deep blue jackets. After seeing this collection, I am really looking forward to seeing what else the brand has to offer.

Philosophy

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Philosophy is a brand that always seems to hit an equilibrium when combining masculinity with femininity. Soft ruffles and Victorian details were still present from the previous collection, but there was not one fussy frill in sight. The nude slip dresses were breezy and beautiful while pointed ankle boots offered an edgy element making the looks perfect for city strolls in the summer.

I love the neutral shades that the creative director, Lorenzo Serafini, uses throughout his collections for Philosophy. The looks he creates are much more wearable than many other brands while there is always a strong hint of Italian Romanticism in the silhouettes and details – a clear homage to the brand’s heritage.

Game, Set, Match

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Jacket: Mango
Shirt: Next (Mens)
Scarf: Zara
Jeans: Zara
Boots: Topshop

Photographer: Rob Langman

Day to Night: Orange Eyeshadow

Orange eyeshadow is a makeup look I’m really loving at the moment and one that is set to be huge over the next year. I find it especially compliments blue eyes and is a pleasant change from brown. It can be worn in the daytime for a natural, earthy look, or at night paired with contrasting eyeshadow shades to create a lovely reverse smokey eye.

Although I have actually used bronzing powder as a substitute in these images, I find it works just as well as eyeshadow and it really inspired me to try applying more of my makeup products in places I wouldn’t have normally thought of!

 Day:

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Face:
 MAC Studio Finish Concealer NC15
Bourjois  Little Round Pot Cream Blush in Healthy Glow
Topshop Glow Pot in Polish (browbone, cupid's bow and cheekbone)
Eyes:
 Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder (lid crease)
Lancome Grandiose Mascara (top lashes)
Lips:
 Burts Bees Lip Balm with Pink Grapefruit 

 I like to keep things pretty natural in the day and have ditched foundation as I feel it is way too heavy for my skin. I am, however, really liking peachy/apricot tones for lips,eyes and cheeks.

Applying cream blush to the apples of your cheeks with your fingers gives a freshly flushed look that doesn’t look too try-hard. Bourjois cream blush is an amazing budget find and I’m really impressed – the colour lasts ages and the warm, peach tone really brings out my freckles.

Burt’s Bees lip balm is another recent purchase that I can’t get enough of – I had really dry lips a few weeks ago and they were instantly moisturised within seconds of using this stuff! The smell is divine and also a huge plus.

If you don’t want to use bronzer for eyeshadow, I would recommend using MAC’s eyeshadow pot in ‘Orange‘.

Night:

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Face: 
Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder
Eyes: 
Lancome Le Crayon Khol (waterline)
MAC Smoke Luxe Palette Deep Grey Shade (below waterline)
Eyebrows:
 Revlon Metropolitan Photoready Palette - (brown shade)

As you can see, there is really not much to add to update the look for night-time. It literally took 10 minutes which is great if you’re like me and hate spending too long getting ready! I simply added bronzing powder in a ‘3’ shape (temples, cheekbones, jawline) to add definition to my face, filled in my eyebrows and added black eyeliner along with grey eyeshadow under the eye to create a reverse smokey eye.

I would have added a nude lipstick for a matte finish on the lips but couldn’t find mine, although I feel MAC‘s Myth would work perfectly for this look. A reverse smokey eye is supposed to be a little messy and a grey/black combination not only compliments the orange on the lid, but also doesn’t look as harsh as black on it’s own.

I’m really looking forward to sharing more day to night makeup looks with you all and would love to know what you think of this orange eyeshadow look in the comments box!

Iona

xxx

Park Life

Coat - H&M 
Necklace - Tiffany
Bag - Steve Madden

Photographer - Rob Langman