Wednesday 30 October 2013


Being able to laugh at ourselves is a virtue, and accepting our curves even more so. None of us are ever satisfied with our shape, no matter what you look like, pears want to be straight, the tall ones want to be short and so the list goes on...... Whatever shape and size you are, and if you cannot change it by following a balanced diet, embrace it and accept the curves or whatever it is that pains you, with open arms. The most effective way to do so is to accept that we have to adjust our personal dress style in accordance with our body types. Embracing a flaw doesn't mean you have to flaunt it, nor do you have to conceal it. We can however live with it by wearing cuts and styles that actually flatter our particular shapes. I've spent years trying to blow my hair straight and finally one day came to realise that no matter how hard I try, a shoulder length bob blown out straight would never work. The slightest bit of mist or fog, and my hair goes into a frenzy of  curls. I also tried wearing shift dresses but being pear shaped, it resembles the Westminster Abbey's bell in tights, with the emphasise on the widest part of my body. So I moved onto bell shaped skirts which does not conceal, nor emphasise the shape of my hips.  A pencil skirt however should not necessarily be avoided, and can the width of the hips easily be balanced with a jacket that has shoulder pads. Fortunately for fashion, one can now again find jackets with a little structure above, and if you find a good jacket without proper construction, one could easily fix that with ready made shoulder pads inserted by hand. The width of the jacket immediately distracts from the pear shaped hips and leads the eye to the shoulders. So come on girls, don't steer away from the pencil skirt if you are pear shaped, take advantage of the fact that bigger shoulders are back in vogue and slip into that little skirt! For the lucky ones who are lesser blessed with wide hips, don the shift dress with pizazz!
Jacket - Mart Visser
Skirt - Belle Epoque
Top - Primark
Shoes - Artigiana
Leather & Suede Tote - Unbranded
Sunglasses - Prada

Monday 28 October 2013


There are things in life that we take for granted, like a beautiful face, a toned body, and good posture, but have you ever given any thought to what defines beauty, or what causes women to turn heads? To my mind, being beautiful isn't being born with a beautiful face, but the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you dress, and the way you groom yourself. Some women sees dressing up and grooming as being frivolous, some go overboard and needs to be "made under" as opposed to being "made over". Whatever it is that distinguishes you  from the crowd, it has to do with owning the look and caring about your appearance.  Taking care of yourself gives a women confidence, and a little acknowledgement or flattery, takes most women to the next level of walking tall. My initial idea of taking pictures of the fashion editors and other unknown faces during Milan Fashion Week, was to capture expression, but when I started studying the photos, I realised that all of these women were groomed in a different way, and they all exuded a considerable measure of confidence. Some didn't wear any jewellery, others no lipstick or any make up at all, another group had sharp haircuts sporting a glow that portraits the look of health and good maintenance. Each of these women were immaculately groomed, and the absence of make up or jewellery did not distract from their beauty or attraction as their ensembles were so carefully selected, walking with such great posture, that it once again reminded me that confidence weighs just as much as the bank balance that fits the bill for the designer labels they were sporting, and that one could still achieve the same level of awareness without a high price tag. A clever way of tying your hair, adding special detail with accessories, wearing clothes that are designed with architectural precision, nails painted to perfection and having the perfect manicure, having a sharp haircut,  the shape of the eye brows, the  addition of earrings, it's all in the detail, and all it takes, is walking tall.



Monday 21 October 2013


Imagine  a colour so vibrant that it stimulates your creative flair, adding a little flamboyancy to your looks, encouraging respect, promoting risk taking, aiding your ability to assimilate new ideas, providing you with physical energy, uplifting your mood in difficult times, and rejuvenating your general mental state. If this concept appeals to you, then introduce a little Orange in your kaleidoscope, helping you to be positive, spontaneous and radiating warmth.  All just in one small addition to your wardrobe and your ensemble takes you to new heights. The psychology of  colour should not be underestimated, and if you don't believe in the concept, try painting your kitchen in any shade of Red or Orange when on a diet. I am told that it is not conducive to dieting, since it stimulates the appetite, hence so many restaurants bearing Red walls. So girls, rather settle for an Orange pair of shoes or a new jacket in this awesome mood lifting colour. These photographs were taken during my recent visit to Milan Fashion Week, and the vibrancy of this well groomed women's jacket is what caught my eye, apart from the fact that she looks uber chic. If you are in doubt, try mixing and matching up the different shades of Orange with Black of Navy Blue for a breath of fresh air. She certainly lives up to the idea of owning the look!

Wednesday 16 October 2013


One of the joys of being a women is  that we all relate to each and share each other's sentiments, learning to accept our changing bodies, declaring peace with crows feet and getting to grips with sagging body parts. The beauty lies in the fact that we are never alone, a comforting thought when trying to decide what to wear when the seasons change. How frivolous is that? Some women conveniently hide their lack of interest in grooming  behind the bold  statement  that looking good and taking care of your appearance, is unimportant.  Fortunately, the followers of that particular school of thought does not support or  write blogs on fashion and appearance. Like most things in life, the key to this is balance.
When concern for our appearance becomes an obsession, we are in dire need of therapy, not of the retail kind (although it brings relief for many other ailments). Since I am concerned about looking groomed and feeling comfortable at the same time, I choose to wear a trench coat to guard me against sudden changes in temperatures in mid season, allowing me to meet the dress code of my profession and to look fairly decent at the same time.  My vanity does however   sometimes take charge of me causing me to dance on the periphery of fretting, and when it prevails, I decide to perk up my look with a pair of dressy shoes. Ad  a dash of lipstick and a pair of heels, grab your trench coat, and you're ready to go. The trench coat has certainly become a staple item in my survival kit. The joys of being a women. 

Trench Coat - Trenery
Skirt - Daniel Hechter
Top - Thrifted at unknown store in Albureira
Shoes - Torrid, not Valentino's, not replicas, just Torrid
Leather Tote - Unbranded, sourced from unknown store in Como, Italy

Monday 14 October 2013


How many of you ever give any thought to the idea that being a girl of a certain age, is hugely liberating in that it allows you to pull off outfits that you lacked confidence for when you were at a more tender age?
Isn't it comforting to know that having reached that stage in your life,  you can wear just about anything you like, even if nobody else likes it?
Wearing a skirt of this girth, I became funnily aware of the fact that when I was 21, I may have had the body, but at 51, I now have the confidence. I would have been acutely aware of stares and looks, to the extent where abandon would probably have been the only escape, yet I felt rather comfortable provoking looks and stares of me being engulfed in 2.8 metres of fabric, spurring me on to sway the hips, rocking the look, and quietly giggling at my own nerve to provoke,  whatever the response may be.
My skirt may have been conspicuously huge,  but I happily pranced along the cobbled streets sporting a skirt like a guild of liberation.  There is however, a word of warning, if you dress like a clown, don't be surprised if you are laughed at, and if you wear something this loud and expansive, be ready to receive some stares. Either they love or hate the look. My forecast is that big skirts are going to make a comeback next season, hugely so......
Fruit Printed Shirt - Old
Skirt - Belle Epoque
Shoes - Zara
Neck Piece - Zara

Thursday 10 October 2013


Brace yourselves girls, this is all about shoes. Travelling always conjures up visions of fashion, food, flavours, sights, sounds, memorable architecture, and off course, a little shopping. These  things are all interconnected, allowing us to touch, see, feel, hear and taste. And so it should be. What fascinates me about travelling to Fashion Week events, is how styles differ.  Although the French claim ownership of style and fashion, the rightful propriety, to my mind, belongs to the Milanese, being the birthplace of all things luxurious and well crafted, and the city with the most stylish and sophisticated women. Luxury knows no boundaries in this modern European city, and if you thought that you could do some thrift shopping here, you may be gravely disappointed. Most of the Fashion Outlets like Fox Town on the Swiss border, or those on the outskirts of Milan, sell overstock  or previous season's branded items at a fraction of the original price, but still tipping the scale on the higher end. After many years of experience, I've also learnt that instead of having hundreds of pairs of low end and poor quality shoes, it's better to invest in the odd excellently crafted Italian pair. Nowhere in the world is craftsmanship better defined than in Italy. My most sought after and cherished pairs, all originate from the skilful hands of the Italian people. Attending Fashion Week in Milan stimulates all the senses, requiring considerable self constraint not to venture out into the shopping alleys of the Quadrillatero filling up your coffers with extravagance and piling up receipts with more zeros than your Iphone calculator can account for. However, it doesn't mean that a girl shouldn't have any fun. It just requires some careful planning and deliberation when shopping for things this special and unique,  and perhaps not otherwise obtainable from your home country. Although most of the Italian brands can be found elsewhere, the flagship designer stores all hail from Milan's part of the world, and obviously offers a much bigger variety. The most stressful difficulty I then had to face, was being a little spoilt for choice. I took revenge on the damage caused to my shoes spoken about in a previous post on Milan, and did some justice to my bruised ego by replacing them with a pair commensurate with the hurt I felt when I discovered my ruined heels which got caught in the metal grid. Go on girls, start planning ahead. Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail, so if you have baggage restrictions when travelling, start shopping for couriers or shipping agents...... but don't come home without a dainty pair depicting the label  "Made in Italy". If timeless style and quality is your criteria, don't settle for anything less.  Fortunately this is one event where nobody takes offence if you point your lens at their feet, so I hope you enjoy my take on shoes as spotted in Milan during Fashion Week.


Friday 4 October 2013


I always perceived Grey to be reserved for accountants (no offence) and men who work in dark offices with no ventilation, rendering them rather oxygen deprived leaving them looking a little pale, but when I discovered this fabric, I new instantly that it had to be worn as a suit, giving new life to the colour and turning a fabric otherwise intended for curtaining, into a walking forest. I promptly ordered it and sent it to my brilliant designer who waved her magic wand, turning it into something custom made and exactly what I had in mind. The cut of the pants do however require it to be worn with a slight heel. When in doubt about how to style a look, I find taking photographs to be an instant analysis of how it appears and at the same time allowing you to evaluate what to wear with it. In this instance I should have worn at least a kitten heel to lift the length of the pants, giving it a more slender look. However, by the last day of Fashion Week my feet were in full protest and on a mission of it's own, no longer permitting me to wear anything else than Ballerina pumps. The colour of the print allows a multitude of colour options for accessories and under garments, and although I prefer to limit any look to two colours, the introduction of a third colour perhaps in the shoes, takes the look to another level. I styled it with candy stripes in the same shade, combining print on print again. How would you wear this print?


Ultra modern architecture, creatively juxtaposed against the old world charm of historical buildings in Milan, blending old and new harmoniously.

Suit - Belle Epoque
Shoes - Parfois
Handbag - Chanel 2.55
Candy striped shirt - Old


Wednesday 2 October 2013


No visit to a country like Italy is complete without at least seeing one historical city or village, allowing yourself to indulge in all things nice and delectable,  taking proper advantage of the fact that the concept of slow food originates from Lombardy. A trip to the upper city of Bergamo, or Citta Alta, is an absolute must, not only for the culinary delights, but also for it's tranquillity and panoramic scenery. Situated high up on  a hill, the old city can easily be reached by way of train from Milan, and then onwards by bus, dropping you off virtually on the doorstep of the magnificent walled city, perched high up on the hill. For the brave, you could stand in the cue to take the funicular that moves at a snail speed, or hop onto  a Vespa scooter, and drive up the hill, saving your feet for later...... 

I couldn't resist digging into the traditional Polenta and Osso Bucco dishes, a sinfully delicious meal served at most of the many local restaurants.  Time is of no essence here, and nobody seems rushed to do anything, with most inhabitants lingering at local bistros and restaurants, sipping on Chianti while doing some serious people watching. After considerable effort to locate all the venues for the different shows during fashion week, this was a good place to spend a Sunday afternoon, meandering the cobblestone streets, kicking up your heels-what a relief after 5 days on stilettos! My choice of outfit for the day was something that could take me from the sophisticated streets of Milan to the unpretentious cobblestones of Bergamo, and with a change of shoes, I was rather comfortable in my geometric print, ready to kick start the Vespa.
Top - Belle Epoque
Pants - H & M
Shoes - J Renee
Flat Pumps - Parfois
Handbag - Chanel 2.55
Sunglasses - Ray Bans
Earrings -Miglio


Tuesday 1 October 2013


Saving the best for last has definitely not been a cliche in this instance, as Milan Fashion Week drew to the close on a note leaving us all in awe. One of the highlights has been the Giorgio Armani Show that took place on Monday morning. The crowds filled the streets to the brim, all hoping to get a glimpse of the well heeled, snapping away at famous fashion editors and front row regulars. With bloggers giving just about the same amount of publicity to the event as fashion editors of the glossy magazines, this new phenomenon sure is a force to reckon with. What drew my attention when a certain Ms Wintour walked passed me, was her distinct flair for classic cuts, wearing a sophisticated Boucle suit she made quite an entrance!
The recognition given to this new breed of media members should not be under estimated, as flashes lit up the shade caused by the tree lined street, capturing the whose who, clearly un phased by the photographers. It almost appeared as if some of them planned their strategy in anticipation of the paparazzi firing away at them, with some parading the mile up and down much like a horse being let cold. It doesn't render the street scene any less exciting, as bloggers were rubbing shoulders with the so called celebs of fashion glossies getting a live view of how fashion is interpreted by show goers and major role players in the industry. Seeing elegant women arriving on a bicycle is rather refreshing, clearly style doesn't always come with a price tag.....and their mode of transport looking perfectly comfortable amongst the luxurious textures of a certain desirable brand's boucle worn by well known fashion editors.....This is the most fun I had aiming and shooting at people, using only a Canon....

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