Sunday, 28 October 2018

Why silver's now the real style winner

After the craziness of the fashion show month, there are always a few standout moments that stick in the brain.

Those that do, tend to be the pieces worth sacrificing your next 200 lattes for. One such knockout, from the spring 2019 collections, was a gorgeous gunmetal silver maxi dress by Roland Mouret.

Mouret showed his collection on the roof of the National Theatre in London, with models striding forth in flat shoes, their dresses fluttering ever-so-slightly in the breeze.

The silver one in particular moved like a dream. Get your order in now before Meghan (Mouret's unofficial muse) does and causes a stampede.

Silver was all over the winter 2018 runways, too. I love its cool, futuristic glamour — not as glitzy as gold and much easier to wear. Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy showed stunning silver-fringed cocktail gowns, while Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel tapped into a futuristic vibe with metallic gloss fabrics.

At Erdem, another of my stand-out shows, the silver sequins were worn in rule-breaking combinations with crisp white shirts and Prince of Wales suiting.

The High Street is filling up with silver options as party dress season creeps up on us. If you're concerned about looking like a Bacofoil-wrapped turkey, relax. Stores have plenty of subtler options that will render you party, rather than oven, ready.

As a rule of thumb, go for a mattish silver fabric and a slip that skims rather than hugs your shape.

If you are worried about showing too much skin with spaghetti straps, consider layering it over a skinny black and silver marl roll-neck that keeps the Nineties minimalist silhouette.

There's a midi-length option at Zara that works perfectly styled like this (metallic thread herringbone jacquard dress, £39.99, When layering, let the Nineties monochrome palette be your guide. Wear a slinky silver slip (such as Asos's satin midi dress, £40, with white, black or silver-on-silver.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Wedding Dress Bustle Advice

Ready for some controversial real talk? I'm anti-bustle. That being said, I know most brides are pro-bustle (or bustle-indifferent) so when I went wedding dress shopping I had plenty of questions, particularly “What do I do if I hate bustles?” As it turns out, plenty of brides out there have a dizzying array of bustle related questions.

Lucky for me, one of my best friends who came along to my bridal appointments IS a bridal stylist, and lucky for you all she's a regular contributor here at Bridal Musings (for instance, my witchy bff finds the perfect dress based on your zodiac sign).

Christina says I'm not alone, and bustle related questions pop up in just about every bridal appointment she takes. So, for the benefit of all, I asked Christina all of my pressing bustle questions, and what one can do instead. Her advice is so key to any bride about to start wedding dress shopping or about to take their gown in for those fateful alterations.

Which Dresses Need To Be Bustled?

Essentially, any dress with a train that's going to hinder your ability to party. That includes any gown that has a train that will be stepped on all night, or a gown with a train that's so long you actually won't be able to walk around. I find this is one of my number one questions brides ask during their appointments. If it's long enough to be in the way, you could benefit from a bustle. Don't let a long train stop you from buying your dream dress!

Which Dresses Don't Need A Bustle?

Short dresses, dresses without a train, or dresses with a baby train. Slinkier gowns with very little train are super easy to add a loop to the underside of the train. This makes it easy for you to put the loop around your wrist and sort of “drape” your gown without compromising the design.

In my opinion, a gown with only a few inches of train should either be left to trail behind you all night or given a simple loop. Adding a bustle to a gown like that almost looks like an accident, and I'd say, enjoy the fact that you're wearing a wedding gown and embrace the little bit of gorgeous fabric trailing behind you. When else in your life do you get a chance to feel so extravagant?!

What Style Of Bustle Is Best?

There are two main types: an under bustle and an over bustle. An over bustle has one or more hooks on the top of the train that get lifted up and hooked over the top of the gown.

An under bustle is basically the opposite, with hooks or ties that pick up the train and fold it under itself. So depending on the fabric and construction of your dress, you may need more or less complicated bustling. I've heard conflicting rules as to whether certain fabrics should be busted over or under, and I think the most important thing to remember is that you like how it looks.

When Do I Decide My Bustle?

I recommend asking about bustles while you are dress shopping. Your bridal stylist is a valuable resource of knowledge and tips! Odds are, your stylist can show you a couple options and you can see what your dress may look like if you decide to purchase it. Once you've found “the one” your alteration appointments will be where you actually choose the bustle. A talented seamstress can talk with you about your bustle options and what style is best for you and the look you want to achieve.

What If I Hate Bustles?

Three suggestions: make sure to buy a dress that doesn't have an extravagant train, have the train shortened, or get a second dress!Almost any dress, whether lace or crepe, chiffon or tulle, can have the train dramatically shortened. Often times designers even make versions of a gown with less train! It's always worth asking during your shopping process, that way you don't compromise intricate applique details or unique laces.

But ultimately, it's what's going to make you the happiest and most comfortable. I've seen a bride hula hoop in a ballgown, so no train should ever get in the way of what you want to do at your reception!

Any Extra Advice?

On your wedding day you will be IN the gown – so someone else will need to bustle it for you. I'd recommend having your Maid of Honor or bridesmaids do a test run for you. Have them come to your final dress fitting! That way, they can learn from the expert seamstress, ask questions, and have a very clear idea of how the bustle works and is supposed to look on that day.

Bustles can be super simple or very elaborate, so factor in an additional cost for how much bustle your gown may need. I've heard some brides express frustration about how much their alterations cost, and if you're trying to keep things more simple and less expensive, perhaps a gown with less train is in the cards for you.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Say hello to the perfect bridesmaids dress

Because life's too short for unflattering dresses

Who said being a bridesmaids is synonymous with being frumpy and out of pocket? Not Oasis clearly, who have just launched some seriously gorgeous bridesmaids dresses you’ll actually want to wear again.

Designed by the Oasis in-house design team, the collection delivers stylish gowns in the must-have colour palette of the season, from navy to blush pink.

As well as the ever-popular multiway maxi dress in powder pink and soft grey, the line also includes slinkier numbers like cowl neck maxis in silver and navy. Plus, if you really want everything to match, you can get dyed-to-match kitten heels too, so this can literally be your one-stop-shop on the way to getting your wedding dress.

Oasis will also be offering personal styling sessions for bridal parties in the Oasis Tottenham Court Road store. The experience will include afternoon tea in the Saucer & Spritz cafĂ©, for £25 per person, and can be pre-booked online.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Tips to Choosing the Perfect Summer Wedding Dress

Planning a summer wedding? Having an outdoor wedding smothered in sunshine? Then you need the perfect wedding dress which can leave you looking cool, calm and fresh even on the hottest summer's day.

The first step to finding the perfect dress is to get to know your body type. Some dresses can be flattering while others may just not suit you at all. Visit your local bridal shop and try on a medley of dresses, don't be shy, the team don't expect you to make a decision there and then. Try on the designs you never dreamed of wearing, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Once you have chosen a style of dress, you need to decide whether to go sleeveless or strapless. If you're going to be outside on a warm summers day, then strapless may be the most elegant option, though remember to get a matching shawl to keep you warm as the weather cools later in the day. Remember you want to be comfortable and you're going to be wearing the wedding dress for a number of hours before you set off into the sunset together, so be prepared to avoid shivering the last half of your special day away.

Fabric will be a big deciding factor when it comes to a summer wedding. Choosing chiffon wedding dresses could be the best decision, because this is a breathable material which will help keep you cool when the sun is beating down all around you. While you may love the look of the satin dress, be realistic and know what to expect in terms of the weather you will have on your day.

Of course remember that the weather can go anyway and having a summer wedding doesn't guarantee a beautiful clear day, so be prepared for all weather types in terms of your shoes and something to throw over your shoulders should the weather turn on you on the last minute, you can always remove the shawl or jacket (whichever you have chosen), should the weather warm up as the day goes on.

Be selective when it comes to detailing. Embroidery, lace and beads are all top choices and you can complement any wedding dress by adding one or more of these to the gown you have chosen. If you've chosen a simple summer wedding dress, then consider beadwork on the bodice to give it that elegant and sophisticated finish that will show off in all your photographs.

Try and add a splash of color to your gown to add that summer finish. A splash of color doesn't mean add bright blue or brilliant red, but if your color scheme is light blues and creams, consider a cream band that goes around your dress. This can break up all the white and add the perfect finishing touch to your beautiful summer wedding dress.

One of the best pieces of advice you can ever learn when choosing your gown is to try on as many as possible, including those that don't quite tickle your fancy. The more you try on the more you can get an idea for the styles that suit you and those that don't. Remember to take photographs of yourself in each of the dresses to go over later, this can help you make your final decision.

Also remember that you don't have to only try on dresses made to your size. Most bridal shops have their own team of seamstresses who can tailor the dress to fit you perfectly, which enables you to try on dresses that are slightly too big or small and have it tailored to fit you beautifully on your special day.

Monday, 15 January 2018

This Is What Happens When You Get a 12-Hour Closet Makeover

I know I can’t be the only one who has looked at her closet some mornings and thought, “What am I even doing with my life?” After years of shopping and gathering, everything I owned was a mix of items I love, used to love, just fell in love with, wanted to fall in love with… But so little of it could come together into an outfit that made me think, “I’m the shit.” And I don’t know about you, but if I’m not walking out my front door most mornings feeling like “the shit,” well, like I said: What am I even doing with my life?

This is precisely why I asked the closet makeover team of Cuniform to my apartment in New York last fall. The duo that runs Cuniform—friends Christine Tran and Colton Winger, who met when they used to work at the boutique Totokaelo—travel around the country for private appointments with clients that include execs at Nike, Diane von Furstenberg, and Shiseido. Their process is multifold: 1) purge closets of bad choices and out-of-place items, and oh so kindly haul away the rejects to donate or consign for you; 2) refill your wardrobe with versatile, new and high-end consignment items they handpick for you ahead of time and bring to your appointment, if you so choose; and 3) style you in chic new ensembles of the old and new, creating a “Wardrobe Rolodex” of outfit ideas in a shared cell phone photo album you can then reference for outfit ideas forever and ever.ou can understand, then, how once they arrived, 12 hours flew by, though a typical appointment is 5 hours long.

“If you think about it, the most successful people wear the same thing almost every day,” said Tran (see: Steve Jobs’ turtleneck, Carolina Herrera’s white blouse, Michael Kors’ blazer, Anna Wintour’s tailored dress and jeweled necklaces). “The main goal is to figure out your brand via clothing, so you shouldn’t have things in your closet that aren’t really options—like a dress that never fits the occasion or a pair of pants from when you were skinnier—because it just confuses you when you’re getting dressed.”

And that’s where I needed the most help, really: At this exact point in my life, what is my brand? This is where brutal honesty, as you’ll see below, comes in. On top of all of this, Cuniform is super-focused on social and environmental consciousness. One part is their consignment arm called Cuniform Recycled, which not only finds new homes for the nice but neglected clothes of their clients, but sell on behalf of philanthropic programs like Dress for Success to help increase their revenue.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

These Boots Were Made for Walking Through Party Season

Holiday season is nearly upon us. Bring on the whirlwind of vivid prints, sparkling sequins, and all-around festive cocktail attire! As for the footnote: In an unlikely turn of events, we're welcoming the reimagined ankle boot into the merry mix. Sure, it's not the first time boots have worked the party circuit—we've had our share of sky- and thigh-high boots creeping up on the catwalk as of late—but this season's quirky, eclectic iterations with unrivaled aesthetics are more than ready to hit the dance floor while making a modern evening statement.

Balenciaga's space-age silver booties, which come pointed and peaked mid-shin, perfectly offset a proper off-the-shoulder velvet dress, while Manolo Blahnik's silk and satin stilettos draw the eye downward with a hint of Swarovski crystal buckle and a seductive high arch, giving one's legs a little lift (and incidentally, the illusion of cocktail stirrers). With so many choices out there—from over-the-knee white knockouts to over-the-top adorned ankle booties—it's never been easier, chicer, or, ahem, more comfortable to get in the festive footwear spirit.

Above, shop the top seven boots and party dress pairings for storming into the New Year in style.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

How a Lady Gaga–Approved Performance Artist Dresses for Art Basel

Millie Brown's artwork is not distinguished by subtlety. The British-born provocateur began her career at 17 as a "vomit artist," chugging bottles of colored milk and then throwing them up onstage in Berlin. In 2014, she reprised the act, vomiting on Lady Gaga's chest for a performance during SXSW. Later that year, she transformed herself into a human installation titled Suspended by Optimism, in which she hung from giant balloons for four hours during Art Basel in Miami. Another puke-free performance had her lying on a bed of flowers and subsisting on a botanical diet (only water and sun) for seven days.

This year, the performance artist attended Miami's Art Basel as more of a spectator. "I decided to skip performing and go to support my friends, see the artists I love and meet the ones I haven't yet met," says Brown. "The highlight for me was the celestial drone performance art piece created by Studio Drift—300 drones fit with alternating lights lit up the sky in a choreographed dance-like formation above the ocean and amongst the stars as we were serenaded by delicate classical music."

And while she was off-duty, Brown still stood out from the crowd with a personal fashion sense that's just as outré as her performances. During the fair, Brown opted for some out-there glitz, including a glittering mesh dress by Mark Fast for a meet-up with model Slick Woods. Her other looks were by turns pared back (a distressed gown by Olya Kosterina) and architectural (flared bustier by designer Aliona Kononova). In terms of accessories, Brown was typically bold, showing off a fistful of ring bling.

Here, take a look at Brown's Art Basel fashion diary.