So Glad and Very – White Stuff’s big sister shines this season!

I love ‘So Glad and Very’. For those unfamiliar with it, this is the sister collection to White Stuff. If White Stuff covers all areas of English style Eccentricity, from tomboyish jeans and plaids, to romantic ruffles and florals, then So Glad and Very addresses the areas of English Sophistication.

I was recently sent the look book for the new season and was really impressed by the whole range, but also by the styling of the Look book. The collection had a sophisticated boho vibe, with silk, prints, scarves and florals to savour. The initial look through the collection bought to mind one of my favourite style Icons of the 1960s, the beautiful and damned Talitha Getty.

Talitha was one of the original boho babes. Famed for her Marrakesh lifestyle and flowing hair, she was a lover of long scarves, whitewashed silk prints and paisley style dresses. With the knotted headscarves of the So Glad and Very collection and the faded vintage style silk prints, I could picture the gloriously beautiful Talitha wearing the designs.

 

Talitha styling from So Glad and Very

Talitha Styling from So Glad and Very

 

But the collection is not just about retro style icons. One of my favourite dresses in the collection is the Pearl dress. This beautiful dress with the large floral print would be perfect for women who adored the Stella McCartney look worn by Kristen Bell when she added a touch of much-needed class tot he Burlesque premiere. The style is absolutely perfect for Spring/Summer, pretty enough for a formal occasion but could be dressed down with flip-flops, or worn with a chunky cardigan for cooler days.

 

Pearl dress

Pearl dress

 

 

Kristen Bell at Burlesque Premiere

 

Nicole Richie is a style Icon known for her love of glamorous bohemian garments. Now designing her own collection called Winter Kate, Nicole is a fan of maxi dresses, favouring the long, flowing styles for both day wear and night-time glamour.  Nicole would look amazing in the So Glad and Very Florence dress, with its halter neck style and vivid flower print.

 

Nicole Richie in one of her favoured Maxi dress

 

 

Florence Dress So Glad and Very

 

For more of the fab So Glad and Very Looks – check out www.whitestuff.com

Renew, Hydrate and Relax at Molton Brown.

Molton Brown products are one of my favourite pampering treats. From Vitamin ABC hand wash to Blissful Templetree in my bath, nothing makes me feel more relaxed, or invigorated than a Molton Brown session.

This month has seen the launch of  the new ‘Body Remedies’ problem solved campaign. This is a range of 12 new and improved body remedy products that are categorised under the headings of ‘renew’, ‘hydrate’ and relax.

The new collection Renew, Hydrate and Relax

To celebrate the launch, Molton Brown salons across the country have been offering complimentary mini pampering treatments. This has consisted of hand and arm massages using the new ranges, to give a demonstration of just how good these products are. So, with my sister Jodie, I booked my treatment at my local Molton Brown salon in The Bullring, Birmingham,  in order to give you my opinion of the products and the pampering experience.

Natalie from the Bullring branch was in charge of my treatment, which was carried out using the renew range, which is described as ‘Gym for the skin’. She explained that the main ingredient of this range is Ambrusca grapeleaf extract, which gives it an amazing fresh smell and helps to revitalise tired, dull skin. The first part of the treatment was a body scrub using the ‘Ambrusca wash and scrub’. This felt amazing, leaving my skin feeling tingly and fresh.

The body scrub was followed by a hand and arm massage using Ambrusca body hydra-tone.  Again, the main ingredient in this treatment is the Ambrusca grape-leaf, but this also contains essential oils to help moisturise and firm the skin. The massage was extremely relaxing, and Natalie was very knowledgable about the products and their skin benefits.

Whilst Jodie had her treatment with Natalie’s colleague Becky, I chatted to Natalie about the complimentary treatments, and how customers were reacting to the new products. It seems that many clients have already been booked in for the new treatments, and that other customers have had the hand.arm massage suggested when they have been browsing around the store, The reaction to the new products has been very positive, and the salon has been extremely busy.

Jodie receives her treatment from Becky

I thoroughly enjoyed my treatment and found I couldn’t leave the store without at least one Ambrusca product. If you feel similarly tempted, contact the Bullring store to book your own treatment on 0121 643 2717.

Becky and Natalie from Molton Brown, Birmingham

 

Thanks to Natalie and Becky in Molton Brown, Bullring, Birmingham for their help, advice and the pampering!

 

Sally Harper – Fashion’s sharpest Milliner.

Unless you have been residing on the moon, you couldn’t fail to notice that a bare head is seriously under-dressed. Hats, headpieces, headbands and fascinators- all of these items are having a bit of a style moment. Dita Von Teese favours the 1940s ‘black widow’ veiled looks, Kate Middleton has a neat collection of fascinators, Paloma Faith accessorises most of her outfits with some variety of headgear, whilst Kate Moss has modelled all varieties, from straw boaters at rock star weddings, stylish Trilby’s at summer festivals, to Minnie Mouse style headbands at Disneyland. The old adage ‘If you want to get ahead – get a hat’ has never been truer.

Which is why it is so fabulous that one of the UK’s brightest millinery talents is based in Birmingham. Sally Harper is the force behind ‘Sharper Millinery’. The company, which was established 10 years ago, creates the most beautiful, bespoke, couture hats, head pieces and ‘head sculptures’ directly from customers specifications, using a range of beautiful fabrics including silks, velvet, straw and sinamay. An exclusive consultation service is available for every customer in order to design and then create a totally unique piece of headwear.

I was lucky enough to have a chat with Sally at the Designer Vintage Bridal Show, where she was showcasing a range of her stunning creations.  Sally told me her influences for the fabulous creations often come from old photographs from the 1920s and 30s, and are often based on original vintage creations. Icons of style from this period like Bette Davis and Marlene Dietrich also provide starting points for design, along with the work of designers like Elsa Schiaparelli, who, through her own elaborate and groundbreaking designs, forged the way for different things to happen in the world of fashion.

 

Marlene Dietrich

 

 

Bette Davis

 

Sally uses original fabrics when possible, but this is often difficult, as many hats from the 1920s and 30s were made of silk, which is often fragile and too delicate to be reused. Therefore many of her designs are vintage inspired, such as this 1940s style head sculpture, which resembles the bright and beautiful designs worn by Carmen Miranda in her wartime heyday.

Sally is in big demand for her wedding headwear. The vast majority of this is bespoke wear, it is very rare that a design is bought ‘off the peg’.  Although many brides are now abandoning the long, ostentatious veils of yesteryear, there has been a rise in the demand for small, birdcage veils that look glamorous and elegant, with a real 1950s/60s vibe to them. I fell in love with a lovely bow headband with a small veil attached that Sally had on her display at the Designer Vintage Wedding Show because it reminded me of the veil that Audrey Hepburn wore at the end of Funny Face.

 

Sally's designs at the Designer Vintage Wedding Show

 

Sally loved being part of the Designer Vintage Wedding Show because it seemed like this was the perfect setting for her beautiful, retro designs. Although Sharper Millinery have been involved in more traditional wedding shows, this seemed the natural home for designs that give such a nod to the past.

 

Couture Hat - Sharper Millinery

 

Brides-to-be are not the only customers for Sharper Millinery. Sally has designed for Mother-of-the-Bride and bridesmaids, as well as stylish wedding guests. She has a loyal clientele of regular race goers who wear Sally’s wonderful creations to Ladies Day at Ascot and Goodwood. The Lady Mayoress of Birmingham has also worn one of Sally’s creations. The rise of fashionista’s like Dita Von Teese and Sarah Jessica Parker who wear hats and headpieces with such finesse has also helped to expand Sharper Millinery’s clientele. The exquisite designs and use of feathers, beads and ribbons make a Sally Harper creation a must-have item for any vintage inspired wardrobe.

 

head piece Sharper Millinery

 

 

Sally Harper of Sharper Millinery wearing one of her beautiful creations.

 

To see more of Sally’s designs, please check out the website at   http://www.sharpermillinery.co.uk/