Sue Devitt arrives at Harvey Nichols, Birmingham.

The Harvey Nichols beauty boom just continues to grow and grow! Following hot on the heels of Benefit Cosmetics, this September has seen  the arrival of a new range of cosmetics and skincare products by Australian beauty guru Sue Devitt.  Sue Devitt, for the uninitiated, is a beauty genius who has celebrity client list that boasts  of some of the world’s most beautiful women including Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Cattrall, Elle MacPherson , Diane Kruger and Kiera Knightley. Her work has also graced the runways of the likes of  Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta and Marc Jacobs. Pretty impressive if you ask  me…

After spending many years travelling the world as a highly successful make-up artist, Sue put these experience to fantastic use by creating  the first “Healthy Beauty” brand of nutrient-rich, color cosmetics featuring a palette for women of all ages and ethnicities.  Sue also revolutionised daily beauty routines by adding anti-ageing ingredients into her make-up, making it more beneficial to the skin. “I identified a niche in the market that had not yet been explored,” she explains. “I work closely with our chemists to formulate make-up that has exquisite colours and terrific benefits to improve the skin’s health.”

Along with the cosmetics line, Sue Devitt has also created a range of innovative,  high-tech skincare. I am looking forward to trying Microquatic™ Oxygen Infusion Masque (£28.50). “It does two great things to create healthy skin: The self-activating foaming experience draws out impurity while infusing the skin with oxygen to leave you with an amazing natural glow,”  Sue says about this wonder product that sounds like a must for every bathroom shelf.

And now, this cosmetics and skincare collection has arrived in the region for the first time, opening exclusively at Harvey Nichols Birmingham on September 3rd. Sue Devitt brings her own personal mantra to skincare”Beauty is an adventure”…with endless destinations. The world is my muse.”I think that  is a pretty  fantastic journey to be on!

Keep your eyes peeled at because in a few weeks Fashion-Mommy will be interviewing Sue Devitt herself! Exciting stuff!




Fashion’s Night Out in Harvey Nichols, Birmingham

Associated Architects' Offices at The Mailbox,...

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Thursday saw the great and good of the Midlands, footballers, models, bloggers and celebrities descend on the luxurious Harvey Nichols store in the Mailbox, Birmingham to celebrate Vogue‘s Fashion’s Night Out, and the launch of the fabulous Autumn/Winter designer collections.

The store was packed with a host of well dressed guests who were able to enjoy a pre-show champagne reception and a sneak preview of the new Land Rover Evoque, which was parked majestically on the Mailbox steps. Land Rover were the sponsors of the event, and there was a special Land Rover treat included in the special goodie bags placed under each seat. A sparkling atmosphere was in the air, as guests took their seats and awaited the fabulous outfits. They were in for a feast of mouth-watering fashion that shows that Harvey Nichols will again be the destination of choice for Birmingham fashionista’s this season.

As usual, the looks were organised by themes. Here are some of my personal highlights for each theme.

Vintage Glam

This collection was a fusion of vintage themes, from Boardwalk empire style flapper dresses by ‘Lucy in Disguise’ and ‘Hoss Intropia’, to the most beautiful 1940s style, fur collared coat that could’ve graced Rita Hayworth in the 1940s, by the ever fabulous Michael Kors. My favourite piece was an exquisite, bias cut. silk evening gown by Amanda Wakeley. In champagne, this dress, by one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite designers, was a showstopper, a 1930s gown with a modern twist.

Pitch Perfect

Next up was the boys with a collection of laid back sophistication. Belstaff and Paul Smith jackets, chunky cardigans by Dolce and Gabbana, preppy college scarves and flashes of Alexander McQueen made this the  a set of perfect smart, casual looks.

Highland Fling

To celebrate in with National Wool week, this collection was full of checks, plaids, kilts and capes. From McQ puffball dresses, that showed a touch of the 1980s, but in an oh-so-good way, to fun and flirty plaid kilts from Burberry Brit, this was a chunky, funky collection that had more than a touch of grunge chic about it. I particularly loved  the yeti style Ugg boots, and the daytime sexiness of the Dolce and Gabbana fringed cardigan.

Old Guard

Outfits inspired by the age of protest, Old Guard was a superb collection of parka’s,bomber jackets, 1980s style jeans and blazers and World War two style t-shirts, complete with medal design. The whole collection seemed to be inspired by the smart dressed student protestors who loved The Smiths. Particularly loved the World War Two style J Lindberg blazer and D&G Sport t-shirt that was playfully accessorised with a kit bag. The re-emergence of the Alexander McQueen Skull scarf also bought a smile to many faces.

Coat of Armour

An amazing array of Belstaff, Barbour and McQ jackets that would bring style to any winter wardrobe. The styling evoked images of Kate Moss in iconic Belstaff ad campaigns, and showed that jackets this year will be quilted, leather, flying style and belted,  but never boring!


Steve McQueen, Cassius Clay and Brando, all emblazoned on a series of sweatshirts, t-shirts and hoodies by Dolce and Gabbana. Styled as sportswear by Dolce Gym with jogging bottoms and kit bags.

Jean Genie

Rock chick  looks comprising t-shirts adorned with the icons of music teamed with coloured skinnies. The t-shirts, from cult brands Wildfox and House of the Gods, were festooned with John Lennon, Deborah Harry and the Jean Genie himself, David Bowie.

Urban Junkie

Modern snowboarding thrill seekers are well served by this collection which was filled with puffa style jackets by the likes of Moncler and Gucci. Teamed with Markus Lupfer t-shirts, this collection was perfect for the outdoorsey, sporty types, for whom the weather is no obstacle.

Girls on Fire

A collection of red-hot looks from the likes of Paul Smith, Malene Birger and DKNY. Standout pieces included a  Halston style seventies jumpsuit from Lily Allen’s recently launched ‘Lucy in Disguise’ label.  This collection featured a beautiful Kate Middleton-esque red coat from Paul Smith that my wardrobe is just crying out for.

Boys in Blue

More stylish day wear for chillier days, this collection included a fascinating Dolce and Gabbana coat which seemed to be a half denim, half leather hybrid, and the first sighting this year of an alpine Christmas jumper,  courtesy of Moncler. There  were also parkas to give some pieces a modish vibe, and a very distressed pair of Galliano jeans for those who walk on the wide side!

Modern Fetish

This was a seductive collection of underwear worn as outerwear. From slinky lace bustiers, to the most amazing Alexander McQueen heels adorned with skulls, this was a dark, decadent collection for those who like their coffee black, and their clothes blacker.  The beautiful Myla basques were far too pretty to  cover up, whilst the MSGM furry coat and Myla slip made me think back to Christina Aguilara in the Lady Marmalade video.  Stunning, glamorous, and made to wear when carrying a whip…

Dark, Twisted fantasy

A suave, sophisticated collection of menswear with elements of velvet and silk. My favourite look was a swoonsome D&G tuxedo style suit that could’ve been made for Bryan Ferry. The draping of a silk scarf around the shoulders gives this look a sophisticated, Lounge lizard feel. Oh so sexy.

One of the boys

Janelle Monae, Lady Gaga, doing it like a dude and the ghost of Marlene Dietrich was immortalised in the final collection. This celebrated androgyny in all its glory. From the flowing white blouse from DKNY that Tilda Swinton should definitely buy, to the perfect PJ Harvey style sharp suit(also by DKNY..having a moment I think) this was a collection of sharp, neat and crisp lines that could take you from the boardroom to the bar just by adding a touch of lippy!

So, some amazing fashion moments from a vast array of designers. Special mention must also go  to the girls and boys of MAC and Royston Blythe, who made sure that the make-up and hair was fashion forward and fashion fabulous all  night long. Harvey Nichols made sure that Birmingham celebrated Fashion’s night out in supreme style.

A note about the photographs

You will have noticed that the photographs that illustrate this article are of a supremely high quality. My camera refused to work halfway through the evening, but I have been rescued by an amazing photographer who was in attendance on the evening. Grimmy West is a very talented Midlands photographer who was able to capture the Harvey Nichols show in such  glory that I could never frankly aspire to in five million years. He kindly allowed me to reproduce his work so Fashion-Mommy readers could enjoy the shots of a wonderful fashion evening. I am eternally grateful for this!

To find out more about Grimmy West, check out his webpage

Is it too early for a 1990’s fashion revival?

"Ginger Spice" Geri Halliwell

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According to the October edition of Vogue, there is a 1990’s revival occurring in fashion. This made me shudder in disbelief, the 1990’s don’t seem to be far away enough in the past to be subject to a revival. Nor do they seem to be a distinctive enough style decade to warrant said revival. This got fashion-mommy thinking about her 90’s style, and the decade in general in order to try to answer the question ‘is it too early for a 90’s style revival, and if it is not, is it really worth reviving anyway?

My early 90’s style was dominated by Grunge. I loved The Wonderstuff, Soundgarden and Nirvana, and for a while this governed my look. The grunge look, in essence was easy. Dress as if style was a rude word, wear everything too big, and most important of all, abandon all bright colours. Grunge was morose and dreary, and so the clothes followed suit. I remember raiding my grandad’s wardrobe in order to pinch his plaid lumberjack shirts, and I was wearing a dark red one, over baggy jeans and a crop top, the night I met my future husband.  I also lived in Doc Martens purchased from Birmingham‘s famous Rag Market. Frankly I resembled Juno, and in hindsight, in the days when I did have a ‘perfect size 10’ figure, this was not the best look for me to have adopted. Heck, I should have been in lycra at all times, rather than covering up like a docker!

By the mid 1990’s I was out of my grunge stage. Britpop in all it’s glory had happened. Glamour was back. Blur, Oasis, Pulp and The Spice Girls dominated the charts. And I bought a Wonderbra! My already huge boobs were pushed up and pushed together to the point where it looked like I had two-thirds of ‘Right Said Fred’ under my top! I also coveted little black dresses with just a touch of lycra in them, and my River Island Union Jack bag. This was unusual as it was a blue/pink Union Jack, and I’m not embarrassed to say I still have this relic of the 1990’s under my bed somewhere. My hair was long, blonde and poker straight. Other girls had strange attempts at the ‘Rachel’ cut, but I played straight and safe. Not for me the two-tone hair of Geri Halliwell or Louise Wener, I was aiming for something more Dani Behr (whom Hubby loved!).

The late 1990’s saw minimalism at its peak, with Calvin Klein its key exponent. I tried this with polo neck jumpers (which made aforementioned boobs look like a shelf!) and pencil skirts, and black opaques, always opaques, which meant you could leave shaving your legs just a little bit longer. And now I bought a pashmina, and wondered how I had ever survived without it, and bought cheap versions in every colour in London and Birmingham from street vendors. A new style icon emerged, the inimitable Kate Moss, who looked great all the time, and hung out with cool people in Primrose Hill.

So, a brief summary of what the 1990’s meant to me. And, looking back, there were style moments to savour. The late Princess of Wales really hit her fashion stride in the mid 1990’s, wearing Chanel suits, Jackie Kennedy style pillar box hats and stunning Versace shift dresses. Vintage style arrived at the Oscars, and was embraced by Winona Ryder, Demi Moore and paved the way for one  of my favourite dress, Renee Zellweger in a gorgeous canary yellow strapless number by Jean Desses in 2001Then there were the Spice Girls. I loved the Spice Girls, but was a little too old to be a loud and proud girl power fan, so I was a secret Spice Girls fan. But I did love them. They were bright and bubbly, they were fun. I loved Geri strutting her stuff in a Union Jack teatowel which became an icon of ‘Cool Britannia‘. I loved their stupid shoes and Posh’s pout and point. I loved Scary in her leopard print, with her ‘so what’ attitude and her beautiful face. I loved Baby’s dimples and puppy fat, and Sporty’s backflips and real singing talent. I just loved them.

So there were things to savour. But do we really need a revival.  Well, I think not. You see, the 1990’s haven’t really left us anyway. They’re alive and well in 2010. Kate Moss is as iconic as ever, starring in ad campaigns for the super cool Isabel Marant. Naomi, Claudia and the other supers are still in demand, with Naomi’s sultry face all over a t-shirt by Dolce and Gabbana. Geri Halliwell is on the X Factor, whilst the Spice Girls are alive and kicking and now going under the name of ‘The Saturdays’. The top boy/man band is Take That – with Robbie Williams, just as it was in 1994. Doc Martens are having a moment, but never really went away, and now grace the feet of Emma Roberts, Alexa Chung and Agyness Deyn. Grunge has morphed into Emo style, but my sister still wear her Pearl Jam ‘ten’ top from 1991. And all is still well in the world of fashion…just as long as that curtains hair cut doesn’t make an unexpected comeback…