The season when it’s all right to wear white.

Maybe it’s because it’s the season of the anticipated wedding in years? Maybe it’s because it looks fresh and gleaming after the doom and gloom of a particularly torrid winter? Or maybe it’s because it strikes a nice balance against the Gucci led colour clash phenomenon? But there seems to be an awful lot of white around this season.

Flicking through this months Vogue, it was inescapable, white was truly everywhere. From the antique style milkmaid frills at Dolce and Gabbana, to the delicate frills and ruffles at Valentino, from the cool minimalism of Calvin Klein and Celine to the glamorous Riviera chic of Hugo Boss. White is everywhere. Diane Kruger gleams in white in her ad campaign for Calvin Klein Beauty, Nicole Farhi models are almost as pale as the white outfits they are modelling. Guess shows that white can be frothy and fun too,with a Goldie Hawn-esque model wearing a crocheted bikini top in that ubiquitous colour. It seems that for this season at least, white is definitely right!

I always feel slightly ambiguous towards the colour white. When it is worn well, it can look amazing, with a clean,freshly scrubbed air, that screams freshness and innocence.  It is always a staple of your summer wardrobe,and yet is equally at home in winter,when you are drawn to images of snow queens. Worn with a tan, it is at its most flattering. When I got married in Rhodes, my whole wedding trousseau was filled with floaty white outfits,boho long skirts, cheesecloth shirts and broderie anglaise dresses. I look back at the photographs fondly,with golden hair and a deep tan, the white was a perfect choice. And yet…

It is the most impractical of colours. Now I have Baba, white is a definite no-no, becoming brown when coming within 3 miles of chocolate! Without the tan, it can leave you looking washed out, pale and drawn rather than pale and interesting. It always has connotations of weddings and brides, even when worn in suit form (Bianca Jagger anyone?), and white just doesn’t suit British weather,that flimsy material becoming transparent after a typical downpour. And does the innocence of the colour mean that it is also just a bit young?

Luckily, this season, our style icons are showing us just how to wear white. Kate Middleton showed that the classic look of teaming it with black is still a perfect way to wear white.She looked lovely in her white Alice Temperley dress in December,teaming it with a classic black blazer.

Victoria Beckham and Diane Kruger show that white is best when it is kept simple. Victoria Beckham had a white dress at the centre of her collection in her favoured tulip shape, whilst Diane Kruger often favours white as a colour of choice,usually be Calvin Klein.

Other stars rocking the white trend include Natalie Portman in Azarro at the SAG awards, Kirsten Dunst in Miu Miu, Lindsey Lohan, whilst trying to appear innocent for a courtroom appearance, Jennifer Lopez at The Golden Globes, Emily Blunt,Rihanna at the Grammys,Jennifer Lawrence in Chloe…the list is endless.

 

White on the High Street.

 

Monsoon Chile Dress

 

 

 

Oasis dress

 

 

Monsoon Claudia dress

 

 

Simply Be shoes

 

 

Yours tunic

 

 

Wallis

Seafolly at Selfridges

 

 

Helmut Lang at Selfridges

 

 

Stella McCartney at Selfridges

 

 

Gucci and the colour clash.

BLUE AND GREEN NEVER BE SEEN!  That was one of my Grandad’s favourite sayings concerning fashion (the other being never put new shoes on the table.). I always thought the blue and green was funny,because I personally loved those two colours, in their brightest forms, together. But this season, fashion has decreed that any two, or even three colours, can be worn together in any combination and look amazing. And it’s thanks, in no small part to Gucci!

Last Autumn Gucci unveiled a collection for Spring/summer 2011 that was filled overwhelmingly with colour clashing bright shades, a veritable pastiche of Studio 54, circa 1977.  Purple cigarette pants worn with silky turquoise shirts, halter neck two-tone dresses, orange blazers that looked amazing with purple strapless tops, all worn with gold and bronze waist cinchers belts with tassles. This was a collection to adore.

And the stars have adored it. Camilla Belle showed that this could transfer effortlessly from the catwalk to real life by  wearing a complete show look, whilst Jennifer Lopez and Olivia Wilde have also chose items from that collection – and looked amazing in them. Katy Perry was photographed wearing Gucci for the cover of US Elle, and this transformed her cartoonish look to something far more sophisticated. Spanish television presenter Sara Carbonero has also worn the look to dramatic effect.

 

The style is bright, sassy and surprisingly chic. It is also translating well to the High street. Wallis has led the way in eye-popping, colour clashing styles, in particular, the amazing pink and orange dress that has featured in a whole slew of fashion columns. Topshop also has brights, including a top resembling the colour clash of Hailee Steinfeld’s SAG striped dress.

 

Wallis

 

 

Topshop

 

 

Here are some more High Street colour clash designs. Team that Wallis Skirt with the amazing orange jacket for the classic Gucci look.

 

Wallis

Wallis skirt

 

 

Wallis

 

So, despite my grandad’s reservations, I would say blue and green should most definitely be seen, at least for this season!

Leighton Denny Launches Nail bar in Birmingham.

Wednesday saw the official launch of the new Leighton Denny Expert Nails nail bar in Selfridges, Birmingham, and fashion-mommy went along to meet the man himself and get the low down on what I could do with my poor, brittle nails.

Leighton is definitely the right man to ask. He is the four times winner of Nail technician of the year, and has been described as ‘The manicurist’s guru’, previously working as nail spokesperson for Marks and Spencer, Max Factor, Crabtree and Evelyn and Cutex. A well-known face familiar to QVC watchers all over Britain, Leighton brings nail knowledge to the masses with charm and a cheeky smile.

My own nails used to be beautiful before I had Baba. But since then, a mixture of hormones and lack of pampering time meant my nails always look a bit shabby. They break easily and feel weak, and I was hoping Leighton would be able to tell me what I needed to do to improve them. I was in safe hands. “Are you the lady who tweeted me this morning?” He asked, as we were properly introduced. Yes, that was definitely me, I had to admit. Leighton only needed a minute to look at my nails in order to see the problem, and, happily, the cure. My nails needed something called Bio build – a nourishment treatment for the nails and cuticles that would strengthen my damaged nails and help then to grow again. The demonstration proved that this was the perfect stuff for me, it started to work instantly, and was easy and quick to apply.  After the treatment we then looked at choosing a perfect nail colour. I love red nails, and as I was wearing patent red wedges, ‘Provocative’ was the perfect choice.

 

Leighton in the new LDEN bar, Selfridges, Birmingham

 

My nails were then treated to a full manicure by lovely nail technician Melissa. We chatted about all the new colours that were being used that day and are going to be launched on 1st April. These are the Gelato range, which proved to be the most popular range on the day, with ‘Do me a favour’ being the most popular shade chosen by customers. Melissa was extremely knowledgable about colours, telling me how much shorter nails look better in brighter shades.

Do me a Favour

 

 

Melissa and Nicola from LDEN, Selfridges, Birmingham

 

 

The official launch of Leighton Denny Expert Nails in Selfridges proved to be an overwhelming success. Fashionistas flocked to the launch and Leighton was charm personified as he was troubleshooting problems, recommending colours and treatments and chatting with each customer.  The nail technicians were rushed off their feet, with over 50 manicures carried out in the course of the day. This works out to one every 15 minutes! It is certainly true that the fingernails of Birmingham (mine included) look decidedly neater after the opening of the new nail bar!

The prices are extremely reasonable, starting from just £5, and there is even a man-he-cure aimed at the man in your life!

Leighton Denny expert nails is located on the third floor of Selfridges, Birmingham, in the Beauty Hall.