Give a frock Friday

This gorgeous Stella McCartney dress was shot by Garance Dorè for Vogue Brazil and features a gorgeous headband by Cult Gaia and the necklace is by Marco Bologna. I love this dress and this picture so much, must find a way to visit Brazil one of these days.

So the movers arrived at 8am this morning – I’m off to work so I get to avoid the heavy lifting – yes! I will only have mobile internet access over the next 5 to 7 days (the horror!) so but I have worked on some scheduled posts, so I hope I’ve got them worked out and everything goes to plan. But no matter as I’m still going to be keeping you up to date on my Facebook page, so head on over and keep in touch!

I hope you have a lovely weekend! xx

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Inspirational It Girl

Blogger extraordinaire Garance Dorè on Fifth Avenue New York.

I’ve made no secret of my adoration for her, and I was delighted to find this image of Garance in the June/July 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Australia.  “Girls on the Avenue” photographed by Derek Henderson featured Garance leading the article on female bloggers and how they’ve become fashion’s most turned-to It girls.  I guess this is true because I follow many of their blogs based on their style choices. Anyway, who care, it’s just fashion right? But boy those are some fancy Louis Vuitton shoes!

Give a frock Friday

Today’s frock is a Miu Miu floral print dress photographed on the street by Garance Dorè. Have you seen those shoes too – wow!


Have a lovely weekend!


Heidi 

Give a frock Friday

McQ Alexander McQueen, Fall 2012.

Sarah Burton continues to amaze with her collections since taking control of the Alexander McQueen line in 2010. Burton has certainly allowed for McQueen’s legacy to live on but it is clear that she is quite the creative genius herself. 

While reading this week’s round of blogs regarding the Oscar fashions, I must make mention of Garance Dore’s feelings on this year’s red carpet:
I guess it just seems like most of the time, the Oscars are the antithesis of cool.”

The more I reflect on the gowns of Oscar’s past, the more I agree with her comment. It seems that by the time the Academy Awards come around, all the great dresses have already been given their turn on the dance floor, and what’s left is, well, what’s left.  Do you agree?  

Have a great weekend,
Heidi 

Image source: here.

Little Black Blog: Heidi’s 10 Favourite Things

I found this little list in ELLE UK and thought what a perfect little addition this would make to my blog.  This was so much fun that I think I might even ask some of my stylish friends to contribute their own lists for future posts.  But for now, here is a list of  my 10 Favourite Things.


1. The Blog:
Garance Dorè.  She is my daily blog fix.  I just adore her intelligent and witty writing, her natural ability with a camera – her compositions and the way she captures the light – brilliant! And her charming fashion illustrations are to die for.



2. The Tweeter:
I’ve been a Tweeter for a while now, it’s a funny little medium.  My favourite Tweeter is Mrs Stephen Fry because she is just so funny.  I also enjoy MrsKutcher and Women’s Wear Daily.


3. The Photographer:


Richard Avedon. 



4. The Obsession:


Erm, magazines, magazines and more magazines.  Always have been obsessed, always will be. 


5. The Shop:


I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of Zara to our shores and with the arrival of Gap it’s only a matter of time before H&M, right? 


6. The Music:



I’m loving Paramore at the moment.  Their album Brand New Eyes is the only thing I listen to on my iPod on my way to and from work lately.  Hayley Williams voice is so powerful and emotive. 





7. The Book:


Jilly Cooper of course, that goes without saying, and I am fond of reading Jane Austen’s Emma.  If I had to answer this a year ago, the answer would have to include the Twilight books too.  Lately I have been reading cook books mostly and the odd biography.   


8. The TV Show:


Since last week’s final of Masterchef (yes, I was shamelessly addicted), I am now tryng to catch up on United States of Tara (with the always amazing Toni Collette), Armstrong & Miller (the funniest British comedians right now) and occasionally if I am home during the day, I watch Jeeves & Wooster on ABC2.


United States of Tara was created by Diablo Cody (writer of Juno) and follows the life of Tara, a suburban housewife with dissociative identity disorder.  In a nutshell, whenever she is stressed, she transforms into one of her alternate personalities: wild and flirty teenager T; old-fashioned housewife Alice; and male, loud, beer-drinking Vietnam vet Buck.  It’s eye-opeing, confronting, bawdy and funny.  John Corbett who plays Tara’s husband Max is just so amazing because he is so accepting and calm when it comes to Tara’s disorder.


The Armstrong & Miller Show is a BAFTA winning BBC comedy sketch series.  Two of my most beloved characters are the RAF pilots.  The RAF pilots may be heroically serving in the second world war, but they are nonetheless moody, rebellious teenagers who speak in street lingo and who reluctantly bow to authority.



Jeeves & Wooster is a British comedy filmed between 1990 – 1993 and is based on P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves” stories and is set in England in the pre-Second-World-War 20th century.  Hugh Laurie plays Bertie Wooster, a well-to-do bachelor, a minor aristocrat and member of the idle rich.  Jeeves (played by Stephen Fry) is his indispensable “gentleman’s personal gentleman”.  I love it because Jeeves is of course, far smarter than Wooster, and Fry and Laurie are so deliciously suited to this type of comedy.  I cannot help but laugh out loud when watching those two on screen.



9. The Art:


Van Gogh’s Starry Night.  I just lose myself in this painting.  I love the way Van Gogh’s painting technique makes the sky look like it’s really moving, and his use of colour to reflect light is magical.  I wish I could paint this on my bedroom wall.  Now there’s an idea…




10. The Shoes:



I posted these shoes by Swedish label Acne last week on my blog and I still cannot get them out of my head.  I love, love, love them!


H

Current Obsessions

Stuck with ideas that I didn’t feel like writing about today, instead I went through my library of images to find inspiration.  I noticed a pattern of images I have been collecting and decided that that was what I should blog about today.  I have also thrown in a few random images of stuff that is occupying my mind as well lately. 

 

Garance Dorè with her Louise Vuitton and her Canon 5D.  Prints and checks working together with her animal print belt.  Now if only we could see her shoes?

 I think that this tattoo is so inventive, so original.  I can see it in many places, not just on a wrist.  Can’t you?

The detail in this Dries Van Noten gown is mouth-watering and the colours, incredible. With her tiny piece of flame-red hair falling down between her shoulder-blades, well, this just gives this photograph a personal touch.  I love it! 

While the Prada ‘Chandelier’ heels are incredible and most likely a tad noisy when one is walking, the rainbow nails are a cute addition.  Thank you Jane (Sea of Shoes).

The juxtaposition of the red clutch and the khaki army jacket is dynamite, yes?
 
Two Parisienne ladies on their way to work or to a show (either way) and they are dressed casually but oh-so-fine.  I love the flats and the lace-up heels.  How does she get around with her jacket draped over her shoulders like that?  Obviously she doesn’t have far to go to get to her destination? 

I’m loving these Acne heels, but it’s the gold nail polish that is really grabbing my attention, wow!  Where can I get some?  


I just want to say thank you and welcome to all my new followers!  Please feel free to leave me a comment!


Ciao for now,


H

Sources: Seaofshoes.typepad.com, garancedorè.com, jakandjil.com/blog, thesartorialist.blogspot.com

Garance Dorè – Style with a Canon 5D

People watching is one of my favourite past times.  I can spend all day watching the passing parade of people and noting their style for my own personal cachè of style ideas.  This has definitely been a contributing factor in my learning about fashion and personal style.  People watching has taught me be to be daring and bold in my wardrobe choices.  I have witnessed moments of fashion triumph and tragedy, but the most important thing I have come to realise is that style is all about doing what you want.  Having confidence is where it all begins and a woman who also knows this to be true is street style photographer, illustrator, writer and Parisienne, Garance Dorè. 

Garance Dore (photo by Scott Schuman)

About 8 years ago I had an original idea.  That idea was to take my camera and photograph strangers on the street who I thought displayed original style and to post them on a website that I updated daily.  I was unsure how to ask people for permission to take their picture, but ultimately I lacked the confidence to see my idea through.  In fact I lacked everything I needed – except a sense of style.  I didn’t even have a camera.  So sadly the idea stayed just that, an idea.  It wasn’t until I came across the Sartorialist and Garance Dorè last year that I realised how I had missed out on an opportunity to be at the beginning of a pop-culture phenomenon that is what I like to call “the roving fashion editor”.   And so, like many of my ideas, I have to accept the fact that if you snooze – you lose. 

 Garance at work.

Garance Dorè’s blog is a testament to great style.  She has been documenting effortless chic since 2006 and her friendship with Scott Schuman (aka The Sartorialist)  has recently blossomed into a relationship.

Garance photographing Scott Schulman.

Garance started out in PR for a cinema in the south of France, and after attending the film festival in Cannes a few years running – as well as being young and fearless, she took her book of illustrations to some art directors.

 
 Some of Garance’s illustrations.

But the job was not as it seemed, the commissions were uninteresting and she was cut off from mixing with people as she mostly worked from home.  This led to her blog and to a realisation that she liked to write.
“I was the first in France to talk about fashion and illustration this way. I did that for a while but fashion goes with photography, so I picked up my camera. I never thought years ago this would be big, it was just something I thought was different.” 

 Garance at work and shooting Paris Vogue’s Emmanuelle Alt.

Garance has a style that is based on simplicity.  It is obvious from the photographs of Garance that she loves to wear greys and blues, pants and cotton t-shirts.  She also loves to wear heels and knows how to accessorise… is there a Parisienne whom doesn’t?
“I love shoes. I’ve got a thing for accessories as well. I have a lot of belts, gloves, scarves… you name it! So, I try to do simple, but always add in a striking detail to catch your attention.” – Garance Dorè

Garance’s personal style is typical la femme française, a mix of everything, wearing Yves Saint Laurent with Gap t-shirts.

Garance’s earliest style influence was her mother.  “She was quite daring in the ’80s with her Mugler, Alaïa, and Montana outfits. I would spy on her in her wardrobe where she would spend hours trying stuff on before going to the night club.” – Garance Dorè

 Garance’s inspiration wall of family photos.

As a writer and commentator of fashion, I know I must remain impartial, that a person’s confidence shines through in their clothing and to appreciate fashion and all its trends.  Garance says the same about trends: “Every time I find something I don’t like, I end up finding someone who wears it in a beautiful and interesting way. Fashion changes so fast that it teaches us to never say never.”

In her own words, this spring’s trends that Garance will be seen wearing are – “Shorts! Harem pants! My green YSL Tributes!”

 Garance on the streets of Paris.

Paris is her favourite city to photograph in: “I love Paris. I love it because it is chic and rock at the same time. A certain kind of deconstructed sophistication, effortless, sexy, at least for the girls. Because girls wear heels in a casual way, because they don’t wear too much makeup, and because I love the color of the gray skies here. I haven’t visited the whole world yet, but Paris is my home. Maybe it’s not quite fair, but it will always be my favorite. Paris, je t’aime!”

It is interesting to me to see where the future lies for Garance and her work.  The doors that are opening to her now that she is an accomplished photographer and style spotter would be incredible I’m sure.  She is taking on work as an editorial photographer and even styling those shoots, which she says is extremely exciting for her.
But her blog remains a huge part of her artistic life – “I’m always trying to improve it, keep it going, and keep street style on the cutting-edge. I don’t want street style to become some gimmick. Inspiration is everywhere, and I don’t want to trap it in one format.”
But if there were no Internet? Where would she be?  “I really don’t know… it gives me the opportunity to do different things and meet new people. I think it’s my destiny that I fell for the internet.”

Garance’s words of wisdom in dressing like a French Woman are not unfamiliar when we think about women in Paris.  One only has to scour Garance’s work on her blog to see how her list has been made.  Stripes, scarves and layers.  That sexy detail when dressing up – short skirts, la Perla lingerie, off the shoulder blouse, etc… Messy, long hair, monochromatic colour, heels or flats, it’s up to you.  A nonchalant air, smoky eye make-up, and finally… “The French woman is. The present is her sole religion. In fact, the mystery behind the French woman is that she has confidence in herself, despite all the nonsense she says.  There’s the secret to her indestructible Frenchitude.”

Asked if she has ever been confronted with a subject unwilling to be photographed (a fear I had when dreaming up my idea all those years ago) she says that it has never happened because she can usually feel when not to ask a person.  She is instinctual and stylish, oui?


A Day in the life of Garance Dorè – Mid Fashion Week…
(from Style.com)

9 a.m.
Oh my God, 9 o’clock and I’m already tired! First things first: I log on to my computer to post my newest fashion week pictures in my blog. Have a coffee while checking my e-mails, then grab a taxi over to the Karl Lagerfeld show near the Eiffel Tower.

10 a.m.
Hmm, good-looking crowd. I take a few pictures outside the tent before going in. These clothes always seem like a good appetizer before the king’s finale!

11 a.m.
There are no taxis to be found after the Lagerfeld show, so I jump onto a bus that will get me back to the Tuileries. The bus is jam-packed, but it is by far the most fashionable bus I’ve ever seen. I run into my friend Jil Ann and we talk about the shows; we both loved Anne Demeulemeester yesterday. Fashionistas have a hard time standing on the bus with their high heels. At every turn they teeter-totter and almost fall down. Quite funny.

Noon
I have a few stories to write. I’m also a journalist and these fashion weeks make my schedule totally crazy. I love to work at home, but there’s no time to go back to the Marais. I have a coffee and a cigarette in a café on the rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré. During the fashion weeks, this street looks like a catwalk, with all the fashion people making a stop at Colette. But I should stop looking at the street and get back to my work.

1 p.m.
OK, time to get organized. If I want to eat today—and I do—this might be the perfect moment. I meet with a friend and we have a typical Parisian fashion lunch—steak tartare and too many glasses of Sancerre; all the while talking about photography and how to find inspiration.

2 p.m.
Off to the Dries show! I always love to get there early. This season the show is in the Palais Royal. Ooh la la, that is one great location. Beautiful waiters are offering me mint tea and macaroons. I have a hard time resisting, but I bought leather leggings recently and I really want to be able to wear them soon. So no macaroons.

4 p.m.
Lacroix shows at the Tuileries. Each time I go there I am reminded of the beauty of fall in Paris.

5 p.m.
Kim, from a Hong Kong magazine I will never be able to spell the name of, wants to interview me. We have a hot chocolate together.

6 p.m.
I spend one hour in a taxi trying to reach the Givenchy show.

7 p.m.
Givenchy, Givenchy, Givenchy. Everyone wants to be there. I run into Marie-Pierre Lannelongue from Elle, who is quite pleased with the results of a shoot I worked on for her. Good feedback is the food of any artistic work, (I hear that! – H).

8 p.m.
Back to work. I want to rest a little bit before going to the Sonia Rykiel party.

9 p.m.
Never go back home if you want to party. I’m too tired and still have a lot of work to do. I call my friends to tell them what an old nanny I am, order Thai food, have a glass of wine, and start my computer. There’s a good chance I will still be working in four hours. I want to be fresh for the Stella McCartney show tomorrow morning.

Sigh… Je suis assez jaloux!

ciao for now, Hx

Thank you to The Swelle Life, a fabulous blog that you should all visit!
Sources: Refinery29.com, Garance Dorè, The Swelle Life, Style.com, A Cup of Jo.

French Dressing: How it Can Boost Your Confidence.

There is a truth universally acknowledged: “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress, dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” Coco Chanel

I experience this truth first hand every morning when dressing for the day.  How I am feeling or how I want to feel during my day is reflected by what I choose to put on.  If I wake up in a foul mood (a not uncommon occurrence) I can pull myself together by dressing in something that makes me feel confident and sexy.  I can then face the day ahead when I am dressed according to my feelings.  An example of this dressing with feeling is illustrated in “One”, episode 12  from the sixth season of Sex and the City.  Charlotte, devastated after her miscarriage, pulls herself together (in a very Audrey Hepburn moment) with a candy pink strapless Eric Way dress, black strappy heels, sunglasses and her hair pulled into a chignon.  Her clothing gives her a new outlook, making her look and feel sexy, alluring, together and most importantly, confident which gives her the strength to face her fears.

Vicki Archer wrote about confidence on her wonderful blog French Essence.  Please do read her post Confidence  because it will make your day.  Somehow she has tapped into the very essence of what it means to be a woman.  C’est magnifique!  I was so inspired by her insight that it led to this post.  I began thinking about how it is that French women convey confidence so easily through their wardrobe.  I didn’t want this post to be a guide per se, or filled with all the “how to” information that is all over the web – because there are plenty of blogs and websites dedicated to the art of French style and how to attain it.  I wanted this post to be about lifestyle and how confidence is a part of that and how it can be attained through the way we choose to dress.  It just so happens that French women seem to do this innately, without even trying.  So why not learn what we can from them?

While there is no doubt in my mind that if you peek inside a French woman’s closet, you will find a wardrobe that is elegant, stylish and minimalist.  You needn’t worry if you don’t think yours is up to scratch.  It’s how you feel on the inside, the intention behind your choices and what you wish to convey by the way you wear your hair, which belt you choose, the shoes you put on, how you tie your scarf, even how you walk.  A French woman is most likely thinking about looking sexy, even if she is simply out walking le chien.  If you think confident, you are confident… food for thought, oui?

French women assess their assets and make the most of them. They know themselves and their bodies well enough to trust their own instincts.  It is not so much what is on the outside, but what is on the inside and the French woman is therefore self-assured, feminine, sexy, and alluring from the inside-out.  Nothing is over-complicated and this shines through when it comes to dressing because they focus on simple clothing, and they know that they don’t need the latest trends to look good.  True, they do have their beloved Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Dior, but they get a lot of mileage out of these expensive pieces because they know what to buy for their body.  And for everything else, they mix vintage with high-street fashion.

After much research, reading, discussion and looking at hundreds of pictures of French women, I have come to the conclusion that if you highlight your best feature you will achieve the very essence of dressing like a French woman.  If you have a gorgeous hour-glass figure then enhance it by highlighting your waist.  If you have long legs, then it’s short skirts for you.  The key is to remember to keep it simple.  Whether it is your waist, derrière, legs, or dècolletage, only draw attention to one thing.  It’s all about simple.  Less is more.  Don’t brush your hair, wash it less often.  If you want to your makeup to look à la Française then all that it required is a good foundation, a little mascara and some lip gloss.  It’s true!  Take a good look, these women have bed head hair and very little make-up on but don’t they look incredible?

The simple, elegant beauty of Eva Green and Francoise Hardy.

Something else I feel I must highlight is the French woman’s aversion to dying her hair, or in fact leaving the grey in and using it to her advantage.  A woman who does this has to be supremely confident, in my book.  Don’t misunderstand me, French women do dye their hair.  They just don’t talk about it.  When I lived in Sydney, my French hairstylist, Pierre (yes I know, the irony of it all) was adament about not dying my hair.  I didn’t have a plethora of greys, but to me, they were all I saw when I looked in the mirror.  He of course would say to me (in a very thick French accent) “What grey ‘air ‘eidi? I cannot see any, you are crazy!”  After moving away I found a hairstylist who had no such qualms with dying my hair but a few years later, and a few more grey hairs later, I have gone back to my natural dark brown and I am letting my greys do their thing.  I am proud of them.  They were borne out of a lot of hard work, stress, post-natal depression and dammit, if the French can laud them, why shouldn’t I?  More confidence boosting to boot.

It is pretty daring to say the least for women in our hemisphere and before they’re 60 to allow their hair to remain uncoloured and to show off our grey in all its glory, but these women above certainly look amazing and prove that we can be comfortable in our own skin without all the cosmetic affectations.

The way you hold yourself, shoulders back, head high, walking with purpose all convey confidence.
The natural beauty of Audrey Tautou.

Don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd.  I promise you, to be daring is exhilirating!  It is a definite confidence booster!

These French ladies have added something to their ensemble to stand out from the crowd.  A colourful scarf or a colourful dress mixed with monochromatic black and white and the neverfail beige.

Whenever you feel like you got out on the wrong side of the bed and are thinking of wearing your oldest trackpants for the school run, don’t berate yourself.  No, no, no!  Let out your inner French woman and hear her roar!  Some lipgloss, a spray of perfume and a gorgeous scarf, Pashmina or beret and you have put a whole different spin on your day.  I promise you!

A splash of colour; red lipstick, red skinny belt, even a simple beanie makes this French lady appear to ooze confidence.  Sexy shoes and shiny pants mixed with a simple black scarf and gloves, it’s sexy and alluring and dare I say it, yes confident.

“French women don’t try to look like anyone else other than themselves,” says Frenchwoman Nathalie Rykiel, daughter of designer Sonya Rykiel. “They know who they are and make the most of what they have. Allure, to them, is more about a statement than physical beauty.”

Frenchwoman Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don’t Get Fat  and French Women for All
Seasons says “French women can be stubborn and don’t like anyone advising them about their appearance.”  I read somewhere that stylish French women know their own ‘brand’ DNA and work it.  I know exactly what that means.  How I dress is an extension of my personality.  Accept that how you dress is part of who you are.  If you don’t like the way you dress, then how can you like the person inside?  By paying just a little more attention to even one part of how we dress, it can do wonders for our self-esteem.

I must add however that while French style is obviously innate…

(Because no one can be this stylish at such a young age unless they are French, oui?)

…it has to be said.
If you dress with confidence, you will feel confident and then you will be confident.

love & light xx

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