Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Green People launch Age Defy+

Organic beauty brand Green People has launched Age Defy+, a new organic skincare range created especially for women aged 35 and over. The products are designed to continually improve the complexion and skin tone right through your 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.  All are 100% certified products with a high percentage of organic ingredients, and at an amazingly affordable price.

Cleanse and Soothe Balm with 99.7% organic ingredients. Price £29.95
As we age, our blood circulation slows down and less oxygen is delivered to the skin cells reducing the cell renewal rate and so resulting in lack lustre complexion as old skin cells sit on the surface for longer.

With 14 beauty enhancing actives, this balm not only cleanses and removes all traces of make-up, but also the key actives of pomegranate, Rosehip and Perilla oil help to illuminate and rejuvenate the skin.  The organic cloth muslin cloth used with the balm gently exfoliates the skin without irritation.

Top Tip: It can also be used as a rescue balm to soften and calm dry skin or to condition nails and cuticles. 

Other products in the new range include the Hydrate & Renew serum, Enrich Facial oil, 24 Hour Brightening and Soft Buff skin exfoliator.
But the hero is:

Line Eraser Lip and Eye Serum with 95.9% organic ingredients.  Price £18.95
Using innovative plant stem cell technology, this serum is enriched with 23 beauty enhancing actives including the key actives of:

Sea Holly Stem Cells:  this marine plant stem cell supports and strengthens the Epidermal Dermal Junction (the area of tissue that joins the epidermal and dermal layers) boosting epidermal cell activity and improving skin firmness, hydration and textures.

Argan Seed Extract:  We all know that Argan oil is great for the hair. Now the seed extract tackles the skin with its quick firming effect and long term activity against deeper wrinkles.

Baicalin: From the herb Skullcap, Baicalin has anti-ageing properties increasing skin restructuring, firmness and elasticity.

Hibiscus Flower Extract: With its natural source of AHAs, Hibiscus increases skin elasticity.

Not forgetting the body, Age Defy+ also includes Exfoliating body crème and Contour & Sculpt body lotion.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky  

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

London Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2014


YEASHIN - Summer Afternoon Party
Bright green leaves adorned garments as though they’ve floated down from the trees. This collection had a childlike essence with ruffles and beads on pretty 60s style shift and baby doll dresses made of satin and chiffon panels in contrasting bright candy colours. A summer afternoon party with a fairytale twist.

All that glitters is not gold, but it is definitely Chandran’s SS14 collection! This was a Galactic princess with high caped necklines revealing a plunging back, bejewelled harness dress straps, a 3D circular motif of square beads stacked upright like dominoes before they topple over and a tinsel halo.


Think lazy hazy summer days and glittering glamorous nights of the 70s.  The large collection included fluid silk shirt dresses, flowing maxi skirts, pyjama silk lounge suits and pinafore dresses with fan shaped bibs.  Juxtaposing with the soft fabrics of silk and denim, was the stiffer textured cork adorned with appliqué and laser cut patterns.

Focusing on Kyudo, the Japanese martial art of archery, the collection concentrated on structure with thick leather strips in both white and black providing the frame and weight for the sculptural shapes.  Eaborate harness straps represented the ‘muneate’ or chest protector worn by female archers and horizontal stripe prints emulated the patterns created by the lines of tiny steel plates on Samurai armour.  Colour palette began with no nonsense monochrome, softened with the serenity of dusty pink, pale blue and nude then ended on a strong clear note of Royal blue and white.

Inspired by the 1967 French film ‘Belle de Jour’ starring Catherine Deneuve. the collection started with soft summer tweed dresses  followed by floral embroidered panels on dresses and shorts. For that clandestine rendezvous cloche hats covered the face with only lace peep holes for the eyes. Transparent PVC as shawls and skirts encrusted with hand appliquéd lace brought an edginess to the collection.  After the chic daywear came the glamour of the evening gowns. Simple fluid jersey gowns revealed they were actually one piece pant suits as the models glided down the catwalk, whilst ornate embroidered appliqué stopping at knee length on long organza skirts created the mermaid silhouette.



Anton Belinsky - Using a colour palette considered to be very Ukrainian; natural fabrics of silk, leather, linen and wool to create texture and designing comfortable oversized garments, Belinsky blends his heritage with street fashion.

Anna K – Sheer organza dresses breezed in with just a hint of ruffle; organza overlays created girliness to practical shorts and tops whilst cute rows of tiny ruffles adorned trousers. Accessories included transparent handbags, a collaboration with Proskurovskar


Multi designer showcase FASHION INTERNATIONAL presented a mix of new designers and the more established:

Yuvna Kim – Bijoux
As though sprinkled with fairy dust, the diaphanous georgette gowns sparkled with crystals, beads and pearls in designs with a nod to 1920s French art deco.

Gianni Lilliu
Inspired by the sculptor David Begbe’s studies of the female form in steel and bronze mesh, Lilliu interpreted this into his collection with stiff crystal organza. Framed and sculpted into peplums and boleros, the organza created a holographic sheen over the softer silk fabric of the dresses.



Drew Barrymore’s character Gertie in E.T. was the inspiration. Fusing Gertie’s childish curiosity, mischief and creativity with the housewife of the 1950s, the new modern woman became bold and confident without losing her playful side. Silk satin shirt dresses teamed with contrasting skinny belts in canary yellow or red, ranged from the pleated skirt to one resembling a baseball shirt. Didn’t really get the Gertie inspiration, instead saw a celebration of springtime with clusters of large flowers and butterfly appliqués blossoming on white PU skirts, daffodil yellow and poppy red sheath dresses;   grass green gingham bomber jackets  and ethereal daisy prints floated on light airy chiffon tops and gowns.  How could E.T. not want to stay?

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky  

Friday, 20 September 2013

GS Shop London Collections

Making a whirlwind visit to the four top fashion capitals were four Korean clothes brands endorsed by the one of the world’s largest TV home shopping companies, GS Shop.  In London the AW13 catwalk show called GS shop London Collection was hosted by the Korean Cultural Centre.

The brands, two womenswear and two menswear featured a mix of smart casual attire and tailored garments with a clean 60s vibe.

Alette by Lee Seung Hee
Inspired by collage skills, the designer combined different textures and fabrics but kept the colour palette in classic neutrals to create a subtle collage effect on a sophisticated collection.  Accent colours were of muted teal blue and deep burgundy to give a playful but controlled edge. Key styles included the sleeveless tailored coats for a simple elegant silhouette.

Xess by Homme
Taking inspiration from the 60s Mods look for their tailored pieces, the collection featured slim fit jackets worn with slim trousers and a crombie style coat. The smart casual styles took on more of the Geek Chic look as the cable knit cardigan and padded jackets juxtaposed with the tailored trousers, smart shirt and tie.

A By Jae – Kim Jae Hwan
Keeping with the 60s inspiration, this collection ranged from the androgynous crombie coat to the feminine mid length cape and mini skirt.  Leather panels transformed straight wool trousers from classic to glamour chic whilst vivid pops of lipstick red strengthened the neutral colour palette.

Cadet_H by Han Sang Hyuk
A mix of urban fur trimmed parkas, padded jackets and gilets to the tailored suit and tuxedo, this  AW13 collection has been launched exclusively through the GS Shop. Key feature were the back zipped jackets enabling wearers to alternate between a closed ventless style to an open single vent look.  Most of the zips were subtle and hidden with only the pull tab on display. But creating a ‘flap’ was the collar to hem exposed zip on the back of the tuxedo, making a grand exit.

The brands complemented each other, all showcasing wearable pieces with great attention to tailoring and fabric.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky  

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Ian Stuart 2014 Bridal Collection - Frill Me!

The catwalk or ‘stage’ was set at London White Gallery with a sketched backdrop (designed by Ian Stuart himself) of a grand Parisian style ballroom recreating the atmosphere of the exclusive haute couture salon shows of the 1950s. Petals floating down brought a touch of magical romance as the model brides glided down the catwalk showcasing Ian Stuart’s 2014 ‘Frill Me!’ collection.

Epitomising this glamorous 50s haute couture style was the Dioresque Petal Privee gown with its full tulle New Look style skirt and cinched in waist worn with a wide brimmed saucer shaped hat positioned jauntily over one eye. Inspired by Dior’s famous Venus evening gown (1949), Stuart’s honey coloured Petal Privee is adorned with a peplum of petal shaped layers in taffeta, embellished with metallic beaded lace and which gradual cascades down the back into one large petal. 

Headpieces feature in more of Stuart’s designs presenting the graceful aura of the Royal Ascot My Fair Lady style. The cotton lace Academy creates a cool slim line silhouette adorned with an asymmetrical garland strap of ‘English’ roses continuing across the front and down the back of the gown.  Another Royal Ascot style is the Vivaldi. Wide sinuous folds in Mikado fabric are layered over the gown creating a dramatic explosion of architectural tiers in the palest of powder blue, whilst the heart shaped bodice is softened with romantic ivory floral lace.

The collection also includes shorter dresses with the multi layered Tippi dress very much in the style of the longer Vivaldi. The short version of the Mocaccino brings a playful and sunny cosmopolitan look with its handmade ruffled rosettes and A line skirt, and the short Cocorico creates a sexier silhouette.  Its tightly ruched folds hugs the figure whilst the embellished hem of flowers, tulle and petals kicks up teasingly as the model walks.

Displaying an abundant of frothy frills is the voluminous tulle skirted Caracasa with its helter skelter layers edged in ribbon.  All emphasised with a nipped in waist and fitted heart shaped bodice in dark ivory.

The finale gown takes on a gentile romantic nature with more of a ‘Swoon Me’ than the frivolous frill.  Aptly named Gainsborough, the gown is a work of art richly embellished with cascading garlands of multi flowers, beaded metallic lace and lavish pickups with a scattering of floral corsages. All in a vintage shade of rose pink.

Stuart has dedicated the collection to his mother Everdina Sophia Carolina Van Eede 1932-2013

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky  

Monday, 29 July 2013

Vanessa G presents Mining Landscapes Collection

Luxury brand Vanessa G presents the ‘Mining Landscapes’ collection. Taking inspiration from nature and mining in the designer’s homeland of South Africa, the collection comprises three separate ranges with prints combining metal, gems and nature.

In all her collections, Designer Vanessa Gouden fuses art and couture using unique pieces of art from unsung artists and then transforms them in to timeless classic garments creating her own expression of Art & Fashion as 'Art’Outure'.

Rare Earth: Inspired by the relationship between mining and nature, this range mixes flora and fauna with the beauty of raw materials enhanced in vivid colours.  Rare Earth has a fiery colour palette of deep reds, burnished oranges and sunflower yellows.  The collage print includes sunflower petals, golden padlocks, red butterflies and chains in a mirrored design.

From Discovery To Creation: For this range the inspiration is taken from the transformation of minerals from their unpolished beauty to their final smooth sophisticated glamour. The design created is a collage combining the hardy rawness of the sepia mining landscapes, machinery and maps with splashes of colour of the delicate and ephemeral red and yellow ladybirds.

Chain Reaction: This range mixes links of chains in both their rustic and polished forms, symbolising the processes used to extract precious metals and stones from the earth.
Colour palette ranges from the warm citrus and gold tones with light turquoise in a butterfly and curb chain print to the more icy bright blue with white in the mirror print design

Pieces include A-line tailored dresses, fitted pencil skirts, wide legged jumpsuits, silk shirts, skinny fit trousers, blazers and Vanessa G’s signature printed trench in both short and long lengths.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky  

Monday, 22 July 2013

Cosmetics A La Carte


This year sees beauty brand Cosmetics A La Carte reach its 40th anniversary. To celebrate, they held an exhibition tracking their journey from the flower power and Biba makeup days of the 70s to the more natural and sophisticated application of the present.

Only on for one weekend, the exhibition was showcased in four parts:

Part 1: Motcomb Street – A History
In the early 70’s two cosmetic chemists, Lynne Sanders and Christina Stewart discovered they both were inspired with the vision of make-up empowering women with a chance to be the best version of themselves whatever their age. So in 1973 Cosmetics A La Carte was born and the Motcomb Street shop was opened.

Here customers were encouraged to try and have fun with the make-up before they bought. Something we now take for granted and expect, but in the 70s was practically unheard of. They also gave customers advice on colours and created looks to suit their personalities and style.

They soon were  featured in publications such as VOGUE, Marie Claire, ELLE and Volt, and quickly built up a celebrity following with Biba founder Barbara Hulanicki preferring their foundation to her own, choosing Gold, a shade still available in the range today. Princess Diana becomes a fan in the 80s for their pink and clear lip glosses.

Part 2: Bespoke Beauty
Cosmetics A La Carte was the first of their kind to deliver tailor made options to suit every customer’s needs. In 1973 they created a hypoallergenic lipstick for fashion designer Bill Gibb and shadows for the Jaeger collection. For Grace Jones, they created a purple lipstick and a full black powder when she asked to look exactly like the boutique’s black cat. A La Carte became the first cosmetics boutique to provide a range of foundation especially for African and Asian women.

In 2003, Lynne and Christina (herself recovering from breast cancer) collaborated with 12 celebrities to create 12 bespoke pink lipsticks for a breast cancer charity. Concerned with the sun, Danni Monogue’s contained an SPF; Yasmin le Bon wanted her pink to be more of a red with a yummy chocolate flavour and Vogue editor of the time Kathy Phillips wanted a pink with a fashionable lilac tinge. £2 from each lipstick sold was donated to BCR.

Part 3: Iconic Moments
Four art monoliths by artist Alex Noble portrayed the Cutting Edge of Reality which reincarnates some of A La Carte’s most memorable moments inspired by Grace Jones, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga and the late princess Diana.  The cosmetic inspirations were:

Candy lipstain as worn by Kate Moss on the cover of VOGUE May 2000 ‘Fashion Meets Art’. 
Nude Toast lipgloss a favourite of the late Princess Diana.

Flush Blush and Bubblegum lipgloss as worn by Lady Gaga on BBC Breakfast News.
Black powder worn by Grace Jones for her iconic album cover of Nightclubbing

Part 4: The Culture of Colour
Taking you through the cultural decades, the exhibition displayed wall illustrations by fashion art students Neda Ghafouri, Andrea Krawcewicz and Josh Bristow. An amazing wall art timeline flowed like a river and was created by Madeleine Lithvall.  Pinned to the wall were Illustrations of earlier makeup looks included Louise O’Keeffe’s Glamour Pop, 70’s Retro and Natural sketches whilst videos took you through the applications on how to achieve these looks.  Artistry by Sam Shepherd included using acrylic and machine embroidery for a tactile dimension to his makeup watercolours. Making a splash were the dramatic photographs by Armin Weisheit bringing you up to date with present makeup looks created by Nora Nona.  Stylist Samson Soboye and hair by Barbara Jablonska.

Curated by beauty and fashion curator Ryan Lanji, the COLOUR AND CULTURE was an exhibition for all beauty lovers to enjoy plus you had a chance to try out the makeup at the well stocked beauty station. The exhibition was held at the Gallery Redchurch St in East London in May.

Still looking glamorous, A La Carte continues to offer make up advice and stocks an extensive Ready to Wear range with Made to Measure customised options.  At the beginning the cosmetics were manufactured in the shop’s basement, but popularity brought the need for a larger laboratory and a larger creative team. Close by in Battersea Lynne collects the products for the shop on a regular basis.

A La Carte Boutique is at 19b Motcomb Street SW1X 8LB

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky  

Monday, 24 June 2013

London Collections: Men SS14

June 16 saw the start of the SS14 London Collections: Men and what better place to start our review than with Mr Start himself:


Mr Start brings sartorial elegance to casual wear with his SS14 capsule collection.  A twist to the bomber jacket included starched double cuff shirt detailing and crisp white cotton pique fabric. Other fabrics used were luxurious silks, linen and subtly striped seersucker.
All teamed with Mr Hare colourful footwear ranging from pearly pastel trainers to the brightly coloured espadrilles that so conjured up a life of luxury in the Riviera.


Mainly a colour palette of tonal neutrals ranging from soft greys to pure white with accents of cornflower blue, the collection had a calming and soothing feel. Due to the neutral colours, intarsia patterns on sweaters, giant mesh pique and tweed patterns on slouchy crombie coats and suits were subtle, concentrating on adding texture and depth to the collection.


Sharp suits were teamed with long flowing opaque kaftan shirts, trilby hats and neck scarves tied with woggles bringing a relaxed laid back twist to the tailored look.  Letting the layering and tailoring do the talking, the main colour palette was black and white with a few suits in cool blues and caramel browns.

Portraying the Spencer Hart man was American actor Clark Peters, looking chilled and being king of all he surveyed as he leisurely walked the catwalk.



This time the King was more of a fairytale prince with models wearing leather cut outs of crowns and with Abley’s own signature design of the Teddy Bear silhouette incorporated on tops in between the regal Fleur de Lys. Disney Snow White’s blue bird fluttered around as tattoos on the models faces and arms as well as shirts and tees. Like the fairy tales the colour palette was sugar sweet with candy pinks, baby blues and basket weave prints of golden toffee.


Taylor goes for a muted colour palette of greys and berry in fabrics of grainy tweeds with elbow length sleeved jackets and side slit shorts giving a kind of sartorial street urchin look. Smoother fabrics included black transparent organza jackets with less opaque lapels, seams and patch pockets over white shirts.  Skinny cropped trousers created a slim silhouette, whilst deconstructed jackets, shirts and jumpers attached to tops hung down like aprons adding volume.


From the fairytale prince we go to the nuclear zone warrior carrying large plywood sculptured shields whilst multi coloured bandage like scarves obscured most of the models’ face and vision. Multi layered as though the warrior needs the protection, included short sleeved tops over long sleeved, tunics under jackets and wide cropped trousers over jogging style trousers. Raw edges and seams were frayed and black chunky woollens worn inside out. Colour palette was either the ninja black or a literal explosion of tie dye multi colours splashed like paint over the pieces.


Real life heroes of WWII Long Range Desert Group were the inspiration for Raeburn’s Sandstorm collection.  Colour palette was of the soft neutral sand and khaki with accents of dusty pink and shades of blues.   The desert lizard was the animal of the season with garments in a subtle lizard skin print whilst the lizard also cleverly disguised itself in a geometric pattern. Fabrics were in keeping with the theme with 50s rubberised cotton, army mesh and parachute silk.

Go West Young Man

Two collections stood out for the Wild Wild West theme but both having a different take.


Going for the drifter/road trip cowboy look you could image him hanging out in a bar in the middle of the desert somewhere near the Mexican border.  Titled We Meet by Accident, this collection is definitely no accident and this drifter has a sense of style with a capsule wardrobe ranging from shorts, tees and blazers to suits and ties.  He’s brave with his prints of Ikat, city sketches, bold stripes as well as the obligatory check shirt and he isn’t afraid to wear colour from hot mustard, burgundy to the dusty pastel shades of pink and peach. This drifter can fit in where ever he lays his cowboy hat.

TOPMAN went for the rodeo showmanship style with silk embroidered shirts over black skinny polo necks worn with oversized pleated loose trousers and metallic belts. Absent were the  flashy and garish colours, fringes and rhinestones, this was a more refined cowboy in a winter colour palette of the  classic monochrome black and white with accents of deep burgundies and just a splash of gold. But watch out, some of those embroidered flowers have whopping big spiders stitched amongst them!

Bright and Bold

Truly making travelling on public transport cool, prints from this collection were inspired by the upholstery on bus and train seats from the small placement prints on white tees to the colourful loud jazzy lines on the suiting.  Not all patterns and prints; the plain fabrics were colour block panels of bright orange and shades of blue on oversized jackets and coats with rubberised taped seams.


Inspired by the Super Club Scene, this collection was a mix of the wearable and the impractical with a common denominator of all being fabulous.  The impractical included the hard shiny PVC shorts bound to chafe and the sweat inducing opaque rubber shirts in neon brights. But hey they say you have to suffer for fashion. The more wearable were the softer ‘normal’ fabrics in retro Liberty floral prints and techno zebra pattern. Bomber jackets with detachable zip sleeves and buttoned up shirts worn with saggy shorts with dipped hem at the back.  And for that finishing club scene touch, the models’ hair were styled with brightly coloured glitter by Fudge.


Last but not least was Xander Zhou’ s collection showing his  perception of  the world with deconstructed tailoring,  elongated shirt sleeves, pvc singlets, mini tailored shorts  and long coats in a collage of  website imagery prints.  This was the designer’s ‘Sum of Likes’ and it didn’t matter that the viewer saw or understands what he sees. For me, it wasn’t the rubber thigh garters, the constricting steel chokers or the exceptionally ape length sleeves that puzzled me but the wide waist sash with what looked to be a waiter’s side apron. But as Zhou says, it didn’t matter.

Christopher Raeburn images by Carl Burgess
Christopher Shannon & Xander Zhou images by Christopher Dadey

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky