Monday, 17 December 2012

Chamilia create exclusive Make-A-Wish Bead

The Christmas festivities are well under way and last week saw the Christmas launch party of the Chamilia ‘Wish’ bead in the sumptuous Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Place. The party celebrated Chamilia and Ernest Jones partnership with the children’s charity Make-A-Wish International.

All decked in blue and white decorations, the Corinthia’s Court room kept with the theme of this twinkling little blue wish bead of Sterling Silver and Swarovski crystal elements. The crystal elements of which are in the most gorgeous electric blue colour.

In the spirit of Christmas and this time of giving, the Wish bead was created to benefit the charity Make-A-Wish UK to help them in their quest to grant wishes to children aged from 3-17 who are fighting life-threatening medical conditions.  

The Wish bead will be sold exclusively through Ernest Jones and H Samuel and will retail at £55. Chamilia will be donating £12 to Make-A-Wish UK for each bead sold, with a minimum total of £37,500.

At the launch party press, bloggers and celebrities were invited to attend and view the bead whilst enjoying music by DJ Joy Vieli, sipping champagne and a specially created Christmas Wish cocktail of rum, pineapple, cane sugar syrup, aromatic bitters and freshly squeezed lime juice.

A selection of Chamilia jewellery glittered in display cabinets and two bowls full of single Chamilia beads enticed us to try our hand at creating personalised bracelets. The secret is to choose the beads you are drawn to. I was drawn to the Sterling Silver hanging music note. Alas not because I am musically gifted, but more from a longing to be able to sing any note in key.I also loved the shiny iridescent pink bead. Others included the silver bible bead (a sterling silver book style imprinted with the cross), the romantic silver Captured Hearts bead (a filigree of hearts lying side by side) plus a variety of coloured glass and Swarovski elements beads.

Celebrities included Alexandra Burke, VV Brown, Jo Wood, Henry Conway, James Brown, Natt Weller, Meg Matthews, Katie B, Jamie Winstone, Amber Atherton and Made in Chelsea Francis Boulle to name a few.

In the corner was a special Make a Wish white Christmas tree where guests were encouraged to write their own wish on a card and tie on to a branch. My wish? Well my good side asked for a happy and healthy 2013 for all but my naughty side had to add a note for a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.
The wish bead can be found in store and on the websites: product code 9810161, called Make A Wish bead product code 9810234 and called a Hope, Strength and Joy bead

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

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

AIU London hosts sustainable student fashion show

AIU (American Intercontinental University) London hosted its last fashion show of the year in Marylebone Gardens.  As the weather was bitterly cold, thankfully the garden is actually an inside space. Named after the 18th Century London pleasure gardens which once stood in the same spot, the old BBC office has been transformed with an indoor lawn where audiences can sit and enjoy pop up theatrical performances, live music and sports screening.  Happily on this occasion, rows of benches were set up around the catwalk But the garden party atmosphere was still there as the champagne flowed and duo band She and I performed live.

AIU’s December shows always contain experimental pieces and for this year it was to stretch the design students’ imagination to create ‘better quality or greater environmental value’ garments from ‘useless products’ or ‘waste materials’. Titled ‘Upcycle’, the design brief for the students was Reduce,  Reuse and Recycle.   Upcycle was then broken down into three themes: Creative Drape, 3D form and Precollections. The Creative Drape project instructed the students to take a blouse and make it into a new top incorporating the paisley fabric provided.

Designs were a collage of recycled fabrics including no longer worn garments, paisley fabric, plastic bags and old newspaper to well worn leather from old sofas and boots.
Sarah Bergman used her own old leather boots to create sleeves bringing an edgy touch to her Creative Drape white cotton gown. Rakayla Robertson was inspired for her 3D Form top by a stack of newspapers found on a bus, not wanting to throw the paper away. She also transforms a sweatshirt into a pair of low crotch harem style pants with the sleeves as the trousers legs. Catherine Calderon removes the sleeves and cuffs from her striped shirt and re-uses them as part of the bottom of her trousers.  Shirt sleeves with the cuffs are also used as trouser legs in Amelie Scharfetter’s dip dyed outfit.
Menswear was included in the show with discarded coffee bags being Zaira Xitlalitc Agular’s choice of fabric.

(Taylor Scopes Upton & Emma Louise Murray)

Award winning designs of the night were:

Taylor Scopes-Upton’s pristine white arctic parka outfit from the Precollections category earning a cash prize from Vilene Freudenberg

Emma Louise Murray’s Creative Drape gown. Recycled plastic bags were glued over the dress fabric giving texture and a pair of embellished white jeans draped around the shoulders as a shawl.

Emma was awarded an internship at Lipsy plus a Lipsy dress.

Inspired by Gareth Pugh, Make up created by the Session Hair was of dramatic white geometric shapes on eyelids and over eyebrows whilst the hair style by Electric Hair was sharp sleeked back pony tails.

Proceeds from the event will go to the FSSA Zambia, funding for Secondary School Assistance in Zambia.

Images provided by AIU London

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

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Red or Dead 30th Anniversary

This year saw street style fashion brand Red or Dead reach its 30th anniversary. To celebrate, they held an exhibition tracking their journey from a humble market stall to the glamorous catwalk scene. 

The exhibition featured a selection of their past iconic designs, plus their latest Pearly Queen capsule range especially designed to mark the pearl anniversary milestone.
Alas the exhibition was on for only one weekend, but never fear, here are some of the highlights:

1980’s – the Early Years

With little money but a lot of talent and enthusiasm, Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway set up a stall in Camden Market, selling Geraldine’s handmade designs and Wayne’s vintage finds. Moving on to Kensington Market, Geraldine’s designs were spotted by Macy’s New York who wanted them NOW! Excited to get the commission and definitely not wanting to turn it down, they needed more help to ensure the order was ready on time and so Red or Dead was born in 1984.

After injecting street fashion life into the Dr Martens work boot, Red or Dead launched their own footwear range in 1986. Their Watch shoe (so called because of the watch face mounted on the front) was a hit with teen band Bros and of course their fans.

1990’s – the Catwalk Collections

The 90s saw Red or Dead blossom year after year with collections in fun quirky patterns and prints.

Their first catwalk collection, Space Baby, saw a repeated image of baby’s head wearing a space helmet. The Space Baby print also sky rocketed on to a pair of transparent Dr Martens and plastic jean style jackets.

Food shopping hit the fashion aisles as their Shopping collection saw prints made up of  popular British brands’ logos and designs such as the Refresher sweets, OXO cubes and Assorted Biscuits. Wearing this you’d never forget what to buy!

Who would have thought that wearing a dress with a picture of an old man pulling a face would be a must have fashion item? But that’s what happened when Red or Dead made the Uglies into a beautiful Gurning print for their Mad in England collection. The Gurning print was named after a Gurner called Treacle who was found through the Uglies modelling agency. Treacle is shown distorting his face into a typical gurn expression – projecting his lower jaw forward and upwards and so covering his upper lip with his lower lip.

Inspired by Vladimir Tretchikoff’s painting ‘The Chinese Girl’, Red or Dead gives this ‘Green Lady’ a makeover in shades of deep blue and call their collection the ‘Blue Lady’. Her portrait graced many living rooms in the 70’s, and here she adorns a range of romantic and nostalgic evening wear.

Other collections on view included the Butterfly, New York Skyline and the Guru print of paisley overlaid with religious guru cut outs.

Red or Dead takes a short break from the catwalk until 2004 when they make a comeback with their Save the Allotment collection

2000’s – New ventures

The 2000’s see Red or Dead entering new ventures with Specsavers, Schuh footwear, Bank clothing, Seaspray swimwear and even Raleigh bikes.

And what is next for Red or Dead? Their story doesn’t end here, it’ll probably continue well into their Ruby and Golden anniversaries but until then:
Happy Pearly 30th Red or Dead!

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