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Thursday, November 29, 2018


Here we are, again. The Holiday season has begun and we all would like to update our home decorations with a look at the trending holiday looks for 2018. For the latest holiday styles and decorating ideas I refer to the last "Christmasworld", a global show for holiday decorations held annually in Frankfurt, Germany, but you can easily find them on display ifna tour of the local stores dedicated to Christmas decorations. The main trend of this season can be defined as "Santa Claus classic coupled with the Mother-Nature theme", as natural materials and earthy motifs prevail on the tinsel, faux snow and bling-bling ornaments. Warm Holiday lighting is visibly taking over from cold white/bluish light, and transparent Christmas baubles filled with light have the potential to be favourite pieces, not only on the Christmas tree, but also in glass vases and jars.
So, here are in detail some of the main trends to get you inspired, as you plan your holidays:
Natural ornaments: Christmas decorations merge with flowers and blossoms, green plants and twigs, wreath designs and mantel swags, all enhanced with the scent of candles, room sprays and scent diffusers. The colour palette pulls in the colours of autumn leaves - red gold and aubergine as well as cinnamon, grey beige and white. Surfaces lean towards nature and grainy, as well as frosty and bark-like textures. Patterns are inspired by nature, including above all, fir trees, deer, twigs, snowflakes, stars and feathers, according to the well-known German tradition. So, if you want to be "in" as for Christmas decorating, envision design elements such as candle holders and lanterns with coniferous wreaths and hanging decorations in the shape of animals and fir cones.
Folklore/fairytale influences: Folkloric/fairytale motifs mix with patterns in a bright colour palette to create a richly decorated holiday-scape with unexpected, humorous touches. Design elements include differently glazed and inscribed ceramics, gift boxes with rich "Arabian Nights" patterning, and eye-catching elements such as papier-mache rams and horses painted by Ukrainian artisans, or gnomes and figurines from "The Nutcracker".
Minimalist motif: the holiday decor theme is an understated style in either pure white, pink + red gold, or cool grey + silver. Fragile ornaments make an appearance as tree decorations, such as artistically decorated, transparent glass baubles and porcelain stars with perforated patterns, together with high-gloss silver decorations and cones dusted with white snow, whose minimal look radiate a calm and meditative atmosphere.

Colourful gathering: it's the latest quirky, vibrant look, full of energy, multifaceted and intensely coloured. The colour story includes lemon, pink, mandarin, azure, turquoise and rosé, enriched with gold and silver. This is a look of contrasts with fanciful and exaggerated designs elements. Christmas baubles in neon colours and ombré-effect patterns, others embellished with sequins and mother-of-pearl work,  adorn the tree and work together to create a visual feast.
Eclectic opulence: the Christmas winter wonderland embraces colour palettes inspired by the ocean, precious stones and minerals. dark green, blues, warm golds, bronze and metallic tones with relief work, sprayed with glitter and studded with crystals and pearls combine to create a mystical opulent holiday scape. Gold bowls and ceramic dishes in the shape of large palm leaves are all part of this exalted style. Key colour stories venture far beyond the traditional red and green with this trend towards natural themes with blue/green shades surfacing as dominant colours on holiday décor. In the several iterations of this "Mother-Nature-meets-Father-Christmas" the look mixes animal, plants, insects and sea life in colourful, whimsical scenarios: either woodland scenes with deer, squirrels and owls, or jungles populated with iridescent birds ornaments, dragonflies dipped in gold, orchid blossoms, or even meadows with butterflies and underwater worlds swarming with glass jellyfish corals, seashells and seahorses dusted with gold.
Even if this last opulent palette is more reminiscent of my childhood Christmas memories, I'm certainly going to stick to the classic golden look for my holiday decorations, with some minor addition of transparent glass ornaments in the shape of shimmering crystals and some precious glass baubles with golden metallic ornamental patterns, to create an even more sumptuous but refined effect.
What about you? what style are you going to choose for holiday-decorating 2018?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

What scents are you loving at the moment? Personally, I'm a huge fan of French perfumes - How couldn't I? - and CHANEL N°5 is certainly my favourite.
Arguably, the world's most iconic perfume, CHANEL N°5 has been worn by lots of celebs from Marylin Monroe onwards. Developed in 1920 by the famous perfumer Ernest Beaux, it was the 5th blend out of several different options presented by Coco Chanel, chosen because 5 was her lucky number.

One of the first fashion houses to develop a fragrance, Coco Chanel aimed to create a scent resonating with her love of cleanliness and epitomising her as a modern woman. By adding the chemical aldehyde, Beaux was able to add light notes of soap and powder to the fragrance and make it last longer on the skin, thus creating a scent that was feminine yet delicate and characterful at the same time. Useless to say, the perfume was a success even before its launch - during a celebratory dinner with the perfumers's staff, Coco sprayed it around their table and every woman who passed asked about the scent.

The iconic bottle was equally pioneering with its simple design and label, a contrast to the lightly flamboyant and decorated bottles of the time. The ad campaign too was revolutionary, presenting Coco Chanel as the first "face" of the perfume in 1937.
From that date on, a host of glamorous feminine icons have followed up to most recently Lily-Rose Depp for CHANEL N°5 L'EAU. The scent was developed by Olivier Polge and features a prominent note of May rose from Grasse, together with top notes of lemon, mandarin, orange, neroli, and aldehydes, heart notes of rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine and a base of cedar, white musk.
I prefer this latest re-edition of the original, for its light and fresh interpretation of the traditional perfume. And the fact that its unmistakable sophistication hails from my favourite place in the world is just an added bonus!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

One of my favourite pieces of jewellery of all times is the Jackie kennedy's replica neclace by Gérard Darel. Certainly, it 's not a recent addiction to my collection, but a classic statement necklace I treasure mostly for sentimental reasons as well as for its classic charm.
Inspired by Jackie's black pearl double-strand necklace, this iconic piece by the designer is a
replica of one of Jackie Kennedy's famous necklaces and is made of glass beads, according to a very ancient craft technique invented in 2000 BC. All the glass beads are hand-made and unique, so the fragility of this piece of jewellery accounts for its charm. Gerard Darel bought the original black necklace at an auction at Sotheby's, New York in 1996, where people from all over the world had come to admire jewels and various objects that had belonged to the famous former First Lady. And only Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis could make a simulated pearl necklace be so valued at auction, thanks to the added value of the "Jackie factor": the way she wore her hat, the ineffable "Jackiness" of her, which made a banal pair of Liz Claiborne earrings that anyone could buy at the counter of Saks Fifth Avenue worth a fortune. Fashion jewellery has always been a measure on a woman's poise, her grace under pressure, her power to turn the fake into fortune simply by the way she moves. And, like her, Jackie had no qualms about mixing the fake and the fine. It was jewellery Jackie wore every day, which really reflected her sense of style, her elegance. 
Nowadays, the versatile piece, which can be worn also in one strand, since the other can be removed to allow you to wear it both ways, comes in black and white. But when Gérard Darel launched the product and successfully advertised it by a photo-shooting featuring the model Stéphanie Seymour, was marketed in different shades: black (like the original), white, bronze, golden, silver-grey. 
I chose the golden hue, since I found it becomingly bright on my face and eternally chic, if worn with a black outfits.
On the other hand, Fashion is aspirational. That's what it's about.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

I have plenty of friends who anticipate the first day of "sweater weather", but no matter how much I love a cozy knit, I can't help feeling a sense of sadness at the idea that it's a precursor of long freezing months to come, so, thanks to this exceptional warm November I'm actually still sticking to silk blouses and shirts... However, since retail-therapy can be an occasional cure, I figure that shopping the best fall sweaters might actually minimise my cold-weather blues crisis. 
Picking out a  statement-making sweater means that you can throw on very basic outfits such as:
- straight-cut jeans + a simple pair of boots/leopard print flat pumps
- leather pants + trainers, 
- a midi pleated skirt+ ankle boots 
and your outfit will look very fashion-forward. 
Now with a new league of designers and It-girls ushering in the comeback of the classic sweater, it's clear why the trend is once again going through a sartorial rebranding. So, cool brands are reimagining the iconic staple with an updated colour palette including refreshingly and playfully bright or neon-hues, along with a plethora of modernised design motifs and both oversized or shrunken fits. And with a seemingly array of sweater styles to choose, it's time to change your traditional jumper for the latest models. 
Anyway, there are two simple and rather obvious guidelines to help you on your search of the perfect knitwear options:
- Good material: superfine merino, merino-silk, or cashmere-silk blends, mohair and angora    
   (aha, they're finallly back again!),
- A length that is suitable to your style: extra-long or super-shrunken
And to finish, here find below a choice of sweater models I consider worthy of a spot in my closet now:
1) Ivory ribbed/cable-knit oversized, high-neck, cashmere sweater
2) Black, oversized sweater/cardigan
3) Relaxed-fit camel-beige slouchy sweater
4) Cashmere sweater dress
5) Angora wool white/pearl grey sweater
6) Knitwear with fur details
7) Nordic-style sweater
8) Lightweight cashmere crewneck jumper
9) Cut-out-sleeve sweater
By now, you should be ready to fully embrace the appeal of knitwear, and perhaps you're in the market for something new and cozy for Fall... In case, have a nice shopping!