Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Editorial: Freja in Vogue UK

By Jennifer Ennis

Shot by Patrick Demarchelier and styled by Lucinda Chambers, I am in love with Danish beauty Freja Beha Erichsen's 'Urban Renewal' editorial in April's Vogue UK.

Freja is without a doubt one of my favourite models and I love the new light this spread shows her in. It is plain, yet totally striking. She has a great high fashion figure (not to mention those legs that never end) but it is her pretty face and refreshing down to earth personality that, in my opinion, is the reason Miss Freja is everywhere right now!

Below and above are some of my favourites from the shoot...

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Beauty: BareMinerals

By Jennifer Ennis

I cannot say enough good things about this brand! I discovered BareMinerals last summer after realising the amount of rubbish that was in a lot of my top end foundations. After extensive online research, I became obsessed (and still am) with cosmetic/skincare ingredients! I cannot buy any item now without checking the ingredients first! Anyway, BareMinerals SPF Foundation has won a host of Beauty Awards from Sephora, Glamour, Cosmopolitan etc for Best Foundation. It has a grand total of 4/5 ingredients and no talc, parabans, synthetic dyes, alcohol etc so with that in mind and the fact it is supposed to give great coverage, I invested in the 'Get Started Kit' in Medium.

The Kit comes with two different foundation shades (one warm one cool), a bronzer, a finishing powder called Mineral Veil, a cream to prep your skin, three different brushes and a DVD explaining how to apply. Once I got the nack of applying it (in short - its messy), it has become my favourite foundation. It gives a gorgeous, natural, flawless look without feeling heavy or caked. The brushes are great but for me Sephora's Professional foundation brush works better. The foundation is very light and you only need a small amount for each application. The key is to swirl a little bit on the brush, tap on the side of the lid and then blend evenly on the skin in small circular movements. The colour (I wear Medium Beige) is perfect for my skin tone. The amazing thing about this foundation for me is the coverage it gives. Considering you only need a tiny amount, it covers any imperfections a million times better than a lot of other brands. My skin loves it as it can breathe and since using, I have had hardly any spots. It is a bit messy for transportation but they have brought in the BareMinerals Refillable Brush which is a total godsent!

I am also a huge fan of the BareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara, Prime Time Foundation and Eyelid Primers and BareMinerals Lip Glosses. They are department store prices but with no cheap perservatives you are definately getting value for money. A lot of websites like (which ship for free) are cheaper than buying in store anyway.

As a make up lover, I have experimented with many foundations since but I always find myself coming back to BareMinerals. I have even wiped off other foundations before going out only to apply BareMinerals instead as I much prefer the colour and finish. Less is more when it comes to my make up look and this foundation makes great looking skin so effortless. As the tagline says 'Make up so pure you can sleep in it'! That sounds way more appealing to me than some of the chemical-laden smells from other top brands!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: Top 5

By Jennifer Ennis

Written for

It’s over! What will I do after a month of viewing daily collections online every evening, watching live streams, reading every review, checking out who was sitting in the front row and who after partied? It seems ages ago since New York began and Paris ended on a very strong note on Wednesday.

And so, without further ado, here are my Top 5 collections from Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2010.

Stella McCartney
This season, McCartney went back to the bare minimal with a simple, stylish and completely wearable collection. It was a very casual affair in block colours, beautiful tailoring and soft fabrics. The dresses were effortlessly chic and polished. McCartney was designing for the modern businesswoman.

The only thing I couldn’t understand was the use of Tiger Wood’s famous phone call to begin the show – cannot find the connection?!

Christophe Decarnin, the man responsible for so many trends last year, moved slightly away from military this season and adapted a ‘Court of Versailles’ look – with a Prince soundtrack!

Decarnin stuck with his usual silhouettes (strong shoulders, short hemlines and second-skin clothes) with gold minidresses, chiffon blouses, laced booties and floor length slit ballgowns. This will surely keep his strong Balmain women (and high street stores everywhere) happy for another season.

Elie Saab
If I had to choose a red carpet dress to any event right now, it would be from this man! His stunning gowns graced many award shows this season and this new collection will provide plenty more.

Saab used a dark palette including black and grey to produce a wonderful mix of looks. He doesn’t lean towards any fancy trends or gimmicks, and instead focuses on classic timeless dresses. I particularly liked the full length sequins gowns which just ooze sophisticated glamour.

Isabel Marant
This woman is a personal favourite of mine and her 50s style Pink Ladies theme was a breadth of fresh air! No full length trousers in sight as every pair was cropped and rolled up at the calves. Plenty of bows, patterns, sequins and eyeliner decorated the models in this super feminine collection.

The big surprise was the omission of her infamous suede studded boots and instead footwear was pointy-toed pumps with bows on the side. I love that Isabel embraces change and proving to be a very versatile – cannot wait for the cropped trousers!

Alexander McQueen
I cannot write this article without mentioning the late wonderful Alexander McQueen. The fashion world was rocked by the news of his death four weeks ago and on Tuesday, sixteen of his designs which were 80% finished at the time of his death and since then completed by his team, were presented to a select few industry insiders.

Everyone was moved with the shear power and beauty of his medieval collection. McQueen’s right hand woman, Sarah Burton, explained that he wanted to return to the handcraft of his art. The print and shapes are visually stunning and we can sadly see the great legacy this man leaves behind.

Other Highlights of PFW
Other highlights of Paris Fashion Week include designers Viktor & Rolf’s presentation which sent their first model down the catwalk – wearing the entire collection!

Rick Owen’s provided his darkest and edgiest collection yet with a stomping soundtrack that gave a few front row attendees a blinding headache.

Chanel’s iceberg runway caused a few models to lose footwear as they walked through the water (the joys of the job!) and Balenciaga gave us a look at fashion in space with a sci-fi collection.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Alexander McQueen: Final Collection

By Jennifer Ennis

I can just imagine for the precious select few invited it must have been a very bittersweet feeling. The last works of Lee Alexander McQueen were presented in Paris on Tuesday - and it was amazing. Sarah Burton, McQueen's right hand woman, explained that Lee wanted to get away from the internet (such a big part of his last collection, Plato Atlantis) and get back to the handcraft of his art. All 16 dresses were 80% finished at the time of his death and cut by the man himself. Everyone was in awe at the sheer beauty and detail of this medieval collection. Instead of a big runway show that would no doubt have a wonderful setting and atmosphere, there was a silent presentation in beautiful surroundings - without him.

But the collection was inspiring and just proves the creative genius that was Alexander McQueen. Instead of being sad, let's look at what he gave. I will remember fondly his Plato Atlantis collection which blew me away (I talked about it for weeks after!), his entertaining runway concepts (models dancing, walking through rain, being spray painted), his original crazy patterns, the obvious skulls and the sense of fun and unknowing that came with every collection. He was fresh and innovative and saw the collection as a whole work of art instead of merely individual looks. I loved that he took risks and did not give a damn about conforming. He was a very humourous likeable man too. This phrase has been frequently used but as fashion lovers, we really have lost a remarkable icon... but at least we will always have the legacy he left behind.

Thank you Lee Alexander McQueen. Rest in Peace.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Style Watch: Oscars 2010

By Jennifer Ennis

The 82nd annual Academy Awards took place in LA last night in what was a typically glamourous and sophisticated style affair. I always love when a celebrity pushes the boat out a little bit and arrives in something that leaves the crowd gasping. Sadly, that seems to be coming only in the form of Lady Gaga these days and... well she wasn't at the Oscars!

Nonetheless, there were plenty of frocks to swoon over. Maggie Gyllenhaal arrived in the most gorgeous Dries Van Noten gown. The print was stunning and the dress fit her like a glove. Her hair was elegant and sophisticated swept off her face. Nominee Anna Kendrick wore her best outfit all season, a nude blush Elie Saab Haute Couture number with her loose hair highlighting her delicate and very pretty features. Avatar star Zoe Saldana is being praised for her Givenchy Haute Couture choice and I have to say I adore the colour and shape on her but am not a fan of the ruffled end. Ruffles were a big trend with Demi Moore and Elizabeth Banks sporting them also, but I cannot warm to them.

I adored Rachel McAdams in Elie Saab Haute Couture and Cameron Diaz in Oscar de le Renta. Rachel's prints and Cameron's sparkles ensured they both shone on the red carpet. The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow went down in history as the first female director winner and her dress to mark this special occasion did not let her down! Her grey YSL gown meant business and showed over her super slim figure.

I have to mention Miley Cyrus (not quite sure why she was there either) as I am a huge Jenny Packham fan and her dress was absolutely stunning. I didn't like her make up though which was too dark in contrast with the prettiness of the dress. Best Actress winner Sandra Bullock looked effortlessly elegant in a cream, laced Marchesa dress. Carey Mulligan improved from the BAFTAs (I hated her dress) in a black Prada dress but I think smaller, more subtle shoes might have complemented it better. Jewellery designer Fred Leighton was a big hit with Maggie, Carey, Vera Farmiga, Sarah Jessica Parker, Elizabeth Banks and Mariska Hargitay all wearing pieces. Chopard was also a popular choice.

Of course, we can't forget about the men! It seemed Tom Ford was flavour of the night with Colin Firth (but of course), Ryan Reynolds, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin and the dashing designer himself all wearing his suits. However a mention must also be given to Zac Efron in Calvin Klein, Taylor Lautner in Dolce & Gabbana and Jake Gyllenhaal in Burberry.

Overall a beautiful, stylish night with not too many mistakes (Charlize Theron, we'll say nothing) and congrats to Kathryn Bigelow, what an achievement!

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Showstopper: Viktor & Rolf

By Jennifer Ennis

The fashion crowd went wild for Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren's AW 2010 show on Saturday but it wasn't about the clothes - it was all about the show!

The designer duo who are known for their presentations went back to the 90s and re-used their very interesting concept. 90s supermodel Kristen McMenamy opened the show - wearing the entire collection! Then Viktor & Rolf took to either side and proceeded to peel each layer from her and dress the rest of the models on a rotating platform. Eventually McMenamy was left in a nude bodysuit, and the conveyor belt was reversed as the models reappeared and Viktor & Rolf used their garments to dress the supermodel again for her final looks!

It was very entertaining and met with rapturous applause. Viktor & Rolf really pull out the stops to create memorable shows. The only problem is, people seem to have forgotten to mention the actual clothes...

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H! by Henry Holland

By Jennifer Ennis

It has been a long time coming but at last Henry Holland's funky and colourful debut line for Debenhams, H! by Henry Holland has hit the shelves. Hurray! Holland joins the likes of Matthew Williamson, John Rocha and Betty Jackson in creating a fresh, affordable line for the department store.

With a huge 80s and preppy influence, there is no denying the brand will appeal to the stores's younger fans. The clothing collection features a lot of bright patterns, stone-washed denim and leggings. Admittedly a number of items are slightly tacky but in general its a fun, youthful collection that offers diversity to the store. There is also an extensive range of accessories with everything from watch rings to scarves to laptop cases. The burst of colour will definately make you smile in the store and I love the fact that it is SO Henry and very similar to House Of Holland. Some designers go miles away for the high street collections but this is definately in keeping with the bright and wacky Holland brand.

Here are a few of my favourite pieces...

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: Isabel Marant

By Jennifer Ennis

Isabel Marant, a personal fave, set a tonne of new trends in her AW 2010 collection with a focus on relaxed and stylish daywear inspired by the fifties and Grease's Pink Ladies!

There wasn't a full length pair of trousers in sight as every pair was cropped and rolled up at the calves. There was lot of mixing and matching with sequins, leather, denim and fur in a wide range of colours. It was a fun, feminine collection featuring bows (worn as belts and scarves), polka dots, lots of eyeliner and high ponytails. It was very fresh and 100% wearable, as Marant usually is.

The biggest change that every Marant fan will notice is the omission of her infamous studded suede boots! The boots, which sell out instantly worldwide, were replaced by cute pointy-toe pumps with bows on the side worn by every model (and even Marant herself at the end). This displays Marant's reluctance to be too familiar as she is clearly a designer who won't be pigeon-holed with a signature look.

This collection excited me and Marant has proved herself once again as stylish, chic and changeable- bring on the cropped trousers! I cannot wait.

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Beauty: Chanel's Rouge Coco

By Jennifer Ennis

I am a gloss girl at heart but lately I have been venturing to the lipstick side (with the help of Chanel's Rouge Allure - a lipstick in gloss form) so when Chanel's latest Rouge Coco hit the counters I decided to bite the bullet and buy my first lipstick at the grand 'ol age of 22! After much contemplation I chose shade number 8, La Pausa - a nice coral-like shade suitable for my skin colouring.

Chanel are marketing this as a 'modern interpretation' of the classic worn by Ms Coco Chanel herself and suitable for people who like moi, are a bit wary to part with their gloss. First up, the texture is definately a lot more creamy than I expected which I love and it gives a perfect matt finish. The packaging is standard pretty Chanel - black, gold, interlocking Cs and 'CHANEL' inscribed on the stick itself. It is definately very attractive in your handbag.

The colour is perfect for me and it is seems quite long-lasting. I think I may still prefer my beloved Rouge Allure but my Rouge Coco shade with a touch of clear gloss gives me the perfect party pout!

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Paris Fashion Week: Rick Owens

By Jennifer Ennis

Rock chick, goth inspired, dark, edgy, strong - are all words that spring to mind about California-born designer Rick Owens. This season, Owens took that look once step further by developing an even more powerful and frightening woman and this time she is a warrior god.

Owens staged his show in the Palis de Challot in his usual dark and eery setting. Known for his extensive range of outerwear, he used fabrics like fur, metallic, wool and his trademark leather to create a rough tribal look consisting of structured second-skin jackets, wrap dresses, jersey skirts, zig zag leggings, fur rimmed boots, horn sequins capes and leather gloves. He maintained his usual colour pallette of black and grey with a splash of white. Hair was wild and scraped back while make-up included pale skin, dark black eyes and bleached eyebrows to create an almost untouchable look.

With a lot of pretty and feminine collections around, Owens is always a nice contrast with his different take on dressing a powerful woman. Teamed together, his collection may not be the most wearable (at least not where I live!) but there was a large array of individual items in particular jackets that will no doubt keep his legion of fans happy for another season.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Paris Fashion Week: Balmain

By Jennifer Ennis

It has been in full swing for a few seasons now and it seems Christophe Decarnin's love affair with strong shoulders, short skirts and leather trousers is not dying anytime soon. Decarnin - who since joining is responsible for taking the label from almost-bankruptcy to sales so good they can charge €1,000 for a single t-shirt - has created his perfect Balmain girl and she is still as powerful as ever.

For his AW 2010 collection, Decarnin stuck with his signature shapes but moved slightly away from the military and adapted a 'Court of Versailles' theme to his usual rock star party - with a soundtrack from Prince! There was fur coats, gold minidresses, fringed collars, chiffon and sheer blouses, ribbon laced booties, tailored suits and floor length thigh-slit ballgowns. Hair was in its typical Balmain 'natural state' and make up was more fresh-faced than other seasons. It is evident that Decarnin's target market is still the stylish, high-living and confident party girl.

The show featured the usual Balmain girls Anna Selezneva (pictured, first left), Abbey Lee Kershaw, Magdalena Frackowiak (pictured, second left), Natasha Poly, Freja Beha Erichsen etc (though my favourite Daria Werbowy's presence was missed) and took place in Paris's Grand Hotel's ballroom with a host of rich and excited spectators in attendence.

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Ad Campaign: Forum AW 2010

By Jennifer Ennis

Shot by Tom Munro and with art direction by Gionani Bianco, Forum's AW 2010 campaign features a strong cast of everyone's favourite slightly-curvy model Lara Stone and Brazilian hunk Marlon Teixeira.

I do not know much about the brand (due to their website being in a language I cannot understand) but I am in love with this campaign! The smoky, edgy setting, the black and denim colours, the leather jacket, the reams of dark kohl eyeliner, the lace, the studded gloves and Stone's striking blonde hair in the middle of it all equal a classy, beautiful, young campaign that will probably not get too much attention due to the brand's lesser-know status (or is this ignorance on my part?). But nonetheless, we can still admire the photos!

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Paris Fashion Week: Balenciaga

By Jennifer Ennis

Since he became the head of Balenciaga in 1997, Nicholas Ghesquière has proven to be one of the more creative designers in the industry and is always pushing the label more and more each season. His AW 2010 show in the Hôtel de Crillon, Paris was a continuation of that originality he posesses.

In what can only be described as a possible look at fashion in the land of space, Ghesquière's futuristic show was a mixture of padded jackets, graphic designs and square suits. In keeping with the theme, the runway was even lit up from underneath which Ghesquière explained was inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 2001 movie 'A Space Odyssey'.

The opening jackets were padded to give a very domestic silhouette and sci-fi feel but it is yet to see if they will prove wearable. There were plenty of knits in crazy, beautiful prints and a good range of colours. Hair was swept over to the side and make up was nude, letting the clothes do the talking. But it was not just the clothes that were eye catching, the shoes were also not to be missed! They were high, platformed, blocked and made of leather and plastic.

Ghesquière's collection was very fresh and adventurous. The setting was luxurious and creative while the choice of models was very strong including the return again this season of Miranda Kerr (pictured, middle). A definate highlight of Paris so far.

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