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LCM: BACKSTAGE AT ORLEBAR BROWN WITH TONI & GUY

I'm taking you backstage again! This time at Orlebar Brown's Covent Garden shop where the SS15 collection of tailored beach and resort wear was shown both in in the shop, and to the delight READ MORE...
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SHOWSTUDIO ILLUSTRATES THE MEN'S COLLECTIONS SS15

Each season Showstudio invites their favourite fashion illustrators to create their own unique view of the collections, then they present each series READ MORE...
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BOOK REVIEW: LAND/SEA VOL.1

I opened the cover of a new landscape photography periodical I had just received called Land/Sea and began browsing the photos and words as I walked into my kitchen READ MORE...
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LANVIN-TOM FORD JAPANESE HORROR-INSPIRED FASH FILM

Here's a little horror-inspired fashion viewing for your Monday morning! Directed by Trevor Undi and styled by Takafumi Kawasaki, the film follows model Jun READ MORE...
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LC:M BACKSTAGE AT MATTHEW MILLER WITH TONI & GUY

Yes, this is a men's fashion post. And it feels right. This season's London Collections: Men was my first ever thanks to an invitation from long-term London Fashion Week sponsor Toni & Guy READ MORE...
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STOCKHOLM: THE FERRY TO VASA MUSEUM

One day in Stockholm we took the ferry to the island of Djurgården to visit the Vasa Museum, one of Stockholm's most popular attractions. 'Vasa' refers to the Swedish warship READ MORE...
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MISS KIKI SALON CHANNELS ASIA WITH INUI

Miss Kiki Salon is a collective that creates wearable art inspired by the beauty the find in their every day lives. Their latest designs form the Inui capsule collection READ MORE...
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July 09, 2014

Finding the right shower for your home

Tile-bathroom-shower-greySource

Our bathroom reno is still a while away, but it's good to start figuring out what you want well before your old one gets ripped out. I recently I visited a showroom and had some looks at options, particuarly showers because we're getting rid of our tub/shower combo, which as previously mentioned, really needs to go. I think there must have been around 75 showers in this place, but rather than be overwhelmed by choice, the perfect shower revealed itself - minimalist and very little hardware so it looks like floating glass panels and nothing else. Finding a shower that is right for your space - and you - depends on several factors. Think about which design, style, and features will give you the best shower possible. 

Coordinate your theme

What kind of feel and style are you looking to create in your bathroom? The small yet significant details such as the design of the tap, shower head and shower tray - or absence of the latter - will help follow through on your theme. 

Take time to figure out the perfect design to complement your theme and look at lots of pictures so you can visualise your ideas in your space. 

Maximise practicality

Determine which type of shower will work best for your situation. If you have children, a shower needs to be easy to get into, simple to use and safely set to the right temperature. A mixer shower will ensure no scolding or freezing for the kids.

Another benefit of a mixer shower is that the flow remains consistently strong regardless of the water pressure. This is particularly helpful if you want to minimise water usage without compromise when many family members are taking showering in the morning.

If you have a second bathroom, you may want to look at vibrant colour schemes to make the dreaded 'getting ready' routine more fun for both adults and kids.

Click here if you want to find out more about mixer showers and how the feature could be perfect for your home.

Tiny-modern-shower-small-bathroom

Glass shower panels help strike a balance in this small bathroom. Source 

Use space efficiently

You should also consider how effectively your bathroom space is being used. If you don’t have children, have a small bathroom, or simply don’t use the tub that much, it might be worth redesigning your space for a shower alone, as we're doing. It frees up space and if you go with a minimalst design will instantly make your bathroom appear lighter and more open. (And I'm hearing that more and more homeowners are opting for this, so selling your home with no tub may not be a problem and shouldn't hinder you doing what's right for you.)

However, if you are still a fan of a relaxing bath, you should find a shower that complements the style of the tub and doesn’t let the water spray out onto the floor. A shower screen will work better than a curtain, and while those bi-fold style panels are meant to keep water from leaking out, be sure you buy something well made or you could be accumulating damage beneath the floor. 

Choose your experience

Finally, it’s important to think about the sensation you want to experience when you shower. Do you want a feeling of total immersion? If so, look for an oversized showerhead or model featuring multiple streams. If you prefer a deep and massaging clean, you may want to invest in a power shower.

Take your time to browse all of your options, and you may even find one or two you'd never considered. The shower is where we begin our day so the time invested will be worth it!

Grey-shower-wetroomSource

July 07, 2014

LC:M: Backstage at Orlebar Brown with Toni & Guy

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown_2 (1 of 1)

I'm taking you backstage again! This time at Orlebar Brown's Covent Garden shop where the SS15 collection of tailored beach and resort wear was shown both in in the shop, and to the delight of the neighbours, the street. Downstairs, the Toni & Guy session team were busy creating the 'groomed beach chic' look under the guidance of Silje Vincent. Silje explained that working with the models' individual hair texture was the best way to achieve the look. As you can see, the result is a polished style without any fussiness; it makes the guys look like they just have great hair. It worked particularly well on the models who had longer hair to work with, and it would move nicely with a breeze running through it on the beach (not that I'm thinking about it too much or anything).  

Here's how you can get Toni & Guy's groomed beach style, using the label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer and label.m Cutting Comb:

1. Prep hair with label.m Volume Mousse, label.m Blow Our Spray or label.m Sea Salt Spray depending on the hair texture (I have the label.m Sea Salt Spray which is great for adding texture to fine hair and perfect for a 'day at the beach' look)

2. Finger dry hair for tousled separation with label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer

3. Using a label.m Cutting Comb move the hair either off the face or across the forehead, which ever suits the face

4. Finish with label.mSouffle or label.m Power Paste for separation and

Label.m must have products: Volume Mousse, Sea Salt Spray, Blow Out Spray, Souffle, Power Paste.

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Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-b&w (1 of 1)

Aside from surprise parties, I don't think I've ever seen a room filled with so many excited, smiling people. It's a nice change from the usual 'I'm over it already' attitude you tend to see at the collections. You really know how to make a splash, Orlebar Brown. (You'll see why as you scroll down.)

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Dogs! Everyone was happy because people love dogs! A particularly beautiful specimen accompanied each of the tailored beach shorted models, including a massive Great Dane. In case you're wondering, the dog carer/trainer was right there the whole time and gave them water every 15 minutes, then after a while the models were told to put on flip-flops and take the dogs for a walk around Covent Garden to the delight of the neighbours. What a scene that was.

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Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-6 (1 of 1) TheSwelleLife-Orlebar-Brown-15 (1 of 1)

July 04, 2014

Wimbledon Fashion A Slam On and Off the Court

Lacoste-ss14-tennis-skirtLacoste SS14 brings court style to the street; however, 0nly the trim on the sleeves would be allowed at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is all about tradition, from strawberries and cream with a Pimm's chaser to plain-as-possible tennis whites. While the All-England Club isn't forcing anyone to consume red fruits and heritage liqueurs, the esteemed grass court slam remains the only event on the tour to enforce a strict dress code. And until just before this year's Wimbledon, it even extended to spectators in the spectacularly priced debenture section, who were only allowed to enter if wearing a smart jacket and tie and dresses, but can now wear open-neck shirts, trainers (as long as they're not dirty),  jeans (not torn) and shorts (can't be the sporty kind and must be tailored). If you thought this subtle reform signals a more relaxed attitude toward the players' kit, you'd be wrong. In fact, even coloured trim is limited to a meagre 1cm in width, and ladies can forget about finding a loophole up their skirts in coloured knickers - Sharapova's bright orange shorts of last year are now banned - and yes, they are checking. But there's a reason for this heavy-handedness beyond the traditional notions; it keeps Wimbledon free of bold and unsightly sponsor logos - notice there aren't any brands screaming at us from around the court? There are sponsors but they're discreetly placed, and they want that reflected in the players' clothing. 

Caroline-Wozniackis-dress-for-Wimbledon-2013-Adidas-by-Stella-McCartneyLimitations brings challenges, and this can actually be a good thing for fashion as it makes the designers think more creatively. So how do you make all-white tennis outfits exciting, stylish and above all else - covetable? Well, on the women's side, you can use layering, cut-outs, and transparency as seen in the new dresses from Adidas by Stella McCartney (one of my favourites for activewear), worn by Caroline Wozniacki (right). Or you can keep it simple with flattering cuts and textured techno fabrics. There's still something for everyone. As for the men, some of the clothes typically seen are such eyesores with their clashing colours and patterns that a clean slate can come as something of a relief. Roger Federer, the men's most stylish player - Anna Wintour wouldn't be sitting with his camp at his semi-final and final matches if he wasn't - thinks the all-white rules are too strict and hopes they'll relax, but says for now that he 'respects' them. 

Tennis fashion has become so good that there's a demand for the look on the street. Activewear reflects active lives and therefore is becoming more and more a part of our every day wardrobes, with both high-end designers and the high street consistently churning out new interpretations. 

Not into wearing cute ruffle skirts and second-skin, breathable tops? You can still get the Wimbledon look at home, quite literally, with an official Wimbledon bath or beach towel from Christy Towels. And there's always the strawberries and Pimm's. 

Christy-towels-wimbledon

Showstudio Illustrates the Men's Collections SS15

Showstudio_john-booth_juun-j-paris-fashion-week-illustrationJohn Booth's collage interpretation of looks at Juun J in Paris

Each season Showstudio invites their favourite fashion illustrators to create their own unique view of the collections, then they present each series on their tumblr. Whereas New York kicks off the women's collections, it's where the men's wraps up, so these are being conjured up right now. So far we've got London, Milan and Paris, interpreted through a variety of media and perpectives. (Just a thought after browing the Showstudio homepage, something I do often - Is there a better site for conveying the visual excitement and energy of fashion? I don't think there could be. If there is, please show it to me!) 

Here are a few that stood out to me, and if you see an illustration you love, you can buy the original from Showstudio's online shop

PARIS by John Booth, London-based illustrator and textile designer: 

Showstudio_john-booth_paris-fashion-week-illustrationDior Homme

Showstudio_john-booth_henrik-vibskov-paris-fashion-week-illustration

Henrik Vibskov

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Paul Smith

 

MILAN by Marie Cunliffe, London-based womenswear designer:

Showstudio_frankie-morello-marie-cunliffe-milan-fashion-week-illustration

Frankie Morello

Showstudio_dsquared2-marie-cunliffe-milan-fashion-week-illustration

D-Squared2

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Bottega Veneta

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Prada

 

LONDON by Eduardo Mata Icaza, Marseilles-based illustrator: 

Showstudio_eduardo-mata-icaza-alexander-mcqueen-london-fashion-week-illustration

Alexander McQueen

Showstudio_eduardo-mata-icaza-j-w-anderson-london-fashion-week-illustration

J.W. Anderson

Showstudio_eduardo-mata-icaza-KTZ-london-fashion-week-illustration

KTZ

Showstudio_eduardo-mata-icaza-jonathan-saunders-london-fashion-week-illustration

Jonathan Saunders

A Guide to Choosing Enagement Rings

SeattleBride-engagment-ringsSource

The summer months mean wedding season; there’s no getting away from it, especially if your social calendar is anything like my friend's (I don't actually have any to go to!), and you seem to be going to a wedding every other weekend in July and August. With all of these weddings come countless tales of proposals: The when? The where? The how much?

Nigel O’Hara have been going through some of the most frequently asked questions from men wishing to buy an engagement ring for their other half, so they've put together this handy little guide to help you out.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

This is most common question from men looking to buy an engagement ring, and fortunately the answer isn’t complicated – it’s up to you. There has been a lot of hype around how much one should spend on a ring. Some will tell you three months’ wages is a good benchmark, while others will say one month’s wages is sufficient, and shockingly, some will even suggest taking out a mortgage in order to pay for the ring. In most cases you will find that the question answers itself once you find the right ring.

What type of diamond should I choose?

With so many different shapes, colours and styles it can often be confusing as to what type of diamond you should select for your ring. The shape of a diamond refers to the outline when it is viewed from above – the most common shape for an engagement ring being a round, brilliant-cut diamond. There are, however, many different shapes available, some with self-explanatory names like oval, pear and heart shaped, while some of the less obvious styles are princess-cut, asscher and cushion. There is no right or wrong answer; it depends on personal taste. 

Tip: It is always a good idea to consider the type of hand that the ring is for – someone with long, slender fingers may not want a big heavy set diamond, but rather something more sleek and delicate.

Nigel-O-Hara-diamond-cuts


What types of bands are available?

Another essential consideration is the type of material to choose for the band. Gold, white gold and platinum are three most popular options. But they are not the only ones, so if you want something a little different don’t be afraid to shop around.

Tip: If you an unsure of what to get, have a look at the colours of any jewellery she currently wears, or ask friends and family for advice (if they can keep the secret).

What if I choose the wrong one?    

Most jewellers offer a returns policy in case she doesn’t like the ring or you want to change it, so do check the terms and conditions for any purchase before buying. It can be difficult to get the right size, so resizing requests are common and most jewellers will offer this service free of charge.  

One final thing to consider is that the style of engagement ring will influence the type of wedding ring choices, as traditionally they are worn together. So it’s worth bearing that in mind if wedding ring ideas have already been decided – you will want to find something that matches.

Tip: If the pressure of getting it absolutely right first time becomes too much, you can always go ring shopping together, as more and more couples are doing. Make a day of it and have fun!

Selecting the correct engagement ring can seem like a stressful and daunting situation with endless possibilities, but know that the effort and research you put in will really help make the proposal that much more special.  

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