Mad for Marchessa

Marchessa have quickly established themselves as the A-list fairy godmothers when any star wants her Cinderella moment.

Their creations are other-worldly and whimsical yet manage to be of the moment and fashion forward. I’m super excited to see who will be modelling their dresses over the coming weeks. Their Spring/Summer 2013 collections were heavily influenced by the Middle East. Think heavily beaded sari style gowns, in opulent jewel hues. Shrinkin violets need not apply.

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Marchesa have consistently created some of the most memorable gowns of the last few years. I first became aware of them when Mischa Barton wore their rose-pink and gold embroidered corsage dress….im still just as in awe of this as when I saw it years ago.

The use of roses or floral in built corsages have become a signature look in their cocktail and formal dresses. Stacy Kiebler was the envy of every woman at last years Oscars in her molten gold rose stunner.

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Perhaps what I love most about this brand is that it brings an element of fantasy to fashion. The gowns are so elaborate and ornate that they often defy belief. They're the sort of things that I thought only belonged to imagination;

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And now they do bags!!

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HarperMad for Marchessa

My Favourite Season of All!

I’ve quickly swapped over from the festive season to Awards Season….Nothing gets me more excited than a glittering red carpet. Hollywood’s Award season is the perfect antidote to the January blues; chasing away those grey skies and empty bank accounts with lashings of lamé, swathes of chiffon and smatterings of sequins.
Sunday night saw the Golden Globes aka the official countdown to the most glamorous night of the year…..The Oscars!

The red carpet is the biggest indication of the new trends ahead for the coming season, hence why designers vie for the chance to dress the most in demand starlets-it’s a priceless platform on which to unveil their most stunning looks on the most stunning mannequins in the world.

So, for the next month, I will be focusing on all things glitz & glam Hollywood style and I couldn’t be more excited!

Jessica Alba stole the show at this years Globes in her tangerine dream of a dress, opting for a stunning statement diamond collar and contrasting red bag. The whole look is perfection, from the cut of the Oscar De La Renta gown (OMG that body!) to the perfect tangerine shade that makes her skin luminous…..only one word; WOW!

Another favourite of the night is Miranda Kerr’s deep mulberry gown. It’s both provocative and sophisticated with the slashed cut emphasising those never ending pins. Angelina, this is how to show leg!

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Here are a few more of my favourite red carpet looks over the last few years:

In the red corner we have Natalie Portman’s stunning Rodarté creation, Halle Berry’s rosebud embellished Valentino dream and Nina Dobrev, breathtaking in Donna Karan. Red is renowned for getting a girl noticed, but these scene-stealers take it to new levels!

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Taking it down a few notches from va-va -voom to very very prettiful, we have a few pastel choices. Charlie Theron looks like an Earth Angel in her wispy blush pink Dior, somehow achieving the impossible by managing to look positively angelic in a low-cut, thigh split gown; Ms Alba dazzles in this jewel encrusted Gucci dress and January Jones stuns in the clean lines of her cool mint Versace. These are exactly what we like to see our stars in……the best stars are those that shine brightest after all!

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Wearing white on the red carpet can often verge on stepping into bridal territory, but these next two looks, give white a complete overhaul. Words cannot express how hard I fell when I fell in love with Natalie Portman’s origami inspired Givenchy cocktail gown. It’s rare to see something so unique, fun and totally fabulous. Natalie wore this over 5 years ago and yet there has never been anything quite like it since. Love!
And special recognition must be given to Eva Mendes who used her white Dior gown as a blank canvas to offset her statement diamond, turquoise and coral masterpiece. Absolute perfection.

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HarperMy Favourite Season of All!

Finish with (faux) Fur

What is it about fur that instantly stirs up visions of luxe and glamour?

It’s synonymous with Old School Hollywood glamour, with the likes of Marilyn Monroe & Elizabeth Taylor swathed in glossy pelts, framing their perfect features & accentuating their slinky gowns at each important photo call. As a result, fur is etched in our minds as the go-to accessory for feminine decadence.

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Cinema has played no small role in underlining the glamour that fur encapsulates. Iconic femme fatales are often dripping in fur, instantly drawing the audience’s attention (and adoration) to the super-chic character. Think Julie Christie in Dr Zhivago (full length fur + gun= icon), Catherine Zeta Jones’ scene stealing courtroom appearance in Chicago as Velma Kelly and new cinematic heroines in the making; Emma Stone as Grace in Gangster Squad proves that no self respecting gangster could be seen without his fur-clad moll in tow and Carrie Mulligan in Baz Luhrmann’s yet to be released Great Gatsby remake looks nothing short of breathtaking in newly released stills. These are just a few examples of the power that movies have over fashion.

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Of course, whilst these all serve as a blue-print for true glamour, we don’t often have the occasion to wear such pieces. Rather than risk looking like a caricature, look to our own fashionistas for the modern take on fur.

Kate Moss is my go-to girl for rock chick glamour-drawing influences from the 1970s take on the look with her fur gilets and undone hair that gives a tougher, sexier look to the classic influences, juxtaposing the softness of the fur with leather, denim and certain amount of posed dishevelment that just works.

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For a more polished, uptown spin on fur, look no further than Olivia Palermo, who partners her vintage pieces with Chanel jackets, tailored trousers and floaty silk-chiffon to maximise the decadence of the fur. Perfection.

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The great thing about fur is that there are no rules. You can choose to go all out and work a full length coat, or keep it simple with a mere hint of it. Whatever you decide, all eyes will be on you!

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HarperFinish with (faux) Fur