Style Icon: Solange Knowles

Adventurous, confident, fun – who am I describing? None other than global style icon Solange Knowles.

Effortlessly Cool

So, what makes a great style icon? It’s more than just their clothes, or their hair, or the shoes on their feet. It’s a certain je ne sais quoi that elevates their everyday outfits and makes them stand out. Solange Knowles is the perfect example, she is a risk taker, likes print, colour and off-beat looks, and makes them all her own.

Only Solange to carry off such strong print

Solange is an American singer-songwriter, actress, model, dancer, businesswoman, and DJ. Born and raised in Houston, Texas along with her older sister singer Beyoncé, there is no doubt that she ranks amongst the world’s most stylish women.

Not one to shy away from print and colour

Whatever red carpet she appears on you can be guaranteed that Solange won’t disappoint in the fashion stakes. From her statement hair, to her choice of clothing, and of course, the bag and shoes, everything works perfectly together tantalising the world’s fashion press.

Love the fashion nails and Chanel!

So, while sister Beyoncé continues to ride high in the music charts, Solange is definitely on top of the fashion charts!

Confident in statement brights

 

 

 

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Savvy Summer Shopping

As I write, the wind is beating at the window and my heat is on!! So with this ghastly weather of late, I’ve began to question my summer purchases, which to be fair haven’t enjoyed much of an outing to date!

A sneak peak at the collections from House of Fraser for A/W 2013

However, a recent trip to London to take in the A/W 13 collections from some of our favourite high street brands at their press previews has not only highlighted what will be on their rails next season, but that actually it hasn’t substantially changed from this one, or indeed the one before!

Vibrant colours, stripes, polka dots, printed blouses, trousers and jackets, animal print, coloured leather and embellishment was all on display. So, now is the time to buy into these trends, particularly as we head towards traditional sale time.

Key finds would be silk blouses, printed trousers, embellished tops, dresses and jackets and of course leather. All of which you can wear now but carry through to your autumn/winter wardrobe too!

Here are just a few things that I have bought and worn now, but I know will still be on trend next season too…

Soho Fitted leather Jacket in Cornflower Blue, £375, Reiss

A leather jacket such as the one shown above from Reiss you can wear now with everything – jeans, maxi dresses, pencil skirts, wide leg trousers – you name it and it will work! The same is true of autumn/winter when rather than muted shades of beige and white this jacket will pop against hues of black, grey, navy, khaki green, mocha and cream!

MiH ‘The Breathless’ Low Rise Skinny Leg Jean, £200

I love these spotty jeans! Wear them now with a white tee and flats and for winter add a cosy knit and boots. Alternatively, smarten these denims up all year round with co-ordinating shirt and blazer.

Twin-Set Tropical Print Sequin Dress, £199, Candy Plum, www.candyplum.co.uk

This stunning dress would look so sexy worn with bare legs (tanned of course!) and heels during the summer months and for winter team with skinny jeans or leather leggings and high heel shoe boots.

The days of the summer wardrobe and the winter wardrobe are over – now it’s all about layering and being experimental with pieces that will work all year round and transcend the seasons.

 

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This Week’s Candy Crush!

I think it’s been all the press images of the beautiful people at Coachella, but I can’t wait to get my festival-vibe on and grunge things up a bit! However, I’ve had to adapt my style for the NI weather – so tiny shorts and midriff baring tops will have to wait until I reach warmer climes!

1. Miranda Kerr and co. at Coachella

2. Current Elliott Stiletto Skinny Jean in Crazy Wash, £215, Candy Plum, Hillsborough, www.candyplum.co.uk

3. Mercy Delta Safari Pink Leopard Print Scarf, £145, Candy Plum, Hillsborough, www.candyplum.co.uk

4. Isabel Marant Caleen Ankle Boot, £493, www,farfetch.com

5. Ramones Band T-shirt, £14.99, www.newlook.co.uk

6. Ethnic Messenger Bag, £39.99, Zara, www.zara.com

7. Paradise t-shirt, £29.99, Zara, www.zara.com

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Bikinis are out and swimsuits are in!

This is the latest news hitting the Summer fashion headlines! Apparently, a recent US survey has found that more than half of women polled will be covering up in a swimsuit this summer, with less than 20% planning on baring all in a bikini.

While many celebrities choose to opt for an itsy bitsy bikini – well why wouldn’t you if you’ve worked hard to achieve the perfect bikini body? – others are getting in on the new one-piece trend with Rita Ora, Kelly Brook and Taylor Swift all being papped in a swimsuit – and it’s not like any of these three ladies have too much to worry about when it comes to baring their bodies!

Personally, I like to alternate between both! There are those days when I’m simply in the mood for a stylish one-piece and others when I like to achieve maximum sun exposure in my bikini.

Let’s be honest, going on holiday for two-weeks and wearing a swimsuit the whole time doesn’t make for an even tan! As I’ve said before, midriff baring crop tops are in this season so a pale band of flesh revealed against the rest of your bronzed body would just be wrong! And even if you don’t plan to bare your midriff you’ve still got to look at yourself getting dressed and I know I’d rather see the same skin tone from top to bottom and not look like a patchwork quilt!
For this reason, an itsy bitsy bikini, although it fills me with dread every year, is the most practical solution for us gals determined to get a healthy bronzed glow this summer – it’s the main reason we head to the sun afterall! The joy of naturally bronzed skin without streaks for a few weeks before we have to go back to the bottle every Thursday to get ready for the weekend – bliss!

So, while I’m happy to spend a few hours in a swimsuit, I have to say, most of my time in the sun will still be spent in a two-piece – and I don’t say this as a body confident diva, I say this as a woman who goes on holiday to get the best all-over tan possible! Am I right?

This Week’s Candy Crush!

It seems that white arm candy is where it’s at this Spring/Summer. Here are a few of my favourite totes…

1.Sarah Jessica Parker
2.Sumerall Two Tone Tote, £29.98, Aldo
3.Large Leather Shopper, £89.99, Zara
4.Oversized Willow Tote White Classic Calf & Ostrich, £2,350, Mulberry
5.Sal Short Handle Handbag, £265, Reiss

City Chic!

Next week Newry celebrates a week of it’s city’s style, so it got me thinking about the style in other cities…

My first port of call was Oz! Partly because I am craving some heat and also because there are some some extremely cool and stylish personalities coming up from down under!
For example, Isabel Lucas, Kylie and Dani Minogue, Isla Fisher, Cate Blanchett, Rose Byrne, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Natalie Imbruglia, Holly Valance and of course, the hugely funny Rebel Wilson and in the boys’ camp the Hemsworth boys!

I headed to Sydney to take a closer look at Aussie style. I was impressed – there wasn’t a flip-flop or cut-off denim in sight! The Aussie ladies are chic and stylish, and while they nod to the latest trends they don’t appear to take it all too seriously. Their look isn’t overdone, it it has a more relaxed vibe and accessories are kept to a minimum. Also sharp lines and modernity seem to be where it’s at in Sydney!

Having sampled the fashion savvy in Sydney it was time to head to the style mecca – New York! Need I say any more, this city oozes style and New York women are an eclectic, yet extremely stylish bunch! You only have to mention the name Sarah Jessica Parker and instantly we remember the stylish Carrie Bradshaw in ‘Sex & the City’ who now seems to epitomise the overtly trend led New Yorker in the same way Donna Karan and her brand represents infamous New York utility chic.

Unlike Sydney, New York women aren’t afraid to accessorise and love to layer their jewellery mixing statement and more delicate pieces together at the same time. They’re also more willing to take risks when it comes to wearing the seasonal trends and don’t hold back from giving them their own personal interpretation.

Last, but not least it’s time take a closer look at the European chic on display in the streets of Paris. Parisian women are always ‘dressed’ and effortlessly chic. Subtle, sexy and confident, their look is never too simple or too sharp. As Coco Chanel herself once said, “It is always better to be slightly underdressed.”

French women have their own distinct androgynous style which they pull off with aplomb – and we can only ever hope to copy as we team our tux jacket with a pair of jeans or a Breton top with a classic trench!

Of course, they follow the latest trends, but not slavishly so! While you may see a mix of styles during Paris Fashion Week as fashion editors from all over the world land on the city – look to the likes of ex-French Vogue editor Carine Roitfield who does that sexy, subtle French style oh so well!

Time To Tan!

Okay, so it’s not exactly tropical temperatures, but the sun is out and it’s time to show some skin! Whether arms, legs or a midriff (for those brave enough to try out this season’s must-have cropped top!) it’s time to get exfoliating and tanning to banish those pale, wintery complexions!
My personal tan of choice is local success and celebrity favourite, Vita Liberata, with their mousses and gels in tinted and untinted formulas. One of the few brands that actually offers a streak-free finish and no nasty aroma – it’s my go to every time! Whether applying myself at home or going for one of their salon spray tans I’m never disappointed with the end result – which is quite an achievement for a fussy gal like me!
For those of you who still haven’t discovered the wonders of Vita Liberata, I’m delighted to be able to offer one lucky Candy Girl follower the chance of winning a tantastic goody bag filled with Vita Liberata’s Rich Face Tinted self Tan, £17.50, perfect if you like an instant tan on your face and a sun kissed glow. We also have the Superfine Skin Polish, £12.50, which will perfectly prepare your skin before applying your self-tan and a Tan Mitt, £4, a must to ensure no tangoed palms and a streak-free finish! Last but not least, Vita Liberata’s Moment by Moment Tinted Self Tan Mousse, £24.50 – you will love this product – it’s perfect for girls on the go with the tan developing after 30 minutes and you dictate your desired shade by choosing when to shower – love it!
To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous gift, simply like and share my Vita Liberata post on my Facebook page with all of your friends and I will announce the lucky winner next Monday 22nd April.

Good luck xx

Ps – if you’re not on my Facebook page here’s the link : http://on.fb.me/16WEbno

 

Until Next Time

Well I’m home after a couple of days of fashionable fun at London Fashion Week where I got a chance to see all of the new styles coming though for next A/W13!

Issa

This isn’t my first time at LFW, but each time I love soaking up all of the weird and wonderful who are making their presence felt around Somerset House. This year I have to say more than any other there were so many individuals who looked like they had come straight of an Ab Fab set – there was even a man in a Gimp mask and a woman wearing a large, and I’m sure very heavy, cat’s head!!

As well as taking in a few shows, which are lovely to get too – but you do spend more of your time queuing to get in than you do watching the show once inside. I have to say that the Issa show was one of my favourites. I loved the clothes plus I got to see the very gorgeous and talented Cara Delevingne strut her stuff on the catwalk and there was some FROW celeb spotting with Tamara Beckwith and her youngest daughter just opposite me as well as the current media darling Laura Whitmore, Rochelle and Molly from the Saturdays, Jodie Kidd and fashion icon, Zandra Rhodes with her trademark pink hair! For shows you aren’t lucky enough to get in to see, LFW have a large screen streaming the live show for onlookers outside too!

Issa AW13

As well as the shows there’s the exhibition space where a A-Z list of designers showcase their new season wares for press and buyers. I love getting to see all of the labels and hopefully I’ve found one or two that I can keep you all in the loop with over the coming months – some are available in Ireland, but all can be bought online – so watch this space!

I have to say one of my favourite spots had to be the Topshop Newgen area – not only did it have fab fashion forward designers, but it was like being at a fair as you lifted your tokens to avail of the badges and jellybeans in the slot machines!

Off from this area was the press room where you could relax and grab a vitamin water. Although I wasn’t lucky enough to get an appointment, the Toni & Guy blow dry bar was just next door for those wanting to look their best amongst the global fashion set that had descended on Somerset House, and while not offering free makeovers, as always MAC where on hand for some key make-up tips.

So, I’m home, but the fashion weeks continue. New York kicked off the proceedings from 7th-14th February followed by London 15th-19th February and now the world’s fashion press and celebrities move on to Milan from 20th-25th February and Paris on 26th – I just wish I could be there too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week’s Candy Crush!

This week I’m loving my new Ash wedge trainers – fashionable and comfortable! And I’m in the mood for Spring with bright colours and florals – let the new season begin!


1.Liberty Schoolboy Blazer in June’s Meadow Floral, £191.14, www.jcrew.com

2. BOWIE Navy Suede & Canvas High-Top Wedge Trainers, £149, Candy Plum, Hillsborough, www.candyplum.co.uk

3. LNA V Neck Pocket Tee, £26, www.houseoffraser.co.uk

4. Jimmy Jimmy Skinny in Riley Destruction, £254, Paige, www.selfridges.com

 

 

 

This Week’s Something For The Weekend!

I’m off to join the rest of the fash-pack at London Fashion Week this weekend, so stylish and comfortable is the order of the day as I queue for the designer catwalk shows and take in all of this year’s exhibitors – I can’t wait!!

 

1. J Brand Red Zoey Cropped Mid Rise Skinny Jeans,Was £265 Now £79.50, Candy Plum, Hillsborough, www.candyplum.co.uk

2. Lanvin leather Ballerina Flats, £287.90, www.farfetch.com

3. Black Braided Shopper, £79.99, Zara

4. Lillyanne Poppy Print Top, £95, Reiss

5. Rick Owens Leather Jacket, £1,274, www.net-a-porter.com