29 Sep 2010

Liz Earle facemasks - a review by mummy and me!

As you may have worked out, I flipping love Liz Earle at the moment - they saved my skin! So imagine my delight when I was sent 2 Liz Earle facemasks! The deep cleansing facemask and the intensive nourishing mask. I thought I'd do reviews for you. I reviewed the deep cleansing as I have problem, spotty skin and Mummy has reviewed the intensive nourishing mask for her dry skin

The Deep Cleansing Facemask
Firstly, a confession - I've only used a facemask once before and it made my skin break out terribly and made me cry :-( Therefore I was a bit nervous to try this one.

First impressions - the mask comes in a waterproof bag with two little sponges to remove the mask with. The mask itself is bright green and really smelly! Kind of looks like mushed up seaweed! I spread it all over in a thick layer, avoiding my eyes and lips like the instructions said. It started to tingle which was a bit worrying... but didn't sting so I just assumed it was working. It then got tighter and dried out which was a wierd sensation for me as I've not used facemasks before other then that one that went horribly wrong... However after 10 minutes the mask time was over and I used the little sponges to remove the mask and my skin was glowing! I then just toned and moisturised like normal and my skin felt lovely! The boyf later commented I was glowing and looked lovely and I didn't even have any makeup on! Result!

A week later - my skin hasn't broken out and is looking clear and refined. Overall therefore I am really happy and will keep using this once a week. The starter set I was sent is £12.50 and you can buy it from here. I think it is worth it for the price as it's a lovely product which hasn't made me break out (and I guess it's a cleansing mask, so the lack of spots suggests it's working?)

However my only question - can anyone make a face mask look glamorous?


I think not... not even with that amount of pouting. Don't laugh...

The Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask
This review is by my dry-skinned mum...

The face mask comes with a muslin cloth and a waterproof bag, similar to the other face mask. The instructions say to use it once a week or as often as necessary, but I found this a real treat and tend to run a nice soapy bath and slap some on. It says to put on a fairly thick layer after cleansing your face and the first time I did it, I didn't think it would really moisturise because it just felt like an ordinary face mask and started drying out, but amazingly, when you wipe it off with the damp muslin at the end of the 10 minutes, your face feels really moisturised! For me, definately another Liz Earle staple buy. The next day, my skin feels nourished, soft and calm and I get a few comments saying how refreshed I look.

I have very sensitive skin, and this doesn't irritate me at all. In fact I find this calms my skin down. Overall, for the £12.75 price tag, this is a must buy for those with dry, sensitive skin. Buy it from here.
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23 Sep 2010

Lauren interviews a pop star! My interview with Shirin – a rising star!


Today I am delighted to interview a rising star – singer/songwriter Shirin who you may have heard earlier in the year on Ras Kwame’s Radio1Xtra show. Shirin, 19, has been writing music since the age of 10 and recording music since the age of 13 and is now working on becoming a superstar! I chatted to her on Skype:

Lauren: Hi Shirin! Thank you for taking part in this interview for Lauren Loves Blog. I hope you’re not bored of interviews yet! How are you today?

Shirin: Well thank you for having me, Of course I’m not bored of interviews... I’m a right chatter box :)

Lauren: Oh good! Me too! So tell us about yourself

Shirin: Ok, well I'm proud to be a Hampshire born lady and have grown up in a very supportive and musical family. I've been working very hard for nearly 7 years now at learning and perfecting my craft as a performer and songwriter.

Lauren: Wow so musical roots! How would you describe your sound?

Shirin: Oh most defiantly! I guess the only way to describe my music is a fusion of sounds, it has elements of R'n'B and Electro with a Poppy edge, and cutting through it all is the Dubstep base!

Lauren: Ooh! My kinda thing! And you’ve recently come back from recording in LA right? How was that?

Shirin: Well my last trip to LA was for 12 days in February this year. It was incredible! I went out there to work on some new material with my U.S Producer Bellringer, and as soon as the plane hit the runway he was assigning my musical homework for the next day’s first recording session. We went with a blank canvas and came back with 9 new tracks

Lauren: That must have been hard work! Not the glamorous popstar lifestyle we all imagine?

Shirin: Hehe, I guess I don't really think of it as work because I enjoy it so much... it's my kind of 'Holiday'! Yeah that's a very misleading image! L.A is such an interesting place; you have the richest people in the world living across the road from homeless people!

Lauren: A big question - Shirin is such an unusual name, tell us more about it

Shirin: Well my mother is Iranian, and Shirin is a very old Iranian name. It means Sweet... and it's no coincidence that I adore candy (as I’m sure you can see from my video for 'Taking you away')

Lauren: Well that brings me onto my next question! Your new single “Taking you away” is so good – I especially love the bath of sweets in the video! Can you tell us what the song is inspired by?

Shirin: It was the first track we did on my trip to L.A! My music is all about escapism, finding that inner diva and feeding your indulgence with my sweet sound! I wrote the song about taking my audience away with me into 'my world' every time they put my record on. And even if it's just for 3 minutes that they can escape then they return feeling on top of the world! Oh and with the bath of sweets... there were 4000 gumballs in there and I still have them in my garage!!

Lauren: I’m coming round yours!

Shirin: Haha... are you really sure you'd want to eat one after I rolled about in them for almost 2 hours!

Lauren: Ok maybe not then! So now questions from the twittersphere: What is the most random thing you’ve received from a fan?

Shirin: Well, just the other day one of my gorgeous fans had made me a cross stitch picture of my name with a lollipop and sweet wrapper picture either side, I felt very proud :)

Lauren: Oh that’s so sweet! (No pun intended!) A question from @MadameMojito – what is your favourite song at the moment?

Shirin: Usher- DJ got us falling in love





HAIR, BEAUTY AND FASHION

Lauren: Let’s move onto my reader’s favourite subject – beauty and fashion! You are so stunning; most of my readers will want to know what your favourite make up brand is?

Shirin: Aww thank you, you’re too sweet (again no pun!) I have such a mish mash of makeup brands in my bag, I use Benefit for my foundation, Sleek, MAC and Barry M for my eyes, L’Oreal for my mascara, and Rimmel for eye liner and blusher

Lauren: Do you do your own make-up for your tour or do you have a hair and makeup artist?

Shirin: I do my own hair and make - up for my tour at the moment, but I have a fab make - up artist Natalie Harman, for video shoots and I am sponsored by Hair OTT

Lauren: @HandLhair on twitter actually asked about your hair, they ask: Your hair is beautiful – what products do you use?

Shirin: I always use Tigi products, currently appearing on my shelf is: Dumb blonde shampoo and conditioner followed by S Factor wonderful tonight. Then I style it with S Factor Dream drops, Rockaholic Rock out, Rockaholic Punk out, Rockaholic Rocktastic, Rockaholic Fun Times, Bed Head manipulator and finish off with Bed Head Headrush... blimey I do use a lot!

Lauren: That’s more than me! I’m addicted to the Superstar range – my hair can never be big enough! Ok, on to fashion. How would you describe your style?

Shirin: My style can be described as colourful, girly, diva, cutesy, and Hollywood glamour

Lauren: Yeah I’ve noticed you have an on-stage style which seems to consist of bright colours and really fashion-forward looks. How did you come up with this look and do you think your look reflects your music?

Shirin: Fashion is such a big part of the creative side of me. Being the youngest of 3 girls I was always the dolly they wanted to dress up and since then I’ve always had a passion for it. When I write music I think about the visuals, what the video will look like, what colours, what I’ll be wearing and I try to translate this on stage too. I think what’s most important to me is not following fashion but always having style, they're two separate things.

Lauren: Well you get it so right – you always look amazing. Can you tell us about your favourite outfit?

Shirin: Thank you soo much! Yeah my all time fave outfit to perform in is what I call my roman diva outfit which is in the picture on the right. It features in the video where I’m sat on the runway surrounded by shoes. It was just a simple orange dress, and I bought some bright green material, a few necklaces and asked my friend Luci King to put it together for me with a high shoulder pad.

Lauren: Who is your favourite fashion designer and what is your favourite high street shop?

Shirin: My favourite high street shop is Miss Selfridge, Firstly because they do a size 4 :) and secondly because it's just so cute and girly and my favourite designer is Hannibal Laguna, He can make anyone a princess in his gowns!

Lauren: You’re a size 4! I’m so jealous!

Shirin: Yeah, but don't get me wrong... I eat all the time!!! I just have a fast metabolism!

Lauren: Rub it in! lol! What is your favourite trend at the moment, and which trend don’t you get?

Shirin: I'm loving that bright block colours are making their way into the Autumn season and even down to the shoes!!! There’s not really a trend I’m not keen on, I guess anything that would take away from being feminine

Lauren: You have a song called Sky High Heelz - how do you manage to wear heels all the time?

Shirin: Yes I do, I wrote it to empower women. It's about putting a pair of heels on and feeling the power they give you, like you can conquer the world. Well I’m only 5ft 2 (and a half) so I started my fetish for shoes when I just stopped growing. It takes practise but I’m so used to wearing them now they're part of my feet... I own a very large collection.

Lauren: You’re braver than me! I can only handle them for short bursts but I’m good at gazing at them admiringly! If you had an unlimited amount of money, what would you buy?

Shirin: Hmm maybe a Lamborghini, a sparkly one!

Lauren: That’s different from the normal girly answer – a Chanel handbag! What is number one on your shopping list at the moment?

Shirin: Hehe, my number one is a bright yellow pair of heels, but I can't seem to find the right ones yet... I guess I’ll keep searching!



QUICK FIRE ROUND


Lauren: If you have any time off from touring, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Shirin: I love food! I like taking drives and finding adorable tea rooms or country pubs, and I also love to bake... I make THE best cupcakes mmm!

Lauren: Wow! Talented, gorgeous and a good cook! What are you most proud of?

Shirin: My Team! They're my family, my support network! And without them I really wouldn't be able to do what I love!

Lauren: Aww that’s lovely! What’s your favourite film?

Shirin: It's a close tie between 'Breakfast at Tiffanys' and 'SpongeBob The Movie' ... two completely different films I know!

Lauren: Haha! I have the SpongeBob Movie on DVD! It’s soo good! Are you scared of anything?

Shirin: I know I’m seriously crazy for that yellow sponge! I'm afraid of the dark and spiders eeew!

Lauren: Urgh I’m scared of the dark too! What is your favourite magazine?

Shirin: Cosmopolitan!

Lauren: Good choice! Question from @MadameMojito – Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Shirin: If it's a beach holiday I’m after you can't beat the Caribbean, but I also love Norway the scenery and shops are just fabulous!

Lauren: Ooh so you’re well travelled! Have you ever met anyone famous?

Shirin: Yeah I’ve supported, Wiley, Kano, DJ Ironik, Aggro Santos, Ryan Leslie... hmm I can't think of any others off the top of my head!

Lauren: *jaw drops* AMAZING! Where would you like to be in 5 years?

Shirin: Awww Thank you! In 5 years I want to be selling out Arena tours worldwide

Lauren: I’m sure you’re going to be bigger than Gaga! And finally, the most important question - where can my readers hear and buy your music from?

Shirin: Thank you so much! Well you can visit my website www.shirinofficial.com and there are links to all my fansites on there as well as my latest news, tour dates, music and videos. My Single 'Taking you Away' is out at the end of this year and will be available on all good digital download sites (iTunes, HMV, Amazon, Play) Keep checking the website for updates on the release date

Lauren: Thank you for letting us interview you Shirin! I wish you the best of luck with the release of your new single.

Shirin: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! I love this blog and feel very privileged

Lauren: Aww! Thank you! *group hugs all round*



To see more about Shirin, go to her website http://www.shirinofficial.co.uk/ or you can follow her on twitter @shirinofficial
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22 Sep 2010

Bedroom Tour!

Hey! Sorry I haven't blogged for a while, I've been trying to sleep lots and recover from this horrible cold/chest infection/fainting thing I've had (if you follow me on twitter, I'm sure you'll be bored of my moaning!)

I saw a feature on YouTube where this girl did a bedroom tour (sorry I can't remember who's channel) but I thought it was really interesting in a Big Brother type way. I don't have a video camera or YouTube channel so I'm going to do this with photos - I hope it works!

I know the photos are too big for my blog layout, but I think they look better big so please forgive my inept-ness at using computers and being a technophobe!

My room is in the attic of my parent's house at the moment. I really love it! So here's the view when you walk in the door:


As you can see, my room is pale blue with cream furniture (I spent a whole summer one year painting my horrible old pine furniture and turning it into this!)

Can't resist a close-up of my ted!


His name is Dr. Monkey and I got him from my parents when I had my spine operation 6 years ago. I love him! 

If you look to the left...



and here's a close up of my desk


I have little Muji stackable drawers for storing my makeup, my Liz Earle products (I still love them) and my favourite perfumes - Marc Jacobs Daisy and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.

This is my view out the velux window - I can see the Spinnaker Tower!


Facing the other direction, this is what the other half of my room looks like:


Not as pretty! Yes I am 22 and still have some childhood teddies. I can't get rid of them though! I also have my amazing snuggly dressing gown I got from TK Maxx a couple of months ago which I love. The pictures on the shelf are all by family and friends:


The one on the left is of cyclamen by my nan, the one in the middle was by my old housemate Rachel - it's so good! And the one on the right is of Weymouth highstreet, also by my nan.

So that's the end of the tour. Hope it wasn't too boring!

x
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17 Sep 2010

Adverts enhanced with lash inserts...

I just saw this advert for Rimmel's new Lash Accelerator mascara on TV and I actually laughed out loud. Why? Because the frankly stunning Zooey Deschanel was wearing lash inserts and had been enhanced in post-production but it made her look RIDICULOUS!

Here are the pictures from the advert:


Do you agree that it looks crazy? Firstly, everyone knows that mascara cannot do this to your eyelashes! NO mascara ever has been able to do this to someone with normal eyelashes pre-mascara! If you have a quick google of any other bloggers who review this, you will see that this result is not what you will achieve! Also, don't you think it makes her look like she has big hairy caterpillars on her eyelids?

Sorry for the rant but adverts which show how makeup makes you look should be honest. That's why I look at beauty blogs to get a true idea of what products to buy and what results I may get from them.

x
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15 Sep 2010

Hair update: My new fringe and the new Liz Earle haircare range

Hi everyone, I've got a day off work today so I thought I could do some much-overdue blogging. As you may know if you follow my twitter, I woke up this morning not feeling well and then fainted and bashed my head in the bathroom. It was really frightening as I was apparently out cold staring at the ceiling and I have a lovely bruise developing on my forehead now :-(

Anyway on with the blogging:

Update on the hair situation - as you may remember I discussed growing out my fringe on this post in July. This is the timeline:

1. I had a side fringe in first year of uni

2. I had a proper fringe cut in 2nd year

         

3. Then I tried to grow it out... but it was really difficult!


4. And finally last week I had a little fringe cut back in! You can't see from the picture, but my hair is still waist length - it's just all tucked behind!


What do you think? I want to thin out the thickness of the fringe I have still, so my amazing hairdresser suggested to cut a thinner section into a side fringe, and leave the back portion of the fringe to grow out.

Review of the Liz Earle haircare:

I was really kindly sent the new Liz Earle shampoo and conditioner to try out last week. After using it for a week, I think I can give a honest review.

Firstly, it came all beautifully wrapped, as Liz Earle products always do. I sometimes don't want to open the products!


The Shampoo: The Botanical Shine Shampoo is a sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate free formula for all hair types, and is really lovely! The first thing to tell you is how lovely it smells - it smells like lemoney-limey sweeties and is yummy! Also, it foams really well, the clever thing is that when the shampoo won't spread anymore you don't have to use more shampoo - you add more water and it foams up even more! Therefore you don't have to use too much and it should last a while.

Also it is really cleansing without stripping your hair. I've used many types of organic and SLS free shampoos and they normally strip your hair, leaving it tangled and feeling disgusting but this is totally different. It's £7.50 for 200ml and available from here

The Conditioner: I was sent The Botanical Shine Conditioner for dry/damaged hair as I have coloured (bleached!) hair. The scent of this conditioner is not as nice as the shampoo, but that's my personal taste because I hate the smell of ylang-ylang! However it works really well to detangle my hair and make it soft and swishy. I manage to run my fingers through my very long hair while conditioning it to get rid of any tangles really easily and rinses out normally.

Furthermore, like the shampoo, it is as good as a mainstream, chemically conditioner and is much more moisturising than all the natural conditioners I have used before, I still had swish! I think a true show of how good it is, is that my hairdresser ran her fingers through my hair and commented how soft it is. For photographic proof, look to the latest picture of my hair - see how shiney it is! The conditioner is also £7.50 for 200ml from The Liz Earle website.

Anyway hope you like my review and my new hair! I'm off for a nap

x 
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13 Sep 2010

MeMeMe Flawless Concealer Review

A beauty post! I haven't done one of these for a while! I'm often told I write them very "scientifically" - but that's my style!

After several questions on formspring (feel free to ask me anything) about the under-eye concealer I use every day and in my FOTNs, I've been asked to do a review.


I use the MeMeMe Flawless Concealer which is £4.99 (from Superdrug) and I really love it.

First off, the blurb: It is described as "an essential 3 in 1 skin corrector: conceals, highlights, illuminates & accentuates". It contains haloxyl (which reduces dark cicles under the eyes and heals skin discolouration by helping "loosen" tiny particles of blood which become trapped under the skin when you are tired and stressed, Science fans)

My review: I use the colour "buttermilk" as it is exactly the same shade as my pale skin. I've actually never used a concealer which has been such a similar colour to my skin tone!
The product: The product comes with a small lipgloss-style brush in a tube of the concealer (EDIT - I bought a new one on Saturday and it now has a hoof-shaped applicator. Makes no difference though as you shouldn't put the applicator against your skin to decrease risk of infection). You get a large amount here compared to YSL's Touche Eclat so it lasts me AGES. Plus, I prefer the texture of the actual product. The concealer glides on really nicely and blends in brilliantly. The fluid is not too thick or thin, so it doesn't cling in those tiny lines around your eyes but it's also thick enough to cover dark circles. It's also light-reflective so helps hide the bags under your eyes. It also lasts all day without creasing or wearing away. The plus side being that eventually it should reduce your dark circles

Here's my photographic evidence...

As you can see, the top image shows before and I have some dark circles under my eyes, but this is improved in the bottom image which shows the effect after concealer

Before                          After
 
Close up, you can see it has reduced the bags somewhat, but the lighting in this picture is totally wrong so doesn't actually reflect off the concealer. However I fixed the lighting in this picture...
 
 
There!
 
However, treat your tube with respect! The plastic is a bit rubbish and I ALWAYS manage to snap my lid by trying to put it on too tight when travelling!
 
Oops!
 
The Verdict: The MeMeMe Flawless Concealer is a really great product! I was always pretty dubious about MeMeMe as I know they have a reputation for being "inspired" by other big brands such as Benefit, but this concealer is worth a try!
 
x
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Lauren Loves is in the paper!

My blog is in the paper! It may not be a national paper, but on Friday my Autumn Fashion post was featured in the Chichester News.

Here it is close up...


How exciting! Thank you to Megan at the Chichester News for featuring me!

x
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10 Sep 2010

The verdict on the Motel animal print dress...

I thought I'd do a review of the animal Wanda dress I ordered from Motel, as I've noticed that when you buy something, you can google it and other people will have pictures of them pulling it off successfully. However, for me it didn't go well girls... This is how it's supposed to look...


and this is how it did look. Yes, I looked like one of The Flintstones! (do you like how I added the necklace for a Wilma vibe?!)


As you can see it was more like a pencil skirt on me because the sizing was really odd. It was quite big on my chest and really tight on my hips. I know I'm a pear shape but I'm not that bad! It's ok when I keep still, like in the above picture, but as I more around, the skirt starts to become very baggy as it rides up...


and up...


And  up until it got to this point...


It's not a good look!

I think if it were cheaper, I may have put up with it and kept it. But it cost £29 and wasn't very well made - there was no lining and I think the sizing was odd etc so I decided my money was better spent elsewhere.

Hope that's helpful to anyone who is googling the Motel animal Wanda dress and wanted to know what it was like!

x
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Autumn fashion trends: How to get the catwalk look on a high-street budget

September is upon us, the weather is getting colder (and wetter!), and although this would normally upset me as I am a summer baby, I’m actually more and more excited about the trends this season!

This season’s catwalks have been full of amazing looks which have REALLY inspired me. However, I can’t afford high-end couture, so here is my look at the catwalks, and my high-street interpretation.



Trend 1 – Capes
The cape was seen everywhere at Autumn/Winter 2010 shows! It was styled in several ways too. Many were short, informal and cute; others long, formal and graceful.
L-R: Hussein Chalayan; Alberta Ferretti; Aquascutum; Matthew Williamson; Rag & Bone; Alexander Wang

Key features to look for in capes: Military additions, furry collars, or even the whole cape! (fake of course). Top tips - keep your trousers tight, or buy a belted cape to avoid looking like a big blob!

Capes


Top Row L-R: ASOS Hooded Military Cape - £70 ASOS; Checked cape - £195 Urban Outfitters;  Grey high-neck cape - £150 French Connection;
Bottom Row L-R: Fleece cape - £54 American Apparel; Tie Waist Cape - £95 ASOS; French Connection Hooded Cape - £160 French Connection



Trend 2 – Camel coats
These neutral coloured jackets are classic and completely timeless. First check if any relations have any in the attic and try to pinch them, otherwise get one! The colour will go with any outfit to give it a smart but stylish edge. Perfect to last you a few years.


Chloe; Hussein Chalayan; Aquascutum; Aquascutum; 3.1 Phillip Lim


The catwalks featured really interesting shapes, maxi-coats and elegant details to bring the look up-to-date. Keep an eye out for belts, military detailing and frills.
camel coats


From Left to Right: Oversize camel jacket - £150 at Topshop; Twiggy Cocoon Coat - £89 at Very.co.uk; South Maxi Coat - £79 at Very; Duffle coat -  £50 from Debenhams

Trend 3 – Kilts
Surprisingly, kilts are going to be really big news this Autumn! Wear them during the Autumn with bare legs and cute cardigans, and then in the winter with opaque tights and knee boots.
Clockwise from Left to Right: Margaret Howell; Pringle of Scotland; Pringle; Christopher Kane


On the high street, look out for strap and belt details, frills and pleats. Especially smart black ones! Plus, if you can sew, check out this brilliant pattern from Burdastyle!




kilts


Clockwise from top left  - Tartan kilt - £22 from Dorothy Perkins; layered kilt - £40 from Warehouse; Button pleat kilt - £20 from New Look



Trend 4 – Shearling, leather jackets
These leather jackets with a furry trim are perfect for the Autumn - they look tough over feminine dresses and cosy on more rainy days!


Here's the look on the catwalks






Burberry Prorsum; Mulberry; Julien Macdonald; Burberry Prorsum; Wunderkind; Giles
Here's the look on the highstreet!


Shearling jackets
Top Row L-R: Waterfall jacket - £29.99 from New Look; Long-line brown jacket - £89 from Very; Bomber Jacket - £110 from ASOS;
Bottom Row L-R: Long-line brown jacket - £89 from Very; Black synthetic bomber - £49.99 from Uniqlo; Brown aviator jacket - £120 from ASOS

Trend 5 – Wedge boots
Wedges are back! Thank god! I love wedges - so comfortable, stylish and amazing! Love them!

Here's my favourite from the high street



Wedge Boots




Top Row L-R: Brown canvas wedge boots - £35 from Miss Selfridge; Carvela lace up boots - £150 ASOS; Lace up shoe boots - £25 from New Look;
Bottom Row L-R: Wedge open toe boots - £80 from Topshop; Slouch boots - £25 from New Look; Dune knee high wedge boots - £155 from John Lewis


Trend 6 – Bold, bright colours
Bright colours are perfect for the Autumn - they brighten up your day, make you look forwards to leaving the house and make rainy weather less horrible!



Clockwise from top left: Dior; Dior; Givenchy; Dior; Giles; Dior
Finally, curves have been spotted on the runway! This look is all about celebrating a female shape. Long skirts, cinched in waists and bustiers hark back to the days of fifties feminine elegance. Think Mad Men!

It's so exciting to see "normal sized" models on the catwalk! - Louis Vuitton; Prada; Bottega Veneta; Louis Vuitton; Dries Van Noten; Dries Van Noten

And here is a high-street interpretation:
feminine style

Hope you have enjoyed my reworking of the Autumn 2010 catwalk shows!

x
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