Monthly Archives: December 2013

Victoria Beckham – Pretty Powerful.


Victoria Beckham has firmly established herself as one of the most powerful women in fashion in only a few short years. Named the most talked about designer on Twitter during New York Fashion Week in September 2012, she has been recognised as the most pinned celebrity for 2013 on Pinterest, according to The Telegraph.

Victoria Beckham at New York Fashion Week. (photo - GoRunway)

Victoria Beckham at New York Fashion Week. (photo – GoRunway)

In 2007 Beckham won two Glamour Magazine Awards, one for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ for her fashion achievements and another for ‘Woman of the Year.’ Victoria was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at the British Fashion Awards in November 2011.

Fashion week with Natalie Massenet, Diane Von Furstenburg and Donatella Versace. (photo - Rex Features)

Fashion week with Natalie Massenet, Diane Von Furstenberg and Donatella Versace. (photo – Rex Features)

Known for popularising Roland Mouret’s fitted dresses, Victoria launched her own collection at New York Fashion Week at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2008.

Victoria posed with Karl Lagerfeld for a photoshoot for French Elle at legendary designer Coco Chanel's home. Here she appears with Karl at Mercedes Bench Fashion week.

Victoria posed with Karl Lagerfeld for a photoshoot for French Elle at legendary designer Coco Chanel’s home. Here she appears with Karl at Mercede-Benz Fashion Week.

Former footballer, husband David with daughter Harper and American Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week  in New York September 2013.

Former footballer, husband David with daughter Harper and American Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, September 2013. (photo – Reuters)

Simple monochrome designs featured heavily in her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection. Victoria looked crisp in a white shirt, tucked into cropped black trousers worn with heels.

Victoria's signature smokey-eye make up.

Victoria’s signature smokey-eye make up.

January 2014 will see VB collaborating with Skype to give us an inside look into her business. The Skype team said, “From the spark that launched her business, the innovation, collaboration, entrepreneurialism and her embracing of technology to empower creativity and to run her business from around the globe, the story of the Victoria Beckham label will be told in a previously unseen way.”

One of her most copied by the high street looks for this Winter; the cropped polo neck and trouser. (photo - Rex Features)

One of her most copied by the high street looks for this Winter; the cropped polo neck and trouser. (photo – Rex Features)

Nigella Lawson – The Taste of Success.


British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson is returning to British television screens in January In ‘The Taste’. The show aired in its original format in the US on ABC in January 2013. As in previews shows, Nigella will be seen tasting and enjoying great food. She says, “At my age, being thin is not a good look. Eating is my anti-aging remedy”.

Nigella

Nigella glamorous in curve-hugging purple for the show ‘The Taste’ in the US. (photo – AP)

Her first book established her as woman with a passion for life and food.

Her first book introduced her as a woman with a passion for life and food and helped start a cupcake revolution.

'Nigella Bites' accompanied the. Channel 4 series that established her as a sensual cook adored by men and women globally.

‘Nigella Bites’ accompanied the channel four series that established her as a sensual cook adored by men and women globally.

The reality style show is described as a mix between a talent show and a cooking competition. Each of the experts coach a mixed team of amateur and professional cooks and at the end of each episode the judges sample the dishes blind without knowing who cooked it or even what the dish is.

The US version of 'The Taste' Ludo Lefebvre, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Marcus Samuelsson. (photo - abc)

The US version of ‘The Taste’ with Ludo Lefebvre, Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Marcus Samuelsson. (photo – ABC)

‘The Taste’ airs on Channel 4 in the UK, on Tuesday 7 January at 9 pm.

Nigella as mentor and judge on  '. The Taste'. (photo - XPUSJP)

Nigella as mentor and judge on ‘The Taste’. (photo – XPUSJP)

Nigella doing the taste test in a scene from the new show.

Nigella doing the taste test in a scene from the new show.

Stella McCartney – Music And Fashion Were Always My Passion.


British fashion designer Stella McCartney hosted the annual Christmas lights switch-on at her Bruton Street store. Dame Edna Everage was the special guest who switched on the lights. McCartney said, “The brief is to have fun. I have been dying to get Dame Edna for so long, I’m chuffed.”

Dame Edna Everage with Stella at her Chrismas lights switch-on party at the Brompton Cross store. (photo - Bauer media)

Dame Edna Everage with Stella at her Chrismas lights switch-on party at the Bruton street store. (photo – Bauer media)

Stella McCartney opened in South Kensington's Brompton Cross in 2012.

Stella McCartney opened in South Kensington’s Brompton Cross in 2012. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Spring/summer 2014 (photo - worklondonstyle)

Spring/Summer 2014 (photo – worklondonstyle)

The Brompton Cross store includes the first ever Kids stand alone store for children up to age 12. (photo - worklondonstyle)

The Brompton Cross store includes the first ever Kids stand alone store for children up to age 12. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Stella was appointed team GB's Creative Director for the 2012 Olympics by Adidas, having established a long term-partnership with Adidas in September 2004. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Stella was appointed team GB’s Creative Director for the 2012 Olympics by Adidas, having established a long term-partnership with Adidas in September 2004. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Stella McCartney, the daughter of former Beatle Paul McCartney and photographer, musician and animal rights activist Linda, showed her first collection in Paris in October 2001. She received an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to the fashion industry.

Stella with Anna Wintour; editor of American Vogue. (photo - Abaca)

Stella with Anna Wintour; editor of American Vogue. (photo – Abaca)

Stella received the VH1/Vogue Designer of the Year Award in New York in 2000. Her father Paul McCartney, presented the award and she dedicated it to her late mother.

In February 2013 Women’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 assessed her as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom.

Adele wearing a Stella McCartney dress to receive her Member of the Order of the British Empire award for services to the music industry at Buckingham palace. (photo - Getty)

Adele wearing a Stella McCartney dress to receive her Member of the Order of the British Empire award for services to the music industry at Buckingham Palace. (photo – Getty)

French Women Don’t Get Facelifts


Mireille Guiliano first came to our attention when she famously invited Oprah to come stay with her to learn the secrets of why “French Women Don’t Get Fat.” This former CEO of Veuve Clicquot, the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Champagne house, launched a new genre of French ‘savoir faire.’

Mireille Guiliano's new book

Mireille Guiliano’s new book ‘French Women Don’t Get Facelifts’. (photo – Grand Central Publishing)

Subsequent publications included the “French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook”, “French Women For All Seasons” and her business sense and sensibility guide, “Women, Work & The Art of Savoir Faire.”

Mireille Guiliano

Mireille at a signing for “Women, Work & The Art of Savoir Faire.”

Guiliano shares her time between Manhattan, Paris and Provence. The 60-something writer attributes the youthful staying power of the French to their individualistic style and attitude. She says, “The difference is the U.S. is a ‘youth’ culture. France is not. Literally, here you are old after 30 and not in France. There is still respect for women in their 50’s.”

She writes, “Certainly in France, a woman in her forties and fifties is still alluring and seen as an object of desire and acts the part. She feels it and acts it, but doesn’t pretend she is ageless.”

#bookshelfie - Mireille in her apartment in Manhatten.

#bookshelfie – Mireille in her apartment in Manhatten.

A few tips from her book: 1. Attitude is key – Mireille calls attitude ‘the magic pill’ responsible for the major difference in youthful appearance of French women. Love and laughter save the day. 2. Dress for the age you are now. She says “Girlish looks for matue women are not something French women are keen on. With today’s choices, one does not have to dress old at any age.” 3. Less is more for makeup. “Once your face has noticeable wrinkles, don’t even think about makeup and moisturizers with glittery particles that draw attention. C’est tout.” 4. Eat “face friendly” food. This includes lots of vegetables, good protein, honey and a little bit of what you fancy; including chocolate and a glass of champagne. 5. Respect your skin. Moisturise religiously. France is a country of creams and treatments, often bought from the local chemist. Use preventative measures like UV protection to slow down the clock.

Mireille Guiliano

Mireille Guiliano

“French Women Don’t Get Facelifts” is published by Grand Central Publishing on 24 December 2013. It has already been named a Wall Street Journal best book of the year.

Mulberry – The Delevingne Factor


British handbag and clothing brand Mulberry has set its sights on international expansion. Established by Roger Saul in Somerset in the south west of England in 1971, Mulberry has built a reputation on its dedication to craftsmanship and tradition. This balanced with a nose for high fashion and practicality has ensured it cult status when it launched the now iconic Bayswater in 2002. Named after the leafy West London neighbourhood, it was originally available in Oak, Chocolate and Black. Its success has seen new colours and finishes sent down the catwalk year on year.

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo - worklondonstyle)

The Mulberry Bayswater (photo – worklondonstyle)

With 123 stores and a market cap of £604m The Rookery, Mulberry’s original factory, could not meet demand. The second factory in Somerset has been completed and will run to full capacity by mid 2014. The Rookery has been the only leather goods factory of its size in the UK.

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. (photo -Mulberry)

Bags are designed in the London studio. The entire process from pattern making and prototyping to fine tuning can take up to 28 weeks. Considering material qualities, it takes one skin to make one handbag. The Bayswater requires 12sq ft of leather. All off-cuts are used in smaller projects and recycled. Bags are handmade. Cutting, skiving, handle making, splitting, spraying, inking, ironing, stitching and folding are overseen by largely locally sourced and trained craftspeople.

The launch of the Alexa, named after British model, TV presenter and style icon, Alexa Chung, drew A-list stars to Mulberry’s catwalk shows. The design is derived from the Elkington, Mulberry’s Classic men’s briefcase.

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

Alexa Chung with the Alexa bag and the original Elkington which inspired it. (photo -Mulberry)

American singer Lana Del Rey inspired the Del Rey bag featured in the 2012 Autumn/Winter campaign. Cara Delevingne, British model of the year for 2012 is the current face of the brand.

Mulberry launched the Cara Delevingne range at Claridge’s in London on 16 February 2014. It is hoping to revive it’s flagging bag sales; drawing on the model’s millions of international followers.

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo - Mulberry)

Cara Delevingne photographed by renowned British photographer Tim Walker (photo – Mulberry)

Chief executive Bruno Guillon has said plans to open 15 new stores were on track. A flagship store is set to open on Paris’ Rue Saint-Honore in 2014.

Guillon has repositioned Mulberry from an affordable to a luxury brand, with 36% of sales derived from bags priced over £1000 compared to 4% in 2012. Creative director, Emma Hill’s departure has left room for new direction.

Vintage Mulberry - The Roxanne. ( photo - worklondonstyle)

Vintage Mulberry – The Roxanne. ( photo – worklondonstyle)

Investment in prominent tourist destinations such as Asia and North America saw pre-tax profits down by 28% to £7.2 million, in the six months to 30 September. Revenues were up 2.1% to £78.1m with like-for-like growth of 4%. International retail sales were up 29%.

Research has shown that Asia Pacific is posed to be the biggest market for luxury goods by 2018. In readiness for the harvest, now is the time to invest. It is a costly process, but with the local market close to saturation, the promise of rich pickings may well justify investment in multinational expansion.

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

The Cara Delevingne backpack. (photo-Reuters)

Are You Sitting Down?


Sit! This basic command to the family pet is one often exercised for extensive periods by the rest of the family at home, school or the office. “Sitting is the new smoking”, says Anup Kanodia; physician and researcher at the Centre For Personalised Health Care at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Centre.

Reading, my greatest joy, can often keep me grounded for hours at a time. (photo -  worklondonstyle)

Reading, my greatest joy, can often keep me grounded for hours at a time. (photo – worklondonstyle)

An Australian study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in October 2012 stated that every one hour of  sitting watching TV, reduces a person’s life by 22 minutes, whilst every cigarette shortens a smoker’s life by about 11 minutes.

“The chair is out to kill us,” States James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. In the UK physical inactivity is responsible for 17% of early deaths. It is an international epidemic, causing 6% of deaths around the world, making it one of the top four global killers. It can shorten life expectancy by three to five years.

Striding down Regent Street, London. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Striding down Regent Street, London. (photo – worklondonstyle)

The cure for physical inactivity could be as simple as walking. It costs nothing and it’s health benefits are proven. It can reduce the risk from heart disease to breast cancer. All it takes is a little self motivation and determination. With some planning it can be done anywhere in all weather.

My sister's dog, Milo, taking me for a run on a recent holiday in Cape Town.

My sister’s dog, Milo, taking me for a run on a recent holiday in Cape Town.

Sitting still burns very few calories and can pile on the pounds over time. Levine States that a person with a desk job may burn 300 calories a day at work whilst the same person might burn 2,300 per day in a job that requires considerable physical output. Sitting can lead to insulin resistance and suppress the production of lipase, which is essential for turning bad cholesterol into good. Thus the link between prolonged sitting, diabetes and heart disease.

Saturday afternoon walking along the South Bank. (photo - worklondonsyle)

Saturday afternoon walking along the South Bank. (photo – worklondonsyle)

What to do if your job calls for many hours of staying seated? A study published in Diabetes Care last year showed you can improve your glucose metabolism with a two minute walk every 20 minutes. It is recommended that people engage in 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity. This is equivalent to 30 minutes each day, 5 times per week.

Sunday afternoon in Richmond park. Sunshine and the luxury of more time calls for a faster pace and longer distance. (photo - worklondonstyle)

Sunday afternoon in Richmond park. Sunshine and the luxury of more time call for a faster pace and longer distance. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Dr Hannah Bridges, senior information officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer says, “Any activity that raises your pulse reduces your risk – so regular brisk walks are an easy and free way to get active.”

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.


Victoria’s Secret’s 2013 show aired on American television channel CBS on Tuesday, 10 December. Sales topped $6.12billion last year, easily justifying the $12million it costs to produce the spectacular annual show. Last year the show drew a viewership of 9.3 million as it was screened in 185 countries worldwide.

Six themes were showcased: ‘British Invasion’, ‘Birds of Paradise’, ‘PINK Network’, ‘Parisian Nights’, ‘Shipwrecked’ and ‘Snow Angels’.

South African born Victoria's Secret Angel, Candice Swanepoel wearing this year's 'fantasy bra' valued at $10 million. (photo - Victoria's Secret)

South African born Victoria’s Secret Angel, Candice Swanepoel wearing this year’s ‘fantasy bra’ valued at $10 million. (photo – Victoria’s Secret)

British fashion editor, Sophia Nephititou is the stylist for the aspirational brand, with London cobbler Nicolas Kirkwood’s stilettos, a firm favourite of the Angels. This year’s ‘Royal fantasy bra’ was designed by jeweler Mouawad. Previous years have seen Angels Miranda Kerr, Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima wearing the covetable bra.

Brazilian model, Adriana Lima wearing red for this year's catwalk show. (photo - Reuters)

Brazilian model, Adriana Lima wearing red for this year’s catwalk show. (photo – Reuters)

Adriana Lima is a Brazilian actress and model and has been a Victoria Secret Angel since 2000.

‘Model of the Year 2012’, Cara Delevingne made her second appearance for the brand in this year’s show.

Cara Delvinge on the Victoria's Secret catwalk. (photo - Reuters)

Cara Delevingne on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk. (photo – Reuters)

The snowflake segment of the 2013 catwalk show. (photo - Reuters)

The snowflake segment of the 2013 catwalk show. (photo – Reuters)

worklondonstyle visiting the Victoria's Secret Bond Street London flagship store.

worklondonstyle visiting the Victoria’s Secret Bond Street London flagship store.

Taylor Swift headlined the entertainment at the 2013 show. She was supported in serenading the angelic models by Neon Jungle, Fall Out Boy and A Great Big World.

Taylor Swift serenading the models. (photo - Reuters)

Taylor Swift serenading the models. (photo – Reuters)

What sets Victoria’s Secret apart from its competition in the lingerie industry is the superior customer experience. It starts outside the store with the exceptional window displays showcasing merchandise from previous shows. A red carpet welcome awaits the customer at the entrance. The beautiful interior, superb merchandise and inviting fitting rooms are complimented by friendly, informed staff. Customers trust the brand and easily pay a little more as Victoria’s Secret make their lingerie purchases feel like investments.

Dutch model Doutzen Kroes is a veteran of the show. (photo- Reuters)

Dutch model Doutzen Kroes is a veteran of the show. (photo- Reuters)