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London Fashion Week: Aminaka Wilmont AW2010

Maki Aminaka Löfvander and Marcus Wilmontmake are the two designers behind Aminaka Wilmont, the second show I saw on the first day. Taking place at Victoria House as part of the On|Off shows, I was eager to see what they had in store for their AW2010 collection.

The collection consisted of a lot of graphic print dresses in varying lengths (mid-thigh, knee and mid-calf), and different sleeves (sleeveless, cap, long and combo of cap and long). Necklines were kept simple and to a minimum, as the focus was on the shoulders. Draping was a strong theme up around the shoulders, as well as down the front of some dresses, ultimately creating a beautiful and flowing silhouette.

Leggings were paired with oversized tops and/or sweaters, again creating a strong shoulder and drawing the focus here. I loved the hair accessories used in the second half of the show. These  feathery accessories would sure make a statement should someone be bold enough to wear one in public!

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London Fashion Week: Caroline Charles AW2010

How exciting coming to London Fashion Week! My first day started off with the Caroline Charles show. Showing a lot of tweed (black, brown and green), all suits were quite traditional in style. Jackets were cinched at the waist, with a close-to-the-body cut and all were paired with waist belts. What I loved most were the black tweeds paired with splashes of green accessories giving this classic fabric a more modern look and feel.

Caroline Charles’s evening wear collection consisted of dresses, jackets and tops adorned with beaded embellishments – a little too glittery for me, but appealing nonetheless. Here are a couple of pics, unfortunately not that great.

Lastly, here’s a short video of the last couple of minutes of the show.

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Add a Little Oomph this Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, will you be doing anything special this February 14th?

Some people I know don’t celebrate for the same reasons: it’s too commercial, no one to celebrate with, and why should it be different from any other day? For those of you who don’t feel this day is any different, why not go out and indulge in something special like sexy lingerie? And if you don’t have anyone to celebrate with, why not treat yourself to a spa treatment or a trashy romance novel?

I personally avoid restaurants on Valentine’s Day, but I still celebrate and show my love through the art of food = candy and a special dinner. Call me traditional, but I like it! Sure the idea of changing my ways has crossed my mind, so maybe this year will the THE year to do just that.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

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What’s In Your Closet?

When was the last time you went through your closet? Do you know everything that is in there? Are there items that you just don’t know where they “disappeared” to? Chances are they are crumpled up in the back corner of your closet, just like that box of Quinoa you purchased…have you seen it in the pantry lately?

Here are a few key things to remember in keeping your wardrobe up-to-date.

1. The Golden Rule

If you haven’t worn it in a year, chances are you will never wear it again. Don’t be afraid to purge old items; they’re just taking up valuable space. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Classic pieces, such as wool or cashmere sweaters, are good examples of clothing items you might want to keep.

2. For When I’m Slimmer

Don’t keep or purchase items for when you will be slimmer, what a waste! Rather, spend your money on items you can wear right now, and if you do loose weight, then consider having them refitted. Not only will you get to wear them now, but you will also be able to appreciate them later.

3. Back to Basics

Be sure to have these must-have items, as they are the foundation to building your wardrobe: trench coat, basic black dress, classic shirt, dress pants, skirt, jeans, any occasion top, basic tees and a fitted jacket.

4. Fads

Don’t build your wardrobe on fads, as you will look out of style in a season’s time. Instead, stay up-to-date by adding a few trendy pieces into your wardrobe.

5. Stick to What You Know

Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you have to do it too. It’s like when I came across Jeggings…are you serious? Are these for real? Stick to what suits you best and you’ll feel and look great!

6. A World of Possibilities

Don’t forget to add color! Once you’ve established your basic colors (black, brown, navy, green/olive, beige) add color. Just think about all the possibilities and what it can do for your wardrobe! That splash of hot pink or yellow in the dreary winter months will definitely brighten up your day. Another easy way to add color to your wardrobe is through accessories: shoes, purse, jewelry, and scarf.

Happy shopping!

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3 Tips for Surviving Parisian Sale Season

Sales season in Paris is a one-of-a-kind experience. If you ever get the chance to be here in either January or July, the two official sale months, do take advantage of it! I saw footage of women running into Les Galeries Lafayette last week, as though they had never seen a sale before! Have you ever lined up for a sale?

Here are my Top 3 things to know in order to survive the sale season in the Capital of Fashion:

1. Know the Dates

For winter 2010, the sales started on January 6th and go until February 9th, 2010. That gives you a whole month to find what you are looking for. And do not forget, there are second and third markdowns, so the longer you wait, the more you save!

2. Strategize

If you fall into a popular size category (women 34 to 40; men M and L), consider going earlier rather than later. If, however, you prefer waiting until the second markdown where you will save about 40-50%, or the third markdown where you will save over 50%, know there is a chance that your size may no longer be available. It is a risk, and one you have to be willing to take!

3. Know When to Shop

I know a lot of people who just do not enjoy shopping. If you want to avoid the crowds, then try going at off-hours, such as first thing in the morning or in the middle of the afternoon. And avoid Saturdays!! Also know that the bigger department stores, Printemps and Les Galeries Lafayette, are both open until 10pm on Thursdays.

Happy shopping!

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A New Spin to Your Suitcase

Here is something fun and original to add to your personal items, the MyDotDrops suitcase. It is a 4 wheel suitcase that you can design yourself! Here is how the concept works: first select the size you want, either cabin, 62cm or 72cm, then choose your base color, black or gray. Now comes the fun part! With a choice of 21 colors, you can create your own design that will adorn one side of your suitcase. Design your favorite character, write a personal message, recreate your country’s flag, or just design something totally random. Whatever you choose, I am sure many heads will be turning as you stroll through the airport or down the street with your one-of-a-kind suitcase.

With free worldwide delivery, the cabin size suitcase starts at €175, while the 62cm and 72cm start at €225 and €275, respectively – yes, a little steep. The more intricate your design, the more expensive the suitcase. Check out my design below.

MyDotDrops screen shot

Happy shopping!

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