Monday 31 March 2014

MOON by Verity Pemberton

MOON landing, Doomed Gallery, London, 20 March 2014.

My wonderful friend and incredible stylist Verity Pemberton launched her beautiful new biannual zine MOON at Doomed Gallery in Dalston a couple of weeks ago. I am so very proud of her and am very honoured to have my work with Verity featured in the magazine: Li Wei (above), Zarina and Marli (who is on the cover in the top photograph. Yay!). 

I hadn't seen Moon before the launch party so I didn't know which images she had chosen or how it would look....and I have to say that I felt a bit teary when Verity handed me my copy. The layout is so pretty and I love that the focus is on the model from each shoot (not the clothes).

You can purchase (and browse) MOON here.

Moon Landing.....but not as you know it ;)

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014.....Constance

French model Constance Jablonski, after Isabel Marant, Paris, February 2014.

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Oxana

Glamour Russia Fashion Editor Oxana Ong,before A Show , Paris, March 2014. 

Recreate Oxana's look (kind of):

Denim prettiness: Balmain tie-dyed jumpsuit (not denim but has the same feel), Acne Studios Thelma dress,  Dsquared2 strapless denim dress, Diesel Denim strapless dress, Givenchy Denim corset top, or One Teaspoon Unforgiven dress

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Sabrina

Sabrina Meijer from After Drk blog, before Christian Dior, Paris, March 2014.

Love this look on Sabrina....very Margaret Howell-ish :) Oversized, girly and comfy.

I think Sabrina said her dress was from a Danish designer (but I might have got that all mixed up!)

Recreate Sabrina's look (kind of):

Dress: Won Hundred Oda shirtdress, Current/Elliott The School Girl cotton dress, MiH The Gathered shirtdress, Stella McCartney Steffi dress, James Perse cotton shirtdress,or Marni Compact shirtdress

Leather jacket: Acne Studios Mape leather jacket, Theyskens' Theory Nidge Jace oversized moto jacket, AllSaints Lands leather jacket or BLK Dnm 8 leather jacket

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014

Before A Show, Paris, March 2014.

Mixed prints and cropped jeans! 

Recreate her look (kind of):

Print sweatshirt: Lulu & Co Polka-dot sweatshirt,  Topshop palm sweat, Jack Wills Liberty print sweatshirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim embroidered organza sweatshirt, or Cedric Charlier Printed sweatshirt

Plaid shirt: Band of Outsiders Plaid shirt, Topshop oversize check shirt, Alice + Olivia Piper button down shirt, ASOS shirt in traditional check, Capulet plaid shirt or Etoile Isabel Marant Upton plaid shirt

Cropped jeans: Current/Elliott The Boyfriend Jeans, AG Adriano Goldschmied Ex Boyfriend jeans, or Stella McCartney Tomboy distressed boyfriend jeans

Sunday 30 March 2014

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....After Celine

Hair inspiration via Celine, Paris, March 2014.

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Bonnie

Chinese model Bonnie Chen (wearing Chloe SS 2014), before Chloe, Paris, March 2014.

Recreate Bonnie's look (kind of):

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Nasiba

Buro 24/7's Nasiba Adilova, after Valentino, Paris, March 2014.

Another way to style a long-line, unstructured coat (see also YasminLeandra, and here).

Recreate Nasiba's look (kind of):

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Deena

Founder D'NA boutique, Princess Deena Al-Juhani Abdulaziz, after Acne Studios, Paris, March 2014.

I am always curious about the choice of Olympia Le-Tan clutch ladies choose to carry - I think mine would be a book I loved and read over and over again from childhood.....

Recreate Deena's look (kind of):

Olympia Le-Tan clutch

Check sweater: Miu Miu checked sweater, Derek Lam Batwing sweater, ASOS Checked crop sweater, Thakoon Addition cotton-trimmed checked knitted sweater, Joseph sweater or Sister by Sibling gingham knitted sweater

Saturday 29 March 2014

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Waleska

Brazilian model Waleska Gorczevski, after Chloe, Paris, March 2014.

Obsessed with coloured eyeshadow at the moment (loved the pretty lilac shade at Chloe)...and fringing....and horses in the snow :)

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Marie and Laura

Marie Myrhoj Jensen of Nemesis Babe blog, and Laura Tonder of Couture Kulten before Giambattista Valli, Paris, March 2014.

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Before Haider Ackermann

Chiara Totire (and her awesome fringe bag), before Haider Ackermann, Paris, March 2014.

Fringing love. 

Recreate Chiara's look (kind of):

Isabel Marant Pierce wedge boots

Paris Fashion Week AW 2014....Jane

Teen Vogue Senior Fashion News Director, Jane Keltner de Valle, after Chloe, Paris, March 2014. 

Weather still not warm enough to wear a summer blouse? Team a turtleneck sweater (cropped if you can pull it off) with an illusion skirt until the temperature rises sufficiently.

Recreate Jane's look (kind of):

Jonathan Simkhai Classic cropped turtleneck sweater,  Temperley London cashmere turtleneck sweater, ASOS Sweater with Roll neck, Rick Owens fine-knit turtleneck sweater, or Reiss Turin black turtleneck sweater (for when the weather does warm up!)

Mark Cross Scottie small satchel, Kate Spade New York Mini Pippa bag, or Delvaux Brilliant East/West

Weekend Life....Horses Running in The Snow (Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado)

Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado, late January 2014.

Nothing much absolutely nothing in focus here but sometimes that isn't the point. Seeing these magnificent horses running in the falling snow at the Ranch was pretty incredible.

And I love the little ivory-coloured horse coming up on the inside, trying its hardest to keep up with the bigger horses. Sometimes I feel like that ;)

Friday 28 March 2014

Paris Fashion Week SS 2014....Chiara

Stylist and assistant to ADR Chiara Totire, Tuileries, Paris, October 2013. 

 Recreate Chiara's look (kind of):

Crop top (I am pretty sure Chiara said hers was from Zara): Topshop v neck cutaway crop top, Carven cropped camo top, ASOS wrap front crop top, Calvin Klein Collection Lenard cropped top, McQ Alexander McQueen Party top, Alice + Olivia Pire crop top, Rag & Bone Daytona leather crop top, Nasty Gal Neutralizer crop top or AQ/AQ Mix Crop top

Two-tone booties: Saint Laurent Paris Pointed toe ankle boots, Iro Sherie Cone heel booties, Alexander Wang Natasha calfskin bootie, Michael Kors Collection Samara booties

Paris Fashion Week SS 2014....Natalia and Caroline

Stylist, A.W.A.K.E designer and photographer Natalia Alaverdian and Tank Magazine's Caroline Issa, after Dries Van Noten, Paris, September 2013. 

Such an cute rooster print on Natalia's shirt and I love the sporty back on Caroline's gorgeous dress.

Recreate Caroline's look (kind of):

Cutout back dress: Jay Ahr cutout mini dress, Suno cutout floral-print dress, Elizabeth and James Lela dress in navy or white, Suno Solid cutout dress, Cushnie et Ochs cutout dress, or Tibi Sonoran eyelet-cotton dress (a little more subtle with the cutout action!)

London Fashion Week AW 2014....Yasmin

Fashion Consultant Yasmin Sewell, before Emilia Wickstead, London, February 2014.

A way to transition from winter into spring: layer a sweater over a floaty midi skirt or dress and team with platform sandals. 

Recreate Yasmin's look (kind of):

Illusion hem skirt: Zimmermann Tamer Tiger skirt, Club Monaco Mattie skirt, Jonathan Saunders April ombre maxi skirt, Tibi eyelet skirt, Warehouse Snake print midi skirt, or Stella McCartney Rose lace a-line skirt

Thursday 27 March 2014

Paris Fashion Week SS 2014....Polaroid Love

After Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Paris, October 2013.

A polaroid tee and skateboard? Adore. 

London Fashion Week AW 2014....Kate

Creative Consultant Kate Foley, before Burberry, London, February 2014.


Recreate Kate's look (kind of):

Sheer lace shirt: No. 21 Caris oversized lace and cotton shirt, Burberry Prorsum lace shirt,  Catherine Malandrino Exaggerated sleeve lace blouse, Diane von Furstenberg Lorelei lace shirt, Balmain cotton-blend lace shirt, or Jenni Kayne cropped lace blouse

Jimmy Choo Mystic pumps, Gianvito Rossi Carey triple-strap sandals, or Monique Lhuillier Stella pumps

New York Fashion Week AW 2014....Aimee

Aimee Song of Song of Style blog, Lincoln Centre, NYC, February 2013. 

The transition from winter to spring....a way to wear leather trousers and cute blazer. And fabulous hair!

Recreate Aimee's look (kind of):

Rebecca Taylor honeycomb jacket

Leather pants: MM6 Maison Martin Margiela leather pants, Topshop leather peg trousers, Rag & Bone leather Carpenter pants, Balmain leather straight-leg pants, ASOS peg pant in faux leather, Theory Kanga leather pants or a cropped version for summer Crippen Leather trousers

Christian Louboutin spike pumps

B Brian Atwood Bo mini cross bag, Saint Laurent mini Betty bag, or Tom Ford Large Natalia kidskin bag

Paris Fashion Week SS 2014....Nasiba

Buro 24/7's Nasiba Adilova, after A Show, Paris, October 2013.

Monday 24 March 2014

Weekend Life....Vista Verde Ranch, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Vista Verde Guest Ranch, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, late January 2014.

….But the Colorado rocky mountain high
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullaby
Rocky mountain high
in Colorado
Rocky mountain high
high in Colorado

In the weeks leading up to our Colorado adventure, there was rather a lot of off-key but entirely enthusiastic crooning of John Denver’s beloved folk song Rocky Mountain High. As in the song, Colorado had enthralled us with its thrilling mountain landscapes, pristine alpine lakes, dense pine forests and wide blue skies on a road trip with friends a few years back. Though our time in the State was brief, we were overwhelmed by its beauty and vowed to return to experience a little more Colorado Rocky Mountain High in the future.

And so, some 4½ years later, we disembark at Yampa Valley airport just outside of Steamboat Springs in northwestern Colorado to be met in Arrivals by a beautiful girl from Vista Verde Ranch, our destination for the next five days, wearing a cowboy hat and giant smile who greets us with a warm “How y’all doing? My name is Cori”. Oh, it’s so good to be back in the Rockies!

With my nose pressed against the SUV’s frosty window, Cori whisks us from the airport to Vista Verde Ranch, a 45 minute drive away.  The scenery is utterly gorgeous, and I have to suppress the desire to ask Cori to stop every few minutes so I can take photographs.  The sky is the blue of a robin’s egg* while the snowy white landscape reminds me of a scene from a Christmas card minus Santa and his reindeer.  Fat pine trees, their fanned branches heavy with powdery snow, stretch as far as the eye can see. Arriving at Vista Verde Ranch, my excitement turns to unabashed, open-mouth gawping: a dreamy winter wonderland extends before us.

As we are shown to our pretty wood cabin, Saddle, perched on a gentle** hill above the main lodge, we drink in the beauty of our surroundings: the heady smell of wood smoke punctuates the cold, fresh alpine air; horses, their shaggy winter coats dusted lightly with snow graze in a vast snowy paddock; a grove of Aspen trees, stripped of all foliage, stand silvery and sentinel-like next to our cabin; long icicles, glistening in the afternoon sun, hang like delicate glass sculptures from the roof; and in the distance, densely forested mountains are framed gloriously against the dome of bright blue sky.

Inside, our three-level cabin is the perfect combination of rustic, cosy and comfortable luxury. In keeping with the ranch surroundings, traditional Southwestern rugs are slung over railings and floors, lodgepole pine furniture – handcrafted by on-site woodworker Bill Backer – outfit the cabin (including a handsome king-sized bed in the main bedroom), a big barrel filled with seasoned wood sits next to the wood-burning stove in the cheery sitting area while a pair of vintage leather cowboy chaps (just in case you have forgotten your own!) are draped over a peg in the entryway.

Humming away happily to Keith Urban as we unpack (an iPod docking station is provided in each cabin for sing-a-long purposes), I contemplate the days ahead at the ranch. As tempting as it was to consider curling up in front of the crackling log fire with a book and glass of wine, the ranch offers a host of winter activities which we were eager  - and admittedly a little nervous*** - to try out. Ranging from the genteel (wine-tasting, cooking classes, yoga, sleigh rides) to the exhilarating (tobogganing, backcountry skiing, snow biking) to the just plain this-is-so-beautiful-I-have-to-pinch-myself (a horse ride in the snow), I opt to ease into things with a sleigh ride.

Snuggled in blankets and with the prospect of a flask of steaming hot chocolate to warm us up midway, our sleigh driver, head cowboy wrangler John, murmurs a soft command to the magnificent draft horse charged with pulling the sleigh and we are off! With the sun dancing off the snow making it glitter like thousands of tiny sequins, it feels very much like a snow globe come to life.

Later that evening, our noses Rudolph-like from the cold, we luxuriate in the hot tub on our cabin’s deck. I am not generally a jacuzzi kind of girl, but the experience of sinking into a large tub – with mood lighting! - filled with steaming, bubbling water while surrounded by vast amounts of freshly fallen snow is pretty incredible. We stay in until our fingers and toes are wrinkly and it begins to snow.

The next morning, we awake early to find the entire ranch looks as if it has been coated in a thick layer of royal icing overnight. It is staggeringly beautiful.  Standing on our deck with mugs of fresh coffee in hand, gazing at the snow-covered gingerbread houses cabins, the silence is only broken by the occasional whinny of a horse and the distant hum of a snowplough. Oodles of fresh Colorado powder to play in? Even a novice powder puppy like me could feel the excitement in the air.

Over the next few days we throw ourselves into ranch activities. Cross-country skiing on groomed trails, tobogganing (I start off nervously - wearing my yaktrax for extra grip - and by the end am taking a flying leap before hurtling down the slope, face covered in snow and laughing wildly), a horsemanship clinic, backcountry skiing, and a snowy horse ride. My favorite? Backcountry skiing. Before we head out into the wilderness, Steve and Kelli, our wonderful guides, kit us out with skis, boots and poles and ask about our expectations, experience, likes and dislikes. I sense that skiing in a remote forest in deep, untracked powder is as much about the spiritual as the physical. With Steve’s words of wisdom spurring us on “Nobody grooms as good as mother nature” and “We are human beings, not human doings”, we set off with Steve and Kelli’s adorable lab, Rosie, leading the way. As Rosie bounds ahead of us – four legs are better than two skis it seems - her black face sprinkled with snow, we are soon deep in a pine forest where the only sounds are the swoosh of our skis (and the rustle of my pants!) and Steve and Kelli’s enthusiastic encouragement. It is magical. And although I fall, feel frustrated (mostly trying to master uphill!) and am exhausted by the end, we both agree that it is the highlight of our stay at Vista Verde Ranch.

On the last night of our stay, one of the other guest’s gives an impromptu speech after dinner: it is the best holiday that he and his partner have ever had.

That is just the kind of place Vista Verde Ranch is….Colorado Rocky Mountain High indeed.

Eat + Drink:

Food at the ranch is hearty, sophisticated without being fussy and utterly delicious. So scrumptious that despite all my physical exertion and restraint from raiding the (freshly baked) cookie jar each time I pass it, I am grateful for the elastic waist in my nylon pants by the end of the week! Head chef John is passionate about cooking the kind of food people want to eat – flavourful and wholesome. Breakfast highlights included winter hash with crispy pancetta, sage, runny eggs and tabasco aioli, and cranberry pear crepes with cinnamon cream cheese while supper standouts included a divine homemade pasta with meltingly tender braised lamb shoulder, and pan seared scallops with kale and radish salad, butternut squash and truffle vinaigrette.

Each cabin is also kitted out with a fridge filled with complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks as well as a goodie basket filled with trail mix, freshly ground coffee, pretzels and other snacks should you feel peckish between meals (you won't!).

*I later learn that bright, sunny days after recent snowfall are called bluebird days in this part of the world….so probably a bluebird’s egg would have been more appropriate!

**Before we adjust to the altitude (the ranch is at 7,800 feet) the trek up the gentle slope after a day of activities feels rather more like scaling Mount Kosciuszko!

***Leading up to our trip, I alternated between elation at the prospect of a proper holiday in the snow (my first) to sweaty-palm inducing panic. With America gripped in the throes of a polar vortex, I could no longer dismiss puffy down jackets from the likes of Moncler and Canada Goose as mere fashion statements. It was going to be cold in Colorado and my previous method of dealing with sub-zero temperatures – piling on the contents of my wardrobe underneath a sizeable coat – was not going to work for skiing and horse riding. Cue a harried trip to an array of outdoor stores for contemplation of wicking, base layers, snow gaiters, thermals, gloves, nylon pants that make an unnerving crinkling sound when walking, and yaktrax (the latter – like grippy snow chains for your hiking shoes - turned out to be the star purchase).
And I was worried I would not be fit enough for cross-country skiing at altitude, which, when viewed on YouTube, looked like something that should only be attempted by those at Olympic levels of fitness. Mostly however I was concerned with the mortifying thought of falling over in the snow like a giant, crinkly-panted bug and not being able to get up again!

We were hosted by Vista Verde Ranch during our stay in Colorado.