BEAUTY ON THE GO! BALMAIN AW15

Posted on March 18, 2015

This week, we enlisted the help of Blow Ltd to get the super sleek look from Balmain’s AW15 show. And we didn’t even have to leave our desk! Booking with Blow’s Fast Beauty To Go service means an expert stylist will come to you wherever you are – whether you need a quick blow dry or a full beauty makeover with manicure and make-up. So try the Balmain look for yourself with their step-by-step guide, or simply book a stylist to do it for you!

1. Start with freshly washed hair in its natural state.

2. Spray with water to dampen.

3. Use a comb to create a side parting and section hair into five, securing each into a bun.

4. Start with the back section. Blow dry all sides of the root first, before moving onto the mid lengths and ends – and remember to direct the air downwards to achieve maximum shine and smoothness.

5. Repeat with all other sections.

6. After applying a light serum, use hair straighteners to smooth the ends of the hair. To finish, spray a comb with hairspray and use the handle to smooth over any flyaway hairs. Now you’re done!

Love the makeover? Book an appointment with Blow Ltd now. 

UNIQUE INSPIRATION: NORTHERN SOUL

Posted on March 17, 2015

For SS15, the designers behind our Unique catwalk collection took their inspiration from Northern Soul! So what’s it all about? The dance ‘n’ music movement began up north in the ’60s and ’70s, when retro American records and out-there dancing offered a much-needed escape from the humdrum realities of teenage life. Here’s the basics, from the look to the moves.

THE LOOK

Part dance school, part ’60s mod – we took the Northern soul aesthetic and referenced it in our SS15 Unique collection with frilly dresses, sporty polos and made-for-dancing pleats. Check out the pieces that just landed today.

THE MUSIC

Soul classics from America on repeat – from doo wop groups like the The Vel Vets, to gospel girl Linda Jones and ‘Let’s Twist Again’ icon Chubby Checker.

THE MOVES

‘Dance like no-one watching’ comes to mind. Northern Soul kids didn’t mill around chatting – it was about going all out with high kicks, hand stands and some seriously fancy footwork.

THE LOGO

The movement even adopted their own logo – with hundreds of fans customising flares and polos with clenched fist badges to show their Northern Soul allegiance.

THE HOTSPOTS

While Wigan Casino was the original epicentre, today a number of Northern Soul all-nighters have started to spring up again from Manchester to London and New York.

Converted to Northern Soul? Shop our new Unique styles now. 

#LOVINGYOURWORK – MADELEINE ØSTLIE

Posted on March 17, 2015

When she’s not heading up creative casting agency AAMO Casting alongside model Adwoa Aboah, multi-tasking Fashion Editor Madeleine Østlie is busy styling editorials for i-D, Wonderland and Tank Magazine. We caught up with her on set of our sweet ‘n’ soulful Denim Dreamers shoot to chat about our favourite new faces and British fashion talent.

What has been your favourite project to work on recently?

I’m not one for favouritism but I’m in Paris at the moment about to shoot my former removal man and now-boyfriend Leo Topalov –  I streetcast him when he moved me into my flat – in the French countryside with amazing photographer Fanny Latour Lambert.

What inspires you when it comes to styling?

Everything and anything. Humanity. Old French women. Urban kids. People just being hot.

What do you look for when casting a new face?

A point of difference.

What about personality? It seems like this is becoming increasingly more important.

Personality can mean everything for a picture - it’s the essence of attitude and style. I think personality is the difference between a good model and a great one.

Which models are you tipping for big things?

Anna Cleveland. Even though she’s already big, I feel like she is about to explode after seeing her closing GILES.  She’s otherworldly and iconic.

Finally, any advice for getting into the fashion industry?

Work your freaking ass off. Be your own biggest critique. Never take no for an answer. A smile will get you everywhere. And most importantly. Be HONEST & KIND.

Check out our Denim Dreamers editorial here, as styled by Madeleine. 

5 REASONS YOU CANT MISS SAVAGE BEAUTY

Posted on March 16, 2015

Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty is finally open! We popped by for an early preview of the exhibition and believe us, it justifies the hype. Here’s five reasons you’d be a fool to miss out…

1. It’s McQueen’s homecoming

“London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration.” The McQueen quote that greets visitors makes it feel even more poignant that Savage Beauty has finally arrived in the designer’s hometown. You’ll get a real sense of just how much the city inspired him, from Savile Row to Jack the Ripper and taxi drivers like his dad.

2. Each room feels like a part of his identity

This isn’t just an exhibition of mannequins. Curator Claire Wilcox’s genius transformation of each room feels just as ground breaking as McQueen’s designs. We don’t want to spoil it too much, but expect spooky bone-cratfed catacombs, trippy animations and a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ filled floor-to-ceiling with some of his most iconic pieces.

3. You’ll see hundreds of his greatest hits up-close

The armadillo shoes? Tick. The revolving spray paint dress? They’ve got it. These and over a hundred of McQueen’s most memorable designs are on display for you to see in all their intricacy. We could’ve stayed there staring for hours.

4. You’ll feel like a front row guest

McQueen was renowned for taking the traditional fashion show and turning it into something more akin to performance art. See the original mirrored box from his controversial asylum show and get mesmerised as Kate Moss appears before you’re eyes in the very same hologram that wowed his guests in 2006.

5. It’s emotional 

Not only is this exhibition expertly done, but it’s also emotional. From the tragedy of his death, to the feelings of patriotism that it brings – we reckon it might bring a tear to your eye.

Convinced? 200 Savage Beauty tickets are available each day on a first-come-first-serve basis until 2nd August. Find out more from the V&A. 

YOUR MOTHER’S DAY FLOWERS, SORTED

Posted on March 13, 2015

Treating your mum to flowers this Sunday? We’ve got just the place. Flora Starkey is one of our favourite London florists – so much so that we asked her to created the British countryside-inspired floral arrangements for our AW15 Unique show at London Fashion Week. We caught up with her to chat about the show, plus what to pick for Mother’s Day.

What was the inspiration behind the flowers at the Topshop Unique show?

We wanted to reference the beautiful prints in the collection (inspired by the English countryside) so used thistles and other wild and natural looking plants. Florist and author Constance Spry was also an inspiration. Her work was from a time before flowers were shipped internationally and so they were always British and seasonal.

How did the Tate Britain venue impact on the choice of flowers?

The venue is such an impressive space, it really needs volume to fill it. So I went big with the branches and we added some larger flowers like peonies and poppies.

Mother’s Day is coming up! What makes the perfect bouquet?

It’s the perfect time for tulips, hyanciths and sweet smelling paperwhites.

What trends are big in floristry now?

I think that there’s a definite move towards a looser more natural style. I think we’ll see a real departure from the formal domed arrangements that have been around for so long now.

What would you advise to budding florists?

My main advice would be to get hands on experience. Practice and experiment with flowers at any opportunity. It’s very hard work but also very rewarding!

Keep up to date with Flora Starkey here.

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