June 21, 2012

High Society by Steven Chee

Model: Teresa Palmer 
Photographer: Steven Chee
 Stylist: Jesse Hart

June 14, 2012

Harrods celebrates the Queens Diamond Jubilee - with designer crowns!

London is currently a proud sea of red, white and blue thanks to the bunting, flags and face painted children celebrating the Diamond Jubilee. The atmosphere is electric and London is merrily embracing all of its British treasures. And what better treasure then the Queens crown itself? 

Luxury department store Harrods has filled its windows with 31 dazzling crowns – all individually designed and created by the finest in fashion, cuisine, jewellery and beauty. 

Yesterday I took a visit to the world famous store to marvel through the glass at these unique creations. They are definitely fit for a Queen, and any fashionista for that matter!
Its always very exciting when different designers and specialists get the same brief. I couldn’t wait to compare the crowns and see if I could guess each designer before looking at the name. I think the crowns represent more then just a tribute to the Queen, they also show a brand heritage that is just as raw and iconic. There were some classic interpretations, along with the more adventurous, a few surprises and some real gems (there were a fair few diamonds too!)
I’m already feeling very inspired to design my own crown, one which would represent my personal taste alongside my love for England. But I have a feeling that my wavy-cut scissors, PVA glue and Christmas coloured glitter may not be adequate to make the finished item. 

Try scrolling down and guessing the crowns for yourself, I’ll leave the designers name underneath the image. It’s fascinating! 

 Alessi
The "Carosello" crown was designed by Giovanni Alessi who wanted to capture the pride and spirit of the British nation. The italian company that is famous for its luxury joyful kitchen utensils used stainless steel to create the crown.
 Carrs
Carrs uses its famous silverware cutlery in this fit for a picnic crown.
 Bvlgari
The crowns statement gold and silver colouring reflects both Bvlgaris prestigious jewellery and a ceremonial old England. The snake is an interesting yet menacing choice, made even more remarkable by the fact another designer also chose this creature.
Roberto Cavalli
This poetic crown is covered in intricate butterflies and flowers made of gemstones. It resembles the beautiful historical gardens in England. 
Da Beers
Being world famous for their diamonds, I can imagine the designers at Da Beers were ecstatic to be asked to create their own version of the imperial state crown. And of course, diamonds were very much on the agenda. The crown includes 974 diamonds of which 797 are polished at the rest are rough. 
Chopard
The luxury watches and jewellery manufacture created this crown based on their Animal World Haute Jewellery collection. The pretty iconic charms and diamond watch are put together to create a spectacular owl, called "Bruce"
Clive Christian
When it comes to luxury Clive Christian is usually the one wearing the crown. The interior designer even has his own perfume which is the most expensive in the world! Here he's gone for his trademark ornate decor with a decorative design in red, white and gold.
 Lanvin
This vibrant and modern take on the Imperial State Crown is made fun and joyful by the gem encrusted pink heart at the top opposite a rock 'n' roll burnt Union Jack flag.
Valentino
The italian fashion house displayed its skilled craftsmanship and passion for archaic heritage. 
Boucheron 
The french jewellery house is known for its diamond encrusted animal creations and said the snake symbolises protection and infinity. 
Theo Fennell
With his signature pink and black this crown is a bold, modern alternative to the others. The little bees and honey comb design was chosen to reflect "the Queen bee." The designer "hopes it has a sense of jolly timelessness," 
Jo Malone
Being a fan of monochrome this crown is one of my personal favourites. Its chic, understated and undeniably classic. The iconic signature cream and black colours demonstrates the elegance of Jo Malone. 
Paul Smith
Going for a 60's vibe Paul Smith covered this crown in corgis, miniature figures and vintage stamps.
Tiffany & Co 
Tiffany went for their iconic blue and embellished it with crystals. 
Globetrotter
Luxury luggage manufactures Globetrotter have created a darker, more mysterious version of the crown, with dark blues and silver embellishments.
Fiona Cairns
Cairns designed the royal wedding cake for Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011 so it was most fitting that she was asked to create a crown in honour of the Queen. This delectable creation is made up of fruit cake and decorated with sugar. 
Salvatore Ferragimo
Italian shoe designer Salvatore Ferragimo created this mesmerising piece. The tiny roses and pearls against gold and coral look exquisite and this is certainly one of the most imaginatively detailed crowns. 
Fabergé
Crushed pink satin and ice-cream coloured gem stones easily makes this my favourite. 
 Escada
Delicate lace and intricate references to heritage this crown certainly shows an interesting interpretation. Its craftsmanship mirrors fine English taperstry but the falling diamonds and broken pieces suggests a deeper tone.
Erno Laszlo 
Erno said ""My inspirations for the Crown are the British People. They have irony and elegance and they know it" Personally I think this is bling meets rock 'n' roll, with the black chains and heavy use of crystals 
Dom Perignon
This was my favourite crown. Although I have to admit I'm slightly biased because Dom Perignon is my must-be-in-my-hand accessory when I'm in London. I owe many wonderful nights to this company! The hand blown glass was made from, of course, one of their bottles and the finished foil is iconic of Dom Perignon.
Dermaquette
The british fine chocolatier created this toothsome crown inspired by the common wealth. Using a delicious combination of white chocolate and edible gold. The cocoa beans and coffee represent the chocolate that is made in other common wealth countries. 
Solange Azagury-Partridge
Personally I found this crown mesmerising. The striking colour and glittery detail cannot be seen fully in this photo, in person its even more spectacular. Jewellery designer Solange said the crown was designed to reflect the "multi coloured diversity of the people of the commonwealth," she also said "The joy colour brings is like the joy the Queen gives." 
Wedgwood 
The best of English pottery mixed with one of the most iconic English items; a teapot. 
William Curley 
The award winning british patissier and chocolatier has covered his delightful edible masterpiece with little macaroons, biscuits, bon bons and delectable chocolate truffles. This is definitely one of my favourite crowns; pure indulgence!
Mikimoto 
Mikimoto is known for its pearls, so designing the crown based on the ocean seems like a perfect tribute.
Mulberry
Designed to look like an English cake this delightful crown is covered in hundreds and thousands. This certainly adds a child like spirit to the display of crowns, and reminds me of all the jubilee cupcakes make my children across the country. 
Roja Dove

"My crown symbolises the most sacred part of the Coronation Ceremony - the moment Her Majesty The Queen was anointed with Holy Anointing Oil," explains the British perfumer.

Shu Uemura
Beauty experts went for a more traditional crown embellished with crystals. 


June 08, 2012

A lingerie love affair

“Being naked is a declaration of an intention. Wearing suspenders is a secret”
- Anonymous Twentieth-century French quote

For me lingerie is the most empowering part of my outfit. It’s my secret little bit of luxury that is hidden from view; a second skin made up of silk, lace and ribbon. It’s personal and private and I have complete control over its seductive effect.

Your underwear is the closest thing to your body, and yet so many women wear a mix match of M&S basic briefs and a poorly fitted bra. Some women spend hours exfoliating; moisturising, tanning, hair removing and perfecting every inch of their body only to completely ignore the next layer. Choosing my lingerie in the morning is one of my favourite parts about getting ready, and I live by this very easy, yet so commonly ignored rule; always wear matching underwear. WHY this is so hard for women I don’t know. We match our nail varnish to the colour of our handbag, and we’d never wear odd socks but for some bizarre reason so many women think nothing of wearing a pair of black briefs with a pink and white bra. Start as you mean to go on.

When I buy a dress I don’t just buy a handbag and a pair of shoes to match. I also buy some lovely lace lingerie to complement my outfit and make me feel extra glamorous. What’s the point of putting something elegant and pretty over something that you wouldn’t want to be seen in? I think the female form is one of nature’s most beautiful creations and lingerie is the ribbon bow to top it off. I suppose my attitude towards lingerie is very French and I think nothing of spending my money on itsy-bitsy pieces of silk. I don’t like tacky lingerie, instead I like pieces that are playful but elegant  - and that’s a very fine line. 

The second rule I go by? I never buy my lingerie for a man; I buy it for my own self-indulgence. I couldn’t give two hoots if a man thought I looked sexy or not, because what’s important is that I feel sexy. Unfortunately this is another rule that a lot of women ignore. Ladies stop trying to impress men and instead dress to spoil YOURSELF.  

My own lingerie collection is a rather large assortment of lace, silk, chiffon and ribbons. I have over 300 bras and goodness knows how many bottom halves, then add on the chemises, baby dolls, suspenders and stockings and I've suddenly got quite a bit of a storage problem! Not to mention my expensive taste that leaves my bank account begging for mercy. Forget what men want, lingerie is MY biggest weakness. 

Here are my favourite lingerie brands and I recommend that every woman who reads this at least goes to their local retailer and tries something on. I promise you that you’ll suddenly feel sexier, more feminine and more confident. 

You can read about some of my Agent Provocateur purchases here.









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