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5 Iconic Moments In Fashion History

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By Simi Afroza Mira

As a former fashion model, I’d certainly like to boast that the birth of my modeling career was a total fashion heart-stopper, but alas, I can’t claim such fame. (Sigh.) However, there certainly have been some landmark movements in the fashion industry that have been so far-reaching, so iconic, that it changed the fashion industry forever – and affected even me, as a sixteen year old model in 2001, decades and decades later. Let’s revisit some of these moments and remember why they are so quintessential.

1. Twiggy – the first “Supermodel” 

This British model was iconic in the 1960’s, and is coined the world’s first “supermodel,” a term that is reserved for only the most well-known and successful models throughout the world. Let’s not talk about the hours and hours spent in front of the mirror, widening my eyes and willing my eyelashes to grow about 3 inches so I could mime Twiggy’s token wide, surprised eyes.

2. America’s Next Top Model – Modeling Made Accessible

This widely popular and well-known reality TV show created by an iconic supermodel herself – Tyra Banks – first aired in 2003, and for the first time ever, suddenly gave any girl who ever had any aspirations of modeling herself the opportunity to try – and try in front of millions of viewers. It gave girls all over the world the hope that they could become the next “big thing.” Suddenly everyone was given access to the world of modeling – the grueling photoshoots, the hours of makeup and hair time, the drama, and the good and the ugly of the modeling lifestyle. I remember watching the first season, while still in my modeling career. I’d study the TV, fascinated that my world was suddenly…out there. I’d eye-roll at some of the over-the-top drama, and nod solemnly along to some of the struggles the girls went through. “ANTM” has taught many a girl, (and okay me a little, too) the art of the “smize,” the “booch” and even the “tooch.” Keep it classy, Tyra.

3. The Plus-Size Model Movement

In the last five years, the acceptance and the push for a market for plus-size models in the fashion industry has gained ground and taken off. Beautiful, curvy, and alluring women, such as Ashely Graham, featured above, have shown the men and women of our culture that beauty can be found in many shapes and sizes. As a former model and fashion-conscious woman myself, this movement has been exhilarating for me to watch, and is so refreshing. While models who are very thin and lithe are beautiful, plus-size models who are curvy and voluptuous are also beautiful. That our culture is beginning to realize that there are many different sizes, types, and shapes to beauty is a breath of fresh air. Our differences in looks and size should be lauded and celebrated – one is not better than the other. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

4. The “Little Black Dress”  In the 1920’s, the renowned and classic Coco Chanel first gave the women of our world the “little black dress,” which suddenly made this dress accessible and available to any woman, in any social class or structure, anywhere. Before this iconic debut, wearing black dresses had been reserved only for women who were in mourning. With the introduction of this dress that has been replicated and coined for nearly every designer, in every decade, in the entire world, women were suddenly given the color black to wear just because.

5. Haute Couture – Fashion is Art 

Haute Couture, or “high fashion,” can be coined back as far as the 1700’s. It is astonishing in its beauty, magnificence, and resplendent uniqueness. Haute Couture is an important part of our culture because it shows us that the fashion industry isn’t just about selling clothes, or conforming to pop culture. Fashion can also be a stunning piece of valuable art, to be moved by, or inspired by. Something to never forget.

And really, who could forget that…?

Being a Model Mum

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The ups and downs of being a model and a mum. 

By Shannay Hall

 

The number one thing to acquire with children is patience, and being a mum at 22 with a career as a model has challenged me in that area..

Modelling can have odd hours and is very spontaneous, so this means you have to have a few baby sitters on call. Lucky I have an awesome partner and we work well together when I have a job. Iyla, is still so young, only 22 months I want motherhood to be my main focus and maintain my career. I’m so grateful that my friends and family are really great with her and ready to help.

I once brought Iyla to a shoot as the stylist said she would look after her, which didn’t go at all well as baby wanted me every time we started shooting. I had to call my friend and thankfully she was able to come and pick her up!

 At 22 I can honestly say, I’m happier with my body since I’ve had a baby, my womanly hips I love! I guess now I have a greater understanding of how the body of a woman works and how it’s designed. There’s so much pressure for model mums to get back into shape. Even more so if there is a pressing financial need to get back to work.

This is an example of one embarrassing day doing a Redken hair shoot. Iyla was only 3 months old and it was a 2 day shoot, I was expressing milk in the toilets every 3-4 hours and my milk was leaking all on the clothes, everyone was totally understanding and were very sweet about it.

At my age I still haven’t learnt all the social graces that I guess time and experience will teach me, this is another big learning curve for me in the business.

One thing I’ve learnt though, that is to  plan ahead of time but having a little baby, that can be a huge challenge as they are unpredictable and their needs are changing all the time. My agent may call the night before or 3 hours before with a job, this is stressful, I have to ring around and find a sitter for Iyla. One great bonus I just love is the look of surprise when I tell my client that I have a toddler!

Being a Mumma certainly makes me look after my mind as well as my body!

I so want to be strong for her.

The Super, Powerful, It Girls

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I’m a huge believer of calling things like they are so I can’t help but be super aggravated at how carelessly people toss the word “supermodel” around these days.

It’s like a model gets discovered, appears in a few campaigns and runways and suddenly she’s dubbed a “supermodel.” Pfffft. Not even close!

The fashion and modeling world has a rich history behind it and only those who have studied it (or are somewhat familiar with it) will likely agree with my point of view on this subject. Or at least understand where I’m coming from.

It’s not about “hating” on certain models, it’s simply about setting the record straight and if there’s anything we should strive for within the modeling industry, it’ accuracy of some kind.

In a 2007 magazine interview, Claudia Schiffer was quoted as saying, “The supermodel is dead.” And you know what? I believe her. But I’m not saying that to be dramatic. It’s the truth. The models many idolize today aren’t supermodels (at least not when it comes to the true definition).

To help get my point across, here is my view/understanding of what each of the following terms “Supermodel, Power Model, It Model” mean and where they belong in the industry by today’s standards:

 

The Supermodel

It’s been said many times and I’ll also jump onto the bandwagon that there are 5 “original supermodels”: Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer. Yes, there were other heavy hitting models of the 80s and 90s, such as Helena Christensen, Tyra Banks and Elle Macpherson, but it is the “Original 5” that remain the iconic symbols of what embodied a supermodel and that era of the industry.

What helped to skyrocket these models into supermodel stardom was the fact that their faces and names were recognized by people inside and outside of the fashion industry. This seemingly small fact is actually quite huge as it applies to the concept of a supermodel. What allowed these women to become known by everyone from fashionistas to the average family? Magazine covers.

Back in the 80s and 90s, models were the go-to-people for gracing all of the major magazine covers, both fashion and non-fashion alike. This was how the average person who wasn’t a fashion guru knew who the most famous faces in modeling were. It wasn’t uncommon for someone like Cindy Crawford to appear on the cover of a magazine like Good Housekeeping and then pop up on the latest Vogue cover next.

These supermodels knew no boundaries and weren’t restricted when it came to publications. They appeared in all of them. Because of the publicity that magazine covers offered, it raised the level of familiarity the average consumer had. Keep in mind, there was no social media back then so this was the main way people knew who was who.

What brought the era of the original supermodel to an end? Celebrities. Singers and actresses became the popular face to have, not just on the cover of all the magazines but the advertisements for clothes, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics, etc. Models were meant for covers and when celebrities took over that scene, it turned the tides for models and made their roles more limited, especially when it came to reaching the average non-fashion obsessed consumer.

Look at any newsstand these days, 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be a celebrity (who was not originally a model) on the cover. The models who do find themselves on the covers are now mainly limited to fashion magazines (not always but most times). Remember: the original supermodels were on all of the magazine covers and not just those related to fashion.

When the celebrities took over the covers and the spokesmodeling/brand contracts, it resulted in setting up future models for a spotlight regulated to the catwalks, editorial pages inside the magazines and the occasional ad campaign.

Some would argue that many models in recent years are highly recognisable and that they could name them all. But 9 times out of 10, those people making such claims are avid fans and followers of the fashion industry so it would make sense that they would know who those models are instantly. What about the next door neighbour? Your teacher? Your parents?

I must remind you that the supermodels of the original era in the 80s and 90s could be recognized by housewives, businesspeople and even the baby boomers. In all honesty, you can’t really say the same for the many models that have been labeled “supermodels” in recent years. I must admit that even I can’t name a lot of the mislabeled “supermodels” these days…in fact, a lot of them look so similar I get them confused!

 

The Power Model

The Power Model category is where I believe the majority of the models who have remained strong in the industry belong (not in the category of supermodel). This isn’t a lesser title to covet and it doesn’t mean someone labeled a “Power Model” isn’t as successful as the supermodels of old.

It’s quite the opposite as you can see by the name itself. A Power Model is one who isn’t just paid a lot of money for the work they do, they’ve managed one of the greatest feats of all: staying power. It’s one thing to be a successful model but to be one that continues to stay employed for 5+ years is an accomplishment that deserves to be recognised.

There are plenty of Power Models who belong in this category: Heidi Klum, many of the VS models, Gemma Ward, Kate Moss, Gisele, Iman, Tyson Beckford, etc., etc.

Some of these Power Models have remained relevant in the industry through their name and reputation alone but also because many have stepped into the role of an entrepreneur by coming out with their own product lines, moving on to become television/media personalities, running their own corporations, etc.

Not all Power Models are instantly as recognizable by people outside of the fashion world but most are certainly familiar with who they are, depending on the Power Model and what he/she has done. For example, Tyra Banks has been around forever but these days the latest generation of consumers and the average Joe/Jane don’t associate her with her original career as a model but because of America’s Next Top Model.

Stepping outside of the modeling category for many Power Models is what has allowed them to be reintroduced to the next generation of fans in a new way.

 

The It Model

Sadly, all too many “It Models” are the ones who get called supermodels and that really grinds my gears. I’d say 80% (dare I say 90%?) of the models today who obtain some amount of measurable success in their careers should be automatically put under the “It Model” category.

Similar to what I said about the Power Models, It Models aren’t any less successful or inferior than the other two categories I talked about above. But it is important to label these models properly and understand that the reasons that led to the category they belong in, do differ.

Not all It Models go on to become Power Models. It’s hard to reach the top of the modelling game and it’s even harder to stay there. It’s easy to spot an It Model: seemingly overnight they start appearing everywhere…advertisements, in the biggest runway shows and the social media monster can’t stop talking about them.

These are the new kids on the block who were discovered and put out into the spotlight at the right time. They’re fresh, they’re hot and everybody wants a piece of them. This is totally normal for models who are basking in their time to shine. However, more often than not, the It Model finds their flame extinguished after a few years. They eventually get replaced by the new It Models who are younger, fresher and more in demand.

Have you ever wondered, “What ever happened to so-and-so? I hardly see them in anything anymore.” Chances are, that’s because–for whatever reason and that isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault–they didn’t have the staying power to move on into the Power Model category.

Keep in mind that modeling isn’t a career that’s known for its longevity. It isn’t a joke when people offhandedly comment that most models, namely runway and fashion models, are “retired” by the time they’re 25. As many young and aspiring male and female models as there are out there ripe for the taking, the industry can be picky, kick out whoever they want and welcome whoever they want in because It Models are always replaceable. It’s sad but true.

So next time you start to call someone a “supermodel” think about whether or not that individual really deserves the title and if they’ll even still be around in a year or two. It kinda makes you think once you start putting things into perspective.

 

Modeling 101 – A Model’s Diary
By Dania Denise

7 Nail Polishes Made For You

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By Simi A Mira

At some point in your life, you have to stop going for the cheap prices and start looking up for some quality. If this is all very true when it comes to clothes, shoes and accessories, it is even more relevant it the fairy world of nail polishes. If you thought your hand-bag is as fair as the eye can go, read this carefully. Whether you are playing an invisible piano in front of your date, holding your phone, touching your hair, or eating this greasy burger that you should never look in the eyes, your hands are the main attraction. And that is why they should be as attractive as you’re trying to look.  Clean hands ? Check. Moisturized hands ? Check. Nail polish? Here are 7 must-have.

1. Dazzling, by Guishem, $14

Enough with the red, this deep blue is the new bordeaux. You cannot go wrong, as it will match perfectly with every outfit you were planning to were at this party. If you are a lucky one, it’ll match your eyes. Original and intense, just follow.

2. Cosmic, by Dior, $27

I see mojitos, sand on my feet, a tanned hottie holding my hand and a beautiful sunset. Where do I see it? On my nails. There is no way you won’t be staring at the tip of your fingers, waiting for all these to become true before your eyes. Fake it until you can make it, and choosing Cosmic might be the first step.

3. Batignolles, by Christian Louboutin, $50

You wanted the shoes, now you’re going to crave the nail polish. Modern life has too little room for fairy-tales and adventure. Don’t wait and go on your own journey, with your luxury sword and your bold color. Be yourself, or no one is going to care.

4. 4, by Clé de Peau Beauté, $25

You don’t have to get a rainbow on your nails. If purple, blue, green and yellowish are not your style, stick to red. But if you are going to lack originality, at least do not lack style. A brand, a packaging and a different red, that’s all it takes.

5. Aero by JINsoon, $18

Can you handle a light color? If the answer is yes, then you will have to get the best of the light blues. It is adorable, fresh, young, exactly like you wish you would look. Well, you’re closer now.

6. Rose Illusion by Givenchy, $23

This beautiful blond girl, running on the roofs of Paris, wearing this little pink dress. She stops, close-up on her fingers. A delicate pale pink, just deep enough to make a woman of her, and so cute that anyone would risk their lives for her. Let it shine.

7. White Snow by Marc Jacobs $18

You are not a young hippie wandering around at music festivals, covered in paintings and wearing destroyed crop tops. You have a life. You are not boring, you just prefer keeping your heels clean. And that is why you threw away these blues, greens, yellows. Because Marc knows better, he has found this color. Just for you.

All you need now is seven wishes.

The Pregnant Model: How Does She Do It?

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By Simi A Mira

For all the Mothers out there, you know how hard it is to go through pregnancy. The changes to your body are enormous and clear for the world to see. When your livelihood is based on how you look, this can mean disaster! Even after the baby is born there is the monumental task of losing the baby weight and getting back in shape. With the modeling world coveting the perfect body, how do expecting mothers cope with the burdens of pregnancy and then return to their modeling careers afterwards?

The Challenges

Everyone knows what happens during a pregnancy. Without getting into the nitty gritty, your body is going to change. For a model that means they may not be able to get as much work as they gain baby weight. In an industry that is always looking for the next top model, will their career be able to handle a gap of exposure like that? Not only will they have to endure the time away while pregnant, they will not be able to get back into shape overnight. It is such a significant risk that many other careers do not need to worry about but some models have changed the playing field with pregnancy.

Pregnancy Shows

In 2010, Givenchy asked Adriana Lima to walk in their spring show while she was pregnant with her first child. Although she declined, this was a sign that times were changing with the modeling industries views on pregnant models. Also in 2010, Miranda Kerr walked Fashion Week in Paris while she was six months pregnant proving that it is not impossible to model while pregnant. This has been a great move for the industry as there are so many women that can empathize with an expecting mother and seeing some of the most beautiful models still showing their confidence and style while pregnant can draw in a fantastic crowd.

Making the Choice

Not every model can take on the runway while carrying a child and many do not want to either. The stress of having a child is enormous and can derail anyone’s life plans permanently. For models, the stress of their job is already intense as they always need to be aware of their appearance. Then there is the immense amount of travel needed for their career taking them to photoshoots and fashion shows around the globe. Once their child is born will they be able to take their infant with them around the world? Or will they need to take even more time to be with the child in its first few months and years.

The decision to become a mother is not an easy one to make and for models it is an even tougher choice. Risking their careers and livelihoods is not something to be taken lightly. But do the joys of parenthood outweigh all the risks and potential pitfalls? Many would agree that becoming a mother is a joyful and unique experience that is worth it no matter the cost and many models have undertaken the journey and come out triumphant on the other side.






Model Maison – A Q&A With Zippy Seven For Oyster Mag

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This is an edit from the beautiful website called Model-Maison. Model-Maison is a project of love and dedication that has seen the photographer, Cybele Malinowski shoot models in their bedrooms all over the suburbs of Sydney, LA, London, Ukraine and shanghai. Each week we will be featuring a new model from Model- Maison.

Photography – Cybele Malinowski @cybism
Model – Zippy Seven @ IMG
Make Up – Fern Madden
FASHION CREDITS //https://www.oystermag.com/zippora-seven-model-maisonLonely Hearts, Desert Designs, PAM

A Q&A with Zippy for Oyster Mag

Zippy Seven is a model and Oyster regular. Cybele Malinowski is thephotographer behind Model Maison — a rad ongoing fashion portrait series where models are photographed in their homes around the world. Read her interview with Zippy below!

Hey Zippy! How are you? What have you been up to since our shoot?
I’m good and happy thank you, I’ve just been working in Australia and NZ the last couple months catching up on the good life down under.

Where are you now? Still in Bondi? Looks like you’re having a killer time here. Lots of surf and sun and boating around on your Instagram.

I’m in the Northern Beaches now and leaving for NYC again in the morning. It’s great coming home here after a long day in a studio to splash around in the sunset.

How was it having me come and shoot you in your own house? (I know, I know, it was a temporary house, but still). Is it weird?  Did you have to tidy up before I came? It was pretty tidy.

Haha yes we keep a very tidy home, I grew up on a boat so I have had the ship-shape mentality drilled into me..I loved that home in Bondi and living there was such a heaven, thankyou for capturing it for the memories of this trip to Australia. It was a special one.

Where do you call home? We know you are from NZ, and live in NYC; do you call both home?

Waiheke Island is my spirt home. The place I can wander with my eyes closed and still see. NYC would be dangerous to walk around like that but I have a life there that I call home. Paris and Sydney are also homes for me where I grew, learnt, loved and always get that feeling of returning home when ever I step off the plane.

Describe where you grew up in NZ. It sounds like a different world from here.

I grew up on an island with two brothers as best friends, sailing and exploring the land that was our playground.

What do you take with you when you travel to make you feel like you are at home wherever you are?

I don’t need anything and I try to travel light. But collecting too much new clothing becomes a bit of an issue sometimes.

What is your favourite place in the world and why? How does it make you feel? 

At sea. I feel pride, adventure and peace.

Fantasy house. Describe it! Where is it? What does it look like? 

I’d love to live in a lighthouse where I’d see the storms crashing or whales laughing in the sun. The hill of my lighthouse would be surrounded in a magical forest of wildlife and I’d have the happiest pet cats hunting the fat mice who keep sneeking the cheese I make from Lucy the cow…

If you weren’t modelling, I would imagine you would still be galavanting around the world. How would you keep this ephemeral lifestyle?

Yes, I’d be in a circus, the horseback acrobat. Or I’d be travelling the Antarctic as a marine biologist. Or in a rock n roll band. Playing the bass, or maybe even in the front. Or a photographer sailing the seven seas, capturing the ships in full sail and the sunrise in each new bay. I love to be in front of a camera though and for now am very happy doing just that.

How do you normally start the day? And how do you wind down at night?

Put the coffee on, jump in the ocean till I smell it bubbling. In NYC, Terence makes me coffee every morning and I head to a shoot or the gym. Or a sneaky adventure.

Favourite places to hunt for your wardrobe? Feels like there is so much history there.

The flee markets in Paris and New Zealand are the treasure troves, Australia has so many amazing designers and get some good rock ‘n roll stuff in New York.

What music do you play when you’re relaxing with a glass of vino?

Bowie, Hendrix, Gainsbourg, Reed, Zeppelin — if Terence hasn’t picked up a guitar first.

What’s next for Zippy Seven?

Keeping busy every day, working and balancing the spinning plates!

Model Maison – Eilika Meckbach

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This is an edit from the beautiful website called Model-Maison. Model-Maison is a project of love and dedication that has seen the photographer, Cybele Malinowski shoot models in their bedrooms all over the suburbs of Sydney, LA, London, Ukraine and shanghai. Each week we will be featuring a new model from Model- Maison.


Model – @eilika_meckbach
Photographer – Model Maison – @cybism
HMU – Keith Archer

 

 

My New York Journal- Part 1

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It’s been all of two minutes & I am already bored. The line is out the door & around the corner. I can hear whispers of nerves & every face is full of excitement & exhaustion. This is the fifth casting of the day and it’s only 11.00am. My feet have officially lost all feeling thanks to my shoes & I’ve just realised that these jeans were are big mistake. Well actually it’s probably not the jeans that were the mistake, it’s more likely to have been the three bottles of water and two coffees. I couldn’t help it!! A day in this city on foot is like running a marathon.

Busting to pee. Busting to pee. Busting to pee. That is now all I am thinking about. Pee. Pee. Pee. Dear god! I am a child. I see no bathroom in sight & definitely no girl who’d be willing to hold my place in the line even if there was a bathroom to run too. Time to distract myself with thoughts. What rhymes with pee?

OK I am just going to have to settle in & suck it up! I can clock up some people watching. Or as I prefer to call it, research. As I watch people, I realise that watching the back of their heads isn’t all that fascinating. There are a few girls however that keep turning to look at me. Maybe they know me? I suppose they might recognise me from the blog? It’s only my first week in New York though…surely I am a nobody here.

They wouldn’t recognise an Australian blogger anyway? Everyone in this city is a blogger or a FSMP (aka Famous Social Media Person)… Should I ask them & use it as a way of introducing myself? Or is that arrogant? Probably. No I can’t ask. I was even too shy to link my portfolio with my blogs social media platforms. Using my personal accounts just seemed so much more … humble. But as usual, my Melbourne booker had the last word. I suppose she made a point when she told me that it was my blogs followers on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter that was what got me to NYC in the first place.

F*** that reminds me… I haven’t posted a picture for the agency yet. They want to track my travels by having me post, @ and # at each casting during the lead up to NYFW… #cantbef’d…

But I should. It’s the least I could do after all their work getting me this VISA. I swear to god that travelling as a model these days feels as if I am constantly a suspect for international crime. I can’t help but feel I’ll be instantly deported on arrival due to the hoops they make you jump through during the application process. And unfortunately in my case, it’s not a rare occasion when I tick the wrong box.

  • Are you Male or Female? I’m a chickybabeeee… MALE. Wrong.
  • Do you have wood or food items to declare? Unless gum counts, I don’t think so. YES. Wrong again. Why do they insist people use pens!
  • Do you have more than 10000USD on you? Ha! Yeah I wish!! YES. .no you don’t! New form please!
  • Are you carrying any animal parts with you? Ew No!!!! YES. F***
  • Have you been in South Africa over the past 6days? Just shopping in Singapore! YES. Wtf! The answer is NO! Back of the line dumbass.

But even so, a NYC legal team, 14 reference letters & a million tear sheets seems a little over the top for a 21 year old girl who spends her time writing a blog about the best cupcakes in Melbourne & posing for Target catalogues for a living. I am hardly a threat to this city!

Back to the point. Photo. Ok… so how should I play this? What the hell am I going to take a photo of? The girl in front of me looks young & cute…maybe I can ask her to partake in a selfie with me? Um No. Way too shy for that. Ok what else can I take a picture of? There is honestly nothing else around that screams “NYFW Casting”. Oh hang on I see something… Yes there it is. The line of 100 + gorgeous giants in front of me. Dickhead. Thank god no one hears my train of thoughts. Imagine that!! I wonder if people will be able to in the future… You could sell ad space in peoples mind……….

FOCUS! Right sorry. Ok I’ll just snap a photo of the models in line. Looks all artsy-fartsy thanks to the numerous sets of legs wearing different shades of high waisted jeans.

 

Stay tuned for the next edition of this Aussie models journal entry…

 

The Morning After The Night Before

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An oldie, but a good one!

Edited by Gordon von Steiner, most fashionable internet users will be familiar with the premise of Lanvin’s Summer 2013 video: “the morning after the night before”. Such a quirky concept; it makes light of the creative process and the team behind it, while showcasing slow-motion footage of a coterie of posing models in the most glamourous form. Well done, Lanivn! 

Date Night 101 For The Ultimate First Impression

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When I was a young girl, I used to plan my outfits for date night. I dreamed of the dresses I would wear, and the compliments my future mystery man would give me as a result. I combed through magazine after magazine, drooling over all the possibilities, telling myself I’d go with this skirt and that top, those jeans and – oo! definitely the sweater on page nine. My research done, I was fully prepped for the occasion when my first date arrived. The outfit was perfect, the shoes were great – everything was coming together like a fairy tail. Then, my eyes landed on the hap hazardous tangle of necklaces, bangles, and rings atop my vanity, and I realised with horror my mistake: I had never considered the accessories.

Accessorising can be the key to taking a simplistic get-up to sophisticated and striking. A plain white tee and a pair of mum’s high waisted jean shorts are usually considered scruff, but throw on a patterned blazer, some chunky heels, a cuff and your fave pair of dangly earrings and you suddenly have a casual chic street style perfect for a dinner date. The right combination of accenting elements can take any garb grabbed from the back of your closet to the ‘next level’, giving your first impression that extra ‘umph’. These are some of the universally acknowledged go-to pieces that can really add emphasis to any look.

Layers of Love

With summer around the corner, t-shirts and tanks are topping the list of basic must-haves for many a woman looking to beat the heat. As the sun hides it’s face, and the night starts to kick in, that cool breeze blows through the streets, and our bare arms and legs begin to feel the chill. Taking along a simple suit jacket or a comfy cardigan can help protect us (and the mood) from dropping a few degrees.

The Angle of the Dangle

Our necks are, surprisingly, quite the erogenous zone. Sensitive and soft, they are often times overlooked as one of our most attractive body parts. Accenting its length and gentle curve is easily done with a great pair of dangling earrings.

Bangle Babe

As much as we women love to think men consciously notice our style choices, we must face the facts: they think they couldn’t care less. So even though going big and bold may seem like a fantastic fashion statement to us, to them it can often times seem a bit over-the-top. Keeping it simple is generally our best bet, so sticking to a few rose-gold bangles, or even an elegant metallic cuff can give us the stylish satisfaction we need and catch his attention in a not-too-showy way.

Best Foot Forward

At every bar, club, and boardwalk, one is likely to spot a barefoot babe swinging her stilettos at her side. We’ve all been there, sure, but I think we can agree it’s not the classiest of closers for a first night out with a new man. Expect to be doing a decent amount of walking and/or standing as the night goes on and plan accordingly. A chunky heel, wedge, or even sparkly white sneaker top the list of cute, comfy footwear that will have your feet feeling fine by the end of the night.