Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Ulyana Sergeenko - Spring 2014 Couture

Ulyana Sergeenko designed a gorgeous couture collection that evokes feelings of an old-time romance, sensual and elegant with a dramatic flair. 

“It’s a glamorous woman taking a voyage through the Eastern republics of the former Soviet Union" The Russian couturier explains. Inspirations were taken from a train trip, with destinations that included Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Ulyana tells a story through her exquisite collection and translates the adventures of a femme fatale. 

Detailing was greatly emphasized and close-up you could see the intricate details and careful craftsmanship for each piece. The collection featured luxurious silk satins, hourglass corsets with very defined sweetheart necklines, hand-painted fringing, some layering and silk embroidery. The accessories fit the theme with colourful vintage-feel trunks and bed-roll clutches with flower embroideries and tassels. All the models wore peep-hole pumps and looked sultry and sophisticated. 

Below are my favourite looks from the collection, be sure to check her work out, links below.

Check out Now Fashion and Style for great coverage on the show.

Photos used in this post are from both sites.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Spring 2014 Couture - Chanel

Karl Lagerfeld's refreshing collection for Chanel can be described as modern, youthful, liberating, athletic, boyish yet feminine, fun and free. It's not your usual couture, there was not a pair of stilettos in sight, but instead Massaro's fabulous flat, embellished sneakers. Way to make a statement!

Midriffs were a common element in the collection, created with crop tops and cutoff blazers over cinched waists.

Amazing fabrics were used, and colours were kept light and subtle with shades of iridescent pastels and grey. Love how the shoes were matched spot-on to the outfits.

The collection showcased some loosely fitted, flapper style cocktail gowns that were light and flowing but just as glamorous.

Minimalist bride complete with angelic headpiece with veil.

Could this look become mainstream and look stylish on our city streets? Then we would no longer have to cringe when seeing stylishly dressed corporate chicks with sneakers power-walking their way to work... Somewhat futuristic, and from another world even, but if sneakers at cocktails were the norm, we could party all night and willingly leave our shoes on!

See for yourself, runway coverage at Style or Vogue.

All the photos are from Style.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

SPRING 2014 COUTURE - Atelier Versace

I am in awe over the Atelier Versace Spring 2014 Couture Collection.

The collection showcased structured fits with soft feminine lines, with inspiration from the eccentric, Grace Jones. Donatella brought the look of a Contemporary Goddess to life, fierce, powerful and sexy.

Below are a few looks I loved from the show.

Structured blazer featuring defined shoulders, revealing a sheer, sequined bodice underneath, over the light, softly draped skirt. The combination, feminine yet strong.

Love paneling, especially at the bodice. This gown has a gorgeous design with unusual cutouts under bust.

Nude-tone corset at waist, teamed with a soft pastel shawl/cape. This look again effectively combines the two elements of hard edges and soft lines.

So into splits right now, draped in all kind of ways.
These brightly coloured gowns look so sleek and liquid. Love the extra bit of detailed embellishment that really balances out the look and the hood adds a bit of mystery. 

The draping and ruching of these two gowns are just amazing...

Please see STYLE for the full show. (All pictures above are from the site)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

2014 Golden Globe Awards - Red Carpet Looks

Red Carpet looks at the 2014 Golden Globes

Cate Blanchett looks stunning in this Armani Lace Gown. I am always a fan of french lace garments, especially those with black lace over nude lining. The look is timeless, and never really goes out of style. The sheer look is very on trend, and seem to be a popular choice for cocktail gowns and wedding dresses this year.
Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé

The sweetheart neckline is always a winner, and can be worn with any body type. Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad's figure-hugging chrome mermaid gown is another favorite. The dress is so well fitted with the right amount of sparkle, she looks perfectly glamorous.
Kate Beckinsale in Zuhair Murad

Sofia is usually seen in fitted mermaid dresses but has chosen a voluminous outfit for this event. I love how she adds a splash of colour using a standout statement necklace, her overall look is simple yet beautifully dramatic. 
Sofia Vergara in Zac Posen

The striking Versace gown as worn by Amber Heard looks goddess-like with the perfect split. 
Amber Heard in Atelier Versace

Olivia Wilde looks amazing in this Gucci figure-hugging gown, showing off her baby bump in emerald sequins and lightly tousled hair.   
Olivia Wilde in Gucci Première

I do like the metallic print in Andrew Gn's gown worn by Julianna Margulies. She has kept the focus being on the gown itself with her hair up and accessories to a minimum, nicely done.  

Julianna Margulies in Andrew Gn

Kaley Cuoco looks sweet in this Rani Zakhem's floral print corset gown. There is something so romantic and fairytale-like about this look that I keep coming back to it.

Kaley Cuoco in Rani Zakhem Couture

Anna Gunn's gown by Donna Karen features a fabulously draped train. I love the low back style and the dreamy look.
Anna Gunn in Donna Karan Atelier

Red seems to be a standout choice for the red carpet. Lauren Parsekian looks like an absolute bombshell in this v-cut Burberry mermaid gown with mid-split, perfectly teamed with nude lips.
Lauren Parsekian and Aaron Paul in Burberry Prorsum

Emma Watson's interesting Dior half-dress looks plain and almost drab at first glance, however the back of the dress is anything but. Completely open revealing her bare back and the black pants she wore underneath, this outfit is a daring and bold choice.  
Emma Watson in Dior

You can see full coverage of what celebs wore to the 71st Golden Globes Awards  from both Vogue and Style

Sources: &

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Spring Photoshoot - products we used

Spring Photoshoot - Makeup

Below are a couple of products we use for our shoots and would recommend. We are always on the lookout for new, good cosmetics to try, but here are just a few that are readily available in pharmacies and department stores. 

Jane in Black and White Fit & Flare Dress with Perspex Statement Necklace


We always start with a cream and primer so foundation goes on nicer, and it hydrates your skin to avoid any flakiness.
Applying makeup before our Spring Photoshoot 13
- Lydia Jordane Daily Moisture Protection Cream: A creamy moisturizer to protect your skin before applying makeup. I use this lightly scented cream daily and its not too thick and oily. This one is a Brisbane local product available from some saloons and their West End office.
- Loreal Base Magique Transforming Smoothing Primer: Putty for your face. Dense, thick primer, surprisingly non-greasy. We use this on creases, near and under nose, under eyes etc, anywhere you want to even out your skin. The texture is very thick, and when you apply it feels as though it is oily, but it's not. Very useful if you have a bit of scarring also.
- Australis 4- in-one palette concealer corrector: 4 colours, Green is good to cancel reddish tones, purple good for under-eye dark circles, and 2 nude tones. Although I find this product to be a bit dry and coverage not the best, it is a cheap and handy little set to have in  your purse.  
- Covergirl Liquid concealer: Good coverage, great for blending. We use the lightest shade of this concealer on our model,
- Kanebo Kate* Face powder: Great translucent powder to set the makeup, and remove oils. We reapply this throughout the shoot.

Jane has her own liquid foundation, a very thick (nice European foundation in gold packaging) that provided excellent coverage (I will find out the brand...). It is great for photoshoots, but could be a bit greasy. Re-applying face powder is a must to keep the shine away.

Models Prefer Large makeup Palette, makeup brushes, tools etc...


- Clinique All about eyes eye cream: Light and silky, great to use as a base for eyes as its not greasy.
- Bobbi Brown eye Palette: Has the nude tones, light and dark colours that were essential to draw eye contours and highlights. This palette is a lifesaver, I take it traveling and leave all my other eyeshadows, bronzers and blush behind. 
- Models Prefer Palette: This is a great affordable kit for those who like to experiment with colour. The kit comes with 3 palettes of eyeshadows, bronzers, blush and lip colours.
- Kanebo Kate* Gel liner: One of my favorite everyday products. Very easy to use gel eyeliner. Doesn't smudge, so the line will be still perfect at the end of a long day (with sweat and tears!). Great creamy consistency, trick is to use a small thin flat brush and draw slowly, in a straight line, adding thickness to the outer corners, flicking it slightly upwards. Don't draw a thick line too quickly because this liner is waterproof, a pain to get off without taking all of your shadow off, and it's not very blend-able.
- Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal eye pencil i n Pure White: Good soft but dense consistency so you can easily draw on the waterline

Jane had her own brow pencil and mascara, and what we use varies with each shoot. We tried falsies in the first few shoots and decided they were unnecessary as her natural lashes were plenty with a few coats of mascara. 

Hair rollers, makeup brushes and the Bobbi Brown Palette


Lucas' Pawpaw ointment: Great for use as a lip balm, apply sparingly towards the start of the session
Lipstick: We use the Models Prefer Palette and mix the desired colour.

*Kanebo Kate is a Japanese brand I tried on a Tokyo trip several years back. The brand is equivalent to over-the-counter cosmetics you can buy here. I have not seen their products in Brisbane, but have found a site that sells them: NOTE: I have not ordered anything from this site before, but its pretty cool how they sell all sorts of Japanese brands out of their Sydney warehouse. Definitely checking them out when I need some new goodies! 

Michelle Phan does some really amazing makeup tutorials, check out her channel for inspiration!

 We will do a post on all our favorite cosmetics shortly...

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Spring Photoshoot

Jane modelling Digital Floral Print Mini Dress
As winter slowly passed and the Jacarandas start to bloom, Spring was finally announcing its arrival. At the same time, gorgeous digital prints and florals were making its way on runways all over. This season is not shy on colour or beautiful exotic prints, florals are sort of a big deal, and tribal inspirations are still as Magatu (Zoolander) would say, so hot right now!

New stock we ordered were finally here. We signed off each box and piled them into our warehouse. There were just shy of ten bulging cardboard boxes, bound by yellow nylon rope. It was an exciting task, we were like children on Christmas day not knowing which 'presents' to unwrap first! Organising photo shoots are the next best thing, there's no denying that it is tiring and takes lots of time and planning, but every time the results come back, it's instantly worth it!

The date for the shoot was set, and we were grateful when the sun came out early that morning, after a full week of rain. We did worry that the ground would be too soft for heels, but there is a trick to prevent soles digging in to your lawn (posted later)!

Photo-shoots involve a fair deal of planning and coordinating and not to mention luck. We planned for an outside shoot, so good weather was essential. It usually lasts a whole day, depending on the pieces and type of clothing. We have done just enough of these to grasp what sort of lighting we liked, and what worked well  for us. After all, we did not have fancy equipment and a studio to control the environment. 

We like to use lists and check it off as we go. Here are some examples of things we do to prepare for a shoot:
- selecting and hanging up garments, ensuring the correct size for model
- steaming and ironing 
- removing tags or loose threads
- match accessories 
- prep for makeup and hair (hairdryer, curlers, hairspray, cotton tips... the list goes on)
- prep camera for shoot

Applying makeup
We try to have an early start so we can take advantage of good soft lighting, and then again late in the afternoon before the sun sets. The midday sun is too harsh if the day is cloudless, and several things tend to happen if you attempt to do the shoot then. For one, your model won't be able to open her eyes due to the glare, especially with reflectors. The intensity of the midday sun also quickly burns your skin, and you begin to feel the heat within minutes. Not long and you will perspire, and literally feel drained under the sun... the outcome of the photos end up looking less than desirable. For those reasons, we choose to avoid midday, and use this time for a long lunch break and touch-ups. We like to use this time to review the photos and make any changes to makeup or hair if needed. Your model can also get a good idea of what poses and expressions look more flattering on camera.
We are very happy with the lighting and outcome, the photos all look beautiful! 

Thanks Jane for another great photo-shoot!

Jane modelling Silver Keyhole Chiffon Dress in Salmon
Jane modelling Lace Insert Bodycon Mini Dress