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January 2013

Posted on January 13, 2013

Summer Sneak Peak 2013: French Chic Dresses

Dresses/ Romantique

The only good thing about gloomy  January and February is the arrival of the new summer fashion! This year, fashion is so varied and fun, there’s something for everyone. I ploughed through various new season Look Books to show you the creme de la creme of dresses.

Above and Below: French Style Vichy / Gingham and stripey dresses continue to rock next summer. Checks and stripes always look fresh and young.  Red checked dress from MAx & Co (Max Mara’s little sister) SS 2013.

Stripes come in classic black and white as well as in all colours of the rainbow in  2013. Photo from Max & Co Look book SS 2013.

Swiss Lace and Broderie Anglaise are luckily here to stay too, cute combined with a chained mini bag in gelato colours. From Max & Co SS 2013.

The thick belt must be one of my favourite accessorises: Vichy / gingham dress with waistslimming wide brown leather belt from La Fée Maraboutée Paris SS 2013.

Below: Swiss lace and eyelet embroidery in innocent whites or combined with pastel colours look angelic. Left: Tromp L’oeil dress from Max & Co in knit and Swiss lace. Right: Summer 2011, I’m wearing a dress from MAx & Co.

Do you like the dresses and are you excited about summer?


Romantique xox

Posted on January 12, 2013

My Skinny Bitch Journey – Part I

Beauty/ Romantique

Ah, January, time of new years resolutions. This year I made a promise to myself: I will start looking after my body and eat healthily.

I never touched a diet or a book about nutrition in my life for the simple reason of the sheer volume of books out there, all based on different opinions. How am I supposed to know which one is right?

When Rebel lost a whopping 8 kilos last year after reading and living in accordance to the principles of the book “Skinny Bitch”, I decided to give this one a go. What I like about the book is that it’s not a diet, it’s a way of living! You can eat as much as you like, as long it’s the good stuff. Chapter by Chapter the book explains why certain foods are unhealthy and make us fat and it offers alternatives. It’s also funnily written and makes an entertaining read, I read it in just one day.

The cornerstones of the book are simple: Avoid the following foods and watch yourself transforming into a skinny bitch:

  • Meat – instead eat tofu
  • Dairy products – try soy or rice milk instead
  • Simple carbs – eat complex carbs
  • Sugar – try to cut out sugar and eat Stevia, an organic sugar substitute, instead
  • Eat Organic food – scrap Tescos

While I’m not too desperate to lose a lot of weight, I’d be happy to lose 2-3 kilos while living healthily. My main goals is to have energy again and feel better. I’m 7 days into the Skinny Bitch journey and already lost 1.8 kilos! Most of all I love this empowering feeling to be in control of what I eat: Whereas before my body was in control and dictated me what to eat when: Coffee to wake up, a pack of maltesers to spike me up in the afternoon, a glass of wine to wind me down from an exhausting day at work at home. Now I think before I eat: No I don’t need a coffee in the afternoon because I know I will crave biscuits to go with it. No I won’t eat a quick fatty mayonnaise sandwich for lunch because I’m too lazy to walk to a healthy eating place or to prepare something nutritious the night before.

Here are the first two cornerstones of the Skinny Bitch way of living. Whether you follow it strictly or just take inspirations from a few chapters is up to you. For me, cutting out sweets is hell – so for now I’m cutting down significantly on sugar, taking it step by step.

Here is a summary of the first two chapters on carbs and meat:

The carbs lie

The no carbs movement is complete nonsense: Carbs (the right ones) give us energy to function and provide important nutrients. You should make the distinction between between simple and complex carbs: Simple carbs (like wheat, rice, prepared food, cakes) have the nutrients of a toilet paper roll and consist mostly of sugar. They create a large spike in blood sugar, resulting in a crash soon after so we are craving even more rubbish! Eat complex carbs consisting of fibre and starch. They are released slowly into the blood stream for a stable and slow energy release, keeping us fuller for longer.

  • – Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • – Rye bread (make sure it’s 100% rye, not just a low percentage)
  • – whole grain rice
  • – Quinoa
  • – corn
  • – hummus
  • – lentils
  • – cakes and biscuits made from whole grain flour
  • – fruit / veggies

Animal protein – you are what you eat

Linda McCartney once said that if slaughterhouses had walls made of glass, we’d all be vegetarian. I think we all heard about the horrific conditions of livestock farming. The transport to the slaughterhouse as well as the killing methods cause huge sufferings to animals such as pigs, who are more intelligent than 3 year old humans and can play video games! The human is an odd creature, cooing over their pets but happily eating cadavers of animals having lived a horrible life and died a torturous death (I include myself).

The book is not lecturing about all this at all, it simply tells the facts about modern live stock farming. The read was horrific and I had to fight back the tears reading about the suffering the animals have to endure. It’s up to you what you want to do with this information. In my opinion, you don’t need to eliminate meat completely, but you could start by reducing your meat intake.

Think about it: When eating meat, you also eat antibiotics, growth hormones, sedatives and chemical feed mixtures to keep the animals alive under horrendous living conditions.

Another reason not to eat meat is that the human body is not equipped to digest protein easily. Unlike carnivorous animals, the human body doesn’t have enough hydrochloride acid to break down the meat, resulting in the food to rot in our intestinal tract. Smelling poop is due to food that has been in the body for too long! Putrefied meat becomes a black, rubbery substance called mucoid plaque lining our intestines.

While I worked at a pharmaceutical company, I remember Oncology doctors holding speeches about evidence of the growth of cancer cells from eating red meat. Meat creates an acidy environment in our body, the ideal breeding ground for cancer cells.

Plants are an excellent protein source compared to animal protein if you are worried about not getting enough by cutting out meat. Did you know that edamame beans contain more protein than a steak?

Read more on dairy products and sugars next week of Part II into my journey of becoming a skinny bitch!




Posted on January 12, 2013

Snow Bunny in Italian down feathers

Coats/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

Finding a good warm goose down winter coat or jacket can be an expensive task!

Especially the attributes stylish and warm don’t always go hand in hand together. Italian made down coats / jackets by Feyem make ski jacket look good and combine warmth with Italian sense of style: I love the cute details about my white goose down jacket:

  • Three quarter trumpet sleeves
  • A-line shape
  • shawl collar
  • Fitted at the back through a cord, creating a little peplum
Details is what makes special garnments stand out from those available on the market.  You can always tell a well made jacket by it’s stylish details and well crafted zips, buttons, buckles and lining.
When it comes to ski jackets, Moncler is a bit too loud and brashy for my liking (after all, I’m not a 50 something sashaying in St Moritz (yet!).
Above and below: Goose down jacket from Feyem, brown corderouy trousers from Stefanel and navy blue wool beret from Gant.

Posted on January 9, 2013

Trend SS 2013: Romanticism, Ballet and Fairytales

Romantique/ Wardrobe

The innocent and romantic trend of last summer is continuing into Summer 2013 – hoooray!  Innocent whites (Chloé),Lace and Broderie Anglaise (Oscar de la Renta) and even Cinderella shoes (Valentino) all feature heavily on the catwalks depicting SS 2013.

So what do the terms “romantic” and “romanticism” actually mean?Romanticism  is an artistry and literary movement that had its peak from 1800-1840.  The movement prized emotion and intuition over rationalism and rejected the principles of rules and the materialistic and aristocratic society. It was offered as a polarised opposite to realism.
Famous authors of this era were the Brother Grimm (Hänsel & Gretel, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood) and E.T.A. Hoffmann, author of “The Nutcracker and The Mouse King” on which the ballet is based.
Above: Rebel aged 17 rehearsing for the ballet “The Nutcracker” at the state opera in Berlin.
The fashion from this era was characterised by narrow shoulders, puff sleeves, low waists, ruffle detailing, bell shape skirts with layers of petticoats underneath.
Me on top of the department store Galeries Lafayette in Paris 2011.
Cinderella Shoes at Valentino SS 2013
Little Red Riding Hood is one of the Brother’s Grimm fairytales. The Brother Grimm are one of the most important romantic historians. Their work became not only a central part of German literary identity, but also an important part of world literature. Photo taken at the Christmas market in Berlin.
Posted on January 7, 2013

Rebel: Confessions of a Make-Up Product Developer

Beauty/ Rebel Alexa

It’s fair to say that Rebel is a real Beauty Guru with 15 years of experience as a make-up and product developer. She has been designing beauty products from the first idea / brainstorm to the finished product you will find in drugstores and high-end cosmetic stores, working closely with the beauty lab to design the ingredients of the product as well as with illustrators who design the packaging.
In her role as colour cosmetic developer, Rebel has been designing mascaras, lip glosses, bronzers, make-ups, blushers, lip and eye pencils,  nail varnishes and much more. In her job, she has to prove her creativity, innovative and outside the box thinking and her sixth sense for trends.

Interview with Rebel, the Make-up product developer:

 Q:  Make-up trend change so often, how do you keep keep up with the constant change and how do you know what will be trendy tomorrow?

Rebel: I am constantly reading magazines from all over the world and  keep myself up to date in the blogosphere. Travelling is a big inspiration as well. I never allow myself to fall behind, I am constantly online to be informed. Mix this with experience and training as well as intuition for the cosmetic market and an ability to analyse.

Q: When it comes to formulations of the products, how do you decide what goes into a product and why?

Rebel: I often get suggestions from raw material suppliers on which ingredients are trending, for example cranberry, sea buckthorn, ginger, hylaronic acid or Q10. I also develop my own ideas which I then realise with the R&D department. My most fun product was a lipgloss made of banana essence, tasting of cinnamon!

Q: You worked in global companies: Can you tell us what the difference is in designing make-up products for the British, American or French market?

Rebel: The US, Britain and France are way more innovative and fast moving compared to the German market. Americans are very open and like to experiment when developing a product. The French tend to get inspiration from the looks of Chanel & Dior.

Q: Which beauty brand is your favourite brand?

Rebel: I use a lot of Chanel (make-ups, nail varnishes and the Quattro powder) but I also try lots of drugstore products from any brand.

Q: What are the most essential items in your beauty bag you cannot live without?

Rebel: At the moment I can’t live without the BB cream from Maybelline and the Jumbo pencils for smokey eyes in black and brown by Maybelline, black mascara and a nude lipstick.

Nail varnish range “Blackbird”. Name, packaging and colours designed by Rebel.


Posted on January 6, 2013

1 Biker Leather Jacket 3 Styles

Coats/ Rebel Alexa/ Wardrobe

It’s true, you do need some real good fashion basics. A biker leather jacket is a basic but what now? Daily exercise is required to create many combinations and different styles.

Often I read, celebreties need only five minutes to get their casual look but for me it doesn’t work. I have to work really hard to get my chic casual style and sometimes it works and sometimes I make mistakes and wrong fasion decisions.

Styling needs exercise of at least 7 categories – dresses, skirts, pants, tops, shoes, bags and sunglasses. For my Michael Kors biker leather jacket I do have only 3 styles but this is not really a lot. I have to practice more, more, more.


Posted on January 4, 2013

Winter Sheepskin Parka

Coats/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

The fur lined winter parka is a wonderfully versatile winter staple. Traditionally it comes in olive green with a fur hood, these days  it comes in different colours and materials.

If you are toying with the idea of buying a parka, look for a dressy version, more tailored and made of luxe materials like sheepskin. In harsh weather conditions, it will make you feel like a million dollars.

I am wearing: Sheepskin parka from Stefanel, ankle boots “Sprinkle” from Kurt Geiger, woolen pleated skirt from Stefanel, tights from Falke.

The casual sporty parka style lends itself for a clash with delicate, feminine styles like a flower pencil skirt or a wool pleated skirt with pop tights.

Use accessories to make your parka outfit cute. Beanies look adorable on cold winter days.

The Classic match: Sheepskin Parka and Jeans

Speaking of Sheepskin, how cute is this sheepskin vest from See by Chloe? Interesting alternative for a fur vest.

Cold, rainy days are never fun, but you’ll feel a little sunnier knowing that you’re wearing bright color tights underneath your practical parka! Tights from Falke in colour “passion”.


Posted on January 2, 2013

Ways to wear a cashmere scarf

Accessoires/ Romantique

Did you know that there are 80 ways to wear a cashmere Pashmina scarf? Me neither, but when I walked into the Pashmina Shop in Berlin at the Quartier 205 near the iconic Galeries Lafayette, the sales assistant draped the scarfs around my neck in ways I never ever thought of and it really looked good! I was quite impressed and will definitely use a few of the tricks she showed me.

Check out the shop’s video about 25 ways to wear a Pashmina scarf.

Above: I’m wearing a pink-cream and beige cashmere scarf (draped in the classic twist), navy blue duffle coat from Bogner and woolen hat from Missoni.

Here I am wearing a cream, milk coffee brown and light pink Leopard printed  pashmina scarf  in “Colombo” style. Pashmina scarfs are mostly made of cashmere and silk, so I you want to buy a good quality one, make sure to check the composition of the fabric (the term “pashmina” fabric is often used by sales man to mask the fact that the scarf doesn’t even contain cashmere).

The above cashmere scarf  in dégradée colours is printed with the eiffel tower, coffee mugs and beaucop de l’amour – needless to say I had to heave it.

Spoilt for choice: Stars, dots and babuschka dolls prints


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