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Posted on September 22, 2015

London Fashion Week Part 2

Current Affairs/ Featured/ London/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

London Fashion Week September 2015 Jumpsuit

Day 2 at Fashion week: Another sparkling day in London, the sun soaked Soho’s alleys in a picture perfect warm autumn light; a photographers dream! My aim for the day was to mingle and network with fellow bloggers, creative enthusiasts and designers. Every year, LFW leaves me full of ideas and inspirations, newly found contacts, sometimes even friends.

On the street style front it was yet again the men who got all my style credits. Rocking classic style staples with a twist such as turtleneck jumpers, Oxford lace-ups with cork soles, velvet slippers & lots of 70s flair, tassels & mustard yellow.

On the ladies side of the equation, I was pleased to spot several pairs of Asos Pom Pom Mary Janes with midi heel. Fashionable yet comfortable, the shoes were definitely a fave for LFW visitors this year.

Enjoy the street style inspirations from London Fashion Week September 2015. So long, until February 2016!

London Fashion Week September 2015 Jumpsuit

What I was wearing:

An understated yet elegant jumpsuit, paired with a pink Chanel-esque tweed jacket was my outfit of choice. I knew I would probably go under in this subtle ensemble, yet I felt comfortable and let the accessories do the talking.

  • Cherry earrings by Les Nereides
  • Embellished straw coffa bag by Sicily Bag
  • Black jumpsuit by Max & Co
  • Pointy metallic strappy ballerinas by Max & Co
A common feature: Statement bag candy. Most preferred brands Saint Laurent and Chloe.

A common feature: Statement bag candy. Most preferred brands seen at LFW were  Saint Laurent and Chloe.

Little fashionistas start young in attention seeking

Little fashionistas start young in attention seeking

Glad to see the perennial winter staple, the duffle coat, at the Fashion week

Glad to see the perennial winter staple, the duffle coat, at the Fashion week

Chloe Drew bag, suede and lace.

Loving the texture clash here. Chloe Drew bag in Suede leather, suede leather skirt and lace top.

Londoners

Londoners

London Street Style Fashion Week September 2015 Golden Square

Soho’s Golden Square was the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of Brewer Street, this years fashion week venue. Visitors without tickets could still follow the shows on the live screens whilst relaxing in sun loungers.

Camilla Elphick Pez heels

London-based footwear designer Camilla Elphick is known for her quirky, creative designs. These PEZ heels are edible!

London Street Style Fashion Week September 2015

Loving the clash of sweet feminine and masculine here: The flowing silhouette of the pink culottes and the coat paired with the minimalistic, structured bag and  masculine penny loafers.

These ladies remind me of a 70s tv show...hmm which one was it..

These ladies remind me of a 70s tv show…hmm which one was it.

Relaxed elegance in glitzy boyfriend denim, grey blazer and silver Roger Vivier pumps

Relaxed elegance in glitzy boyfriend denim, grey blazer and silver Roger Vivier pumps

LFW September 2015 Asos pom pom shoes

Asos pom pom shoes: Definitely a fave for LFW visitors this year.

Photo credits: All photos taken by me.

Posted on May 1, 2015

Bobbi Brown at Vogue Festival

Beauty/ Current Affairs/ Featured
Bobbi Brown and Kate Upton at Vogue Festival 2015

Kate Upton, Bobbi Brown and Alexandra Schulman at the Vogue Festival Talk

Last weekend, I attended the Vogue festival hosted at the Royal Academy of Arts.

The yearly festival hosts a variety of inspirational talks and master classes all about fashion, journalism & female entrepreneurship.  The talk on “How to build your dreams” by Bobbi Brown and Kate Upton seemed like an inspiring  topic so I wasted no time in signing up for it. A rather grumpy Alexandra Schulman, chief editor of British Vogue, hosted the talk.

Bobbi came across as a refreshingly honest and a caring person. She frankly admitted, in front of Alexandra, that she doesn’t care for clothes but loves makeup. Dive with me into the key takeaways from the talk.

Alexandra: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

BB: No, I never thought of running my own business. If someone said that to me, I would have run the other way.  I was, and am,  very naive, and in many ways that helped me in building the business as I always trust things will work out. I also never think I have to do something,  I just do what feels right.

Alexandra: What’s your life motto?

BB: Helping people where you can. I was raised to be nice and caring towards  everybody.

Alexandra: What do you hate about makeup? 

BB: Blue/purple mascara and contouring! Contouring has negative connotations as it implies that for example a round face needs when in fact most models have round faces. Make-up should enhance the Beauty you have, not trying to change it.

Alexandra: What are your hero products?

BB: The shimmer Brick is a great product as it consists of several colours to give dimension which looks very natural. Also, the foundation stick is a revolutionary product.

The hero product: The Shimmer Brick

The hero product: The Shimmer Brick

Alexandra: What product innovations are you most proud of?

BB: When I started out as a make-up artist, all foundations used to be pink, which did not match the colour of the skin tone. We all have yellow in our skin so I created yellow foundations that disappear into the skin, that’s when you know you  found the right shade of foundation! I was also always fixing bad lipsticks, mixing them with beige to achieve a more lip-like colour.

Alexandra: You are a also a designer of glasses, which are a signature look of yours.

BB: I love glasses, they hide lines and dark circles. People always ask me where they can buy the glasses I’m wearing. In fact, my glasses won’t suit everyone. My glasses range offers all colours and shapes to chose from.

Alexandra: Did you ever make mistakes during your career? 

BB: Of course, mistakes are part of life. We once brought out a range of neon colours – it didn’t work. It was too early, we were ahead of the time.

Alexandra: Why did you chose Kate Upton to represent BB? 

BB: She’s very relatable, comfortable in her body and coupled with healthy attitude, Kate is a role model who people look up to in the UK / US and Asia!

Kate Upton at Vogue Festival 2015

Kate looked absolutely stunning in this Dolce and Gabbana combo: High waisted monchrome gingham skirt and floral cardigan, topped up with lace pointy heels.

romantique at Vogue Festival 2015

Read more about the Vogue Festival and the fashionista visitors here.

Posted on February 22, 2015

London Fashion Week 2015

Coats/ Current Affairs/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

London Fashion Week Pink coat max and co, AgL shoes, minnie mouse ears

It’s the time of the year again for London Fashion week at Somerset House. Whilst the shows themselves are for invitation holders only, a lot of the action happens in the courtyard of Somerset House – via a huge live screen you can follow the shows, visit many of the side shows hosted by Topshop and River Island,  pop into a blow-out or braid bar or have a coffee at Tom’s diner to relax from all the excitement.

This year, I left Rebel in Hamburg as we just spent a sisterly weekend together in Paris. With Mr Romantique in tow, I threw on my favourite pink coat and Minnie Mouse ears. When going to London Fashion Week, I’m never trying to keep up with the fashionable London crowd – they are way to eccentric for me. Instead, I stay true to myself and wear what I would wear to the office. I do allow myself one fun, quirky accessory though. Last year, this was a pair of sequinned cat ears. This year, I’m following up with Minnie Mouse ears and a pink bow as the cherry on the cake.

I am wearing:

  • Pink pastel coat by Max & Co
  • Pink patent leather oxford lace-ups by AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni
  • Chocolate brown leather pencil skirt by Ralph Lauren
  • Minnie Mouse glitter bow headband  by Claire’s accessories
  • Tortoise sunglasses by Prada
  • Merino tights by Falke

Stay tuned for a full run-down of my favourite LFW 2015 street style outfits.

The pink lace-ups are the perfect mix up feminine and masculine.

 

Minnie Mouse Glitter Bow headband Claire's accessories

 

LFW 2015 Somerset house pink coat chanel bag pink oxfords

 

LFW is a great way to meet like-minded bloggers and find inspiration in the many colourful outfits. This floral light blue coat is from ZARA.

 

ondon Fashion Week Pink coat max and co, AgL shoes, minnie mouse ears

 

ondon Fashion Week Pink coat max and co, AgL shoes, minnie mouse ears

Posted on February 7, 2015

The Myth of Parisian Chic – BUSTED!

Coats/ Current Affairs/ Movie & Books/ Rebel/ Romantique

French Books on Chic, Style, Life, relationships

“Parisian Chic”, “How to be Parisian wherever you are”, “Paris Street Style”, “Why French children don’t throw food” – the French-know-it-all hype shows no sign of abating. French women clearly have the world figured out – from style to love life to children. We at Romantique and Rebel are francophiles too and have fallen for the myth – there’s no book on French style we don’t have, we’ve written many articles on French icons we adore and have interviewed French colleagues and friends, all in the quest for deciphering their secret to style, love and life.

Last week, Rebel and I booked a train from London to Paris to engross ourselves in some field work. We’ve been to Paris many times before, but this time we wanted to look at Parisians with a fresh pair of scrutinising eyes. We looked at the myth and carefully checked this against reality. Here’s our impressions from our Paris trip:

French women wear red lipstick (and nothing else):

100% correct. Mostly warm, yellow based red lipstick is a make-up staple all Parisiennes share. However, we noted that little else make-up is applied. From a certain age, one should cover up imperfections to smooth skin to look polished. Not so the Parisienne. Which leads us to the next point….

French women have the “effortless style” nailed:

There’s a fine line between effortless and down right sloppy. We witnessed  French ladies in hip Marais sported having-just-crawled-out-of-bed hair, scruffy jeans, grey hair, paired with dirty adidas Stan Smith trainers. All of this seemed forced, as if the carrier wanted to appear “cool” by appearing to not have made too much of an effort.  Which defies the whole idea of “effortless” , right?

French women are chain smokers:

This is a stereotype which rings very true. People on the continent, compared to the UK, smoke a lot, especially in Paris. Which might explain how Parisienne’s stay so slim. Look at Caroline de Maigret, one of the authors of the book “How to be Parisian wherever you are”. She’s 39 and may be skinny, but also looks a decade older than she is.

Caroline de Maigret wearing Stan Smith trainers in Paris.

Caroline de Maigret wearing Stan Smith trainers in Paris.

French women love heels: 

Quite the contrary, Paris is the city of adidas trainers. Women of all ages can be seen in two types: Stan Smith and Superstar. Every shop window displaying elegant fashion paired outfits with a pair of trainers. Our Air B and B landlady wore the same pair as Rebel who is a fan too. I’ll stick with my ballerina, thank you!

Rebel is wearing: "Stan Smith" Adidas, Sunnies by Fendi, Bag by GF Ferré

Rebel is wearing: “Stan Smith” Adidas, Wintercoat by Max & Co., Sunnies by Fendi, Bag by GF Ferré

 

Parisiennes and labels

YSL, Celine, Balmain – all these labels can be seen worn by Asian women. I wonder if it’s the astronomical price or the cliche the Parisiennes are avoiding?

I'm wearing: Black Max and Co coast, quilted leather cross body bag from L Credi, sunnies by Prada, pink oxford lace-ups by AGL Attilio Giusi Leombruni.

I’m wearing: Black Max and Co coat, quilted leather cross body bag from L Credi, sunnies by Prada, pink Oxford lace-ups by AGL Attilio Giusi Leombruni.

 

For many, including us, French culture is the synonym for elegance, style and charm and the French have perfected fuelling this fire.

Where do you stand? Do you think the French are naturally good at putting clothes together and finding the perfect balance in life between femininity and feminism? Is common sense fashion advise such as: Choose a few quality timeless basics and build on them, avoid faddy fashion trends.” inherently French? Let’s start the debate!

Parisian Chic - busted

Posted on January 22, 2015

Mad about Germany – The Brits aim to change their one-time enemy’s public image

Current Affairs/ London/ Romantique

Germany - memories of a nation exhibition London

The German-British relationship is often marked by rivalry and competition, with the British tabloids fueling the fire by WW2 symbols of  tanks, and soldier uniforms. Unlike the other allies, France and the USA, British culture tends to associate Germany first and foremost with the two world wars. One only need look as far as the famous “Don’t mention the war” sketch in Fawlty Towers, for evidence!

However, things are changing: Germany’s world cup win and subsequent uber-cool party at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was admired by the British (even by the tabloids)!   Angela Merkel, Germany’s “Mutti”, is seen by the English, as a respected leader of Europe, whilst Germany’s decentralised economy serves as a role model to the Continent and the UK.

In this changing spirit, The British Museum has dedicated a whole exhibition (Germany – memories of a nation) to 600 years of German history to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Wir sind ein Volk - Germany memories of a nation exhibition London

Director of the British Museum, Neil McGregor, says that he is on a mission to change the British perception of Germany. He wants to educate the British that there is more to Germany’s long and eventful history than 12 years of Nazi Era.

The exhibition uses objects to tell the story of 600 years of German history. Its rolling out the red carpet to German-speaking artists, craftspeople, designers, musicians, writers and philosophers who have made great contributions to the world’s culture. German political history is one of diversity,  coming from the Holy Roman Empire which continues to blossom with federalism to this day. With no dominant central court, this culture of political rivalries created intense and fruitful competition for artists.

The exhibition also touches on the exodus from East Pommerania after WW2, and on the division and re-unification of Germany. The display of the Gutenberg bible, one of the first printed books in the world, was one of my highlights.

Germany memories of a nation Gutenberg Bible

the gate to Buchenwald concentration camp, Weimar

The exhibits ran the gamut through from the beautiful to the horrific: A Bauhaus artist who was a prisoner at Buchenwald made the cynical inscription at the gate of the concentration camp “each to their own”. Avantgarde meets Nazi terror – both part of German history.

The exhibition closes this Sunday, if you’re interested, hurry to the exhibition this weekend! The museum offers extended opening hours in this final week.

Germany memories of a nation exhibition London romantique

Posted on November 9, 2014

What life was like behind the iron curtain

Current Affairs/ Rebel/ Romantique
Romantique and Rebel in East Berlin, 1988

Romantique and Rebel in East Berlin, 1988

This weekend, Berlin commemorates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with an 80,000 balloon light illumination to recreate where the wall once stood.

The wall split the city into the West Sector, occupied by American, British and French allies, and the East sector, occupied by the Soviet Republic.

On the evening of Sunday, Nov. 9, 8,000 citizens will line up with a key in hand, each responsible for unlocking a balloon. One by one, the balloons will float into the sky, carrying personal messages with them.

Berlin's "Lichtergrenze" - Border of lights

Berlin’s “Lichtergrenze” – Border of lights

The wall is an integral part of Rebel and my upbringing: Aged 9 and 17 when our parents fled the dictator run country, we are both deeply affected by German/German history. When we lived in East Berlin, we had access to West German radio and TV: Longing for the exotic travel, shiny cars and abundance of goods the channels showed. In my case, this was a holiday to Brazil, a Barbie dreamhouse and “my Little Pony”. In the East, Rebel learned Russian at school and went through a tough-as-nails education at the East-German State-Ballet run by strict Russian Ex-Bolshoy teachers.

Rebel practicing at the state run East Berlin school of ballet

Rebel practicing at the state run East Berlin school of ballet

As a kid I remember being forced to sing communist anthems in a very strict and authorative primary school. For holidays, we would travel 3 days in the car to countries like Bulgaria & Romania. Only eastern-bloc countries were within our reach.

Yes, goods were scarce and exotic fruit like Mango, passion fruit and honey melon were completely unknown to me.

Our family was torn apart by the wall and politics even divided our family: During the Soviet occupation of East Germany in the 1950s, our Mum’s mum spent time in an East German jail for spying for the west. This was a thorn in the eye of our dad’s parents who were loyal communists and advised my dad against marrying mummy R&R (which in turn only made him even more determined to marry her!)

Our parents in 1970. They got married despite their families who opposed the union.

Our parents in 1970. They got married despite their families who opposed the union.

In February 1989, 10 month before the fall of the wall, our parents fled East Berlin with nothing, leaving behind all material possessions and funds. having to start from scratch at the age of 40; an incredibly bold move, all to regain freedom and to give their children a better future.

Starting fresh in West Berlin wasn’t a bed of roses. My mum’s East German degree was not recognised and she had to study again at the age of 40. Rebel had to abondon her Ballet Career and I was traumatised by the fact that we had to leave behind my beloved cat Sina who died shortly after our move, of a broken heart. At West Berlin school, I was teased for my un-trendy Eastern Bloc-chic clothes and my East-German slang. I spoke German, but a Colloqial German that was different to that of my classmates.

Rebel, Romantique and our mum in East Germany, note the Trabi in the background!

Rebel, Romantique and our mum in East Germany, note our Trabi in the background!

Today, Berlin is an über-cool tourist destination, currently number 3 of Europe’s most popular destinations. Berlin’s visitor numbers are predicted to eclipse Paris, currently holding number 2, in 2015.

It’s a fascincating mix of a City that is nothing like the rest of Germany: easy-going, anarchic, ever-changing, open and cosmopolitan. A city whose locals are known for having a “loud mouth with a golden heart”. A city which has influenced Europe politics like no other with a female chancellor (called Mutti=Mami) who’s calling the shots in the EU. Who would have thought all of this possible 25 years ago?

Stay tuned for more insights into life behind the iron curtain with interviews of contemporary witnesses….

Coming soon!

At the Berlin Wall, with a "Trabi" symbolically breaking through the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on September 27, 2014

LFW 2014 – Best of New Designer

Current Affairs/ London/ Romantique
Cynthia Mak and Romantique, LFW 2014 SS 2015

The lovely Cynthia Mak and myself at LFW 2014 at Sommerset House.

 

At this year’s London Fashion Week, Rebel and I were lucky enough to get access to the New Designer’s lounge. For us, the stand-out designer whose collection we loved most  was Cynthia Mak. Her SS2015 designs are classic yet modern, chic, romantic, edgy and most important of all: FLATTERING to the feminine body. Straight pencil skirts, A-line dresses, beautifully embroidered, dipped in monotone, red and blue colours.  It’s no wonder that Italian Vogue included Cynthia in their list of “New Talents”.  The exquisite tailoring of her collections are reminiscent  of Italian Style, fused with Asian understatement.

Cynthia was born and is based in Hong Kong. She studied at London’s Art and Design College Central Saint Martins and worked at Alexander McQueen, Preen and Vivienne Westwood before returning to her Hong Kong and launching her own collection this year. Take a glimpse at Cynthia’s SS2015 collection here.

I can’t wait to see more from Cynthia and most importantly, to shop her collections at London’s department stores very soon!

Pencil skirt Cynthia Mak SS2015 at LFW 2014

Pencil skirt Cynthia Mak SS2015 at LFW 2014 Pencil skirt Cynthia Mak SS2015 at LFW 2014

Pencil skirt Cynthia Mak SS2015 at LFW 2014

Posted on September 14, 2014

London Fashion Week Street Style – Edit by Romantique

Accessoires/ Beauty/ Coats/ Current Affairs/ Dresses/ London/ Romantique/ Skirts

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style Les nereides alice earrings

I loved getting amongst the inspirational, stylish like-minded bloggers and designers at LFW September 2014.

Romantique’s round-up of the hottest and most romantic street styles of London Fashion Week!

Street Style 1: Tea Time in Paris

Gorgeous designer and blogger, Love, from The Girl Named Love is rocking jewellery from Les Nereides. The small Alice in Wonderland from the “Tea time in Paris” collection is to die for. Apart from her name, I also love Love’s laid back, chic style. Checkered sneakers, checked poncho and that rebel red lipstick! (Fire and Ice by Revlon).

ondon Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style Les nereides alice earrings

 

London Fashion Week Sept Street style Gingham

Street style 2:  Brigitte Bardot Style in London

What’s not to love about this look? The Vichy gingham checked blouse – casually knotted, the A-Line leather skirt, the flat ballerina pumps and the natural make-up.  It’s like an excursion to the Cote d’Azur in the 50s.

London Fashion Week Sept Street style waffle coat

Street style 3: Fondant coloured Autumn Look

This sugary pastel blue, quilted waffle coat makes me long for chillier autumn days so I can wear coats again. The flat,  gold-chained slippers  mirro the gold buttons of the coat beautifully. The embroidered mini bag is the icing on the cake.

 

London Fashion Week Sept Street style lilac and purple

Street style 4: Lilac and Turqoise

In this outfit, lilac and turqoise go together like toast and Nutella! This is a romantic princess look with the little sparkly crown, embellished collar and soft dress. The clashes of the colours give it just the right amount of edge to balance the sweetness.

 

London Fashion Week Sept Street style sicilia dolce and gabbana

Street style 5: Greetings from Bella Italia

Ah Sicilia I miss you! This street style makes me reminisce about our holiday back in July. The cart wheels on the Dolce and Gabbana T-shirt look like a statement necklace.  Knitted pencil skirt from Ekaterina Kukhareva.

Posted on September 14, 2014

Fashion Sisters at LFW – Day 2

Accessoires/ Coats/ Current Affairs/ Rebel/ Romantique/ Shirts

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style pink coat max and co

Day 2 at London Fashion Week! Today I dressed for London’s ever changeable weather in a pastel pink coat, topped off with cat ears. Rebel went for the classic look in black skinny jeans,  a white shirt and brimmed hat to catch the tiny raindrops that descended upon us during the day.

Rebel is wearing:

  • White shirt from Gianfranco Ferre
  • Black Skinny Jeans from Zara
  • Leopard print pointy flats from BCBG
  • Blue hat from BCBG
  • Chained cross body bag from Gianfranco Ferre

Romantique is wearing:

  • Pastel pink coat from Max & Co AW2014 as seen on Hanneli Mustapari who’s fronts Max & Co’s new AW campaign
  • Black skinny jeans from Topshop
  • Pink bag from Bally
  • Snakeskin flats from DV Dolce Vita
  • Gelato pink sunglasses from Dolce and Gabbana
  • Macaron bracelet from Les Nereides N2
  • Cat ears alice band from Bijou Brigitte
  • Lipstick: Ruby Woo by Mac

London Fashion Week september 2014 Streetstyle

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style pink coat max and co

London Fashion Week september 2014 Streetstyle

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style pink coat max and co macaron bracelet les nereides London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style pink coat max and co

Posted on September 13, 2014

London Fashion Week Street Style – Edit by Rebel

Current Affairs/ Rebel

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style colourblock

Here’s a selection of Rebel’s favourite street style outfits at London Fashion Week September 2014!

Street style 1 colour-block (above):

This photo is an absolute cracker! I love her expressive eyes and attitude. Red and pink colour blocking is a great example of  perennial style.

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style colourblock wearable chic

Street style 2 wearable chic:

These are  classic outfits which oozes class.  This is a style you can wear to the office: Comfy but stylish flats in sliver and monotone. Classic white blouse, pencil skirts and classic tote bags. Et voila, the ueber cool look is complete!

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style Man in red

Street style 3 Man in Red:

I don’t love the entire outfit but it contains a few details I’d love to have in my wardrobe. With the red Celine bag and the pink high heels, this fashionisto is dressed to kill! Romantique loves the cat ears.

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style Parisienne Street style 3 La Belle Italienne:

I ADORE the entire outfit of this lady. Her style represents everything that is effortless chic. Lace pencil skirt and pointy strappy heels. No loud colours, no frill. Just pure elegance. We bet this lady is not British but hails from Milan.

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style Black and white

Street style 4: Baccara “Yes Sir I can Boogie”

These two  remind me of the 70s band Baccara. The band consisted of two women, one always dressed in white, the other one always dressed in black.

This stylish duo has taken the trend into the here and now by accessorizing it with Miu Miu sun glasses (left), fur and polka dots.

London Fashion Week Sept 2014 street style lilac mustard

Street style 5: Purple pencil and mustard teddy clutch

Two things stand out for me in this outfit: The exceptionally well fitted purple pencil skirt and the mustard yellow teddy fur clutch. A hot combination of colours and fabrics.

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