A while ago I was invited to tea at Claridges to meet Gail Federici. Although I’ve cut down on the meet-and-greets, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grill this dynamic beauty pioneer on the rise of female entrepreneurs and the very modern culture of self-branding. (more…)
The Chanel and Dior AW14 couture collections were so different from each other although they both referenced the past to inform the future. The other thing they had in common was youthful hair and makeup. Chanel’s wayward ‘eighties boy band’ hairpieces (above and below) stole my attention from the clothes, giving the outfits an energetic attitude alongside equally youth-centric Sharpie-pen eyeliner flicks. (Full disclosure: I had a major backcombing habit in my teens.) (more…)
Last month saw the 33rd year of the Afro Hair and Beauty Live show at Islington’s Business Design Centre, the biggest show of its kind in Europe. Knowing how big the UK black beauty market is (black women are said to spend six times more on hair and beauty), I intended to go to this but in the end had conflicting commitments. Instead, TOLU OGUNSOLA attended on my behalf and here she reports on her top three finds…
Just as I expected, I was greeted with a great buzzing atmosphere as I entered Afro Hair And Beauty Live. People were talking excitedly here, there and everywhere about what products they wanted to buy and blaring music further amped up the excitement for all involved. Natural hair has definitely taken off in the past year or so, with women of colour taking a vested interest in returning back to their roots as it were. (more…)
Here’s a little backstage beauty nugget I found out recently. See that backstage beauty station? See those hairspray-like cans wrapped in parcel tape? That’s a little known secret of fashion shows. When big beauty brands sponsor shows, they want their and only their branding in the backstage shots. So MAC doesn’t want a stray Lancome mascara wand in view at a MAC-sponsored show and Toni & Guy doesn’t want a can of Elnett upstaging its products if it’s paying for exclusive endorsement. All well and good, but it seems there’s an understanding that sometimes X product is the only one that will do for X star hairdresser. So the solution is to cover it in gaffer tape to disguise the branding. In fact, some say that Toni & Guy’s black-clad Label M product packaging was so designed to mimic the gaffer-tape look I just described. Who knew?
I tried to keep this brief but it didn’t happen so here goes. First up: Margaret Howell. You don’t get many surprises here but that’s OK. With some designers I like to know what I’m getting and for AW12 we’re getting the perfect white shirt, trad fairisles, fitted twinsets, schoolgirl box-pleated skirts, indestructable tweed trench coats (an update on my navy wool one that kept the biting chill out all weekend) and boyish blazers. To finish off – low side ponytails, penny loafers and darling little olive green Tam-o-shanter hats. (more…)
“Kim Kardashian is real. That’s what girls look like today. It’s a very huge, cultural part of what is going on, and the ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’, it’s a very big part of what we’re seeing…as important as Lady Gaga is to a 15-year-old. So all of these things, I take in. I’m not a snob going, ‘What’s that?’ because that is real. And that is how women want to look. It’s a very important style statement, and that will go into my library of style and I will take that somewhere.”
Uber-hair stylist Guido Palau on the Kim Kardashian effect