Coach: 'What's Your Swagger?'

Coachs latest handbag, The Swagger, is clearly going to be a big hitter this Spring, especially as you can accessorise it in so many different ways.  I was trilled to receive one of the spacious, matte black carryalls and given the opportunity to show a little of my personal ‘swagger’ off by customising the bag in my own, individual style.  

After removing the bag’s detachable strap, I made my new bag feel unique and more by wrapping a vibrantly colourful scarf around one of the leather handles, and adding a Masai beaded bracelet with a bronze charm of Africa around the other, instantly transforming the bag ready for me to take out and about.  Strolling around Ladbroke Grove, in between the early April showers, I bought some gorgeous yellow spring tulips from a market stall and headed for a relaxing coffee at Pizza East (with Cara, Suki and Georgia!) feeling like a true Portobello Warrior; totally my swagger!  #WhatsYourSwagger?!

TLC LOVES... THE SWAGGER

The 2014 Met Ball

This week the biggest A-Listing schlebs and schlebrutants gathered on the footsteps of the Metropolitan Museum for the 2014 Met Ball, hosted by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and co-chair, the belle-of-every-ball, SJP (below, in Oscar de la Renta).  The dress code this year was ‘White Tie and Decorations’ to compliment the current Costume Institute's retrospective of the Anglo-American couturier Charles James.  As always, there were some style-winners and some style-misses… and then a whole new level of OMG! ('Oh Met God!') established by Kim Kardashian last year (HERE) and owned this year by a criminally dressed Kate Upton… #WhenBadDressesHappenToSuperHotWomen.

Below:  Fresh, relevant and so-very-freaking-fash, these three TLC style-faves NAILED modern elegance in a sea of pouff...  (L-R):  Marion Cotillard wore a classic Dior shape made from a modern, dark ink blue material accessorised with one enormous Chopard diamond earring and an orange power pout. I'm not crazy keen on her Dior Haute Couture heels but they certainly don’t distract from the over all ‘Ooh La La’ of her look.  Emma Stone looked perfectly pink in a two-tone Thakoon dress, carrying a Tod’s clutch and wearing a Disney-princess messy side-braid. Youthful and HOT.  A controversial choice, but I adored Alexa Chung’s ice blue, crunchy taffeta Nina Ricci dress.  Only Alexa, in her bejeweled shoes, with her un-done hair and rock’n’roll nonchalance, could make this dress with its multi-bow accents look so damn cool. 

Below:  Models Suki Waterhouse and Stella Tennant both looking WOW in Burberry.  

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Below:  There was definitely a trend for classic black and white gowns on the Met Ball red carpet this year and my favourite of these was actress Anna Kendrick's modernly elegant peekaboo J.Mendal dress worn with Graff diamonds and Brian Atwood heels.

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Below:  Couture Couples! Three beautifully dressed ladies with three mighty dapper accessories...  (L-R):  Beyonce looking mysterious and flawless in a beaded Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci gown with husband Jay ZDiane Kruger looking lovely in lavender in Jason Wu for Hugo Boss dress with her boyfriend Joshua Jackson, and blonde bombshell Blake Lively in a glistening champagne Gucci gown with husband Ryan Reynolds.  

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Below Clockwise (L-R):  35 year old Katie Holmes actually hurt my eyes whilst channelling ‘Belle’ from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in this Marchesa dress. More beastly than belle.  Kate Upton in Dolce and Gabana.  OMG! O.MET.G! This is comedy-bad. WHO is responsible for dressing this majorly hot woman as a frumpy, buxom Austrian barmaid, complete with bonnet?!  Shoot them.  Lupita Nyong’o looking a little more fancy-dress than party-dress in Prada.  With a string of red carpet wins this year, I’ll let her off for this less than elegant flapper dress fail.  Reece Witherspoon looking a little too kitsch and way too ‘Legally Blonde’ in this pink Stella McCartney dress for my liking.  Maggie Gyllenhaal in a Valentinokaftan. A kaftan.  This has nothing to do with Charles James, and no place on the red carpet.  Rita Ora (can we please stop trying to make this woman ‘happen’ now?!) flashed her underwear throughout the evening in garish Donna Karen Atelier and a pair of thigh-high strappy heels. Classy as always...  Aaaand breathe TLC!

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The Oscars - 2014

With surprisingly less ‘stand out’ frocks on the red carpet this year than the last (what were these drably dressed women thinking, that we cared about their actual films?!) the uncontested best dressed ladies at the 86th Academy Awards were Cate Blanchett andLupita Nyong’o.  In a sea of black gowns and (we’ve seen them all before) nude-toned dresses, both these actresses dressed to impress and with every intention of walking away with those golden statues… which they did.  

Best Actress Cate Blanchett wore a flesh toned, delicately embellished and very romantic Armani Privé dress which almost looked like her own beautifully pale skin.  As faultless as she always dresses, and this was no exception, I’d have loved her to have worn a brighter, red or coral lipstick to really perfect the look.   Best Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o, who hasn’t put a (well heeled) foot wrong during the lengthy awards season, wore a custom-made ‘Nairobi Blue’ Prada gown (the colour reminded the actress of growing up in Nairobi) with a plunging neckline and sparkling embroidery.  I wasn’t entirely sold on the actress’ Fred Leeighton diamond headband, but hey, who am I to judge a girl for having her Cinderella moment?!  The award winning actresses, who we are more used to seeing wear bolder (Lupita) and quirkier (Cate) designs, both looked elegant, super-feminine and timeless.

A special mention must also go to Kate Hudson (above), who was presenting an Oscar on the night.  Wearing a stunning, low-cut Atelier Versace dress with amazing caped sleeves, the gorgeous actress evoked an old Hollywood glamour, accessorizing with an Art Deco inspired clutch.   Also, Angelina Jolie’s make-up (below) deserves a special mention. Neutral, earthy and simple, Angie's thick lashes, soft smokey eyes and nude lips looked subtle and flawless. 

Below:  Ummm... déjà vu much?!  Clumsy Best Supporting Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence, wearing Dior (like last year) and a Harry Winston back-necklace (like last year) fell over (like last year) on the red carpet at the start of the evening.  The loveable clutz then hid behind a giant Oscar statue.  Ellen Degeneres later mocked J-Law by saying if she were to win an Oscar that night, they would bring the award to her... Safety first.

Below:  Singer/Rapper/Producer Pharrell Williams arrived at the Oscars wearing schoolboy-like Lanvin Tuxedo Shorts… Please tell me this is not going to become ‘a thing!’  Come back Vivienne Westwood Canadian Mountain Ranger Hat, aaall is forgiven!! 

Below:  A big new red carpet trend at year’s Academy Awards was… Photobombing!  Jennifer Lawrence’s love of the red carpet photobomb has gloriously caught on andBenedict Cumberbatch’s magnificent airborne photobombing of U2 was worthy of anOscar in itself! Other note-worthy photobombing was achieved by Jared Leto to Anne Hathaway, who then in turn photobombed Jessica Biel. Boom!!  

Below:  Pharrell Williams (thankfully out of those shorts) performed his song ‘Happy’ from ‘Despicable Me 2’ (catchiest song EVER?!) and shared short, impromptu dances and shoulder shimmies with nominees Lupita Nyong’oMeryl Streep and Amy Adams.

Below:  Jared Leto, with enviably perfect ombre hair, won the Best Supporting Actor award for his role as transgender AIDS patient Rayon in 'Dallas Buyers Club.'  Jared is 42 years old... HOW did that happen?!  He doesn't look a day over Jordan Catalano. 

Below:  John Travolta introduced the performance of (award winning song) ‘Let It Go’ from the Oscar winning animated film ‘Frozen.'  The actor however, some how introduced the song’s singer, well-known Broadway star Idina Menzel, as Adele Dazeem… Car crash.  You had one job John… Just one.  Believing that you’re nobody until you’ve had your name mangled by the actor, Slate immediately created its own widget allowing you to “Travoltify” your name (mine is Kirsty Edians!) Pleeeease next year can he introduce Benedict Cumberbatch and/or Chiwetel Ejiofor?!  ('Travoltify' your name HERE)

Below:  In the most memorable moment of the entire night, a tearful Lupita Nyong’o accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress and became Kenya’s first ever Oscar winner.  Eloquently and humbly, Lupita dedicated her award to Patsey, the brutalized plantation slave she so powerfully portrayed in ’12 Years A Slave,’ "it doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s."

Below:  After losing out on Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘American Hustle’ pranksterJennifer Lawrence jokingly tried to steal Lupita Nyong’o’s award. 

Below:  Love was certainly in the air at this years Oscars.  Bradley Cooper lost out on Best Supporting Actor but does he look remotely phased or disappointed? Hell no, he was too busy canoodling with his gorgeous girlfriend, the British model Suki Waterhouse! Likewise, after winning  Best Actor for his standout performance in 'Dallas Buyers Club,' Matthew McConaughey told reporters that he and his beayoooticul wife Camila would not “stay at the after-party long – I want to go home and make another baby!”

Below:  When Steve McQueen's modestly budgeted slavery odyssey, based on Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir, ’12 Years A Slave,’ won Best Picture, the joy and excitement amongst the cast and crew was almost tangible.  After leaping for joy, British filmmaker Steve McQueen poignantly dedicated the award to all those who had suffered, and still suffer, from slavery, saying “everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live."

Ellen DeGeneres took the ‘selfie’ to end all ‘selfies’ mid-ceremony, which later broke all Twitter records (and even Twitter itself momentarily!) for the most retweets (3 million times and counting!), a record previously held by President Obama.  The EPIC picture included Brad PittAngelina Jolie, Jared LetoChanning TatumBradley CooperKevin SpaceyMeryl StreepLupita Nyong’oJennifer Lawrence and… ummm… who? Ohh hi there Junior Yup, Lupita’s brother Junior made his way into the most Hollywood of Hollywood ‘selfies’ and I personally think he MADE this picture.  I can imagine his Christmas card is sorted for the next few years/forever...   

British Fashion Awards 2013

Celebrating their quarter century, a whole bevy of British beauties descended upon theLondon Colliseum on Monday night for the much-anticipated 2013 British Fashion Awards.  What I love about the British fash pack, is that they never arrive at awards show looking too over done.  This year (with the exception of Rita Ora and Rosie Hunting-Whitely who perhaps tried a bit harder) the fashionistas arrived ready to let their dishevelled bed head hair down (rose-gold ombre hair in Sienna Miller’s case!) and wearing couture and designer gowns with the perfect nonchalance. These are some cool cats. 

Above: (Clockwise) L-R:  Kate Moss (in Alexander McQueen) and Rita Ora (in Vivienne Westwood), Alexa Chung in Stella McCartneyLaura Bailey (in Roksanda Ilincic) and Rosie Huntington-Whitely (in Antonio Beradi).

Above:  My favourite look of the night was 21 year old Suki Waterhouse who wore a plunging lilac lace Burberry dress, accessorized with a Smythson clutch and a Noor Fares dangling necklace.  The model wore her ash blonde hair in a scruffy up-do.

Amusingly, having scooped the last three British Style Awards herself, Alexa Chung passed the style baton on to none other than Harry Styles!  I wasn't entirely aware that it was fashion that ol'Harry was known best for... Perhaps that's what the kids are calling it these days.  In any event, the award obviously must now be retitled the British Styles Award?!  

Above (Clockwise L-R): Lily Donaldson (in Marc Jacobs), Harry Styles (in Saint Laurent byHedi Slimane), Sienna Miller (in Burberry), Model of the Year Edie Campbell (in Louis Vuitton) and Poppy Delevingne (in Emilia Wickstead).

Above: Kate Moss, synonymous with British style, received a special recognition award celebrating her success in the fashion industry.  Discovered at 14 years old and turning 40 next month, this does beg the question,  why did this take so long?!  Congrats KM!  

FULL LIST OF WINNERS

        Womenswear Designer of the Year - Christopher Kane
        Menswear Designer of the Year - Burberry
        International Designer of the Year - Miuccia Prada for Prada
        Designer Brand of the Year - Burberry
        Accessory Designer of the Year - Nicholas Kirkwood
        Emerging Womenswear Designer - Simone Rocha
        Emerging Menswear Designer - Agi & Sam
        New Establishment Designer - JW Anderson
        Model of the Year - Edie Campbell
        Red Carpet Award - Erdem
        Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator - Lady Amanda Harlech
        British Style Award brought to you by Vodafone (voted by the public) - Harry Styles
        Special Recognition Award - Kate Moss
        Special Recognition Award - Suzy Menkes
        Outstanding Achievement in Fashion - Terry and Tricia Jones, founders of i-D

Above (R-L):  Agi Mdumulla and Sam CottonSuzy Menkes OBELady Amanda Harlech,J.W. Anderson with model Arizona Muse, Simone Rocha and Tim Walker.

LFW Burberry Prorsum SS'14

Burberry Prorsum welcomed their beautiful FROW (Alexa ChungSienna MillerPoppy DelevigneSuki WaterhouseHARRY STYLES) and a host of lucky fashionistas to Kensington Gardens to enjoy their SS’14 pastel coloured collection.  Filled with heavily embellished and translucent lace pencil skirts, worn with delicate sheer shirts and delicious, oversized cashmere, it was clear to see that polka dots had replaced this season’s hearts. 

Striking white sunglasses and folded sheepskin clutches were the perfect accessories to the Ladurée coloured designs and the finale saw Cara Delevigne in a see-through trench (revealing her latest bicep tattoo honouring her mother Pandora) whilst rose petals fell onto the runway.  Burberry girls are so damn cool.  I wanna be in their gang. 

 Although the six new SS’14 shades will only be available to buy from January, you can purchase the entire set (featuring Rose Pink, Dusky Mauve, Pale Grape, Pale Yellow, Sage Green and Mink) for the next two weeks exclusively from Burberry.