Wedding Guest

 

It is Summer. What does that mean? It means the Sun is out- barbeques, parties and getting out the pretty sandals out from your wardrobe that you’ve waited until the summer to wear. It also means there are weddings, after all summer is wedding season.

I love going to weddings, love is such a beautiful thing.  One thing that many struggle with is what to wear to a wedding. What is and what is not appropriate for the occasion? Of course you have to look drop dead gorgeous but you cannot overshine the bride. So what do you do? Please do not wear all white (creams are fine and as long its not a long white gown, just no white) unless the Bride has clearly told you so.

First of all you have to ask yourself is it a countryside wedding, is it a church wedding, is it a evening wedding, city wedding or a beach wedding. After you have asked yourself all these questions, it would be easy to whittle down your outfits (and make life much easier).

Here are a few ideas for your wedding guest outfits:

Countryside Wedding

Off to a countryside wedding? Think florals, lace, pastels. It is your chance to be girly-cute dresses and pretty accessories. If you want to be daring, you can pair a bright coloured pair of heels with you pretty dress-a hot red, or electric Blue will get everybody staring!

Countryside wedding
ASOS Sunflower Dress- Find here
Zara Pearl Headband- Find here
Topshop pearl earrings- Find here
L.K. Bennett red clutch- Find here
Kurt Geiger Red heels-Find here
Steve Madden red flats- Find here
 
Church Wedding
 
With a church wedding is all about looking like a lady. No low cut tops and respectable dress lengths please ladies! It’s all about the conservative and elegant look with a little of sass thrown in. Always wanted to wear a hat or fascinator- a church wedding is the perfect opportunity.
 
Church Wedding
Ted Baker Coral Dress-Find here
Zara Asymmetric Tan Leather heels- Find here
John Lewis Fascinator-Find here
Dune Black & Gold Clutch-Find here
Christian Dior Vintage Black & Gold Earrings- Find here
Gucci Gold Watch-Find here
Evening Wedding
 
Forget lace, pastels and florals its time for Sophisticated Glamour! Who said you can’t sparkle as a Wedding Guest? You can at a evening wedding. You can even wear a Black Gown if you wished. Embellished dresses, sophisticated maxis, cocktail dresses and anything with sparkles is welcome.

Evening Wedding
 
Virgos Lounge Navy Embellished Dress-Find here
Stuart Weitzman Gold Nudist heels- Find here
Warehouse Sparkle Gold Clutch-Find here
Topshop Blue Stone Open Cuff- Find here
Downton Abbey Gold Plated Drop Earrings- Find here
Folli Follie Blue Stone Cocktail Ring- Find here

 

City Wedding

Wedding in the city-anything pretty much goes. No need for a Wedding attire rule book! Embrace modern fashion forward looks, no need for the traditional. Opt for separates, co-ords, tux and tailored trousers. It’s your choice.

City Wedding
 
Topshop Curved Silver Ring-Find here
Topshop Twist Band Ring-Find here
ASOS Pink Blazer-Find here 
River Island White Crop Top-Find here
Zara High Heeled Sandals-Find here
John Lewis Silver Metal Box Clutch-Find here

ASOS Pink Cigarette Trousers-Find here

 Beach Wedding

Think light maxi dresses or summery dresses with statement headbands and oversized sunnies. Heels are not for the beach, so flat sandals are needed.

Beach Wedding
 
 
Dolce & Gabbana Gold Sunglasses- Find here
Warehouse Blue Maxi Dress-Find here
Dune Embellished Clutch-Find here 
Dune Embellished Sandals-Find here
John Lewis Gold Cuff-Find here
Accessorize Statement Studs-Find here
 

Stay Blessed

x

Made in Africa

 

I love opening magazines and looking online for styles that l can send to my seamstress in Ghana to make into Ntoma (Twi word for African printed cloth) or Kente dresses, skirts and trousers etc.

My Seamstress made a simple Ntoma skirt with a peplum like end inspired by the Balmain Skirts in its Spring Summer 2014 collection. I paired it with a red lace top.

Made in Africa 1

African prints has indeed inspired Western Fashion and the fashion industry. It can be said it became ‘mainstream’ between 2009 and 2010. It is not uncommon to find African like prints in the high street as well on the catwalk. Fashion Brands like Matthew Williamson, Etro, Roberto Cavalli, Givenchy (and many more) have all had ‘exotic’ collections pop up now again. Celebrities like Solange Knowles, Michelle Obama, Gwen Stefani and Rihanna have embraced Ankara prints and styles. Seeing the influence that African fashion has had on the fashion industry as a whole and the strong desire for it (which has increased over the years), it is safe to say Ankara, Ntoma and Kente is here to stay.

African designers like Christie Brown, Duro Olowu, Lisa Folawiyo (Jewel by Lisa), Ituen Basi, Deola Sagoe transformed what was considered a local trend into a global trend, where everyone wants a bit of African prints. These designers reinvented traditional Ankara and Ntoma styles, for the modern woman and man. 

Franca Sozzani (Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia) believes that the Africa has the potential to develop into something like the brand and stamp, Made in Italy (See blog post Place to Visit- Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’). I agree! I truly believe that ‘Made in Africa’ has great craftsmanship and can be seen as a sign of style across the world.

I think I’ll write a detailed blog post on the development of Made in Africa and the Rise of African Fashion soon.

In the meantime, here are some more pictures of my outfit

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What was I wearing?

Red Lace Top- Marks & Spencer

Ntoma Skirt-Made by my seamstress in Ghana

Black bag- Marks & Spencer

Shoes- Zara

Stay Blessed

x

Place to Visit- Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’

Italian Glamour 3

A couple of weeks ago I went out with my brothers to Victoria & Albert Museum. We went to see the Museum’s exhibition ‘Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’. The exhibition started from 5th April 2014 and will continue to 27th July 2014.

Italian Glamour 4

The exhibition explores designs after the second world war to the present day. The clothes on display were breathtaking and just seeing the craftsmanship that goes into designing clothes is extraordinary. We also learned what the ‘Made in Italy’ brand means to designers, creative directors, artisans and writers. Franca Sozzani (editor-in chief of Vogue Italia) defined Italian fashion and ‘Made in Italy’ as quality, creativity, glamour, richness and unnoticeable luxury. Additionally, what was fascinating to see was the business aspect of the Italian fashion industry and Angela Missoni of the Italian fashion house Missoni commenting on the lack of support from the Italian government.

I thought Fausto Puglisi’s commentary on Italian fashion was very interesting:

I trust so much in Italian art and craft. That is something I like to do. I can never accept to do something out of Italy. I believe so much in sacrifice in fashion. Rome wasn’t built in a day and that’s for me the same thing. I mean a dress is not built in a day. A dress needs to be fitted, a dress needs to be sewed, a dress needs to be amazing. And if we think about the big names in fashion we think about sacrifice. Sacrifice means that fashion is your obsession and fashion is the only girlfriend and boyfriend you can have in life. Fashion is the only obsession, there is nothing else than fashion.

Francesco Cianferoni, Gucci Artisan:

On average a modeller has more than 20 years of experience. A prototype artisan, more than 10 years. I personally have done this job for 37 years. Obviously, our values are tradition, “Made in Italy” and quality. These are, of course, constantly challenged by innovation, which we must confront every day to have a young product that keeps up with the times.

Of course, during the making process the bags are assembled by hand, sewn with sewing machines, etc., but there is always a large human component – that is what determines the expected final result. We are talking about productions that were made in the 1960s and 1950s, and are still made today in the same manner and using the same tools. We draw a lot out of our historical archive.

We work with living materials. Leather changes according to tanning, dyeing… so many factors. The product always has to be followed from beginning to end, as every product is unique; each piece of leather is different from another. So it is not an assembly-line job, but a job requiring concentration, analysis and passion.

It made me appreciate fashion even more than I already do. The passion that goes into creating high fashion pieces is clearly visible in the exhibition. I am happy that I have brothers that equally love fashion as I do, we enjoyed ourselves so much (fashion geeks ha).

There is a book with the history of The glamour of Italian Fashion that you can buy from V&A’s gift shop. I can’t wait to read it!

Italian Glamour 5

Italian Glamour 6

Sadly, I could not take pictures of the exhibition. They were really strict on photography-sad times. You all need to see the beautiful clothing in the exhibition. It is only £8 for students. I want to go again!

Italian Glamour 2

Go check it out!

Stay Blessed

x

Happy Birthday John Lewis!

 

Now I usually do not do this, wishing Happy Birthday to a store but John Lewis deserves it. If you know me, John Lewis is one of my favourite department stores. Simply because their service is excellent, customer assistants are always eager to help and they have great clothes too.

Last week Sunday (not the one just gone, the previous week to that) I was shopping at Oxford Street and walked into John Lewis.  They had an 150th exhibition named ‘Stories of a Shopkeeper’ on the third floor, showcasing their history from its beginnings in 1894 to now and even its plans for the future.

Happy Birthday John Lewis

Happy Birthday John Lewis 2

Happy Birthday John Lewis 3

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The exhibition has been extended to the 31st August. Go and have a look, it’s really interesting!

Stay Blessed

x

Bring me flowers

This is an outfit I wore to Church today. It has been such a sunny and lovely day. I finally could put a pair of sunglasses on. I hope it stays the same throughout the week. Maybe, that’s a big ask…lol.

It seems that florals are never going to go out of fashion. Last summer it was in and it is still in now. I guess it is a statement that says ‘BANG, here is the Spring and Summer Season!’. Nothing but florals and bright colours say Spring and Summer better.

Bring me flowers 1

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Bring me flowers 8

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What I was wearing?

Dress- Marks & Spencer

Shoes-Kurt Geiger

Earrings- Topshop

Pearl Bracelet-Topshop

Bag- Zara

Stay Blessed

x

Purple pleats

Happy Sunday everyone. It has been a lovely day, hasn’t it? Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

I do not usually have braids. But I l do love it, you can just wake up and go without any major styling. I also put some colour in my hair. Although I love colour generally, I’m usually a no no when it comes to the colour in the hair. I stick to 1B and that’s me, but my Auntie who does my hair persuaded me to have a change. And…I love it.

I wore this outfit two weeks ago and paired a white leather top with a purple pleated skirt and a cream longline sleeveless blazer.

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Purple Pleats 5

Purple Pleats 1

The leather top is actually a crop top and comes up to my belly button. It is quite a long crop top, or maybe because I am short and it comes out bigger. I tucked it into the pleated skirt and belt.

Purple Pleats 4

Purple Pleats 6

Purple Pleats 2

Purple Pleats 7

What I was wearing?

Cream Longline blazer- Marks & Spencer

Leather Crop Top- Marks & Spencer

Purple Pleated Skirt- Marks & Spencer

Bag- Marks & Spencer

Belt-Versace

Black Sandals- Kurt Geiger

Stay Blessed

x

SUITS

No, this isn’t about the TV show, Suits. This is my take on wearing suits and how you can be fun with it. I am very excited though for Suits coming back- Season 4 of Suits is on next Wednesday (Thursday, for us in the UK).

When working in a conservative environment, traditional attires such as formal black pencil skirt suits are worn. Whenever I go to corporate events, I stick to black, greys, navies and neutral colours.  But outside of that world, I always try to keep my outfits bright and colourful.

Suits do not have to be boring. Many do have the preconception that suits are drab and dull, they can be but only if you make it like that.

Do not get me wrong, it is also nice to have a simple traditional black suit worn with a white shirt and pointy court stilettos. If you are looking to jazz or spruce your suit up a bit, I have suggested some ways of doing so:

-add colour

-wear patterns e.g florals, stripes, polka dots, houndstooth, leopard print

-wear different textures e.g sequins, jacquard, silk, lace

-wear layers e.g crop tops, bralets, corsets over shirts, polo neck jumpers, skirts over trousers

-statement accessories e.g belts, hats, jewellery, scarves

-statement heels and bags e.g mini bags, embellished clutches, oversized bags, bright heels

Here is a suit outfit I wore a while back. Yes, it is Grey-not one of the most exciting colours. However, it is not your stereotypical suit. The suit jacket is longline and has padded shoulders giving a classic 80s feel- think Joan Collins and Dynasty.

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Suits 1

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This suit seen below, I wore it some time back. I absolutely love the lime colour of the suit. I’m sorry guys, I couldn’t take pictures outside, it was raining that day. British weather eyy.

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The lime suit has interesting details, one is the zips on the back of the trousers (see picture below). It makes the suit (normally a conservative outfit and for the workplace), modern and contemporary.

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What I was wearing-Grey suit

Grey Suit Jacket and matching dress- Vintage

Gold necklace- Wallis

Sandals-Marks & Spencer

Bag- Marks & Spencer

What I was wearing-Lime Suit

Lime Longline Blazer Jacket Suit & Trousers- ASOS

Black & White Crop Top- Marks & Spencer

Sandals- Marks & Spencer

Necklace-Topshop

Bag- Marks & Spencer

 

P.S.- It is Renaissance Ideal’s Birthday today! The blog is one years old today. Thank you to those who follow the blog and support it. Continue sharing and commenting.

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Stay Blessed

x

Leather corset

I have been away from blogging, but do not worry, I will be updating you with outfits that I wore during Autumn and Winter.

For this outfit I paired a leather corset with a white shirt and a black pencil skirt.

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If you are scared of doing leather, it is easier to start off with corset and wear it over another top, or a leather top. Before you go on to leather trousers and the rest.

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I love wearing heels with pretty details. It can make any plain outfit glamorous

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What I was wearing

Leather corset 5

White Shirt

Leather Corset- Zara

Black Pencil Skirt- Marks & Spencer

Necklace-Topshop

Bracelet Cuff- Wallis

Shoes-Kurt Geiger

Stay Blessed

x

Gentlewoman

Happy Friday. Hope you all have had a lovely week.

I wore this outfit a while back when it was miserable and cold. Pinstripes were very much in, during the A/W 2013-14 season. It is the year of Gentlewoman.

I wore a Pinstripe dress over a puffy sleeve shirt and you all know I love some colour, had to bring some warmth to the dull weather at the time- so I wore it with blue suede heels and a wine coloured handbag.

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The Pinstripes and Gentlewomen trend was seen in designers collections like Stella McCartney, Maison Martin Margiela and Marc Jacobs in the A/W 2013-14 season.

Maison Martin Margiela Pinstripe  Maison Martin Margiela Autumn Winter 2013-14

Marc Jacobs Pinstripe Marc Jacobs Autumn Winter 2013-14

Stella McCartney’s collection in particular showcased the Pinstripes trend well, where she tapped back into her Saville Row background and her signature style (menswear fabrics, sporty luxe, sweatshirt dresses). The masculine-feminine collection was very much Stella.

Stella McCartney AW 13-14 pinstripe 1 Stella McCartney AW 13-14 pinstripe 3

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Stella McCartney Autumn Winter 2013-14 Collection

 

What I was wearing:

Gentlewoman 10 Dress-Vintage

Shirt-Vintage

Blue Velvet suede heels- Kurt Geiger

Belt- Versace

Wine Bag-John Lewis

 

Stay Blessed

x

Balenciaga files lawsuit against Steve Madden

Balenciaga is suing Steven Madden with a trademark lawsuit. The Paris based design house, helmed by Alexander Wang, filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Manhattan accusing accessories designer Steven Madden of copying its famous motorcycle bag. Balenciaga said that Steven Madden has made a “studied copy” of the bag. Balenciaga argues Steven Madden’s Btalia bag which is being sold for $88, resembles the Motorcycle bag.

Balenciaga Motorcycle bag Balenciaga Motorcycle bag

Balenceniaga motorcycle bag Balenciaga City Bag

Steve madden btalia bag Steven Madden’s Btalia bag

The French design house which is owned by parent company Kering has claimed that Steven Madden is manufacturing a cheaper version of their famous Motorcycle bag. This according to Balenciaga has been specifically done to confuse consumers. The company claims that Steven Madden has infringed a trade dress regulation that the Parisian house applied for in 2007. A trade dress regulation is a type of trademark protection. This is a visual kind of trademark where the appearance of the product is looked at.  Trade dress infringement issues arise when a party feels that a copy could result in consumer confusion. The trade dress which was registered by Balenciaga covers the front design of Motorcycle bag and its lookalikes such as Twiggy, Velo, Papier and City (see picture above).

The registration protects: “The flat pouch with a zippered rectangular closure, a zipper pull consisting of a strip centrally-knotted and hanging in two equal lengths, and a semi-elliptical patch outfitted with two raised studs in each corner; and two identical patches in an elongated pentagonal shape, featuring an elongated hexagonal patch outfitted with a buckle and two raised studs”.

The Motorcycle bag has been a celebrity favourite seen on the likes of Kim Kardashian, Mary-Kate Olsen and Paris Hilton. It became so popular that there were many counterfeits on the market. As a result of this, Balenciaga decided to register a US trade dress to protect the design. The bag was created by Nicholas Ghesquiere who was at Balenciaga from 1997 and in 2012 Alexander Wang became his successor.

SPL265916_009  Kim Kardashian carrying a suede Motorcycle bag

Balenciaga has asked the court for an injunction to prevent Steven Madden producing the “studied copy” of its Motorcycle bag. The French label is also seeking monetary damages and lost profits. Balenciaga’s complaint states: “Defendant’s wholesale copying of Balenciaga’s designs is likely to deceive consumers into believing that the infringing [handbag] is associated with or authorized by Balenciaga when it is, in fact, not.” In addition, Balenciaga claims not only is there customer confusion but it is also hurting the company’s goodwill, reputation and sales.

This is not the first time Balenciaga has filed a lawsuit against the American designer, Steve Madden. If you remember, in 2007 the company filed a complaint against Steven Madden for “intentionally copying” its LEGO high heel from its Autumn/Winter 2007 Collection.

Do you think Steve Madden’s Btalia copied Balenciaga’s Motorcycle bag? Or do you think they are just similar?

 

Stay Blessed

x