… a word from Amanda

Welcome to another instalment of Amanda Zips It Up.

So, Fashion week came and went without any fuss, buzz or much coverage, which is a crying shame.

Word on the street is that the new virtual, remote version of LFW could be here to stay, for the foreseeable future anyway.

Although there were still beautiful locations and catwalk shows, watching it online wasn’t nearly as exciting. I fear that we are entering a new era, with the hectic chaos of Fashion weeks around the world dumbed and digitalised right down.

I wonder if this will have a knock-on effect, in the absence of supermodels, celebrities on the front row and fashion magazines capturing everyone’s outfits for us to gossip about for weeks after the shows?

We shall see.

This week I am launching an exclusive competition to win this beautiful, brand-new star skater dress by Boo Hoo in size M – L.

It has boho sleeves, a tied -knotted neck line and hem-line sits just above the knee. It’s a UK size 14 but can be worn smaller if you re-tie the front.

All you have to do is answer this question:

In 2014, Kate Moss presented the best male solo award at The Brits wearing a very famous costume. Who originally owned this outfit?

In-box your answers to me via my Facebook page throughout the next week. I’ll announce the winner in next week’s blog.

Good luck.

Onto this week’s round-up of fashion, we check out the new Rolling Stones store in London, Fabulous new Uggs and is it time to start renting your children’s clothes?

Molly Goddard X UGG

London Fashion Week talent Molly Goddard, the designer famous for creating Killing Eve’s Villanelle’s frou-frou pink tulle gown, has designed a capsule collection for Californian footwear label UGG.

Known for her love of maximalist silhouettes and bold colour, Goddard has applied her frothy, fun aesthetic to three classic UGG styles; the classic boot, to which she added floral applique; the slipper, which she’s reworked in a hot pink fluff with pointy toe; and the platform, which now come in an array of bold hues – from apple green to magenta and fuchsia.

“We wanted to make something bold and colourful, to play with the UGG DNA,” said Molly Goddard, “Working with UGG gave me the opportunity to explore new fabrications and ways of working. The outcome is shoes that are wearable, fun, with a much-needed sense of humour and I think still very elegant!”

Founded in 1978 by an Australian surfer on the coast of California, UGG has in recent months seen its status elevated thanks to the launch of its Fluff Yeah slides which everybody from Gigi Hadid to Kylie Jenner has worn recently.

Goddard showed her SS21 collection via YouTube as part of London Fashion Week.

The Spring/Summer 2021 UGG x Molly Goddard collaboration will be available from March 2021.

The Rolling Stones Store London

Mick Jagger opens new clothes shop in swinging Soho

Mick Jagger is swapping the stage for the shop floor, with a new flagship in the heart of Soho, which opened this month. It’s a stone’s throw from the band’s old rehearsal space above a pub in Broadwick Street, and the former Marquee club, which was home to their early gigs.

Fans of Jagger’s style can now shop at RS No.9 Carnaby Street, situated at the street that its name suggests. The hip, hyper-modern space — chosen by Jagger because “I didn’t want to have it stuffed and look like a cheap T-shirt shop” — extends beyond your average band merch. There’s a core collection of limited-edition styles emblazoned with the exclusive 9 Stones branding plus a classic collection based on bestsellers and iconic graphics from previous world tours.

Stones Red — a newly christened official Pantone colour taken from the iconic logo first used on the inner sleeve of the Sticky Fingers album — gets its own line, spanning bomber jackets to Babygrows, whilst a collection of faux-shearling trimmed denim jackets and plaid over shirts will appeal to trend-hungry shoppers. There’s even a host of collaborations, with the tongue motif engraved onto cocktail glasses and splashed onto raincoats. 

On opening day, there were queues down Carnaby Street for what Mick’s flogging. There are some T-shirts I quite like and a couple of hoodies that I wouldn’t mind wearing. Oh, and there are face masks too, of course.

Rent Your Childrens Clothes

Could it be time to rent your children’s clothes?

2020 is the year when fashion rental went mainstream. But should childrenswear be next on your list to loan? And is it safe?

In 2020, our life is officially for rent. From houses and holiday homes to super yachts and sports cars, to bikes, watches, handbags, pets, clothes and wedding dresses, you name it. We are gradually divorcing from a fixation on ownership in favour of experiencing what we want, when we want it, then sending it back.

And today, luxury dress rental platform My Wardrobe HQ has added another category to the rental options available, with the launch of Europe’s first rental and resale marketplace for luxury childrenswear.

Responding to demand from its existing client base of fabulously dressed women, the platform has extended its high-end offering to children – or ‘little sharers’ as the brand coyly describes them.

Just as with its main womenswear rental business, tiny sharers can rent or buy a range of designer stock, not only from the current season, but also runway items, exclusive press or un-produced sample sets and capsule collections, from everyday clothing to smarter designer outfits for special occasions such as birthdays, christenings and weddings.

Stocking boys’ and girls’ clothing from 12 months to 12 years, the platform has launched with an array of chic childrenswear brands.

Not only does it make little financial sense to splurge a fortune on children’s clothes when they grow out of them within a matter of months, sharing kids clobber is also a sustainable solution to the issue of an estimated £140 million worth of clothing ending up in landfill annually in the UK alone.

So how does it work? Simply browse the site and choose the chic kiddie garms you wish to rent (hire periods are from 4 to 14 days), then once you’re done, return it using the free via pre-paid DPD return label and My Wardrobe take care of dry cleaning and ironing. There are also full refunds for any unworn items, and for anything you can’t bear to part with, there’s the option to buy your rental and keep it for life. The next step will be a monthly subscription service, where customers pay a monthly fee allowing a set number of outfit changes over that time.

For those with Covid-based hygiene fears, My Wardrobe assures that its Ozone cleaning system “kills bacteria and viruses so that every item is disinfected, sanitised and deodorised in between rentals, and leaves clothes in a state of medical grade cleanliness, making them safer than one would find garments when buying them from stores.”

… a word from Amanda

Greetings everyone and welcome back to Zips It Up, after a week off.

We’re now in week 27 of ‘THE PANDEMIC / MADNESS’ and you’re lucky if you’ve managed to hold onto your sanity up to this point.  I’ve had a few ‘moments’ – at the slightest sneeze, I’m convinced I have ‘THE VIRUS’. 

On a week when the tabloids inform us that Brits have turned to booze during lockdown – and who can blame us – it seems like Men’s Fashion week has also been on the hard stuff.

Apparently, the hottest new look for men this Autumn is the McDonalds Manager’s uniform, complete with baseball cap and the ‘security guard’. Yes, really. Think bulky bomber jacket and brutal bovver boots.

Plus, since we’ve all been told to protect ourselves on public transport, these inflatable suits are the latest trend to keep guys safe and “on point” in the barking mad world of fashion, 2020.

All you guys have to do is wear a simple pair of Y-Fronts underneath, because as you can imagine, its hot in there.

The world has gone nuts. Bring me back to sanity soon, pleeeeease.

Onto this week’s issue and we discuss the top ten garments to make you look instantly attractive, how to pose for photos and look great, plus the Louis Vuitton facemask – guess how much?

Also, don’t miss next week’s instalment as I’ll be launching a competition to win a beautiful star print dress by BOO HOO.

Top Ten Items To Look Instantly Attractive

10 Wardrobe Items That Instantly Make You More Attractive

A recent survey has revealed the items that guys (and girls) find most attractive on women. From the classic little black dress to an off-the-shoulder top, here’s a selection of clothing items that are considered “essential”. 

Little black dress

A wardrobe necessity. It’s ideal for both special occasions and casual wear, and bound to make you feel and look irresistible.

High heels

Every woman needs a pair of high heels for a special occasion. High heels elongate your body, improve your posture, and create an optical illusion of longer and slimmer legs.

Something red

There are certain key elements that accentuate the sensuality of a woman, and the colour red is the best of the bunch. Scientists say that women wearing red are the most attractive to men, even if it’s just red lipstick.

Bare shoulders

Nothing is more attractive than a pair of bare shoulders. Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses are super feminine — it’s a very sexy and womanly way of showing some skin, without over-revealing.

Bodycon dress

The line between being sensual and being vulgar is drawn by not showing everything at once. A tight bodycon dress does not require a low neckline or short skirt to give you a sexy look.

Leather jacket

A basic item that never goes out of style and gives you an aggressive-chic sassy touch.

Lace elements

It’s hard to find a material as alluring and versatile as lace. It can be sweet, flirty, or sexy, depending on the occasion and intention. Just a few lace details on your top can make you look more flirtatious.

Backless

It’s trendy, it’s sexy, it’s a must have.  Backless tops and dresses are an easy way of showing a little skin while keeping things classy.

Blue jeans and a white tank top

Sometimes the simplest things are the best. You’ll always look amazing in a classic mix of blue or black jeans and a plain white tee, and it’s something that just about all women have in their closet.

Sportswear

Many women feel anything but sexy when sweating in their workout clothes in a gym. But the truth is that men and women find a woman exercising in sportswear very attractive.

The Louis Vuitton Face Mask

Picking the most elegant face covering has become one of the most unexpected (and saddest) fashion challenges of 2020, with the market now fully saturated with countless options. You can get silk ones, cotton ones, floral ones, ones with your dog’s face on, and even accessorise with mask chains. 

Now, French fashion house Louis Vuitton are throwing their mask into the ring with a face shield of their very own. Reportedly costing a tidy $961 – roughly £750 – it’s one of the most expensive face coverings going.

This pricey piece of PPE will be released around the world on 30 October as a part of Louis Vuitton’s 2021 Cruise Collection. The company described the shield as ‘an eye-catching headpiece, both stylish and protective’ in a press release. 

Louis Vuitton will join the likes of Burberry, which was among the first luxury fashion brands to announce the launch of their own $115 (£90) face covering. LV masks will be made from leftover fabric, and 20% of of the proceeds from each mask sold will go to Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community Fund.

How To Look Good In Photos

Tips to Help You Look Absolutely Perfect in Photos

There are no ugly people in our world. Everyone can shine like a star. All you need is to learn a couple of basic poses. Try, and you’ll surely succeed.

The ‘hands on hips’ pose visually enlarges your body and looks aggressive. Draw your elbows back (perhaps show your beautiful nails), and turn your head a bit – intrigue will replace aggression

Don’t squeeze your waist – it creates additional folds on your clothes, which might not look as good as you expected.

Pay attention to the position of your hands – positioning should be natural. Avoid flat and tensed hands, as well as elbows looking in the direction of the camera. And remember that your wrists should be free and flexible.

A light, almost accidental touch to your cheek with your fingertips and a slightly opened mouth frequently make an image more attractive. The main thing is not to touch too hard because it may create a ‘painful tooth’ effect.

The arms should be free, but don’t let them just hang along the body. Put one hand on the waist and slightly bow your head to one side -this way you’ll emphasize all the advantages of your body, including a perfect face profile.

Don’t make your eyes bug, but a languishing look and beautiful lips always look good. And if you turn your head a little, touch your face with your fingertips (remember the wrist position), and slightly open your mouth, you will look delicate and feminine.

Don’t hide your face behind your hands. It’s better to follow the example on the right picture.

A sullen look makes your lips disproportionately big, and the image looks unfriendly. It’s better to look right in the camera, with your body slightly turned. You can try different arm positions.

When taking a full-length picture, there’s no use in artificially breaking the vertical line. Remember: no sit-ups or other body movements that make your posture look tense and unnatural.

Here’s a little secret for full-length pictures: the bends of your body should be similar to the letter ‘S.’ It’s better to shift the body weight on one foot and make your arms look relaxed. The chin should be slightly raised.

… A word from the Editor Amanda

Welcome to the last weekend of August.

In improving news, things are moving. Yes, there are a few social gatherings happening this Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK. Not that I can attend, because I’m still in quarantine, but my other half is performing at three socially distanced festivals, which will be interesting. Obviously, some in the crowd might opt for masks on arrival.  I wonder how many will choose the standard medical version or prefer something a little bit special?

Now if I was ‘allowed out’, there would only be one choice – a Burberry mask.  Burberry has launched face masks with the signature monogram print. The cotton face masks are available in archive beige and pale blue, sustainably produced from revalued fabric and enhanced with antimicrobial technology.

Twenty per cent of each sale will be donated to the brand’s Foundation COVID-19 Community Fund, which continues to provide PPE as well as assistance to food banks and healthcare charities globally.

The Burberry Foundation COVID-19 Community Fund was established in April to support local communities in need, including Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa. Clearly, Burberry are making amends following the controversy surrounding their recent mass stock destructions and landfills.

Onto this week’s Zips It Up and we deal with sun damaged dark spots, discover beautiful spiritual crystal jewellery with healing powers and reveal the most obscene but fabulous advent calendar for Xmas 2020/21.

Elements of Avebury

Introducing a unique shop in the heart of Avebury Stone Circle.

This week, I received this stunning crystal beaded necklace by the artist and designer, Elements of Avebury, a brand that’s all about unique, hand-made jewellery and art, featuring quality hand selected crystals. It’s so Boho and SO Ibiza.

The owner, Donna, has been a crystals and a jewellery designer for over 20 years, operating from the workshop inside Elements, where she creates beautiful pieces. 

You may have heard about the powers of crystals. I recently read that Victoria Beckham carries one with her everywhere, and that they are all over her shops and homes. It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a challenge – a year that has led to deeper questions about who we are and how to live a more meaningful life.

Many believe that the crystals can create an alchemy that will bring a sense of feeling whole again, a sense of being in touch with a part of yourself. A part of yourself that perhaps you didn’t realise was there.

This little shop in Wiltshire is where Donna makes her bespoke spiritual jewellery. Elements of Avebury and is located right in the centre, (amongst only 3 other shops).

1 Green Street, Avebury, Malborough SN8 1RE

01672 539552

Donna told me: “I specialise in creating Mala and was taught using the ancient Buddhist method, this same method spans out across many religions including Hindu, Buddhism and Muslim but the Mala created by me appeal to everyone and they all come with a special, individual message. Mala is 108 crystal beads, each bringing meaning, each bringing energy, Mala is a journey through time, space, and elements, encircling you with life-affirming spirit, each knot tied with guidance from spirit, set with an intention and bound to the Guru bead that holds your prayers and hopes for a life to be lived with purpose.”