… a word from AMANDA

Welcome to this week’s instalment of all things fashion and lifestyle from Amanda Zips It Up.

I am 75% in summer mode. Having had the best Easter weekend ever, moisture is being applied to my sunburnt nose as I write this piece. We usually spend Easter in the Balearics, but this year, due to our daughter’s post-ACL op knee, we couldn’t bring ourselves to force her through airports. So ‘staycationing’ in London was the plan.

What a result.

We had positively tropical 25’ conditions in the UK, while our beloved White Isle and big sis Mallorca were battered with wind and rain. Highly irregular.

What does one do in the UK on a glorious bank holiday? For starters, I popped to the south coast to visit my parents, plus we had the obligatory BBQ in the garden. On top of that, this year we took a day trip out to the beautiful and panoramically cool Soho Farmhouse in the idyllic Cotswolds.

Heaving with wealthy hipsters, ‘posh city’ families, models and TV celebs, the best option was to sit in the sun and observe. The fashion, of course. If you’re part of the Soho House member crew, then this is a must-do. And if you’re not a member, get to know one.

After a beautiful day lazing in the picture perfect countryside (we didn’t stay over), I decided we’re selling up in London and moving to the Cotswolds. Of course, the family resistance thus far has been – how shall we describe it – “fierce”.

Onto this week’s instalment, and we continue the summery theme with a collection of stunning summer fedoras by milliner Victoria Carson, a cruelty- free make up range by an English girl in New York and this weekend, I’ll be in Ibiza. Read all about Starlover Pop Up Shop in the Love Shack at Pikes.

STARLOVER Pop-Up At Pikes Ibiza

Regular Z.I.U.readers will remember that we recently featured the uber cool label STARLOVER, and their collection of customised leather jackets, featuring Bowie stars and lightning bolts. Plus Cats Eye sunglasses with fierce metal spikes, Balearic boho dresses and rock & roll slogan tees, as seen on Kate Moss at Glastonbury. The whole collection fits perfectly in Ibiza and this weekend, two Balearic lightning bolts hit the same spot at the same time.

This weekend, a STARLOVER pop up shop lands at the Love Shack in the infamous Pikes Hotel. Yes, the same legendary hotel that opens for the 2019 season this Saturday. And before you ask, I’ll be there for both.

The designer behind the label, Donna Ganley, started the brand a couple of years ago. With a background working on art commissions for private clients, Donna was perfectly qualified for her very “artistic” take on fashion.

Donna had the idea of combining art and fashion when she started hand painting onto jackets, mainly leather. Word of mouth spread, more and more requests came in, and the concept grew from there.


When I spoke to her recently, Donna commented about Ibiza: “It has played a huge part in things for me.  It’s an inspiration in so many ways… the spiritual side of the island, the hippy ideal and the whole vibe inspires creativity. I have been lucky enough to work for and create art for the legendary rock n roll Pikes hotel, Starlover just sits so well with everything the hotel stands for”.

Come and see what the fuss is all about.

Saturday 27th& Sunday 28thApril 2019

Pikes Hotel, San Antonio



Summer Headpieces By Victoria Carson

Regular readers will know that I love a hat. But the Fedora, Panama and Trilby are cult classic for me that goes beyond mere love. Obsession, more like. I have a shelf unit dedicated to my collection of head adornments, much to the annoyance of my husband who wouldn’t be seen dead in a hat, as he likes to remind me.

As we creep into the summer months, those Panamas and straw Fedoras will be seen everywhere, from glossies, to models, to festival goers, to the person sat on front of you on that flight to Ibiza.

Yes, the straw hat screams “summer”, and the wider the brim, the better. But also, the more interesting and personalised the band, the more special and timeless.

As Milliners go, I love Philip Treacy but in this piece I introduce you to a lesser-known British talent delivering handmade, custom designed hats. Someone who’s making huge waves when it comes to one-off headpieces.

I have featured Victoria (Carson) before in Zips It Up,plus I’ve had two incredible, unique hats made personally by her fair hand. But, just when you thought she couldn’t raise the bar any further, Victoria has blown me away with her new collection of Summer Fedoras. They are an absolute must-have and guaranteed to be the talking point wherever you go.

Victoria has always had a passion for Hats, day and occasion wear. Following a one-day Millinery course in 2014, a spark was ignited and Victoria Charles Headpieces was born.

Originally creating small pieces for local clients from her Essex studio, Victoria went on to study at London College of Fashion and Kensington & Chelsea College.

Victoria now creates Bespoke Hats and Headpieces of exceptionally high quality, which adorn the heads of many high society clientele. And me…


Victoria Carson / Facebook

Victoria Charles Headpieces / Facebook



The Sunshine Brit Make-Up Pallet

Make-up is a Billion Dollar industry. Just look at Kylie Jenner Cosmetics – she is the youngest billionaire in the cosmetics world, in fact she’s one of the youngest in any world.

We all take the brands we know and love for granted, but have you have ever thought about their humble beginnings? Meet Maria Matthews, an English Girl in New York who has just started out with this new concept. This is The Sunshine Brit.


Www.facebook.com /thesunshinebrit

Maria was born in Reading (UK) and moved to New Jersey in 2008 after getting married.

Having worked for Clinique, Clarins and Chanelafter landing stateside, she moved into the travel business, buying her own travel agency. But Maria shares another love, alongside travel. Day by day she plans summer and winter trips, whilst by night, she plays with cosmetics.

The offspring of combining Maria’s two loves is this beautiful new cruelty free Winter colour palette, plus a Winter candle, which smells like pine trees.

The ‘Winter’ idea came about whilst in a New Jersey Sephora. Maria created her own colours after lots of testing, blending ingredients and registering with PETA, ensuring that everything was cruelty free. In fact it’s VEGAN, which is very on point for 2019.

Emphasis is on ice pinks. ‘Ice Queen’ is Maria’s favourite, as it’s a massive pop on the eyelid, providing a wow effect as well as making the lid look bigger. Hence the Winter Palette.

Next for the New Jersey Sunshine Brit are soy candles, which again, are cruelty free. Much to her horror, Maria discovered US giant Bath & Bodyworks use ingredients tested on animals, and her products simply don’t go there.


Winter Palette retails at $37 USD shipping in the USA is free however

🇬🇧pricing is $14 to ship

(which is about £10).

… a word from the Editor

Welcome to this rather ‘Lifestyle’ focused issue of Zips It Up.

Yes, we concentrate on what’s happening in the worldof “fashion and lifestyle” this week, rather than the latest shapes and colours on the high-street.

 I wanted to kick off with Modest fashion brand Verona Collection,which has just launched on Asos.The new range features hijabs and abayas in on-trend styles, in all sizes.  TheVerona Collectionspecialises in modest fashion.

Modest fashion, refers to clothing that is on-trend, yet relatively “covering-up” for reasons of faith, religion or personal preference. It has not been commonly recognised within the fashion industry. Until now.

Initially launched in 2015 in the US, the brand aims to offer modest fashion at a reasonable price. Verona Collection’s Director Hassan Mawjisays: ‘Our partnership with ASOS marks a big milestone for Verona and the modest fashion industry – we’ve carefully curated this collection with ASOS and we’re excited for the opportunities this opens up’.

The collection, which is available now includes a variety of hijabs, abayas, modest tops, dresses and trousers. With designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Dolce & Gabbanahaving embraced modest fashion in recent years, it was about time the British high-street caught up.

I’m loving this and looking forward to seeing more from similar collections becoming the mainstream. In 2019, we embrace all shapes, all genders and all religions.

Onto this week’s instalment, and this time round we investigate the Kylie Jenner Lip Trend, plus how to de-clutter your house with the help of Mari Kondaand a subject that’s hard to escape this weekend – chocolate.We give you the most fashionable and expensivechocolate Easter Eggs out there this weekend.

Happy Passover, Easter & Holidays to you all.

Lip & Miss

It has been said that women dress for other women and NOT men.

I’m down with that.

With the recent Lip Filler trend – Kylie Jenner being the most recent trend setter – who are we trying to please with this look? Men? Women? Or ourselves?

I get the whole ‘being bombarded with images of youth and beauty being signified by large features like eyes and mouth’, but are the cosmetic doctors getting it right with fillers?

Yes, Kylie Jenner is a so-called role model when it comes to lip enhancement, but lip shape is NOT the most attractive feature, according to science.

A study quizzed over 1,000 participants and revealed that the most attractive pout should have a perfect ratio – like Scarlett Johansson’s. It turns out that the ratio of upper and lower lip size is more important. Yes, researchers have concluded that the most desirable pouts are the ones where the upper and lower lip thickness is identical.

The study surveyed 1,011 people from 35 different countries, 560 being plastic surgeons.The majority (60 per cent) of respondents chose the 1:1 top/bottom ratio as the most attractive lips – similar to Scarlett Johansson’s pout, or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

However, before you think about evening-up of your lips, the survey’s organiser commented: “Our study represents current trends in aesthetics and may be subject to change, much like fashion.”

So really, all lips are beautiful, and just because your pout doesn’t match the latest trend, there’s no reason to change.

In fact, if fillers aren’t for you, then this £3.45 lip balm has a 99% positive review on Amazon.

If you’re suffering from chapped or sore lips this spring, there’s only one thing to try: Blistex Medplus For Lips. It provides cooling relief for lips and restores the balance of moisture around your mouth. If you’re in the habit of licking your lips then you can’t surpass this lip balm.

Suffice to say, a much cheaper alternative to fillers.

The Marie Kindo Method

Firstly – I love a spring clean to get my fashion into order. Secondly, I love Netflix. What do you get if you mix the two?

Japanese Netflix star Marie Kindo– on How to De-Clutter, starting by folding and not HANGING your clothes.

It seems like there’s nothing more satisfying than organising your living space at the start of spring and summer.

When the Japanese author’s first book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up sold over eight million copies worldwide, Marie Kondo bagged her own Netflix show – aptly named Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Yes, Marie Kondo is the home organisation consultant who has changed lives with her straightforward approach to tidying. Trust me, in no time you’ll soon start seeing tidying as a joy.

She suggests folding your clothes instead of hanging them and only keeping the items in your wardrobe that “spark joy”.

Everyone knows that part of the chore of having a big clear out is having to go through each and every item and judge whether it’s worth keeping. So some of us choose to skip ahead a few steps and start tidying things away without reviewing them first. Guilty as charged.

However, Marie Kondo believes that “one of the most common mistakes that individuals make when tidying is that they spend so much effort storing things that they may no longer want or need.”

“Before considering storage, remove all your belongings from where are currently kept. Hold them one by one as you ask yourself, ‘Do I truly need this?'”

Yes, it may be long-winded but it will ultimately give you more space. And space is precious

Fold your clothes side-by-side in your drawers

If there’s any one home hack that Marie Kondo is famous for, it’s organising drawers by stacking clothes side-by-side, instead of piling them all on top of each other.

Not only does it make for some very Instagram-friendly visuals, Kondo says “this will allow you to see what’s inside at a glance and take inventory of what you own.”

Whether you’re clearing out your entire wardrobe or rummaging through an old box of DVDs, Marie asks followers to hold each item and ask themselves honestly whether it provides any sort of joy. If the answer is yes, you’re of course allowed to hold on to it. If not, thank the item for serving its purpose before parting ways.

And don’t think that in 2019 you can get away with having that age-old “messy drawer”.

The cleaning influencer recommends even sorting through your miscellaneous items – known as “Komono” – and assigning them each into their own distinct categories.

Errr…. Wish I had time for this, but I have a plane to catch…..

The Most Eggstravagent Easter Eggs

The Best Luxury Easter Eggs Of 2019

Spoiler alert – some of you might not appreciate this feature.

At my spinning class this morning, I vowed to up my spinning intensity all week to allow for the Easter weekend chocolate fest. Whatever your faith, the whole shebang is hard to ignore, because chocolate is everywhere right NOW.

So here goes. A celebration of the chocolate eggs of Easter. Not just any old eggs – only the most fashionable and the most expensive in the UK. Prepare for mouth-watering chocolate porn.

Below, a moreish nine-layered creation designed by pastry chef Pablo Gicquel for the Hôtel de Crillon; a Melt London egg painted with Van Gogh-inspired blossoms; a heart-covered Easter collection from Pierre Marcolini; and more.

Yes, Zips It Upshares its definitive guide to the best luxury Easter eggs of 2019.


Beekeepers Egg, £80 at Daylesford


Chocolate Rose Easter Egg, £18 at Ladurée

Melt London

Van Gogh Blossom Easter Egg, £89 at Melt London

Pierre Marcolini

Big Fortnum & Mason

Hand Decorated White Chocolate Egg, £40 at Fortnum & Mason


Limited-Edition Harrods Egg, £150 at Harrods

Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse

The Sweet Egg Box, £65 at Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse

Rococo Chocolates

Praline Quail Eggs, £8.50 at Rococo Chocolates

Booja Booja

Organic Chocolate Champagne Truffles Easter Egg, £32.99 at Selfridges


Selfridges Selection Artisan Easter Egg, £29.99 at Selfridges

Hôtel de Crillon

Layered Easter Egg, £107 at Hôtel de Crillon

Lovely Heart Egg, £49 at Pierre Marcolini


Centenary Easter Egg, £29.95 at Bettys

Hotel Chocolat

Rare & Vintage Easter Egg, £29 at Hotel Chocolat

Charbonnel Et Walker

Easter Egg Fine Milk And Dark Collection, £38 at Harrods

… a word from the Editor

Welcome to this rather ‘designer-ish’ issue of Zips It Up.

This week, we discuss Chanel and Vogue. Two brands that we fashionistas love as though they were familiar old friends.

But our first Vogue-related conversation concerns a big topic, highlighted by the ‘British Vogue & L’Oréal Paris Present The Non-Issue Issue’issue.

It’s a special edition of Vogue dedicated to women over 50, out today.

The Non-Issue Issue has Jane Fonda, who is looking insanely good at81, as its cover star. What features inside is a vision shared by British Vogue and L’Oréal Paris: the belief that age should no longer be an issue.

In 2019, women over 50 seem absent in the beauty and fashion industries, as well as from the wider media landscape. Age discrimination still exists, both consciously and unconsciously, leaving many women over a certain age feeling excluded and invisible.

In time, this issue will impact us all, because we’re all heading for that next age milestone. Which is why now is the time to challenge stereotypes and positively shape our perception of age; encouraging a future where we can each embrace growing older, rather than treating it as something to be feared.

It was the idea of British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Edward Enninful, who says “for me, promoting diversity in Vogue has never been solely about a person’s ethnicity or gender. It’s about diversity across the board. Seeing the amazing array of women over 50 in this special edition proves that a person’s age will always be a more intriguing, nuanced and inspiring factor than a simple number could ever suggest.”

I love the whole idea of this.

In this instalment we discuss Vogue again for different reasons, as well as Chanel and Coachella fashion –happening as we speak. Enjoy.

Chanel Pharrell

Pharrell Williams has collaborated with Chanel, and it’s rainbow themed.

Welcome to Chanel Pharrell.

The Chanel-Pharrell collection of street-ready, co-branded items, include block colour T-shirts, short and long robes, rhinestone costume jewellery, leather belts, terrycloth bucket hats, suede hip packs, loafers that also come as mules, and eyewear – which I love.

Pharrell has a close rapport with the celebrated French house, having paid tribute to former creative director Karl Lagerfeld, who passed away last month.

Pharrell explained the thought process behind the rainbow-colored clothing. “I love and celebrate individuality,” he says. “The number five has always been Coco’s number. You know, the famous N°5. Five is the number for men. It’s also the date of my birthday.”

Sure to be one of 2019’s hottest releases, the Chanel-Pharrell capsule became available at the opening of the new Chanel boutique in Seoul, South Korea on March 28, and has been in select Chanel boutiques worldwide from April 4th.

It’s the sunglasses and jewellery I am most interested in. Here’s a taster of the collection.