… a word from Amanda

Welcome to the end of May. We’ve made it to Summer 2020, and it looks like the lockdown is gradually starting to lift.

Although there are very few fashion stories to discuss right now, the HUGE news is that UK clothes and shoe shops will open in a couple of weeks’ time, which would result in me being seen cartwheeling across Hampstead Heath.

But shopping isn’t going back to “normal”. We are about to embrace the “new normal” – not my favourite phrase, but an unfortunate reality. For example, this will entail queuing outside Zara. Once inside the shop, its viewing only – no touching the garments and putting them back. No “try before you buy” and no changing rooms available. And if you try on a pair of shoes (using plastic gloves) and don’t buy them, they have to go into quarantine for 24 hours. If you see something you like – you have to purchase it ASAP.

The best advice would appear to be selecting something you like online beforehand, and then grabbing it in the shop. Assuming they have it in stock.

Of course, this is all nonsense because a more practical, logical (and obvious) method would be to provide hand sanitizer at the door of every store. Or we simply stick to on-line shopping.

Of course, I want to support our High Streets before they disappear forever, but it’s not looking very promising if this impractical solution is the “new normal”.

Quite a few of us have gained some pounds during lockdown – well, I certainly have. Therefore, I would prefer to physically try on a dress in the changing rooms, like the good old days. But alas, that will now be against the rules.

So, let’s see what happens when our fashion stores open in June. It’s either going to be an interesting or a rather painful experience.

Adele’s Balloon Sleeve Dress

If you’ve achieved that difficult feat of unearthing anything other than Covid-19 news on the internet, you will have seen pictures of the singer Adele and her incredible weight loss transformation.

It is much-needed light relief to read about anything other than the pandemic.

Adele has indeed shed a lot of weight and is looking fantastic – not that she looked bad before – and who knew what a great pair of pins she had?

But what really caught my eye was the balloon sleeve dress she wore – a style that has exploded all over the world, in every online fashion emporium.

This is a great look if you want to make an instant impact. It’s dramatic, flattering and with a little nod to the 80s, we’re talking guaranteed glamour. Think Joan Collins in Dynasty.

Considering the enormous sleeves, my advice would be to keep the hemline short. Going maxi is simply too much and almost comical.

I would opt for plain colours, like black, white or red. However, if you are planning to buy a few ‘going out out’ dresses for that late summer holiday that’s looking increasingly possible (or a “lockdown lifted” party) then you could go “bold” in metallics or pretty in pastels.

I would avoid any jewellery or fussy hair with this look because it’s all about the balloon sleeves.

Here’s my pick of the best, on ASOS.COM – all in the sale and under £50.

Boris Models Summer’s Must-Have Tee

If there’s a charity t-shirt you need this year, it’s this ‘Summer 2020 cancelled’ offering from Strawberries & Creem.

British music festival Strawberries & Creem launched a charity clothing line. Its Creem Clothing was scheduled to launch ahead of their 2020 festival.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sadly the festival had to be cancelled, having been expecting a record attendance of 22,000 on the 26th June. Acts such as Sean Paul, Raye, Mike Skinner and Artful Dodger were headlining.

With the music event cancelled, their clothing designs literally evaporated overnight. However, they have cleverly brought some light-hearted relief to an unfortunate situation by updating the images. The T Shirts now have ‘cancelled’ stamped over the top, so the slogan reads, ‘Summer 2020 Cancelled’. Accurately expressing how we all feel right now

The best thing about the newly launched brand will be the donation of £2 from every item sold to Age UK, to support their £10 million Coronavirus Fundraising Appeal. The work Age UK do with the elderly is more important than ever during these difficult times, being the hardest hit demographic during coronavirus.

The unisex collection includes a staple t-shirt and a cosy hoodie and sweater.

Minutes after Boris Johnson finished last Sunday night’s speech, informing the public of the latest coronavirus update, the T-shirt went viral, with meme accounts going online with mocked up images of Boris sporting the now sold out ‘ Summer 2020 cancelled’ tee.

T-shirt £29 Strawberries & Creem

Sweater £39 Strawberries & Creem

Hoodie £44 Strawberries & Creem

The Post – Lockdown Pub

Nobody can deny that they’re missing the social side of life. And bars, pubs and restaurants will be the last to reopen post-lockdown, due to their social distancing difficulties. 

But guess who will be first in line to open, as early as July 4th?

 Wetherspoons.  They have been hard at work upgrading their pubs so they are ready to reopen when lockdown rules are relaxed.

Now let me state the obvious – a Wetherspoons pub isn’t normally my first port of call for a big night out. But I don’t think many of us are going to complain about choice of get-together location, considering that we haven’t seen our friends in eons.

The pubs will be kitted out with screens, posters and floor markings when Wetherspoons reopens its 875 locations. Signs outside and on exterior doors will help staff communicate with customers regarding how they need to queue in order to stop a build-up of people. Tables have been spaced out and screens put up in between them, in order to allow customers to keep their distance. Stickers will be placed on furniture so that it’s not moved

There will be separate exits and entrances. Welcome signs will give further guidance to customers, including asking them to only visit pubs if they feel well. (As opposed to feeling unwell when they leave the pub, which has been happening since well before Covid-19).

Perspex screens have been fitted at tills and customers will be encouraged to pay using the Wetherspoons app, meaning they can get table service. Although, drinkers can still pay using cash if they want to.

Last week the chain also confirmed it would be offering a slightly reduced menu to help with social distancing measures. Bottles of condiments, including ketchup and mayonnaise, have been replaced with single-use sachets.

Wetherspoons plans to keep its opening hours the same.

Let the drinking commence.

Adel’s Balloon Sleeve Dress

If you’ve achieved that difficult feat of unearthing anything other than Covid-19 news on the internet, you will have seen pictures of the singer Adele and her incredible weight loss transformation.

It is much-needed light relief to read about anything other than the pandemic.

Adele has indeed shed a lot of weight and is looking fantastic – not that she looked bad before – and who knew what a great pair of pins she had?

But what really caught my eye was the balloon sleeve dress she wore – a style that has exploded all over the world, in every online fashion emporium.

This is a great look if you want to make an instant impact. It’s dramatic, flattering and with a little nod to the 80s, we’re talking guaranteed glamour. Think Joan Collins in Dynasty.

Considering the enormous sleeves, my advice would be to keep the hemline short. Going maxi is simply too much and almost comical.

I would opt for plain colours, like black, white or red. However, if you are planning to buy a few ‘going out out’ dresses for that late summer holiday that’s looking increasingly possible (or a “lockdown lifted” party) then you could go “bold” in metallics or pretty in pastels.

I would avoid any jewellery or fussy hair with this look because it’s all about the balloon sleeves.

Here’s my pick of the best, on ASOS.COM – all in the sale and under £50.

… a word from Amanda

Greetings from planet Earth. And welcome back to Amanda Zips It Up.

I’ve temporarily had to go fortnightly, because under current circumstances there really isn’t much happening to report upon in the world of fashion. But I’m sure it won’t be much longer before we’re back on beat.

Am I the only person who’s going to crack open a bottle of Moet the day Zara re-opens its doors?

I know this has been a tough time for so many people, but we are past the peak and it looks like we will be reunited with our family and friends (and possibly even enjoy a very late Balearic holiday) relatively soon.

In the meantime, it’s a Bank Holiday weekend and the sun will be shining. The beaches are starting to fill up, BBQ smoke fills the air and we’re all keeping our sanity in-tact with the various live streamed DJ sets each weekend.

Maybe it’s time to start considering a late summer wardrobe and my favourite fashion boutique here in the UK, LEFT BANK SIX have a sale on all beautiful Balearic boho garms and accessories. Visit the Left Bank Six Facebook page or Nicole Ivison Hatch’s page to see what’s up for grabs.

In this issue, we check out the top 10 best-selling CELEBRITY underwear brands – and you’ll be pleased to see who is number one,  tell you about the MISSGUIDED T-Shirt everyone needs to buy and bring you an interview with one of the UK’s longest standing and most successful female DJs – LISA LOUD.

Top Ten Underwear Celebrities

From Rihanna to David Beckham, the sexier the celeb, the more money there is to be made from selling underwear.

Rihanna is on her way to becoming a billionaire ­­­­­­– partly thanks to her knickers. She has made £120million from her lingerie line Savage X Fenty, taking her fortune to £468million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. But the 32-year-old Bajan babe is not the only famous name to make big money from selling smalls.

Here’s the knicker rich list.

10. Maura Higgins – £1million

LOVE Island 2019 star Maura has made her reality fortune in record time. The 29-year-old Irish babe has cashed in, thanks to bagging £500,000 from ­both clothing brand Boohoo and lingerie giant Ann Summers.

9. David Gandy – £13million

ESSEX-born David was catapulted to fame when his incredible physique bagged a contract with Dolce & Gabbana to be the face of their menswear. Following the success of the campaign David, 40, was snapped up in 2014 by Marks & Spencer for its smalls, sleepwear and swimwear.

8. Dita Von Teese – £16million

QUEEN of burlesque Dita, 42, fell in love with lingerie at just 15 years old after landing a job in an underwear store. In 2012 the American model launched her own lingerie line called Von Follies, featuring a range of corsets and 1920s-inspired pieces with loads of lace and ribbons.

7. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – £30million

THE supermodel was signed up by Marks & Spencer’s bosses in 2012 to give their Ladies underwear a sexy makeover. Rosie, 33, can proudly claim her delicate smalls are one of the High Street chain’s biggest sellers. An estimated one in 50 women in the UK owns a Rosie bra, with the brand selling 24million a year.

6. Liam Payne – £46million

One Direction may have split in 2015, but that hasn’t stopped Liam bringing in the money, though not for his solo music. He’s not my fave, but he does have a buff bod.

The 26-year-old teamed up with Hugo Boss for his first collection in 2019, with promo shots of Liam lying in bed with a naked Stella Maxwell. The steamy shots earned him a clip round the ear from his mum.

5. Elle Macpherson – £95million

“THE Body” is ­famous for her endless legs but her business nous saw her launch the first model underwear collection, Intimates in 1989.

The 56-year-old has also created stylish lingerie for athletic women who want to feel supported and still look sexy.

4. Heidi Klum – £120million

Heidi’s career spans 28 years thanks to her impressive lingerie modelling skills.

After more than a decade strutting the catwalk as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, the American-German supermodel moved on to promoting her own undies collection, Heidi Klum Intimates.

3. David Beckham – £339million

He’s always been a personal fave and Becks has more talents than just playing football.

The 45-year-old may have retired from soccer but still makes cash from underwear ranges with H&M, Calvin Klein and M&S. Kicking off his first collection of boxers in 2012 with H&M, his ­chiselled looks and the designer-inspired undies made them a hit.

2. Kim Kardashian – £350million

THE 39-year-old reality star has made millions from selling perfume, clothing and make-up.

Kim’s shapewear brand came out last June but its Japanese name Kimono was slammed for cultural appropriation. The line was relaunched three months later as Skims.

It made nearly £2million in the first few minutes it went live. To put that into context, rival Spanx made £3.2million in its first year.

1. Rihanna – £468million

SHE is known globally for her hits – but Rihanna is also hitting the top spot with her lingerie brand Savage X Fenty, which has made more than £120million since it was launched in May 2018.

Modelling the range herself, she represents the curvy girl with thighs and a little bit of booty and hips.

It goes to show that girls’ preference is for a ‘normal’ body shape, compared to the unachievable ‘Victoria’s Secrets Angels’ ultra skinny look.

DJ Lisa Loud In Discussion

As we’re all bunkered-up and locked into live DJ sets streamed online every weekend, I thought it would be an interesting angle to interview one of the UK’s top female DJs, LISA LOUD, about her love of music, fashion and Ibiza.

Lisa – How do you feel about flying the flag for women in a fairly male dominated industry?

Interestingly, when I started dj’ing it was amongst the most-free living fun loving movement, Acid house. So I hadn’t really realised that there was a male and female demographic as such. It was all about the music and the feeling of being part of something. Ibiza in the mid 80s showed me a sense of freedom and hedonism that had no boundaries. I wanted that life, I guess.

Given the explosion of acid house and its infection nation-wide, it became more apparent that there were fewer female DJs. In the early 90s I was travelling up and down the motorway to legendary clubs like  Back to basics, the Hacienda and Venus in Nottingham, having a ball.  Eventually, I created brands that promoted female DJ talent. Ciao Bella at Back to basics, Hello Gorgeous in London, Simply Darling in Dubai. I am a great supporter of female talent, but the music, the track selection and the ability to craft a DJ set is paramount.

Looking at the headliners now, I feel inspired that girls do what they love and have a voice through their musical talent. I love the female DJ touch and let’s face it, a girl delivering serious beats and telling a story through a set is rather appealing!

As a mother, how do you combine listening to promos etc and being a Mum to Tait?

Fortunately, my little boy has been around music since birth – before, in fact. I was at DC10 5 months pregnant and felt Tait move to Ricardo Villalobos and Clive henry – I was eating ginger biscuits to avoid the sickness, it was boiling in there.

Tait loves music.  We have different tastes (what with YouTube and TickTock) but he knows what a house track is and actually really likes MY music. I do my best to make music and my work a part of the “fun” side of his life – we can often be found dancing around the kitchen and garden together.

I know you love fashion and Ibiza – how important are both in your life?

Well, Ibiza influenced my life as a DJ and music business professional, and fashion is my second love after music.

As a young girl from the Walworth road in South East London, I always wanted the best togs. I loved designer labels and made sure I earned my own money to be able to buy what I wanted. It never leaves you. If you have a style or an image, it’s with you forever. I still feel excited and seek out pieces that have my style. You can’t beat dressing up and feeling good, can you!

Ibiza was my playground from the mid 80s. I was working in the finance industry and travelled every weekend to Ibiza to see my mates and party… One year I just didn’t come back 🙂

I met the most amazing colourful people in Ibiza. I was a teenager, witnessing people from all over the UK who travelled to Europe to see DJs and party in locations that influenced their whole lives. It was the same for me, I was hooked and simply wanted to be that person – dancing in Ibiza, getting to Amnesia in a sports car, wearing all the fab clothes and listening to the most eclectic sounds from DJs that had never played in all the soul and rare groove clubs that we use to go to.

It was simply the epicentre of my life, and still influences everything I do.

I know you’ve been ill with Covid-19 – how has the virus affected life so far?

To have had the virus actually put a different perspective on everything for me.  Tait and I had played by the rules and socially distanced, so I could barely understand how it had happened. I genuinely don’t think I have ever felt so unwell. I am a single mum and was negotiating the unknown, trying to be the best influence and show strength to my little boy, yet struggling to complete everyday tasks, cooking, the dishwasher opening the door to the postie… I was so weak, which was really frightening and was a huge mental and physical challenge. In the end Tait became a career, as such. I’m so proud of him and don’t know what I’d have done without him!

On a business level, my life this year was set up really well, I was very excited! A full diary containing so many fabulous gigs from March through to November. My business consultancy was also busy with ground-breaking projects. And in a puff of smoke everything was gone. On a business and financial level I am no different to so many, and feel for everyone out there in the hospitality industry. We will be the last to recover, but might we perhaps learn a lot from being stripped right back to basics? Everyone is equal at present. Let’s just hope there is humility and respect born out of this. Wouldn’t that be cool 🙂

Missguided NHS Tee

To thank the key workers who are working tirelessly during the ongoing pandemic, the Misguided has launched a limited-edition ‘Heroes’ t-shirt, which is available now.

The unisex Tee features applauding hands, inspired by the UK’s unified clapping for the NHS every Thursday at 8pm.

It comes in three sizes, from small to large, and the striking design is also accented with the NHS’s signature blue colour. It is priced at £15 and be purchased online at missguided.co.uk 

All profits from the sales of the t-shirt will be donated to NHS charities in aid of the battle against Covid-19.

But this isn’t the only way Missguided is showing support. The popular online fashion retailer is also giving an exclusive 25% discount on top of its current “70% off” sale to the NHS, emergency services, carers and teachers.

If you want to get your hands on an NHS Heroes charity t-shirt and show your support for key workers, order one now before they sell out.

… a word from Amanda

It’s MAY! 

Okay, I know, it may as well be March or April – what’s the difference? But we’re officially entering Summer 2020 and although we’re sick to death of lockdown, perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel.

During my usual research this week, I came across a feature about drinking Sperm Smoothies to ward off the Coronavirus.

It’s may sound hard to swallow, but a particular mum of two blends spinach (good), broccoli (good) and then some of her boyfriend’s sperm (very very bad) which she stores in the fridge (even worse). A quick whizz in the nutribullet and voila! A sperm smoothie.

She’s also a personal trainer – so, in theory ,knows her stuff. She drinks her daily smoothie plus uses the left-over sperm on her face as a moisturising facial treatment. She claims the sperm not only keeps her looking young but keeps her immunity in tip top condition, therefore (apparently) leaving here with zero chance of her picking up any virus.

According to my research, sperm contains 200 different vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, Zinc, Potassium and B12.

The question is – which guy genuinely has time to produce this much sperm for these daily smoothies? Maybe that’s a silly question.

I’ll leave you to ponder on that. In this week’s instalment we have another weight-loss recipe from Chanelle, we meet new up and coming female DJ Ashby and dicover Le Beanock – the most comfortable hammock for summer.