… a word from the Editor & Blogger Amanda

Welcome to mid-August and I’m back on the heavenly island of Mallorca. It’s that time of the year when absolutely every flight seems to have a three-hour delay.

Following the very warm temperatures all across Europe, the inevitable storms arrive, causing every airline to struggle with a backlog of late arrivals and departures. I thought I’d be safe flying with BA, while Ryanair pilots were on strike, but it took an excruciating 12 hours, door to door, from home in London to here in Mallorca.

On top of that, upon arrival my car battery was dead and I had to get a taxi (first world problems, I hear you cry). It was a strain on the old ticker, as the Balearic taxi drivers resemble suicidal Formula One racers.

But let’s face it, it would be weird if there was ever a summer without delays, passport control queues and pilots going on strike. All the more time to read a good book, and my recommendations this month are The Secret DJwhich is an insight into the life of an anonymous DJ’s antics on the white isle (we had fun guessing his identity). I’d also recommend Ibiza-based novel – and great poolside reading – One Day In This Promised Land, by Ryan Greenpike. It features of intertwined short stories about various White Island characters, from the party rep, to the drug dealer to the starry-eyed clubber, all on the island of Ibiza.

Having been married to a DJ for over 20 years, and spending every summer in Ibiza during that time, these books contained more than a few stories that felt very close to home. I’d thoroughly recommend both books if you’re heading away in the coming weeks.

Onto this week’s blog and we check out how to tackle ‘chub rub’, find out how tiny the dental floss bikini really is, and most interestingly, discover the top ten best-selling fashion items of the year so far.

Enjoy.

Chub Rub

CHUB RUB

It’s a problem we’ve all experienced, but probably never as much as this sweltering summer – it doesn’t matter what size or shape you are – when we sweat, we sweat. And for many of us, when that happens our thighs start to chaff. The recent heatwave in the UK has left women from all over suffering with ‘chub rub’ – with many taking to social media to complain about their sticky situations.

You could squat forever, separating your thighs, and still suffer from this hideous side effect of heat. Even with the much sought after thigh gap – your thighs will rub together.

Online fashion store, PrettyLittleThing is selling anti-chafing bands for £8 – and they promise to solve your ‘style over comfort’ dilemmas. But beware – they’re not pretty in the slightest.

The black stretchy bands should be worn around the top of your legs. They form a slinky layer that stops the skin on your inner thighs rubbing while you walk. Why they’ve chosen black, instead of neutral “flesh coloured”, is beyond me.

The bands come in sizes L – XXXL and are the perfect fit for curvier women who want to avoid the painful red rash that can develop in the heat.

The fashion brand – which is apparently a favourite with Kourtney Kardashian and Kylie Jenner – claim that these genius bands will help solve those ‘red raw rashes’ – and it seems whatever the Kardashians do, other mere mortals follow.

My only concern is that they fall down as we walk. The embarrassment  would be worse than any chub rub could muster.

Top Ten Best Fashion Sellers 2018

Fast-changing fashion trends can be hard to keep up with – but how many of these must-have pieces do you have adorning your wardrobe? I know it’s only August, but before we start concentrating on autumn/winter wear, let’s check out the most popular items that summer 2018 has delivered.

The top ten best-selling items of 2018 have been revealed in a new report, and far from being wardrobe staples, they include a pair of rubber sliders, a £270 belt and some futuristic-looking high top trainers. I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed to admit – I have them all.

That’s according to Lyst.com, who have published the latest instalment of their quarterly index, listing the most sought-after pieces of the season. The report, produced in partnership with The Business of Fashion, ranks fashion’s hottest brands and biggest products.

Topping the list of best-selling products is Louis Vuitton’s classic Neverfull bag – but with a price tag of £920 and upwards, clever shoppers are snapping up ‘pre-owned’, or second-hand models on eBay.

The popular tote was closely followed by a pair of metallic sneakers from Golden Goose, sequin-covered ankle boots and a pink bomber jacket from Acne.

A pair of high-top trainers, a sports hoodie and a pair of Topshop Joni jeans also made the list.

According to the global fashion search platform, Spanish fashion house Balenciaga is officially the ‘hottest brand in fashion’, beating luxury label Gucci to second place. I have the crazy huge Balenciaga trainers, which are like walking in moon boots.

The top 10 hottest products on the Lyst Index

  1. Louis Vuitton’s pre-owned Neverfull bag
  2. Golden Goose Superstar metallic sneaker
  3. Gucci ‘Pursuit’ rubber slide (£180)
  4. Acne pale pink Clear bomber jacket
  5. Gucci GG logo belt (£270)
  6. Maison Margiela sequin ankle boots (around £2,000)
  7. Balenciaga Speed trainer (£495)
  8. Off-White black brushed diagonal hoodie
  9. Topshop black Joni jeans (£36)
  10. Loewe leather trimmed woven rafia tote

 

Dental Floss Bikini

THE DENTAL FLOSS BIKINI

THEY say less is more – and that is generally true with sexy bikini trends. But here we are talking “even less”. In fact, Dental Floss springs to mind, as we feature our final bikini fashion this summer.

The Floss bikini trend features the smallest of swimwear with tiny ties that look like they could snap under the slightest pressure. Not for the faint hearted (or those susceptible to pressure).

Resembling the string, paper knickers beauticians give you for a spray tan, these miniscule bottoms are perfect for an (almost) all over tan.

The Love Islanders proved that bikini bottoms requiring a magnifying glass are bang on trend this season, but it’s a massive no from me. I’ve seen them everywhere in Magaluf and San Antonio this summer. I couldn’t feel less comfortable at the sight.

Nevertheless, here are the stars who love nothing more than their disappearing swimwear…

If you are looking to steal the style of the stars, you can do it without breaking the bank. Because, let’s face it, there’s barely anything to buy.

This look has been popular on the beaches of Brazil for well over 40 years but it’s only in 2018 that us Brits appear to have felt brave enough to bare so much flesh. Perhaps the climate change has some positives?

…. a word from the Editor & Blogger Amanda

Welcome to an insanely hot week in London.

Now, I’m not usually one to complain about the heat – in fact generally it’s something to embrace. But this UK heatwave has proven difficult to live with. Along with a newfound inability to handle the booze thanks to the de-hydration. I’m also unable to function due to sleep deprivation caused by the intense heat. So, I’m (trying) to drink only a couple of times a week during the summer. I can deal with that. But with the temperature at night not dropping below 21, havoc has been wreaked on my normally sound shut-eye.

So, I top up the caffeine, up my undereye concealer dose and sweat through the day, hoping for respite.

She’s not normally my cup of tea, but I happened to glance at Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop blog. She suggests ‘Som Sleep’s Sleep Formula, a ‘sleep water’ that promises to help you doze off.

I’d never heard of a sleep water before. You put it in the fridge, and then drink it 30 minutes before you want to go to bed. From there, magnesium and melatonin (among other ingredients said to promote relaxation) go to work naturally, telling your body that it’s time to turn it in. It’s essentially the anti-Red Bull.  Various beauty editors claim it works a treat.

Som’s berry-flavoured formula is apparently tasty and quite refreshing. And like most things that are Goop-approved, it comes with a lot of “nos”: no gluten, no dairy, no preservatives, and no artificial flavours.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I’d better browse Amazon. In the meantime, the fan is working overtime.

Onto this week’s round up, and we check out Serena William’s fashion range, Victoria Beckham’s Reebok collection and beware of the skinny brow. It’s back, says Rhianna.

With huge thanks to this week’s Guest Editor Mira Manley for her research into this week’s content.

Victoria Beckham for Reebok

Last year, VB announced her collaboration with Reebok.

Since November 2017, she has been drip-feeding clues, via her Instagram, about what we can expect.

The biggest hint was a series of snaps with basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. The images showed off their MASSIVE size difference, as well as a sneak peak of the Victoria Beckham x Reebok t-shirts, all inspired by the sports legend. For those who don’t know, Shaq is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history and stands at an impressive 7 ft 1.

And now, the range has just dropped, basketball style.

The collection is a mixture of unisex items, comprising six t-shirts, two unisex hoodies and one pair of sporty socks – all in black and white with the odd splash of red.

The minimal tees and hoodies feature the silhouette of Shaq shooting hoops on the front, along with his jersey number 34 on the back and a list of his accomplishments. Each item also features a subtle ‘VB’ logo on the sleeve. The t-shirts are priced at £110 a pop, a hoodie is £160 and socks are £40.

VB says “When I think of Reebok, I think of the 90s and basketball – and therefore of course I think of Shaq. For me this capsule really represents a celebration of that era, Reebok and Shaq’s shared history in basketball, and the great heritage pieces I discovered in those archives.”

The Beckhams’ eldest son, Brooklyn, is a ‘well known photographer’ now, and at just 19 has already released a photography book and shot campaigns for Burberry. And so, it made perfect sense that the budding photographer would shoot his mum’s Reebok collection. Victoria posted a series of images shot by her son with the caption: “Love seeing my Merch Collection through @BrooklynBeckham eyes”.

Shop the collection on her website and Dover Street store.

Serena Williams Fashion Range

Serena Williams, the tennis star, has turned fashion designer. Her label – titled simply, Serena – has just landed and is available exclusively via her website www.serenawilliams.com

Serena has previously collaborated with sports giant Nike and American retailer HSN (Home Shopping Network) but this time she’s gone it alone.

The range – which has been two years in the making – includes a selection of athleisure pieces alongside “practical” daywear, including denim, blazers and dresses, ranging in price from £26 to £188. Select pieces also feature motivational messaging revolving around self-love and confidence. “I am beautiful. I am strong” – which Williams comments acts as a “friendly reminder”, in case you happen to be having a tough day.

The range features high-end fabrics with a high-end quality feel, and you don’t have to pay over the top to buy-in.

The 36-year-old, who welcomed daughter Alexis Olympia into the world last September, previously spent two years studying at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, generating confidence in her design abilities.

The launch of Serena coincides with Williams playing in her first major tennis tournaments following maternity leave – an empowering message for new mothers.

www.serenawilliams.com

The Return of the Skinny Brow

I just bought this month’s Vogue and was shocked to see Rihanna on the cover sporting skinny brows.  Are we heading for a micro-brow revival?

It is worth noting that Rihanna is also wearing hi-vis Prada gloves and is balancing a bouquet of fuchsias on her head in the Nick Knight-shot image. So it’s all a bit tongue in cheek. But it’s her eyebrows that have raised mine. I am one of the victims who championed the 90s micro brow look. Twenty years on, I desperately regret overplucking my brows back then. So, the Rihanna photos trigger particularly painful memories.

Unfortunately, history suggests that micro brows could be due for a comeback. The spindly look was big in the 1930s, as seen on Marlene Dietrich, in the 60s, via a more natural incarnation on Mia Farrow and in the 90s, as modelled by Pamela Anderson. Logically, the next likely instalment will therefore probably fall on or around 2020.

Yikes.

Some say that micro brows look powerful and creative – but from my perspective they are not flattering. They overexpose our features, reducing balance and harmony.

In Rihanna’s case, the look seems to have been temporary, probably created by squashing her existing brows with glue, then covering them with concealer and foundation before drawing on two new lines. In real life you would have to wax or pluck yours off. But you could find that it unbalances your face and the hairs might never grow back. Which happened to me.

So, there you have it – tweeze with extreme caution!

… a word from Amanda

Welcome to a hot and humid August, from London to Mallorca to Ibiza.

Last week, I took a week off from writing this piece in the name of a family summer holiday in Mallorca and Ibiza. Although, one week on, I’m not sure whether it felt like much of a holiday. This was largely down that old Mediterranean habit of jumping into the holiday spirit,  knocking back alcohol in 37-degree heat at lunchtime. In the Jacuzzi. Until the evening.

Not just me, I might add. This applied to all of us (except the kids) and it’s not something I’d recommend. Everything seems OK at the time, but a few days later you feel like you have tapeworm, and your head feels heavier than having a small child on your shoulders.

Poor Dad stumbled and cut his arm. Mum was eaten alive by mosquitoes, and each of us consumed so many calories to soak up the cava that we’re all on self-imposed diets for the next month.

But to be fair, there’s nothing like spending time with family.

Ending the holiday on a high note, we decided to be super-healthy and eat at the splendid and achingly cool Skinny Kitchen in Ibiza. Mostly catering for Veggies & Vegans, it has a super trendy guilt-free menu.  In a moment of redemption, I felt like I was making up for some if the damage incurred earlier in the week.

We also celebrated my parents’ birthdays with Vegan Cupcakes by Suzie at The Sweet Reason Company. These were handmade cupcakes with edible pictures of each of us on top – in other words, a fun, personal touch.  They were delicious and unbelievably sweet, despite being vegan and sugar-free.

On the subject of veganism in Ibiza, two good friends of mine have ventured into this culinary neck of the woods.

Jila Walkeris a personal chef on the white isle, catering for private functions specialising in vegan cooking and she recently prepared us a three-course-vegan feast, which was mouth watering.

Plus, Marie Duchar Clark and Hayley Fields have set up The Food Ninja Kitchen, delivering healthy juices and vegan/ vegetarian / generally healthy food to your door anywhere in Ibiza.

Both thoroughly recommended.  I’m not saying I’m a vegan though, as I also visited Ibiza’s very meaty and “bloody” brilliant Can’ Pilot steak restaurant in San Rafael the night before. But everything in moderation,

Onto this week’s edition and we check out two popular bikini trends, as it seems like we’re all wearing our swimwear instead of clothes at the moment.  Plus, we look into the shocking truth about the Fashion Industry burning their leftover stock.

Burberry Burning Stock Causes Outrage

With recent public enlightenment regarding the plastic trail, about which Planet Earth opened everyone’s eyes, our waste and its environmental impact is now hugely on the agenda.

And shockingly, this month, we hear that fashion brand Burberryburned almost £30m ($40m) of un-sold stock.  It caused absolute outrage.

Burberry admitted to destroying all their unsold stock (including accessories and perfume) instead of selling it off cheaply, so as to protect the brand’s ‘exclusivity and value’. To try and ease public anger, Burberry claim to have ‘captured the energy from the burning’ to make the process more environmentally friendly.

It turns out that “landfilling” and burning is widespread in the fashion industry and is fashion’s “dirtiest open secret”. Environmentalists claim to have been waiting years for a story like Burberry’s to come out.

As the practice is so secretive, it is difficult to accurately estimate the scale of the problem – but with global production now exceeding 100 billion garments a year, people are warning of catastrophic damage to the planet if this “un-sold” destruction continues.

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Remember when 1,100 people died in a garment factory in Bangladesh five years ago? The upshot was fashion houses having to be way more honest about their factories and workers’ rights.

 In the aftermath, they have had to release annual reports revealing everything, and the information about Burberry’s stock burning was released in one such report.

But why is stock destruction even happening?

Designer brands typically work on much lower stock levels than high-street retailers, so their waste stock should be lower.

However, some high street retailers like Zara and Bershkawork on a similar model – buying small batches at the start of the season and using customer popularity to gauge how much more to produce.

Some of the big high street retailers have larger stock levels and tend to reduce prices first to shift their un-sold product, then recycle or resell what is left – ie. TK Maxx selling last year’s collections.

 Others donate unwanted clothes to charities or social enterprises.

But activists say fashion’s waste problem is much bigger than just unsold stock. They blame ‘fast fashion’ – a term describing our high turnover of fashion consumption, fuelled by the sheer velocity of new clothes lines that go on sale.  I couldn’t agree more. We’re inundated with new trends, almost monthly.

On average, clothes are being worn much less and discarded quicker than ever before. I am guilty of this, I’m afraid to say. The majority of used clothes we donate to charity have traditionally been re-sold abroad, but even that demand is in decline.

While our passion for fashion is at least part of the problem, experts say the industry itself needs to be smarter with production to lessen environmental damage. Some scientists say that polyester materials are adding to that problem of plastic pollution in our beautiful oceans.

Apparently, only 1% of our clothing is ultimately recycled into new garments because of this complex issue – instead they become items like insulation and dishcloths, which in turn end up in landfill.

By May of this year, 12.5% of the global fashion market had signed up to new 2020 targets – including big names like Nike, Asos and Gap.

Certain brands are capitalising on this environmental issue to set big targets for themselves. Adidas have committed to only using recycling plastic in their shoes by 2024 and H&M says it hopes to only use sustainable materials in its production by 2030.

But we, the consumers, have to do our bit too.  And the only way is to resist the temptation to spend, and try and resist attaching oneself emotionally to items of clothing – we must learn to love the things we own and take longer to consider our future purchases.

Torture yourself a little bit. Because taking time out to wait for something, to see if you really, really want it and contemplating whether it will really improve your life before buying it, will be truly beautiful and good for us all.