… a word from the Editor

It’s London Fashion week, and if our timings coincide I’ll be sipping a £20 glass of wine (slowly), sat in a row at a fashion show in Covent Garden, whilst you are checking out this week’s blog.

My fash pack and I will be attending the Hellava Girl catwalk on Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, where most of the Fashion Week action takes place.

London always oozes fashion, but I love it when LFW is in town because the streets are filled with even more OTT exhibitionists, journos, paparazzi, cameras and fashionistas. And I’ll of course be zipping it all up for you in next week’s blog.

This week I also attended a party in the newly renovated Kings Cross, celebrating the history of Kings Cross Clubland. Particularly Bagley’s and The Cross nightclubs, where many of my gang spent our weekends during the 90s and early 00s.

I went along with my husband, Judge Jules, who was a firm fixture on the Kings Cross clubbing scene.  DJ Brandon Block played a nostalgic set, taking us back to that era.

It was organised by the charity Small Green Shoots, and held in the penthouse Kings Cross offices of Camden Council (who ran out of alcohol halfway through the party – damn you Camden!) What was once The Cross is now a Tom Dixon furniture shop – uber trendy – and Bagleys is now on the site of world-famous Central Saint Martin’s School Of Art.

 

There was a mini exhibition of all things “90s raving”, including the mobile phones we all used to carry back then – namely these Motorola bricks. Back then, we didn’t all stand there filming the DJ, like happens today. Well, we couldn’t – phones were only phones, and nothing more. We actually danced.

I particularly loved the exhibition of a range of old ‘Raving Shoes’ that we used to wear, which someone must have preserved perfectly. From Gucci loafers to Kickers to the stompy ‘Buffalo Platforms’, of which I had three pairs of, and now my daughter wears, blissfully unaware of their heritage and dance past.

Ahhh… those were the days.

Onto this week and we explore the most popular and successful designer on the planet, delve into 2019’s most tragic fashion fails – and it’s only February – plus how to keep fit, be eco-friendly and wash your clothes at the same time.

February Fashion Fails

FEBRUARY FASHION FAILS

I know it’s only mid-February, but we’ve already witnessed some Bum Deals coming out of our favourite online fashion emporiums.

Here at Zips It Up, we’re baffled by a £40 pair of see-through ASOS trousers that expose EVERYTHING – unless you wear underwear. But you might as well wear clingfilm.

They have released the bizarre trews on their website, leaving people asking “Iove ASOS but why on earth would you wear that?”

ASOS said of the £40 trousers, which have pockets: “Some days call for a little extra.

“Smooth, crisp organza. Wafer-thin and sheer as you like.” Hmmm, a bit of a head-scratching moment.

FASHION NOVA is another fashion failure, selling ‘fringe’ shorts that expose your bum cheeks.Known for it’s daring fashion choices, I usually applaud FASHION NOVA, but I’m not sure your parents or boyfriend would approve

They posted a picture of the shorts, which cost £19.37, on Instagram at the end of last week and soon amassed hundreds of comments, as well as 38,700 likes.

The brand’s Just Make It Brief Fringe Shortsare described as stretch and high rise, with an elastic waistband. I understand the market for the whole “ass showing” thing – á la Kardashian et al – but a touch of modesty goes a long way

Meanwhile, over at BOOHOO.com,people are cracking up about the blue denim skinny jeans with a rear zip down the bum, which have beenthe butt of many a joke.

The denim skinny trousers have a zip that runs from the waistline all the way down the bum and a bit beyond. Handy for a hasty number 2, I suppose.

If the design already sounds impractical, the care instructions also state that the “100 per cent polyester” trousers can only be cleaned with a damp cloth. But the jeans have clearly proved popular, as they’re only left in a size 6 or 8.

Zip Back Skinny Jeans, £11 from Boohoo

The Eco-Friendly Washing Bike

Exercise AND Wash Laundry with this Amazing Eco-Friendly Bicycle

Housework? We all have to do it.  Exercise? We all need it. Staying eco-friendly? We should all get involved.

Some days, it feels like the washing is never-ending, especially when you have a family, yet the motivation to accomplish mundane tasks is often hard to muster.

But now, thanks to an invention designed by students in China, you can do the laundry and exercise. With a halo on your head, for good measure.

The Bike Washing Machine (or BiWa, as the students have dubbed it) is a human-powered washing machine that encourages you to multitask and conserve water while boosting your fitness in a fun, efficient way.

The innovative bike – which is available soon – was designed by students at Dalian Nationalities University in China.

The pedals help spin and rotate the front wheel, which doubles as a clothing drum. Any excess energy created whilst burning off calories is used to power a display screen that keeps the cyclist aware of the wash cycle’s progress.

When family members or flatmates have excess energy to burn off, get them to cycle, too, as excess energy can be stored for a subsequent use.

One of life’s most common complaints is that people just ‘don’t have enough time.’ This neat invention not only frees up extra minutes, it inspires you to get active while completing household chores.

And, for college students and families on a budget, the bike can save money long-term, as there are fewer trips to the laundrette, as well as less pennies chucked in the meter.

Celebrating Gucci

Reasons Why We Love Gucci

The World’s most popular brand has been revealed – but most of us can’t afford it.

Retail may be on its knees, but online one luxury label rules the world. Gucci has been named the globe’s favourite clothing brand.

Of course, I don’t need to tell you that Gucci has been having a bit of a moment of late. Ever since Alessandro Michele took over as Creative Director in 2015, it’s been Gucci fever the world over. His kitsch, idiosyncratic designs resonated with a younger audience (men and women) and Gucci has undergone a dramatic renaissance. In fact, Gucci is the number one label that customers engage with. A staggering 6million plus shoppers browsed online from October to December last year.

The Soho Disco bag is Gucci’s hottest seller – £805

Interestingly, key consumer searches are for a Gucci bag, belt or shoe, and these genre-specific searches are crucial to the brand’s success. Thanks to the iconic and coveted GG logo, customers who can’t afford the clothes are able to buy into the Gucci dream by investing in a statement belt or shoes.

More affluent customers have been snapping up the £805 Soho Disco bags to gowith their £235 and upwards Double G belts,being the second biggest seller.

The Double G belt is the brand’s second biggest seller

The fact that it’s become a celebrity red carpet favourite has obviously helped.

Information regarding Gucci’s success was gleaned by analysing the online shopping behaviour of more than 5 million shoppers, searching, browsing and buying fashion across 12,000 designer and stores online. Gucci now occupies top spot above Balenciaga.

I personally love Gucci because of how completely and utterly crazy it is. But it’s wearable. Its designs frequently defy conventions, break rules and shouldn’t actually really even work.  But they do.

A fantastical collection of intricate floral and fauna prints, clashing colours, embellishment and fur topped off with oversized nerdy glasses. When Alessandro was designing the collection, any sane person would have told him that it was never going to work. But it did, and the Gucci geek was born. And in less than two years Alessandro has created one of the most photographed and talked-about brands in the world.

It reminds us of our childhood. There’s something about the Gucci show that takes us back to our dressing up days, when fashion was all about fantasy. Hearts, bees, bows, brooches, animals, flowers, flounces, ruffles and army jackets – this is the stuff that our formative years were made of.

It unleashed the nerd in all of us. There’s a reason we all fell in love with the Gucci geek, she’s hiding in all of us. The slightly awkward, clumsy aesthetic is familiar, yet cool confirming that it’s O.K to be a bit different. That you don’t have to conform and get it right all the time.

Pretty much everything Alessandro does influences the way we dress. Next season prepare to wear 80s style cocktail dresses, puff ball skirts, giant corsages, spiked denim sequin hoodies and oriental inspired platform shoes.

It combines the old with the new. You could say that he’s found the strength and future of the brand in the company’s past.The reinvention of the Gucci loafer is the best example of this. The fur lined slip on loafer has been spotted on everyone from Alexa Chung, Sienna Miller, Julianne Moore and Irina Shayk to Claudia Winkleman, and I have TWO pairs myself! It’s come back from obscurity and been reinvented to become one of the brand’s best sellers.

Overall, Gucci is the top red-carpet choice for A list celebrities. Alexa Chung, Dakota Fanning and Margot Robbie are just a few of the celebs who have been spotted wearing Gucci on the red carpet in the last few months. This kind of exposure provides worldwide publicity and translates into global sales.

… a word from the editor

Adios Lie January and hola Fizz Free February. Following ‘Dry January’, we’re all now meant to give up fizzy drinks. Not that I drink many carbonated drinks, but what next? What will we be pressured to do next month?

Why “Lie January”? Because figures show, barely anyone stuck to Dry Jan – let alone Fizz Free Feb.

On the front pages of the newspapers this week, it turns out that Dry January cheats had secret booze sessions at home. In fact, supermarket booze sales last month were up ten percent on the previous January. The spirited truth is that 53% of British households bought booze in January.

A third of all Brits claimed to cut all alcohol in January. But the stats show this was only IN PUBLIC. More than half of households bought alcohol, while Gin sales climbed 23 per cent year on year.

The study also reveals the number of meat free dinners bought in 2018 rocketed by 150 million to 4.4 billion. So, we’re happy to go veggie/vegan but NEVER give up the booze.

Well, if you’re not going vegan or fibbing about being sober, then get yourself down to FIVE GUYS burger joints, where they have just introduced ‘HARDSHAKES’ – their tasty milkshakes, now with added alcohol, to go with your double cheeseburger.

Yes really.

Anything to anaesthetise us from thinking about Brexit, I suppose.

In this week’s issue we check out Rock Chicks and Disco Queens, The Intermittent Fast and Initial Earrings.

Rock Chick v Dancing Queen

Are you a Rock Chick, Dancing Queen or Boho babe?

Do you prefer zipped leather jeans, tight metallic disco pants or floaty Balearic dresses?

As we approach spring/summer 2019 and the upcoming festival season, there are three looks we need to follow, all fiercely in competition with each other at my favourite UK boutique.

Left Bank Six

They have just nabbed the coolest job in town, as stylists for the bass guitarist for not just Courtney Love but also the Eagles of Death Metal Jennie Vee. In other words, dressing one of the ultimate rock chicks ever.

As the peroxide blonde and leather muse, her look is all about the hair, the tattoos, the eye liner, boots and black lace.

Left Bank Six is now stocking red leather Freddy jeans. Combined with the above, they will nail the rock chick look completely. My name is on a pair.

But on the other hand – check out these metallic disco pants. Think roller skates, Studio 54 and snake hips. In silver and camouflage, we can’t go wrong.

They’re both not very forgiving looks at all, but we all have time to hit the treadmill before the summer season.

Then there are the ageless boho floaty mini/maxi dresses. They hide a multitude of sins and blend in with the Balearic vibe, especially when matched with floppy fedora and long locks. A look for us all.

I’m pleased to announce my other half Judge Jules will be headlining the Playhouse Event Launch Party in Mallorca, in our home turf of Port Adriano on Saturday 6thApril at Upper East.

I am Pondering – do I go rock chick, dancing queen or boho babe? That’s what’s happening at Left Bank Six to cover every eventuality.

Contact me for more details on Playhouse Mallorca, Judge Jules and Left Bank Six.

Intermittent Fasting

  1. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. There are many different types of intermittent fasting, such as the 16/8 – which I’m doing right now. Eat during an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. Numerous studies show that it can have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

  • Cellular repair:The body induces important cellular repair processes, such as removing waste material from cells.
  • Gene expression:There are beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease.

When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair.

2. Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat.

Generally speaking, intermittent fasting will make you eat fewer meals and you will end up taking in fewer calories.Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy.

Short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories. In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).

According to a 2014 review of the scientific literature, intermittent fasting can cause weight loss of 3-8% over 3-24 weeks. This is a huge amount. Those sampled also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference, which indicates that they lost lots of belly fat, the harmful fat in the abdominal cavity that causes disease. Another study also showed that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction.

All things considered, intermittent fasting can be an incredibly powerful weight loss tool.

  1. Intermittent Fasting Can Reduce Insulin Resistance, Lowering Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes.Type 2 diabetes has become common in recent decades. Its main feature is high blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance. Intermittent fasting has been shown to have major benefits for insulin resistance and lead to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels.

In human studies on intermittent fasting, fasting blood sugar has been reduced by 3-6%, while fasting insulin has been reduced by 20-31%.

 Intermittent Fasting Changes the function of cells, genes and hormones.

Insulin levels: Blood levels of insulin drop significantly plus fat burn.

Human growth hormone: The blood levels of growth hormone may increase as much as 5-fold. Higher levels of this hormone facilitate fat burning and muscle gain, and have numerous other benefits.

I’ll let you know how I go. x

Initial Earrings by Etsy.com

There’s a new personalised trend in town, and this one’s for your ears only.

Initial Earrings are available on Etsy.com, the e-commerce website focused on handmade and vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items.

We’ve all seen the ‘Carrie’ style name necklaces, but now it’s time to wear your first initial – on one ear only. That’s the key. Two initials on both ears would look OTT.

We can go with a diamanté stud version or full-on dangler – as long as it’s just the one.

Wolf and Badger and Anthropology have good offerings, but Etsy.com has the best selection of gold, silver and diamanté, at very reasonable prices.

And guess what? It’s almost Valentine’s Day and these are the perfect gift. Thoughtful, personal and bang on trend.

 by Etsy Earrings by Etsy.com

… a word from the Editor

Brrrr…. welcome to the depths of winter from the London Zips It Up office.

Cold evenings mean cosying up in bed watching Netflix, and last week we watched the documentary that has captivated the masses

If you haven’t watched the FYRE FESTIVAL doc (on Netflix) yet, you’ve probably already had it spoiled by the deluge of memes, news stories and social media reactions.

The ill-fated festival took place a while ago now, but the involvement of millennial Supermodels, used as social media influencers, has sparked a huge backlash.

The documentary tells the story of Billy McFarland, who planned to throw ‘the most luxurious and greatest music festival of all time with the best acts… which initially turned out to be Migos, Blink 182, Major Lazer.

They booked a luxurious location (an island in the Bahamas which used to belong to Pablo Escobar) and promised a luxury culinary experience.

But in reality, millennial festival goers paid as much as £9,000 for tickets only to stay in rain-soaked disaster relief tents on an unfinished building site (not Pablo’s island). “Five Star Catering” turned out to be the now infamous cheese sandwiches. And there were no on-stage acts, all of whom pulled out before it began.

Billy McFarland has since been convicted of fraud, and sentenced to six years in federal prison, but the investigations into what happened aren’t finished yet.

Supermodel faces – Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Emily Ratajkowski– were filmed in bikinis dancing on superyachts in the Bahamas for the promotional video. They could be forced to reveal the ins and outs of how much they were paid by McFarland to promote the festival in 2017.

A whopping $250,000 was reportedly paid to Kendall Jenner in exchange for a post on Instagram about members of G.O.O.D Music – Talent Agency – performing at Fyre Festival, which she did not flag as a paid post.

The upshot is that all social media influencers must hashtag something along the lines of, ‘I was paid for this advertisement’.

What a scandalous mess, but so entertaining. You MUST watch the documentary on Netflix.

Onto this week and you’ll never believe who our high street favourite Zara has collaborated with. Plus, French Connection Brides and the underwear we all need to buy for Valentine’s Day which will hopefully save Marks & Spencer from going under.

Zara Collabs With MacDonalds

I’m not sure whether I’m loving this ,but they’re “loving it”.

Zara has released a McDonald’s unisex logo tee and sweater. Yes really.

Some of you might be aware that Moschinoattempted the same a few seasons back, and they had some success, but Zara?

If you love your fast food as much as you do high street fashion, then I suppose you might be tempted to wearyour favourite burger joint instead of dining at it.

But if, like me, the thought of Mucky Ds makes you feel physically sick, the notion of the usually refined Zara flying the flag for the famous golden arches seems a bit weird. They are selling a unisex t-shirt and sweatshirt duo online now, as part of their new collection.

Available in sizes, S, M and L, the white oversized t-shirt sports a picture of Mac D’s fries poking out of their iconic red cardboard container.

On the back reads the slogan, ‘The best fry is the one at the bottom of the bag.’ If you fancy snapping it up, it’s only £15.99. Cheap as chips.

Better suited for the colder months, the sweater will set you back £25.99, which is a little more than a happy meal but at least you can save on the carbs.

The fashion verdict’s out, are you loving it, or loathing it?