… a word from the Editor & Blogger

Hurrah! It’s Spring 2018, following this week’s Spring Equinox, which apparently signals the “official” commencement of the season.

Following last week’s second visit from the dubiously named Beast From East, we were stranded in Mallorca for 5 hours, unable to fly home to Gatwick due to the wrong type of 3 snowflakes on the runway. In late March.

OK, I know some of you are sniggering and wishing you could have the same complaint. But it made me think – what the hell does one wear during these crazy freezing-cold springtime weeks, just moments away from the Easter holidays – which for me psychologically signals the start of summer.

Well, here’s someone who has it spot on – and it’s not only a guy, but an Arsenal player.

Hector Bellerin, the Premiere League’s most maverick dresser.

The Arsenal defender was in the chilly spring sunshine wearing a bright green, baggy track top, white hoodie, light blue jeans torn to shreds and a chunky jeans chain. I presume his St Patrick’s Day tribute –  A Fear of God number, which sells for over £700.

 Ballerina was first seen at London Fashion week and he revealed himself to be something of a maverick then. He’s absolutely all over fantastic coats and bright trousers. He wore a coat with golden PJs to a premiere early last year, before turning up to a GQ Style party with bright red trousers and a tartan red coat.

He obviously impressed the FASH PACK because he was then invited to the 2017 GQ Men Of The Year Awards at the Tate Modern. His incredible tuxedo raised plenty of eyebrows as he looked a match for any of the models on show.

I love his ever-increasing confidence. He is entirely at ease with himself wearing Gucci slippers too, and for that I can only salute him.

Onto this instalment of Amanda Zips It Up, and we check out how plastic is used in fashion, plus give you a special feature on Sunglasses for Ibiza 2018. Because if you want really want to start feeling the summer coming on, then a pair of Balearic Sunnies will just about guarantee that.


The Chanel Bucket Hat – Definitely Maybe

Remember Liam Gallagher ‘avin it large’ in his plastic-bucket hat during Oasis’s 90s heyday?


Little did Liam know that decades later, fashion Gods Chanel would take inspiration and re-produce their own version, to create the ultimate fashion accessory of the 2018 season.

An embarrassing rain cap.

Enter: The Chanel Plastic-Bucket Hat.

During this unpredictable period, between our seemingly never-ending winter hibernation and what will hopefully be a summer of sorts, it’s a safer bet to focus more on accessories than on clothing. But if you fall victim to this trend simply because it’s Chanel, then shame on you, because they look ridiculous.

I understand it’s a Chanel hat, it’s expensive and I suppose it will still be a statement piece that’s weather-appropriate in our unpredictable climate. Plus, if you choose a sensible shade, it might go with everything in your wardrobe…

But it’s ugly as hell.

Go ‘mad for it’ at your peril.

The Designer Plastic Bag

Now, I get the whole ‘plastic trail’ thing and understand that reusing one’s ‘bags for life’ is valuable in curtailing that trail – as long as you remember to take them out shopping with you.

But what about a fancy fashion plastic carrier bag? You can now buy a plastic shopping bag at posh Céline, but it’s going to cost you.

The bag made its ‘debut’ on Céline’s SS’18 catwalk show by Phoebe Philo – her penultimate for the brand. Among tailored capes, pleated skirts, and structured leather bags, was a clear plastic bag, with the familiar Céline logo on the front. It was a play on the kind of shopping bag you might grab at Tesco, certainly not typical of the Céline boutique itself, which includes paper shopping bags nearly as gorgeous as the goods that lie perfectly packed within them.

As Phoebe is not known to tease the fashion crowd, you’d better believe that baby was going to be for sale – eventually. What a way to bow out of a 10-year career at the helm of the label. With a plastic bag.

From now until May 29, you can get your hands on this very special shopping bag from Céline, though it certainly comes at a price. Ringing the tills at an eye watering £450, the iconic clear bag might be an investment piece, and is certainly a worthy conversation item.

For God’s sake look after it, if you are mad enough to purchase one.

Alternatively, trusty old Amazon offers a personalized plastic bag service at a fraction of the price.

Ibiza & Mallorca Sunglasses

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, I’m not referring to Christmas. It’s Spring/Summer 2018, which means not long until Ibiza kicks off and it’ll soon be time to absorb those (thus far, barely there) sunrays.

Counting down to imminent Balearic holidays in Ibiza and Mallorca, it’s time to invest in a pair of sunglasses (or two). Although we have our timeless classics, like Rayban Wayfarers or Aviators, there are plenty of new shapes, colours and brands on the block.

Ibiza has a certain ‘image’ when it comes to sunnies. More boho than Mallorca, Ibiza is all about the cool mirrored aviators or colorful cute heart shaped hippy / John Lennon shapes. Mallorca is more about big, flash, diamanté high-end designer offerings, which blend in with that super yacht.

But first, we need to find a “good” pair.

First of all, you’ll need sunglasses that block harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. It’s important to appreciate that not all polarized shades have UV protection: Polarized lenses will shield your eyes from the sun’s glare, which is great n’all, but has nothing to do with UV protection.


Opt for sunglasses that are comfortable and appropriate for where you’re going. Make sure the frame is not too tight, but instead comfortably snug. You don’t want to be running after your sunglasses in case of sudden high winds.

Of course, design is of paramount importance too. Investing in a classic style, like the aviator or the wayfarer, is always a good idea, but they aren’t cheap, so here are a few ideas to get the juices flowing.

My favourite shapes are generally huge and facially overwhelming.

Think Kylie Jenner, Kate Moss or Kate Hudson in Almost Famous.

Enter Quay Australia – the best sunglasses brand both sides of the planet.

All at £50, they’re original, quality sexy sunnies for Aussies and us. And they suit any face shape, age or colour.

Stocked at Left Bank Six by Nicole Ivison-Hatch 07575 222908

… a word from the Editor & Blogger

Welcome to this weeks instalment and thank you Mira Manley – my guest editor – for finding all this weeks stories.

I have felt imprisoned in my house this week due to a cold, so her help was greatly appreciated. Thank you Mira! x

I have had the opportunity to catch up on a new love story about a DJ and his girlfriend. Whatever Makes Them Dance. It covers all the hot topics of relationships, and if you’re a clubber or part of the DJ scene, then you’ll know author Lindsay Wesker of Kiss FM and Mi Soul fame. Much recommended. £5.95 Order on www.amazon.co.uk 

With Easter Sunday just around the corner, here’s a big event in the diary, which is presented by my very great friend DJ Lisa Loud, an event for the whole family, grown ups and youngsters, it’s a Family Affair. www.afamilyaffair.eventcube.io

This week is all about The Ponytail, Engagement ring piercing and cow manure clothing. Yes, really!

Sponsored by Heels Boutique www.heelsbouique.co.uk

The New Engagement Jewellery

Finger piercing: the engagement ring trend, which makes my stomach turn.

We all wish somebody loved us enough to present a huge diamond, but know we’ll either lose it or leave it somewhere by accident?

Now there’s a new trend that seems to be gaining popularity with Generation Z in recent months, and this diamond would be pretty hard to misplace.

Instead of diamond engagement rings that can be taken on and off, some are choosing to pierce the ring finger instead, making a more permanent mark. Ouch.

These finger piercings are like tattoo engagement rings in the way that they last forever, only with the diamond.

And yes, it looks incredibly painful.

You can either have a single diamond in the middle of your ring finger, or something more elaborate inserted in and out of your skin. That’s the painful one.

Either way, you’ll be left with a little scar if you decide to remove the piercing, so it really is a permanent mark of your commitment to someone. And lets face it, which genuinely stays together these days? So think first.

The Ponytail Returns

This season’s look is all about the 1960s Brigitte Bardot style ponytail.

All you need are Babyliss Pro crimpers, some Elnett hairspray because it brushes out, and a custom printed leather hair cuff , plus back brushed 30 inch long hair extensions to create the massive ponytail.

Mixing up curls, crimped sections and plaits to give really long hair extensions a multi-textured effect.

Think “She’s been out all night and even though her hair is still slick and neat in the front, the back of it has all the evidence of the party,”

  1. Pull your hair back into a super tight, slick ponytail with no parting. Secure with a hair band.


  1. If you’ve got a bit of time and don’t have a pair of crimpers to hand, plait the ponytail into multiple plaits and run hair straighteners over them.

A spritz of heat protection spray is good when using heated tools.

The Future Is Looking Shitty

Sustainability just got smellier. As part of a new plan to be 100 percent sustainable by 2040, H&M has invested in a wide variety of inventive products that are more environmentally conscious, including something that people are calling “poop fabric.”

Clothing made from cow manure?

Poop fabric is a soft and sturdy material made from, yes, cow manure. Don’t worry, it won’t actually make you smell like a farm. It takes cellulose found in cattle dung and converts it into a hardy fabric. And the most eco-friendly thing about it is that the rest of the poo — the part not used to make clothing — helps fuel the entire creation process.

Inventor Jalila Essaidi has called it Mestic, which I have to say sounds infinitely better.

Dung is serious business, particularly in the Netherlands, where a booming dairy industry has already outstripped the so-called “phosphate ceiling” of 172.9 million kilograms per year. Too much phosphate in waterways can lead to algae blooms, which rob aquatic life of oxygen and are potentially toxic to people. But less manure requires fewer cows, which, for the land of milk, butter, and cheese, is a compromise farmers are hard-pressed to make.

The good news is the onset of the “circular economy”, that turns excess excrement—and the surplus phosphate it contains—into useful products. By “deconstructing” manure, Essaïdi is able to tease out the cellulose within and transform it into bioplastics, biopaper, and even biotextiles.

That’s right, Mestic from “mest”, the Dutch word for manure. While people have sought to recycle a No. 2 before, Essaïdi says this is the first time “manure is genuinely being considered as a valuable resource”. Using manure in this manner also allows us to ease up on other, less-abundant natural resources, such as trees, cotton, or oil: an environmental win-win.

The future sure is looking shitty!

… a word from the Editor & Blogger

There’s a very important event this Sunday.

Mother’s Day is the 11th March, but what exactly do you buy for the woman who would do absolutely anything for you? Hold off on the flowers (they’ll be dead in 3 to 5 days)…

Instead, think brownies… spoil your Mum with one of these indulgent gift boxes so she can relax, put her feet up and enjoy your company with some delicious treats,

and don’t forget, it’s your turn to make the tea.

The Sweet Reason Company have a personalised gift box for every mum out there – all their products are hand-baked, hand-wrapped and packed with care and love to be perfectly presented when opened.

Think indulgent artisan brownie boxes, ranging from 8 – 28 brownie bites in a range of delicious flavours such as Baileys, Oreo & Salted Caramel. Also available in Gluten & Dairy-Free, so no mum need miss out! Yummy gluten free flavours such as Nutella, honeycomb & Chocolate Orange, or maybe mum would prefer an organic, vegan brownie box (the vegan matcha brownie is a must-try).

So even if you can’t be with mum this Mother’s Day, send her a little treat and cup of tea in one tiny box… it’s much more thoughtful (and delicious) than simply a card.

Check out the full Mother’s Day Gift Range at https://thesweetreasoncompany.co.uk/collections/mothers-day

This week we check out Milan and Paris Fashion Week plus the Silent Killer and how to spot the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer.

Paris Fashion Week

So, Paris Fashion Week just happened. Here’s a little catch up on my favourite designers’ new collections and their shows.


A huge spotlit box appeared to have landed opposite the Eiffel Tower. Inside, yet more lights, and a collection whose show opened with leather and velvet shorts, and mini dresses. There were also plenty of exquisitely tailored jackets, cropped jeans and embroidered blouses and a full menswear collection. Most notable was a tassel-trimmed sequined jacket and a crystal-embroidered Prince of Wales smoking coat. The finalé came bright and furious, with a medley of colorful sparkling evening dresses.


This is the second season for Natacha Ramsay-Levi at Chloé. She has already hit her stride, opening with a strong silhouette, jodhpur jogger trousers and blazer, a trench coat, and chunky knit worn with a pleated lace insert skirt. There were enough dresses to keep the every customer happy: open V-neck shirt dresses worn with a pendant necklace; drop-waist dresses, some with knife-pleats, others embroidered. Trickier were the cutaway at the hip dresses exposing the skin – the idea was great but needs clever layering in real life. At an entry level there were Chloé logo socks.


Maria Grazia Chiuri is still on the path of the feminist uprising. Her set was wrapped in protest art from the 60s. The late 60s saw the launch of Miss Dior, the house’s first ready to wear line. Chiuri ran with the individuality created in that decade. Elaborating on this theme, kilts came in different lengths and unpredictable fabrics, such as the delicate point d’esprit worn with a masculine jacket, or short coat. Knitwear was heavily embroidered. Top of the shopping list will be the printed bags with embellished straps and patchworks of Dior archive prints.


A fantastical fashion moment is the best description, with 16 breathtaking looks from Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçon. Models climbed on to an elevated catwalk, to rise above the onlooking fashion crowd, who gazed up in awe, as one model after another appeared in creations of loveliness. Layers of ruffles and lace, followed by a mille-feuille of fabrics, a gigantic proportioned tulle skirt wrapped in black lace. Each look topped off with glittering head dressings, one a triple bun. This was a masterclass in design.


Karl Lagerfeld (with a beard) presented a gentle stroll through autumn in Paris at the Chanel show. The Grand Palais was filled with an avenue of trees and fallen leaves covered the catwalk. This provided the basis of the leaf print used through out the collection, on jackets, dresses and coats. Metallic accents were key. Flat gold boots were worn with bouclé tweed skirt suits and golden flecked tights. The LBD finale was styled with a pink opera glove version of Lagerfeld’s signature fingerless gloves – which looked a bit like the models were about to wash up after a dinner party.