… a word from Amanda

Welcome to SUMMER, at long last.

The sun is finally shining and it’s time to get outside and draw a line under the endless box-set culture that we’ve been engrossed in for so long.

During these past miserable months, I’ve been glued to The Sopranos and The Wire, classic TV series that get constantly get cited as the Golden Age of Television. But anyone who grew up in the ‘90s will know that even these timeless epic shows will never hold a torch to 90s /00s Saturday nights on ITV, with its holy trinity line-up of Baywatch and Blind Date. 

Saturdays were mostly about Pamela Anderson in her red lifeguard cossie on the beaches of Malibu. And now, a whole new generation is set to fall in love with the Pammy of the 90s/00s. Lily James has taken on the role of Pamela Anderson in new show Pam & Tommy. Sebastian Stan takes the role of the Mötley Crüe drummer.

Anderson is apparently unimpressed, allegedly dismissing the production as a ‘cheap knockoff’. But she might have to get used to seeing a revival of her ’90s style. Going by the first promo shots, the social media generation are already obsessed with throwback Pammy fashion. It feels very “this summer” doesn’t it? Consider her fondness for corset tops  – they’re getting a lot of love right now from the likes of Bella Hadid and Billie Eilish.

Fancy channelling even more Pammy nostalgia? See also her love of mini-skirts, which are back for 2021 and double denim. And what about the bleached blonde hair and pencil thin eyebrows? Well, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK fashion winner Bimini Bon-Boulash has made us all reach for the tweezers again.

But it’s THAT swimsuit that’s the ultimate Pammy image.  So iconic was the Baywatch swimsuit, the barbed wire tattoo, the bombshell body, that it’s surprising Anderson has been somewhat ignored for her style credentials. However, designers – like Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney – have long been fans (of Anderson as an animal rights activist as much as a fashion plate). 

Now it’s time to give Pammy her due. Where is my lipliner…?

Onto this week’s instalment and quite naturally we are discussing SUNGLASSES as the sun has now officially got his hat on plus the black eyeliner flick and how to wing it with the best new hack on the market… enjoy.

Sunglasses For Him

Here’s my pick of the season’s best sunglasses for men and women. The weather may only just be heating up, but sunglasses are a seasonless essential.

Yes, the time is ripe to be updating your collection with the best frames of seasons past and present. Whether you’re a serial sunglasses wearer or you’re simply looking for a pair to elevate a summer spent in parks and pub gardens, there’s no shortage of stylish shades.

In addition to the usual stock of aviators and wayfarers, with their timeless appeal, THE eyewear trend in 2021 is oversized, overtly chic and unisex FLAT TOPS. Think plasma screens – the bigger the better.

Whatever style you choose (classic shapes are good too) it’s not always easy picking a new pair of sunglasses online, but now we have the opportunity to try them on in-store. Consider the choices in lens strengths, colours and polarisation (glare protection).

As a general rule, always consider face shape. If you want to wear your glasses more than once, it would be smart to consider what actually looks good on you. Square faces, for instance, will benefit from the soft curves of rounder frames. Likewise, the angles of a triangular- or heart-shaped face will be accentuated by aviators. Those with rounder faces, on the other hand, might consider opting for square or rectangular styles such as wayfarers to harden their features.

1.   GUCCI CLUBMASTER

A high-end take on the Clubmaster silhouette, these sunglasses are proof of Gucci’s knack for refined elegance. A shape that’s favoured by the likes of Robert Pattinson and David Beckham, they’re elevated by the rich tortoiseshell hue of their upper rim, slick gold accents and signature red and blue stripes that run down their temples. £355. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com

2.   RAY-BAN ROUND METAL

Ray-Bans take the gong for best accessory in a supporting role. As well as being good value for all seasons, they’re just as well suited to a brown overcoat and paisley scarf as your summer shorts and tees. £131. ray-ban.com. At sunglasshut.com and John Lewis. johnlewis.com

3.   TOM FORD

Tom Ford rarely veers far from his own specific brand of sleek luxury, and why would he when it looks as good as this? Taking a classic shape and elevating it with those gold inserts that are so synonymous with the brand, the tinted lens of these shades makes them the perfect sunglasses to wear with tailoring. £231. At Sunglass Hut.sunglasshut.com

4.   GIORGIO ARMANI

A contemporary spin on a classic, Giorgio Armani’s perfectly round Italian acetate frames are the perfect designer pair to soften up those more angular face shapes – we’re especially fond of the exaggerated curvature of the nose bridge. Ever a purveyor of quality, glass lenses give these a weighty feel that adds an extra sense of luxury too. £242. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com

5.   RAY-BAN AVIATORS

The iconic Aviator sits at the forefront of Ray-Ban’s catalogue of sunglasses, along with the other classics that have made my edit. This one should be the centrepiece of any smart look that warrants the addition of a slick pair of shades. My advice is to get the largest size (they come in three sizes) and always opt for a gradual tinted lens. I love brown and blue.

£131. ray-ban.com. At sunglasshut.com, misterspex.co.uk and fashioneyewear.co.uk

6.   QUAY FLAT TOPS

Although these are mostly women’s sunglasses, men can wear them too. They must be large and square just like a plasma screen. Very 2021, very stylish and very eye catching. Reasonable too – £39 – £59

www.quaysunglasses.com

7.   RAY-BAN ORIGINAL WAYFARER

The Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Classics are the most recognisable in the history of sunglasses. After its initial design in 1952, the Wayfarer quickly endeared itself to models, musicians and artists, solidifying its iconic style status for years to come. You really can’t go wrong with a simple black pair.. £131. ray-ban.com. At John Lewis. johnlewis.com. At fashioneyewear.co.uk and sunglasshut.com

Sunglasses For Her

Finding the best sunglasses to suit you is tricky and laden with trial-and-error. The good news, ladies, is that there are plenty of interesting sunglasses trends set to be big in 2021.

Maybe you’re seeking sunglasses that offer “drama”, or perhaps you prefer a classic and more reserved angular shape? Whichever frames take your fancy, it’s time to start thinking about shades. The spring/summer 2021 shows shone with bright styles.  My faves are the most enormous – the bigger, the better.

Oversized Flat Tops

These are THE plasma screen-sized sunnies to be seen in this year.

My favourite collection as seen at Quay.

All priced between £39 – £69

Don’t be afraid of the size…

Timeless aviators

Oliver Peoples x The Row sunglasses, £369, available at Oliverpeoples.com; Cartier Eyewear aviators, £685, available at Matchesfashion.com; Ray Ban sunglasses, £176, available at Selfridges.com; Celine aviators, £330, available at Net-a-porter.com; Michael Kors sunglasses, £170, available at Michaelkors.co.uk.

Retro cat-eye shades

Ralph Lauren cat-eye sunglasses, £115, available at Ralphlauren.co.uk; Le Specs sunglasses, £75, available at Matchesfashion.com; Alexander McQueen cat-eye sunglasses, £310, available at Alexandermcqueen.com; Versace Medusa sunglasses, £210, available at Brownsfashion.com; Finlay & Co tortoiseshell sunglasses, £150, available atFinlayandco.com.

Go big or go home

Lapima oversized sunglasses, £395, available at Matchesfashion.com; Gucci angular sunglasses, £320, available at Mytheresa.com; Fendi acetate sunglasses, £240, available at Matchesfashion.com; Retrosuperfuture oversized sunglasses, £162, availableFarfetch.com; Prada oversized sunglasses, £182, available at Mytheresa.com.

Futuristic shield shades

Loewe shield sunglasses, £350, available at Matchesfashion.com; Bottega Veneta shield sunglasses, £355, available at Bottegaveneta.com; Saint Laurent shield sunglasses, £295, available at Matchesfashion.com; Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini shield sunglasses, £195, available at Philosophyofficial.com; Tom Ford sunglasses, £311, available at Ssense.com.

‘Winging It’ by Bank Beauty

Bank Beauty Founder Karen has been working in the beauty industry for 20 years. Opening her first Salon at just 18, and going on to successfully open 5 more, she has been part of the evolution of the industry. Having used and sourced thousands of products over the years, Karen’s insights led to the development of BANK Beauty in 2019. 

Her approach to Skincare is unique. Not only is Karen’s Skin Edit range 100% natural but it has also been developed in consultation with Scientist Dr Gavin Eyres, PhD.


“I love the idea of 100% natural & vegan skincare however I’ve found that I didn’t get the results that I did from other products. Our Skin Edit range is where Nature meets Science to bring you Skincare that is 100% natural & vegan without any compromise on the results” Karen comments.


Karen’s mission is to create easy to use, simple, functional, cutting edge and effective beauty products in a safe, non-toxic, vegan, cruelty free and environmentally friendly way.

I was sent this incredible new product by Bank Beauty – WINGING IT – a black liquid eyeliner which gives you the perfect winged eyeline in seconds.

This revolutionary beauty hack makes your eyeliner perfect and symmetrical with the double-sided unique shape wing stamp that makes it the most versatile on the market.

The stamp enables you to apply it to both eyes at any angle for different wing liner looks. The liner side is extra-long and slim to make it easy to apply to the inner eye and lash line. Its waterproof formula will ensure you stay smudge free all day.

STAMP & LINE…

  1. Stamp your eye in wing style.
  2. 2. Line with the ultra-fine liner

WINGING IT

£18.00

www.bankbeauty.co.uk

info@bankbeauty.co.uk

… a word from Amanda

It may be a little premature to assume that summer has permanently arrived, but this bank holiday weekend is looking really good compared to the nightmare weather we’ve been experiencing of late, here in the UK.

So maybe a BBQ in the garden this weekend is in order, or a trip to the zoo, or even just a stroll through the park with an ice cream?

Here’s a question.

What’s the most iconic ice lolly? Perhaps you’re partial to a Mini Milk, or you’re a diehard Twister fan. In the world of fashion design, however, it’s the classic Fab that reigns supreme. That’s according to high fashion hatmakers Bundle MacLaren Millinery, who have created a fascinator that mimics the sections of strawberry ice cream, hundreds and thousands etc.

The ‘hand-carved foam lolly’ has a beaded topping and is covered in Orissa silk, justifying the £225 price tag at John Lewis. One thing to note: the faux lolly does have a bite missing. The designers reckon it’s the perfect option for going to the races or a wedding this summer, but I’d be donning it for every barbecue, trip to the zoo or stroll in the park.

Yes, £225 might be a bit much to spend on a hair accessory, but you could always take inspiration from the design and create a DIY version. To be clear – don’t just stick a Fab ice lolly to your head. It will melt, and your hair will get sticky. Even worse with a Magnum.

It’s clearly proved popular, as the item is currently sold out on the John Lewis website. Here’s hoping this micro-trend trickles down to more affordable high street retailers. I’d like to see ASOS selling Solero, Feast, and Calippo hairclips in time for summer.


Enjoy your bank holiday weekend in the sunshine.

Man Bags 2021

From pocket-sized purses, to capacious carry-ons – man bags are big news this summer. From ASAP Rocky, to Tyler The Creator, to Harry Styles – men carrying handbags are a thing right now.

In 1999, when the Friends episode ‘The One with Joey’s Bag’ first aired, it was a laughable joke when Joey (the dish of the group), found love with a tote – given to him by his fashion-forward friend Rachel Green.

‘But it’s a woman’s bag?’ Joey asks when Rachel suggested the black leather cross-body bag. ‘But all of the men are wearing them!’ replied Rachel.

We might have giggled back then, but in the 22 years that followed, man bags have indeed gone from drab to fab. Once the accoutrement of every archetypal “City Boy”, the man bag’s renewed fashion-forward status was witnessed most recently at the autumn/winter 2021 shows, where male models clutched all manner of holdalls.

At Fendi, bags were teeny-tiny and just capacious enough for a mini bottle of hand sanitiser, while ETRO reimagined “sensible and sturdy for the Instagram age” by churning out patterned statement rucksacks at his eponymous brand’s show.

There’s bags of money in it too. In 2018, there was a 5.5% increase in the market for men’s bags, hitting a combined value of £1.45 billion. In that same year, global market research found that purchases of man bags had grown by almost a quarter.

What’s more, in the last fashion week hurrah before the industry was forced to re-set last January, every fashionable fella worth their salt was seen sporting a bag, especially the Dior Saddle Bag.

So, what’re you waiting for? If Harry Styles, ASAP Rocky and Tyler, The Creator can all rock a Gucci man-bag – so can you.

These are the It accessories to buy.

ASOS Design holdall bag in black leather faux croc

We might not be going anywhere anytime soon, but when we finally do, this faux croc holdall will scratch that style itch perfectly.

£35 | ASOS

JW Anderson Belt-embroidered canvas tote

JW Anderson’s bags are cult for a reason. This pale blue canvas tote with red detailing has ‘summer’ and ‘beer garden’ (fingers crossed) written all over it.

£375 | Matches Fashion

Arket Moldable Crossbody Bag

Perfect for dancing your cares away, a crossbody bag is the hands-free holdall you never knew you needed. This achingly cool Arket iteration is the definition of a purse-friendly pouch.

£69 | Arket

The North Face Base Camp Fuse Box Rucksack

The North Face has enjoyed a slow but steady return to favour as of late, but if you’re struggling to get your hands on one of its highly-coveted Nupste jackets, then opt for a statement rucksack instead. The yellow is sparking all the joy for us.

£114.99 | Zalando

ASOS DESIGN holdall Doctors bag

One for the fashion-conscious fellas, this faux leather crossbody bag will hold your things (face mask, hand sanitiser et al) and get you some serious style brownie points while doing it.

£35 | ASOS

AllSaints Arena Leather Backpack

Even those left straddling the man bag fence can’t go wrong with a timeless black backpack. This buttery leather offering from AllSaints is a seriously chic bag for life.

£183 | AllSaints

Tiffany Engagement Rings For Men

As the world changes and becomes more inclusive, so too do cultural norms – including around marriage and proposals. 

Tiffany & Co, the iconic jeweller owned by LVMH, has launched a new range of rings to cater to the changing nature of weddings, designed to be worn by men. Traditionally, in heterosexual relationships, men propose to women. But it’s 2021, and we’re finally realising that you don’t need to be a certain gender to propose or be proposed to – not to mention the fact that same-sex marriage was legalised seven years ago

The male engagement ring line is named after the company’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany, and there are three different diamond cuts set in either platinum or titanium. Each diamond measures between one and five carats, and there’s a choice of emerald cut, square emerald cut, and round brilliant cut.

The thick band on these rings nevertheless lets the stone do the talking, mirroring a classic signet style. Yes, of course men could wear a ‘regular’ ring, but these – focusing on a stone like most engagement rings do – are one of the first offerings at a major jeweller that are purpose-built.

They can also be worn by women or non-binary people who prefer a more masculine style to those available already. Weddings are all about love and commitment, and everyone should be able to celebrate that. A mainstream engagement ring range for men may be a small step, but it gives the option for anybody – regardless of gender – to be included. 

Tiffany men’s engagement rings are available to view online now, or in selected stores as of this month.

Slugging

It’s the latest skincare trend to emerge from Tik Tok, and you know that if it’s all over Tik Tok then it probably works.

Introducing SLUGGING.

Slugging is all about locking moisture into the skin. Like fashion and makeup, skincare goes through trend cycles. From inhalable beauty, to CBD-infused products, the cosmetics industry keeps churning it out. Fortunately for the beauty business, consumers lap it up, because we are always on the hunt for the next serum or popular method to grant us eternal youth. Well, I am for sure.  This latest trend promises glowing and restored skin, but is called ‘slugging’ – you’ll see why.

The technique isn’t new and uses a product that can be found in every bathroom cabinet in the world. Slugging is a K-Beauty (Korean) trend that involves sealing the skin with a heavy-duty occlusive agent such as Vaseline overnight. 

In 2018, the term made waves on a viral Reddit thread when a user described their experience with slugging: ‘I went to bed Mucous covered. Slug-like. I woke up the next morning, and MY FACE HAS NEVER BEEN SO SOFT. I am reborn. I am a new woman. I was not a slug; I was a caterpillar in the cocoon. I’ve emerged, a beautiful butterfly.”

 In 2021, the concept has moved from Reddit to TikTok with a new crop of social media beauty devotees putting slugging to the test.

Currently, #sluggingmethod has over 2 million views on the video-sharing app with users sharing their experiences of the K-Beauty hack. The actual process is easy and requires you to carry out your night time skin routine as normal. When finished, you apply a thin layer of Vaseline (or petroleum jelly product of choice) to the face to lock in the good ingredients. Sleep in it overnight and voilà, you wake up with refreshed and supple skin.


You just need a thin layer spread over the face. Slugging is particularly good for dry, sensitive skin and while non-comedogenic, I would avoid applying to the entire face if you have acne-prone or oily skin.

This is especially beneficial to older skins and this isn’t just for women. Men can benefit from slugging too.

… a word from Amanda

The Editor

Welcome from a very wet London and this week’s instalment of Amanda Zips It Up.

Because we can’t go out – not because of lockdown or the pandemic but because of the pathetic British weather – I have been watching lots of TV and reading my fave glossies, including this June’s Vogue ,featuring the very cool Billie Eilish.

Billie’s Vogue cover has sparked a huge rise in searches for corset dresses. I love this look. It’s old school glamour on the 21st century’s most relevant millennial.

The 19-year-old singer looks gorgeous in her British Vogue cover shoot.

And unsurprisingly, Billie Eilish’s fierce new appearance is also attracting hundreds of fans eager to ‘get the look’.

Fashion fans can get it at PrettyLittleThing , from just £6. According to online fashion store PrettyLittleThing, searches for corsets have increased by 212% and I’m not surprised at all.  Billie Eilish’s post of her bold new look quickly became one of the fastest-liked pictures on Instagram, racking up a million likes in less than six minutes. 

The GRAMMY winner is usually known for wearing baggy clothes with black and green hair, but her new shoot shows her transformed into the epitome of old Hollywood glamour,  with corset styles and blonde tresses.

In her interview, she says of the corsets and blonde locks, “I feel more like a woman, somehow”.

If you’re keen to get Billie’s look, I’ve picked some of my favourite corsets from PrettyLittleThing below.

And on the subject of staying indoors and keeping up with fashion, don’t miss Netflix’s new series HALSTON starring Ewan McGregor. In this instalment, I bring you a bit of background on the Studio 54 designer plus The Design Museum’s Sneaker Unboxed exhibition.

Halston

When I think of Halston, I think of Studio 54, caped gowns and the disco scene of 1970s New York.

Netflix – who saved us all during lockdown – have just released the five-part series, HALSTON, which fashionistas will thoroughly enjoy this month, whilst UK rainstorms rage outside. Ewan McGregor stars as the pioneering designer and brilliantly portrays his dizzying rise and tragic fall. 

Roy Halston Frowick , initially a milliner, opened his first hat shop in Bergdorf Goodman’s in 1961. The series follows Halston through his professional experiences, including the release of his breakthrough Ultrasuede shirtdressas seen on Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City, and the expansion of his bespoke business into a multi-million-dollar retail empire. 

The biopic has got the internet talking, after it starting trending on Netflix last Friday. The designer’s success redefined American fashion, but his career was hit hard when his label was dropped by luxury stores.

Behind Halston’s achievements was his hard-partying lifestyle at New York’s infamous Studio 54, where a combination of drugs, sex, and false friends left him increasingly volatile. Halston’s troubled personal life would contribute to his eventual professional downfall, leading him to a much-maligned collaboration with JCPenney, and to a fatal business deal in which he sold off his most valuable asset – his name. Halston reached vast heights in his career, but was eventually shattered when he lost rights to his own label.

Famously known as Halston, the fashion designer was born as Roy Halston Frowick on April 23, 1932. As the creator of elegant, yet sexy dresses with plunging neck lines that oozed femininity, it’s no surprise that he had a selection of A-List clientele. His portfolio includes Elizabeth Taylor , Bianca Jagger and Liza Minnelli. Plus, most recently, Kate Moss.

Prior to womenswear, he entered the industry through his hat business in 1953. Halston shot to international fame when First Lady Jackie Kennedy wore his pillbox hat at her husband John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration. The accessory went viral, leaving the world curious which designer was behind the innovative masterpiece.

By the end of the 1970s, his label had expanded into menswear, luggage, handbags, lingerie and fragrance.

His career was unexpectedly rocked in 1983, when he landed that six-year deal with mid-scale department store JCPenney, aspiring to expand his brand to a larger audience. However, Halston did not get the result he anticipated, after his name was consequently labelled as ‘cheap’ for dealing with non-luxury retailers. The label was dropped from Bergdorf Goodman.

Throughout the 80s, his brand was acquired three times which concluded with Halston losing control and being banned from designing.

Nevertheless, from 1968 to 1973, his line earned an estimated $30 million. He earned another $16 million when he sold his line to Norton Simon, Inc. in 1973. But he didn’t own his name anymore and that was his biggest loss and regret.

Aged 57, the iconic designer passed away in March 1990 due to AIDS-related complications. At this time, he was worth a whopping $100 million. Unfortunately, due to his cocaine and alcohol addiction during his fall from grace, he pushed everyone away from him, dying alone in San Fransisco.

Though he has been gone for over 30 years, his legacy continues to live on as one of the most influential American designers in fashion history.

Halston on Netflix now.