… a word from the Editor & Blogger

It’s been a busy week. Firstly, for all you lovers out there, Valentine’s Day dominated the agenda

I spent mine in the scenic Balearics. It was all about a shared grilled fish platter and Spanish rosé. Although it was chilly, the skies were blue and the sun glistened overhead. No heart-shaped chocolates or ‘two for one steak’ at The Harvester -it was shellfish heaven for us. The advantage was that I managed to fit into my skinny leather Freddys, all day.

For the less romantic amongst us, it was Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday. Whichever way you live out this day, be it for religious reasons, ie Lent, or one for the children, it’s all a bit too calorific. Thankfully, being in Ibiza and Mallorca allowed me to escape the batter, lemon and sugar.

The date also signalled the end of New York Fashion Week and the beginning of London Fashion Week.

Despite being English, Victoria Beckham has only ever showcased her collections in New York. However, as of 2019, she comes home and will show in London.

This week will see the British Designers such as Burberry, Topshop Unique and Henry Holland reveal their upcoming collections, which we’ll be wearing this time next year. Of course, I’ll bring you the very latest news and gossip next week.

In this week’s instalment of Zips It Up we check out the importance of the FROW – the Front Row – during this all-important fashion spell. Plus we check out the new sports range for Generation X by ASOS, perfect for the pub!

And equally exciting this week is the launch of the new Clockwork Orange Jewellery collection, which went on sale yesterday (15th). For those who follow the iconic club events, it’ll be a must-buy.

So, relax and enjoy this week’s Zips It Up.

Clockwork Orange Jewellery Collection

LL LOVES & Clockwork Orange Jewellery Range

It was only a matter of time before the reinvention of Clockwork Orange resulted in merchandise for the loyal clubbers known as The Orange Army.

The brains, heart and soul of Clockwork Orange are Danny Gould and Andy Manston. Clockwork was established as far back as the early 90s, at infamous clubs from The Camden Palace to Es Paradis in Ibiza.

It’s fair to say that most of our generation – 25 – 55 year olds – have either experienced Clockwork Orange, or at the very least, heard of it. Clockwork Orange was my very first Ibiza clubbing experience back in 1996 and I’m still attending their events over 20 years later. We’ve all donned the colour orange to go there, from T-shirts and bikinis to Nails and towels.

Now, an exclusive Jewellery collection has finally dropped.

The collaborating designer behind the range is LL Loves. Claire Cox, inspired by her love of motherhood and travelling, founded LL Loves in 2014. 

Wanting to produce something luxurious that was also affordable with excellent craftsmanship, Claire, a mother of four, saw a gap in the market and set about creating her brand. Her pieces are designed and crafted with love and support and signify freedom of adventure.

Each piece is handcrafted to order in the UK. Carefully designed Sterling 925 Silver, Yellow and Rose Gold Vermeil, crystals and Semi Precious stones are combined to create the luxurious bohemian brand of LL Loves.

The styles created allow the wearer to express their own individuality and elegance.

LL Loves’ new collaboration with the legendary club event is just in time for the 25th Anniversary celebration this year and with a huge line up of events throughout 2018.

The idea first came about when Danny’s wife Mrs Gould, a huge LL Loves fan attended one of their parties. Also attending the party were some Clockwork fans who were already discussing outfits for the upcoming events. What better than to coordinate your jewellery with your outfit for the party nights?

Founder Danny Gould and LL Loves decided to create a range of jewellery to mark the quadranscentennial birthday. The collection is launched today – so exclusive is this news, that the guys have organized pre-orders to be taken, to ensure that Clockwork fans attending the first event of the year on March 17th at 338 will have arms filled with orange!

The first part of the collection is a mix of Sterling Silver, Orange Swarovski Crystals as well as a Neon Nappa leather wrap. The bracelets are designed for stacking with more pieces being added throughout the coming months, ready for the parties in Ibiza in July. LL Loves will be attending the Ibiza events with their jewellery to display and  Clockwork fans will be able to add to their collection. The Neon wrap is perfect for both sexes and comes in a multitude of sizes, displaying a Sterling Silver Clockwork tag. The jewellery will come complete with a signature Clockwork Orange / LL Loves collaboration pouch.

This collaboration is one not to be missed with a huge buzz of excitement already starting before the launch. It’s bound to be a huge hit with all Clockwork fans and as a great reminder that they were part of this historical year for Clockwork Orange.

www.LLLoves.co.uk

Facebook: LLLoves

Instagram: LLLovesUK

Twitter: LLLoves_uk

The Fashion FROW

Why fashion show front rows are more important than models, clothes or catwalks.

Forget the models on the runway, the big business at London Fashion Week is taking place on the front row, otherwise known as the FROW.

The days of simply producing an outstanding catwalk collection are over. To remain at the helm today, a designer has to attract a star-studded, media friendly FROW. This is where the potential money lies, so assembling the perfect line-up is paramount for any designer’s success.

Since London Fashion Week Spring/Summer ‘18 is in full swing, what are the ingredients for the perfect FROW?

Well for starters, you need the magazine and newspaper fashion editors. Upset them and you’ll never get your clothing featured again, so designers know to tread carefully here. If only medium-grade hacks grace your show, and not the editors, people will talk. In short, the ascending hierarchy is everything.

The arrival on the scene of fashion “influencers”, Insta-Elite, uber stylists and bloggeratti hasn’t changed the status quo. There are only a limited amount of seats on the front row, and only the best occupants will do.

For designers, the more star power in the front row, the more social media sharing opportunities they’ll have at their fingertips. It’s only by creating this perfect social media storm that a show will be streamed live around the world to generate global publicity.

So how does Christopher Bailey at Burberry get A-listers to attend his shows? Welcome to the world of celebrity endorsement. Some brands pay celebrities in clothes or cold hard cash to pledge their allegiance. I’ve even heard of designers gifting (very expensive) handbags to celebrity PRs to encourage them to persuade their clients to attend their shows (it usually works, BTW).

Topshop boss Sir Philip Green has the midas touch when it comes to lining up the next big thing. He’s the visionary who gave Kate Moss her own Topshop collection and has had the likes of Olivia Palermo, Suki Waterhouse, Jourdan Dunn, Karlie Kloss and Lara Stone, to name but a few, at his shows. Sir Philip even goes the extra publicity mile by achieving the remarkable, and getting his FROW celebs to wear head-to-toe Topshop. There’s a reason the man’s a billionaire.

My advice – avoid the indignity of the second row and watch it all live via Youtube in the comfort of your own home.

ASOS Gym Kit for The Pub

I don’t know about you, but for me, sometimes a new gym kit is the only thing that can motivate me to hop on the treadmill. Thankfully ASOS’s new leisurewear will do just that

ASOS already sell the likes of Nike, Adidas and Puma, but now they’re competing with these big-guns, adding their own range into the mix.

Let me introduce you to ASOS 4505 – the brand’s new offering of cool athleisure wear – launched this week.

It’s no secret that activewear can be really expensive. The perfect leggings, top, sports bra, hoodie, trainers, gym bag… the shopping list goes on, and the price is seemingly endless.

ASOS are now offering cool designs for a reasonable price, with the launch of ASOS 4505. With prices starting at £10 and plateauing at £55, the range isn’t as pricey as the likes of Ivy Park and Sweaty Betty.

What’s more, this isn’t just a collection for gym bunnies – it’s equally suited to the woman who likes to wear her kit to go shopping, to the bank and then for a quick drink at the pub.

The Gen Z yellow kit from the ASOS 4505 range

Fitness is a priority for ASOS, because they wanted to empower the customers to bust some moves.

The ASOS design team have taken prints and colours from key fashion trends and merged them with the perfect technology to get the best results.

You’ve got reflective details in jackets and T-shirts which light the way for outdoor runners.

Compression prints are engineered to support wearers every step of the way, and there are chic co-ord sets to wear to show off while you work out.

This is the cool kit your gym bag is crying out for. Bright pops of colour feature throughout the range, so you’ll definitely be the best dressed chick at Spinning.

The collection launched on Thursday February 15 but make sure you’re quick to beat the masses. And then dust off your gym pass.

www.asos.com

… a word from the Editor & Blogger

Is it the most romantic time of the year, or yet another “Hallmark Holiday” aimed at sending us overdrawn again, straight after Xmas?

Yes, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the colour RED is in your face. Every shop window has a red themed window display, from knickers and camisoles to lipsticks and chocolates.

This week’s instalment brings you a definitive guide to the coolest and somewhat less predictable gifts for him and her, plus we explore the background behind crotchless knickers – a particularly popular Valentine’s prezzie in some “quarters”.

On the subject of Red, one constant in every fashionista’s life is the red sole of a pair of Louboutins.

But not for much longer.

Christian Louboutin has lost the exclusive rights to his famed red soles. The European Court of Justice has sided with a firm challenging Louboutin’s trade mark over the red colour of the heels.

Dutch company Van Haren argued that the French designer should not have exclusive rights to the red, because EU law does not allow trademarks for colour and shape, and won.

Louboutin, who registered the scarlet soles as a trademark in the Benelux nations in 2010 said “The shiny red sole has no function other to identify the shoes are mine”.

This will be a real shame. But I’m sure Louboutin will come up with a fresh and more original design to adorn their heels.

Anyway, enjoy this week’s Zip’s It Up, whatever you end up doing this Valentines Day. x

 

 

History Of Crotchless Knickers

Are crotchless knickers just the thing for spicing up your sex life? I took a look at Ann Summers’ huge range of crotchless underwear to try and answer the question.

One things for sure, there’s huge variety, for raunchy nights in and naughty nights of seduction. But where did ‘crotchless knickers’ come from?

Here’s a ‘brief’ history…

A couple of years ago a pair of Queen Victoria’s bloomers went up for auction. They had a fifty plus inch waist, with her embroidered initials and a crown (perhaps in case Victoria left them in the changing rooms after her swimming lesson and couldn’t remember which ones were hers afterwards).

A key (and essential) design feature was that they didn’t join up between the legs. In that era, no one’s did. When you’re wearing a chemise, a corset, a bodice, stockings, multiple petticoats, a dress and various other layers of clothing, pre the invention of elastic, your bloomers had to be rigidly tied on to your waist (under your corset). So your toilet choices were simple – stripping naked or not stripping at all.

Before the 1800s “polite” women went completely commando; only prostitutes bothered with pants (presumably because their legs got colder?). Then came pantalettes, aka “two tubes tied on with string, which tended to come undone and fall off one leg at a time.

Knickerbockers, that joined up completely, started appearing in the 1850s, but for a long time they were considered terribly unfashionable, impractical, and, frankly, unhealthy. By the late nineteenth century knickerbockers were beginning to pick up in popularity, if you were the sort of woman who did “man-ish” things like gardening, bicycle riding or anything practical. But the gentry remained un-keen. Though they joined up underneath, they were difficult to remove, so trapdoors were introduced in the back.

As dresses got tighter and more streamlined, underwear became an all-in-one proposition, camiknicker-style. Some sported trapdoors, whilst some stuck to splits.

By the end of world war one open crotch drawers were on their way out – skirts got shorter and dancing got wilder. Apparently, flashing your parts at the French Diplomats was no longer the done thing – and with elastic becoming readily available, it was even possible to get them on and off with some ease.

Fast forward several decades and we have this in 2018:

So there you go. Kinda takes the sexiness out of it all, doesn’t it?

Sorry.

Valentine ‘unpredictable’ Gift Guide

We have to do this every year. Maybe it’s because I’ve been happily married for ages, but Valentines Day is simply a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ diary date for me, where Interflora and the greeting card industry are the main beneficiaries.

But for those of you who love to “gift” your beloved or assume the role of a secret and illusive admirer, then it’s a fun time to go all out and buy some romantic bits and bobs.

So here’s a round up of what’s out there on the high street as an alternative to the standard fare of roses, chocolates and prosecco.

For Her

Heavenly Heels

You can’t go wrong with a pair of nude Loubs. These are a girl’s fashion must-have. £495 www.selfridges.com

Red Pyjamas

All by www.victoriassecret.com around £35

Cashmere Sweater at M&S

Ticks all the boxes. Cold wash only! £75 www.marksandspencer.com

Wunderkiss Lip Plumper

For kissable lips. £17.95 www.wunder2.co.uk

Jo Malone Rose Box

www.jomalone.co.uk for delivery details

Mango Satin Mules

Can’t afford the Loubs? – then these are just as beautiful and under £40 www.mango.com

For Him

Calvin Kleins

Never fails to impress, whatever your shape or size… buy almost anywhere!

Heart Shaped Connect Four

For him & her www.amazon.co.uk

Medallion Bling

 

www.amazon.co.ok

Beats Headphones

Wireless, of course £199 www.amazon.co.ok

Yesszys

adidas Originals Yeezy Boost 350 V2 £499 www.kickgame.co.uk

Grey Goose

around £100 at all leading supermarkets

Crotchless Pants

   

whatever floats your boat… www.amazon.co.uk

Beyonce Valentine Merchandise

Beyoncé just dropped a new Valentine’s Day-themed collection of merchandise, which ‘could’ be perfect for super fans this February 14.

The line arrives just in time for this ‘Hallmark holiday’, featuring several garments and three phone case designs, if that’s what’ll float your lover’s boat?

Bootylicious‘ shorts – perfect for showing off your Bey dance moves – are amongst the collection, as well as phone cases which could be ideal any your Bey-obsessed other half, are just two items in the cheeky collection.

This isn’t Beyoncé’s first time releasing a holiday-themed collection: after her visual album Lemonade came out in 2016, she dropped a line of sweaters with “I Sleigh All Day” imprinted on the front.

Check out this little lot:

Last year, she dropped the “Holidayoncé” line, which featured pullovers emblazoned with “Have a Thicc Holiday” and crew necks that read “Beyoncé Holiday Sweater.”

While Beyoncé’s merchandise remains insanely popular, she’s not the first artist to make creative ‘holiday’ gear: Britney Spears had a truly iconic “It’s Christmas Bitch” sweater – a play on “It’s Britney Bitch” of course.

When it comes to a celebrity themed Valentine’s day, it’s a big hmmm from me. Give me a lovely meal any day.

But if it’s your thing, visit Beyoncé’s online store to purchase the latest looks from her Valentine’s Day line.

… a word from the Editor & Blogger

Yessssss! It’s February. We’re another step closer to Spring & Summer.

This weekend signals the end of Dry Jan, Christmas debt and the start of noticeably longer days.

How did your new year’s resolutions work out? How’s that diet going?

Most people fail to stick to any diet or exercise regime after just four weeks, but what we all tend to do is walk that little further in an effort to get fitter for summer.

Do you try and get your 10,000 steps in per day? Are you constantly checking a pedometer? These days it is hard to walk the streets without stumbling upon someone anxiously looking at their wrist to see if they are on target to reach the magic 10,000 steps or attain a calorie burn goal.

And where did that 10k steps figure come from? You might be surprised to hear it was the result of a 1960s marketing campaign in Japan.

In the run-up to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a company came up with a device marketed to the health-conscious. It was called a Manpo-Kei. In Japanese, “man” means 10,000, “po” means steps and “kei” means meter. So it was, literally, a 10,000 steps meter.

The device was an early pedometer, based on the work of Dr Yoshiro Hatano, a young academic at Kyushu University of Health and Welfare.

Dr Hatano was worried that the Japanese were busy importing a slothful American lifestyle, as well as a love of watching baseball, and wanted to help his nation get more active.

Hatano reckoned that if he could persuade his fellow Japanese to increase their daily steps from 4,000 to around 10,000 then they would burn off approximately 500 extra calories a day and remain slim. That, apparently, was how the “10,000 steps a day” regime was born. It was a great marketing success.

Onto this week’s blog and (of course) we check out the Grammy 2018 Red Carpet winners.

Plus, as we edge ever closer to summer, it’s time to talk about Ibiza, where else…. and I bring you the very latest A-list treatment – Sculpting Your Smile.

Sculpting Your Smile

The latest A-list beauty obsession is sculpting your smile.

Whether its Kim Kardashian flashing her sparkly grill or Rhianna promoting her Fenti beauty range and its gorgeous lipsticks, the one common denominator is set of perfect teeth.

The best way to slow down the ageing clock is to invest in your smile – an approach that has seen the dental market increase in value to £2.4bn, up 73% from 2012. But instead of simply whitening your teeth, some new treatments are extreme.

Gum Botox

The shorter your teeth, the older your smile looks. Six million Brits suffer from teeth grinding and jaw clenching, so we’re losing teeth space, literally. Enter Botox, injected into the jaw to stop you biting down with force. It’s as effective as a mouthguard and costs £695 with Dr Tapan Patel, every three months.

www.phiclinic.com

Teeth Expansion

Think braces are just for teenagers? Think again. Teeth tend to drift inwards towards the tongue as we age, which results in loss of facial form. The newest technique to combat this is Sure Smile, which reduces brace time by up to 40% by using NASA technology to pre-bend teeth, so the tooth is encouraged to go from A to B faster. From £750 at www.ellevendental.com

Dermal Contouring

Gum fillers are set to be the dental trend of 2018. Injected into gums, they increase volume and fill out any gaps. As we age, we lose tone and volume of the skin, including the gums around the teeth, whereas young people show about 2mm of gum. Costing around £300 and taking 10 minutes to complete, this could knock years off.

www.londonsmile.co.uk