A word from Amanda and The Amy Winehouse Auction

Welcome to this week’s instalment of Amanda Zips It Up.

Lots happening right now, starting with Amy Winehouse’s auction and the premiere of (my much anticipated) movie House of Gucci. More of that in this instalment. Plus, it’s also Black Friday Sale time this month and I have some excellent bargains for you. Plus, the ultimate Christmas stocking filler for those who need a little help getting some extra beauty sleep, from my favourite Tropic range.

In other news, Amy Winehouse’s family has made millions from an auction of the late star’s memorabilia, which raked in $4million. Way more than forecast.

The auction saw the sale of 800 personal items from Amy Winehouse’s estate. At her final stage performance in Belgrade, Serbia, in June 2011, just a month before her death, Winehouse donned this figure-hugging green and black halter neck minidress, designed by her stylist Naomi Parry.

The famous bamboo and floral print dress was estimated to fetch between $14,500 and $19,500, but fetched a surprise $243,200.

Another item to go under the hammer was the singer’s heart-shaped Moschino bag that sold for a staggering $204,800. The bold bag was used by Amy at the 2007 Brit Awards, where she won the British female solo artist award.

Dolce and Gabbana floral golden lam dress worn by Amy during a stage performance in Blackpool in 2007 was expected to raise up to $6,700. But the gown, which features a fitted bodice with pleated trim, attracted 29 offers and eventually sold for $150,000.

Temperley London tan and black jumpsuit worn at a concert celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday in Hyde Park in 2008 was valued at just $2,000. But the iconic outfit sparked a bidding frenzy, attracting 37 offers, and eventually sold for $121,600.

Similarly, a figure-hugging plaid dress worn by Amy to the Meteor Ireland Music Awards 2007 in Dublin had only been tipped to fetch $4,000. But the strapless, silk size zero dress with a pleated satin trim sold for $93,750 after 27 bids.

A black mini dress worn by Amy to the South Bank Show Awards at London’s Savoy Hotel in 2007 was expected to earn $5,400 – but went for $83,200.

Christian Louboutin heels that Amy wore for the Mandela concert were valued at just $800 – but fetched $38,400.

And a turquoise silk Agent Provocateur bra worn by Amy in her ‘You Know I’m No Good’ music video was valued at $2,000 – but went for $25,600

Smaller personal items had starting prices as low as $100 but the level of demand from fans of the late music star and style icon sparked fierce bidding and soaring prices.

Two pairs of Amy’s trademark pink satin ballet pumps had an estimate of $600- but went for $19,200.

A striped size 8 bikini worn by Amy on the beach in Rio de Janeiro in 2011 had the same estimate – and went for $12,500.

She is a global icon, a fashion icon, loved all over the world.

‘We celebrate her singular talent and iconoclastic style in this collection of her most personal artefacts and wardrobe worn in her career-defining moments.’

Amy made music history by winning five Grammy Awards in a single night in 2008. She was found dead aged 27 in her flat in Camden, north London on July 23, 2011. An inquest later found that she died of alcohol poisoning.

The auction of over 800 personal items from her estate raised more than $4 million.

The collection will be sent to London for Amy: Beyond the Stage exhibition at London’s Design Museum from ­November 26.

The House of Gucci Movie

The biographical crime drama “House of Gucci” had its world premiere in London this week and I’m off to see it on December 4th – dressed head to toe in Gucci, of course. 

It’s my favourite label so I’m intrigued to catch this long-awaited true story of the head of the Gucci empire being murdered by his ex-wife, who served 18 years in prison before her recent release. A real-life drama as extreme as any fictional Hollywood movie plot.

Mega director Ridley Scott’s long-awaited offering stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, who was convicted of orchestrating the assassination of her ex-husband and former head of the Gucci fashion house, Maurizio Gucci. She was an Italian socialite, born in 1948 from humble beginnings. She hired a hitman to murder her ex-husband and was dubbed ‘the black widow’, after he left her for another woman very suddenly in the early 90s. Although they divorced, Patrizia refused to drop the Gucci surname.

The movie is based on the book “A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed”. It spans three decades of the family’s love, betrayal and decadence in the aftermath of the 1995 murder.

Maurizio was shot dead on the steps outside his office in Milan, in circumstances similar to Gianni Versace. Patrizia was arrested in 1997 and sentenced to 29 years’ jail. In 2000, she unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide in prison with her bed sheets. By 2011, she was eligible for parole under a work release programme. She refused, saying “I’ve never worked in my life and I’m certainly not going to start now”. But with good behaviour, Patrizia was finally released 2016 after serving 18 years. She now lives in Milan and is often seen walking around with a parrot on her shoulder.

Lady Gaga studied every character aspect of Patriza Raggiani and lived her daily life using only Patrizia’s accent for a whole year and half so that she could depict her life as realistically as possible. Reportedly, the real Patrizia was annoyed that Gaga didn’t make contact her to meet in person, but apparently Gaga was forbidden by the production team due to money issues.

Adam Driver (of Star Wars fame) plays the head of the Gucci Empire during the 80s and 90s. Al Pacino plays Aldo Gucci, whilst Salma Hayek is part of the cast and very conveniently married to the current head of the luxury brands conglomerate which owns Gucci.

The actual fashion house Gucci cooperated fully with the production of the movie, giving them full access to their archives, props and wardrobes.

So, expect a mega amount of Gucci wardrobe in every scene. Can’t wait.

Tropic’s Dream Team Collection

Tropic have come up trumps again with another gorgeous product, ideal as a Christmas present or for any occasion. I have tried and tested this dream team collection of sprays, balms and creams to enable a deep night’s sleep – and it smells divine.

You can’t gift anyone with an extra hour’s sleep but you can shower them with tiny treats to help send them off to slumber with ease. Last night, I rubbed the balm into my temples and literally within a minute or two a little wave or tiredness came over my eyes. And I swear I slept an hour longer this morning.

Everyone knows how important sleep is – for our mental wellbeing, to help our bodies recover and rest, and of course for our skin because that’s when cell renewal takes place. It’s the cornerstone of a healthy mind, body and soul. But getting that well-deserved shut-eye can be easier said than done, and stress, blue light, bad habits and hormones can all lead to poor quality sleep. By blending seven distilled essential oils – including the infamous lavender, which has proven sleep-inducing qualities, and eucalyptus that’s excellent for getting rid of the horrible head fog that can stop you switching off – this pillow mist is the fast-track way to feeling calm, soothed and ready for bed.

Spritz 2-3 pumps 30cm away from your pillow or duvet, then wait a few seconds before climbing into bed. Take some long inhales and allow the calming cocktail of essential oils to work their magic and send you to sleep.

This eco-friendly limited-edition collection includes ingredients Lavender, Frankincense and camomile, so it’s incredibly soothing and sleep inducing. Everything is small enough to take on board your next flight as well. All under 100ml.

The collection comes in this beautiful gift box which is sure to impress absolutely anyone who opens it, especially the beautiful poem enclosed. Absolutely perfect for this Christmas as a stocking filler.

Just £22 for this absolute package of utter heaven.

Speak to ambassador HOLLY REED direct on 07450672679 or go to her pages:

@tropichollyskincare on FB & Instagram

Black Friday 2021 Early Fashion Deals

What is Black Friday?

Originating in the US, Black Friday was traditionally a one-day in-store sale event taking place the day after Thanksgiving Day, marking the start of the Christmas shopping season.

Amazon first brought Black Friday to Britain in 2010, but it wasn’t until 2013 that the event gained momentum in the UK, when Asda introduced the first in-store sale, which had people flocking to their nearest branch to take advantage of the hefty discounts. The huge success of Asda’s event led to many other retailers introducing both in-store and online deals.

Retailers have since kicked off the sale earlier and earlier. Notably, in 2020, both Amazon and Boots launched month-long Black Friday sales before the big weekend, and they are expected to do the same this year.

What’s the history of Black Friday?

Black Friday shopping dates back to 1952 in the US, when retailers in Philadelphia discounted products to mark the beginning of the festive season. Later uses of the term in the 1960s saw the police referring to “Black Friday” when describing the chaotic traffic congestion the day after Thanksgiving.

The event gained international attention in the Noughties when coverage captured US shoppers raiding the shelves for discounted TVs and tech.

When is Black Friday 2021?

The 2021 event falls on 26 November, with deals dropping throughout the whole weekend. 

In 2020, the landscape of Black Friday changed, with shoppers instead encouraged to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic and hunt down the deals online. This meant most of the biggest discounts could be found via the web, and this is likely to be the same in 2021.

What is Cyber Monday?

The Monday following Black Friday has come to be known as Cyber Monday and it is the last day of the sales. It’s named as such because pre-Christmas online shopping normally peaks on this day.

Some retailers continue to slash prices throughout the Monday, so it’s the perfect opportunity to bag a bargain if you missed out on anything over the weekend. It’s also the last mass sale event until January.

The Best Right Now

Calvin Klein 3 pack trunks: Was £41, now £25.80, Amazon.co.uk

There’s a reason why the Calvin Klein brand is so enduring with its underwear designed in classic styles for everyday use and comfort. Its men’s trunks are one of its most popular fits and you can save nearly 40 per cent on a pack of three in size XL, while discounts on other sizes vary a little more. Made from 95 per cent cotton and five per cent elastane, the low-rise trunks have the signature Klein logo waistband and are machine washable.

Dr Martens 1460 bex patent leather ankle boots: Was £170, now £127.50, Laredoute.co.uk

An instantly recognisable boot for very good reason, this pair of Dr Martens in a patent finish are emblematic of the brand’s style with their ankle-grazing fit, black upper, eight-eyelet lace-up design and yellow stitching. In our round-up of the best women’s boots, we reviewed the leather finish Bex boots, with our tester saying: “The slightly chunkier sole of the Bex model gives them a contemporary feel that still retains the durability, comfort and looks of the classic pairs.” Thanks to La Redoute, you can save 25 per cent on the patent boots right now by inputting the code “NOVEMBER” at check out. Make sure to bookmark our Dr Martens Black Friday guide for all the latest deals and discounts

Converse Chuck Taylor all star lugged hi tops: Was £70, now £60, Very.co.uk 

A chunky, contemporary twist on the classic Converse style, these white trainers boast a gripped outsole for extra support, a platform sole with exaggerated lugs and a rubber toe cap for enhanced durability. Perfect for refreshing your wardrobe for winter, there’s £10 off them right now.

Birkenstock Madrid unisex-adults’ sandals in mocca: Was £50, now £27.10, Amazon.co.uk

It may be winter but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in your summer wardrobe. A pair of Birkenstocks will see through the warmer months year after year, and this pair has nearly 50 per cent off right now for Amazon’s early Black Friday sale. Featuring a one buckle design and 1cm heel height, the mocca colour of the pair will look particularly great with jeans. The Madrid pair were included as a pair to buy in our Birkenstock buying guide. This deal has been so popular, it’s now only available in a size 9.

Tommy Hilfiger sunglasses: Was £89, now £65.69, Amazon.co.uk

Add some effortless style to your look and soak up the sun with these Tommy Hilfiger aviators, currently reduced by more than 30 per cent courtesy of Amazon. Crafted from metal, the timeless style has a retroprofile with an oversized round frame, matt black lenses, bridge and the Tommy Hilfiger signature branding. Whether shielding from the summer sun or warding off winter brightness, the unisex designer pair is an all-year-round must have.

Wrangler men’s regular fit darkstone jeans: Was £37.99, now £30.39, Amazon.co.uk

No man’s wardrobe is complete without a pair of straight leg denim jeans, and this pair from Wrangler are a timeless take. Sitting at the waist, and regular on the thigh with a straight leg cut, they’re a staple that you’ll want to turn to time and time again. Made from 99 per cent cotton and one per cent elastane, the pair are machine washable and come in an array of shades. Amazon are now offering 20 per cent off the classic pair – although offers vary depending on size – and for £30, you can’t go wrong.

Crocs unisex baya clog: Was £35.99, now £20, Amazon.co.uk

These shoes have nostalgia written all over them. If you thought Crocs had peaked during the Noughties, you’re wrong: they’ve been making a steady comeback and, while it’s a love or hate scenario, it seems like they’re here to stay. In our Crocs shopping guide our reviewer said Crocs are “comfortable, lightweight and breathable” and that “thanks to the material, they’ll mould to your feet”. For those of us who are still unsure about the trend, this discounted pair offers the perfect opportunity to try and get on board.

River Island shirred collared check dress, rust: Was £42, now £34, Very.co.uk 

This River Island dress screams autumn and will fast become a wardrobe staple during the colder months. The rust-hued check design is contrasted with the black Peter Pan collar that would look great poking out of a jumper thrown over the top. Meanwhile, the midi-length and long-sleeved dress is given a nice silhouette with the cinched in waist.

La Redoute mid-length coat in teddy faux fur: Was £75, now £56.25, Laredoute.co.uk

This cosy coat screams winter with its super soft boucle faux fur material and mid-length cocooning. The tailored collar adds a touch of smartness to it while the double-breasted fastenings mean you’ll be able to button up from the elements. There’s also handy side pockets and the choice of beige and black colourways. The best news? If you enter “November” at checkout, you can save 25 per cent on the winter staple.

New Balance men’s 574 core sneaker, black: Was £75, now £54.20 Amazon.co.uk

Worn by models in London, dads in Ohio and now by you – Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to snap up a pair of New Balance trainers. This pair of men’s 574v2 shoes are reduced by nearly 30 per cent right now (depending on which size you choose) and are designed in the classic New Balance style. Slightly retro-looking with a suede/mesh outer material, they have a wedge heel type with a lace-up closure.

Ugg kids’ robley weather boot, walnut: Was £85, now £58.20 Amazon.co.uk

Kit your kid out for winter with a pair Ugg boots, currently reduced by more than 30 per cent, although prices depend on the colour and size. With an outer material of cow leather and suede and inner of leather, they’re ideal for keeping small feel toasty, comfortable and cosy during the colder months.

Ultimate strapless wonderbra: Was £40, now £26.40, Amazon.co.uk

If you’re in the market for a new bra, then luckily for you, Amazon had discounted leading bra brand Wonderbra meaning you can snap up this strapless design for more than 20 per cent less right now,though prices vary depending on size. Offering support and comfort while still giving you some cleavage, the strapless style is perfect for low cut tops and dresses. It won best buy in our round-up of the best strapless bras, where our tester said: “This really is the ultimate strapless bra. It is the most impressive bra that we’ve ever tried, with incredible support.”

Top Tip

I’d recommend signing up for accounts with your favourite brands so you can check out with your shopping basket quicker during Black Friday and not miss out. With an account, you can also register for email notifications so you’re in the know about upcoming deals.

Most retailers also allow you to create wish lists of items so when the discounts drop, you can add them to your basket and check out even faster. Lastly, it’s always good to check the RRP prices of items, so you know if it’s a worthwhile discount or not.

… a word from Amanda

WELCOME TO MID OCTOBER’S AMANDA ZIPS IT UP

As the nights start to draw in and summer becomes a distant memory, we all want to get cosy on the sofa and return to slaying the complete Netflix catalogue. I don’t know about you, but since lockdown, Netflix has become a gargantuan fixture in my life. In fact, I barely watch regular TV anymore.

Now, unless you’ve been living on a desert island (or haven’t paid your TV licence), you can’t fail to have caught wind of the MOST STREAMED NETFLIX SERIES EVER – “Squid Game”. The gruesome Korean Game, in which the winner can walk away with £20,00000.

I’ll stop there, because I’m pretty sure you don’t want any spoilers. Although EVERYONE I know binged the complete series in one weekend, so there are precious few people out there remaining to be “spoiled”. Squid Game was only released on September 17 and it’s already the biggest 2021 TV show in the world. Last weekend, a pop-up shop opened in Paris selling Squid Game merch, which witnessed people queueing for seven hours to buy masks and play some of the games featured on the show. Without the ‘eliminations’, obviously.

Although it’ll come as no surprise, it’s probably worth my mentioning that the “Guard’s” suit of black mask emblazoned with a white shape, paired the red belted boiler suit and gloves, is this Halloween’s MUST-HAVE costume. Go to Amazon and type in “Squid game costume” and you’ll see. 

But this is a fashion blog, so I wanted to talk about one of the stars of the show and her phenomenal career as a catwalk fashion model.

Squid Game actress HoYeon Jung wowed the crowd at Paris Fashion Week, and Vogue have just dubbed her ‘Korea’s next top model’. She is one of the most IN DEMAND models on the planet following the MASSIVE success of Squid Game. She is currently known as the world’s current ‘It’ girl.

The South Korean breakout star, 27, is now the country’s most popular actress on Instagram with over 20 million followers (she gained 10 million in a week), most of whom jumped on board in the wake of Netflix hit.

She began her career at age 16 as a freelance model and walked in Seoul Fashion Week shows for two years before appearing on the fourth season of Korea’s Next Top Model in 2013, on which she was a finalist. 

She signed with ESteem Models in 2012 and dyed her hair a “fiery” red color, which became her signature look.

She made her international runway debut in September 2016 at New York Fashion Week. Shortly after, she walked in shows for Marc JacobsAlberta FerrettiMax Mara, and Fendi; appeared in Harper’s BazaarLove, and W; and was featured in campaigns for Sephora and Gap.[10][11] In 2017, she made her Paris Fashion Week runway debut as an exclusive model for Louis Vuitton.[12] In September 2018, Models.com named Jung as on their list of the top 50 models.

While working as a model, Jung became known by designers as the “red-haired Asian”. Vogue‘s Monica Kim called her “one of Seoul’s top modeling talents” in 2015. As of October 2021, she is the third most-followed South Korean actress on Instagram with over 20 million followers.

It won’t come as a surprise that Louis Vuitton, a label she’s walked for since 2017, has snapped her up as a global ambassador, joining the likes K-pop superstars BTS. Marking the announcement, Jung said: ‘It is an honour to start my acting career along with Louis Vuitton, the brand I have long modelled for. I look forward to all the moments with Louis Vuitton as a global ambassador.’

I googled her, and her many appearances on the catwalk, and yes indeed, she is jaw droppingly beautiful. I absolutely love her red hair and freckles. 

Call me a bandwagon jumper, but I’m suddenly all about Korean culture. I’ve just booked a table at the local Korean BBQ to kick start my new obsession. Kimchi at the ready. Now where’s that freckle pencil…?

Winter Coats 2021 by Chanelle Clark

A great coat is an essential purchase for the forthcoming seasons and one that deserves a great deal of thought as you may well be wearing it every day. Luckily this year we are absolutely spoilt for choice, with both high end and high street outlets offering a plethora of options and styles whatever your budget. To simplify matters there are four main trends to pay heed to, Faux Fur, Classic, Padded and Cocoon, so take your pick and chose wisely!

Faux Fur – A leopard print faux fur is my absolute favourite piece to finish a look. My current version is 4 years old and from H & M. These jackets are worn by most fashionistas once the climes start to drop, including our beloved Ms Moss. Yes they are an absolute statement item, so keep the rest of it simple. Style with faux leather Freddy jeans www.facebook.com/Left-Bank-Six and a black cashmere polo neck or a classic white button down and blue denims. Saying that sometimes It can be thrown over a boho dress for a striking contrast print effect. Vanessa www.facebook.com/vanessalondonshoes as many of you will be familiar with from her fabulous footwear collections has launched into outerwear and her faux furs are amongst the best I have seen available. The price point is great for the quality and style, they are not mass produced so snap one up whilst you can. They are also all over the High Street in every shade imaginable.

Classic – The brand for the ultimate classic wrap coat is Maxmara a la Megan Markle but it doesn’t come cheap. I saved for a while for mine but it is absolutely timeless and effortlessly chic. With a classic coat whether it be a wrap style or a single breasted stick with a neutral pallette; camel, grey and black work perfectly. & Other Stories have an extensive range including a couple of Maxmara dupes, not to forget the fabulous and inexpensive M & S repertory. This is where to invest though as it will never date.

£1,800 Maxmara Icon double-breasted Wool & Cashmere blend coat

Padded – These are a perennial staple as far as I am concerned. Great for throwing on after the gym, popping to the farmers market, general errands..just so easy. My personal preference is Barbour, a perpetual design classic.  This season Barbour has done a collab with House of Hackney, The signature piece being the fully reversible Stamford jacket; you get two looks for the price of one so a veritable bargain. The high street is coming up trumps this season, with everyone from Mango, H & M, Cos etc. presenting their versions. Style wise they a bit more edgy too, longer sometimes, with diverse silhouettes, biscuity shades are also hugely popular. A parka will fulfill a similar purpose here as an alternative if you are not feeling ready for the return of the puffa! The dream (swoon) padded coat of the season has to be the oversized black quilted number from brand of the moment Toteme.

£500 Toteme Oversized Black quilted coat
£179.00 Barbour x House of Hackney Stamford

Cocoon – This is the only one I don’t possess but that is merely a matter of deciding which one is going to be the next addition to my exhaustive outerwear collection. These coats really pull an outfit together, you can just throw it over jeans and trainers and you will still look on point. As the form is so structurally simple you could go for a really bold colour here.

165.41 € Rino & Pelle Joela Coat Cherry Tomato
£129.00 Zara.com

A special afterword to The Coat of Dreams (Khloe Coat £79.99) as being sold by Danielle at Windsors Wardrobe (houseofwindsor.shop). With 70’s folklore being a key movement for Autumn/Winter you can give a nod to the trend with this multi-coloured masterpiece. I am looking forward to chanelling my inner Ali Mcgraw with a pair of dark denim J Brand Love Story flared jeans and this wondrous, unique piece.

Khloe Coat £79.99 The Coat of Dreams houseofwindsor.shop

Wrap up warm guys and I hope I have helped you find a coat you will love forever.

Here’s to welcoming the new season in style.

The Mighty Hoodie

The trusty hoodie has an illustrious history. First produced by Champion in the 1930s, hoodies were originally marketed to labourers working in freezing warehouses in Upstate New York. The garment has since become an icon, thanks to Rocky Balboa and Norma Kamali, who was amongst the first designers to embrace the new style.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the term “hoodie” was first coined, and it soon picked up negative connotations, considered to be worn mainly by criminals. The cringingly out-of-touch old Etonian British Prime Minister David Cameron said in 2006: “for some, the hoodie represents all that’s wrong about youth culture in Britain today.” Meanwhile, in fashion houses, hoodies found their way onto more and more catwalks (Vetements really did it first), turning the hoodie into a wardrobe mainstay.

When it comes to choice of hoodie, it’s difficult to get things wrong. As long as it is cosy, roomy and has long sleeves, you’re onto a winner. That said, there are some varieties that trump all others. Therefore, it is my duty to dig them out for you. 

From high street essentials to high-fashion takes, here’s my pick of the best hoodies for men, across the price spectrum.

ARKET

Made from raw materials, this hooded sweatshirt is cut from an organic cotton that is not genetically modified nor made with the use of chemicals and minimises water and energy usage. Given a khaki hue, this hoodie is green in every sense of the word. 

£69 www.arket.com

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Kept simple with drawstrings and McQueen logos, this zip-up hoodie is one that you’re going to want to do more than just run to Tesco in. But it looks great there too. My personal fave. 

£790 www.alexandermcqueen.com

GUCCI

Said to be inspired by a starry night sky, this hoodie from Gucci features the interlocking-G “Star Burst” print in an explosion of multicoloured logos. Accompanied by a light felted cotton-jersey construction, this hoodie isn’t just a pretty face, but a pretty cosy companion too. 

£790 www.gucci.com

NIKE

Sportswear meets streetwear when it comes to Nike. In a vibrant blue hue, this fleece hoodie combines all the classic elements of the hoodie silhouette but updates it in an extra-cosy construction. Cut in a relaxed silhouette and finished with a bright white embroidered Swoosh (tick) motif, you can’t go wrong when you go with athleisure. 

£49.95 nike.com and amazon.co.uk

ASOS

In a chocolate-brown hue (this season’s colour) and soft teddy texture, this hoodie from Asos will be the first thing you reach for on a chilly morning. Detailed with multicoloured and vibrant embroidery at the rear panel, it channels a retro vibe that’s just begging to be enhanced with baggy blue jeans (see last week’s blog feature) and low-top white trainers (see my feature from early summer). 

£40 asos.com

CARHARTT

There are few garments out there that you simply can’t go wrong with, but the grey hoodie is certainly one of them. This cosy pick from Carhartt is made from a warming cotton blend and finished with the brand’s signature logo patch at the pocket. 

£49.95 carhartt.com

ADIDAS

Updated for added luxury, this velour hoodie from Adidas is here to take your athleisure to new heights. In a wine-red hue with charcoal grey panelled sleeves, pair with my jeans from last week’s issue for casual night out or the matching joggers for a gloriously co-ordinated night in. 

£60  adidas.co.uk

BALENCIAGA X PLAYSTATION

Continuing its virtual venture into the gaming world, Balenciaga teamed up with PlayStation for AW21 after creating a video game as part of its collection. This hoodie is detailed with collaboration branding throughout and is a must-have when it comes to the ultimate gamer’s wardrobe. 

£715  mrporter.com

Christmas Advent Calendars

Naughty & Nice Christmas Advent Calendars 2021

Nasty Gal has just unveiled a sex toy calendar for Christmas, giving couples the opportunity to get “nasty” and spice things up whilst counting down to Chrimbo

The box contains 14 different products across 12 days, with goodies worth a whopping £245.

It features various orgasm-igniting sex toys, adding new meaning to the expression “the customer comes first”, from a tapered bullet vibrator and chocolate edible body paint to a feather tickler and cuffs.

Last Christmas was pretty depressing, hence why companies are pulling out rather adventurous stops this year. 

If you prefer something more hardcore ,LOVEHONEY.COM have also released a sex toy advent calendar. So, what’s inside?

Kegal Toning Balls

Love Dice

Nipple Clamp Set

Tapered Bullet Vibrator

Chocolate Edible Bodypaint

Silicone Vibrator

Cock Ring Set

Feather Tickler & Cuffs

G-spot Rabbit Vibrator

Pheromone Massage Candle

Pheromone Spray

Vibrating Butt Plug

Bondage Tape & Blindfold Set

Vibrating Clitorial Tickler

Hmmm. Anyway, here’s an advent calendar your granny might prefer.

Marks & Spencer’s popular beauty advent calendar is back for 2021 – and it’s worth £300!

Filled with beauty treats worth £300, the Advent Calendar is just £40 when you spend £30 on clothing, home and beauty in store or online.

Forget chocolate, this year we want to count down to the big day with some must-have beauty bits.

Beauty and skincare fans will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the popular M&S calendar as it won’t be available in stores and online until 28th October 2021.

But, as always, I’m here to give you a sneak peak of what you’ll find behind the 25 doors.

M&S Beauty Advent Calendar contains:

Autograph Colour Balm Lip Shine

Apothecary Calm Body Wash

Aveda Botanical Repair Strengthening Leave-In Treatment

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

L’Occitane Shea Shower Oil

Prai 24K Gold Wrinkle Repair Night Crème

Ren Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream

Alpha H Rose Liquid Gold

Pure Super Hydrate Day Cream

Fragrance Society Orange, Bergamot & Lemon Grass Hand Cream

Formula Absolute Sleep Cream

Eyeko Black Magic Travel Size Mascara

Eyeko Black Magic Liquid Eyeliner

Ren Kelp Body Wash

Ren Kelp Hand Lotion

L’Occitane Precious Cream

Nails INC Tis The Season To Sparkle Nail Polish

Percy & Reed Wonder Balm Hair Primer

Philip Kingsley Pure Colour Gloss

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer

Prai Ageless Hand Crème

This Works Stress Check Breathe In

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner

Ultrasun 30SPF Lip Protection

Shay & Blue Tallulahs Camellia Natural Spray Fragrance

If you ask me – this is the ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS PRESENT, let alone advent calendar.

Welcome To Amanda Zips It Up…

Welcome to this week’s instalment of Amanda Zips It Up. For a while, I didn’t think I’d be able to get out to you, following the outage of social media earlier this week. For six blissful hours, the world was at peace. I actually really enjoyed it, but I would be in trouble if it carried on, as I know many of you read this blog via Insta and Facebook.

October is all about celebrating Black History Month and I have written a piece about my favourite prominent black figures in the world of fashion.

There’s a certain supermodel I have to mention too. She is a veteran of the catwalk. Naomi Campbell took to the catwalk for the Paris Fashion Week Lanvin show in my current fave fashion trend – the cape. I LOVE HER.

Naomi proved that she is still every inch the queen of the runway, as she walked during the women’s ready-to-wear Lanvin show during PFW this week.

The supermodel, 51, looked typically chic in a plunging studded blouse, which she styled with a pair of black flared trousers at the show on Sunday. The show was presented by designer Bruno Sialelli as part of his Spring/Summer 2022 women’s ready-to-wear collection show.

Naomi’s return to the catwalk comes after the icon welcomed her daughter in May. She recently revealed her experience at becoming a mother.

She discussed her child for the first time during an interview with BBC HardTalk, where she described her as being ‘independent and smart’.

Naomi told listeners: ‘I’m really lucky I think have a dream child,’ as she detailed the early days of being a mother this month.

Naomi, who was recently appointed Queen’s Commonwealth Trust Platinum Jubilee Global Ambassador, said: ‘She’s wonderful. She’s very independent already, very smart, alert, sleeps 12 hours. She’s a good girl.’

Naomi still has it. Looking as good as she did in the 90s. RESPECT.

Black History Month: Fashion’s Most Powerful Figures

October is dedicated to highlighting the countless accomplishments and contributions that the African-American/Afro-Caribbean community has made to society, across the spectrum of arts and culture. These are my personal fashion favourite figures, who I believe should be honoured for their incredible achievements in the world of fashion.

1. Fenty Beauty

Rihanna proves that Fenty Beauty is deeper than just makeup. “The new generation of beauty” is redefining the way in which women of colour are represented in popular culture, and also revolutionising the consumer experience for women with darker complexions”, Fenty proudly exclaims. 

Fenty Beauty’s mass success can easily be measured in sales, but it’s the 33-year-old pop icon’s vision of inclusion that’s challenging the outdated ideals of beauty in the media. Rihanna’s lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, is worth some $270 million, while her Fenty Beauty line is worth about $2.8 billion. She owns 50 percent of the LVMH-backed beauty brand and 30 percent of her lingerie brand.

2Off-White

Men’s streetwear label Off White is best known for being founded and led by Virgil Abloh, who is also the artistic director for Louis Vuitton. It is owned by LVMH – who own Louis Vuitton, Gucci and San Laurent, amongst other high-end designers. He is the brains behind the SUPREME & LVcollab.

Virgil Abloh, 41, is an American designer, entrepreneur, and DJ who has been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton‘s menswear collection since March 2018. Abloh is also still the chief executive officer of the Milan-based Off-White.

A trained architect, Abloh, who also worked in Chicago street fashion, entered the world of international fashion with an internship at Fendi in 2009 alongside American rapper Kanye West. The two then began an artistic collaboration that would launch Abloh’s career into founding Off-White. The first American of African descent to be artistic director at a French luxury fashion house, he was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. 

3. Telfar

Telfar Clemens is a queer, self-taught Black fashion designer and DJ from Queens, New York. Telfar was born to Liberian parents and created this fashion house in 2005. From the very early days of the brand’s launch, the collections were genderless and unisex. Beyoncé is a big fan and the Telfar bag is THE bag to have in 2021. The Telfar Shopping Bag is made of vegan leather, branded with the signature “T” Telfar logo. It has been called an “it-bag” and “the decade’s most important accessory” by major fashion publications.

Originally modelled after shopping bags from Bloomingdale’s, the Telfar Shopping Bag is also known as the “Bushwick Birkin” due to its combination of status and accessibility. Telfar won Accessory Designer of the year in 2020 as well as collaborating with Kanye West and GAP for the Black History collection of T-Shirts and Caps.

Did Beyoncé just make Telfar cooler than Hermès? Queen Bey flashed the vegan ‘Bushwick Birkin’ bag – nicknamed for its affordable luxury and New York chic – and Instagram had a meltdown

4. Edward Enninful 

Edward Kobina Enninful OBE (born February 1972) is editor-in-chief of British Vogue. He was appointed fashion director of British fashion magazine i-D at the age of 18, a position he held for over two decades. He subsequently held the positions of Contributing Fashion Editor at Vogue Italia and American Vogue, as well as Creative Fashion Director at W Magazine. Enninful was appointed editor-in-chief of British Vogue in 2017.

He has embraced everyone from Kate Moss to the Beckhams on the prestigious cover of Vogue and flies the flag for the UK with uber style and sophistication.

5. Supermodels

The fashion industry has a history of inclusivity and diversity problems, which are, unfortunately, to an extent still prevalent today. Although progress is slowly being made to ensure that people of colour, and specifically black people, are represented in all areas of the industry including modelling, certain key players had to fight to pave the way for others.

Tyra Banks. Before she was the iconic America’s Next Top Model judge, she was a supermodel herself walking in shows from Christian Lacroix to Victoria’s Secret. She was the first black model to sign a contract with the latter brand and was an Angel from 1997 to 2005. She has recently embraced becoming a plus size model and looks phoenominal.

Naomi Campbell. A supermodel with one of the most prolific fashion careers, Naomi’s first experience in the limelight was actually at 7 years old when she was in the Bob Marley music video for “Is This Love?” I don’t think there’s anyone on earth who wouldn’t recognise the beautiful Naomi. She is one of the original 90s supermodels and has just become a mother.

Grace Jones. Not just an awesome singer and personality, but also an iconic model, Grace Jones has does it all: She’s a singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. She knows how to turn a runway walk into a straight-up performance. Her dances and moves bring so much energy to the crowd, which was apparent at the recent Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya show. She is timeless and looks incredible at 73 years old.