Monday, 9 March 2015

F&F spring/summer 15 collection will give you wanderlust!

The new collection from F&F for this season may be their most impressive to date. Moving away from basics that you may pick up with your milk, eggs and bread, they curated an on-point, sleek and covetable capsule wardrobe for summer.

The scene is set with this amazingly beautiful photoshoot, which took place in the Nevada desert with the golden Maja Mayskar photographed by the wonderful Frederic Pinet. I just can't stop looking at the beautifully elegant lookbook - high fashion at around £20 a piece is not to be sniffed at.

The collection is heavily based on an updated 70s traveller and ticks so may boxes of what we saw on the SS15 catwalks. It has an utilitarian appeal that is matched with an easy sexiness, something that only such stripped back basics can give. Sandy and khaki colours are partnered with seriously cool monochrome to create pieces that will slot into your summer style.

There are so many wonderful pieces in the collection, each one working with the other pieces, in a collection that has a wonderful balance and would create a uniform you wouldn't need to deviate from all season long. I particularly love the lightweight, relaxed fit khaki trench coat and the longline waist coat in sharp white. Both would look fab over a pencil skirt or go all out with the 70s and team them with flares.

The collection is in store and online at F&F from today. I'll be reviewing my favourite pieces from the collection very soon - so stay tuned!


By Carina Sullivan

Monday, 16 February 2015

The quest for the perfect wedding shoes

One of the hardest things I've found about all this wedding planning malarkey is searching for wedding shoes. After you've found the perfect wedding dress, you have to find some beautiful shoes to match. You may think you have ages to do this, but alas you don’t. If, like me, you’re having your dress made to measure you’ll need your shoes when you order the dress and even if you don’t you’ll need them for your first fitting.

I thought it would be easy to find any amazing pair of wedding shoes to go with my dress, but from the start I decided I didn't want ‘wedding shoes’. You know, ivory satin monsters that look like something your granny might wear? Yeah, those. But here’s the tricky part. Those bloody shoes have something many other shoes don’t have – they’re designed with extra comfort features so you can wear them all day.

Wedding shoes aren't designed to be worn for a few hours on car-to-bar nights out, but to be worn all day long while you’re constantly on your feet – walking down the aisle, during the ceremony, hugging everyone and then dancing the night away. They’re equipped to handle that shit, they’re quite literally built for that. So when you start looking for cooler, quirkier, colourful alternatives on the high street you may have the same issues I did.

What the high street heels have in style, design and finish they lack in comfort and staying power. Plus, can we talk about insane heel heights for a second? I’m not exactly challenged in the height department – I'm 5’10” – but even average height girls who wear heels all the time surely don’t want to do their entire wedding day in 5 inch heels!?

I’d be a grouchy, moany cow before we’d finished the photos! So herein lies the dilemma. It is nearly impossible to find pretty, mid-height heel shoes that are comfortable enough to wear all day as a bride if you don’t want to go for bridal shoes. After looking everywhere from Oasis and M&S to ASOS and Topshop I hit the jackpot.

LK Bennett has a huge selection of shoes in different heel heights and as well as pretty bridal inspired heels, they also have a pretty amazing selection of fashion heels, in loads of colours and heel heights. I ended up going for Karim pink ombre glitter heels with a low kitten heel and an ankle strap. I love them like a fat kid loves cake and I'm so happy I found them. The best thing is they're leather, so will stretch to fit my foot and be comfy all day.

Since I got them and have told fellow brides-to-be that I found my wedding shoes at LK Bennett they've all dashed in there to see the collection themselves. If you quality, colour and a great choice of styles and heel height, you should take a look too. Beats ivory satin any day.


By Carina Sullivan

Monday, 26 January 2015

SAG Awards 2015 Red Carpet Best Dressed - Camila Alves, Emma Stone, Jennifer Aniston, Lupita Nyong'o and Reese Witherspoon

Well hello there! It's been a while, I know. I've been busy with wed-min (wedding admin) and starting a new job, so Carina100 has been a little neglected. But as requested by quite a few of my readers, I'm back with a red carpet round-up. The SAG Awards 2015 was quite a red carpet as well. I couldn't choose my usual three red carpet winners, so I'm pushing the boat out with five of them.

Camila Alves may not be up for any awards herself, she's not even in the industry, but boy oh boy can she bring it on the red carpet. I can't get enough of her in this regal purple Donna Karan beauty. The asymmetric train is everything. No best dressed list of mine would be a complete without a shout out to Miss Emma Stone and this Dior piece is mesmerising. On anyone else it would look like a bad Celine Dion throwback, but as ever, Emma nails this look. Sigh.

It's been said recently that Jennifer Aniston is trying to up her fashion cred and she sure does in this vintage Galliano gown. Kate Moss must be furious that this isn't in her collection. Super relaxed hair and boho jewellery make this a fresh look for Jennifer. It's daring and different and I like it.

Oh Lupita Nyong'o, how I miss you when it's not award season. You always look so damn effotless on the red carpet. There's no formula and you keep us guessing with what will be next. Elie Saab is always a thumbs up from me, but this is very heavy and detailed for him and for you, but it's stunning.  Reese Witherspoon on the other hand went sleek and sharp in a one shoulder Armani gown, with a very sculptured shoulder. She means business and looks incredible.

Who was your best dressed at the SAG Awards 2015?


By Carina Sullivan

Monday, 22 December 2014

A new Christmas tradition: Afternoon Tea at Fortnum & Mason

A lot of people I've chatted to this year have all said they were struggling to get in the Christmas spirit and just hadn't got the festive feeling, myself included. So I was on a mission to spread some holiday magic and get myself and others in a Christmasy mood. That’s where a trip to the Fortnum & Mason Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon came in.

Fortnums is one of my favourite shops in London and is a must visit at any time of year, but at Christmas it’s like stepping back in time. There are endless varieties of Christmas biscuits, chocolates and other delectable delights and their Christmas Shop is simply beautiful. If Fortnum & Mason can’t make you feel festive, nothing will.

So some friends and I all decided to give ourselves a little Christmas treat and have the famous Afternoon Tea in the stunning Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon on the fourth floor of this magical emporium of prettiness. The best bit is you can go after work as Afternoon Tea is served until 7pm, making it more Evening Tea!

As soon as you ascend the garland-wrapped, grand staircase to the fourth floor and enter the lobby of the tea rooms you’re greeted by a grand piano and a stunning Christmas tree and then shown to your table. We had a gorgeous and cosy corner booth, and the salon to ourselves pretty much, in one wing of the salon. The Tiffany blue and velvet finishes make you feel like you’re staring in a period drama and that you should be your most ladylike self. We failed miserably at this, but c’est la vie.

Once you've chosen your tipple from the extensive tea list, Assam Superb for me please, and the sort of Afternoon Tea you want you have to make polite conversation with your companions/chaperones until the treat arrive. Then the fun starts!

The mouth-watering selection of fingers sandwiches, scones and petit four appear all at once and you can start off savoury, just as mother taught you, or break all the rules and work from the tiny cakes down. You can do what you want, you’re an adult. And I promise not to tell your mum.

The food is beautiful and plentiful. Don’t be fooled by the ladylike, bite-size proportions as the attentive waiters will ask you several times if you’d like the selections restocked. It’s the poshest version of an all you can eat buffet, so skip lunch, ladies.

We had such a fabulous time we've decided to make this an annual Christmas event, so thank you Fortnum & Mason for getting us in the mood for Christmas. Keep up the good work!


By Carina Sullivan