Girl Shopping in London High Street

How to Find a Personal Shopper in London

London enjoys the enviable reputation of being the most eclectic and fascinating shopping destinations in the world. The city offers everything from high street to high fashion and it is very easy to get lost in the multitude of shops strewn across the British capital. When you have worked throughout the week, the last thing you would want is to spend your valuable weekend by shopping on the high street. But personal shopping on the high street has undergone drastic changes over the years which have helped to revolutionize shopping habits.

The concept of personal shopper is not new in London but it has become very popular in the last few years only. If you are planning to buy something to add to your wardrobe or buy an outfit for the upcoming job interview, you can hire a personal shopper to do the hard work for you while you sit and relax with a cup of tea and magazine in your hand.

What to look for in a personal shopper?

A bulk of the personal shoppers is freelance but some work for major departmental stores. You can find them at many high street stores such as Debenhams and Selfridges. You can hire them to find the clothes and household goods that you need and the best part is that there is no obligation to buy.

Many experts suggest that one should always go for freelance consultants as they will never force you t purchase your needs from one store only. The departmental store consultants, on the other hand, will be inclined to force you to buy something from the store. There is no such problem with the freelancers as they do not work on commission basis.

You can opt for a freelancer or a store personal shopper but there are certain keys areas which need to be looked into before you hire their services.

  •  Knowledge – London is a huge place and the personal shopper must know the city like the back of their hand. Do not be afraid to ask them a lot of questions and it is very easy to differentiate an experienced shopper from a novice just by hearing their voice over the telephone.
  •  Patience – A lot of personal shoppers set a time frame by which you are expected to complete the shopping. They are usually not very eager to extend the timing as they have their own personal life. This is totally understandable. But since you are getting the services in exchange of certain fees, you have every right to ask them about their terms and conditions fully.
  • Honesty – This is the key strength for a personal shopper. Honesty is the best policy and you may not like honest remarks all the time but this is actually what you need to hear. A personal shopper will always guide you on the colours that will suit you and what looks best on you.

A Guide to Personal Shopping Services

  •  Debenhams

Consultants are available in the store and they will do the shopping for you while you take a hard-earned rest. Beverages and magazines will be served for you while the consultant buys things on your behalf in the store. If you intend to buy larger household items then the personal shopper will take you around the store and will also help you in choosing gifts. Your personal details will be kept in a confidential file so that in the future you only need to call to make an appointment and the consultant will gather the preferred items for you when you visit the store. The service is totally free of charge and there is no obligation to buy anything at all.

  •  Marks & Spencer

The personal shopping services are only available at selected stores across UK. However, the company has started to train their very own womenswear advisors so that they are able to offer personalized shopping advice right there on the shopping floor.

  • John Lewis

The John Lewis Store on King’s Road offers a personal shopping service. They offer up to 3 hrs of free consultation and they will help you choose everything from cots to pram. However, you need to have prior appointments in place to get their services. The advisors will talk to the parents about their needs and then put together a list of things that they should and shouldn’t buy. They leave no stone unturned in advising how to choose the dresses for the little one and how to choose his/her first toy.

What should I be paying?

Most of the departmental stores offer the services of personal shopper totally free of charge for a limited number of hours. But if you are hiring the services of an experienced freelancer then you need to pay then from your own pocket. The reputation of the personal shopper can play a big role here. One must stay away from personal shoppers who are way too cheap but if you still hiring then you need to check their credentials properly. A good personal shopper in London may set you back by GBP300 which is a lot of money. However, the experience can be very cost effective as you will never buy clothes that you will never wear and you will not lose money by buying clothes that do not suit you in the first place.

There are many personal shoppers in London to be honest and it’s really difficult to select one from the rest. However, always choose one who has huge experience in the field of personal shopping. If you are using their services for the first time, you will not be disappointed as you will have a novel experience. Google is your friend; so use it wisely to zero in on a personal shopper if you intend to use the services of a freelancer. But if you prefer to listen to the advice of the store personal shoppers then you just need to call up the respective departmental store and fix up an appointment.

Shopping for Fashionable Clothes

Why is Fashion Important?

FASHION – whenever we hear this word we start thinking about the skinny supermodels that parade in dresses that cost no less than $1000 per piece. You may also think of movies such as The Devil wears Prada & Confessions of a Shopaholic as ‘fashion’ was the focal point of these films. But still we are averse to consider fashion as an art, a lifestyle and, of course, as a career. We tend to overlook that fashion has the power to promote creativity which is so important in every culture and society and it has the power to make you look and feel professional.

Is Fashion Really Important?

There is a general belief that fashion is unimportant and a total waste of time and money. We also tend to believe that people should look to alternative channels to showcase their creativity such as joining an art class or maybe learning professional photography. You may think that the clothing choices are very limited nowadays which is partly true.  Or you may think that people have the right to practice religion only in their home or in a place of worship. Some people also believe that kids should never get exposed to the nuances of cultures beside their own. Or you may even think that someone can look professional without making a big deal about all these. All these reasons are completely valid but there is no doubt that the pros outnumber the cons by a long way.

Fashion Helps to Inculcate Creativity

First, fashion the power to bring out your creative side. But how is this possible? But do think hard about this and just try to remember what went through your mind when you were getting dressed in the morning.  I am sure you were very creative at that point of time and made all efforts to look good in the morning. It is very common to find people feel very happy when someone compliments the new outfit or the way he he/she has dressed.  Your self-confidence increases and you understand that it is okay to look and dress differently from other people. If you have a ‘signature’ style then you will feel less stressed about looking good all the time. There is no additional pressure to look like everyone else. For all these reasons and many more, fashion has the power to promote creativity in everyday lives.

Fashion Exerts Profound Influence in Culture and Religion

Fashion is important in every culture and religion. But one may find it very difficult to establish a relation between fashion & culture or religion. One may be forced to wonder how something as superficial as fashion is important to any religion or culture. Let us take an example. We all know that Muslim women cover their faces with head scarves. Now this can be classified as a type of ‘fashion statement’ because they are using a particular fabric for a purpose. If people start wearing clothes according to religion then it will create a stronger faith in religion and people will feel less odd wearing things like that. It would act as a daily reminder of their faith and people of similar faiths will have a larger bonding among themselves. It is a known fact that people will tend to do by seeing what others are doing. So the trend will catch on very easily. The kids too will learn that it is ok to be different from others when it comes to wearing dresses. It would also make other people interested in their culture. A person might be tempted to do a bit of research and find out the importance of a particular type of clothing. This is how society develops and people become more tolerant towards each other.

The Changing Trends in Women’s Clothing

The concept of women clothing has undergone a drastic change over the years. Women never used to work in earlier days and hence there were not many women’s suits. However, women’s clothing underwent a drastic change because of the professions they choose nowadays. Most of the dresses in the early days were fit only for household work, grocery shopping and for taking care of kids. Now women prefer dresses which make them look professional and also aids in doing household chores with relative ease.

Fashion also makes you look and feel more professional. If you are wearing something that make you look smart and professional to an interview then the employer will consider you more seriously and you have better chances of bagging that job. If people find you to be professional and well kept then people will be very nice to you. You will feel better about yourself and you will do much better in your work.
To sum it can be rightly said that fashion is very important as it makes you more creative, professional and because it has a profound influence in every culture and religion. These are just a few points why fashion is important in our daily lives. However, many people would still doubt its necessity and usefulness but regardless of all these reservations, it can be re-asserted that fashion is indeed very important.

Girl Carrying Shopping Bags

Which Clothes Shops in the UK are the Best?

Everyone loves a good shopping trip and UK is the favored destination for all shopaholics or to put it mildly, those who love shopping till they drop. You can get good bargains on designer goods such as Calvin Klein, M&S Outlet & Gap to name a few. There are many shopping outlets in UK from Somerset to Scotland but the main attractions are the clothes shops and the high street fashion stores. So let’s have a look at some of the best clothes shops in UK.

  •  Zara, Oxford Street, London

It is the mecca of designer clothes in Europe which has its presence all over the world. Zara is known for affordable designer dresses that are available at non-designer prices. It is hard to find someone who has been disappointed at Zara as this Spanish store will meet all your expectations.

  •  Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, Scotland

The village is just a short walk from the Gretna Green Station. There are more than 50 outlet stores including a few high-street fashion stores such as Sport Direct, Nike Factory Store and M&S Outlet. Some of the well-known designer brands have opened their stores here such as Polo Ralph Lauren & Jeff Banks.

  •  Debenhams, London

It is basically a departmental store but we are forced to include it in this list as it is very popular and it houses huge affordable ranges from British designers such as Ben de Lisi & Jasper Conran. The flagship store is on Oxford Street and it also has a lingerie section and a cosmetics section with all the top brands from the world.

  •  Swindon Designer Outlet, Wiltshire

The Swindon Designer Outlet is famous for the high-street names such as GAP Outlet, John Lewis Home Outlet, Levi’s, M&S Outlet etc. You can also find designer stores like Jane Shilton & Hugo Boss where you get to save up to 60%.

  •  Mango, Oxford Street, London

The Mango store on Oxford Street is one of the most popular outlets in London where you get cool stuff at really affordable prices. It is basically a Spanish company which specializes in women’s fashion. The clothes are targeted towards the urban & modern woman and the shop is ideal for those who look for trendy clothes.

  •  H&M, Regent Street & Oxford Street, London

The H&M Women’s Department Store is the ideal place for bargain fashion shopping. There are as many as 5 stores near the Oxford Circus tube station which makes it easier for you to do a lot of shopping and get back to your hotel quickly. The most unique about H&M stores each store has different type of clothes but the one which is located just across the Oxford Circus station is the most popular. There is little doubt that H&M is the most favorite place for London shopping where you buy a lot of clothes without burning a hole in your wallet.

  • Top Shop, The Strand, London

It is true that the clothes of Top Shop are a few notches below that of Zara and H&M but still people flock to Top Shop for their accessories and cute tees. You can easily pick up some cool hats and scarves here but don’t go for pants and coats as you can get a better selection at H&M

  •  Massimo Dutti, Regent Street, London

The Massimo Dutti store on Regent Street is a huge one and is spread over 3 floors. You will get the latest in fashion for men, women and kids. The collections have smart-casual wear, sports ranges and fashionable accessories. The clothing of Massimo Dutti is both stylish and very comfortable. Their latest fabrics provide the maximum comfort and wearable throughout the day.

  • Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Center, Yorkshire

The Dalton Park Outlet is the biggest shopping center in Yorkshire and it offers up to 50% discount on all high street prices. The most popular brands here are Radley London, Joseph, Nike Clearance Store, Next Clearance and M&S Outlet. There is also a Cadbury outlet which is a favorite haunt among the kids.

  • Michael Kors, Regent Street, London

Michael Kors is an award-winning designer whose fame is spread across the world. His company, by his name, was established in 1981 and produces a wide range of products under the label of Michael Kors. Their main products include ready-to-wear, fragrance products, accessories and footwear.

Fashion Trends in Autumn - Girl Model

What are the Latest Trends for Autumn 2014?

The autumn is the favourite season for all fashion designers. People thinking in terms of meteorological variety may have other opinions but when it comes to fashion, autumn is everyone’s favourite. But why is this season so popular in UK? It is a known fact that the British people dress much better in the autumn season than they do in summer. The shops receive the first delivery of autumn clothes towards the end of summer and this is a very happy time for the British. This is the time to brush up on your clothes and accessories so that you are on top of the class as soon as autumn kicks in. Let us check out the fashion trends for autumn 2014.

  •  60s mods

Each season has a signature decade these days and this time it is the 60s which has captured the imagination of the designers. We witnessed this trend first at the Nicolas Ghesquiere’s show for Louis Vuitton. The luxe polo necks and the knee-high shiny leather boots were showcased in the show. However, Gucci has come out with more glamorous designs such as leather A-lines that has been paired with leather shirts. It seems that the shapes of 1960 have been infused into 2014 with the advent of modern, fresh fabrics.

  •  The Designer Normcore

Many will not like it but normcore has really gone high fashion. Although this is often regarded as boring, the main aspects of this trend are the tailored louche trouser suits and liberal use of black, classic grey and navy. These classic pieces are set to make you feel comfortable and to instil a belief that even simple fashion can be eye-catching. These designs have been brought out by Marc Jacobs & Margaret Howell.

  •  The fast-food fashion is in
    Karl Lagerfeld presented the most stylish catwalk ever seen with the supermarket themed show. This was hard-edged consumerism at its best. The aisles went wild with the Chanel branded foodstuffs which were readily available. The clothes range included track pants, trainers and crop tops which were all quite trashy.

 

  •  The military superpower

Believe it or not, the trend of military patterned leafy green fabrics is back in vogue. It is one of those trends that keep coming back again & again after a gap of couple of years or so in between. The army shades are being considered as the new neutrals and designers like Isabel Marant and Margaret Howell have come up with mind-blowing designs for the autumn 2014.

  •  The fairy tales are indeed true

Dolce & Gabbana have stunned everyone with their take on the traditional fairy tales. They have introduced huge fur hoods, jade green capes and even the Little Red Riding Hood ruby coats. You can easily expect the shops to be strewn with hooded capes this autumn and this craze will only grow stronger as the first chill of the cold weather hits us.

  •  The portrait of an artist

When it comes to creating trends, Burberry leads the pack nowadays. This season Christopher Bailey is busy celebrating the boho artists of the 1920s which is known as the Bloomsbury set. The Burberry’s autumn collection consists of shearling jacket, monogrammed blankets and drawstring ankle boots.

  •  The blue is supreme

In almost every season the pink has reigned supreme but blue fought its way back into the autumn catwalks although the pink has not been discarded totally. After all Christopher Kane has more than ensured that pink is still in considerable demand. From cobalts to teals, we all will be feeling a little blue this autumn.

  •  The coat is back

If you intend to buy only one thing this season then it must be the statement coat. We think the blanket coat should be everyone’s favourite this season but full length patchwork designs and luxe puffas should also become very popular.

The above-mentioned trends for autumn 2014 may also spill over to the winter season as some of the outfits are good enough for early winter.  We do understand that some of the dresses worn by the models on the ramp are probably not fit for everyday wear on the streets but they do exhibit the trends of this season perfectly.

Fashionable Girl in London

Latest Fashion Trends in London

Each of the European countries boasts of its own style which does reflect the local culture in many ways. When it comes to the European fashion scene, people tend to think about the Netherlands, the Italians and the Spaniards. The Germans have a conservative style, the Italians have flair and the French are known for their joie de vivre. But it is London which was originally known as the fashion capital of the world. Think of all the brands that defined London – Burberry, Ben Sherman and Penguin to name a few. The men and women of London are willing to experiment with fashion and this helps to push their fashion forward and compels the world to take note of it.

The city of London is very smartly dressed and even the underground/tube looks like a mini fashion show. The London Fashion Weeks is one of the most anticipated events in the world fashion scene as it introduces a whole gamut of fresh and creative designers. You will get to know what to shop for the next season and the latest trends that will rule the London streets for a year or so. For the people of London, dressing is actually an art form and that is why London Fashion Week has assumed so much significance across the world.

London is famous across the world for presenting the most cutting-edge designers who are known for their original work. This actually makes the job of spotting the latest fashion trends in London an easier task. The creativity and the works are dazzling but it is very hard to imagine that you can actually wear everything that walks on the ramp. To put it simply, you do get the trends from the fashion shows and this lets you understand what the British people will strive to wear in the season.

The Latest Fashion Trends in London

We can classify the latest fashion trends in the following categories –

  • Folklore Fantasy

There has been a rising trend for earthy textures and colors. It will seem like straight out of folklore and greatly removed from the clean lines and digital prints. Heavy embroidery is in this season but whether this will translate into high street fashion is easily debatable. The onus now is on high profile craftsmanship, pattern cutting and detailing.

  •  Royal Blue & Blood Red

Now this may not suit everybody but royal blue Mulberry suits are the in thing this season. Royal Blue was also popular during the New York Fashion Week and in London; it is all over the place. The designers have also used the oxblood red color liberally this season and many people have actually liked it. But people will be more inclined to use this color for accessories only. Royal blue is a very flattering color and one should learn to embrace it.

  •  Geometry on show

Yeah, this is weird but this trend is definitely in. The concept of geometry has been expressed through a number of  interesting textures and prints. The origami-style folds has been successfully used on dresses and the effect has been totally stunning. The  monochrome look has been dumped by almost all designers and the geometric shapes are now being used in the whole context of a softer look. The diamond shapes from the house of Louis Vuitton are back in vogue now.

  • Layer matching

All the big labels in UK’s fashion capital have introduced outfits that have multiple matching layers. The matching scarf and coat combo is the most common and it was very popular on the ramp. Burberry has started it and we feel that it will be hugely popular on the high street. But this layer matching trend has been seen in other outfits as well. Skirts, tops and coats look particularly lovely and it us the impression of a wonderfully crafted multi-layer painting.

  • Multi-dimensional

Well this is, perhaps, one trend we never wanted to see but this is the direction where the London fashion trend may actually head. It is all about multiple textures, complex layering and bold prints that will blow your senses away. In a nutshell, the designers are trying to squeeze in as many ideas as possible to get to the maximalist level. However, the results are not that bad; in fact, they are beautiful and alluring but may not suit everyone’s palate.

Where in London can you get the most Fashionable Clothes?

If you ever thought that locating the bestselling outfits in London would mean visiting the high profile shops like Zara and Mango, then you are terribly wrong. This is where London is so different from the rest of Europe. The vintage couture is available on the Carnaby Street and for bargain shopping one may visit Oxford Street. But if you are keen on buying the latest trending fashions then do visit any of the following spots –

  •  H&M

The women’s department store is the best in the world today. There are as many as five stores in Oxford Circus alone which means that there is no shortage of options. The different H&M stores have different types of clothes but the one near the Oxford Circus tube station is the one where you will get all the trendiest clothes. This is the most popular shopping joint in London where you do not need to spend a fortune to buy the latest fashions.

  • Mango

The Mango Store is famous for all the cute dresses that are a rage this season. The designer wear will not burn your pocket and the shop is most frequented by the young generation. Here you might not get dresses which are straight from the ramp but then how many of those dresses can you really wear in real life? So for a more realistic choice of fashionable clothes, you are advised to walk into any of the stores of Mango.

  • Zara

Although this is a huge hit in London, Zara is actually Spanish clothing and accessories giant that has taken Europe by storm. It has a wide range of designer clothes but at extraordinary and pocket-friendly prices. The store will fulfill all expectations as they have a full range of clothing in Royal blue and matched layer – the craze of the season.

  • Carnaby Street

If you ever wanted to buy designer jeans then this is the place you would like to be. You can buy the latest hippie wear and Diesel Jeans at good prices. It has the ultimate collection in street fashion and whatever you saw on TV in street wear, you will get it here.

  • Top Shop

To tell you frankly, it is nowhere near Zara or Mango but the Top Shop makes this list as it has a massive collection of wonderful accessories and cheap T-shirts. You would want to load heaps of clothes in your car as they are very cheap but the place is actually famous for hats and scarves.

Who are the Top Sellers at the Moment?

UK boasts of a bunch of highly acclaimed fashion designers in the world. Some of these designers have attained iconic status and it would be safe to say that British people feel disheartened if they have not bought something for themselves from their revered collections. But who are the top sellers at the moment? Check it out.

  • Christopher Bailey

He has become a household name after his wonderful work as the creative director of Burberry. People started noticing him from autumn 2004 after his creation of Burberry trench coat.

  • Vivienne Westwood

She invented the punk uniform by collaborating with Malcolm McLaren. She has that famous shop (World’s End) in Chelsea where she created collections like Buffalo Girls, Let it Rock & Pirates. All these designs have become classics and challenged the common notion surrounding the world of fashion.

  • Paul Smith

This Nottingham born designer struggled initially but he was the pioneer in re-introducing boxer shirts. The designer today boasts of some 300 shops across the globe and he is best known for his autumn/winter 2005 womenswear collection. He introduced fashionable clothing for men with his creation of python trousers and checked shirts.

  • John Richmond

His eye-wear and underwear collections are much in demand in London. He has a worldwide network of showrooms where he displays his collection of leather biker jackets, pleated skirts (acid-orange) and long-line sweaters. He also owns a collection of fragrance and clothes for children but it is yet to take off.

  • Julien MacDonald

His love for knitwear and red-carpet creations is well known and his catwalk antics have earned him the title of showmaster. He succeeded Alexander McQueen as the creative director of the well-known fashion house, Givenchy. In 2001 he was conferred the title of Designer of the Year. Even today he continues to showcase his offbeat and flamboyant collections in London and also taken care of his high street and fragrance lines.

Hair Extensions

Hair Extensions: A Thing of the Past?

As I wrote about not too long ago in a previous post on I-Zcream, your hair style is incredibly important to think about when you are deciding upon what to wear. If you are like most women, you will have found inspiration from many of the women’s magazines that you can find out there for the latest in hair fashion, but you may find that it’s not always possible to get the look you want because you don’t have the right kind of hair or length of hair.

Hair Extensions

They might be reasonably expensive but the technology used nowadays is much improved over hair extensions of the past. With the improvements and techniques used in order to get that perfect finish you can rest assured that your hair will look beautiful and natural all the time.

Depending on what type of extension you get, they can last up to 6 months. You have to treat them right and care for them just as you would your natural hair. In fact, many types of extension do use real hair that matches your own! If you’d prefer something that can match exactly it’s best to go for a replica hair because it’s easier for them to custom make it to suit your hair exactly.

Get the Look

So, back to making sure you get the look. You can have lustrously long hair without having to grow it all yourself so there really are no limits to what outfits you can wear with your hair in any style possible. And when you have the hair extensions added, you can always cut them just like your normal hair if you want to change again before they have been taken out. It really is no problem.

So, I’d suggest that you go out there and find the exact hair style and look that you want right now, without worrying about your hair and makeup, then choose it and make it happen. You have all the tools you need to get it done as soon as you want it.

How to Find One

There are numerous companies out there so it’s easy to do a Google search and find someone in your local area that has a good reputation, such as http://www.strandshairhemel.co.uk/ and www.markglenn.com/, or just speak to people you know who might have had them done recently. I’m sure if you put out a message on Facebook someone will know someone.

Good luck with whatever you want to get done and remember to comment below and let me know how it went.

Woman Brushing her Teeth

Personal Grooming – Make or Break Your Look

Most women love shopping. They spend hours browsing through glossy magazines, searching out the next outfit they want to wear for the upcoming “big-do” in their diaries. This is completely understandable and really beneficial because it will help you look your best, understand what is hot and what is not, while also hopefully preparing your for successfully selecting that killer outfit that everyone loves and makes you look like a million dollars. But…this is not the only thing you should be concentrating on but unfortunately not everyone realises that.

Smiles

When you see someone who looks amazing you usually look first of all at their face and their smile. A killer smile is something to be massively proud of and can also change how people perceive you based on your first impression. This is a huge deal because it might even put people off from speaking with you.

Instinctively we are wired to seek out people who we can match up with in terms of our beliefs, life values, attitude towards certain ideas. In a way, fashion is one way to know if someone else, at least on the face of it, lives by the same ideals that you do.

So, without a good smile you are severely lacking one of the most critical aspects of your dress code. With that said, you should do everything possible to make sure your teeth are looking their best, starting with a good oral hygiene routine:

  • Brush twice daily, possibly thrice, but no more to avoid over brushing and damage
  • Reduce consumption of staining foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea and red wine
  • Wherever possible, use a straw to drink anything other than water to avoid the staining liquid from touching your front teeth
  • Use dental floss at least once a day to remove debris from the gaps between your teeth
  • Consider a mouthwash to ensure you have minty fresh breath all day long
  • Avoid smoking because it stains your teeth and makes them yellow

Now, I know that it is not always possible to do all of the above all of the time. If you are a heavy drinker, smoker and love coffee you are likely going to have a bad time with your teeth. A good oral routine in this case is absolutely essential. But don’t worry, if you already have slightly stained teeth there is another option for you…You can try teeth whitening.

Teeth Whitening

There are many options available when it comes to getting your teeth whitened. You can have it done by a professional at a clinic/dentist, do it yourself at home or try out some less drastic measures by using toothpastes and mouthwashes.

The most effective method, however, is to get it done professionally by a dentist or specialist at a local clinic. If you are in the UK, around the Manchester area, you can check out a blog that has some information on the best teeth whitening clinics in Manchester, do a Google search, ask around on forums or ask your local dentist for more information.

Wrapping it Up

So, in order to make sure you look your best it is absolutely essential that you don’t just get yourself looking good in terms of what you are wearing. There is nothing more off putting than someone who does not look after their personal hygiene, such as teeth, hair and skin. It is something that you have to work at all of the time but it’s really worth the effort because it will ensure that you are always looking like a million dollars and people will want to speak and associate with you more. It may seem very superficial on the face of it but it’s actually a way in which our ancestors could easily identify someone that they wanted to associate with who was healthy and had good genes. In today’s modern world it is much easier to fake it…

Which Country is the Fashion Trend Setter?

The French and Italian fashion houses have always dominated the world fashion scene and they have proudly dominated the clothing trends for many years. But are these countries really the fashion trendsetters and the most stylish in the world? When you look at some of the biggest cities in the world you will easily find that Sao Paulo, Barcelona & Melbourne can easily rival the established fashion capitals of the world such as Rome, Paris & Milan. The concept of fashion scene has undergone a drastic change and catwalks no loner dictate the latest fashion trends. You need to look at the streets where people dress with style and look unique & sexy. Let us check out a few countries where the fashion scene is vibrant and has the capacity to inspire many trends and styles.

  •  Australia

The Australians are always very stylish and well-dressed and it is perceived that their causal attitude towards life make them look great. Australian fashion has a very individualistic approach and their style is easily distinguishable from the more popular European style which is a bit conservative in nature. The clothes in Australia are highly influenced by their outdoor nature and surfing culture and one can easily find a wonderful fusion of colors and styles in all their clothes.

The fashion industry in Australia has grown in leaps and bounds and today the country boasts of world-renowned designers. The streets of Perth and Sydney are filled with people wearing unique and designer clothing that can easily rival the more renowned haute couture of Europe.

  •  France

This should not come as a surprise as the French always comes out on top when it comes to fashion. The country is home to many world renowned fashion designers namely Christian Dior & Coco Chanel. The French always makes it a point to dress well as they strive to look fashionable at all times.

  •  Denmark

In simple terms, the Danish people are very trendy. They have a keen sense of fashion and this is easily reflected on the streets of Alborg and Copenhagen. In the Danish capital almost everyone is dressed in stylish clothes. However, the Danes never follow any fashion trends; they have their own fashion rules. The clothes mainly exhibit organic colors, are perfect fit and are manufactured from the best materials. No wonder, the Danes look so gorgeous on the streets!

The Danish fashion industry is quite well known in the world today and they are the largest exporter of clothes among the OECD states.

  •  Spain

Many fashion experts reckon that Milan and Paris are no longer the fashion capitals of the world and the fashion trends nowadays are dictated by Barcelona & Madrid. Some of the more popular fashion brands in Spain include Mango, Zara, Pull & Bear and Bershka. Spanish fashion designers like Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Paco Rabanne have taken the fashion industry by storm and these designers are now enthralling the Europeans and Asians with their stunning designs.

Fashion is very important in the Spanish culture as people always prefer to look stylish and sophisticated. Since the country has a rich tradition of leather, it is no surprise that Spain is the 2nd largest producer of shoes in Spain.

  •  Japan

Harajuku is the trendiest shopping district in Japan and people may get the wrong notion that fashion in Japan is all about crazy looking teenagers and kids thronging these streets. On the contrary, the Japanese can boast of an amazing sense of aesthetics as art plays a very important role in this history of this beautiful Oriental nation. In the world of fashion too, Japan embodies a wonderful confluence of fashion & art. The Jap dresses are very well refined and perfectly detailed. Japanese fashion represents modernity with a classical look.

Today the country boasts of many big names in the fashion industry such as Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. Japan is truly one of the most interesting fashion markets in the world.

  • United States

If you are talking about fashion then you can only underestimate this country at your own risk. After all United States is home to some of the biggest labels in the fashion world such as Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and of course, Tommy Hilfiger. The innovations in fashion and style of the US have far-reaching influence and it would not be wrong to say that American looks have managed to win over the cultures from Columbia to Cambodia. US also have a few high end labels which can the European designers a good run for their money. Some of the prominent high-end labels are Derek Lam, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler & Zac Posen. Betsey Johnson is famous for her exquisite collection of handbags, hats, scarves and other accessories. United States boasts of more than 250 known fashion designers but not all of them have enjoyed the same recognition and reputation as the more established names which are mentioned here. Well, the more is not always the merrier, we guess.

  •  Brazil

Brazil is passionate about football but very few people are aware that the country shares a similar passion for fashion. If you visit the Sao Paulo Fashion Week, you will understand the country’s undying love for fashion and the latest trends. The country prides itself in skin-tight clothes and mosaic patterns and these dresses help to capture the indomitable spirit of the Brazilians. The sexy style of the Brazilian women is envied across the world. Their dressing style is heavily influenced by African and European styles and this makes their fashion trends very unique in nature and loved by all.

The Brazilian fashion industry is getting stronger by day in the global markets. The country is the 5th largest producer of apparels in the world.

  •  United Kingdom

There is a reason why the world still looks up to the Brits for style tips. The British have successfully moved on from the Edwardian fashions to the modern day smart-casual looks. It is difficult to categorize British fashion in just a single category but it cannot be denied that their fashion sense is timeless.

Whenever you think about British fashion, you tend to think of the iconic brands like Fred Perry, Burberry & Mulberry. If you just walk along the famed Oxford Street you will get a glimpse of all the important brands that make London today.

Many will sneer at this list as Italy is missing here. Well, we have left out that country intentionally as what more you can speak of a nation which boasts of 80 – 90 internationally acclaimed fashion designers! The country has some of the top designers in their roster such as Giorgio Armani, Pierre Cardin, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Guccio Gucci, Nina Ricci, Emilio Pucci et al. Mind it, we still haven’t named the Versace duo! This country is teeming with fashion designers and it is safe to say that although other countries are catching up, the bulk of modern day fashion ideas emanates from Italy only.

Are Top Designers Always from the Same Countries?

Although it is true that fashion shows which are held in various cities of the world throughout the year has helped to break the monopoly of certain countries over fashion and style, the common verdict is that it is still very hard to ignore the contributions countries like Italy, UK and France. The designers from Italy and US have become household names but they are getting stiff competition from Spain and others. France always holds a unique position so its status is not actually threatened. But the biggest loser in this fashion jungle seems to be the US. Calvin Klein, Tom Ford and Kate Spade have ruled the world for a long time but they are gently being replaced by the Spanish giants Prada and Mango.

People are shying away from American fashion trends and leaning more towards the designers of Spain, India and France. Yes, you read it right. France is enjoying a golden period thanks mainly to Coco Chanel who is considered the leading figure in the fashion industry. The Time Magazine has described her as one of the most important persons of the century. If you are looking ethic designer wear then India rules the roost. Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rohit Bal, Ritu Kumar, Sandeep Khosla et al have earned worldwide acclaim through their stunning designs and styles. Their creations are very popular in Europe, particularly in UK. However, it would be wrong to suppose that days of Italian and US fashion designers are over. No doubt, they are bleeding at the moment due to the influx of designers from other countries but it would be prudent to assume that they will continue to hold on to their position in he top-10 list as they enjoy a tremendous amount of goodwill and reliability. Australia, Denmark and Brazil need a lot of catching up to do but given their early promise, it would be safe to say that the future of world fashion industry is in safe hands.

If you found this article interesting you might also like to check out the following video on the latest fashion trends for this summer:

Upcoming Fashion Events – Where and Why Go

The fashion events help to inspire future designers and their models through a glittering show and display of the latest designs. The fashion shows/events are held in the fashion centric cities of the world such as Milan, New York & London. These events usually last for a week or so and is attended by many important people like athletes, actors and people from the Press.

Why visit these fashion events?

The clothes that are worn by the models on the ramp are actually not sold to the public. These are basically over-the-top designs which are very imaginative and are exaggerations of the mind of the designer. But the fashion shows are very important as they help to ensure the future sales of the subdued versions of the dresses which were showcased in the events.

People who are really interested in the latest fashion trends would love to know about the new styles that will be a rage in the coming season. The fall fashion shows are very popular among the women as they get to know about the latest offerings in A-line and pin straight skirts.

How important are these fashion events for the host cities?

The cities that host the fashion events experience a steady and good inflow of disposable income into the cities. Many businesses such as taxi services, hotels & restaurants benefit from these fashion events. As discussed earlier, the fashion shows are attended by various fashion designers, celebrities and magazine editors which provide a wonderful opportunity for networking among themselves. If you are new to the world of fashion and want to make a mark for yourself then you must attend these fashion events as you are always one step away from getting into a network and establish your presence.

The Future Fashion Events around the World

2014 is a packed year for fashion events as a number of events are lined up at different locations across the world. Here we will list out the major fashion events that will take place in various locations from June 2014 to end of year.

  1.  Caribbean Fashion Week, Kingston (June )
  2.  Columbia Style Week, Columbia (June)
  3.  HKTDC Hong Kong Fashion Week Spring/Summer, Hong Kong (July)
  4.  Europe Future Fashion, Split (July)
  5.  Little Rock Fashion Week, Little Rock (July)
  6.  Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer (August)
  7.  Asean Fashion Week, Kuching City (August)
  8.  Sao Paulo Fashion Week Fall/Winter (September)
  9.  Modea Paris Ready-To-Wear Spring/Summer (September)
  10.  Los Angeles Fashion Week Spring, Los Angeles (October)
  11. World Mastercard Fashion Week Toronto Spring, Toronto (October)
  12.  Oxford Fashion Week, Oxford (November)
  13.  India Resort Fashion Week, Goa (November)
  14.  Victoria’s Secret Annual Fashion Show, New York City (December)
  15. Cheltenham Fashion Week, Cheltenham (December)

How to Get into Fashion Events and What to do there?

If you always had a dream of getting in to the big fashion shows at NYC, Milan or London then there is a bit of good news and bad news for you. The attendance rules and opportunities usually differ from one location to another and is broadly based on how well connected you are to the industry. But there are many ways in which you can be a part of these glittering fashion shows. You can simply attend these shows, participate (if you are a model or a budding fashion designer), volunteer or even work at these events.

There is no need to buy tickets to these high-profile events; you just need to register, request for participation or simply get invited. But the sorry fact is that several thousand people apply to be a part of these events but only a small percentage gets the final approval. Another thing to consider is that some of these events charge a rather steep application fee. However, even this doesn’t guarantee approval. To make matters worse, a mere approval does not guarantee your admission into the event. And even if your application is approved, your admission is not certain! You can only appeal to the various designers for their prompt consideration so that you can attend these shows. Some of the fashion events will have PR companies that look after the admission process. You can also apply to these companies and request for an access. Just keep your eyes open and check out the latest events in the fashion world. There is no need to attend the big shows if you are a beginner; you can start from attending the smaller fashion events which are held at the museums, galleries, stores & warehouses.

One may also choose to volunteer at these events to get a first-hand experience. But this is only helpful if you are a fashion student or trying to make a mark in the fashion world. Otherwise you can opt to buy tickets (some events sell admission tickets but the price is astronomical) and attend some of the events. There are a lot of things you can learn at these events and take note of the latest fashion trends and keep yourself updated on the latest fashion styles and tips.

Diamond Ring

Why are Diamonds a Girl’s Best Friend?

A woman’s love affair with diamonds has continued for many decades. The enduring appeal of the gem has charmed even celebrities like Marilyn Monroe & Rihanna. But why are diamonds so captivating? Why do women love to have a diamond ring on their finger? Undoubtedly, the brilliant and sparkling diamonds have managed to inspire us for many generations and their rarity and value have impressed many people across generations. The diamonds have been associated with longevity, purity and commitment and these three qualities are considered to be the true virtues of real love.

How Diamonds became a Girl’s Best Friend

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” – this is a song written by Carol Channing way back in 1949. Considering the high price of this exquisite gem, husbands across the world can argue that women should start keeping dogs as they are better friends and less expensive! On a more serious note, the popularity of diamonds is more of a marketing ploy than anything else. The gem only became popular in the 20th century and the mega diamond corporation De Beers is solely responsible for the inflated price and its imaginary rarity. They were the pioneers is developing the myth that diamond is the ultimate token of affection. They were hell bent on making men and women understand diamonds are an inseparable part of married life. The common people was made to believe that a “diamond is forever” and the womenfolk, in particular, was successfully made to believe that diamonds were the ultimate symbol of commitment and it should not never be resold in the market. The real reason was that the diamond corporations never wanted the diamond market to get flooded with 2nd hand diamonds thereby forcing a decrease in the value of new diamonds.

Was De Beers Successful in Marketing Diamonds?

A trade expert will always tell you the amazing success story of De Beers and how they popularized the gem among men and women. Well, even this is a gross understatement. They have left no gem unturned to convince the people why diamonds are so necessary. The film industry was used to promote diamonds through concocted story lines, the diamond engagement rings were shown in films to convince the public and even radio shows were held to discus about the dazzling beauty of the gem. Very soon the desire for a diamond trickled down from the elite class to the general middle class. Even though the price was high, the urban middle class was now convinced that diamonds are the best gifts for the person you love. It was expensive, no doubt, but giving a diamond ring to a woman meant that you love her and will remain committed to her. The bigger and more expensive a diamond is, the more cherished a woman should feel. It is a blatant lie but the entire diamond industry is surviving on this for the last 100 years or so.

The biggest Diamonds you Can Buy and Where?

We all know that a diamond is a girl’s best friend but it is definitely the most expensive type of friend. It is basically a high-end commodity and many people buy this gem only once in their life. Yes, you are right; we are referring to the engagement ring. But there are some diamonds which carries a mind-blowing price tag and will scare those who are faint-hearted. Here is a list of the biggest and most expensive diamonds found around the world.

  •  The Flawless Blue Diamond

Sotheby in Geneva sold a blue diamond for a whopping $9.5 million which is a record for being the highest amount paid per ct for any gemstone. The diamond weighs 7.03 carats.

  •  Moussaieff Red

This stone is also known as the Red Shield Diamond. It weighs 5.11 ct and has a Trillian cut. As per records, it is the world’s largest Red Diamond in the world. The present estimated value of the Moussaieff Diamond is $20 million.

  •  The Hope Diamond

The value of the Hope Diamond is set at $350 million and the most unique feature are the traces of blue colored elements that are present within the crystal structure of the diamonds. When placed under an UV light the elements turn red in color due to the presence of phosphorus. The legend says that the diamond belonged to the eye of an idol in a temple in India. It is now kept in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.

  •  Star of Africa

This is the largest diamond even found and it weighs a massive 3,106 ct. It was found in the Premier mine in Pretoria and the stone is so huge that it has been cut into 7 large stone and as many as 96 small stones. The value is estimated to be $2 billion and it is easily the most expensive diamond in the world.

  •  Graff Diamond

The Graff Pink Diamond is one of the greatest diamonds in the world. It weighs 24.78 carats and in November, 2010 the gem stone was auctioned at Sotheby’s for a reported sum of $40 – 46 million. It is considered to be among the top 2% diamonds in the world.