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Despite the array of high street fashion stores and mid-range designer labels, there’s so few that fit the lifestyle and expectations of a 40-50 year old woman with a career. Too faddy, too young, too samey…so it’s brilliant when a new name creeps up that offers beautiful, vintage inspired, quality pieces that are inter-seasonal as well as divinely pretty.

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RIXO London was formed by ex London College of Fashion alumni & best friends Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, who share a passion for vintage and bohemian beautiful prints. The design team re-work a 1970s British vintage feel with a refined, contemporary edge. The collections comprise high-quality fabrics and original hand-painted prints perfectly in-keeping with Liberty London’s heritage brand aesthetic and it’s quirky original take on contemporary designs. The latest capsule range sees Rixo reach for the moon and stars with their celestial inspired collection.

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Liberty London womenswear buyer, Alexandra Gordon says, “Rixo is the perfect fit for Liberty. It has this vintage-inspired and 70s British vibe to the collection while still remaining contemporary. The cuts are also very flattering and appealing to a wide range of customers’.

Rixo London pop-up is available in Libery London in its womenswear space on 2 and online.

 

 

 

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I first came upon Goldhart Scotland luxury candles at a Scotland Re: Designed event held in Glasgow at the end of last year. Apart form the plethora of new young designer names showing their collections, there was a lone luxury candle stall which stood out, as much for the product in this setting but also because it was effortlessly and professionally presented which clearly spelled superior product.

This was a well thought through new business venture with five distinct and appealing scents presented as differently sized candles and accompanying on-brand  product information, imagery, professional glass bell cloches for user experience, candle apparatus (candle snuffers and wick cutters all emblazoned with Goldhart) and with a easy to navigate professional website to boot.

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That’s why it surprises me that by April 2018 I haven’t seen this brand escalate in the manner that it should have. It’s certainly not down to the energy and vision of owner, Lorraine McKenna, a woman who previously worked as a head buyer for designer stores group, Cruise, and who oozes luxury and taste. Says Lorraine, “ It’s been tough-going getting the name out there. I really believe in the product I’ve produced and fought hard to achieve global standards required of a luxury brand.” Saying that, Lorraine has taken the product to New York and it’s also gone down a storm while on a recent business trip to Dubai (where the best-selling fragrance was the lush, antique rose hedonism of Wild Rose).

Following a career break to have a family and bring up her two boys, McKenna had a real urge to get back into retail and devised the Gold Hart concept in 2014.  She realized that Scotland had a global p

Brambleresence and there was an appetite for Scottish made, design-led, branded goods outwith the tartan and whisky industries synonymous with the country.

GoldHart Scotland has five Scottish landscape inspired fragrances:- Glen is a rich, rounded walk in the highlands with a an initial fresh bite of bergamot that grows to a warm country castle clove, nutmeg and amber heart and vetiver, tonka, cedar and sandalwood base. It’s redolent of coming in from a walk in the outdoors to a huge roaring fire and the welcome of a country estate. Bramble is a much sweeter affair with a ravenous berry bite and a warm gourmand fig trail while Shore is a salty, beach comb walk with sea mist drenching the skin. Wild rose is a beauteous and hedonistic over-indulgent spray of antique roses with a verdant kick while Amber (my personal favourite) is a late Summer balmy woodland of cedar and vetiver with a earthy patchouli, musk and vanilla note added for sweetness and sexiness.

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GoldHart Scotland is one of those rare little gems that pop up and all too often disappear for lack of traction, which, in this case, would be a crying shame. It seems a no-brainer for the likes of Liberty, Fenwick, Space NK, Harvey Nichols or Fortnum and Mason to pick on a new, niche, British brand that is marketed and presented so well and with keen retail price points. (Travel size £15, Classic £35 & 3-wick £55). Over to you, then, keen-eyed buyers.

GoldHart Scotland is available online.

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JML English Fields Campaign Image 1

Jo Malone London has become known, amongst beauty editors and consumers alike for it’s regularly themed Limited Edition ranges which, as well as introducing new fragrance mixes to the main collection (for a limited time) in a solid seasonal theme, offer us some beautifully themed imagery that makes the perfumes come alive with feeling. It’s a clever ruse of the brand. There’s regularly something new and exciting to market combined with a ‘test the waters’ factor. If a certain perfume mix sells well and has a hit reaction, it can be re-introduced in a similar form at a later date.

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This March sees Jo Malone London’s English Fields collection come alive in a harvest of five fragrances.  Presented in beautifully matte, pastel-tonal bottles, the new releases attempt to encapsulate the dry, fresh heat of an English Summer. Wheat fields (without a skipping Theresa May, thankfully), blue skies, , dappled sunshine, straw boater hats, hope and vitality abound in this collection that contains concoctions such as Poppy & Barley, Primrose and Rye, Oat & Cornflower, Honey & Crocus and Green Wheat & Meadowsweet. Created by perfumer, Mathilde Bijaoui, she says, “To have cereals and grains as the main focus is a first for me.” It’s a novel approach, for sure.

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Primrose and Rye is an uplifting little beauty of a fragrance that dances around the wrist in joy.Warm, sunny bunches of primroses have dry hints of golden ears of corn. There’s a deeply soft warmth of vanilla and rye present with sweet. honey-toned, powdery facets of mimosa opening up to reveal its beauty. This acts like a burst of mid-day sunlight through an open window. It warms the soul while being light-hearted and just a bit giddy and girly. This is what every budding Glastonbury pop princess should wear rather than fake floral wreaths in their hair.

Poppy & Barley  is a much lighter, sharper mix that’s immediately fruity on application (blackcurrant) before opening up to a earthy tones of poppy, barley and bran. The fruity floral is tempered with soft, powdered musky loveliness that adds sophistication and stops this from being too runaway youthful.

These two offers have enticed me to drop by my local Jo Malone London store to sample the Oat & Cornflower, Honey & Crocus and Green Wheat & Meadowsweet offers. Oat & Cornflower, with its warm oats, blue cornflowers and elegant vetiver base sounds particularly appealing.

There’s depth to these releases. And imagination. The boldness to go in a whole new direction using barley, oats and rye is inspiring and brings a whole new angle to Jo Malone London’s many existing facets.

The Jo Malone London English Fields Limited Edition Collection is available from March 2018 at jomalone.co.uk and in Jo Malone London boutiques nationwide. Priced at £47 for 30ml.

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It was an idea that was forged while Mark McCall (better known to his Instagram followers as @man_branded) was zipping around the UK in his main role as Head of Regional VM for a well-known high street fashion brand. “I’d love to do my own line of classic unisex tees that can go from Spring/Summer to Autumn/Winter and are ‘seasonless’…it’s the message that counts.”  A huge fan of classic brands such as Cos, Comme des Garcons, APC, Acne and Kooples, McCall wanted the tees to be worn by distinct, stylish individuals who incorporate them into their own style with flair whether minimalist or, like yours truly, with more than a dash of urban Boho maximalism, pairing them with a vintage kimono and satin boots and jeans. To this extent, bloggers and instagram individuals* (rather than the dreaded ‘influencer’ term) have been gifted with tees to show their range and depth.

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McCall is a distinctive character in the Glasgow scene, popping up at every hip event that’s worthy of attending. People are drawn to this multi-tattooed force-of-nature like moths to a flame. His toned-down, hipster-cool style belying his gregarious enthusiasm, wit and humour – personality counts. And that’s key to the brand. Bring the personality & style and we’ll bring the heart-on-your-sleeve tee.

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Skip to January 2018 and BRANDED_Apparel was born. Mark McCall came up with the idea, wrote a strategic vision, teamed up with a good friend (Sarah Gingell)  to make the vision come true and boom!, the brand was launched. McCall & Gingell’s main aims were great quality and fit, foremost over cost. They wanted to create a line that wasn’t fast-fashion. The intention is to add to slogans and styles each season, with a natural drop-out of those that grow tired.

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Sourced in and around Glasgow (so they could keep their eye on the product detail and be on top of the game), McCall & Gingell came up with a range of t-shirts in two colourways (black and white) with five sayings. The poignant sayings are meant to touch the heart, hinting at past romance, new hopes and love – they’re a glimpse to the wearer’s hidden secrets, as well as just great-quality tees. “Our philosophy is a simple one,” they say. “To produce good quality products, always on trend and always fairly priced. We pride ourselves on being an ethical company. No sweatshops, no dodgy suppliers and no shortcuts.”

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Says McCall, ‘”I know that Sarah and I have come up with some heartfelt sayings but we don’t want to be down-in-the-mouth. He laughs, “We’re not angsty Millennials!  But young adults sometimes make mistakes as we go along in life, and learn to grow from these. Life’s to be enjoyed. We are party people, honest!”

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BRANDED_Apparel’s slogans range from ‘All I Ever Wanted Was Everything’ to ‘Crazy ‘bout you’ and ‘Nothing Will Ever Be The Same.’

BRANDED-Apparel tees are available online priced at £28 for short-sleeve and £30 for long-sleeve, available in small, medium and large.

*Bloggers’ instagram pics used by kind permission of @honeypopkisses and @lucyflorals

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Versace has long been a byword for glitzy, bold, baroque, fringed and studded glamour.

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It seems fitting that following the Spring’18 show at Milan’s Triennale museum as a tribute to her deceased brother Gianni’s iconic inspirations and creations (shown above), that Donatella should mark a Spring’18 perfume launch that’s equally as retro derivative with a modernist slant.

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Dylan Blue pour femme is a blue swathed, glamorous epitaph to rock the imaginations and the sway the souls of Versace’s Millennial bootcamp who know how to walk the look and make an entrance. This is a perfume for confident twenty and thirty somethings, who step out in upmarket nightclubs in a swish of Instagram, insta-fame celebrity wantonness.

The packaging is quite something in itself. Taking the backbone deep dark denim hue that Versace (Gianni in particular) used in many of his legendary collections, gold Medusa heads are embellished on the lid and curvaceous blue and gold bottle housing the perfume.

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There’s a big burst of youthful blackcurrant on first spray with a sweetly old-fashioned note of forget-me-not. The scent and the mood is quick to open up to a floral burst of Eglantine rose, jasmine and a watery cold ice peach note. It’s Dylan Blue’s die-down that is most effective with its white-tinged, woody and musky base of patchouli and styrax. Perfumer, Calice Becker worked closely with Ms Donatella Versace who says of the new work, “Dylan Blue pour femme is my tribute to femininity. So I created a strong, sensuous yet refined fragrance for a woman who knows her own power.”

The advertising campaign is (topically) shot by photographer, Bruce Weber. But that’s a whole other story…..

Versace pour femme Dylan Blue is available exclusively at Harrods from 15th January 2018 and is available nationwide from 26th February 2018. Dylan Blue pour femme is available in 30ml (£52). 50ml (£74) and 100ml (£99) bottles.

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Matthew Miller is probably the most exciting menswear designer working in London today, so it seems appropriate for his Autumn/Winter 2018 event to unofficially open this season’s London Fashion Week Men’s.

Always a step ahead of the pack, Miller eschewed the traditional catwalk show to present his latest collection as part of a three-hander music gig, featuring performers cast from digital platforms YouTube and Spotify.

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Like Calvin Klein creative director Raf Simons, Miller has always been fascinated by youth subcultures but, unlike Simons, the designer has always focused on the now, rather than youth and artistic movements of the past, by the creative energy fuelled by the rage against the corporate machine, and the sense of despair and nihilism felt by younger generations who are inheriting a world in which their place is repay the financial, environmental and political debts accrued by their parents and grandparents.

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Miller’s work has always been politically-charged but, this season, there is a palpable sense of anger. These are uniforms for urban warfare, with militaristic overtones, not just in palette but also in the utilitarian details. Silhouettes are sharper, cut close to the body. These are stealth clothes, their quiet precision deafening.

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Oversized scarves featuring the word ‘CONSENT’ drive the message home – we didn’t ask for this, how could you neglect this situation, is this the legacy we deserve? Tempers are rising, and this rightfully feels like Matthew Miller’s time.

Written by Lee Clatworthy exclusively for katiechutzpah.com

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Jonathan Anderson has grown up in the fashion industry’s eye, from wunderkind to seasoned veteran in just a decade. Possibly one of the most avant-garde designers working in London today, Anderson sees his men’s and women’s clothes as interchangeable, which usually means some challenging menswear looks, including co-ordinating strapless tops and frilled shorts, and jumpsuits with awkward 1980’s proportions, seemingly fashioned out of old bedspreads. This is probably why, along with many other brands, Anderson has chosen to swerve this season’s menswear showcase and merge his men’s and women’s catwalk shows in February.

Much has been made of Anderson’s working practices, pulling together collections via mood boards, possibly containing old Bernard Willhelm catwalk shows, Lulu’s home shopping collections, and swatches from Hobbycraft. The synthesis of these disparate ideas is usually a fully-formed separate entity in itself, rather than just being an assortment of other people’s ideas (although I shouldn’t knock that, Victoria Beckham’s made a lot of money out of it).

Anderson’s label has garnered a lot of attention over the last decade, and in 2013 received an investment from LVMH in exchange for the designer’s revisioning of Loewe, a storied Spanish leather house in dire need of currency. Loewe’s turnaround has been nothing short of phenomenal, with Anderson winning the Accessories Designer of the Year at the 2017 British Fashion Awards, but how does Anderson manage the upward trajectory of his own business? How does a label which is, essentially, quite a leftfield proposition, grow into a household name?

In the mid-1990’s, Gucci Group (as it was then known) gave its new acquisitions Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney an ultimatum – they basically had to start turning a profit. This led to McQueen’s collaborations with Puma and Samsonite, and Stella McCartney’s ongoing partnership with Adidas, and the launch of her first perfume. These collaborations allowed the designers greater exposure, and another revenue stream, whilst essentially capturing the ethos of the brand. For instance, McQueen’s luggage featured moulded ribcages and animal skin. Anderson is no stranger to collaboration, having worked with Steven Meisel and Larry Clark in the past, but this season sees an unprecedented amount of gateway Anderson product, from his second collection for Japanese high street chain Uniqlo, and some sparkly trainers and logoed Chuck Taylors for Converse.

Another rewarding association has been Anderson’s hook-up with iD photographer Alasdair McLellan as part of his Workshops project; McLellan’s nude portraits of striking young bucks and cloudscapes printed up on T-shirts, mugs, posters, keyrings, and most probably a cock-a-day desk calendar. Strikingly reminiscent of the late 1980’s range of Body Rap t-shirts photographed by Johnny Rozsa, these are all strictly limited, affordable and accessible. And who doesn’t love a bit of gratuitous nudity? Launched during London Fashion Week Men’s, everything is selling out fast, so get down to Anderson’s Shoreditch store or visit online, ASAP.

Written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion) exclusively for katiechutzpah.com

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Jean Louis Scherrer 1970s silk chiffon dress

by Katie on December 1, 2017

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I’m a massive fan of the less conspicuous couture houses that still reek of discreet, old-style glamour but have yet to be re-invented or re-imagined. Where there’s not a Kardashian in sight, nor a whiff of Alexa Chung or Rita (H)Ora.

Jean Louis Scherrer is one such house.

JLS was a former classically trained ballet dancer who then assisted under Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent (at Dior). His vision was one of elegance and fluidity, using sumptuous wispy chiffons and silks that skimmed or wrapped the body. Scherrer’s reign from 1962-1992 rivalled competitors such as Chloe and YSL , with the most feted of women of the day including Jackie Kennedy, Isabelle Adjani, Sophia Loren, Francois Sagan and Bianca Jagger wearing the label.

Jean-Louis Scherrer is also an extremely under-rated perfume house that still plods on in the background (which is no bad thing) awaiting re-invention. Jean-Louis Scherrer 2 is the most delicious, luxurious, old-school chypre that is my favourite fragrance of all time, so when I saw this piece on Ebay recently, I bid and won it. Yes, it was still an expensive buy and it is just the slightest bit too tight that awaits a ‘thin-day’ or rather ‘thin-evening’ for it to be worn. But oh, isn’t it gorgeous?

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LM Parfums Veleno Doré

by Katie on November 30, 2017

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Laurent Mazzone’s talent is undeniable. Expert in luxuriously relaying the sensory qualities of sensation, colour and pattern into his premium perfumes, Mazzone’s creations are resultantly addictive and sumptuous as any true indicator of luxury should be. These vials convey premium at a price, rich in expensive and rare ingredients with the perfumer’s artistry foremost relaying the perfume mood.

LM Parfums latest release, Veleno Doré, the second in the luxury Gold Label range, housed in black lacquer casing, is case in point.

The perfume’s visual is arresting and disturbing, as a black snake wraps itself around the juice – danger, forbidden fruit, this will bite, poison…are all the thoughts that come to mind. With an intriguing and underlying masculinity, Veleno Doré’s sensual beauty attracts the female. It takes a brave women to dive into this hedonistic, spicy chypre.

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A warm blast of a rich and robust tobacco leaf is mixed with the finest patchouli with heavy doses of rum, nutmeg and chilli to spice things up. There’s a smooth velvety vanilla and amber streak that runs through this poison, making the juice deliberately and deliciously narcotic. Mazzone’s inspiration for Veleno Doré lies in a legend: “In the depths of a remote forest, the powerful snake king lurks patiently in the shadows, waiting for his prey. When the king strikes, his victim is turned into gold on contact with his extraordinary venom. Veleno Doré recounts this ancient tale where, after death, something sublime emerges.”

It has to be encountered to be believed.

LM Parfums Veleno Doré will be available as Extrait de Parfum (£395 for 100ml) from 1st October 2017 from Harvey Nichols.

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What’s New

Estee Lauder’s new Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix

Look & Feel

A  sophisticated, ombre-toned, brown bottle with a custom-designed 360 degree massage applicator that should be rolled under each eye three times before massaging both above and below the eye.

What It Does

Promises to repair all signs of visible ageing including fine line and wrinkles, under-eye puffiness and uneven skin tone. Also, fortifies the thin skin around the eyes by increasing density as well as hydrating with deep, lasting moisture for a full 24 hours, prompting skin to naturally build more moisture from within.

Review:

As you’d expect from beauty giant, Estee Lauder, this newly launched re-worked product has been zsushed up with the addition of patent-pending 360 degree Matrix Technology – a blend of visco-elastic polymer and 2X concentrated infusion of two types of Hyaluronic Acid. proposed as an all-in-one solution for tired, dry eyes.

Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix feels cool and hydrating on application and makes eyes feel instantly refreshed. Long term results (plus 4 weeks) have yet to be recorded but the product is already a reach-for, instant boost of much-needed moisture for tired eyes. Please note that although Hyaluronic acid is moisturizing, it cannot address the look of ingrained under eye circles.

NEW Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix is priced at £49 and is available nationwide from Estee Lauder counters and on esteelauder.co.uk online.

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