Layer it up!

It’s only the beginning of winter, yet it is already so cold and rainy outside! Here’s some cute and cozy outfit ideas that’ll help keep you warm and safe from the weather while still looking stylish.

The easiest way to keep warm is to layer from head to toe.  This means you can go all out and wear the coziest sweaters, hats and gloves, while still looking cute of course.  For hats, try wearing a beanie or wide brim hat, they’re perfect for keeping your head warm.  Splendid has some great beanies and Aritzia has some great fedora alternatives.  Next are scarves, which can be used to keep your neck warm or used as a shall.  Big wool scarves are great for winter, and can be especially cute in vintage patterns.

As far as jackets and sweaters go, it is important to build up layers, starting with the lightest fabric. An example would be a light weight t-shirt underneath a thick flannel paired with a utilitarian jacket. Another alternative is to just wear a great big wool or fur coat over whatever you are wearing. If bought in a neutral color with small details, they can go with just about anything! The best thing about winter is all the great boot options. I love wearing my distressed Frye’s with a pair of wool knee high socks underneath. Lastly, don’t forget your mittens and a Venti Starbucks tea to help keep you warm this winter!

Dotting around

I am a big fan of Urban Outfitters and recently got my hands on this awesome dungarees dress contraption pictured above (and available here) which I think is super duper cute especially dressed down like I did above or even thrown over a bikini on the beach on holiday! In the words of Paris Hitlon, loves it.

And, I want to let you know that you guys can get 20% off any full price product using the code ‘FILTHY20’ on the Urban Outfitters website – and shipping is free on order over £50!

There are also loads of festival ticket giveaways up for grabs here for you to check out if you’re interested, why not eh! Got nothing to lose I say ^.^
Hope you guys are well and enjoy the post, and make sure you make the most of the 20% off code!

Vogue’s Anne Vincent for the Bellevue Collection Fashion Week

To many of us in the fashion industry, Vogue Magazine is the holy grail of our industry. They really are the fashion authority and going in to meet with Anne Vincent, Merchandising and Events Director for Vogue Magazine I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. To my delight, Anne is not only very chilled but is soft spoken and has a very friendly and gentle demeanor about her with an underlying air of authority. I came in and in her British accent she immediately commented on how she liked my necklace which instantly put me at ease.

Anne has been working on the fashion industry for 12 year in London and NY. She is here to produce and direct the Front Row Fashion Show presented by Vogue as part of the Bellevue Collection Fashion Week. The show which is taking place this Saturday night at the Hyatt in Bellevue is the biggest attraction for Fashion Week. I am lucky to get 30 minutes of Anne’s time to get a glimpse the preparations for Saturday’s show. She arrived the day before and had spent most of the day going to the mall’s stores to pull the looks for the show. After meeting with me, she was on her way to do a sound and visual check, follow by more store visits, meeting with hair and make-up and more fittings with models.

Here is our interview:

FF: Can you tell us a little bit about The Bellevue Collection Fashion Week and how the collaboration came about?

AV: It started 3 years ago because we wanted to enhance the Bellevue Collection Fashion Week experience. Give an amazing show with Bellevue Collection and Vogue Magazine.

FF: This is your third year coming out here, have you seen any changes in the fashion scene in our area? More interest? Bigger crowds?

AV: It has definitely grown; we had to change the layout of the venue to accommodate the growing crowd. Definitely there has been an added interest. People always dress up, it is Saturday night and it is a big show.

FF: What is your perception of Seattle-area fashion? Has it changed over the years?

AV: I have been coming here for the past 5-6 years for a number of different events and I have always found the women to be extremely stylish and have a high interest in fashion. I have seen more smaller boutiques come up and more interest in independent designers and up and coming designers. Fashion is more accessible now and you can watch the runway shows on the internet 20 minutes after they happen.

FF: What can we expect for the show this Saturday? Is it different from other years? And what is the vibe of the show?

AV: it is split into segments based on trends and the beauty of this show is that everything has been pulled from what is in the stores this week. What you see on the runway, you can purchase immediately.

We have amazing models from LA and Seattle, killer visuals and music, an amazing styling team. We have a variety of different trends for different looks from casual to daywear to formal. Clothing from great designers found at Nordstrom – Abby Ferrin, Cynthia Vincent and Haute Hippie. Clothing from Vince, Ellein Fisher, Anne Taylor, Report Shoes.

The vibe is high energy. We will show wearable clothes with a Vogue twist. Fashionably Fun Fashion!

FF: So who is on your styling team? And do you ever work with Seattle stylists?

AV: Lawrence Zarain. He is just did the Emmy Red Carpet in LA and he is a regular on Regis and Kelly and he is just flying to NYC to interview Vera Wang. He is very accomplished. Lawrence and I have an event on Saturday at the Center Court on the Bellevue Mall at 11am. It is the Fashion Forecast, which will be a sneak peak at the evening show but mostly we will give tips on how to update your wardrobe for the fall. It doesn’t take much, you don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe, you can just add pieces to your existing wardrobe.

No, we haven’t had the pleasure to work with Seattle stylists.

FF: What are the biggest fall trends in fashion and beauty?

AV: Outerwear, especially for this area. Big parkas in army green color, you can wear them over jeans, dresses, leggings. Textured layering, tweets with wools with leather. 24/7 utility – we are calling it, great cargo pants, jeans, military jackets- resonate well with outdoor community but still stylish. Bags, Talbots has some amazing bags right now, skin bags and great shapes, colorful shoes.

For the show on Saturday, we will either do a really strong eye with nudes lips so that the eyes are really highlighted or we will do a bold red lips, there are many shades from bright red to an almost burgundy, with simple eyes. I haven’t really decided, yet, we will meet with hair and make-up and look at the clothes. In hair, a trend now is pony tails with your own hair wrapped around the pony tail. The other look is slicked/gelled back in the front and left natural/textured on the back.

FF: What is your 1# fashion tip?

AV: My biggest fashion tip is, that before you go shopping, really assess what you have in your closet because without fail, we always gravitate towards the same things and so we buy another black dress or things that we already have. Assess what you have and what you really need. You don’t have to get a new wardrobe; you can add smart accessories, bags, shoes.

FF: Any advice for anyone coming into the fashion industry?

AV: Work really hard with no attitude. Be willing and able to do anything and everything to get the job done. It is a big industry with many areas but you can get the experience, meet the right people and network-very important. My summer intern worked really hard for me all summer and she asked if she could come help me here for this show and I said yes, because she had worked really hard. So she is coming tomorrow from NY.

The Bellevue Collection Fashion Week is happening through Sunday. There are many fun fashion events happening, so check out their website and don’t miss the Vogue Front Row Show!


Feathered Earrings

Long time, I know, and I apologise! But I have been busy with lots of different things, and had a bit of a writer’s block, but recently noticed my growing collection of feathered earrings and I had to take pics and show you guys one of my new fave’s of the moment !!
And here you have them, pictured above! One of my favourite new trends is the feathered earing, and they are so versatile and easy to wear, and come in so many different colours, and sizes, that they are perfect with almost every simple outfit !

All the earrings pictured above are from Topshop, and range in price, between £8-£15 I think, but are a must have in this winter’s wardrobe, especially if you have long hair, as they can really make your ear’s pop !
So beauts, go out and get your paws on some feathered jewels!

Back to School Essentials

Going back to school is always bittersweet. Summer is over and school stress slowly starts to pile on, but friends are reunited and there is no better place to showcase fall trends than at school. Sometimes the back to school trends can be confusing, so that’s why we’re here to make your first day back to school outfit easier to put together! Being Seattle-ites, it’s important for us to stay up to date on trends and looking stylish while still being able to dress for our unpredictable weather. Luckily for us, however, the end of August through September is the most beautiful time of the year, making getting dressed a breeze compared to those gross rainy days.

While it is important to be up-to-date on trends and look stylish, it is even more important to dress for yourself and have your own style. Sometimes at school it is easy for everyone to dress the same, resulting in teenage duplicates wandering down the halls. Hopefully after reading this article, you will know how to keep your own style while still incorporating the trends that work with your body shape, style, and personality. There is nothing more up-to-date and stylish than being yourself and having your own style.
Along with keeping up-to-date with magazines, another great way to get inspiration for back to school is to go on as well as Chictopia. Happy back to school shopping!

Every year there is one statement jacket that rules above all other pieces. This fall, it is the blazer. There is nothing more chic than a great fitting black blazer. To try something new, try a white blazer (they’re super in!) for those wanting to put a twist on the classic. There is also a boyfriend blazer (Urban Outfitter’s boyfriend blazer below) to tie in the masculine trend that is also in this fall. Lastly, for you risk takers, try a sequined, velvet, or silk blazer. All blazers look fantastic with a great pair of fitting jeans and a simple v-neck white t-shirt. There are numerous ways to wear a blazer, though. Try pairing it with your favorite frilly dress to give it an edge, or with a pair of high waist shorts to play up the preppy factor. There is nothing more flattering than a blazer, so in my opinion, you can never have too many; and plus, there are so many different colors and prints to buy them in!

Forever 21 classic black blazer $39.80

Wilfred Le Fou crepe blazer $225 (ON SALE!); Aritzia

Kourtney Kardashian rocking the white blazer with a pair of flare jeans


As far as tops go, the classic white v-neck is always in style. One trend to most definitely try is the denim on denim look. One thing about denim on denim is making sure they are different colors, otherwise, you’ll look like one big piece of fabric! Try a denim shirt with a pair of dark skinny jeans or pair it with a flow-y maxi/mini dress to make it more casual. Also, a great pencil skirt paired with a denim shirt and cute scarf is for sure to make a great outfit.

Ashley Olsen Sporting Denim on Denim


Like every year, there is nothing more “in-style” than a great pair of jeans that fits your body type perfectly. A lot of times, teens can get caught up in trends and ignore what looks good on their bodies. While it can be fun to try new denim trends (like the 70’s inspired flare or the skinny colored denim) it is most important to buy jeans that flatter your figure and make you feel comfortable. Whether your “go-to” jeans are straight leg, skinny, boot-cut, cropped, or boyfriend, wear what is right for you. If the new denim trends work for your style and body, then take advantage of that and work them into your wardrobe!

LeAnn Rimes and Whitney Port wearing their colored denim (Whitney has the denim on denim trend spot on!)


Shoes can make or break an outfit, which is why it is important to have shoes that are firstly comfortable for walking around in at school, and secondly, shoes that are in style and fit your personality. With all our rainy and cold weather it can be hard to avoid those comfy but oh-so overrated UGGS. Hopefully some of these options can help you! One trend that is in for shoes is the oxford/loafer look along with the relaxed Frye motorcycle boot. For those of you not afraid to walk around in heels, try a chunky heeled bootie or wedge. Of course, there is nothing more versatile and in style than a cute ballet flat in different colors and prints.

Accessories are the place where you can have the most freedom in your outfits. While there are some trends to be familiar with, like layering bracelets and necklaces or wearing a cute fedora (try a dark brown or black one for fall!) to school, this is the place that identifies your style and personality most. Although it can be pricey, Chan Luu has great wrap leather bracelets and charm necklaces that can totally complete an out fit. A more economical place for jewelry is also Forever21, and they have some great pieces as well! Whether it’s a bright nail polish, chunky rings, or a deep plum wool scarf, wear what adds to your style but also try and incorporate the trends into your outfits for an up to date look.

Closet Keepers

5 pieces that will see you through every age

It is closet cleaning time and although the urge to toss everything may have you running to the nearest thrift store, make sure you hold on to these closet gems. These 5 pieces, provided you take care of them, can see you through every age and every fashion trend. Classics that truly stand the test of time.

While the striped shirt may seem like it is reserved for your younger days, with a little bit of styling, it is a piece that can you can kick around in well into the later days of life.

This is a must. Every woman at every age should always have a classic white button down in her closet. It is one of the few pieces that can be dressed up or paired down. It is interview appropriate as well as being perfectly at home at a backyard BBQ.

Nothing says chic like a trench coat. If worn in your early years, it gives the appearance of  maturity and when worn later in life provides a graceful sophistication only known to the likes of  Hepburn, Catherine or Audrey.

Round or Pointy, patent or suede, the black pump can easily carry you through your awkward teens to the grace of age. Able to be worn with dresses and jeans alike, these may even be the shoes that your daughter asks to borrow one day.

Stylish since DVF invented it in 1976 and proven to be one of the few dresses that almost every body type can pull off, the wrap dress is one to keep a hanger for in your closet. Whether you are hiding the freshman 15, baby bump or wearing it to your 50th anniversary it never goes out of style. And think if you purchase it in black it can serve double duty as your LBD (little black dress). Double score

What’s your style?

Personal style is something that has become very important to me over the last few years. With every year that passes I feel I am more open and confident to try new things. There was a time when I had no real sense of what my style was. It was more about what other people were wearing instead of creating my own look. The turning point was a red shawl I once bought that I tied around my waist as a pseudo skirt over jeans. Now I don’t want to take credit for starting that trend (because I didn’t) but it was a good two years before stores were selling jeans with shawls attached to them. The point is I took a chance and wasn’t scared to play with fashion.

Fashion is fearless. Fashion allows you to explore different dimensions of yourself without doing something too drastic. You can take inspiration from almost anything. I love looking at pictures of what my mom was wearing in the Seventies and putting my own spin on it. I’ve also come to find that having a sense of style doesn’t mean spending a ton of money. For this last New Year’s Eve I bought a fabulous party dress for $25 at one of my favorite Vintage stores. At the end of the party a woman came up to me and complimented my dress and asked if it was BCBG. She didn’t believe me when I told her where I got it!

Create your own style whatever it may be. We all have different taste and may like different things but that’s what makes it fun. You may see someone wearing something that you would never wear but give them credit for taking a risk.

Come To Your Senses: A Journey Into the World of Fragrance

Fragrances are one of my guilty pleasures in this world. From the therapeutic benefits of essential oils to the intoxicating aroma of a fine Chanel fragrance. It has been said that fragrances create, capture and evoke memories. Surely you have caught the slight aroma of something wonderful and were instantly transported back to a fond or maybe not so fond moment. The scent of Tresor by Lancome always reminds me of my grandmother.

When I spritz Une Fleur by Chanel on my wrist, I instantly remember walking down the aisle with my dad on my wedding day. The smell of Bath and Body Works Sun-Ripened Raspberry quickly transports me back to high school- 5th period of my Sophomore year to be exact. So who is in charge of capturing and creating these wonderful aromas? Meet Ann Gottlieb, fragrance developer. Ann has had a hand in creating some of the most well-known fragrances in the world. cK One, cK Obsession, Marc Jacobs Lola and many Bath and Body Works fragrances are just a few. In this interview (sourced from Ann talks about how she describes what she does, what fragrance means to her and what she sees for the future of fragrance.

Of the many fragrances you have created over the years, of which are you most proud ?

There are many fragrances that I have worked on that I am very proud of. I really feel that each of the fragrances that I work on become “my children…” and it’s difficult for me, as it would be for a mother, to pick a favorite! There are many that I really love, but for different reasons… some because they have become iconic, and others because I just love them, and enjoy wearing them personally. But of those that will be “on my tombstone” : certainly cK one is one of which I am very proud ; Daisy and Lola from Marc Jacobs are certainly also important to me… J’Adore from Christian Dior, Euphoria from Calvin Klein, 212 from Carolina Herrera – both for women and men – all of these are special fragrances which launched well and continue to do quite nicely. And then, I would have to include the Axe Body Spray portfolio. That is a product form that has done quite well, and I feel quite responsible for the Axe fragrance portfolio. I do chuckle to myself every time I think that, really, it’s a grandma who is developing these fragrances for teenage boys, and really succeeding !

Well, that’s a credit to your ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes… So, how would you define your occupation ? What do you feel it is that you do ? Or, when you are at a cocktail party and someone asks you “What do you do ?” … what do you say ?
In answer to “what I do”, certainly I would say that I develop fragrances… But I would rather have it said that what I do is translate images into scent – because development and creation are never done in a vacuum. I smell very strategically and I must have an image in my mind of what this fragrance is for throughout the process of development. So, I don’t think that I am just “a nose” as such, I think that I am much more… Or, if I am a nose, I am a very strategic one !

What would you say is the most thrilling aspect of your job ?
There are a number of different parts of my job that are exciting. One of the most basic is when I am walking down the street and I can smell one of my fragrances (on someone). This always gives me a little thrill and delights me. It is very much a “high”… and really quite exciting. And hearing the manifestations of my work – especially hearing how much people might enjoy a fragrance I helped to develop – and just knowing that I bring pleasure to people. That’s really such a wonderful part of my job.

What led you to this occupation, and where and how did you start?
I owe where my career is today to a series of “lucky breaks” – combined with some sort of subliminal vision that I had. I was heading toward something, but the way it evolved was something that just happened! I was an accounting major in college, and I started work as an accountant and that was something that I really did not like – at all ! So I went on an interview and was fortunate enough to get an entry level job at Estee Lauder. The product development team was one of the areas where they needed someone, so off I went into that department. It was life-changing because I had two mentors there – and I think mentors are so important in one’s career. One of them was Estee Lauder herself, and the other was the woman who was my direct boss, Annette Golden. They both saw in me a talent which I didn’t know that I had – that I had a good nose. So I was given a lot of opportunity with Mrs. Lauder, to smell with her and to develop fragrances with her. And I guess I must have answered her questions in the right way because the work that I did with her grew and grew, and we ended up developing together the fragrances that were done during my tenure there : Private Collection and Alliage. After that I had a serious of corporate jobs – at Revlon and at Elizabeth Arden – and quite by accident 25 years ago I went out on my own, having no idea that I was heading toward anything in particular, really, and it turned out to be the luckiest “break” of my professional life. The first fragrance I did in my new business as a fragrance consultant became Obsession for Women from Calvin Klein (launched in 1985).

Well, that was a pretty good way to begin ! So, can you tell us one of the best memories you have of your career, a particular moment of your career which carried with it tremendous portent or a wonderful memory for you ?
There is not even a “maybe” as to what that was…It was receiving the Circle of Champions award. It’s an award given to one person each year by the Fragrance Foundation, and the Fragrance Foundation Board (in New York) selects its recipient. So it is an award that was given to me by my peers, literally. And it was such a touching acknowledgement of my career, and one that I will never forget. It was just the most meaningful and special professional moment of my life.

On an entirely different subject, what are your favorite raw materials ?
My favorite raw material is probably vanilla. I also adore fruity notes. I think that I had a lot to do with the trend when fruity notes became really important in the ‘90’s. One of the reasons that occurred is because of a company called Bath & Body Works… and I was fortunate enough to be the first “nose” for that line. For the first four years I was responsible for all of the fragrances that their stores, and that those of their sister company, Victoria’s Secret, launched.

I knew that you had worked with BBW, but I didn’t know that it was to that extent.
Oh, there is no question in my mind that the caliber and the types of fragrances that they launched were very much the result of my work for them. In fact it was, interestingly enough, one of those professional “mistakes”… Well, not really mistakes. I had been used to smelling only fine fragrance, and when I was hired to do their line of toiletry products, I knew nothing other than to apply what I knew from fine fragrance to this work. And so, in doing that, it really elevated fragrances for body care to a different level. And the preponderance of fruits in those lines had a strong influence on fine fragrance. It was really a wonderful example of “trickle up” !

Interesting… So the things that you developed for BBW then had an impact on fine fragrance ?
Exactly, and BBW stores were everywhere (in the U.S.) and people kept on smelling fruits, like strawberry. Things that, up until then, women had found almost nauseating. These fruity notes then came into the public domain much more, and people started loving those notes.

And are there those raw materials with which you don’t like to work?
There are a number of ingredients that, if I smell them in a fragrance, I cannot get past that particular note or odor. It’s as if on those bottles they have one of those circles – with the line through it! So perfumers know that if that note is within a particular creation and it can be obviously smelled, it is not for me. One of those notes is honey, one of them is black currant (or cassis). Also, within that world, interestingly enough, there are grapefruit and peach notes that have that same sulphuric note that, for me, is redolent of body odor.

Are there some notes or accords that, for you, equal the idea of seduction more than others ?
Certainly. I am a great believer that “What goes in your mouth and what goes in your nose are greatly related”. And that accords and odors that are tasty and succulent and addictive in a fragrance make you love it and find it succulent and seductive.

Ann, on an entirely different topic, how do you see the future of fragrances? What are your hopes for the future, and what are your concerns?
We are at a point in our industry when we are in serious need of – I wouldn’t say re-invention – but evolution. We know that our business is not so healthy, and it has been this way for a while, and that the economy isn’t helping us at all… and we also know that some consumers are no longer buying fragrances and that we really want to bring them back to our world. For me, fragrance is magic. It makes me feel good when I’m down, it makes me happy, and I know that it is capable of generating that kind of response in people who could really use it. We have to find a way of bringing that feeling back again – because we used to have it – we just lost it.

So what do you think would be a first step toward a positive future for fragrance ?
I think that we have to find better ways of understanding consumers, and of understanding why we’re not giving them what they want. We have to learn what they are buying instead (that gives them that thrill or enjoyment). And to understand what it is that the industry is doing or not doing well. And the only way that we can know that is to go and talk to the people that we want to attract.

Do you have any crazy idea of how to communicate fragrance to people – something that you would love to see happen ?
Yes. The crazy idea is that companies will be less concerned just with the bottom line and more concerned with delivering a magical product. So that consumers would feel that they are getting something magical. And if we do that, we will ultimately sell more fragrance!

And to conclude, what fragrance or fragrances do you usually wear ?
Well, first of all, I am most often wearing fragrances that I am working on currently – because I am always evaluating ! And it is extremely important to evaluate the fragrances on the skin, as opposed to just on the (paper) blotter. We wear fragrances on our skin, and our skin is another important element in how the fragrance smells ! So, I rarely wear something that is already on the market unless it is something that I have done. On the other hand, part of the value I bring to my clients is that I have a pretty good olfactive memory so, in addition to wearing things that I have done or that I am currently working on, I do like to keep up with important new launches in the marketplace to understand what is “going on” olfactively (in the market). If it is really “down time” – when I am really relaxing – I may well wear something by Guerlain ; something that is has been around for a long time that I used to love wearing and that I rarely have the opportunity to wear now…

Like what?
Like Chamade. And I love some of the Chanel fragrances. Like Beige – which is really a vintage fragrance that they just reintroduced. And I find, frankly, that the fragrances that I adore wearing are those that smell really high-quality to me. Creating fragrances is an art, and our perfumers are amazing artists who can offer very, very beautiful works of art if they are given the chance to use the wonderful – and often expensive! – materials available to them.