10 Top Stories – Quick 2014 Round-Up

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1) Hair cut and a telling off here

2) Eavesdropping, Spanish Steps Style here

3) Overheard amusing conversation on the London tube here

4) 10 reasons you know you live with an Italian here

5) Magazine moment and inspiration ladies here

6) The date, nutella-dilemma and ivy embellished bars here 

aka “Why American boy when you are in Italia?

7) Jazz moment: here

8) Paris, Paris, Paris

9) New years resolutions of 2014 – being flawless isn’t always necessary or all that exciting here

10) Roman Insults, Yoga & a Revelation here

 

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Magazine Moment, Prosecco & Inspirational Ladies

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I’m sure there was once a point to human handbag-shelf and tottering bottle of hair-spray Olivia Palermo, but I’ve forgotten it. The reason I bring her up is because I ran into her website the other day and then ran away for fear of turning into a pink Furbee embellished with diamanté bits and oversized sunglasses.

“I ran into her website the other day and then ran away for fear of turning into a pink Furbee embellished with diamanté bits and oversized sunglasses…”

What I am happy about is the new Porter magazine which I found on a colourful mag vendor in Campo de’ Fiori the other day. Don’t get me wrong, Vogue UK and Italia is still up there with top magazine totty, but I was curious how yet another magazine could be brought to life, successfully.

Turns out, the editor Lucy Yeomans has a point. She is an example of magazine goddess-ism, swanning her way from editor-in-chief of UK’s Harpers Bazaar to the luxury online fashion website of Net-A-Porter. Before you ask, yes her big, blond hair is bouncing with creative originality and tons of ways to present fashion, art and design to the consumer and culture hungry audience. More significantly, she knows how to merge commerce with content. This will be the “fashion magazine of the future.” I hear your cry: don’t they all bloody say that?

“Before you ask, yes her big, blond hair is bouncing with creative originality and tons of ways to present fashion, art and design to the consumer and culture hungry audience…”

As an avid reader of magazines (I love the scent of a fresh publication, the new season’s adverts and where possible, interviews of the female power forces behind loud industry brands,) surely it must be hard to push yet another one into the market. Giving Lucy Yeomans the benefit of the doubt, her editor’s letter already has more substance than some of the existing fashion comments that drip across the already limited pages filled with the written word.

As you can imagine – adverts still breed adverts and so it is basically the same as every other sodding mag you know. BUT it also aims to offer “a unique global curation of all the most beautiful and interesting things in the world…” whether you want to know about a book, a trip of a lifetime or a magnificent art-show. It’s not all skirts, people!

In a recent interview, Yeomans states that the “traditional publishing world has so many boundaries…but the internet changes that completely.” In other words the internet allows for reaching a vast global audience. Being a reader and consumer it is vital not to waste time on rather flat, poncy websites that are ultimately tools of self-promotion (sorry Palermo) but to focus on something that brings inspiration on top of the flat and poncy stuff.

The thing is, fashion is a living and breathing thing and I admire Lucy Yeomans for leaving the Ferrero Rocher scented and Champagne gilded Harper’s Bazaar to launch Porter into our hands.

Essentially, she’s celebrating a bouquet of “incredible women’s stories and empowered women to be everything they dreamed of.” See, that’s nice, isn’t it?

References
http://www.net-a-porter.com/portermagazine
http://www.businessoffashion.com
http://www.oliviapalermo.com

“Essentially, she’s celebrating a bouquet of ‘incredible women’s stories and empowered women to be everything they dreamed of.’ See, that’s nice, isn’t it?”

Chic-Snap, Milano, Rain-Check Coat

Chic-Snap, Milano, Rain-Check Coat

Street style: quilted black trench: check out the snazzy, red shoes on the left! That is one way to sparkle up the damp streets of Milan! 2014 Milan Fashion Week

Chic-Snap, Milano

Chic-Snap, Milano

I’ve recently been to Milan with Elena (mother I au-pair for) and managed to spy some glamorous, Italian moments, otherwise known as “Don’t look at me BUT make sure you look how fabulous I am” Happened to be there when … Continue reading

Gucci As You’ve Never Seen Him Before

( Image courtesy of: http://www.sociallyvogue.com/guccio-gucci.html ) ( http://www.gucci.com/cn-en/home ) “We know an awful lot about the clothes, pearly yachts, luxury cheekbones and vague, glazed beauty that clings to the House of Gucci – but what about the gentleman himself?” I wanted … Continue reading

The Style Section

After some winks and nudges, I have been asked to provide a The Signorina: STYLE section – to document Wish Lists and a Comment area on the ever-evolving and ever-fascinating world of Fashion.

Search For Sophistication Disguised As A Hair Cut

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The other morning, I decided it was time to get my hair cut. Not only did my hair feel limp and unhealthy, after a certain point I realised this makes you feel gloomy too. A messy lop of hair following you around, like a sad, wild cat limping about the dustbins.

You can understand why I felt I needed to take action.

I went to a cute salon just off the Spanish Steps, where a bouncy, Bulgarian woman removed my coat and scarf with a flick of her wrist, and had me bound to a chair, forcing me to stare rigidly into the mirror at my sleepy face and dark hair that I’d bundled up quickly in a ponytail.

“I went to a cute salon just off the Spanish Steps, where a bouncy, Bulgarian woman removed my coat and scarf with a flick of her wrist…had me bound to a chair, forcing me to stare rigidly into the mirror at my sleepy face…”

My first dilemma: are you meant to dress up fabulously for a trip to the hairdressers?

Technically you are being pampered, and want to look and feel twice as fabulous after – it seems rude allowing someone to diligently touch, cut and buff your hair, without even making the effort to wash it and make it look a little bit nice? I would, at the least, suggest minimal eye-make-up and lip gloss so when staring in said mirror you don’t feel hideous.

During the vigorous shampoo massage, the whole world will sit patiently by your feet, letting you enjoy the humming water wash warmly past your ears. He/She will then quiz you about your head.

 “During the vigorous shampoo massage, the whole world will sit patiently by your feet while you enjoy the humming water wash warmly past your ears…”

It is a thrilling moment, where a complete stranger knows your hair so utterly and immediately. Before you even start to talk, the hairdresser has, at James Bond speed and precision, already mustered what you want. Whilst your hand bats around your scalp, motioning in gibberish what you think you want, and describing how you saw someone’s hair somewhere that you think you like – the hairdresser will humour you, nodding and pointing at the right moment. You are inextricably united by a common thought: you KNOW she already knows what you SHOULD have, and you know she knows.

“You are inextricably united by a common thought: you KNOW she already knows what you SHOULD have, and you know she knows”

The extraordinary magic of a hairdresser is that they kindly interpret your hair-womble-blabbing for pure conviction of what you want: after you’ve finished a couple of sentences about ‘trim’ and ‘bouncability’, you will be shut up by them promptly yielding what look like torture devices.

Is it me, or, when said-hairdresser brings out a shiny pair of angular ‘scissors’, a thought darts into your head:

“They look like normal, kitchen scissors?”

“Oh these?” She/He replies – “These are not scissors.”

“Oh? My mistake, I thought-”

“These are Taylors Eye Witness Moulded Handle Hairdressing Cockade Scissors.”

Silence:

“So – still scissors, would you say?”

You ask about the comb that is thrusted through the scalp: (you thought you had one similar, but it does something altogether so different from that half-snapped stick at home, that it must be from a different ‘comb’ family altogether.)

Should you question where it is from:

“Ah, this isn’t actually a comb.”

“No?”

“They are utensils made from high-end heat-resistant materials with handcrafted, rounded teeth. There are, of course, ionic properties within it, and it is clearly rigid, made from 100% natural rubber with an ergonomical rounded comb spine.”

“So, before it’s combing days, it was a small, recycled car?”

She didn’t like my joke.

I only asked because I wanted to understand how some of this luxury can be brought to my bed-side table, without spending away my next trip home to see my family.

As the episode drew on, I kept my head buried in a magazine, worried I’d annoy her with questions and ignorant comments.

Every glance the lady and I exchanged, hummed with the sentiment:

“I know you better than you know yourself. So just shut up will you and stop moving your head?”

Then there is the moment when, even though you’ve been asked nicely to lower your forehead, revealing the delicate hairline, you want to peek at what is going on. Just to check. In case. You know. It is your head. Then comes a ferocious yank where the lady has had it up to here with you. The yank makes you feel three-foot small, and a child. Eyes lowered, you are forced again to stare at falling waves of dark hair tumbling to the floor in slow motion, reaching a silent and doomed end on the sticky, beige floor.

You are almost there: but you can’t go until several buckets of products are poured on your crown, narrowly missing your face and burning your eyes. I paid what felt like a small fortune. However, when I got out into the sunlight, which glanced off my curls and shine, I got several head turns in the street AND a compliment from the Italian mamma.

So, I felt as smug as if I’d just won Head of the Year 2014.

“When I got out into the sunlight, which glanced off my curls and shine, I got several head turns in the street…”

Bobbi Brown Beauty

Bobbi Brown Beauty

Bobbi Brown Lipgloss + When To Wear It?

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This was a treat before I came to Rome actually. Rather than splashing out on lots of new clothes – I decided to buy a new lip gloss. (Call me lavish). The Bobbi Brown pink raspberry kind.

You know what I love about lip gloss? Or indeed any lip product? It is because you can apply it anywhere and it gives you an instant pick-me-up, or whatever it is you want without hobbling on high heels or sporting an expensive item of clothing that hugs in places I shouldn’t.

Some situations I recommend wearing this:

  • An interview moment

The tube is packed and gross, sweaty armpits and angry frowns leaning against unmentionable parts of your body. You leave the tube with a fluster and flurry. Caked in stress and dirt from other people’s morning. You can’t find your Oyster card. You are thrown against the barrier whilst people show off who can. You find it, hurrah! A familiar purple tube taps your finger. You leave the station and the sunlight bathes your face. You add a dab of Pink Raspberry and for a moment you feel slightly better about parading into an unfamiliar office with venomous suits offering you water and sharpening their fangs.

 

  • An airport moment

It’s the most early in the morning it has ever been. You are swimming with sleep, and carrying seven suitcases. Your passport is hiding in one of them. You haven’t had breakfast, you are alone and late. Lady loudspeaker in the airport is catapolting instructions and indications. The airport is chaotic – are you in the right one? Double check ticket, ticket says ‘yes you are.’ Gate is not up, thank the Lord. Cafe’ sign next to screen with gates. You order a coffee and offload luggage. You sit and think and remember how excited you are about where you are going. You enjoy coffee, attractive waiter is staring at you even though you feel like an orc. Finish coffee, get a bit of Bobbi out, apply and leave for flight.

 

Find out more here!

Beauty

So after some requests I’ve been asked to create a The Signorina: Beauty section. This is for two reasons:

1) When living in Rome, I tend to pick up ideas moreso than when at home in London and it is nice to have a place to document /share them

2) The mother who I live with, called Elena, works in fashion (!) and SO I have immediate inside knowledge, absorbing it automatically (I like to think!) as I walk through the lovely apartment