Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Do's and Do Not's of the Christmas Do.

The party circuit is coming up very quickly and the one question on the tip of every girl's lips will be; what shall I wear? I don't want to go too slutty but I don't want to go too conservative. And then there is always the office bitch who will judge what you wear in your hair to what colour your toes have been painted. It's a lot easier for guys; shirt, trousers and away we go. A lot of very famous women have got it very wrong in front of millions of viewers, so you should be okay in front of twenty five co-workers....... shouldn't you?

Here's a short list of what you should do, and maybe what you shouldn't do..........

Do not wear bright, statement colours. Do not wear dresses with as much shape as one of those toilet roll covers your nan used to have in the downstairs toilet. Do not wear hi-top trainers with evening wear. Just don't.

Do wear floaty little numbers with a distressed leather jacket over the top; pretty but with an edge. Do wear black tights, they cover all imperfections. Do wear a vibrant colour but keep it subtle and tone it down with more neutral accessories.

Don't go o the party looking like Daisy Duke. Don't just wear hot pants and cowboy boots. Don't wear tight figure hugging tops that put everything on display; it will get the photocopy boy too hot under the collar. In conclusion, don't go looking like Britney Spears, she's not the best fashion role model in the world. And she slept with KFed.........

Do wear vintage. Not your sister's hand me downs, but dresses from a different era when style and grace was key to everything. Keep colours neutral, match with a pair of baby doll shoes. Paint your toes red, they'll lift a subtle outfit. Wear your hair loosely, it will make evening wear more casual.

Don't go in fancy dress when the invite didn't say fancy dress. Don't go 'sexy', you'll end up looking like a street walker. Don't wear a skirt that barely covers your knickers; the office bitch will have a field day. Don't go looking like Donald Duck, Donald Duck wasn't funny or clever.

Dress with poise and grace. Wear a shape and colour that flatters your skin tone. Nip a dress in at the waist for a perfect silhouette. Wear delicate heels and don't be afraid to show a bit of leg; just not too much. Have a pedicure! There is nothing worse than uncared for feet.

Don't go in a gimp mask, it will frighten the boss, and might put your position in jeopardy.

And finally, don't go head to toe in Kermit the Frog related pieces. It is a bit childish and a little bit scary.

The Do's and Do Not's of the Christmas Do. Easy really.

by philip booth

The Christmas Jumper!!!

Here at Grace Bardin HQ we are interested in the new trends that everyone will be wearing this season, and as a guy who likes to keep warm during the cold months, the Christmas jumper is a must have for every discernible gentleman's wardrobe. It may remind us of when we were young and our nan would present us with a shocking knitted cardigan with a dinosaur emblazoned across the chest. It may remind us of that moment in Bridget Jones' Diary, when her 'Mr Darcy' turns around at a festive party to reveal a beauty of a jumper that his mum had bought him. Poor old Colin Firth. However, the Indie kids have made it cool to walk around with Thomas the Tank Engine on their top. I for one, went out and got myself two embroidered tops the other day; one with ducks carrying umbrellas and the other with robots resting proudly on my mid-riff. The Christmas jumper makes us smile, it's nostalgic. Here is a run down of the best sweaters on the High Street at the moment.

This patchwork number from All Saints is £60 in their Mid-Season Sale. As with all of their knitwear, it is soft, invitingly warm and fits all shapes. Be careful, because as with most delicate garments, this cardigan has a tendency to disintegrate in the wash. I can imagine Colin Farrell wearing this as he is just about to bust heads open in Belgium. Or maybe you could be wearing it as you are just about to bust beers open at your Aunt Sally's house.

A nice jumper from H&M, retailing at £29.99. The funnel neck and ribbed cuffs and waistband are bound to keep you warm during those freezing London mornings. I love the snow flake style print and neutral tones. Imagine Sean Connery. a martini and a open fire with a beautiful girl. Or how about you, the Mrs, a can of Stella and X Factor on the telly.

A more simple traditional design from River Island, retailing at £34.99. Again the jumper is chunky, with a wintery feel to the embroidery. The crew neck, with ribbed cuffs and waistband are classic characteristics of the knitted jumpers from our youth. In fact, I think my nan may have got a job at the River Island design office.

Topman never fails to set trends and improve existing ones. They have gone all out Christmas in these two knitted jumpers above. I love the khaki reindeer inspired garment, but am also very fond of the blue snow flake piece. At £38 each, I might just buy both. They couldn't get more Christmassy; even if Bing Crosby came around to your house with Noel Edmonds in tow, singing Christmas carols and throwing roasted chestnuts at your head.

A more subtle piece from Zara, but just as striking. Very reasonable at £39.99, this Zara garment has a nice snowy feel to its finish. I can imagine the Indie kids around London Fields poncing around in this sweater throughout the festive season.

So have I sold you the Christmas jumper? I think you should all go out onto the High Street and purchase one of these fine sweaters mentioned. It will make me very happy; and if you don't care about me, it will definitely make your mum and nan smile this winter.

by philip booth

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

What has happened to the styling at the X Factor?

So the X Factor is coming into its fourth week and the live finals seem to be getting more ridiculous as Simon Cowell's trousers get closer to his armpits. Cheryl Cole has died her hair red to go with her pink lipstick and pink dress, a great look. Danni keeps getting pushed further and further away from the judging table (she'll be sitting in the back row with the rest of the neanderthals by week 52) Louis' face seems to be morphing into a leprechaun with every passing commercial (no plastic surgery aye?) Dermot gets more boring as the cold nights draw in and Katie Waissel's ears seem to be moving outwards in an uncontrollable fashion. But what has upset me the most is the styling, or lack of; some of them really have looked shocking. I wonder how much these stylists get paid? My nan could do better, and she's dead.

Now; we all know that Cheryl is trying to turn Cher into a little Mrs Cole, but Cheryl didn't do a good job of it; so I think she should leave poor Cher be, for her own sake. No wonder why Cher keeps breaking down after performances, If I was wearing this terrible tracksuit, I'd probably be vomiting over myself mid-song.

I thought the UK had moved on from those terrible stereotypes we used to have to sit through on national TV. But when Diva Fever walked on stage, I thought I had turned it over to a terrible 70s sitcom where homosexuals were dressed in skirts and berated for being 'too feminine.' At one point I think I saw David from 'The Only Gay in the Village' stroll past in the background. 'I know! Lets put them in lots of sparkle, cycling shorts, really tight trousers and make them sing Wham! songs'. How original.

Rebecca Ferguson, with her obvious lack of confidence, looked stunning during the early auditions. She wore cute little dresses, vintage shoes and flattering makeup. Fast forward a few weeks and the wonderful stylists at X Factor put her in a dress made of wet suit material. It clung onto every bump and made Miss Ferguson look about 20 stone. Classic. And on Saturday, I see Miss Cheryl Cole lent her some of her red hair dye, she just won't let up....... but I suppose she gets bored in that big empty house of hers.

I felt a bit sorry for Storm Lee. He was a bit of a joke in his bandanna, rings on every finger, tight jeans and bad hat. So they died his hair pink, put him in women's leggings and a shiny blazer and made him sing terrible 80s rock music. The accent p*ssed me off a bit, but ultimately it was the wonderful people at ITV that made him into a laughing stock. I thought he was going to appear on stage with a mullet, tartan trousers and temporary tattoos at one point.

Treyc...... Tracy........ Trecy.......... Treysea. Whatever her name is. She didn't look great in this quilted leather dress with huge Celtic style cross emblazoned across the mid-riff. Again it made a small girl look the size of Simon Cowell's third house. She's hanging on thanks to the removal of boring John. I for one am looking forward to her next outfit; I'm thinking a dress made of bubble wrap, least it will give the kids in the front row a show.

Wagner. A Facebook legend. I for one want him to carry on until the end so I can watch his incredible dancing, comment on his ever changing hair scrunchies and see if he has waxed his chest that week. I heard he is having a secret relationship with Mary. The kids should be pretty. Well, nice hair anyway.

Poor Paije. I think he's been at the popcorn in his old cinema a bit too much. The bow legged, Notorious B.I.G lookalike keeps getting put in skinny jeans, even though his waist size is probably bigger than Simon Cowell's wallet....... that's pretty big. The shell suit top and Kid 'n' Play hair was just a bit too 80s for me. Great voice though, I think he could be the black Gareth Gates.

And finally, Katie Waissel. Apparently she has slept with James Blunt. Enough said.

by philip booth

Even 'Rock 'n' Roll' stars love the 'Bespoke.'

Stars turned out in force last night at the Q Awards in London; but here on the Grace Bardin Blog, we're not concerned with who won what, or even if Robbie Williams has put on a couple of pounds since his return to Take That. We're worried about what the celebs were wearing. And guess what, most of the 'Rock 'n' Rollers' were suited and booted in 'Bespoke' tailoring.

Plan B has had somewhat of a reinvention since the baggy jeaned days of his first album. He is rarely seen out and about without a fine three piece and shiny shoes. At the Q's last night, Mr B was wearing a slim fitting black suit with crisp white shirt and pocket hanky. A new style to go with his new sound.

Mr Mark Ronson, seen here before the ash blond do that has taken the music world by storm, is no stranger to a fitted suit. The musician and producer always looks elegant in tailored evening wear and skinny tie. The scruffy, long haired look of the nineties and early naughties has been replaced with a sleek, clean cut image; harping back to the 'Mods' of sixties London. Mr Ronson wears it to a tee.

Madness, who are recognised for their 'Ska' style and sound, haven't lost the edge when it comes to fine tailoring. Suggs, who joked last night that the band had been awarded for their idleness over the last thirty years, wore a dog tooth blazer and trousers that suited his shape. The rest of the guys wore evening wear and overcoats that complimented their ages. Five gentlemen with a 'Rock and Roll' finesse.

Again, Ronson looked effortlessly cool in a double breasted suit with striped tee, keeping the nautical theme alive and kicking this autumn. The new hair style has got us all talking in the Grace Bardin office, hit or miss? You decide.......

And finally, Mr Paolo Nutini, in a low cut blazer, bright white shirt and classic cravat. Looking every inch a gentleman and popstar, his down to earth quality sat well with a tailored, sleek look.

Of course there were other well dressed guys and gals on the night, and there were also some stinkers. But here at HQ, we're interested in the 'Bespoke' and ultimately the style conscious. The suit will never die, just ask Sir Paul McCartney and the boys of the biggest Rock band of the moment, Kasabian.............

by philip booth

The 'Bespoke'

The word 'Bespoke' is derived from the verb to bespeak, or to 'speak for something'. In the world of Fashion, the term 'Bespoke' is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men's clothing. Differing to an 'off the peg' item, the 'Bespoke' suit is not mass produced but tailored to the customer's needs. Since the creation of the ready to wear suit at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the 'Bespoke' has become more expensive, but most would agree that there is no better feeling than pulling on a blazer and pair of trousers that has been made specifically for you.

The Saville Row Bespoke Association is a group of Saville Row tailors that has attempted to set a standard by providing minimum requirements for a garment to be allowed to use its trademark.

These points stress- that hand work must be used almost entirely on all garments, including the individual cut of a paper pattern; the service must be personal, have qualified advice, a large selection of fabrics and the keeping of all records for future orders and the participating house must be involved in an approved training scheme.

Grace Bardin has over 25 years experience in fashion and has long been acknowledged for her timeless elegance when creating clothes for both men and women. She is a master of Haute Couture; from black tie and ball gowns to evening and cocktail wear for both ladies and gentlemen. Her Bespoke tailoring service includes shirts, blouses, holiday and country wardrobe.

Grace has extensive experience creating outfits for weddings; from bespoke bridal gowns, to wardrobe for the groom, bridesmaids and mother of the bride. Her image styling and wedding planning services will also help the special day run as smoothly as possible.

Grace's talents also stretch far beyond the creation of new pieces. She can re-design new and existing garments and add personality to old outfits through alterations.

The festive season is fast approaching, and elegance and individuality is key when entering a room. A Grace Bardin Bespoke garment would be perfect to get tongues wagging amongst the office know-it-alls. Her classic designs are affordably priced but produced to the finest specification. So treat yourself this autumn/winter.

by philip booth

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Grace Bardin costumes for Boney M

Grace Bardin Bridal and Evening Millenium Show at Grosvenor Show, London.


Grace Bardin blog is up and running!

It's finally here ladies and gentlemen. The Grace Bardin blog is up and running and bound to cause huge waves within the fashion world. As a fashion designer and stylist, Grace's blog will be concentrating on new trends, styling tips, huge fashion events, personal and commercial styles and of course, many posts will be added about Grace's collections!

Grace will be working with some of the most talented, up and coming journalists and bloggers, to bring you the articles that trully matter.

As you will already know, Grace is a bespoke tailor for Ladies and Gentlemen, a designer of Haute Couture, an image consultant, a personal stylist and shopper and she can also re-design new and existing garmants to update any wardrobe for the new season. There is nothing this lady cannot do!

So why not head down to her new studio at 45 Lisson grove, Marylebone, London! Have a chat and discover what Grace can do for you!

For now, sit back and relax, because the Grace Bardin blog is about to leap into action!

Grace Bardin Bridal and Evening Millenium Show

Grace Bardin 2008 Welsh Assembly BFIIN & GWIIN Fashion Show Preview