Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monochromatic Colour Blocking ...

Here at Mirror Ball studios one trend that the Lady loves is colour-blocking and I am thrilled that it has turned the corner from 'fashion' to 'trend', meaning it's here to stay for some time yet.  

This year the addition of candy sorbet shades offers a fresh welcome palette cleanser to the colour block options but there is one other must-try colour blocking trend this spring / summer.  Yes, as predicted in my Q&A earlier this month for www.mygirlfriendguide.com the monochromatic colour look, otherwise known as top to toe in one color, is making an impact this year.  Indeed, trend setting celebs are now starting to embrace this look.  How clever am I? - he he.

I am loving this concept as I think it sassy, stylish and easy to pull off. It also tends to make you look taller and slimmer - hey, what's not to like about this?  Now, although this is a look that is hard to get wrong, a word of warning; you CAN go wrong with this look ...... and it's all down to the dastardly mixing of tones.  There is nothing that will quite kill this look as fast as having lots of differing tones going on. The key word here is tone not colour - and by that, what I really means is:


By undertone think to yourself; 'does this shade of said colour have a warm or a cool undertone?' For warm think yellowy or orange base or perhaps it's more pinky or bluish, which would mean it has a cool base.  To add to the confusion Yellow and Blue themselves have either warm or cool undertones as indeed do all colours but don't fret to much about this.  

In short, the top tip is to stick to one choice of colour - perhaps 

in different shades  - but with the same 

warm or cool undertone.


Trend Report: Monochromatic - click through for fab article

Example:  To illuminate , I would say that Chantel at 3 above is surfing a fine line with her choices of red:  The trousers are more a blue red (heading to pink) while her blouse is more warm red (heading away from being orange).   

Whereas the ladies in pink & grey are wearing different shades but with the same undertones.  The lady in yellow is wearing a cooler yellow on her body when you compare it with the warmer yellow of her shoes.  It's close but not quite right and I think distracting from the overall look.

Meanwhile the lady in Green is rocking the same colour & tone but using different textures to create contrast - wool with silk, with patent, with satin.

Beware but please don't let the small issue of undertone put you off.  No! If in doubt give it a go. You are going to look look gorgeous.    So, now that you have your undertones sorted out all you have to decide is:

What colour are you going to choose?

Yours loving the top to toe Green and Soft White.
Lady Mirror Ball  xxx

T-Shirt Ideas For Pear Shapes ... like me

So we're all different shapes, that we know of course.  Each and every one of us lovely at that.  But  most of us could broadly describe ourselves under one of 6 key shapes.  I am a Pear or an Inverted Triangle (same thing, different way of saying it).  I am infact fuller busted than most pears but have too full a posterior to be described as an Hourglass.  Hey, I'm OK with being a bit more, well, Fruity!

And so us pears tend to be neater and importantly narrower on top than we are on bottom but come in all sizes from 6 - 26.  If we think of ourselves as a triangle you'll appreciate that there are different shapes of triangle - some tall and narrow, some small and wide but indeed the common factor in all us pears is that we all narrow at the top.

Pears carry their weight on their bottom half, around their round bottoms, their hips and their thighs.  They however, balance this with a small waist (often flatter tummy), a neat bust area and small or sloping shoulders.  If you're like me, you have NO shoulders - ha ha.  I have a lifetime of hassle with shoulder bags; I mean where to put them?  Pears also often have a high waist yet legs that are proportionately shorter than their body length. Sound like you?

Dress to focus up TOP  - towards our neat top half 
and our beautiful faces!

TOPS important in our wardrobe.  What we want from a top is something that will balance out our top half with our hip while showcasing that narrow waist.  Here's the good news....STRIPES ARE FANTASTIC FOR US - even better when combined with a boat neck top; so bring on the Bretons.  Fruity & Chic!
Best T-shirts for the Pear Shape
Top left - a personal favourite x
Thanks to polyvore.com

Also good for us is a SPLASH OF COLOUR on top of a darker shade of trouser, short or skirt, a fitted waist or a shapely shoulder - think puff, cap or frill.  Alternatively a scoop neck will draw attention away from the hip area to the top of the body, to our lovely faces and in doing so also reveals the lovely narrow area of our shoulder line.  Top tip:  the exposed skin of a scoop balances our top half out, making us look slimmer.  

Finally, go for a short sleeve or an elbow length - this draws the eyes to the narrowest parts of our bodies - our waist or shoulder line.  If you are like me and are a bit fuller on the bust than the average pear (I like to think I am an extra ripe pear - ha ha ) then take care with excessive detailing around the bust line which would look good on a smaller busted pear.

The T's above are just intended as a style guide or for inspiration.  The actual products might be harder to get hold of but if you roll over the thumbnail it will give you the make & cost of the T.

On that note I am off to get my T at the ready - it's teal, with a frill cap sleeve and is in a knit fabric.  Some might say it's more of a short sleeve knit than a T but what the heck.    I'll be wearing it with my camel leather skirt and black block shoes as I head into Zurich for the afternoon.  Bye ...

Love with small waist & neat shoulders, Lady Mirror Ball x

PS:  Did you know that 60% of British Women are fruity pears!  Not so much here in Switzerland.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Colour Me Beautiful Luzern...

Hariett - with a surprise Cool, Soft & Deep  
Yesterday was a colourful day indeed.  Not only was the sun shining but I was on my travels.  Thanks to SBB I got myself to Adlingswil, Luzern without a hitch.  And how beautiful. Possibly not quite as lovely as the ladies undertaking and receiving an afternoon of colour analysis.
Adlingswil -Luzern

Huge thanks to Beatrice Barden, Alfred & Alexandra who welcomed me with huge hospitality & scrumptious cakes to Colour Me Beautiful Switzerland.

And it was so interesting - I discovered that 'cool' ladies are more common among Swiss ladies than we would normally see in the UK, where a large number of women are actually 'soft'.  And of course that 'cool' doesn't mean 'cold'.
Identifying wow colours

I also met a lovely 'clear' who had much lighter hair than I would normally see among British women but 'clear' she certainly was.  And then there was a 'deep' who really wanted to be a 'warm' until we could show her that she was actually dressed - beautifully - top to toe in deep colours.  And she looked great so clearly already had a great eye for her colours.

Sara being tested & discovering
she's a Deep, Warm & Soft.
It was fun and all the ladies definitely went away feeling great and high spirited  The one thing I love about colour analysis is how much ladies smile and how animated people become when they are shown their best colours.

And then I had a realisation while sitting on the 19.35 Luzerne Inter-regio to Zurich; that actually our 'colouring' is also so very often reflected in our personalities.  Hmmm - could make Internet dating more interesting!  There's an idea I'm claiming.

Before I even contemplate that - and get myself starting an internet dating site aligned to Mirror Ball I am going to sign off.  Don't think my very sickly laptop could take it. Instead off to have some tea and practice my newly learned colourful Deutsche words for the weekend.

Dunkel - deep
Hell - light
Gedeck - soft
Warm - warm
Kuehl - cool
Klar - clear

and zu Bleich - too pale (not what your best colours should be doing)

With love & a reminder that we are all a mix of three of the above - there's over 24 combinations! Which are you?  Yours, Lady Mirror Ball - Klar, Warm & Dunkel. x

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mirror Ball Studios Goes To Lucerne ...

Lucerne - beautiful & festival time is soon
Guten Morgen gorgeous ladies (and gents).  Well the sun is shining here at Mirror Ball and I know spring has well and truly arrived because ..... the bells are back!

Bring on the cows I say - though admittedly by the end of the summer I will have been driven demented.  Funny how something so charming can become a little irritating if you overdose on it.

But on to the day at hand.  Well I am off to Lucerne to meet the lovely colourful ladies of Colour Me Beautiful Switzerland, Germany and Lichtenstein.

Colour Me Beautiful Switzerland have invited me to attend a training afternoon;  so really looking forward to joining their colour consultations where ladies realise the difference colour choices in their clothing make to how they look and importantly, how they feel.  It's often a real awakening for lots of ladies.  As well as being such a positive experience I know I'm also going to have fun.

If you are interested in a Colour Consultation for yourself,  have a look at the Colour Consultations Tab above for lots of information. 

In the meantime though, on my two hour trip by train, post bus and by foot (heels sadly not featuring on this journey)  I will have plenty time to undertake much needed German practice.   So ladies that's me off to catch the train ... let you know how it goes.

Love & cow bells - tschuess!
Lady Mirror Ball x x

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fashion Office With The Coveteur: Janie Bryant Mad Men Stylist

Explain your job in one sentence please:
I am responsible for the costume design of an entire TV show or film, which includes all cast members and background artists, and to tell the story of their character through costume.

Janue Bryan - Man Men Stylist
What is a typical workday like for you?
One thing that I have always loved about being a costume designer is that every day is different. My workday is usually around 12-14 hours if I’m lucky. A day’s work could consist of reading the script, costume meetings to talk about the script, sketching a design, working with my tailor, working with my assistant costume designer on an upcoming episode, talking with my costume supervisor about budgets and background artists, going to the fabric stores to swatch or buy fabric, going to the costume shops, and chatting about the upcoming scenes with my set costumers, who take care of the actors on set. I always have fittings, and I usually finish my workday by preparing for the next day’s scenes to be shot with my assistant costume designer and key costumer. And there’s always more…

What is your go-to work outfit?
My go-to work outfit is a leather jacket, which I have in many colors and shapes, a detailed t-shirt or blouse, skinny jeans, high-heeled knee boots (usually black), stacks of bracelets/cuffs, sunglasses, and a BIG bag!

How did you get this job? Did you always know you wanted it?
I studied fashion design and thought that I was going to be a fashion designer. I have been designing clothes all my life and made my first dress when I was 8-years-old. When I moved to NYC I was working on 7th Avenue with a fashion designer, John Scher, as his assistant. One night at a party I happened to meet a costume designer named Alexandra Welker. She told me all about her job. I was enthralled with her every word and knew I wanted to be a costume designer from that moment on.

What did you do before you started your company/freelance career?
I was working for a fashion designer, John Scher in NYC.

What’s the best part of your job? The worst?
The best part of my job is working with so many other creative people. While filming, the hours can be long, so the worst part is that I don’t have enough time to spend with my husband and my poodle.

How important is having a fashionable/chic work area?
I would say it is of the utmost importance to have an inspiring work area, rather than having a fashionable/chic work area. Because it is my passion to costume design period film projects, it is extremely important to be immersed in the period that I’m working on. Therefore I always have inspiration boards everywhere in my office filled with photos, tear sheets, designs, and swatches.


Janie has also written a really lovely book called The Fashion File, which was bought for my by my lovely friend Noelle for Christmas.  Thanks Noelle, it's one of my favourites.

Happy Tuesday.  Love & Sparkle, Lady Mirror  Ball x

Saturday, March 17, 2012

You're Never Too Old For Style - Are You?

Carol Vorderman - UK TV Personality Causing
Style Controversy.

"Poor Carol Vordeman has been getting it in the neck again for breaking the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shallst not have too much fun with the way thou lookst. Vordeman has a great figure, by any criteria. Well, not any. There are some beauty vigilantes berating her "vast" backside (eh, this womans is 52!) on the internet. But even more than Vordeman's rear dimensions, it's the perception that she's not dressing her age (ah, so she is 52 ?) that seems to cause most affront....."

Carol? A Vast backside - excuse me?  If Carol has a 'Vast' backside then mine is IMMENSE.  
Carol's VAST bottom - so not Vast I just had to show
a picture of it.  Think she may be a fan of spanx, but hey
no shame there !
So, here's a really interesting article from Lisa Armstrong at The Telegraph (UK) on dressing for your Style Personality not your age.

How many of you are aware of your Style Personality? (Classic, Romantic, Dramatic etc.). Are you a combination of more than one, depending what mood you are in on the day? Lady MB, that's moi, is a DRAMATIC - with a large dose of Romantic but I am aspirationally City Chic.

Speaking of Style Personalities I want to say a Great Big Gruezi to the to the lovely ladies of Edinburgh who recently had a 'speed' styling session and without a single age being mentioned, are:

  • Miss Eilidh - Romantic with a dash of Classic
  • Lady Liz - Natural with a dash of Classic
  • Miss Lynne - 100% Natural (the first 100% I've yet seen)
  • Miss Natalia - Dramatic with dashes of Creative & Romantic
  • Miss Christine - Natural - though, with a bit more Creative than I think she gives herself credit for.

And super style researcher Sarah, whom I think has ESP on style and what's hot in the shops, a Romantic in her clothing choices but very City Chic in her grooming style.

With love from Lady MB and her VAST backside 
(at least I always have a comfy seat) x

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Looking Wonderful Today? Pass It On ...

An interesting thing happened to me on Tuesday.

A lady walked up to me in the street while I was busy faffing around with a parking meter.  As she walked past me she just suddenly said:

"You know, you look wonderful today"

After I'd done a double take it became apparent she really was speaking to me.    Now, I didn't know this lady.  Had never seen her in my life before and probably would never see her ever again.  Clearly I was delighted and as I checked her out quickly for signs of madness I found myself cheerily saying ' thank you'.  To which she added,  "no, you really do!".

I noted something about this lady; she herself was extremely cheery and seemed very happy with herself indeed. I am sharing this for a few reasons:
  • 1. Because it just absolutely made my day.  It made me smile, put a spring in my step and a 'swing' in my hair.

  • 2. Because then I got to thinking that well, I did have my best colours on that morning and I had made an effort to dress for the meeting I was attending.  So, getting these things working best for you really do have an impact and other people really do notice.

  • 3.  The best bit..... I also got to thinking how much this random act of kindness had really lifted me.   It was a little wonderful moment in an otherwise quite stressful week.  I was also reminded me of the time, the month before where I had stood waiting to go into a changing room while a woman debated a dress with her friend.  She looked AMAZING in said dress and I had wanted to say, but something - not wanting to look like a mad stalker changing room lady - had stopped me.
However, I felt so good about someone's random kind words that I have resolved to spread the kindness.  How equally wonderful to tell someone how good they look and really, really mean it.  How good it must feel to make someone's day.  How nice it must feel, and how much more wonderful for it to be a total stranger too. As with my stranger lady there was no 'politeness', nothing to be gained and no requirement for me to necessarily reciprocate.

So here it is ladies, I am launching:    Spread The 'Wonderful' Word Weekend.


1 - You should choose a stranger or acquaintance but not a good friend or relative (though do that too).

2 - You should really mean it.  

3.  Your recipient should be looking good - just not simply good looking.  If you see what I mean.

4 - Don't delay.  Just tell them.

Let me know how you get on.  And you know, I'm pretty sure you look wonderful today!
Spread the wonderful word, Lady Mirror Ball

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Yellow Brick Road ...

Of Colour!

One of my favourite films of all time is The Wizard of Oz, though I confess that when I was 5 it was just a bit frightening.  That wicked witch of the west was a scary lady and I think there might even have been tears no less.  I also recall that for most of my formative years, before the advent of multi zillion channel TV, it was The Film shown every single Christmas Day of every single year.  Fabulous.  It's hard to pick a favourite scene but I think it would have to be when Dorothy lands from the terror of her tornado to the awe, wonder and colour of the Land of Oz.

Dorothy - life in multi colour.
So much more of an adventure
Colour can be magical.  Seeing a flash of colour emerge from a largely monochromatic crowd is so energizing.  It's kind of like a breath of fresh air and once you start you just can't stop!

For many years neutral colours were the favour of fashion but now that colours are back with a great big POP there has never been a better time to learn how to make colours works for you.

Did you know that we are all a unique blend of 'colour' ourselves, made up of tone, depth and clarity.  Some colours energise us illuminating  us with vitality while some drain us and absorb light for themselves - some selfish colours out there ;-)

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.  
We must be over the rainbow!"

What do you think are your friendly colours? The Lady's dominant colouring is CLEAR CLEAR CLEAR (OK so it's Clear, Warm and Deep).  This means I look best in brighter, purer colours as well as some gorgeous neutrals and colours with a yellow base tone.  But I also look at my very best when I wear colours in contrast.

So, this weekend my friendly colour is in honour of the The Wizard himself.

It's EMERALD city GREEN.  I love this colour as a top or in accessories.  It looks amazing on my colouring when set against grey though this weekend I'll be wearing it as accessories against my ruby shoes lipstick.  Juicy! 

What colour is your best friend this year this weekend? 

With three clicks of my ruby slippers I wish you a wonderful weekend somewhere over the rainbow.

Love and bluebirds
Lady Mirror Ball x

PS:  If you want to know more about your colours have a look at my Colour Consultations Page.  Maybe I could be your very own Wizard for the day and help you demystify and discover your very own rainbow of colours.