Friday, December 20, 2013

Radiant In Orchid

Radiant Orchid
"Expressive, exotic Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and warmth" Pantone 

When Pantone announced its Colour of the Year 2014 there were some oohs and there were some ohs. Some of you will love it, some of you will not. Radiant Orchid is not strictly purple nor entirely pink, it is a pinky-purple which can make it a tricky colour to define.  I think of it as a shade of lilac and, 


You don't have to wear this colour, of course, but it will be everywhere in clothes, make-up and accessories this year so if you want to try it out, here's how to embrace it ...

How to wear it

This shade has mostly cool undertones so it will flatter some complexions and not others. You will know the instant you put it next to your face whether it works for you or not. The easiest way for most people to wear Radiant Orchid is as an add-on colour rather than head-to-toe.
orchid 3

If you have a cool skin tone you can wear Radiant Orchid on its own. How much of it you can wear in your outfit will depend on your personality and other characteristics in your colouring. You can mix and match it with other shades in your colour palette too; wear it with your pinks for an elegant and feminine tone-on-tone look. For a bolder look, wear it with stronger colours in your palette such as vivid red or bright violet. Radiant Orchid will brighten up your work wardrobe nicely when you team it with your neutrals such as grey, navy or black.

Those of you with a warm skin tone ideally want to wear this shade away from your face and mix it with warm shades. Purple is a perfect match for Radiant Orchid as it is a universal colour, meaning that there is a shade to suit everyone. Find your best purple and make it the feature colour in your outfit and keep Radiant Orchid as your add-on colour. For a more dramatic look, combine it with lime, red, or emerald green (Pantone Colour of the Year 2013). For some of you, Radiant Orchid will mix well with your neutral shades such as taupe or brown, but do not wear it with black, grey or navy. To avoid looking dated, mix it with a contrasting colour such as green, pumpkin or orange.
Orchid orange red

You also need to consider the fabric as different materials create a different effect. If you have a softer, more muted colouring with very little contrast between your hair, eye and skin colour, then you want to keep your colours softer, so go for matt fabrics, or something with a textured surface like a knit, tweed or velvet

If you have a striking contrast between your eyes and hair - bright eyes and dark hair like me - you need to make Radiant Orchid look brighter to complement your natural colouring. You can wear this colour with vibrant shades in your palette, such as emerald green (Pantone Colour of the Year 2013), bright red or fuchsia (depending whether you have cool or warm skin tones). 
Alternatively, choose a garment in a light reflecting fabric such as satin or silk.  
Personally I adore this worn with Red and have a pair of trousers in this colour which I wear with a Bright Red tunic dress.  Pics to follow x
I have clear colouring and a dramatic style personality so I also wear a Radiant Orchid dress with large ivory polka dots from Fenn Wright Manson - as shown below.  Fenn Wright Manson call this colour Cylcamen.

My dress from Frenn Wright Manson in Cyclamen
- last year's summer stock but can be found on ebay. 

orchid accessories

Radiant Orchid in Make-up
 - as worn on my lips in this pic from last summer.  I predicted this you know.... ;-)

Lips are luscious in this colour, as are cheeks.  I tend to have a warm undertone but  at the time of the picture I had a very cool hair colour so this colour looks better on me than it might normally.  This is an armani lipstick that I used which is actually quite matt and I dabbed a little of it on the apple of my cheeks (heart shaped face).
orchid make up

Take care with eye shadow in this colour. When we apply our make-up we are trying to enhance the colour of the eye.
If in doubt NAILS are the way to go. 
So ladies (and gents who want to wear this colour & why not) lets go forth into 2014 and BE RADIANT IN ORCHID.
Lady Mirror Ball xxx

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Your Christmas Must Haves - Santa Baby...

Classic Christmas: Tweeds and Checks

There was nothing really new in heritage fabrics this autumn, it's been all about how you wear them and this approach will see you through to Winter.  If you have been holding off until the REAL WINTER WEATHER arrives then now is the time - you migh even be able to pick up a few bargains in the sales too. 
Don't be shy; go for head-to-toe elegance if you like this look, just take care with your accessories to make sure you stay looking current. If you like something a little more dramatic and creative, mix them with other fabrics such as leather or a bit of shimmer.

You also need to think about the weight of the fabric and how it works with your shape (can you wear a stiff fabric or should you find a softer material?) The popular pieces are usually those that are most versatile, but think beyond safe colours like grey or brown. Red tartan is often a winner in winter as it provides colour ?oomph'.
I personally love, love Twee particulalry as a business suit.  But I also love it in bright colours such as purples, mulberry, pinks, emeralds and reds.  
My Prediction:  Tartan it is but don't just think traditional tartan as in the M&S pic below.  Think pink, grey, navy and mulberry tartan mixes;  think ochre, teal and olives too.  Tartan will be HUGE next Autumn.

Which colours for your colouring?

You will enjoy wearing elegant light grey tweed but mix it with petrol or violet shades to bring in colour.

Pine, navy and black tartan will make a great investment coat for you.

Brown tweeds come alive against your colouring. mix with vibrant amber or teal.

Find a staple in purple tweed; it will go with everything.

CLEAR: - this is me 
You can wear bold shades so enjoy bright red or green in tartan.

Invest in a tweed skirt, jacket or suit in light periwinkle/violet.

Christmas Party.  Lace Is Back - Has It Ever Gone Away?

The lace dress hasn't gone away for Christmas this year- it's a Style Trend rather than a fashion piece and we should all have at least one in our wardrobe. 
My Prediction:  It will be around for some time and at least one more season before I predict it gives way to chiffon, organza and transparent layering in dresses.  
Lace always looks feminine and this season there are more alluring designs than ever in a broad range of cuts and colours. Whether you choose a striking red or black dress for evening wear or a vibrant blue or delicate lavender that you can wear to lunch with the girls, you can buy now and wear it through to next Spring.  Personally I love it and would buy it by the bucket load if my budget could accommodate it.  Personally I prefer the more vintage looking pieces such as the Phase Eight below but each to their own and if you have the figure for it you can also find it in figure hugging dresses.
Sometimes I am asked 'But Won't I Look Frumpy' 
Here it is ladies:  Lace only looks old fashioned if it is the wrong colour for you, is too big for you or is the wrong length for you so do take care to be fabulous and not frumpy.  Lace also doesn't' need too much accessorizing as it is all in the dress - think simple and statement.

Is It Safest To Stick With Black?
The black lace dress is always the most popular but it isn't the safest option for everyone you know.  But if you want black but it doesn't look great on you, choose one with a low neckline or even strapless if you can, this means the black won't be so close to your face and pick an earring or necklace that has a stone in a colour or is of a metal tone that really lifts your complexion and makes your eye colour stand out. 
What IS The Best Lace Dress To Choose?

Light teal will look striking on you. For something softer, try grey lace with chiffon over a pale shade such as light periwinkle.   Teal is SO VERY VINTAGE HOLYWOOD DARLING.

You wear black best of all the colourings so make the most of the classic black lace dress. Choose deep red or rich burgundy for eye-catching colour.

Dark navy is your black. For a statement shade, go for turquoise or emerald green or a bronze overlay.

Cerise or royal blue are your statement colours. Bright periwinkle will look more subtle.  

Go for bold red or emerald - beware the shape and quality of Red Lace - you know what I am saying here!!!!  If you want black choose one with contrast such as lace overlay on a coloured fabric, or with added shimmer in silver or gold. Teal with a bold red lipstick also looks so very Old School Holywood Glamour as Clears can take the contrast.

Choose geranium or claret. These are softer shades of red which will look as striking on you as the bold reds do on a Clear.


Who would have thought we would get excited about pink for winter? And pastel pink at that! It is a little surprising, especially as coats need to see us through a few winters, not just a fashion season. However, there is something refreshing about seeing pretty pastel pink and vibrant fuchsia among the dark shades we usually have in Autumn. Pink is an ultra-feminine shade and hot pink is a great mood booster, so why not? 
The pale pinks aren't practical for mucky British weather and not all women are into this girly shade, but if you are, you are going to be very tempted. Will it still be current next winter? Possibly not. If you want one but feel it's not a good investment buy, don't worry; you will find good pieces at the lower price end so you can feel good without feeling guilty in your pretty pink coat.
I was lucky enough to bag the much in demand and sold our M&S pink coat but unbelievably had to return it.  My lesson to remember is that it's not just about the colour but also the shape.  Cocoon shapes and my pear shaped ass don't mix.  But if you can get your hands on it I highly recommend.  A steal at £89.99.  My all time favourite though is the Jaeger Mohair Pink coat which is more of a splurge at £399.00.
My Prediction: Pastel and Candy Pinks will be sticking around for next Autumn and Winter too so you will get more than one season if you decide to go for it.

The pastel pink coats were made for you!
Blush pink works for both warm and cool skin tones. Deeps with cool skin tones can wear bold cyclamen or fuchsia.

Pink is a wow shade for you so enjoy wearing hot pink, cyclamen and fuchsia. If you like softer shades choose candy or blush pink. 

Being a warm shade, lots of pink is not for you. Go for apricot or orange-red instead.  If you have a very dramatic personality you could clash your colours with the candy pink but make sure it has a warm (red/yellow) undertone.

As with the Deeps, blush pink works for both cool and warm tones and is strong enough to compliment your colouring. If your skin tones are cool, then choose the bold pinks; fuchsia, hot pink etc.

Candy is just right for you, not too pale and not to bold; cool skin tones can take cooler shades in icy or powder pink.
Love & Christmas Sparkle, Catriona @ Mirror Ball Studios