Sunday, 24 July 2011

Miss America meets Joseph Ribkoff AW11 Collection

Canadian designer Joseph Ribkoff is the official wardrobe sponsor for Miss America 2010, so when showcasing his AW11 collection at the Marylebone Hotel, London this July, Teresa Scanlan, the reigning Miss America 2011, came too.

One of the many perks of being crowned Miss America is Teresa becomes the official spokesperson for Joseph Ribkoff International clothing Company and they provide her with a full wardrobe for the year! Now this is heaven for any woman, but for a girl from a large family (3 sisters and 3 brothers) who had to be creative with her older sisters hand me downs, it’s all her Christmases and birthdays rolled in to one. You can understand why she wasn’t really interested in fashion until high school, but now that’s changed and she explains enthusiastically how you can mix and match Ribkoff’s pieces and how they look great for both day and night.

And the perks for Ribkoff are that it helps him to become known in the international market and to create a more youthful image for his brand. Designing a cute metallic silver mini shift dress for all the 53 national finalists to wear on stage will certainly get you noticed.

One of Teresa’s favourite pieces from the AW11 collection is a wrap dress. She explains wrap dresses are flattering on most body shapes and sizes. In fact the sizes range from 2 to 20, so Ribkoff really does live up to his catchy little marketing phrase "No one Knows Me like Joseph Ribkoff."

Teresa's wrap dress has an opulent design of leopard print with images of gold chains, strings of pearls and diamonds on a background of pink and black. This dramatic print also features in a shift dress, tunic, jacket and cowl neck blouse.

My own favourites are the black and grey striped top with a diagonal zip and the more casual grey marl hoodie with figure hugging waffle design waist.

Ribkoff's signature colours are black and white "Always a classic" says Teresa who is also wearing black and white from his collection. But he does inject some colour in to his collections. This season it is pink and red.

Teresa shows her crown to us and explains the reason for the design. The four points of the crown represent: Style, Scholarship, Service and Success. Teresa certainly has style covered with her new Joseph Ribkoff wardobe; she won $50,000 scholarship sponsored by Artistry, the skin care brand of Amway Global, so she can continue her education in law; she chose 'Eating Disorders- a Generation at Risk' for her platform issue to help community service; and Success? Well for a 17 year old this is not a bad start up the success ladder

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


The new range Glam Hair by Umberto Giannini is all about making an entrance in a red carpet, big movie siren tresses way. There’s no chance of you quietly blending in to the background and why would you want to? With these products you have the means to create sexy glamorous statement looks and turn heads.

Wipe the slate clean with the new Ditch the Dirt Volume Shampoo in readiness for your Glam transformation. This volumising and repairing shampoo claims to strengthen even the driest, coloured and damaged hair.  Loving it already

Plump up the volume even more with the new Plump and Sexy Volume Conditioner
Silk proteins condition and improve the softness of the hair, whilst bringing more volume without weighing the hair down.  Now with our freshly washed plumped up hair feeling silky soft we’re ready for the next level of glamorous gorgeousness with the new Glam Hair styling products.

Create hair volume that explodes in to a voluptuous and luscious Hollywood statement style with the Sex Bomb Massive Mouse.

Or if you decide on a festival hair or rock-chic glamour look then go for the Grunge Glamour Tousled Salt Spray. This is for the perfect lived in texture with “just got out of bed” tousled waves. A look that says I don’t have to try to look gorgeous – I am.

You’ve almost completed your red carpet glamour look but think BIG for extra volume with the following:

Backcomb in a Bottle – this is your own little genie – you wish you could get the on trend backcomb look without  wrecking your hair – well your wish is granted with this  magical product  - All you have to do is spray it on where you want the backcomb effect, jujj it and viola you have instant texture and volume!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Extreme Hairspray – this little guy likes to party harder than any other hairspray they know.  Its super powers are gravity defying and volume holding well in to the next day. So when everyone else is losing their heads yours will be firmly in place.

You’d think that was it – you’ve got the Big glamorous movie siren hair with backcombed quiffs, huge bouffants, candyfloss curls or tousled waves.  But there’s just another added extra to give a true carpet style star finished look:

The Glamour Puss Crystal Mist.  Spray your hair with soft gold stardust and it’ll catch the light and shimmer seductively.

You’ve partied all night and now don’t have time to wash your hair in the morning or are just too lazy. Then Glam Hair’s Morning After Shampoo is just the thing for you. This dry shampoo now not only refreshes lank lifeless hair but helps creates a ruffed up style of its own. This one is also invisible so no nasty white powder residue that looks like dandruff.

Try them out and discover the product you just can’t live without.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Richard Ward - Couture Hair

My hair is the bane of my life – thin, dull, frizzy and weak. I fell out of the bad hair tree and hit every branch on the way down, then was dragged through the hedge backwards for good measure. So when QVC invited me to attend an evening at Richard Ward’s Chelsea hair salon to check out his new hair care range and learn how to master the perfect blow dry, I was there like a shot.

Arriving just in time, I found that calling the salon just a hair salon was an understatement. It seems to have it all including a fully licensed bar, retail shop, spa treatments and a host of concierge services.

First stop the bar then down to business as Richard went through his new range ‘Couture Hair’ which was launched in Dec 2010.

This range is aimed to make hair product selection easier. Rather than having to use a cocktail of products on your hair: one for volume, one for anti frizz, one for shine etc; Richard wanted to create a smaller range with all the products multi tasking. So all his products include:

Aquarich – a moisturising compound to counteract frizz and increase shine
Anti-fade colour lock technology as most of us colour our hair
Humidity defence technology (styling products only)
Heat and UV protection (styling products only)

Before you use any of his products he says the first step is to know your hair type. And by this he means your hair texture i.e. the thickness of each individual hair strand and not the actual density i.e. how much hair you have. So take a few strands of hair and slide your fingers through. Does it feel like silk thread or cotton thread?

If it feels like silk thread then your hair is normal to fine and you should go for Richard’s VoluMoist range including the Clay Mineral Masque.

If it feels like cotton thread you hair is normal to coarse and you should go for Richard’s HydraSlim range including the Silk Protein Masque.

Richard then demonstrated how to achieve the perfect blow dry, and his 12 steps are as follows:
1. Work on hair that is 70% wet, so just towel dry your hair but don’t rough dry it.
2. Use a high wattage professional dryer with a nozzle to control air and heat direction
3. Comb through with a medium toothed comb made of carbon or hard rubber with rounded teeth.
4. Always comb from ends towards roots not the other way round.
5. Use a radial brush with real bristles when blow drying and after the initial comb through.
6. Holding your dryer underneath the hair section creates movement whilst positioning it above the section will create sleekness.
7. Point the nozzle downwards to flatten the cuticle and encourage shine.
8. Position the nozzle at least 15cm away from your hair, too close will result in heat damage.
9. When moving the dryer sown the hair shaft for a sleek look, position the nozzle behind the brush (but still at least 15cm away)
10. Section properly. Split hair in to 4 areas. Always start at the bottom of each section working up towards the front.
11. Use a cool shot on your dryer function to fix each section before removing brush or leave brush in to cool off before removing.
12. Never brush wet hair, always use a wide toothed comb after washing.

Armed with this new information, we partnered up to attempt the perfect blow dry on each other’s hair. Thankfully, we were under very close supervision and left with very swishy hair.

The next day I was in a conundrum - should I wash my hair or leave it? My hair was still swishy but needed washing-  would I get the same results?

I decided to wash it. As soon as I used the VoluMoist shampoo, my hair felt silky so Big Plus there. The conditioner also felt smooth and silky as a conditioner ought. Now on to the perfect blow dry! As in the 12 steps I sectioned my hair and then spritzed the Volume Root Booster on to my roots and mid hair sections. It felt light and wasn’t at all sticky.

Now the tricky part, using a Richard Ward radial brush I attempted to blow dry my hair.

Result?  OK practice makes perfect so I still have a long way to go but it was definitely an improvement.

Richard Ward’s Couture Hair is available on

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Sunday, 3 July 2011

White Gallery London

White Gallery London is Firmly Positioned on the International Bridal Buying Calendar

White Gallery London held at Battersea Evolution 22-24 May played host to the most influential event in bridal design for 2011. Visitors travelled from around the globe to take a look at what 2012 sposa has to offer.

Showcasing 44 highly respected international bridal design houses this years roster included Alan Hannah, Anoushka G, Claire Pettibone, Cymbeline, Johanna Hehir, Nicki Macfarlane, MKarin, Matthew Williamson, Sassi Holford and Sharon Bowen to name a few. Buyers travelled from some of the worlds most elite bridal boutiques from as far a field as Asia, USA, Middle East and Europe.

Irish bridal boutique owner Ann Gilvary of Aibeil says “I came to White Gallery London with my colleague to look at all the designers in one place. It makes it very easy for us to visit a dedicated show for our buying, as it can be difficult to get to each individual designer and this way we really get a sense of what is out there today in premium bridalwear. Ian Stuart's catwalk show and Matthew Williamson’s show were divine. The layout is also fantastic and the fair really has a calm energy about it, making it easy to get around.” Martin Sherford of Sassi Holford, states “White Gallery London truly is a platform for designers in the bridal industry to have the spotlight put on them and is helping the bridal trade industry thrive on both a national and international scale. The layout and space is exclusive, and it is a premium exhibition that we are proud to be associated with. We will to continue to build on our presence at the show in the coming years. There were a significant number of international buyers from Italy, Holland and Norway, and some top end bridal boutiques which make this an incredibly worthwhile experience. Press interest has been brilliant, with Conde Nast publications from Paris and Milan, and of course the UK titles, making this event very well publicised on an international stage.”

Peta Hunt, Fashion Editor, of You and Your Wedding comments “I loved seeing all of the British designers here. The space is really nice and open with a light atmosphere. It is a joy to see the modern and bright collections and I especially loved the collective catwalk shows. Can’t wait for the next show!”

Exhibitors have commented on the high level of retailers at White Gallery London, taking orders from both UK and International bridal boutiques. Alison Meir, UK representative of Stephanie Browne Australia states “In terms of logistics, the show worked brilliantly. We saw new buyers from Sweden, Switzerland and returning client’s from Dubai and Israel. The presence of key bridal press including Brides, Wedding, Confeti, Martha Stewart, Collezioni Sposa and Bridal Buyer really helped in pushing White Gallery London out there as a destination premium bridal trade fair, which has emerged as the bridal fair in the UK.”

Leading UK bridal designers including Alan Hannah, Amanda Wakeley, David Fielden, Ian Stuart, Matthew Williamson, Stephanie Allin and Sassi Holford say that White Gallery London provides them with a platform to meet top end UK and International buyers and press to showcase their forthcoming collections in the perfect environment.

Jelena Govorusa of Amanda Wakeley states, “The show has been extremely busy! We have seen buyers from Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Singapore and the USA and have opened lovely new accounts. The new venue is fabulous, chic and stylish.”

Ian Stuart comments, “The White Gallery London venue is elegant, easy, cool and chic. We were able to offer our customers and elegant environment in which to buy their collections. White Gallery London is definitely a show to watch!”

Designers crossed the globe to exhibit their new collections at the exclusive show, proving the internationality that the event holds. Flying the flag for France were returning exhibitors Cymbeline and Ugo Zaldi. Laure Gabison, Director, Ugo Zaldi comments “The show has been great! We have opened new accounts and had lots of press interest. White Gallery is very important for building our relationship with UK and Irish customers”.

Travelling from Spain, Yolan Cris presented the ultimate bohemian chic collection, adding a whole new dimension to bridal. Other Spaniards on the list included second time exhibitors Pepe Botella and Jesus Peiro; Christine Marechint from Jesus Peiro commented “The show has been very busy and extremely productive. We have seen lots of serious international buyers and are thrilled with the results.”

From Canada, Michael Perry of Lea-Ann Belter comments “The aim for me is to be able to show my collection in the same room as all my peers, and White Gallery London gives me that opportunity. It is great to be a part of such a dedicated premium show, and buyers seem to come here knowing what they want and what to expect, which has a really positive effect for us as exhibitors.”

Designers from the Far East included Olivia Couture and Lusan Mandongus. Candy Kong, UK representative of hit label Lusan Mandongus said of the show “This year has been great. Buyers are taking the time to stop and look through collections and place orders in their own time. We have seen both international and UK buyers, along with new customers from France, Switzerland and Italy.”

White Gallery London also showcased a selection of bridal accessories including both UK and International companies including Babe, Halo & Co, Ivory & Co, Stephanie Browne Australia, Polly Edwards, Harriet Wilde and Vivien Sheriff to name a few. Vivien Sheriff talks of her success at the show, “This year has been fantastic for us, even better than last year. The quality of buyers has been excellent and we have opened a number of new international accounts including Russia, Norway, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Canada.”

The main attraction of White Gallery London 2011 were the spectacular Fashion Shows sponsored by Condé Nast Brides. The acclaimed Michel Van Clarke team provided stunning catwalk hair styling and beautiful make-up came from the renowned team at Benefit.

Bryony Toogood, Fashion Editor of Conde Nast Brides, “White Gallery is a very professional. Slick, classy, high end with a real sense of energy, a great buzz and atmosphere – it’s what London has been waiting for.”

Across the first two days of the show Alan Hannah, Ian Stuart, Matthew Williamson, Stephanie Allin and Stewart Parvin held own name catwalk shows.

Couturier to the Queen, Stewart Parvin, previewed a wide selection of highly covetable gowns, and was the first of 19 designers to grace the catwalk. Stewart Parvin notes “The catwalk show gave a spectacular impact on a world class stage. The exhibition space is light and airy with a really positive buzz and it is fantastic to be surrounded by international brands and to welcome international buyers.”

Blue Bridalwear, Hollywood Dreams, Johanna Hehir, Lea-Ann Belter, Lusan Mandongus, MKarin, Sharon Bowen, Yolan Cris made up the Designers Preview catwalk. Leading names on the New Talents catwalk included Elizabeth Stuart, Sarah Janks, Sanyukta Shrestha, Terry Fox, The Vintage Wedding Dressing Company and Tobi Hannah.

Taking place at Battersea Evolution, the third edition of White Gallery London will open its doors next year 20-22 May 2012 at Battersea Evolution.

Matthew Williamson
Matthew Williamson’s highly anticipated bridal collection made an elegant arrival on the catwalk at White Gallery London before an eager audience of leading press and buyers. Signature styles from the designer’s ready-to-wear collection are a distinct influence and have been reworked and translated into stunning bridal gowns. Long short corset column gowns give a lean yet structured silhouette, softened with an artfully overlay of soft ivory tulle. Hand sewn ivory feathers across the tulle created an enhancing ethereal effect. Buttermilk silk satin printed with a burn out technique of a hand painted abstract winter wonderland design provides a modern, softly textured fabric draped into a classical strapless gown. Jewel embedded mink and rabbit fur cropped shrugs completes the luxurious look. The collection captures the essence of the brand and all its signature elements demonstrating a feeling of luxury and opulence. 

Yolan Cris

Hot Spanish designer Yolan Cris presented an array of stunning bridal gowns and accessories at White Gallery London 22-24 May 2011. This season’s collection is inspired by the hippie-bohemian movement that emerged in New York in the early 1970’s. The post Woodstock years were highly influential to fashion, and the 70’s became a decade that coined timeless style and consequently enthusing Yolan Cris to create the latest collection in homage to this era. Audiences saw luxe materials including macramé crochet, crochet and organza pleats creating a fresh and innovative approach. Tribal and ethnic accents add a unique dimension to this collection. Accessorize dresses with hippy-esque headwear including ivory and white coloured headbands along with a selection of beautiful hats. Tassel and net detailing featured heavily and looks were completed with crochet bags.

Ian Stuart
Ian Stuart’s show-stopping 2012 ‘Killer Queen’ collection hit the runway in full drama at White Gallery London. His signature full skirted dresses with sculpted bodices made a strong appearance through to more figure hugging fishtail designs with larger-than-life embellishments, adding to the theatrical feel. A sense of rock chic rebellion came through Ian Stuart’s aptly named ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Rockafella’ designs, juxtaposing the elegant, romantic dresses with their cascades of pleated taffeta and classic French lace detailing.

Stewart Parvin
Royal couturier Stewart Parvin opened the White Gallery London catwalk with a breathtakingly beautiful show set to the sweet sounds of Sade. The collection encapsulated elegant femininity through a selection of covetable dresses buttoned to the seam, accentuating the silhouettes. Shift suit combinations gave structure producing a look that was both chic and sleek. Pretty diamante embellishments added subtle touches of glamour to each garment. Exquisite corsages adorned wrists as elegant statement pieces, creating a perfectly romantic look in rose, pink and dark chocolate brown with emerald green silk ribbon trimming.

For more information on attending or exhibiting please visit