The ultimate black leather biker jacket

For her recent birthday my little sister asked for a black leather jacket. My mum immediately declared that she had an authentic biker jacket in the attic (from her succinct motorbike/Hell’s Angels phase) but I advised that whilst perfect for actual riding, this would be far too cumbersome to wear on a day-to-day basis. So instead I offered to do some online research for the ultimate black leather jacket. Most people dream of the perfect wear-with-anything biker jacket and once you have this piece in your wardrobe I am assured that you will wear little else. Whether thrown over a pretty dress, or added to skinny jeans and a tee, a classic biker adds a dash of Kate Moss magic to a look. I would like to add that I do not say this from personal experience. I myself have never been able to pull off a leather jacket, particularly a black one, and look far more bad Brando than rock chick Chrissy Hynde whenever I have attempted the look.

Kate Moss leather jacket Image - Dave Bennett

Kate Moss leather jacket

Kate Moss is famous for topping her outfits with a black biker (Top image by: Dave Bennett)

Whilst we all dream of having the funds to buy a buttersoft piece from Balmain, Alexander Wang or Isabel Marant, my budget on this occasion was set at around £100. Starting out, my only real criteria was that it was 100% leather (no plastic PV or pleather) and that it had interesting detailing and a good silhouette. Whilst my search is by no means exhaustive, I think it may be very helpful for anyone also looking for a well-priced leather jacket this autumn. Also, unless you object for ethical reasons, do ensure that it is 100% real leather. Although this means the price is higher, the fabric will wear well and last far longer than any cheaper imitation. All the below are 100% leather versions. I have also included some with a higher price point in case your budget is bigger. Here we go…

Biker # 1 – Zara £89.99 (Sizes XS – L)

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Biker # 2 – Zara £99.99 (Sizes XS – XL)

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Biker # 3 – ASOS £100 (Sizes 4-18)

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Biker # 4 – Mango £119.99 (Sizes XS – XL)

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Biker # 5 – Mango £119.99 (Sizes XS – XL)

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Biker # 6 – Oasis £158 (Sizes XS – L)

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Biker # 7 – Warehouse Alexa £180 (Sizes 6-18)

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Biker # 8 – Whistles cropped Cara £295 (Sizes 4-16)

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Biker # 9 – All Saints Dare with removable collar £358 (Sizes 2-14)

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Biker # 10 – A curveball in pale pink suede from Dorothy Perkins £120 (Sizes 6-20)

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And in case you wanted to know which jacket was eventually chosen and subsequently bought it was the ASOS Ultimate Biker Jacket at £100. I have been informed that the present was ‘a definite hit with the birthday girl, particularly the detailing on the arms’. These words come straight from the horse’s mouth. It also smelt amazing. Happy shopping!

Winter sun anyone?

Dubai, Cape Town or Maldives? Those of you lucky enough to be heading abroad for some winter sun this Christmas (me, jealous? Not at all) may be interested in today’s post.  For a limited time only B London Boutique http://www.blondonboutique.com are hosting a Winter Sun pop-up shop on South Molton Street in central London, selling everything you need for stylish lounging by the beach or pool.

Vix GUARANI_GREEN_Lifestyle_Logo, from £150

Guarani Green bikini, from £130, by Vix

Vix AGAVE_EMB_Lifestyle_Logo, from £150

Agave bikini, from £130, by Vix

With bikinis by superior swimwear label Melissa Odabash (as worn by Kate Moss, Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow) and Vix (a super-luxe label inspired by the beaches of Brazil) and cute straw beach bags from Twenty Violet, this is your one-stop-shop answer to a Winter Sun wardrobe.  Best get down there quick though.  With only 3 days left of trading, much like a British summer it’s a case of catch it whilst you can…

MO Brussels Blue, from £83

Brussels bikini in blue, from £83, by Melissa Odabash 

MO Grenada Burgundy, from £83

Grenada bikini in burgundy, from £83, by Melissa Odabash 

MO Positano Snake Swimsuit -£198  www.blondonboutique.com

Positano Snake Swimsuit, £198, by Melissa Odabash 

Twenty Violet lemon beach bag -£56.95 Available at B London Boutique www.blondonboutique.com

Lemon beach bag, £56.95, by Twenty Violet

Twenty Violet light blue beach bag -£56.95 Available at B London Boutique www.blondonboutique.com

Blue beach bag, £56.95, by Twenty Violet

Blue 2 - Maslin & Co, £195, at B London Boutique www.blondonboutique.com

Unleash your inner tiger with an animal print towel, £195, by Maslin & Co

BLB pop-up store can be found at 35 South Molton Street, London, W1K 5RQ until 12th December.  Open Tue & Wed: 10am-6pm and Thurs 10am-8pm. www.blondonboutique.com 

British Fashion Awards 2013

Last night saw the beautiful style set flock to The London Coliseum for the 25th British Fashion Awards.  Like the Oscars of the UK style industry, this annual event acknowledges the work of the finest talent in the business. A who’s who of top designer names graced the red-carpet with Miuccia Prada, Donatella Versace, Marc Jacobs and Christopher Bailey all putting in a stylish turn.

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Gwyneth Paltrow and Miuccia Prada (Photo: Getty on Elleuk.com)

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Marc Jacobs and Alexa Chung in Stella McCartney dress (Photo: Getty on vogue.co.uk)

Hosted by Jack Whitehall – surely a bit of a coup for the talented young comedian – the celebrity attendees included Kate Moss (who collected a well-deserved special recognition award), Sienna Miller, Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rita Ora.

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Kate Moss in Alexander McQueen and Rita Ora in Vivienne Westwood (Photo: Getty on vogue.co.uk)

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Sienna Miller in Burberry (Photo: Getty on elleuk.com)

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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Antonio Berardi (Photo: Getty on vogue.co.uk)

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Laura Bailey in Roksanda Illincic (Photo: PA on vogue.co.uk)

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Suki Waterhouse in Burberry (Photo: Getty on vogue.co.uk)

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Stella Tenant in Alexander McQueen (Photo: Getty on vogue.co.uk)

Representing the boys were the ever-dapper Tinie Tempah and man-of-the-moment Harry Styles, who lived up to his name by picking up the British Style Award (as voted by the public).  Don’t you think there is more than a touch of the young Mick Jagger about the popular One Directioner?

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Harry Styles in Saint Laurent (Photo: Getty on elleuk.com)

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Tinie Tempah in Burberry with Christopher Bailey (Photo: Getty on elleuk.com)

Below is a list of the winners on the night, which include the fantastic Christopher Kane (Womenswear Designer of the Year), the dramatic yet elegant work of Erdem (Red Carpet Award) and my fave shoe-goddess Sophia Webster (Emerging Accessory Designer).  The founders of fashion bible i-D magazine, Terry and Tricia Jones, were honoured with the Outstanding Achievement in Fashion award for their tremendous and inspirational contribution to the industry over the last 30 years.  After all, what fashionista hasn’t scoured their cutting-edge pages and who isn’t familiar with their notorious wink covers (as parodied by Terry below)…

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Erdem with Clemence Posey in one of his designs (Photo: Getty on elleuk.com)

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Jade Parfitt in Christopher Kane (Photo: Getty on vogue.co.uk)

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Sophia Webster collects her Emerging Accessory Designer award (Photo: Getty on elleuk.com)

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Stunning shoes from Sophia Webster’s forthcoming SS14 collection 

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i-D magazine founders Terry and Tricia Jones (Photo: Getty on elleuk.com) 

For further coverage, images and a list of awards go to www.britishfashionawards.com, where you will also find a fab video of the red carpet arrivals http://www.britishfashionawards.com/content.aspx?CategoryID=945

List of British Fashion Awards Winners 2013

Womenswear Designer of the Year – Christopher Kane

Menswear Designer of the Year – Burberry

International Designer of the Year – Miuccia Prada for Prada

Designer Brand of the Year – Burberry

Accessory Designer of the Year – Nicholas Kirkwood

Emerging Womenswear Designer – Simone Rocha

Emerging Menswear Designer – Agi & Sam

Emerging Accessory Designer – Sophia Webster

New Establishment Designer – JW Anderson

Model of the Year – Edie Campbell

Red Carpet Award – Erdem

Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator – Lady Amanda Harlech

British Style Award brought to you by Vodafone (voted by the public) – Harry Styles

Special Recognition Award – Kate Moss

Special Recognition Award – Suzy Menkes

Outstanding Achievement in Fashion – Terry and Tricia Jones, founders of i-D

Further information (and images) can be found at:

http://www.elleuk.com/star-style/red-carpet/british-fashion-awards-the-winners-burberry-prada-j-w-anderson-simone-rocha-kate-moss#image=1

http://www.vogue.co.uk/spy/celebrity-photos/2013/12/2/british-fashion-awards-2013/gallery/1080004

Colour & Culture at Cosmetics a la Carte

Today’s blog is about a beauty brand that has just turned 40 and, rather than letting the date quietly slip by, has spent the year marking the occasion.  Knightsbridge based Cosmetics a la Carte, has been bringing ‘colour and culture’ to our faces for four decades.  The label has seen many famous names grace its hallowed beauty halls – Princess Diana was a fan, as is Grace Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Lady Gaga and even U2, who used their cosmetics for their tour.  Renowned for its ultra bespoke beauty range (they will mix a foundation to exactly match your skin tone), Cosmetics a la Carte was the first luxury make-up company to make all its own products. And one of the owners, Lynne Sanders even has a science degree to back up her innate talent.

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I was introduced to this brand about a year ago and am a huge fan.  Whenever I use their foundation I get compliments on my skin, and the product is so light that people really think it’s just my natural glow.  I have forgotten the amount of times I have had to correct them with the words ‘honestly, it’s my foundation’ (FYI it’s called Moisture Tint).  Furthermore, their cream Bare Blush adds just the right hint of ‘I’ve been for a walk in the country’ rouge to my cheeks

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This spring saw a commemorative exhibition that celebrated the company’s use of colour and iconic status, including the first nude lipstick bought by Princess Diana in the 1980s. Also showing were four monoliths, a collaboration with revered artist Alex Noble.  I saw these at this week’s press day and they are so stunning.  Inspired in turn by Grace Jones, Princess Diana, Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, Noble was given four iconic moments in the brand’s history and used these to create the pieces.

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‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH I – GRACE JONES BY ALEX NOBLE

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‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH II – PRINCESS DIANA BY ALEX NOBLE

The first was inspired by the midnight blue face powder worn by Grace Jones on the cover of her album Nightclubbing (the product itself was inspired by Grace asking for skin similar to the boutique’s Egyptian black cat).  The gorgeous broken pearl bust is a tribute to the late Princess Diana and her devotion to the Nude Toast lipstick.  Monolith III represents Lady Gaga in one of her early appearances on BBC breakfast news, where she wore Bubblegum gloss in a heart shape on her lips.  The final piece, and my personal favourite, references a May 2000 Vogue cover, where Kate Moss wore Candy lipstain in pink with two boldly coloured eyelids.

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‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH III – LADY GAGA BY ALEX NOBLE

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‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH IV – KATE MOSS BY ALEX NOBLE

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The May 2000 Vogue cover that inspired Monolith IV, featuring Kate Moss in Candy lipstain 

If you’re going to a Halloween party this weekend, take inspiration from these gorgeous monoliths and be creative with your make-up.  Or book in for a masterclass with the boutique’s talented artists.  Why be boring when you can be bold?

Visit Cosmetics a la Carte at 19b Motcomb St, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8LB. T: 020 7235 0596 www.alacartelondon.com

Exhibition curated by Ryan Lanji: http://www.ryanlanji.com. For more information on Alex Noble head to: alexnoblestudio.com.  

Moss goss

Here at Stylitz we (ie. me) are obsessed with Kate Moss. Yes, yes she may have been surpassed of late by the ubiquitous Cara Delevigne, but there is only one Mossy and despite some drama and recent comparisons to Kathy from Eastenders, she is a fashion icon of supreme status.  At university, where I was studying fashion design, I regularly used poses from her book (pictured below) as a base for my fashion illustrations. She is a chameleon; a true model canvas that can cover every look – be it vampy, sultry, grungy, happy or fresh faced Calvin Klein simplicity.

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Cover and inside page of Kate by Kate Moss book (published by Pavilion Books in 1997)

So I was very excited to hear that this September, Christie’s is hosting an auction of some of her iconic images as shot by the likes of Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Nick Knight (main holding image) and Glen Luchford.  Curated by German art collector Gert Elfering, this lot is sure to get the fashion world buzzing.  With some images valued at £150,000, this is not for those with a Primark budget. I have 2 months to win the lottery.  Better get playing…

Kate Moss, 1994, Glen Luchford

Kate Moss, 1994, Glen Luchford

Main holding image – Kate as Aladdin Sane, 2003, Nick Knight

The sale will take place on 25th September. The public will be able to visit the collection at Christie’s, London from 21st until 24th September. http://www.christies.com