Make sure that your make up are removed at night

Igo out so rarely that just going out is amazing. I’ll listen to music while I get ready. Angry, nihilistic stuff like David Bowie’s Time is good if I’m going somewhere I’m nervous about. I’ve recently liberated myself from wearing body-hugging clothes. I’m trying to buy clothes that feel sensuous rather than styled. I’ve got into silk tunic dresses from All Saints or the White Company. I also love Dawn O’Porter’s Bob dresses. She dressed me in one called the Flack for the British comedy awards.

I would love to be dressed more, because I loathe shopping. I buy loads of clothes from Asos that just sit there until I try them on in a bad temper, right before the returns deadline. I kind of hate clothes; I still wear hipster-style jeans and I’m always showing my arse – totally undignified for a woman of my age.

I’m against lipstick, big time. Dark eyes need nude lips, so I just use a kohl pencil and lots of mascara. What I do is too accidental to be called a smoky eye – it’s more like a smutty eye. My mum taught me how to put on makeup as a teenager, and I’ve been doing it the same way ever since, although I have started doing my eyebrows. I tend to go quite dark, then think, “They don’t look dark enough”, add some black eyeliner, then I look in the mirror and go, “Jesus, I did not know that was happening.” I use a Mac foundation and, sometimes, Sally Hansen tanning spray on my legs.

I don’t take my makeup off before I go to bed. It’s too boring. I feel almost the same about brushing my teeth: ritualistic washroom crap must take about six years off your life.

Fashion favourite that you should know

How long is a good innings as an iconic beauty, these days? Thirty years, like Cindy Crawford? Sixty-five, like Sophia Loren?

How about 530 years? That’s how long Botticelli’s women have been adored, desired and emulated. They have been muses to Bob Dylan and James Bond, Andy Warhol and Lady Gaga. Botticelli’s Venus, rising from her seashell, is a poster girl not just for the Uffizi, but in teenage bedrooms all over the world. (She even appears on an Italian 10 cent euro coin.) Flora from the same painting inspired Elsa Schiaparelli in 1938, while the figure of Flora as seen in Botticelli’s Primavera was brought to life on the Valentino catwalk last year.

The enduring charm of Botticelli’s women – and how a painter who languished in obscurity for two centuries after his death came to set the bar for 20th-century beauty – is the subject of Botticelli Reimagined, which opens at the V&A in London on 5 March. The exhibition brings together 50 Botticelli works with 100 related works by artists who have interpreted him, from Dante Gabriel Rossettiand William Morris to René Magritte and Cindy Sherman. Martin Roth, director of the museum, hopes it will explain how and why Botticelli’s legacy has “suffused our collective visual memory”.

The Birth of Venus is “an endlessly quotable metaphor for youth and beauty”, Roth says. The original work is not included in the exhibition, being too delicate to be moved from Florence, but it dominates nonetheless. Two Andy Warhol silkscreens from 1984 permeate Venus with acid colours, turning a familiar image from a venerable museum work into a lurid billboard image. David LaChapelle’s 2009 photograph of a heavily made-up, deeply tanned, bottle-blond model recreating the Venus pose makes explicit reference to the idea of Botticelli as setting an aspirational standard for female beauty.

But the extent to which we have internalised the image as a template is most striking in an accidental homage. In two photographs from Rineke Dijkstra’s monumentally scaled but naturalistically posed Beach Portraits series, young girls pose on the shoreline unknowingly mirroring the posture and body language of Venus. One of the sitters, 14-year-old Erin Kinney, “was trying so hard to answer to a specific image – trying to look like perfection,” Dijkstra told the New York Times. “The girls were asked to pose on a beach, and they unconsciously assumed that pose,” says Ana Debenedetti, curator of the V&A’s exhibition. “Botticelli is so embedded in our visual culture that we know these images without even knowing that we know, in a way.”

There is a dancing quality to the way Botticelli’s women stand, their weight off centre, which is seen today in the one-leg-forward pose that actresses adopt on the red carpet. (The standard red carpet pose is designed to make one look thinner. The Renaissance concept of leggiadria described figures drawn so as to appear light and graceful. Plus ça change.) There is a stillness, too – “They are erotic objects, but peaceful,” Debenedetti says – which is recognisable in the tranquil half smile that is today’s standard celebrity look. They are blond, slender, with long hair. They illustrate an ideal woman of the 15th century, who turns out to look strikingly similar to our contemporary ideal. The exhibition includes footage of Ursula Andress emerging from the sea, “a hint to the idea of love and beauty. She corresponds to a very classic western ideal of beauty: her colouring, her curves. She is erotic, but also has a very natural, earth mother appeal. You feel like she would have beautiful babies!” Debenedetti says.

This season style

aaaAnne Perkins, political commentator and leader writer for the Guardian

I always thought serious fashion was about beautiful clothes for beautiful people and took place mainly on the pages of Vogue. This week I realised it in fact lies in the uncertain territory somewhere between art and politics.

It was reading interviews with the two leading young designers Demna Gvasalia (from Georgia) and Gosha Rubchinskiy (from Russia) that did it. Their stories read as if they are straight out of Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich – the book about the transformation of Soviet to consumerist Russia by which I am completely absorbed at the moment – and I am entranced by the idea that the unprecedented peacetime dislocation should be reflected in fashion designed by people who lived through it. I will never get dressed in quite the same way again. Nor will I be spending £700 on one of their hoodies, but I will understand that the price is part of the absurdity of the world that the designers are creating.

There was a time when I thought clothes were probably more important than food. I had a wild optimism about the transformational power of a new dress. I also had no money and there were no charity shops, although there were dress agencies where, if you were lucky, you could find Chanel or Dior for a fraction of their original price. But labels did not belong in my world, and it didn’t occur to me to mix them with the high street.

Also, I was rubbish with money. My early shopping career ended up with the threat of court action, a memorably unpleasant negotiation with a bank manager, and a lasting overdraft phobia.

That’s my excuse for wearing, for years and years, the dullest and most invisible clothes anyone could imagine. Not that I stood out: by then, in the late 80s, I was working as a reporter in the House of Commons, and female journalists, like female MPs, were so uncommon, it seemed preferable to be unobserved than leered at by male MPs in the corridors of power which we thought of as the Reeperbahn.

Switching it: Anne in Balenciaga dress, Gosha Rubchinskiy sweatshirt, Vetements jacket and Chiara Ferragni boots
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Anne switches to Balenciaga dress, Gosha Rubchinskiy sweatshirt, Vetements jacket and Chiara Ferragni boots
Mainly I bought intensely conservative suits, usually from somewhere like Jaeger. Occasionally I could afford Margaret Howell, and some of her clothes still hang in my wardrobe. To satisfy my money paranoia, I wanted everything to last for ever. I recognise something of myself in Angela Merkel’s familiar trouser suit.

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When I did break out, it usually had catastrophic consequences. In the same way that people trying to give up alcohol never fall off the wagon discreetly, I would opt for terrifying colour combinations (“You look like the flag of a newly independent country,” a colleague once observed) or heels so high I couldn’t actually walk home from the tube.

But then I started working from home. For a couple of years I wore nothing but sweaters and jeans. It was a kind of detox. When I started working at the Guardian, where some colleagues are extremely creative about the limits of office dress, it was a kind of liberation.

I hung on to the things I really loved, though, and they became the base of my new style. It still leans towards the conservative and classic, but it is much more considered, and it is about how I want to look rather than how I think I ought to look.

I rarely pass Cos or Whistles without stopping to look. It is easy to combine their distinctive shapes with stuff I already have. It is also practical: shoes I can walk in – brogues and trainers – and cashmere because I love its feel and the air conditioning in the office is icy. I do occasionally buy expensive clothes, most recently an Erdem dress. I love the way the heavy fabric falls and the sleekness of the cut.

Having a muse galvanises

Iwas researching the autumn collection, looking for the boyish side of the story that best embodies the Chloé attitude. I looked at motocross and the more I looked, this one woman’s face kept coming up, in photographs that looked as if they were from the 1970s. That was Anne-France Dautheville. I looked deeper into her story and found out she was a Frenchwoman who decided to go solo on a bike through the Middle East, South America and Australia. She wasn’t the first one to do it but she was the first one to write about it – in the books Une Demoiselle sur une Moto and Et J’ai Suivi le Vent. She came from an aristocratic background and worked as a copywriter in a Parisian advertising agency and as a journalist, funding her trips through her writing.

We found out that Anne-France lived an hour from Paris and we went for lunch with her. Afterwards she brought out four or five boxes of slides and it became clear from those that she was such a Chloé woman. She reminded me of [Chloé founder] Gaby Aghion – feisty, with inner strength. She had things made for her – the leather safari jacket, very much like the one in the show, and the leather salopettes – but also took along beautiful dresses, high heels and kohl eyeliner. She said to me: “Even on a trip for 12,000 miles, I am a Parisienne.”

I was hugely inspired, especially by what she took on trips. I found her only five or six weeks before the show but she chimed with what I was working on because, although Chloé is very dreamy, Gaby was very spontaneous, a go-getter. And Anne-France had that in spades. She always wore a scarf and biker boots unless she was out to dinner. I used that for the show, and tried to capture her attitude, too – in the makeup, for example, all the models had kohl under their eyes.

Anne-France was surprised that I liked her photographs but I think they are charming because they aren’t professional – she’s taking pictures that mean something to her on a trip. There’s an innocence to that time in the 1970s, and there are joyful moments – photographs of her sitting with Afghan children with the bike next to her. She said no one from France really went to that part of the world then; they might go as far as Turkey or Morocco, but not Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran. Her parents were mortified by her trip. She said she could have been a copywriter and had a nice life but she wanted to go on an adventure.

These days, Anne-France is still writing. She is very poetic and loves mythology and the thoughts behind words. I love the way she speaks, which she does as fluently in English as in French. She knits her own sweaters, is very slender and chic, and still wears her kohl eyeliner – she doesn’t leave the house without it. She was still biking until two years ago when she had an accident. She says people in her village think she is crazy.

More often than not I have a very broad story in mind when designing a collection. Having a muse galvanises it and makes decisions very easy because you are essentially making a wardrobe for someone. You design on a character – so she would wear a blouse with leather pants because she wouldn’t have many clothes with her. Everything referenced back to her travel wardrobe. In a way that’s not too dissimilar to how we dress today: we might get attached to something and wear it over and over again.

The pieces in the collection all have a very boyish fit and they’re quite iconic, not overly designed. The way I design at Chloé is about the boyish and the ultra-feminine, and the tension between the two. I love to play with that and I am always looking for muses that fit that bill because it is so interesting making a collection when I find one.

Anne-France had no clue who we were when we first contacted her. But she was thrilled when she found out that we were basing a whole collection on her; she said it was like angels coming into her life, allowing her to remember a wonderful time in her career. She couldn’t come to the show because she was promoting a new novel, but I have spent so much time with her and every time, more and more stories come out. She could definitely have another collection in her.

Beach Fashion Tips

I have a love/hate relationship with the beach and beach fashion. I love the beach for about 30 minutes, then I’m done with it. I’m not the type of beach lover that will lie on the beach for hours working on their tan. If you can believe it, I dislike tanning and “looking” tan.

The funny thing is that I tan quickly. Put me in the sun for 10 minutes and I already have a tan line. The people that have that ability don’t want it and the people that don’t have it want it. Isn’t that just the way of the world?

Well, let me quickly explain why I don’t like having tanned skin. Growing up I was dark—maybe I’ll share some photos someday on my blog—like the darkest girl in the family, and I hated it. I’m Hispanic, and everyone in my family is as well, but all the women in my family have very light skin. So being a kid, I didn’t like being different. So I’ve never tanned, and I still don’t.

Now let’s get back to beach fashion!

Beach Clothes

Beach clothes and style are not just restricted to bikinis and rompers. Of course, it depends on what you’re doing at the beach. If you’re tanning and taking a dip, of course you need a swimsuit, but if you’re traveling and exploring you can wear a dress, skirt, or other cute beach clothes.

When packing for a beach vacation, I specifically look for stylish beach attire that will look beautiful on and off the beach. Yes, an off-the-shoulder swimsuit is a pretty cute choice as well, but there will be some days when you’re exploring a beach town and not necessary spending your entire day on the sand.

These photos were taken in South Beach Miami (SOBE) at sunrise. After we captured these photos and spent some time walking around an empty beach, we explored SOBE and captured some gorgeous shots of the seaside city. Here I’m wearing a nice spaghetti-strap patterned dress, ankle-strap sandals, and some fun jewelry. This beach outfit is cute, comfortable, and is a great option to wear around town.

Beach Fashion Tips

Elevate your beach style with these beach fashion tips:

Sandals are a must; you can wear some classic Havaianas or opt for something more classy like the sandals I’m wearing in this post. Keep in mind what you’ll be doing and how long you’re going to be walking for. Comfort is key, so don’t wear uncomfortable sandals when exploring a beach town. I was tempted to wear cute wedges with this dress, but it’s unrealistic.

Instead of tons of statement jewelry with a bevy of diamonds, opt for natural jewelry. I wore beaded bracelets in beachy colors with some pieces in natural shapes, like a leaf necklace and bracelet.

A good pair of sunglasses is crucial! Besides shielding your eyes from the blaring sun, you can use them to conceal tired eyes. Traveling is hard on the body and your sleep patterns and if you’re not catching your ZZZs because of jet lag or partying all night, a big pair of dark sunglasses are an essential!

If you’re all about the itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini, then more power to you. But if you want beach clothes that are a bit more reserved, pack a caftan, cover-up, or a fun printed dress. When packing, you’re looking for pieces that you can layer over a swimsuit and are comfortable enough to be in all day if need be. Dresses are always a great beach option.

If you don’t like wearing dresses, wear separates such as a pair of chino shorts in a solid or print and a cute “beach top.” I personally like the chino shorts from JCrew.

To protect yourself from the sun and look super stylish wear a sunhat! I’m not wearing one in this post but here’s a cute beach outfit with a sunhat so you have a visual idea. As you can see from that outfit as well, I like to layer and always have the option to cover up.

Summer Style Tips

In addition to rising temperatures and weekend trips, summer brings with it a hard-to-shake urge to shop. Maybe it’s because the weather’s heating up and those weekend jaunts require cute new outfits, but refreshing our summer closet is an activity we’re probably not alone in anticipating.
MORE: 4 Ways to Look Less Boring

But before you bust out that credit card, there are a few tips to keep in mind when buying for the summer months; small pieces of advice that’ll ensure you get the most bang for your buck and be as comfortable as you can be during the dog days. Read on for the only 4 summer fashion tips you need to know!
summer style tips

Buy summer shoes a half size—or a full size—larger than you normally would. Why? Because feet swell in hot weather.

1. Buy summer shoes a half-size or a full-size larger than you normally would.
It’s not the most pleasant of facts, but our feet swell during the summer. That’s why it’s key—when shopping for new shoes this time of year—to buy shoes a bit larger than you would in winter.

Natural materials like leather, canvas, and suede will definitely stretch, so going up half a size should be fine. For inexpensive trendy shoes made from faux leather, plastic, or any other man-made material, go a full size up.
summer style fashion tips white denim

Choose cool, crisp fabrics like cotton or linen, rather than poly-blends.

2. Mind your fabrics.
We love fast fashion as much as the next shopper, but a great deal of merchandise from high-street stores are made from poly-blends that simply aren’t breathable, and will often hold on to sweat stains. To stay cool on steamy days, it’s best seek out materials like cotton—pima or supima is best, but any variety will do—as the fibers are hollow in the center, allowing them to absorb perspiration and release it quickly.

Linen also is a solid summer material—it’s stronger than cotton and a better conductor of heat, making it the most breathable fabric out there. Contrary to popular belief, silk is a good choice for summer as well, since it’s natural, breathable, and cooling. The only downside: It has to be cleaned frequently if you sweat. Also great: super-thin denim.
crop top summer fashion tips style hacks

A tailor can turn an old black tank into a cool crop top you’ll wear all summer.

3. Reinvent your clothes.
We’re huge proponents of utilizing the tailors your city or town surely has, especially if you’re on the fence about whether to get rid of certain items. A tailor can cheaply transform garments, making them look totally different. A few examples: A floor-grazing skirt or dress can be made into a cute mini, pants can be turned into into shorts, and long blazers into cute cropped jackets to wear over summer dresses.

Another great tailor tip for those looking to try out the crop top trend without looking like a slave to fashion: Bring an old T-shirt and tank top you don’t wear anymore to your tailor and have he or she hem it to show a sliver of skin. Then pair it with super high-waist pants, skirts or shorts. The result: an easy-breezy crop that’s not too tight, too trendy, or too revealing—and can be worn comfortably all summer!
how to stop makeup from melting flat lay summer tips

It’s easy to stop your makeup from melting! (Photo: FashionBarbecue)

4. Keep your actual makeup from melting.
We’re always hearing about ways to keep the makeup on our face from melting, but how about the products we tote around with us in our bags? Didn’t think of that, did you?

Try this trick: Freeze a Zip-Loc freezer bag overnight, and before you leave for work, toss in the cosmetics you normally take for the day (a lipstick, a foundation, etc.) While it’s not a long-term fix, it will keep your products cool until you get to work, or whichever air conditioned place you’re headed.

If you know you’ll be outside all day and want to tote along your makeup, check out Cool-It Caddy, makeup bags and cases that feature a fully insulated interior and integrated coolant system.