Couture Round-Up 2014

Paris Couture Week is among my favourite events in the fashion Calendar. It’s like being transported into another world; a beautiful peek inside a designers mind. 2014 has been one of my favourites, and this year’s collections are certainly going to take some beating!

Lagerfeld’s show was an array of Bouclé, A-line skirts, Mohicans and glitter in a 30’s style apartment set, decorated with contemporary exposed concrete and gilt logo emblazoned mirrors.

While Cara Delevingne wasn’t model of the moment, Kendall Jenner floated down the runway looking stunning. The shoes featured were all Chanel flip-flops- when did they become so versatile and elegant?
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The talking point of the show was Ashley Good, donning the Chanel wedding dress with her very large bump. That is one very well dressed baby!

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I adored this show and it really paid tribute and homage to Coco Chanel. I also loved the ombré eyeliner that went from silver to gold- a very wearable trend.

This show was an enchanting wall of white orchards, which complemented the show of silk frock coats and sweeping ball skirts. Mules were the shoe of the show, which are very popular at the moment so I’m definitely keeping hold of mine!

I adore the fairy tale style at the moment and Dior definitely optimised the trend.
Raf Simmons really focuses on future trends but he split this show into eight sections all focusing on different eras. Sweeping long line coats from the Edwardian period were stunning and really could be incorporated into many outfits, not just couture.

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This was such an elegant collection and I loved how relaxed the hair was. Just a simple tumbled curl- very easy to do yourself. It really continued the natural look featured in London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter this year.

Elie Saab
This was my favourite collection by far! It was simply stunning. The gowns and wedding dresses were an absolute dream. At his Couture show, Saab was focused exclusively on after-dark. He made his point by lining the back of the runway with chandeliers, which were illuminated just moments before the first model made her grand entrance.

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The gowns were embroidered with beads and feathers, taking the flapper dress to a whole new level. I adored both the location and setting of the show. The chandeliers made the ambience of the room truly beautiful, and set off the detail on the dress perfectly.20140722-122621 pm-44781236.jpg

I loved the watercolour print designs on this dress, it really shows this trend in all of its beauty.

I would say this has been one of my favourite Couture Weeks yet- I’m definitely looking forward to many more.


My Favourite Travel Beauty Products

I’ve always struggled with packing my beauty products for when I go away. But after really condensing down my make up bag, I’ve established my favourite necessities- here they are.
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream
I adore this product. The amount of uses it has are endless.
It’s perfect for sunburn as it takes the heat out and helps heal it in record time.
I use it on my lips and cuticles in the winter to combat any dryness.

One of my favourite uses is mixing it with a powder eye shadow to make an intense gel eye shadow that stays put all day!
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Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick
This has condensed my make up bag down massively. Not only can you use it as bronzer and blusher, but the colours look fabulous as eyeshadow as well. So if I take this I don’t need to carry around a bulky eyeshadow pallet. I always love two products in one.

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Sexy Mother Blusher
This is another duo product I adore: Soap and Glory’s Sexy Mother Blusher cream stick. This gives a really fresh beachy glow, but is a terrific lip stain that takes you from day to night with ease. Definitely a holiday must-have!

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Minx Nail Wraps
There is nothing worse than having to keep repainting your nails while on holiday, so I like to use Minx Nail Wraps on my fingers and toes. They stay in place for almost two weeks, so perfect for going away. You can get some really chic ones now and your nails look clean and neat.

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Million Lashes Water Proof Mascara
This mascara does exactly what it says. I love the original Million Lashes Mascara, as it gives such a beautiful fanned out effect. But I hate getting out of the sea or pool and looking like something from Kiss! I love still being able to wear mascara on the beach.

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Yves Saint Laurent All-in-One BB Cream
I tend not to wear a foundation on the beach as I find it melts causing an unflattering shiny effect. So I found this amazing BB cream. I chose this one over others due to it having a SPF of 25, which I find really helps protect my skin. It gives a really dewy coverage that looks sun-kissed and natural without the offensive shiny effect.

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International Women’s Day

Women have an increasing role in business and yet all day I’ve heard reports on the radio highlighting a distinct pay divide that remains.

One thing for certain is that the opportunities of education and development that are offered to men are, on the most part, now also offered to women. In honour of our female heritage, surely we owe it to ourselves to grab those opportunities by the proverbial and show the world what we’re made of?

As it’s International Women’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share three of my top women entrepreneurs – from who I take so much of my inspiration and drive:

Tamara Mellon

Tamara Mellon

One woman that certainly springs to mind when discussing female entrepreneurship is Tamara Mellon, former Chief Creative Office and co-founder of Jimmy Choo.

After meeting cobbler Jimmy Choo in the mid nineties, Tamara secured a £150,00 loan from her father and turned it into a £500 million pound business with 100 shops in 32 countries.

The website of her latest self-titled venture explains: “Tamara Mellon was born out of a simple, but groundbreaking philosophy: we are living in a world where women want to buy now, wear now.”

Michelle Mone

Michelle Mone

Ladies around the world have Michelle Mone to thank for the Ultimo bra. Now recognised as a lingerie tycoon, Michelle is a classic story of rags to riches. She grew up penniless in a Glasgow tenement, but it was whilst on holiday in Florida that her fortunes turned.

Whilst reading about the latest craze of plastic surgery, Michelle realised that putting silicon in a bra had the same effect as a boob job – just minus the surgery!

She’s quoted as saying: “You have to work your socks off, there’s no shortcut. Always think big in life. You are just as good as anyone else.”

Hilary Devey

Hilary Devey

Hilary Devey is another “rags to riches” tale that I really admire. She left school at sixteen and began work in sales and logistics. It seems as though one day she had a light bulb moment and within just three years she was a millionaire!

Articles suggest that the banks initially shunned her approach to logistics and freight, and Hilary had to sell her own house and car to make her £112,000 business model happen.

Fifteen years later, her company PAII-Ex is recognised as having revolutionised haulage and turns over £100 million a year. Her advice to start-ups: “Focus and tenacity: understand the market, people, competition and the opportunities.”


If I were to share any advice myself, I would have to paraphrase a statement that I gave to the Entrepreneurs Forum: “Anyone can have a big turnover, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are making a profit. It’s a lesson I firmly believe all would-be entrepreneurs need to learn.

“For me, the driver is the passion and the ambition to do something. I’m big on profit. Profit means you can grow, it means you have security and it means you can take on staff.”

If you’re a female entrepreneur, I’d love to hear your story! You can find me on Twitter @Danielle_DDCA or by liking my company page on Facebook.


[Images courtesy of the BBC and Yahoo Finance]

Is Technology Affecting Our Health?

As more and more research surfaces raising concern surrounding the use of technology, I’ve been looking into benefits of modern living compared to the adverse affects that technology can have on us both physically and mentally.

The first name that cropped up in my research was Baroness Susan Greenfield. In a BBC article from earlier this year, she argues that “screen time” affects brain development. Greenfield goes on to explain that constant connectivity – or “hyperconnectivity” – could result in a generation for which “the mind might remain more child-like, reactive and dependent on the behaviour and thoughts of others”.

Bad science … Baroness Susan Greenfield: neuroscientist, broadcaster – and now novelist.

The concerns of Baroness Greenfield are not limited to social media and the Internet; as she goes on to discuss video games too.

Her book, ‘2121: A Tale from the Next Century’, which was released in July, was written using more than 250 research papers that support her theory however the Baroness is quick to point out that she’s not totally against technology: “It’s not about the channels, it’s about how they are used,” she explains.

“Facebook satisfies identity, it gives you a status that isn’t linked to wealth or gender,” explains Baroness Greenfield, “People are living online, offline”.

Whilst I do agree with Greenfield to an extent, I suppose it’s worth considering that advances in technology are not slowing down and if you fall behind; you get left behind.

In my opinion, it’s important for the development of the next generation, as well as my generation, to keep up to speed with digital. As more and more aspects of everyday life become technology-dependent, those who choose to play ignorant are at risk of alienating themselves from society.

I read a BBC article online last month, which discussed the affects that social media has on self-esteem and well-being, slamming Facebook as “depressing”.

Facebook Depressing

The study tracked Facebook users for two weeks to monitor trends in their online behaviour.

“On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it,” researchers at Michigan University are quoted as saying.

I find the results of the study are quite thought provoking: the more people used Facebook, the worse they felt afterwards. The team also found that the more the participants used the site, the more their life satisfaction levels declined.

One term that is used in the article, which sums the study up nicely, is “FOMO” or Fear Of Missing Out.

I’d say that, although we may all be guilty of FOMO side effects, it’s in our nature to be curious. We enjoy staying in touch and interacting with one another – it’s part of what makes us who we are. In hindsight, research such as this is proof that it’s all relative: too much of anything is not going to be good for you.

As Oscar Wilde said: “Everything in moderation, including moderation”.

If you’d like to discuss social media excesses and digital deviations, feel free to drop me a Tweet @DanielleDunn_CA – Let’s get hyperconnected together!