Thursday, 6 December 2012

Book Worm.

A great coffee table book is always a favourite gift of mine - to give or receive - and there are some super-chic new ones out this winter (as well as a few I still haven't gotten my hands on despite dropping many hints)

Here are my top eight gorgeous coffee table tomes - which one will you be hoping for this Christmas?

'Grace - A Memoir'
By Grace Coddington

I can't wait to get my hands on this long awaited memoir from fashion-industry icon Grace Coddington. Since falling in love with her talent, inimitable eye for style & of course, her fearlessness when she appeared in 'The September Issue' (who else would stand up the way she did to Anna Wintour?) this book has been long-awaited & reveals her early life, her modelling days & the car-crash that ended that part of her career & of course, how she began making a name for herself as a stylist & fashion assistant before becoming Anna's right hand woman at Vogue. All told in Grace's matter-of-fact way with plenty of humour & of course, the odd tidbit of gossip, this is definitely the top of my list!

By Kate Moss

Hand-picked by Kate herself & chronicling through from her earliest modelling days (the iconic Corrine Day shots for The Face magazine) to her most recent work, this book is a must-have for anyone who loves Croydon's finest (and most beautiful!) export! Hopefully I'll receive this along with my much hoped for original print (fingers crossed, I've been very good this year!)

By Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

From children's TV stars to diminutive fashion powerhouses, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen have taken the industry by storm, first as our major style-crushes, then as designers of the super-cool Elizabeth & James line before launching The Row two years ago (hello £35,000 bag!) - and now the talented pair turn their hand to penning a book of the people who most inspire them - with interviews from Diane von Furstenburg & Karl Lagerfeld, photography from Rankin & Inez & Vinoodh & a whole host of artists, architects & actors, this book may have been published a while ago but is no less relevant & beautifully presented as it ever was.

'The Sartorialist'
By Scott Schulman

The original street style photographer, Scott Schulman's blog 'The Sartorialist' became the place to click away an idle few minutes browsing through photographs of impeccably dressed people on the streets of New York, Paris, London, Sydney - you name it! The perfect book to get some style inspiration if you're feeling a bit stuck!

'Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel'
By Lisa Vreeland

Coinciding with this years film of the same name, this book on Diana Vreeland tells her whole story - from her early days selling underwear to Wallis Simpson in London, dancing with the Tiller girls & travelling around the world, right the way through her industry-shaping career in high fashion journalism, beginning with her time at Harpers Bazaar from 1937 & also covers her influential time at Vogue. An amazing book, it really shows just how much highly regarded & before its' time Vreeland's work was - even today references can be seen in Grace Coddington's work, publications Pop & Love & photographer Tim Walker's imagery, to name but a few.

'Nick Knight'
By Nick Knight

I want this huge book so much! I love Nick's work - his website has revolutionised the typical fashion shoot & I love how accessible he has made everything. This encompasses all of his work in one handy (but certainly not one for your handbag!) book, a massive selection of the most incredible photos.

'The Beautiful Fall'
By Alicia Drake

The Beautiful Fall tells the story behind fashion's most famous fall-out - that of Yves Saint Laurent & Karl Lagerfeld, who, throughout the 1970's became bitter rivals whilst working in Paris. Full of drama & a great fashion-read, this is definitely on my list!

'Tom Ford: Ten Years'
By Graydon Carter

Perfect for a little glimpse into the career of Tom Ford - from him reviving Gucci & his time at the helm of Yves Saint Laurent this book is an enormous tome of fashion history, with gorgeous imagery from the likes of Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton & Steven Meisel & words from the one & only Anna Wintour (among others), I need this on my coffee table immediately!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

What the Dickens?!

Day two of Melissa's favourite Christmas cocktails & we've moved onto something a little more adventurous (that may take a little more preparation time, but is more than worth it!)...inspired by Charles Dickens very own recipe, a fabulously festive hot gin punch, perfect to warm up your chilly guests when arriving in from the cold.

You will need:

3 x teacups of Hendrick's gin
3 x teacups of Madeira wine
3 x cloves
1 x teaspoon of cinnamon powder
2 x teaspoon brown sugar
4 x tablespoon honey
6 x large lemon & orange twists (rind)
1 x slice of orange
1 x pineapple
Juice of 2 lemons

Pinch of grated nutmeg


Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and place on a low heat.
Let the concoction cook without boiling for 20 minutes. 
Taste and re-balance the sweet/sour flavours with more honey or lemon, if needed. 

Cook for a further ten minutes & serve hot - we love the idea of pouring it from a chintzy teapot - if Christmas isn't the time for a little whimsy, then when is?

Monday, 3 December 2012

It's Cocktail o'clock

We here at Melissa Odabash love a cocktail any time of year, but Christmas gives us the opportunity to go all out decadent with some truly special concoctions. Every day this week Melissa will be posting one of her favourite cocktail recipes, to make sure you are the 'hostess with the most-est' should you be having any Christmas parties this festive season!


Rose-Prosecco Cocktail

Super-easy & very impressive, fool your guests into thinking you are an expert mixologist by jazzing up a simple glass of prosecco with a hint of delicate rose - no one need ever know there is only two ingredients in this refreshing, fragrant cocktail..!

One bottle of Prosecco/dry champagne
Rose syrup 
Rose petals to garnish

Fill champagne flutes with prosecco & gently pour in rose syrup allowing it to trickle to the bottom of the glass. Float a rose petal on top to garnish.

Vogue's Online Fashion Week is HERE!

Head to Vogue for exclusive Melissa Odabash offers all week long!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Oooh, it's that time again...!

Keep your eyes peeled on the Bikini Queen blog for the start of Vogue's Online Fashion Week 2012...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

All I want for Christmas...

So, we've tried to remain composed but the influx of festive goodies into our favourite shops mean that we seriously think now is the time to get down to business & write our all important Christmas lists! Here Melissa shares hers (though we're sure EVERY girl would most likely have a Prada bag or pair of French Sole flats lurking somewhere on theirs too!). What will you be putting on yours? Let us know on our Facebook or Tweet @MelissaOdabash with #AllIWantForChristmas.

Ooh la la!

She comes to me for swimwear, I go to her for underwear!
Super-gorgeous Elle Macpherson has been designing her own lingerie for ten years now & it just keeps getting better & better - I love her 'Intimates' line - pretty, but not too fussy, and they won't break the bank, definitely something I'd want to find in the bottom of my stocking on Christmas morning!
For the rare times I get a moment of peace!

Kelly Hoppen's candle are a real luxury, I have them scattered all over my house, but there is always room for more. I don't get too much time to relax but when I do, I love to light some candles & get into the latest episode of Downton Abbey, especially in the winter time. Candles are also the best kind of lighting & hide a multitude of sins, as I'm sure all you girls know!
Super-comfy for when I'm dashing about town to meetings...

French Sole are a celeb favourite & I've been wearing French Sole ballet pumps forever - I spend most of my time running to & from meetings, in fittings & interviews and generally dashing about & these are super comfy but also very, very chic - check out Kate Moss & the uber-cool Olivia Palermo rocking theirs. If I could, I'd have them in every colour, but I think I'll go for classic quilted black & a pair of fun leopard print ones this year, which really jazz up a simple tee & jeans combo.
Talking of Kate (do we even need to use her surname any more?) is probably the best-known supermodel on the planet - & still epitomises a rock & roll, super cool, London girl. I heard some of her earlier prints are going up for sale this Christmas, though I'm sure they're going to go like gold-dust - but I'd love, love, love one of these for my wall, particularly one by Corinne Day, who launched Kate's career (& whose retrospective was actually in the art gallery round the corner from my office, amazing exhibition!)
My dear friend Martyn Lawrence-Bullard creates THE most amazing rooms & has just released a book featuring his work - perfect reading when the aformentioned candles are lit & Downton Abbey is about to start. Also looks great on a coffee table, as all the best books always do - Martyn, if you're reading this, I'd love to unwrap a copy on Christmas morning (hint hint!)
I think it must be the law that for Christmas you receive (or give) something sleepwear related! I'll be putting the softest bath robe from The White Company on my list - so, so cosy & really beautiful fabric that will last & last. They also come beautifully wrapped & packaged in gift boxes, meaning you don't have to yourself!
My favourite heels are by Mechanté & I used some in my 2013 look book - they're so comfortable, despite being so high & super, super cool. I love these shoe-boot style open toes - perfect with a little black dress & leather jacket or just teamed with jeans, a cool blouse & a blazer. A definite favourite on my wishlist!

...please please please please please!

 And finally - I'd LOVE a classic Prada tote. Super-chic, these are an investment (so I keep reiterating to my husband!) & would see my through season after season after season in style. And I'd be in good company - Victoria's Secrets model (& Odabash favourite) Miranda Kerr is rarely seen without hers. The only problem is...which colour do I choose?! TOO HARD!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Feeling Festive

It is becoming pretty apparent that Christmas is almost upon us - the cold nights, the great period dramas making us not want to leave the house of an evening, Selfridges window displays being unveiled - & today saw the morning latte's came in red cups for the first time this year & the appearance of the festive sandwiches during the lunch run.

As if that wasn't enough to ease you into the Christmas spirit, tonight also sees the grand unveiling & switching on of the Oxford Street Christmas lights, with Robbie Williams doing the honour (with a little help from the lovely Leona Lewis). Head there early to get a good spot (though if you miss it, there are also the Regent Street lights & the Carnaby Street display being turned on this week - the latter with a super-cool Rolling Stones theme).

Debenhams lights - whilst you're there, head inside to get your hands on my diffusion line for them!

Whilst we're getting in the mood for the season ahead, the Odabash office is also super-excited by the imminent opening of the Somerset House Ice Rink later this month, the perfect place to have a few cocktails in Tom's Skate Lodge, check out all the super-chic skaters...oh & if you get round to it, do a bit of skating yourself! Great every night, but we'd definitely recommend one of their 'disco' events, with DJ's from Ibiza, Bestival, Bugged Out & heaps more all taking their turn on the decks (check out the Somerset House website for more information & tickets) - & while you're there, make sure you check out the Tim Walker exhibition & the upcoming Valentino retrospective, both a must-see.

We would love to look this chic whilst whizzing around the ice...

...however we feel we'll spen more time in a similar position to this lady!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Melissa's Autumn Style Guide

After a weekend of playing 'Culture Vulture', visiting all the great exhibitions we told you about in our last blog, we managed to kill two birds with one stone! As predicted at these super trendy gallerys we came across many an arty fashionista working the Autumn/Winter trends and experimenting with new, cooler weather ensembles. The great thing about London is the variety of different styles and people out there trying different things, encorporating the catwalk trends with their own, unique sense of style. So walking about you are bound to gather some style inspo where ever you go!
Now those chilly mornings and dark evenings have set in, Melissa suggests a good organise each season so you know what you have in your wardrobe before you shop for the coming winter months. That way you wont end up splurging on pieces that dont go with anything you already have, or buying a brand new camel coat when you already have that one you loved from last year! Any items that no longer fit with your look - like that shoulder padded dress you bought circa 1992 that you think you may wear again....but definitely won't...Or those patent high knee boots you splurged on last winter during the 'dominatrix' trend...(oh how that lasted!!) - sell on ebay to fund your new wardrobe! We love the A Pair And A Spare for some great tips on how to clear out your wardrobe, Click Here to check it out for yourself.

Here's just a few of the trends which we noticed out there, and ones which us Odabash girls will be sure to try out this coming season. We hope this gives you some inspiration....let us know what you're loving for Autumn  by tweeting @melissaodabash #melissasautumnstyle!

A great alternative to black is this seasons hottest colour trend, dusty pink. Cosy mohair jumpers or printed pencil skirts are great for working this trend. Team with dark shades of brown and black for a luxe look.

As alway, 'Heritage' is a huge trend this season. We love how former Harpers Bazaar Russia Fashion Editor Miroslava Duma wears hers. We love how she's added the bowlers hat for extra effect! Alternatively, go for oversized chic like this trendy lady from Frieze Art Fair.

One of Melissa's staple pieces each winter is a faux fur gilet - channel Elle MacPherson's casual look with jeans and boots, or go for Olivia Palermo's Upper East Side chic with leather leggings and a cashmere jumper...cosy to the max!

Following on from this summers 'Super Trend' of printed trousers we're happy there is a way to rework them for winter with boots and a chic taylored coat. Dip into this seasons hottest 'camo' trend with a pair of army print skinny jeans. Just make sure you wear them tight to avoid 90's girl band combat pants sydrome circa 2001! 

Every woman should own a taylored camel coat, so if you don't have one already, invest now ladies! We promise it will keep your look updated each season from now until the end of time. Wear with a flash of pastel, jewels or brights to nail this seasons look or go for a more timeless look with bright whites and denim.

Brights are still in for Autumn, so don't throw away your summer colours just yet! Make the transition by teaming them with your camel coat (as above!) or some neutral, luxuriously tailored trousers. Rather than going head to toe colour as in summer, this Autumn its all about the contrast. We think animal print accessories really work with this too. See Olivia Palermo's zebra print Mulberry hangbag, and this fashionista's leopard print scarf....gorgeous!

As we hit winter it is tempting to just resort to a good old pair of jeans to cover up those pins, which is still a great option. However, we are loving these girls translation of the denim trend into a cute shirt dress or pinafore. Not only gorgeous but really practical especially for those super sunny, but chilly days when you can't decide if what to wear! We love the cuteness of Alexa Chung's dress here, team it with black opaques if too cold! Or if you have supermodel legs up to your armpits, work those thigh highs we told you to throw away earlier...but maybe not in the PVC!! Opt for a killer soft suede instead...just dont get caught in the rain!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Culture Vultures.

After last week's Frieze Festival & Old Vic Tunnels exhibition launch party, we're still in an arty mood here at Odabash Towers! And this weekend, we're spoilt for choice in London, with some great exhibitions opening. We want to go to them all but think we might have to limit ourselves to one or two this weekend (and save the rest for a rainy day!) - here are our favourites...

Hollywood Costume at The V&A

Opening tomorrow, this retrospective offers a glimpse of the costumes worn in iconic films over the past hundred years. Audrey Hepburn's little black Givenchy number in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Kirsten Dunst's exquisite Marie-Antoinette gowns, Kate Hudson's enormous yellow sapphire necklace & yes, even a certain pair of ruby slippers...get prepared to do some serious swooning!

Anna Karenina & Marie Antoinette

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days & Mary

Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds

Titanic & The Wizard of Oz

Breakfast at Tiffany's - as if you needed to be told!

Tim Walker at Somerset House

We are in love with Tim Walker's body of work - always whimsical, exciting & unlike anything you've ever seen before, he knows how to have fun with fashion like no one else. Expect an exhibition you won't forget in a hurry...

Rain Room at The Barbican

Whilst normally we wouldn't want to spend our weekends in the rain, we'll make an exception for this amazing new installation at The Barbican. Comprising of a room in which it is actually raining, you'll be shocked to realise you aren't getting wet...can they not do this with real rain? Please?! Definitely not to be missed, watch this video, courtesy of the BBC below:

Chanel's Little Black Jacket at The Saatchi Gallery

Yes, we know we already featured this one, but we just felt we needed to reiterate how much of a must-see it is. As if you needed any more convincing, check out even more photo's from the exhibition below...

Karl Darling! & Linda Evangelista

Kirsten Dunst (not just one but two exhibitions this week!) & Natalia Vodianova

Which exhibitions will you be going to? We'd love to hear - Tweet Melissa @melissaodabash & let us know.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Staying in is the New Going Out

We're half-way through October & when the nights are getting darker & the air is getting colder, it takes a really special night out to drag us from our warm houses & early nights - but we won't be going into hibernation just yet, not when staying in is the new going out - yes, we're going to plan a dinner party!

Dinner parties don't mean slaving away over your oven all day with little in the way of culinary expertise anymore - & of course, you definitely don't want to be stuck in the kitchen between courses when you could be the hostess with the mostest at the dinner table! We recommend cooking up a huge bowl of pasta, simply with oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, feta & olives, a big salad & lots of warm crusty bread & getting everyone to get stuck in - minimal effort, maximum appreciation!

Decoration is also a key-factor for a successful dinner party & there are so many great blogs giving ideas on how to give your table that je ne sais quoi for little to no money - check out our favourites below: