Wednesday, 27 February 2013

London Fashion Week Love.

With the final shows of the Autumn-Winter 2013 collections drawing to a close in Paris this 
week, we feel it is pretty safe to say there are going to be some stylish girls treading the streets come October (as much as we hate to wish our summer away!) 

Check out our favourite looks from the London shows...

Sexy sheers, feathers & lace at Felder Felder

Deep-red at Felder Felder

Great dresses for a night partying at Felder Felder - love that extreme split black dress

Julien's girls are always ready to party! Love this collection, so painstakingly beaded & intricate - super-sexy!

Julien Macdonald AW'13

The finale of Julien's collection - amazing. The photographs don't do it justice.
And that red-fringed dress - WOW.

Super ladylike at Mulberry, love those chic cropped leather jackets & gloves - & of course, the poodle!

Mulberry AW'13

Richard Nicoll does elegant muted colours so well, loved his simple, effortless collection.

Super-sexy cut-out party dresses at Sass & Bide.

Love the backstage pictures even more than the catwalk shows! Models of the moment Karlie, Cara & Jourdan pucker up backstage at Burberry, a model shows off fresh skin & fuschia lipstick (love this look, perfect for the beach) & one of Victoria Beckham's girls waits for her moment backstage.

Jourdan & Kara strike yet another pose, fresh & clean but polished seems to be the look for autumn/winter 2013 & two models wait backstage for their cue.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Melissa Odabash x Harper's Bazaar x Banyan Tree

Last week saw the match-made-in-heaven coming together of high fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar, exclusive resorts Banyan Tree, haute couture holiday company Select Collection & Melissa Odabash for a night of exclusive VIP shopping, beauty treatments & of course, plenty of champagne!

Guests were treated to an after-hours shopping experience, with a 20% discount off all Melissa Odabash swim & beachwear & the chance to finish off their holiday wardrobes with the exclusive MO jewellery collection as well as hand-selected pieces including Tom Ford & Hugo Boss sunglasses, sandals by TKees & accessories by independent & young designers. And Melissa was on hand to give expert advice throughout the evening, meaning this was a very special event - who better to advise on your perfect beach look!?
Canapes provided by the wonderful Whisk Canapes
Banyan Tree ran a prize draw throughout the night to win a week's stay at the super exclusive Maldives Banyan Tree resort.

Left: pendants by hand-selected independent designers effortlessly tap into the neon trend.
Right: Friendship bracelets from the MO 2013 colelction - pile them high on your wrist to channel Meliss'a beach style.

Downstairs, express manicurists from Coco's Nail Bar were on hand to whip shoppers fingernails into shape - and the girls did such a great job, quite a queue formed up the stairs - Melissa Odabash events do tend to get busy & this was no exception!

Also downstairs, the girls from haute couture holiday company Select Collection were on hand to offer advice, provide information on their bespoke breaks & holidays (including Banyan Tree Resorts) & hand out gasp-inducing brochures - because planning one of these incredible holidays certainly gives you something to look forward to on a dreary (and of course, rainy!) London evening.

Whilst holidays may have been booked & beach wardrobes bought throughout the evening, the bikini diets went out of the window, at least until the morning. Kate & Florence of Whisk kept (incredible) the canap├ęs coming throughout the night - with the exotic duck & mango rice paper rolls, thai chicken salad wonton cups & satay skewers with peanut sambal going down a particular storm, though perhaps not as much so as the amazing 'MO' branded pudding pops that lucky guests found in their goodie-bags.

Throughout the evening, guests entered a prize-draw to win not one but three prizes - a beach look from Melissa Odabash,  four days stay at the new Banyan Tree Spa in Portugal & last (but by no means least!), one weeks stay at the uber-exclusive Banyan Tree Maldives resort, comprising of flights & transfers to the private island, all meals, a group of staff, treatments & all the activities you could handle (be still our beating heart!)
The Odabash girls were sorely tempted to enter our names, however refrained from doing so - which was probably for the best as the lady who did win was the epitome of (excited) composure, which I'm not sure any of us would have been. 

Melissa then retired from from the advice-giving for the evening & had time to catch up with some friends of hers who had come along, including long-time friend & Odabash&Macdonald collaborator Julien Macdonald (who took a much needed break from hectic London Fashion Week preparations) & the stunning Yasmin Mills, whilst happy customers shopped more before leaving with gorgeous nails, the perfect beach wardrobe, holiday plans & of course, an exclusive goodie-bag courtesy of Harpers Bazaar.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Special Guest Post: Natasha's Edit

'Jorie' & 'Europe' in peach would be my Maldives must-haves!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Dinner is Served!

I love a great salad - healthy, nutritious (and most importantly, tasty!) & quick to throw together after a busy day. This is one of my favourites, with giant couscous (which is the perfect cupboard staple to throw into salads - and soups too) 

Should serve six, make a big bowl & let everyone get stuck in!
1 large butternut squash, deseeded and diced
Big glug of great olive oil
1 teaspoon chilli powder
300g giant couscous
2 handfuls of walnut pieces, roughly chopped
1 pomegranate, seeds and juices reserved
1 lemon
2 handfuls of mint, roughly chopped
Block of roughly crumbled feta to finish
Preheat the oven to 200c/400F/gas mark 6 and tip the squash into a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and add the chilli powder, using your hands to coat evenly. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until softened and crisp at the edges, and allow to cool.
Boil the couscous for 5-10 minutes in well-salted water, until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water, drizzling with a little oil to prevent sticking.
When the couscous and squash are both cooled, add to a large serving bowl and stir, taking care not to knock the squash apart.
Add the walnut pieces and pomegranate seeds and juices, then turn gently to combine. Just before serving, squeeze a lemon half through your hands over the salad, dress with oil and turn over again with the mint. Taste, and add more lemon if required. Crumble feta on top & scoop it all up with baby gem leaves, radicchio or hot pittas.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

What's in my Beach Bag?

Always a hat - I like a classic Panama like the 'Eva' from my 2013 collection - being a blonde, my hair is more susceptible to damage from the sun, so this is great for protecting my head & of course, it looks pretty cool too!

Some make-up - emphasis on the some, I don't understand people that head to the beach with a full face of make-up, but I do like to take the essentials. You never know who is going to invite you to a lunchtime barbecue after all! My favourites are Rodial moisturiser, Bobbi Brown concealer, Laura Mercier tint, Creme de la Mer lipbalm & Nars blush in iconic 'Orgasm' that suits everyone.

My iPod - I can't hit the beach without it. At the moment I love Lana del Rey, Jessie Ware & Washed Out - all great for the beach.

Shiseido sun protection lotion - I can't reinforce just how important it is to make sure you protect your skin in the sun & this lotion is great for that. Light, non-sticky & smells great too.

My camera - I love taking pictures of my surroundings - great architecture, beautiful sights, street-style, food - all the things I use as inspiration for my designs.

A couple of good books. I've read The Help more times than I can remember & I still love it. I'll also be re-reading classic The Great Gatsby the next time I go away, I can't wait to see the movie either!

Toni & Guy Salt Spray - like I said, you can't be sure when you're going to be invited to an impromptu beach barbecue or cocktail hour, so if I do have to get rid of the hat, I like to embrace the beach look with this spray. Gives that cool, beachy, bedhead style, I love it.

Tkees flip flops are SO comfortable & take up no room in my bag. We sell them in my Notting Hill & Chelsea boutiques so I'll stock up on a few pairs in different colours before I go away.

I have to take a sketchbook away with me - I'm always at my most creative whilst away - so I need to get those ideas scribbled down quickly before I forget them. I love these leather-bound ones that you can usually buy by the beach that hardly cost anything & are a great souvenir from your trip too.

Sunglasses, of course, who could go to the beach without them!? I like these Miu Miu ones - not too big but still classic & chic.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Ciao Bello, Valentino!

Well, another year is here - happy 2013 everyone, I hope you're feeling refreshed & revitalised & ready for a great year ahead! I arrived back from a super-sunny trip to my house in Florida last weekend & threw myself straight back into work - January is a super-busy time for us at Melissa Odabash HQ as we're putting out designs into practice & starting production of samples for our 2014 collection. Very exciting but very hectic!

I've been enjoying some down-time after the Christmas rush, but I did manage to make it to the Valentino retrospective, currently exhibiting at Somerset House. It was incredible to see so much of such an iconic designer's work in one place - & if you think Valentino couture looks incredible in pictures, wait until you see the work that goes into each piece in the flesh, the detailing is exquisite. Make sure you check it out before it ends in May, and while you're there, the Tim Walker photography exhibition is still running too. The perfect way to spend a January Saturday afternoon.

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!