Monday, January 31, 2011

Office Pin Up

As more and more of the Pin Up range is released, the more I fall in love with it. Last weeks releases made me instantly think of work wear and it's so very on-trend. These are my three favourite dresses which I think would be perfect for the office, not to mention date-night and shopping with your girlfriends... talk about versatile! 


I love the ruffle detailing and contrasting buttons of the Chiffon Pretty Frilly Dress $129.95 and it even comes with the belt. The Heart Flutter Dress $99.95 has a sweet peter pan collar, tiny black love heart buttons and it's really comfortable and lightweight. If you're looking for something a bit more structured and with a bit more coverage then the Fine Stripe Puff Sleeve Dress $129.95 might just be the one for you. 

I suggest you hop skip and jump as fast as your heels can carry you into a City Chic Store or to the City Chic Online Shop, these are bound to sell out quickly.

I was so inspired I thought I would throw together a quick style board to show you how I'd work the look. I'm in love with the Bow Shoulder Cardi $69.95 and I'd wear a simple white scoop neck top or even just a singlet underneath. You could easily wear the Lace Panel Bengaline Skirt $79.95 or the Spot Pencil Skirt w/Belt $79.95 depending on what you loved best. You can always wear black flats but these Divine Red Microsuede Flats $39.95 are just so much more fun! 

I've keep jewelery to a minimum with simple pearl studs which you can buy pretty much everywhere for a few dollars and the Cluster Pearl Ring $19.95 adds some wow-factor without going over the top. I'm a sucker for a satchel and the Colorado Heavy Stitch Flap $179.95 $89.95 is even on sale! A pretty perfume to perk you up throughout the day is essential and don't forget to drink plenty of water, air conditioners can leave your skin feeling very *blergh* after a long day cooped up inside.

What do you wear to work?


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

City Chic Store Manager Rose has BBQ Lunch with Oprah on Ultimate Australian Adventure!



This is Rose, the Store Manager of City Chic in Blacktown who's family were lucky enough to get a surprise visit from Oprah during her recent Ultimate Australian Adventure in December. Rose's sister invited Oprah over for a BBQ when she was attending her show in Chicago two years ago... little did she know that Oprah would be giving her and her family one of the biggest surprises of their lives by taking her up on the offer! After  a gorgeous Mediterranean/Australian spread Oprah gave the family all seats to her Sydney Show and City Chic wanted to make sure they all arrived in style.

 Welcome Oprah!
Rose's family invited us into their home and the City Chic team got to work doing everyone's hair and make up so they looked absolutely flawless, which is what you need to be when you have front row seats! It was great to meet everyone and talk about how they felt and what they did when Oprah was a guest in their home. No one could seem to get over how humble and down to earth she was in person and everyone had huge grins plastered on their face as they told their tales.
 So many gorgeous shades and colours!
Creating glamorous looks is easy when you know what you're doing and the City Chic team of experts worked their magic on the lovely (and did I mention lucky) family. I took along my camera and hung around to capture all the excitement and preparations to share with you guys.
Is it just me or does Rose have the most perfect eyebrows!
Everyone was just on such a high, big smiles and happy chatter. You could tell Rose loved playing with the make up and the City Chic team gave all the ladies lots of great tips and tricks which I'll share with you in another post.
A family affair to remember.
Everyone gathered at the house in excited anticipation, sharing their Oprah tales and wondering out loud about what might happen at the show. There was also a lot of talk about Bon Jovi.
Getting the rock start treatment.
City Chic knew this was a moment that Rose would never forget so we pulled out all stops to make sure she and those she loved, enjoyed every second of it. A photographer (me) and film crew captured every little detail so the day would always be fresh in their memory forever.
Tools of the trade.
Wouldn't it be great to have someone come to your house everyday and professionally do your hair, just like the stars! The City Chic team tamed tresses, straightened and blow waved their way to hair perfection and you could really see how much Rose's sisters were enjoying the girlie fun.
Sisters doing it for themselves.
Rose comes from a big family and everyone pitched in without ever needing to be asked. They enjoyed sharing, assisting and really being in the moment together. Such a wonderful family who made the City Chic team feel so welcome.
Finishing touches for Mumma-to-be.
Rose's sister's baby was due any day and she was so afraid of going into labour during the show, even more so being in the front row, talk about potential drama! Despite her fears she didn't go into labour but instead totally rocked her baby bump in a City Chic dress and simply glowed.
The City Chic touch.
As we spent the day playing with hair and make up, time swiftly swept by and it was time to get dressed. Everyone quickly made some finishing touches, jumped up and down and screamed a little too. It was nearly "Oprah Time"!
Dresses for Divas.
The ladies chose their favourite City Chic pieces as well as accessories to finish their looks. They all had the same excitement as I'd witnessed from Brides getting ready on their wedding day. I felt so lucky to be a part of the moment.
Finishing Touches.
Rose's favourite perfume is Clinique Happy and a I couldn't think of a more perfect perfume to match her personality. She really is a gem and I'm so glad I got to meet her. I see a lot more trips to Blacktown City Chic in future if I get to hang out and dress up with this lady!
Taa-daa!
After her look was completed Rose posed for me on the stairs of her absolutely stunning family home. She was such a pleasure to photograph and such a beauty. The One Shoulder Hibiscus Print Maxi was so vibrant and playful, perfect for a night of Oprah and Bon Jovi.
"Rose"
Making lunch for everyone including the City Chic team.
From the moment you stepped inside, Rose's family made you feel like one of them. I could of hung out there all day, such a great vibe and lovely bunch of passionate people.
 Oprah before Oprah is essential.
Would you believe me if I told you whilst we waited for the limo to arrive (yes, I said limo) the family sat back, enjoyed their lunch and watched... Oprah! Once again everyone got wound up and as Rose and I walked off to start our interview we could hear more excited screaming about what lay before them.
There is nothing more fashionable than a smile.
I took these photos of Rose whilst the camera crew were setting up to capture the interview. These two were taken within moments of each other so you can imagine the roller coaster of emotions she was going through. A once in a lifetime moment she'll never forget and all the while, ever so humble.
Pimped Out.
The Limo arrived and Rose and I raced out to get some super cool portraits, I love how dynamic they are and Rose looks like she was born to ride in one, this girl oozes style.
Night club in a car!
City Chic didn't just want to dress them stylishly, we wanted to deliver the family to the Oprah Show in style too! The limo had everything you could possible need and more lights and effects than I had ever seen, seriously cool.
 Off she goes!
After a whirlwind of preparations and maybe just a few more excited screams, the family were off to the Opera House in Sydney Harbour for their second thrilling Oprah experience that week... did I mention how lucky there are?!


I'll be doing an interview with Rose soon about her experience at the Oprah show so keep an eye out. Also don't forget to drop into the City Chic store in Blacktown and say Hi to Rose, she's lovely!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BIG DAY OUT 2011

I have just gotten back from a weekend at the Gold Coast where I attended the Big Day Out Festival. As I've mentioned a few times in past posts I work for my dad who owns and manages a Concert Sound and Lighting Production company so I get to go to a lot of festivals and concerts for free. Big Day Out is one of the festivals we supply production and crew for so I have been going to the Festival for years! Sunday was my 9th Big Day Out in a row! As the years have gone by I have seen many acts come and go. One of my favourite things about BDO is seeing an Australian band play one of the smaller side stages at the beginning of the day then years later seeing them play the mainstage towards the end of the day. This has happened many times with bands like; Wolfmother, Jet, and John Butler.

I wasn't expecting to be 'wowed' by my 9th Big Day Out. I wasn't a huge fan of the line up but I always love the festival and it has become quite a tradition for me to attend . As Sunday rolled around my excitement grew to become quite large.

The first band of the day was an Australian band; Little Red who were up second on the mainstage. Little Red are a fantastic festival starter! Full of energy, songs such as; 'Witchdoctor', 'Coca-Cola' and, 'Rock It' got the party started and the crowd ready for a day of amazing bands! Dead letter Circus were up next - I'm not much of a fan of them so I decided a relaxing half an hour in front of a fan in the Guest Bar was in order. Next on the agenda was to venture into 'Lillyworld' - this is a little world created by Big Day Out where anything goes; weird, wacky, wonderful. I think the best way to describe this place is to tell you the name of one of the 'acts' they had onstage; Bogans on Acid, did I mention it's a wacky place?

Washington were the next band on my list - I wasn't much of a fan of the international acts at Big Day Out this Year as I had seen almost all of the headliners play at festivals or gigs in previous years so I thought it would be a good time to check out some Australian bands I loved but hadn't seen before. Washington played the Essential stage which is one of the side stages. The crowd to see Megan and her band was so large we couldn't even get into the tent. I did stop outside and hear a fantastic rendition of their song 'The Hardest Part' which was fantastic! Next up were CSS in the Boiler Room which is the dance stage and always lives up to it's name - It is boiling in there. You look up wondering why it feels like it's raining inside (it's inside a giant tent) then realize it's just the sweat and humidity in the air - yes it is crazy! CSS are a party band! Singer Lovefoxxx is absolutely adorable and jumps around the stage like an excited rabbit. 'Left Behind' had everyone on their feet!

It was off for some respite at the guest bar where we relaxed in front of the fans and heard sets by; Lupe Fiasco, Bliss n Eso, Deftones and Birds of Tokyo, all of which aren't really my favourite types of music but all put on great sets that impressed the crowd.

Come 5 o'clock I was absolutely exhausted so I headed back to the Hotel sun burnt, exhausted, filthy, and sore but impressed with yet another Big Day Out. I haven't yet mentioned my favourite part of the day;

A NINE YEAR OLD DREAM FINALLY COMES TRUE:


When I was thirteen years old I fell in love with a band and a man. The band; The Vines, The man; Craig Nicholls (singer of The Vines). My bedroom wall was covered ceiling to floor with posters and photos of them, my school books were covered in pictures of Craig and, I still have every one of their albums and singles as well as numerous amounts of other memorbillia. I told anyone who would listen about how Craig and I would one day get married. Let's just say he was my Justin Bieber. As the years went by I matured (or came to terms with reality) I realized that the love I had for Craig was more or less admiration for a man and band who had introduced me to Rock n Roll! The Vines opened the mainstage at the Big Day Out Festival, I woke up at 7:30am to make sure I would be there waiting for them but alas, things didn't go according to plan and we arrived inside just as the band were walking off stage. I was devastated! I noticed there was a Channel V artists signing tent next door to the guest bar so I decided to have a look at the timetable - I didn't have high hopes about The Vines doing a signing as I knew that the band rarely do meet and greets and signings. Lucky for me I was wrong. At 2:30pm a dream I had since I was 13 years old came true and I met The Vines and Craig Nicholls!! The Vines were actually at my first Big Day Out in 2003 and I managed to get side of stage for their show except I was so excited about going side of stage that I forgot my camera! My 'Vines' experience is proof that dreams do come true, sometimes it just takes 9 years!

Until next time,

XOX HOPE.

Win a trip to Melbourne Fashion Festival!!!


City Chic is the first ever plus size fashion label to open for L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival and if you were in awe of City Chic on the catwalk in Sydney back in 2009... you ain't seen nothing yet! Fashion for curves is a movement that is here to stay and City Chic is right on the pulse.

If you would like the chance to be a part of history and soak up all the glamour and fashion then now is the time to enter. Return flights, five days accommodation, a fancy dinner and seats to the best show on the runway... just imagine!

As promised, the Australian/New Zealand portion of the competition has been launched so all you have to do to enter is follow the instructions HERE. Full terms and conditions are available HERE

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Heart City Chic!

It's official, the awards season has commenced with the Golden Globes setting our hearts aflutter on January 16. My pick for best dressed was unquestionably Olivia Wilde (appeared in Tron - yes I was unfortunately dragged along to that one!) wearing Marchesa! It was such a fabulous 'Princess' moment and what is so great about this gown is that regardless of whether you a size 6 or 26 it would be so flattering!

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Check out the full curvy coverage by Danimezza!

With the month almost at an end, I turn my attention to the most romantic day of the year - Valentines Day's of course! Already, there have been some major happenings in the world of celebrity relationships:
  • Kate Hudson & Muse front man Matt Bellamy have recently announced that not only are they dating, they are expecting!
  • Orlando Bloom & our own Miranda Kerr have welcomed baby boy Flynn Bloom
  • Finally, close to my heart, Baby Spice Emma Bunton has revealed she is engaged to long-term boyfriend (12 years long!) Jade Jones
City Chic has helped us get into the loved-up spirit with the fab new 'heart' product now available!

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My two favourites are the Flocked Heart Puff Top ($49.95) - pictured bottom left and the Heart Flutter Dress ($99.95) - pictured top right. Make sure you get in quick because this love-rly stock won't last long!

Happy Valentines Day!

Until the next red carpet.

xoxo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Parramatta City Chic

A few weeks back I journeyed to Parramatta to visit one of the most popular City Chic stores, hang out with the staff who make fashion fun and photograph willing City Chic customers in their favourite pieces. It was great to see the girls do their thing, styling up customers, making sales and keeping the shop pretty. I have a history in retail and I was really proud of their work, you should drop in and say hi.
 Bec, Gregoria (store manager) & Cassie
Personally I love the store's design and layout. The change room cubicles are nice and big although they could do with a few more, it gets pretty crazy in there! There are big flat screen TV showcasing the current seasons trends and there is plenty of floorspace to move about freely, without fear of bumping into a rack and having coat hangers continually falling on the floor (my pet hate).
Parramatta City Chic get several sizes of each item, much more than most stores so if your local City Chic has run out of a particular item, be sure to check in here as they might be able to find it for you straight off the rack. It's located in Westfield and is super close to all forms of public transport and has lots of parking available.
One of the things I love about visiting the different City Chic stores, is seeing the different outfits displayed on the store mannequins. Sure, the ones in the windows have to be dressed as the visual merchandising guide instructs, but the ones amoung the floor stock are usually styled by the staff. Every single staff member has a different idea about style and draw from personal influences so it's really interesting to see how they all mix it up and add their own flair.
This one was my favourite, I just adore the dot theme. The skirt, halter, jacket, even the belt and necklace have dots and it's just works. Thanks Bec for being so adventurous and playful, keep it up! I'll be taking photos of my favourite mannequins at each store so get styling ladies!
I had a really great time hanging out the with the girls and getting to know the customers. I got some great photographs (which I'll share soon) and lots of City Chic feedback forms filled out which I'll be taking straight to head office. Hopefully over the next few months I'll be visiting more and more stores, getting to meet all the lovely City Chic fans and hearing your insights... oh and taking your photos!

This Thursday from 6:30pm - 8:30pm I'll be at Castle Hill City Chic


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Win a Trip to Melbourne Fashion Week!!!


How Exciting!!!

All you hot, trendy fashion divas from the US, head on over the "Share & Win" tab on the City Chic facebook page for instructions on how to enter. All terms & conditions for US entrants can be found here: http://www.citychiconline.com/fashion-week

Don't think we've forgotten about all the local lovelies who have helped make City Chic what it is today! A separate competition for Australian/New Zealand residents will launch on Tuesday (25/01/2011) so be sure to "like" the City Chic facebook page for current updates.


I hope you're a winner and I look forward to seeing you there x


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Looking Chic in Paris for New Years Eve.

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New Years for me is always an important time of year. I am no longer much of a drinker and my New Years are less about parties and more about renewal. I believe a New Year is a time to look about and think - I shall start this year as I mean to go on. This year, as with last, Darcy and I whisked ourselves quietly away to Paris for a romantic and quiet start to 2011.


We spent our New Years Eve walking through the streets, visiting the AMAZING Galleries LaFayette (for more on that complete fashion experience - head to my
personal blog - Oh The Places You'll Go!). While I didn't plan to party - I did want to look gorgeous for my man... So, of course - packed my City Chic!

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A little low-light - but you get the gist!

Apart from coveting couture, we spent New Years Eve looking at the Eiffel Tower, walking past the Louvre and eating delicious food.

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LOVE this one!

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My fingernails need painting (and growing)! LOL!

My New Years was seen in, in front of Notre Dame with a Crepe in hand. I started the year relaxed and happy with the person I love and the next day... I headed across to the Louvre for a little Mona Lisa.

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Needless to say, it was all pretty lovely! Head to my blog now, for a look at the Galeries LaFayette Couture!


Outfit Details:
Dress: Rose Garden Dress by City Chic
Cardigan: Ruffle Neck Shrug by City Chic
Coat: Italian Wool Coat by BHS
Scarves: A gift from mum!
xxx.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Curvy Golden Globes 2011

Amber Riley
You know what I like most about Amber from the hit show Glee, it's her confidence. She always seems to have a beaming smile on her face or a "don't-mess-with-me" look that I just love. She handles herself with grace, has great posture and wears clothes that are fun and well fitted. This sparkly one shoulder Oliver Tolentino dress is so divine I want to wear it! The contrast detailing at the waist pulls her in, showing off her hourglass figure and the fishtail train adds a touch of glamour. The sweetheart neckline is perfect for a fuller bust and the one shoulder strap gives the illusion of a longer neck. She's kept accessories simple with a cocktail ring and dainty studs... the dress provides all the "bling" she needs.
Christina Hendricks
If you haven't seen Mad Men yet you're living under a rock. Christina is gorgeous, talented and has curves to kill for. Just like her character she's kept her look classic and not over the top. Simply stunning in the red, the perfectly tailored Romona Keveza dress fits like a glove and the ruching at the neckline is eye catching without being too distracting. Proof that even with a big bust or hips you can add even more wow-factor with ruffles.
Gabourey Sidibe
Gabourey gave a stellar performance in the heart-wrenching film Precious, I get chills just thinking about it, if you haven't watched it yet you should. Unlike her character she looks soft and very feminine. I love that she embraced colour and sequins in this Marc Bouwer dress, she looks positively glowing despite what some critics have said. The v-neck elongates her face and the sleeves are floaty, light and obviously make her feel more comfortable. The waistline is cinched right under the bust to try and create the illusion of an hourglass figure, this trick is great for those who are a little top heavy or apple shaped.
Kelly Osbourne
Kelly looked regal and all grown up on the red carpet wearing the elegant one shouldered Zac Posen dress. She's quite short and sometimes a rather large dress like this with lots of fabric would appear to drown the wearer but choosing the one-shouldered design as well as the contrasting stripe of nude fabric actually adds length and height. I heard she did a terrible job as one of the evenings fashion police critics and sure, it doesn't seem like she's stayed true to her own fashion style by choosing this dress but it does illustrate that a well designed and properly fitted dress can completely transform your look.
Christina Agueliera
I can't wait to go and see Burlesque in cinemas, I've heard really great reviews and you can tell Christina was channeling the theme when choosing her Zuhair Murad dress. My year 12 formal dress was blush pink with black lace overlay, it still hangs lovingly in my wardrobe and style I'm sure I'll always love. There has been some harsh comments about her figure of late but I think she looks curvy, soft and womanly. The mermaid train (cinched then flared out at the knee) really shows off her 'ass'ets and the band around her middle makes her waist seem smaller too. You have to have killer confidence to pull a dress like this on and flaunt it in public, I think she looks amazing.

Who was your favourite on the red carpet?