David Bowie – Style Chameleon

Hello my Ziggy Stardust Extroadinares,

It is with great sadness that I write this weeks post after hearing of the news of David Bowie passing away this past weekend. I have decided to dedicate this post to the legend of a man he was and the mark he has permanently left on the world.

 

Even though his heyday was before I was even born, I like most people was touched by his music and could relate to his lyrics. His stage persona and style was infamous. He was known for pushing the boundaries of fashion – telling people to embrace being different πŸ˜€ I have picked some of my favourite looks below over his expansive career and how they have influenced me.


I personally loved how he reinvented himself over and over again. The stripes and shoulder details of the outfit above with the PVC knee high boots and his electric red hair is edgy and theatrical. This look reminded me of his character in the Labyrinth. The full body leotards and electric shock hair style was both frightening and cool in that film. Even on the catwalk today, bodies are being worn under chiffon midi length skirts and heels and even in my own wardrobe I have some long sleeve stretchy tops that I wear under my jumpers in the winter.

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As a huge fan of sharp tailoring, I love the padded shoulders and slim fit style of this suit. With the addition of the gingham socks, fedora hat, sunglasses and braces Bowie makes this look effortless and uber comfortable, as if he is adding his own personal twist to a classic piece. In my own every day style I love wearing a crisp white shirt and tailored trousers with one of my wool bowler hats and brogue shoes whilst on a night out or at the weekend.


This look instantly reminds me of the T Birds from the movie Grease. Growing up, I had such a crush on Danny Zuko with his biker jacket and slicked back, perfect hair. Bowie looks tough but with his chiselled good looks, also approachable and someone you would want to have in your circle of friends. I cannot wait to get out my leather jacket in the spring time.


Even into his 60s Bowie rocked buttoned up shirts paired with a blazer and roll neck jumpers matched with cigarette leg pants. In the cold weather we are currently having in the city, I love wearing a wool roll neck jumper tucked into a pencil skirt or a tailored jumper underneath a round neck jumper for work.

With his mismatched eyes and “free” androgynous attitude to his appearance David Bowie truly was one of a kind. He truly influenced so many people in the way they dressed, carried themselves or even helped through tough times in their lives with his music. He will be missed by fashion and music lovers alike all over the world.

Until next week, take care

Keya X

Sale shopping smart

Hello 2016 and all my lovely followers, 

Firstly I would like to you wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break with your families. 

I had a super time spent with all of my loved ones laughing, visiting relatives, playing board games and of course overdoing it on the food and wine πŸ˜€

  
As I am sure like most of the capital I returned back to work this week and one of the few perks to stave off the major January blues is the sales are still on! Yay! Over the Christmas break I managed to hit the West End a few times and if you haven’t done so already, here are a few of my tips to ensure you snap up some major bargains not bungled purchases.  

When I was in New York just before Christmas I searched high and low for some plain leather Chelsea boots. I have tasseled and buckled ones already so just wanted a simple every day pair to add to my collection. I came away empty handed whilst there but was delighted to find a beautiful Russell and Bromley pair under our Christmas tree this year. I also nabbed a black and tan pair of ankle boots from Jones the Bootmakers in the sales. They really are just what I was looking for and I know they are going to see me through the rest of winter.

  

Also on my list was a new leather jacket this year. My current black biker I have had since I was sixteen and although I still love it and wear it all the time, I wanted to invest in a navy one subsequently. I found some amazing designs in Reiss, All Saints and Massimo Dutti although none seemed to fit my shape perfectly so I am going to keep my eyes peeled for the “it” one over the next few months. One great thing about the sales is you can find a leather as soft as butter jacket for such a reasonable price and as mine will confirm, they really far outlive the test of time and cost per wear ten fold.

  
For Christmas I was lucky enough to be bought a wonderful Dior red lipstick and mascara which I just fell in love with instantly. The packaging is so chic and elegant. So much so, that after Christmas we headed to the wonderful Selfridges and I purchased the pressed powder and blusher to match so my makeup bag is now complete πŸ˜€

   (Photo courtesy of google images)

I feel so grateful and happy that I was bought so many beautiful gifts but watching the faces of my loved ones when they opened the gifts I had got for them meant more to me than anything. It really is priceless seeing their faces light up when that wrapping paper and bow we’re ripped off.

If there are any gifts which were less than perfect for you,there is no shame in returning them and picking something which you will be able to wear or utilise either. One year I was bought a pandora charm bracelet which didn’t fit with my current jewellery so I returned it and got a watch instead which is still in my jewellery box now.

When it comes to navigating the shops, I always recommend to invest in good quality, classic items. Fashion comes and goes but timeless pieces will last forever and if you can get Β£100 off of that Armani coat you had been eyeing up in December then you know you have bagged a bargain and got your dream item in the process. The sales are extremely seasonal too so you will get better value for your money if you buy winter items now and save them for next year. I did that one year with my Ralph Lauren overcoat which still comes out every cold winter without fail. 

With that said, get your fabulous fur trimmed coat on, new boots and armed with your wallet go and hit those sales HARD – race you there πŸ˜€

Until next week, take care

Keya X

Shoes out for summer

Good evening my wonderfully well heeled gentlemen,

For this weeks post, due to a request from one of my awesome friends, I have decided to delve into the world of what shoes are appropriate for summer in the city.

If like many of us young professionals you work in an office, those fabulous Italian leather Chelsea boots or laced up buckskin brogues are just a tad too warm for these humid days we are experiencing. You need a combination of smart footwear but also ones that keep your toes perfectly cool and comfortable. Below I have chosen a selection of my favourite shoe styles for men to wear this salubrious summer πŸ˜€ 

Firstly the slip on loafer. This style reminds me of holidays in the Amalfi Coast – well dressed gentleman in open necked shirts, slim fit chinos and tasseled loafers in a range of pastel shades. With the warmer climes upon us, suede and lighter leather varieties are more wearable (no one likes the risk of a sudden downpour of rain whilst in red suede moccasins) and they compliment a great fitting pair of trousers that nip in neatly at the ankle bone perfectly. 

I love this pair below from Louis Vuitton, the tassels are understated but chic and the chocolate brown leather looks amazing with a matching skinny belt. Other cheaper alternatives can be sourced at Gant, Massimo Dutti, Russell and Bromley or Tods. 

  

Next there is the lace up brogue. This style is unisex (much to my own delight) with unbelievable designs at the quintessentially English, Church’s or on the high street Dune is a great quick stop shop for high quality leather choices. This style looks great either dressed up with smart trousers or down with tailored shorts and a buttoned up Polo shirt. 

  
Aha, now I hear you ask, so that is the work shoe wardrobe covered, what style do I need for the more casual garden BBQ or a relatives birthday celebration? Well, my chiselled companions, look no further than the desert boot. This suede, lace up style looks great in the standard camel colour or be even more adventurous with navy or plum to act as a contrast to your chosen shirt or rolled up pair of chinos. You can find some great selections at Penguin, Dune or Tommy Hilfiger. The great thing about these shoes too is because some styles come with an incredible laser cut out design on the toe, they maintain a cool environment for your feet no matter how high the temperature gauge goes up in your car or on public transport. 


For that impending summer vacation looming, my number one choice for flip flops is Havaianas. I first discovered this brand when I was in Brazil for Carnevale and I was so excited when they opened stores in the UK. These rubber sandals are ideal for that hot walk up the sandy beach from the sea and come in such a wide range of colour combinations you are sure to find a pair to match every swim shorts variety.

  
My top tip for shoe choices in the summer is be adventurous! When the sun is out, you can get away with wearing brighter colours on your footwear. What’s not too love about matching your shoe colour to your sunny disposition? If everytime you glance down at your feet, a huge smile steals across your face then believe me, colleagues, friends and complete strangers will want a slice of your happy pie there is no doubt πŸ˜€

Until next week, take care

Keya x

The Man Edition

Good afternoon to all my fabulously groomed gents,

This post I have decided to dedicate to all things male. Although I do not usually spend much time in the men’s department of my favourite stores, I thought I would reveal what styles I love to see a man wearing and hopefully provide some fresh ideas to kick start your spring/ summer wardrobe.

Much like in my own wardrobe, one of the hardest working items in a man’s closet is a white T shirt or shirt. It can be dressed up with a tailored blazer, Churches brogues and dark jeans or dressed down with chino shorts from Pull and Bear and Haviana flip flops. It looks even better when paired with that summer tan from your exotic  vacation πŸ˜€ 

I have always loved the preppy style on the men’s catwalks of Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren. I really adore a smartly dressed man. If that is your style you should never have to dress down just because of the area you are spending your Friday night. Yes, Brick Lane is full of hipsters wearing drain pipe black jeans with vintage Ellesse or Converse T shirts but if you feel confident in a slim fit shirt and blazer then wear it. Your individuality will be noticed I can assure you.

 

(Image courtesy of google images)

As the weather starts hotting up, it can be a challenge to dress appropriately for work but also keeping the warm weather at bay (no one likes a damp collar or perspiration stained shirt I know.) It is really worthwhile to start investing in some fine knit or soft cotton polo shirts from Penguin or Gant now. They are still smart enough for the office but keep you cool on that dreaded tube commute home also. 

When it comes to shoe choice, in this trans seasonal period where it is too warm for your trusty Chelsea boots but not warm enough to throw on a pair of flip flops, I love seeing a man in slip on leather loafers in a decadent tan hue or a chocolate brown lace up pair sans socks. It always reminds me of the laid back Italian gentleman holidaying on the Amalfi Coast, Gucci sunglasses jauntily perched on their tanned face whilst they gaze longingly out at the sunset; casual but effortlessly chic. 

(Image courtsy of Google images)

Talking of vacation let’s discuss swim wear. Even if you plan to play football/ volleyball/ bat and ball on the beach this still does not make it ok to don shorts you usually wear in the gym or on the pitch (Don’t even get me started on the cropped jogging bottom style; one word – abysmal) On the beach with the sun drenching your skin, you can afford to go for the pastel or bright colour block styles at Ralph Lauren, Armani or Gant. The shorter length is perfect for optimising that all over colour and makes your legs look endless too. Peter Crouch eat your heart out πŸ˜€

The main rule of thumb in my view is to dress to display your best physical features. A well fitted jacket really accentuates broad shoulders and a narrow waist and dark skinny denim can complement the awesome gains you made on leg day this week.

Fashion is all about breaking the rules and most of all having fun. A happy, comfortable, self assured man is the most attractive atrribute to us ladies anyway πŸ˜€

Until next week, take care 

Keya x

Take me to the Barbershop.

Good afternoon my luscious locked ladies and lotharios, 

  

One of my oldest friends from school, is a highly recognized and respected mens hairstylist/ barber based in the prestigious Mayfair area in London. I decided to pick his brain about key trends emerging in the hair industry and what we expect to see on the catwalks in 2015. I introduce to you James Quigley.

  

 

Keya – Hi James, so can you tell my readers the name of the hairdresser you work for and what is your day to day role?

 

James – The Salon I’m based in is called ‘The Barber Shop Mayfair’ which as  you can guess from the name is based in Mayfair, London. My role in the salon is as a barber/mens stylist. Much like most barber shops my job is to cut mens hair in the style they want; the only problem being, most men do not really know what they want style wise. Usually they find their style as a teenager, then stick with that look for most of their life, until they meet a girl (or guy) who loves them SO much that they decide they want to stay with them forever and change everything about them to mould them into the ‘perfect’ boyfriend/husband/father 😊 This can lead to an elaborate look that he finds is either too trendy, takes too much time to maintain or one he struggles to recreate at home, leading them to revert back to the style they first had at 15 years old that they feel safe and comfortable with, but usually in a tamer more work friendly version. My job is to help try and bring these styles up to date gradually whilst making it as easy as possible to recreate the look themselves in the comfort of their own home. 

  

 

Keya – I can completely relate to this. Most of us are so scared to try new styles we see on actors or celebrities, we need that little push from our hairdressers to help us achieve the look we covet but one that will suit our face shape and dress sense. So, what is your view on the “hipster” trend (big beards and longer hairstyles) – do you think it is a fad or will it go the distance?  

 

James – This is a very difficult question to answer as it really depends on where you live. Some of the more trendy and edgy areas (Shoreditch is one example) I would say the beard is here to stay a bit longer. Where I live in the north east of London, I have seen people with long beards for almost two years now. Some men have shaved them off and then grown them back as they missed them (men with beards will understand. The attachment to your beard is only rivalled by the love a mother has for her newborn, or the love you have for your favourite football team). In Mayfair the big beard is a rare sight,  groomed moustaches are more common, as are smaller beards and stubble. We get a lot of people from overseas in the salon and many of my clients tell me that beards are disappearing in America. Many celebrities are now starting to be clean shaven, with adverts frequently on TV advertising it as the new look, so at some point I think we will follow suit; depending on your postcode you can ride out the bearded look for the rest of this year I predict. If you are not in a hipster area however then it might be time to book an appointment for a shave before the summer to impress the lovely ladies overseas. The longer hairstyles are definitely here to stay, some people are starting to grow out the sides a bit more now and have blended, layered styles rather than a disconnected look, but long hair is here to stay for 2015.

 

Keya – Wow I honestly had no idea that the looks vary depending on what area you live in London, although I know from many of my ventures out in Shoreditch there have been some very well primped beards on display and some equally unruly hairstyles to match. On the subject of unusual, what is the strangest request for a hairstyle you have had to date?

 

James – About two years ago I helped out a friend in his salon in East London.  In my career to date, most of my clientele have been adults and young professionals, rather than young kids and babies, so it was a big shock to me when someone brought in their new born child (less than three weeks old) and wanted me to shave his head, luckily with mini trimmers and not a cut throat razor. I have since found out that this is a common thing among some cultures as they believe the child’s hair will grow back thicker because of this, but that was the only time I have had to shave the head of a newborn baby. 

 

Keya – I can imagine, that must have taken the expression “hold still” to another level for sure πŸ˜€ On the complete opposite end of the scale, what is your favourite style you like to do?

 

I love cutting hair with a parting, taking reference from photos of the World Wars and films from that era. The classic parting looks timelessly smart. This style has made a huge comeback in the past few years thanks to programmes like Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey. These shows have become such huge hits because they depict scenes of well dressed, groomed men in tailored suits with perfect hair.Despite these shows being set in that era, I do not feel it is a coincidence that the hair styles are still current and requested by the modern man today. The great thing for me about cutting hair with a parting is it changes every time from person to person depending on growth patterns, and how extreme the client is willing to go, whether it be a simple layered style that fits all occasions, to the football star wannabe where we can use the cut throat razor to make sure everyone can see the parting from the other side of the room.

  

 

Keya – Who wouldn’t want to portray the image of being a successful businessman whatever the time period hey. so, James, you are a well travelled guy, where  would you say is the most forward thinking city you have visited and are there some countries where a new hairstyle has been created and then the rest of the world swiftly followed suit?

 

James – It sounds like I am being biased but I honestly think that London is the place to be for new hair trends, purely because in each borough in the City from West to East London – Fashion, Food and hair changes SO dramatically that you can feel like you are in a different country sometimes from one place to the next. In Hong Kong, there are some truly ‘out there’ styles being attempted, but I do not think the rest of the world is ready to follow suit just yet. I love London because the diversity and variety of people from around the world living here creates a fusion of styles that most of the world can relate to (except the curtains hairstyle circa 1990, looking back no-one looked better with the curtains haircut πŸ˜€)

  

(Photo courtesy of Google images)

 

Keya – I would have to agree with you entirely (also being a London lady) that we are so lucky to have access to the latest styles emerging from all around the world as soon as it hits the runway or streets. Obviously as you are in the industry, you must get advanced insider knowledge though, how are you made aware of new trends emerging in the hair industry?

 

James – I would say the best way of keeping up with new trends is through looking at celebrities and people in the public eye. If pop stars and athletes are doing something new with their hair then it’s only a matter of time before kids and adults start to experiment with their own looks. I also spent most of last year working an extra day a week in a high street barber shop, the type almost everyone has at the bottom of the road that is packed on a Saturday and empty the rest of the week. I found that new styles start in these shops as teenagers can ask the barber to create an elaborate style that may or may not work without being worried about taking too long or upsetting the barber when they then decide they do not like it and it has to be redone. 

  

 

Keya – one thing I have definitely noticed in particular, footballers really are not afraid to try some really outlandish styles and colours. I am sure a lot of the readers can remember back to the days of David Beckham and his array of hairstyles from the Mohawk to his Alice band wearing days. His hair sometimes took up more column inches than his sporting achievements! For your usual business professional clientele however say for example a man who works in the Corporate sector, what attributes do you consider before doing some of the more cutting edge, riskier styles? 

 

James – This is a massive factor where I work. A lot of my regulars work in top end hotels and restaurants who have constant interaction with Corporate Management and customers. These establishments are very strict on what type of haircuts the staff can have. I have had people asking me to do them a hot towel shave because they have two days worth of stubble and work sent them home, or others who have had undercut hair styles and needed to get it fixed ( the latter is much more difficult to change) 

The main questions I ask a new client wanting to change a style are:-

 

 1) How strict is their work place and do they have a lot of face to face interaction with their customers?

 

2) How much time do they spend or are willing to spend styling their hair? There is no point creating a style that takes ten minutes for a professional to blow dry and style perfectly when my client just wants to be able to get up, shower, get dressed and go without needing to faff over his hair.

 

3) I finally find out if they like to use product in their hair or not? Again, there is no point in creating a style that requires product to maintain the look if 90% of the time the client does not use any. 

 

I want to make sure the client can re-create the look as good as, if not better than I have for them. The better they look the next day or the weekend after the cut, the happier he is and the better a stylist I appear.

 

Keya – Those really are some great pointers, I know I have been guilty in the past of trying a hairstyle which looked amazing when I walked out the salon but then i quickly realised I did not have the time or inclination to maintain it . It is definitely a case of pick a style which complements your life, not make it more stress filled. Case in point, when I bleached my hair during my hair modelling days.

   

 

 

One final question, what do you think the “in” cut will be for 2015?

 

James – I think the looks for 2015 will be either very short on the sides, and the longer on top, swept back,over to one side styles are still  ‘in’ this year. I think we will start to see the shaved in partings disappear,replaced by a more softer look whilst still keeping the undercut.

 

Keya – Thank you so much for doing this interview James, I really feel like I, and hopefully my readers have learnt some great tips about the world of hair dressing. I can certainly vouch for your amazing skill on any individual in your chair, and if any of my readers are in London, I would highly recommend the Barber Shop for all your hair dressing needs πŸ™‚  

 

Until next week, take care Keya x