Jun 26 2014

Red Carpet Crush: Transformers: Age of Extinction Star Nicola Peltz

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I have many red carpet crushes – there is Diane Kruger, Kate Hudson, and Blake Lively to name a few, and the new Transformers’ star Nicola Peltz, who you may recognise from the TV Bates Motel, is the latest addition to my style crush list after seeing her first few outings promoting Transformers: Age of Extinction.

It must be hard following in the footsteps of bombshell Megan Fox and leggy model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as a Transformers’ babe but Nicola Peltz seems to be taking it in her stride with one flawless look after the other thanks to her amazing stylist Leslie Fremar, who also styles the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Connelly.

Peltz has so far hit the red carpet in big names like Prada, Giambattista Valli, and Stella McCartney, not normally the pull of an up-and-coming star but the designer fashion houses must be pleased as she really has been proving that she is every bit the glamorous movie star. As well as being impressed with the range of designers she has been sporting, I have loved the variety in choices, you really can’t guess what this blonde bombshell will wear next.

First up for the Hong Kong premiere was the gorgeous icy blue organza Prada column gown, I adore the jewel-encrusted neckline and waist as well as the sexy cut-out detailing to the bodice. On some actresses this could have looked a little too provocative but on her it was just perfection and glamorous.

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For the after party the actress did turn up the sex appeal wearing a super sexy lace-overlay Dolce & Gabbana skirt with a leather Alexander Wang crop top, the perfect after party look that was made even hottier by her flawless barely-there make-up. I think the only thing I would have change were the heels and gone for something strappy.

For the Hong Kong photocall, Peltz went for this slinky white Stella McCartney gown with wave detailing and a sheer hem from the pre-autumn/winter 2014 collection. I am not normally a fan of white heels but I like this white-on-white look.

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My favourite red carpet look so far has to be this heavenly, ethereal Giambattista Valli couture gown that she wore to the Shanghai premiere. You can always count on Giambattista Valli for a show-stopping look and this gown is truly divine with its embroidered detailing, peplum and lace skirt. My only criticism is that this dreamy gown needed a bigger stage, like Cannes or an award ceremony or even a world premiere. But seriously that is me being picky as this is one gorgeous gown the silhouette is just striking.

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It is hard to follow the Giambattista Valli but I think she could have done a lot better than this Saint Laurent black blazer and leather short combination that she wore to the Beijing premiere. Granted it does look good on her and I do love the red lippy I just wanted more. But saying that she made up for my disappointment at the New York premiere in this strapless shimmering blue Balenciaga gown. The column gown really goes look amazing on her, as does this vibrant hue against her blonde locks, I just wish I had a clearer picture of the back to show you as it really had gorgeous draped detailing.

It is so hard for up-and-coming actress to wow on the red carpet, it helps when you have a blockbuster like Transformers’ to pull in the big designer names, but I definitely think that Nicola Peltz is a star to keep an eye on and I can’t wait to see more amazing red carpet looks from her.

Are you impressed with how confident Nicola Peltz is on the red carpet?

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[Pics: Getty Images for Paramount]

Jun 25 2014

AW14 Campaign: The Givenchy Rave

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Ever wondered what a Riccardo Tisci private party would looked liked? Well according to Givenchy’s autumn/winter 2014 ad campaign it includes a select guest list, gorgeous models, lots of dancing, half-naked men, music from the Martinez Brothers and most importantly a strict Givenchy AW14 dress code. It really does sounds like my sort of rave.

Starring models Julia Noblis, Mariacara Boscono, Jamie Bochert, Peter Brant Jr. and Kendall Jenner the campaign was shot by photography duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. The print campaign is great – the most photogenic group of friends on a night out, but for me the AW14 campaign is really brought to life with the short film showing the models dancing – it really does show off the sheer, printed dresses and skirts off to perfection.

Come on hand’s up who wants to be invited to the next Givenchy private party?

[Pic/Video: Givenchy]

Jun 24 2014

Cover Loving: Lupita Nyong’o Nails Her First Vogue Cover

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I am so pleased that Lupita Nyong’o is gracing her first Vogue cover, she really did make the 2014 award season *do you remember her white Calvin Klein gown*, and I am even more pleased that it is a great cover.

Shot by Mikael Jansson, Lupita looks incredible in this Marrakech photoshoot wearing vibrant designs by Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Vera Wang, Jonathan Saunders, Givenchy and Prada that gorgeous red and purple print dress looks insane on her.

I think one of my favourite shots has to be where Lupita is reclining against a red velvet couch wearing a printed Rodarte gown, I love that the prints are so similar that her beauty really becomes the focal point of the picture, and I think the gorgeous Moroccan setting was just genius. So beautiful.

I think this will be the first of many major covers for Lupita and I can’t wait to see what else this gorgeous actress has to share.

Are you pleased that Lupita has scored her first Vogue cover?

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[Pics: Vogue US]

Jun 23 2014

Competition: 10 Matthew Williamson x Toni & Guy Wash Bags To Win

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So I have a little treat for you lovely lot – I have ten of these beautiful Matthew Williamson x Toni & Guy wash bags to give away filled with goodies and basically all you have to do is follow Toni & Guy @Hair_Wardrobe.

It takes seconds to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and it is worth it as you get a limited edition Matthew Williamson wash bag, isn’t that print incredible, as well as a few full sized Toni & Guy goodies including shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, which is amazing, and salt spray perfect for those beach waves.

As well as following @Hair_Wardrobe I have added a few more options to increase your chances to win, you can tweet the competition and like Fashionista Barbie on Facebook. I told you it was easy – all the details are below in the Rafflecopter widget. Just remember to get your entries in before June 30th at 12pm.

Good luck everyone and don’t forget to share on Twitter with the hashtag #MWSwag when you enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jun 20 2014

Critics’ Choice TV Awards: Diane Kruger In Elie Saab

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Who: Diane Kruger

Where: At the 4th annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards in California

Wearing: A floral print silk chiffon strapless Elie Saab gown, embroidered with sequins and featuring a structured bodice from the Haute Couture spring/summer 2014 collection, teamed with a gold clutch

Verdict: Dark and romantic all at the same time, I love this cinched-in floral Elie Saab dress, it really does exude drama and elegance and is perfect for an award ceremony.

What I love about this look on Diane are the dramatic lines of the silhouette, from the structured straight-across neckline, to the pleated skirt, and the exaggerated hip detail that really does make Diane’s tiny waist look even tinier. 

I am not sure many people could have pulled off this silhouette, but Diane really does look gorgeous, and I love that once again she pulled off a fashion risk.

What do you think of Diane Kruger’s latest red carpet look?

[Pic: via Elie Saab]

Jun 17 2014

My Wedding: The Invites Have Gone Out

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My wedding is in less than 5 months away, November really is coming around quick, it feels like only last week that I got engaged and only yesterday that I found my perfect wedding dress, and one of the most stressful elements of the planning has definitely been the invites so it feels great to share them on here now that they have been sent out as I really am so pleased with how they came out.

As soon as we set a date for a wedding I feared that my one major stress would be the invites, as all I had seen in magazines were very traditional and not very “us” designs, and I had a specific idea in mind – a New York skyline, a pop of colour and funky, bold font – not asking too much hey.

I have to be honest, it wasn’t easy finding exactly what I wanted, it took hours on Etsy finding the right designer and hours of tweaking to make invite just right. I found it one of the most stressful parts so far in my wedding planning as I just knew how important the invites were in setting the tone and style of our wedding – non-traditional and fun.

Like with most brides-to-be I started with a Pinterest board, I pinned all my ideas from images of the New York skyline to represent where we are actually getting married to pantone colours that worked together, I really wanted yellow as when I think NY I think of yellow cabs, and most importantly various fonts and layouts. I found it the easiest way to organise all my ideas, ask my fiancé which elements he liked before tracking down someone to design our invite.

Etsy was recommended early on to me by a friend as a great place to find a wedding invite designer as I knew that I would need to go for something custom to get all the elements I would want. My friends wasn’t wrong, Etsy really is filled with amazing talents, what she didn’t warn me was how addictive it is, how many options there are, and that I would spend a week, many enquiries and rejections before I came across the amazing work of JPress Designs, who made the creation of my invite design so simple and stress-free.

Based in America, Susan founder of JPress Designs really took all the elements I was after, an illustration of the New York skyline, the colour pop of the yellow, which when printed came out perfectly, and really worked the oversized font I was after with something a little more romantic for a wedding. What made this invite perfect was that when our friends and family received it they really felt that it conveyed both Paul and I’s personalities, which is something I really wanted to achieve.

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With how much stress and searching it took to get the custom design sorted I thought I would have a nightmare sorting the printing, as I really wanted high quality paper and somewhere that didn’t insist on every wedding invite to need a fold, what is so wrong with flat invites? It wasn’t actually as scary as I thought when I discovered Printed.com and its amazing Wedding Collection, which basically offers you everything you might need from the invites to tiny RSVP cards to menus, table plans, thank you cards, and even belly bands and cute stickers. It is basically a one-stop shop for all your wedding stationery needs.

The hardest part about Printed.com has to be choosing what you want, from the size of invite to the type of paper to the finishing touches like what colour envelope and whether you actually need those cute stickers, which in my opinion of course you do!!! The paper was the most important factor for me and I have to be honest I know nothing about paper types except what I like and what I don’t, thankfully Printed.com supply a free sample pack for stroking tests, that’s how I decided upon Tintoretto Gesso, the hammered luxury feel of this paper blended perfectly with the vibrant yellow and grey detailing of the invites.

I know I am biased, they are my invites designed in my vision, but I think my wedding stationery is pretty special and I am so pleased with how they came out. Everything from the oversized postcard size to the uber-tiny RSVP card and the silver ‘skyline’ envelopes really did execute what I had planned perfectly, the only element that I decided upon after finding Printed.com were the stickers, I just couldn’t resist that finishing touch.

Are you planning a wedding – let me know how your invites are taking shape?

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**Post writing in collaboration with Printed.com, for more wedding inspiration and tips check out their Wedding Hub**

 

Jun 16 2014

Food: Gizzi Erskine’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart

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For part one of my cooking with Gizzi Erskine I showed off her fabulous Sweetcorn Fritters, which I tried out again this weekend and they were just as easy to make as at the Nescafe Dolce Gusto event, I might have found my speciality!!! Well you can’t have brunch without finishing it off with something sweet, so Gizzi shared her delicious Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart, which I have to be honest isn’t an every weekend kind of dessert as it does take a couple of hours to prepare and make.

I enjoy making this dish, it would be easier with a mixer, but it still requires a lot more patience than I generally have, and one major tip I would have is don’t take your eyes off the caramel as this is the bit that can easily go wrong. But what I will take away from this recipe is a new confidence in using pastry, I have always been a little scared of pastry, but I did get some great tips from Gizzi and the use of the ceramic baking beans for the blind bake is something I had never heard of before. 

Are you confident enough to try Gizzi’s salted caramel chocolate tart?

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Salted Carmel Chocolate Tart

Ingredients for chocolate tart:
150g unsalted butter
1 x pack of ready to roll short crust pastry (based on 200g pastry used for tart – 25cm)
160g good quality chocolate (lindt or green & blacks 70%)
8 tbsp cocoa powder
small pinch of salt if required
4 eggs
180g caster sugar
3 tbsp golden syrup
3 tbsp single cream

Ingredients for the caramel:
150g caster sugar
65g unsalted butter, diced
100ml single cream
1 tbsp sea salt

Instructions:
Grease a tart tin (25cm) with butter and then dust flour inside, place the pastry inside and blind bake in the over on 170°c for 30-35 minutes.

Cook the tart without the blind bake for the last 5 minutes of cooking. When the pastry is cooked and starts to get a little brown take it out and leave to cool. In the meantime, make the caramel by melting the sugar and a splash of water in a saucepan on a medium heat until it is a light golden colour, then whisk in the butter and then the double cream.

Finish with the salt. pour the caramel into the cooked tart and place in the fridge to set for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 140°c.

When the caramel has almost set, start making the chocolate mix by melting the butter, chocolate, cocoa powder and salt in a bain marie (a bowl held above a saucepan of simmering water) stirring until it’s smooth.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and well creamed, followed by the golden syrup and double cream. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well.

Pour the mix into the tart on top of the set caramel and bake in the oven for 40 to 45 min.

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**Join other Dolce Gusto lovers over on Facebook at The Pod**

 

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