Why can’t Women wear Maternity Brands when they are not pregnant?

I guess the question for most women would be “Why would women wear such brands when they are not?”

Well, I unashamedly have bought maternity wear and yes it is because I have put on a lot of weight but also well, I like some of the clothing and that’s really the most important thing.  What do you thin?

HK based (though they do world wide shipping) maternity wear brand Mayarya have actually been a favourite of mine since I met the founder Reika Shetty.  When she was pregnant in HK, she realised there simply were not many options that were either a) affordable b) decent quality and c) were clothes you WOULD want to wear.  Hence she solved the problem and Mayarya was born.  The concept is that the pieces can be worn before, during pregnancy and after you give birth.  Originally, they imported a lot from elsewhere but now they have an in house styling team.

So what are some of the reasons that I like Mayarya?  I’e found that first of all – I like the clothes.  Then, well because it is maternity and I am a curvy girl (I have a big bust), the cutting is better for me.  For example, tops seem to be a bit longer and if you are a busty girl, well you know those few extra inches can prevent you from flashing your tummy or your backend.  Personally, that would and is not my favourite look.

Let me show you some of my current favourite pieces from Mayarya (still available so have added links)…

  1. Bow Sleeved Off the Shoulder Top – HK$630

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I have always wanted to wear off the shoulder however, most styles though lovely are either cropped or tied at the waist and therefore (on a good day) would make me look like some serving wench at Oktoberfest.  This one does not, it is longer an more of a tunic style but also the bow sleeve detail on the sleeves is super cute (tip:double knot) and also the shorter sleeve length is very flattering and highlights the slimmer part of your arms.  I have had people ask where to get this top and also people mentioning they wished it also came in black (yes please!) and my personal request – a navy version too.

2.  Fluted Sleeve Maternity & Nursing Dress  – HK$880

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This comes in navy and black.  I just found the sleeves a fun little detail.  Dress is extremely lightweight ad comfortable to wear.  The nursing zip access is barely noticeable so for ladies like me, it does not look out of place (such easy access could damage a girl’s reputation don’t you know?  Ha! Ha!)

3.  Ponte Dress in Orange – HK$870

 

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HOW can you not smile at the colour of this dress?  An A-line cut means it is flattering on most figures and well the colour really is the great point of this dress.  Also the material is super comfortable.

So there you go – don’t be put off by a label “maternity wear” also for soon to be moms, do check out Mayarya.  They’ve got a pretty good following of fashionista moms!

P.S.  This is NOT a sponsored post, I just happen to love supporting local brands when I can, I also simply love the pieces I chose to write about above.

 

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Outfit Post: A simple black and white dress…

If you know me…you know I LOVE colour.  So this post is a bit of a different one for me as I am showcasing basically a black and white dress.  It is also a more feminine look than I really go for with a high neckline and an A-line skirt.  The dress was from Marks & Spencer and was paired with a pair of mules also from Marks.  I was lucky that the lovely Sabrina Sikora pushed me into wearing mules (I always looked at them with an eye brow raised) and well they were peep toe too which makes me go EEK even more (I have to keep a decent pedicure on those tootsies).  However, they ARE super comfortable and pretty much went with every outfit I had during the summer of 2015.  Also a heel that you can walk around in in HK?  SOLD.  Thankfully Marks & Spencer have reproduced them this Spring 2016.  They obviously know a good thing when they see it.  Shame though that they did not reproduce the navy version (gutted I didn’t get those last year).  For other options on the mule shape…check out Australian brand SENSO (they ship to HK!) from closed toe, open toe to various shades of animal print (cue heart emojis at this point).

 

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Senso Mules…

The dress I am wearing in this outfit post is from Summer 2015 for Marks & Spencer.  However the shape is classic and super flattering for most silhouettes.  For curvy girls like me, a nipped in waist helps give you a nice shape and though sleeveless, it is easy to cover up your bingo wings with a little cardigan (or just own the said bingo wings like I do).  I have found local brand WHAT THE FROCK?  to be a great affordable option.  No pattern but coming in a multitude of colours which adds personality to your outfit!

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What the Frock ‘French’ Dress in Pink

I have heard from a professional matchmaker that such a dress like this is perfect for a first date.  It is feminine, fashionable (without being too fashion aka scary) and has scope via the colour and the accessories you add to it to make it your own personal style.

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So there you go…dresses that do not have crazy prints can be a good thing…

Thanks as always to Bryant for making me look semi decent in photos, that boy is a miracle worker and super talented.

 

Good Bye L’Wren…

The fashion and entertainment world was devastated recently by the apparent suicide of L’Wren Scott – fashion designer and long-term partner of Mick Jagger, front man of The Rolling Stones. Rumours swirled around the reasons why she may have chosen to end her life: financial problems, bankruptcy and a potential split with Mick.

Despite the negative rumours, I really would love to celebrate her incredible sense of style – how elegantly and regally (some may considered it snooty and aloof) she carried herself. L’Wren had a great sense of style and she applied this innate understanding to her clients…the idea that a woman wants to look sexy and that sexy does not need to be about revealing everything. Something that some modern starlets should take note of (Miley Cyrus, Courtney Stodden and Lilo to name a few names.)

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L’Wren in Happier Times Looking Stunning Next to Her Long Term Partner Mick Jagger…

L’Wren Scott obviously dressed for herself primarily.  She knew her limitation, her extreme height meant she was not able to wear too many high heels. Her signature silhouette became a very fitted sheath dress shape and using lots of rich materials such as embroidered fabrics, sequins and other embellishments that allowed her to remain stunning whilst growing old gracefully.

The designer understood that the key detail was to get her core dress structure right.  Once that was in place, the magic could happen.  Apparently she was such a perfectionist that she once ripped up 20 pairs of jeans and re-sewn them to create a pair for Mick that was just  right.  Her pursuit of perfectionism and her love of beautiful materials may have been a factor in her fashion house’s apparent financial woes.

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L’Wren Scott – Her brand and Her Look was the epitome of class…

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L’Wren wearing her signature dress… slim fitting, sexy but also elegant and luxe with the sequin finishings….

Celebrities recognised her talent and she became a go-to designer for many stars dressing for the red carpet.  Nicole Kidman was a consistent friend and fan of her designs. Nicole and L’Wren’s fashion partnership was successful as it celebrated Nicole’s slender frame but gave her a curvy statuesque look.  I never really imagined Nicole Kidman as anything less than slender and ethereal but in L’Wren Scott’s designs the actress looked like a glamourous woman who was proud of “vavavoom” curves and comfortable celebrating her success.

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Bombshell Nicole wearing L’Wren at the 2013 Oscars…

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Other fantastic Nicole Kidman wearing L’Wren Scott red carpet moments…

However, it was not just gowns that L’Wren could do. L’Wren created stunning day or even cocktail wear as shown on Ms Kidman, Amber Rose and others…

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Less formal evening attire for a film promotional event…

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 Ladylike Day Wear on Nicole Kidman (top) and Penelope Cruz (bottom)

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Curvy ladies did not shy away from L’Wren’s designs.  Voluptuous actresses such as the gorgeous Penelope Cruz and the original “hourglass” woman Christina Hendricks were fans of her dresses.  Christina always admitted that she had a lot of problems finding red carpet dresses designers for her and that L’Wren was one of her favourites.

christina lwrenChristina Hendricks said ‘L’Wren’s clothes make you feel like a sexy pin-up’

My first proper immersion into L’Wren Scott’s world as a designer was when she guest -judged the finale for Season 9 of Project Runway US.  Her understanding of the various designers’ points of view and her appreciation of the amount work that went into the collection was gracious yet also constructive criticism.  My favourite line from her was regarding a sheer dress which she was not a big fan of…(sic) ‘…it doesn’t always have to be on display, sometimes a little bit left to the imagination can be exciting too….’  That one phrase made me love her and it is true.  There is no need to have everything out there and for me personally, I REALLY do not want all my bits on show for public eyes.

Her dresses are for both the more “mature” and young women to walk the red carpet in a glamourous, sexy and tasteful way.  In a picture above, L’Wren wore a dress which was also worn by young star of the moment Jennifer Lawrence.

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Jennifer Lawrence in L’Wren Scott

I am going to end this tribute to this designer with my favourite L’Wren Scott dress moment: Amy Adams wearing a L’Wren Scott capped sleeved, high-necked navy blue sequinned dress to the 2011 Oscars.  The simple cut with the high shine of the sequins accessorized with loose waves and some beautiful emerald jewellery pieces, is, in my opinion, the epitome of class, elegance and that Hollywood style.

Goodbye L’Wren Scott.  I will miss the amazing creations that you would have designed in the future…

The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards - Backstage And Audience

“Sports Couture” – Ports 1961 S/S14

I was recently fortunate enough to attend the preview for the Ports 1961 S/S14 collection (side notes to the fabulous Plug PR for a) winning the account and b) doing a fantastic job of this preview).

“Sports Couture” is the key central theme for both the men’s and the women’s collections.  This would seem to be an elevation over the usual term of “sports luxe”  This is evident in both collections by the exquisite materials used, the beautiful detailing and the finishing that was shown whilst keeping in line with the sports wear traditions in the easy to wear shapes.

The women’s wear was designed by Fiona Cibani and the chief inspiration was Michaelangelo Antonioni’s 1970 film ‘Zabriskie Point’.  At the time of its release, the film was not a commercial success but has since become an art house classic.  The film is based a lot about a couple and their journey into the desert.  Cue sunrise and sunset prints, sky blue hues, sandy colours featured in the collection.

zabriskie Point Film promo coverZabriskie posterThe Film Inspiration

zabriskie-point-scene zabriskie point death valley zabriskie point death valley 2The beautiful scenic views which inspired to colours, the prints and the general vibe of the collection

The collection itself is super wearable, lots of gorgeous dresses but also plenty of separates.  The classic Ports 1961 white shirt remained a focal part of the collection (this version was long enough for models to walk the runway wearing it as a dress.  For us lesser mortals it means sparing our blushes and banishing the horrid phenomena of “builder’s bum”.

Sunrise and sunset prints were some of the stand out pieces of the collection.  I loved the sunrise print jumper but also the dresses that featured the sunrise and sunset prints.  SUPER distinctive yet not too scary to wear.

Easy to wear jackets, shirts and skirts plus the dresses means that this is a wardrobe that pretty much any woman would want to own.  It consists of pieces ready for work, for casual lunches and for evening functions.   Clean lines and sports wear shapes… what is there not to like for the Ports 1961 woman?ports13Sports Couture at its BEST

ports8The Sunset Dress (In the back)

ports2The Sunrise Jumper

PORTS1961_SS14_25The Same Outfit (on the runway)

PORTS1961_SS14_23One of my favourite pieces – the SUNRISE Dress (on the runway)

The couture elements definitely came from the hand-stitching of the embellishments, the exquisite materials (lace and velvet overlay on one skirt) and the beautiful origami pleats on one piece.  (Coincidentally we say the blue version of the origami dress and on the runway it was the white version which Julia Roberts wore to an event!!)

ports10Beautiful Embellishments – Couture elements

ports11Exquisite Fabrics add the Couture element…

PORTS1961_SS14_07The “Origami” Dress on the Runway and which Julia Roberts later wore…

ports12Close up of the Origami pleating…

Ports 1961 excelled again with their shoes and bags.  Vivid colours which complemented the collection beautifully.   The heels in a multitude of colours were my favourites – high enough for me to feel elegant but with a thick enough heel for all us HK girls to be able to stride with confidence!

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FINALLY, I can start on the men’s collection.  We were fortunate to see the men’s collection (actually not available in HK) side by side with the women’s collection.  Designed by Fiona Cibani and Ian Hylton, Ports 1961 Spring / Summer 2014 Men’s collection is inspired by the sculptural artworks of Rainer Lagemann, which capture the human body in motion. A geometric freeze frame of classic, timeless gestures and emotions are conveyed through silhouettes, materials and details.  This can be seen especially in the stunning graphical prints of the suits and accessories.

Rainer Lagemann & AnaMarie Paredes (Metal Sculpture) Rainer Lagemann Rainer Lagemann’s works – Inspiration for Ports 1961 Men’s Collection

All the bloggers were in love with the chunky knits, the suede shorts and for me the prints on the suits as well as the purple suit.  A shout out must also go to the designing team for the fabulous accessories from the brogues of many colours to the “man” bags.  To be honest, I would have used any of those bags and clutches in the men’s collection.

Ports1961_SS14_17 Ports1961_SS14_18THOSE Purple Suits!  (Am wishing the boy to take note!)

Ports1961_SS14_19 Ports1961_SS14_20 Ports1961_SS14_26 Ports1961_SS14_27Amazing Prints on the Suits

 Rainer Lagemann’s influence can definitely be seen in the graphic quality featured on some of the suits.  The different scales of the prints were handled so well that they should be appreciated and admired.

If I could, I would have definitely taken away the cute suede shorts in green and the chunky sweater…

Ports1961_SS14_15Forget asking the boy to wear this…I want to wear this!

Once again Ports 1961 were highly successful with their accessories (something I do not usually make a point of mentioning regarding men’s collections).  Their brogues were super colourful and chic and the variety of bags was bag heaven.  I would have snapped up the dossier holders with the  Rainer Lagemann inspired print, the super squishy large suede bags and what I like to call my fancy cat carrier….

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Super Squishy Suede Bags…

ports3My new “Cat Carrier”

The beauty of seeing both collections side by side is that you can truly picture the couple who would wear those clothes.  They would be THAT couple you would want to be with and want to be.  These two collections definitely complement each other.

ports9 ports4 ports2Beautiful Couples…Seeing the two collections as a whole…

Ports 1961 women’s collection will be available in HK stores from early 2014.  For the men’s collections, you will need to look to a trip to Europe or US.  For more information please contact Plug PR’s Resham Kirpalaney.

N.B. Runway shots of the collections are courtesy of Plug PR and Ports 1961, the other images of the collections were taken by me.

Lace, Print and Vintage Scarf…Outfit Post

When I saw on instagram a picture of a print dress with lace inserts, I instantly thought “BUY IT NOW”.  An even bigger draw to this dress was that Vogue UK was considering it for their September shoot of top M&S picks.  Yes, M&S is cool now!

I wore this dress on a quick coffee trip to meet my vintage sister Norbyah who gave me a gorgeous vintage scarf as a gift from her US trip.  The weather was still relatively warm so there was no need for any layers or tights.  The lace on the sleeves of the dress gave welcome ventilation (TMI?) and also textural interest to the dress.  Clashes of print and textures is definitely a key A/W 2013 trend and keeping the dress in a simple colour palette makes it an easy dress to wear.  This dress would take you through to colder times, sling on a chunky cardigan or a leather biker jacket and add some black tights and you would be protected from the chilly climes.

For this trip out, I wore it with a pair of heeled Ash biker boots and a simple Cole Haan black bag.  I added some contrast by tying the gifted vintage scarf onto said bag.  As I was having a bad hair day, the hair was slicked back.

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M&S dress, Cole Haan bag, Ash biker boots, Gifted vintage silk scarf

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Adding a splash of colour with a vintage silk scarf tied to the bag

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Loving the Lace and Print Clash in this M&S dress

“Carnivale”…Adding Colour to My Life…

Recently I attended DRESS ME blogger and super stylist Jasmine Smith’s birthday FIESTA and it was a fantastic opportunity for me to beg my good friend ALL THINGS INDULGENT‘s Vanessa Lawson to make me a custom floral head band.  I have loved Vanessa’s DIY pieces for a long time – the colour, the vibrancy… the sheer sense of fun that exists in her pieces make them irresistible.  I personally do not have the patience or the glue gun skills to make a piece so it was great that she was willing to make me one.  Knowing my aversion to large head pieces, Vanessa totally understood my style and produced a gorgeous vivid red floral head piece.  I fell in love at first sight.  Unfortunately, I just do not know when I will next wear it.  Somehow, I do not believe that the office dress code would let me wear it.

Fortunately for me, I recently worked with the fabulously talented photographer Lauren Engel (model, photographer and researcher into money laundering – a girl of many talents) and inspiration hit me – I could pair said floral head piece with my gorgeous Clover Canyon dress and wear it for the shoot…yes!  (I am a genius…)

Vanessa is a fan of Clover Canyon too so I know she would appreciate such a pairing.

For those who have not heard of the brand before, Clover Canyon is a LA brand who is famous for their vivid prints and vibrant colours.  Their clothes totally encapsulate the eclectic and joyful spirit of California.  Reminiscent of Mary Katrantzou’s gorgeous sprints but with less structure, the Clover Canyon clothing is colourful and with a sleek silhouette.  I love their neoprene dresses but also have recently fallen in love with their beautiful floaty “shirt” dresses.  I don’t usually like floaty dresses as they tend to look tent-like on me but these dresses are cut relatively slim so there is less volume.

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Clover Canyon Floral Fish Dress, All Things Indulgent Custom Head Piece, Beatrix Potter Book Clutch by PS. Besitos, Samantha Wills Ring

I am not sure why but the floral head piece, the floaty dress and the colours remind me of some of the old pictures or statues of Catholic saints.  Think old fashioned Latin saints or something from New Orleans – hence the name “Carnivale” for the title of this outfit post.  The above picture (as you can see I cannot pose) is my attempt at a saintly pose!  I even have a book in hand (well a book clutch).

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That Floral Head Piece

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Trying to Look Saintly

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Light and Dark

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Trying to Pose

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It is all about the Accessories

A word of warning, if you choose to buy this dress, please be careful as it is very transparent.  I definitely think it would be perfect for a beach holiday as a cover up over your bikini or you would need to wear something underneath to spare your blushes.  Thankfully, I was indoors for these pictures and was wearing nude undergarments (thank you Sheer!)

I bought my Clover Canyon dress from Oxygen Boutique which is a fab store based in London.  If you cannot stop in their store, they do offer an online shopping site so do have a look!  They stock some amazing brands such as Clover Canyon (of course), Senso and Alice & Olivia.

Check out Vanessa’s blog ALL THINGS INDULGENT for tutorials on how to make the floral head piece or contact her directly for custom orders.  I bought my Samantha Wills ring online and my PS. Besitos book clutch as mentioned in previous posts is from Etsy.

A big thank you to Lauren Engel for taking the pictures but also to Sheer for generously allowing me to use their beautiful shop space for the location of my photo shoot.  On a rainy, humid day, it was a beautiful oasis of air con!  For readers in HK, Sheer is my favourite place to go for lingerie.  They know how to fit bras properly and offer a wide range of brands and styles!

SHEER
4/F, W Place, 52 Wyndham Street
Central, Hong Kong