Author Archives: ameliacharis

How to celebrate the royal wedding in London

If your invite to the royal wedding got lost in the mail, the city has plenty on offer to so you can still celebrate the big day. Here is our list of what you should check out:

1. Right Royal Knees Up, 19 May, 10am – 5pm

The Book Club is offering an East London twist on the royal wedding. Expect plenty of Pimms, prosecco, drag queens, bingo, markets and live music – all the whilst the wedding is being broadcasted on screens. Advance tickets are £5.

2. The Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Bus Tour, Thursday, Fridays, Saturday and Sundays in May

Step aboard a classic Routemaster Bus that will take you around the must-see sights of London. On the road you’ll be treated to an afternoon tea that includes Californian-inspired avocado and crab verrine in ode to Meghan Markle’s heritage. Tickets start at £55.

3. Throwback Royal Wedding Disco, 19 May, 8pm – 2am

Put on your dancing shoes for this celebration. Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen is bringing you a night of disco, soul and house music whilst supplying retro photo booths and a lot of glitter. To put a royal spin on the night, there will also be royal fancy dress and cardboard cut-outs of the royals.

4. A courtyard celebration with food and drinks, 19 May

Join the Bluebird in Chelsea as they deck their courtyard with bunting, screen the wedding, cook a BBQ and host a live DJ. There will even be a special Royal Wedding cocktail. Tickets are priced at £25 and include a glass of champagne.

5. Royal Poutine

This Instagram-ready, plant-based cafe by Chloe, is serving a vegan alternative to Meghan Markle’s favourite food; poutine. By Chloe have created the dish using air-baked fries, spicy seitan chorizo, cashew mozzarella, gravy and chipotle aioli.

6. A royal-inspired cabaret dinner, 19 May, 6pm – 10pm

Alongside hosting a dinner, the famous cabaret club Café de Paris will capture Meghan and Prince Harry’s love through an exciting performance. The show will follow their relationship starting with their early dates in Soho to the day of the proposal. Tickets start at £30.

7. Try the Meghan Markle Cocktail

Whiskey, champagne, violet liqueur and cherry bitters create the Meghan Markle inspired floral cocktail that will be served at London’s oldest restaurant, Rules.

8. A royal wedding Garden Party, 19 May, 11am – 6pm

The Devonshire Club is opening up to non-members for a day of afternoon tea and sparkling wine held in their Garden Room and terrace. The club will be screening the wedding as part of the celebration. The event costs £32 per person.

9. Prince Harry Tour of London, 20 May

This two-hour walking tour will take you on a journey of some of the most important moments in Prince Harry’s life. Locations include Trafalgar Square where he began his charity trek to the South Pole and Westminster Abbey where he was the Best Man at Prince William’s wedding. An adult ticket costs £12.

10. Bottomless brunch, 19 May

Gastro pub Galvin is offering a bottomless brunch accompanied by a special royal menu. And of course, they will also be screening the royal ceremony whilst you feast. The meal costs £15 per person.

Find an interactive map of the events by clicking this link.

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Read more WNOL posts about the royal wedding here and here.

The journey of Valentino Garavani

In 1974 London saw a Valentino store arrive into the city. To this day Valentino stores carrying luxurious designs can be found living amongst the streets of Mayfair and Chelsea. Today, the man who founded it all, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, turns 86.

Over the course of his life Valentino’s name has become synonymous with glamour and elegance. Creating couture dresses and red-carpet ready gowns, his designs allowed him to count the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn as part of his impressive clientele.

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A Valentino dress worn by Audrey Hepburn

But Valentino’s road to fame was not a short one. Although he decided he wanted to design women’s dresses at nine-years old, his first step in pursuing fashion came at the age of 17. He left his birthplace of northern Italy to travel to Paris, France, where he would study at École des Beaux-Arts and the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture.

Still in Paris, he went on to work as an apprentice for Jean Dessès. His time at Jean Dessès is thought to be where Valentino’s style really started to come together in his many sketches that showcase visions of pleats and animal prints.

Five years later, Valentino left Jean Dessès and joined a small fashion house where he worked alongside his friend Guy Laroche. But it wasn’t long before Valentino decided to return back to his roots. Circa 1960 he returned to Italy; not only did he meet his meet his soon-to-be business and personal-partner Giancarlo Giammetti then, but he set up a fashion house in Rome.

Spending time in Paris before his business endeavour meant Parisienne glamour effortlessly flowed through Valentino’s creations. When he showed his first couture collection in Florence in 1962, he immediately grabbed the attention of fashion critics worldwide.

Here Valentino began to grow his long-list of famous clients. A notable moment in his career was when Elizabeth Taylor asked him for a dress that she could wear to the premier of Spartacus. But Valentino credits his real breakthrough to Jackie Kennedy for creating a “Valentino boom”. Jackie commissioned Valentino to design her mourning dresses for the year following John F. Kennedy’s assassination and when she re-married to Aristotle Onassis, she wore a white Valentino gown.

Along with being widely-recognised for dressing the social elite, a signature of Valentino was his “V” logo that was first shown in a 1966 collection. This particular range of clothes was all-white, but another signature of Valentino is his use of a specific shade of red. Valentino decided upon using the colour when he saw a woman at the opera dressed in a rich crimson. “She was unique, isolated, fiery – the perfect heroine,” he told Vogue.

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Elizabeth Hurley and Valentino Garavani at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival

In the 70s Valentino went on to open his own ready-to-wear shops in Milan and Rome. During this time he also expanded his social circle even more, when he travelled to New York he became friends with Andy Warhol.

Even as years past, Valentino’s career showed no sign of slowing down. In the 80s he released childrenswear and a young adult’s line. Then in 1989, he opened the Academie Valentino in Rome which would host art exhibitions.

Come 1998, Valentino was able to sell his company for around $300 million to the Italian business Holding di Partecipazioni Industriali (HdP). Valentino did however stay on as a designer, even when Valentino was sold again in 2002 to Italian textile manufacturer Marzotto.

By 2007 Valentino announced his retirement. Though this was a sign of Valentino’s career finally starting to slow down, his popularity has only continued to soar. His last haute couture show in 2008 attracted many famous faces including Naomi Campbell and he’s been entrusted with designing the wedding dresses of people such as Anne Hathaway and Camilla Parker Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall.

In 2012 Valentino was awarded for his remarkable contribution to fashion, receiving the Commandeur de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal – it is considered one of France’s biggest honours.

Even without Valentino standing at the helm of his brand, his legacy is forever celebrated as gowns made in his namesake continue to grace catwalks and carpets every year.

 

 

From Black Panther to Lady Bird, dress inspired by your favourite films

Along with brilliant acting and gripping storylines, the films everyone’s talking about right now provide a wondeful supply of fashion inspiration. Wardrobe revamp at the ready, here is how to bring the silver screen into your style:

  1. Black Panther

Along with being called “the most-tweeted about movie ever”, Business Insider named Black Panther the 10th highest grossing film of all time. These titles are particularly well deserved considering the importance of the movie; it is the first time Marvel has a black superhero at the forefront of a story.

The film watches T’Challa (Black Panther), face challenges upon claiming the throne as king of the fictional nation of Wakanda, Africa. This means this film’s closet is all about embodying the words bold and brave:

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His father’s legacy. #BlackPanther

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Unless you want to walk around dressed like a panther with shiny claws, to channel the Black Panther think leather pieces and metal accents. Whether you pick out a leather jacket, biker boots or leather trousers, keep it edgy and monochrome. And be sure to add silver accessories.

To translate T’Challa’s little sister Shuri’s style into everyday wear, swap items like her neck guard for a lilac choker – after all, it is the hot colour right now. Then for her arm cuffs, exchange them for fine gold ones and trade her top for a sky blue tank. For trousers, put on your favourite blue jeans and tie a tan shirt around the waistband.

2. Love, Simon

This rom-com is the first major feature film to focus on a gay couple, and the importance of this step-forward for the movie-sphere has not gone unnoticed. Casual film-goers and celebrities alike have been encouraging people to see Love, Simon. Kristen Bell, Neil Patrick Harris, and Matt Bomer even bought out screenings for the public.

The film, based on the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, follows teenager Simon Spier in his journey to coming out. As Simon and his friends are high-schoolers, their casual and youthful fashion lends itself to be easyily replicable:

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#lovesimon #nickrobinson #lovesimonmovie #simonspier

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Simon’s style is comfy and casual. He is usually caught in a blue, stonewash denim trucker jacket layered on top of a plain hoody (usually black or grey) paired with loose-fitting black jeans. If you are recreating this look, do not be afraid to experiment with more colourful hoodies as blue denim jackets are extremely versatile.

Simon’s best friend Leah has a style that carries subtle undertones of 90s grunge; she will always be found wearing chokers, denim jackets, or dungarees. But interestingly these pieces are always contrasted with soft accents. Her denim jacket has embroidery of rainbows and flowers and her chokers are layered with delicate, gold necklaces. To get Leah’s look, it is all about achieving this balance. Start by matching a floral blouse with a velvet choker  – just don’t forget her signature headband.

3. Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig has been heavily praised for her directing debut in Lady Bird, becoming the fifth woman in history to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. Written by Greta, the film beautifully captures the trials and tribulations of headstrong teenager Christine McPherson’s (aka Lady Bird), relationship with her equally as strong-willed mother.

Set in Sacramento during the noughties, the opening scene of the film hears Christine complain that; “The only thing exciting about 2002 is that it’s a palindrome.” But lucky for us, this did not mean boring outfits:

Christine style consistently has a vintage feel to it, as if to suggest her wardrobe was curated through thrift shopping.  The above outfit is reminiscent of the 90s with it’s Cher Horowitz feel thanks to the A-line check, pinafore dress. To channel 90s nostalgia, style a plaid pinafore over a plain top, then add brown leather brogues. Finish the outfit off with the noughties micro-bag trend, selecting a boxy, black one like Christine’s.

For this next look, Christine opted for a pair of 60s style bell-bottom jeans, paired with a military blazer and high-neck striped t-shirt. Copy this look directly by heading down to a vintage market and searching for replicas, or update it by selecting a Prince of Wales check blazer, Breton stripe top, and slim fit mom jeans.

One of Christine’s boyfriends in the film is Danny O’Neill. In the photo above Danny is seen wearing a sports-inspired sweater with zip detailing. This garment is a great source of sartorial inspiration considering the current athleisure trend. He matches the jumper with cargo pants, but if these are too dad-style for you, swap them for raw-hem, blue jeans for a fresher take.

4. Call Me By Your Name  

The name on everyone’s lips lately has been Timothée Chalamet. Just recently, the 22-year-old became the youngest Best Actor Oscar nominee in 80 years. He received the nomination for playing 17-year-old Elio Perlman in the film adaptation of the coming-of-age tale Call Me By Your Name. Starring in two Academy-Award nominated films (Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird), everyone has their eyes on Timothée, awaiting his next on-screen move.

As Call Me By Your Name is set in Northern Italy during the summer of 1983, the characters attires are extremely reminiscent of their surroundings:

Fitting for a teenager on holiday, Elio’s outfits are effortless. He’s often found in black Wayfarer Ray-Bans, sporting a simple t-shirt – usually striped or a Lacoste polo – paired with swimming trunks or denim shorts. At one point he matches a Talking Head’s top with a psychedelic print inspired trunks. To re-create this casual look, pair your favourite band shirt with patterned shorts or keep things subtle with denim shorts.

Elio is also partial to a button-up shirt which he dresses down with 80s style mom jeans and high-top white Converse. Opt for stripes, Hawaiian prints or patterns of etched faces when picking out your Elio shirt. But if you need to dress for colder days, pair a black turtleneck underneath a monochrome face print shirt as seen on Elio in the final scene of the movie.

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Drinking coffee with the boss @mrelioperlman

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Elio’s love interest, American graduate student Oliver, has a style that is synonymous with the maturity of his character. His wardrobe staple is his oversized linen shirts, nicknamed “billowy” in the novel. He pairs them with short-shorts – of which he has in an array of colours – or cargo shorts. For this look, go up a couple sizes when buying a shirt and tuck it into white, paper bag shorts to create a contemporary twist.

And though there is a lot of buzz around these films listed, the critical acclaim they have received just goes to show everyone should believe the hype:

 

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Source: Amelia Richardson

 

Taking style inspiration from highly acclaimed movies gives a whole new meaning to power dressing.

Below, find out which of the four films a selection of Twitter users preferred the fashion in:

 

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Source: Amelia Richardson

 

So next time you head out clothes shopping think: what would they do in the movies?

Featured Image Source: Stock Snap

What do you need to know before watching I, Tonya?

On Sunday Allison Janney won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in I, Tonya, which is now screening in the UK.

The film starring and produced by Margot Robbie who won a Critics’ Choice Award for the role, follows the true story of American figure-skater Tonya Harding’s connection to one of the biggest scandals in sports history.

As it has been 20 years since “The Incident,” WNOL fills you in with the facts before you sit down to watch the biopic:

Follow along with the Tonya timeline:

 

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Source: Amelia Richarson

 

Book tickets for I, Tonya here.

Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons

Popular blogger Liv Purvis on her ever-changing career and the importance of being nice

Liv Purvis is a 24-year-old Londoner with a career in the ever-growing world of the YouTuber/blogger. Her blog What Olivia Did and YouTube channel boasting over 82,000 subscribers, hosts content ranging from style to food and music. Discussing her online journey, dream collaboration and tricks of the trade, it’s time to meet your new online best friend.

WNOL: What do you think have been the key elements of getting to where you are today?
Liv Purvis: Probably determination, following my gut and I’d like to think just being nice – if that doesn’t make me sound pompus.

WNOL: What was the reason for setting up your blog?
LP: I started my blog when I was studying in sixth form in 2010. I’d been interning and doing a lot of work experience, as well as studying photography, so I started it almost as a mini portfolio of what I’d been doing. My best friend introduced me to blogging too – so I have her to thank.

WNOL: When did it really start to kick in that your blog could potentially become your full-time career?
LP: I don’t think there was ever one lightbulb moment, as it was such a gradual process going full time. When I was shortlisted for the Cosmo Blog Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ that year I did have a moment where I realised people were actually reading though – which was very cool.

WNOL: People making careers out of blogging is a fairly new phenomenon. Did this make the decision to rely on your blog as a career daunting?
LP: Not really, I never really saw it as a business venture, and being pretty un-savvy when it comes to things like that probably should have thought about it more. I was freelancing on the side at the time, so I was able to make a decision without it being too risky. Obviously, there is the feeling that it’s ever changing so you don’t know where the next few months and years may take you, but that’s also exciting too.

WNOL: You posted your first YouTube video in 2014. Did this feel like a natural step in your career and were you nervous about the response?
LP: It did. I guess it felt quite natural as people were moving across to that format around then anyway. Having never filmed anything before it was definitely daunting, it felt like it was going on TV.

WNOL: YouTubers and bloggers now play a huge role in advertising. You have worked with the likes of Estée Lauder, Lancôme, and Liz Earle, how do you choose which brands to work with?
LP: It’s always such an easy decision because it boils down to whether they’re a brand I’d use or go on to buy from organically. If something doesn’t totally sit right with a brief for me, it’s so much easier to say no than produce something your heart isn’t totally in.

WNOL: You still regularly post on both your blog and YouTube. Which platform do you prefer and what makes them different?
LP: I definitely still prefer and prioritise my blog over everything. It’s the one thing that’s solely mine and something I’ve been so invested in for years. I feel the most confident with still imagery and writing, and although filming is a fun process, it is definitely more timely. I also think YouTube viewers are far more critical too, which takes a bit of getting used to.

WNOL: Your content is quite heavily fashion based, where do you find your style inspiration?
LP: So many places. As much as I love Pinterest and Instagram, I really love films, magazines and music to inspire me.

WNOL: With your viewers and readers constantly expecting new content, how do you deal with the pressure of constantly coming up with new posts and uploads?
LP: To be honest, because I’ve been doing it for so long the only pressure I really get is from myself. It’s largely just become part of my routine and I know what I’m capable of putting out on a weekly basis, so try to not over promise and under deliver.

WNOL: Who would you love to collaborate with for a video and what would you do with them?
LP: I love working on collaborations with women who aren’t largely online and being able to chat to them in a candid way. My wardrobe series is one of my favourite things I do, so there’s always a growing list of women I’d love to have on.

WNOL: As a Londoner, do you feel the city helps inspires you?
LP: Definitely, I love being able to share new pockets of the city and new openings.

WNOL: Do you have any tips for someone starting out when there are so many creators already out there?
LP: My advice would probably be to just do it if you really love it. It’s so simple, but I think if you’re coming at it from a super strategic point of view you could end up being disappointed. I’d also say keep at it, it took me years to be able to make it a career, and I do think we’re in a world of instants. So if it doesn’t happen overnight keep going.

Read Liv’s blog at WhatOliviaDid.com and subscribe to her YouTube here.

Cover Image: Liv Purvis