Sunday, 14 November 2010

STYLISA interviews Gok Wan – A Truly ‘Stylish’ Gentleman

When I received the email inviting me to the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards, I was beyond excited.  Here I am, only having been in London for 9 weeks, and I have already done so much.  When I came to the point in the email where I was told there was an opportunity to interview Gok Wan, I had to read it a few times – I thought someone was teasing me.  Fast forward one week and there I was on my way to The Rembrandt Hotel, to interview the man himself.

I have always been a huge fan of Gok Wan – he seems very real and has helped to give women all over the country the confidence to love their bodies and believe in themselves which is a feat that not many people can achieve.  Women respond very positively to him and after meeting him in the flesh and spending some time with him, he surpassed my expectations.  He was warm, friendly and made me feel completely at ease – he is not only stylish but a true gentleman.  I hope you enjoying reading the interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

Firstly, are you excited to be presenting the Specsaver Awards?
Yes I can’t wait.  We always have lots of fun with the celebrities and the best thing about the awards is that they are in support of a charity very close to my heart.  Kidscape is an anti-bullying charity, dedicated to preventing bullying and child abuse and is fully committed to keeping children safe from harm.  All of the proceeds from the ticket sales and the silent auction will go directly to them, which is fantastic.

What are your top three tips when it comes to choosing the perfect pair of specs?
Firstly make sure your glasses go with the look that you have committed to for the season.
Secondly, it is imperative that they suit your face shape.
And finally, make sure you feel confident in them and if you are only going to have one pair, make sure that they take you from your desk to the dance floor.  If not, have two pairs, one for day and one for night.

For a lot of women you are much more than a stylist, you are someone who gives them confidence to be themselves.  Who gives you the confidence to be your fabulous self?
The things that give me confidence are my job, my friends and my family.  And although this might sound cheesy, I have to say the fans also give me a great deal of confidence.  They have been amazingly supportive and really bought into what I do.  Without them, I would not be able to do what I’ve done.  Furthermore, I love my job and I love working with the girls – they are all fantastic.

How do you feel about social media and the fact that it has become one of the latest trends in the world of fashion?
I think that it is great!  Twitter, Facebook and social media in general are the future.  From a fashion point of view, it gives consumers and fans instant access to not only the brands but pieces from their collections, that years ago, you would have had to wait a considerable amount of time for.  I particularly love what a lot of the big designers are doing now in terms of streaming videos of their catwalk shows.  Everyone can now be a part of events like fashion week, which has never been done before.  So yes, I support it fully.

And finally, finish this sentence…true style is…?
True style is…understanding your image

To find out more about Gok, check out his website and for more on Specsavers, see here

Watch out for my next blog post which will be my report from the actual awards

Until then, stay stylish!


Saturday, 30 October 2010

STYLISA interviewed by MPMAG

Click on the logo below to read my interview with MPMAG

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Donna Ida - Dedicated to Denim

The lady behind the brand

I was delighted when Donna, the lady behind the brand Donna Ida agreed to be interviewed.  I first connected with the lovely lady on Twitter as I am a big fan of designer denim.  One of the things that really stands out about Donna is the fact that she loves what she does and you get a real sense of that from her tweets (and this interview confirms it).  She is simply, dedicated to denim...

Firstly, tell us how your fashion career began?
It all started in 2006 when I opened our first shop.  That was literally the beginning – before 2006 I was just a very keen shopper.

Tell us about the Donna Ida brand and what inspired you to start it?
I have always loved denim but was frustrated that there was nowhere to shop all the best denim labels in one place.  Department stores were the only answer and I couldn’t get the help I needed.  I decided to open a shop that just sold jeans – it was such a simple concept when I told people what I was doing they all said what an obvious and simple idea – so strange that no one’s done it before!

What have been the highlights of your fashion career to date?
Being nominated for the Drapers Awards twice – the next Awards is on the 17th of November! Building a strong customer base of loyal customers and working with a team of amazing girls who all believe in the business as much as I do.

Describe the typical Donna Ida customer – what is she like?
We have such a broad range as we are very specialist but there is a very core customer group who is 25-60, knows exactly what look she is going for, what her body shape is, what she wants to wear for the season.

Who are you favourite fashion designers?
It varies from season to season but there is a look I admire – I love the 70’s, flares, anything high-waisted.  I prefer a more sophisticated silhouette so love references to Dior’s New Look, I like YSL and Louis Vuitton.  I generally prefer French designers so Isabel Marant is on my radar but also like the older American designers who are constantly referenced now such as Roy Halston and Oscar de la Renta.

What is your definition of style?
Knowing what looks good on you and wearing it well.  I think we should all work with what we’ve been given – confidence is key.

Who are your style icons?
I love the old images of Marilyn Monroe and Bridget Bardot, women who were beautiful and glamorous.  I like the 60’s when Jackie Kennedy was the First Lady and the glamour of the South of France.  There’s still something special about the South of France now – it’s kept that glamour and Monaco always feels like an event.  For modern day icons I love Diane Kruger, Cate Blanchett and Rachel Zoe.  Women who are all comfortable in their own skin and are confident and successful.

Do you have a personal favourite, when it comes to denim brands?
That would be like choosing between my children!  I have a few favourites, or brands that work for me.
J Brand, Earnest Sewn, James Jeans, Goldsign and Current/Elliott.

Has the world of social media had an impact on your brand?
Definitely, it’s such a great way to connect with new customers and also our peers.  I find that I chat to so many other retailers and everyone supports each other.  Twitter has been great in that way – it feels like a casual friendly way to connect.  You can tweet literally anyone you want.

Do you have any exciting projects/collaborations planned for the brand?
Oh soooo many!!  We have a new shop opening in Guildford at the end of next month and are looking at new locations all the time.  We have an exciting new website launching early next year and we have a few other collaborations on the boil with designers.

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion entrepreneurs?
‘Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’ is a wise old quote.  I work long hours but it’s not ‘work’ to me – I love it.  If you love fashion and people just get in there – don’t put it off.  You really can make anything happen if you believe in it enough.

Check out the website here - you can also follow Donna Ida on Twitter @donnaida and Facebook

Monday, 25 October 2010

STYLISA joins Handpicked Media

The STYLISA blog has now officially joined Handpicked Media.

Handpicked Media is a collective of independent sites and blogs with a reach of Beauty, Style, Entertainment, Food and Culture.  Handpicked Media champions sites that are creative and unique with high quality content offered throughout.

For more information, click here

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Couture in the 21st Century

Couture in the 21st Century

As a lover of couture, I was delighted to be at the launch of ‘Couture in the 21st Century’ – a collaboration between Harrods Publishing and world renowned photographer Rankin.  The book consists of a number of interviews with well known designers like Armani, Roland Mouret and Oscar de la Renta, talking about their relationship with couture.  Up and coming designers such as Erdem and Hannah Marshall are also featured in the book, which is a must-have for anyone who has an interest in or love of couture.  The book itself, is absolutely beautiful, with an intricate cover, that actually looks like is has been designed by a couturier.

The event was very well attended, and it was great to see designers like Antonio Berardi, Roland Mouret, Hannah Marshall, and Stephen Jones, mingling with up and coming fashion bloggers, which is a new and interesting direction for Harrods.  Fashion and Beauty Director, was also in attendance, as was Deborah Bee, Author and Editor-in-Chief of Harrods Publishing.

For me, the book is a delightful insight into the world of couture. Personally, I was introduced to this wonderful world many years ago by my mother, who is a lover of all things Chanel and Armani.  Reading the book brought back memories of her beautiful wardrobe and her exquisite attention to detail.  It also reminded me that true lovers of couture have a very special relationship with it that goes way beyond the realms of mere fashion.  For me, couture is art and when applied to the body, it becomes art in motion.  A truly magical experience, that stays with you for a lifetime and leaves a stylish imprint on the soul.

For anyone out there, who wishes to indulge their senses in couture, then this book is a must-have.

Buy the book here

Stephen Jones, Millinery Designer

Antonio Berardi, Designer 

Hannah Marshall, Designer and
Marigay McKee, Fashion & Beauty Director

Deborah Bee, Author and Editor-in-Chief of Harrods Publishing
and Giovanni Bedin, Designer House of Worth

STYLISA and Roland Mouret

STYLISA and Hannah Marshall

Part of the Fashion Blogger Pack in attendance

And more pics from the night...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Top Tips from Wonderbra...

To celebrate the launch of its new Full effect your life competition, Wonderbra has picked the brains of its expert panellist, fashion model and X-Factor star, Lucie Jones to share her top tips to giving your look a boost:

  • The one item you have to have in your wardrobe whatever the season is a leather jacket.  You can throw it over anything and it just gives your outfit a bit of edge.  I’ve updated it slightly this season by getting a shearling aviator jacket, I’ll be living in it come winter
  • Equally I could not live without mascara – it just makes you look ten times better in about 10 seconds!
  • The best tip I’ve picked up from working on fashion shoots is that fashion can be comfortable! If you feel comfortable and sexy then you will look sexy. If you don’t feel right in those heels, wear another pair otherwise you may as well be wearing your Nan’s hand me downs. . .
  • On a night out I always make sure I choose my outfit before I start getting ready, last minute cupboard raids are just way too stressful.  I always, always do my hair last, that way you can match your hair and make-up to your outfit and your whole look will look polished
  • The new Full effect bra from Wonderbra is amazing. It gives you such a natural amazing cleavage, just pair it with a bodycon dress and you’re good to go
  • From modeling, I’ve learnt when applying make-up, pick one feature and really make the most of that. I love a smokey eye and have learnt that if you use a colour eyeshadow, such as purple, to create it you get a real boost.
  • For the best photos on your night out make sure you don’t try to hard to pose. Since I’ve started modeling I’ve realised that the natural shots are the best shots so just relax and have fun and you’ll have some great pics of the night
Lucie Jones has teamed up with Wonderbra to find three stylish girls to win an amazing fashion experience as either a fashion buyer, stylist or journalist.  To find out more and to enter visit

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Watch Me!

Not only do I want this fabulous Nichole de Carle lingerie, I also want the watch!

Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 and is a brand that is seen as one of the four most important watch manufacturers in the world.  Their three key values are tradition, excellence and audacity, which when you see the watches up close, is abundantly clear - the attention to detail is exquisite.  The brand also has the distinction of being the last remaining Swiss watch Marque to be owned by the ancestors of the founding families.  So not only are these watches incredibly fabulous, they are incredibly posh too!  Love it!

I was lucky enough to see these beautiful creations during London Fashion Week, at a fashion in aid of Hauser Bears - a charity concerned with the welfare of bears worldwide.  I have never been a fan of watches, but my opinion changed when I was introduced to Audemars Piguet.  These exquisite timepieces are the perfect accessory to any outerwear, or underwear if you prefer.

So if you're reading this Santa, I would just love to find one of these watches in my stocking...pretty please.

For more information on Audemars Piguet, click here

For more information or to make a donation to Hauser Bears, please go to

STYLISA featured on Smarta

The story of the STYLISA ebook has been featured on the Smarta website.  Click on the below logo, to read the feature.

Monday, 11 October 2010

STYLISA featured in Exchange, the official Orange Business Magazine

To celebrate 25 issues of their business magazine, Orange have revisited a number of businesses who have featured in the magazine before, to see how they have evolved.  STYLISA was lucky enough to be one of the businesses chosen to feature in the magazine.  Read the piece here

Style in Your City: New York

At last, it is the return of our guest blogger feature, Style in Your City.  Today we are delighted to be featuring the fabulous Rachael Lechliter from Red Rover Style:

Greetings everyone, my name is Rachael and I am one of the founders of Red Rover Style, an online magazine about lifestyle and charity. We are based in NYC. Our magazine has about 20+ writers, whom we call Rovers.  As you can imagine, managing over 20+ writers can be a handful, but very colorful.  I even contribute to the magazine as the Social and Savvy Entrepreneur rover. Also, my Red Rover Style partner, Elena Baxter and I , founded an online PR firm called Red Rover Public Relations. We call it our empire, but luckily the two platforms work hand-in-hand with each other.

So now that you know a little background on my entrepreneur world, I want to share my personal fashion with you as a social and savvy entrepreneur in NYC.

First, my number one fashion dedication is to my hair, and that is probably because I grew up in my mother’s salon, and more or less, I am obsessed with hair.

I have experimented with every color from black, medium brown, auburn, blonde, Heidi Klum platinum blonde to fiery copper red, Jennifer Aniston’s golden locks, and back to brown, back to blonde, well, I’ve done it all with different types of highlight placements and trend-haircuts in between.

Today, I think I’ve nailed down my look with red, which is really a rich auburn color. I think it brings out the green tinting in my eyes…Of course, I’m not just one color, I have some fiery copper peekaboo highlights too. 

Now that I’ve fulfilled my impulsive obsession to talk about hair, I want to talk about style here in NYC as the fall weather is upon us! It’s crisp, cool, and all I can think about is pulling out my boots and fall suit jackets. BUT, Since, I’m jumping around NYC from one meeting to the next, I need to go from flats to heels and turn my office day style to suit an evening with cocktails, dim-lighting and networking. Don’t forget, since my office is mobile, I need to lug around a laptop, charger, make-up, and I even carry around my SLR camera, hence is why I need flats.

So here it is, my most desired look for a social and savvy entrepreneur going from a September office day to a September cocktail party.

My day look screams sophistication and comfort. I adore these colors because they go perfect with fall and my hair color. Oh, since NYC can get pretty windy, this dress will keep me feeling secure as I know it be blowing all over the place…

My evening look screams passion and edgy style. To be honest, I’m a bit shy when it comes to slipping on a pair of leopard heels, but I’ve paired them with classy jewelry and so my look here is balanced.

Feel free to share your thoughts, and be sure to visit me at

La, la, la-love,

Rachael Lechliter
“Socialize with those that make your heart sing!”

Talk to me:
Twitter: @Rach_Lechliter

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Lisa’s Lush Lashes

Today was an interesting day for a number of reasons, but the main reason was that one of my beauty prayers has been answered.  As much as I am happy in my own skin, there is one little thing that has always bothered me…my eyelashes.  I have always felt that they do not look as long or as thick as they should.  Well the eyelash gods (who go by the names of Marci and Elke) have given me a solution to that problem.
Now normally I am a little sceptical about products that claim that they can change the way you look in one form or another.  But I had to humbly eat my words today when I was introduced to the wonder that is M2 LASHES.  This revolutionary product comes in two forms, EYELASH ACTIVATING SERUM and EYELASH REVITALIZING GLOSS.

The serum increases the length, thickness and strength of your lashes.  It is a combination of nutritional and active ingredients, one of which is used in ophthalmology (the branch of medicine concerned with the eye and its diseases).  It must be applied every evening, once the eye area has been thoroughly cleansed, to the base of the upper eyelids’ lash line (a brush applicator is provided).

Visible results are supposed to appear between six and eight weeks – maximum results are achieved by week 16.  So guess what I’ll be doing tonight…yes that’s right, applying my serum before bedtime.  The excitement at the prospect of lovelier, longer, luxurious lashes is seriously overwhelming.

The gloss works in unison with the serum to the growth, give lashes definition and a healthy shine.  It is very easy to use (a definite plus for me), and is to be applied morning and evening (from the base of the eyelash to the tip).  What’s even better is that the effects are immediate.  And just so you know ladies (and maybe gentlemen too), this is to be applied before you apply your regular mascara.

To prove that it works, I have decided that I will take weekly pics of my eyelashes, which I will post onto my blog, so you can see the effects.  I feel like a scientist in my lab conducting research…my sister (who is an ‘actual’ scientist - I have included the 'science-bit' for you below, Louise) would be so proud.

If you would also like to be the proud owners of perfect lashes, then M2 LASHES is available exclusively at Harrods, both in store and online


So in 16 weeks, I’m not going to be STYLISA, I am going to be Lisa Lashes…and I can’t wait!

Stay Stylish,


Additional Product Information
The key active complex MDN is a prostaglandin derivative, which in an alternative form is used in ophthalmology.  This modified and carefully dosed ingredient compound, stimulates eyelashes at their roots to increase the number of lashes whilst extending the growth phase and delaying lash loss.

·         Additional beneficial component :
Panthenol (vitamin B5) – dispenses moisture and promotes shine
·         Biotin (vitamin B7) – strengthens lashes and restricts the cycle of lash loss
·         Hyaluronic acid – keeps the lashes moisturised and healthy
·         Prodew 300 – absorbs and retains moisture
·         Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans (GAG) – retains moisture and provides the lashes with more elasticity and strength

Monday, 27 September 2010

STYLISA featured on Catwalk Genius

Read the latest STYLISA guest blog post on the Catwalk Genius blog (click on the logo below):-

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Wonderbra...Full Effect?

By Louise Maynard-Atem

Shakira hit the nail on the head when she sang ‘Lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don’t confuse them with mountains’...cue every woman with a modest clevage singing ‘Whenever, Wherever’ on karaoke night. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total advocate of small and humble...but every once in a while (usually a Friday or Saturday night) I’m in the mood for mountains, or at least decent sized hills! Now since neither brain nor budget will allow for plastic surgery, I usually go down the padded bra/chicken fillets route instead but with limited to non-existent success.

So, given my previous forays into the perilous waters of bust enhancement, I unwrapped the new Wonderbra Full Effect with measured scepticism. First thoughts; it certainly looks a little less threatening than other padded bras I've tried, and the fact that it's seamless means it won't show through my far so good.

Now to try it on! It really is incredible lightweight and after a few minutes of wearing it, I almost forget it’s there, that is until I look in the mirror...the difference is incredible! Not only have I gone up about 2 cup sizes in the blink of eye, but also you’d be hard pushed to guess that my new found ample bosom isn’t completely God given.

Now the scientist in me just couldn’t resist the urge to try and deconstruct this magical creation to see how such a natural look is a achieved. Turns out that the padding is made of a rather clever mix of foam, gel and wonder it’s so light, weighing in at a meagre 80 grams, and the novel fan shape of the padding is responsible for giving that ‘enhanced from every angle’ look.

Since I’m a huge fan of the racer back vest, the multiway straps will come in very handy.  Overall it’s incredibly comfortable, it will definitely give a natural looking ‘oomph’ to any outfit and gets 10/10 from me. Now all I need to do is take it out for a test drive on the town...I think my karaoke tune for tonight will be Shania Twain ‘Man...I Feel Like A Woman!

A massive thank you from myself (and my wardrobe) to the lovely ladies at Wonderbra for sending over this little miracle worker!

The Wonderbra Full Effect costs £28.00. It’s available in sizes 32 - 36 A, 32 - 38 B C, 30 - 38 D, and colours black & skin. Visit the Wonderbra website for stockists or to buy online -

As we say here at STYLISA headquarters...stay stylish!

STYLISA featured on Red Rover Style

Read our latest guest blog post for the lovely ladies at Red Rover Style, talking about the recent Fashion Night Out in London.  Click on the logo below to be taken the Red Rover Style.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Fashion Mode - London Fashion Week

The beautiful and imposing Freemasons Hall

Another day, another fashion show…and what a show it was.  Check out these pics from the Fashion's Mode's London Fashion Week showcase in conjunction with Vauxhall Fashion Scout.  The designer behind these fab creations is Carlotta Actis Barone:-

Until the next time...stay stylish!


Saturday, 18 September 2010

You can take the girl out of Manchester…and stick her in the middle of London Fashion Week

Well, I have now been in London for just over two weeks, and the excitement just grows and grows…and grows.  I knew that London was going to be fun, but I did not know that it was going to be THIS MUCH FUN.  And the best thing about it is that the fun is centred around my work in fashion, which is just the icing on the cake.

Anyway, back to the subject of fashion.  Yesterday saw the start of London Fashion Week (in my world, it is more commonly known as HAUTE HEAVEN WEEK).  Due to my hectic schedule (and plan for world domination via my work as a social media stylist), I was unable to make it to all the shows I was supposed to attend yesterday (so sorry guys).  However, one show that I did manage to get to was Once Upon A Time, in aid of Hauser Bears.  I got there early, which with the benefit of hindsight was good thinking, because by the time the show came to start, every seat in the house was taken.  Fabulous fashion blogger Leroy Dawkins (Twitter name @Clotheshorse90) arrived just in time for the start of the show, and we finally got to meet and chat after months of Twitter conversations…love it.  I was also thrilled to meet the lovely Tawi Jenyo from Stitching the Gap.

Just before the show...

The lovely Gail Porter opened the show, with her adorable daughter...

The lovely Gail Porter in a Hauser Bears T-shirt

And then it was lights down, catwalk, action.  David & Goliath who designed the Hauser Bears t-shirts came down the catwalk first.  Very quirky, cool and in aid of a good cause, so I will definitely be making an investment.

Next came NICHOLE de CARLE, whose lingerie was both beautiful and risqué.  Every girl who came down the catwalk looked amazing and what was great was the fact that the models looked healthy, rather than the usual skinny minnies.

Lovely Lingerie Ladies

Whilst I was watching this particular part of the show, a familiar face came and sat on the front row.  Monsieur Dawkins later informed me that it was none other than Adam Ant, who I must say had an air of Johnny Depp about him and was wearing a fabulous kilt…the reason behind his outfit was soon to become clear.

Adam Ant

At the end of the lingerie fest, all the girls came out…topless!  However, they did have their hands strategically placed over their chests, which looked great and was the perfect way to end this part of the show.  The designer then came out and took a bow, and in the words of Jay-Z, it was onto the next one.

Footage from the show...

Next came the English Kilt Company, which I loved…not only because the kilts were amazing in terms of design and quality, but the fact that two of the male models came out topless (and carried it off rather well).  I became so engrossed in my appreciation for their ‘look’ that I forgot to take pictures…sorry girls.  For me, they epitomised British fashion perfectly: stylish, quality, eccentric…I loved it.  And to top it off, Adam Ant appeared in his fab kilt, to massive cheers from the audience…very cool indeed!

The English Kilt Company

And now for my favourite part of the show…LOULOU BONTEMPS.  Firstly, I would like to congratulate Loulou and the designers for putting together a show that was the epitome of collaboration and was totally in-keeping with the theme of the show overall.  However I would like to reserve some of the congratulations for Loulou herself.  My reason for this is that I have been with Loulou (helping to style the outfits), whilst she has been organising the whole show, so I have seen first-hand what went into creating this particular segment of the show.

Loulou 'Beautiful' Bontemps

You would not believe the amount of work (and stress) that goes into putting together something that is literally, over in minutes.  To say she has worked hard, would be an understatement…and all of this has been achieved without the use of a mobile phone…quite a feat in this day and age of technology.  The clothes were designed by Peyrovi, Briar Rose, Murrin, and Sally Pang.  The accessories were created by Loulou, Still Remains, and Gemma Dane, and Elmstone.  Everything came together perfectly and the overall look was very wearable (which is not something you can often say about a catwalk collection).

Finally came, Florian Jayet, whose collection brought one word to mind…armour.  Once again, the pieces that came down the catwalk were very wearable and were in the classic colours black and white.  The structure and attention to detail was fantastic and each of the outfits looked as though they had been specially made to fit each model.  I also felt there was something artistic (almost graphically-inspired) about this collection.  There was minimalism injected with intricate attention to detail which I loved.  I would happily wear these pieces exactly as they are, direct from the catwalk.

Florian Jayet

Following on from the show, there was a fantastic after-party.  Everyone was mingling and networking, and generally enjoying themselves, which is always nice to see.  And then came the moment that I will remember for the rest of my life…meeting Jimmy Choo.  I overheard someone saying that he had arrived.  Everyone who knows STYLISA, knows how much STYLISA LOVES Jimmy Choo.  When I eventually found him, he was lovely, easy to talk to and very polite.  When I asked for a photograph, he was only too happy to say yes to my request.  I will treasure that picture and the moment forever.  I also managed to chat to Gail Porter after the show, who was simply delightful.


Gail Porter (and her adorable daughter)

All in all, the show was a major success.  And needless to say, I am very proud of my friend Loulou for pulling off a great show…and what’s even more brave, is that she is doing it all again on Tuesday 21st September – click on the following link for more details

And I would like to say a massive thank you to Jane Phelps of couture label JStreet, who made my dress and has made my other dresses that I will be wearing during fashion week - check out her blog and follow her on Twitter (@jstcouture).

Right, must dash! More shows to attend and world domination to plan!

Until the next time, stay stylish,