Benetton look

by Be-Blogger U.K. on: July 1st, 2011

I have a confession. I must have worn the exact style, the crochet knitted top and belt both from Benetton and grey marble effect jersey dress (minus the leopard print socks and shoes) for the past weeks, for the purpose of getting the look photographed for this blog post and failed miserably. Yesterday I succeeded, I literally begged my street style photographer friend who was feeling unwell on the day we met for (supposedly) dinner this evening, has taken some basic snap shots before she headed home. Impressionate.

Personally, I would ditch the flat shoes and settle with a pair of nude Mary Jane shoes. What do you think?

Thanks StyleEast for the outfit photos.

Kit Lee, Style Slicker


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 Blue Heatwave

by Be-Blogger U.K. on: June 4th, 2011

The weather this (Saturday) afternoon was a frustration one, the prickly heatwave has triggered both of my Sinusitis and Hayfever which usually trigger around the peak season of June and July… sounds chronic but today my mood affected my dress sense hence the awful weather.

I have selected a pair of Benetton loose fit denim shorts for today’s style challenge, I paired theshorts with a basic white t-shirt, a blue and white floral button up ruffled shirt, hem tied to the front (courtesy of Benetton), a white and silver flat studded belt and a pair of super comfortable patent leather brogues.

(Thanks Shini of Park & Cube for the outfit shots)


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 Style Challenge

by Be-Blogger U.K. on: May 28th, 2011

I’m setting up a style challenge throughout June to use one of  key pieces (pictured) from the Benetton and Sisley‘s Spring Summer collection, and to pair it with my own clothing in street style shots.  I really hope the Jekyll & Hyde weather in June will be kind to me as at the moment it is absolutely freezing.


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 Abundance of Florals

by Be-Blogger U.K. on: May 6th, 2011

Florals might not be to everyone’s taste but floral print is big this season I mean big, there’s no escape from it I tell you, mark my words you’ll love it.

This Benetton’s Spring Summer 2011 flower power ad campaign shot by Josh Olins, became an instant inspiration for my wardrobe and my mix and match floral print styling project which I had done for my personal blog not so long ago, I was lucky enough to borrow a rail full of press samples at my local PR to play dress up for my experimentation.

I experimented the looks by mixing various items together – blouse, tops, skirts, dress, even turning a bag as form of a hat and shirt twisted into a headpiece. The result? I went slightly overboard with the styling and it shows that mixing patterns can be fun as long as you know how to balance it in the right way. Would you wear it like this? I would.

You don’t have to go that far with the styling if it isn’t your cup of tea, you could simply wear a basic white t-shirt paired with a printed shirt buttons open and printed skirt whatever pleases you.

Go on… visit your nearest Benetton store and grab an armful of prints to play dress up in the changing room.

Photo 1: courtesy of Benetton.

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 Pretty Palazzo

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 30th, 2010

Sometimes, you have to pinch yourself a number of times when you find yourself in a surreal situation and as it happens, working in fashion, you just happen to encounter many surreal situations. Actually, correction, when you’re lucky enough to find yourself regularly going to shows, attending events and being thrusted into a certain sector of fashion, then you might keep pinching yourself until your cheeks are a bit bruised.

I didn’t need to pinch anything. Instead, I got bitten by droves of mosquitos in Florence where the S/S 11 Pitti Uomo and Woman show took place. Belgian designer Haider Ackermann was this season’s special guest for Pitti W.

The presentation of Haider Ackermann‘s womenswear precollection and S/S 11 menswear debut was held at the illustrious Palazzo Corsini on the river bank in Florence. The sun was just setting as we arrived and we then entered a palace that had this quality of decay, whilst being simultaneously well preserved. Here’s a pinch moment.

Then we saw this beautiful beautiful Baroque-style fountain in one of the chambers… another pinch moment.

We were then led into a long banquet room where a feast of seasonal fruits and wine had been laid out for us. People started decadently eating fruit, making merry and generally re-enacting a Bacchanalian feast. Cue another pinch moment where I felt like even this was a little bit too over the top.

The show was about to begin and we were in the central courtyard where the sky was just getting dark and so chandeliers were suspended in the middle to light the show. In the middle violinists and a surprise performance from model Jamie Bochart provided the soundtrack as we sat in antique chaise lounges and chairs. We were also being served champagne all the while. Is this as nauseating as it sounds when I type it?

The clothes themselves were as sumptuous as the location – a silk road journey of textiles woven and draped into a loose and easy traveller’s wardrobe for the men and beautifully revealing dresses for the women.

Oh, yes and more champagne at the end. Sometimes you have to keep pinching and NOT get used to events like this lest you one day get jaded at beautifully constructed shows with fruit feasts in Baroque palazzos…

All photos by G. Giannoni

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 Flourishing in Florence

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 23rd, 2010

This is my second time visiting the Pitti Uomo tradeshow in Florence. I already knew it was a hotbed of dapper menswear style, expressed through immaculate tailoring, subtle details and clever accessorising through blogs such as The Sartorialist, who has always championed the street style at Pitti Uomo.

I’m fully aware of the fact that I personally stick out like a sore thumb because a) I’m a girl, b) I’m not Italian and c) well.. just the fact that my clothes don’t fit in at all.

Case in point, I think I may have took it a step too far when I was going around interrogating well to do menswear brands with their subtle detailing and beautiful fabrics whilst wearing an outfit that someone has titled Sugar Sparkles – here I’m wearing a pleather top, an Emma Cook shirt, some Romance was Born tinsel gym shorts, H&M cycling shorts, my new Nicholas Kirkwood sandals, topped off with a printed Swash rucksack.

In contrast, here are the type of gentlemen that have been walking the grounds of Pitti.

All photos by Tommy Ton for GQ.

Oh well, a major FAIL in terms of trying to blend into the background.

But then you spot gentleman like this one here. I’m not sure what it is he does but he turns up on streestyle blogs quite regularly. I’m sure he gets tagged with eccentric, quirky and eclectic much like my style gets tagged with the same things. I love that he does write his own rules in terms of his style, putting his personality out there through his clothes whilst confining himself to the language that underwrites menswear. Unfortunately, womenswear doesn’t have those boundaries and thus you get crazed ensembles such as my tinsel short outing. Actually, why am I saying Unfortunately… – nay, I maintain that I love the boundary less quality of womenswear… and as menswear shows are beginning now in Milan and Paris, perhaps we see the boundaries being erased one by one anyway.

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 I Am Because We Are

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 17th, 2010

The World Cup has meant a massive spotlight and emphasis has been placed on South Africa but not necessarily on the sartorial treats that the country has to offer. I recently discovered the Smarteez DIY fashion crew from Soweto who go around expressing themselves through their outfits that quite often try and mix African textiles with contemporary dress. I’m wondering what this new generation of post-apartheid stylites are doing right now as World Cup mania has descended onto their country. I’m hoping they’re wearing suitably themed outfits fashioned out of flag colour fabrics…

Then we have this new collection from knitwear design collective The Inoue Brothers. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Japanese brothers Satoru and Kiyoshi Inoue have travelled the world and previously having worked with Andrean knits of Bolivia, they have now turned their attention to the township of Khayelitsha in South Africa. Working with beading ladies they have transferred this craft to organic hemp material t-shirts, making pieces that are 100% made in and around Capetown.

The Inoue Brothers have collaborated with South African music collective Gazelle on the art direction and photography of these look book images that really convey the fun sense of the collection as well as the more serious and earnest intentions of the collection…

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 England vs. USA?

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 14th, 2010

I’m watching this as we type and as it stands the score of the first group match between England and USA stands at 1:1. I have zero interest in the final result of the match or whether England progresses beyond the group stages. I’m not even that aware of the supposed anti-Brit feeling that some people are feeling in lieu of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

In the spirit of all things shallow, I’m more interested in playing off fashion graduates in these games of patriotism. Graduate Fashion Week has just finished up in London. It’s an event where schools across the country come together to show their latest crop of fashion design students in a week of shows, exhibitions and portfolio displays.

The aforementioned battle was played out between Sara Wadsworth of Central Lancashire University and Lucinda Ailes of UCA Epsom. Wadsworth turned to iconic places of London like Big Ben and the Millennium Eye as well as the Union Jack for inspiration for her prints. No sign of red, blue and white though as the colours were kept quite neutral which makes things a whole lot subtler.

Ailes created a collection where those familiar stars and stripes were also subtly worked into outfits with chunky knitwear in subdued greys, ending though with a statement coat that is the flag all over.

Unlike a football match though, there is no clear winner. Aesthetics are of course highly subjective and instead, I’m happy just to observe these thematic allegiances that some of the students have chosen to take.

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 Different Settings

by United Blogs of Benetton on: May 23rd, 2010

Show Me Your Wardrobe touched on the different codes of being stylish in varying cities and I’ve recently been thinking about the same. Except by even going an hour or two outside of London, already, I have to re-assess what I’m wearing which technically means, my style could be changing as I physically move outside of the M25 (the border motorway that surrounds London).

Very often I have to go to a little sleepy place called Westgate in Kent where there isn’t much going on apart from pretty beaches and elderly people taking their dogs on very slow walks. There, I feel compelled to keep it fairly simple; all the layers are shed and I just reduce it down to a pretty dress with some sensible shoes. I’m rewarded when the old folks comment “Well, that’s a pretty frock!”.

Recently I was in the countryside in New Forest in a pretty village called Brockenhurst where wild ponies ran and everything was very green. So I too ‘countrified’ my outfits for the occasion. Bring on the cliches of bourgeois country dressing…. tweed, riding boots, lady like scarves… the star here is of course the New Forest pony in the background

Moving further afield to New York where the ‘It’s My Time’ casting shoot took place, given that I ended up staying a bit longer due to the volcanic ash incident, my wardrobe ended up being rather limited and influenced by the slightly more ‘laid back’ and ‘slick’ spirit of the city, I opted for letting pieces like these Loewe leather trousers and vintage shades do the talking…

That said, with all of this environment and adaption to surroundings, I would still maintain that all of these are facets of my style. To be boxed into one specific genre or style is something that severely depresses me and it actually throws up pleasing new challenges to go to a different place to tweak your style. Afterall, I have plenty of time in my home city London where I can go in whatever direction I wish so some constraints outside of the city are sometimes, more than welcome…

Does your style change as you travel the world or move about within your own country?

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 Winner’s Glee

by United Blogs of Benetton on: April 16th, 2010

Susanna Lau, from New YorkIt is in person that all 20 winners from all over the world properly shine and come fully alive, demonstrating why they were chosen as the winners.

At the beautiful Boom Boom Room at The Standard Hotel overlooking Manhattan, it was clear that the twenty winners had already done a good job of bonding and I think I may have spied an ongoing afterparty after the official event ended.

At the party where plenty of bubbles mixed with bubbly personalities, I quickly honed in on the UK winners. Soraya who lives in London but is half-Ghanian and half-Jamaican was showing some fashion chops with a Margiela-esque black shoulder padded dress and couldn’t contain her excitement over the impending shoot. Her upbringing is reflected in her personal style; “I usually have a lot of African clothes and when I go back home (Ghana) I have stuff custom made. I also mix and match African jewellery with more basic pieces. It’s a bit of London influence and things from Ghana too,” explains Soraya.

Francis also from the UK, also has a distinctive look that comes from being half-Chinese, half-English said friends always pointed out that he should be a Benetton model, which just proves just how iconic the brand’s use of diverse models has become. Francis has recently just quit his waiting job to concentrate on making music despite the financial instability. I salute his braveness.

I also caught bubbly Elizabeth from Hong Kong (also my original hometown…) who captured the colourful spirit of her profile with her dress. Last minute thoughts on being shot by Josh Olins? “I’m so nervous and I feel like such an amateur because his work is so amazing! But you know how they say you should seize the day, so tomorrow I’m just going to be really energised.”

Let the energy roll in at the shoot…

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