StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Romance

Easter weekend in Manhattan was a bright and sunny affair – we’re still edging into spring but the temperature on Sunday was quite glorious.  I spent the afternoon in Central Park with a friend and I also caught up on the collections I’m dying to wear this summer.  Petiole is one of these.  I wrote about them back in January – timeless, wearable and romantic garments that make an easy transition from day into night.  For spring 2012 the label have introduced a lovely colour palette of lavender, grass-green, mango and neutrals for their collection of dresses and skirts, shorts and rompers:

My favourite pieces from Petiole are undoubtedly the silk dresses.  They have a wonderful feel on the skin and lovely movement – Petiole use crepe de chine and reverse charmeuse, the latter is often used for lingerie.

Romantic dresses such as these require romantic hair.  I was lucky to work with hair stylist Ashley Maybruck for this shoot, who I met after seeing her styling within the September fashion week presentation for designer Morgan Carper.  Along with styling my hair we talked about hair trends for summer 2012 and Ashley gave me her insider knowledge on curls.  She also provided some tips and hints on how to recreate different looks – her thoughts are below….

Trend #1: Zooey Deschanel Early 60’s look: She is beyond popular right now with her hit TV show New Girl and with her quirky sense of humor and indie retro look this hair style is sure to be popular. I know several people who have gotten bangs because they wanted to achieve this.

How to achieve:
1) let your hair dry naturally and add just a few curls here and there to add texture. Take a 1″ curling iron (the barrel works best at this size) and curl pieces about 1/2 ” – 1″ thick.
3) then use a light spray such as Oribe Superfine Hairspray or for those who are budget conscious try Sebastian Zero Gravity
 Note: For fine hair, before step two use a volumizing product such as Oribe Volumista Mist or Big Sexy Hair So Pumped Volumizing Mist
Trend #2: Shoulder Length Beach Curls: Like Ashley Benson with her look at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards, this is also very easy to achieve and is my personal favorite look this season!
 How to achieve:
1) To damp hair add a small amount of mousse such as Tresemme Mousse
2) Blow dry with a brush
3) Take a small section of hair and place the ends at the base of your large curling iron barrel and then wrap the hair up around the barrel until you reach your mid-lengths. Hold the hair for five to 10 seconds and then release the hair by unwinding the strands backwards
4) Style the tips with styling wax such as Eufora Styling Wax or Bumble and Bumble Styling Wax.
5) Sleek down with some shine spray like Redken Shine Spray or with a light hairspray
Trend #3: Long Hair with Romantic Curls: I truly think long hair is going to be the leader next to the Zooey Deschanel look.
 How to achieve:
1) I find it best to let the hair dry naturally to get a slight bounce to the hair
2) With a 1″ curling iron barrel take 1/2″ – 1″ sections of hair and curl backwards (away from the face)
3) Again apply styling wax to the ends, spray down with Shine Spray and finish with a light hairspray.
Some of my other favorite products and tools to use to achieve these looks are:
Babyliss Clipless Tapered Curling IronRusk Shine Spray and TIGI Wax Stick (perfect for fly aways!)

If you would like to find out more about Ashley and her services, visit her website here.  Will you be wearing curls this summer, Blog Reader?

Stuck In The Midi With You

Midi length skirts and dresses were all over the catwalks at the end of 2011 and I’m not giving them up for 2012.  Length wise “midi” seems to cover anything from just below the knee to mid calf, like this gorgeous silk tank dress by Petiole, a new label obsession of mine.  There is something very polished about the midi dress and I love the versatility it allows should you choose to wear it with either boots, heels or flats – all equally chic looks.

I understand that the midi length was first embraced in the 1940s, an era synonymous with much grace, elegance and understatement.  Looking back to the 1970s, this was another time during which the midi (briefly) resurfaced. Apart from that and well, school-skirt-lengths (at least in sleepy Lincolnshire, UK, when skirts were visually measured by teachers for ‘appropriate’ midi length and woe betide you if your skirt came a millimetre above the knee -yes, we all remember your skirt-related-wrath Ms Hopkinson…) I feel it’s only recently that these styles are back in the limelight. Mad about the midi like me?  Read this article on the history of the length here.  Refinery 29 also ran a great feature on how to wear midi skirts like a pro – you can read this here.

Photography: Lydia Hudgens.  Hair styling by Ashley Maybruck – you will read about this lovely lady on my blog next week as she has given me some amazing tips on hair trends for this year.

Back to my outfit – I wrote a feature on the lovely ladies behind Petiole for my weekly Lookbooks column and my love for their designs is growing.  Their clothing makes an easy transition from day to night and can be dressed up or dressed down.  Petiole’s fall 2011 collection is a mix of deceptively minimal designs: silk dresses, shorts and tees and even a very chic onesie.

I’m mixing Petiole’s army green silk tank dress with some gold colours here – cinching in the waist with my ASOS belt and wearing a necklace from one of my favourite New York jewellery designers Jewel Lee. I met Jewel at last year’s Capsule show, a brilliant showcase for new and emerging design talent.  Jewel creates hand made pieces for her label Jubilee Riot that are architecturally themed and modern space-age in look.  I’ll be doing a full blog post on Jewel’s designs over the coming weeks so watch this space.

Wearing: dress by Petiole New York; belt by ASOS; heels by Sigerson Morrison; Sirus B necklace by Jubilee Riot.

Now give it up, Blog Reader.  Where’s your skirt length at??*

*Boys, please do participate, it’s Burn’s Night next week so if you have a kilt jump right on in.  That means you, my male fashion correspondent Callum.