2016 #RomaFF11


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Maria Grazia Chiuri: The what’s what on Dior’s new Artistic Director

Maria-Grazia-Chiuri1 Photo VS Magazine

Mikael Jansson Maria Grazia

Maria Grazia Chiuri became the first woman to fill the shoes of Christian Dior’s Artistic Director in the brand’s 70 year history. Which means breaking up one of the industry’s most formidable design duos for almost 30 years. Maria has worked alongside fellow Italian designer Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino since 1999, where they became co-creative directors in 2008. The pair started out in the accessories department at Fendi together in 1989 after attending the Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome. This means that Dior will be her first ever solo gig.

Becoming the first woman to lead the brand is probably one of the most influential positions in fashion and what better woman to do it, having been credited with breathing new life into Valentino as a modern couture house and quadrupling their sales. The scale of operations at Dior is mega and Maria will be a dab hand at doing the six womenswear collections that the brand produces each year.


Maria’s best moments

Beautiful embroidered dresses are her trademark. The daughter of a dressmaker, and with a background in couture, she’ll have no trouble delivering dream dresses for Dior.

Valentino Fall 2016 – ready to wear

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Red carpet dream dresses

Maria’s work at Valentino made the brand a favourite of Keira Knightley, Katy Perry, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kirsten Dunst. Dior, meanwhile, is known for dressing Marion Cotillard and Emma Watson amongst many, so they will be in good hands when it comes to wanting their next dress.

The Met Gala 2015


Photo: Getty Images

Artist collaborations

At Valentino, she has collaborated with many artists, which will go down well with Dior who does too, such as their work with British artist Marc Quinn.

Maria asked performance artist Vanessa Beecroft to stage the pre-fall ‘Untitled Rockstud’ collection, with a cast of 25 men and women, included actress Emily Mortimer, as well as models scouted through a street casting. Their ‘human formation’ was staged in April at the New York Academy of Art, and filmed and again in the autumn, at the Palazzo Mignanelli, by the Piazza di Spagna.


She said, “Asking Vanessa to interpret this idea of ours was almost automatic: no one better than her, with an extremely strong and contemporary approach is able to merge, through her art, the concepts of beauty, reality, perfection and uniqueness/diversity. In her performance, different individuals, clothed in ‘uniform’ items, come together in a shared moment that is lived singularly portraying their personal beauty belief.”

The show must go on

Dior has been without a creative director since Raf Simons left in October, citing the pressure of producing multiple collections a year for a brand of Dior’s scale. Maria’s transition from Valentino to Dior is big news for the fashion industry. She will certainly be no stranger to the pressure, having been at Valentino with Pierpaolo Piccioli since 2008. The pair started as accessories designers for the Italian house when Mr. Valentino was still at the top. Starting with eyewear and handbags and eventually taking over the full accessories gamut, the duo developed a parade of must-have items.

Despite a large female client base, the fashion industry is run by men. So this is brilliant news for women, whilst marking the end of an era for Grazia Chiuri and Piccioli, with whom she’s been working since 1989, and the beginning of a new dawn for Dior.

Published July 2016 @ 5 Forecastore Fashion

Photo 2: Mikael Jansson


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Made In Moscow


In Moscow, the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia (MBFWR) witnesses more and more designers designing with the Moscow textile industry in mind. Vogue Italia design scout Sara Maino, who discovers talent around the world, was invited to talk at the event and encouraged designers to embrace their culture in their designs.

More than that, modern designers are descendants of the abstract geometry of revolutionary Russian artists like Kazimir Malevich and WassilyKandinsky. Their masterpieces, whether dream like colourful Cubist paintings or out of this world Expressionism, were a metamorphosis from the drab grey concrete of soviet Russia and today’s leading fashion designers continue to be influenced by the mark these painters left on the world.

A Moscow mix and match theme is bestowing the catwalk and has been for a while and have “popular” and folk subjects seen through a “urban” filter, see Coexist Mega trend for next Fall Winter 2017-18 season.

In Moscow, the exhibition ‘The Age of Influence: Contemporary Fashion Inspired by Russian Avant-Garde’ at the Jewish Museum Centre, begins on the June 30th and looks at exactly this topic.

Kandinsky and the catwalk

Kandinsky’s work was considered a bit too individualistic for his day. Which is exactly what we want walking down the catwalk today, in 2016. In 1918, dealing with the cultural politics of Russia, he decided to devote his time to art education, museum reform, and helped form the Institute of Artistic Culture in Moscow. His biomorphic forms are very much ‘of the mo’.

Designers to watch

A designer who embodies this is Anton Belinskiy, who is known for an eclectic mix of fabrics and textures as well as colour-blocking. Born in Kiev, the 2015 LVMH semi finalist’s works are worn by Avant-Garde fashion lovers. Amongst his major sources of inspiration are contemporary street wear and Ukrainian cultural traditions, which he carefully explored throughout his trips to the country’s regions and other places worldwide.­

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In May, for Mothers day, Vogue discussed the devoted matriarchs of Russia, who made a big effort to dress their children in beautiful clothes. For example, Brooklyn based Moscow textile designer, Olya Thompson, who prefers a more Russian folklore-inspired stylefor her bambini.

Photo: Gueorgui Pinkhassov

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Digitally, there is the popular Instagram turned site @DochkiMateri, which translates as “daughters, mothers” and celebrates stylish moms and their children. Miroslava Duma, Perminova, and Thompson have all made appearances. Ekaterina Mukhina, the site’s creator and former fashion director of Russian Vogue, was inspired to start the project by her own experiences growing up in the USSR. “In the Soviet Union, there was nothing, but women made themselves beautiful clothes by hand. They tried to be perfect,” she says. “Every day my grandmother would put a new collar that she made by hand on my school uniform.”

In Britain, Fashion East is a pioneering non-profit initiative established by the Old Truman Brewery in the East End of London, established 16 years ago, to nurture emerging young designers. Some of their designer success stories are menswear designer Gosha Rubchinskiy’s, whose designs are available at Dover Street Market. And, Roksanda Ilincic, as worn by Kate Middleton, for the Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday.


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Gosha Rubchinskiy FW15

“The sun melts all of Moscow down to a single spot that, like a mad tuba, starts all of the heart and all of the soul vibrating. But no, this uniformity of red is not the most beautiful hour. It is only the final chord of a symphony that takes every color to the zenith of life that, like the fortissimo of a great orchestra, is both compelled and allowed by Moscow to ring out”.

Wassily Kandinsky

Published May 2016 at 5Forecastore Fashion

Photo 1 by Alex Finch


First female mayor of Rome in 3000 years


Virginia Raggi made history today by becoming the first ever female mayor of Rome in 3000 years.

The 37-year-old lawyer and former member of Rome’s city council has emerged as the favourite. She says: “Our vision is of a city that is liveable, first of all, which it is not at the moment, for all the Romans who live here and the tourists who … find themselves in front of a city that is devastated and very difficult.”

What are the three things that she wants to focus on?
Mobility (buses), transparency, and rubbish collection.

More than this, she will be one step towards ending the misogyny in Italian politics. Ex Prime Minister Berlosconi once said that “A mother cannot be mayor.” Thankfully, that view is past tense.

This is brilliant news for Rome.


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Military Mix & Match


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The military look is timeless, traditional and trendy, and the Autumn Winter 2016 designs will make you want to march down a boulevard wearing a marine blazer and red lips.

Mix and match and browse your local military army surplus store, which just became a walk in wardrobe of sorts. Because brass buttons, rope trims, strong shoulders, sturdy starched fabrics and military lapels are hot stuff this winter.

This look can be as bold as you want it to be, with oversized belts, buttons, and a backpack for your surplus beauty items. And, everyday military diva is as simple as a dark green trench coat and a pair of aviators, made even more elegant with a sassy tote in tow. The brilliant thing about the military look is it’s versatility.

Where did it all begin:

Make up and wardrobe had a patriotic edge during World War II. Women took to wearing government issued trench coats as everyday outerwear and they became trend setters in doing so. Britain became a nation in uniform as fashion embodied the war. The impact of which, can still be seen on today’s runways. This winter, military is all the rage, worn over blouses, dapper trousers, and metallic sparkly dresses, it’s the perfect tailored equation.

Mix and match military:

These are a few of our favourite military moments for A/W 2016.

Burberry Marni Prada

The Prada corseted military jacket is on another level of sexy, and they teamed it with a white sailors hat, sealing the deal.

Burberry’s belted dark green woolen coat with big gold buttons, which almost take on a badge form, works beautifully against the red trim details on the collar. The red brings a diverse dimension to the garment, toning it down and making it more wearable as a mix and match piece.

Marni have designed a wool jacket with an oversized pocket and matching belt, which is sophistication sorted for those who are looking to go to the front line of fashion, this autumn.

Maison Margella’s mid length military regalia over metallic evening wear and bold make up is a step in the right direction.

maison margella 9

And, D&G did not let the team down. They have merged military and Disney together, as they do the Nutcracker toy soldier tailcoat, buttoned up and beautiful, as part of their dreamy Disney inspired fairy tale collection.

D&G nutcracker

Zuhair Murai’s big buttoned waistcoats would be military vamp worn with black leather trousers.

Don’t want to wait till the winter? Marc Jacobs Spring Summer 2016 blue and white sailor jackets are all the ticket, as are his denim jackets and coats with a patriotic edge and American badge details.

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The what’s what in your military kit:

Photo by Rolland Bello Roland Bello

Trench coats


Cargo pants

Bombers jackets

Biker boots

Bronzer: the more the merrier


Ray Bans



Why do we love the military trend:


Never goes out of date

Flattering for every age shape and size

Versatile and can be dressed up or down

Do camouflage make up:

Macs Sumptuous Olive green eye shadow is a sultry option for a smoky khaki eye. Fab with a white t shirt, camouflage jacket and some faded jeans on a weekend.

Mac Sumptuous Olive


Marc Jacobs snapshot colour block camera bags with stripey straps are bang on target, for this trend.

marc jacobs military bag snapshot colourblock bag

Vintage military

Scour the local thrift stores and scan your grandparents closets for army, navy, blacks and and greys, as these are as much a part of the equation as khaki. Teamed with a pencil skirt, this is big business for Winter 2016.

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Wear with green nail varnish. Essie’s ‘Fall in Line’ is a must, according to the brand, this serpentine green whispers, “whatever I say, goes.” Match this with distressed brown leather bags and a high collar or uptight lapel, and you are in military mojo mode.

Published May 2016 at 5Forecastore Fashion

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Bello Magazine: Lady in Red



For Spring Summer 2016, it’s all about red blossoms and red wine. Whether it be Bourganvillea, Bordeaux or Burgundy. The colour of love, passion and power gets us in the mood this spring/summer 2016.

Red is a big theme, used as the backdrop of beautiful prints, as seen on the catwalks of Gucci, Dolce&Gabanna, Boglioli and Max Mara.

D&G’s rose print Bellucci pumps, or red Sicily bag, are totally great worn with jeans and a white T, for May cocktails. And, their rose print brocade trousers, a versatile mix and match item, which will see you through til fall.

Boglioli teamed red men’s suits or coral trousers with salmon pink shirts. Whilst elsewhere blouses were made bold with majestic blooms as unisex items that transcend gender norms. It is all about the emotions that red brings.

Red brings tradition and modernity together and will be in the wardrobe, one way or another. Red T’s brighten up denim and red tailoring brings a twist of ruby dazzle into the day. Worn alone as monochrome, matched with black or white, or merged with an electric blue or bright green, it’s a double dose of bright this season.

The beauty of red is that it can be as feminine or lady danger as you want it to be.

Red was worn by Miss Wintour herself at New York Fashion Week 2016, who was seen in a beautiful red woolen Maison Margiela dress. Make up wise, models wore red lips on every runway show. Not so much coral, but more blood red orange, magenta, and rusty red. Ruby Woo means business.

Red mood board

Fiesta, Campari, red brings excitement and energy, a blushing cheek or a budding flower, are bang on trend. Mixed with the calming, softer nature of this season’s palette, colours such as Rose Quartz and Peach are in for the Spring.

#spring #summer #red #trend

Roses are red, violets are blue. We bet these would look good on you:


Benefit Benetint

Dior Rouge 999 nail varnish

dior 999

Christian Louboutin nail varnish Colour: Very Prive

Chrisitan Louboutin red prive nails

Did you know that the idea for his iconic trademark red sole was born from red nail polish. His beauty range is made up of blacks, intense blues, dark browns and greens. The bottles are beautiful, inspired by architecture, namely classical balustrades found in European buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries.


Marni calfskin belt with wooden buckle

470 Dollars

 Marni belt wooden buckle

Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best red lipstick of them all:

Monogrammed mirror


38 Dollars

Henry Bendel

Marni Mini Trunk Bag

marni mini trunk

960 Dollars


D&G Red Sicily Bag

d and g red bag

2,895 Dollars

D&G Dauphine Bag

D&G Dauphine bag red

1, 995 Dollars

D&G Poppy print red silk scarf

D&G Poppy Print scarf

The new Dolce and Gabanna collection is inspired by the colours and forms of Sicilian summer.

445 dollars

MAC Ruby Woo lipstick



A red classic


Tilbury Rex Vixen

Charlotte Tilbury red vixen


Lois Pink Leather Sandals (1)

Bionda Castana & LK Bennet range. These shoes were made for walking! Exclusive limited edition ‘Jerry’ raspberry suede heels with delicate laces.

595 Dollars

Lois raspberry leather sandals, same range

Marchesa Dress

Marchesa red dress

Cocktail dress with embroidered flowers.

6,000 dollars

Published in Bello Magazine, Issue #116 April 2016


Theatre exhibition @ the V&A

Don’t miss the brilliant exhibition ‘Curtain Up’ at the V&A on until August 31st 2016.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the Olivier Awards, the exhibit explores the extraordinary story of the world’s two greatest theatrical cities, London’s West End and New York’s Broadway.

Make up, musicals and set design galore.

Theatre buffs, it’s a must.#exhibitions #theatre #design

photo 3 (1)    photo 2 (3)

theatre 8 exh



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Bello Magazine: Bulgari’s Dynasty of Diamonds

Words by Nicola Ferlei-Brown

Bulgari’s designs are much about the magical city of Rome. Which is why the designer debuted an exhibition about it’s main muse, ‘Bulgari & Rome: Eternal Inspiration’, at their New York store, with 40 timeless pieces that directly reference Italian monuments. In fact, it was behind the Spanish steps, on Via Sistina, that the founder of the brand, Sotirio Bulgari, first established his business, in the 1800’s.

More than that, Bulgari are donating €1.5 million Euros to renovate the Spanish steps, the 18th-century Baroque-style stairway, which merges the church of the Trinità dei Monti and Piazza di Spagna. Expected to be finished by Spring 2016, the steps will be “restored to the whole world in all their beauty and splendour,” Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said.

It was in Rome, that Richard Burton bought gift after gift for Elizabeth Taylor, while the two were shooting the 1963 film Cleopatra in the city. The exhibition includes a cigarette case, covered in ancient Roman coins, which the couple presented to the films Director, Joseph Mankiewicz, and his wife, Rosemary Matthews. It reads, ‘To Our Favorite Producer and Wife / Lest we forget the glamour of it all / All Love / Elizabeth & Rich’, explains Daniel Paltridge, the North America president of Bulgari. 

“Rome has always been the number one source of inspiration for Bulgari so it is right to give back to Rome what Rome has given Bulgari,” the jeweller’s CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said as work began.

Diamonds and decadence

bulgari 94  bulgari m900

bulgari 8   bulgari

The Monete collection, introduced in the 1960s, is set with ancient Roman and Greek coins. “Incorporating forms of currency into the designs speaks not only to Bulgari’s heritage, but also its experimentation with materials,” adds Boscaini, the head of the brand’s archives in Rome.

Bramante’s staircase of the Vatican Museum becomes a bracelet

vatican-museum bulgari  bulg 886

A gold necklace and earrings from 1992 inspired by the Pantheon


Below: Bold bib necklace with different colour sapphires and diamonds arranged in a pattern reminiscent of the basalt pavement of the Appian Way – 2005

101615-bulgari-6 Appian way.jpg

A ring inspired by domes in Piazza del Popolo

immagine-10-Bvulgari-ring-with-natural-pearl   Bulgari 000

Floral fantasy

Bulgari’s latest collection is inspired by Italian Renaissance gardens, such as the Villa Borghese, on their doorstep, with flora and fauna in mind, by the exquisite Italian design team.

The eternal dialogue between art and nature is embodied in majestic jewels and extraordinary watches.

Domus and divas

In Rome, the Bulgari store has also created a display named Domvs, boasting the story of the Brand and of its stylistic evolution, and displays images and belongings of the unforgettable divas whose extraordinary charm was celebrated by Bulgari creations: Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani, Ingrid Bergman, Anita Ekberg, Gina Lollobrigida and many others, located on the first floor of the historic store in Via Condotti 10.

Domus, which means house in Latin, is a space for Bulgari admirers, who wish to immerse themselves in its world, experiencing the decadence of the skilled craftsmanship and 130 years of its history. They will also hold cultural events, performances, and private exhibitions of works of art. 


There is a trend at the moment, for the private sector to help restore UNESCO monuments in Rome, which began 3 years ago with luxury shoemaker Tod’s financing restoration works at the Colosseum. Fendi followed suit by refurbishing the Trevi Fountain, and Bulgari the Spanish steps. ”No other country has the fusion between style and fashion”, boasts Beppe Modenese, Italy’s Minister of Elegance.

It’s brilliant that big-wigs in the fashion industry are making sure that La Dolce Vita doesn’t decay and disappear. Which means, if you buy a bit of Bulgari, you are also helping Rome. 

For more details on Bulgari’s DOMVS space, which is exclusive  and accessible by appointment only, contact:

DOMVScondotti.visits@bulgari.com or +39 06 688101

Published in Bello Magazine, Issue #99, December 2015




Shoes glorious shoes

From Sarah Jessica Parker to Cinderella, the V&A’s Shoes:Pleasure and Pain exhibit looks at how shoes and the occasional gold leaf stitching have elevated la status of ladies since the socialite goddess Aphrodite reclined in an ancient form of stiletto.

A special lecture, ‘Shoes: Culture and Innovation’, was held on Friday, 20th Nov 2015, with guest speakers Helen Persson, the curator of the exhibit, and Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum, looking at the sexualisation and the status of the shoe throughout history. Here are some of the highlights.

‘One shoe can change your life.’


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Heels designed by Edward Rayne using Wedgwood jasper porcelain decorated with Greek and Roman motifs.

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Laurence Olivier’s shoe moulds and interesting sketches by genius shoe makers outlining genius feet.

Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Manolo Blahnik, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, all feature in the shoe exhibit, along with a film featuring interviews with five designers: Sandro Choi, the creative director of Jimmy Choo, Caroline Groves, Louboutin, Blahnik and Marc Hare.

The layout is a sort of goodie box of jewel encrusted stilettos and an allsorts of shoe history, on the ground floor, followed by a laboratory of leather and heels, on the first floor, with collectors suitcases full of sought after strappys and sandals.

A historical focus on lotus shoes made for bound feet, add a contrast to the layout, alongside silk mules whose sole purpose was to lift silk skirts above old cobblestones, are exhibited beside Victorian velvet carriage boots and red ballet shoes.


These boots were made for walking. Or where they. Shoes were once solely for posing in, and a sign of freedom in ancient times. Socialite goddess Aphrodite, was shown in art wearing heels and the allure of height has always been considered something to ‘rise to’. In ancient Greek and Roman times, noble ladies wore elevated footwear, as a sign of respected femininity.

Status and seduction

Impractical shoes have been worn to represent leisurely lifestyles, such as Carriage boots, to get a lady from ‘house to carriage’, unsuitable materials for  strolling around in the rain. Shoes always dictate how we are seen and heard. A stiletto looks and sounds seductive, and like feet, shoes can be an object of fetishism.

Sexuality and sensuality are addressed, in the sense that shoes can be an expression of sexual empowerment or a passive source of pleasure. High Japanese geta, extreme heels and laced leather boots are an example of this, as well as highest of high heel styles seen in mainstream fashion in recent years.

Shoes obviously have a strong effect on how we hold ourselves, literally. A film shows a woman at home strutting around in different shoes, and how her walk and mood are affected. Her gait transforms and strut somewhat more assured in the red Louboutin heels, a stark contrast to her light, fanciful steps in the white ballet pumps.

Helen Persson, the exhibition curator says: “Shoes can help project an image of who we want to be.”

Shoes as art


Christian Louboutin’s limited edition ‘Marie Antoinette’ shoes, hand stitched by Francoise Lesage.  One of only 36 pairs, available in a soft pink, canary yellow, or a bright azure blue.



No shoes exhibit would be acceptable without a special Carrie Bradshaw hello. It was Sarah Jessica Parker who introduced Manolo Blahnik to the HBO series wardrobe team.

Some Sex & the City shoes quotes:

“I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!”

“The fact is, sometimes it’s hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then – to make the walk a little more fun.”

“I’m not afraid of heights. Have you seen my shoes?”



Beautiful, sculptural objects, shoes are powerful indicators of gender, taste, identity and even sexual preference. Our choice in shoes can be aspirational, even fantastical. Inspired by the Disney fairytale Cinderella, Swarovski designed this special crystal shoe.

Dorothy’s red ruby slippers obviously must get a special mention. Whether it be the glass slippers, or the red ruby slipper, shoes have a special way of creating a wish come true. Or, an idea that shoes can transport someone from one reality to another. All you have to do is follow the yellow brick road. Just don’t ruin your Louboutin heels on the cobblestones.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

Sponsored by Clarks and supported by by Agent Provocateur.


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Make up Maximum


Max Factor has announced a collaboration with the latest Star Wars film, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Watch this space!

Posted in BEAUTY, FASHION | 2 Comments