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WHEN I saw these new images from cosmetics brand Illamasqua at Selfridges, I knew I had to share them with you; they are simply stunning.

They are part of the new Autumn Winter collection from this dramatic brand, and really exemplify the darker, bolder side of contemporary cosmetics.

I’m a big fan of Illamasqua – they are quite unlike any other cosmetics brand I know. Edgy, provocative and daring, the night-time products they create appeal to the counter-cultural woman – this is the direct opposite of “barely there”. And as we in the Northwest head into Pride weekend, I imagine quite a few drag queens will be lashing on these stunning products to amazing effect.

Illamasqua has created a series of characters to show off their new season range, from Mistress of Ceremonies, through Dark Angel Reaper, to the Queen of the Gypsies, devouring a juicy pomegranate like some latter day Persephone…

I think you’ll agree the characters are breath-taking – and not a little bit inspiring.

If you have a devil lurking inside you, this range could well be the one to drag her out. Enjoy.

JUICY: Queen of Gypsies

FAB: Queen of Gypsies


AVATARISTIC! Mistress of Ceremonies

* YOU can find Illamasqua on the ground floor of Selfridges, just enter via the Main Dome and look to your left. The Art of Darkness collection is released on September 16th. Watch the Illamasqua blog for more images as they are released.

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Take a look at our latest Summer Style video, currently playing on the Big Screen in the Orient. There’s some great ideas for relaxed weekend wear – perfect for this Bank Holiday weekend!

Which look is you?

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FASHION AT THE TRAFFORD CENTRE

SUMMER LOVING: Fashion from The Trafford Centre.

We’ve been poring over the latest images from our superb Spring Summer Fashion Shows last weekend – and with the sun peeking through the clouds today it has really got us in the mood for summer!

Lots of shoppers enjoyed the lively shows in the Orient, as we displayed pieces from retailers like Calvin Klein, Zara, Bench and Karen Millen.

You can take a look at the online galleries here, and see what summer trends you’ll be buying into.

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MASTERCLASS: At The Beauty Theatre.

THE fantastic miniature theatre we’ve created on the Malls had a very special premiere this week – with the help of some eager students from Warrington.

The class of eleven media make-up students were the first people to experience The Beauty Theatre, there to learn tricks of the trade from uber-cool cosmetics house Illamasqua.

Illamasqua come from a very theatrical background – its roots lie in club culture, and the alternative scene. This means Illamasqua make-up is brighter, bolder and a little more outrageous than other labels – and the perfect product to show make-up students how dramatic they can be.

Phillip, the talented artist from the Illamasqua counter at Selfridges, gave a great masterclass in the application of different colours and styles.

The course tutor Debbey told me afterwards the presentation was ‘inspirational” – which is exactly what Illamasqua aim for.

So if you fancy some top tips for creating a wow look, pop to the Illamasqua concession on the lower level of Selfridges – you’ll never look at make-up in the same way again.

YOU can check out my press release on this story here.

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Well, we’re all fashioned-out this week after the fantastic success of this year’s VIP Fashion Show, which took place on a catwalk in The Orient area of The Trafford Centre.

DANCER: Dressed by Clavin Klein Jeans.

DANCER: Dressed by Clavin Klein Jeans.

 

The “Denim and Diamonds” event aimed to raise much needed cash for our chosen charity The New Children’s Hospital Appeal – as well as inspiring fashionistas from all over the North to indulge in a little of the denim and sparkles trend that has swept the High Street.

I designed a ‘Diamond’ cocktail for the event – and we even had some dinky little drinks stirrers made with our Denim and Diamonds logo printed on – many of which went missing as people took them for souvenirs of their evening!

There was also music and dance on offer, including some breath-taking urban dance moves from The Dance Art Productions crew.

You can see their nimble footwork on the new video that’s currently top of our playlist on our YouTube channel. The dancers modelled, and the models danced, and it all made for a dramatic and very exciting show. I went back-stage afterwards to pass on my congratulations to our choreographer Cheryl – but the place was so hectic with models and clothes that I didn’t stay too long.

 
Hundreds of people were seated in the VIP seats, the media descended too – and then hundreds more stood on the balconies over-looking the catwalk near The Big Screen. If you missed the show, or the Autumn Winter Fashion Shows which followed at the weekend, catch up on all the looks in our online galleries. And let me know what you think of the dancers. We loved them!
While I’m talking about fashion, I wanted to introduce you to our latest ebook, which showcases looks for the Autumn Winter season. You can read it online here, and even watch style advice videos embedded into the pages.
What will we think of next?
 

 

 

 

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WE’VE been having great fun here in the marketing department, getting everything ready for our VIP Denim and Diamonds fashion show next week.

Thursday 10th September

Thursday 10th September

I sourced a fantastic cocktail recipe for our guests, a Diamond Champagne cocktail that contains a sugar cube and Angustora Bitters in the bottom of the flute, which should create a bit of sparkle. Eight hundred of those will certainly keep our catering staff busy for the evening!

We’ve even had hundreds of Denim and Diamonds souvenir swizzle sticks printed, so each customer has a little something to remind them of the evening.

The Denim and Diamonds theme aims to show how grit can meet glamour, as workaday denim is married to high-class crystal adornment. It’s the latest look, and absolutely anyone can pull it off. Even the gents (you should see my sparkly cuff links!)

We also had a nice idea to give away a real diamond on the night, so one lucky person is going to walk away with a chunk of ‘ice’, courtesy of the generous folk at Goldsmith’s the jewellers.

And today, while we were walking around The Great Hall working out where to put beauty stands and cocktail tables, we’ve had some great ideas on how to dress the space with denim. You’ll have to come along to see how we do this – but along with the Diamond dancers we’ve organised, nobody should be in any doubt as to the theme of the show!

This is one of the highlights of the calendar at The Trafford Centre, and the staff here tend to get very excited at the prospect of hundreds of glamorous people descending to watch a breath-taking show. I’ll be sitting near the front with the lovely fashion writers from the local media – look for the fella in denim and diamonds!

The brilliant Chelsea Norris from Key 103 will be hosting the Main Stage, and she’ll be introducing collections from stores like Vivienne Westwood, DKNY and Calvin Klein. We’ve also booked the Red Hot Strings for a bit of entertainment, because they were so good at our 10th Birthday party last year.

If you fancy coming, we still have a few tickets left – just click here for details. Just be quick, as uptake this year has been phenomenal.

If you can’t make it (and why on earth not?) we’ll be revealing how everything went on our YouTube channel after the show.

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We’ve been crashingly creative this week, coming up with ideas and themes for our Autumn Winter Fashion Show in September.

Basically, the brief is to support the changing of the seasons with a big push on men’s and women’s fashion. To do this, we hold a fashion week every year, which gets people excited about the new trends, and gives a bit of inspiration for those who might be a bit overwhelmed by the high street!

AW09 at TTC

AW09 at TTC

One highlight of the week is the VIP Fashion Show, a charity night that showcases all the amazing designer talent we have on offer here at The Trafford Centre. This year, we’ve gone for the theme of “Denim and Diamonds” – which is meant to highlight the clever way in which everyday fashion (Denim) can be enlivened with a bit of bling (Diamonds).

It’s one way of saying you don’t have to wear an entire designer outfit. You have much more impact (and save much more money) if you mix and match your staples with a gobsmacking signature piece that turns heads!

We’ve found a fabulous diamond cocktail to serve our guests, and we are hoping to have a ‘diamond-strewn’ carpet at the grand entrance! We’ve also asked our fave strings duo The Red Hot Strings to come back and play during the interval.

(As hosts, we are also looking for denim and diamond themed outfits, so if you have any ideas on that front please let me know. Denim suits have a bad history, as well you know!)

If you’d like to come to the event, tickets are only a tenner, with £5 going to the New Children’s Hospital Appeal. You can order yours by clicking on our website.

Where else in Manchester could you have the best of the designer names paraded in front of you, as you sit relaxing by the catwalk? If you fancy an injection of glamour and ease, do youself a favour and be a VIP.

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