Friday, 28 December 2007

Gemma Ward: From Supermodel to Super actress

I wonder who's next.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Dunnes and the Piracy Paradox

Seems like DUNNES is in trouble.

The BBC News reports..."Dunnes Stores in the Republic have been found guilty of deliberately copying designs sold by the Karen Millen chain.The Commercial Court in Dublin found that Dunnes had copied a jumper and two shirts by the high street chain..." Read More

While we see the proliferation of knock-off s everywhere, the New Yorker wrote a very interesting piece in September on how piracy helps the fashion industry.

"...recent paper by the law professors Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman suggests that weak intellectual-property rules, far from hurting the fashion industry, have instead been integral to its success. The professors call this effect “the piracy paradox.”

"The paradox stems from the basic dilemma that underpins the economics of fashion: for the industry to keep growing, customers must like this year’s designs, but they must also become dissatisfied with them, so that they’ll buy next year’s. Many other consumer businesses face a similar problem, but fashion—unlike, say, the technology industry—can’t rely on improvements in power and performance to make old products obsolete. Raustiala and Sprigman argue persuasively that, in fashion, it’s copying that serves this function, bringing about what they call “induced obsolescence.” Copying enables designs and styles to move quickly from early adopters to the masses. And since no one cool wants to keep wearing something after everybody else is wearing it, the copying of designs helps fuel the incessant demand for something new."

I'm sure Karen Millen is pleased.

The New Yorker
BBC News.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Pretty Betty Make Up Kit

Betty Boop Make-up Kit---This is the most favorite gift I ever received this Christmas. One of my girl friends gave this just for laughs since she knows that I'm a sucker for fashion, beauty, blah..blah..What she didn't know is that I really love it! The case metallic silver case is fantastic especially the cute logos and the little make up purse that comes with it is fierce!
It's is for adolescent girls alright but hey, isn't it lovely to be kids again even just once a year? The colors are not that exciting though. Not a lot of happy red shades especially for the eyes instead they range from really dark hue of brown , gold and yellow to pale touches of pink and baby blue. I am not really surprised with the limited choices of colors as Betty Boop herself, as we all know, is black and white. No, she is not your typical Disney Princess.
The set comes with nail polish, eyeliners, lip gloss, brushes and mascara know, the works. I really don't know if I should use it as I have the following issues about it:

1. It's so pretty, it's lovely to look at, I don't want to ruin it.

2. I want my niece to have it (but she's just three years old and by the time gets into the age of wearing make-up, it will all be moldy)

3. and most importantly....I might get rashes or something although I am thinking, if these products are made for teens, shouldn't they be hypoallergenic? (it didn't say in any part of the item)
Anyway, The New York Times predicted that the color Blue Iris will be next year's most favorite and luckily, Pretty Miss Betty kit has it so I can jump on the bandwagon anytime soon!

Wish me luck. I hope this make up is safe. The last thing I want to look like is Ugly Betty.Ugly Betty drawing from:

Besos and Feliz Navidad Everyone!
Miss J.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

MarbellaStyle Featured in Coutorture!

In case you've missed it, MarbellaStyle has been featured not once but twice as Coutorture's Must Read for the Day. To Sarah and Julie, the brains (and beauties) behind the fabulous website, thanks very much for taking notice of our humble shrine. Isn't it nice to be part of something, ladies? It's like being in the girl scouts again, or the cheering squad in high school or the debating class in college...all of which, I was part of. I miss all of them in a way sometimes. Now that I am a fully grown adult, I am not part of any community clubs or groups anymore not even the single women's club of some sort in our neighbourhood. The campings are gone except for the sleepovers at girlfriends' houses after a big fight with the boyfriend, the cheerleading is limited to my niece's school programs, and the debating evolved into confrontations with bosses, boyfriends and sometimes, angry mom.Being a part of a massive community of beautiful people, smart bloggers and fashionistas all around the world, like COUTORTURE , is something that I am very proud of. It inspires me to work harder with this blog and do better each day.

Anyway, stop the drama. To all my wonderful readers, please check out for your daily dose of beauty, fashion, style and more!

To view their feature on MarbellaStyle, click here and here.


Miss J.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Smells like Christmas

So What's Your Scent this Christmas? Here are my top picks for this season and for the year the come. I love perfumes but I don't want to shell out 50-100 euros everytime I pass by PRIMOR and become whimsical as a child. So to my friends who don't have any idea on what to give me this Christmas, here's a hint and this entry would be in your inbox tomorrow along with your daily dose of spams like low cost viagra (My girl-friends and I get these emails all the time! I guess we blame it all to Samantha Jones in that Sex and the City episode), heirs from non-existing countries who wish to transfer their billions of dollars into your account (keep it them to yourself, thank you very much) and computer software offers that you don't even know how to use or what on earth it is for.

About two days ago, I went to PRIMOR (again) and smelled everything my eyes fancied until I passed out and smelled like a Moulin Rouge girl.

Shiseido Zen---And I thought they are only good with make up. I was wrong. This perfume is fantastic too! A touch of citrus mixed with aroma of the legendary blue rose (Yup, you heard it right). Very elegant. Perfect for those intimate family and office parties.

Bvlgari Amethyste---This is the third and final fragrance from Bulgari's omnia line (the two previous ones were Omnia Original in 2003 and Omnia Crystalline in 2005). Although it is a summery fragrance, it is a mixture of different flower fragrances like iris and Bulgarian rose. Now I don't have any idea how an iris smell like neither do I know anything about Bulgaria and its roses but one thing I know---this perfume smell like a bit peppery, greenery and musky woodish with THAT flowery smell you cannot exactly name. The bottle is preciosa and the fragrance lasts (I reckon) up to seven hours. Amazing.

Narciso Rodriguez For Her

Wanna smell like a footballer's wife? Yes, a lot of them use this Spanish brand. How come? As the people from the blog, Bois de Jasmin write...
"Its sensual, yet innocent radiance serves as a perfect prelude to the woody drydown lit up by the vanilla and amber. Bathed in the voluptuous musky richness, the composition has a decadent feel of a silk dress, and even the slight sharpness that marks the EDT, perfectly conjures the sensation of rubbing raw silk against the cheek..."
Need I say more?

Daisy by Marc Jacobs
1. I love Marc Jacobs
2. I love the bottle
3. I love Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.
4. Marc Jacobs has a boyfriend and I can't afford a Louis Vuitton suitcase so I will settle for this instead.

Kate By Kate Moss
Better than any Britney Spears perfumes.

Fuel For Life By Diesel
"These perfect gift items are available as a pocket chain--with refillable fragrance cartridge--for that edgy girl or guy on the go ($75) or the limited “Bling” edition 75 ml bottle--adorned in gilded chains and housed in a sleek black box--for the person who appreciates a supremely stylized present ($95). "...I was ecstatic to receive this email about Diesel's limited editions perfume so I rushed my way to the perfumeria to ask for it. Notes to an excited shopper: read your emails in full.
It turned out that this is only available in Diesel stores (which I don't know if we have any here on the coast), Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. I admit, I am a great fan of diesel jeans and I love their ad campaign on this new fragrance so I got a little bit carried away. I tested it though and I can say that all the hype and the massive media campaign is worth it. Just the right amount of fierceness of jasmine. Light and bubbly, it's a perfect day to day wear.

Happy Gift-Giving Everyone!

Miss J.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Fly High...and naked.

MADRID, Spain: Spain's government-run Women's Institute has labeled a 2008 calendar for low-cost airline Ryanair featuring bikini-wearing air hostesses as sexist and said it would be sending letters of complaint to Irish and EU authorities.

The institute, which defends women's rights, said that while the fact that the proceeds from calendar sales would go to charity was positive, the photographs "represent the stewardesses as sexual objects" and "reinforce discriminatory stereotypes." Read Full News from the International Herald Tribune Europe

How do we put a line between exploitation and art? or exploitation and celebration of beauty? Are these girls victims? or are they just normal girls who would kill to become a model, in this case, in a calendar?

Much has been said about the exploitation of women. Everyday, there is always a case of someone who has been harassed at work, school, home in fact stats from wikipedia, shows that " Approximately 15,000 sexual harassment cases are brought to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each year. Media and government surveys estimate the percentage of women being sexually harassed in the U.S. workplace at 40% to 60%. The European Women's Lobby reports that between 40 and 50 % of female employees have experienced some form of sexual harassment or unwanted sexual behavior in the workplace."

The Spanish are tolerant people. I love them to bits and when it comes to equality and defending one's rights, they are the first to stand up and make a difference. However, in this case, isn't it a bit just too much? True, the marketing ploy is a bit cheeky using their flight attendants to pose for it. But I'm sure a lot of people would agree that they wouldn't want a calendar with the seven wonders of the world each year, no? I'm sure they have loads of other girls who would have killed to be the face (and the body) of each month of the year . I would, if I were a flight attendant and if I had their body, which unfortunately, I don't. Come to think of it, why weren't there any protests with the NEW YORK FIREFIGHTER'S HUNK CALENDARS?

They are also naked (I've seen the insert pages and they are smoking hot!), they are also in a calendar and can be very well interpreted as well as sexual objects but nobody says anything against it! Is it because they are men...and men just don't care to expose their body to the whole world (on the contrary, they love it)? or Is it because the marketing ploy was better?---they called them HEROES, which they are, but the term can be subjective. We have our day to day heroes and I firmly believe that flight attendants are one of those! They treat you well so you can have a safe and pleasant flight, they combat turbulence in the name of service, they spend most of the time away from their families, and more often than not, they suffer from maltreatment and verbal abuse from passengers. They are , in their beautiful, smiling ways, heroes themselves!
The girls did the photoshoot with consent and they are adults. True, there might be people out there who must have been offended with the project, in this case, the women's organization in Spain, but for sure there are people as well who think that these girls needed a break from jet lag, air turbulence , crying babies and vomiting passengers.

There is always a thin line between sexual exploitation and art or celebration of beauty. Now, I am not an expert on this and I may not know how to define what exactly the borderline is; but one thing I am certain of is that the next time people see these girls in their flight, they will ask for an autograph and not a cup of coffee.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

POLISHed Pieces

A big Hola to Miss Ola Voyna!

My favourite Polish designer who I raved about in September is on her winning streak again. After her successful furniture collection (featuring my to-die-for oyster bed), she is now launching her fabulous jewelry collection.

Her designs are subtle and elegant.The necklaces are made of Striped Flint, a stone which can be found only in Vistula Basin, a small region of Eastern Poland, which makes it probably one of the rarest known stones in the world.

As I am clueless what a striped flint (Flint+stone+Poland= The Flintstones are from Poland? Hmmm) is, I did some Google research, and what I found was breathtaking.

  • Striped flint (also known as banded flint) are rare than diamonds---it can only be found in one place on earth, in Poland, on the Vistula River, near the town of Sandomierz.
  • It has been named the "stone of optimism", since wearing flint jewelry increases one's positive energies. Celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Madonna, Robbie Williams and Boy George have been seen wearing a flint jewellery and it's becoming more and more popular not only in Europe but around the world.
  • The stone is characterized by three most significant properties of a jewellery---hardness, uniqueness and ornamental properties.
  • Each lump of striped flint has an individual arrangement of bands, making them unique pieces of jewellery as their form is being dictated by the stone itself.
  • Because of its rarity, it is oftentimes called "the Polish diamond".
  • In the Neolithic Period, our ancestors used them for lighting fire and as ornaments (hmm..didn't know that the cavemen were fashionable too!).
Striped flints come in different colours but honestly, I like the lighter shade that Ola used for this collection. To learn more and to order, please visit Ola Voyna's website:
and yes, she delivers, even if you are in Timbuktu.

Now Miss Ola, I'll be waiting for my striped flint ring on the post together with the fit, blond, blue-eyed Polish hunk that comes with it. :)


I Need Judge Judy!

For people who have been wondering why it takes me days before I update my blog, It's because I am running around like a headless chicken these days due to my residence issues. You see, I am not from any Euro Country originally so the process of legalizing my stay here is a nightmare! The Spanish system is wayyyyyy so slow and it took me almost 3 years before I finally went to court, Tuesday, to sort out everything. It is quite a hassle I tell you and It cost me not only too much expenses but also, emotional and physical stress. However, everything is sorted out now and it would take another two to three weeks before we know the final judgement, whether i get my residence or not. Please wish me luck.

Yes, two to three weeks again for the court's decision. Spain is different. I was waiting for the judge to just hammer his gavel once and for all and give out his sentence but it was all anti-climactic. In this country, the decisions are sent to your lawyers office in letter and obviously, you will hear from your lawyer the verdict. I wish it was judge Judy who presided in my case. It would have been fast, no-frill judgement day, isn't it?

I love Judge Judy. I think she is the best thing that happened in court case tv in the past ten years. I am not sure though if it still on as we are getting reruns of the show on ITV2 ( I think). I watched an interview of her in 60 seconds in Youtube and yes, she was right---The youth of today does not have role models anymore. Models, yes, we have lots of those but not someone we could look up to in a more positive way. I mean, I loved Britney,I mean the pre-babies, pre -loca Britney. And even if Judge Judy is a hundred years old now, she still kicks ass and man, does she kick so well! Here's a preview. Enjoy!


Monday, 12 November 2007

Redesigning the Costa...

To discover a proper design magazine in the Costa Del Sol is a breathe of fresh air. I am sick and tired of pseudo-fashion, pseudo-design publications, 99 percent of which are plain ads of tacky restaurants and bloody properties where no one dares to buy anyway. So when I saw a stack of the new MODERN DESIGN MAGAZINE in our building's cafeteria, I was so glad that at last, a kick ass magazine about kick ass architecture and design has been born!

Don't get me wrong though. The province of Malaga has a rich and diverse architecture that dates back to the numerous culture and civilizations that passed this historical part of Spain.
Moorish inspired houses and buildings dominated the architectural scene. It is quite unsurprising though since the whole province was under Moorish hands until the end of the 15th century. Under this occupation, historians called the era the "Golden Age" not only in architectural aspect but because in this era, Malaga grew to a rich merchant area, in fact, one of the biggest in the Iberian Peninsula. The best example of the best of Moorish architecture is the Gibralfaro Castle and the world renowned Alhambra Palace in Granada.
Most buildings and palaces are made by bricks which undoubtedly stood the test of times ; with fabulous intricate designs innate to Arab design. You can also see traces of Roman occupation though the Roman Theatre in the centre of the city as well as Gothic,Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

However, the 60's and the 70's were witness to the province's fall in architecture. With the mushroom business of hotels, hostels, and cheap accommodations for tourists, the area was populated with seedy, tacky concrete buildings which sadly, are still existing up until today. Like this:Anyway, going back to what I am raving about. Modern Design Magazine is breed of its own. Their website says, " It was conceived for one simple reason; the need for culture found here on the coast. It's a magazine that brings the most recent and cutting edge design to it's readers, as well as all the latest concepts and information surrounding the architecture, interior design and art worlds. Our magazine contains various articles about contemporary design and it's different origins and influences. Modern Design invites it's readers to adapt themselves, and change themselves, if necessary, to their ever changing environment; to keep up with today's world, so to speak."

I think the idea behind the magazine is brilliant although not a lot of retirees and pensioners who have settled in this area agree. The coast has a slow pace of live and that's what they came here for. I too, would love to live in place with history and culture but definitely not surrounded by rotting buildings from the 60's and the 70's, thank you very much.

Modern Design is an intelligent publication which features not only design and architecture but they also showcase masterminds like professional photographer Albert Watson, whose works graced VOGUE, Rolling Stones and Time magazine covers, Daniel Libeskind, the man chosen by the World Trade Center Commission to re-design Ground Zero; and up coming talents such as this month's feature, Brazilian designer Bruno 9li (real name although I bet nobody knows how to pronounce it) who was a participant to the 2006 International Outdoor Urban Art Exhibition in Barcelona.Two rather good looking men are the brains behind the publication---Michael Earl, American, Editor, architect and professor and the owner of Earle Diseño, a design and construction company in the Costa Del Sol; and Luis Gallardo, the magazine's director.

The magazine is free so look out for copies in your office. I bet you've got stacks hiding somewhere.

And for the ladies, if you think that the magazine is just about buildings and weird architectural designs, think again. They also have a fashion section! You heard it right. This month they feature Lanvin! Lanvin? Lanvin! I wish these guys are still single! Ladies check out their website and don't forget to send your CV's. :)


Sunday, 11 November 2007

All about Evita...

My gay friend Jorge from Argentina came back last week with a vengeance from a 6 month hibernation in his motherland. I have been insinuating from our text message exchanges that I wanted an exotic gift from Argentina since I've never been there and I thought he would bring me back a can of corned beef just to take the piss but I was actually excited when he stood on my doorway with a little bag marked with unmistakable face of an icon---who else? Argentina's very own people's princess: Eva Peron.

Now ladies, be warned. This entry does not not suggest anything about my political beliefs or sides. The truth of the matter is , I am apolitical. I care about the environment, the children, the poor, the animals and I am totally despise the use of drugs but I am neither a leftist or a rightist. I am for fashion and everything bright and beautiful in this world and that's it. Amen? Amen.
Going back to my flamboyant friend Jorge (pronounced whore-hey. :)) he said I should be stoned to death because I love dictators like Evita and Imelda Marcos. The truth is, I don't love dictators but I definitely love strong and powerful women. Madonna is not a dictator, is she? She never required everyone to wear her cone bras, for crying out loud. These women are icons not only for their beauty and style but also because of their contribution (as infamous as those might have been) in the society. Spain (where I live) until now has a strong tie with Argentina due to the latter's unprecedented help during the second world war. When the Spanish were dying of hunger in those era, Argentina was the good Samaritan who shipped them beef, lard and other food. And whose idea was it? you guess it right...The great Madam Peron. If you want more info on Evita or history, you will be disappointed as I will not dwell much into that. My blog is about fashion and style so you can either can get a history book or click on Google to know more her.It turned out that Jorge did a little trip to the Evita Museum in Buenos Aires before he came back last week for the precious little gifts. I mean gifts because aside from the hand painted Eva Peron sleeveless shirt, it came as well with tidbits of brochures and a memoir of the late dictator's wife including a catalogue of silverworks inspired by Eva Peron beautifully crafted by Argentinean jewelry designer, Alfredo Toledo.The Reason of My Life Necklace
Evita The Actress Necklace
The Rose Brooch

May Sunshine Brooch

Hmmm...a little bit of royal tackiness for my taste.
The Figure

The artist, who is a big fan of Evita wrote in the book:

" She was for some people the lady of hope: for others, the Blond Fairy and for most, the Saint that granted wishes and flew towards God. A controversial figure that aroused love and hate, Evita died at a young age, after a long agony. The increasing prayers of the people, first asking for her favours and then imploring for her health, converted her into a myth long after her death.
Her life has been portrayed over the years by artists - from all over the world; the arts including cinema, the theatre, photography, painting and many others, have paid her homage.
Today is my time. The time to show you through each of my works, what the figure, the woman and the myth in Evita awakened in me."
---Marcelo Toledo

No, he didn't give me any of this awesome pieces of silver however, he gave me a tacky E.P. shirt just for laughs. It's more of like a jumper that you can wear on top of a white long sleeve shirt or something. I still haven't worn it. I'm still waiting to find the right moment and the right accessories to go with it.

I love Eva Peron...although I'm not sure about singing to my people in a Town Hall's balcony or something. I leave that part to Madonna.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Channelling Victoria.

So many things going on and I'm getting insane! First, people are leaving the company and although it is sad to see them leave after long years being together eight hours everyday, I didn't have any power over fate and decisions.

One of the people that had to leave was my friend and co-blogger ASHA. She's been working with me for over a year now and she has to face motherhood. It was a happy separation though. Her two year old daughter Dyan needs more attention now that she's growing up and my friend feels it's not wise for her to be with the nanny 24/7. She is a full time mom now and I am happy for her. They are going back to the UK in a few weeks time and she is totally exhilarated by the idea of spending time together with her little angel.

And I? I'm still the "aunt" and "godmother" to all my friends' daughters and sons. Too busy to commit unless it is Marc Jacobs, which is totally impossible since A.) He is gay. B.) He's got a boyfriend C.) He doesn't know me. But life goes on...Life is a runway and everyday is a fashion show so here I am, starting all over with blogging, alone but inspired to do better and stronger.

The path might probably be bright or gloomy but nevertheless I'm sure I would be needing one of Victoria Beckham's fabulous eyewear collection. I don't care if a lot of people don't like her. I do like her and her style and I think she is one of the most elegant celebrities we have nowadays. More than style, I love her entrepreneurial spirit. Wife to a drop dead gorgeous, football superstar, mother, fashion icon and multi-million-pound business mogul, Victoria Beckham indeed knows the definition of posh multitasking shedding former pop star skin , revealing herself as the Boss to her family and her own business empire.British GLAMOUR magazine voted her "Entrepreneur of the year " in their 2007 WOMEN OF THE YEAR AWARD. Why?

"Victoria has what everyone wants else wants. No, not David, but an impeccable sense of style, relentless drive and a talent for continually reinventing herself from one-fifth of the most famous British girl group ever, to a multi-million pound business empire....her sunglasses range sold out of Harrods the minute it arrived. Her perfume has outsold any other celebrity's, and is one of fragrance company Coty's most successful launches ever. And her style guide, THAT EXTRA HALF AN INCH, has out-sold her best-selling autobiography and is being reprinted all over the world. She has created herself as a brand in a staggering way..."

I love her eyewear collection although I think it might cover not only my eyes but my whole face! Those lovely oversize sunglasses are inspired by movie icons and films from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

I know, I know, summer is over and the world gets dark and gloomy everyday but here in the South of Spain, the sun knows no season and winter is a myth, so it would be nice to get one of these glasses not only to protect the eyes from the SOL but also to cover up proofs of previous night's heavy partying in Puerto Banus.

Anyway, let's get back to Ms. Vicky Beckham.

I am channelling her as of the moment as I am thinking of putting up a little business venture on the side. The office is suffocating me (too much bosses, too much rules, just too much of everything!) and I am not happy anymore being a corporate muse. I know I would never end up as filthy rich as her (though I hope I could get an equally dashing husband as hers in the future) but hey, who knows?

Life is full of surprises, you never know what's gonna happen next. The trouble is, my present job pays good and the business venture is a big risk to jump into. I am really keen on this one though but it means giving it all my time, energy and a few savings though having said that, this project is something I WANT to do.

Suggestions, anyone?


Miss J.

Photos captured from Victoria Beckham's website:


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