29 Apr 2010

Monochrome Mickey

My BFF was in Disneyland yesterday. I can't be with her, but to show I was with her in thoughts, I thought I'd wear my Mickey Mouse blouse. Hopefully I will make it to Disneyland myself this Summer!

I went to a panel discussion/talk about the Science of Beauty last night at the Science Museum which was interesting, but not as thought provoking as I expected it to be. A lot of the topics discussed were things that were already widely known and established. I will get back on this topic anyway as it gave me a few ideas for Beauty related posts.

I am afraid I don't have much to say today! I have an awful lot of work to do so I better get cracking!

Monochrome Mickey
Monochrome Mickey
Trousers - Urban Outfitters

I suppose this post also gives you a sneak peek into my kitchen!


28 Apr 2010

A pretty dress... and the most boring shoes ever.

I like how after waxing lyrical about all the wonderful shoes I am lusting after yesterday, I am now showing my outfit featuring the most boring shoes ever.

Don't get me wrong, I like them. I wear them all the time actually. They have seen better days and it is already my second pair of the same style, BUT they are boring. A bit like slippers actually. 

The dress however is one of the most exciting dresses in my closet at the moment. It has everything I like: nude/peachy colour, Peter Pan collar, subtle gold detailing and a very simple line. And while it may not be the best shape for my upper body, it sort of works, so I roll with it.

Dress - Pins & Needles (via UO)
Shoes - Office

I mentioned on Twitter I finally got a tripod, after using a well-placed shelf for the past couple of years. You can't really tell as I am still in my living-room, but I am hoping for more exciting locations as soon as I am ready to go out in Central London on my own with a tripod and look stupid. I normally do it everyday, but without the tripod.

27 Apr 2010

Wish List - All the shoes from AW10

Two main things are on my mind at the moment: work and shoes. They generally go hand in hand, as the more work I do, the more shoes I can have. Such are the joys of adulthood (and the modern world).

I am not exactly a shoe addict, although I could easily become one with minimal pressure. I do have a lot of shoes, but they are all practical and they have been collected over the years. I hoard shoes more than I collect them. But I do buy a lot of shoes. Maybe I am a shoe addict after all? /stream of consciousness.

While I was doing the press days rounds over the past few weeks, I noticed that the shoes were consistently getting my attention. Be it at Chanel, ASOS, Arcadia, French Connection or Benetton.

There is something for everyone, but mainly high chunky ugly heels. I like. Two thumbs up. Goofy grin. Yep. There are shearling shoes, clogs, brogues embellished with feathers, anything goes, and as far as I am concerned, the stupider the better.

I did a little selection of my faves. Hopefully some of these will make their merry way into my closet come Fall.


United Nude
United Nude

American Retro

Iris Van Herpen



Dorothy Perkins
Dorothy Perkins
Dorothy Perkins

I have a gazillion more photos to show you, but I can't post them all here or I might destroy the internet... we wouldn't want that now, would we?

(all photos (c) Mademoiselle Robot)

26 Apr 2010

Beauty Fight - Neville's Golden Touch Facial vs. Soap & Glory's "Fab Pore"

Over the past few weeks, I have been trying and testing out all sorts of new beauty treatments, health solutions and beauty products to bring you a whole new - hopefully fun - feature on Mademoiselle Robot: "Beauty Fight".

The idea is very simple,  instead of giving you the low down on one product at a time, I will make two products fight against each other (often two different price categories) and will let you know who the winner is.

For the first installment, let me introduce you to the two challengers...

On the right, we have the Golden Touch Facial from Neville Hair & Beauty, priced at £150 for an hour or treatment.


On the left, Soap & Glory's Fab Pore and its sidekick, the hot muslin cloth, available from Boots and Harvey Nichols,  retailing at £9.

Soap & Glory

I know the two products aren't in the same league at all, and darn, they supposedly do two completely different things... Yet, one of them made mamma very, very proud and the other one left her pleased, but slightly unimpressed.

Can you guess which one is which? No? Well let me tell ya.

The Golden Touch facial is a luxury pampering facial already quite popular in France where it was developed by Jean D'Estrées, but it is still fairly new in the UK. 

The beautician starts by cleansing your skin and follows up with a light exfoliation before applying a concoction of crushed freshwater pearls to your skin. She then covers your whole face in gauze before adding a layer of gold dust to help the crushed pearls cream penetrate your skin and work its magic.

The first half of the treatment (cleansing and exfoliation) was really lovely, but it is something you can get in any salon. The Golden Touch facial itself was pleasant, but a little underwhelming. First, I would really advise you against it if you are slightly anxious or even claustrophobic in the slightest, as you spend 20mn with your whole face covered and unable to move. I don't know about you, but it is not really the kind of thing that helps me relax (and I am not normally claustrophobic).

Once the mask gets removed, the skin does feel softer and maybe a little smoother, but I couldn't really see the glow I was promised. I have pretty good skin too, so bringing out the glow is normally a fairly easy task.

I left with fresh skin, but without the urge to book my next appointment. The next day, a pimple even appeared on my chin, and I never get pimples...

Are you starting to get an idea of who the winner is going to be? Still not? I shall carry on.

Soap & Glory is a fun brand with fun packaging. I like looking at the products in Boots, but I never buy anything as I am faithful to my usual Laura Merciericonstuff. 

However, I was happy to try the stuff when it was sent to me... I was very excited about the make-up, but left Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser to the side for a while. Then one day I was in dire need for some good old home pampering, so I took it out of the box and gave it a try.

The cleanser smells really nice, and is made of 4 essential oils and 3 conditioning ones. You just need to gently massage it onto your face for about a minute (more if you are into it), then leave it for a minute and pat it away with the muslin cloth provided (that you will have previously warmed up under the tap). 

The result is really satisfying as your skin immediately feels smoother and super clean... and believe it or not, it brings out the glow. In 2 minutes, and for less than a tenner.

The only downside is that if you use it daily (like I did after that), the tube doesn't last for very long, especially as the quantity to use, described as a "splodge" is quite hard to assess. To me a splodge is bigger than a hazelnut, but smaller than a strawberry, but to others, maybe it is the size of a chickpea? Either way, it still means you get a home facial at around £1 a pop, which is nothing compared to what a salon facial would cost you!

So today's winner is... Hands down: Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser!

ps - I am on Marian Kihogo's blog talking about my style today.

23 Apr 2010

Underwear as Outerwear - What would Madonna do?

I know I talk a lot about this particular trend at the moment because I am in two minds about it. I don't really want to adopt it, but at the same time, it really appeals to my fashion subconscious. It pushes all the right inspiration buttons. 

While I was watching the latest episode of Glee (which is a brilliant hommage to Madonna) I started thinking again about old Madonna videos and the way she mixed and matched corsetry with men's suits. Of course she did underwear as outerwear better than anyone else. Of course, she rocked the masculine/feminine look before everyone else, and OF COURSE, she can wear a bullet bra and make it look as natural as a pair of jeans.

Simply Madonna Private View
Photo by me taken at the Simply Madonna Exhibition Private View (Feb 2009)

I have to say I am particularly into the styling for Express Yourself during the Blonde Ambition tour, where she wears a suit with cleverly placed cut-outs over an old fashioned corset with suspenders attached.

Madonna - Blonde Ambition Tour
Source - mtv.com

The interpretation in Glee is very clever and something I could see myself wearing, despite my initial inhibitions when it comes to this trend. 

Glee - Express Yourself
Screen cap 

Crotch grabbing aside, I also really like the styling below, again with the big man pants paired with a cool corset.

Madonna - Express Yourself 1984
Source - mtv.com

Another Madonna video that gets my vote when it comes to underwear as outerwear is Vogue (of course!) - the lace bodysuit with masculine tailoring is a look that's super easy to emulate and fairly safe as well.

Vogue Madonna

Also: Jane Lynch/Sue Sylvester blew my mind with her Vogue cover.

Glee - Vogue
Screen cap

The best thing is that it is super easy to recreate this look using bits you already own... and give a new life to a boring work suit!

This post was brought to you by the Madonna appreciation society.


22 Apr 2010

The revenge of the Double Denim

I admitted yesterday on Twitter my addiction to pastels and nudes but I conveniently forgot to mention I was also mildly hooked on double denim, by fear of looking like a total trend whore. 

The thing is, fashion being cyclical and all that, it tends to regularly catch up with my wardrobe staples, so I stock up. When nautical is in, I bulk buy stripy tops. When pastels and nudes are in, I restock too. As for double denim, luckily denim pieces are built to last so I can just happily pick and choose in my closet, I don't have to buy anything new. Amen to that.

Speaking of addiction, my new drug of choice is the bag I have on these photos. It is a wedding present and I am head over heels in love with it. I picked it because it reminds me of a more exotic version of the Mulberry Bayswater. 

I love the jade details and intricate leather work. It is by Shanghai Tang, a brand I discovered recently (I have a few photos from their AW10 offerings to show you, they will make you dribble in your shoes).
Double Denim
Double Denim
Shirt - H&M
Shoes - Modcloth
Watch - ASOS
Bracelet - Marc Jacobs
Headband - Loulou Loves You
Brooch - Vintage
Bag - Shanghai Tang

Newsflash - If you are going to Shanghai and want some tips, Shanghai Tang now has an iPhone application that will take you around in style! The application is called "City Chic". You can go and visit Shanghai Tang's site for more information.

21 Apr 2010

My wedding on a budget

While I wait for better photos of my outfit to be available to show you (without the groom by my side as he doesn't want his face all over the internet - and I can't blame him), I thought I'd share my recent experience in organising a wedding on a budget in a limited time.

At the bar

The first thing to keep in mind is that a wedding is basically a big party for your friends and family, so instead of the bride hat, put on your party planning hat, it will save you some stress. I suppose I was always particularly laid-back about the whole thing so it made things easier to begin with.

♥ If you are in the UK, the first step is to go to the registry office to publish the bans and set a date for the wedding. This initial appointment will cost you around £30 each.

♥ Once the date is set, you need to decide whether you want to have the ceremony at the town hall or in an approved venue. We wanted something very simple, so we opted for a Town Hall wedding (£300 for a room containing up to 50 people). They still give you a choice of ceremonies, so you can be as romantic or as legal as you want. On the day, you can bring a cd with your own music etc.
These are the two wedding costs you can't escape. After that, it is all up to you.

♥ After the first appointment at the town hall to set the date, we sent out a first save the date by email to our friends and internet savvy members of the family. A simple phone call to the others is enough at this stage.

♥ I made the invitations myself using good old photoshop and had them printed on moo postcards. The result was cute enough and conveyed the idea that we didn't want a "wedding wedding". The total cost of invites + envelopes + stamps was around £60 (and we have some left).

♥ For the venue, we were lucky enough to have a really beautiful little pub almost next door to the town hall (well 15 mn walk away). Since it is not a busy pub at the weekend, the owner left it to us for free for a few hours in the afternoon. All we had to do was to set up a bar tab for drinks. The amount is up to you, but plan around £10-12 per person.
The key to get a venue for less is to never EVER utter the word "wedding".

♥ The food is an important part of any wedding. The best way to escape the cost of a full lunch or dinner is to  have an afternoon reception with only canapés and cakes. Waitrose offers a catering service which is tasty and much cheaper than a traditional catering company. For cakes, however, we opted for a local online bakery called Bittersweets. Arianna bakes the most delicious cupcakes and they made everyone very happy!

Questionable Photo of Bride
(I told you the food was tasty)
Photo Bitchbuzz


♥ Hair & Make-up: the day before the wedding, I went to Daniel Hersheson's blow-dry bar in Topshop and got my hair done for £22. I did my make-up myself. I will show you how very soon!

♥ Last but not least, the bride and groom outfits... The groom didn't wear a suit. He wore nice chinos and a shirt. Which means he looked like himself and didn't spend millions on his outfit. As for me, I opted for a Luella dress. It was £270 reduced from £700, which is a lot, but still much cheaper than any entry level wedding dress. I didn't want to wear a wedding dress anyway! 
Designer dresses are generally a good option as a "regular" one will set you back between £400 and £700, but you will be able to wear it over and over again.
My shoes were the Michelle in gold by Jeffrey Campbell (£80) and again, I will be able to wear them on other occasions.

Weddings are not a cheap affair, especially considering the ceremony itself is pricey,  but there is no reason to spend all your money on it! I think my main advice is to stay calm, and always keep in mind that what matters is who you marry, not where, how and what you wear. You can have the perfect wedding in your head, but something can happen that may ruin your day (a volcano for example) so it is primordial to be super chilled about everything and to keep your eyes on the prize: your future husband!

I have to say mine is pretty cool.

19 Apr 2010

Just Married

Hi guys!

I kinda got married this weekend (you know, no biggie) so I am taking a little break for a couple of days.
In the meantime, you can use the comments below to tell me what your wedding was like, and if you are not married, what your dream wedding would be!

Hotter Bride

I will tell you all about mine as soon as I am back.


16 Apr 2010

Spotted: 8 cute dresses at Miss Selfridge... xoxo

Right, the title of this post is the only Gossip Girl schtick I will use in this post. I am pretty sure I am not the only one who was tempted to write a post in the style of Gossip Girl, so in the name of individuality, I will spare you on this one.

Miss Selfridge x Gossip Girl

Last night saw the launch of a very fun Miss Selfridge x Gossip Girl collaboration based on the different styles of the four lead female characters of the show. I was very curious to see how they managed to do so without simply copying some of the dresses already featured on the show.

Miss Selfridge x Gossip Girl
Miss Selfridge x Gossip Girl

The dresses are all pretty cute, and well executed as they interpret each character's style in a very subtle way. You can recognise whose style is emulated, but wearing the dress won't make you feel like you are wearing a Jenny, Vanessa, Serena or Blair fancy dress costume.

As a bonus, I was given a blog exclusive video all about Vanessa's style (tribal), with insights from Eric Daman, the show's stylist.

The collection will be available online from April 27th and in store from April 30th. Prices start at £39.

Who are you going to be?

All photos © Mademoiselle Robot


15 Apr 2010

Mademoiselle Robot loves Josh Wayman

Josh Wayman, 20 is the brains and creative talent behind the soon to be launched shoe label Kandee shoes. I've been following Josh's progress for a few months but wasn't able to share this with you till now! 

What's your background?

I moved abroad when I was 13 with my family and I went to an English private school which I absolutely hated with a passion. I felt like I was wasting my time, as every art lesson I did we either drew an orange/apple or pear and there was no creativity in any subject within school including art, which I found annoying!

The only lesson I did enjoy was Business Studies, and this was only subject I was any good at! I always felt that although school helps to a point, the need for qualifications in life is not necessarily the right path for everyone. So I decided to leave at the age of 15 without any qualifications at all. I then moved back to the UK at the age of 16, to study hairdressing at a local college which I did for 1 day a week whilst working at a hair salon for the remainder for 3 years. I enjoyed the creative side of hairdressing and the social side of it – I wasn’t cut out for a 9-7 job. And I have never been very good at being told what to do! So, I wanted to get out of hairdressing, as I felt life was passing me by and I wasn’t doing something that I wanted to do. I wanted to make my mark doing something more creative and enjoyable incorporating my love for business. This then led me on to what I’m doing now.

Kandee shoes
Bubbly Gum pump

How did you decide to start designing shoes?

It kind of happened out of nowhere really! One Sunday, I was really bored, so I decided to sketch some designs for shoes. I had always been interested in fashion and sketched to pass the time (although I wouldn’t say I’m very good at drawing) and see what I could create. The first designs are pretty much exactly the same as they appear in the Created in Candyland collection. From design to manufacturing it has happened in just over a year which I find really amusing, as it was just an act of boredom that developed into a real passion for the fashion and in particular the shoe industry.

What's the inspiration behind your shoe line?

The main inspiration behind the whole label is Candy, whether it is colour, texture of material used, packaging and so on. I used vintage shoe shapes to inspire certain elements of the shoes in the current collection. Overall the inspiration was encompassed by the need to provide Kandee shoe wearers with a beautiful, almost edible, extremely well made shoe.

Kandee Shoes
Dolly Mix Wedge

Tell me more about the process behind making a shoe line.

Where to start... I think I could write a book! When I started, I thought it was a simple line process of designing, getting them made and selling them. But as the label has developed, I have learnt it isn’t that easy and actually the process of designing and manufacturing shoes is one of the hardest things to do within the fashion industry. 

The biggest issue was finding a good quality manufacturer which shared my ethos of the brand – which is amazing quality, quirky colours yet wearable. That was hard! Making the samples with redesigns/new colours/quality control actually took over 7 months – which seemed like an eternity but I know understand the shoes needed this process to reach the level that is seen in the collection now. Developing the website was another hurdle – and I’m actually still finishing it as I type – I am never 100% content with anything, I want everything to be perfect and expect that with everything I do. After all of that, the next issue on the agenda is promoting the label and collection. I have had to find a PR company to work with, create packaging and also the day to day running of a label, including paperwork/import and export and even updating the Twitter profile! I would say it is not just as easy as being a designer or creative – 80% is business knowledge but that doesn’t mean if you have a dream you shouldn’t do it.

Who are you favourite designers?

I don’t have a list of favourite designers per se. I like the classic look of Chanel, the futuristic look of Balenciaga and the dramatic quality of the late Alexander McQueen. But for my personal style, it’s really dependent on the day!

Kandee Shoes
Peppermint cream pumps

What were you like growing up?

I have always been told I was really good growing up as a child, as I was quiet child and generally only had one or two outbursts which is similar now! I think I have always been interested in business, from selling sweets from outside of school to kids who weren’t allowed out to drawing clothing and selling potential designs to my family. Although the latter didn’t turned out as well as they never brought any!

What did you want to be when you were a little kid?

From a young age, I have always changed my mind on which job I would like to do. At the age of 6, I wanted to be a cleaner. At the age of 8, I wanted to be a singer (although I can’t sing!!!). At the age of 15, I wanted to be a hairdresser – just so I could leave school! And now, I’ll stick with my label Kandee!

Kandee Shoes
Refresher Wedges

Top 5 best animals

• Dog
• Tiger
• Panther
• Monkey
• Cat

Top 5 movies

• Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke
• Richie Rich
• Child’s Play
• Slumdog Millionaire
• The Holiday

Top 5 bands

• Florence and the Machine
• Lady Gaga
• Timbaland
• Michael Jackson
• Cheryl Cole

Who is the Kandee woman?

The Kandee woman is any woman who is fashion forward, quirky, enjoys a good quality pair of shoes and isn’t afraid to wear what she likes, when she likes.

Kandee shoes is due to launch this Summer.
For more information about the official launch date, follow Kandee shoes on Twitter.
You can see the line on Catwalk Genius.

All photos © Mademoiselle Robot
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