Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Review | Charnos Lingerie Sienna

Charnos Sienna in Black

Charnos has long held a reputation for quality lingerie, and many would assume the brand caters for what is considered mainstream sizing.  Whilst a good number of bra manufacturers do produce beyond the traditionally recognised large cup of a D, not so many will as easily entertain the G cup.  

When I was asked by lingerie retailer, Mio Destino, to review a set from their online range, I was surprised to learn for the first time that Charnos do actually extend to an H, and I was able to try a bra by Charnos for the first time in my preferred 30GG.

Charnos Sienna in Fuchsia Pink

Mio Destino wished for me to review the Sienna set, which is a collection I wasn't familiar with but did like when I saw it online.  Sienna is a continuity line of Charnos so it's produced in new fashion colours each season, with vibrant fuchsia giving Sienna a pop of colour brightness this SS14.  I adore colour, and believe me, this colourway is sensational!

Embroidered Mesh Cups

Sienna is a classically shaped full cup bra with a modern twist.  The medium high central gore and high apex allows for ample breast encasing, whilst the directional embroidery fashioned on mesh provides a fresh and glamorous take on the otherwise full coverage style.

The microfibre fabric is soft and slinky to the touch; together with four section, soft unpadded cups and structured side support, makes for a smooth and comfortable everyday bra.

Wearing 30GG Charnos Sienna

The band was snug and firm with the cups fully encasing - no bulging or spillage and the fabrication felt amazing, but sadly there was something very wrong in it's fitting on me.  The straps felt too far apart and close to the edge of my shoulders, with the high apex and wing cutting close into my under arm.  It was not comfortable in the slightest and I'm afraid I couldn't bear to wear it.  I'm not quite sure why I faired so badly with Sienna, especially since I was wearing a 30GG.  Every aspect of the bra felt right aside from the strap placement and close fabric around the armpit.

I don't really like ending posts on a negative note, especially when I really like the look of a bra.  It's great to know that Charnos make lingerie right up to an H cup,  I just wish my little shoulders agreed with the shape of Sienna for me to wear my GG cup.


What is your experience with the Charnos brand?  How do you find their fit?  What problems do you typically encounter with ill-fitting bras?

*Gifted by Mio Destino*

Monday, 7 April 2014

Wonderbra Basso & Brooke GIVEAWAY

It's not everyday a household lingerie brand collides worlds with a revolutionary design brand, but this season sees the collaboration between Wonderbra UK and exuberant fashion designers, Basso & Brooke, come to fruition.  A very beautiful result, at that.

Basso & Brooke - a Brazilian and British designing duo - have consistently led the way using digital graphic print with over a decade in the industry, achieving covetable success and acclaim from fashion's top trend authorities, including VOGUE.  With their credentials firmly rooted in bold and theatrical design, it comes as no surprise to see Basso & Brooke's limited edition collection with Wonderbra has produced some stunning pieces.  Lingerie designed like never before and worthy of 'must have' status for any lingerie addict.

The flamboyant Baroque themed collection consists of three dazzling sets styled upon Wonderbra's most innovative bra designs: The One & Only 'Bejewelled', Gel Bra 'Savage' and - my personal favourite - Ultimate Strapless 'Versailles'.  Available in bra sizes 32-36A, 32-38B/C/D and 30-38DD (gel bra: 32-38DD), and small, medium and large bottoms.  Which is your favourite?

L-R: Bejewelled, Versailles & Savage

Fancy bagging yourself one of these exclusive sets for free?  Wonderbra is giving me one set to GIVE AWAY to one lucky reader.  Enter by fulfilling the Rafflecopter tasks below.  UK only I'm afraid, and please ensure your sizes are catered for before entering (sadly I'm sized out - boo!).  Best of luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Spring Fashion Lust List

1.Fedora Hat - Dorothy Perkins £9.50 
2.Kiki Canvas Boots - Blonde & Blonde £25
3.Skater Coat with Zip Front - ASOS £75
4.Floral Crop Tee (Petites) - Miss Selfridge £14
5.Lola Non Padded Bra - Gossard £32

The clocks have gone forward and it's April the 1st - Spring is here!  This is my most favourite time of the year, when flowers are in full bloom on every verge and patch of grass, blossom paints trees not yet budded with foliage and the longer days of sunlight are soul reviving like a solar panel battery charger.  I'm glad to shake off the Winter cobwebs along with last season's coat so now's the time to really embrace that Spring wardrobe.

Florals see yet another season, this time returning to the lighter shades and reflecting a more botanical look.  Pastels continue to shine but lingerie sees a more vibrant overhaul with bright popping colours of coral, zesty yellow and pretty florals.

This season is fresh, vibrant and ready to inject life back into your outfits.


I want - need - all five of my current fashion must haves.  What do you think of them?  Are you fashion ready for Spring?

Friday, 28 March 2014

Photo Shoot | Castle Boudoir

Planning a photo shoot takes time, especially when there's a variety of talent and contributors involved.  I hadn't expected this shoot to take quite so long, going back several months to it's initial conception, but when the day finally came to fruition yesterday, everything just fell into place.  Well, almost everything.

The shoot of epic proportion started back in Autumn when the UK Lingerie Awards announced the finalists.  The "Boudoir Lingerie Brand of the Year" was a category I was most excited about, and both Maison Close and Madam Supertrash who were nominated for the award were keen to let me review their garments on the blog.  I thought it was an amazing opportunity to go all out and do a proper shoot with the lingerie so from there the boudoir showcase shoot was born.

I had a bridal shoot booked for the beginning of the year for which Charnos had sent me a full bridal lingerie set to model.  The shoot ended up being cancelled and I was determined to showcase the underwear as I'd promised, so the addition of a bridal boudoir side to the epic shoot naturally took form.  When Panache asked me to review Masquerade's forthcoming bridal collection later in March, it seemed fate that I now had two polar opposite looks of boudoir - the perfect chance to play around and explore the idea of boudoir lingerie!

As you may have gathered already, I'm a perfectionist and picky, so collaborating with the right people was anally important to me.  I liaised with so many people from my modelling circle and in the end decided to work with a photographer completely new to me.  I wanted to adopt fresh thinking, so when Dave from Image Six Three contacted me to say he saw my casting and was interested, I knew this was the right guy immediately.  A million emails back and forth commenced, throwing around concepts and ideas.

Putting out a casting for a make up artist was equally challenging when I had such specific ideas, but when I heard from Zoe Gooding we were on the same wave length right away.  She set to work on mood boards and face charts which mirrored many of my inspirations so it was great to have on board such a creative mind who understood what was to be achieved.

My other half, Sean, is always a pillar of support and beacon of knowledge, what with being a photographer himself and technology expert.  He is chief suspender attacher as he is reflector holder, but really we all know he's there to photo bomb the pictures and diss my playlist. (He he)

When yesterday came to, the sun shone like we'd anticipated.  Arriving at Walworth Castle in County Durham the air was brisk but it was bright: such a beautiful Spring morning.  Walworth had kindly allowed us the use of the King James Suite which was a great combination of living space to take advantage of.  Whilst the bedroom was quite small and intimate, the lounge area was spacious to work within and accommodate all the photography and make up equipment.

Zoe styled me up and changed the looks several times, with curled hair being the order of the day.  The bridal look ascertained a glowing base with a complimentary soft lip and eye, moving gradually to a darker eye characterised with cat eye flicks and bold lip colour.

Charnos 'Belle' lingerie
There's one thing you'll learn about me when on a shoot - I'm a ridiculous giggler about the most nonsensical topics (ask Zoe about the Sasquatch and the nudey cherubs and she may tell you between an outburst of insane laughter), but seriously, fun is so important on a shoot.  But I'm professional as I am light hearted and take so much pride in being able to joke one minute and work focus minded.

Masquerade 'Serenity' lingerie
 worn with my Trudy Lee bridal shrug
I normally try to work on short half day shoots but this one ran from 1o until 5 so was pretty much full on with the mental work out.  It's always interesting that even though a pose may look simple and relaxed you'd be amazed by how much of your body you're actually working as a model.  Limbs are poised and held in position, muscles tensed, and your mind is constantly in military check considering every movement and position of every bit of you.  I put most of my post shoot agony down to my fibromyalgia, but also the phrase "if you're not in pain you haven't done it properly" holds very true!

Charnos 'Belle' lingerie
For each of the lingerie garments and sets I've been sent from brands for this shoot I'll be reviewing and writing up in due course when the images are returned.  Unfortunately the stockings Charnos Hosiery provided for the shoot didn't arrive in time (missed the delivery by a matter of hours!) but I will be using them for future shoots and will review them too.

In the meantime I have a few sneak peeks to give you an idea of what fab a shoot the day produced.  

Panache 'Serenity' lingerie

Charnos 'Belle' lingerie

Well done and much thanks to all parties involved: 
Photography: Dave from Image Six Three
Hair and Make Up: Zoe Gooding
Location: Walworth Castle Hotel
Products: Maison Close, Madam Supertrash, Charnos & Masquerade by Panache
My Other Half/Assistant/Chaperone/All round Star: Sean Connolly

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Shabby Chic Bedside Table For Under £10

Ikea get a bad rap for their innovative but heavily design led products.  Fair enough, not everyone appreciates the sight of a moulded plastic seat, and flat pack furniture that takes a whole afternoon plus to count out all the parts and screws (and that's before you've begun to fumble it together) isn't everyone's idea of fun.  But, if you've written off visiting the Swedish giant because of a previous purchase nightmare, you're missing out on a trick.

Recently I was looking for something different to have by the side of my bed, and you can't really beat this dinky little table that I found in Ikea.

Say hi to £7 NESNA.  Yes, I did just say it cost only 7 quid!

When I first brought my little table home I did just use it as is for a few weeks.  It's smart enough, especially as the top is actually glass.  It wasn't exactly the look I had in mind though so I decided to keep an open eye in the shops for improvement ideas.

I spotted printed self adhesive paper in Home Bargains for 89p a roll, and I found a cute ditsy floral print on a white background.  After three coats of white gloss paint all over I cut to size and applied a few layers of the paper onto the glass surface.  

And voila!  

My shabby chic bedside table was now complete.  For under a tenner, I'm pleased with my little table and, whilst I'm not the best DIYer by any stretch of the imagination (just don't look too hard at my paintwork), I do feel rather accomplished!

Did you see the 99p eBay chair I did up? 


Have you completed any home projects lately?  Maybe you're into revamping old furniture?  Or are you not so hands on or daunted by DIY?

Review | Little Minx Butterfly Blush Suspender Brief

I wasn't aware of Little Minx until I modelled for Hepburn and Leigh this year.  They're an Australian lingerie brand that launched only six years ago who today are stocked worldwide by boutiques dedicated to providing quality product and most importantly - amazing design.

The House of Seduction sent me a gift last month for my birthday which I thought was so thoughtful of them.  When I received this gorgeous Little Minx Butterfly Blush brief I was genuinely elated.  I'm fervently in love of suspender knickers and the soft lace of this beauty is ridiculously stunning.

I always wear a size 12 in a bottom, which these briefs are, and I've found these to be quite on the small size.  (I staunchly insist it's this and not the fact my butt has ballooned.)  Well, you can tell it's a little too figure hugging on me so to avoid my less svelte, more chunky silhouette I think a 14 would be more comfortable and flattering.  Thought: could this be the AUS sizing?

Wearing with: Playful Promises Peacock Longline Bra
 & Kiss Me Deadly Violet Opaque Seamed Stockings

Constructed entirely of lace with the addition of a light beige coloured front panel, these knickers are supremely sexy, functional and well, sexy.  I adore them (you can probably guess).  Now here's a shot of my butt, to reward you for reading this far or spoil your supper, I'll let you decide.

Thank you THOS for my truly beautiful birthday pressie!

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