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Winners in the Ascot Style Stakes

It’s always wonderful to see our customers in all their finery, so we were delighted to receive these pictures of ladies at Royal Ascot.

AscotThis lady has added some black and white feathers to our black cartwheel hat to co-ordinate with her black and white dress. This is such a versatile hat, it looks striking and elegant on its own but is also a perfect foil for a strategically placed feather or flower.

Ascot 2
This customer chose a special colour for her Rita dress; a beautiful rich pink which positively glowed. She looked radiant with her matching picture hat and pale pink shoes.

 

Jane ascotThe Rita was also Jane’s choice for her day at Ascot. In a midnight blue, with matching  Lauren  jacket it was accessorised with a dramatic dark blue mesh hat trimmed with peacock feathers and iridescent beetle wing hat pin.  Jade green shoes and bag and beetle wing brooches completed the look.

Marilyn at Ascot2
Marilyn looked so elegant in her choice of the Katherine dress in a soft beige with taupe patent bag and shoes. She added silk flowers to match her accessories on both her hat and in the draped front of her dress.

 

With Ascot out of the way it’s all about Henley Regatta; it’s likely that Rita will be making an appearance  and probably Veronica too!

If you’re attending a special event soon we hope we’ve given you some inspiration, but whatever you choose, stay glamorous!
Kisss Black

Brides, Mothers and Smart Occasions

It’s been a hectic first few months of the year with February seeing the launch of our new bridal service. We’d been approached by a number of ‘grown up’ brides looking for something different for their ceremonies, and most specific Bridal - Rita Dress & Lauren Jacket  from Jane & Marilynthat they didn’t want ‘the full gown’. Our dresses work beautifully as sophisticated bridal wear in soft ivories or pearl greys. We can even add extra bling with crystal or pearl buckles, buttons and embellishments. And the added bonus is that a Jane & Marilyn bride can easily wear her dress again afterwards, so it’s excellent value too!

We attended an exclusive wedding fair in Kingston upon Thames at the beginning of March.  Warren House, a stunning 19th century Victoria Mansion nestled close to Richmond Park. A beautiful backdrop for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, Warren House is set within four acres of landscaped grounds and boasts a lavish ballroom for wedding ceremonies.

As well as showing our Premiere and Silk collections (perfect for mothers of the bride and wedding guests), we also showcased our bridal service.

Veronica-hatWith the Season’s events drawing closer and ladies looking for dress code friendly pieces, we held a series of ‘open house ateliers’.  Ladies were welcome to drop in without an appointment, have a glass of something bubbly and view our collections and hats.   Samples were available to try and we were on hand to discuss modifications to the designs and run through colour swatches.

We are currently helping a number of ladies achieve their perfect Ascot look, in addition to working with mothers of the bride who want to look glamorous, but appropriate for their special occasion.

Most popular style choice of the moment is the Rita dress and jacket – a J&M Open Day 018reflection on the dreadful weather no doubt – always helpful to have the option of a jacket!

Stay glamorous X

Grown up and glamorous party makeup

So it’s the party season so we thought we’d share some tips for grown up, glamorous festive faces.

Foundation is essential to even out imperfections. Choose a light diffusing one  with a satin finish. Too matt is ageing and shows every wrinkle, too shiny and it just won’t look ‘finished’.  We like Bobbi Brown’s illuminating foundation.

We thoroughly recommend using a foundation brush, but trial and error has taught us that the best way to apply it is firstly with the fingers. Press a little foundation into the skin all over the face but focussing more on the central panel where uneven colouring and pores are more likely to be a problem. Using fingers warms up the foundation so it glides on smoothly and you’ll use less than you would if you apply with a brush. Once you have completed the application, take your foundation brush and brush all over your face to even it out, ensuring there are no heavy patches, and creating a soft, cashmere finish.

Blusher (we prefer a cream one) should be applied to apples of cheeks, on the temples, the tip of the nose and chin and thoroughly blended. This will give a more contoured effect and you’ll look healthy too!

Depending on your skin type you may like to add a little powder, it creates a wonderful finish but you have to be careful as too much powder can be ageing and settle into wrinkles. Pressed powder applied with a pad can set too matt but loose powder can look flour-y.  We have a tendency to shine on the T zone so we always use powder and have found the best approach to use a pressed powder (we like MAC) but to apply it with a large powder   brush.

Shiny eyelids Use a highlighting eye shadow (MAC does an excellent one called ‘Nylon’) and just dab your ring finger into it and touch it onto the centre of your eyelid and the inside corner of your eyes so it lights both the top and bottom part of the inner corner. Using fingers rather than a brush or sponge applicator keeps it subtle – you want to see the effect (which is spectacular) not the eye shadow.

Elongate eyes and create a feline look with false eyelashes attached to the outer half of the eyelid. Use individual lashes to build volume, or cut a regular pair in half (the added bonus is that you get two pairs of eyelashes for the price of one)!

liz_taylor_brows_budget  A nice pair of groomed and coloured brows   frames the face and also adds vintage        Hollywood allure. Threading is our eyebrow grooming technique of choice, and having them tinted also means less work is required with your eyebrow pencil.

Lipstick is of course essential. Marilyn Monroe would use multiple lipsticks to create that famous full lipped look. You can achieve it too with some cunning tricks. Firstly, use a nude lip pencil to line your lips, taking it just outside your natural lip line and correcting any imbalances as you go.  Use a subtle highlighter such as Touche Éclat300px-Marylnn-monroe lips and apply along your upper lip just above your new lip line and under your nose. This will create a more ‘pouty’ upper lip. Apply one coat of your favourite red lipstick, blot thoroughly and apply again, this will give it staying power. Finally apply a dab of lipstick in a pale pearly colour in the middle of your bottom lip to create a fuller looking lip. Note – don’t be tempted to add lip gloss – a satin finish is the most you should aim for, with a strong red lip colour gloss just looks too much like jam!

Now you’ll rival any screen goddess,  so  go forth and be glamorous!

Merry Christmas X

Jane & Marilyn Supports Fashion for Good’s Surrey Fashion Weekend

We’ll be bringing our grown up glamour to Surrey in November when we  support Fashion For Good’s uber stylish fashion weekend at the Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge, Surrey on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 November.

Fashion For Good, a Surrey-based community fund-raising initiative, is bringing together some of the hottest up and coming boutique designer collections, stylists and make-up artists under one roof.

There’s an evening  catwalk show on the Friday, and we will have our  Premiere and Silk Collections on display for fashionistas to peruse during a one-off shopping and pamper experience on the Saturday.

We’re delighted to be part of such a unique event that’s supporting worthwhile causes and we’re looking forward to welcoming ladies of all ages and helping them channel their inner Hollywood sirens with designs and tailoring to take them from work to play!

Fashion For Good helps people, who love fashion and beauty, to shop and pamper themselves whilst knowing that they’re helping to do some good in their local community at the same time. The initiative is working with The Community Foundation for Surrey to distribute the money raised to local causes, including Christopher’s Children’s Hospice, Your Sanctuary, The Oasis Childcare Centre, SAY-It’s Friday! and Happy Days.

For more details on the Fashion For Good Surrey Fashion Weekender, visit the official website at www.fashionforgood.co.uk.

Stay glamorous X

http://www.janeandmarilyn.co.uk

 

 

Time for the Perfect LPD?

Sorry to mention but Christmas is nearly upon us! If the thought of what to wear for the festivities is vexing you may we suggest the perfect ‘little purple dress’?  Purple is one of the hot colours for A/W12 and has the added bonus of flattering most skin tones, as well as making you stand out in a crowd of black!

Our flattering Elizabeth and chic Audrey dresses – http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/elizabeth-83-p.asp & http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/audrey-33-p.asp – are both available in vibrant Violet lightweight wool,  and we can also produce Sophia, Grace and Jane in this colour too on request.

And if purple isn’t your thing, how about the other on trend colour for this season – green, as seen here shimmering in taffeta on our Peacock dress http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/peacock-140-p.asp.

We have these styles in stock in a range of sizes but there is also just time enough to create a dress for you before the party season starts.

Why not contact us for details of stock availability and delivery times for made to order pieces…

… and let’s make this most glamorous Christmas ever!

X

Jane & Marilyn Leading the field for Ascot 2013

Royal Ascot may be over for this year but the race is already on in the fasImagehion stakes for 2013 and Jane & Marilyn’s Katherine dress is leading the field.

Our gorgeous tailored dress in banana, from the Silk Collection, has been selected by the event’s organisers as one of the designs to feature in their promotional activity next year.  Teamed with an amazing Piers Atkinson feather hat it is the perfect outfit for the Royal Enclosure.

Our dresses have been designed with events of the season in mind, adhering to the dress codes.  Royal Ascot is one of the biggest events in the British social calendar and we’re delighted our Katherine dress has been chosen to represent such a glamorous occasion.

Stay glamorous X

Anna Friel and a touch of La Dolce Vita

We were delighted to see the gorgeous Anna Friel spotted in our  Grace dress (http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/grace-432-p.asp) on the set of her latest film, “Pavement Psychiatrist.”

Endlessly versatile, the Grace dress, available in soft pearl grey or black, offers classic lines with its boat neckline, bracelet length sleeves and niped-in waist.  From the back, the dress gives plenty of va va voom with its heavily panelled, fluted skirt.   Made from 100% soft, lightweight wool, it’s fully lined in pure silk  in our signature lipstick red. 

And it’s clear that Anna is a fan of the dress too – ‘I feel like I’ve just come off the set of La Dolce Vita,’ she commented.

Stay glamorous like Anna X

Chic, champagne and showers…

Well what a summer so far – it’s been a whirlwind of events, the Jubilee, Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta, Wimbledon, Henley Festival, Glyndebourne and now the Olympics.  

Up until recently the weather has been truly appalling, but we Brits made the best of it (we always do don’t we?) and it looks like summer has finally arrived!

So we thought we’d share some of our highlights and observations of the summer’s events so far:

First, the Jubilee.  Stunning us all with her seemingly endless energy and fortitude (that river pageant must have taken it out of her, standing for hours in that dreadful weather), the Queen and her support team showed us all how dressing for formal occasions should be done http://tinyurl.com/82w99qo.  Effortlessly chic in colour coordinated outfits; dresses, suits and coats (we know tops and skirts are having a moment, but they’re simply not smart enough for formal events and just look wrong with hats); no bare legs; no sandals;  fabulous hats http://tinyurl.com/clms4ec.

‘The Queen is not interested in high fashion’ says one of her couturiers ‘but she is very interested in her clothes and is very particular.’ It’s an excellent philosophy, and one which we wholeheartedly recommend, high fashion and formal dress are not easy bedfellows.

It was great fun to see the waves of nostalgia sweep the country as street parties popped up  all over the place and ladies braving the rain in  pretty Horrockses   inspired tea dresses.

We had a flurry of purchases of our blue Joan dress; it’s just the thing for Jubilee events and the rich blue on a white background is patriotic too – especially teamed with red accessories. So popular has it been that we’ve almost sold out in that colour way now.

To Royal Ascot and the new tightened up dress codes were a triumph with ladies looking really elegant, everyone was remarking what a difference it made and how good everyone looked http://tinyurl.com/blarl5z.  Just one observation though, ladies in trouser suits with a typical ‘Ascot’ hat just don’t look right.  The only way to pull off this look is with sharply tailored ‘Al Capone’ style suit teamed with a Fedora.

Gina, Rita, Katherine and the Peacock dress all went to Royal Ascot this year in a variety of colours. The most popular colour choice was blue, albeit in a range of shades from the palest sky, to the richest Royal blue.

For Henley Royal Regatta, Marilyn, Joan and Peacock swished their full circle skirts through the enclosures, while we enjoyed brief outbreaks of sunshine and dodged the rain and howling winds!

One lesson we learned from this year’s goose bump inducing series of events is to go for either a dress with sleeves or a dress and matching jacket next year to cope with the vagaries of the British weather. That and always take at least one pashmina too just in case!

Another lesson to be born in mind for next year is however much you love a large hat ( and don’t we all) – it’s a really good idea to have a smaller,  ‘plan B’ hat so, on the day if it’s impossibly windy swap for the smaller one. There  is little more tedious or painful than ‘hat arm’ – spending the whole day hanging on to your hat while you’re arm aches and the blood rushes to your shoulder! It’s far easier to anchor something small (as long as it’s 4 inches across for the Royal Enclosure) with elastic and hat pins and you can hold your head high and your arms by your sides all day with impunity!

One great find which was a real lifesaver on the boggy ground was Clean Heels www.cleanheels.co.uk. They’re fantastic for protecting your heels on grass and protecting you from sinking into the mud! They make plain ones and charming ones with crystals and flowers.

On the subject of shoes, we saw a lot of ladies wearing shoes they couldn’t walk in. Nothing spoils a look faster than hunched deportment with a face contorted in pain. These big summer events always require lots of standing and walking, so learn how to carry yourself in your heels and wear shoes you can walk properly in. Avoid what the delightful Manolo Blahnik calls ‘furniture shoes’ (not elegant) think ladylike courts, and never ever wear brand new shoes for the first time at occasions like this. Wear new shoes around the house a few times first to soften them up and find out if there are any pressure points that will hurt or give you blisters. If they do, invest in a shoe stretcher to ease them (John Lewis does a great one). Being able to stand and walk with poise and elegance will do more for you than any amount of designer clothes. Holding yourself properly can give you real presence. Keep your back straight slightly leaning back, hold your head up, and point your toes forward swinging legs from the hip and placing your toe down before your heel.  Let the Duchess of Cambridge be your role model – see how she walks tall – and glide gracefully through the rest of the season!

Stay glamorous X

Jane & Marilyn on the catwalk

We recently ran two fashion events to introduce our new Silk ollection and showcase pieces from our Premiere collection prior to the summer season.

Our first event was held near Henley on Thames and the guest list included many local women looking for something special to wear for Royal Ascot and Henley regatta.

We put out a call for lovely local ladies to model for  us, and were spoilt for choice. We selected four gorgeous women with a variety of ages, and our makeup artist Jane Butler and hair styling team from Dorata in Henley ( www.dorata.co.uk) worked their magic transforming our models into 1950s glamourpusses!

We accessorised our designs with hats from our new millinery collection andjewellery by Stella & Dot.  Popular purchases at the event were the cartwheel fishnet straw hat, Rita and Katherine dresses and the Lauren jacket.

Our second event was held at the prestigious Naval & Military Club (now popularly known as the In & Out Club) in London’s St James’ Square. ‘Tea with Jane & Marilyn’ was held in their stunning King Harold V room,  an elegant, pale salon with glittering crystal chandeliers and grand paintings of European royalty on the walls; the perfect setting for our collections. 

 

Guests were treated to a sumptuous afternoon tea while our beautiful (size 12) models walked leisurely between the tables, stopping so guests could get a closer look and talking to them about what they were wearing.

After the show, guests were able to try the dresses and accessories and popular purchases included the Gina and Veronica dresses and the leather corset belt. We also had a number of requests for the dresses in special colours.

The shows were a great success and we were delighted to hear from many women commenting on how refreshing it was to see models of different ages and in ‘real women’ sizes.   

Coincidentally, while writing this, evidence presented to the All Party Parliamentary Group on body image has emerged suggesting that more than half of the public has a negative body image, and of most concern, girls as young as five now worry about how they look. Media images of unrealistic bodies were said to be largely to blame.

But we are committed to our policy of using realistic imagery – including women of all ages and sizes – to promote our label. Naturally we want our images to be beautiful and aspirational, but we believe they must also be relevant and something our customers can identify with.  

Stay Glamorous X

Fabulous Fishnets

Fishnets have been coming in for a lot of flak recently, largely it seems due to Madonna sporting them at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami teamed with bondage boots and tight satin shorts.

Mimi Spencer and Liz Jones (http://bit.ly/Hbe6Vc) have both criticised Madonna’s choice of stage outfit and suggested that fishnets shouldn’t be worn over 50.  And to a point we have to agree that you do have to be careful, especially with the black variety, when you’re a little more mature.

Fishnets and big pants can make glamorous and practical stage wear – Marlene, Judy Garland, Liza M, Marilyn and Kylie have all pulled of the look – and Madonna probably could have too if she’d got the rest of the outfit right. The pants for example, need to be big, covering the entire buttock, not, like Madonna’s, skin tight and cut so high they flattened and pushed the bottom half of her derriere out in a most unflattering manner!  And rather than the fetishist lace-around-the-leg-up-to-the-knee boots, a pair of high, pointy toe stilettoes are sexy in a sophisticated, grown up way.

Stage wear apart, black fishnets can work on all ages but, at night, preferably in winter and definitely with a hemline well below the knee. Team with sky high but ladylike heels and it’s a simply glamorous look.

However, there is also another way to embrace the fishnet, one of which we have long be devotees – the flesh colour fishnet. In flesh the fishnet loses all its burlesque overtones (particularly if you go for the finer micromesh fishnet), and becomes a practical solution to uncomfortable hose issues. Especially in summer, if you don’t want bear legs (and for special occasions and in particular when wearing a hat, you really shouldn’t be doing bear legs) but can’t bear the thought of encasing your legs in nylon, flesh fishnets are the solution. They allow your legs to breath – you hardly know you’re wearing them – whilst making your legs look smooth and beautiful.

They help to prevent blisters too!

Stay glamorous X