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A quick trip to Barcelona

images-2Every once in a while my mom and I like to spend a few days away together. We don’t manage to see each other very often, as we live on the opposite side of the world, so when we do get together, we like to meet somewhere special. Our most recent rendezvous was in Barcelona – a magical city, where I came back full of inspiration.
So what inspired me on this trip? Of course, the famous buildings by genius architect Antoni Gaudi whose whimsical building design is interwoven in fashion on the street. His unique approach to the Art Nouveau movement generated some of the most creative buildings in this Spanish region known as Cataluña.

I noticed that fashion on the streets of Barcelona is very similar to those of the building designs: lots of ruffles, images-1fringes, edges, curves and a slight bohemian take on things that reminded me of 70s styles in the States. Most restaurants in Barcelona are tapas style that implies casual dressing with a twist. Leave your evening cocktail dresses at home and bring boots, skirts with rushing, blouses with ruffles and pin your hair with flowers.

 

By |October 18th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

Finally the cream that works.

Over the years, I have tried as much as I can to ensure that I do not discuss anything relating to beauty as I am a not a beauty expert but a personal stylist. However, what I am about to share today is the experience I had with a new product I decided to try out.This product is what is lightening my world at the moment and I hope it would not be too insane to say I am totally in love with it.

I cherish my skin a lot which is why I make sure the type of cream I use is one that has been adjudged the best in the market. However, after trying over a dozens and dozens of creams, I was still looking for that cream that would help me maintain my skin beauty. This does not mean the previous creams were bad but they were not good enough for me to remain loyal to that brand.

As a person, I have a normal, t-zone, occasional breakout, highly sensitive and never happy skin surface that reacts to a lot of products negatively. However, after trying the newly improved Christian Dior Capture Totale, all that became a thing of the past as my skin has now experienced an astounding transformation. The Christian Dior Capture Totale is buttery, silly and it left my skin feeling brighter and refreshed. It did not feel heavy at all.

Though the cream is quite expensive going by the market price, I have never been so excited to spend my money on a product because it is totally worth every dollar paid. I am even confident to tell you that it is a cost effective product because you do not apply much on your skin before you begin to feel its effectiveness. This means that you can use it for months.

The Christian Dior Capture Total Multi-Perfect cream is produced with the best fragrances which gives it a warm and delightful scent. If you are looking to buy a cream that would help, detoxify, rejuvenate, and refurbish your skin, then I am happy to recommend the Dior Capture Multi-Perfect Cream.

 

By |September 14th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

Workshop @ Ritz Carlton Singapore

  • Sept 5th Workshop with Personal Stylist Julia Blank and Wellness Specialist Lilian Ong
    …Free of Charge…

By |September 2nd, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

How to style your kids!

As a parent do you often neglect what your kids wear? With the understanding that image does matter and helps us achieve our dreams, we need to instill a sense of style in our children as early as possible in childhood.  It’s not something you can fix in a short period of time or by reading glossy magazines on a long haul flight.

I have countless cases of clients who all say the same thing…. “ I wish my mother inspired me to dress better when I was little,…. I wish I had a clue”. Children, and I mean both boys and girls should be nurtured to appreciate style as early as possible. For instance, just because you have a son does not mean he can’t develop a sense of style and appreciation for beautiful things in life. Don’t make the mistake of saying that he’s a boy so he won’t be interested in “that kind of stuff”. That “stuff” will set him apart from others and will help instill a sense of confidence as he gets older and matures into adulthood.

As parents our first concern is education and the general well-being of our children. It is also important to lead by example, and so how you put yourself together, how you choose the right colors that flatter you, and how you match the right shoes etc., is in fact all part of nurturing the development of your children. All these small nuances that seem so unimportant right now will soon come in handy.

I have children, two boys as a matter of fact. I know their interests are in sports and computer games, quite different from what I do as a Stylist. But, I still involve them in what I do in enhancing people’s lives. I like to bring them out with me on short shopping trips and get them interested. Here is a short list of things we do together, that you can try too:

–          I often ask my sons to rate my outfit and provide feedback. You like it, and if so why? You don’t like it, why? Oftentimes children can be brutally honest, and amusing at the same time!

–          Ask them to find a top that matches your jeans from your wardrobe. Be sure to complement them on their selection, and that you value their input;

–          During short shopping trips I come up with games, for example “find something in red with the buttons”.

All these short and easy to do exercises get your kids involved and interested. It may also help them gain an appreciation for style and develop confidence in themselves, which to me is the formula for success.

By |August 12th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

Summer Holidays with Style

Remember the days back in school when you counted the minutes for the bell to ring? That Bell was the sound of summer, freedom and the start of your summer holidays. I am no longer a student but a Mom of two boys but just like them I simply love the anticipation of summer holidays.
On June 5th, we caught an early flight to London. Even though it’s not a quick flight, it always seems to go faster when we fly with Singapore Airlines. It must be their excellent entertainment system and Hagen Dazs Ice cream in between movies. Arriving in London tired and jet lagged we were happy to get the keys to what would be our place for the next four nights. A lovely townhouse in St. John’s Wood not far from the famous Abbey Lane where Beetles recorded their album. Being so close to the famous Regent Park I took more than one trip to see the gardens and smell the roses. You just don’t get the store bought ones to smell like that.
Next stop on our two week holiday was Sorrento, Italy and probably the most beautiful place I have ever visited. What made this place so unique? Amazing yet simple Italian food, warm and friendly people and clear Mediterranean water, isn’t it enough? Our lovely hotel Bellevue had a breathtaking view onto the Mediterranean ocean, a million dollar view that will stay with me forever.
Traveling to different cities and climates presents a small challenge in packing. What looks appropriate in London does not in Italy. London fashion is similar to LA; it’s all about cool comfort and less color. Italy is the opposite; people dress to impress in beautiful vibrant colors that accent the surroundings despite their comfort. My favorite Dolce Gabbana dresses felt very at home here. I never felt like I looked overdressed in them.
When packing for my clients I often suggest inspiration boards that give them ideas of how people dress in a place they are going. Milan vs. New York is vastly different in styles so is London vs. Paris. Do you homework prior to packing to avoid looking like a lost tourist.

By |July 8th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

Paradise exists…

Yet again my husband twisted my arm and made me go to the Maldives. Argh! Just kidding, anyone who has an opportunity to visit Maldives is lucky. Here the waters are shimmering and clear, reefs are colorful and full of life, and accommodations are superb.
Kunahura resort is only a short 40 min sea-plane ride away from Male-the capital of Maldives. Flying over the beautiful atolls submerged in turquoise water is simply breathtaking. Our pilots unlike normal pilots did not have their shoes on. As a matter of fact, most resorts take your shoes away when you arrive. It’s a great feeling not having to worry about matching your shoes with your outfit. The only thing I did worry about is what color to paint my toes , bare is in so that’s what I chose.
When it comes to sunblock, I am picky. My favorite sunblock at the moment is by Kerstin Florian, it smells divine with a hint of jasmine. It’s lightweight texture that did not make me feel like I was wearing anything on my skin.
In my suitcase you will find: a few long flowy maxi dresses that I wear in the evening. A pair of shorts with versatile tops that I don’t mind getting wet. A few sexy beach accessories that can be mixed and matched with all of my clothes. A cool straw hat and a silk Pucci pareo. If you read my blogs you might have noticed that I have a special relationship with a few designers. Pucci is one of them.
Wishing you all a wonderful Summer. Look out for my next blog on London and other places.

By |June 8th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

Singapore Fashion Week 2015

Twice a year Singapore gets a real buzz, the kind of buzz I am used to; having lived in the Big Apple for 20 years.  The first one happens during the F1 weekend when international celebs, race car drivers together with their various crew and the party people descend upon this tiny island and hotel rates triple! The second and more tiring is during Singapore Fashion week. International designers, Editors, Buyers and Celebs once again descend upon this tiny island. There are back to back shows, and back to back events for an entire week. You can see how tired the Fash Pack are, especially the magazine editors.

This year DVF who is also the President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America ‘Opened’ SFW. Victoria Beckham will be ‘Closing’ making these 2 shows the most highly anticipated.

90 min before the big event my phone rang. “Julia I’ve got terrible news,” Bon Bon Girl sounded a little shaken. I found out later that her grandmother had passed away. “Would you like to take my front row seat? It would be such a waste.” Let me think about it for a second… Ahh, Yes please!

So what does a personal stylist who usually helps others get ready for big events do? Panic? No! I had to make a quick decision. Do I wear something from DVF to her event and run a risk of someone else wearing the same outfit or do I just concentrate on looking the best in what makes me feel confident at that moment? I opted to option #2. My choice of clothes: Classic Cigarette pants with a silk Pucci blouse. Muted makeup and an elegant clutch that’s big enough to fit a phone and a small camera.

A fashion show held by a highly respected designer is for the stylist, what Formula 1 is for an avid driver. I loved the whole atmosphere of anticipation, what the designer ???. It’s also right here that Singapore’s fashionistas and ‘it’ girls make the best effort to showcase their personalities through the choice of clothes.

After everyone was seated, and the lights were dimmed, the most seductive song of all from the movie “50 shades of grey came on. “Seduction” was the name of the new DVF collection. I was expecting to see lots of wrap dresses in floral prints but was surprised yet excited to find a new wave. Outfits were structured and exuded power with a lot of sensuality. They were very much in line with the movie 50 shades of grey. It was clear even the designers drank from the same cooler. I liked the idea of what I called a “jack-dress” it’s a jacket with a built-in dress. I think it will be a new hit in the office as well as a good alternative to a boring shift dress or a suit. My two favorite outfits of the evening were: 1. classic black and white wool with rayon mix wrap dress that Diane is famous for and a long evening dress with peekaboo black lace bodice.

In the finally Diane Von Furstenburg walked down the runway to a famous Billy Joel song “She is always a woman to me”. The message was clear. Even though the fashion changes, and at times takes on masculine elements, at the end of the day the woman has to feel like The Woman.

By |May 15th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

Shopping for fabrics on Arab street in Singapore

Shopping for clothes in Singapore can be a challenge simply because most high street retailers tend to cater to customers who have relatively small frames. Inventory of larger sizes is usually limited and so if you’re not one of the lucky few then chances are you’re going to be disappointed. In fact, one of the most common remarks I hear from some of my clients is that oftentimes clothes and especially shoes are not available in their size, which can become frustrating if not downright depressing over time. I’ll talk about shoes separately, but if you find yourself running out of options because you can’t find your size then don’t worry, the solution is well-made custom clothing.

The trick to good custom-made clothing is of course the quality of the Tailor, which I will write about after I’ve done some additional recon work! In the meantime I want to share with you my findings from a recent trip to Arab Street, the fabric heaven of Singapore. Here it is possible to learn about different silks and other materials, but you also have to know what you’re looking for and so it really makes sense to go with an experienced shopper.

Did you know for example that raw silk usually has a much stiffer feel than normal silk, which is usually a blend of silk and polyester and often comes from Korea? My favorite however is Italian silk, which is incredibly soft and luxurious and is available in the world supply of amazing colors and patterns. And to my surprise, good quality silks in the Arab Street area are not that expensive. I calculated that it would cost between US$70-100 to make a long dress out of a good quality silk, which is very good value for money.

Here is something for you to consider when you shop for fabrics:

1. Make sure your know “your” colors. Which ones make you look younger, fresher, and healthier vs. those colors that work against you, making you appear older or less vibrant.
2. Same for patterns. Which patterns work well for your body style, and for the clothes you have in mind – short dress, long dress, blouse, skirt etc.?
3. How much fabric will you need for the piece you have in mind?
4. Do you know which styles will flatter your body type before you head down to your local Tailor and ask him to copy something from Pinterest?
5. Never buy fabric just because it’s pretty or feels amazing. Always have a good sense of what you intend to make from it.

If you’re not sure about any of the above then please remember to consult me before you head out. It’s easy to get tempted by so many beautiful materials and start buying without a plan, but we all know that’s not necessarily the wisest thing to do!!!

how to choose fabrics

choosing fabrics

By |May 7th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

Californian Road Trip

Like many curious Fashionistas I too like to travel, but not just travel – I like to travel to places that trigger ideas and inspiration in my creative line of work.
My clients are typically quite worldly and so they look to build collections that are adaptable and can be worn/used in several different places and not just where they reside. Being abreast of style in a global context is therefore very important to me.
In December I set off to explore southern California, focusing on Santa Monica, San Diego/La Jolla, and Palm Springs. It was no great surprise that women in Santa Monica, which is only a short distance from Beverley Hills, are all beautiful and exceptionally stylish. Because of the season I saw lots of women wearing boots with leggings and sweaters, leather jackets, and body warmers yet in/around Santa Monica and Malibu the style was a lot more relaxed with a strong bias toward the outdoors and oceanfront living with designers such as James Perse appearing quite popular.
As you drive south along the coast to San Diego the ‘relaxed’ theme continues. The amazing seafood and mouthwatering Mexican-influenced cuisine with freshly prepared guacamole and salsa suggest the lifestyle is designed around a “work-to-live” mentality as opposed to a “live-to-work” philosophy that is more commonplace elsewhere in the US and especially in major cities on the East Coast, such as New York. In California this is also reflected in business attire, which is less-formal, as well as a generally more laid-back feel and relaxed sense of fashion. This is not to say Californian’s don’t do formal – they certainly do and they do it well as recently seen in the Golden Globe Awards!
From San Diego and La Jolla I traveled North East to Palm Springs, a true desert oasis. It was probably the most beautiful out of the three locations, but also the most challenging to dress stylishly in. The Palm Springs Desert and the Joshua Tree National Park with its yellow and beige color tones were simply stunning and it was hard not to stop for a quick photo shoot. The photos were not pre-planned, and sometimes it’s better that way.
Here is my choice of comfortable yet stylish outfits. I hope they will inspire you, and give an idea of how to pare things together in a different way.

Playing in the sand with my kids:

Sweater by Dolce Gabbana, pants by Berenice, Sneakers Nike

Strolling in the desert: Skirt and sweater and boots by Zadig&Voltaire. Hat Maison de Michele

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By |January 17th, 2015|BLOG|0 Comments

From London to Paris in a week

Paris fashion week is an amazing week where many designers display their autumn/winter collections offering to showcase their skill and talent. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll get to meet with world most famous icons, celebrities and filmmakers. I would have loved to say that that’s why I was in Paris, however it was not. I was in London and Paris with my husband of 12 years celebrating our wedding anniversary. I did not get to mingle with fashion designers on this trip but I had the time of my life being romanced by my husband. Every year we try to get away just the two of us and see the World without being pulled in different directions by our lovely boys.  And what kind of romance does not involve a bit of shopping? Certainly not my kind of romance. Living full time in Singapore left my fall wardrobe in a state of despair. So before I left I bought just a bare minimal to take me through the first days: Short booties from Vince, stockings (M&S makes the best!) and a few cutesy outfits from Zara and of course a leather jacket at Balenciaga.

First 4 nights we spent in London, staying with our dear friends whom we met in Singapore. They now own a beautiful Edwardian home in Barnes, a posh neighborhood 20 min outside of central London. Beckhams and McJAgers apparently own their homes there too. On a first day David and I joined a walking tour group and spent two hours inside a famous Westminster Abbey Cathedral. Second Day we decided to check out Portobello Market and shopping in Notting Hill. My favorite designers: Melissa Odabash, James Perse, Club Monaco and concept store Matches were all there. Matches was a shopping heaven. Not only they had very knowledgeable staff to help me but the collection of designer pieces they carried was second to none. It’s here that I splurged on my new boots by Gianvito Rossi and my now most favorite hat by Maison Michel, which at some point was a part of Chanel house. Those two items pretty much appeared in most of my photos, I simply could not part from them. Paris shopping was equally amazing but I had to do more window shopping  to save time for museum and eating . One can’t have it all! I hope these looks inspire you for your next holidays.

Please follow me on Instagram:  JuliaRBlank

As the song goes "Those boots are made for Walking"

As the song goes “Those boots are made for Walking”

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Cape by Vince Hat: Maison Michel Boots: Rossi Dress: Zara

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Cape by Vince
Hat by Maison Michel 2014 Winter Collection
Boots by Rossi 2014 Winter Collection
Dress by Zara  2014 Fall/ Winter Collection

 

By |October 15th, 2014|BLOG|0 Comments