personal style

LIFE OF A PERSONAL STYLIST: MY INTERVIEW PUBLISHED ON XEL MAGAZINE

XEL Magazine (www.xelmagazine.com) just published my interview and I am very excited to share it here:

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Stefania Bartolomei and her journey to tailor-made success with One of a Style

At XEL Magazine we are celebrating independent business owners with our very own Independence Week. Issue #3 is all about recognising the success of independent business owners on their journey to entrepreneurial success.

We chatted with Stefania Bartolomei who is the business owner of One of a Style, a company based in London which recognises the customer's needs when tailoring fashion to their own individual style and needs.

How do you plan on taking your company forward? Have you got any exciting plans?

I have many exciting plans, like workshops and events! I prefer to keep the details secret for now, but I can tell you that one of my upcoming project is to write a book, that will be very different from all the styling books written so far!

What inspired the name of your company?

My business name plays with the words “one of a kind” and “style”. I believe that everyone is unique, so their style can be unique as well. I wanted to give a clear message, that I really work for clients and that my consultations are truly based on clients' personality, lifestyle and look, and not on fashion trends or on my own style.

What is your backstory? What inspired you to start your own company?

I have a background in fashion. I studied at University of Fashion in Florence (Italy) to start working straightforward in fashion companies, from textile to apparel. I loved fashion for its creativity, and the infinite combinations that can be created with fabrics, colours and shapes! The fashion world is very complicate, though, and very often you are judge for what you wear, how you look and even what you eat, rather than for your abilities.

So, after a while I started feeling that I wasn't fitting in that world any more, and that I wanted to start working on the customers' side! Besides, I always had a natural attitude to help people with their look and shopping choices, and after some researches I found out that I could make a real profession out of it! So in 2011 I attended a first course in personal fashion styling, at the London college of Fashion, yet it took me 5 years to take the courage to quit my job, move to London and start my own business.

Has it been a long journey to get to where you are today?

Well, not really, if you consider that when I moved to London I didn't know anybody and that, in the meantime, I've also become mom! Running a business is difficult, it requires great determination, original ideas and, of course, knowledge (while many believe with just passion you can go everywhere!), but play the cards well, the results can arrive very soon. This is what happened to me, thankfully!

What advice could you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Well, I see many people giving up at the first difficulties, so my greatest advice for them is: If you really have passion for something, do everything you can to make it happen! It is very important to do what we love, and to love what we do in life! But you need to be prepared and ready for a journey that is not going be easy.

How would you say your business is different compared to other’s in the same sector?

I have a strong background in fashion and a great understanding of fabrics and garments, and with my consultations I offer true valuable advice to my clients, that not everyone has the chance to give. Also, I believe that my Italian origin gives me a natural sense of style and good taste. So combinations that are very easy for me to create, for instance, are absolutely surprising for my clients..

What has been the highlight of your business career so far?

Well I have to say I've had many important and rewarding moments, but one that I remember with great fulfilment is when, as new mom, and still breastfeeding, I accepted a request from a client. I was feeling nervous at first, after months of maternity leave and also because I had to take the baby with me (surprised? This is London and that's possible!) but she insisted on working with me and I thought it could have been the opportunity for me to slowly get back to work.

Not only I've been able to manage the sessions, the whole experience went incredibly well and after just a few weeks the client texted me saying that she was feeling much more confident, she was getting many compliments on her look and also finally was dating someone (what she wanted to achieve with my consultation)! The incredible thing is that, while usually I help clients to feel more confident thanks to my advice, that time I felt more confident myself and, even if challenging, it gave me a great push to get back to do what I love!

Where do you plan on taking your business?

I most certainly will get to train aspiring stylists one day, maybe I'll set up an agency in collaborations with other professionals..who knows? But at the moment I am happy to work with clients myself, I still feel like I want to be in first line.

It's looking to be an exciting time for Stefenia and we look forward to seeing what's next on her fashion journey to tailor-made success.

PERSONAL SHOPPER ADVICE: GUIDE TO TIMELESS JEWELLERY - TRENDS THAT WILL NEVER GO OUT OF STYLE

Add to your capsule wardrobe some timeless jewellery staples. Here, Emily Tebbutt, Jewellery Commercial Manager at    Ramsdens Jewellery   , tells us which classic jewellery pieces we need in our collection.

Add to your capsule wardrobe some timeless jewellery staples. Here, Emily Tebbutt, Jewellery Commercial Manager at Ramsdens Jewellery, tells us which classic jewellery pieces we need in our collection.

You may have already started collecting some timeless essentials that you can wear for years to come, but the ideal capsule wardrobe shouldn’t stop at your clothing. Your jewellery can really complete your outfit and choosing classic staple pieces can ensure that you’re staying on-trend for years to come. In this article, I’ll be telling you which timeless jewellery trends you should be investing in, so you’ll never go out of style.

Diamonds and gemstones

Diamonds and gemstones are a continuous trend for jewellery. On Instagram, “#diamond” has seen huge amounts of engagement for years, with over 12,880,000 mentions. From simple diamond studs to gemstone rings, these pieces are perfect for dressing up any outfit, and their universal use is what makes them such a timeless accessory.

Gold and silver

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When it comes to choosing the right jewellery to match your outfit, you probably ask yourself the same question each time: gold or silver? These materials are guaranteed on-trend colours and you can either decide to wear a mixture of both (if you are a real jewellery collector) or you could have a colour analysis and finally find out which one works best for you and your complexion.

Simple studs

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The go-to for everyday earrings, simple studs aren’t going anywhere any time soon. With so many styles and shapes out there, from diamond studs to plain silver and gold pieces, they really can go with any outfit. Whether you match them to your necklace or wear them alone, these pieces are sure to give your outfit a touch of effortless glamour.

Hoop earrings

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Perfect for framing your face, the classic hoop is a must-have for any earring lover. Whether you want to dress up your casual outfit or add a touch of glamour to your evening wear, the hoop earring is the ultimate choice. The best thing about hoops is that they come in different sizes, so you have the freedom to make a statement with big hoops or tone things down with a smaller set.

Charm bracelet

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Charm bracelets are perfect for adding a touch of personalisation to your outfit and, because they can be so varied, they’re a classic staple that’s never going to go out of style. These pieces are perfect for passing down from generation to generation, and their timeless design means they’ll always be acceptable to wear. Why not mix and match your charms and metals to create a fresh and modern look? Then, as styles change, just swap your charms around to match.

Pendant necklace

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No matter what style you choose, the classic pendant necklace is a timeless addition to your jewellery collection. You can choose from so many different styles, from simple gemstone pendants to traditional lockets and personalized pieces. So, whether you choose to stay subtle and only wear one, or make a statement by mixing more pieces, the pendant necklace will be perfect for every style.

Each of these classic pieces will make the perfect addition to your jewellery capsule collection. Wear them to dress up any outfit effortlessly and mix your styles to create something that’s unique to you. As with any fashion choice, as long as you feel good, you’re going to look good, too!

And if you need help to find the perfect timeless jewellery pieces for you and your style, why not to book a personal shopping session?

PERSONAL STYLING ADVICE: DO SHORT HAIR SUIT YOU?

The new hairstyle trend is clear : short cuts!

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I myself am a "victim" of this new trend! I couldn't resist, I cut my hair just few days ago, after years of high maintenance long hair I said "let's cut"! The sensation of lightness and freedom after that is incredible! Yet it wasn't easy to take such a decision.. before going for a "bold" cut you must find a good hairdresser, someone you really trust in, then you need to find the best cut for you 'cause the wrong one would make you regret your decision in an instant! 

So, how to determine if short hair suit you? And, in case, which cut is better for you? Well, there are some general "rules" to know that might help your choice, apart from your personal style and taste, that depends on your face shape, shoulder line and hair texture. 

The first rule to know is something about math, applied to beauty of course! It is called the 2.25" rule and it was invented by Giles Robinson, Senior Stylist at John Frieda Salons UK and International Training Director of Color Wow. This simple measurement will indicates whether a face is suited to short or long hair through the help of a ruler and a pencil! Just place a ruler under your ear, vertically, and a pencil under your chin, horizontally, then check the measurements from the intersection of the pencil and the ruler. If it's less than 2.25" (or 5.5 cm) it means that a short haircut will be perfect for you! If it's anything more, maybe you will have to change your mind and leave your hair long.

 But that's not all! Here are some other useful rules and tips :

FACE SHAPE :  

the oval face shape is the best one for short hair, basically good with every kind of haircut. Charlize Theron has a perfect oval.

Oblong face should instead be aware of haircuts that add volume on top and create vertical illusions, like the so called "spike" hairstyle; they should opt instead for haircuts that add volume on the sides, in order to create balance; the best hairstyle for oblong face are bobbed hair and possibly wavy or curly.

Kim Kardashian is a perfect examples of oblong face shape.

On the contrary rounded face should create vertical illusions through their hair, adding volume on top, and go for a tuft or a long fringe. Michelle Williams is a perfect example of rounded face shape.

The pixie haircut are instead better for triangular or diamond shaped faces

Scarlett Johansson is a perfect examples of diamond face shape, and in fact she looks is great with a pixie haircut.

SHOULDER, NECK AND JAWS : 

You must be aware that when you go for a short haircut your face frame become more visible, as well as any eventual defect! So , if you think your neck, shoulder and jaws (or at least two of them) are not well balanced maybe it's better to leave your hair longer. Jennifer Lawrence has for instance perfect proportions between her neck, shoulders and jaws.

BODY PROPORTIONS :

Your body proportions may affect your hairstyle choices as well. Pixie haircuts, for instance, are surely good for petit women, 'cause they tend to elongate, while they could be a risk for tall women, unless they are extremely proportioned; as for triangles women (hips wider than shoulder) or the inverted triangles (shoulder wider than hips) they must be aware that in both the cases a very short haircut could highlight their unbalance. A pixie haircut, for instance, helped Emma Watson (H. 165 cm) look taller.

CURLY or THIN HAIR?

Despite the opinion of some hairdressers, I believe that even curly-hair women can dare a short cut! Obviously the hairdresser choice is fundamental, they must be specialists in curly hair; but with the right hand and the right cut even curly-women can change their look and get an amazing short cut.

As for women with smooth and thin hair, there is no problem at all in doing a short haircut, that would add the volume and the movement they need, unless it is an extremely layered cut.

In the end, do you think short hair would suit you?

BRIDAL STYLING : 6 NEW TRENDS FOR WEDDING DRESSES

Here are the bridal dresses TOP trends for the 2016! what is the one the suits you most?

1. Fairy tale : bright, sparkling and romantic, this kind of dress recalls to the Disney's princesses. It will illuminate your decollete and your look and doubtless it will enchant your guests and, mostly important, the Groom! In terms of dress-cut it is better for whom has wide shoulders and want to emphasize her top part.

2. Cropped top : following the last high-street fashion trends, this is maybe the most fashionable of all and probably limited to the youngest brides. You must have a very flat belly and small breast to wear it properly. Absolutely not for everyone, but if you are a very fashion victim and a very thin figure this could be the best choice for you!

3. High-low :  this is the half-way between a short and a long dress, perfect if you want to show off your legs but have the long train also. This kind of dress will enhance all your body, because it will draw the eye attention both on your top and on your bottom part. If you really want to make a great entrance this is the right choice for you! Personally I think this is one of the best bridal dress cut ever (maybe my favorite) but it requires a very self-confident personality.

4. 3D Flowers : the flowers become real! We are no more talking about prints or lace, but real 3d application that will make you seem a nymphs! this is very romantic and, to me, it recalls to the famous "privamera" print of Botticelli. You will feel a Venus in that dress and that sounds great 'cause Venus was the Goddess of Beauty! There is nothing to say about the dress cut cause here the applications have the key-role and they can be applied on several kind of dress shapes. So you must really feel romantic and a bit bohemian to choose this style.

5. Blush Shades :  If you are not really convinced of the pure white, nor the ivory color, this is your year! Pink blush shades will dominate the 2016 palette, not only for the wedding embellishments but also for the dress! Here the color has the key role, not the dress cut, but you must be quite romantic and classic and , mostly important, you must love pink! warm colored hair (like red,reddish brown or medium blonde) match better with this kind of color.

6. Long Sleeves :  absolutely regal! it immediately recalls to Kate Middleton's wedding dress, indeed. Good if you look for a simple dress cut but, nonetheless, you want to feel the "queen" on your Big Day. It will give you importance, despite the simple shape, because none of your body part will be unadorned. I suggest it for women who wants to give importance to their arms (for example if they are very thin and you want to add volume).

So, before going on trying and choosing your Wedding dress,  think who you really are and what part of your body and your personality you want to enhance and highlight, then make your choice! Do not forget that dresses styles are closely related to hairstyles, make-up and shoes kinds! Shortly I will talk about these subjects as well.. so don't miss it!!

Stefania