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Bond Girl Style – James Bond Skyfall

Bond Girl Style – Skyfall Film Premier

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few weeks, chances are you’ll have heard about the new James Bond movie hitting the big screen.
Skyfall looks like ticking all the usual 007 boxes – drama, action, witty one liners, clever gadgets, dinner suits and of course, devastatingly glamorous women.

Berenice Marlohe at Skyfall PremiereThe premier was of course an equally glamorous event and we were keen to see the array of fabulous frocks flaunted down the red carpet. Unfortunately, we were left a little disappointed. We wanted glitz, glamour and style, and in most cases we got boring, unflattering or starlet Naomie Harris, just odd. Her Marios Schwabb dress was essentially a sequinned bodice under a mass of sheer black netting. It looked unfinished and out of place, certainly not very bond girl. Tamara Ecclestone’s emerald green frock was a great colour, but opting for showing off your cleavage and your legs is never a good idea, it can end up looking a little cheap. Darcy Bussell almost got it right, in an elegant black fishtail frock, but it was topped with a much too big bow which made it look more Halloween than Hollywood for us.

It wasn’t all bad news though, Kelly Brook looked fabulous in a floor length glittering gold frock which flattered her curves beautifully and Berenice Marlohe looked every inch a bond girl in her stunning scarlet gown.

Skyfall Bond Girl Style Winner

Our style winner though, was the always gorgeous Penelope Cruz. Like Kelly, she opted to glitter in gold with a simply beautiful L’Wren Scott gown. She didn’t want to steal the spotlight from husband Javier Bardem (who plays one of the new villains in the new bond movie), and though she kept the look simple with her chic ponytail, subtle makeup and understated Emilio Pucci clutch, it was difficult not to notice how effortlessly elegant she looked on the red carpet. She could be the perfect bond girl. Penelope Cruz at Skyfall Premiere

If you’ve been inspired to add a little shaken not stirred style glamour to your own wardrobe, allow us to be of not so secret service!

Don’t be afraid of colour

Bond Girl Style Roll Neck Top At Vida ModaBond Girls don’t blend in to the background (unless they’re undercover, of course.) So take your lead from Ms Marlohe and dare to stand out with a pop of colour to ensure you don’t go un-noticed. Our purple roll neck is a great place to start, and is full of secret double agent style too. Team it with black skirt or trousers and heels for a classy evening soiree, or with jeans and boots for a daytime rendezvous. Oh, and if you are going undercover then you can team the black version of the roll neck with a black merino wool skirt to devastating effect. Wear either roll neck with a skirt or black jeans.

Know how to Rock a Frock

Anathea Dress By Parakian at Vida ModaGlamorous parties and elegant engagements are all in a day’s work for a budding bond girl, so you’re going to need a good supply of fabulous frocks. Little black dresses are all well and good, but to really stand out, how about this stunning patterned option by French label Parakian? The lacy texture and unusual pattern combine to create a truly stunning dress that will see you through many a dinner party. Good for everyday wear too. Transform this dress using different footerwear, stylish shoes for an evening party or boots as shown for daywear.

Bond Girl Style – Business

Bitte Kai Rand Designer Top and Skirt at Vida Moda

Alternatively, in a business setting you might opt for this striking combination from Danish designer Bitte Kai Rand. A beautiful patterned top and skirt in a wonderful flowing fabric. The skirt is cut in modern style that is glamourous, eyecatching and very chic, perfect bond girl style.

Embrace Your Curves

The most important key to Bond Girl style is to exude confidence and style. Embrace your curves and love your body, whatever shape it is! If you believe you look amazing, it translates to the way you carry yourself, and to the way other people see you. Don’t focus on trying to hide the parts of yourself you don’t like (perhaps we focus too much on this in the UK). Make the most of the parts you do like, and flaunt them to their full potential just like a Bond Girl!

If you’re blessed with voluptuous cleavage, experiment with v-neck and wrap styles to accentuate your ‘assets’. If you have a tiny waist, define it with a belt. If you have great legs, look for shorter length skirts and up the glamour factor with some fishnet tights.

Finishing Touches – Bond Girl Style

James Bond has Q to supply him with gadget or two. Bond Girls make excellent use of accessories and makeup. A flash of red lipstick or well manicured scarlet nails can be the perfect way to finish off your bond girl look, but experiment and see what works for you. Maybe some extra jewellery to add a little sparkle and detail? A killer pair of heels to elongate your legs and add instant glamour? Or perhaps a super chic little clutch bag to stash your lipstick which also doubles as a spy camera. (The 007 stuff might have gone to our heads there!)

Above all else, have fun with it. Bond girl style glamour is frivolous, flirty and fun. Go for all out glamour, or just add a few touches to your everyday look. Either way, you’ll soon be applying for your bond girl style license to thrill.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Quality fashion For Women Size 14 to 28

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Is Your Wardrobe Ready for Autumn?

Its time to get your wardrobe sorted for Autumn and winter

This is the first of three Posts where we are going to take a look at some fashion options from the autumn wear collections at Vida Moda for this Autumn/Winter.

Say goodbye to summer and hello to autumn!

The days are shorter, the clocks have just gone back, sunshine and blue skies are getting less frequent, and Summer (such as it was!) is becoming a distant memory.
It’s not all bad news though – saying goodbye to Summer means saying hello to Autumn. From a fashion perspective it is one of my favourite times of year. I love early autumn, where the trees are shedding their leaves and creating a crisp golden carpet underfoot. The winds pick up too and temperatures start to drop.

It’s time to wrap up warm

That means it’s time to start wrapping up warm – lovely layers, cosy cardigans, tights, boots, hats, scarves, and of course bundling up on the sofa with hot chocolate and movies!
The question is though, is your wardrobe Autumn ready? If not, don’t panic, we have a few top tips to help you get set for your most stylish Autumn yet.

Find a Coat you love.

Black Cashmere Coat by Bitte Kai Rand at Vida ModaAs much as a collection of great cardigans or a transitional jacket will get you through the first few weeks of chillier weather, by this time next month, you’ll almost definitely need a coat to wrap up in.
If you don’t already have a beloved winter coat that comes out of hibernation every year, now is the time to get one.

Look at it as an investment, a great coat may seem expensive at the time, but choose well and it will keep you warm and chic for years to come.

A single breasted black cashmere coat just screams timeless chic. It will go with everything and never go out of style. They are a great investment and will serve you well over more than one season.

Bonfire Ruffle Scarf at Vida Moda
You can throw it over work wear, wear with jeans and boots for casual chic, or on top of your best party frock to keep you warm en-route, this classic design never looks out of place. If you want to add a pop of colour, treat yourself to a bright scarf (or two!), like our bonfire ruffle scarf from our range of ruffle scarves – It’s an easy way to change up your look and re-invent your coat whenever you feel like it.

Be different and little more adventurous

If you’re looking to wrap up in something a little more adventurous, how about our Faux Shearling Gilet, marvellously chic but really practical. Easy to wear, lightweight but warm.

Heteroclite Wool Coat At Vida Moda

 

Looking to make a unique statement? Step back in time and channel some classic french style gloriously reminiscent of the 60′s with our beautifully warm wool coat by Heteroclite?

The combination of blue, charcoal & grey in a cape style make for a stunning design that’s quirkier than plain black, but still neutral enough to wear with everything.

Boiled Wool Jacket at Vida Moda

For days when it’s not quite so savage you could wear this sumptuous red boiled wool jacket by Q’neel, which is light but will still keep you very cosy and you’d look fabulous in it!

Joanna

Vida Moda | Designer Autumn Wear For Women Size 14 to 28

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Lisa Riley Strictly Come Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing – Lisa Riley – A New Dance Star

Strictly Come Dancing – It’s more than dancing for Lisa Riley

Strictly Come Dancing is only a few weeks into the latest series and the show continues to capture our imagination. If you haven’t seen the show Lisa Riley is taking part in this series. If you don’t know who Lisa Riley is, she’s a popular british actress well known for her roles in Emmerdale and for presenting “You’ve been framed”.

More recently we’ve seen Lisa portray a dark character in “Scott and Bailey”. This serious role allowed Lisa to display the full extent of her acting skills and proved for me at least that she is an amazing actress. Seeing her on Strictly Come Dancing you wouldn’t believe it is the same person.

Lisa has perhaps taken the Strictly Come Dancing judges and the public by surprise. Lisa Riley is a plus size lady and few people might have rated her as a having a chance to win the competition. But Lisa is a revelation, she dances very well and easily puts to shame the flawed image generally portrayed by the media that being large somehow means being second best.

Comment about Lisa’s look

Lisa has looked amazing in each of the dances she has done so far. Last night’s Hollywood Theme Night was no exception. Lisa danced the Jive with Robin to “Hanky Panky” tune from the Dick Tracy movie. She wore a short, frilly dress with lace sleeves teamed with sequined tights. Lisa had her hair done in a “Big Hair” style that suited her outfit and the dance perfectly.

Lisa Riley’s dancing

Lisa Riley’s dancing last night on strictly come dancing was no different to the first two evenings. It was exceptional and this is probably the one of the things about the show that people may have been most surprised by. Stereotyped perceptions kick in and people probably didn’t expect Lisa to be able to dance particularly well because she is a large lady. On the contrary, Lisa moved very well and is clearly a good dancer, dispelling this notion. She has excellent timing and rhythm and left us in no doubt about her capabilities as a dancer. Lisa and Robin finished third last night with their Jive. On the overall leader board after three weeks they are joint third with 11 points.

Lisa and Robin on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

Lisa and Robin Dancing The Jive

Views of the Strictly Come Dancing Judges

There is one element of the show I find somewhat irritating. Some of the judges comments have been slightly patronising as if they can’t believe a larger lady is capable of dancing and dancing really well. The fact that Lisa Riley is a larger lady is of no consequence whatsoever and the judges should not continue to draw attention to this.

Lisa’s personality

Lisa’s personality is a huge contributing factor to her ability to be a success in a show of this nature. This was clear in the strictly come dancing training session clips. Throughout those clips Lisa was bright and bubbly and having fun while working through the routines. Her positive attitude carries through to the dance floor and last night she performed with a big smile on her face throughout, clearly enjoying herself.

So who is going to win Strictly this year?

I think Lisa Riley has a very good chance of winning Strictly Come Dancing. However there is stiff competition in the form of Louis Smith. An Olympic athlete, no less. Louis and Flavia performed a dance routine from the film Dirty Dancing. The dance contains quite a challenging lift at the end of the routine. In their training clips much was made of this lift prior to Louis and Flavia’s performance. During their performance they executed the lift flawlessly and with apparent ease, as you’d expect from an Olympic gymnast. The BBC probably added a little drama to make their dance a little more interesting than it was. Having said that, technically their overall dance was excellent and probably deserved more than the 30 marks that put them in second place for the evening.

There are a number of weeks to go and there are plenty of other strong competitors in the mix, but wouldn’t it be special if Lisa goes on to win Strictly Come Dancing? I do hope so. Lisa’s positive approach and obvious ability are currently doing much to combat the negative attention that plus size women get in the UK press. So watch Strictly Come Dancing each week and vote for Lisa Riley, her performances thus far have deserved the votes she and Robin have received.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion For Women Size 14 to 28

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Mind The Gap – Skinny Fashion Mannequins – Are They A Good Idea?

The fashion industry is fickle and often driven by style directors keen to wave the next cool thing right in front of us. Historically designers and retailers or possibly art directors in media have done this with lazy respect for the responsibility they wield.

“What responsibility?” I hear you ask. Well in simple terms these people are in a position of power when it comes to influencing other people. None more so than the big brands. For a lot of them their audience is young people and a lot of them will be affected by the visions that style directors and the art directors push for a particular brand or season.

A friend of ours pointed us in the direction of The Gap and the mannequins they use. I haven’t been in Gap for a number of years, I’m perhaps not quite too “old” for the their clothes but I’m definitely too fat for them if their mannequins are anything to go by.

The Gap - Using super skinny mannequins

Mannequin Too Skinny?

Their mannequins are skinny, and please note dear reader not just thin, but broom stick thin. This is the image Gap present to the customer. A lot of their customers will be young, girls and young women who will (subconsciously) look at those mannequins and may think they need to look like that too in order to look cool, be super skinny to wear those clothes and carry off that particular look. Brands like The Gap (they aren’t the only ones) have immense power when it comes to influencing people and how they look. They should be more responsible in using this power.

There is endless debate about health and weight which will carry on indefinitely. Retailers and brands could and should be a little more conscious of their role in portraying a positive body that perhaps is closer to a healthy reality than is currently the norm. This is isn’t the first time this has been commented on. Gap were taken to task in the media last year over their use of super skinny mannequins.

I’m not ranting at Gap, just asking for some thoughtful consideration of the impact they may be having on their vast customer base and requesting that they take some positive action on this issue.

They have a responsibility to think about the style image they are presenting and potential effect it may have on young people, particularly young women. We all want to look good and dress well. There is a line that can be crossed and like everything there is an up side and a downside to crossing the line. All too often it is easy to ignore the darkness of the downside. They pretend it doesn’t exist and instead focus on the upside which is shiny and glamourous but laced with risk.

All too often the fashion industry finds itself on the wrong side of the line which is a shame.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Plus Size Designer Fashion For Women With Curves

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Plus Size Tunic Dress at Vida Moda

The Perfect Plus Size Tunic Dress For A Summer To Autumn Transition

What Plus Size Tunic Dress to Wear?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think the weather likes to play games with me. For example, we will have a few warm days in April or May and I’ll decide to get my summer wardrobe out and put my winter one away. The following day we’ll be back to a month of rain and wind, and vice versa.

Crushed Navy Plus Size Tunic Dress at Vida Moda

Autumn Transition

Come September I am dying to get my cosy clothes out of hibernation and get wrapped up ready for winter, but I know that what I put on at 7am will have me melting in a form of heatstroke come 3pm. It’s like a game of chess with weather and clothing battling against each other.

That’s why I am all about the tunic dress. Perfect for the slightly warmer days that surprise us in September, the days where you can still go out in sandals and sunglasses, but not in strappy vests and shorts. Warm but not hot.

Its also perfect for those days that the wind is a little bit quicker than we’re used to, the rain clouds can’t make up their minds, but the thought of a coat brings us out in a, rushing around, boiling hot sweat.

The Perfect Tunic Dress

This tunic dress is perfect for all of these occasions. I’d go as far as to say, apart from during high summer, it’s a year round staple. Legs out in the warmer months, or teamed with leggings, slim trousers or even thick, wooly tights and boots during the colder months. It can be paired with a light denim jacket, long necklace and flats for a casual look, or add a pair of black well fitting leggings, a large costume jewellery ring and some heels and you’re good to go out for the evening.

The soft V neck and navy blue colour make it flattering for all skin tones and shapes (the dress is available up to size 22), and the stretchy fabric means it will be comfortable no matter what you are doing, in whatever weather the day decides to throw at you!

Joanna

Vida Moda | Plus Size Designer Fashion For Women With Curves

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Plus Size Fashion Tips – Making The Best Of Late Summer

Late Summer Style

Quick! Summer is nearly finished, but we are still going to get some glorious sunny days before late summer disappears into autumn. So it’s time to grab the dresses, skirts and strappy sandals and get out there while we can!

Late Summer Bargains

Sumptous Linen Summer Dress by Flax at Vida ModaThere are still plenty of late summer bargains to be had. This gorgeous summer dress is still on sale at Vida Moda, reduced to £46 from £92 and it’s perfect for a sunny day. Teamed with some flat sandals and bright nail varnish you’re good to go. It also works just as well dressed up with some nude heels and a gorgeous hat, perfect for a summer wedding or garden party perhaps.

A cream linen dress that looks comfortable as well as stylish is just right for a sunny weekend, ideally that would mean round a pool with a cocktail in hand, but this gorgeous but simple linen dress will be perfect in the garden at home or at a friends house (with a cocktail in hand..!) for a late summer barbecue!

Late Summer Mornings

As much as I love winter dressing, nothing is nicer than getting up in the morning like today and seeing a beautiful fresh and clear blue sky with the sun shinning A signal to grab a dress to throw on. One piece of clothing for the entire outfit, simple and quick so I can get out in the sunshine before it disappears!

If the sun is too hot, or, more likely, it doesn’t stick around all day, then this lightweight white stretch denim jacket is perfect. Made of cotton but with a ‘denim’ style it’s not too heavy or thick and will go with all your late summer outfits and last well into autumn too.<a href="Signature stretch denim jacket at Vida Moda

Why not take advantage of the late summer sale at Vida Moda and get your self a fashion bargain, either a statement piece or something that you can use regularly from your wardrobe.

So, go on, get out there in the sunshine, whether it’s here or on a last minute holiday and make the most of late summer before the nights draw in…

Joanna

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion and Plus Size Clothing For Women With Curves

Late Summers Day picture by Sue in Kentucky – A beautiful photo.

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Top of the Crops: Four Clever Ways To Rock Cropped Trousers

Will cropped trousers ever go out of fashion we ask? Year after year they are summer fashion heroes, supremely versatile, smart or casual. Vida Moda show you how to make the most of three stylish pieces from their collection.

Cropped Trousers In Tune with Tunics

Cropped TrousersTake your tunic top out to lunch and feel extra confident in these smart but comfortable white pedal pushers. Perfect for creating a cool look for the season without compromising on detail, not to mention an elasticated waist to flatter any ensemble. Complete the look with a pair of ballet pumps or ‘make me taller’ wedge sandals for maximum glamour.

Dip Your Feet In

Cropped trousers are perfect for holiday walks in the sand, you can dip your toe in the water, without the risk of ruining your outfit (depending which ocean you’re wading in of course. Linen is truly a friend of hot weather plus looks effortlessy casual (not scruffy, even when crumpled!). Vida Moda’s linen cropped trousers are available in sizes 14 to 20 and go perfectly with fitted T-shirts or loose blouses. Why not walk from the beach straight to dinner in a pair of comfortable but dazzling flip flops or sandals? Shades of gold or bright blues would compliment the smooth chocolate colour.Cropped Trousers
 

 

 

And the Lovely Legs Award Goes to……

Cropped Trousers

 

After leggings made a comeback a few years ago, they’ve transformed our wardrobe. They are particularly great for those who dread summer fashion season. We can wear them with our favourite sun-dress for a more classy, ‘flesh-free’ look and feel great.

These gorgeous capri style black leggings from Vida Moda are available in five sizes from 16 to 24 – yes that’s right! Soft and stretchy with Elastane, they keep their shape therefore a worthwhile investment – you may need more than one pair! Our Vida Moda model is wearing cute, practical ballet pumps but you could equally spice up with a pair of 4-inch patent heels for a night on the town.

 

Flatter your legs

Flax Cropped Trousers at Vida ModaIf you legs aren’t your best feature you can still wear cropped trousers to take advantage of the summer. Flax, which is a new American label for Vida Moda produces gorgeous linen garments which are simple but very well cut. Flax cropped trousers are named “Floods” and are a very popular design in the USA.

They are perfect for the larger lady who wishes to wear shorter trousers but doesn’t wish to show off her legs! They can be worn casually or will also be suitable for wearing out to dinner or a party. Being linen they are quite light, very comfortable and suitable for travelling in.

Team them with other linen garments such as this Ladies Orange Linen Blouse also by Flax

Joanna

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion and Plus Size Clothing For Women With Curves

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What is a fashionable body shape and does it matter?

What is a fashionable body shape? This is an interesting question and has different answers in different contexts. A friend recently shared two photographs with us that illustrated this concept perfectly. The question is what makes one body shape more acceptable than another? The ultimate answer is none.

Changing Body Shape

Body shape has been and continues to be “valued” and viewed differently over time and it is also viewed differently in different cultures. Body shape changes through the decades and fashion trends emphasise different parts of the body. Think about Victorian body shapes and fashion styles; think about the shape of women in the 1950’s. Think about the shape of women today. In western society this is accentuated by coverage in the media and by people in positions of media influence promoting one body shape as being more attractive and acceptable than another.

No guesses as to what I’m referring to here. We are in a time where larger people are not viewed as favourably as thinner people. The fashion industry plays and has played an aggressive role in the promotion of “thin” women – anyone remember the “drug addict” look of very thin models made up with shadows under their eyes? Was this really considered to be attractive or was it just media hype?

Health And Body Shape

The government and health bodies also play a part in shaping peoples perceptions about body shape by claiming overweight people are more likely to suffer from health problems. In reality any extremes in body shape can cause health issues. So an emaciated person is just as likely to face serious health issues as a morbidly obese person. Larger people are criticised for their size to a degree that women who aren’t that overweight feel tremendous pressure to conform to an ideological shape that is more difficult to adhere to the older we get.

Consider the following two images (mentioned above) both are marketing images for very different brands. Both are celebrating women’s beauty but they sending very different messages. Someone even suggested that one of the photographs has been adjusted to change the shape of the models. I don’t know whether that is the case or not, you can judge for yourselves. What is clear though is that taste and style is subjective and people will make harsh judgements about body shape which to my way of thinking is a shame.

Body Shape Image for discussion about fashionable body shapes

Normal Body Shape?

Potentially the whole concept of what is a normal body shape is disappearing. The fashion industry doesn’t appear to recognise this. As a whole they largely still aim for a market aged between 16 and 34 and who are a “standard” shape and size. I’ve been to many trade shows where the manufacturers just can’t fathom women being over a size 16.

The reality of the matter is that body shapes and sizes are changing and probably not in a manner that will suit the fashion industry. So far the industry is struggling to recognise this and make clothes that are suitable for different body shapes and sizes. I’ll discuss this further in a follow up post.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Plus Size Clothing For Women With A Curvy Body Shape

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