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Do You Love or Loathe Red Carpet Opulence?

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Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The film and television industry award season is in full swing. It’s the playground for designers and fashion queens to make a statement and, in some cases, make history with that all important strut down the red carpet. The main event being, whether we like it or not, the Academy Awards, 26th February, 2012.

Everyone remembers an Oscar fashion story. Usually it’s the big mistakes, Björk’s unfortunate swan outfit, Cher’s several attempts to show us she’s defied age and gravity not to mention Helena Bonham-Carter’s apparent lack of a stylist (or at least a good one). There are some important lessons to be learned. But when the stars of the moment get the glamour right, they can define an era and set the high street on fire with replicas. In reality, none of us dress like that every day, some of us only dress like that a few times in our lifetime. So why do some of us subscribe to this extreme theatre of chic? It would be totally unrealistic to get the sewing machine out and sport a floor length chiffon number à la Michelle Williams in the local nightclub but the colour inspired a whole range of orange for Spring/ Summer 2012.

For those of us who are red carpet junkies, it’s not envy making us drool over the conveyor belt of gowns floating down the runway (well maybe a little). It would be totally unrealistic to get the sewing machine out and sport a floor length chiffon number à la Michelle Williams in the local nightclub but the colour inspired a whole range of orange for Spring/ Summer 2012. are the fashion choices the film and television professionals have made in the hope they may be picking up a prize on the world stage. A well crafted, well styled dress and overall look can make careers. Not only for the actress or designer but for stylists, publicists and just about everyone who had a hand in putting together the look. Collectively, these teams of fashionistas are artists in their prime and an insight into their creative world is fascinating. It’s not totally unreasonable to pick up nuances of style for ourselves, things most of us can pull off, a bejewelled clutch bag, nude patent heels, the latest ‘up do’ for our hair.

The trends on the red carpet this year, so far, have been slightly understated. As in Kate Middleton’s style choices, the colours are neutrals or dark, the cut’s simplistic. This is most likely to emulate the precarious economic times we are living in, vulgar displays of luxury would appear distasteful. Which begs the question, what will the Oscars bring? Maybe someone will revive the ‘safety pin’ dress to demonstrate thrift.

Vida Moda
Vida Moda | Designer Fashion For Curvy Women

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Go glow! Complete your look with spectacular skin

The secret to a great look is healthy looking skin. Winter is a cruel season, icy winds, central heating and fatty comfort food. Spring is round the corner, so here’s some tips to kick the winter look and bounce into a better season. Continue Reading →

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The Artist, a self portrait in oils.

“Drawing Inspiration” an exhibition of Art by Diana Probost at the Cambridge Art Salon

Diana Probst, a Cambridge artist, opens her first show, Drawing Inspiration, on Friday, at the Cambridge Art Salon. This post is about her experience of setting up the show. Diana is a talented artist and we are pleased to provide her with a guest post on our blog. Everybody gets to see the the finished work of artists but few see the effort or trials and tribulations that people go through to achieve that end product. The piece below, in Diana’s own words reflects the challenges we all face in “making something happen”, often these challenges are where we get pushed out of our comfort zone and dealing with them, while stressful does help build our experience. So read on to find out what it is like to go through setting up your own art exhibition for the first time. If you are in Cambridge between the 11th and 16th of November do come and view Diana’s work and look out for the invitation to the private viewing at the end of this post.

“I have been a professional artist for a little over a year now. In oil paint terms, that means that things I started last year are now framed and ready to sell. Oil painting is slow, and gives you plenty of time for thought. By contrast, the show date has come crashing in on me, with the speed and unblinkingness of headlights on a rabbit. If it were not for the support around me, I would be facing an empty room on opening night.

Bottles on a Blue Cloth in Oil by Diana Probost

Bottles on a Blue Cloth

The first thing I did was make a blog post and ask my friends to comment. Artists I did not know I knew dropped by. There were plenty of advice sites on the net, and I added things I had skimmed to a huge spidery brain-dump. With my husband’s help, and a donated ten minutes by a friend who advised on software, I got everything onto my computer and scheduled from there.

It cut down the mountain into smaller bits that were hardly rocky at all, and I was able to separate my painting time from my preparations. I went back to the suggestion lists again and again, for moral support as much as for the ideas.

The last couple of weeks were surreal. I did not have any more painting I could do for the show itself, and I found myself worrying about my lack of expertise in marketing. That was where my friends shone through. There was a lot of support and just knowing it was there got me through the tough parts. Today I will be walking around Cambridge distributing postcards advertising the show. It’s all coming together, and I’m really chuffed.”

The Artist, a self portrait in oils.

The artist, a self portrait

For your invitation to the private view please click HERE.

The show starts on Friday 11th, and runs until 16th, with the gallery closed on Monday. Opening hours 10-5

Cambridge Art Salon: 29 Cromwell Road, Cambridge, CB1 3EB
Diana’s URL: dianaprobst.com
Twitter Feed: @dianaprobst

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Plus Size Clothing at Vida Moda | Beige Striped Tunic

Vida Moda Special Offers

Ladies we’ve got 4 special offers on Vida Moda for you this week.

We have a beautiful check jacket by Bitte Kai Rand that is perfect for work or slightly more formal casual occasions. This jacket is on special offer right now at 60% off it’s normal price and is available to fit size 16 to 18. We only have a few of these left so take advantage of the offer now.
Plus Size Clothing at Vida Moda | Bitte Kai Rand Jacket

We also have a pretty tunic by Bitte, it’s a lovely colour, a checkered blue and ash grey. This tunic is on offer at 70% off it’s normal price and is also available to fit size 16 to 18. Again we only have a few of these left, so take advantage now.
Plus Size Clothing at Vida Moda | Bitte Kai Rand Ash Blue Tunic

We have the perfect waterfall cardigan by Heteroclite for Autumn, it is a lace textured and pattern bias cut cardigan which is perfect for everyday activity and looks wonderful. You’ll find it perfect for work or a home if you’re not quite ready for a full winter sweater! We still some of these in the following sizes, 16, 18, 20 and 22. Best of all they are on offer at 50% off the regular price.
Plus Size Clothing at Vida Moda | Waterfall Cardigan

If you are lucky enough to be heading off somewhere sunny for a short break then we also have a stunning little tunic by Heteroclite for you. This little beige and white striped tunic is unbelievably soft and very stylish. We still a few of these in Size 18, Size 20 and Size 22 and they are also on special offer at £27.50.
Plus Size Clothing at Vida Moda | Beige Striped Tunic

Don’t forget our Autumn / Winter collections are now online along with our jewellery collection. All our collections are quite exclusive so you can be assured of wearing high quality designer fashion that is quite rare when you buy from us. Joanna is committed to bringing you a choice of great quality designer clothes for curvy women.

Take advantage of our special offers today as they don’t last long!

Vida Moda | Designer Fashion For Curvy Women Size 14 to 24

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Lightening strike

The perils of hosting in the Cloud

Dear readers

We’ve had a bit of a horrendous week so far. Our eCommerce engine, the software gubbins that runs our online shop lives in the “Cloud”. This bit of “Cloud” is owned by Amazon and is their European Data Centre, based in Dublin Ireland. Apparently it is huge (we’ve never seen it, bit think it is a big shed of some sort). Anyway on Sunday a nearby transformer (not from the movie) got hit by lightening and exploded and caught fire cutting the power supply to both Microsoft’s and Amazon’s Data Centres.

Amazon Web Services

For some reason that is too complicated for me to be even interested in Amazon’s generators didn’t work so all the hundreds of thousands of servers living in the shed switched themselves off in a huff. Apparently servers switching themselves off in a huff makes techie people have sharp intakes of breath.

So it took clever electricity people and Amazon people a 4 to 5 hours to restore power to the Datecentre. Then they started switching on the servers so customers could restart their applications. However some of the servers that switched themselves off in a huff were grumpy and did not want to play (including hours). (The technical term for this is “corrupt”). Amazon told our eCommerce partner (a different company) to leave it with them and they’d try to jolly the servers along.

Over 24 hours later Amazon contacted our eCommerce partner and told them the servers couldn’t be jollied along and needed the equivalent of a visit to The Priory for a full detox and series of spa sessions to restore them to full vigor. (I’m paraphrasing madly here because the techie explanation is just too exciting).

Upon arrival at the Spa all the servers were booked in and ready for their treatments. It then transpired that the all the treatment lotions were rancid. They were rancid because the spa had mistakenly started adding extra ingredients to the lotions and so they couldn’t be used. Now these lotions are uniquely formulated for each customer (server) and absolutely essential for the successful treatment of general dishevelment and grumpiness in servers.

There was only one thing to be done. New batches of lotion would have to be made by hand from a fiddly set of ingredients. This process takes a very long time. Days in fact. It nearly 2 days to make the batches of lotion and treat the grumpy servers, before they could be pressed back into service.

The effect on us has been traumatic. We’ve consumed quantities of cake, tea and alcohol, even a bottle of Grandmothers Sherry has come under threat of consumption.

So what’s the lesson? Well for us it is still that the Cloud is good, it is the inevitable future for provision of technical services. When it’s on song it is excellent. However the caveat is that support systems and emergency plans need to be so much better because the consequences of a failure on this scale are enormous and correspondingly very difficult and time consuming to recover from.

Ironically Amazon experienced a similar failure in the US in April, clearly they didn’t learn anything from it. So come on Mr Jeff Bezos, take your head out of your kindle ebook thingy, get your DataCentre emergency systems sorted out because businesses like ours that depend on the service you provide and need it to work reliably, plain and simple. You are no longer just selling books, you are playing with the economy and peoples’ livelihoods.

This does not take away from the efforts of the people on the ground at Amazon and at our eCommerce partner who worked tirelessly over the last 3 days to restore service. They kept us informed and while that is important and useful it does hide the fact that 3 days of “no existence” for any business is not good business.

Our site http://www.vidamoda.co.uk providing designer fashion for plus size ladies is live once again don’t forget our 50% off summer sale is still running so come along and have a browse!

Thanks for your patience and we are really sorry our store has not been available to you over the last 3 days.

Joanna Davis

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Plus Size Red Scoop Neck Top with 3/4 length Sleeves

Models wearing fat suits, this is crazy!

Models wearing fat suits:

This week there was an article in the Daily mail which we found disturbing and to be honest irritating. The Daily Mail reported that Saffi Karina a 27 year old size 12 model, yes size 12 is classified as a plus size in the modelling world went on an assignment and was advised that they needed someone a couple of sizes larger. She was advised (the article doesn’t say who by) to get a padded garment made to add inches to her bust, waist and hips, the article then goes on to label the item as a “fat suit”.

Marquita Pring who is also a model and is size 12 to 14 has also worn these suits and said ‘It’s better for me because I can still be healthy and work out and have the body I want. It’s a little bit of model magic.’ . Well good for you Miss Pring but really you should be aware that just because people are larger it doesn’t necessarily mean they are unhealthy or unfit!

Why on earth is this necessary? There plenty of beautiful women around who are larger and indeed a good portion of the population is size 16 and over. We wish the media would wake up to this fact and stop insulting people who are over a size 10! This is really disturbing, one of the other points about these “fat suits” is that they don’t help the body look natural, they won’t move properly and therefore clothes won’t flow around the body properly.

The models we’ve used on Vida Moda, our online store are size 16 and 18 respectively. They are beautiful and shapely and healthy and they made our products look wonderful! They didn’t have to wear fat suits and we didn’t use an airbrush to re-touch their shape. Browse our site and have a look! Our models are shown 100% naturally to reflect the nature of the real women (size 16 and upwards) who are our customers.

Quotes courtesy of the Daily Mail online article from 01 August 2011

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Help us Save the boobies of the world!

This is the engaging tag line of a friend of Vida Moda’s who is organising a charity event tomorrow night July 15th, 7.30pm in Huntingdon to raise money for the fight against Breast Cancer. Hazel Cotterll has been working tirelessly with colleagues from Huntingdons Rotaract Club to organise the event, sell tickets and find sponsorship, no mean task to fit in with her normally busy day! Hazell is hoping to raise £2,000 for the BreakThrough BreastCancer Charity

Breast Cancer as we all know is devastating illness for individuals and their families and is indiscriminate in the age ranges it affects. So if you are in Huntingdonshire or a neighbouring county, village or town and feel like a good night out then get in touch with Hazell and buy a ticket. Tickets are only £10 and she has a fun evening lined up. You can contact Hazel on twitter @HazelLCottrell to talk to her about purchasing tickets or you can look at the facebook page for the event for more details.

At the beginning of July we were in Cambridge shopping and it was Race for Life day in Cambridge. The number of ladies participating in the event was amazing, all generations were represented, often in family groups, grandmothers through to Granddaughters. The were all in pink and there were thousands in the race. It was very inspiring and made us marvel at the power of a collective of people to change something. So while we have our erstwhile politicians grubbing around in the dirt with the powers that be in the media over goulish phone hacking we’ve got real people on the ground taking action and working together to effect change to benefit millions.

Which is more important and more worthwhile?

In our mind the answer is the ordinary person in the street working to do something positive to benefit others. So full marks to Hazel and her colleagues at Hunts Rotaract for organising tomorrows event. We are pleased to be able to sponsor Hazel’s event in a small way with some prizes for the raffle. If you can go tomorrow night then please contact Hazel and support her efforts.

Joanna & Philip (Vida Moda)

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Summer Dresses – a further option – Strawberries and Cream!

Its the second week of Wimbledon and things are hotting up, literally! We are in the midst of a mini heatwave and as I write this we are due a storm that might take the humidity away! On court it has been a hot day too, spare a thought for the poor players charging around in this heat. Ladies be well aware that Rafa may well require numerous shirt changes especially if he has another tough match in the heat like the one today. Andy Murray won too. In fact the top of the men’s draw is still intact but the ladies draw threw up two very surprising exits today. The Williams sisters both lost and while neither were seeded in the top 4 you’d always expect them to feature given their impressive past performances in the tournament. The Ladies singles is anyone’s title this year, could this be the year that Maria Sharapova comes back and wins a second title? One or other of the Williams sisters has won The Ladies Singles Title at Wimbledon 9 times in the last 11 years, Maria Sharapova and Amélie Mauresmo were the winners in the remaining two years. Only one of the last 11 finals did not feature a Williams sister so 2011 is definite break with recent tradition for the ladies.

So what of one of Wimbledon’s other traditions? Well of course you need some contrasting colour to really bring out the greenness of Wimbledon and what better colour than Red. Strawberries and Cream, the sweet side of Wimbledon, perfect for a sunny day and as English a tradition as the tournament itself. To celebrate the tradition of Strawberries and Cream at Wimbledon we are have a beautiful Red and White Plus Size Summer Dress for you. We also have some Plus Size White Linen Trousers that will complement it and leave you feeling cool and comfortable on court!

Plus Red and White Summer Dress with Plus White Line Trousers

Red & White Summer Dress and White Linen Trousers

As the weather is hot if you are going to Wimbledon you need to dress appropriately. We recommend some nice cotton or linen, sunscreen and possibly a large floppy hat! Unfortunately Vida Moda does not have a collection of summer hats, but we do have some wonder full summer dresses. You’ll love this Plus Size Red and White Print Summer Dress with a scooped neck, wide shoulder straps, slit pockets on the side seams and a beautifully deep handkerchief hem. Available in size 16 to size 22 and made from 100% cotton. This dress is perfect for an outing to Wimbledon or indeed to take on holiday and it is on special offer at £48. You may like to wear it as a tunic with some Plus Size White Linen Trousers which you can also find at Vida Moda on special offer at £35.

Enjoy your tennis!

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