The Central Saint Martins Palladium Jewellery Design Competition!

Can I have two please?

Last night I was very lucky to have attended a fabulous party to celebrate The Central Saint Martins Palladium Jewellery Design Competition winner. It was held at the amazing ICA . I was unfortunately without my usual date, so I called up my dear friend Chris and tagged him along. Boy always needs a date, am I right?

We went through the “No entry” sign (which is always fun to do) and headed upstairs to the venue space. First of all, I had no idea that there was space like this at The ICA. If you are looking for an amazing wedding venue or just to party place. Give them a call. It was beautiful. The place was rammed with the who’s who in the fashion world, mixed with very East London looking crowd. I of course fitted in like a glove. Naturally. After few welcome drinks and canapes we all gathered in the main space to hear the results. The design competition is a collaboration between Palladium Alliance International and Masters Design students, specializing in Jewellery Ceramics and Furniture at the amazing Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Really incredible opportunity for the students to bag this prestigious award.

The winning design (pictured) was designed by Leigh Cameron who commented: “It has been an amazing experience, I never thought that I would win and as I am studying Furniture designing jewellery is a whole new experience for me. Working with palladium has been fantastic and I look forward to working with it again in the future.”. Leigh design was inspired by large architectural shapes and I have to admit I love the shape of the ring. It really is like a mini building on your finger. Loves it. To be honest I have never really worn anything made of palladium, but now I am intrigued. I shall be contacting Leigh to get him to get us the lowdown. Sorted.

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Profile on Ian B, Style and Beauty Commentator

Hi Ian and thanks for joining msalonen.com!

1. Tell us what is it that you do?
I’m a former fashion stylist, and was style & grooming editor of GT magazine from 2006-2008. I now work as a professional blogger (I’m the author of Diary of a Fashion Mister) and make-up artist (clients have included Alexandra Burke). I also have a TV agent and am currently working towards a career in television (not many people know that I was screen tested by Maverick Television for Gok Wan’s job on How To Look Good Naked). Msalonen: OOOOOOHHH! Search for “ianbrownstyle” on You Tube and you’ll see my most recent stint on QVC! My website is probably the best way to illustrate my diverse career: http://www.ibstyle.co.uk/

2.  How did you get started in the fashion and beauty industry? Was it always what you wanted to do?
When I was very young, I think the first job I expressed an interest in was being a fireman (Msalonen: Why do all my profile men wanted to be firemen?) However, being so young, my career aspirations changed almost weekly. I think the longest held aspirations (and most serious ones) were to be a doctor like my paternal grandfather, a barrister, then an actor (I was in the National Youth Theatre). These other aspirations aide, I do recall when my passion for fashion was first ignited. I was sick at boarding school, probably at about the age of 10 or 11, and I recall picking up a copy of Hello magazine that was lying in a pile by my bed. I remember seeing photos of a Chanel catwalk show, starring supermodels such as Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford, and from that moment on, I was hooked.

From the age of 13, I was subscribing to the Sunday Times. Every Sunday, my ritual involved having breakfast and ripping open the plastic casing of the supplements, and reading the Style section first. The late Isabella Blow was the Fashion Director at the time, and producing the most amazing shoots and content. The pages were filled with British talent such as the late Alexander McQueen and milliner Philip Treacy, together with aristo models such as Honor Fraser, Stella Tennant, Iris Palmer, Jasmine Guinness and Sophie Dahl. I recall this being the highlight of my week, and most likely responsible for sparking my desire to become a fashion stylist. From the Sunday Times Style, I quickly moved on to Vanity Fair magazine, which I read every month, cover to cover, particularly loving the Hollywood specials with the fold out covers. I also recall loving Sky Magazine, which I found in the airport one day (my headmaster’s wife actually banned me from reading it at school which I thought was rather tragic). To encounter such a ballsy polysexual magazine in my adolescence was just miraculous, it opened up my eyes to a whole new world (especially Karen Krizavonich’s agony aunt section, which featured the most hilarious stories).

 I moved down to London from Scotland at the age of 16, and got into the National Youth Theatre at 17 while studying for my A-Levels at Dulwich College. After that, I applied for a place at RADA. I was accepted but decided to take a gap year so I could experience life. I got a job at Whistles on the Kings Road in the summer of ‘2000 (back when it was privately owned by Lucille Lewin). Lucile was a formidable woman and probably the most important fashion buyer in Britain at that time. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful garments from the likes of Dries Van Noten, Isabel Marant, Sophia Kokosalaki, Catherine Malandrino, Jill Stuart and Rozae Nicholls, to name just a few. This really sparked my latent interest in fashion. I was the only boy in the store, but had already built a vast customer book of personal clients, whom I would regularly style for events. One of my earliest clients was comedienne Jenny Éclair. I remember dressing her for an awards ceremony, and I was only 18 at the time. Most of the girls I worked with were studying at Saint Martins, and they became my first creative family, nurturing my interests and helping me hone my skills. Four years later, in 2004, Kate Harwood, one of these girls (and co-founder of cult London boutique Beyond The Valley), gave me my first break as a stylist. She was doing a shoot for Emmanuel Saint (who had worked with McQueen at Givenchy), and asked me to co-style his look book. After that, Emmanuel asked me to style his catwalk show, then another look book. My big break in music styling also came via Kate. She had been asked to style Massive Attack collaborator Nicolette Suwoton (Nicolette sang the tracks three and Sly on their Protection album, also featuring Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl). After working on a music video and album cover with Kate, Nicolette asked me to style her for other projects, and after that I went on to style Kanya King, the founder of the MOBO Awards, together with pop starts such as Rachel Stevens and boy band 5ive. Later, I got a job as a freelancer at Cosmopolitan magazine, which was the springboard to becoming style and grooming editor at GT.

3. What is the best part of your job, and the worst of course?!
The best part of the job is meeting such amazing inspirational people, travelling, dining in fabulous restaurants, and being blessed with a lot of freebies (for which I’m always grateful, as my bathroom looks like Space NK) and I’ve collected some beautiful garments, jewellery and accessories.

I think the worst aspect of working in the fashion business was the insecurity. I encountered a lot of nasty people who made me feel worthless and insecure. I think what I’ve learned, is that no matter what industry you are in, there will always be people who’d rather your star shone less brightly (especially if you have a kind nature). I’ve been reduced to tears on more than one occasion, which is probably why my destiny has drawn me towards the beauty industry, where the people, quite frankly, are a hell of a lot more pleasant. I think what you find in fashion is that the true greats, are always the ones who are the most pleasant and respectful, because they have less to prove. The late Isabella Blow and milliners Philip Treacy and Louis Mariette, are some of the kindest and humble people I’ve met, together with the jeweller Theo Fennell, shoe designer Jimmy Choo, designers Dean and Dan Caten of Dsquared2 and Viktor & Rolf.

4. In a perfect world, what would you like to be doing if not your current career?
I honestly think that I was destined to do what I’m doing, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. My creativity is my life, and my life is my creativity.

5.  Any advice to anyone thinking about a career in fashion?
Yes. If you don’t have a thick skin, don’t even think about it. Fashion kills, quite literally. Just look at Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen.

Ian, I cant thank you enough, you have just opened your life to the readers here at Msalonen.com. Lovely to talk to you as ever. Now if only I can get my eyebrows managed like yours! Hmmm.

1. The first thingo in the morning when you get up?
Make myself a cup of green tea and have a cigarette (don’t worry, the irony of that contradiction isn’t lost on me. I will quit at some point!) (Msalonen: HA! I knew you had a “fault”)

2. Before you leave the house, you always check?
I work in the beauty business, so I always do my make-up before I leave the house for appointments and meetings. I believe in embodying the world that I represent. I’m a style and beauty commentator, so for me, that means dressing well and looking perfect.

3. On your way to work, you…?
Either listen to my i-Pod or read (more often than not I read, one of my favourite pastimes).

4. At the end of the day you look forward to?
Going to the gym and doing weights and yoga, having a shower and sitting in the steam room to unwind. Then it’s home to change into my tracksuit bottoms, a hoody, my Ugg boots, having a cup of herbal tea, some supper, spending time with my dog Shiloh (a Bull Mastiff cross) and writing for my blog Diary of a Fashion Mister (which, like now, I tend to do in the middle of the night when it is quiet so I can really think without distraction).

5. The last thing you do before bed?
I pray. My paternal grandfather, the celebrated author Reverend John Bremner Purvis, was the Rural Dean of Bedlington (look him up on Burke’s Peerage or Amazon), so I guess spirituality is in my blood (together with writing!)

Amazing, thank you Ian. I cant thank you enough!

Dear Nicole Kidman




Is this a joke?

Nicole Mary Kidman, you have left me stunned. Not because you married a gay actor and then came to your senses and divorced the little midget, but because you were dressed in jewelled crap at the Academy Awards. Gone are the days of the gorgeous dresses by Galliano and Balenciaga and now we are presented with this. What is it? I know again we have gone for Galliano for Dior, usually a match made in heaven, however I am thinking that Nicole is only wearing this to support the suspended lunatic. I can totally understand loyalty to your friends. We all do things that we are not that keen on, just to support our friends through rough times, but wearing this jewelled oriental looking wedding dress isn’t going to help anyone, quite the opposite to be honest.


The dress is just so wrong, the shade of white screams bridal, the jewels are far too obvious and trashy and the shape of the dress makes you look bloated and plain. For a jewelled dress, this is quite a success to be honest. I am also thinking that the hair dresser had the night off due to a mix up, clearly you pulled that pony tail together in the limo. Way too casual for the biggest night of the year. Make up look pretty average, you look pretty, that’s it. I was expecting a knock out from you Miss Kidman, sadly I got served sweet & sour bride and now my teeth hurt from the sparkles. *spits*

I WANT! Diesel v-neck!

LOVE it.

I would LOVE MYSELF SICK in this v-neck. Have been searching all over town for the perfect v-neck and quite frankly have just struck gold in this top by Diesel. I have an addiction to Diesel jeans, this is no secret. Current collection spans over 30 pairs. I have been known to buy the same pair twice and store the second pair until the first pair is worn to death. However, other Diesel stuff has never really caught my eye. Their underwear fits me odd, I think this is because my butt is some sort of genetic lottery win, narrow hips and so forth and their tops even if they have fitted well, I have never bought any. That’s a lie. I have got a one t-shirt. Loved it to death and then left it somewhere sunny. Oh well. Anyway, so this v-neck, every year around end of February / March I get a little depressed. The winter is usually still firmly in place, there is no sunshine, no blue skies and it gets a little dull. To spark things up, I must go and spend the money on this top, ASAP. I am not so keen on the writing, but the blue and purple stripes, fabulous. The sneaky spy I am, I have already tried this on (glad it wasn’t pay day when I poured myself into it) and it does look amaze. Great shape, makes me shoulders and pecs look huge and don’t even get started on my hulk like arms. Winner! Get yours now and follow me in the purple rain. (That made no sense, did it?)

20.01.2011 – STORM

Today I am working the wrist bands. Bringing them back!
(But only if you wear diamonds with them).
This new fashion direction will last until tomorrow lunch time, at least.

Watch by Storm, the rest models own.