Browsing Tag

Fashion

Fashion

Look Fit, Get Fit: The Hottest New Workout Wear

October 22, 2014
As a self-confessed workout addict, I find it that much easier to get out of bed for a morning workout if I’m going to be wearing clothes that are not only functional, but also ooze a little stylish flair. Athletic clothing is more fashionable than ever before, so it allows you to transition easily from running in the gym to running about town. Who cares if you’re in spandex; why get changed when you are already sporting clothes that are comfortable and look good?
I always stock up on Lululemon workout clothes when I’m in the States (much more affordable than in the UK) and I swear by Sweaty Betty for running gear in London. After some research (and extensive online shopping!) I’ve discovered a whole new range of ultra chic designer athletic clothing brands around the globe worth splurging on.
These brands are so fashionable that you can easily wear pieces from their collections in and out of the gym – maybe even to the office! Whether you need an extra incentive to make that early morning workout in the colder autumn mornings or if you’re already writing your Christmas wish list, here are the top designer sportswear brands:
I’ve been a fan of California’s Koral Activewear for years. Their products combine eye-catching design and colourful fabrics – just putting them on makes you feel empowered and ready to go. 
Koral Activewear is far from cheap, but their garments last ages and you will get a lot of wear out of luxury sportswear that looks this good.
Backup dancer physique sadly not included. 

Outdoor Voices is a slick collection of stylish and relaxed sporty apparel. I first stumbled upon this American brand by asking a fellow yogi in class where her cute yoga top was from.
Their clothes are lightweight and flattering; great for lower impact and toning workouts (yoga, barre bar, pilates) and for wearing around town. 
I love travelling in their loose-fitting trousers, which keep me comfy throughout long flights.
 
If you’ve tried a hot Bikram yoga class before, you know how wet, sweaty and gross your clothes can get. Daquini specialise in breathable and quick-drying fabrics designed for hot yoga workouts. Similar to Spanx, Daquini’s form-fitting capris support your physique even in the most unflattering of postures. Their stylish sports bras, tank tops, shorts and capris ensure your downward dog is always fashion forward.
Free shipping worldwide – another reason to lift that yogi leg up and jump for joy!
My dearest friend Megan first introduced me to London’s luxury sportswear brand Lucas Hugh when I was training for the London Marathon and needed an extra incentive to take the gruelling workouts to the next level. A pricey pair of their Prism Leggings did the trick.
Made famous recently by Jennifer Lawrence who wore a Lucas Hugh workout jacket in The Hunger Games, Lucas Hugh is equally high-end fashion and high-quality versatile sportswear. The New Zealand founder and designer, Anjhe Mules, has perfected eye-catching and flattering stretchable fabric that keeps you supported throughout your workout. 
I can verify that Lucas Hugh’s sealed-seam technology prevent chafing – a HUGE plus for runners and gym rats. Like most designer brands, their clothes come with a hefty price tag, but their products won’t disappoint. I’m already saving up for their latest line – listen up Santa!

Available in select London boutiques and online at Matches Fashion and Net-A-Porter
Whoever said sportswear can’t be hot didn’t know what they were talking about. Michi has to be one of the sexiest designer athletic brands on the market. If you imagine yourself on the red carpet or the runway when you’re on the treadmill then this provocative athletic brand will put some seriously sexy pep into your workout.
Made by hand in Canada, Michi cleverly combines glamorous lingerie with sophisticated designer sportswear for an edgy, seductive and polished look. You can easily wear their latest line straight from the gym directly to the hottest nightclub in town! 
yoga
Designer sportswear will cause harm to your credit card, but in my opinion, if it encourages you to fit a workout into your busy schedule, that is money well invested. Think of all the money you have saved by staying in the gym and out of your local pub. Combat the quickly approaching festive and calorific holiday season with some extra stylish workouts! 

Fashion, Feature, Lifestyle, Travel

Vienna, City of Fabulous Cakes & More

July 14, 2014

Last weekend I had the chance to explore the beautiful capital of Austria. It’s true what they say about visiting Vienna: you will eat endless amounts of cakes, you will be tempted to buy a ball gown and gloves for the upcoming ball season, and when you aren’t wandering around one of the many impressive museums, re-fuelling with a large tasty schnitzel is a must.

IMG_8259
Schnitzel: it’s what the Austrian doctor ordered

72 hours isn’t nearly enough time to see all the sights of Vienna. If you are thinking of heading to Vienna soon, here is what I recommend packing into your itinerary:

 

LET THEM EAT CAKE

I’ve never been to a city where cake eating was a daily ritual and necessity – and  yet, the people of Vienna are very trim and energetic. Must be something in the Viennese coffee! Here are some tasty treats you cannot leave Vienna without trying.
IMG_8233

Apfelstrudel – one of your five a day?

IMG_8235

Sachertorte is such a typically Viennese pudding that it should really be pictured on their bank notes. There are different recipe variations, but essentially Sachertorte is a double sponge cake with a layer of apricot jam underneath thick chocolate icing. It is delicious! Hotel Sacher is an institution in Vienna but it is also a tourist trap. When I saw a line out the door of visitors waiting to buy a piece of Sachertorte, I went to Demel instead for my afternoon Viennese cake fix.

IMG_8238

Originally founded in 1876, Demel is a world famous Viennese chocolatier, pastry, and cake shop. Vienna takes its coffee very seriously and there are more than a dozen different types of coffee available in Demel’s bustling cafe. The selection of cakes, chocolates and pastries are incredible, but save room for the signature violet and blueberry ice cream! If you’re lucky enough to have a sneak peek downstairs, you will encounter a land of couture Demel cakes worth a staggering amount with A-lister client testimonials on the wall from the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor and more. The cakes are almost too pretty to eat:

IMG_8242

IMG_8241

IMG_8251

SHOP

There are plenty of luxury designer shops and chain fashion stores to choose from in Vienna’s 1st district, but my attention turned to local designer Lena Hoschek. A former intern of Vivienne Westwood, Lena’s designs are fabulously flirty and feminine with influences from the 1960’s.
Photo credit: lenahoschek.com
Just trying on one of her yellow and white picnic chic dresses made me feel like Mad Men’s Betty Draper. The search for the perfect summer party dress is now over! Realising my credit card sadly couldn’t take any more damage from Lena Hoschek’s latest collection, I headed over to the super hipster 7th district and perused some vintage shops…

IMG_8176

…where I quickly realised that the 80’s are back – Vienna Calling anyone?!

IMG_8189

Sadly these leopard wedge Gaga-esque beauties weren’t available in my size:

IMG_8178

Bring a sweet treat back home to your loved ones with Austrian Mozartkugeln Chocolates, which are sold in every shape imaginable and make great presents. There are chocolate stores all over Vienna, but I always find myself shopping for goodies in a local grocery store no matter where I travel.

IMG_8214
The Vienna grocery store chocolate selection!

RELAX

Yes, I am drinking the Park Hyatt hotel Kool Aid as their PR, but it’s hard to beat staying in the brand new Park Hyatt Vienna, which opened last month. The hotel is exquisite from top to toe and the location is very central.

IMG_8291

The 100-year-old building was formerly a bank, so there are lots of historical Viennese influences discreetly displayed throughout the hotel. History buffs will have a field day here! The charming hanging artwork pictured in my room is actually an enlarged typically Viennese brooch.

IMG_8127

For a dining experience you won’t forget, try The Bank restaurant, which is elegant and glamorous in appearance with a WOW, I want to try everything! menu to match. I feasted on grilled beef tenderloin Rossini with madeira sauce and summer truffle on top of potato gratin. It was easily the best steak I have ever had.

IMG_8191

Even if you aren’t necessarily a spa person, you have to check-in to the hotel’s Arany Spa for a swim in the golden brick lined pool, where the bank’s vault was once located. This is as close to gold as I will probably ever get!

IMG_8288

Fashionistas will love the hotel’s very chic Coco Chanel inspired mirrored staircase.

IMG_8130

Make your way up the stairs in the afternoon to find an array of cakes, pastries, chocolates and more. I’m telling you, it is a mystery that everyone in Vienna is so thin!

IMG_8138

Lemon drizzle cake with cherries and eclair

IMG_8187

Three flavours of summer truffles, swoon!

 

EXPLORE

Vienna is home to so many historical buildings and museums that it’s hard to know where to start.  If you’re tight on time and weather permits, I would suggest walking around the city for a dose of culture and fresh air. St Stephen’s Cathedral is absolutely marvellous and well worth a visit. It’s in the centre of the city with a massive spire, so you can’t miss it!

IMG_8193

We beat the afternoon heat in the Belvedere museum and admired one of the latest ‘must-see’ exhibitions in the museum’s Austrian gallery, Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. It’s there until the end of August 2014, so go quickly to avoid disappointment!

IMG_8163

I was most impressed with the stunning Austrian Parliament Building on Ringstraße boulevard and can only imagine how gorgeous it must be inside.

You can’t help but love Vienna’s fashionable street cart horses, which wear these colourful headpieces to keep the flies at bay- the stylish way! For a dose of serious horsey culture, book a tour of the remarkable Spanish Riding School in advance as tickets sell out quick.

IMG_8172

After a day of sightseeing, you can treat yourself to a super healthy vegan, rice milk, coconut milk or oat milk ice cream at Veganista, which is the health-conscious hangout in the 7th district’s Neustiftgasse street. The basil flavour (aka ‘Basilikum’ in Austrian) is one of their specialty flavours.

IMG_8171

A trip to Vienna wouldn’t be complete without a coffee stop in the historic 130 year old Cafe Central, which is famed for once being a popular meeting place amongst Vienna’s poets, artists, writers and philosophers. The building’s remarkable architecture will take you back in time and the menu isn’t too shabby either.

IMG_8145

Vienna offers so much: history oozing from every corner, some of the world’s best music, delicious food, a vast selection of museums to explore and brilliant shopping. I can’t wait to return for a longer visit and hopefully one day attend a Viennese ball. I may have to lay off the chocolates if I want to fit into my ballgown though!

IMG_8289

Tschüss!