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Steven Meisel


Jimmy Choo Launches Second Fragrance FLASH

Jimmy Choo launches its second fragrance FLASH this month and as you would expect from the iconic brand, it’s glamour and seduction all the way.

Created by perfumer Christine Nagel (Christian Dior Miss Dior Chérie, Dolce & Gabbana The One and numerous Jo Malone fragrances), FLASH is a fresh, sparkling yet intense solar floral fragrance that exudes luxury and decadence.  As suggested in the name, the inspiration for the fragrance comes from the thrill of the red carpet, fabulous international nightclubs and high octane glamour, with the paparazzi fighting for the Jimmy Choo girl’s attention.

Jimmy Choo Creative Directors Sandra Choi and Simon Holloway designed FLASH to be part of the ritual of dressing up to go out – another covetable Jimmy Choo accessory to match the perfect shoes, bag and dress.  They said: “FLASH is about the cool rush of excitement and the sense of power a woman feels when dressed in a pair of sexy shoes”.

Perfumer Christine Nagel looked to stylish, urban women in the world’s style capitals to find inspiration for the scent.  She said: “I imagined the sounds of heels, clicking on the streets of New York, London and Paris”.

While Jimmy Choo was all about the snakeskin for its first fragrance in 2011, the FLASH packaging reflects the look that Jimmy Choo is currently best-known for – glitter luxe.  The glass bottle is inspired by a modernist chandelier from the 1970s, however, the circular shapes also reference a retro camera flash.  The cool blue-silver colour is a nod to the ultraviolet lights of a nightclub and the flash of paparazzi bulbs.

FLASH opens with top notes of pink pepper, strawberry and leads to a heart of Tuberose, Jasmine and White Lily.  White woods are at the base and as the fragrance develops, it leaves a warm, complex, spicy vanilla trail.

It’s a powerful, alluring fragrance for a night out, beginning with sparkling vibrancy and becoming more sultry and seductive as the evening goes on.  I have been wearing FLASH for almost two months and it has become a firm favourite for winter evenings out and when I need a bit of extra polish and confidence during the day.  It’s effervescent, heady, captivating, sophisticated and an absolute joy to wear.

Natasha Poly is the glamorous face of the campaign, shot by Steven Meisel with a Studio 54 meets Tamara de Lempicka vibe of excess and hedonism.

FLASH is sure to appeal particularly to Jimmy Choo’s younger customers who identify with the brand’s fun, daring, free-spirited side.  However, it shouldn’t be overlooked by more classic, understated perfume enthusiasts, as the fragrance is surprisingly timeless and complex.

Jimmy Choo Flash will be available exclusively at Debenhams from 14th January 2013, then nationwide from 28th January.  Prices start from £36 for 40ml and the range also includes a body lotion and shower gel.

* PR sample


Balenciaga Launches Second Fragrance Florabotanica

Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière made an enormous impact with debut fragrance Balenciaga Paris, reflecting the elegant, classic and intellectual side of the brand.  His second fragrance Florabotanica alludes to Balenciaga’s bolder, fiercer side and is visually a world apart from the first fragrance.

Florabotanica is a real fashion fragrance, from the floral printed box to the couture bottle and vibrant campaign, featuring Kristen Stewart and shot by Steven Meisel.

Florabotanica is a modern, edgy floral fragrance with a fresh greenness similar to Balenciaga Paris.  Renowned perfumers Olivier Polge and Jean-Christophe Hérault collaborated on the scent based on two major accords.

Notes of vetiver, amber and caladium leaf evoke mossy dark wood while rose, carnation and mint bring a sparkling floral burst.  There isn’t any real sweetness to the fragrance – it’s crisp, clean and spiky, with a touch of musk.  The two noses created the unique Experimental Rose specially for Balenciaga.  The composition of the new rose note is a closely guarded secret, however the brand has revealed that is has origins in Turkey.

The inspiration behind Florabotanica is 18th century botanical gardens, made up of rare and exotic plants gathered from around the world by explorers.  Florabotanica explores the duality of nature – flowers can be either innocent or poisonous.  Take note of the venus flytraps in the floral pattern on the box.

The stylish bottle reminds me of 60s pop art and the geometric works of De Stijl.  The graphic black and white stripes echo one of Cristobal Balenciaga’s signature styles and the oversized tube plunges into the perfume like a laboratory test tube, referencing the scientific practice of botanists discovering new plants and flowers.

The campaign sees Kristen Stewart standing casually in Ghesquière’s wild fairytale garden, next to an oversized bottle of Florabotanica.  Kristen’s outfit is a blast from the past – she’s wearing Balenciaga’s instantly recognisable structured dresses from Nicolas Ghesquière’s Spring/Summer 08 ‘floral collection’.  Jennifer Connelly wore the same dress with those monochrome knee-high gladiator sandals and looked every bit the fashion warror, while Kristen’s take is more punky and typically nonchalant.


Floralbotanica is sure to appeal to a younger market with its vibrant design and Kristen Stewart as the face, however, the fragrance itself is quite sophisticated and niche.  Yet again, Balenciaga has created a fragrance that is truly unique and shows another facet of the brand.

Balenciaga Florabotanica is available now exclusively at Harvey Nichols and nationwide from 19th September 2012.  The Eau de Parfum is priced from £40 (30ml) to £75 (100ml) and there is a body lotion (£33/200ml) and shower gel (£31/200ml).

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Designers, Fashion

Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2011 Campaign

Louis Vuitton takes inspiration from the Orient for its Spring Summer 2011 campaign, featuring a power trio of Freja Beha Erichsen, Kristen McMenamy and Raquel Zimmermann.

Shot in a New York studio by Steven Meisel, the campaign leads on from the Spring Summer 2011 catwalk show and Marc Jacobs’ new exotic siren is a world away from last season’s immaculate screen icon.

The trio of models have gone from powdering their noses in a backstage dressing room to pouting with glistening lips in a glitzy mirrored boudoir.

The collection features colour block lurex dresses in rich jewel tones, monogram lace full-length skirts, layered beaded tassle dresses and exquisite silk cheongsams with scattered luxurious tassles.

The dramatic styling and orientalisms bring up images of Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic 1977 Chinese collection.

Marc Jacobs’ inspiration for the collection came from this deliberate, artificial reference to The Orient that was tied up in the glitz and glamour of the 1970s.

Steven Meisel said: “We arrived at something which I would compare to the
Eiffel Tower lighting up every hour on the hour – something of artifice that is just so gorgeous, and glamorous, and beautiful, that you are completely mesmerized by it.

This season’s handbags are like round droplets of hard candy with a retro feel – a real departure from last season’s demure alligator bags.

The orient look is complete with the most exquisite monogram lace fans – j’adore!

The Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2011 collection will arrive in store from February.