Meet Martha M. Gauci – one beautiful, stylish person

I got to know Martha through her sister, as we used to be colleagues and today good friends. I actually got to know Martha through the items and accessories her sister used to borrow from her which always caught my eye … it was our joke – every time I commented that I liked one of her accessories she used to tell me it’s actually my sister’s ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then I met Martha in person… a beautiful, confident person with a big heart. Her posture, style and the way she interacts with people emit class, confidence and sophistication, yet fun!

This blog is not about me, it is about style and fashion and how it can be adapted to everyone. I asked Martha whether she would be willing to participate in a photo shoot, as I believe her style and fashion sense can inspire other people – thankfully she agreed:)

I asked Martha to choose three different outfits (from her vast collection๐Ÿ˜‰), casual, smart and elegant.

Have a look at the pictures, taken by Kenneth who very patiently followed all my (sometimes difficult) requests:) Another big thank you goes to Vinaccia restaurant for allowing us to take the pictures at this extraordinary venue – which by the way serves exquisite food!

Finally a big thank you to Martha, for accepting this invitation. You will also find my interview to her in this blog post.

So here goes…. My Blog, Your Story! And as Dior’s fashion Director says, Fashion is not an image, it is an experience.

Happy Easter everyone and enjoy this special blog post!

Yan

X

Casual look

Martha chose a coral pair of trousers paired up with a striped top and a denim jacket. She wore her Jimmy Choo nude pumps to complement the outfit. Nude shoes are a must have in ones wardrobe, as you can dress them down or up as you wish.

Smart outfit

I loved the selection of clothes for this look, as she did not shy away from colours. The green highlighted the colour of her eyes and the Versace black coat and hat changed the outfit to give it a more smart and playful look.

Elegance

I knew Martha would not disappoint ๐Ÿ™‚ She went for a classic little black dress and we added a fur stole for some of the pictures. She dressed it up with classic accessories and a fuchsia clutch bag – one item in a different colour which made the outfit more vibrant yet still very elegant.

Selection of clothes and accessories

When chatting with Martha, she told me that the clothes she brought with her varied from designer items (both local and foreign) to high street stores and she complemented her looks with different accessories, some of which had been passed on to her from her grandparents and mum. This mix of new and old and the creation of such lovely combinations resulted in one fun photo shoot!

Interview with Martha

Favourite designer/s:

I dream of having a Marchesa gown accompanied by Lorraine Schwartz or vintage Bulgari jewellery. Christian Louboutin‘s red soles or the classic beauty of a pair of Manolo Blahnik slingbacks would complete the look. And who would not like to have one of Hermรจs iconic Birkin or Kelly handbags? 

Favourite model/s …. reason? 

Iman (Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid). When I met her I was in awe with the elegance and grace she exudes. Her confidence made me believe that she knows exactly who she is and where she wants to be. I also like Gisele Bรผndchenโ€™s laid back surfer look.

If you had to pick 3 items related to fashion which you cannot stay without, what would these be? 

Hmmmm difficult question: I would say scissors, shampoo and underwear … but I guess that’s not the answer you were looking for. Right? But I think I can live without lots of things. In such a consumerist society it is actually a very relieving feeling. But, to answer your question I would say: black dress, jeans, nude shoes.

Your favourite possession today? 

My grandma’s wedding ring. She had two rings – one to wear on a daily basis and one for special occasions. I have the latter. 

Your favourite accessory? 

My smile โ€ฆ it is always in fashion haha. And once again, I got sidetracked. My favourite accessory would be sunglasses. I once went to a local designer and told her to design a dress based on a pair of sunglasses I had just bought. You can imagine the designerโ€™s expression. Thankfully she knows me well!

Your best quality?  

My heart. I want to help everyone and go out of my way to try to make those around me happy.  Unfortunately, sometimes, my kind and generous disposition are construed as a weakness and some do take advantage. However, I choose to forgive and forget. It helps me sleep better at night.

As a person and even during the photo shoot, you emit confidence and you feel very much at ease around the camera. Any tips on how to boost oneโ€™s confidence? 

Confidence … I do not view myself as confident. I might give that impression and if that is the case it is a mask to protect the โ€˜childโ€™ in me. Very few people get to see who I am and how I am feeling. In my eyes, I am never enough. I should/could have done more, said more (or nothing at all), listened more … it is a very tiring state of mind. To counter this, I constantly try to invest in loving myself more by dedicating more time to myself and by changing the negative script that inhabits my subconscious. I tell myself: would you do/say this to a friend โ€“ then I should not be doing/saying it to myself. To be honest, sometimes my impulse takes over my good intentions towards myself.

During the shoot, we spoke about your passion for theatre and the โ€˜maskโ€™ one gets to wear or remove. You stated that having a theatrical script you feel in a safe position that you are not hurting anyone. These words really resonated – how do you adapt to the different roles and characters? And how does acting help you in your day to day life?

Although, unfortunately or not, I am not a professional actor, I am blessed to be surrounded by fantastic artists. Together we create a safe space in which to shed the layers created by lifeโ€™s experiences. The deeper we study ourselves the more we can delve into the characters we play, and vice versa. When playing a character and/or relying on a script, nothing you say or do can hurt the people around you (if one is true to the character/script). In life, however, one look, one remark โ€ฆ can hurt someone or add to a personโ€™s self-doubt. I could be standing next to someone who is completely broken and I would never know. I keep in mind that everyone I meet is fighting a battle I know nothing about. Thus I try my best to be kind to others โ€ฆ and also to myself.

You clearly have a passion for fashion and a very elegant and classy style – how do you create your outfits? 

Style is a way to say who I am without having to speak and thus is fluid as much as my vision of myself. Vivienne Westwood once said: “Fashion is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing wellโ€. I usually start by looking at my diary for the day. Based on that, I choose what shoes to wear. Then I build on that. My final accessory is always a scarf. 

How often do you change your look? 

Daily. I am not someone who experiments with hairstyles, colour or wardrobe. I love some items too much. Yet, like most women nowadays, I go from sportswear to smart wear and then loungewear in just one day.  I have curly hair but sometimes I blow dry it straight. I also like wearing a tight bun or ponytail. I can sport all styles in just one week.

Do you plan your shopping sprees, or do you go on a whim and shop? 

When I plan to shop, usually I make a very specific list and end up going home with nothing in hand. Thus, I gave up doing this. I constantly try to convince myself: I donโ€™t need anything, but then I walk in the street and spot a lovely dress and at that point, I just need to have it!

Any tips from Martha to the readers of the blog? 

My daily mantra is to act in an โ€œeasy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive wayโ€. This also applies to fashion.

Credits

Photos – Kenneth Azzopardi

Model – Martha M. Gauci

Hair – Xar Hair & Nails, Ibragg

Venue – Vinaccia Restuartant, Rabat

Behind the scenes collage

Reinventing your wardrobe…. with items you already have ๐Ÿคฉ

Good morning!

I have been thinking about this blog post for quite a while. I don’t know about you, however I sometimes get into the habit of wearing a particular shirt , with a particular pair of trousers paired up with same shoes and bag I would normally wear with them and off I go… it is convenient when you are in a rush, but killing the creativity and fun we can have with clothes and accessories we already own. Also, we all go through times where financially we cannot afford to shop as much as we would love to. Here are a few ideas of how you can shop your own wardrobe ๐Ÿ™‚

Organise yourself

You need to know what you own, to be able to think about and create different outfits with clothes you already have. A friend of mine had told me that her wardrobe is colour coded, I gave her a look of shock and disbelief. When my wardrobe got to a stage where I was shifting hangers around trying to find something I know I had, I decided to spend a Saturday organising my wardrobe in terms of items and colour. It really does help. You will find some clothes you haven’t actually worn in a while! Plan the time to do this, it takes a a while but it is really worth it!

Be creative!

Nothing beats the feeling of buying something new, and when we go shopping or when we are filling up the online shopping carts, we start planning different outfits in our head. Do the same with the items you already have. Think of different looks and get inspired by others. Go on Pinterest, follow others on Instagram to get different ideas. (You can follow me on yans-imagecons on Instagram, I do post ootd quite often;)

Ask yourself, what look to you feel like? Professional, rock chick, chic, smart and then have a good look at your wardrobe and start creating. Re-mix the clothes you already own, and voila’ you have a brand new outfit! Add accessories like brooches and scarves ( perhaps worn as belts ๐Ÿ˜‰ and play around with creating your own individual look.

Have fun!

Enjoy and have fun doing this. It is really important to find the time, otherwise you will end up with half the wardrobe all lying around and you will find yourself frustrated rather than creative ๐Ÿ˜‰ Think differently and you will realise that you can come up with so many different creations.

Mix your smart trousers with flats and a denim shirt for a sportier look. That evening dress you bought for a wedding which is now hanging in your wardrobe – dress it down with booties and a leather jacket. Blazers are very in this season, don’t leave them only for your office job or smart occasion, have you ever tried pairing up a blazer with jeans and trainers?

Here are three different outfits with the same pair of trousers. A skirt which can be worn for an elegant do, or for a hip party.

Let me know what different outfits you create in the comments – I always enjoy hearing from you!

Smart look

Same trousers, casual look!

Same trousers, different style ๐Ÿ™‚

Go elegant..๐Ÿ‘ ๐Ÿ‘œ
Go rock chick ๐ŸŽธ

Hair Trends – in collaboration with XAR

Hello again ๐Ÿ™‚

For all those who know me, we share this joke that my second home is the hair salon I go to ๐Ÿ™‚ I love my thick, wavy hair and I have a lot of it, however it takes me a lot of time to handle and style so I prefer going to my trusted hair salon – XAR Hair and Nails in Ibrag.

The salon is led by the owner herself, Daniela Maggi. I’ve been going at her for over five years and she still manages to create different styles for me. She has a team of another two hair stylists working with her – Roxanne and Toyah and also a nail technician, Adriana. The team is a young one, fun and oh do they treat us customers like queens (and Kings as it also services men) ๐Ÿ˜Š

I get bored of having the same hairstyle, so I am a very demanding customer as I like changing the colour or style quite often, yet obviously wanting my hair to stay healthy. I went from auburn to almost blonde, then black back to light brown and in the process also having different lengths and cuts. XAR offers many solutions and Daniela and her team guide you throughout, explaining what suits the shape of your face or whether the style you want will actually work on your hair type. I walk out of the salon with so many different styles (my husband complains that once he gets used to me with one hairstyle, I change it again ๐Ÿ˜‰) yet still with healthy hair.

One of XAR’s forte is curly hair. Unfortunately, I believe that not all hair salons in Malta embrace curly hair and find it easier to blow dry it straight. Curly hair is not easy to style and manage, however I have seen a number of people walk out of the salon with curls looking fantastic (have a look at Daniela herself with her awesome curls!)

Daniela Maggi, her lovely curls and vibrant personality

I had a chat with Daniela and asked her a few questions on hair trends for 2019…. enjoy the read!

In the last couple of years balayage was the thing to do when it came to hair and colour – what do you anticipate for 2019?

Considering that trends from the 80s and 90s seem to be making a comeback as far as colour is concerned, it seems safe to assume that weโ€™ll be witnessing several different shades of blonde, as well as some bright hair colours in 2019. I personally hope that weโ€™ll get to see the 80s make a bit of a comeback as far as volume goes, because I love creating โ€˜bigโ€™ hair, but Iโ€™m not too sure the Maltese market is that way inclined.

2019 – short or long? One length or layered? What do you think will be the must have trend in hair this year?

People seem to be opting for shorter cuts and styles these days. But I donโ€™t think the trend being set is shorter hair as such. I feel that clients are increasingly opting for a complete change of style and since most of them would normally sport longer styles, many are opting for the chop. They seem to want to walk out of the salon, looking and feeling like theyโ€™ve made a drastic change and going short is a sure fine way of doing that. In past years, the majority of clients would come into the salon and demand โ€œthe usual.โ€ That doesnโ€™t happen as often these days. Itโ€™s a welcome trend if you ask me. It makes the job all the more fun and exciting

Product you could never do without in your salon?

Anti humidty spray. Cant go by an hour without it in the salon.

(Yan- I have the mini version to carry in my hand bag ๐Ÿ˜)

Anti-humidity spray (mini version)

Leave in hydrating cream for hair

We also spoke about what advice in general would she give, after seeing some common mistakes people make. Daniela explained that sometimes customers show her a picture of a hairstyle and do not take into account their hair type, underlying colour and other factors which may vary slightly the final result. Something she also suggests is the aftercare , using the right products to retain the colour, shine and style.

The salon opens Monday to Saturday, with a late night on Thursdays which is fantastic as I can go after work ๐Ÿ˜ฌ It is a pet friendly salon too, so you are welcome to take your furry friends with you. The salon also offers nail services by the hip and smiling Adriana. I get to have my nails and blow dry /colour done at the same time๐Ÿ˜Š

So those were some ideas, tips and trends for your hair. Let us know whether you want to any other tips on hair.

Here are a few photos of the team and Xar’s creations on customers.

Good day

Yan

X

You can have your nails and hair done at one go!
Roxanne – she created many updos and different styles for my hair:)
Toyah – very meticulous in her work. Just yesterday she patiently carried out my keratin treatment ๐Ÿ™‚
Adriana- perfect nails AND one must try the spa pedicure she does!

Here are some cool colours, cuts and balayage created by XAR

Hats to create different outfits

Hello!

The fun thing about fashion is that we can create different outfits, and in my case this varies on the mood I am in, what occasion I’m going to and what am I comfortable with on the day. A number of accessories can change an outfit and make it seem different to what it would normally look like, and hats are one of these accessories.

This year I enjoyed wearing hats and given the cold weather we had (this is relative but for us in Malta this year it was cold ๐Ÿ˜‰), apart from making me feel warmer, hats changed some of the outfits and made them look more interesting. The fantastic thing about hats is that they suit everyone! Everyone can wear a hat and look cool – HOWEVER, you need to be comfortable in it. When I wear something which could be the latest fashion trend, but I m not comfortable in it – it will show. This does not mean that you should stay in your comfort zone… but in the case of hats you may prefer starting with a dainty French beret, rather than a flamboyant Russian hat ๐Ÿ˜Š

I went for both and also the baseball cap, beanie and felt winter hat – the latter being my favourite. The felt winter hat created a fun outfit when worn with pants and a sweater, however it can also be worn with a long shirt dress and boots, and give that “western” look. I enjoyed wearing the Russian hat, but I felt it gives a very flamboyant and sophisticated look, so I needed to be in a mood where I felt confident and that I could pull it off! I wear the berets to go to work – I work in an office and typically wear specs to work and feel the specs and beret go well together. The baseball cap can be worn with jeans, long boots and blazers and create a military look or sweat pants and oversize tops for a more casual look.

These were just a few examples and ideas on how hats can change an outfit, and how you can create different looks with them. I am posting a few pictures of me with different hats – please be patient with me until I get used to trying to pose for the blog ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Do hats truly suit everyone? Yes, but depending on your face shape, some hats may look better than others. There are a number of different pages/websites on the net which explain this. I am sharing one which I found useful. It was written a few years back, however it is still relevant. https://www.youbeauty.com/style/winter-hats-for-your-face-shape/.

Let me know whether you wear hats and in case post your pics in the comments if you do, so that we can share ideas on how these can be worn.

Have a good one

Yan

X

P.s next blog….hair trends ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

A trip to the city that never sleeps…

Last week, I had to travel on a work trip to the Big Apple, hence my silence in the blog. I had visited New York four years ago and seen all the main sites. This time round it was work focused, however fortunately I did have a day where I could go round the city or rather fifth avenue ๐Ÿ˜‰ Before I get to that, let’s start off with … the flight.

In my previous job, I used to travel a lot on work including long haul destinations. Initially, I used to walk down the plane looking miserable, my skin lacking oxygen and make up which I had put on hours before, falling apart. I had met a person, a colleague and a friend, who used to travel a lot who had shared with me a few tricks which I will now share with you.

Clothes

When I travel I still want to wear something comfy yet stylish. I typically opt for jeans, a shirt, a pullover or blazer and smart flats. If you’re sitting in a plane for over 5 hours – jeans start feeling tight after a while. Also after a long haul flight, you feel messy in the same clothes you started off your trip in. So, I carry with me another outfit to change during the flight. I’ll have a pair of sweat pants and pullover and after the take off I change to those. When maneuvering in my seat with a tray of food in front of me, it’s not the first time I spill food or drink! This won’t really matter if you’re in your other outfit ๐Ÿ˜‰

Skin and make up

Small make up bags (to fit in a hand bag) with sample skin care are a must to carry on such trips! I always carry with me make up remover wipes, serum and moisturizer for the face when travelling. I also carry basic make up to touch up before leaving the plane. These are always kept handy in my bag. An hour before landing, I go to the restrooms, clean my face with the wipes and refresh my skin with the serum and cream. After a number of hours in dry air, my skin craves for it. I then put on the base, such as hydrating foundation followed by mascara and nude lipstick. I don’t put much make up, just enough to feel more refreshed. I change into my jeans and shirt and hurray … I feel so much better!

Sample skincare to carry with you on plane
Small pocket with necessary make up basics

I hope you like these tips, to make your journey and flights more bearable. I don’t walk out of the plane looking like a Hollywood star mind you, but I do feel better when I follow these steps ๐Ÿ˜Š

A few windows in the Big Apple

Now, for the more exciting stuff! Here are some pictures (apologies for the quality) of some windows of designer flagship stores and stores in New York.

You will note that the theme is: bold and colour or prints. You can see this in the various clothes and items they create. One of my favourite windows was that of Salvatore Ferragamo. The collection incorporates the monogram of their gancini symbol. The window was a complete show of this, which in my view is bold and powerful. Have a look and see what you think. Others might prefer the sportier, casual window of Michael Kors.

Salvatore Ferragamo window and the gancini symbol

Michael Kors window in 5th Avenue

Department stores showcasing various designer clothes

Tommy Hilfiger flagship store…. design is amazing

So have a look inside your wardrobe and check out the coloured items you have or those with prints. Don’t be scared to use them… go for it! If you are less adventurous , why not try jazz up a plain outfit with a colourful scarf or wear a black outfit and bright coloured shoes. Think about it…. and dare to be slightly different ๐Ÿ™‚

Next…will post on one of my favourite accessories…. hats ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great Saturday evening!

Yan

X

Trends for 2019….

Out with the old, and in some cases aren’t we happy….think transparent bags (why…really??). Let’s have a look at the main trends we are anticipating for 2019, and I will add how these can be adjusted to suit different figures.

Bye bye transparent bag….. ๐ŸŽ‰

Layering

Think of “separating” your outfit. Belts….if you look at the latest fashion shows of various designers, you will see the use of belts in numerous outfits, mainly added to shirts over pants or belts over dresses to create the idea of layering. Can anyone wear a belt? Of course, however depending on your size and figure, you will need to choose the right belt and add it to your outfit in a clever manner.

If you have a straight body, make sure the belt is placed above your hips to create shape. For short petite figure, wear slim belts over waist (they will make you look taller ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you are short – match your belt to the upper body and not your pants or skirt. If you are round, go for slightly wider belts under your bust to create a slender waist.

Remember – the bigger the waist, the smaller the belt. you can also let the belt loose on your waist or hips.

Melissa Mccarthy owning the belt- one of my favourite actresses when it comes to style (and not a size zero!)

Oversize long coats

These are very fashionable, however not everyone can pull these off. If you are not tall you may end up looking like you are in your dressing gown especially in certain colours and with the knotted belt at the centre. If you are not tall, don’t despair – layer with long cardigans and ideally find one which is not one length to create the illusion of length:) I personally love the selection of these at Desigual.

The oversize coat

Desigual cardigan

Colours and prints

As much as black is always a favourite, many designers included colours and prints in their collection. Have a look at the Versace collection with bold alphabet prints and pop art colour. Chanel adds contemporary hieroglyphs to bags, whilst Alexander McQueen goes bold with studs and chains. Locally, the Charles and Ron collection showcased many prints and colours – one of my favourite pieces is the long ball like skirt which you can also dress down with their logo t-shirts.

Charles & Ron skirt
Chanel bag
Versace colours
Alexander McQueen

For those of you who are big framed, or a big size, don’t be scared of colours. Be clever – make sure the colour is in the right place or if you dress in prints choose one to enhance your figure such as block colours. If on the other hand you are very skinny, embrace loud and busy patterns.

Designers set the trend and the high street market, which is more reachable to customers, will follow suit. Even if you cannot afford designer pieces, watch out for the seasonal collections in order to take on ideas and then adjust to your style. Having followed the collections mentioned above, I went for a pair of studded pumps from Aldo (at sale price ๐Ÿ™‚

My Aldo stud pumps ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

This was just a flavour of what is coming our way. I will soon be looking into the hair trends for this year and will be having my first guest for the said piece … can’t wait!

Let me have your comments – always good to hear from you.

Thanks

Yan

X

All about you!

Good morning and thank you for the positive feedback, it was overwhelming.

The idea of this blog is to, on the one hand speak about the latest trends and how these can be adjusted to suit different sizes and ages. I will also speak about skincare, makeup and hair. Apart from this the intention is also to have features on people, people who are not in the public eye but have a fashion sense which I find interesting. And that is why this blog is not about me, but all about you!

You have sent me a number of topics you would like me to write about, amongst which fashion on a budget, winter essentials yet looking fashionable, however my favourite was please write on fashion for short and chubby people ๐Ÿ™‚ I promise you – I will! Let me know what other topics you would like me to write about – this is your blog ladies.

Look out for the next blog – trends for 2019 and how you can adapt these to suit different figures.

Good day

Yan

X

Fashion, image and embracing oneself!

Thanks for joining me!

I love fashion, I consider myself a fashion enthusiast.

Some people believe fashion is only for super models, but we all come in different shapes and sizes and we can all look good and dress to enhance oneself – and we all have our good side ๐Ÿ™‚ Believe it!

The idea of this blog is to post on different styles and trends focusing on my personal preferences and how these can be adopted to all, irrespective of age or size.

Hoping you will enjoy this blog….. my mantra is, the best way to feeling good is feeling comfortable with yourself!

Yan

X