Heat up Your Winter Style

Bri Cheeseman and Andrew Prince began selling printed T-shirts at Sydney’s indie markets five years ago. Since then, they’ve created eight seasonal collections for their fashion line, Secret Squirrel, and have become a cult hit in the fashion press. Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Russh, Madison and London style-blog AllThingsGood.com have all featured them.

“It was something we started with the aim of having a little stall at the markets just for the enjoyment of it. We never actually set out to have a fashion label with stockists,” says Cheeseman.

This winter, Secret Squirrel’s line of sequin tops, dark flirty dresses and slouchy trousers have hit stores. The cold-weather collection is called The White Album, inspired by the Beatles’ long-player. “We were influenced by the mishmash of styles of music on the album and the fashion of the ’60s.”

We asked Cheeseman for advice on how to style up our cold-weather wardrobe.

What can you do to add spark to your look in the middle of winter?
“Shop for cardigans, accessories or unique pieces you can mix into your wardrobe to spice it up without spending a lot of cash. I love vintage shopping for this because you can buy things that are fun to mix into your wardrobe when it’s feeling a bit lacklustre without having to make the financial commitment to buying a brand-new outfit or designer piece.”

What accessories can you wear to make winter less drab?
“I’m a big fan of scarves. An interesting scarf can turn a simple jeans-jumper-jacket outfit into something special. I’ve also been wearing hand-knitted fingerless mittens under my jumpers, which adds a cute splash of colour at the end of your sleeves and keeps your hands warm.”

What are you excited about wearing?
“Fake-fur coats! The shabbier-looking, the better. I like pairing them with skinny jeans and our Helter Skelter sequin top for a toned-down, glamorous look you can wear during the day or at night. I’m in love with clogs and have been wearing a black pair everywhere I go. They are perfect for someone who can’t walk in high heels!”

Is winter a good time to reassess your look?
“There’s nothing more satisfying than spending an afternoon sorting through your wardrobe to lose pieces you don’t wear. It makes you feel so organised and makes room for new purchases.”

What’s the best way to keep warm and still look on trend?
“Invest in a good set of thermals -- top and bottoms! Sounds practical and boring, I know, but that way it doesn’t matter that what you’re wearing suits the cold -- you’ll be warm.”

What’s next for Secret Squirrel?
“Our summer range, in stores late August, is called Deep Blue Sea -- the title of a Grizzly Bear song that was on high rotation throughout the design process. It’s all about the changeable mood of the ocean. There are subtle naval and military themes which work in contrast with the more girly vibe we’ve got going on as well.”

Bri Cheeseman’s 5 Cold-weather Pick-me-ups

1.  Winter drink: Sweet, milky tea

2.  Winter accessory: Anything hand-knitted, army jackets, clogs

3.  Winter fashion icon: “It” girls and rock chicks from the ’60s (Anita Pallenberg, Bianca Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Jane Birkin). Gorgeous!

4.  Winter escape: Bundanoon, in the Southern Highlands

5.  Winter thing to do: Sit and gaze into an open fire

Indulge in the romance of fashion

Summertime brings lighter clothes and the opportunity to bring out the romantic side of fashion. So agrees business woman, fitness entrepreneur and owner of World Class Fitness Clubs, Olga Slutsker. “I like long dresses for everyday,” says Slutsker. The simple cool bohemian style suits her. “I prefer feminine things, but not fussy. As the boss, I don’t have to wear a suit to the office. I can even wear sportswear. Today, I’m sitting here in a new Marni dress. It is very light and I am enjoying it.”

Add Playful Touches

Marni’s pretty bohemian collection with its peachy tones, feminine ribbon belts, and head scarves tied babushka-style epitomize the sprit of the season; soft, romantic, and playful.

Individualize Your Look

Putting a personal twist on your look is vital if you want to stand out. “Lately, I have heard many stories of two girls wearing the same dress to a party,” jazz singer Maria Tarasevich said, “and that is not fun.” She is right; no one wants so to feel she is wearing a uniform.

Scarves are an easy way to update and individualize your look. Designers showed gorgeous scarves worn loosely around the neck, tied as head wraps, or as head bands. Diane Von Furstenberg, M Missioni and Yarnz made some of the most luxe wraps of the season. Scarves are also an easy way to work floral or tribal print into your look.

Show Off Your Legs

Gucci, Hervé Léger, Diane Von Furstenberg and Emilio Pucci all sent cute, form-fitting mini skirts down the runway in their summer collections. Minis can help make shorter women look leggy. When wearing a thigh-skimming skirt, don’t go too bare on top. Try a T-shirt or tank -- not a camisole. Shorts from Gucci’s short-shorts to Chanel’s flowing haute couture knee-grazing culottes are popular for day and evening.

A light golden tan is best way to show off perfect legs or camouflage a few flaws. Remember to choose a self-tanner for your skin tone. To avoid streaks, exfoliate before applying to be sure the self-tanner will soak into your skin evenly. Getting a safe glow for summer can be very sexy and appealing.

Get Comfortable

As a performer, Maria Tarasevich has a busy schedule. She often has to tackle Moscow’s famous traffic in the heat of the summer, so her daily wardrobe must marry comfort and fashion. She calls her workday style “democratic – stylish, but not expensive.” Maria typically chooses a designer espadrille or wedge to tackle Moscow’s wide boulevards, and pairs them with her favorite designer jeans. A trendy nautical striped top always looks fresh and chic paired with denim or classic white.

Update Your Hair and Makeup

To top off your perfect outfit, update your look with a new hairstyle or makeup shades. An easy way to get a sexy glow is with bronzer. Pick one designed for your skin tone, and use it where the sun hits your face naturally. Keep makeup sheer and pretty -- skip heavy foundations, concealer and powder in the heat.

Make your lips pop with the newest shades of hot red lipstick – deep and sanguine. Chose a sheer vermillion gloss if you like a lighter look. Sizzling corals and hot pink also look great with a summer glow.

To keep the hair off your neck during the heat and add to your playful side, take a cue from the runway models, who sported perky high ponytails and sweet side ponytails tied with scarves, hair bands and ribbon.

Trend Report: Sunglasses

The perfect pair of sunglasses can totally rock your summer. It’s the one accessory that instantly communicates style, mystery and even a great sense of humor or a certain seriousness. Take, for example, Lindsay Lohan’s eyeglass choice for a recent court appearance -- an elegant modernized cat eye (Dior’s Bagatelle) that suggested Catherine Deneuve respectability rather than Paris Hilton frivolity.

Effective as they are as a fashion statement and mood booster, designer shades can also make a major dent in your budget, with high-quality lenses running $200 and up. So it makes sense to choose this season’s pair with an eye, so to speak, on fresh new shapes, great frame colors and lens tints, and most important of all, the silhouette that flatters your features and channels your personality. To find that elusive pair, you’ll need an open mind, the stamina to try on at least a dozen pairs, and a sunny afternoon.

Up-to-the-minute Sunglass Styles

Fashion this summer is bare and pared down, making it the perfect time to experiment with fashion-forward frame styles. “The season’s clothes are close to the body, so sunglasses on the other hand can be more exaggerated,” says Cheryl Rosario, a spokesperson for Marchon Eyewear, which manufactures sunglasses for such lines as Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Fendi, Pucci and Sean Jean. Even if you’re sporting a basic tank and shorts, your shades can add an on-trend spark to your look.

Shades That Kate Hudson and Rihanna Are Rocking

The sunglass mantra for this season: Everything old is new again. “Anything with a retro or vintage feel from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s is really hot right now,” says Eden Wexler, who has the title “Celebrity Shades Consultant” for Solstice Sunglass Boutiques. Kate Hudson, Ginnifer Goodwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Gwen Stefani are all working retro-style, cat-eye sunglasses; Rihanna and Kristin Cavallari are sporting old-school aviators; and Robert Pattinson and Marion Cotillard have made funky Ray-Ban Clubmasters look fresh again.

Search out a retro style with accents that keep it looking modern. For example, choose a classic shape (such as cat eyes or aviators) that combines materials (say, a plastic frame and metal arms) or has subtle details (like racing stripes or enamel inlays). Or opt for an old-school silhouette in a fresh, unexpected color. “Cobalt blue, champagne and ivory look more innovative this season,” says David Gonzales, the owner of Fred Segal Eyes in Santa Monica, Calif., who’s known in Hollywood circles as the “Sunglass Whisperer” for his savvy ability to match faces with the right frames. Neon-bright frames make 1980s-style aviators look contemporary, while black and tortoise shell finishes remain perennial favorites.

What’s out

Frames studded with crystals, shields (glasses with one continuous lens instead of two separate ones), big splashy logos and super-oversized styles. “In general, ostentation is out,” says Solstice’s Wexler, a point that Gonzales echoes. “My celebrity customers now look for subtle details that suggest personal style,” he says.

Choose the Shape That’s Right for Your Face

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for choosing frames for face shapes, but the experts suggest these guidelines for finding a flattering pair.

  • For round faces: Metal frames with adjustable nose pads will keep lenses from resting on fuller cheeks, says Solstice’s Wexler, who adds that excessively round or square styles will exaggerate facial roundness
  • For square faces: Avoid frames that are flat on the bottom, as this will mirror the face shape. Instead, suggests Wexler, “Look for a frame that has some curve or uplift -- that’ll draw attention away from the jawline.”
  • For narrow faces: Choose a frame shape that’s rounded or curved to add a touch of width to your face.
  • For every face: In general, frames should be wider than the widest part of the face. When trying on sunglasses, do the “smile test.” “If the glasses rise up off your nose bridge when you smile, they’re not for you,” says Wexler. Eliminate pairs that press against your brows, touch your eyelashes, or squeeze your temples or your nose bridge.

Build a Sunglass Wardrobe
“Think of your sunglasses as you do your earrings,” says Gonzales. “They’re like hoops and studs. You wear different things for different situations.” To that end, he suggests at least two pairs: an updated aviator for sporty outings, and frames with a classic Jackie O vibe for dressier affairs. Beyond that -- if it’s in your budget -- the boutique owner recommends picking up a pair that’s just for fun. “Experiment with color,” suggests Gonzales. “Try a champagne frame with a bottle-green lens or a soft-gold frame with a plum lens.”

Summer Style With Gabrielle Anwar

Gabrielle Anwar’s unique, hot-weather style works in both her major roles -- as ammo-loving Fiona Glenanne on the Miami set of the USA hit “Burn Notice” and as mom to her three kids (Willow, 16; Paisley, 8; and Hugo, 6) in real life. “Fiona has a very utilitarian approach to style,” says Anwar. “If you can conceal a weapon in it and it would function well under fire, then it’s going to work for her. She enjoys exposing the flesh: It makes her seemingly vulnerable, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.”

Between scenes, the 40-year-old actress is often found riding around the set on a cruiser bike in formless dresses and flip-flops. “I think my style may be ‘Bohemian Without a Cause,’” she says of her preferred look. “I like to feel that I can actually parent in the clothes I’m wearing. I’ve collected a bunch of fabrics and colors and textures that I feel are beautiful, and it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.”

So what constitutes Anwar’s style? “You don’t have to get dressed up to look beautiful,” she says. “Comfort has a lot to do with it. That, and defining your own style. I’m willing to make mistakes. I’m always more attracted to women who are defining their own look. They catch my eye on the tube or the subway, and I’m intrigued by who they are and why they chose that particular necklace to go with that particular outfit.”

Here are Anwar’s tips on go-to wardrobe pieces for the steamy days of summer:

1. Dresses
I love wearing frocks. I prefer recycling something rather than purchasing new, so I go to vintage stores a lot. It just seems like a better choice. Having said that, I love Rozae Nichols dresses. I find her style very classic and very feminine. She has a casual line, which isn’t really pricey and is as exquisitely made and as beautiful as her couture line.

You’ll find the Rozae Nichols new summer 2010 collection at rozaenichols.com.

2. Flip-flops
I’m 5 feet 3 inches tall, so on the show I have to wear heels to make it in the shot. It would be my head and Jeffrey’s shoulders, or Jeffrey’s head and nothing of me. [Jeffrey is Anwar’s “Burn Notice” co-star, Jeffery Donovan.] In real life, I have a closet full of flip-flops. I do try to keep a very neutral palette. I tend to steer clear of black because it’s so popular and it’s always the choice, so I like to make my own choice. I like neutral colors because I like to feel like I’m existing in a dreamscape. I’m partial to Havaianas because they do some very interesting things with a simple shoe.

Check out the Havaianasus.com for a selection of flip-flops in a dozen different colors, including mint green, pink and marine blue.

3. Summer Night out
I would combine a Rozea Nichols frock, which is very diaphanous and almost ethereal and otherworldly, with flip-flops just so I could stay grounded, although I might have to wear wedges just so I could see what was going on.

4. Bathing Suits

Brazilian bottoms are perfect for every body type. I have sat on the beaches of Brazil, and I have seen every possible imaginable female form in the Brazilian-cut bikini and it works. It gracefully glides the behind in the most flattering position.

Google “Brazilian bathing suits” for links to online stores carrying the swimwear.

5. Jewelry

I mostly wear bracelets. I’m experimenting with earrings, but I tend to feel like a Christmas tree with a lot of jewelry. I usually go for minimal wrist jewelry.

Visit the Web sites of two of Anwar’s favorite jewelry designers, Me & Ro and Jeanine Payer.