Pleats, parallel lines and the shirtdress... just some of the highlights of Paris Fashion Week

Now that we've had a good look at the general state of fashion on our own small island for the coming spring/summer season, courtesy of London Fashion Week, let's now turn our attentions to events in the world of style on the other side of the English Channel. Naturally, we're referring to Paris Fashion Week, and there were more than a few hints of what you may don yourself this coming season, when you seek a little assistance from the personal shopper services in London that we offer here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com).

Of course, if you just wanted to do some celeb-spotting and marvel at all of the most exotic fashions from labels a long way out of your own budget, Paris was a pretty good place to be. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian turned up to the launch of Givenchy's ready-to-wear collection, while there were also plenty of world-famous fashionistas at the Chanel show, where Miranda Kerr and Cara Delevingne turned heads flaunting a triumphant country chic collection, characterised by powder blues and bluish pinks.

West and Kardashian will no doubt have been wooed by the Givenchy show's outrageous five car pile-up on the catwalk, prior to the emergence of the models in tribal glitter masks made from Swarovski crystals. Jean Paul Gaultier's show wasn't exactly understated either, with the runway turning into a dance floor on which Karlie Kloss and Coco Rocha strutted their stuff. It all left our stylists in London desperate to just see some clothes, and there were some pretty good ones on show from the likes of Dior, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney and basically any other internationally renowned fashion label or designer that you may care to mention.

In seeing everything, there were a fair few trends that our fashion stylists in London were able to pick out. First of all, minimalism is out, and the iconic knife-edge pleat of Japanese designer Issey Miyake is definitely in, making an appearance on skirts, gowns and even laser-cut leather, diagonally and vertically as well as paired with silk, in addition to with tulle. Meanwhile, those who want to look skinny with their chosen fashions may just be inspired by the resurgence of the vertical line, with no shortage of athletic and op-art influences apparent in the big, bold stripes pounding Parisian catwalks this autumn.

Nor could any style advisor in London of ours have failed to notice a curious combination of casual fashions and heavy metals like gold, platinum, bronze and copper. Somehow, we doubt that you'll be using a 24-carat dress as a lazy afternoon T-shirt any time soon. A bit more realistic as a fashion piece for Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com) clients is surely the shirtdress, which feels akin to a thrown-on shirt from your boyfriend's drawer. It's a little unconventional, a little short and leaves you a little exposed, perhaps showing how buttoned-up isn't always... buttoned-up.

The Berkeley relaunches uniforms with a little help from Shikkuu Guides

In the exclusive West London district of Knightsbridge, in Wilton Place, can be found a similarly exclusive establishment, The Berkeley. This five star deluxe hotel began life some 300 years ago as a coffee house on the corner of Piccadilly and Berkeley Street, and moved to its present home in the 1970s. Distinguishing the new building was one of the few rooftop pools in London - which has now been joined by the new Bamford Haybarn spa. This is where the leading provider of personal shopper services in London, Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com), comes in.

Shikkuu Guides owner Priscilla Poon has been working with the prestigious hotel on a relaunch of the uniforms for all of its staff, including therapists and personal trainers as well as food and beverage attendants. The aim is to bring the look in line with that of its brand new spa, for which the partnership with Bamford was struck up. The Berkeley Health Club and Spa is a major development for the luxury hotel, and Bamford treatments - encompassing the likes of body signature treatments, deep tissue massages, de-stress massages, fully body exfoliations and upper body and facial treatments - are at the centre of it.

Certainly, The Berkeley has got used to meeting high expectations over its many generations of operation, from the late Victorian years in which it became popular with debutantes and their beaus, to much more recent years, such as in 1998 when one of the most renowned chefs on the planet, Pierre Koffmann, moved his legendary La Tante Claire restaurant from Chelsea to The Berkeley. Fast-forward to 2011, and the hotel became the home of the Ferrari Atelier, the first standalone atelier outside Italy, enabling customers to design their dream supercar. It soon became clear to our fashion stylists in London, that The Berkeley would prove a demanding customer of its own.

The resultant uniforms more than meet the brief, being organic, yet slightly urban, in line with The Berkeley's status as a city luxury hotel. Every one of our stylists in London who worked on this project is proud of the outcome, and to have served such a prestigious client. But of course, Shikkuu Guides isn't just here to cater for internationally renowned brands and establishments, also helping ordinary people like yourself, male or female, who want to look great and feel more confident as a result of the complete and suitably tailored fashion makeover.

Contact Priscilla or one of her team today, to book your own session from a range including wardrobe reviews, personal shopper trips, colour consultations, make up lessons and more. It's the perfect chance to find out for yourself why Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com) has established such a formidable reputation, among even the most illustrious clients, for the best fashion makeover services in central London.

Shikkuu Guides joins forces with Hilary Alexander and Marks & Spencer for new style sessions

To say that Hilary Alexander has been a definitive style force - and an inspiration to many a personal stylist in London - over the years, is something of an understatement. This is a lady who, over her long tenure as Fashion Director of The Daily Telegraph, from which she retired in 2011, has done everything from serve as an over-50s fashion agony aunt, to appearing regularly on TV, including on GMTV, Lorraine Kelly's show, BBC Breakfast, various BBC and Channel 4 documentaries and BBC2's Style Challenge. Now, most excitingly of all, she's joined forces with Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com)!

How so? Well, the New Zealand-born journalist earlier this year became the new Fashion Consultant for the per una range at Marks & Spencer, answering customers' fashion queries on the M&S website in addition to curating special edits of key outfits from the range over the course of the season. 'Hilary's Edit' can be seen and purchased online, as well as in M&S high street stores. Customers can presently ask Hilary for advice when they sign up to per una Privilege, which also enables them to access member-only offers, exclusive news on per una and fashion and beauty inspiration.

The role of your favourite fashion stylists in London, Shikkuu Guides, in all of this is that we'll be joining M&S as they organise style sessions in a number of stores. The aim is to promote the appointment of Hillary, make the most of her fashion credentials, showcase the new per una collections and - of course - make some people feel a little more confident in their fashion choices. Hilary will host the roadshow, while assisting her as co-host will be our very own Priscilla Poon, the owner of Shikkuu Guides.

Showing that the reach of Shikkuu Guides extends far beyond providing the most capable stylists in London, Hilary and Priscilla will be at four locations throughout October: the Braehead store in Renfrew, Scotland on the 17th, the Cheshire Oaks store on the 19th, the Cribbs Causeway store near Bristol on 24th October and the Bluewater store in Kent on the 26th of the month. So why not join us for a style session, and discover how the latest per una lines could flatter your figure, make you bang on trend and find pride of place in your wardrobe... all while being gentle to your wallet?

Alternatively, if you can't make it, feel free to get in touch with Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com) in the usual way in the English capital, to find out precisely what a style and image session, wardrobe review, colour consultation or make up lesson could do for your confidence when you next walk down the street. You might even fancy engaging our personal shopper services in London to find the latest and greatest fashions from the per una range, in your local Marks & Spencer store.

From modest dresses to flesh-baring bikinis... it could only be the VMAs

If you're the kind of person who listens briefly to Radio 1, only to think, "does this pass for music these days?!", look away now - because in today's blog, the stylists in London of Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) are turning their attentions to a landmark event in the pop calendar that certainly attracted no shortage of gasps and outrage this time around. Yes, we're talking about the MTV Video Music Awards, where there was a fair amount of outrageous and jaw-dropping fashion, with some touches being less advisable than others for our ordinary clients!

The divas were certainly in full force at the event, and if we're honest, Lady Gaga's million-and-one costume changes mean that we really must start with her. From a yellow wig and shell bikini to leather skirts and face paint, it seems that the Fame Monster star took on more different looks than most of us could muster from our entire wardrobes. She almost looked what might be termed 'normal' when she arrived, but from the moment she took to the stage to open the show with a performance of her new single, "Applause", she showed why she remains such a favourite of many a London fashion stylist.

Gaga began her performance in an all-white nun outfit incorporating a humungous square headpiece that probably wouldn't satisfy health and safety requirements on your average London street, and she ended it in a floral thong and bikini made out of shells. Fittingly enough given the raunchy competition, it was a thong that fully exposed Gaga's behind, as nobody could fail to notice when she excitedly jumped up and out of her chair as Taylor Swift headed to the stage to accept her award in the Best Female Video category, for "I Knew You Were Trouble".

Such raunchy competition came in the form of 20 year old Miley Cyrus, who sported a bejewelled midriff baring trouser and top on the red carpet, later being seen in a cheeky cartoon leotard and finally, apparently just her bra and pants. Miley's 'twerking' performance in a nude PVC bikini shocked many viewers at least as much as Gaga's bum flash. 39 year old rapper Lil Kim's fashion choices weren't much more sedate, with her PVC mesh catsuit perfectly flaunting her curves, while Rita Ora turned up in a ridiculously long feather frock and Katy Perry, when she wasn't attracting photographers' notice with the garish gold grill on her teeth, opted for a tight fitting crop top and boxing shorts for the stage.

It all left Rihanna comparatively underwhelming in her little black dress and heels - even if her outfit was one that actual users of Shikkuu Guides' (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) personal shopper services in London might actually realistically aspire to! Certainly, the VMAs had no shortage of ludicrous fashions this year - and with the help of a style advisor in London, you may even want to incorporate a few inspiring elements, while keeping your overall wardrobe distinctly 'you'.

September's looming... that means it's time for London Fashion Week!

Twice a year, something pretty special happens that no self-respecting fashionista will forget to put the dates for in their diary. Of course, we're referring to the incomparable London Fashion Week, which having last taken place in February, returns this September to enliven the autumn calendars of our enthusiastic fashion stylists in London here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/). Chances are that you're pretty excited too, but what can we expect from the most recent running of this venerable event?

With new collections from such big fashion names as Ryan Lo and Claire Barrow set to break cover, if you have even a passing interest in engaging a style advisor in London, you really ought to keep up with the latest developments that could inspire you right through Spring/Summer 2014. The fashion magazines and blogs are already abuzz with chatter about what we could be seeing on next month's catwalks. What was big this summer that may be passe by next year, and what other trends might emerge that completely surprise us? Short dresses, for example, were big this year, but might not pass muster as convincingly in summer 2014.

So, what might surface? Well, many observers have suggested that beach prints could be a big deal in Spring/Summer 2014. We all love sun, sea and sand, and designers already look set to whet our appetites for the return of those bright, blue skies, with an incredibly diverse range of printed beach fashions. You could find yourself picking up an amazing dip-hem dress with a sunset print, for example, or even a classic shell detailed piece that is perfect for a formal event. That's the thing with this trend - the range of items embracing it extends way beyond occasional holiday wear, so our stylists in London expect to have a lot of fun with it.

Another trend that's got everybody talking in the run-up to London Fashion Week is the quirky and individual text print tee. For a while, no London fashion stylist really thought that these would catch on, as they seemed destined to remain rooted in 'novelty' status and date rapidly. But now, designers are keeping them fresher by injecting elements of other popular looks and making the text less specific. Dainty flowery prints, for example, have frequently been used to soften the edginess of the text. In short, we'd be surprised not to see a few of these at next month's festivities.

Other popular fashion trends in recent times that could make a big impact at London Fashion Week include Pop Art inspired clothing that combines the most contemporary style with classic 20th century art. The result is routinely distinctive shapes and lines, dramatic contrasts and surprising shade and tone combinations. Expect a very international flavour to many of the fashions, too. We'll see whether our predictions were right or wrong next month - but in the meantime, why not contact Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) about your own timely style makeover?

The London fashion stores that you may encounter as part of your style makeover

From the wardrobe review at which you can assess your present fashion choices and future aspirations alongside a leading fashion stylist in London, to the personal shopper services that enable you to discover those perfect new pieces for you, there are many exciting services that Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) can offer you. And we wouldn’t blame you for getting excited about them - especially when you consider the opportunity that is presented to discover some of the biggest names in fashion on the capital's major shopping streets.

Chances are that there are certain stores that you already have in mind that you'd like to explore, whereas you may have ideas about other garments and styles, but no idea about the shops in which they can be found. If one thing is certain, however, it is the city's status as a global shopping capital. It means that with the help of the right style advisor in London, you're sure to find the clothing that perfectly suits and flatters your size, age and shape - whether you're most interested in cult destination shops, big name department stores, offbeat quirky boutiques or a certain combination of the three.

Those starting their search in central London, for example, can't possibly overlook the palatial shopping mecca that is Selfridges, with such designers and labels as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Givenchy, Agent Provocateur, Matthew Williamson, Temperley and Prada all represented. Peruse the likes of the Wonder Room, Womens Designer Galleries and 3rd Central, and email yourself photos of how you look in various outfit options from the high tech fitting room mirrors, when you come here as part of our personal shopper services in London. Or why not pay a visit to Matches Marylebone, on Marylebone High Street? This light-filled designer emporium showcases not just in-demand labels, but also periodic art exhibitions and installations over its two floors.

The hippest young residents of East London, meanwhile, can be frequently spotted in the Start fashion emporium on Rivington Street. It's the perfect place to bring your personal shopper in London if you're a youthful hedonist on the lookout for a new winter coat or shirt dress, with Alexander Wang, House of Holland and Lara Bohinc among the represented labels. Or why not head to the Mayfair and St. James's side of town, and the dazzling new 2,850 sq ft flagship store of Christian Louboutin, or even Dover Street Market with its assortment of the most avant-garde fashion from the likes of Alaia, Lanvin and Comme des Garcons?

Of course, these are just some of the highlight stores to be found by you and your personal stylist in London when you make that call to Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/). From top multi-brand stores and designer favourites to the shops frequented by the most clued-up fashion insiders, we can introduce them to you all as part of our premier personal shopping and styling service.

Give your make-up a summer revival!

Let’s face it: many of us don’t deviate much from our usual make up routine, not only for night after night or week after week, but year after year. Some of us are still applying make-up the same way we did in our teens, even though we may now be in our 30s or older. The summer, though, really deserves a revamp in your traditional approach to prettifying yourself, and if you don’t think you’re making the most of your best features, you’re free to contact our stylists in London here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) for some lessons.

One of the first things that we would urge you to do in this sometimes oppressive heat, is slap on that sunscreen. Your body lotion should differ from your facial sunscreen, and you should be prepared to pay for the right texture of sunscreen – although the good news is that you may be able to ditch the moisturiser if you choose the right one. When you are making yourself up, start with a good hydrating cleanser that will leave you with suitably silky skin, before applying a serum. The best one will leave your skin feeling healthily plump, but make sure that you pat it on to push the product right into the cells.

It’s a good idea to then follow this with a foundation primer, which is far from the unnecessary extra that many of us think it to be, given the dramatic effect that it can have on the evenness of the skin. It also helps to boost your make-up’s longevity. Foundations can easily run in the summer, however, so you might want to switch to a tinted moisturiser with the added coverage of concealer so that any blemishes are concealed.

Powders could be worth trying for the next stage of your style makeover, whether you roll it on the skin with a powder puff or use a soft, large brush to lightly brush those areas that require the greatest attention. Eye make-up is also a difficult area in the summer, given the tendency, as soon as many beauty devotees step outside, for their make-up to cake and melt and end up in their eye creases. It’s why you should opt for a primer specifically made for the eyes, with this acting as an adhesive prior to the application of eyeshadow. Any mascara that you use, meanwhile, really does need to be waterproof.

If you’re still not quite getting your summer make-up right, then you’re welcome to get in touch with us about make up lessons in London here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/). From learning about the colours that work best with your skin type and colouring, right through to making your eyes look bigger and brighter, we’ll give you all of the make-up pointers that you need to stun in the sun.

Research your summer style on the streets of London!

If you live and work within even the vaguest proximity of the English capital, then you won’t need a personal stylist in London, never mind one from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/), to inform you how hot it’s been lately. Londoners have been left sweltering in their offices and other workplaces, resulting in sleeves being rolled up, windows propped open and portable air conditioning units brought out. Inevitably, there’s been much talk as to whether the sun will last until the weekend.

But in the meantime, those lucky ones with a few moments to spare have headed to the capital’s many parks and other open spaces, or strutted their stuff on the city’s most popular shopping streets – presenting a singular opportunity for an ordinary woman or man like you to get a sense of the latest summer fashions. Whether you head to Hyde Park for a dip in the Serpentine Lido, or just make the most of shopping opportunities on Oxford Street, you’ll see a lot of shorts, skirts, short sleeves and bare, knobbly knees – but not all of the fashions on show are as embarrassing as you might think!

Whereas London in the summer is so often associated with disappointingly grey, cloudy skies, the Great British Summer really has come out in force this time – but don’t be fooled by thinking that just any old attire will do for that post-work pint. There’s most definitely nothing pleasurable about being surrounded by a load of suits in a City bar at 30 degrees. You’ll therefore have no choice but to reach into your wardrobe for T-shirts, tracksuit bottoms, shorts, dresses and more that are necessary to avoid your own session of sipping a cold, tall pint becoming a decidedly sweaty affair. And who better than a London fashion stylist to help you to decide what should be in that wardrobe?

After all, it’s the job of our fashion stylists in London to know what looks fabulous on the streets of the capital – in every area, from Clerkenwell to Camberwell, from Hackney to Hampstead, from Soho to South Bank. You might opt for a vintage sundress, navel-skimming crop top, printed silk maxiskirt, floral vintage shirt, navy chino… or any of a combination of these things. There’s so much to wear that could look great in the pub gardens, but there’s also a slight chance of your chosen garments looking disastrous on you, being too hastily chosen and inadequately suited to your shape, size and skin tone.

It’s to avoid such fashion faux pas that so many people get in touch with Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) about our wardrobe reviews and personal shopper services in London. Get help from us to achieve your ideal look for the summer, reviewing your existing wardrobe before planning a personal shopping session, through which you can discover the perfect fashions for your body type and size, at both well-known and relatively undiscovered stores. Never again suffer a fashion disaster in London this summer!

What do the Spring/Summer 2014 London menswear collections tell us?

As we’ve mentioned before here on the Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) blog, we definitely don’t think that guys should be left out when it comes to fashion – that’s why we offer personal shopper services in London that are specifically tailored to them, alongside wardrobe reviews and colour consultations. But of course, we aren’t naïve enough to think that we don’t have to fight against a great deal of apathy among some men, who simply don’t realise how much better they could look and feel with the right fashion touches.

So, if you are one of those men or you have a man in your life who could be described in such a way, why don’t we cast a glance towards the catwalks for a bit of easy inspiration? We have recently seen the unveiling of the Spring/Summer 2014 collections of a host of London fashion labels, for example, and there were more than a few innovations on show that have got our seasoned fashion stylists in London excited – such as a tendency towards unisex fashions. Yes, that’s right: unisex is officially no longer the preserve of dodgy barbers, with JW Anderson showing off a men’s halter top that got everyone talking.

Other designers getting in on the unisex craze included Marques Almeida, who collaborated with retailer Opening Ceremony on the launch of a collection of such pieces, while Richard Nicoll worked with artist Linder to similar effect. There’s also definitely some female appeal to the rubber carrier bags covered with brightly coloured felt animals of the collection of Meadham Kirchhoff, with the gender-blending novel of Virginia Wolff, Orlando, a clear influence. Such twisted cute accessories demonstrate how male and female wardrobes are coming closer together, an interesting development for any personal stylist in London.

But those seeking a men style makeover with our help may also be intrigued by the apparent return to fashion of the humble denim jacket. The likes of Rag & Bone, Lou Dalton, Craig Green and Richard Nicoll all showed the possibilities of the garment, with a boxy shape seemingly winning particular favour. The Spring/Summer 2014 menswear on show also indicated a hankering among some designers for the early days of digital, with Christopher Kane, for example, making prints from CAD renderings, including a vectored bare male torso on a hoodie.

There were also signs – would you believe it – that skinny jeans could have soon had their moment, being replaced by more voluminous trousers that are sure to increase shares in textile companies taking the increased fabric orders. There were also many accessories grabbing people’s attentions, some of them weirder than others – Craig Green even serving up some masks. More familiar high street brands, like John Lewis and Topman Design, also fought their corners impressively. It all means that when you contact Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) about that fashion makeover, as a man, you well may have some very exciting decisions to make on your wardrobe for next spring.

The unexpected impact of certain clothing colours

What is one of the very first things that you notice about a person when you greet them? You would expect our fashion stylists in London here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) to suggest clothing, but actually, even before you notice the shape, cut and fit of that clothing, its the colour that will immediately register with you. We’re all used to reacting in very different ways to people on the basis of the colours that they wear, and it’s important to recognise how much of an impact it has on other people’s perceptions of you.

Why else, after all, would we offer a colour consultation in London among our services, giving you advice on the colours that suit you and giving you confidence when you come to choose new colours? It’s because we know that colours say a lot about your personality and lifestyle, and communicate to the world how you feel about yourself. We’re all used to presuming that a person is extroverted from their choice of a vibrant bright yellow shirt, or only vaguely noticing someone in a crowd because they’ve chosen barely consciously noticeable beiges and browns.

Whether we realise it or not, colour does have an impact – even to the extent, according to medical science, of affecting your blood pressure, body temperature and hormones. Colour also impacts on your emotions and can help to give the impression of a certain shape, weight and personality. Different colours are appropriate for different occasions, locations, seasons, ages and even natural colouring. A personal stylist in London from Shikkuu Guides knows of the great effect that certain colour and clothing can also have. For instance, a tailored red shift dress can communicate confidence and power in a business meeting, whereas a jacket paired with a lacy red top is sexier, which renders it less appropriate to such a formal occasion.

It does help, at the most basic level, to know of the general effect that each colour has in isolation. Yellow, for example, grabs people’s attention and keeps them alert, while yellow-based reds are energetic and true reds show confidence. If it is class and sophistication that you’d especially like to communicate, however, you may be better off plumping for burgundy. Lighter blues, meanwhile, have a more calming effect, although navy blue suggests a greater seriousness and trustworthiness. Then there’s red violet, which has overtones of strength and creativity.

A style advisor in London from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) knows all about these distinctions, but more than that, they know that you still need to choose colours that work well with your natural colouring. Some people who opt for ‘creative’ and ‘confident’ colours, for example, can merely end up looking washed out. That’s partly why we offer colour consultations that allow you to go deeper in the search for the perfect colours for your wardrobe, with one of our experts helping you to select colours – in both your clothing and make-up – that really work to your advantage.

Who were the enduring style icons of the '90s?

We've been dabbling in a decade-by-decade series of fashion reviews here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/), so we thought… why not shine a light on an era that's a much more recent memory for most of us, the '90s? This was the time of the Tamagotchi, the 'grunge' revolution and The Simpsons, Rugrats and Friends on TV. The 1990s was also when the World Wide Web (WWW) really began to emerge, an important detail given that you'd possibly not know about our fashion stylists in London without it!

Here in the West, the '90s saw the rejection of the very notion of fashion by a large number of people, with the likes of tattoos, body piercings and other forms of body modification coming to the fore. This was the decade in which the 'casual chic' look, consisting of hoodies, T-shirts, jeans and trainers came to be. But for all of its anti-fashion pretensions, the decade had no shortage of style icons helping to popularise the likes of dungarees, double denim and floral dresses - some of which are being re-appropriated for the catwalks in surprising ways in the year 2013.

Which style advisor in London could possibly forget Cher Horowitz from Shameless, for example? There was no cooler kid in Beverley Hills, thanks to a bewitching wardrobe made up of alice bands, knee high socks and check suits - and Topshop Unique's Spring/Summer '13 collection certainly seems to have taken a cue or two from her, with its check dress and bright yellow blazer. Do you remember, too, all of those trailblazing '90s supermodels, like Cindy Crawford, who wore a suit better than anyone else? Her iconic outfit has since been updated in a 2010s way by the likes of Chloe Sevigny.

Other unforgettable '90s style icons include Drew Barrymore, who combined flowers in her hair with tie-dye and bright colours as part of the quintessential 'hippie princess' look - since aped in many ways by the Spring/Summer '13 collection of House of Holland. And of course, who could forget the granny floral dresses of Elaine Benes from Seinfeld, or even Rachel Green from Friends helping to make denim the 1990s look? Iconic music stars of the decade, meanwhile, included Gwen Stefani, her rise to fame with No Doubt also getting people noticing her crop tops, zips and coloured hair.

We could continue citing '90s fashion icons for a while, but really, we suspect you might want to try some of the garments they popularised, receiving help from our personal shopper services in London to spot the right ones and ensure that they work well on your own body. A personal stylist in London from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) could help you to find the perfect look for the fast-approaching summer, ensuring that you derive the right inspiration from the right eras and places, while remaining firmly on trend in 2013.

Why the ‘80s could be the perfect focus for your next fashion makeover

Let’s face it: when people talk about something being “straight out of the ‘80s”, it isn’t always complementary. Whether they’re referring to your mobile phone or home décor, the decade so often conjures up images of ill-advised brashness and excess. The same has often been said of the fashion of the time – not for no reason was the ‘80s described as the decade that style forgot. In theory, then, does this period offer much hope as a source of inspiration for your fashion makeover, even if you are getting help from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/)?

Actually, our answer would be a resounding yes. This is, after all, a pretty fascinating, if tumultuous decade for prospective clients of stylists in London to study. With Margaret Thatcher in power on this side of the pond and Ronald Reagan seizing the American presidency in ‘81, the free love of the ‘70s was firmly over – hastened by the emergence of AIDS/HIV. Economic policies in major Western nations became laissez-faire once more, while the widespread famine in Ethiopia led to high profile fundraising efforts like the Live Aid concert in 1985.

Indeed, any prospective client of our fashion stylists in London only needs to look at the guest list of that concert to identify a few of the bona fide style icons that emerged in that decade. Among those on stage was Madonna, whose explosion to prominence with hits like “Material Girl” and “Like a Virgin” drew attention to what would become enduring motifs of ‘80s style – from her pink, dyed hair and torn stockings to string vest and multiple bangles. Neon brights, studded jewellery and denim pencil skirts are among the Queen of Pop’s ‘80s fashion staples which have come back into fashion in recent years, albeit withn a suitably early 21st century twist.

Few women could come near Madonna for outrageousness as the ‘80s progressed, but one undoubted rival on that front was Jamaican singer, actress and supermodel Grace Jones, who complemented her prodigious height of almost six feet and razor-sharp cheekbones with a power dressing, giant shoulder pad look that seemed to scream ‘80s. Grace completely fit the bill of the stronger, edgier woman who was emerging at this time, collaborating with some of the greats of art and fashion such as Andy Warhol and Jean Paul Goude, as well as being a suitably villainous Bond girl in A View to a Kill.

Demi Moore, Christy Turlington, Princess Diana and Stephanie Seymour were just some of the many other women proving that the ‘80s were far from a fashion wilderness, and that’s before you consider men like Rick James, Morrissey and the suitably ‘blinged’ BA Baracus, better known as the A-Team’s Mr T. Thankfully, recent reinterpretations of ‘80s styles do tend to be more tasteful than the originals, but the period is nonetheless a rich mine of inspiration for major fashion labels.

Take inspiration from ‘70s fashion icons this summer

In our previous blog, we touched on certain trends being promoted in this year’s fashion publications that you might feel some pressure to follow. They range from the use of monochrome and flower motifs to aqua themes, more geometric touches and so much more, but doesn’t there come a time when you want to plough your own furrow? The stylists in London at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) certainly allow you to do that. And where better to look for inspiration than the more distant past... such as the ‘70s?

The ‘70s were definitely not short of fashion icons. This was the age in which many social progressive values that began in the 1960s really began to flower. It was a time when people of all social backgrounds mixed on the dance floor as the hedonistic disco culture took hold, while here in the UK, economic strife and trade union disputes culminated in the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1979. But enough of the history... whose fashion sense impressed you among the legions of movie stars, singers, politicians and other public figures who had such a prominent role during this decade?

Perhaps your head was turned by Farrah Fawcett, with her high-waisted denim flares and naïf, buttoned-down shirts? She practically invented the must-have celebrity hairstyle with the ‘Farrah Flick’, and that’s before you even mention that iconic image of her, grinning broadly and tilting her head back while wearing that swimsuit. Needless to say, fabulous Farrah is a favourite of many of our fashion stylists in London. Or maybe you were more of an admirer of the Nicaraguan-born activist and Studio 54 mainstay Bianca Jagger, who grabbed fashion headlines by wearing a white suit by Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter for her marriage to her Rolling Stone in St Tropez in 1971?

Also widely emulated in the ‘70s – as well as in the decades since – was the insouciant style of punk rock and New Wave singer Debbie Harry, with her band Blondie’s explosion to fame with “Heart of Glass” bringing its lead singer’s red lips, mussed hair and funked-up maxis to wider appreciation. Or what about Diane Von Furstenburg, whose signature wrap dress of her own-name fashion label remains a staple of wardrobes today? We could go on, mentioning the likes of Joni Mitchell, Olivia Newton-John, Liza Minnelli, Faye Dunaway, Anjelica Huston, Donna Summer and more. But you get the idea... the ‘70s were festooned with fashion icons among the women alone.

With 2013 designers ranging from Gucci to Fendi and even Hedi Slimane’s first collection for Saint Laurent drawing heavily on the ‘70s, we’re talking a modern take and not a fancy dress costume. But of course, even if there’s a certain style or iconic garment that has caught your attention, you’ll want to ensure that anything that you choose to wear yourself actually suits you. A London fashion stylist from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) can help you tap into the past while being bang on trend in the present.

Should you follow or ignore the latest spring/summer fashion trends?

The spring and summer months are a time of year where everyone seems to feel better. The days are getting longer, the weather’s finally improved and the social and holiday calendar fills up. It’s the perfect time to reappraise your wardrobe, and even your make-up style, in time for those summer parties, with a little bit of help from the fashion stylists in London at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/).

As with every season, there are so many happening trends to keep up with. From jumbo sized statement stripes to no-nonsense minimalism; bold shapes and colour combinations to more oriental influences; monochrome outfits and shimmering, metallic-looking dresses; there are so many trends that the leading fashion magazines are urging their readers to adopt for their next style makeover. But for those of us who don’t have the time to sift through such publications every month, choosing even the simplest garment for that summer garden party can be intimidating.

What if the dress that was the talk of the town in 2012 is unexpectedly passé in 2013? Maybe you’ve read of certain popular trends, but are wondering how you could possibly make them work in the context of your own wardrobe? What colours and shapes would potentially suit you, and which trends might you be presently unaware of, but that might actually be perfect for you? It doesn’t help that the spring and summer months often make us more self-conscious than ever, given all of that pressure to show a bit of skin.

Wouldn’t it be great, then, if you could just get on with living your life, while a personal shopper in London of your very own helps you through this year’s fashion minefield? Well, that’s precisely what Shikkuu Guides offers, and more besides. Get on the phone to us, and we won’t just read off a pre-prepared list of fashion trends that has no more relevance to you than it does to anyone else. We’re committed to bringing you a wonderful personal shopping and styling experience, giving you a London fashion stylist who actually considers your size, shape, age and preferences in preparing you the perfect ‘look’ for your spring and summer.

An informed and experienced style advisor in London from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) can give you that all-important ‘fresh pair of eyes’, ensuring that you dress to impress, in a style that is distinctly ‘you’, without falling foul of an embarrassing summer fad that you’ll still be struggling to live down several years later! Contact us now about our services encompassing personal shopping, colour consultations, wardrobe reviews and more.

Shikkuu Guides combines the best of online and offline shopping

In recent years there has been an increasing battle between the worlds of high street and Internet shopping – with the relative newcomer, the latter, apparently winning out. News headlines are blaze with the damage done to physical retailers by ‘showrooming’, the practice of finding a better deal for an item online after browsing for it in a high street store. People are increasingly asking about what Britain’s high streets will look like in years to come. In that context, where do the personal shopper services in London from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) fit in?

First of all, it’s important to appreciate that we Britons have definitely not fallen out of love with the high street. We still love perusing our favourite fashion retailers, not least because of the sheer physicality of sifting through those racks, not to mention the fact that you can actually try on your latest find straight away, and carry it out of the shop immediately after purchasing. You can admire yourself in the mirror in the store’s changing rooms, and make sure that the garment that has caught your eye truly reflects your own sense of style, in addition to fitting well on your body.

There are so many other benefits to shopping on the high street that our fashion stylists in London really make the most of. After all, not only do we offer personal shopper services, but also personal style and image sessions, colour consultations and group tours and parties. What could be better than getting together with your friends for a group shopping tour in London, discovering new areas and hidden gems with the help of an informed retail tour guide? It certainly beats huddling around a computer or looking at your tablet computers on a ‘girly night in’.

But of course, there’s no denying that online shopping has its conveniences, too. You can often find what you want straight away through Google, without having to walk even a few hundred yards from one store to another – helped by the ‘recommendations’ that fashion websites offer. The Internet is also renowned for the bargains that it can bring. But wouldn’t you prefer to combine the joys of both online and offline shopping, with genuinely tailored fashion ideas being suggested to you by a human being, not a ‘one size fits all’ computer? Well, that’s certainly what a style advisor in London from Shikkuu Guides can offer.

We can give you genuinely informed suggestions on the basis of your size, body type and fashion preferences, finding the best styles available for your budget. It allows you to experience the wind in your hair doing “real” shopping, discovering many of the great fashions that would have completely passed you by if you depended entirely on the Internet. Contact our stylists in London now at http://www.shikkuuguides.com/ for a well-priced personal shopper experience that appeals to both your head and your heart.

Life just got easier thanks to our concierge gift shopping service

We all love to give gifts, and let’s face it, not always for entirely altruistic reasons. Of course it feels good to spoil the ones we love, but who doesn’t want to give a gift that reflects well on themselves at the same time? Just imagine how easy it would be to buy fantastic gifts that really singled you out as a style maven if you had the expertise and address book of some of the best fashion stylists in London? Well, life just got easier because that’s exactly what you get with our concierge gift shopping service here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/).

Gift shopping, when done well, is elevated to near art-form. Which gifts are bang on-trend without being faddy? Which stores are hip now and which have had their day? What does the gift say about the person you’re buying it for, and what does it say about you? The perfect gift should be well thought through, obviously keeping the recipient firmly in mind, but also stamping something of your own personality on the gift. But how to do that without seeming as though your trying to change that person? Or even just buying for yourself! And on top of all that the need, in most cases, to buy a gift that screams style, quality and desirability without breaking the bank and you’ve got a headache on your hands. No wonder vouchers are still the gift of choice for many people!

No longer, thanks to our personal shopper services in London which extend to gift shopping for those special gift occasions for your friends and family. Think of it as your very own hybrid of personal shopper, stylist and concierge all in one. Tell us about the person or people you need to buy gifts for, give us some background about their lifestyle, personality, gender, age and interests, and we’ll do the rest. Just as for our other personal shopper, stylist, make up and beauty services, this could involve searching for the right clothes and grooming products for both men and women, but it also extends to seeking out other beautiful gifts, such as candles, perfumes, shoes, scarves, bags or jewellery.

Imagine the achingly chic presents you could buy if you had a leading style advisor in London to guide you to the very best shops, often ones you haven’t yet discovered, and advise you on exactly what to pick from the various ranges. That’s exactly what you get when you use the concierge gift shopping services at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/), and at pleasingly affordable prices. Your loved ones get the very best presents out there, and you get the kudos of being the one that found them (shhh, we won’t tell if you don’t!).

Ever thought that you’re ‘not a personal shopper kind of person’?

Here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/), we know that not everyone is a keen fashionista, always prowling the high streets and social networking sites for the latest deft touches to their wardrobe. Fair enough, so you might admire yourself in the mirror every once in a while, but when it comes to clothing, don’t you just want something to wear, rather than something ‘fashionable’? So what would our personal shopper services in London do for you?

The thing is... personal shopper services aren’t just about getting you something that made its debut on the catwalk last week. It’s about finding clothing that actually suits you, not only in size and fit terms, but also in the sense of what you actually feel good wearing. Or at least, that’s the way things should be done. In reality, all too many fashion stylists in London will present their clients with the same items that they presented to the last person. They don’t take the time to consider all of those little things that make you... you.

That’s why, when you call Shikkuu Guides about personal shopping and to book your appointment, one of our team will give you a complete over-the-phone style consultation. They will establish your size and body type, if there are any brands, stores or areas that you would especially like to visit as part of your ‘personal shop’, and simply what it is that you want to achieve, overall. This allows us to make a plan of the stores to be visited in advance, so that no time is wasted. If you do find that you need more time, more hours can be booked on the day.

The overall aim of our personal shopper in London service is to give you an entirely personalised experience, one which is tailored around you and your tastes and requirements. It’s not about the ‘one size fits all’ approach that can make some rival personal shopper services a waste of time. It therefore simply doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a ‘fashion person’. As long as you have even a passing interest in clothes, you could benefit from our tailored advice... and you are never forced or expected to buy anything that you don’t want to buy. We are simply there to advise you.

So many people have already combined our personal shopper services with the likes of a wardrobe review and colour consultation in London, also available from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/), to make themselves look and feel so much better about themselves.

Be prepared for the spring fashion onslaught!

It’s such an exhausting thing to keep up to date with the latest developments on the international catwalks... and that’s if you have the time to do so at all. Given all of the anxiety prevailing in the UK right now about slightly more humdrum matters like jobs and money, your own engagement with fashion might extend to little more than the occasional magazine. It’s not the best way to ensure that you look great this spring – which is why you might consider consulting a London fashion stylist from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) for advice.

Even when consulting a fashion stylist, there is no guarantee that you’ll learn much about the latest fashions, let alone discover which ones actually suit you and how to make more informed buying decisions independently in the future. All too often, a style makeover looks so much better on paper than it ends up being in reality. Unfortunately, there are some ‘fashion advisors’ and ‘personal stylists’ out there who have already made all of your clothing choices for you, even before you say anything to them about your own preferences and requirements.

Increasingly, people like you are realising this. You might not have the time to read about the most outrageous up-to-the-minute fashions, but one thing that you do know is that a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy from your fashion stylist in London will simply not do. That’s why, the moment you call Shikkuu Guides about our personal shopping or styling services, we’ll provide you with a style consultation to establish what precisely you want to achieve. You can then choose which of our services is right for you, whether that’s our personal shopper services, personal style and image sessions, wardrobe reviews, colour consultations, or a combination.

Whichever service you request from us, we’ll be very thorough in our preparation for your appointment, and once you do meet up with your personal stylist in London, you’ll not only be styled, but also thoroughly educated on how you can look and feel great this spring. At every stage, the emphasis is on your requirements, not ours – whether you have requested assistance from a personal shopper in finding new seasonal wardrobe pieces, or you are learning how to dress cleverly for your figure during one of our complete personal style and image sessions. Or maybe you want to discuss and edit your existing wardrobe or be shown the clothing colours that best suit you?

We help both men and women to look simply stunning this spring, with independent services that represent great value for money. When you are considering fashion stylists in London this spring time, turn to those that actually work for you – our own, right here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/).

Turn to Shikkuu Guides for a corporate ‘day out’ with a difference

We all want to look good – of course we do. Even if you are an overworked executive who has never so much as glanced towards a rack of fashion magazines in your life, you’ll have probably at least stopped in front of the reflection of a shop window on the way to work, perhaps admiring your hair a bit before carrying on your merry way. But what if our renowned fashion stylists in London here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) could give not only you, but also all of your employees, the style revival of a lifetime?

Shikkuu Guides has assembled a great set of corporate packages and opportunities based around our unparalleled style expertise, whether you and your employees are concerted fashionistas or actually pretty ‘green’ about the whole thing. You may have recently considered the best team building exercises, for example, and are looking for something a bit different to white water rafting for a change. Well, now’s your opportunity!

All members of your team, whether male or female, humble support staff or top executive, could gain from the services of a style advisor in London. Our styling sessions are informal, interactive and informative, but above all, fun. It is during such sessions that participants can be advised on the looks that best work for them, both in and outside the office. As is the case with our non-corporate sessions, we consider personal size and shape before imparting style advice which is tailored to you. From a corporate point of view that will keep you and your employees looking good for those vital client meetings, interviews and networking events – as well as the usual busy Monday morning.

We can give you and your employees a style makeover that takes into account your firm’s existing dress code, whether it is business casual, smart casual or involves a consistent uniform. We also consider individuals’ budgets, as well as, of course, how they actually want to look and what kind of thing they actually want to wear. Not only will your team members know how to look better as a result of our experts’ advice, but they’ll feel better as a result, and that definitely translates into greater productivity and better results for your firm. Who said a styling and grooming session was just a vanity investment, eh?

Our corporate packages are available to companies of all sizes and sectors, and can be a great way of treating employees and clients alike. We tailor the content and timing of our fashion makeover sessions to the real, practical needs of your financially stretched and time-poor business, offering half and full day events as well as evening sessions. Get in touch with Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) now for more information about how our fashion know-how could bring real benefits to your firm.

Why fashion stylists are becoming so mainstream - even amid a recession

Not so long ago, if a friend of yours suggested getting in touch with a fashion stylist in London, you might have given them a double take. After all, you might have reasoned, you're no catwalk model or rock star! In more recent times, though, chances are that you will have at least stroked your chin in interest. In fact, it may only have been a matter of money which has stopped you getting in touch with a firm like Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) in the first place, mistakenly thinking that their services are the preserve of the wealthy.

However, there's no question of the mainstream nature of fashion stylists in London these days. TV programmes like What Not To Wear and How To Look Good Naked have made the average man and woman more aware of the ways in which they, too, can be so much more confident simply as a result of the right personal fashion choices. Indeed, that word 'personal' is very much the key one, with the emphasis being on clothing that really suits you and flaunts what you are all about, instead of a 'one size fits all' approach.

These days, many of us would even be insulted by the suggestion that only mollycoddled 'stars' should make use of a style advisor in London. The bottom line is that we all deserve to look and feel good, and that's all the more possible when you have someone by your side who carefully considers such factors as your size, body shape and lifestyle in the assembly of the perfect wardrobe for you - and only you. Here at Shikkuu Guides, our services range from personal shopping and personal style and image sessions to wardrobe reviews, colour consultations and make up lessons in London.

"But ah", you might object. "Why should I invest in something as indulgent as a fashion stylist, when I'm not sure whether I'll even have a job next week?" It's true that no company or individual is entirely immune to the economic uncertainty that has prevailed around the UK in recent years, and you may believe that services like ours are something of a vanity investment.

In truth, though, style and confidence really are things that matter in solid, real world terms. People who are constantly smiling and happy and wearing the right things tend to be considerably more successful in life as a whole. Chances are, they have more friends, make a better impression at interviews and get that all-important job. Indeed, you could even ask us for advice on the right clothing and make-up for said interviews! However, personal style matters just as much if you are merely 'hobnobbing' at an art gallery opening or conference, looking for that important next contact.

Plus, we all need a bit of escapism in our lives in tough times, and who wouldn't love the escapism of a complete, personal fashion makeover? It could soon be yours, and at a remarkably competitive price, if you get in touch with the experts at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) today.

Get together with your friends for a style makeover

Are you always picking out a garment from the rack that just doesn’t fit you as well as it should, or that doesn’t nicely complement the rest of your wardrobe? Or maybe your make-up techniques leave a lot to be desired? We all turn to our friends to ask their advice at times like these, but why not go one step further and get those friends together for a group style makeover with a personal stylist in London from Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/)?

Let’s face it... you’re always judging your mates’ sartorial or beauty choices, often rather negatively, and you can bet that they’re doing the same to you. At the same time, much has been made of the fact that if you want to achieve something, whether it’s getting fit or even just completing a tricky late-night work shift, it’s a great idea to rope in someone else to help you with it. Plus, it’s nice just to see your friends in one place again, if you’re normally busy people.

With all of that in mind, we’d urge you to consider our extensive range of group tours and parties. You may be joining your mates for a break in the English capital, for example, in which case alongside all of the usual visits to those museums, art galleries and theatres, you might want to do a spot of shopping. London can be fiendishly expensive, though, and the amount of choice of eye-catching fashions can be overwhelming. So why not book a personal shopper in London to guide you through the best of the city’s fashion boutiques, making the most of the limited time available to you?

Our personal shopper services in London are truly tailored to the individual needs of your friends. We get in touch in advance to discuss where you and your friends would like to shop, whether that is in Oxford Street, Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Covent Garden, Kensington and Chelsea or somewhere entirely different. Even if you have lived in London for your entire life, you’d be amazed at those hidden, out-of-the-way stores that we can point you towards, as well as some of the more obvious retailers that you might have previously ignored.

All the while, your friends will be laughing and joking as part of a great bonding experience... and it’s a similar story if you take advantage of one of our make up lessons in London. These parties involve a minimum of five people being shown make-up application techniques by an informed and friendly stylist. By the end of the lesson, everyone in your group will know so much more about the make-up colours that best suit them.

We offer many other style and colour parties for those who are looking to learn something about the best shades, shapes and fabrics for them, whether as preparation for going out or just for the ultimate ‘girly night in’. Simply visit http://www.shikkuuguides.com/ for more information on what a style advisor in London can do for you and your friends!

What use is a personal shopper service to a man?

Shopping for clothes has traditionally been seen as a woman's pastime, and certainly if you are a man, you may still have a miscellany of excuses for your own failure to update that wardrobe that is oh-so-2004. Maybe you just see shopping as a chore rather than a source of enjoyment, or perhaps you're overwhelmed by the options or think that your girlfriend is better off buying your shirts. It's understandable, then, that you might not necessarily be convinced at first by the personal shopper services in London of Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/).

After all, if it's the women who are likely to be as enthusiastic about fashion as you and your male friends are about football, a personal shopper in London would surely be the preserve of women...or so you'd believe. In truth, the long-established strengths of personal shopper services - such as the ability that they give to better narrow down the many clothing options - have plenty of applicability to the male dilemma about clothes shopping. After all, as soon as you book your personal shopping experience with us, we'll get a stylist to discuss your needs over the phone, so that you are thoroughly prepared.

The range of subjects that you may discuss during this initial 'style consultation' can include your overall aim for your personal shopping session, as well as your size and body type and any specific areas, brands or stores that have caught your eye, and that could therefore be incorporated into the shopping trip. This preparation helps to avoid one of the things that men hate most about clothes shopping - the constant waiting around while their partner idly sifts through the clothes racks. A fashion makeover with us is about being purposeful and making the most of the time that you have with us.

We charge an affordable fee for several hours of personal shopping, and we're confident that you'll soon have a wardrobe to be proud of; one that is both timeless and subtly respectful of current trends. We carefully consider your own tastes and needs, including your budget, and you aren't obliged to buy anything if you can't find anything that you truly want to buy.

The stores that are to be visited are planned out as soon as the initial style consultation is over. For an extra fee, you can even book a personal style and image session with one of our stylists in London, learning how to select a style, cut and colour that perfectly suits your own body type and skin tone. A wardrobe review and colour consultation is also available. Certainly, if the increasing popularity of these services among men is anything to go by, that metrosexual image of years past is becoming more out of date by the day!

Contact Shikkuu Guides at http://www.shikkuuguides.com/ now for more information on how our services could finally get you loving shopping as a man.

Why should you choose an independent personal shopper?

If you’ve given yourself a few moments to peruse the Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) website, you’ll have hopefully got a basic grasp of what our personal shoppers do. Essentially, in conjunction with our other services like personal styling, make up lessons and wardrobe reviews, our personal shopper in London will work hard to ensure that your wardrobe is firmly 2013, albeit tailored to how you truly want to look, by giving you the complete and well-prepared retail tour of London.

There is, however, another obvious contender in the personal shopper stakes...the personal shopper who is tied to a particular high street store. This is how high street stores have responded to the phenomenon of independent personal shopper services in London, like ours, and taking advantage of this new option is certainly tempting, especially if you have a particular favourite store. However, we would at least give you several caveats before you go for this option.

Firstly, the most obvious point: a high street personal shopper is firmly motivated by the interests of their employer. That means that it is in their interests to get you to spend as much as possible in that given store, and you’ll have probably guessed that this doesn’t necessarily exactly correspond with your own interests. Such a personal shopper is therefore likely to be very familiar with the store’s own ranges, even possibly pairing together the same items for you as they did for their last few clients – who may have had very different requirements to you.

This may mean you come out of the experience with an outfit that may look good enough in isolation, but which isn’t really the perfect match to your own needs or what you might have been hoping for. After all, when you’re spending money not only on a personal shopper but also potentially on a style advisor in London, you’ll want every detail to be perfect. If a particular outfit isn’t quite right, you’ll want your personal shopper to be sufficiently independent to suggest that you look elsewhere first.

This naturally brings us onto the advantages of choosing an independent personal shopper to give you your fashion makeover. Here at Shikkuu Guides, our personal shoppers are perfectly trained to hunt out the clothes and accessories that are an exact match to you and your personal style – and lifestyle. We fully consider such aspects as your body shape, personality, daily lifestyle and, of course, budget. Above all else, we pay attention to your own sense of style, never selecting outfits that you are not comfortable with wearing. Nor are you obliged to spend a single penny if you don’t want to – the affordable fee aside.

Of course, it would be remiss of us to suggest that personal shopper services in London with connections to high stores do not have their benefits. They do – but we’re also confident that you’ll find an independent, tailored service like that of Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) to be the superior option.

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The rise of Street Style - time to raise your game!

You don’t have to be a leading fashion stylist in London to have heard about ‘Street Style’. The last few years has seen the rise of this global phenomenon: fashion bloggers snapping normal yet stylish people out and about in the street and people copying these looks all around the world. More than just another way to while away hours on the internet, Street Style blogs actually mean that anyone who wants to be stylish now has to raise their game! Allow Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/ to explain...

Such is the phenomenon of Street Style that even many of the top glossy fashion magazines now feature a section dedicated to the photos of non-model/non-celebrities looking super stylish out on the street. Like most fashion fans, here at Shikkuu Guides we’re big fans of Street Style for lots of reasons. For instance, it’s created lots of great fashion blogs by talented individuals who may not have found success through the old-school channels of designing, styling, fashion photography or fashion journalism. It also celebrates the fact that style is all about a personal approach, rather than having to wear certain designer clothes or stick slavishly to fads which may not suit you. It’s also brilliantly democratic: you’ll see people of all ages, genders and nationalities on Street Style blogs, wearing everything from couture to vintage, high street to hand-me-downs.

So why does the rise of Street Style mean we have to raise our game in the sartorial stakes? In short, there is no longer any excuse for any of us to look less than our best. Can’t afford designer clothes or even fashion magazines? Street Style blogs are free and daily posting makes for endless, free inspiration, while many don’t feature designer clothes at all! Want to look stylish but aren’t really into keeping up with fashion? A quick browse through Street Style blogs, as well as keeping up with updates on the Shikku Guides blog and via Twitter of course, means you can tap into trends and learn how to play with colours, proportions and accessories to great effect.

Not so long ago, we only had to worry about that one cool friend showing us up in the style stakes – you know, that one friend who always looks effortlessly cool, who seems to know exactly what suits them and rarely puts a fashion step wrong? Unfortunately, Street Style now brings hundreds of these types to our attention every single week! And even if you choose to never look at a Street Style blog in your life, we can assure you that millions around the world do, every day, so the style stakes out on your local street have been raised whether you like it or not!

The answer, for those of you who feel you may need a helping hand in this area, is faster, easier and more affordable than you think. Simply book an appointment with one of our fashion makeover experts and stylists in London here at Shikkuu Guides and within a matter of hours you’ll have the keys to unlocking your very own personal style; a style worthy of any great Street Style blog, so get photo ready! For full details, go to http://www.shikkuuguides.com/

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What could make up lessons do for you?

For most of us ladies, make up is a must, but a bit of an after-thought. We may treat ourselves to the odd new lipstick, perhaps in a brave pop of colour, but all too often that’s about as far as it goes when it comes to updating our look. Here at Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/), we’re almost evangelical about the importance of giving enough consideration to your make up, because it’s an area that can be sadly neglected. Here are just some of the things you could learn from our make up lessons in London.

Turn back the clock

Make up really can make you look younger, we promise you. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. Lots of women in their 30s and beyond make the mistake of sticking to the same make up style of their 20s, or – heaven forbid – their teenage years, when they first picked up the mascara in the first place! These kind of make up sins range from overly-heavy eye-liner to caked on foundation; always using that favourite shade and make of lipstick, to choosing pastel shades of eye shadow straight out of the 1970s. Our make up lessons in London alert you to some of the most ageing make up habits and show you how to turn back the clock – you’ll be amazed by the results.

Protect against the sun’s harmful rays

Nowadays, most make up has sun protection built in, so wearing make up is in fact a great way of protecting against the sun’s harmful rays. While extra SPF is a must when sun-bathing to protect against skin cancer, even the right make up can help to protect against the ageing effects of sunlight on a daily basis. Joan Collins swears by make up’s anti-ageing sun protection benefits, and while she may or may not be one of your style icons, she certainly doesn’t look like someone who will turn 80 this year! The trick is to know the right products for your skin; the ones which protect without being too heavy, blocking out the sun while giving just the right amount of coverage. We can advise you on the perfect product for you.

Lose pounds and ditch the Botox

Now you think we’re really mad, right? Wrong. Make up really is a powerful tool when you’ve been trained by experts to use it in the right way. Book one of our make up lessons in London and we’ll show you the art of shading with make up. The use of shade and illumination, when done correctly and subtly, can be an instant jowl lifter, face thinner, nose job or wrinkle filler!

Do you now see why we’re evangelical about make up? For teenagers it’s fun, for 20-somethings it’s flirty, while for those in their 30s, 40s and all the way up to the 90s, it can be nothing less than transformative. What could our make up lessons do for you? Contact us through our website at http://www.shikkuuguides.com/ to find out!

New Year, new wardrobe, new you!

The New Year is a great time to take stock of all sorts of things, not least your personal style. Come January, most of us will be trying to lose a few pounds and look a little better after the excesses of the festive season, but for those who want to go that bit further and really raise their game in the style stakes, Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/) is here to help. Our Wardrobe Review service will give you not only a new wardrobe, but a whole new you.

If you’re struggling to find clothes which suit you; if you’ve been wearing the same styles for years; if your wardrobe reflects a completely different person than the one you’ve become; or if you simply don’t know where to start when it comes to fashion, fear not! Our Wardrobe Review is both a fashion makeover (letting you in on the latest on-trend, must-have pieces) and style makeover (giving you tips on how to bring out your own personal style), not to mention being highly practical. After we’ve given you a couple of hours of our expert wisdom, you’ll have a compartmentalised, organised, and fantastic wardrobe which will work for you – months ahead of spring cleaning season!

It’s one thing to flick through fashion magazines, but quite another to translate what you see to your own wardrobe. Whether you’re a new mum, a career woman, a young fashionista in the making, or an older lady wanting to dress appropriately but fashionably, our style advisor in London will tailor their advice to you. Our team will take a look at the pieces in your existing wardrobe, talk to you about your daily life and your goals for personal style, before giving practical and specific tips which will transform not only your wardrobe but the very way you shop and dress.

And don’t worry, you don’t have to find a budget for a whole new wardrobe; while we will of course advise on which key pieces you should add, it’s also about editing down what you have and making your current clothes work for you, by wearing them in new ways, accessorising, and working with shape, fit and colour.

Take a look at the Shikkuu Guides website at http://www.shikkuuguides.com/ for the surprisingly affordable rates of our Wardrobe Review, as well as our other style services which will help you tap into a whole new you. Happy New Year, Happy New You!

Insider Secrets: men’s style makeovers

Admitting you need help in the style and personal grooming department didn’t used to be in the male vocabulary. In fact it used to be a badge of masculinity for the guys to claim they never gave their clothes a thought and their grooming was basic at best. Not any more, even the term ‘metrosexual male’ which referred to men who took grooming seriously, is outdated now, given that just about every man under the age of 50 takes great pride in their appearance. In the last of our series, here are some of the insider secrets of those who give men’s style makeovers, from leading personal shopping and stylists in London Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/).

Get with the program! When carrying out a men style makeover, one of the first hurdles is to make men realise how much choice there is for them in both fashion and personal grooming in the 21st century. A little education is often needed, as many men presume the high street, department stores and designers cater to women first and men as an afterthought. It’s simply not the case anymore, with the male fashion, accessories and grooming markets exploding in recent years. It’s the male stylist’s job to let their client into the (not-so!) secret!

Consider your image We know that deep down most young to middle-aged men look in the mirror as much as women these days, but that doesn’t mean they have given their image as much consideration as they should. Any men style makeover worth its salt will start with a consultation to take into account how the guy sees themselves and the image they want to convey. Outdoorsy and rugged? Suave and sophisticated? Wealthy and designer-label driven? Classic and tailored? Normally it doesn’t take long to realise that most men want to look a certain way, but have put little effort into doing it.

Update and evolve It’s true that men’s fashion involves a lot of classic pieces and tailoring which rarely goes out of style, but that doesn’t mean that men can afford to ignore trends completely. It’s a key area where men go wrong in the sartorial stakes – failing to update their wardrobe and evolve their personal style when needed. A men style makeover will help them do just that, editing their current wardrobe and helping them shop for key new looks, both investment pieces and more fashion-led items.

Unlock colour If some men still find the fashion world a little too feminine for their liking, then the use of colour is likely to put real fear into them. Another secret of the men’s stylist is unlocking the power of colour. That doesn’t mean including some jauntily coloured socks or a pastel-hued jumper knotted nonchalantly across the shoulders – colour can look modern, cool, subtle and – dare we say it – manly! It just needs to be done well and in keeping with the right colours for the individual.

The men style makeover services from Shikkuu Guides includes the key to all these secrets and more, from image sessions to wardrobe reviews, colour consultations to personal shopper services in London. To find out more go to http://www.shikkuuguides.com/.

Insider Secrets: Colour Consultants

You have probably heard about colour consultants: experts who advise you on the colours which suit you best in both clothes and make up. But you may wonder how on earth they can tell which colours out of the spectrum of the rainbow will suit an individual – is it a standard rule for blondes, brunettes and redheads or does skin shade also come into it, for instance? At Shikkuu Guides (www.shikkuuguides.com), colour consultation in London is one of our services, so we’re well placed to let you into some of the insider secrets of the colour consultants...

The power of colour

We all know black is slimming, but that doesn’t even begin to touch on the true power of colour. Some colours add warmth to skin tone; some can take years off you; some can hide attributes you dislike and others can make your best features pop. Take a colour consultation in London with Shikkuu Guides and you can harness this power!

Shading, not just shades

A secret of the colour consultation world is that it’s not just a matter of picking a few shades from a swatch of colours – it’s also about shading. Just as the art of shading with make up can seem to tighten up the jaw line or slim the nose, so can combining certain shades slim your hips, banish a belly or highlight the face. Flattering make up and clever dressing is also about using shades of colour.

Work with what you’ve got

One of the great benefits of a colour consultation in London is that you learn how different colours can work together. Don’t think you’ll be told that red is your colour so you need to overhaul your wardrobe! You will be advised on which colours suit you of course, and you may even be surprised (it’s often the case!), but you will also learn how existing colours in your wardrobe can work together in perhaps surprising ways. That way you can work with the colours you’ve already got in your current wardrobe.

Nod to neutrals

Another perhaps surprising part of colour consultations is that they will let you into the secret of using neutrals to best effect, and not just dark, pastel and bright colours. Do you know how well white and cream go together? And what they can do to your wardrobe when worn together correctly? If not, then find out! Book a colour consultation in London with Shikkuu Guides and you’ll learn a whole host of fascinating and practical ways to harness colour, shades and neutrals in your clothes and make up. Find out more at www.shikkuuguides.com.

Insider Secrets : Make up artists

Over the years, make up artists have gone from people working their magic in the background to respected artists in their own rights, with some, such as Bobbi Brown and the late Kevyn Aucoin finding global fame. At Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/), we offer make up lessons in London which provide a wealth of tips from the professionals in just one hour, but here we share with you some insider secrets absolutely free!

Change up Professional make up artists know that fashions come and go in make up just as they do in fashion. Most women don’t even change their make up style over decades, let alone seasons, however, and this can be very ageing. Change up your make up style and you could take years off. What suited you in your teens, 20s or 30s could in fact be making you look much older than you are. Take a look at leading fashion magazines’ beauty sections for ideas on new ways to update your make up style.

Accentuate Make up is not a mask! Applied expertly it should accentuate your natural features, making you see the features of your face before you notice the make up. Even the natural make up look takes a lot more work than it looks, however, so learn how to bring out your eyes, accentuate your cupid’s bow, narrow your nose, whatever suits your face, with make up.

Brushes Take a look inside any make up artist’s kit and you’ll see lots of brushes. Fingertips are great for blending (more of that in a minute) but brushes elevate your make up to an expertly applied thing of beauty rather than a smeared on afterthought! There is literally a brush for everything, so check out your local department store beauty counter and get practicing.

Blending Fingers are themselves tools of the trade, mainly because they help to blend and blending is one of the most important aspects of well applied make up. Blend, blend and then blend again with warm fingertips. Blend your eyeshadow where you apply it, blend your foundation well, especially at your jawline. There’s nothing more unflattering than an orangey tidemark of foundation so check your blending success in natural daylight as well as under lights.

Shading Master shading and you really can make the most out of the features you like and downplay the ones you don’t. Shading is all about using light and creating shadow to define and reduce, but be warned it takes practice and a light hand so as not to look like stage make up!

To learn more about make up, from how to transition from day make up to evening looks, how to make your eyes pop and your cheekbones more chiseled, take advantage of our affordable make up lessons in London. Find out more at the Shikkuu Guides website at www.shikkuuguides.com

Insider Secrets: Stylists

Continuing Shikkuu Guides (www.shikkuuguides.com) series of insider secrets and tips from those in the know when it comes to style, fashion, good grooming and a great dose of glamour, here are some of the secrets that make stylists in London able to weave their magic.

Finger on the pulse – As you would expect from these trend setters and style mavens, they have their finger on the pulse like no one else out there. Real stylists don’t follow fashion, they blaze a trail, knowing what is hot at any given moment. That doesn’t just mean grabbing the latest issue of Vogue, you know, it’s about judging the mood of fashion right now, from high-end couture down to hyper-real street style. A leading fashion stylist in London will be able to tell you what is about to hit big when it comes to fashion before any one else, sometimes even the designers!

Understanding the past – Of course the role of a stylist is not just to dress you up in the latest fad - they are stylists, after all, not fly-by-night fashionistas. A stylist understands that tapping into the zeitgeist is part of their job, but it’s also about understanding the fashions and trends of the past. That way their client looks confident and in-the-know, rather than a slave to passing trends.

Friend not foe – Think of a London fashion stylist and you probably think of someone über-cool, even haughty. You would probably love to pick their brain but imagine their stylish credentials would make them completely unapproachable. Wrong! Any stylist worth their salt is a friend to their clients, not a foe. It’s only by getting to know a client (whether that’s over a working relationship that lasts for years or a one-off consultation) that they can truly work their magic. After all, a stylist is not someone who dresses you up like the latest celebrity, they are sartorial experts who make you look the very best you can look.

Eye of a magpie – A stylist is the magpie of the fashion world. They don’t just read fashion magazines for inspiration, that’s for us mere mortals, they take inspiration from all sorts of places. Just as a magpie eyes anything that sparkles and takes it for themselves, so a stylist will see things that inspire them in all walks of life and within every cultural arena. They will often file that idea away for later, when it could feature in a way to accessorise, a clever use of colour or a nifty way to layer.

If all of that seems like hard work, well – frankly – it is, to the uninitiated among us. If we were to approach styling someone it would seem a hugely daunting task to take everything into account to make them look fantastic. But the fact is that professional stylists don’t make it seem like hard work – to them it seems to come naturally! Which of course makes them the mysterious mavens that they are, and some of the most sought-after people in fashion.

Think having a personal stylist in London is only for the capital’s celebrities and super-rich? Think again – Shikkuu Guides personal stylist services are just as sought-after but available to all. Find out more at www.shikkuuguides.com.

Insider Secrets: Personal Shoppers

At Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com/), we’re all about imparting our wisdom when it comes to fashion, shopping, style and grooming. Our team of experts draw on many years industry experience to advise our customers and they’ve learnt many insider secrets along the way. In the first of a series of posts, we’re going to share some insider secrets of a personal shopper in London, secrets which can help you shop your way to a more stylish wardrobe.

Consider the client - The first secret of a personal shopper is just how closely they assess their clients. They understand that the most important underlying aspect of dressing well and shopping effectively is knowing what suits that person, both in terms of body shape and size and lifestyle. Do the same yourself and be truthful! A realistic assessment of yourself (Are you still a size 10? What can you honestly afford to spend per month?) is the cornerstone of shopping for a fantastic wardrobe.

Edit, edit, edit- Personal shopper services in London don’t start in the city’s stores, they really begin in the client’s home, or their current wardrobe to be exact. When you hire a personal shopper, you’re not just adding to the amount of clothes you have, you’re building a new wardrobe with a whole new eye. To do that, it’s important to edit what you already have. At Shikkuu, we work closely with our personal shopper clients before we hit the shops to ensure that we understand the individual client’s needs. Don’t worry, a personal shopper won’t come in and throw away half of your clothes, but will advise on editing down to key pieces which will work for you. But be warned, if you haven’t worn something in a year or more, you probably should edit it out your wardrobe for good!

Store secrets - When it’s time to actually start shopping, personal shoppers really come into their own. We’re not about to let you in on every insider secret here (we’d have every personal shopper in London to answer to if we did!) but we will let you in on some store secrets that are worth keeping in mind. First, know the delivery days of your favourite stores. It sounds obvious, but if you don’t get the good stuff when it first comes in, especially in high street stores such as Zara which updates their ranges startlingly regularly, then you’re going to miss out. Also find out which stores carry the ranges you like. Some provincial branches may not carry some of the higher quality ranges, for instance, and more central or flagship branches could be a better option. And know how to shop efficiently and effectively. Most stores will carry their most sought-after and regularly updated ranges at the front of the shop so you may not have to trawl through the entire shop to get a quick refresh as to what’s new and not to miss.

As you can imagine, this barely scratches the surface of the juicy secrets of the average personal shopper in London but allow us to become your personal shopper and we’ll let you into all the tricks of the trade! Find out just how affordable it is at http://www.shikkuuguides.com/

So many ways to inject some style in your life

If like us, you’re a bit tired of the relentlessly bleak news about the global economy and would rather focus on the fab, not drab, dreaming of a more glamorous outlook, then it’s time to inject some serious style in your life. Here at the home of one of the premier stylists in London, Shikkuu Guides (http://www.shikkuuguides.com), we offer so many ways to do just that, and it’s far more affordable then you may think.

Shikkuu Guides offers you a range of stylish services that will provide a welcome dose of glamour, whether you choose to overhaul your wardrobe, update the colour palette of your clothes or discover some of London’s secret sartorial addresses. Here is just a selection:

Hire a Fashion Stylist

Ever wonder how the stars manage to look so picture perfect all the time? With the possible exception of Kate Moss, none of them can take personal credit. They all rely on the indispensable services of a fashion stylist. At Shikkuu Guides, we don’t think this valuable service should be restricted to the wealthy, which is why we offer an affordable stylist service, offering all of the up-to-the-minute expertise and fashion know-how without the hefty price tag.

Personal Shopper Service

Hiring a personal shopper is a great way to adopt your favourite runway looks within a realistic budget; find out the best new styles to hit the hottest high street shops; discover which styles and shapes suit you best; and ensure this season’s key pieces feature in your wardrobe. Our personal shopper services in London offer all this and more.

Make Up Lessons

Of course for women, great style isn’t just about great clothes, it’s also about good grooming and flattering make-up. Make-up really is an art form - just look at the celebrities who don’t go anywhere without their personal make-up artist. We can help you tap into this art yourself, however, showing you some insider tricks of the trade which will bring out your best features, minimise any imperfections and look yourself but a whole lot slicker and prettier!

Style Makeover

Even the most fashion-forward among us can fall into a style rut, sticking to the old faithful fashions we know (or at least think!) that suit us. A style makeover is what needed in this case, and our expert stylists will show you how to bring your personal style bang up to date but very much keeping to what suits your size, shape and lifestyle. You’ll be you, but a whole new, fabulous you!

Colour Consultation

Do you have a lot of black in your wardrobe? We bet you do! There may be nothing more chic than the LBD, but black is not the only fashionable colour, people! With our help, you can unlock the power of the palette in your wardrobe, picking colours that flatter, bring out your complexion, nod to the styles of the season, and lift your mood.

If all this sounds like the stuff of dreams to mere mortals then think again. Find out about the real-world pricing for our full range of style services at http://www.shikkuuguides.com. A new, more stylish you could soon be the reality.