Monday, 10 December 2012

The Launch

Clearly I have been shirking my blogging responsibilities for which I apologise! I was not even ill! I was merely lazy, but I have had a severe word with myself and I endeavour not to miss a post again.

Now in true AGM fashion having started with the apologies I move onto the main points of business. The launch of my business Cristo Johns Personal Style Consultancy. The event took place at The Duke of Richmond Hotel in Guernsey. The resident's lounge was taken over to provide the perfect background for champagne and cake with a collection of luxury womenswear from START and TRILOGY boutiques from London. 
They tasted as good as they look 
Richard Nicoll, Maison Martin Margeila, J Brand, Equipment, J Brand, Moncler, Theyskens Theory, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang 
The room
Guests could enjoy everything while relaxing over the latest editions of VOGUE
Explaining the details
Showing the detail on this amazing print dress by Theyskens Theory. The draped sides can be tied at the back just to mix things up a bit. 
A little presentation

Mulberry's on display

Fabulous guests 
Model wears Alexander Wang leather fronted dress

It was a fabulous launch to my business and a joy to host. As I said in my speech. Cristo Johns is not shopping with your friend. It is shopping with a professional. Men and women will pay a hairdresser or a masseuse huge hourly rates without a second thought. By comparison the services of Cristo Johns are perfectly accessible. Clothing and our presentation is the first port of call for judgements, and like it or not we live in a world ruled by first impressions. I am not claiming that you must wear Gucci to look good, but there are ways and means of presenting yourself to the best of your ability regardless of price point. To those who say, I don't care what I look like. I think A) you are lying and B) that is a real shame. It is not a bad thing to present yourself well. It is only when appearance becomes your only care in the world that it can be worrying.  

So book yourselves in with Cristo Johns while I go and pay the champagne bill...ouch! Any other business? No. Good. 



Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Well slap me and call me psychic!

Mr Wang
It has now been confirmed and it is all clear. As predicted in my post "Balenciaga Saga', the successor of Nicholas Ghesquière is Alexander Wang. 

I told ya! And whoop whoop for Wang! More frequently it gets harder to find quality clothing that is not covered in branding or liable-to-snagging embellishment. The Alexander Wang Ready-To-Wear lines and diffusion line T by Alexander Wang act as simple saviours. Have a look at the current collections at and see what you think. 

At 28, Wang's youth is set to bring a vibrancy to Balenciaga that I am excited to see. Some have flagged up the criticism of whether Wang will be able to handle his duties at Balenciaga and at his eponymous lines. My rebuttal to these critics is quite simply that Marc Jacobs seems to be doing just fine with his line whilst simultaneously heading up creative at Louis Vuitton. Yes it is undoubtedly a huge responsibility but, cynics must be reminded that hundreds of employees work goes into creating the clothing produced by "super-brands" such as Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton. Creative directors are required to dedicate a large proportion of their time as faces of the brand. All of this work is incredibly necessary. We live in a world where people enjoy having a quasi-celebrity to focus on. Fashion most certainly encompasses this, where creative directors, the Karl Lagerfeld's and the Donatella Versace's of this world attend the shows, meet the press and create the show and spectacle that us as "the masses" love to follow and idolise. The only way to survive is by having a strong design team behind you. It is a simple fact that the majority of people who's name is on the label don't actual make the clothes. In fact it is childish to think that they do. 

So come on Alexander Wang. Take the Balenciaga reins, manage it well, stamp your mark onto the brand and show us what you can do! Do it with confidence and I am positive the reaction will be favourable.  

This is a very short post as I have been very busy with the launch of Cristo Johns but I promise I have a  lot planned for December. There will be treats for you I promise! 


Friday, 30 November 2012


This week has clearly been a big deal with regards to fashion. The British Fashion Awards took place at London's Savoy Hotel on Tuesday night and the very best of this year's fashion was celebrated with a suitably extravagant affair and I officially launched my own business which was just wonderful ( And please DO NOT get me wrong. I am not one for modesty. If you have done a good job, celebrate it, and what better way than to fill yourself seven eights full with champagne! Any excuse! Hoorah for British fashion. The industry had done extremely well this year with many new designers launching their own labels and existing brands going from strength to strength in spite of the harsh economic climate.  

With the above in the forefront of my mind, the covetable items of this week come from two of the winners of awards at the BFA's. 

So, for the gents:

The coat above or rather Full Length Jacket (FLJ) is what I think should be considered as the male equivalent of the Little Black Dress (LBD). Classic, stylish and a little bit special. Jonathan Saunders, seen modelling his own design above won the Emerging Talent - Menswear award on Tuesday thanks to his debut collection earlier this year. The FLJ is easily my favourite piece of his collection. I saw Jonathan wearing this coat at the Roksanda Ilincic show back in September and it looks exquisite. The blue hues really shine under bright lighting and the wool/cotton blend of the fabric hangs from the body in a relaxed way whilst maintaing a wonderful shape and is also extremely warm. The FLJ is available from for £805, which is reduced from the original £1,150. The covet-ability of this garment is increased exponentially thanks to Saunders' award win and it is only available in size 38 or 40 so there is no better time to buy or at least ogle at this wonderful piece of outwear. 

And ladies:
Introducing the Ellis tri-colour crepe dress by Roksanda Ilincic. Serbian born, London based Roksanda won the BFA's Red Carpet Award, which is given to the designer who is considered to have created the best global awareness of their designs through the media. And having spent nearly 5 months of this year interning for the great R.I. I feel that I can say with justification that this award is wholly deserved. The celebrity following of Roksanda's clothes is staggering having been worn frequently by the most powerful women in the world including Michelle Obama, The Duchess of Cambridge and Lady Gaga. This particular dress is my favourite from the Resort 2013 collection. The dress is unlined which I don't normally like but in this case makes it extremely light. It is made majorly from an extremely comfortable crushed tintunita wool with a fabulously unique coated tweed (the black bit). The full back zip is an attractive detail and allows the dress to come apart completely. The colours are blocked well to make a dress that can be worn almost anywhere. It is available in sizes UK6 - UK14 from for £815. 
In summary, as designers Jonathan and Roksanda are "da bomb".



Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Clearly this post is hideous self promotion but I implore you to keep reading! Tomorrow is an extremely important day for me as it is the official launch of my personal shopping and styling business:
I have been working hard developing my business plans for some time now and am happy to announce I am finally going for it, and I am ready to launch. CRISTO JOHNS offers gradating levels of service dependent on your price point, whilst at all times maintaining a luxury service regardless of budget. 

The key concept about CRISTO JOHNS is that it is not shopping with your friend! It is shopping with a professional. Someone who watches every single fashion show each season. Analysing the trends seen on the runway and translating them down into whatever region of fashion you are shopping in. Someone who knows brands and stores and can pinpoint where/what/who is best for you. The services are highly tailored to each individual client and the level of service provided is unlike any other. 

I hope you enjoy the site and wish to see you as clients soon. As you will see the services are currently tailored to women. In order to ensure the best possible quality, the men's side of the business will be officially launching in the first half of next year, however I will most happily arrange services gentlemen looking to establish themselves as style mavens before then. 

To keep up to date with the development of CRISTO JOHNS including special services, discounts and rewards, sign up to the mailing list by sending an email to with the subject as 'MAILING LIST'. 



Monday, 26 November 2012

Using Vintage to your Advantage

Clear your minds and repeat after me. Just because it's old, doesn't mean it's vintage!

Vintage is an overused word that can be applied to a large bulk of clothing. There is fabulous vintage haute couture for example available from the likes of William Vintage ( in London's Marylebone where you will pay thousands for the rarest of past designer pieces. However vintage also applies to mass available fashion, for example Beyond Retro ( the vintage retail chain that sells cheap and cheerful vintage from the 20th century. 

Now don't get me wrong I love a pair of dungarees or "granny knit" jumper as much as the next fashionista but one must be careful not to be drowned in the mire of mass vintage availability. Every which way you look there is another vintage store each claiming to be the real deal. And if you believe that they are, you probably also think Cher hasn't had any plastic surgery. (Sorry, the gay references just seep out of me, I can't control it). However, there is a lot of great vintage out there and I think some clarity must be made. 

Just because it is from the 90's or prior does not mean you can wear it with just cause. Just like the millions of different items of clothing produced today, there was a lot of shit produced in those decades as well. Below are my 4 guidelines for buying and wearing vintage. That's only 4 simple rules! Memorise them, like a pin number!

  1. Check for damage. Vintage clothes are old that much is obvious, but that shouldn't mean you are buying garments with holes in or broken seams. Damaged Vintage will just make you look like a tramp and that is never good, so stop it!
  2. Haggle! This is not going to be possible if buying vintage couture (but to be brutally honest that will probably not apply to you) however with your standard vintage store which is essentially a glorified, fashionably edited charity shop go right ahead. My tip is to ask for the best "cash price" (a little tip from my papa there!) you should in general be able to get 10% off. 
  3. Don't wear head to toe vintage, now this rule does not so much apply if you are privileged enough to be wearing a vintage Balenciaga gown or Dior suit. But wear vintage from the 90's all over and you run the risk of looking, well, from the 90's. It is not the 90's and you are not at a halloween party so it is not appropriate. Use vintage as a statement piece and blend with modern day pieces. Put a vintage knit with simple jeans to look effortlessly stylish. 
  4. Wear it with purpose and confidence or don't bother buying it. Vintage is meant to be a bit different from the norm, so wear it with pride. You have been daring so be a trendsetter not a follower. If you are going to recoil when people stare at your chunky knit unicorn intarsia cardigan, then stick to something more simple ok dear? 

This is my latest vintage purchase which I adore! It was from ROKIT Vintage in Brick Lane, they have two other stores in Camden and Covent Garden as well as online at, and it came in at a tidy £36. I told them I was a student, which is all lies so sue me, and got 10% off (see Rule 2 working to excellent effect). The beading is intricate but very sturdy, I am not constantly in panic that a slight knock will send the embellishment cascading over the floor. I do recommend ROKIT Vintage very highly, the staff are attentive and the selection is of great quality. 
Whilst I look amazing, I would like to use this space to dedicate my memories to
Penny my Penguin iPhone case who was stolen from me last week! I am still mourning!  

It is a statement top that I wear with plain jeans and boots. Rules applied, job done!

Follow my rules and you'll be just dandy.


Friday, 23 November 2012


Friday's are quite often a point of elation for most people, it signifies the end of the working week, a break from the jobs you hate and for those "over 18" the evening is usually laced with some sort of spirit. And, now there is another reason to be o' so joyous, an additional benefit to the TGIF manifesto if you will. For Friday is the day where I will present to you two items, one for men, one for women. I will use every possible resource to find you what I consider the pieces of clothing/accessories that will make you want to sleep with your boss in order to afford them! And in my way, I will be explaining why these pieces are so damn fabulous. 

"But there is no way I can afford that, what's the point in showing us?" Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can't afford an original Monet, but that doesn't mean I spit on his paintings at the National Gallery! It's about being aspirational and appreciating something for the individuality and craftsmanship. Plus if you happen to get an amazing bonus, win the lottery or wealthy aunt with more money than sense finally clocks it, well maybe you can treat yourself with some retail therapy. 

So without further ado I present to you (that rhyme was totally unintentional I swear) The Covetable Items Of The Week:

These midnight blue velvet slippers by Giuseppe Zanotti are the epitome of style for men. The tasseled slipper has been hugely popular this year and sales are set to continue well into 2013 thanks to the quintessential gentleman feel to slippers/loafers which is ultimately classic and is a lasting style statement. The shoes are leather soled and lined, with grosgrain piped edging as well as the crystal appliqué tassels on the upper surface. Zanotti has this week opened his first mens only store in Milan so now is the perfect time to learn about this master shoemaker. These slippers are available from for £453 with free international shipping.

The women's item of the week is a tad more expensive than the men's but it's covet-ability is simply through the roof. This is an amethyst matt alligator Birkin bag by Hermès. Made in 2009, this bag is on sale at Christie's Vintage Couture and Luxury Handbags auction next week on the 29/11/2012 and is estimated at £28,000 - £30,000. Hand crafted by the master artisans at Hermès in Paris, average Birkin's take 48 hours of work to complete, with rare material versions such as this one considerably longer. The bags are in such demand that Chinese tourists (who have gone mad for the Birkin) are restricted to buying one per year! I had the pleasure of visiting the Hermès Leather Forever exhibition in London earlier this year and saw one being made, the work that goes into these bags is astonishing and their scarcity is a major factor in the final sale price. Auctions of so many Birkins are uncommon and my guess is that the final price will be well beyond the upper estimate. This bag is Lot 24......if you are interested.

Have a fabulous weekend, is that CRISTO CLEAR?


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Balenciaga Saga

This is one that I am going to struggle to make clear, but what the hell is going on at Balenciaga? What a way to perpertuate the perceived dramatic mayhem of the fashion industry! Can no fashion house replace a creative director without a newspaper fabricating a story or someone yelling anti-Semitic rants? Considering the answer to this question a resounding "no" I shall take what I am given and try to analyse the situation as best as I can.

For those unfamiliar. French luxury fashion label Balenciaga, famed for its leather goods and cool, clean look of its ready-to-wear collections, has been under the creative control of Nicholas Ghesquière for the past 15 years. In that time the brand has undoubtedly been successfully strengthened. The PPR owned fashion house has become a highly covetable brand that holds an exclusive reputation untainted by excessive counterfeiting or association with the wrong type of consumer (à la Burberry and the chavs). The core aim of luxury brands is to be aspirational, and Balenciaga radiates this quality with fervour.

Look 9 from Balenciaga SS13 show
Nicholas Ghesquière
So the news breaks that Ghesquière is to leave Balenciaga, the news is surprising and out of the blue, the industry is shocked. From here rumours fly about who is to succeed him. Many names are debated until French news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur states that Christopher Kane has accepted the role. Cue excitement and countless tweets of congratulations until yesterday when it is published that the claims are false and Kane is forced to officially deny claims of a new job. Throw in the fact that Kane confirmed he is departing Versus, the sister line of Versace where Kane has been the designer since 2009 and you just about have yourselves an Eastenders episode.

We are still none the wiser as to Ghesquière's successor's identity which, in a world where information is generally available in a heartbeat is rather frustrating. Now, why do I care so much? Some of you will be thinking "This guy needs a life, its really not that big a deal". And on one level you are completely correct however a creative director has such direct impact on the success and ultimately sales of a brand that in business and economic terms the decision is of paramount importance. By extension any replacement cannot simply come on board and change everything in sight. The luxury fashion industry is a peculiar beast that is much more fragile than high street fashion. Consider the likes of Topshop a reenforced metal aircraft hangar while Céline or Bottega Veneta are by comparison crystal champagne flutes. A slight upset can shatter a brand as their customer base is considerably smaller and by definition much more demanding.

Alexander Wang SS13 show
Christopher Kane


Alexander Wang

Therefore, I am unashamedly excited about discovering who will take the creative helm at Balenciaga. I feel that Alexander Wang would be a fantastic option. The American/Chinese designer has had phenomenal success with his eponymous line and diffusion line T by Alexander Wang by tapping a niche for luxury casual wear that is simple and unmarked. Wang's style would be undoubtedly different to Ghesquière's yet sleek and clean enough to adhere to the Balenciaga credo. My hopes are with him, how about you?

I will keep you posted on the outcome.



Monday, 19 November 2012

Hat-solutely Fabulous

We live in a world where, so long as you can connect to the internet, can share information with the world almost instantaneously. This is clear in the fashion industry where the majority of fashion shows are now streamed live, with buy-as-you-see methods of purchase available. I have begun on a slight digression but my point is that trends are analysed and established in a matter of minutes/hours as opposed to weeks/months in the days where print magazines were our only method of tracking developments in the fashion industry.

So, the next big accessory trend.....I don't know why I am building it is in the title, yes it's hats. When I first realised that hats were going to be the new "it" item I was a little scared. I have quite large ears and hats have always been a point of contention for me. However, I have done my research and I am coming round to them. Hats, like sunglasses should be bought with a great deal of thought and precision. You want something that will flatter you yet compliments your personality as well as your image. After all, I know not to wear oversized peak caps because, if you haven't picked up on it, Im not very gangster, "G" if you will, and don't want to pretend that I am! 

STYLE NOTE: colours of hats are very important. Being so close to your face, hats have a great impact on your skin tone. If you are really struggling (well perhaps don't wear a hat, there is no need to loose sleep on this) blues or browns are a safe bet as they fit with most hair/eye colour combos. 

Below are the popular hat trends of the season with some guidance on who/where/how to wear them:

The wide brimmed fedora is a very versatile hat and can be worn by most. They add attitude and edge when put with dresses yet can create an androgynous look when worn with trousers and a shirt. If buying a fedora, they should fit 

Fedora range by Rag & Bone
Rag & Bone quality is exceptional, a hat from them is built for longevity

The beanie is back with vengeance and while available in every colour and texture under the sun should this season be selected in a finer knit or cashmere in more neutral or plain dark colours in order to balance AW12 clothing trends which are opulence and embellishment heavy. Beanie's look great with leather, so run with that. 
Zigzag knit beanie from Topshop £12
Cheap and cheerful and navy blue will complement  most skin tones
The comedy hat, this is not however an excuse to stick the nearest random object to your head. Comedy hats are tricky but if you have a big personality and wear it as a feature then go for it. Never wear a comedy hat in a professional setting,  regardless of how much of a hoot you are there is a time and a place for everything and wearing fruit on your head at the office is never appropriate. NEVER! 

Bunny hat from Bernstock Speirs £75 This playful hat will add wow factor to casual outfits and is available in a range of colours
My hat of choice of the moment is the veiled beanie! Yes that's right a beanie, with a veil!! This hat was conceived by milliner Stephen Jones for the runway of Jil Sander and was quickly adopted by the likes of Anna Dello Russo and Bryan Boy, accelerating its popularity to sell out levels. The Jil Sander version unsurprisingly comes in at £274, another variation is available by master milliners Bernstock Speirs in Brick Lane for £70. However, I have viewed these in store and while the quality of the fabric is marvellous and the workmanship excellent I felt the price too high. I thought to myself I could make my own. So that is precisely what I did. 

I feel fabulous wearing it and it keeps my ears warm. Now go buy or make a hat! 

Friday, 16 November 2012

A boy called Nicola!

Even shadowed by the grey sky and drizzling rain I knew clearly by 2pm that today would end having been a very good day. 


Parce que I got to meet and chat to Nicola Formichetti! And before I lose those of you who have no idea who he is, he is the genius stylist and fashion director behind Lady Gaga. As well as having been fashion director of Dazed & Confused magazine and currently holding the role of creative director at French luxury label Thierry Mugler. 

Regardless of your opinions of Lady Gaga or her (in reality Nicola's) let's say unique sense of style. He has been a major force in propelling  her to global stardom. She is renowned for wearing, a latex Queen Elizabeth I style dresse, a dress made of meat, a crystal gyro-sphere in her Bad Romance video, all of which were selected by Mr Formichetti. Half Italian, half Japanese his international upbringing oozes through his work to create playful yet incredibly classy and aspirational images. 

Meeting the man himself at 39.39 on Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, London. 
In the flesh he is effortlessly cool, wearing an own branded Nicopanda white cap, jersey sweater cut out at the underarms (maybe to avoid sweat patches, I knew I should have asked) and jogging bottoms. 

The Dazed & Confused  Fantasia December issue is available now off the shelf for £4.50 so head out and get an insight into an alternative style maven.




It is clear that fashion is a saturated industry where there is more talent than outlets for said talent to be commercially expressed. And with a cruel irony every day new outlets in the form of start-up magazines, blogs and online stores try to provide a platform for the overwhelming amount of design, styling, artistic talent that there is. Sadly many of these talents and outlets will fall by the way side, most commonly due to lack of financial support or they are simply not good enough. What can I say it's a cruel cruel world! 

However, Yesterday I had the pleasure of accompanying my friend Sheridan Ward (hair stylist extraordinaire) to have coffee with Neil O'Keeffe, editor and designer of Valstrom Magazine. The first issue is available now from and for £5 is a necessary purchase for those wanting to be "on point" (yes I said it and i'm proud!) with regards to modern fashion. Directional yet accessible, the magazine is very fresh and is filled with content without reams of advertisements (in fact I checked again, there aren't any) which we all know dominate the pages of our beloved Conde Nast fashion bible (VOGUE to those staring blankly at the screen). 

Cover Image
All Image rights Valstrom
The premier issue is titled firsts, a theme that runs effortlessly throughout and is brought to true light with a very unique model on the cover whose face, within the first few pages you come to learn is comprised of 20 different faces! Kudos to the retoucher! Inside there are interviews with a fashion illustrator, blogger, model agent, designer Domingo Rodriguez on top of fashion features. Every shoot notably features an impressive range of heavy weight brands and designers from Topshop to Burberry Prorsum. The magazine achieves in transferring both knowledge and insight into the workings of the fashion industry with great aplomb. 

Dress and boots: Topshop Unique, necklace: Mawi
Shirt: Claudia Ligari, skirt: Atsuko Kudo, shoes: Hugo Boss,
earings: Mawi

valstrom is a magazine about fashion culture 
Left and right taken from fashion feature 'mixed signals'
Photography: Enokae
Styling: Fernando Torres
Make-Up: Yuka Hirata (MAC)
Hair: Sheridan Ward (Kiehls)
The look is slick and chic and I love the Topshop Unique boots to the left. Perfect if you are looking for the versatile black boot.

Jacket: Burberry Prorsum, trousers: Baartmans & Siegel
Shirt and gloves: Burberry Prorsum, sweater: Domingo Rodriguez
trousers: J Lindeberg

Left and right taken from fashion feature 're birth'
Photography: Enokae
Styling: Fernando Torress
Make-Up: Rocio Cordero (Illamasqua)
Hair: Alexander Soltermann (Bumble and Bumble)
It is apparent the vibe is consistent from shoot to shoot, with quality at the core. Spikes are everywhere right now and I simply need a pair of the Burberry Prorsum spiked gloves.

Valstrom Issue 1 has arrived and I am certainly going to do my part to ensure that this platform is one that does not fall by the way side. I've got my copy, now go and get yours.