The Luphia Lowdown on Korean fashion, global style, interiors, architecture and all that’s good in the world!

9 Jan 2012: Happy Fashionable New Year 2012!

Ok, it's that time of year when we all make so many New Year's resolutions... and then we all break so many of them, and that includes the fashions we buy. Never mind: help is at hand. Many of us decide that a new year means this is the time when we will truly be one step ahead style-wise. Nothing wrong there, but if what you are asking is, 'so what’s the fashion trend in 2012?', then think again girls! The word trend is not in my dictionary and it shouldn't be in yours. Trends are set by fashion designers and retailers, the business men and women who wants you to follow them, buy their stuff, then ditch it again weeks later (possibly without ever having worn what you've bought in the first place). So, don’t like to fall into the ‘trend-trap'. Sure, there are things I go through phases of liking, but the best 'trend' for me is the one that suits me, shapes me, makes me happy, and makes me stand out in a way I'm comfortable with. Please don’t wear something that you think it looks nice on others. Everyone is unique and so everyone should have their own style. Ok, so how do I rethink my approach to fashion and find 'me'?, I hear you cry. Well, here's some tips on finding that 'me' trend and style:

1) Know yourself, be yourself – In today's hectic world, we are bombarded by marketing messages and continually being told we are like this or that and are often too busy to think who we really are. No matter how time-poor you are, I say spend at least 10 minutes each day to be alone and be quiet and just to connect with your inner-self. To ease you in, just start with a minute and slowly increase. It is not as easy as you might think - even when we keep quiet, our mind is still busy. But, keep on with this fun little routine, and you will find out a lot more about your inner-self very quickly.

2) Know your colour – Colour is crucial when come to styling. If you know which colours compliment you, you are half way there. Take some time to experiment. Go to shopping malls specifically with this in mind and take a few colours to try on. You will see which ones reflect your complex tones the best. Beware of the yellow magic light in the fitting rooms though, they are designed to make you look better than you are in that garment - wander round the store if you have to (do tell the shop assistant first though!). This will help you lay the foundations for your particular colour palette. Of course this doesn’t mean you have to stick to those shades only and forever: the next step is to experiment, mix things up and layer different tones, have fun and play around. And please, don’t stick to black or grey, get some colours in your life ladies!

3) Know your body shape – So… you heard this many times, but do you really know your body shape? In the market, fashions are always categorised into four body shapes: pear, rectangular, apple, hourglass. Everyone knows the right garment can make you look up to 10 pounds lighter and then there are always garments that flatter your body and draw the eye in. There are a lot of ways to help you to identify your shape out there and many of them work well. But please do not take this as some kind of bible - there are far, far more body shapes out there than four. So, how to dress to your shape? Simple general rules are, simplify the part that is on the bigger body part and dress up/draw attention to the part that is smaller in proportion. EG. if you are bottom heavy, then play up your shoulders and neckline. In many ways, it is all about illusion (and we will talk more about this soon!)…

4) Know your fabrics – When choosing fabrics, I stick to my rule: comfort! Choose fabrics which move as the person wearing the garment moves. Choose fabric that is not rough or irritating on the skin. This can easily be tested by rubbing the fabric on the inside of your wrist. And don't just stick with what the stores are selling each season: you don’t only wear thick clothing during winter for example. Thick clothing is only for outer wear. Yes, invest in some good outer you still can keep your flowy, lace, light cotton dress, tunics or tops inside. Your summer wears are not only for summer ;) Another fabric factor for me is the wrinkle factor! I don’t like ironing (I mean, hands up who likes ironing?), so my fabric must be basically ironing free.

In Luphia, you can see there are many pieces are flowy chiffon, polyester mixed, and only good for hand and cold wash. It will be straightened when it is hung up or laid to dry. It saves the environment, energy and time :) We encourage our customers to hand wash our garments in cool water to reduce their energy consumption and protect the climate. If you don’t like them anymore, please donate to others or send them for recycling. But I often find that the best recipient of my old garments! This goes back to my opening point: be yourself, not what the fashion houses would like you to be. Always worth getting those older garments back out of storage and creating a new 'me' for the New Year mixing and matching your new treats with some classics from your collection!

Ok, that’s it for now guys…. I can’t wait to continue exploring fashion with you in 2012.

May 2012 bring success, happiness and fabulousness to each and everyone of you!!

God Bless!!

MeeKee Kokoroni xxx

28 December 2011: After Christmas and the result...

Hello there guys, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas time with your family & friends!! Most of us are still in the holiday mood, and with much of the UK off work today anyway, things are still quiet and aren't too crazy.. (shopping sphree is quite crazy though = =" due to the highstreet sales)

Remember the survey that you guys had done last month? We have got the winners (three of our beautiful Pearl Collar Necklace and four Suzanne Woolcott-designed ‘Super Cute Gorjuss 2012' calendars).  I will email each winner shortly for delivery address! Thank you for all of you who had participated and letting us know a little about you. If you have not won this time, don't frown ^ ^ There will be more in the coming year!!!

For the lucky ones, I would appreciate if you could leave a comment here letting us know how do you like the gift and how do you wear/use them... feel free to send us a photo if you are in the mood :)


Love XX




winners: Charissa, Jennifer, Karla

winners: Apple, Emma, Liz, Vivian


19 December 2011: Time Tested Beauty Tips

Hi there one and all, MeeKee here!

So, Christmas is almost here, a time when we will stop awhile and take stock of the year, surround ourselves by friends and family and remind ourselves of the things that are really important in life.

These timeless sentiments can be addressed to all areas of life (anyone hoping for a little Chanel No.5 in their stocking knows that). So, this week, I would love to share some unconventional beauty advice - in the form of the beautiful and inspiring poem, 'Time Tested Beauty Tips'. It was written by Sam Levenson, but famously quoted by Audrey Hepburn, possibly the most timeless of style icons, when she was asked the secret of her beauty.

Ever since her rise to stardom in the 1950s, Hepburn's classic and seemingly effortless beauty has been treasured and imitated, but never bettered. So maybe the secret is to be true to ourselves. I believe beauty comes from within and overflows to the outside. True beauty is in all of us, it is not something you can pretend or something you can cover up with make-up or clothing. Sincere love and kindness blossoms and last forever.

So guys, here are Levenson's wonderful words, written for for Grandchild. You may have read it before, but it is worth re-reading and reminding ourselves so we can learn and grow as truly beautiful people.

Time Tested Beauty Tips By Sam Levenson

"For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!"


Wish you all a very merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year 2012!

See you next year!!

Love and God Bless,

MeeKee XXX

9 December 2011: Southbank Christmas Market

I promised I would give you the lowdown on Christmas London via my visit to the South Bank Christmas Market, so here it is guys, and what a wonderful, wintry day it was. I took myself off there last Saturday (3 December). I was on my own this time (hubby and I having already visited two weeks earlier) and I was happy to have my own sweet time to enjoy the walk. I arrived at Waterloo at 3pm, greeted by a sunny, bright, crisp day, all beautiful sky blue and white cloud. I find London so inspirational and took a few photos for you of the glorious London Eye before approaching the Christmas market itself.

And even before I reached the market the atmosphere was just so Christmassy, the beautiful festive food fragrances of  orange and cinnamon and various other sweet treats floating on the air. The childish joy just increased when I then I met some old friends here, including my favourites Mickey and Minnie Mouse!


But I was being led by the nose and moved on to track down those festive flavours of orange and cinnamon and tracked them down in the shape of these gorgeous yuletide decorations....warm and cosy… made me think of mulled wine.


A much more colourful experience, but no less seasonal, came in the form of this lovely Pick ‘n’ Mix stall full of colourful candies! Luckily for my waistline, I am not a candy person, but this was visually lovely at least!


The market was very busy, but there were so many happy faces and great for people-watching :)


Ok, now let me bring you to a few stalls that I loved...


Top left: A lot of lovely little Christmas decorative ideas; Bottom left: why not bring a little cute house home?; Top right: gorgeous handmade teapots and mugs from Hungary; Bottom right: artistically printed Jerusalem plates and bowls


Nope, they’re not cupcakes: all very cute and adorable cake soaps!


I really loved this store. All the leather goods there were unique and so pretty. Part of the charm was that these lines weren’t perfectly finished, the owner wasn’t even certain which kind of leather some of them were, although many were camel skin she said! The imperfect finishes and the unique prints gave them that extra something. So cool.


Another adorable store...these guys use real flowers and 925’ silver to create a huge amount of different designs for make pendants, necklace, earrings, bracelets, rings, photo name it! My equally adorable hubby got me a necklace with a rose pendant when we visited (' '*)


Ok. A break from the shopping: let’s go for food and drinks!

Fancy a pint? Get your beer and wine here and of course that all-important mulled wine! Pay an extra £1, you can get the mulled wine mug printed with London landmarks: too cute!


And who could resist these crepe and hot drinks stalls? Not me...


Chimney cake...worth a try I thought! It looks good, smells good and tastes great. No doubt, cinnamon flavour was the best seller!


For those wishing to spread their wings a little wider (!) these ostrich burgers ~ lean, low calorie and super-tasty. £4.50 each but available uncooked for £1.50 each or eight for £10 (we bought it the last time we visited... yum yum)


Maybe no one does traditional Christmas better than the Germans, so how about these classic German hotdogs?!

Bratwurst (self help with ketchup and mustard) was my choice... yummy!!!


OK… after the bratwurst, time to go meet hubby for a proper dinner. It was getting crowded and colder but the night scene at Southbank was so breathtaking. Roll on Christmas!


On the way back to Waterloo station, I met my favourite friend Mickey Mouse again who was waving to me…hahaha!! Happy me!


Maybe some of you guys were at Southbank, or one of the other wonderful markets taking place right now all across London, UK, Europe, the world as the countdown to Christmas really begins. Do share your thoughts and tips, pictures and purchases with us at Luphia!

The Southbank market runs until 24 Dec 2011. If you get a chance, check it out while there’s still time!

So long for now and check this space again next week!!

See you all soon, MeeKee xxx

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