Thursday, 31 May 2012

Revisited: Vans Trainers

The things with Vans is, is that I used to think that they were absolutely hideous, up there with Crocs in the department of undesirable footwear. I actually still do, those slip on checked Vans? Disgusting. However, I started to come around to the idea of Vans as a brand when I found out they made low tops, and I fell in love with my first pair in April at the Canoe Inc. AW12 Press Day
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They're not out until the end of August, and they are actually from the teen range but come in adult sizes too. I love how they are lighter, fresher and much more girly and Summery than the black and pink version that is currently in stores (see below). Also, I love how the neon green inside compliments the neon green tongue. 
vansstrip Bright Pink and Black Two Tone Vans Lo Tops: £40Fluorescent Yellow Vans Low Tops: £45, Turquoise Vans Low Tops: £45, Purple Vans Low Tops: £45

Until those beauties hit the market, at the moment Vans do already do some pretty awesome fluorescent and brightly coloured pairs which are the perfect go to shoe for this Summer. If you want to go all out highlighter this yellow pair is sure to draw attention, but personally I'd go for this pretty and highly wearable turquoise shade. (I'm a sucker for anything a pretty blue or purple shade, and my Keds are already purple!)


Do you own a pair of Vans? If so, what style and colour, and if you own a pair of Keds too how do you think they compare? 

This is a sponsored post. To read my policy on sponsored posts, please click here.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Press Day: Forever 21 AW12

On Thursday night I was very excited to be invited to preview the upcoming Autumn Winter collection from Forever 21, my favourite high street store. (Okay, excited is a bit of an understatement. I know it is only just another Press Day, but my friends who were in my kitchen when the invite came will confirm I literally squealed with excitement. Eye rolling ensued). The evening itself was fantastic; they served up amazing canopies (I could not get enough of the perfectly boiled quails eggs with chilli salt) and the Forever 21 team let us all know for sure that neon is still going to be with us once the Summer is over! What I loved about the whole collection is that while you could tell it is Autumn Winter, the pieces could actually apply to any time of the year; thats what you get from a brand based in Los Angeles!
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My only disappointment was that there was not a lot of Forever 21 jewellery, always one of my favourite parts of the store on display, save what had been used to style the clothes. However, from what we did see there is an awful lot to look forward to! I especially loved this standout statement geometric necklace, as well as the great one shoulder neon top it was embellishing for that matter!
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I was also a fan of the neon, colour block scarfs that were adorning several of the mannequins, as well as the various several fabric pleather jackets in the collection, dotted throughout the room.
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We were all surprised to see that space print still seems to be going strong, but I throughout this sheer blouse was pretty cute. In other news, I had to get a picture of Lucy's outfit in there somewhere; all afternoon, from the moment we started hanging out at lunchtime I kept on having to mention how awesome I thought it was that she was dressed like a watermelon, a particular favourite fruit of hers!
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I think out of all of the Autumn Winter collections I have previewed over the last few weeks, Forever 21 was the one I was most excited about as it is my favourite high street store, and it was my favourite to view; it really did not disappoint; you can guarantee lots of these items will be featured in my outfit posts towards the end of this year, so watch this space!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Outfit Post: Volcom Shirt, Somerset House

Heading over to the Next AW12 Press Day in The Portico Rooms at Somerset House, it was very, very surreal to be strolling through there in the sunshine when the space is void of the massive British Fashion Council tent, the hoards of women in heels and loud outfits, PR girls dresses in black and hoards of street style photographers. It really is a beautiful space in the Summer, and I think I'm going to try and stop by there to take my outfit photos during some of my London day trips I have planned this Summer. 
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Sunglasses: c/o Breo, Statement Necklace: Hobbs, Pale Blue Shirt: c/o Volcom, Orange Sundress: Topshop, Watch: Accurist

I don't usually wear shirts, but when the girls at Volcom Europe sent me this beautiful pale blue shirt I realised that it would look lovely over a sundress with my sleeves rolled up. I have been wearing it a lot both with dresses and over jeans and band tees since I got it, and I now wish I had a couple of them so I could always wear one while this one was in the wash!


What is your new favourite piece of Summer clothing? 

Monday, 28 May 2012

Outfit Post & Giveaway: See by Chloe Handbag from Vestiaire Collective

As promised in my post introducing Vestiaire Collective, my new online designer shopping addiction (think a curated eBay for designer items all with a buy it now price), along with Carrie from WishWishWish, Paula from Pink Bow, Emily from Fashion Foie Gras and Natalie from Natalie Hartley Wears I'm running a competition with Vestiaire Collective giving you a chance to win a share of up to £1,000 pounds to spend on their site (the biggest win you could have is £500, and there are some £100's thrown in there too! A pair of Jimmy Choo's would no longer be unreasonable...) 
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Bag: See by Chloe c/o Vestiaire Collective, Dress: Forever 21, Wrap Bracelet: Whistles, Watch: Citizen, Gold Locket: Gift
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As promised here are the shots I styled with my own Vestiaire Collective find: a AW10 See by Chloe bag I first spied at London Fashion Week and I snapped up brand new, never been used for just under £250!

So, now I've bored you with my outfit post while what you all ready want to know is how to enter the competition, here is all you have to do: sign up to Vestiaire Collective using this competition link. You can do it via Facebook which makes it pretty easy, and once you are in your can make pretty wish lists of designer items in case you win (you can tell I've already spent hours doing this regardless!) The competition runs until June 17th, so you have plenty of time to enter!


Good luck everyone! If you win, what would you want to spend your voucher on? 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

What I Learnt At The iFabbo Bloggers Conference: London, 2012

Yesterday afternoon instead of braving the London heat, on a ticket courtesy of iFabbo, I attended the first annual iFabbo London blogger conference at Kettners for some fantastic panels on all aspects of fashion, blogging and social media, cocktails, cake and a keynote from Amber Venz: the co founder of my personal ad and affiliate network RewardStyle. It was lovely to meet so many new bloggers, as well as to catch up with some old faces, and while I was hearing lots of things that all bloggers know are the ingredients to a successful blog, I did learn a lot so I've decided to put together a round up post of what I learnt!
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Sorry this post is not as picture heavy as usual; it was very, very hot and I don't think many of us were feeling the photos, so I have decided to focus on some of the really great information we were given instead!

#1: Becoming more valuable to brands and create lasting relationships with brands and PR companies.

Moderated by: Tonia Korakis, Co Founder of iFabbo and Editor of PinkLayers.com
Panelists: Tala Samman, My Fashion Diary, Edwina WynYard, Amazing PR, Hayley Carr, London Beauty Queen

This panel was really interesting, because while bloggers talk to each other about PR relationships, we all receive press releases, solicited or not, and interact on some level with PR's every single day, but it is not often we get to hear about blogging from their perspective. 

  • A blogger is valable to a brand if they have clear opinions and varied content. Writing about different things, such as food, fashion and beauty all on one blog is not a bad thing as it opens it up to a wider audience that brands can tap into.  
  • A bloggers influence is not just measured by their amount of followers; other social media outlets are also balanced, and how much readers engage. 100 readers who engage with a blog are more valuable than 3,000 who are just passers by. 
  • The consistency of your content is of the utmost importance. Want to post something which everyone else is posting about? Come at it from a unique angle! 
  • Sometimes PR's prefer to work with bloggers because unlike magazines, they can publish something instantly which is better for smaller, newer brands. 
  • Don't be afraid of contacting brands and PR's. Drop them an email explaining who you are, what your blog is about, any accomplishments or awards your blog might have won and let them know you're interested in hearing about their clients. A phone call would not hurt as well! However, make sure you do your homework on brands and agencies before you contact them!


#2: The business of blogging... how to make your passion your career.

Moderated by: Sinead Norenius, Co Founder of iFabbo and Founder of Beautisol and SelfTanningQueen.com
Panelists: Sarah Bush, ShopStyle, Nik Thakkar, Creative Brand Strategist, Joe Stepniewski, SkimLinks.com, Christina Butcher, Hair Romance, Colleen Bulfin, RewardStyle

Because it is a personal aim of mine, I have read about professional style blogging until the cows come home, but I thought it was really great that this panel focused a lot of monetization, especially through affiliate marketing which is something I have recently been experimenting with, with a lot of success. 

  • If you want to make your blog into your career you need to approach it as if you are an entrepreneur; a business plan is key. 
  • When dealing with brands, ethically, transparency is key. 
  • As a professional blogger you need to create as many revenue outlets as possible; build your blog as a showcase for your personal brand, which will be a springboard for other opportunities. 
  • Build relationships by being proactive both online and off. Attend blogger meetings and industry events to network, and try to reply to and engage with your readers through your social media outlets, as well as reaching out to some of your favourite brands via social media. If a PR sends you a press release you are not interested in, instead of deleting it, ask them if you could see anything from their other clients. 
  • Random advertising that does not fit in with the ethos of your site alienates other advertisers. Also, try not to advertise competitors of brands you are collaborating with. 
  • You can monetize your blog at any point, however big or small it is. Your revenue will grow with your blog. 


#5: Social media: How to use it effectively to promote your blog, find new readers and build your brand.

Moderated by: Clare Neilson, CCLAREBEAR
Panelists: Alex Outlaw, Motilo, Zara Stone Rabinowicz, Almost Zara, Emily Quintin, Online Communications Consultant, Alisa Gould-Simon, Pose

  • Only use the social media outlets that you enjoy using. If you have to forse yourself to do it, it will feel forced and be inauthentic. 
  • Use your social media outlets to start a conversation with and among your readers, not just as a way of distributing your content. 
  • As far as Facebook pages are concerned, keep your updates short and snappy. Integrating your blog posts by using an RSS feed will make your life a lot easier. As a way of reaching out to brands, tag their pages, where relevant, in your content. 


Congratulations those of you who made it to the end of what has to be the most text heavy post I have ever written - I hope you have found it useful, and I promise you my posts will return to their full colour photo glory tomorrow!


Do you have any sucsessful blogging tips that are not run of the mill you would like to share? 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Summer Styling with Dorothy Perkins and Herbal Essences at Arcadia Headquarters

On Thursday I spent a sunny Summer afternoon traipsing around London checking out Autumn Winter collections, which while it is fun to check out what is to come, is rather depressing when we've only just started having all of this sunshine. Therefore, it was a fantastic and much welcome treat to be invited up to Arcadia Headquarters on Oxford Street to check out the current Dorothy Perkins collection, the things they will be rolling out over the Summer, to have hair styled by Herbal Essences and to sip on some delicious cocktails.
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The moment I walked in I was happy to see the great big sea of pale blue and turquoise, my all time favourite Summer shade. I think turquoise is flattering on everyone, regardless of skin tone and hair colour, therefore perfect for the Summer.
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For some reason, I only manage to carry clutches in the Summer. Maybe it is because I don't feel like I need much more than lipgloss, sunglasses, money, my Blackberry and my keys...
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My favourite piece in the entire showroom was this incredible Summer statement necklace - I really hope it becomes available soon as I think it would really add something to a simple tee shirt and jeans while I am wandering the promenade in France later this Summer.
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These gold skinny jeans would be the perfect chilled Summer evening wear, right?
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The collection Herbal Essences were showcasing that afternoon was Tousle Me Softly, designed to enhance natural waves. Now, I use the blue moisturising coconut scented version because if you have coloured hair it is best for the colour if you use either a moisturising or a colour designed shampoo, but if I did not know what I would ber very temped to switch to this one, it smells absolutely incredible!
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The stylist gave Sherin amazing waves, set with Herbal Essence's Tousle Me Softly Touch Cream, which also smells great and gives great hold; he used it on my natural waves too, and they gave me a tub to take away with me, so look out for a review on The Glossy Guide sometime soon!


What high street store has your favourite Summer collection at the moment? 

Friday, 25 May 2012

Weekly Love: Week 103

Firstly, I just wanted to apologise to you all for not updating in a while; I've been really rather sick in between attempting to sit my end of year uni exams. However, now I've finished I've got a lot of exciting new things planned for the blog, as well as a load of Press Day coverage from the last few days. I'm attending the iFabbo conference tomorrow which I'll be sure to jot down everything I learn for you all! I'm moving out of my London flat for good on Sunday, but I'm sure I'll be back in London to see people or for meetings too!
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1. Kathryn eating a burger in The Diner with her Nails Inc Jubilee manicure a la Burgers and Nails. | 2. A trip to Canterbury in my new car Arabella. | 3. Sampling Pinkberry's new limited edition Salted Caramel flavour in Selfridges - I really recommend it! | 4. Non-alcoholic cocktails because I was driving! | 5. My favourite tee shirt print at the Mercy & Wild launch. I really urge you all to head over to their website and support the amazing fundraising and awareness they are doing for Dyslexia. | 6. A mouthwatering mixed seafood platter at Cafe Mauresque in Canterbury with Kathryn


Finally, I would really appreciate it if you would all lend your support and nominate me in the Cosmopolitan Magazine Blog Awards 2012. You can nominate rachelphipps.com in the category of 'Best Lifestyle Blog' and my beauty blog The Glossy Guide in the category of 'Best New Beauty Blogger' - thank you so much! 


What have you been enjoying this week?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Press Day: QVC AW12

As I completed my first year of university on Tuesday, yesterday was really  the first day of my Summer, and I spent it with two of my best friends wandering around Central London in the sunshine shopping, eating Pinkberry and going to Press Days to check out some of the Autumn Winter collections that are rolling out. First up was QVC, always one of my favourite showcases which always surprises me with amazing finds in the beauty, jewellery and home departments. (To check out my coverage of the Spring Summer Press Day, with all the things that are available on QVC right now, click here).
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My favourite part of this seasons showcase was the beautiful jewellery that was on display, all of which I think would make amazing gifts or investment pieces. 
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While I am al about the spangles at the moment, I adore the two simple gem bangles at the far end. 
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The highlight for me was the Percy & Reed Pop Up Salon and a chance to browse their entire product range. Since reviewing their Finishing Polish the beautifully smelling balm has become part of my everyday arsenal, so it was great to see how the Percy & Reed stylist did an amazing job on my hair, giving me big waves that I could have never done myself, using it and their Dry Shampoo that has been on my wish list for a while now. I'm now also after their No Oil hair oil to try, and one of their candles as I'm a scented candle junkie and Percy & Reed products smell divine.  
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I loved these little travel/ gift packs of Percy & Reed products especially,I think these would make either an absolutely fantastic gift I would be head over heels to receive, or a great gift to yourself as an introduction to the Percy & Reed range. 
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Also in the beauty department, while I am not usually a fan of Nails Inc polishes, I fell totally in love with this beautiful red, blue and silver gitter polish they have launched for the Queen's Jubilee and that you can see Kathryn's nails being expertly painted with here. 
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Moving onto accessories now, this book themed box bag from Lulu Guinness really caught my eye. I love how it is fun, playful but intellectual too and would go beautifully with a black vintage style dress, red lipstick and classic red soled shoes. 
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The bag is not as awesome as the box, but it still embodies the same playful spirit. 
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Nothing gets me more excited than brightly coloured kitchen wares which were in abundance. I loved the mint, red and purple themes and I think I need that purple rolling pin in my life. 
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While branded cooking ingredients are no doubt a waste of money, I can't help but be taken in by The Woman's Institute flour bags, which I would not want to hide away in my kitchen; I'd never want to put them away! 
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Finally, while these garden tools are not all that different from any others, I just love how they make me want to get all green fingered again, like I did the other week when I was putting together this DIY flower pot tutorial


What do you think of the things QVC is going to have to offer once the Summer is over?

Monday, 21 May 2012

Preview: New Items For Upcoming Outfit Posts

As some of my regular readers may have noticed, I have not been posting nearly as much as I normally do over the last few weeks; there have been several reasons for this. Firstly I've been rushed off my feet with Pilgrims Nook Holiday Cottages and exams, and I've been very ill. However, I'm starting to get things back on track, and after my last exam on Tuesday I've got some very fun things like the Forever 2 AW12 Press Day and the iFabbo conference coming up to look forward to and tell you all about. Also, all of this very beautiful Summer weather that now seems to be starting in earnest items I want to feature in outfit posts have gradually been taking over the sofa in my room, so I thought I'd give you all a little preview! 
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Figleaves Blue & White Sailor Stripe Bikini Top & Bottoms

My favourite piece out of this entire haul has to be the beautiful Zara dress I have buried at the bottom of the pile, mainly because I don't want to show too much of it as I am too excited to put together the outfit post for it! Other picks out of this picture include this halter neck striped bikini I ordered from Figleaves for the post I'm putting together for a post I'm working on about shopping for swimwear if you are DD+. Again, I have bunched up the other clothes and only shown their colours as I'm excited about showing them off, but the blue scoop neck from H&M is just something I had to tell you about now! Such a flattering top, I was so happy to find they do them in blue as well as pink and some neutrals this year, as I wore the black one I got so much (including in my last outfit post!)
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While my Jaeger wedges I purchased last year are still going strong, I ordered these Marco Polo sandals on a whim from Spartoo and I have totally fallen in love with how classic they are, also comfortable and a fantastic fit - I always love shopping for Summer shoes! They are also slightly lower than any of my other wedges, making them very practical for every day, either with Summer dresses or rolled up jeans walking along the French coast. 
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Zara Statement Necklace

I was dress shopping in Zara the other day with Kathryn, and I finally found this beauty, the long awaited latest edition to my statement necklace collection - I just need to find the perfect outfit to wear it with! Also, how amazing is the packaging Motel Rocks orders come in? Little details like this beautiful box make all the difference, and I want to use it for storage now just like I do with my Glossyboxes!
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Now, I don't usually go in for things like Jubilee themed items, but I'm actually pretty excited about wearing this pretty Union Jack print scarf which is patriotic without being all in your face (and in my mind tacky) from Next. It is really great quality, and can be worn as beach or street wear.


What have some of your recent purchases included?

This is a sponsored post. To read my policy on sponsored posts, please click here.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Introducing: Vestiaire Collective (My New Online Shopping Addiction)

Today marks the first part of a two part collaboration with what has to be one of the best fashion websites I have come across in a very long time and I am totally obsessed with: Vestiaire Collective. The concept is pretty simple, it is a specially curated shopping site exclusively for designer clothing and accessories, a bit like eBay but with no bidding, just fixed prices, an in built authenticating service and a total dose of awesomeness. Since I found out about the French site that has just launched in the UK I have spend absolutely hours browsing the amazing current collection and sought after past collection items to be found at amazing prices on the site, some of the things never even worn or used, or just worn once or twice. 
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Prada Organza Lime Green Shirt, size 10-12: £337.76, Miu Miu Glitter Heels, size 5: £273.43, Marni Statement Necklace: £144.76, Prada Printed Skirt, size 12: £394.06

I think this lime green Prada shirt would be the perfect casual piece for Summer. I think Rumi Neeley has it, or it in a different colour? Speaking of Prada, how totally awesome is this black and white photo print skirt, and I really wish the sandals below were in my size when I was shopping. Prada shoes for only about £200?! I was also pretty peeved about the lack of Miu Miu shoes in my size. These pumps are my size, but I won't get on with this style of shoe, but now sold were some of those awesome embellished glitter and spike Miu Miu trainers in gold and lime green. Another style note, if your patient and check the site every day I'm pretty sure you could get your hands on some Isabel Marrant wedge trainers - I missed a pair in my size by about two days... 
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Prada Pumps, size 6.5: £201.05, Acne Dress, size 10: £112.59, Antik Batik Python Bag: £160.84, Jimmy Choo Sandals, size  5: £361.89

I think this Acne dress for only £113 is a total steal, size 10, less than an All Saints dress even, and I'm still quite tempted by it. Also, please remind me why these Jimmy Choos in my size were not on the site while I had a little money to spend?!
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So I could get to try out the whole process for myself the wonderful team at Vestiaire Collective hooked my up with some vouchers, and do you remember this beautiful black and gold See by Chloe bag I street style snapped during London Fashion Week? (It is from the AW10 collection I think) I managed to track it down for just under £250, brand new from Paris, and for part 3 of my Vestiaire Collective collaboration I can't wait to share outfit photos of it with you! I've been watching the tracking on my dashboard from purchase, to it being received by the authenticators in Paris to it being dispatched out to me, and it should arrive any day now!

Luckily for you guys, my fellow bloggers and I are not the only ones that the wonderful Vestiaire Collective team want to treat to celebrate their UK launch; keep your eyes out for my second Vestiaire Collective post over the next few days where the team will be giving £500 to spend on their site (hello new pair of Louboutins or Mulberry handbag) and some £100 and £200 vouchers (a pair of Prada sunglasses maybe?) If it were not for finding my new Chloe bag, I would be really jealous of the future winners right now! 


Have any of you heard of or used Vestiaire Collective before, maybe the French version? I'm going to try and see if my Kat Maconie boots I wore to London Fashion Week will make the cut to sell, as I'm not really enamoured with them as I used to be!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

California Cool: TAVIK Swimwear

The day of the Nicole Levy A/W12 Press Day was a really good day for me, because I discovered so many awesome brands such as Jack French, Lashes and LNA. One of the more awesome brands I discovered however, has to be TAVIK, the pretty rad and out there range of amazingly designed and printed swimwear, suitable for the beach or the city (bikini tops instead or bras and high waisted bikini bottoms instead of shorts is totally acceptable street wear in Los Angeles I am told), and which are the start of these beautiful TAVIK lookbook images featured in this post!
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A small selection of TAVIK swimwear is available on ASOS here in the UK, including these three great mix and match bikini styles. My personal favourite is the first one, which its cook dark colours and fun, tropical themed with a twist print. 


What is your favourite bikini in your collection?