Hi everyone, One of the fun surprises that has come out of LFW was yesterday’s announcement that model Cara Delevigne – yes, she of the amazing eyebrows! – will be designing a line of handbags for UK fashion house Mulberry, the first of which will be available in the autumn of this year. Frankly though, with Cara’s great sense of irreverent, cool-Brit style, is it really any surprise Mulberry wanted to sign her up? Here are a few of the reasons why I think Cara’s personal brand of sparkle and style stands out, and why I find her so much fun to follow: You know I have to say it: her brows! They’re amazing and lush and have a life of their own. Long may they live! Because I love a beanie (you can check out my beanie blog post here), and judging by the number of photos I see of her wearing one, so does Cara. Her strong brows and long hair balance a beanie perfectly – no matter how bright or kooky. Because anyone who repeatedly pulls goofy faces, and let’s them be captured on film has to be fun. Don’t change, Cara! Because she’s a tomboy, and makes being a tomboy look cool. Love! Because with brows like that all you need is lipstick. Because I think she does a great job of flying the flag for British style at its most young, fun, out-there, girly, tomboy-ish best! Carina x Read more.
Last week, as part of my Model Under Cover: A Crime of Fashion book launch in the UK, I was very kindly asked by Kids Fun Radio to do an interview at their London studio. (To listen to the podcast click here.) Bex, the interviewer, had a lot of good questions for me, and one of the last questions she asked was whether I had any tips I could offer young, aspiring writers. So, as many of you have been asking me the same question, here are my four top writing tips: 1. Read! The more you read the better your writing will be, it’s that simple. You should have your nose in a book as often as you can, and for as long as you can. And you should be reading everything from the classics to bestsellers. And when you’ve finished reading, read some more! 2. Be Bold! For an author, it’s a great thing when your personal experiences can feed your writing, so go out and see new places, meet different people, try interesting things. You never know: anything or anyone, be it your fun-loving aunt or a snippet of overheard conversation, could inspire a new character, scene or even a whole book! 3. Keep a notebook! I’m partial to the bright-pink, little notebooks that Moleskin makes, but anything will do. Just choose one you like, and be sure it’s small enough to carry in your handbag or rucksack: you never know when an idea may strike you, and you want to be able to jot it down before you forget it! 4. Get real! By this I mean that if you want to write a book, but keep getting scared by the thought of having to write few hundred pages, then don’t think about it. Write a little every day, and eventually you’ll have a whole novel. Let me know what you think, and don’t forget to listen to the podcast! Carina x ps: Me and Bex below at the Kids Fun Radio studio. Read more.
Hi everyone, I’m super excited about the “Find Belle” competition now under way, and being hosted by the Book Depository. In case you don’t know the details, here’s a bit of background from Model Under Cover: A Crime of Fashion : Despite her long legs and fashion-obsessed family, all my detective, Axelle, wants to do is solve mysteries. So when star designer Belle La Lune vanishes, Axelle seizes the chance to go undercover as a model to crack the case – even if it means being tortured with eyelash-curlers and teetering on sky-high heels. Aided by the distractingly gorgeous Sebastian, Axelle races against the clock to solve the mystery at the heart of Paris Fashion Week… So keeping this in mind, my UK publisher, Usborne, and the Book Depository teamed up to create a fun detective game; now it’s your chance to find Belle, and win yourself a fantastic Nikon Digital camera – perfect for your very own fashion shoots or documenting clues: All you have to do is head on over to my Facebook page, and follow the clues to track down Belle. From now until the 23rd of February you’ll have plenty of chances to find her. There will be a different clue every day, with a chance to enter every day too. Once you’ve found Belle’s location you’ll be sent back to the Book Depository’s mystery page where you can enter your details and be in with a chance to win. The clues will be on some fab blogs, so have fun…and you just might find one somewhere here, too! So get out your magnifying glass, and good luck! Competition closes Tuesday 25th February… Carina x Read more.
In my fashion detective series, Model Under Cover, my sixteen year old detective, Axelle Anderson, wears glasses – as a disguise(!) – which suits her geeky style. But after deciding to go undercover as a model to crack her first case in A Crime of Fashion, Axelle’s look goes from geek to fashion chic – with her glasses still on. So to feel inspired about being geeky and chic-y, check out my new Pinterest board, and take a look at some of my faves below: I think this girl looks fab. I love the her super-cool stare, and the contrast between the heavy, graphic frames of her glasses and her loose, dishevelled hair. This is Carey Mulligan in a Miss Marple mystery. I love the wacky cat-eye frames – and I think they look especially fun on someone young! Louis Tomlinson can wear just about anything and look good, but I do think he looks super-cute in his glasses, especially here, with the nerdy little round-neck collar of his jumper. And how about these enormous frames Lily Donaldson is wearing for Vogue UK. I love! This girl is wearing the classic librarian look of glasses and messy bun, but she’s chic-ed it up with bold polka dots and bright lipstick. Cute! And, in case you’re wondering, this is what my glasses look like. As MUC readers have pointed out, they do look quite a bit like Axelle’s – or maybe her’s look like mine. What do you think? And if you don’t need glasses, maybe now you’re feeling inspired enough to get a pair anyway? Let me know what you think… Carina x Read more.
I’d like to give a huge, huge thank you to all of the lovely girls, librarians, teachers and booksellers who helped to make my Model Under Cover: A Crime of Fashion UK book launch so amazing! A huge thanks also goes to my absolutely brilliant UK publisher, Usborne, for organising such a great week for MUC and me. Amy Dobson and Liz Scott you were beyond fantastic. I had a blast and enjoyed every second of it!!! I got off to a perfect start on Tuesday, 4th February at Ursuline High School in Wimbledon. Fab head librarian Helen Iveson had organised a wonderful morning, and the girls’s enthusiasm was totally overwhelming! And by the way, thanks to you, Ursuline High School, I’m now on Instagram! Check out my Instagram page. In the afternoon I was interviewed by Bex at Fun Kids Radio in London, something I’ll be sure to blog about when our interview goes live. That’s me and Bex in the picture above. Then it was off to Walthamstow Hall for a couple of fab sessions with some very lively Year 7 and 8 girls. Special thanks to Lead Librarian Lindsay White for organising everything so well! Thank you Lindsay, and thank you girls – you were great fun! I was then whisked away to the beautiful north of England! The fun continued at Cheadle High School and Altrincham Grammar School for Girls – and, by the way, the school library at Altrincham is amazing! Thanks to all of you lovely girls who made the trip so definitely worth it! While up north I also had the opportunity to spend time with Sue Steel and Andrew Cant, the owners of the charming and delightful Simply Books bookshop and cafe in pretty Bramhall, Cheshire. Sue and Andrew do the most amazing events at their bookshop, and have a gorgeous collection of illustrations by famous book illustrators and authors hanging on their walls (don’t miss the fantastic mural by Emily Gravett). Find out more here. I rounded out my visit up north with a marvellous day in the Wirral at Weatherhead High School for Girls. What engaging girls! And thank you librarian Heather Grainger, for organising everything so nicely. Weatherhead has an amazing school library – and the fish and chips at the school cafeteria were good, too! Then it was back to London for a couple of fun book launch parties with friends. Here I am with my agent (who also happens to be the best agent in the world!), Jenny Savill, of Andrew Nurnberg Associates, celebrating on Saturday! Again, I had such a blast on my MUC book tour. Everyone’s enthusiasm and happiness really made my book launch a success, and I’m already looking forward to September for the launch of the second MUC book, Stolen with Style! One last thank you, though, to all of the lovely readers who reached out to me on Instagram and Facebook during my book launch week! You’re fab! Carina x Read more.
Hi everyone, Model Under Cover: A Crime of Fashion is in now available in UK book stores ! This photo was taken at the Waterstones book store in Redhill, Surrey. So how did I celebrate the publication of the first book in my new Model Under Cover series? Check out the photo below to find out. That’s right: cupcakes! Yummy, fluffy cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles. My fave! Made by yours truly on Saturday afternoon. Happy reading! Carina Read more.
Hi everyone, One of my favourite winter accessories is the beanie. So as I put together my new Pinterest board, Winter Fashion in Paris, I was on the look-out for some inspiring beanie shots. Check out the three fab beanie looks below, and for more inspiration on looking wintry and sparkly all season long, check out my new Winter Fashion in Paris board here. I think this girl looks so cute! I love her silhouette of skinny jeans and Doc Martens topped off with long hair flowing out from under a big beanie. The striped T-shirt is cute too! Technically, this looks like it might be a beret. But regardless, I love the way it’s pushed far back on this gorgeous girl’s head. It makes her beanie/beret look loose and relaxed which I love. Harry knows how to work the perfect urban beanie look! And I love the jacket/T-shirt/beanie combo – it works equally well for a girl or a guy. So check out my Winter Fashion in Paris Pinterest board and get sparkly! Carina Read more.
Hi everyone, I’m super excited to let you know that Model Under Cover: A Crime of Fashion is now available for sale on my UK publisher’s (Usborne) website! You can click here to find out more. So get ready to meet my super-stylish sleuth, Axelle Anderson, because by February 1st she’ll be available in book stores and with other online booksellers. Do I sound excited yet??? Carina x Read more.
Hi everyone, The old writing cliché states “write about what you know”. And while I don’t entirely agree with that…after all, what are our imaginations for (???), I nevertheless set my new teen fashion detective series, Model Under Cover, within a context I know well: fashion. With this blog post I thought I’d show you how some of my personal experiences in fashion shaped more than a little of my sixteen year old detective Axelle Anderson’s, experiences, too. This image is from American Vogue (photographer: Ellen von Unwerth, editor: Grace Coddington), and I love it because it clearly illustrates how vertically-challenged (by modelling standards, anyway!) I am. That’s me, second from the left, and the gorgeous glamazon left of me is Eva Herzigova. Being small made getting jobs that much more difficult for me because I couldn’t fit into half of the clothes I was supposed to wear! Like me, my detective, Axelle, is also a bit on the small side – simply because that’s how I experienced being a model! In A Crime of Fashion, Axelle shows up at her first shoot ever, and overhears the fashion team she’ll be working with that day discuss their inspiration for the hair, make-up and styling for the shoot. That’s a scenario that really does happen on shoots, and this photo, for Italian Vogue (photographer: Ellen von Unwerth), was inspired by images of Bianca Jagger on her wedding day to rocker Mick Jagger. This, by the way, is the closest I’ve ever been to the rock star lifestyle! In A Crime of Fashion, Axelle is booked to shoot a half-day of beauty for French Elle. Again, this was inspired by my own experiences – in this case shooting for Dutch Elle. One thing Axelle won’t be experiencing, though, is short hair! Although some girls look amazing with short hair, I have only two things to say about it for myself: Never. Again. So there you go, a short blast from my fashion past showing how, as a writer, our personal experiences can sometimes have a strong influence on our character’s lives! Carina x Read more.
Hi everyone, Since creating my first Pinterest board this winter, I’ve become a total fan! I find Pinterest is great way to convey the mood I’m trying to create for a book or a character. Plus, putting a board together is just plain fun! It really inspires me to search for images that I hope match the ones in my head. The board I’m taking live today is called Detective Style, and, basically, it’s about just that. When it came time to create Axelle Anderson, the sixteen year old fashion detective of my new fashion detective series, Model Under Cove r, I looked everywhere for images – starting with my memories of Miss Marple and Nancy Drew. It was important to me that Axelle’s personal style hark back to the classic detective style – trench coats and trilbies – but without losing sight of the fact that she works in the here and now as an undercover model in the world of fashion. So check out the images on my new Pinterest board and get into a fashion detective kind of mood – no magnifying glass required! And don’t forget to let me know what you think…! Carina x Read more.
Hi everyone, Paris was a natural choice for me to use as the backdrop for A Crime of Fashion, the first book in my new fashion detective series, Model Under Cover, because I wrote my first notes about a girl detective called Axelle while I was living there, working in fashion. Beyond this, I love the city’s mix of romance, mystery and culture. I find it all très extraordinaire – even for non-detectives! Here are five fab reasons to love Paris: 1.) Paris has amazing bakeries on every street corner! When it comes to macarons my motto is: why buy one dozen when you can buy two dozen? 2.) Everything looks better in Paris. Even mundane things like bicycles and pigeons become très chic, dahling, in Paris. I swear I’ve seen Parisian pigeons wear berets! 3.) The women ooze style. Like. Seriously. But if you live there this can sometimes be hard to take. On days when I was feeling particularly fashion-impaired I often felt it would be better for my style-self-esteem to just stay home, eat macarons and read Baudelaire. 4.) Le people of Paris love dogs! And as anyone who has spent about five seconds with me knows – I love dogs, too. (It only takes five seconds because no one can fail to notice that I’m always covered with dog hairs!) So for this reason alone Paris is fab – as long as you watch where you’re stepping in order to avoid les poo-poos. 5.) The lights! Paris is known as the City of Light for good reason. Of course, the Eiffel Tower is the romantic scene-stealer, and during summer, starting at dusk it lights up every hour, on the hour, in the most amazing way. Don’t forget to make a wish as you watch it sparkle! You can also read about my absolute favourite places to visit in the beautiful City of Light in my “Paris List”. So book your ticket to Paris now, or just kick back and read some Colette. Either way, have a fabuleux time! Carina x Read more.