MARCO ALDANY

I got a bit of a telling off on my last trip to the hair salon.  Quite rightly too.  I cut about five inches off last autumn before moving to Paris, and as much as it was needed (my long hair, especially after a summer in the sun, wasn't in great condition at all) and as ridiculous as it sounds (as it was still shoulder length), it was too short.  As a little girl I could sit on my hair and this was the shortest hair I'd ever had as an adult - I wanted to grow it out, so I didn't go for a haircut...  For ten months.  Ahem.

Marco Aldany hair salon, Mortimer Street London W1

Step in Marc Aldany - or rather Daniel, the charming dude at the Mortimer Street branch of the Spanish salon brand - to save the day, trim off the unhealthy bottom couple of inches, slather on some Wella Salon Professionals conditioning treatments and the smoothing keratin luxe oil spray - made with argan, jojoba and almond oils to transform texture - and remind me never to neglect my hair for that long again.

Marco Aldany hair salon, Mortimer Street, W1

Marco Aldany is inexpensive for a good, central salon and they have a loyalty program - buy seven haircuts and get your eighth free.  I've got my loyalty card and I'll be back (in weeks instead of months) - thanks for sorting me out, team MA!

Marco Aldany, 83 Mortimer Street, London W1W 7SL

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PETIT BATEAU X CEDRIC CHARLIER

French fashion house Petit Bateau is no stranger to limited edition collaborations.  The Carven collab (as seen on Alexa Chung) in Christmas 2012 was fantastique, the Christian Lacroix collection for women and girls last winter was pretty special, then there was the capsule collection with Finnish designer Satu Maaranen this spring, mixing the brand's iconic breton stripes with a loose, wavy pattern inspired by toothpaste stripes, next were the printed T-shirts decorated with furry fashionista Fifi Lapin last month and now a line with Cédric Charlier.  What's French for 'busy bees'?

Petit Bateau x Cedric Charlier breton stripe dress

The Belgian designer (ex-Cacharel, Céline and Lanvin, now heading up his own RTW label) has reinterpreted Petit Bateau's famous sailor stripes with his signature brushstrokes and bold colours on a capsule collection for women, children and men.  I'll be putting this dress under the Christmas tree as a present to myself...

Watch the collection come to life with four contemporary dancers in Alfredo Piola's dynamic 360 degree video.


Petit Bateau x Cédric Charlier launches tomorrow, Saturday 13 December
in selected UK stores and at petit-bateau.co.uk 

MAGIC & SPARKLE

I love the competitive Christmas TV advertisements which have become a festive tradition over the past few years.  The big brands build up to the go live date with newspaper front cover takeovers, bus ads, campaign hashtags and teaser YouTube pre-rolls - then everyone talks about their favourites for weeks.  Mine this year is Marks & Spencer’s sparkling fairies.


And whilst we’re on the topic of shiny goodness from M&S, there are plenty of sequinned, sparkly and metallic things in store and online I've got my magpie eye on...

Marks and Spencer Christmas Magic and Sparkle


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CLARKS SHOES

Like most girls, I have a thing for shoes.  I’ve had over 70/80 pairs for years and the first pair I remember were from Clarks, using the little shoe measuring device I used to be scared of when I was a toddler and grew to love as I got older because it meant spending a couple of hours stomping around the store in shiny new patent beauties.  My childhood was spent in Clarks shoes, until the blazing pre-teen rows with my poor mother arguing about heel height, then I rebelled – mainly with unwalkable platforms and six inch stilettos, often glittery – in my teens and early twenties.  It’s a rite of passage.

Black leather Clarks brogues

Now I have a good variety of styles and heights, from the strictly car-to-bar date night high heels to glossy neon stilettos and super sensible everyday pairs in good quality leather.  The latest addition to my shoe collection falls into the latter category - Clarks sent me a voucher to choose something from their A/W14 collection and I went for these extremely comfortable lace up brogues.  I’m sure my mama approves.

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FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: RED GLAMOUR

Vintage red gown in 1953

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