The Spring/ Summer women's collection from French favourite Petit Bateau features the classic breton stripes, simple wardrobe essentials - their soft, fitted 100% cotton T-shirts are a must for every woman - and a touch of sports luxe with sailboat printed sweatshirts, casual jogger-style trousers, and retro 90s-style graphic prints.
I love bringing the outdoors in - I've had a large assortment of house plants and orchids since I was a teenager - and have a number of vintage fauna and flora prints and postcards up on my walls. This pack of Victorian-style illustrations from M&S adds a fresh pop of green to your home, featuring vintage-inspired nature studies of fern frounds, moths, insects and creepy-crawlies. Prop up next to potted plants and fresh flowers.
The activewear market has been booming for the past few years and I love seeing all these new brands championing fashion-meets-function pop up and flourish. Sportswear has never looked so good and I've been updating my workout wardrobe, replacing old Nike and average gym kit with pieces fusing high performance and technical fabrics with cutting edge style and flattering cuts from exciting smaller brands. I recently met Boom Boom Athletica's inspiring founder Ann Johansson for a coffee to learn about her new luxury women's fitness apparel, which she launched late last year after being frustrated choosing between style or function and commissioning custom garments for herself.
Ann is one of those superhuman athletes with 12 marathons under her belt who also runs ultra-marathons too (she told me about running London to Brighton - I can't even imagine): if someone knows exactly what a runner needs from their clothes, it's this lady. Designed in Notting Hill and made in Europe using innovative technology and the best possible materials, working with leading European mills and specialist factories, the garments are created for athletese by an athlete, then put to the test by runners, trainers and instructors. The first collection features 12 simple garments in classic black and white - leggings, hoodies, tees, tanks and a sports bra - in a limited production run of only 500 pieces to maintain quality and exclusivity.
Last week I attended the opening night of the Northern Ballet's The Great Gatsby, back for only seven performances at Sadler's Wells after an acclaimed, sell-out run in 2013. The production tells F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third novel and much-loved story of the heady, roaring 1920s in New York: Nick Carraway moves with his wife Daisy to NY's Long Island, next door to Jay Gatsby, the mysterious millionaire neighbour with a corrupt past and a penchant for opulent parties.
Before long the glamour fades, we see the other side of the lonely, obsessive Gatsby and learn about the history between the characters whilst the text explores the differences between old and new money, the midwest and east coast and the transformation of everyday life in post-war America. It's a magnetic novel, and one which I love: I've read it, seen it read out in its entirety in the 8-hour long Gatz in 2012 and, of course, the recent Leo DiCaprio movie - so it was fantastic to see it re-imagined in ballet format too.