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LAURA ASHLEY HOTEL

31 July 2013

Classic English lifestyle brand Laura Ashley today opens the doors to its first luxury boutique hotel, The Manor, Elstree, to celebrate its 60th anniversary.


The hotel has 49 rooms and suites styled with the current Laura Ashley home collection and pretty homeware products in a beautiful Tudor revival property surrounded by 10 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens in the Hertfordshire countryside. It looks lovely and Laura Ashley is a brand close to my mother's, and so my, heart for years.  I feel a visit is in order...


VEVIE ACTIVE

I've recently discovered a new British sportswear label called Vevie, which manufactures a small capsule collection of stylish women's activewear and swimwear using luxurious performance fabrics in flattering, feminine cuts with subtle brand detailing.


SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

30 July 2013

One of the best nights in London I've ever had (quite the accolade, having lived here for eight years and had my fair share of nights out) was a few Fridays ago at Future Cinema's fantastic Saturday Night Fever event.


MIDI SKIRTS

29 July 2013

I love them at the moment, as an alternative to shorter lengths, midis are great to wear with bare legs for the office.  Here are some of my favourite midi and knee length skirts.

the best midi skirts for autumn

STUART WEITZMAN SMOKING SLIPPERS

27 July 2013

I have a lot of statement, outfit-making shoes like cobalt blue snakeskin platforms, bright pink lace up boots, studded cowboy boots, zebra print heels, electric blue neoprene shoes, midnight blue velvet and bright red suede ankle boots, yet I'm missing lots of the classics, like everyday black leather courts.  (I need some Pigalles.)


I'm going to boost my classic footwear collection with Stuart Weitzman's sober black suede menswear-inspired smoking slippers.  The slip on wedges are classic, versatile and will add a touch of masculinity to my wardrobe of dresses.

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: RED BRICKS

26 July 2013

MOTORCYCLE DIARIES

25 July 2013

Oh Adriana Lima, you are just too perfect.  The Brazilian supermodel starred on the front cover of Vogue Brazil's February 2012 issue in a shoot entitled 'On The Road', featuring a motorcycle and the beautiful backdrop of Iguaza Falls on the border between Brazil and Argentina.  Shot by AndrĂ© Passosand and styled by Giovanni Frasson.

VICTORIA BECKHAM SHIRT DRESS

Currently looking for details of the next Victoria Beckham sample sale, as I need this polka dot Sleeveless Shirt Dress from the Victoria sister line in my life.  Embracing two of my all-time favourite trends, monochrome and polka dots, paired with a nod to the sixties and the chic tailoring the British label is known for, the organza and cotton-blend dress with its structured contract collar is high on my to buy list.  I'd just rather not pay £640... 


Also check out the sleek black Tuxedo Dress and the navy and black Panelled Dress; whoever the designers behind the VB collections are, they've certainly nailed the modern, fresh take on stylish tailored pieces on the head.

ESTELLE & THILD

24 July 2013

I'm currently using the neroli-based skincare products by ECOCERT certified organic brand Estelle & Thild from Sweden.  The ranges have been developed with dermatologists so the products are suitable for all skin types.  The gentle bioactive formulas are made from natural ingredients, are based on vitamin-rich oils with plant extracts and are sulphate, paraben, alcohol, glycol and PEGs-free.


JUNE INSTAGRAM PHOTOS

23 July 2013

In June I hit the roads on my bike as often as the weather allowed, had a couple of BBQs, visited foodie festival Taste London for the first time, fell in love with Thomas Sabo's new jewellery collection (more on that later) and arrived in Greece for a week's holiday and dose of sunshine... All in all, a great month.


Instagram fashion blogger
  1. Champagne, shellac manicures and pretty clothes at Sophie Gass 2. piles of cherries at Borough Market 3. fresh flowers from Thomas Sabo and The Flower Appreciation Society 4. Chilling with the army in my Karl Lagerfeld camo 5. the infinity pool of our Greek villa 6. three-part harmony group The Polka Dot Dolls 7. foxgloves 8. new summer holiday bag from Next 9. red sky at night, shepherds' delight

1. royal purple flags 2. 75km Fathers' Day ride  3. London skies 4. Eddie Izzard at the O2 5. trying out new Dove Spa goodies 6. with Welsh polo captain Ricky Cooper at the British Beach Polo Championships launch 7. from the top of Leith Hill, before climbing Box Hill 8. colourful construction in the city 9. BBQ O'Clock


SUMMER SUN

22 July 2013

This weather is incredible.  Almost too hot, but then I'm British so of course the temperature's never going to be quite right; London's woefully incompetent air conditioning is suddenly unmistakable, our usually bright green grass is a burnt, dried yellow across all the parks, my office isn't outdoors, there isn't a nearby beach and Brits can't dress in the heat, but I'm not complaining. Viva la summer!


FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: TDF

19 July 2013

Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx

I'm in Paris for the weekend to watch the finish of the 100th edition of the Tour de France. My fingers are firmly crossed for a second consecutive British win, come on Froome!

DIY BIRDS

17 July 2013

Each month, Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi experiments with new materials to create different artworks.  Her latest project is a series of colourful portraits of exotic birds made from flower petals, including gerbera daisies, chrysanthemums, herbs and twigs.


BLOOMING MEMORIES

16 July 2013

It may be high summer but I'm always a fan of a nice spring editorial.  This one is from the April 2012 issue of Vogue Korea, featuring a sweet combination of pretty pink blossom, smart printed separates, forties curls, red lipstick, oversized statement jewellery and a garden tea party.


HIGH STREET SALE HIGHLIGHTS

15 July 2013

Absolutely everywhere seems to be on sale, which is good and bad news in equal measures for wallets and purses up and down the country.  Here are some of my favourite sale pieces from the Great British high street.


THE GROWN UP CHOCOLATE COMPANY

14 July 2013

No points for guessing what The Grown Up Chocolate Company do.  They've only been going for two years but are already causing a splash in the foodie world with their eight luxury chocolate bars, handmade in the UK.  My favourite is the Salted Peanut Caramel Cracker, a delicious bar filled with peanuts and praline and covered in creamy milk chocolate.


Runner up prize goes to the Lovely Fruity Nutty Crunchy bar, a crispy, crunchy chocolate base covered with toffee, raising and biscuits.  The bars are handmade in small batches with good quality ingredients in their North London kitchen, come in bold, colourful packaging and are stocked at 300 independent retailers in the UK including Fortnum & Mason. If you have a sweet tooth, you'll love them.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company

SILK BLOUSES

13 July 2013

When the temperatures soar the last thing you want to wear is man-made, synthetic materials so natural fibres like cotton and silk are the way forward.  So how come I don't have a silk blouse?  It's a summer staple my wardrobe is missing.  Step in UNIQLO...


The Japanese brand is selling some pretty printed blouses made from 100% light and luxurious silk with a soft, lustrous sheen.  Effortlessly sophisticated and in easy-to-wear colours, the loose-fitting shirts will work tucked into a high-waisted leather pencil skirt for the office, with preppy ankle-length chinos or casual denim cut offs for warm weekends.

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: FREJA

12 July 2013

Danish model Freja Beha Erichsen's first Vogue shoot, 2005
shot by Javier Vallhonrat

O'2ND

11 July 2013

My-wardrobe.com has started stocking cool new Korean label O'2nd and a couple of other exciting new designers.  The Seoul/ New York-based brand designs modern tailoring and contemporary workwear pieces including these rose printed high waised trousers, this preppy checked jumper and this delicate floral print blouse. I don't know about you, but this is what I want to be wearing in the office this autumn...


LONGCHAMP LE PLIAGE

10 July 2013

A well-made, handcrafted leather handbag is one of life’s ‘essential’ luxuries. French designer Jean Cassegrain thought so too, forming Longchamp in 1948 to design luxury leather goods, which are now sold in more than 200 boutiques and 2000 department stores around the world.


The Parisian brand also creates bags from nylon fabric, usually trimmed with leather or with leather handles, including the signature Longchamp bag Le Pliage, which was designed by Jean Cassegrain’s son Phillippe in 1993. Its combination of style, elegance and practicality (the name means 'folding' in English, because the tote can be folded down to pocket-size when not in use for easy storage) has made it a best-seller ever since. The design has been adapted to shoulder bags, rucksacks, cosmetics cases and a travel bag in myriad colours and prints. The simple design, subtle branding and easy-to-wear block colours means it's favoured by ladies who prefer their accessories understated, a la Kate Middleton.

in collaboration with Harrods

MATCHESFASHION SALE HAUL

9 July 2013

Oops.  I certainly didn't need to spend £400 in the MATCHESFASHION sale...  But with final reductions and up to 75% off a bunch of my favourite brands, it'd be rude not to.  I bought a pair of Charles Philip Shanghai printed satin slippers, which I've had my eye on since I saw them at the SS13 press show, a hammered silk skirt from the Olsens' Elizabeth and James brand, an unusual patterned shift dress by Emma Cook, sports-luxe DKNY knitwear and a chic black lace DVF dress.  Because it's summer so I need more black in my wardrobe.


VICTORIA BECKHAM FOR VOGUE CHINA

8 July 2013

Victoria Beckham has to be one of fashion's most successful transformations.  She's gone from Spice Girls-era LBD-clad hero, to tasteless noughties wag zero, to chic, globally acclaimed designer hero in the space of fifteen years.  She looks fantastic covering the August 2013 issue of Vogue China, shot by Josh Olins during the Beckhams recent promotional trip to the far east.  Her tacky days of bleach blonde extensions, bizarre bandanas and implants are long gone...

Vogue China Victoria Beckham August 2013 magazine cover

FRIDAY'S FFFFOUND: RED BOW

5 July 2013

Hungarian model Barbara Palvin looking doll-like wearing OTT blusher and girly bow in W Magazine, August 2010
Hungarian model Barbara Palvin looking doll-like wearing OTT blusher and girly bow
in W Magazine, August 2010

FEEL GOOD FASHION

1 July 2013

Summer calls for chic, easy pieces, breezy styles and sheer fabrics in charming sorbet and pastel colours.  This old Harper's Bazaar photoshoot from the February 2009 issue features Siri Tollerød and Karmen Pedaru in cheerful brights, photographed by Alexi Lubomirski. Beautiful.