The Watamu Turtle Pouch

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This week I launched my second ‘Buy To Give’ collaboration, the limited-edition ‘Watamu Turtle Pouch,' (£25.00) with the wonderful British home wear designer Elizabeth Scarlett.

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I am proud to say that 100% of the profit from our limited edition, intricately embroidered cotton pouches goes straight to Local Ocean Conservation, a non profit organisation based in my home village of Watamu, on the beautiful Kenyan coast.

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Local Ocean Conservation are committed to the preservation of Watamu’s spectacular Marine Park and Reserve. With a focus on protecting critically endangered turtles, they use practical conservation, community involvement and development, education, research and campaigning to promote the sustainable use of Kenya's marine resources.

I have grown up in awe of the work that this project achieves, and have been lucky enough to help with many of Local Ocean's turtle releases, and I can tell you first hand, nothing brings more joy than watching these beautiful beings healthily return back into the wild.

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Nearly all species of sea turtle are classified as endangered, slaughtered for their eggs, meat, skin and shells.  They also suffer from habitat destruction, plastic pollution, accidental capture in fishing nets, and having their nesting sites seriously affected by climate change (which is actually a real thing, Donald…!)

Being an avid fan of Elizabeth Scarlett, and sharing such mutual passions with the beautiful Lizzie herself (primarily, conservation and sustainability - oh, and a seeeeerious love of pineapples), I’m thrilled to be working together with her to raise some vital awareness and funds for Local Ocean Conservation.

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Please Buy To Give this Christmas…  #TLCxES

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The 'Watamu Turtle Pouch' can be purchased online at Elizabeth Scarlett.

All proceeds will go direct to Local Ocean Conservation.

Photographs of Elizabeth and TLC:  Ella Sadika

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A Boots Story with TOMS

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It is no secret that I am a huge fan of TOMS, a really unique brand that has inspired much of my own ‘fashion for good’ conservation work over the years. With giving at its core, TOMS fantastically matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of shoes for someone in need.  To date, this brilliant ‘One for One’ mission has seen over 75 million new pairs of shoes given to those in need around the world, with over 1/3rd of those shoes being produced in the regions where they are distributed, including back in Kenya.

This season, TOMS has introduced a selection of boots, ones that not only look great (with, as I found out, EVERYTHING you pair them with), but like all other TOMS products, they also give back; It’s a win, win!

TOMS asked me to style up some of their Ella and Alpine Boots in celebration of their launch, and I found that not only were both pairs extremely comfortable and versatile, but also really stylish, which is of course, just as important…

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The Ella Booties...

Instead of going dark, like the rest of my usual winter boots, I chose to wear the Ella Booties in Desert Taupe Suede Metallic (RRP. £89.00). A favourite of Queen Victoria, the timeless Chelsea Boot style, characterised by it’s high-top, slip-on design, and inherent simplicity, are the easiest of silhouettes to wear. The light colour of these boots makes them really inter-seasonal, and the inclusion of the metallic, makes the feel both modern and fresh. These boots conveniently work with every outfit I throw together and look set to be pretty hardworking additions to my wardrobe!

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Not all heroes wear capes. But some do. In their TOMS. I’m never usually too far from some leopard print, and in this case Britney and Justin, I will take your Double Denim and I will RAISE YA! Yup, I went Double Leopard, all black everything else, with my Ella Booties balancing the outfit. Gloves, socks and a beanie will be merry additions as it gets colder.

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I love winter whites on a bright, cold day, and the combination of my Liz Hurley’s (a.k.a. my white jeans) and sandy Ella Boots, mixed with some textured tweed and a darker polo neck led to one of my favourite looks of the day which I will certainly be replicating.

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I mean, just when you thought I couldn’t possibly throw any more leopard your way… A statement coat like this can always do the talking, so I just had to rely on my neutral Ella’s to do all the walking.  And in case you were wondering, no, that teeny bag doesn’t fit a thing… But that’s not really the point now, is it?! #Fashion.

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The Alpine Boots...

I also chose a pair of Toffee Suede Alpine Boots (RRP. £84.99) which literally put the fun into functional. The boots are everything you crucially need for a bitter winter, without having to sacrifice your style in exchange for keeping warm. Despite being water resistant, and promising to keep those tootsies snug-as-a-bug, the bold pattern they feature is sprightly.  These will be exactly what I need to keep myself distractedly cheerful, whilst tackling the impending street slush in the next few, darker months!

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Having the sweetest tooth known to man, the whole toffee’ness of this outfit appeals hugely. Not only do the Alpine Boots stop my jacket from feeling too Frank Butcher, I love how my (*epic) bag highlights their coloured details.  This look is definitely one I’ll be enjoying during The Big Chill.

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All the layers of this outfit, along with the wool of the Alpine Boots poking out, immediately makes me feel cosy and peaceful. I just need to accessorise with a hot chocolate (or mulled wine… what time is it?!) pronto.  

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And there it is. The beanie. The beanie which will be attached to my head for the foreseeable future (I’ve even been known to sleep in them… Don’t judge me, I’m from Africa and I’ve never grown used to these winters!)  A coat that could double as a dressing gown, and the feet cuddles the Alpine Boots are giving me, makes the whole getting out of bed in the morning and leaving the house whilst its still pitch dark thing, a whole lot easier.

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I loved styling up my new TOMS boots, but best of all, I love knowing that by wearing them, someone else less fortunate than me in the world is also now walking around in a pair of shoes that they so desperately needed. It is that thought really does put a spring in my step.

Click to see about TOM's Boot's Story...

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In collaboration with TOMS.

Photography: Francis Davison

Hair: Taylor Taylor London

Nails: Sophie Gass

#OneForOne

Cosying up with Oasis

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Whatever the reason, be it the clocks going back, Millennials being perpetually concerned with their wellbeing, or perhaps even the recent release of the addictive Stranger Things Season 2, what we do know for sure, is that staying in is the new going out. 

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As someone who relishes in spending time at home, and feels no shame in enjoying regular bouts of ‘JOMO’ (the ‘Joy Of Missing Out’), the fact that loungewear has actually become not only ‘a thing,’ but an actual trend, makes me one happy little couch potato – albeit, now a stylish one.

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Oasis have just launched their own capsule collection of cosy loungewear and sleepwear, with suuuuper soft and slouchy separates for chilling at home on your weekends, for unwinding on those relaxing nights in, and for hitting that glorious hay. 

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From box set binges, to bed, to brunch, these comfy Oasis hoodies, chunky bed socks and oversized cardi’s will keep you stylishly snug, and all set for the impending Big Chill.

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My favourite pieces from the new Oasis Loungwear Collection include a relaxed fit, 'Wake Me For Brunch' tee, an oversized, extra-layer-of-cosy blue Edge to Edge Cardi, and an understated grey Ballet Wrap with matching grey, drawstring Knitted Joggers - the perfect, easiest of attire, to wear on that most arduous journey from bed to sofa, and back again!  

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I would recommend accessorising all the above with a delicious candle, hot chocolate, and one seriously large pizza (sharing optional).  

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Shop TLC's Look...

(Click on the items below for their direct links)

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In Collaboration with Oasis

Photographer:  Frances Davison

Hair:  Duck and Dry

Nails:  Sophie Gass

OMEGA 'Her Time' Exhibition, Paris

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There are invitations, and then there are INVITATIONS.  Last month I visited Paris with OMEGA for the latter. With an itinerary that included meeting supermodel (and all round superhuman) Cindy Crawford, a spoiling stay at Le Meurice, a sunset cruise down the Seine for dinner, and an opulent party celebrating the ‘Her Time’ exhibition where the latest brand ambassadors were to be revealed had this girl, someone who let's not forget, hasn’t moved quicker than a strut since the mid 90’s, sprinting to catch the Eurostar!!

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OMEGA is recognised as one of the greatest watch brands all over the world (and even outside of it, thanks to their buddies at NASA), and since 1848, this Swiss brand has continuously redefined watchmaking, with their ground breaking and stylish watches accessorising the most glamourous and adventurous of wrists, from Olympians to presidents, and even Bond. James Bond.

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It was wonderful to meet with the eye-poppingly beautiful Cindy Crawford at the Paris Peninsula (see my hotel review here) ahead of the party, and hear her talk so passionately about her relationship with the brand, one she quipped, she’d been in a marriage with longer than the one with her husband.  Cindy joined the OMEGA family in 1995, and has relished the experiences she has had with them, specifically visiting Peru to see first hand the amazing eye surgeries OMEGA funds through their charity partner Orbis International, a non-profit non-government organization of doctors who volunteer their free time to fly around the world providing life changing eye surgeries and training local doctors.  Cindy revealed she didn’t have a stand out favourite style of OMEGA as she feels attached to all her watches, and like bracelets, she likes to change up her watch style according to her outfit and mood, however, she did say she felt very connected to the Constellation design.

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Above:  Here’s a great idea Kelly; How about standing next to Cindy Crawford for a photo whilst wearing flats that resemble penguin feet? Not enough filters in the goddang world…!

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Above:  Le Room Service (F.Y.I. My favourite French word? Pamplemousse.)

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Above: TIME to party with OMEGA

Despite it BUCKETING it down that evening, the OMEGA Her Time exhibition and the party, held in the historic Hôtel de Sully’s courtyard, was just as stylish as you might expect, complete with many a handsome garçon holding a smart parapluie to guide you in between the differing displays.  After exploring the selection of OMEGA’s most famous and exquisite women’s watch designs, the company’s charming President and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann introduced Cindy and the brand’s newest ambassadors onto the stage; Her model children, Presley Gerber and (girl du jour) Kaia Gerber

To celebrate the family’s sponsorship, a series of black and white family portraits of the beyond genetically blessed Gerber family, taken by renown Peter Lindberg, were presented (below). With legacy, history and family being at the core of OMEGA’s brand ethos, there couldn’t have been a more fitting reveal.  

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Below:  After the After Party... Putting the French into French Fry back at Le Meurice

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At a time where so many of us are leaning so heavily towards the digital, and can so easily read the time on our phones, there is something so reassuring and special about wearing a traditional watch, and I really enjoyed borrowing an OMEGA watch in Paris and for the week that followed, back in London-Town... 

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In collaboration with OMEGA

London Photography:  Frances Davison

London Hair: Taylor Taylor London

Nails: Swanky London

Watch More Here...

SHOP TLC's LOOK...

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OOTD: 27.10.17 with Farfetch

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As well as Gucci, Saint Laurent, and other fantastical fashion houses, Farfetch also sells gorgeous clothing and accessories from an unparalleled number of emerging designers.  Having skilfully scoured the globe curating the most beautiful edit from the world’s most luxurious boutiques, Farfetch makes tracking down those less well known brands just that liiiittle bit easier to find!  

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Two brands which flooded my Instagram in particular this Summer were the Copenhagen based Ganni and the all American Simon Miller. The amount of candy coloured mohair adorned arms I saw swinging around the most ridiculously LA-cool handbag popping up across my newsfeed left me thirsty for some of my own!
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Despite having had Ganni on my radar for quite some time now, it was only really after attending their show at Copenhagen Fashion Week in August, when I started resenting pretty much anything I owned that wasn’t made by them! Their aforementioned candy coloured mohair jumpers, their Victoriana inspired dresses (worn with Asics trainers by the coolest of the Skandi cool) and their penchant for a little leopard print here and there, are just a few of the reasons why this brand became this Summer’s ‘go to’ for distinctive, yet wearable designs. The pieces are also available at a price point that seems far less ‘designer’ than you would imagine… Bonus! Similarly, Simon Miller’s cult-favourite Bonsai Bucket Bag also caught my eye over the last few months, having even been on a press trip where two fellow bloggers both had one of these beauties (I resisted stealing one... But only just.) Modern and minimalist, it’s the metal hoop handles on these suede or leather bags that really make them so original.
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Now, despite the sunshine having quite abruptly left the building, these two brands have continued their popularity well into Autumn, and are very much still solid investments. So, I decided to get myself the Ganni Fern Jacket (via Farfetch) in a colour popping lilac.
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I agree that lilac is a less traditional woolly coat colour, but one I feel suits that frequently awkward transitional months of October and November, where we are all still in a little bit of seasonal denial, and actively putting off any impending hibernations; ‘Yes, I’m wearing a very warm and snuggly coat, but its also lilac and therefore, I’m still sprightly and optimistic!’ In contrast, I felt this teeny tiny Simon Miller Bonsai Bag (has there ever been anything so small?!) with its clean lines, stood out even more when paired with the almost teddy-bear textured, woolly coat. I loved the freedom of carrying so little (I’m not exaggerating, after a bank card, some Tic Tacs and a lipstick, you’re pretty much at total capacity) and it is just very, very cool.
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In collaboration with Farfetch

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TLC Vacation: Venice with Diadora

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Considering the Italian brand Diadora’s current motto is ‘Living Your Passion,’ there could surely be no better person to visit them in Venice than me, seeing that two of my own rather large passions involve travelling, and pastaaaa!  

Since 1948 Diadora has been creating renowned and technologically advanced footwear, initially starting out making mountain boots, and subsequently athletic wear for some of the world’s most famous footballers, tennis players and F1 racing drivers.  In the last few years, Diadora has also focussed on expanding its range of street wear designs, with a timeless range of low and retro high top trainers in an ever changing array of bright colour ways.  Over the last couple of years, Diadora has collaborated with some of the world's best stores and boutiques, including Colette, creating a series of vibrant, limited edition trainers.  I perused these exclusive styles at the Diadora HQ whilst having lunch, some Prosecco (when in Rome… or, you know, Venice) and chatting with Chairman and CEO, Enrico Moretti Polegato.  

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After a tour around the brand’s Museum exhibitions, where I met many of the people behind the brand, and learnt a lot more about Diadora’s history and style evolution, we were able to visit their remarkable in-house-factory.  With no mass production, Diadora’s emphasis is on quality and traditional craftsmanship over quantity, and it was amazing to see the trainers being made, at each of the eleven stages of their people-led production, with many of the original machines still in use and in good working order.

After being presented with two of my very own pairs of Diadora trainers, I was invited to a nearby wine tasting at the beautiful Villa Sandi (below), and then on to Venice to our hotel.  

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Excitingly, I was utterly spoilt with a night’s stay at the stunning Hotel Ca’Sagredo.  The lavish, newly renovated 15th Century palace, situated on the spectacular Grand Canal itself, is a real gem.  Did I mention it is also PINK?! 

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This half hotel, half museum, is not only home to a multitude of striking 17th and 18th Century art, but at the time I visited,  Ca’Sagredo was also playing host to the most Instagrammed piece of art this year; Lorenzo Quinn’s phenomenal ‘Support.’

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As our water taxi pulled up to the hotel, I had the most incredible view of the installation I’d seen peppered over my social media feeds for the previous six months; Two giant hands pushing up the hotel’s walls, brilliantly drawing everyone’s attention to the real threat climate change poses to this much loved, centuries-old city.  According to scientists, the beautiful Floating City could be almost entirely submerged by as early as 2100, and these hands symbolise the power mankind has to stop it.

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The next day, in the most glorious sunshine, I explored the city on foot, and was shown the ‘secret’ side of Venice (basically, less tourists and slightly less pigeons!) with a walk through the Rialto, S. Marco Square, and all the way up to the Castello neighbourhood.  After a delicious, and what seemed never-ending, lunch at Nevodi (so many beautiful courses! Wow!) I visited La Biennale art exhibition before heading back to the airport by water taxi (beats an Uber to Heathrow any day!)

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"Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go..." Truman Capote

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Above:  *FYI. If ever you can't find me, always look for the nearest cat...

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Above: Hanging laundry: One of the unsung wonders of Venice...

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Back in London, back in the grey, and back in the real world, the trainer trend shows no signs of ever abating, so I’m thrilled I can wear my Diadora styles around and about, at work and play - A lasting memory of my fabulous 24-hour Venetian adventure.

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TLC LOVES... Diadora

(Click on the items below for their direct links)

TLC ON TOUR... VENICE SUITCASE:

Thank you Diadora

London Photography: Ella Sadika

Rebelle With A Cause

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Rebelle, Europe’s leading online marketplace for pre-loved luxury fashion, have teamed up with Plan International to support their ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign.  

With over 100 million girls in developing countries unable to read or write, you have the opportunity to now donate the profits from the items Rebelle sells for you to Plan International.  Rebelle will also donate both their service fee and commission on these items, meaning that 100% of the revenue from the pieces you sell will go towards improving the educational and entrepreneurial skills of the girls and women in the Chiredzi region of Zimbabwe.

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Being a supporter of both ethical fashion and female empowerment, I am proud to be supporting this campaign, donating the profits from my Tory Burch sunglasses to Plan International, and by wearing this ‘Rebelle With A Cause’ t-shirt to help spread the word.  

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Photography:  Frances Davison

Nails:  Swanky

Tried and Tested: Over-The-Knee Boots with Selfridges (Ad)

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I must admit, rightly or wrongly, I have always associated wearing over-the-knee boots with being overtly sexual and Cabaret’esq, so have steered away from them, given ‘sexy’ is not really my go-to style.  In fact, I’d always rather a compliment over some eclectic ensemble I was wearing from a stylish woman than a wolf whistle or a manly leer, any day.  An ex (clearly!) boyfriend once told me my look was ‘moooore demure than sexy,’ and despite the intentions of his remark, I was incredibly appreciative!!  Give me Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Portman or even bloomin’Jane Austen over a Kardashian any day!  HOWEVER, my head was turned last Winter when I saw a few bloggers I know, and supermodels I don’t, wearing over-the-knee boots with dark jeans and it looked… well, kinda chic!  SO… Never one to not try something new, I decided to grab a pair from Selfridges and give them a wee whirl, making sure to adapt them to my own style, and not the other way around.  I, yes I, was going to wear these boots, they were not going wear me!

Let’s do this...

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Firstly, I decided to pair some suede Carvela Sammy over-the-knee boots with some skinny, dark Diesel jeans and an oversize woolly jumper from Alexa by Alexa Chung (a beloved ambassador of the all things anti-sexy, in her ruffles and glittery flats!) and a Manu Atelier suede bag.  By pairing the boots with these winter textures, they instantly became softened and far more appropriate for daytime.  In fact, with the addition of my sharp Jess Collett Milliner fedora, the overall look felt pretty kick ass!  Yup, I definitely could hear some Beyonce playing in my head with each step (*finger snap, hair swish…)

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For my second outfit, I paired the Carvela over-the-knee boots with a zippered Kitri shirt dress and the dinkiest of current It Bags, a Simon Miller Bonsai Bag.  I definitely think this is the kind of a look I would wear to Fashion Week, and although with certain wider strides, there were some good old fashioned thighs on display, the long sleeves, and length of dress counteracted any unwarranted incitement on the streets!

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In summation, I still think these over-the-knee boots are pretty sexy, but not in the original, possibly negative way I had first imagined.  With the right, balanced outfit, these boots actually make you feel pretty damn empowered too.  Demurely sexy, some might say...! 

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In collaboration with Selfridges

Photography: Francis Davison

Hair:  Taylor Taylor London

Nails:  Sophie Gass

L’Occitane La Flamme Marie Claire Candle

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Knowing that less than a third of school children worldwide are girls, and that there are 33 million fewer girls than boys in primary school, L’OCCITANE has created a scented candle with Marie Claire to raise vital funds for the education of women.

I love a ‘Buy to Give’ gift, and each candle will see 100% of its profit donated to three really worthy charities; Rosa (England, Scotland & Wales), Toutes à L’École (Cambodia) and Entreprenuers du Monde (Burkina Faso) in order to help transform the lives of thousands of women and young girls around the world.  Help #ShareTheLight and buy one of these deeeelicious smelling candles… Solidarité Féminine!

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The L’Occitane La Flamme Marie Claire Candle is available in store and online (£9.00)

Wearing: Sisterhood Tee by Muthahood (£22.00), Fallen Star Necklace by Sophie Lis (£375.00)

#OOTD: 31.07.17

I couldn’t have chosen a better place to debut my new favourite Pampelone Blanco Playsuit than the Cote D’Azur, the same destination that inspired this sought after beachwear line.

Former fashion publicist, and a ravishing beauty, Holly Anna Scarsella’s Pampelone collection is inspired by the glamorous women of the French Riviera.  After a childhood spent split between the UK and in St. Tropez, Holly’s goal was to create a beautiful, ethically made collection of beach dresses and kaftans, all epitomising that unique and effortless chic the Cote D’Azur attracts.  

This gorgeous, light weight broderie anglaise Blanco Playsuit (RRP. £140.00), with its playful cut out details and tie front, is equal part cute, equal part sexy, and a real head turner.

TLC LOVES... PAMPELONE

(Click on the items below for their direct links)

Location:  Les Roches Rouges

Photographer:  Emma Horeau