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.
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...
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…)
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!
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...!
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!
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)
Hawt = A late 1940's and early 1950's acronym for "Having A Wonderful Time."
Now the word is used on the internet as slang for something reeeeally hot.
New Life Motto: Live every day like you are Céline Dion at a Vogue shoot... Incroyable!
After a 35-year career and a mere 250 milllllion album sales, Celine is back in the spotlight wearing some of the most exquisite couture pieces of the season in Vogue’s latest video.
Modelling looks from all the big boys, such as Christian Dior, Valentino and Chanel, Ms. Dion (who at one point bites a nose off a mannequin whilst at the Ritz Paris… et pourquoi pas?!) has set the fashion world on FIRE and is just so hawt/haute right now.
Just as florals are synonymous with Spring (yes, we know, ground-breaking…), fruit goes hand in hand with the summer. The minute the sunshine puts his hat on, and the rosé has been lined up, we all seem to reach for our most zesty ensembles and juicy accessories.
Pineapples are usually our first fashion go-to, with lemons not far behind (so very D&G), and then there are cherries. Ripe and ruby red, there will always be something a little bit more sexy and a little bit more playful about this fruity print, and my faves Chinti and Parker have provided this one of our fashion five a day in droves this season.
I’m a massive fan of Chinti and Parker’s whimsical cashmere designs, and recently I was treated to the most GAWGEOUS Ivory Cherry Silk Shirt (RRP. £275.00) which has fast become one of the most useful items in my wardrobe; Cool when its hot, warm when it cool - but always lots of fun! The shirt also has matching pyjama style trousers if you’re feeling that extra bit fruity.
I recently wore the shirt whilst on a #TLCVacation in Nice, staying at Les Roches Rouges. I paired the shirt with my red ASOS skirt, Dolce & Gabanna retro cat eye sunnies and my new favourite shoes; my Drilles.
These unisex, handmade leather espadrilles, created by British fashion journalist Amy Williams, are available in a plethora of chic colours (my favourites being Rio Red and Portobello Pink) are set to be THE shoe of the summer. Get ‘em while you can from Barr and Bass (RRP. £155.00).
Shop TLC's Look...
If there is one thing I share in common with London-based jeweller Kiki McDonough, aside from us both clearly being magpies, its our love of COLOUR. Kiki’s kaleidoscopic use of gemstones, coupled with her amazing eye for detail, result in the most stunning statement pieces you’ll triumphantly treasure for maaaaany years to come.
With a father and grandfather both involved in the antique jewellery industry, jewellery design might have seemed an obvious route for Kiki McDonough to have taken. However, at this time, there were very few people designing everyday investment pieces, ones which could be worn everyday, and for any occasion. Designing show-stopping yet wearable designs soon became Kiki’s aim, and this more modern view of jewellery, alongside her love of unique, bold colour combinations, soon placed Kiki at the forefront of British jewellery design, a pedestal where she has comfortably perched for over thirty years.
The idea of wearing your most precious jewels, your ‘Sunday Best’ sparklers, on a random Tuesday, with jeans and a ‘just ‘cos’ attitude, appeals to me hugely. Not to be too fatalistic, but given we never know what is just around the corner, why save the enjoyment of wearing our most beloved possessions for such rare occasions? I used to save certain dresses and shoes for special events, and now I basically do the washing up in ball gowns! Likewise, Kiki McDonough’s spectacular jewels are without doubt meant to be cherished, but they are also meant to be worn – and on all occasions!
The theme of this contemporary opulence has extended into Kiki McDonough’s latest Jemima Collection, designed in collaboration with their ambassador, Jemima Jones. Inspired by their mutual love of Rome, taking inspiration from the city’s beautiful architecture, culture, style and history, this collection is characterised by the the Ancient Roman’s everyday use of striking patterns and colourful gemstones.
Being able to adorn myself one afternoon in Kiki McDonough's striking Jemima Collection was beyond a pleasure! The designs comprise four chunky rings, six chain bracelets, six pairs of earrings, and nine pendants, all in beautifully contrasting and unique gemstone variations, including Lemon Quartz, Green Amethyst, Lavender Amethyst, Blue Topaz and White Topaz. There is definitely a style to suit everyone, but being the maximalist I am, I couldn’t just stop at just one… My initial response was to stack various combinations of these beauties all together, which I wore for a sunny afternoon wander about my Notting Hill neighbourhood, to Albert’s Club (below) later that evening, and for some very bleary eyed meetings the next day…! The results were all equally as breath taking.
Yes, these Kiki McDonough pieces do push the usual self-imposed spending boundaries of my ‘treat ‘yo’self’ guidelines (the Jemima Collection is upwards of £1900.00) but when you consider the amount of wear (and compliments) each piece will garner over the years, I feel decidedly more confident of recommending these investments. So yeah, go on, treat yo’self (and me, please...?! Merci, mon cheri!)
The Jemima Collection is available to buy online, and from Kiki McDonough’s flagship Chelsea shop.
Shop TLC's Look...
(Click on the images for direct links)
What a total and utter treat it was to be asked to stay at Hotel Les Roches Rouges during the same month of its opening. When confronted with the beautiful azure blue sea and the stark white and deep, seductive sienna hues of this modernist, 5* hotel situated in the heart of the Côte d'Azur, the memory of my ungodly wake up call to get to Gatwick Airport simply melted away. The Welcome (and very much welcomed) Cocktail miiiiiight also have played a part in this, to be fair…
Les Roches Rouges is understated luxury at its best. Low-key but wonderfully luxurious, unlike its well known neighbours, you can enjoy the glamour without the glitz of the French Riviera in peace.
First and foremost, I should mention the view. The sea crashing against the rocky cliffside, and the hotel’s two swimming pools, one a natural seawater infinity pool, combine to make what I’m sure will soon become the most Instagrammed set up of the summer! It is like something out of a Slim Aarons photography book, I kid you not. Exceptional.
My sea-view bedroom was small, but perfectly formed, with a balcony, artesian snacks (think, saucisson and nougat rather than your regular selection of Pringles!) and gorgeous, refillable Le Labo amenities. I mention that they were refillable, because as much as I love sneaking home a bottle or two of travel sized shampoo and conditioner, I love it more when hotels are eco conscious. The minimalist, yet artistic approach to the decoration felt fresh and light, the bed was cloud’esq comfy, and as an additional stylish touch, a gorgeous straw basket was ready and waiting to be used as your beach bag throughout your stay.
There are three bars and two restaurants at Hotel Les Roches Rouges, my favourite being located on the rooftop where I spent my last evening taking in a particularly other worldly sunset. The Provencal cuisine, with all ingredients sourced from local farmers, cheese makers, olive oil producers and beekeepers, is more than complimented by the array of cold, crisp wines offered (another Magnum of rose, anyone?!) I would however, say some English menus would be helpful (#BritAbroad, apologies) and perhaps a few more creative Vegetarian options.
By day, if unwinding with a book, cocktail in hand lounging doesn’t suit (who even are you?) you can busy yourself with some kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, table tennis, yoga cooking classes or a visit to a nearby, picturesque village for a wander. In the evenings, there is live music (Gypsy, Cuban, acoustic folk rock) and cosy, open air cinema nights. After a gorgeous massage, I can also certainly recommend a visit to the spa, you know, in the unlikely event that you just weren’t feeling relaxed enough…!
TLC ON TOUR... COTE D'AZUR SUITCASE:
(Click on the items below for their direct links)
I was recently invited to Paris by Renaissance Hotels to celebrate their fifth annual Global Day of Discovery. This hotel group is known for helping its travellers really experience their destination, something so frequently missed out on by those with a busy travel or work schedule, and for one day a year 170 of their hotels, across 24 countries, assist in helping you uncover the real soul of the location you’re visiting. As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea,” so how could I miss such an exciting opportunity - one that would really immerse myself within the city, and not just within it’s bottles of wine and baskets of baguettes, as previous trips have witnessed! This time, I was set to truly experience some authentic local culture that makes Paris unique.
After arriving in Paris on the Eurostar (still never gets old), we were collected and taken to the Renaissance Arc de Triumph Hotel. After a quick change and turnaround (I obviously needed to don some stripes and apply some red lipstick… ‘Cos Paris, innit?!) I was taken for the most tasty, colourful and inventive lunch at Balagan, the latest offering from the team behind the Experimental Cocktail Club.
With famous Israeli Chef Assaf Granit at its helm, this new, stylish restaurant and cocktail bar officially opens in June, in the Renaissance Vendome, and it should not be missed. Make sure to try the amazing polenta starter and the tuna tatar wth tomatoes and tobiko yoghurt before the staff, accompanied by loud music, all join together to create you the messiest and most fun deserts… Think, chunks of cake thrown with wild abandon onto a tin foil lined counter top, followed by handfuls of watermelon and blueberries, a scattering of nuts, and giant spurts fruity syrups and lashings of cream! How very apt that Balagan means ‘Joyful Bazaar’ in Hebrew!
TLC LOVES... SEZANE
(Click on the items below for their direct links)
After another quick change (so little time, so much Paris), and another quick change after that (zip issues with my dress), we were entertained by some dancers in the lobby over champagne, followed by Parisian beatboxers over more champagne, in a coach headed towards the Eiffel Tower. Oh, did I forget to mention?! The six Renaissance Hotels in Paris came together and threw an exclusive party a the sought-after Salon Gustave Eiffel in the Eiffel Tower and THAT’s where I was headed.
Aside from getting ABSOLUTELY SOAKED by a freak thunder storm (if you watched my InstaStories that night, you might remember my hurricane of a hair doo and complaints over my soggy Jimmy Choo’s!) the evening was what dreams were made of; incredible and rare views across Paris, the City of Light, and a fun party involving a lot of glitter, a lot of bubbles, and many, many extraordinarily good looking stubbly men. I mean… They were EVERYWHERE. If you’re single Ladies, head to Paris, that’s all I’m gonna say!!
The next day, a Renaissance Navigator, an expert in local neighbourhood activities and local gems, took us to the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Not only was it as fabulous as ever, but I was able to visit the Art Afrique exhibition, which was exhibiting one of my all time favourite photographs in all its glory, 'Nuit Noël’ (below). Captured by Malian goat herder turned photographer Malick Sidibé, in 1963, three years after Mali's independence from France, and a time of hugely euphoric cultural and social change. I just love the vibrant intimacy of the couple jiving under an African night's sky, still both in their Parisian best (she, sweetly barefoot), surrounded by beer bottles on the concrete dance floor.
Before heading for to catch the Eurostar home, we headed for the Place du Trocadéro. You can’t come all the way to Paris and not get the money shot, after all!
TLC ON TOUR... PARIS SUITCASE
(Click on the items below for their direct links)
When in Paris... I love French beauty products (*and pastries) and I have a lot of love for cool cat (and daughter of Serge and Jane) Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new khaki packaged NARS collaboration - the make up brushes are firmly on my Wish List. Also, if I could eat the new Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream on toast, I would.
An unforgettable journey, Merci Renaissance Hotels!
Summmmmer Tiiiiiime... And not only is the living easy, but the Net-a-Porter’s sale has kicked off! To save you some time (and timing is of the essence when it comes to this) I’ve curated an edit of my favourite pieces - much of which you've seen me wear myself over the last few months. In undertaking this task, i might also have made myself veritably bankrupt... I couldn't help it... That unobtainable digital shopping basket suddenly got a whole heap more obtainable! Anyway, it's not what your spending, it's what you're saving, right?! RIGHT?!
Hover and click on the items below for their direct links.