#OOTD: 27.12.16

Launching her label in 2011, after studying at London College of Fashion and travelling the world as a model, Hayley Menzies’ unique designs have since become synonymous with the eccentric, yet effortlessness style associated with the Portobello girl. Fun, fluffy and most importantly, environmentally conscious, London-based Hayley Menzies’ knitwear uses ethically sourced materials from Europe, and every item is handmade using the finest Italian yarns. 

It was Hayley’s charcoal coloured, leopard print Elgin Poncho trimmed with super soft, cotton-candy coloured shearling (now in the sale: RRP. £213.00) that grabbed my eye. Not only am I also a huge leopard print fan (‘you can take the girl outta Africa…’) but as a Portobello gal myself, I just HAD to have this stand-out, cosy winter warmer.

I love wearing my poncho as a snuggly alternative to a coat, worn here over my Donna Ida Eliza Dungarees and grey Kurt Geiger Ladbrook Trainers (also now in the sale.)  This poncho is also the most perfect post Christmas cover-up, hiding a multitude of sins (and Quality Streets...!) 

Elgin Poncho in Dusky Pink (RRP. Reduced from £355.00 to £213.00)

I’m also very keen to get my mitts on, and into, a pair of Hayley’s Long Elgin Paw Warmers (now also in the sale reduced from RRP. £80.00 £48.00) to match my poncho!  I do so love a fellow crazy cat lady!

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Shop TLC's Look...

Photography: Ella Sadika

Hello There: Boyarde

I was recently introduced to Boyarde who is well known for her vibrant pop-art infused aesthetic which she gloriously paints on any canvas, as long as it’s not paper!  With her popular monogramming technique, or ability to create bespoke characters and sayings to your preference, London fashionistas went into a frenzy towards the end of last year, vying to have their tote bags personalised by the artist. 

During London Fashion Week and Frieze London, Boyarde held a special exhibition at the Hyatt Regency, where several of her hand painted handbags, belonging to various tastemakers and fashion bloggers, were displayed in all their bright, shining glory.  I was lucky enough to be asked to participate, by having my newly customised, dove grey Smythson Panama North South Tote displayed alongside bags belonging to Charlotte Olympia and Laura Bailey (below).

I had decided on having one of Boyarde’s ‘signature divas’ on my bag, the African Queen herself, Katherine Hepburn (a Smythson fan herself!) who we decided to colour in similar tones to Smythson’s Panama range; emerald green and red. Playing on my African roots, and OBVIOUS love of The Lion King, my sassy lil’diva hollers out, ‘Hakuna Matata, Sweet Cheeks!'

Not many people get to swing their phone and keys around in such a beautiful piece of art! 

Thank you Boyarde and Smythson xx

Hello There: Shinola

 

I was recently introduced to the brand Shinola over catfish gumbo and corn bread (my new favourite thing) at The Lockhart.  Whilst tucking into the most spoiling, hearty Southern fare (and a few too many Shinola Colas) I became enthralled at the history of the young, start-up, known as the brand that is making a difference.

In 2013, Tom Kartsotis (the entrepreneur behind Fossil watches), with ambitions to reinvigorate manufacturing in America, set up a factory in the economically depressed city of Detroit

 

Having suffered the largest municipal collapse in US history, America’s once famous ‘Motor City,’ was by the early 2000’s, $18.5 billion in debt, with a dwindling population, 78,000 rundown, abandoned buildings and a high rate of crime and unemployment

Starting with assembling a collection of quality, yet affordable, handcrafted and built to last watches, Shinola soon followed with a series of beautifully bound, luxury leather goods and accessories, and the most stylish range of bicycles.

 I am a huge fan of their 'throw-it-all-in' Medium Leather Shopper Tote Bags (above!) and their Double Wrap Leather Strap Watches.  Oh, and if anyone would like to get me my dream bicy-Kelly... See below!!

The brand hasn’t cured Detroit from all its financial devastation, but it has ambitiously brought a soothing level of hope and self-respect to the city.  With business currently booming, and 500 skilled employees, Shinola has flagship stores in Detroit, Minneapolis and New York, and as of quite recently, London’s very own, 13 Newburgh Street, W1. 

Above and Below:  There are plenty of watches and accessories for the fellas too... #ChristmasSorted.

I’m very excited to announce I shall be hosting an evening at Shinola next Tuesday, giving my friends and followers the opportunity to explore this brand further. The quality and beauty of this brand speaks for itself; It’s not flashy, it’s sturdy and soulful and if you are looking for a long-lasting, meaningful present this Christmas, I can help pick one out with you.  There will also be some Shinola treats awaiting, and complimentary in-store embossing available for any leather goods purchased. With a carefully edited selection from all of Shinola’s celebrated categories, I’m quite sure there will be something you find (for her, for him… or for you!) and I’d love to see you down there for a glass of wine and a 'chatter' (naturally!) 

RSVP: shinolarsvp@tcs-uk.net

Hello There: Winser London

Alongside Emma Watson, I’ve also long been a fan of Winser London.   Not only do they have a jumper and cardigan coat named after Audrey Hepburn (was always gonna win me over!) but they also always have a multitude of classic, investment pieces available which work so well season after season.  With simple designs, made with only the very softest wools, hand-combed cashmere, silks and tweeds, Winser London is also surprisingly affordable, with prices starting at £35.00.  There are fresh pieces, in a variety of useful and chic colour ways, added to the collections each month and there is always something to spark my interest (usually the cashmere, I mean, can you really ever have too much in your life?! Non.)

This Autumn Winter, Winser London, for the fifth consecutive season, has the gorgeous Yasmin Le Bon fronting their campaign, embodying the brand perfectly with her effortless style and elegance. 

I recently popped into Fenwick of Bond Street to see their Winser London month-long pop-up (ends Aug 31st) to have a wee stock up on some of their new capsule essentials - I recommend you do also!  I am particularly excited about their cashmere hoodie and trouser travel set (below) to arrive. The idea would be for me to wear these gloriously comfy and chic pieces on an aeroplane (if you're not turning left you might as well at least FEEL like you should be!)  In reality, I think I’ll probably be wearing them for a lot more than travelling… meetings, dinner parties, doing the washing up… Just TRY and take them off me people!

BELOW:  Here are some of the other new pieces which caught my eye (all available HERE)

BELOW:  How gorgeous is this Milano Wool SB Coat? In each colour please… Please?!

BELOW:  Wearing my favourite boyfriend-style Winser London cardigan with leather pockets (past season), and like Emma Watson (below right) I also l wear an Audrey cashmere jumper to travel in. 

Hello There: My Insiders

At the start of London Fashion Week a band of merry women, myself included, attended the London launch dinner of myinsiders.com, a new members-only website and app which promises to be the ultimate tool to curate our busy lifestyles.  Whichever city you may find yourself at a loss in, the 'Insiders' will provide you with a library of trusted lifestyle recommendations to help you discover the ideal place to shop, eat and dance! 

 

Membership is through nomination… Become a member by knowing an insider…!

Above:  At Skye Gyngell's 'Spring' restaurant at Somerset House with some fellow 'Insiders!' 

Below:  Teaming a pair of tan Felder Felder leather shorts with this Sister Jane (my new obsession) 'Pearls of Wisdom' blouse (RRP. £52.00) a man's Rebel at Heart Watch (RRP. £250.00) and two Glam and Soul Eternity Rings (RRP. £159.00) all by Thomas Sabo.

Hello There: Full Disclosure

Or should that be 'Well Helloooooo There: Full Disclosure?!' I was really thrilled to be asked to curate an edit of TLC's top picks from the newest go-to lingerie and sleepwear haven, Full Disclosure.  Housing (or should that be bedrooming?!) an enticing mixture of stunningly lacy and racy lingerie sets and corsets, beautiful and flirtatious playsuits and baby-dolls, elegant silk robes and suspenders, all from both well known and loved names to some new and exciting brands I too have just discovered.  I mean, seriously, forget Lapland, THIS is where you want your Santa-Baby to visit en route to your Christmas stockings... 

Check out the TLC edit HERE and if no one else will, go and spoil yourself!

Hello There: Rosie & Twine

 

I was very spoiled on my birthday this year, when a fresh faced Rosie dropped by my home with this gorrrrgeous jam jar bouquet.  Rosie has started 'Rosie & Twine,' a subscription flower company in SW London which delivers beautiful, fresh, British flowers weekly, fortnightly or monthly to your door. Errrrrm… Sign me up (daily?!)  

Each bouquet sold also sees £1 donated to the Friends Of The Honey Bee campaign, providing a better future and further bio-diversity to support bees all across Britain.   

 

The service is currently available in  the following postcodes:
SW1, SW3, SW4, SW5, SW6, SW7, SW8, SW10, SW11, SW12, SW18 and SW19 and as a launch treat for us all, Rosie is offering a 20% discount code off subscriptions to celebrate: OPENFORBIZ

 

Hello There: Florian London

With visions of my summery straw clutches dissolving in the onslaught of rain fast approaching, my eyes have been on the lookout for a sturdier handbag to accompany me into Autumn. It is however, becoming harder and harder these days to find an affordable, yet elegant, British-made handbag label.  Enter: Florian London, the latest arm-candy I’ve recently discovered. 

Launching in 2011, and by British architecture, the brand recently celebrated international recognition, winning two design prizes at the prestigious Independent Handbag Awards ceremony in New York, and is now set to be stocked in Bloomingdales

SO… with handbags to fit both my lifestyle and wardrobe, ranging from roomy doctor’s bags, to brightly coloured totes and sleek clutches, picking just one to swing about town was a toughy!  I was however, particularly drawn to the Florian London City Shopper in sky grey (how apt!)  The structured leather shopper has gold hardware (always my preference), plenty of practical compartments (including one which fits my always on-the-move laptop!) and has THE most ridiculously sweet ‘Alice in Wonderland’ printed cotton interior (below).  The gorrrgeous people at Florian London even monogrammed my new bag for me... And we all know just HOW much I LOVE a monogram!  We’re now the best of pals and together, all set for what the heavens have to offer us in the coming months! 
Florian London City Shopper in Sky Grey RRP. £295.00

Marcus at The Berkeley

The long established Knightsbridge restaurant, ‘Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley Hotel’ underwent a massive, shiny new renovation and reopened earlier this year as ‘Marcus.’   I was generously invited to the two Michelin starred restaurant for lunch, and of course asked DG to accompany me (this would make a well received, swanky change from the usual Pret à Manger lunch I have been known to regularly treat him to...!) 

The staff at Marcus could not have been more welcoming or helpful, in fact, the whole restaurant, despite being very elegant, with crisp white table clothes and chic place settings, is particularly unfussy, relaxed and comfortable.   After a welcome glass of champagne we were presented with the most delicious and beautifully presented food (decorated with tiny, bright flowers) and all accompanied with various delicous wines recommended by the most charming of sommeliers (left).

I wish I hadn’t eaten in a week (or had any afternoon plans!) as I could have happily camped out there all afternoon!  DG was in heaven, tucking into courses of frogs and snails (sans puppy dog’s tails) whereas the puddings (all three of them, due to my indecisiveness!) were obviously this sweet toothed gal’s highlight!  A real treat of a lunch and I really recommend you making a booking for an upcoming special occasion… Even if that special occasion is that you just sooo happened to have cancelled all your meetings and work for the rest of this afternoon and are feeling purposefully peckish!

Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London. SW1X 7RL

Hello There: Olivia Von Halle

Above:  I was utterly spoiled at Christmas when DG bought me a pair of gorgeous Olivia von Halle silk Coco Pyjamas (RRP. £330.00).  Unfortunately however, all my other pyjamas now pail into insignificance and I only want to wear these silk ones (...high maintenance much?!  Yup.)

Olivia von Halle launched her own luxury nightwear brand in 2011, inspired by the silk pyjamas Coco Chaneland her contemporaries wore in the 1920’s. The beautifully cut pyjamas in an array of stunning prints are now a firm fashionista favourite and are available in over thirty stockists including Harrods and Net-a-Porter.  You can even get them monogrammed These should be high on every girl's wish list - Trust me!
"Why have cotton... When you can have (OvH) silk...!"

Below:  Olivia von Halle's AW'14 collection inspired by Tsarist Russia in the early 20th Century.  Oliva has said, "on a trip to Moscow I was captivated by the extraordinary opulence of the buildings and the way a new generation of women such as Mira Duma and Lena Perminova were putting a chic modern spin on traditional Russian style." 

Oh, and another thing:  Olivia got married in 2008 wearing a pink skin-tight catsuit (awesome) and has a dog called Bathtub (who I am mildly obsessed with on Instagram!) 

 

 Olivia Von HalleOlivia von Halle Silk PyjamasSilk PyjamasHarrodsNet-a-PorterThe London ChatterTsarist RussiaOpulent,Sleep WearSilk Sleepwear