UPDATE: TLCxAuree: The Tembo Collection

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Last week, on World Elephant Day, Auree Jewellery and I celebrated reaching quite an exciting and wonderfully unexpected milestone...

Influenced by my Kenyan roots, the seven Masai bead inspired Tembo Charity Bracelets from my collaboration with Auree Jewellery have collectively raised £25,000 (!!!) which has been donated to For Rangers, with a giant bow on it.

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I’m so proud that 100% of the profits from our collection went towards supporting the brave heroes across Africa risking their lives every day to protect our endangered wildlife, and so grateful to have this platform (my own ‘digital soapbox!’) to share the causes I feel so passionately about.  

Thank you to everyone who bought one (or two, or three...) of the Satao, Pembe or Shina bracelets… You will have directly contributed towards the fight against elephant poaching, and the extinction of this iconic, important animal. 

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Buy To Give:  Head to Auree Jewellery to secure one of the last few bracelets... 

#TLCxAuree

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Valentine's Gift List 2017 - For Her

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I feel sorry for Valentine’s Day, a rather sweet day of the year that gets an enormous amount of flack. Each year you can see it merrily approaching, brim-full of romance and possibilities, with a kick in its heel, glistening heart emoji-eyes, and a pink, oh so very pink, trail of fairy dust (or perhaps Gwyneth’s Goop-recommended Sex Dust?) in its wake… All to be met by an anxiety-ridden, Hallmark-hating, eye-rolling audience of cynics, all heading for the hills to hide, regardless of their relationship status. 

Now, I get it, if you’re single this can be a day, frequently fuelled by a bottle of dry white Lady Petrol, where you feel continuously reminded of your current lack of love, and if you’re in a relationship you can feel immense pressure to perform like some lame love monkey whilst spending a ludicrous amount of money. 

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However, in Valentine’s defence, I think it can also be seen as a day where we all can take a little Time Out from our frequently monotonous daily routines, and pay a little extra attention to one another, or friends, and even ourselves... Sometimes we sadly do need a reason, or a day each year, to remind us to do that. 

Spending a lot of money is not mandatory, as a little imagination and thought can easily be just as spoiling; some of the most memorable moments can involve the simplest of gestures and just some designated time to hang out. I am however, always asked each year for Valentine’s gift suggestions from panic stricken men, SOOO gentlemen, here are a few ideas guaranteed to put a smile on all those pretty faces, without a naff teddy bear or flammable set of red underwear in sight (don’t worry Ladies, I got yo’backs too…) 

Hover and click on the items for their direct links...

Above:  Jo Malone’s Valentine’s Day denim designed gift box is beyond dreamy.  The sets, which contain a 100ml bottle of Jo Malone Red Roses (a scent inspired by seven of the world’s finest roses) set amongst freshly cut blooms from florist Philippa Craddock, is available from Selfridges until Feb 14th (RRP. £130.00).

"The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout."

Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash

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"I don't know how to tell you just how much I miss you. I love you till my heart could burst. All I love, all I want, all I need is you—forever. I want to be just where you are and be just what you want me to be. I know it's lousy of me to be so late so often, and I promise to try a million times harder, I promise."  

Marilyn Monroe to Joe DiMaggio

Above:  'Buy to Give' this Valentine’s Day by not only spoiling your loved one with jewellery, but also directly helping to fight against ivory poaching. Every purchase from The Tembo Collection, a collection of seven Masai bead inspired bracelets I designed with Auree Jewellery, sees 100% of the profit go to For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk that helps the heroes on the front line of conservation in their fight against elephant poaching across Africa.  (RRP. £50.00 - £140.00)

"So My Lumps... You’re off, by God! I can barely believe it since I am so unaccustomed to anybody leaving me. But reflectively I wonder why nobody did so before. All I care about—honest to God—is that you are happy and I don’t much care who you’ll find happiness with. I mean as long as he’s a friendly bloke and treats you nice and kind. If he doesn’t I’ll come at him with a hammer and clinker. God’s eye may be on the sparrow but my eye will always be on you. Never forget your strange virtues. Never forget that underneath that veneer of raucous language is a remarkable and puritanical LADY. I am a smashing bore and why you’ve stuck by me so long is an indication of your loyalty. I shall miss you with passion and wild regret."

Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor 

"My mouth hasn’t shut up about you since you kissed it. The idea that you may kiss it again is stuck in my brain, which hasn’t stopped thinking about you since well before any kiss. And now the prospect of those kisses seems to wind me like when you slip on the stairs and one of the steps hits you in the middle of the back. The notion of them continuing for what is traditionally terrifying forever excites me to an unfamiliar degree."  

Alex Turner to Alexa Chung

ABOVE:  Treat someone special to a rooooomantic stay at the swoonsome Artist Residence in London's Pimlico. To celebrate Valentine's Day, this eclectic townhouse, my fave home away from home, is offering champagne and choccies on arrival, late checkout and a free room upgrade, all for £50 on top of their usual room rates between 10.02.17 - 05.03.17. (T&C's apply, subject to availability.)

A #TLCxAuree interview with The London Chatter

The team at Auree recently interviewed me about our Tembo Collection collaboration in support of For Rangers, and why it was a cause so close to my heart.  I thought I would also share the answers with you here on TLC…  

‘We are excited to be collaborating with Kelly Eastwood on our first charity collection. As major advocates of travel, flair and colour – we’ve long been fans of The London Chatter, which is why its been a delight to create The Tembo Collection to raise money and awareness in the fight against Elephant poaching.  So a second first for The Auree Journal, we thought a good chance for a cuppa and a Q+A.  Move over Parky...' 

What was it like to grow up in Africa and how has it influenced you?

It was really magical; the animals, the epic landscapes, the beautiful beaches, the amazing mix of cultures. From an early age I was always aware of ‘the bigger picture’ and as such, however exciting and frivolous the whirlwind I sometimes find myself in, I always feel pretty grounded.

Tell us how the collaboration with Auree came about?

Having worn a personalised Auree bracelet rather religiously for about a year before finally meeting Amelia, we decided to meet for breakfast so I could learn more about the brand. It became apparent we both wanted to do a charity collection, and over avocado and eggs we not only decided to collaborate, but had already started sketching designs before the bill had even arrived. Amelia was very supportive over my plea to support the conservation efforts for elephants in Africa, a huge passion of mine. We agreed that neither myself or Auree would make a bean out of the collaboration, with all profits going directly to For Rangers, a wonderful campaign started by friends of mine back home.

How did your Kenyan roots inspire the Tembo collection?

Since I was a child, I’ve always been absolutely in awe of elephants; rather than Nellie the Elephant it was Kelly the Elephant!  As well as going on safari regularly, I would frequently visit the orphaned ele’s at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust near where I grew up in Nairobi, which allowed me from an early age to be acutely aware of the heartbreaking effects of poaching. As I’ve got older, many of my friends now work in conservation, and I’ve learnt so much more through them.

I love Maasai beads and the design of our bracelets were inspired by the single white Maasai bead bracelet I usually wear. The beads are so synonymous with the tribal, nomadic cultures back in Kenya, that it seemed an obvious element to incorporate into the jewellery, through the textured circular bead effect. I also now have permanent Maasai beading around my ankles, put on by the Samburu mamas at Ol Malo, a family-run ranch in Laikipia, which I regularly flaunted at London Fashion Week – paired with some good old Jimmy Choos naturally!

You are a frequent wildlife campaigner, what attracts you most about the important work For Rangers and Tusk carry out?

I think it’s the urgency, and the respect. Make no mistake, this is ultimately a war – a battle to save some of the most iconic wildlife before it’s too late, and it’s the rangers who are on the front line of this fight, daily risking their lives for these animals.  For this reason, they deserve our recognition and support. Earlier this year I visited Kenya’s beautiful Lewa conservancy, where I saw Edward Ndiritu (who was awarded with Tusk’s inaugural Wildlife Ranger Award, presented by Prince William in 2015) and his team awarded with silver pins of honor for their outstanding work, and the pride was tangible. 

For Rangers is a really small, grass roots campaign, with no overhead costs. It’s headed by passionate, knowledgeable people who have taken on extraordinary challenges to raise both money and awareness (including the Marathon de Sable and the Peruvian Jungle Run). Given that I’m hardly renowned for my athleticism (I’ve not moved quicker than a strut since the mid-90’s), I thought I would be better suited to help the cause accessorising not exercising…!

What has been your most memorable experience in Africa?

I’m having a stream of flashbacks of both the most exhilarating and also peaceful moments. Aside from my sister’s week long beach wedding near our home, and regularly visiting the Giraffe Manor’s endangered Rothschild giraffe after school when I was young, I would say anytime I’ve been lucky enough to go on safari. Watching a sensational African sunset, G&T in hand (obviously), with that buzz of wildlife around you, is beyond humbling, and for me, completely calming

What are your little black book entries and insider advice for anyone looking to visit Kenya?
 

in Nairobi. If you’re not staying as a guest at this beautiful house, I would definitely try and book in advance to have afternoon tea there amongst the endangered Rothschild giraffe that live at the sanctuary.  I would obviously recommend you go on safari to enjoy the exceptional wildlife we’re so desperately trying to preserve, and Richard’s Camp in the Maasai Mara is really great fun. For unforgettable experiences with the nomadic Samburu communities, both Ol Malo and Sasaab offer unbeatable opportunities.  I would also head to the coast. Some of Kenya’s long, white sandy beaches are rated amongst the best in the world. Watamu, a pristine marine reserve, is perfect for a family holiday, and not too far from Mombasa, where you can spend an evening sailing along the twinkling lit coast on the Tamarind Dhow

What are your must have items that you pack in your suitcase for a trip to Kenya?

Inside my vintage-style Brics Suitcase, I always carry my Ali Lamu safari bag so I can decant and travel light from within Kenya at a moment’s notice.  A good pair of Penelope Chilvers safari boots are imperative, and I love my massive Winser London massive cashmere for both the airplane and for enveloping myself in on those chilly early morning game drives on Safari. When the suns up, I’m always prepared with a good straw trilby from Jess Collett Milliner, my tortoiseshell Taylor Morris Zero sunglasses, a bikini or two from Beach Cafe, a Pitusa kaftan, my Sisley Paris Factor 50 and a kikoi bought locally from a beach stall. Rae Feather does some great personalised beach baskets and I throw everything haphazardly into one of those.

Tell us about your most treasured piece of jewellery and the story behind it.

A Victorian pearl and sapphire heart-shaped locket in the shape of a heart. My childhood best friend passed away when we were eighteen, and her mother gave it to me. There are flowers in the the back of it which my friend pressed and helped put in there when she was four. It’s my treasure of treasures.

What do you love most about your job?

In or out of London, I love the variety of the people I meet in such different fields, and being witness to such differing creativity. This platform has not only given me the ability to talk about and share the things I love, but also to champion the causes that are close to my heart, which is something I really focus on.

How would you describe your personal style?

Always colourful, always with lipstick (Tom Ford’s Plum Lush) and always with a touch of leopard print.

By Day: Topshop boyfriend jeans, Rose Rankin sneakers, over sized Boden linen shirts and Chinti and Parker cashmere (I particularly love their new Miffy collaboration – too cute!) I carry all my work and laptop in the tortoiseshell Aspinal of London Editor’s Bag – it’s so chic and even charges my phone – next level!

By Night: Jimmy Choo heels or L.K Bennett boots, Hill & Friends Tweency bag, and a swooshing Matthew Williamson dress. A blow dry or ethereal braids by Clo and Flo ups my glam game considerably.

What are your style tips for wearing jewellery?

I love stacking and mixing metals, which is why I particularly love the Tembo Collection – you can mix and match the colours and stack them together which looks great, yet still unfussy.

TLC Staycation: The Hari, London

I can’t even tell you how spoiling it was to stay at The Hari, London during London Fashion Week… But I can try!  At a time where I zoom around like a mad thing, keeping to a tight schedule with multiple outfit changes for varying shows and events, it was a total dreeeeam to have The Hari, a little gem of a hotel in London’s Belgravia, as my beyond comfortable base, with their phenomenally helpful team on hand to make sure I was as Happy as Larry… So happy in fact, that actually leaving was pretty heartbreaking!! 

Above: Checking in with my Rimowa Limbo Suitcase and personalised Tephi Garment Bag

There are 85 bedrooms, including 14 luxury suites, at The Hari, created in an almost Mad-Men’esq way by leading British interior designer Tara Bernerd.  Think plush velvets, hardwood oak floors, eclectic furnishings, marbled bathrooms… Heaven!

Above:  Now that's a welcome!  Being met in my rooms by bubbles, truffles and and an indulgent LFW Survival Kit which included treats from Biscuiteers, Ren, and a Sunday's Mini Moon eye mask.

The Hari was perfectly located for me to zip in and out of town without any hassle, being only a five-minute walk to Knightsbridge tube station, or quick ride in an Uber... But juuuust about far away enough from all the buzz to really be able to zone out and relax when needed. 

Above:  My Sisley Paris beauty products and Tom Ford make up looked more than at home in my chic marble bathroom at The Hari. (Jewellery from Laura Gravestock, Missoma and Auree). 

The 24-hour room service was a totally blessing - not only did I enjoy the most amazing breakfasts each morning (I quickly learnt I was just MADE to be woken up with fresh orange juice and sea salt porridge with maple syrup), but having delicious, healthy food on hand after long days rushing about grabbing snacks on the go, was incredibly appreciated. (Masini and  Chern Barbados Pyjama Set at Apples & Drawers).

The hotel’s impeccable concierge service was utterly amazing, helpfully receiving any of my deliveries and catering to any of my particular whims. I don’t have many particular whims in case you were wondering, but HOW comforting to know that, in case of emergency, they would have been meticulously catered for! 

When not spending every possible second at The Hari snuggled up, resting my poor battered feet, there were plenty of chilled areas around the hotel to enjoy a little R&R (and a cocktail or two…) The terrace is particularly gorgeous and bar area was clearly a popular evening option for guests and non guests alike. 

Shop TLC's LFW Looks...

Below:  Checking Out.  Thank you to The Hari for being the ultimate LFW haven to lay my hat (and eight dresses, six pairs of heels, three pairs of boots… and... and...)