BA&SH After Hours: I Do Yoga & Drink Tequila...

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I have long since been a fan of ba&sh, the French fashion brand which allows us to access that effortless Parisian style we all covet, with a welcome twist of California cool, on our very own British high streets. 

Season after season, their never-out-of-style, fresh and floaty bohemian aesthetic, with its touch of rock and roll, urban chic, is the direct result of a beautiful friendship between Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief.  Fifteen years ago these life-long, joined-at-the-hip besties decided to create the now hugely popular lifestyle brand, filled with feminine and timeless wardrobe must-haves fit for any occasion.  

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I was really excited to be given the opportunity to help spread the good word about ba&sh’s first yoga capsule collection, a collaboration with Ana Hart, a young brand co-designed by interior designer and yogini Amanda Ibgui, and her former yoga teacher and mentor Rachel Novetsky

On the first properly sunny day of the year, surrounded by show-stopping, instagram-worthy blossom trees in a nearby private Notting Hill garden (all so very "Whoopsie Daisy," Richard Curtis), I wore some of the pieces to a Jivamukti yoga class with the fabulous Dannii Jordana from the famed Sangye Yoga School.

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The perfect balance of ba&sh’s natural fabrics and feminine styles, alongside the technical support of Ana Hart’s designs, has made for a unique, contemporary and super soft collection with a deliciously cheeky edge.  In fact, the hero t’shirt I wore might just sum up ba&sh in une nutshell; 'I do yoga and drink tequila.' 

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Above:  Wearing the ba&sh x Ana Hart Kloe leggings and Moove T'shirt.

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Above:  Wearing the ba&sh x Ana Hart Moti T'shirt.

This capsule collection is created for women that love to keep fit and healthy, but also like to have a little (or a lotta) fun… Ladies who balance out their green juices with their cocktails and their warrior poses with their table dancing… Which sounds an awful lot like many of my friends!

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Speaking of my friends… I was thrilled when ba&sh invited a group of my nearest and dearest along to a special ‘After Hours’ drinks party at my local Westbourne Grove store, where I introduced them to not only the new yoga capsule collection, but also to the latest ba&sh Spring/Summer’18 designs

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Above:  Hosting my friends wearing the ethereal, metallic Pipa Dress.

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As suspected, it didn’t take my buddies long to get well acquainted with the stunning ba&sh designs (or some of the first rosé of the summer), and most predictably, shopping bags were soon filled with some seriously enviable wardrobe additions. 

Complimentary hugs were issued with every ba&sh purchase... 

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Soon after we piled into cars which took us to a private apartment on Golborne Road, my favourite road in my neighbourhood, where a sumptuous vegetarian feast and a plethora of cocktails awaited us, beside an edit of my favourite ba&sh Spring/Summer’18 pieces.  

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Each of my guests also found gifts from the ba&sh x Ana Hart yoga collection on their seats, and took home posies which made up the beautiful bouquets around the room. 

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The entire night felt dreamy; like a birthday celebration (or in my case, a 'Kellybration') where you got to enjoy all the feels without having to turn another dreaded year older…!  I loved seeing so many of my girlfriends and my energy and love levels were sooooaring (more hugs, anyone?! Anyone?!!)

Merci ba&sh for such a spoiling evening. xx

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In collaboration with ba&sh
Yoga Photography: Frances Davison
Catering and Floristry: The Hill Food Company
Hair: Taylor Taylor London
Nails: Sophie Gass

The Watamu Turtle Pouch Launch and Competition

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Last week, Elizabeth Scarlett founder Elizabeth Elsey and I celebrated the launch of our ‘Watamu Turtle Pouch’ at an intimate breakfast in the festively decorated private dining room at Balthazar London in the heart of Covent Garden. 

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100% of the profit from our limited edition, intricately embroidered cotton, teal pouches (RRP. £25.00) go directly to the Local Ocean Conservation, a non profit organisation based in my home village of Watamu, back in Kenya.

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Local Ocean are committed to the protection of critically endangered and threatened sea turtles and the preservation of Watamu’s spectacular Marine Park and Reserve. Having been lucky enough to help with several of their turtle releases, 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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It was so great to see so many of my friends there to support my second ‘Buy To Give’ collaboration, and they all received their own ‘Watamu Turtle Pouch,’ which were filled with some of my other favourite ‘travel essentials,’ spoiling gifts from Jo Malone, Caudalie, Charlotte Tilbury, Spacemasks, ASOS Africa, and Sisley Paris.

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Above (L-R):  With Venetia Falconer, Niomi Smart, Rosanna Falconer and Liv Purvis.

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Above (L-R):  Nutritionist Zoe Stirling, Make-up artist Charlotte Cowen, presenter Venetia Falconer, and Matthew Williamson's Business Director, Rosanna Falconer.

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Above (L-R):  With documentary photographer Freya Dowson, and wellness guru Jasmine Hemsley

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Watch More Here... 

Watch out for the #TLCComp in the above vlog, for your chance to win your own Watamu Turtle Pouch filled with all my travel favourites (below).

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Shop TLC's Look...

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Photographs: Moeez Ali

With Thanks to Balthazar London

#TLCComp: Jess Collett Milliner Summer Illustrations

Everyone must know by now that I loves me a Jess Collett felt trilby, rendering me virtually unrecognisable in the Winter months without one firmly affixed to my head. With the London sunshine fiiiinally playing ball and putting its very own hat on, Jess’ summer styles, from her neon, pom pom adorned straw trilbies to her beyond creative, dramatic headpieces, are ready to take centre stage. Whether you have upcoming weddings, races, regattas or are simply heading to the beach, this Notting Hill Mad Hatter has got your back… or, you know, head!

 

As you may remember I organised a competition to find an illustrator to create some backgrounds for some of Jess’ most event-worthy pieces.  Thank you to every one for your wonderful submissions, I’m thrilled to announce Parisian illustrator Habile Buston has won a Jess Collett made-to-measure summer trilby worth £220.00 after designing these fabulous and vibrant interpretations of my impending summer fun! 

Make Up: Charlotte Cowen
Dresses: Matthew Williamson Archive. 
Photographer: Janie Airey

TLC VACATION: Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa, Marbella

After the most depressingly long hibernation, and several bouts of rotten flu, the shiniest of tickets came my way; an invitation to stay at the Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa on Spain’s Golden Mile, Marbella, where the sun shines for 320 days a year! HOORAY!  

Grabbing my friend Charlotte Cowen en route, I arrived at the most luxurious of hotels.  Designed to recreate an Andalusian village, the beachfront Puente Romano, with its endless array of restaurants, three swimming pools, Six Senses Spa and newly opened nightclub, La Suite, had everything both our mischievous and holistic desires required.   

Our room was found amongst the white-washed walls and baskets of geraniums of the grounds, and we were thrilled to find we had a gorgeous little balcony (room service locaaay sorted!) and adorable beach baskets and towels as gifts. 

Wearing: Daisy Mini Crop Set by Mochi.

Oh, I should also mention the giant plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries – soooo spoiling! 

The heavenly Six Senses Spa offers an array of treatments, and Charlotte and I were generously treated to a hugely relaxing Couple’s Massage (hilarious!) in one of the spa’s nine treatment rooms.  

The blue-tiled swimming pool, with its view of the ocean, has amazing waterfall-style windows, and the spa also features a hydrotherapy pool; a cold plunge pool; heat and ice experience showers with different types of water flow and mood lighting; herbal steam room; sauna and hammam. UTTER heaven, and you can see why people travel the distances they do to unwind and spend time being pampered there.

There is a gym and a tennis court on site, and the resort is also very close to Marbella’s old town, but given that there are nine (yes, nine!) restaurants throughout the resort, it is quite possible to spend your entire stay hopping from one to the other… I can think of worse ways to pass the time!  The Sea Grill (above) is right on the beach and where we were treated to an array of fresh seafood and sushi on our first night. 

Two-Michelin-star-holding chef Dani Garcia’s playful concept restaurant Bibo was where we spent most of the next afternoon (I’m not even kidding, we feasted for for what seemed hours – NOT that any of us were complaining!) With an imaginative menu and Alice in Wonderland’esq touches in abundance (even the list of cocktails were presented in the form of Tarot Cards, which I made each of our party choose from - best game ever?! #EveryonesAWinner) the beyond imaginative tasting menu left us defeated, but amazed (I’d fly back merely for another portion of his INSANE New York-inspired cheesecake!)

Wearing:  Gold Diamond Moon Charm Necklace and Gold Diamond Horseshoe Necklace by Missoma.

Mid-way through our amazing meal, Dani surprised us with the most amazing truffle treats in his kitchen...

We also enjoyed a delicious evening of sushi at UNI, several Turkish Delight smoothies at Rachel’s Organic Cafe (above, also my favourite spot at the hotel for sun bathing and reading) and a very healthy lunch at Celicioso, Marbella’s only 100% gluten-free restaurant (below).

Enjoying the sunset with Charlotte and our friend, the Fashion Director of Marie-Claire, Tanya Philipson.  The last time I was in Marbella was actually for Tanya's wedding, so it was great to see her, and this time with her gorgeous new son Archer!  Would you just look at those CHEEKS!!  Beyond edible. 

Wearing:  Dia White 70's Maxi Dress by Lily and Lionel.

You also might not expect to find Marbella’s hottest new club amongst the sub-tropical gardens of Puente Romano, but this hotel is full of surprises as well as palm trees.  La Suite held its glamorous launch party on our last night, and launch it we certainly did…!  With a mixture of old Roman architecture and ultra-modern touches, the club is the perfect addition to the resort and will no doubt, be well frequented by guests and local revellers alike. 

The next morning Charlotte and I were treated to breakfast (pancakes, naturally) on our balcony (I mean, this entire stay was such a romantic friend-moon!) and coconut water and lavender scented eye masks were brought to us to assist with our much needed R&R… I mean, next level thoughtful! 

Just the perfect little mini-break!  Thank you to all the lovely folk at Puente Romano! xx


TLC ON TOUR... MARBELLA SUITCASE:

(Click on the items below for their direct links)

The London Chatter was a guest of Puente Romano Beach Resort and Spa for two nights. 

An Evening at Shinola, Soho

Having recently been introduced to Shinola (See 'HELLO THERE: Shinola') I was thrilled to be asked to host my own shopping evening with them, the last ‘hurrah’ at their Newburgh Street store before upgrading to a bigger venue around the corner on Foubert’s Place in Soho.  

The evening was a really fun opportunity for me to share the beautiful craftsmanship and brand ethos of Shinola, renowned for helping Detroit to get its groove back, with lots of my friends and followers. 

The city of Detroit, once blighted with unemployment and plummeting population after hitting bankruptcy a few years ago, is now enjoying regeneration and is home to the Shinola factory where their timeless, aesthetically ‘All American’, products are assembled.  

From 6-9pm the shop was buzzing with people hanging out, Christmas shopping, and perusing all the Detroit built products, including watches, artisanal bicycles and leather goods, with everyone leaving with their own embossed Shinola journal and a bottle of their famous Shinola Cola.

Above (Clockwise) L-R:  With Lauren Paton and Charlotte Cowen, Emma Watkins, and Miguel Arquero. 

I can’t tell you how many people over the last month have commented on my Shinola Medium Leather Shinola Shopper Tote handbag (RRP. £550.00) and new Shinola watch, The Gomelsky (RRP. £470.00), I’m a total convert and can’t wait to watch this brand evolve and see what styles 2016 has in store for us…

An Afternoon with Goldsmiths

Goldsmiths, the largest luxury jewellers in the UK, have always been a trusted, reliable and handily local source for those important, life long purchases and treasures, however big or small.  The brand recently not only had their London stores sparklingly refurbished and opened a new store on London’s hustly, bustly Oxford Street, but they have also started stocking some seriously aspirational watch brands which will have us all clambering for in the lead up to Christmas (including Cartier, TAG Heuer, and Breitling).

I recently attended the Victoria store’s re-launch (left) and was really impressed with not only the variety of Goldsmiths and other branded jewellery that was on display, but also the useful services on offer to their customers. I was told that they organised for your Cartier watches to be serviced and also for your rings to be re-polished on site.  I knew I had to try these new services out when heading into town for some shopping and drinks with friends before Christmas. 

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Returning with my friend Charlotte shortly after, I had my vintage Cartier Panther (a spoiling 30th birthday present from my parents, to match my mother’s) sent to be serviced and a friend’s engagement and wedding rings cleaned, which I have to say, came back after only a few minutes dazzling.

I then set about trying on A LOT of the jewellery and the watches (how could I resist?!) The service at Goldsmiths is always second to none, so authoritative yet friendly, and always feel very looked after.

I eventually (after literally trying on everything and more!) chose a mixture of Goldsmiths' own jewellery and several pieces from their surprisingly reasonable Michael Kors section (above) to wear with friends later that afternoon for drinks at the Mondrian London’s stunning Rumpus Room overlooking London... 

Designer Kalita al Swaidi looked stunning in one of her upcoming creations, accessorising with a Michael Kors necklace, Michael Kors Tortoiseshell Ring and a GoldsmithsDouble Layer Ring

Make up artist Charlotte Cowen looked beautiful in her Goldsmith Gold Twist Hinge Bangle and three gold bangle, and a gorgeous Michael Kors Tri Tone Layered Ring

The Rose Gold Oval Locket Pendant by Goldsmiths and Michael Kors Arrow Motif Rings in both rose gold and yellow.  I wore were my favourites of the day… “Dear Santa…!!” 

Photographs: Ella Sadika, Make Up: Charlotte Cowen.

Created in collaboration with Goldsmiths.

Getting Christmas Ready with River Island

Just imagine HOW excited I was to be asked by River Island to pop down to their giant flagship, Oxford Street store earlier this week to curate a look worthy of the fast approaching Christmas parties.  It really it already THAT time of year!  With all the Christmas lights already sparkling on Oxford Street, I was certainly in the mood and couldn't wait to get perusing.

Narrowing down my vast array of choices in their very sleek, newly installed Parkhouse Style Studio, with a lovely stylist and some much appreciated champagne on hand, was beyond fun, and if I behaved slightly like a kid in a candy store, welllll… #SorryNotSorry!

Despite being totally tempted by the multitude of sparkles on the rails, and a gorgeous, almost structured lace black dress and toe-less boots combo (left) it was a stunning emerald toned, silky limited edition, belted trench coat which caught my eye and stole my heart, and I quickly decided that this was my must have item for the festive season, and I would work the rest of the look around it.   

Striking, yet demure, I kept it fun and festive by adding some leopard print heels (you can take the girl outta Africa…) and some lace and tie up detailing peaking through with my top and Amelie jeans - black needn’t be boring after all.    

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Accompanied with my own Nathalie Trad clutch which is never far from my side after dark, I headed to the Mondrian London’s gorgeous Rumpus Room to give the look a little pre-Christmas test run.

What do you reckon? Mission 'Christmas Party' accomplished?!  Find me under the mistletoe... Or you, know, probably the bar.

Shop TLC's Look

Photographer:  Ella Sadika

Make Up:  Charlotte Cowen

Hair:  Clo and Flo

#TLCCOMP: Calling All Illustrators!

I have made no secret of how much I adore Jess Collett’s amazing creations.  In fact, a friend commented how she barely recognised me at a dinner recently as I was Jess Collett hat-less, a rarity now that I own not one, but TWO JC trilbys! With Summer coming up (one hopes!) and with it, special opportunities to adorn fantastical headwear designs to varying fancaaaay events, I decided to collaborate with Jess on this creative wee project, allowing us both to shine some light on a new artistic talent in the process.  I have four photographs (below) of me, with makeup by Charlotte Cowen, donning some more than gawwwgeous Matthew Williamson frocks alongside four of Jess’ amazing summer-sunshine-appropriate designs and I am looking for an equally talented illustrator to create the summery scenes (the races, a regatta, a wedding and an Ibizan sojourn) for me to be placed amongst.  The chosen artwork will be represented on both Jess and my websites and our social media platforms, and each artist will receive a stunning, bespoke Jess Collett summer trilby (similar to the one below worth £220.00).  Share this post with your most creative friends! 

Below:  The Wedding Guest:  We are looking for an image representing real excitement and celebration on the dance floor!  (Azure Chiffon Embroidered Asymmetric Gown: Now £1,095.00, my beloved Giselle Suede Strappy Sandals: Now £175.00)

Below:  Regatta Fun:  We are looking for this image to show me perhaps noticing a gorgeous boater or sailor!  (Hibiscus Flower Silk Ruffle Trim Dress: Now £445.00, Giselle Suede Strappy Sandals: Now £175.00).

Below:  A Day at the Races: Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose... We are looking for this piece to show horses having whizzed by, with clearly my chosen horse lagging behind! #ComeOnDoverMoveYourBloomingArrrse... (Evening Palm Lace Feather Dress in cream: Now £1,495.00).

Below:  Ibizan Sunset:  We'd love this picture to show me walking onto a sailboat, yacht or on a beach on the sunniest of days! (Beach Palm Print Gown: Now £245.00, Sunglasses: Grey Oversized Curved Cat Eye Sunglasses £200.00)

Please send all submissions to hello@thelondonchatter.com by the end of next week - Good Luck! 

Debit Buy: Chinti and Parker Heart Pocket T-Shirt at Iris Fashion

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I am totally in LOVE this Heart Pocket Striped T'Shirt from Chinti and Parker... Why exactly?  Errrrrm, did I not mention the awesome combination of two of my favourite things? Breton style nautical stripes (a la Audrey) and hearts.  This soft, 100% cotton, 3/4 length sleeve top is now on SALE (*wahoooo!) HERE at Iris Fashion.  
it would be rude not to really...

RRP. £85.00 £60.00

Photography:  Ross Ferguson.  Make Up:  Charlotte Cowen.  Jewellery:  Monica Vinader

Monica Vinader's Friendship Bracelets

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At school some of my friends were renown for their sporting prowess, their academic superiority, or their ethereal choral charms… Me? Aside from an obvious flair for the dramatics, I was pretty revered for my (…drumroll) Friendship Bracelet making skills… Oh yes, take that you long-limbed netballers!   I was always making my school pals Friendship Bracelets in their favourite colours and if they managed to keep them hidden from all the matron’s eagle eyes, all desperate to confiscate anything which might allow your uniform some colour of charisma, they were enjoyed for a long while.  

You have to imagine my joy when I realised Monica Vinader sold Friendship Bracelets. Obviously far more chic, coveted and long lasting than any of my childhood creations, these bracelets still have friendship at their core and make the perfect presents.  

A large group of my girlfriends (which includes the beautiful Charlotte and Jessica, above enjoying smoothies at Moosh with me)  have spent the last year marking our birthdays and friendships by giving each other colourful statement Fiji bracelets, which we had engraved with our initials or names (a complimentary service offered in store).   

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Available in silver, gold vermeil and rose-gold vermeil, and offered in a variety of adjustable and colourful cords, with a rainbow assortment of gems symbolizing different meanings (pink for love, turquoise for peace, nude for calm, etc) if so wanted, the three designs (FujiBali and Esencia) can be worn alone or mixed and layered up together.  

Below:  There are some more expensive and elegant diamond chain bracelets now also available which are slightly more evening-dress appropriate, and I am particularly loving the recent festival and Ibiza-friendly fluoro additions which really pop in the sunshine.   

All Monica Vinader Friendship Bracelets are available in store and online HERE.

Make Up:  Charlotte Cowen
Photography:  Ross Ferguson 

My Necklace and Stacking Rings:  Monica Vinader
My tangerine bespoke Lined Notebook (from RRP. £55.00): Noble Macmillan
My Chinti and Parker Star Sweater (RRP. £350.00) and Jerome Dreyfus Igor Bag (RRP. £490.00) both available at Iris Fashion Boutique