Hello There: Farleigh io

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Given our acute awareness of how the linear fashion model of buying, wearing and quickly discarding clothes so negatively impacts both people and planet, there is an increased demand from customers for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. I for one, am really making a more conscious effort to buy from, and champion ethical and sustainable British designers, and one such brand that has recently come on to my radar, happily just in time for the summer, is Farleigh io, and their stunning ready-to-wear collection of hand-drawn printed mini’s and maxi dresses.

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Created for free-spirited women of all ages and sizes, each of Farleigh io’s ethically made, romantic designs look just as great with heels or wedges at a wedding, as they do with a pair of Veja trainers at a festival.

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Brilliantly, Farleigh io doesn’t believe in large seasonal drops, instead choosing to slowly add one new design to her beautiful collection each month, with the aim of you treasuring that considered purchase for a long time. The dresses are not only brought to life by local London seamstresses and pattern printers, but also, for every design sold, a tree is planted in Zambia to help offset any carbon emissions made during its creation… Aaaaall the wonderful sunshine feels!

Wear With…

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Wearing: Farleigh io’s Hazel Dress

Featuring: Puffin the Pup

OOTD: 08.05.19

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We had such high hopes after that scorcher of a Bank Holiday last month, but annoyingly, ever since, my newly packed away winter clothes are one by one returning at pace, and I’ve intermittently had the heating back on! HOWEVER, these gloomy mornings and random downpours shall not rain on my parade or ruin my lewwwk – mainly thanks to this ALEXACHUNG vinyl hooded trench coat.

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Waterproofing and insulation aside, I love the pale blue colour of this trench, which can be worn over separates or even styled as a dress (like it was on the runway), and it has a real retro feel to it, which I love.

I paired the trench with a Maje snake print mini skirt (I know, I’m usually a leopard lass through and through, but this chic skirt unsurprisingly slithered its way happily into my wardrobe), a sky-blue Jacquemus ribbed-knit top and some white ankle boots, the perfect transitional accompaniment for any season. This particular pair of much loved and worn boots are pretty old, but there are still some great options available, and I will pop some of my favourite alternatives below. I also recently discovered Sarah and Sebastian, ethical jewellers from Sydney, and I love their gorgeously delicate gold vermeil, petal-shaped Rosa pendants.

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SHOP TLC’S LOOK…

And now, EVERYBODY…

Earth Day 2019

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We are amidst the largest period of species extinction in the last 60 million years. Shocking, in the last 50 years alone, the populations of all mammals, birds, reptiles and fish have fallen by an average of 60%…

With today being Earth Day, I thought I might talk a little more about some of my long legged friends back in Kenya. What many people don’t know, is that the wild animals living around the Safari Collection’s famous Giraffe Manor hotel are part of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife’s vital breeding programme for the Rothschild Giraffe, one of the three sub-species of giraffe found in Kenya. All nine sub-species of giraffe across Africa are fighting a ‘silent extinction,’ being overshadowed in the press by other endangered animals. There are approx 500,000 wild elephant left in Africa for instance, whilst there are only 90,000 giraffe!!!! I was so shocked and saddened to hear this statistic. Similar to elephant, giraffe populations have suffered dramatically from illegal hunting, habitat loss and human/wildlife conflict, and the Rothschild, in particular, have really struggled.

However, due in big part to the amazing work of the AFEW, the Rothschild population in Kenya has increased from 80 to 800 individuals in the last 30 years, with 50 of those giraffe being the babies of breeding pairs reintroduced back into the wild from the Manor’s neighbouring Giraffe Centre. My heart hurts at the thought of a world without these beautiful long lashed and even longer legged giants, and the moments spent with them are never lost on me

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“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make...” Dr. Jane Goodall.

In my opinion, every damn day should be Earth Day... 🌍 #ExtinctionIsForever

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TLC Staycation: Soho Farmhouse with The Outnet

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I have just returned from a glamorous night away from London with The Outnet at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire. I’ve wanted to stay there for ages - and WHAT an evening to have gone and seen it in all its sunset glory! WowWowWeeWow! After some afternoon yoga, and a spoiling Cowshed pedicure, we donned out finest frocks from The Outnet (I wore the Kelly green Moya Twill midi dress from Emilia Wickstead) and headed for a decadent dinner in one of the Farmhouse barns…

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One of the best parts of my job, is the time I get to spend with such brilliantly unique and interesting women, many of whom have become wonderful and supportive friends who I can laugh till I cry with (or at times, vice versa!) This wonderfully fun, and Picante de la Casa fuelled, evening with these major bombshells (all also dressed head to toe by The Outnet, naturally!) was such a great start to my 2019.

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I always loved me a blue eyed boy (and a scrunchie!) As well as making this necessary hair accessory purchase at Alex Eagle’s beautifully curated concept shop, The Store, I also spied these gorgeous china trinket pots by London-based artist Fee Greening… BUT WHICH ONE SHOULD I GET?!

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Shop TLC’s Look…

#OOTD: 28.11.18

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I fell for East London based brand Mother of Pearl hard over Fashion Week this season, not only because of their renown sustainable credentials, but also because this pyjama/jogger trouser/pearl lined shirt combo struck the perfect balance between casual and luxury – my sartorial happy place!

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“I have a vision to make products that travel the minimum amount of miles, using the minimum amount of chemicals possible, and are socially responsible and organic,” says Amy Powney, Mother of Pearl’s creative director. Using only cotton and wool from ethical production methods (including minimised water consumption and zero toxins) Mother of Pearl’s feminine ruffles, use of faux pearl detailing and cooler than cool masculine silhouettes are well worth having on your radar (and in your wardrobe.)

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Shop TLC’s Look…

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Black Friday with Farfetch

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Wave ya hands in the air like ya… KNOW BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING…!

As your email inbox miiiiight be alerting you, Black Friday is heading straight towards us, with discounts too good to ignore. Whilst this bargain-heavy day can be enjoyed online, your digital elbows need to be just as ready, so preparation is KEY, people!

On Friday morning I intend to be hopping straight on the Farfetch website, as not only do they sell all the top designer pieces each season, they also sell gorgeous clothing and accessories from an unparalleled number of emerging designers. On a day I can feel a little less guilty for treating myself, I plan on investing in a little summin’ summin’ from one of these new designers that you’ve probably seen all over your favourite Instagram accounts this year.

I’ve had my eye on this cherry’licious and watermelon bag for the last few months. Each one of Susan Alexandra’s whimsical bags take six weeks for designer Susan Korn and her team to make in New York’s Chinatown, with each one consisting of between 300 - 1500 beads each. I feel they would be tantamount to carrying around pieces of pure sunshine. Shop Cherry Bag Here / Shop Watermelon Bag Here.

Despite only being founded in 2016, By Far already boasts a huge celebrity following. The brand’s contemporary and hard-wearing designs are handmade in a family-run factory in Bulgaria, and these winter white and lizard brick red ankle boots, made with sustainable Italian leather, will go with evvvverything, all year round. Shop White Boots Here / Shop Brick Red Boots Here.

Miaou, pronounced ‘Meow,’ create the most distinctive denim, and for a loud and proud, crazy cat lady like myself, these cropped leopard print jeans would be purrrrfect for any season. If you feel you need to roar a little louder, pair your jeans with the matching jacket. Shop Jeans Here / Shop Jacket Here.

I already own one Vampire’s Wife dress, and nothing makes me feel more regal, feminine or glamorous. The label is the brainchild of English model Susie Bick, taking its name from her husband’s abandoned book project. Taking this season’s trend for corduroy to the next level, these dresses with their ruffle trimmings are total classic, day to night investments. Shop Navy Dress Here / Shop Brown Dress Here.

I fell hook, line and sinker for London-based, Korean-born designer Rejina Pyo at her first ever London Fashion Week show, and each season her unique silhouettes are always at the top of my wish list. I can’t decide what I love more, this brown, grey and orange print wool duffle coat with its oversized collar and adorable toggle fastenings, or her blue Olivia leather box bag?! Mind you, the two would go terribly well together... And remember, when it comes to Black Friday, it’s not what you spend, it’s what you saaaave ;) Shop Coat Here / Shop Bag Here.

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Photography: Joseph Galvin, Dress: Karen Millen, Hair: Taylor Taylor London

Trend: Trench Coats

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After the most SCORCHIO of British Summers that I can remember, I can’t say I’m not a little relieved to hanging up my slightly weathered rosé hat. During this sweet spot between balmy and baltic, it was with total Autumnal anticipation I reached for my favourite trench.

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I think we all can agree that the timeless trench coat is one of those key inter-seasonal layers that everyone needs.  Possessing all the Audrey vibes one could hope for in a trench, this wee Marks and Spencer's number I got last season is set to work just as hard this year, as it did the last…  And that’s the thing with trenches, they just never go out of style.

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Although this balloon-sleeved beauty is sadly no longer in stock, Marks and Spencer have just launched their new style, an affordable Trench Coat made from sustainably sourced materials, which uses clever clogs Stormwear™ technology, increasing your protection against wind and rain (remember those ol'things?!)  Chic AND practical - WE LIKE! 

Another goodie I've spotted which won't be hanging around on their digital shelves for long is Rejina Pyo's love-and-wear-forever Double Breasted Belted Trench Coat from her second collaboration with Label/Mix. Rising fashion-star Rejina Pyo's show during London Fashion Week has become one I really look forward to, and being able to purchase some of her striking designs with their signature sculptural buttons, more affordably than her mainline layers, gives me such a sweet fashwunnnn high. 

Lastly, the other trench that understandably caught my eye was Gabriella Hearst's statement Armonia Coat that debuted on her Fall '18 runway.  With its wool and cashmere-blend, this style is considerably more expensive, but as they say, a trench is for life, not just this Autumn.  Ok, 'they' don't say this - but I just did, and I feel it works, so let's go with it...

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Shop TLC's Look...

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Photography: Joseph Galvin

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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Loewe x Elephant Crises Fund

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Spanish fashion house Loewe has teamed up with Knot On My Planet's global ambassador Doutzen Kroes and Save The Elephants in the fight against the ivory trade, a cause very close to my heart.

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100% of the profits from the Loewe's limited-edition Mini Elephant Bag (above), adorned with handcrafted beadwork by the fabulously skilled mamas from the Samburu Warrior Trust based at Kenya’s Ol Malo (one of my favourite places to stay on earth), will be donated to the Elephant Crises Fund and the conservation initiatives they support. 

Left:  During one of my beautiful stays at Ol Malo, a family ranch and game sanctuary in Laikipia, the heartland of the Samburu tribe.  Whilst there the mamas colourfully beaded my ankles. This specialised craft has given the female elders a viable workflow to help sustain their families.

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Did you know that elephants are deeply emotional and intelligent animals with strong family bonds that last their 70-year lifespans? Or that without elephants, natural ecosystems can quickly fall into disrepair, creating further food insecurity for local human communities?  Trust me, with a wild elephant killed every 15 minutes across Africa, a designer handbag has never felt like more of a crucial investment.  Shop HERE

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Making it Personal with Links of London

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I’m not sure if there was something in the water last year, but I’ve had a recent rush of the most gorgeous god-children and other miniature cuties appear in my life!  Deciding what to buy them to celebrate their arrivals has been so much fun, and alongside an obligatory Sophie la Girafe, I decided to give them all some of their very own engraved treasure to welcome them into the world. 

I headed straight to Links of London, knowing they not only have a renowned selection of covetable, yet affordable, jewellery, but they also generously offer complimentary engraving.  From pens to pendants, watches and tie bars, Links of London is filled with copious amounts of personalised giftspiration and I was spoilt for choice.  

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For the boys, I decided to get sterling silver cufflinks with their initials (can we take a moment to appreciate that I have a god-son called Lukas Axel… #FutureRockstar #JusSayin…) and for the girls I got gorgeous sterling silver and 18kt gold heart-shaped disc charms engraved with their names.  These hearts can be added to charm bracelets or worn alone on a necklace, and although these gifts might not be ones the children can immediately enjoy, they will feel all the more special and sentimental once they can. 

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The pieces of jewellery I hold most dear are always completely unique to me, engraved with my name, or of those closest to me, personalised with meaningful dates, lyrics or sweet, ‘in joke’ phrases.  These pieces instantly become heirlooms, and the reason why I tend to veer towards this idea for presents for others, and ermmm, myself.  What?!  You didn’t think I was going to leave myself out of this equation, did you?!  Do you not know me at all by now?! 

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With my sister living in New York, my mother living in Kenya, and with me living in London, I thought I would engrave us some matching Links of London friendship bracelets with each of our initials engraved on the cord's toggle. How sweet?! 

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Now, purely for safety (slash, fashion) purposes, I decided I obviously needed to road test all three bracelets together... Which annoyingly, has now made me want more, as they are the perfect stacking bracelet...

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Fear not, friends, I managed to behave.  Both my mother’s engraved 18kt Rose Gold Vermeil & Taupe Cord Mini Friendship Bracelet, and my sister's engraved 18kt Yellow Gold Vermeil & Ruby Red Mini Friendship Bracelet, were both dutifully wrapped up and sent to each of their far-flung destinations! Severe brownie points all round. 

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Shop TLC's Look...

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In collaboration with Links of London
Photography: Joseph Galvin
Hair: Taylor Taylor London
Nails: Sophie Gass