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

L.K. Bennett's SS'15 'Inspiring Women' Campaign

When I previously imagined British high L.K. Bennett, I had images of the Duchess of Cambridge in her tan wedges and various shift dresses, in sorbet hues, worn by women (in my opinion) who look far too young to be in them.  HOWEVER, when I recently appeared in L.K. Bennett’s digital ‘Inspiring Women’ campaign (such an honour, although not necessarily deserved!) styled by L.K. Bennett ambassador, and general cool cat,  Alex Meyers,  I realised just how much more there was to this veritable treasure trove of fabulous, bright and accessible pieces I immediately felt I could incorporate into my often quite quirky wardrobe.  Their collection of feminine ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags and accessories really do have something for everyone; from the demure to the stand out, but all equally elegant. I’m thrilled to have taken part in this campaign and really excited to have some gorgeous new L.K. Bennett pieces to wear this summer.  I recommend you also take a look ladies (especially at the Giselle heels - swoooooon!)

Following on from the success of last year’s collaboration with Caroline Issa, L.K. Bennett has teamed up with the effortlessly and eclectically stylish Laura Bailey.  I went to the launch of the model’s Capri-insired, 11 piece, vibrant collection wearing, and in an attempt to Bring Sexy Flat, I wore the pair of Anna flats I had worn in my photo shoot earlier that week –  I totally love them and they have become a real SS'15 staple of mine! Below are my favourite pieces from the collection…

Hair by Neville Hair and Beauty (5 Pont Street, Belgravia, SW1) 

TLC Vacation: The Peninsula Paris

When I was young, growing up in Africa, I dreamed of Paris.  Nothing much has changed, as my ever-increasing collection of Breton striped tee’s, daily use of red lipstick and a flat peppered with French objet d’art will attest to (I have an actual Eiffel Tower shaped lamp made from an old olive oil bottle I’m particularly proud of!)  In short, I regularly imagine that I actually am un petit French fille and subsequently have supremely high expectations of Paris and visit there with extreme caution to avoid any disappointment.  You can therefore only imagine how quickly I said OUI when I was asked to travel first class on the Eurostar and stay at the Peninsula Paris for two nights. 

Above:  Distracting myself from my overwhelmingly naked passport with a handful of magazines (does EVERY blogger apart from me have a monogrammed Louis Vuitton passport cover?!)

After a 4 year, £341 MILLION makeover, the five-star Peninsula Paris, the first Peninsula in Europe, swung its gloriously immaculate doors open at the end of last year.  The original building, which dates back to 1908, is steeped in artistic and political history, with George Gershwin penning ‘An American in Paris’ within its walls in 1928 to housing the Nazi military command whilst Paris was occupied during WW2.  Located across an entire block near to the Arc de Triomph and Champs Elysees, the hotel now boasts 200 suites (starting at £800 a night), 34 suites, a penthouse suite with its own lavish rooftop garden (a mere £20,000 a night), an underground spa and 20m swimming pool, 600 incredible staff and a fleet of BMWs, Mini Coopers and two Rolls-Royces.  Yes. I was also wondering how I managed to bluff my way past their uniformed bell boys and polished, marbled lobby (Shhhhhhsh... I won’t tell if you don't!) 

After a delicious lunch (above) at the aviation-themed L’Oiseau Bleu, one of the hotel’s six bars and restaurants, named after an early French biplane and with 360˚ views of Paris, I made my way to my room.  And by room, I mean basic apartment.  Just as immaculate and glossy as the rest of the hotel, my suite had everything I could possibly need, dream of and even more.  From a Nespresso machine, to a hidden printer, a nail-varnish dryer in my dressing room (I’m not even kidding), a television in the bath tub (I had four square-eyed baths during my short stay), Oscar de la Renta amenities, and a state-of-the-art, touchscreen tablet which controlled the lighting, heating, curtains, TV and room service (dangerous!) There were complimentary international calls, a complimentary mini-bar (helllooooo!) and after an immensely busy few weeks collapsing into my giant, sumptuous bed for an afternoon disco-nap was totally dreamy.  

That evening, after cocktails in Bar ‘s randomly brilliant outdoor cabin, I dined at their increasingly famous Cantonese restaurant, LiLi.  The rich interior was inspired by the drama of Chinese and French opera and the food, although not the place I would advise a strict vegetarian to go, is prepared by the fantastic, award-winning Hong Kong chefs in their own impressive Chinese kitchen within the hotel. 

Above:  By the striking ‘Dancing Leaves’ installation consisting of 800 hand-blown twinkling crystals leaves in the hotel’s main lobby.  It really is a truly beautiful sight, especially at night. 

After yet another bath and another (far longer) sleep, the next morning entailed breakfast in the stunning, Belle Epoque’esq Lobby Kléber, where we also later sampled a traditional and spoiling Japanese tea to coincide with Japanese Spring.  After one (ok, two) sugary ‘mini’ kouglofs by the hotel’s award winning pastry chef, I went to a chocolate workshop in the impressive kitchens.  My diet when left unsupervised… WOW.  There was a real moment I actually anticipated rolling back to London…     

So frequently on work trips you are so busy running around the city, you are almost unable to enjoy the amazing room you are staying in.  After a couple of super brief spells into town (I say 'super brief' as the weather was super chilly and super wet!) I luckily, after the most relaxing and revitalising hour long, hot–stone ESPA massage in the hotel’s enormous, 1800 sq m spa, and a short spell in the relaxation room, I was able to retire to my suite for an evening of room service, movies and sleeeeeeeep.  After an incredible lie-in, followed by EVEN MORE room-service the next morning (this couldn’t have been more heavenly!) I enjoyed one last delicious lunch with the team.  I felt truly refreshed by the time I headed back to London.  

Thank you to The Peninsula Paris Hotel and Eurostar.


(Click on the items below for their direct links)


There is being invited to celebrate the EE BAFTAs, and then there is being asked to celebrate the EE BAFTAS with CÎROC, the well-known (and I freely admit, well loved by me!) vodka brand!   Knowing that delicious CÎROC cocktails would be a’flowing provided new levels of theatrical appreciation... January, with all it’s associated detoxing and sombre behaviour, was truly about to end, and not a minute too soon! 

Wearing a dream of a Matthew Williamson cocktail dress, with Malone Soulier shoes, a Natalie Trad clutch and Monica Vinader Baja jewellery, I headed to the STUNNING Berners Tavern, alongside Ella Catliff (La Petite Anglaise), designer Charlie May and Doina Ciobanu (The Golden Diamonds). Ella and I had not planned on being feathery, sequined sisters that night (above), but fully embraced the sparkling situation (obviously read that as, 'took lots of sparkly selfies together!') 

After a delicious meal, which was peppered with regular and exciting updates from the ceremony (#TeamEddie!), I decided that éclairs were due a massive come back... Soz macaroons.

We then headed to Grosvenor House for the official EE BAFTA after-party (no one approves more of shaking their tail feathers on a Sunday than me... especially if those tail feathers happen to be Matthew Williamson!) and several hours/CÎROC cocktails/trips to the photo booth later we eventually called it a night.

Thank you CÎROC!  For a full list of winners see HERE


The next day I poured over the red carpet fashion from the night before and quickly decided that there was undeniably one stand out look… French actress Lea Seydoux, the latest Bond Girl, shone brightly in her sunshine marigold Prada gown (below). Just... WOW!

Special mentions definitely go to a glowing Keira Knightley in Giamnattista Valli, Laura Bailey in her high neck and full skirted Emilia Wickstead dress and to Julianne Moore, who looked red hot in Tom Ford

'Alice in her Palace' at Fortnum and Mason

Last week, society sweetheart Alice Naylor-Leyland launched her lifestyle and fashion blog, Alice in her Palace (named after the song her ‘hubbie’ wrote for her when she was just 18!) Fortnum and Mason’s elegant Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon was jam-packed with the blonde and the beautiful of London, including Poppy DelevingnePrincess Beatrice,Laura Bailey and artist Sophia Rogge.  The exquisite cakes and pastel macaroons were just as pretty as Alice’s guests, who amongst the sweet smelling Nikki Tibbles' Wild At Heart roses and anemones, topped up on pink bubbles and Flamingo Sours to an old school DJ set spun by Lady Mary Charteris.  Poppy teamed a J Brand leather jacket with a floral skirt and Bella Freud jumper, and Alice, well known for her ‘high street buys with runway style,’looked divine in a white lace dress. Truuuuuly scrumptious. 

Above:  With designer Kalita Swaidi wearing a Topshop floral jumpsuit and clutch, with Zara heels. I'm LOVING Kalita's Meli Melo initialed Bon Bon Bag (RRP. £390.00).

British Fashion Awards 2013

Celebrating their quarter century, a whole bevy of British beauties descended upon theLondon Colliseum on Monday night for the much-anticipated 2013 British Fashion Awards.  What I love about the British fash pack, is that they never arrive at awards show looking too over done.  This year (with the exception of Rita Ora and Rosie Hunting-Whitely who perhaps tried a bit harder) the fashionistas arrived ready to let their dishevelled bed head hair down (rose-gold ombre hair in Sienna Miller’s case!) and wearing couture and designer gowns with the perfect nonchalance. These are some cool cats. 

Above: (Clockwise) L-R:  Kate Moss (in Alexander McQueen) and Rita Ora (in Vivienne Westwood), Alexa Chung in Stella McCartneyLaura Bailey (in Roksanda Ilincic) and Rosie Huntington-Whitely (in Antonio Beradi).

Above:  My favourite look of the night was 21 year old Suki Waterhouse who wore a plunging lilac lace Burberry dress, accessorized with a Smythson clutch and a Noor Fares dangling necklace.  The model wore her ash blonde hair in a scruffy up-do.

Amusingly, having scooped the last three British Style Awards herself, Alexa Chung passed the style baton on to none other than Harry Styles!  I wasn't entirely aware that it was fashion that ol'Harry was known best for... Perhaps that's what the kids are calling it these days.  In any event, the award obviously must now be retitled the British Styles Award?!  

Above (Clockwise L-R): Lily Donaldson (in Marc Jacobs), Harry Styles (in Saint Laurent byHedi Slimane), Sienna Miller (in Burberry), Model of the Year Edie Campbell (in Louis Vuitton) and Poppy Delevingne (in Emilia Wickstead).

Above: Kate Moss, synonymous with British style, received a special recognition award celebrating her success in the fashion industry.  Discovered at 14 years old and turning 40 next month, this does beg the question,  why did this take so long?!  Congrats KM!  


        Womenswear Designer of the Year - Christopher Kane
        Menswear Designer of the Year - Burberry
        International Designer of the Year - Miuccia Prada for Prada
        Designer Brand of the Year - Burberry
        Accessory Designer of the Year - Nicholas Kirkwood
        Emerging Womenswear Designer - Simone Rocha
        Emerging Menswear Designer - Agi & Sam
        New Establishment Designer - JW Anderson
        Model of the Year - Edie Campbell
        Red Carpet Award - Erdem
        Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator - Lady Amanda Harlech
        British Style Award brought to you by Vodafone (voted by the public) - Harry Styles
        Special Recognition Award - Kate Moss
        Special Recognition Award - Suzy Menkes
        Outstanding Achievement in Fashion - Terry and Tricia Jones, founders of i-D

Above (R-L):  Agi Mdumulla and Sam CottonSuzy Menkes OBELady Amanda Harlech,J.W. Anderson with model Arizona Muse, Simone Rocha and Tim Walker.

PFW: Chanel SS'14

Karl Lagerfeld’s transformed the stark, white-walled Grand Palais into an art gallery setting for his SS’14 Chanel collection during Paris Fashion Week.  As well as exhibiting several installations and sculptures, such as an awesome Chanel No 5 robot, artists including KandinskyPollockOldenberg and Duchamp also heavily influenced the ninety-odd designs that still managed to remain identifiably Chanel.  

The headphone’esq pearl bauble necklaces really caught my attention, as did the model’s themed, artistic eye make up.  The  monochrome socked patent court shoes(below) were almost certainly chic on the day, but the practicality of this footwear is clearly questionable!  Right... I'm off to buy a peroxide wig. 

Below (L-R) Clockwise:  I do sooo love a Chanel FROW!!  Lou DillonVanessa ParadisPoppy DelevigneLeigh LezarkLaura Bailey and Caroline Sieber

Alexa Chung's 'IT' Launch

Model, presenter, DJ and now WRITER, Alexa Chung (right) wore a stunning, off-the-shoulder lace Carven SS’14 dress to her book launch and signing at Liberty London last night.

Having said categorically before the book’s release that ‘It’ would not be a style bible or an autobiography, the book shares with us her musings on life, love and music, and through words, illustrations and photographs, explains how she became Britain’s favourite ‘It Girl,’ a term Rudyard Kipling invented in his 1904 story Mrs Bathurst (“It isn’t beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It’s just ‘It’.”)

Below: Daisy Lowe and Laura Bailey (wearing a beautiful Roskanda Ilincic AW’13 dress) alongside Pixie Geldof and Nick Grimshaw, turned out to support their friend.

"I wrote it because I was bored and wanted to create something alongside hosting television shows," Alexa admits. "I wanted an extra project to focus on and it was a good excuse to reflect on the last few years and rummage through some long lost photo albums."

The Evening Standard scathingly reviewed the book as ‘one great big enhanced selfie.’  Judge me as you wish, but as a loyal Alexa Chung Instagram follower I just don’t see that as a bad thing?!  I can’t wait to get my copy!

'It' by Alexa Chung - RRP. £16.99

PFW - Chanel SS'13

‘Fashion Month’ always ends on a high in Paris with the iconic French fashion houses in competition to put on the most memorable of shows.  Chanel was never going to disappoint. Karl Lagerfeld had models parade his SS’13 Chanel collection along a wind turbine and solar panel lined runway in the cavernous hall of the Grand Palais.  Playing with this concept of wind and energy, the collection was, as Lagerfeld explained, “all about volume and lightness, because usually volume and lightness don’t go together.” 

Left:  Karl Lagerfeld in THAT shirt and THAT tie. A huge difference to usual monochromatic style.

Below:  The towering wind turbines. “Energy is the most important thing in life,”  Karl Lagerfeld told reporters backstage after the show.

The collection reflected the traditional heritage of the label and the elegance of Coco Chanel, particularly reflected in the tweed and pearl embellishment but with a distinctly modern aesthetic.  I really enjoyed seeing the cocoon cuts and bell sleeves which provided a relaxed feel amongst the summery, neutral colour palate that was chosen. 
Below and Left:  Before this model had even left the catwalk this hoola-hoop style handbag had caused a veritable storm on the Twittersphere.  I can't imagine this being the easiest of bags to manipulate whilst shopping, dancing or on the tube?!  I cannot wait to see who is seen out and about next summer with this particular piece of arm/shoulder candy! 

Above and Below:  Oversized pearls embellished a huge proportion of the Chanel SS'13 collection, with many of the models also wearing pearl chokers around their necks and pearl clusters around their wrists, and they all wore a single pearl in their ponytails. 

Below:  My favourite piece from the collection - the movement in this dress was gorgeous.

Below:  The beautiful Chanel-clad FROW (L-R)  Stylist (and fashion favourite of mine) Caroline Sieber, model Laura Bailey, DJ Leigh Lezark and model Poppy Delevigne.

Vogue's Fashion Night Out, London 06/09/12

Fashion’s Night Out was initially created by Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America as a way of encouraging fashionistas to hit the shops as the economic downfall kicked in. For real fashion lovers this day has become like Christmas… Well, if the North Pole were Bond Street, stockings were made by Mulberry and Santa was Alexa Chung...

Now on it’s 4th year, this global phenomenon (with events also taking place in Manhattan, Milan, Atlanta, etc) saw London’s biggest luxury stores throw open their doors after hours, inviting us all in to celebrate and shop with a glass of bubbly.  The whole evening felt like a stylish carnival, with live music blaring, show stopping outfits and fashion-friendly food from a Missoni ice-cream van, a Dak’s popcorn stall and a Hotel Chocolat pop up (apparently fashionistas and models will eat junk food – if its designer.)

I began my evening in Covent Garden where I visited the newly launched Ruby Ralph Lauren shop on King Street, the first to open in Europe.  The shop has such a fun and vibrant energy to it that I immediately got into the spirit of the night, having my pictures taken (below) holding their skull and crossbones tote and listening to great music spun by the gorgeous DJ Izzy Lawrence (above) wearing head to toe Rugby Ralph Lauren.

Next stop was the jam packed, unusually pedestrianised, Bond Street to visit Joseph where a dapper, suited and booted Henry Holland (below, in House of Holland) headed up a fashion Bingo competition.  The prizes were incredible and the cocktails were a plenty.

The epicentre of this most stylish of street parties was undeniably at Mulberry, where Vogue’s Alex Shulman and Mulberry’s Emma Hill held the official Fashion’s Night Out soirée. With goody bags, prizes, live music and a healthy dose of celebrites and designers (including Matthew Williamson, Roland Mouret, Laura Bailey and Daisy Lowe) queues to get in the shop were lengthy… to put it mildly!  Below (L-R): Joseph's Alex Eagle and her ah-mah-zing Nicholas Kirkwood shoes, and with my girlfriends Jessica, Emma and Lauren.

The official Vogue's 2012 Fashion's Night Out cotton T’shirt (top, worn by Edie Campbell) designed by London-based designer Jonathan Saunders in collaboration with The Gap, sold out at the Condé Nast Worldwide store in less than an hour.  The limited edition piece is now only available for you to own if you subscribe to Vogue (£19.99 for 10 issues) here.