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…

24 Hours in Mykonos with Figleaves

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I was really excited to be invited to Mykonos a few months ago by Figleaves to get a sneak preview of their gorgeous Spring/Summer’18 collection, which has recently hit their digital shelves. 

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I’d never visited the idyllic, white-washed Mykonos before, and over a whirlwind, bikini-filled 24 hours, I was able to really get a taste of both the glamour and simplicity of the Greek island. 

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In the morning I explored the island’s capital, Chora, which gave me the opportunity to wear some of Figleaves’ new beachwear around all the narrow and winding, labyrinth-style streets.  Picturesque, and quaint, there are endless little souvenir and handicraft shops to peruse, and cafes to drop into, as you wander around the bougainvillea scattered narrow and winding, labyrinth-style streets.  

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No trip to Mykonos would be complete without visiting the iconic windmills which overlook the sea, dating back to the 16th Century. 

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Above: Wearing the Rowan 0ff The Shoulder Sundress (RRP. £38.00), also available in white

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I was quite overwhelmed by the amount of stray cats in Mykonos, either happily soaking up the sunshine, or merely looking to share your lunch. To adopt a stray from Mykonos or sponsor their fostering or sterilization efforts, please contact Mykonos Animal Welfare. 

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In the afternoon, I headed to the Alemangou Mykonos, a boho haven on MykonosFtelia Beach. The rocky landscape, golden sand and crystal Aegean seawater made for the perfect location to shoot some of the latest Figleaves swimwear.  My favourite piece from the new collection was the Surf Shore Soft High Neck Tummy Control Swimsuit (below, RRP. £45.00), which was an unusually sporty choice for me, but I loved its high neck and unique mesh detailing. 

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I have always wrongly thought that Figleaves only catered for the more curvier figures, but I was so thrilled to realise that they have copious, sun-sational (couldn’t resist) fits for every shape and size, allowing us all to feel both supported and stylish this summer, whether poolside or at the beach.

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Above:  How pretty is this Margarita Frill Triangle Soft Bikini?!  I prefer non-wired bikinis, and being not adverse to the odd frill or two, this bikini top (RRP. £20.00) was an immediate, 'add to bag!' 

Below:  A few other favourites from Figleaves that I have my beady little eyes on for this Summer; The Secret Garden Soft Cut Out Swimsuit (RRP. £45.00), the Tulum Tassel Kaftan
(RRP. £45.00) and the Frida Underwired Bandeau Swimsuit (RRP. £50.00).

Here is a little video of my whirlwind 24 hours in Mykonos...

TLC ON TOUR... MYKONOS SUITCASE:
(Click on the items below for their direct links)

In collaboration with Figleaves

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

TLC Vacation: Los Angeles with Ingrid Goes West

To celebrate the DVD and digital release of ‘Ingrid Goes West,’ Matt Spicer’s dark comedy that satirises the modern world of social media, I was invited by Universal Pictures UK to visit some of the film’s featured hot spots, arguably some of the city’s most Instagrammable sites. 

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The film follows the journey of Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) who with an unhinged history of mistaking ‘likes’ for meaningful relationships, moves to Los Angeles in an effort to stalk down and befriend her Instagram idol, Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen.) What has been called the ‘Single White Female’ of the social media age, this film is brilliantly topical, and frequently makes for some super uncomfortable viewing (especially for those of us heavily involved in using social media… EEK!)

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Aubrey and Elizabeth aside, however, another shining star of this film is undoubtedly its location… LOS ANGELES. I’ve been really lucky to spend time out in LA over the years, even moving there for a few months to work with some producers when I was younger.  It’s ridiculously spread out, but each differing area has its own remarkable character and almost pre-filtered aesthetic, and having an opportunity to explore some of these places once more, as well as smugly missing the arrival of ‘The Beast from the East,’ seemed too good to be true. 

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I mean, I can’t tell you how jammy I felt to be taking off in a roomy Norwegian Air Premium seat and heading for the California sunshine, just as the first snow was beginning to fall upon the runway in my wake… #SorryNotSorry!

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I spent two nights at The Kinney, a beyond colourful and quirky hotel at the heart of Venice Beach (where the oh-so-Boho Taylor Sloane lives, no less!) enjoying both a delicious dinner on the candlelit Gjelina patio (is there a better, more comforting cure for jet lag than pizza and red wine?!) and a sunny breakfast (with avocado, natch…) and much needed giant coffees at The Rose Café which set us up happily for all our sightseeing… iPhones at the ready.  

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After popping into Clare V’s (the boutique Ingrid first meets Taylor) I had my my hair tousled by the lovely peeps at The Hive in Silverlake (no blonde Taylor make-over for me, this time!) I then, eyes on stalks, visited some key Instagram locations across the city, including the much-photographed Love Heart Staircase and the infamously pink Paul Smith Wall, with lunch at the Carrera Café, and dinner at Ostrich Farm in Echo Park, yet another aspirational filming location. 

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With my camera roll almost as full as my stomach, we then set off on a road trip, just like the girls do in the film, for an afternoon in Palm Springs and a night in Joshua Tree.

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I stayed at the Parker Palm Springs a few years back, and it remains one of my favourite hotels, so to return for a mouth-watering lunch at Norma’s (shrimp tacos, always) was a serious highlight. Originally a Holiday Inn, this mid-century mansion has been transformed by the famously eccentric designer Jonathan Adler, who’s iconic pottery I am a keen collector of. The hotel is a perfect balance of extraordinary and chic, and you’re unlikely to have seen anything like it.

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A visit to the Moorten Botanical Gardens followed lunch, a garden designed by Slim and Patricia Moorten in the 1930’s, which now boasts over 3000 examples of desert cacti and other desert plants, and has become a real Palm Springs destination.  

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Our next stop was a tour around the Palm Spring’s Art Museum, where brilliantly, our visit had happily coincided with their Andy Warhol retrospective. As if my senses were not on over drive enough, it was a total pleasure to see more than 250 of this artist’s works from over four decades, in person - the pop art in particular.   

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After an early dinner at The King’s Highway Diner at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs (shrimp tacos on repeat, this time with Frozen Piña Coladas… Next level, just sayin’!) we headed into the desert darkness.

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The Pioneertown Motel, a must-stay when exploring the Yucca Valley. The motel is rustic, and straight out of a film set, which is of course in keeping with the real life, actual Hollywood western film set that lies on its doorstep! The rooms are simple and stripped back, and if you are comfortable with the lack of light pollution, and abundance of cool desert air, a good night’s sleep is guaranteed.

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Sadly we arrived at the motel on one of the two nights a week where neighbouring bar and renown rockstar/cowboy/rock climber hangout, Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneer Town Palace was closed! This, coupled with having to set off early the next morning, rendering us unable to explore the film set, has left me with valid reasons to justify a return one day…

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After a stack of Cross Road’s Café pancakes (next to some dubious taxidermy), we headed towards Joshua Tree National Park, where my boyfriend had visited to rock climb only a fortnight before. With 8000 climbing routes and 2000 boulder problems, the epic landscape, fascinating variety of plants and rare opportunities to sleep under the stars, have all created a truly world-class climbing destination… Oh, and the perfect Instagram location…!  As demonstrated by Taylor and an eager Ingrid in the film, we also had our moment to capture some Coachella vibe #OOTD’s amongst the yucca trees...

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There are also some vintage stores, such as ‘The End,’ worth dropping in on before leaving Joshua Tree.  Despite not finding my dream cowboy boots, I did find a vintage Italian umbrella which was too adorable not to take with me on the road. 

With Downtown LA (‘DTLA,’ for those in the know) mid-way through a real rebirth, with exciting restaurants, galleries, and hotels opening throughout, its currently a really great, buzzing place to stay, and after all that dust, and travelling, it was pretty euphoric to walk into my beyond spacious, and achingly cool studio suite at The Ace Hotel.  With a roll top bath, record player, a guitar and water provided in cardboard boxes, I became hipster by default. Cool. 

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The next morning, after one giant lie-in (and hangover), armed with green juice, we hiked to the Hollywood Sign. Kidding, we took an Uber...

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After obligatory photographs were taken, a spoiling lunch (of, you guessed it, shrimp tacos) at The Ivy Restaurant in West Hollywood ensued. Totally sceney, and totally worth hustling your way into for the eclectic décor and people watching-alone, but I can also thoroughly recommend the Key Lime Pie! 

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Here is a little video of these fabulous few days in LA...

TLC ON TOUR... LOS ANGELES SUITCASE:
(Click on the items below for their direct links)

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In collaboration with Universal Pictures (UK), Discover LA and Greater Palm Springs CVB, with thanks to Norweigan Air.

Photography: Myself and Erin Wyatt.

Nails: Sophie Gass.

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Winter Ready with Clarks

This season Clarks has our feet covered… Literally.  With the chillier weather swooping in (my tights were brought back out of their summer slumber only yesterday), this well-known brand has launched a plethora of boots for us to stylishly tackle the winter months in.

There are many new styles available but I decided to road test the new Carleta Lyon Boots in my neighbourhood.  Although available in darker, more wintery hues (navy, black and khaki) I thought I would ease my way into the cool with a tan suede pair, clinging onto the daylight and last rays of sun whilst I can!

As the song goes, these boots were made for walking (unlike most of my shoes which were definitely made for Uber!) The heel height is totally bearable, and my feet were the happiest they’ve been since before Fashion Week and its subsequent hobbling.

“Are you ready boots? Start walking…”

Shop TLC's Look

Photography: Ella Sadika

Hair and Makeup: Secret Spa

Nails: Sophie Gass

In Collaboration with Clarks

Credit Buy: Cobra Society Najet Loafers

All of Cobra Society’s footwear is inspired by New York-based Alex Davis’s love of travel and all her designs have a wonderfully exotic appeal.  The brand’s signature Kilim fabric Najet Loafers, hand-woven by artisans in Morocco, are the perfect flat shoes to be wearing now that the sunshine is finally out and about in London-town. 

These vibrant and tribal beauties are pretty, well structured and sophisticated.  Perfect for running to and from meetings, I am currently loving welcoming my ankles back from their wooly hibernation, wearing my Peach Tapestry Najets  (RRP. £ 170.00) with skinny jeans.