Fake It Till You Make It with Weekday

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With summer on its merry way (we hope), we are now slowly beginning to see more sunny digital and printed campaigns released, all enticing us to make our new season purchases, so we too can be as happy and tanned as the models and celebrities featured.  The majority of these alluring Spring/Summer campaigns are obviously shot long ahead of time, during the British Winter, and shot at great expense in faraway, infinitely more exotic locations.

Founded in 2002, Weekday, a Swedish denim and fashion brand influenced by youth culture and street style, have decided to be humorously transparent when it comes to communicating their own sunglasses campaign this year.  Instead of flying to the other side of the world to capture the essence of summer, the Weekday marketing team decided to shoot their models under some bright lights, in front of some beachy backdrops. Just as the viewer is lured into the inauthentic summer vibe, the camera is pulled back to reveal the ‘truth in advertising;’ our Expectation vs. Reality.

Aside from Brexit, another hot topic which has caused in-depth discussion over the last year, is centred around the authenticity of the advertising we consume on a daily basis, especially via social media. The actuality, and the ‘behind the scenes,’ of pretty much every heavily filtered, perfectly poised picture we absorb on Instagram in particular, are far removed from what we are presented with, and as such, I found creating my own Expectation vs. Reality imagery in support of this Weekday campaign, really refreshing and relevant.

Amidst great friends in Los Angeles, surrounded by palm trees and booming music, I enjoying cocktails in the hottest sunshine, wearing slim lilac Weekday Cateye Sunglasses and some complimentary lilac Weekday cords and blouse – Such a smiley, memorable day…

Whereas, actually, I was standing outside a London pub, on a typically chilly day, alone.  At least I had my mixture of two fruit juices (Pina NOlada?!) and cheese and onion crisps… All the glamour, clearly, and not quite the summer-vibes I had led initially encouraged you to believe.

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Similarly, here I am in Cuba, enjoying some much-needed shade at an exotic fruit-stall, wearing my favourite Weekday Sail Cateye Sunglasses and Weekday swimsuit

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Which of course, then reveals me actually standing by a Ladbroke Grove London market stall, feeling wildly underdressed, and beyond nippy on yet another grey day… Well, you gotta’fake it, till you make it!

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In Partnership with Weekday and ShopStyle

Photography: Joseph Galvin

Hair: Taylor Taylor London

My Colour Consultation with Farrow and Ball

If you, like me, have ever felt totally overwhelmed by paint charts, spent far too much money and too much time testing various (and usually pretty identical) colours on your walls, ordered the wrong amounts, or just simply got the choices so completely wrong and had to end up repainting entirely… Then, breathe easy folks… Farrow and Ball have got you!

Having experienced the aforementioned paint frustrations more times than I wish to remember, I was determined that my boyfriend, whilst coming to the end of a long and tiring house renovation, was not to have this last and final hurdle be a stressful one.  Although we both had some ideas for what colours we thought might work on each floor and room (mine perhaps being the less subtle of preferences, unshockingly…) I suggested we get a Farrow and Ball in-home colour consultation to give us both some guidance and some peace of mind on this frequently daunting mission!

Walls:  Farrow and Ball Green Smoke , with  Strong White  skirting boards and doors. 
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Within one hour of Scott our colour consultant arriving at the house, during which time he speedily analysed both the structural detailing and lighting plan of the house, and listened patiently to our haphazard thoughts, he had brilliantly helped us devise an entire paint scheme to fit both the house and our lifestyle using some of the 132 beautifully rich Farrow and Ball shades.  

We decided on Farrow and Ball's Green Smoke for the hallway (above), using Strong White for the skirting boards and doors.  In a room that is used more as a walk way than a living space, you can afford to be a little bit more dramatic and daring with your choices.

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To compliment the Green Smoke, we chose Farrow and Ball's French Grey, which we moved into halfway up the stairwell at a natural divide, and then throughout the sitting room. This is a particularly calming colour, and it has a really chic feel to it.

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We decided on painting some of the kitchen cabinetry in Farrow and Ball's Smoke Green, which once more created a real synergy and flow between each floor.  

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Whether you're veering towards the subtle or the statement, the Farrow and Ball consultants understand the particular way each paint responds to light throughout the day, and which colours and textures combine to achieve the perfect, unique scheme for your home. 

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Scott's advice was decidedly helpful when deciding on the master bathroom colours, as the light changes so dramatically in there throughout the day. We chose Inchyra Blue for the cabinets, which is inspired by dramatic skies (much like the usual view from the bathroom window!) which when contrasted with Farrow and Ball's Cornforth White, a magically versatile grey'ish tone, and the bathroom's dark wooden floors and herringbone white marble, creates a wonderfully intimate space. 

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Following up from our consultation with Scott, we received a colour fan deck with our choices and the all-important quantities of paint required to complete each room. During a time when our minds were already pickled with light switch and cabinetry handle decisions (the last few months of last year were beyond rock'n'roll, can you tell?!), having this expert and invaluable help from Farrow and Ball, and being able to confidently make our paint order, took a huge weight of our shoulders, and is worth the investment many times over! 

Now, if only Farrow and Ball did carpet consulations…

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In collaboration with Farrow and Ball

Photography: Ella Sadika

Hair:  Taylor Taylor London

Nails:  Sophie Gass

OOTD: 21.02.18

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On rather a bleak, grey Sunday last week, I wore my Madeleine Thompson multi-coloured dream jumper (had there been a coat available, I would have been first in line) alongside some severely bright accessories, and instantly felt brighter. Now, I've never been shy of wearing colour, but there have been many studies that actually prove that a colourful wardrobe can improve one's health and boost one's mood.  Here comes the science bit… Certain colours trigger neurological responses in your brain, causing the hypothalamus gland to release HAPPY hormones.

If truth be told, I've been feeling pretty low since returning from Africa last month.  It's nothing unusual, it just always takes me a few weeks to readjust and get back in to the 'swing of things' after enjoying a lengthy time back home with friends and family in the sunshine. 

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Once upon a time, my friends and I HAD to have one of Madeleine Thompson's slouchy cashmere beanies, and now, fast-forward a few good years, we're all now hankering after her cult cashmere once more. This jumper honestly felt like a warm shield against the weather, and all my subsequent doom and gloom, especially when paired with some new slim leg Topshop dungarees, my new Big Gold Heart Blue Billie necklace, my favourite Tom Ford lipstick ('Spanish Pink'), and an afternoon of popcorn and old-school Hugh Grant in 'Notting Hill' with my buds Katherine and Haden.  

If you're resolutely attached to your neutrals and feeling a little colour-hesitant, start beating 'dem blues with some bright accessories… I can barely take a step in my new mustard Nike Air Force trainers from & Other Stories without someone asking me where they are from, and likewise, my favourite Mulberry handbag. 

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Kiki McDonough's Jemima Collection

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If there is one thing I share in common with London-based jeweller Kiki McDonough, aside from us both clearly being magpies, its our love of COLOUR. Kiki’s kaleidoscopic use of gemstones, coupled with her amazing eye for detail, result in the most stunning statement pieces you’ll triumphantly treasure for maaaaany years to come.  

With a father and grandfather both involved in the antique jewellery industry, jewellery design might have seemed an obvious route for Kiki McDonough to have taken. However, at this time, there were very few people designing everyday investment pieces, ones which could be worn everyday, and for any occasion.  Designing show-stopping yet wearable designs soon became Kiki’s aim, and this more modern view of jewellery, alongside her love of unique, bold colour combinations, soon placed Kiki at the forefront of British jewellery design, a pedestal where she has comfortably perched for over thirty years.  

The idea of wearing your most precious jewels, your ‘Sunday Best’ sparklers, on a random Tuesday, with jeans and a ‘just ‘cos’ attitude, appeals to me hugely.  Not to be too fatalistic, but given we never know what is just around the corner, why save the enjoyment of wearing our most beloved possessions for such rare occasions? I used to save certain dresses and shoes for special events, and now I basically do the washing up in ball gowns! Likewise, Kiki McDonough’s spectacular jewels are without doubt meant to be cherished, but they are also meant to be worn – and on all occasions!

The theme of this contemporary opulence has extended into Kiki McDonough’s latest Jemima Collection, designed in collaboration with their ambassador, Jemima Jones. Inspired by their mutual love of Rome, taking inspiration from the city’s beautiful architecture, culture, style and history, this collection is characterised by the the Ancient Roman’s everyday use of striking patterns and colourful gemstones.

Being able to adorn myself one afternoon in Kiki McDonough's striking Jemima Collection was beyond a pleasure! The designs comprise four chunky rings, six chain bracelets, six pairs of earrings, and nine pendants, all in beautifully contrasting and unique gemstone variations, including Lemon Quartz, Green Amethyst, Lavender Amethyst, Blue Topaz and White Topaz. There is definitely a style to suit everyone, but being the maximalist I am, I couldn’t just stop at just one… My initial response was to stack various combinations of these beauties all together, which I wore for a sunny afternoon wander about my Notting Hill neighbourhood, to Albert’s Club (below) later that evening, and for some very bleary eyed meetings the next day…!  The results were all equally as breath taking.

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Yes, these Kiki McDonough pieces do push the usual self-imposed spending boundaries of my ‘treat ‘yo’self’ guidelines (the Jemima Collection is upwards of £1900.00) but when you consider the amount of wear (and compliments) each piece will garner over the years, I feel decidedly more confident of recommending these investments.  So yeah, go on, treat yo’self (and me, please...?! Merci, mon cheri!)

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The Jemima Collection is available to buy online, and from Kiki McDonough’s flagship Chelsea shop.

In Collaboration with Kiki McDonough

Notting Hill Photographs:  Ella Sadika

South Kensington Photographs: Eva Salvi 

Hair:  Taylor Taylor London

Nails:  Sophie Gass

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(Click on the images for direct links)

A Spring in my Step with Temperley London

I have always loved Temperley London’s free-spirited aesthetics, in fact the first designer dress I ever bought myself (albeit when it hit the sale, with a staff discount added on top, back in my wee shop girl days!) was a sparkling Temperley cocktail dress.  The excitement of wearing one of Alice’s bohemian dresses or best selling, cooler than cool sequin jumpsuits never ends (or fails to turn the right heads!) and this season’s collection, inspired by dreamcatchers, is a vision.  Immaculately crafted with strikingly colourful prints and patterns, these pieces can easily take you from day to night, which was exactly what I was looking for when I attended my friend’s wedding in Chelsea last weekend.  

The Temperley London V-Neck Aura Dress beautifully encapsulates this time of year, with its bold thread work embroidery featuring flowers and the most gorgeous bees. With a dress like this you should keep all your accessories to a bare minimum; A good pair of Choos (the only skyscrapers I can comfortably stand for eight hours in) and a gorgeous draping of wisteria and you’re good to go, with a Spring in your step…

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TLC LOVES... Temperley London SS'17

Smythson's Kingly Collection

Smythson will take your ol'canvas bag and raise ya… Their new, light weight and butter-soft leather Kingly bags have launched and are fast making those now tatty canvas totes hanging in your kitchen quite redundant!  Easy to carry around and designed to be rolled and unfolded without losing its shape, this bag is my perfect, and most chic, handbag overflow solution! 

I always carry two bags; one large, one small.  During the day, whilst whizzing around London, the large bag carries my Rose Gold MacBook, Smythson 2017 Diary and umbrella, leaving room for that last minute 1/2 pint of milk, and some sort of unnecessary Portobello Market curiosity bought en route home.  The small cross-body carries the essentials I need quick access to; My orange Smythson's Mara Card Wallet which also holds my Oyster card, my iPhone 6 Plus, Lipstick (currently I’m pouting with Tom Ford's 'Bruised Plum'), mints and keys. If I go straight out after work, I check in the large bag and I'm all set with the small.  

Available in their signature Nile Blue, contemporary silver and classic black, you can even have your Kingly bag personalised with your name, or favourite motif... I went for a unicorn - how sweet?!

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Photography: Tommy Clarke

Hair: Clo & Flo

Nails: Sophie Gass

#OOTD: 28.11.16

In celebration of her tenth birthday, Donna Ida created the dungarees of my dreams; the Eliza’s!  Skinny, relaxed and in a coated plum jam colour (loves me some burgundy at this time of the year!) these dunga’s are perfect for my day-to-night lifestyle, pairing them with a cashmere jumper and trainers during the day, and a lacey top, heels and lipstick (I recommend Tom Ford’s ‘Bruised Plum’) by night. Another total Donna Ida hit, which also just so happen to match my Samburu Trust beaded ankles! Clearly meant to be!

Donna Ida Eliza Dungarees in Coated Plum Jam (RRP. £210.00)

I took my Eliza’s for a wee spin around ma’hood, wearing the new metallic threaded Bella Freud 1970 Instarsia Sweater (think, traditional Bella, but after hours) and my new, mini cross-body Meli Melo Rosalina, inspired by Sicily’s traditional wicker baskets - I'm obsessed. 

Meli Melo’s woven leather Rosalia collection come in a variety of shapes and colours (see full collection HERE) and I ummmed and aahhed over the light tan and the black in the mini size for over fortnight, visiting the store on Portobello around five or six times… I finally decided on the light tan and haven’t looked back since. Not only did I not own any bag in this colour, but I love how well it compliments the darker clothing I am emanating more towards, now I’m preparing for hibernation!

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Photography: Ella Sadika

The Tembo Collection Launch at Bronte

Last month I hosted a blogger’s breakfast at Bronte to launch The Tembo Collection (which I wrote about in detail HERE), my seven piece, Masai bead inspired bracelet collaboration with Auree Jewellery.

100% of all profits from the sales of these bracelets will go to For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk, which directly helps the brave heroes on the front line of conservation in Africa, who risk their lives daily to protect elephants and other endangered wildlife from extinction.

Above:  With Will Carmichael, one of the founders of Auree Jewellery, outside Bronte on the Strand.

I knew the quickest and most effective way to to spread the good word far and wide, was to gather a group of my most talented digital buddies, and over a breakfast feast of pancakes and avocado on toast (natch), ask them for their help in raising some vital awareness.  Niomi Smart, Liv Purvis, Peony Lim, Emma Bates, Sarah Mikaela and Juliet Angus were amongst the 22 gorgeous ladies who arrived at Bronte, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and ready to learn more about the collaboration and its goal. 

I knew, having previously visited Bronte for a breakfast meeting earlier in the year and fan-girled over the pretty pink Tom Dixon designed breakfast bar and copper light fixtures, that it was the exact place I wished to have the #TLCxAuree breakfast, and the team there could not have been more accommodating.

The tables were adorned with gorgeous wild flowers arranged by Maua London, and each guest had a personalised engraved bracelet waiting at their place, each with a calligraphy label by Sophia Vaughn

After speaking to everyone about the campaign, and why it one so close to my heart, I showed everyone a short video (below) that I knew would speak volumes louder than I could ever convey. 

“The statistics are unbearable, over a thousand rangers have been killed in the line of duty since 2003. By joining forces with Auree Jewellery and The London Chatter we hope to make a difference, raising funds to ensure that rangers are enabled with good-quality equipment, training and general welfare, including support for the families of rangers killed or injured in the line of duty. These are the men that are risking their lives to save Africa’s iconic species – it is dangerous, tough and thankless work and we must do all we can to help them.”  Sam Taylor, Founder of For Rangers.

By buying these bracelets (£50.00 - £140.00) you will directly be helping to protect elephants across Africa… Now THAT is some guilt free shopping, people! 

www.aureejewellery.com

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(Click on the items for direct links)

Photography:  Ella Sadika

#OOTD: 01.11.16

I think you miiiight have noticed by now, I’m not particularly someone who shies away from a little colour. I am not saying I don’t have my more monochromatic, Skandi-inspired moments, but day to day, colour is what I’m drawn to and it makes me feel brighter and happier.

I love Autumn with its greying skies and flame red and crimson leaves scattering the pavement and parks.  Year after year, the colours I'm more inclined to wear during this season have an overtly British feel to them; mustard, teal and burgundy.  I also this year have been really fond of magenta – a little more vibrant and warm than burgundy but goes equally as well with my other favourites. 

This ASOS cropped-sleeve, fluffy knit encourages me to feel as energetic as it looks, and matches perfectly with my favourite Tom Ford lipstick, ‘Plum Lush.’  Its ruffled neckline is totally on trend and the metallic lined frills act as its own accessory so I only needed to stack some Monica Vinader Signature Bangles.

This peacock teal Fran Coat from L.K Bennett is a total sensation!  The soft wool and cashmere coat literally envelopes you like a cosy dressing gown, and together with the colour-popping magenta, a good pair of Citizens of Humanity dark blue skinny jeans (oh, and a random backdrop of burnt orange and pale gold leaves, no less) guarantees to pack a mean Autumn punch.

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Photography: Ella Sadika

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. 

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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...)