FitFlop x Habitat for Humanity

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I moved to my flat in Notting Hill three years ago, after a short but tumultuous period of bouncing around from house to flat, and at one point, hotel room to friend’s sofas. Although still an ongoing process, slowly making this little one-bedroom flat, with its creaky black floor boards and New York loft style exposed brick and sky lights, my own, has been a total joy. Saving up for things has taken time, and in some cases, some extreme willpower (fixing windows over buying new shoes, for instance, takes the strength of an ox…!) and the arrival of my long-lusted after jade velvet sofa of dreeeeeams this month, just in time for my impending hibernation, has been a triumph.

My bathroom is covered in Matthew Williamson for Osborne and Little butterfly wallpaper, my wardrobe, in House of Hackney colobus monkeys, and Jo Malone candles and photographs of my beloved niece Safari Willow and nephew Zac cover most of the surfaces. Monkey book ends, giant coral prints, a Rosanna Lonsdale zebra lamp, and my framed Guy Malin leopard balloon photograph all remind me of where I’m from in Africa.  Stepping into my flat after a crazy day whizzing around London, throwing off my boots, popping on my slippers and attacking some Jaffa Cakes, makes me feel calm, cosy, and safe…

Basically, I feel at home. 

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I know, the word LUCKY springs to mind. Especially when one in five people across the world are living in slums or substandard housing, propelling them into a grinding cycle of poverty. When someone lacks a home, their health, well-being, educational prospects and ability to earn a living all become affected. 

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With this in mind, FitFlop are supporting Habitat for Humanity this year, a global non-profit organisation which helps build homes for families in need around the world, offering them strength, stability and self-reliance through much-needed shelter. 20% from each purchase of a pair of FitFlop House Slippers, in all their cloud-like double shearling and fluffy pom pom glory, is made to Habitat for Humanity

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Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has worked tirelessly to provide access to decent housing for families in over 70 countries. From building homes and providing villages with clean drinking water, to natural disaster relief and micro-finance, this organisation have amazingly helped over 10 million people worldwide.

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The FitFlop House Slippers are available in two different colour ways, and I was immediately drawn to the charcoal grey pair with midnight blue pom poms. Not only have I practically not taken them off, but several of my friends have already gone and bought themselves a pair after seeing mine. With Christmas fast approaching, these make the perfect ‘Buy to Give’ present… Even if that present miiiight be to yourself… Hey, no one’s judging here! 

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Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, this pair of beyond comfortable, limited edition LOVE Slippers also see 20% from each sale go to support Habitat for Humanity’s life-changing work. What’s not to LOOOOOOVE, huh?!

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 “At FitFlop, people put their hearts and souls into making the world’s best ergonomic footwear, because they believe that if you want to live an inspired life, you’ve got to start with a great foundation.  And while a great pair of shoes will improve your life, a safe decent home is the ultimate foundation.” 

Marcia Kilgore, Founder of FitFlop.

 

“We’re really excited to be partnering with FitFlop on this venture. Both of our organisations are passionate about making a sustainable difference and FitFlop’s vision for solid foundations aligns perfectly with ours.”

Naomi Rothwell, Habitat for Humanity GB Corporate Partnerships Manager

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In collaboration with FitFlop

Photography: Francis Davison

Hair and Makeup: Secret Spa

#FITFLOPxHABITATFORHUMANITY 

Valentine's Gift List 2017 - For Her

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I feel sorry for Valentine’s Day, a rather sweet day of the year that gets an enormous amount of flack. Each year you can see it merrily approaching, brim-full of romance and possibilities, with a kick in its heel, glistening heart emoji-eyes, and a pink, oh so very pink, trail of fairy dust (or perhaps Gwyneth’s Goop-recommended Sex Dust?) in its wake… All to be met by an anxiety-ridden, Hallmark-hating, eye-rolling audience of cynics, all heading for the hills to hide, regardless of their relationship status. 

Now, I get it, if you’re single this can be a day, frequently fuelled by a bottle of dry white Lady Petrol, where you feel continuously reminded of your current lack of love, and if you’re in a relationship you can feel immense pressure to perform like some lame love monkey whilst spending a ludicrous amount of money. 

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However, in Valentine’s defence, I think it can also be seen as a day where we all can take a little Time Out from our frequently monotonous daily routines, and pay a little extra attention to one another, or friends, and even ourselves... Sometimes we sadly do need a reason, or a day each year, to remind us to do that. 

Spending a lot of money is not mandatory, as a little imagination and thought can easily be just as spoiling; some of the most memorable moments can involve the simplest of gestures and just some designated time to hang out. I am however, always asked each year for Valentine’s gift suggestions from panic stricken men, SOOO gentlemen, here are a few ideas guaranteed to put a smile on all those pretty faces, without a naff teddy bear or flammable set of red underwear in sight (don’t worry Ladies, I got yo’backs too…) 

Hover and click on the items for their direct links...

Above:  Jo Malone’s Valentine’s Day denim designed gift box is beyond dreamy.  The sets, which contain a 100ml bottle of Jo Malone Red Roses (a scent inspired by seven of the world’s finest roses) set amongst freshly cut blooms from florist Philippa Craddock, is available from Selfridges until Feb 14th (RRP. £130.00).

"The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don't go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout."

Johnny Cash to June Carter Cash

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"I don't know how to tell you just how much I miss you. I love you till my heart could burst. All I love, all I want, all I need is you—forever. I want to be just where you are and be just what you want me to be. I know it's lousy of me to be so late so often, and I promise to try a million times harder, I promise."  

Marilyn Monroe to Joe DiMaggio

Above:  'Buy to Give' this Valentine’s Day by not only spoiling your loved one with jewellery, but also directly helping to fight against ivory poaching. Every purchase from The Tembo Collection, a collection of seven Masai bead inspired bracelets I designed with Auree Jewellery, sees 100% of the profit go to For Rangers, a campaign in conjunction with Tusk that helps the heroes on the front line of conservation in their fight against elephant poaching across Africa.  (RRP. £50.00 - £140.00)

"So My Lumps... You’re off, by God! I can barely believe it since I am so unaccustomed to anybody leaving me. But reflectively I wonder why nobody did so before. All I care about—honest to God—is that you are happy and I don’t much care who you’ll find happiness with. I mean as long as he’s a friendly bloke and treats you nice and kind. If he doesn’t I’ll come at him with a hammer and clinker. God’s eye may be on the sparrow but my eye will always be on you. Never forget your strange virtues. Never forget that underneath that veneer of raucous language is a remarkable and puritanical LADY. I am a smashing bore and why you’ve stuck by me so long is an indication of your loyalty. I shall miss you with passion and wild regret."

Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor 

"My mouth hasn’t shut up about you since you kissed it. The idea that you may kiss it again is stuck in my brain, which hasn’t stopped thinking about you since well before any kiss. And now the prospect of those kisses seems to wind me like when you slip on the stairs and one of the steps hits you in the middle of the back. The notion of them continuing for what is traditionally terrifying forever excites me to an unfamiliar degree."  

Alex Turner to Alexa Chung

ABOVE:  Treat someone special to a rooooomantic stay at the swoonsome Artist Residence in London's Pimlico. To celebrate Valentine's Day, this eclectic townhouse, my fave home away from home, is offering champagne and choccies on arrival, late checkout and a free room upgrade, all for £50 on top of their usual room rates between 10.02.17 - 05.03.17. (T&C's apply, subject to availability.)

Trend: The Cold Shoulder

I love how both designers and the high street are all flooding our Spring full of off-the-shoulder tops.  Made popular in the 1960’s by the beautiful Bridget Bardot, and now a sunny staple for TLC style faves Olivia Palermo and Alexa Chung, the iconic, Parisian shoulder-baring look is nonchalantly sexy, yet still demure and sweet. Its popularity has made way for a plethora of cut-away jumpers (my favourite being the Dias jumper by British designer Zoe Jordan), shirts, dresses and jumpsuits, in an array of prints and colour, making this flattering look so versatile and approachable for all body types. 

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TLC TIP:   Invest in a good strapless bra for this particular trend (Marks and Spencer, RRP. £18.00), and make sure to apply a big, healthy, shimmering sweep of bronzer across your décolletage (Tom Ford, RRP. £48.00) to get you perfectly cold shoulder ready for Spring.  Zara and H&M have some affordably chic cut-a-ways, and you can click on the below edit for links through to my current favourite off the shoulder tops... 

Photography:  Ella Sadika

Jewellery:  Missoma  /  Monogrammed Mug:  Anthropologie  /  Amelie Jeans:  River Island

The Conran Shop opens at Selfridges

The Conran Shop have opened an interiors haven within the illustrious and iconic lower ground level of Selfridges, and on the last night of London Fashion Week, my friend Rosanna Falconer (below, draped in glittering Matthew Williamson, as per) and I attended the launch.  Surrounded by a beyond stylish edit of multi-coloured gadgets and gizmos a’plenty, it took ultimate strength (of character, and at times pure manhandling) to not buy everything in sight after a glass (orrr two) of champagne. A go-to destination for note-worthy gifts and investment items for your home - Keep me away, this could be dangerous! 

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TLC LOVES... THE CONRAN SHOP

Above:  I'm more than a little obsessed with these Medium Cactus Vases (£37.50) and Large Cactus Vases (£59.00). Next pay cheque, they're MINE! 

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SHOP TLC'S LOOK...

NYFW SS'15: Zoë Jordan

British designer Zoë Jordan presented an edit of nine RTW looks this New York Fashion Week, and I was so glad to be in town so as not to miss it.  I have always been a big fan of Zoë’s urban, tomboy-chic designs and this collection certainly did not disappoint. 

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Inspired by cracked granite and atomised metal, this clean collection, with its relaxing blue marble hues and silver strobes, neat dresses and must-have stylish city shorts, was shown at the über cool Milk Studios alongside a fantastic sound mix by DJ Miss G.     

Above Left:  My favourite look from the collection.  I just LOVE these silver leather shorts paired with Zoë's signature Dias Jumper in cream and silver. Already firmly on my wish list. 

A smooch from  Poppy Delevingne , and  The London Chatter  with designer  Zo ë Jordan

Above:  A smooch from model Poppy Delevingne, and The London Chatter with designer Zoë Jordan

Above (Clockwise) L-R:  Tank Magazine's executive fashion director  Caroline Issa  with  Beatrice Savoretti , Motilo.com's founder  Sofia Barattieri  (see details of her amazing look below),  Poppy Delevingne  and  Suzie Bubble . 

Above (Clockwise) L-R: Tank Magazine's executive fashion director Caroline Issa with Beatrice Savoretti, Motilo.com's founder Sofia Barattieri (hover over the below picture to see details of Sofia's amazing look), Poppy Delevingne and Susie Bubble

Astley Clarke's Summer Party at the Serpentine

Bec Astley Clarke recently hosted a very sleek, ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ inspired summer party in the newly built Serpentine Sackler Gallery’s Magazine Restaurant.  Whilst sipping on Marmalade Martinis and (very) Tipsy Tea Cocktails, six suited and booted men in bowler hats stole (albeit only momentarily) the cases of Astley Clarke’s fine jewellery we had all previously been oogling.

I wore the Janson Dress by Zoë Jordan (now on sale! RRP. £595.00 £298.00) for the evening’s festivities. I was thrilled to be one of ‘Zoë’s Girls’ for the evening, alongside some of my most beautiful friends; actresses Sienna Miller and Jemma Powell and Fashion PR * Beatrice Savoretti. After the ‘heist,’ and several more drinks, guest DJ *Laura Whitmore took to the decks and we all begun, candy-floss covered chocolate ice-cream sticks in hand, to enthusiastically dance the rest of the night away. Thank you Bec xx

Above L-R (Clockwise):  Sienna Miller and Savannah Miller with their mother Jo,  Martha Ward with India Langdon, designer Matthew Williamson with our host Bec Astley Clarke,Kelly Eastwood also with Bec.  Below L-R:  With Sienna Miller Jemma PowellKelly EastwoodZoë Jordan and Beatrice Savoretti

The below video shows off the really fun evening perfectly... I think I woke up in that hat! 

Below:  The London Chatter appearing on Harpers Bazaar and Tatler online...


Zoë Jordan's 'Pretty Vandals' Fundraiser for The Amber Foundation

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I was recently invited by Zoë Jordan (left), the designer worn and loved by all the coolest of cats, to Chelsea’s Rossetti Studiosfor a shopping evening in support of The Amber Foundation, a residential centre aiming to reduce the level of unemployment amongst the 17-30 year old age group.  

Whilst chatting with friends and enjoying DJ Miss G’s set, I virtually drooled over the SS’14 'Pretty Vandals' collection.  Inspired by the 90’s, Zoë beautifully balances graffiti prints and perforated leather alongside a palette of elegant water colour pastels. I was particularly drawn the citron neon garments, which set against Miranda Donovan’s graffiti themed art installations, looked amazing.

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US Vogue contributor Sarah Mower interviewed both a past and a present resident of Amber.  Amber’s residential centres offer disadvantaged young people a fresh start and a chance to build their confidence and gain practical skills and qualifications which can lead to full time employment and more secure futures.  Kara and Natalie were both extremely honest about their experiences and were a real testament to Amber’s success. 

Above L-R (Clockwise)Beatrice Savoretti (wearing Zoë Jordan), Margot Molinari andJemma Powell, artist Miranda DonovanKaty ickremesinghe with Kelly Eastwood.

Above:  With designer Zoë Jordan, wearing a vintage silk shirt from Budapest with my Mulberry Bryn handbag in Flame.  Below:  With musician Jack Savoretti.

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To help transform young lives please donate to The Amber Foundation HERE

 

Astley Clarke Jewellery Lunch at Marcus

I was recently invited, alongside a bevy of London beauties, to an exclusive VIP jewellery lunch to toast Astley Clarke’s new Fine Jewellery collection.   Hosted by Bec Astely Clarke (above with Poppy Delevingneand chef Marcus Wareing (above with Bec) we dined in The Salon Private Dining Room at the sparkly new ‘Marcus’ restaurant at The Berkeley.  

Above Clockwise (R-L):  Bec Astley Clarke hosting Chloe DelevingneZoe JordanPoppyDelevingne and Tori Cook Jemma Powell and Beatrice SavorettiTori Cook and Poppy DelevingneMarissa Montgomery.  Below:  Smooches with my school pal Sienna Miller.

Not only were we spoiled with lots of bubbles and a delicious lunch (quail with a raddichio and pine nut salad, followed by salmon with buttermilk and faaaar too many chocolate truffles!) we were sent home with Marcus’ cook book and a beautiful rose gold Astley Clarke locket which had been personally engraved for all us girlies whilst we dined.

Above Right:  I decided (after much anxious deliberation!) to get the title of DG and my favourite song ('Just One Look' by Doris Troy) engraved on the back of my locket (cheesy?!) and I love it so much I haven’t taken it off since!  Thank you Bec and Marcus for such a wonderfully gorgeous afternoon!  Astley Clarke lockets available HERE.

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Above:  With my great friend Jemma Powell.  I accessorised my Topshop shirt and bold print Zara trousers with Wilbur and Gussie's Orange Bee Edith Clutch (RRP. £180.00).

Above:  Featuring in Grazia magazine alongside Poppy DelevingneChloe Delevingne,Sienna Miller and Jemma Powell#TheChainGang