Sunday, 23 October 2016

(Not so) local haunts

Sweatshirt: £49, Hush. Skirt: £65, Hush. Bag: £19, Accessorize, interchangeable straps: £12 each, Accessorize. Trainers: £49.99, Vans at Zalando.  Sunglasses: £98 with prescription lenses, Bailey Nelson. Photographs: Ella Sadika
Despite living in one of the biggest cities in Europe, I always struggle to find good locations to shoot. The best ones sadly are never close to my home...

So when Hush asked me to pick one of my favourite areas in London, I was kind of stumped. There are so many for me, I feel like London has become a bit like Tokyo with no real centre anymore, just pockets of fabulousness dotted all over.

But I did know where I wanted to go back to (after featuring it a while back for my best brunch feature) - Farmacy, between Notting Hill and Bayswater. It's my favourite place to shoot as all the streets are dreamy and it's relatively quiet (I suppose they're used to celebs round there, so no one even looks twice at a blogger being photographed), plus I love a good veggie burger. So it was the perfect place for us to do these photos.

It was one of those rare days where it wasn't quite chilly enough for a coat (and I'm definitely not ready for tights yet). So the all-black look was broken up with a cross-body bag and a bit of skin. Despite not doing colour very much, I actually rarely wear head to toe black but there's something light and airy about this. Hush always has an effortless feel about its clothing, which suits my style to a 'T'. The logo sweatshirt is a great price (although I also have my eye on the 'Love' jumper), and quite a few friends have assumed it was designer.

Farmacy, to me, is one of those places I'd take people to brunch or lunch if I wanted to show people what the area has to offer. It's always buzzy, the food is reasonably priced and delicious, and all plant-based so you won't leave thinking 'I shouldn't have eaten all that' (which happens to me, frequently). And you are guaranteed to get a nice instagram out of it.

I can confirm, the 'Farmacy burger' is delicious
And post lunch? We headed to the nearby streets to take obligatory photos by classic motors and pretending we lived in a house with columns. And tried our hardest not to shop in Matches, just up the road on Ledbury Street (and where I spent all my wages whilst working there back in 2004)...

Sweatshirt: £49, Hush. Skirt: £65, Hush. Bag: £19, Accessorize, interchangeable straps: £12 each, Accessorize. Trainers: £49.99, Vans at Zalando.  Sunglasses: £98 with prescription lenses, Bailey Nelson. 
I'm still wearing most things with trainers, except I've been swapping the Stan Smiths for these 'Old Skool' Vans more and more. Who What Wear have described these as THE trainers of the season and I'm glad to be on the band wagon (although I'd probably still swap them for these from Hush, which I've been longing for but sold out of my size!).

This post was in collaboration with Hush, such a fab brand for understated classics. Shop my edit below:

Thursday, 20 October 2016

How to dress like a French girl...

Faux fur coat: £99, Marks & Spencer (bought instore). Jeans: £180.61, Paige Denim at ShopbopSuede chain strap bag: £99, Marks & Spencer. Photographs: Amber Gordon
Throw on some leopard print, add some skinny jeans and always pair with chic flats. This was probably one of the few days I really felt I fitted in, sartorially speaking, in Paris. It's like the go-to 'cool girl dressing combo'.

I already have a short leopard fluffy coat. But when I saw this midi length one I didn't hesitate at all - it had to be mine. And apparently, so did everyone else as this coat was snapped up so quickly it almost immediately sold out. So I would recommend calling your store to see if there any left.

But hopefully this post can still inspire you to pull out your leopard print with pride - this really is the season for it to shine. 

I had a few comments asking about how to keep it chic, and tis is my tip: keep everything else single and expensive looking. The chain strap on the bag and the cashmere sweater in a classic colour keeps this from looking cheap.

Faux fur coat: £99, Marks & Spencer (bought instore). Cashmere jumper: £75, Marks & Spencer. Jeans: £180.61, Paige Denim at ShopbopSuede chain strap bag: £99, Marks & Spencer. Shoes: £395, Jimmy Choo.

This post was in collaboration with Marks & Spencer, but I would've bought the coat anyway.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Mellow yellow...

Leather jacket: £295, Jigsaw. Jumper: £139, Gestuz.  Jeans: £30, Asos. Bag: £48.30, La Redoute. Shoes: Mango (old)
Yes, it's me. In colour. But just a tad, mind. As always, I'm wearing it dressed down with denim and leather. Remember when I also said about matchy matchy accessories? I'm kind of doing that, too, albeit unintentionally - this tote is just the best to carry my wares at the moment (although I must admit it's a bit of a sack where I manage to lose everything).

I got this jumper back in August (InstaStories viewers will have seen it in Edinburgh), but have been a bit scared. It's definitely new territory for me - essentially yellow. But after seeing a few fabulous women wearing it at Fashion month (both Arizona Muse and Hikari Yokoyama were wearing it at the Topshop show) I was convinced to bring it back out.

But Arizona could make anything look fab, no?
This picture is supposed to be all about Lottie Moss but all I can stare it is Hikari's skirt, which is Topshop, and I bought as soon as I got home)
Love this shot of Kate Foley in a Rejina Pyo dress with Vans - my kind of girl
So if this season is all about expressing yourself and being confident in bold clothes, let's do it. And I'm heralding mustard. Or off yellow (perhaps that sounds better). Who's with me?


1. Jumper: £39.99, Mango

2. Tinted gel cream: £27, Bare Minerals

3. 'Mom' jeans: £40, Topshop

4. Cardigan: £24.99, H&M

5. Metal earrings: £9.50, Marks & Spencer

6. Cotton t-shirt: £29.50, J Crew

7. Velvet pleated skirt: £55, Topshop

8. Black liquid eyeliner: £6.50, Topshop

9. Glasses: £89 including prescription lenses, Ace & Tate

10. Black knot sandals: £28, Next

11. Patchwork bag strap: £12, Accessorize

12. Leopard print bag: £19, Accessorize

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Affordable diamonds (!)

Cardigan: Custommade (buy similar from H&M here). Top: River Island (old). Jeans: £54.95, Gap. Belt: £8, Asos. 9ct yellow gold necklace: £250, Georgina Boyce. Octagon diamond rings: from £260, Georgina Boyce. 9ct yellow gold bracelet: £175, Georgina Boyce. Tiny 'love' bracelet: my own (Astley Clarke). Photographs: Christopher O'Donnell
I'm fully aware it's an oxymoron in terms.

I don't think I ever told anyone this, but I lost both my wedding and engagement rings in St Lucia whilst shooting back in January. I KNOW. And of course I didn't have them insured, they didn't cost enough to warrant it. I actually wasn't that upset, it's just material things after all, and I never wear anything too expensive anyway as I am likely to lose them...

I re-bought my Laura Lee engagement ring straight away as it was manageable but my wedding ring? It wasn't super expensive but it was a gorgeously thin diamond band from Carolina Bucci and at the time they gave me discount as I worked with them a lot through my job. But at £700 full price (and probably more now with inflation and the cost of gold), it just wasn't happening. 

And then a few months later I saw Georgina Boyce's jewellery at a press day and it was exactly what I was after - I tried on a diamond band and it was just as gorgeous as the one I'd lost. I asked the price, expecting her to say £1,000, and when she told me £260 I literally got my credit card out there and then. The diamonds aren't all the way around but it looks just as amazing. She didn't offer me discount and I never promised a post in exchange for anything...I just knew there was something to this fab brand which people needed to know about.

After meeting Georgina, who is an amazing, inspiring businesswoman who knows her stuff, we got on straight away and I loved that she understood the market of people wanting high end pieces but at an 'affordable' price. Georgina calls it 'achievable diamonds' and I love this term.

9ct yellow gold and diamond earrings: £650, Georgina Boyce

Octagonal rings: £260, Georgina Boyce
The best thing about Georgina's designs are the shapes, the octagonal rings (above) look really modern and she uses rose golds, black diamonds and interesting materials whilst still always aiming to keep her prices within reach. It's not cheap, but for the quality of jewellery it's astounding. 

Next time there's a big event in your life, engagements, birthdays or even a treat to yourself - remember, *diamonds needn't always off limits...! *plus she makes other fab jewellery without diamonds too.

9ct yellow gold and diamond earrings: £650, Georgina Boyce9ct white gold and diamond earrings: £650, Georgina Boyce. Ring with black diamonds and rhodium: £250, Georgina Boyce. 9ct white gold ring with diamonds: £260, Georgina Boyce. 9ct rose gold ring with diamonds: £260, Georgina Boyce.  9ct yellow gold hexagon stud earrings: £150, Georgina Boyce

Oh, and on the subject of affordable diamonds, one of my fave brands Stella & Dot has launched their fine jewellery range, Covet. The initial necklaces are on my wishlist (plus my good friend Lorna has become a stylist for them so you can buy anything from her as your personal stylist):

Initial necklace: £295, Stella & Dot. Blouse: £185, Me & Em 

Friday, 14 October 2016

5 new denim styles you need to know (and what shoes to wear with)

Trench: J Crew (old). Breton: £27.65, Boden. Jeans: £120, Donna Ida x Jaeger. Shoes: £395, Jimmy Choo. Photographs: Christopher O'Donnell
There are an abundance of new denim styles which have made their way into our fashion remit recently. Crop kick flare, frayed step hems and don't get me started on wide leg cropped frayed edge flared jeans (yep, they're a thing). As a huge denim fan, okay reliant...I thought it only right to test out the most recent denim shapes and show you, hopefully in a useful way, which shoes to try with each. All worn with a breton, because, as you know stripes go with everything.


I bet you haven't heard of this style in everyday life? Yes they're flares but slightly cropped, just showing a hint of ankle. The automatic assumption is to pair these with heels to elongate the leg but I find they look too short and not on I would try wearing them with a pair of chic flats. 

Jeans: £120, Donna Ida x Jaeger. Shoes: £395, Jimmy Choo.


It sounds wrong but it's right. They're basically a skinny jean with a slight kick at the bottom and finish mid calf. And a fit that works so well with mid calf ankle boots - even better with a bit of skin showing.

Coat: £69, Marks & Spencer. Breton: £27.65, Boden. 'Dree' jeans: Topshop (sold out but buy similar here). Boots: £82, Topshop

'Dree' jeans: Topshop (sold out but buy similar here). Boots: £82, Topshop

A tricky style, for sure. I would do these with heels - and they make a nice alternative to a dressier trouser, especially in black. This pair are super comfy, I'm also wearing them with trainers in the day (but they're definitely more flattering with heels). Try a barely there style so you see an elegant silhouette rather than something chunkier. 

Breton: £27.65, Boden. Jeans: £195, 7 For All Mankind via Next Sandals: £22.99, New Look. Necklace: £295, Laura Lee

Jeans: £195, 7 For All Mankind via Next Sandals: £22.99, New LookNails in 'Cloud Fine': £7, Cheeky.
4. The frayed instep reworked denim

Gosh, they're all a bit of a mouthful aren't they?! I've already talked about this denim style as one you need to know but what shoes to wear with? The cut-out at the front leaves a perfect gap for a flat ankle boot (something I've always struggled with before - do I tuck a skinny jean into boots?? Do I roll them up?).

Coat: £250, Sezane.  Wool scarf: Next (old but buy similar from Warehouse here). Jeans: £34.99, Gap. Boots: Whistles (old but buy similar from Topshop here

Jeans: £34.99, Gap. Boots: Whistles (old but buy similar from Topshop here)


AKA the jean of the moment. I almost like to embrace their 'mom' like style with a pair of granny style shoes. The minimal style lends well to the block heeled shoe and in pastel pink? Total minimalist goals.

Coat: £69, Marks & Spencer. Breton: £27.65, Boden. Jeans: £30, Asos. Suede shoes: £115, Cos

Asos. Suede shoes: £115, Cos

*DISCAIMER* this is by no means the be and end all of denim styling, I'm a bit of a hippy in that sense - wear what and how you want! This is just a kind of 'what would I do' guide to help guide people through the new denim styles which, let's face it, are tricky. Hope some people find it useful!

And here's a little video we shot whilst we were shooting...hope you enjoy!

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