Sunday, 20 May 2012

NYC: A Concise Guide

I love New York. It is, quite possibly, the one place I can imagine myself living other than England. I love that it has proper seasons, the shops in Soho, the relaxed bars and fantastic food. I always get asked by friends and family on my tips for the city, so I've decided to do a mini guide in this blog of great, reasonable things to see, eat and do! I've broken it up into sections so the first one, obviously, is my top tips for shopping:

As I am often in New York for work, I don't get much time to get to the shops. So I have to make a list of my top places to nip into after shoots. I generally make a rule only to visit shops we don't have over here, this is my list:
  • J Crew - so I know we can all buy from Net A Porter now but nothing beats going into the store. Here you'll find all their gorgeous cashmere is every colour under the sun, the entire range of fabulous costume jewellery, as well as Crew Cuts (the kids department). We usually head to the Soho branch on Prince Street.

  • Old Navy - I don't really shop here on a personal level, but it is great for menswear (I look for cargo shorts and classic tees for my partner, and baby clothes for friends)
  • Kate's Paperie (435 Broome Street) - you all know about my love of stationery. This shop has definitely enhanced it! I found it a few years ago by chance and have been back every time since. I bought my sister's thank you cards for her wedding here (Vera Wang) and I always stock up on cute, never seen in the UK cards...

  • Bleecker Street – this is a great street for wandering down, it has great record stores, second-hand book stores, the world famous Magnolia Bakery and of course, the MARC by Marc Jacobs shop and Surplus store. When the exchange rate is good, you can get a good deal on accessories at the MARC store. I love going in the Surplus store, where they sell necklaces, wallets, flipflops, umbrellas etc for as little as $10. I love bringing back presents for friends here. 
Last time I spent too much money in the MARC by Marc Jacobs store! I'm much more restrained now...
  • Fishs Eddy (889 Broadway at 19th Street) - this is what I call a 'Nester's Paradise' - a store filled to the brim with crockery! Mugs, plates, coasters, bowls - all with a New York twist (FYI, if you can't make it to New York, they are stocking a selected range in Liberty's in London).

  • ABC Carpets (888 and 881 Broadway at East 19th St) - I don't spend any money here, but as a stylist, I love being inspired by new products and visually stimulating stores. If you love interiors and design, you need to pay a visit.

Next week I will be doing a 'where to eat in New York' post. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Styled by Mary Norden for Red, June Issue

How much I do I love this image from this month's Red? Spray-painted chairs bought from a carboot sale. It made me think a) how can I integrate neons into my mainly monochrome flat and b) what can I spray-paint?!

I have really been inspired by Pinterest lately and been repinning lots of interiors ideas, including these 'pop of colour' images.

These are definitely on my To-Do list (spray-painted recycled cans):
Image from Pinterest via
Here is my first spray-paint project: I've had this necklace from House of Fraser for years and haven't worn it recently. Using a can of Montana spray paint (under £5 from London Graphics Centre)I mmodernised it - looks great with a white t-shirt.

My inspiration as ever,
OR you could just buy this fab neon necklace from H&M (for only £10!):

Monday, 14 May 2012

Best Watches Under £250...

I style watch and jewellery pages as part of my job, which means I spend a lot of time looking at watches.

And believe it or not, the ones all the fashion insiders wear are often not the most expensive:

The number one watch, seen on most fashionistas on shoots and at the shows, is a Michael Kors watch. I was first introduced to these watches through Deborah Brett, contributing Senior Fashion Editor at Red, who teams her Michael Kors watch with layered Dana Levy and Carolina Bucci bracelets plus her Celine bag....tres chic!

Michael Kors rose gold watch, £199, My-Wardrobe

Michael Kors watch, £219, Red Direct

Although I work with watches for thousands of pounds, my personal watch of choice is from Guess. I love the masculine shapes (this is actually a man's watch - don't let that put you off) and their use of different textures and colours:

£64.50, Guess at H Samuel
£69.50, Guess at H Samuel
Best Of The Rest...

£193.23, MARC By Marc Jacobs at Shopbop
£120, Nixon at Net A Porter

£109, DKNY at Ernest Jones

£168, ToyWatch

Ice Watch, £61.75 at The Watch Hut

£108, Swatch at The Watch Hut

Friday, 4 May 2012

What YOU Say

This month's top Frugal insider tips...

Beatrice Hurst, Freelance Fashion + Prop Stylist:
Even if the pennies won't stretch but you fancy a decadent feeding, it can still be in reach.  Most top notch places have a cheaper brunch or set lunch menu. Bistrotheque do the best deal: on Monday to Thursday, place your order before 7:30pm and enjoy 3 courses for under £20. That can be the cost of a main at other times.
Bistrotheque, 23-27 Wadeson Street, London, E2 9DR

Kim Parker, Beauty Editor, Red Magazine
It's worth remembering that most of today's cosmetics on the High
Street are produced by the same companies and labs that also deliver the High-end designer versions. So there's a trickle-down effect of technology and textures which means that often, the High Street versions are every bit as good as their designer cousins. These affordable must-haves are so good, there's one in every Beauty Editor's bathroom cabinet...
  • Max Factor Mascara
  • Bourjois Eyeshadows
  • Dove Summer Glow gradual tanner
  • Max Factor Crème Blush
  • Revlon Nail Colours
  • Olay skincare - especially the serum masks
  • Simple makeup removing wipes
  • Soap & Glory Eyeliner pen
  • L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray
Emma Meysey Thompson, Buying Assistant at
The Coronet cinema is a good independent cinema on Notting Hill Gate – all films £3.50 on a Tuesday.

Merrick Cassanova, Managing Editor, Red Magazine:
I recently discovered a Paul Smith sale shop, on my way to Bond street tube station.
You wouldn’t have even known it was there to be honest, but it’s up to 70% off their end of season stock. Worth a look for sure!
Paul Smith Sale Shop, 23, Avery Row, London, W1K 4AX, 020 7493 1287

Julia Williams, Press Office at Margaret Howell:
I really like sending cards...but the costs can really mount up so I make them. I bulk buy a coloured folded card from somewhere like Rymans (usually around 40p) and plain white envelopes. Then all I do, is look through a file I keep in my desk at work, of pages I have torn out of magazines of cute, funny, interesting or just plain gorgeous images to illustrate the cards. I obviously am really into magazines and read them all the time, so it is really easy for me to tear out pages.

Lucy Reber, Shopping Assistant, Red Magazine:
I love my black opaques, but with tights it doesn't pay to be too too frugal. Equally I have spent £21 on a pair of Wolford's before only to disappointed when I snagged them. Instead I think its best to go somewhere in-between. M&S do a 3 pack of 60 denier tights for around £10 - they are a great fit, especially if you get them in a big size so there is lots of room in the leg. They are really thick and almost never ladder. Don't go for the super cheaper ones they are really uncomfortable and ladder easily - a false economy!
3 pack 60 Denier tights, £9.50, Marks and Spencer

Samantha Norman, jewellery designer and PR Manager
Brixton village is a hub of BYOB restaurants under the railway arches and close to the tube and mainline - the pizza place, Elephant (curry) and the Thai are all worth a visit!

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