Young British Designers

We caught up with Interior Design student Imy Green, and photographed her in her favourite pieces from Young British Designers current collection.

What are you up to at the moment?

Studying Interior Design at KLC School of Design, London

What is your design dream?

I think there needs to be a huge change in hospital design and I am going to make it my life aim to do this (I know it sounds impossible!)

Favourite designer?

Thomas Heatherwick - he’s just so understated but does such clever designs.

Favourite architect?

Zaha Hadid - I thinks she is amazing!

Favourite place in London?

Tate Britain

Which is your favourite piece from Young British Designers collection?

The Dark Romance Skirt by Kelly Love - so light and floaty but also so comfy!

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Young British Designers

Photos Charlie Knight

Location: Chelsea, London

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Natasha Hulse Design

Alice spoke with designer Natasha Hulse about her beautiful floral inspired designs.

I first met Natasha Hulse whilst I was working in a bookshop, she had come in to look for an illustrated book on trees.  We spoke about our mutual love for the English countryside, for plants and flowers, and also for doing things we love, agreeing on the importance of pursuing the things that make you happy.That was January last year, when Natasha was just starting out creating her beautiful bespoke headboards and since then I have been admiring her creations from afar via instagram. And so, this December, it was a real delight to be able to speak with her and take a look at her designs up close.Each of Natasha's stunning floral inspired designs is an intricate work of art, every piece is hand painted on linen, hand-embellished with embroidery and beading, and appliquéd in layers, creating a unique sculptural effect.  Her craftsmanship is exquisite, and the time, care and patience put into each design makes each one even more exceptional.Her bold semi-abstract rendering of plant life is delightfully enhanced by the structural origami-esque composition of each flower, and this unique combination lifts her designs to an almost fantastical level - you might expect to come across one of her flowers in an enchanted forest.  For me they cross the boundaries of design in an incredibly pleasing way, playing with composition, texture and colour. And each bespoke piece differs as her style continues to develop, creating an ever expanding variety, almost as though her evolving designs are imitating real plant life.Her designs, initially, were very neutral, with a timeless appeal, with blues, browns, whites and greens defining her colour palette. But as her style has developed and evolved, she has begun to work with bolder shapes and colours.Natasha enjoys the design generation process the most, and is inspired by nature and organic structures, from the foliage, ferns and mossy carpets observed when walking in the New Forest near home, to the wildflowers found on a trip to the Grand Canyon. She says she endlessly presses flowers, and uses them for design inspiration, her favourite flowers are the Amarylis, big and bold and the Poppy, so delicate yet so strong.  She is constantly discovering new flora, and a recent winter favourite is the bright colour of Barberries.Her first bespoke headboard was created as part of Kit Kemp's interior at the Whitby Hotel in New York, and since then she has worked with Colefax & Fowler on a number of designs. She has most recently branched out into cushions (I love her wisteria cushion) and a wall paper project with Kit Kemp.  Currently all her designs are one of a kind bespoke projects, but eventually she would like to build up a collection of signature designs for clients to choose from. And she is more than happy to branch out, she would love to create designs for covered screens and ottomans at some point.Natasha has been appliquéing garments since she was 13.  She took the BTEC at school, and was initially drawn to shoe design. She went on to study Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts, and took an Erasmus year in New York where she focused on digital design and pattern cutting as well as taking a ceramics class. After graduating she started her own womenswear brand, and went on to freelance for two womenswear textile studios first in New York, and then in London.She says it has taken her a while to find her aesthetic, and although it has been challenging at times, uncertain which direction to focus on as a designer, she feels that the process has been important. Time and experience have helped her understand which direction she is happiest taking. Working with clients and designers has been an important part of this process, and she says she greatly enjoys the direction and influence of others, allowing her designs to continually evolve, although never wavering from her initial concept.I loved speaking to Natasha about her work, it is truly beautiful, so if you get the chance to see it definitely do, she often sells her cushions at fairs, keep an eye on her insta for all updates. Her love for nature and for creating by hand is so refreshing in our fast-paced digital and all too consumerist society and there is so much to be said for beautiful design that is the result of dedicated craftsmanship.

Thank you Natasha, I can’t wait to see your next designs!

Alice xxx

Natasha Hulse

@natashahulse_design

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October Fashion Picks

Our favourite fashion picks for October, from (mostly) British brands. So keep scrolling, and happy shopping!! 

Alice, Olivia and Emily xxx

Alice 💁🏻

The first item on your shopping list this month should be these super cosy brushed cotton pyjamas by hush - they have mini gold stars and planets on them, AND with each purchase hush will donate £52 to the anti-domestic violence charity Refuge - which is the equivalent of one night in a refuge for a woman and her children.Carrying on the blue and gold theme, below are some other items which will all look perfect together - I am loving the Twin Set leopard print cape coat combined with the navy silk Katherine Hooker dress. Just add the wonderfully clashing accessories, ensuring you include the beautiful embroidered shoes by Miista and the Karine Assaf printed silk scarf. And don't forget your Rassin & Shen reading glasses...  

Olivia 💁🏼:

Trends are not for me. Style comes from knowing what suits your body, look and most importantly your personality. This month I have devised a plan of choosing items that can all be mixed and matched with each other and go from day to night. Example: Wear the dress, t-shirt, hoops, mules, jacket, hat and bag to work and for evening-glam, remove the t-shirt and hat - I got you covered, no matter the occasion!  

Emily 💁🏻:

Winter is coming. It's all about wrapping up and keeping cozy in Autumn. Little details can make a monochrome outfit a lot more fun - choose wisely...

The Mean Blues - Selfridges Shoe Hall

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds? Paul Varjak: The mean reds, you mean like the blues?Holly Golightly: 'No. The blues are because you're getting fat and maybe it's been raining too long, you're just sad that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?'Paul Varjak: 'Sure.'Holly Golightly: 'Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name!'Breakfast at TiffanysI rather agree with Audrey 👧, sometimes, when you are lacking inspiration, a beautiful shop is the only place to while away the time.  Occasionally I love nothing better than roaming a department store and having a look at all the wonderful things on display.  I have mentioned my love of Selfridges before - but really it is the best, you can pick things up and have a closer look to your hearts content, it's almost like being in a very cool gallery 🎨.  Without the intent to buy, I often get drawn to all sorts of weird and wonderful specimens.Today I headed to the Selfridges Shoe Hall 👠👟 and found an array of delights.  There was so much sparkle, and so many outrageous heels - Sophia Webster and Aquazurra, along with some very good high street deals in the sale - Kurt Geiger, Carvela and River Island.  However, it was the trainers that eventually got me, I am sucker for trainers, and I may have now added Reebok's to my collection....but they really are divine... I think a modern day Holly Golightly would approve 😘.Alice xxxIMG_8519IMG_8528IMG_8529IMG_8531IMG_8534IMG_8535IMG_8538IMG_8540IMG_8541IMG_8542IMG_8543IMG_8547IMG_8548IMG_8550IMG_8551IMG_8553IMG_8560IMG_8559IMG_8557IMG_8562IMG_8564IMG_8574IMG_8567IMG_8566IMG_8571

May Catch Up

I have been in London for the last couple of weeks - so I wanted to give you a catch by photo of some of the things that have been happening 😊.  Recently I have got rather overexcited by a lot of things in a lot of shops, so I am going to start doing some more regular 'fashion finds'.  Below are a few fun things I have noticed (plus a few life / housemates / general day-to-day activity updates 😉).Alice xxxIMG_6618IMG_6625IMG_6626IMG_6624IMG_6630IMG_6631IMG_6754IMG_6755IMG_6769IMG_6770IMG_677713239088_10205594330570163_3580856818835213845_n13320775_10205628865233508_547924076884188500_oIMG_6782IMG_6791IMG_6869IMG_6959IMG_6880IMG_6950IMG_6962IMG_6956

London Print Design Fair

Last week I went to the London Print Design Fair 🎨with Potterton Books 📚who were exhibiting.  This was rather a fun affair.  The idea behind it is, if you are designing or product developing clothing or accessories 👠👗, you either need inspiration for your next collection, or you need to purchase prints to use.  So people such a Topshop 👠and Next 👗and M & S 👘 potter along and browse the prints - you can either buy them exclusively, and no one else can use that print - it is yours, but it's pricey 💰, or you buy a print design and hope your competitor 🙏 doesn't have the same idea.We were rather different - Potterton Books 📚 bring along many 1940s 💃 hand painted prints, and original fabrics - you can buy the originals, and you can even buy a whole fabric book 📓.  We also reproduce them in booklets 📘📗, so you can buy a booklet full of prints, but there is the risk that someones else might be using the same idea.  We suggest you don't reproduce the print exactly - copyright can be difficult, but there is nothing to stop you changing the colours💛💙, or the design very slightly and using it as your own.Most other people exhibiting produce their own 'exclusive prints' for you to buy and use in your next collection.It was truly fascinating - NO PHOTOS ALLOWED 📷❌ - everyone was quite tetchy 🙅.  I did catch a lady surreptitiously photographing some of our prints and she scarpered pretty quickly 🙆.  And designers and buyers are sneaky - they call up and say - 'the print we were looking at earlier, my boss wants to see it, could you send a photo?' 💁 Well, not really, because then you have the image without having purchased it.... iPhones 📱and digital cameras 📷do make it trickier.There were all sorts there - designers 👦, students 👧, buyers 👩, and we had a lovely chat with a lady who is an artist 🙋🎨.  She paints designs, the printing companies buy them, reproduce them and sell them to designers, who then use them for their collections.  She said she has, on occasion, spotted someone on the street wearing a skirt or top with her original design 💃🎨.My favourite part was the vintage clothing 👗 section.  So these vintage sellers buy individual pieces, and then sell them on to designers -  Topshop 👠 can buy a vintage garment and either reproduce it exactly, use the pattern or design, or just use it for inspiration.  We had a chat with Samantha at Miniola, who also very kindly allowed me to photograph 📷💃 some of her clothing.  What I find fun about it, is that because the pieces they acquire aren't for your normal vintage retail consumer, they can go a bit off the rail.  There were some truly marvellous items of clothing - I rather wanted to buy some 👰.It was a very interesting day - and rather makes me want to become a product developer, perhaps for a small company, and take inspiration from all sorts of exciting things.Alice xxxIMG_5263IMG_5222IMG_5218IMG_5234IMG_5230IMG_5231IMG_5238IMG_5242IMG_5246IMG_5252IMG_5258

An Indulgent Afternoon

This year, I would like to tell you, I have been incredibly good.  I have done hardly any shopping 👗👠 whatsoever - and I have taken a step back (a number of painful times) and told myself I do not need the pair of shoes 👠/ dress 👗 / earrings 💕 / random thing 👑 I shall probably use once and then lose or break.This has been very good for me (there was a point in TK Maxx when I almost failed on a major scale 😳 - I just do just enjoy shopping very much).  I have however done a fair bit of window shopping (just to keep my eye in 😉) - and in a spare moment recently, wandered into Topshop 👗on Oxford Street.Now, I have to tell you, I have a large amount of love and joy for this shop 😍.  I'm not really sure that it should be labelled a shop - it's more like a shopping lovers fair ground 🎠.  Once inside it completely engulfs you - and there are just so many delights - clothes, shoes, jewellery 👗👠👙💄 - and you can get your nails painted 💅 and hair dip dyed 💇 if you wish.  And I get that thing, the thing when you are in serious browsing mode and you keep finding better and better items and you just know the one for you is there, and you just can't wait to find it, and the search in the meantime is very enjoyable 😃, it's a little like a HUGE dressing up box.So I went into Topshop 🎠.  And I was careful to stay on the ground floor with the accessories 👑, who knows what would have happened if I had delved downstairs into the clothing 👘, or even further to the shoes 👠in the basement.  But accessories were nice and safeish, and I headed over to the jewellery 💍section.Topshop has good jewellery 💍.  It does tend to be a little pricey (Zara is cheaper) but they display it so well.  I once worked for a shoe developer 👠👦 and once a week we would tour the highstreet to check out the competition AND we would go into Topshop to look at the jewellery as inspiration for potential shoe trims 💎👠.  So I've been here quite a lot, know it very well and it rarely fails to disappoint.I have to say the photos below are of a number of quite silly things - the plastic bangles 💚💗 made we want to dress up in lots of glitter 💎, sequins 💜and colourful things 💖and go to a festival 🎶 (Yes please Coachella 💓and hopefully one day Burning Man 🔥).  The shooting star earrings are great, I loved the cute strawberry necklace and there are so many pompoms. Just so many.And this time I cracked 💔.  I didn't buy the unicorn phone case 🐴 (it was a close call), but I did buy pompom earrings, a pompom hair tie 🔴⚪️🔵(which a number of people have pointed out looks a bit like Bumble's tail) it's possible my love of pompoms may be out of hand.. 😳😏😍😉 .  And I bought some slightly obnoxious see-yourself-in-them sunglasses from Toyshades 😎.So having got over excited and purchased some unpractical items, I then passed Laduree in Burlington Arcade and decided I would buy some macarons 🍈 for the house.  They are just so pretty, in all their pastel colours - and I chose rose 🌹, and salted caramel 🍮, the passion fruit and chocolate 🍊 🍫(this is my new favourite combo in macaron and in chocolate) and the Marie Antoinette 👸 one as it is such a pretty blue green colour.  I think the word divine is allowed to be applied to Laudree macarons - they colours are so pretty, they taste even better and it's such a delightful little shop.So it was a slightly indulgent day... perhaps I shall allow myself a trip downstairs at Topshop next time, just to have look....Alice xxxIMG_4473IMG_4474IMG_4475IMG_4476IMG_4477IMG_4480IMG_4481IMG_4487IMG_4484IMG_4483

Catch Up

This week, since arriving back in sunny Wandsworth from Florence, I haven't been completely idle and I thought I'd give you my week update in photos 😊IMG_3690IMG_3738IMG_3743I am going to make a quick interlude here and say that I was passing Victoria Secret's and thought I would pop in and have a look.  And I am going to make a small judgement on any girl who sends her boyfriend into this shop - seriously, no man should have to enter unless they genuinely want to (like the man I accidentally caught on camera on the far left).  There are THREE WHOLE FLOORS of knickers and bras, and it's extraordinarily overwhelming - I like shopping, and I wasn't coping entirely.  How many different types of pants can there be - someone really needs to get a balance between M&S's boring black and white, and the circus show that is Victoria Secret's - I just need to buy some new pants.IMG_3744IMG_3746IMG_3768IMG_3764IMG_3771IMG_3773IMG_3778IMG_3786IMG_3791I am going to let you into a small secret, one which I may regret 😳.  I am often looking for full length dresses 👗 (all this reeling 💃) and they are tricky to find at a price that means you don't need remortgage your house 🏡💵.  However, Debenhams has a line called Quiz.  And Quiz makes full length dresses UNDER £70.  I know, I know, it seems ludicrous - but really they do exist.  Ok the material is not exactly luxurious, you have to accept there will be some diamante 💎, and trying on is an absolute must.  But for reeling they are fantastic, as, if we are honest, reeling is more of a hardcore sport 🏃 than dainty dancing 💃, and by the end of a night of reels, plus further dancing in some insalubrious nightclub your dress doesn't always come off best.  So at £70 a pop (and they are often in the sale, I've got one before for £30) they are a very good investment.  The other key factor is that they are exactly the right length - none of this taking up business, which is such a bore (I really need to learn to sew ).  I always find most full length dresses are made for incredibly lengthly females and it just isn't working on my 5ft 4ness.  So whoever you are that is making these dresses, you are wonderful and please do continue, they fit me incredibly well - I really like the navy one in the image above.  And please can you all not rush out instantly and buy one, as it would be so boring if we all ended up wearing the same dress to the ball 💃😉IMG_3792

4 Days, 2 Balls, 400 Scots

This week has been good.  I have helped create a photo 📷 wall - lots of nice photos, that look nice together in different sized frames.And I am going to be helping to organise an Alice in Wonderland ♥️♠️ themed birthday party for a 2 year old 👸 - I can't wait.  Actually.  Lots of mini Alice in Wonderland 🐰♥️👸 things, and I am doing some Alice revision 📚😍.Today I am off to Florence 🏰 for 4 days as there are some Scottish dancing balls 💃taking place there - which is really quite exciting.  We are going to be reeling 💃 - not the type when you're feeling a bit dizzy because you've had a little too much to drink 🍷😳, but the type when you and your dance partner 👦👧 stand in lines opposite each other and dance set dances 👯 to fun Scottish jigs 🎶, quite Pride and Prejudice esque.  It's going to be really quite great, and in-between dancing we are going to do some serious Florence sightseeing ⛪️📷, and try not to bump into the other 400 flat cap and tweed clad 'Scots' who are going to be in the city.  Also apparently Scotland are playing Italy in the rugby 🏉 on Saturday - I think it is just going to be a very fun, slightly ridiculous trip 💃💫.So today I packed 👖👗👠.  I need two 'ball gowns' 👗👗(really just full length dresses) - and I have two for sure, and a third just incase I change my mind - pink 💗, green 💚 and navy 💙.  Some pretty flats for dancing in 👡, and an umbrella 🌂, the weather is not looking so nice.  Anyway I am now all packed 👜, and ready to go, and we even had some champagne 🍸 this evening as it is George's birthday 🎂🎈.I won't post again until my return on Monday - but do check Instagram @alicefrancesb for updates 😍💃#scotsinflorenceIMG_3071IMG_3053IMG_3055IMG_3076