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!

Young British Designers

 

Photos Charlie Knight

Location: Chelsea, London

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Designers to Watch, London Fashion Week 2018

London Fashion Week has started today, and I am always so excited to see the marvellous creations sauntering down the catwalk each season.  Below I have chosen my favourite looks from SS18 – some are big names, others just starting out, and all of them are featuring in London over the next couple of days.  I am always drawn to bright colours, clean cut patterns and clothes I might actually wear - I can rarely get on board with creations that are just so obviously never meant to be worn by anyone.I am particularly excited for the shows of Tata Naka - last season they created snappy dresses in bold prints; Emilio De La Morena - last season his collection was just SO fun, bright colours with a Clueless touch; Merchant Archive with their incredible gowns; Harman Grubisa for their colour clashing contrasts, Baia bags as they are just so beautiful (purple suede, yes please), Sevda’s butterfly print  leather backpacks, Lui Mei and their wonderful pastel outfits and of course Jamie Wei Huang’s colour popping pompom accessories :-D. And I haven’t included some of my favourites, Rejina Pyo, Sophia Webster, Fyodor Golan and Peter Pilotto but can’t wait to see what they have in store this season.Below are some outfits which I think are fun, and wearable, and a few that have been styled so well that even if you wouldn’t wear them every day, they are super outfit inspirations 😊.

Alice xxx

                            

Young British Designers + The Natural Swede

 Emma Andersson, 28, is from Gothenburg, Sweden and has lived in London for 8 years. She currently works in E-commerce in womens fashion and writes her blog The Natural Swede. Her blog focuses on lifestyle, vegan food, travel and fitness, including her training for the London Marathon 2018. Here she wears clothes from Young British Designers at Circus West Village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs: Charlie Knight

 

Black Glitter Great Coat: Longshaw Ward; White and Navy Striped Dress: Minki London; Eleni Scarf Dress in Aqua: Belize; 'Get Some' Overalls in Black: Burds; Bell Sleeved Top in Pure White Cotton: Teija Eilola; Celine Lightweight Boxy Jumper in Navy: Genevieve Sweeney; Andrea's Old Carpet Tube Skirt: Simeon Farrar

 

Lipstick: NEEK; Nail polish: Pacifica; Shoes and jewellery: Emma's own.

 

 

Photographed at Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station

 

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Christmas Party Outfits

Tis' the season to pull out your party frocks, and dust off your dancing shoes, for the Christmas party marathon is well under way. From the dreaded work Christmas do, to the mulled wine bash that always gets a little out of hand, you are going to need something to wear. Read on below for our advice on looking your very best this Christmas time.

Alice & Olivia xxx

The Lunch Party

An early Christmas lunch with all your boyfriend's relatives, or a lunch with friends who are decidedly more 'grown-up' than you (they have a 2 year old, you have a dead pot plant), Boden and French Sole are your friends here try these trousers, this shirt and these pumps, and you'll look tidy and trendy, perfect.

The Work Christmas Party

This is easy in some ways, all your colleagues will be discussing their outfits weeks before so you'll be able to gauge the appropriate dress code. We say, as it's Christmas, go full on sequins, and pair with an appropriate level heel, you don't want to be staggering at the beginning of the night.

The Drinks Party

Pull out the stops for this one, first of all this may be the only chance to see the boy you fancy who is friend of a friend of a friend - he'll for sure be at this party. Dress up because it's a good excuse too, and because when everyone else sees you they'll wish they had made an effort too.  It's also the perfect time to wear that dress that's too smart for going out but not wedding-attire appropriate.

The Birthday Brunch

The selfish friend whose birthday is in December, I mean really, don't they know how many other Christmas social engagements are already in your diary?  However off to the birthday brunch you must go, and looking good is a must, particularly when you haven't seen them in a while. A wool skirt with over the knee boots and a cashmere sweater is cool yet v casual.

The Winter Wedding

It's happening, you're nearly 30 and your friends keep getting engaged.  It turns out the wedding season is a season that never ends, ever - May bank holiday, the middle of the week, Easter Sunday - there isn't a single day of the year that is safe, even New Years Eve has been hijacked. Photos will be taken, and put on Facebook whether you like or not, so outfit recycling is just not an option, and beware anything from Zara, the girl two pews behind you will be wearing it. You are however, almost refreshingly, allowed to wear black, so for that winter wedding, try this dress and a bespoke hat.

Christmas Day Outfit

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It's important to make an effort on Christmas day, so plan ahead and make sure you pack something comfy yet chic.  It's the year of the metallic pleated skirt, we love it paired with a polo neck and ankle boots, and don't forget your Alex Monroe necklace and fun tights.

The Black Tie Party

Who even knows what 'Black Tie' means anymore, is it short, is it long, does it include jumpsuits and does it even matter? Really you can choose a dress you like provided it's not uber short / too revealing, and dress it up how you want, what fun. Any dress from Needle & Thread will do very nicely, and make sure you have a suitably snazzy clutch bag too.

New Years Eve Party

The big night of the year everyone dreads, WHAT to do for New Year (should celebrate, must celebrate), and certainly must look good. This year it's all about the glitter jumpsuit, surprisingly it works on most shapes, just pair with some magenta velvet block heels and your ready for 2018.

Words Alice Bray, Illustrations Olivia Dueser

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British Brand Shopping Edit - Jigsaw

I nipped into Jigsaw recently for the first time in ages.  I have to admit - when I think of Jigsaw, I think mumsy, a little safe and just not that exciting, which is why I rarely visit.Jigsaw was first opened in Brighton in 1970 and in 1989 won the British Fashion Council Award Contemporary Designer of the Year. They also own The Shop at Bluebird on the King’s Road and their Emporium on Duke Street combines both brands.On my chance visit to the King’s Road shop I was pleasantly surprised, yes a lot of it is very safe, but amongst the navy blue cashmere roll necks and the midi dresses were a number of gems.  A fun colourblock pleated skirt, part of their A by Jigsaw collection (their luxury yet affordable range), some excellent accessories including velvet backpacks and trainers in rich jewel colours and a fun chocolate coin purse as part of their collaboration with Rococo.My eyes also wandered into the children’s section. I secretly sometimes want to be a children’s clothing Buyer – such fun, I don’t know if the clothes look better in miniature, or it’s just the fun designs that draw me in – Why don’t they make them for adults?!I came away with a pom pom hat (I seem to acquire one every year - a grown ups one, not a children's one) made in collaboration with Mackie’s of Scotland.I really enjoyed the entire experience, the shop on the King’s Road is a great space, and there were lots of things to catch the eye. Jigsaw I’m definitely coming back for more.Below are my favourites pieces from the current collection.

Alice xxx

And for children:

 

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...

Talking with Mimi Lipton

Olivia 💁🏼London meet Mimi Lipton - the world's most interesting, stylish, quirky grandmother (and no I am not biased - you'll see what I mean by the end of this interview). Born in Austria and educated in England (her family were forced to move during the Second World War), the antique dealer, collector and jewellery lover has led a colourful life from travelling the world, to befriending the Dalai Lama. She is herself a creator: after devoting a lot of her life to art from others, the artisan has now created her own unique collection of over 80 pieces that evoke journeys to the furthest corners of the earth, from rings of Madagascan demantoid, Ethiopian opals and Dinka ivory, to necklaces of carved Baltic amber, Chinese jade and Colombian emeralds.Below she shares her advice & opinions 🙂 : freunde-von-freunden-mimi-lipton-8552-rt-1.jpg?w=200 

What was the first piece of jewellery you designed?

A necklace of 12 different collected beads (see picture below) , including: coral, amber, turquoise, crystal, amethyst, gold & aquamarine.

  

What made you want to design jewellery?

I was at a loss and quite honestly had nothing to do. It was a complete accident, like everything in life! I guess you could say it was luck.

What are you currently working on?

It is in the initial stages, but I am going to help design a mans boutique in Milan with a divine man called Alessandro, whom I met whilst staying at his boutique hotel in Sardinia this Summer. He loved my style and we got chatting and one thing led to another and here we are !

What do you love most about designing jewellery?

That each piece I create is different and a one-off. I use different materials each time; things I found on the beach, amber from when we went to the Baltic states, opals from Ethiopia…I only work with uncut stones, nothing I have is polished or bling - everything is unique.

What is most important to you as a designer?

The element of surprise, the finished object and desirability

Who is your current favourite Jeweller?

Andrew Grima - his stuff is just out of this world.

How would you describe your fashion style?

Anti-fashion. I could kick my friends who insist on being Catholic widows. They all look as if they’ve come from a tiny French or Greek village and have been in mourning with no makeup and awful shoes! People my age need to be more like Iris Apfel - now she has style!

Where is your favourite place to shop?

Dover Street Market

What are you reading?

'An Odyssey: A Father, A Son and an Epic' - Daniel Mendelsohn

What are you watching?

Culture programme on German Satellite and ‘Sturm der Liebe’ - not culture and is a Bavarian Soap Opera...

What are you listening / dancing to?

Pink Floyd, Fado (Portugese music) & Schubert

What are you growing?

I have a fantastic assortment of fruits and vegetables that I grow in my garden: apples, blackberries, chives, mint, plums, red currants and more.

London or Vienna?

50/50 - half and half

Cat or dog?

Dog - Mein Hund 'Cosmo' is a coton de tulear...beautiful. I do love cats but sadly am allergic.

Tea or Coffee?

Italian Coffee - Espresso in particular

Sachertorte or Cremeschnitte?

Cremeschnitte

If you could have 3 people to dinner dead or alive who would they be and why?

1.     Jonathan Miller

2.     Alain de Botton

3.     Tom Stoppard

They are all erudite - cultured, sophisticated and educated - you could say they are almost extinct!

Favourite continent you have travelled to?

Asia

Favourite Summer Destination:

Austria, of course!

        Most recently, Thames and Hudson have created a book with Mimi on this collection of her extraordinary jewellery 'Untamed Encounters' -the perfect book for your coffee table. Her other publications include 'The Tiger Rugs of Tibet', 'Stacking Wood' with Thorsten Düser, and 'In the Oriental style: A Sourcebook of Decoration and Design', with Michael Freeman and Sian Evans. 

MIMI LIPTON

Mimi Lipton Instagram

 

September Fashion Picks

All three of us are a little obsessed with clothes and shopping. Dressing up is super fun, and a new and interesting find is even more fun.  Below are our favourite fashion picks for September, from (mostly) British brands. So keep scrolling, and happy shopping!! Alice, Emily and Olivia xxx

Alice 💁🏻

I am still holding on to the belief that summer isn't quite over yet, and so have chosen some fun summer holiday items.  I'm all about pink and red at the moment, and love Air & Grace's super tasselled espadrilles. The mini blue croc handbag by Subella London is also fantastic, and Skinny Rich Fairies ball gown made from vintage materials is quite wonderful, and I'm still hankering after an Alighieri gold piece of jewellery...   

Emily 💁🏽

It's good news for the fans as pom poms make the seamless transition from summer to winter this year! My fashion picks are all about keeping it casual with little details to add a bit of fun. Who doesn't love a glittery sock?  

Olivia 💁🏼:

Trends are so last season. For me, fashion is about making you happy and letting your identity shine through your clothes. This month I have picked practical yet quirky investment pieces that will keep you city chic over the Autumnal months. And yes, I have included a bikini, because who knows, maybe London will get a sweltering day (reaching for the stars, I know) or you may jet off across the Atlantic...enjoy!

Orange is the New Black AW17

Alice🙋🏽 & Olivia 🙋 

Not since the Georgian era has orange been in fashion....that is, until now. Once feared by the fashion elite for its clashing capabilities and criminal connotations, it has slowly populated into one of the hottest shades this Summer. Why? From Equipment's timeless, relaxed, androgynous silhouettes, to Rixo's floaty maxi dress and Anthropologie's structured culotte jumpsuits, this colour is for everyone and for any occasion.  We love all things orange,  just make sure you clash your colours this season for full on tangerine dreaminess.Olivia and Alice xxx

Olivia's Picks:

Alice's Picks

I am a little obsessed with orange - the bright vibrant variety (I'm not that fussed by pale apricots or peach), the richer and brighter the better.  Below are some orange things I would very much like now please 😍🍊.I love this jumpsuit, I'm sadly not really the right shape to pull it off, but if you are, definitely pair it with some fun heels, preferably in a fuchsia colour 💗.Orange nails are super fun, and I am really enjoying Nailberry's bright hue superbly named Decadence.I very recently discovered John + Pearl's jewellery and am a big fan, they have lots of brightly coloured offerings and a lovely little shop just to he righthand side of Selfridges.Ok I know it's not really orange - but it is called 'Orange' - Sarah & Sorrentino do amazing patterns on beautifully designed swimwear, I really love this one.So beautiful, I love the shape and colour contrasts of this leather handbag.And I am still completely obsessed with Bendita Luz's everything, their lip balm just smells so citrusy and so good.British brand Jilla do great sportswear - recommended to me by The Natural Swede :-) and I love this pinky/orange colourway of this one (it's more orange in real life). And lastly these bowls. I would like them very much. (I am in the process of moving house and have my eye on them for when the move is complete...).You can read all about Emily and Olivia’s blog take over here.

Maude Made

I recently spent an evening with Maude Smith in her beautiful home.  We sat and spoke about all manner of things 'handmade', whilst Maude created cards and envelopes out of a stash of wallpaper cut-offs from work.  She is an Interior Stylist for World of Interiors magazine, and the coveted confectionary of wall paper from a photo shoot was being transformed into charming elephant shaped stationery.Maude makes and designs an array of beautiful everyday clothes and homeware, and ever since she can remember has always made things.  She traces it back to her grandmother who had a 'make do and mend' approach to life, never throwing anything away, making her own children's clothes and toys.Most recently Maude has designed a collection of whimsical 'old fashioned style' floaty dresses out of stunning, richly coloured block printed fabrics from India.  She designs other clothes too, all carefully crafted on her sewing machine, and also has a collection of painted tiles and doors, printed wallpaper and stationery.Maude uses every spare moment designing and creating, and says she is most happiest when she is making.  She feels that 'making' reinforces who one is, it gives an identity to who you are, and allows you to put your own stamp on the world.She studied textiles at Edinburgh, and since then has worked for an number of creative companies including a textiles studio in Brighton, a cloth house in Soho, an antiques shop, as an art therapist, and most recently for World of Interiors for whom she is styling wonderful photo stories.Maude's style is traditional, her everyday clothes and homeware are inspired by folk art and traditions, and she is always looking to reintroduce old fashioned styles into her work.  We discussed a lot about how 'everyday things' are often not thought of as special, and how a lovingly made ceramic mug or hand printed card should be appreciated as an object of beauty in it's own right. And I love that at the root of all of Maude's work is her aim to produce unique and useful pieces, created over time with care, turning her back on mass production.Laura Ashley is her absolute hero, and she has been greatly inspired by the works of Emily Sutton, Enid Marx, Vanessa Bell, the Bloomsbury Group and the Omega Workshops.  William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement are also a huge influence.Artists she admires are Whistler, Klimt, William Waterhouse, Edward Bawden and Ravilious, Mark Hearld and Anna Wright, and she loves the works of Beatrix Potter.  We bonded over children's illustration, Maude has a wonderful collection of children's books including the works of Laura Carlin and Beatrice Alamanga.Maude is also collector of beautiful things, her kitchen was hung with the most amazing dried hops, and her cupboards covered in shells and corks (many of which I discovered had been acquired via ebay.)  She also has a wonderful array of scrapbooks with all her influences and inspirations in, which she very kindly showed me.  I love scrapbooks, other peoples are even better, and I loved browsing through Maude's fascinating collection.A recent project has involved painting the illustrations for a book on 'Saints and their Flowers', together with a retired bishop; and next she is hoping to design her own prints, to be made into into dresses.It was a truly wonderful evening, and thank you for having me Maude, I can't wait to see the prints for your new dresses.

Alice xxx

www.maudemade.com

@maude_made

Photos taken by Hermione McCosh Photography

The clothes in the photos are designed by Maude and are for sale.

Photos by Hermione McCosh Photography.

Young British Designers

This weekend we took some photos in the garden, and I wore a number of items all by British designers.  It was lots of fun, the bluebells are out, and all the clothes are quite wonderful.I am now hankering after a Bruta embroidered shirt and a Baia handbag, and am completely obsessed with anything and everything by Rejina Pyo.  I wore the most beautiful printed silk dress by Klements, and also a very sweet little white dress by Kelly Love.  And Needle & Thread please may I have everything you make, I just love the pretty embroidered tulle top.  Also check out Rosita Bonita's seahorse earrings which are made from leather so are super light and just so cool, and also a couple of excellent finds from the British high street.Happy photo viewing!! Isn't the garden looking super 😃, and next time I promise I shall smile more... 😘.Alice xxx

Rejino Pyo jacket, Kelly Love dress, Klements dress, Bruta shirt, Whythe Bea skirt, Baia bag are all available from:

Young British Designers.

Blue nail polish by Barry M.

Photography Sarah Bray & Emily Bray.

Photographed at High Beeches Garden.

Arabella London Swimwear

The Summer holidays are fast approaching, the clocks have finally changed 😃, and the weather is getting warmer.  I love holiday packing, collecting Summer 'pieces' throughout the year, any excuse to buy some pretty shorts or another pair of sunglasses.  But something I always struggle with is finding beautiful swimwear that actually fits and look flattering. Being British, the idea of unveiling a body to the world which has been hidden away for most of the year is pretty daunting, we are not naturals and need all the confidence and support we can get.  So I was on the hunt, and discovered the perfect answer in newly launched AM Collection by Arabella London 👙😍.Arabella's collection of swimwear cares about the wearer, it is both flattering and multi functional, designed to be worn beyond the beach. Expertly designed to sit at the most flattering point on your body and complement your curves (it really does), with contoured bras that both look stylish and provide the necessary support.  And it's versatile, the relaxed styles in the range act as 'swimtimates', pieces you can easily wear all day under your clothes without worrying, whilst the more sophisticated styles can be worn right into the evening - they look great paired with a metallic skirt.  This really is a truly flattering and super stylish collection of swimwear,  (I am even more excited for Summer now😍), and below are my favourite pieces, I particularly love the scalloped edging on the Contour Bra in navy. Scroll down for my interview with Arabella.Alice xxx 💕

 

Interview with Arabella

Did you always want to start your own business?

I always had a burning desire to be my own boss and create something from scratch. I was fortunate that the concept behind Arabella London came naturally to me and at what to me felt like the right time in my life to pursue it. I found something I was incredibly passionate about and so I decided to bite the bullet, take a risk, work hard, and see if I could turn my passion into a career and build a business and brand.

How did the idea for Arabella London come about?

To put it frankly: I was completely dissatisfied with the swimwear available to women, especially the silhouettes. When they weren’t clumsy at the seams, they at best resembled granny pants! On the beach I'd notice women bunch their bikini bottoms in order to create a better shape which justified my own feelings that perhaps it wasn't just me (who was unsatisfied and) who desired a more flattering shape. As the sun set and women went on to their next venue, swimwear was completely covered up and became uncomfortable underpinnings for a new outfit. It was here I found the perfect space to reinvent swimwear as a transitional and transeasonal garment - multi-functional styles which could work perfectly on the beach and move seamlessly into the evening. I travelled around Europe to handpick each element for the designs in order to bring this dream to life. Unique Italian fabric with combined swimwear, active-wear and ready-to-wear properties enabled me to create swimwear which could be worn beyond the beach. This concept also influenced the design details - creating more sophisticated pieces to be worn right into the evening, and more relaxed styles to be worn as "swimtimates" on a lazy day.

What have you enjoyed most about starting a business?

The chaos, excitement, learning something you could never be taught, the people I've met and opportunities I've had and most rewarding - seeing an idea in your mind becoming something tangible.

What have you found the hardest part so far about starting and running your own business?

Swimwear is one of the hardest garments to make because of the stretch fabric - add in some support - cups & wires and it is a very technical garment. Learning and - finally! -  understanding contour design has been really challenging. Managing many roles - from design, sourcing, finding factories, production, sales, PR, social media, and creative direction is constantly demanding but it has been the best way to learn. It's always go -  we have started 2018 shapes, colours, and potentially (!) a print. Trusting your intuition amidst complete uncertainty takes a lot of strength as you can't rely on external validation - not everyone is going to back you! You also can't share risk, failure or responsibility going solo!

What is the future for the business?

We are thinking big, but taking each step at a time. My dream is for Arabella London to one day be a globally recognised brand with independent boutiques and stockists. Moving the brand into retail is the next big learning curve…!

Where are the pieces made and where do the fabrics comes from?

The prototypes are created by expert pattern cutters based in London. My sister is the perfect base size for the fit model so each design is created, tried on, tweaked, re-made, fitted, tweaked again and again until we are entirely happy with how the pieces sit on the body. When perfected, we move to the grade (sizing), create the spec sheets, method of make and have all the assets ready for production. The sampling process takes months and months - hence why we are on 2018 already! I selected the components from Europe - the cups, wires, & thread from Germany, the elastic & fabric from Italy, the hardware from France and I craft the line in Morocco at an incredibly experienced factory, alongside some major luxury brands / competitors!

How did you discover the perfect ‘convex curve’ design for your swimwear?

This took a lot of tweaking and analysis to create the perfect curve! The briefs are seamless so sit softly on the body like a second skin. They are classy without being too skimpy and they certainly flatter a number of different body shapes!

How did you decide on the colours for your current collection?

I went with colours associated with ready-to-wear, to fit with the brand concept & aesthetic. Black is always slimming so it is a key colour and will always be - however, the plum is selling equally well, so I might carry this through future collections…

Which is your favourite piece from the collection?

I love the Modern Bustier with the monowire & thick straps, and also the Contour Bra. This took 9 prototypes to crack and caused a great deal of stress along the way. It is innovative & we had to constantly adapt and change the style and materials in order to make it work with the pre-formed cups. Thankfully we stuck with it, as overall it is the best-seller so far!

I love the concept of your fusion pieces – how do you wear your pieces? And how would you style one of your swimsuits as an evening outfit? 

Thank you! I often wear the Plunge Crop as a soft undergarment or the One80 as an unwired, comfortable lightly padded t-shirt bra. For evening wear I've worn the Contour Swimsuit in black with my favourite Victoria Beckham flares. The scalloped edge makes it really striking!

What did you study and how has this influenced you?

I studied Art History - I think looking at art and composition, colours, texture and style helped my creative eye - this is perhaps reflected in the Instagram feed. I am a complete perfectionist so the images are uploaded to a hidden account before I post in order to make sure the light, colour scheme and images all align as you scroll through the feed as a whole.

Where is your favourite place to wear your swimwear? 

The beach - I am dying for some sun!

What are you most looking forward to for the holiday season?

Sales! And hopefully some features in the glossy magazines.

www.arabellalondon.co.uk

@arabellalondon

A Luxe Story - Independent British Design

This week I visited A Luxe Story's latest pop-up shop at The Concept Store, 340 King's Road, to see their resort collection.A Luxe Story is an independent designer collective showcasing beautifully crafted women's lifestyle products.  There was so much to see - all brands features products designed by British based designers, each with their own fascinating story 🎀👙👠👛👗.So here is what I discovered 😃

Parasol Rose

 Underwear as outerwear, Mim of Parasol Rose produces these beautiful slips, dresses camis and knickers all made from silk and french lace. All garments are designed and made in the UK, the silk comes from Manchester. The idea is that you can wear these pieces as undergarments or overgarments - as they are so well constructed, the fit is incredibly flattering (it is really is, I tired the top and dress on), so you could wear a dress as of an evening, a top with a jacket, or save them for downtime at home.  I really love the bright colours and they feel wonderful on!  

P.i.C Style

I am completely in love with the concept of P.i.C - an 8 piece capsule wardrobe that can be worn in 50 different ways.  So a dress can be worn front to back, or back to front, and doubles up as a coat - genius.  All clothes are made in London, and not only are the fabrics sourced locally but they are also sustainable, organic and often made of select stock material, so there is no waste.  The ideal capsule wardrobe.I really love the Camden Dress below which can double up as a sleeveless jacket.

Ille De Cocos

 Ille De Cocos creates luxurious separates made from the softest fabrics and yarns, and the results are wonderful.  Perfect for layering, these are the perfect go-to every day pieces which feel as good as they look.  I really  like the jumper below.

Layana London

If you are looking for new jewellery inspiration, take a look at Layana London's collection.  The jewellery is sourced from different up and coming designers, so there are lots of new, unusual and exciting things.

Eight Hour Studio

So I am slightly obsessed with Eight Hour Studio's printed loungewear.  The initial concept was born out of a love for traditional Indian woodblock printing methods, and the results are really beautiful - each piece is hand printed.  All garments are made from natural fibres and production complies with fair trade labour practices.  I am in love, and want all of this collection.Thank you for  having me  A Luxe Story 😘 and do drop in if you are in the area, the pop-up is open until 15th March 2017.The Concept Store, 340 Kings Road, London. SW3 5URAlice 💕 xxx

DONT WALK St Andrews University Fashion Show

I promised you a post all about DONT WALK, so here it is ☺️.I was hugely excited to come back and experience DONT WALK 5 years on (yes it's been at least 5 years 🙈).  The thing about St Andrews is, there are no clubs.  So almost every weekend there is an 'event', a glorified disco - dress code black tie - for some spurious cause, usually held in Kinkell Byre - a renovated barn on a hill over looking the sea - and, if we're honest, it's just an excuse for students to get dressed up, get a bit drunk, dance and be very very silly.DONT WALK is one of these such events.  It's not a fashion show as you know it, more a party / show / music event with a strong philosophy (it was started up in the wake of 9/11, read more here) - imagine a really good party that has been organised just for you and your friends.  Also Kate Middleton once wore a see-through dress in the show, so it's sort of famous too.This year I went back to St Andrews and did DONT WALK properly, I went with my younger sister who is in fourth year and her friends, and it went something like this:5pm Start getting ready. The dress I had bought with me was not appropriate, cue raid younger sisters edgier and stylish wardrobe, decide on glittery crop top (you don't get to be 22 every day).5.30pm Decide that wearing trainers is an excellent idea.  We are after all in Scotland, the flooring will probably be dodgy and there may be mud.5.45pm Mix an espresso martini and pour it into jar to take to someones house for pre-drinks (I am unsure what went into the martini, but it tasted good).5.50pm Eat a banana and toast because we totally forgot to eat supper.6pm Make the 10 minute walk to Queens Gardens for pre-gaming (pre-drinking) in someone else's house.6 - 7pm Drink espresso martini from wine glasses in tiny kitchen full of youthful students in all sorts of wild and wonderful get ups - if you're a girl crop tops, tiny dresses, see-through dress, jumpsuits, basically anything you like is in, as long as look like you haven't made too much effort.  For boys you're either edgey and put on an edgey outfit, or your wearing chinos, a shirt, jumper and loafers.7.15pm Walk to South Street and queue for the bus with many other semi-inebriated students.7.30pm Get bag checked for illegal substances? and then sit on the bus while students drink unusual looking concoctions out of Evian bottles they have smuggled on board.8pm Arrive at Cambo Estate.  You might have thought the 50 strong DONT WALK committee would have considered the logistics of getting many buses and cars both up and back down a narrow drive way.  But no.  Our bus driver could only get so far, he was stuck behind a long line of other buses,  so he deposited us into the mud (I knew it) and off we walked up the drive, girls in heels staggering and swaying and getting stuck.  We walked past a number of stretch limos which was intriguing (SUPER SUPER VIP guests) and I am pleased to say they had also got stuck and been deposited half way up the drive into the mud.8.30pm Arrive at marquee, use portaloo (not the fancy type), the blue and green by the side of the road type, with no lights.8.40pm Recover from portaloo usage (this is why I have only ever been to one festival, the grubbiness of portaloos is just so stressful).8.45pm Enter tent to find table. Each table comes with a bottle of champagne, however these have all been mine swept (stolen) from the tables within the first 10 minutes of students arriving.  Luckily a kindly drunken young man did offer us some champagne from 'his' bottle.9pm Find a good spot to watch show by the catwalk, buy drinks (drinks were extraordinarily cheap - cocktail for £6 and it's not even happy hour).9.30pm Don't Walk commences, have a great time.Don't Walk is all about the spectacle, they really do put on a very good show, and know how to throw a very good party indeed.There are no seats, so you stand close to the catwalk and the music is very good (you can read about it here), and everyone dances.  The models walk up and down wearing clothes by all sorts of designers. I actually think the real fashion show is on the dance floor - the students are SO well dressed, and the models are basically semi-naked for most of the show - weirdly there is nothing about the designers on their website.  The watching students get merrier and merrier (drunken and more drunken), and the models also look like they are having a great time, lots of dancing and champagne drinking on the catwalk.I had been nervous about going back to this sort of event, knowing the kind of atmosphere and was rather worried I might lose my sister, be engulfed by youth, and never be seen again.  But this is St Andrews, so everything is small and you can't really lose anyone for that long and all her friends very kindly looked after me when I did get momentarily lost.  So we danced, watched the show and had a nice time and then we got the bus back to St Andrews.It was a great night, thank you DONT WALK, and if you haven't ever been to a St Andrews University event, I really do recommend it.Alice xxx   

Think Pink for SS17

The trend I am most excited for this coming season is the colour pink 💗💓💕 💖💘.The SS17 Catwalk was festooned with all sorts shades from deep fuchsia at Topshop Unique and Hermes, pale pastels at Celine, powder-puff pink at Molly Goddard, candy floss hues at Shrimps, shiny sequins at House of Holland, ballerina pink at Bora Aksu and striking contrasts at Valentino.  SO MUCH PINK 😍CelineHermesHouse of HollandMolly GoddardValentinoValentinoValentinoBora AksuIt is therefore definitely the moment to take advice from Maggie Prescott in Funny Face  and 'banish the black, burn the blue and bury the beige' and 'Think Pink!'.pinkI really do love a head-to-toe pink outfit, although it is very difficult to pull off, unless you are a character in a Hollywood film:

For date night, a pink tiara is a must

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's

The off-duty look, bubblegum is the ultimate pink accessory

Pink Lady Didi Conn as Frenchy in Grease

Dressing up for the Office, a pink twin set and don't forget your hat

Natalie Portman as Jackie Onassis in Jackie

Off to afternoon tea, the pink ruffle dress (comes with matching hat)

Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady

That night out on the town, pink fish tail dress and long gloves

Marilyn Monroe as Lorelei in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

First day of term - tiny dog wearing matching pink jumper, check.

Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde

And for the big occasion, only a full length pink fur coat and matching up-d0, will do.

Shirley Maclaine as Louisa May Foster in What a Way to GoSo in Hollywood Land, head-to-toe pink is completely acceptable, but in reality it is pretty hard to pull off - I would love to wander around looking like Shirley Maclaine in What a Way to Go but I think, sadly, these outfits need to be kept in the fancy dress box, or just left to the likes of Katy Perry, Lady GaGa, Grayson Perry and Barbie.But pink is so fun, and and as the high street is about to be awash with the stuff, now is the time to incorporate, even just a tiny pop of it into your wardrobe.  And you definitely want to be clashing your pink with red. So below are some ideas and I hope you have happy pink shopping 😍.Alice xxx 💓💗💖💕b53de4f78b9cd23b69b1393b7987bcc4-2 

The Outfit

Hush - Balzac Tweed Jacket and Frayed Tweed Shorts

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The Dress

Paper London - Luna Dress - £350

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The Heels

Sophie Webster - Lilico T-Bar Sandals - £495

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The Flats

Boden - Angelica T-Bar Flats - £85

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The Skirt

J Crew - Tulle Ball Skirt - £218

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The Jacket

Needle & Thread - Embroidered Rose Bomber - £235

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The Shirt

Bruta - Margharita Shirt - £120

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The Jumpsuit

J Crew - Wide Leg Jumpsuit - £250

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The Ring

Flora Bhattachary - Taxila Yaksha Ring - £520

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The Top

Zara - Contrast Plumetis Top - £19.99

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The Jumper

Oasis - Flamingo Knit - £40

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The Bag

Boo - Suede Rose Pink Rucksack - £92

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The Swimsuit

Pandora Sykes x Hunza G - Kerry Swimsuit - £135

Pandora Sykes x Hunza G - Kerry Swimsuit 

The Sunglasses

Cats Got the Cream - Work It Sunglasses - £20

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The Lip

Dior - Exuberant Matte - £26.50

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The Nails

FNUG - Short Skirt Nail Polish - £12.99

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The Coat

Shrimps - Adelaide Coat - £595

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The Drink

Pink Velvet Latte at Palm Vaults

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The Place

Pietro Nolita restaurant in New York

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 And a nice pink Wes Anderson shot to finish ☺️

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A La La Land Dress

I went to see La La Land yesterday and enjoyed it very much indeed 😊.  It is a wonderfully happy making film (although beware, the ending is a little bittersweet) and is the perfect mash of a modern day love story with a golden era Hollywood musical.  I have a lot of love for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as the leads (Ryan Gosling can currently do no wrong, see The Nice Guys and Drive).  They sing catchy tunes, they dance, they frolic in LA, they fall in love, and they even dance in a starry night time sky.  And the film is just so colourful, it's bright and cheery in primary colours, and Emma Stone has a truly excellent wardrobe.I am now currently on the hunt for the perfect La La Land dress, and I thought I would share some of my findings 😍👗👠.Alice xxx 💃💕The Yellow Dress LLL d 29 _5194.NEFI love yellow very very much, and I am hoping that this summer will be awash with La La Land style dresses.  For now, Young British Designer Georgia Hardinge has made a lovely dress in a nice bright warm yellow.  If you want something with a little more every day, try this dress from Anthropologie.Georgia Hardinge Yellow Dress The Blue DressLA LA LAND (2016) Emma Stone as MiaThe little blue dress.  This Miss Selfridge dress is so Emma Stone in La La Land, an ideal day to night, in cobalt blue. If you are after a more party party dress, this flicky number from Karen Millen will do the trick.Miss Selfridge Bow Sleeve DressThe LBDemma-stone-ryan-gosling-09-19-2015-2I like this little black dress by Maje a lot, a really great take on the LBD.  For simpler options try these dresses at & Other Stories and Ted Baker.Maje Bonded Lace DressThe Coral Dressmv5bmjc5njc4ndc1mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwnza3nzu3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr0015051000_al_Karen Millen have an amazing range of dresses at the moment.  I like the orange mini below, but if you're after a more La La Land copycat outfit, try their Pleated Trench Dress in orange, or for a really sumptuous dress, their Taffeta Ballgown, which comes in three colours.Karen Millen Orange Mini Dress The Green Dress58497256120000dd00eee318Emerald green is such a great colour and this beautiful dress from P.A.R.O.S.H. is ideal 💚.  If you want something a little less fitted, this olive green satin dress from Cos is also great.P.A.R.O.S.H Flared Pleat DressThe White Dresslalaland-e1483294236187White is so hard to get right, you don't want to look too bridal or too tacky.  I think Somerset by Alice Temperley have nailed it with this flared lace dress (and if white just isn't your thing they have it in blue too 💙).  For a simpler option also try this dress by Marysia.Somerset by Alice Temperley Flared White Dress 

Sophie Breitmeyer, Jewellery Designer

sophie-bI met Sophie Breitmeyer for a cup of tea and we spoke about jewels, bespoke jewellery and her dog Hackle  (he's a Dachshund cross Jack Russell, is super cute and goes absolutely everywhere with her.)Sophie, who always knew she wanted to make jewellery, trained at Central St Martins and set up her jewellery company in 2012.  She has just opened her first showroom in Westbourne Park, and Rihanna and Sienna Miller have both been spotted wearing Sophie Breitmeyer monogram rings, it is all very very exciting.First of all, however, I must tell you, Sophie is an incredibly good secret keeper.As the creator of the most beautiful one off fine jewellery pieces, including engagement rings, she is much in demand, with a number of very pretty shiny rings currently in creation.  Your boyfriend may think she is his worst nightmare, but I promise you she is about to become his best friend 😘So boys (or girls) who may soon be considering acquiring a very pretty ring, please do keep reading.Sophie works from the principal that a beautiful piece of fine jewellery does not have to cost the world, and will work with a client step-by-step to ensure that the finished product is exactly as they had in mind.For a bespoke commission she will first start with a consultation to discuss the idea you have in mind, this might be a completely new design, or perhaps a rework of granny's old ring into a contemporary setting.  For Sophie, it is important that the jewellery she makes stands the test of time, and she is very happy to guide you on a design as little or as much as you want.  She will then talk through your proposed budget and is refreshingly understanding of that fact that fine jewellery is a big investment.  And there are ways of creating the piece of jewellery you want at an affordable price, such as using a certain carat of metal, or quality of diamond.Once a design has been agreed upon, Sophie will source the stones for you to choose from.  She will draw up a computer aided 3D design and print a wax model of the ring in the exact dimensions and design it is to be made (I found this part absolutely amazing).  She will give you the wax ring and a colour photo of the design, so you can be completely assured that the finished product will be exactly what you are expecting.  Then it is time for the ring to be made.You can understand why she has become the confidante of many men, buying an engagement ring is probably one of the most daunting things I imagine, and Sophie is able to seamlessly guide you through the process, so that the ring is all yours and ready to go.  The proposal part is, of course, up to you although she says she once had a client ring her from an airport in a complete panic.  It all turned out happily ever after in the end, you'll be pleased to hear!She has also made a range of  one-off beautiful and affordable engagement rings, for those who might not have something specific in mind.I loved talking to Sophie about designing and making jewellery, she really is an expert who wants you to fully understand her craft, and speaks about what she does in a very honest and straightforward way.  She happily admits that she 'just likes making pretty things', and her favourite part is choosing the stones, she is like ' a kid in a candy shop'.  She also loves giving a finished piece to someone, happy in the knowledge that she has assisted in helping them achieve the exact piece of jewellery they had in mind.And quickly, back to Hackle her dog, who has been with Sophie since the beginning.  He arrived as a present from her sister, when she was first starting out as a self employed jeweller.  And there may have been just a  few occasions when mishaps were blamed on 'my assistant'.... but really, anyone could forgive Hackle the terribly cute four-legged assistant...Alice xxxwww.sophiebreitmeyer.comInstagram: @sophiebreitmeyerHere are some of my favourite pieces of Sophie's jewellery:sophie-breitmeyer-amethyst-diamond-drop-earringssophie-breitmeyer-engagement-ringsophie-breitmeyer-pearl-necklace sophie-breitmeyer-gold-tear-drop-earrings sophie-breitmeyer-morganite-blossom-necklacesophie-breitmeyer-signet-ringsophie-breitmeyer-diamond-hoopsAnd some favourites of the moment from Sophie:

SB piece: Diamond Tear Drop Earrings (although I never wear drop earrings!)Stone: Diamonds!Jewellery designer: Jessica McCormackArtists: Emma Bennett and Kevin Francis GrayListening to: The Next Black SoundtrackWatching: The Good WifeReading: Nothing at the moment, but the best thing I have read recently is I am PilgrimDrinking: Vodka, fresh lime and soda with Angostura Bitters, it's a bit too cold for Aperol Spritz these days!Eating out: There is the most amazing Thai place next to my house called Poppies, and also Kricket in Brixton & Soho is amazing.Place in London: Either Granary Square in Kings Cross, the top of Hampstead Heath, or down on the river in ChiswickMost inspiring country you have visited: IndiaAlternative career path: History of Art - somehow I would have ended up in the jewellery world though, I think it was meant to be.

A Velvet Crush

Something strange seems to be happening 👧.  After a satisfactory high street shop this week 👗👠, I came away with some velvet leggings 👖, and a velvet headband 🎀- yes a hairband for your head covered in velvet 👧🎀.I am almost annoyed at the AW16 inspired high street for tempting me with items 💗.  I thought they long been banished by my 11 year self - when I arrived at secondary school it was soon apparent that velvet leggings 👖 and hairbands 🎀were not in 👎, and they were quickly dismissed, in favour of flared jeans and Gap Hoodies 👍.But really I am secretly delighted 😃.The high street is awash with all sorts of velvet and velour 🎀 in any colour you can imagine 💚💜💙💛, thanks to Valentino, Roksanda, Ellery, Haider Ackermann and Sonia Rykiel who all paraded it down the catwalk this season💃.Everyone has gone quite overboard - Topshop have velvet underwear 👙(which does not seem practical or comfortable), there are many 'bodysuits' that greatly resemble tap dancing leotards 👯, and the range of velvet colours is quite fabulous - I am peculiarly tempted by a powder pink crushed velvet dress.I have to admit I am wholeheartedly embracing the arrival of velvet everything.  I seem to have discovered my inner 80s Sloane 👸, out with the skinny jeans and ankle boots and in with velvet leggings, over-sized roll-necks, headbands, smoking slippers and pearls 🎀.  Ok so obviously not dowdy dressing - my velvet leggings are covered in glitter, my headband has some fun diamante and my pearls are mismatched, I'm currently sporting one pale pink pearl stud and one silver.  And it's just so fun 💎🎀.And I urge you too indulge, it's far more satisfying than the 90s choker, croptop, flatform trend of last year 💘, and perfect for a little winter wardrobe update.Below are some fun velvet items for you to investigate, although I don't recommend you wear them all at once 😉 💕.And do have a look at my Wish List on my homepage (you need to click the menu bar at the top right) to see some velvet outfit inspiration.Alice xxxThe every day trouser:

Boden - Velvet Trouser - £69.50

16wwin_wm396_navThe every day shoe:

Sophie Webster - Renee Mary Jane Ballerinas - £325

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The hairband:

Miss Selfridge - Velvet Embellished Headband - £12.50

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The scrunchie:

Lulu in the Sky - Burgundy Velvet Scrunchie - £4

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The work to party dress 💙💙💙 and my Velvet favourite:

Whistles - Suzie Love Party Dress - £250

whistles-suzie-love-velvet-dress-navy_medium_03The work to party shoe:

Topshop - Velvet Jagga Shoes - £46

ts32j22ktea_zoom_f_1 THE party dress:

Coast - Kimberley Black Velvet Dress - £129

003067707Party dancing shoes:

& Other Stories - Sequin Heel Sandalette - £69

0403957002_1_100011The weekend trouser:

River Island - Black Glitter Velvet Leggings - £22

River Island - Black Glitter Velvet Leggings - £22The weekend shoe: French Sole - Hefner Black Velvet Smoking Slippers - £180French Sole - Hefner Black Velvet Smoking Slippers with Gold Bee and Honey Embroidery - £180The weekend hair accessory:

Candy Bows - Luxurious Velvet Bow Hair Clip - £4.25

original_luxurious-velvet-boutique-hair-bowFor dressing up:

Vjera Vilicnik - Rose Velvet Choker - £30

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 For smaller people (age and head size):

Trotters - Big Bow Velvet Alice Band - £15

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