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

[email-subscribers namefield="NO" desc="Please follow us for all updates :-) 💕" group="Public"]  

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


[email-subscribers namefield="NO" desc="Please follow us for all updates :-) 💕" group="Public"]

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...

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   

Tresco in a Coco Fennell Dress

Some photos for Monday 💕💖😃They were taken on the walkway to the bird hide on Tresco, in the Scilly Isles.I am wearing a Coco Fennell dress -  I am a big fan of Coco's dresses, they are super cute and fun, and she makes them all herself - I currently have my eye on her Pineapple dress 😍.  And her instagram is a must follow 😘Alice xxxPhotographs taken by Emily BrayIMG_6186IMG_6171IMG_6175IMG_6184IMG_6197IMG_6209  IMG_6216 IMG_6218  IMG_6220 IMG_6221

The Caradoc - Leather Stationery

28c3bf42b36e80d514838172b0cdf847I spent a super morning recently with Alice Henderson, who is the creator behind the luxury leather stationery company The Caradoc.Alice's initial idea when planning her business was to create beautiful leather stationery for every day living, both useful and stylish pieces to help organise your life.  Alice admits she has a stationery obsession, and loves to both buy and organise her stationery, so really it seemed only logical to create her own.  Her background is in garment technology, she did an HND in Fashion Technology and has been working as a garment technologist since, so she does know a thing or two about materials and how they are put together.What she has achieved, is something most people spend their days dreaming about.  At age 28 she has launched her own business (whilst working in a full time job) and achieved her initial aim - the production of luxe leather stationery pieces,  exquisitely made from the most gorgeous leather which are thoroughly useful and functional.  I am still in awe of her notebook design (I have a great love of a good notebook) - the leather 'book' is both a refillable notebook and a diary, you slide the paper into the inside leather flaps of the outer cover, and there is a dividing leather leaf in-between the diary section and the notebook section, the perfect two in one.  I'm not sure my explanation really does it justice - so please have a look at it hereThere are currently six pieces in her collection, the refillable notebook diary, a pencil case or make-up bag, a laptop case, a pouch or clutch, a card holder and a key ring, and they are all made from the softest spanish bulls leather and lined in a thick cotton.It is her attention to detail in the design that really makes each one of these a joy to own.  The quality of leather, the thickness of the cotton, the sturdy zip, each piece has been hand-made and finished with real care, they are made to last forever.  And the pieces are instantly stylish.  In black, with gold details,  a chevron detail on the zip pull, and with the name 'The Caradoc' elegantly gold stamped on each piece, they easily become an every day staple, seamlessly fitting in with your current wardrobe.Alice drew up the specs for the pieces herself, first creating paper mock-ups.  The leather pieces are made in a tiny factory in London, she sources the leather and trimmings herself, and the girls at the factory create the items from her specs.  She has done a lot of research into the best leather, linings and trimmings to use, always ensuring, above all else, that the quality is the very best.  The first few samples just weren't quite right, it was rather nerve-racking to start with, but she honed the details, and has been very strict about how exactly the pieces are put together, and now has her six perfected items.  She was tempted to make other types of stationery, but has currently stuck with her capsule collection - the six pieces you really do need in your life.  She would like to eventually go into other colours with a tan and a dark green next on her list.I own the 'Beatty' pouch, and I am not sure what I was doing before it came into to my life (actually I do, I was endlessly scrabbling around at the bottom of my handbag looking for keys, wallet etc).  This pouch has a divider in the middle and a small pocket on the side - perfect for organising everyday bits and pieces.  It fits easily into a handbag, or can be used as a clutch bag on it's own.  I find it absolutely ideal to use when popping out for lunch at work, or when I want to ditch my handbag in the evening and just use a clutch - everything I need is already neatly organised inside.  The leather really is super soft, and it both looks and feels luxurious.  And surprisingly for me (I don't really do black) it has fitted so easily in with my wardrobe that it actually feels like the piece I have been needing for a long time, an elegant black clutch that goes with everything.Leather 'stationery' crosses the boundaries between fashion accessory and stationery which I think is rather marvellous - items designed to both help organise your life and look the part.  I often think these items are very personal choices - the wallet you pull out of you handbag every day, the notebook  you use in meetings - particularly as they are always on show.  To find something elegant and unassuming can be no mean feat, and The Caradoc really does fill that gap, any of the items would look entirely respectable at a meeting or interview.  And I really do think it satisfies both the stationary lover and the fashion lover, men and women and the price range is certainly far kinder than Smythson 😉.  I am completely infatuated,  I think next on my list will just have to be a laptop case...So because the stationery is just so wonderful, we are offering 40% off with the code ALICEFRANCES on the website across all products.  Happy perusing and shopping 😍Alice xxx 837828bf73e0659512ee6576810e2d5d50661ede080f08070e5d94a4cd8fee92a5d0c88694643f7b77db06b9bff67f0c 96446fa88a2dd5f4402955baa20a085698225279dcf444bc1bbdc93b2bf956b17ed265c8084805e7e85925e8005f640a

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

Edwina Elkington, Milliner 👒

1449057242436I recently had a really fun breakfast with Edwina Elkington, a British milliner based in London.  Edwina is one of those people who has a real sense of style, she is always dressed impeccably in chic outfits.  She is also a lot of fun with boundless energy, and a passion for crafting elegant and beautiful hats.Edwina's hats are really quite cool - she tends to work with velour felt, and her current collection is made up of elegant, luxurious hats, in gorgeous colours.  They are works of art, beautifully crafted and structurally impressive, with delightful details including felt bows and trimmings and feathers attached jauntily to headbands.  Her designs are contemporary, but the hats are timeless and most importantly they are wearable.  The Charlotte hat is your answer to the wedding season,  the Chloe is the finishing touch to your 'weekend in the countryside' outfit, and you could pair the Tamara hat with jeans one day, with a smart dress the next.  And I just love the Gaby hat - it is ideal for a winter wedding.Edwina's favourite hat from her current collection is the Cosima hat - she has made both a grey and a blue version.  Grey is her current colour, she is enjoying incorporating the cool neutral tone into her designs.  I particularly like her bold use of colour, with trimmings to match - the hats are both understated and incredibly stylish.Edwina's love for making hats began when she made head pieces for a fashion show at the V & A, as part of a Costume Design course at Wimbledon College of Arts.  Inspired by this experience she went on to do a two year Millinery course in Leeds.  She spent the summer interning for the designer Gina Foster, who she says has been a big inspiration, and once she graduated spent 6 months working for the creatively flamboyant Louis Marriette.  She has also recently gained a distinction in her DGA (diamond diploma), and hopes to incorporate diamond headpieces into future collections.Edwina makes all her hats herself at home in London, and she explained the process of hat making to me -  steaming the felt, stretching it and pinning it over a wooden block (this is in the shape of a head) until the required shape is attained, and then leaving it to set.  Once the felt has dried she adds a lining, Edwina tends to use silk, and next the trimmings are added.  Her fabrics are all bought in Britian - the felt comes from Yorkshire, the trimmings from London.  There can however be hazards to working at home - she once stood on a needle which went horizontally right through her big toe, bizarrely not causing any pain at all and it was only removed after a couple of days - and felt needles are not definitely not small!!Currently she sells them via her website, you can choose one of her current designs as is, or in a colour of your choice, or commission something completely unique - she has a lead time of a  3 - 4 of weeks.  She enjoys the process of working with a client to achieve the look they are after, or creating a piece for a specific occasion.  She is very good at knowing what style suits your height and look.  Most of all she enjoys creating something you can keep forever, a timeless piece that you will wear again and again.  Her hats really are an everyday fashion accessory, to be worn and loved like a pair of shoes or a handbag, an essential part of your wardrobe, everyone should own a hat!Eventually she would like to have her own store and be stocked in boutiques - in particular Net-A-Porter.  And she would love to see her hats on the Duchess of Cambridge and The Londoner.It was such a fun morning, I loved learning all about the hat making process, and they really are such fabulous pieces in great colours, definitely have a look at her beautiful website.Alice xxxPhotos by Sophie BolesworthCharlotteChloeCosima detailGabyRosieLouisaLouisa DetailTamara

The Scilly Isles in a Kate Spade Dress

Whilst on the Scilly Isles, we decided to do a mini photo shoot in one of my favourite places - Pentle Bay on Tresco, and I wore a Kate Spade dress.  I can't get enough of Kate Spade - their dresses, handbags, shoes and jewellery are always the most marvellous colours.  I love the jewel tones, and with a few geometric patterns thrown in and a touch of sparkle to add - I always feel like a small child in a sweet shop when I enter a Kate Spade shop, there are just so many exciting things.  I often go in and try things on - they really do know how to cut a dress properly, and once on, each dress feels as though it was made just for you.We cycled down to the beach and I did a hasty change in the sand dunes and we took some photos.  I really like the bright pink of the dress against the calm tones of the sea, sky and sand.Dress, Kate Spade - similar here; Ring, Oliver Bonas; Nail Polish, Barry M.Photographs taken by Sarah Bray and Emily Bray.Alice xxxIMG_6241 IMG_6243 IMG_6247 IMG_6260IMG_6270IMG_6263 IMG_0061 IMG_0063 IMG_0064 IMG_0065 IMG_0071IMG_6237

That Coat

IMG_7366I would like to let you know that my blog isn't going to be just about the coat 💙 (and if you've missed that coat - please do have a read - An Epidemic) - but it may now have it's own instagram 📱page @thatcoat 😉...I feel I got quite involved with the coat this week 💁, but I don't actually own one 🙊 (no I'm not being paid by Zara to make the coat go viral, it really doesn't need any help).I thought perhaps I should get to know it better 👧 - so I went to Zara after work to try it on.  The first person I saw in Zara was wearing the coat, so I got a little overexcited (and took a sneaky photo 📷) and then I found the the coat and put it on 💙.And you know what - it's a really nice coat 💙💙💙.  It's a good shape - the pattern is great, and it's not too thick or thin - perhaps THE perfect British 🇬🇧 summer coat.  I did not buy it 💰, but I do like it 😍 (and Zara if you happened to want to give me one, that's just fine, size Small is best ❤️💙😉).  And what I really like that in the last couple of days people have sent messages along the lines of 'off to buy the coat' or 'still buying the coat' and even a nice photo of a just purchased coat in a shopping bag 💙💰.Really well done Zara. What a great coat.I promise from now on, my posts shall not be coat related (but please do keep sending your photos to instagram 📱 @thecoat we're kinda enjoying it 😘 #thatcoat).Alice xxxIMG_7367  

An Epidemic #thatcoat

2314640080_2_6_1I really hadn't noticed.  I hadn't spotted the infiltration.  And I wouldn't expect you to unless you KNOW.  And once you know you'll start seeing it - sitting next to you on the tube, buying a pret sandwich, sitting in the pew next to you at the wedding...It all started at Chelsea Flower Show 'She's wearing my coat'.  'Which coat?' 'That coat' and suddenly, everywhere.  A blue and white printed coat worn by women all over London.  It's as though they are in a secret club.  Usually I tend to notice when clothes (Zara clothes) go viral - that navy blue coat with the gold studs on the arms that was EVERYWHERE one winter.  But this has sneakily slipped by me - an elegant, blue and white pattern, Chanel-esque, worn by women of all ages.  So tidy and neat and obvious, your mother and daughter almost definitely both have one.  And somehow it seems to be going unnoticed, it is being worn with a 'it can't be the same coat, well of course I bought this first, and anyway I wear it better, ' attitude by everyone, rather than the usual 'hide behind the bus stop, she's wearing the same outfit as me' scenario.So we got snapping - everyone got enthusiastic - apparently I'm not the only one who enjoys taking creepy photos of people in the street.  Some peoples sneaky street photography is better than others 😉 - and thank you guys, it's been fun (maybe a little too fun).And you can currently buy it in Zara 😍.We have got overexcited and made an instagram page just for the coat, so if you see the coat, please do send a photo to @thatcoat and we'll put it up 😃 and #thatcoatSo now you know, and happy coat hunting 😉.Alice and Emily  xxx@thatcoat instagram account art directed by Emily @emilsbeeFeatured in:Daily Mail OnlineStylistThe PoolMetro OnlineHuffington PostTeen VogueCosmopolitanGraziaGlamourVogue EspanaThe IndependentElle EspanaElle NetherlandsPrimaWho What WearElle FranceCosmopolitan ItaliaBrit and CoIMG_715513139307_10156744846620618_1767722840032677288_nIMG_7151IMG_6837IMG_7152 IMG_7153 IMG_7154 IMG_7288 IMG_7289 IMG_7290 IMG_7291 IMG_7292 IMG_7293 IMG_7295 IMG_7296 

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 Illustration Exhibition - Talking with Karin Söderquist

owl sqareI recently took a trip to Shoreditch on my bicycle.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and I took a leisurely route avoiding the main roads - through the back of Stockwell, past Oval, over Southwark Bridge and up past Finsbury Square.   I made it to Shoreditch and tied my bike up in a very snazzy bike rack (green and in the shape of a car, Shoreditch is very trendy).I went to find The Old Shoreditch Station which is a cafe and bar in a decommissioned station.  It's pretty difficult to tell it was ever a station, although there is a nice map on the wall explaining which rooms were which part of the station.  I had a lovely coffee and sat in the window - and I rather like it as a place - you order your coffee 'in' at the bar, and take it with you to sit where  ever you like, and they don't fuss over you too much.  It has a very easy going vibe, definitely the sort of place you could take a book, or an essay to be written and sit for a while and that would be just fine.So the main purpose of my trip to The Old Shoreditch Station was to see an exhibition of works by Bat Country Collective entitled When Hell Breaks Loose.  I really like illustration and Bat Country Collective are a London and Stockholm based group of illustrators who create rather charming and often quirky illustrations.  I really like this concept - illustrators with different techniques and styles, collating their visions to create collections and curate exhibitions.The illustrations are very much hung as though they are works of art specifically bought and displayed for the coffee shop - so I did do some awkward photo taking over people enjoying their coffee (thank you for your patience!!).I enjoyed the lino prints by James Swain and also Asa Wikman's motivational unicorn is just super.But it was Karin Soderquist's illustration's based on Russian prison tattoos caught my eye.  They were inspired by FUEL's Russian criminal tattoo archive - and the combination of almost comical images tattooed onto rather terrifying Russian criminals and recreated by Karin in bright, colourful rather fanciful illustrations is bizarre and delightful.I asked Karin some questions about the concept behind this exhibition, and her illustrations:

Explain to me a little bit about your work as an illustrator, and the techniques you use?

I studied illustration at Camberwell College of Art and graduated in 2011. Since then I've been freelancing part-time and worked on a range of different projects, mostly editorial illustration but also some advertising, food illustration and packaging design. My work is a mix of digital and hand-drawn illustration. All the colours are digital but the base of the illustration is always a drawing. Bat Country Collective formed as a fun way to collaborate and support each others work and “When Hell Breaks Loose” is our third exhibition in London. We've had different members but right now the collective is made up of me, Åsa Wikman and Ashley Amery.

How did you and Bat Country Collective arrive at the theme 'When Hell Breaks Loose'?

Coming up with a theme for a group show can be tricky. It has to be something that feels fun and inspiring for everyone taking part and something that is wide enough for everyone to be able to create the kind of work that they enjoy. As we live in different countries, I'm in Stockholm and the rest of the collective is in London, we usually communicate via Facebook. We had a bit of a brainstorm on there and decided on ”When Hell Breaks Loose”, it triggered all of our imaginations!

How and why were you inspired to use the Russian prison tattoos for these works?

I was given all three of FUEL's Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopedias for Christmas last year. After looking through them I knew that I wanted to make my own versions of some of the amazing tattoos. This exhibition felt like a perfect time to start working in the project, being in prison probably feels a lot like being in hell.

I love your colour combinations - do you have a colour palette you always work with, or do you change it depending on project?

I love colours and sometimes it comes really easily, the colours I want to use for a certain illustration. Other times it takes a bit more work to find something that feels right so that the colours play off each other nicely. I have a few combinations that I keep coming back to, but I try to challenge myself and not always use the first combinations that pops into my head. I usually spend a lot of time playing around with the ”Hue and Saturation” in Photoshop!

Do go and see this exhibition at The Old Shoreditch Station, it is on until mid-May, and definitely have a coffee :-)

Alice xxx

IMG_4588IMG_4595IMG_4597IMG_4598IMG_4603IMG_4601Krokodil square (1)Lady squarecat squareIMG_4599IMG_4599 

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

Amberley Castle

When I first started my blog, I did a series of posts of me dressed in rather wonderful dresses 👗, in a number of different gardens.  I never really explained the reason for these - and really is just because I love dresses - proper dresses and because it is fun photographing in gardens and outside country houses.  Mummy very kindly took all the photos for these 'shoots' and we have had a really very fun time exploring a number of gardens and houses, and I am looking forward to doing more 😊.  Although I am not always the easiest model - I make funny faces by accident, and sometimes I get embarrassed about being photographed in public so we have minor Mother / daughter heated discussions - however mostly we have come away with some really excellent photos and have greatly enjoyed ourselves.Here is a lovely photo shoot, shot at Amberley Castle 🏰in Sussex.  I am wearing a vintage dress 👗, it really is a proper princess 👸dress, and sometimes I can't quite believe people actually went to parties in dresses such as these (actually I really wish we still did).  The dress in the bright blue looks wonderful against the castle backdrop, and we had a really good sunny day ☀️ for photographing.  Amberley Castle was built by the Bishops of Chichester, and there has been a structure there since 1103 - the fortifications, walls and gatehouse arrived around 1377.  It really is a rather whimsical place, with ruins still inside the walls, they are now a rather stunning feature of the garden.  Really the best part is that it is a hotel, so you can go and stay within the castle walls.  The drive slopes down hill away from the castle entrance and it really does feel as though a prince might gallop 🐎 up any moment and sweep you away....Happy Easter!!Alice xxxPhotos taken by Sarah BrayIMG_1429IMG_1421 IMG_1399IMG_1439IMG_1443 IMG_1444 IMG_1452 IMG_1457 IMG_1461

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