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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: A day in my working life

OK so admittedly I picked quite a fun day as shoots are definitely one of my favourite part of the job, but the reality is that at Wardrobe ICONS, no other day is the same as the other. Petro and I work from our shared London office two to three days a week and when we are not at our desks producing the pages you see in your weekly magazine The ICONS Update, or researching the net for the best wardrobe staples to upload on the site, we spend our time out and about on press days, meetings, breakfasts and shoots - and this is the day I'm going to take you through today: the making of a Wardrobe ICONS 'Perfect Wardrobe' shoot.

My 'Call Sheet' today lists all the information I need to have in terms of where I need to be, at what time and who is the talent we are shooting. This is sent to everyone involved on the day so we are all looped in. Today, I am shooting Roberta Benteler, the incredibly stylish founder and CEO of Avenue32 in her London wardrobe.

For once, I don't have to trek the other side of London, as it so happens that Roberta lives literally around the corner from me. I'm almost 8 months pregnant at this point so being able to drive is a real luxury! It's 9.30 and I'm at my desk ready to get going.

I get to Roberta's house and we walk to the top the property where she opens the door to her attic and... LOOK AT THIS!

There are rows and rows of immaculately organised clothes under the eaves...

... and in front of each section there are opened-shelved cabinets with rows and rows of some of the coolest shoes I have ever seen!

I can't resist the temptation of doing a little selfie and posting it on my Instagram, and you love this post just as much as me!

Eva K. Salvi, our in house photographer, is a real pro and photographs all of our beautiful shoots giving you the opportunity to get a real sense of the subject's wardrobes with lots of details.

Shooting our 'Perfect Wardrobe' pages is like doing a jigsaw puzzle, you have to think about every photo you take and how it's going to look in our layouts. I have a long list of shots I have to get done and keep a detailed list of each one of them.

We get shooting straight away as we don't like to take too much time out of our busy ladies life and like to get in and out within a couple of hours. Here we were shooting Roberta's hands with her favourite sunglasses...

... and this is the final shot you will see in The ICONS Update!

Eva checks with Roberta that she is happy with the next shot - doesn't she look gorgeous in the final thing and how much did I have to resist the temptation to buy her top straight after the shoot?!?!

We take a little break and I tell Roberta how much I love her Instagram and the "Roberta pose" that first got me hooked to her feed and where I first cought a glimpse of her amazing wardrobes...

So she gives me a little tutorial on how to achieve the pose...

... but with an 8 months bump it's quite hard and I don't feel I quite succeed!

Back to work! Final shot is the cover - I sit in the back to art directing the shot to make sure that we have enough space on the shot for our title and cover lines. Roberta is posing by her wardrobe in a super cool yet laid back look of broderie top and wide leg trousers. She looks amazing and I am so pleased with the final shot! 

See the full feature in this week's issue of The ICONS Update live on Wardrobe ICONS

And if you want to catch up with some of our other features take a look at our archive section - here are some of my all-time favourite shoots with Martha Ward, Lucy Williams, Tash Sefton and Pandora Sykes.

I hope you enjoyed this little behind the scenes post - remember that you free, weekly copy of The ICONS Update goes live every Tuesday on www.wardrobeicons.com and that you can subscribe, for free by adding your email to our mailing list from the home page!

Friday, 29 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: Your favourite post of all time

It was so interesting to see that your favourite post of all time was a 'How to pack the perfect suitcase' one - not surprising, I have to add, as packing the just-right amount of things, making sure you wear everything you bring with you and getting the balance right of wearable and aspirational is a bit of an art form. I've always loved packing - I love thinking about what look I'm going to achieve on my getaway, buying a few new things weeks ahead of it and taking the time to lay everything out on my bed and carefully placing everything into my suitcase.

Since then I've done lots more packing posts, more specifically about traveling and packing with kids and weekend getaways, some of which are listed below:

Last summer we dedicated an entire The ICONS Update to the packing-theme when I asked our photographer at Wardrobe ICONS to spend the afternoon with me as I prepared to pack for my summer holiday in Italy (we weren't faking it - it was all real time!). You can see that post here:

But this one, was your all-time favourite post on WIT of all time:

(And here's a little anecdote... on that holiday, my husband asked me to marry him!)

31st May 2010 "WIT-ty-summer-holiday-packing"

Wednesday, 27 April 2016


I remember someone asking me about the "WIT wall" one day and it took me a while to understand what they were talking about - what "WIT wall"?! Oooh I see!!! The brick wall I take my photo in front of every day!! It's funny because although completely unintentionally, "the wall" has become a bit of a WIT trademark, but it was never meant to be a style choice or with any particular significance - sorry!

If you think about it, it's quite an ugly wall, it just so happens that North London is full of them and more so it's a plain background that doesn't change according to seasons, where I could just stand in front of and let the clothes do the talking.

It also helps that this particular one in the last three years is just outside my doorstep, so my husband could take a quick snap on the way to work. There have been many WIT walls throughout the years - in the early WIT days it was by a wall in the park I had to cross every morning on my way to work, then when I got married and we moved to our first flat it was just outside the overground, and finally  when Greta arrived it was a more handy spot outside my house. She loves standing in front of it and giving me a bit of a pose!

Greta giving me her best WIT pose ;-)
So in the years I guess I've become fond of the brick background and have pretty much stuck to that! Sadly however, there's not a brick wall in sight in the new area I'm moving to over the summer... But here is the last one I took last night before date night wearing my new ASOS dress and tasseled clutch from last year with my beloved Chloe fringed sandals. So I guess it's goodbye WIT wall!

ASOS dress and clutch bag, Chloe shoes, J.Crew earrings

Monday, 25 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: Wardrobe Oganisation rules I live by

When I was thinking about the posts I should leave you with before going on maternity leave, I thought a classic wardrobe-organisation one should definitely be included - after all, us WIT girls love a good wardrobe! Luckily last summer, once I finished my new fitted wardrobes, we did a shoot for Wardrobe ICONS that looked at all the aspects and rules I live by to have the perfectly organised wardrobe. Here are some of my top tips - if you would like to see the full feature head to The ICONS Update here to also shop some of my must-have wardrobe organisation essentials like baskets, hangers and jewellery dividers.


My wardrobes are built behind closed doors, but once I open them everything is organised by section and all accessories have a label so that I know wha't inside shoe boxes and dust bags. To see really is to wear more - make sure that however you decide to organise your wardrobe, everything is in plain sight so you don't forget what you own.


Not all your items of clothing need the same type of hanger, so don't waist precious space with the wrong type. I use 4 different styles: clip on for skirts, thin velvet-effect non slip ones for blouses, men's fold ones for trousers and shoulder padded ones for coats.


Shoes can stink, you walk in them on pavement and they are generally non hygienic, so try not to store them together with your clothes. I have a separate wardrobe for my high heels (that live in boxes) and pull out drawers for my flats. Find a place in your wardrobe/house that doesn't see them living with your fabrics and knitwear that can absorb odors and get stained.


Protect your wardrobe from moths with all your powers - I'm obsessed with the concept and place moth repellent sheets in-between all my jumpers and hang moth killer in each one of my wardrobes (even the ones that have no wool - you never know). At the end of the season I wash all my knitwear and take all my coats to the dry cleaners; yes at a price, but better that than a munched up Max Mara camel coat is how I see it!.



At the beginning and at the end of the season try to get rid of at least five things - it will make you feel better about your wardrobe and also create space for new buys. Put away clothes that are not season-appropriate, it will be a joy to rediscover them all a few month later.


Be organised about all items that live in and around your wardrobes that serve to create the perfect outfit. Think about your belts, sunglasses and jewellery too. Once again, it's all about having them in one place so you don't waist time looking for this and that and then organising them appropriately.

Read all my tips and see the full feature of my 'Perfect Wardrobe' shoot in The ICONS Update here + shop some of my must-have wardrobe organisation essentials like baskets, hangers and jewellery dividers.

The ICONS Update

Friday, 22 April 2016

COUNTDOWN TO MATERNITY: WIT mama Friday Special - your essential reading

Photo by Julie Adams from my feature with The Grace Tales
The time has almost come to say goodbye for a few months, so to celebrate these last few weeks together I've come up with a few posts looking back at WIT and some of your favourite content. Second post of this series is a WIT mama Friday special, from the Friday mum-related posts that I have been regularly writing since becoming a mother to Greta in 2012, and more specifically the 8 posts you liked the most. Here we go..

WIT mama Friday essential reading

Tips from the top on flying with kids

To see more of my WIT mama Friday posts, click on the WIT Regulars tab top left of the home page and choose WIT mama Friday

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