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Friday, 27 March 2015

WIT mama Friday: Batten disease

As someone who defined herself as a not "baby person" (and in many ways continues to do so), prior to having Greta I remember feeling secretly sceptically about other mother's descriptions of motherhood: about how it changes your life, about how you experience selfless love, and how becoming a mother connects you to other women on a whole new level.

And then you become a mother, and all of the above becomes so deeply true; and not only do you understand all of those feeling, but when another mother goes through something painful, like the illness or death of a child, you can feel that pain too. It doesn't matter if you've never met that mother before, or if she lives on the other side of the world. You are a mother too, and now you know how crippling it can be to fear that your child might fall ill, or even die.

On my birthday I had a long catch up chat on the phone with one of my best friends - she told me how that day she'd been photographing a mother and daughter for The Grace Tales. The mother, Peta, has a 5 year old daughter, Mia, who up to the age of two and half was a happy little girl, but was then diagnosed with a rare and fatal disease called Batten disease. Batten disease, or late infantile NCL, is a very rare degenerative disease, which is fatal and will rob Mia of her ability to walk, talk and see and will eventually take her life. Julie told me that on the day she asked Peta if she thought Mia was going to smile for a photograph - Peta said that they could try but it was hard to predict. 

The next day, as I was flicking through my Instagram account I stumbled on this shot on Julie's account and I can't really describe the sadness that I felt, and that I still feel today as I write this post. If you are a parent, you will feel that same heartbreak too.

Georgie Abay wrote a beautiful piece alongside Julie's photos on her website The Grace Tales- you can read it here. The one thing I wanted to invite all WIT mothers to do on this very special WIT mama Friday, is to join me on National Batten Disease Awareness Day on March 31 2015 to support Peta and Mia on the Bounce4Batten campaign. It’s easy – and fun too. Post a photo of your little ones (and yourself if you’re in the mood for jumping!) bouncing up and down to support the cause. With your photo, just include the hashtag #bounce4batten and follow @bounce4batten. 

There are so many tragedies happening around the world right now, my thoughts are also with the parents of all the children on the Barcellona flight that went down on Tuesday... if there's something we can do to help, in any of these sad events, we should at least try.

mum Laura x

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Are MiH jeans worth the cost? Afraid so.

Lately all I want to wear are my MiH Jeans flares, they kind of make any outfit feel a little bit more special despite the fact that I'm just wearing jeans. A friend of mine recently asked me where she could get a cheaper alternative and usually I always have some ideas, but in this case I had to be honest with her, the Marrakesh is the best flare out there and any other good ones (like Stella an Vivtoria Beckham) are not any cheaper. I know that £200+ is an investment, but as with most iconic pieces they make up the cost with plenty of wear.  

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

C'mon spring!!!!

Equipment shirt, Whistles culottes, J.Crew shoes and bag
It's the end of March and I'm now officially over wearing layers - what's happening to Spring!??! I haven't been as brave as in the past and gone bare legs yet, all I can attempt to show off is a bit of ankle skin. Even to take this photo this morning I was freezing. I have a busy day of appointments today so I'm carrying flats in my bag and wearing a fool proof combo of Equipment shirt and leather culottes (I found a pair of similar ones from Topshop at a fraction of the price!). C'mon spring please arrive I have such fabulous things ready to be worn in my summer box I can't bare it anymore!!!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Instagram account you must follow: Tash Sefton from Theyallhateus.com

HM shirt, Mother Denim jeans, Isabel Marant flats, J.Crew bag
I recently discovered a blog called Theyallhateus.com - the duo behind it, Elle Ferguson and Tash Sefton are two impossibly cool Australian ladies that wear little more than denim, shirts and lace up shoes, and they are hold the responsibility for my latest obsession with all of the above. If you don't follow them on Instagram, you might want to refrain from doing so as I've spent a small fortune since pouring their buys! We asked my dear friend and fashion photographer Julie Adams to visit Tash's home in Sydney and take a closer look at her wardrobe. 

Behind the scenes - Julie and Tash on the day of our shoot
It goes without saying Petro and I have been pouring over each photo ever since and we are so excited to bring you the full article today in The ICONS Update. To celebrate the issue, I'm wearing all of my Tash inspired buys at once ;-)

Go to this week's issue of The ICONS Update

Monday, 23 March 2015

The perfect white shirt

J.Crew bib shirt Jospeh leggings, J.Crew Uptown tote bag and J.Crew shoes
For years I didn't even wear shirts, I have deceptively big breasts and buttoned-down styles never sat properly down the front. Then I discovered bib front shirts and slowly started wearing them again. I then discovered Equipment shirt and soon realised that a good quality shirt always sits in the right place, I was just going for the wrong styles. This J.Crew bib shirt is my latest crush and I have already worn with so many different things. I love the thick pique fabric which makes it look really smart, and the fact that it's got a long panel at the back, perfect with leather leggings to cover up your bum. I bought an American size 2 but you could up a size for a more boyfriend style fit. Don't be surprised if you see me wearing it again and again in the next few weeks: I love pairing everything from ripped trousers to a sequin skirt with a crisp white shirt.

J.Crew bib shirt £88

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Paris flashback

I know I have yet to update you on my Paris fashion week outfits, whilst I was out there I worked with J.Crew on a  project that I can't wait to tell you about, but in the mean time here is one of my outfits entirely out of my "summer box" (I was going to save everything and surprise you but I just couldn't resist).  I took these photos in-betwee shows with my friend and photographer Eva K. Salvi outside one of my favourite Parisian spots: the Louvre. It was a bit of a magical moment and I had so much fun shooting it!

I can't wait to wear my Etoile dress this summer when it's not freezing, but for shows purposes this outfit actually worked fine. My Gianvito Rossi sandals are surprisingly comfortable, and by Chloe bag fit the look perfectly. I've also recently discovered the smart power of a white coat - who would have though that something so unpractical looking good be such a versatile buy. I've been wearing t constantly, with jeans and leather leggings and what I love the most about it is that  it it gives me an instant tan every time I wear it! 

Étoile Isabel Marant Dante oversized woven coat £385
Chloé Drew small textured-leather shoulder bag £1,060
Étoile Isabel Marant Cassy crochet-paneled cotton-blend voile mini dress £340

Gianvito Rossi Suede sandals £515

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Birthday outfit

MiH Jeans, Topshop blouse, J.Crew shoes and bag (and Bobbi Brown Sunset Orange lipstick ;-)
It was my birthday yesterday but with so much going on I celebrated very low key with my closest friends only, so a simple ensemble of jeans and pretty top worked out just fine(MiH Bodycon Marrakesh flare £235 and Topshop blouse £36). It is often the days with the least expectations that turn out to be the best ones and I must say it was one of my favourite birthdays to date. Greta woke me up with a grumpy intonation of "tanti tuguri a te", I had a lovely lunch with my husband on the top floor of Tower 42 and then ate Ottolenghi salads and cake with my best friends. I was spoilt rotten with beautiful flowers, cards and gifts and simply had the lovely day.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

How to buy a designer bag

Back in January I got an itch for a new handbag. I realised that it had been years since my last investment purchase (a black YSL Muse in 2007 and a Chanel Jumbo as my 30th birthday present), so I  decided I was in the market for something new. I started researching and soon realised that this could be good homework for a feature in The ICONS Update, because let's face it: where does one start with so much choice? 

Personally, I wasn't after a forever buy, I wanted something a little bit "in fashion" actually, so I ended up buying a Chloe Drew, which despite loving very much, is a bit small and will probably get sold on Vestiaire Collective in a few years time. However, going back to my search - I happened to walk across the Louis Vuitton concession in Selfridges and was astonished by the amazing, grownup, iconic selection of handbags they held. How could I have missed this? Could it be because I am a little intimidated by designer boutiques, so never really set foot in there? But everyone was so nice, and helpful!? I tried on a Lockit, an Alma, the Palais Chain (in red in navy and in blue) and then realised that if I was making an investment buy today (damn Chloe Drew), it would hands-down-no-doubt be a Louis Vuitton handbag. Why? Well, I faced my fears, put on a frock and went to New Bond Street to tell you a story... Read it in this week's issue of The ICONS Update.

Photos by Eva K. Salvi

Monday, 16 March 2015

Back to reality (and in my own clothes)

I'm back! I've had one of the busiest weeks yet with so many exciting things happen I don't even know where to start. On Monday I traveled to Paris to work on a project with J.Crew and attend Paris Fashion Week where I sat in aw of the "Brasserie Chanel" show at the Grand Palais.

On Wednesday I squeezed in a little thing for Net-a-Porter before traveling back to London and straight into mum mode. Thursday was a busy day of presentations, catching up on Wardrobe ICONS and I was welcomed by a fabulous surprise as our Personal Shopping service war featured in Metro!

Friday Petro and I spent the day between Louis Vuitton and Chanel to shoot two very exciting features for The ICONS Update. I had tea with Madame Gabrielle doll complete with string of peral and diamante brooch - so cute!

This weekend was a lovely celebration of Mothers Day and a little bit of rest, whilst today I am back in full swing for another day at the office. Back to reality (and my own wardrobe) I am wearing a simple ensemble of jeans, cosy jumper and statement flats- the weather is gone back to miserable here in London so I'm all covered up and prepared for the cold and rain. Look at this week's STAR BUYS to see what's made it into my shopping bag in the last seven days... including a Parisian Erés early birthday gift to myself!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Love from Paris

I'm off to Paris today! I Will be attending Paris Fashion Week as well as a super exciting project with one of my favourite brands of all time, J.Crew. WIT is taking a short break and will return next week. If you miss me, come and see what I'm up to on Instagram @WITblog for a little virtual trip to Paris through my eyes. X

Friday, 6 March 2015

WIT mama Friday: Greta's new bedroom

The WIT-refurb is still well under way (crying face emotion face), yet the end is "near" and I can finally start thinking about decorating the various rooms. Aside from my new wardrobes (more on that very soon), I am mostly excited about decorating Greta's room. I've been spending most evening on Pinterest (have a look at my home mood boards) pinning right left and centre with lots ideas on how to create the prefect bedroom for my little GZ.

When I had Greta I didn't know if I was having a boy or a girl, so for her nursery I kept things quite neutral with beige's and yellows (see previous posts here). But having a girl now means I can go a little overboard with the girlishness - plus, as a friend of mine quite rightly observed: "We have girls and could have boys next - so let's make the most of it while we can!"

With that in mind I made my first ever "pink decision" to date, and chose a Ferm Living harlequin wallpaper to create a feature wall where Greta's bed will go. Admittedly is not very pink at all, more like a dusky pink wash. When we move into the new flat, I will take GZ out of her cot and buy her a big girls bed. I've decided on a really sweet Ikea's metal frame bed, which is also adjustable. I will paint with a Farrow and Ball beige colour and then I'm having her bedding made in contrasting Liberty print fabrics (the ones in the moldboard). 

I want to be able to use most of the things she had in her nursery like her beautiful stripe arm chair and her fairy lights, so despite changing the colour scheme a little bit most things will still work. I'm looking for a rug and for ideas for her little desk space (we are encouraging her to be artistic!) and her reading corner. Send ideas if you have any!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

What to wear from meetings to the park

J.Crew bag and sweater, L.K Bennett leather leggings, Zara parka, Isabel Marant flats
What do you wear when you have a 10am with the builders (my flat still pretty much a building site so can't be too precious with the clothes), a 12pm with a client, a 3pm with another one and then nanny take over and play date with GZ? Not my typical day but nevertheless one I had to figure out what to wear for. I opted for leather leggings, smart flats, an oversize knit and my new J.Crew monogrammed tote. The parka is not the smartest of choices but if I end up in the park at least I won't be cold!

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

New season shopping: tan shoes

I'm planning to wear a lot of white this summer and black shoes can sometimes look a little harsh with it plus, since buying my Chloe bag, I felt like I "needed" a pair of shoes that would soften the look, something in tan leather.

I looked right left and center, but the truth is that a tan shoe can often look a bit dated. I wanted something modern and cool, so when I stumbled upon this pair of suede lace up sandals from Gianvito Rossi on Net-a-Porter I literally fell in love with them. 

Believe it or not I don't own a single pair of tan/brown/beige shoes, so I thought this was the time to invest in a pair. I am particularly pleased by the fact that the chunky heels makes them super comfy and some day, with a tan, they will look fabulous with all my summer dresses. Here's a little photo diary from the day they arrived...





Gianvito Rossi shoes Isabel Marant Etoile dress

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The only smart jean you will ever own: the MiH Marrakesh flare

I know I live in a fashion bubble where I can pretty much wear anything I want on any given day, but I do think about you too ;-) There aren't many jeans that can be worn outside casual Fridays but the MiH Jeans Marrakesh flare would be one of them. It's such a smart jean (especially in the darker washes) that can easily be worn at work too. I know I've said this before, it's more of a trouser than it is a jean. I got mine to wear at London Fashion week - they are an update on the regular Marrakesh because they are made of a new "bum-lifting" fabric called Bodycon, and a little braided waist belt. I didn't take the hem up too high because I like to wear them with heels (makes your legs look much longer) and I've been wanting to wear them every day. Pair with a smart blouse or buttoned down shirt, finish it off with a smart blazer and a designer bags and you are good to go!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Have you been in... Warehouse lately?

Warehouse top £32 and denim culottes £42
I spend a lot of time trawling the net for Wardrobe ICONS - I mean a LOT! From time to time I stumble on a website and I think: "Oh wow! how many nice things!". Last week this website was Warehouse. I've made my purchases from Warehouse in the past (I loved my cashmere jumpsuit this winter), but I don't remember the last time I was actually excited by their collection. There are some amazing pieces on there at the moment: denim dresses, relaxed shirts, boho tops all with a really polished and grown up feel and at super reasonable prices.

I remember going to their press day last season and thinking that the quality and design of their SS collection was really amazing and coveting lots of pieces. Some of them are now in store adnd I wanted to flag them up. I've just ordered the off-the-shoulder Gypsy midi dress £28 (above), the Green trousers £38 and this Ruffle sleeve top £36  for my Summer box. I went through the entire websites (so you don;t have to) and here are my favourite pieces.

Denim dress £42

Shell top £35

Utility jacket £48

Gypsy midi dress £28

Belted shirt dress £48

Relaxed stripe shirt £32

Arrow earrings £4

Flare jean £42

Friday, 27 February 2015

WIT mama Friday: countdown to Summer with Sporter

For those of you that have followed WIT for a while, you will know I'm not big on sport. With the brief exception of a pre-wedding gym obsession to get my arms toned for a strapless dress and and my stomach flat for my honeymoon, my daily workout consists of running after Greta and a very active brain slash neurosis that burns more calories than you can imagine.  I may look alright fully clothed, but 15+ years of zero exercise and a pregnancy later nothing is left pointing upwards in my entire body. 

I'm jealous of all my friends that do yoga, pilates and all sorts of exotic sounding workouts, they talk to me about the physical and mental benefits of exercise but I never really do anything about it despite it being my New Year's resolution for the last ten years.  So, when Net a Porter approached me to try out some of their sports wear and try a class at hot new spinning club Psycle I thought to myself that fashion may be the only way to get me to do sport! 

What to wear for a spinning work out?? I was clueless and therefore very thankful to the super organised Sporter shopping section on Net-a-Porter that listed everything by sport rather than by item: this way if you are an amateur like me you actually know what to look for. I opted for what I know best: Adidas by Stella McCartney, all black - I wanted to make sure I would blend in rather than stand out.

I have to admit that that that I had never worn "techie" fabrics before (Adidas by Stella McCartney's leggings and top are crafted using the label's Climalite technology - to wick sweat away from the skin and keep you cool), they are made of a scuba-like fabric that makes you feel amazing.

The cut and seams are really flattering and the fabric's quite thick which "suck you in" and hold everything in place. Could I wear this outfit outdoors!??

The class is really fun and energetic, you get given special shoes that clip on to your bike and you spin in the semi-dark to the rhythm of loud dance music. Sadly I'm so unfit I couldn't even finish the class (I blame it on the fact that I had a cold...) but I did love my outfit, and as my friend says: "Summer bodies are built in the winter" so I might have to stick to this.

Adidas by Stella McCartney hooded top £90

Adidas by Stella McCartney tank £65

Adidas by Stella McCartney leggings £70

Shock Absorber £31

Nike trainers £85

Marc by Marc Jacobs headphones £55