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Monday, 28 July 2014

Holiday wardrobe must-have: preppy stripes

Me in my J.Crew tie back stripe swimsuit £98.00 and Greta in her matching Crewcuts Girls' tank in thin stripe £40.50
When I get back to the UK next week I will have been away for almost one month and yet I've managed to pack a relatively decent size suitcase (my husband would strongly disagree but as I told him many times he hasn't married a light packer).

An old Cos T-shirt and my new MiH Phoebe short £62.00 and Top Shop leather espadrilles £45.00
I think the secret of a versatile summer suitcase comes in packing a number of staples that you can mix and match with the rest of your items: denim shorts, a few dressy tops, tunic dresses that can be dressed up or down and accessories to match.

For me a stripy T-shirt and cut off denim; for Gz stripes and liberty print florals.
The one staple that I never ever fail to pack is somethig stripy: be it a T-shirt or a dress (this summer it's my new J.Crew swimsuit which I've also bought for Greta) a preppy stripe never fails to appear on my holidays simply beacuse it's a great classic that always looks chic and appropriate. So for this week's post I wanted to do and ode to the stripe complete with my favourite buys.

Monday, 21 July 2014

The Dolce life

Dinner in Scicli - photo by Julie Adams
I've been in Sicily for two week now and I've really come to realise where Dolce e Gabbana get all their inspiration from. Everywhere I look it looks like a Dolce add campiagn: the little winding roads, the old ladies in the small towns sitting on the streets chatting in their black dresses all look like they could be cast for a photo shoot!

Whilst you will have to wait until August for my collaboration with www.anaffairwithitaly.com for a detailed Sicily travel post, this week I was inspired by Dolce e Gabbana for a bit of a Sicily-inpsired shopping post.

I loved the Dolce e Gabbana  S/S collection with low leg cut swimsuits, short tunics and a lot of lace, much of what I packed resembeles bits and pieces from their catwalk show even some of my beach finds.

A beach find and my ASOS white lace espadrilles (£12.00)
Here is my take on how to get la Dolce life look with some fabulous investment buys and some cheap and cheerful finds too.

11) New Look black lace pointed slingback £15.99 (my sister bought these and they look amazing on!) 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Second to last: my August shopping section in RED magazine

Wearing a J.Crew sweatshirt, Carven skirt and Paul Andrew shoes
The August issue of Red is out on the newstands with the second to last edit of my Shopping section. When I was producing it I already knew it was going to be one of my last issues so I remember feeling a little bit emotional on the day of our sweatshirts shoot (above) with the rest of the team! Here's a little peek inside the issue, some video footage I recorded and some behind the scenes treats too...

For the Shops Opener I selected some fabulous printed accessories from Oasis where I often find some terrific little gems. I love a printed court and I particularly loved this 60's style print that you can wear with jeans or even clash with a stripe or another floral.

The Trend Report I compile for the section is always one of my favourite parts of the magazine. Here I report on what you should be buying in August that will see you through winter too. July is such a funny month in stores with all the sales that I thought you would need some help on what to buy from the early drops of new season stock, that you can then adapt for winter too.

For Style Essay I asked my friend Deborah Brett (who always has a tip/heads up/answer for everything) to explain how she puts together a stylish summer suitcase for her and for her three children - read her fabulous article because it's totally worth it and as fabulous as she is.

For my Weekend Style section we interviewed three fabulous women on what to pack for their chosen holiday destinations: Heidi Gosman from my beach go-to shop Heidi Klein, Chloe Londsdale from one of my fav denim brands MiH Jeans and Deborah Lloyd from Kate Spade  - they are all such inspirational women I absolutely loved nosing into their lives and holiday buys.

I loved these shoes from Gianvito Rossi
For the August issue I also did an accessories story for the main fashion section. I shot it with one of my favourite photographers, Colette de Barros who flew directly from the US especially for it. I've worked with Colette many times before and we always have a fantastic time together. To shoot this story we had to hire a big van where our model could get changed and where we could get her nails done - if you were around Piccadilly Circus you couldn't miss us!

Inside the van it's just like a mini home: I had a changing room with all the clothes carefully layed out and my tear sheets and mood boards displayed to brief the team. Here are some behind the scenes shots we took on the day...

Here we are on the street shooting the opener...

There's a lot of work going into each shot and sometimes what you see as the final result is fruit of hours of careful styling... 
The concept behind the theme of the shoot was "The Supermarket" (inspired by the A/W14 Chanel show which was all set in a fake supermarket - brilliant!). For my six page story I shot three still lives propped on fake supermarket shelves and the other three on the streets of London - every product that I selected has an ironic nod to the supermarket theme. 

The final result...

The red Aquazzura are on my A/W shopping list...
My sweatshirts shoot - again shot by Colette but this time in a studio in North London. The sweatshirt has become an absolute must have in every woman's wardrobe so with this shoot I wanted to celebrate how different women wear it in lots of winter ways - I asked the fashion team to choose a style and wear it their own way. 

Here I am with Emily, Executive Fashion and Beauty Director and Polly, Shopping Assistant chatting away on set...

I loved my hair on the shoot done by Heath Massi one of my favourite London hair stylists

 The final result. But you will have to by Red to see the whole feature!  

And finally, here's a short video I filmed for the website to help you pick your perfect sweatshirt.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek inside the issue see you next Monday and lots of love from Italy!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A few new buys from Jigsaw

Every day on my day to work I walk by Jigsaw and last week I spotted a fab black lacey pleated skirt so I went in to try it on. I didn't end up buying it because I was distracted by other items  I had a good look around and thought that there were so many lovely things. It got me thinking that I hadn't been in Jigsaw for a while, and possibly nor have you so I ended up trying on lots of things that I thought you would like.

The lace skirt that caught my attention
Here are some more of my hand picked great buys. I love the the maxi shirt (a cheaper alternative to my favourite MiH oversize shirt and a super chic beach cover up); the tangerine silk maxi dress which remind me of my favourite J.Crew dress that I wore all summer. 

But my favourite buys have got to be the collarless denim jacket:  the best jacket to take on a summer holiday (doesn't crease and goes with everything) and the cashmere grey sweater.. another one for my collection!

polka trilby  £39.00
flora plimsole  £69.00
slub stripe t-shirt  £25.00
poplin oversize shirt  £98.00
mandarin silk maxi dress  £179.00
zoe slingback shoes  £85.00
collarless denim jacket  £85.00
cotton reverse loopback sweatshirt  £55.00
 raglan sleeve cashmere jumper  £149.00
short sleeve stripe shirt  £79.00
pleated lace skirt  £149.00

Monday, 7 July 2014

What I wore at the week end...

Stella McCartney dress, Boden flats, M&S sunglasses
What to wear at weddings is a source of endless debate – I recently wrote my Get The Gloss Fashion High Five article all about this subject and came to the conclusion that dressing for the brides occasion is the way forward, yet for me a dress (long or short), is the easiest options. Now I know there are chic, modern alternatives to a dress but ultimately I don’t get to wear them that much so it’s always a great excuse to go a little glam.

Picnicking Italian wedding style
My cousin was getting married in Tuscany this weekend and I saved a Stella McCartney sample sale buy for the occasion – it’s a strapless cream dress with red floral embroidery and a little sheer crop top over it, I remember seeing it on the catwalk and was chuffed when I found it at a sale price. Here are some similar, macrame or embroidered styles that will make you the perfect stylish guest. 

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