Fashion, Style Guide

SS15 Trends – Seventies

February 17, 2015

This week sees the return of LFW for a new season ahead, but as I will be checking out AW15 styles, the clothes for SS15 are hitting stores for this Spring. One major trend that was seen across the catwalks was seventies. This included flares, yes flares are back in a big way and I don’t just mean around your ankles. Look out for them in a variety of colours, in a trouser and most definitely wear them in a denim.

SS15 Seventies Trend

Suede skirts and jackets are a key item and if in patchwork then even better. Pick up a suede trenchcoat as seen at Gucci, Mango currently have a fantastic copy. Bags take a bucket form and add some extra fringing, whilst blouses should most certainly have a pussybow. Trousers should be very high and jewellery stacked and colourful.

Here are some of my favourite picks from designer to high-street. Will you be wearing the seventies trend this Spring?

Seventies Trend SS15

1.  Bella Freud 1970 Jumper £270 | 2. Topshop Ruffle Tie Blouse £48 | 3. H&M Suede Skirt £99.99 | 4. Miss Selfridge Bangles from £6.50 | 5. River Island Palazzo Trousers £35 | 6. Rag & Bone Mid-Rise Flare now £51 on The Outnet | 7. Saint Laurent Bag £1300 | 8. Topshop Wallflower Wedge Sandal £52

 

Beauty, Beauty Reviews, Face, Hotels & Spas, Lifestyle, Skincare

Thalgo Prescriptive Facial – Chuan Spa London

February 16, 2015

I was really looking forward to the Thalgo prescriptive facial at the Chuan Spa for two reasons. The first being I had previously been to the Chuan Spa last month for a different type of facial and absolutely loved it. Secondly I had also tried one of the Thalgo products recently and it worked very well on my skin.

The Thalgo prescriptive facial is designed as it suggests to tailor to your skin needs. For me at the moment my skin is so dry from the winter weather and after trying the primer from the Source Marine range, I really liked the sound of using this range in a facial. I explained to the therapist how I had recently been suffering from very dry skin especially around my eye area, so she said we would focus on that and we also discussed what sort of skincare routine I had currently been using.

Thalgo Prescriptive Facial at The Langham

After the quick introduction, she also talked through what she was going to be doing throughout the facial, so this would be starting off with a cleanse, tone and exfoliation. She would then move onto some real hydration with a facial mask. This was one of the highlights of my treatment. It was the Thalgo Ultra Hydration Mask mixed with the marine setting powder to make a mask that peeled off and really felt amazing.

To help with the dry skin under the eye, she used the Thalgo collagen eye gel and also a hyaluronic eye patch mask. Then finished with a silicium eye cream when applying the other moisturise creams. My skin felt very, very soft and yet again it had been another relaxing facial at the Chuan Spa. The treatment rooms are always so relaxing and in the spa itself, so you feel very comfortable. Once the treatment is over you are taken back to the main relaxation area, where you will find tea and fruit waiting for you. I also asked the therapist to write down the products she used so I could follow-up with a few, which was absolutely no problem at all.

Thalgo Source Marine Ultra Hydration Mask

The following few days after the facial my eye area was much, much better and you could really see a difference. I think it was just completely dehydrated. I had tried moisturisers on it and even Vaseline but nothing had really helped so I was so impressed to see my major skin concern was getting better. I have since been using a couple of the products including the Ultra Hydration Mask and the Source Marine Absolute Hydra Marine Concentrate, which are capsules used day and night. Both have really helped keep my skin stay hydrated and my under eye area has improved greatly.

The Thalgo Prescriptive Facial at the Chuan Spa at The Langham Hotel starts from £95 off-peak. For more info on Thalgo and to find a spa near you visit www.thalgo.co.uk.

Fashion

Agi & Sam x Evian

February 13, 2015

Agi & Sam jumped on my radar straight after seeing their show at LCM a couple of seasons ago and at LCM this January they again didn’t disappoint. With Instagram going crazy over men with LEGO covered faces. The design duo picked up the GQ Designer Award last year and with the anticipated leap into womenswear fashion coming this month, they have wet our appetite by teaming up with evian® to launch the pure drop T-Shirt.

AGI & SAM EVIAN PURE DROP TSHIRT

The pure drop t-shirt is inspired by evian’s new pure drop dinky bottles and evokes the pureness of the water by creating a clean white tee made with the purest unbleached Sea Island cotton. The T-shirt has a design embossed on the front which was inspired by evian’s iconic three peaks. The duo wanted to make sure the t-shirt really reflected the brand so kept it as pure and white as possible and with a boxy cropped fit and an oversized cut which fits in with the normcore trend perfectly.

The evian® pure drop t-shirt is available to purchase from www.agiandsam.com at £90. Each t-shirt comes in a presentation box with a bottle of evian® pure drop. With 15% of the profits going to Fashion Awareness Direct.

AGI & SAM EVIAN PURE DROP TSHIRT

Fashion, Fashion Interviews, Lifestyle, Spotlight

Spotlight – Graeme Ellisdon Of OSPREY LONDON

February 12, 2015

I recently visited the OSPREY LONDON store in Regent Street and was taken aback by how beautiful it was. Inside you feel like you are in a whole other world and are surrounded by OSPREY LONDON’s leather goods including bags, wallets, belts, gloves and so much more. The store also has a real personal touch on it from the owner Graeme Ellisdon, which can be seen from the taxidermy pieces right down to the specially designed staircase. Laid out over two floors, the lower ground floor also hosts the Saddlery Cafe, where you can enjoy some tea and cake after shopping. I ended up absolutely loving one of the teas and had to buy some myself. Rose and hibiscus if anyone is interested.

I decided I wanted to know more behind OSPREY LONDON and managed to speak to the owner himself. Graeme you are under the spotlight…

Graeme Ellisdon

Can you tell me a little more about how you started OSPREY LONDON and where did the idea come from?

I always dreamed of having my own business and it all began in 1980 with an investment of just £500, making hand stitched leather belts from a hayloft in Hertfordshire. I was 25 years old with a positive attitude and within a few years, the business was turning over a million pounds.

We never stand still as a business, first launching leather bags and accessories; then our O.S.P OSPREY diffusion collection followed by furniture, clothing, fragrance and gifts; before moving into our own stores and cafés. But our passion for craftsmanship, fine materials and great design runs through everything we do.

When I visited the store recently I was so amazed by all the unique elements to it. What made you want to give the store such a personal touch?

I’m glad you felt it! When you grow, develop and nurture a business, it is completely personal. To succeed in anything in life, you have to care. You have to care hugely about the product you make and offer for sale; you have to care about your customers; your staff; and the personal experience you create in each store.

OSPREY LONDON

We had held out to find the right location for our flagship store: we were looking for a space which could embody all that our brand represents, with a strong sense of English design, craftsmanship and natural materials. When my wife Alex and I found the store on Regent Street, it was an empty shell – albeit one with great bone structure. We set about breathing life into the space to create a store that feels like our place in town, so it’s entirely personal! We hope that what we’ve created in store allows you to relax and enjoy discovering the stories behind what we are doing here.

OSPREY LONDON

Where do you seek new inspiration from?

If you are open and interested in the stuff of life, inspiration finds you! For example, The Original Rugger, our iconic men’s washbag, was inspired one day when heading to the airport to visit our manufacturers. I came across one of our sons’ rugby balls, which had been chewed by the dogs. I had the idea of turning that construction into a washbag and now we also sell The Rugger trimmed with the team colours of the top seven rugby playing nations.

I absolutely love the men’s rugger wash bags and the story behind them. Will you be watching the Rugby World Cup this year?

Of course! There’s a real sense of camaraderie during these big sporting events. The Brits and London in particular does a great job staging international sporting events from the Olympics to Wimbledon. We’ll be celebrating the Rugby World Cup with new pieces in our men’s collection too.

Which piece from the new collection are you most excited about?

I’m excited to say that we are now working with some great English leather manufacturers on new OSPREY LONDON collections that will be launching towards the end of the year – it’s great to be back on home soil.

But until then, I am particularly excited about the new Equestrian Collection of bags and briefcases that we are launching in a wonderful bottle green Vachetta leather. They’re handstitched and made in very small quantities so the attention to detail is superb.

OSPREY LONDON

How would you describe the OSPREY LONDON customer?

I spend as much time as I can out and about, and love showing customers around our flagship store. Some of them may have bought an OSPREY LONDON belt 30 years ago and have at last decided it’s now time to buy an Oak table! Some of the younger crowd may have started with us drinking a hot chocolate in the Saddlery Café before graduating onto wearing one of our gorgeous leather bags. It’s about a shared attitude to life and time. Typically our customer appreciates the integrity of solid British design and celebrates great natural materials worked with love by skilled craftsmen.

You launched a men’s shirt collection in 2011, do you ever see OSPREY LONDON branching out into more clothing?

We just launched a jazzy collection of men’s woollen socks which are made in England, and the feedback from customers has been fantastic. Next month, we are launching our new English Alpaca Lounge Socks, in pale blue, pink and cream. They are incredibly soft and warm: just the thing for lazy days and chilly nights.

Saddlery cafe

If I was to join you in the Saddlery Cafe for tea and cake, what would be your cake of choice?

There’s a time for salad and a time for indulgence so I’d probably order a selection for us to enjoy – especially the Lemon Drizzle cake, which is an exquisite balance of sweet and sour.
All the Saddlery Café cakes are handmade locally and they are wheat and gluten-free. Retail is hospitality at the end of the day and it’s something I am really passionate about.

Saddlery Cafe OSPREY LONDON

You are a very passionate designer: are there any designers you could see yourself collaborating with?

When I first started OSPREY LONDON, I designed collections of handmade belts, small leather goods and gloves for Ralph Lauren and Paul Smith.

I really admire them both for the great businesses they have created and for their enduring personal integrity – I would love to work with them again.

What is your favourite dinner spot in London?

I really enjoy Polpo at the moment – it’s spot on!

What vision do you have for OSPREY LONDON for the year ahead?

There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure our stores offer our customers a great shopping experience, but above all, we are looking forward to bringing out some stunning new collections for men, for women and for the home in 2015 in our stores and online at www.ospreylondon.com. We hope you’ll visit us again soon!

– Thankyou to Graeme for the interview and I’ll definitely be back!

Lifestyle

Letters of Love

February 11, 2015

This Valentine’s I’ve got you covered for a beauty look and also a dessert idea if you are dining in. But what about a present? Well this year I suggest keeping it simple with a love letter. There is nothing better than receiving a letter with someone declaring their love or just generally writing a few nice things about you. It gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling.

I was asked by Smythson to write my own love letter this Valentine’s and for me I was a bit stumped as I may be a writer but sometimes it’s hard to write down what you are feeling when put on the spot. It also got me thinking how much I hardly write anymore, I mean with a pen and paper – not digitally as that would be every day! My writing has changed so much from school days, then I would write everything and now barely anything apart from a few odd notes so it definitely doesn’t look as good. It was really interesting recently to have my handwriting analyzed for traits on my personality as handwriting really does reveal a lot about a person.

Love letter by Smythson

So if like me you can’t quite think what to say then how about a love quote. Here I have gone for a quote from Romeo & Juliet, the true love story of course by Shakespeare. You could also write it in a beautiful Smythson leather diary, although maybe not bang in the middle, so they can have a really personal gift. You can also personalise them too with engraving for that extra special touch. If you are feeling really creative grab a calligraphy pen and give that a go, one of my things to learn this year.

An easy but extremely thoughtful gift this Valentine’s!

This post is sponsored by Smythson. All thoughts are my own.

Fashion, Outfit Of The Day

Cute Hat Miss

February 10, 2015

After lunch at Mayfair Pizza Co, we took a wander down through the streets to walk off our big lunch, as even though it was pretty cold the sun was shining and it was perfect weather. So I decided to get a few shots of my outfit.

I was wearing my new Motel dress which I have been dying to wear but obviously it’s still pretty cold, so I decided to layer it up so I could wear it. This dress is Motel’s petal shift dress style and it is such a great fit and cut. I love Motel dresses, I had a blue one in summer which I pretty much couldn’t take off and even into the Autumn I wore it with tights too. They are just the best dresses and are so easy to wear.

Miss Selfridge pink coat, Motel shift dress, Aldo faux fur

Motel dress, Miss Selfridge coat, Kate Spade hat and Rebecca Minkoff bag - The LDN Diaries

Here I layered it up with a black cardigan, tights and of course a splash of colour in my pink Miss Selfridge coat. I got this coat last year and still love it. The colour always brightens up an outfit and it’s nice and warm too. I also love the big pockets on it for putting things in. Over the coat I am wearing my faux fur stole from Aldo, I haven’t had this off me since I picked it up in Covent Garden. I had just been to the dentist, feeling sorry for myself and saw this beauty through the window. Instantly we were united!

Kate Spade bow hat, Rebecca Minkoff Bag - The LDN Diaries

The boots are ASOS and were part of my ASAP54 challenge, if you aren’t familiar then do have a read. Lastly my accessories, the hat is from Kate Spade and inspires the name of this post. It always gets compliments from strangers and my favourite was an American who said ‘Cute hat Miss’ I just loved the ‘Miss!’. The bag is by Rebecca Minkoff and I picked this up on a recent Shopbop haul. I love the colour, it’s perfect for transitioning into Spring and great for carrying my camera in too!

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