Clerkenwell Farringdon Guide 3

Clerkenwell & Farringdon Guide

Clerkenwell and Farringdon are areas of London which don’t have the worldwide fame of other neighbourhoods like Notting Hill or Soho, and I much prefer it that way. It keeps this creative and charming little enclave on London free from the tourist crowds.

Located side by side to the east of Covent Garden, Clerkenwell and Farringdon are home to creative agencies, renowned design houses, world class architecture firms, top restaurants, quirky cocktail bars and hip cafes.

Just to wander the streets of these two neighbourhoods is a treat. Eye-catching art-deco buildings are dotted amongst the beautiful Victorian houses, and independent boutiques are scattered around like little gems to be discovered. The creativity of the people who work in this area of London somehow permeates the air. There is a special vibe to Clerkenwell and Farringdon that has to be experienced to understand it.

And so it is a little reluctantly that I share (below) my little black book of the best of Farringdon and Clerkenwell. I really was tempted to keep this undiscovered area of London all to myself!  Continue reading “Clerkenwell & Farringdon Guide”

Sustainable fashion

Los Angeles Focus: the Rose Bowl Flea Market

If you are fortunate (or strategic) enough to time your trip to L.A. so that it coincides with the second Sunday of any given month, then you are in for a shopping treat. Because the second Sunday of every month is when the Rose Bowl Flea Market takes place. And it is truly awesome.

The Rose Bowl Flea Market boasts the West Coasts’ best and most extensive vintage clothing and furniture stalls. For any vintage enthusiast or keen bargain hunter, it’s like your Christmases have all come at once. From vintage cowboy boots to a 1930s chartreuse evening slip gown (which, while spectacularly elegant, sadly didn’t fit me), it’s a shopping-related dream come true.

The market is located on the east side of the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, and it is huge. So huge, in fact, that it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of treasure troves you feel you need to trawl through. So here are a few pointers to help prepare you and  avoid shopping fatigue. Continue reading “Los Angeles Focus: the Rose Bowl Flea Market”

FREEDOM HUNTERS EPISODE 6: EMILY JOHNSTON

Emily Johnston 1

Today’s inspiring guest on Freedom Hunters is Emily Johnston, blogger, columnist and digital content creator. Originally from South Carolina in the US, Emily moved to London straight out of university to pursue her dream of forging a career in the art world. Early on, she found a role at an art auction house and worked her way there into a PR role for the auction house.

But it was when she started her fashion industry news blog in her spare time, that life started to change for Emily.  Continue reading “FREEDOM HUNTERS EPISODE 6: EMILY JOHNSTON”

Pink Power Colour 3

Why I’m Embracing Pink as my Workwear Power Colour

Have you ever watched one of those films from the 1980s like Working Girl or Baby Boom and really looked at the corporate style of the main female characters? You wouldn’t be wrong for noticing how much the style was influenced by menswear. All boxy, broad shoulders, pantsuits and pinstriped.

Nowadays, the corporate dress code at many workplaces is a lot more relaxed. Women feel more free to express themselves through what they wear. And that masculine aesthetic has much less of an influence on our corporate wardrobe.

I’ve decided to take this further. To eschew the boxy and boring aesthetic of traditional corporate wear, I’m totally embracing pink in my work lewks. But this rose-hued display stands for so much more than a gorgeous pink, sparkly sweater with pink stripes crossing through my trousers. It comes from a full embrace of female strength and recognition of its value in a work context. Continue reading “Why I’m Embracing Pink as my Workwear Power Colour”

Ski Trip – The Courmayeur Guide

My recent ski trip to Courmayeur was my first time skiing in Italy. And it will definitely not be the last.

Previous ski trips have taken me to France, Switzerland and Austria. So I have enjoyed all that those countries have to offer by way of ski resort, from fondues on the slopes to vigorous Austrian folk music in apres ski bars. What Italy brings to the ski trip party is so much more.

First up, there’s the Italianness of the people there. The attitude and style of the Italians is something that I am obsessed with every time I visit their fabulous country. And Courmayeur is ideal for people watching, both on and off the slopes. In Courmayeur I saw one guy skiing straight down a black run while smoking a cigarette, as nonchalant as you please. And then there was the guy getting on the ski lift wearing ski jeans and a bomber jacket as his ski outfit. Yes, really, ski jeans. The label on the jeans said ‘ski’ and they were of a special design that fit over his ski boots.

Second, and more importantly, the Italian ski resorts excel when it comes to food. And in Courmayeur all the food bases were covered, from refined Michelin starred delights through to hearty mountain feasts ending in a Euro-style disco atop a mountain.

Continue reading “Ski Trip – The Courmayeur Guide”

Repeat Wear 4

Master the Art of the Repeat Wear

There used to be a time when you could repeat wear outfits at different occasions with different crowds without fear of having the offending repeat outfit identified as such. Enter the age of social media and we are now faced with a world where every outfit can end up on Instagram, seen by most people you know, thereby immediately outing itself and limiting its ability to dazzle and amaze a new crowd at some future event.

My philosophy as a personal stylist is that true style is not always about buying something new. Everyone has the building blocks of a stylish wardrobe already in their closets. Before we add to the excess waste created by our fashion habits, lets maximise what we already have before we identify the gaps that need to be filled with a strategically chosen piece here and there. It also involves creating a working wardrobe for my clients where each piece can be worn on repeat in a way that won’t get boring or tired.

Continue reading “Master the Art of the Repeat Wear”

Ski Trip Packing 1

Packing for a Ski Trip for First Timers

I only started skiing a few years ago, which explains why I will forever be an intermediate skier. Starting skiing as an adult is hard. I’m constantly thinking about whether my travel insurance will cover me if I have some kind of accident. The result is I ski far too cautiously to ever make any seriously good progress.

Nevertheless, I have progressed to a point when I can pretty much tackle most ski runs (with varying degrees of style and technique). And I now love my ski trip holidays more than anything. Apres ski has a lot to do with it.

Looking back, I can see the seriously steep learning curve I went through to get to this stage, and it wasn’t all on the slopes. Knowing what to pack for a ski trip the first few times was a bit of a dilemma and I had to ask around to find out what I needed to take to wear on the slopes. Continue reading “Packing for a Ski Trip for First Timers”

Freedom Hunters Episode 5: Lucy Beard

Freedom Hunters Podcast Lucy Beard

Today’s inspiring guest on Freedom Hunters is Lucy Beard. Originally from South Africa, Lucy started her career as a lawyer in London city law firms, followed by several years as an in-house lawyer for the UK’s largest commercial TV producer and broadcaster, ITV. She then spent two years as general manager of the broadcast technology company, SDN. It was during a grown up gap year of travelling around Europe that Lucy and her husband Leigh, also a lawyer, were struck with the idea of starting a gin distillery.

This led the two back to their native South Africa, where they started up Hope on Hopkins, Cape Town’s first artisanal gin distillery. Continue reading “Freedom Hunters Episode 5: Lucy Beard”

Spring Dress 2

A Guide to Shopping for the Perfect Spring Dress

It’s at this time of year when my thoughts optimistically leap forward in time, only by a few months mind you, to a more cheerful time. A happier time. A time when I can start liking my clothes again. It’s called spring.

It’s also at this time of year that the shops are replete with the prettiest, dreamiest spring dresses. So even though it is arctic outside, I can live out my fantasies of al fresco brunching, eating ice cream with friends and picnicking with abandon, at least in the shops.

A good spring dress is one that is multi-functional, thereby giving you far more joy-per-wear, while reducing your cost-per-wear. Here’s my guide to buying the perfect spring dress. Continue reading “A Guide to Shopping for the Perfect Spring Dress”