Friday, 2 October 2015

Life: E's Freelance Kit List

The things no freelancer should have to live without.

As I recently shared that I'd gone freelance - in my previous freelance postI thought it was only fair to share with you some essential items that get me through each day.

Here's just a few things that as a freelancer you should definitely have on your kit list, if you don't already:

- A nice mug - and lots of tea, earl grey is personal favourite!

- A floral chair, for those much needed tea breaks.

- Colourful pens & a pretty notebook - for creative list writing, note taking and meetings.

- The trusty macbook for editing into the night.

- A green plant - to keep the air in your room clean and your creativity flowing!

- A hard drive - to avoid any of those nightmares about loosing work!

- A fruit bowl - for healthy and guilt-free snacking.

- Find a local coffee shop - for the cabin fever days.

- Pretty clutter - to keep your office space/ room inspiring and colourful.

Let me know what your working essentials are, so I can add them to my list!

E x

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Style: Milan Fashion Week SS16

A will be buying most of SS16 from Milan Fashion Week (in her dreams) and is willing to bet you will be too.

There is a special place in my heart for Milan. It doesn't inspire the hushed reverence of Paris but it is home to some of my all-time favourite designers.

These are the shows I couldn't ignore.

Antonio Marras usually slips under my radar, but this season's lavish mish-mash of floral prints, metallics and you-name-it spoke to me. All held together in a ravished, folkloric kind of a way, this crazy, girly mix worked a treat.

Key piece: any old floral dress, worn in an end-of-the-world romantic fashion.

Marni never fails to show a strong collection, but this season, a certain loucheness, dare I say it, a relaxed feel has snuck into the collection. The well-loved Marni tropes - block colours, bold prints - are there, but reimagined in primary colours and less structured shapes.

Key piece: I challenge you to resist that shiny red belted mac.

That infamous pair, Dolce and Gabbana, have gone and produced another triumphant collection. A holiday in Italy was the story, and with inspiration from favourite Italian destinations, to tourists, shopping bags and retro sundresses, this collection was a riot of colour and fun. Difficult to resist.

Key piece: you're nowhere without your matching floral pyjamas. Just pair with a jewelled headband and sandals and you're cocktail bar ready!

Giorgio Armani produced what was one of the most simply beautiful and utterly wearable collections I think Milan has ever seen. Tea dresses, simply tailored trousers and jackets made up the majority of the show, which was topped off with a few well-chosen gowns.

Key piece: don a boxy cropped jacket in a simple red or navy for ultra sophistication this spring summer.

Moschino gets me every time. Jeremy Scott perfectly encapsulates the brand's heritage of picking fun at fashion, itself and everything around it. This season's collection is an unlikely melding of the construction and fashion industries, with models wrapped in caution tape and even dressed as fluffy carwash pillars.

Key piece: keep it wearable with a irreverent sweater for ultimate understated cool.

It would seem it's the season for the 'real' girl. For a city renowned for glitz and glamour, this is certainly a change! The designers have very generously created collections that will at once inspire and fit seamlessly into our wardrobes. 

Get pinning. Get shopping. Roll on spring summer!

A x

Monday, 28 September 2015

Life: Autumn Cheer-Me-Ups

A has some tricks and treats to cheer you up this Autumn.

The mornings are getting colder, the evenings are drawing shorter. Autumn is officially arrived, and we are all in mourning for Summer. But wait a minute, isn't Autumn the most beautiful season of all the year, the season of cosy evenings in front of open fires, of crisp leaves underfoot, and the promise of Winter (not to mention Christmas!)? 

Hoping to rekindle some Autumn love, I've compiled a list of some of our favourite things about this enchanting season. Now tell me you still miss Summer... 

#PSLisback - You know it's Autumn when Starbucks bring back their famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. What better way to combat the cold than clutching a warm cup of pumpkin goodness?

Toasty tootsies - Cashmere is one of life's greatest luxuries, and the simple pleasure of snuggling your feet into socks of the softest variety is worth it's weight in gold. You'll find the nicest of socks at Pantherella.

Best foot forward - There's nothing like a good pair of boots for conquering the great outdoors in Autumn, and by great outdoors, yes, I do mean the short distances between front door to tube, office to coffee shop... a quick glance at this season's offering from Office will have you forgetting your seasonal blues in no time!

Back in black - An oft overlooked benefit to the colder seasons is that you can wear black nail varnish without looking like a teen goth. I'd recommend Barry M for value and quality - choose from shiny or matte.

Be bold - Similarly with lips, you can go wild with bold shades to your heart's content. Illamasqua have the most delectable selection of shades.

Spice up your life - Chicken soup may be good for the soul, but it's a spicy soup you want for Autumn, full of flavour, warmth and protein. This Spanish fish and chorizo recipe from Jamie Oliver will do the trick.

Burn baby burn - Last but not least, and perhaps most romantic of all, this is the season for candles. I've been lighting them for weeks now, they create such a cosy atmosphere even on the dreariest of days. Particularly wonderful is Diptyque's Feu de Bois, which very fittingly smells of wood fires.

Happy Autumn!

A x

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Style: London Fashion Week SS16

A is head over heels for spring summer '16 at LFW.

London is always a delight, and this season is no exception. While the UK capital nods to the trends sweeping New York, Paris and Milan, it always marches to the beat of it's own drum, designers consistently serving up irreverent, inventive collections full of life, and the spirit of London.

So many of the shows were utterly lovely, but these are the ones that took my breath away.

Victoria Beckham debuted her diffusion line Victoria by Victoria Beckham with a collection of relaxed, loose, playful pieces inspired by a family trip to Marrakesh. Continuing the designer's move toward a more laid-back aesthetic, this line will be sure to delight a whole new raft of admirers.

Key piece: a cape dress - throw over your bikini for summer evening cocktails.

Christopher Kane wowed with a bold, bright, grungy yet optimistic show full of slouchy fit dresses, patchwork pieces and primary colour fringing. The crowning glory of the triumphant show was the multicoloured, patchwork lace, evoking some kind of shattered stained glass window. Beautiful.

Key piece: bold, block colour shift dress, oh, and don't forget your cable tie necklace!

Florals that tread a careful line between bold and delicate, patterns that evoked happy family holidays by the sea, and all in well-cut, satisfyingly simple shapes. Holly Fulton showed a winner of a collection.

Key piece: a cropped blue jacket, emblazoned with pretty little starfish.

J W Anderson is a genius. A master of reinvention, he has yet again looked to the past (albeit a past not so long ago) and produced new, unexpected shapes and combinations. Inspiration without nostalgia, irreverence without cynicism. These are statement pieces, bold, positive, optimistic pieces.

Key piece: a puffball sleeved sweater in a bold pattern - piece of cake to style, no?

Simone Rochas's SS16 is a more mature, self-aware version of her previous collections. Whilst still definitely grunge, definitely gothic, is is more refined, less frilly, somehow weightier, it carries itself with it's head up high. I can only look forward to season after season of this wonderful designer.

Key piece: vintage dress stolen from a matriarch's wardrobe, worn devil-may-care with clompy sandals.

As with New York, the mood is generally sombre, not typically 'summery' here in London, but there is a definite optimism. Looking back on well-spent holidays, we're looking forward to the promise of Summer again.

A x