Ella Catliff, Author at La Petite Anglaise - Page 2 of 226

Women Who Eat On Tubes

women who eat on tubes

Before we go any further with this post I’m going to state my opinion on this right now, Women Who Eat On Tubes is abhorrent. On the whole, I think it’s great to start a debate (rhyme unintentional) regardless of whether it’s over the Kimye Vogue cover, Miley’s twerking antics or the ongoing hubbub about peacocking at fashion week. All totally unnecessary occurrences that spur some pretty strong opinions. Whatever side of the fence you fall on, you’ve got to admit that things, be they fashion, music or pop culture related, are that bit more interesting when get people conversing, discussing and arguing. Hell, even angry, most likely misspelled tweeting is infinitely less dull than a nonchalant “meh”. But no matter how many people hold forth about Women Who Eat On Tubes, I refuse to even entertain the notion that, as the site’s founder Tony Burke claims, it’s any form of art, observational or otherwise. It has not “thrown up a number of little tributaries of discussion”, it had caused understandable offence and anger.

I take two main issues with the site. Firstly, that it’s purely women. I’m not saying that it would be all fine and dandy if it was People That Eat On Tubes (although I suspect that site might be rather less popular) but the fact that its focused solely on catching women in the act of snacking makes the whole thing particularly unpleasant. Many, if not most, women’s relationships with food are complicated things involving a fair amount of guilt and dress size anxiety. Again, I’m not saying men are immune to this by any means. But the fact that the guilt/food association is both so widespread and so openly discussed among women – ever opened a women’s mag without at least three features in some way relating to the subject? – highlights the fact that whether the individual in question is mostly healthy person who endures the odd fat day/regretted pack of peanuts, or suffering from something more serious altogether, it’s a loaded and often painful issue. With this in mind, how could taking and publishing surreptitious snaps of women eating not have the potential to make them feel like complete shit? Especially when you factor in the inevitably vile barrage of comments that will follow. And, call me old fashioned, but isn’t knowingly inflicting shitty feelings on an absolute stranger for no reason other than your own amusement and validation as a harbinger of LOLS a bit, well, wrong? I also can’t help but feel that Women Who Eat On Tubes rather ventures into women not being allowed to eat in public territory which harks back to an age of “her indoors” that none of us want to go near. Poorna Bell wrote a far better piece on all this than I ever could for the Huffington Post, you can read it here.

My second major issue with the site is the extent to which it seems to believe that social media makes us all fair game. This is something that particularly gets me as a) I heart social media and b) I know that this has a hefty element of truth to it. If we’re constantly uploading images of ourselves to the World Wide Web, how can we take issue when someone else decides to do it on our behalf? Doesn’t that just reflect an innate vanity? i.e if a snap’s not taken at the most flattering angle known to man and sexified with an X Pro II filter it’s not going anywhere. I suspect this isn’t an entirely baseless argument, but that’t not really the point here. Being mocked, critiqued and generally not treated like a human being online is one thing – and still a bad thing – if you’ve willingly uploaded selfies and belfies and art directed breakfast trays to your social media pages. But if you haven’t, it’s infinitely worse. There are some people, I’m told, that actively dislike the idea of social media. Hard to believe in their existence, much like unicorns or the Loch Ness monster but they’re out there and effectively forcing them to participate, against their will and their knowledge is a massive violation of the basic human right not to have your face plastered all over the Internet while you’re simply making your oblivious way to work. Even if you’re as much of an Instagram addict as I, that just doesn’t make it ok for people you don’t know to do this in order to publicly ridicule. How is that not the most obvious thing in the world?

That’s not, however, to say that the rest of us our blameless. I’ve lolled harder than anyone at Jeanz and Scheuxsss. I know several other sites where men are snapped unawares on the daily commute for us gals to ogle, rate and pick over like T.M. Lewin clad pieces of meat. Perhaps the real reason Women Who Eat On Tubes gets us so riled up is that it hits a little too close to home and makes the Internet population (i.e. everyone ever) feel a little uneasy about their own online ROFLS. In an age of paparazzi insanity and street style celebrity coupled with our almost universal compulsion to share every second of our day with thousands of complete randoms, the lines are admittedly rather blurred. But ultimately, if you’re playing the fame game or getting your gladrags on to parade around Somerset House you have, to some degree, given your consent to have unapproved pictures of yourself published online. If you’re simply on your way to work, you really haven’t.

Maybe the moral of this story is really just about not taking and publishing photographs of strangers without their consent, something that should perhaps be more of a given than it is. Women Who Eat On Tubes is the tip of the iceberg, not the entire problem. Nonetheless, I still think it’s appalling. There’s something about the idea of capturing women-only on camera at a moment of potential vulnerability to post online for laddish idiots to leave sexual and/or abusive comments that is both distasteful and cruel. It just can’t be validated with the argument that we should all get a bloody sense of humour. Does anyone really believe that a woman who discovers a snap of herself eating breakfast wraps alongside her fellow commuters, captioned “three little piggies” and followed by a barrage of body related commentary, would simply chuckle and get on with her morning? Maybe some would, personally I’d struggle. And as for Burke’s pathetic assertions that his cheap gag site “cherishes its subjects in the way a wildlife photographer cherishes a kingfisher in a river”… pull the other one, luv.

That’s about enough from me! What do you lot think?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 11 Comments

LPA & Kate Spade NY: All About Accessories

This week I announced an incredibly exciting collaboration with none other than Kate Spade New York. It was a piece of news I’ve been itching to tell you all for absolutely ages and I’m equally delighted to share part deux of our project. As you might have guessed, it’s all about accessories. Pretty much anything Kate Spade NY do is a winner with me regardless of whether its a fabulous coat or a playful phone case, but something the brand’s particularly renowned for is their accessories. And seeing as our event next week will be taking place at their accessory specialising Westfield Center store it only seemed right to get us all in the mood for it with a mega accessory styling session. In my opinion, accessories can make or break an outfit. They can elevate the kind of everyday clobber you thrown on unthinkingly into the realms of extreme chicness or add that extra pizzazz to your most favourite cocktail hour ensemble. When it comes to preppy, major accessorisation is basically mandatory. After all, what would Blair Waldorf be without her headbands? Or Cher Horowitz without her knee high socks? Infinitely less iconic, that’s for sure. So, given the power of accessories to amp up all manner of outfits, and Kate Spade NY’s extreme talent for designing excellent ones, it seemed fitting to apply them to my three favourite genres of dressing: casual, preppy and after dark.

Casual

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_009

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_015

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Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_013

Not exactly tracksuit bottoms I admit but this is about as casual as I go really! When accessorising for everyday I’m a huge fan of an oversized shades/understated jewellery combo. This delicate charm necklace adds a glimmer of gold without looking too trussed up for a quick trip to your nearest Starbucks. Mega sunglasses are obviously a must, come Spring they’re my tired eyes hiding saviour. A lightweight scarf is another trans-seasonal essential as here in London the weather can switch between glorious sunshine and torrential rain in seconds. I’m a big fan of handbags in all shapes and sizes but nothing caters to a day of running around town like a long crossbody strap and enough room to fit more than lipstick and a credit card. As for the bracelets, well, too much functionality would just be boring. 

Preppy

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_003

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Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_007

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_001

I’ve long thought that the key to preppy dressing lies in the accessories. The ones that immediately spring to mind are, of course, hairbands and pop socks but actually, I reckon the key elements of Park Avenue Princess accessorisation are coordination and sparkle. Both of these are heavily involved in this outfit thanks to Kate Spade NY’s talent for dealing them out by the spadeful. Whenever I venture into one of their shops to be greeted by rails and rails of gobstopper gems and bow detailing I become the proverbial kid in a candy store and it takes every ounce of self control not to pile them on by the armful. This outfit involves just the right amount, or at least I think so. The white n’  bright statement necklace and matching cuff are shiny enough to appeal to my magpie tendencies and dazzle a few commuters (literally and figuratively) while miraculously not venturing into tacky territory. Naturally I just had to pair them with a matching belt, the shade of which is perfectly picked up by the bag’s trim. These kind of accessories are perfect for important days that merge straight into enjoyable nights as they render high heels wonderfully unnecessary.

After Dark

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_017

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_021

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_022

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_020

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_019

Ella Catliff for Kate Spade by Holly McGlynn April 14_018

Accessorising for after dark is a high risk but potentially high reward situation. The right amount can turn relatively ordinary separates into something really special. Too much and everything can get a little Footballer’s Wives. Much as I adored that programme (if you’ve never seen it get yourself on YouTube… as soon as you’ve finished reading this post that is) Tanya Turner is not the vibe I’m going for. I think, or at least hope, this combo nails the glam V flashy balance perfectly. The gold accents compliment those my mini skirt, shoes and the insanely awesome clutch bag from Kate Spade NY’s Monaco collection while the coherent colour palette keeps it elegant. I always think a good rule for cocktail hour accessories is stop one piece short of a full set. If you’re rocking a necklace, earring and a bracelet the skip the cocktail ring, or vice versa.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this accessory style up! All of the pieces I’ve styles plus loads more will be available at my event with Kate Spade New York next Tuesday. Come along to enjoy 15% off everything, champagne, lots of styling and the chance to win a handbag. The soirée will be on from 5pm to 7pm at the Westfield Store on April 15th, really hope to see you there.

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 1 Comment

Glamour of Italian Fashion Private View

glamour of italian fashion

How else to toast the arrival of an exhibition showcasing The Glamour of Italian Fashion than with a evening of Italian style extravagance? Anything less would have been a travesty. But of course, no one was going to let such a fabulous excuse for fanciness pass them by so last week women (and men) all over London and fat further afield were digging out their finest attire to raise a glass of champagne or three at the V&A.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014, London, 1/04/2014

Martin Roth Director of the V&A, Sonnet Stanfill Curator of the Exhibition, Alexandra Shulman, President of Conde Nast International Nicholas Coleridge, Franca Sozzani & Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi

Dolce_and_Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbanna

Naturally I wanted to go all Italian for the night and had a choice between three equally exquisite REDValentino dresses. This was, of course, a pinch-me-I’m-dreaming moment but also posed something of a conundrum. Did I go sweet and a little on the safe side in one of the flared hem, thigh skimming cocktail numbers? Or did I go all out in the 3D floral embroidered, ankle length, tulle showstopper? It was so goddamn gorgeous I could barely keep myself from putting it on right there and never taking it off again, but at the same time, I didn’t want to find everyone else in jeans and feel like a total plonker. Then I thought screw it, what could possibly be a more perfect occasion to don such a special garment than an evening celebrating the glamour of Italian fashion?! Paired with my beloved Pollini sandals and an amazing Marni necklace from Net-a-Porter’s exclusive V&A capsule collection I was indeed Italiano-d to the max and, on the red carpet leading into the V&A had a bit of a princess moment.

glamour of italian fashion

Me & Nik
I wore… REDValentino dress, Marni for Net-a-Porter x V&A Necklace, Pollini shoes & Smythson clutch (oops not Italian)
Nik wore… 

Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t the only attendee dressed to impress. The V&A’s magnificent Grand Entrance hall was positively bursting with exquisitely embellished Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbanna and Valentino creations adorning the frames of impossibly beautiful people. After locating a glass of champagne – not a tricky task, there was virtually one handsome, tuxedo clad waiter to every guest – Nik and I entered the fray, raring and ready to mingle. And there was certainly no lack of opportunity to do so. Everyone from Caroline Issa, Jade Parfitt and David Downton to Emilia Fox, Jade Jagger, Laura Charmichael and Lily Allen were in attendance. I’m not usually one to get massively starstruck but when I spied an impossibly chic, Bvlgari jewels clad Caroline Sieber sashaying through the vaulted halls I did slightly go into girl crush overload.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014, London, 2/04/2014

Caroline Sieber

glamour of italian fashion

Me again

glamour of italian fashion

Evangeline Ling, Angela Scanlon & Bip Ling

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014, London, 2/04/2014
Emilia & Jack Fox

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014, London, 2/04/2014

Jade Parfitt

It was indeed an evening of exquisite Italian glamour, and drinking champagne in the V&A after hours will never cease to thrill me. After saying out goodbyes, Nik and I decided to hit the Linda Farrow party at Scotch, via the Groucho, so it was home for a high speed outfit change. Much as I didn’t want to take that dress off ever, no way in HELL was I going to risk taking it clubbing!

Love Ella. X

Images by Nick Harvey

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment

The Glamour of Italian Fashion

The Glamour of Italian Fashion

The second I caught wind that The Glamour of Italian Fashion would be the subject of the V&A’s major fashion exhibition this year I just knew it would be fantastic and that I would utterly adore it. You see, my own love affair with fashion began in Italy. Prior to that I was a die hard, pony obsessed tomboy with a (self inflicted) cropped hair cut the likes of which only a mother who secretly wants her young son to be bullied inflicts, and a penchant for tracksuits of the non fash variety. Then on a fateful family holiday to Rome aged 12, everything changed. My father was working on a TV programme called “Fashion House” at the time which, funnily enough, starred a then unknown Gareth Pugh. Visiting the studio and seeing the young designers at work was fascinating, even for someone (me) who knew basically nada about fashion. And by the time we’d unloaded our suitcases and headed to the nearest café for Capuccinos (this felt so sophisticated at the time) I’d decided that I wanted to grow up to be one of these chic signorinas with their slinky silhouettes, fur trims and exotic handbags thrice the size of their teeny tiny dogs. But ultimately what sold me on all things sartorial was the exquisite, unparalleled glamour I spotted in the boutiques. Visiting the Dolce & Gabbana on the Via Condotti was my lightbulb moment. I didn’t have the foggiest clue about the painstaking hours of hand stitching or the ancient artisanal techniques that went into creating the magical confections I saw before me. I just knew they were part of a magical, glamorous world that I desperately wanted to be a part of too.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion

Inside the exhibition space…

A decade later, and with a degree in Fashion History and Theory (almost) under my belt, I like to think I’m slightly less clueless now but The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 – 2014 still taught me more than just a thing or two. The first major exhibition to explore Italy’s fashion legacy, the show contains an enormous and diverse range of material. It begins with the tale of Italy’s first steps into the international fashion arena during the 1950s, when entrepreneur Giovanni Battista Giorgini began luring the press over to Florence after Paris fashion week with a series of ‘Sala Bianca’ fashion shows displaying the virtually untapped wealth of fashion prowess the country had to offer. From there the show charts Italian fashion’s development, both in terms of image and aesthetic, including ensembles ranging from bespoke Rubinacci men’s tailoring and Maria Grimaldi evening dresses from the 1950s to Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccoli’s latest Valentino creations by way of 70s Missioni, 80s Versace and oodles of divine Dolce & Gabbana confections.

Dolce & Gabbanna

Dolce & Gabbanna ankle boots

Despite the endless supply of glittering eye candy on show, the focus of the exhibition is firmly on craftsmanship. While Paris may play home to haute couture, the exceptional quality of techniques, materials and expertise that Italian fashion has brought to the fore since the 1950s also has a legacy that harks back to the days of yore. While many of us find this kind of thing gripping, in depth information on spinning, dyeing, weaving, cutting and stitching runs the risk of seeming a little dry, especially if you don’t have a particular interest in the subject. The V&A deftly sidestepped this potential pitfall through creating a digital map that visualises the networks of mills, workshops and related industries across the country. So even if traditional hand beading doesn’t float your boat you’ve still got a snazzy bit of technology to content with. On the subject of technology, The Glamour of Italian fashion does not only revere the past. The show also looks forward, considering how a national industry underpinned by tradition is adapting to today’s age of lightening speed fashion, global markets and digital media. This offers a captivating insight into how an industry steeped in history can in fact be perfectly positioned to adapt to the future.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion

Evening dress of embroidered net and matelesse coat by Mila Schön

Given the wealth of jaw droppingly beautiful examples of Italian design available, it would be easy to simply show them off and still pull the crowds in. It’s a true testament to Curator, Sonnet Stanfill that The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition manages to truly convey the depth, intelligence and legacy of the country’s sartorial heritage… Amid, some extremely gorgeous dresses.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion will run at the Victoria & Albert museum until July 27th 2014. Click here for more information.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Reviews 1 Comment

LPA & Kate Spade New York Invite You!

Kate Spade NY x LPA

I don’t need to tell you lot how I feel about Kate Spade New York. From my NYFW reports to my wish lists to my most loved outfit posts, I’ve waxed lyrical about my sheer adoration for the Big Apple’s prime purveyor of all things preppy so many times it borders on worryingly obsessive. But can you blame me? Between the colour popping hues, darling details and sheer joie de vivre exuded from every gorgeous garment or morsel of arm candy they dole out, Kate Spade NY is absolute fashion catnip for the girly girl in all of us. With this in mind, I could not physically be any more excited to announce my upcoming collaboration with the brand. Keeping schtum about it for the past few weeks has been no mean feat I tell you. But I don’t have to any more, huzzah! So here you have our invitation.

On Tuesday 15th of April, Kate Spade New York and I would love, love, love you to join us for a very special event at their Westfield store. There will be styling, shopping, champagne and 15% off E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G plus a pretty tantalising competition. This competition is all about accessorising, one of my favourite pastimes and something I’m sure you all do fabulously. On this occasion, that sartorial skill could help you win a Kate Spade New York Bow Terrace Justine handbag worth £270!!

Kate Spade NY 1

Kate Spade New York’s Bow Terrace Justine Handbag that COULD BE YOURS!

On April 15th I’ll be challenging guests to style up their favourite Kate Spade New York accessories in store – from handbags to pop socks and iPhone cases, there are so many to play with – and snap a polaroid for our in store photo board. At the end of the night, I’ll be going through the snaps and selecting a winner based on their accessorising prowess. That winner will have their styled up shot featured on La Petite Anglaise and, way more importantly, get to take home THIS BAG! If that’s not a cracking reason to tempt you out on a Tuesday evening then frankly, I don’t know what is! In case you fancy a bit of Kate Spade New York accessory styling inspo I’ll  be sharing my own take on it later this week. Watch this space my friends…

Whether or not you’re in it to win it, I’d be so, so thrilled if you came along to say hello, enjoy a glass of something tasty and join me in celebrating one of my absolute favourite brands. Hope to see you soon!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 1 Comment