Fashion

Introducing: Beautiful Soul London

Beautiful Soul London SS15 2

A few weeks ago I was going through my emails when I found one from Nicola Woods, Founder and Creative Director of Beautiful Soul London. Given how many hundreds of emails most of us send and receive every day, it’s sometimes tempting not to pay as much attention as we perhaps should to those from brands or people we’ve never heard of. Beautiful Soul London was a name I didn’t know and, being in a mega rush as per always, I almost clicked straight on to the next one. Luckily I didn’t. Entranced by the incredibly beautiful blooms adorning Beautiful Soul London’s “Secret Garden” SS15 collection, I decided further investigation into this label was necessary. And I’m very glad I did as some of the pieces are truly exquisite. While it was Nicola’s summer designs that reeled me in, I thought I’d better take a look at AW14 because that is of course the season essentially upon us. Entitled “Viola Sunshine”, Beautiful Soul London’s latest collection has some really stunning prints and pieces. While some of it’s a little too feminine for me – not something that happens often – I’ve fallen hard for the minidresses which tap into the season’s sixties ingenue vibe without compromising the Beautiful Soul London aesthetic. If, like me, you’re struggling to start packing away their floral print summer fare, Nicola’s delicate take on moodier blooms are perfect for easing the transition into autumn.

Beautiful Soul London AW14 1

Above & below: Beautiful Soul London AW14

Beautiful Soul London AW14 2

Beyond the fact that Beautiful Soul London has some gorgeous pieces at very reasonable price points, what interested me once I started looking into the label were its brand values and its founder. I have to admit, I’m a bit rubbish when it comes to really considering where the clothes I wear come from. This is not a good thing, and something I’m trying to pay much more attention too as it’s a huge issue. Whether your talking about supporting local textile manufacturing and how those industries and their demise can effect communities, where fabrics are coming from or the working conditions of the people who craft those fabrics into clothing all over the world, it’s important although not always easy to consider the wider context of our sartorial choices. Beautiful Soul London may have hooked me in with adorable florals but their commitment to sustainability, especially as an independent start up, is equally worth celebrating. A conscious approach to fabric sourcing, focus on minimising environmental impact and commitment to local, UK-based production lie at the heart of the label combined with a zero-waste policy which sees material remnants used as fastenings and embellishments. Beautiful Soul London’s approach to design and sustainability saw the brand win the 2014 “Business Acumen and Innovation Award” at The Luxury Law Summit – organised by The International New York Times and The Global Legal Post no less – and has landed its pieces in the wardrobes of Livia Firth, Katy Perry, Laura Bailey, Lily Cole and Amber Valetta to name but a few. With this in mind, it’s surprising the label remains so under-the-radar. If you like rocking frocks half the world wont have seen before, I suggest you get in on the action asap.

Beautiful Soul London SS15 1

Above & top: Beautiful Soul London SS15

As I mentioned, Beautiful Soul’s Founder and Creative Director, Nicola Woods is a pretty interesting lady herself. I mean, turning round after 11 years working in high level corporate insurance and deciding to give it up in favour of pursuing the, let’s be honest here, hugely unreliable, potentially financially disastrous, odds-stacked-against-you career of being a fashion designer – I have boundless respect for anyone who pursues this path – is a fearless move. But, determined to follow her childhood dream, Nicola swapped the corporate ladder for London College of Fashion and launched her label the year after graduating. Obviously Nicola was in possession of both a well honed business acumen and design talent, the decision to make a career 360 and combine the two was both an impressive and high risk move, but one that was evidently well worth taking.

What do you think of Beautiful Soul London?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 3 Comments

3 Ways To Wear It: Floral Print Co-ord

Hobbs NYW floral silk co-ord

Left: Hobbs NW3 Floral Print Pioneer Blouse, reduced from £75 to £40. Available here. Right: Hobbs NW3 Floral Print Pioneer Shorts, reduced from £69 to £34. Available here.

Happy Monday mes amies! I used to find it the weirdest thing when people wished me a “happy Monday” or “happy Friday”. I’ve even had the odd “happy Tuesday” which was thoroughly confusing as, I think we can all agree, Tuesday is by far the most nondescript day of the week. But now I’ve gotten over the ingrained belief that good wishes should be reserved only for birthdays and Christmas. It’s so easy to get caught up in the manic business of just trying to get everything done that you stop actually enjoying any of it so why the hell shouldn’t we throw a little celebration into the mix to remind us that life is actually pretty great!? Even on Tuesdays. I think that’s probably about enough philosophising from me so before you decide I’ve gone nuts and click away in disgust, let’s talk about this floral print co-ord. Autumn may be speeding towards us a rate of knots BUT if you’ve invested in a similar two piece, or are thinking about snapping one up in the sales I’d still say go for it. I’m planning on getting maximum wear out of this bad boy for the next few weeks, incorporating the shirt into my new season wardrobe and then whipping the lot out again next Spring. If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that co-ords of all shapes, sized and styles are perennially awesome. And if you live somewhere that’s got a few months of heat left or, even more jealously inducing, is just about to begin their sunny season then you have endless floral co-ord wearing opportunities ahead of you. Thanks to nobody’s fault but my own, I’ve left it so damn long to do this post that most of the pieces are no longer available BUT I had a hunt on the Hobbs Outlet and they have a few of the shirts and shorts left, yay! I’ve put a few alternatives for others that are previous seasons or out of stock in the details below.

All Together Now…

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

Worn with silver Hobbs NW3 sandals (similar here), Paul & Joe Sister orange satchel (similar here & here) and Kite holographic sunglasses (similar here & here

This adorable Hobbs NW3 floral printed silk shorts n’ shirt co-ord came into my life sometime back in May. The funny thing is, I didn’t actually wear the full shebang together until really quite a lot later. Such is the versatility of this bad boy that rather than wondering how the hell I could mix it up, the pieces just seemed so right with other items already in my wardrobe. I almost started to think that perhaps they were better as separates but then I donned the lot in Trieste last month and realised how wrong I was. There are few things more enjoyable than wearing one dizzying print all over, at least that’s how I feel about it anyway. Rather than going for all out prep I decided to give things more of a modern spin with high shine silver sandals and holographic shades but green ballet flats and maybe a matching belt could be a great alternative if you’re after some prep.

On The Top…

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

Worn with neon yellow J.Crew skirt (similar here & here), silver Next sandals (similar here), Hobbs clutch (suede version available on SALE here & similar here), Dior Riviera nails (available here) & MAC Lady Danger lipstick (available here)

As you might remember, this particular ensemble came out to play in Ibiza while I was there shooting with Claire’s Accessories for Company Magazine. My J.Crew fit n’ flare skirt became a vital component of my wardrobe so quickly I even bought the same style in coral, it just seems to work with so much, this top included. I think the buttoned up style of shirt works well with a mini skirt and heels, it reduces the prep factor and makes the whole thing a little more party ready. I really like how the neon green trim of the shirt picks up the yellow on the skirt and reckon this could work well for a printed co-ord top half and separate block colour bottom half in any colour or for any season. I have a monochrome tibi number I’m intending to do something similar with by combining with white skinnies come autumn, more on than soon. Then of course I added matchy matchy colour pop coral lips and nails because I just can’t resist that kind of thing.

For Your Derrière…

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

floral print co-ord ella catliff la petite anglaise

Worn with Sandro white biker jacket (similar here & here), Michael Kors Selma tote (available here), Wildfox Bel Air sunglasses (available here) & LK Bennett sandals (available here)

Last but not least, the shorts. As shorts go I have to say these are some of the most comfortable ever. Light and breezy and roomy enough to accommodate a large lunch followed by gelato, they served me well paired with nothing more than a broderie tank top on holiday. To make them a little more city appropriate I paired them with a Sandro light tweed biker jacket, simple Jenni Kayne t-shirt (such great quality!) and structured Michael Kors Selma tote instead. Oh and these Wildfox sunnies which are perhaps my favourite things ever. They caused quite the stir when I wore them to walk on the North Norfolk broads last weekend! With bank holiday weekend coming up, this kind of outfit is perfect for a lazy, possible hungover brunch where you want to look polished without compromising on lazy day comfort. Unlike the matching shirt, you will look a bit cray if you wear floral printed silk shorts like these once Autumn really hits but with the addition of a jacket and fingers firmly crossed for sunshine they’ve got a few weeks left in them yet. For those hailing from sunnier climbs this does not apply, go forth and frolic in silk shorts to your hearts content.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of 3 Ways To Wear It. As I’ve been rubbish and failed to post until my Hobbs NW3 two piece is all but out of stock, I’ve found a few similar floral print co-ords here & here and cracking AW14 alternatives here & here. I fear this may be the last summery 3 ways to come from me this year but don’t despair, I have TONS planned for the next few months. For now, which was to wear the printed shorts n’ shirt co-ord is your favourite?

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 4 Comments

La Petite Anglaise is on LIKEtoKNOW:IT

LIKEtoKNOW:IT

As a blogger, now attempting to do this shiz professionally, you’d think I’d be the first to pounce on every new digital innovation, handy app or social media platform. Alas, this is not the case. Once again I am late to the party in signing up for LIKEtoKNOW:IT. Admittedly the whole University finals while running La Petite Anglaise thing did put me under a fair bit of pressure and at times it was near impossible to study, shoot and post while still managing to feed, clothe and wash myself but I handed in my thesis in May for God’s sake, it’s embarrassing that it’s taken almost two whole months for me to tick this off my to do list. But better late than never eh? I’m delighted to tell you that I am now signed up to LIKEtoKNOW:IT which, in short, means you can shop my instagram feed. I always get lots of lovely comments saying that you like what I’m wearing (thank you) and asking where you can buy it. In the past, I may have merely told you the brand and left you to make time in your own no doubt equally busy schedules to locate the piece or if it isn’t current season, search for something similar. Well, not any more my friends! Now if you “like” one of my snaps that has a that has a “liketk.it” link then LIKEtoKNOW:IT will send you an email with a list of what I’m wearing, or the closest alternatives, and a direct link to buy them yourselves if you fancy it. Literally all you have to do is sign up here. Oh and obviously follow me on Instagram here. Even if you never actually shop my instas, LIKEtoKNOW:IT still a great way of finding out about some of the most stylish bloggers around. Since signing up myself I’ve basically trebled my must read list!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Leave a comment

Introducing WHIT

WHIT Whitney Pozgay

Given that Whitney Pozgay honed her craft in the studios of Kate Spade, there was never really any doubt that her own brand, WHIT, was going to be a huge hit with me. Currently a member of the ultra prestigious CFDA Incubator, Whitney’s career trajectory has been impressive to say the least. After studying theatre, concentrating in costume design at the University of Texas and spending a final semester at the Sorbonne the designer relocated to NYC in 2003 and went to work as a receptionist at the office of her aunt, Kate Spade. Having spent her college holidays indulging her long term love of fashion by way of internships, Pozgay decided to pursue her passion, enrolling at Parsons and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Kate Spade soon spotted her flair for deliciously playful prints, adorable details and ingenious colour combinations and promoted her up their design ranks through cold weather accessories, the relaunch of women’s apparel and overseeing the brand’s collaboration with avant guard collective Threes Afour. In 2007 Whitney made the move to Steve Alan where in her role as lead women’s wear designer she spearheaded and designed women’s collaborations including Steven Alan for Uniqlo and Urban Outfitters’ brand Lark and Wolff. All in all, seriously impressive stuff. But enough with the bio and on to the matter at hand… WHIT! After three years at Steve Alan, Whitney decided it was time to go it alone and oh I’m happy she has. As you’d expect, WHIT is all about pattern clashing, bold colour and has a definite Kate Spade air about it. But – and this is a pretty important but – while Pozgay’s own line may have the Kate Spade touches I so love, the vintage patterns and feminine silhouettes are fused with a more downtown aesthetic. Think girlish gorgeousness with a tomboy twist. In other words, it’s brilliant.

WHIT Whitney Pozgay

WHIT c

These are just a few of my favourite looks from Whitney’s AW14 collection. Unsurprisingly, WHIT’s gathered stockists faster than Anna Dello Russo gathers street style photographers and you can find out all about those here.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

Diesel Day on SecretSales.com

secretdales diesel

Happy Tuesday one and all! Pretty sure that phrase has only been in play since the dawn of social media but that in itself seems totes aprops as this little post is all about my digital curation of an online flash sale… I know, right. In case you didn’t already know, SecretSales.com is a genius members only e-tailer that organises mega reductions of genuinely cracking gear from really great designers that last just a few days! It’s a bit like those quiz shows where the fastest person to whack the buzzer gets to answer the question but infinitely better because being that speedster results in a purchase of something stylish, as opposed to the opportunity to partake in televised trivial pursuit. The latest brand SecretSales.com has partnered with is Diesel - who, not-so-coincidentally I spent the weekend with in Trieste – so they asked me if I fancied selecting my men’s and womenswear picks in case any of you fancy a shortcut to the piece you, or at least I, want. And so without further ado, ogle my edits below and click here to shop ‘em.

 Ladies Night

diesel secretsales

Printed leather biker dress and matching jacket… Need I say more? I’d style it with stiletto sandals and a slinky clutch (obvs) but you could go for a casual take in sneakers and a backpack. I probably wouldn’t recommend that. 

For the ‘Fellas

secretsales diesel

Oh I do love a man in double denim! Add pared back luxe black leather accessories and I’m totally sold. 

The Diesel sale on SecretSales.com will be running for four days only until Friday 17th July so get in there asap my friends!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment
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