Valentino Cash & Rocket Tour

Valentino cash & rocket

Say what you like about luxury fashion, but you cannot say that it doesn’t do its’ bit for charity. From LVMH’s endless list of philanthropic initiatives to Fendi’s recent Peekaboo Project to support Kids Co, these brands may sell eye wateringly expensive products and boast megabuck turnovers but at the same time many of them contribute millions to helping people around the world. Valentino has long been one such label. Mr Garavani himself supported countless charities including the Children’s Institute Against Child Abuse, Aids Crisis Trust and Naked Heart Foundation. His successors, current Creative Directors of Valentino Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccoli, continue to use the brand’s reputation and considerable resources to help disadvantaged people around the world today. Their latest endeavour is the Cash & Rocket Tour, happening this very week.

The Cash & Rocket Tour sees 70 high profile women from the worlds of fashion, music, cinema and business embark on a 1600 KM drive from Venice to London with stops along the way in Geneva and Paris. The donations collected will help support three important humanitarian organisations – Shine On Sierra Leone, OrphanAid Africa and Sumbandila – to support African children and their families with health assistance and educational programs in Sierra Leone, Ghana and South Africa. Obviously I don’t need to convince you that this is a seriously worthy cause but I’ll tell you anyway that this year’s fundraising efforts will be put towards helping to provide higher education for young adults who are in the process of moving out of institutional care and into a state of independence, sponsoring children from poor rural homes through full education, providing healthy, nutritious school meals for young children and offering vital transport so young children can benefit from a Saturday school program. This is to name but a handful.

Valentino is one of the eight global brands supporting this year’s event and Maria Grazia Chiuri will be driving the tour herself alongside the likes of Jodie Kidd, Jo Wood, Daisy Lowe and Christina Hendricks. Besides fundraising, this year the brand will also be donating 20% of proceeds from the sale of several pieces from the Rouge Absolute Signature capsule collection and six other special products especially created by Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. These are, of course, all incredibly beautiful items that epitomise the Valentino aesthetic through the artisanal techniques that belie them, their sleek design, sumptuous fabrics and of course, iconic red hue. So if you’re pondering a luxe purchase this week, why not help change a few lives while you’re at it? Valentino’s Cash & Rocket Tour pieces are available at and Net-a-Porter. Alternatively you can donate any amount to help these charities at here.

The Cash & Rocket Tour will run from June 5th to June 8th, good luck ladies!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Leave a comment

Tory Burch Give Away!

tory burch

Yes, you read that right. This week I’m giving away a little something from none other than Tory Burch! And that “little something” just so happens to be an exquisite Tomino Tunic.

I probably don’t need to tell you that I’m completely obsessed with Tory Burch, both the brand and the woman herself. Tory is truly one of the smartest and most inspiring business women out there. In just a decade, she’s built a global mega brand, scooped up prestigious awards ranging from the CFDA for Accessory Designer of the Year to Forbes’s Most Powerful Women in the World and dressed fashion icons and First Lady’s alike. Tory has also somehow managed to combine this with extensive philanthropy – in 2009 she launched the Tory Burch Foundation to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs and their families in the U.S – serving on the boards of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to name but a few and raising her three sons. Tory Burch is one seriously impressive lady and as for her designs… They’re so totally up my street I can barely cope. Visiting her Bond Street store the other week nearly caused me to go into total fashion meltdown over how much I wanted every single thing there. One of those things was the incredible Tomino Tunic and so I was delighted when the brand not only let me take one home, but said I could give one to you guys too!

To enter the competition ALL you need to do is these three simple steps…

1) Follow La Petite Anglaise on Facebook here and instagram here

2) Follow Tory Burch on Instagram here and twitter here

3) Answer this incredibly easy question: Where would you most like to wear this gorgeous Tory Burch kaftan? 

Email your answers to me at or just leave them in the comments below, whatever floats your boat.

Good luck!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 15 Comments

La Petite Anglaise turns 4!

la petite anglaise

I cannot believe I missed my fourth bloggiversary! The last few weeks have been a non stop shooting-travelling-styling-partying bonanza and I completely forgot. I feel slightly like a parent that’s forgotten their child’s birthday. My dad forgot my brother’s once (note: not mine, I am far too much of a birthday brat for that to ever happen) and I remember how the guilt was writ large across his face. Anyway, La Petite Anglaise officially turned four on May 25th and that’s kind of blowing my mind. On the one hand, I can’t really remember a time before blogging, what on earth did I do with myself in those days!? On the other, it seems like just yesterday I was thinking about “giving this blogging thing a go” despite never actually having read one and knowing precisely nada about all things digital. If you’d told me then that I would eventually be doing it as a full time job, zooming off to international fashion weeks, working with the likes of Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade NY and Mulberry, getting to know people who’s careers had long been the stuff of my wildest dreams… Well, I would have thought you were completely insane. Or at the very least, having a laugh. Blogging is such a new world and changing every day. In six months it may have totally imploded but for now, I’m having the time of my life doing something I love so much and really, that is all down to you. Without you lovely lot reading La Petite Anglaise none of the things that have happened over the past four years would have done. So while this post is a celebration of the site’s birthday, really, it’s a perfect chance for me to say the biggest THANK YOU! I truly could not be more grateful for all of your support and for sticking with me through the ups and downs and I’m sure, a number of absolutely rubbish posts along the way… Bring on the next four years!

Love Ella. X

Ps) I’ve also been meaning to ask for ages, what would you like to see more or less of on La Petite Anglaise? Outfits, parties, lifestyle, beauty… Tell me and I’ll make it happen!

Image by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 3 Comments

3 Ways To Wear It: Leather Skirt

leather skirt

Whistles leather skirt, £85, click here to buy

My father is not a terminally unstylish man. In fact, he often cuts a dash in beautifully tailored Calvin Klein. But, and this is a pretty big, game changing, opinion shaping BUT, he cannot get his head around leather clothing. But of course what he doesn’t know, or perhaps willfully chooses to ignore, is that leather in all forms and applied to all garments is now a perennial style staple. Case in point, the leather skirt. I remember when such an item would have felt a bit rogue, the domain of 80’s sitcoms (check) and professional vixens. I now own around 6 or 7 and couldn’t imagine how the hell I’d get dressed without one. Whether it’s pencil shaped or A-line, a great leather skirt is the perfect transeasonal piece so I thought it would be just the thing for a May edition of 3 Ways To Wear It.


leather skirt

Worn with Topshop denim shirt (available here), Fleming London rucksack (available here), Alberta Ferretti for Cutler and Gross sunglasses (similar here) & Adidas Stan Smith trainers

leather skirt

leather skirt

leather skirt

leather skirt

You know what? I reckon I’m getting better at casual… or less terrible anyway. Holly and I discussed the many ways this outfit wasn’t “me” (hello trainers and backpack) but actually, I totally love it. Denim is also the perfect way to dress down leather, just as it tones down neon. Basically denim is awesome and the unsung hero of virtually all our wardrobes. Add Stan Smiths, a ponytail and a luxed up rucks(ac) and I think this may be one of my personal best downtime ensembles ever. Note on the Stan Smith’s; having been the most vocal anti-trainer campaigner, the comfyness and effortless cool factor of Adidas’ cult shoe have got the better of me. I will not, however, be wearing them anywhere near fashion week. There are more than enough street style detail shots of a fast flying feet boasting a flash of white and green.


leather skirt

Worn with Gap shirt (similar here), Zatchels satchel (similar here) & Topshop brogues (similar here

leather skirt

leather skirt

leather skirt

leather skirt ella catliff

Having briefly flirted with a casual look on this 3 Ways To Wear It shoot, I promptly reverted to dressing like an overgrown five year old and felt disturbingly comfortable once I had. Nothing screams “PREP” like matching everything, so I co-ordinated my shirt (a gingham Oxford style, natch) brogues and satchel in varying adjacent shades of my favourite colour, green, and added frilly pop socks for extra (s)chool girl points. I would not recommend rocking anything similar if you’re going out on the pull. In my experience, buttoned up gingham does not exactly signal “buy me a drink” But if you’re not on a mission of debauchery then I think it’s perfect for springtime in the city; meetings, shopping, brunching and the like. FYI the brogue-sock combo could easily be switched up for ballet pumps or loafers if this you find this a smidge too cartoon character esque.

After Dark

leather skirt

Worn with Whistles lace top (VERY similar here), Hobbs shoes & clutch (similar here and here) & Anne Bowes Jewellery necklace (available here)

leather skirt

leather skirt

leather skirt

leather skirt leopard clutch

If you do not yet own an extensive collection of lace tops I urge you, get on that ASAP! They will change your life. Or at least, your getting-ready-for-a-night-out process. Going out tops are a tricky business I find. Super fashiony, sculptural concoctions involving 3D embellishment and other such contraptions may be exquisite to look at (even when on an actual person) but tricky to wear. Ever tried taking the underground in a gold brocade confection with one leg of mutton sleeve, one exposed arm and a slight air of a very glamorous Henry VIII? I have, it wasn’t fun. On the other hand, more mainstream evening tops often err on the side of trashy or boring, both not really the look we’re going for. While a lace top might not be quite as exciting as something Tudor inspired and shiny but it always looks chic, elegant and occasion appropriate, not to mention goes with E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Case it point, the leather skirt. I added my trusty leopard calfhair accessories, an Anne Bowes Jewellery charm necklace and a slick of lipstick. Currently I’m alternating between Mac’s Candy Yum Yum and Coral shades. The latter matches the Dior Riviera shade on my nails so I’m wearing it here.

Which is your favourite way to wear the leather skirt?

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

Introducing: Jonathan Simkhai

jonathan simkhai AW14 1

I think it’s fair to say that recent seasons have seen sexy put back on the sartorial menu. Blame Joseph Altuzarra maybe who’s intelligent take on haute seduction has had the fashion world in raptures. Or maybe Tom Ford, who’s intuitive understanding of what makes women look and feel hot is as relevant now as it was in his nineties heyday. But as this post title suggests, we’re not talking Altuzarra or Ford today, we’re talking about Jonathan Simkhai.

Jonathan Simkhai AW14 2

Jonathan Simkhai AW14 (and above)

Currently part of the prestigious CFDA Incubator Programme, Simkhai is a seriously in demand commodity right now. And indeed, his aesthetic and the quality and thought it entails do just feel oh so right for now. Bringing together sporting influences, sveltely sculpted silhouettes, impossibly luxurious fabrics and razor sharp cuts, Jonathan Simkhai’s take on sexy is intelligent, meticulous and unequivocally modern. As you all know, I’m total sucker for all things pretty, patterned and eye poppingly bright but the depth behind this New York designer’s work is compelling in a whole different way. Drawing from masculine tailoring and sources as obscure as a cigar box covered in crocodile skin, Simkhai concocted an AW14 collection that combined androgyny and fearless femininity by way of wide leg, pinstriped trousers, second skin asymmetric skirting, sporty separated in dramatic hues and turtlenecks cut-away to expose unusual areas of flesh. It’s athleticism for anyone who abhors “sports luxe” and seduction for those who loathe bodycon.

Jonathan Simkhai SS14 3

Jonathan Simkhai SS14

Considering last season’s – or this season’s depending on how you look at it – collection, you can see that Jonathan Simkhai is developing a clearly articulated aesthetic while at the same time, using diverse sources of inspiration in surprising and inventive ways. For SS14 he looked to the Battle of Brighton Beach in 1964, which saw hoards of mods and rockers hash out their rivalries on the pebbly shoreline. The idea of intersecting beach chairs led to intersecting lines and multi-width stripes which colour blocked their way across the leathers, linens and neoprenes of his mix n’ match co-ords, immaculate tailoring and flared hem dresses.

Jonathan Simkhai SS14 2

Jonathan Simkhai SS14

Simkahi’s work is the kind of achingly cool, utterly contemporary fashion fodder that editors, tastemakers and badass Carine Roitfeld-a-likes are powerless to resist. At the same time and much like Altuzarra and Ford, you could imagine women outside the industry wearing it. Unsurprisingly, he’s now stocked by, Net-a-Porter, MATCHESFASHION.COM and Selfridges to name but a few. Yep, four years after launching his label, Jonathan Simkhai is clearly more than ready to hit the big leagues and I, for one, look forward to watching and maybe even wearing it.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment