Fashion

WIN Whistles Resort 2014

whistles resort

Yup, you heard me right. The fabulous folk at Whistles who I stalk mercilessly (sorry guys) have decided to give away an entire, top-to-toe look from their Resort 2014 collection as part of their annual Advent Calendar Competition. This time last year I teamed up with them to offer you a sneaky peeky at the personalised varsity jacket one lucky so and so would be receiving in time for Christmas. I’m sure you’ll agree it was a pretty bloody brilliant prize but, dare I say it, this year’s is even more spectacular. And not just because it involves more stuff, although that is obviously awesome. What really sets this treat apart is the calibre of Whistles’ Resort 2014 collection.

whistles resort

Whistles re

Pastel hues, A-line skirts and ice white accessories provide a tantalising teaser of what Spring has in store while razor sharp cuts, mannish outerwear and androgynous attitude stop things from erring on the side of saccharine. Even I, someone who has no problem with styles so sickly sweet they should come with a health warning find this Céline-meets-Carven chic impossibly compelling. I want to be the messy haired, devil may care girl who rocks bubblegum pink knits and printed leather dungaree dresses with equal nonchalance. But this post isn’t about me, for once, it’s about YOU lovely lot and how to get your hands on the aforementioned ensemble.

whistles

To recap, the prize is the WHOLE outfit from Whistles’ Resort 2014 collection pictured directly above; powder pink coat, tailored trews, monochrome heels, the lot. And all you have to do to enter is “like” the picture on Facebook here. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not. Good luck…

Love Ella. X

Ps) If you don’t get lucky this time around, no sweat, there are 19 more chances to win some Whistles online here

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

#YOLO: An Acronym To Live By?

YOLO

Thanks to the title of this post and the above image you’re probably thinking WTF right about now but please do bear with me. If you’ve so much as glanced at a magazine or turned on the television over the past six months then you’ll know there’s been a hell of a lot of debate over the illusive “work/life balance.” How does one achieve this most coveted of states and indeed, is such a thing is even possible? Maintaining a successful career, family and some semblance of a social life without taking spa weeks on the regular or having a complete breakdown… does this exist? I’ve been thinking a fair bit about this conundrum recently. Partially because I read an awful lot of magazines, but also because of the many emails I received after my feature in Look Magazine a couple of months ago. The piece was entitled “I go from lectures to Louis Vuitton shoots”, a sentance I hasten to add was paraphrased, and presented me in the extremely flattering, if not necessarily accurate, light of student-slash-jet-set-uber-blogger. After it was published I received numerous lovely emails, many of which asked how I balance everything. The truth? Badly. I suck at the work/life/play balance. Case in point, last week. Many months of burning the candle at both ends and in the middle finally took its toll and I ended up not working on my thesis, charging around town to meetings or attending fabulous events but stuck in bed at my parents house with a mouth full of ulcers and a system full of antibiotics. Finally feeling sufficiently human to venture outside, I decided to take the dog for a walk and bumped into the postman a few minutes in. Once we’d both recovered from the embarrassment of my mother’s small, ridiculous looking Norfolk terrier attempting to chase him what struck me was how darned happy the fellow seemed. Was he pacing along, reading the “to do” list on his iPhone attempting to answer emails, reschedule appointments, tweet, Instagram and chase up invoices simultaneously? Of course not! And did he seem like the desperately sad, shell of a human I become every time I lose my phone or come down with a cold, have to take a few days out and subsequently get behind on the aforementioned to do list? Not a bit of it, the man was genuinely whistling! Ordinarily and to my shame, I might have felt superior to the jolly postman, perhaps even pitying him for being so far removed from fast paced, ambition fuelled city life. Admitting that no doubt doesn’t show me in the best light but what the hell, I’m sure many of you’ve experienced such thoughts too. On this occasion though, I wondered, did the postman have it right? Does the work hard, play hard, you only live once (#YOLO) so you’d better make it great mentality actually make us happy or just perpetually tired, stressed and dissatisfied?

I’m slightly playing devil’s advocate here because I’m a total subscriber the #YOLO mentality (yep, new phrase coined by your’s truly). I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to be working in an industry I love and to get up each, ok most, mornings excited for what the day will bring. I completely and utterly adore the frenetic, not-stop, adrenaline-and-champagne fuelled fashion industry but that doesn’t change the fact that this fellow really made me stop and think. Would life be that bit better, calmer and just generally easier if those of us that strive for the impossibility of perfection and across the board achievement just, well, lived? Or in a metropolitan, digital driven world where we’re available on email (or countless social media platforms) at home, on holiday, in bed and professional competition appears to be at all all time high, is the very concept of contentment extinct? Perhaps the jolly postman can strike a work/life balance but would it ever work for me? And if I’m wondering this at the tender age of 22, what the HELL are people 10 years older and 100 times more successful feeling!? Once again, this post poses many more questions than answers. I want to know what you lot think…

Love Ella. X

Ps) I’m not about to quit the whole fashion malarky in favour of becoming a postman. Although it is tempting, I must admit… And his uniform was pretty chic.

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 4 Comments

Introducing: meli melo

meli melo

I don’t need to tell you how I feel about handbags but, you know me, I probably-slash-definitely will again anyway. While I’m enthralled by all things sartorial, bags are my ultimate, my kryptonite, the thing I go to bed dreaming about and wake up plotting new schemes to be able to own more of. Ok, that last bit wasn’t strictly true. I usually wake up panicking that I’ve managed to oversleep, praying it won’t rain and checking my emails in a haze of sleepy confusion but still, you get my drift. Anyway, back to bags. I love ‘em and therefore few things get me more excited than a hotter-than-hot new purveyor of leather loveliness on which to fritter hours browsing and empty my bank account buying. meli melo may not be new per se – Melissa Del Bono launched the label back in 2005 – but recent investment from the firm behind Smythson and Astley Clark, a stellar AW13 collection and the unveiling of their first boutique in London’s Notting Hill make this the perfect time to introduce the brand to you lovely lot. Unless of course you already know all about them, in which case please feel free to ignore me and just ogle their divine designs instead.

Meli Melo

meli melo Thea clutch in camo, £105

meli melo

meli melo Thea in burgundy, £530

Over the past eight years, meli melo has stealthily infiltrated the hearts and wardrobes of some of the world’s most stylish women including Olivia Palermo (a proud Thela toter), Rosie Huntington Whitely, Kate Moss (!), Sienna Miller and Poppy Delevingne. Considering that the defining characteristics of the brand’s aesthetic are flawless quality, impeccable craftsmanship and elegantly playful modernity, this isn’t exactly surprising. To be honest, it would be way more surprising if these A listers hadn’t fallen hard and fast for the luxe leathery charms of Melissa’s arm candy. Doling out both ohmigod-I-want-it-now on trend styles in leopard and camo prints and wear-forever classics in luscious, trans-seasonal shades all concocted from the very finest Italian leather, these puppies are freaking fashion catnip and I want in. What’s also excellent about meli melo is that while high street prices by anyone’s standards, they’re not as mind bogglingly expensive as numerous handbag labels I could mention. When you consider the quality of each piece and how much use you’ll get out of them, on a cost per wear basis, they’re basically free. I’m seriously struggling to choose a favourite and have now spent the best part of an hour browsing instead of doing anything productive. If pushed, I’d probably say the Thela in Cheetah (top) is my most coveted meli melo stye. Which would you pick?

These autumnal delights are all available online and in the meli melo boutique right now! But of course, fashion is all about looking to the future so here’s a sneaky peek at what Melissa’s got up her sleeve for SS14…

meli melo

meli melo Thela Prep Spex Flamingo Splatter Snake, £800

meli melo

meli melo Thea Halo in mauve, £620

Love Ella. X

Ps) meli melo’s brand new boutique can be found at 324 Portobello Road, London, W10 5RU

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Leave a comment

A Question of Taste

Random post coming up people! Much as I don’t like to mess with my own schedule, sometimes it has to be done and at the moment I seem to be doing it on a pretty regular basis. On this occasion the source of my inspiration appeared during a high speed dash between meetings in central London. I was striding down Conduit Street, Starbucks in one hand, iPhone in the other attempting to simultaneously tweet, email, Instagram, not be late and avoid scalding myself with my extra hot skinny latte when something stopped me in my tracks. This “something” was Moschino’s boutique, namely a drop-dead-amazing heart detail tartan kilt in the window styled to the max with buttoned up shirting and Highland inspired regalia. All thoughts of promptness swiftly vanished and I went inside to take a closer look. The place was wall to wall with playful, tongue-in-cheek, preppette mash ups. Burnished silk jacquard skater dresses with crisp white collars, dizzying checks, equestrian inspired tailoring and the aforementioned kilt in various incarnations. Were Cher Horowitz still a High School Senior (and, y’know, slightly less fictional) she would have DIED over these pieces!

taste
Moschino AW31 (images via Style.com)

Before you wring your hands in fury and puzzlement, I assure you I’m not about to claim to have “discovered” Moschino. It’s one of the most iconic Italian brands in the fashion stratosphere (fash-o-phere?) such a thing would be ridiculous. But for some reason unbeknown to everyone, myself included, I didn’t manage to clock how completely and to my taste it is. As I’ve no doubt told you all before a million and one times, minimalism doesn’t float my boat. I like my fash with a side of fun and preferably a whole lotta pattern. After spending longer than I care to admit gawping open mouthed at the sartorial fare on show I finally made it to my meeting, late of course. But throughout the enjoyable hour of coffee and chit chat that ensued I couldn’t stop daydreaming of all things Moschino. Naturally the first thing I did when I got home was hit up Style.com to re-ogle the whole collection. I was both surprised and totally non-surprised to learn that Tim Blanks had given it perhaps one of the most appalling reviews of all time. This got me to wondering about personal style, good taste and the whole premise of fashion show reviews. Are any clothes genuinely, unequivocally “bad” – as Blanks would no doubt dub Moschino AW13 – or is it all just a question of taste?

A couple of seasons ago I remember the subject coming up with an editor friend at the Jason Wu afterparty. We got to chatting about the day’s shows and I began banging on about how much I adored the Kate Spade New York collection. To this my friend, a woman who’s wardrobe I shamelessly covet, pulled a face of complete and utter horror. Admittedly her style is more effortless Parisian elegance than Park Avenue Princess prep and she’s a fair bit older than me but still, the fact someone who really knows fashion could think a brand I’ve always considered to be the bees knees made fundamentally not nice clothes, left me equal parts appalled and intrigued. What if, after all these years lampooning Ugg boots, boob tubes, tracksuit bottoms with logos on the arse and other items that shall remain nameless, I’ve been wrong to insist on their vileness? Perhaps one woman’s jeggings are another woman’s J Brands, if you get my drift.

isabel marant taste

An item that particularly exemplified this conundrum were Isabel Marant’s now ubiquitous wedge high top trainers. Now, I worship at the altar of Isabel Marant as much as the next fashion obsessive but unlike basically everything else Marant’s ever designed, I absolutely loathed those trainers. To my mind, they were just plain bad however many very chic women whose style I generally adore thought they were fabulous. Surely they couldn’t all be wrong? Then again, I remain pretty positive I wasn’t either. Which leads me to ask, yet again, when it comes to fashion is there ever such a thing as the right answer?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 4 Comments

Stylenoir: The Monarchy Issue

Stylenoir

It’s not everyday that one of your dear friends launches their very own print magazine so when James Joseph, Editor-in-Chief of the world’s largest dark style digital publication, Stylenoir, did just that earlier this year I was very excited indeed. Well, I’m every bit as excited to share the news of Stylenoir’s second ever print issue which hits the stands today! The Monarchy Issue is an exquisite celebration of all things ominous which explores the way in which power, greed and corruption has pervaded the royal bloodline via 120 pages of darkly beautiful editorials and interviews with the likes of fashion designer Katie Gallagher, the duo behind Fyodor Golan and iconic American Horror Story star, Naomi Grossman. With photography by the talented Merry Phillips, Ekaterina Belinskaya and Jenny Brough and clothes by Vivienne Westwood, Todd Lynn, David Koma and Eudon Choi to name but a few, it’s the kind of mag that could and most likely will double as a coffee table tome. I was lucky enough to be among the small group invited to preview it last night and experience the inspiration behind it by way of a historic walk through Britain’s Monarchy with Alex Marx from Fox & Squirrel finishing up with celebratory drinks at the Golden Lion pub. Congratulations James and the whole Stylenoir team!

You can order your copy (and I highly recommend you do) online here.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments