Fashion

Oh To Be A Chanel Girl

chanel

Oh to be a Chanel girl! To travel to far flung locations for the annual Métiers d’Art extravaganza. To be part of Karl’s couture clad coterie of international beauties. Hell, I’d settle for shared custody of a Chanel handbag and be pretty darned thrilled with my lot! Especially if it was one of the drop dead delectable designs Monsieur Lagerfeld delivered for SS14.

chanel

A few months ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to Chanel’s London HQ to ogle view a selection from the Spring collection. Getting the chance to pour over the new season pieces was, for want of a better word, awesome. It only further served to confirm what I already knew to be true; Chanel is an extraordinary brand and Karl Lagerfeld is an extraordinary man. As you all know and are probably thoroughly bored of hearing about, for the past two-and-a-bit years I’ve been studying Fashion History and Theory at Central Saint Martins. Learning more than I ever thought possible about dress from the Renaissance through Tudors, Stuarts and Victorians was incredible. But what really had me in raptures was the 20th century stuff, especially in the case of Maisons like Chanel. Over a century may have passed since Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel scandalised and then seduced with the androgynous elegance of her menswear inspired designs. Through a combination of creative vision, craftsmanship and fearless business practices (Coco certainly would not have needed to read “Lean In”) Chanel was born and today it continues to enthral new generations of women, while retaining the impeccable quality and effortless chicness that keeps dedicated customers coming back to brand decade after decade. Nailing this near impossible balancing act is a true testament to the sartorial genius that is Karl Lagerfeld who, in the politest possible way, also cropped up relatively early in 20th century fashion history making his flair for capturing the contemporary zeitgeist all the more impressive.

chanel

chanel

chanel

As everyone knows, Chanel shows are always something of a spectacle. So what do you do when you’ve already done indoor ice bergs, wind farms, solar panels and the life aquatic? You turn your show space into an art gallery, well, duh. And then you fill it with your own creations. I’m not even going to begin wondering how in God’s one finds the time to design 75 art installations on top of running three major fashion brands so let’s just talk about the clothes instead. In the tradition of taking Chanel’s rich heritage and turning it on its head, this season saw the house’s iconic tweeds woven from ribbons of chiffon, organza, lace and plastic threads, frayed or even torn on some occasions.

chanel

chanel

chanel

Stretch knit crêpe de Chine came lace printed with motifs in silicone, while elsewhere garments were adorned with intricate pearl embroideries and painstakingly detailed trims galore. And then there were the colours! Naturally Chanel’s signature monochrome palette was featured but elsewhere there was a riot of eye popping confections. Pastels, neon brights, denim, bleaching, you name it. The iconic jackets introduced by Mademoiselle Chanel herself came reimagined slim and sleeveless and sleek and belted as well as oversized and re-proportioned. Never have I seen a house so seamlessly combine its past and its future.

chanel

chanel

chanel

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

Introducing: Fleming London

fleming london

For a couple of seasons now, backpacks have been de rigeur among fashion folk. And I can totally understand why. Fash-back-packs can look pretty damn cool, especially when paired with Celine skate shoes, minimalist tailoring and other things I’d look ridiculous wearing. However, no doubt unsurprisingly they’ve never been my cup of tea. After all, why carry your life around in a practical way when you could practically dislocate your shoulder hanging it on the crook of your arm? I jest… Kind of. Anyway enough of that and on to the point of this post, the Brit brand making me reconsider my relationship with the stuff carrier style that remains determinedly in style, Fleming London.

fleming london

Softest, smoothest strokeable leather, bold block hues and pretty enough to make up for being so darned practical, I love ‘em. Aside from being exceedingly nice to look at, the story of this label’s development is thoroughly impressive. The concept for these luxe rucksacks was conceived in January 2013 and by December 6th, Fleming London was born. Launching an independent, UK manufactured accessory brand is a pretty risky move so I always wonder how one summons up the necessary cojones to give it a go. I quizzed Fleming London Founder, Sophie Fleming, who just so happens to hail from the same area of Sussex as your’s truly, on this very subject as she offered the following explanation…

“I designed this backpack out of a personal need that could not be met from the High Street or Designers at the time; firstly when I became an avid cyclist as a university student, and then when I began commuting to London for my job at Jaeger’s Head Office just off Regent Street. Whilst casual rucksacks were available, I yearned for something that was more formal and structured, with a sense of style and sophistication. Hopefully I have achieved this with Fleming London!”

As a newly converted backpack wearer, I can say with confidence that she has. Find out a whole lot more about Fleming London here.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

New Year’s Fasholutions 2014

It’s that time of year again people… time for my New Year’s Fasholutions! I imagine that many of you were probably in the same boat as me yesterday morning. That is, hideously hungover, curled up in the foetal position watching The Hills/Keeping Up With The Kardashians/Insert-brainless-TV-show-of-choice-here, swearing that you’d never touch tequila again. In light of said over indulgence you might be tempted to make an array of impossible to keep resolutions. Well my friends, listen up. Browsing Style.com and Matches in order to make fasholutions is a far better way to procrastinate away your first work day let me tell you. Or perhaps you’re one of those super sensible people who toasted the New Year with a kale smoothie and have already done two hours of yoga this morning in which case traditional resolutions (i.e. stop smoking and eating Nutella straight out of the jar, start going to the gym) are redundant anyway. In previous years I’ve claimed that fasholutions are more likely to be kept than resolutions. This has not proved to be particularly true… yet. So without further ado, here are the solemn sartorial vows I’m making for 2014…

New Years 23.1 Phillip Lim Souvenir Trim Twill Embellished Bomber Jacket, £1,160 V REDValentino Scallop Trim Coat, £399

1) Dress my age more often. I know, I know I make a similar fasholution every year. But now, at the grand old age of 22, it’s probably time I occasionally began branching out into adult clothes. That is, young adult clothes. When I experimented with age appropriate clothing over 2013 (i.e. suitable for 22 year old working in fashion, not nursery school student or middle aged dowager) it’s been well received so expect more in future. I predict this resolution will last until I encounter anything by REDValentino.

make up

From left: MAC Candy Yum Yum Lipstick, £15, bareMinerals Ready Eye Shadow Duo, £19 & Butter London Artful Dodger Nail Polish, £12

2) Master make up. Or more accurately, stop being quite so useless and lazy at makeup. Remember my bareMinerals how to video? I promised I’d actually do the white hot smoky thing and never bloody did. But all that’s about to change. There are only so many times a girl can rock a single slick of black liquid eye liner before it gets seriously boring. Prepare yourself for Drag Queen Ella people…

starbucks

3) Stop guzzling Starbucks take away lattes on the go. Boring I know and admittedly not a “fasholution” per se but the number of coffee stains afflicting my wardrobe is grows by the day and last year’s dry cleaning expenditure was ridiculous.

new year's

From left: Topshop Balconette Bra and Low Rise Ladypants,£ 26 & L’Agence by L’Agent Provocateur Rosalyn Flocked Tulle Bra, £45 & Briefs, £26

4) Wear better underwear, preferably matching sets in luxe fabrics. After all, it seems a damn shame to wear fancy threads over mangy old M&S granny pants.

smythson

From left: Smythson Panama Collection Passport Cover, £115 & Large Slim Purse, £250

5) Invest in matching, monogrammed Smythson accessories. Yes, this may mean I won’t be able to pay my phone bill or eat anything other than instant noodles for about six months but oh, how GLAM I shall feel!

New Year's

From left: Sophia Webster Leilou stripe leather, suede and canvas sandals, £430 & Penelope glitter heel pumps reduced from £450 to £225

6) Stop destroying shoes. During 2013 I acquired a few truly fabulous pants pairs so I must stop doing what I always do. That is, wearing the ones I love morning, noon and night in all weather conditions and for inappropriate occasions (i.e. hideous club with sticky floor or Christmas in the countryside) so they fall apart, taking a little piece of my heart with them.

New Year's

From left: Heidi Klein Saint Maxime Bikini, £180, Mara Hoffman Printed Voile Playsuit £150, Prism Capri Sunglasses £265 & Orlebar Brown Bichon Cotton Terry Shorts, £95

7) Get my head around “holiday dressing.” Confession time, my holiday wardrobe consists mainly of floral bits and bobs I owned aged 18 and city pieces playing at being casual with the addition of sandals and unstructured accessories. This summer I intend to H-O-L-I-D-A-Y big time armed with a suitcase of bikini cover ups that aren’t actually just old tank tops.

new year's

From left: Topshop Oriental Floral Cigarette Pants, £38, J.Crew Collection Cafe Silk Jacquard Capri Pants, £200, Whistles Camo Jacquard Trousers reduced to £85 & Sophie Hulme Tailored Wool Trousers, £350

8) More trousers for evening. I’m a long term skirt aficionado and still struggle to force myself into a pair of party pants. Whenever I do manage it, I feel like the slickest, sexiest most badass person in the room (evidently great trousers can cause even greater levels of delusion) so during 2014, I’ll be doing a whole lot more of it.

What fasholutions will YOU be making this year?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 5 Comments

La Petite Anglaise 2013: Part III

Third and final instalment of La Petite Anglaise 2013 coming up my friends! Despite the increasingly sodden state of London and hefty uni final year workload, I’ve evidently still managed to have a pretty darned good time.

New York Fashion Week SS14

La Petite Anglaise

La Petite Anglaise Phillip Lim

La Petite Anglaise NYFW

New York Fashion Week

La Petite Anglaise

Oh New York, New York. Could I adore you any more? That’s perhaps a pointless question as I fall deeper in love with the city that never sleeps every time I visit. My friends and family can confirm this as I inevitably recount tales of my time there endlessly upon returning to Blighty until eventually they get bored enough to threaten violence if I don’t shut the hell up about my stateside adventures. I have to say, this season was particularly excellent. After spending a blissful couple of days catching up with friends and exploring the stores, fashion week itself kicked off with a wild night of parties involving rappers, cocktails and cruising around town in a ginormous SUV. The following seven days and nights were a beautiful blur of gobsmacking collections – Thakoon I’m talking to YOU – and parties involving supermodels, funfairs and Phillip Lim all the while debating the preppy V cool conundrum as I raced around my favourite (sorry London) place on Earth.

London Fashion Week SS14

La Petite Anglaise LFW

Ella Catliff London Fashion Week

La Petite Anglaise Burberry

London Fashion Week La Petite Anglaise

I considered lumping New York, London and Paris together under the heading “fashion month” but so many fabulous things occurred during each that would be to do them all a disservice. Despite my borderline pitiful obsession with NYC, London is and always will be my home and it’s fashion week the first I was lucky enough to attend a whopping seven seasons ago. As such, I always feel a combination of excitement, contentment and pride as the world’s fashion elite descend and our homegrown design stars wow their stilettos (or in the case of many an Editor this season, sleek n’ chic flats) off. I have to say, this season London nailed it. Admittedly I probably enjoy fashion week more than most regardless of weather and wardrobe malfunctions but between Christopher Kane’s alternative take on plant biology, Mary Katrantzou’s homage to footwear fetishists, Burberry’s sugar sweet English roses and Meadham Kirchoff’s folklore meets boudoir subversion, SS14 was sublime. And then, of course, there were the parties. On night one I dined with Serena, Bip Ling, Daphne Guinness, Tallulah Harlech, Sasha Wilkins and countless other major fash names at the M.A.C x Miles Aldridge dinner at Somerset House. The rest of the week’s evening (to early-the-next-morn) engagements involved David Beckham getting cosy with Anna Wintour, near miss ankle breaking and scoffing Pizza with Nicola Formichetti at The Serpentine. In a word, it was awesome.

Paris Fashion Week SS14

La Petite Anglaise Paris Fashion Week

Kenzo La Petite Anglaise

La Petite Anglaise Louis Vuitton

As you probably remember, God knows I banged on about it enough, October 2013 included my first EVER Paris Fashion Week! Not to discredit New York or London, which are both utterly fantastic in their unique ways, but Paris is another level. It’s exactly what every sartorially obsessed little girl or boy dreams fashion week would be. Spectacle, drama, stunning FROWS and oh those clothes! Having kicked off September with the burning urge to swap London for New York, then changed my mind once back on home turf among, arriving in Paris instantly had me wishing I was a Parisienne. Highlights of those four fantastic days have to include the Kenzo and Chloe shows (indoor waterfall and old school house takeover, respectively), Kenzo after party in an aquarium, exquisite Valentino collection and last, but most most MOST certainly not least, Louis Vuitton. It was both humbling and utterly incredible to attend Marc Jacobs’ final show for the Maison I so adore. Despite being allergic to clutter, the invitation addressed to “Mademoiselle Ella” retains pride of place on my dressing table.

Grazia x Apple Fashion Blogging Masterclass

La Petite Anglaise

Sorry that’s a helluva lotta words already but from now on I’ll keep things succinct. Or at least I’ll try to but, well, you know me. In November I was truly honoured when Grazia Magazine asked me to give a fashion blogging masterclass at the Regents Street Apple Store with mega bloggers (and good friends of mine) Emily Johnstone of Fashion Foie Gras and Ella Gregory of Coco’s Tea Party. Unsurprisingly, I was extremely nervous beforehand but it all seemed to go ok. At least I hope so. You can watch or even download the podcast on iTunes here.

Louis Vuitton Cruise Icons Shoot

La Petite Anglaise Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton La Petite Anglaise

There is definitely no need for me to profess my feelings for Louis Vuitton YET AGAIN but suffice to say, when they approached me to do another collab in November I didn’t need to be asked twice. This time the project was in celebration of their mind boggling Selfridges Townhouse. See the shoot on La Petite Anglaise here, Grazia Daily here and read all about the fabulous townhouse launch here.

InStyle Magazine “20 To Watch For 2014″

La Petite Anglaise InStyle Magazine

Being featured in Miss Vogue and Company Magazine last year was so exciting I still can’t believe it happened. However, I did at least know it was happening several months before it did so had time to vaguely compose myself. InStyle’s “20 To Watch For 2014″ piece on the other hand, was completely and utterly unexpected. The idea that anyone would include me amongst a coterie of inspiring individuals including Author of The Luminaries and youngest ever winner of the Man Booker Prize, Eleanor Catton, Lorde, Imogen Poots and Jack Reynor still blows my tiny mind. If ever I were to use the maddening-beyond-belief hashtag #blessed, this would have been the moment.

British Fashion Awards 2013

La Petite Anglaise British Fashion Awards

Ella Catliff La Petite Anglaise

My final 2013 blogging highlight has to be the 25th annual British Fashion Awards to which I wore a divine frock by Matthew Williamson. Admittedly, there were a fair few fun times had between then and now but I fear those of you who’ve persevered up to this point may be losing the will to live. So without further ago, click here for all the juicy juicy details.

Once again, I have to thank you, my lovely and incredibly tolerant readers for sticking with La Petite Anglaise. Bring on 2014!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Leave a comment

La Petite Anglaise 2013: Part II

Picking up where we left off sometime in early June 2013, our sartorial stroll down La Petite Anglaise memory lane continues. I distinctly remember thinking, aged 16 that no Summer could ever be better than the two post GCSE months I spent drinking alcopops, lathering myself in fake tan and enduring people singing Rhianna’s smash hit Umbrella (ella, ella, eh, eh, eh) at me at teenage parties while long suffering parents unsuccessfully attempted to exercise some degree of control. Oh how little did I know! Not only had I yet to realise that Bacardi Breezer’s are grim beyond belief and orange streaks are not a good look, but I could never have imagined the levels of off the chart awesome that was Summer 2013.

Ibiza with River Island

La Petite Anglaise Ibiza

La Petite Anglaise Ibiza

Ibiza La Petite Anglaise

As regular La Petite Anglaise readers may remember, London Collections Men SS14 was something of a disaster thanks to being struck down with “acute ulcerative pharyngitis” (basically enormous and incredibly painful mouth ulcers) which left me unable to get out of bed at all for several days. Given that I usually struggle to sit through a film being stationary, nay horizontal, for such an extended period of time was proof that I really wasn’t well at all. Sad though I was to miss the second two days of shows and parties, I was infinitely more worried that I might end up missing the River Island Ibiza trip if, as my Doctor suggested, it would take at least a fortnight to recover. By some miracle (i.e. very strong antibiotics) I bounced back in time to join my fellow fashion travellers for three glorious days of sun, fun and extreme over indulgence. We’re talking burlesque performances over dinner, galavanting over to Formentera on our own private boat and getting seriously pampered at the most divine spa. The only thing I’d change about the experience would be to have put on some suncream, I returned to rainy London looking like a lobster.

Karl in Paris

La Petite Anglaise Karl Lagerfeld

Two words: Karl Lagerfeld. In Paris, I mean, where else? This particular petit excursion was not a “work trip” per se. In fact, it was a jolly girls weekend with some of my female family members that just so happened to coincide with menswear fashion week. I genuinely didn’t plan it that way, promise. Anyway, as I was in town at the exact same time it seemed foolish not to hit up some of the parties. On the first night, my friend Michael and I were sipping champagne at an intimate gathering hosted by Moynat & Port Magazine and who should walk in but Monsieur Lagerfeld! Sacrebleu!

La Petite Anglaise x Louis Vuitton

Ella Catliff La Petite Anglaise

JamieSmith_LV_Shoe_Perspectives-011-1024x682

July was certainly a busy month! No sooner was I back from The City Of Light than it was time for another adventure. This time travel was not involved, unless you count the careering around London necessary to shoot at five different locations in little more than five hours. My bordering-on-obsessive adoration for Louis Vuitton is far from a secret so when they approached me to do a shoot for the launch of their Selfridges Shoe Boutique I slightly suspected I was imagining it. See the full feature here.

Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards 2013

Ella Catliff Fashion Blogger

After wrapping the Louis Vuitton shoot, the excitement of that fateful July day was far from over. This year I was honoured and frankly, a little shocked, to be one of five nominees for “Fashion Blogger of the Year” in the first ever Fashion Monitor Journalism awards and the ceremony was that very night! The lovely folk at Louis Vuitton offered to dress me for the occasion and wearing the SS13 collection top-to-toe was nothing short of dreamy. Find out who won what and more goss from the ceremony on La Petite Anglaise here.

24 Hours in Berlin with Timberland

Berlin

Berlin

Ella Catliff Berlin

Having shot for Louis Vuitton all day and attended the Fashion Monitor Journalism Awards (and after party, oops) all night, the very next morning I was up at the crack of dawn and off to Berlin. I’d been dying to visit the city forever so when Timberland invited a few of us out to see their installation at Bread and Butter, attend their Berlin Fashion Week bash, eat delicious food and stay in a fancy hotel the only possibly answer was YES! Catch up on everything that went down here.

Company Magazine Shoot

Ella Catliff Company Magazine

Company-2

In retrospect, July 2013 was seriously fantastic. Actually, it was pretty bloody brilliant at the time but that doesn’t make reminiscing on it any less enjoyable. The week after returning from Berlin I was booked by Company Magazine to do a six page editorial feature for their November Issue. I’ve read Company for as long as I can remember and God knows I love being in front of a camera so the whole thing was my idea of heaven. The experience also went some way towards curing my phobia of baseball caps, they totally work with a ball skirt. See the finished article here and behind-the-scenes here.

La Petite Anglaise x Juicy Couture

Ella Catliff Juicy Couture

Ella Catliff Juicy Couture

If there’s one thing I enjoy more than doing my best Blue Steel it’s hosting a party. Especially when all the boring bits about entertaining (buying food/booze, sorting out the guest list, making a playlist that contains something other than Britney…) are taken care of by an über brand like Juicy Couture. Add to that the fact that co-hosting were two of my fave fellow bloggers and I’m one happy lady! Once again, full party goss here.

Part III coming very soon, it’s the last one don’t worry!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment