Monthly Must Haves: May 2014

monthly must haves may 2014

1) Carven tweed stich cropped sweater, 320, click here to buy
2) Whistles Agnes fit n’ flare skirt, 125, click here to buy
3) Roger Vivier Belle Vivier ballerina pumps, 427, click here to buy
4) Roger Vivier Mis Viv handbag, 1634, click here to buy
5) Topshop Stand Out flower prom dress, 68, click here to buy
6) ASOS cat eye sunglasses, 12, click here to buy
7) Tory Burch Brynn gold plated resin necklace, 520, click here to buy
8) J.Crew x Sophia Webster cutout leather & printed twill pumps, 520, click here to buy
9) Reiss Olivia print floral trousers, 95, click here to buy
10) Diane Von Furstenberg Niseko sweater, 179, click here to buy

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 2 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.

Casual

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.

Preppy

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

Rooftop Partying with David Beckham

David Beckham For H&M Swimwear Private Launch

If you read yesterday’s review of Bread Street Kitchen you may remember that, as chance would have it, family Beckham just so happened to be dining there the very same evening as me. If I seemed weirdly cool about the situation – especially as a Spice Girls obsessive who grew up on a diet of double denim dreams courtesy of Posh n’ Becks – it is because I had in fact spent an evening with David himself earlier that week… Well, kind of. If there’s one thing David Beckham knows well it’s football. If there’s one look he rocks masterfully it’s all things pants related. H&M doesn’t yet produce a range of footie gear (yet?) but they do dole out some excellent swim gear and enlisted ol’ Golden Balls to lend a helping *ahem* hand. To celebrate this glorious union and the tight whiteys that are its fruits H&M decided to throw an A-list bash atop Shoreditch House roof. Unsurprisingly, it was pretty awesome. I kicked off my evening at PRISM’s boutique opening in Marylebone (still kicking myself for not going to the after party at Chiltern St Firehouse, Jude Law was there, swoon). The store is seriously cool, but when else would you expect from London’s Queen of mind bogglingly stylish swimwear and sunglasses, Anna Laub? After polishing off an unspecified minty cocktail, ogling E-V-E-R-Y damn item on display and congratulating Anna on her general fabulousness it was time to head on to Shoreditch House.

Prism Boutique Summer Party On Chiltern Street

Me & Anna Laub

Prism Boutique Summer Party On Chiltern Street

Lovely Anna in PRISM’s incredible store, go visit now!!

David Beckham For H&M Swimwear Private Launch

Me & Nik at Shoreditch House

What with David Beckham playing guest of honour and One Direction rumored to be in attendance, H&M’s rooftop soiree was a seriously hot ticket affair. By the time I arrived paparazzi lined Ebor Street and there a whole lot of excitement in the air. As the lift doors opened the first thing I saw was Suzy Menkes (possibly most legendary fashion editor of them all, bar Anna, and absolutely terrifying in my opinion) reclining on a white poolside lounger. Not something you see everyday but something that made me feel this was a very good party to be at. Elsewhere beautiful, beautifully dressed people milled all around drinking an array of cocktails you would not believe. Besides the fun of everyone-who’s-everyone (who wasn’t at the PRISM party, obvs) being there, it was the kind of really lovely ‘do filled with lots of people I’m genuinely very good friends with and therefore shaped up to be a laugh… A laugh involving David Beckham, an open bar, skyline views of London and incredibly stylish surroundings.

david beckham H&M

Me, Nik & Naomi

David Beckham For H&M Swimwear Private Launch

Suzy Menkes

David Beckham For H&M Swimwear Private Launch

Becks, Ellie Goulding and a coupla’ lads from 1D whose names I don’t know but faces I like…

David Beckham For H&M Swimwear Private Launch

Foxes, looking foxy, and Eliza Doolittle, coincidentally also looking foxy

As much fun as everyone was having, there was certainly an air of anticipation about proceedings. There was one reason for this, and once reason only. We were all awaiting the arrival of DB. I always find it fascinating how certain individuals are capable of spurring ordinarily cool-as-ice fashion folk into the kind of over excited frenzy that results in queuing/pushing/physically assaulting for selfies and generally behaving like teenagers. There are only two people who I’ve seen have this effect: Karl Lagerfeld and David Beckham. I’m not above causing GBH with a stiletto if necessary but on this occasion, Becks was so surrounded I could see there would really have been no point trying. Instead I settled on a surreptitiously snapped shot of him kissing Suzy Menkes which I think may have been the better, if rather more bizarre, option.
IMG_4685

Sneaky…

My friends Naomi and Nick both interviewed Becks for their mags – Metro and GQ, respectively – and discovered that it was in fact his tight trunks that sealed the deal with Victoria. So boys if you’re reading, the moral is, get yourselves to H&M and invest in a few pairs of budgie smugglers designed by David.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties Leave a comment

Look Du Jour: Neon Dreaming

neon

What: Warehouse shirt (c/o), J.Crew skirt & necklace, Alberta Ferretti bag (c/o) & Sophia Webster for Net-a-Porter shoes (c/o)

Where: Sophia Webster for J.Crew Launch Party, London.

If you asked me what my favourite sunny season colour palette is, answering would be very easy. It’s pastels of course, pastels plain and simple. There’s always been something about peppermint greens, butter yellows, ballerina pinks and palma violet purples that can’t fail to put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. But of late, I’ve been increasingly gravitating towards neon. Perhaps it was my beloved cerulean Kate Spade coat that swung it. After all, that’s certainly not pastel. Or perhaps I’m just feeling a little wild in my old age, 23 next month people! Whatever the reason you cannot that deny neon packs one hell of a punch. But, my friends, it can be a risky business. Too much neon and you’ll look like a nineties raver – N.B nineties Beverly Hills high school senior AKA Cher Horowitz = chic, ninties ‘beefa raver = urgh – a teenager celebrating their post GCSE summer or a human highlighter. Just the right amount, however, and you’re on the money. As a lover of all things bright, bright, BRIGHT, I have to work hard not to go overboard when I decide to rock a bit of neon. I’ve found the best way is to unashamedly combine a couple of eye popping pieces with something grounding like natural cotton, crisp shirting or that trusty staple, denim. Having toned down my yellow-on-crack J.Crew skirt with a sensible indigo shirt I then piled on some bling, hot pink lipstick and accessorised with pastels. I think this kept things just the right side of offensive. What do you reckon?

neon

neon

Ella Catliff by Holly McGlynn May 14_008 (1)

Ella Catliff by Holly McGlynn May 14_004 (1)

Ella Catliff by Holly McGlynn May 14_007 (1)

neon

neon

neon J.Crew

neon Sophia Webster

Ella Catliff by Holly McGlynn May 14_011

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 2 Comments

Dining At: Bread Street Kitchen

Interior at Bread Street Kitchen

Keeping a bit of momentum up with these reviews, eh? Famous last words… Anyway, before I go back to being world’s flakiest blogger and don’t post another one until 2016, let’s talk about Bread Street Kitchen. This edition of Dining At has been the best part of six months in the scheming. Back in November the lovely Emily of Fashion Foie Gras and her equally charming man hosted a super cute Halloween party for their friends and fam at Bread Street Kitchen. In between glugging cocktails in the bar and getting extreme outfit envy over other people’s costumes (mine was uncharacteristically cop out, I love love LOVE dressing up) Char and I ventured upstairs to the restaurant. Despite having dined on hearty, stomach lining fare elsewhere, after clapping eyes on the gourmet delights being served we found ourselves ravenous and I vowed to come back asap and try it for myself. Then uni final year madness kicked in, combined with fashion month and a zillion other things, and it was only last week that I finally returned.

Interior at Bread Street Kitchen

Interior at Bread Street Kitchen

bread street kitchen

As one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants, it should probably come as no surprise that Bread Street Kitchen is good, seriously good. It’s also an incredibly stylish and buzzing yet entirely unpretentious place to spend an evening, and for me thats almost as important as the food served. The restaurant itself is large, open plan space with a variety of long tables, high rise bar style seating and long banquet’s. The design is a fusion of contemporary cool – think exposed brick and pipework, open kitchen etc – and traditional touches like rich, chestnut leather benches, antique lights and majestic mirrored pillars. There are evidently also a few tucked away nooks for diners who don’t wish to see and be seen, like the Beckhams (!) who just so happened to be there that evening. My dining companion was one of my all time best girl friends who, thanks to our equally insane schedules, I hadn’t seen in months and it was the perfect spot for a serious catch up with our every whim catered for.

bread st kitchen

Having hugged about six times, talked simultaneously at each other and just about recovered from our over excitement at being reunited, priority numero uno was a bottle of vino blanco, obviously. Within seconds the sommelier had appeared. Like any good sommelier should, he knew the contents of their cellar more than I know the contents of my wardrobe (FYI that’s seriously well) and convinced me against going for my usual favourite, Sancerre, in favour of an English wine that turned out to be one of the best I’ve tasted in a while. Ordering food was rather less straightforward. I could have eaten basically anything and everything on the menu. In the end I went for Seared yellow fin tuna with aiji amarillo dressing & corn kernals – you know how much I love anything involving this particular fish so if spoilt for choice, its my go to – while Meng opted for Roasted veal carpaccio with dill pickles, quails egg and tuna dressing. Good God it was excellent: fresher than fresh, no strings attached, sliced like butter and bursting with flavor. Those are technical terms, of course. As a good reviewer should, I sampled the Veal, which although not something it would ever cross my mind to order was fantastic and rich without being overpowering.

bread street kitchen

Seared yellow fin tuna with aiji amarillo dressing & corn kernals

bread street kitchen

Roasted veal carpaccio with dill pickles, quails egg and tuna dressing

For my main course, an even trickier decision without the obvious tuna solution, I chose the Steamed sea bream with braised leeks, brown shrimp, sea purslane & shellfish dressing. Steamed fish can go one of two ways really. Done well, it’s light as air, just the right amount of fluffy and totally succulent. If not executed to perfection it’s dry and/or deeply boring. This dish fell formerly into the former category with a cacophony of tastes and scents intertwining courtesy of the shrimps and leeks and whatever herbs n’ oils it had been cooked in.

bread street kitchen

Steamed sea bream with braised leeks, brown shrimp, sea purslane & shellfish dressing

bread street kitchen

Between me and Meng we had a bit of surf n’ turf going on as she chose the Casterbridge rib-eye steak and we had a bit of a sampling session. When I first encountered Bread Street Kitchen I suspected they did great steak and I certainly wasn’t wrong, although I personally like mine rare and practically mooing so was slightly peeved by Meng’s dubious decision to ask for hers ours medium. Between us we also indulged in a selection of sides with the intention to “sample” little bits of each. They turned out to be rather too delicious not to finish (especially the Heritage tomatoes with shallots and basil pesto) so by the time we’d polished them off, we decided to finish up with cocktails rather than pudding. In retrospect I slightly regret this decision as the dessert menu looked pretty banging. Next time maybe we’ll just have puddings! That said, the cocktails were sublime. I’m not usually a massive Mojito drinker but the sun was shining, it was a Friday night and it just seemed so right. I’m very glad it did as this was one of the finest Mojito’s I’ve had in my time: super minty, ice cold and with enough brown sugar to stop things getting too tangy but not so much it basically turned into an alcoholic slush puppie. I’ve tried those, they’re not good. The bar is also very cool and prime position for people watching. Had the Beckham’s not been dining privately it would have been even dreamier.

bread street kitchen

bread st kitchen

All in all, Bread Street Kitchen has landed itself straight on my favourite dining spots list. The food might not be quite as uber gourmet as Babbo – although admittedly it’s not Italian cuisine so that’s a slight case of comparing apples and oranges – but it’s actually rather more to my tastes than what they have on offer there. As for the ambiance and the service, you couldn’t wish for better.

Bread Street Kitchen can be found at One New Change, 10 Bread St, London EC4M 9AB. Visit the website here.

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Reviews 2 Comments