River Island First Date Dressing Masterclass

I’m not ashamed to say that two of my absolute, ultimate favourite pastimes are getting dressed up and prancing around in front of cameras. For some sickeningly stylish liars people, outfitting oneself is a case of nonchalantly grabbing whatever’s handy and being photographed is a total bore but I openly revel in all of it. After all, I probably wouldn’t have started posting pictures of myself and my ensembles on the internet (bit weird when you put it like that) the following year if I didn’t!? Anyway, as you may remember I spent a fabulous few days eating, drinking and generally being indulgent in Ibiza with River Island last Summer and, not that the two are remotely connected, their collections have been going from strength to strength ever since. Given the fact that SS14 is unbelievably covetable, the team awesome and I do love cameras, when River Island asked me to star in a masterclass video with the lovely Marcus Jaye of TheChicGeek.co.uk, obviously the answer was a big fat YES! With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, my masterclass was all about dressing for a first date. This was something my nearest and dearest found simply hilarious because my love life’s non existent and the fact I’m clearly going to die alone surrounded by small dogs and expensive handbags gives them endless LOLS. However, I maintain that my lack of love life is nothing to do with my ability to select super cute datewear and I hope this video proves it!

Getting Ready Look
Red Checked Oversized Shirt,  £25, click here to buy
Black Molly Jeans, £35, click here to buy
Black Cleated Sole Platform Boots, £75, click here to buy

Date Look
Coral Floral Jacquard Jacket, £50, click here to buy
Coral Floral Jacquard Short, £28, click here to buy
White Cut Out Shell Top, £20, click here to buy
Pink Jelly Statement Necklace, £28, click here to buy
Light Pink Gemstone Statement Ring, £8, click here to buy
Asymmetric Court Shoes, £35, click here to buy
Faux Pearl Embellished Clutch, £35, click here to buy

What do you think? Would you rock this ensemble for a first date?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 2 Comments

Bailey’s Stardust

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

David Bailey, photography legend. Perhaps one of the most legendary in the history of ever. Not a particularly eloquent way of putting it I admit but true nonetheless. Over a career spanning five decades and counting, Bailey has redefined ideas about beauty, celebrity and the very concept of fashion and portrait photography. His subjects have included everyone from Kate Moss to the Rolling Stones and continues to influence, inspire and enrapture. This was a point truly drummed home for me by Bailey’s Stardust sponsored by HUGO BOSS, an incredible exhibition of 250 plus of his finest works which opened last week at the National Portrait Gallery.

I don’t claim to be a serious culture vulture. The only two films I’ve seen at the cinema over the past 12 months were Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Anchorman two, both works of cinematic brilliance (or at least mega lols) but unlikely to earn their directors a Palme D’Or. I do however really love a good exhibition. Wandering around the hallowed halls of an artistic haven, gazing open mouthed at things you cannot comprehend a human being could create. The only thing that can improve the experience is a plentiful supply of champagne and blissful lack of camera toting tourists (iPhone toting fashion folk also obstruct the view but at least they do so wearing really nice shoes) and these qualities are what make private views always worth attending.

bailey's stardust

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Wearing HUGO BOSS

After an achingly long day of uni followed by a high speed outfit change/dinner/hysterics-and-hugging session at Soho House, my BFF Char and I pitched up at the National Portrait Gallery to be greeted by about a zillion flashing cameras. Whether or not they actually meant to flash in my direction I have no idea but they did capture a few unbelievably unflattering images of me pulling strange faces while struggling out of my many layers which are no doubt lurking on the internet somewhere. Given the vast coterie of A lister, supermodels and rockstars that have posed as Bailey’s subjects, it’s no wonder the the paps were out in force that night. And they certainly wouldn’t be leaving with empty hands, or rather empty memory cards, as Jerry Hall, Zandra Rhodes, Grayson Perry, Jasmine Guinness, Caroline Issa, Graham Norton and Mossy herself were just a few of the famous faces who showed up looking hot to pay homage to Mr Bailey.

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

David Bailey & Kate Moss

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Caroline Issa

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Grayson Perry

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery sponsered by Hugo Boss and cocktails by Ciroc, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Zandra Rhodes

Jerry Hall and David Bailey

Jerry Hall & David Bailey

As for the photos themselves, well, where to even begin. After navigating the paparazzi fray – throwing my assorted cold weather accoutrements at a mildly bemused Char as I went in an attempt to look vaguely elegant – we entered the gallery to be confronted by a vast shot of Michael Caine mischievously lifting his glasses. This image just about sums up what is so utterly awesome about David Bailey. He doesn’t just create beautiful photographs, although he certainly does that too, Bailey captures his subjects’ personality. Walking through the thematically arranged exhibition, this was the what struck me most about the works on display. Whether it’s Bailey’s shots of Rudolf Nureyev, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and the Kray twine from his 1960s Black and White Icons series, or a topless, space headgear clad Abby Lee Kershaw from an i-D Magazine spread just a couple of years ago, every image appears to leap from the frame while epitomising the zeitgeist of the period during which it was conceived.

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Having had a look at other reviews of Bailey’s Stardust I was rather dismayed to see it slated by some critics. Admittedly, I’m no professional in the field, but the exhibition promised a riveting, enjoyable overview of Bailey’s incredible career and from where I stood it seemed to deliver. One publication, somewhat pointedly disparaged the entertainment value of Bailey’s work and the retrospective. Indeed, both are entertaining, but as fas as I’m concerned that doesn’t detract from the beauty of and talent behind some of the most iconic, recognisable and character packed images taken in the fifty years. The entertainment V art dichotomy opens up a debate I’m not even going to go into right now for fear of boring you all senseless. But rest assured, it’s coming soon, perhaps when you least expect it…

"David Bailey: Bailey's Stardust' Private View at National Portrait Gallery, London, UK - 03 February 2014

Bailey’s Stardust will be on at the National Portrait Gallery until June 1st 2014. I highly recommend seeing it! A huge thank you to hosts with the mosts HUGO BOSS for a wonderful evening and for dressing me so beautifully.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment

3 Ways To Wear It: The Fashion Sweatshirt

As discussed in a recent Look Du Jour, despite my aversion to things sportif I did give in to the allure of the fashion sweatshirt. What some, myself included especially, dismissed at first as a fad is now officially an essential component of any sartorially conscious person’s wardrobe. After loudly proclaiming that I’d never succumb to the sweatshirt, I found myself eating those words some time last Summer when I spied this Kenzo stunner in Browns Focus. I went in for a meeting and came out, some £200 poorer with what is essentially a glorified version of PE kit. But, I had a spring in my step and visions of how freaking cool I’d look rocking it whirring away in my brain so didn’t particular care that I had no idea what I’d actually wear my new toy with. My vast collection of preppy, pretty, unashamedly girly garms don’t lend themselves so well to streetwear inspired pieces… Or at least that’s what I thought, anyway.

kenzo fashion sweatshirt

Sadly this beauty is sold out but there are oodles of Kenzo new season pieces available on MATCHESFASHION.COM and Net-a-Porter or you could hit up Vestiaire and hunt the original down

In an attempt to get some bang for my buck and challenge my styling capabilities I decided to make said fashion sweatshirt the subject of this instalment of 3 Ways To Wear It.

Casual

fashion sweatshirt

kenzo

kenzo fashion sweatshirt

fashion sweatshirt

Worn with J Brand skinny jeans (available here), Gap slip on sneakers (similar here), 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli (similar here) & Lily and Lionel scarf (new season version here)

Ok, so this ensemble isn’t the most imaginative. It’s basically my go-to when I want to look halfway fashionable but have overslept, have a hangover or just can’t be bothered to give anything much thought. But hey, you can’t go wrong with a pair of classic J Brand 811’s (funnily enough, the subject of another 3 Ways post). I added Gap slip-on sneakers – Celine’s sell out version require way too much commitment for a ballet pump devotee like myself – and eye-popping pink accessories. Minimal effort for what I feel is a pretty decent outfit, result!

Preppy

fashion ella catliff

kenzo ella catliff

fashion sweatshirt

fashion sweatshirt

Worn with American Apparel denim skirt (available here), Russell & Bromley loafers (very similar here), Tezenies pop socks (basically identical here) & Kurt Geiger satchel (real deal available ON SALE here)

I thought that prepping up a fashion sweatshirt would be nigh on impossible but in retrospect, I think it works pretty well! Obviously no preppy look is complete without a crisp collar so I layered a trusty white Gap shirt underneath. Next step to prep, an A-line mini, namely an American Apparel denim number I’ve literally had forever. I added the final touches with a Kurt Geiger mini satchel and Russell & Bromley loafers. Then added pop socks because, well, why wouldn’t you?

After Dark

kenzo juicy couture guess

fashion sweatshirt

GUESS

Sophia Webster Ella Catliff

Worn with Juicy Couture waxed jeans (availble ON SALE here), Sophia Webster heels (similar here), GUESS handbag & Swarovski Crystallized Treasure Chest Necklace & Bracelet (available here and here)

Last but not least, fashion sweatshirt, after dark edition. Out of the three, I think this is the look I’m least confident about. As you may remember from this Kenzo sweatshirt’s previous appearance on the blog, last time I took it out for cocktails it was paired with a camo-leopard-hybrid print mini and Rag & Bone ankle boots. That totally worked, I (no doubt mistakenly) felt like the hippest person on the planet. This time I wanted to incorporate a killer heel and initially paired the two with a leather mini. That was a mistake. My top and bottom halves were clearly attending two very different parties. So instead I toned down my pins with a pair of Juicy Couture waxed jeans and upped the upper body glam factor by way of Cadenzza statement jewellery. I then decided to really go to town on all things pink and added a GUESS shoulder bag in the kind of fluoro hue you need sunglasses to look at.

And now let’s play favourites. Casual, preppy or after dark, which fashion sweatshirt styling do you like best? Or hate most? Tell me what you really think…

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

Lacoste SS14: Life Is A Beautiful Sport

Remember when I went to Paris with the lovely Lacoste? Of course you do, it was barely a fortnight ago! In case you do need a recap, the reason for my petite Parisian jaunt was the launch of their inspired Life Is A Beautiful Sport SS14 campaign, naturally unveiled at a great, big, fabulous party. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it is to come up with a fashion campaign film that doesn’t have “yawn” written all over it. Lacoste managed it, and then some. Instead of regurgitating everything I wrote in my previous post I’m just going to let this stunning snippet speak for itself. Enjoy…

The full shabang launches TONIGHT online at Lacoste.com

Love Ella. X

Credits
Creative agency: BETC
Production: Wanda
Director: Seb Edwards
VFX: MPC
Music: DISCLOSURE – “YOU & ME” ft Eliza Doolittle — Flume Remix / Universal Music Publishing

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

Look Du Jour: Craving Carven

carven

carven

carven

carven

ella la petite anglaise

Ella Catliff carven

Paul & Joe Sister

Nicholas Kirkwood

carven

ella catliff carven

carven

What: Skirt & Collar by Carven (c/0), Jumper by J.Crew, Coat by A.P.C, Shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem (cheeky sample sale purchase) and Bag by Paul & Joe Sister (c/0)

Where: Lunch date in London

I definitely don’t need to to tell you how I feel about Carven. My love for the French purveyor of perfectly playful elegance knows no bounds and certainly no notion of attempting to limit the number of times per day I think about/mention/covet its stylish fare. Not so long ago I was in the library attempting to work on my thesis and avoid the distracting allure of Instagram when I stumbled across a hefty tome all about Carven. Suffice to say, the old thesis didn’t get written but what I gained from the hour or two spent reading it was, in the long term, no doubt far more valuable than another cats-in-hats session on Buzzfeed. Or baby sloths, as I spent last Sunday staring open mouthed at. But anyway, I digress. You’re probably now busy watching said sloths as I foolishly included a hyperlink but in case you’ve found your way back to my blog then I’ll say a bit about this outfit. The skirt is one of my favourite pieces from Carven’s insanely good AW13 collection. Who would’ve thought of using deer print?! Guillaume Henry, that’s who. You should see the super soft, oversized coat that goes with it, serious sartorial heaven. There are many things about Carven I completely and utterly adore, not least is their knack for concocting perfect collars. Monsieur  Henry is clearly as savvy a businessman as he is talented a créateur and Carven now not only attach nonchalantly adorable collars to many of their garms but also sell them separately! This orange and blue number is in fact, not attached to the jumper, but a bib like design that can be paired with just about anything. I opted for my latest J.Crew acquisition with a super cute Paul & Joe Sister bag swinging over my shoulder, blue and orange is definitely one of my favourite colour combinations.

On another note, if any UK readers haven’t been to Carven’s divine flagship store at 85 Pelham Street in South Kensington you must! It’s not to be believed.

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 3 Comments