Look Du Jour: Winter Florals

winter florals

Winter Florals

Winter Florals

What: Top & Skirt: Peter Pilotto, Shoes: Isabel Marant, Necklace: Anne Bowes Jewellery & Clutch: Anya Hindmarch.

Where: Drapers Fashion Awards, London.

In case and of you missed out on me banging on about this ensemble all Summer, after one too many (AKA one) glasses of Prosecco I pre-ordered this Peter Pilotto AW12 look at Matches’ private shopping evening way back in March and spent the following six months awaiting its arrival. On the one hand, I was insanely excited at the prospect of owning a catwalk creation by the incredible design duo. On the other, I was more than a little freaked out about the dent it would make in my bank balance. The second the peplum top & pencil skirt combo finally arrived I knew it was well worth both the wait and the expense. I’ve worn the pieces separately on multiple occasions since then (to the pub, the shops, dinner, drinks… you name it!) but wanted to save the full look for a really special event. When my invitation to the Drapers Fashion Awards arrived, I knew that would be it. More gossip from the awards will be coming your way ASAP but for now, what do you think of my red carpet look?

Love Ella. X

Ps) Apologies for the less than brilliant photos, it was too rainy to take them outside so we tried our best in the hall!

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 4 Comments

Leon Max Store Launch Party

Leon Max

Anyone who was forced to read George Orwell’s Animal Farm at school will no doubt remember the iconic quote; “all animals are equal but some are more equal than others”. Well, the same applies to parties. An event thrown in celebration of a shop opening involving copious amounts of champagne and lots of lovely clothes to look at can never be bad, but some are truly awesome. The Leon Max launch party last week fell into the latter catagory. Firstly, it was held on a Friday night, a seriously rare occurence for a fash bash. As anyone who’s consumed one two many cocktails on a Monday night and endured a groggy Tuesday morning can attest, the brilliance of this super simple organisational decision is not to be underestimated. Secondly the location, Westbourne Grove AKA the Notting Hill hub of  so-chic-is-hurts designer boutiques, bars and beautiful people. Then there was the brand who’s store it was opening, Russian born American fashion designer and arbiter of tasteful luxury, Leon Max. Finally and possibly most importantly, the guest list. Think Kristen McMenamy, Julien Macdonald, Leah Weller… And that was before the all important after party even got started!

Leon Max

After several hours of mingling, champagne swilling and garment ogling my fellow attendees and I hot footed it to The Londsdale, an elegant yet unpretentious cocktail bar located a high heel friendly hundred metres down the road. There the evening entered into the realms of pure fashion fabulousness. By the time I arrived the ground floor of the venue was already packed fit to burst with stylish revellers dancing to tracks mixed by Jaimie Winstone so I headed upstairs to an intimate, white carpeted room. After entering the space I honestly didn’t know where to look. On one side sat Harpers Bazaar Editor (and my other great personal career/wardrobe/life idol) Kim Hersov, on the other stood a coterie of supermodels and “it” girls including Cara Delevigne and Mary Charteris and in the middle was a pop-up bar serving fresh lobster! In the end, I decided to hit the (open) bar in an attempt to calm down and act cool with the help of a Cosmopolitan. Several cocktails later, I summoned up the Dutch courage to strike up conversation with Kim who, it turned out, was utterly lovely and a lot less terrifying than one would expect someone with quite such impeccable style to be.

Leon Max

Leon Max

After badgering her for the best part of half an hour I decided it was time to curtail my stalker moment and made my slightly wobbly way back downstairs to nab a prime position by the stage before the main event began. And it was lucky I did because the “main event” in question was pretty awesome. On top of delicious drinks, unlimited lobster and the opportunity to smoke inside (yes really) my fellow guests and I were also treated to a live performance from The Kills, a spectacle made even more spectacular by the fact Kate Moss pitched up to support hubby Jamie Hince.

Leon Max

After a few pitch perfect songs the world’s coolest couple made their exit, leaving the rest of us to continue the party. There may have been a few sore heads the next morning but for once, it was a Saturday.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 1 Comment

Fashion Hearts Hello Kitty

This may come as a surprise given my penchant for knee-high socks, glitter and all things pink and preppy, but I never had a Hello Kitty phase growing up. Most little girls do but for much of my childhood I was acutally a total tomboy and much more interested in mucking out ponies or cultivating a worm farm (yes really) than some cutesy little cat. Well, I think I might be about to develop a late onset Hello Kitty obsession thanks to the recent series of fashion collaborations with the Japanese cartoon moggy. This month alone sees Brora, Zatchels and Forever 21 all releasing Hello Kitty collections and I have to say, they’re really rather chic. Suddenly the sweetly matching stationary sets, cuddly cats and backpacks my primary school pals coveted don’t seem so silly after all! Ok, so Hello Kitty’s particular brand of super cute, playful prettiness might not be everyone’s cup of tea but with my combat trouser wearing years long since forgotten, I’ve fallen hard for latest wave of kitty inspired creations to hit the high street. Admittedly Brora’s collection is for children but I’m sure that I could make those gloves fit!

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

What do you think of the latest Hello Kitty collaborations? Should Choupette Lagerfeld be worried about losing her position as fashion’s favourite cat?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 3 Comments

5 Minutes With: Girl Meets Dress Founder, Anna Bance

Picture the scene. You’ve got a fabulous party to attend and you want to look your designer clad, dressed to impress best. Do you blow your whole season’s budget on an exquisite evening number you’ll most likely only wear a handful of times or dig out your trusty but ever-so-slightly battered, old LBD instead? Unless you’re very rich or very famous, it’s likely you’ve come up against this conundrum more than once in your lifetime and until not-so-long ago there wasn’t really any good way of getting around it. This was a dilemma Anna Bance knew all too well so in 2009 she decided to come up with a stylish solution and launched Girl Meets Dress. Stocking everything from cute Carven cocktail numbers to floor sweeping Temperley gowns, Girl Meets Dress is a truly ingenious concept that enables fashion fanatics without bottomless bank accounts to rent the dress of their dreams for a fraction of it’s retail price. Or more simply put, to borrow, party and return.

Girl Meets Dress

I caught up with Anna to get the inside scoop on her fashion career so far and the realities of launching an award winning business…

Read more

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Interviews Leave a comment

SKATE Launch Party at Somerset House

Skate at Somerset House

In theory, I like to think I’m not one of those people who gets completely over excited about Christmas. After all, humming festive tunes and re-watching Love Actually for the 15 millionth time doesn’t exactly spell out high fashion cool. In reality, I love Christmas and feel a shiver down my spine (the good kind) at the mere thought of Selfridges’ window decorations or roast chestnuts and mulled wine. Every year I go ice skating at Somerset House as many times as possible so I was beyond thrilled to recieve and invitation to their SKATE launch party last week.

Skate at Somerset House

Skate at Somerset House

After a back-to-back day of press appointments, meetings and lectures I grabbed my favourite fur hat and trotted down the strand to be greeted by a sight that can only be described as a winter wonderland, complete with enormous Christmas tree, mulled wine on tap and a giant ‘SKATE’ sign illuminated above Somerset House’s majestic facade. This bash gave a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘champagne on ice’ as we were greeted by uniformed (and probably quite chilly) waiters proferring glasses of bubbly on arrival, which continued to be topped up throughout the evening. Any event held at Somerset House is bound to be pretty fabulous and last Thursday certainly didn’t disappoint. Besides the obvious delights of champagne and a (free) wobble round the rink, my fellow guests and I were treated a performance from a pair of lyrcra and sequin clad pros. Such soirees also draw an inevitably star studded crowd and Romola Garai, Luke Evans, Ellie Goulding and Gareth Pugh all pitched up for a glass of mulled wine and a gourmet mince pie or two.

Skate at Somerset House

Skate at Somerset House

Skate at Somerset House

Despite the ever-so-slightly exaggerated claims I’d made about my prowess on the ice I decided to give it a miss on this occasion. Drinking and skating struck me as pretty high risk venture and I’m sure you’ll agree, breaking an ankle in front of so many famous faces would be more than a little embarassing!

Love Ella. X

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