Do you dream of swanning around in Mary Katrantzou’s kaleidescopic prints and Roksanda Ilincic’s perfect peplums? Hitting the pub wearing Holly Fulton’s colour-pop creations and banishing first date jitters in an elegant Erdem ensemble? I know I certainly do. Sadly, like most of the population, my budget’s never quite been able to match my fashion fantasies and there remains a large Jonathan Saunders shaped hole in my wardrobe… But all that might be about to change thanks to an ingenious initiative from London retail legend, Matches.
Between the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, 2012 is a pretty big year for Britain. And what better way to celebrate our country’s sheer fabulousness than by bedecking the population in cutting-edge designer togs while fighting poverty in London? At least that’s what I assume was going through Matches’ CEO, Ruth Chapman’s mind, when she came up with this inspired collaboration. Ruth enlisted a selection of London’s hottest fashion names including Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic, Erdem, J.W Anderson and Richard Nicoll to each design a limited edition t-shirt based on their signature style.
The shirts will be sold at Matches for just £60 a pop with proceeds going to an extremely worthy cause, The Disposessed Fund. So, in short, this Summer we can all treat ourselves to the cream of the sartorial crop while helping those in need… God bless England!
Love Ella. X
A couple of weeks ago I brought you the Swarovski Elements Design Talent Competition finalists – 10 of the world’s most promising jewellery design graduates, competing in the International Talent Support Awards for a cash prize of €10,000 and a prestigious six month internship at the Swarovski HQ. Well, last Saturday the finalists’ months and years of dreaming, studying, and finally, came to a head as the winners were announced at a sparkling ceremony in the Italian town of Triste. So without further ado, I’m thrilled to tell you this years’ Swarovski Elements Jewellery Award goes to… Xiao Zi Yang!
The Shanghai born designer wowed judges including Swarovski Elements’ Creative Director, Ute Schumacher, with a collection that combined traditional Asian joinery and contemporary versatility. Each piece is composed of interchangeable parts which can be repaired or changed in order to follow the latest trend in colour or material, thus creating a collection for all seasons, ingenious non?
Love Ella. X
What: Red & White Shorts: Paul & Joe Sister, Blue Tweed Jacket: Whistles, White Shirt: Gap, Red Handbag: Jaeger London, Red Pumps: Parisian Boutique.
Where: Q&A with Stella McCartney, South Kensington.
Anyone who spent yesterday in London will no doubt be a little surprised at my choice of outfit seeing as we were subjected to high winds and horizontal sleet all day. Bare legs were certainly a brave, or some might say foolish, move and I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely f*cking freezing. BUT yesterday morning wasn’t your average Monday and it was due to highly unusual circumstances that I was willing to risk damp feet and even a mild case of pneumonia. Why? Well, I was lucky enough to be one of the 5 bloggers invited to meet Stella McCartney at her newly launched Adidas store and I’d be damned if I’d do so wearing anything other than my painstakingly selected, laid-out-the-night-before ensemble. A rendez vous with Stella is probably the fashion equivalent of meeting the Queen and you wouldn’t greet HRH wearing any old jeans n’ jumper, would you?! So at extreme risk to my health, not to mention my distinctly non-waterproof ballet pumps, I donned this red, white & blue look… appropriately team GB, don’t you think?
Love Ella. X
When it comes to cutting edge cool, nowhere does quite like Dover Street Market. So when I first heard the news that Mulberry would be releasing their latest collection exclusively at the original DSM in London and their newly launched Tokyo outpost, I was slightly confused. While my love for Mulberry borders on unhealthy, it’s a little hard to imaging the Somerset-based British brand sitting all that comfortably alongside conceptual Comme des Garcons creations.
Well, after one glance at the Maisie collection I was forced to eat my words as the ingenious Emma Hill has somehow managed to create an array of handbags that hint at their heritage, by way of ‘shadow’ effect postman’s locks and buckles while moving in an altogether more avant guard direction thanks to their uncharacteristically low-key detailing. Between the minimalist styling and trompe l’oil front panels made using heat-molded technology, I’d hazard a guess these babies weren’t made in Somerset.
Love Ella. X
In the decade since fashion designer Jane Lewis launched Goat, the brand has gathered a reputation for being the ultimate in low key luxe. In fact, it was the gap in her own wardrobe for understatedly luxurious pieces that spurred Jane to launch her first 8 piece capsule collection back in 2001. Evidently, there were a lot of other women hankering after understated elegance too as Goat’s unique brand of effortless, everyday chic was an instant hit back then and ten years later, the label’s still going strong.
I’m ashamed to admite that while I was always aware of Goat – with famous fans including Gywneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst and Sienna Miller it would be hard not to be – I never really knew much about the label or, more importantly, quite how up my street Jane’s designs were. Well, all that changed when I was offered the chance to go behind-the-scenes on Goat’s SS13 lookbook shoot last month.
Remember the oh-so-brief heat wave we had a few weeks back? It was on that 28 degree afternoon that I made the trek from Hammersmith to Hackney where virtually every studio in London is rather inconveniently (for me) located. Due to the fact I was off to interview Laura Bailey at Radley’s Westfield Stratford pop-up store launch that evening, I was rocking my cocktail finest. The 6 inch platforms, lemon yellow blouse combi attracted a fair few stares at Hackney Central station in the early afternoon but if I was going to be within close proximity to a supermodel I’d be damned if I did it wearing trainers! I arrived at the studio as everyone was breaking for lunch which gave me the chance to have a good rifle through the clothes rail. Seeing next season’s collections at press days is one thing but getting up close and personal with the season after next’s sartorial fare is even more exciting… Especially when the garments on show are quite as delectable as Goat’s SS13 offerings. I’m not sure how much I’m actually allowed to divulge about the collection itself so you’ll just have to trust my judgement that it’s pretty amazing. Think lightweight pastel knits, waffle-weave shift dresses and one particularly fab pair of blue and white, patterned capri pants. I could have quite happily carried on manhandling the clothes all day but before I knew it the team had finished their M&S feast, the models were back in hair and make-up and it was time for me to get snapping. I think it’s safe to say that by the end of the afternoon, Goat had gained another, albeit rather less famous fan.
Love Ella. X
Ps) Goat is, of course, stocked at my favourite London fashion emporium, Matches. Click here to buy or at least ogle the current collection.