Swarovski Celebrates ‘Iconic London’ Launch

When it’s too cold and rainy to wear pop-socks and pastels in JULY, it’s often extremely tempting to curl up and watch 90210 re-runs until either the sun comes out or it’s an appropriate time to start shopping for Autumn. This would have been the case on Monday, had it not been for the fine folk at Swarovski and Wonderland Magazine who enticed us away from our sofas and into the muggy heart of Central London. And it wasn’t even the promise of unlimited champagne that sealed the deal, although I’m not going to lie, that didn’t hurt. No, we dusted off our party shoes on Monday not (completely) to head out in search of scrumptious canapes and free booze but to get a first look at Swarovski’s ‘Iconic London’ campagin, featuring the illustrative talents of Good Wives and Warriors.

Swarovski Iconic London Launch

Swarovski Iconic London Launch

The project will see Swarovski’s Regents Street flagship store undergo a live transformation as the hotter-than-hot artistic duo take over the windows, initially turning them into a enchanted forest before creating a kaleidescopic, dreamlike world inspired by… you’ve guessed it, London. For those of you who can’t face Regent’s Street during the Olympics (and I can’t say I blame you) the installations will also be appearing in every other Swarovski store in London. Plus, social media users can even submit their ideas, with a lucky few being incorporated into Good Wives and Warriors’ illustrations! Seeing as spectacle and social media are two of my favourite things, it’s not surprising I was excited about the launch party. Indeed, Swarovski and Wonderland Mag didn’t disappoint. In between admiring the aritsts at work – as someone who can’t draw as much as an apple, illustrators always amaze me – my fellow guests, including N Dubz’ Fazer and the Londsdale Boys Club, and I got stuck into the cocktails and a little entertainment from Dj Cozette McCreery.

Swarovski Iconic London Launch

Swarovski Iconic London Launch

Swarovski Iconic London Launch

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties Leave a comment

Look Du Jour: Peppermint Peplum

Look du Jour Peppermint Peplum

What: Peplum top: H&M, Jeans: J Brand, Clutch: Alberta Ferretti, Ring: Swarovski, Shoes: Kurt Geiger, ‘E’ Necklace: Anne Bowes Jewellery.

Where:Swarovski & Wonderland Iconic London Launch Party.

To peplum, or not to peplum… That is the fashion question and has been for a fair few seasons now. Flared hipped styles look to be sticking around for the forseeable future and personally, I’m all for it. I picked up this little peppermint number in H&M a while ago but have struggled to wear it because I couldn’t decide what to wear it with. Peplums require a certain amount of polish from the rest of your ensemble so denim hotpants or anything remotely similar are a big no no. Despite forcing myself to wear shorts (bare legged) all week, by yesterday evening came my knees were purple and I just couldn’t face another hour of shivering. So I reached for my trusty J Brands and discovered that slim fit, cigarette pants are the perfect thing to pair a peplum with! I added my pastel blue Alberta Ferretti clutch, silver Zara jacket and matchy matchy blue nail polish, et voila… Insta-party ready!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 1 Comment

Marni Resort 2013

Few people could combine couture inspired silhouettes with country-and-western influences and produce anything other than a haute mess but Marni Creative Director, Consuelo Castiglioni manages to pull it off with aplomb.

Not that this should come as a surprise given that Marni’s Pre Fall 2012 collection left me longing for a green tartan trouser suit complete with fur trim. Demure hemlines, perfect pleats and sculptural shapes have been given the Castiglioni treatment by way of dizzying prints, semi-sheer knee-high socks and bursts of acid bright. Studded shirts, snap-closing buttons and twirl-tastic skirts pay homage to Castiglioni’s unusual inspiration while immaculate tailoring and exquisite embellishment keep things more catwalk than cowgirl.

Marni resort 2013

Just the other day I received an email inviting me to “pre order from the Marni resort 2013″ collection. As a result of the Peter Pilotto private sale incident from which my finances may never recover I initially panned to resist but looking at that A-line, yellow number I may have to reconsider!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Leave a comment

5 Minutes With… Donna Ida

For anyone who knows anything about fashion, Donna Ida Thornton will be a woman who needs no introduction. Since opening her first boutique back in 2006, Donna has opened three further stores in the London, an international online denim emporium and gathered a legion of denim-loving devotees. As a newly converted denim addict, I’m currently a little obsessed with Donna Ida – the store and, I’ll admit, the person – so I was thrilled to quiz London’s reigning ‘Queen of Jeans’ on personal style, denim trends and how she built her business…

Donna Ida Thornton

LPA: What were you doing before you started Donna Ida? Have you always worked in fashion? 

DA: I’ve always been interested in fashion and I know what I like. I was working in Marketing in London before I started Donna Ida.

LPA: What prompted you to launch Donna Ida in 2006? Starting up your own business was an incredibly bold move. Did you feel fairly confident that it was going to take off? 

DA: I launched Donna Ida because I couldn’t find anywhere to buy jeans that I felt truly comfortable in. Department stores have a great selection but I couldn’t get the service I needed and I was paranoid I wouldn’t be able to get them up over my thighs and would have to get dressed and go out looking for more sizes myself. Which usually did happen. I believe that if you work hard you can make anything happen, so I’ve always been confident that Donna Ida would be a success.

LPA: Despite the disastrous effects of the recession on so many other businesses, Donna Ida has been incredibly successful and grown hugely over the past few years. What do you think has been the key to your company’s success?

DA: Service; whether it is online or offline we want to make sure that shopping for jeans is a great experience. All the Donna Ida girls receive regular training which ensures our advisors are denim experts.

LPA: As someone renowned for helping women wear denim well, you must feel under pressure to always look good yourself. What’s your failsafe outfit formula? 

DA: Skinny jeans, a basic silk tee and a blazer. Plus heels, no less than 5 inches! I also like accessories, a good handbag and jewellery always make me feel pulled together.

LPA: Which has been your favourite and least favourite trend for SS12? 

DA: Neon has been so big for SS12 and it’s continuing through to SS13 too.  It’s the Isabel Marant effect, and is clearly in evidence across a lot of brands! Least favourite? I don’t really have one, I like little bit of everything, and as long as you’re confident and happy with what you’re wearing then that’s ok by me.

LPA: Printed and bright denim is everywhere this season, but can everyone really wear these tricky styles? Should certain body types steer clear of certain colours or cuts? 

DA: Everyone can wear prints and coloured denim. It’s the same rules as buying any style of jeans, there is a style to suit each body type. Some women even find coloured denim the most flattering and prints can hide a multitude of sins.

LPA: Would you recommend that someone who wanted to work in the fashion industry study it at university? Or do you feel it’s better to gain experience through interning instead? 

DA: It depends what you are like as a person. University can expose students to a wealth or knowledge and volunteering at different companies can demonstrate the day-to-day running of a business and help you understand the areas you are most attracted to. For me university was never an option – I got out of school and into work as quick as I could. It would have meant I was years behind where I wanted to be, but everyone’s different.

LPA: What advice would you give to someone hoping to launch their own company? 

DA: Work hard, keep your head down in the early days and solve one problem at a time. Don’t look up at the whole terrifying mountain, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and make some progress every day. Grab what sleep you can and drink plenty of coffee the rest of the time.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Interviews Leave a comment

Matches Launch Designer Charity T-Shirt Project

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.

Matches Designer Charity t-shirts

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

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment