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

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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

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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

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Swarovski Elements Jewellery Winner Announced!

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!

Swarovski Elements

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

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Look Du Jour: Red, White & Blue

Red, White & Blue

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

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 1 Comment