LCM AW14: Day 1 Part 1

LCM AW14

I wore… Jumper, skirt & shoes by Coach, Blouse by Whistles, Coat by Sandro & Bag by Lulu Guinness

Oh I do love fashion week, whether it’s men’s or women’s the whole thing always feels like a very stylish school reunion. As much fun as it is though, you inevitably feel a little pulverised by the end, even when the whole thing only lasts three days. But it’s fashion dahhhling, so you suck it up, wilfully ignore your throbbing toes and head on to the next party. On the subject of parties, every season I vow to start the shows feeling fresh from eight hours sleep and a pint of water (as opposed to wine). This has never happened thanks to the likes of GQ Magazine and Dolce & Gabbanna who think throwing a fabulous bash on night 0 is a great idea. Instead of waking at 6am as planned and ploughing through my to do list I lounged in bed until eight, realised the time and panicked. Luckily I managed to get suited and booted (and even apply lipstick!!) post my Candezza shoot, submit my thesis at uni and still make the Topman show with enough time to catch up with some of my favourite fashion friends before being herded to our seats.

The topshop, or in this case topman venue always lays on a good spread so it was with a restorative lemonade in hand, I people-watched David Gandy, Tini Tempah, Nick Grimshaw and Jack Guinness causing a pap frenzy on the FROW. Somewhat unusually, the catwalk had puddles on it and I assumed (correctly) that this wasn’t some oversight by the production team. Indeed the weather we Brits so love to hate played a central role in what was to be a Stella show. To the tune of a booming base and a John Cooper Clarke poem, damp haired, pallid skinned models stomped out bedecked in gloriously gloomy hues adorned with oil slick leather and PVC panelling. There was something quintessentially British about the collection which permeated further than the sodden scenery. Classic English tailoring came reworked, raw edged and fresh by way of cropped, sculpted duffel coats, elongated peacoats and glass beaded knits.

topman AW14

Topman AW14

Topman also introduced a new and contrasting menswear silhouettes; second skin, short jackets paired with voluminous pleat front wide leg woolen trousers versus oversized outerwear over super svelte PVC pants with an ever so slight flare. At the time, my mind immediately thought subcultures, punk PVC and tartan, modish Duffels etc. In retrospect (and having read the show notes) the inspiration is obvious, maritime. Oversized crochet knits inspired by fishing nets, heavy wool suits resembling rusting metal and all that weather proof gear. Know you know I love a bit of spectacle and topman delivered just that as the models took their final lap they quite literally “made it rain”. Cracking start to LCM AW14 and a collection that looks likely to strike the balance between commercial viability and critical acclaim.

LCM AW14

Topman AW14 Finale

Next up was a menswear designer I absolutely adore, Orlebar Brown. Much as I enjoy a catwalk show, sometimes it makes more sense for a brand to showcase their wares in a presentation format. This was one such occasion, partially because it meant we could get a really close up look at Adam Brown’s delectable designs. For AW14 Brown embarked on an exploration of the jungle. And not just the tropical jungle, although the rainforest installation and the prints displayed within were undeniably impressive.

LCM AW14

orlebar brown LCM AW14

Besides abstract hot house prints in mouthwateringly bright hues, we were treated to illustrative, graphic motifs; the fruits of a new collaboration with contemporary Greek artist, Konstantin Kakanias. More new additions for AW14 included an array of truly excellent accessories including printed rubber deck shoes and sunglasses so nonchalantly chic it was all I could do not to pocket a pair for myself. An indoor replica of downtown NYC in which achingly gorgeous male models posed wearing even more gorgeous ensembles only served to confirm my adoration for this collection.

orlebar brown LCM AW14

orlebar brown LCM AW14

orlebar brown LCM AW14

In the interest of keeping things short and sweet, the rest of LCM AW14 day 1 will be coming your way another day!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 2 Comments

Werk It

For all my banging on about forgoing New Year’s resolutions in favour of the far more enjoyable, fasholutions, I have kind of made one. Not so much a specific, check list style promise. More a decision to rebalance my life a little and generally be healthier. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the whole work-hard-play-hard thing but somewhere in between all the working and the playing, and the playing that’s technically working but not really, you’ve got to look after your mind and body too. Sorry, that sounds hideously new age and preachy and whenever someone says something like this to me I feel an overwhelming urge to inflict violence on them but if this post has proven anything, it’s that I can on occasion be a bit of a hypocrite. Anyway my, oh go on then, let’s call it a “resolution”, wont involve anything too major. I won’t be going gluten free, juicing green things or spending every weekend on a yoga retreat. What I will be doing is spending more time with friends and family, indulging in activities of a non-fashion variety, actually cooking occasionally instead of just relying on itsu/M&S/late night Reese’s Pieces and last but certainly not least, doing a bit of exercise from time to time. Aside from toning, boosting endorphins, general wellbeing etc etc, the benefit of deciding to invest in a gym membership is that it provides the perfect excuse to buy a whole lot of work out gear. Currently lusting after these lycra lovelies…

werk it
1) GapFit Colour Block Half Zip Running Hoodie, £34.50, click here to buy
2) GapFit gFast leggings, £24.95, click here to buy
3) Nike Air Pegasus 30 iD Running Shoe, 120, click here to buy
4) T by Alexander Wang Rainbow Cotton Terry Shorts, £140, click here to buy
5) GapFit High Impact Sports Bra, £24.95, click here to buy
6) Orlebar Brown Hampton Bikini Top, £125, click here to buy
7) Orlebar Brown Hampton Bikini Bottoms, £100, click here to buy
8) Sweaty Betty Perfomance Run Sock, £15, click here to buy
9) Sweaty Betty 1.5kg Dumbells, £25, click here to buy
10) Zoe Karssen Bat Print Track Pants, £110, click here to buy

Love Ella. X

Ps) In case you were wondering about the post title it’s purely because I’m a Britney obsessive and listen to Werk Bitch on repeat every time I go to the gym. What’s on your work (or rather “werk”) out playlist?

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 2 Comments

Look Du Jour: Ice Princess

ice princess

ice princess

princess

princess

Ella Catliff

Anne Bowes Jewellery

Ella Catliff Valentino

Ella Catliff princess

princess

What: Princess dress by REDValentino (c/o), Necklace by Anne Bowes Jewellery, Ring by Swarovski (c/o), Shoes by Sophia Webster and clutch by Wilbur & Gussie (c/o)

Where: Dolce & Gabbana London Collections: Men party

In my previous Look Du Jour post I questioned whether, metaphorically speaking, a leopard could change its sartorial spots. I think this ensemble proves that the answer is a definitive NO… Or at least in my case it is. But then when a frock is quite as goddamn gorgeous as this REDValentino number who the hell cares anyway? As anyone with an internet connection and an interest in fashion will have seen splashed all over the internet, this week the international style set hit Britain for London Collections: Men AW14. Naturally it kicked off with a fabulous bash hosted by Dolce & Gabbana and attended by Kylie Minogue which provided me with the perfect excuse to take this stunner for its first outing. Between the tiered skirt and lace brocade, this is one of the most unashamedly, deliciously early items I’ve ever owned so I decided to embrace the sugar sweet, princess prettiness of the whole thing and run with it. Queue pink lips, nails and detailing plus a touch or two of sparkle. The party was, unsurprisingly, wonderful and this ensemble went down a treat. Evidently New Year’s fasholutions are rather similar to New Year’s resolutions; both are made to be broken.

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 5 Comments

Oh To Be A Chanel Girl

chanel

Oh to be a Chanel girl! To travel to far flung locations for the annual Métiers d’Art extravaganza. To be part of Karl’s couture clad coterie of international beauties. Hell, I’d settle for shared custody of a Chanel handbag and be pretty darned thrilled with my lot! Especially if it was one of the drop dead delectable designs Monsieur Lagerfeld delivered for SS14.

chanel

A few months ago I was lucky enough to be invited along to Chanel’s London HQ to ogle view a selection from the Spring collection. Getting the chance to pour over the new season pieces was, for want of a better word, awesome. It only further served to confirm what I already knew to be true; Chanel is an extraordinary brand and Karl Lagerfeld is an extraordinary man. As you all know and are probably thoroughly bored of hearing about, for the past two-and-a-bit years I’ve been studying Fashion History and Theory at Central Saint Martins. Learning more than I ever thought possible about dress from the Renaissance through Tudors, Stuarts and Victorians was incredible. But what really had me in raptures was the 20th century stuff, especially in the case of Maisons like Chanel. Over a century may have passed since Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel scandalised and then seduced with the androgynous elegance of her menswear inspired designs. Through a combination of creative vision, craftsmanship and fearless business practices (Coco certainly would not have needed to read “Lean In”) Chanel was born and today it continues to enthral new generations of women, while retaining the impeccable quality and effortless chicness that keeps dedicated customers coming back to brand decade after decade. Nailing this near impossible balancing act is a true testament to the sartorial genius that is Karl Lagerfeld who, in the politest possible way, also cropped up relatively early in 20th century fashion history making his flair for capturing the contemporary zeitgeist all the more impressive.

chanel

chanel

chanel

As everyone knows, Chanel shows are always something of a spectacle. So what do you do when you’ve already done indoor ice bergs, wind farms, solar panels and the life aquatic? You turn your show space into an art gallery, well, duh. And then you fill it with your own creations. I’m not even going to begin wondering how in God’s one finds the time to design 75 art installations on top of running three major fashion brands so let’s just talk about the clothes instead. In the tradition of taking Chanel’s rich heritage and turning it on its head, this season saw the house’s iconic tweeds woven from ribbons of chiffon, organza, lace and plastic threads, frayed or even torn on some occasions.

chanel

chanel

chanel

Stretch knit crêpe de Chine came lace printed with motifs in silicone, while elsewhere garments were adorned with intricate pearl embroideries and painstakingly detailed trims galore. And then there were the colours! Naturally Chanel’s signature monochrome palette was featured but elsewhere there was a riot of eye popping confections. Pastels, neon brights, denim, bleaching, you name it. The iconic jackets introduced by Mademoiselle Chanel herself came reimagined slim and sleeveless and sleek and belted as well as oversized and re-proportioned. Never have I seen a house so seamlessly combine its past and its future.

chanel

chanel

chanel

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

LPA Styles It: Cadenzza

New year, new edition of LPA Styles It! But this my friends, is a rather unusual take on it. In the past I’ve always teamed up with clothes brands like Banana Republic, Whistles and Belstaff to get my style on. At the risk of tooting my own horn the results have always looked pretty darn good but I have to admit, it’s not as taxing a task as I’d like to make out. On those occasions I’ve basically just run around the store grabbing anything and everything that takes my fancy before indulging in a lengthy dressing up session until four or five stand out outfits make themselves apparent. Well, as you may know, Cadenzza doesn’t do clothing! But what it does do, is seriously fantastic jewellery. Think collaborations with Jean Paul Gaultier, Mawi London, Oscar de la Renta, Shourouk and Anton Heunis plus an endless array of delectable designs by their in house team. It’s lovely stuff, after all what else would you expect from a label in the Swarovski stable. However styling looks from my own wardrobe for the shoot proved a little challenging. Through a combination of pouring over the Cadenzza lookbooks and ransacking my vast clothing collection I managed to decide on four definitive ways I’d incorporate their pieces into my personal style. So, without further ado, here’s what I came up with…

Pink To Make The Boys Wink

Cadenzza
cadenzza

cadenzza

cadenzza

cadenzza

IMG_5928

Swarovski Crystallized Treasure Chest Necklace, £231, click here to buy
Swarovski Crystallized Treasure Chest Bracelet, £135, click here to buy
Love & Destiny Bracelet, £108, click here to buy

I don’t need to tell you how I feel about the colour pink. Regardless of whether it actually “makes the boys wink” (I suspect not, especially when it comes with a Peter Pan collar) I just can’t resist it. This outfit is a prime example of my favourite fashion formula. Cute collar, check! High waisted, A Line mini, check! Cosy cashmere? Check and check! Given the pretty playfulness of it all I thought the best way to accessorize would be to absolutely embrace sugar and spice and all things nice. Because that what little girls are made of… Or so the gender stereotype-tastic rhyme goes anyway.

Easy Opulence

cadenzza

cadenzza

cadenzza

cadenzza

cadenzza

La Petite Anglaise

Anton Heunis Tsarina Necklace, £159, click here to buy
Anton Heunis Tsarina Earrings, £100, click here to buy
Kenneth Jay Lane Golden Age Ring, £100, click here to buy

I was slightly dubious about whether this casual, rich hued ensemble would work with gobstopper jewels but it totally does, right? There’s something so wonderfully indulgent about pairing serious statement jewellery with everyday attire, like you’re a Park Avenue lady who lunches and then gets collected by a uniformed driver afterwards and whisked off to Berdorf’s afterwards.

Party Perfect

cadenzza

cadenzza

cadenzza swarovski

cadenzza

La Petite Anglaise

Mawi Dynasty Necklace, £444, click here to buy
Mawi Dynasty Bracelet, £391, click here to buy
Swarovski Crystallized Fancy Ring, £45, click here to buy

Now, there are statement necklaces and there are STATEMENT necklaces. This stunner is definitely the latter. This Club Monaco lace top and Topshop PVC pencil skirts have been two of my most loved wardrobe additions this season and I so wish I could have worn a necklace like this with them at the Belstaff bash during London Fashion Week. When wearing pieces this in-your-face-fabulous I always think the trick is to leave one area unadorned to avoid things getting a little too bling. I opted to leave my lobes naked because I just couldn’t say no to that cocktail ring.

Winter Garden

candezza

candezza

candezza

candezza

La Petite Anglaise

Swarovski Crystallized Winter Garden Necklace, £151, click here to buy
On Aura Touts Vu Compliments Bracelet, £135, click here to buy
On Aura Touts Vu Compliments Ring, £58, click here to buy

It’s green, it’s floral, there’s a whole lot of shine going on… Yes, this necklace is pretty much my fashion kryptonite. Naturally I just had to team it with this well worn outfit which just so happens to also be green and shiny. Predictable? Maybe. Covetable? Most definitely. I reckon that teaming up with Candezza to style their pieces into my own wardrobe actually taught me quite a lot. Lesson one: statement jewels do work for day even, or perhaps especially, when paired with slightly preppy, super laid back outfits.

I hope you enjoyed this somewhat experimental edition of LPA Styles It! Which look is your favourite?

Love Ella. X

Images by Lea Salomone

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 4 Comments