Look Du Jour: Sass it Up

What: Style Stalker tank top (click here to buy), Baukjen leather pencil skirt (new season update here, similar here & here), DSquared2 sunglasses, Mulberry Willow tote (click here to buy) Agent Provocateur Connie bra (click here to buy) (all c/o) & Whistles sandals (similar here) with Dior Bonheur mani pedi.

Where: Afternoon cocktails at The London EDITION

Personal style is a funny thing. I’m the first to admit that a lot of the pieces in my wardrobe look a lot like each other. There are certain styles, brands, colours and details I gravitate to. Rarely does a week go by without someone telling me that they saw something and just knew I’d love it… and inevitably I do. Try as I might, I just can’t shake my affinity for anything pink, polkadot, preppy and that could have conceivably been purchased at Bonpoint. But predictable though my tastes may often be – aren’t everyone’s? – now and again there are few things more enjoyable than shaking it up. That’s why I love working with brand like Diesel who somehow manage to persuade me to trade in my usual Blair Waldorf (season one, duh) inspired fare for say, a bodycon leather minidress. Since that particular project I’ve been pushing my sartorial boundaries without being prompted by an Italian under brand a little more frequently. Last week’s silver slip top for instance. What with those slinky straps and it’s potential for nipple free-wheelage, I think it’s safe to say it had sass. Perhaps not quite as much sass as this outfit however. Divine though this wear-forever ballerina leather pencil skirt is, I feared that paired with a blouse it may age me beyond my years. As opposed to making me resemble an overgrown nursery school child which apparently is a look I’m fine with. On this occasion I was about to embark on a weekend of over indulgence at the fabulously debauched London EDITION Hotel (more on that soon) so I didn’t want to look like I just took a wrong turn en route to a ladies luncheon or the first day of kindergarten. So how to sass up a luxuriously sensible pencil skirt? I ummmed and ahhhhed and tried on umpteen options and then it hit me; a Beyonce inspired ‘beater and Agent Provocateur underwearObviously.

sass stylestalker la petite anglaise ella catliff

sass stylestalker ella catliff la petite anglaise

sass stylestalker ella catliff la petite anglaise

sass stylestalker ella catliff la petite anglaise

sass stylestalker ella catliff la petite anglaise

sass stylestalker ella catliff la petite anglaise

sass stylestalker ella catliff la petite anglaise

What do you reckon, did I sass up my pencil skirt successfully?

Love Ella. X

Images by Michaela Peker

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 6 Comments

Sotogrande Summer

sotogrande

First and foremost, an apology. To everyone who follows me on Instagram, I’m very sorry for being the most annoying person of all time during my holiday to Sotogrande last month. I had been so over excited about the trip – an actual HOLIDAY! – and it was such a beautiful, photogenic place that I just couldn’t help myself. You’ll perhaps be happy to hear that I’m not going to give you a blow by blow of the whole thing, as I usually do with my travel diaries, because we would then be looking at a thesis length word count and I’ll be subjecting you to that a few times over during fashion month which is so scarily soon now I feel a combination of exhilaration and nausea just thinking about it. There would also be more descriptions of my lounging by the pool, something I did a lot of, than anyone really needs to read. Instead, here’s a little photo diary of my highlights, outfits and recommendations for if you ever go to Sotogrande which you most definitely should.

heidi klein ella catliff la petite anglaise

Looking severely pasty on day 1 in my nautical Heidi Klein bikini.

Sotogrande

Our generous and fabulous host’s beautiful villa on Calle Faisan in Sotogrande Alto

poolside sotogrande

I spent a LOT of time lounging by this pool in a similar fashion to Lily the Labrador.

Sotogrande

Palm trees because… Well, just because

sotogrande la petite anglaise triangl

Poolside posing in my Triangl bikini. Highly recommend these, you can actually SWIM in them! Neoprene in 30 plus degree heat can be challenging though.

Mochi la petite anglaise

Wearing an adorable two piece from Mochi, definitely a brand worth checking out!

Poro sotogrande

Puerto Sotogrande, it’s so pretty! I’m now lasting after a blue house.

sotogrande

sotogrande

sotogrande

The view from a divine restaurant called Chambao Beach Bar where we had a seafood bonanza…

seafood

A fairly rubbish shot of the aforementioned seafood bonanza. You can’t beat swordfish steaks cooked on a flaming boat!

superdry la petite anglaise

Ready to hit Sotogrande market in a Superdry playsuit & LK Bennett sandals…

puerto sotogrande market

Puerto Sotogrande market

Sotogrande

Many an alfresco lunch was enjoyed at this gorgeous table.

marbella

Beachside posing (yes more, I am a poser) in Marbs

marbella old town

Marbella Old Town

marbella swordfish

World’s largest Swordfish at a super cute little restaurant in Marbella Old Town of which I cannot remember the name, soz.

ella catliff la petite anglaise

Hangin’ out in a 3.1 Phillip Lim tank and Karen Walker shades. Not posing of course, not even a little bit.

sotogrande polo

Sotogrande polo in action, obvs we had to catch a match. They’re FREE too!

ella catliff la petite anglaise sotogrande

All white errrrything seemed appropriate. Top by Juicy Couture, Necklace by Anne Bowes Jewellery, Shorts by J.Crew (my faves remember), Sandals by Hobbs, Bag by Alberta Ferretti & Glasses by kate spade ny.

sotogrande

Pre dinner outfit change into double J.Crew, Pollini sandals and ALDO Rise by Ostwald Helgason bag.

Cancha Dos Sotogrande

Cancha Dos, the best Argentinian steak in town and my new favourite restaurant. Seriously, it’s worth booking a flight to Sotogrande just for their steak.

Cancha Dos Sotogrande

Obviously tuna carpaccio happened.

Cancha Dos Sotogrande

And then this… A steak so great I still have dreams about it.

ella catliff la petite anglaise
With my mama, a constant style/general life inspiration and my all time favourite person to shop, drink Pinot Grigio and generally chill with. If her feet weren’t so damn small those python wedges would be mine. 

sotogrande

Yep, All in all Sotogrande is a stunning, relaxing and wonderful place. I will most definitely be returning! Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer filled with holidays, fine wine, great food, friends and family.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Travel 1 Comment

Look Du Jour: Picnicking

cath kidston picnicking

What: Cath Kidston Autumn Bloom big leather trim tote bag (click here to buy), People Tree gingham sundress (similar here), Gap wedges (similar here) & Wildfox sunglasses (available here) (all c/o), necklace by Anne Bowes Jewellery & rings by Aamaya by Priyanka (available here)

Where: Picnic in Holland Park, Kensington.

Can you believe that summer is basically over?! I swear just yesterday it was rainy-sunny-rainy-again May and I was counting down the hours until my thesis was submitted and I had months and months of glorious summery relaxation ahead of me… HA! Whatever the season, I always find that there are a million and one lovely things I want to do but somehow the time ends up rushing by in a manic, albeit fabulously so, blur and basically none of them happen. Last Winter, I didn’t even manage to go ice skating at Somerset House for God’s sake. Well, while I haven’t yet swum in the Serpentine, lounged all afternoon on Shoreditch House rooftop, been to an outdoor film screening or gone for a leisurely bike ride this summer, I have managed to have a couple of picnics. In my experience there are four utterly essential ingredients for a successful picnic. The first is decent weather. No one wants to find themselves washed away in a soggy sea of spilt Pimms, semi disintegrated sandwiches and strawberries that have dissolved into an oozing red mess that makes the whole thing start to resemble a scene from a low budget horror film. The others are location, food and most importantly, outfit. Nothing uncomfortable, tight or made from fabric that is either man made or dry clean only. And when it comes to the handbag you need something that looks good but can take a battering, won’t discolour at the first hint of moisture (the grass never really dries out in England) and can fit all the assorted crap you need to carry with you. Since Cath Kidston – surely the most picnic friendly brand on the planet – invited me to collaborate with them on their tote bag launch project this new season floral number has been my picnicking companion. I’ve picnicked with many a leather shoulder bag, an ill advised clutch and several hampers but this baby has served the purpose best. Paired with a gingham frock (ultimate picnic dress, am I right?) and walk-able wedges I felt like some sort of chic 50′s housewife, an effect that may have been ruined by the fact I was clutching a Venti Starbucks iced latte with “Alex” scribbled across it – how you get that from “Ella” I don’t know – in black marker pen and manically answering emails as I strolled to Holland Park for this particular picnic.

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

cath kidston picnic tote ella catliff

As I mentioned, Cath Kidston have just launched their latest collection of super cute tote bags big and small, soon to be accompanied by an exhibition in their Piccadilly store. If you happen to be in the area between August 22nd and September 5th, do pop in and see a GIANT picture of me toting my tote! And tell us which you prefer, #totesbig or #totessmall…

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 6 Comments

Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup Final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

Us Brits are a funny lot, what with our predilection for queuing, love of weather related moaning, dress codes and many, many traditions. Those traditions were out in force at the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup final last month. During the summer months England’s green and pleasant land plays host to a myriad of annual sporting fetes that have been going on so long they’re embedded in our calendar and our culture itself. Wimbledon, Henley, Ascot… And of course, the polo. Thousands flock to the Gold Cup, dressed to impress and armed with picnics, barbours, sun cream, wellies (British weather) and Pimms a’ plenty, regardless of whether they give a chukka about the sport itself. Having spent a large part of my childhood and teenage years riding, I’m all over anything involving horses. Add the opportunity, nay necessity to put on a fancy frock and drink champagne in the sunshine and it’s hardly surprising that I was very excited to be attending the Gold Cup final as a guest of Veuve Clicquot. Speaking of said fancy frock, when it came to choosing my polo going look I didn’t have to think hard. I knew in an instant that the gorgeous Mulberry floral ensemble – complete with matching chunky platforms, perfect for navigating grass – that I wore for our Kensal collection collaboration back in April would be just the ticket. And so, armed with a fire orange bag and matching lip, Millie, Michaela, Taylor and I joined our fellow Veuve guests to board a fleet of Mercedes coaches bound for Cowdray Park in West Sussex.

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup

After a fairly sizeable drive – the constant top ups of Veuve Clicquot made the motorway experience infinitely more bearable – we arrived in the lush greenery of Cowdray Park which already was packed with cars, families, braying hoorays (translation: posh boys with loud voices), exquisitely dressed older ladies and tents selling everything from strawberries and cream to empanadas. Once my friends had managed to dissuade me from making a beeline for the funfair we headed to the Veuve Clicquot private picnicking area. I use “picnic” in the loosest sense of the word here. We’re talking immaculate orange umbrellas, giant ice buckets, plumped pillows to lounge on and flower strewn swings to swing on, should one need a diversion from all that lounging. As for the food, no soggy sandwiches, cheese sticks or melted ice cream in Veuve’s alfresco dining area. We made a beeline for the J.Sheekey van and stocked up on Scallop & Shrimp burgers, Chickpea & Lentil salads with Padron peppers and handcut chips. Alternatively we could have opted for one of the Mount Street Deli hampers, which I did find myself eyeing enviously later on.

<a href="http://www.ella-lapetiteanglaise.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/DSC_4282.jpg"><img src="http://www.ella-lapetiteanglaise.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/DSC_4282.jpg" alt="veuve clicquot gold cup final" width="575" height="868" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-15717" /></a>

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

Veuve Clicquot  Gold Cup Picnic, with Tinie Tempah as DJ

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

In between the eating and the drinking we sunbathed, swung and people watched to our hearts content. Just as I was starting to say how much I fancied a dance – as one does after a few glasses – Tinie Tempah took to the decks and got us, ok me, dancing with an excellent DJ set… Doesn’t get much better than that on a sunny Sunday afternoon and the main event hadn’t even begun! Once Tinie took his bow and joined the rest of us on the lawn, a loudspeaker struck up and announced that the match itself was about to start. Polo is such an exhilarating sport to watch and the players and horses on the Dubai and King Power teams are some of the most skilled around. Naturally Veuve’s picnicking area was in prime position to watch the game and we got stuck into the shouting – with minimal knowledge of what or who we were hollaring at – and of course the age old half time tradition of “treading in”. I later learned, courtesy of the Daily Mail, that Alexa Chung, Christopher Kane et al were also in attendance and in our picnicking area looking suitably stylish. It’s a true mark of a cracking day out when you’re too busy enjoying yourself with your friends to even begin to notice that!

veuve clicquot gold cup

veuve clicquot gold cup final

veuve clicquot gold cup final

Big thanks to Veuve Clicquot and Mission PR for the perfect summer Sunday.

Love Ella. X

Ps) Dubai won

Images by Michaela Peker, Getty, Nick Matthews and my iPhone (can you guess which those are? I suspect yes…)

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 4 Comments

Look Du Jour: Silver Slip

silver slip ella catliff

What: Whistles silver slip top (available here) (c/o) & personalised bomber jacket with Paige Denim jeans (available here), Guess clutch bag (similar here), Kite sunglasses, Next silver stilettos (similar here), Dior “Bonheur” nail polish (available here) (all c/o) and MAC Candy Yum Yum lipstick (available here)

Where: Dinner & drinks in London.

I’ve been scheming this look for some time now but never actually got around to shooting or indeed wearing it because I was every so slightly dubious about whether it would work. I may be a child of the 90′s – 1991 to be precise – but as a sartorial decade it’s never really floated my boat. Or, more precisely, the elements of 90′s fashion that have been everywhere from ASOS to Alexander Wang to Armani these past few seasons haven’t. Don’t get me wrong, I think luxed up streetwear and pared back minimalism can look awesome. But for me, the only element of 90′s chic I wanted in on was of the Clueless variety; Cher Horowitz’ mini kilt collection still leaves me weak at the knees. One particular style that’s refused to budge is the slip top. When these first appeared on the catwalks and in the trend edits they put the fear of God in me. You can’t wear a bra with them, unless it’s of the deliberately exposed and highly expensive variety, won’t ones nips be freewheeling all over town? Well, yes of course they will. But who actually cares? You know, within reason. I’m not advocating rocking one to your aged Grandmother’s birthday party or to a job interview, the abundance of blindingly bright pink involved in this particular ensemble probably wouldn’t be well suited to such an occasion either. It took me absolutely ages to drum up the courage to risk slipping a nip by taking my silver slip top out on the town – I’ve had it since February – but when I finally decided to throw caution to the winds and leave the house in an outfit that would potentially result in flashing half of West London it was actually kind of liberating, not to mention seriously comfortable. Sometimes forcing yourself to wear something out of your comfort zone definitely pays off. Other times, as in the case of my teenage dalliance with knee high stripy socks and Vans (it was the Avril Levigne era) it doesn’t.

silver slip ella catliff

silver slip ella catliff

silver slip ella catliff

silver slip ella catliff

silver slip ella catliff

silver slip ella catliff

silver slip ella catliff

silver slip ella catliff

silver slip ella catliff

Have you embraced slip tops this season?

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 3 Comments