One Night Four Parties

parties carven ella catliff

FOUR PARTIES!? I hear you cry. And yes, I know it sounds a smidge excessive. But they were totes work I promise… Well, kind of. Anyway, it’s not my fault if every fash brand under the sun decides to host a soirée within the space of the same four hours. In my defence the final one was a dinner and a girl’s gotta eat, right? Enough with the excuses, you lovely lot aren’t my parents. With umpteen options dotted all over town Nik, Alexis and I laid out our options, picked the best four and began planning our outfits.

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Up first was a little get together at Carven’s divine South Kensington store to toast their collaboration with cooler than cool French sneaker brand, NO NAME. In my excitement about the evening to come I arrived embarrassingly early. As in, so early the doors weren’t open, the drinks were unpoured and a few garments were even still being steamed… #shameonme. While hovering outside deciding where to lurk until things got going I became transfixed by the adorable florals in the window and one of the team spotted me. I think I just about managed to laugh it off and actually, it was kind of great being the first person in so I could ogle and instagram the shoes free from distraction. On the subject of those shoes, they are absolute fashion catnip. So much so that I reserved a pair on the night and returned the next day to buy them. Then I also got the matching floral sweatshirt, what can I say, I’m incredibly weak willed and powerless to resist to charms of all things Carven. Luckily before I could inflict more damage on my finances the party got going.

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carven parties

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Carven parties

In between sipping Moscow Mules (possibly about to replace Passionfruit Martinis as my cocktail kryptonite) and looking longingly at Carven’s, I kid you not, wall of collars, I caught up with Bip and Evangeline Ling, reminisced on the H&M Paris trip with Elle Mag’s Harriet Stewart and toe tapped to the sounds of DJ Jean-Robert Santil. All too soon it was time to say our goodbyes so Alexis, Nik and I piled into his Jeep to make for party numero duo.

When Net-a-Porter, the British Fashion Council and Stella Magazine join forces to host a champagne reception at Browns Hotel you just know the whole thing is going to be fabulous. Naturally, their celebration of Brit fashion was just that and made me wish even more that these ‘do’s were on different nights so I could spend several hours at each one. I know, tough life, darling. By the time we arrived the room was packed fit to burst with the likes of Erdem, Christopher Kane and Roland Mouret as well as Net-a-Porter President, Alison Loehnis and British Fashion Council Chief Executive, Caroline Rush, both of whom I really want to be when I grow up.

Net-a-Porter parties

Net-a-Porter President, Alison Loehnis, Anna Murphy and BFC Chief Executive, Caroline Rush (Image by Rachel Dove)

Net-a-Porter parties

Moi (image by Rachel Dove)

Net-a-Porter parties

Richard Nicoll, Rokasanda Ilincic, Stella Magazine Fashion Editor Charlie Harrington, Christopher Kane and Anna Murphy (image by Rachel Dove)

net-a-porter parties

Mary Katranztou & friend (Image by Rachel Dove)

Between the exquisite flower arrangements, freshly poured champagne and stellar (pun totally intended) guest list it was an utterly lovely and incredibly elegant event. But, once again, we were on a tight party schedule so before long we piled back into the car and sped off towards Selfridges. This was not for a late night shopping expedition although given my recent spendthrift form that wouldn’t be entirely surprising. Like many things in life (Pringles, biscuits, biting your nails, picking a scab…) , shopping is one of those things that once you start you just can’t stop. On the bright side, you won’t get an enormous arse or a nasty scar as a result but anyway, I digress. The reason for our department store excursion was in fact the launch of Viktor & Rolf’s new fragrance, Bon Bon. Given that we were now basically running an hour behind schedule it was a pretty in-and-out affair but we still found time to sample the bespoke Viktor & Rolf chocolates and meet the men themselves which was a total “life.made” moment.

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V&R Selfridges

Freshly spritzed and appetites whetted it was on to our final port of call, an intimate dinner hosted in the depths of East London. If ever you’re tempted to offer me a ride anywhere, don’t. I’m the most annoying passenger on the planet. I commandeer the music (Britney ALL THE WAY) and extol the kind of nonsensical driving advice only someone who failed their test epically three years ago and hasn’t attempted since can give, I don’t know why, I can’t help it. It’s a bloody miracle Nik hadn’t strangled me by the time we arrived. But of course he didn’t and thank God for that or I wouldn’t have spent the next two hours enjoying fine food and even finer company. Our host was GINZA, a really interesting brand devoted to bringing together art and fashion via t-shirts produced in collaboration with some of the top photographers on the planet. Happily seated next to the lovely Naomi Mdudu, I wouldn’t have cared if the food had been rubbished. Of course, having been concocted by pop up restaurant pros, The Art of Dining, all five courses were delectable and surprising. By that, I mean cumin scones  topped with goat’s labneh (still not entirely sure what that is) and chilli jam and beef and mushroom broth served from vintage tea pots.

GINZA parties

GINZA parties

Me & Naomi

GINZA parties

GINZA parties

With just a few of us there, tucked cosily out of the cold, chatting nonstop and playing in the photo booth it was a perfect end to a fantastic evening. Going dancing at Shoreditch House afterwards was perhaps a mistake in retrospect but hey, when in East London.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 5 Comments

La Petite Anglaise x eBay Influencer Network

eBay influencers

I do not advise reading this post if you have somewhere to be within the next four to six hours. Not that it’s going to be particularly long or so darned gripping you’ll have to read and re-read and then re-read again. It’s not. Similarly I recommend clicking away right this second if you don’t feel in the mood to bankrupt yourself. You see, eBay will lead even the most strong willed and sensible down an internet wormhole that will dissolve your totally-getting-work-done-today resolve and see the contents of your bank account disappear faster than a freshly sizzled steak left alone with the family dog. And I’ve experienced that personally, boy, it was fast. But while you may be kissing goodbye to any hope of getting a promotion in the near future or being able to pay your phone bill, you might gain something more important… CLOTHES! In the midst of fashion month madness eBay approached me with a rather intriguing proposal, to take become a part of the eBay influencer network alongside the likes of Susie Lau, Sasha Wilkins, Kelly Hoppen and Dani Minogue. To cut a long story short, the eBay influencer network sees a coterie of bloggers, celebs and other style savvy folk curating a selection of handpicked collections for your shopping perusal. Basically, I spent aaaaaaages ogling everything on the site to pick the best of the bunch so you don’t have to. Yup, your welcome.

Obviously I gave those bad boys themes because, well, why wouldn’t you? Even more obviously and somewhat narcissistically each theme relates to stuff I wear, love and always need to own more of. We’re talking power prints, super brights, Breton stripes and collars. eBay had also enlisted Nik as an influencer so we got together one evening at The Hospital Club to get cracking on the project over a delectable steak and wine dinner. Unsurprisingly we swiftly ended up on a two man eBay rampage, by the end of which we both had way more items on our personal watch lists than in our collections. Picking up where I left off the next night I added glittery things, killer heels, wardrobe staples and handbags. By the time I got on to dreamy dresses I was officially a goner. Before I knew it I was placing a bid on a show stopping Tom Ford number. Sadly that bid was swiftly retracted once I realised I wasn’t actually Rhianna and definitely shouldn’t be spending six months rent on a frock no matter how happy it makes me just looking at it. So without further ado, go forth my friends and shop!

Check out my collections here and create, or rather curate, your own at eBay.co.uk

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 2 Comments

Look Du Jour: Notting Hill Girl

notting hill girl

notting hill girl

notting hill girl

notting hill girl

notting hill girl

notting hill girl

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ella la petite anglaise

What: Club Monaco jacket (c/o), J Brand trousers (c/o), Marc by Marc Jacobs sweater, Damien Hirst for Alexander McQueen scarf (c/o), Anne Bowes Jewellery Necklace, Kurt Geiger tote (c/o) & pumps from a random Paris boutique I’ve forgotten the name of (sorry)

Where: Out and about in Notting Hill

At this point in my life I just about think it’s safe to say I’ll never be an East London girl. Don’t get me wrong, the odd trip over there is fun and I’ve spent many a happy afternoon browsing the Rivington Street boutiques and enjoyed many a wild night out at its endless array of rooftop party spots. In the past I’ve toyed with the idea of adding a bit of East inspired edge to my wardrobe and even entertained the thought of moving over that way. As I probably don’t need to tell you, neither of these things have come to fruition. I just love polished preppiness and living within walking distance of High Street Kensington way too much. Who knows, maybe in a year or so you’ll find me shacked up with a bearded hipster somewhere near Dalston, riding my fixie bike to the flower market and shunning Starbucks in favour of artisan espressos served in rustic independent coffee shops. But for now at least, I’m all about the West side of town and my absolute favourite enclave has to be Notting Hill. Shopping on Westbourne Grove, brunching at Daylesford Organic, drinking Mai Tai’s at Mau Mau, catching a film at The Electric, braving the Portobello Market crowds, wining and dining at Beach Blanket Babylon… there’s no end to the self indulgent enjoyment one can have around those parts. When the sun came out a couple of weekends ago I decided to step away from my laptop and treat myself to a few of these pleasant pastimes. It’s so easy to fixate on being productive all the time but if all that hard work doesn’t allow you to do a few of your favourite things with your favourite people then it’s all rather pointless ultimately.

What are your favourite day off indulgences?

Love Ella. X

Images by Lea Salomone

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 5 Comments

Monthly Must Haves: March 2014

Once again, I must start this post with an apology. Despite having swapped those time consuming and financially perilous weekly wish lists (lengthy browsing, inevitable spending) for monthly must haves I’ve still failed to churn one out every four weeks. I’m a bad blogger. In my defense February was fashion month and, rather inconveniently, uni deadline madness so things have been a bit of a scramble. BUT at long last, here are my March loves and I suspect you’re going to love them too…

Monthly Must Haves March

1) Carven Floral Print Sweatshirt, £160, click here to buy
2) Paige Tyler Distressed Boyfriend Jeans, £225, click here to buy
3) Proenza Schouler PS11 Classic Mirrored Leather Bag, £1545, click here to buy
4) Monica Vinader Atlantis Rose Gold Plated Lapis Lazuli Earrings, £250, click here to buy
5) Miu Miu Noir Sunglasses, 205, click here to buy
6) Kate Spade New York Kaslow Coat, $1296, click here to buy or locate a UK store
7) Kate Spade New York Sedgewick Place Tweed Bag, $428, click here to buy or locate a UK store
8) Valentino Rockstud Neon Patent Leather Pumps, 600, click here to buy
9) Topshop Crepe Cigarette Trousers, £40, click here to buy
10) J.Crew Embellished Cotton Shirt, £110, click here to buy

Love Ella. X

Ps) Between concocting and posting these must haves I’ve managed to buy two of them myself! Can you guess which?

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 1 Comment

Kimye, American Vogue and Starbucks Schnappucinos

kimye american vogue starbucks

I promise this won’t turn into one of my essay length rambles posing as opinion posts but how could I not respond to La Wintour’s divisive choice of cover star, or rather stars, for the April issue of American Vogue? Responses have ranged from delight to outrage to sheer, unbridled, bloodcurdling fury. For me, yesterday was something of an emotional roller coaster. First up we had the unveiling of the aforementioned cover. Then came Starbucks’ announcement that they’re going to start serving booze. On both counts, I made a snap judgement which was then revised several times. The whole experience was pretty confusing. In the case of the latter I initially thought YES! I love Starbucks, I love vino, why didn’t this happen sooner? Then I realised how deeply disgusting the very idea was. Given the myriad of disgusting frappucino flavours already on offer, God only knows what more horrors can be concocted involving alcohol. Peppermint Schnappucino with whipped cream on top anyone? Just urgh.

But enough about Starbucks, let’s talk Vogue. When I saw the Kimye cover my first thought was WTF!? Is nothing sacred anymore? Then I actually engaged my brain which swiftly reminded me that, much as I adore them, fashion glossies are a far cry from purified spaces of boundary pushing fashion commentary. That’s not in any way to criticise. Between advertisers, consumer demographics and the added pressures of reader stealing digital media, it’s the nature of the beast. Many publications respond to these challenges intelligently and entertainingly but no matter how brilliant the writing or beautiful the imagery, fash mags do have their limitations and, of course, the necessity to turn a profit. From a profit turning perspective, Vogue’s Kimye cover is indeed brilliant. Love them or loathe them, you’re gonna buy the issue and thoroughly enjoy the experience of gushing over Kim’s golden skinned gorgeousness or picking every inch of the thing apart. Either way, a sale got made an a couple of hours of one person’s life that bit more enjoyable.

As I said, most of my Friday afternoon was spent feeling very torn about the whole thing. A seriously productive use of time, I’m sure you’ll agree. On the one hand it’s easy and tempting to see the Kimye cover as the epitome of everything wrong with American celebrity culture or, as Bryan Boy put it, #AWondrugs… Awkward moment on the FROW next season impending? But anyway, I digress. Headlines have ranged from lampooning Anna for giving in to Kanye’s demands to sarcastically mourning the death of Amerian Vogue, to basically hailing the forthcoming apocalypse as a result of a “lazy amateur porn star turned fame whore of all fame whores” gracing a cover that should have been reserved for, I dunno, Olivia Palermo. I take issue with this view on several levels. Not least, lazy? This is a girl who has hustled, networked, self branded and shamelessly self promoted her way from, yes, sex tape scandal to fashion’s inner circle via reality TV and one hell of a wardrobe makeover. I’m not saying there isn’t something slightly depressing about that but you can’t deny that Kim Kardashian has worked her infamous derriere off to achieve the impossible. I’m not a particular Kim fan myself, no matter how many sleek Celine ensembles she trots out, but you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due and it definitely is here.

Many of the responses have centred around the idea that American Vogue are desperately trying to get issues off the shelves. Of course, this pop-culture-and-social-media-tastic cover will do that but paradoxically, perhaps putting Kimye centre stage in fact one of the boldest, most boundary pushing moves we’ve seen from American Vogue in decades? Most covers elicit a mildly disinterested “doesn’t so and so look pretty wearing such and such” but this one’s basically made the Internet explode. And once upon a time wasn’t the point of magazines like Vogue to start a conversation, take risks, occasionally maybe even provoke? And there’s no denying, the pictures are utterly gorgeous. Ultimately it’s a clever move from all parties involved and maybe, rather than marking the demise of American Vogue, this cover marks the start of a new and more interesting era.

My main complaint with American Vogue’s April issue is not the cover stars who, however you feel about them, have started more of a conversation than (much as I absolutely heart her) yet another celebration of J-Law. Nope, it’s the hashtag that gets me, #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple may be a worryingly accurate description but 27 characters… Seriously? However, social media misunderstanding aside, there was only decision unveiled yesterday that I found categorically offensive and the culprit was Starbucks.

That’s about enough from me, what do YOU think?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 7 Comments