AW11

Look Du Jour: Deep Freeze

deep freeze

What: Parka: Topshop, Top: Whistles, Trousers: BDG, Boots: Massimo Dutti

February is finally here and fashionistas all over the world are celebrating the arrival of the Spring/Summer collections… Or possibly not. Just as we were beginning to pack away our thermals and start scouting for some new season treats the weather goes and plummets a casual 12 or so degrees. London is currently stuck in a climatic deep freeze. Snow is one thing when you’re ten years old and get to miss a day or two of school. It’s quite another when maths lessons are a distant memory and the only thing your missing is the chance to start wearing pastels.

Despite all previous intentions to forgo chunky knitwear and lumpy layers in favour of something lighter, the arctic conditions in London have forced me to dig out the one truly practical garment of clothing I own. Not that this Topshop parka isn’t actually rather nice (and extremely cosy) but after 4 months of insulating fabrics the idea of wearing something even more wintery doesn’t exactly appeal. Now I’ve never been one to subscribe to the idea of karma but can’t help but feel that I’m somehow being punished for starting my SS12 shopping back in January… Ok, so I know the universe has more important concerns than my spending habits but sub-zero temperatures this close to fashion week, seriously!???

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 3 Comments

All that glitters…

When it comes to Christmas, people largely fall into two catagories. The first book up the ice rink at Somerset House months in advance, count down the days until Starbucks red cups hit stores (guilty) and spend their days at the office dreaming of mulled wine and open fires. The second avoid Oxford Circus until well after New Year, shudder at the merest hint of a carol and spend their days at the office dreaming about fleeing to a remote tropical island, where no one’s ever heard of a mince pie. But whichever camp you fall into, you just can’t deny that nothing perks up those darkening December afternoons like a large dose of festive sparkle. This is a sentiment shared by high end designers and high street stores alike who have pulled out all the stops this season to bring us collections more bedazzled that the entire cast of TOWIE put together. From Miu Miu’s cult glitter boots to Stella McCartney’s sporty metallic dresses, head-to-toe bling has never looked so chic. It’s high time to try high shine and whatever your budget, body type or level of bravery, I guarantee there’s a glittery something out there for you.

Glitter on the catwalk…

glitter
From left: Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney, Balmain

Glitter in the shops…

glitter

1) Accessorize heart hardcase, £35, available at www.accessorize.com
2) J.Crew sequinned dress, £450, available at www.net-a-porter.com
3) Whistles Ava flower bead sweater, £165, available at www.whistles.co.uk
4) French Connection Lucinda sequinned shorts, £82, available at www.frenchconnection.com
5) Miu Miu glitter ankle boots, availble at www.net-a-porter.com
6) Alice & Olivia Ritchie sequinned dress, £510, available at www.net-a-porter.com
7) Markus Lupfer sequinned lips jumper, £265, available at www.matchesfashion.com
8) Reiss Farrah high-waisted gold jeans, £120, available at www.reissonline.com

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

Introducing… La Petite Weekly Wish List

I’m sure you’re all more than familiar with the phrase, “fast fashion”. It’s one which is bandied about willy nilly and somewhat disparagingly these days. Now I understand that the fact Topshop et al churn out new goodies every week changes the way we approach fashion and no doubt tempts us to spend our wages on brand new togs when they should really be going on rent. And yes, it feeds our consumerist culture and often shamelessly rips off catwalk looks. But when I hear “fast fashion” I don’t immediately think of Primark or sweat shops or fake Louis Vuitton bags, although those do admittedly reflect the darker side of it. No, for me “fast fashion” is more about the fact that during any given season new pieces are constantly cropping up in High Street, mid range and even designer stores. It’s the fact that the wish list I permanently keep in the memos section of my blackberry (yes I am sad enough to do that) changes and expands constantly as I stumble across newly released fashion booty to entice and inspire me. The thrill of seeing what’s in store for the season to come doesn’t disappear after your first decent spree because you know damn well that in another couple of weeks there will be new sartorial delights to feast your eyes on. So in the interest of catering to the material girls inside all of us (and giving myself a good excuse to constantly browse the shops) I’ve decided that from now on I’ll come up with a weekly wish list. After all, one per season just isn’t enough.

Polkadot dress by Charles Anastase, £875
available at www.start-london.com

Having cropped up on the catwalks at Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs, Paul Smith and countless other designers, polkadots are seriously big news this season. I’ve been searching high and low for a polkadot piece that takes my fancy and this adorable, frill hemmed dress by Charles Anastaste is just divine. Perfect for wearing in the day with chunky loafers and a peacoat and simply add heels and a glass of champagne for effortless evening chic.

Cashmere Nordic socks by Patherella, £30
available at www.liberty.com

If, like me, you have a pathological hatred of being cold then these super cute cashmere socks by Pantherella are an absolute must-have. You know what they say, style starts with the toes.

Cashmere wristwarmers from Brora,
available at www.brora.co.uk

Another essential wardrobe component for chilly autumn mornings; cashmere glove-lets. Not quite bold enough to try this season’s Mustard trend head-to-toe? Then these little beauties could be the perfect solution.

Trejos platforms from Aldo, £70
available at www.aldoshoes.com

Shamelessly girly and unapologetically fun, these sparkle-tastic platforms from Aldo are the ultimate in festive season footwear.

Leopard print loafers from Pretty Ballerinas, £249
available at www.prettyballerinas.com

Whilst we’re on the subject of shoes I highly recommend you hot foot (sorry, couldn’t resist) it down to Pretty Ballerinas and get your hands on a pair of these leopard print lovelies. They’re guaranteed to put a spring in your step.

Mulberry Bayswater with Fox Rivets, £4000
available at www.mulberry.com

Forget about Ponies, all any little girl really wants is their very own Mulberry bag. In ultra soft haircalf and covered in golden fox heads the Bayswater’s latest reincarnation looks good enough to eat! Sadly I don’t think my budget will quite stretch to it this month but hey, a girl can dream.

Vee large square spot shorts, now £70
available at www.whistles.co.uk

As you know all too well, I am utterly obsessed with Whistles. Jane Shepardson can basically do no wrong and these elegant silk shorts are irrestistably chic.

Dalmation print blouse from Topshop Unique, £110
available at www.topshop.com

Topshop Unique’s is always one of the most in-demand shows during LFW and judging by this Dalmation print blouse it’s not hard to see why.

Gold Rose necklace from Anne Bowes Jewellery
available at www.annebowesjewellery.com

There are few things more annoying than buying a necklace that you then see being worn by half of Oxford Street. To avoid such a disaster check out Anne Bowes Jewellery. Her pieces is made up from vintage components sourced all over the world and are each completely unique.

Purple croc notebook by Aspinal, £19
available at www.selfridges.com

December is fast approaching and we all know what that means… Time to start writing those Christmas lists! And what chicer way to jot down all your wildest fancies than in an elegant, Aspinal notepad?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 1 Comment

Print-tastic

Looking at the riot of colours and patterns featured in the collections for AW11, it seems strange to think that mere seasons ago we were all going gaga for minimalism. The sublime elegance of the embellishment free, neutral hued, pared down style pioneered by the likes of Stella McCartney, Celine and Raf Simons for Jil Sander just this time last year was undeniable. But immaculately cut though they may be, simple cigarette pants and crisp white shirts just don’t pack the same punch as a power print. It seems I’m not alone in this sentiment and this season designers truly went to town with all things eye catching.

From left: Kenzo, Paul & Joe, Erdem, Jil Sander

The catwalks for Spring/Summer are always awash with fabulous florals but thanks to Kenzo, Paul & Joe and of course Erdem it appears they’ve stuck around a little longer this year. With even Raf Simons eschewing his usual ultra grown-up chic in favour of adorable florals, I think it’s safe to say that Winter blooms are here to stay.

From left: Marc Jacobs, Diane Vin Furstenberg, Paul Smith, Stella McCartney

Polka dots have long been pattern du jour for under 12′s but this season the little girls’ favourite has had a big girl makeover. I’ve never thought of the “dot” as a particularly versatile print but one look at the AW11 collections immediately proved how wrong I’d been. From tomboy charm at Paul Smith to retro cool at Marc Jacobs to sheer and sexy at Stella McCartney, the polka dot is all grown up and my doesn’t it look chic?

From left: Etro, Comme des Garcons, Mary Katrantzou

Feeling bold? Well then you’re in luck as this season’s collections offer more than just your average prints. Decorative designs and abstract, artistic swirls cropped up everywhere from Etro to Comme Des Garcons piled on head-to-toe in unapologetically clashing colours and rich, autumnal hues. Most impressive of all was Mary Katrantzou who’s exquisite, objets d’art further confirm her status as Londons’ own Princess of Print.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Leave a comment

Look Du Jour: Green Jeans & Faux Fur

As you know, my 2 year hiatus from formal education came to an end this month. Naturally I’m over the moon to be studying at Central Saint Martins, my course is fascinating and on top of that all my lectures are at sociable hours (nothing before 10am, ever). However, adjusting to the “student lifestyle” and by that I mean, student budget is a little more difficult than I anticipated. In a city like London temptations lurk around every corner and my inability to resist the allure of Selfridges, Starbucks and a large glass of Pinot Grigio has resulted in my student loan disappearing at a terrifying speed. I decided to try and curb my spendthrift ways but after a few days of extreme (ok, extreme-ish) frugality found myself going on a crazed shopping binge at the end of last week. Well, I may have pretty much undone all my penny-saving efforts in the space of about 15 minutes but seriously, could YOU have resisted this faux fur trimmed coat?

Coat: Topshop, Hat: Accessorize, Jeans: BDG, Loafers: Russel & Bromley

I’ve always slated faux fur as the real thing just tends to be immeasurably more desirable but with everyone from Gucci to Roksanda Ilincic offering up animal friendly AND covetable creations this season, I was forced to eat my words. When I spied this ultra cosy tweed and faux fur number in Topshop I decided to tap into the trend myself. Teamed with my new green jeans and favourite cable knit sweater it’s a recipe for easy chic on those crisp autumn mornings when you just can’t face freezing your toes off.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 7 Comments