Donna Ida

Look Du Jour: Goofing Off

J Brand Donna Ida

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Look du jour goofing off

Look Du Jour goofing off

J Brand Donna Ida

Look Du Jour goofing off

What: Jeans: J Brand Major exclusive to Donna Ida (c/o), Shirt: Boutique by Jaeger, Pumps: French Sole (c/o), Sunglasses: Topshop, Bag: MICHAEL Michael Kors (c/o)

Where: Family lunch in the country

Why the ridiculous Look Du Jour title I hear you ask? Well, a number of reasons. Firstly there’s something about a pair of glittery, round sunglasses that makes you, or at least me, feel goofy. Secondly I think “goofy” is a grossly under used word and have started a one man campaign o bring it back (I’ll let you know how that goes). Thirdly, I went down to my parents house in Sussex this morning with a plan to have lunch with family friends then crack on with a seriously productive afternoon of thesis research and getting through the tedious tasks I have to complete before moving flats next week. Then I made the crucial mistake of getting my brother to take these photos. We have a tendency to regress to the (combined) mental age of about 12 when we’re together for more than about five minutes so next thing I knew, we’d been lolling at YouTube videos for a good two hours and none of the things on my ever growing “to do” list had happened.

Aside from my total inability to resist the allure of watching Ryan Gosling refuse to eat his cereal for the millionth time, I do in fact have something exciting to share with you today… a competition to win a pair of J Brand jeans! Donna Ida has teamed up with J Brand (dreamy denim union or what?) to give away one pair of their exclusive Major style, as modelled by moi above. All you have to do to enter is follow @donnaidadenim and @JbrandJeans on twitter and then tweet them with the hashtag #jbrandfordonnaida… Couldn’t be easier!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour Leave a comment

Weekly Wish List 12/10/2012

weekly wish list

1) Boutique by Jaeger flocked heart sweater, £80, click here to buy
2) MiH Jeans Oslo red velvet skinnies, £160 at Donna Ida, click here to buy
3) Christian Louboutin Sakouette calf hair loafers, £465, click here to buy
4) Christopher Kane double cashmere leopard print scarf, £650, click here to buy
5) Karl Donoghue shearling & suede earmuffs, £100, click here to buy
6) Miu Miu shearling collar wool coat, £1460, click here to buy
7) Mulberry Lily silky snake print bag, £795, click here to buy
8) Whistles Mai Tai suede court shoes, £125, click here to buy
9) Roksanda Ilincic Izumi contrast cuff dress, £885, click here to buy

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping Leave a comment

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

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Interviews Leave a comment

LPA Styles it: Donna Ida

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m not really a jeans-and-t-shirt kinda girl. Sure, I’m partial to a nice pair of J Brands but my well-worn skinnies certainly aren’t first thing that leaps to my mind when selecting an outfit for an important meeting or extravagant night out… Or at least they weren’t until my recent run in with luxury denim emporium, Donna Ida.

Fool that I am, I didn’t think an afternoon of trying on jeans for the third edition of ‘LPA Styles it’ would be quite as much fun as indulging my love of all things preppy at Jaeger or glamming it up at Feathers but, oh, how wrong I was. Donna Ida Thornton isn’t hailed as the ‘Queen of Jeans’ for nothing and while her namesake boutiques offer a bounty of classic styles, they’re not the main attraction by half. Like magpies, Essex girls and small children, I’m hopelessly attracted to anything shiny or brightly coloured. Browsing the kaleidoscopic rails of Donna Ida’s Belgravia boutique was something of a denim revelation. Jeans can be the comfy clothes you reach for in your downtime but as I’ve finally realised, they can be a whole lot more. After spending the afternoon test-driving a myriad of styles ranging from polka dot to colour-pop and everything in between, I came away a fully-fledged denim-aholic. These are my top five looks from the many, many outfits I tried on…

Juniper J Brands

Donna Ida

J Brand 910 Skinny Jeans in Juniper, £190, click here to buy
By Marlene Birger Ratila Jumper, £145, click here to buy

Zebra Stripes

Donna Ida

Current/Elliott Zebra Stripe Jeans, £185, click here to buy
Splendid V Neck t-shirt in Sorbet, £80, click here to buy

Autumn Flares 

Donna Ida

MiH Jeans Marrakesh Flares in Clay, £185, click here to buy
Kain Rox Striped V Neck t-shirt, £75, click here to buy

Neon-athon

Donna Ida

Rag & Bone Skinny Leggings in Vintage Biscay, £150, click here to buy
Equipment Brett Blouse in Bright Orange, £215, click here to buy

Perfect Polkadots

Donna Ida

Paige Denim Polkadot Skinny Jeans, £225, click here to buy
Marku Lupfer Black Cat Jumper, £310, click here to buy

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 3 Comments

Queen For A Day…

With less than 12 hours until the Jubileekend officially begins, I for one am a little over excited. As I’m sure anyone who remembers (or has at least seen photo evidence) of the Royal Wedding festivities will agree, we Brits certainly know how to celebrate. This weekend London will be overrun with street parties, picnics, Union Jack bunting and gloriously tasteless Jubilee knick nacks. Regardless of how you feel about the monarchy, the Diamond Jubilee is a damn good excuse for a party. Before I put away my laptop (very rare occurence) to spend the weekend drinking Pimms, eating cucumber sandwiches and dressing solely in red, white and blue I just thought I’d share Donna Ida‘s super cute Jubilee feature with you.

If you were Queen for a day, what would you do? 

For a chance to win Donna Ida vouchers tweet your answer to @DonnaIda #queenforaday

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Leave a comment