Friday, 18 April 2014

Outfit Post: A Lace Sweatshirt with Floral Pumps

Today is Good Friday so the children and I have had a day out in the glorious spring sunshine with some friends.
Both my sweatshirt and pumps are new. The sweatshirt is from jack Wills. I love anything with lace and this is a perfect weight for spring.
The pumps were an impulse buy yesterday from Next. They're so pretty. I got some grey ones last year and almost wore them out so I'm confident this year's version will serve me just as well.

Love Liz x

Outfit Notes

Current Season

Soft Leather Bowling Bag in fountain, Boden £139
Wensley Scarf in navy spot, Joules, £19.95
Catchgate Crew in vintage white, Jack Wills £59.50
Silver Bracelets, Bella Jane Jewellery £32-£40
Slim Boy Fit Jeans, Next £28
Canvas Baseball Shoes in blue floral, Next £20

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Outfit: Printed shirt with Turquoise and Silver Ballerinas

Two of my dear friends came the other evening for fizz and nibbles. And lots of talking. I'm blessed with so many amazing friends.

Love Liz x

Outfit Notes

Current Season

Phoenix high waisted jeans, Fever London £49.99
Pretty Pendant in citron, Boden £29.99
Fleur de Lys Printed Shirt, Linea Weekend, £50
*The British Flat Turquoise and Silver Shoe £105

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Buy British: The British Flat Shoe Company & Style For Stroke Collaboration.

Charlotte Henderson of The British Flat Shoe Company sent me a pair of her iconic Union Flag ballerinas earlier this year. We have stayed in regular contact and I now consider her to be so much more than a business acquaintance. She's a lovely woman and has become a friend. I wear the shoes frequently and they continue to be the most comfortable ballerinas I've ever worn.

Her newest design has just launched and it's in collaboration with Style For StrokeIt's a unique design that will raise awareness for the Stroke Association. The charity is very close to Charlotte's heart as she has seen first-hand the effects of stroke since her partner suffered from one in 2008.
Style For Stroke is an Award Winning charity initiative that was launched in 2012 by fashion and style PR Nick Ede. It has fast become one of the most successful charity initiatives in the UK and has attracted support from names including Eva Longoria, Jessie J, Hilary Devey, Millie Mackintosh, Kelly Hoppen, Professor Green and many more.

The British Flat Turquoise and Silver Shoes £105
These stunning shoes are a turquoise premium suede leather with a distressed silver leather toe and distressed silver leather inner lining. Like the rest of Charlotte's designs, they have a high quality resin sole and heel and are fully lined in leather. The built in soft padded insert in the heel and padded inner sock guarantee comfort. 

Here is my own pair. They are absolutely beautiful as these photographs will attest.

I've worn them several times already and can confirm they are as comfortable as my Union Flag ones. They will be making countless appearances in upcoming outfit posts.
The quality is excellent and the designs are head-turning and attract frequent compliments.
I cannot recommend them enough.

I absolutely love The British Flat Shoe Company and do hope this collaboration will raise much needed funds for this very special charity.

Do take a look at Charlotte's other designs too, there's a fabulous array of colours and materials.
(I'm rather hoping she'll do a leopard print and a snake print next season too. I'd get them in a heartbeat!)

Love Liz x

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Buy British: Allium B Clothing

Allium B was founded by sisters Clare and Mary Burgess. They built their careers working in the buying offices of some of the high street's biggest brands including Debenhams and Topshop. The brand was created to fill a gap in the market for grown-up, affordable dresses that were neither too old or too young, too long or too short. Working for large brands had given them the knowledge they needed to fill this gap and they launched Allium B in March 2012. 

Allium B is exclusively designed in their Brighton studio for a woman who is confident and comfortable with her own style - who knows what suits her and doesn't feel the need to be a slave to fashion. (I'd like to think that woman is me.)
The idea behind the collection is that each style can be worn in different ways, on different occasions, through different seasons.
The name Allium B was chosen from their (and one of my) favourite flowers along with a B to represent their surname Burgess and for Brighton.

Clare and Mary wear everything from the collection themselves so they know just how Allium B dresses feel. They select beautiful fabrics - silks, cottons and georgettes and pay great attention to detail. 

They sent me two styles to see and try for myself, (along with one of their fab canvas bags), one of which they've very kindly let me keep. I'll wear it and review very soon- I can't wait, it's gorgeous!

This is the other style, Camille £110

An easy to wear shift which can be worn loose or belted with the reversible self fabric belt. The background is an inky steely blue (it looks a slightly different hue as lighting conditions change) with a bright pink and teal trailing floral pattern. It is 100% silk and can be hand washed.The silk is beautiful with a soft sheen. It feels very expensive and well made.
The neckline is very simple lending itself to the addition of a necklace. The sleeves are a good length covering the tops of the arms and finishing above the elbow.

The models are seen here wearing it with the belt and with sandals.

Here it is without the belt and with simple sandals for a casual holiday look. The dress is loose and is easy to wear. The silk hangs beautifully and feels beautiful and very sensuous against the skin.

For a different look, one for a special occasion perhaps, I picked out the pink flower by adding a cropped cardigan and pink shoes. The dress takes on a more formal shape when worn with the belt. I like how the necklace echoes the shape of the flower. This could be dressed up further by adding a fascinator making it suitable for a wedding.

The dress is lightweight and perfect for spring and summer, but actually, adding a cord blazer and boots, would take it through to autumn too. The teal tights compliment the steely blue of the dress and pick out the teal in the pattern

I think you'll agree that this beautiful Camille dress is incredibly versatile and could be worn in very many ways. Perfect for so many occasions. A go-to dress that is beautifully made and which would look as stylish and relevant in seasons to come as it does now.
(To give you an idea of length and fit, I'm just under 5 feet 9 tall and this dress is a size 10.)

Here are some more styles from the current Allium B collection.

If you have a wedding, christening, First Communion, holiday coming up, do go and take a look. There are separates as well as dresses and I really do think these are styles for all occasions.

I'd love to hear what your favourite style is and as I said, I'm very much looking forward to wearing my very own Allium B dress soon.

Love Liz x

The Camille dress was lent to me to try and to style.

16th March 2016: Allium B ceased trading during 2015 but I still wear my Allium B dresses!


Monday, 14 April 2014

Louella Odie: Beautiful Accessories With Cross-Cultural Inspiration

Louella Odie is a small brand founded by a mother-daughter team Karen and Lauren Mead. They're originally from the Isle of Wight and now live on Lamma Island, a twenty minute ferry ride away from downtown Hong Kong. I was surprised to learn that life on the island is rather rural, quite tropical and is beach based. Not what one imagines when thinking of Hong Kong.

Karen is a print maker and artist by profession so they use her sketches and prints and apply them to their products. Her distinctive style has always reflected her surroundings. Lauren, her daughter has a background which includes fashion branding and business start-ups.

In 2013 they crafted a range of handbags and silk accessories and their brand was born.
Louella Odie designs are taken from original artworks inspired by their experiences of living in different countries, and particularly by the ocean with which they both have a strong affinity.

I couldn't resist adding this stunning photograph of Lauren swimming with Manta Rays which I saw on her Instagram feed. Since seeing them in their natural habitat, Lauren has become passionate about ocean clean-up schemes and wildlife protection.

Their current collection is comprised of two sub-collections, Skyline and Island Life.
The Skyline collection comprises a handbag, a tote bag, and a silk scarf and a pocket square.
Both bags are made of a combination of high quality real and faux leather. They have a zip closure and are lined in pale grey with three internal pockets, one of which is zipped. The handbag has both fixed handles and a detachable shoulder strap. The tote's two handles are long enough to enable it to be worn on the shoulder.

One of the many reasons I love working with small brands is hearing about the origins of a design. This silk scarf grew out of a sketch Karen made when she missed the Lamma ferry home. While waiting for the next one she sat in a bar on top of the International Finance Centre. She drew some of the buildings and some of the boats going past in Victoria harbour and this beautiful design was born.

Regular readers will know that I have an enduring love of all things nautical. I don't really know why this is because I live about as far away from the coast as you can get.
The typical nautical colours of navy, red and white hold huge appeal too, so the Louella Odie Island Life Collection really floats my boat.

The faux leather bag comes in three designs, each a capacious 50cm wide and 40cm high. The handles are long enough to allow it to be carried on the shoulder as well as carried as a tote. They are as versatile and practical as they are beautiful.

The print on the Bauhinia Bag on the left comes from an original artwork and features the Blue-Tail Chinese magpie with the traditional birdcage and the Hong Kong bauhinia flower. I think this would look perfect with denim and a white shirt.

The Pomfnet Bag on the right is my personal favourite. The pomfnet fish is commonly found in the markets and restaurants of Hong Kong. I adore the bright red with the blue. I'm always drawn to the beauty of natural forms- snowflakes, starfish, seahorses, dragonflies. It's little wonder this appeals so.

Their home island of The Isle of Wight and the regattas in Cowes inspired Karen and Lauren's Sailing Boat Bag. The classic combination of blue with tan is just perfect.

Also featuring fish is this beautiful Beach Wrap.
The design on this generous wrap (130cmx200cm) was based on a selection of Karen's lino cuts.
From beach to bar, it's the perfect cover-up. 

As a boy, my youngest brother loved sharks and we used to watch "videos" over and over of shark documentaries. Because of this I have quite an interest in them and their welfare.
The design on this silk pocket square was derived from a print over six feet long.
It stemmed from Karen and Lauren's interest in conservation and their opposition to the shark finning industry in Hong Kong. My brother would love this (he has quite a collection of pocket squares), but actually, I'd be very happy to wear it too.

Do go and take a look at this beautiful website and let me know what you think. I think everything is exquisite. As I said, my favourite is the Pomfnet Bag. What's yours?

I am thrilled to be able to offer a 15% discount off all orders until May 31st using the code "whatlizzyloves"
It's well worth noting that international delivery is free via the standard postal service or charged at $30 for quicker delivery by courier.

Love Liz x

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