An Interview With Style Is….

November 15th, 2013
Tonight I’m chatting to the delightful busy bee Ceri Heathcote, creator of the eco fashion search engine Style Is and fashion blogger extraordinaire. Welcome Ceri!20131115-204632.jpg
Hi I’m Ceri. I love clothes because they give me the chance to get creative and are a great way of expressing my personality. I also have a strong belief that fashion should be about feeling good, for me that means that no person or the environment should be exploited. I write about ethical and sustainable fashion for my own blog as well as Oxfam Fashion, Urban Times and Ethical Fashion Forum.
 I adore your idea of an Eco Fashion Search Engine – where did you get your inspiration from?
After making the switch to only wearing and blogging about sustainable fashion, I began to discover lots of amazing fashion brands with beautiful clothes and great stories behind them. Unfortunately these brands don’t always have big marketing budgets and so are not as visible online as some of the more established fast fashion brands. I wanted to create a way for people to be able to find amazing and ethically made clothes quickly and easily and a place for shoppers to discover new brands.
20131115-204651.jpgStyle Is offers thousands of clothes, shoes & accessories for men, women and children from ethical, eco & sustainable brands,retailers and boutiques – what items or brand etc seems to be gaining in popularity at the moment?
Seasalt Cornwall is particularly popular at the moment. Perhaps because not only do they have their own unique style inspired by the coast of Cornwall but their clothes are also practical for the UK weather. SkunkFunk is a Spanish brand which seems to becoming increasingly popular in the UK for their clever combination of fresh and timeless. People Tree is also a firm favourite amongst those dedicated to fairtrade fashion. Their recent designer collaborations including Orla Kiely, Peter Jensen and Zandra Rhodes have won them even more fans.
Style Is also features designer dresses that are available to hire – I love this idea!  I have hired a designer dress in the past for a big event in London’s Dorchester hotel.  What do you feel are the pros to this service?
Apart from being better for the environment as hiring a dress causes less waste, it is also a great way to save money. By hiring a dress, you get the chance to wear something amazing by a designer that you wouldn’t usually be able to afford to wear.
Style Is features include  bamboo, Fair Trade, Vegan, Vintage, Organic, Recycled, Preloved, Made in Britain, Dress Hire – which section are you particularly proud of? What section would you go for first (putting yourself as a potential customer)?
I particularly love the recycled section as not only is it a great way to reduce the impact of your fashion and reduce waste but their are also some really amazing designers finding creative ways to utilise products that would otherwise be waste. The results are often really quirky and different pieces.
20131115-204758.jpgYou launched a You Tube campaign about Style and why fashion makes us feel good.   What was the trigger that made you start the campaign? Why do you think fashion makes us feel good?
The campaign is all about exploring individual style. As a teenager I often felt like I had to conform to the latest fashions and trends. This is not great for the environment as it means changing our clothes each time a fashion changes. Finding your own unique and individual style allows you to develop a timeless wardrobe that works for you, a much better option for the environment. The ‘What’s Your Style?’ video explores individual style at London Fashion Week and I hope that it will get people talking and thinking about their style and inspire them to do their own thing.
Apart from being the brains behind Style Is, you write blogs for Oxfam Fashion; as member of the Ethical Fashion Forum Fellowship 500 you also write for their Source Intelligence Mag; and also gained a degree in Environmental Life Science and a diploma in Fashion Journalism – and congratulations on winning an award for your contribution to the ethical fashion world at the International Ethical Fashion Awards!  So, your life seems very hectic!  Do you get any spare time to pursue hobbies?
With 2 children life is really hectic. I don’t have many hobbies as such except going to gym classes and spending time with my family. As I really love writing and fashion, that kind of feels like a hobby too.
20131115-204705.jpgWhat ethical brands do you feel will be big in 2014? Any new brands you hope to introduce in the future?
The Master and Muse Collection which has been curated by Amber Valletta for Yooxygen looks likely to be a big hit. It includes some really fashion forward brands including The Sway which creates leather jackets and accessories using upcycled leather from motorcycle accessories. I would love to introduce lots more brands in the next few years. The range of sustainable fashion is constantly growing and I would like to be a one stop shop for fashion conscious shoppers.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

There isn’t really a normal for me, I am constantly trying to create new looks from the clothes that I have. I love organic cotton dresses from Annie Greenabelle and organic cotton leggings from People Tree and when it is cold I often add a cardigan from Oxfam. My favourite footwear is a pair of Dream in Green ankle boots made from vegetable tanned leather. I love to add a little interest to my outfit with quirky or unusual fair trade or recycled jewellery or accessories.

20131115-204744.jpgDo you have any favourite shops or online sites? (Apart from own site!)

The Oxfam Fashion online store is one of my favourite places to shop. You can get some great pieces at a fraction of the price they would cost new and help a great charity at the same time.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I don’t really need any new clothes or shoes but I would really love a wine coloured Pachacuti hat.
Boots or Shoes?
I love a wedge boot because it keep my feet cosy and dry and gives me a bit of extra height!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about you and Style Is

It was great chatting to you Ceri and I look forward to discovering some great eco fashionwear!

Linda x 

Photo Credits: All photos have been published with kind permission from Ceri Heathcote.

Grey Staple

November 13th, 2013

I LOVE the colour “grey” – my wardrobe has more grey in it than any other colour, barring blue denim. Grey is so versatile- you can mix it with virtually every other colour and create numerous looks. Perhaps it’s because I have such pale skin that I find grey so becoming – and I have hazel eyes, so the myth about grey suiting blue eyes only is so untrue – brown eyed girls should experiment with grey eyeshadow – Body Shop and Rimmel have some lovely metallic grey shades that glide on perfectly. Here’s some grey beauties that I’ve spotted this week:

Brook Brothers Cashmere Wrapbrooks-brothers-heather-grey-cashmere-ruana-product-1-6011060-854455382_large_flex

John Smedley Wings Scarfjohn-smedley-silver-wings-product-1-14650756-115194645_large_flex

Zadig & Voltaire Dublin New Cardiganzadig-cardigan-dublin-new-bis-c-product-2-14211329-056671955_large_flex

Top Shop Wool Panel Glovestopshop-grey-wool-panel-glove-product-1-14570664-857066190_large_flex

Alexander Wang Prisma Long Wallet/Clutchalexander-wang-grey-prisma-long-wallet-product-1-14564200-643540630_large_flex

Top Shop Grey Cleopatra Embellished Top By Tfnctopshop-grey-cleopatra-embellished-top-by-tfnc-product-1-14640921-763995963_large_flex

Gillian Julius Grey Iridescent Sandblasted Tube Braceletgillian-julius-size-guide-grey-iridescent-sandblasted-tube-bracelet-product-1-14479811-170422796_large_flex

Gap Grey Marled Sweater Hoodiegap-marled-black-marled-sweater-hoodie-product-1-14573773-724199059_large_flex

Comme Des Garcons Grey Ruffle Cardigancomme-des-garcons-grey-ruffle-cardigan-product-1-14580884-585524664_large_flex

Madeleine Thompson Grey Three Colour Cashmere Dressmadeleine-thompson-multi-three-color-cashmere-dress-product-1-14544980-931662523_large_flex

Boss By Hugo Boss Tulia Straight Leg Trousersboss-by-hugo-boss-grey-tulia-straightleg-trousers-product-1-14637914-050806493_large_flex

BC Footwear Grey Bad To The Bone Bootbc-footwear-grey-bad-to-the-bone-boot-product-1-14085495-557373082_large_flex

ASOS Slouch Cardiganasos-grey-slouch-coatigan-product-1-14123799-170130350_large_flex

Whistles Grey Patti Washed Leather Biker Jacketwhistles-grey-patti-washed-leather-biker-jkt-product-5-14620847-300112608_large_flex

Forever 21 Modernist Shirt Dress With Sash forever-21-dark-grey-modernist-shirt-dress-w-sash-product-1-14587220-106348890_large_flex

Surface To Air Cosmo Skirt V2surface-to-air-grey-melange-cosmo-skirt-v2-product-1-14580080-067996346_large_flex

Gipsy Mock Garter TightsGipsyMockGarterTights

Diane Von Furstenberg Grey Sally Animal Print Coatdiane-von-furstenberg-camo-sally-animal-print-coat-product-1-14590929-280496060_large_flex

There you go, grey isn’t always dismal and don’t forget to experiment grey with vibrant colours – teal, purple, red, black, silver, yellow! Have fun!

Linda x

Photo Credits: Lyst; Essexy Legs


An Interview With Petra Jewellery

November 8th, 2013

Tonight I’m really pleased to welcome onto the blog the delightful Mitch from Petra Jewellery. Hi Mitch, please introduce yourself and Petra Jewellery:Mitch

Hello, I’m Mitch! I am a local Hampshire girl, happily married with one gorgeous daughter. Look out for her as she sometimes models for us! I took over from my Mum, Petra who started the business, about 8 years ago.  I’m a mechanical engineer grad, ex Royal Engineer officer, investment banker and construction project manager – actually all proven to be perfect training to become one of the best jewellers in Hampshire!

What’s the background to your business?

My Mum started the business when she met my dad (on a ski slope in the Alps – he was an Army Officer, she spoke no English) and he’d left the Army. They arrived in Basingstoke needing her to make some money.  She did not speak any English, so had to do something with her hands! The only thing she could do was make jewellery (trained with a Master Goldsmith in Germany).  My Mum has always insisted we keep her high German standards in terms of product offering and also customer services – we take huge pride in both of these!

Capture_00018The company description is the “Not So Traditional Traditional Jewellers”…the Champagne Design Experience for engagement couples and the Engagement Offer in association with Tylney Hall .. are just two examples of the little extra you offer. What’s the inspiration behind these ideas to highlight the engagement of couples?

Our official description is the “Not So Traditional Traditional Jewellers” And we’re sticking with that! We take such time in getting to know our customers and understanding exactly what they want and need.

The recently launched, Champagne Design Experience for engagement couples at our workshop that really helps make the moment even more special! And the Engagement offer in association with the local, beautiful Tylney Hall are just two examples the little extra special bits you get with Petra!

We always Mystery Shop at other jewellers – including some big names in London and were shocked at how little enthusiasm and compassion the retail assistants demonstrated as we posed as customers looking for engagement rings.  So we’ve decided to blow our customers away with the most amazing engagement experience ever, that they will remember for ever with tons of expert design advice thrown in as well. So you come away with a unique experience rather than just hearing the tills ringing as you leave!

As well as offering a comprehensive range of jewellery services and you have your own exquisite jewellery range too – where do you get your inspiration from?

Anything and everything: I’m constantly taking photos of things that inspire me, I’m a magazine junkie, I always ask to look at people’s jewellery even if I’m not in the shop, trade fairs… but the underlying emphasis is creating beautiful jewellery that lasts a lifetime.  Not many designers seems to care that much about how their designs are actually going to suit the lifestyle of the wearer.Unbenannt-1

What’s the most unusual item of jewellery you’ve designed or have you had any strange design requests?

Loads of unusual and wonderful requests: a vial for someone’s dog’s ashes, a child’s tooth made into a pendant, copies of crazy costume jewellery designs, a major’s badge, wedding rings for a pilot mum who met in the cock pit of a plane (yes, up in the sky), banana cufflinks, snooker cue brooch and diamond set ball triangle pendant for a snooker World Champion…BUT – for me, these creations are amazing in their own way, they are truly individual and the recipients have been beyond excited at the end result.

To date, what has been your most popular item ordered from your website/ shop?

Hard to say as we don’t do any one design en masse – our new Angel Whisperer Collection is really, really popular. I think because it is so beautiful and different and again, it can be personalised and changed immediately, depending on where your mood takes you!

What’s your most favourite item in your collection?

That’s an easy one! My 30th birthday present from my Mum: an 18ct gold bangle immaculately set with 30 diamonds.  It is stunning and is so me! So many customers have seen it and asked us to re-create it for them – that’s an honour.

You do a “your gold” service – using old gold provided by the customer melted down to make a new piece of jewellery – what a lovely idea!  What’s the most popular recycled jewellery piece?

It’s all about memories again and making something special and unique. Our solid gold handmade bangles that will last forever – we normally use the customer’s old gold and they talk to us about how they would like it ‘recycled’. Every single customer who has used this service, has been over the moon with the final result – that’s a pretty satisfying thing at the end of the working day.

DSR11.jpg (white)When it comes to wedding rings, you can make rings out of platinum; 9ct, 14ct, & 18ct white, rose, & yellow gold; palladium and titanium.  My own engagement & wedding ring are platinum (I’m a lucky girl :)) …what metal is the most popular with your customers?

You are a lucky lady – platinum is still the best!  I’m also big fan of palladium – it is a good alternative to platinum although our goldsmith moans like crazy about making anything bespoke from it as it’s not easy to work with!  Our best-selling metal however is our 18ct white gold – it’s ‘palladium rich’ so naturally much whiter than normal 18ct white gold so we can guarantee it will never will look yellow like most High Street white gold will – this is a huge selling point and our customers trust that we are right (we always are!)  Lots of people are disappointed with their white gold as once the rhodium plating wears off their rings take on a ‘straw white colour’, not a nice experience!

You do offer branded jewellery from other designers that you’ve picked for their creativity and flair – what brand seems to be of interest this season amongst your customers? Any favourites yourself?

Both from Germany: unrivalled quality and finishes:

My iMenso – interchangeable pendants -

Angels Whisperer

Festina and Candino watches (new brand to UK – swiss mech and sapphire crystal face but only £200- £300)

smallsilsetPersonal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Calvin Klein style but sometimes from charity shops, Primark – anything plain which works well as it shows off the jewellery I’m wearing.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Oh dear, I discovered LK Bennet dresses: perfect for Saturdays in the shop – makes me feel like a lady!  Off duty I’m on ‘Wiggle’ buying cycling kit!  Always on the look out for sexy sports clothing!

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

Our brand colours ,sports kit that I can brand as Petra Jewellery and advertise as I run and cycle round the Hampshire countryside!  And then a new time trial bike in Petra colours and I might even add some diamantes!

Boots or Shoes?

Now – boots ‘n’ skinny jeans – so I don’t get wet feet!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc so that readers can find out more about Petra Jewellery.

Linda x

Photos published with kind permission from Petra Jewellery


Sunshine Yellow

November 7th, 2013

modcloth-yellow-darlin-detail-hair-clip-in-yellow-houndstooth-product-1-14270080-494820848_large_flexToday’s blogpost is inspired by a conversation I had a few days ago with a friend of mine on the Facebook wall of the group, Boots Shoes et Al. We were admiring a pretty pair of bright yellow courts that Deb had uploaded and Deb revealed her love of wearing yellow/lemon during the winter season. I, on the other hand, considered yellow/lemon as a more summery colour as the yellow pieces in my wardrobe are all summery – I wore a flimsy floaty lemon dress with cerise flowers for a summer family wedding, for example. It dawned on me later, that one of my favourite outfits in the late 1980s was a mustard yellow fisherman’s knit crew neck jumper which I paired with yellow/beige/white animal print sweat pants and flat mustard coloured suede boots with tassels! Looking out my window, the gloomy day beckons for some sunshine and Deb was right, cheer up the winter with some Sunshine Yellow! So, I’ve scouted around and here are my sunshine choices to brighten up our lives this season:

Modcloth Veer Bright Dressmodcloth-yellow-veer-bright-dress-product-1-7392609-887057942_large_flex

Lisa Marie Fernandez Dresslisa-marie-fernandez-taupe-lisa-marie-dress-in-taupe-product-1-9404622-201424699_large_flex

Michael Kors Duvatine Funnel Neck Jacketmichael-kors-sun-duvatine-funnelneck-jacket-product-1-14605549-654166814_large_flex

Stella McCartney Pantsstella-mccartney-yellow-casual-pants-product-1-14692819-020698135_large_flex

H & M Knitted Dresshm-mustard-yellow-knitted-dress-product-1-14456976-143199177_large_flex


Michael Kors Bonded Plonge Leather Grommet Skirtmichael-kors-sun-bonded-plonge-leather-grommet-skirt-product-1-14635788-516294479_large_flex

Top Shop Teddy Fur Pea Coattopshop-yellow-teddy-fur-pea-coat-product-1-14031424-178985664_large_flex

Elle MacPherson Thongelle-macpherson-saffron-casablanca-thong-product-1-13512600-782081822_large_flex

Valentino Rockstud Flap Clutchvalentino-yellow-fluo-platino-rockstud-flap-clutch-product-1-14315702-688698352_large_flex

Forever 21 Longline Cardiganforever-21-mustard-longline-mixed-knit-cardigan-product-1-14107960-437704683_large_flex

Top Shop Basket Stitch Snoodtopshop-chartreuse-basket-stitch-snood-product-1-14480974-428703649_large_flex

and as for footwear:

Dr Martens Rain Bootdr-martens-yellow-patent-drench-welly-rain-booties-product-1-13659545-883951297_large_flex

Kelsi Dagger Abrielle Yellow Suede Shoeskelsi-dagger-yellow-abrielle-yellow-suede-product-1-2424966-172123182_large_flex

Kurt Geiger Cordelia Low Heel Courtskurt-geiger-black-cordelia-low-heel-courts-product-1-14676475-784972466_large_flex

Bed Stu Ankle Bootsbed-stu-lime-lux-double-rafter-boot-product-1-13853749-071375160_large_flex

Damir Doma Wedges damir-doma-ochre-wedge-product-1-13188894-747577087_large_flex

Gianvito Rossi Ankle Bootsgianvito-rossi-yellow-orange-ankle-boot-product-1-13049538-617123651_large_flex

Casadei Bootscasadei-yellow-boots-product-1-12336682-445706750_large_flex

Spread a little bit of sunshine and spruce your wardrobe up with a bit of yellow!

Linda x

P.S. The header pic features the Modcloth Darlin Detail Hair Clip in Yellow Houndstooth.  

Photo credits: Lyst; Essexy Legs

An Interview With Lesley Rose

November 1st, 2013
With hair as bright as the fireworks we’ll experience this coming week, it seems appropriate to welcome onto the blog this week, the glamourous yet, down to earth Yorkshire lass,young alternative model Lesley Rose… whose face and body have graced many magazines plus an occasional appearance on telly …  it’s great to welcome you onto the blog, Lesley!
IMG_8351 copy
Hi! I’m Lesley Rose, 22 year old Alternative Model from Leeds.
Have you always wanted to be a model?
No actually! Not at all! I actually wanted to an Advertising Art Director when I was little, oh how things change!
Just  a slightly different career path for you then!  You’re not just a pretty face though – you’ve just enrolled into university to study BSc (Hons)Psychology (Child Development).  How are you managing balancing your educational needs with your model aspirations?
It is difficult, I won’t lie, but I’m a good planner and I have a little diary that I carry around with me everywhere I go. I’m at uni 3 days a week and only in the mornings, so I have the afternoons for reading and then the other 4 days are for shoots, appearances etc. I never really have a day off! 
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You are billed as an alternative model, so have you been on any unusual or strange modelling locations? Or have you had any strange/unusual modelling experiences?

I actually did a shoot last year for a concept called ‘Asylum’ which was basically me with messed up hair, makeup, and wearing a straight jacket! I’m quite a collected person, but those things do send you a little bit loopy after a while! Other than that I think it’s been pretty tame for me! OH! Goodness I almost forgot, I shot a music video for an artist called Pirupa and in that I had to be topless with an animal mask on, that was fairly strange!
To date, what has been your most favourite photoshoot?

My favourite photoshoot. Goodness, that’s a tough question! Each photoshoot is different and each photographer brings an element of fun to the shoots.  My three top photoshoots have been with Grimbo, John Gardner and Rowan Murray. I couldn’t pick just one that would be unfair!
Is there any style of photoshoot /modelling / famous photographer that you would like to try that you haven’t yet experienced? 

Well, I have lined up shoots with photographers that I haven’t dared contact just recently, Magic Owen, James Dekker and I’ve been speaking to Melanie Titus and Scott Cole, to work with all of them would be an absolute dream for me. I’ve always wanted to do something more raw as well, it’s hard to explain, but if I see a picture of it then I totally go ‘OH THAT’S WHAT I LIKE!’ haha!
Have you any favourite models whose style/attitude you admire? 

I have tons! I love Lusy Logan and Jade Allison as a pair because whenever we’re together we bounce off each other and we’re silly and it’s all smiles and laughs. Misa Rose is my little pint sized beauty and if I could put her in my pocket, I would! Lauren Brock is my drinking buddy and I love that we can just meet up, have a laugh and have a drink and have fun! I love all the girls at my agency because they are all so down to earth and that’s something that I would say is the most attractive character in a model.
IMG_8355 copy
Your beautiful colourful hair can be called your “Trademark” … is it hard to maintain? 

Oh god yes! It costs me around £250 every two months just to get it done, never mind the products and treatment, styling time,etc. I love it though, and I’m going to hate  having to change it when I become a Child Psychologist!
You have some gorgeous tattoos – have you got a favourite?  Any stories behind them?
My favourite is my finger rash. You can’t see it in any of my pictures but it means a lot to me because me and my best friend from Leeds have the same one and I adore her. Her name is Tara and she has a little boy called Darwin, who I absolutely love and we’ve been friends for years. 
You recently held a coffee event with your friend in aid of the Macmillan charity – our local school also hosted a coffee morning event for the charity too.  It’s a cause close to your heart and I hope you raised a lot of much needed funds.  Was it a success and did you bake any cakes or goodies yourself?

Yes I did! With my friend Vanessa. We raised over £1100 and it’s a cause close to both of our hearts given her father passed away due to cancer as did my grandfather, so we wanted to do something to give back, and also to break the stereotype of what  people think models are like. I baked some amazing Gold topped brownies! But nobody bought them because everything else was better. I’m slightly bitter, but all my friends enjoyed eating them…for free…
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing when not modelling?
I live in jeans and hoodies. Literally, that is it. A pair of jeans, a top and a hoodie. On the rare day I wear shorts, but I’m not flashy about how I dress, because my hair is so flashy!


Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Abandon Ship Apparel do some amazing unisex clothes, Cartel Ink have some awesome tees and vests on the theme of being tattooed, Devine Delinquents do some awesome accessories that I adore too.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

Well, I’ve just got a Barbour Jacket and some Leather Ugg Boots which I really wanted for winter so really I am SET!

Boots or Shoes?

Boots – purely because you can get away with the heel being higher without risk of breaking your neck! I have over 40 pairs of shoes back at my mum’s house in Leeds, so I’m a huge shoe lover!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter  etc so that readers can follow your modelling career.

Yes! Twitter = @misslesleyrose;  

Facebook = 

Website =

Thanks for having me!
You’re very welcome Lesley, it was a pleasure!  We wish you the best of luck in your future career whether as the stunning model or the flamboyant child psychologist! I’m sure you’ll succeed whichever path you take.
Linda x
Images in the Jack Daniels Tee are by John Gardner
All others are by Emma Shamaya who owns her own studio, Shamaya Studios 


Vampire Chic

October 30th, 2013

nasty-gal-burgundy-reverse-bordello-velvet-fringe-kimono-product-1-14240698-442064438_large_flexIt’s that time of year again – a new series of True Blood returns to our screens and the run up to halloween turns the fashion world into wannabe goths! On the silver screen the vampire ladies do look extremely sexy clad in tight body fitting long length velvet and lace numbers – worn with beautiful dark eyes kohled in black and if not bright red lips, certainly a becoming dark purple shade. ( I recommend Max Factor’s Blackcurrant Lipstick). Why keep this vampire chic just for Halloween? Create a stir at the Christmas do….

So, here’s my list of those vampire chic dresses that I’ve spotted this week plus some footwear and hosiery too – all just ooze sexuality by the bucketload:



Nasty Gal For The Love Lemons Anna Velvet Dressnasty-gal-emerald-for-love-lemons-anna-velvet-dress-emerald-product-1-13679915-531816705_large_flex

Just Cavalli Mid Sleeves Velvet and Sequin Dressjust-cavalli-bleu-dress-long-dress-34-sleeves-velvet-and-sequins-product-1-13389739-811381555_large_flex

Frankie Morello Sleeveless Velvet And Sequin Dressfrankie-morello-black-dress-sleeveless-velvet-sequins-product-1-13720367-815868319_large_flex

Ann Taylor Long sleeve Lace Gownann-taylor-indigo-velvet-long-sleeve-lace-gown-product-1-14274173-093265378_large_flex

Karen Millen Colour Blocked Velvet Maxi Dresskaren-millen-purple-colour-block-velvet-maxi-dress-product-4-13960749-253686436_large_flex

Valentino Black Lace Trim Velvet Gownvalentino-black-black-lace-trim-velvet-gown-product-1-4278187-424503704_large_flex

Halston Heritage Sleeveless Velvet Band Faux Wrap Gownhalston-heritage-rubyblack-sleeveless-velvet-band-faux-wrap-gown-product-1-14467799-268503410_large_flex

Marchesa Embellished Lace Trimmed Velvet Gownmarchesa-black-embellished-lacetrimmed-velvet-gown-product-1-12622019-402493486_large_flex

Alexon Velvet Beaded Maxi Dressalexon-black-velvet-beaded-maxi-dress-product-1-14266484-400781948_large_flex

Ariella Rafaella Velvet Dressariella-red-rafaella-velvet-dress-product-1-13996574-748224013_large_flex

Therapy Velvet Cowl Drape Back Midi Dresstherapy-burgundy-velvet-cowl-drape-back-midi-dress-product-1-13900067-230445318_large_flex

Tadashi Shoji Velvet Pattern Blouson Gowntadashi-shoji-black-velvet-pattern-blouson-gown-sleeveless-product-1-14483637-532698446_large_flex

Christopher Kane Black Sleeveless Velvet Dresschristopher-kane-black-black-sleeveless-velvet-dress-product-1-14462556-358487263_large_flex

Alexander McQueen Boule Sleeve Viscose Silk Dressalexander-mcqueen-forest-green-boule-sleeve-viscose-silk-velvet-product-1-10424333-643167847_large_flex

Reiss Nessie Velvet Bodycon Dressreiss-navy-nessie-velvet-bodycon-dress-product-1-14483411-623792387_large_flex

Alexander Wang Draped Velvet And Silk Chiffon Dressalexander-wang-black-draped-velvet-and-silkchiffon-dress-product-1-13234573-816162445_large_flex

Stella McCartney Velvet Cut Out Contrast Trim Gownstella-mccartney-black-velvet-cutout-contrasttrim-gown-product-1-8615877-651656039_large_flex

And to go with your dress, check out Nasty Gal’s Reverse Bordello Velvet Fringe Kimono! (see header pic). For footwear, I was blown away by these gorgeous creations:

Emporio Armani Ankle Boot in PVC and Neoprene Velvetemporio-armani-black-ankle-boot-in-pvc-and-neoprene-velvet-product-1-14212058-300766848_large_flex

Top Shop Alpy Velvet Lace Up Bootstopshop-burgundy-alpy-velvet-lace-up-boots-product-1-14265367-878392980_large_flex

Alaia Studded Velvet Pumpsalaia-brown-studded-velvet-pumps-product-2-13361327-008184103_large_flex

Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Pumpsdolce-gabbana-emerald-valley-filigreeheel-velvet-pumps-product-3-14186293-131959924_large_flex

Alexander McQueen Embellished Metallic Leather And Velvet Sandalsalexander-mcqueen-multi-colourmetallic-embellished-metallic-leather-velvet-platform-sandals-product-1-14413390-270533370_large_flex

Finally, add some hosiery:

Wolford Velvet Ankle Sockswolford-black-velvet-ankle-socks-product-1-13975059-823645265_large_flex

Trasparanze  Grammy Strapped TightsImage2

Urban Outfitters Velvet Back Seam Tightsurban-outfitters-black-velvet-back-seam-tights-product-1-13764122-112574873_large_flex

Happy Halloween All!

Linda x

Photo Credits: Lyst; Essexy Legs

An Interview With Masato Jones

October 25th, 2013

This week I’m really excited to welcome onto the blog Masato Jones… I discovered Masato (and Mike, his partner) on Twitter this summer and fell in love with the Masato London designs.  I bought a fabulous shirt dress, and although in my photo I’m modelling it with buttons done up, it is so adaptable to many different looks and the colours are just fab!  If you want a real bargain, and are a size 10, check out their sample sales at the end of each season – you won’t be disappointed! So, without further ado, hello and welcome:The_fashion_designer_Masato_Jones_in_2013-e1380092156872

Hi! I’m Masato Jones originally from Tokyo, Japan, I came here to learn English in 2003 and never went back home except to visit. I originally was a hair stylist in Yokohama and Tokyo and developed a taste for fashion whilst in Brighton and applied for Central St Martins. They liked my designs and in 2005, I started my degree and graduated in 2009 after a year out with Giles Deacon.  I developed my partner’s surname to mix the Masato (my real name) with Jones and the label Masato London is both of us (myself and Mike) with my designs at the label’s heart. I’m work focussed, I rarely party – I’m more content talking to someone over dinner than a fashion party. 

imagesHave you always wanted to be a designer?

Yes, I loved the variety of the designers especially in my first home in the UK –  Brighton -the mix of what people wear in this city, it is so cosmopolitan and such fun ! I now live in London (since 2005). 

What do you like best about being a fashion designer? I know that a lot of your designs have been influenced by your Japanese heritage,so what else has given you inspiration?photo copy

The chance to create something a woman can wear, whether she is 17 or 70 and recently I’m developing menswear, although without investment, it’s costly to cross over completely.  Japanese heritage does creep into my designs from the shape of the kimono to the western style. 

Do you enjoy the buzz of the fashion shows? Do you get nervous beforehand? How far in advance to you prepare for the fashion shoots?

I love the fashion shows, especially the public ones we have developed through public investment of our social media audience assisting us, so it is important for me to show to the public rather than a closed show to media and the fashion buyers, although they are very important too. I do get nervous beforehand – the day before and backstage, as each collection is different, you are only as good as your last collection, so it is nerve racking as you don’t know what the reaction is going to be. We have to prepare 4 to 6 months ahead, this is due to gaining the right venue, fashion show, etc. I still work as a creative pattern cutter for Giles certain times of the year so this has to be scheduled in also. 

images-6Have you a favourite fashion show location?  Is there any location where you’d love to see your designs strutting the runway but haven’t physically done so yet?.

Yes, for me New York would be an amazing fashion show location as would St Paul’s Cathedral or Kew Gardens. I also like the idea of an empty factory – this gives you a blank canvas to work with and present art from other artists. It’s such a struggle to be in the right place at the right time and the right place at the right time should be happening at the right times more often. 

Have you got a favourite out of all you’ve designed? images-5

There are so many- there is an early design from 2009, Kimono jacket & Dementor dress from 2012 collection, the gold cape coat,  Mint fishtail and Poppy dresses from Spring 2013. 

Who would you like to see parading around in your designs that haven’t done so as yet? (as far as you know!!)

Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Amy Adams, Carey Mulligan. 

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I’m a typical designer –  I wear clothes from charity shops mainly, also clothes that have been sent to me, but I’m very casual. I have a Michael Kors pair of cords that I love, I always wear Puma and mix designer with high street. 

photoDo you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Uniqlo, Zara, Charity shops such as Shelter, Cancer Research, Oxfam. Online of course lol

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I will go where my feet take me, I rarely get time to myself except Easter and Christmas usually, so it’s probably going to be Pretty Green, Zara, Uniqlo, Bershka, John Lewis, John Rocha. 

Boots or Shoes?

Definitely shoes, not so much boots, more trainers Converse or Puma, you are either an Adidas fan or Puma – I’m a Puma fan. I had a trip around their factory in Nuremberg, Germany last February – that was cool. 

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about your products. 

blog :

Twitter : masatostudio 

Facebook : 

Pinterest : 

Thank you for a fabulous interview Masato ..and we wish you continuing success!

Linda x

Photo Credits: Photos published with kind permission from Masato Jones; Adam Hobden Photography; Linda Hobden



An Interview With Hotel Pelirocco

October 18th, 2013

Rock & Roll seems to be definitely alive and kicking in the county of Sussex. Travelling to Hastings this Summer, I encountered 50s style diners/music venues en route, and Brighton attracts a nightlife that makes it the destination of choice for music fans of every genre, appealing to all ages and orientations! Add to that the vintage shops, trendy hair salons etc … the place is really buzzing! It seems appropriate therefore to welcome onto the blog this week, Mick Habeshaw Robinson, co founder/owner of the unique and exciting Hotel Pelirocco, England’s most Rock ‘n’Roll hotel situated in the pulsating heart of Brighton. Welcome Mick!mickpick

Hi! I’m Mick Habeshaw Robinson, co founder/owner of Hotel Pelirocco and a fan of Rock’n’Roll. As a hotel, we are truly independent and proud. In a more and more bland and corporate world we like to stand out and be unique. Customer service, I think is also important – we genuinely love this place and our guests! 

Hotel Pelirocco has been dubbed England’s most Rock ‘n’ Roll hotel,  so where did the inspiration come from?

The idea came about 14 years ago now, back then there was no other hotels, that I was aware of, that catered for a younger contemporary crowd, who wanted to stay up late, listen to music, in a relaxed hotel environment and get up late for breakfast possibly in their pyjamas and no one would mind!

Have you always been in the hotel business?

No, it was in at the deep end! I think when you go into a new business with no pre-conceived ideas, you have a fresh outlook which brings new ideas.

Do you enjoy running a hotel, especially one as flamboyant as Hotel Pelirocco?

Absolutely,it’s fun! It’s changed my life , and I’ve met most of my record collection!!

PlayRoom2All the rooms are decorated & furnished in different themes – I love the look of the “Play Room”, definitely the ultimate “dirty weekend room” !!! What room tends to be the most requested?

Hands down the Playroom then Betty’s Boudoir, people want to have fun!

A lot of thought has gone into decorating & furnishing the rooms just so!   Was it difficult getting hold of the knick knacks?

Initially the drive of getting the place off the ground kinda sourced everything, it was fun finding relevant stuff.

If you had another room to create into a “Hotel Pelirocco” what theme would you turn that into?

There are tons bubbling under – all secret…..

Sounds intriguing…

You have a range of Hotel Pelirocco merchandise.  What item sells the most?

T Shirts and Coasters.

Your hotel offers a variety of “Extras” for your guests to enjoy -boudoir photoshoots PoleDancein the rooms, cocktail classes, a karaoke room,naughty erotic hampers, massages & reflexology, classic afternoon cream teas, private DJs, burlesque performances…. so, what “extras”are most requested?

A razor ha ha!!

Obviously your hotel & the rooms are a great backdrop for photoshoots  - what’s the most popular room used for photoshoots?

BettysBoudoirThe Playroom and Betty’s Boudoir.

Name drop time!! Have you had any celebrities stay at your hotel?

Lots, only like to mention bands rather than individuals, Beastie Boys, Primal Scream, Scissor Sisters, Rizzle Kicks….

Which famous person would you love to stay in your hotel – who would leave you totally starstruck!!?

Bowie, Weller , Lydon,  Ice T…

Your legendary bar hosts gigs, book readings as well as being renowned for its cocktails – I just love a pina colada (not very adventurous, am I?!) – what cocktail is THE most requested? What’s your favourite?Bar

Named after the Sex Pistols – The Dirty Fuckin Rotter!

As well as running this fabulous hotel, “Pelirocco Platters” broadcasts twice a week on Brighton’s community RadioReverb.  What’s your musical taste and what sort of music do you get to broadcast?

I love everything, well apart from X Factor rubbish, Old Punk, Soul, Acid House but new music still excites me.

How did you get involved in broadcasting/DJing?

I was asked onto a show as a guest and thought I could do that.. I have also dj’d at parties for years

 SoulSupremeOn a musical note, my first album bought with my first ever wage packet after leaving school was Human League’s “Dare” … so what was yours?

I started young whilst at junior school, my brother got me into Bowie so I bought the Ziggy album.. all thanks to him.. Thank you Geoff ( R.I.P)

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Into clothes big time.. sometimes im a bit modernist, sometimes a bit of a rocker, I tend to like bits and pieces of all different styles.. on a non smart day – converse, straight jeans with turn ups, hoops; smart day- Westwood shirt, white jeans, bass weejuns..


Do you have any favourite shops or online sites? 

Present in London or vintage/ Ebay

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?Cardi1

Always Westwood, if I can afford it, they do some great loafers at the mo…

Boots or Shoes?

ONLY  Converse boots! I LOVE SHOES!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about your hotel.

Thanks Mick – brill place, brill music taste too! Next time, readers, if you’re heading for a weekend away in Brighton pay Mick and the Hotel Pelirocco a visit – you’re sure to have a WOW of a time!

Linda x

Photos published with kind permission from Mick Habeshaw Robinson

Little Black Dress

October 17th, 2013

The Little Black Dress is making a major comeback this winter, although it hasn’t really ever gone away!  For those Christmas and New Year parties and various other celebratory occasions, the Little Black Dress is a must wardrobe staple.  Here’s my roundup of the best 20 Little Black Dresses for under £100 that I’ve spotted this week:

Wolford Fatal Jersey Dresswolford-black-fatal-jersey-dress-product-1-11566459-135740066_large_flex

Taylor Dresses Side Drape Dresstaylor-dresses-black-side-drape-jersey-sheath-dress-product-1-13903047-089933559_large_flex

Top Shop Beaded Slip Dresstopshop-black-beaded-slipdress-product-4-13906573-701377509_large_flex

As U Wish One Shoulder Ruched Beaded Dressas-u-wish-black-oneshoulder-ruched-beaded-product-1-12893973-573772782_large_flex

Bebe V Neck Mesh Side Inset Dressbebe-blk-vneck-mesh-side-inset-dress-product-1-10543179-044760413_large_flex

Free People French Court Lace Slip Dressfree-people-black-french-court-lace-slip-dress-product-1-14032024-394462596_large_flex

ASOS Curve Swing Dress In Vintage Lookasos-curve-black-swing-dress-in-vintage-look-product-1-14160046-575959885_large_flex

ASOS Embellished Swing Back Dressasos-black-embellished-swing-back-dress-product-3-14159021-557114854_large_flex

Ralph Lauren Short Dressralph-lauren-black-short-dress-product-1-14136309-669256488_large_flex

Banana Republic BR Monogram Twisted Sheathbanana-republic-black-combo-br-monogram-twisted-sheath-product-1-13588781-021133759_large_flex

Nasty Gal Dark Dimension Mesh Dressnasty-gal-black-dark-dimension-mesh-dress-product-1-14113611-989995356_large_flex

Little Mistress Embellished Sleeve Pencil Dresslittle-mistress-black-embellished-sleeve-pencil-dress-product-4-14154527-426318306_large_flex

Wal-G Long Sleeved Mesh Mini Dresswal-g-navy-long-sleeved-mesh-mini-dress-product-1-14138449-856447050_large_flex

Marc New York By Andrew Marc Satin Collar Dressmarc-new-york-by-andrew-marc-black-satin-collar-sheath-dress-product-1-14044004-933740836_large_flex

Hobbs Paolina Dresshobbs-navy-paolina-dress-product-1-13476077-198699773_large_flex

Isaac Mizrahi New York Faux Leather Knit Sheathisaac-mizrahi-new-york-black-faux-leather-knit-sheath-product-1-14047766-746735357_large_flex

Imperial Short Dressimperial-black-short-dress-product-1-14133737-427782077_large_flex

Liu Jo Short Dressliu-jo-black-short-dress-product-1-14142921-017888632_large_flex

Compagnia Italiana Short Dresscompagnia-italiana-black-short-dress-product-1-14137164-743783946_large_flex

Maggy London Illusion Back Pleated Dressmaggy-london-black-illusion-back-pleated-matte-jersey-dress-product-2-2031986-135243576_large_flex

and to go with these lovely dresses, how about some sensual black fishnets? or check out something a little bit special, like the LivCo Corsetti Batya Tights (see photo), gorgeous black micronet tights that create the illusion of wearing hold ups….just beautiful!LivCoCorsettiBatyaTights

Welcome back, Little Dress in Black!

Linda x

 Photo Credits: Essexy Legs; Lyst

An Interview With Sarah G Cosmetics

October 11th, 2013

drama queen lipstickThis week I’m talking make up with the gorgeous Sarah, founder of cosmetic company Sarah G Cosmetics and make up artist extraordinaire! With many years experience in the cosmetic industry, Sarah has a strong knowledge of what women want when it comes to makeup which led her to create Sarah G Cosmetics an innovative,high quality brand. The brand’s theory tells us that makeup is ageless; it is one size fits all and should be attainable to all walks of women, bringing colour to skin of all colours. Sarah likes to keep the packaging understated and let the products do the talking. The products are manufactured in the USA using extremely sophisticated scientific and pharmaceutical technology. They are not tested on animals. The range consists of everything from primer to pencils and all other essentials combined with trend led seasonal products and innovative breakthrough products, keeping up with the ever competitive cosmetics market. Above all Sarah’s main ambition is simple, to make women feel beautiful.sarah g cosmetics shoot pallette

So, let us talk to the lady herself…welcome Sarah! What was the inspiration behind setting up Sarah G Cosmetics?

I decided to take a break from the cosmetics industry and go down the fashion route. I opened a ladies boutique, however a year in I realised how much I missed what I had now discovered was my true passion – makeup. I looked into stocking makeup within the boutique and the idea snowballed from there to create my own line. As much as I enjoyed my fashion jaunt I realised my heart was in makeup more than anything else and so I gave up my store, launched a website and began the journey with SGC.

Have you always wanted to be in the make up beauty industry?

Ever since I was in my teens I wanted to be a MUA. I got my first job with MAC and my determination to have a place in the cosmetic industry grew.

What make up products seem to be most popular currently?

blush palette openThe most popular products right now seem to be palettes, whether it be eyes, cheeks or face. The customer is getting more looks for their money and it enables them to experiment and create multiple looks from one product. By far my best seller is my Face Kit which contains 4 versatile shadows/highlight a contour/bronzer powder and a suit all blush, its gorgeous! Of course glitter is always popular for party season SGC has some pretty amazing ones!

I love your lip glosses! All the colours! What’s your favourite make up item from your range?

I have to say my favourite item from the range is my concealer palette, a must for gorgeous flawless skin, hand in hand with this a gorgeous blush can do wonders for your complexion, so I have to say my Baked Mineral Apricot Glow is a must for luminous skin.apricot moulin rouge

What do you think will be the dominating makeup colours this winter? 

The dominating shades for this season are browns, burgundys and plums for lips; for eyes, dramatic, graphic liner and full lashes are bang on trend.

What plans,if any, have you got to extend your range of products?  Any new products in the pipeline?

I am always looking to expand the line! For next season expect bold colours and skin perfecting products.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Little MermaidSince most of my work involves a computer, my shopping is mainly done on line. I love Asos! The quality of their items are so good, I dont think I have bought anything from there and been dissappointed. I love a rifle through Primark also for seasonal trends.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe/ bag wish list?

Next on my wishlist for winter is a pair of dressy knee high boots, I havent seen any so far but I am thinking an old school vibe style in black patent…

Boots or Shoes?

Clue in the previous question… I am a boot girl! I just love boots, ankle, knee high, thigh high, I love them all! I feel like a good pair of boots will go with any outfit, dressy or casual.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Sarah G Cosmetics 


Thanks for a fabulous natter Sarah…I love the fact that you are a fellow boot lover like myself!  I must say that your new eye palettes for this season, Sarah, are to die for … check them out peeps … bright jewel colours just ready for partying as well as the other delights Sarah has on her website!
Linda x
Photo Credits:  Photos have been published with kind permission from Sarah G Cosmetics.





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