29 September 2014

NINETEEN - The #shwishlist - A weekly edit of my favourite items..

Over the last few months I have been very busy working with my clients on lots of exciting plans.  When I am able to let loose on the details I will share everything with you all.

Most, if not all of my clients are British brands who made a commitment to themselves and their customers to make their products in Britain.  A few weeks ago I attended the launch of 'Best of Britannia's' new initiative ‘Buy British Day’, at the House of Commons, which will take place this week on Friday 3rd October 2014.

The aim of Buy British Day is to encourage consumers to not only buy British-made products but also for us to ask ourselves questions about the benefits of being manufactured in Britain.  To keep up to date with all the news and to join in the conversation, use the hashtag #BuyBritishDay and follow @BestBritannia on twitter.

My #shwishlist features fundamentally British owned brands and as much as possible I try to find labels who manufacture in Britain too.  However, despite being passionate about promoting made in Britain brands, the reality is we have a depleted skill set within the British manufacturing industries.  Unfortunately not all brands are able to encompass this into their brand at present.  I think it is vital to support brands who are not (yet) made in Britain, but owned and based here, for the future of their brand, their employees and for our countries economics.  We hope that with this support and when the time is right for them these brands will develop a viable made in Britain approach.   In the meanwhile shift your attention to the brands who painstakingly produce their products in Britain and let's celebrate their efforts on Friday.

I am so pleased to have found my latest selection of covetable brands.  Holland-Street create beautiful printed silk loungerie  - and yes I did mean 'loungerie', I haven't spelt 'lingerie' wrong - Pieces include kimono-style gowns, robes, kaftan-style nightgowns, scarves and eyemasks. The brand was named after the street where founder and designer, Lauren Barfoot, grew up.  A thoroughly made in Britain brand, at Holland Street even the fabric is sourced and made in the UK.

I must admit with my textile fashion degree I often focus on surface pattern design. I am thrilled that prints, pattern and embellishment are now a foundation of our style. At Holland Street the brands ethos is based on textiles which undeniably shows within the pieces.  I love the innovative floral prints, designed in house.  It is clear that Lauren knows exactly how to use print in fashion especially considering her impressive history.  Not only did Lauren train at the RCA but also after graduation was print designer for Zandra Rhodes. To see Holland Street's 'Poppy Red Scarf' featured above click the link at the bottom of the page.

Susan Caplan Vintage is a special brand because it allows beautiful jewellery a new home and cherished owner.  I have always loved vintage jewellery, regularly wearing my Grandma's pearls and scouring antiques fairs for jewellery which came with an untold history from another era.  My first vintage Chanel bracelet was first discovered by Susan Caplan and team, bought by my best friend in 2008. Since then the brand has developed and is now stocked in some of the UK's most loved luxury department stores.  If you're looking to add a hint of old-Hollywood to your evening attire, look no further than this trusted vintage label. 

For some of you, Shrimps, the fashion faux-fur brand will need no introduction. London based Hannah Weiland launched the playful label for the Fall 2014 season. At fashion week EVERYONE was wearing something from the collection. Featuring bright colours and a contrasting Breton stripe, the fluffy sixties looking coat is unmistakable. Another fabulous feature is that the brand only uses faux-fur, allowing everyone an opportunity to enjoy it. My first foray into the sweet world of Shrimps is through their 'Pablo Clutch Bag' which I happily carried this fashion week. If you are looking for something to stand out in this season, Shrimps is the label for you!

Another brand which is one to remember for the season ahead is Lilah. Inspired by classic designs, Daisy Fellowes creates timeless coats and jackets that are perfect for so many occasions.  I found the label when I was researching for outfits for a client of mine attending Ascot.  A year previously I attended the brands launch and took photos of the clothes on mannequins surrounding the space of the Dean Street venue.  When I began to trawl through look books, business cards, emails and some four thousand photos I suddenly found my photo of a beautiful jacket by Lilah.  If you have an upcoming Wedding or beginning to plan your wardrobe for next year, Lilah is your go-to brand for pure and simple elegance.

To allow you a closer view of these irresistible pieces, I have pinned everything I have featured to my #shwishlist pinterest board. If you would like to recommend a brand or item, email: moi@sarahhayleyfreelance.com or tweet me with the hashtag #shwishlist.

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3 September 2014

the ICON 9 - Dries Van Noten's Op-Art Prints

Dries Van Noten launched his line in 1986 and is known for his artistic approach to fashion. Each season the brand delivers a colourful collection with directional prints. 

For Autumn Winter 2014 the collection delivered everything we expect and more. His signature elements were in abundance, op-art prints, florals adorning mannish coats and curves of colour.

As always I want it all, but one of my favourite pieces is this Kaleidoscopic Wool Top, available at Browns. I love how the bold yellow floral pattern is paired with a solid-color background and enhanced with an eye-popping central motif. Wear with a contrasting bold print or block-colour trouser.

2 September 2014

September Jewellery Notes - Cara Tonkin

Yesterday I went on my yearly visit to International Jewellery London to support my clients and also in the search of new jewellery talent. Within ten minutes of arriving I found Cara Tonkin's collection and was pleased to have successfully completed my task. Cara's jewellery is beautiful. With elegant designs and a unique bold aesthetic, which travels through the five collections, Cara's collection is a perfect fit for the stylish, contemporary and independent women. 

Cara blends modern shapes with a nod to the Art Deco and Art Nouveau period and fuses these inspirations to create unique, timeless pieces with a streamlined yet sculptural quality. 
Cara graduated with a First Class degree in Jewellery Design from Central St Martins and set up her namesake brand in Brighton.

I have found my favourite pieces within the five collections Siren, Vesper, Volute, Plume and Laelia. I love the tactile quality of Cara's jewellery which works wonderfully with the current Autumn Winter 2014 'tactile texture' trend. 

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1 September 2014

Label to Love - Amanda Wakeley: Classic Collections With An Understated Seduction


My first close encounter with Amanda Wakeley was during the Spring Summer 2006 season when I was working backstage at London Fashion Week. This was my second season working as a Backstage Coordinator, where I was responsible for dressers and models.  I loved the job as it was fast paced compared to shoots which would involve a lot of waiting around.  Amanda Wakeley was my sixth show and my favourite collection because it oozed style and sophistication from every stitch. Off-white pencil skirts were teamed with cream leather jackets, and fluid soft wrap dresses were belted at the waist.

At the end of the next year I was assisting a stylist dressing an actress for a film première. At the last minute there was a problem with the first choice dress, amid the panic I managed to organise a sample from Amanda's Spring Summer 2007 collection to arrive at the hotel we were based from and thankfully the floaty Grecian dress worked and the star of the cinema screen looked picture perfect! Sometimes situations are meant to be.

In January I attended the launch of the new Amanda Wakeley flagship at 18 Albemarle Street in London.  The new store is set over two floors in a beautiful townhouse, with bespoke interiors designed by Amanda herself.  Everyone who was anyone was there, including Elizabeth Hurley, Darcey Bussell, Alexandra Shulman, Caroline Rush and Harold Tillman to name a few.  Guests sipped the 'Eightini' a special Belvedere cocktail to mark the occasion.

For Autumn Winter 2014 Amanda hosted her comeback London Fashion Week show at the new store.  The collection was very exciting using Japanese Warrior Women contrasted with Geisha women as the starting point. The all-black collection featured leather separates juxtaposed with woollen and sheer fabrics, strong silhouettes and cinched in waists. It was wardrobe heaven for the contemporary style concious career woman. 

Amanda Wakeley has the ability to create collections that are not only undeniably feminine and classic but also which feature an understated seduction.

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29 August 2014

The New Season: Tactile Textures AW14


Autumn Winter 2014 fashion is a seriously cosy affair with contrasting textures. Pair a sprinkling of sequins with stroke-me shearlings and frothy fur details.  Layer textures over each other for a new season interpretation. 

I have found some amazing 'new in' pieces which will kick start your AW14 style journey.

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Simone Rocha at Browns
Roksanda at Matches 
Missoni at net-a-porter.com
Junya Watanabe at net-a-porter.com

28 August 2014

The New Season: New Knits AW14

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My favourite element when looking forward to Autumn Winter is the arrival of the key Knitwear shapes. This season the look is cosy and relaxed with patterned sweaters, elongated tunics and knitted dresses.

I have found 10 perfect styles, available online and on the high street, all featuring with individual design details.  My favourite is AnhHa's statement embellished sweater, wear with a leather skirt or trousers for an effortlessly stylish and key season look.

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AnhHa at my-wardrobe.com
Mauro Grifoni at donnaida.com
Philosophy at net-a-porter.com
Karen Rising at wolfandbadger.com

27 August 2014

The New Season: Buckle Up AW14

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As we look to the coming Autumn Winter 2014 season and the new arrivals in stores, one dominant shoe trend is all about buckles. Featuring both as detail and as a fastening, strap up and show off your new seasons purchase. 

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26 August 2014

The New Season: Shades of Grey AW14


Textural and tonal, Grey featured in abundance on the catwalks with Giorgio Armani basing his entire collection on the colour, adding a little lightness with lime embroidery. In London emerging designer, Barbara Casasola, focused on grey daywear with woollen jumpsuits and polished suits. 

To update your wardrobe for Autumn Winter 2014 team the pale shades of dove, silver and taupe with your darker tones of slate, charcoal and gunmetal. For detail add colour either subtly in the form of metallics or boldly with cobalt or acid tones.

I have found some of the best grey pieces online and in-stores, take a look at my style inspiration above.

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25 August 2014

The New Season: Animal Instinct AW14

Autumn Winter 2014 is taking a walk on the wild side. Firty feline prints are everywhere, from luxurious coats at Céline and Saint Laurent to separates at Gucci. In London, Simone Rocha looked to Snake prints for her stand out leather pieces. 

There are two alternate ways to rock this trend this season. If you don't want to stand out keep the look edgy and minimal.  Don't go over the top and use the print to add accents. Accessorise your look with a leopard-print scarf, bag or pair of shoes.  For evening wear a printed dress, with plain flats or team a printed jacket over a tee and jeans for a subtle feel. If you are brave, be bold and wear matching separates or a striking printed coat.

However you decide to wear it, I bring you my edit of the latest 'animal instinct' pieces to drop in stores and online.

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MaxMara at Harrods

22 August 2014

A Change of Face - Eight Of The Best Watches

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Looking for a new timepiece? I have found eight perfect watches which combine style and elegance with practicality. My favourite is Olivia Burton's 'Big Dial Chromo Watch'.  The brand was created by two friends Lesa Bennet and Jemma Fennings, who met on their first day at, my old college, LCF. The entire collection is affordable, wearable and distinctive.  The vintage inspired designs paired with a fashion-forward branding wonderfully balances our need for contemporary styles with a nostalgic twist.  

If you dream about sparkles, you need Carat* London's 'Victoria Watch' shimmering on your wrist.  The creamy leather strap boasts a rose gold tone metal bezel, adorned with Carat* lab created stones. 

New Look's 'Mink Tonal Dial Watch' at ASOS.com is one of the best bargains I have seen. Featuring a three hand movement, gold-tone bezel and leather look strap, I defy anyone to believe this design is yours for under £15!!

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New Look at asos.com
Michael Kors at net-a-porter.com