17 April 2014

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

Firstly I would like to thank you for all the great feedback I have received from my #shwishlist. It is great to hear I am not alone in loving these wonderful independent brands.

This week's #shwishlist has been influenced by the beautiful weather we have seen recently. The sunshine and blue skies at home is making my Easter break all the more enjoyable, especially as half of my friends are at Coachella! Using the warm weather as a starting point I have found some fabulous pieces, perfect to wear in the sunshine.

I am utterly enthralled with luxury lingerie and lounge-wear label Ell and Cee. Established in 2002 by fashion graduate Laura Cloke. The beautiful pieces are striking. Designed with brides in mind, the collection features silks and chiffons which sit perfectly under your wedding outfit. Although, you don't need to be a bride-to-be to appreciate the Ell and Cee collections. For this reason I have included the enchanting Pearl Margot Maxi Robe. This darling piece can suit many occasions due to the versatility of the design. The waist is sculpted to the shape of your choice with a removable, heavily encrusted pearl belt and the ties located on the sleeves allow you to vary the length. Perfect for a wedding, a cover up on the beach or lunch with the girls, this maxi is the ultimate in femininity.

Ghost was acquired by Touker Suleyman (Hawes & Curtis) in 2012 and is returning to the forefront of fashion with its classic pieces such as this dove grey Alma coat, perfect for Royal Ascot or a special occasion.  Over the years I have bought many Ghost pieces and I am excited that the brand is developing and establishing a new core Ghost customer.

Jewellery is never far from my mind and I found Jessica Naylor-Leyland's pieces when a friend of a friend was wearing a similar necklace. She explained the 'Set in Stone' piece was spelling out her name by precious stones. In that instance I pulled out my iPad and began to navigate the website. With a name as long as mine, I need to be patient before I can claim a necklace as beautiful and clever such as this. Although it isn't just names you can set in stone, it would also be a way of sending a hidden message to a special person.

I have eyelashes which feel like they were straightened from birth. I have tried almost every mascara which promises curls and they have never managed to shape them. However a few months ago I found Eyeko and I actually have movement!! Favoured by celebrity MUAs such as Lisa Eldridge and Kay Montano, Eyeko blends a unique ingredient list with a technical brush to lift and curls lashes while conditioning at the same time. If you want a more tailored approach to your eye make up, definitely take a look at the Eyeko collection.

To allow you a closer view of these covetable 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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Deetz, at Avenue 32

15 April 2014

Handbag Crush - Florian London

Luxury accessories brand Florian London was founded in 2011 by previous accessories buyer, John Edwards.

Specialising in practical yet stylish leather bags, the collection features sleek shapes in a trend-led colour palette. With functionality at the brands heart, inside each Florian London handbag is a variety of perfectly placed compartments suitable for the working woman or busy-mum aiding with organisation and storage. Larger handbags can also fit a small laptop or tablet within the bag.

I have featured a few of my favourite styles, above, which I fell in love with at the brands press day.

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14 April 2014

Label to Love - Alessandra Rich: Feminine Designs with a Distinctive Aesthetic.

I started buying the designs of Alessandra Rich back in March 2010 when I needed something different yet sophisticated for a friends Wedding at Claridge's. Net-a-Porter had sent me an e-newsletter telling me about a new addition to the collections and I fell in love with a column draped silk gown.

The label might have escaped household fame for a few years, but the London-based brand is fast becoming the go-to designer for red carpet dressing with a distinctive aesthetic.
A few seasons ago when I was in Paris for Fashion Week I had the opportunity to take a closer view at the brands showrooms. The elegant structured gowns, rich in texture and embellishment have become a signature look for Alessandra Rich and seen within all of the collections to date.  

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10 April 2014

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

I have enjoyed a great week with some exciting projects coming up and I look forward to sharing these with you soon. With the latest dose of beautiful weather I forced myself to leave the office and walk to all of my showroom appointments, to peruse the Autumn/Winter 2014 collections.  Take a look at my Instagram feed for a preview of what is in store next season.

During my visits it was a great opportunity to discover new brands. One in particular is Nica Handbags. The namesake brand of Nica Kim launched in 2005 whilst she was still studying at the London College of Fashion. Nica won a competition to spend a week with the design team of a handbag specialist and the Nica brand was formed shortly after. Nine years on the brand has dramatically expanded with 400 stockists including well known department stores, such as John Lewis, to independent fashion boutiques. With her penchant for quirky patterns and materials, Nica has established a core style of handbag known for their individuality, practicality and affordability.

One brand which I have known for a while is Beautiful SoulI met Creative Director Nicola Woods at her very first press day. The luxury womenswear line was established from her desire to create beautiful pieces from vintage kimono's, up-cycling and transforming them into a unique tailored garment. In 2011 the Ready-to-Wear line, Beautiful Soul London, began and the pieces are undeniably irresistible. Designed and made in the UK, Beautiful Soul is committed to sustainability, balancing the core style of the brand with ethical principles. Last year the label was shortlisted for the Sustainable City Awards.  If you are looking for  an outfit for a Summer Wedding or a day at the races, please take a look at the Beautiful Soul collection, with the most beautiful prints these garments need to be seen.

My first pair of Cleo B shoes featured the most amazing 'cassette tape' heel. I spent a whole season wearing them to everything and received many compliments. Easy to walk in, incredible to look at totally nostalgic, taking me back to my childhood mixing tapes with friends.  The next style on my Cleo B shopping list are these feminine shoe boots, featuring a curvaceous form. Also, Cleo B have now added the insanely cool 'shoe clips' to the collections, enabling you to customise your shoes even further!

To allow you a closer view of these covetable 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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9 April 2014

the ICON 3 - Smythson's Panama Tote in Dove Grey

The Smythson Panama Tote is one of the most covetable bags of the season.  Taking its name from the iconic diary designed, in 1908, by Frank Smythson; this structured leather tote is wonderfully spacious, perfect for day-to-day use or a weekend away.  

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that my unceasing obsession with all things Smythson has extended beyond their elegant stationery and I am now lusting after every handbag within the Spring/Summer 2014 collection!

The Panama tote is available in a variety of sumptuous summer hues, although my favourite is the classic and trans-seasonal dove grey. I can see myself carrying it, everywhere, for many years to come.

8 April 2014

Label to Love - AQ/AQ: Statement Dresses and Bold Separates

In July 2013 Aqua by Aqua re-branded itself to AQ/AQ and I was lucky enough to attend the launch party. This fresh, London brand create pieces to make a strong statement and bold entrance for any party girl.

I love the brands core aesthetic featuring clean lines, a smattering of print and a collection available in a multitude of stunning bright hues. AQ/AQ lies ahead of its competitors by creating an aspirational, high fashion, brand at an accessible and achievable price point. 

It lies within my category of directional brands who cleverly balance sophistication in style with a provocative ethos.

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7 April 2014

SS14 Trend - Ladylike Lace

Lace is an enduring trend. For SS14 lace is ladylike and romantic in mood. Burberry Prorsum featured a sorbet shade collection with lace detailing on coats and lace separates worn under cashmere. 
Laser cut lace was also on the catwalks of Chloe, Peter Pilotto and Meadham Kirchoff.

I have found a selection of fabulous lace pieces for your Spring/Summer wardrobe by some of my favourite fashion brands.

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Aurelie Bidermann at my-wardrobe.com

4 April 2014

Introducing 'Style Me' - A New Monthly Post to Style You Personally.

Owing to a conversation I had with a friend recently I decided to introduce an exciting new monthly post entitled, ‘Style Me’.  This opportunity will allow you to be styled by me via email.  Whether you have an upcoming ball or summer wedding to attend, or maybe you need some work style advice, whatever the occasion I will aim to find you the perfect look to solve your style problems. 

This months 'Style Me' is for Olivia who needed an outfit for her 18th Birthday. I am thrilled that Olivia chose my favourite choice, a periwinkle shift dress featuring a draped back and elegant slash neckline by ASOS.

Would you like to be in the next 'Style Me' post?  The service is completely free and there is no obligation to buy anything I send you. Simply email your name, age, and the answers to the following questions to: styling@sarahhayleyfreelance.com with STYLE ME in the subject box.
1. What event are you attending?
2. What is your budget?
3. What style would you like to adopt? For example, edgy, trendy, colourful or sophisticated?
4. Have you bought anything already to wear with your new outfit?

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3 April 2014

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

Due to a very busy working week I haven't had the opportunity to spend as much time as I would like researching for this post and also checking my #shwishlist emails. Thank you to all the brands who I have already emailed me, it's wonderful to see such a variety of independent brands based around the UK.

This week I have included a few brands I have found at press days and on social media.  One of my favourites is Wondaland. A new British womenswear label by Alice Keswick. Alice has an enviable list of past roles in fashion, including working as a buyer for one of my most beloved vintage boutiques, Atelier-Mayer. It is easy to see that these experiences have influenced the Wondaland brand with an overall vintage focus updated with modern detailing or a contemporary shaping of a classic. I also admire how the prints within the collection are part of a collaboration with an artist or textile designer. My favourite piece within the current collection is the versatile, 'Marais Jacket', a loose tux style jacket with a printed lining and casual aesthetic. For daytime wear with a white shirt, a cigarette trouser and metallic courts. Or to change the look entirely for evening wear with a white strapless bodycon dress and belt the jacket at the waist to create an asymmetric peplum. 

I love the sound of British honey skincare brand Therapi. The brands skincare line is certified organic by the Soil Association and is the creation of honey producer, Tanya Hawkes, who donates 5% of the profits to bee conservation. I discovered the brand last year although I actually cannot remember where I bought my moisturiser from.  Born and bred in the idyllic Cotswold's I am very aware of how vital Bees are to our environment, in particular because we know that over one-third of our food supply relies upon them for pollination.  This Therapi moisturiser helps to rejuvenate your skin with extracts of rose and sandalwood with the nourishing properties of honey, rosehip oil and shear butter.

Due to my stationary addiction naturally no #shwishlist would be complete without a notebook or writing paper. This week I have found the delightful brand Noble Macmillan London. With a longstanding heritage within stationery and leather goods, I am unsure why the luxury label has escaped my notice for so long! However I am now firmly obsessed and have an extensive wishlist. First on the list is this leather covered lined notebook, available in a variety of shades.

Add a little love to the lives of your family or friends with this pretty handmade love ring by Stephen Einhorn. Completely customisable, you can choose the metal and stone. I opted for a pink sapphire set within rose gold.

If you are heading to sunnier climates you must look at the Amoir Camaira collection. With high fashion designs and shapes, this is no ordinary swimwear and undeniably elegant.  My favourite above is the 'Esmaya' featuring an overall rouching, double lining and a stunning open back.  If you want to turn heads this summer this is the look for you.

To allow you a closer view of these covetable 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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1 April 2014

April Jewellery Notes - Astrid & Miyu

April's Jewellery Notes features Astrid & Miyu, founded in 2011 by Connie Nam and Jenny Orlova.

Astrid is Swedish and Miyu is Japanese which means 'exceptionally beautiful' in their respective languages and this is the best way to describe the collections they create.

With accessible price points at the heart of this brand, they design beautiful, wearable and quality jewellery which everyone can own.

You will see some of my favourite designs above, although when I navigated the Astrid & Miyu website I felt like I had discovered an online treasure chest, hence my wishlist is now rather extensive.  At the top is the Puppy Love Ring which dazzles the hand and secondly I love The Double Disc Necklace for its delicate quality and layer style. It is a staple necklace, simple and elegant allowing you to wear with everything.

To stay up to date with all things Astrid & Miyu follow them on twitter or facebook.

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