17 July 2014

the ICON 7 - Burberry Prorsum Tapestry Bowling Bag


On occasion I fall in love with pieces quite out of character. My latest must-have is Burberry's structured bowling bag featuring a smooth leather trim and side panels which contrast with a bold geometric tapestry. The design was inspired by traditional rugs, and due to the striking style it is definitely one-of-a-kind which is why I think it is a deserved #theIcon.

However, having discussed my admiration for this bag with friends I became aware it wasn't a shared love and instead in the 'Marmite' love it or hate it category.

If I was styling this bag I would team it with a navy trench or dress, brightening up a winter look.

15 July 2014

(VIDEO) Defining Beauty - Colbie Caillat's 'Try'

When I heard about US singer, Colbie Caillat's, new song 'Try' and watched the video, the powerful message within the song resonated with me. Since its release it has achieved nine million views and undoubtedly struck a chord with all of us. 

I am not going to say anything more just watch the video and I think you will agree.

Read Colbie Caillat interview with Elle Magazine.

14 July 2014

Summer 2014 - Be a beachcafe.com 'Beach Beauty'


If you are yet to visit beachcafe.com, the online destination for luxury designer swimwear, you must!

Established in 2009, by previous Harvey Nichols buyer and STUDIO THIRTEEN founder Rosi Farrow and ex-swimwear buyer Emma Fletcher,  beachcafe.com offers the online shopper everything for a perfect stylish holiday.  Sourcing beachwear from designers around the world, beachcafe.com houses over 20 covetable labels including London based 'Kaftan Queen' Juliet Dunn, Californian brand Vitamin A, Brazilian inspired label Sofia by Vix, Spanish brand Pily Q,  L*Space from LA and the renowned Australian brand Seafolly.

From bold colours, statement prints and metallics to pure white and pastel shades, beachcafe.com offers exquisite kaftans, beach dresses, glamorous swimsuits and bikinis to ensure comfort and style to allow you a relaxing holiday in the sun.

For more inspiration navigate the website for travel tips for specific places. From Bali to the Maldives, these travel notes contain small concise information on style, what to see and where to stay.

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Vitamin A

11 July 2014

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


This week I am really pleased to present a selection of home-grown British talent. From fashion and beauty to jewellery and accessories, these fabulous independent brands are the next big thing!

Lashes of London, launched in 2012, offers an array of covetable trend-led pieces with a fresh look and affordable price tag, their current summer sale is amazing!  I love their printed cropped top and skirt sets and the summer dresses.

It is a rare designer gift to inspire people instantly with your designs. It can take a while to create a signature style and house ethos, although at Caterina Stratan her core aesthetic is elegant clothing with a womanly, fifties, feeling.  I started styling Wedding's last month and I have already added the silk 'Natalie' dress, with central ruffle detail and draped back, in my selection for a summer wedding. Available in an assortment of colourways this flattering dress would create the perfect look for immediate family or perhaps bridesmaids at a low-key or beach wedding.  If you are a buyer or a boutique be sure to see Caterina Stratan's collection at Pure London.

I am loving Lost Property of London who take abandoned fabrics from anything to a coffee sack, wax cotton or leather and use it to make seriously cool bags. Although Lost Property of London are eco-conscious they also completely deliver on style. My favourite design from the collection is the basket bag for its versatility and understated design quality. The brand was established by Katy Bell who graduated from Central Saint Martins, specialising in print. When you get a moment take a look at their website as there is a design for everyone.

A graduate of Chelsea College of Art, Silken Favours is the brand of the talented Victoria Murdoch.  I love the hand drawn illustrations which have been translated into print and feature on scarves, silk cushions and decorative items. I adore this butterfly design although I love every illustration in the collection.

Hush is one of my favourite finds. Easy in style, the online store is loungewear heaven.
I have a pile of I pyjamas which are wonderfully luxurious and cosy. What caught my eye this week was this fab star knit jumper which screams a DVD night in. The label launched in 2003 by Mandy Watkins and she has reinvented the look of lounging. Instead of baggy tee shirts and tracksuit bottoms we now have light-as-air knitwear and silk tops paired with the softest trousers, which I will even dare to wear to Sainsbury's for a weekend shop. This is luxurious loungewear which everyone can love.

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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Lily Kamper at thecorner.com
Sydney Evan at gift-library.com

10 July 2014

Handbag Crush - Alfie Douglas

                                                                                                                                                                                       VIEW FULL SIZE IMAGE

It's hard to express how much joy I find in discovering a new brand that is not only super chic but also BRITISH!

As a journalist and stylist British brands are my number one priority and I couldn't be happier to introduce Alfie Douglas as my Handbag Crush this month.

I spotted one of their bags during a breakfast with a friend who works at avenue32.com. When the conversation moved to their brands I began clicking through the website on my iPad until suddenly I spotted a bag from the 'Alfie One' collection and it was love at first handbag sight.

The beauty in the collection lies within the simplicity of the designs and their sleek aesthetic. It isn't easy to design bags which combine style with substance and subtlety, but Alfie Douglas perfects the art of creating the classic, timeless bag.

The family-run brand which began in 2011 is a collaboration between four sisters and their parents. Each bag is made and finished by hand with many being entirely hand stitched thus creating unique products. The brand places a priority on sourcing the finest sustainable materials.

While I covet each and every bag within the collection my ultimate favourite is the structured tote in the Alfie One collection. I have a lot to carry daily and this tote is effortlessly stylish. 

If you are looking for a bag to last a lifetime opt for a design by Alfie Douglas.  In ten years from now you will realise the value of your investment.

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Alfie One
Alfie Two
Alfie Four
Alfie Eight

9 July 2014

July Jewellery Notes: Rachel Galley


July's Jewellery Notes feature Rachel Galley. Rachel started out her career as a jeweller in 2009. Her namesake brand is split into two lines. 'Rachel Galley Memento' which includes a range of sterling silver pieces and 'LUXE Rachel Galley' a high end jewellery line offering limited edition pieces and made to order ranges.

Rachel Galley initially found success with her brand through her latticework pieces. 'Rachel Galley Memento' draws on this success, creating collectable products with an affordable price tag. My favourite piece within the line is the Memento Diamond Cluster Pendant, constructed of six diamond lattice shapes suspended at different levels which glisten in the light.

Meanwhile 'Luxe Rachel Galley' includes jewellery made from precious metals.  My favourite collection is Snowdrop, a line including pearls which command attention from their dramatic lines and elegance.

The Venom capsule collection was created through a collaboration with Meg Matthews. The MM collection is inspired by Meg Matthew's fascination with snakes. I love the rings in this collection and how the metal set with Jade delicately twists around the finger.

Rachel Galley designs cutting edge jewellery which create completely unique collections that were made to stand out.

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'Rachel Galley Memento'

'LUXE Rachel Galley'

8 July 2014

Pack to Perfection - 15 First-Class Holiday Essentials

It is the problem we all face, packing for a holiday or summer getaway. For packing perfection I share my fifteen essential holiday items for a first-class holiday wardrobe.

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Ray-Ban at sunglasshut.com/uk
Melissa Odabash at beachcafe.com
Kora Organics by Miranda Kerr at net-a-porter.com
Mark Wojcicki at Layana London
Lancer Skincare at harrods.com

7 July 2014

Style - Sensational Swimwear : The Edit.

We have seen a shift in swimwear for the past few seasons. Designers have more freedom to create fashion-forward designs, experimenting with shape and prints. I have found some sensational pieces to suit everyone’s unique poolside style. 

My new swimwear find is Look Z at wolfandbadger.com. With a collection full of incredible prints, Look 7 swimwear is designed, produced and made in Europe, creating pieces for women who desire quality and tailoring to achieve the perfect cut and fit.

One of my favourite bikini's on the highstreet is this striking number by River Island. The retro design, featuring my two favourite contrasting colours, pink and orange, is a most flattering silhouette with a high waisted bikini bottom and sharp black edging.

Whether you're looking for a bikini or one piece. Take your pick from a further eight stylish designs guaranteed to wow on the beach.

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Beautiful Bottoms at beachcafe.com
Seafolly at John Lewis
Babajaan at beachflamingo.com
Acacia at avenue32.com
Melissa Odabash at beachcafe.com

4 July 2014

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

This month I am fully immersed in all things summer and holidays, therefore my latest #shwishlist follows the same theme.

Because I travel alot throughout the year, especially during show months, I like to spend my summer holidays visiting different parts of the UK. My holiday wardrobe always contains a loose knit, a straw hat and a cashmere scarf, all items which see me through our unpredictable British weather.  

For UK breaks I like to travel in style, allowing me to take luggage I wouldn't normally when travelling abroad. With many of my friends losing much loved designer cases from flight to flight, I leave the luxury for the UK.  This beautiful structured briefcase tote from AG by Anoesjcka Gianotti, is made from Italian leather and  obviously designed with the business traveller in mind as the bag is guaranteed to take you from the office to your hotel in style.

I am thrilled to have discovered knitwear brand, Needle completely by accident while I was searching for a birthday present for a friend who is a tailor. I wanted to find a pair of needle and thread earrings and instead at the top of my search was the Needle Boutique. I couldn't resist perusing the website and I found beautiful wearable pieces with a minimal and timeless feel. The Kos jumper is an easy to wear casual summer knit, perfect for days when you need a lighter layer.

Every summer wardrobe needs a pair of Aspiga sandals. Designed in the UK and handmade in Africa and India, the Aspiga collection includes fabulous leather sandals, bags and flip-flops. My favourite pair are these elegant White embellished sandals.

Sunscreen is a vital holiday essential and the benefits of opting for an Aloe Vera base are for the natural qualities it possesses. The Egyptians called Aloe Vera the "plant of immortality" and since then it has been used to target a variety of skin concerns from sunburn to psoriasis and eczema. With Forever Living's sunscreen it not only protects the skin from the ageing and damaging effects of the sun's UVA and UVB rays, it also acts as a protective layer on the skin, helping to replenish moisture. 

Vinnie Day's collection is free spirited, understated and chic. One of my friends posted a picture of their Vinnie Day piece on instagram and I immediately went to check out the website.  One of my favourite collections is aptly named 'On Holiday', full of designs including shells, leaves, flowers and butterflies. These piece are designed to work with a kaftan on the beach or finish the bikini look for added poolside glam. I have many favourites but the Square Interlinked Bangles caught my eye. If I was on a shoot I would style them with a black plunge neckline one-piece, hair up in a loose chignon, natural make-up and a pair of gold rimmed aviators. Keeping the look flirtatious yet elegant, contemporary and original, words that also describe all of Vinnie Day's jewellery.

I love the retro-inspired beachwear from Pistol Panties with flattering cuts and streamlined swimwear.  This is swimwear with an edge.  
I am currently coveting the 'Chantelle' a cropped bustier bikini. With it's sharp style it can easily double as a top. Wear with capri pants or high waisted shorts.

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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Forever Living at a-l-o-e.com

3 July 2014

Style - 10 of the best 'Fabulous Flats'

As soon as the sun begins to shine my ballerina flats and gladiators are out of storage and into my wardrobe. 

Summer flats are the perfect combination of style and comfort.  Living in London I always need a trusty pair of flats which not only carry me from meeting to meeting, while my heels are in my handbag, but also from day to night. 

I am in love with these orange and fuchsia butterfly sandals by Aruna Seth, a new brand now firmly on my shoe radar.  These sandals will perfectly pop a silk tee and capri pants combo or team with a floaty summer dress.

Jemima Vine's Edie metallic pumps are the epitome of luxury and are a must have shoe for all seasons. I highly recommend them.

Take your pick from the fabulous flats above, your feet will thank you!

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JuJu at Office