Fame became her

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‘She was exceptional when I met her at 4 years old; she was absolutely full on’ . I interviewed Sarah Doukas recently. One Britain’s paramount model makers, Doukas’ daughter was in the same class as Cara at school. ‘I always thought she’d end up famous.’

Picture courtesy of W Magazine. 

4pm Wednesday: Finery

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Trends / Wednesday 4pm


There are exciting things brewing in my world. No, not another baby, or at least, not of the crying, chubby sort. A work baby.  And it’s taking up quite a lot of my time, which kind of explains why this blog has become a temporary weekly shopping destination. The very least I can do is keep the nice clothes coming. And even better, this week I can offer you a discount too!

Finery, the new kid on the hughstreet block is making waves. Good waves. Fashionable waves. Waves that won’t break the bank. The label, which I mentioned back in January,  is now up and running. It has great skirts, slouchy blouses that are quietly sexy and a stonking shoe series. Today, though, I want to showcase its print dresses. These three beauties descend in price order from left to right: £89, £75 and £59. They have different personalities and yet sit together as a satisfying trio.

Finery is brimming with smart, easy going and stylish designs.  If you’re keen, then this enter this promo code at checkout and enjoy a 25 per cent discount: EASTER25. Discount is valid until Monday 6th April. I think I’m going to go for the one of the left. I love the neat collar and open, Seventies-style lace. It’s perfect for my new work venture, the details of which will follow my Finery shopping needs. Some things never change….

4pm Wednesday: Le Specs

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Wednesday 4pm

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I would love one of those drawers with divided sections just for sunglasses. So luxurious, don’t you think? Mmm, what kind of sun am I vibing today? Sporty sun? Chic sun? It’s one of my dreams. I have a fair few pairs of sunglasses, but alas no drawer.

What I do have, as of about 8 minutes ago, is a new pair of summer spectacles ready to be stuffed into one of my handbags. It will no doubt be scratched beyond repair within the first month of its life under my ownership – I am an irresponsible sunglasses mother.

This new pair, which are winging their way to me from the kind people at net-a-porter.com, is by Le Specs.

Born in Australia in 1979, Le Specs made its mark on Eighties fashion with its unique blend of directional and affordable eyewear. The brand draws inspiration, apparently, from the flea markets of Berlin, the streets of New York and the music scene in Stockholm. Mmm, I’m not sure I know much about any of these creative scenes. What I do know, is that I love its designs.

My pair, the Hey Macarena (what’s not to love?!) is a snip at just £35. I love the round tortoiseshell frames. They look kind of goofy in a good way. Best of all though, my new sunnies have reflective lenses: perfect for covert people watching.

Soon, my eyes will be in very good company.  Other Le Specs wearers include Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Matthew McConaughey, Cara Delevingne and Rihanna. It’s such a good crowd, I’m not even going to wait for the sun to shine.

NB – Unfortunately, white lilo and beach body are not included.


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Pearl and Tallulah

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By the way, this isn’t my research.

Honestly, I received an email last week that told me I was breaking the law, thank goodness the police are not involved. By looking after my two young children I am in breach of EU time directives. It’s hilarious, and thought provoking. The press release went on to break things down properly:

⎯    Caring full time for a baby puts you in breach of Articles 3, 5 and 6 (b) of 2003 directive

⎯    Mums exceed maximum working hours, are not given adequate rest periods and do not receive paid annual leave from their baby employers

Naturally, I forwarded the press release straight onto my husband.

Rather brilliantly, he agreed.

‘The number of hours each week that British mothers spend looking after their children would be in breach of the European Union’s Working Time Directive if this work were to be treated in the same way as paid employment, research by leading greeting card and gift retailer Clintons has revealed.’

‘The Working Time Directive states that employees should work no longer than 48 hours per week. Workers are also entitled to a rest period of eleven consecutive hours in every 24-hour day, a rest break every six hours of work; an uninterrupted rest period of 24 hours in every seven day week, and paid annual leave of at least four weeks every year.  Employees who work night shifts have extra protection and cannot be asked to work more than eight hours in a 24-hour period.’

This is just a bit of food for thought really. Of course us mothers, and fathers, who do the lion’s share of the childcare do it out of pure love. Most of us wouldn’t change it. The laughter, those classic toddler comments [Pearl: ‘Mummy I love your face, where did you buy it from?’], infinite naked, squidgy cuddles, they beat super salaries. But I would like more sleep. More time off. More employment rights.

Pass this on and get your efforts recognised; parents who stay at home are also working, we just answer to people who require swaddling, burping, calming down and plenty of snacks.

4pm Wednesday: Midi skirts

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Midi 2

Yes, I’ve been slacking (read: working/parenting two young girls) on the blog front. But would I forget your weekly shopping entry? Would I ever.

Midi skirts. I want one. I want more than one. I want lots. I want brown legs too. And for the weather to not bite my bare skin.

The latter two must wait; midi skirts though, let’s shop!

From left to write I’ve got H&M (£39.99), Misguided (£20) and Topshop (£55). All high street and all pretty fabulous – that’s my pleasure.

I’ve been thinking ahead and bought myself some nude, Seventies ankle boots.  The idea is, that I’m going to do as the models above, and match boots, skirt and some kind of slouchy jumper.

I’m not sure NW10 is ready. I’m not sure I am ready. Photo to follow…

4pm Wednesday: Indoor Plants

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There is a Seventies revival this summer. Flares are back, as we’ve already discussed, and so are macramé plant hangers, terrariums and all manner of indoor greenery. Forget vintage-looking, loosely tied bunches of flowers; if you want to be ahead of the fauna trend, you’ll need to know your succulents from your cheese plants.

The inspiration behind my own obsession is the florist Grace and Thorn. Yes, owner Nik does pretty, floral bouquets, but her love is indoor greenery. The shop, with its raw concrete plinths acts as the perfect backdrop for the different types of architecture – some flowing, others rigid – that plants can provide. I’ve got my eye on this String of Hearts plant, main picture, which comes in the pot and delivered to your home for a not too bad, £46.

For a more do-it-yourself approach, try Etsy for planters (it has 31 pages to browse through..) and then head to your local garden centre for main event. All of the smaller images, above, come from different Etsy sellers, bar the circular hanger, third from the left, which is just £8 from Ikea. This pot makes up part of the new spring collection, which hasn’t quite reached the shop floor; try in a few weeks it’s called the BITTERGURKA.

It has been proven that having plants in your home and work place helps reduce harmful airborne contaminants, and more importantly, brings down stress levels. Go forth and plant my friends, your soul – and your lungs – with be eternally thankful.

The Oscars 2015

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Award Season


I can safely say that I only liked three Oscar dresses this year. Marion Cotillard’s hole-punched, gathered Dior Couture gown was by far my favourite. She looks fresh and timeless; not too much flesh on show, not too wishy washy. The silhouette is ace; I want to cuddle up to that dress, it looks so cosy and yet so very on it, too. Emma Stone chose the perfect shade of pond green to balance her expertly waved, slice of chestnut hair. The dress is by Elie Saab; a Lebanese designer who can, often does, takes things too far (see: J Lo). This dress though, with its sinewy lines and sheer arms is wonderful. And then, there’s Meryl. I’m not including her as some kind of token to the older woman. I am including her because she looks bloody fantastic. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz put together this skirt, shirt and blazer combination – I think it’s rocking. And look! My top three dress wearers are all smiling! Real, happy smiles, and so they should.


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Self PortraitIt’s London Fashion Week, and in honour of great British fashion talent let me introduce you to Self Portrait. Their fresh designs, which blend an architectural silhouette with sheer fabrics and bold laces, are exquisite. And only about £150 a pop.

I’m serious, the fashion pack are going crazy for them. Sexy, but not smutty, fashion-y and yet still wearable, these are clothes that draw you in. You want to touch them, you want to buy them.

Self Portrait launched in 2013 with the intention of making good design accessible, and they’re certainly delivering. I’ll be wearing something from their Summer collection for a family wedding I have Australia in November. The problem is, I just can’t make up my mind which style to go for… I know, modern day problems.

You can pre-order the newest styles on their website (above), or go to asos for a great edit, and their usual catwalk videography.

4pm Wednesday: Hay Dot cushion

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Wednesday 4pm


Ok, first of all an apology. It’s been a busy week and I have been a bit slack. Daughter number one was in hospital for a little operation (all went smoothly), work has been piling on (exciting news coming soon…) and there was a big birthday (and party) in the family. Last night, I was asleep by 9.30pm. The blog, I’m sad to say, has been neglected.

But there is always time for a little shopping. And today I’m fantasying about cushions. I’m always thinking about interiors because our house still needs a lot of attention.  The bones are done, but we need more storage, more time to garden and cushions. There are plenty of other things required too, I just don’t have the heart or space to bore you with them all.

On the cushion front, I have, at least decided what I want. And they are these beauts, above, with the buttons. No, not in pink; they come in a lovely minty green, which would work nicely with our soft pastel walls, teak G-Plan sideboard and a pair of pale grey Conran love seats. The cushions, by Danish brand Hay, are just plump enough to feel comfortable and hold their shape without requiring hours of fluffing.

The brand has been around for some time, and is quickly gaining stockists and awareness in the UK. We recently bought a Hay quilt and are still luxuriating under it’s warm, polygon stitching. Selfridges has a good selection of their products, including the aforementioned cushions.  The only problem is, the damn things are £81 a pop.  Thankfully, Hay also has a selection of colourful steel coated trays, which come in all manner of geometric shapes. They are great fun, help keep remote controls and knick knacks looking tidy, and start at a much more wallet-friendly £20.

4pm Wednesday: Trench Me Up

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Wednesday 4pm


I am so over winter. The speckled grey of my coat has become wearisome. My scarf is bobbly. And my ankles are yearning for fresh air.

At around this time every year I grow a deep desire for a new trench coat. Granted, the one I actually own is still going strong (Alexander Wang for Gap, bought six or seven years ago), but (of course there is a but) I want a new one. Plain and simple.

I want a trench coat that, with its neat tailored lines and crisp beige finish, says Hello Spring!  I want a trench coat that I can just as easily wear to work meetings, as I can out to lunch. I want a trench coat that I can style over something a little bit furry whilst the weather refuses to warm.

This one, by J Crew is as near to perfect as I’ve found.  At £298, it ain’t exactly cheap. But these classic pieces go on for years….. or at least that’s my excuse.