La Petite Anglaise is a critically acclaimed, London based fashion, lifestyle and beauty site launched in 2010 by Ella Catliff. This blog has become an essential fashion guide, featuring all the latest designs and trends.
First and foremost, how the HELL is it Christmas already!?! I know that’s a painfully cliched thing to say. Not to mention something you’ve already had pointless conversations about with every friend/family member/colleague/uber driver/human that you’ve encountered over the past few weeks. But seriously, wasn’t it August just the other day!? Not complaining though. For one thing, I’m pretty happy to see the back of 2017 and very excited for the year to come. More importantly, the arrival of peak festive season makes dressing up in the sparkliest, glammest, most OTT ensembles totally acceptable at all times. Fancy turning up to a casual family brunch looking like the lovechild of Mariah Carey and the Nutcracker Prince? Then go right ahead. No one can say dare hate on your extra-ness without seeming mean spirited… Merry Christmas one and all!
Every family has their own individual set of Christmas traditions; leisurely lie in or up early to open stockings before church, hearty walk or tv marathon, what time the big meal itself takes place, charades vs monopoly, who falls out with who over the washing up every single year… The list goes on. What you wear and/or how many outfit changes you throw during the day has its own set of time honoured traditions, in my experience at least. My usual look line up kicks off with casual wear for stocking opening and coffee mimosas. In the past that’s taken the form of tartan pyjamas and this year I’ll be debuting a delicious cashmere tracksuit that, given how incapable I am of not spilling stuff on myself could potentially be destroyed within ten minutes. Then it’s time for outfit change numero uno which inevitably involves enough layers to avoid getting hypothermia from spending a good hour shivering in a cold Church. Despite the fact that Christmas is literally the only time a year that my mum actually goes to Church – and, by her own admittance, is only there for the atmosphere – she somehow always manages to guilt me into going with her. Once back home I usually try to change back into my pyjamas/tracksuit, get told off for doing so and reluctantly continue wearing actual clothes. Opening presents, playing board games, drinking consistently and pretending to help with the cooking may not be activities that necessitate such sartorial constraints but having had that argument 25 Christmases in a row, I know full well it’s one I’ll never win. Not that we won’t have it again this year with exactly the same result… Gotta love those family traditions eh!
Moving on from that particular annual argument to the most important outfit of my Christmas day, and indeed the point of this post, dinner attire. For as long as I can remember we’ve have had our “big meal” in the evening which makes absolute sense to me for several reasons. One obvious benefit is that you can pass out in a food and/or booze induced stupor directly after polishing off the turkey without anyone expecting you to do anything other than pass the gin and/or mince pies, then watch Love Actually for the millionth time before waddling off to bed. The whole suppertime situation also brings my penultimate and by far favourite Christmas day outfit change, cocktail attire. There are some festive family traditions I could happily say goodbye to but this one I insist on sticking to and insist on everyone else sticking to too. My brother will be forced into something vaguely suave no matter how strongly he tries to resist or the impact my making him wear a semi decent shirt might have on our relationship.
As you might have guessed by now, this is the outfit I plan on wearing for Christmas dinner 2017. I’m slightly obsessed tbh and am potentially going to wear it for New Year’s Eve too. The little lace number is by Sonia H, a contemporary womenswear brand who make the most divine party pieces imaginable. I’m planning on pairing it with sky high Kurt Geiger stilettos and my Charlotte Olympia embellished box clutch. As I may have mentioned once or twice already in the post, Christmas for me is an excuse to really get my glam on. So this year I’ll be upping the accessory anti by adding lashings of Lowndes London jewellery. Named after the iconic Belgravia square, Lowndes is a contemporary jewellery brand whose pieces are inspired by the rich history of London’s high society. Their key collections, Georgiana, Ranelagh, Salisbury and Almack all reflect different tales of the city’s past and future. My personal favourites are the rose gold Almack pieces which, as luck would have it, work perfectly with my Christmas cocktail dress.
What do you think of this outfit? I’d love to know what you guys will be wearing. And of course, Happy Christmas! See you in 2018…
Happy Monday mes amies! It sure as hell has been rather a long time since I last posted… Yeah, sorry about that. There are actually pretty legit reasons for the radio silence and a lot of exciting new things to come but those are subjects for another time. For now, let’s talk about this outfit.
Given that Halloweek is still underway (yup, as fas as I’m concerned it lasts a solid seven days) you could be forgiven for thinking that this ensemble is a sixties themed costume. The miniskirt, the poloneck, the neat little white booties… If they don’t scream “swinging London” then I just don’t know what does! Add in the Union Jack inspired colour scheme and I’m legitimately wondering why I didn’t rock this ever-so-slightly Austin Powers esque look for Halloween. Oh well, there’s always next year… Or another celebration later this week, after all the fancy dress bonanza ain’t over yet now is it!
Aside from semi fancy dress dressing, one of my greatest sartorial pleasures is of course colour co-ordination. Seriously, I do it all the time without even thinking about it. I can be being carted off to A&E with a kidney infection or neck spasm and will somehow have managed to match my pyjamas to my coat, socks and pain killer filled handbag despite being blinded by pain and without even thinking about it. That’s no exaggeration, both of those things actually happened, on more than one occasion. I’m not complaining though, realising that your unicorn slippers and slightly unwashed t-shirt match did go some way to making a recurring spinal problem a smidge more bearable… Although admittedly, that could be the heavy duty muscle relaxants I’d been administered talking.
Anyway, this outfit is a red, white and blue colour co-ordination tour de force that put a spring in every step I took around Soho soaking up one of the past fortnights gorgeously crisp autumn afternoons. You most likely recognise my beloved tomato hued Maje biker jacket from many a past Look Du Jour and instagram post. No matter how excessive my kaleidescopic collection of bikers grows, it will always remain a fave. The leather miniskirt however, only the most hardcore LPA readers could know. I bought it from Urban Outfitters almost a decade ago and completely forgot it existed until I stumbled across it in my sisters bedroom while raiding her wardrobe for crop tops. Needless to say, I nabbed it straight back and have since worn it non stop, hence the rapidly disintegrating hemline. I fear I’m going to have to put it out to pasture quite soon. Any item of clothing that’s served its owner so loyally for so long deserves a peaceful retirement free from wine spillages and being slept in after all.
As with any ensemble, the finishing touches came courtesy of the accessories. First and foremost, my Aspinal Micro Lottie Bag… I am O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with it!! Aspinal are one of my absolute favourite accessory brands and the Lottie is my go-to style. Seriously, I have it in just about every colour, skin and size. The miniature Scarlet style is the latest addition to my collection and was my non stop London Fashion Week companion. Our love affair didn’t end there and the poor thing barely gets a day off tbh. Last but not least, I added the ultimate swinging London touch with a pair of sixties-tastic loafer boots by up-and-coming footwear designer Havva Mustafa. If you haven’t heard of her then you need to check her out literally right now.
What do you think of this Look Du Jour? And, more importantly, what have you been dressing up as this Halloweek?
As Coco Chanel famously said; “fashion fades, only style remains”. It’s a quote so well known and parroted it’s become cliche. The fact that it’s been plastered everywhere on everything from coasters and makeup bags to coffee table tomes and more other random objects than I could even begin to list. Regardless, the statement remains relevant, true and widely applicable today. Even to this outfit, no matter how much Mademoiselle Chanel would loathe it.
Trends change and our personal style, tastes, shapes and lives do too. But in my experience, there are certain things/people etc that you adore to the extent that they survive those changes and almost become part of your identity. For me, that is what defines “remaining style”, even if the whatever-it-is in question isn’t what I’d consider “stylish”. There are many examples of that in my wardrobe (and life) but the particular one I’m talking about right now is the colour pink.
I’ve been through many a sartorial change in my time, some more awful than others. Some so skin crawlingly appalling they’ve almost been erased from memory… Or at least, my memory. Friends and family seem remember them very clearly and take great pleasure in reminding me.. Anyway, back to remaining style and all things pink. Regardless of particular shade or how heinous the item in question may have been, pink has been a mainstay of my wardrobe and style for a long time. It weathered my Avril Lavigne “inspired” phase, the logos and low-rise True Religion jeans moment, the Juicy Couture tracksuit era (which is back btw), my WAG-tastic tango skinned time, the more recent Blair Waldorf esque prep fest and whatever is going on with my aesthetic right now. Right now, this ensemble is my ideal pink situation. It’s coordinated to a level some might consider unhealthy and there’s an A-line mini involved, two qualities that could be attributed to the majority of outfits I’ve work over the past five years. But I feel that this outfit has a different aesthetic and my overall style does too, whatever a pink-on-pink colour coordination situation may suggest on paper. Swapping a Peter Pan collar blouse for a boxy cut Commes Des Garçons t-shirt and replacing ballet flats with sneakers may sound insignificant but can be the exact opposite, both in terms of aesthetics and attitude. Ultimately, whether I end up wearing sweatpants or Scandi chic oversized tailoring or bodycon just-about-qualify-as- mini-dresses it is very clear that pink will always remain.
Fancy rocking a palette of pinks too? Or maybe you just like one of the pieces but don’t want to dress like a paint swatch used to decorate a seven year old’s Princess themed bedroom… Either way, you’re in luck. Both my t-shirt and skirt can be snapped up on Farfetch.com… I mean, obviously!
Basically every sartorial delight worth wanting, having or dreaming about can be found there. Speaking of Farfetch, in between browsing, wish listing, cart stocking and weighing up whether paying your phone bill is actually more important than owning whatever item(s) capture your heart, I’d also recommend checking out the Style Guides section. Over the past couple of months I and a few other influencers have been working with Farfetch to style out dressing dilemmas and current trends. The two I’ve been involved in so far are online now, you can click straight through here & here.
Can you actually believe that I managed not to give this Look Du Jour a nautical themed name?! As many of you probably already know all too well, I have a long standing obsession with all things nautical. An obsession that has resulted in my owning at least twenty-six sailor striped tees and sporting an anchor tattoo on my right buttock, true story. Let’s not even go into the ingrained need to uniform level colour co-ordinate at all times, even when jet lagged, hungover or bed bound with flu. Anyway, the reason I went for “Orchid Orange” instead of another nautical related name on this occasion was my handbag. Not only because of its gloriously summer shade but also due to a source of inspiration cited by its’ creator, Kenzo Takada…
Yep, I meant the Kenzo Takada; the iconic Japanese-French designer whose unique way of combining Eastern and Western style will forever hold a crucial role in the history of fashion. Keno Takada’s designs were renowned for their youthful, joyous fusion of bright colours and bold patterns. One need only think of the deliberately clashing shades and prints that permeate today’s trends to recognise the influence his work still has today. Produced in collaboration with beauty giant Avon and inspired the Orange Orchic and the Campanula, two flowers each carrying a personal meaning for the designer, this bag conveys that aesthetic and the intimate creative journey behind Takada’s work perfectly. Not to mention, makes it an ideal way to add an instant injection of summery brightness into your spring wardrobe.
Now let’s talk about the rest of this outfit. I’d be hard pushed to think of an ensemble more typical of my style! As you know, I’m all about a biker jacket and this scarlet stunner from Maje is the perfect way to break away from the ubiquity of black leather. It’s colour clashes with the orange of the bag, which I’m going to claim was in homage to the style of Kenzo Takada. Denim skirts are a current obsession of mine and I’ve literally been wearing them non stop! This Whistles number has a lace up detail at the front which is very on trend for SS17 and gives it a point of different from the others in my ever growing collection.
Despite always being a ballet pump or heels kind of girl in the past, recently I’ve found myself gravitating more towards trainers and plimsoles for casual outfits. It doesn’t get more classic casual than ice white Keds, am I right? Unfortunately I’m incapable of not spilling stuff on myself, stepping in puddles and generally getting things grubby so these bad boys probably can’t be classed as “ice white” anymore… Maybe I should stock up on a few more pairs to wear on rotation.
What do you think of this Look Du Jour? And are you a fan of the Kenzo Takada x Avon collaboration?
Ok, so maybe I’m a leeeeetle late to the party on this one but sometimes it takes you a while to warm up to a trend… Or, being totally honest, fit into your super tight FRAME Denim cropped kick flares after a Christmas season spent over indulging in everything except trips to the gym. Anyway, back to the denim. This particular breed of jean has been E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E for a while now and I’ve finally jumped on board the cropped kick flare bandwagon.
I promise this entire post won’t be an homage to the cropped kick flare, despite what the title and opening paragraph may suggest. But seriously, they are totally genius and perhaps the ultimate trans-seasonal denim especially on those late Spring/early Summer days when it inevitably pisses with rain but you don’t actually want to revert to winter dressing. So instead, team a cropped kick flare with a jaunty pair of boots – preferably metallic or sparkly or patterned – and you avoid getting cold, wet ankles without feeling sartorially stuck in February. For example, when I braved the arctic temperatures of St Andrews last month and wore this ensemble. Full disclosure, I was still freezing. But not quite as freezing as I would have been had I wore pumps.
Back in London, things have been looking up weather wise, necessitating a nice breeze around your ankles and allowing my cropped kick flares to really have their moment in the sun… Sorry, couldn’t resist. As you’ve probably clocked, these babies are by FRAME Denim which is one my absolute favourite brands. Launched in 2012 as the ultimate supermodel-off-duty denim label, FRAME now delivers full on ready-to-wear collections While their fare may not always be budget friendly, it is so damn good that I would highly recommend investing. I’ve been lusting after the entire SS17 collection since January and having checked out next season’s stuff a month or so ago, I can confirm it’s every bit as awesome.
The rest of my look was, surprise surprise, a colour co-ordination situation because why wear one blue item when you can wear FIVE!? I’m in something of a style flux at the moment and have been experimenting with more grown up, sexier and even sportier looks. Then there are still times when I want to dress like Blair Waldorf, but also give that preppiness of my past a more directional, contemporary edge. These cropped kick flares achieve that perfectly.
What do you think of this Look Du Jour? Will you be wearing cropped kick flares this season?
Brand new boujie restaurant review coming at you mes amies! It’s been a while since I last talked wining and dining on La Petite Anglaise (which definitely doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing more than my fair share of just that) so StreetXO London is a more than fittingly fabulous venue to comeback with. As per usual, I do use the term “review” loosely because I’m definitely no seasoned food critic. But I do know a think or three about having a good time and we most certainly did at this brand, spanking new Mayfair hotspot…
Street XO London is the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef David Muñoz, a man renowned as “the enfant terrible of Spanish gastronomy” and whose Madrid restaurant, Diver XO, boasts a year long wait list. I suspect it won’t be long until its Mayfair counterpart is similarly impossible to get into. Why the acclaim, the stars and the wait list? Muñoz’ unique talent for experimental and often seemingly bizarre gastronomical concoctions. Think Pekinese dumplings created from crunchy pig’s ear and slathered in strawberry hoi sin, aioli and gherkins or a Steamed club sandwich involving ricotta cheese, fried quail egg and shichimi-togarashi, both of which we sampled at Street XO London. I’m often inclined to be a pretty boring orderer, sticking to what I know and love but even I had to admit that Muñoz’ madcap, slightly terrifying fare was delicious.
As you definitely know, when it comes to bars and restaurants I’m all about the ambiance. And that “ambiance” is ideally OTT, luxe AF and feels like a fiesta. Street XO London nails that from the second you walk through its fittingly dark and extravagant door. After trotting down a corrigated iron staircase you emerge into a space that manages to be both eye poppingly bright and also dimly lit, moody and nightclub like. Servers clad in what appear to be straight jackets lead you through a maze of neon signs and red lacquer before offering up an array of cocktails that are every bit as experimental as the food. The ‘Japo, Jerez’, for example, has smoked pea soda, shiso, miso, yuzu, sake and palo cortado in it, and is served with flamed street shrimp. Given that I’m boring and love wine I went straight for champagne followed by Sancerre, but was assumed by my less dull fellow guests that their significantly less basic beverages were spectacular.
What to wear to a particular bar or restaurant is, as far as I’m concerned, a pretty bloody important part of the whole experience. I went for dark floral chiffon situation by my beloved Markus Lupfer which turned out to be right on the money. Not just because of it’s ready-to-salsa vibe but also due to the fact underground restaurants packed with patrons and full of flames – both in the open kitchen and on the tables – tend to be rather toasty. Low heeled 3.1 Phillip Lim mules were perfect for tackling the stairs after more Sancerre than anyone should really drink in one sitting (or probably one week if I’m honest) and a bit of Bulgari by way of my handbag was a suitably lured up touch for such a venue.
Huge thanks to StreetXO for an amazing dinner and gastronomical experience I won’t forget for a while! For more info and to book yourself a table check out their website here.
Holy hell this year is going fast, how is it almost June already!?! Not that I’m really complaining, June is an excellent month. My birthday, the official start of summer, my birthday, parties galore, my birthday, racing season… Oh and did I mention, my birthday? Maybe once… But believe it or not my annual excuse to behave like the nightmare lovechild of P Diddy and Paris Hilton is not the subject of this post, that’s a tale for another day, maybe. I am in fact going to talk about a different joyous June occurrence, the Investec Derby.
As you no doubt already guessed, I’m not about to share any great insight into or information about racing. I wouldn’t even know where to begin! The subject of this post is of course Derby style. Earlier this year, Investec Derby approached me to partner with them as an official Style Consultant and Ambassador alongside Esquire Style Director Theo Van Den Broeke, renowned Male Style Writer/Influencer Grey Fox and Couture Milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan. Obviously, my answer was an instant yes.
There are few, if any, things the British love more than traditional sporting events that have been taking place for centuries and dressing for said events… Apart from tea and complaining about the weather, obvs. But that’s beside the point so let’s get back to the matter at hand (after I’ve made myself a nice cup of Earl Grey) AKA dressing for annual sporting events, like the Investec Derby.
In the past dressing for the races, or indeed at all, was both a much simpler affair and an infinitely more boring one. Nowadays most of us are free to explore, enjoy and choose from a vast spectrum of styles, silhouettes, aesthetics and trends. Centuries of social, economical and sartorial progression has culminated in a situation that is wonderful, empowering and a lot of fun. It can, however, make styling oneself for a traditional British event like the derby somewhat challenging. If your day to day style is androgynous and minimal, why should you feel obliged to force yourself to wear a floral sundress and colour popping lipstick just because it’s derby day? Short answer, you shouldn’t and nor do you have to. There’s always a way to stay true to your personal style and wear what you feel comfortable in while also respecting the dress codes of whatever event you happen to be attending. Investec gave me a lot of creative freedom with these videos so that was the message I tried to convey and base my style tips around. Reckon I managed it?
I really hope you’ve enjoyed these #DerbyStyle videos. Which look would you go for, minimal chic or feminine? Let me know if any of you guys are going to the races!
Huge thanks to Small Luxury Hotels and Dukes Hotel London for providing our beautiful shoot location. And to Whistles, Charlotte Olympia, Lisa Redman, Anne Bowes Jewellery and Rachel Trevor Morgan Millinery for the perfect derby attire.
I’ve managed to just about avoid raving about the arrival of Spring for at least two posts now, so I reckon it’s ok to indulge start doing so again, plus this post basically requires me to do so. Annoyingly, the weather in London seems to have other ideas and has been rather very cold and grey of late but I’ll be damned if the threat of pneumonia or worse, purple knees, will stop me from dressing in SS17 attire. Especially when the sunseeking delights in question are quite as delightful as Rebecca Minkoff’s…
I definitely do not need to tell you guys that Rebecca Minkoff is one of my absolute favourite designers. Rarely an instagram or blog post on LPA goes by that doesn’t include at least one RM piece! Rebecca herself is an utterly lovely, gorgeous, inspiring, smart AF woman who has built an incredible brand that truly delivers accessible, wearable luxury. Her pieces tap into seasonal trends but do so subtly therefore making them wearable long beyond said trend’s season, a quality greatly facilitated by their reliably great quality. As someone who owns a whole lotta RM and is incapable of not leaving jackets on bar floors / wearing their shoes into the ground / sleeping in their party dresses / generally giving their clothes a real battering, I can vouch for that! Speaking of clothes, let’s talk about these outfits from Rebecca Minkoff’s SS17 collection and my styling session with them.
You know the phrase “Canadian Tuxedo”? Well, I like to think of this as a “Suedian Tuxedo”… Or rather, I just thought of that pun and am currently chuckling to myself much harder than it warrants. My frankly pretty lame joke aside, how bloody great is suede!? It is the perfect trans-seasonal fabric and provides a sometimes much needed relief from the ubiquity of leather, particularly at this time of year when you’ve probably spent the past couple of months trying to wean yourself off Winter coats with biker jackets layered over whatever sweater is thin enough to squeeze underneath. Suede also looks infinitely less ridiculous than leather when worn tuxedo style à la this outfit, not to mention being a whole lot softer and more comfortable to run around in. This ensemble is a great one for early Spring because it works just as well paired with boots and long sleeved tees (preferably of the striped variety) as it does with wedge sandals and broderie anglaise… Oh how I hope to be wearing the latter ASAP.
Ahhhh white jeans. Once synonymous with Sloane Rangers and Liz Hurley but now officially fash approved… On a sidetone, I never understood how looking like Liz could be a bad thing, she’s a goddess I’d kill to resemble even a little bit! But anyway, let’s get back to the subject of jeans. Fashion’s current denim obsessions include looser cuts, cropped mini kick flares and raw hems, all sartorial attributes these Rebecca Minkoff babies most certainly possess. Also if, like me, you have a stringently self-enforced “no tights after March” rule then white jeans are a wardrobe essential that will be a godsend when you don’t want to break said rule but the weather isn’t playing ball so going bare legged would mean risking the aforementioned and eternally dreaded purple knees.
I just realised that these three outfits and the order I’ve unthinkingly happened to arrange them in seems to demonstrate three key sartorial stages of transitioning your wardrobe into Spring/Summer. Not going to lie, that wasn’t a conscious decision but perhaps it was a subconscious one on some level. Thinking back on previous years this is definitely how my outfit choices tend to evolve as the seasons change and the weather (hopefully) warms up. There are a lot of excellent pieces going on in this ensemble but it all started with the sundress and tie up tassled sandals. You know when you can’t resist buying high summer, hot weather holiday pieces even though you’re going to spend the next few months far from a beach and growing ever more impatient to wear them? Happens every damn year and tbh is a wise move because all the good stuff will be long sold out or hidden within a hellscape of sale rails. Anyway, that frustration provided my styling inspiration here. The contemporary-update-on-a-boucle-jacket obviously adds some much needed insulation. More importantly, it’s sharply tailored, city sleekness stops the breezy cotton coverup and sandals combo from rocking an aesthetic that screams “I just got back from holiday and am in denial about it”.
What do you think of these three outfits? Would you wear them out and about now?