Intelligent Style

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

A couple of weeks ago it seemed like Paris had suddenly skipped a season. We went from 25c one day to 15c the next. For me, anything below 20 is I immediately started searching around for warmer clothes. I may have grown up in the UK, but I do not fare well in the cold (being half Californian might have something to do with it!) When looking for clothes I always make a list and I'm one of those people who will spend hours searching online to see what's out there. I know it takes the spontaneity out of spur of the moment purchases, but I like to know that what I’m buying will fit in with what I already own. Wardrobe essentials therefore (to me) are rather ingenious - not just a ploy to keep you buying, they actually make you look good easily and effortlessly. I usually add pieces every season - clothes that I know will stand the test of time and wear; spending my money on items that are timeless, elegant and have longevity. I like to think of myself as an intelligent shopper. 

Despite now living in France, I still love British brands and ME+EM set up by Brit, Clare Hornby to offer contemporary clothing with a focus on cut, material and quality, caters to my taste perfectly. Luckily she gave me the opportunity to select my top five items from her collection that I not only consider essentials, but also the perfect foundations to a autumn/winter capsule wardrobe. I shot them around my neighbourhood (the 10th) in a few of my favourite locations. 

Scroll down for more and I hope you enjoy the post! 

I have a tendency to wear a lot of black during winter (clearly I’m subconsciously colour-coordinating with the weather), but it leaves me feeling a bit drab. While I don’t like wearing a lot of colour and pattern, I do like wearing lighter shades. This cream ribbed funnel neck jumper is the perfect compromise between cosy and stylish. Not only is it warm, but it can easily be thrown over anything from jeans to being dressed up with a skirt and heels. 

(Photographed in Liberté Patisserie.) 

When I’m not lugging my laptop and camera around with me, I like to carry a clutch i.e. the lightest bag possible – this gorgeous cream leather clutch is a perfect everyday one (and it's not black!), with different compartments (plus one central zipped) for all your small essentials for day or night. It also comes with a detachable strap so you can chose how to wear it. I personally like to carry it in my hand, but it's great to have the option. 

(Photographed on rue Legouvé.)

I’ve had my eyes on a pair of leather trousers for a while. They’re a great alternative to jeans and these black leather and garbadine stretch leggings are seriously comfy. If I didn’t think I was going to ruin them or the fact that they're just too nice to sit in for hours on end, I would happily fly in them! They also sit high enough on the waist that you can tuck tops into them. 

The 'whiskey' merino wool roll neck jumper is a great transitional item that will take you from autumn (if there is one) to winter. And if you're like me and don't wear a lot of colour, this is a great shade to ease you into brighter hues. (Take note of the colour-coordinating wall!)

And finally the Breton stripe... A Breton top might seem a little clichéd for someone living in Paris, but it’s a piece that doesn’t go out of fashion, made timeless by the original chic Parisian – Coco Chanel. This navy an white lyocell/ cotton style has even been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge no less - if it's good enough for Kate...! It's got a good stretch to it, but is tight in the right places, with a nice ruching detail towards the bottom on the sides which look great when worn over jeans. Again this is a piece that can be dressed up or down, or used to layer under a knit when the temperature starts creeping to zero. 

What are your wardrobe essentials?

This post was created in collaboration with ME+EM.

Photos by Ylenia Cuéllar, edited by me.

London Time

Monday, 19 October 2015

I've had a crazy couple of weeks, hence no time to blog. I do have a few upcoming blog projects in the works though so you'll be seeing more here soon. In the meantime I thought I'd share a few photos I took in London when I was last there and muse on a few things I've experienced and learnt over the last few weeks. It's probably been the most exhausting, yet the most exciting and fruitful weeks of my career. I've pushed myself, both creatively and business-wise. And I've learnt a lot about myself, my boundaries and capabilities. As a woman (and if you're woman reading this, you will probably agree) I often find it hard to promote myself and can struggle with self-doubt. It comes down to not always having confidence and belief in myself and what I'm capable of. Luckily I've managed to bury that doubt over the last few weeks in favour of just going for it! I definitely think moving country and hence out of my comfort zone has helped me there too.

I've also learnt to be stronger in the last few weeks, but that is what it takes if you want to build a successful freelance career in anything creative. You have to grow some cojones. So not worrying about where the next job is coming from, but being confident that it will. I've been reading books by strong, independent business women, to help get me through. If you ever have any doubts about the path you're forging I urge you to read Girlboss by Sophia Amoroso - not only is it inspiring, but it's a bit like having a good friend or mentor cheer you on from the sidelines. Read anything by Richard Branson. Ok, he's not a woman, but he's incredibly inspiring with his 'screw it, just do it' work ethic, especially coming from a man that didn't go to university or come from an overly-privileged family. (Perhaps elements that made him strive harder). He just thought why not? And maintained the confidence to get on with pursuing his dreams. I'm currently reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which has been on my list for a while. She addresses many of the insecurities that I've felt and how to deal with them. 

Freelance life is tough, it's not for everyone, but I cannot imagine going back to a full time job (which I have had experience of in the past). So when I'm doubting myself I've started turning to other strong women who I admire to get me through the tough times. A great publication for anyone who isn't a big reader, but wants short inspiring stories about strong women following, or who have followed their dreams, is Porter magazine. I'd be pushed to say it's the best woman's magazine on the market at the moment - it's intelligent, well-written, inspiring and stylish! I'm also a big believer of surrounding yourself with friends who will champion you, call you out when you haven't done something you said you will and be there for you when the going gets rough. 

When I was thinking about writing today, I didn't think this post would turn into such a personal post, but I thought I'd share my two cents! I'd love to know your thoughts - what you struggle with, what you've learnt if you do freelance or are following a more creative, less trodden path and what you turn to when you need to maintain that inner strength to keep going and challenging yourself push your limits, to do better and live better!

Finally a few favourite things:
- I've been enjoying my friend Ylenia's street style photos from the fashion weeks
- I've have quite a few Jewish friends, so this popped up on my Facebook feed and moved me to tears
- This COS coat - I can't decide if I'll look stylish or like a giant marshmallow? But I'm preparing for a trip to Iceland and this just might keep me warm!
- Nicole Franzen's gorgeous photos of new Miami restaurant, Marion Miami
- I'm totally lusting after this look
- I made it to Cafe Oberkampf on Saturday to get a slice of Frank's, aka @cakeboyparis almond and fig honey cake! Yum.

J.Crew heels - every woman needs a great pair of heels, even if like me you're not really a heel-wearer... I've worn these to the last two weddings I've been to and danced the night away at both. 

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