Saturday, 17 March 2018

My top eleven pleated skirts and some ideas on how to wear them

Pleated skirts are, much to my Mum's delight "Oh I DO love a pleated skirt", going from strength to strength. They are a trend that's not going away, which is funny in some ways because other than a brief spell that I remember as a child, they pretty much disappeared from the skirt scene with pencil, mini, skater and midi skirts being more popular. I think that it may have been the rise of the popularity in midi skirts a few years ago now though, that saw them come back in to favour. Most pleated skirts fall into the "midi" category, so they ticked the box of being a "variation on a (midi skirt)" theme.

Sophia pleated skirt Reiss (£155)

I featured this skirt on my insta stories when I took some of you for a virtual shop earlier in the week. It's absolutely beautiful. The pleats are razor sharp and edged in black for an even sharper look. 

I still believe that there's a pleated skirt for everyone, somewhere. Most crucially the issue is what kind of waistband is on the skirt and how the pleats fall from it. I've included lots of pictures below of me in various pleated skirt outfits and I'll try to explain what I mean when we get to them. 

Elsa pleated skirt Reiss (£155)

I haven't seen this skirt in real life but the shape is virtually the same, if not the same, as the one above. What I like about this skirt is that the darker colour over the tum area is really flattering. And it's just such a striking skirt - great if you're after something different and you're not really a floral/spots type girl. 

Printed pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)

But then again, if spots are exactly your thing, this skirt from Mango could be just the ticket. It's really lovely in real life and in the store they paired it with a pale blue jumper which looked gorgeous.  Spots feature hugely on the High Street at the moment so expect to see a lot more spotty pieces over the next few weeks. 

Printed pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)

This skirt ticks a lot of trend boxes in one go. The navy/yellow/white colour combo is a big trend this summer. Work in a go faster "athleisure" stripe along with a split and the pleats and oh boy you would so be nailing it. I really like the sporty vibe about this skirt - great if you're not someone who loves girlie floaty skirts - or if like me you do but you're also a bit of a chameleon and like sportier urban pieces (I totally made that phrase up - but I know what I mean!) too. 

Stripes pleated skirt Mango (£49.99)

Stripes! Again another huge trend this season on everything from tops, to skirts, trousers and accessories. I love the interesting colour combination of this skirt which is again from Mango. They are really doing pleated skirts so well this season and there are also some pleated dresses coming through too, which are an interesting addition to the dress scene.  

Leopard print skirt H&M (£34.99)

Yeah! Good old leopard print. This is a small print and not too "leopardy" if you know what I mean, making it a fairly easy leopard print to wear. I love leopard with anything red, denim, or neons too and as we know, leopard is the new neutral, so it's definitely one to have fun with. 

Satin pleated skirt Whistles (£99) which also comes in metallic gold, green and black. I've linked to them all here

A metallic pleated skirt always feels a bit glam without being too try hard. It really is a great one to dress up or down and it can take you to so many different places just by changing up your top and/or shoes. 

Batik Lily pleated skirt Whistles (£139)

I think that this skirt is a little bit marmite. It's definitely in the colour of the season but whether it's your cup of tea or not is a different matter. I think that a skirt like this works either if you're going to go the whole hog and dress it up for a wedding, or dress it right down with a slogan tee or denim. Anything in between might just not work. But I'm happy to be proven wrong!

Pleated skirt HUSH (£89) (lined and elasticated waist)

I haven't seen this skirt in the flesh as HUSH in our John Lewis don't have it but having said that, I'm really tempted to order it and see what it's like on. The blue and green combo are really striking but  in a very wearable way and without being too dressy.

Pleated skirt in watermelon Jigsaw (£120) it also comes in blossom blue

The above skirt from Jigsaw is a real gem. It's a great length, hangs well and the pleats are quite "flat" when they come out of the waistband, meaning that they fall in a really flattering way. It also comes in blossom blue (below) and gravel (below that). 

Pleated skirt in blossom blue Jigsaw 

When something is a little more on the expensive side (such as this skirt) as we all know, there are lots of things to consider for sure. It may be that it's perfect for a wedding, or an event, but something that you would also get a lot of mileage out of afterwards, bringing the cost per wear down. 

Pleated skirt in gravel Jigsaw (£120)

Or it may be that you're not sure whether a pleated skirt is going to be for you, in which case maybe start off with an inexpensive one and see where it takes you. Or maybe the inexpensive one is perfect and there's no need to look any further. Or perhaps you just fall in love with one like this, or it's an amazing fit. So many things to think about!

Stripe maxi skirt Ted Baker (£120)

For anyone who is super tall, or who likes their pleated skirts to be full length, this one from Ted Baker is a possibility but I think its "sheerness" might need to be checked. 

Contrast pleated panel maxi dress Ted Baker (£239)

And remember I mentioned earlier about pleated dresses? This one with its panel of pleats is so pretty. If anyone I know would like to get married, I'd be very happy to wear this to the occasion. 

So here are some outfits "that I prepared earlier" - in some cases a lot earlier! 

This gold M&S skirt is great for the winter. The velvet is lovely and shimmery. It has an elasticated waist band which is good because I can either wear it on my waist or drop it lower if I feel in need of a bit of extra length. The pleats aren't too small or knife like, which I think suits me slightly better. Heels and a leather jacket give this skirt more of a dressed up feel.

This skirt from Topshop again has fairly open pleats and as there aren't too many of them, there's not so much volume in the skirt.  I like the length of it and it's a really versatile skirt. The heels glam up this skirt and jumper outfit but with boots or trainers it would look completely different.

This is an H&M pleated skirt. I find it harder to wear - possibly because there are more pleats in it and the fabric is quite stiff, meaning that if I bend over the skirt sort of folds and digs in. Sounds weird huh?!

This is probably the least favourite of my pleated skirts. The waist band isn't elasticated and there are lots of pleats with lots of volume. As it's pleather, it's also a bulker fabric, so it's less flattering than the green Topshop one.

It's the Zara silver one again but this time with a fitted knit instead of a denim shirt. 

Topshop again with metallic boots and a star print shirt

Topshop again with a blouse and trainers

And finally the Jigsaw skirt which I've linked to above with some crazy green boots! 

I realise that pleated skirts won't be for everyone, but I hope that these outfits have provided some ideas on what to stick with your pleated skirt. I think the fact that they're not short, or clingy, that they have some volume (which is good if you like to take a big stride or don't have the teeny tiniest of hips) all help to make them super wearable for busy ladies who love a skirt but who don't want to feel restricted when it comes to bending over, loading the washing machine or striding out in force. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The only heels that you will ever need....

Belted utility jacket with lace detail GAP (£64.95*) | Gold acid pony hair belt Bricks & Stitches (£36) | silk blouse old but similar here from French Connection (£69) | Jeans Mango previous season but similar here from Hush (£79) 

I can guarantee that every time I wear these leopard print heels from River Island (which are sadly no longer available), people will ask me where they're from. In fact, as I was putting this post together, someone messaged me on Instagram to ask me that very question.

So a few weeks ago it got me thinking that it was about time that I put a blog post together on where to find the best leopard print courts. Having done the ground work, I can confirm that there aren't that many leopard courts around. My searches at Clarks, Selfridges, House of Fraser. Next, M&S, Hush, Hobbs, Jigsaw, Other Stories, New Look, Zara, Warehouse, Oasis and Topshop lay testament to that. 
There are plenty of flats, trainers, block heels and sandals - and if anyone requests me to do so, I'll do a post on those too. But for now I wanted to keep it to a classic style, leopard print court shoe. 

These are, for now, the best three options:

Boden  courts (£110)

My first thoughts on these were that they looked a bit fussy but the "wiggle" is a really nice look when on the foot. The reviews as far as comfort goes are really good. The heel doesn't appear to be too high and people say that they have worn them all day without any problems. Someone commented that they were cut quite low at the front and someone else found them uncomfortable because they had a bunion but other than that (and one issue relating to quality control) the reviews were really positive.  

How to style them? 

We all know that leopard is the new neutral. Think of it as you would plain black shoes. Chances are that there will be a whole lot of leg, or black trousers, or denim (for example!) above them, so even if you've got print or pattern or other colours going on elsewhere in your outfit, it really doesn't matter as it's broken up. And if not? Even better! 

I style mine with everything from jeans, as above, to my gold pleated skirt, black coated skinnies, navy wide leg culottes, silky joggers and side stripe pants - anything and everything really - which is what makes them the only heels that you will ever need. 

Leopard print mid heel courts Dune (£70)

This Dune style is a fabulous one. No doubt many of you are familiar with it as it comes in lots of different colours - fifteen to be precise. The shoes have five star reviews so I think that's a pretty good indication as to their comfort and design. These shoes are described as a "mid heel" and also come in a wide fit. To be fair, I think that these would be my starting point if I was on the hunt for some now. 

Karen Millen leopard heels (£145)

With a 9.5cm heel, these shoes have an extra 1cm to their heel height compared to the Dune shoes, which for some will be a deal breaker and for others, not so much. Unlike the other two styles these have a black heel and are also they are also pricier. But if they fit perfectly and do the job well, they will be a better investment long term, so they may be worth trying. 

My "photographer" told me to strike a pose for Mother's Day. So this was it. She even showed me what to do. And who am I to argue?

If anyone comes across any more leopard print courts out there and if you would like to share them with me, please do so. Or if you'd like a post on flatter leopard print shoes, just say the word. In the meantime, I hope that you all have a great start to the week. xx

Friday, 9 March 2018

7 summer outfits offering a little bit of coverage!

I get it, really I do. There's something vaguely irritating about someone going away somewhere warm when it's freezing here, sharing their snaps on Instagram, AND THEN writing about what they wore whilst away. Especially when quite a few of those clothes have been gifted. Maybe I should just stop right there!

Except that I love seeing other people's holiday snaps, especially if they're sunny. OK so maybe not the six albums of snaps that my Grandad would compile after each trip - but definitely snaps of outfits. And personally I love it when people bring me clothes that I like, as it saves me having to hunt them out for myself. It also saves me the time associated with a trip to the shops, not to mention the cost of parking and so on. So hopefully you won't all object too much to the fact that some of the clothes were gifted to me.

The Bright Sundress

Tassel tie maxi dress Whistles (£149)

Adding a few pieces into my summer wardrobe was never going to be a bad thing. Most of our holidays over the past 20 years have been in Guernsey, Cornwall or Wales, all of which we absolutely love, but it has involved lots of t-shirts and cut-offs rather than anything glam. 

So one of my first additions was this red dress (above). I loved the colour of it - it's so vibrant and fun and with a Whistles gift card that I thought I would probably lose if I didn't use it pronto, it gave me the perfect excuse. I don't think that this dress is available in stores but it is online. I can find red tricky to wear for some reason. I like the idea of red trousers - but I'm not sure that they would like me.  This dress somehow isn't too challenging and the length of the straps can be altered, depending on your height, which is good as some maxi dresses are super long. 

When the weather is slightly warmer, I'm going to layer a jumper and leather jacket over the top and turn it into a maxi skirt with trainers.

Just after this photograph was taken I nearly walked into a camel. I mean, it's not like they're huge or anything is it? 

The Shorts and Long Sleeved Top

I thought that you would all appreciate a good look up my nose! Well it was either that or seeing my legs in the all their glory with the sun shining right on them. Honestly, my nostrils were the lesser of the two evils! 

I bought these shorts from 2birds Dubai for about £10. 2birds is a fashion and accessories label run by Sue and Caroline, two Australian ladies. They have some great pieces - round baskets, cool  jewellery, lots of pom poms, neon and tassels. They are definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in the area. The shorts are great - one size fits all, plenty of room in the leg so they are flattering and an elasticated waist. Even better. 

This fab neon bag was a gift from Charlie at Neon Beach Club. I met Charlie last year when she came to my first pop up and she has very kindly gifted some of her beautiful pieces to me since then. I like to think that she benefits from our friendship but thinking about it, I'm not entirely sure that she does. I think that I ought to do something about that! I bought the top last year from H&M and there are already similar popping up in stores.  

Neon Copelands from Air & Grace (£149)

Now you know me and a good pair of trainers. Trainers are never very far from my side, or indeed my feet, and Air and Grace trainers are just so comfortable. Seriously, if you're ever contemplating buying some trainers, do take a look. I walk for miles in mine so I'm not just saying that. 

Again, these trainers were gifted to me as a result of a friendship that developed at my first pop up. Claire, who runs Air & Grace, is such a lovely soul, has a great eye for design and knows all that there is about trainers, having worked in the footwear business for many years. 

As testament to these super comfortable trainers, I didn't even bother wearing socks with them the first time that I wore them as I knew that they wouldn't rub my feet. And they didn't. Now some may find not wearing socks with trainers gross but I just don't like the feel of trainer socks. Weird I know. 

The humungous building in the background is the Atlantis Hotel which is famous the world over. There's a bit of a debate as to whether it is the largest in the world or whether the one the Bahamas is bigger. Now with Dubai liking to have the biggest/fastest/tallest/largest/most expensive of everything in the world, this doesn't go down well. So they're building an even bigger hotel next door, just to be sure. Like you do. 

The Long Sleeved Midi Dress

Lola embroidered cotton kaftan Aspiga (£135) Sandals ASOS last year, similar here

I think that it was even before I'd planned our trip, that Aspiga asked me whether I would like to work with them this year. I knew of Aspiga, having seen the brochure drop through my door many times, but I suppose with not having really been in the market for super "hot holiday" type clothing, I hadn't really invested in them previously. But then I started to take a closer look and I saw some pieces that really appealed to me. 

What I really had in mind for this trip were pieces that offered me enough coverage to be culturally appropriate and which could be worn to the beach, but which weren't suitable only for the beach. I love beachwear but I prefer the versatility of being able to wear the clothing out and about too - and I wanted to feel a little bit glam and a bit less shorts and t-shirt (for this trip at least). So this lola embroidered cotton kaftan ticked the box perfectly plus (hello Mrs Predictable) it was blue and white. 

This style has been really popular and there's currently a waiting list for it but if you like the idea of one, just pop on over to the site where you can add your name to it.    

The Hi-Low Maxi Skirt and Vest

Frida skirt navy and white Aspiga (£125) vest Topshop many years ago, sandals Asos as before

Next up, and again from Aspiga, is the Frida skirt, which is an absolute joy to wear. It is so lightweight and floaty and its just feels really beautifully feminine. I loved wearing this skirt with a really simple, and exceptionally old, vest from Topshop. I can't wait for the weather to be warm enough to wear it here. 

The Maxi Dress in the Colour of the Season

Lenu Maxi Dress (£95) with previous season Air & Grace espadrilles

The Air and Grace espadrilles that I'm wearing above were the first pair of Air & Grace shoes that I bought. I should find out later on in the week whether they will be available again this summer - but hopefully they will. The maxi dress is again from Aspiga. It's got a great length to it so would be perfect for anyone who struggles to find dresses long enough plus it has plenty of volume in the skirt so it's not too close fitting and sweaty feeling. Oh and lilac is having a HUGE moment right now.

I had a bit of an earring splurge at Topshop before we went away. That's how I added the "glamour" part to my outfits. Original huh? Huge Perspex earrings. 

Perspex petal drop earring (£12.50) Topshop

The High Split Maxi Skirt and Sporty Tee

This skirt was one that I bought from Asos last summer. It has a huge split up it and a short lining underneath for modesty purposes. There's a (sort of) similar one here, also from ASOS and which is £25, so a really good price. I wanted to stop this outfit from being too floral and flouncy so I bought a bit of a "sporty spice" type t-shirt before I went away, just to add contrast. I love the blue in this skirt too and wanted to pick it up in a top.

The Silk Printed Maxi and Metallic Tee

Printed skirt Ridley London  and star T-shirt Hush (£35)

And last but not least, I borrowed this gorgeous silk printed skirt from Ridley London to photograph whilst I was away. Ridley make the most beautiful dresses, skirts and blouses out of a fabulous selection of liberty prints. If you can't see what you like in the fabric that you like on the website, just call the store and they can take an order over the 'phone.

Hush star T (£35)

So that's my somewhat lengthy outfit round up. I suspect that it may be a few weeks before I get a chance to wear any of these things again but when that warmer weather finally arrives, I'll be ready and waiting. And I hope that these bits and bobs have maybe given you some ideas too, even if it's a case of following the principles and tweaking them to your liking.

Oh and over on Instagram I've saved all the stories of me packing for our return to the UK. You may like to see the clothes in the "flesh" and I also thought that it was a good idea in case the suitcases went walk about. Until next time! xxx

Monday, 5 March 2018

A Style Challenge and Stepping Outside Our Comfort Zone

Hello everyone! Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my last post. I realise how short of time everyone is so I really appreciate the time taken out of your busy days, to get in touch.

I think that wearing your heart on your sleeve from time to time can be a good thing. It encourages others to share their experiences and I've really appreciated the support and perspective offered. It's so much easier than soldiering on alone! It's also put me back in touch with some of my blogging friends from the very early days, which is lovely.

I've taken on board your comments, I'm processing them and more importantly, hopefully I will be bringing you more of what you would like to see on here. 

Vinyl trousers Mango (£35.99) shoes Aldo but similar here from Marks and Spencer (£19.50) similar shirt here Hush (£59) which comes in a star print here

So taking all of that into account, I thought that I'd bring you a pair of trousers that everyone will, quite probably, hate presented a little bit of a "style challenge". I thought it might be a nice feature to run from time to time and I already had these after the photoshoot last week.

So what is it about these trousers that present a "challenge?" Well I think that's pretty obvious to most of us - it's even in their name. "Vinyl." The word either makes me think of records (which are now super cool to listen to so I don't need to explain what they are - unlike about 8 years ago when no-one knew what they were unless they owned them) or flasher macs. Don't ask me why, it just does.

BUT there were things about these trousers that I could totally identify with. First, they're navy and I am very comfortable in anything navy. Had they been red, khaki or black, I perhaps wouldn't have gone there. Secondly, I'm happy wearing this style trouser, so again that wasn't too far out of my comfort zone. Given that it was only the fabric that was different, and that two out of the other three criteria were well within my comfort zone, I could imagine that I might like them. I might not - but I could. And that was enough for me.

The "one step outside of your comfort zone" is something I work on quite a lot when styling women. People are definitely creatures of habit - we all are (hello navy blue). And whilst it's my job to suggest new ideas, there's no point trying to take people too far out of their comfort zone. They may say "yes" on the day but there's a good chance that whatever we buy may well sit at the back of the wardrobe unworn - and I hate that idea.

I definitely couldn't do a vinyl mac - the connotations are too strong and there would also be too much vinyl for me - but I think that they can look great on others. The older we get, the more that memories of the past (particularly school uniform colours or Grandma's curtains!) inform what we are happy to wear, probably much more so than trends. But it's definitely good to keep pushing the boundaries, rather than getting in a rut. Pair more challenging pieces with things that you love already, ignore your family, take a photo and see what you think. Vinyl trousers may not be for you, or for me, but I do love a (style) challenge!

Friday, 2 March 2018

What goes on behind the scenes at a photoshoot?

The brochures that drop through our doors (that we want), the glossy magazines, the terrible magazines, the brochures that drop through our doors (that we don't want) - nearly all of them will contain images taken on photoshoots. 

Over the years I've been on both sides of the camera. There are shoots that I've appeared in - always great fun - and shoots that I've styled. Either way shoot days are always amazing - so much energy and so many idea fizzing around, new people to meet and their experiences to chat about. Photographers, make-up artists and models always have interesting tales to tell. 

Orwell + Austen new collection - the rail of dreams! 

Just before I went away, I was contacted by Jess, the founder of Orwell + Austen and she asked me if I would like to style their new lookbook. Would I ever?! Orwell + Austin make the coolest cashmere sweaters which I have coveted for a long time now. With only a small window of opportunity to prep before going away, Jess and I chatted, I took a brief from her and then I shopped - ninja style. 

Ivy in the red "LOVE sweater" 

A few days before the shoot a call sheet goes out, with details of all of those involved, timings and questions about dietary requirements. On one shoot (not this one) I met a lovely model who was a strict vegan. Well, until 3pm, when she had low blood sugar and only a hob nob would do. 

Jess had decided right from the first time that she saw Ivy on "Britain's Next Top Model" that she would like her to model in the shoot. Ivy was utterly beautiful and absolutely lovely with it and both she and Monet, Jess' other choice of model, were the ultimate professionals. 

Monet in the "Striped Sleeve" sweater 

As the lookbook was going to feature no more than a slight hint of what was being worn on the bottom half, shoes weren't necessary. It was chilly though, so the girls wore socks and at times had a heater blowing on their feet. Jessie, the Make Up Artist, was always on hand to touch up the models' hair and make-up if necessary and you can see her brushes in the bottom left of this shot.

Ivy in "Ca Plane Pour Moi"

My role on the day was to dash between the shoot area and where the next model was getting changed, line the outfits up, steam the jumpers, check the outfits for aesthetics and styling once in front of the camera and deal with those pesky things such as loose threads or sticky out pockets - as well as liaising with Jess and the photographer Jake, Jess' brother. It was a real family affair!

Ivy in "Je M'eleve"  

I didn't manage to capture all of the sweaters that we shot on the day but this one comes in the most beautiful green with pale blue writing, which had to be one of my favourites. I feel a green moment coming on. It's not a colour that I've worn hugely over the years but it's starting to have a real appeal to me now. 

Jess wanted some texture to the background, without detracting from the sweaters, which were the stars of the show. These frames were made and fitted with line upon line of thread, which photographed really well.  I think that it's fair to say that Jake did a fair bit of hoiking around of sets and frames on the day, just to get everything into position. Luckily no limbs were broken in the taking of these photographs. 

Monet in "Baby Bowie" 

The sweaters come in a variety of colours and they will be available later this month. Do keep your eyes open on the Orwell + Austen site and I'll give you the heads up once there's an official date. There are so many gorgeous colours and styles to chooses from that I think that the difficulty will be knowing which one to choose. Jess has a real way with colour, and colour combinations, which are just so appealing. 

Ivy in the Gold "Baby Bowie"

When I'm styling a shoot, or an individual, I like to include a couple of wild cards. Nothing too off the wall but something which maybe pushes the boundaries a little. We gave the vinyl trousers that I'd taken along a go and they photographed so well that, despite initial reservations, they passed the test. Ivy vouched for their comfort too. I think that we always think vinyl will be sweaty but these are really soft inside. 

Monet in "Baby Bowie" 

"Bowie" features quite a lot in Jess' designs, as does colour and quirky touches. There's a whole array of slogans, strategically placed stripes and small details. Jess showed me how she goes about designing on her Ipad and it's really great to see the designs in their most raw form. 

Ivy in "Bowie"

I love the colour combination in the sweater above. Blue with green, or green with blue, were some of my favourites. I can't quite believe that I'm saying that of myself. What's happened to my love of pink? Oooh and does anyone recognise the trousers?!

Monet in "Bowie"

Lunch is always a really big thing on shoot days. I really wanted to take a photograph of the lunch as it was spectacular - but then I thought that people might think that I was slightly odd. We were at Big Sky Studios in London and the home made chocolate cake, the salads and the healthy "looking" food  were another highlight of the day. Plus shoot days can be long so it's good to sit down with everyone, have a proper chat, and get to know people. 

Ivy in "Sporty"

This is a new design of Jess'. I'm not sure that it will ultimately be called "Sporty" but that title worked well on the day for purposes of identification. The navy with the pink and taupe were such a classic combination but the design of the jumper makes it feel really fresh and modern. It's also a great choice for those who prefer something a little less bright. 

Ivy in light grey "Striped Sleeves"

The aim of the photoshoot was primarily to show the sweaters at their best (obviously) but also to demonstrate how they could be worn. The brand is quite playful, not too high fashion but not plain classics either. So we used a combination of suit style trousers, silky joggers, velvet and silver pleated skirts, bright colours, checks and camouflage prints, as well as jeans, on the bottom half. So many different styles work well as a backdrop to these sweaters.

Monet in navy "Striped Sleeves"

There's no getting away from the fact that cashmere has a higher price point than merino, lambswool or sweaters that are made from man made fabrics. But they do feel amazing against the skin and they are incredibly soft. Combined with a great design, for me they are worth the investment and if you love them, they will love you back. But I totally appreciate that considered purchases need to be just that. 

Ivy in "Atomic"

This shot wouldn't ever make it to a final cut but I really love how informal - and slightly out of focus - it is. Plus I love these two colours together. If people look at the combination and go "That's not for me, I would prefer to wear it with black, navy or grey" then that's great. But if it gives someone an idea for a less obvious choice, or if it sparks their imagination to try something slightly different, then that's great too. 

Monet in "Atomic" 

I realised, particularly for the purposes of this shoot, that there's a benefit to being as old as I am! Over the years I have, ahem, "acquired" quite a few colourful pieces of clothing, and accessories, plus the odd pair of jeans, which suited the brief for this shoot.

Ivy in "Starburst"

I can see someone wearing this jumper when they need to kick some ass in a meeting. It's a real "Pow-wow, high kick, I mean business" type of graphic. That's how I see it anyway - but you may see it very differently. And that's the great thing about these sweaters - they can appeal to your mood on any given day. And for Mother's Day, what better present than the one below?! (Even if it is on advance order?)

Monet in "Love"

This "Love" jumper comes in several different colours. It was probably the trickiest to photograph but it will be one of the loveliest to wear.

How things were shaping up

From time to time the images were arranged on the screen, just to see how they were shaping up. This won't be the final look by far but it's really good to get a flavour of things as they progress. Watch this space for more details as the lookbook is finalised and for the launch date for the collection.