Tuesday

On The Agenda

Casa Negra


It's cold. It's raining. Everyone on the tube is moody. All you want to do is go back to cuddle up in bed with a hot chocolate (current obsession? Options Salted Caramel - ooh mama) and a croissant for a Modern Family marathon. As Russell Bateman (aka Mr SBC) puts it: the first five days after the weekend are always the hardest. Never has a truer word been Insta'd.

Nevertheless, the autumn onset need not be a totally sombre affair, and London has plenty to lift your post-summer spirits. Covering all bases from cinema to cacha├ža, here are a few dates for the diary that will surely make your working week fly by.

Sunday

The LFW Backpack


A luxury backpack is a must at London Fashion Week this season, and you will be hard pushed to find one better than this Whistles Portland edition – hot from the SS15 catwalk. In a versatile neutral tone with glossy silver hardwear, this practical backpack is spacious enough for all your show-hopping essentials, and will lend a contemporary edge to your LFW look. (Designed exclusively for London Fashion Week, it is available to purchase online here, and also in the two newest Whistles stores in Kings Cross St. Pancras and the Bullring in Birmingham.)

But it is what's inside that counts, right? Here is my wishlist of chic Fashion Week essentials. 

1. With rose-gold frames and mirror-shine lenses, these lightweight Linda Farrow sunglasses whisper understated luxury. They are £610.00 here.

2. A nourishing facial oil is a must for parched post-summer skin. Rodin's Olio Lusso is a cult product in fashion circles – the expert blend of 11 botanical oils will deliver a runway-worthy glow in no time. It is £97.00 at Net-a-Porter here.

3. My, my - what a stylish little camera you have. Launching in October, the new Olympus Pen E-Pl7 camera is designed with fashion folk in mind – it even has a 'selfie-mode'. It will retail for £499.00. 

4. Aptly called 'The Sophisticate', this Charlotte Tilbury eye palette of subtly smoky tones is perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. It is £38.00 from Net-a-Porter here.

5.This Zakynthos nail polish by NARS is the perfect neutral - the sandy shade feels more modern than blush-toned nudes and was the colour of choice for the 3.1 Phillip Lim show in NYC. It is £15.00 here.

6. Last but not least, this Smythson Fashion Week notepad is the only way to jot down your front-row musings. Far chicer than an iPad, the Runway Notes' notebook is £65.00 here.

Monday

Ooh La L'Agent

1. Marisela black balconette bra £50.00 by L'Agent by Agent Provocateur (buy yours here)
2. Marisela black briefs £28.00 by L'Agent by Agent Provocateur (buy yours here)


Do you really need another lingerie set? No? Good, that makes two of us. No one ever 'needs' beautiful lingerie, but that's the charm.

Underwear is my biggest vice, and this month I have been led astray by Agent Provocateur's alluring  L'Agent line. The Autumn/Winter 2014 collection has been designed in collaboration with the Cruz sisters, drawing on their dance backgrounds for inspiration. Some pieces are showgirl-ready – namely the cerise satin bodysuit – but others are rather more reserved, like the lace-trimmed set pictured.

Though the promotional video is not the most tasteful – boys, you may (will) disagree – the collection itself is strong, particularly for those with smaller cup sizes. Most of the bras are designed in a balconette style to elongate the neck and accentuate the bust. They are pretty and playful, with a little touch of Agent Provocateur naughtiness.

Treat yourself. Next on my list? The cerise Marisela set with powder-pink trims.

BEST OF THE REST

Introducing Otiumberg.

Image from Otiumberg
Daytime jewellery ought to be understated but precious, with a nod to your own personal style. I have a few key, everyday pieces that I feel naked without, but I am constantly on the lookout for beautiful, unusual pieces to add to my collection. Sure, it's nice to buy something cheap and cheerful, but if you fancy something special then look no further than Otiumberg.

Otiumberg is a new London-based e-boutique boasting an expertly tailored selection of accessories from cool new designers from all across the globe. Covering everything from candy-coloured rings by Sabrina Dehoff through to Sunday Somewhere's modern sunglasses, Otiumberg's edit is ideal for young chic-ettes looking for pieces with a certain je ne sais quoi.

Wednesday

Morning Sunshine

Photo from Bumpkin
I have no shame in admitting that I am a serial bruncher. Sure, you can laugh at my 'basic'-ness, but I love nothing more than a weekend brunch date, and living in London I am spoilt for choice. While it takes a lot for me to stray from my one and only avocado on toast, I have found a new favourite breakfast dish on the menu at Bumpkin, and I just know you will love it too.

We all know that protein is essential at breakfast, and nutritional therapists often advise women to eat two whole eggs or three egg whites each day. Sure you can whip up an omelette, or pop a poached 'un on top of your avocado, but for something a little special, why not try a healthy spin on Eggs Florentine?

Devised by health guru Julie Montagu, this delicious brunch option is a popular choice on the menu at Bumpkin, and is packed full of healthy nutrients and minerals. It is a balanced option that will leave you feeling satisfied - without all the creamy buttery sauce that usually accompanies the classic French dish. Wash yours down with an iced  green juice if you're feeling virtuous, or a red hot Bloody Mary if you're feeling frisky.

Travel Bag Treats



I have very fond memories of shopping for holiday toiletries in boots. The ultimate "chancer", I would fill my mother's basket with products for all eventualities – mountains of magicool, scores of suncare products – before trying my luck in the cosmetics section. "Muuuum of course I need another lipgloss – and, look, this one has SPF, do you WANT me to have burnt lips?!" On reflection, I sound a total brat, but hey, think of those advantage card points.

I have always been very good at spending other people's money, less so my own. As I have grown older (and started paying for my own sunscreen, plasters and travel toothbrushes) I have become rather frugal in my pre-holiday spending. Sure, there are some products necessary for the summer months - sunscreen and Autan- but who delights in buying those? Instead, I prefer to spend my money on the products I want, rather than need.

I am referring to my travel bag treats; the luxuries that prove you needn't abandon your beauty regime just because weight restrictions apply. Here are this year's picks.

Saturday

One Dress, Two Ways: A Slip of a Thing

I am awful at packing for summer holidays. I am terribly indecisive, and therefore always end up with about ten dresses too many. This year, for example, my Amalfi coast kit consists of fifteen dresses, even after two meticulous edits. 

That being said, I am learning to be a smart summertime shopper, buying pieces that will work both home and away. Sure, I love a sweeping grecian gown as much as the next girl, but try wearing said maxi in Victoria station during rush hour. You may fall down the stairs, lose a stud on your sandals and split your toenail. Not speaking from experience or anything...

A smarter option this summer is the slip dress; a foolproof summer staple. Classic, elegant and comfortable, my pick is this Whistles Nell style in silky french navy. Falling just on the knee ('cause I'm classy like that), the spaghetti strap dress skims the hips with a slightly dipped hem, making it particularly flattering for boyish frames. The colour is a welcome change from black, and the simplicity of the dress makes it perfect for work or play. 
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