Style Note: The Isabella Oliver Cape

Posted by London Darling

Yesterday was one of those cold and breezy days in London when you really need something warm and snug to wrap up in. And what better way to wrap up than in a cape. It's the perfect alternative to a winter coat. I received this beautiful one as a Christmas Gift from one of my favourite labels Isabella Oliver.

Isabella Oliver Cape

London Fashion Week Diary: BODYAMR

Posted by London Darling

The BODYAMR show was one that I was particularly looking forward to, and it was well worth the wait. The signature draping that I love still played a huge role in the collection as an abundance of luxe fabrics and beaded embellishment.


Giveaway: Win Tickets to the 2010 Vitality Show!

Posted by London Darling

The lovely team at Vitality are treating three lucky readers to a pair of free tickets! Running from 18th-21st March in London’s Earls Court 2, Vitality is the UK’s largest health, beauty, fitness and wellbeing event for women.

WIN Vitality tickets

Beauty Buzz: Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare

Posted by London Darling

I recently changed my beauty regime to include the Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, the Instant Boost Skin Tonic and Skin Repair Moisturiser. It's been just six days, and already I've seen a noticeable difference in the clarity of my complexion and the texture of my skin.

Liz Earle Skincare

4th-27th February 2009

This February, visit the Fine Art Society and view the innovative art collection by Emily Young. The exhibition showcases thirteen new works of stone carvings in both abstract and human form. Her work, which is hand carved from blocks of rare and ancient stone, has been praised by art critics and media alike.

The Financial Times, makes a confident statement that Young is virtually the only sculptor of her kind and she has been critically acclaimed as Britain’s greatest female stone sculptor by the Daily Telegraph.

Young developed her love of stone and carvings in the early eighties, at a time when she spent her youth traveling between London, Rome and Wiltshire, developing her skills. For over a decade her collections have been exhibited world-wide, and her latest; Teardrop, which is her third solo exhibition at the Fine Art Society, is set to highlight a powerful relationship between science, poetry and technique. Intriguing stuff...

Fine Art Society,

148 New Bond Street, London W1S 2JT

London Fashion Week is fast approaching so I'd like to introduce you to a fantastic London based designer who you should really watch out for.

Now in her third fashion week season, Kirsty Atwood, is a seamstress with edge, no doubt a designer who you'll hear is doing great things in 2009. For me, her label KIRSTIMAIRIE truly encapsulates the feminine, elegant silhouette to a deliciously dynamic level. Atwood's signature elaborate seam-work mixed with luxe fabrics pays homage to the romanticism of 1930s fashion. Yet, her designs still remain firmly in the present with her astute work with rich textures, graphic lines and jewel shades.

I love the collection she created for Autumn Winter 08. It featured precision-cuts, unique fabrics sourced world-wide and a sprinkling of hand-finished sparkle that made every piece special. Her work, cut straight from the mannequin in her London studio, marks a fresh approach to a woman's wardrobe. Whether it's the crystal-beaded cocktail dresses or the showstopping, floor-sweeping gown that makes me draw this conclusion, one thing is clear - Atwood has spoken to us in a big way.

Take a look at my favourite pieces from KIRSTIMAIRIE’s Autumn / Winter collection. I'm very excited to see what she has in store for Spring/Summer. Watch this space...






Date: Saturday 31st January
Time: 14:00 - 18:00
Admission: FREE

As the winter blues subside and spring fever starts to hit the stores, there's always a new collection viewing to be had. This week, it's the launch of the Diane Von Furstenberg's Cruise/Pre-Spring collection entitled 'La Petite Valise'.

Known for her
iconic jersey wrap dresses, Belgian-born designer Diane von Furstenberg is a firm staple of the fashion world and likewise, her designs are a must-have for style savvy women the world over.

On Saturday the 31st of January, Selfridges are hosting
an event guaranteed to ignite your fashion flame. You're invited to browse the new look pieces and view DVF models showcase the brand's new season trends. There will also be personal shoppers on hand to help you pick the best pieces for your wardrobe.

Once you've satisfied your fashion appetite, why not head over to the
Moët Bar, a sociably stylish spot within Selfridges that features a menu of champagne and cocktails designed by famous fashion personalities such as Julien MacDonald and Alice Temperley.

For those who can't attend, visit DVF online for a sneak peak at the look book.

Selfridges London
400 Oxford Street


Selfridges, London

Moët Champagne bar
Location Map

Covent Garden has long been a social hub for British fashion’s new talent so it's no surprise that the apple market is the selling place of choice for many British designers and artists.

A market with heart and plenty of soul, each stall offers something fresh and new with items you'll be stretched to find on the high street. There's a huge variety of stalls displaying clothing from boutique fashion labels and hand-made jewellery and accessories. You could say that it's the eclectic shopper's paradise.

Resident stall owners at the market include Amy Christie a designer of hand-blown crystal glass jewellery; Caroline Faiers offering a contemporary collection of belts and handbags featuring exclusive vintage embellishments; Robert Darwen, a specialist in unique, original, modern clocks and Cushers of Covent Garden, featuring hand air brushed cotton T-shirts unique in design and sold exclusively to visitors of the market.

Image Credit: Amy Christie Jewellery

Whilst playing host to British fashion’s hottest new talent, it is not uncommon to find big names from the world of fashion dropping into Covent Garden. Icons and influential personalities including Dita Von Teese amd Donatella Versace have graced the annual Fashion Fringe event that has become a key date in the London Fashion Week calendar.

But it's not just the fashion that gives Covent Garden such pulling power, when it comes to food, alfresco dining is 'the Covent Garden way', and with a good variety of fusion and culturally diverse cuisine, there are plenty of places to pleasure your palate or whet your whistle. As for entertainment, the Garden is home to The Royal Opera House and an entertainment network where aspiring dancers, actors and vocalists take to the streets and established veterans of theatre take to the stage.

The Royal Opera House is currently showing The Royal Ballet's production of La Bayadère, an enchanting story of love, murder and vengence by the gods set in India. Tickets are available from the 13th January 2009 to 7th February 2009. Visit The Royal Opera House website for more information.

Royal Opera House
Covent Garden,
London WC2E 9DD
Box Office: 020 7304 4000

Apple Market
North Hall,
Covent Garden Market
London WC2

Opening Times:
10.30am- 7:00pm

When in London the perfect place to view fresh and exciting art is the Saatchi Gallery. The Gallery’s partnership with leading contemporary art auction house Phillips de Pury & Company has enabled it to successfully bring contemporary art to the widest audience possible.

With free admission to all shows, this cultural venue is the ideal excursion for an extensive introduction to artists and designers around the world who share a common love of contemporary art in various forms.

Be sure to visit the gallery in January 09 to see the latest exhibition which includes the showing of Feng Zhengjie's Chinese Portrait L Series 2006 No. 11. Zhengjie is an artist whose work is reminiscent of Warhol's screen printed celebrities. Zhengjie's paintings reflect a vision of futuristic pop through portraits of women infused with exotic colours, electrified auras, and styled with wind machine hair that exudes the glamour aesthetic of today's commodified media.

UNVEILED: NEW ART FROM THE MIDDLE EAST is showing at the Saatchi Gallery from Jan 30th - May 6th 2009

Images credit: Feng Zhengjie, Chinese Portrait L Series 2006 No. 11

Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York Square.

A firm favourite for A-listers and London's notorious IT girls, the Coco Ribbon boutique in Notting Hill is a girl's best friend. This vibrant and luxurious boutique offers an abundance of beautiful pieces by established and newly discovered designers from around the globe.

Having launched in 2002, Coco Ribbon kick-started the boudoir chic revolution and was the first London lifestyle store dedicated solely to women.

Also a popular place for finding playful gifts and cult beauty buys, a shop like this does everything to indulge and inspire women who love finding unique and personal fashion pieces. With it's reputation for sourcing hard to find & fresh labels, Coco Ribbon offers a fun, oh-so-feminine quirky shopping experience.

Coco Ribbon
21 Kensington Park Road
Notting Hill
London W11 2EU
Tel: 0207 229 0555

Tucked away in Wimbledon village is a boutique that any London bride should have the pleasure of visiting. Luella's Boudoir is a one stop wedding shop, selling everything but the bridal gown.

As you step into the surroundings you immediately get a warm and cosy feeling, as if walking into your best friend's bedroom but with a hint of vintage glamour that makes it all the more inviting. From bridal shoes and lingerie, to beautiful hair pieces and jewellery, it's all there.

Another fantastic feature of Luella's Boudoir is a section of the shop dedicated to helping brides source reputable and recommended services. The boutique owner Rachel Attwell was inspired to launch the planning concept having experienced a lack of such facilities during her own wedding preparations. Hair and makeup artists, photographers, chauffeurs and other wedding contacts are all listed in a handy directory of tried and tested of services, yours for the picking.

I'm just disappointed that I hadn't discovered this gem of a boutique when I was planning for my big day!

Luella's Boudoir
33 Church Road
Wimbledon Village
, SW19 5DQ

Telphone: +44(020) 8879 7744

Westfield shopping centre is a must-go place to enjoy shopping on a bigger and better scale than your local high street. The juxtaposition of luxury boutiques and high-street favourites makes it a fashion-rich and inviting retail hub for both the celebrity, tourists and resident shopping lovers alike.

And it's not just shopping that takes centre stage here, preening and pampering is also bigger and better. The range of health and beauty facilities under one roof is impressive. The open plan nail bars and luxury salons are a hit with shoppers treating themselves to manicures, pedicures and facials.

This shopping centre is by far one of the most pleasurable retail experiences I've had to date. Visually it's spacious yet dynamic, and physically, though thousands of people are under one roof, you don't get the feeling of being cramped or imposed on.

The official website is handy for planning your shopping experience so be sure to check out their offers and events page for the latest discounts, collection previews and other events of interest.

Westfield LondonAddress:
Ariel Way
London, W12
Tel: (0)20 3371 2300

The city is host to some amazing places and The May Fair Hotel is what I like to call a treasure of London. The May Fair is an icon of expressive contemporary design, with impeccable attention to detail and a service that is personal yet larger than life. A regular stay for royalty, celebrities and business moguls alike, this legendary hotel has its foundation firmly in British history having been first opened by King George V in 1927.

With an offering of over 400 luxury hotel bedrooms, 12 stunning suites, spa facilities and signature restaurant it oozes glamour. It's a truly breathtaking place, so here are some of my favourite scenes that capture the spirit of the hotel and the opulence it's recognised for.

The May Fair Hotel
Stratton Street,

W1J 8LT,

United Kingdom


Living in London in the midst of everyday hustle and bustle does call for a moments peace and quiet. Checking into one of London's boutique hotels can be the perfect getaway. A contemporary hotel with plenty of charm, the K West Hotel and Spa has twice been the perfect antidote for my lack of sunny getaways and palmy beaches. Inside the rooms, the décor is a intermix of chocolate and cream furnishings, spacious with an executive feel.

The Spa is a real delight, tucked away in the lower levels of the building, you really do get the experience of serenity and calm. My favourite treatment at the spa would have to be the luxury pedicure, the benefits of the treatment lasted the month.

As prices go, it's reasonable, with an executive room starting £358.38 full rate and there are some hotel directories online offering spa and stay deals for K West for less, so search online for the best deal.

K West
Richmond Way
London W14 0AX

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8008 6600
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