March, 2014

25 March
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The Mum of the Year awards was so inspiring – I can’t wait for you to see it all

These last few weeks have been super busy!!

Firstly myself and a few of the other Emmerdale girls went to the Harvey Nichols Spring/Summer fashion show in Leeds and it was brilliant!! As I’m working on the Enais Chapman line at the moment it was a bit of a school trip as I was able to observe not only the clothes but the production as a whole. The models, set, choreography and music were all fantastic and definitely gave me some food for thought as we are obviously in the very early stages of planning our first showcase.

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However it wasn’t just an evening of learning it was definitely an evening of fun too as me and the girls enjoyed a gorgeous post-show dinner followed by some very lovely and decadent cocktails. I seem to have developed a thing for French martinis at the moment!! In fact I seem to be going through a whole French phase as my favourite saying for everything I like is “Oh it’s very French”!! Needless to say I’m extremely excited to be going to watch YSL, the Yves Saint Laurent movie with Roxy Shahidi next week as firstly it’s all about the world of fashion and secondly it’s in French!!

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This weekend I was thrilled to be invited to the Tesco Mum of the Year awards held at the beautiful Savoy hotel. It was an absolutely wonderful day and I met so many amazing and inspiring women. All of the winners were so deserving and had overcome so much in their lives from beating cancer, campaigning for change within European law, channelling profound grief and selflessly giving to others who need the most help, I felt truly privileged to have spent the day with them. I was also extremely honoured to have been asked to present the Lifetime Achievement Award alongside my cast mate Jason Merrells (Declan Macey) to a wonderful Yorkshire lady. I don’t want to give too much away as the awards will be screened on Channel 5 on Mother’s Day and so you can see for yourself just how special and inspiring this particular lady is. Nevertheless I can say I was absolutely thrilled to be able to give her the award and to have had a lovely chat with her and her husband. She definitely had a few lessons for me!

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The event was absolutely amazing and highly emotional topped off by a stunning performance by third time mum-to-be Sam Bailey. She performed her version of Shania Twain’s From this moment (one of my all-time favourite ballads) and Jennifer Rush’s Power of love. I shed quite a few tears as Sam’s voice is just so powerful and emotive and she gave one of the most incredible vocals I have ever heard. Needless to say the audience were up on their feet for standing ovations after each song!!

We’ve had some really gorgeous weather over the last week or so and so Freddie and I have taken advantage of it and got out in the garden and to the park. I can’t believe how big he’s getting so quickly!! He’s nearly 20 months now but it seems like yesterday that he was a little tiny baby. James was trying to teach him how to play rugby in our garden and I managed to get a picture of him. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at it though as he looked about three!!! Far too grown up for my liking!!

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Anyway I’ll speak to you guys again soon!!

Love Natalie Xx

03 March
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It’s all about the Oscars!!

Last night saw the 86th annual Academy Awards and with Ellen DeGeneres holding the fort it was sure to be an entertaining evening. Pizza delivery, selfies, fancy dress and Pharrell, it seemed like an awful lot of fun and somewhat less formal than previous years. There were some big winners and losers on the night. I was absolutely thrilled that Matthew McConaughey took the prize for best actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club as I’ve always been a huge fan of his, but at the same time so disappointed for Leonardo DiCaprio who lost out on the accolade for the fourth time despite being what I believe ‘one of the best actors of his generation’.

Cate Blanchett won the Oscar for Best Actress for a second time for her role in Blue Jasmine and looked absolutely stunning in a nude embellished creation by Armani. It was a huge night for newcomer Lupita Nyong’o who after being beaten at both the Golden Globes and the Baftas by American Hustle star Jennifer Lawrence, took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for 12 years a Slave. Former teen heartthrob Jared Leto (anyone over the age of 30 will forever be in love with him after he played the role of Jordan opposite a very young Claire Danes in 90s teen angst series My So Called Life) won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Dallas Buyers Club. The oscar for Best Picture went to British director Steve Mcqueen’s 12 Years a Slave which was also produced by Brad Pitt and depicts the true story of Solomon Northop, but the biggest winner of the evening was Gravity which picked up 7 awards including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron.

I personally feel that the Oscars is traditionally the most glamorous event of the awards season and as I’m launching my own design label this summer with my friend Kate Chapman I couldn’t wait to see what everyone was wearing. I have to say I felt most people played it quite safe on the red carpet last night as there were lots of column dresses, black, navy and nude and very few what I would call show-stopper gowns. I’m so old fashioned, I love to see a huge dress on the Oscars red carpet a la Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior and Givenchy. My personal favourite from last night was Kate Hudson who looked absolutely stunning in a vintage inspired Atelier Versace creation, with its plunging neckline, exquisite beading and soft cape. Kate definitely channeled the old school Hollywood glamour that I’m a huge fan of. Kate clearly gets her style from her mum Goldie Hawn as I thought she too looked fantastic in a classic gold satin gown. My other favourite was Lupita Nyong’o custom made baby blue, pleated Prada dress which showcased her amazing physique.

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Our label ‘Enais Chapman’ has its roots firmly set in the golden age of cinema and combines the elegance of a bygone era with modern femininity. All of our dresses blend traditional techniques and luxury fabrics with classic tailoring. My friend Kate and I are inspired by the red carpet dresses of the 30s, 40s and 50s and have designed all of our dresses with the screen icons of this era in mind. I’m a huge lover of Audrey Hepburn and Joan Crawford and Kate adores Marilyn Monroe and so our dresses combine both sexiness and subtlety. I hope that anyone who wears our dresses will feel super glamorous and like they are walking their own red carpet.

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Kate and I are real perfectionists so it’s a good job we are such good friends as we both have very definite opinions about our designs, however nine times out of ten we completely agree on everything as our inspiration totally comes from the same place. I’m so excited to launch the collection later this year as we’ve worked so hard on all of the designs.

Anyway as always I’ll keep you posted with how everything is going.

Lots of love,

NatalieXx

PS Freddie decided he’d like to join the likes of David Beckham and get a tattoo!! What do u think?

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And I celebrated my sister Leah’s 26th birthday!!! We had a night of fun and French martinis!!!

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