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This Week’s Obsession: everything velvet

The catwalks were full of velvet for winter, which is annoying as I gave a load away in a clear-out only a few years ago. I’m looking for a jacket and I’m really into velvet trousers, boots, shoes – you name it. A velvet suit would be a great investment as you can mix and match the pieces. I saw a superb navy jacket on Asos and Topshop does this coordinated set, which I love.

Crinkled velvet blazer, £65; shorts, £40, both Topshop; visit


The pattern on this Laura Ashley dress is based on a print from the brand’s archive. Together with the sumptuous colour, it creates a dramatic Shakespearian feel that I love. Last London Fashion Week was full of high collars and full sleeves like this. How I’d love to get my hands on the Laura Ashley archive and choose a summer edit of some of its 1970s pieces for relaunch.

Heraldic-print tie-neck maxi dress, £62 (was £125), Laura Ashley; visit


Quick Fix

I’m a huge fan of natural skincare that smells of uplifting essential oils and this Scottish brand called Lucky Cloud (good name!) is a great new find. The products are made by hand and come in recyclable packaging and most importantly feel so nurturing and refreshing. My favourite is the soothing lavender and rose geranium formulation.

Soothing Body Balm Lavender + Rose Geranium, £15; visit


Essential luxury

Donna Ida’s cashmere is so simple and elegant and comes in classic shades that are absolutely timeless – or there are more stand-out pieces for those who want to make a statement. Definitely on my Christmas wish list.

Downtime cashmere jumper, £175; visit


Fashion quest: unusual gifts

I love going into Paul Smith stores, especially the one in Notting Hill, because they are full of interesting and unusual finds. Shopping there is a real visual and creative experience, which feels like a very rare thing. I can sometimes do all my Christmas shopping there in one fell swoop. This rainbow purse would make a great gift for a friend and would cheer you up every time you took it out of your bag.

Large Artist Stripe leather zip-around purse, £275; visit


Instagram of the week

For every image with an orange posted on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #1orange1tree, Cointreau and Liberty London will plant a tree in Senegal as part of Oceanium Dakar’s reforestation project. Here I am with@erinoconnor @libertylondon taking part. Let’s make sure as many trees as possible get planted.


Note to self:

It’s time to download some fashion documentaries to cosy up on the sofa with. I can’t wait to watch Crazy About Tiffany’s and Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s – perfect viewing in front of the fire.

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