It's all to play for
Once you have gathered inspiration from the fashion spreads, it’s time to head for the high street and have some fun, say Elisa Cowen and Zoe Winograd
SPRING IS a great time to experiment with colours, textures and prints. At Ronen Chen, stripes and monochrome take centre stage. The collection’s focal pieces are not only designed for their ability to take you from cold winter months into spring and beyond, but also for ease and comfort. Check out the Queens dress (£179), which can be paired with Manhattan jacket (£89) for a comfortable work or occasion look. The diagonal stripes and bodycon style are flattering on all shapes and will take you from day to night. Try the Soho top (£95) with Hudson pants (£125) and play with a pop of colour in your accessories.
With the same relaxed vibe, Ronen Chen’s jersey dresses come in spring colours such as fuchsia, turquoise and electric blue. Our favourite is the Andrea dress (£152) with deep v-neck and three-quarterlength sleeves, plus ruching detail across the front and back. Pair with heels or pumps and add some pretty spring accessories. Hayden is similarly flattering; Tania incorporates soft cross-body draping to disguise any “guilty secrets”, while Sasha’s crossover design will accentuate the waist and a soft jersey skirt that skims past the hips and legs to flatter and create a defined shape. Vera is a summery style, perfect for garden parties and pub lunches. The knot detail at the centre under the bust creates a defined waist, complete with fuller skirt and cute cap sleeves — great with sandals or party shoes.
Update last spring’s pieces with Ronen Chen scarves. Be playful with colour and texture.
MG Hairdressing, in Stanmore, can now make your nails look as gorgeous as your hair, with manicures, pedicures, Gelish and fibreglass tips all available. And for your hair — as one of Wella’s premier salons, MG is now offering
the Nanokeratin smoothing system, designed to create soft, shiny, blow dried hair, as well as Great Lengths hair extensions, which not only add inches, but volume and texture. March 17 is the date for MG Hairdressing’s fund-raiser for Hammersmith Imperial College Renal Unit. More details on page 83.
IN THE SWIM
Boudica has a big year ahead. The Mill Hill lingerie and swimwear business plans to open a women’s fashion emporium, as well as a new wax bar providing quick-fix beauty treatments including spray tanning and hair removal.
Owner Harriet Warren says: “Shopping for underwear can sometimes be tough, so we have always tried to make Boudica an easy and enjoyable shopping experience. We offer professional fitting services, like a personal shopper, so customers won’t be pestered.”
Underwear and swimwear brands stocked include Marie Jo, Prima Donna, Aubard, Moontide, Seaspray, Fantasy and Huit. Boudica also organises lingerie parties, in store or at your home.
C’EST CHIC, ST ALBANS
For a fix of French chic without Eurostar, zip to St Albans, Hertfordshire, where Simply French lives up to its name. Spring collections feature knitwear with metallic detailing and dresses in bright block colours and high-end luxurious fabrics. Look out for Italian brand Rinescimento, with its quirky monochrome print dresses and statement jackets. Also available online at www.simplyfrench.me
Dress dilemma? Very special party invitation, business event or hosting a simchah? You need a topsecret, made-just-for-you dress. Why not sneak off to Laura B, in Yeoman’s Row, just around the corner from Harrods? Laura B creates around a hundred different designs each season, which can be made to order in your size and in your chosen fabric. Appointments are advisable.
RING OF ROSES
Pink gold is the new must-have metal for wedding rings and House of Williams, a family-run jewellery business in north London, has introduced a wedding-ring collection in 18-carat pink gold. Also new is a large range of GIA Certified diamonds at trade prices, predominantly round solitaire diamonds from 0.50 carat to three carats.
PRICES TO SUIT
Hire or buy? That’s the big question with men’s formal wear. Now you can have a compromise. Buckleigh of London has ex-hire men’s formal wear in excellent condition for sale at affordable prices. Buckleigh also makes bespoke suits to order and hires dinner suits, morning suits and evening tails in a large variety of sizes, including children’s sizes. Accessories stocked include top hats and bow ties, Oxford brogues and patent shoes.
With summer holidays on their way, choose your swimwear wisely. Buy from a retailer which offers specialist fitting and stocks cupsize swimsuits and bikinis. Pretty Things in Buckhurst Hill, Essex and Cockfosters, Barnet stocks cup sizes A to GG in swimwear. Top-selling brands include
Lejaby, Marie Joe, Panache, Fantasie, Miraclesuit, Chantelle, Bodywrap, Freya, Diamon’t and many more. Alterations are available.
Leibergs, in Temple Fortune, north west London, has new swimwear in sizes 32 to 46, including younger-looking bandeau-style bikinis and swimsuits, with matching cover-ups from Emar. Ponchos are in vogue for the beach, as are bikinis with matching skirts and 100 per cent cotton sleeveless sun dresses. Also just in are bra and brief sets by American designer Wacoal and cool summer nightwear.
Fenwick Brent Cross has transformed its fashion floors and the spring collections will be in store from Monday. New labels this season include RedValentino, Mint Velvet, United Colours of Benetton, Fenn Wright Manson and Religion.
PREP THAT BODY
Boost your skin for spring at Bliss Beauty and Perfumery in Hatch End, a luxury retail outlet and beauty salon with an A-Z of fine fragrances and skincare.
Try a body massage, facial or other beauty treatment. Prepare your body for the beach with laser hair removal or try one of the other treatments combining skincare with sheer pampering.
Daniella Marks, former lead personal stylist at Harvey Nichols, has launched a bespoke personal styling service for men and women. There are five “experiences” — seasonal shopper, trend setter, strictly business, jet setter and occasionwear — from £60. Daniella has access to all the major London stores, but her service can cover anything from high street to haute couture, according to your budget. An unusual service is the “virtual styling experience” for online shoppers. Gift experiences are available too. A great way to give your wardrobe a sense of direction. More info at www.daniellamarks.com
Primadonna Pompadour Melba £117.95 from a range stocked at Pretty Things
Vivid Ronen Chen dress
Vila lace overlay dress at Fenwick, £60
Buckleigh smoking jacket, made to measure from £1,250