Wednesday, 30 April 2014

THE INTERVIEW: Stylist Coco Smith

She was asked by Isabel Marant to model the new H&M collection, is the top stylist in Ireland and has worked with everyone from Tommy Hilfiger to River Island, Courtney Smith – known as Coco Smith – is THE stylist to keep your eye on. With thousands of twitter followers, charisma by the bucketful and a SERIOUS eye for style, I was in no doubt that I wanted the lovely Coco Smith on The Fashion Ache for my next THE INTERVIEW…

Check out her work HERE
Find her on Twitter: @CocoSmithStyle 

Q1.Was it always about being a stylist? Was that the dream from an early age?
‘It was always about fashion! Not necessarily styling. But there was never any question that I would study something in the industry. I was always creating new outfits, sewing, putting on fashion shows, drawing dresses. I actually studied fashion design and then moved into styling after one of my college tutors suggested it.’

Q2.Take us briefly along your journey - from studying to stylist - did you intern a lot/ work alongside other stylists?
‘I took an unconventional route in comparison to other stylists after college. I never assisted or interned. I learned and honed my craft myself... I think there were serious pros and cons to this as I made plenty of mistakes at the beginning but I managed to find my feet, and my own voice in the industry.’

Q3.Who inspired you? Who inspires your work? Street style? Celebrities? Stylists before you?
‘There are so many different factors that inspire me for different reasons. In an editorial sense I adore Katie Grand's styling, she is incredible, and of course the great Grace Coddington needs a mention too. But, career-wise I am in awe of Rachel Zoe and how she built an empire around styling - that to me is pure drive and ambition. Also Grace Woodward, the fact that she managed to find a home between both television presenting and credible fashion styling shows me I'm on the right path.’

Q4. Being named as one of the Top 20 international stylists in Vivays Publishing’s hardback ‘Contemporary Fashion Stylists’ book must have been a FABULOUS moment! What other defining moments have you had over your career?
‘You know what, I have new defining moments on a monthly basis to be honest. Shooting designer collections in the middle of the Sharjah Desert in Dubai last year was just insane, getting a cover of the Sunday Times STYLE was a huge breakthrough, interviewing Khloe Kardashian for Lipsy was exhilarating (and freezing!). I am lucky that my job presents me with new exciting opportunities all the time.’ 

Q5.Take us through a regular day from 9-5pm...
‘Honestly, this is the most asked question there is, and there is no proper answer because every day is completely different. It begins with me getting up at 6am and heading to the gym on a normal day to day (unless it’s an earlier call time for a shoot or flight), other than that it is any of the following (and most of the time a combination or most or all of them); meetings with editors or brands, catching up on emails, writing my column or a feature for a magazine, attending a press launch or event, pulling looks for a shoot or show, styling a shoot, filming for a TV show, on live morning TV, returning products from shoots, model castings, booking hair and makeup, researching shoot ideas and concepts, creating mood boards, skyping photographers and creative team on ideas, accounts, writing credit lists... and so forth. Also ... in this line of work there is no 9-5, I am lucky if I leave my studio at 7pm…that's an early finish for me.’

Q6. When it comes to your own personal style - how would you describe it?
‘Relaxed, bohemian, glamorous (unless you catch me on a seriously busy day).’

Q7.Which celebrities would you love to style?
‘At the moment - I have my eyes on Ellie Goulding, such an incredible singer but the styling is all wrong for her image. She needs a good overhaul.’

Q8.I love that you love working with collaborations! Which collabs have you worked and styled?
‘I did a shoot for the Tommy Hilfiger Promise collection and I modelled my favourite pieces from the H&M Isabel Marant collection before it launched, I hosted the red carpet for the Kardashian Kollection for Lipsy and have worked with River Island on a lot of their collaborations including the young designer ones and the Pacha collection.’ 

Q9.What are your aims for the future?
‘At the moment I am working on a youtube channel and I wouldn't rule out maybe a collaboration collection of my own in the next 5 to 10 years, I'd love to go back to my roots and design eventually.’

Q10.What advice would you give to budding stylists out there?
‘It is an INCREDIBLY tough industry, be strong, work your asses off and keep practicing.. and don't stop knocking on doors... eventually one will open.’

Q11.Your wardrobe is burning down, and you can only save three pieces - what do you save?
‘Oh god! Well luckily for me my wardrobe is divided across 3 separate rooms (including my boyfriends apartment) so hopefully I get to keep more than 3 things.
However, my silk vintage animal print Kimono I got in L.A., my Balenciaga wedges because I live in them and my Pauric Sweeney handbag because I need something on my arm or I feel like I am missing something.’ 

All images are sourced from RKM Communication


SimplyBe & Look Magazine Dinner

I was DELIGHTED to be invited to the SimplyBe dinner with the #fabulous Look Magazine last week at the Balthazar restaurant in Covent Garden. To celebrate the launch of their brand-spanking new STYLISH collection/collaboration for the brand the magazine and high-street label threw one HELL of a dinner - as well as showcasing the brand new pieces! 



Oh Florian London! What are you trying to do to me? With your latest silk print scarf collection and the launch of your colour-popping Vienna Shoulder Bags (not to mention the adorable Mini Vienna) – my credit card is quivering in my Ted Baker purse. With the label’s delectable Vienna Collection on hand, choosing a handbag for the new season isn’t going to be an issue – especially for those of us hunting for that perfect petite number that won’t entice us to pop everything in it (including the kitchen sink and latest issue of Vogue). The brand’s decadent neckwear will also entice you to start accessorising more – brace the unpredictable British weather with one of the Florian’s beautifully printed silk scarves. There’s nothing quite like that final flourish of fabric around the neck…

All images are sourced from Florian/MLPR


Rigby&Peller's SWIMWEAR launch...

With swimwear season on the horizon, Rigby&Peller are right on time with the launch of their own line of GORGEOUS swimwear. With a decadent campaign (featuring Florence Brudenell-Bruce as the face – who has just announced she is expecting her first child) the inspiring brand has instantly got us dreaming of white, sandy beaches and a blue azure sea lapping at the shore – not to mention the colour-popping bikinis and one-pieces the label has to offer…

All images are sourced from Rigby&Peller/Rigby&Peller PR


Now THIS is a date for your diary: the divine British accessories brand, Mimi (formally Mimi Berry) is holding a sample sale this coming Friday 2nd May 2014 at their studio in East London! *EXCITEMENT* Established in London in 2001 by Mimi Berry, the brand has grown into a prominent handbag and accessories label with stockists in Europe, North America and Asia. At the core of each of the label’s amazing seasonal collections is the brand’s sleek utilitarian aesthetic; an aesthetic that bridges the gap between great design and functionality. Manufactured exclusively in the UK it’s a great exemplar of new-wave British artisan fashion. And, using the finest Italian and English leather, their GORGEOUS, slick designs are perfect for pairing with any wardrobe, whatever the weather, whatever the season…

All images are sourced from Mimi London/Rain Communications


Saturday, 26 April 2014

BLONDE + GINGER @ Thoroughly British

Okay, so let me introduce you to not ONE but TWO names that you need to know this Spring/Summer’14: Thoroughly British and Blonde + Ginger. First up? Thoroughly British – the cool online concept set up to ‘collect, promote and retail the finest independent British designers on one platform.’ All the brands on the platform are thoroughly British and flaunt the ‘Made in Britain’ label. The main aim of Thoroughly British is to support British design, and it’s the perfect place to discover fresh, new, EXCITING brands – all guaranteed to be made in Britain with divine attention to detail and craftsmanship. For a taster of the brands they stock check out their website HERE and fall in love with the designs from the likes of Etrala London, Daniella Draper, z-mode, Syokai, Mairi McDonald, MYIA and many, MANY more – including BLONDE+ GINGER. 

BLONDE + GINGER is the unique Womenswear label you’ll want to get your mitts on for SS14. Offering high-quality, limited edition clothing with a contemporary, cool identity – there’s something very special about this label. As the creation of Elizabeth Carrick, BLONDE + GINGER is a label designed and made in Britain, made for the stylish who desire high-quality clothing that is not mass produced. With it’s cool, clean-lined silhouettes, luxe prints, cute tees and contemporary staples – I’ve got no doubt BLONDE + GINGER will be inhabiting my wardrobe soon… 

All images are sourced from Thoroughly British/BLONDE + GINGER


I’m no stranger to short-sighted-ness – in fact it can potentially take me at least forty minutes to find my glasses if I’m not wearing them (or contacts) - so I recognise the importance of fashion-savvy frames for when you’re not wearing your contact lenses. And, if you want to TRANSITION seamlessly through life (and all the states of the British weather) the optical genius’s at Transitions Optical and Etnia Barcelona have the answer: their latest collaboration.

The world leader in pioneering light-adaptive lens technology, Transitions Optical and Etnia Barcelona (a cool, independent frame designer) are proud to announce their latest collaboration and partnership (and you know I LOVE a good collab). Together they’ve brought about a collection of transitional frames that will work perfectly for anyone who likes to accessorize their sartorial elegance in style. Showcasing everything from this season’s quirky round numbers (very Johnny Depp) to an OTM pastel pink pair – this latest collaboration promises to bring you style, vision and ultimately? Two glasses in one. What more could you ask for? 

All images are sourced from Chase PR/Transitions Optical/Etnia Barcelona

Thursday, 24 April 2014

SHOPCADE Launch #StyleBattle

Last week was all about SHOPCADE’S amazing Style Battle launch: the world’s largest social ‘Style Battle’ at The Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch. The shopping app (which is powered through celebrity and blogger trends) joined forces with a panel made up of ten of the fashion industry’s most clue-up insiders in order to crown two stylish users the most ‘sartorially savvy’ on SHOPCADE. 

This month’s winners were London boy, Diogo Barradas and natty blogger, Imogen De Souza who were enthroned at the celebrity-filled bash attended by the app’s star-studded judging panel. TV presenter and DJ Vogue Williams was on the decks, while super blogger Ella Catliff of La Petite Anglaise rocked up looking darn chic, elsewhere I chatted with hairdresser to the stars – the lovely Lee Stafford, and celebrity fashion stylist Rebekah Roy, fashion photographer Sam Atkinson, creative director of world-famous makeup teams, Jana Ririnui of AOFM Pro, WEARECOLLISION magazine’s editor-in-chief Kahmarl Gordon, Elite Model Management’s Ashley-Gianna Hallett and directors of leading fashion label Ada + Nik’s Ada Zanditon and Nik Thakkar were all there to get in on the SHOPCADE action. SHOPCADE'S CEO, Nathalie Gaveau also sat on the panel and was joined by a slew of fashion insiders, models and VIPs…

The launch of SHOPCADE’s latest book: Shopcade’s Swag Report (which I’m featured in) was also released….

All Shopcade Images are sourced from Dave J Hogan from Getty Images 
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