Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Beulah London Trust launches

I've written about Beulah many a time on here, as it's such an inspiring example of a company that measures its own success on a positive contribution to the world as much as sales. Created by two women, for women, it offers sleek and stylish clothing as a vehicle to help empower women.

‘Beulah’ is a Biblical word, taken from Isaiah 62 v.4, referring to a new land of ‘peace’. Beulah traces its origins back to 2009, when founders Natasha and Lavinia had an opportunity to work in Atulya, an aftercare home in the Delhi slums. Having witnessed the harrowing effects of human trafficking and the sex trade, they felt compelled to do something about it. From this was born an idea of launching a humanitarian fashion label with a transparent supply chain, focused on romantic, timeless and effortless elegance.

The term 'Beulah' itself is symbolic of the company’s philosophy, representing the journey of each woman romanced out of darkness and despair, into a new life of hope, restoration, and peace. ‘Romance’ is the inspiration behind each design, and ‘love’ one of the core values of the brand.

As the next step on the road to help others find peace, Beulah has since founded The Beulah Trust to put their humanitarian mission into action. Partially funded by a percentage of Beulah London’s accessory sales, the Trust gives grants that pay for skill courses – giving women who have been victims of sex trafficking the chance to find work, generate an income, and live a self-sufficient life, free from abuse.

Not only are the marginalized women benefiting from the Beulah London Trust, they are also part of the supply chain. The Beulah butterfly logo tells the wearer that the product has either been made with the help of women who have been trafficked, or been produced specifically to raise awareness or funds for its victims.

This year, ‘Beulah’ will also be partnering and collaborating with prominent British brands to raise further awareness of trafficking. Beulah’s brand awareness and the values it stands for are set to benefit from such collaborations.

In the meantime, shop SS13 here 
  


 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Top designers show their support for the Elephant Family Animal Ball




Conservation charity Elephant Family love an art-led fundraising project and this year they are hosting the masked Animal Ball at Lancaster House in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

An eclectic range of top artists, fashion houses and jewellers are to create animal masks for guests to wear to the ball. Ethical fashion favourites Ada Zanditon and Beautiful Soul, as well as David Longshaw, are putting their stamp on masks, which will be displayed alongside those of other great names such as DVF, Mario Testino, Faberge and Philip Treacy. 

Each designer has been asked to  create two masks which represent the many endangered species in the world including butterflies, rhinos, pandas, big cats, monkeys and of course elephants. Sotheby’s will host an exhibition of the Animal Ball masks from the 10-15th May which will be for sale to guests of The Animal Ball.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Q&A with the luscious Ayten Gasson

Ayten Gasson talks to Bon Ton Times
Ayten Mustafa, Creative Director of Ayten Gasson
Luxury lingerie label Ayten Gasson has been producing gorgeous items since 2005, and has become recognised in the UK for a firm commitment to supporting the UK fashion industry. Creative Director Ayten Mustafa launched the label with the help of the Princes Trust, with the intention of supporting other UK businesses and highlighting the traditional skills which the UK was once celebrated for. Here she shares a little more on the latest from her label...

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Designer Jewellery Boxes charity auction launches

Hit ebay NOW for a chance to bid for one of the 21 unique jewellery boxes that have been designed and handcrafted by world renowned and up-and-coming British iconic jewellery designers, artists and luxury brands in aid of arts education charity, The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts, and not-for-profit organisation, Holts Academy of Jewellery.

The 'Beautiful Boxes’ eBay auction will be live until 24 March and has been set up by Coutts as a fundraising initiative. Luxury brands contributing boxes include: Alex Monroe, Ali Miller, Annoushka Jewellery, Caramel Baby & Child, Damien Jeffery, David Marshall, Elizabeth Gage, Elvis & Kresse, Emma Yeo, Getty Images, Jason Holt, Jimboart, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, Lily & Lionel, Monica Vinader, Paul Smith, Theo Fennell, Tobyboo, Todd Lynn, Holts Academy of Jewellery and Coutts.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Fairtrade Foundation Paper People Power

The Fairtrade Foundation has launched its 2013 Fairtrade Fortnight campaign calling for action to end trade injustice around the world. Jonathan Ross, Tulisa and Harry Hill are among the celebrities supporting the campaign, which will see three-inch versions of the stars join a march on Parliament during Fairtrade Fortnight which is NOW! (Well, more accurately, 25 Feb-10 March).

Marking a new model of campaigning for the Fairtrade Foundation, everyone who supports the petition will be able to create a personalised paper person! Watch out for mine making an appearance in the near future...

In Fairtrade Fortnight, the campaign will culminate in thousands of paper people coming together for a march to highlight support for a fairer deal for small farmers. The Fairtrade system helps provide these farmers with a fairer price for their produce, and a chance for a better livelihood for themselves and their families.

www.fairtrade.org.uk/jointhemarch / @FairtradeUK

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ecoluxe London

"Promoting Luxury with an Ethos" - this season's fashion and accessories exhibition had some very desirable hits. Every LFW Ecoluxe shows the best in Eco-luxury - it's worth a visit...











Thursday, 14 February 2013

Show me you love me!

Looking for last minute Valentine's inspiration? For today and way beyond, Ayten Gasson's latest collection, Future Vintage Classic is a a lush choice made up of stunning black silk satin trimmed with Nottingham lace and delicate UK-made satin bows.

In fact each item from the collection is lovingly and proudly made in Britain. FAB! Buy for me please...although something tells me I won't look quite as good as this. Darn you pancake day.
Ayten Gasson Classic Silk Bra - ooh er!
Classic Silk Bra
Classic Silk Babydoll
Ayten Gasson Camisole Set - yum
Organic Camisole Set
Shop online at www.aytengasson.com.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Creative skills for future-proof fashion


With all the stress and DIRE cost associated with University these days, it's with a happy heart and great applause that I heard about the upcoming National Apprenticeship Week recently, and especially the Higher Level Apprenticeships in Fashion being run by Creative Skillset (which build to become equivalent to the first year at Uni).

Being able to 'earn and learn' is a lifesaver for the many out there who don't have the leg up from their family that some enjoy. True to form some of fashion's biggest trend-setters have been early adopters of an approach that is working hard to plug the looming skills shortage that could threaten a vital £4 billion industry, including Mulberry and Dr Martens.

Ian Scott, Group Supply Director at Mulberry, was the driving force behind the establishment of the first Fashion and Textiles apprenticeships in 2006. Recognising that invaluable skills were going to be lost to the industry, Ian instigated the first Level 2 NVQ apprenticeship, in conjunction with Bridgwater College, by hiring ten apprenticeships. Since then, Mulberry has hired 64 apprentices with 47 still being employed by the world renowned luxury leather goods company.

“Our industry needs all types of people, those with hands-on skills and those with strategy, tactical and planning ability. Fundamentally, a work place can’t have all graduates, it needs a mix of people with different skills and aptitudes,” says Ian.
Stephen Bent and Millie Purbrick at Dr Martin's
Stephen Bent and Alex Cotton at Dr. Marten's are also big supporters. “We were reliant on retained skills and with many of our employees reaching retirement age, there was a huge gap in skills coming into and through the industry,” said Stephen. “With no future skills resource, we knew we had to identify a way of attracting new talent to the industry.”

Alex was given guidance on the process of apprenticeships from Mulberry. “Mulberry was invaluable in guiding us to create our apprenticeship as they were already running very successful apprenticeship schemes.”

One of the Dr Martin's apprentices is Mollie Purbrick, pictured above, who relocated from Brighton to the factory base at Wollaston when she was accepted to the scheme - um, shove that in your face any politician who tries to claim the young aren't trying hard enough to find work!!

Mollie’s love of British made goods started when she was working at Fred Perry and she wanted to continue working with an iconic British brand. “It is quite overwhelming to be working in Dr. Marten’s original factory and to witness making shoes from prototype through to final production.” said Mollie. “My father was a shoemaker, repairing clowns shoes so I understand that this is a very old industry steeped in tradition and one I am immensely proud to be part of and appreciate that I have been given a doorway into my chosen industry.”

“I can ask questions all day long and everyone is so keen to help. An apprenticeship offers what no other job pathway can by putting me in a professional environment as a student,” said Mollie.

Good on you Mollie and friends. I'm looking forward to hearing more success stories come National Apprenticeship Week, 11th-15th March.

If you're interested in hearing more, head down to the Apprenticeship Open Day to be hosted by Fashion Enter at its Fashion Studio at the University of East London at the Knowledge Dock Business Centre on Tuesday 12th February. It'll bring together leading High Street Stores, clothing manufacturers and potential apprentices with Creative Skillset for an informative workshop and job fair. On Thursday 14th February, The Factory will open its doors from 10.00am to 15.00pm for visitors to review the new facilities and meet the team.

For more info visit 
www.creativeskillset.org

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Lulu Guinness opens a pop up in aid of (RED)




The lovely Lulu Guinness has opened a pop-up boutique in Bicester Village near London, housing her much-loved creations including the iconic ‘Lips’ clutches, with a whopping 30% or more off the RRP until 12 May.

Lulu will be supporting Bicester Village’s ‘(RED) is The New Black’ campaign that aims to raise €100,000 for the fight to help deliver an AIDS free generation by 2015, with a personal appearance to spread the love on 14 February.

The ‘(RED) Is The New Black’ campaign has now launched, with mega support from the likes of Helena Christensen, and promises a vibrant celebration of all things coloured red for the entire month of February. Founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, (RED) partners with the world’s most iconic brands and organisations to bring millions of people into the global fight against AIDS - learn more about it here.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Watch the latest Just Like You film from Citizens of Humanity

Citizens of Humanity has launched the latest installment of its philanthropic film series Just Like You, featuring the internationally celebrated tattoo artist Mark Mahoney, a master of fine-line black-and-gray tattoos who's been a major influence on the evolution of the craft for more than 30 years. Mahoney started tattooing professionally in 1977, and in 2001 he opened the Shamrock Social Club on the Sunset Strip. He's tattooed the likes of Johnny Depp, Brad and Angelina, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, David Beckham and the shockingly popular One Direction.
http://vimeo.com/50184556
Click here view Mark Mahoney's video
http://www.citizensofhumanity.com/#!justlikeyou
Mark has designed an exclusive t-shirt, which is being sold on the Citizens of Humanity website with all proceeds going to his chosen charity Homeboy Industries, which provides hope, training and support to formerly gang involved men and women.
 
The Just Like You programme profil­es creative visionaries from around the world who inspire the brand. The yearlong program has featured Citi­zens of Humanity founder Jerome Dahan, legendary ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, undefeated Jiu-Jitsu mixed martial artist Rickson Gracie and French Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Héléne Darozze.

Find out more here

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Brrrilliant winter warmers - get in quick!

Sales are still aplenty and with the snow set to stay, now's the time to add to your dashing hat and scarf collection...go go go!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The PwC charity panto hits the stage...

http://www.sadlerswells.com/show/PricewaterhouseCoopers-Peter-Pan
The annual PwC charity panto is in it's 27th year and is set to dazzle London's West End next week before moving onto Nottingham. Peter Pan and will feature flying, mermaids, some rather useless pirates, a crocodile with a mobile phone in his stomach and many many popular tunes (including one by a certain Korean internet sensation...).

Brave staff and alumni (including current board members) are acting as cast and crew on the production that's running until 26th Jan at the Peacock Theatre on Kingsway, with ticket prices ranging from £13 - £18. All in the name of Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, PwC has donated £25,000 to GOSH towards their Centre for Children's Rare Diseases, and extra collections after the paid-for performances will add to the pot. Some of the cast will be going to GOSH after show-week to perform part of the show for the children too sick to attend.

The number of tickets for underprivileged children and charities has been increased this year, meaning 4,700 London children will get to see the show for free - including a goodie bag and their transport to the theatre and back. The team at PwC receive many letters from people every year saying how much this trip has meant to them and in a year when things have been even tougher financially for a lot of people, they wanted to do a bit more and allow more families to have a fun night out without worrying about the cost. An additional 1,500 kids will be seeing the show in Nottingham,

One of the shows is audio-described for the blind and visually-impaired, and those children will take part in a 'touch tour' before curtain-up, where they will get to come onto the stage and get the chance to interact with the costumes, props and musical instruments to make it a more sensory experience for them. Another of the shows is signed for the deaf and hard of hearing.

It has become such a fixture in the PwC calendar and the CSR commitment so long-standing that the annual fundraiser goes far beyond a tick-box exercise for big business. Senior partner Ian Powell, is a big supporter of the show and is even delaying his trip to the annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland this week in order to go along. Frankly, I would as well to be fair - the show sounds like a lot more fun!

Buy your tickets here: www.sadlerswells.com/show/PricewaterhouseCoopers-Peter-Pan


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Look super stylish at the drop of a hat...




Looking for dashing new head wear? The Spring/Summer 2013 collection from Hatastic! has now launched, having showcased at Ecoluxe London during London Fashion Week back in September 2012.

Chloë Haywood (founder) has designed an elegant collection of decorative hats and headpieces made from vintage straw (upcycled, dyed and teased), restored vintage remnants and upcycled ribbons. The collection is simply inspired by the mystery and history of the faded, vintage fabrics and jewels found on her travels. Even the names of the pieces are names after sequins and semi precious stones.

Since the success of 60s inspired Candy Collection SS12, Chloë wanted to make this collection more rich but still have a lovely light airy look, so had fun selecting the original vintage pastel coloured 70s chiffon looks for the shoot.

As with all her collections, Chloë reuses discarded materials and rejuvenates them into a piece that can be worn and hopefully treasured. She says ‘I always strive for a timelessness in my designs, so they can be elegant but adapted to be worn with vintage or modern.’

These unique one off designs will be stocked in Fenwick, Bond Street from the end of May 2013 in preparation for Royal Ascot, but if you can contact Chloë directly on info@hatastic.co.uk for a private fitting.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

What a good start to the year...

Contemplation Room, The Langham

Contemplation Room at Chuan Spa

VIP room

After a long and lovely break (which involved waaay too much partying), what's better than a luxury spa day? Nowt, that's what! The other day I found myself at the Chuan Spa at The Langham enjoying one of their signature Harmony massages. Having been diagnosed as lacking a little green in my life, I enjoyed a relaxing hour having one of my five elements replaced - wood in my case, which is, incidentally, associated with one's liver *cough*.

With the swim before hand, and the chamomile tea alongside a plate of fresh fruit afterwards, this was magically one chilled blogger. Thanks Chuan, here's to a better and balanced 2013!

I'd highly recommend a trip!!  Here are a few offers the Chuan Spa have on currently (valid Mondays to Fridays).

New Year Glow
1 hours, £80 per person (Worth £130)

Chuan Herbal Salt Scrub
OSKIA Glow On The Go Facial
20% off OSKIA Face Products
Includes use of the Chuan Health Club facilities

Top to Toe Detox
1 hours 30 minutes, £120 per person (Worth £195)

Chuan Yu Express Facial
Chuan Balancing Back Massage
Chuan Foot and Leg Massage
20% off Chuan Retail Products
Toe nail paint
Includes use of the Chuan Health Club facilities

New Year New You
2 hours, £150 per person (Worth £210)

Thalgo Algae Marine Wrap or Man Express Wrap
Thalgo Eye Massage Mask
OSKIA Glow On The Go Facial
20% off Thalgo Body products
Includes use of the Chuan Health Club facilitie

Tea Therapy 
Half day experience, £177 per person ( £354 for two) - Buy as a gift

Soothe the soul and restore vitality with this tea and spa experience.
  • Arrive 11.00am - Relax and enjoy the facilities of Chuan Spa including London’s first Salt Sauna
  • 12.00 - Chuan Body Elements treatment – 1 hour 30 minutes (Chuan Harmony Massage followed by a Bliss Facial)
  • 1.30pm - Enjoy a mini Chinese tea ritual in the contemplation area
  • Spa product gift to take home
  • 2.00pm - Wonderland Afternoon Tea in the award winning Palm Court with a choice of over 50 teas to choose from
Terms & Conditions
  • Strictly subject to availability
  • Bookings must be made up to two weeks in advance
  • Timings are flexible