You’ve recently launched Shimmy – what is it and what inspired its creation?
I got the idea for Shimmy from listening to women of all ages in our fittings for the last eight years – all women want a sleeve option without the overheating and bulking of layering a whole top underneath…
They are lightweight, luxury sleeves that are technically designed and tailored to sit under any items of sleeveless clothing, giving a perfect smooth, tailored sleeves to any outfit. And because we live in the real world they are machine washable!
As a stylist, you like to celebrate the runway and the streets – how do you bring that ethos to helping women with their everyday looks?
I love to see all the new creativity on the runway each season; it keeps everything fresh and fast-paced, but the reality is that where we can love a runway look or trend, it’s unlikely to work for us in our real life or on our real body, so we interpret looks and styles that our clients love into more everyday, real-life outfits.
Runway is theatre, and where that has its place, for a woman to go out and conquer her day, she needs to feel confident, comfortable and sure about her style statement.
Which do you prefer – industry consulting or working with individuals?
I really love both. I love getting involved with brands of different sizes and levels of luxury and hearing their issues and sharing insights into how women really shop, how they really think and use the clothes. It is more analytical and discursive work and I really enjoy that aspect of it. But I love having time with the women I style; they are really bright, amazing women doing fascinating projects and work in their lives and it’s a real priviledge to be a part of their journey.
What’s your top tip for finding your own style?
Find your happy place, but keep it modern. Put on the outfits that make you feel most confident and powerful, and also the outfits that make you feel most pretty and approachable. Take a full-length, mirror picture of each outfit. Leave it a day or two then look back over all the images and be really honest with yourself about what aspects of those looks are dated. Where they are dated, think about ways you can update that bag, those jeans, that boot to make the look more modern and current. This makes you start to cultivate the style that is truly yours, but disciplines you to update your items and keep it contemporary.
Your office is based on Portobello Road – how does the area inspire you?
I love Notting Hill. I have lived here for 15 years. I love the contradictions here of polished and earthy. The bustle of the market and all the independently-owned stores and sole traders on Portobello make the neighbourhood. It means the guy you get your coffee from knows your name and asks you ‘how’s your Shimmy going?’ every day – I love that.
Where do you like to go for an after-work tipple?
I mostly go to Electric for the best Old Fashioned in London (problematically across the road from my office!). I love the relaxed dress code and feel of the club, and its one of those great places you can just hole up for the night.
What’s your most memorable meal?
I’m a big fan of informal dining. I love to be around a kitchen table with friends and family – the food and wine always come second to laughing and sharing the meal with good friends. Living in London means eating out a lot so it’s a real treat for me to be in a kitchen and having home-cooked food.
What are your favourite London shops?
I love Harvey Nichols – the options there are second to none. They have great mix of new emerging designers and classic brands, and the store is such a good size it feels like a really large boutique as opposed to an impersonal department store. I can also, too frequently, be found in Maje and Sandro on Westbourne Grove – they offer amazing work wear!
What are you currently reading?
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabby Bernstein. I really like her message. It’s about committed positive thinking and being in control of your thoughts so that they help you, not hinder you. It’s also about living life as though the odds are stacked in your favour, which is something I really believe in. Before that, I just finished Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington, which was also really interesting.
What are you up to at the moment?
I am spinning a lot at Heartcore in Notting Hill. I love the non-gym vibe there. It is a really restorative place to work out. They have a class there that includes spinning for 30 mins and then yoga for 30 mins that I love. I’m also working on Shimmy a lot which is very exciting and going really well – the response has been amazing! Women really needed it.
What’s your top New Year wardrobe detox tip?
Edit for one whole day in the first two weeks of January, and then be really disciplined about one in, one out for the rest of the year. Also pay really close attention to T-shirts and jeans. Women always own far too many of both – we are not in the ’80s people; edit them!