Category: British

Ice Water Challenge x

There was this post about the cold water challenge three of us set ourselves in September: Could we swim in the open air unheated pool without wetsuits through the winter? Then last week, the Beast from the East dropped the temperature and raised the question could we rise to the ultimate challenge in the snow?

The air temperature was minus three, the water was one degree but both the pool and sky were an inviting blue.

For those that asked, no the changing cubicles are not heated and are open to the elements.  But this helps – you get acclimatised and your core remains constant.  Strangely the two moments of biggest shock are when you’re changing into a cozzie on the cold concrete floor(why-the-f***-am-I-doing-this-I-must-be-mad) to when you’re changing back again from a soaking wet swimsuit and you’re feeling fine – your whole perception of temperature and what cold is has changed – it is literally mind altering, though it helps that there is a sauna to run to to warm up for a good twenty minutes, but you’re still walking around in the wet in silly temperatures..it’s a large pool.

Oh how we laugh in the face of adversity!

The temperature categories for cold water swimming are anything above five degrees is cold water, five degrees and below is ice water.  This was the first time we’d actually swum with ice.

Sophie heading in – there’s no hanging around – commitment is the name of the game.

My turn!

Adding a little bit more magic to a special day: The life guard serenading our swim!

We only effing did it!

If you’d told me in the summer that this is what we’d be doing in the snow, I’d never have believed you. But this bonkers, wonderful, incredible experience has steadily proved that anything is possible: You don’t have to be the best, the fastest, or the winner…you just have to do it. And preferably with a great mate.

 

Laters, Kate x

Milktooth x

There are still things that science can’t explain, like why one pair of earrings is just so much more than another.

But it’s something that Ernestina and Mark Potts, from Milktooth understand.  Their jewellery is a celebration of the have more, buy less philosophy.  Built on an eclectic mix of vintage and own designs their philosophy is simple: embrace your own style, buy the things you love, feel amazing.  Add in the Zeitgeist of desire and it’s a heady mix.

(All pics Milktooth)

The cherry on the proverbial are the sensible price points (£30-£60) and effortless cool which means this is a name hidden in plain view for those oh so difficult people to buy presents for.

 

That is, if you’re prepared to give them away….

 

Mi piace.

Laters, Kate x

100 Years

Greta Gerwig is only the fifth woman ever to be nominated for best director at the Oscars.

Marie Curie – honoured twice with the Nobel Prize, in 1903 for physics and 1911 for chemistry.  Between the years 1901 – 2017 only 48 women in total have been awarded the prize.

1984 was the first year women were allowed to run the marathon at the Olympic games. The gold medal was won by Joan Benoit Samuelson.

The Oxford and Cambridge boat race.  First rowed by women in 1927 and then annually since 1964.  The women’s race was only televised in 2015.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of women in the UK getting the vote – but don’t be fooled into thinking this was all women – we’re talking women over 30 with ‘property’..the real equality would take another eleven years.

100 years later discrimination is still rife.  Except it’s not talked about, because it doesn’t happen. In fact there are so many people convinced of their good intentions towards women that they don’t even notice their glaring disrespect for them: Grid girls? Equal number of grid boys please, along with female racing drivers, women mechanics, female engineers, women running F1 teams – and lets add heading up the car companies as well because we still need an explosion of the myth that cars are just for boys.  Time to grow up.

 

Laters, Kate x

Elvis & Krasse x

Elvis & Krasse are one of those companies that make you wish you were them.  At their workshop based in Kent, they rescue raw materials destined for landfill and recraft them into authentic luxury items. Donating 50% of their profits to charity means their Godly status is secured.

 

Two projects are their mainstays – working with de-commissioned fire hoses that once lived in hell and are now made in heaven.

 

 


And working with Burberry on the global issue of leather waste, using their cast offs to create inventive designs.

 

Their products are built to last, combining world-class handmade craftsmanship with timeless design.  And they also repair for life for free. Yes. You can read that again and believe it.

Loved and honed into existence, this is one Company to remember.

Laters, Kate x

Needle and Thread x

The little black dress is due for a revival and, like the label Rixo, Needle and Thread is a reliable bet when it comes to punching above one’s weight in the world of competitive design stakes.

 

A visual cross between Self-Portrait and Armani, the label does only cater for one type of figure: big busted, look away now.

But the attention to detail (note the stars and the polka dots on the tulle, plus the beading on the shoulders) plus the price point – add a nought for most designer equivalents – means it deserves its place in the spotlight.

(All pics Pinterest)

(They also offer similar dresses in blush, cream and white..perfect for the bride who wants something a little different..)

 

Laters, Kate x

Beans on Toast x

Just the name Toast takes on a whole new meaning when the temperatures start to drop and the smell of fallen leaves mixed with wood smoke permeates the air.

Their clothes capture that louche, appreciation of nature vibe: Loose cuts, soft textures, muddy palette.

If that’s not enough, not only do they do the best classic grey long cashmere cardigan.

(All pics Toast)

But each one of their eleven shops has a shelf filled with books from customers and staff. Inside each books are hand written notes, explaining how the book has enriched the sharer. Visit a shop to share your own book and take one in return. Genius.

 

Laters, Kate x

Earth. Food. Love.

Earth. Food. Love is the living proof that stereotypes get it wrong.

Set up by former footballer, Richard Eckersley and his wife, Nicola  Earth.Food.Love is a revolutionary zero waste supermarket in Totnes, Devon, where all packaging is banned.

Customers are expected to bring their own pots, jars, bags to carry their produce home.

Amongst the razor blades and bamboo toothbrushes with replaceable bristles, there’s even a grind your own nut butter machine.

‘We want to live in a world where consuming doesn’t have to cost the earth.  We believe returning to these simple ways will benefit not only our health, but the planet too.’

 

Fingers crossed this is the start of a new trend, coming soon to a High Street near you..

Laters, Kate x

Alexa Chung x

It’s British, it’s a woman, it’s designed by a fashion icon…so Alexa Chung by Alexa Chung should be the wobblies de chiens.  So why does it leave me – like her collaboration with AG   on the clammy side of cold?

Like a crow over carrion, time to pick over the bones…

  1. There’s no progression of ideas.  Like famous clothes horses before her, she’s taken inspiration from the wardrobe that’s made her: a bit of this, a bit of that.  The link that draws them together is her, which is great if you are her.  Or want to pretend to be her.  But don’t you want to be yourself? Isn’t that what she’s all about? Being an individual…I’m confused.. 2. She’s a hipster chick who’s proud to buy vintage and snuffle her way through charity shops. I doth my feathered hat.  But to emulate her style you just need to do the same..those Mary Janes? a fiver at Camden…  3. Because it’s so reliant on the past there’s not much modern twisting, which begs the question – where’s the house style to hang a feathered hat on? (All pics Alexa Chung)

 

4. She’s an intelligent woman who understands and has personally experienced the patriarchal influence on fashion, so why reproduce clothes for boys again?

You’re beautiful, rich, clever, creative – so be it, be original instead of hiding behind things other people have done.

Laters, Kate x

Pure Moss x

‘Picture a summer night when it goes silvery-blue from the light of the moon’ Is how Kate Moss describes the inspiration behind the wallpaper for her bathroom.

Based on silver-tinted anemones symbolising luck in Greek mythology and interspersed with shards of solar radiance, the wallpaper is the creative result of a collaboration between Moss and De Gournay, the bespoke wallpaper house.

(All pics Architectural Digest)

The hall is now proudly adorned with the daybreak version. ‘I like the feeling of when the sun is just coming up at a festival and you have that glowy light.’ It’s all pale pastels and bright, in your face neons.

 

A match made in heaven.

Laters, Kate x