Tory Burch 'In Color' to be released October 1st


You've got the accessories, the handbag and the shoes, so why not add a splash of Tory Burch magic to your coffee table?

Pre-orders are now being taken for Burch's first book called 'In Color,' which will be released on October 1st. The book will highlight Burch's greatest influences and experiences, told through images and stories of the people, places, things and ideas that inspire her.

Make sure you get your order in now! 

White House Week


President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
On Monday, the White House, in partnership with the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress, hosted a Summit on Working Families with the aim of having a national conversation and set a concrete agenda to bring American workplaces into the 21st century.

That conversation brought together businesses, economists, labor leaders, legislators, advocates, and working citizens to talk through the very real issues facing the full spectrum of working families — from low-wage workers to executives. Find out more and see the reaction here.

The White House also shared this great day in the life feature that followed the President on a trip to Minneapolis to meet a woman named Rebekah who sent him a letter sharing the challenges facing her family. Make sure you check it out!

Tory Burch Pre-Fall 2014


Clean lines and strong bold graphics inspired by the Bauhaus movement make Tory Burch's Pre-Fall 2014 collection one to check out!

Browse through some of my favourite pieces below, and check out the lookbook and video here.

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan


Like I expect many others, I first heard of Marina Keegan when the tragedy of her premature death was announced back in 2012.

Marina died five days after graduation in a fatal car crash, and her commencement essay in the Yale campus newspaper quickly went viral, drawing more than 1.4 million views.

Two years after her death the collection of Keegan's essays and stories have been released. Keegan is pictured on the cover of the book, her face immortalised forever in its striking portrait. The Opposite of Loneliness is titled for Keegan's now legendary essay, and the collection contains a selection of both fiction and non fiction pieces.

Many of Keegan's pieces deal with death, and at many times the words on the pages are a chilling precursor to her tragic fate. One short story deals with the death of a classmate, the other about the life of a car, its memories forever trapped within its walls.

I felt a profound sadness as I read the book, a sadness for what could have been achieved by such a gifted and inspirational young writer. Everyday I strive for perfection in my work and in my personal life, and reading Keegan's collected work has really reminded me that we don't need to be perfect. We need to experience life, live it to the full and spend time with those that we care about the most.

It's never too late to make your life full of meaning and joy, and I'm going to start immediately. 

10 Great Fashion Twitter Accounts


Large Image: Tory Burch. L-R: Kate Spade, J.Crew, Lillybee, DKNY, Club Monaco, Jack Rogers, LSD, Blair Eadie BEE, Nickel_n_Dimed

Jason Nickel, Brooks Brothers- Editor and Social Media and Brand Ambassador @nickel_n_dimed

For a look inside one of America’s oldest and most stylish brands check out Jason Nickel’s Twitter account! Also pay a visit to the brand’s ‘Of Rogues and Gentlemen’ blog that gives great style advice, tips and essentials for the modern man.

Jack Rogers Girl @JackRogersUSA

I check out Jack Rogers every day (plus who wouldn’t want to not look at their gorgeous sandals?) The account is run by Jennifer Taylor, and every tweet you send gets a mention!


This has to be one of the most fun accounts on Twitter. The PR Girl is a ‘well-placed source’ that shares all the gossip from inside Donna Karan New York as well as her life in New York City. Particular highlights: live blogging through the latest episode of Revenge.

Club Monaco @ClubMonaco

I adore Club Monaco and their Twitter feed is as fab as their stores! I always feel inspired after I’ve visited- and they must like me too as I’m being followed by them!

Kate Spade @katespadeny

What’s not to love about Kate Spade? Their Twitter always adds sparkle and positivity to my day.

Tory Burch @toryburch

Tory Burch’s social media presence is one that constantly inspires me. I also love how they feature how fans style their favourite Tory Burch items!

J. Crew @jcrew

J. Crew’s Twitter feed is perfect for outfit inspiration and general awesomeness.

Lauren Santo Domingo @TheLSD

Perhaps the ultimate tastemaker, LSD’s Twitter account is littered with Instagram photos and the latest in fashion trends.

Blair Eadie @BlairEadieBEE

Owner of the great Atlantic-Pacific blog, I love reading Blair’s updates on what she’s been up to.

Lillybee @Lillybee

The shoes from Lillybee are to die for, and every photo makes me want (read: NEED) another pair!!

What are your favourite fashion accounts on Twitter? Let me know in the comments!

4th July Entertaining with Paperless Post


Planning a 4th July party this year? Why not use Paperless Post for your invitations? There's so many great designs to choose from- check out my favourites below.

Paperless Post

Get set for summer with girltrunks


With the summer season upon us, some of us face the issue of having to wear a swimsuit in public or not wanting to show too much flesh. Step in girltrunks. girltrunks are stylish halter/tank tops and shorts that are waterproof and provide more coverage than a standard suit. The designers behind the line set out to re-invent swimwear for women in search of coverage and comfort.

girltrunks tops are made of Lycra and bottoms are made of fast-drying polyamide fabric with a mesh lining. They are machine washable and dryable and, for the best fit, tops and trunks are sold separately.

Fore more info on the company and to shop their great collection click here. 

Clarisonic and Lancome Special Cleansing Set


The Clarisonic is absolute essential in my facial cleansing routine, and the news that the brand has teamed up with Lancome for a special collaborative set available at Debenhams has made my Sunday! 

The special package includes Gel Eclat cleanser, the brush (plus head) and Visionnaire Serum all for £125. (It's worth £161.) You also get a trial size Clarisonic cleanser and a protective travel case.

If you've been thinking about getting a Clarisonic, why not treat yourself?!

Links of the Week


White House Week


This week at the White House  President Obama delivered a statement from the White House Press Briefing Room on the situation in Iraq and the U.S. response, in the wake of the terrorist organization ISIL making advances inside Iraq. Watch his remarks below:

On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed 50 new Americans in a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

"This is an exciting day," the First Lady said in her remarks, "and it's just wonderful that I can be among the first to congratulate you on becoming American citizens."

Only a few feet from where she spoke was the Declaration of Independence -- and as she noted, none of the 56 Founders who signed the Declaration were born American, "they became American."

Earlier in the week, President Obama enjoyed the company of a 17-foot robotic giraffe; a 128-square-foot, portable “tiny house”; a 3D pancake printer; a giant red weather balloon; and more than 30 other inspiring and creative inventions brought to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by more than 100 students, entrepreneurs, engineers, and researchers from 25 states — all of whom love to “Make” stuff.

At the first-ever White House Maker Faire, the President also announced a host of new steps to spur manufacturing, innovation, and entrepreneurship by increasing the ability of more Americans, young and old, to have access to tools and techniques that can bring their ideas to life.

The day was a celebration of all things built-by-hand and designed-by-ingenuity — highlighting the role of cutting-edge equipment like 3D printers, laser-cutters, easy-to-use design software, and desktop machine tools in empowering everyday Americans to create and achieve almost anything.

President Barack Obama looks at Lindsay Lawlor’s 17-foot-tall, 2,200-lb robotic giraffe on the South Lawn of the White House during the first White House Maker Faire, June 18, 2014. The creation “walks” on wheels and is powered by a 12-horsepower hybrid fuel-engine motor. Lindsay designed the Robotic Giraffe to play music, feature innovative lighting displays, and it can hold up to 30 people in its carriage. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Check out all the tweets and videos in the Storify feed. 

Q&A: Johanna Puisto, Sculpture Conservator at the Victoria & Albert Museum


© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The Victoria & Albert Museum is one of my absolute favourite places to visit in London, and I am thrilled to feature a Q&A with Johanna Puisto, a sculpture conservator at the institution. Since joining the Museum in 2005 Johanna has worked on many of the Museum’s projects conserving objects for a number of galleries including British Sculpture, Medieval and Renaissance and European Sculpture 1300-1600’s. She is currently preparing objects for the Europe 1600-1800 and the Cast Court galleries, which are both opening later this year. Johanna has also worked for the Museum’s ceramics and metals conservation departments conserving objects for the ceramics and jewellery galleries and toys for the Museum of Childhood . Johanna graduated in 1996 with BA (Hons) in Conservation and Restoration from De Montfort University in Lincoln, where she specialised in conservation of ceramics and ethnographic artefacts. Before joining the V&A she worked in the private sector conserving historic interiors including the St Paul’s Cathedral and numerous other historic buildings, monuments and sculptures in the UK. 

Check out my conversation with Johanna below! 

Why did you choose this particular career path?

I have always been fascinated by art and design and I wanted to have an occupation where I could combine my interest and at the same time ensure the preservation of our cultural heritage. Each project or object I work on is always a challenge and exciting discovery into past or into something that is unknown, which can be anything from finding an odd fingerprint or a tool mark on a sculpture, a signature that someone forgot to notice. It is also fascinating to investigate the technology on how the object was made and what happened to it after or what kind of interventions were there and who and why were they made. There are always questions and nothing is ever simple as such. The job provides satisfaction and enjoyment and it is hard not to get excited about something almost every day. However, conservation work can also be incredibly meticulous, repetitive and physically demanding and requires a certain kind of character to stay enthusiastic. 

Why has art always appealed to you?

Many of my family members and the people I know or grew up with were creative and were involved with arts or design one way or another. However, two of the most significant influences for my career choice were my mother who is a journalist and specialises in design (Tuula Poutasuo) who suggested I study conservation, and my grandfather (Oiva Polari), who was an artist and passionate about preserving the local heritage. He collected, restored and recorded local folk art and published his research and ideas. As a child I used to watch him paint or repair something and was deeply captivated by his creativity and talent.

What training and experience did you need to achieve for this role?

I did a three year course in decorative painting in Helsinki, and learned different techniques on how to restore decorative surfaces. After finishing the course I wanted to continue my studies and decided to learn how to gild. I attended a short, but very intensive gilding course at the Lahti Design Institute and decided to continue my studies in the UK at the De Montfort University, gaining a degree in conservation and restoration. The course gave me a broad understanding on how to care for different materials and after graduating I worked in the private sector, building my experience in various conservation projects. Some of the most memorable projects I was involved with were the conservation of a Great Staircase Hall at Belton House in Lincolnshire, owned by the National Trust. It was wonderful experience to work in a beautiful country house estate. Another unforgettable project, which I was involved with for a year was the restoration of the Victorian Gothic Choir Screen from the Hereford Cathedral, which is currently on display at the V&A. The screen was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott and is made of cast and wrought iron and various other metals and is also decorated with mosaic panels and other embellishments. I worked in a team and we had to lean the skill of polishing brass in a short period of time when normally that sort of skill takes years to master. I also worked at St Pauls Cathedral for about three years cleaning the stonework, monuments and the 19th century mosaics by William Blake Richmond and Alfred Stevens. The Cathedral was quite an extraordinary environment to work in. Whilst cleaning the interior stone with toothbrushes, the sound of the brushing would be accompanied by the choir practise unless the Eucharist would be taking place. Most of the time was spent suspended on the most unusual scaffolding structure that hung from the Cathedral’s dome.

What does your role at the V&A involve?

I work in a small team of sculpture conservators and we are responsible for ensuring the preservation, conservation, investigation and display of the Museum’s sculpture collection. There are approximately 22,000 sculptural objects in the collection, ranging from 4th century sculpture to 19th century plaster casts. A lot of our work takes place in the studio, which is based in the Museum, but we also work in the galleries and stores, as objects sometimes need to be treated in situ. The materials we work on vary from different types of stones to terracotta, wood, ivory, amber, rock crystal.. Sizes range from enormous architectural monuments to cameos and miniature figures. Time spent on analysing and interpreting the surfaces or the structure allows us to assess stability, but also contributes to understanding the object and its history better. We also deal with national and international loans making sure the objects are stable for travel and display and advise public and other institutions on how to care for objects.

Have you worked on any famous pieces?

I am currently working on a significant plaster cast, which is a replica of Michelangelo’s marble sculpture of David. The cast, which is made of plaster was a gift to Queen Victoria by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopold II, in 1856. You can read more about it on my blog ‘Uncovering Michelangelo’s David’, which can be found on the museum’s website under the V&A conservation blog. Other well-known pieces that I have worked on are from the Renaissance period and include a marble sculpture by Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) ‘Neptune and Triton’ and Giambologna’s sculpture ‘Samson Slaying a Philistine’ from about 1562. Although some objects in the collection are more famous than others, every object we work on is special in its own right and gets the same amount of care and attention as any other object would.

What are the highlights and challenges of your role?

Each day and each new object is always a challenge. There is so much work to do that one has to be able to make quick and innovative decisions, but at the same time ensure the safekeeping and preservation of the collection. The V&A is a very large institution and I am always able to consult and discuss matters with the numerous experts inside and outside the Museum.

What’s the best thing about working at the V&A?

The collections are just astonishing and people come all over the world to work, study or visit the Museum. I am fortunate to work in such a prestigious place with so many talented and likeminded people.

For an individual visiting the V&A for the first time, what pieces would you recommend that they see?

The magnificent Hereford Screen, which I worked on can be seen, as you enter the main entrance of the Museum and look up. The screen is displayed on a balcony in the iron works gallery.  The Medieval and Renaissance Galleries to the right of the main entrance hall are full of beautiful masterpieces of Italian Renaissance art including Giambologna’s Samson Slaying a Philistine. Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous notebook is also on display in one of the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries and it’s worth seeing. The Cast Court galleries are definitely worth visit, as they are sort of a hidden gem in the museum. The Italian Court, where the plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David is displayed, is currently closed for refurbishment, but is due to open by the end of this year. The temporary exhibitions are mostly best-sellers and worth seeing, but otherwise the Museum is full of beautiful and interesting works of art and every gallery is worth a visit.

What are your favourite pieces of sculpture?

I don’t really have a particular piece that I would love more than anything, although I must admit that at the moment I am pretty obsessed by a certain plaster cast called David. However, tomorrow I might be absorbed by something else.

Are you working on any exciting, upcoming projects?

I am currently working on two projects, where a number of galleries are being renovated and various collections are being assessed and conserved. One is to conserve the cast collection of hundreds of plaster casts in the Museum’s Cast Courts and the other is to treat objects for the Museum’s FuturePlan project Europe 1600 to 1800. I have also been involved with making a short film about the conservation  and renovation works in the Cast Court highlighting the conservation of the plaster cast of Michelangelo’s David. The film will be shown on the Museum’s website, where you can also search the collections and find all the details about the displays and conservation work.

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Review: Wild Money by Luna Jaffe


Does maths and money send you into a state of apoplexy? Then Wild Money: A Creative Journey to Financial Wisdom may be the book for you!

Written by Luna Jaffe, an author, speaker and money coach, the book offers a creative journey and outlook onto how to get control of your finances and manage money in a smart- and fun way!

The book is uniquely tailored to the individual reader, and provides simple and practical strategies that are easy to implement immediately. Every page features unique and fun illustrations, and Jaffe encourages you to complete tasks such as keeping a money journal, or scanning copies of important financial documents to plan for the future.

As someone who has recently started their own business the task of keeping up to date with my spreadsheets, invoices and records is super important. Jaffe's book has encouraged me to approach this often taxing task in a creative and positive way, and Wild Money appeared at such a relevant time in my life!

If you're looking to tackle your finances in a new way, or want support then this book is one for you.

For more information visit Jaffe's website and follow her on Twitter. 

I was sent a copy of Wild Money to review for Political Style.
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