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31-03-2009
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Barnado's Vintage Boutique

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01-04-2009
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Mothers4Children charity lunch

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06-04-2009
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"The Boat That Rocked" Premiere



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15-06-2009
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zimbio.com
McCartney Family Launches Meat Free Monday

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01-07-2009
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17-11-2009
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Laura's blog for Vogue
Going East
20 September, 2009
I’m a Portobello girl at heart having lived around Ladbroke Grove, give or take a few years in New York, for fifteen years. The days of Friday morning trawls around the market before work may have been replaced by the school run….but I don’t want to be the kind of girl who never gets out of W11 and I can always count on my oldest closest friend Josh Wood (colour maestro at Real Hair), to show me an adventure in my home town.
It’s an Indian summer September day and we almost skip to the tube leaving all cares and kids and deadlines and girls with roots behind...as we head East for a late breakfast at Albion (which felt like going to New York for the morning), to begin my perfect London holiday day mixing up art and fashion and lots of strong coffee. The only thing I didn’t manage to do was to swim at Shoreditch House though I did dip a toe in before checking out the new garden space with Josh.
He called our old friend James, otherwise known as Jeanette to the nightlife Boombox crowd, and persuaded him to open up his new eponymous store just for us. Jeanette is not normally known to surface before lunch but he made an exception. It felt like a royal visit, him being the queen, not me the princess… The space is a converted garage on the corner of Bethnal Green Road and Brick Lane with a distinctive collage storefront of assorted doors and shutters. You don’t know which will open up first. Legend has it a notorious drag queen snoozed in one window all afternoon one day. Its all part of the fun. Jeanette has persuaded his designer friends to produce one-offs for the shop, and they hang like artworks along one long rail. I was only expecting to cruise, gallery-style, intrigued by the idea of the place but I immediately zoomed in on a rainbow bright James Long knit and a clunky silver necklace made of religious icons - each of which is inscribed ‘pray for us’ - by the same designer. So, whilst the boys chatted, I nipped off to Tesco Metro for emergency cash. Don’t even think of trying to pay with Amex….

On a (rare these days) bit of a shopping high and already wearing my new stripy sweater dress over my jeans, we head over to the revamped Whitechapel Gallery to see the Elizabeth Peyton show. Loved the contrast of the pure white space and the jewel-like paintings but preferred the anonymous portraits to her more well-known celebrity studies.
Another local favourites is Museum 52 on Redchurch St from where I’ve collected treasures over the years. I’m obsessed with my Tom Gallant flower cut-outs made out of vintage porn and curator Chris Taylor just seems to instinctively know what I like. Sometimes I have to ignore his calls as I’m afraid of the temptations within those walls. Must catch their new Kon Trubkovich show on through October. And next time I head that way, I’ll definitely have that swim!

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17-11-2009
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vogue.co.uk
Paris Fashion Week
05 October, 2009
I dipped into Paris Fashion Week, stealing the opportunity to take my kids to Paris for the first time; a happy combination of work and toddler tourism – high fashion and high jinks. The Friday afternoon Eurostar served as a moveable crèche for my two, Stella McCartney’s three and Alice Temperley’s one-year-old little Fox, my godson. My four-year-old boy loved the bijoux luxe of Hotel Le Montalambert almost a bit too much…room service has never been so fun,or so messy….

We shared one big bed with my baby and nanny next door. Amusing trying to get ready to go out navigating plastic bricks and teddy bears and bowls of spaghetti.

Stella had invited me to Paris and I had time to play before her show on Monday. I’m a huge fan of Stella’s, both her clothes and her principles. My Stella skinny-ankle -boots are my absolute new favourite thing and I ran around Paris in them all weekend, even half-way up the Eiffel tower with Luc.

From the Eiffel Tower we tracked down the Museum of Magic in the 4th Arrondisement – a quirky, old fashioned - and slightly seedy - cavern of magic memorabilia which my son adored. Managed to lose my Blackberry there (recovered later, magically…), and then it was off to the old fashioned pleasures of ice-cream and carousels….

Right around the corner from the museum was a maze of antique and junk shops. Without the kids I definitely could have spent all day drifting around...

I did manage to pick up yards of beautiful antique ribbon, dozens of old postcards and my daughter’s first doll…ancient, handmade and only four Euros. My kind of shopping.

Walked and walked which is my favourite thing to do in Paris but next time, alone, I’ll definitely rent and ride a bike… Also dreaming of a flat with a balcony and a baguette in my basket…Another lifetime…

Sunday evening and I left the kids in heaven with room service and the joys of Pixar and strolled across the Tuileries Gardens towards the Rue De Rivoli to meet Alice Temperley and her husband Lars for a presentation of the new collection and their new diffusion line ALICE, from which I wanted pretty much every single thing. Some of the dresses were inspired by vintage things of mine and I was so thrilled to see them reborn in such style, minus the holes and rips...

Lars on the Rue de Rivoli

As always happens with Alice and Lars, a bunch of old friends materialize out of nowhere and a celebration ensues…They whisked us all off for a delicious supper at the Café Marly which sits spectacularly on the side of the Louvre overlooking the Pyramid. I sit next to the beautiful Charlotte Dellal whose Charlotte Olympia shoes I’m obsessed with, talking boys and babies….and suddenly its late late late. Some go off to dance and I slip away to creep into bed beside my spread-eagled son, conscious of early starts and cameras and trains to catch….

Alice in the Louvre at midnight

Luckily I can count on my son for a dawn wake-up call. Have to be at Stella’s show first thing so attempt a quick transformation in tiny bathroom - fell asleep with wet hair and wish I’d brought my favourite hat. Never mind - vanity soon forgotten in the warm fuzz of coffee and cakes that greets us at the Palais de Tokyo. Much kissing and catching up in the foyer. The front row is almost relaxing after all that chat…I’m between Twiggy and Jefferson Hack and all relatively cosy. The show is chic and joyous - I love the simple tailoring the best and will live in the wedge espadrille sandals next summer. Backstage afterwards and Stella’s little girl leaps into my arms singing “Mummy had a fashion show, a fashion show”… “Wasn’t it pretty?” we agree…

I race back to the hotel to pack and feed the kids and then off to La Perouse where Stella’s dad hosted an amazing congratulatory lunch for Stella and her friends. I was a little in awe of Andreas Gursky, whose pictures I love, but apart from that moment of sudden shyness it was heaven to discover a real Parisian treasure of a restaurant in the company of Stella and her gorgeous girlfriends, Gwyneth et al.

The kids come by to pick me up and we race off to the station. We end up running, pushchair and cases bumping along behind us. We’re the last ones on the train but we make it. I’ve never done Paris quite like this. The kids loved it too, though Luc did say on the way back…“Isn’t there a Disneyland in Paris?”…

Oh dear, I almost got away with it.

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17-11-2009
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vogue.co.uk
Eric’s Fiftieth
12 October, 2009

Blimey. The grumpy producer boyfriend is fifty. He’s been telling me for a year he doesn’t want to celebrate and two weeks ago he emailed me saying that what would make him really happy would be to rent a car in Italy and spend the weekend exploring. “Great” I said and busied myself with Time Out Rome and making arrangements for our kids. And then the Chinese whispers reached me - Eric was REALLY DEPRESSED I wasn’t organising anything for his birthday! Surely some mistake. But no. I then go into crazy overdrive planning a party which begins as twenty friends for supper at home and ends with two tepees full of everyone he’s ever loved in a field in the country. Still recovering. But it was worth it.
At three in the morning the night before I suddenly realised, slightly panicky, that I might have to say a few words and scribbled myself a few hasty notes. Lucky I did. Sure enough, out came the cake...and suddenly there I was standing in front of a friendly - if slightly intimidating - crowd, trying to hide behind my hair and pulling at the comforting folds of my long black velvet Issa dress, trying to appear serene. Only a garden full of award-winning writers…who wants to make a speech in front of Richard Curtis, Patrick Marber, Dan Mazer, Paul Greengrass…? I could go on. Anyway, suffice to say there were tears. Not mine. I’ll stop there.
I’m always a bit out of synch at parties. I love the getting ready. I loved doing the flowers, painting my face with a girlfriend in my bathroom, stealing a glass of Champagne with my best friend just before everyone arrived…and I loved the hours between two and four in the morning, lounging around on sofas made of hay bales with the stragglers and survivers, telling stories and drinking just one more unnecessary glass of wine. And I love the messages the morning after filling in the gaps, the bits I missed. And I love my gorgeous girlfriends. Charlotte Tilbury (three days overdue with her first baby), Jemima Khan, Daisy Donovan, Scherazade Goldsmith and Amy Gadney telling me to relax. Everything’s going to be okay…..

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18-11-2009
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Roman Holiday
21 October, 2009

I’ve lived in Florence and worked in Milan, but Rome has a hold of my heart. I jumped at the chance to go for 48 hours - with the Rome Film Festival as the perfect excuse. My boyfriend produced the new Coen Brothers’ movie, A Serious Man, which was being given a gala screening, Italian style…very late, very chaotic, very glamorous…

I loved the movie, another tragi-comic masterpiece from the Coens starring the amazing and soon-to-be-discovered by the world at large Michael Stueberg. Genius late Sixties styling…especially the seductress next door with her tan lines and orange towelling…

The brothers’ entourage are a close-knit gang, years of experience inspiring a kind of creative shorthand linking performance and production design seemingly effortlessly. They’re a class act. Joel’s wife, Frances McDormand, came along to Rome for the ride and we spent our first night drinking red wine in the garden of the Hotel De Russie catching up on London/NY news and planning our precious two days in Rome.

I’d always wanted to stay at the Hotel de Russie, a name whispered to me over the years by friends in the know. It didn’t disappoint. I loved being a quick stroll from the Spanish Steps, the cafes of Piazza de Popolo, the uptown chic of Via Condotti (I suddenly became a Gucci kind of girl…when in Rome), and the one-of-a-kind backstreet boutiques where one feels one should invest in a lifetime supply of their speciality be it stockings or notepads or hairbrushes…..

I loved coming ‘home’ to the hotel late at night, not being able to resist one last drink in the garden, and sinking into bed feeling carefree and decadent and properly on holiday. Frankly I’d be happy in Rome in any old B&B, but Hotel de Russie is the perfect hideaway for my slightly more high-maintenance Gucci-shopping alter-ego….

The legendary Hotel de Russie

Always good to know where Romeo lives…..

My perfect day in Rome goes something like this (contact information below)…

Espressos and sweet pastries at the Café Greco on Via Condotti where movie stars and mechanics get their caffeine/sugar fixes….

A stroll around the Borghese Galleries and Gardens. We caught the Caravaggio/Bacon show. Be organised and book online.

Lunch at Da Nino. Old school but reassuringly full of locals. Love watching the Romans at lunch, especially the older gentlemen lingering over coffees, elegantly crumpled.

A lazy day could then lead towards the Pantheon. The backstreets that snake around the main piazza are full of treasures…art, fashion and knick-knacks. I bought stationery for my kids and coconut ice-cream for me!

Drift back up Via Condotti, window shopping all the way, towards the Santa Maria church on Piazza di Popolo and then back to the Hotel de Russie for a glass of wine as the light fades.

Rome Directory

Café Greco; Via Condotti,86.
Gucci; Via Condotti,8.
Da Nino;Via Borgognona,11. tel; 06 679 5676
Galleria Borghese; Piazzale Scipione Borghese,5./www.galleriaborghese.it
Hotel de Russie; Via del Babuino, 9. tel; 06328881
Mondo; Via dei Greci, 30. tel; 0636492313 (Unusual gifts for kids and teens. Japanese influenced.)
Tad, Via Borgognona, 155a. (A Colette-style concept store, a little soulless but still worth a look.)
Battistoni; Via Condotti, 60-61a.(Old-school Italian made to measure…an experience!)
Rostioli; Via dei Giubbonari, 21-22 (Fantastic restaurant and bakery-worth a trip for the bread alone).
Il Papiro; Via del Pantheon, 50. (Beautiful and unique stationery).

PS - Officers and gentlemen, Roman style.

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18-11-2009
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Stella McCartney for Gap Kids
27 October, 2009
I normally avoid the first day of the sales, or the first night of anything, and have a particular fear of superhot designer/high street launches. It’s not that I don’t love the product, just that the thought of fighting over an H&M handbag or lining up for a limited edition anything brings me out in a cold sweat.

And yet, and yet…last Tuesday, I find myself biking down Oxford Street on my way to a meeting and, having told my friends fake nonchalantly that yes, I’d maybe have a look at Stella McCartney’s baby and kidswear some time between now and Christmas, I find myself possessed and suddenly career onto the pavement outside Gap - and before I’ve even taken a breath am in the basement rifling through the first delivery on Day 1, armfuls of gorgeous clothes in miniature. My most exciting shopping trip in a while! Clever Stella. Of course I loved it, that’s a given, but the fact that my kids REALLY want to wear it is the biggest compliment of all. Especially my son, who admittedly is happiest in his trusty fleece or Chelsea kit..


Luckily the age 12/13 size in the range is perfect for me too. Really wanted the little boys’ black blazer but treated myself to the hot pink mac. Well it was raining that day…and I had to get back on my bike…

Makes me smile, and extra points for cycle safety too - you can’t miss me - and cuter than a fluorescent yellow shoulderstrap….

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18-11-2009
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Realhair

Josh Wood at Realhair is the go-to colour guru to, well, just about everyone...Gwyneth, Jemima, Elle...the list goes on and on, not that he's telling...
Much more importantly to me, (though I'm grateful for a bit of beautifying too), he's my oldest, closest friend and confidante. Tonight - celebrating ten years of his beautiful, original vibrant salon and business - I indulged in a little nostalgia for the old days. We were living together, making it all up as we went along, falling in love, and getting our hearts broken...and just about the only thing we could take for granted was each other. I'm probably still his only client who doesn't own a hairdryer, though I'm a bona fide product junkie these days (try their Realhair weightless serum which does wonders for my messy tangles). Josh might be brilliant with the famous and the fabulous but he's a true inspiration to those who really know and love him - full of surprises and top tips. Just an hour in his company this evening will lead me to a house in Cornwall, a gallery in Berlin, a screening in December...
We've been around the world together, and home again. He may say he's all about glossy brunettes this winter...but I secretly have to hope otherwise....
www.realhair.co.uk
Realhair,
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London SW33QU
0207 5890877

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21-11-2009
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Stella Lingerie
04 November, 2009
The trend for lingerie-style cocktail dresses combined with a long overdue clearout at the weekend revealed not only the rubbish that simply needs to disappear but also a few long hidden treasures. A sheer polka dot top that was snatched up in a long ago sample sale but lay discarded now feels right snug under a little black dress - the right amount of long-sleeved propriety with just a hint of the boudoir - and a crochet vest that had somehow got lost in a sea of black opaque tights is a more interesting layer than my usual staple boy-style wifebeaters.
My underwear drawers suffer from multiple personality disorder. Gorgeous if redundant Elle Macpherson DD maternity bras nestle amidst a random array of every size between that and my now sadly optimistic 34B...plus a shameful array of greying sports bras and misguided 'sensible basics' with a serious lack of sex appeal! I discovered Kiki Montparnasse on a recent trip to NY (available here at Liberty), and began a mini-makeover with a negligee that manages to be both sexy and sporty at the same time (just the right amount of stretch without the sex-shop transparency).Back home, flesh coloured invisible basics by Bodas and pretty everyday lace by Stella McCartney will complete my new (if invisible to most!) look. I'll finally go and get measured properly at M & S and stock up on the white vests and pants that I buy with more than a hint of obsessive-compulsive disorder at the same time, but that's another story...
Babies change your body forever and I might as well accept that my brief flirtation with flaunting a cleavage in Vivienne Westwood was totally thanks to them, and not a long-term gift of nature. Now I'll be relying on bones and Lycra for any future uplift...
PS - I like giving and receiving underwear as gifts from women, not men. Stella's 'days of the week' box sets of knickers make gorgeous gifts, and last Christmas she gave me a beautiful black racer back body which, once I got over the Eighties flashback of poppers et al, has become the perfect smooth base whatever I'm wearing. I might copy her and give them to my girlfriends this year....

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21-11-2009
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Erika Trotzig Private
11 November, 2009

About ten years ago I bought the perfect loose trouser from a friend of a friend: black and baggy, but cuffed above the ankle and just about the most comfortable thing I've ever worn. The tracksuit pants of your dreams. Soft and shiny enough to dress up with a heel, but cosy enough to pad around in barefoot at home. After a break to devote herself to her small son, and to teach, Erika Trotzig is back and now in her second season as Erika Trotzig Private.
I was thrilled when she came round this morning to show me the new spring/summer collection; easy but sophisticated silk dresses, perfectly tailored pants and what I call 'Erika's extras' - beautiful braces (which I snapped up and buttoned on), a black silky bustle attached to a belt with an added detachable weight (lentils wrapped in silk actually...more glamorous than it sounds!) which adds drama to a pencil skirt, or skinny trouser. Love the feeling of Parisienne tomboy chic, albeit with soft edges. Erika is an East London girl (though Swedish by birth), and I love the way she fuses masculine and feminine elements, taking her inspiration both from the street and couture. I ordered her shirtdress; inspired by a man’s shirt but one hundred per cent feminine in its detailing, perfect layered up in January and hopefully even better on the beach one of these days.

I also have my eye on her Sharkfin dress, which for me is the perfect understated chic cocktail number. Oh well, Christmas is coming...the collection has been snapped up exclusively by The Convenience Store, the legendary Rellik's little sister in W10 or check out www.ErikaTrotzig.com. I admire Erika's focus in these tough times. She's remained true to her vision, designing and producing her collections in London and slowly and quietly building a reputation for exquisite pieces, both timeless and absolutely right for now.

The prices aren't terrifying either, though a rare opportunity for shopping at home is always dangerous...She caught me at a good moment in the middle of a week when my house seems to be bursting at the seems between multiplying kids and houseguests from NY. I seem to have worn the same dirty black jeans for three days...not a good sign. The perfect moment for an infusion of calm symbolised by a pure white silk dress for spring....


Last edited by cosmocat; 21-11-2009 at 07:20 AM.
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21-11-2009
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This Week's Obsessions
16 November, 2009
GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS...

Yes...I know I've got a boyfriend and children and a gang of teenage babysitters, and dinners and work and plans...but what I really love is an excuse for a girls' night. The venue doesn't matter. I find a girl-girl placement is the best recipe for real honesty and hilarity. My best friend, singer-songwriter Leona Naess, was in town briefly from NY last week and I threw together a last-minute girly dinner to celebrate her recent engagement. 10 women - plenty of Champagne - and an autumnal feast; chic and chatty...and way too late. When my boyfriend briefly appeared at midnight he went straight upstairs to hide, intimidated by our (not scary at all) gang of girls. Alice Temperley has just decamped to Somerset - well,for half the week - so was full of tales of her move to (as the song says) “a very big house in the country”. Charlotte Tilbury, über glam four weeks after giving birth to baby Flynn, is one of the happiest most relaxed brand-new mothers I've ever seen, and already back to work on her brilliant Myface make-up line which is expanding fast in Boots stores throughout the country. We're all so busy, especially now that all these babies have arrived, that such a night is extra-precious with its perfect balance of nostalgia, frantic plan-making and simple celebration of the here and now.
XMAS DENIAL
I just can't begin to think about actual Christmas shopping yet but I can feel my obsessive/compulsive lists starting to form - and once I start I can’t stop...Here are my vague musings on gift-giving in case I can inspire you to be more organised than me.
My starting point when it comes to girlfriends and colleagues is a list of my favourite things; small pleasures that lift my spirits as winter sets in. Sounds selfish but these things make the best gifts or stocking-fillers...
So far (and so random): Chanel No 5 bath oil (whether you wear the perfume or not this is the most amazing magic mood-transforming potion I've found); a simple black beanie hat by Sonia Rykiel, available at NET-A-PORTER.COM; Stella McCartney lingerie (I love the all-in-one bodies, and also safer to buy as gifts, sizewise); unusual teas and coffees from The Tea and Coffee Plant on Portobello Rd, detoxing or energising-multivitamins and body oils from The Organic Pharmacy; and books of poetry – though I can spend hours in a bookshop trying to match poet to friend, so not the most efficient shopping exercise...
I also like to give experiences as gifts: a night at Claridge's; lunch at Petersham nursery; a Cowshed mani-pedi; a tree to plant...
Also, less glamorously, I seem to be buying for an awful lot of small boys aged four to six this year and those who wish to share my new area of expertise should check out Magnetix (tons on AMAZON.CO.UK), which seem to turn most children into obsessive sculptors/engineers in a nanosecond; Heelies (which transform any old trainer into a kind of semi-skate); and, for more creative types, LITTLEZEBRA.COM, my friend Scherazade Goldsmith's recommendation for eco/arty toys. Honeyjam, the toyshop on Portobello Rd co-owned by Jasmine Guinness, is my kids' favourite place in the world. It’s impossible to leave empty-handed but who cares when you get that old fashioned, melted-chocolate, “nothing bad could ever happen here” kind of feeling. Also my kids have a wonderful habit of setting their heart on the cheapest thing in the shop...amazing the joy a tiny magnet or a stretchy spider can bring, luckily for me. If only everyone were so easy to please...
Men, on the other hand, I find utterly impossible to buy for. Maybe the puppy I'm searching for for my son (the quest has begun…resistance is futile) will have to make everyone happy. No pressure...
SPRING TRAVELS

I know I risk sounding extremely spoilt, especially as my last big trip was to the Seychelles for a shoot in May (heaven on earth), but I like to know when my next fix of adventure and sunshine will be. Even if I don’t get anywhere fast, I can happily spend hours on the internet plotting a fantasy trip to Costa Rica at Easter or ogling dream houses in Cornwall for the kids next summer - or simply daydreaming about Tulum or Kiwayu, or a night at Claridge's for that matter. I've had to get my wanderlust under control since I had kids, but still love the odd quick fix.
I'm slipping away for one night next week though, even if only to Soho! Nick Jones is opening a new branch of his Soho House empire, Dean St House, and I've been invited for a sleepover for the opening. The invitation was a mini-Globetrotter case, a supersoft towelling robe, and a wash bag full of mini-Cowshed treats. Couldn’t say no. I love a holiday in my home town. Will report back.

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21-11-2009
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Fairtrade 2010 and a little bit of cashmere

More present ideas… Chinti and Parker (chintiandparker.com) make the most desirable cashmere for kids, supersoft and eco-friendly too. All hand-made in Dorset. Elbow-patches, tiny initials (personalise yours online... the perfect baby gift), quirky orange stitching. My daughter lives in her little cardi, and I’ve been rather jealous of it 'til now, but luckily for me, they’ve started making them for grown ups too. My favourite is their one-pocket sweater, though the skinny vests in various weights (I love the paper-thin sheer in the palest oatmeal) - all beautifully cut-and in organic cottons - are the perfect layering basics. I have piles of old vests in my closet but only about two that I actually love enough to rummage for. These would go straight to the top of the pile. Love their labels too, with a checklist of eco-targets and total transparency in terms of manufacture and supply.

More on the eco-fashion front. I’ve been made an ambassador for the Fairtrade Foundation’s 5th Anniversary year 2010, focusing on Fairtrade cotton. I’m swotting up on my facts and figures but mostly looking forward to a trip to Mali in the spring, when I’ll meet with farmers, local activists and African designers. I’ll also be collaborating on an exhibition and speaking at the Fairtrade conference in November. Fairtrade really changes lives. A stable price for their crops means families can plan better futures. Clean water and greater opportunities for education are a direct result of investment at grassroots level. Fairtrade is empowering for all, for the farmer, as he or she is rewarded appropriately for their labour, and for the consumer, who by making ethical choices both invests in a product with integrity and its source community - be it a cotton farm in Mali or a tea plantation in India. One of my aims will be to encourage designers to commit to using more Fairtrade cotton. Big-hearted business must be the future…
www.fairtradefoundation.org


Last edited by cosmocat; 21-11-2009 at 07:34 AM.
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