Is there anything more fabulous than work colleagues who are also wonderful friends?! Well on Thursday evening the WSd angels downed tools, as well as babies, for an evening of uninterrupted fun in the big smoke. I mean we love any excuse for a night out but this really was all in the name of research…promise. We were heading to the Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey for a very special evening with Alexandra Fullerton- freelance stylist, writer and Fashion director-at-large of Glamour UK. What a gal huh?!! More to come on the woman of the moment but of course all good nights start with fizz and who were we to mess with that formula?! We certainly caused a stir on the otherwise sullen commuter train with the sound of cork popping and laughter filling the air, whilst our evening outfit choices added pops of colour against the sea of suits. Thinking about it, we pretty much had all the prints covered with Maz rocking polka dot, Sam showing us how it’s done in plaid, Sarah sizzling in snake and me repping the floral corner. We were ready for a night of all things fashion chat!
Guided by the Shard and London Bridge we were led to the oh so colourful location of the night. The brainchild of Zandra Rhodes, The Fashion and Textile Museum is unmissable thanks to a hot pink and orange exterior- little would you know this fashion mecca was a former cash and carry warehouse. Once inside, the technicolor continued as the instantly recognisable prints of Orla Kiely were on show as part of a fab display.
Glass of wine in hand we meandered through the exhibition getting lost in huge printed dresses that hung delicately from the ceiling on giant hangers. A row of four cinema style chairs covered in Kiely’s stylised graphic prints proved to be the perfect photo opportunity for the four angels!
We made our way into the Fashion Studio where Alexandra was perfectly poised, delicately perched on the edge of a table in the type of crew neck short sleeved black jumper that you’ve always been on the hunt for but never managed to find, a floral print skirt and dreamy silver shoes. Next to her was a flawlessly curated pile of her best-selling debut book, How to Dress. Of course the cover was instantly recognisable to us angels as it’s currently sitting pretty on the shelves of WSd- we’re super proud stockists and when Sarah heard about the opportunity to listen to Alexandra speak she knew it would be an invaluable experience for her tribe.
I don’t mean to fan girl but as soon as Alexandra starting speaking, I for one was instantly transfixed by her soothing tones as she revealed her professional highlights to date and how she forged her career in fashion styling. After seven years as Fashion Director at Stylist, as well as whole host of celebrity clients to boot, there’s no question that Alex “has all the insider intel to help make getting dressed a breeze” www.alexandrafullerton.com.
Based on her fabulous new book, she shared her reliable formulas that will mean you always look your best. My favourite tip of Alex’s was the high/low mix principle whereby you “pair your most fabulous pieces with your staples, for instance a favourite navy tee teamed with a brocade cocktail skirt”. According to Alex, “it’s a clever way to get extra wear out of those pieces that only come out on special occasions and it’s also a fail safe way of looking ‘styled’ without being overdressed”.
If you’re guilty of shouting “I have nothing to wear” whilst standing in front of a wardrobe full of clothes then Alex sheds light on the solution…define your signature style. Surely that’s not as easy as it sounds?! Well Alex advises to “think about your personal style- it should be as much as part of you as your DNA” so her tip is to streamline your style into three categories, for instance Alex’s are sixties, denim and tomboy. Sticking to this formula means that if she’s ever deliberating over a potential purchase she stops to consider whether it will fit under her headings. Voila- a failsafe shopping strategy that means you can always put together an outfit effortlessly because as Alex says “the first step to getting dressed is knowing who you are”.
To finish, Alex highlighted the essential items for every wardrobe, from a good pair of tailored trousers to the “18 hour dress” that will take you from the school run to after work drinks. At WSd we share Alex’s philosophy of creating a strong capsule wardrobe of pared back pieces that will ultimately make getting dressed as easy as pie. Once you’ve got the building blocks, the rest will follow…
It was a joy to listen to Alex talk about her mega fab career and top styling tips but it also gave us a deeper insight into what goes on inside Sarah’s head as a fellow stylist extraordinaire. As well as day to day styling, Sarah offers VIP evenings in store, which is a great way to get the girls together as well as getting a professional fashion stylist to yourselves for a few hours. She can also come to you– a wardrobe edit is a relaxed way to re address your wardrobe to make it work for you and you alone. It’s fab, easy and not just about getting rid of what’s there, it’s about re discovery, ensuring you wear everything you have in your wardrobe and making it work for you on a day-to-day basis.
If you love the sound of having an indispensable style guide at your finger tips then you can pick up your copy of How to Dress from WSd HQ or online.