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Galio jewellery launch design competition with SAFW 2015



Galio Jewellers in St Albans

Work experience with renowned jeweller Shaun Leane and display time within Galio Jewellers are among the incredible prizes for the winner of the Galio Jewellery Design Competition, in conjunction with St Albans Fashion Week 2015.

A week’s worth of work experience with internationally renowned jeweller Shaun Leane is as precious to any aspiring jewellery designer as the metals and gemstones they work with. And this amazing opportunity is within their grasp thanks to a competition launched by Galio Jewellers as part of the St Albans Fashion Week’s (SAFW) Creative Next Generation Initiative.

Three runners up will have their designs displayed in store at Galio Jewellers on George St, St Albans, with the overall winning design being made in silver. The winner will be awarded their finished piece and a trophy at the St Albans Fashion and Beauty Awards, held at The Odyssey Cinema in September 2015. As well as having their talents recognised and celebrated, the winner’s skills will be honed further with the once in a lifetime opportunity of a week’s worth of work experience with internationally renowned jeweller, Shaun Leane, at his new atelier in Mayfair.

Anyone under the age of 25 who’s passionate about jewellery can enter by designing a piece of jewellery, or a muse, inspired by the iconic St Albans Cathedral. The closing date is Friday 29 May 2015. Sarah Gillow, creative director of Galio, and jeweller Shaun Leane will judge the designs. The brief has been given to selected universities and colleges in the UK, including Hertfordshire. For full details, go to

Creative Next Generation-Marley Eliza Hart 1

Gillow says: “We’re thrilled to be able to set this competition as inspiration for young designers. Having had our business in George St for 23 years, with our store overlooking the Cathedral, we thought it would be a fitting design brief. Shaun is very supportive of our aim to give recognition to young local design talent and has kindly offered the winner a work placement at his studio in London. I believe it’s essential for design to be considered within a practical and commercial context. The opportunity to see your design made commercially is amazing.” Gillow added:

“Having this link to Creative Next Generation will give the winner incredible additional exposure, with the prize giving presentation as part of SAFW 2015. The organisers of SAFW recognise the importance of generating interest in the design community locally, so we’re delighted to be able to support that with this creative competition.”

Leane says: “I’m very flattered to be able to work alongside my longstanding partner Galio for SAFW competition to discover the next rising talent. I feel it’s essential we support aspiring artisans and designers to allow our creative industries to flourish and evolve. I was very lucky to have been taught by two great masters who passed to me all their knowledge and skills. Then later to have worked alongside visionary Alexander McQueen for 15 years, for it was this combination enabled me to be the jeweller/designer I am today.”

Jewel in the crown
Famed for pushing creative boundaries, Leane worked closely with Alexander McQueen for 15 years and some of his pieces are currently on display at the hugely successful Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty Exhibition, at the V&A Museum in London. As well as collaborating with Alexander McQueen and other designers such as Daphne Guinness, Leane’s striking pieces of work are also popular with celebrities, including Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Cara Delevigne and Beyoncé. To work with such a recognised talent is an exceptional prize and makes this competition a must for anyone interested in jewellery design.

Creative Next Generation
Recognising talent is at the heart of SAFW’s Creative Next Generation. The initiative was set up to unearth, support and showcase the next generation of creative talent. Its aim is to build a legacy in St Albans, not only to raise the profile of fashion, design and creative students in the city, but also to be the bridge between study and the world of work. SAFW offers a large variety of work based learning opportunities across a broad spectrum of subjects, including all elements of fashion and beauty from design, photography, merchandising and show production to media and PR. Students are also offered free masterclasses and workshops with industry professionals to help prepare and support students for their next steps in the world of work.

SAFW runs during October half term (26 October – 1st November 2015) to enable students to take part fully. For details of all the amazing opportunities available to students interested in furthering their careers, go to
Ellena Ophira, SAFW’s founder and organiser, says: “It’s so exciting for us that Creative Next Generation can offer this wonderful opportunity. This is exactly what we hope for CNG, that it can offer real platforms into the creative world of work. We’re grateful to Shaun Leane for giving us his time, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for a passionate budding jewellery maker and we hope that all interested apply.



St Albans’ favourite Chloe James Lifestyle prepares for reopening



Chloe James Lifestyle prepares for lockdown reopening

As one of St Albans’ favourite destinations for all things haute couture, we are excited that Chloe James Lifestyle have announced they will be reopening this coming Monday 12th April.

Regular St Albans shoppers will know Chloe James Lifestyle has been a fixture on High Street St Albans for over 10 years. Despite being extremely busy preparing for the reopening, Owner Donna Nichol has shared her thoughts on reopening Chloe James Lifestyle and what changes fashionistas can expect.

Chloe James Lifestyle owner Donna Nichol

Chloe James Lifestyle owner Donna Nichol

What are you looking forward to most at Chloe James Lifestyle?

Personally, I’m really looking forward to the buzz of a busy shop again – lots of chat and laughter and the general feel good vibes of helping people look and feel their best. Nothing beats it! When we reopen, we are going straight back to our normal hours i.e. 10-5.30 Monday to Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday. We can’t wait to open the doors again and welcome our customers back in!

What new changes can we expect at Chloe James Lifestyle?

The shop has had a complete refresh. Every single inch has been cleaned and there are lots of new products for our customers to enjoy, including great gift lines and a new jewellery brand as well as our Spring fashion collections. One of my personal favourites is a new French fashion label called FRNCH which we are currently featuring in our window – the colours are just stunning!

We love what independent businesses bring to St Albans. How do you think shoppers will respond post lockdown?

I believe there’s going to be a real return to shopping small. After all, we are the ones who have carried on throughout the pandemic, finding ways to adapt to our customers’ needs, offering Click & Collect and always being at the end of a phone to help find the perfect birthday gift. We’ve even personally delivered them on a specific date when it was possible!

We’ve also kept our windows vibrant to cheer up the daily walk and many people have said how much they loved this. It’s become apparent to everyone how much small independent businesses add to their community and we really must make sure they don’t disappear!

About Chloe James – Chloe James Lifestyle is an elegant lifestyle boutique based in St Albans specialising in fashion, art, stylish interiors and beautiful gifts.

TrendLife Magazine is available from a network of stockists across Beds, Bucks and Herts. For more info, contact us.

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AKILA have joined forces with techwear designer Charli Cohen



LA based eyewear brand AKILA have joined forces with UK based techwear designer Charli Cohen to create Halo. A special limited edition capsule collection, AKILA x Charli Cohen Halo drops this Easter Weekend.

LA based eyewear brand AKILA have joined forces with UK based techwear designer Charli Cohen to create Halo. A special limited edition capsule collection, AKILA x Charli Cohen Halo drops this Easter Weekend.

AKILA Eyewear are designed to last & handcrafted from eco-friendly plant-based cellulose acetate. Unlike most other eyewear brands, Akila frames are made from cellulose acetate — an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum based plastics.


Charli Cohen was born out of a need for evolved clothing and progression within the fashion industry. They specialise in NEXTWEAR: a concept that looks to the future of fashion, aesthetically, in terms of technology and in terms of sustainability.


Charli Cohen manufacture limited quantities of each style in London, Leicester, Porto and Shanghai. Using premium, responsibly produced technical textiles from Milan, as well as upcycling from military surplus and tacticalwear, Charli Cohen is a brand to follow.

This frame boasts a retro industrial look that combines hard-edged style with ergonomic comfort. Featuring a wrap-around shape, all pairs include a barb-wire chain retainer which can be attached to metal eyelets on each temple or worn as a necklace.

This capsule collection drops Friday 2nd April at AKILA

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Lockdown Leads to Local Luxury Sustainable Business Now It’s Mine



Lockdown Leads to Local Luxury Sustainable Business Now It’s Mine

Hertfordshire Mother and Daughter Bernie and Rosie Montague decided to capitalise on Rosie’s expertise as an experienced handbag specialist and authenticator to create a local sustainable fashion business.  After leaving a prestigious auction house in London, it seemed the right time to create a business and pursue her passion for handbags and accessories.

Now It’s Mine is an exciting new venture established in lockdown. Their philosophy is `Resale not Retail’. It encapsulates their commitment to sustainability by rejecting fast fashion. Not only can people buy the likes of Classic Chanel flap bags and Louis Vuitton monogram classics, people can also consign their preloved designer handbags and accessories AND in the coming weeks there will be a rental service where you can rent any of the beautiful items on the website from 1 day upwards.

Ethical Fashion is the Now It’s Mine Model

Fashion represents 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. It’s incredible but many items are disposed of within a year of purchase, and with the Instagram culture may only be worn once. Wearing one item of clothing for 9 months longer reduces our carbon footprint by 30%. It takes 2,700 litres of water to make a T-shirt, enough for one person to drink for 900 days. The Luxury second-hand market is worth £19bn and is set to grow to £40bn by 2023.

They are currently selling via the website and through Instagram and Facebook. Now It’s Mine will also be launching pop-up shops in St Albans and surrounding areas.

Whilst the website allows them to distribute throughout the UK, they are very much a local St Albans and Hertfordshire business. Now It’s Mine is looking to build a network of luxury fashion lovers who understand the importance of the circular economy.

100% authentic preloved luxury designer bags and accessories

With a plethora of websites selling luxury designer items the risk of buying a ‘Super Fake’ has never been greater. Now It’s Mine offers a solution by guaranteeing to sell only 100% authentic goods.  This is demonstrated in their commitment to provide a multilayer formal authentication process and a money-back guarantee.

Visit the website, follow them on Instagram, their Facebook page, and Facebook group.  Sign up for their newsletter to hear about the upcoming local pop-up shops and handbag rental service.

`It just makes sense’ said Rosie `we must all be more committed to sustainability. Fast fashion has got out of hand and the quality of the handbags and accessories that we are selling lend themselves to be recycled rather than discarded, by nature they have longevity – they are timeless’

Now It’s Mine can be found at 116 Old London Road, St Albans AL1 1PU

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