Well hello there! Hope you all had an eggcellent (sorry I couldn’t help myself) Easter break. Not that you’ll care too much to know about the author but my name is Emily Atkinson and you’ll find me bringing all things style-related to the table at TrendLife magazine from now on.
But enough about me I’m here to provide you with some inspiration. As a self-confessed shoe addict, who has been known to own over 70 pairs in my wardrobe, (see below for proof) I thought it would be appropriate to get a good rave in about my current favorites. The Office Shoes destroyer platforms.
As my motto in life has long been, “Both. ALWAYS, both.” I was all too easily persuaded into buying them in the black and white colours. The fact the white ones were a limited edition version too made it impossible to let go (well, the lady told me so in Oxford Street Topshop). But it’s all good I got given a discount for buying both, so I won’t feel too guilty about it.
But we need to talk about the cleated heel thing that’s going on at the moment. Speaking from personal knowledge walking on a cleated heel is a somewhat strange yet exciting experience. Kind of like walking on springs in a way. The huge rubber sole makes some brilliant noises when walking on particular surfaces, plus if you step on gravel you can be sure to find many a rock lurking between those ridges! And I don’t need to tell you to be extra careful when walking around, because otherwise you’ll be falling from quite a height in these babies, again speaking from experience here…
Now I might actually sound like I’m trying to put you off these platformed wonders but I’m honestly not. Where’s the fun in fashion without a little risk? I will not go out without wearing one of these since I bought them, a couple of months ago. And bonus point, if you get hit by lightning you might survive with the sheer amount of rubber going on to protect you!
But in all seriousness, this is definitely a trend that is not going anywhere at the moment. Remember Stella McCartney’s cleated mules that were seen on every important fashion industry person at the last fashion week? Well there is the reason you’ll be wearing them all through to next winter. Personally, I love anything with a chunky heel whether it’s a pair of Vagabond 90’s inspired boots or Jeffery Campbell’s ‘Reyes’ or ‘Mulder’ cleated shoes as they certainly bring a whole new level of fierceness to the table.
Long live the cleat!
And do let me know how your styling your chunky cleated shoes by tagging me on Instagram or Twitter.
You can check out more of my daily mumbles, grumbles and inspirations on Instagram @emilylysianne and Twitter @EmilyLysianne_. I’m currently in the process of giving the old blog a much-needed facelift after a good year, so I’ll let you know when it’s ready for your viewing pleasure!
Kinship Local helps champion local artists after a year of lockdown
Newly opened gift shop Kinship Local in Rowsham has found a positive way to help fellow small creative businesses whose sales may have suffered this last year.
Kinship Local was founded by small business owners Claire Ashton and Jen Burton, who have a passion for championing British made, independently owned, small creatives.
Lovers of good quality, great design, and an eye for the bright and bold, Kinship Local has been working with a range of Pop-Up Makers since opening its doors in June.
Claire explains, “We wanted to offer artists, designers and makers a local space, set amongst our own curated eco-conscious products. We wish to encourage local residents to shop small, shop locally and to support those who make in small batches, who pour their hearts and souls into their products. Step away from the mass made, and embrace the slow made”.
Jen adds, “Choosing to shop and buy from a small independent creative brings so much positivity. The Makers we choose to support in-store have a strong belief and ethic around sustainability and creating less waste, which is so important. Also, with the loss of income last year, it was crucial for us to help drive the local economy by supporting small businesses. We truly believe that you can buy beautiful, buy small and buy local all at once.”
Retail space along the UK highstreets is unattainable for so many smaller retail outlets. So with the support and belief of the team at Wild Raven Farm Shop, Kinship Local has been hugely popular and a happy welcome to local residents.
Since their second week of opening, Kinship Local has offered 3-4 Pop-Up makers every fortnight to showcase a range of products. So far, Bella Bowlicious headbands, Bethan Lily knitted cushions, Tweedles Handmade eco food wraps, Bridie & Bert Towelling Robes, Wild Flora Handmade resin wildflower jewellery, and Sarah McFloof painted pebbles and gnomes have all featured.
This week they welcomed Am & Flo hand-painted peg dolls, Magic Kind clothing, Jennifer Wesley cards and Immy & Boo recycled and repurposed fabric headbands, lavender eye pillows and yoga bags. There is always a mixture of products to inspire and a range of handmade gifts to give.
Pop-Up Partner Beth from Bethan Lily Knitwear says, “Kinship Local has been an excellent opportunity for my business. It’s kept me going and is definitely worth a visit to see all of the other lovely products in the cabin. Jen and Claire have been a pleasure to work with! “
“Since launching my products, both Claire & Jen have updated me daily and share in my excitement of sales and feedback with me….for this, I will always be thankful to them,” says Claire from Bella Bowlicious.
Whilst they are full until the beginning of September, Claire and Jen are looking for more artists and designers to support and champion.
St Albans favourites deny rumours of new High Street in the sky
Late on Tuesday night, three high profile businesses in St Albans were forced to release statements denying involvement in the launch of a Super High Street above St Albans.
Three of the so called St Albans ‘Big Six’ – Chloe James Lifestyle, Must Wine Bar and Mad Squirrel – have all put out statements denying rumours they plan to create a new St Albans High. The remaining three are expected to make statements in the next 24 hours.
The announcement of a new St Albans High Street has caused enormous uproar across Hertfordshire and beyond, with near universal disbelief from shoppers, local residents and politicians – including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Unconfirmed plans suggest a monorail system will be constructed to take shoppers from the iconic clock tower to the yet-to-be confirmed new St Albans High Street somewhere above St Albans Cathedral.
Donna Nichol, owner of the popular independent fashion store Chloe James Lifestyle has issued a statement.
“I have absolutely no idea where this has come from and ironically, I cannot see it getting off the ground. We have been welcoming back our customers and have enjoyed the buzz of a busy shop. Why would I want to move my store 30 feet above St Albans?
I have just recently updated the shop window with a new French brand called FRNCH – how will anyone see it? Ignore the rumours and find us where we have been keeping St Albans fashionable for the last ten years.”
Mad Squirrel St Albans have also put out a strong worded statement in response to news of the Super High Street. General Manager James has gone on record and said “Of the 25 beers we have on tap, nothing is that strong”.
“We have been here in St Albans for almost two years and whilst we are accustomed to hearing the occasional bit of nonsense in the taproom, this idea is farcical. Beer and heights don’t mix so we will remain on the ground floor of St Albans in Heritage Close serving the finest beers to St Albans residents.”
Mad Squirrel has quickly established itself as one of the predominant beer destinations in St Albans. With access from the footpath towards the Abbey, it would seem a strange decision from management but when you are around beer all day, anything can happen.
Local resident Isabelle Ringing who we interviewed shopping in St Albans said the idea was nonsense. “St Albans is unique and residents love it the way it is. Why? a monorail? I just can’t get my head around it – we don’t need this nonsense in St Albans.”
Must Wine located on George Street were also quick to release a statement in regards to the rumours. Wine Steward and c0-owner Mike Nuttall explained, “I get the idea – great minds drink alike and the concept of tasting the finest wines with breathtaking views of Hertfordshire is idyllic.
However, the individual who came up with the pour decision of running a monorail above St Albans is clearly on cloud wine.” Must Wine will continue run wine tasting classes on George Street.
As these rumours of a break-away high street continue to spread, the TrendLife team will continue to keep you updated with facts instead of fiction.
St Albans’ favourite Chloe James Lifestyle prepares for 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.
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.