Grove Street Pearls

A Girl, A Style _ Grove Street Pearls 11

Hi lovelies! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend? The Clever Boyfriend Fiance and I are just back from a trip to New York, where we spent two glorious weeks kicking off the start of summer in the best way: wandering all over the city together, having picnics in Central Park every second day, catching up with dear friends and, most importantly, having the honour of watching my BFF Nicolette marry the love of her life (obviously her wedding was epic/gorgeous/all kings of #weddinggoals).

A Girl, A Style _ Grove Street Pearls 22A Girl, A Style _ Grove Street Pearls 3

We were blessed with the most beautiful weather whilst we were there (at least until the last two days when it rained to biblical proportions and I turned up on my friend Grace‘s doorstep in a very soggy version of this outfit), which served as an excellent excuse for hunting down the best gelato and iced lattes all over town, eating all our meals al fresco and bare legs every day (fellow English girls will, I’m sure, understand what a novelty this is in itself).

And as is my annual habit, that first promise of summer had me abandoning my preppy blazers and office-appropriate tailoring in favour of all things feminine, pink and breezy. I don’t really know how to dress as a tourist (although I’m fairly certain I was always to be found wearing just too many jewels for any New Yorker to consider me one of their own), but I do know how to dress like I’m off to my own birthday party in the park.

And really, who cares if you’re hip when you have pink Valentino and ice cream…?

A Girl, A Style _ Grove Street Pearls 6A Girl, A Style _ Grove Street Pearls 44Wearing: RED Valentino skirt (sold out, but similar styles available at Net-a-Porter + TheOutnet + Shopbop) // Zara top (similar styles available at ASOS + Topshop) // Valentino bag (available in a smaller version at Liberty + in black at Selfridges) // Zara heels (sold out, but similar styles available here) // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl necklace // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelets (similar style available at J.Crew) // Stella McCartney sunglasses (similar styles available at Shopbop + ASOS) // Lulu Frost crystal ring // Alex Monroe ‘love’ ring // ASOS pearl ring // Jacquie Aiche heart ring.

Beauty: NARS ‘Greta’ audacious lipstick (also available at John Lewis + Sephora) // NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush (also available at Liberty + ASOS) // Essie ‘Go Ginza’ nail polish (also available at Nordstrom + Target).

Wishing you all a wonderful start to your summer!

Love, Miss B xx

Photography by Lydia Hudgens

 

Just Like Sunday

A Girl, A Style _ Just Like SundayA Girl, A Style _ Kings College Cambridge

This weekend was exactly what I needed. I’ve finally recovered from the election (I haven’t  stayed up literally all night like that since I was at University and had six essays all due in my final week before graduation) and a frenetic few months in Parliament and have finally been able to relax for the first time in ages. The Clever Fiancé was overseas for work, so on Saturday I made the most of my first day with no plans in weeks and headed to Notting Hill for an all-day date with myself (every girl needs them occasionally): a much-needed primp and polish session at my favourite salon (Taylor Taylor on Portobello Road for those who ask), lunch at Ottolenghi, a little shopping at Aesop and Diptyque and treasure-hunting on Portobello Road, and wandering around those gorgeous leafy, pastel streets in the sunshine.

A Girl, A Style _ Miu Miu Tortoishell SunglassesA Girl, A Style _ Just Like Sunday 2A Girl, A Style _ Leopard Christian Louboutin Pigalle

On Sunday – he fresh off the plane and in need of caffeine and sustenance to help stay awake all day, me in need of juice and weekend newspapers – we headed out for the kind of long, lazy dates Sundays were made for: lunch, sunshine (which, in typical English fashion, lasted until precisely the minute we took these photos) and a walk through a few of our favourite colleges.

I threw on my ‘lazy weekend’ uniform (when it’s too warm for tights but not yet warm enough for breezy dresses, it’s always an iteration of the easy top, blazer and denim combination) that always feels like Sunday. It takes 5 minutes flat to get ready and you’re good to go wherever your weekend plans take you; I just add heels (only if I’m cycling instead of walking, and otherwise it’s chic ballet flats or ankle boots), sunglasses (these Miu Miu cat eye sunglasses seem to go with every single thing I own) and bright lipstick to yesterday’s hair and the most comfortable clothes I own to make it look as though I have made an effort, when really I haven’t.

Gloriously lazy weekends; you’re really rather wonderful.

A Girl, A Style _ Lulu Guinness Edie Bag

Wearing: Current Elliott boyfriend jeans (also available at Shopbop + Net-a-Porter) // Whistles linen tee (now on sale at ASOS + also available in black) // vintage Ralph Lauren blazer (similar style here) // Lulu Guinness ‘Edie’ bag c/- (also available at Harvey Nichols + House of Fraser) // Miu Miu sunglasses c/ SunglassesShop (also available at Bergdorf Goodman + John Lewis) // BaubleBar necklace c/- // Christian Louboutin heels (sold out, but similar styles available at Neiman Marcus + Saks) // Michael Kors watch (also available at Shopbop) // Lulu Frost crystal ring (that’s still acting as my stand-in engagement ring until I can make a decision!) // Alex Monroe ‘love’ ring // ASOS pearl ring // Jacquie Aiche heart ring. 
Beauty: NARS ‘Greta’ audacious lipstick (also available at John Lewis + Selfridges)// NARS ‘Orgasm’ blush (also available at Liberty + ASOS) // Deborah Lippmann ‘Shape of my Heart’ nail polish (also available at Selfridges).

I’d love to know: what are your favourite lazy-weekend pursuits? Do you have an easy weekend uniform?

Love, Miss B xx

Vote Coco (not really…)

A Girl, A Style _ Vote coco
I hope you won’t mind, but I thought I’d return from my unofficial blogging hiatus with something a little different to my normal programming. Despite the usually hyper-feminine tone of this blog, many of you will know that by day I actually have a serious job as a political advisor in Westminster.

I’ve been working in politics since 2002, when I first went to Washington to intern for a Senator; my office was on the same marbled corridor as Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton, and President Bush was just about to launch a war in Iraq. Although I was always raised to be politically aware and to play an active part in society, in those first months ‘on the inside’, I came to realise first-hand what a very real and direct impact politics has on all of our lives. And for me, there was no turning back from there. I wanted to be a part of of this world; to help others, to make a difference and, in my own small way, to help shape those policies for the better.

On May 7th, the UK goes to the polls to decide who will govern the country for the next five years. Casting your vote is one of the biggest, if not the most significant, decision you will make all year. Yet even though we live in a world where still individuals struggle and sacrifice and die for the right to vote, at the last General Election in 2010, only 54% of women my age voted. That means almost half of my female peers had no say in their democracy and the very laws which shape our nation and daily lives.

But here’s the catch: whether you take an interest in politics or not, it still directly impacts on your life every single day. From the sweeping general issues; the national economy (the strength of which determines how much tax you pay, whether jobs are being created and paying well, how affordable your mortgage is, and so on), the government services we all need to access at some point in our lives (the infrastructure and innovation the government invests in, the schools our future children will go to, the NHS we turn to when we’re sick) and the social policies that define us as a society (ensuring that every individual in our society enjoys equality of rights, how we treat those different to us, how we look after our most needy and vulnerable) to the specific; maternity leave, closing the gender pay gap, reproductive rights, equal marriage, the extent to which the government interferes in our private lives…. you get the picture.

Truthfully — despite what Karl Lagerfeld and his S/S’15 band of Chanel-clad protesters may suggest — it’s certainly not glamorous (and we shouldn’t actually ‘Vote Coco’, obviously), the characters rarely resemble President Bartlet or Sam Seaborn, and most days it feels more like a ruthless grind than a glorious victory. But oh, there is nothing more beautiful than a democracy in which, however briefly, we are all equal participants.

If you do just one thing that matters this week, then have your say at the ballot box. We owe it to the suffragettes and all those who are still yearning for that same right we get to exercise tomorrow.

Love, Miss B xx

Image via Pinterest (from Vogue Korea March 2015)

 

A New Year’s Love Story

A Girl, A Style _ Ringing in the Year.JPG

Hello darlings, and a very belated happy new year to you all! Apologies for the inadvertent blogging hiatus this year; my day job has been rather frenetic of late, and I confess I’m not always excellent at balancing these two worlds of mine. Busy though it has been, I have to say: 2015 has been rather wonderful thus far!

For now, I’ll start with the most significant news: as those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen, I got engaged on New Year’s Eve! The Clever Boyfriend and I met on that same night 10 years ago; by a series of coincidences we had ended up at the same cheesy bar and, as the cliche goes, our eyes met across the room. One chance encounter and a midnight New Year’s Eve kiss later, we started dating; frequenting tiny Italian cafes and galleries across the city as we fell head over heels for each other. Since then we spent years separated by oceans (he studying a Masters in Tokyo, me in Australia), moved half way across the world together, and made a home together in Cambridge. And then on New Year’s Eve, while celebrating at home (with our own tiny, but fabulously sparkly soiree with just a few of our favourite people), he asked that question. It was the perfect way to celebrate a decade of love and togetherness.

A Girl, A Style _ New Year's EngagementA Girl, A Style _ A New Year's Engagement

Being the Clever Boyfriend that he is, he knows me well enough to know that I would want to choose my own ring (he knows how much jewellery means to me, but also how particular I am about what I like). So he proposed with a candy lollipop ring (truly!) with the intention that we would choose one together and, in the meantime, I’ve been wearing a rather spectacular Lulu Frost stand-in.

This weekend, we at last started the hunt for the ring. As any good engagement ring searches go, we started at Tiffany & Co. on Old Bond Street where I fell in love with the sparkliest diamonds of them all (with the price tags to match…) and had my Audrey moment, and then it was on to Cartier, De Beers and the jewellers along Hatton Gardens (with a stop at Laduree on the way to refuel on tea and French sugar). As we haven’t quite found ‘the one’, I think we’ll opt for a bespoke ring that is uniquely ours (I’ll just have to be patient for a few more months). Stay tuned!

A Girl, A Style _ Ringing in the Year 2.JPG Details (top): Lulu Frost ring + star necklace (sold out, but similar styles available at Net-a-Porter + J.Crew + Shopbop) // BaubleBar double pearl earrings // Lulu Guinness glitter clutch c/- // gold fortune cookie // vintage bracelet (similar style at Shopbop), headband (from my friend Nicolette) and champagne saucers (similar style at BHLDN). Engagement rings (bottom), all Tiffany & Co.

I’d love to hear your love stories! Did you choose your own engagement ring, or do you have any advice for finding the perfect ring? Please do share in the comments below!

Love, Miss B xx