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Blogger Picks

Activewear Top Picks - She Wears Fashion

Kavita, founder of fashion and lifestyle blog, She Wears Fashion shares her top picks on how to master the activewear trend. Based in Sheffield, Kavita is a self proclaimed lover of fashion and travelling. 

"I've been massively into mixing stereotypical sportswear pieces into my everyday wardrobe recently"

Fashion

Wedding Guest Style

Soon-to-be brides and grooms without a trusty wedding planner, we salute you. If you’ve decided to brave the planning alone, you may already be regretting the decision. The flowers, the cake, the venue and, of course, the dress – it can all get a bit overwhelming no matter how many Pinterest boards you’ve got on tap. But where it really gets tricky is when your guests’ preferences are thrown into the mix (i.e. you have to decide what on earth to dress them in.)

Don’t panic, our foolproof guide will help you avoid those pre-wedding dress code dramas. You can thank us later.

Dress the best man

There’s a good chance the best man will feature heavily in the wedding album, so it’s important not to overlook him when making your style selections. A top-notch ensemble is a must – after all, he’s been chosen as the big day’s number-one wingman. Simple, clean lines and high-quality fabrics are always the way to go, while a three-piece is a timeless option that works in any colour, from classic grey right through to tweed. To finish off the look, a statement tie, pocket square and watch is an elegant alternative to patterned waistcoats and silk cravats. Dapper enough to look sharp, but restrained enough not to show up the groom, not that that’s possible.

Dress the maid of honour

Lifestyle

The Interior Refresh

GreeneryGreen is back in all its glory – that is until it’s warm enough for us to spend all day outdoors, obviously – and no, we don’t just mean the fiddle leaf fig kind. We mean Greenery, Pantone’s ‘fresh, zesty yellow-green’ colour of the year. Think freshly mown lawn (is there a more spring-like smell?), dimpled lime peel kissing the edge of your Margarita glass, lush palm leaves and crisply bitter green apples. Rejuvenating, bright, refreshing and new. If an eye-catching statement wall or a crushed velvet sofa is a bit too ‘jungalow’ for you, try different tones of green, like adding emerald linen napkins to your dinner table or pairing palm print scatter cushions with crisp white bed linen. And, of course, the humble houseplant is back in the spotlight so don’t forget to give them some TLC with a regular watering and a spot in the sun.

TextureWell-curated textures are the key to sending an almost-there-room to the glossy pages of your favourite magazine. Tactile pieces turn a room from something beautiful to behold into something enticing to experience, adding curiosity, interest and the undeniable, irresistible urge to reach out and touch everything. Swap out your traditional dining chairs for acrylic ones, and add cushions in bright, contrasting prints. Collect magazines in roughly hewn grass baskets or create a focal point in your bedroom with abaca side tables. Combined with statement lighting, contrasting texture will add that bespoke ‘collectors’ feel, while upholstered headboards are a quick and classy way to up the opulence-factor in the bedroom.

Geometric lightingIf we’re honest, we’ve seen one too many Edison bulbs hanging from bistro ceilings and the windows of our local coffee shops. Welcome to the classier, more artistic option: geometric lighting. From warm metals like brass and copper to structured chandeliers, spring sees lighting take on a sharper, more sophisticated look. Gone are the days of hiding your light bulb under a floral-print, frilly-bonnet shade. These days we’re all about strong lines, cage-like creations and hexagonal shapes. If you’re looking for an excuse to hang a geometric-inspired conversation-starter chandelier in your entrance hall, look no further. Statement lighting fixtures, just like first impressions, are everything.

Upholstered headboardsYou just have to spend a few minutes flipping through design magazines or perusing interior websites to know that this trend is on the up. Chic fabrics, iconic prints and unusual shapes are all big players in the bedroom this season. Choose a statement colour (we’d recommend green, obviously), pair it with an eclectic mix of linen in different textures – think roughly woven throws – and plush cushions and you’ve effortlessly combined three trends into one (so smug). Bedrooms are the centre of rest and relaxation and a luxuriously puckered headboard, or a simple wingback will add an undeniable old-world charm.

Beauty

Spring Beauty Trends

Feeling like your beauty regime could do with a spring clean? We hear you. Cue shimmering sun-kissed skin, rich berry-hued lips and those striking supermodel fringes we’re all dreaming of perfecting. That’s right – we’re bringing you the must-have beauty and hair trends fresh from the SS17s shows. If that wasn’t enough, we’ll show you how to recreate the looks and beauty rituals at home with a few insider tips. Let’s get started.

THE ALL NIGHTER Dial up evenings with dewy skin and vampy lips.

Master the art of the ‘All Nighter’ with a high-octane, dark power lip. Rich wine and purple tones from autumn/winter are sticking around for spring… because if it ain’t broke, why fix it, right? Enrich plum-hued lips with a sprinkling of glitter and keep the rest of the look minimal; think ultra-dewy skin highlighted across the cheeks, temples and cupids bow to give an added glow. To complete this low-key evening look, add just a flicker of mascara and keep hair ultra-shiny and sleek in a centre parting. This trend certainly makes us want to go out, out… who needs sleep when you can look like this?

BANGS & BOBSThe one word for spring’s biggest hair trend? Choppy.

Lifestyle

Surviving Wedding Season

We’re now stepping into wedding season – a sweet invitation to ubiquitous marquees, five-course tasting menus and the most Prosecco you’ve seen in one place, at one time. Sounds perfect, right? Wrong. The novice wedding goer might be surprised to know that anything can go wrong beyond RSVPing on time, but the amateur knows. You know. Here’s how to deal when the day just doesn’t go your way. You didn’t plan your route and the venue is way further than you thought Survive it: Communication comes through in various forms, so when you read or hear something, it’s easy to take mental note and move on, earmarking it for review at a later date. Problem is, the later date is usually the day of the event, leaving you with zero contingencies if you then discover what you thought was correct was actually wrong. The impact of the misunderstanding depends on the degree of the slip up, but when you confuse New York for York, there’s only one solution – lie. Make up a story, feign illness, kill off a family member (not literally, of course), anything’s better than admitting to a bride on the edge of breakdown that you didn’t bother to read the invite she spent two months designing. Truth is power, except not this time. You’re on the bridesmaid sub list, and you’ve just been called to action Survive it: There’s nothing worse than being drafted into a wedding party at the eleventh hour. Even if you can see past the fact you were drafted in as a last resort, it throws a curveball for your plans to woo your plus one, or wow your ex with an incredible dress you no longer get to wear. It takes time, at least three dress fittings and as many bottles of wine to actually get into the mind-set that you have a role to play in the ceremony besides eating five courses and dancing the night away. To make this work, you’ll need to step up to the plate, moving forward by ripping off the band aid. So, the dress doesn’t fit, the bridesmaid you replaced has shot more than one knowing glare in your direction, and your date left an hour ago. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You found out about the social media ban too late Survive it: Kim and Kanye were probably more lax about their nuptials than the bride and groom of this wedding, and the first mention of a social media ban proves it. Not only is it inconvenient (weddings pictures yield most likes), but it’s particularly embarrassing when you posted anyway and have now been called out. In this situation, there’s only one thing to do – suck up your pride, put aside the fact that a social media ban by any non-celebrity is pointless, and delete the picture. Better still, just don’t do it in the first place. You might have hit it off with the best man, but this isn’t your big day – you’re but a pawn in the bride’s plans.

Travel

Europe’s Best Brunches

To celebrate Spring Bank Holidays, we’ve scoped out four of Europe’s most brag-worthy brunch spots to add to your little black book…

LONDON: BOURNE & HOLLINGSWORTH BUILDINGS42 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell | bandhbuildings.com

THE VIBE: Eclectic cool. Plush velvet armchairs with bold floral accents complement the refined interiors and fresh bouquets. It’s the go-to spot for in-the-know Londoners.

THE MENU: There’s a hefty brunch menu – from Huevos Benedictos to braised beef. Oh, and if the bottomless Bellini brunch with fresh peach fruit purée doesn’t beckon you, we don’t know what will.

THE GUESTLIST: Take your interiors-loving mum and no doubt she’ll rave about this for months to come.

Style Notes

Ted Baker Spring Style

Step into the season on the right foot with Ted Baker’s gorgeous collection. Here’s everything we’re coveting for the months ahead…

FOR THE LADIES

It’s all about prints this season, ranging from the big and the bold right through to pared-back pastels. Make a subtle statement in artistic A-line dresses, mixed up with bold reds and pinks, perfect for the warmer evenings ahead. Geometric stripes give a futuristic feel to the range, pairing monochrome base colours with mint, coral and yellow hues. Sorbet shades are also set to be big this season and Ted Baker has it covered; expect floaty, loose-fitting dresses in soft vanilla, creams and powdery blues. Perfection.

FOR THE GENTS

Style Notes

Trend Report: Spring/Summer 2017

When it comes to the sartorial start over, there’s no one we trust more for the low down than Fashion Editor Harriet Quick. Get ready for trend overload.

80s GLAM

The era that delivered power shoulders, Working Girl miniskirts, slinky body-con dressing and a whole lot of lamé is back. A generation of designers who were toddlers at the time are pillaging the stylistic memes of the sex, power and glamour decade and reprising that exuberance for now. What this trend requires is guts and daring. Miniskirts will feel naked after seasons of flowing lines, just as bold shoulders will seem alien. Yet the confidence-boosting benefits are manifold. Look back to the icons of the era for inspiration from the supermodels in Alaïa to Nan Kempner’s taste for boxy tailoring and Paloma Picasso’s flamboyant big earrings and taste for Saint Laurent. 

THINK PINK

News

English Country Garden with Nikki Tibbles

If you’ve visited Bicester Village recently you will have experienced the sheer beauty of our very own English Country Garden, created by London based florist Nikki Tibbles. Think mystical sprawling trees, quaint potting sheds, beautiful English orchids, fragrant herbs, wild flowers and vintage bicycles. Throughout 2017, the gardens will continue to evolve with the seasons, creating a fully immersive experience for all our guests…

We caught up with the brains behind the installation to talk creative vision, inspiration and bringing the concepts to life in your own garden.

What was the inspiration behind your transformation of Bicester Village?

The inspiration behind the transformation at Bicester Village was very much looking at the Oxfordshire countryside and bringing the countryside to the Village. We wanted to create a garden – a typically English country garden – within the Village. 

Fashion

Playing Dress Up

Places to be? When it comes to getting into the flow of occasion season, you’ll need a series of show-stopping looks to match. Whether your calendar is brimming with cocktail parties and you need an outfit just as high profile, or you’re looking to elevate your brunch style with a sophisticated spin, we’re here to make sure you create your best impression. Rise to the occasion with these key looks…

FOR THE COCKTAIL PARTY

The look:The perfect excuse to get dressed up, dial it up for a cocktail party with a sleek and sophisticated dress. Whether you stick to classic colours or bold hues, tick off this season’s trends with feminine finishes from frills to lace details, or for a sleek alternative, look to the jumpsuit.

The details:Bring the party with statement accessories; think sleek clutch bags adorned with embellishment as well as bold jewellery, from bejewelled earrings to look-at-me necklaces that will instantly add a dose of high-octane glamour into your cocktail party attire. And don’t forget the heels.

FOR THE GARDEN PARTY The look:With garden party season in full bloom, opt for free-flowing yet sophisticated silhouettes to master outdoor occasions. Channel effortless elegance with a maxi dress, adorned with botanical prints that match your surroundings. Don’t forget layers; a sleek jacket is a must for unpredictable weather.

Events

Live Performances in the Village

SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY EVERY DAY...

Creation Theatre is Oxfordshire's leading professional theatre company. For the past 20 years, they have delighted more than half a million people with their eccentric, inventive takes on Shakespeare and classic texts.

Following the success of their Shakespeare themed performances in Bicester Village in 2016, they are delighted to return for a second year with some very special excerpts from their acclaimed interpretation of Alice.    

Join us this April and enjoy live performances throughout the Village every Friday  from 2pm till 6pm. Come along and celebrate Spring holidays with Bicester Village!

Upcoming performances:Friday 21 April 2:00pm 6:00pm, Alice by Creation TheatreFriday 28 April 2:00pm 6:00pm, Alice by Creation Theatre

Style Edit

Top Five Activewear Must-haves For Men

If you’ve kept up with the resolution to pack in more hours at the gym in 2017, you’re doing better than the rest of us, but if you’re still loading your workout gear into that drawstring number you used as a school PE bag, then something has got to change!

1. Make your morning workouts a more stylish affair with Jack Wills’ classic Ledbrook duffle bag. Between the sleek, simple design, modish colour options and quality canvas material, you’ll be up and at ’em before your alarm goes off! 

2. Treat your feet with Sandro and Superga’s new collaboration, showcasing six sleek new designs and offering a modern take on Superga’s iconic 2750 trainer. Utterly wearable, the Sandro x Superga capsule collection comes in a colourful array of soles to choose between and are made from a cotton lining to keep weary feet cool and collected. Find them at the Bicester Village Sandro boutique for a limited time only. 

3. Spring is tiptoeing in the background, leaving us in that risky is-it-coat-or-is-it-jumper-weather phase. Cover the bases with a Polo Ralph Lauren bomber jacket, perfectly suited for long country walks during midseason weather conflicts! 

4. There’s no denying that getting yourself motivated enough to prize yourself off the sofa and into your workout gear is no easy task. Making it easier though is Michael Kors, whose cotton stretch fleece pants are so comfortable you’ll find the real struggle will be changing back out of them! 

Blogger Picks

Activewear Top Picks - Emtalks

Em Sheldon, founder of multi-award winning blog, Emtalks shares her top picks on how to master the activewear trend. Based between Leeds & London Em loves beauty, fashion, food and is a self confessed fitness fanatic. 

"I’m loving the trend of athleisure, gorgeous clothes to work out in but also, clothes you want to be seen out in"

Blogger Picks

Activewear Top Picks - The Everyday Man

John Robertson, founder of The Everyday Man, an online magazine blog offering men a curated mix of all things fashion, fitness + lifestyle shares his top picks on how to master the activewear trend.

"Keeping fit is really important to me; I try to squeeze in some sort of exercise everyday. I tend to carry my gym gear around with me as I head into town for meetings and events so it’s really important that I have a stylish bag to keep everything in"

Sports

Q&A with Nile Wilson

We have had the wonderful privilege to meet Olympic gymnast and horizontal bar bronze medal winner, Nile Wilson. A key member of the silver-medal winning British team at the 2015 World Gymnastic Championship, Wilson also became a five times gold medallist at the European Junior Gymnastics Championships, and in the same year he won four additional medals – including gold – at the Commonwealth games. He joined us for a jaw-dropping demonstration of his amazing skills on the pommel horse, and to talk to us about life, training, health, travel and all things Olympic medal-winning!

What age were you when you realised gymnastics was for you?

I started when I was four but it was when I was going into my early teens that I knew I had an opportunity to make the Olympics. Coaches kept telling me I was talented enough to do so. But ever since I started I have absolutely loved the sport and it is my passion.

Many aspiring gymnasts look up to you, who inspired you when you were younger?

The GB team guys who were competing at the London 2012 Olympics, like Louis Smith and Max Whitlock. I'm now lucky to be very good friends with them as well as team mates.

Designer Spotlight

Q&A with Paul Smith

Work, life, travel – today, the suit has to work harder than ever to keep up with the modern demands of everyday life. But what if there was a suit so smart that flexibility, breathability and versatility were woven into its very fabric? A suit that could tackle the commute to work, sail through a full day of meetings and head out in the evening still looking as fresh as it did when you first took it off the hanger that morning.

Crafted from 100% high-twist worsted wool with remarkable crease recovery and natural temperature regulation, Paul Smith’s A Suit To Travel In does just this. More than that, it typifies Paul Smith’s desire to create clothing that really works.

Read on to learn how Britian’s foremost designer is on a mission to create clothing that stands up to the demands of everyday life and find out how a lifelong love of cycling has driven Paul’s appreciation of clothing that performs.

How do you create clothes that keep up with the demands of today’s modern man?

Top Picks

Athleisure Must-Haves

We’re giving ourselves permission to invest in these ‘forever pieces’ this spring! Re-energise your leisure wardrobe with irresistible athleisure must-haves to take you from the studio to brunch.

Dodo Jewellery

Created in 1995, Dodo was the first brand to offer a range of unisex, multigenerational jewellery featuring pendants that convey concepts such as love and friendship. Going beyond their decorative function, Dodo designs tell a story and send a message; they are jewels with sentimental value.

Discover Dodo at the Time & Gems boutique at Bicester Village.

Travel

Destination Detox: Inside Europe’s best wellness retreats

March is the new July. Don't believe us? Take a look around the office and count the empty desks. Fresh off the heels of the year’s toughest months, the start of spring offers boundless opportunity and a sunny outlook, hence why it’s the perfect time to indulge in some critical ‘me time’. We're not talking about all-inclusive drinks and French fries by the pool though, this pre-summer getaway is about winding down in order to build back up – a delight for both the body and mind. From boot camp to vipassana, yoga to juice detoxes, this is the time to really make good habits stick, so that when it finally comes to summer, you can really enjoy it. Read on for our pick of the best wellness getaways in Europe.THE ONE THAT FEELS LIKE A HOLIDAY MARINE ESCAPE; RADISSON BLU 1835 HOTEL & THALASSO, CANNESSix days, 24 treatments. There’s no need to say more. Radisson Blu’s ‘Marine Escape’ package is designed to fully service the body with minimal effort – perfect for those who seek solace in a fluffy, white bathrobe and an aromatherapy massage. With its own private beach, the hotel boasts a full-service spa, Turkish baths and a rooftop restaurant. Wake up to the sound of the ocean and spend long days nourishing the body with Thalassotherapy sessions – the therapeutic use of seawater, algae and seaweed to promote health – yoga, healthy food that actually tastes good, and half-board accommodation so that all thinking time and decision-making is kept on the down low.

Indulge in this Cure package and enjoy 4 spa treatments per day for as many as 6 days.THE LIFE CHANGER YEOTOX; YEOTOWN RETREAT, NORTH DEVON, UKBased in picturesque North Devon, mapped by rolling hills and glorious surf, Yeotown offers its signature Yeotox programme – ‘a modern take on a traditional detox’. Over the course of five days you enlist in both physical and mental endurance and release – coastal hikes, strength training, reading, massage – and are fuelled by a ‘fad-free’ diet (no cabbage soup here). This isn't a detox or retreat that you leave at the checkout desk, the programme is designed to set you up for life, those five blissful days are a mere side product. The Yeotox programme runs every week from Wednesday to Sunday. The five-day Yeotox Programme costs £1,870 and all accommodation and meals are included. THE MEDICAL DETOXDETOX PROGRAMME; SHA WELLNESS CLINIC, ALICANTE, SPAIN This macrobiotic-based wellness spa and clinic is the best of both worlds – it’s luxurious and good for you. Designed to detoxify and purify the body, help you combine a healthy diet with physical exercise and complementary therapies, and improve your general physical and mental wellbeing, the Detox Programme is like a check box of solutions to everything that’s wrong with city life. Don't let the five-star accommodation lure you into a false sense of security; a week here is no walk in the park. You'll be assessed through a medical exam and laboratory tests, and then prescribed a diet for the week, Chinese medicine and therapeutic treatments, and even lymphatic drainage, cryotherapy and colon hydrotherapy. Literally, a new you. A seven-day Detox Programme costs €3,150 and all accommodation and meals are included. THE ESCAPE FROM REALITYESCAPE TO SHAPE, LAKE COMO, ITALY (AND VARIOUS OTHER LOCATIONS) There’s no point in going somewhere Instagrammable and sunny only to spend a week holed up in a yoga studio or weights room. Escape to Shape offers a curated blend of travel, culture and wellness, and is designed to give you an off-the-beaten-track experience within some of the world’s most beautiful cities and towns. Although the company offers retreats everywhere from Cambodia to Chile, the Lake Como one is one of our favourites. Italian food? We're in. The only effort you need to make is pushing the button on the booking and travel to Milan. Once you're there, revel in the indulgence and luxury of an exclusive nineteenth century villa (complete with swimming pool, tennis courts and unparalleled views of Lake Como), enjoy morning power hikes, daily yoga, cooking lessons and cultural day trips. Still at your desk? You know what you need to do. A six-day retreat at Lake Como, Italy costs $4,500, based on two people sharing, and includes all accommodation and meals.

Brand Spotlight

Streetstyle with Sandro

We all know (or Instagram stalk) that one person who embodies unapologetic cool – and thanks to Parisian label Sandro – renowned for their clean lines and contemporary classics – you too can ooze streetwise allure and finally achieve that coveted cool-girl/boy status. Prepare to take notes…ATHLEISURISE!A staple for street style darlings and style aficionados, the humble sweatshirt has now assumed full cult status. What else is versatile enough to complement leather leggings and tailored tracksuit trousers equally well? Time to make nice with the athleisure trend and stock up on statement sweatshirts, we say.The Sandro way: Team the ‘Relax’ sweatshirt with cropped high-rise jeans and complete the look with bold pumps, because you can.KNIT CHICThe building block of every effortless, envy-inducing wardrobe is textured knitwear. Need convincing? Well, the classic wardrobe essential has been elevated with functional yet eye-catching accents such as patch pockets and tonal panelling in recent years. Find pieces that are lightweight with a flattering neckline, so you can wear them solo or underneath a cropped leather jacket.The Sandro way: Relaxed with a hint of sports-chic, the knitted top – accentuated with a contrasting patch pocket and a denim panel across the chest – is made for faded jeans on off-duty days.PLAY WITH PATTERNWhile streetwear will always be synonymous with keeping it cool and casual, it’s time to part ways with the hoodie, break away from the monotony of monochrome and embrace patterns. Geometric and graphic motifs are the perfect way to elevate your on and off-duty wardrobe, while keeping it decidedly fuss-free.The Sandro way: Style a geometric-pattern crochet dress brought into focus with contrasting colour threads with ankle boots for added style points. Guys, layer a graphic long-sleeved jumper with ribbed trims with a fitted black leather jacket and stiff leather boots and you're good to go.TURN UP THE VOLUMEExaggerated silhouettes – in the form of billowy shirts, oversized trench coats and pieces with plenty of movement – are scene-stealers designed to help you cinch the effortlessly stylish urban look, while tapping into the minimalist vibes du jour. The Sandro way: Turn heads by pairing a fringed suede jacket with a sheer geometric-print top and faded jeans. Guys, team a voluminous silk shirt with a cropped leather jacket, adding slip-on sneakers for instant cool.

Style Guide

Activewear, Active Life: The Lookbook

Clean lines, modern accents and athletic detail – it’s now acceptable to wear gym clothes 24/7. Here are the all-star looks to sport this season … WOMENSWEAR: FOR THE BOARDROOMIn case you hadn't clocked it yet, we've developed quite a penchant for all things active – and while the trend’s relaxed vibe is a dream for the weekend, it doesn't have to stop when you're on the clock. Playing the office style game has never been easier – infuse edge into your working wardrobe by mixing in core pieces with a sports luxe feel. Think streamlined track pants, sleek bombers and elegant pumps. Much like your Sunday morning yoga class, balance is the key. Going for bold detail? Stick to luxury textures. Opting for trainers and a sweater? Even it out with tailored trousers in a play-it-safe hue. Move over suiting, this is your new 9-to-5.MENSWEAR: FOR AFTER-HOURSTired of that faithful shirt and jean pairing? Re-energise your menswear evening look with a sporty sensibility. Wait a second though – we're not saying hit the bar in your sweats (sorry). So what are the rules? Stick to accents rather than statements – pivotal evening basics can be totally transformed by low-key twists. Basically, leave your tracksuit in the locker-room and you're good to go. These are the details you need on your radar.WOMENSWEAR: FOR RUNNING ERRANDS Too busy to deal? Minimise sartorial stress with a sports-meets-streetwear approach. Effortlessly cool and quietly comfortable, run your errands in a combo of cashmere knitted joggers and soft cotton tees – topped off with a sleek leather jacket for that credible city spin. As for footwear, as much as we love a good heel, sometimes we just haven't got time for the drama. Swap in for artfully designed trainers and move seamlessly in style from one errand to another. Cool running indeed. MENSWEAR: FOR THE OUTDOORS March might mean that spring has sprung – but we're not ready to lose the layers anytime soon. Luckily, this season’s sports inspired pieces make for a winning (and warming) combination. Tap into the trend with thick graphic sweaters or dare to be bold knitted cardigans of bright geometric prints. If the pieces push you out of your comfort zone, pare it back with a neutral cover up. Oversized coats are the laid-back hero of the moment – go big or go home people.

Style Edit

Celeb Best Dressed: Sports Luxe

Sandro, Roberto Cavalli, Marni – we don’t care who takes credit for sparking the sportswear ‘trend’ that’s refused to leave us for the last few seasons. All we care about is that it’s not going anywhere. Seriously – please don't take it away from us. Mastering sports luxe style is easy to underestimate; there’s more to it than just pulling on sweats, lacing up a pair of high tops, looping your hair into a ponytail, and calling it a look. Follow a few simple rules, however, and you'll have low-key dressing down to a tee (literally). SHOW CONTROL Self-restraint is the most difficult part of any comfortable look, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Pick one piece – an oversized hoodie is a good place to start – and incorporate it into your everyday repertoire. Look for elevated styles in luxe fabrics, with contemporary detailing such as raw trims, embellishment or graphic motifs. Grey, navy and bright solid-colour pieces will dissolve edgy all-black outfits, adding interest. Remember: style is often a juxtaposition, so although those running shoes feel like heaven, always balance low with high.THROW SHADE Just because something feels good doesn't mean that it can’t make a statement. Take your cue from Yeezy. Pick one base colour and plan your outfit around it – building tonal layers creates contrast and limits the time you need to spend considering your wardrobe decisions. Rich olive hues are universally flattering and team just as well with earthy sand tones and lighter moss shades. And the best part? It doesn't matter how low-key your outfit is; tonal dressing always yields maximum impact for minimum effort. Win, win. LAYER UP Sometimes, when a model makes an outfit their uniform, it lures you into the false sense of security that you too could make it yours. This isn't one of those times – thanks Gigi Hadid; we like your skinny-leather-leggings-and-bomber-jacket combo, and we're going to work it too. The draw with a bomber jacket is that it instantly adds a cool, athletic feel to your look, and you don't even need to zip it up. Drape it over your shoulders, tie it around your waist, double it up – choose a timeless style in olive or black, and wear it for seasons to come. NON-COMMITTAL

As appealing as dressing down is to some, the mere thought makes others recoil. Here’s the good news – sports luxe is a still a trend you can tap. A bomber jacket in tactile satin or silk is lightweight and elegant, while embroidered and embellished detailing adds individuality. Keep your style as is and think of the athletic aspect as an add-on, rather than the focal point of your outfit. Try switching out heels for pumps with a slip dress or pairing leather culottes with an oversized tee or hoodie rather than a silk shirt. RIDE THE WAVE

Beach-blonde waves and sun-kissed skin isn't a prerequisite for Candice’s laidback style, but they definitely don't do it any harm. The perfect travel outfit, love-worn denim and a cropped white tee always looks fresh and feels comfortable. Kick the sports vibe up a notch, switching anything fancy for your best beat-up low tops, and wrap a bomber jacket or sweatshirt around your waist. It might feel like you circa your teenage years, but that’s what makes it cool.

Style Edit

How to wear the athleisure trend

Athleisure is the catwalk trend that shows no signs of abating. Growing in popularity, alongside our interest in health and wellness, this blend of sportswear and everyday wardrobe is wearable, comfortable and can take you straight from the barre to the bar without a complete outfit change. As the boundaries between work and everyday wear blur, athleisure has become suitable for almost every occasion, even the office, as long as you style it right – matching tracksuit bottoms and hoodie are still a no-no in most management meetings.

The leggings

Fitness leggings have undergone a style overhaul in recent years. Forget the obviously sporty, cropped pants of old, now they come in every style, length and fabric and follow catwalk trends religiously. For a pair that will take you from the office to the gym, look for bold patterns, colour blocking or luxe materials such as wet-look fabrics. From Pilates to press-ups and pounding the pavement, the new women’s collection from Ted Baker ‘Fit to a T’ utilises sports fabrications and trims to ensure a supportive and stylish workout. With signature florals, geos and colour-block separates to coordinate. Pair with a heel and loose shirt to avoid looking like you've just finished Zumba. Once you hit the gym, replace your shirt and heels with a sports bra, vest top and trainers.

The detailing

Models of the moment Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are often seen stepping out in sporty crop tops with a bomber jacket slung over the top. While this style may look fab on 20-something supermodels, it can be a bit distracting in the office, but don't worry, a subtle hint of crop top or yoga bra can work just as well. Yoga bras often have numerous straps and intricate detailing, which add interest when worn underneath a plain, loose low-backed jumper for work or, if you're feeling particularly brave, wear on their own with a loose jean in a club. For a flattering nod to the cropped trend, without having to expose your stomach to the world, opt for a long sporty top with a slight crop. When worn with high-waisted trousers this will leave just an inch of flesh on show – meaning you can breathe out and still be on trend

Celeb Style

Get The Celebrity Work Out Look

Whether it's pounding the pavements or HIIT-ing the gym, we're channelling these celebrities’ motivational workout styles. 

Ellie Goulding

Singer Ellie loves boxing with her trainer and cites running as one of her favourite ways to keep fit when she's on the road. One of the most important things to consider for high-impact exercise like running and boxing is a specially designed sports bra, which will keep you comfortable and avoid ligaments stretching as you bounce. You'll also need some decent trainers to support your feet and prevent injury from jarring as they hit the floor.

Ellie loves a short short, perfect for both running and boxing, they'll keep you cool when you work up a sweat. Look for technical 'wicking' fabrics, which draw sweat away from your skin to keep you dry and choose a pair with a pocket to stash your keys and phone so you can listen to music as you run.

Style Edit

Top 5 Activewear must-haves for women

There was a time when sportswear meant dull, drab and extremely unflattering – the kind of thing you’d throw on, dart out the door and pray not to bump into anyone you knew in. Thanks to the increasing amount of time we’re spending working out, sportswear options are better than they’ve ever been.

1. VETEMENTS X JUICY COUTURE 

Just look at the Vetements x Juicy Couture collection that stormed its way into Paris Fashion Week AW16. If a tracksuit is further than you’re willing to go in the name of exercise though, Juicy Couture’s Performance range, could be just the ticket! With body tailoring designs and in a range of bright, floral tones, you’ll never have a fear of gymwear again!  

2. KATE SPADE NEW YORK ACTIVEWEAR

If the gymwear selection in your wardrobe leaves much to be desired, never fear, kate spade new york activewear has got you covered. Now available from the Bicester Village kate spade new york boutique, the collection combines bold colours with comfortable, flexible body-shaping materials such as Supplex and Lycra, to suit composed yogis and treadmill junkies alike!

Mocktail Recipes

Mocktail Recipe

Post-winter blues getting you down? It’s time to shake things up and we don’t mean behind the bar. Introducing this wonderful – and maybe a little weird – mocktail mixed up by Jack Graham. As the master juice mixologist (yes that’s a thing) over at hip London health hang-out Raw Press, there’s no one better for the job. Thought argan oil was just for your hair? Think again.

Let’s get mixing…

UPROOTED 94

Incorporating carrot, orange, fennel, turmeric, ginger and argan oil, our Uprooted juice is sweet and spicy, with a really unusual combination of ingredients.

Fashion Spotlight

Louise Roe Q&A

In our exclusive interview with presenter, model and fashion journalist Louise Roe, we find out all about Brides do Good, the Oscars, wardrobe must-haves and her beautiful Pronovias wedding dress. 

You are donating your own beautiful Pronovias wedding dress to the boutique; how important is it for you to be involved with Brides do Good?

For me this was amazing timing as I only got married in October and soon after I was approached about donating my dress. For me it was a no brainer! I had no idea there was such a problem with underage marriage and the juxtaposition of having such a beautiful dress created with personal fittings in Spain that was only to be worn once, next to having the opportunity to let someone else enjoy it all for a such a great cause, made perfect sense to me. 

As a recent bride, what tips would you give to someone planning their wedding this year?

First, do your research: arm yourself with pictures but keep an open mind. Don’t take an entourage of people, as it can be quite an emotional moment – maybe just ask your mum and best friend. Make sure you present yourself well; put on make-up and don’t try on dresses wearing ankle socks! Also, take a video as it’s good to see how the dress moves rather than just looking back at still photographs. Take a keen interest in the back detail of the dress (as this is what most of the congregation will be looking at!)

Top Picks

Spring Must-Haves

You can never have too many spring style pieces. Well, maybe you can – but we’re not here to judge. 

These are the ‘forever pieces’ we’re giving ourselves permission to invest in this month.

Style Guide

What to wear to any kind of wedding

Warmer days and lighter nights are on the way, and with them come cherry blossoms, picnics in the park and the wedding season. While it's always a joy to celebrate the love of people you care about, finding something suitable to wear can cause a headache or two. Our wedding guide has everything you need to be the best-dressed guest wherever, and whenever, the nuptials.

The Country Wedding

Tumbledown village churches and Pimm’s on the lawn, it doesn't get more traditional than an English country wedding. Take your style cue from the setting and opt for floaty tea dresses, natural hues and floral patterns. If you're looking for colour inspiration, pink of every shade was big on the spring/summer 2017 catwalks and a dusky rose looks great against the warm stone and green fields of the British countryside.

But remember, old churches can be chilly even in summer, so take a pashmina to drape over your arms and shoulders during the ceremony. When it comes to footwear, a wedge heel should be your shoe of choice – they're comfortable to wear and won't sink into the grass during photos.

The Evening Wedding

Top Tips

Wedding Day Countdown

While you may feel as though you have only just dusted off the best man blunders and champagne headaches of last year’s wedding season, any blushing bride-to-be knows that this year’s spell of marital madness is looming ever closer. With your mind focused on all the planning in the months leading up to tying the knot, it’s easy to forget the final fixes that will make your big day flawless.

Here's a list of our top tips for your seven day countdown, so that you don’t need to worry!

Personal Stylist Daniel Johnson

Wedding style and accessories guide for men

The second part to our wedding edit for men, Daniel Johnson, stylist and expert on British tailoring and its history, offers his advice on men’s style and accessories for every kind of wedding.

SHIRT

White, fitted and ironed.

A white shirt provides a neutral palette to go with any suit or tie colour. Find one that fits perfectly and allow plenty of time to alter; the sleeve should show around 1.5cm outside the jacket sleeve for customary English sartorial style.

Brands: Reiss or Paul Smith

Personal stylist Daniel Johnson

Men's guide to the perfect wedding suit

Daniel Johnson is a personal stylist and expert on British tailoring and its history. Back in January 2016, Daniel appeared on BBC2's Millionaires Gift Guide as a supplier of bespoke luxury to wearers of exclusive fabrics. Starting his journey on Savile Row, he now stands alongside the likes of David Gandy as an ambassador for a true 'Made in Great Britain' brands, which include Ross Barr – one of those featured in the British Wool Collective at Bicester Village last year. In our new two part wedding edit for men, Daniel offers his advice on men’s suiting for every kind of wedding.

Let’s get the golden rules out of the way;

1. Never ever, ever outshine the bride.

2. Get your suit tailored to fit beautifully.

3. Do not leave buying your suit until the last minute.

Your Buying Guide

How to choose the perfect engagement ring

Getting engaged is probably one of the most important and emotional moments in your life which makes choosing the right engagement ring to symbolise your love together key. Your engagement ring journey will present you with many options to consider...

An engagement ring is Worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, which is said to contain the vena armoris (vein of love). Nowadays however, there are many different options to choose from, which cater for a wide variety of tastes.

The Style

It might not be easy trying to decide on an engagement ring style. But checking your current jewellery for your preferred metal colour and finding out whether your style is more classic than contemporary is a great way to start.

If you are buying for your partner, it might be worthwhile discreetly searching through their current jewellery. Make a note of which metals they prefer such as white gold, yellow gold or platinum.

Style Notes

Best Dressed: The Oscars

"Nothing defines a person like the dress they wore to the Oscars" said... well no one really, but we were all thinking it. 

Cate Blanchett's Giorgio Armani Privé gown – as worn to the 2016 ceremony – saw a surge of icy-blue hues make their way onto the high street, and after the love it/hate it debacle of Anne Hathaway's pink satin Dior dress in 2013, rumours flew around that she'd sacked her stylist as a result. Ouch.

So in honour of the star-studded event returning for its 89th year, we’re looking back at the most unforgettable gowns…ALL THAT SPARKLES For an event as glitzy as the Oscars, it’s no surprise that metallic hues feature highly on the red carpet. Reese Witherspoon stunned red carpet revellers for all the right reasons at the 2006 Academy Awards after stepping out in a 1955 gold embellished Dior gown, fit for royalty. And who could forget Felicity Jones’s emotional portrayal of Jane in The Theory of Everything (2015). Jones didn’t go home with the gong that night but she was certainly the people’s choice owing to the stunning Alexander McQueen bodice and floor-length skirt.

FRILL SEEKERS

Travel & Lifestyle

Europe's Most Romantic Hotspots

Whether it be Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck gallivanting around the Italian capital on a Vespa, or Mathieu Kassovitz gazing into Audrey Tautou's enormous almond eyes at the Gare Du Nord, Europe easily bags the prize for the most romantic continent. With al fresco dining, winding lanes and il vino to be served with every course – your next romantic retreat is just a hop, skip and a quick mosey round the duty-free aisle away.  

GO BEYOND GAUDI

Known for its impressive architecture, winding market streets and glorious climes, Barcelona isn’t a hard sell. But beyond the tourist trails of Las Ramblas, the sightseeing buses and the (admittedly stunning) Gaudi buildings, is a cosmopolitan metropolis just waiting to be explored.

City strolling doesn’t get more romantic than at the Parc de Montjuïc; comprising of several museums to explore and the glorious Jardins de Laribal tree-laden walkway. Spaniards are night owls by nature, so be sure to save some energy to explore some of the exciting new eateries that the city has on offer. The Michelin-starred Alkimia, just outside the Gothic Quarter, combines industrial interiors with an elegant yet innovative Catalonian menu. Don’t leave the city without sampling their signature salt cod. Barcelona’s hotel collection is an impressive one, meaning that you never have to face a bad night’s sleep after all that exploring. Hotel Omm offers the ultimate in city-centre serenity; ideally located to maximise your time in Barcelona.  

BEAUTY IN BAVARIA

Brand Spotlight

MENSWEAR COLLECTIONS

BOSS Menswear collections present a modern-day wardrobe to fit every occasion. From masterful tailoring to relaxed athleisure – innovation, craftsmanship and design are at the heart of the brand’s collections, which are created with precision quality and a signature attention to detail.

BOSS tailoring is leading in the field of business and occasion wear. Crafted from luxury fabrics and featuring precision cuts, the tailoring collection offers the perfect sartorial armour for the modern man.

BOSS Green offers premium, functional athleisure that brings the weekend feeling into the every day. Combining the brand’s technical expertise and innovative practices, the athleisure line offers enduring performance-wear including water-resistant outerwear, breathable polos and sweatshirts, crease-resistant trousers and form-fitting footwear.

BOSS accessories exhibit excellence in timeless luxury. Form and function are at the fore in the design concepts across stealth leather bags, small compactable leather goods and fine finishing touches including cufflinks, tie pins and pocket squares.

Travel & Lifestyle

Europe’s Top Ski Resorts

Whether you’re a seasoned pro, keen to hit the slopes, or more excited by a log fire and glass of vin chaud, discover your perfect winter getaway with our edit of Europe’s top resorts…

FOR THOSE WITH A COMPETITIVE STREAK

The resort: Chamonix, France

The crowd: With steep chutes, free riding areas and unprepared runs, this is one resort that’s best left to the pros. Advanced and adventurous skiers from all over the world gather here each year, braving the challenging slopes and boasting (join in if you dare) post-ski in one of the many mountain-top bars. In other words, leave grandma at home.

The vibe: Packed with thrill-seekers, Chamonix has an electric atmosphere that’s perfect for serious skiers wanting to put their skills to the test. Although the slopes are far from peaceful, nestled beneath the tumbling glaciers is a charming town full of quirky boutiques, bookshops and galleries. Perfect for the less athletically gifted to browse for hours on end.

Recipe

The Friday Fix

Kick-start January with this delicious recipe from Madeline Shaw’s new book, READY, STEADY, GLOW Fast, Fresh Food Designed for Real Life.

Pan-fried trout with cucumber, apple and dill salad (serves two)

Ingredients:

1 cucumber, peeled, halved and cut into ½ cm semicircles1 tbsp Dijon mustard1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or 1tsp dried)1/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar2 tbsp olive oil1 large avocado, peeled and stoned1 apple, peeled and cored1 shallot, finely minced1 tbsp coconut oil or butter2 tbsp capers, plus extra to serve2 trout filletssalt, to taste

Beauty & Well-being

24 Hours With A Wellness Guru

Mince pies, mulled wine and one too many chocolates from the tree… all sounding a little too familiar? Come January, enough is enough and after two weeks of pure indulgence, it’s time to get it together.

So, to help kick-start our new year reboot, we’ve called upon the help of holistic health coach, blogger, chef and all round wellness guru, Madeleine Shaw.

Here’s a play-by-play of how she gets back on track. So much goodness.

MORNING

News

British Wool Collective

In collaboration with the Campaign for Wool and the British Fashion Council, Bicester Village opened the British Wool Collective pop-up boutique in winter 2017 to showcase the very best of British and merino wool. The boutique is now closed.

The opening was enjoyed by members of the press, brand representatives, the Campaign for Wool, The Woolmark Company and The British Fashion Council, and we welcomed musician, cheese maker and documentary presenter Alex James to the Village, in order to support the campaign, in line with the release of his new film, Slowing Down Fast Fashion.

Designer Spotlight

Anne Fontaine Designer Q&A

Talking exclusively to French designer Anne Fontaine, we discover the craftsmanship behind the iconic white shirt, re-embroidered lace and the foundations of the feminine universal design encompassing their Maison de Couture.

What inspired the classic white shirt that is a staple of your brand?

I wanted this piece, which usually belongs to the masculine wardrobe, to become an essential for women! White shirts have a timeless elegance; it’s an item that every woman can play with to create her own identity and express her own creativity. “Nothing is more sexy than a woman in a white shirt.”

You have created a unique range of designs with ample amounts of versatility in every piece. What is your favourite from the Fall/Winter 2015 collection?

City Guide

City Guide: 48 hours in Paris

Experience Paris like a local with our top picks for exploring the city in style…

DINE 

Septime

Nestled amongst the picturesque bookshops and artistic boutiques of Rue Charonne lies charming restaurant Septime. Created by French cooking sensation Chef Bertrand Grébaut, each dish is pure, seasonal and delicious. Designed by a former student of Penninghen design school, the mirrored walls, industrial accents and antique furniture set the scene for the perfect meal. What’s more, the menu changes by the day so prepare to be happily surprised on each and every visit.

DRINK

City Guide

City Guide: 48 hours in Milan

Experience Milan like a local this fashion season with our top picks for exploring the city in style…

DINE

Carlo e Camilla in Segheria

This unique dining concept opened in 2014, but its unexpected offering and pioneering aesthetic continues to make waves across the city years later. Created by Michelin-starred chef Carlo Cracco and art director Tanja Solci and set in a former sawmill, take in the restaurant's soaring structure as you savour exquisite dishes. The graphic, monochromatic space is part of a new wave of creative dining – and it’s worth noting that this is as much a social experience as any, with visitors dining side by side on the elegant, elongated tables.

Via Giuseppe Meda 24, 20141 Milan, Italy

Editor’s Tips

Finding the perfect timepiece

It’s a watch minefield out there, or a timepiece smorgasbord, or an overwhelming, overcrowded horological marketplace. Whichever way you look at it, we’ve broken it down to a few of the basics and some.

Quartz or mechanical

The issue of how your watch is powered is probably the biggest pre-purchase decision you will need to make. Quartz timepieces are more accurate, invariably cheaper and more convenient – you should only need to get the battery replaced every couple of years. If you love the inner workings of a watch and you have the budget, you should invest in a mechanical one – your choice is hand-wound (exactly that) or automatic – which relies on the movement of your wrist to store kinetic energy to power the watch.

Get with the lingo

The face of the watch is called the dial. The numbers are called indexes. The button that you wind and adjust the time with is the crown. The ring around the dial that protects the glass is the bezel. The parts of the case that join to the strap are the lugs. The amount of time your mechanical watch will last without being wound is the power-reserve. Any functionality that measures time, such as a race, is a chronograph. This is enough to get you through most ‘watchy’ chats with ease.

Top 5 Tips

How to choose the perfect watch

It's all in the detail this autumn with so many elegant watches to choose from. To help you navigate the timepiece minefield, we spoke to Ryan Ould, head of product design at Rotary, to discover his top tips for choosing the perfect style...

Quartz or automaticDo you want the easy life with a quartz watch, which offers incredible accuracy that only requires you to change the date a few times a year, or do you want the romance and craftsmanship of a Swiss automatic with its unmistakable sweeping second hand and visible parts through its see-through case back?

Case sizeThis applies to both men’s and ladies’ watches, make sure it fits and sits on your wrist perfectly! Whether on a metal bracelet or leather strap, the timepiece should feel moulded to your wrist, never too heavy and always matching what you are wearing.

Plating colourThis is a very individual choice, most men tend to go with stainless steel as this is the safe option, however an emerging women’s trend is two-tone metal, which often consists of either rose gold and stainless steel or classic gold and stainless steel, and this works with all types of jewellery. If you are looking for the vintage vibe you can never beat gold plate.

Bracelet or strapThis comes down to what the watch will be used for and who is wearing it. If the individual making the purchase is very active then a bracelet makes much more sense; on the other hand, if the timepiece is for a person working in the city, working long hours and wearing business attire, a strap will complement a suit perfectly!

News

The Royal Warrant

A Royal Warrant is perhaps the most defining accolade a company can attain. In an age of spurious paid-for celebrity endorsement, the Royal Warrant exists in a vacuum, decided not by expensive contracts and numbers of followers, but by discerning, methodical judgement through tried and tested use.

Only three members of the Royal Family are entitled to bestow warrants: HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. Companies can only be awarded the honour after their goods or services have been bought consistently by one of these members of the Royal Family for five years out of seven. It’s a dedicated and thorough policing of companies – currently there are around 800 registered as holding a Royal Warrant – ranging from plumbing services to the more glamorous worlds of fashion and beauty.

The challenge of producing goods and services fine enough for Royalty has been around since the Middle Ages; in 1155 Henry II granted a Royal Charter to the Weavers’ Guild as a reflection of goods used by the Royal Household. Workmen and craftspeople continued to seek favour from, and impress, the Court with competition throughout the decades being fiercely fought for royal recognition. By the eighteenth century tradespeople began displaying the Royal Coat of arms on their stationery and premises, and by 1840 the Royal Warrant Holders Association was formed to oversee companies holding Royal Warrants.

Today’s Royal Warrant holders are varied but perhaps it is no wonder that, at the luxury and fancy goods end, they are all companies with a rich British heritage and craftsmanship.

Tatler magazine claims that there is a set of Molton Brown (awarded a Royal Warrant by the Queen in 2013) Orange & Bergamot in every bathroom at Balmoral. In competition for ‘Supplier of Toiletries’ is the historic perfumer Penhaligon’s, which was first awarded a Royal Warrant by Queen Alexandra in 1903. In 1956 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh followed suit, as did HRH Prince Charles in 1988, with Molton Brown supplying the palaces from their Mayfair boutique. It’s certainly an insight into how fragrant The Royal Household and its members must be.

Designer Spotlight

Rupert Sanderson Q&A

Your collections resonate with people around the world - is there a particular woman that you design for or does this vary from pair to pair?

The wonderful thing about shoes is that they can tell a million stories, and I suppose women will have a million moods and so it’s very hard to just design for a specific woman. A woman that’s comfortable with making decisions and wearing brands that speak about her, who is confident in her choices and knows what works for her, is the sort of woman who wears my shoes.

Where did your passion for footwear first originate?

Deep down in my soul. It seems to have found me and it works perfectly for me. It encapsulates pretty much all the things I like doing – making lots of things and working with beautiful materials. The transformative power of shoes is second to almost nothing.

Are there any practices you have that keep you creatively engaged and inspired?

Top 5 Tips

Top 5 Regional Wedding Venues

1. BLENHEIM PALACE

With over 300 years of rich history to discover, Blenheim Palace offers visitors an immersive and fascinating experience. Built in the early 18th Century, the iconic palace provides a romantic, whimsical setting that’s simply perfect for a wedding celebration. Historically used to store orange trees for the palace gardens, the elegant Orangery room can host up to 250 guests for your ceremony. Features include a glass panelled roof and stunning views over the Duke’s Italian Garden. Alternatively, choose the Marlborough room for smaller ceremonies -  its double vaulted ceiling and fireplace provide a magical, intimate setting. 

blenheimpalace.com

 

Q&A

Interview with Annoushka Ducas

What first attracted you to jewellery design- have you always been creatively minded?I almost came in to jewellery design by accident. Although I always had an eye for aesthetics, it wasn’t until my mother who supplied fish to restaurants in London asked me to come up with an idea for a gift for 60 of the top chefs. I designed my first piece of jewellery - a pair of humorous fish cufflinks!

Many might be surprised to hear you’re not trained as a traditional jeweller - how did you learn your craft and what advice do you have for others starting out in the industry?I spent long summers in the studio of our great sculptor friend in Tuscany where I must have absorbed the subliminal understanding of the making process of casting and of the way that pieces are formed and how they feel to the hand. Other than this, I had had no formal jewellery design training. I built on what was an instinctive sensibility to a more conscious, decision-making design process, often driven, for me, by the practicalities of wearing jewellery. Over the years, I have learnt to rely on my ability to describe the visions in my head in detail to my craftsman. So my advice - everything is possible.

The organic materials featured in your pieces give a unique, energised feel to luxury - can you describe the kind of woman you design for?I think I really design pieces that I would really like to wear, so that is my starting point – but my clients are self-assured; the vast majority are independent and well travelled, with a confident sophistication. There is no doubt that jewellery that is designed for women, by women feels and looks very different to jewellery designed by men and I think this is why so many of our clients are women buying for themselves. I think most of our clients are women that are more interested in style than fashion.

You began creating in Hong Kong - what was it about the city that inspired you?My travels have always been a key source for my inspiration in designing fine jewellery. Intoxicating cities and magical landscapes, along with my love of art and interest in foreign cultures definitely influence my collections. Hong Kong specifically is a city so full of multicultural diversity, history and beauty, that you can’t help but be inspired.

Your love of colour is evident in your designs - what are some of your favourite shades and why?I prefer to work with yellow gold and warm coloured gemstones as they reflect my personal style and the character of the stones gives life to the jewellery. Colours that can be worn together yet can equally be worn alone as a stand out piece to complete an outfit are the most attractive to me.

Q&A

Annoushka Ducas

On her recent visit to Bicester Village, we sat down with talented designer Annoushka Ducas to discuss the inspiration behind her collections…

What first attracted you to jewellery design- have you always been creatively minded?

I almost came in to jewellery design by accident. Although I always had an eye for aesthetics, it wasn’t until my mother who supplied fish to restaurants in London asked me to come up with an idea for a gift for 60 of the top chefs. I designed my first piece of jewellery - a pair of humorous fish cufflinks! Many might be surprised to hear you’re not trained as a traditional jeweller - how did you learn your craft and what advice do you have for others starting out in the industry?

I spent long summers in the studio of our  great sculptor friend in Tuscany where I must have absorbed the subliminal understanding of the making process of casting and of the way that pieces are formed and how they feel to the hand. Other than this, I had had no formal jewellery design training. I built on what was an instinctive sensibility to a more conscious, decision-making design process, often driven, for me, by the practicalities of wearing jewellery. Over the years, I have learnt to rely on my ability to describe the visions in my head in detail to my craftsman. So my advice - everything is possible. The organic materials featured in your pieces give a unique, energised feel to luxury - can you describe the kind of woman you design for?

I  think I really design pieces that I would really like to wear, so that is my starting point – but my clients are self-assured; the vast majority are independent and well travelled, with a confident sophistication. There is no doubt that jewellery that is designed for women, by women feels and looks very different to jewellery designed by men and I think this is why so many of our clients are women buying for themselves. I think most of our clients  are women that are more interested in style than fashion. You began creating in Hong Kong - what was it about the city that inspired you?

Health & Fitness

Le Pain Quotidien Energising juices

We’re kickstarting the new season with one of the mood-boosting juices from Le Pain Quotidien...

From organic tartines to homemade soups, the seasonal dishes are guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised and uplifted. To celebrate the restaurants arrival, we’re kickstarting the new year with one of their energising green juices...

One a Day Green Juice (serves 2)

Ingredients800 grams seasonal apple150 grams celery75 grams Swiss chard25 grams ginger150 ml orange juice20 ml lime juice

MethodMeasure all ingredients (keep the stalks on Swiss chard)

Q&A

Ray Kelvin founder of Ted Baker

Ray Kelvin of Ted Baker talks exclusively to Bicester Village about the brand’s humble beginnings and the style secrets he swears by…

Renowned for stylish and sophisticated menswear, womenswear and accessories, Ted Baker London is a household name, loved for quality design, high-end fabric and a distinct British attitude.

Launching in 1988 with a collection of classic yet edgy menswear, Ted Baker soon expanded to include womenswear collections – a seamless blend of old-fashioned glamour and contemporary femininity – and accessories including socks, scarves, hats and cufflinks.

Now a global success story, we spoke to founder Ray Kelvin about his style inspiration, entering the fashion world at the age of 11, and naming the business Ted, not Ray.

'When I started the company in 1988, its success was far from certain. I christened the business ‘Ted Baker’ as it was a good, friendly moniker that people seemed to like. And while Ted is now a global success, I still prefer to remain in the background. I’m a big believer in team effort, not glorifying the individual.

News & Events

Bicester Village Station

The newly opened Bicester Village Station means you can now travel straight to the boutiques from London Marylebone or Oxford Parkway. The service to Bicester North station will continue to run as usual. For trains coming into Bicester North a shuttle service is available to Bicester Village.

There are two trains running every hour, with the journey from London Marylebone taking from 46 minutes. The new Bicester Village Information Hub, located adjacent to the station, welcomes you with a suite of luxury shopping services including Hands-free Shopping, Tourist Information, Luggage Drop service and more. See all Shopping Services here >

These services are available to book at the Bicester Visitor Centre in the Village or the Information Hub at Bicester Village Station.

Q&A

Julian Metcalfe founder of itsu

Itsu founder Julian Metcalfe on healthy eating, creative cooking and his passion for Japanese cuisine…

We’re all really excited about the opening of itsu, why did you decide to open a restaurant within the Village?

Bicester Village fits perfectly with our brand, packed with high-end retailers! And with over 6 million visitors a year, itsu will provide customers with a healthy option and keep them fuelled while they shop. There has also been a huge customer demand from international customers which we’re excited about.

One of itsu’s core missions is to provide light and healthy food that tastes delicious - why was the health factor so important to you?

I’ve always believed busy lives shouldn’t stop people eating delicious, healthy food which is light and good for you. There are so many people saying different things about health, so I wanted to make it easy and simple for everyone but ensure it tastes great too!

Q&A

Nick Jones founder of farmshop

Soho house founder Nick Jones talks exclusively to Bicester Village about the opening of his new restaurant, farmshop restaurant and cafe.

What makes Farmshop unique? Can you describe it in three words?

Farmshop in three words would be 'tasty, simple, quick’. We have created somewhere to get great quality food, fast.

How will its culinary mission differ from your other Soho House restaurants?

Farmshop is, quite simply, about serving a great all-day menu of British food to the table within around five minutes of ordering. We know visitors to Bicester Village are mostly there to shop, but we don’t think being short of time should mean compromising on what you eat. So we’ve created a menu using the best local ingredients, which can be served fast, so guests can get back to what they came for.

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