Tuesday, 21 December 2010

City Girl's Last-Minute Gift Guide

I hope you are all having a wonderful pre-Christmas week! In an ideal world, everyone will be starting to wind down now, save for festive social events. I'd love to hear what you are wearing this Christmas, particularly for the 'Big Day'. Speaking of which, it's usually around this time that I jot down all outstanding presents and scramble to find 1/2 hour in which to run out and brave the crowds (and icy conditions). True to form, my gift guide is a little late coming. Nonetheless, I hope it's still useful/interesting/introduces you to some new London labels! It's a girls gift-guide, so you boys might want to take a peek. Ladies - you might find a gift for yourself (we all need one, from time to time!) or a friend/family member. It could also be useful to print out and leave in strategic spots around the house. Here goes...

If you have a bigger budget, check out luxury (but lesser-known) handbag designer Anya Sushko. These stunning handbags and clutches provide a well-accentuated but feminine and shapely accessory to your outfit. You can find Anya at four London locations, including the Dorchester hotel and Mary Portas' Living and Giving Shop.

Anya Sushko, Grey DECODAME A/W 2010

Another name worth discovering, is Kirt Holmes, whose luxuriously intricate jewellery would make a stylishly timeless gift. Find Kirt Holmes in Camden.

Kirt Holmes Swarovski crystal double strand necklace

A girl can never say no to lovely lingerie, especially when it's from fashion-forward Marylebone boutique, Apartment C (see my recent interview with Apartment C owner, Kenya Cretegny). Here's Apartment C's address.

Fleur of England Boudoir Bra

For some understated glamour? How about these wool and leather mittens, from the latest French brand to arrive in London, The Kooples. Parisian- chic, here I come! Visit any of The Kooples four London stores.

Fashion illustration has been in the spotlight and for good reason, with books like Fashion Drawing in Vogue, Manolo Blahnik Drawings and David Downton's Masters of Fashion Illustration. Any would make an enviable gift. Visit your local bookseller.

Moreover, Taschen, the King of gorgeous 'coffee table' books, has published a beautiful keepsake telling Emilio Pucci's story. With a limited edition of just 10,000 copies, each unique copy is bound with one of a selection of recent prints from the Pucci collection. Here's Taschen's London store.

Taschen's 'Emilio Pucci'

If you act quickly, you can still arrange collection of a deliciously decadent hamper from Caprice Holdings Ltd (the people behind The Ivy, Soho House, Annabel's and Le Caprice!). Their Annabel's Christmas Hamper includes chocolate truffles, Cherry panettone, Sicilian pistachio biscuits and Louis Roederer Champagne. Wonderful. Call Caprice Holdings Ltd by 22nd December to collect. 

Annabel's Christmas Hamper

Love Bakery: Cupcakes from the Heart is another treat for domestic goddesses out there! Whether you love Mocha or Greek Yoghurt & Honey cupcakes, you'll love trying these recipes and "being a big kid again" (in the words of author and bakery owner, Samantha Blears). Visit The Love Bakery to make your purchase.

Cupcake tower, Love Bakery launch (which I attended recently)

A recent visit to Lucy in Disguise and I've discovered a whole new way to vintage shop! A clean, spacious and superbly styled store is matched by beautiful statement pieces from different eras. Downstairs at Lucy in Disguise' Covent Garden store, you'll find a  hair and make-up salon, nails bar and With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room. Find a one-off piece upstairs, or book an appointment downstairs.

Lucy in Disguise

And, in London's Lower Marsh (just off The Cut, near The Old Vic), there's a shop called Radio Days, where you may well find a vintage gem. Whether clothes or jewellery, a hat, a pink Barbie phone, or retro mags... there's lots of inspiration here.

Radio Days, Vintage store

Keep smiling throughout tempestuous weather, with a Lulu Guinness umbrella.  I've had my sights on this one for a while! Find your closest Lulu Guinness stockist.

Lulu Guinness, Superslim Cosmetic Girl umbrella

Next, onto one of my favourite accessory brands, for their innovative transformation of that wardrobe staple, hosiery. It's Tabio and here are my gift- picks: 30 denier tights in luscious Raspberry, and super-snug leg warmers. Here's a list of Tabio stores.

Tabio 30 denier tights, raspberry

Tabio long fur legwarmers

Ethical fashion is having a moment. One of the best causes I've heard recently, is epitomized by the exquisite 'Midomo' charm bracelet, below. Although deserving of much more space, you can read the full Midomo story here.

The Midomo bracelet, by Alex Monroe

Designed by Alex Monroe (remember the famous bumblebee necklace?), each bracelet sold covers the cost of donating a revolutionary water purifier to an African community. Commissioned by Red Button Design Ltd, an award-winning humanitarian design company, this is one story you'll want to read. And, in the meanwhile, why not bump this stunning statement piece to the top of your Christmas list? Buy online, at the Midomo website.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the gifts featured. Let me know how your shopping is going! Good luck x


  1. Oh my goodness I think I am completely done with my Christmas shopping!! I have never actuallly been done before Christmas Eve before!!
    Now I honestly havent thought about what I would wear on the big day!
    I guess I will do that next!
    I LOVE those mittens!


    Everyone Loves Lipstick Style Blog

  2. This is very cute. I am going to use this idea for Easter! Thank you for your time to make this article!

  3. radio days is such a cool store. thanks for sharing

  4. These are brilliant! Thank you, it's a shame I've done my shopping, although will definitely look for inspiration for birthdays! If you don't mind I'd like to feature this on my blog :) x

  5. Wow! I am in love with the Anya Sushko bag! Absolutely gorgeous!
    Marie xx

  6. Love this Christmas gift guide. It's like a little tour of London as well. I love reading your blog because even though I can't be in London I can still get a feel for what's going on there.
    I, too, have a few things to pick up but I actually enjoy being out with the crowds at this time of year. I feel like having a common purpose bring us together, much like driving in a snow storm.

  7. Great gift guide! Personally, I would want the Midomo bracelet by Alex Monroe! And the fact that the proceeds go to charity is just the icing on the cake!

  8. I'd definitely love to get my hands on those leg warmers and vintage fashion. I'm a sucker for them all. This is such a great and informative list that keeps every kind of fashion style, girl, and lifestyle in mind. Thank you for inviting me to see this great post!

  9. great post! Nice pictures, I like your blog

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    merry xmass!


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