• What to buy

    It was the shoes that lured me into The Elfie Boutique on Chilworth Street. Wizard of Oz-type Mary-Jane's in red sequins. Magic things happen when you wear those kind of shoes.

    But sadly Elfie shoes aren't for grown-up feet. This divine children's shop opened just last month. It's a 3-D incarnation of the popular website that launched just four years ago when sisters Rafaela van der Heyden and Victoria Roper Curzon decided they wanted to create a business together.

    Rafaela had worked in the art world. While Victoria had studied tailoring at London College of Fashion and then got busy having her family of three (Elfie, Ned and Mabel). Victoria couldn't find the kind of spirited but hardy wear to clothe her brood. So childrenswear became the business; clothes with an old fashioned backbone - think double breasted wool coat, corduroy dress, Fair Isle knit - with a hit of British whimsy - a sparkly cape, a woollen hat with ears and of course those sequin shoes. While Victoria designs, Rafaela runs the business side. After a faltering start with a stall on Portobello Road, ("A fantasy," explains Rafaela, "But the reality is cold and miserable,") the pair launched Elfie online. Soon Selfridges and Bobo Kids in Chelsea began stocking the collections. And now the duo have their very own west London flash. The clothes hang from tree-branch rails, there are baskets of toys and the walls are covered in 1950s fairy tale prints. 

    And despite my Ugly Sister attempts at squeezing my foot in the shoe, they're for littl'uns alone. So it'll have to be the grown up Valentino version for me, then…

    P.S. Look out for the new Elfie/Alex Eagle Collaboration that includes a perfect white shirt, reversible dungarees and a jolly red rain coat. 


    The Elfie Boutique, 27 Chilworth Street, London W2 3HA

    Tel: 0207 706 3495

    Elfie offers all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win an Elfie child's outfit (worth £150).

    Don't miss out on future offers,  sign up to the A-List.

  • What to buy

    The Loquet London brilliance continues.  The clear lockets filled with irresistible charms twinkle around necks throughout the world.  Now designers Sheherazade Goldsmith and Laura Bailey are working our ears.

    Stud earrings in plain 14kt gold or shimmering with diamonds, come in a panoply of meaningful charms that continue to tell the story; hearts, butterflies, a crescent moon or shooting stars worn individually or layered up the lobe. 

    Loquet London studs make a dream present.  And they're enough to make me want to pierce my own virgin ears.  And not just the once! 

    PS. Rumour has it Loquet London will be spreading their magic to further body parts in 2015.  Could it be bracelets?


  • What to wear

    Twice a year, designer Alice Ashby travels to Pitti Filati in Florence - the Olympics of yarn - to source succulent threads for her contemporary knitwear brand Blake LDN.

    Straight lines, neutral shades and colour-blocking are signatures for the brand founded in 2012. So it comes as little surprise that Alice's first job fresh out of Central St Martins was assistant knitwear designer at New York headquarters of Rag & Bone - the brand that could write a monograph on single-colour chic.

    But with a litany of fresh-faced designers emerging each year with the same speed as the Greeks launched boats in search of Helen of Troy, what makes Blake LDN standout? Quality not quantity could be the brand's epigraph; all the pieces are made by skilled British craftsmen from the the finest Italian materials (merino, cashmere, cotton and angora). And as Alice releases every design in limited numbers, each collection is tightly considered with longevity in mind. Take the high street conveyor belt and picture the opposite.

    Looking ahead to Spring/Summer 2015, Alice has been experimenting with new yarns; the aesthetic is minimal, the quality is high and the wearability oh-so comfortable. Sold via her website, Colette in Paris and on Net-a-Porter, for which she has created exclusives, it won't be hard to find yourself wrapped in a Blake LDN angora sweater or cashmere beanie.

    By Bridget Arsenault


    Blake LDN offers all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win a one-to-one consultation with the brand's designer Alice Ashby at The Secret Christmas Grotto on 2nd or 3rd of December (2 Percy Street, London W1T 1DD). With Alice's guidance the winner will pick out a piece from Blake LDN's Autumn/Winter collection (value up to £300). 

    Don't miss out on future offers,  sign up to the A-List.