Danielle is an American fashion blogger now living in London town. She loves french bulldogs, super high heels, and birthday cake any day of the year.
LLO: I’m going to tap into your obsession with fashion and find out where all the best shopping is in London…so let’s start with boutiques. Where can we find your top three favourite boutiques and what’s special about them?
DW-L: I always favor a boutique over a department store. You get more of a personal shopping experience and that for me is part of the fun. My favorite boutiques can all be found on Sloane Street. There’s the Fendi boutique (ask for Sylvio), the YSL boutique (for shoes and accessories), and Chanel (because a girl can dream.)
LLO: What about high street shops? Best for shoes? Accessories? Office wear? Jeans?
DW-L: I try to stay away from high street shops, because I’m obsessed with quality. Unfortunately, quality and high street do not tend to go hand in hand. When I do shop high street, I focus on shops that I feel I can find the best quality for the price. I find that French Connection is good for tops and dresses. For denim, I only buy 7 For All Mankind. (I believe I’m secretly their fit model.) I don’t work in an office, but would suggest the Kooples. They are never short of a button up or a blazer. For accessories, I’m currently obsessed with Hirst Antique Jewelry Designer Costume Jewelry. It’s a small shop in Notting Hill overflowing with everything shiny you could imagine; it’s a true magpie heaven.
LLO: London is obviously one of the biggest fashion cities in the world with a lot of talent born within our universities and beyond. Who’s your favourite emerging London-based designer and why?
DW-L: My two favorites would be Peter Pilotto and Mary Katranzou. The irony is I love them both for their fearless use of bold prints, but I seldom wear prints. Their work with color and shapes can be incredibly intimidating, however their skill and craft can not be denied. Integrating more prints into my wardrobe is something I’m always working on, albeit this is something I admit I struggle with. I promise I won’t give up.
LLO: At the start of this year, you started a new blog: For the Love of Frock. What’s it all about? Is there an overall message you hope to communicate through your posts?
DW-L: For the Love of Frock was created to document my healthy obsession with Fashion. It contains photos, books, films, runway reviews, and all of my personal collection. This is an archive of all my favorite things. I was compelled to do this to capture my Love and memories. I will be gone one day, but my collection, my archives will live on. This blog and the contents of my closet will be left for my posterity. You see, they are more than coats and dresses to me. They are my memories.
If there is one overall message I wish to convey it would be quality over quantity. I would rather have one nice, well made dress than ten cheap, poorly made ones. I studied Fashion Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology and as a result, I appreciate the design and construction that goes into a garment. I’m not into the idea of disposable fashion. The things I buy I want to last, so they can be enjoyed for years to come.
LLO: Where does your love of fashion stem from anyway?
DW-L: From a very young age I can remember caring about what I was wearing. I used to create different looks and record them on a calendar. My biggest influence was probably my mother. She is what you would call a “serious shopper”. Very serious. An 8 hour shopping trip during summer vacation? No problem! When I was about 7 or 8, I remember witnessing my mom once buying the same high heel pump in multiple colors. I remember thinking to myself, how clever. She currently owns over 300 pairs. I always had an interest in Fashion, but my devotion came later in life. I would say it really set in after I started taking classes and learning how garments are made. The study of Fashion promotes a different and unique perspective. Now, I am led by my heart. I have a rule to only buy things that I absolutely love. My heart lets me know what those things are.
LLO: If I wanted to find a great outfit for a dinner and drinks date, where would you send me shopping and what would you recommend I buy?
DW-L: An outfit for a date? I’d suggest a department store like Selfridges so you can have several brand options. I’d tell you to buy a fitted dress and some stand out accessories. Can’t go wrong with a statement necklace. I almost always wear a dress for a dinner date, carry a small clutch, and wear a really high heel. Ladies, if he doesn’t like a woman in high heels, he’s not the guy for you.
LLO: For that matter, where are your favourite places for dinner and drinks in London?
DW-L: There are two places in London that I love to eat. There’s an Argentine steak house called Gaucho. The atmosphere is fantastic, the drinks are yummy, and the churrasco is a little bit of heaven. Then there’s a place called Sketch. Order the prawn risotto and/or the pesto ravioli. You can thank me later.
LLO: Swimsuit shopping season is upon us. Best London shop to find a perfect piece for a beach holiday? How about summer accessories?
DW-L: I am not a big swimsuit shopper because, well… I can’t swim. I have this thing about water going up my nose that totally freaks me out. I actually only own one bikini and I don’t think it’s ever actually been inthe pool. I’d have to suggest Net a Porter. It is a website, but they do same day delivery in London by courier. Most importantly, you can try on a bikini in the comfort of your own home where there’s better lighting.
LLO: Any London shopping advice for the gentlemen?
DW-L: I know a lot about a lot of things, including an unusual amount of useless trivia, but where to shop for mens clothing is just not one of them.
LLO: Favourite way to spend a Saturday in London, no shopping allowed?
DW-L: This is easy. I would, and often do, spend the day eating. For the record, my version of dinner includes dessert. I also quite enjoy a trip to the cinema. Yes, dinner and a movie. If I wasn’t so in love with Fashion, I’d be a food and film critic. A famous food and film critic.
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