Monthly Archives: November 2013

BOE Chief Mark Carney – Raising The Roof On UK Mortgage Loan Boom.


Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned of “risks to financial stability” through irresponsible lending by banks and building societies. His dramatic announcement that The Funding for Lending Scheme is being switched to stimulate borrowing for small businesses, follows on figures that showed house prices were up 8.7% on last year with the average house in London costing £390,720.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.

The lending market has been stimulated by multi-billion pound Government measures such as the Help to Buy and Funding for Lending schemes. The FLS stands in the way of savers as it gives banks access to cheap funding instead of relying on attracting savers’ deposits.

Mark Carney basking in the summer sun at a weekend festival earlier this year. (photo- Evening Standard)

Mark Carney basking in the summer sun at a weekend festival earlier this year. (photo- Evening Standard)

Mr Carney said: “Those risks are manageable and they are being managed. This will help keep the housing market on a sustainable path and ensure the broader economy continues to receive the stimulus it needs, for as long as it needs, to sustain the recovery.”

BOE governor Mark Carney taking up office at Threadneedle Street. (photo- Telegraph).

BOE governor Mark Carney taking up office at Threadneedle Street. (photo- Telegraph).

Chancellor George Osborne in an attempt to explain the new measures said: “Small firms are the lifeblood of our economy.” However Mr Carney’s warning on the possibility of the market overheating comes at a time when the Bank should invoke its power as watchdog against another economic bubble.

Mark Carney  Is the Chairman of the G20 Financial Stability Board.

Mark Carney Is the Chairman of the G20 Financial Stability Board.

Sylvia Waycot of Moneyfacts.co.uk website declared: “Banks and building societies will once again need savers’ money to lend out in the form of home loans. Equilibrium should be finally restored.”

Churchhaven – West Coast National Park South Africa


On the drive to Kraalbaai, part of the Langebaan Lagoon, you pass a signpost for Joanne’s Beach Cottage. This is the entrance to the sanctuary that is Churchhaven; a hidden, beautiful little fishing village with white washed fisherman’s and restored holiday cottages.

The lagoon is one of only three in the world that is fed by the sea and not by a river. (photo - Hendrika Blignaut)

The lagoon is one of only three in the world that is fed by the sea and not by a river. (photo – Hendrika Blignaut)

The Flamingoes at Churchhaven are protected birds. Joanne’s Beach Cottage is a fully equipped self-catering cottage near Churchhaven within walking distance of the lagoon.

The signpost to the hidden village of Churchhaven.

The signpost to the hidden village of Churchhaven. (photo-worklondonstyle)

The village is just outside Postberg Flower Reserve, a part of the park that is only open between August and September. Only 120km outside of Cape Town on the R27 it provides a beautiful glimpse of the magnificent Namaqualand spring flowers. Daily guided walks depart from Abrahamskraal Waterhole at 10am and 1pm.

Churchhaven (photo-worklondonstyle)

Churchhaven (photo-worklondonstyle)

The area forms part of the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR) designated by UNESCO in 2000.

The unspoilt lagoon teems with wildlife.

The unspoilt lagoon teems with wildlife.

Only descendants of the original inhabitants of Churchhaven are allowed to own property here. It does not appear on the official map of the West Coast National Park. This adds to its desolation, mystery and beauty.

Churchhaven is a holiday destination to the chosen few descendants of the original inhabitants.

Churchhaven is a holiday destination to the chosen few descendants of the original inhabitants.

More information on the West Coast National Park is available at http://www.sanparks.org.

Blue Sky Thinking – Enjoying South African Hospitality


Early Morning  - Langebaan Lagoon

Early Morning – Langebaan Lagoon

Fun Friends - Steve Hofmeyr

Fun Friends – Steve Hofmeyr

Getting There Is Half The Fun.

Getting There Is Half The Fun.

Blue

Blue

Jacobsbaai - Wilde Magrietjie

Jacobsbaai – Wilde Magrietjie

Winelands Marathon – Making A Run For It!


It was a last minute decision to take part. It would be the 36th Winelands Marathon and the 16th Half Marathon. It would be a difficult and hilly route, undulating through the vineyards and strawberry farms of Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape of South Africa. One international phone call later my plane ticket and place were booked for the race. I am a keen walker but had not done any running in my London lifestyle in the past few years. It sounded like fun.

Winelands Marathon Stellenbosch (photo Runner's World)

Winelands Marathon Stellenbosch (photo Runner’s World)

The race serves as official qualifier for the 2014 Comrades and Two Oceans marathons. The cut off time for the marathon is 5h30 and 3h30 for the half marathon. There would be medals for all finishers.

The Langebaan West Coast team consisting of myself, my sister and her running partner Shoneen.

The Langebaan West Coast team consisting of myself, my sister and her running partner Shoneen.

The route started in rain near my old Alma Mater, Bloemhof Girls’ High and crossed the Eerste river taking us down towards the Strand and Somerset West. So far so good. Then we hit the gravel stretch. The road turned up towards the mountain, with the next 7 km a corrugated, muddy gravel road.

Happy, but exhausted medal winner. (photo-worklondonstyle)

Happy, but exhausted medal winner. (photo-worklondonstyle)

From here it was almost all down hill. I finished in a respectable well under 3 hour time, just ahead of my team mates, which enabled me to grab a West Coast Team photo finish.

Bravehearts-Hendrika and Shoneen

Bravehearts-Hendrika and Shoneen

Langebaan Running Club. West coast marathon taking place 15 March 2014. Entries open December 2013 at Weskusmaratjon.co.za. (Photo worklondonstyle)

Langebaan Running Club.
West coast marathon taking place 15 March 2014. Entries open December 2013 at Weskusmarathon.co.za. (Photo worklondonstyle)

Isabel Marant Tees Up At H&M.


French born Marant was destined for a career in fashion as her German mother was the director of Elite model agency. Originally harbouring dreams of becoming a vet, she launched her fashion career in 1990 with Twen, a knitwear collection, collaborating with her mother.

The designer Isabel Marant wearing her own tassel boot design for H&M. (photo - H&M)

The designer Isabel Marant wearing her own tassel boot design for H&M. (photo – H&M)

Having studied at Studio Bergot, the Paris fashion college, she set up her studio in 1994 in the Marais district and opened her first store in the Bastille district in 1998. Known for her star ‘i’ logo she launched a more accessibly priced line ‘Etoile’ in 1999. Her high street collection for H&M, originally showcased in Paris in September, launches in London on 14 November.

The French debut of Isabel Marant for H&M

The French debut of Isabel Marant for H&M

Marant is her own muse and of her collection for H&M she says, “I realised that the best thing to do for H&M would be the pieces that I love the most”. She says, “I always wear a t-shirt. And most of the time I wear a sweatshirt.”

Alek Wek wearing leather trousers by Isabel Marant for H&M (photo- H&M)

Alek Wek wearing leather trousers by Isabel Marant for H&M (photo- H&M)

Her rock’n’roll, relaxed handwriting is often seen on models including Kate Moss, Alexa Chung, Miranda Kerr and Elle Macpherson.

Miranda Kerr in Isabel Marant. (photo- Rex Features).

Miranda Kerr in Isabel Marant. (photo- Rex Features).

Elle Macpherson in Marant.  (photo - Rex Features).

Elle Macpherson in Marant. (photo – Rex Features).

Isabel Marant for H&M will include an exclusive menswear collection. The launch event in Paris was a sell-out and is expected to be one of the fastest-selling H&M collaborative collections since the start of the initiative in London.

Oxford Street Christmas Lights.


This year’s Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch-On set for Tuesday, 12 November, will be hosted by the iconic Selfridges store. The lights are always spectacular and this year will be sparkling with a new ‘snow flake’ inspired theme.

Photo: New West End Company

Photo: New West End Company

Christmas lights switch on at House of  Fraser 2012. (photo worklondonstyle)

Christmas lights switch-on at House of Fraser 2012. (photo worklondonstyle)

Robbie Williams hosted the 2012  Christmas lights switch on. (photo worklondonstyle)

Robbie Williams hosted the 2012 Christmas lights switch-on. (photo worklondonstyle)

Most stores have been sparkling with Christmas cheer since October.

Warehouse Christmas window (photo worklondonstyle)

Warehouse Christmas window (photo worklondonstyle)

Singer-songwriter Jessie J will be performing some of her greatest hits before switching on this year’s ‘snow flake’ inspired Christmas lights. She will be joined by X-factor winner James Arthur and international pop star Conor Maynard.

Jessie J will be performing and switching this year's Christmas lights. (photo New West End Company)

Jessie J will be performing and switching on this year’s Christmas lights. (photo New West End Company)

The event with a specially built catwalk stage outside Selfridges’ main entrance, starts at 5pm with the ‘switch-on’ at 6.15pm. Capital FM presenters Lisa Snowdon and David Berry will be hosting the event.

Snowflakes Theme Christmas 2013

Snowflakes Theme Christmas 2013

J Crew – Michelle Obama’s Click To Chic Hits London


Jenna Lyons, president and creative director of J Crew is the force behind the rapid sales rise at the North American brand. Rising through the ranks since graduating at age 21 from Parson’s School of Design in New York, the 44 year old is a high profile woman in consumer fashion; one of only three on Time Magazine’s 2013 top 100 most influential people list.

Jenna Lyons; president and creative director of J Crew

Jenna Lyons; president and creative director of J Crew

Five years ago on Monday, October 27, 2008 Michelle Obama appeared on The Tonight Show in a complete J Crew outfit. Drawn on her shopping habits she replied,”When you don’t have time, you’ve got to click.”

Michelle Obama wearing J Crew on The tonight Show with Jo Leno.

Michelle Obama wearing J Crew on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

On April 1, 2009 Michelle wore J Crew’s Crystal constellation cardigan and the Dazzling-dots pencil skirt in mint green whilst joining Sarah Brown for a meeting at Charing Cross in London.

Michelle Obama in mint green J Crew in London in 2009.

Michelle Obama in mint green J Crew in London in 2009. (image Getty)

The 30 year old brand started out as a mail order specialist and runs 249 stores in North America. The long awaited opening of the Regent street store brings the mismatched, masculine meets feminine style of Lyons to central London. Expect to pay up to 40% more than in North America. Layering is key to the J Crew look with oversized statement necklaces and bejewelled cuffs to finish off an outfit.

Lyons manages the branding of the clothes and stores.

Lyons manages the branding of the clothes and stores.

Jenna has been in the press for her relationship with girlfriend Courtney Crangi after a very public divorce from husband, Vincent Mazeau. Her style is central to the brand’s transformation and success.

Jenna wearing a pink maxi skirt and denim jacket at the Costume Institute Gala in 2012,

Jenna wearing a pink maxi skirt and denim jacket at the Costume Institute Gala in 2012.

J Crew opened a menswear store at 38 Lamb’s Conduit on 10th October 2013. The Flagship store opens at 165, Regent Street, W1 on Friday. J Crew’s Chairman and CEO, Millard “Mickey” Drexler, called it “an important flagship location on arguably one of the most important streets in one of the most important locations in the world”.