Kelly Eastwood, aka blogger and influencer The London Chatter, is the embodiment of London style with an eclectic mix of vibrant colours, relaxed pieces, feminine touches and standout accessories. As a self-confessed jeans lover, she’s often found in classic skinnies, although her experimental fashion nature means she is also comfortable with pushing denim boundaries, wearing dungarees or even a boiler suit.
As a lifestyle blogger and resident columinst for Hello! Fashion Monthly, Kelly is quite literally the girl about town, with a little black book of the best places to eat, drink and stay whilst in London, plus a diary packed with events, shows and parties. It is therefore, no surprise that the location for our shoot was a favourite of hers; Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour above Mr Fogg’s Tavern in Covent Garden which serves an eccentric boozy afternoon tea and gin tasting.
We sat down for a chat with Kelly over a Mr Fogg’s Afternoon Par-Tea-Pot with Jasmine Green Tea, Gin, Pineapple Syrup, Lemon and Orange Bitters…
Kelly wears Rizzo Jeans in Plum Cord and Miss Maggie Blouse in Into The Pink with Polo Ralph Lauren Lennox Bag, LK Bennet Velvet Mary-Janes, the Satao Bracelet from Kelly’s collaboration with Auree Jewellery (100% of profits go to For Rangers & elephant conservation across Africa) & Diamond Baja Bracelet from Monica Vinader
DONNA IDA: Where are you from & where did you grow up?
Kelly Eastwood: I’m from Kenya. I was raised in Karen, just outside Nairobi, but have been living in London for over 10 years now. Luckily, I get to go back 2 or 3 times a year to see my family and some elephants.
DONNA IDA: How did you come to live in London?
Kelly Eastwood: I went to boarding school over here, followed by LAMDA drama school and then University at Edinburgh, so having many friends in the UK it felt like a natural move to base myself here.
DONNA IDA: How long ago did you start your blog The London Chatter?
Kelly Eastwood: I started 7 years ago. I was working in a boutique in Notting Hill in between acting jobs, doing some personal styling and shopping in my free time, so my blog initially started as a forum to recommend where people shop. At the time, most blogs were anonymous, so I picked ‘The London Chatter’ as its name after a brain storming session with my sister. It turned out to be a good idea as it really associates me with London, and as a consequence I’m luckily one of the first people to find out what’s happening in town, so I can share with others.
DONNA IDA: How do you wear your jeans?
Kelly Eastwood: I am a real jeans girl, through and through. I love a boyfriend jean but I run the risk of looking a little like a teenage boy who should be playing Nintendo rather than attending beautiful breakfasts at Claridges, so lately I’ve returned to skinnies. For meetings, I will just grab a nice shirt or a cashmere jumper and tuck it into the skinnies. A lot of the time wearing onesies is the ultimate dream, as you only have to think of your shoes and handbag.
DONNA IDA: What were your favourite jeans you had on today in this shoot?
Kelly Eastwood: I’m really happy cord has made a come back this season, being known to tread a thin line between cool cat and geography teacher and these vibrant red cords are real showstoppers.
DONNA IDA: Tell us about Fashion Week – how was it this season?
Kelly Eastwood: I worked with Land Rover over Fashion Week, and it was amazing to be driven around in comfort for once, saving my feet from all the running too and fro in heels! London Fashion week should be sponsored by blister plasters, I’m telling you!! Every girl at fashion week has a packet in their handbag! I always look forward to the shows and getting dressing up, and it’s fun to be able to wear so many of the talented British designers that are showing. Particular show favourites were Temperley London and Rejina Pyo.
DONNA IDA: Where do you think in the world that the girls are best dressed?
Kelly Eastwood: Well just as Americans really rate British style I think the British will always rate the Parisian style. It’s simple, chic and seem quite effortless. A lot of neutral, classic colours and shapes, with messy hair and a dab of lipstick. If only I could be so chic, but I’m too drawn to sparkle and rainbows. I’m basically a five year old magpie.
DONNA IDA: Style highs and style lows. When are you on form, or anything you would like to forget?
Kelly Eastwood: I definitely look back to how I dressed at University with quite some horror... I was the only brunette in a flat of 4 (non)blondes, so it was only a matter of time before I had half a head of aggressive highlights, together with a healthy dose of fake tan. We looked like we are at Miami University rather than at Edinburgh, walking through hailstorms with really bronzed complexions! I also remember there were tight pink trousers and pink cowgirl boots going on... I blame Paris Hilton. Thank the Good Lord this was all pre social media, and all photographic evidence has been burnt. Regarding fashion highs, I loved all my recent outfits at Copenhagen Fashion this summer. I got to learn a lot about the Danish designers, and wear their clothes. The Skandi Girls are definitely having a moment, and I was just as inspired by what I saw off the runway, as what I saw on it! Everyone cycles to shows in Copenhagen, so you have girls wearing chunky knits, ethereal maxi dresses, glittery socks… and big old ASICS trainers! I can’t imagine going to a fashion show in dirty old trainers, but seeing them on them it just looks so cool and you start to thinking ‘ummmm… Maybe I should get some dirty old trainers. I loved how relaxed everyone seemed, whereas Londoners take it all a bit more seriously.
Kelly wears Lounge Lizard Silk Pyjamas in Star Crossed
DONNA IDA: What is your favourite London restaurant?
Kelly Eastwood: I will always love the Wolesley. It’s such a treat to go there and I always start the night off there with a Black Velvet (champagne and Guinness) in an ice-cold, silver tumbler. I also love a chilled date night at Pizza East, a vegetarian pizza with several extra spicy Picante De La Casas (a Soho House special – try it!)
DONNA IDA: What are your top tips if people are coming to London?
Kelly Eastwood: My current favourite place to stay is Artist Residence in Pimlico. I love all their art and HUGE bathtubs… If they’d let me, I’d move in permanently. For drinks, I love Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour in Covent Garden, hence the location today, and Seymour's Parlour at Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone.
DONNA IDA: What’s next on your horizon?
Kelly Eastwood: I’m looking forward to going on holiday. I worked most of the summer, and actually only had 4 days of real holiday in France, so I’m looking forward to going back home to Kenya to relax and see my dogs, Atlas and Cleobatra. I also have a trip to New York coming up, to meet my new nephew, Zac!