Fashion Director of Boat International, stylist and fashion consultant Fiona Rubie invited us into her beautiful Chelsea home to shoot our next Style Insider with three of her close friends, Lucia Berni, Samantha Heyworth and Julie-Anne Dorff. We discussed this spring/summer’s key pieces, denim, beauty tips, and of course the question Team High or Team Low!
Donna Ida: Firstly let’s discuss this season’s key pieces. What are your must-haves for SS15?
Fiona: Gianvito Rossi open toe sandals with ankle strap in nude, one shoulder ruffle dress by Saint Laurent and the Stella McCartney denim cross back dress.
Samantha: The Gucci suede pieces are perfect for this summer’s 70’s look (a great merlot coloured wrap jacket), Breton tops by Me + Em and Saint Laurent. I will also be accessorizing my outfits with a basket instead of a bag.
Lucia: Bikinis from Tezuk and Solid and Striped, handmade clogs from Giovanni del Forte (in Forte dei Marmi in Italy where I stock up every summer), embroidered tops from Talitha and obviously lots of denim including the Mother Easy A Skirt.
Donna Ida: What is your go-to style for jeans?
Julie-Anne: Either skinny or flares, always with a high waist!
Samantha: Flares, super high wedges and a gilet or poncho. Or boyfriend jeans with killer heels and a cape.
Donna Ida: What is your take on this season’s new denim shape – the flare?
Fiona: I love the fact that a flare requires a wedge which means you just look taller and more fabulous. I also love anything that reminds me of Farah Fawcett!
Julie-Anne: I love it, brilliant with high heeled sandals, platforms or espadrilles. Dress it up with a silk blouse and tuxedo jacket or down with a broderie anglaise top for a 70’s feel.
Samantha: Love them - so pleased they're back!
Lucia: LOVE LOVE LOVE. Cannot get enough! But it does mean I have to go easy on the Nutella as it’s not as forgiving as a skinny. I love the leg lengthening and thigh sculpting effect when you find the right pair.
Donna Ida: How do you take your denim from day to night?
Fiona: I have a great silk camisole top from Kate Moss for Topshop, and I throw on my velvet Acne boyfriend jacket and a high boot by Gianvito Rossi.
Julie-Anne:I would change from my espadrilles into gold sandals and from my Victorian white blouse into a black chiffon off the shoulder gypsy top.
Samantha: Higher heels, shirt instead of tee, and more bracelets!
Lucia: Dangly earrings and a few spritzes of Tom Ford White Suede. It’s subtle, sexy and has a cool 70’s feel.
Donna Ida: Are you Team High or Team Low?
Fiona: Team High - it’s so flattering.
Samantha:I am coming round to the higher waist look - it's a bit more elegant and sophisticated, and hides a few sins!
Lucia: Team High. It just feels more modern and makes me think of that picture of Farah Fawcett on the skateboard.
Donna Ida: Who, What or Where influences your style?
Fiona: My style icons are quite schizophrenic, I love Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot but I also love Goldie Hawn and Jane Birkin.
Julie-Anne: The shows we see each season, travelling (I went to south America this spring and loved it), the lovely girls I work with, my girlfriends, my children, Jane Birkin, Lauren Bacall. I also think it is important to wear what suits you.
Samantha: Lauren Hutton, Jane Birkin, Bianca Jagger. For movies it's: American Gigolo, Scarface and Almost Famous. I'm also inspired by skate-boarder and surfer style.
Lucia: All the Italian mothers and grandmothers in my life for their big hair, big sunglasses and never letting the style stakes drop whether they are cooking pasta or going to the theatre. My mother and mother-in-law always look impeccable. I’m also lucky that two of my best friends are stylists so are always on hand for brilliant advice and inspiration.
Donna Ida: Which were your favourite piece from the shoot and why?
Fiona: I love the IDA Honor skinny in Coachella the wash is incredible and the fit is perfect!
Julie-Anne:I loved the Joie Yvetta Blouse, I will wear it to death! Casual or dressy day or evening!
Samantha: The IDA Adelaide Flare is perfection, beautifully cut and a cool wash - flattering on the leg over a high wedge.
Lucia: I love all the tops from the Californian label Sundry – they are effortlessly chic and make you smile when you wear them.
Donna Ida: Which beauty products will you be stocking up on for spring?
Fiona: Charlotte Tilbury bronzer, Amanda Lacey cleanser and Power Surge eyeliner by MAC.
Julie-Anne: I love Les Beiges Powder from Chanel, I use it every day, Nars Bronzer, the new Burberry Kisses lipstick in English Rose, Benefit Roller Lash mascara in black and my favourite Jo Malone London scent Lime Basil and Mandarin is now available in the new lace bottle collection, so pretty!
Samantha: I love Environ and Biologique Recherche products.
Lucia: Anything that gives you a radiant glow ready for the summer. At this time of year, I swap all glycolic skincare (not good when the sun is coming out) for a selection of serums. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and SKII Ultimate Revival Serum are the best of the best. I also love Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Overnight Facial oil. I also stockpile Tom Ford’s Illuminating Primer which looks beautiful on its own dusted with a bit of bronzer.
Donna Ida: Do you have any beauty tips for spring to freshen up your look?
Fiona: Eyeliner! It’s key! Nars does a great classic brown it’s very soft and easy to wear.
Julie-Anne: I will move away from eyeliner and use my new gold and bronze eye shadows from Chanel.
Samantha: Brighter highlights from Atelier Josh Wood and amazing sculpting workouts with Josh Clarke at Duo gym.
Lucia: Try one of the new lip oils. Glossier than a balm yet equally hydrating. The YSL ones have a subtle wash of colour which are so pretty. Keep nails nude (Victoria Beckham’s Bamboo is hard to beat) or try a raspberry instead of the usual coral. I love Essie’s Watermelon.
Where is your spring holiday destination?
Julie-Anne: It changes every year but this Easter, we will be in Devon.
Samantha: Thailand - Phuket and Yao Noi
Lucia: We are visiting some friends of my Mum who have a buffalo mozzarella farm near Pompeii in Southern Italy. We plan to play cards, eat lots of cheese and visit the temples.
Any London hidden gems you can tell us about?
Fiona: The roof top at the Ham Yard Hotel.
Julie-Anne: I love Fulham Palace; it’s a lovely place for children too with beautiful gardens, a fantastic playground and a lovely tea room.
Samantha: Korubata in Chelsea - I've been going since it was a pop up, now it has great new premises on the Kings Road. Kitty Fisher's in Shepherds Market, and the Ham Yard Hotel for bowling and Sunday night movies.
Lucia: Little H, 60 New Kings Road is a Californian inspired cafe/ deli at the end of my road and is great. As well as the perfect almond milk matcha latte and the ubiquitous smashed avocado on rye, they do a great range of healthy salads when you’re in the mood for some kale or quinoa.
Donna Ida: What trends did you see on the catwalks for AW15 that you are already putting on your wishlist?
Fiona: Anything from the Sonia Rykiel AW15 collection.
Julie-Anne: Some more 70’s and Gypsy vibes and the lovely wool and shearling coats.
Samantha: I loved the Chloe and Sonia Rykiel shows - the sequined dresses by Rykiel and the skinny scarves at Chloe (instead of necklaces).
Lucia: The Gucci shaggy faux fur jacket (I’m hoping Donna Ida will have an unreal fur version) and the YSL Universite handbag.
With thanks to