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What Lies Beneath: Keeping Chills at Bay in Style

October 19th, 2013 by baoli

Layering is the perfect way to keep warm and look effortlessly cool as autumn days turn distinctly colder - mystery sub-plot optional.

The autumn chill brought with it spectres of years past. Some of my stuff was taken out of storage; reawakening old memories - Misty annuals and old love letters tied in satin ribbon - and truly mystified musings – how much research can one person do for a novel she’s never written?!

But there were some welcome surprises: the headdresses I’d bought from the Royal Opera House costume department sale – perfect for Halloween! – and of course my beloved Hitchcock DVD collection. Cue cosy nights curled up with Psycho and The Birds.

Hitch once said, “Suspense is like a woman, the more room she leaves to the imagination, the greater the emotion and the expectation.” This may sound a little more creepy than intended, following in the wake of Sienna Miller’s The Girl, but the message is sound: wrap up well for maximum mystery. At least that’s what I think he meant!

While the restrained style of the Hitchcock Blonde is ever referenced, while watching Vertigo, I couldn’t help but be enticed by Saul Bass’s hypnotic swirls, the ghostly greens and the elongated shadows. One New Yorker article describes this “visual extravagance” as “[conjuring] a vortex of unconscious desires beyond the realm of dramatic machinations.”

Which got me thinking about my mementoes and their silky ribbons, florid words and the spectacular costumes all containing their hidden treasures, no less meaningful for being aesthetically pleasing.

Functional layers can be lovely too…

1. Arlette Lee produces contemporary “premium-quality, stylish garments hand-crafted by artisans” in Peru, using “organic, certified and fair-trade baby alpaca, with full respect of the environment, people and alpacas.” Alpaca is much lighter but warmer than sheep’s wool and doesn’t containing lanolin, meaning it’s usually itch free!

2. The Baoli’s favourite Asquith London fashion their stylish yoga kit from the softest certified organic cotton and bamboo, making their clothes “…kind to animals and the environment, as well as your skin…” and making these leggings perfect for layering.

3. Wool & the Gang “believe in exceptional design that’s made unique, never from a factory”. Their Cross My Heart Wrap is hand-knitted using “Wool & the Gang’s Peruvian Crazy Sexy Wool” by a Peruvian artisan, knitting in their own home.

4. The Baoli shop stocks yoga favourite Carrot Banana Peach, who employ exceptional fabrics, like this aloe vera; which releases amino acids as it’s warmed by body heat. Added to which it’s smell-absorbing, anti-bacterial, and has UV-resistant properties!

5. Brora prides itself on sustainable style, spinning its super-soft yarn at its Scottish mill for 200 years, while the majority of its apparel is still being produced in the UK, meaning you can wear its luxurious cashmere with confidence and pride.

6. Komodo’s concerns are fair trade for their manufacturers and fair chance for the environment. Meaning that items like this cute pencil skirt are either hand-knitted or at least “always hand finished” using only pure yarns – like 100% Merino wool.

About Helen Davis

Helen is a writer and Holistic Colour and Style consultant with a passion for the wellbeing of women and the planet. Her aim is to lead you on a journey of self-discovery: creating an image which reflects the authentic beautiful you inside and out. Combining wardrobe wisdom, goddess-based myth, tales from inspiring women, with ecological and ethical principles, and spirituality she’ll show you how to shine, Adventuress style. To find out more see:

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