by Camilla Ridley
Christmas is the perfect time to add some sparkle into your wardrobe. Four fabulous fashion influencers discuss their favourite festive looks and tips and preview our new Ridley London statement metallic silk dresses
Sammy @theturqoiseflamingo wears two distinct Christmas looks (from left) teaming a Ridley London floral print cotton maxi skirt with a metallic shirt and shoes for a more relaxed look. While (right) wearing a statement Ridley London Rebecca Carmen maxi dress which is individually made in England from luxurious metallic isadora feather Liberty print silk
And suddenly we’re in December, back into a tiers system and all hoping for some sense of relative normality, and the chance to see one another for a few days over this festive period. While the scientists and politicians endlessly model and debate the possible guidelines and outcomes, I thought I would focus this post on something a little more optimistic and tangible. Whatever this Covid Christmas has in store, it’s key we remain positive and full of festive cheer. With this in mind, I got together on zoom earlier this week with a group of my favourite influencers, to talk about how they plan to get the most out of this Christmas. From unique family traditions, top secret culinary tips and favourite personal indulgences to their festive fashion 'must haves’ and ’smart buys’ for the season ahead, we covered a lot of ground. I hope this will give you some positive inspiration and wherever you are and whoever you're spending it with you have a great Christmas.
How are you all feeling about this Christmas and do you have any plans yet?
Sammy @theturqoiseflamingo: To be honest we still have no idea! We are so desperate to see family but not quite sure what the right thing to do is this year. Although I am certain that the 5 of us will be together and we will have a lovely time together eating, unwrapping and generally having fun as a family.
Sarah @seenonsarah: Yes, I think we’ll probably be having a quiet Christmas with just the four of us in our new home. Whilst we’ll miss seeing our extended family, we’ll make the most of this special time together and it’s so exciting to be somewhere new.
Becky @bricksandstitches: We were meant to be having a big family Christmas with my sister and parents but we obviously now can't which is sad. Instead we will be having a quiet Christmas at home We are going out for lunch on Christmas Day though which will make the day a bit more special (and will give me a good reason to get dressed up!). We are heading off to the Cotswolds on Boxing Day for my husband Jamie's birthday celebrations.
Francesca @francescarowanplowden: We will just be a home, we are a big family already with 6 children between us so it just be us and our nearest relatives. Feeling excited though, as it’ll be nice to have an excuse to dress up!
What will you be wearing on Christmas Day?
Sarah: The truth is I’ll probably change! I’ll start out in my new pair of luxurious Ridley London silk lounge pants and lashings of cashmere and later on velvet and sequins will undoubtedly be on the cards! And, of course, if I happened to be given a Chanel Classic handbag, that wouldn’t leave my side!
Becky: Without a doubt my beautiful new green velvet Ridley Tarra Anne dress, which is completely on trend right now and incredibly flattering and easy.
Sammy: I start the day in PJs while we all unwrap our stockings and then when it’s lunchtime, I glam up. Anything with sequins or a puff sleeve, like your divine new Ridley London silk velvet Tarra-Anne maxi dress would be perfect, somehow Christmas dinner always tastes so much better if you’re dressed up.
Francesca: I'll be wearing my new Ridley Anne printed floral silk maxi dress and my new Sarah Flint shoes
(left) Interior decorator and stylist Francesca Rowan-Plowden wears a luxurious Ridley London velvet maxi dress in sumptuous ruby silk velvet. (right) writer, campaigner and presenter Deborah James @bowelbabe opts for a mini skirt and Anne top combination both in ruby velvet giving the look of a dress with the versatility of separates
What do you think makes a great Christmas look?
Sammy: Comfort is key to start with, no one wants to spend the day in something that you can’t get down on the floor in and play the odd board game in. That being said, sparkles always make me happy, but whatever makes you feel fabulous, pop your favourite frock on to enjoy the day if it makes you feel great. And slippers at all times!
Sarah: I think you want something really special - a real show stopper that makes you feel part old style Hollywood movie star, part English rose - but most of all, ethical, sustainable, enduring and luxurious (can I add a stretchy waistband too?!)
Francesca: For me, it's always about feeling relaxed yet glamorous. With Christmas at home with our immediate families this year, getting the balance right is even more of a challenge. I love your Ridley London dresses which really get that effortless, easy glamour spot on. Most importantly a change of shoes half way through the day!!
Becky: I love dressing up on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve I usually wear something with a bit of sparkle, I absolutely love your new Ridley London gold Tarra dress in that incredible metallic floral print silk which I recently tried on. It's made me feel very glamorous. On Christmas Day my dress has to make me feel special but comfort is key. I have always loved velvet for Christmas Day and elasticated smocking like your new Tarra-Anne dress would be perfect as it is super comfortable and would grow with me throughout the course of the day!!
What item do you think everyone should have on their Christmas list?
Sammy: A good coat and some fabulous PJs. I absolutely love my luxurious floral liberty print Ridley London pyjamas. So great to snuggle up in. Failing that, it doesn’t hurt to pop a pair of Chanel earrings on the list in hope!
Becky: I also love your new Ridley London silk pyjamas, they're a fabulous luxury, the most amazing thing to sleep in and you'll get so much wear out of them.
Francesca: I’d like to say Diamonds... but this year I think a pair of beautiful printed floral silk pyjamas are a must!
Sarah: An Isabel Marant Lecce belt will bring any outfit beautifully up to date, and, for a stocking filler, I actually love Fenjal bath oil and Palmers cocoa butter body lotion which are both under £5 and smell divine!
(Left) Influencer Becky @bricksandstitches embraces an elegant festive look in a new Ridley London Tarra-Anne maxi dress which was individually made to measure in England and tailored to fit in her choice of sumptuous green velvet. (Right) Becky sparkles in a Ridley London statement Tarra maxi dress in shimmering printed metallic silk
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without….
Sammy: Lindt chocolate balls by the gallon, and the family game Pie face which is a source of massive amusement in our house as each person gets splatted in the face with squirts cream! That and ‘Elf on the Shelf’ who comes out and gets up to mischief every night around the house. I love that 2 of my kids know he’s not really magic but they play along with the the tradition of finding him in the morning for my youngest.
Sarah: Someone introduced me to the malteser game a while ago which is huge fun! It consists of one person rolling a malterser down a stiff tape measure into the mouth of the opposite person - it sounds ridiculous but there’s quite a technique to it and it’s jolly good fun! And, being from Devon, it simply HAS to be clotted cream with my Christmas pudding.
Becky: Waking up and having a glass of champagne while the children open their stockings, followed by a cooked breakfast and a walk to the pub on Christmas Day morning.
Francesca: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and the film White Christmas, I’ve watched it religiously every Christmas since I was 7yrs old! A complete classic.
What's your favourite festive indulgence?
Becky: Escaping to the mountains, which is unfortunately off the table this year. So it's got to be good champagne.
Francesca: Jo Malone bath oil and a long relaxed, family free soak.
Sarah: This sounds terribly dull, but it’s actually being organised! That’s my biggest luxury! If I actually manage to carve out enough time prior to Christmas to ensure the house looks twinkly, the gifts are wrapped and the food bought and will actually fit in the fridge, without me being a frazzled mess by Christmas Eve, then that would be my ultimate indulgence! And we had Louis Roederer for our wedding champagne, so that’s always a favourite. But my best ever moment was when my youngest burst into tears on Christmas morning when he was opening his stocking - for a horrible moment I thought he was disappointed or Father Christmas had brought the wrong thing, but it was tears of absolute joy - just priceless!
Sammy: I always get a new pair of winter pyjamas which feels such a treat. Your beautiful Ridley London ones are right at the top of my list. That and I like to fill up a huge glass jar in our kitchen with assorted Lindt chocolate balls which we plough through whether it’s breakfast lunch or dinner time!
(left) Francesca @francescarowanplowden relaxes in a Ridley London made to measure floral silk Anne maxi dress in statement red Eustacia Liberty print silk. Meanwhile (right) Sarah @seenonsarah wears the same statement Anne maxi dress in sumptuous ruby silk velvet
What is your best buy for this winter?
Sammy: For me winter is all about Chunky knits and chunky boots. They are brilliant pieces that you can pair with floral dresses, leather leggings, jeans, or of course any of your fabulous Liberty print floral Sammy skirts. So wearable! Chunky boots are practical and comfortable trend that can grunge up any floral dress if you don’t want to look too girlie.
Sarah: I LOVE knitwear - it’s always been a passion on mine but hand knits are so very special. And silk is another favourite for me in Winter as it’s so lightweight, soft against the skin but breathable and luxurious. Lockdown didn’t make much difference to my everyday style as I have worked from home for years and, with my passion for fashion, I have always loved the process of getting dressed every day - but I definitely now don’t keep things for best!
Becky: A cashmere hoodie, trainers as its still pretty mild and of course my fabulous Ridley London liberty print floral silk skirts.
What are your big trend predictions for Spring and summer?
Becky: Anything bright and optimistic. we will all desperately need a boost of colour by then. I suspect there will be lots of parties, weddings and events next year to make up for this year so dresses will be key. I'm really looking forward to seeing the new collection of Ridley London dresses you're working on for next season and I hope there will be lots of bright silks and beautiful floral prints.
Sarah: I agree, I think there will be a real lightness of spirit as the pandemic gradually recedes and, with that, will come a sense of playfulness and fun. A lightness of being, a weight off our shoulders, so I will be looking forwards to the frou frou, the frothy and the delightfully frivolous! Prettiness, pastels and playfulness - I can’t wait to see what amazing new luxurious statement dresses you bring us!
Sammy: Chunky loafers will be big! It’s a trend that has come around a second time and I still love them! Powdery Sorbet Pastels, Camel with bright colours and Folk inspired pieces look like they’ll continue to be popular. Although who even knows? Trends come and go, I think it’s wiser to do your own thing and give a nod to a trend rather than dictate your style around it. Style is very much a personal thing and I think the people who dress well are those pioneering their own looks, that then feed back into mainstream.
Francesca: Yes, I agree. I think every one is going to go super colourful, playful and expressive this summer. The beautiful printed silk florals and big prints like Ridley London do so well will be really popular. We're all going to need statement pieces to wear to special occasions.
Our new collection of festive Ridley London dresses and maxi dresses is available to purchase on-line and in our London store. Celebrate your individuality this Christmas in a unique dress that's made to measure from your choice of any of our stunning shimmering metallic and printed floral silks or sumptuous silk velvets. Either visit us in store or call us to arrange a virtual fitting:
Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 01730 823097