Another week gone already – before we know it we’ll be halfway through the year. It’s been an interesting week for me, as you know my day job includes the creative direction of the products that we develop and this week I’ve had two days out of the office devoted to beautiful things which has to be good for the soul. On Monday I was down in London at a trade show where  the small, creative companies release their concepts for A/W 15. It was really good to spend a day looking at the great ideas that artisans from all over Europe are coming up with. I was able to define the colours that are coming through in interiors and also graphic styles. This isn’t a home blog but I noticed that the trend for forest creatures i.e.foxes, deer etc that has been so prevalent for the last couple of years is waning, birds are still on the up as are geometric patterns and repeats. Mr MC is avoiding my eye as he suspects a ground floor makeover brewing – and he’s right, I have plans!

The other great bit of news for me was that I did really well in the ‘nose’ testing which means that I am now one of 6 official noses in the company. This is going to help me enormously because I will have credibility in the entire process of our product development not just the creative side and there is a lot of work to be done. So I’ve been developing my acuity for rhubarb and tomato leaf this week, two fragrances that are part of the burgeoning botanical trend.

Anyway enough of that, it’s the weekend and time for me to indulge myself in the pursuit of chic in readiness for the weather actually warming up at some point. It hasn’t been as bad up here as it has in the South which makes a change but it’s still chilly. I’m finding that I turn to my jersey dresses from Whistles and Boden a lot – simply because they’re comfortable and I don’t have to think about mixing and matching separates at 6am when the usual early morning chaos is going on around me. By using interesting jewellery and statement shoes I can get through the working week very easily. It doesn’t make for very interesting blog pictures but here’s a new one from Boden that I wore on the only warm day this week:


Boden Betty dress; Whistles shoes

…and here’s an outfit that I put together from older pieces, the lighter colours felt Spring like but I was still warm.

Boden bistro crops; White Stuff long sleeve t-shirt; Whistles blazer; Boden Jackie heels; Jane Akester hammered necklace

A few of you have asked me about the ‘artwork’ that you get glimpses of in my shots. After a year of searching we couldn’t find anything we liked so they were made by Mr MC as a series on the British seaside (because our windows face the sea). This one’s about Brighton and people either get it or they don’t but I like it! (For overseas readers, Brighton is the closest seaside resort to London and so has a colourful cultural scene).


Anyway the second of my ‘creative’ days this week was when I went to see the illustrator Julie Dodsworth. Some of you may know her because she has a popular column in Country Living magazine. Her story is that she owns a canal boat and has always loved painting it in traditional English canal boat style. I think she was driving her family slowly mad with her continual re-scheming so her daughter suggested she turn it into a business and she now works with us and a lot of other companies producing patterns for homewares and fashion. I thought you might like to see a few of the new designs:






Here’s Julie modelling a few pieces with her lovely daughter Beth

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I had to force my Lancastrian body to visit York (and I must admit through teeth that are gritted all the way back to my Platagenet ancestors that it is a truly beautiful city) but it was a lovely day! Here’s a link to Julie’s website if you’d like to see more. Next week I’ll be busy thinking about how we can use what I saw to develop our range for next year.

Back to clothes again, this is what I wore for lunch with Mr MC yesterday – we have been ships passing for the last couple of weeks so we really needed to catch up on everything that’s going on in our lives. We concluded that the plates are all spinning and despite the fact that a lot of them are also smashing, we only have 2 pairs of hands between us and we’ll just have to embrace a degree of chaos for a while. It will be MUCH easier when the boys’ exams are over and our nights don’t consist of endless assistance on revision, especially on subjects like physics that make my brain scream – I try but I just can’t find it interesting, especially at the end of a long day.

A week of midlife chic


Woolovers Breton Stripe Top; Boden superskinny jeans; Zara mid-heel scrappy shoes; Whistles bag

This is a new jumper from Woolovers which I’m finding really useful for the chilly Spring weather. Because it’s silk and cotton it seems to regulate your temperature and I never feel too hot or too cold. I know I’ve mentioned them before but I do think that Woolovers are one of the best places to go to for knitwear, I don’t know how they produce the quality that they do for the price but I’m glad they do – another great British company that we should support if we can. The jeans are the Boden super skinnies that I’ve just discovered and I mentioned last week – the fit is as good as the black ones. The silver Zara shoes are amazingly comfortable and the straps make them really easy to walk in.

I’ve slipped the jumper on again today because I just wanted to show you that it’s longer at the back than the front so it’s great for wearing with skinny jeans. Gary was determined to be in these photos so I let him have his moment!

A week of midlife chic


Nikki Garnett

Woolovers jumper; Next relaxed skinny jeans; Pretty Ballerina ballet pumps

So tonight we’re off across the road to the boys’ old primary school for the annual ‘family fun night’. It’s always one of the highlights of my Spring calendar – I get to spend the evening drinking prosecco with my friends as a warm-up for my birthday next week. I may or may not join in with the highly competitive rounders marathon – it will depend on how well the prosecco is going down as that will decide whether I can hit the ball and run in a straight line!

I’m going to leave you with another of my ‘little big moments.’ This is my precious firstborn striking a pose this morning as he tried on his new dinner suit for his leaver’s ball which is next Friday. He leaves school on the same day. I am compartmentalising and refusing to think about it – how can it possibly be….


Have a lovely weekend one and all. Keep in touch.