In preparation for my own escape to the sun this winter I have been searching London high and low in pursuit of the perfect holiday wardrobe – no mean feat whilst still in the depths of winter. Ever the fashionista I am, taking inspiration from the Spring/Summer 07 catwalks, coveting neon brights teamed with creamy caramels a-la-Christopher Kane, whilst shimmery pale gold and light-as-air chiffons will come into their own with a golden tan.
Braving the changing room after a Christmas season of serious indulgence is never a pleasant task, so the shopping destinations need to be all the more special to ease the struggle. For pure ambience and experience I head to Notting Hill, where my favourites are top-end boutiques Heidi Klein and Pistol Panties. Pistol Panties bikinis never fail to make you feel and look like a fifties starlet , concealing and revealing in all the right places. The appropriately named ‘Kate’ style is top of my wishlist – the sparkly gold is very Princess Leia, especially when teamed with a Melissa Odabash kaftan from Heidi Klein. This one-stop holiday shop’s style is more pared down beach chic, but the experience is no less spoiling. As well as a magnificent selection of bikinis by the likes of Missoni, the in-house beauty salon will buff manicure and tan you so that you’re well and truly ready for the sun.
If you can’t make it to Notting Hill my best advice is to shop online where websites like www.figleaves.com have an infinite selection and www.Cocobay.co.uk has a free returns policy and stocks hip Aussie brands Seafolly and Moontide. For those on the other side of the Atlantic, www.shopbop.com is the only way to go – snap up a hot pink Diane Von Furstenburg Beach or printed Marc Jacobs bikini whilst they’re still in stock.
For the rest of the poolside ensemble the shades to covet are by Tom Ford or Oliver Peoples, but if you’re channelling Kate Moss and co, Ray Ban Wayfarers are the only way to go. Chic scarves make for elegant headgear – some of the Celia Birtwell for Topshop ones are still on Ebay , and will protect your hair from the sun. Complete the look with a Pucci sarong – the prints really comes into their own in the blazing sunlight, whilst the perfect footwear would be the white Charlie Shell sandals by Bo’Em. At $215 from Bergdorfgoodman.com they’re not cheap, but hey, a girl can dream…