Meet Antonia. She’s a stylist, deputy fashion editor at The Express, owner of a sausage dog called Holly, and the self-named ‘sartorial guinea pig’ behind the fabulous Thirty Days blog. (Do also check out her hilarious new incarnation, Flatzilla – as the fashionista tackles flat-owning (and renovation). We love her work and really love her style. In the first of an irregular regular series, she gives us the lowdown on her look (with, naturally, that all-important ‘steal a stylist’s secrets’ bit.)
“As deputy fashion editor for a national newspaper, many of my friends are often surprised that I don’t spend my working days wobbling around in high heels and trussed up in the latest inconvenient fashions. The truth is, for my job I need to be able to run at a moment’s notice to a showroom appointment, build a set or get down on my hands and knees to fasten a model’s vertiginous heels without worrying about going arse over tit on my own shoes. As a result, I’ve developed my own laid back signature fashion tomboy style which is far more manageable – my style uniform is jeans, jewels, flats and something grey.”
My must-haves: jeans
Citizens of Humanity Avedons, £210 at Donna Ida;Baxter jeans, £40, Topshop
“I am the first to admit that good jeans that fit well are hard to find. I am in no way built like your standard issue fashion twiglet and I like to eat, which my thighs are a testament to! When I first made the switch to skinny jeans, I think I tried on every single pair that’s available on the high street and then some. While I still think that Citizens of Humanity’s slick skinny Avedons are the best jeans on the planet – they’re made of bamboo, therefore super stretchy and fit even the most awkward of figures – the price tag attached to them (£210 for the Axels that grace my wishlist) is not-so-loveable, although I am in the process of convincing myself that really, cost-per-wear it TOTALLY makes sense, right? Until I do so, you’ll find me cruising The Outnet and waiting for a pair to pop up.
On the high street, I’ve bought jeans from every major retailer (Zara, Dorothy Perkins, Gap, Miss Selfridge) but I always, always go back to Topshop’s original Baxters – at £40 a pair, they’re not bank breaking and I’ve now taken to buying two pairs at a time whenever they make them in a colour that I love. My two favourites are their mid-grey which I waited for them to reissue for three years after my first pair split (hence the two pairs at a time situation these days, I have learnt from my mistakes) and the olive green shade from AW – they made a nice change from my regular greys and blacks and hit the seasonal trend for military. They are also ridiculously flattering and I constantly get asked where their perfect shade of army green is from.”
My ‘colour’: grey
“It is easy to fall back on a safe uniform of black-black-black but over the years, I have slowly weaned myself off the noir comfort of fashion’s favourite colour. Unfortunately, having a slightly compulsive personality, I have instead channeled my obsessive nature into the colour grey. My never-ending quest to find the perfect grey tee and jumper is slowly driving my poor boyfriend up the wall as my collection continues to expand into his side of the wardrobe. Two of my favourite grey jumpers have both been from Gap – one is a oversized scoop necked sweatshirt that I have worn to the point where the cuffs are starting to fall apart and the other is a cashmere version that I picked up in the sales a few years ago. I constantly visit in the hope that one day they will release something as much loved as my favourites. If you’re looking to really invest though, check out Chinti & Parker – I stalk their sale section for super soft snuggly cashmeres at bargain prices and if anyone out there would like to buy me the rainbow heart sweater, £350, I would die happy.”
“While many of my peers extole the merits of crisp white tees, I am far too messy to be trusted with anything so pristine. Instead, I love loose grey tees – Although pricey, American Apparel make great tees but living on a budget, I cannot fault H&M basics – every summer I fight through the rails of semi sheers and fluoro vests to find the perfect soft cotton concrete-coloured specimen for under a tenner. Again, I immediately buy two just in case. While I have yet to have one fall apart, summer BBQ grease stains have seen some of my favourites consigned to the rags pile over the years.” Grey t-shirt, £7.99, H&M”
My shoes: flats
“As I mentioned earlier, from years of fashion world films such as The Devil Wears Prada you’d probably expect to see a fashion editor tripping around in ridiculous shoes and while that might be the case during fashion week, who says that the aforementioned ridiculous shoes need to be heels? Years of knee dislocations have put paid to my former skyscraper habit so I now stick to shoes with soles that are closer to the pavement. Top of my list are Zara and Office for their fashion forward (read: totally mental) flats. At the moment, I’ve got my beady eyes on a rhinestone studded pair from Zara; that’s not to say that my love of mental studs is confined to just ballet pumps, slippers and loafers – I’ve spent the recent cold spell living in my new Schuh ‘Rebel’ bikers, £100.”
My must-have accessory: a big necklace
“As the daughter of a jewellery designer, it was inevitable that at some point a fixation with the big and sparkly would come to take over my life and my jewellery box. While I’m obsessed with the gorgeousness that is East London’s Mawi, my favourite brand for big yet affordable necklaces is Nocturne, a small company that is mainly available online. While they are huge and beautiful, the necklaces are also often backed on to fabric which means that they don’t snag and are much lighter than some of my other pieces – definitely worth investing in.
However, my main collection is made up of high street wonders – I spent last summer stalking the jewellery section of H&M, plus Freedom at Topshop can always guarantee some sparkly beauties but recently it’s ASOS’ Premium Jewelled Bib Necklace, £40, that has hung around my neck pretty much non-stop. I struggled to pick just one colour (I settled on grey) but am reliably informed that there are plenty of variants hitting the website soon – the neon yellow and lilac versions have already got my credit card burning a hole in my pocket.”