Mrs Alice In Her Palace

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It’s been a busy month here at Gift Library HQ, and this week we’re thrilled to introduce our new guest blogger Alice Naylor-Leyland, the woman behind the fabulous lifestyle and fashion blog Mrs Alice in her Palace. With wedding season in full swing, today she’s here to discuss her favourite Gift Library wedding picks, with a ‘more splash than cash’ angle. If you’re searching for some inspiration for a friends upcoming nuptials then look no further, she’s got you covered! -GLx

PS- While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out her swoon-worthy instagram @aliceinherpalace

The Launch Of 'Mrs. Alice In Her Palace' At Fortnum & Mason

Wedding season is here. Finding a gift that feels individual rather than ‘tick list’ can be tricky, especially as multiple invitations pile up on the mantel, demanding a stack of ideas and a rising budget to go with it. With that in mind, my first Gift-library edit is a handy edit of cool wedding pressies that don’t cost the earth.

 Scarlett Willow’s personalised place mats are absolutely charming, and perfect for newlyweds who want to create warm, personal touches within their living space. Use photos of the happy couple as kids or of loved-up party moments (or wedding snaps if you’re sending after the big day).

placematsJonathan Adler’s ‘Mr. & Mrs. Muse’ place card holders are divinely whimsical. Brass lips and moustaches? A wedding gift that will turn any Friday night dinner into a fun, celebratory feast.

lipsJonathan Adler’s ‘Mr. & Mrs. Muse’ mugs are another lovely-to-live-with example of the designer’s penchant for conjuring domestic bliss. Hand sculpted with a moustache on one side and a pair of lips on the other, these mugs will brighten up any tea break for two.

cupsTaschen’s book profiling photographer Peter Beard is a faultless gift, and highly collectible. My husband and I were given a copy in 2011, and it still takes pride of place on our coffee table. The perfect place to find a splash of inspiration for turning life into a work of art on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

 PETER_BEARD_VOL_I_FO_3D.TIFGift-library’s snakeskin photo frames make a nicely luxurious gift. Present with your favourite photo of the happy couple inside and show you’ve spent time thinking about how to celebrate their landmark day.

framesI was so excited when I found Silken Favour’s Psychadelic Swine cushion. It’s totally fun, unique, amusing, and sure to charm all nest-building newly weds who want to put a cool, contemporary stamp on their home.

pillowFor something chic and timeless, William Yeoward’s Champagne Coupe glasses are a perfect wedding gift. A must for any bar and on trend with their slinky Art Deco shape, I am tempted to treat us to a pair for our own drinks tray too.

flutesFor couples who are alive to the five senses and like to create a beautiful atmosphere, the-oh-so-opulent ‘Glass Vessel’ candle by Feu de Beaumont is an always-welcome pressie.

candleI couldn’t resist adding B Home’s bridge set to my edit. An ideal gift for games lovers, and coming in three shades of soft leather, it won’t stay hidden in the back of a cupboard, that’s for sure.

bridgeFor the green-fingered couple, Le Prince Jardinière’s rose pruners and dust bag makes a genius gift. A little touch of perfectionist luxury that you’d never normally buy for yourself, it becomes a sweet and thoughtful wedding pressie.

rosesAnd with girlfriends in mind, Melissa Odabash’s personalised bridal bikini is cool, witty perfection. Embellished in small crystals on the back of the bikini brief, I can’t think of a better honeymoon view for both newlyweds to admire. Well… apart from Design a Manger’s personalised espadrilles. I mean, too clever! Coming in blues, pinks, oranges and reds, these really are an impressively personal, not to mention hip, gift for the bride and groom.

just married espadrillesMakes me want to get married all over again. Happy shopping!

Alice xXx

Gift Library Rebrand

Here at Gift Library HQ, we’re so proud to announce the launch of our brand new website! Designed with a whole new look and feel, our streamlined site has a chic, user friendly vibe that can be used and enjoyed across all channels.

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Our first newsletter gives a glimpse into our luxe new look, from #selfiegifting to summer staples – have you had a chance to browse yet? Let us know your thoughts! http://www.gift-library.com/ -GLx

Ladies of London

Watch out New York, Ladies of London are taking over! After touching down in the Big Apple on Tuesday, Caroline has been taking the city by storm. From meet-and-greets to interviews, and her first live on air appearance, we think it’s safe to say #TeamCaroline is here to stay! New York is always a good idea. Check out her interview on CBS NY here: -GLx

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Peels and Panties

Last Thursday we were lucky enough to be invited to Medico Beauty’s evening at EF MEDI SPA on the King’s Road, followed by champagne at the gorgeous lingerie shop Petits Bisous. Peels and Panties. Count us in. Whilst sipping on cucumber water, we had an eye opening discussion with the gorgeous Aysha Campion-Awwad, who educated us about the causes of problem-prone skin, and what one can do to prevent everything from ageing to acne.

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With today’s obsession with beauty ever growing, and women as young as their 20’s trying desperately to stop ageing in its tracks whether with a nip and tuck, or going down a more natural route, it was interesting to hear her analogy of skin, describing your complexion as a bank account:  ‘every time you go into the sun without protection you are taking money out that you cannot put back in.’ We’ll certainly remember that next time we’re working on our holiday tans!

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Next up was a terrifying looking machine called the Image Pro Digital Analyser that photographs the aging process of our skin, helping the practitioner to really understand the very root of your skin issues, allowing them to prescribe the best treatment appropriate. The machine is fitted with a special camera attached to a computer, providing an incredible photographic analysis of skin quality on a very advanced level. From sun damage and lines to oil, blemishes and dryness, nothing can escape this little camera, with everything shown in much more detail than could ever be picked up on with just the naked eye.  It gave a whole new meaning to the no makeup selfie!

Aysha Campion-Awwad

After our consultation it was time for the fun part; we were each given a 15 minute ‘Mini Benefactor Face Peel’ by an expert beautician, using a heavenly scented gel peel that is made using fruit based enzymes from berries and l-lactic acid (which comes from yogurt!). We were told that this non-wounding resurfacing treatment encourages skin renewal, leaving a healthy, luminous complexion. It softens, exfoliates and stimulates while lightening, brightening and repairing damaged skin.

This was followed by a mineral makeup touch up by new beauty line Young Bloods, which felt like a serious treat, and left our skin noticeably glowing! We were rather alarmed by how many comments we got on our radiant skin – this might be the start of something beautiful.

And then for the peeling off part. We were led through a silk curtain, hiding the mischief behind the door where we were confronted by trays of sushi served by semi-naked waiters. The boys’ eyes were definitely more taken by the bevy of beautiful girls showing off the gorgeous Petits Bisous lingerie though. It was all certainly a sight for sore eyes, everyone was so beautiful it was difficult to know where to look!

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Just another average Thursday night for the Gift Library girls.

Until next time! -GL x

Silvercross

Spotted! Two of our very happy customers Claudia Galanti and Tamara Ecclestone with their iconic Silvercross prams courtesy of Gift Library. For custom and bespoke orders, including endless options for personalization, please contact emma@gift-library.com for inquiries! Congrats to the happy parents! -GLx

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Shades of Spring

With blossom on the trees and Spring fast approaching, we’ve put together a list of must have items that are perfect for injecting on-trend colour into your wardrobe this season. So clean out that clutter and update your everyday essentials to bold neons and eye-catching pastels for a cool, summer ready look. -GLx

Sophie Hulme Mini Zip Top Bowling Bag in Chartreuse:

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Tom Binns Multi Coloured Asymmetric Crystal Necklace:

multi Painted Crystal Necklace_1Matthew Williamson Kahlo Tribal Mini Shoulder Bag in Neon Fuchsia:

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Italia Independent Aviator Sunglasses in Neon Green:

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Beautiful Bottoms Interview

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We sat down with the young and inspirational designers Lauren Skerritt and Poppy Sexton-Wainwright from new lingerie kid on the block Beautiful Bottoms to catch up on young women in business going it alone. -GLx

POPPY ANSWERS:

Tell us a little about yourselves and your company Beautiful Bottoms? How did it come into being?

We were studying at Newcastle University, and we decided to create Beautiful Bottoms as a result of a module involving an entrepreneurial business plan. By the time we left Newcastle we were just excited to be able to focus full time on BB.

What did you both take at University that lead you into your field, and eventually to become entrepreneurs? Or are you self taught?

We both studied Marketing and Management, and as I explain above some of our skills learnt at Newcastle helped us… the marketing and accounting side of our course has certainly come into use. But the majority of the way through we have self taught ourselves, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of advice from people along the way.

Has it been difficult launching a start-up company at such a young age? What are the best and worst parts about running your own business?

It has certainly been challenging, but it has also been incredibly rewarding – it is nice to know that all the hard work is actually going on something you feel very passionate about and believe in.

Having had very little experience of working within a fashion company I would say was, and still is to an extent our biggest challenge. However, it also has its benefits as we have created our own practices that suit us and work well.

What is it like running a business with a close friend?

It is extremely lucky I would say, to be able to work in an environment day in day out with someone that you understand and click with. To also be on the same wave length with someone who you work with in such close proximity and travel with a lot is very handy – especially when sharing hotel rooms and being at trade shows for hours on end.

What advice would you give to other people launching their own companies?

I would advise perhaps to gain some industry experience before embarking on your own launch – I think that this would have made our lives considerably easier. However we have got there in the end… or at least we are well on our way!

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LAUREN ANSWERS:

What are the inspirations behind your latest collections?

The SS14 collection is the most exciting collection to date with the beachwear launch. Each piece in the collection pays tribute to the seasons key prints and colours drawn from the Moroccan Mirage; bold botanics, abstract aztec, intricate plumes in a mixture of pop pinks, acid lemons and vivid tangerines. Poppy and I are huge fans of Morocco and wanted to create a collection which reflected the magnificent colour palette!

Tell us about your favourite pieces? What is it you love about them?

My favourite would have to be the Neon Aztec Bandeau Bikini Set. It’s super striking and such a flattering fit. The neon playsuit is also going in the Summer Holiday wardrobe – it is the perfect pool side coverup in a soft slouchy fit.

Where do you source your materials from? Where are your clothes manufactured?

Poppy and I design all our prints in our London Studio. A huge amount of thought and time goes into the design process to ensure there is a print for everyone! We work with china for the silk printing and manufacturing. Their silks are beautiful! We sand wash all our silks to make them as soft as possible!

What is the most exciting thing that has happened to Beautiful Bottoms so far?

When we launched the brand in Selfridges this was a very happy moment! Seeing the brand in British Vogue last December was great too and also when a celebrity buys the brand this is very exciting!

What are both of your dreams and aspirations for the company?

We would love for Beautiful Bottoms to be sold in the top luxury retailers worldwide and become a destination for the best in printed silk lingerie, lounge and beachwear. We would love every girl to have a Beautiful Bottoms piece in their summer holiday wardrobe!

Describe your perfect customer? What type of girls wear your clothes?

Relaxed, happy, fashion-forward!

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