With an army of stylists and designers at her fingertips, getting dressed should come easy for the former Kate Middleton. However in recent years, we’ve come to watch – encouragingly – as the royal has honed a small collection of labels that she continually rewears and favours. This week, the Duchess of Cambridge again looked to British label Eponine for her visit to the west end’s production of Evan Hansen. Led by creative director Jet Shenkman, the label continually references the polished glamour of the 50s and 60s to deliver collections that are tailored, while still modern. And it’s not just favoured by the royals; inspired by a checked boucle shift dress worn by Catherine in 2016, Carrie Symonds also chose the Kensington-based brand in 2019 when she visited the Queen at her Balmoral estate. Rented from MWHQ, Carrie stamped her own style on a blue and white tweed dress by styling it with knee-high flat boots for a Sixties twist.
Last night we were honoured to sponsor and announce the winner of the Circular Economy Pioneer of the Year accolade at this year’s Positive Luxury awards, held at London’s Kimpton Fitzroy hotel. Hosted by Stephen Webster and Lisa Snowden, wearing rented Mother of Pearl, MY WARDROBE HQ chair Jane Shepherdson presented the accolade – judged by an expert panel including Arizona Muse, Doina Ciobanu and Amber Valetta – to Linde Werdelin, beating off stiff competition from Rebecca Taylor and industry stalwarts, Louis Vuitton. It was a fitting event to announce MY WARDROBE HQ’s partnership with Positive Luxury.
MY WARDROBE HQ’s Jane Shepherdson & Lily Travers wearing rented Isabelle Fox, Christopher Kane and Huishan Zhang at the Positive Luxury Awards 2020
Famed for its Butterfly Mark, Positive Luxury recognises a brand’s actions across these key areas: governance, social and environmental frameworks, community impact and innovation. Positive Luxury evaluates brands through a comprehensive assessment process that is reviewed by its Sustainability Council of thought leaders, industry experts and institutional partners; when a brand passes the assessment process, they receive the Butterfly Mark, which visibly authenticates luxury brands that contribute to a better world.
Speaking of the partnership with MY WARDROBE HQ, Positive Luxury’s CEO and Co-Founder Diana Verde Nieto said, “We are proud to partner with MY WARDROBE HQ because it is a great business; you can rent instead of buy and be more mindful of how you live your life.”
CEO and Founder Sacha Newall concurs: “As pioneers in the sustainable fashion field and promoters of the circular economy with our unique rent and buy model, MY WARDROBE HQ is delighted to partner with Positive Luxury to help promote a more mindful and sustainable consumption of fashion.”
In a retail first, from today customers can rent fashion from MY WARDROBE HQ in store at Liberty’s iconic Great Marlborough street store.
Customers can browse a selection of womenswear RTW and accessories on the 1st floor between 11th February – 31st March, with designers including Coach, The Vampire’s Wife, Lulu Guinness, Gucci, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Rixo, Franks London and so many more. From weddings and races to galas and garden parties; our specially curated edit of event wear exclusively available at Liberty will see you through every occasion across the year. Partnering with Liberty London on this project, MY WARDROBE HQ founder and CEO Sacha Newall explains, “Liberty London has so much heritage, there really is no other department store like it. We’re all about experiencing newness in a modern way and Liberty is all about heritage, while embracing the new; it’s a revolutionary new way of consuming fashion and I can’t think of a better brand to partner with.”
Here, Liberty London’s Chief Marketing Officer, Madeline Macey reveals why Liberty has partnered with MY WARDROBE HQ and how she sees rental and retail co-existing…
Why did you choose to partner with MWHQ? As a retailer that has always championed discovery, we are excited to be working with MY WARDROBE HQ who are disrupting the way customers are shopping in a sustainable way which we know our customers will respond to.
Who is the Liberty woman and why do you think she will embrace MWHQ and fashion rental as a concept? Ours is an artistic shopper, they don’t answer to trends but their own self-expression. They have also been actively informing us of their desire to shop fashion and accessories in a more sustainable way so I’m excited to see how they respond. Our vintage offer, which we have had for 14 years, has grown 66% up YoY which is a direct example of how our customers shop outside of the norm.
How do you see rental and retail co-existing? At Liberty, we have always embraced quality craftsmanship and design over fast-fashion, and so are delighted to offer our customers a new way to enjoy the Liberty edit. We stock designers and pieces we believe will last longer than a season in someone’s wardrobe, but also appreciate sometimes you have the need for a one off special moment, or particular time in your life like a holiday or a Honeymoon that requires some designer supplements! Shopping consciously is the way forward.
Which designers do you think are excelling/embracing sustainable fashion? BITE Studio are a new brand we are bringing on board who have some great tailoring I will be wearing this season, while Paloma Wool is a big winner with our customers already.
What inspired the Liberty collection featured in our edit? The Liberty RTW collection has only just launched to much fanfare. It’s a beautifully detailed collection created here in our London studio inspired by prints from the archive and each piece is timeless.
Which pieces from the Liberty collection would work well for renting and how would you style them with existing wardrobe pieces? Our classic Hera peacock print has been re-imagined in gold, brown and black which is how Liberty do Leopard print! I will be wearing the shirts and dresses across different looks.
Visit MY WARDROBE HQ on the 1st floor at Liberty London between 11th February – 31st March 2020.
It’s that time of year to hit the snow capped mountains. To glide effortlessly down the slopes, sip aperol spritz and overindulge in melted cheese. But what will you wear?
Thankfully, gone are the days of duvet-esque snowsuits that turn even the most waif-like into puffy marshmallows. Instead it’s hello to stylish, sleek and totally gorgeous ski outfits that deserve as much attention off the slopes as on them. Perfect Moment has embraced this philosophy with both poles and created a fabulous selection of fitted, brightly coloured and really flattering ski apparel.
But what’s that I hear you cry? You can’t justify the expense? Well fret not, there’s no need to drag your Bridget Jones style clobber out of the loft. Thanks to fashion rental you can rent skiwear for a fraction of the retail price. Why would you even want to buy skiwear new, when next season you’re bound to want to mix up your style? Instead pick from the fabulous selection of skiwear MY WARDROBE HQ has to rent and you’re guaranteed to turn heads this season. The gorgeous Chamonix jacket is equal measure stylish and practical. Pair it with some super hot skinny pants to look the part. Or why not channel Charlie’s Angels and rent an attention grabbing all-in-one. Or pay tribute to our legendary jumper, Eddie the Eagle in this fab Stella McCartney sweater.
It couldn’t be simpler – just browse the platform, click on the items you would like to rent (don’t forget to check the sizing) and the items will be sent your way pronto. Once your 4, 7, 10 or 14 days are up, you simply pop the item in the pre-paid envelope and mail it back. Every item you rent, but don’t actually wear, you will receive a refund upon its return. Whatever your style, MY WARDROBE HQ clothes rental has got you covered.
And seeing as renting fashion is so much more accessible and affordable, why just rent the one outfit for the week? Instead, make like a royal and rent several ski outfits to keep your look as fresh as the powdered snow.
Re-wearing outfits on the red carpet is nothing new; A-listers often opt for vintage creations from designers such as Valentino or Ralph Lauren to stand out amongst the crowd. While Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is lauded for her ‘thrifty’ choice to re-wear. But as sustainable fashion becomes a movement more than a buzzword, brands have been quick to challenge the status quo and adopt wearing past season’s fashion as the norm.
None more so than BAFTA, who for this year’s awards is “working towards having a net positive impact on the environment,” and politely issued a sustainable dress code to its attendees. Working with the London College of Fashion, UAL’s Centre For Sustainable Fashion (CSF) – which looks at three intersecting areas: research, education and knowledge exchange with industry – they have created a guideline to dressing so guests such as Olivia Coleman, Margot Robbie and Jennifer Aniston – who wore vintage Dior to the SAGS – can dare to re-wear by choosing either an item previously worn, an item from a sustainable fashion designer such as Stella McCartney, or a rented item – enter MY WARDROBE HQ.
Our collection of 3000+ items includes pre-loved pieces from individual’s wardrobes as well as items from emerging and established designers including Mother of Pearl, Amanda Wakeley and Bora Aksu provides consumers with a virtual dressing up box full of items to play with. It’s not only kinder to the planet but lighter on the pocket too..
Having grown up with a grandfather working as a producer on films during the golden age, the notion of old glamour is one that my eye is inherently drawn to; the world of the beau monde – starlets, big gowns, jewels and a red lip gave me my first insight into the transformative power of clothing and its ability to capture a persona. From Marlene Dietrich – the first woman to wear a tux (at the time, she could have gone to jail for it) and whom went onto influence YSL’s ‘Le Smoking’ collection to the liberation defined by Bardot and her fellow French muses; these women embodied strength and empowerment ahead of their eras.
As we live in times of visual over saturation and stimulation, as the speed and turnover of fashion has become so excessive that designers and luxury houses need to keep looking elsewhere for content, the last few seasons have seen a return to seminal film references: Virginie Viard’s debut RTW collection for Chanel SS20 took influence from French New Wave cinema; Christopher Kane segued sexual symbolism through Pre-AW’19 via Marilyn Monroe, whilst Molly Goddard became a global name through the screen dressing Killing Eve’s psychopath assassin, Villanelle.
As 2020’s award season begins, it continues to highlight not only the powerful gaze of the red carpet but the symbiosis between fashion and film glamour. With this in mind, I referenced seminal screen moments and borrowed pieces from MY WARDROBE HQ to show how they could work, whatever your generation.
She’s gone from studio assistant to helming the sustainable label that’s on everyone’s lips; we meet Mother of Pearl’s Amy Powney – the fashion designer who’s on a mission to change the way women shop.
What does sustainability mean to you?
I can’t think of a more important conversation right now than climate change, the future of all our homes, the quality of our lives and all that inhabit it. Not many people know, but the fashion and textile industry is one of the top contributors to climate change – this is why it’s such an important topic and a conversation that we all need to collectively feed into to make positive change together.
How do you educate yourself on the sustainable changes you need to make – as a person and as a brand?
Sustainability is a mindset, once you’ve started questioning things and opening your eyes, it will naturally infiltrate into every single thing you do. Research is key, finding solutions that give you what is needed with the least possible impact on people and the planet. My team and I simply started with Google; it takes time to research, but it is possible to find solutions and implement better practices. Mother of Pearl embraces sustainability from a holistic point of view: from restructuring the supply chain in accordance to fully ethical practices to creating a plastic bottle-free studio and low-waste working environment in our London HQ. Sustainability shouldn’t mean missing out. I see it as an opportunity to look into ways of doing things differently. On a personal level, I’m trying to reduce my air travel, so last summer I took the train to Avignon in the South of France; I definitely didn’t feel deprived, in fact the opposite, it was one of my favorite holidays with great friends. I’m also trying to buy second hand and rent as much as possible for my baby, where I do have to buy I am trying to make sure it’s the things needed for a long time or sustainable pieces I can keep or pass onto a friend.
Winning the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2017 allowed you to launch your No Frills collection – what was the most important thing that you learned from this?
Through exploring our supply chain and looking into how we can re-develop the way we create at Mother of Pearl, we actually ended up making savings (which surprised us all!) and found we could sell classic pieces for lower prices, this is how “No Frills” was born; a fully sustainable line of core classics for everyday wear. Everything we have learnt, and continue to learn, infiltrates all of our processes throughout the Mother of Pearl collections.
What do you want the Mother of Pearl legacy to be?
Sustainability is the backbone of everything we do at Mother of Pearl and every piece we make has sustainability in mind. Our aim with all the work we have been doing is to not only offer a product, but to start a movement. My next mission is to use social media to empower and educate about the impact of fashion on the planet and how we can work together to make a change – stay tuned!
What kind of Mother of Pearl pieces can customers now rent or buy from MY WADRROBE HQ?
We curated a mix of our sustainably produced eveningwear collections – pieces that you can really paint the town green in! We love them paired with a chunky earring and a statement heel!
And if you could choose a favourite piece?
Our beautiful green Emmie dress which was worn by actress, producer and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the Cannes Film awards in 2018.
What sustainable hack should we be adopting for the New Year?
I always stand by some basic tips to live more sustainably; change your energy supplier to a green one, shop less but buy better quality (or try renting!), swap meat for vegetarian for as many days per week as you can, support local farm to home businesses for your food and buy a re-useable water bottle and coffee cup. These things are easy to do and make a huge difference, some of them cost a little more and others a little less so it evens out.
Who should we be following on Instagram?
@gretathunberg for a reminder that no one is too small to make a difference
Last podcast you listened to or Netflix boxset you watched and why we need to be tuned in…
One Strange Rock is the most incredible eye-opening documentary I’ve seen in years. Narrated by Will Smith, this series shares the perspectives of our planet through the voices of eight astronauts.
Who inspires you and why…
Jameela Jamil because she isn’t afraid to speak her mind and the way she has used social media to create an incredible community with @Iweigh.
How are you spending the festive season?
As I’m 8 months pregnant, I will be firmly putting my feet up in my London home and not travelling. I will be eating my way through delicious food, hanging out with my husband and having a quiet one. I will of course be working on my new social media project launching next year but from the comfort of my sofa probably with hypnobirthing audio in the background!
I can’t quite believe I’d never been to Borough Market until last weekend. That’s 24 years of missing out on a vital part of British history. On a Saturday the market is a concoction of delicious smells, things to look at and people enjoying food and the plentiful tasters. But what impressed me most is Borough Market’s pioneering sustainability mission.
There is one commonality in all businesses at Borough Market: that all trade must show that they are thinking sustainably. They must promote alternatives to mainstream methods of food production and consumption that help to make a difference to our planet. For suppliers, this means prioritising sustainability over profit. For consumers it means eating with the seasons, knowing the provenance of ingredients, favouring pasture-fed meat, buying only what’s needed and eating every bit of it. They are pioneering the way to sustainability as by 2020 100% of produce must come from sustainable sources.
Recycling at Borough Market
The Market has a big aim: to ensure that every bit of leftover food is used – to see raw materials where others see refuse. With sustainable food choices, what is left over is recycled, or goes to the charity Plan Zheroes that distribute surplus produce from many of the stalls to local charities.
A coffee fan? Around 600kg of spent coffee grounds are collected each month and then transformed into biofuels and fertilisers, some of which is reused in the Market Hall’s planting beds.
In recent years, the Market has had a major push in going plastic free. You won’t find any single use plastic and remember to take your water bottle to fill up from their fountains (they’re saving 10,500 bottles every week).
We had our eyes on the Turnip pumpkin curry. Turnips distribute quality fruit and vegetables for both restaurants and your weekly shop and are the leaders of a dynamic food movement, having supplied London for 27 years.
Ted’s Veg is the place for organic produce. They are leading the fight to eradicate waste and are both plastic free and provide Plan Zheroes with hundreds of kilos of edible but non-sellable fruit and veg every week. Grown with love, you will taste the difference.
Quantum – The Solution to Living a Sustainable Life in London
Borough Market is pioneering the way for sustainability – proving that a network of suppliers and consumers can come together to minimise their impact on the planet. London is an increasingly conscious city, but it is knowing where to go which is key. Quantum does the hard work for you showing you the best sustainable restaurants, shops and events happening in the city. It’s time to start eating, shopping and being sustainable in our everyday lives and Quantum is the ultimate sustainable city guide to help you.
The newest way to walk the red carpet? In a rented outfit from MY WARDROBE HQ! This year over 80 influencers and journalists including Chloe Delevingne, Amy Jackson and Roxie Nafousi enjoyed a Cinderella moment in the name of sustainable fashion as they walked the red carpet in rented fashion all available from our platform.
Hosted by our new Chair, Jane Shepherdson CBE, Zandra Rhodes, Lady Mary Charteris, Arizona Muse, Millie Mackintosh, Sofia Blunt, with husband James, Alice Neylor-Leyland, Mother of Pearl designer Amy Powell and MWHQ co-founder Tina Lake all made a stand on the red carpet in the name of fashion rental.
Change was the theme for the evening, not just seen by the way women dressed for the night. With Naomi emotionally accepting the award for Fashion Icon – the first woman of colour to be awarded the accolade – trailblazer Adut Akech taking Model of the Year gong and Rihanna bagging the Urban Luxe prize for Fenty, inclusivity was the buzzword and one that rippled through the Royal Albert Hall. Elsewhere, Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee took home all four awards he was nominated for: Brand of the year, Accessories designer of the year, Designer of the year and Womenswear designer of the year, while Karl Lagerfeld was honoured with a tribute from Lady Amanda Harlech and Dame Anna Wintour. With the awards handed out, Eric Clapton treated us to Tears in Heaven before Fat Tony turned on the decks to end the night with the most stylish mosh pit…
The day couldn’t have happened without our wonderful partners… The Berkeley in Knightsbridge treated our guests to the hotel’s signature Prêt-à-Portea before clean skincare brand Romilly Wilde pampered them with a bespoke facial and then In Parlour’s glam squad beautified them ahead of the night. Thank you all for your amazing energy and teamwork throughout the day – getting 80 women ready was no mean feat!
How do you find your glow? It might be a run in the park on a crisp winter day, the perfect blow out at your regular salon, a sushi feast on a Saturday night, or simply sitting by the fire on a cosy Sunday with a packet of biscuits and a huge pot of tea. In MyEcoGlow, we challenge some of our regular customers to spend a day mindful of the eco impact that all of their decisions and actions make on this world. Will they still get their glow on? Or will conscious living be a burden in their already busy lives?
Mika Simmons is an award winning British Filmmaker and Actress, founder of the Lady Garden Foundation and creator of The Happy Vagina podcast. Her life varies vastly from day-to-day from being constantly on the go with daily castings, press appointments and recordings to spending intense periods of time alone, writing. She rents from MY WARDROBE HQ for red carpet events and when she doesn’t have time to think about what to wear. Here we challenge her to get her glow by spending the day living in a more eco conscious way…
8.30am My weeks are very intense so Saturday’s are usually sacred. I try not to make too many plans and just let my day unfold in an organic way, allowing myself to wake naturally. I’m then most likely to head to my local Gails, before heading to the Gym or a class with a friend. But today is different – I have a film premiering at the BFI London Film Festival, Us Among the Stones, plus – I’ve committed to finding MyEcoGlow with MY WARDROBE HQ. To be completely honest, I’d been a tiny bit skeptical that I could improve my footprint, as I’d like to think I’m already quite a conscious human, but, straight off the bat, as I push open the door at Gails I realise – I don’t have a refillable cup. Full disclosure, I don’t even own a refillable cup! There’s only one thing for it, I’m going to have to go old school, pause and take my coffee in a clay cup. At first I’m annoyed to be forced to slow down, but then I remember the challenge is for my own good, so I stop, try to let go and watch the world go by. A woman comes in, in a bit of a flap, because a car almost knocked her off her bike. I ask her if she’s OK and if I can get her some water. She’s fine, just stuck somewhere between shocked and angry. I tell her “I love a Boris Bike” and she laughs and says “That isn’t a real bike!” She picks up her tea and thanks me for checking on her, saying it’s really helped her calm down. I feel like a totally different person after this small amount of human connection …. Although I suspect the oat milk flat white might have helped too! 10.00am Instead of our usual Gym class I’ve convinced my friend to go for a run outdoors. We meet by the Albert Memorial on the South Kensington side of Hyde Park and, rather than driving my eco friendly Fiat 500, I go one step further and walk there. Starting to feel a bit chuffed with myself now. We run to the top of the Serpentine and back. Honestly, I can walk faster than I can run – but I’m still parched by the time we get there. I top up my glass water bottle from Lululemon which I love and have been using consistently for the past year, 11.30am After running into South Kensington Club for a quick, post run, ice bath I pop into MY WARDROBE HQ, whose studio is just round the corner. I have the premiere tonight and I also need to borrow a dress for a shoot on Tuesday. It can sometimes feel like a huge pressure to find outfits for work events, but MY WARDROBE HQ has totally changed the landscape on that. I spend a fun couple of hours trying on beautiful frocks and the team leave me feeling uber confident about what lies ahead! I go for a slightly sassy, but understated Christoper Kane for the red carpet and a show stopping Vivienne Westwood Anglomania piece for the shoot. Both in red! It’s a colour I can wear and there’s been a lot of it around these past few seasons. 2pm I eat lunch at home, using as many local ingredients as I can. This is something I’m really passionate about – when you can, buy local! Imagine if the only thing being flown around the world was humans, not food! I can’t resist a bit of quinoa but I make it with local vegetables. I always put some olive oil in the pan and heat it gently, then add the dry quinoa and blanche it with some salt and pepper, before adding the water and bringing it to the boil. It makes the already creamy quinoa off the richter scale yummy. Tomatoes, grilled with some balsamic, are a favourite to add in and make it super sweet. 4pm Next on the agenda is a manicure at home to get me red carpet ready with LeSalon, a small business I love to support as they really empower their therapists by giving them phenomenal training and paying them above industry standard. Doesn’t matter which way I look at this, there is no eco version of nail varnish remover and colour polish so I decide to get a natural manicures – no chemicals, just a good clean manicure to strengthen and improve my nails. The girl does an amazing job and actually tells me that where she is from they often use milk to soak the clients hands. She pushes my cuticles back using a wooden stick and explains it’s healthier not to remove them as they work as a barrier for infection. Finally she uses a buffing block that makes them shine as well as any polish – buffing also boosts circulation to the nail bed giving slow to grow and weak nails (mine!) a shot of fresh oxygenated blood they need to get stronger and grow faster. 6pm I take a Gett Green Taxi into the Empire on Haymarket for the premiere and contemplate my eco aware day and how it has changed my weekend. I definitely feel virtuous, and content, that I have trod lightly on the world today. Being conscious, has made me slow down and think more about what I do and if there is a way that I can do it better. I notice I’ve got way more energy than I would usually at this stage of the day (ideally I’m at home in my pyjamas on a Saturday night) and I’m super excited for the evening ahead ….. I’ve clearly found MyEcoGlow and I intend to keep it a while longer. Follow Mika on Instagram and Twitter @missmikasimmons