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Great kids clothing

6 May

Now, you all know that I love fashion and especially kids fashion, it’s an industry I’m involved in and I’m always on the look out for new things for Eivissa, things that are a little different and unique. Don’t get me wrong,I love the High street and think the last couple of years shops have made a great effort to get away from the gimmic cartoon character motifs and create more lines that are cool in style, but it’s always nice to know that little boutiques are slowly making there mark.

Just last week we were invited to the launch of a new children’s store in the prestigious Victoria Quarter in Leeds, as always with these events I was excited as I love to chat and meet new people as well as sample some of the nibbles which were supplied by my favourite restaurant, Anthony’s.

Vicky @honestmummy, me and owner Charlotte.

We arrived and straight away I knew that this shop was going to be one of those gems in Leeds. It’s only a small little boutique but packed with quality, often in stores, you have a couple of great pieces surrounded by some average pieces but not this one, every item had been hand picked and thought about with prices to suit all budgets whether it be a £4 headband or £300 christening gown.

The thing that stood out more than the garments was the staff, I don’t know about you, but I will go back to a place time and time again if the service is excellent. It makes your shopping experience pleasant and memorable. All shops have targets and sales to meet but you should never feel pressured to buy, this can often put you in an awkward position and in the long run can damage the reputation of the store as you don’t want to go back to pushy sales staff. The impression I got from the owner, Charlotte, who also runs the shop on a day to day was that this is a place to come and browse, enjoy the clothes and also have great conversation, this is rare today as most people are too busy to converse but the boutique environment creates a relaxed atmosphere that I am very fond of.

Top; some of the great clothes on offer
Bottom; Danny, me, Eivissa and owner, Charlotte

The shop is designed so buggies can manoeuvre easily and there’s baby changing facilities and plans to put in a breast feeding area, all things for the convenience of the shopper rather than the shop, it’s dedicated to quality and carries some of the world’s most unique designer brands. It also offers a child’s photography service with a chic studio on site, which is owned and managed by Joseph Photography.

So if your looking for something unique whilst affordable, head down to Cootchie Coo in Leeds and I’m sure you will be impressed.


Best and worst red carpet dresses of 2012

8 Mar

The red carpet season has just climaxed with The Oscars, so many stunning couture dresses and some great styling disasters!


There have been some trends going on this year. They have been carried off in some of the most amazing designs I have seen. Here are some of the dresses showing the looks on the red carpet for 2012. Done right and done so wrong


This years award for colour of choice has to go to… white! There has been so many beautiful gowns in white but these have to be my favourite



This is how to wear classic black but still stand out from the crowd. These dresses show that no matter shape or size, picking the right cut and keeping it simple can make you look sexy and classy.


Black isn’t always a safe option, these celebs show how playing safe isn’t always right.



These ladies look absolutely stunning in these gold and silver dresses showing their curves in all the right places. Great styling.




Too much! these metallics unfortunately are bordering on cheap. Ever heard of less is more?



A clean silhouette and natural coloured dress nipped in at the waist by a dark coloured belt to create that hour glass shape. Beautifully simple, but still wow.


There were other colours hitting the award ceremonies but the jury is still out on some of these bold colour choices


Soon to be this seasons new colour. If your going to wear it, try and get it right. These ‘A’ listers showing they are nearly there. Cameron Diaz getting it just right in this Vicoria Beckham dress. But not sure on Fergies choice on teaming it with black ‘Bridget Jones’ knickers quite works for me.



Oh dear, these dresses are all wrong, some great design ideas but the colour and over use of pattern turn them into a fashion disasters and can tie dye ever look good? unless your campaigning to save the forest.



When picking a colour to wear, pick the right shade to match your skin tone. Some shades of green can make you look washed out. Not quite sure these celebs have it quite right.



Here it is in black and white. what were they thinking?



Beautiful detailing and standing out in these figure hugging red dresses.


These ladies in red look like they are going to a fancy dress party not the oscars! with elements of the 50s and 80s.



These celebs are taking us back to the 90s, not quite sure we are ready to back there yet.



A fabulous colour for olive and darker skin, these Hollywood stars look fabulous in these purple shades



This model and reality star show how beautiful and still glamourous a pregnant woman can look. Hot mamas to be


Photos of Past ‘Daniel Francesca’ clients (Snoop Dogg, Rio Ferdinand and Craig Bellamy)

17 Feb

Top left: Me, Snoop Dogg and the T-shirt we made and gave him. Top right: Snoop and his uncle. Bottom left: Me and Lil Kim. Bottom right: Me and snoop Dogg's uncle

Here are some people we have met through our fashion business.

Looking back at these pictures makes us realise how far we have come and what amazing things we have done along our journey, sometimes its easy to forget what you have achieved as you keep striving for the next thing.

It’s good to stop and celebrate moments and highlights in your life.

Snoop Party

Going to the launch of Snoop Dogg’s Album in New York was probably one of the highlights for me and Daniel, being able to give him one of our T-shirts and meet him was an incredible moment in our fashion career.

Birthday party with Newcastle team

Top left: Kieron Dyer, Jermaine Jenas,Craig Bellamy,Claire Bellamy. Top left: Alan Shearer. Claire Bellamy and Freind. Bottom left: Kieron Dyer and Me. Bottom right: Patrick Kluivert and Claire Bellamy

When we are designing for clients we often visit their homes, sitting down and talking through their designs, we often get to know them quite well. One of the player’s (Craig Bellamy playing for Newcastle at the time) wife, Claire was having her birthday party and asked us to design and make her an outfit, (which you see her wearing on the right, made of black kid leather) At party we got to meet the legend Alan shearer! hehe
News Paper clippings
Some of our clients were snapped wearing some of our designs and we were also asked to style Craig Bellamy for an FHM photoshoot

Left: Rio Ferdinand, our very first client wearing one of our jackets. Top right: Craig bellamy styled and wearing 'Daniel Francesca' for an FHM Magazine photoshoot. Bottom right: Jonathan Woodgate wearing a Daniel Francesca T-shirt with a quote from Scarface the movie on the front.

To Read more about our story go to my post ‘Our Fashion story, career and babies’

More magazine photoshoot

10 Feb

Since our appearance on ‘One born every minute’, we have been approached by several magazines asking for interviews and last week we were invited to London for a photo shoot with More Magazine, the article we are featured in focuses on life events that have happened on TV. I wasn’t sure who would be joining us on the shoot, all i knew was that someone had got married and the other had sex on tv, I pressumed it must be someone from Big Brother, either that or we were going to be meeting someone like Paris Hilton!

We got to the station early so we could have our important starbucks and chocolate bar (kit kat chunky orange, love em!) Once on the train, a lovely condutor ushered us to some seats near the baby changing facilities which later would prove to be a great source of entertainment. An hour into our journey, a gentleman stood up and walked towards the toilet that we were facing, once inside, the door automatically shut behind him, however, he forgot to lock the door, a minute or so later, another passenger pressed the button to open the door, completely unaware that there was a person inside, as the door swung open a slightly embarred man was revealed to the whole carriage with his pants around his ankles, needless to say, I was not going to be attempting any toilet trips on this journey.

We arrived in London, had a spot of lunch and went straight to the shoot in East London, once there we went into hair and make up which seemed to last forever, the make-up artist was so lovely, we talked about being mums and how it effects our jobs, she found it difficult to keep some clients as they automatically presumed now she was a mum she wouldn’t be able to juggle work and parenting efficiently, funny how people like to put you in box. Not only was she a very good makeup artist but she proved that being a working mum could be done and to a good standard.
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Daniel and Eivissa in make-up

We soon had a room full of ladies talking about mother hood, in the chair next to me was Kayleigh, who was on a brilliant episode of ‘don’t tell the bride’ where her husband had organised to get married in a theme park! I had seen this one and it was hilarious. We quickly got on to the subject of how the public perceive you, it has definitely opened my eyes to how it must feel for people to be judged purely based on what the media portray, kayleigh was a lovely girl and I was shocked when she told me that she received a lot of negative feed back from the show. As we swapped stories on the various feedback we had both received, in walked Michelle Bass, who had appeared on series 5 big brother, she went onto the show as a normal girl, yet a few of her actions made her a hate figure to the nation, in reality she was a very sweet girl, polite and friendly, I could tell that’s she had been hurt by the press and public which is such a shame, she told us about times when strangers would hurl abuse at her in the street and insult her for no reason, Wow, people can be so cruel. This has taught me NEVER judge a book by its cover, life can be tough enough as it is and we should celebrate rather than criticise.

Top: Getting styled for the shoot, bottom: me and the intern girl who helped to look after Eivissa. She was great!

After our deep chats the stylist brought us our outfits which was a role reversal as its usually us doing the styling to others, the stylist was lovely and we decided to let her do a job and just wear what she gave us, we know what its like when you get some difficult customers. I wore some floral pink jeans and a baby pink sleeveless tulip top, both from Top shop, my accessories were metallic silver shoes, bangles and a necklace. The top was a bit big but with a bit of clipping and pinning it actually looked quite nice. Danny emerged from the fitting room wearing a T-shirt with an American flag on it, a denim short sleeve shirt with rolled up sleeves and camel coloured trousers with a low crotch and tapered leg, he looked cute but did look about 15. The more magazine team weren’t convinced and trusted Danny to pick out an outfit that represented his style. I realise, as a stylist, your job is to look at the persons personality and bring it out more by the clothes you dress them in. Danny’s style is very tailored and slick and the ‘young boy look’ doesn’t represent his image, he picked out a checked shirt and braces and we were all ready for the shoot. The location of the shoot was so cool, an abandoned warehouse with exposed brick and timber throughout, the room was full of props and the most amazing furniture, mirrors and lights. Our set was shot against a backdrop of old televisions, which during the editing process were going to have our images super imposed onto.

Staying warm by the lights, Eivissa fast asleep!

The photographer was amazing, so friendly and full of enthusiasm, he was so good at bringing out our personality, he kept telling Danny to do big smiles which was quite amusing as Danny has the worlds smallest mouth, Danny’s biggest smile is smaller than Eivissas smallest smile, anyway, eventually the photographer got the shots he wanted(he joked that he was going to photoshop a new mouth into the final picture).

After a long day we found ourselves back on the train to Leeds, we got ourselves relaxed and seated then Eivissa decided to do a huge poo that leaked out of her nappy, every time she does this she seems to be sat on Danny’s lap which is always funny as he is left with poo stains, never a good look when you have to be up and down the train. The journey home gave us time to reflect on the past few weeks. We love the fact that we get to take Eivissa everywhere with us, we feel so lucky to have such amazing opportunities that she can be part of, since her arrival, we feel as though life has started, its hard to explain, but the outlook we have now has opened up the door to so many new things, children should never stop you from living your dreams, if anything they become part of the puzzle in life’s destiny, the happiness and satisfaction we get from being parents has motivated us to give her the the best possible upbringing and we are so blessed that not a day goes by where she isn’t by our side living out our lives!

Look out for the magazines we feature in this month;
Chat magazine(issue 7 out 10th feb)
More magazine
East side magazine
Image magazine
Mother and baby magazine

Our Fashion story, career and babies

19 Jan

Trying to balance a career and parenting at times can be difficult, we all know full well that being a mother is a full time job in itself, although there’s no pay packet at the end of the month.hehe..

Some of you may know that I run a fashion and styling business with my husband Daniel, we started the company in 2003 and as in any business, at times it can be very difficult and stressful, but on the flip side I’m so thankful that I get to do what I’ve always dreamt of doing.
At 19 years old we were given the opportunity to work for a tailoring company called ‘Adam Fisher’, these guys were the best in the business and the owner, Dave Bullen gave Danny the chance to learn the tailoring trade, within a few months Danny and Dave were going to London and meeting wealthy businessmen who would require bespoke suits, it was their job to make them look good and to create a perfectly fitted suit. Whilst Danny was away in London I was left back at the factory in Leeds looking after quality control of all the garments that went out, we both loved our jobs and our bosses were very good to us but we all knew that our long term plan was to form our own company.

So, a year later, myself, Danny, Dave and his wife Reina formed a ‘high end’ casual clothing business that specialised in made to measure t-shirts, jeans and jackets. After a few months of trading and a lot of networking later, we were able to secure an appointment with the footballer Rio Ferdinand. Danny and Dave went to the meeting whilst I waited nervously at home, a few hours passed before Danny called to tell me how it all went, ‘So, how did you do??’ ‘we sold 10 garments’ replied Danny, this was huge, we couldn’t believe that England’s most expensive defender had just placed an order with us, that night we couldn’t sleep due to the excitement but our dream wasn’t over just yet, the very next day, one of Rio’s friends, Keiron Dyer, asked to see some of our products, so off to Newcastle we went. He ordered 30 t-shirts and then sent us round to his neighbours house, Craig Bellamy. We then found ourselves designing for Ashley cole, Christiano Ronaldo and other top premiership footballers with in 2 weeks!

Driving home after those first client appointments,we had to pinch ourselves, we were just 2 kids from Yorkshire who had found themselves in the right place at the right time, it just goes to show that a bit of hard work and a dream can pay off.

So our business was off the ground and we continued to build on our expanding client list, we were always trying to push our business forward and make new connections. I remember a trip to New York and we were invited to the launch party of Snoop Dogg’s new album, don’t ask me how we got an invite but I think it was just another case of right place, right time, so in we walk to this ‘press only’ launch party, clearly we were not the press but as we approached security who asked to see our I.D, Danny boldly walked passed them claiming to be an official photograper, next thing I know I’m 2 ft away from Snoop when Danny tells me to go talk to him and give him one of our t-shirts. I said, ‘You do it.’

He replied, “I’m not the one wearing a skirt, he wont be interested in me’.

So I reluctantly approached Snoop and after a while talking I handed him one of our t-shirts, sometimes a bit of blagging can go a long way.

This was our lives for a few years and the thought of children was always a distant thought away, we soon started to realise that our life was always going to be busy and there is never going to be a perfect time for children, after much discussion, Danny and I both agreed that ‘ you make time for what’s important’ and that’s when we decided to start a family

How were we going to juggle a busy business and a new born??I was determined to be the best possible mother I could be and Danny too actively wanted to be involved in the early months , he never wanted to be the type of father that worked away constantly and only saw his child for 5 minutes a day, so we both decided that our child was going to take priority over anything!!!

So how were we going to continue our business and still make our child our priority???? ……….il tell you how!

…..I continued working pretty much up until I dropped, I wanted to get so far ahead in my work so that first few weeks of my life as a mother were going to be stress and work free, the same applied with Danny, I would often stay at home doing little bits of paperwork whilst Danny would leave extra early so he could be home by midday.

Having a child has really opened my eyes, it has made me see things in a completely diferent light, I have found that when I stopped work and became a mother, I was exposed to a whole new world of oppurtunity, it made me think of new ideas and made me regroup and focus on where we wanted to go in our business, that’s when my idea of the ‘glabour’ birthing outfit happened, this is now the focus on our business and where we are going to channel all our efforts into getting it off the ground, so, please buy!!!!!hehehe

I know that my calling in life was to own my own fashion design company and rather than sacrifice my dream I merely just put it to bed until a suitable time to get it back out, 3 months later, I feel ready and the cool thing is Eivissa gets to come to all my meetings(sometimes her cuteness is the deal clincher)

I truly believe that you can have your cake and eat it, for so long we are told it has to be one thing or the other, or you can have this but not that, but I like cake and sometimes I want to eat the whole thing so why the heck shouldn’t I ???