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ISSUE 33/34



to the issue 33/34 of ESTILA Edit!


Sometimes we can all get trapped in our own minds, thinking, convincing ourselves that we are not good enough, or that we're not ready for the next big step, or that we're too small as a business to do big deals, big projects. You see, your mind is playing up and you have to recognise that, even when most doubtful, it is one of your biggest assets and you are in control of it. I hope that the following pages will put you in a positive mind-frame so even you can become good at "confident expression." As always, thank you so much for reading and your support! Love,

Karolina xx Karolina Barnes editor in chief










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editor's recommended reads interiors the monkey puzzle tree 18 Our shop spotlight this month is The Monkey Puzzle Tree, a lifestyle brand that specialises in offering homeware products which they create by collaborating with artists.

Beauty faux natural summer base 46 Now with summer in full swing, our beauty editor Nicola recommends three key products to keep your complexion protected and covered in style.

open up & inspire fariba soltani 60 An inspirational interview with Fariba Soltani, the founder of a fashion accessory brand, talking about her journey, sharing experiences and business tips.

Cover: alt, p.40



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Leo + Cici interview by Karolina Barnes, photography by Kyle Cheldon Barnett, Elaine Verdon

Always on a look out for a great talent to be discovered, I came across Elaine Verdon a while ago and immediately was drawn to her "bold eclectic" interiors style. Elaine is the founder of Leo + Cici, a Dublin based interior design and styling studio. She has a great eye for colour which she layers with interesting textures and patterns using lots of art. This comes through not only when working with her clients but also in her own home. Here we talk to her about what makes her happy, style, comfort, decorating challenges and personality in interiors.



1. How would you describe your interiors style? My interiors style could be described as ‘bold eclectic’, I like to make a statement that packs a visual punch with a mix of old and new pieces. I’m obsessed with colour, and love to experiment with it to see what impact it can have on the mood of a room. Then, layering in lots of different textures, prints and styles. It’s really important that you love the space you’re surrounded by and the things within it make you happy, don’t just follow the trend herd! Great design doesn’t need to cost the earth, invest in the right pieces and have some fun with the rest.

2. What is your favourite room and why? Probably our sitting room. When I first bought the house I invested in some key pieces of furniture and they’ve really stood the test of time. Over the years, to update the space I’ve changed the soft furnishings and paint to give the room a new lease of life.



The room is painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball including the doors, skirts and architraves with pops of pink and gold accessories throughout. During the day its bright and then at night time its very dramatic and cosy with candles everywhere. Comfort is very important to me so I tend to overindulge in soft furnishings, if you were to ask my partner he would say there are way too many cushions and throws for two people! The art in this room brings me a lot of joy, it’s a mix of sentimental pieces from friends, pieces we’ve picked up at auctions or on our travels. Last year I purchased an original screen print by Dublin artists Jill & Gill who created a series of Iris Apfel inspired work. The colours are incredible and it has so much detail, Iris’ glasses are painted with black glitter and shimmer in the light. The custom gold frame finishes it off beautifully and Iris is the first thing you see when you come through the front door.

“Comfort is important to me so I tend to overindulge in soft furnishings.” 13


3. What do you find most challenging when it comes to small makeovers or redesigns? Managing budgets and in turn, expectations! Making the budget stretch to quality products that aren’t just flatpack. When it’s not a full design it can be hard to make an impact. That’s why it’s really important for me to get immersed in my clients' style and taste. Understanding what matters to them, what existing pieces of art or furniture they already have that I can build on effectively.

4. How important is having a home decorated to your personality? I think it’s really important. Your home should be a reflection of you, that you want to live and spend time in. Don’t conform and end up with a space that feels wrong for you, your home should look and feel the way you want it to. If you like something and it makes you happy then do it!

For more interior ideas, please follow Elaine's Instagram: @LEOANDCICI 15

PIGLET Navy tablecloth, £75.00 Oatmeal napkin, £7.50

Summer table 16

ALAIN SAINT JOANIS, 6 piece set Louxor Gold/Anise Cutlery Upper part forged in 18/10 stainless steel, 33 micron silver plated ferrule or gold plated with 33 micron £768.00

LUKS TERAZI NAPKINS, pack of 6 100% Turkish cotton £45.00

ARTEL FACETED BLUE GLASS 100% lead-free crystal, mouthblown, hand-cut and hand polished £244.00


PENELOPE HOPE Mesmerise outdoor fabric by metre £60.00



shop we love

The Monkey Puzzle Tree interview by Karolina Barnes, photography provided by Charlotte Raffo

1. What has been your journey so far? How did you get to where you are now. I’ve always been obsessed with interiors and pattern since being a child. As a teenager In the mid 90’s I was really inspired by an article about the Timorous Beasties’ subversive textile designs. Later when House of Hackney first brought out their over-the-top-florals following years of minimalism I really admired their bravery and wished I could do something like that. My parents encouraged me to study science as they thought it would be difficult to find work in textiles or design. So I took a degree in Colour Chemistry, as that seemed like the closest science course to design I could find! When I graduated I was very lucky to get a job designing and formulating finishes on leather in a tannery in Leeds. Whilst there I was allowed lots of creative freedom, working on patterns and finishes for brands from Camper to Louis Vuiton. I loved being involved in the process of manufacturing, actually making things and getting my hands dirty, even though it wasn’t the most pleasant of workplaces! When the tannery sadly closed down I became a Textile buyer for Mamas and Papas, the luxury nursery brand. I worked closely with suppliers, as well as the designers and product buyers, finding best way to make beautiful designs that were still functional. While I was there I worked on collaborations with Liberty and Donna Wilson. I loved the job, but always imagined that one day I’d do something by myself. It was the artist Sarah Thornton, who I met through my children, who gave me the idea for The Monkey Puzzle Tree in 2016. 19

She said that she’d love to make her art into fabric but had no idea how to do it, and I thought it would be so nice to be able to help her and some of the other artists I knew. Eventually I came up with the idea of paying a royalty to the artists. This works well for everyone - it means that I don’t have to invest money in new designs at the start of the process, but also, as I pay the development and stock costs, it’s very low risk for the artists.

2. How is The Monkey Puzzle Tree different from other brands? Firstly we pay our artists a royalty based on product sales, and give them full credit for their designs. We run the company more like an independent record label, where each artist retains their own style, identity and creative freedom and the aim is that we can help them earn a passive income which will fund them to continue with their original work. Our inspiration always comes from the art rather than researching current trends. A traditional design house might set a brief, and the designer would work towards that. The way we work is by visiting the artists, looking at their work and finding something that really sparks our imagination, then finding a way to turn it into a beautiful product. By working this way I hope that our designs are not only unique and different from anything on the market, but also because they can’t be pinpointed to a specific time they won’t date. We believe in investing in something well made that you love, and having that for many years rather than changing with every trend. It’s also important to us that the original piece of artwork isn’t designed digitally - not to say we’re luddites, we do use technology where necessary. But I think that replicating that original craft as closely as possible gives the final designs an authenticity you can’t recreate digitally. This can be seen if you look carefully at the leopards in Alexis Snell’s 'How the Leopard got his Spots' velvet - there are 18 slightly different leopards, as we’ve chosen to keep the irregularity in her original lino printing technique.



For ‘Rita does Jazz’ by Sarah Thornton, the original was a very small watercolour painting, loosely sketched out onto a piece of hotel notepaper. We enlarged the painting multiple times and worked together to create the repeat to scale using a colour photocopier, scissors, sellotape and a ruler. By the time we’d finished we really felt like we had a strong connection to the pattern and the process. The Monkey Puzzle Tree makes the best use of everyone’s resources. It’s very hard to be creative whilst having to run all the other aspects of a business, and this way I take that side on, along with the product development which plays to my strengths, and also means that I can pull from an amazing pool of talent without having to think up all the new ideas myself.

3. What is your mission with The Monkey Puzzle Tree? We want to create unique designs - not just ‘me too’ products. We hope to achieve this by allowing the artists complete creative freedom without sales figures and forecasts having too much of an influence. Eventually we’d like to be working with around eight artists and have a collection of 4-6 really stunning products with each one. We also hope to be able to provide the artists we work with a reasonable passive income to support them in continuing with their work. Obviously we do need to make money to pay the bills, but that’s not the driving force behind anyone involved in the business - the design comes first. 21

4. How important is ethical trading to you and your brand? The ethical side of the business is an inherent part of who we are and the way we run the business. We’ve made the decision to do all our manufacturing in England because that makes the process much more traceable and easy to control. We work with established companies that have good track records and systems in place to source their raw materials responsibly. We make every effort to make each side of our business as ethical as possible, from the banking we use to the energy we buy. We would love our products to be bought as a long-term investment, something that is beautiful and will stand the test of time and not need replacing after a couple of years. As Vivienne Westwood said ‘Buy less. Choose well. Make it last’.


5. Can you tell us more about the challenges you had to overcome when setting up The Monkey Puzzle Tree? It seemed like a slightly crazy idea to set up on my own. No one in my family has run their own business before so it seemed like a big step into the unknown, and initially difficult to persuade everyone that this was a good idea. With my experience I was confident in my ability to make beautiful products and work well with the artists and suppliers, and that side of the business has gone very smoothly. I took the decision to work with larger suppliers which could make the very high quality products I wanted, but this also meant that I had to invest a significant amount of money in stock, and premises to store it. The biggest challenge in running the business has been marketing and sales - getting the brand out there, and that’s where I had no previous experience. I’ve started to notice that many of the most successful brands have been founded by people with experience in marketing rather than product development, as you can have an amazing product, but if no one knows about it you’re not going to make many sales. So it’s been a big learning curve, but I’ve thrown myself into learning lots of new skills. I built the website myself using Shopify, arranged the photography and styling, and am trying my best with social media and PR! I’ve started to feel that I’m making progress now but I’ve got to say that it’s taken longer than I (naively) hoped.


6. What are your biggest lessons learnt so far in terms of what you’ve learnt on the way - businesswise and ethicalwise. As with most things, starting a business takes longer and more money than you expected! The most important thing for me has been to have a vision and stick to it. When you are a start up there are lots of people offering advice, and it’s knowing what to take on board and what to ignore as it might dilute your initial concept. I think if I’d started the business earlier in life I might not have been so sure of my vision, but you really need that confidence if you’re going to succeed. In terms of the ethical side, so far we have taken fairly straightforward decisions to ensure we run the business in the right way, such as working with British factories we trust and which have good systems in place for their supply chain. However, there are always areas that can be improved on. For example I was really hoping that we would be able to use plastic free packaging to send our fabrics out, and have been researching waxed paper and other alternatives. Unfortunately I’m not sure that’s going to be possible just yet as I’ve not been able to find a suitable product, and we have to be able to guarantee that the customer receives their purchase undamaged. Like life, there are some things you have to compromise on!


7. What are your 3 top tips for anyone wanting to inject some pattern in their home? If you’re new to pattern then adding cushions is the easiest way to add a touch of colour personality to your room without making a big commitment. This is also great if you think you might be moving or changing your room in future as you can take your cushions anywhere and use them in any room. If you’re feeling a little bolder, using a print on curtains and blinds will really add a focal point without overpowering the space. You can use fabrics in unexpected ways - our heavyweight velvets and linens can be made into Roman blinds as well as curtains for a more streamlined look. As a Roman blind uses far less fabric than a floor length curtain, this can also allow you to splash out on a more luxurious fabric Recently we’ve also been experimenting with using heavily patterned wallpaper like our ‘Passion Flower’ above a picture rail to create a deep ornate border around the top of the room. This is a great and inexpensive way to introduce a touch of luxury and pattern, and has the added benefit of still allowing you the space to display pictures on the plain wall underneath. THEMONKEYPUZZLETREE.COM | @THE_MONKEYPUZZLETREE


ART “Millennium Kilt No.1” 61cm x 142cm, photo credit Debbie Pipe

"World Will Ideas” 140cm x 140cm, photo credit Jacquetta Clark 26

Art to Wear interview by Karolina Barnes, photography and images by Jilli Blackwood

With an impressive portfolio to her name, which includes projects featured in the United States Consulate in Edinburgh, the Scottish Government, Standard Life Aberdeen plc, and Biocon in Bangalore as well as in many private collections around the world, while also being the Director of Costume for the 2010 Commonwealth Games Flag Handover Ceremony in Delhi, Jilli Blackwood is a globally celebrated textile artist and designer. Her unique embroidery signature style is defined by continually experimenting with the interrelationships of the traditional textile processes of weaving, dying and embroidery. In this exclusive interview we talk to Jilli about her unique style, pattern play, inspiration and the way she approaches her design work.

“Rhythm� 183 cm x 244cm, photo credit Gregor Reid 27

1. When did you realise you have passion for art? At school, my strengths lay in cookery and art. I realised some years ago when giving a talk to 16 year old school students that having a narrow band of strengths was actually a plus and not a minus as it helped me to focus on what I was good at from a young age. I attended the world-renowned Glasgow School of Art and specialised in Embroidery and Weaving. This department was unique as it taught students skills in the areas of fine art textiles, interior fabric design, fashion fabric design and product design. I graduated with a First Class Honours degree and a thirst to get my work out into the world. I have worked on many different projects throughout my 30 year career. I began by working with couturier designers and interior designers, creating short lengths of labour intensive embroidered and woven fabrics. In the late 1980s I was invited to exhibit my work at the Craft Council “Chelsea Craft Fair” in London which pushed me in the direction of making products. I created hats, “Art to Wear” pieces, cushions and bed throws. At this point I was producing items for American interior designers, an agent in Japan and an independent store in Berlin. In 1998, I received my first public art commission. This was for British Telecom (BT) headquarters in Edinburgh. For the following ten years I focussed my attention on creating art and textiles for this market. My work is featured in many collections, among them the United States Consulate in Edinburgh, the Scottish Government, Standard Life Aberdeen plc, and Biocon in Bangalore. My work is also found in many private collections around the world. The economic climate changed in 2008 and I moved my attention to design. I was invited to be the Director of Costume for the 2010 Commonwealth Games Flag Handover Ceremony in Delhi, where I dressed 350 Scots men and women in a contemporary, digitally-printed, embroidered tartan. Seeing my work on such a scale and the impact that it created was an unforgettable moment.


“Nirvana” 133cm x 136cm, photo credit Gregor Reid

Another global design project I have spearheaded was the design of the parade uniforms for Team Scotland’s entrance to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I designed a tartan inspired by the colours of Scotland to create a high-impact statement which would make Team Scotland iconic in memory and appearance. My designs and colour palette ruffled a few feathers as the outfits were striking, but, if everyone had simply seen the uni-forms and said “That’s nice.”, I would have felt I had got it very wrong. I wanted to create something that would go down in history and be remembered. As to what I am doing now, I have launched my new website, re-branded my company and created a limited edition book of my work. After years of hoping social media would just go away, I have turned my attention to it. I am facing what I fear, always the best way forward for me and now I am embracing it all!


It’s the variety of projects which I work on that keeps my interest and energy alive for what I do. Working on a one-to-one base with a client to create a bespoke piece of “Art to Wear”, designing for a company such as Heathrow Airport, or working on an “unpainted painting”, for a corporate client is the inspiration that drives me every day.

2. How would you describe your style in life and your work? How did you find it? My style in life is very simple. I rise early and go to bed early. I eat well, I bake my own bread, I have porridge every morning. I practice meditation and yoga daily. This way of life suits my creative energy and keeps me balanced in everything I face during the day. As to my own look and style, I laugh at myself when it comes to what I wear when I am working in the studio as it definitely couldn’t be described as chic. I put on comfortable clothes as I am either dying fabric and yarn, working on a piece on my studio floor, or hauling a heavily embroidered work to the wall to have some space to stand back and consider where I am with it before I put it back under the sewing machine. Therefore, I need to wear something that isn’t restrictive. The real Jilli Blackwood appears when I am going out – I like to put on one of my “Art to Wear” creations, a Jilli Blackwood top hat and a scarf. I love Autumn, Winter and Spring, as these seasons suit my wardrobe. In 1985, I met with the iconic fashion designer, Miss Jean Muir. While appraising my work, she pointed to a small sample attached to the end of a piece and said, “I would like to see this in a metre square”. Her kind words about this sample set me thinking and I experimented further with the sample and, eventually, developed my signature “Slash and Show” style. Miss Muir had put me on my path! As to how I keep coming up with new ideas, I put this down to understanding my inner self better and to recognising the moment when magic truly happens. My process of art and craft is a concentrated, complex and time-consuming practice. The working process is a constant re-evaluation of my decisions as my pieces evolve. 30

“Rhythm” 183 cm x 244cm, photo credit Gregor Reid

3. How important is colour and pattern in your art work? I am a colourist at heart. I like to hand-dye my yarns and fabric, controlling the colour and not making do with what is available to buy. Colour is fundamental in everything that I do, it is one of my creative sparks! Colour has the power to resonate with the viewer on a deep level. The fusion of colour, pattern and texture are the ingredients in the creation of all my work, be it a piece of “Art to Wear”, an “unpainted painting” or a throw for a bed. The combination of colour, pattern and texture allows for endless possibilities and outcomes.


4. You have a very unique way of creating your art? Can you describe the process? My working practice involves different stages. The very first stage – the dye stage – involves colouring my natural fabrics and yarns. This is where the relationship starts to build between the textile and myself, and it is a hugely exciting part of the whole process of creation. Drawing from within my memory of colour combinations and a little bit of happenstance, I build a body of fabric: silks, wools, linens and cottons in contrasting colours and soft hues which bleed into one another. Just as a painter mixes oil paints to create their palette, I create my palette in diverse fabrics and colours. I am the painter who paints with fabric. The series of actions which follow continues and deepens my relationship with the piece. Every piece is unique – sometimes hand embroidery will follow, other times it will be machine embroidery and on other occasions I weave. Sometimes a combination of all three techniques is employed to create the textured surfaces. I like to mount the piece on a wall in my studio and take a step back to assess where I am and to take a look at the work’s progression. This is the intuitive stage when the relationship is at its strongest. Here, I feel my way forward by listening to my heart. “Millennium Kilt No.1” 61cm x 142cm, photo credit Debbie Pipe


“The most inspirational part of creation is the beginning. That starting point, that moment when I begin a work of art is crucial.” 5. Where do you find your inspiration? Have you got mentors or other artists you look up to? I wish I could say my inspiration comes directly from nature, for example, as it would be so much easier to explain. However, it is more complicated than that. It’s all about a feeling I have for something. The inspiration for whatever I am working on is deep within me. I think the process for me is about looking at the world in an unconscious manner, letting influences come in and allowing them to filter through my being and then the idea comes forward at the most surprising moments. The most inspirational part of creation is the beginning. The starting point, that moment when I begin a work of art is crucial. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right. It’s difficult to explain but delaying starting by a day or two can make all the difference as to how the piece progresses and evolves. Waiting for the right moment is such an important part of my creative process. I need the time to think thoroughly about what I am about to do, the time to hold the idea in my mind’s eye until I feel confident and comfortable with it. Then, and only then, it is the time to begin. As regards artists, I think Barbara Hepworth is fascinating, both for her art and her life. I greatly admire Matisse for his sense of colour. I enjoy reading books about the lives of artists. I like to discover what was happening at the beginning, middle and end of their careers and to understand and appreciate their struggles artistically, mentally and personally. I am also interested to know how they maintained their creativity and, on a pragmatic note, how they generated commissions. I tend not to look at artists within my field as I don’t want to be influenced by them.



COLOURS of the month

words, styling and photography by Karolina Barnes



THE SHOES & SCARF STORY The stunning green cashmere/silk scarf features palm print. Created with the trendy traveller in mind, this great piece is diverse and can be worn as a sarong during the day or as a stole in the evening. Available at Stylish shoes your feet will love. These Helen Blue shoes are especially made for those who suffer with bunions. Made from very flexible leather to avoid as much as discomfort as possible. Available at



THE BAG STORY This vegan-leather Georgia bag is lightweight and a classic piece, with a beautiful textured finish. The brand is PETA-approved and all bags are available for purchase through Story 81 online store. Available at



THE EARRINGS STORY These Delphine earrings are made from ethically-sourced leather and suede, making them a stand-out statement jewellery piece to complete your "not only for summer " outfit. Handcut and made by Catherine de Crèvecoeur in London. Available at




LIKE THEM, GET THEM research and graphics by Emilia Vespoli

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

NET-A-PORTER – KATARINA MAKRIYIANNI Fan fringed gold-tone earrings NET-A-PORTER – KAYU Lolita mini fringed woven straw tote ANTHROPOLOGIE Textured Ava Basket NET-A-PORTER – CARAVANA Xok Fringed Cotton-gauze Pareo

COULEUR LOCALE Natural Hanging Lamp with Fringes ANTHROPOLOGIE Layered Fringe Shams MAISON NUMEN Navy Striped Table Runner NET-A-PORTER – MERCEDES CASTILLO Izar raffia and fringe linen mules



brand story uncovered 40


ALT text and photography provided by Yuka Nakazawa

alt’ is a textile design unit based in London and Berlin. It was established by myself, Yuka Nakazawa and another Japanese designer in early 2018. The other half of our duo is Aki Makita, now based in Berlin. She began her journey at the London College of Communication, UAL where she studied towards a BA in Graphic and Media Design. Along the way she also acquired expertise in silkscreen printing and pattern making. She later returned to Tokyo and this is where we first connected while working within the graphic design/advertising industry. It was through this industry experience, that we learnt that our designs were dictated by the requirements of our industry. Therefore, we sought the freedom to express our creativity to its fullest, as artist.


It was at this point where I decided to up sticks, follow my passion and relocate to London to study fashion design at Central Saint Martins, UAL. It was here where I developed and refined many of the techniques we use today to produce the collection, from embroidery floss to the abstract art that is printed on our opulent fabrics. Together we have combined our creative expertise and ardour to form ‘alt’, our platform for unbounded artistic expression. The brand concept is based on the liberation of one’s artistic alter ego, where we can design and create at will and in abundance. This is also the basis in which our namesake was derived.

“alt's concept is based on the liberation of one's artistic alter ego.”



Our background in graphic design has had a natural influence on our overall design philosophy, as well as the approach we take as we transform our conceptual ideas into distinctive textile-based products. This creates the juxtaposition that gives our work its originality. All our products are exclusively designed in-house, and the vast majority are even handmade by us. At the core of our creative process, we aim to capture and evoke the unique character of each individual material that we incorporate in to our products. Whether it be the yarn that forms our pompom earrings, or the fabrics used to produce our abstract art painted scarves. Our sole aim is to fully liberate our artistic alter ego. We feel that ‘alt’ has afforded us that opportunity to express our artistic alter ego without limitation. Whereby our designs are free to evolve as true, unobstructed expressions of our creativity. We take great pleasure in being able to bring our ideas from inception through all stages of design and production, to completion. When fabricating our textile designs, we often experiment with a variety of materials, textures, finishes and techniques. Currently we are testing several designs that feature techniques such as weaving and dyeing. We also continuously explore the textile world in order to support the fabrication of our new and progressive designs. Ultimately, we hope to offer people a product that empowers them. For our latest collection we have taken the ‘European Woman’ as a muse, whereby we envision and conceptualise detailed memoirs for each character. These in turn form the basis of our designs as we attempt to relay their emotions through our textile creations. For example; the inspiration behind our detachable collars made using embroidery, aptly named ‘SCARLETT’ (pink) and ‘VIOLET’ (purple) is derived from a tale of twin sisters searching their garden for their chosen flower. Yet despite their identical appearance they display drastically dissimilar desires.

“The European Woman as a muse, whereby we envision and conceptualise detail memoirs for each character.”


Similarly, we have our pompom earrings named ‘EMMA’ which portray and embody the recollections of her travels through an array of colour, characterised by the starlit sky of the deserts, to the aqua blue tropical oceans and the crimson sunsets that lay across the Alps. Credit: Make up & Hair styling : Violet Zeng Photographer : Antonio Eugenio Model : Margaux Feron Photo studio : Chats Palace Arts Centre Art direction & Styling : Yuka Nakazawa & Aki Makita (alt)




The faux natural summer base words and photography by Nicola McCullough

For those who prefer not to go completely barefaced in Summer, there are some great products around that offer sun protection paired with a hint of coverage, for an undetectable 'my skin but better' effect. Essentially, they help average skin look like good skin, while simultaneously guarding against sun damage. Result. Most offer varying levels of coverage and protection, with an average SPF of 3050, more than double what you might find in a traditional foundation with SPF. Here are three of the best...


Level 1 - Sheer La Roche Posay Anthelios XL is renowned as one of the best facial SPFs around, and for good reason. Specially formulated for the face, the tinted BB Cream version offers broad, photo stable UVA/UVB and Infrared protection, suitable for most sensitive skins. Adding a sheer wash of colour, it comes in various formulas... choose from SPF 30 or 50+ and Ultra Comfort (for dry skin) or Anti-Shine for combination/oily skin. I prefer to keep my face and chest out of the sun as much as possible, so use the Ultra Comfort on holiday to match up with the rest of my body. The sheer formula is easy to top up throughout the day and will even skin tone a little.


Level 2 - Semi Sheer Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue is described as a tinted hydrating gel cream with SPF 30. Ultimately, it offers semi sheer coverage that leaves skin glowing and gives the effect of an extra few hours of sleep. Beautiful to even out a natural tan or for a healthy glow at any time of year, this feels like a makeup-skincare hybrid and is particularly flattering on dry or mature skin. This is my nipping to the shops/ good skin day / school run base and I'd wear it every day if I could get away with it. Level 3 - Light Coverage IT Cosmetics CC cream with SPF 50+ is a hydrating colour correcting cream that behaves more like a serum foundation - giving buildable, light to medium coverage with a 'real skin' finish. Rich in hydrating ingredients and antioxidants, I find this particularly effective in summer for a natural make up look. Paired with Bobbi Brown matte bronzing powder, Le Volume De Chanel Mascara and Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, this is my go-to for an effortless everyday face. If you're not a fan of heavy make up, yet still need some coverage, this is the one for you. Chanel Le Volume De Chanel Mascara

Bobbi Brown Matte Bronzing Powder

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lipstick



with love from Crete 50

elounda words and photography by Jenny Kakoudakis

Crete, Greece's largest island, is nestled south of the mainland between the Aegean and Libyan sea. It enjoys a beautiful weather all year long and with a flight time of under 4 hours from London it is a popular destination for families and couples alike. The island is steeped with history, being home to the Minoan civilisation. As the tale goes, King Minos who ruled over Crete, threatened to attack Athens with his navy. The Athenian King Aegeas cut a deal with him: every 9 years the Athenians would send 7 boys and 7 girls to be sacrificed in Crete, eaten by the dreadful half-human, half-bull monster known as the Minotaur, who lived in a maze under the Minoss Palace. But Theseus, the son of Aegeas, took action. He asked his father to travel to Crete as one of the 7 boys to be offered to the Minotaur. He would kill the beast and while sailing back to Athens, he would use a white sail (instead of the mourning black) to indicate his triumph. When he arrived to Crete, Minos' daughter Ariadne fell in love with him and offered to help out. She gave Theseus a thread to help him find his way out of the maze (the Labyrinth) once he killed the beast. Theseus did kill the Minotaur, saved the youth and sailed back to Athens, taking Ariadne with him. But he forgot to change the colour of the sail. His father, seeing the black sail on the ship and thinking his son was dead, fell off a cliff into the sea that took his name - Aegean sea.

“The beautiful island of Crete was once home to the Minoan civilisation.� 51


Just over an hour from Heraklion, the capital of Crete, driving along the north coast, you will find the seaside village of Elounda. Once a picturesque fishing village in the Mirabello Bay, Elounda is nowadays a celebrity spotting destination, with many 5 star hotels and a relaxed, families and couples oriented character. Most hotels here have their own private beaches, but make sure you choose one that is right on the sea front (a few hotels closer to the island of Spinalonga and the village of Plaka are built on the hill over the main road which you have to cross to get to the beach). The great thing about Elounda is that it is not isolated in the way that most southern Crete towns are, nor is it too vibrant like Hersonissos and Malia. During the day, walk into the village or drive to nearby Plaka, where you can find the ferries that take you to the island of Spinalonga. For decades Spinalonga was a leper colony that became home to the 'living -dead'. Read the book "The Island" by Victoria Hislop, who describes a story of love that takes places around this island and describes the drama of having to head to the island, leaving behind loved ones. So close, yet so far. The ghost village on Spinalonga is a site of tours nowadays, with up to 2,000 tourist visiting daily, yet you can often walk around it not seeing but a few more tourists in close proximity to you. Alternatively, drive to the port of Agios Nikolaos for shopping therapy (we much prefer it in the evening when it is cooler).


The Yachting Suite, Elounda Beach

stay Elounda Beach & Elounda Bay Elounda Beach (Leading Hotels of the World) is an idyllic 5 star resort on the sea front, on grounds that it shares with its sister resort Elounda Bay. A popular hotel for families, it features small sandy beaches, seaside restaurants, immaculate gardens and top quality food. Families can take advantage of the free kids club which runs swimming and tennis lessons as well as shows in the afternoon. Both hotels offer standard size rooms on their main buildings (choose between sea or mountain view) as well as a number of bungalow suites throughout the grounds. If you feel like splurging, one of the executive hillside suites with private pool or the seafront Yachting suites (with infinity pools, private entrance, sunken bathtubs and butler service) prove that Elounda Beach is a versatile hotel that caters for all tastes and pockets.


see Sail around Mirabello Bay (daily departures from Agios Nikolaos Port). Trips to Spinalonga island are not to be missed (half hourly departures from the village of Plaka). Drive to the mountain village of Kritsa and shop for local soft furnishings and rugs (Sat nav postcode: 720 51). In the evening, head to Agios Nikolaos. The shops are open till late.

Shop finds in Plaka

Ruins on Spinalonga island



eat Taverna Ferryman (Akti Olountos, Schisma Elountas), is family owned and the shooting location for the TV series ÂŤWho Pays the FerrymanÂť. Away from the traffic, it benefits from uninterrupted sea views. Kanali restaurant has a simple decor and menu but you are guaranteed fresh fish and a very friendly service. After you come back from your trip to Spinalonga, walk to Giovanni's for lunch but remember to check availability in advance and book as needed, this restaurant is really popular.





Summer Berry Refresher words and photography by Sophie Barnes

This summer berry refresher drink is very popular with my friends and family. It's simple to make, even for a 10 year-old like me. I prefer to use blueberries, raspberries and strawberries as my berry mix but feel free to use other fruit that you like. For example, once I tried to add banana too. A delicious drink for any hot day! This recipe makes 2 drinks.

ingredients 155g frozen berry mix 150ml milk 1 tablespoon of caster sugar

method First put the frozen berry mix in a blender. Then add 150ml of milk and blitz until smooth. Add a little bit of milk if the mixture is still very thick. Add a tablespoon of sugar and blitz for 10-15 seconds until smooth and milkshake-like consistency. Serve in a pretty glass with a paper straw and decorations if you like. Enjoy your berry time!



“open up & inspire�

FARIBA SOLTANI interview by Karolina Barnes, photography by Fariba Soltani

1. What has been your journey so far? While working within the architecture field I nurtured my long passion for pattern creation that was seeded long back by being alongside my mother, a Persian rug designer and maker. In my spare time I was working on designing patterns as a hobby. Those days were the best days, as I could let my mind to go free, there were no boundaries to my self-made brief, and there was no budget, customer or market to think of.


As I was feeling more confident with my design I looked into turning the ideas to a tangible product. Textile, and silk in particular, looked to be the most promising material to work with as it brings all the details out beautifully. I always loved to accessorise my look with bold patterned accessories so it was natural for me to explore scarves as a suitable product. Quality of the material and the fine tactile feel had always been very important for me so when looking for a factory to produce my scarves these traits were the first things that I looked for. My search led me to Italy and country famed for their know-how and high quality. I had my first set of samples from my chosen producer and I was over-joyed by the results. It was such an amazing feeling seeing my hand drawings and flat images on my computer turned to a product that I was very proud of. I decided to test the market, so presented my first collection at Scoop Fashion Show in London in 2014. There I met Fenwick Bond Street, who bought the entire collection. That gave me the approval I needed to progress further. The brand looks and design style has evolved a lot since then. But the core principle is still the same. Bold design and superb quality. My range of products cover women’s and men’s scarves and pocket squares. The biggest part of our range is the unisex jacquard virgin wool scarves that work very well with geometric patterns that is very much my focus.

2. What’s different about your brand? The brand’s aim is designing well-crafted and timeless pieces that can be relevant to our customers for much longer than a season or two. I invest in artisan production and our design language is individual and bold. My creations hold a story that is a direct reflection of who I am, my heritage and what I stand for. Italy is the cradle of high quality craftsmanship and production of artisan textile. I would like to help preserve the tradition and legacy by continuing to be “Made in Italy”. My brand is social, I am supporting the work of War Child charity. Their work is a cause that is very close to my heart. Growing up I had a first-hand experience of war, living as a young girl through seven years of the Iran- Iraq war. From each purchase from our website we donate 3% of the sale to the cause to provide a better future for these children. 62


3. How important is sustainability to you and your brand? I rise to anything green. As we all know fashion is one of the most pollutant industries. The world of fashion does not need another brand, it is saturated, but we are here, lets do what we can to reduce the damage to our environment by being not just another fashion brand but a conscious one. We all need to do our share for the cultural and social change to happen. I am working with a family owned production house that have put ethical and ecological production at the forefront of their work. As part of my production process I do on-site visits to the factory in Italy to follow up on their environmental and sustainability work. Their proven environmental benchmark and unravelled premium quality are a source of relief and pride for us, and we can confidently say, we are not fast fashion and our style is synonymous with ethics. We am also introducing sustainability further to all the levels of our work, from packaging to greener shipping and delivery options.

4. What is your mission with FARIBA SOLTANI? With my accessories I would like to promote the sense of individuality and to encourage people to play and be bolder with their style and be more personal. By using our accessories to bring out their inner creativity. One can carry a scarf in many ways all depends how you pair it with other outfits, so the entire look can change with a simple accessory. Your look is very much an indication of your personality, let it be shown.

5. How would you describe your typical customer? My clients are located all over the world but they all share some common characteristics. They are all curious with an interest in alternative design, great quality and stories. They care deeply about their personal style and individuality.


6. Running your own business is not easy. What would be your 3 top tips for anyone thinking about or starting business now in your industry? 1/ Know your customers and market, who are you designing for and your product positioning. This is the number one most important issue in starting any business. There is no point in spending thousands of pounds on Google and Facebook ads when you do not know who you are trying to sell to. What is their age, where do they shop and what is their style. If you attend an event to promote your brand make sure your brand sits well alongside other brands. Do a thorough analysis and really dwell deep on this topic. 2/ Know your numbers from day one. Have a budget plan and be smart about spending - do a good research and get value for money, from photoshoots, styling to website. It hurts when I see people spend huge amount of money they do not have on expensive photoshoots. There are tones of great photographers out there, they do it for much less. 3/ Without sales you have no business, that is the brutal reality. Try to get out as soon as you have a tangible product and get your products seen. Depending on your product it might be pop ups, private events or market places you go to. Just go and do it. You learn tonnes about your customer and your own product. You speed up your progress, by hearing first hand customer's feedbacks, from design to quality and pricing.

“Try to get out as soon as you have a tangible product and get it seen. That way you learn tonnes about your customer and your own product.�




ESTILA BOOKAZINE Subscribe to ESTILA and get: ESTILA VOLUME 1. For limited time only, we are offering FREE digital version of our Volume 1. The Style Tales. All you have to do is to click below and get the issue featuring: • an interview with Matthew Williamson • an interview with Kim Winser, MBE • an interview with Grace Bonney, the founder of Design*Sponge ..and so much more.



ESTILA BOOKAZINE editor in chief

Karolina Barnes fashion editor

Flavia Young @ Luxe Layers beauty editors

Nicola McCullough @ StrawberryBlonde Beauty Karla Cihak food editor

Ellen Stanton @ Pale Blue Plate Sophie Barnes design editor

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