October 15th sees the launch of the first ever ‘Wonders of Autumn’ campaign from McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Bridgend, from 15 October until 2 November 2015. The campaign heralds iconic pieces from the new season collections, as selected by best friends and emblems of cool, effortless style, Laura Jackson and Alice Levine.
Fashion favourites Laura and Alice are the perfect pair to offer McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Bridgend shoppers their unique, personal advice on those much coveted wardrobe staples. Their Wonders of Autumn “Perfect 10” outlines the AW hero pieces that stand the test of time, from the little black dress and designer handbag, to the best pair of jeans and the cosy chunky knit.
Whilst Alice would always choose a classic white shirt in a boxy fit, paired with her favourite blue denim, Laura styles hers cool, casual and oversized, with rolled up sleeves and a tailored trouser. Both girls know and appreciate the true worth of investment shopping, as proclaimed savvy shoppers who look for pieces to stand the test of time.
Laura Jackson and Alice Levine discuss their Shopping Habits
- Do you have any fashion tips for Welsh shoppers?
Laura Jackson says: “Cardiff is such a great place to shop as I find it offers something for a range of tastes and budgets. McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Bridgend is a must visit when in Wales, as its luxury and high street offerings are really easy to navigate, and you can make the most of the good weather as it’s based outdoors.”
Alice Levine says: “McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Bridgend has such a lovely mix of brands, and everything is reduced by 60% all year round. It’s perfect if you live in or are visiting Wales to treat yourself with a spot of shopping.”
- What’s your best advice for finding the best deals when shopping?
Laura Jackson says: “I am ALL about a deal and that’s why McArthurGlen Outlets are fantastic! You can find brilliant hidden gems at a fraction of the price. When you let me loose in there I end up spending more money as there are so many amazing things.”
Alice Levine says: “Invest in some staples and supplement them with vintage and charity shop finds. Don’t be thrown off course by something eye catching that you’ll end up wearing once. Sample sales are excellent – but arrive early and prepare to have your elbows out. Don’t deliberate, pick up everything you vaguely like and discard the no-go’s later on.”
- What are your tips for shopping this season’s investment pieces at McArthurGlen designer outlet?
Laura Jackson says: “I would say invest in a good knit – layering is the key to AW dressing, A good coat is important so look for something you can wear for all occasions. I like to keep my coat to a tame colour, nothing too garish that will go out of fashion – stick to a timeless muted palette.”
Alice Levine says: “Look at your wardrobe and think what will tie your existing pieces together. A classic black trouser or white shirt could give you a whole new set of combinations. McArthurGlen has some incredible coats this season too and that is the item you will spend most of your time in. Classic doesn’t have to mean black – try a navy, grey or even maroon.”
- Do you like to mix high-street and designer?
Laura Jackson says: “Yes – I’m a huge ambassador for the high street, but I always think that it’s good to invest in designer piece too. A good quality Mulberry bag will last years, but invest wisely and only where you need to. Different stores have different purposes for every individual – but don’t be afraid to try something new. “
- How often would you invest in a designer piece?
Laura Jackson says: “Every season I invest in something designer, that way I can build up my wardrobe but also treasure each piece I have bought.”
Alice Levine says: “I’m a real sales girl. So I would definitely get some designer pieces then. You’ve got to love a bargain! It’s definitely a treat to buy something designer.”
- Where are your favourite shopping places / cities?
Laura Jackson says: “My favourite places to shop are London, Paris and New York.”
Alice Levine says: “Paris has incredible vintage shops to suit all budgets and the flea markets really fun. New York has incredible thrift shops plus great boutiques. I think London has enviable high street shops.”
Laura Jackson and Alice Levine discuss AW fashion
- What is your top tip for AW shopping?
Laura Jackson says: “My top tip for AW dressing is investing in a great statement coat. It’s the first thing people see and a good coat always stands the test of time. McArthurGlen has some of the most sought after luxury brands at up to 70% off so you can get something quite fabulous for a bargain.”
Alice Levine says: “Layers, layers, layers! Try a polo neck under a jumper, a shirt under a dress or a jacket plus a coat. It makes items from the rest of the year integrate into your AW wardrobe. Clashing textures or prints along the way looks great, or alternatively you can match your pieces. More than anything, it keeps you warm!”
- What defines AW style to you?
Laura Jackson says: “I feel that my style is constantly evolving but one thing that never changes is my love for AW dressing. I love layering up for the weather with chunky knits and oversized coats, and I’m also a fan of a cashmere hat. AW is a time to experiment with textures and colours.”
Alice Levine says: “It’s all the colours that I love – berry, mustard, deep forest green and navy. My AW dressing is more polished and put together than the rest of the year. In summer it’s about loose, light fabrics. Come Autumn I’m so ready for merino wool, cashmere, suede and glossy leather.”
- What is your go-to AW piece for when you have nothing to wear?
Laura Jackson says: “My go-to pieces always change as I go through moments of being obsessed with something and then move on to something else. I never get tired of my Chanel black boots (they were a gift.) If I have a bit of a dull outfit day I wear those boots and they instantly lift my look and mood. You can’t beat a pair of leather boots that look better and better the more you wear them.”
Alice Levine says: “I’m all about a blouse, worn under a dungarees dress with the collar poking out of a jumper, or with a cardigan, or simply with a skirt and black tights. It’s so versatile and has a grown up, I’ve-made-an-effort air about it (even if I do hate ironing!)”
- Which AW style staple stands the test of time for you?
Laura Jackson says: “My navy cashmere jumper collection is getting out of control. I cannot see a good navy jumper and not buy it. I would have to say without doubt that the navy jumper is my all-time A/W style staple – it basically dominates half my wardrobe.”
Alice Levine says: “I love a trench coat as it can add a 60s / 70s tailored feel to any outfit. I like that slightly androgynous Annie Hall look. Plus you can wear something quite plain underneath. A classic camel trench will serve you very well. Wear open and flowing or cinched with the belt.”
- Which trends will you be buying into for AW15?
Laura Jackson says: “I’m really excited about this AW as there have been great looks on the catwalk: Pie crust collars, pussy bow shirts and Victoriana dresses. There seems to have been a 70’s resurge from the likes of Gucci, their collection was mind blowing. Erdem is keeping things fresh with winter prints and the most beautiful high neck, long sleeved dresses.”
Alice Levine says: “A faux fur collar in a bright shade that I can wear with jumpers or coats. A great pair of block heeled ankle boots or Velvet platform sandals with socks and wide legged trousers.”
- How do you transition your make-up and hair for AW?
Laura Jackson says: “I tend not to wear make-up unless I’m working, but I wear less makeup in the summer than the winter. For both summer and winter I like dewy skin as I feel this makes a face look more alive, but in the winter I wear a black eyeliner and a red lipstick (not at the same time.) I also like glossy eyes; I get this look by using a lip gloss on my eye lids!”
Alice Levine says: “In the Summer I do loose styles, air dried waves, Heidi braids and low pony tails. For AW I like a messy 60s pony with a a beehive – a bit more done and back combed. In terms of make-up I’m much more daring in the winter, mixing it up with a dark lip or trying a new eye look.”
Laura Jackson and Alice Levine discuss their personal style and interests
- What is your earliest fashion memory?
Laura Jackson says: “My sister Anna and I are 16 months apart and my mum made all of our clothes when we were little, the same outfits but in different colours – a bit like the Olsen twins…maybe not as cool though!”
Alice Levine says: “I was like a magpie. I loved going through my Mum’s jewellery box and putting EVERYTHING on, she also had a pair of pewter high heels which I would go and dig out, take to my room and try and walk around in.”
- What is the one item you couldn’t live without?
Laura Jackson says: “My Chanel handbag. It’s worth investing in key items that will last forever.”
Alice Levine says: “Black opaque tights – I pretty much live in them from September. I love the thick wool ones too – back to school chic!”
- What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
Laura Jackson says: “Less is definitely more!”
Alice Levine says: “What you feel good in is what you look good in!”
- What (or who) inspires your style?
Laura Jackson says: “I love women with classic and effortless style such as Lou Doillon, Clemense Posey, Jeanne Damas, Caroline De Maigret and Phoebe Philo. I’m inspired by the 60’s fashion movement, their style is truly amazing – Jane Birkin and Francoise Hardy are my ultimate style icons!”
Alice Levine says: “My mum is very stylish and has a great eye when shopping. I also look to icons from different eras. 70s Charlotte Rampling – what a babe! Diane Keaton also had an incredible look. In terms of modern muses, I love Michelle Williams and how she mixes and matches things and always looks herself. Instagram can be addictive too – I constantly screen grab looks I like for inspiration!”
- What is your classic Autumn dish for Jackson&Levine supper club?
Laura Jackson says: “We have a classic cocktail that’s perfect for all seasons called ‘Rocket Fuel.’ Its gin, elderflower and Prosecco and gets everyone in the party mood!
Alice Levine says: “We love hearty food and dishes that pack a flavour punch but aren’t fussy or frilly. I would say we would slow roast a lamb shoulder for hours and hours until it fell off the bone. Then everyone can fight over it!”
- What’s your favourite Autumn activity / day out?
Laura Jackson says: “Nothing beats having a big group of friends in the pub by a fire drinking wine, playing board games and reading the papers on a Saturday or Sunday all day. At my local pub this was our favourite past-time in the winter, people would just drop in and out all day, its perfect.”
Alice Levine says: “I love a bike ride round the city and maybe popping in at Columbia Road flower market to pick up some blooms, and then a coffee on Broadway market. I just like people watching.”