GIVEAWAY | Tuckernuck Monogrammed Satchels


'If it moves, monogram it!' This is one of my top mantras, so I'm really excited to give readers the chance to win win two monogrammed satchels from Tuckernuck!

Tuckernuck is an online retail destination curated for the classic, all-American lifestyle. Founded in 2012, Tuckernuck embodies American style and active spirit, rooted in sport, travel, family, friends and celebration. The site combines new and exciting brands with large iconic names, and their products represent a timeless look based on ease, tradition and American cool. 

I recently interviewed Jocelyn Gailliot, Co-Founder and CEO of Tuckernuck which you can check out here! 

Two readers will be in with the chance of winning either a CB Station monogrammed sunshine satchel and a CB Station monogrammed savvy satchel - they're the perfect satchel for fall! 

To enter, use the widget below. This giveaway is open to US readers only and ends on the 6th October 2014. 

The newest Clinton family member!


via // via
Congratulations to Chelsea Clinton and her husband Marc on the arrival of their daughter Charlotte! These pictures of the new parents- and proud grandparents are absolutely amazing!

Links of the Week


Kerry Washington launches the amazing Scandal clothing line!

I'm a big fan of Lee Radziwill, so Town & Country's article on Style Lessons we can learn from her is a dream!

An excellent profile of the BBC's Lyse Doucet

Ten contemporary American artists' work on Broadway

White House Week


This week, President Obama attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

President Obama led the United Nations Security Council in unanimously passing a binding resolution to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into -- and out of -- Iraq and Syria. President Obama also spoke on the Ebola crisis in Africa.

Also in New York, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the U.N. Global Education First Initiative in New York City. The initiative brings together heads of state and government, leading international advocates, and U.N. principals to focus on the importance of a quality education as a way to build a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable world. Find out more about the initiative here. 

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers the special keynote address at the United Nations' Global Education First Initiative's high-level event at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Life Lately


It's been a busy couple of weeks for me as a blogger, and as someone who wears lots of different hats!

In a new thread for Political Style, I'll be sharing with you some of the things I've been up to- but I also want to hear what you've been doing too!

Here's a glimpse into what I've been doing...

Working my way through all the September issues (is it just me, or are they MASSIVE this year?!)
Cleaning out my room ahead of my new bed delivery
Finding the perfect monogram pillows (thank you Pottery Barn!)
Getting back into a schedule following summer
Redesigning Political Style with help from One Beat Designs
Compiling a list of places to visit in Paris
Getting excited for the premiere of Madam Secretary! 
Making some impromptu purchases from J.Crew
Working on some exciting new business projects
Using Pinterest for fall fashion ideas

Share your latest adventures with me in the comments!

Madam Secretary: TV you can’t miss!


I’ve been waiting for Madam Secretary to air for months, and the premiere episode, broadcast over the weekend did not disappoint!

Our lead character is Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst turned professor who is asked by the President to become his new Secretary of State. McCord had left her DC life behind, moving to Virginia to teach and live on a farm with her family. Fast forward two months, and she’s settling in to her new role, navigating the waters with members of her inherited staff and adjusting to her new life.

Her first challenge is to rescue two American teenagers who have been imprisoned in Syria, going head to head with the President’s Chief of Staff and using tested back channels to eventually get them released.  McCord also has to welcome the President of Swaziland and his seven wives, and this causes for some interesting diplomacy at the dinner table.  There was also a great cliffhanger at the end of the episode for an arc which will run the length of the series.

In some ways the show reminded me of Commander in Chief (remember that?)  but it’s a stronger take on a woman in government. Tea Leoni is a great choice to play the Secretary of State, and brings both strength and humor to the role. The relationship with her on-screen husband Tim Daly is believable and sweet, and it’s evident that their scenes are going to be some of the greatest in the series. The supporting cast is brilliant- Bebe Neuwirth, Patina Miller and Geoffrey Arend are all excellent choices.

The set decoration, costumes and music are all brilliant- I can’t wait for the series to continue!

Travel in style with the Victorinox Swiss Army collection


This fall, Victorinox Swiss Army has introduced Victoria, the brand’s first line created specifically for women. The lifestyle collection includes an assortment of versatile and convertible styles that fit the way busy women live, work and play.

Boasting sleek Swiss design, the Victoria Collection includes an assortment of classic day bags, totes, carry-ons and travel accessories in black and sand, with bold pops of orchid and lime. While the exterior reflects Victoria’s passionate spirit, the interior focuses on practicality and organization. From jewelry, cosmetics and sunglasses to laptops and tablets, the multitude of pockets will keep contents organized and accessible on-the-go.

The Victoria collection ranges in price from $99.99 - $299.99 and the pieces are a perfect range to invest in.

The Ambition carry-on and the Muse make-up organiser models are my favourite, and I would opt for one in black and the other in orchid! One of the things I dislike most about travelling is packing, and if you're anything like me, a piece from the Victoria line will make that chore much simpler and stylish!

Emma Watson- 'I'm a feminist'


Have you seen Emma Watson's address to a UN event addressing gender inequality? It raises many important questions and is well worth a watch.

What are your thoughts on Watson's speech? Let me know in the comments below.

Photos from The White House: July 2014


The White House is really treating us this month! Here's another batch of photos taken in July. You can check out some more here!

The White House

Links of the Week


An amazing office/closet reveal- this is what my dream closet looks like!

Take a peek inside Sarah Jessica Parker's amazing Greenwich Village home! 

A revealing insight into Jackie Kennedy's struggle after the assassination of JFK

GIVEAWAY| 3 Month Birchbox Subscription


Birchbox are redefining the retail process by offering consumers a unique and personalized way to discover, learn about, and shop the best beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products on the market.

Headquartered in New York City, Birchbox launched in September 2010 and extended into men’s products in April 2012 with Birchbox Man. In September 2012, Birchbox acquired Paris-based JolieBox, gaining business units in France, the UK, and Spain to take the company global and become the international market leader in discovery commerce.

I recently interviewed Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, founders of Birchbox for The Huffington Post. Make sure you check out my interview here! 

I'm excited to have teamed up with Birchbox to give one lucky reader a three month subscription!

Enter this great giveaway by using the widget below. The giveaway closes on the 27th September 2014. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Morning Routine


Each of us has a morning routine that hopefully helps us to face the day ahead with a smile!

So how do I start my day? 

Before I leave my bed, I reach for my iPad and check my emails and social network notifications. I know some people would rap me on the wrist for admitting this, but these ten minutes allow me to start my day on top form and get ready to be productive.

Then the regime begins! For my face, I use my Clarisonic three to four times a week, and my skin instantly looks brighter after it has completed the quick two minute cycle. On other days I'll use a gentle cleanser like Simple's Facial Wash Gel. I tone my skin with Clinique's Clarifying Lotion 2 and use a moisturiser like AHAVA's Essential Day Moisturizer or the classic Hydrating Gel Cream from Bobbi Brown.

After I've brushed my teeth, washed my hair and showered, I use a thick body lotion like Neutrogena's Moisture Wrap to keep my skin hydrated all day long. If I'm heading to work then I'll straighten my hair, otherwise I keep it natural and let it do its own thing!

I've featured my beauty products before,  but my three favourite fragrances currently on rotation are Tory Burch, Coach's Poppy and this great set of mini scents from AERIN.

After this I'll get dressed and have a light breakfast before taking the day on!

I'd love to hear about your morning routine and any recommendations for new products that I should try! Leave me a comment or tweet me!

Making a Difference: Interview with Dayle Haddon


Social media has made a huge difference in my life, and one of the best things to come out of a tweet was the opportunity to interview Dayle Haddon. You may be familiar with Haddon's successful career as a model, and as the only individual to hold a contract with the four big beauty brands at one time. Dayle has since established the non-profit WomenOne, and she and her team are making a real difference in educating girls across the world.

Dayle's story is one of hard work, determination and grit. It's inspiring to its core, and I'm excited to share my interview with her below. Hope you will feel as inspired as I am!
The Author with Dayle, 2013.
Tell us about the journey of WomenOne and why you wanted to establish a non-profit.

WomenOne advocates for the power of one educated girl to transform her life, inspire a community and change the world. I was initially unsure on what to focus on, but I knew that I wanted to help people that were in trouble. This idea developed to improving education, and more specifically secondary education, as it is where the drop-off for these women and girls occurs.

I have been a UNICEF Ambassador since 2008, and through my involvement, I have travelled to countries such as Africa and South America. On these journeys, I saw that women and girls were falling through the cracks, particularly during a visit to a small Angolan clinic where they only had two microscopes. The project was on a scale that was too small for UNICEF.

In Bolivia, c/o Dayle Haddon.
What projects are WomenOne currently working on?

I naively thought that I could visit two countries a year with WomenOne! I’m also a Free the Children Ambassador and travelled to Kenya to help build a school. A lot of girls’ tuition was not paid for and I offered to provide my help. I initially managed to sponsor four girls, and thanks to support in the US, many more are now being sponsored yearly. I returned to see how they were progressing and 60 Minutes did a lead story about it back in 2012. We’re also involved with a Goldman Sachs mentoring scheme that is mentoring 10,000 women.

I’ve also travelled to Turkey, and in May 2013 I visited 10 cities in 9 days. The Turkish Philanthropy Fund runs successful programs throughout the country, and there are some areas in the Eastern side of the country that are still ‘medieval’ in their practices. I also visited the border between Iran and Syria and met with Syrian refugees who are living in camps. I could hear the shellings taking place in the country, and heard about how the crisis is impacting Syrian people, both wealthy and poor. Many of the children were so traumatized that they couldn’t speak for many months. I recently returned to the region with UNICEF.

Closer to home, I’ve held fundraisers in New York that have provided scholarships and education to prevent arranged marriages. WomenOne is now focusing upon Syrian refugees and is sponsoring two Duke fellows in the field for a year to provide education in and on the camps in Turkey and Jordan. I’d love to build a Peace Center eventually!

Panzi Hospital, Congo, c/o Dayle Haddon.
What advice can you offer to individuals hoping to start their own non-profit?

Focus on an area that you are most attracted to and interested in. Learn and do as much research as possible, and volunteer in your community or on a project over the summer to become an expert. It’s important to get your feet wet to see if you like it! Engage with others, and above all, be passionate about your interests.

Before I travel to a country I read everything I can so I can authentically connect with others. Columbia University runs many fascinating classes, and I often sit in on them. For example, I attended one on Islam that provided me with really valuable information for when I travelled to Muslim countries.
I guess I am the perennial and perpetual student, as I love to learn!  I’m also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations which has been extremely helpful and insightful into my line of work.

What is the best memory of your time as a model?

I’m not a model who ever thought the industry is dumb. I loved it, and I found it was more about ability, communication and reaching to the audience through the camera. I think I was more proactive and more satisfied than other models in the profession.

Great photographers are great artists and I’ve been fortunate to work with many of them. It’s extremely satisfying working with talented people.

Rural school in Darfur, c/o Dayle Haddon.
In your opinion, how has the industry evolved, and do you think it is better or worse?

The modeling world was smaller and intimate in my time, and there were no models with ‘names.’ I think I was the first model to have my name by my photos. The pay was smaller, and of course, there was no social media! Digital photography has brought a different feeling. A great person makes a great photo, and I find being photographed on film is much more real.  You don’t get the same feeling of connection with a digital camera.

During my time in the beauty industry I constantly thought of the women who were buying the products and tried to connect with them through the photograph. I have been known to sell lots of products, and I’d like to think that is the reason why. I held four big contracts during one time (L’Oreal, Max Factor, Revlon and Estee Lauder,) and women still write to me saying that they felt a connection. I’ve also found that I am big on airlines- particularly with stewards!

What do you hope your legacy as a model and an individual dedicated to ageless beauty will be?

I’m unsure if there is a legacy, but I do try to translate a sense of humanity and ‘something bigger.’ You are special and unique and you can make a difference. It’s important to know your value and that’s what beauty is.

Last year I attended We Day in Winnipeg and spoke about how inner beauty comes from being caring, thoughtful, and giving back to society. Your body is like a vehicle- it gets you around, but you need to enhance the inner you in every way you can.

With Mama Monica in Maasai Mara, c/o Dayle Haddon.
How did you establish your company, Dayle Haddon Concepts? What advice can you offer to those looking to start their own business?

I am an ideas person- if I can see it, I can do it.

I was called to the issue of aging and beauty through my own individual experience. At 37 I was told by the industry that I was too old! This is the message that women are continuing to hear, and I wanted to change the perception of the industry from the inside. Consequently I wrote a book and toured with it to 26 cities throughout the USA. If you’re alive, love all your life. Don’t hold on to a number and feel free to hear what your age is giving you.

To establish the company, I used a Barron’s Dictionary and used some of my connections to arrange meetings on Wall Street to raise capital. Sometimes not knowing is better.

If you’re looking to start your own business, the advice I would offer is:

Create the product- you can’t be the product.
‘No means maybe’- people just don’t know yet.
You can learn much more by asking.
Stay positive, resilient, and persistent and don’t take things personally. Love what you do and surround yourself with positive thinkers.

How has your upbringing influenced the work that you do today?

I’m from Canada, and there were always four distinct seasons. I played sport and tried to be healthy and natural. Our home was like a halfway house for children who were in between terrible things. I actively participated in food drives, sent toys to UNICEF collections and volunteered at hospitals.

Maasai Mara, c/o Dayle Haddon.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?

I don’t! Part of my work is my fun, but I am conscious not to burn out. I am disciplined about exercise and I walk my dogs in Central Park regularly. I am not a good vacation person, and only really take them for work purposes. I do like having massages, but I don’t like any other beauty treatments- I guess because I associate them with work. For me, the weekend is sacrosanct. I like museums, but not going to the cinema. I like to be around nature, particularly outside of the city, and spending time with my friends and family.

What lessons have you learned from the challenges that you’ve experienced in your life?

Don’t give up. Persistence is more important than talent. Enthusiasm, passion and excitement are what people relate to. Exhaust people into doing what you want. It’s not personal- don’t waste your energy!

There are many creative ways to knock the socks off and convince people both at the top and the bottom.

Dayle in the Congo with a young child she supports, c/o Dayle Haddon.
How has mentoring made a difference in your personal and professional life?

You always need to ask the opinions of others in life, and it’s important to keep collaborating for new blood and new ideas. I would suggest to readers that don’t ask for money, but instead, ask for advice. People are more willing to share their advice, and if they like your idea, hopefully they will then give capital!

Everyone likes to help those younger than them. I always talk to my interns about what they have learnt.

I continue to mentor and work with women at different stages of their career. For example, Fran Hauser helps WomenOne through her connections and also through her excellent brainstorming. It’s important that women step up to the plate and use all their resources to help.

It’s also important to say thank you all the time with notes, flowers, or simply words. Without them you didn’t get there.

I would rather like myself that get ahead. When you leave this world, leave it better because of your presence. Make up for what you took.

Who do you seek inspiration from?

My grandchildren, daughter and people that I meet everyday. I always ask cab drivers what keeps them optimistic, and they say that it’s their customers.

Dayle with Malala, c/o Dayle Haddon.
Which female leaders do you admire and why?

Hillary Clinton, Malala, Christiane Amanpour, Aung San Suu Kyi, Gloria Steinem. My Mom is a big inspiration.

I think people going the extra mile don’t always get validation. Moms raising kids are doing such an important job as they are raising new human beings. They are unsung heroines. My daughter is a full time Mom, and she’s my hero.

What words do you think best describe who you are?

Laughter, joy, love and making a difference. A loving person for those around me and those who I touch.

Rania and Suaid, two women that Dayle interviewed, c/o Dayle Haddon.

Political Style 2.0


If you are a regular visitor to Political Style you may have noticed that it has undergone a redesign. Welcome to Political Style 2.0!

Since I started Political Style in 2008, I've been fortunate to meet lots of great people on both sides of the Atlantic who are interested in the blog, and how the fields of politics and fashion make an innovative fit! I too am keen to explore this further, and I'll be featuring politicians on a frequent basis, asking them the tough questions but also questioning them about fashion!

I'll continue to feature your favourite fashion news and updates, as well as my top picks from some of my favourite stores and designers.

I'll also be sharing more of my life on Political Style, providing you with an insight into what I get up to, where I visit and who I spend time with.

Political Style will continue to feature your old favourites such as White House Week, Links of the Week and Reel Style, bringing you the latest news from The White House and how to score a look seen from the stage and screen.

I'd love to hear your opinion on the new posts that I will be sharing and what you would love to see on the blog. Get in touch with me by email, in the comments or on Twitter.

Thanks for your support, and here's to PS 2.0!

-Laura xo

PS Big thanks to One Beat Designs for assisting with the redesign of the blog!

J.Crew now open in Sloane Square


Good news J.Crew fans in the UK! The beloved American brand has opened a new store at 16 Sloane Square!

The store features the best of the women's and men's collections, including a full range of cashmere, a shoe salon and a Ludlow shop.

If you're planning a visit let me know what you think! 

White House Week


Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, at the National Archives, in Washington, D.C. September 9, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
This week at the White House, Vice President Joe Biden marked the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act. Twenty years ago this week, President Clinton signed into law the Act-- a landmark law that empowered women and children to expose and prosecute domestic violence. The signing of the law marked the end of an arduous road to pass the legislation and put our society on the path toward effectively combating such heinous abuses. Vice President Joe Biden, then a U.S. Senator, not only authored VAWA, but helped drive it through Congress and deliver it to the President's desk.

President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, listen to the national anthem during the September 11th Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Va., Sept. 11, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Later in the week the President and Mrs Obama marked thirteen years since September 11th, 2001. Moments of reflection were held at The White House and at an Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial. They also participated in a service project in the Washington DC area.

Behind the Scenes at the White House: Summer 2014


The White House has released some great photos that were taken over the summer. The President's trip to France, domestic travel and an unscheduled stop at Starbucks are all documented!

One Beat Designs Mlekoshi playground