She’s a Lady with H&M

belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot

With A/W firmly knocking, our heads are in Autumnal shopping mode. Bring on the chunky knits, gothic florals and rich colour palette. Shades of wine and chocolate ~ our favourites. If we could rename Oatmeal as ‘Fries’ in the Pantone shade book then we would, but that’s a whole other story. 

For their Autumn campaign, H&M asked us to style key pieces from their brand new collection and discuss a topic so very dear to our hearts: The evolution of woman, inspirational women and what it means to be #ladylike today. We also interviewed inspirational business women Caroline Charles OBE, to discuss the topic and chat with someone who has worked through the last 50 years, where the idea of what a women ‘should be’ has changed so much. 

Around the world there are many ideas about what it means to be feminine. The fashion industry and those in it, like us, can reinforce or challenge those views. With the growing influence of bloggers who are not models but real people you can see the appeal. We’ve seen the rise of the ‘real’ woman portraying different body images and challenging the norm, and striving to have it all. The great job, happy family & healthy body. For us as working mothers we both know the struggle juggle is real, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Before social media opened the doors to choice our role models were dictated to us. Stay at home mum or ball busting business women. The 2 never mixed. The world now has an array of powerful, beautiful and inspirational women championing identities and opinions that before wouldn’t have got the airtime.

Never before has being your own person been so saluted.

 Choose your own way to be #ladylike

Today we are fortunate that young women’s role models are an eclectic cocktail of shape, colour and age and this is something as a generation we should be proud of, don’t you think?! Breaking down the boundaries of femininity to future generations to embrace who and what they choose. For us we love the balance of masculine & feminine sartorial combinations and mixing the 2 to create a look that feels ladylike but also fashion forward. A pretty maxi skirt with a slouchy manly sweatshirt or a pretty pleated skirt with a chunky oversize sweater cinched at the waist for a womanly touch, making your feminine look your own. We see ladylike style as being true to your own style and being confident!

belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot

belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot
belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot
belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot
belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot
belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot
belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot

 One lady who knows about this topic is Caroline Charles, OBE, fashion designer and exceptional business women. Caroline has been our personal mentor and family friend for years and to us epitomises a strong, successful and inspirational women. She entered the world of fashion at art school, followed by a couture apprenticeship then went on to work for Mary Quant before setting up her own business which has been running 50 years. Yes, 50 years people! As perhaps one of fashion’s original #girlbosses who has achieved the much coveted role of successful business women & working mother, Caroline has given us SO many pearls of wisdom over the years and inspired us to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, to see clearly, prioritise and move forward.

So as part of H&M‘s Fall Fashion 2016 Inspiring Women Campaign who better to have a chat with than the lady herself!  caroline-charles

 Alice: How do you think the role of women in the work place has changed from when you started your fashion business in the 1960s?

Caroline: Many more woman run fashion businesses now and they have raised the bar of expectations.

Hannah: Has being a women in business helped or hindered your success?

Caroline: Being a woman in the fashion business is a bonus as obviously you can dress in your own style which helps! 

Alice: Did you have any female role models growing up that inspired you to become your own boss?

Caroline: Chanel, Sonia Rykiel, Mary Quant, are all inspiring role models. 

Hannah: Being both a mother and a boss is a constant juggling act. Do you think there is an ideal balance for women with work and home life and how have you achieved it?

Caroline: Take children to work rooms, fashion shows, trade shows etc. when working there oneself.

Hannah: How have you managed to stay true to yourself and your style over the years, especially in such an ever changing image based industry as fashion and when women are so often advised on what they do and don’t look good in?

Caroline: My mother and grandmother taught me all about style and with that basic confidence I’ve built my career.

Alice: Today there can be a constant pressure through social media and celebrity based media for women to live a perfect lifestyle and look a certain way. What advice would you give to young girls and women finding it daunting to live up to the high expectations?

Caroline: Set your own expectations. Life is never perfect but it is certainly interesting, be curious and ask questions.

Hannah: What advice would you give the younger you?

Caroline: “Think deeply, speak gently, love much, laugh often, work hard, give freely and be kind.”

belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot

belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot

belle & bunty h&m autumn winter 2016 inspiring women ladylike campaign london fashion blogger paris shoot

We’d love to hear who inspires you to be your best and achieve greatness! Who is the most inspiring women in your life?!

Alice wears skirt, jumper and bag by H&M

Hannah wears dress and bag by H&M

Photos by Victoria Metaxas

This post is in collaboration with H&M

Follow along on Instagram and Twitter searching #HMAutumnFashion and #ladylike to join in on the action

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2 comments so far.

2 responses to “She’s a Lady with H&M”

  1. Jenn Lake says:

    So chic, ladies!

  2. Thank you! Paris as a backdrop always helps!xx