PHOTOGRAPHS BY STEPHANIE SIAN SMITH
Forget Fashion Weeks, the highlight of the past month for me was the ELLE Style Awards 2013 – not least because I got to enjoy the Awards dinner with Markus Lupfer (he gave me a preview of his a/w 2013 look book on his iPhone), Holly Fulton and Osman Yousefzada and got a close-up of Kate Hudson in her amazing Stella McCartney red lace dress.
With any fashion event, what to wear is the biggest dilemma. To avoid the stress of finding something new, this year I returned to an old favourite: a 3.1 Phillip Lim dress.
I admit, it's been worn to a previous ELLE Style Awards and many a wedding, too, but recycling a look is often the thriftiest option, especially one that's as well-loved as this one. (There's actually a rather obsessive tale behind the purchase of this dress, but I'll save that for another day.)
I kept the rest of my look simple with a vintage Whiting & Davis clutch that made its first appearance at the ELLE Style Awards 2011 and a pair of suede and snakeskin Chie Mihara sandals that I purchased last summer, post-Latitude festival in Southwold (along with my Aubin & Wills quilted jacket; I'm still mourning the closure of A&W).
It's always worth checking out independent boutiques for designer labels. My Chie Mihara shoes were from Collen & Clare, which stocks everything from Acne to Vaness Bruno Athé. It just so happened there were 50% reductions in store, so my shoes came tumbling down from £195 to £97.50.
They're worth every penny. Ever since I bought my first pair of Chie Mihara shoes, I've been impressed. Chie Mihara makes heels that are comfortable. The ELLE Style Awards was the first outing for my new shoes and there weren't any painful feet to complain of. Perfect for a night of partying.
See what the rest of Team ELLE wore to the ELLE Style Awards 2013, plus read what the team's favourite memories are over the years. I'll leave you with mine…
'As the award for International Designer of the Year was being announced in 2010, I glanced to my left and I saw Burberry's Christopher Bailey waiting to go on stage to collect his award.
I caught his eye and gave him a big congratulatory smile and he smiled back!'