I first met Laura Taylor, Brand Manager of Aqua by Aqua and now 27, whilst out and about Style Hunting along Carnaby Street in March 2010. At the time Aqua’s first London store (on Fouberts Place) was just a building site, but Laura’s outfit was impeccable. I recall that she was the first girl I had stopped who had given the radica l(!) tube midi dresses that were hitting stores a spin. Now they seem anything but daunting, but at the time this was a tricky hem-length to be dealing with after seasons of minis. It was impossible to miss her (well, she is pretty tall) and even now, if I spot a well-dressed, leggy girl strut past Liberty’s I just know it's her - especially when that signature up do bobbing along. So I thought it was about time I caught up with Miss Taylor to see how her personal style has changed over the past year and whether her bun is still topping off many a look...
We met at Aqua's HQ in east London’s fashion hub, Dalston, and I was thrilled to discover Laura had set up an ENTIRE rail of her favourite items for us to play dress up. This wasn't even her home(!) but there we were, drowning in Mulberry bags and brilliant vintage purchases. Yippedy!
The first outfit (named ‘Purple Smurf’!) blew me and the rest of the Aqua office away. I'm yet to witness really bold colour blocking on girls about town (despite large sales of bright separates and the fash pack’s determined efforts at February's fashion month) so it was great to see this trend realised to its full potential off of the catwalk. And you’ll be even happier to know that the ensemble was about 90 per cent vintage, so no killer price tags needed to look this fab, then. It was a happy coincidence that Laura’s trousers (from a stall on Broadway Market) matched her vintage blouse from Jesters. Good finds! The accessories are: Mulberry bag, Scott Wilson for ASOS bracelet and Topshop wedges.
Next up? More colour!
Like many of us in our mid-twenties Laura has phased out of those scruffy student days and her current look is smart and sleek, with classic items like this trench becoming a new wardrobe essential. She’s also a white shirt obsessive – this one from COS must be freshly ironed and coolly crisp for her to even consider wearing it. Laura told me her Mother has the same fixation, with hundreds of white shirts neatly lined up in her wardrobe. I wish I was that friendly with my ironing board. I love the way she's updated such a timeless piece (it’s Burberry BTW) with leather shorts from Beyond Retro, Acne wedge boots and a big Mulberry bag and boyish Rolex. This girl certainly loves a heel, but she’d dress this down with flats on a work day.
Miss Taylor’s closet is looking very trouser heavy at the moment and these white beauts (a rare find on eBay) are the perfect base for a bit o’ crrrrazzeee colour blocking. Her ‘ridiculously clashing’ get-up consists of a shirt she bought in China, where three different colours cost her just £25 (bargs), a coat (also from eBay), Mango nude belt (it was Laura’s pivotal piece for making this look work), Topshop shoes and her gold necklace - another Scott Wilson for ASOS piece. No wonder she looks so happy, this outfit is like an instant smile.
Now, time for something Aqua!
These gold studded jeans from the brand certainly turned a few heads in the kebab shops down Kingsland Road – as did Laura’s killer clog boots from Opening Ceremony. And they don’t make for a fast walking pace, so everyone got a reet good ogle at this outfit. This is Laura’s evening style and although she didn’t mention it, I have always admired that very French way of doing denim for dusk and beyond.
Along with the fierce skinnies, her leather top from Zara (well, actually it’s flether and NOT suitable for a hot day like the one we photographed on, but hey, no pain, no gain), Moschino belt (bought from Spitalfields Market), Gestuz caped jacket and Hermes cuff complete the sinister look Laura was aiming for. The drama of black and gold endures; it’s an oldy but a goody.
This is what Laura's cheeky colleagues call her ‘Lasiters dress’. Now, if you don't get that straight away, then think old school episodes of Neighbours and the uniform Lasiters hotel staff would wear. See it? Yes, that pastel speckled print is a bit familiar… I'm pretty sure that even Ramsey St's finest fashionistas wouldn’t have the balls to team this 80s style frock (from Rokit) with a pair those Opening Ceremony ankle boots, chav hoop earrings from a wholesale store on Berwick Street, a faux fur tailed Chanel bag and a shock of red lippy. Lovely stuff. Oh look – and there’s the bun!
Pictures all taken on the Olympus XZ1.
- Hannah Almassi