Why I’m taking La Femme London in a new direction…

Smile, stop worrying and eat the cake!

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog recently. I promise this isn’t laziness, far more exciting is that I’ve been taking some time for mindful reflection and to really rethink WHAT my blog should be about and even more important WHY you should take time out of your day to read it. After all in a world where speed is everything time is our biggest commodity and so there is a certain luxury to be had in choosing how and where to spend it.

With so much information around us it can be overload and I find it a battle sometimes to find inspiration, bombarded by feelings of being both over & underwhelmed by what I see in my social media news feeds and in the mainstream media.

Not only that, but I’ve found the past 12 months a time of great personal battle as well as growth. I lost one of my best friends this year to alcohol and this hit me in a way I never expected. Shortly after my father had a heart attack and a lucky escape from death, again brought on by alcohol and smoking. As sombre as it sounds it really made me address my own demons and rethink what is important to me and what I want to achieve in my life, the legacy I want to leave for my children and grandchildren. I know that sounds slightly narcissistic but it’s certainly not meant in that way.

My beautiful friend Natalie and I in our “youth”

Mentally my mindset has shifted also as to where my interests lay. For example when it comes to dressing myself “throwaway fashion” no longer excites me as it once did. I’ve turned a corner to the realisation that having new clothes constantly in order to achieve a perceived image of success is not worth the environmental damage nor the chance of supporting industries that are largely made up of workers living in modern-day slavery. Don’t get me wrong I still want lots of new things but I want those things to stay with me well beyond a the season. It’s easy to think that the battle against such things is too large to overcome as individuals but as Vivienne Westwood advocates, the idea of  “Buy less, wear more” means we can indeed have control and my attention has turned instead to things that are made to last and will transcend time, as well as supporting younger designers rather than conglomerates interested only in profit margins. My budget means I may still buy from Zara and Topshop but only ever when I feel that it will stay with me for a good amount of time and certainly not to the levels of consumption of my 20s.

I’ve always been a vintage girl at heart

At 36 my physical body is changing also and I’ve struggled this year to come to terms with the ageing process. I’m very lucky in the fact that I do actually look younger than I am, and the lovely lotions and potions I get to test are certainly giving me a boosting hand in this (thank you my fairy godmothers A.K.A the wonderful Beauty PRs I get to work with!)  but the cracks are definitely beginning to show and its been an eye-opening experience to no longer feel as confident as I used to about my looks. Not easy when your career rests on taking pictures of yourself to share online.

That said I no longer feel the NEED to look like or try to keep up with the 20-somethings smashing it on Instagram (more power to them!) but their world is not mine, nor do I have any desire to scrutinise my “numbers” as I was once obsessed, adding content that I feel will gain likes rather than following my passion, which has and will always be in telling stories through words, punctuated (hopefully) by strong imagery.

Trying to cheat my way to younger looking skin!

That’s not to say I’ve fallen out of love with Instagram, it’s still the first thing I do when I wake and the last at night and I can’t see that changing anytime soon as it’s where I find my main sources of inspiration. But what inspires me has changed and I’ve realised that if I am going to “influence” my audience, however large or small that might be I want to do so with passion and integrity, I don’t want to make others feel bad that they are not “living the life” of ever-changing clothes and bloggermail. I’m concentrating on being grateful For each opportunity that comes my way rather then beating myself up if there’s an event that I haven’t been invited to or a new product that I haven’t been sent to review.

The truth is I’ve had a very successful year in terms of career so am focusing on this instead of being blindsided by news feeds and campaigns designed to make me feel I’m not achieving/buying enough and in doing so I hope my blog will be more inclusive as well as inspiring.

I continue to love discovering new brands and products to share with you!

So, I hear you ask, what does this mean in terms of content?

Well, I’ve got 4 new weekly features lined up for you which I’ve been busy working on these past few weeks, each dedicated to my passions, Fashion, Beauty, London life, travel and sharing other women’s stories. 

When I started La Femme London in 2017, I wanted to write about fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Moving back to London after 12 years in Brighton, I fell madly in love with London all over again, and passionately enjoy discovering and sharing all the places I think my readers/social media followers would also love to experience, be that restaurants, family days out or beauty and fashion events happening in the capital. What’s struck me most however, are all the amazingly inspiring women I have been fortunate enough to meet since I moved back. This city is bursting with girlbosses and women rocking it in their chosen fields and so I want to share their stories so that you can feel as inspired as I do by them. I also want to dig into their own Little Black Books of London’s hottest secrets and share them with you.

As such, each week I’ll be interviewing a W.O.W woman as part of my W.O.W Wednesdays feature (that’s Women Of Wonder FYI), getting to know what challenges they have faced, how they have achieved their career success and finding out most importantly what London means to them and how its shaped their careers/personal life.

I’ve also got a new weekly fashion feature each Monday called “In praise of…” where instead of concentrating on disposable trends I’ll be looking at the pieces & trends that I can’t live without, have loved for years and know I’ll continue to for many more, indulging my passion for both writing and styling fashion. Think of them as my fashion love letters, punctuated with pieces you can also shop and enjoy.

I’ll be sharing my most beloved beauty products too, not just those exciting new releases but those I reach to again and again and which always prove their worth as part of my “Sunday Shelfie” feature.

And of course, I’ll be continuing to share my Insiders guide to London each friday so whether you live here, work here or are simply visiting you’ll ensure you always know the hottest spots to check out as well.

More travel please!

I’ve loads more planned, including my Christmas Gift guide, building on the success of last years guide as well as a monthly travel feature, kicking off with my Paris City Guide and some really exciting photography and filmed content for my instagram as well as a new redesign for the blog early next year.

So, La Femme London is about more than just my story. It’s for all Women, including YOU and I hope you’ll enjoy the new direction and continue to support my blog.

Natalie x 

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