Launch of Chucs Dive & Mountain Shop


Where: Automat
Joanne Black Style: Lanvin dress and ankle boots, Plein Sud fur, Alexander McQueen clutch, Stephen Webster earrings and a Damiani ring

You could be forgiven for thinking that the words glamour and adventure don’t often make it into the same sentence – let alone the same wardrobe. But, thanks to Charles Finch, whose new Chucs Dive & Mountain shop has just opened on Dover Street, we can all now look as stylish on the beach – or hiking through the mountains – as we do in the boardroom.

Finch’s brand may be new, but those close to him know it’s the result of a life-long dream for this film director, producer and CEO. It comes as no surprise then that stars from film, TV and fashion – including Emma Thompson, Bob Geldolf and designer Roland Mouret – came out to support his Jamaican-themed launch. With burgers and fries and Chuc’s cocktails to wash it all down, Automat provided the perfect setting to celebrate London’s newest seasonal holiday wear line.


Joanne Black and Olivia Cole

When you’re the son of an Academy award-winning actor and the grandson of the man who invented the puffa jacket – before ascending Everest in 1922 – producing an exclusive adventure fashion line for the stars seems like a natural step. And I won’t be the first to say I’m so glad he has. I’ve already invested in a Giles Deacon print bikini – Giles designed the print especially for the brand – and a pair of high-waisted shorts, which Cate Blanchett collaborated on, and I can’t wait to hit the streets of LA to try them out.

If his inaugural spring/summer collection is anything to go by, glamourous adventurers are in for a treat. I’m already looking forward to the next collection, where I hear an updated version of his grandfather’s original jacket will be making a rather stylish entrance.

A trend worth buying: The cape


Celebrity Style: the cape

The cape is one of fashion’s most forgiving – and versatile – pieces. On trend this season, it is perfect for keeping you warm, completing both casual and dressed up outfits and hiding those bits you’d rather people didn’t know you have. With a belt you can use it to emphasise your waist – or without one you can disguise the excesses of the festive season.


Camel ASOS Hooded Military Cape

Check out many of the big brands this season and you’ll be sure to find a cape to suit your style preferences. With everything from plain, grey and black capes – both long and short – to pieces with geometric shapes and splashes of colour, there really is a cape for every occasion. YSL has a version in its current campaign; Asos hodded Military camel cape is certainly worth a look, and Azzaro’s black cape with Swarovski crystals will add a touch of sparkle to your evening outfits.

For a bit of inspiration, you need look no further than our well-styled stars, who have welcomed the cape into their lives – and their wardrobes. I’ve seen Stella McCartney  in a black evening cape, Claudia Schiffer in a ¾-length green wool one worn casually during the day, Lily Allen in a geometric black and white number from LV and Daisy Lowe in a grey wool piece with a hood to keep her warm on a night out on the town.  Victoria Beckham kept it chic with a white belted cape from Martin Margelia.

Of course, this is not the first time capes have hit the headlines – and the window display. I still own one from three years ago, which I purchased at Daniela Besso on Marylebone high street. This wool black and white weave cape – complete with a reversible belt – is great for achieving that chic evening look. I like to wear it with a black fitted trousers tucked into long boots, perfect for the cold A/W weather.

This hasn’t stopped me adding to my own cape collection. I recently invested in a Julie Fagerholt cape that I picked up from Style Junky in Cannes,  This striking piece has a real American Indian feel to it with white, blue, red and orange horizontal lines on a black background – and a silver trip around the arm. I also like the v neckline, which shows off polo necks nicely. Another advantage of this cape is that it’s short at the front and back – great for making those legs look longer. I like to wear it with a black polo neck, black skinny J brand jeans and long over-the-knee Dunlop boots –with a black hat and sliver hoop earrings to complete the look. It also works well with long gloves – another of this season’s top trends. If you want to wear an alternative top to a polo neck – like a t-shirt or blouse with short sleeves – long gloves will keep your arms warm.

It’s not often something comes into fashion that is stylish, practical and warm. But, when it does, we’d be wrong not to follow the stars and welcome it into our winter wardrobes.

Exclusive Azzaro shopping evening

Joanne Black-Daniel Zakharow-Julia Obukhova-Azzaro

Joanne Black, Daniel Zakharow & Julia Obukhova wearing Azzaro.

Location: Mount Street at Azzaro’s flagship store
Joanne Black style: black Azzaro fitted dress, with Azzaro earrings and bracelets and Prada shoes

Hosting an evening at Azzaro’s flagship store is like surrounding yourself with all your favourite things. This iconic French luxury brand has been turning heads with its statement dresses and plunging necklines since it was founded in 1968. Back in the 60s it was Loris Azzaro who had the pleasure of dressing and styling the world’s fashionistas; now it’s his protégé Vanessa Seward, who has brought back much of the original glamour and sophistication that made this such a sought-after brand.

You really do have to trust the woman who designed most of Audrey Tautou’s slinky gowns for film Priceless, who is focused on making sure women are noticed every time they step into a room, and who has created Azzaro’s latest stunning collection. With everything from its signature crystal embellishments, lace insets and dramatic bows to its amazing jewellery covered in the collection, it is no surprise most of my clients walked away with a piece of French fashion on the night.

Joanne Black Azzaro

Joanne Black In Azzaro wearing that great little black hat

I, too, was quick to add some Azzaro sparkle to my party wardrobe. I invested in their fab crystal bracelets, a long iconic gown and a cocktail number – which will be making its first outing shortly. I also tried on the most amazing hat. It was so small, but so well crafted – with a veil encrusted with crystal stones – that it would be perfect for Ascot or making a dramatic entrance.

Joanne Black Alex Bergholz-Gander Azzaro

Joanne Black & Alex Bergholz-Gander

So, if you’re looking to celebrate in style this year, check out Azzaro’s latest collection at or head to the Mount Street store where Alex Bergholz-Gander the lovely store Manager will show you around.

Charles Finch and Evgeny Lebedev’s dinner for Film and Art


Joanne Black Tom Hooper

Joanne Black & Tom Hooper

Check out other pics from the party

Location: Sake no hana, London
Joanne Black style:
Alaia dress, Chanel pearls and bag, and shoes by Stella McCartney

Charles Finch knows how to throw an exceptional party – with an exceptional guest list. So it comes as no surprise that, even on a cold October night, he managed to pull in a star-studded crowd with the lure of sake, Japanese food and a celebration of the arts and film.

With everyone from Director Tom Hooper to Sir Peter Hall sitting down to dinner, there was plenty of style spotting to keep me entertained. Mr Hooper – who is currently caught up in the media frenzy surrounding his latest film The King’s Speech – looked effortlessly cool wearing an open-necked white shirt and grey blazer over black jeans. Actor Geoffrey Rush from the film showed us how to look both warm and stylish with his checked scarf and Sir Peter Hall brought a hint of elegance to proceedings with his grey suit and dogtooth scarf. In the style stakes, however, Charles Finch was not to be beaten – with his beautiful blue velvet suit, he certainly made a lasting impression.

On the female side, Lillian von Stauffenberg gets my vote for the best-dressed woman. She braved the cold wearing ¾ length trousers and great sliver slingback heels with a simple v-neck black top, sleeveless fur gilet and long sliver chain. Amanda Eliasch also looked trendy and cool, sporting a great black bag with blue crystals and Hayley Atwell, star of the upcoming film Captain America, pulled off head-to-toe Louis Vuitton.

Sat next to charming actor Max Brown – who is currently on our screens playing Dimitri Levendis in Spooks – in view of so many well-styled and stylish outfits, this was an evening I certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

Damiani’s evening of diamonds

Joanne Black Mira Anafina

Mira Anafina and Joanne Black

Location: Les Ambassadeurs Club, London
Joanne Black style:
Azzaro black feathered dress, Damiani diamonds

The opulent Les Ambassadeurs Club was a fitting location for this dazzling display of diamonds from luxury jewellery house Damiani.

Hosted by Mira Anafina – who looked fantastic in a silk YSL dress – the evening started with Krug Champagne and the opportunity to admire the latest diamond collection on statuesque models. A fabulous Italian-style dinner followed – with truffles from Alba washed down with delicious Puligny Montrachet wine.

With a guest list that included some of the most powerful and beautiful ladies of Kazakhstan – including the President’s daughter – it wasn’t just the diamonds I was here to admire. I ended up being immersed in the world of art, however, with director Mike Figgis and his beautiful and talented girlfriend Rosey Chan on my table. Rosey entertained us all with her amazing piano skills, and Mike with his cinematic images of NYC.

Dazzled by the talent on show, I had little time to soak up the style scene. Mention has to be made, however, of Giorgio Damiani, who did a superb job flying the flag for Italian fashion.