Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Behind the scenes with Katy Lawrence

We are so pleased to introduce Cabbages & Roses muse, photographer and filmmaker Katy Lawrence. She is the exceptional talent behind our fashion films and most recently, the Summer 2014 shoot (out soon). Katy's photos use natural light, with no added nips and tucks to the finished product. Her use of  film photography, rather than digital, creates beautifully authentic photos with a warm vintage feel.

Katy Lawrence; Self portrait

The Summer '14 shoot took place in the garden and woodlands surrounding Christina’s converted farm house in Bath. Inspired by white linens and English summers; Katy captured the carefree feeling of summer-bliss against the backdrop of wisteria, willow trees and woodland.

Preview of Summer '14 lookbook. Photo by Katy Lawrence

After the shoot I took the opportunity to talk to Katy about her personal style and inspirations. In this short interview, Katy shares a selection of her favourite photos and style tips. All photos are by Katy Lawrence, unless stated otherwise.


Hello Katy! Firstly, thank you for letting me pick your brain. Your personal taste falls wonderfully in line with the Cabbages & Roses style, and I couldn't be more excited for you to share your photographs and inspirations with us.  

We first met you in 2010 when you produced the first Cabbages & Roses film. What inspired you to be a  photographer / filmmaker ?

With the growth of social media I started to notice these beautiful fashion films that people were making. I remember watching them and thinking ‘I want to do that’ but I had absolutely no idea how. So I just took my best friend to Cornwall, put her in my favourite Cabbages dress, gave her some balloons and filmed her with a really simple little digital camera. I sent it off to Cabbages just to tell you how much I love your company thinking nothing would come of it and then you asked me to do a film which lead to other films which lead to this photo shoot. To this day I’m still a bit hopeless- I have absolutely no technical ability; I rely heavily on sunlight and I follow my instinct of what looks good within the frame.

Cabbages & Roses SS13; Cornwall 

Who is your absolute favourite photographer of all time?

It would have to be Tim Walker. I could sit and look at his pictures for hours. They are so witty and eccentric and so wonderfully British. I love so many of his photographs, but the Vogue shoot in India with Lily Cole is my all time favourite. 

Photo by Tim Walker

Photo by Tim Walker

Where would we find you on a lazy summer Sunday?

In London, you’d find me on Hampstead Heath reading my book or spending too much money buying flowers on Columbia Road. When I’m not working, I’ll take the sleeper train to Penzance and stay at our family cottage near Lamorna. My favourite thing to do is walk the beautiful stretch of coast between Porthgwarra and Nanjizal Cove, which is where the SS13 shoot took place.

Pedne Vounder Beach, Cornwall

West Penwith coastal path, Cornwall

What is your idea of a perfect holiday?

A French roadtrip with an old friend, sleeping under the stars, exploring rivers and lakes- wild swimming, fresh bread every day and an endless supply of peaches and Orangina

Poppy Field, L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue, France

L'Isle-Sur-La-Sorgue, France

Which piece from our SS14 collection best describes your personal style?

I love the bib dress and the lovely deep pockets and straps that cross over at the back. It’s so sweet and so unique. I also love the square sweaters, you can chuck them over anything and they will always look good. [Click to Shop]

The Square Sweater, Cabbages & Roses SS14 shoot, Winchelsea. Photo by Hill & Aubrey 

With such an eye for beautiful and interesting things, I can only imagine that your home is a haven of inspirational design. How do you like to decorate your home?

I love filling my bedroom with things that I pick up from my travels. Like a little handmade felt monkey from Mexico, a rose printed china bowl and an old sewing machine from a French Brocante. At the moment, I’m collecting little handmade floral tiles from a shop in St Ives. 

Photo by Wellbeck Tiles, http://www.welbeck.com/collections/vintage/ 

Do you have any style tips we can bring into our own homes?

I love hanging things about the place - jewellery, clothes and dried flowers. I also love to make photocopies of my favourite floral materials and use them to decoupage old bookshelves, wine boxes and tables. It’s very simple and easy to do.

Thank you so much to Katy for sharing her photos and thoughts. 
To see more of Katy's stuff, visit her Tumblr, Instagram or Youtube Channel

Christabel x 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

'Real-Time Shopping' Email Competition Winner!

Congratulations to the lovely Charlotte Bowater for winning our latest competition! We asked our mailing list what they thought about the frustratingly disparate seasonality of fashion, (i.e. swim suits coming out in February and winter coats in August), and this is what Charlotte said:

"The 'out of sync' seasons have been frustrating for so long, so it is great to have real-time shopping championed. I am incapable of shopping for a winter jumper when the temperature outside is still in the mid-twenties. Not only that, I struggle like other mothers to do any shopping when the children are still on holiday from school, no more so than in August - just as the cold weather clothing is being advertised!

However, I would propose a balance: I understand the source of new fashions, the fashion houses, have to produce collections way in advance to give orders time for production etc. This then filters to the 'high street' by the time both ends of the market go mainstream before the real season in question starts. However, it would be preferable if autumn clothes were actually sold in autumn and so on. Perhaps this would be a step too far for this huge 'supertanker' of an industry to alter direction and only offer their collections in real time. So how about still publicising the new collections but only making them available in real time. That way, we can all still drool, plan our wardrobes and make intelligent choices about what we want to buy, but the designers etc still tick their 'marketing' box.

So for what it is worth, I love that C&R offers its collection but adds to it as the real season progresses... it keeps me interested and excited for the next piece to be added. I also love that you have a wish list so I can pop things in there... and no doubt that would enable you to market to wish list holders of a forthcoming sale.

But finally, I love the 'chutzpah' of C&R generally. You have a strong brand, a strong following and we respect you for not following the herd.  While other brands tempt us with sale prices at what feels like mid-season (did you know farmers say the first full moon after 21st December is when winter truly starts?) we all hold true to C&R and wait for you to offer your sale at the END OF THE SEASON - and we look forward to it as much as the return of the sun!"

We thought Charlotte's answer was wonderful and echoed our own thoughts exactly. Charlotte has been awarded a prize of £100 to spend on our website and we hope she thoroughly enjoys whatever appropriately seasonal clothing she chooses!

Charlotte's friend Vicky was also awarded a £100 online voucher, just for signing up to our mailing list! Vicky kindly offered some words about C&R that we would like to share with you here:

"My great friend Charlotte talks about Cabbages and Roses constantly, and how much she would love to have nothing but your clothes, were budget to allow. Her friends have subsequently been introduced to you so her advertising powers are strong! She looks lovely when she treats us with what she has from you."

We'd like to thank everyone who entered this competition - we had great fun reading all of your emails and it's nice to know we're not alone in championing 'real-time shopping'!

If you aren't already, sign up to our mailing list at cabbagesandroses.com for your chance to win future competitions, as well as keeping up to date with company news and events!


Friday, 18 January 2013

The Purist

Friend of Cabbages & Roses, Jamie Harris, has been producing some beautiful wood-smoked letterpress prints in his little Cotswold studio.

"They're designs that hopefully make the owner feel they're taking a long earned snooze in the cashmere pocket of a new lover; designs for a quieter, more demure area of a home, perhaps." - Jamie.

To get your hands on one of his highly limited edition prints, visit his website here: http://thepurist.co.uk/


Saturday, 29 December 2012


We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and thought we would share some delicious supper ideas for a New Years celebration..

Rosemary and garlic foccacia.
Aubergine with buttermilk and pomegranite.

Caramelised garlic and goat's cheese tart.
Caramelised Fennel.


First for the aubergines - an Ottolenghi recipe, makes a delicious starter. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Wash the aubergines (one per person) and cut them in two lengthways through the green stalk (it looks better like this, even though you don't eat the stalk). Make three or four deep parallel incisions in the cut side of the aubergine, taking care not to cut as far as the skin. Then, at a 45-degree angle to these cuts, make four more, to create a diamond pattern. Put the aubergines, cut side up, on an oven tray lined with baking parchment and brush with olive oil (about 75ml). Keep on brushing until all the oil has soaked into the flesh. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35-40 minutes, at which point the flesh should be soft and well browned. Remove and leave to cool. While the aubergines are in the oven, cut a pomegranate in two horizontally. Hold one half over a bowl, the cut side facing your palm, and with the back of a wooden spoon gently knock on the skin. Continue beating with increasing power until the seeds start falling into the bowl. Once all are out, sift through the seeds to remove any white skin bits. For the sauce, simply whisk together all 140ml of buttermilk, 100g of Greek yoghurt, 1 and a half tbsp of olive oil, a garlic clove crushed and a pinch of salt - taste for seasoning and keep cold until needed. To serve, put an aubergine half on a plate, flesh side up. Spoon over lots of sauce without covering the stalk, sprinkle on lots of pomegranate seeds and some za'atar, followed by lemon thyme and a drizzle of oil. Put some warm crusty bread on the table as well - foccacia works well - and people can tear pieces off as they wish.
Ottolenghi is responsible for the main course as well - caramalised garlic and goats cheese tart with fennel and caramalised fennel. For the tart, start by tracking down a tart tin, around 28cm in diameter. Line with puff pastry, I usually cheat and buy ready made (noone will know) but by all means make from scratch and line the tin, covering the bottom and all sides with some going over the edge. Cover the base with a sheet of baking parchment and some baking beans (dry rice is a good substitute if baking beans aren't something in your cupboard). Bake blind for 20 mins in a preheated oven at 180oC. Then remove beans and set aside, leaving the oven on. Whilst the pastry is in the oven start on the filling, peel the cloves of three heads of garlic and place in a pan - cover with plenty of boiling water and blanch for 3 minutes before draining well. Return the cloves to a dry saucepan with a tablespoon of olive oil and fry on a high heat for a couple of minutes. Add a generous teaspoon of balsamic vinegar along with 220mls of water and bring to the boil then let it simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add to the pan 3/4 of a tablespoon of caster sugar and a heaped teaspoon of both chopped rosemary and chopped thyme along with a very generous pinch of salt. Continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are adorned in a dark caramel syrup. To assemble the tart break up about 120g of soft goat's cheese and the same amount of some mature hard goat's cheese and scatter over the pastry then spoon the garlic cloves and syruppy goodness evenly over the cheese. In a jug whish together 2 free range eggs and 100ml of double cream with some salt and black pepper. Pour this mixture over the garlic and goat's cheese making sure to fill all the gaps. Bake for 35-45 minutes on 160oc or until the top has turned golden brown and the filling has set. Once the tart is out of the oven and cooled, remove from the tin, laying some whole thyme sprigs on it's top.

For the fennel, slice 4 bulbs into slices around half an inch wide. Brown the slices in batches in a hot pan with 1tblspoon of both butter and olive oil. Put the browned slices to one side and in the same pan add one tblspoon of sugar a teaspoon of fennel seeds and some salt and pepper. Cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly, then add the fennel back to the pan and cook undisturbed for another 1-2 minutes to caramelise.

And finally for desert. To make the tiramisu, whisk together 250g of marsacpone with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 3 tblspoons of rum and 50ml of coffee until well combined. Separately whisk together 150ml of single cream and 4tblspoons of icing sugar, then fold in the mascarpone mix. Pour another 100ml of coffee into a bowl and have 16 savoiardi biscuits ready to dip in one by one. Line a dish with a layer of the coffee soaked biscuits and cover with a layer of the cream mixture. Repeat until you have nothing left (the top layer should be cream) and pop in the fridge. Just before serving, top with some grated chocolate and enjoy!

Happy New Year!