Photography by Oda Eide
Kelly Eastwood is the brains and beauty behind leading fashion and lifestyle blog, The London Chatter. As one of the original first generation British bloggers, Kelly has been instrumental in launching the now, hugely commercial billion dollar fashion blogging industry.
It is undeniable how technology has changed the landscape of fashion forever, seeing fading elitism of the 'untouchable editors' in favour of an approachable perspective on current trends. Bloggers have become a trusted and unbiased source of style, making designer and high street looks accessible to everyday people. Fashion week now sees influencers with large social media followings taking the most coveted front row seats ahead of top buyers and editors as the digital tide shifts towards democracy.
Growing up in East Africa just outside Kenya's capital Nairobi, Kelly spent an idyllic and carefree childhood in a colourful, vibrant world surrounded by nature and animals. This influence is part of Kelly's DNA, together with her light hearted, jovial character - very much reflected in her unique, eclectic and playful fashion style.
However, it is not only her infectious, quick witted personality and dynamic style which sets Kelly apart from the crowd but the fact she has a strong conscience, consistently using her platform of influence to draw urgent attention to important conservation causes, with the illegal African wildlife trade especially close to her heart.
We couldn't be more excited to have Kelly as our September #SophieLisGirl and take a look behind the scenes into her glamorous, kaleidoscopic life and find out how she had the foresight to become a blogger, how she got to where is now, and how she stays true to herself and ahead of the competition.
1.) Has it always been clear that you were destined for a career in Fashion?
Ha, certainly not! I was all about leg warmers and Hakuna Matata t-shirts growning up and was teased quite mercilessly at my English boarding school for wearing dusty old safari boots. I remember begging my father to take me to Ken Market when he was visiting one time from Kenya so I could get some denim flares in order to fit in a little better. My latter day university style wasn't much better (I remember a lot of fake tan and pink cowgirl boots...)! It wasn't until I was living in London working as an actress with a part time job at a boutique in Notting hill that I had a clue or even a slight interest in fashion.
Kelly wears Fallen Star bracelet and ring by Sophie Lis
2.) We know you were one of the first generation London fashion bloggers, blogging almost before blogging was even "a thing" or "the thing" as it is today. How did you decide upon this career path and how did you go about launching yourself?
I started my blog as a creative outlet to keep busy in between my acting jobs. I never knew it would develop into anything of interest, let alone a career and think I was just pretty lucky with the timing of it all.
Instagram has definitely been a game changer for everyone, and has made blogging appear very glamorous, so it's easy for outsiders to overlook all the previous years of commitment bloggers showed, especially at a time where there was no proven earning potential and quite a lot of snobbery directed towards it.
There was no one to copy or learn from, so there was just a lot of trial and error with the technical side of things. The pace of blogging is now incredibly fast and the competition steep, so I think we all now feel a lot more pressure these days, but I always remain true to myself rather than be influenced by what others are doing.
Bags by Eddie Harrop, blue mini Bayswater and ocean green Maple by Mulberry. Umbrellas by Matthew Williamson X Osborne and Little and Aspinal of London X Beautiful Soul London. Image 2 - Leopard print bag by Hill & Friends, Black Clifton by Mulberry, pineapple straw bag by Mango. Lilac grey faux fur coat by Oasis and Leopard print coat by Mango.
3.) How would you describe your style? Are you always perfectly polished or could we catch you on a bad day?
I certainly wouldn't describe myself as perfectly polished, as I spend most of my days dressed as a teenage boy in jeans, trainers and a top knot. I love print clashes, bright colours and there's usually a touch of glitter or leopard print somewhere. I also definitely have bad days, but luckily I work from home a lot so the general public are usually spared from that particular source of fright!
4.) What are your go-to wardrobe staples and absolute favourite, couldn't live without pieces?
As I mentioned I am a real jeans girl and I love River Island Amelie skinnies and Donna Ida Sadie dungarees which I pair with Chinti and Parker cashmere or Bella Freud tops. I have a rainbow collection of Superga trainers and I also love Rogue Matilda for quirky brogues. If Im dressing up, its Matthew Williamson with Jimmy Choo heels all the way. My current 'can't live without' items would be my Meli Melo Santina mini bucket bag (which has not left my side since Copenhagen fashion week) and my Bally Janelle loafers.
Kelly wears Fallen Star necklaces by Sophie Lis and pink jacket by Smythe. Eiffel tower light is from Graham and Green, lamp shade by Notting hill based Matilda Goad together with Kelly's favorite Feu de Beaumont candles.
5.) Being a blogger you travel a lot. Can you give us your top tips for staying fresh and stylish whilst in the air?
I never fly without my Sisley express flower gel mask which I apply on the plane or my mini Caudalie beauty elixir which I spray when I land to freshen me up. I try and drink a lot of water whist on board and usually will add rehydration salts from Boots if flying long haul. I also never travel without my slate grey Lois Avery shawl which I make sure to spritz with one of my favourite scents (Chloe or Jo Wood's organic Amka) before leaving the house.
Kelly wears pink embroidered dress by Little Tienda with Sophie Lis Fallen Moon necklace. Also pictured getting ready in her bathroom with wallpaper by Matthew Williamson X Osborne and Little, lipstick Plush by Tom Ford and candle by Christian and Filippa.
6.) Do you have favourite everyday go-to jewellery and if so, is it symbolic or sentimental or do you base your choices on current trends?
I'm really particular with my jewellery and become rather loyal to certain, classic rather than faddy pieces. I wear my three gold Masai-bead inspired Satao bracelet I designed with Auree Jewellery everyday. Not only do I love it but 100% of the profits from the collection go directly towards elephant conservation across Africa. I also wear my rose gold signet ring everyday which was designed by Rebus to incorporate both my father and mother's family crests.
Sophie Lis Fallen Moon necklace and Fallen Star ring pictured with Kelly favourite tribal band bracelet, and favourite Nars x Charlotte Gainsbourg "Promise" lip gloss and Bruised Plum Tom Ford lipstick.
7.) What is the most special piece of jewellery in your collection and why?
My childhood best friend passed away when I was 18 and my most treasured piece of jewellery, let alone favourite possession, is a Victorian pearl and sapphire locket given to me by her mother on my 21st birthday. It still has the flowers she pressed as a child safely hidden inside it.
What is your favourite piece in the Sophie Lis collection?
I love my Fallen Star necklace. The North star has always been a symbol of guidance and direction, so even though it is beyond pretty, I feel an undeniable and reassuring strength when wearing it.
Kelly wears Sophie Lis Fallen Star collection necklaces and bracelet with Zara dress and silver boots from Topshop
8.) Having access to all the latest trends and launches, you must have unlimited wardrobe choices at your fingertips. Can you tell us a bit about how you shop?
I do get to borrow some amazing pieces for events and shoots, and feel very lucky for that, rather than accumulating so much stuff and never having time or the occasion to wear it again. This summer I borrowed some gorgeous dresses from Temperley London and over Copenhagen Fashion Week I got dressed in lots of Danish brands (By Marlene Birger, Stine, Goya and Baum und Pferdgarten) which was a dream. That said, my wardrobe does get regularly cleansed due to its ever increasing volume... I have a filthy shoe habit, and browsing Zara and Net-a-Porter on my phone late a night if I can't sleep can prove pretty dangerous!
Silver boots by Topshop, Rainbow heals MR Man Repeller, brogues by Rogue Matilda, Bally loafers and Jimmy Choo metallic heels
9.) In an age where bloggers carry such significance to brands and can have a huge impact on sales, do you find it difficult to draw the line between featuring editorial items of passion and advertorial content on your blog?
It can be hard to turn down money offered sometimes, especially when there are mortgages to pay and aforementioned filthy shoe habits to fund, but your popularity as a blogger relies on your authenticity. People will be following you because they like your style and taste, so if you start wearing and posting things you don't really love or back, its a huge turn off to your audience. You have to find the right balance.
Sophie Lis Fallen Star Collection
10.) Finally, when you are not out and about being your most fabulous most fashionable self, where can we find you?
Watching Netflix in a bubble bath... although perhaps don't come looking!!
Love of your life?
Africa. Chanel. Ryan Gosling. Its hard to choose...