Cocoon in Luxuriant Winter Sheepskin
It really feels as if winter is beginning to wrap its arms around our lofty EH HQ Victorian eyrie, overlooking the English Channel. Now who can even begin to daydream of bikinis and gorgeous, wil-o’-the-wisp summer frocks until at least February?! I am still contemplating how to get through another winter season without the buttons flying off my very best Victoriana coat. Sadly, I have been seriously caught out in the past by the Arctic conditions. In a panic to stay warm, I pile on the layers, and mourn the loss of glamour. It starts with a camisole, then a long sleeved merino top, then my lovely Temperly cashmere dress and finally, a beloved boyfriend sweater. And no, it is not a good look!
There has to be a cleverer and more alluring way to look beautiful during a proper winter and not feel as if you have turned into a Russian housewife.
Forget Prada, Alexander McQueen and the first floor at Liberty. The best place to still find some clever, Made in Britain, investment winter sheepskin and heirloom shearling coats with the wow factor is, oddly enough, in Cornwall, not Bond Street.
Have you noticed how It Girls and film stars always seem to have the most fabulous winter wardrobe? Everyone from Keira Knightley to Kate Middleton have already been seen cocooning in beautiful, utterly glamorous shearlings and sheepskin jackets this autumn. There is not time to waste! Time to catch up and sail through winter all wrapped up – and fly the flag for Made in Britain fashion.
I’m a big fan of the Celtic & Co Company. I love the fact that this ethical and innovative, family run business started out in the seventies, making the original Ugg style sheepskin boot and has now cleverly progressed to dreaming up all manner of desirable wardrobe treasures. Here are my star buys from the winter collection, and yes, they are just waiting for a good home. There is a lovely Collar Coatigan (£140) in ripped merino wool you can absolutely live in (above). Wear it with a Dr Zhivago-inspired Toscana sheepskin headband (£55) which is the new winter hat (below, left), the perfect metropolitan Cabra boot (£190) and rock’n’roll sheepskin jacket (£695).
I’m not a fan of the Australian Ugg boot. I find it horribly unflattering unless you are seventeen and have legs like Bambi. In contrast, the chic Cabra style with elegant goat hide cuff (below, right) is a far more sophisticated offering. The boots look slender on the leg and are lovingly handmade by skilled craftsmen in the Newquay factory. All sheepskins are British and a by-product of the food industry. The majority of the skins are sourced locally, in the west country, and they come from the last remaining UK tannery. The boots go through eight different making stages, and are constructed to last, the opposite of fast fashion. The company also offers a resoling service, so you can extend the life of your boots even further.
If you are in the mood to invest, snap up a timeless, heirloom sheepskin jacket. This jacket is timelessly beautiful and will never let you down. Sheepskin is so deliciously insulating, you could throw it on over a sexy evening dress and never freeze after a party. Also, brilliant the night after, to go to the pub. Evening dress optional! I can imagine Sienna wearing one to go walkabout in Notting Hill. Team it with your best cashmere, beloved jeans and a beautiful smile. Yes, baby, it’s cold outside!