MONTHLY MUSE

Every month, Team Libby London choose a career girl as our 'Monthly Muse' who embodies the Libby London woman. See below for some inspirational reads...

  

Liz wears our Spring Summer 14 Wilder Dress in Fuchsia. 

We love a good inspirational woman. This month we spoke to Liz Sebag-Montefiore, a Director from 10Eighty, a career and talent management consultancy. 

Describe your job in a few lines?

I am a director of 10Eighty (www.10Eighty.co.uk) a career and talent management consultancy. My role is split between business development and career coaching; and I'm also a mentor for the CIPD.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Starting our own company 18 months ago - it's amazing to have a say in the vision and strategy. 

What piece of career advice would you give to your 20yr old self?

Write down your career plan - if you write it down, you're much more likely to achieve it. 

Other tips - continue to build your network; it's about the long term relationships. Learn to develop resilience.

What type of style do you aspire to the most?

Simple, elegant and slick.

What is the worst office fashion faux pas?

When women think a style suits them when it doesn't - understand what colours and style suit your shape and stick to it!

Should office wear be fashionable or functional?

I think a bit of both but you need to be consistent with your brand and feel comfortable in what you're wearing. Libby's dresses are stylish and beautiful. Love the fact that with Libby's dresses you don't need to think too hard in the morning about what goes with what; taking the hassle out of the cardigan, shirt, jacket, suit moment!

If you had to choose, working with all women or all men, what would it be? 

The world of HR is very female orientated and it's great to have diversity in teams. However if I had to choose, I'd probably go for all women given I've spent most of my time at work with women.

What’s your fantasy alternative job?

I'd love to work for the Sun or similar newspaper and be the one who comes up with titles/puns for stories in the press.

 

For more information on 10Eighty, visit their website http://www.10eighty.co.uk/web/

 

MONTHLY MUSE - JESSICA MAE 

Within 7 seconds, 93% of who you are is judged based on your appearance alone … cue the panic!! This month our Muse is Jessica Mae, a Personal Branding Stylist, based in London. Jessica works with clients to ‘dress for success,’ helping them to develop a personal look that boosts both their confidence and career.

Jess wears our Grove Dress in Grey

 

 

Describe your job in a few lines?

As a Personal Branding Stylist, I help clients develop an image that delivers Visual Impact. My clients want to ensure their audience get the right impression of who they are, and I help them do just that. I work with people who do some amazing work, but may not get noticed, or attract their ideal clients, so I help them convey the right persona, even before they speak.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

My career has developed in a unique way. I’ve always styled, but initially started out designing bespoke womenswear, and so have experienced both aspects of the fashion world, and have a real understanding of how the clothes work on body. I’d say the highlight so far was showing in London Fashion Week (Vauxhall Fashion Scout), which was an amazing springboard. That said, I am really exciting for where I am now. The opportunities that are coming up, e.g. working with some international clients is truly exciting. I love being able to really help build some amazing Personal Brands – and as a result doors are really opening.

What piece of career advice would you give to your 20yr old self?

I’d say, keep pushing, but have fun as well. Enjoy the process. Integrate things you love into your work – don’t try and separate work life from fun life – relax and enjoy where your career takes you. The nature of starting your own business means you have really high highs and really low lows; so continue to work hard, but still engage in life!

Whose style do you admire the most?

That’s a hard one! At the moment I’d have to say Victoria Beckham. Her style has developed and I love how she keeps it clean, sharp and stylish -  always totally immaculate! I quite like classic lines and clean cut tailoring with a modern twist, so she would be my choice at the moment. I always think: New York Sleek with Parisienne Chic! Having said that, I tend to take a little bit of flair from a number of people and I think our style should definitely still reflect our own personalities.

What has been your worst office fashion faux pas?

I bought a pair of trousers I absolutely loved the shape of and was dressed to impress for a meeting that afternoon! Minutes before I was due to leave, I sat down to hear a huge rip!  You couldn’t have scripted it any better! So now I always carry a ‘Roll-up Dress’ – an outfit I can put in my handbag that is ready to go in times of emergency! Always keep something with you in case your ‘dress to impress’ outfit needs replacing fast. In terms of general faux pas, I would say avoid dressing to look on trend just for the sake of it – always dress to suit your shape, then your confidence will truly exude.

Should office wear be fashionable or functional?

Definitely both. With a little thought, one can have a wardrobe that is not just fashionable, but functional too. I feel like you can’t be too ‘fashion forward’ for work as you want to command a certain presence and if you focus purely on following trends, you run the risk of losing credibility in the work place. You need clothes that make you look and feel great, whilst allowing you to get the job done.  Well-tailored classic pieces, and smart dress takes away all of the trouble of getting ready in the morning - a pair of tights and some great shoes and you’re set!

If you had to choose, would you work with all men or all women?

I really think it depends on your personality, and to an extent, your job too. I wouldn’t ever want to work with just women or just men; I like a good mix of personalities and skills! Whatever suits your personality is key over what sex your colleagues are.

What’s your fantasy alternative job?

I’d probably have to say my fantasy job really is what I’m doing right now! I love being able to combine business, fashion and genuinely helping people to be the best they can! It’s amazing to see the transformation and the growth in confidence with my clients, and the difference it makes in their lives, professionally and personally. I’m fortunate enough to have been able to carve out a career, doing what I genuinely love. There’s is definitely still further to go and more to do, but each day I get that little bit closer to living my fantasy job as reality.

 

 

For more information on Jessica, visit her website, http://www.thejessicamae.com & Follow her on Twitter @JessicaMaeStyle

 

MONTHLY MUSE - JO VYVYAN-ROBINSON

 

  

   

Describe your job in a few lines?

I am an associate director at freuds where I lead an 18-strong team to develop and oversee the delivery of brand campaigns and a comprehensive consumer press office for a retailer than spans food, GM and fashion products. The job is hugely variable; from sitting on the front row at a fashion show, speaking to journalist contacts at national newspapers to secure coverage for my client, to developing a new strategic brand platform… every day is different, but its always fast paced, fun and requires a lot of coffee! 

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Not being fired…

What was the most memorable occasion you wore a Libby London dress?

Not sure about a memorable occasion but I absolutely love my Helford dress (I’ve got it in pink) and every time I wear it I’ll get about 10 complements from both clients and my peers as its so striking and obviously not from the high street. 

What piece of career advice would you give to your 20yr old self?

Be proactive, listen more than you speak, seek out an aspirational mentor and learn, learn, learn from them, be honest (and when you mess up admit it), and be humble and friendly – manners and treating people well (at every level) is essential, and will earn you respect. 

Whose style do you admire the most?

For her ability to put together a slick, tailored outfit effortlessly (whether she is popping out to the shops or at a show biz event) it has to be Victoria Beckham. I also love Blake Lively’s style (and her husband), for a timeless, classic style it has to be Duchess of Cambridge for her ability to wear both high street and designer and always look a million dollars.

What has been your worst office fashion faux pas?

In consumer PR the dress code is ‘smart casual’, no one wears suits, so without a set uniform I have had a few disastrous outfits in my career. The worst was when I was a junior in my first job, for some unknown reason I once wore pink knee high boots, an A-line corduroy skirt and a tight top with cut out shoulders to a client meeting. It was so horrendous my boss bought it up in my review… 

Should office wear be fashionable or functional?

I think it should be both - they don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In my line of work I need to nod to latest trends but with long days I also want to be comfortable. Libby London dresses are the ultimate work wear dresses – stylish, practical and functional. What I like most is the dresses have long, to the knee hemlines and there are lots with sleeves. 

If you had to choose working with all women or all men, what would it be?

In my team we are all women, and I love it as we all get on very well and we have a laugh. But I think it’s healthy to have a mix. 

What’s your fantasy alternative job?

I don’t have one, boring I know but I love what I do and I can’t see myself doing anything else.

 

MONTHLY MUSE – FAITH HOWE

 Our May MONTHLY MUSE is Faith Howe who is an Associate Director with executive search firm Taylor Bennett.

Hoppy

Faith in her Bailey Dress

Describe your job in a few lines?

I am an executive search consultant in the corporate communications industry.  I work with a whole range of different clients from Government departments to investment banks and blue chip multinational brands helping them to find the best senior level communicators.  No day is ever the same in the world that I work in, you are balancing the needs of companies and individuals, always striving to give the best advice and build lasting, trusting relationships.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career was being the first company sponsored employee to undertake an MBA.  Through the course I learned the language of business, built an international network of fabulous contacts and friends, and met my now husband!

What was the most memorable occasion you wore a Libby London dress?

Too many to decide! I wear my Libby London dresses when I need feel my best, and really impress.  Whether I am pitching for new business or hosting clients for evening events my dresses suit every occasion.  Probably most memorable was when I wore my red Grove dress to Buckingham Palace to meet the private secretary of a senior member of the Royal household.  As I walked back across the long court yard in front of the palace all of London’s tourists were looking in through the railings and wondering who I was!  I think they were probably quite disappointed as I got closer and they realised I was no one of note…

What piece of career advice would you give to your 20yr old self?

Professional qualifications are an invaluable addition to your ‘kit-bag’.  Pursuing a profession whether it is law, accountancy or engineering will really set you apart – even if you go on to do something else once qualified.  The foundation of a professional qualification will always give you something to fall back on and opens up many more opportunities in the world of work.

Whose style do you admire the most?

This is a hard one; I am not really the sort of person who follows others style.  Of course the Duchess of Cambridge is a style icon; who wouldn’t want to dress like her. I like classic styles with clean lines so the ‘newsreader’ look often catches my eye – Kate Silverton and Natasha Kaplinsky always look great.

What has been your worst office fashion faux pas?

Oh there have been many.  The worst I would have to be a boxy double breasted navy blue blazer with gold metal buttons and shoulder pads.  I wore it when I was in my early 20s.  In theory it could have been okay, if better styled and worn in a different way, but instead it looked like I had chosen it out of a dressing-up cupboard.  I thought I looked very smart and grown up at the time.

Should office wear be fashionable or functional?

Definitely both which is why I adore my Libby London dresses.  And add to that easy to organise in the morning.  There is nothing worse than being late for work and having to think through your outfit and try on different tops, jackets and cardigans to find a match.  A smart dress takes away all of this trouble; a pair of tights and some great shoes and you’re set!

If you had to choose working with all women or all men, what would it be?

Hmm.  I like a mix, I think everyone does, but if I had to choose I would say all women.  I do enjoy girl chat, and appreciate the empathy that comes from other women who understand how you feel.

What’s your fantasy alternative job?

I would love to be an executive assistant or chief of staff to someone famous and powerful in the corporate world.   As well as building my own experiences I do enjoy to live vicariously through the experiences of others, it motivates me to push ahead and become successful in my own right. I love the interest and exposure that you get from being close to excellent people who are influential across companies and networks.   http://www.taylorbennett.com

 

MONTHLY MUSE – SIDNEY CELIA ROSS – Withers LLP

Describe your job in a few lines?

I am responsible for Italian marketing at international law firm, Withers (www.withersworldwide.com). The firm has an office in Milan and Italian Desks in the UK and throughout Europe.  The firm assists Italian Luxury Brands and Italian entrepreneurs as well as international businesses with Italian connections worldwide.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Meeting some of the movers and shakers in the Italian business world such as Sante Versace, Nicoletta Maramotti (Max Mara), Sergio Marchionne (CEO of Fiat).

What was the most memorable occasion you wore a Libby London dress?
 

A seminar on “Financial Crime – the Long Arm of English Law” – held at our Milan office in October. I needed something extra special to help me keep up with the Italians in the style stakes!

What piece of career advice would you give to your 20yr old self? 


Learn languages and be as “international” as you can. Now more than ever we live in a global world .

What type of style do you aspire to the most?

Simple straightforward styling and strong colours – I am a tall lady and therefore not a frills person.

What is the worst office fashion faux pas ?

Wearing something just because it is “in fashion” even if it doesn’t suit your colouring or figure.

Should office wear be fashionable or functional?

Both, absolutely! Women have to dress for the role they wish to play – they are judged by their appearance whereas men can get away with murder from this point of view.

If you had to choose working with all women or all men, what would it be?

All women– I have worked for several female bosses throughout my career and have always been inspired by their drive and energy.

What’s your fantasy alternative job?

Crisis PR … turning a crisis into an opportunity ….or at least not a disaster.

www.ross-marketing.com

**Sidney’s fabulous earrings in our photoshoot are from Italian brand Angela Caputi www.angelacaputi.com

 

XXX