Needle It

Behind the scenes with …….

  • 29 Jun 2016

In the next installment in “Behind the Scenes with…” we speak to Katie Gibbs of Katie & Jo, Bellevue Road, London.

The first Katie & Jo store was opened in Parsons Green, London by two old school friends, Katie Diment and Jo Nicholson who created a contemporary women’s fashion boutique which has become known for stocking a selection of luxurious and feminine labels from all over the world. Katie Gibbs worked in that store before seeing an opportunity to expand to the other side of the river, so she teamed up with the pair to open her own Katie & Jo store on Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common, the store has gone from strength to strength recently expanding to bigger premises down the road.

Katie & Jo stock all our favourite labels including Des Petits Hauts, Maison Scotch, Becksondergaard, Neon Boots, AG jeans, Alex Monroe jewellery and Mercy Delta and obviously Needle knitwear, to name a few! Not only do they have two fabulous boutiques but they have a brilliant online store as well, in case you can’t get to London.

So along with Mr Pom, Katie’s faithful assistant we asked a few questions…


1. How would you describe your style?
I don’t have a specific style as such. I like a real mix and it depends on how I’m feeling. Weekends are all about a cosy cashmere jumper and a pair of high waisted skinny jeans. I’m drawn to bright colours and fun embroidery or trims in the summer. Anything with a bohemian edge. PK Berry’s collection and Christopher Sauvat’s collections are amazing for this Spring/Summer.

2. How does your style reflect Katie & Jo the shop?
I would be happy having anything in the shop in my wardrobe! We pick everything ourselves and try everything on when buying so we can imagine how to wear it. I couldn’t sell a product that I didn’t love myself.

3. How do you find new brands you want to work with?
We are always on the hunt for something new and unique. We do visit the buying trade shows but most of our new discoveries have been found through social media, especially Instagram.

4. How do you manage to keep up with all the social media and how essential is social media?
Social media is great for keeping our clients up-to date with new arrivals in-store and styling tips. We use Instagram all the time as it’s a fantastic visual platform. We try and post something new everyday.

5. What would your advice be to aspiring fashion retailers?
If it’s something you truly believe in and have a passion for then go for it! Make sure you do you research and know your market and customer.

6. What was your career history before Katie & Jo?
After graduating from Kingston University with a degree in fashion design I went and worked for a trend forecasting company followed by a position as an assistant designer for a London-based fashion house.
My dream though has always been to set up a boutique.

7. What is your favourite holiday destination?
It would have to be the South of France or Sardinia. I adore the amazing food, beaches, wine and of course the sunshine.

8. If you were stuck on a desert island, what food could you not live without?
I love a sweet potato!

9. Are there any exciting developments in the pipeline at Katie & Jo?
We would love to open another boutique. Watch this space!

10. How do you make Katie & Jo different to other stores out there?
We pride ourselves on offering our customers something unique and special. All our products are carefully selected and considered. We offer a very personal way of shopping. We want our customers to be able to walk into a party feeling gorgeous and knowing no one else will be in the same dress!

11. What is your beauty regime?
I’m always in a rush in the mornings so it’s just a case of throwing on some tinted moisturizer and a bit of mascara. My Grandmother always had immaculately painted red nails that I adored as a little girl so I do try and keep my nails painted with a bright colour. Also, as a treat I visit Tranquility or the Cowshed for a facial.

12. What are your 3 must have beauty products?
Liz Earle cleanser
Benefit ‘They’re real’ mascara
By Terry Baume de rose gloss

13. Who do you think dresses well in the public eye?
I adore Alexa Chung’s and Olivia Palermo style. They always look effortlessly chic.

14. What piece in your wardrobe could you not live with out?
I think it would have to be my Paige high-waisted black skinny jeans and my Chanel handbag.

So there you have it, why don’t you have a look at or visit at 18 Bellevue Road, London, SW17 7EG


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Guilty Pleasures!

  • 16 Jun 2016

Every now and again you need to switch off, put your feet up and relax. At Needle HQ one of our favourite ways is a cheeky boxset – Netflix/ Sky or just on DVD, it is such a luxury but one we love. It feels so naughty when there are usually jobs to be done at home but so addictive to settle in and watch an episode or two/ three of your favourite box set. Emma & Lizzie are both big fans of The Good Wife, whilst my current favourite is Billions.

The Good Wife is an American legal and political drama full of court trails, family life and love affairs, it’s very addictive! For anyone who hasn’t seen this series it stars Emmy Award winner Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florric, a wife and mother who boldly assumes full responsibility for her family and re-enters the workforce after her husband’s very public sex and political corruption scandal lands him in jail. Gaining confidence every day, Alicia transforms herself from embarrassed politician’s scorned wife to resilient sexy career woman.

As for my guilty pleasure at the moment; Billions, this is mainly down to the fact that it has got Damian Lewis in, I have a soft spot for gingers, I am married to one, but Lewis is also a brilliant actor, I mean who could resist him as US Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody in Homeland, he was a brilliant Henry VIII in Wolf Hall and now he is hedge fund manager Bobby “Axe” Axlerod in Billions.

Billions is a fictional drama that takes an insider look at the world of high finance by tracking the approaching collision between two titanic figures – the hard charging, politically savvy U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades, (played by Paul Giamatti), and the brilliant, ambitious hedge fund king, Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Lewis).  If you liked Wolf of Wall Street, you’ll love this!

But if you don’t have access to Netflix or Sky, don’t worry, there have been some brilliant series on TV recently; they’re as good as going to the cinema to see a full on feature film. The one you really don’t want to miss is The Night Manager, if you haven’t seen this I would really recommend dashing out immediately to buy the box set, not only does it have a stella cast, Tom Hiddlestone, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman and Tom Hollander to name but a few, it is also filmed in fabulous locations, Majorca is the star of the show, followed by Marrakech, Zermatt and Devon. The stunning six part series follows former British soldier Jonathan Pine (Tom Hiddleston) who is recruited by intelligence operative Angela Burr (Olivia Colman) to infiltrate the inner circle of international businessman Richard Onslow Roper (Hugh Laurie) who is one evil guy! All I can say is that it’s gripping!

So with flash floods forecasted this weekend, it’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in some fab TV!



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The Midi Skirt… A look I just love!

  • 2 Jun 2016

Trends seem to come and go, some seem to work for me and others not so much; one trend I am a fan of is the midi skirt. The midi skirt is the three quarter length skirt, falling halfway between your knee and ankle so smack bang in the middle of your calf. It can take a variety of shapes – pencil, A-line, or circular; from button-down denim to bold striped prints, pleats, tulle or even leather, – the key point is the length; the midi skirt is the perfect feminine addition to your wardrobe! I find a midi skirt my easy go to piece, just so useful as it suits many an occasion; a girls’ lunch, a business meeting or simply a day out and about with the children, there are so many ways to wear it.

The midi skirt is all about proportions and getting that just right length for you. If the mid-calf length isn’t for you, try going a little bit shorter. As long as your skirt is longer than average aka on or below the knee, people will still see a “midi”, which gives you that elegant stylish look with a nipped-in waist. What’s not to love?

Styling a new trend is often an issue for people; many avoid the midi, thinking that its not the easiest look to wear, and fearing they will end up looking frumpy! I know in the past the midi has traditionally been associated with perhaps older ladies and prim librarian types but I disagree mostly because I don’t fit into any of those categories and I always feel chic when I wear my midi skirt. Also think of those 1950s super stylish gorgeous women in their midi skirts, just give it a modern twist and you are sorted.

Styling your perfect length midi skirt:

As a rule of thumb I would say keep it simple on top and let the skirt do the rest especially for those fuller skirts. I certainly would avoid too much volume on your top half if you are wearing a more circular cut skirt, you want to show off your waist
My personal preference is a neutral silk blouse, with a bold colour midi. Or a fine knit crew neck jumper like our Emma jumper in our SS/16 collection with a stripy circular skirt. Alternatively for a more modern look a simple t-shirt tucked in with perhaps a leather jacket gives a cool, weekend feel.

On a less voluminous skirt a chunky oversized knit is an effortless way to wear a midi; a la Alexa Chung. I am such a fan of the midi that it was my chosen style for my 40th birthday girls lunch; I wore a bright patterned midi skirt with the Emma jumper in the pale blue teamed with a chunky necklace and bright heels – I loved it!

So with the top half sorted you might be thinking what about shoes? Its easy, pretty much anything goes, for a super modern casual look, a pair of trainers look very cool, my preference would be a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths or if you are heading out for the evening, a pair of heels, especially pretty court shoes or more modern platforms.

So hopefully a few inspiring style tips for one of my favourite trends, go and enjoy!


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