Jane Winkworth

My Week

Welcome to my personal blog! This is where I let off steam, tell you what I've been up to and share my favourite things and ideas with you! I do hope this section will make you chuckle, raise an eyebrow or just be simply entertained - happy reading!

Californian Life February 25th 2014

It has been almost two months now that I have been residing in my home in California. I have been soaking in the sunshine as much as I can, and the Santa Monica beach is my go-to spot for relaxation. The longer I stay here the more and more fascinated I become with the Californian lifestyle.

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Categories: Home & Away, My Week, Work

The Kindness of Strangers… October 08th 2013

Two weeks ago on a Tuesday evening our worst nightmare occurred in our lovely Mayfair showroom and offices.

Fire had broken out deep within the cavity space between two walls, it was only because the smoke and heat was so intense that the girls downstairs in our store were alerted and able to call the Fire Brigade.
Firemen from three stations were on the scene with four engines within minutes of our call.  This was the night before their day of action on the Wednesday.
They were due to go off shift but without hesitation, they were there and they saved our building from total and complete devastation and destruction.

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Categories: Home & Away, My Week, Press, Work

Dear Carole….. June 21st 2013

The new Royal Baby watching is beginning to start in earnest as magazines, news media, radio and television, bloggers and Tweeters are getting into a frenzy of speculation. Will it be a boy or girl? What names will be chosen? Who will be at the birth? What colour will the nursery be? And so on ....... I have to admit that I am just as intrigued and will be completely thrilled when we hear that lovely Kate and William have welcomed their firstborn into the world.

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Categories: My Week

Goodbye to All That ……… April 18th 2013

Today we said goodbye to the wonderful, remarkable and truly inspirational Baroness Margaret Thatcher. We said goodbye to the last politician of true and genuine conviction of the greatness that is Great Britain. We said goodbye to a woman whose dedication to duty, resolve and strength of conviction was borne out of loyalty and honesty and not out of grandiosity or personal gain.

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Categories: My Week

L.A. Story! December 20th 2012

Greetings reader! Unusually for me, I am enjoying a very different kind of Christmas this year out in sunny L.A. I am always passionate about this time of year and usually wild horses wouldn’t drive me from my glorious, traditional Christmas with family and friends at home in the Surrey countryside……but this year I am basking in a different kind of warmth!

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Categories: Ballet, My Week

Diary, Diary - Wherefore Art Thou ? ........ November 23rd 2012

I am such a technophobe that to put all my appointments, special dates, birthday reminders, business meetings etc. onto my computer would be a complete and total impossibility.
My wonderful PA Angelise keeps trying to encourage me with helpful on-line spread sheets and Diary page software which rings and bleeps whenever something important crops up. She goes to her efficient page as soon as she comes in and sees all her tasks and duties neatly printed out before her - all with various symbols and time counters!!! I am impressed and I also realise that her way is the most efficient by far - but somehow I just love my battered old Filofax with three years at a flick of a page. I like to keep last year in the front with the current year in the middle and next year at the back.

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Categories: My Week

Close to my Chest October 15th 2012

One in eight women will develop breast cancer within her lifetime - One woman dies of breast cancer every thirteen minutes… The disease is terrible, the statistics are a disgrace. If you are a woman -you are at risk.

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Categories: My Week

God Save the Queen - my Jubilee memories. August 03rd 2012

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee began for me over two years ago. I knew that I wanted to design a really special commemorative shoe which would reflect everything that was strong, durable, classic and sparkling. The completely new design of a shoe takes a long time, it is no five minute process - unless you are one of my copy- cat competitors who simply buy up all my shoes and send them to their factory in Majorca and just faithfully copy them - well yes, that only takes five minutes!

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Categories: My Week

Much Ado About Nothing April 12th 2012

Following on from the quite bizarre “non -story” about me in the Telegraph earlier this week, I would like to thank the hundreds of quite wonderful and kind people who have taken the time and trouble to email me their support. Since I have never spoken to the Telegraph or given any statement at all regarding my possible involvement with the Enterprise Fellowship, I found it quite amazing that such a responsible and reputable newspaper would bother to print an article so badly researched and from such a strange viewpoint, that I would urge you all to carefully read again my blog describing my Royal Week!

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Categories: My Week

Heavenly Scent April 10th 2012

Since childhood I have suffered from chronic allergic asthma. Every day I inhale vast quantities of Seretide followed most evenings by more puffs of Ventolin. The strangest things will trigger an attack and very often it is the smell of someone’s perfume….this is tricky for me as I am an absolute perfume addict. I first discovered the heady, sweetly sickly and distinctive aroma of my beloved Grandmother’s scent which she made herself from roses grown in her own garden. I have no idea how she did this, but it was because as a struggling artist she had very little money and I presume that shop bought perfume was beyond her limited budget.

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Categories: My Week

Cool Britannia! March 30th 2012

As the country gears up for the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympic games, Jess Contomichalos chats to Jane Winkworth, founder and designer behind the quintessentially British, fashion brand, French Sole to find out her thoughts and memories of the Best of British fashion, art and culture.

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Categories: Fashion, My Week

Starry Starry Night! March 14th 2012

My lovely charity Starlight, is renowned for it’s creative and innovative events which help raise money for seriously and terminally ill children. I am always left speechless by what they do at Starlight, and how brave these little children are when I meet them. Last month, Starlight got together with eBay and The Langham London Hotel to launch a fabulous design project….Celebrity Lampshades!

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Categories: My Week

Guest Blog - Antonia Scott January 25th 2012

Every month Jane will be inviting a Guest Blogger to write for her website! This month we hear from Jane’s lifelong friend Antonia Scott, who recalls growing up in the 50’s with Jane, embracing the fabulously explosive 60’s and how they found fashion and ultimately a love of shoes!

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Categories: Fashion, My Week

Cupboard Love! January 11th 2012

I wish I could say “Less is More” where my clothes are concerned. I wish I could exist on a small, smart, designer Capsule Wardrobe - just a few basic staples etc - Well I can’t! For me, more is more - and more and more! I am in the very enviable situation of having a huge house which is occupied these days by just myself, my husband, several dogs and the occasional visiting grandchild.

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Categories: Fashion, My Week

With not so much as a Thank You! January 09th 2012

I am old fashioned in my belief that if someone has the kindness of heart and generosity of spirit ( and wallet) to give me a gift, then it should be rewarded with a handwritten note of thanks. I like writing notes - I love my Smythson pink embossed cream correspondence card, with pink tissue lined matching envelopes. I love my Smythson personal little contact detail cards that accompany these….. in a nutshell….. I am a snob when it comes to stationery.

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Categories: My Week

Awesome Americans! January 08th 2012

This year, my husband and I decided to spend Christmas at home quietly with our family. On Christmas Day we went to mass with our grand daughter who will be preparing for her first Holy Communion next year. Father Tom ( our gorgeous priest with film-star looks) had recruited a “guest speaker”. Mid-way through the mass, the children were all invited up to the crib for a sermon from said guest speaker; Father Brian. He was wonderful with the children and in his broad Irish accent, he asked the children,  “So, who is Hannah Montana then?”.  This was followed by, “and what is she always saying….?”. To which came the unanimous reply, “awesome!”. “So, what does awesome really mean then?” asked Father Brian and so it went on…..The message was received loud and clear from the priest that ‘awesome’ is a word we are supposed to reserve for true miracles…such as the birth of Our Lord. But, it got me thinking about all my American friends and their casual use of the word “awesome”!

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Categories: My Week

My secret Portuguese hideaway January 06th 2012

For more than thirty years, I have had a home in Portugal in the Algarve. My beautiful and remote house is a real “hideaway” - an away-from-it-all haven of peace and tranquility on the top of a hill and looking directly out over rolling hillside down to the sea, with amazing sea views. The village is tiny and primitive - no hideous golfing sweaters, better still - no hideous golfers and definitely no smart cars or tourists! Yet, it is close enough to the beach to pop down in the afternoon for a stroll with my dog or a swim with my grandchildren and, perhaps, a lovely seafood supper with friends and then a quick drive back up into the hills, gazing down at the twinkling lights everywhere as I drive!

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Categories: My Week

Not strictly ballet! January 04th 2012

Not Strictly Ballet!

This week saw me once again at the ballet, this time it was as a VIP guest for the English National Ballet’s second-time-round presentation of Derek Deane’s Strictly Gershwin. Last summer the company performed this strangely gleeful “ballet” at The Albert Hall and the reviews were mixed. This time, back on home ground, safe on the stage of the delicious, ice- creamy coloured and beautifully restored Coliseum Theatre, the English National Ballet almost took a back seat at this burlesque all American “revue” show by Derek Deane. The music was sublime and the orchestra were brilliant - but this was not strictly ballet!

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Categories: Ballet, My Week

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Charities Jane supports:

The Royal ballet school English National Ballet Starlight ACCA The Royal Marsden Havens Hospice