Esther Hyams is an Orthodox fashion blogger living in London, who has made it her mission (especially during lockdown) to show her fans how to “have fun and look beautiful while dressing modestly”.
“My Judaism definitely influences my fashion in a positive way, seeing as I didn’t grow up religious,” Esther admits. “It’s a constant reminder of how far I have come and how much further I can go.” Esther was pregnant for the first time during lockdown and is now a proud mum to Noah.
Did you adapt your fashion during lockdown?
Because there was literally nowhere to go, I started to dress more casually, but It was a struggle to adapt my style to pregnancy so long, flowy maxi dresses became my go-to and stretchy material my new best friend! I did do an impromptu photoshoot in London’s deserted streets – it felt good to get dressed up again.
Did you discover new styles or experiment?
Until Covid arrived, I didn’t realise how much clothing I have in my closet! Not being able to go shopping allowed me to go through everything and discover things I’d not worn in years. The best thing was being able to mix and match outfits with no pressure to conform to the latest styles.
Any autumn/ Rosh Hashanah suggestions?
Pair an outfit with a great belt – mine are from Two 12 Fashion. My personal tried and tested style is a sleeveless dress with a blouse under or over, belted together. I’m also loving turbans as a wig alternative, they’re on trend and striking for shul, without seeming ‘dressed down’. You can get some great materials to work with, like silk and lace – try Bitz of Glitz UK, The Scarf Bar, Cover In Style and Nos Vies En Fulards. I’ve even bought a Swarovski Crystal scarf from The Big Bow Shop.
Follow Esther on Instagram: @esther.hyams
With 169,000 Instagram followers, Elizabeth Savetsky juggles her roles as fashion/ lifestyle influencer with Jewish activism as efficiently as she teams Balenciaga with Prada. The mum of two (soon to be three), affectionately known as Liz or Lizzie, started her blog, Excessories Expert: a Guide to Excessive Accessories in 2013.
“This was before being a ‘blogger’ meant anyone with an Instagram account,” she explains. Aside from the stunning aesthetic of her Insta feed and shots of her adorable daughters, Liz’s appeal is her relatable open nature and willingness to delve into real and sometimes difficult topics affecting women. “Over the past few years, I’ve focused more on raising awareness for causes important to me and was amazed by the support from my audience when I revealed my three miscarriages . It’s so important to destigmatise miscarriage and help women feel less alone in their grief.”
Has lockdown affected your attitude to beauty and fashion?.
Between pregnancy and the pandemic, my motivation to get dolled up is not what it once was, but I still feel much better when I put the effort in. I’ve just become much more low maintenance. With a new baby coming this autumn, G-d willing, I’m sure I will continue to embrace an easier, less fussy approach.
What has been your go-to outfit these past months?
Most days, I throw on an easy dress or jumpsuit and layer up some fun jewellery. My advice for easy glamour for a mum on the go? Select a one-piece outfit and pile on some statement accessories.
What are you wearing for autumn?
I will be nine months pregnant during the Jewish holidays, which presents a challenge, but not one that scares me. I’m dreaming about statement knee-high boots for autumn, but Dallas is brutally hot throughout September so these may have to wait. Cecilie Bahnsen has exquisite babydoll dresses for pregnancy – they’re a bit out of my budget, but a girl can dream! I love big shoulders, ruffles, bows and jewelled details. I also recently discovered a Jewish brand – Shtettl Wear – their hoodies and tees are fun and great for the whole family.
How do you incorporate Jewish activism in a fashion focused feed?
My Jewish identity is my ‘North Star’. I cannot separate myself from it in my work, as it encompasses everything about the way I live. I feel a great responsibility as a Jewish person with a platform to stand up for my people and Israel and share my spirituality. I also recently partnered with My Soldier, an Israeli organisation that provides financial, emotional and spiritual support to lone IDF soldiers. My Instagram audience raised more than $55,000 (£41,411.90) for a Sefer Torah to donate to soldiers on the front line. Instagram: @elizabethsavetsky
Cara Melzack established her own brand in April last year, with the motto Create A Right Attitude (CARA) and Reach The Sky, never imaginging she would soon face global shutdown. “There is so much pressure when you start a new business – to succeed, to prove to yourself and everyone that you are going to make it. Either the higher powers are trying to tell me something or this is a major learning curve,” she reflects wryly.
What was your lockdown style?
I’ve coined a new hashtag – #wfhcosychic – it’s all about feeling good about yourself, but still being super comfortable. As we all figure out the new normal, self-care and finding a routine that works for you is so important. I wake up, do half an hour of social, go for a run, shower, put on my fave Cara & The Sky jumper, make a cuppa and I’m ready to face the day!
Is your positive attitude reflected in your knits?
I’m obsessed with colour and draw huge influence from nature, which has inspired both of my collections of beautifully-knitted jumpers and accessories, cardigans and dresses. Each piece is designed in-house, appeals to all ages and has a unique style, from shape to texture and yarn.
Where are your jumpers made?
Cara and the Sky is a firmly British brand; I wanted to manufacture in the UK to help bring back industry to the country and support local communities. We also need to be aware of our fashion footprint by ensuring all packaging is eco-friendly.
What is your vision for the new year?
It’s been incredible to see how everyone has pulled together to keep small businesses going. If we work together, we can achieve greatness. After all, it’s the local businesses, brands and artists that make our lives vibrant, exciting and the backbone of British culture.
How do I incorporate a Cara & the Sky piece into everyday wear?
Knitwear is so versatile; you can dress it up or down. Our new ‘Bella’ tunic launching this October can be styled with everything from ‘mom’ jeans to miniskirts. The collection has been designed to be on trend, yet trendless. I want the buyer to fall in love with every piece, knowing it will be relevant for seasons ahead.
What are the trends for autumn?
Minimalism replaced by maximalism. Neutral tones and clean cuts have been switched for clashing colours, mixing prints and textures. Our knitwear has gone against the high street by mixing colours, stitches and yarns. A statement chunky cardigan is my staple piece as a cosy cover-up or a colourful alternative when you’re not quite ready for a full-on coat. My second collection unites the whimsical and urban with an unexpected mix of stitches, clashing colour, twists and stripes seen in our hero piece,
the ‘Allie Cardigan’. www.caraandthesky.com and select boutiques nationwide.
Tamara Corin is an award-winning beauty editor and stylist, who has years of experience working for glossies and runs a personal styling service.She also consults for beauty brands such as P&G, L’Oréal, Dove and Estee Lauder. She is a mum of five and her Instagram name (@blusherandbabies) now makes sense.
How much pandemonium has the pandemic caused for the beauty industry?
It has had a devastating impact, What frustrated me was the temporary shutdown of the beauty sector not being taken seriously, even though it contributes heavily to the country’s income. I’m thankful hair, beauty salons and spas are now back in full swing and so are shopping centres. Admittedly, wearing a mask and not being able to use changing rooms makes it less enjoyable.
How does a stylist style herself during lockdown?
Anyone who follows me knows I’m very much a dress-a-day kinda girl, but juggling home-schooling five kids with my own work and countless Zoom meetings has found me in a more relaxed look than usual! Full-on activewear isn’t my thing (unless I’m heading for the gym) but I did cave and buy a gorgeous Year Of Ours tie-dye tracksuit, which I wore a lot! Although I knew I wouldn’t be going anywhere more exciting than my local park with my children, I always ‘put my face on’, sometimes even a red lip. When I’m wearing make-up, I feel more confident and it definitely raised my spirits during some tough days.
Do you recycle clothes or just buy new ones?
I’m actually quite the hoarder and have clothes that have sat in my wardrobe for 20 years. I rarely throw clothes out, they sometimes go walkabout to one of my three sisters, but I do wear them all, promise. What I would have worn years ago, I would still wear today. I’m also very fortunate to have a very glamorous grandma who used to work in the fashion industry, and have some fabulous vintage pieces that are my most treasured possessions.
What’s your regular style for autumn?
I have quite a distinct style throughout the year – midi dress, layering, accessorising galore, bold lip and natural base. I love prints and colour. I often tear up the rule book and clash prints, picking up on one colour to tie my whole look together. I adore autumn/winter dressing – opaque tights, long boots, beautiful outerwear, layering accessories. I have my eye on wide statement belts and this season’s must-have bag shape – the bucket bag. Maje has some strong tailored pieces for looking stylish when you’re back in the workplace.
Who are your beauty inspirations?
My great-grandma was a milliner and always used to tell me: “Never leave anything for best.” Her mantra is something I’m inspired to live by every day, whether it’s a new dress or a tablecloth! When it comes to celebrity style, Olivia Palermo, American socialite and fashion muse, nails it every time. Follow Tamara on Instagram: @blusherand babies