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The Fashion Insider Diary: Hayley Menzies

Meet the eponymous brand founder and discover what inspires her iconic eclectic aesthetic...

The Fashion Insider Diary: Hayley Menzies
Orion Scott
Fashion Features Writer
22 November 2023
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With style icons consisting of “FKA Twigs, Zoe Kravitz, Kate Moss, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Madonna, Frida Kahlo and Sienna Miller back in the day” without even seeing Hayley’s Instagram or self-titled fashion brand, you just know she's cooler than cool. 

When it comes to serotonin-boosting dressing, Hayley Menzies is a ray of sunshine on a gloomy gloomy day. How does she always look so good you ask? Well, she “only wears her own collection or vintage finds” and pairs those eclectic keepsakes with a pair of designer shoes, because like most of us she too has a “love” for “ sexy shoes.”

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We caught up with the effortlessly chic and wildly glam fashion muse, asking her to share a week of outfits with us and they’re bolder, brighter and even more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. 

What This Fashion Insider Wears In A Week:

Day One:

I’m WFH in this pic with my "Chief Designer" Mouse. I love spreading out all over the carpet and being at home gives me the peace I need to really get creative. I’m wearing the Silk Floral Chain Dress from my new collection. It's super comfortable and easy which is key for work. The shoes are by Gianvito Rossi and I bought them on Vestiare Collective.

Day Two:

This was such a fun night. I hosted an intimate dinner party for our customers at 'The Pelican' in Notting Hill recently to celebrate the launch of our party collection. I’m wearing the Ruched Off Shoulder Dress in gold silk and lurex… how cool!? I felt so freaking hot in this and am a big believer in your clothes giving you energy… I always remember what I’m wearing on my best nights out. The shoes are Gianvito Rossi. (I have an addiction.)

Day Three:

Taking 'five' in-between meetings at Jusu Brothers on Westbourne Grove. I love chunky long knits... so, I’m wearing this dream of a coat called Charming Birds from my new collection. It’s made from merino wool and is the snuggliest piece, it really elevates a jeans and trainers’ situation.

Day Four

Taking a stroll up Portobello Road in search of trinkets, treasures and inspiration. I'm dressed up as a huge cuddly teddy bear in this long jumper with a split down the front, it’s called the Big Meow. It’s so chic thrown over jeans and takes zero planning or fuss. There’s not much worse than being cold on treasure hunt days, it can really kill the fun so being comfortable and warm is crucial.

Day Five:

I’m walking to work here; I live a five-minute walk from the studio. I chose to wear this silk handkerchief hem dress for ease and comfort. I’m usually barefoot in the studio, I rank comfort at work as important as style.

The Fashion Insider Low-Down:

Can you describe your personal style in a few words? How does it reflect your role in the fashion industry?

Effortless, chic and eclectic and often second hand … I don’t follow trends. My style reflects my role in the fashion industry by not following trends, encouraging unique style and standout pieces to last.  You can dress simply and add one of my knits or dresses and feel complete so easily. My pieces are designed to be the vintage of the future, I pair my collection with second-hand and vintage finds and hope that in 50 years someone will be doing the same with my pieces.

What's your go-to outfit for a busy day of fashion events and meetings? How do you balance comfort and style?

Ha, my life isn’t that glamorous. Most days are spent in the studio and I wear joggers or jeans with one of my knits or a simple silk dress. For meetings, I might make a little more effort and wear a heel. The beauty of my collection is that the pieces are made from sumptuous fabrics and have beautiful detailing that you don’t have to make too much effort to look put together. Just add one of our long knits with denim and you’re pretty much good to go to any occasion.

What are your go-to brands?

For clothes, I only wear my collection or vintage finds. Shoes, well they are my weakness and I have a vast Gianvito Rossi collection, Miu Miu, Prada, Balenciaga and Gucci. All quite classic and sexy. I love sexy shoes.

Do you have any fashion icons or inspirations that influence your style choices? How do they inspire you?

My style is eclectic, and I love a mash-up of 1930s silk slips, to 70s floaty dresses and 90s grunge and style icons like Kate Moss, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Madonna, Frida Kahlo and Sienna Miller back in the day. Today I love FKA Twigs and Zoe Kravitz's style. I love high-low mixing. Sexy slips with chunky knits and trainers and a huge gold hoop earring. I grew up to house music and used to customise my rave costumes back in the day, I love standing out from the crowd – I guess that’s reflected in my collections.

Weekdays can be hectic. What's your weekday workwear wardrobe like, and how does it differ from your weekend attire?

My weekday wardrobe is comfort first. Silk dresses with ballet flats or jeans and a chunky knit. On weekends I tend to be in my yoga kit and one of my knit dusters during the day but if I’m going out I’ll wear heels and something a lil’ sexy, maybe jeans again with a silk cami and an oversize knit cardigan… or my Moonshine sequin track pants and top… that’s always a winner.

Accessories can make or break an outfit. What are your must-have accessories, and how do you use them to elevate your look?

I adore accessories, especially a statement earring, although sadly my ears aren’t so fond of large earrings anymore. And shoes, shoes are very important. A pair of jeans, a silk cami with a chunky knit, a vintage Chanel bag, sexy high heels and gold hoop earrings is my dream going-out look. Or switch the jeans for a slip dress, but keep the same accessories. My preferences are vintage bags and jewellery, they were made so much better back then! During the day I don’t really accessorise – a simple small gold hoop from the 1970s. 

In the fashion world, trends are constantly evolving. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends, and do you incorporate them into your wardrobe?

I’m not a follower of trends as such, although I stay up to date with wider trends such as a denim fit, or the neckline of a T-shirt. But otherwise, I just wear what I love and stay true to my personal style – this is reflected in my collections. 

Many people admire the way fashion insiders put together outfits effortlessly. Can you share some of your styling tips for mixing and matching pieces?

Mixing prints and styles is a real art form, so the most risk-free advice I can give is to keep things simple, and elevate a look with a statement piece! For example, you can't go wrong with jeans, a white T-shirt and one of our signature knits. You’ll look effortless and feel great.

Fashion insiders often attend high-profile events and parties. What's your strategy for creating memorable looks for evening parties?

You must feel confident in what you’re wearing, don’t let the clothes wear you and don’t just choose something just because it’s the latest trend. Personally, I love to stand out at a party, and I don’t want to blend in. Choose a statement dress that flatters your figure, I love the gold silk off-shoulder dress that I’m wearing in the photo – zero fuss and with a cool bag and sexy shoes it’s a done deal.

The fashion industry can be demanding. How do you balance comfort and style when you have long days of meetings and appointments?

Personal grooming and polish are important, then half the work is done. Be comfortable in what you wear, make sure you’re clothes are perfectly ironed, your nails are done and if you’re running around opt for a ballet pump! My silk dresses are comfortable and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

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