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Emma Slade Edmondson and Nicole Ocran© Phill Taylor

The Fashion Insider Diary: Emma Slade Edmondson and Nicole Ocran

The Half Of It authors, podcast hosts and fashion enthusiasts share their top style tips with Hello! Fashion

Lauren Ramsay
Online Writer
6 days ago
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Writing a book and making fashion choices might not seem related, but for Emma Slade Edmondson and Nicole Ocran, they go hand-in-hand. The dopamine-inducing, eclectic dressing duo have just released their debut book The Half of It.

For Emma and Nicole, who are recognised for their award-winning podcast Mixed Up which explores race and identity through the lens of the mixed-race perspective, fashion is not just about looking good; it's about making an impact, being bold and reflecting their identity: "I like to look different and to stand out and I think this is especially important at the moment for Nicole and I as new authors," Emma told Hello! Fashion, "It's very much part of our brand with our podcast to have everything be a 'conversation starter' and I believe our fashion choices should be the same thing."

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From Emma's love of vintage to Nicole's personal style which she hopes highlights the importance of change, the two share a week's worth of outfits and their top styling tips...

The Fashion Insider Diary: Emma Slade Edmondson and Nicole Ocran

Drinks with the girls

Emma
Emma

Emma: I love finding vintage pieces that just call out to you when you see them. This jumpsuit called out to me like it was waiting for me. I’ve paired it with rainbow platforms, my nan's gold heart locket and a gold chain belt I borrowed from one of the girls.

Nicole
Nicole

Nicole: This Sezane two-piece knitted set is breathable and easy to wear, as well as mix and match. I love the beautiful lavender, sage and navy colours together that make it colourful but not super loud. I’ve paired this look with tan cowboy boots from Mango and a Sezane straw bag.

Date Night

Emma
Emma

Emma: Mother of Pearl denim teamed with softer fabrics and floaty silhouettes and finished with whimsical accessories. The bag is from Rooper, the flares from Hara the label and the necktie is my nannas embroidered handkerchief. The sweater is Pangaia.

Nicole
Nicole

Nicole: I love this outfit for date night because it feels like it’s the antithesis of the expected LBD. The red cardigan and purple trousers are from Hobbs, paired with a zebra print bag from Anthropologie and gold sandals from Zara. The colour clash is my favourite thing about this outfit as well as the added animal print for a little something extra.

A Day of Meetings

Emma
Emma

Emma: At the moment all my meetings are book-related, and because the cover is so cute - the book itself has sort of become an accessory! There’s a lot of variety so even if I’m running around, my looks are still quite put together: a little bit of layering for texture and interest and always colour. A simple colourful co-ord for easy chic that has impact and requires very little thought but can work across multiple contexts. This one is from Stine Goya.

Nicole
Nicole

Nicole: I always want to be comfortable, and look elevated but also be able to run around between appointments so a matching set will always do the trick for me! This linen waistcoat set is from Nobody’s Child and is perfect for summer in the city. I’ve paired it with my Onitsuka Tiger trainers for a bright pop of colour and my XXL leopard print GANNI tote bag to help me carry my laptop and everything else I need!

Evening soirée 

Emma
Emma

Emma: A vintage number never fails. Paired with my Valentino wedding heels to modernise the look.

Nicole
Nicole

Nicole: This floral Dream Sister Jane dress is giving me everything I want for an evening event. A bit of drama with the puff sleeve and beautiful jacquard. I’ve paired it with a Next metallic gold platform heel because I always have to be able to walk around freely and comfortably and a pearl heart-shaped bag from Asos for a bit of texture.

Sunday stroll

Emma
Emma

Emma: A Rejina Pyo dress that is just so sunny and joyful and requires 0 accessorising. This one was rented.

Nicole
Nicole

This embroidered maxi dress from East Clothing is such a great piece for a Sunday stroll. I’ve paired it with my Mango clogs and Sezane straw bag. I love a cream dress in the summer months and the colourful embroidery and pom-poms at the sleeve add a little something extra to the dress that makes it feel fun. Perfect for a coffee and croissant run in the morning!

The Fashion Insider low-down:

Can you describe your personal style and how it reflects your role in the fashion industry?

Emma: Elevated conscious fashion combinations. I would say my style is eclectic and colourful but chic. I wear a lot of vintage and secondhand fashion and I like to throw in the unexpected - an accessory or texture or pattern pairing here and there that people will stop to look at.

Nicole: I’d say my style right now is playful, colourful and sweet with a bit of edge. My favourite thing about personal style is that it can be ever-evolving but I think it reflects my role in the fashion industry as someone who likes to highlight the importance of change and the value of a shift in traditional mindsets.

How do you balance comfort and style for a busy day of events and meetings?

Emma: I like to dress for the occasion and change it up. At the moment because we are doing a lot of book promotion events for 'The Half Of It' I tend to go for a Mara Hoffman statement dress or a stand-out vintage combination, an easy but colourful co-ord and heels or flats that hold their shape. 

Nicole: I’m often running around between appointments so making a dress go from day to night is key for me. For right now I’ll usually wear a Doen white eyelet dress with a denim vest and trainers then lose the vest and trainers and add sandals for an evening vibe.

What are your go-to brands? 

Emma: Mara Hoffman, Mother Of Pearl, Rejina Pyo, Damson Madder, Ahluwalia, Made By Annie MBA, Marconcourt Project , Stine Goya, Farm Rio,  Sézane, Diotima WorldAnd lots of vintage: Mother Vintage and Laura Von Behr as well as Attica, Rokit, Beyond Retro and Here After Vintage are firm favourites for me, but I also love to pick up a good charity shop piece in the likes of Traid.

Nicole: I love Damson Madder, I think they just get it right for me so often when it comes to unexpected prints, colours and patterns. Aligne for something elevated and chic with a contemporary twist. I’ve love GANNI for years as well. Pink City Prints for vibrant dresses.

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

Emma: My style influences evolve all the time, but at this point, I am my own style muse. Although I like to keep things fresh, I have a strong style aesthetic that I've built up over time.I tend to take more inspiration from interiors and art that interest me rather than other people's style. I am interested in individuality and creating with fashion rather than copycat-ing.

Nicole: My forever style icon is Tracee Ellis Ross - she always looks like she’s having so much fun and her joy emanates from her clothes and personality. She makes a moment out of every look. Solange as well has always been it for me in terms of looking effortlessly chic in a way that isn’t one-note.

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

Emma: I need to be able to get around quickly during the week so whatever I wear needs to accommodate practical footwear, so I do love a cute Mary Jane with a petite heel or fashion trainer like a Veja or a Hoff. I am a London girl though so I will revert to my limited edition camo flash pink and green Air Max 97's if needed. They go with everything!

Nicole: I’m always wearing my Onitsuka Tiger trainers at the moment, they’re bright yellow but I think they go with everything and also add a really happy surprise to a look.

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

Emma: I have these cute bags made from vintage American cigar boxes that a friend's mum made for me to attend fashion week shows one year. I also love the brand Mashu for its conscious bags and the shapes are interesting, structural and eye-catching, which I love. I also love a piece of vintage jewellery so I am usually always wearing a chunky gold piece that's been handed down by my mum or nan.

Nicole: I really love the juxtaposition of layering necklaces against a really simple look. At the moment I’m loving charm necklaces and lots of gold chains to add more texture to brighten up an outfit!

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?

Emma: Trends are not my thing because my approach to fashion is quite conscious, I don't like to buy into overconsumption and that sees me rejecting trends and instead looking to what I truly love regardless of what other people are wearing. I like to look different and to stand out and I think this is especially important at the moment as new authors and as Nicole and I promote our new book. It's very much part of our brand with our podcast to have everything be a 'conversation starter' and I believe our fashion choices should be the same thing.

Nicole: Trends are constantly evolving, so I think it’s less about staying up-to-date and understanding what works best for you. Understanding what you love to wear and enjoy is key to going in on your personal style and not feeling pressured into keeping up with trends (that tend to cycle back around anyway!)

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

Emma: My biggest fashion tip - especially if you're interested in vintage and second-hand - is to mix your eras to keep your look fresh and enigmatic. But also to work on the craft of styling yourself like you would anything else. Develop your eye with intention. Discover what you like and love rather than focusing on trends and build from there.

Nicole: Something I do for myself is always trying to ground a look in juxtaposition. So pairing something that is dressy with something casual. For example, if I’m wearing lots of linen (which feels casual and relaxed) I will pair it with lots of gold jewellery to contrast it with a dressier element. Likewise with an intricate dress with trainers.

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

Nicole: I think a memorable look is all about feeling comfortable and confident. Now that I’m in my 30s long gone are the days of sky-high heels just to be dressed up. For me, a great midi dress with a kitten heel and a bright bag are some of my favourite looks to wear for an evening party.

The Half of It is available now from Waterstones.

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