IN CONVERSATION WITH VERITY PARKER AND ELLIE PITHERS
In this feature we followed Ellie and Verity over the course of a busy weekend in London, wearing only the contents of the CQ London Suitcase. Ellie and Verity shared, mixed, and matched the different pieces in the Suitcase, bringing their own personal style to each look. A Friday evening Royal Academy date, Saturday lunch in Mayfair, dinner at Cecconi’s and a sleepover at Claridge’s (with customary room service in bed), then Sunday shopping and strolling through St James’ Park. The CQ London Suitcase was a wardrobe for their whole weekend adventure.
We sat down with Ellie and Verity to talk fashion, travel tips and packing essentials as well as London’s best kept secrets.
1. IN THE SPIRIT OF JOAN DIDIONS’ ”PACKING LIST”, DO YOU KEEP A PACKING LIST?
Verity: Not necessarily as varying destinations always require a slightly different ‘pack’ – but there’s always the essentials of a smart wool or silk trouser and a cashmere layering piece.
Ellie: I’m a massive Didion fan but I must admit I always laugh at her ludicrous packing list. Mine is far less glamorous and stipulates retainers, antihistamines and a packet of Fruit Pastilles.
2. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN PACKING FOR A WORK TRIP?
Verity: Being comfortable and feeling chic. It’s important you really feel your best when travelling for work.
Elie: I have approximately 537 lists on my iPhone Notes app and one of these will contain a series of about 10 outfits for work trips. Inevitably these carefully assembled outfits go awry when the weather or my mood changes, but I try to pack tonally so that everything sort of goes with everything.
”The cream silk tie blouse is perfect. So easy to wear with denim and trainers, or of course a beautiful silk trouser and flat shoes.”
– Verity Parker
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CQ PIECE FROM THE ”LONDON SUITCASE” AND WHY?
Verity: The cream silk tie blouse is perfect. So easy to wear with denim and trainers, or of course a beautiful silk trouser and flat shoes.
Ellie: The fawn-coloured Saint Germain suit jacket – it instantly makes you stand up straight.
5. WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL WAY TO SPEND A WEEKEND IN LONDON?
Verity: With my family – walking, eating and visiting friends.
Ellie: The ideal formula would be a party on a Friday; a Saturday morning run, visit to a gallery, dinner at home with friends; then a Sunday spent reading papers, watering my plants, going to the cinema and pizza for tea.
”The fawn-coloured Saint Germain suit jacket – it instantly makes you stand up straight.” – Ellie Pithers
6. FAVOURITE LONDON RESTAURANTS
Verity: I have to say I love the classics – both J Sheekey and the Wolseley are always classics of good food and good service.
Ellie: I am very loyal to Chicks on Fire, a lo-fi chicken shop around the corner from my flat, but also love Jolene and Western’s Laundry. And I’ll never say no to a table at Rochelle Canteen.
7. LONDON’S BEST KEPT SECRET
Verity: Alexandra Nurseries. An amazing plant nursery selling garden and house plants, vintage treasures and Monmouth coffee and cakes.
Ellie: I used to live behind Bunhill Fields, the London cemetery where John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe and William Blake are all happily buried, despite their various vehement theological differences in life. On the anniversary of Blake’s death, all his megafans gather around his grave and sing songs. It’s brilliant.