Yesnaby : the healing power of nature

At Yesnaby, in Sandwick [on the West Coast of the Orkney mainland]there lived a woman who was said to have had the power to stop bleeding without leaving her house. No matter how far distant the subject might be, once the woman had been called upon for help, the blood would stop”.

Of all the powerful landscapes in Orkney, Yesnaby is a standout. Renowned forspectacular red sandstone cliffs that lean over the sea so undercut are they by force of ocean swells. Charged with folklore and ocean force, this was a natural place to start my winter mission embrace the elements (while fabulously dressed!). 

Photo from www.orkney.com

What draws me to these cliffs is not only the incredible sunsets but the rock formations, colour, history and folklore which has inspired design stories over my career.

Yesnaby is a place of witches, selkies, the wreck of a Spanish Armada ship, a two-legged castle, significant world war action, a tsunami, the Scottish Primrose and 400 million year old fossils. 

This coast is often cleared by storm water and wind. I love the idea that there will always be something new to find. Now we are at the end of this strangest of years, Yesnaby is a great inspiration for renewal into 2021. 

Today, I am wearing my own smoke dress the Edith coat by Elizabeth Martin Tweed Brand and jewellery from the North Star collection by Clover May.

Elizabeth’s products are 100% made in the UK. This coat carried the official Harris Tweed label. A mark of luxury and enduring quality. I love the nipped waist that creates a fitted silhouette, and the flash of turquoise in the lining. 

Elizabeth says: ‘I like working with Harris Tweed because it is rooted in Scottish culture and heritage and is, as a result totally unique. It is total authenticity and a beautiful back story. 

All my designs were driven by a desire to create contemporary coats and jackets and to move away from the usual hunting/shooting/fishing designs that are often associated with Tweed. 

I wanted to sex it up and appeal to modern confident women who appreciate quality over quantity whilst maintaining style. The design for the Edith coat was a salute to the style of the 50s and 60s when women wore waist cinching coats. 

I feel we have lost our way a bit and the focus has been on practicality. I firmly believe you can have practicality but be stylish at the same time”

Photograph by Orkney.com

With it’s warm outer fabric the Edith coat will have you ready for winter with style. It isalso available in a grey herringbone. This coat is built to last and wear. All of Elizabeth’s pieces are the same: quality fabrics, extremely well made contemporary classics. 

I teamed it with one of my smoke dresses in charcoal  and my favourite winter boots which never go out of style and have been partners in many adventures over the last 10 years from Ganni

Jewellery from Clover May is modern, wearable with a hint of Nordic charm, bohemia surf girl vibe that I love. The Nautical Treasure range was inspired by our ancestors navigating by stars. The North Star is the brightest and represents “limitless possibilities and infinite wonder”. Surely this is a message we all need to try and carry into 2021.

With all things this year it was good to get dressed, feel good and explore the landscape that is right on my doorstep. I encourage you to do the same. Take a look at the wealth and understated talent we have right here, right now. The power is in your hands this christmas and beyond. 

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