blogs Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 en hourly 1 Tamara's Scrapbook: Sweaty Betty for Richard Nicoll at LFW /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-sweaty-betty-for-richard-nicoll-at-lfw/ /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-sweaty-betty-for-richard-nicoll-at-lfw/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-sweaty-betty-for-richard-nicoll-at-lfw/ Fresh from London Fashion Week, Sweaty Betty's Creative Director Tamara talks about the launch of the exclusive Sweaty Betty for Richard Nicoll collection which launched on the runway last Sunday. 

Waiting for the show to start: Tamara with friend Calgary Avansino, contributing editor at UK Vogue

The inspiration behind the Sweaty Betty for Richard Nicoll collection was an active girl who wants to achieve a calm meditative state through running; it's very calm and tranquil but highly technical at the same time. The music at the show on Sunday reflected this and it was so beautiful –  a little quirky but very gentle. All the invitations were holographic too so there was a shimmering iridescence everywhere you looked. Then of course the Tinkerbell dress floated out from the dark like a lit jellyfish and it set such a beautiful scene.

The collection is a different take for Sweaty Betty. We’ve used our most technical premium Italian fabrics and cutting edge new technologies in terms of bonding, reflectivity and laser cutting, but the use of the beautiful soft lilac colour was a totally different direction for us. Combining this technicality and soft colour palette with a traditional Shibori Japanese print was the perfect combination for a new look for both brands. 

The collection is a really gorgeous mix of lo fi, hi fi, which is exactly the type of juxtaposition that Richard and Sweaty Betty were wanting to achieve. I’m really pleased with how strongly it represents both our brands – I think it’s an absolutely perfect collaboration; a meeting in the middle. It was very exciting to be sitting in the front row at Sunday's show close to Jessie Ware and Sophie Ellis Bextor and next to my friend Calgary from Vogue. With my daughters in the audience, it was a very proud moment.

The dress on the runway at Sunday's show

For both Richard and I, the killer piece in the collection is the dress. It’s not ever something we’d really think about designing, but actually it’s very practical with little built-in shorts, a zip up the front and fully reflective, stretchy fabric. You could run in it and equally you could go to a party and look amazing in it. It pushes the boundaries for us – it’s something we wouldn’t typically do at Sweaty Betty and Richard wouldn’t normally design something so technical. It’s a key piece in the collection. 

The Sweaty Betty for Richard Nicoll collection will be available from February 2015. Find out more about the collection here]]>
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Behind the scenes of Autumn Winter 2014 /blog/behind-the-scenes-of-autumn-winter-2014/ /blog/behind-the-scenes-of-autumn-winter-2014/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/behind-the-scenes-of-autumn-winter-2014/ After months of anticipation, Sweaty Betty's edgiest collection yet has finally arrived in-store and online. Entitled 'Hidden Treasures In An Urban Jungle', the new Autumn Winter 2014 collection was first thought up during a trip to Milan. Here, Sweaty Betty's Founder and Creative Director Tamara shares her inspirations and some behind-the-scenes insights on the new lines, plus reveals her favourite piece from the collection. 

The idea of a collection called ‘Hidden Treasures In An Urban Jungle’ was initially inspired by an image seen while on a visit to our Eurojersey fabric supplier in Milan. With lace and flowers alongside an image of buildings; it juxtaposed something beautiful against a rugged, derelict and unexpected background.
The Autumn Winter 2014 collection focuses on the strength of women in sport – femininity with an edge. It’s about challenges - from the art of parkour, to practicing dance to the highest level, to ski touring. It is about breaking boundaries in an intense physical way, but at the same time, celebrating women. It is less about competing against one another; more focused on the communal feeling of working out together and finding new and exciting ways of keeping fit.
Inspiration was taken from the beautiful images of the Ballerina Project and the discipline of parkour - free running through the streets and movements more reminiscent of ballet or gymnastics.
We looked at the outfits of women who do free running - really functional, urban kit such as baggy trackpants and hoodies. The designers added femininity and a touch of sexiness and came up with pieces such as the Tadasana Sweat Pants and the Parivrtta Sweat Hoody.
The urban nature of the collection is clear in prints such as the city lights, and more subtle in the concrete-grey marls. We were inspired by the vibrantly-coloured graffiti that covers cities worldwide, from London to New York, using it to create prints and give floral patterns an edgier vibe.  Bodycon silhouettes and bold statement prints were big for us this season, and combined with the highly technical and premium fabrics, make this Sweaty Betty’s most standout collection to date.

One of my favourite pieces from the new lines is the camo floral Zero Gravity Tight. This season we used a more intensely Lycra-ed Sensitive fabric that gives a really fabulous shape – super sculpting and a bit more supportive than previous seasons.  The camo floral is a subtle print, black on grey, which I love as it means it can be worn out of the gym too, and the mesh panels at the knee and reflective bonding are so sexy. It’s an awesome running piece that will definitely be finding a place in my fashion wardrobe as well.
As for the styling, I like to mix unexpected pieces together: knitwear with technical, ski with yoga, fake fur with underwear, to create unusual silhouettes and get people to look at our product in a different way.  Everyone is used to sportswear being worn in the typical way, so I like to challenge the status quo.  Layering is also very important to me; sheer layers over fluro pops is a signature look of mine.  The right hat, cool shoes, the way you wear a loose top tucked in, or pants worn high on the waist – all of it is important to me to get it just right.
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Tamara's Scrapbook: A week in Montauk /tamaras-scrapbook-a-week-in-montauk/ /tamaras-scrapbook-a-week-in-montauk/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /tamaras-scrapbook-a-week-in-montauk/ Having visited Montauk a couple of years ago, I was so excited to be heading back to host a press event with some editors from NYC. With an itinerary full of outdoor activities, I was looking forward to doing some of my favourite beachside activities such as paddleboarding, yoga, cycling and running. My family joined me in the US so it was lovely to spend time with them before joining the editors.

Where we stayed:
Before the editors arrived, my family and I stayed in a beach house on Surfside Ave that had boardwalk access directly onto the beach and a surf point break 300 metres to the left. The owner of the house is a former US champion triathlete who runs a flip flop company and has lived in Montauk all his life. When we met, he told us about the authentic, locally-run places that we had to visit, and complained about the pretentiousness of the new trendy places that all the New Yorkers flock to at the weekends.

Another great place that we looked at staying was the Montauk beach house. Close to the beach, it looks so nice with cool sculptures outside the hotel and big clumps of swishy grass and taupey-grey cladded rooms.


The New York editors and I stayed in the Ruschmeyers Hotel. The rooms had a breezy, Caribbean vibe, with hanging hammock chairs and rattan bed heads, and the food from the hotel’s "Smile" restaurant was amazing: lobster rolls, kale and parmesan salad, fresh beetroot, grilled corn, roasted peaches with cardamom-scented whipped cream, etc. plus on-tap water flavoured with mint and cucumber.
What we did:
Thanks to the curse of jetlag, I woke early each morning (even before the kids were up) and went running; either along the beach or in the beautiful Shadmoor State Park at the end of the road. During one run early in the quiet morning, I almost ran full tilt into a deer!
My time with the family in Montauk was mostly spent in the sea, with the kids hiring surfboards and me opting for a SUP session with a great instructor from Corey’s Waves. The surf was amazing (although maybe a little too big for us!) but it was great wandering past surfer girls and seeing what they were wearing – Cynthia Rowley hot-pant wetsuits mostly!

I always love checking out the local shops that sell products that aren’t available elsewhere. There was a beautiful store in Montauk named "Share With" - an awesome, locally-designed collection of pastel and fluro-trimmed voile playsuits, gypsy tops, vintage leather strapped beach bags and chunky rope jewellery. I bought a peppermint-green voile top with silver reflective bands round the voluminous sleeves and neckline.

I was also keen to shop in Surf Bazaar at the Surf Lodge. It’s one of my favourite shops in the world - I bought a grey and fluro pink backless maxi dress and a cream and orange tunic from there a couple of years ago and they make me think of Montauk whenever I wear them. This time, I had to peel my daughter away from the Kiini lines and I treated myself to a white voile pair of harems made in India, with cut-out holes and fluro coral embroidery. I LOVE them!
Cynthia Rowley also has a cute beach store in Montauk; full of rash vests, printed neoprene leggings and dresses, and the awesome wetsuits we kept seeing on the surfer girls.
On my second day in Montauk, the fog started to roll in, making it clear why the locals call it "fogtauk". The sea is still cold at this time of year, so the heat of the sun creates stormy weather patterns, and the next two days had serious thunderstorms.

Despite the weather, my family and I played volleyball and donned our wetsuits to swim in the rolling surf. My daughter and I also went along to the pop-up Love Yoga studio for an evening yoga class. With its turquoise floor, purple mats, white voile curtains and Himalayan blankets – the studio was quite the sanctuary. The editors and I also did yoga - laying our mats out on the grass and enjoying calming our minds in the great outdoors.

Where we ate:
The Crow’s Nest had to be our favourite restaurant - fabulous food and an unbeatable setting. The lawn outside the restaurant rolls down to a calm inland beach, and strings of fairy lights lead down to the water where there are low-slung wooden loungers surrounding fire pits which begin to glow as the sun sets.

In the evenings, we often went down to the surf lodge for cocktails and people-watching (and shopping!) – it had a great funky 70's Hawaiian vibe.
One of my family’s favourite restaurants was Duryea's Lobster Deck. Eating delicious lobster rolls and lobster while overlooking the harbour, it was the perfect setting for watching the sunset. For breakfast and brunch, Anthony's Pancake House and Bird On The Roof were definitely the best.

The editors and I were invited to a tour of the Montauk Juice Factory. A lovely store that has just opened this summer, their cold-pressed juices are delicious. I think our favourite was Glow – a citrus-y drink that tasted like liquid sunshine, containing orange, pineapple, coconut water, aloe vera, lemon, ginger and turmeric extract.

Continuing on the healthy journey, the editors and I were treated to a nutrition session by Arielle Haspel, who talks to the group about what to eat pre and post-exercise and how to eat well everyday. Her advice on what "healthy" snack bars are good was particularly interesting, and we talk hemp seeds (really nutty and delicious), almond butter sachets (a genius idea to carry around in your bag), natural electrolytes (salt, lemon, 1 tbsp chia seeds and raw honey with water or coconut water) and lots more. She also makes us mini coconut ice cream sundaes to finish, topped off with hemp seeds, spelt pretzels, cacao nibs, blueberries and a cherry on top. Divine!

Image credit: Arielle Haspel on Instagram

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Tamara's Scrapbook: Goodwood Horseracing /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-goodwood-horseracing/ /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-goodwood-horseracing/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-goodwood-horseracing/ Sweaty Betty's founder and creative director Tamara is forever in-the-know on what's happening in the worlds of fitness and fashion. Whether it’s trialling the latest classes, road-testing new activewear, attending industry events or styling up the latest collections in her own, sports-versus-fashion way, each week we will be sharing the latest from Tamara's scrapbook.

Last week, Sweaty Betty's fashionable founder spent the evening at Goodwood as part of their Friday Nights series held throughout June. With style-conscious attendees everywhere you looked, the evening of horseracing included a DJ set by Zane Lowe and an outdoor party, with the beautiful South Downs as a backdrop.

Image Credit: Goodwood Racecourse
With most of our weekends spent running on the beach in West Wittering and overseeing the design of our new house, I was looking forward to heading over to Goodwood race course for one of its Friday Nights events in June. 

Image Credit: Goodwood Racecourse

Running later than planned due to work and school commitments, we arrived at the beautiful race course just as the sun was setting to find our friend had won £1000! With the champagne flowing in celebration, it was set to be a great night. The dress code suggested linen suits and Panama hats for the men, but as I knew it was going to be chilly, I also opted for a "trouser suit" look of cream tailored trousers with a green linen cropped jacket, and a beautiful vintage cream silk blouse that I had bought from a friend's collection of Italian couture. A Panama hat topped off my look. The hat had actually been given to me years ago by our production team on a shoot in Ibiza, and it goes everywhere with me!

The races created just as much excitement as you’d expect from high-level horseracing, but it was the post-race event that was particularly memorable. An outdoor party with a DJ set by Zane Lowe, there were around 2,000 people dancing and drinking into the night. It was such a fun evening, made even better by us turning up with friends in their VW campervan - aptly named Betty!

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Tamara's Scrapbook: The Emerging Dancer Competition /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-the-emerging-dancer-competition/ /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-the-emerging-dancer-competition/#comments Wed, 21 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-the-emerging-dancer-competition/ Sweaty Betty's founder and creative director Tamara is always in-the-know on what's hot in the worlds of fitness and fashion in London. Whether it’s trialling the latest classes, road-testing new activewear, attending industry events or styling up the latest collections in her own, sports-versus-fashion way, each week we will be sharing the latest from Tamara's scrapbook. 

This week, Tamara’s talking about English National Ballet's Emerging Dancer Competition.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to join English National Ballet students and my fellow sponsors at the fifth annual Emerging Dancer Competition with English National Ballet. Thanks to our collaboration on the Sweaty Betty dance collection, we have developed a fantastic relationship with the prestigious dance company, so I was keen to support the competition and excited to have the chance to witness the inspirational talents of these up-and-coming dancers.

Hosted by Natasha Kaplinsky, it was held at the Lyceum Theatre. The competition was made up of six of the company's young dancers, performing to an audience of their peers and a panel of judges: Arlene Phillips, Clement Crisp, Deborah Bull, Wayne Sleep, Tamara Rojo and Gillian Lynne. 

Probably the most emotive performer for me, was Senri Kou. A Japanese ballerina who seemed quirky in her bio video, she completely transformed as she took to the stage; transporting the audience to a whole different place with her mesmerising performance.

As for the winners, Junor Souza topped the list with an incredibly athletic and expressive performance. I had seen Junor perform before in Le Cosaire, and he definitely stood out from the rest. As well as being awarded the People's Choice Award (as voted by his peers), Junor was also the co-winner of the judges' vote, alongside Allison McKinney, with whom he danced the pas de deux from Esmeralda. Another well-deserved win, it was her incredible strength that really stood out – beautiful and athletic.

Topping the list for style, however, had to be Madison Keesle - so mesmerising, elegant and fluid in a stunning long red satin dress with an open cross back. It was amazing that she could dance so beautifully in it.

The highlight of the evening, for me, was seeing our campaign model for the Summer collection, Nancy Osbaldeston, coming on-stage as the worthy winner of last year's competition. 

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SB On Location: London's Southbank /blog/sb-on-location-londons-southbank/ /blog/sb-on-location-londons-southbank/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/sb-on-location-londons-southbank/ Sweaty Betty's founder and creative director Tamara has her finger firmly on the pulse of what's hot in the worlds of fitness and fashion in London. Whether it’s trialling the latest classes, road-testing new activewear, or styling up the latest collections in her own, sports-versus-fashion way, each week we will be sharing the latest from Tamara's scrapbook. Never afraid to speak her mind, Tamara's weekly blog will inspire, inform and sometimes spark a debate. 

This week, Tamara’s Edits were brought to life on London’s Southbank with the latest shoot for the new AW14 collection, launching later this year.

The setting…

When it came to shooting the main lines of the AW14 collection, ‘Hidden Treasures In An Urban Jungle’, there was only one place I had in mind; London’s illustrious Southbank – or more specifically, its undercroft.

The epitome of a hidden treasure in an urban jungle, the undercroft is a historical icon, known for its vibrant, statement-making graffiti inspired by the Bowery artwork of NYC, with its many rails attracting colonies of top skateboarders.

Sheltered from the tourists, its low-lit concrete surroundings capture the gritty urban nature of London, giving it the kind of edgy vibe we’d been searching for. And given the Parkour inspiration behind the new collection and the brightly-coloured, graffiti-style prints, it was the perfect shoot location.

Often full of protesters hoping to save the undercroft, we even managed to get a ‘Save Southbank’ badge into a few of the shots. And as if the iconic location needed any more validation as the coolest place to capture your collection, there was another shoot going on at the same time.

The shoots…

For the dance and yoga shots, we selected a piece of graffiti as the backdrop, and in came our inspirational models, all of whom love to find new, adventurous ways of exploring sport - from yoga teacher Emma who spent the day holding the most complex of inversions with strength and poise, to Amy; leapfrogging over railings and doing skateboard tricks with the softest of movements that only a yogini-cum-Parkour practitioner can achieve.

Circus performer Kat was super-bendy and ultra-strong, even suggesting modelling some pieces while doing aerial yoga – suspended in chains. The following day, she trekked across London carrying the 10KG chains, which she then threw with apparent ease over the scaffolding. Lifting herself into the air with confidence and easing her body into the most incredible of positions, she really pushed the boundaries when it came to the shoot. I love that she put her own urban twist on traditional aerial yoga.

As for the styling, the new collection is much edgier than anything we’ve done before, with bold prints, bodycon silhouettes and mesh cutouts providing a cool London vibe. This season is about redefining the way we wear sportswear – adding street style into the mix with an urban edge and sexiness that we’ve never seen before at Sweaty Betty.

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The Inside Story: From Snap To Swim /blog/the-inside-story-from-snap-to-swim/ /blog/the-inside-story-from-snap-to-swim/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/the-inside-story-from-snap-to-swim/ Last weekend, my family and I took to the calm seas off the coast of West Wittering. This lazy day of sailing reminded me of an evening last summer, when the kids took our topper sailboat out at sunset.

Stood on the beach, I had captured the beauty of the moment on camera - the boat silhouetted against the red glow of the sun as it dipped beneath the horizon. 

Looking back at the image later that evening, I realised it was perfect for the Summer collection. Photographic placement prints are so on-trend, and it fitted perfectly with the nautical theme of the new lines. With the amazing natural colours of the image lending themselves to sportswear, I took the photo to the Sweaty Betty design team, who worked their creative magic on the print - bringing it to life on two beautiful pieces of swimwear. 

SUNSET SAIL SWIMSUIT                                              SUNSET SAIL BIKINI TOP & BOTTOM
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Tamara's Scrapbook /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1242/ /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1242/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1242/ Sweaty Betty's founder and creative director Tamara has her finger firmly on the pulse of what's hot in the worlds of fitness and fashion in London. Whether it’s trialling the latest classes, road-testing new activewear, or styling up the latest collections in her own, sports-versus-fashion way, each week we will be sharing the latest from Tamara's scrapbook. Never afraid to speak her mind, Tamara's weekly blog will inspire, inform and sometimes spark a debate. 

This week, Tamara joins the top names in British fashion for a glamorous cocktail party, visits the Petersham nurseries and finds inspiration on Marylebone high street.

Thursday 20th March: Brown's Hotel, Mayfair

On the evening of Thursday 20th March, I was invited to join the London fashion elite at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair. A cocktail party thrown in honour of British fashion, the event was hosted by The Telegraph’s Stella Magazine along with and the British Fashion Council. The guest list gathered together some of the UK’s most prestigious high-end, new-gen designers, with a collection of professional women who have in some way championed British fashion. Together, they formed the crème de la crème of the fashion industry; the creative brains behind transforming British fashion into a global success, known for pushing the boundaries of design innovation.

Over Belvedere cocktails and Mark Hix canapés, I chatted and mingled with the likes of Richard Nicholl, Mary Katranzou, Emilia Wickstead and Anna Sebba; the wife of Net-a-Porter CEO Mark Sebba and a Sweaty Betty regular. Inspired by Stella Editor Anna Murphy’s passionate speech on the importance of British fashion, it felt great to be standing among such talented designers and supporters of the industry.

Outfits ranged from the elegantly tailored and subtly chic to the brightly coloured with statement prints - all British of course. I wore a top shop unique neoprene top, silk floral skirt, Sweaty Betty leggings and my favourite Nicholas Kirkwood shoes.

Friday 21st March: Petersham Nurseries, London

On Friday morning, I headed over to Richmond Park for a run with Ennis (our dog). Afterwards I popped into Petersham Nurseries which I love and find so inspiring. I go there at Christmas for vintage tree decorations and Spring for bulbs and to enjoy the spring flowers.
As mentioned in my blog last week, we are in the process of building a house in West Wittering, so I'm on the hunt at the moment for beautiful "sourced" furniture for inside and out, which they do so well.

Monday 24th March: Marylebone High Street, London

I'm always on the lookout for possible locations for new boutiques. I have always loved Marylebone and try to go there often to check out what new stores and cafes have popped up on the high street and to look for a potential site for us (and of course, I can't ever pass the Conran shop without going in.)
This time I discovered a new juice bar, Roots and Bulbs, which opened last month serving delicious raw, cold-pressed juices. It's so good to have healthy juice bars like these setting up. It's so common to have them everywhere in the US, but very hard to find them here.
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Tamara's Scrapbook /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1239/ /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1239/#comments Tue, 25 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1239/ Sweaty Betty's founder and creative director Tamara has her finger firmly on the pulse of what's hot in the worlds of fitness and fashion in London. Whether it’s trialling the latest classes, road-testing new activewear, or styling up the latest collections in her own, sports-versus-fashion way, each week we will be sharing the latest from Tamara's scrapbook. Never afraid to speak her mind, Tamara's weekly blog will inspire, inform and sometimes spark a debate. 

This week, Tamara takes her training to one of Britain's breathtaking coastlines, and gets creative styling outfits for the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.

Friday 14th March - Sunday 16th March: West Wittering

Nothing beats a morning run. After arriving at the coast late Friday night, I make sure that the first thing I do on Saturday morning is head to the beach to get rid of the city cobwebs. I try not to plan much during the weekend as my weeks are so full of early morning school runs, hectic schedules at work and evenings out, so I take my time to get up and run when I feel ready. The kids are often in their pjs all morning, but I drag my daughters out running with me – which they love once they are doing it!

Growing up by the sea with a family who enjoyed surfing and playing tennis, I have always loved being active. Even now, we regularly go on big family sailing and skiing trips. For me, it's about more than fitness; it's about spending time with my family in a beautiful environment, doing something active together. We've been renting a beach house in West Wittering for years, and now we are finally building a place of our own.

West Wittering is our escape; our family time and my chance for relaxation and freedom. I love the stark contrast of the urban jungle that is London and the tranquility of my seaside refuge; each offering a different side to British beauty.

Tuesday 18th March - Wednesday 19th March: AW14 Styling

Styling shoots is one of the favourite parts of my job. Being surrounded by the new collection and styling the outfits across different product lines is so liberating. Each range is designed around its end use, so these sessions allow me to really bring my creative flair. That first moment when we open the bags of samples to reveal amazing new prints and fabrics is a special moment in the season.

Our upcoming AW14 collection is edgy yet feminine, so each look we created had a raw urban feel that we've never seen before at Sweaty Betty. Our designs have come such a long way in both sport and fashion, and it was so exciting to be styling some of our most fashion-forward pieces to date in a completely new way. Of course, our SB handwriting and tried-and-tested styles continue with contemporary layers and colour pops. And this season, we introduce sexy mesh panels and a combination of dark and neons, too. 

Across the two days, we styled looks for ski, dance, run and swim, with my favourite being a neon cropped hooded sleeveless vest with a cityscape printed legging. Watch this space for an exclusive look at some of the snaps from next week's shoot.

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Tamara's Scrapbook /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1230/ /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1230/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-1230/ Sweaty Betty's founder and creative director Tamara has her finger firmly on the pulse of what's hot in the worlds of fitness and fashion in London. Whether it’s trialling the latest classes, road-testing new activewear, or styling up the latest collections in her own, sports-versus-fashion way, each week we will be sharing the latest from Tamara's scrapbook.

Never afraid to speak her mind, Tamara's weekly blog will inspire, inform and sometimes spark a debate. This week, Tamara sweats it out at a new spin studio and has tickets to see Beyoncé live at the O2. 

Monday 3rd March: Run Club
Every Monday, 15 girls step away from their desks, pull on their trainers and hit the pavement. Our nightime run club is a weekly staple for the SB support team, and while we may all be firm friends in the office – come run night, it’s all about where you finish in the race. Today, our Harrods ambassador and ultra-marathon runner Annie brings her killer abs and motivational speeches to lead us on a 5K route along the Fulham Palace Road. Keeping up with this amazing athlete and beating last week’s PBs well and truly got the blood pumping! Annie continues the training by whipping us into shape with a hardcore abs session that leaves us destroyed.

Tuesday 4th March: Beyoncé Concert
I love a strong woman, so the chance to go and see Beyoncé live at the O2 was something I was never going to miss! Health-conscious Beyoncé and her athletic dancers looked incredible, and had such strength that it made the show even more dynamic than past concerts. She remained pitch-perfect song after song, not missing a single step of the energetic dance routines – and neither did I! Her stamina was inspiring, and just goes to show how hard performers have to train in order to last the night.

Thursday 6th March: Spin Class at Psycle
Thursday morning saw me heading to London’s Mortimer Street to try out the hot new spin studio Psycle. I cycle to work nearly everyday and love a good spin session, so I was intrigued to see the new concept that Psycle has launched in London.

Combining cycling with dance moves, hand weights and stability exercises, Psycle spin classes take place in a dark, disco-lit room to a pumping soundtrack. Basically, a dance a nightclub...on a bike.

The studio is beautiful; the interior styling bright, elegant and welcoming, with the beat of the music creating an air of excitement and exhilaration. While I waited for my session to begin, another class was just finishing, and out walked the female instructor looking serene and composed, shortly followed by a group of ripped men, all looking completely exhausted. As I headed into the room, I wondered what I had let myself in for!

Putting my mind immediately at ease, however, was master trainer Tim Weeks. Tim worked with us back in 2012 on our Run Britannia event, and I knew he didn't suffer fools gladly. After explaining the format of the class and what to expect, we began spinning; moving from song to song with different workouts tailored to the beat, designed to work different body parts. My favourite was a series of ultra-challenging, ballet-style moves to tone and tighten the core. The 45-minute class was fantastic - tiring and tough yet fun and addictive. Afterwards, my legs, abs and arms felt heavy and achy, yet super energised too.

The showers at Psycle are also worth a mention. Stocked full of British brand Ila, I left the studio not only feeling amazing after my workout, but smelling it too! Quite the change from the average spin class, that's for sure.

Friday 7th March - Sunday 9th March: West Wittering
Like the rest of the British population, the news that the weather was going to be unseasonably warm this weekend prompted an immediate change of plans to ensure we would spend those heavenly two days off enjoying the great outdoors. For my family and I, this meant a trip to our beach house in West Wittering. It’s my seaside refuge from the city buzz, and we've been coming here for years; my husband going kite-surfing while my children and I take the dog for runs along the beach, followed by sunset sailing trips.

It was during one such visit to West Wittering that I found the inspiration for our current SS14 collection. Beach huts, nautical themes and competitive sailing numbers inspired bold prints and flowing shapes, while the stunning scenery and unpredictability of the British weather made it the perfect setting for our 'Against The Elements' photoshoot. I couldn't resist adding a few of my favourites from the photoshoot below.

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