Photo: Jamar Stephens

Photo: Jamar Stephens

Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Catriona Smart


Owner, Coco & Cowe.

Album: Songs in the Key of Life, Rumors. Designer: Right this second, Phoebe Philo for Céline. Colour: My favourite colour always changes but my eyes are always attracted to light grey and electric purple. Astrological Sign: Leo.

Beauty, smarts, killer wardrobe and a penchant for serious globe trotting; the glimpse that her blog gives of her über chic lifestyle & taste is certainly intriguing, but it's Catriona's wit & genuineness that has her fans hooked. She shares with The Style House the elements of her Personal Style.

Do you prefer to dress for an occasion or for everyday?

An occasion because it's so much more fun! I love the anticipation, planning what to wear and finding the perfect thing. It's the psycho little girl in me that just won't grow up.

Would you rather be overdressed or underdressed?


Do you have a signature style or do you prefer to keep 'em guessing?

I've always thought that it would be cool to have a signature style but then realized how boring it must be to look at a closet full of 50 matching knee length dresses and decided against it. I like the idea of expressing my personality through my clothing. Some days it comes together just right and others not so much. Which is alarmingly exactly like my personality...

Your all-time favourite outfits:

1. I wore an electric pink Michael Kors dress to my husband's birthday party [2011] on New Year's Eve and it was one of the few moments where from the time I put it on, until the moment I took it off, I felt fantastic.

2. My close second was an evening I wore a Stella McCartney body con colour block dress in blue & black. The side panels give the illusion of a fantastic figure (that I wish I had).

Your top three celeb style moments:

That's a pretty impossible question but here are three of my top movie moments:

1. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

2. Sharon Stone in Casino.

3. Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface.

What would you buy with an unexpected windfall?

If the windfall was particularly large and put me on the top of the Hermès waiting list, a Birkin. I know, kinda boring and indulgent but also pretty timeless and fantastic.

Heels or flats?


Will you suffer for fashion or should it be comfortable? Is there an occasion that you will break this rule?

I think a moderate amount of suffering is passable, but not on a daily basis. There are some shoes that are just too beautiful to say "no" to. But when it comes to clothing, we've made so many huge advances in fabric that you don't need to be super uncomfortable. But every now and again Spanx are just so necessary.


Always stylish or does even fashion need to take a break? Any exceptions?

I think you can always be stylish because style doesn't have to mean always over the top. You can be stylish in jeans and a t-shirt, it's all about how you put it together.

Team Anna (Wintour) or Team Carine (Roitfeld)?

Despite my previous comment about 50 knee length dresses, I do respect and admire Ms. Wintour as a trailblazing force in fashion and since I read American Vogue and only look at the pictures of French Vogue (my lack of bilingual ability is shameful, I know) Anna wins!

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