Tag Archives: Paris

Month of Mayhem

December. The month of mayhem. It’s always mayhem with the Christmas chaos. But this December was particularly manic. It started off with the hell of exams, followed by my last couple of weeks in Paris; meaning that everything I had not seen/bought/visited during the year MUST MUST have to be seen/bought/visited in those few days. So that was that, I’m not even going to go into detail, it was all a blur, thank God for my camera. Anyhow, after that it was time to move back to London – more chaos – we all know my timekeeping is not spectacular, but try being totally punctual while having to carry 6 pieces of luggage down a 150-stair spiral staircase, deal with rush-hour traffic and hobble on through Gare du Nord to catch the train back home. Yes.

I arrived back in London on the 23rd meaning that all those things you leave to the last minute at Christmas still had to be done (no time to actually move in back home). So that’s when that madness began; planning menus, buying presents etc. Followed by 3 days of non-stop cooking and eating with the family.

AND THEN, the boxing-day sales…Piece of advice to everyone: Do your sale shopping online!!! Don’t leave the house until New Year has come and gone. It’s a warzone. I went to Selfridges on the evening of the 26th – it had been cleared out, there was NOTHING left on the shelves. “OH MY GOD, it’s 50% off, it’s Prada, I don’t know what it’s for but I HAVE to have it!” People go crazy, actually crazy. Something in their heads triggers and nothing in the world matters but those Balenciaga boots. And then New Year’s Eve – by which time I was wiped and so very much appreciated staying at home with family, films, food and incredible fireworks!

AND somewhere in the middle of all of that was my birthday! Anyhow, it’s all calming down now, but I’m off to Spain soon, so I’ll have to pack again…But the December mayhem is over, people are normal again, and we can all breath a sigh of relief.

Empty shelves at Selfridges

Tagged , , , ,

Spring 2012 RTW Favourites

Living in Paris has definitely affected my personal style – being surrounded by effortlessly chic women AND men at all times has meant upping the ante! “Casual” in Paris means something very different to “casual” everywhere else. Not only is Parisian casual more elegant, it’s also more flattering…This is the city to make the style transition from student to professional. Learning to shop for quality pieces in less volume rather than following the weekly trends that overwhelm in cities like London and NY.

Simplicity is key; choosing items that you’re able to mix and match with ease, but are also stand-alone pieces. Mixing tailoring with knits and layers and a great pair of shoes!

So, here are my favourite looks from the Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear collections; block colours, floaty prints, white on white, and tailoring, tailoring, tailoring.

Photos: Vogue

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Joshua Radin & Joseph Arthur – Café de la Danse

Contrary to what the name suggests, Café de la Danse is neither a cafe nor a dance club. What it is is a performance space tailored to hold small concerts, theatre shows etc. Self-described as “a place for cultural and musical gatherings”. A few weeks ago N and I got last-minute tickets to the Joseph Arthur & Joshua Radin gig, and we were so impressed!

The venue is great; intimate and atmospheric. It holds about 500 people, 250 of which are seated. The other 250 disperse around the bar on the above balcony or find a spot on the comfy persian rugs thrown in front of the stage.

I hadn’t heard of Joseph Arthur before but he’s actually been on the music scene for about 15 years. He was great; interesting/experimental/fresh… and by the end of his set he’d won over the entire audience. First off, his music could not be more complicated to perform – he was an electronic-one-man-band. He’d play his guitar and record it while adding in beats and riffs, and sing and push buttons, and whip out a harmonica…all at the same time. And if that were not enough to keep the intrigue, he’s also an artist and will paint a whole canvas on stage while simultaneously performing. It’s all quite self-indulgent but it’s impressive!

Then came the man with the most soothing voice on earth, Joshua Radin, who not only loves LOVE but also loves Paris A LOT, and so instantly felt a bond to his Parisian audience to which he kept telling all these little anecdotes about his experiences on the streets of this city – every song was preceded by this or by a story from when he was younger. And in the end it felt like we were over at an incredibly talented friend’s house, having some drinks, listening to music and having a good old chat. And his band was fantastic, everyone was having such a good time. It just felt genuine. Joseph Arthur was great but Joshua Radin stole the show.

Click here to see what’s on now at Café de la Danse…And to see more video clips from the concert click here!

Tagged , , , ,

La Ballerine

The quintessential Parisian shoe.

I’ve been searching for the perfect ballet flat for a long, long time. And I’ve found them! This is where to go if you too are looking for the ultimate ballerine.

Repetto ballerines are made by hand from the softest leathers, in the same way that they would make dance shoes. Being so supple they mold perfectly to your feet. And they’re made in limited series so they feel all that more special. AND they come in every beautiful colour and texture you could wish for!

Tagged , , , ,

La Parisienne

Walking home from the métro the other night I was greeted by the neighbourhood crêpe-maker, 2 waiters at the corner pavement cafés and a sweet old man I often see walking his Dalmatian. At some point I went from being the new girl on the block to being one of the locals. It feels gooooood.

Tagged , , ,

L’Opéra de nuit

I love the Palais Garnier at night. It instantly evokes 19th century Paris; the gowns, the top hats, the fur stoles…

Tagged , ,

Rocking the other side of the Casbah…

Change of plans at the last minute – 404 was PACKED…on a MONDAY. Will definitely book for another time…

We ended up walking towards the Centre Pompidou, which incidentally is stunning all lit up. Love Paris at night. We stopped outside another Moroccan restaurant called Riad Nejma…didn’t really have the intention of going in but we were approached by a drunk Russian and before we knew it we were inside the restaurant evading said Russian.

I was really looking forward to trying 404, but this was a great last-minute alternative. It’s a beautiful place – ignoring the excessive indoor trees – a brilliant restaurant to go to with a group of friends. There’s a huge indoor-courtyard with a glass roof, and two floors of seating. At one point there was live music coming from upstairs…staff were friendly, service was fast, and the food was YUM.

I had the Tagine d’agneau, pruneaux et amandes – it was deliciousss. The lamb was so tender it was melting off the bone. The girls shared copious amounts of Saadi couscous (with chicken & Merguez sausage) – We all licked our plates clean and were the last to leave.

The meal came to €35 per head including wine and cocktails; which I thought was pretty reasonable considering location.

There really wasn’t much to complain about, apart from the bad Khobez bread served with the tagine, and the fact that there were still stones in the prunes. Oh, and stay away from the cocktails – the Mojitos were awful (mint syrup in a Mojito???) All in all, a brilliant night out with the girls!

Tagged , , , ,

One-Track Mind

I’ve had one thing on my mind all day: FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD FOOD.

The girls and I are going to try out 404 tonight. That will surely apaiser ma faim…

MIAM! Will tell you about it tomorrow!

Tagged , ,

BVLGARI au Grand Palais

When I arrived in Paris I was told by my French teacher that I must, must visit the retrospective Bulgari exhibition at the Grand Palais – a celebration of 125 years of the Italian house:

“A genuine saga illustrated by over 600 masterpieces in jewellery, watches and precious objects, including aound 100 exclusive pieces that are being shown to the general public for the very first time…A remarkable historical treasury.”

We went and it was beautiful; not only the jewellery on show – but the Grand Palais itself is a really impressive space. Modelled on London’s Crystal Palace, it was built for Paris’ 1900 Exposition Universelle. Nowadays it’s one of the most prominent exhibition spaces – it actually has its own police station in the vaults. If you’re in Paris, make sure you visit, even if it’s just to walk in and look up through the vast glass dome.

So…It turns out that Bulgari is not actually Italian, but Greek by origin. Towards the end of the 1800s, he moved to Naples due to political unrest in Greece, and at the turn of the century made his name with his world-famous store in Rome. For him, the most important aspect of his designs was their symbolism – Bulgari is often known for using gemstones en cabochon in his pieces – representing the curves of a beautiful woman…It’s all very romantic.

His Rome store is also where Richard Burton and Liz de L’or used to rendez-vous secretly while filming Cleopatra (it took us ages to work out that the audio-guide was referring to Elizabeth Taylor. Liz de L’or, Liz de L’or, Liz de L’or.)

The exhibition is now finished, however, it’s their 125th year, so look out for possible exhibitions they may hold in cities around the world. I loved it.

“I always visit Bulgari, because it is the most important museum of contemporary art.”

Andy Warhol

Tagged , , ,