Category Archives: Travel

Melissa / Mykonos

Vacations with friends in Mykonos are wonderful – even more if one of them knows the island by heart. Melissa lives between Athens and Mykonos, where she owns Free Shop, very cool store that carries Sacai and Balenciaga as well as her own brand that I love, Wildwood – I will tell you more about it very soon :)

I’ve been in Mykonos for a few days (it’s going way too fast!!!) and thanks to Melissa and my other friend, Carole, I really feel like I’m in paradise. I thought it could be nice to share, so here is Melissa’s City Guide!

What three words best describe Mykonos?
Wild, dry and full of light.

What is the easiest way to get around the island?
A big old jeep you can trust to take you through tiny, bumpy roads and sandy beaches.

And what is the best way to get to the island?
Airplane, just a 20 minute ride from Athens and super views from above.

Where should you stay?
I just visited San Giorgio this summer which I found quite interesting especially if you are traveling with friends or in love. Belvedere Hotel in town is always a great luxury retreat and a breath away from the busy town. Santa Marina if traveling with family. Renting a house is always a great option too – and there are some spectacular houses in Mykonos you may rent.

The best beach?
Agios Sostis. Unspoiled, full of energy, clear, rejuvenating water and the best little restaurant in the world, Kiki’s to top it all up. There is always a line at the restaurant, because they don’t take reservations – but it’s totally worth it!

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The best restaurant for…

A leisurely breakfast: Early in the morning, any restaurant in ‘yalos’ or else the port of Mykonos town, where you may come across all sorts of local people, fishermen selling produce, lost tourists in need for directions, and vivid colors and sounds.

A big lunch: Alemagoo in Ftelia Beach which is great for lunch with friends as you can combine swimming, eating, or just cocktails and lounging in a really beautiful setting. The tavern in Fokos beach is exceptional, quite simple and raw, with delicious dishes and beautiful ceramics you can buy – a super destination for escaping the buzz of the island. Lamed in Agia Anna is also a great location for a light Mediterranean lunch and a little beach just in front where you can enjoy the last swim of the day.

A traditional Greek dinner: Maerio in town for Greek food, Nikolas taverna in Agia Anna beach for dinning on the sand almost touching the water and Sea Satin for a fun ‘Greek night’ with dancing on tables included.

What is the scene like at night? Where should you go to party? And where should you go if you don’t want to party?
There is a huge club scene in the beaches near Paradise, and in town, which I have no clue about as I am not the ‘clubbing’ type. I prefer smaller venues like Jackie O’ in town, 100% fun guaranteed. Astra is one of the coolest bars in town, it has been there forever and Babis the owner is a must see figure. Interni Restaurant is super fun as it may combine a great dinner and lots of dancing after 12:00. And of course Nammos beach for hardcore partying and people watching.

If you don’t want to party – try avoiding the town and have a lovely dinner at Matsuhisa in the Belvedere Hotel listening to cool music by the most amazing, iconic dj.

Don’t forget that lunch and diner are pretty late affairs in Mykonos. If you go to diner at 8, don’t be surprised to be the only one in the restaurant! People go to dinner around 10 – 11. You get used to it very fast…

A place to pamper yourself:
Don’t pamper yourself, just go to Dhlos island to watch the ancient ruins and take in the most amazing light in the world, swim in the island near by called Rinia, it’s a mystical experience that will do much more than any massage or spa for both body and soul.

The best views of the island:
Kitsch but true: Little Venice for sunset.

Don’t leave without eating:
Sea urchin at Spilia Tavern in Agia Anna.

The best souvenir to bring back:
Greek kaftan dresses from Salachas in little Venice and an evil eye charm from any local merchant.

What time of year is best to visit?
September is beautiful in Mykonos. Calm, less windy than in the summer and full of beautiful people.

Click here for more City Guides.

New sneakers

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Happy to introduce you to my new babies: Chiara Ferragni Cameron sneakers.
In black or white, effortlessly cool and perfect with jeans but also with shorts or a skirt, exactly how I wore them.
Available on my new website/ecommerce Chiaraferragnicollection.com, with worldwide shipping #proudmama

Fiera di presentarvi le mie nuove bimbe: Cameron, le sneaker Chiara Ferragni.
Bianche o nere, effortlessly cool e perfette con jeans ma anche con shorts o gonna, come le ho indossate io.
Disponibili sul nuovo sito/ecommerce Chiaraferragnicollection.com, con spedizione in tutto il mondo #felicissima

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I was wearing:

CHIARA FERRAGNI SNEAKERS (available on CHIARAFERRAGNICOLLECTION.COM)
THE END TSHIRT
CHANEL SUNGLASSES

Port Eliot Returns

From seventeen paying punters at Port Eliot’s first ever edition back in 2003, the festival has grown exponentially.  You felt that growth at this year’s festival, which returned after a one year hiatus to give the grounds of Port Eliot in St Germans, Cornwall a rest.  There seemed to be “more” of everything – more tents, more bustle, more words to hear, more drinks a-flowing, more things to eat, more vintage stalls to rummage through.  Or perhaps the “more” was extra exacerbated with the weekend coinciding with an ultra hot heatwave wafting through this part of the world.

Still, that “moreness” didn’t diminish the feeling that you can still find somewhere to escape to in the extensive grounds, depending on your interest.  On top of the big spiky tents like The Bowling Green, Park Stage and Caught by the River where the “big” acts were on, the bustling Wardrobe Department where there were queues aplenty to get your face/hair did, I love that there are smaller pockets that are more tucked away – The Badger’s Sett for kidult crafting, Ways with Weird and Dovegrey Reader for more intimate talks and then if you don’t want to hear anyone speak, feel free to lie on the lush lands/woods, watching the trains go past on the viaduct and take the a restorative nap or two.

Actually, for the most part of the weekend, I wished I could be in more than two places at once as the timetable had quite a few clashes of talks/words/demonstrations that I wanted to see.  The last thing you want to feel though is stress at a festival that is supposed to be something of a restorative experience for the mind and body.  So I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to… I’ve still taken away an extensive to see/read/do list to ensure the Port Eliot spirit carries on beyond the weekend.

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0E5A4648I have no idea what these tea-dress ladies were doing in front of the house but it looks like fun…

IMG_4548The Orangery was “poshed” up with Fortnum and Mason’s coming onboard as a sponsor and Mark Hix doing a feasting menu.  Renowned set designer Michael Howells as always has given it his magic touch…

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0E5A5425Under my favourite tree on the grounds which is split in the middle – wearing Loewe sunglasses, Zandra Rhodes jacket and top, Tsumori Chisato top and Prism espadrilles

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0E5A4984Caught by the river – wearing vintage dragon embroidered top and Chinese robe around waist, Phenomenon shorts, Suno pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses

It was good to once again be ensconced in the Wardrobe Department within the walled gardens as Sarah Mower had once again put together a stellar line-up to entertain, entice and charm even the hardiest of fashion naysayers.

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Louise Gray may have put her own label on hold for the time being but she was certainly welcomed with open arms at Port Eliot as she and her ex-assistant current Central Saint Martins MA student James Theseus Buck lit up the MAC make-up tent with prints, pigment and freehand body painting that made most people clap/smile with glee.  Abstract trickles, dots, Haring-like strokes – Gray and Bovan did it all.  I went from van Gogh-esque strokes on my left arm to Yayoi Kusama-type dots on my left leg in one weekend.  It was a real shame to wet-wipe the lot of it off…

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For the face, MAC and a few of their core make-up artists tentatively felt their way into the festival for the first time this year.  Their work was more meticulous and precise with delicate dots and fine brushstrokes around the eyes.

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The lovely Rachel did a colourful Penelope Tree-inspired bottom lash and dotty thing on my eyes this year…

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0E5A4961 Wearing Luke Brooks tree t-shirt, & Other Stories cardigan worn as skirt, Ray Ban sunglasses

For all matters of the head, Stephen Jones teamed up with Bumble & Bumble to hat/hair the more than-willing ladies of Port Eliot.  No wonder people left chuffed.  Jones literally bought boxes of his hats, veils and headdresses to place on people’s heads, according to their personality/look… and they get to keep them.  Erm… I hope people treasure the millinery magic that they experienced with Stephen.

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I didn’t need an extensive consultation with Stephen.  He just instinctively clipped a sparkly black veil on my head and I was done.  Later he revealed that the veil was in fact a first toile/prototype for Raf Simons’ first ever haute couture show for Dior (they went with coloured veils sans sparkles in the actual show).  I had to run away and do a mini-scream.  That’s how chuffed I was.

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Bumble and Bumble peeps were on hand to plait, style and stencil people’s hair with pastel powders.  Here’s blogger Zoe London and her dip-dyed hair plaited up.

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In a rainbow hair-extension festooned teepee, the girls from Bleach London were back, bigger with their own line of extensive products to demo on festival-goers and an anything-goes hair spirit that resonated with most of the tweens/teens present at the festival.  They’ve just recently launched a line of hair crayons which – HUZZAH – do work on my stubbornly temporary dye-resistant dark dark hair (still not plucked up the courage to errr… bleach my hair).  The lovely Bleach girls were on hand to demonstrate how to apply the semi-permanent crayon colours, which I kind of want to talk-up separately once I’ve done a bit of experimentation on my own.

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Bleach co-founder and all-round hair maestro-mistress Alex Brownsell was feeling a bit under the weather but still showed up at Port Eliot to trial her new hair tapestry.  Now I don’t want to inaccurately call it “first” without knowing for sure but it’s definitely the first time I’ve ever seen this done.  Alex developed this especially for Port Eliot to fuse the crafting fads of yesteryear’s friendship bracelets and current craze loom bands with hair.  She made a loom out of a picture frame, carving up notches to separate strands of hair to create the “warp” as it were.  Then she would use a special needle to thread cotton through the hair as the “weft”, creating sections of hair tapestry that she could then embroider over to extra embellishment.  It was a fascinating process to watch as Alex trialled it on fellow hair stylist Lou Teasdale.  The end result is pretty ace, especially in the fading summer sunlight, and you could definitely see girls cementing their friendships and sisterhoods with this hair craft.

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The most popular area in the Wardrobe Department was Haughty Culture where Piers Atkinson was once again on hand to collect up flowers and foliage from the grounds of Port Eliot to turn into festival appropriate head wreaths.  I did fear for flower headband making exhaustion on behalf of Piers and his tireless team and was shocked to hear that people were being a bit pushy and rude when queuing up to have their head kitted out.  Not cool and not very Port Eliot.

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I loved the addition of the seed paper logos which Piers added to the wreaths this year.  Apparently you can plant the paper and the embedded seeds will flower eventually.  I’m very sloooooowly turning green-fingered as my patch of garden at home is now fully planted up and so I took extra interest in Port Eliot’s abundance of greenery and flowers this year.

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By the end of Saturday, my head had been triple decorated with Piers Atkinson’s blooms, Stephen Jones’ veil and Alex Brownsell of Bleach’s multi-coloured hair tapestry.  More is always more at Port Eliot.

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Port Eliot is really a lovely place to encourage young ones to get their creative juices pumping and Port Eliot long-timer Barbara Hulanicki was on hand to teach little peeps a spot of fashion illustration, hanging out Tweeny Fashionista Uni badges and awards in the process to the most promising artists.  I learnt that Hulanicki has just started a new illustrated clothing line Icon Club.

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Scarf designer Emma J Shipley, who designed the poster of Port Eliot  was a newcomer to the Wardrobe Department with her bandana print making workshop.

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Jewellery designer Vicki Sarge also returned to create pretty things out of tin foil and once again turn trash into treasure.

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Jenny Dyson aka Mrs Rubbish and her Pencil Agency crew are pretty much a permanent Wardrobe Department fixture with their Pencil Atelier, teaching kids to do neon potato prints and sew up simple dresses for the culminating Pencil Fashion Show.  Cath Kidston also teamed up with Jenny to lend a hand in crafting these ensembles.

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In other crafting areas, you could create head dresses and do beginner’s crochet in Ros Badger and Christine Leach’s Badger’s Sett.

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The ever-popular workshops in Anthropologie’s tent included mask decoration with illustrator Florence Balducci, jewellery making with Catherine Zoraida and fabric taxidermy with Mister Finch.  Once again, as branded activities go at Port Eliot, the approach is always gently does it.  When they lull you with impressive interior styling and Buddy Holly tunes on the record player, it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to ram Anthropologie down your throat.

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The Flower show got a new location inside the basement of the house near the kitchen and there was an added Fodder (food) category too for judges to peruse.  The categories are as ever wildly imaginative – my favourite was “He can take it, but can’t dish it” where flowers, vomit and over-indulgent meals came together and Mrs Peacock in the Library where one entrant created an amazing homage to Great Expectation’s Miss Havisham.

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The Wardrobe Department talks were hefty this year, with Sarah Mower conducting her “If Clothes Could Speak” series.  I’ve already talked up the one with Suzy Menkes, where I learnt a life lesson or two.  The next day, Mower spoke to legendary model Penelope Tree about the Betsey Johnson double-slit dress she wore to Truman Capote’s Black and White ball in 1966.  Tree really entertained the crowd with the minutiae about this incredible night as well as imparting nuggets about her own extraordinary upbringing and life as a model.  There’s an autobiography in the making here.

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I loved that fashion seeped its way out of the walled gardens and on to the larger stages.  At The Bowling Green, fashion historian NJ Stevenson and Mark Butterfield, owner of the infamous C20 Vintage Fashion resource in Devon paired up talk about groovy 1970s knitwear.  Or not so groovy, depending on when you were born.  In lieu of the forthcoming exhibition about fashion knitwear at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, Stevenson and Butterfield focused on 70s knitwear, modelled by teensy tinsy Port Eliot goers.  It was comprehensive for fashion enthusiasts and at the same time and engaging for non-fashion-y people.  More please!

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Back at Five Dials on Sunday, Sarah Mower interviewed Simone Rocha about her rise as a designer in London Fashion Week.  Rocha was endearing and candid when talking about growing up with fashion in her family, her Chirish roots (she’s half Irish, half Chinese) and going from art school in Ireland to studying fashion at Central Saint Martins with the late Louise Wilson.  I loved that Mower got across the special way in which Rocha has created a highly personal “universe” in her brand – in the attitude of her girls and in the types of references which Rocha looks at.  The Warren Sisters – the unofficial go-tomodels of Port Eliot – looked incredible in their various seasons and shades of Rocha.

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What does a fashion show need?  Lots of gin, 6pm summer sunshine and Damian Lewis as a guest host.  The Pencil Atelier fashion show had all those things as all those aforementioned neon-printed frocks were paraded along a haybale catwalk in the Wardrobe Department.  Christopher Kane has nothing to worry about yet but those neon gradiated gingham dresses did look mighty fetching.

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The fashion show was followed by the inaugural Port Eliot Prom, organised by Sarah Mower.  No left out nerds and jock n’ cheerleader couples here.  Just whoever turned up in their glad rags and wanted to be entered in the prom parade to be in with a chance of being crowned with three beautiful resin crowns, made by Fashion East’s latest addition to their line-up Ed Marler.

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My favourite outfit was number 26.  Just saying.

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There are no winners or losers of course in the spirit of Port Eliot but three lucky girls got to wear and keep these elaborate crowns.  Not that I’m errr… jealous of a six year old or anything…

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I’ve got to say a big thumbs up to my first “glamping” experience thanks to the kind folks at Yurtel.  Electrical plugs inside the yurt, a lockable wooden door (still had the laptop with me…) and a heart-embedded skylight were the touches I loved.

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It was great to discover a new vintage source in Dolly Blue, owned by Lily Walford, who happens to be the wife of catwalk show production expert John Walford.  Lily has a love of Victorian/Edwardian cotton undies and petticoats and she also turns French linen into dresses and jackets.  I bought a sweet Hungarian-embroidered blouse from Lily and hope to see her soon for all my Victorian whites needs.

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On the picture front, I had to end with a trio of rainbow goodness.  Port Eliot really is bursting with colour and it seems to create an environment where people feel it’s safe to express themselves with colour, whether it’s dressing up in silly wigs and hippy dippy clothes or going all out in the Wardrobe Department.  You wonder why that sense of inhibited freedom can’t be felt outside of the grounds of Port Eliot in day to day life.  Apparently real life, normal jobs and judgemental peers all get in the way.

0E5A4483Loved how kids were selling their self-made loom bands as an enterprising business at the festival… this kid was charging 50p a band.  I did say he should charge £1.  

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IMG_4558Easy to picture stalk this girl in her LED lit-up dress…

So we come back to reality.  And back in real land, I’ll be ploughing through a list inspired by Port Eliot’s non-fashion events, which I’ve rounded up here.

To eat…

- I was tempted by Cloud Nine’s marshmallows because I kept hearing people raving about them every time I passed their stall at Port Eliot.  One bite into their strawberry/champagne marshies and I was smitten.  Even veggies who didn’t realise they were eating gelatine were swooning.  Must buy more.

- Port Eliot definitely upped its food game this year with even more choices to indulge in.  My personal faves were The Cornish Fishmonger‘s samphire and seabass, Rum and Crab Shack‘s soft shelled crab burger and everything from The Bowler’s Meatball.  Food trucks/entities that are worth waiting for.

- I missed quite a few of the food talks but now have a foodie book list to get into including the Hemsley sisters’ first tome on The Art of Eating Well and Seb Emina’s Breakfast Bible.

To see/read…

- As I mentioned, Andy Miller’s The Year of Reading Dangerously sounds like a riot as he recounts his experience of reading fifty great books.  Sounds odd to read a book about reading but since I have gradually lost the time to read to “real life stuff”, I think I need this to kickstart my habits.

- Christopher Simon Sykes was incredibly entertaining when reading excerpts from his definitive biography of David Hockney, focusing on his early career at the RCA.  Sykes’ accurate accents and expressive way of reading brought the book to life but this biography looks like a good kindle on-the-tube read.

- I finally got to see my hero Martin Parr, who is a Port Eliot regular, who along with his authoress wife Susie, talked about their book The Non-Conformists.  In the 1970s they had photographed and observed the close-knit methodist community in Hebden Bridge and it’s a chance to see Parr’s lesser known and altogether “quieter” black and white work published in this book.  I will also have to try and catch Parr’s first ever documentary Tinsel and Turkey, which follows a group of coach holidaymakers in the Black Country, as I missed BOTH screenings of it at Port Eliot.  Boo.

- Louise Gray and James Buck emerged from Viv Albertine’s talk at Caught by the River with tears in their eyes.  A sure sign that Albertine’s memoir Clothes…Music… Boys…  must be read.

- I watched Paul Kelly and Saint Etienne’s wonderful film collaged out of BFI archive footage of London, How We Used to Live in rapture.  I hope it gets released online somewhere as it’s really a trip and a half, traversing through the 50s through to the 70s in London and yet feeling like nothing really has changed in modern city life.

- Give me a book about the Russian Romanovs and I’ll devour it rapidly.  Helena Rappaport has written a new one - Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Grand Duchess Romanov - one to add to my extensive historical biography collection.

- I’ll take any excuse to re-read Elizabeth Jane Howard but Port Eliot celebrated the celebrated novelist’s life and work with an appreciative talk this year at The Bowling Green and now I’ll be out buying up old EJH paperbacks where possible.

Port Eliot Returns

From seventeen paying punters at Port Eliot’s first ever edition back in 2003, the festival has grown exponentially.  You felt that growth at this year’s festival, which returned after a one year hiatus to give the grounds of Port Eliot in St Germans, Cornwall a rest.  There seemed to be “more” of everything – more tents, more bustle, more words to hear, more drinks a-flowing, more things to eat, more vintage stalls to rummage through.  Or perhaps the “more” was extra exacerbated with the weekend coinciding with an ultra hot heatwave wafting through this part of the world.

Still, that “moreness” didn’t diminish the feeling that you can still find somewhere to escape to in the extensive grounds, depending on your interest.  On top of the big spiky tents like The Bowling Green, Park Stage and Caught by the River where the “big” acts were on, the bustling Wardrobe Department where there were queues aplenty to get your face/hair did, I love that there are smaller pockets that are more tucked away – The Badger’s Sett for kidult crafting, Ways with Weird and Dovegrey Reader for more intimate talks and then if you don’t want to hear anyone speak, feel free to lie on the lush lands/woods, watching the trains go past on the viaduct and take the a restorative nap or two.

Actually, for the most part of the weekend, I wished I could be in more than two places at once as the timetable had quite a few clashes of talks/words/demonstrations that I wanted to see.  The last thing you want to feel though is stress at a festival that is supposed to be something of a restorative experience for the mind and body.  So I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to… I’ve still taken away an extensive to see/read/do list to ensure the Port Eliot spirit carries on beyond the weekend.

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0E5A4648I have no idea what these tea-dress ladies were doing in front of the house but it looks like fun…

IMG_4548The Orangery was “poshed” up with Fortnum and Mason’s coming onboard as a sponsor and Mark Hix doing a feasting menu.  Renowned set designer Michael Howells as always has given it his magic touch…

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0E5A5425Under my favourite tree on the grounds which is split in the middle – wearing Loewe sunglasses, Zandra Rhodes jacket and top, Tsumori Chisato top and Prism espadrilles

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0E5A4628In the Hullabaloo area

0E5A4984Caught by the river – wearing vintage dragon embroidered top and Chinese robe around waist, Phenomenon shorts, Suno pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses

It was good to once again be ensconced in the Wardrobe Department within the walled gardens as Sarah Mower had once again put together a stellar line-up to entertain, entice and charm even the hardiest of fashion naysayers.

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Louise Gray may have put her own label on hold for the time being but she was certainly welcomed with open arms at Port Eliot as she and her ex-assistant current Central Saint Martins MA student James Theseus Buck lit up the MAC make-up tent with prints, pigment and freehand body painting that made most people clap/smile with glee.  Abstract trickles, dots, Haring-like strokes – Gray and Bovan did it all.  I went from van Gogh-esque strokes on my left arm to Yayoi Kusama-type dots on my left leg in one weekend.  It was a real shame to wet-wipe the lot of it off…

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For the face, MAC and a few of their core make-up artists tentatively felt their way into the festival for the first time this year.  Their work was more meticulous and precise with delicate dots and fine brushstrokes around the eyes.

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The lovely Rachel did a colourful Penelope Tree-inspired bottom lash and dotty thing on my eyes this year…

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0E5A4961 Wearing Luke Brooks tree t-shirt, & Other Stories cardigan worn as skirt, Ray Ban sunglasses

For all matters of the head, Stephen Jones teamed up with Bumble & Bumble to hat/hair the more than-willing ladies of Port Eliot.  No wonder people left chuffed.  Jones literally bought boxes of his hats, veils and headdresses to place on people’s heads, according to their personality/look… and they get to keep them.  Erm… I hope people treasure the millinery magic that they experienced with Stephen.

 

 

 

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I didn’t need an extensive consultation with Stephen.  He just instinctively clipped a sparkly black veil on my head and I was done.  Later he revealed that the veil was in fact a first toile/prototype for Raf Simons’ first ever haute couture show for Dior (they went with coloured veils sans sparkles in the actual show).  I had to run away and do a mini-scream.  That’s how chuffed I was.

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Bumble and Bumble peeps were on hand to plait, style and stencil people’s hair with pastel powders.  Here’s blogger Zoe London and her dip-dyed hair plaited up.

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In a rainbow hair-extension festooned teepee, the girls from Bleach London were back, bigger with their own line of extensive products to demo on festival-goers and an anything-goes hair spirit that resonated with most of the tweens/teens present at the festival.  They’ve just recently launched a line of hair crayons which – HUZZAH – do work on my stubbornly temporary dye-resistant dark dark hair (still not plucked up the courage to errr… bleach my hair).  The lovely Bleach girls were on hand to demonstrate how to apply the semi-permanent crayon colours, which I kind of want to talk-up separately once I’ve done a bit of experimentation on my own.

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Bleach co-founder and all-round hair maestro-mistress Alex Brownsell was feeling a bit under the weather but still showed up at Port Eliot to trial her new hair tapestry.  Now I don’t want to inaccurately call it “first” without knowing for sure but it’s definitely the first time I’ve ever seen this done.  Alex developed this especially for Port Eliot to fuse the crafting fads of yesteryear’s friendship bracelets and current craze loom bands with hair.  She made a loom out of a picture frame, carving up notches to separate strands of hair to create the “warp” as it were.  Then she would use a special needle to thread cotton through the hair as the “weft”, creating sections of hair tapestry that she could then embroider over to extra embellishment.  It was a fascinating process to watch as Alex trialled it on fellow hair stylist Lou Teasdale.  The end result is pretty ace, especially in the fading summer sunlight, and you could definitely see girls cementing their friendships and sisterhoods with this hair craft.

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The most popular area in the Wardrobe Department was Haughty Culture where Piers Atkinson was once again on hand to collect up flowers and foliage from the grounds of Port Eliot to turn into festival appropriate head wreaths.  I did fear for flower headband making exhaustion on behalf of Piers and his tireless team and was shocked to hear that people were being a bit pushy and rude when queuing up to have their head kitted out.  Not cool and not very Port Eliot.

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I loved the addition of the seed paper logos which Piers added to the wreaths this year.  Apparently you can plant the paper and the embedded seeds will flower eventually.  I’m very sloooooowly turning green-fingered as my patch of garden at home is now fully planted up and so I took extra interest in Port Eliot’s abundance of greenery and flowers this year.

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By the end of Saturday, my head had been triple decorated with Piers Atkinson’s blooms, Stephen Jones’ veil and Alex Brownsell of Bleach’s multi-coloured hair tapestry.  More is always more at Port Eliot.

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Port Eliot is really a lovely place to encourage young ones to get their creative juices pumping and Port Eliot long-timer Barbara Hulanicki was on hand to teach little peeps a spot of fashion illustration, hanging out Tweeny Fashionista Uni badges and awards in the process to the most promising artists.  I learnt that Hulanicki has just started a new illustrated clothing line Icon Club.

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Scarf designer Emma J Shipley, who designed the poster of Port Eliot  was a newcomer to the Wardrobe Department with her bandana print making workshop.

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Jewellery designer Vicki Sarge also returned to create pretty things out of tin foil and once again turn trash into treasure.

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Jenny Dyson aka Mrs Rubbish and her Pencil Agency crew are pretty much a permanent Wardrobe Department fixture with their Pencil Atelier, teaching kids to do neon potato prints and sew up simple dresses for the culminating Pencil Fashion Show.  Cath Kidston also teamed up with Jenny to lend a hand in crafting these ensembles.

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In other crafting areas, you could create head dresses and do beginner’s crochet in Ros Badger and Christine Leach’s Badger’s Sett.

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The ever-popular workshops in Anthropologie’s tent included mask decoration with illustrator Florence Balducci, jewellery making with Catherine Zoraida and fabric taxidermy with Mister Finch.  Once again, as branded activities go at Port Eliot, the approach is always gently does it.  When they lull you with impressive interior styling and Buddy Holly tunes on the record player, it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to ram Anthropologie down your throat.

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The Flower show got a new location inside the basement of the house near the kitchen and there was an added Fodder (food) category too for judges to peruse.  The categories are as ever wildly imaginative – my favourite was “He can take it, but can’t dish it” where flowers, vomit and over-indulgent meals came together and Mrs Peacock in the Library where one entrant created an amazing homage to Great Expectation’s Miss Havisham.

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The Wardrobe Department talks were hefty this year, with Sarah Mower conducting her “If Clothes Could Speak” series.  I’ve already talked up the one with Suzy Menkes, where I learnt a life lesson or two.  The next day, Mower spoke to legendary model Penelope Tree about the Betsey Johnson double-slit dress she wore to Truman Capote’s Black and White ball in 1966.  Tree really entertained the crowd with the minutiae about this incredible night as well as imparting nuggets about her own extraordinary upbringing and life as a model.  There’s an autobiography in the making here.

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I loved that fashion seeped its way out of the walled gardens and on to the larger stages.  At The Bowling Green, fashion historian NJ Stevenson and Mark Butterfield, owner of the infamous C20 Vintage Fashion resource in Devon paired up talk about groovy 1970s knitwear.  Or not so groovy, depending on when you were born.  In lieu of the forthcoming exhibition about fashion knitwear at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London, Stevenson and Butterfield focused on 70s knitwear, modelled by teensy tinsy Port Eliot goers.  It was comprehensive for fashion enthusiasts and at the same time and engaging for non-fashion-y people.  More please!

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Back at Five Dials on Sunday, Sarah Mower interviewed Simone Rocha about her rise as a designer in London Fashion Week.  Rocha was endearing and candid when talking about growing up with fashion in her family, her Chirish roots (she’s half Irish, half Chinese) and going from art school in Ireland to studying fashion at Central Saint Martins with the late Louise Wilson.  I loved that Mower got across the special way in which Rocha has created a highly personal “universe” in her brand – in the attitude of her girls and in the types of references which Rocha looks at.  The Warren Sisters – the unofficial go-tomodels of Port Eliot – looked incredible in their various seasons and shades of Rocha.

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What does a fashion show need?  Lots of gin, 6pm summer sunshine and Damian Lewis as a guest host.  The Pencil Atelier fashion show had all those things as all those aforementioned neon-printed frocks were paraded along a haybale catwalk in the Wardrobe Department.  Christopher Kane has nothing to worry about yet but those neon gradiated gingham dresses did look mighty fetching.

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The fashion show was followed by the inaugural Port Eliot Prom, organised by Sarah Mower.  No left out nerds and jock n’ cheerleader couples here.  Just whoever turned up in their glad rags and wanted to be entered in the prom parade to be in with a chance of being crowned with three beautiful resin crowns, made by Fashion East’s latest addition to their line-up Ed Marler.

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My favourite outfit was number 26.  Just saying.

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There are no winners or losers of course in the spirit of Port Eliot but three lucky girls got to wear and keep these elaborate crowns.  Not that I’m errr… jealous of a six year old or anything…

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I’ve got to say a big thumbs up to my first “glamping” experience thanks to the kind folks at Yurtel.  Electrical plugs inside the yurt, a lockable wooden door (still had the laptop with me…) and a heart-embedded skylight were the touches I loved.

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It was great to discover a new vintage source in Dolly Blue, owned by Lily Walford, who happens to be the wife of catwalk show production expert John Walford.  Lily has a love of Victorian/Edwardian cotton undies and petticoats and she also turns French linen into dresses and jackets.  I bought a sweet Hungarian-embroidered blouse from Lily and hope to see her soon for all my Victorian whites needs.

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On the picture front, I had to end with a trio of rainbow goodness.  Port Eliot really is bursting with colour and it seems to create an environment where people feel it’s safe to express themselves with colour, whether it’s dressing up in silly wigs and hippy dippy clothes or going all out in the Wardrobe Department.  You wonder why that sense of inhibited freedom can’t be felt outside of the grounds of Port Eliot in day to day life.  Apparently real life, normal jobs and judgemental peers all get in the way.

0E5A4483Loved how kids were selling their self-made loom bands as an enterprising business at the festival… this kid was charging 50p a band.  I did say he should charge £1.  

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IMG_4558Easy to picture stalk this girl in her LED lit-up dress…

So we come back to reality.  And back in real land, I’ll be ploughing through a list inspired by Port Eliot’s non-fashion events, which I’ve rounded up here.

To eat…

- I was tempted by Cloud Nine’s marshmallows because I kept hearing people raving about them every time I passed their stall at Port Eliot.  One bite into their strawberry/champagne marshies and I was smitten.  Even veggies who didn’t realise they were eating gelatine were swooning.  Must buy more.

- Port Eliot definitely upped its food game this year with even more choices to indulge in.  My personal faves were The Cornish Fishmonger‘s samphire and seabass, Rum and Crab Shack‘s soft shelled crab burger and everything from The Bowler’s Meatball.  Food trucks/entities that are worth waiting for.

- I missed quite a few of the food talks but have a food book list to get into including the Hemsley sisters’ first tome on The Art of Eating Well and Seb Emina’s Breakfast Bible.

To see/read…

- As I mentioned, Andy Miller’s The Year of Reading Dangerously sounds like a riot as he recounts his experience of reading fifty great books.  Sounds odd to read a book about reading but when I have gradually lost the time to read, I think I need this to kickstart my habits.

- Christopher Simon Sykes was incredibly entertaining when reading excerpts from his definitive biography of David Hockney, focusing on his early career at the RCA.  Sykes’ accents and expressive way of reading brought the book to life but this one looks like a good kindle on-the-tube read.

- I finally got to see my hero Martin Parr, who is a Port Eliot regular, who along with his authoress wife Susie, talked about their book The Non-Conformists.  In the 1970s they had photographed the close-knit methodist community in Hebden Bridge and it’s a chance to see Parr’s lesser known and altogether “quieter” black and white work published in this book.  I will also have to try and catch Parr’s first ever film Tinsel and Turkey, which follows a group of coach holidaymakers in the Black Country, as I missed BOTH screenings of it at Port Eliot.  Boo.

- Louise Gray and James Buck emerged from Viv Albertine’s talk at Caught by the River with tears in their eyes.  A sure sign that Albertine’s memoir Clothes…Music… Boys…  must be read.

- I watched Paul Kelly and Saint Etienne’s wonderful film collaged out of BFI archive footage of London, How We Used to Live in rapture.  I hope it gets released online somewhere as it’s really a trip and a half, traversing through the 50s through to the 70s in London and yet feeling like nothing really has changed in modern city life.

- Give me a book about the Russian Romanovs and I’ll devour it rapidly.  Helena Rappaport has written a new one - Four Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Grand Duchess Romanov - to add to my historical biography collection.

- I’ll take excuse to re-read Elizabeth Jane Howard but Port Eliot celebrated the celebrated novelist’s life and work with an appreciative talk this year at The Bowling Green and now I’ll be out trying to buy up old EJH paperbacks.

Blue Portofino

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Here it is revealed my favourite Condè Nast Traveler getaway for a summer weekend: Portofino. My recommendation is to park your car in the nearby Santa Margherita and take boat to Portofino in the morning, so that you can fully enjoy the view of this little mediterranean pearl from the sea. Have a walk in the little harbour, a little bit of shopping and then go back to the boat towards the San Fruttuoso beach. Don’t forget to stop at the Cala degli Inglesi for a true dive adventure in the deep blue. Spend your day on the beautiful beach, visit the nearby Cloister dominating the sea. At sunset time, be sure to be back to Portofino to enjoy a walk at the lighthouse and.. have also a nice drink on the lighthouse terrace.
Any outfit tip? Wear something blue recalling the rich color of the sea like my blue cobalt Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Gold watch.

Ecco rivelata la mia meta Condè Nast Traveler preferita per un weekend d’estate: Portofino.
Consiglio di parcheggiare l’auto nei pressi di Santa Margherita e prendere una barca per Portofino in mattinata così da potersi godere totalmente la vista di questa perla del Meditterraneo direttamente dal mare. Una passeggiata al piccolo porto, un po’ di shopping e poi di nuovo subito in barca verso la spiaggia di San Fruttuoso. Immancabile la tappa a Cala degli Inglesi per un’avventura nel mare blu. Trascorrete la giornata sulla splendida spiaggia, visitate il vicino chiostro che domina il mare. Al tramonto assicuratevi di tornare in tempo a Portofino per una passeggiata al faro e un drink alla terrazza del faro.
Il look perfetto per una gita fuoriporta? Indossate qualcosa di blue che ricordi il mare come il mio Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Gold watch.

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I was wearing:

ISABEL MARANT SANDALS
PRADA SUNGLASSES
MSGM SKIRT
BCBGMAXAZRIA TOP
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS CHARMS WATCH

Photos by Andrew Arthur

Glasses

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Converse, vintage denim shorts, striped tshirt and maxi bag.. Anything else? Yes, those awesome Celine glasses.

Converse, shorts vintage in denim, tshirt a righe e maxi borsa… Serve altro? Si, questi fantastici occhiali di Celine.

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I was wearing:

CONVERSE ALL STAR PLAFORMS SNEAKERS
PINKO UNIQUENESS BY VIVIANA VOLPICELLA TSHIRT
LEVI’S DENIM VINTAGE SHORTS
CELINE SUNGLASSES
HERMES BIRKIN BAG

Photos by Gregorio Capineri Tosetti

Back for More

We had a loose rule on our second trip to Los Angeles to try and do things that we hadn’t done before on our first trip, which included not repeating food spots and accommodation. In fact we stayed at five different places on our six day trip just to mix things up a bit (there was a meticulous packing methodology). We have still come away feeling like we’re not quite sated and there’s still an arm-long to-do/see list, which means it’s more than likely that we’ll come back for more. LA, we really do heart you. A lot.

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- Trust my British self to moan about the weather on the first day of our holiday. But only because I did feel a bit peeved that for the first few days, it was actually hotter in London than it was in Los Angeles. We had booked ourselves into Shutters on the Beach to spend a lush first night in Santa Monica and woke up to this…

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- In fairness, it did brighten up so that it looked like the above about four hours later so my initial gripes were completely unfounded. Plus Santa Monica/Venice Beach is still awesome regardless of the colour of the sky.

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20140716_081434Breakfast of healthy/not so healthy at Shutters

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IMG_0074Wearing Vika Gazinsakay x & Other Stories dress, Bernstock Speirs visor, Kenzo bag, Tabitha Simmons x Toms shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses

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- As expected LA treated us good food-wise.  Following our rule about not repeating food spots twice we also tried to go for things that are basically hard to find in London.  Our eats included an awesome boat noodle soup at Pa Ord, interesting bacon-imbued and pork-fat-rendered flavour combinations at Animal, ceviche tostadas at El Sietes Mares, sorrel lemonade at Sky’s Gourmet Tacos and a nom nom undressed lobster roll at Blue Plate Oysterette.

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- I really wanted to check out Heritage Square Museum because I had seen pictures of their annual Vintage Fashion Show and Tea online.  Eight historic structures mostly constructed during the Victorian era were saved and reconstructed here by Montecito Heights.  There are more “real” examples of this kind of architecture elsewhere in the city but I loved the odd juxtaposition and assembly of houses right by a busy freeway.

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- Something ultra cheesy had to be on the agenda.  The Dearly Departed tours were all booked up so we headed to the Hollywood Museum in the old Maxfactor Building.  If you’re errr.. into pan-cake style make-up on dusty pink dressing tables and Daryl Hannah narrating a ye olde documentary on the history of Maxfactor, this is the place for you.  I’m a sucker for old Hollywood memorabilia though so I kind of loved it.

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- Unlike London, Los Angeles has a lot of distinctly themed areas dedicated to the many ethnicities that make up the city.  Olvera Street is the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles with Spanish settlers founding the city in 1781.  Today, it’s an ode to its past as a Spanish/Mexican outpost with a ton of tourist-y kitschy market stalls.  Always up for getting any sort of fix of Mexico of course, however cliched.  Nearby, is Chinatown, which isn’t really where LA’s Chinese community live (need to make it to San Gabriel Valley for the good Chinese eats…) but again is a kitschy reminder of the past when it was actually bustling and the centre of the Chinese community.  It feels more like a hammed up Hollywood set than a real functioning Chinatown but it definitely has its charm.  I love that Ooga Booga, an interesting and conceptual zine/book/gift store is nestled in the middle of plaza.

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IMG_0226 Wearing Suno hat, 3.1 Phillip Lim vest, Topshop skirt, Linda Farrow sunglasses and Salvatore Ferragamo slip-ons

- Steve and I kept on lusting after home and garden decorations as stores along Abbot Kinney and Lincoln Blvd were tempting us to overdo it with our luggage allowance (we only bought a few things but still had to plead with the airline to let us go over our limit).  On Abbot Kinney, The Piece Collective, A Plus R, Tortoise General Store and Chariots of Fire were full of lovely things.  General Store on Lincoln Blvd is also fantastic.

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IMG_0105Inside Piece Collective

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- In particular, we got quite obsessed with cool ceramics and little plant pots.  Since we didn’t bring that many back, I’ve been tirelessly searching Etsy for alternatives.  South Willard had an intriguing exhibition on local pottery artists Michael and Magdalena Suarez Frimkess.  Alchemy Works in Arts District and Fifth Floor in Chinatown also had a few names for us to take note of.

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20140718_125141Bits and bobs inside Fifth Floor

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- There seems to be a lot of love for Craig Green in LA which is great to see!  People instantly recognised and ID-ed his tie-dye shorts from SS14, which I was wearing and there was a healthy amount of his stuff at the store 12345.  Go Craig!!!

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- We’re currently in the process of re-doing our garden and a cactus corner is a must because of all the cool cacti we saw out in LA.  It won’t look as cool in our flat grey light but will definitely be a reminder of our trips.

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- Every area in LA seemed to have one of these Apolis Local + Global market bags, which originated in LA-based socially motivated lifestyle brand Apolis’ arts district store and have slowly branched out to partner with stores all over the world.  I love the new Koreatown version sold in Poketo inside The Line hotel.  They’re made by a group of women in Bangladesh and as this harrowing BBC2 documentary on the Rana Plaza disaster attests, any initiative to ensure Bangladeshi women get to earn a fair living under safe conditions is definitely worthy of attention.

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- The ridiculous reason why I wanted to go to Las Vegas for a day was because I needed the air miles to top up my account.  The sensible reason was that I’d never been.  Perhaps less than 24 hours wasn’t really enough time to devote to the city of sin but I have to be honest… Las Vegas basically felt like Leicester Square and Macau x 100 rolled together with the added downside of searingly hot temperatures (walking around outside at night was like having a hot fan heater blowing in your face the whole time).  We don’t gamble and we didn’t really know how (yes, I know I’m betraying my Chinese roots here but my dad abhors gambling and likewise instilled that in me) and spent a while just watching people do it.  Then we went to strip club for the “fun” of it and found it to be an utterly depressing experience, watching girls in mismatched bras and panties sidling up to men for dances (I say dance loosely – they were just bouncing up and down to get dudes turned on).  But…

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IMG_0235View from our room at the Bellagio

IMG_0233Dale Chihuly ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio

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…I really did love driving further up the strip towards downtown to see the shotgun wedding chapels at night even if we did have to pay an extortionate fare to a cab driver to get him to drive us up and down the strip.

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IMG_0250Wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses, vintage Vivienne Westwood swimsuit, Marni shorts, Christopher Kane sandals

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- On a food note, the Bacchanal buffet at Caesars Palace defeated me.  One starter plate, one main plate and a few of the desserts were all I had.  I brought shame to my expert buffet eating family.  Thumbs up to the truffle layered potatoes, the clams in chorizo sauce and the dipped strawberries.

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- Back in LA, we opted to spend our last night in a new-ish hotel called The Line in Koreatown.  It had a fab view of Hollywood Hills and the interiors designed by Knibb Design were pretty ace (especially loved the plastered white t-shirt ceilings) but not everything was open yet – looking forward to coming back to check out the Commissary cafe, which is housed in a greenhouse by the pool.  It was handy to be near all the Korean eats though and it was great to eat a really decent tasting funked-up congee for brekkie.  Didn’t get to sample Roy Choi’s food at the restaurant hotel Pot but like I said, this place is definitely one to revisit.

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- Downtown LA is still a pretty interesting area to comb through.  This time we checked out Bradbury Building aka where they filmed Blade Runner in.  It’s an incredible mishmash of architecture inside with Parisian-derived apartment iron fretwork coupled with Mexican tiles and Italian marble, with a central skylight allowing light to flood in.  Across the road, Million Dollar Theatre and Grand Central Market are also worth snooping around.  Especially in the latter, where we tried Salvadorean pupusas.  Plus there’s an eatery called Eggslut.  Yup, Eggslut.

IMG_4482Inside the Bradbury Building

IMG_4484Million Dollar Theater

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- In a shop called Round2, the owner described downtown as “kind of like New York in the 80s… things are just getting started around here.”  Not sure if the analogy is entirely true but DLTA definitely has its own vibe, that’s very separate from shopping in Hollywood or out in Silver Lake/Echo Park.  Round2 felt like an LA version of Cyber Dog and I found great plastic fantasic pieces by local designer Michelle Uberreste (apparently an ex Project Runway contestant).  I also loved The Last bookstore, quite possibly the largest and most well-organised second hand bookstore I’ve been to.  I didn’t get to check out Please do Not Enter, a newish concept store downtown but again, leaving one for next time.

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- Outside In ‘n’ Out near the airport (our only repeat eating experience because well… it’s In ‘n’ Out!), where a girl yelped my name and repeatedly screamed/hugged me and then ran away without saying anything.  I kind of loved her.  Please make yourself be known if you are reading!

Yo Yucca!

I’m currently typing this up in a Starbucks by LAX airport and holiday blues have already set in.  Me thinks someone up there knew we were about to depart because today has been a non-starter of a day involving, traffic woes, fluffed-up shop/sights opening hours and GPS nightmares.  Perhaps it’s some kind of karmic payback after the utterly beautiful day we had yesterday (one day out in this part of the world and I’m already using the word “karmic”)  After our early evening trip-out into Joshua Tree, we knew we had to come back for more weird and wonderful sights.  We were hooked by the loud cricket noises, the hot desert air blowing in our faces and the drive along Twentynine Palms Highway.  I promise this isn’t all strictly tourist mumbo-jumbo.  There’s some fash-un to be found.  Well, I say some.  In fact, there’s actually a surprising amount of unique vintage wares to be found along this stretch of road.  First off though, some inspiration fodder that will feed the eye…

The number one thing on our bucket list was Salvation Mountain in Niland, past the eerie lake of Salton Sea.  It’s about an hour and a half’s drive from Palm Springs and well worth the trek if you have a car.  This is probably one of the most famous and spectacular examples of “outsider” art, created by Leonard Knight, who sadly passed away earlier this year.  Apparently he would have often been on-site to talk people through this psychedelic mound, made out of adobe clay and painted with uplifting murals and Bible verses.  It was Knight’s tribute to God but moreover, to love, to wonderment and to beauty.  Surrounding it are further caravans, tractors and cars painted in s similar fashion.  Collectively it’s an awe-inspiring sight, made even more profound by its far-out and relatively impoverished location.  The harsh late morning sun was beating down on us but those rays and the intense blue sky did cast Salvation Mountain in the most breathtaking light.  We couldn’t tear ourselves away even though the heat was physically hurting our heads.  And not to diminish the meaning of Knight’s masterpiece but obviously, aesthetically speaking, the colour scheme and I were sort of on the same wavelength…

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0E5A4270Not going to lie, Luke Brooks’ special “Tree Shirt” was a bit of a strategic outfit choice for Salvation Mountain.  Worn with Mother of Pearl skirt, Loewe sunglasses, Lucy Folk necklace and Prism espadrilles. 

0E5A4273Steve’s Craig Green shirt was also an appropriate bit of kit to soak up the Salvation Mountain vibes…

On the way back from Salvation Mountain, we stopped by a deserted stretch along the curious lake of Salton Sea.  It’s beautiful from afar but kind of depressing when you get closer as you see thousands of dead fish washed up on the stone-filled shores.  Moody Top of the Lake vibes aplenty here (please watch this series if you can!)

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After refuelling back at our Palm Springs base, we made our second trip up to Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree to try and eke out another layer beneath the obvious Joshua Tree National Park.  Our primary reference was this High Deserts Test Sites map, provided by a non-profit organisation which supports and curates site-based art around this area.  One of the founders is artist Andrea Zittel, whose home and work space A-Z-West was also on my hit list but sadly it wasn’t available to see.  If we had more time, I would have driven around hunting down all of the sites on the map but in the end wee settled for one  and it was definitely special enough.  The journey was an experience in itself.  You drive past the vaguely theme park-esque Pioneertown and on to a winding dirt track road, which leads you to a curiously named path called God’s Way Love.   Up this rocky path in the high desert nestled in amongst wind-blasted rock formations is Boulder Gardens, the eco-sanctuary and retreat founded and kept by Garth Bowles.  This sanctuary is Bowles’ “act of giving” – you’re free to stay here with a voluntary donation.  People are also allowed to go up there and take a look and so we roamed around, looking in all the nooks and crannies of this breath-taking retreat, lovingly adorned with crystal-scattered spiritual niches.  It’s got all you need really when you’re this high up and far out (in spirit and in altitude) – a sauna, a cool pool, a meditation garden, a tranquil pond, chicken coops built into caves and a picture perfect teepee.  The desert planting all around Boulder Gardens was inspiration enough for Steve and I.  Trying to take a little piece of Garth’s retreat back to N15 with us will be a tough tough task.

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Back down on Twentynine Palms Highway out of all the numerous vintage spots dotted along this road, The End in Yucca Valley was a must-see for me, not least because the lovely Jazzi McG gave it a thumbs up.  I didn’t realise the connection until I got there but it turns out owner Kime Buzzelli is a former fellow Typepad blogger (as in blogger generation 1.0), whose blog The Moldy Doily was on my blog feed back in the day.  Kime was working in TV styling and also owned the concept boutique Show Pony in Los Angeles but decided a few years ago to up sticks and move out to Yucca Valley permanently to open up The End.  Here she’s free to concentrate on her beautiful illustration work – seen dotted around the store – and live what seems to be something of the good life.  You’ll spot the distinct murals painted on the outside by Elena Stonaker from a mile off (Stonaker’s wearable pieces are quite something too…).  Inside, it’s a treasure trove of desert-appropriate wafting around prettiness and hippie finds in the true and good definition of the h word.  I picked up a leather bag dripping with paint, created by a couple who live out in Palm Springs.  If I had time, I’d really look into this seemingly sprawling coven of “folk-based” artists and craftsmen from around these parts as everything from ceramics to jewellery to clothing seem to have this … yes, I’ll say it… RAD… aesthetic that I’m drawn to.  I also loved that in the middle of the high desert seemingly in the middle of nowhere, weirdly I managed to make a stray blogger connection.

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10384676_581410168635805_3979975435337962556_nWearing Marques Almeida top, Balenciaga shorts, Birkenstocks, Thomas Tait sunglasses and the bag I bought from The End

A ten minute drive away from The End, right outside the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, was another spot on my to-see list.  Why, it’s the World Famous Crochet Museum, created by artist Shari Elf, which sits in the Art Queen Gallery.  Nobody was at home but we just let ourselves in, unlocked the door to this green pod of awesomeness and marvelled at the shelves of crochet cuties.  Right next door, there’s also Trailer Court Shops, a mini-warren of vintage and oddities sellers.  By the time we looked to have a poke around, they had already closed.  I like that I’ve left quite a few stones unturned.  It gives me an excuse to come back and I definitely will.  That’s a promise.

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On the way to Palm Springs at Cabazon, you can’t miss Ms. Rex and Ms. Dinny aka The World’s Biggest Dinosaurs aka the best roadside stop off ever where we filled up the car, sampled all manners of meat jerky and got a cheesy snap in the process as well.  I promise my wearing the Julien David “Dinosaur” vest was mere coincidence.

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IMG_0281Wearing Julien David vest, vintage slip dress, Kitty Joseph socks, Salvatore Ferragamo slip-ons

One final note on our accommodation out in this part of the world, in between exploring Joshua Tree and Salvation Mountain, we opted to stay the night at the Ace in Palm Springs.  From what people told me, I was a little bit skeptical about this “hipster” bolthole of choice and no.1 hangout during Coachella, but I found the Ace to be pretty chill.  As in, not the frat boy/hen do madfest I was expecting it to be on the weekends.  There were shibori dyeing and collage making classes going on in the clubhouse and the pool was nicely filled out as opposed to super rammed.  And when all is said and done, I am officially an ageing “hipster” for want of a better word… so ermmmm…

… PEACE OUT…

… until I get back to London.  I will then strike-through that sentence and start moaning about the weather, TFL and BT Broadband.

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IMG_4379Wearing Auria swimsuit, Karen Walker sunglasses

P.S. Unlike Instagram, hopefully this is a safe haven from the fat-hating comments I get (exclusively from peeps from China/Hong Kong it would seem… ) but just in case some people can’t resist, I may as well rebut now and say yes, I’m in a swimsuit, and no, it ain’t a perfect sight because I like food.  And drink.  And lots of it at that.

Valise d’été

Here are a few of my favorite things I took with me for the summer…

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Of course, there is always a lot of white, like this super cool shirt and my Common Projects sneakers and jean shorts that are perfect for throwing on for some paddle ball. But hey, it’s Greece and I needed to add a little bit of color to my wardrobe for this trip, so I went with this pink Isabel skirt and this orange one-piece from Eres.

A simple tote, embroidered pareo, my gold Sonia Rykiel belt that I’ve had forever, those beautiful coral earrings from Aurélie and a travel watercolor set in case I feel inspired! It’s so cool to be able to bring my stationery with me too, I really love it.

Ok, so maybe my suitcase wasn’t really 22.3 kilos by the time I added some of the items not pictured…but these are my favorites that I wanted to share with you!

Just Because

>> My brain is currently emptied of smart, sassy things to say about fashion and nor have I been finding funky fresh shops to blog up here on my very short one week trip to Los Angeles/Las Vegas/Palm Springs.  Therefore, the blog is looking a bit barren, my Instagram feed will clue you in as to why.  I did want to check in though with one entirely gratuitous post in ode to Joshua Tree, one of the most magnificent places I have seen on Earth.  There is no snazzy outfit to accompany it.  There is no beautifully composed picture with hair artfully blowing in the wind.  There isn’t even an insightful travel perspective to bring to this post, other than… please go if you ever get the chance.  All I’ve got for you are wide-armed cheesy smiles, moments of pure magic when you feel like you’re on the edge of the world and the shifting light of a sunset cast across acres of 100 million years-old mysterious rock formations and of course the thousands of spindly spiky headed Joshua trees, which become seductively sinister at night.  Why?

Well… just because.  When I interviewed Luella Bartley recently, she made a comment about there being no time these days just to do things for the sake of doing them – for fun, for larks, for pure joy.  Everything had to have a mechanical reason behind it.  I’m entitled to have a cheesy and cliched mini-epiphany inside this much-visited and famed national park because it felt brilliant for me at that very moment and ultimately, that will feed whatever I do when I get back to the real world.  Reason enough?

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Japanese Wave at ITS

“What can young Japanese designers do to help their careers and make it internationally?”  Loaded question but it’s one that frequently pops up whenever I’m in Tokyo, meeting designers in showrooms and discovering abundance.  It was again put to me at this year’s edition of ITS – International Talent Support – the annual competition for recent graduates all around the world, held in Trieste with prizes of up to EUR25,000 up for grabs.  I was once again part of the jury and a journalist from the magazine SO-EN was probing about the current state of Japanese fashion and without meaning to sound like I was some fashion knew-it-all oracle, the only thing I could muster up was “There’s heaps of talent.  It’s just hard to communicate that to the world.”   I meant it.  There’s no doubt that the creativity and talent is there in abundance.  I see it every time I’m in Japan and come home laden with lookbooks, clothes and general fashion-high because I’ve absorbed so much.  It’s the matter of getting it out there into the wider world – the language barrier, the tendency not to publicise themselves out on social media and snazzy websites and the general unwillingness or fear of making that international step-up.

There might yet be another monumental Japanese wave though akin to Rei Kawkubo and Yohji Yamamoto storming Paris in the 80s but for now it’s about paving the way in small steps for a new gen of Japanese designers to make it to the forefront.  Competitions like ITS are a good start and this year, there was no less than seven Japanese finalists across the fashion, jewellery, accessories and the newly created art categories (as in fashion designers who create art as opposed to bona fide artists).  It was also great that four of them scooped up prizes in the final show ceremony, which is definitely encouragement for similar graduates from Japan to enter similar competitions.  It was also interesting that the thought process of their work was so often incredibly personal and free from overarching and remote concept, which can often be the case with many student projects.  It gave them an idiosyncratic edge that is hard not to be charmed by.  Some were familiar to me, some were not but I thought I’d run through my favourites from this mini ITS 2014 Japanese wave.

Zetsumei, the exhibition of young Japanese designers and their wacked-out installations in Parco Tokyo last year was a real eye-opener for me.  Amongst one of the newbies, two made it to ITS this year, following the guidance of their tutors Mikio Sakabe and Yoshikazu Yamagata, co-founders of the Coconogacco school in Tokyo and themselves unconventional designers.  Noriko Nakazatu was one them and she had her work entered under the jewellery and art categories.  A quick look at her Tumblr and she’s an a jack-of-all-trades, dabbling with image-making, installation, jewellery and fashion with an incredibly complex level of referencing.  Kitsch would be a simplistic way of looking at it.  Sci-fi, psychedelia and strange facets of Japanese culture all feed into her particular eye for the perverse and odd.  Nakazatu’s jewellery won her the Swarovski Jewellery Price of EUR10,000 probably because she charmed the jury with her totally sensical more-is-more approach.  There’s definitely more to her than piecing resin, crystals and toys together though.  I’d love to see her create more all-encompassing installations that blend different fields together.

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Yasuto Kimura’s portfolio was the thinnest of the lot.  It consisted of an exacting newspaper format to talk up his collection about an alternative uniform for the Japanese salarymen.  It’s such an iconic image, seeing Japanese commuters falling asleep on the metro or hanging out in packs at ramen bars.  Kimura is I think the first to tackle this specific aspect of Japanese culture and he does it with a series of distorted, multi-functional and versatile grey suited tailoring.  No boring grey suits here as Kimura declared that he’d love to be the “Thom Browne of Japan” when we asked him about his work in the jury session.  Ambitious but great to see.  The most prominent Japanese menswear has often skewed towards streetwear and casualwear in recent years and so it’s nice to see a tailoring focused menswear designer try and come and do something that feels unique to his experience.  The best thing is that Kimura himself is that Japanese salaryman.  He works as a designer for a corporate apparel company and so is well equipped to give a whole new spin on salarymen attire.  Kimura was selected to create a film with SHOWstudio, which will definitely be interesting to see, judging by his lookbook images.

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Maiko Takeda‘s work is now instantly recognisable thanks to what is known as the “Bjork Effect”.  When I posted a pic on Instagram, somebody said “Very Bjork-esque!”  Errr… well, Bjork did in fact wear  Takeda’s Atmospheric Reentry collection of cut-acetate headpieces, straight after Takeda had shown her work at last year’s RCA graduate show.  Takeda’s phenomenal work is the collection that keeps on giving though as she was belatedly selected for ITS this year and also has had it shot for Dazed Digital.  Takeda currently has a job at Issey Miyake working as their accessories designer experiences like ITS might stir up a hankering to do her own thing, given the extra encouragement of the Vogue Talents Award.

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“Made with naive love” is often something that I think of whenever I encounter Japanese designers who operate within their own world, removed from global trends and outsider influences.  Takafumi Arai definitely falls underthis category.  His Instagram account is brimming with enthusiasm and joy for his handmade shoes, stitched, patched and composed together with an incredible eye for detail.  They’re shoes that showcase craftsmanship in a very overt way so that you can’t help but fall for them, even if they’re not necessarily your favoured aesthetic.  Top stitching, cross-stitching, flecks of rainbow tufted threads and autumnal shades of leathers and suede come together in a sort of homespun craftwork fantasy.  Arai was a revelation for me and it seems he impressed others too as YKK decided to award a special prize of EUR1,000 as a vote of encouragement to this young shoemaker.

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Finally, I can’t not mention the charming project of Ryota Murakami and his mother Chiaki.  I also encounter his work at Zetsumei in Parco last year.  Some mothers draw and craft with their children.  Chiaki sketches out what she deems to be her kind of “fashion” and brings them to live through crochet and knit.  Together Ryota and Chiaki created a knitwear installation that was entered under the art category of ITS.  To go with this rainbow brite mass of fun, is a children’s book to illustrate the tale about the way a mother and son co-create and inspire each other.  It would be sickly sweet if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s so heartfelt and genuine, especially when you meet Chiaki herself.  It brought a huge beaming smile to the proceedings.

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Bonjour from Corsica

A little layover in Corsica to say hello to my family and let my nephews jump on me – the weather is perfect and today, my only goal in life is to read a good book and to get on a paddle board.

Yesterday I spent the day on the beach of Capo Di feno, where there is no reception at all.

It’s actually perfect, you send message before going “Ok, we’re leaving, meet us there!” and then it’s total zen, noone can reach you. No more “emergencies,” no one glued to their phones, no 1000 texts to get you to do something. It feels good and even if it’s only for a few hours, I really call that a vacation.

I had tried last summer to have a fully phone off vacation. I had gotten super organized and everybody around me knew I would be unreachable and you know what? It turned out to be more stressful than anything else.
So now what I do when I’m on vacation is check my emails in the morning for half an hour, answer urgent matters and then not worry about it for the rest of the day. Of course I can’t help Instagramming when it’s super gorgeous – but that’s it.
Oh, and I take advantage of long days at the beach to have mini tech-rehabs.

I found it’s the best balance for me. What about you? How do you deal with your phone during the vacations?

PS – The photo was taken on the Capo Di Feno beach, at Pierre-Tou’s restaurant (Le Pirate), my favorite place to end a long summer day.

Bonjour from Corsica

A little layover in Corsica to say hello to my family and let my nephews jump on me – the weather is perfect and today, my only goal in life is to read a good book and to get on a paddle board.

Yesterday I spent the day on the beach of Capo Di feno, where there is no reception at all.

It’s actually perfect, you send message before going “Ok, we’re leaving, meet us there!” and then it’s total zen, noone can reach you. No more “emergencies,” no one glued to their phones, no 1000 texts to get you to do something. It feels good and even if it’s only for a few hours, I really call that a vacation.

I had tried last summer to have a fully phone off vacation. I had gotten super organized and everybody around me knew I would be unreachable and you know what? It turned out to be more stressful than anything else.
So now what I do when I’m on vacation is check my emails in the morning for half an hour, answer urgent matters and then not worry about it for the rest of the day. Of course I can’t help Instagramming when it’s super gorgeous – but that’s it.
Oh, and I take advantage of long days at the beach to have mini tech-rehabs.

I found it’s the best balance for me. What about you? How do you deal with your phone during the vacations?

PS – The photo was taken on the Capo Di Feno beach, at Pierre-Tou’s restaurant (Le Pirate), my favorite place to end a long summer day.

Choosing a dream getaway

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It’s funny how we all dream about jumping on a plane and going to a secret destination where the sun doesn’t stop shinning and there’s palm trees and sandy beaches everywhere.. Like on these images from my march trip to The Maldives… The truth is that when we decide to make a booking for different reasons finding exactly what you want for the price you need is not always “doable”.. So here’s my very own story to be written… This year IHG Reward Club has given me 1 Million  points (yes! you’ve hear right!!)  to travel as much as I can or simply to design my ultimate perfect holiday… And for those who are not aware yet, InterContinental Hotel’s Group is the largest reward programme group (with over 79million members and more than 4.700 hotel companies around the world) where becoming a member is free and you can start collection points immediately  that you can credit into flights and hotels to book yourself a getaway or better deals when you travel. To live the whole experience IHG has given me the chance to design my very own trip, as as you know I’ve pretty much all over the world so here’s where all of you come along… I’d love to hear your suggestions on those places you think I haven’t been before or that simply has changed your mind and you’d like everyone to visit (in this case me ). You’ll be able to redeem  your points into travelling experiences that will cover hotels, flights and car rentals from Bali to San Francisco! If you’d like to find out how can you start collecting points sing up now and share with me your travel experiences too! Don’t forget to tag your images #awaywithIHG Wearing bikini by Agent Provocateur, Miguelina dress and Marianna G beach dress.

Muchos de vosotros reconoceréis la primera imagen (y alguna mas) ya que fueron publicadas hace unos meses durante mi viaje a las Maldivas, pero es que cuando llega el verano y uno se plantea a donde irse de vacaciones en lo que la mayoría pensamos es en una playa de arena blanca, aguas cristalinas y mucha fruta fresca! Pero en realidad la opción por la que nos solemos decantar es por algo mas turístico y urbano en la mayoría de los casos.. La cuestión es que no es tarea fácil decidirse por un solo destino y aquí es a donde voy yo, InterContinental Hotel’s Group, que es el mayor grupo hotelero de programa de puntos (con mas de 79 millones de usuarios) me ha planteado un reto, con 1 Millon de puntos en mi cuenta de usuario puedo elegir cualquier destino y ruta que me permitan mis puntos, y es muy fácil seguir recopilando mas puntos con su programa de afiliados! Con mas de 4.700 companias hoteleras distribuidas por todo el mundo, rent-a-car y afiliaciones con aerolíneas debo crear la ruta perfecta para las vacaciones de un verano inolvidable y es aquí cuando necesito mas que nunca vuestra ayuda, como sabeis viaje constantemente y aunque ya conozco muchos lugares del mundo estoy segura de que todavía existen joyas escondidas, os atreveis a mandarme vuestras sugerencias y vivir junto a mi este viaje inolvidable? Si vosotros también quereis empezar a disfrutar de las ventajas de pertenecer a IHG Reward Group puedes registrarte ahora mismo y empezar a conseguir puntos para canjearlos por viajes, noches de hotel, vuelos y mucho mas! Comparte tu experiencia usando el hashtag #lejosconIHG

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Morocco visual diary: Kasbah des Oudaias

Rabat, Morocco - Kit Lee

Welcome to the first part of my travel-visual diary series from Morocco!  It’s been almost a year since my last visit to Morocco (Marrakech and Essaouira), I never felt so culturally absorbed that has led me to fall in love with the country, enriched by the tradition of openness and its cultural heritage – the art and craft, mosques, the beautiful landscapes, colourful mosaic tiles….and numerous stray cats!

It was in late May when the Morocco Tourist Board invited me back and as guest of the Mawazine World Rhythms Festival 2014 in Rabat, a dedicated post will come soon.  First of all, here are some of the visuals I’d like to share with you all, shot within the area of Kasbah des Oudaias, a delightful place and must-visit in Rabat.

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Door and foliage spotting…

I love photographing lush green and floral foliage over old and rusty doors represent a stream of personality characteristics.

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Cool beach spot…

Plage de Rabat, the infamous crescent beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Where to eat seafood by the beach…

Restaurant de la Plage, Plage des Oudayas, Rabat.

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Rabat, Morocco - Kit Lee

Photo walk...

Kasbah des Oudaias – Wondering inside the narrow streets of Kasbah, a picturesque village buildings painted in white and blue reminds me of the fishing village in Essaouira, quite St Ive-y.

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Patterns, Tiles & classic bike spotting…

You can well see I was attracted to patterns, colours, tiles and all things rusty.  Unlike the old classic cars in Gozo Malta, Rabat is great for classic-motorcycle and bicycle spotting.

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For stray kitty lovers…

Stray cats and feral cats are everywhere in Rabat, yes they’re cute but it’s heart breaking to see them look so skinny and neglected, trust me they do get fed. They’re mostly found in the medina, perched on Chellah Roman ruins, outside restaurants and cafes and underneath cars. I would advise you not to touch them.

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Old Moroccan garden…

Les Jardin des Oudias – located within the Kasbah des Oudaias.

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Picture perfect spot for sunset…

The rocky crag along Avenue Moustapha Assayeh.

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What I packed, my top 3 essentials…

1. Korres Yoghurt Suncreen Face & body SPF 30, £19.00 @ ASOS – made of environmentally-friendly & locally sourced ingredients, and it contains organic edible yoghurt, and it smells lovely too.

2. Nadia, black flat sandals, £60.00 @ KG Kurt Geiger

3. Wahl Chrome Ionic 2000w Hair Diffuser, £16.90 (Prime price) @ Amazon – don’t laugh, I had my hair digitally permed in Hong Kong 2 months before the trip to Rabat, so I needed to keep my hair bouncy and frizz-free throughout the whole trip.

Stay tuned for part 2!


Kit Lee was a guest of Morocco Tourist Board.


The post Morocco visual diary: Kasbah des Oudaias appeared first on STYLE SLICKER.

The Girl Who Fell to Earth

“You never quite know what you’re doing until you get there.”

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Post haute couture and pre ready to wear weeks, I’m indulging in some much-needed down/me time.  I’m off to Los Angeles tomorrow for over a week where star-gazing, looking at the sea for long periods of time and driving through empty stretches of roads are on the agenda.  Then I’m going down to Port Eliot festival, which is back after a one year hiatus, where haphazard happiness can be found in spades as my previous experiences in 2011 and 2012 can attest to.

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unnamed (1)Luella and Zoë working on The Girl Who Fell to Earth at Port Eliot in 2012

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To get into the right frame of mind for what promises to be four days of gentle debauchery, bacchanalian feasting and drinking and nourishment for the brain set on the beautiful grounds of a beautiful Grade I listed house in St Germans, Cornwall, I spoke to Luella Bartley, who is an avid supporter of the festival and aptly sums up the experience with the opening quote to this post.  She returns to Port Eliot this year to launch her labour of love collaborative book called The Girl Who Fell to Earth – a story written on-site at Port Eliot in 2012, accompanied by the illustrations of Zoë Taylor, who also worked with Luella on her English Style book.  Over the course of four days she dipped in and out of the festival to get inspiration and went back to her writing tent to work with Zoe on the illustrations and text.

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It’s a short but sweet tale about a celestial Princess, who feels confined and trapped by her home planet and family, as they are ruled by science and reason.  She falls through space and lands on Earth, right into Port Eliot festival where she goes through a magical process of enlightenment and self-discovery.  It’s basically a love letter to Port Eliot and reading it, makes those that have been, yearn for it again and those that haven’t, want to give it a try.  “Port Eliot feels like a nicest side of life and humanity – it’s books, music, drinking, food – and in some hippy way, it’s how life should be but isn’t,” explains Luella.  “I wanted this girl to land on Earth in Port Eliot and experience the poetry, the readings, the music – it’s this innocent and romantic view of what life on Earth could be.”

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Whilst the Princess character isn’t necessarily based on anyone in particular, she represents the sort of girl that Luella references time and time again, in both her former own label and now currently at Marc by Marc Jacobs with Katie Hillier.  “I’m always interested in that moment of a girl’s life – when she’s coming of age and there’s this rebellious moment in her life,” says Luella.  “It’s a simple setting about a girl who fell to earth but behind it there’s this slightly feminist rite of passage where you’re rebelling against the patriarch.”  Is Luella herself this entirely free-thinking risk-taker?  She pauses.  “I’m more of a preacher of risk-taking,” she says measuredly.  “I would like to be that person.  When I’m designing, I’m designing for the girl or women I want to be.”

Luella and I are on the same page when it comes to Port Eliot.  It is an idyllic and slowed down respite, from the daily grind that is deeply enriching for the mind.  This short illustrated book about A Girl Who Fell to Earth is an entirely creative endeavour that has barely any relation to Luella’s “real job” and likewise Port Eliot itself is also an escape from that reality.  “Everything these days has to be done for a reason, so it’s quite nice to do something personal and sweet,” says Luella.  “It’s important to do stuff like this because it fuels the real job.  I would love to do more and work with Zoë again – her hand is very dreamy and ethereal and she unlocks that side of my personality.  Away from the machine that is Marc by Marc Jacobs, which of course I love, it’s nice to exercise other muscles.”

Zoë’s spaced-out dreamscapes can also be seen in Marc by Marc Jacobs’ latest resort collection so you can physically  channel that girl who fell to earth.

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On one of the pages, where the Princess comes across Stephen Frears and Geoff Dyer’s talk about the topic of failure, one of the quotes stuck with me: “Failure gives you freedom.”  And obviously with Luella too.  “‘I’ve certainly failed a few times,” admits Luella.  “That was a really inspiring talk.  It’s a really really important thing to remember.  If you succeed at everything, then you don’t have any perspective and to be able to embrace your failure, that’s great.  I quite like that it relates back to the story.  That the Princess is learning all of this on the way.”

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Luella’s gushing about Port Eliot is free flowing and speaking to her, I’m itching to get back there.  Still not convinced.  Heed the words of Sarah Mower then, who has once again come up with an amazing schedule for The Wardrobe Department.  We have four walls, a garden and only one rule: that everything we do could only happen here,” says Mower.  “This is where transformation scenes happen and magical ideas are planted to spring up all over the wide world of fashion.”  Barbara Hulanicki is back to teach little peeps (and big ones) how to draw.  Louise Gray and Alex Brownsell of Bleach are back to transform face and hair.    Stephen Jones and Piers Atkinson will hat you up on the spot.  Dominic Jones is teaching you how to grow in terrariums.  Mower will be in conversation with Simone Rocha.  Penelope Tree and Suzy Menkes will be talking about the clothes that changed their life.  And of course Luella will be present to launch her fairy-tale.  On top of all of that, there’s the music, food and literary line-up as well.

Tickets are still available if you fancy it.  I’ll be there with flowers, twigs and strokes of neon on my eyes.

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porteliotheadPhotographs taken at Port Eliot 2011

Harbour

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I was wearing:

CONVERSE ALL STAR PLAFORMS SNEAKERS
CALVIN KLEIN LEATHER TOP
LOUIS VUITTON BAG

Photos by Andrew Arthur

Porto Cervo

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Porto Cervo last weekend: two days with what I consider my “Vuitton family” to celebrate the summer which finally arrived. With jumps in the crystal clear water, sun, laughs and friends.

Porto Cervo lo scorso weekend: due giorni insieme a quella che ormai per me è la “famiglia Vuitton” per celebrare insieme l’estate finalmente arrivata. Tra sole, bagni nell’acqua cristallina, risate ed amici.

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PORTO CERVO, 5th-7th July 2014 with LOUIS VUITTON

Les Vacances

It’s time to take a holiday. At the Studio, we’ve been carefully mapping out our summer vacations for weeks. As you know, Garance is headed to Greece, Italy and Ibiza starting next week and we are…well… jealous. Just in case you haven’t planned your vacation yet and are still looking to get away… I thought we should ask a few of our friends for their vacation plans and tips!

Safe travels!!

Lolita Jacobs, Saint Tropez

“We have a family house a little above the village, it is the house in “And God Created Women”– from the actual from the movie! It used to be an old farm and my parents renovated it with their amazing bohemian taste (well I like to think so). It is very charming, not at all the typical villa. Full of paintings, trinkets, colored fabrics, flowers… My dream house in the South of France.”

Stay: L’Hotel Ermitage is really nice to stay at for a few days for the view and the great terrace at the end of the day. The Hotel Sube, old fashion but very charming.

Eat: I love le Banh Hoi for diner, a Thai restaurant with an amazing vibe and interior. Le Club 55 for lunch, I always have la tarte Ramatuelle with some fresh goat cheese or the crudités platter. Delicious. For a typical aperitif at the end of the day, we always go to La Place aux Herbes, have a glass of white wine and some fresh oysters Chez Madeleine.

Drink: My favorite spot in the morning is Senequier. I go there every morning to have a fresh orange juice and a brioche au sucre with my god father. We read the newspaper (Var matin for him, Vogue for me) and say hello to everyone. St Tropez is a small village and all the regulars know each other.

I also adore having a drink with my mum & dad on the terrace of the Hotel Sube. It is above the harbor. You get to observe the crowd laughing and sipping a Bellini.

Shop: The best shop is by far the beach boutique at Club 55. They have an amazing bathing suit selection, thousands of tasteful summer bracelets and beach dresses. Plus some original pillows, foulards and many other beautiful objects. Perfect place for any kind of gift.

The Place des Lices market on Tuesdays and Saturdays is great for finding the perfect wicker basket, vintage books, antique hunting with my father. There is an amazing candy stand as well, and I have a big sweet tooth.

Do: Swimming in the sea, going out at Les Caves du Roy (don’t forget your earplugs, the sound is outrageous), riding the roads of Ramatuelle on a scooter with my boyfriend and going to the secret beach of Cap Taillat.

Viviana Volpicella, Southern Italy

“My home country, Puglia, in a small town called Marittima. It’s in the southern part of my beloved Puglia. There is an international community there and privacy is the watchword.”

Stay: Rent a house from Tulsi Room in Marittima.

Eat: Corte Degli Aranci, a restaurant in Taviano, another small town.

Drink: An aperitivo at the Harbour Bar in Tricase, a small town on the sea.

Shop: Tulsi Shop. It’s a cute boutique by an Irish friend of mine, Deborah Nolan. She lives in Marittima and she sells cool dresses, sandals and bags that she loves from around the world.

Do: We (my love and I) used to rent a little wood boat (the typical name is gozzo) and we love spending all day along the Puglia coast where you can find small and pure bays.

Kate Foley, Lamu Island, Kenya

“I love that it’s so relaxed. It’s quite hard to get to so it puts people off going! I go to escape work and the hustle and bustle of NY so definitely don’t want to run into a million people. It’s also incredibly beautiful!”

Stay: I stay at a private house but the Peponi, a family run hotel, is beautiful .

Eat: Fresh fish carpaccio and gazpacho.

Drink: Order an “Old Pal” at the Peponi Bar.

Shop: I love Aman a beautiful boutique which sells a carefully curated mix of international and local clothing and accessory brands.

Do: Swim at Shela Beach, wakeboard, sail, eat and relax!

Violaine Bernard, Brittany

“Saint-Cast, a little beach town in Brittany where I spent all my summers growing up.”

Stay: I stay at my grand-parents house where I also love to have a nap under the cherry tree and also pick berries and peas straight form the garden to munch on. This is a great time for me to go there as now I’m a mother, I no longer sleep in the kid’s room!
So the best way to spend your holiday there is to rent a house. There are 7 beaches in Saint-Cast so it’s hard to find a place you can rent out further than a 10 minute walk from the beach.

Eat: Meal time is a very big deal in France. Especially in our house! I actually feel like I spend most of my vacation sitting at the table…
Lunches are usually at home with all the family but the best place to have dinner with friends is at the Jardin Délice where you can sit outside in the garden, that’s usually where we drink too!

Chez Marie is the best for crêpes and galettes, which are Brittany’s specialities. If you want to share seafood with your other half and watch the sun set, go to La Marinière, which is right by the beach and ask for David.

Drink: The best place to get a coffee is La Belle Meunière where you can eat the most amazing pastries (probably in the world!!). Their croissants and pains au chocolat literally melt in your mouth. Just be ready. For a drink or ice cream on the beach though, go to the Lézard.

Shop: The best is to go to the market every Monday where you can find clothes from Petit Bateau (cheaper than anywhere else) and also some vintage cotton and lace table wear. You can get fresh food there also and trying the “Galette saucisse” is a must. Côté Plage is good for home wear and don’t forget to get a few pairs of espadrilles at la Maison Blanche when you arrive. The big Pharmacy is always great to stock up on French beauty products.

Do: Even though it gets very busy during the summer, it’s still quiet compare to other more famous summer destinations in Brittany. Some cliff views still blow my mind (and now probably your Instagram account) even though I’ve seen them all my life. There is a sailing spot as well where you can book few windsurfing lessons. But really the best thing to do there is to explore and lay on the many beaches, relax and eat!

Kate Dougherty, Colorado to Oregon

“I’ll be joining my boyfriend Ben Towill and my brother Patrick Dougherty on a bike journey from Colorado to Oregon. The NY Times has been following them on their cross-country biking ride, which they began in Virginia 5 weeks ago – Ben writing & Patrick taking the photos. All stories are focused on finding healthy alternative farms and people doing inspiring things with food across the States, raising money for a NY Charity called Just Food. ”

Stay: With our tent and sleeping bags on our bikes, we will be camping each night in some wildly beautiful National Parks like Grand Tetons and Yellowstone in Wyoming.

Eat: Lots of energy bars and buffalo jerky.

Drink: Lots of water, cheap beers and of course a Negroni wherever I can find one!

Shop: I will be sending postcards along the way!

Do: Averaging 75 miles a day for this 4 week 2,000 mile adventure, I’d say we’ll just be doing lots of biking, sleeping, drinking, and meeting as many inspiring people as we can along the way.

Lola Rykiel, California

“I’ve been going for solo holidays trips all over the place but since I tried this place, I just keep going back. I love NY lifestyle but it is very stressful and sometimes I just feel like I smoke too many cigarettes, drink too many coffees and spend all my day emailing, texting, answering without interruptions. It is important for me to free-up from these little addictions and reconnect with pure and simple things.
I like the idea of taking good care of yourself. For me holidays are no longer about partying and doing crazy wild things. I want to finally go slow, go to bed early and be in the nature (and get daily massages too!).”

Stay: The Pearl Laguna, a health detox meditation retreat. A beautiful lush farm, in the hills of Laguna, California.

Eat:An alkaline diet. Vegetarian fresh meals home cooked with most ingredients grown in the gardens. No sugar, no meat, no fish, nothing that is not whole, but we do eat delicious goat cheese and fresh eggs from the farm as well as plenty of fruits and veggies, all locally grown and very tasty.

Drink: Homemade juices, every day there is a different kind: pear and cucumber, clementine and watermelon, and green juices. A lot of alkaline water that is part of the detox too, No rosé, no lattes, no diet coke. These are the enemies!! When I come back to the city I still try to keep away from them. I last one week maximum. MAXIMUM.

Shop: The detox is about detoxing from shopping! So there is nothing to buy, except Katresha’s skincare that is sold at the farm and I always buy every product.

Do: Meditation in the morning for one hour, Hike 3 hours a day (that’s hard), cut off my phone and Instagram (detox of social media addiction), swim in the sea (the salt and the sea are really good to clear bad energy), get massages everyday (it is part of the program), relax, read, try to give myself some time away from the city and to be in contact with nature.

Caroline Issa, Ibiza

“I love Ibiza because, despite it’s party animal reputation, up in the hills tucked away it is an oasis of beauty and relaxation. Counter-intuitive, I know – but absolutely true. Plus the food! Delicious! I’ve been going for the last 5 years and love that if we want to socialize we can dip into it, or just rest, read and eat up in the hills amongst the amazing greenery and enjoy.”

Stay: Up in the mountains in my friends’ Stefano and Monica’s amazing villa, far away from the craziness

Eat: La Paloma or my other favorite, but that one’s a secret so I can still get a reservation!

Drink: Margaritas by El Chiringuito beach.

Shop: Usually the local supermarket for evening BBQs!

Do: Stay by the pool and swim, read and stuff myself silly!

Cisco Gorrow, Bali

“I try to soak up the sun, surf, relax and enjoy the beautiful & gentle Balinese people and culture.”

Stay: In my eyes, there are three main places to stay when you come to Bali. The Bukit is the furthest southern tip of Bali. Here you can find the best surf reefs & biggest waves and great views of Bali. The second place is Canggu which is close to Seminjak. I prefer the more quite Canggu area. Here I stay at Villa RedDoor. In Ubud, I usually stay a night or two at the Como Shambhala Estate.

Eat: I spend most of my time in Canggu where I usually have my breakfast after my morning surf at Old Man’s located on Batu Bolong which is a laid back beach hang out. They make the best avocado on toast. If I don’t have time to make my own lunch and I am ok to deal with the traffic, I go to my all time favorite place in town called Zula. If I feel like an Indonesian fine dining experience for dinner I go Bambu. The food here is light, spicy and exciting.

In Ubud most places are Yogi friendly and mainly vegetarian and vegan. This is Bali’s capital for the health conscious food movement. In general every Warung serves fresh food and freshly squeezed juices in Ubud so you cant go wrong.

Drink: For some live music and a good crowd, I swing by Old Man’s on a Friday or Sunday night. For a nice cocktail and a great view, I go to KuDeTa in Seminjak. When I’m in Uluwatu, I have a sundowner at Single Fin.

Shop: My favorite shop to stock up on sarongs (you can never have enough!!!), beautiful silk shirts and scarfs, is Kalyan in Seminjak. If I need anything for the beach from bikinis or surf accessories I go to Drifter which is a local surf concept store where you can generally find something good.

Do: I like to kick start my day with an early morning surf at Batu Bolong or a yoga class at Samadi Bali. We do day trips to Balian for great waves, Padang Padang for beautiful white sand beaches & great surf or Belangen for a nice uncrowded tropical beach. If I want to pamper myself I go to Devira for a massage or call them for a home visit.

Chiara Ferragni f/w 2014 video

And after the campaign photos of the fall/winter 2014/2015 collection of my shoeline, Chiara Ferragni… Here is the official video of this Hollywood collection :)

Enjoy!

E dopo la campagna fotografica della collezione autunno/inverno 2014/2015 della mia linea di scarpe, Chiara Ferragni… Ecco il video ufficiale di questa collezione hollywoodiana :) Enjoy!

IG

Production by Chiara Ferragni Collection

Photography: Andrew Arthur

Hair and Make up artist: Nikki DeRoest

Stylist: Gilda Ambrosio

Music by Dash “Home”

Project supervisor: Angelo Tropea

 

A St. Croix Vacation

Being the first to leave on vacay at the Studio was pretttttttty great!

After much research (Googled: best beaches in the world) my man and I decided upon St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

Here’s a few helpful tips to traveling to the island…

Take the Bio-Luminescent Tour: The what?! We ventured out into the ocean at night to see dinoflagellates (aka oceanic plankton that glow when disturbed) in a clear, see-through kayak. It was INCREDIBLE. Our tour guide even caught some jelly fish that lit up when you touched them!

Explore the Beaches : Each one is surprisingly different. Filled with huge shell scraps to the shore. White sand into the water. Hikes from the hills down to the beach. Even rocky areas suited for snorkeling! Plus, for whatever reason, this vacation had me inspired to take runs on the beach near our house in the morning and do some yoga along the shore. Completely undisturbed – basically your own private exercise beach. No gym membership required.

Go to the Deep End: You literally walk not 5 feet into the ocean from the beach, and BOOM. A coral reef drop off filled with life. We were lucky enough to even catch a massive school of fish to follow along (as the locals suggest you do). For a $10 rental of a snorkeling mask, its more than worth it. And there are small tikis with lounge chairs to rest in after the swim.

Eat, Drink and Eat some more: Savant is maybe the coziest restaurant in town. The candle lit, vine draped old walls make for a most romantic atmosphere. Tutto Bene is the perfect spot for late night (10pm – everything closes early!) artisan pizza. For breakfast, try The Avocado Pitt – a more local spot that serves a traditional spread. Oh, and a personal favorite having nothing to do with island, was my re-discovery of Kings Hawaiian bread at the local market, a sweet loaf of bread I ate every morning, for snacks, for in-between lunch and dinner…. and on the way to the airport.?

Be Prepared to Stay Left : You have to drive on the left – which may or may not be difficult for some to remember coming from the US.

Animal Planet: On this trip, I saw some 100 geckos, a caterpillar the length of a water bottle, egret birds, an iguana nearly 3 feet long, and while snorkeling the biggest sting ray I’ve ever come across. Oh! And don’t forget all the friendly neighbor dogs. We had a standard poodle named Calypso on our property.

Bob Marley: A party island this is not. However because its the Caribbean, Reggae is abundant and we found ourselves on the other side of the island for the Fourth of July at Rhythms, a Reggae restaurant/bar/hangout on the beach where we watched fireworks while listening to some Marley, a perfect ending to our verrrry chill week.


By brie

A St. Croix Vacation

Being the first to leave on vacay at the Studio was pretttttttty great!

After much research (Googled: best beaches in the world) my man and I decided upon St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

Here’s a few helpful tips to traveling to the island…

Take the Bio-Luminescent Tour: The what?! We ventured out into the ocean at night to see dinoflagellates (aka oceanic plankton that glow when disturbed) in a clear, see-through kayak. It was INCREDIBLE. Our tour guide even caught some jelly fish that lit up when you touched them!

Explore the Beaches : Each one is surprisingly different. Filled with huge shell scraps to the shore. White sand into the water. Hikes from the hills down to the beach. Even rocky areas suited for snorkeling! Plus, for whatever reason, this vacation had me inspired to take runs on the beach near our house in the morning and do some yoga along the shore. Completely undisturbed – basically your own private exercise beach. No gym membership required.

Go to the Deep End: You literally walk not 5 feet into the ocean from the beach, and BOOM. A coral reef drop off filled with life. We were lucky enough to even catch a massive school of fish to follow along (as the locals suggest you do). For a $10 rental of a snorkeling mask, its more than worth it. And there are small tikis with lounge chairs to rest in after the swim.

Eat, Drink and Eat some more: Savant is maybe the coziest restaurant in town. The candle lit, vine draped old walls make for a most romantic atmosphere. Tutto Bene is the perfect spot for late night (10pm – everything closes early!) artisan pizza. For breakfast, try The Avocado Pitt – a more local spot that serves a traditional spread. Oh, and a personal favorite having nothing to do with island, was my re-discovery of Kings Hawaiian bread at the local market, a sweet loaf of bread I ate every morning, for snacks, for in-between lunch and dinner…. and on the way to the airport.?

Be Prepared to Stay Left : You have to drive on the left – which may or may not be difficult for some to remember coming from the US.

Animal Planet: On this trip, I saw some 100 geckos, a caterpillar the length of a water bottle, egret birds, an iguana nearly 3 feet long, and while snorkeling the biggest sting ray I’ve ever come across. Oh! And don’t forget all the friendly neighbor dogs. We had a standard poodle named Calypso on our property.

Bob Marley: A party island this is not. However because its the Caribbean, Reggae is abundant and we found ourselves on the other side of the island for the Fourth of July at Rhythms, a Reggae restaurant/bar/hangout on the beach where we watched fireworks while listening to some Marley, a perfect ending to our verrrry chill week.


By brie

Black leather

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I was wearing:

CELINE WEDGES
KYMERAH LEATHER DRESS
DELFINA DELETTREZ EARRINGS
CELINE BOX BAG

Photos by Andrew Arthur

TURQUOISE BLUE

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There were barely any waves and the sea looked like an enormous turquoise blue pool which made me want to be in the water all day, only making me hungry every 2 hours. I don’t think I can really explain the flavors on the fruits and vegetables I tried while in Sardinia. On my first breakfast there, I grabbed a plate full of fruit as I always do on every hotel I stay at. This was different tho and I couldn’t believe what happened the moment I had my first bite of that fresh fig, or the big red plums. Every flavor was 10 times stronger, sweeter, better than everything I have tried. Maybe the restaurant manager saw my face while I was eating, or that fact that I kept repeating; Oh my god this fruit! I have never tasted, really tasted fruit like this before. “Everything is locally grown in the island and we are famous for our figs here”, I wish we had figs like this were I live, I really really wish we did.

Being here wasnt only about relaxing by the beach, I did spend a chunk of my time eating, a lot! Maybe thats why I was trying my hardest to wake up early for a gym workout, so I didn’t waste my day in there, the morning didn’t matter and it just helped me work on my appetite. One of my favorite experiences was eating at the Gordon Ramsay restaurant at Forte Village by the sea, while the sunset was going down. I guess I was secretly hoping he could have been in the kitchen cursing and working his magic -Gordon Ramsay that is-, but of course the chef did make me go woahhh with the food we got served. Once again I realized how much I enjoy eating and how I -a million times over- prefer to have a very busy fitness lifestyle, than not allowing myself to eat the things I love.

Huge thanks to Forte Village for such an amazing experience food, and hospitality, just the very very best!

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Silver eyes

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In Los Angeles I discovered such different aesthetics, made of contrasts: a shiny dress like this one that I could only use for an important night in Milano became my perfect look of the day in California, mixed with a silver leather jacket and flat biker booties.

A Los Angeles ho scoperto un’estetica completamente diversa, fatta di contrasti: un abito come questo che a Milano potrei utilizzare solo per una serata importante è diventato invece in California il mio perfetto look da giorno, abbinato a giacca di pelle argentata e stivaletti rigorosamente bassi.

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I was wearing:

TABITHA SIMMONS BOOTIES
AMEN DRESS
IRO LEATHER JACKET
CELINE SUNGLASSES

Photos by Gregorio Capineri Tosetti

The Sartorialist in Genova!

sartpost-Genova-newGenova tomorrow July 3rd! What do I have to see?? I’m listening because you were so right about the Turin suggestions.

 

Negative

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Experimenting new lights, colours, makeup in Downtown LA with Andrew and Jenna..

Sperimentando nuove luci, nuovi colori, nuovi trucchi a Downtown La insieme ad Andrew e Jenna..

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I was wearing:

FOR LOVE AND LEMONS BRALETTE
LEVI’S DENIM VINTAGE SHORTS
REFORMATION SUEDE MOTO JACKET
OLIMA RUFFLED SHIRT
DELFINA DELETTREZ EARRINGS

Photos by Andrew Arthur
Makeup by Jenna Kristina

Fringed denim

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Who would have thought to fall in love again with my childhood sandals, the beloved/hated Birkenstocks?
Here they are in one of my “Los Angeles everyday outfit”: denim, basic bodysuit, and a jacket with loads of personality.

Chi avrebbe mai detto che sarei tornata ad amare i sandali della mia infanzia, gli amiati/odiati Birkenstock?
Eccoli indossati in una di quelle che considero le mie “divise da Los Angeles”: denim, top basic, ed una giacca che certamente non passa inosservata.

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I was wearing:

BIRKENSTOCK SANDALS
LEVI’S VINTAGE DENIM SHORTS
AMERICAN APPAREL BODYSUIT
LEVI’S VINTAGE DENIM JACKET
FENDI SUNGLASSES

Photos by Gregorio Capineri Tosetti

MIDNIGHT CHECK-IN

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And just like that I found myself checking into an amazing room on the Mediterranean coast in the middle of the night. I have to say, I find it a bit surreal that I was in the middle of the Swedish forrest at the beginning of the week and now I am at Forte Village resort in Sardinia, Italy. I have to keep pinching myself; “Is this really happening?”.

After 2 flights -with a connection in Rome-, and an almost lost luggage, I landed in Sardinia to spend a few days by the seaside. I feel more on my element here, I am used to the beach, I crave the sun and this getaway is exactly what I needed. Morning workouts at the gym -yes, I’m aware I am crazy-, followed by big breakfast buffet, then the sea, sun and sand for as long as my body can take, maybe a visit or 2 at the spa, eating at Michelin star restaurants, ahhhhh these days will be perfection!!!

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Ready for the show

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How did I get ready for Calvin Klein show last Sunday? You can find my interview and all my tips on Elle.com.. And here some other photos for you :)

Come mi sono preparata per lo show di Calvin Klein di domenica scorsa? Trovate la mia intervista e tutti i miei consigli su Elle.com… E qui altre foto per voi :)

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I was wearing:

CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION

Photos by Timur Emek and Gregorio Capineri Tosetti

Neon lights

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I’m a day-time and day-light lover, but Los Angeles neon signs have always fascinated me so much.
If we’re also talking about cult places of the city, like the Pink Elephant Liquors and Deli in Los Feliz I simply cannot resist.
Here is how this short photoshoot was born: on the way to the restaurant, during my last night in California before going back to Milano for a few weeks. Wearing a Styligion look and playing with contrasts between the girly dress, cool wedges and leather backpack, that seems to become one of my favourite accessories.
PS: using the code “CHIARALOVESME” you’re going to get a 30% off from this one and all the other items from my selection.

 

Sono un’amante del giorno e della luce naturale per scattare, eppure i cartelli al neon di Los Angeles mi affascinano sempre.
Se poi parliamo di luoghi cult della città, come il Pink Elephant Liquors and Deli di Los Feliz non so proprio resistere, è più forte di me.
Ecco come è nato questo piccolo photoshoot: sulla via verso il ristorante, durante la mia ultima sera in California prima di tornare per qualche settimana a Milano. Indossando un look Styligion e giocando di contrasti tra l’abito molto girly, le zeppe iper cool e lo zaino in pelle, che è diventato uno dei miei accessori preferiti.
PS: Usando il codice “CHIARALOVESME” avrete il 30% di sconto su questa e tutti gli articoli della mia selezione.

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I was wearing:

STYLIGION TOTAL LOOK

Photos by Andrew Arthur

Outsiders rock

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I was wearing:

TOGA PULLA BOOTIES
ONE TEASPOON LEATHER OVERALL
CALVIN KLEIN BRA
RtA LEATHER BOMBER
CELINE NANO BAG

Photos by Andrew Arthur

Outsiders rock

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I was wearing:

TOGA PULLA BOOTIES
ONE TEASPOON LEATHER OVERALL
CALVIN KLEIN BRA
RtA LEATHER BOMBER
CELINE NANO BAG

Photos by Andrew Arthur

MOROCCO DIARY

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Hmm where do I even begin on this trip? In three breaths: it was beautiful, at times surreal, and above all eye-opening. Modern Morocco doesn’t look very different from many other bustling emerging third world countries. It’s a little grimey. A little tight in some quarters. But the energy. It is still and whirring with electricity at the same time. The colors and smells and terrain combined to be a bit of a sensory overload at times–of the best variety. I think on this ten day trip, we but only scuffed the surface of what Morocco has to offer. Click through for the almost 40 images of my trip through this beautiful country which started in Rabat and ended in my favorite, Fes.

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Antwerp Class of 2014 Part 1

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It’s taken a mega pic trawl and a whole week to get this round-up of the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts‘s fourth year fashion graduates up.  Reasons as follows –  a) the engrossing and engaging way that Antwerp Academy makes its students present their collections, b) the fact that I was on the jury for the first time this year and so had an entirely different experience of the graduate collections in comparison with if I was just a spectator and c) the students themselves.  It was an impressive and diverse crop of graduates from Antwerp this year.  As it is every year I suppose, and that’s down to the unique and thorough education that graduates on this intensive four year course receives in Antwerp, a place where as a student you can really be within your own fashion microcosm – developing, experimenting and really finding what you have to say for yourself in fashion without the distractions of say a fashion capital like London or Paris.  Some of you will know that Antwerp’s course is a rigorous four year process where students are whittled down either by selection or by self-elimination so that when you finally see the group of students graduating from fourth year, you know more or less that they’re worthy of attention and accolades.

In an interview with Dazed in their Outsiders issue, Walter van Beirendonck, who has been fashion director of the The Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts for over twenty years said “I have this big fantasy that I can easily get into the heads of these people and guide them from that way out It’s not that I tell them what to do, but it’s important for me to keep their identities and what they stand for.”  And what they stand for is vastly different from one to another as we jury members and teachers of the school were taken around Antwerp (a brilliant way to also see the culture of a city) to various locations within the city (sometimes on school grounds, sometimes not) where each student presented their collection and portfolio .  They set up their installations as they wished and brought you into their world momentarily making it difficult not to become overly partisan to every one of them.  It also helped that their teachers and in particular Dirk van Saene, who is responsible for the fourth year students, were present to give extra nuggets of information that would give us an idea of each student’s development and strengths.  Then that very night we saw their collections on a level playing field, shown as part of the big fashion show in a cavernous warehouse building by the harbour.  That would change perceptions of certain graduates with regards to their final marks (who knew that I’d one day grade a fashion student) but the overall impression was that all ten students have experienced a wonderfully rich education.  And put into the global context that Antwerp remains one of the most affordable elite MA courses, even if you’re an overseas student (roughly EUR8,000 a year for overseas students compared to say £13,000 at Central Saint Martins MA – for domestic/EU students the fees are incredibly low), you have to commend the school’s teaching staff for compiling what is a hugely creative course for students to freely express themselves and at the end of the day, have a strong portfolio to put them on whatever path they might lead be it doing their own thing or going to work for a house.  

I’ve split up the round-up in two parts because of the aforementioned heft of pics…  

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Emmanuel Beguinot – I’ve not read the novel ‘The Sand Child’ by the Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloum but Emmanuel Beguinot‘s collection is definitely an impetus.  Beguinot centres his collection around the novel’s heroine, living her life as a male heir to her family.  It’s a handy plotline of course to explore the oft-used theme of androgyny.  He sculpts the upper body, transforming a woman’s shape so that sand dunes curve their way around the bust and shoulders, in contrast to the strictly straight masculine trousers.  Amidst the strong sculptural forms in primary colours, Beguinot wrecks a bit of havoc with an anarchic cut and paste and painted over print that is also worked into the collection.  It’s a technically precise collection that when looked in tandem with Beguinot’s third year “Octo-Core” menswear collection, gives you more a fuller picture of his eye for strong graphic lines and shape shifting silhouettes.

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Eran Shanny – The most experimental of all the installations belonged to Eran Shanny, who had female beatboxer Alma Soderling and artist Hendrik Willekens to soundtrack this performance (which he took part in as well) to showcase his collection.  The spontaneity of Soderling’s voice and the vibrant thump of Willekens’ beats matched up with Shanny’s the dynamic scribbled out clothes, inspired by naive art and the urgency of punk rock.  Shanny threw lines, shapes and motifs like the peace sign or the head of a tiger on the body as though he were creating child minded art attacks.  The way fashion students are exposed to the school’s other disciplines of painting, sculpting and graphic design showed in Shanny’s multi-disciplined approach.  As an ex-dance student with an interest in performance art, Shanny has perhaps a unique voice to bring to fashion if this collection is anything to go by.  

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Kristina Kharlashkina – The primp and pomp of kings and queens of the 16th and 17th century is a rich starting point for any designer.  It’s well-trodden territory too so the danger is can you eke out anything original out of the subject matter.  Kristina Kharlashkina sought to explore the decadence, decoration and structural layering of these historical costumes and combine them with crystallised digital print and off-kilter fur wigs.  Another unique facet of Antwerp’s fashion course is that in their second year of study they are asked to study and remake like for like a piece of historical dress and use that as a starting point for their final 2nd year collection.  Kharlashkina seems to have taken that on board for her masters collection, mining that sense of historical richness and deconstructing the silhouettes for added sensuality.

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Yens Cuyvers – In a car park in Antwerp, Yens Cuyvers announced himself as the only Belgian designer graduating from Antwerp’s final year.  And specifically in the context of Belgian menswear , Cuyvers follows in an aesthetic path, well trodden by Raf Simons.  Cuyvers even managed to get Simons collaborator and fellow Belgian Willy Vanderperre to shoot his look book for his collection entitled “BAAS”.  Cuyvers said he saw his collection as a conclusion following his 2nd and 3rd year collections, fusing sportswear and neoprene fabrics together with menswear finery like morning coats and smoking jackets.  The linking point was the initial starting point were the insane colours of the Australian peacock jumping spider, blown up and abstracted into prints.  Their colours both bright and subdued are collaged into the collection and also feature on what I thought were very impressive shoes for a student who hadn’t specialised in footwear.

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Flora Seierl – Perhaps where concept was most evident was in Flora Seierl‘s collection.  The collection name is a work of art in itself – _sidereal_ethereal_immatereal_.  Seierl spoke to us about a dream of teleportation through space and time and visualised this as a blur of black to blue, going from a physically hard place to a light and transcending one.  Seierl’s research in particular was impressive and immersive as she looked at everything from rave tribes to quantumphysics.  The results of this lengthy thought process was a series of cut digital leather pieces, warping and wrapping the body as thought it had been scanned, which perhaps felt a little heavy-handed at times but delve into those books and you’ll find a mind that could be put to work doing nuanced research at a brand.

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Desert sunrise

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From Los Angeles to Dubai: quick flashback to the sunrise in the desert in the United Emirates a few weeks ago.

Da Los Angeles a Dubai: veloce flashback del sorgere del sole nel deserto negli Emirati Arabi alcune settimane fa.

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I was wearing:

FOR LOVE AND LEMONS DRESS
RAY-BAN SUNGLASSES

Photos by Andrew Arthur

Greystone Mansion

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Another magic place in Los Angeles: Greystone Mansion.
A huge villa built in 1927 in the heart of Beverly Hills, now often used for private events. The perfect location to lose yourself, think and enjoy the view of the city of angels for hours.
And to wear for the first time the new chain booties of my shoeline, Chiara Ferragni, out in stores and online from next July (and wait until you see the photo/video campaign shot in Hollywood).

Un altro dei posti magici di Los Angeles: Greystone Mansion.
Una villa costruita nel 1927 nel cuore di Beverly Hills, ora utilizzata principalmente per eventi privati. Il luogo perfetto per perdersi, pensare e godersi il panorama della città degli angeli per ore.
E per indossare per la prima volta i nuovi stivaletti della mia linea, Chiara Ferragni, in uscita nei negozi ed online dal prossimo luglio (ed aspettate di vedere la campagna fotografica/video scattata ad Hollywood).

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I was wearing:

CHIARA FERRAGNI CHAIN BOOTIES (available from July 2014 in store and on Chiaraferragnishoes.com)
AMERICAN APPAREL DRESS
CHANEL VINTAGE BELT
REFORMATION KATE MOSS DENIM JACKET
CELINE BOX BAG
RAY-BAN SUNGLASSES

Photos by Gregorio Capineri Tosetti

LACEY WHITES

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One of my favorite Aussie brands, Cameo, sent this beautiful outfit to me before I left for Morocco. The jacket is Balmain-ish with exaggerated shoulders and Baroque-esque detailing. The entire outfit is very pretty and a deviation from my usual, which is nice because habits (whether they be good or bad) need to be broken every once in a while. Riding on the pretty theme (how amazing is this atrium in La Mamounia btw?) I doubled up with our very own THPSHOP Pearls. More pics after the jump!

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SHOP THE THPSHOP PEARLS

*We are sold out of two styles already–there is no plan for a restock*

ph: Youngjun Koo

Pool days

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Days of heat, sun and meeting breaks, strategically located in the pool. Wearing one of the bikini of this next summer.

Giorni di caldo, sole, e pause tra meeting, saggiamente localizzate in piscina. In compagnia di uno dei bikini della mia estate.

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I was wearing:

CHIARA & CO FOR JE M’EN FOUS BIKINI (available internationally on Luisaviaroma.com)

Photos by Andrew Arthur

Car wash

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Who would have thought I would have loved Los Feliz car washes so much.. American signs have a crazy effect on me: they inspire me and make me dream in some ways.
Dream that goes on on with this coral jumpsuit from Styligion, that you’ll probably love even more knowing that using the code “CHIARALOVESME” you’re going to get a 30% off from this one and all the other items from my selection on the website.. Have a great shopping :)

Chi l’avrebbe mai detto che avrei amato cosi tanto i car wash di Los Feliz.. I cartelli americani hanno uno strano effetto su di me: mi ispirano e fanno in qualche modo sognare.
Un pò come questa tutina color corallo di Styligion, che amerete ancora di più sapendo che con il codice “CHIARALOVESME” avrete il 30% di sconto su questa e tutti gli articoli della mia selezione sull’ecommerce.. Buono shopping :)

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I was wearing:

STYLIGION JUMPSUIT, BAG AND SUNGLASSES

Photos by Andrew Arthur

Tickled by Feathers

It was difficult not to get a bit carried away with my weekend trip to Antwerp.  This is the city where after all I had made a number of fashion-specific pilgrimages to in my late teens/twenties because of the Antwerp Six, the reputation of the Royal Academy School and the fact that it’s still a bit of a tucked away fashion destination.  Due to the fact that the jury schedule for the Antwerp Royal Academy’s fashion deparment was quite tight, it left me with precisely two hours before my train back to London to cram in a visit to all of my usual haunts – Labels Inc, Dries van Noten and the brilliant fashion museum MOMU.  I was gutted not to see the Happy Birthday Academie exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the fashion department at the Academy.  By all accounts and if the catalogue is anything to go by, that was a epic exhibition.

Currently, MOMU is playing host to feathers.  Well, specifically Birds of Paradise: Plumes and Feathers in Fashion, and despite the seemingly specialised nature of that title, the exhibition is anything but feather-light.  I’m not sure other physical embellishments in fashion design could warrant its own exhibition like a feather does.  That’s down to the history of the feather, worn with symbolic gesture through the ages, the  physical varieties of feathers (ostrich, swan, pheasant, duck and surprisingly, chicken seem to be the dominant types on display) but also the number of ways fashion designers have used feathers in their work in the 20th-21st century.  That’s how the exhibition is partially split up as it looks at the feather used as a trimming, as a trompe l’oeil print or as an overall texture.  These parts of the exhibition showcase the intricate and work of premiere plumassiers such as Maison Lemarié in Paris (who contributed to MOMU for the exhibition) for haute couture houses and there are stellar examples on display.  Chanel of course features heavily as does Cristóbal Balenciaga, who employed feathers to create some of his most striking silhouettes in the sixties and Yves Saint Laurent, who emancipated the feather (and arguably women) from being merely ornamental.  

There are parochial points of categorisations such as examples of feathers used in footwear and hats.  They feel like filler cabinets, although the collection of feather-adorned Roger Viviers are a delight to see in terms of colour and what was once directional experimentation.  Where the exhibition does excel though is when it explores the more emotive and ethereal moments where feathers are explored for their symbolic and poetic qualities.  Thierry Mugler’s fantastical bird, butterly and woman hybrid dress from his 1997 haute couture collection opens the exhibition with an impressive feathered wingspan that depicts woman as flighty and mysterious.  Ann Demulemeester is given a section to herself as she has turned to the feather (particularly the feather of a dove) time and time again as a personal talisman, believing in its natural beauty.  “We cannot perfect nature,” she says in the programme notes.  The duality of the White and Black Swan play out in two sections, led bu two Alexander McQueen feathered gowns pitted against each other (incidentally the one white dress is designed by Sarah Burton and the black by Lee McQueen).

It’s here where feathers go far and beyond simply decorating a dress but imbuing it with a special aura, playing into mythical bird women imagery.  That mysterious feeling surrounding a bird feather are further emphasised with installations by British artist Kate MccGwire dotted around the exhibition.  Their scale startles you and makes you stop for a moment to respond to their strangeness.  Ditto for Sølve Sundsbø’s famous Perroquet video series for SHOWStudio.com.  You leave wondering how all this strange beauty can be derived from supposedly lightweight feathers.  

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0E5A0012Thierry Mugler haute couture S/S 1997

0E5A0010Louis Vuitton A/W 2013-4

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0E5A0015Jean Paul Gaultier haute couture A/W 2006-7

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0E5A0028Hermès printed dress 1970-80

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0E5A0032Prada S/S 2005, Giambattista Valli A/W 2009-10, Louis Vuitton headdress S/S 2014, peacock feathered muff 1860-1870, Christian Dior haute couture A/W 1997-8 fur-trimmed shoes

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0E5A0073Giambattista Valli haute couture S/S 2013

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0E5A0076Works by Kate MccGwire - Stifle (2009), Preen (2013)

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Terry’s Diary

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And If one time on Terry’s Diary was not enough… Here are the last photos shot together.

E se una volta su Terry’s Diary non fosse bastata.. Ecco le ultime foto scattate insieme.

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CHIARA FERRAGNI BY TERRY RICHARDSON

Real Niels

>> I’m currently in Antwerp where I can fan girl on many levels.  I can go to the beautiful Het Modepaleis, Dries van Noten’s hometown flagship store and just marvel at everything.  I am honoured to be sitting on the jury for the Antwerp Royal Academy show (more about that later… ) and will once again attempt to embarrassingly fangirl Walter van Beirendonck.  I’m hoping he won’t remember our awkward encounter at the Charlie le Mindu show when I might have said something along the lines of… “I LAV you!”, leaving him with a bewildered expression.  I can also pay compliments in person to designers I’ve been writing about but not had the opportunity to physically meet.  Recent Antwerp graduate Minju Kim is one.  Breakout accessories designer Niels Peeraer is another.

The ins and outs of are conversation will play out later on in the book that I’m writing, but the important short of it is that Peeraer is definitely one of the most intriguing and fascinating young accessories designers to have emerged in recent years.  He handles a fine balancing act between technical perfection and leathercraft prowess and a more lofty idea of “cuteness”.  His tagline in fact is “There is no limit to cuteness,” which isn’t to say that Peeraer goes wild with abandon when playing with notions of kawaii.  He’s drawing some finite lines, physically and figuratively as he constructs his boxy bags made out of vegetable tanned leather and fixed not with stitching but with brass fittings, rarely straying from the nude shade of leather, which he so loves.

For A/W 14 entitled “Blindfolded, robin, have hope”, carrying on from S/S 14, white features heavily in the collection as well as honed and perfected shapes from previous seasons.  I love the way Peeraer’s shapes hint at something familiar like bunny ears or finger signs but that he leaves things a bit ambiguous and open to interpretation.  In any case, there is the immediate reaction to what are aesthetically brilliant bags.

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As well as meeting the Peeraer himself, I also got to touch and feel the product.  I’m now a lucky and proud owner of a beautiful “Winged” bag and a pair of Wander 7 bracelets and I can fully appreciate the detail and work that goes into them.  They’re impressive feats of simultaneous complexity and simplicity.  Not surprisingly, walking around Antwerp today with the rest of the jury, they all immediately recognised the bag and its source.  That’s how much progress Peeraer has made in a relatively short period of time, that he has left an aesthetic imprint already.

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Car of my dreams

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One of the most amazing antique Rolls Royce, owned by Mr. Goldstein, that not only is the owner of a crazy beautiful house in the hills of Beverly Hills, but also owns one of the cars of my dreams.

Una delle più belle Rolls Royce d’epoca, di proprietà di Mr.Goldstein, che non solo ha una dimora pazzesca tra le colline di Beverly Hills, ma anche una delle auto dei miei sogni.

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I was wearing:

ISABEL MARANT SANDALS
LEVI’S VINTAGE SHORTS
FOR LOVE AND LEMONS TOP
CAIA JEWELS
DELFINA DELETTREZ EARRING
RAY-BAN SUNGLASSES

Photos by Andrew Arthur

From the ’70s

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For a 70s house like the one I shot in the other day in Silverlake, Los Angeles, I couldn’t choose a different outfit.
Maxi wooden wedges, knit coordinated skirt and sweater, and chained Lola and Grace necklace and bracelets, that I lately find so difficult to separate myself from.

Per una casa anni ’70 come quella in cui ho scattato a Silverlake, Los Angeles, non potevo che scegliere un look che mi facesse sentire un po’ una ragazza di quei tempi.
Maxi zeppe in legno, gonna e maglioncino coordinati, e collana e bracciali a catena Lola and Grace, da cui ultimamente faccio fatica a staccarmi.

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I was wearing:

CELINE WEDGES
OPENING CEREMONY KNIT SKIRT AND SWEATER
LOLA AND GRACE NECKLACE AND BRACELETS
PRADA SUNGLASSES

Photos by Gregorio Capineri Tosetti
Makeup by Nikki DeRoest

From the ’70s

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For a 70s house like the one I shot in the other day in Silverlake, Los Angeles, I couldn’t choose a different outfit.
Maxi wooden wedges, knit coordinated skirt and sweater, and chained Lola and Grace necklace and bracelets, that I lately find so difficult to separate myself from.

Per una casa anni ’70 come quella in cui ho scattato a Silverlake, Los Angeles, non potevo che scegliere un look che mi facesse sentire un po’ una ragazza di quei tempi.
Maxi zeppe in legno, gonna e maglioncino coordinati, e collana e bracciali a catena Lola and Grace, da cui ultimamente faccio fatica a staccarmi.

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I was wearing:

CELINE WEDGES
OPENING CEREMONY KNIT SKIRT AND SWEATER
LOLA AND GRACE NECKLACE AND BRACELETS
PRADA SUNGLASSES

Photos by Gregorio Capineri Tosetti
Makeup by Nikki DeRoest

Here again

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Same city, same energy, same sunsets which make my mind travel.. Yes, I’m back in Los Angeles.

Stessa città, stessa energia, stessi tramonti che fanno viaggiare la mente.. Ebbene si, sono di nuovo a Los Angeles.

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I was wearing:

PRADA SANDALS
ZADIG&VOLTAIRE LEATHER SKIRT
AMERICAN APPAREL TOP
CALVIN KLEIN WATCH
IRO LEATHER BOMBER JACKET
CELINE BOX BAG

Photos by Gregorio Capineri Tosetti

Style Slicker is away on holiday!

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Greetings from Hong Kong!  Currently fighting off the blood suckers as I’m typing this post with okay-ish internet connection borrowed from the neighbour upstairs, I’m taking a wee break from blogging and work for two and a half weeks, I deserve a break so nehhh! Tah tah!


The post Style Slicker is away on holiday! appeared first on STYLE SLICKER.

I can fly

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No bags, sunglasses or glamourous shoes in this post but, in the “sporty” week on The Blonde Salad I couldn’t avoid sharing these photos of one of the craziest experience I’ve ever lived.
End of April 2014, Andrew surprises me with a different kind of present for my birthday: without telling me anything he brings me close to San Diego to try skydiving for the first time. We arrive in the place and I feel excited and super scared at the same time.
A few hours later I find myself on a small plane, ready to jump. Incredible. Beyond words.

Niente borsette, occhiali da sole o scarpe all’ultimo grido in questo post ma, in quella che su The Blonde Salad è la settimana “sporty” non potevo non condividere queste foto di una delle esperienze più incredibili che io abbia vissuto.
Fine Aprile 2014, Andrew mi fa una sorpresa come regalo per il mio compleanno: senza dirmi niente mi porta vicino a San Diego per provare skydiving. Arriviamo in loco ed io sono esaltata e terrorizzata allo stesso tempo.
Tempo un paio di ore e mi trovo su un piccolo aereo, pronta a fare questo pazzesco salto nel vuoto. Incredibile. Indescrivibile.

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27th April 2014. My first skydiving experience.

Nascar

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Welcome back to LA with Gcds Nascar tee :)

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I was wearing:

CHANEL LEATHER ESPADRILLES
GCDS NASCAR SWEATER
MOSCHINO BY JEREMY SCOTT BAG
CELINE SUNGLASSES

Photos by Andrew Arthur