Spring/Summer 2015 Giambattista Valli

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI’s client does not have a day life, or if she does he has no interest in clothing her for it in couture. He’s quite a pragmatic guy and he’s probably fine with her wearing a T-shirt and J Brand jeans during the day – possibly with one of his Moncler coats – but at night she’s all his.

His show today was womanly and masterful, sticking in general to the shapes that he favours – a shell top, a swollen-bellied skirt, a full length coat to which he added a high embroidered cummerbund-style waist.

Frills were everywhere, often defining the shoulders and sleeves, and motifs from the natural world were there in many of his gowns – a tree of life jacquard, an iridescent rose print, silk embroidered flowers and embroidered corsets of petals.

It appeared to be less aimed at the nightclub-dancing social butterfly he is often associated with, but then they like him have grown up together.

His sugar almond finales have become a kind of tradition in their feminine grandeur and this one didn’t disappoint.

Je suis Charlie

Last week in Paris was definitely something that I will never forget.

Living only one stop from the initial Charlie Hebdo attack I think it is safe to say that I stayed hidden in my apartment for a good three days, not knowing really what on earth was going on and if it would ever be safe for me to leave. If it wasn’t for the only English Channel on my TV – BBC world news, I probably would still be cooped up. However that wasn’t the case, I soon ventured out and found Paris amazingly calm, quiet and under control. It amazed me how safe I felt walking around, getting to class, taking the metro etc….that was until the next shootings happened.

Luckily I had my friend coming to visit me at the weekend to completely take my mind off everything. Lucky for me (maybe not for her) but it meant that we really just had to get on and forget what was going on. I met Hattie at the station Friday night and we enjoyed the evening catching up and chatting about everything and anything all evening. We also attempted to munch chocolate mousse that I had prepared but unfortunately it was more chocolate then mousse and tasted yuck.

I am and have always been a terrible cook.

Over the weekend we did all of the main tourist sights – of course. We ate snails like true Parisians at the cutest little cafe de L’industrie. Went for afternoon tea and macaroons at Laduree and, just to be truly spoilt, had brunch at my favourite – Angelinas.

On Sunday we accidentally got caught in the ‘Je suis Charlie’ march as it was practically impossible to avoid the 1.5 million people walking. I am actually now very glad that this happened, it was surprisingly nice to walk with people so passionate about their country and fighting for peace and unity.

Spring/Summer 2015 Chanel

Bloggers’ obsession with street style has reached fever pitch here in Paris, and that might have been on Karl Lagerfeld’s mind when he erected hoardings of a typical Parisian street, “Boulevard Chanel”, inside the Grand Palais. Show-goers had to look twice to realise it was hoardings and not an actual bricks-and-mortar street (no expense spared here), there were even real puddles by the curb, because even a Chanel street isn’t immune to the occasional downpour.

Models came out en masse, alone or in twos and threes chatting as though they were out for a casual Saturday stroll. The clothes they wore felt like their own, which might have something to do with the familiarity of them. It felt like a heritage collection, exactly the sort of clothes that Chanel’s moneyed customers come to this house for. There were countless interpretations of tweedy suits every one as fabulous as the next whether they were rendered into flared trousers or micro minis; splashy painterly florals over silks, kicky box-pleated skirts, sometimes layered over narrow black trousers; and mosaic cocktail dresses made up of rectangular pewter plastic tablets, arranged like bricks, which echoed back to the architecture of the show’s surroundings.

An appearance by Gisele was also thrown in for good measure, dressed in one of Chanel’s signature striped cardigan dresses. There were some newer pieces spotted here too, like last summer’s hit Art bag – itself a street star sensation, captured by Tommy Ton in every fashion capital.

What’s a street without a protest? For his finale, Lagerfeld staged a mock demonstration complete with banners that read “Tweed is better than tweet”, “Be your own stylist”, “Make fashion not war”, “Free freedom”, and “Ladies first”, with Cara and Gisele on quilted Chanel megaphones screaming, “What do we want! When do we want it?”

Those street style snappers would have been all over it.

First Visitor

After what felt like the longest two weeks I have ever had I finally had my first visitor – Harry! I spent the whole of Friday cleaning, washing, shopping and cooking in preparation for my guest. For his arrival to show that I’m not such a disasterous chef I decided to bake a BBC (easy to cook) lemon tart. Well without scales, an electric wisk or a sieve I wasn’t really ever going to have much luck but surprisingly four hours later I had a baked something that looked like a lemon tart and apparently it even tasted like on too.

I am very proud of myself!

After an early night exhausted from all the travelling we woke up on Saturday to the most beautiful morning. I quickly popped to the local Boulangerie to pick up croissants in true Parisian style so Harry was able to have his first French breakfast the way that it should be.

Next I wanted to show him everything local to me, where I live, my daily routine, my gym, the shops and of course my most favourite area of all of Paris – the Marais. We seemed to walk for hours all along the river Seine just in awe of how absolutely beautiful the weather was. We walked all the way from Bastille to the Louvre stopping at any opportunity for a coffee and a photo. Our final stop of our walking tour was the padlock love bridge, a bridge now completely covered in padlocks symbolising a form of love making it the most romantic bridge in Paris. Harry was determined that he was able to find our padlock from three year ago but as soon as we reached the bridge it became obvious that that was never going to happen so of course we just had a picture instead.

In order to enjoy the sun we decided to return to Place des Vosges for a picnic where we quickly munched the yummiest and ginormous falafel wrap and then the most beautiful and definitely needed ice-cream from Amorino’s before falling asleep in the sunshine.

We couldn’t have chosen a better weekend ❤️