Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Dear Elgin Avenue readers,
A very happy Monday to you all, I do hope that you all had a lovely weekend,
I must admit that my weekend was quite a special affair...Friday evening saw Mr.G and I nip off to St Pancras international (my favorite of all stations!) and embark on a mini-excursion to Paris for our three year anniversary! From the moment I knew that we were destined for belle à Paris my heart was beating faster in anticipation! Mr.G and I have visited Paris once before on a previous anniversary and it is truly a City which lives up to all of its stylish, romantic and exciting promises.
Having stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Saint-Jacques in the Latin Quarter previously, we chose to revisit. I was duly informed that the Latin Quarter was popular with Americans in the 1920’s, I can only imagine how wonderful it must have been to have stayed there when it was awash with flapper dresses and dandy gents galore! This area is particularly lovely though in contemporary times for its beautiful architecture, easy accessibility across the City, and its ability to retain its feeling of authenticity as opposed to being overrun with tourists. Our feet were our main mode of transport and as such we were able to discover a whole array of shops, restaurants and fascinating buildings, as well as a boulangerie or two! As I am sure most girls will empathise with, on knowing that I was headed to Paris, I was struck by a need to find a new dress! I found my ideal Parisienne piece in Mary Portas's Living and Giving store on Westbourne Grove. For those of you who have not ventured in to one of Portas's stores previously, Living & Giving is the charity concept that was developed for Save the Children following the 2009 series Mary Queen of Charity Shops. With regular deliveries from very generous donors and department stores including Harvey Nichols, you can always find incredible designer pieces at a snip of the normal price! The dress I am pictured in below caught my eye for it's unusual lace detail and lovely use of colour, a dress fit for Paris indeed!
Blazer: Zara, Belt: Vintage, Hat: M&S Menswear, Chelsea Boots: ASOS, Floral Dress: Mary Portas Living&Giving, Turquoise Ring: Soon to be launched The Editor's Letter, Clutch: Vintage, Sunglasses M&S
The Parisienne side streets were definitely the places to head to for the best traditional French food - you wont get better! A restaurant tucked along the narrowest of side streets proved to be one of the best Mr.G and I found - the chicken was phenomenal! As my French is incredibly poor we largely went on the advice of the waiter/waitress - it proved an effective technique!
Mr.G and I were lucky enough to have a good friend of ours Charlotte living in Paris at the time we visited. Charlotte and I go way back and we were just lucky enough to catch her in the French capital as she is spending a year abroad studying, you can have a peep at more of Charlotte's Parisienne experiences on her blog ParisCatch. Being shown around by someone who has already figured much of the City out certainly has its perks - especially when you are shown to the best creperie in town!
Of course Paris would not be Paris if we were not to indulge in some retail therapy, and so as not to offend, cough cough, we certainly managed some pretty good shopping!
First up Mr.G and I headed down past the Latin Quarter further South for a browse around some lovely boutiques as well an assortment of great French high street stores inc. The Kooples, Sephora (which I miss in the UK so badly!) and Comptoir des Cotonniers amongst others. On a side note The Kooples has always been a store which has fascinated me, its branding niche of following real couples really irks to that interest we all have at knowing about other peoples' relationships. They now have videos up on their website too - check out the still from Jonas and Venus's story below and click on the link to see the whole video. The clothes are completely lust-worthy too!
Apart form the great array of high-street stores, Paris is also famous for its rambling flea markets. Mr.G and I travelled North to the famous Les Puces de Saint-Ouen in Porte de Clignancourt to have a peruse the fascinating stores.
There were so many incredible market stalls to take in at the Marche de Saint-Ouen, it was fortunate that there were a couple of delicious cafes dotted around for respite! I have to say that the clothes on offer at Sain-Ouen were absolutely breathtaking - gorgeous Vintage Chanel bags nestled in against cute dress-jackets, and the range of vintage boots and bags was astonishing! There was as much womenswear as there was mens, with prices ranging from €10 - €2,500! Of course the cost of a quilted 2.55 was a drop in the ocean compared to some of the true antiques on display, it was like meandering in a amongst a host of miniature palaces! Such a treat!
And so, having mentally furnished my dream house and dream wardrobe (of course!), eaten enough crepes to feed the whole of Paris, and walked my chelsea boots into the ground, Mr.G and I packed our bags once again to hop on the Eurostar back to St.Pancras.
A beautiful trip with the best company I could ever ask for.
Have a wonderful evening all,
Love, MB x
P.S. As I mentioned in my post here I am now writing for another great website called 50andnifty.com. I am really excited about this new venture and will be working closely with them in the future. The site is aimed at 50+ year old women which is a wonderful niche and you can read my very first article on Winter Coats here.
Passez une bonne soirée! x
Monday, 7 November 2011
Dear Elgin Avenue readers,
A very happy Monday evening to you all, I hope that you all had a delightful weekend,
At present Fash Pack School is brimming with anticipation as every student is cracking on with our end-of-term projects. You may recall that I mentioned on Tuesday November 1st‘s post that I’m currently working on a filming project focusing on one of our favorite indulgences - high heels; today my investigations took me down to one of London’s prettiest pottering areas - Covent Garden, and along with a superb interview I was able to weave in out out of some of Covent Garden’s most delightful stores. Nestled amongst an array of independent retailers was the marvelously-named “Spex in the City” - weak as I am to all things 'pun' I was tickled enough by the witty name to make my way in to this lovely store and peruse the fantastic selection of frames on offer.
Chelsea Boots: ASOS, Tights: M&S, Culottes: H&M, Belt: Vintage, Bag: Miss Selfridge
Hat: M&S Menswear, Breton Top: Vero Moda, Scarf: Hand-knitted by Mr.G's Mama!
Mr. Doron Vidanski
The frames in Spex in the City were something to behold, a gorgeous collection of contemporary and vintage, along with a range designed by the store's owner Gillian Caplan, you can check out the selection on offer here. The assistance of the dapperly-dressed Doron Vidanski, shown above, was invaluable when Mr.G, who accompanied me on my CG journey, perused the specs in search of a pair which were just so. Despite not having an actual need just yet I suspect that Mr.G harbours a hope that his sight will drop just enough to justify some scrummy frames!
The fantastic Vintage selection
My Doron-advised pair of specs! Mykita 'Daphne' acetate frames
Along with puns and PG jokes, I do have another achilles heel - a seasonal one at that - novelty beverages! See below for a selection of my favourites from the past few days...
Costa Coffee Star Stencil, Starbucks Gingerbread Latte, Diet Coke Santa Can
A lovely day of perusing and filming - these strenuous tasks certainly work up an appetite! On that note I feel a pizza-centric dinner with Mr.G is sure to be in order!
Have a super evening all,
Posted by Monica Beatrice at Monday, November 07, 2011
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Dear Elgin Avenue readers,
A very happy Saturday evening to you all,
Yesterday evening I had the absolute pleasure of attending The Hoxton Pony Club’s Rock the Belles event, founded by Fash-Pack fave DJ Emily Rawson, and featuring a whole myriad of top female DJ and music talent. Included in the line up was none other than my good friend Emma Topolski, who you may remember from my previous post here. As predicted Emma’s star is continuing to rise and last night served only to cement this belief! Backed up by the beautiful Jessica Thandi Berry (who’s own solo sounds you can check out here) Miss Topolski had the whole of The Hoxton Pony up moving and grooving and generally having a stellar time to a number of her tunes. Other acts included in the evenings showings were Holly Walker, a wonderful gorgeous “piano-bashing songstress who writes punchy, knowing tunes that provoke both sobbing and raving simultaneously” (in the words of Miss Rawson. Natch.) and Stooshe who politely got their dance on whilst they waited for their own marvellous set - hopping on stage like a trio of very-cool girls in very cool-clothes to do a very cool act all of their own. Good job! Great music, tasty tasty Grapefruit Martinis (trust me you must try these!) and free manicures by Wah nails - does it get much better than this?! Oh wait it does indeed as I was flanked by a whole bevvy of beautiful gal pals with which I danced the night away! Props also go to Emma’s lovely beau Neil who is fully participating in Movember along with his male comrades who all donned equally theatrical attire to match the tash!
Bust and Shorts: H&M, Belt: Vintage, Bag: Miss Selfridge, Jewellery: Collection of trinkets, Turquoise ring from soon-to-be-launched The Editor's Letter,
The beautiful Miss Topolski and I
Wah nails pop-up manicure bar-in-a-bar!
My bevvy of beauties! From L-R, Hollie, Sheree, Me, Hannah and Charlotte
Emma's manager David
Two of the Movember members
On an entirely different note my lovely roomie and I were perusing TopShop Oxford Circus yesterday when I happened upon this rather great mannequin - I don't know about you guys but I absolutely loved it top-to-cobalt-toe! Super VM-ing!
And so from The Hoxton Pony, to Top Shop and back, I wish you all a delightful rest of the evening,
May you all wake up to some scrummy Sunday brunch come the morn!
Love, MB x
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Dear Elgin Avenue readers,
A very happy Thursday evening to you all,
What a day indeed! My kind friend and colleague at Fash Pack School Natalya Xavier invited me along to a private view at The Loading Bay in Brick Lane for online shoe store Javari’s “Shoe’s for Show” exhibition. Spirits not dampened by a typically British downpour we made our way into the show to oggle at the array of death-defying heels and lavish show-piece footwear. Amongst my personal favorites was an exquisite Christian Loboutin ballet point shoe in nude, showered in crystals and sporting a heel worthy of inducing a bout of vertigo. Other highlights included Nicholas Kirkwood ‘Alice in Wonderland’ heels and phenomenal ‘Princess Amneris Gold Atlas’ sandals designed by Rupert Sanderson for the Royal Opera House in London. What a display of pure mastery! An indulgence for the eyes indeed!
Me and Miss Xavier. On me - Shoes: Kurt Geiger Fashionista, Dress: Zara, Belt and Jacket: Vintage, Wide Brimmed Hat: M&S Menswear
Those Christian Loboutins!
The Alice in Wonderland wonders!
The Princess Sandals
Natalya with the Teeny tiny McQueen Armadillos!
Such was Natalya and mine’s good fortune today that we bumped (almost literally!) in to Tony of ‘Tony’s Gallery’ on Sclater St East London on our way to the Shoes for Show exhibition. What a pleasure it was to be introduced to this Art world entrepreneur who at present is heading up not one but four galleries! Busy man! Tony’s current exhibition is centered on new fashion magazine 55 Pages, and all the wild and wonderful things included inside.
Me and Tony of Tony's Gallery
55 Pages Magazine
Artists included in the current 55 Pages exhibition include street artists Olek, Bert, Burger Kim and Christopher Sims amongst others. In particular the work of Polish artist Olek caught my eye - click here for a taste of her scrumptious crochet creations. Olek's incredible works are a mastery of vivid woven threads and yarns covering subjects including bicycles, cars and even people. Much to our delight Tony informed Natalya and I that Olek will in fact be exhibiting once again in Tony's Gallery come the new year - watch this space! In addition, as 55 Pages goes forward, Tony will be taking on the role of Art Director. Check out a few more of the snapshots we rustled up today in Tony's Gallery...
See one of Olek's bikes in the top left of the above piccy!
In the gallery...
... and in the magazine!
All in all a veritable feast of visual delights, our appetites for beauty well and truly satisfied!
Have a super evening all,
Love, as always, MB x