Hello new year, hello new decade. I saw in the new year with good friends and fun times. I may have enjoyed the whole thing a bit too much and so, will be bringing you the blog’s 2009 round up in pictures.
A inside a pumpkin at Hurwundeki, Cambridge Heath
S lusted after this YSL bag
Beth Ditto got LOVEd up
Those Chloe boots which were copied a hundred times over
We were sad to hear of Luella's demise
We were excited to interview Brooke Roberts and see her SS10 collection
Erdem. 'Nuff said.
We were lucky enough to have tea with Lulu Guinness
A in Borough Market
S looking excellent as a Lego girl
We held a Come Dine with Me contest with our pals
S went to Helsinki as a blonde
S wrote an apology to Emma Watson after she wore this Christopher Kane dress.
Christian Lacroix's swansong was an apt, if sad, end to his business.
Speaking of Parisian chic, A got to go to Paris courtesy of Eurostar. This was meant to be the year of the blogger after all.
Speaking of bloggers, A particularly enjoyed What Katie Wore. Katie is also very nice in person.
We spent a lot of time thinking about home and soft furnishings
Our love for Rachel Bilson continued unabated
And we continued to love Michelle Obama when she appeared on the cover of American Vogue in Jason Wu
A went to Cologne and sat in a nice botanical garden
A lovely outfit featuring pistachio dress from S
We celebrated the blog's first birthday with cupcakes and goodie bags. Many thanks to everyone who came along and made it a special night.
Beauty correspondent V brightened up our Mondays with brilliant beauty tips.
And finally, the best picture of the year. A & S accidentally wear identical outfits. Lame ass bloggers.
Goodbye 2009, thanks for everything. Hello 2010, please be nice.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Brooke Roberts, Chloe bootsBeth Ditto on Love, Christian Lacroix, Emma Watson in Christopher Kane, Erdem, Eurostar, Hurwundeki, Luella, Lulu Guinness tea, Michelle Obama Vogue, Paris, Rachel Bilson, What Katie Wore, YSL post bag
Coco 'Criminal' Chanel as she was known on her trouser wearing days
There is an byelaw first introduced in 1800 which bans women from wearing trousers in Paris, according to today’s Telegraph.
This made me chuckle. Itmeans that A & S are both criminals. But considering this also makes criminals out of Coco Chanel and Rebecca, Eurostar competition winner, I feel we’re in good company.
Although the lawyers amongst us don’t want to admit it, there are any number of stupid laws about. These are laws that no-one actually takes any notice of but no-one can be bothered to get rid of. Here are a few of my favourites from the UK:
- Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned
- It is illegal to hang washing in the street
- It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament
- It could be regarded an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen’s image upside-down
- It is illegal to bet or gamble in the library reading room
- It is illegal for a woman to be topless in Liverpool except as a clerk in a tropical fish store
Now that my silliness quota for the day is full, I’m off.
Posted in Info
Tagged Coco Chanel, Paris
I thought I better follow up Paris Part One quick sharp, before my holiday completely and utterly fades from my memory.
I explored the Marais, and all its fantastic shops, for the first time on this trip. I’ve obviously been missing out on something quite special for years. The first thing you notice are the mannequins in the window displays – much more interesting than the dull UK ones.
And the shopping was not cheap (I popped into APC for example) but it was lovely to look at and I even bought myself a little sumtin’ sumtin’ from Anna Rivka, a boutique jewellers.
The glamorous, friendly sales assistant
My new bracelet
Anna Rivka’s designs take their inspiration from vintage, but are reworked into modern looking pieces with a glamorous feel. She uses art deco shapes throughout her collection and this bracelet nearly lost the contest to this necklace. Her designs are available to buy at Paul & Joe boutiques in the UK.
And of course, I visited Laduree, the most important shop of all.
I went to Paris a few weeks, and the trip was accompanied by the usual quandaries about packing. I knew the weather would be chilly (10 degrees) I plumped for my red coat with blue rosette.
On winter breaks, it is often your coat that ends up in all the photos so it is worth wearing something you love and feel comfortable in. This red coat, from United Colours of Benetton, was a ‘coming of age coat’ when purchased 4 years ago. I thought about it for ages before shelling out the most I had ever spent on a single item, and I have never regretted it.
My red coat
My travelling outfit (purple skirt and black top) didn’t make the cut because I got too hot and changed as soon as reached the hotel. Black shorts, chequered shirt and pumps served me well (although I need hardier footwear next time).
I wore an even more relaxed outfit on the second day – light grey Whistles jersey dress, sequinned top underneath with a purple Gap sweater over the top. This outfit was all about the details.
Trying to find creative ways to show you my outfit in Musee D'Orsay
And the third day saw me crack out my new favourite red Vanessa Bruno dress with brogues. There was a little bit of red overload but I’m hoping that anyone who saw me that day has now recovered.
Parisian shabby chic
And then it was time to go home.
But that wasn’t so bad because I ate more cake when I got there.
So, I’m going to Paris for the Boyf’s birthday on Wednesday, and really I want to look something like this:
Gossip Girl Love
Or maybe this (I still heart you Rachel Bilson even though Gossip Girl has replaced the OC on our screens):
But in reality, I fear that it will be a lot like my last European escapade and I will actually end looking utterly…normal. Now, this isn’t a big deal but I hate it when I look back on pictures of myself (damn those digital cameras) and feel that my outfit just wasn’t right in some way. My natural inclination would be to go totally slouchy on my break but the vain bit of me knows full well that this will only lead to sadness later on. Tragic? Non, c’est tragique (I may have made this up French speakers).
Right, got to get thinking about packing. List making might be involved.
Posted in holiday
A quick reminder that today is the last day you can enter our competition to win tickets to Paris on Eurostar. You get to travel Leisure Select, and all sorts.
If you’d like to enter then tell us who your French icon is, and why, in the comments here.
As you may have seen, the A-bot was one of the lucky bloggers who got to go on Eurostar’s Little Break trip to Paris with lots of other very chic writers from the blogosphere. Another great perk of having been on this trip is that we now get to offer you, our readers, a chance to win a pair of swanky Leisure Select tickets to Paris. Apparently this is the Eurostar class that comes with pastries, which makes the train trip sound most exciting in itself.
To win the tickets, comment on this post with a few words telling us who your favourite French icon is and why. Whoever persuades us theirs is the best will win. Don’t forget: you have to leave a form of contact so we can let you know you’ve won – an email address, blog or Twitter are all fine.
You have a week to enter, must be over 18 and live in the UK. The tickets must be used before the end of October.
Below, Disconap presents our French icons.
A’s french icon: baguettes. Mine: croissants.
Why the Baguette is my French Icon
i) For starters, it is extremely tasty and the French are always telling Brits that French food is superior. I mean, they have a point. The baguette is that little bit of French food I can eat daily without breaking the bank (unlike my macaroon addiction).
ii) When I visited Vietnam, I had baguettes for breakfast every single day. It made a nice change to noodle soup and I became quite attached to this humble bread.
iii) It makes a nice film substitute to that other French classic – smoking and looking cool. Film censors say we can’t have cigarettes (see British posters for Coco Avant Chanel compared to French posters). I say, replace with a baguette; similar shape and far tastier.
iv) It is one of the few French words I can say with my crappy accent and still get served in Paris.
v) It is just so quintessentially French; more a normal part of British/French lives than Chanel or Breton striped Ts and less stereotyped than a string of onions.
You can see what we spend most of our time thinking about. Try to break free from our bread-based preoccupations and run free in the comments!
Why the Croissant is my French icon.
It’s a cake you can eat for breakfast.
Here’s the video of highlights from Saturday’s trip to Paris, put together by Little Break over at Eurostar. See how many times you can spot yours truly, including the unflattering opening picture – they even capture that moment where I tried on a top and wavered over whether to buy it. I did in the end and very glad I did too.
This article in the Times explores once again what it is that makes French women’s style so appealing. Some of the findings make it sound a bit less than fun: dressing for the attention of men rather than women (as in, feminine and classic), buying little and taking care of it and avoiding trends in favour of timeless shapes.
I can definitely get behind taking care of your clothes. Although I have re-discovered a love for New Look (more on which anon) I now buy less stuff and try to store it and care for it more. I love taking dresses to the drycleaners and feeling like these fabric friends are getting some love from me. It’s a waste of money not to cherish things.
I dunno about this “dressing for men” though; it’s tedious and fruitless in my experience. I have made a concession about wearing a specific pair of leggings around the house but to be honest I think most straight men’s opinion of what we should wear would bore us to tears. There is more to life than appealing to guys.
I think I need to look past the siren song of neon vests to the fact that you have to buy simple, classy elements to make the look work. I’ve never been the sort of person who sees a blazer and thinks “I must have it!” but I’m increasingly drawn to the simple item, almost to the point of defaultness: what is the most pared down, basic item of clothing you can wear? Hence my love for jeans, boating shoes and plain cashmere jumpers. It’s boring as it is – maybe with a bit more effort I can transform this look that somehow speaks to who I am at the moment into something that is still me but with more…je ne sais quoi.