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“Blink” Travels: Paris Fashion Week

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Sorry for the lack of posts yesterday and today but we’ve been rather distracted by our second favourite city, Paris. You will have seen lots on the Blink London Instagram feed yesterday and today showing you some insights from our trip. If you didn’t spot us, then you’re missing out and follow us RIGHT NOW!

Place de la Bastille, Paris, during Paris Fashion Week, October'15

Place de la Bastille, Paris, during Paris Fashion Week, October’15

It was more like Spring in Paris than Autumn, with super blue skies and bright sunshine shining on the fashion crowd as they made their final trip of ‘Fashion Month’, descending on the stunning City of Light. We joined in and our first port of call was the British Fashion Council’s London Show Rooms, of course. We are all about supporting the British Fashion Industry first and foremost.

The British Fashion Council's London Show Rooms at Paris Fashion Week, October'15

The British Fashion Council’s London Show Rooms at Paris Fashion Week, October’15

We promise to share all of the wonderfully inspirational stuff we saw and the brilliantly creative people that we met throughout next week, so watch out! Oh, and we mustn’t forget to thank Eurostar for a wonderfully quick and easy journey too.

“Blink” Travels: Flying- travel in style

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Since the beginning of the year I seem to have been on a pretty regular round of packing and unpacking suitcases, double checking I have my passport and triple checking all of my flight details. It’s been a wonderful time of travelling for clients, on research trips, on mini adventures and to spend time with far flung family. The next trip is all about spending 2 weeks doing as little as possible as I head away for my Summer hols. To make sure I have the speediest journey from home to sun lounger (with cocktail in hand), I have decided to opt for a hand luggage only flight.

With a bit of careful planning this doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on any of your luxuries or outfit changes, although to be honest I plan to pretty much be living in my bikini. A big tip from me is to choose tried and tested favourites from your Summer wardrobe, work with a pretty tight colour palette and then add in some bold accessories to help you make a small selection seem like a full Kim K’s closet of choices.

First you have to get your travel outfit right. I like to choose something that will get some wear through my hols too. I pretty much always choose jeans. Stretch Jamies from Topshop are a fav and really comfortable even for long haul.  This time I’ll be wearing those jeans with a kinda Chloe inspired swingy top from H&M. That way I start to get my holiday vibe going, and it also saves it from getting creased in my carry-on! My go-to handbag is this small but beautifully detailed fringed clutch from Oasis. It’s big enough for my wallet and all important documents but small enough to make sure I can see everything in it at a glance (I’m a bit of a checker).

My Summer holiday travelling outfit: Topshop jamie jeans, H&M top and Oasis clutch bag. Blink `London fashion blog, travelling in style, summer holiday

My Summer holiday travelling outfit: Topshop Jamie jeans, H&M top and Oasis clutch bag.

If the airline is getting sniffy about one bag only per passenger I know that I can easily stuff this weeny handbag inside my carry-on suitcase. Actually as an aside, I would always suggest you quadruple check what number and size of bags your airline allows so you don’t get caught out. I found this table from Purple Parking really helpful as a good reference for that very thing.

My Summer'15 favourite sandals, fashion blog, Blink London, wedge sandals

My Summer’15 favourite sandals

Next is the shoes. I am in love with these nutty metallic gold wedge numbers. Perhaps you saw my video of them on Instagram? Well, wearing them not only makes my outfit more fabulous, it also frees up a ton of space in my suitcase. You see, not just a pretty face!

My 'carry on' beauty must haves!

My ‘carry on’ beauty must haves!

And talking of a pretty face, when working just with carry-on luggage and the volume restrictions you have to be extra smart. I use my Heidi Klein pouch as the clear bag required for liquids, and then when I’m away it reverts to its intended purpose as being a wet bikini bag. Having this pre-packed means no fuss for the security check. Any of my holiday favourites that come in small enough bottles get to come with, and then once you’re through security you can stock up on anything bigger in duty free.

I always fly makeup free with a generous slathering of moisturiser. Once safely in the air, I give my skin a freshen up with a Simple Micellar cleansing wipe and then pop on some Rodial Dragon’s Blood face mask (it doesn’t show so nobody need know!). You’re about to inflict lots of sunshine, seawater and aircon on your skin so my number one piece of advice is to ensure you’re maxed out on moisturisation from start to finish of your trip. I them swoosh on a bit of bronzer, mascara and a dash of lippy just before landing (no need to frighten the locals).

So there you have it, my plan to a happy and stylish holiday, even when travelling light. Roll on my departure date! For more of our posts about our travels, take a look here.

“Blink” Beauty: Lucy Bee’s Coconut Oil

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

On a recent trip to Portugal (did I overwhelm you with tile pics on Instagram?!?) I had to travel light so some smart thinking was required to ensure I was covered for all eventualities and circumstances (work, beach, evenings out, work, lounging about, more beach…). I looked long and hard at the huge amount of lotions and potions I like to take away with me and decided that some tough decisions needed to be made in the name of efficiency (not my strong suit). What could I swap out for more space efficient, multi-tasking options?

This was my eureka moment. I already have a stash of Lucy Bee’s coconut oil in my bathroom that I use as an occasional body moisturiser, but I know there’s more to coconut oil than that. So could this little pot of joy really solve my packing dramas for a 10 day trip?

Packing light and packing smart- the beauty of coconut oil, beauty blog, multi tasking beauty products, natural beauty, Blink London

Packing light and packing smart- the beauty of coconut oil

Do you know that coconut oil contains lauric acid and Vitamin E? Both of these things make it a really effective as a soothing and nourishing moisturiser. Goodbye night cream, hello a light application to sun-glowing skin before bed. I kept hold of my day cream though as it has a sun protection factor that is very important especially for fair skinned, freckly types like me!

I also set aside my bulky bottle of after sun and decided that I would instead indulge in the soothing, nourishing, moisturising properties of Lucy Bee, making it the perfect after-sun. It is also perfect as an intense hand and foot cream too (no unsightly dry tootsies in my flip flops!).

My fabulous Simple Micellar cleansing wipes do a grand job, even on mascara- but sometimes you need a little extra help. Instead of packing eye makeup remover, do you know that you can safely use coconut oil? In addition to cleansing we have a great coconut oil suggestion from Lucy Bee’s founder herself:

“I love using this, once I have taken off my make-up, I reapply some more to my lashes. This is very nourishing and helps to lengthen and strengthen lashes!”

I also have a mane of unruly hair that usually goes extra crazy in hot sun, especially when hitting the beach and sea swimming. This means that generally I have to pack all sorts of deep conditioners, protectors and serums. Well, not this time. Due to the Vitamin E in coconut oil it makes a really effective, moisturising treatment mask. Just smooth some thoroughly through your hair a little while before you wash it. You then may need 2 washes with shampoo to get your hair squeaky clean, and do still apply your usual conditioner, but your tresses will be silky smooth. Actually I used a small touch of Lucy Bee as a hair serum, smoothing it through damp, post wash hair. It prevented all my usual frizzles and gave a really glossy finish. So there’s another product I could leave at home; my hair serum!

Lucy, Lucy Bee's founder

Lucy, Lucy Bee’s founder

More from Lucy of Lucy Bee:

“This is why I like to call Lucy Bee a miracle oil!”

Well, after ten days with just that little pot of coconut oil doing so many jobs so very well, I must agree!

For more beauty posts, just click here. If you’d like to read more about our travels, look here.

“Blink” Travels: Paola Navone in Merci Paris

Friday, November 7th, 2014

It was a delight to see that Merci‘s central space was dedicated to my favourite product designer, Paola Navone. On display until November 15th is ‘Out of Print’, a wonderfully eclectic selection of Navone’s printed crockery. So many beautiful things. I shan’t tell you what made it home with me as I haven’t yet decided what will be self-gifting and what will be Christmas gifting! Suffice to say a select few pieces from this amazing designer were purchased!

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

Paola Navone at Merci Paris

For more lifestyle posts, take a look here. If you’d like to see more from our travels, then look here.

“Blink” Accessories: Jason Wu with St Regis Hotels and Resorts

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

We are very proud that this is yet another exclusive for Blink London, bringing you unique, inspirational and informative content with every post.

St Regis Hotels and Resorts celebrates the upcoming opening of The St. Regis Istanbul in February 2015 with a limited edition scarf collection designed by the brilliant Jason Wu, who has the enviable role of St Regis ‘Connoisseur’. The Grand Tourista Scarf is inspired by Istanbul, where East meets West in an utterly unique and compelling way, providing the heart of the modern traveller’s Grand Tour.

The Jason Wu designed 'Grand Tourista Scarf' for St Regis

The Jason Wu designed ‘Grand Tourista Scarf’ for St Regis

“Istanbul is a city that offers endless inspiration; so I was thrilled to design a scarf collection for St. Regis that at once captures the vibrant energy of the locale and reflects both our brands’ classic yet modern aesthetic,” St. Regis Connoisseur Jason Wu says. “As St. Regis continues to usher in a new era of glamour in destinations around the world, The Grand Tourista Scarf is sure to be the perfect accessory for today’s sophisticated traveler.”

This stunning design comes in three colourways, printed on to luxurious silk twill, finished with hand-rolled edges. The design is inspired by the tradition and history of this amazing city, particularly the stunning views from Maçka Park where the St. Regis Istanbul is located. The scarf launches at the St. Regis online boutique and at Wu’s own online shop, on 1st November 2014  and we think it’s a snip for £120.

The Jason Wu designed 'Grand Tourista Scarf' for St Regis

The Jason Wu designed ‘Grand Tourista Scarf’ for St Regis

The Jason Wu designed 'Grand Tourista Scarf' for St Regis

The Jason Wu designed ‘Grand Tourista Scarf’ for St Regis

“As a hotel brand as international and informed as its guests, St. Regis is thoughtfully building its portfolio in destinations, including Istanbul, where there is a robust demand for high-end hospitality from a new generation of global travelers,” said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels Worldwide. “We are delighted to not only introduce The Grand Tourista Scarf, which wonderfully captures the soul of the historic city and the spirit of the new grand tour, but to offer our guests an unparalleled St. Regis experience with the debut of The St. Regis Istanbul early next year.”

The residential 118-room hotel will be designed by award-winning Turkish architect Emre Arolat, channeling the glamour and spirit of 1920’s Turkey and will also house a variety of contemporary art installations, including the Demsa Collection of Art. At Blink London we are huge Istanbul fans and I personally have been visiting the city regularly for the past fifteen years. Take a look here for some of our past posts about this amazing and thoroughly inspiring place. We can’t wait to go back when the St. Regis’ doors are open to enjoy what promises to be an incredible and luxurious experience.

For more accessories posts why not look here. If you’d like to see more from our travels, then just click here.

“Blink” Travels: Find out if you are an Edwardian or a Flapper at The Savoy

Monday, September 29th, 2014

During my amazing and quite ridiculously gorgeous stay at The Savoy I learnt so much about its history and heritage. When I spent time in The Savoy in the past it was BR (that’s Before Renovation) when the whole hotel was done up in high Deco style.

The linear and geometric, symmetry-fixated, ancient-Egypt-inspired, French-influenced, Deco-adoring Savoy bosses really went for it, smothering the whole building in the style of the moment. So much so that, in my mind, this was a hotel born in the 1920s. That belief was sealed by my love of the Strand entrance, which for me is one of the key design landmarks in London, and is pure Deco, topped off by The Savoy’s name in their iconic font, designed by Sir Howard Robertson in the 1930s and now recreated and reworked in a multitude of ways throughout the hotel.

The Savoy, London

The Savoy, London

In actual fact, the first incarnation of the Savoy was opened in 1889. It was then updated, modernised and expanded initially in 1904 and then again in the 1920s. During the intense and carefully researched renovation, each section of the hotel was returned to a look that is far more in keeping with its original scheme. This variation in decades of style is not only visible in the ground floor receptions, foyers, bars, restaurants and even the lifts, it is also faithfully extended up into the bedrooms.

Should you be fortunate enough to be booking in to this wonderful and iconic grande dame of a hotel, let me help you decide whether to choose a room in the Edwardian side (high ceilings, romantic florals, curvaceous furniture, panelled walls) or the Deco side (sharper cut shapes, silver metallic detailing, lower ceilings, stylised florals). Just take our simple quiz and keep a note of your answers. No cheating!

Question 1: Decor

left a) classic tonal striped, dark wood and soft florals? or on the right b) a graphic, linear, clean cut scheme

left a) classic tonal striped, dark wood and soft florals?  or right b) a graphic, linear, clean-cut scheme?

Question 2: Your favourite tipple

left a) a nice cup of tea? or b) something a little stronger?

left a) a nice cup of tea? or right b) something a little stronger?

Question 3: Your idea of a fun night

a) reading a good book with your friend or b) dancing your cares away?

a) reading a good book with your friend or b) dancing your cares away?

Question 4: Get ahead, get a hat

do you prefer on the left a) wide brimmed and heavily decorated or on the right b) smalland neat yet big on impact

do you prefer a) on the left, wide brimmed and heavily decorated or b) on the right, small and neat yet big on impact

Question 5: Dancing Queens

a) more expressive and artistic like the ground breaking Loie Fuller?

a) Expressive and artistic, like the ground-breaking Loie Fuller?

b) Sexy yet comedic like the utterly innovative Josephine Baker

b) Sexy yet comedic, like the utterly innovative Josephine Baker?

Question 6) Rebellion and Independence

are you more a) politically active or right b) doing shockingly inappropriate things in public?

are you a) left, more politically active and loving a good placard or b) right, rebelling by doing rather shockingly inappropriate things in public?

Question 7) Your Society Portrait

more of an a) John Singer Sargent or b) a Cecil Beaton?

would you prefer to be an a)  John Singer Sargent lady or a b) Cecil Beaton ingénue?

Question 8) Original Features

do you prefer a) the Chinoiserie detailing of the Red Lift or b) the clean lined Lalique fountain

do you prefer a) the wonderful Chinoiserie detailing of the Red Lift or b) the clean-lined, elegant Lalique fountain

9) Your Silhouette

a) more curvy or b) straight up and down

a) more curvy or b) straight up and down

10) Your Celebrity Alter Ego

a) Charlie Chaplin on the roof of the Savoy hotel with his wife Oona, who now has a beautiful river-view suite named after him

a) Charlie Chaplin with wife Oona on the roof of the Savoy hotel. Chaplin has a beautiful river-view suite named after him

b) Richard Harris, who's chic suite at The Savoy was actually his home for 11 years.

b) Richard Harris, whose chic suite at The Savoy was actually his home for 11 years (probably best to check that he didn’t leave the minibar empty…)

Now to reveal which era you should reside in…

If you chose mostly A answers you should book a room in the Edwardian side, sharing your rather elegant choice with the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Maria Callas.

If you chose mostly B answers, then you should book into a Deco-era room, sharing your carefree Charlestoning ways with Marlene Dietrich and Noel Coward.

Do leave us a comment to let us know if you are an Edwardian or a Flapper please. Quite honestly though, which ever part of the hotel your room is located in, you are assured of a truly marvellous stay. To find out more about The Savoy and all of the wonder contained within this iconic building (do you require a butler? Some chocolate handmade on the premises? An indulgent spa treatment? Perhaps a cocktail in the very same room that Josephine Baker herself performed in?), take a look here. I think it is one of the most remarkable places that London has to offer and one that is not to be missed, even if you only have time for a classy cup of tea.

For our previous post about The Savoy, take a look here. For more about our travels in general, then look here. With huge thanks  again to The Savoy’s team for taking such wonderful care of me, and also to EnVeritas for this delightful opportunity.

“Blink” Lifestyle: Take a seat in Merci, Paris

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

If you’re a regular “Blink London” reader, then you may already know about my chair obsession. I have been trying to hold it down a little as Blink Towers started to look more like a chair showroom than a fashion studio. I now just try to indulge my seat-based urges virtually, and that means that I can share the joy of a well formed pew with you lot as well. Here are some from our recent trip to Paris. Yes, I know I bang on about Merci A LOT, but believe me it is well deserving of the Blink blog space dedicated to this incredible and unique store. Right, so back to the chairs…

vintage style at Merci, Paris

vintage style at Merci, Paris

vintage style at Merci, Paris

vintage style at Merci, Paris

hyper rustic at Merci, Paris

hyper rustic at Merci, Paris

The Merci theme, during our visit, seemed oriented around the crafted, authentic, natural and handworked. That actually extended on from these amazing pieces of furniture right across the fashion buy too which had a distinctly rustic, washed out, well worn feel to it too.

In complete and utter contrast to all of this natural inspired gorgeousness was these fabulous, ultra bright, bucket seats spotted on the metro. Pure mid Century joy in both form and colour. I’ve tried to discover who designed them but to no avail. If you know, do please let us know via a comment!

Paris Metro station seating

Paris Metro station seating

For more “Blink London” lifestyle posts, just take a look here. If you’d like to see what has been inspiring us on our travels, then just click here.

“Blink” Retail: Dries van Noten in Paris

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

I’m having a Dries van Noten moment. Or perhaps it’s that Dries is having a moment. Either way, this is true fashion love. The pre-collection and the first few Spring ’14 deliveries have been an absolute feast for the fashion senses. Oh for a magic porridge pot of cash to enable me to indulge in this crush of mine. Actually ‘crush’ makes this seem to be something quite light and sweet. In fact the Dries van Noten collection is far more cerebral than that, working above and beyond fashion in the same way that Margiela or Marni do.

During our recent Paris expedition, we stopped at the Dries Quai Malaquais store. What a treasure trove of Belgian beauty. This shot is from one of the gorgeous window displays. ‘Wow’ is about all I can say about this incredible confection.

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten

For more from our travels, take a look here. For more retail news, then look here.

“Blink” Colour Palettes: Go Green at Merci

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Merci, Paris
Merci, Paris

This was the display as you entered the fashion section of Merci in Paris. Yes, I think it’s safe to say that they are backing green. Interestingly, these are all Merci’s own label products and they are really diversifying that offer. We’ve featured this influential store’s deliciously coloured displays before too, just click here.

This time round, this collection of luscious greens seems just perfect for the first official days of Spring. We recreated this shot as a palette using Pantone colour standards, featuring (from left to right) spring green pantone 17-5633 TPX, aquatic green 15-5519 TPX, Veronica Lake 18-4930 TPX, teale 19-4826 TPX and lagoon 17-5421 TPX.

For more colour inspiration, just have a look here.

“Blink” Retail: Colette’s Surprise

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
Colette's surprise

Colette's surprise

Have you €20 to spend willy nilly? Well, if you’re shopping  in Colette the answer is probably yes. We spotted this genius marketing ploy set up right by the front door, just to tempt you on the way out should you still have any cash left on your person after perusing this high fashion mecca.

What better way to firstly, part your customers from a few more euros, and secondly shift all sorts of random dead stock.

I must admit to picking up a couple and giving them a good shake to see if they seemed worth the investment. To be honest, they were quite light and didn’t have the enticing level of expensive rattle that I was hoping for. I mean, you could spend €20 and end up choosing a bag full of stale midget gems (or the French equivalent). So, if any of you jet set fashionistas who have actually been drawn in to grabbing one of these bags, I’d love to know what you got. Trick or treat?

For more retail news, just have a look here.