Blink Discoveries: Virginie Castaway, Paris

Its been about six months since I was last exploring Paris. It really felt a little too long and I was so excited to be going back. The room at my favourite hotel, Mama Shelter, was booked and I scored a deal on Eurostar. All was looking sweet until I went to get more euros and realized the exchange rate would make Paris as expensive as Tokyo. Where did I leave my thermos flask and Tupperware lunch box…?

The good thing about my extended absence was that I really noticed a change when wondering around my favourite retail haunts. There is a buoyancy, an energy and a wonderful creativity that is lacking a little in other fashion centres. As we dipped in and out of the intertwining streets of Le Marais, we came across a new store on rue Debelleyme, with an intriguing new name- Virginie Castaway.

Virginie’s Paris based business was born in 2006, after she spent some time in Australia soaking up the sunshine and beach-life. The collection is really lovely, sitting alongside Etoile Isabel Marant and Athe Vanessa Bruno, with a dash of Maje perhaps, in both an aesthetic and price sense. There’s a sporty, sexy feel with a touch of vintage detailing- something that innovative French brands are delivering brilliantly right now. It seems to be the new Parisian handwriting, and its really pretty irrésistible!

We found this video of the AW’10 collection online, and also swiped some shots from the Virginie Castaway website- which does have an online shop. There’s a cool Virginie Castaway blog for keeping up to date with brand news too.

in the Marais store

Virginie Castaway SS'11 collection, from the Virginie Castaway website

Virginie Castaway SS'11 collection, from the Virginie Castaway website

Blink Travels- Give me Shelter

So far September’s been a fabulously hectic time. It’s the month of Fashion Weeks, retailing trips and the final festivals. All this activity gets our creative juices flowing and we feel stuffed full of inspiration and excitement. A fair few of our most exciting moments came during our trip to Paris last week. The City of Light did not disappoint.

Paris is generally a gentile city that moves forward at a more subtle pace than some other fashion hubs, but this trip we were delighted to discover some exciting new additions to the roster. Firstly was our hotel. We stayed at the uber cool Mama Shelter, a Starck designer boutique number near the Pere Lachaise cemetery. This was an introduction to a new area for us and once we’d got our bearings, and advise from the very helpful staff, found that it wasn’t too far from some of our favourite shopping locations.

The bedrooms are dark but very cool and very comfortable with these fabulous masks shading the bedside lights. The carpet designs reflect the sketchy, chalked on blackboard ceiling. The bar brasserie was swiftly filled with fashion fabulous crowd, even though it was Monday night. We think this might have quite a lot to do with the delicious cocktails (and the cute cocktail barman).

Mama Shelter

Mama Shelter

Shrek light, Mama Shelter

Shrek light, Mama Shelter

Detail of the carpet, Mama Shelter

Detail of the carpet, Mama Shelter

Lift interior, Mama Shelter

Lift interior, Mama Shelter