Liberty London Liberty London

Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

“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” 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.

“Blink” Retail: Etat Libre d’Orange à Londres Est

Friday, November 8th, 2013

I’m a very sensitive-nosed person and so scents are a very important thing to me. I’m in a long standing love affair with Jo Malone‘s Red Roses and Diptyque‘s L’Ombe dans L’Eau (every lady has a day and an evening scent don’t they?). It would take something pretty spectacular to change what have been my signature scents for several years now, but I think perhaps I might have found a new contender!

When I was in Paris in September I came a cross a store that was new to me. I was first drawn in by the bold pop art style graphics and after crossing the threshold I was totally immersed into the world of Etat Libre d’Orange, avant garde French fragrance house. This is a burgeoning market and barely a week passes without us learning about a new brand of premium scenting products. Well, these guys have approached their craft in such a unique and innovative way, from the environment to the names, and of course to the scent themselves that I think this is a stand out label that will soon be as well known as that other French scenting institution, Diptyque.

The store in Le Marais (69 rue des Archives) is a quirky combination between vintage pieces and super shiny, glossy imagery. The scents are neatly arranged on a central table and the very knowledgeable staff are on hand to help you navigate through the varied and brilliantly composed scent offer.

Etat Libre d'Orange, Paris

Etat Libre d'Orange, Paris

Etat Libre d'Orange, Paris

Etat Libre d'Orange, Paris

The young man who was helping me understand whether I was feeling more ‘Fat Electician’ (vertiver, chestnut cream, olive leaves, vanilla, opoponax, myrrh…) or ‘Putain des Palaces’ (rose absolute, violet, leather, lily of the valley, tangerine, ginger…) happened to mention that the label had just opened their first outpost in London, so upon returning home I made my way over to Redchurch Street to have a look at the new store.

Etat Libre d'Orange, London

Etat Libre d'Orange, London

In stark contrast to the Paris store, this East London shop, designed by Shed, is quite clinical with a touch of the laboratory about it. It feels utterly appropriate for the area, and also the innovative and cutting edge nature of this brand. I love the simplicity and functionality of the space which utterly puts the perfumes at the centre of the experience. I met with Heba, who masterminded the brand’s arrival in London. She helped me to navigate around the scent options a little further and encouraged me to step away from my usual rose based choices. Heba described ‘Fils de Dieu’ to me and I was utterly entranced. It sounded more like a recipe for a wonderful Thai curry than the composition of a perfume, featuring ginger, coriander, lime, shiso, jasmine, rice, cardamon, cinnamon and coconut. I braced myself and allowed Heba to spritz me up.

Fils de Dieu, Etat Libre d"Orange

Fils de Dieu, Etat Libre d"Orange

As I carried on with my day, letting the scent settle with my skin’s chemistry (never choose on first sniff!) I loved this perfume more and more as it developed. The start was like the smell of tropical holidays with coconut mainly coming through, along with sweet floral elements. After about 20 minutes the coconut had stepped back to allow the deeper elements to emerge with musk and amber giving this a very sexy edge. I think I have found my new scent addiction so I will be back on Redchurch Street this weekend to make a purchase. I mean who could resist a perfume that’s described with the statement “de la confusion des genres a la theorie du sexe des anges” which translates as “the blurring of a theory about the sex of angels”. That is poetry in a bottle.

For more retail news, take a look here. For more beauty inspiration, look here.

“Blink” Travels: Paris, mon amour- A Stylish Stay

Monday, October 14th, 2013

So, we’re skipping back in time a little bit as the “Blink” blog has been pretty much dedicated to LFW coverage for the past few weeks- and there is more of that to come too! We thought we’d start dropping some other topics in there too, just to make sure we didn’t hold on to it so long that it became ancient history! We’re starting with some posts from our petit séjour à Paris from just before LFW.

It was Paris Design Week, and also Maison et Objet (a huge home products and interiors show) so the city was teeming with design type folks, of a different variety to my usual fashion-fixated crowd. The change of focus didn’t stop me pursuing my usual, well trodden fashion route around town, but it did put a different emphasis on the look and feel of some stores, which was rather nice to see. I hope that you liked the post from Friday featuring those wonderfully inspiring paintings. Well, there’s more of that kinda stuff stashed and ready to be shared.

We’re kicking Monday off with a look at the hotel that very stylishly hosted our stay; the small but perfectly formed ‘Hotel Jules et Jim’. Set in one of small streets of Le Marais, the discrete entrance is subtle and low key, leading you in to the reception hung with cool photographic art, and then on in to the courtyard that the hotel is constructed around. Our room, with its little balcony, faced on to the courtyard so our room was completely, blissfully peaceful.

Actually, the whole place could be described as quite peaceful, with clever yet subtle design features throughout our small but perfectly formed bedroom, soothing scents wafting through the low lit reception area from the Francis Kurkdjian candles and the softly spoken, sweetly helpful staff. The bar serves as a laid back breakfast space in the morning (a delicious but rather pricey spread) but of an evening I think this may turn out to be not such a peaceful element of this set up- as is only appropriate of a cool bar in heart of Paris’ super cool design heart.

Hotel Jules et Jim, Paris

Hotel Jules et Jim, Paris

Hotel Jules et Jim, Paris

Hotel Jules et Jim, Paris

I think we may have found our new Paris home…

For more from our travels, have a look here.

“Blink” Travels: Karl Lagerfeld in Paris

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

I kind of have a love/ hate thing with Karl Lagerfeld. I get a bit rankled by how deeply affected he appears, just adding to the myth that you have to be mental to be a grand force in fashion. I’m not a huge fan of his own label, and yet I adore what he has achieved season upon season at Chanel, and I also am a huge fan of Fendi. I’m also more enamored of him due to his love for his cat, Choupette (though slightly worried by his apparent desire to marry said cat…). Another huge point in the ‘love’ list is the he seems to have a rather good sense of humour. How else would Kaiser Karl have sanctioned this hilariously cute mini version of himself?

Karl Lagerfeld, Paris

Karl Lagerfeld, Paris

We spotted this in the Karl Lagerfeld store in Le Marais, Paris. So in balance, we do love you Karl, but would love you even more if you busted a bit of colour and left the gloves at home occasionally…

For more retail news, click here. For more from our travels, have a look here.

“Blink” Travels: China in Paris, Astier de Villatte

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

You may think that the only reason to head to Rue Saint-Honoré is to hit Colette and all the other big name fashion boutiques. Well, I have news for you. After Merci and le Bon Marche, there is another store that I always try to get to when in gay Pareeee, and that’s the Astier de Villatte store at the Louvre end of Rue Saint-Honoré, just along from Cafe Ruc.

Its a tiny store and you could easily pass it by, but I urge you to search it out and pop in to this crazy little emporium if you are in vicinity. Aside from all of the gorgeous, milky glazed, artfully wonky, ultra stylish crockery, you’ll find their amazing scented candles and body products, alongside some quirky curios that change every time I pop in there. It’s always an inspiration, from the store windows to the tiny back room, stacked high with amazing platters and decorative ‘objets’.

 the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

the windows at Astier de Villatte, Paris

Astier de Villatte, Paris

Astier de Villatte, Paris

If you’re not off to Paris but would still like to have a look at the Astier de Villatte range, then Liberty have a great selection.

For more on our travels, just have a look here.

“Blink” Travels: Always Merci…

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

We popped over to Paris last week, and as usual, my first stop was Merci. Have a look here if you’d like to catch up with our previous love letters to our favourite store in the whole Universe…

This time around Merci was dedicated to celebrating Paris, and why not? In it’s very own creative and quirky way the stop was filled with gorgeously graphic,  Paris themed displays. There were tables of city guides, Eiffel Towers all over the place, as well as all sorts of cool Paris maps. All tres fabulous.

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

For more from our travels, just click here.

“Blink” Travels: Brooklyn Tins at Merci, Paris

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

The home and interiors sections at Merci is as inspiring for me as the fashion floors. This visit, Merci was showcasing some stunning trompe l’oeil style wallpaper that I fell hard for. Following on from the gorgeous Piet Hein Eek designed ‘Scrapwood’ wallpaper, the same company, NLXL, have collaborated with Merci to create a beautiful new line of wallpapers called ‘Brooklyn Tins’. This delivers the look of those stunning New York vintage interiors without the seriously hard work of cladding your walls with those embossed plates- if you can even find a source for them. I’m not completely sure this paper will work on my Victorian conversion, but if you inhabit a more spacious, well, space, then get thee Paris quick smart!

NLXL 'Brooklyn Tins' for Merci

NLXL 'Brooklyn Tins' for Merci

NLXL 'Brooklyn Tins' for Merci

NLXL 'Brooklyn Tins' for Merci

For more on our travels, just click here.

“Blink” Travels: Mais Oui Merci, Paris

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

As always the highlight of my Paris visit is arriving at Merci. It’s always the first stop on my shopping agenda. I just can never wait to see what they are focusing their creative attentions on. The central atrium, as you walk in to the store, is an ever changing zone where they create mini sets to share their current obsessions with you.

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

This time around they were having an Audrey Hepburn moment celebrating her iconic 60’s style, surrounded by leopard print accessories and the movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’  being projected on to one of the walls- with french subtitles which seemed to suddenly make it even chic-er!

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

Merci, Paris

For more from our travels, including more about ‘Merci”, just click here.

“Blink” Travels: Advice from Eames

Friday, October 12th, 2012

This stopped us in our tracks while we were fashion marching around Le Marais, salivating at the prospect of hitting the Isabel Marant shop. We passed a shop front plastered in black and white images of Eames designs, and featuring a quote that we think is just perfect for a Friday afternoon, as our minds all turn to the joy of a few days off over the weekend.

I am a huge Eames fan, but didn’t know this particular quote from Charles Eames, but it is my new favourite and I’m going to try and implement it from right now!

Charles Eames quote

quote from Charles Eames

For more posts from our travels, just click here.