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Posts Tagged ‘Paris’

“Blink” Accessories: Marvellous milliner, Piers Atkinson

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

As we mentioned a few posts back, when we were in Paris for Paris Fashion Week our first stop was to pop by the British Fashion Council’s ‘London Show Rooms’ to offer our support to the British designers showing there. We’ll be sharing with you a few designer profiles from the event, starting with the rather fabulous Piers Atkinson, who we first featured in 2013.

Piers Atkinson and his SS'16 collection in the London Show Rooms, Paris

Piers Atkinson and his SS’16 collection in the London Show Rooms, Paris

Without having to ask twice Piers donned one of his creations (although we were hoping he’d go for one of the ‘My Little Pony’ inspired ponytailed numbers!) and posed for us along with part of his SS’16 collection. His ultra creative work sits perfectly with the whimsical, creative and innovative millinery tradition we Brits are world renowned for. Aside from the wondrous creativity, Atkinson’s work is also utterly beautifully made, whether more sophisticated or hilariously cute. Hello cat hats!

'cat hats' from Piers Atkinson SS'16 collection in the London Show Rooms, Paris

‘cat hats’ from Piers Atkinson SS’16 collection in the London Show Rooms, Paris

I was encourage to pop on a chapeau too while I was there, and although the obvious choice for me might well have been one of these super-cute cat inspired designs, I actually pushed the boat out and popped on this bandana/bunny ear headband style complete with a sparkly net veil. His work has been worn by Anna Dello Russo, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga, Rihanna- and now Blink London!

Lucy in a  Piers Atkinson SS'16 design. London Show Rooms, Paris

Lucy in a Piers Atkinson SS’16 design. London Show Rooms, Paris

I could easily have carried on the rest of my day in this. When I was a fashion student I was never knowingly under-accessorised and that often meant wearing a hat, whether heading to a lecture, a night out or the local supermarket. How did I get out of that habit? Time to revive it I think, but perhaps only ever with something from Piers Atkinson’s collections…

Thanks to Piers and his team for giving me some of their precious time. I hope that Paris was a huge success for you.

“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” Events: Dries van Noten ‘Inspirations’ at Les Arts Decoratif, Paris

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Last week we hopped onto the Eurostar for a whistle-stop day trip to Paris. Firstly let me say how much I love that train. However many times I use it, it remains a thing of magic to get on in one country and emerge in a whole new one. Secondly let me share with you the even more deeply felt joy we felt when we hit the Dries van Noten exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs.

You may have already noticed via the blog, our instagram and twitter that we are huge DvN fans. This only served to enhance that. The love affair all started when I first came across his collection in my first fashion industry job at Whistles. Whistles were one of the first UK retailers to buy his collection and I was so entranced by the aesthetic and attention to detail that I immediately wrote to Andries himself, asking for a job. I may not have even made it to an interview but I did receive a very charming letter from him in return, explaining that they were a very small team and not recruiting just now. I bet they are not such a small team now, and that success is very well deserved. Enough of the love-in, lets share some of the images form the exhibition with you.

Dries van Noten 'Inspirations', the entrance

Dries van Noten ‘Inspirations’, the entrance

This exhibition catalogues a huge array of DvN’s collections, blended with his inspiration from art to archival fashion pieces. These are displayed together in wonderful 3D moodboard like arrangements, showing how his aesthetic journey takes place, as well as blending in work from iconic labels taken from Les Arts Decoratif expansive fashion archive. The exhibition is quite dark, drawing you in to the spotlit cases, but the environment is far from stark with huge blown out versions of Dries van Noten signature florals blooming from the walls and across the floors.

Dries van Noten at Les Arts Decoratifs

Dries van Noten at Les Arts Decoratifs

Dries van Noten at Les Arts Decoratifs

Dries van Noten at Les Arts Decoratifs

Dries van Noten at Les Arts Decoratifs

Dries van Noten at Les Arts Decoratifs

Dries van Noten vintage fashion floral inspiration

Dries van Noten vintage fashion floral inspiration

Dries van Noten, left, and right is vintage Balenciaga

Dries van Noten, left, and right is vintage Balenciaga

Gold inspiration including vintage Chanel and Thierry Mugler

Gold inspiration including vintage Chanel and Thierry Mugler

Dries van Noten at Les Arts Decoratifs

Dries van Noten at Les Arts Decoratifs

Dries van Noten, 'Handmade' film by Karel de Cock

Dries van Noten, ‘Handmade’ film by Karel de Cock

Dries van Noten menswear inspiration

Dries van Noten menswear inspiration

If you love fashion, textiles and art this is a must see exhibition. It was due to end on 31st August but appears to have been extended until November so there are no excuses!

For more fashion inspiration, take a look here.

“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.

“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” Inspiration: Pet Lamps in Merci

Friday, October 18th, 2013
PET lamps, Merci

PET lamps, Merci

When I spotted these in Merci I was charmed by the grouped display, the kind of handmade wonkyness, the colour and pattern. Then I saw the sign explaining that these were called ‘PET lamps’. Ah, sweet I thought, lamps that are pets. I’m not sure what that means to have a lamp as a pet, but somewhere in that name there had to be a cute and heartfelt sentiment.

So, I read further and discovered what a soft-hearted fool I am. The name is not actually ‘pet’ but ‘PET’, as in polyethylene terephthalate, as in plastic bottles. These lovely, crafty looking lamp shades have been made in Columbia, by recycling and re-purposing waste bottles and blending them with the local artisanal tradition of weaving. The cap and neck of the bottle join the shade to the electrical elements of the light fitting, and then the body of the bottle is incorporated into the weave.

The genius idea for this project was born in 2011, when Spanish industrial designer, Alvaro Catalán de Ocon, attended a workshop on environmental liability in Colombia. From an interview with the designer shown alongside the product in Merci, he explains:

“… we looked to fuse one of the most produced industrial objects with one of the traditional crafts most rooted to the earth.”

We think that the results are beautiful, and show that creative problem solving is critical in resolving the issues around sustainability and ecology. It also really perfectly reflects the desire to celebrate heritage and tradition in fresh and relevant ways, as I’m always banding on about in my trend seminars!

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

“Blink” Inspiration: Altered Perspectives, from Paris to New York

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

This post is about a story of discovery. You know, being a designer, forecaster, blogger, nosey parker I’m constantly semi-aware of visual prompts around me. You never quite know what they may mean or represent, but you know you like them because they ring a little bell in your heart.  It may sound prosaic, but it’s true. As I tell my students, inspiration is everywhere so you need to be ready to catch it. Like being a manic butterfly catcher with a net constantly poised, but in fact it’s far less exhausting than that, and involving far more time on Pinterest than is perhaps healthy.

One of these journeys of discovery started during my trip to Paris in September. Did you read about our lovely hotel in yesterday’s post? When on my pilgrimage to the Isabel Marant shop in Le Marais, I spotted these plates in the window of The Collection. They are the work of Little Owl, who are Amsterdam based creative duo Bruce Wayland and Marcello De Simone. Under the title ‘Altered Perspectives’, these artists have worked with vintage plates sourced from markets in France, Belgium and Holland, combining them with painted canvas. Each plate is perfectly unique, with the silhouette and original pattern all impacting on how they are reworked and reinvented.

'Altered Perspectives' by Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland

'Altered Perspectives' by Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland

'Altered Perspectives' by Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland

'Altered Perspectives' by Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland

'Altered Perspectives' by Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland

'Altered Perspectives' by Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland

'Altered Perspectives' by Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland

'Altered Perspectives' by Marcello De Simone and Bruce Wayland

In and of themselves, these are just beautiful and bursting with inspiration. However, as this is about a journey, I’ll share the next step with you. I was cruising around Pinterest and came across this image pinned by the super stylish Garance Dore, and it resonated with me and I felt it reflected the same feeling of combined materials, hidden imagery, transformed artwork.

'Without a Doubt Part 2' Oliver Jeffers

'Without a Doubt Part 2' Oliver Jeffers

This then lead me into a bit of googling about the artist, Oliver Jeffers and I found out that most of this New York based, Northern Irish artist’s work is in the creation of wonderfully innovative picture books, and this video is a great introduction to him and his work.

At this point, you might be thinking “Well, what’s this got to do with fashion?” To what I may answer “What are you asking me for?”. Seriously though, interpretation is in the eye of the creative and there is no single, definitive answer. As a designer this inspiration source could lead to multiple interpretations of semi coated materials, dip dyed or colour blocked looks, combinations of traditional with modern, pattern upon pattern, layered styling and, and, and, and this is why I love research!

For more posts about inspiration, take a look here and start your own journey.