Tag Archives: parisian style

#LFW Outfits at Somerset House

Revisiting the photographs we took during London Fashion Week has been so satisfying. Putting together these retrospective blog posts has been pretty heart warming too.tumblr_o4m1h2zvve1qcam0lo4_1280On my last day in London for Fashion Week (I had to return to York later that day, but #LFW would continue for a further two days) we headed over to Somerset House.

I was informed that in previous years #LFW had been hosted in the beautiful Stuart architecture of Somerset House – which is definitely a Fashion Bloggers aesthetic dream! Of course, a majority of my experience of Fashion Week had been situated in London’s Soho area, so it was nice to have an excuse to visit the historic 17th Century building.tumblr_o4m1h2zvve1qcam0lo5_1280We had come to Somerset House to visit the famed International Fashion Showcase, that this year was themed ‘Fashion Utopias’.

A rather extraordinary exhibition that had a very different take on fashion and its presentation to the catwalks and presentations we had seen elsewhere. Sadly the exhibition only lasted as long as Fashion Week itself.tumblr_o4m1h2zvve1qcam0lo10_1280If you’re interested in a little more information, you can check out a small summary and a few details I wrote up for The 405, here!tumblr_o4m1h2zvve1qcam0lo9_1280After strolling around the International Fashion Showcase, we decided to take a pause and snap a few pictures of our last-day-of-London-Fashion-Week-together outfits.

Cause that’s what besties do, right?tumblr_o4m35txben1qcam0lo3_1280From hair braids to silver skirts, we had decided to go all out on our last day as Fashion Week press! They say ‘the devil is in the details’, and this applied pretty heavily to both of our ensembles.

One of us had donned black, shiny, pointed, patent leather booties. While the other was in cheetah print, hairy, heeled booties.

One was sporting a long, black skinny scarf. And the other wore a neatly tied, navy bandana neckerchief.tumblr_o4m35txben1qcam0lo6_1280On Sophia:

Shirt – New Look

Fur coat – Noisy May

Jeans – H&M

Boots – Hobbs

Bag – Zara

Sunglasses – Ebay

Skinny scarf – repurposed Calvin Klein

tumblr_o4m3zeqfsu1qcam0lo5_1280On Kasimiira:

Shirt – Asos

Skirt – Asos

Jacket – H&M Trend

Neckerchief – Asos

Bag – Zara

Boots – Asos

tumblr_o4m3zeqfsu1qcam0lo6_1280We encompassed an array of trends that swirled together and somehow still worked! Our outfits complimented and coordinated in terms of colour palettes and style – and when walking around like a power couple – that’s all that matters!tumblr_o4m3zeqfsu1qcam0lo1_1280And that’s the conclusion of the Fashion Week diaries!

We’re out!

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Yves Saint Laurent Extended Exhibition

‘Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal’. The first ever exhibition – in the UK – of the French designer Yves Saint Laurent’s life, and work, came to a close less than a week ago.

I decided it was an opportunity too good to miss, so before the exhibition closed its doors for good, I took myself over to the French Château-style museum in the North of England to have a look!This is just a small look through the magnificent display put on by The Bowes Museum in collaboration with Fondation Pierre Bergé – so follow me through…Entrance to the museum is free for Art Fund card holders – and still relatively inexpensive for general admission – so what are you waiting for?

The exhibition was scheduled to end mid October, but due to high demand was extended until early November. And so, tickets in hand, we entered the large space exhibition space on the first floor.The Bowes Museum pride themselves on their information booklets. They are printed up and freely available to inform in great detail about different elements of the exhibition.Yves Saint Laurent’s famed work was not squeezed into the textiles room, or into the contemporary white cube gallery space that sits opposite. Style is Eternal spread out to fill both spaces and the room in between!

Rather than move the existing french decor interior pieces that live on permanent display in the center room, large black gauze sheeting draped down from the ceiling to floor.These were printed with information about Yves Saint Laurent brand as well as beautifully lettered quotes from the designer himself.The first room had a wall filled with a huge variation of hat designs. These are a clear demonstration of how important the silhouette are to the central designs of everything produced by Yves Saint Laurent.

Notice that these are all produced in a cream neutral fabric. These are a form of ‘toiles’ which are best described as a three-dimensional drawing. They are a crafted design of the original sketch before committing to specific fabrics and adornments. So these hats on display are crafted purely to experiment and test the dynamics of silhouette – hence the beautiful curves and lines!Other displays included original paper doll cut-outs and designs that Yves Saint Laurent himself created! These were designed in mini collections to fit a doll he would make himself from photographs of famous women in magazines.The first room of the exhibition collaborated with the already existing space of The Bowes Museum Textile Room. Inside glass cabinets were situated historical costume dating back decades at a time. The end of each cabinet then housed an iconic design piece from Yves Saint Laurent that tied in a motif of the cabinet in some way.This is another example of how ‘fashion’ is a temporal creation, constantly looping back through time for inspiration and design techniques.Between the aisles were framed examples of Yves Saint Laurent collection mock-ups. Featuring notes, and fabric swatches for different garb ensembles.After reaching the end of the room, we sat and watched a two part documentary which featured an interview with Yves Saint Laurent himself. The rest covered the methods of the work rooms and the design processes behind creating a collection.The center of The Textiles Room was transformed into a display case of original ‘toiles’.Displayed together, the mannequins allow you to really appreciate the craft and detail put into this form of a ‘draft’ tailoring. The work is perfected over and over again with the neutral fabric to achieve the perfect lines and fall on the model. The jackets even feature mock buttons!After we felt we’d had our fill of the first room, we hurried over to the main exhibition space that held mannequin after mannequin adorned in finished ensembles from a huge number of collections! From Sumptuous Luxury…To Art Pop…To Magic and Mystery. The costumes from Yves Saint Laurent were curated and exhibited by style rather than chronological collection. This really allowed each section of the room to make an enormous impact!Follow on from the mannequin displays and you reach a shocking pink coloured corridor that looped around the back of the room.This featured framed photographs and sketches from other artists that used Yves Saint Laurent as this inspiration and focus.

And after seeing an exhibition like this – why wouldn’t you?So in depth, so carefully curated, such a unique experience! I felt very lucky to wander around the first British exhibition of the famed designers work and life!

Eiffel in love with {Paris}

Roses are red, 

Violets are blue,

That weekend in Paris,

*Eiffel* for you!

Before dinner on our last in Paris, all dolled up, we dashed the few minutes up the street to one of the prettiest spots to view the Eiffel Tower!Unlike the space beneath the Eiffel Tower (which is concrete, sits next to the road, and is bustling with tourists), the spot where we snapped some shots is tranquil and relatively serene! The garden-like walkway is sporadically furnished with benches and rose bushes. And, set back slightly from the road that runs beside the iconic monument, it’s close but quiet!

After strutting our stuff an almost unacceptable amount, we perched on the benches the have one last long look at the River Seine.

White blazer – Topshop

Navy dress – Paris souvenir

Heels – Asos

Watch – Gift

Taking a little time to literally smell the roses…Before trotting (or should I say *legging* it?) back up the street to an eatery close to where we live, that was recommended pretty highly!Not your traditional ‘last meal in Paris’ kind of eatery – we decided to dine in Okito. A Japanese Sushi restaurant with fresh fish to devour after the heat of the day! 

Check out their menu, here, for the fairly extensive range of food and the not untypical types of Japanese cuisine.A genuinely tasty miso soup starter – miso hungry!We were a little greedy and ordered a portion of very satisfying Gyoza to share before our main came out.With cocktails at the ready, this mighty boat of sushi and sashimi arrived for us to feast on in celebration of our time in Paris!Armed from port to starboard with the freshly prepared delicacies, the little wooden Bateau (boat) we ordered comes with: 2 rice,
20 various sashimi, 4 sushi, 6 maki.

The little raft of food is also accompanied by: 8 skewers : 2 chicken wings, 2 chicken ball, 2 beef with cheese, 2 beef.We made a challenge of the delicious spread. We ate. Every. Single. Bite!

And with that, we were done! We headed back to our apartment, packed a little and went to sleep. The next morning involved packing up a few more items and skipping up the road to catch the metro and RER back to the airport to fly back to Britain!And all too quickly, I must wave au revoir to Paris! But with so much more to explore – I guarantee this is not the last I’ve seen of the city!

Solariums and Rooftop Pools in {Paris}

Not just a regular pool – this glorious little clear water spring is on the rooftop of one of the tallest apartment blocks in Paris! And this just so happens to where we stayed while on our trip!If you haven’t discovered the marvel of Airbnb yet, you’re seriously missing out on some potentially amazing places to stay on your next adventure! (Click here to begin planning your next stay on Airbnb!)There are plenty of fantastic spots available all over Paris, but we decided to commit to the relatively small studio apartment that we stayed in so that we could take advantage of the rooftop pool and solariums (especially when we were only 5 minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower)!If you want to investigate the apartment we stayed in, and/or book it for yourself – you can check out Julia’s page on Airbnb, here!Most evenings, before heading out for dinner, we took the elevator the 30+ floors to the top of the building and just hung out and enjoyed the view.And on more than one occasion, the heatwave that hit while we were visiting the capital city, we took a midday dip in the open air pool! A much needed swim in the cool water helped fight off the feeling of fatigue that strong heat and sunshine can sometimes cause!I experienced a sever #facepalm moment the day before we left to travel the Paris – realising I had not packed a swimsuit! Luckily, a quick trip to the closest T K Maxx snagged me this easygoing palm print number by Banana Moon (the epitome of California surfing and swimwear)!Shop their stuff here!On our last night in the Parisian city, we ran back up to the rooftop and tried to capture some snaps of how amazing the view is!The camera couldn’t quite do the Solariums justice…But back inside the viewing rooms; the sunset view across the city just about did it!When a sea of colours is painted across a foreign cities skyline, it’s hard not to appreciate where you are! Combined with the warmth of the evening, capturing this sunset was a crowning jewel in the Paris experience!

Montmartre and La Taverne {Paris}

If you’re looking for the traditionalist street views of the idyllic Parisian lifestyle – head to the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. Simple!Situated on the edge of the city of Paris; the 18th arrondissement is famed for the iconic Moulin Rouge, but also houses the beautiful monument of the Sacre Coeur. And it is the steep cobbled streets spiralling down from the impressive structure that will offer you a truly memorable Parisian experience!After a day at the Paris Flea Markets (which trust me – you need all day for) which is generally thought to be the biggest flea market in the world (I will definitely be making time for another visit in the future), we were only a stone’s throw from Montmartre!

(If you want more info on the particular French flea market that we journeyed to, check out a detailed review with tips, here!)

So we made a swift change in the metro and emerged into the evening light of the 18th arrondissement, to explore and find dinner!Sacre Coeur sits proudly atop the highest point in the Paris area, and for good reason! The immense building is a must-see on any Paris goers list!

The structure sitting atop the ‘Mount of Martyrs’, which has been considered a place of worship from the Druids of ancient Gaul, through the proceeding religions to the Sacre Coeur that stands today. The ‘Sacred Heart of Christ’ can be thought of as more than its religious appropriation and move of an over encapsulating symbol overlooking Paris from its highest point.The views are spectacular, and incredibly satisfying if you’ve been dashing around the city for a couple of day already and can spot areas and landmarks you know!After getting our fill of the view at Sacre Coeur, and had enough of the other tourists taking photos, we headed back down to the uneven streets of Montmartre…This is the look that I sported for the day of extreme walking, and lots of sunshine! The awkward moment when you are wearing more clothing items belonging to your other half than of your own? (Including; sunnies, top and shoes!)

Top – Zara Men

Jeans – Cheap Monday

Shoes – Boyfriends (brand unknown)

Sunglasses – Polaroid

Bag – Asos

Here is where the evening became particularly special; I came to Paris roughly two years prior, and was lucky enough to stay in the Montmartre area during my visit. On one of the nights, at the end of my visit, we went to a small eatery that I have not stopped thinking about since that visit.

Without maps, or google, I was able to navigate us directly to the restaurant. Solely on memory of good food, and amazing rustic atmosphere – two year later – we arrived at the door of La Taverne de Montmartre!We were a little early for the opening (it’s doors open at 6:00pm, but food isn’t ready to start serving until 6:30pm), and so popped to the open bar next door to grab some red wine before dinner.When at any restaurants and eateries in Paris (or any city you’re travelling to) try and sit outside. Most of the time the weather is pleasurable, and taking in your surroundings helps you appreciate truly where you are!Once we were seated in La Taverne I explained that we would definitely be choosing the set menu for 20euro.

(There is also an option for a 15euro set menu, as well as general items you can pick and choose like any other restaurant.)The 20euro set menu includes; aperitif, starter, main, cheese board and dessert! 

I explained to my other half, that it really does not matter what you pick from the menu – anything you could possibly chose would be delicious!For our starters we chose the soup of the day (which happened to be an delicious fish soup) and a portion of the escargot (snails!), which anyone who listens to French stereotypes will know is a must!For our mains we chose another fish dish, and I knew I had to have the same lamb rump that I had been lucky enough to feast on upon my first visit! (Our desserts were the chocolate brownie. We’re stubborn and don’t like to share.)

For the second time in two years, everything was divine!La Taverne de Montmartre is a must visit in my opinion. And I know that I will make the metro journey over to Montmartre again just so I can eat at this joint!If you need more convincing – remember that the area itself is beautiful to wander around, and of course you can visit the surrounding small eateries around the Sacre Coeur for snacks during daytime wanderings. Plus; this same area is extremely close for anyone who wants to visit the Moulin Rouge!

Wined and Dined on the Seine {Paris}

Let’s do dinner. In Paris. At night. All evening. On the River Seine!After a long day wandering the sunny streets of Paris, we decided to splurge a truly Parisian dinner!

You’ll be able to spot signs, all around the bridge that sits at the base of the Eiffel Tower, that advertise the different boats and times to dine upon!We called before leaving our apartment, and booked two seats for the 8:30pm cruise. Check their other meal options and tours, here.

Running late, we dashed along the streets lining the Seine, and managed to arrive just in time for our check-in! We received our tickets and were ushered to our table, just before doors closed and safety checks began.The boats feature beautiful glass ceilings and walls along the entire vessel! (There is a pretty substantial price difference for those that wish to sit in the window – so we opted for seating that is one over, and is situated along the centre of the boat.) No matter what seating you chose, you will have incredible views of the monuments lining the Parisian river!

And so, menus in hand, we began selecting choices from the five-courses of delicacies we were to have over the glorious few hours aboard the glass topped vessel!We were particularly lucky to have the lovely weather continue through the evening.

We received aperitifs as the lounge singer stuck up their first cords and the engines started their soft, low purr to pull us through the water, and through the city.Our visit to Paris was scheduled just outside of tourist season, so the boat was not overly full – this meant, less crowded surroundings, and less obstructed views!

(Below) A quick snapshot as we passed La Musee d’Orsay. When you know what you’re seeing as you gracefully glide past it, you really feel privileged by the perspective view!Before our next wine and starter arrived, we dashed onto one of the side viewing decks.It was quite breath taking (honestly the most breath taking part of this visit to Paris) to move along the river at this time of day, and not be surrounded by plastic seating or plastic windows.We ran to the back of the boat to stand in a larger area and watch the sunset! It is a wonderful view, and viewing experience at your leisure (especially knowing you can pop back inside and have a meal waiting on your table).

Jacket blazer – Topshop

White top – Nastygal

Jeans – Cheap Monday

Heels – Asos

We hung out on the deck for a little while, happily alone as other people sat at their tables, unwilling to miss the arrival of their first course.Once we went back inside, we enjoyed a delicious starter, main, cheese board, desserts, coffees and as much free win as we could handle.

Our evening was spent on the boat until late into the evening, and we departed after dark. We walked home beneath the glowing structure of the Eiffel Tower, lit up and glittering!

If you don’t have the time to sit for multiple hours on a cruising boat along the River Seine, then you can always dine in the stationary dock bistro that sits just beneath the Eiffel Tower – a similar experience on your schedule!

Breakfast at Pierre Hermé {Paris}

Welcome to Pierre Hermé – known as “The Picasso of Pastry”! What better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning in Paris (the world capital of pastries), than a trip to one of the most famous patisseries in the city itself – Pierre Hermé?

(If you want to know about the pastry chef himself – check out a video about the masterful work of the Pierre Hermé, here.)If you look it up online, you’ll be able to find ‘chocolate crawls’ or ‘chocolate tours’ of Paris. (Some are paid tours, and some you can note down and do yourself for free!) These strategically walk you around the 6th arrondissement, where there is situated a cluster of roughly 15 world class chocolatiers and pastry shops.

The first stop on the list is the fabulously famous, and absolutely delicious (is that a spoiler or could you tell I was going to spend this whole blogpost raving out the sweet treats from sale here?) Pierre Hermé. We were lucky enough to not have to queue outside of the shop because we had departed on our adventure on a Sunday – most of the surrounding establishments were closed (as well as a majority of places that featured on the ‘chocolate tours’ – these are best for week days).Part of the beauty of these little pastry boutiques are the presentation. Rustic, delicious food is hard to beat – but when the tiny desserts are individual little works of art – you have to agree that they are on a level of their own!Each hand crafted delight is topped with a tiny mark of PH, which is a developed form of the cherry-on-top.On selecting your pastries (be warned there may be a line, this place is popular for a reason!) the staff of the patisserie handle the edible artworks incredibly delicately and box them up individually to take away.

Part of what you pay for is the presentation; both inside and outside the box.Pierre Hermé is most famous for his macaroons. Plain and simple. Unlike said macaroons! You have probably heard of Ladureé macaroons, but they don’t compare to the options of the variety and experimental combinations of flavours that Pierre Hermé has on offer to buy! From passionfruit, to white truffle hazelnut – these are the ones to try!

(And if you’re lucky enough to live in France instead of just visiting on a short trip like me – then check out the Pierre Hermé website, here, where you can have pastries and macaroons shipped to your door in just 24 hours!)We trotted round the corner to sit on a bench next to Saint-Sulpice and got ready to chow down on our belated, but fancy, breakfast.The box and the bag were as decorative as the tasty eats inside!I was looking for my coffee fix (above) and couldn’t help picking this little cappuccino tart, and the other cake we picked up (below) was a rich, dark chocolate square!

We took turns taking bites of each others pastry to mix the coffee and chocolate flavours which compliment each other so well!The patisserie did issue us forks and spoons along with our desserts, but I am greedy and easily frustrated by cutlery not being man enough to deal with my food. So I descended to using my hands like an animal – the tart was too good to regret anything, though!Because we were spending the day outside touring the city, and our plans were just to wander where we chose, I went for an airy outfit that still maintained a little of the tailored style chic that everyone appreciates!

Shirt dress – Urban Outfitters

Levi shorts – Vintage shop (near the Pompidou)

Shoes – Zara

Bag – Asos

Sunglasses – Thrifted