Friday, 27 May 2011

Paolita's 1st Birthday Beach Party

Thursday 19th May marked the first birthday of sizzling swimwear brand, Paolita. As one of Paolita's media partners for the event, I celebrated the special occasion at Paolita's 'Happy Birthday' pop-up shopFC Boutique.

Paolita swimwear, launch invite

For Spring/Summer 2011, Paolita's designer Anna Paola has created two swimwear collections: Floreana and Voyage, plus a Beachwear collection; all three were showcased at their birthday party. 

Paolita's first birthday pop-up shop
Paolita's 'Beach Party' pop-up shop

Paolita swimwear, retro bikinis
One of Paolita's retro-inspired rails

On entering the sun-drenched 'beach party' boutique, I realised that Paolita's success at Paris' Mode City was just the beginning for this burgeoning brand. Armed with my camera, a Corona and Anna as my guide, I fell for Paolita's unique charm.

'Odalisque' in Fern, 'Floreana' by Paolita, S/S 2011

Nauti, Paolita swimwear S/S 2011
'Nauti' in Red, 'Voyage' by Paolita, S/S 2011

Minikini, Paolita swimwear S/S 2011
'Minikini' in Fern, 'Floreana' by Paolita, S/S 2011

Thanks to an eclectic mix of experiences, Anna Paola's S/S 2011 collections evoke many influences, including 1950's pin-up girls and explorers of exotic lands. Paolita's celebration of multiculturalism (Anna was born to a Greek father and Mexican-American mother) and the excitement of travel is irresistible. Like frills? You got it. Paisley? Stripes? Ethnic prints? And, how about some cut-outs...

Andromeda, Paolita swimwear S/S 2011
'Andromeda' in Red, 'Voyage' by Paolita, S/S 2011

Floreana, Paolita swimwear S/S 2011
'Odalisque' in Fern, 'Floreana' by Paolita, S/S 2011

'B Queenie' in various, 'Voyage' by Paolita, S/S 2011

From pretty and playful, to flirty and fashion-forward, girls who like their swimwear will find many options here (and that goes for body types too). Alongside Anna's loyal feminine sensibilities and designs that flatter the female form, Paolita consistently innovates. Perhaps this high-fashion edge indicates Anna Paola's work for the late Alexander McQueen and Hussain Chalayan. This considered (along with the brand's high quality), make its more-than-your-average-high-street-bikini prices seem reasonable. 

Hoody beachwear, Paolita swimwear S/S 2011
'Hoody', 'Beachwear' by Paolita, S/S 2011

Paolita's Spring/Summer 2011 collections may reference past times, but these head-turning pieces are definitely of the 'here and now'. If you wish dazzle on the beach in something deliciously different, look no further.

You can buy Paolita via it's website, or stockists including Asos, My Sugarland and If You Please.

Images: 2), 3), 7), 8) & 9) My own. Model shots) With thanks to Paolita.

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Audrey collection, by Bob Willoughby

Good morning everybody! I hope you have a wonderful week. How was your weekend? I enjoyed some very special time with my lovely sister and beautiful bride-to-be, then found myself gazing into the windows of Proud Chelsea, where The Audrey Collection by Bob Willoughby is currently exhibited. 

Audrey Hepburn gets into car at Paramount Studios, by Bob Willoughby
Audrey Hepburn gets into the studio car at Paramount Studios, 1953.

Perhaps it's what distinguishes silver-screen superstars, but Audrey Hepburn's ability to captivate the camera during and post-filming, never fails to delight and fascinate. It's certainly difficult to imagine that Breakfast at Tiffany's would be named the most stylish film of all time, were it not for it's most supremely stylish of stars. For Audrey's chemistry with the camera, is matched only by her affinity with fashion. It may have started with Givenchy's little black dress, but Ms. Hepburn's ability to transform any outfit (she was dressed by Monsieur Hubert for nearly 40 years), cemented her 'style icon' status. Audrey was also aware of the power of clothes in telling her story, both on and off-screen. Needless to say, she was also extremely beautiful.

Audrey Hepburn with deer 'lp' and dog 'Famous', Beverly Hills
Audrey with her deer 'lp' and dog 'Famous', Beverly Hills, 1958

The Audrey Collection by Bob Willoughby, interweaves striking portraits of the movie-star on set, with enchanting shots of Audrey's everyday existence. As a trusted friend, Willoughby could capture candid moments from Audrey Hepburn's extraordinary life, and the (naturally) stylish photographs masterfully combine observation and intimacy. At the same time, costumes and 'off-duty' clothing enhance and shape the narrative. This exhibition is a real treat (and free of charge) for fans of film, fashion and especially, of Audrey Hepburn herself. I hope you enjoy it.

Audrey Hepburn with dog Assam, during My Fair Lady filming
Audrey with dog 'Assam' during filming of My Fair Lady, Warner Bros, 1963

The Audrey Collection by Bob Willoughby, Proud Chelsea, 12th May - 10th July 2011,

Images) Thank you to Proud Chelsea. All photographs © Bob Willoughby 

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Cannes Film Festival, 11-22 May 2011

J'adore le cinémaWholeheartedly and unwaveringly, I love all things film. Whether I'm watching movies, writing about them, or talking all the way through (yes, I'm one of those people!), I still feel like a young child on their very first cinema trip, thrilled by the unknown, seemingly magical and almost always escapist world, to unfold before me. And I'm sure that not many people love trailers as much as I do; if I could sit through back-to-back trailers for 2 1/2 hours, I most certainly would.

Cannes Film Festival 2011 logo

When Cannes - one of my favourite holiday destinations - hosts the most prestigious and most glamorous film festival in the world, it's not surprising that I am hooked. Some of this year's highlights foreground filmmakers such as Terence Malick (The Tree of Life), Pedro Almodóvar (The Skin I Live In), Lars Von Trier (Melancholia) and Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris). Oh, to be at the 64th Festival de Cannes! (Hopefully next year...). Awards night takes place on Sunday 22nd May, to include the highly coveted Palme d'Or.

Cannes Film Festival 2011 advert

Meanwhile, on the red carpet, supremely-styled stars sizzle in the sunlight. Luscious fabrics, jaw-dropping silhouettes and exquisite couture, reaffirm Cannes' reputation as the most stylish of South of France hotspots. There is rarely room for subtlety, or a 'safe-bet' here. The clothes evoke a Hollywood of old - the grand, dripped in diamonds version - showcasing one very handsome holiday wardrobe. Of course, one of the great characteristics of films selected for Cannes, is that Hollywood does not dominate; international and european screenings enjoy equal (sometimes greater) standing.

Cannes Film Festival continues until May 22nd, and you can watch some excellent coverage online, with French film channel, CINEMOI (you may have read my review of The Army of Crime, which is being screened at Cannes, 'Out of Competition'). On CINEMOI's Youtube page, you can learn all about this year's films, and enjoy interviews with the stars, by CINEMOI's creative director, Jonathan Ross. 

Before I leave you, here is CINEMOI's red carpet coverage from day 6 of Cannes Film Festival* (For the full version, or if you are reading this via email, please visit CINEMOI on Youtube).

*If you fancy your own glamorous getaway, you can win a holiday to Cannes with CINEMOI.

Images: Thank you to CINEMOI.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

London in love: Royal Wedding fever

Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Royal Wedding cupcake
A delicious Royal Wedding cupcake, from Candy Cakes
William and Catherine's wedding was almost three weeks ago, but has not exited the Londoner's conversation or consciousness (and is still surviving many style-sections). Instead, the Royal Wedding seemed to re-ignite amongst Londoners, a love for the historic and beautiful city in which we live. Certainly, the grandeur and glamour of the event were to thank for much renewed interest from abroad. But, to be here, and to be here since, is to experience the height of London's unique energy; there's a strong sense that 'here' is good, it's hopeful, it's special. And, like the rest of the country, London knows how to have fun.

Unfortunately I couldn't cover the wedding here (now unable to resist, as City Girl Diaries (EC1) is back). However, I did write and take photographs for British Vogue's blog - check out these marvellous Mini Queens at the Louis Vuitton store , the jolly, jam-packed Liberty Royal Wedding window and the fanciest, most fashion-y wedding cakes you can imagine, filling Harrods' designer wedding cake windows. Just in case Londoners were about to forget the impending nuptials, a royal reminder would be looking back at them, from a lavish London store window. 

Harrods Royal Wedding celebration store windows
Harrods 'Royal Wedding celebration' windows

Escada Royal Wedding cake, Harrods Wedding Cake Designer Windows
Escada's Royal Wedding cake design, for Harrods

How did you celebrate the Royal Wedding? Did you have a party? And what did you think of THE dress? I'd love to hear from you. 

Images: 1) My own, 2-3) With many thanks to Harrods.

Monday, 16 May 2011

City Girl (EC1) is back!

City scene, London

Today marks the exciting relaunch of City Girl Diaries (EC1). Returning after a blogging 'sabbatical', City Girl Diaries (EC1) is back and will be bigger and better than ever. 

Whilst the break was much appreciated, to focus on pressing professional and personal projects, it's with much excitement that I return. A huge thank you to everyone for being so supportive and patient, as well as a big welcome to my new followers! 

City Girl Diaries (EC1) might not look very different, but there have been many changes behind the scenes, making way for some fantastic new features... which you will discover over the upcoming days and weeks. 

Of course, there will still be lots of clothes, stories of city life, delicious dinners, culture and cinema, and tales of travel.

Rupert Sanderson, Antwerp Fuschia shoes, S/S 2011

And, there will be more photos! To view the plethora of pictures taken every time I step outside the door, be sure to visit City Girl (EC1)'s Flickr feed.

Guest posts will also be available, for fellow Londoners/ fashion-fanatics/style-spies/culture-conoisseurs (you get the idea). Send an email or tweet City Girl (EC1) , if you are interested.

I hope you enjoy reading, browsing and commenting (please keep getting in touch!) as much as I enjoy writing about EC1, London and beyond. If you would like to see more or less of something, or have suggestions to share, do send me an email: .

Finally, don't forget to visit City Girl (EC1) on Twitter and Facebook. (Plus a lot of other social media - too many for me to remember), see 'Who is City Girl (EC1)?' for more info).

Thank you!

City Girl x

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