Monday, 30 January 2012

City Girl: Déjà vu

Hi everyone, I hope you enjoyed a lovely weekend? It has been a while since I last posted a 'City Girl: Déjà vu', so this time, I have gone back a little further. In case you didn't see some of these posts the first time around, I hope you enjoy reading them now.

City Girl covets: I Love Lowie
Daniel Galvin salon, Corinthia Hotel London

City Girl reports: Launches Globally
City Girl's sisterly love: My Sister, My Hero...
Now and Then (1995)

City Girl shops: Vogue's Online Fashion Week
City Girl dreams: Mr & Mrs Smith's Italian Guidebook
The Bellevue Syrene Hotel, Amalfi Coast (Mr & Mrs Smith)

City Girl prepares: That Old Nesting Instinct
City Girl reports: Karl Lagerfeld at NET-A-PORTER

*I haven't re-listed my Christmas gift guides above, but do take a peek if you're looking for some unique presents throughout 2012 - whether that's food and drink, stylish accessories, 'Cover Girl' beauty, or cosy comforts!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

City Girl Reports: Karl Lagerfeld at NET-A-PORTER

In the same week that H&M released their second collaboration with Versace (a rapid sell-out, but you can find pieces on Ebay), Chanel's creative genius and former H&M collaborator Karl Lagerfeld has launched his latest collection, KARL. Expect super-sleek wardrobe staples showcasing Lagerfeld's inimitable style - those famous collars, masculine tailoring, lots of leather and, not forgetting, his trademark fingerless gloves. The collection's largely monochrome palette, punctuated by flashes of silver and sequins, provides a pared-down (at times severe) and street-chic snapshot of the designer's vision that he brings to such feminine fruition in his collections for Chanel

Lagerfeld's first online-only collection, KARL is available exclusively at NET-A-PORTER for one month. It will then be offered to fans on Lagerfeld-branded websites. Enticingly accessible to his fans, the magic of the man himself can now be found at the click of a button and a fraction of the usual, high-fashion price tag. If Chanel equals 'Upper East Side', KARL is most certainly 'Downtown': hip, edgy and directional. Just like the man himself.

Here are my top picks from KARL at NET-A-PORTER:

Sina sequined pencil skirt, £225
Jeren cotton-terry and PVC sweater, £115
Sachi pleated faux leather skirt, £135
Sequined poplin collar, £125
Batya wrap-effect crepe top, £155
James satin twill-trimmed crepe blazer, £225

What do you think of KARL? Will you be buying any of the KARL collection at NET-A-PORTER?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Oscars & Golden Globes 2012: Films & Fashion

A few moments ago, the 84th Oscar nominations for 2012 were announced in Los Angeles (aka the Academy Awards). Here are the nominees in some of the main categories:

Actor in a Leading Role
Demián Bichir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Brad Pitt (Moneyball).

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn).

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn), Jonah Hill (Moneyball), Nick Nolte (Warrior), Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close).

Actress in a Supporting Role
Bérénice Bejo (The Artist), Jessica Chastain (The Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Octavia Spencer (The Help).

Best Picture
The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse.

Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Martin Scorcese (Hugo), Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), Terence Malick (The Tree of Life).

Since being a little girl, dreaming of red carpets and flowing dresses, the Oscars has held a special place in my heart. Particularly because I am also a massive film enthusiast and would watch a new film every day if I could find the time. The combination of two of my great loves will always continue to entrance and excite, even if I can't muster the energy to stay up all night this year to watch it live. Of course, the Golden Globes are often a key indicator of likely Oscar success and 2012's Golden Globe winners all feature in the parallel nominations above. Will they claim the golden statuette on February 26th?

And from film to fashion... while the style spotlight may traditionally shine most brightly on the Oscars, the Golden Globes never fail to provide a glamorous feast of gowns. Nodding to Spring/Summer 2012 trends, the red carpet showcased nudes, darker tones lifted with greys, bold reds, summery, candy-coloured pastels, and daring embellishments. Here are some of my favourites:

Piper Perabo in Theyskens' Theory

Claire Danes in J. Mendel

Stacy Keibler in Valentino

Jessica Alba in Gucci

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

Which was your favourite outfit from the Golden Globes 2012? Do you have any film or fashion predictions for the 84th Oscars ceremony on February 26th?

If you're in the UK, you can watch the Oscars live on February 26th, on Sky Movies.

Monday, 23 January 2012

That Old Nesting Instinct...

Hi everybody, I hope you are all really well! After an achingly slow six or seven months, my final two months of pregnancy have chosen to fly by. With merely a few weeks left, I have been juggling work, play, and to my surprise, the instinct to 'nest', as determined by those wives of old. Alongside a longing to stay indoors or close to home, this period of nesting has involved a super-charged effort to clean, tidy and organise the house - despite no longer being able to see my feet! - in preparation for the impending new arrival into our family. Hotel inspectors, babies are not, but the instinct to have everything 'just so' has suddenly taken force and remains alarmingly stubborn. I am, however, looking forward to slowing down and will at some point need to sign off for a brief period, but I do hope that you will bear with me as this city girl's life is about to change! 

Surely the most enjoyable aspect of 'nesting' is the opportunity to become enamoured by furniture, textiles and other homely wares; working on your house becomes far more enjoyable when you can inject some newness into it. Although I have mostly reinvigorated our existing interiors, I wanted to share some of my favourite finds with you, from a variety of seductive, 'if-you-must-nest-you-must-come-to-us' shops. Have you been struck by the urge to nest? Do you have any tips for a fellow sufferer? I hope you enjoy my selection below...

Dot cushion by Hay at SCP, £89.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Mr & Mrs Smith's Italian Guidebook

Over the last few days, I have been dreaming of warmer climes and luxury hotels - who hasn't? January is the perfect time to plan that glamorous getaway, unless you were clever enough to book a post-Christmas break in advance and, in which case, you are probably on a beautiful beach right now and not tuned into your blackberry/ipad...

Locanda al Colle Hotel, Tuscany

So far this year, my dreams have centred on Italy, courtesy of the lovely team at Mr & Mrs Smith, who recently sent over their new Italian guidebook. Having visited a mere handful of Italian regions, it remains one of my all-time favourite countries...stunning scenery, wonderful people, exquisite food and wine, formidable fashion (of course) and an irresistible history and all-encompassing aura of romance. Informal charm and frivolity on the one hand and a sense of bewildering, awe-inspiring powerlessness on the other. As a traveller, you must succumb to Italy, à la Lucy Honeychurch in E.M. Forster's A Room with A View. Then, you will never forget it's magic; it will never leave you. 

Bellevue Syrene Hotel, Amalfi Coast

Opening the handsomely presented Italian guidebook by Mr & Mrs Smith, I discovered the team's characteristically sumptuous photographs, informed and animated reviews and fascinating insider tips. Looking for the best local tagliatelle, or hoping to hire a Vespa? The book covers "32 of the country's most unique and stylish hotels", from Venice to Umbria, Capri to Sardinia. 

Palazzina Grassi Hotel, Venice

Mr & Mrs Smith's Italian Guidebook (or Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: Italy) is an utterly delicious coffee table treat, and if you are tempted by the thought of a super stylish Italian break this year, you will not be disappointed. In the meantime, the Tuscan tales and Roman ruins will make you feel as though you're already there. Heaven.

Palazzo Bontadosi, Umbria

*You can buy the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Collection: Italy via Mr & Mrs Smith's gift shop, or Amazon.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

City Girl's Secret London Spots for Time Out

Hi everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. How did you celebrate? I enjoyed a very special time with family and friends and now feel full of excitement for the year ahead. 

Have you made any New Year's resolutions for 2012? If you have read the blog recently, you'll know that 2012 should introduce one big change to my life, as (all going well), I become a mum in a matter of weeks. This year will likely be very different from previous years, but even with a baby in tow, I have one, recurring New Year's resolution that I hope to achieve: to see more of London. Despite calling this exciting city home for several years, I love the fact that there's always somewhere new to discover, whether that's becoming acquainted with a lesser-known area, finding a new wine bar or stumbling upon a beautiful street. So, when Time Out London asked me to share 5 of my secret London spots, I jumped at the chance. Not only did it give me the opportunity to celebrate London as a city rich in these wonderfully diverse, often overlooked 'pockets', I longed to discover the secret spots chosen by others. Having worked at British Vogue on the Vogue Secret Address Book, I know what a challenging (albeit rewarding) task it is, to unveil 'secret' places in our capital, but hopefully you will encounter one or two in my Time Out picks. I would also love to hear about your secret London spots - which would you choose?

Here's a link to my 5 secret London spots for Time Out, or you can browse them here:

1. Postman’s Park – King Edward Street, Smithfield, EC4M 7DQ.
Postman's Park, Smithfield

Nestled unassumingly on the edge of London’s financial district, Postman’s Park is a beautiful green space and spiritual sanctuary. Paying tribute to ordinary people who lost their lives saving others (via the stunning, tiled Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice), Postman’s Park is a special, humbling place to sit upon a bench and take a step back from the bustling world beyond.

2. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art - 39A Canonbury Sq, N1 2AN.
Estorick Collection, Islington
The Estorick Collection is found within a handsome Georgian house in Islington which, along with the lack of crowds compared to other London galleries, adds to its appeal and the sense that you are uncovering extraordinary art in a secret space. The UK’s only gallery devoted to modern Italian art, a trip here is a treat. The permanent collection includes work by Modigliani which shares the spotlight with temporary collections, an impressive library,  
shop and outside café. Canonbury Square is a picturesque spot in itself.

3. Queen Square – Bloomsbury, WC1N 3AR.
Queen Square, Bloomsbury
Queen Square is one of London’s many squares featuring grand, attractive architecture and a magical, historic ambience, yet not many people (even London cabbies) seem to know how to find it. Surrounded mostly by medical buildings, the inner green space is a hidden gem and would make a serene picnic spot to enjoy before exploring the surrounding area. Maybe a film at the nearby Renoir cinema?

4. Sublime - 126 St. John Street, EC1V 4JS. (Website not live yet; tel: 020 7253 1112).
It seems that only locals know and love this delightful shop, where expertly edited indie (often Scandinavian) fashion labels and enchanting gifts are displayed in an irresistibly pretty way. A treasure trove for the shopper looking for something different, your first trip here will certainly not be your last.

5. Sourced Market St Pancras International station, NW1 2QP.
Sourced Market, St Pancras International
Whether or not you are en route to Paris, St Pancras International is an awe-inspiring station to visit. A welcome respite from the many chains surrounding it, Sourced Market celebrates the best of British produce and is open seven days a week, 7am to 9pm. Find your fresh fruit and vegetables or magnificent Flour Power City brownies then sit down for (or take away) a hot breakfast, lunch or dinner. A heavenly pit stop for foodies and a great place for gifts. 

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