Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Uncommon London

Ph. Eva K Salvi

For the first time in foreversince I stopped considering myself mere passer by, and decided London was to be called home for the forceable— I've been OK with the swarms of tourists jostling around my hometown. Which is convenient, given that it's that time of year again: not only am I jetting off to explore another European gem every weekend (making me one of them, to someone far more busy and important than myself, no doubt!), but the city is also welcoming visitors by the crowdful, as the summer kicks in.

And here I am, smiling as they wonder past, helpfully offering advice and directions to anyone who looks like they are about to cave and switch data-roaming back on (forget rent, Google maps and no-I-can't-wait-to-get-back-to-the-hotel-to-Instagram-this are the main strains on my bank account these days). 

You might think this affable, far less irritable, version of myself is simply a case of not wanting to call the kettle black. As much as I wish this were true, I would be lying (as the eldest of four, you learn early on never to admit to anything until you are 100% sure you can't pin own actions on the one that hasn't yet fully mastered the art of speech. So yeah, anything that mature is beyond me). The truth is, I owe this new me to The Leading Hotels of the World

Not just because I am a much more sane and far better rested person since getting back from that unforgettable trip to Switzerland (more on that soon, I promise).

It all comes down to this picnic Lucy and I decided to treat ourselves to when getting back.

I should picnic in London more often.

In fact, after I'm done sharing this, I'm writing to Boris to convince him that picnic-breaks should be made mandatory if Londoners are to be more civil to one another. Trust me, it's science!

You see, after being challenged into seeking out the 'remarkably uncommon' on our travels abroad, both of us could not help but want to do the same on home turf. They say you will only get to know a city if you live like a local. Well, turns out I have neglected huge chunks of city life, because I have deemed them too touristy. Not anymore!

We didn't go for the Boris bike option (sorry Mayor of London), and chose instead to borrow some far prettier (read: photogenic) pedals from Shinola, which we rode through the park until we found our spot. Not any grassy surface, mind. Our spot. Where The Ritz's on-point concierge had set up picnic hamper, rugs, food et all at our request that very morning. We refuelled (Fortnum & Mason's make a jolly good quiche lorraine— French palette speaking here!), sunbathed in the dappled sunlight, and raised our champagne-filled glasses to our non-planned coordinated stripes. Glorious!

The day could have ended there, but we felt we had to make a detour back via the Ritz, if only to thank that Mary Popins of a concierge. Ever the helpful soul, he suggested we top the day off with a quick drink at The Rivoli bar (embarrassingly, despite my love of all things classic and Fred Astair, I had never been). "Two InCointreauvertible Fizz's please, Barman" (Remarkably Uncommon, we decided, should apply to our cocktails, too!). Cointreau, hibiscus syrup, vermouth, lime, soda water, shaken not stirred, and decorated with beautiful bright blooms.

Could I please get one more of those?

As I said, as soon as I'm a little less tipsy (not sure whether I'm drunk on life of orange liquor, mind) I am putting pen to paper, and, err, tweeting BoJo about this important city initiative. Meanwhile, until he finds the time to address the issue, I suggest you too seek out the goodies your own city has to offer, before complaining about those who have traveled many a mile to enjoy every millimetre of it.

And may I suggest The Leading Hotels of The World as a great place to start.


Skirt: ACNE (similar here) || T-shit: MIH || Sandals: Totême || Scarf: Totême || Jacket: Laer (try here) || Sunglasses: Celine

Lucy wears: Trousers: Karen Millen || Jacket: Belstaff || Top: ASOS || Shoes: Jimmy Choo

This post was brought to you by The Leading hotels of the World, in collaboration with The Ritz.


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Diamonds O' Clock

Chaumet necklace - win by purchasing the 'Nicole' set

Last call folks for this wonderful competition.

You still have until Friday 26th to purchase the evocative Myla 'Nicole' set (available in HarrodsSelfridges and to win an exquisite parure (incidentally worth £80,000) by iconic French label Chaumet. 

Don't miss out. You know what they say: diamonds are forever...

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Denim Star series

Ph. Eva K Salvi

Oops I did it again. Going full-on naughties in this Britney-and-Justin-at-the-2001-American-Music-Awards tribute, as my obsession with head-to-toe denim takes on a new challenge: the bustier dress. Granted, not the safest choice when it comes to denim staples. In fact, the fitted number is way sexier than your average go-to jeanwear, making it harder for me to throw on without a second thought (which goes against the ethos of denim: easy-wear for everyday dressing).

But add a simple white tee and easy lace-ups, and you can tone the ensemble down just enough to achieve the "I'm not a girl, not yet a women" look. As in, girl next door hasn't quite graduated to full-on va-va-voom but is keen to get out of her tomboyish teenage tendencies.

In other words, presentable. For not all of us are Disney Club child stars turned pop-world phenomenons.

Duplicated, never replicated.

Cry me a river. 

Part 1 of 2 in a series in collaboration with Miss Sixty. 


Monday, 15 June 2015

Destination Resort 2016

From left to right: Joseph; Calvin Klein; Thakoon; 
Rosie Assoulin; Stella McCartney; The Row

While not all brands will be flying 500-or-so of the world's most respected journalists and most followed influencer halfway across the world to reveal their plans for Resort 2016, it would be rude not to pay attention to their holiday arrangements. So here goes, a few not-to-be-missed sartorial itineraries, that should take you off the beaten high-street track come cruise season.

Joseph continues to takeover the world of basic-wear, one elevated wardrobe staple at a time. Suit-up in one of the labels oversized pant 'n blazer combos. Add novelty to this mainstream boy-meets-girl occurrence by giving trusty black a rest. I vote rust, because it is both kind to most carnations, and unequivocally directional, with a 70s twist.

Elsewhere, Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa has eloped to a romantic destination with a certain @Ragingleisure. The pair met on Instagram; it was love at first click. Alice Lancaster, as she was christened by her parents before handles became our preferred designation, is an illustrator known for her humorous and colourful works which explore the female body, mind and sexuality. On this metaphorical honeymoon, the pair will be wearing long-fitted knit tops over 20s-silhouette drop waist skirts, all criss crossed with breton stripes, and Lancaster's monochromatic abstract #freethenipple print. Warning: do not Instagram!

Meanwhile, Thakoon has not given up on converting us all to boho-ism. City girls like me have always been reluctant to join the free-spirited movement, for fear of developing schizophrenic dressing tendencies. But his arguments (cotton shirting, lacing details, poncho vibes) were delivered super softly this season, thus speaking volumes to the minimalist dresser in me.

The Row. Lord have mercy. Never have I ever been so consistently tempted to sell all my belongings (oh wait, I am!) and forgo all holiday plans for the next seven years, just to own a single silk garment, that I would obviously ruin within 7 minutes of wear (that is an official figure). Consider this another lesson in studied restraint. The clothes and I, both!

Luckily, Stella McCartney got my spirits back up with her annual garden party bonanza (now accessible to all via the magic medium of Snapchat). But it was not just her idea of a good time that had me excited for BBQ season: her modern drop-waist, obi-wrap take on the shirt dress will solve any outdoorsy dresscode conundrums. Chic, casual and machine washable! Genius.

And last but not least, all eyes on Rosie Assoulin. For one glance at her clothes alone is holiday for the soul. A destination for those who tired of looking like the rest of us, and are comfortable enough to stand out by endorsing, let's see, say a bright red asymmetrical two-piece with open-slit legs. Or a dramatic waterfall of ruffles tumbling down an off-the-shouder pinstripe two piece. Here you can play around with frills, layers and colour-blocking without ever making a fashion faux pas, or looking overdone. Statement clothes for tastemakers all around the world. I'm currently working on my visa.