December in London and Paris
With the Party Season beckoning there is a lot going on in London and Paris.
Christmas shopping is top of everyone's list right now and here are some things that I think you may find to be essential stocking fillers.
Miu Miu store opening in London.
One of the most anticipated store openings before Christmas was the Miu Miu store opening on New Bond Street. Jessica Alba and Charlotte Dellal sipped Pink Lady and Dirty Martini's. Caroline Seiber appeared in a simply stunning Scarlet Red Dress, regular readers will know how much I like Scarlet. Laura Bailey and actress Annabelle Wallis both wore red carpet worthy numbers in Royal Blue and Black with Fur trim respectively.
Many of the guests at the store also attended the Private Dinner held later at Lancaster House. Ronnie Wood and Miuccia Prada welcomed guests for a lavish after the 20's themed Party on Bond Street where Zaha Hadid and Nicholas Serota mingled with Sadie Frost and Agent Provocatrice Serena Rees looked fab in Miu Miu pieces.
Anna Popplewell shines brightly in Van Cleef & Arpels at the Royal Premiere of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
In Profile - Georgia Hardinge
Following London Fashion Week in September I want to tell you more about a charismatic Young British Designer Georgia Hardinge. 2010 has been a great year for Georgia in February she exhibited her Autumn - Winter 2010-11 collection at Somerset House and in September 2010 she delivered a very successful catwalk show for her Spring - Summer 2011 line. It was a run(a)way success and her are some of my favourite pieces that she showed at the Freemason's Hall. I love the way she blends feminine delicasy with strong structured tailoring.
To add to Georgia's growing list of impressive accomplishments she has also collaborated with Victoria's Secret with three of her designs being shown in New York in November 2010. Here is part of a recent interview that she gave to Vogue. Georgia knows I'm using this so hopefully I'm not being naughty borrowing this here.
How did working with Victoria's Secret come about?
"Charlotte Stockdale invited me to have a meeting; she expressed great excitement over my autumn/winter 2010 Cage collection at Somerset House and said that she had something amazing in store for me, but never mentioned what it was!"
What was the brief?
"I was given a brief to design for the Victoria's Secret Show using five themes: Wild Things, Tough Love, Wish Upon a Star, Country and Game On. I was asked to make as many ideas as possible in sketches, prototypes, collage and samples, using different textures and mediums, before my next meeting with them, where I was introduced for the first time to Todd Thomas - head stylist for Victoria's Secret. The brief was to create an innovative showpiece inspired by the themes given to compliment the underwear. There were no design restrictions; I was free to create anything."
Did you go to the show?
"Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the show but I've seen the photos."
What did you think when you saw them on the catwalk?
"Beautiful! It was an amazing experience! I was so excited and proud! It was a brief of limitless creativity: a designer's dream! Swarovski also awarded me the opportunity to work with them and sponsored one of my pieces."
What are your plans for the coming year?
"I have a new collaboration that I am unable to talk about at this time but it is super exciting! Other than that, all I can think about is my new collection (which will be my best yet!), and I hope this opens more doors and many more amazing collaborations."
I was really excited to hear about Georgia's collaboration with Victoria's Secret and I believe that there are more exciting projects on the way. In the meantime she is opening her online store with two launch parties in London and in Paris in early 2011.
I'm looking forward to seeing the collection coming out in London in February which will be her second Catwalk show in London.
Georgia often says that she likes to dress real women with curves and cleavage. Think the next collection will have many pieces that many of us will be able to visualise upon ourselves.
Blake Lively and Chanel?
The ever gorgeous Blake Lively has been spotted in New York being photographed by Karl Lagerfeld prompting speculation that she could be about to become the next face and spokesmodel of Chanel. I'm pretty curios about his as I think I've also seen her wearing jewellery from another House that I've really enjoyed working with, Van Cleef and Arpels.
We will have to wait and see but to me Blake really is classic Chanel girl and would be a great Ambassador for the brand.
CHANEL launch their Pre - fall 2011 Metiers des Arts collection.
This years Metiers des Arts collection was launched in Paris and the theme was Byzantium. Byzantium provided a rich source of inspiration for the collection that each year produces pieces to show the technical excellence of the House and it's associated Ateliers that form the Metiers des Arts.
Precision Haute Couture swished around the Paris salon bringing the past treasures of the East into the 21st Century. Chanel's Aeteliers created 14 Haute Couture pieces. Empress Theodora provided some of the inspiration for the make up and Jewellery of the collection in particular an image of her in the Church of Saint Vital of Ravenne. The other inspiration was Chanel herself who was fascinated by the richness and elaborate detail of Byzantine culture.
Today the traces of Byzantium are scattered in eastern Europe and the Levant. However in some places you can still find traces of it's radiance shining still. A couple of years ago I met Judith Herrin and attended her lecture that launched the book 'Byzantium'. I think perhaps if Chanel herself where here with us now she would have been very interested in this book and the body of research that spans Judith's career.......Back to the fashion.
The collection's Look Book was shot in Ravenna and the Salon of the Maison in Paris was transformed into an Eastern boudoir where guests relaxed on low couches and enjoyed something of the intimate closed atmosphere that the Byzantine court lived in most of the time.
The pieces from collection where all stunning. The colour palette ranged mostly through Black, Silver & Gold. The first piece was Black with beautiful flower detail and Square cut classically Byzantine Jewellery. I loved the clothes right through this collection from the long cream dress to the knee-length skirts and 3/4 length jackets and dresses.
Piece 5 was my favourite of the whole collection. It was a beige - cream dress that was worn over matching stockings/leggins that reminded me of the chanel black and beige shoes that where designed to lengthen the leg. I loved the chain-draped detail of the jewellery that clung round the models' figures.
This collection was an absolute treasure in itself and I've been thinking more about Byzantium again from seeing it. The best art really does inspire you.
Many glamourous guests where there including the wonderful Ines de la Fressange and her daughters Violette and Nine, Clemence Poesy, French socialite Josephine de le Baume, Anna Mouglais and regular chanel faces Caroline Seiber, Charlotte Casiraghi and Tatiana Santo Domingo.
The new Editor in Chrief of Paris Vogue has been chosen and announced and it's Emmanuelle Alt. This hasn't come as a huge surprise to many people in the industry and far beyond as she has been an essential part of Vogue Paris for many years now.
The changes to come at Vogue Paris will probably be subtle and rumor has it that she already has plans to feature Giselle on her first cover and in her first edition, which I suspect will be the March Issue released in Paris in the first full week of February.
For a girl like me who feels part of her will always be in Paris, in France, for a little of the time I'm very satisfied that woman from Paris, a French woman has the role of editing the world's chicest publication. C'est naturel.
Daphne Guinness at Brora store opening party.
It's December and we really know it now. To be frank it's absolutely freezing. What better time to reach for the Cashmere and just when we needed it Brora are opening a new store in Symonds Street. Brora stores are full of gorgeous cashmere that you would love to snuggle up to. They sell everything that you would need for wrapping up in the town and country and with the weather as cold as it is; it's perfect timing for Victoria Stapleton.
This is an opening to celebrate Brora's first fully fledged fashion collection. After building a loyal following for many, many years. Victoria now believes that the time is right for this. Like the lady herself I'm also in love with the Pixie Boots and I got into snoods this Winter for the first time. I copied my friend Franscica and bought a Damask Rose coloured knitted one.
If you havn't been to Brora please go and check out their collection.
Erdem's first Pre-Fall collection!
As if many of us hadn't realise that Erdem could one day be a 'Karl', 'Yves' or Monsieur Dior figure in the fashion world, he demonstrated this month that he has the potential to turn out the high volume of work that is required if the designers at the top houses.
This was a collection of a late summer into Autumn that encompassed the Azure and Lapis blues of the Southern Seas with the reds and burnished dark Browns that remind me of landscapes turning to Autumn after the heat of summer. I'm thinking of Italy, of Southern France, of Greece and the Adriatic Coasts.
The third piece is heaven. It's a Marine Blue dress that hugs the figure close. The upper part of the dress across the shoulder is composed of lace and the eye is gradually drawn down from this beautiful detail to the perfect curves that smooth down over the surface of the wearer.
One of the things to do in Florence is to visit the Salvatore Ferragamo store by the banks of Arno river. Close to one of famous bridges it really is a remarkable place, even for a girl like me who barley notices her shoes sometimes, eeek yes it's true, I'm happiest barefoot!
Ferragamo, the name that dominated shoe Couture and Ready to wear for much of the early to mid 20th Century. While filming the The Tourist in Italy Angelina Jolie had a number of shoes custom made (28 pairs I believe) and these have formed the basis of a new collection the Elise.
Ferragamo have invited clients to customise their footwear. To begin with the clients will have a choice of two dozen colours for each shoe and will be able to have their monogram added to the shoe, but this will change with each season so stay tuned for what they will be offering in a few months.
Having a Ball for Great Ormond Street.
The Great Ormond Street Christmas Ball will take place at Harrods again this year and they are aiming to raise over £500,000 for charity. It's a very worthy cause and usually a venue for some very beautiful dressing. You cam support the appeal by clicking www.gosh.org. Please be generous, it's a very good cause.
Beauty, Grace & Style
Like a lot of British Children I grew up reading the Chronicals of Narnia Series and I think it's great that the new younger generation can see these in a new movie format.
Here is Amy Popplewell looking wonderful at the Royal Premiere in a necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels.
I like the way she has matched this with a simple black dress and kept the make-up clean and free from fuss. Also her hair is swept up for the evening in fun-pony tail with some curls. Pony tails often look very chic in the evening and it's a good way of keeping the mane looking lovely and glamourous. It focusses attention on the face.
Well done to Amy and I hope we see her at many more premiere's.
(C) Images Georgia Hardinge.