Fashion Renegades or Eccentrics?

Oct 2, 2015

Sometimes it's so easy when we see someone
"pushing the envelope" in terms of fashion boundaries, to
label them eccentric (I know I have been guilty
of this myself :-(

So were these wonderful women below just
eccentrics or were they really fashion renegades?

You cannot start a discussion about fashion eccentrics
or renegades without talking about the lovely 
Iris Apfel; the US icon renowned for her over-sized
spectacles and maximalist dressing.

If you want to stand out from the crowd for your
original and idiosyncratic style, then look
no further for inspiration.

Iris Apfel, fashion renegades, fashion eccentrics, fashion icons
Iris Apfel

Jacqueline Ribes

 The French aristocrat Countess de Ribes was a muse
to YSL and one of the elite socialites known as the Swans.
She went onto launch her own label and customise her
couture outfits for fancy dress parties.
A new exhibition in her honour opens at the New York
Met this November.

diana vreeland, vogue, fashion icons, fashion renegades
Diana Vreeland

Diana Vreeland the legendary editor of American Vogue.
She later became the muse for Marc Jacobs' decadent
a/w 2015 collection. He created a show set that mimicked
her apartment.
Her points of view heralded some of the most adventurous
editorials of the time

So eccentrics or renegades?

Do you agree with the lovely Ms Apfel?


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Sassy Sequins

Sep 17, 2015

Sequins seem to be everywhere for the forthcoming seasons.

If you thought sequinned skirts were just for dressing up during
your Barbie doll years........think again.

It seems all the big names including Sonia Rykiel and Louis Vuitton 
are going big with the sparkles.

For a grown up take on this trend go mid-length or maxi.

Blake Lively rocking her sequins

If you've got gorgeous Bambi-like legs then go short
(I can only wish for this ;-)

Pair with opaques and a gorgeous cashmere jumper

I love how this is worn with a classic trench.
Who would have thought?

A classic white shirt also brings this skirt into 2015

Keep it chic and casual when paired with some denim

You favourite t'shirt or sweatshirt can give the skirt
a relaxed weekend vibe.

What are your thoughts on sequinned skirts?
Should they only be for the young and nubile with
legs like a young foal?
Or can those of us who have legs more like a sturdy work-horse
still look sassy with sequins?

Despite being the  Chief Sparkle Fairy in my business, 
I still haven't plucked
up the courage to don a sequinned skirt. 
I'm still a minimalist at heart ;-)

Would love your thoughts on this trend


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Reckon you could up the glamour stakes as well as me?
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I Wish For You..................

Sep 1, 2015

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons-something that 
never seemed to exist when I lived in Spain.

It's a season that always makes me think of new
beginnings (perhaps that goes back to school days);
new books, new friends, new ideas, new objectives.......

So this September I wish for you...............

*the joy of new beginnings, whether that be
a new course you are starting, a new career, a new book
or a new house (as for me ;-)

*the beauty of autumnal colours. Without getting all
woo-woo, just take a few minutes every day to just
appreciate your environment and the changing colours
that a new season brings

Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park

*your first homemade soup of the season

*books and throws

*the cake that emerges golden and domed and stays
that way

* the first dew on the grass

*cosying up with a good book or your best TV and 
no feelings of guilt

*the last ever season of Downton Abbey (I've heard
it's a weepy)

*the need for jackets but not coats

*the smell of Autumn in the air and Winter on it's way

*the joy of leaving your summer memories behind and 
the anticipation of new memories for the forthcoming season

*the excitement of new inspirations and insights

*pulling on your favourite cosy socks

What are you most looking forward to this new autumnal season?
What are you excited about right now?

Please share I LOVE reading your comments

A Month Of Madness

Aug 20, 2015

Well what can I say other than this month has
been pure madness for me on so many
levels; from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I can't tell you how many times I
wanted to OD on chocolate cake and crawl 
back under the duvet. Or how many times
I squealed like a happy little piglet!!!

Where the hell do I start?

OK, so first up is that my move to my dream
cottage is ever closer.

A cottage on the borders of the Cotswold and Wiltshire
 was literally on my vision board in my office, in my house
in Spain, and now it is imminent.

I'm a London girl (born and bred) and have lived all 
over the world, but always in a big or reasonably sized city.

So this is a whole new adventure for me.
But I am ready for it.......I think ;-)
As my Husband said "Van, this is going to take more than
a pair of glossy Hunter boots", and I think he might be right ;-)
He just knows me so well.

It's been a mad roller coaster getting here, but it looks we will finally be 
moving in at the end of the month.

I have bought the epitome of chocolate-box "Englishness"; 
detached, thatched cottage, beautiful gardens and rustic loveliness inside.

Again this is completely new for me as my house in
Spain and in the UK have always been very minimalist
and modern in style; black, white or neutral were the
central themes that ran through all my interiors. I just never did
color. My friends always joked if we went anywhere "colourful"
that I should "take it easy" as I would probably 
come down with a migraine ;-)

So rustic fireplaces, beams, slate floors,
stone walls will all be new for me.

 I am so excited and needless to say Pinterest 
has become my new "sleeping partner".
It's been keeping me up sometimes until
2-3am when my mind is whirring, my brain has turned to jelly
and all I am really capable of is clicking a button that says "pin".

Anyone who has moved knows how traumatic packing
can be. I am not good in a disorganised mess, whereas that's how
my Husband seems to work best. So it really has been survival of the 
fittest when it has come to packing.

Actually I usually just give up and go and find chocolate 
cake to console myself . Sometimes you just have 
to pick your battles.

On top of the excitement of moving into
my dream property my boutique was featured in this glossy
this month:

Another objective of mine this year was to up my PR 
in China. So this was such a huge thing for me.
If you can read Chinese, then here is the link

So these were two lovely things that happened this
week that helped me forget about:
* how much I am missing
my Dad; it's a daily struggle. Something I just never envisaged.
 *how money can turn people into monsters (talking
about my Sister here ;-) 
*how vision boards are not woo-woo at all; they really work.

*and how I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the
other as every small step (however small) has a compound 
effect. Sometimes we get dis-heartened because we can't see immediately
the fruits of our labor. But I've decided it's OK to be a wood-pecker;
to get up each day, go to my lofty tree (my goals and dreams) and just
start pecking, knowing that "one day" (I don't know when) that dream will come to fruition
i.e the tree will fall.
My beak may be really sore at the end of it, but
it's always SO worth it.

Happy Weekend Lovelies

(p.s  the cottage pictures are all courtesy of my BFF Pinterest ;-)


Jul 30, 2015

 It seems that most of this year has been about
Not easy when you are a control freak.

As I watch all my friends and family go off on their 
summer jaunts.....I am still waiting;

*waiting for the grief of losing my Dad earlier
this year to subside.
It still hasn't! Will it ever I ask myself daily?

* waiting to finalise my Dad's
estate, something that has been so painful
for me

*waiting to see what my estranged Sister's next
move will be now that she "smells" inheritance!!

*waiting for karma (as you can tell this is related
to the previous point)

*waiting to move into my gorgeous new cottage in 
the Cotswold that I have just bought

*waiting.....with dread at leaving the home that has been 
in my family for more than 40 years.

*waiting to see whether I will cry when I leave,
or whether I will just close the door whilst biting
down hard on my lip and trying to be strong

*waiting to see whether all the memories from the 
past 40 years will come crashing down and overwhelm
me, or whether it will be a complete anti-climax

* waiting to make new experiences and memories

*waiting to belly laugh again without feeling guilty

*waiting for business objectives to  start to 
come to fruition. Sometimes you keep plugging
away and you can't see the immediate effect of all the small
things you are doing on a daily basis. 
I just have to remember all the 
small actions do have a compound effect.

*waiting for my business to be featured in Vogue 
and Elle China. I am so excited about this as this
is a market I really wanted to explore. So I am just waiting
to hear about the editorial dates etc

*waiting for some decent weather here in the UK.
I don't need it to be as hot as it is when I am in Spain.
But it would be nice to not have to put my duvet back
on my bed in the middle of July. Or to remember to 
take an umbrella rather than remember to carry
my sunglasses ;-)

*waiting for days when my mind can slow down

*waiting for days when I spend less time speaking
to lawyers and more time speaking to loved ones

*waiting for my creativity to come back

*waiting to design my new office space :-)

*waiting for the sun to slowly filter through my
grief and show me that there will be sunnier days

I'm just waiting

Riviera-Chic? How Do I Get It?

Jul 22, 2015

Having lived in the Med for nearly 15 years and holidayed
in the places associated with Riviera-chic, I though I would
write about what I think constitutes Riviera-chic.

I am by no means a "fashionista", this is merely
my view of  a style and an era I absolutely love;
it's also where the idea for my boutique originated i.e
"bringing a little Riviera-chic to a woman's day".

Of course the famous Club 55 that epitomises everything that is Riviera-chic
and where my parents first took me when I was about 5 years old :-)

Apart from the Riviera being another playground for the rich and famous
(please note my family didn't fall into either category ;-)
the Riviera also has an "unwritten uniform" that dates back to the 1930's and 
comprises a mix of nautical and Parisian chic.

Here are some of my must-haves even today!!!

i) The Little White Dress

Main pic: Lily Pullitzer Resort Collection
Top Right: Jackie O
Bottom Right: Natalie Wood deciding which spot she is going to take ;-)

The perfect white dress adornment. All available here

ii) Stripes
Where out love of Breton stripes for the Summer all began!!!
Main Image: Riviera 1930's
Bottom Right: Bridgit Bardot

iii) The Straw Hat
Ladies on the Riviera always have the traditional straw hat

iv) Straw Holdall/Basket

Oh yes!!! Don't we all love carrying one of this in the summer
pretending we are channeling our Bridget Bardot?
It never looks quite as chic when I carry one ;-)

Basket Bottom Right: Aspiga

v) Big Shades

vi) Cigarette Pants/cropped pants
Left Image: Grace Kelly (1950's)

vii) Naughty in Nautical
Left Image: Sophia Loren

One of my favourite images from that era.

So is this your style?
Are you more boho-chic than Riviera-chic?
Which elements of Riviera-chic do you adopt
for your summer look?

As always I love to read your views 


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(All black and white images-Getty)

What Do You Recommend?

Jul 16, 2015

OK, so Summer seems to be the time when we 
lose ourselves in our books. 

For some it's the only time they
really get to indulge in reading.

For others like me, I constantly have my head in a new
book; my Husband is often saying there's not enough room
for both him and my books (but he knows better than to make me choose;-)

Actually the new cottage  I have just bought in the English 
 countryside has a gorgeous summer house in the garden, 
and that is going to be my reading nook. 
It was either "man-cave" or reading nook.
Guess which one won? ;-)

But here's the thing. I tend to only read non-fiction.

Here's what I am reading at the moment-both 
of which I highly recommend

This book it truly terrifying to read especially as it is written by one
of the most prominent Neurologists who watched both his parents
suffer with Alzhiemers. As degenerative brain diseases are one of
my biggest fears (perhaps more than the big C) this book shook
me to my core. Am I following the recommendations? You bet!!!

Has anyone else read this?
What were your thoughts?

I can sit for hours flicking through cookbooks.
I LOVE cooking and so this is a great way for me to relax.
This is a new book I am loving as I explore Middle Eastern

OK, but here's the thing.  In the Summer I do like to indulge
in some fiction and take my foot of the gas a little with the "heavy
stuff" ;-) But I'm a little stuck at what to read.

So I'm reaching out to my lovely friends here and asking,
"what fiction books would you recommend to me?"

I need a book that grabs you from the first few chapters (I'm sure
I have ADD). If I have to read 300 pages to gather what the book is about
I would have probably given up by page 200!!!

I'm open to any recommendations.
My fav genre's are: Psychological thrillers, stories about travel, 
friendship.................anything BUT chic-lit or sloppy romance.
I don't mind some romance if it's got a good meaty story behind it.

So let me have it.
Tell me your faves



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Jun 18, 2015

OK so we're  now in polo season, one of 
my favourite summer events (even though I have
never ridden a horse in my life). However, my Husband
is Spanish and comes from a  family who breed the
famous and gorgeous Andalucian Spanish horses. So I guess
I have become "horsey" through marriage ;-)

I thought I would do a post on my do's and don't
for polo attire. These are just my thoughts and by no
means will resonate with everyone (so
please don't take offence if I list a "don't" that is
actually your favourite look ;-)  but here we go.

Princess Charlotte of Monaco aka Charlotte Casiraghi

*keep polo attire smart and casual. Remember you
are not at the races or a summer wedding, but you still
want to look pulled together as this is usually quite a 
snazzy summer event. Remember this is a great networking/
social event, so you don't want to roll up looking as though
you are a stable hand ;-)

* my favourite colour to wear to polo events is to stick to white.
My favourite summer colour that always looks just fab against
the fab green of the polo lawn, and always makes you look fresh.

*keep accessories to a minimum

Leopard ring here
Branch Ring here

* flowing dresses also look fab at the polo, but nothing
too glitzy (you are not at a wedding ;-)
Dress: DVF
Rings: here

* stay away from stiletto's, you will look ridiculous wobbling
around on the lawn as your heels get stuck. I would go with
wedges and flats.  During polo "divot stamping" is done where 
the audience are invited to stomp back the mounds of lawn torn up 
by the horses; it's also a time to walk around and socialise (the 
best part for me).
So why not look glamorous doing it?

Shoes: Jimmy Shoo metallic wedges
Chloé suede wedges
Tory Burch cork sandals

Dress: Oscar de la Renta
Rings: here

I think this look would work really well also.


* DON'T do lots of bling. Accessorise freely but keep away from the stacking bangles-
you don't want the clanking of your bangles to drown out the thunder
of the hooves ;-)

*DON'T do the big fancy fancy hat. This is a dressy event, but 
it's not Ascot or the Kentucky Derby

*DON'T do psychedelic or sparkly. This
is polo not a pool party in Ibiza

That's it Lovelies.
Would love to know if you enjoy polo.
If not, what is your favourite summer event?

As always I love hearing from you