Monday, 30 July 2012

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Jessica

Canadian model Jessica Stam, after Armani Privé , Paris, July 2012.

Completely in love with this outfit on Jessica - I think she looks absolutely incredible. The preppy sweater and skirt, leopard print loafers and studded bag. love. it. all.

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Marie

Marie Myrhøj from Nemesis,Babe blog, before Elie Saab, Paris, July 2012.

Loved this outfit on Marie (who is 19 years old and from Denmark) - so sweet. I took two sets of photos of her (these before Elie Saab and some before Jean Paul Gaultier). I couldn't decide which ones (yes, I am hopelessly indecisive) so am showing you these now and the other ones in a couple of weeks :)

Recreate Marie's super cute look (kind of):

Add printed pants: River Island fluro Geo pant, Enza Costa chiffon zipper pants (saw these on a lady pushing a pram the other day. She looked amazing), Girl. by Band of Outsiders Garland printed pants, Pencey Standard Jessica Hart pants

ASOS washed canvas backpack, Nasty Gal quilted backpack or Juicy Couture Trinity backpack

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Daria

 Daria Veledeeva, Editor in Chief, Harper's Bazaar Russia, Place Vendôme, Paris, July 2012.

A group of us were just standing around in the Place Vendôme waiting/watching/chatting (i.e. wasting time!) one evening....and then this lady swept by. I think this dress is beautiful. And I love her messy up-do. 

Recreate her look (kind of):

Floaty maxi dress (perfect for a wedding or cocktail party) - Sonia Rykiel Rainbow Impression dress (this would look amazing when you walk or dance), Issa kimono sleeve printed silk maxi dress, Yigal Azrouel leopard silk dress, ASOS maxi dress with pleats or Alice by Temperley Beatrice maxi dress

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13....Hanaa

Tunisian model (and face/spokesperson) of Lancôme Hanaa Ben Abdesslem, Paris, July 2012.

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13....Natalia

Natalia Alaverdian, Fashion Editor, stylist and photographer, Harper's Bazaar (Russia), before Versace, Paris, July 2012.

Love this lace dress on Natalia - it is dark, glamorous, opulent, seductive - and an early nod to the Gothic trend for the coming season. I would love to see this dress dressed down with biker boots for day....

Recreate Natalia's Look (kind of):

Alice by Temperley Kitty lace dress (my favourite - I was suppose to shoot a lovely model in this dress today but unfortunately she was unwell), Rebecca Taylor lace sleeveless dress, Alice by Temperley Lottie dress, ICB tiered lace dress, BB Dakota When the Night Comes dress, Ellery cutaway dress with lace sleeves or Tibi lace dress

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2013...Azza

Azza Yousif, Vogue Hommes Fashion Editor, before Hermès, Paris, July 2012.

Love this crisp, clean look on Azza.... the white jeans a sleek alternative to white suit pants.

Recreate Azza's look (kind of):

White blazer: Theory Italeen stretch canvas blazer, Bop Basics blazer, ASOS blazer with roll sleeve (in white) or Halston Heritage crepe blazer

White jeans: 7 For All Mankind The Skinny Jeans, AG Adriano Goldschmied The Super Skinny legging jean, River Island skinny jeans

 White t-shirt: Vince Little Boy t-shirt or ASOS t-shirt with crew neck

Add neutral accessories: Belle by Sigerson Morrison Falda sandals, Alexander Wang Maddie sandals or Alexander Wang Amber sandals

Paris Men's Fashion Week SS 2013

After Kris Van Assche, Paris, June 2012.

A simple sleeveless blouse + printed skirt, with colour accents provided by Acne mules, tan handbag, brick red lips and sunglasses. An easy summer look.

Recreate her look (kind of):

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Anmari

New Zealand model Anmari Botha (IMG agency), Paris, July 2012.

Anmari = high on my list of girls I would love to shoot "properly" (and in the process not cut off her feet!)

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Angelica

Angelica from Angy's Tea Room, Place Vendôme, Paris, July 2012.

Recreate Angelica's look (kind of):

Vanessa Bruno printed maxi dress (the one Angelica is wearing - so beautiful!), By Malene Birger Abondance printed dress, Backstage Majorca dress, A.L.C. Annaleigh Maxi dress, Topshop lace panel maxi dress

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Carine

Carine Roitfeld, after Giorgio Armani Privé (I think!), Paris, July 2012.

Love a good jumpsuit (no need to think about what to wear on top or bottom - it is all figured out for you) and Carine looks brilliant in this one (but then she looks fabulous in anything!).

Recreate Carine's Look (kind of):

Dion Lee Boiler jumpsuit , Boy. by Band of Outsiders long sleeved jumpsuit, Michael by Michael Kors belted crepe jumpsuit, Lover Modernist jumpsuit (clearly we Aussies love a jumpsuit!) or ASOS wide leg jumpsuit

Add a pair of killer heels: Ryder skinny buckle sandals, Alexander Wang Inna sandals or Givenchy embellished hagfish sandals

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Julia

Julia Nobis, after Giambattista Valli Couture, Paris, July 2012.

The butterfly broke....she was taking it home to glue it back to life (er, sort of).

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Laura

Model Laura Love*, before Chanel Haute Couture, Paris, July 2012.

So summer has finally hit the UK and along with that comes the desire for pretty, floaty summer dresses (anything to keep reasonably cool!). And Laura's gorgeous pink dress has me dreaming of garden parties, weddings in the South of France, cocktails and dinner on a balcony somewhere glamorous..... And her pearl studded bun? perfection.

Recreate Laura's Look (kind of):

J.Crew Lucienne one-shoulder dress,  Lela Rose Angel Wing dress, Tibi sleeveless dress, Thread Eleanor Tea length dress, Thayer Chiffon tiered ruffle dress (more for an after-the-beach cocktail party than a wedding) Little Mistress Embellished waistband dress

Add some super high sandals: B Brian Atwood Labrea high heel sandals or Jimmy Choo Valiant mirrored sandals

*You can read an interview with Laura here

Paris Couture Fashion Week AW 2012/13...Anya

Anya Ziourova, Fashion Director Tatler Russia, after Chanel Haute Couture, Paris, July 2012.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Paris Fashion Week AW 2012....Daga

Polish model Daga Ziober, after Akris, Paris, March 2012.

I love everything about Daga's outfit here - from her Valentino studded clutch to her patterned brogues, ripped denim jeans and blue eyeshadow. On my wish list? That Valentino studded clutch!

Recreate Daga's look (kind of):

Black denim jeans (customise with your own rips): Rag&Bone/Jean high rise skinny jeans, 7 For All Mankind The skinny jeans, Cheap Monday skinny jeans

Valentino studded leather clutch (in black) or beige

Paris Fashion Week AW 2012...Eleonora

Eleonora Carisi,after Akris (I think!), Paris, March 2012.

Something fun for Monday!

I loved when Eleonora opened her coat to reveal that monster (well, I think it is a monster?) dress - so cute!

New York Fashion Week AW 2012...Iris

Dutch model Iris Egbers, after Vera Wang, New York, February 2012.

Recreate Iris's look (kind of):

Denim skirt (wear with bare legs and a tee now, add tights for Autumn/Winter) - Mother high waisted denim miniskirt, See by Chloe patterned mini (love the colours in this skirt - perfect for winter with tights) or G-Star denim miniskirt

Tory Burch Irene boots or See by Chloe flat knee-high boots, or ASOS Kate leather boots

London Fashion Week AW 2012....Renee

Dutch model Renee Germaine van Seggern, after Erdem, London, February 2012.

Some straight hair (and winged eyeliner) inspiration for the start of the week!

Weekend Life....Auberge Ostapé, Basque Country, France

 Auberge Ostapé, French Basque Country, early June 2012.

The drive from the plains and vineyards of La Rioja to our next destination, Auberge Ostape in the foothills of the Pyrenees in French Basque country, was nothing short of spectacular. Through deeply forested gullies, over vast lakes and gushing streams, past valleys dotted with grazing sheep and muscular looking cows, we climbed higher and higher up the winding mountain road which traverses the border between Spain and France. Willing myself to keep my eyes straight ahead and away from the perilous drop to the side of the car, our drive was made even more precarious by the pelotons of cyclists who were perhaps under the illusion that they were in a time trial for the Tour de France (maybe I should have wound down the window and shouted “Allez Allez” to encourage them on!). Stopping for a quick lunch at a roadside café high in the mountains, with only the locals, a rather stern Madame proprietor and a few stray cats for dining companions, I reflected that, for me, a road trip is as much about the journey as it about each destination.

 And the final destination on our Spanish Basque → La Rioja → French Basque road trip was rather special. Located near the pretty Basque village of Bidarray, Auberge Ostape is a luxury retreat situated on 45 rolling hectares of countryside with lush green meadows, dense woods and stunning views across the Valley of the Nive. Upon arriving at the gated entrance to the private estate, we were greeted with smiles and bonjours from our host Christelle who explained that we would be provided with a golf buggy to use at Ostape for the duration of our stay (cue silent whoops of childish glee from me!). Luggage on board, we proceeded foot to the floor, up the steep hill to our guest suite stifling giggles as we tried valiantly to keep pace with Christelle. Ostape has 22 guest suites divided between 5 whitewashed, red-shuttered traditional Basque houses dotted around the property (hence the need for golf buggies!). Our suite, Suite Luxe Le Noyer, was located in the highest villa on the property and when we flung open the French doors to our terrace, we were met with achingly beautiful views of the rugged mountains and deep green valleys set against a perfect blue sky. Decorated in rustic shades of cream and white with terracotta-tiled floors, our suite was huge. Divided into two rooms, the bedroom held a king sized bed with an ornate carved wooden headboard, while the lounge room contained a comfy sofa and chairs in front of an open fireplace (which would be perfect to curl up in front of during the colder months). The enormous bathroom (bigger than our kitchen at home!) was stocked with a selection of Bvlgari products and a stack of folded, fluffy white towels.

Jumping in our golf buggy (with me at the wheel – eep!*) we set out to explore the rest of the estate. A charming 17th century Basque manor house sits in the centre of the property and houses Ostape’s reception, bar and restaurant while an adjacent building contains a shop selling locally made gifts, wine and homewares. Further down the hill is the superb (heated) swimming pool and terrace together with sauna and Moroccan-style hammam. With books in hand, swimsuits and sunglasses on, we grabbed towels and settled into comfortable poolside recliners for a lazy afternoon of napping, swimming, reading and gazing at massive vultures as they circled high in the sky above our heads.

Eat: Once you arrive at Ostape, you won’t want to leave. It was even an effort to tear ourselves away from the pool to dress for dinner. Fortunately Ostape is as much about food as it is about the beautiful surrounds – the celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse was the original proprietor. While Monsieur Ducasse is no longer involved in Ostape, the restaurant retains his commitment to serving refined Basque-influenced dishes prepared with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. Sheep’s milk yoghurt is sourced from a farm just below the Ostape estate, local cheese comes from a producer in Bidarray, vegetables and herbs are grown in the estate’s vegetable garden. Highlights of our meal? Slices of smoky black pudding served with lobster medallions and a heady lobster reduction, thick spears of white asparagus poached in stock and topped with an egg, and the Ostape dessert: a rich chocolate mousse and marmalade pudding. While a walk back up the hill to our villa would have been the wise choice to help liberate our full tummies, a late night spin around the estate in our golf buggy proved much more fun ;)

Apart from the hotel’s restaurant (which also serves a wonderful breakfast on the terrace: bowls of café au lait, freshly squeezed orange juice, homemade Basque cakes, thin slices of chorizo and jambon, croissants, baguettes with tiny rolls of butter, sheep’s milk cheeses, and rice pudding) the beautiful town of St-Jean-Pied-de-Port is only a 20-minute drive away where there are many restaurants and cafes.

La Ferme Ostalapia restaurant (about 7 km from Saint-Jean-de-Luz) is also worth a visit for a lovely lunch overlooking vineyards and the Pyrenees.

Do: Absolutely nothing except lay by the pool and absorb the absolute peace and tranquillity that is Auberge Ostape! Not true of course – the area around Ostape is packed with things to do – but it is the kind of place where once you arrive, all plans for exploring are abandoned in favour of relaxation.

If you are up for exploring, you must visit St-Jean-Pied-de-Port an ancient, cobbled village which straddles both sides of the River Nive and is often the starting point for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago.

The coastal town of Biarritz is a 45 minute drive away as is Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Auberge Ostape is situated close to the Spanish border so daytrips are possible to San Sebastian, Pamplona (we attempted a visit but the town was blocked off due to protests unfortunately), and of course, the Pyrenees.

*The first few rides were accompanied by white knuckles, mild panic down the steep inclines and excessive breaking. Once I got the hang of it though I didn’t want to relinquish the wheel!

We stayed at Auberge Ostapé courtesy of the hotel.