Monday, 17 December 2007

Sarko going out with Bruni shocker

A little festive puzzle for you. What do you get when you cross this Franco-Italian ex-supermodel turned rather successful singer with two low-key, laid-back dinner soirée style albums to her name, 39:


...with this, vertically-challenged former lawyer turned conservative Président of France, of Hungarian extraction, 52?

A relationship. Plus this pre-Christmas scene of romantic bliss at Disneyland Paris on Saturday (yes, that's right, how chic):


CB: Mama mia it's cold, but you're so manly and powerful. And you're the Prés.
NS: Freezing yes, look adoringly at me, right... now.
CB: Excellent angle, makes you look at least as tall as me, if not taller. No one will ever know you only come up to my shoulder. How manly and powerful you look with your collar turned up against the cold, in a rakishly Euro-stylish way.
NS: Yes. Must find out where Tom Cruise bought his insoles when he was married to Nicole Kidman... We're both immigrants you know darling - I said immigrants not racaille - which is excellent as it shows how I really like people of other ethnic origins, wildly different to my own.
CB: Quite. You're so manly and powerful, so French and Hungarian in much the same way that I'm both French and Italian at the same time. Crazy huh?

Gosh, or rather oh làaaaa, as the story was all over the French press this morning, after the couple 'came out' and posed happily for snappers at said theme park on Saturday, on a trip with Bruni's young son and... mother. A close supporter of the President, Le Figaro newspaper ran a front-page photo of Bruni this morning with the headline 'The President's girlfriend' (chapeau for subtlety) and has already launched into a rather frenentic and, dare we say it tabloid-looking campaign of gushing headlines asking 'Would Carla Bruni make a good First Lady?' and articles revealing her social awareness and support of Sarko's presidential rival and Socialist candidate Ségolène Royale. Interesting how glam she can make a rather dwarfish, sometimes slightly fascist politician look.

Odds on for Gordon Brown and Kate Moss?

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Pretty Christmas lights around the corner from my office...


Ridiculously busy in the run-up to Christmas, what with buying presents, wrapping presents, sending presents, send fab Pepperina Press Christmas cards and keeping up with the Sex and the City film gossip.

After a long day at the end of last week, before going home to do more stocking of pink milk vintage, I fell out of the office onto the Champs-Elysées for a last dash to Sephora and got caught up in all the lovely Christmas bustle.

Ten days until we leave to go back for Christmas. And counting…

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Stratton fashion

Just listed on pink milk vintage is this beautiful 1920s compact by classic UK firm Stratton. We love it, but would much rather it found a home under your Christmas tree.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Tadaa!

pink milk has launched pink milk vintage, as an attempt to free up some wardrobe space and a great excuse to spend more time trawling the flea markets of Paris and Athens for one-of-a-kind finds. We're both rather over-excited about this prospect and will be joining forces in Paris at the end of January on a special shopping spree for our new shop.

We're filling the shop up at the moment, but just in time for the festive season we've already got a couple of gorgeous party clutches, plus this sparkly 70s sequinned handbag, in near-perfect condition: 


This is a favourite old lady brooch, which makes a lovely rattle on your winter coat. Great condition, black jet-look beads on brass chain:


*Pop* join us in a virtual toast...

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Cabaret at the Folies Bergère


The Folies Bergère was the perfect venue to see Cabaret on Wednesday evening, a fabulous romp through the Kit Kat Klub from an intimate table at the edge of the stage. Visually stunning, emotionally stimulating Sam Mendes' production drew us into a two-and-a-half-hour twilight zone of music and dancing and flesh.

For the first time, the musical was performed completely in French and the adaptation was excellent. Willkommen, Mein Herr, Deux Ladies all oozed the Kit Kat Klub's cheeky decadence, which was gradually eroded in the build-up to the finale which cut like a knife through the café-cabaret atmosphere. The cast are all multi-talented wunderkind who sang, danced and played the sax, clarinet or trombone all at once with time for a wink and a slap to the audience. Fabian Richard, previously best-known for his straight roles, sparkled from his blue glitter eyeshadow to his army boots as cheeky Emcee and Claire Perot lit up the stage as Sally Bowles, but the bendy, bawdy, dancing girls were my favourites.

It's on until January 28th, so go and see it if you're in Paris.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Delightful evening of yum


After a rather scary moment when I thought the Mac didn't like the camera - shock, horror - I made sure it did with this photo of the end of a lovely and very rare evening of lazing around having baths reading and listening to nice music. It used to be red berries, kiwi and grapes in vanilla fromage frais. I'm finding moving it to the bottom of the text rather than the top quite challenging, so any tips gratefully received.

Photos are to come of our wedding commission in situ at said Hawaiian wedding soon, but thankfully not until I've worked out how to paste photos elsewhere on the page otherwise I'd have to do some complicated uploading order thing and that would be a right headache... Document and download stacks have disappeared too, hope am not completely incompetent at this Mac thing...

Anyway nevermind, sure I'll get my head round Leopard in good time. Had a lovely compliment from a buyer today, thanks Sara!


Friday, 23 November 2007

Little dance of joy!

We've been thinking of buying a MacBook for some time as our PC is on its last legs. D did the necessary yesterday and told me that it would be delivered on Monday so I'd have to be patient. He arrived home in the evening with it under his arm, trickster that he is. It's beeeeautiful...

Another exciting piece of news is that we will soon be launching pink milk vintage (due to lack of wardrobe space...) with choice vintage finds from around the world. I am very excitied about this as it gives me the perfect excuse for regular trips to flea markets to chine for new finds.

Please join me in a little dance of joy.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Pffffff....

The strikes are continuing. Life is still difficult. People are getting more fed up and are starting to shout at each other in street... my parents are coming this weekend, so I hope an agreement can be found in Wednesday's talks, otherwise they will be stranded at the airport. Cross your fingers for me!

I had an aborted attempt to make some Indie Christmas tree decorations with the lovely fabrics Sarah sent over at the weekend which went wildly wrong, but she had been busy running up cute purses in the meantime. I love the Missing Key Purse:


and the Little Black Apple purse:


Give them a click...

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Strikes strike

For the second time in a month, Paris is preparing to be paralysed by strikes, as transport workers and other civil servants take industrial action in protest to President Sarkozy's proposed special pension regime reforms. Once again, millions of people will struggle to get to work with less than one in ten metros, RERs and buses running, many forced to take a day's leave, in some cases unpaid.


The fact that the strikers have less and less support in France doesn't seem to bother them and it's hard to see how further action would help garner support from the general public, who largely see them as the cossetted teacher's pets of the country, currently able to retire early on a comparatively large pension which dates form the days when train drivers spent long hours shovelling coal and working in conditions which harmed their health and reduced their life expectancy. As part of Sarko's bid to streamline a cumbersome state he is starting with the civil service, which costs the tax payer an inordinate amount of money each year. As tax payers, we are wondering why we should pay for the early, comfortable retirement of the people who are currently unwilling to provide the basic service for which they are paid, clogging the streets with traffic as Parisians desert public transport and take to the road, leaving little room for priority vehicles like the emergency services, not to mention ruining people's dinner plans.

I could go on. I won't, I will show you my strike survival kit from etsy.

When trapped in an overcrowded metro carriage with your head in someone's armpit zoning out with your ipod is a must. Make sure it looks indie-stylish, like this one, from peepbags:



If you find yourself shivering on a suburban platform waiting for a train that is unlikely to come, you will need a warm scarf. Try Suzannie:


Stuck in a traffic jam with three colleagues you barely speak to at the best of times, advertise your shop as you go, with a car banner from ceejay77:


And if like me, you walk to work and are set to spend days on your own in the office while everyone else works from home on the sofa, then make sure you have a plentiful supply of tea, in a lovely mug from magicforestcreations:

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Stop press (well I'm excited anyway)

Colette in Paris stocks Kate Moss for Topshop. Testament to just how cool the Anya Hindmarsh I am not a plastic bag is, they are also stocking that, too, although presumably we can put that in the past tense now as I would imagine they sold out in heures. Anyway, they are pretty and green and conscious-free and if I had been in the UK when they launched I would more than likely have queued outside a supermarket for one. Unlike, one presumes, Keira Knightley, below...


Photo from the purse page.

The upshot is that I shall be pottering past Colette to inspect the Topshop threads. Ladies, place your bets on the mark-up...

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Mint Prints

Sarah sent me some fabrics a few weeks ago and I have yet to do anything with them. Check the pretty prints, I was going to make some sort of little person with the different colourways of the apple print... or purse... or something else entirely...

This one is my favourite, in a 1950s circle skirt kinda way:

Thursday is a bank holiday here in France and my company closes for Friday too, so I'm planning a lovely day of me-activities, involving reading in cafes and pottering round Paris going to exhibitions (Les Annees Folles on 20s fashion at the Galliera museum or the Weegee exhibition at the Maillol museum *I just checked and I've missed it, gah* or an afternoon showing of Largerfed Confidentiel to throw popcorn at him the possibilities are endless) followed by reading and dozing on the sofa... and then a weekend. Love it.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Self-indulgent post, but pretty colours...

A rouge noir de nos jours this is the latest colour for stylish nails which panic buying amongst Parisian fashionistas and a stock shortage. Not usually concerned with nails in general apart from the usual low-key and necessary maintenance, this deserves a post because the shade is so deliciously luscious, so divinely yummy that I had to share.


Scandal has broken out however, with YSL launching a tulipe noire of its own, more of a violet noir, than the rich Bordeaux at Chanel. Devastatingly chic for winter, ladies.


For me, rouge noir still has the edge ever so slightly…

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Kate Moss for Christmas

Kate Moss' hotly-awaited Christmas collection for Topshop was unveiled at a celebrity party in London this week, plus a rather fabulous and seventies-influenced fringe, which we salute.

This season saw affordable cashmere and trademark flippy floral dresses, cut boxily across the shoulders, for a flattering, puffed-sleeved answer to body-con. Wearable and elegant wide-legged trousers were a welcome return to post-smock chic albeit nothing new, the matching tweed waistcoat turned up on Ebay for three times the recommended retail price and skinny rib-bearing vest tops was spotted all over late summer London.

Although her new perfume - available exclusively at... Superdrug, when frankly we were expecting Selfridges - may have made small ripples rather than big splash, La Moss hit the fashion nail squarely on the head once again with the latest offering from her design team, which includes Brit uber-stylist, Katy England.

For Christmas, long and slinky is key, with floor-length gowns, shimmery mini dresses and trousers in luxe-look fabrics,and colour is muted and flattering on winter skin. The purdy hair is optional, but tempting after shaggy boho locks. Take a look and make your wishlist before it hits stores on October 25th and let the party season begin.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Monkey, Journey to the West


Another fun thing we did last weekend was go to see Monkey, Journey to the West at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. A re-imagining of a Chinese legend, played as a Chinese 'circus opera', in and energetic and creative performance from more than 40 acrobats, vocalists, Shaolin performers and martial artists. It was spectacular.

With a musical score from Damon Albarn and visuals and design by Jamie Hewlett, the team behind the Gorillaz brought their contemporary style and vision of a classic 'journey' story to the stage, directed by Chen Shi-Zheng for a breathtaking pop opera. In true Albarn style, the show eschewed London and premiered at the Palace Theatre as part of Manchester International Festival back in June, before starting its tour with a sell-out run at Paris's Theatre du Chatelet in September and October, before continuing on to Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden, as a co-production between the three theatres.

The two hours passed in what seemed like about 40 minutes, in a blur of Hewlett animation, musculoskeletal-defying acrobatics and beautiful music. Despite being sung in Chinese, the story was easy to follow even without the French surtitles and left us inspired and enegised. If ever you are anywhere near Berlin in June 08, sell your grandmother for tickets. You'll love the dancing starfish...

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Velib-crazy

After a weekend cycling round Paris on Velibs, from rugby matches to birthday parties - hang on: ENGLAND KNOCKED THE AUSSIES OUT OF THE RUGBY WORLD CUP (sorry Helen ;) ) - I was inspired to photograph a couple of products on the loveworn map of Paris that we cart everywhere with us.



Bow bells earrings between Bastille and Pere Lachaise...



Bow selecta brooch rather pleasingly matches the cover colours...

I blame the rugby for the girly bow theme, in a reaction to hours spent watching hotly-fought quarter-finals this weekend.

My sister and her boyfriend came to stay for the weekend and joined us on the bikes. They bought us a lovely present for our bathroom which they had made:


(Excuse the tables of Russian verbs next to the medicine cabinet.) The lizard canvas was made from an image from our holiday in Italy last month and we love it, thank you! xx I especially love his little sucker-feet, it turned out really well. An Etsy shop of original and bespoke design work on canvas is in the works.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Ladies in Luxury

Working in a corporate world of men in grey suits, it was quite nice to come across an article in Time's half-yearly style supplement (supplied by the men in grey suits) about the female CEOs and company Chairmen at the top of the luxury goods industry. Despite the best efforts of the CSR people, the company I work for has no women on the Board and is run by mainly French men of 'a certain age'. I will spare you my usual discourse on this, things are slowly changing, but France is certainly a country which lags behind much of Western Europe at least when it comes to sexual equality.

Women like Yves Saint Laurent CEO Valerie Hermann, who relaunched the brand into the accessories market with the Muse bag, Victoire de Castellane who deisgns fine jewellery for Dior and whose exhibition I stupidly missed at the Bon Marche last year, Vera Wang who has worked hard to set up her own brand after starting out as a shop assistant (albeit at YSL) and Tamara Mellon - although a little less - are to be admired for their determination. Plus it's good to see plenty of women at the head of an industry driven by female consumers.

I have spent time under a female CEO in a much smaller company, running part of her media business for minimum wage and watching as another hugely profitable interest was run with a high turnover of interns. I wonder what these ladies are like to work for. I hope they progress and nurture female talent and justly compensate the people who make their businesses tick.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

roses are red


Just listed this evening is this lovely sautoir, which looks très elegant with a wide-leg trouser, for a pleasingly thirties vibe, with a girly ribbon tie.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Freedom bikes

After an eye-straining weekend, the corsages for the Hawai'i wedding commission are finally finished and about to be packed up and shipped to Greece. Can't wait to see what it all looks like together on the big day with fifties-inspired lemon yellow frocks, buttermilk clutches and butterflies and bridesmaids necklaces.



On a more kitsch note, Sarah was inspired by my rather excessive enthusiasm for Paris' new 'freedom bikes' scheme, Velib'. For the more than reasonable sum of 30 Euros a year, you can hire a bike from any of the hundreds of Velib' stations around the capital. The first half hour is free, after that the price goes up the longer you keep the bike, but the scheme is ideal for short hops to the gym or the market. A reasonable knowledge of the French highway code is a good idea if you don't want to get on the wrong side of Gallic motorists - its' easy to get a little cavalier once behind the substantial handlebars and forget you're actiuand cycling round the Arc de Triomphe and down the Champs Elysees is not recommended for your first go... Anyway, like all good trends, Velib' has opened up a world of potential for cycling-themed accessories, from designer Velib' card-holders (yes, you get another card for your groaning wallet) to cycling capes in this season's colours and stylish helmets and pink milk has celebrated this with a Cycling in Paris necklace, below.


It sold in less then 12 hours, but just like Velib' stations, more are coming, so wear them with pride as you ride the eco-wave - remember, two wheels good, four wheels bad...

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Tagged! Seven things about us...


Working hard on a commission for a wedding - five sets of bridemaid's accessories, including clutches with brooches, which are going to magically materialise from the picture above, to go with Sarah's stunning butterflies and bridesmaids necklaces. I have been fighting my way through Saturday shopping crowds in St Pierre and the Marais for fabric, but before I get down to it, here are seven 'interesting' things about us to make your click worthwhile, after Pepperina Press's tag last week:

1.Kate has had arthritis since she was 17, a possibly consequence of gymnastics in her formative years...
2.Despite this, she was once an artist's foot model.
3.Staying with feet for a moment, Sarah has an enormous big toe
4.While they were travelling round Europe many years ago, Sarah accidentally trashed the first rose a handsome man had ever given to Kate (as far as I can remember he was handsome... it was in Rome at the Trevi Fountain however, so for the purposes of the tale let's stick with handsome). She has since forgiven her.
5.During the same trip, they both survived for several days on crusty bread, Philedelphia cheese and cherries, so they could buy pretty things to take home.
6.Sarah lives in a small town near Athens, thankfully not razed to the ground by this summer's forect fires.
7.They have known each other for 16 years and used to wear a purple uniform. Joli...

Tagged, you are: Bibbity Bob; Shiny (post-wedding); The GoodBooks; Veronica Darling; Weenie, Pampering Beki and Michelle Brusegaard.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Milan fashion protest


This poster, from Italian brand Nolita has all but eclipsed the goings-on on the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week, along with the requirement for girls to carry medical certificates in what has been seen as the start of a heroin chic backlash. With a governmental study into model health underway in London, will the rest of the world follow suit?

Shot by fashion photographer Oliviero Toscani, famous for the Benetton’s controversial ad campaigns of the 80s and 90s, the image has raised designer hackles in Italy. Despite brand owners Flash & Partners denial that they are using shock tactics to sell clothes with an assertion that they are aiming to raise awareness of the illness and the part fashion images may have in perpetuating it, style stalwarts Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have hit back, telling the press that eating disorders have “nothing to do with fashion”, while Giorgio Armani has reportedly also rubbished allegations that the industry is to blame.

The debate is raging both on and off the runway. Undeniably, clothes look better on a slim frame and designers show their work to the press and buyers in small sample sizes. A move towards a healthier look however, say a 38 rather than 34 perhaps would surely not make an enormous difference? It seems it's time for shock tactics.

Read the full story on guardianunlimited.co.uk

Thanks for the tag pepperinapress, our seven fascinating pink milk facts are on their way...

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

mrs lynch stole the crown jewels

Sarah has been very busy listing new pretty things while I've been lounging around on holiday, I love the mrs lynch stole the crown jewels bracelet! So delicate, such creamy pearls, it makes me think of Italian ice cream in the sunshine.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Coming home

On the return flight from Italy, we had a lovely sunset as we flew into Charles de Gaulle. Humour me as I prolong my holiday with some pictures...


Place de l'Etoile and the Arc de Triomphe clearly visible bottom left (where I work, but we'll gloss over that on a Sunday night), across the river is the Eiffel Tower and the Champs de Mars.



Sunset on the horizon.



Runway, somewhat less glam but pretty in the evening light nonetheless.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Ciao



After two rather hellish weeks at work, we're leaving on holiday tomorrow morning at, oh my god, 4h30. It will be worth it. I am eating Laduree macaroons to mentally prepare myself.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

off with her head brooch


Easily pleased, I really like the way this turned out. And the pics too, which makes a change as I never get to say that.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Hotel Le Corbusier, Marseille

Not far from Marseille's Vélodrome stadium and the scene of England's rugby defeat to France on Saturday night, (which we'll gloss over for now), is the Hotel Le Corbusier, in which we spent Friday night, a masterpiece of modular design. The hotel is housed on the third floor of an original stilted building, La Cité Radieuse, with some fabulous features, including the roof features and stained glass window pictured below.

The best part is that it isn't a museum, but a living building. Most of it is residential, we met a guy who had what sounded like a marvellous split-level apartment and there are also little shops inside, a creche, architect's office and psychiatrist all making use of the Cité Radieuse for their businesses.
We took a tiny Cabine room, below, which at just 16m2, was modelled on the monk's cells in the Tourette monastry near Lyon. With Charlotte Perrian-designed furniture, most of the original features had been retained, those added later were inkeeping with the minimalist chic of the whole project. The bigger rooms are even more impressive, with huge panoramic windows, oak parquet and balconies looking out onto either the sea or the city.


Thursday, 16 August 2007

Etsy posters

Etsy poster contest results are in and I could look at this pretty page all night.

I think this one is my favourite, well done to them all, I won't debase them by screengrabbing!

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Lily Allen in the sunshine

A while ago, I wrote about Madonna's collection for H&M and generally ranted about celebrity 'designers'. Veronica darling asked about the Lily Allen collection for New Look, launched earlier this year in the UK.

Back in England this weekend, my sister was sporting this cobalt blue cotton sun dress by Lily Allen which looked undeniably fab:


Flatteringly girly, the cheeky detail is in the embroidered grafitti:



Happily, the British sun stayed out long enough for her to wear it, she looked lovely.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

The sea, the sea!


Calme, luxe et volupté for 48 hours in the Pas de Calais. We did swim in the sea. It wasn't very warm even in the blazing sun, but this is the Channel and it was never going to be. And just to rub it in that we had great weather, it has rained in Paris ever since.



The tractors used to take the boats out, faster than you'd think...

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