Friday, 27 March 2015

A guide to a short break in Berlin-Part One

We've recently been for a few days to Berlin, our first trip there since 1991, just after the wall toppled, and wow what changes there have been! Also buoyed up by the fact that somebody has just messaged me on Instagram, to tell me that they are in Paris and visiting a bar that I blogged about, on my recommendation, I thought I'd post a short blog about our mini break, in the hope that it might be interesting & useful to somebody else!

The city has always been vibrant and exciting and a magnet to creative types and that is still very much the way it remains. Although many of the areas have been gentrified since our last visit, such as AlexanderPlatz and Potsdamer Platz, there are still lots of areas that remain full of small galleries, independant shops and clubs.

I can highly recommend our lovely small boutique hotel, which was ideally located in SavignyPlatz Charlottenberg and right next to a U Bahn station, for easy access around the city. Its located on one of the oldest squares or Platz in Berlin and surrounded by cafes, bars and restaurants so no need to go far out of your way in the evening, its all here.



On our first morning, to get our bearings, we walked along one of the main thoroughfares Kurfurstendamm, which is lined with all the large department stores, cinemas and global High Street names. Not the most exciting part of Berlin but the old heart of the West and a good place to start. Back when we were first there, in the 1990's it was the location for the only department store KADeWe. This still remains but has had a serious revamp and now rivals any high class department store in any major city. The food hall on the upper floor, is well worthy of a visit and the cakes and coffees are amazing.
We then made our way to Schloss Charlottenburg, the palace of Kaiser Wilhelm. The area is rich with Art Nouveau buildings and there is a lovely park next to the palace. Our intention was then to walk along to the Brucke Museum, which houses the collection of paintings formed by the Brucke group of artists from Dresden that later went on to inform Expressionism. It was also the art that inspired David Bowie whilst living in Berlin and  with Mr B being a huge Bowie fan, more of which in a later post, influenced our planned visit. Unfortunately, as with all the best laid plans, which often go wrong, this wasn't to be. After stopping for a coffee and checking the opening hours, we learned that the museum was closed until Easter. However from the look of the 1930's modernist building and the collection of art it houses, its certainly worthy of a visit next time.

Schloss Charlottenberg

Brucke Museum

One of my favourite areas of Berlin that we visited was Hackescher Markt, which is full of independent shops, cool cafe bars and graffiti everywhere, which in Berlin is a major art form and not frowned upon as you you would expect. You can actually take part in an organised graffiti tour and part of this tour involves a visit to Cafe Cinema which has a courtyard full of graffiti. Its also a really cool cafe for a spot of lunch or a drink.


The area is also home to Clarchens Ballhaus which is a dance hall built in 1912, still open every night for live music, food and ballroom dancing. Our hotel barman told us its a really cool atmosphere where people of all ages dress up in feather boas and finery and dance the night away together.
I'm going to break down some of the other things we did into separate blogs as they deserve a special mention but in a nutshell, Berlin is an amazing city with a creative energy which you can feel as you walk around the streets. There are so many different areas and it is so vast that it would take weeks, if not months, to explore properly. The main sights are so historic and really give you a sense of how much this city has changed and evolved over the last 25 years.


Monday, 2 March 2015

Breton Stripes What Every backstage #FW Fashionista is Wearing

As the fashion train rolled into every fashion capital of the world over the past few weeks, the staple bit of kit in every style setters and followers wardrobe seemed to be that perennial favourite, the Breton striped top.


Above images from Collage Vintage blog


Wear it on its own, over things, under things, the message was, just wear it.







Thursday, 26 February 2015

Five of the Best Black Jumpsuits on The High Street

Last year I bought, what I thought, was a one season wonder, a black jumpsuit. How wrong I was, that jumpsuit has been a real investment piece & one of the things I have worn more than most other items currently hanging in my wardrobe. Cost per wear, it was a steal.

The black jumpsuit is quickly turning into a wardrobe staple, maybe its the new LBD? Perfect for wearing to work, shopping or the school run, with skater shoes or a pair of converse, equally perfect for dressing up in the evening with a clutch and a pair of heels.
Image above from SheerLuxe

As I'm off to Berlin next week for a few days and not checking any luggage in on our budget airline flight, for ease of travel as well as principle (don't get me started on budget airline hidden extras!) my versatile black jumpsuit will be joining me for sure.

Here are a few of some of the best, in my humble opinion, of the pick on the High Street.














Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Crushing on Sienna Millers Choppy Bob Hair Cut

I've been thinking about having a few inches cut off my hair for quite a while now but after seeing Sienna Miller's new hair cut, I think I'm going to go for it. Its just the right side of messy whilst looking sophisticated but still cool.
I have a problem though, as only the last but one hair cut, I had a long fringe cut in and the beauty of the messy bob is it's equal length provides the versatility I love. One of it's main attractions is you can change your parting as often as you change your underwear and due to my fringe, there will now have to be a transition period!!!!




If you're in the same boat as I am, here are a few options for the sitting it out stage whilst your fringe grows. Good luck my friends!





Sunday, 22 February 2015

Nautical Coastal Trends come round again for S/S 15

The trend for coastal, nautical style comes round every year as sure as the tides roll back and forth. This year for S/S 15 I was asked to interpret the style for a client, in a very simple pared back way, using natural elements associated with the coast.

Below are some of the shots I styled for the trend that the client called Super Shore. I used bits of flotsam and jetsam that I had picked up on the North Wales coast after a weekend with friends, such as driftwood, pebbles and shells and added further texture using succulents and dried cow parsley and poppy seed heads.
The design board I created for the trend.

The scene was completed by filling jars and glass lamp bases with shells and sand with pieces of larger drift wood scattered around the floor. Although the images were shot as we approached Autumn, it felt and looked as though we were living the dream in a coastal property in The Hamptons.





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David Gandy's Handsome London Home

The best interiors, to me, represent their owners perfectly and this home owned by the handsome model David Gandy, he of the famous Marks & Spencer underwear campaigns, is a perfect example.

Classic details, with a very British style and strong masculine aesthetic




With tongue firmly out of cheek though, I can honestly say that I am smitten with the finish and detailing of his house, in West London. What is even more impressive than the design, is the fact, that, rather than employ an interior designer, Mr Gandy has furnished his home himself. Using savvy buys from online auction sites, some recycled ,such as new upholstery to seating, choosing Saville Row type fabrics and  lots of reclaimed materials, such as the flooring and the vintage haberdashery units, which adorn his dressing room, the finished project is a master class in the stylish dressing of a home.




I Wonder how long it will be before Marks & Spencer cotton on to the fact that this guy is not just a one trick pony and commission him to design a homeware range for them?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Beautiful London Victorian House Interior

I love reading online magazines and one of my favourites is HeartHome magazine,who consistently feature beautiful interiors that we can all aspire to.

This beautiful home in Walthamstow has just been featured, which is full of character, achieved using dark moody wall colours with eclectic period pieces, such as the reupholstered cinema chairs.








I love the simplicity of the bathroom with interest added by using this monochrome patterned floor tile. It's very similar to the design board I made for our bathroom renovation, which I blogged about last April and you can read here. I actually feel quite embarrassed that I'm still talking about renovating our bathroom and almost a year has passed with no progress made, if you read the post you will see that it's not the first time I'd mentioned it either! Seeing this lovely room will spur me on to make a start (honest!)