A global field guide to shopping, style and hidden gems
est. 2007

Archive: Jan 2009

  1. Wee couture finds: Chanel

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    I'm just catching up on this week's couture shows on Style.com, and was wondering if we could take a moment to appreciate the genius that is Karl Lagerfeld. (But really? I'm just looking for a good excuse to post these incredible pics from the Chanel 2009 Spring/Summer haute couture show…)

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    I do love the graphic simplicity of an all-white collection, except Lagerfeld's pieces were anything BUT graphically simple. At a closer glance, the most streamlined and simplistic designs featured embroidered, lace, appliqued and beaded embellishments with the most incredible attention to detail. (And have I told you how much I adore pleated chiffon?)

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    And the exquisitely-crafted white paper headdresses by Katsuya Kamo sent me into a dozen different daydreams about alternate bridal headgear. If I had my time again I'd love to get hold of one of these seriously dramatic numbers.

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    And this one looks like it's a creation straight out of that iconic scene from Antonioni's Blow Up

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    I'm also inspired by the super-pretty peaches-and-cream make-up, which is toughened ever-so-slightly with a subtle-yet-dramatic flick of black eyeliner. The use of thematic white eyeliner and white shadow also provides a nice contrast to the black liner. It's an easy look to play up or down on a night out – or indeed, your wedding day.

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    p.s. LOVING these white mesh leather driving gloves…
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    All images from Style.com.
  2. Wee Valentine’s finds: The tiniest card

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    I do love a good gimmick, but the World’s Smallest Postal Service goes way beyond the novelty-factor with the most heart-stoppingly adorable and beautifully-crafted Valentine.

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    The San Francisco-based service is available online, and will transcribe up to 120 words of your (most romantic, heart-felt) prose into a teeny-tiny 1×1.5 inch letter. It will then be placed into an equally minuscule letter which is then hand-addressed, stamped and sealed with a miniature wax seal with your initial on it.

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    To ensure your World’s Smallest Valentine doesn’t get lost in the post, it’s beautifully packaged – with a magnifying glass – in a larger envelope and sent to the address of your choice.

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    Watch the whole magical process here…


    Worlds Smallest Postal Service (WSPS) from Leafcutter Designs on Vimeo.

    Best to order now for Valentine’s Day to ensure it arrives on time.
    World’s Smallest Valentine, US$8, from Leafcutter Designs.

  3. Wee Valentine’s finds: The perfume

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    I know … a bottle of perfume isn’t the most wildly original or personal Valentine’s Day gift. That’s why the department store counter is probably best avoided at this time of the year. However, the extremely clever people at Ormonde Jayne, arguably London’s best-kept secret perfumery, have got Feb 14 all wrapped up with their genius engraving service.

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    What I wouldn’t do for a hand-blown glass flacon of their signature parfum with my initials engraved onto the exquisite gold and glass stopper … heaven! And I’d happily settle for Ormonde Woman, which was described as “truly great” and awarded five stars by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez in their recently-published fragrance handbook, Perfumes: The Guide.

    But it doesn’t come cheap. A bottle of parfum with personalised engraving will set you back £130. Allow five working days for engraving and delivery in the UK and two weeks for international post.

    Ormonde Jayne
    12 The Royal Arcade
    28 Old Bond Street
    London W1S 4SL
    Tel. 020 7499 1100
    Nearest Tubes: Piccadilly and Green Park.
    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Saturday 10am – 6pm

    For more shops in Mayfair, click here.

  4. Wee Valentine’s finds: The chocolate

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    My tip for V-Day this year? Head to Melt in Notting Hill for a line-up of chocolate treats that are quite simply some of the best you’ll find in London.

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    I’m a fan of their award-winning sea-salted caramels, but for Feb 14 I'm loving the sound of Melt’s Message in a Heart (£19.50), which allows you to hide a secret note inside one of their premium dark chocolate hearts. But then again, I’m just about swooning over the sound of dark chocolate twigs decorated with rose-scented sugar petals (Rose Matchsticks, £15). Oh my…

    Melt
    59 Ledbury Road
    London W11 2AA
    Nearest Tube: Notting Hill Gate
    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Opening hours:
    Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm
    Sunday 11am-4pm

    For more chocolates and sweets in London, click here.

  5. Shopping in London: Mimi

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    Whilst I’ve posted about London-based designer Mimi Berry’s glorious leather purses in the past, her Cheshire Street shop deserves a full Wee Birdy tour. After all, this is the only place that houses the Central Saint Martins graduate’s entire collection, ranging from the perforated leather Maude coin purse to the luxe gold Frankie bag.

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    Offering an alternative to flashy trend-led “It bags”, the typical Mimi bag manages to appear simultaneously modern and retro. This is due both to Berry’s use of butter-soft Italian leather hide in a range of vibrant colours and her classic, timeless designs.

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    This modern/vintage aesthetic is played out in her East London shop, with her jewel-toned purses displayed on top of old-fashioned glass counters. But it’s her collection of sturdy, functional satchels that are getting all the attention right now, including the roomy oilskin Baggins (currently reduced from £177 to £150) and the smaller leather Elsie (£200). I’m also loving the Charlie bag with its smart brass chain straps.

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    Most recently, Berry collaborated with London artist Kim Jenkins on a range of leather passport covers. And while it’s true that nobody needs a leather passport cover, it’s very hard to resist Jenkins’ retro jetset-inspired foil stamped designs.

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    Which leads us to the extremely good timing of the Mimi sale – in store and online now. A perfectly good excuse to buy British, don't you think?

    Mimi
    40 Cheshire Street
    London E2 6EH
    Tel. 0207 729 6699
    Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
    Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6pm
    Sunday 11am – 6pm

    For more shops on Cheshire Street, click here.