Skinny Dip in the Age of Personalization

To say we are a narcissistic society would be putting it lightly, so where do you go when you have selfie'd yourself out of bathroom mirror pics and Likes on Facebook? I'm not entirely sure but I think it involves something like the newest trend "Skinny Dip" has invented: clutches and phone cases that give YOU the chance to personalize them with your initials and some fun sassy stickers. Sounds perfect right?

I myself have already purchased a light pink iPhone cover and to show off my personality I've added an L, a pineapple, and a seashell sticker to show the world what I'm made of and just how cute I can be. 

Get yours now before I buy all the stickers myself! 



A Fashionable Day in Paris

I hope you are never forced into this position, I hope you never have to deal with the heartache of being in the city of lights for less than 24 hours, should that ever be the case I've rounded up my picks to fill a day in Paris for those dying to be chic in the one city every woman automatically is one in.

Start your morning off right:
I'm going to say it, don't get mad, you aren't going to be a mademoiselle unless you start with the ultimate breakfast of a croissant and a latte from a boulangerie. French women devour the flaky buttery treat and so should you to ensure you have ample energy to catwalk all over the city, and of course indulge in the greatness of a perfect croissant. 

A little culture never hurts:
There are tons of museums in Paris, the queues are almost as famous as the paintings so be sure to pick one that has an exhibit you are dying to see or some famous art works to make the time you'll spend waiting worth it. 
*Insider tip: download an app or search online for the "must sees" of whichever museum you are visiting and then map out your route as to not waste too much of your single day, there is still so much more to do!

Opéra Nation:
The ballet, the opera, the costumes, the famous long hall of mirrors and chandeliers akin to that at Versailles, the Opéra national de Paris is an absolute must. There is barely ever a queue, it's quite spectacular, and the large balcony is fit for a king! 
*Insider tip: Galeries Lafayette is a short walk from the Opera if you want to see what a real mall looks like 

Refuel the French way:
You may be hungry at this point and I would offer a recommendation for lunch but honestly eat wherever looks good because the one thing that can never go wrong in France: the food! 

Concept stores and so much more:
Take a trip to Colete on Rue Saint-Honoré to experience a first-of-it's-kind "concept store" that is a mix between a really good ASOS/Urban Outfitters for "stuff" but also house to some very original and unique designs for up and coming designers as well as the classic cool kids ie. Wang and Olympia Le-Tan. *Insider tip: Rue Saint-Honoré is home to some major labels as well as the favourites like Zara, give yourself a few hours here. 

I'm in love with the Coco:
Chanel that is! The flagship store and her apartment are a short walk from Colete on Rue de Cambon. Everyone that works in that store is lovely and so kind. It's a rather wonderful experience. 

An appreciation for Mother Nature:
Head over to the Jardin du Luxembourg or the Jardin du Tulieries and walk around in astonishment of the pristine landscaping and fountains. Double points for enjoying an Amorino gelato in the shape of a flower whilst basking in the sunshine and fresh flowers! 

Picnic with a view:
Located on one side of the Eiffel Tower is a long grassy park where I recommend grabbing some great French wine from one of the many tiny shops, some Camembert from the grocery store because everyone knows the best Camembert comes from the grocery stores in France, a baguette, and some chocolate or pastel macaroons and just enjoy the fact you are alive and have the priveledge to have visited the beautiful city of love and lights! 

Happy travelling fashion lovers! 

Outside of Musée d'Orsay
The Louvre from the other side of the Seine 

Maison Goyard on Rue Saint-Honoré

Opéra national de Paris

In the opera house 

Walking down the Champs towards the Arc de Triomphe
Jardin des Tuileries
Movenpick in the Jardin 
C'est moi! 

The perfect French picnic essentials 

Ending the trip with an Amorino gelato 


What's in my Geometry London Angle bag?

Going out tonight for a typical Sunday roast.

Here's what I'm packing in my Geometry London Angle clutch: the iPhone in the Moschino case, Vaseline rose-tinted balm, house keys with the Yummy Adventures ice cream "Gelato", hand cream, jewellery, and of course my Oyster Card.


Content Hubs with Online Shops?

Look App "Tap to Buy"
How many online fashion retailers are there? This is an honest question, one that I don’t have the answer to. I’m curious to know the exact amount because I could count on one hand the fashion sites I purchase from. I constantly window shop online which at times results in an in-store purchase on a similar product that I found online but one that has a much lower price tag and other times I may purchase the product online, my consumer behaviour, like most is completely unpredictable and often unintentional.

Look In-App "Tap to Buy"
The root of that initial Google search is more important to this post and one question marketers are constantly trying to find out for their brands, why do I search for a product and what is the path to buying that product? Sometimes I look for a product I found in a magazine or online and this has led to the growing count of publishers opening their own shops. Look magazine has a feature in app that allows magazine subscribers to purchase any product by simply clicking on the product and the reader is redirected to the retailer’s site. I thought this was a great feature as it creates a very easy path to conversion. There is also a “Fashion Shop” on the Look website that offers plenty of products but again you are redirected to the retailer’s website. This is, however, very different from what some content hubs are doing: creating their own online store. That means instead of redirecting, they are the ones taking the payment and shipping the product.

Why would they do this?  Everyone is aware the majority of funding for any magazines comes from advertising, a very small percentage is usually derived from subscriptions. So these online shops are potentially another stream of revenue for the publishers. However, I think there is something more to be said for content hubs that choose to sell the products they are meant to be discussing and vice-versa.

Grazia has now launched Graziashops.com and has already appointed a digital media agency to promote the launch, this means they will have to purchase media outside of their own network to promote the launch. I think this may be the first time this has happened. We’ve had online retailers like Net-a-Porter release a magazine but never the opposite.

Make no mistake, this is very different from content hubs like The Coveteur, known for unique site content, which now offers readers an area to shop on their site but still redirects once a visitor clicks on a product they are interested in purchasing. The purchase exchange ultimately is not of interest to The Coveteur (although I’m sure they do make commission on any redirects that result in a purchase), that transaction does not cloud the unique content on the site. The same cannot be said for Grazia Shop. This is also very different from bloggers that create their own clothing and accessories.

Does it really matter if the fashion editors at Grazia put a pair of Gucci knee-high boots in a spread over a pair of Aldo’s because they have the product on their site? Not really, people purchase products for different reasons and will ultimately buy a pair of black knee-high boots where the price is right and they look good, regardless of if they were the pair in the magazine. I think as a society we’ve moved past the mindless “X celebrity wore those, so I’m going to wear them” phase, although celebrity endorsements are still very popular and have evolved to blogger endorsements.

The Coveteur Shop

Perhaps the online store is a chance for Grazia to position themselves in a unique spot in the marketplace. If they are top of mind as your go-to magazine, perhaps the store will be your go-to for online shopping. Why? If you trust the voice of Grazia you may trust that same voice to help you decide what to buy, making your decision to purchase that much more justified. Another plus, this could lead to amazing collaborations with designers, models, and actors/actresses who may not have the chance or means to design pieces, but they have a relationship with Grazia who will now have relationships with many fashion houses. People often speculate that magazine industry isn't as fruitful as it once was, so perhaps this is another way to keep the magazine brand relevant.

The “Fashion Stories” section of the website perfectly pairs the editorial world with the retail space, as it is where users can log in and create their own mood boards and search and shop other mood boards.

So the question remains, where will your next online purchase be? A classic fashion e-tailer or this new hybrid ‘one stop shop’ where you can find your inspiration and the perfect product?


Weekend in St. Barths? Madame LA LA Product Review

It is winter. I'm sorry, I said it, but I've always prided myself on being honest on this blog and my dear readers I am so sorry to have to tell you this but the blistering winds and arctic chill do nothing for my skin. Moisture? Out the window. Colour? Transparent.

My saviour had to come in the form of a self-tanner but not just an ordinary self-tanner, the one I was after had to have ingredients that were natural and would leave my skin free of harsh chemicals and oils. Madame LA LA has been creating quite the sir amongst British socialites and celebrities so I thought 'when in Rome' and tried it out.

Some Things to Note:

Madame LA LA Tan 
The Key Ingredients

Coco Water Extract sourced from Baja California (Mexico) it hydrates the skin helping firm, tone and improve elasticity. Furthermore it’s rich in minerals aiding in slimming, tightening and improving overall skin tone reducing the appearance of cellulite

Vitamin’s A & E provide blurring technology to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles working together with Vitamin’s A (plumps collagen and elastin) & E (anti­oxidant) to perfect the skin

Aloe Vera Plant Extract & Green Tea leaf Extract sourced from Baja California (Mexico) work together to intensively hydrate, reduce irritation and redness delaying skin ageing repairing sun damage

How does it work?

DD (dynamic­do all) works to perfect, hydrate, tone promoting longevity of tan

Ultra­lightweight mousse application ensures smooth golden finish. Quick­dry in 5­minutes lasting up to 10 days is rich in minerals adding in slimming improving
skin tone and appearance of cellulite.

Added Coco Water hydrating formula softens and smooths skin to prevent streaking

Anti­ageing benefits blur wrinkles and imperfections for a flawless sun­kissed glow

Natural fade just like a natural sun tun suitable for all skin tones infused with Vitamin A antioxidant and skin­cell regulator

I would rate the product a 7/10, it lasted a really long time on my body however the tan quickly faded from my face after the first day. I also have to say I didn't moisturize my face as much as I should have which caused minimal blotching on the first day but quickly faded by the second. The mousse was very light and it never felt like I was coating my skin, which I find other self-tanner creams tend to do. 

Overall, I would use the product again, however I would probably apply another layer on my face after the third day. I do hope Nicole Dash Jones, the lovely founder, comes out with a spray for the face as I find spray nozzles do a better job in terms of even coverage.    

Me! Before and After Madame LA LA


Bridal Footwear by DANNIJO, coming Spring 2015

For the modern bride a question of footwear on the big day is not one to be overlooked. Do you wear non-traditional bridal shoes from a designer boutique or do you go traditional with the satin-hued dyeable kitten heels that you will near wear again? Depending on how much jewellery you are already wearing, the DANNIJO shoe collection may have something for your perfect day.

Following in the footsteps (sorry I had to) of their past success, the Snyder sisters have decided to pair those giant Swarovski crystals with footwear heading your way in Spring of 2015. Not much has been said about the collection besides that it will feature 24 pairs prices $250 and up.

Courtesy of WWD, here is your sneak peek at some of the styles.

Image Source: WWD.com 


Exclusive Interview: 10 Questions with Nalini Arora

via Twitter
Her blog, LA Shoe Girl, says it all. Nalini Arora is one of my favourite people to follow on Instagram and Twitter because: shoes. She is the LA Shoe Girl without a doubt. The shoe designer lets her followers into her very colourful world and she allowed us an exclusive peek into the fantastic and interesting life of a shoe designer who has a very high-profile collaboration coming up and I cannot wait to hear all about it. She also has an adorable dog who has an affinity for Pucci turbans.

1) How did you get involved in designing shoes?
Prior to designing shoes, I worked in the footwear industry for several years on both the retail and wholesales level. My father always encouraged me to work in business. I thought sales and marketing was my passage. However, while working for a shoe company, I somehow got involved in product development. My boss said to me, “You should be working as a shoe designer. You have a great idea for product. “ Six months later, I quit my job, and enrolled in the Footwear Design program at FIDM in Los Angeles. Since then I’ve been designing shoes both in house and as a consultant.

Nalini's sketch via Instagram
2) What are your favourite materials to work with? What are the most difficult? 
It’s always more fun to work with luxury leathers, but I don’t discriminate. I’ve learned as a consultant that there are those who can afford very expensive leather, and those who cannot. At the end of the day, it’s the design, not just the materials that makes a difference.  With people wanting vegan shoes, I wish there were more textile options for footwear. Materials like lace or chiffon, or anything that is thin and dainty don’t work well with shoes, and that can be frustrating. I’m very excited to working with 3D printing one day. I think there is an opportunity to create details and designs that may be challenging or too expensive.

3) What has been your most memorable collaboration to date? 
Hmm, I wish I could tell you, but I signed a confidentiality agreement. I can tell you that it’s a luxury brand. It was very exciting to make shoes that cost more than a thousand dollars. However, what I enjoyed most was pushing myself to create. When you’re designing for a brand that sets trends, there expectations of you are very high. They want to see unique designs, and not just a few, lots of ideas. I learned to find inspiration from places I normally wouldn’t look, and to explore ideas, and work them out. I have always been that type of designer, but this opportunity pushed me to higher level of exploration and ideation.  It was not easy, but once I got the hang of it, I thrived, and loved the challenge.  I hope to have more opportunities like that.

4) How does designing for children differ from designing for adults? 
There really is not much of a difference with designing kids shoes or adults. The process is the same. I believe what makes kids shoes different is that kids trends follow adults trends. It’s important to follow what trends are strong for adults, but to take some of those important trends adaptable to kids. Designing kids shoes is not as easy as it may seem. It takes a certain talent to be able to recognize trends that are adaptable to kids and make the designs unique to children as well. Not every design has to be a take down version.

Nalini's sketch via Instagram
5) In your opinion, who makes the best shoes? 
Right now, I ‘m in love with everything Céline is doing. Phoebe Philo can make a simple design so cleverly unique.

6) What type of music is playing in the background in the design studio? 
While I’m sketching, I have to listen to dance/electronica music. When I’m working on renderings or technical drawings, music that is a little softer. You can find me listening to: Broken Bells, Phantogram, Kidnap Kid, Underworld, Royksopp, Metronomy, Flight Facilities, Angus & Julia Stone, Seoul, and Arrica Rose’s new album Wavefunction is on my top play list right now!

7) Favourite market or area to shop in LA? 
LA is so spread out and unfortunately, for me, I can’t say I like one neighbourhood. I like shops, and will drive to several neighbourhood in one day just to shop. If I had to pick one area, I would have to say Beverly Hills/Weho, because all of my favourite designers are there. However, there are some amazing shops in Silverlake, Los Feliz, Venice, and Eagle Rock. I also like the Rose Bowl and Fairfax flea market.

8) If you could have one person wear your shoes who would it be and why? 
Phoebe Philo. She’s cool in every possible way, and her taste is immaculate!

9) Where do you draw inspiration from? 
It’s always different. Sometimes architecture, or I pick a muse, and research everything about her/him, and build on that. Maybe it’s a country, or a culture, a religion, or a sign on the street. I’ve learned to be open. I carry a sketchbook with me at all times, and am obsessed with sketching.

10) What can we expect from your brand in the future?  
I have several things in the works.  Some are shoe related, and some are accessory related. I definitely will be creating more illustrations and art that is not necessarily shoe related. You can see the update of it on my blog. There will be a release of it by late November.

Nalini's sketch via Instagram

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Website: naliniarora.com
Instagram: /naliniaroradotcom
Twitter: @lashoegirl 
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