Friday, September 28, 2012

Paris, France - British Fashion Council Party for Paris Fashion Week

This past Thursday night I attended a British Fashion Council reception hosted by Sir Peter Westmacott (British Ambassador to France), Samantha Cameron (wife of the British Prime Minister David Cameron), and Harold Tillman CBE (Jaeger) to celebrate British fashion at the British Ambassador's Residence in Paris. This event was one of the hottest invitations of the entire Paris Fashion Week calendar. 

Stepping out of my room at the Hotel de Vendome in Place Vendome:
What I'm Wearing: Satin trimmed dress, Chanel. Necklace and matching mother of pearl Alhambra earrings, Van Cleef & Arpels. Horsebit bag, Gucci. Swarovski butterfly peep toe heels, Aruna Seth.

To say that the setting of the British Ambassador’s Residence on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore was spectacular and magical would be an understatement. Lanterns filled with candles lined both sides of a red carpet leading up to the front entrance, and once inside, the foyer was lit solely by the dancing light of dozens of Diptyque candles, providing the most amazing fragrance. 

The actual party was held in the back garden and servers were clad in white jackets.  

Having lived in NYC and now London, I like to think I mastered the art of feigned nonchalance when it comes to celebrity encounters, but this party had my head spinning. First I spied Mario Testino hitting up the nibbles. Then there was Glenda Bailey (Editor of Harpers Baazar), oh and Grace Coddington. And then all of the designers and U.S. Press started walking in: Peter Pilotto, Nicholas Kirkwood, Erdem, Rupert Sanderson, Roland Mouret, Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro, Jonathan Saunders, Suzy Menkes (IHT), Christopher Kane, and the heads of Bergdorf’s and Neiman’s. 
British Ambassador to France Sir Peter Westmacott and Mario Testino
Credit: Fabien Pochez and Miguel Domingos 
Grace Coddington (Vogue US)
Credit: Fabien Pochez and Miguel Domingos  
Anna Dello Russo
Credit: Fabien Pochez and Miguel Domingos 
Melanie Rickey (Fashion Editor-at-Large, Grazia) and Glenda Bailey (Harper's Bazaar US)
Credit: Fabien Pochez and Miguel Domingos   
And then the ultimate fashion moment happened and I LOST it: Anna Wintour walked in on the arm of Hamish Bowles. It was all just too much to process. First the setting, which would have been spectacular on its own, then the guest list and now Anna (insert expletive) Wintour!!! I was on fashion overload and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. 
Anna Wintour (Vogue US)
Credit: Fabien Pochez and Miguel Domingos 
All I remember was repeating in my head, “You’re at a Paris Fashion Week party with Anna Wintour, ok calm down, breathe, she is only 4 feet away from you, act cool, this is normal.” And then I did the most rational thing I could think of in that moment, I pulled out my Blackberry and called my mom back home in Boston, and in a low whisper I said, “I’m standing next to Anna Wintour.” Ha, well we all need our mothers in "hard" times.
Samantha Cameron and Anna Wintour (Vogue US)
Credit: Fabien Pochez and Miguel Domingos 
Guests listening to the various speeches that evening:
Credit: Fabien Pochez and Miguel Domingos   
British Fashion Council Ambassador, Samantha Cameron
Here is a look at the inside of the British Ambassador's Residence:

This party was EPIC and goes down in the books under top five parties I've ever attended. I'm a lucky girl. 
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

London, England - Focus @ Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, London
I've been a busy bee during the last few days as it is design week here in London. From 100% Design, to the famous interior design show Decorex (more on that later) to Focus/12 at Chelsea Harbour ... I haven't stopped since Sunday! Yesterday I spent most of the day at the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, and enjoyed two great lectures: one with a true legend: Rosita Missoni, the founder of Missoni, and Kathryn Ireland, the well known West Coast interior designer with a celebrity clientele and a reality show on Bravo.

Rosita Missoni

Between lectures we stopped for lunch at the Tatler Restaurant in the atrium at the Design Centre:

Tomato, mozarella, basil salad
Salade nicoise
Salmon, long grain rice, scallions and a yogurt/mint dressing
After lunch we hit the sweet counter on the third floor for a jolt of sugar:

The Kathryn Ireland lecture was hosted by the hysterical Susan Crewe, Editor of House & Garden Magazine:

Kathryn M. Ireland

After the lecture, we were all invited to the Tissues d'Helene showroom for scones and prosecco to view the new Kathryn Ireland fabric collection and for a book signing:

There is a great buzz around London revolving around all things to do with home interior design, so do stay tuned for my report on the fabulous products on display this year at the Decorex trade show, where we also presented our own Liberty Furnishing Fabrics
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Friday, September 21, 2012

St. Barth's, French West Indies - La Magnifica Villa Rental

The beautiful island of St. Barths in the Caribbean has been on my destinations wish list for a long time now. This year I am finally making it happen. My friends and I have just booked this villa for the days following Christmas, including New Year's Eve. I'm already dreaming of the turquoise water, warm ocean breeze, the new friends I'll make, and lots of cold French rose wine. 

Here is a sneak peek of the villa we rented. And it goes without saying that there will be many more blog entries to come once I am on island at the end of December. Stay tuned! 

La Magnifica is a brand new villa located on the sunrise side of the island. Situated hillside in Vitet, this contemporary house has a wide ocean view on the Bay of Toiny. The villa is very well equipped, with large white sofa, a contemporary kitchen, two very nice bedrooms and daily maid service. The living room opens onto a deck with private swimming pool overlooking the ocean.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

London, England - Future Contemporaries Party 2012 at the Serpentine Gallery

Kelly Osbourne and Kate Moss
The Serpentine Gallery and Diesel hosted a stunning line-up of live acts for its Future Contemporaries Party, which I attended Monday night. This annual fundraiser for the Gallery’s young patrons took place during London Fashion Week in the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2012, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei. 

Princess Eugenie and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
The Future Contemporaries was founded by the Serpentine Gallery in 2007 to foster a new generation of philanthropists and art collectors under the age of 40, and comprises members from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions.
Model Alex Wek
The A-list event brought together young collectors, musicians and fashion a-listers for an evening of fun, in benefit of the Serpentine Gallery's non-profit programmes. 

Singer Corinne Bailey Rae
Food was created by rising culinary stars Isaac McHale of The Young Turks and Daniel Willis of The Clove Club, alongside a bespoke cocktail menu. Cups of coffee flavored gelato were served at the end of the evening. 

The Kills
The party featured live performances from The Kills and Wild Belle. DJs included Brodinski, Trevor Jackson and Erik Rug, all of whom kept us dancing until it was time to collapse into black cabs for the ride home. 

Not too shabby for a Monday night. 

Braving the English rain with my fellow party-goer the Duchess of York

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