Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Paris, France - Le Burgundy Hotel

Ever since I read about Le Burgundy Hotel, Paris in Departures Magazine, I have been dying to stay there. Very luckily, one of my closest friends from Boston decided to have her birthday in Paris this year and so graciously treated us to two junior suites at the hotel in October. The location put us in walking distance to all my favorite haunts: Rue Saint Honore, Colette, Hotel Costes, the Louvre, the Tuileries, and my secret Vietnamese food obsession Au Coin des Gourmets sits literally around the corner.

The interior design is beautifully done, and the staff are very attentive. Because we were celebrating a birthday, we had a constant flow of goodies delivered to the room ranging from champagne to decadent chocolate cake.

Our room, called the Malesherbes Duplex Suite (shown below), covered two floors and had two full baths. The bed and pillows were like sleeping on clouds. 

Our other two friends shared a suite identical in layout to the one below:

Breakfast in the morning consisted of a basket of pastries with butter and jam, juice and coffee (a wider breakfast buffet is available for purchase). My friend's Mom had organized some extra special breakfast treats for us on the morning of her actual birthday, yum!

Birthday breakfast treats

For a very chic place to stay in the 1st arrondissement, look no further than Le Burgundy.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

London, England - New England Patriots Game at Wembley Stadium

It’s as if Christmas came early this year … my home team, the New England Patriots, together with the hottest quarterback in the whole of the NFL, Tom Brady, came to visit me in London. Well, ok, maybe not just me, but it was so exciting to have so many familiar faces from Boston here all weekend. 

I have been on entertainment committee for the last few days, showing around Boston’s PR and publicist guru, George Regan, as well as Tom Kershaw, owner of The Hampshire House Corporation and the bar that served as the inspiration for the setting of the TV series Cheers

My Dad scored me and a friend some amazing 50 yard line seats at Wembley Stadium for the game against the St. Louis Rams yesterday, where I was surrounded by Patriot’s fans. My seatmate was Linda Holliday, girlfriend of the Patriot’s head coach, Bill Belichick. 

Walking through the stadium and seeing so many friends was like being home in Boston, and the excitement in the stands was palpable. I got a kick out of being at an NFL game where the National Anthem was followed by Kathrine Jenkins singing God Save the Queen

Fans helped to form the stars and stripes of the American flag during the National Anthem

Everyone loves #12, Tom Brady

We really need to bring these carriers back to Boston, how cool are they?

The best part of the evening? The Patriots pulled out a 45-7 win over the Rams. We couldn't have asked for a better result. And thanks to Hurricane Sandy, it looks like my Bostonian friends may be around for a few extra days. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rome, Italy - The Roof Deck Bar at the Grand Hotel de la Minerve

I’m really hesitant to let this cat out of the bag. This is my secret place, a secret garden, that is, a rooftop garden. It’s a place where you can get away from the din and tourist crowds of Rome and feel as if you are in your own private villa overlooking the rooftops of the Eternal City

The pealing church bells, the dome of the Pantheon at arm's length, terra cotta tiled roofs, a setting ball of orange sun, a tinkling piano, your own personal barman and a cold effervescent prosecco … it’s the rooftop bar and restaurant atop the Grand Hotel de la Minerve … and its where every Roman evening begins and ends for me. Do me a favor, keep this one to yourself, ok? 

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

London, England - Michelle Smith of Milly at The Arts Club

Michelle Smith holding her favorite piece from the SS13 collection
Monday night one of my fashion dreams came true. I was invited to a very private viewing of the Milly SS13 Collection at the members only The Arts Club and got the opportunity to both meet and interview the designer, Michelle Smith. I have more pieces of Milly clothing in my closet than any other American designer, and I was just ecstatic to meet Michelle. To declare myself a huge fan of Milly would be an understatement!!! 

Glasses of champagne in hand, Michelle and I bonded over our mutual love for Italy and one of my recent posts on Il Pellicano, where she spent a portion of her honeymoon. (I love it when someone I admire has no airs, is classy, down to earth, thankful, and with whom its so easy to chat!).

She personally talked me through each item of the SS13 collection pointing out special details, how she layered textures, the use of digital prints, and the juxtaposition of technical fabrics and couture finishes resulting in a range that is "sports luxe with a twist."

Her signature black and white looks sit alongside bold pieces with color pops that range from neon coral to mint, lapis and punchy citron. You can view the entire collection here.

I then sat down to ask Michelle a few questions:

Where do you find your inspiration each season?

I never know when inspiration will strike; it could be during a vacation, at a movie, in a gallery, I’m just thankful when it does! I start each new season first with a color palette and the fabrics, and from there I allow those to inspire and guide me into a theme. Having the fabrics first, which are sourced all over Europe (from Italy to France and Spain), allows me to then start shaping and working on the individual silhouettes.

What was the inspiration for this Spring/Summer 2013 collection?

This collection was born from the concept of surrealism. The inspiration came from two trips I took this year. The first was to Brussels, where I held a fashion show at the American Embassy. During my trip there I visited a museum, which first got me thinking about surrealism and how it is the expression of a dream.

The second trip was to Barcelona to visit one of the mills I use. The owners took me to their country house on the Costa Brava, which is a beautiful and unspoiled coastal area that I can only imagine is what St. Tropez was like in the 1950s. Their home had original artwork by Dali and I began to imagine what contemporary surrealism would be like today. I started with the dream-like smoke print and then went in a sporty direction adding reflective accents, laser cuts and trompe l’oeil to the collection. 

What is your favorite piece from the SS13 collection?

It would have to be the silver laminated python pencil skirt.

What are the key pieces every woman should have in her closet?

1)  A sexy and well-fitted pencil skirt
2)  A sheath dress, probably in black so it can take you anywhere
3)  A statement coat. When you walk into a room, your coat is the first thing people see and therefore the first statement you make. I always leave a sparkly coat in my office in case I have to go out unexpectedly straight from work. No matter what I have on underneath, it always elevates my whole look.
4) A good tweed jacket. It’s all about classic materials used as a base and then mixed and matched with something more edgy.
5) A great evening gown and a killer cocktail dress.
6) Did I say the classic white shirt? It’s a must!

Do you have any favorite places in London?

Claridge's for afternoon tea with my 5 year old daughter; it’s the absolute perfect mother/daughter bonding experience.

There is such a great energy in London, which can especially be felt throughout the shops and restaurants on Dover Street in Mayfair.

Favorite place in the world to get away?

ITALY! I go once a year and always visit one place that I have been to repeatedly and know well, and one new place. This coming June, Puglia will be my new discovery and Tuscany the old favorite.

The kaleidoscope print dress
Michelle sources some of her tweeds from the same mill Chanel uses 
Pops of bright citron
The surrealist smoke print
Perfect for channeling The Great Gatsby
What We Are Wearing: 
Michelle is in the Leather Trim Sweater and Cleo Petal Skirt.
I am in the Marzia Bow Jacket. All by Milly. 
Goodie bags!
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