Ralph & Russo Spring 2016

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This was one of my fave looks at Paris fashion week for Spring 2016. Its by Ralph and Russo and I feel like the outfit embodies spring with its feminine floral pattern. Peplum dresses are really flattering on most body shapes, love this piece!!

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Miami

I was really excited to get to Miami, the 10 hour flight just dragged! I had heard so much about the beautiful beaches, seen the boardwalk in lots of music videos and of course people always raved about the crazy nightlife. I decided to stay at Miami Hostel on South Beach, I think hostels are always best when travelling alone as it’s easy to meet people. I got there at 10pm and got chatting to some guests from Denmark, they told me they were going to LIV club which was on my list so I was easily persuaded to join them. 10 minutes later the party bus came to pick us up, it was empty when we got on but by the third stop it was rammed, everyone was dancing, a Korean guy entertained us with his dance moves and constant falling on the floor. We got to LIV at fontaine bleu, it was a pretty nice hotel and the club was huge but nothing spectacular. The music was really good, they threw all these giant balls into the crowd which was fun for a moment and then crazy amounts of confetti but it wasn’t anything amazing. The way people raved about it I thought it would be like some of the clubs I’ve seen in Cancun with acrobats hanging from the ceilings, waterfalls in the club, dance-floors in the middle of the sea that move to the beat so you don’t even have to dance. This club was pretty normal and it was way over capacity…so a good night but really LIV is just hype.

On my last night I asked a local girl if she knows a good local spot that wasn’t as commercial and she took us to Purdy’s which was so much better! It had great music and a really decent crowd compared to all the rowdy tourists that were everywhere else plus it was really affordable and just a had a good vibe. A bunch of us were leaving from the hostel so we all went together and it was an amazing last night in Miami.

So the next day I wanted to go walk around South Beach or SoBe as its known. We walked around Lincoln road which was my kind of place, lots of al fresco dining, great boutiques, a few random shops, we went to this book store with amazing artsy books and some were 4ft tall. We went to the 8th floor of a car park and you could literally see all of South Beach and as far as downtown, some amazing beach and city views (highly recommend it if you want to appreciate Miami from where all us tourists don’t get in the way and you also get great photos). I was amazed to find a boutique up there, apparently this random shop in a car park was a celebrity haunt, it was called Alchemist.

We walked along the beach, it was cold, my first day it dropped to eight degrees Celsius which was the same weather as London except I only had summer clothes so I was literally freezing. The Miami breeze is pretty cold, take something warm with you just in case! I went to see the Versace Mansion, I would have loved to go in but it’s been sold and is no longer open to the public. Anyways, I had planned to visit an amazing house the next day!

Day two I went to Vizcaya which is a mansion built by James Deering in the nineteenth Century. It introduces visitors to a subtropical hammock with its 34 decorated rooms reflecting a variety of periods and styles. Getting to the mansion requires you to walk through a nature trail, the house is nestled on 10 acres of beautiful gardens and I enjoyed every single one. The Barge on Biscayne Bay was my highlight but I also really enjoyed the gardens. The house itself was enjoyable really only because of my overactive imagination that visualised what the Deering’s would do in each room, I looked at this unusual mesh of French, Italian and various other European and American artefacts and imagined how Deering lived there, entertaining guests and receiving gifts from other wealthy people all around the world. It’s such a mish-mash of periods but I guess when you read about it you realize why and there is plenty of information all over the house, I was fine without a guide or guide book. I also had the best food there, a panko crusted mahi mahi in bread served with a broccoli salad tossed in a tropical dressing with cranberries and peanuts…mmm.

I was told by everyone at the hostel not to try and go there alone as it takes two hours, various modes of transport and Miami transport is apparently unreliable…don’t listen to people when they tell you that. Locals in Miami pretty much all have cars and they are extremely unknowledgeable when it comes to getting around without one, in fact the hostel manager told me if I don’t get a car I will struggle to see anything. Google maps was a really helpful tool, look up where you want to go and it will give you all the info. I changed from a bus to a metro-mover to a train and it was really simple and took forty minutes not two hours as they thought.

Day three was beautiful weather so I went to a few art galleries, Peter Lik is one of my favourite photographers so was in his store/gallery on Lincoln for ages looking at his amazing photographs. He takes pictures of beautiful natural landscapes and you just get lost in his photos, its free and great to check out. They had an art deco festival and market along the beach for the weekend, miles of stalls and (expensive) street food… I bought some and realised I could have eaten at a really nice restaurant for the same price plus it’s not authentic because there are chains of these food carts all selling the same thing. Anyways I took my food to the beach and soaked up the sunshine for a few hours.

I realised Miami wasn’t really my kind of place, I loved my four days there but it was definitely not somewhere that left me wanting to stay and I was ready for Peru! I met some great people and had some wonderful experiences but I found Miami to be completely superficial. The thing is I wanted somewhere to chill, party and have fun before my intense Peruvian adventure but I think I always had an idea of it being this beautiful glitzy paradise so expected superficial to a degree but I felt it lacked class and identity. London, Dubai or Paris are all cities that offer you a taste of their culture as well as all the tourist stuff and Miami is a city lacking identity. Also if certain places are going to charge those kinds of prices they should have an element of sophistication to them which I only really saw in Lincoln but anyway I had a great time, I just know that if I had stayed longer it would have got boring

Rami Al Ali’s New Collection

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Courtesy Rami Al Ali

Rami Al Ali’s  just showcased his beautiful new collection in Paris. It is comprised of 26 floor length, A-line gowns with high necklines and cinched waists. The colours are mostly deep blues and purples and are broken up by neutral browns and beiges. He used light and heavy fabrics , “I wanted to encapsulate femininity through flowing gowns while adding an edge with more dramatic, structured pieces”.

His collection was inspired by Gustav Klimt, “I’m a huge fan of his work and similarly to myself his pieces embody the female form, which is something I always strive to incorporate into my designs. The artist also had a real eye for detail, which is a strong part of my own design aesthetic and can be seen throughout the collection with Klimt-inspired graphics.

South Of France

Hello World!!

In July 2012 I went to the South of France to visit my friend Charlotte and it was incredible so this is my “France Blog”. I can’t believe I only met Charlotte 3 months before, sometimes you meet people and you feel you have known them forever. She left London and asked me to come visit her so I did…like a week after she left hahaha. I arrived in France not knowing what to expect other than great weather and a beautiful place. After meeting her family I knew I was going to have a great time, they were such warm people, full of enthusiasm and so hospitable. They went out of their way to make everything perfect for me, kitchen stocked with all the typical French food, three course dinners every-day, live music :p, they wanted me to have a real taste of France and it was delicious! They even gave me my own floor of their house, no hotel could ever compare to the hospitality I received despite the fact that I was a stranger in their home. I explained to Charlottes mum that she didn’t need to go out of her way for me and she told me it was her pleasure and the thing is I could feel their enthusiasm every-time they explained things to me, showed me new places and watched me try all these new things. People like that who get fulfilment from giving someone else pleasure are like gold-dust and despite the beauty of France and my amazing experiences, meeting them was by far the best part.

Charlotte had wonderful things planned for me every-day!  On my first day we went to Toulon, I loved the little cobbled streets and squares filled with people dining Al Fresco, I loved that there were ports and beaches everywhere and being surrounded by water just filled the air with a sense of tranquillity. We then took a boat to the beach in Sablettes to meet Brenda who lives there but was here in England for two months with Charlotte so was nice seeing her in her home town! Charlottes mum has powers by the way, shes an extremely lucky person and when she feels lucky she knows so she decided to take us to the Casino that night where she came home with 800 euros lol. It was like being in James Bond!

The next day we went to Sanary – my favourite seaside town, It was so quaint and colourful and I could have walked around there all day but we had a cruise to catch! We spent the day on a boat cruising the South coast of France (Marseilles, Calanques, Cassis etc) It was so scenic, we saw all the beautiful beaches as the boat cruised the coastline.
We spent Saturday in Aix en Provence, my first glimpse of a City there, it was also beautiful and the hours drive there was filled with mountainous landscapes with the backdrop of the beautiful blue sea. Aix was a shoppers paradise J Not only was it beautiful, scattered with ancient landmarks and fountains but it also had endless rows of shops J We stopped for lunch in one of the squares, I watched Charlotte devour her Steak Tartare..i’m not gonna lie I felt sick hahaha.  A raw pile of mince meat with an egg yolk sitting on top of it and she thought I WAS WEIRD for not wanting to try it.
Sunday was definitely a highlight; we went to L’Estagnol beach which was breathtaking! The clear blue water was filled with glitter, It was actual flakes of gold and when you came out of the sea you were covered in glitter, it was amazing, I felt like a Princess  haha.
That night we went to an amazing restaurant on the beach, as we watched the Sunset we ate the most divine food, I can’t tell you how much better the food is there, everything is fresh and the fruit and veg has so much more flavour. I remember not enjoying the food in Paris but all I did in the South was EAT! The next day Charlottes boyfriend Will took us to a beautiful Medieval village and we ate Crepes..mmmmmmmmmm. The village (like everywhere else in the South) had beautiful viewpoints where you could sit and take in the scenery for hours.
The weather was perfect, the food was divine, the landscape was breathtaking and the people were beautiful, I couldn’t have asked for a better break J I highly recommend a holiday to the South of France!

Lots of Love xoxo