A diamond on our doorstep: Lunetier
Tamer Fernandes is the man (and the glasses) behind Lunetier; a treasure chest of vintage eyewear in the Portobello Green Arcade, next door to Hayley Menzies HQ. Lunetier stock frames from as far back as the last century and the cupboard of Tamer’s own personal collection holds frames that look positively futuristic; there is therefore something for absolutely anyone who comes through this door…
Every Friday, just outside the Hayley Menzies and Ottoline HQ there is a treasure trove of beautiful vintage couture pieces to fun bric-a-brac. Fashion die-hards arrive early to snap up one-off collectable pieces. I was literally devastated two weeks ago when I missed out on a navy jumper with gold hoop detailing, by a nano second! Its taken me until now to recover from the loss!
Our favourite vintage dealers are two lovely stall-owning sisters who talked us through their vintage collections. As locals, they’d known of Portobello market for years and let us in to a little trade secret that the Friday market was more vintage than the Saturday one and this is why they chose to frequent the Portobello Green on Fridays.
Their collection is fantastically mixed; shoes, books, dresses and statement trousers have been accumulated over many years. The combination of a father who sold antiques and some childhood years spent in Morocco meant that Georgie and her sister had amassed quite a collection. We were particularly drawn to some high-waisted striped trousers, some sequinned boleros and a beautiful black and white flapper style lace dress [all pictured]. Their items came from travels and friends and as we expected, something often comes up that is just too good to sell and so remains an undiscovered treasure….for now.
Portobello Market is open every Friday from 9am until 5pm.
Night Free? Must See…
Yves Saint Laurent: The Film
The Hayley Menzies and Ottoline HQ is buzzing this morning after one of the team has burst into the office buzzing with enthusiasm for the new Yves St Laurent biopic which she says is an absolute treat for the eyes, ears, brain…everything.
She made us all watch the trailer on YouTube and now we are completely in agreement so we thought she should write a little review as an outlet for her fashion passion:
“I went to see the new Yves St Laurent film by Jalil Lespert last night and it was so so so so so good. It follows Yves’ iconic career from the very beginning and documents the emotional journey of him and his family as he becomes one of the most revered fashion geniuses of all time. The focus is on the downs as well as the ups; his battles with depression, drugs and alcohol are very much part of the story but the film is not a sad one as it is pure passion that drives the plot. His private life was not only shared with the public but with his business partner Pierre Bergé, who would also become his lover and theirs is perhaps the most important relationship of the biopic. YVES SAINT LAURENT begins with Yves as the 21 year old successor to Christian Dior and, against a backdrop of Sixties’ liberation, ends with him as the head of one of the biggest fashion houses in the world.
The film’s photography and scenery is simply stunning, making this a film that would be enjoyable even for those that aren’t necessarily interested in fashion. Many of the outfits are recognisable as being Yves’ iconic designs and the film generally has a happy vibe and beautiful feel. Highly, highly recommended.”
Hilariously, our new fashion film critic speaks so many languages that she didn’t notice when the film moved from French with English subtitles to English and back again. We rather wish we were in that boat too.
On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a soiree in the middle of trendy Notting Hill to celebrate the launch of OTTOLINE and its dual-brand flagship store with Hayley Menzies (who incidentally designs the most lovely fur shawls).
I am asked to endless fashion parties and of course I don’t have the time to attend them all but I’m jolly glad I went to this one. The Ottoline scarves are exactly my sort of thing and from the moment I arrived, I was lost amongst a charming flurry of silk scarves, chatter and champagne!
Like something out of that fabulous new novel of Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, the guests were a melee of models, designers and press and most importantly…the champagne that was being poured out by the most glamorous hostesses seemed to be endless. Hemsley & Hemsley created some wild colourful cakes with some tremendous looking icing that was inspired by Ottoline’s S/S 14 Acid Safari collection and there were trays of deliciously exotic looking nibbles. How I managed to notice all this whilst draping bold and bright silks over myself, I have no idea; being a woman let loose in the Ottoline store is like letting a small child run riot in a sweet shop. Top of my wish list is the tribal snake print in mint which would be especially wonderful in the summer but I really did adore the cape style that the hostess was wearing (with a gorgeous vintage dress that I was quite jealous of). I’m told that it was a sign of what’s to come from Ottoline in future collections. The busiest area of the shop-turned-party venue was the till, with guests flying over themselves to get their hands on the new Hayley Menzies collection which has just landed (from heaven, it would seem) and pre-ordering the Ottoline Retro Safari A/W 14 collection which was on display on the night.
There were so many colourful scarves, silks and furs to marvel over that I almost completely overlooked the famous faces in attendance. I almost walked right in to statuesque Sophie Anderton; my outfit was upstaged by a typically dapper Henry Conway and by Sophie Moss (who always looks effortlessly chic) and I spent a good while marvelling at actress Daisy Lewis’ fabulous outfit before realising who she was! I had an extremely enjoyable albeit slightly tipsy conversation with her and Henry Conway; charming people. The youngest guests are always the most glamorous and television stars Binky Fesltead and Louise Thompson could have easily modelled the entire shop.
All in all, it was the most entertaining of evenings and I must offer the hugest congratulations and thanks to my hosts, especially for my adorable goodie bag with a mini Ottoline silk scarf in it; absolutely divine. What a whole lot of tremendously naughty fun.
Yours as fashionably OTT as ever,
Ottoline in Fortnum and Mason
We are delighted to now be stocked in Fortnum and Mason in St James.
I took a wander from Notting Hill to Fortnum’s on Saturday afternoon to see our SS14 Acid Safari collection in all of its glory in the magnificent store. Displayed wittily in the grip of articulated wooden hands, the chain trim sparkling under a majestic chandelier it was a wonderful and proud moment.
Not to miss a shopping opportunity in one of London’s finest institutions, and with Easter not far off, I got my “Shop On!”. The mountains of quintessentially British, Alice in Wonderland-esque style Easter treats were literally crying out my name… I left with a Noah’s Arc of eggs but unfortunately made it back to Notting Hill with just one. Oops.
Do pop in to Fortnum’s and have a look at our collection!
Rapper Wrapped in Ottoline
US rap sensation Angel Haze loves her new Ottoline Wolf Eye scarf.
Shop Ottoline scarves: www.ottolinelondon.com
Ottoline Features in the Telegraph Luxury
Ottoline Tribal Snake Scarf featured in the Telegraph Luxury, Springs Best Scarves.
New York Trunk Show
The craziness and buzz of New York is infectious and you get a sense that anything is possible. I love the ‘go get’ American attitude and feel inspired.
We arrive at Soho House, Meat Packing on a crisp but sunny lunchtime. I could quite happily move in. The people are cool, creative and everyone is pretty damn hot! No detail is left un-catered for and the rooms are quite splendid with fantastic views and a fabulous mini bar that could (and did) get you into a spot of trouble.
My travel companion is Claire – my oldest friend who now lives in Geneva – and we are in New York to host a trunk show on Mercer with Bex Manners of Bex Rox jewelry.
The event was super chic with mixologists shaking up life enhancing (really) cocktails, mountains of uber healthy nibbles (almost untouched – but hey that’s fashion!) and fashionable guests included Stacy Engman art curator extraordinaire and Asim Abdullah, owner of Emanuel Ungaro. We partied into the wee hours before collapsing and calling it a night.
Where to Eat, Drink and Sleep:
Sleep - Soho House: www.sohohouseny.com
Lunch - Balthazar: www.balthazarny.com
Dinner - Omars: omar-nyc.com
Cocktails – Rose Bar: www.gramercyparkhotel.com/nightlife
Vintage Shopping in Paris
I adore shopping for vintage pieces. The thrill of discovering a treasure that you are unlikely to see anyone else wearing is simply addictive. There, I said it. I am addicted to shopping. Fact.
During the launch of Ottoline at Paris Fashion Week, I managed to slip away for an afternoon of unadulterated vintage shopping with my best friends Alice and Claire. Women on a Vintage Mission – we marched the length of Rue de Rivoli and the breadth of the Marais district at a pace my personal trainer would be both proud and astonished by. Tucking in my tail bone, I engaged my glutes embracing the spree as double whammy booty toning and booty shopping trip…. I was in Heaven!
So admittedly I spent a fair whack in La Jolie Garde-Robe, however the pieces I bought there ARE investment pieces and I’m sure my bank manager would be proud! However there are a number of amazing vintage stores that have gorgeous pieces that won’t get you into any financial trouble. Here is a peek into our Little Black Book.
Little Black Book of Parisan Vintage Stores.
CASH TO SPLASH
La Jolie Garde-Robe
15 Rue Commines, 75003 Paris +33 1 42 72 13 90
The collection at La Jolie Garde-Robe is breathtaking. Carefully selected pieces ranging from 1900 to the 80s.
Hermes 1970s Silk Jersey Maxi Dress – I have dreamt of owning a dress like this for years. 650 Euro
Escada Green Suede and Gold Clock Belt – off the scale amazing. 120 Euro
Woven Belt with Ornate Gold Buckle and Silk Tassels. 180 Euro
Leonard Silk Jersey Dress. 300 Euro
76 Rue des Tournelles, 75003 Paris +33 1 48 87 08 61
Come On Eileen
16 Rue des Taillandiers, 75011 Paris +33 1 43 38 12 11
A treasure trove of vintage delights ranging vintage Converse, Levis, Hermes and Lanvin to Pucci.
97 Rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris, France +33 1 42 71 13 41
Delightful heartstopping vintage Chanel bags that make you want to rob a bank.
95 Rue de la Pompe, 75116 Paris, France +33 1 47 04 30 28
This is the largest consignment store in Paris and with new Haute Couture and brand name pieces arriving daily it is one to go see!
ON A BUDGET
There are 3 Free P Star stores in the Marais district. I found the one on Rue de Rivoli to be the best. Sure, you have to rummage but the fruits of your labour taste SO much sweeter when a gem is unearthed from the musty pile!
Free P Star
8 Rue Sainte-croix de la Bretonnerie, Paris +33 1 42 76 03 72
Free P Star
61 rue de la Verrerie, Paris +33 1 42 78 00 76
Free P Star
20 Rue de Rivoli, Paris +33 1 42 77 63 43
Gold Lame blouse with cute button detailing. 15 Euro
Black Leather Mini Skirt. 30 Euro
Swiss Mountain Scene Cardi - one to be admired in Verbier! 15 Euro
Black Mohair Cardi. 29 Euro
Timeless Treasures in Paris.
I couldn’t be more delighted with my vintage Escada belt and will be rocking it round the clock!
Next week I will be posting more vintage finds from my trip to Paris including stores to add to your Little Black Book, so stay tuned.