Thursday, September 20, 2012

Taste - from Amsterdam

There was a time not too long ago that I wasnt keen on anything that was Dutch symbolic for fashion.

Viktor and Rolf at H&M didnt tickle my fancy, Rituals originally just felt like a me too and I prefer Molton Brown, Hyves was a cute idea but not truly internationally and do I really want to invest in a piece by Supertrash (the name alone doesnt spell classy) - anyway you get the idea.

It was strange to me because I do let my Orange flag fly come football or Queen's Day. I even thought the idea of breathing new life into Spyker was cool (though a little lost), had to laugh when anyone referenced the origin of Big Brother and I adore Dutch interior design with the likes of Marcel Wanders, Piet Boon, Jan de Bouvrie and my ultimate favourite Eric Kuster but I am here to say my opinions have changed... only a little.

Source: Smaak Amsterdam
I now really like Rituals - but wait there is more. I adore this brand of bags, clutches and wallets that is so good I have to broadcast it. Smaak Amsterdam (smaak is Dutch for taste and in this case good taste) is fantastic. They make affordable, stylish bags that come in so many colours the are truly individual. Here are a few teasers to get your mouth watering. With jewel tones, muted nuances and warm sunny brights - you will for certain find something to suit your outfits.
Source: Smaak Amsterdam

Source: Smaak Amsterdam

I went for the yellow Zinnia as my work hold all.

Source: Smaak Amsterdam

So tell me what you like. Check out and tell me what you think.

Source: Smaak Amsterdam

Source: Smaak Amsterdam

Oh and tell me if you can pronounce Smaak in your language - I think good things can happen for this brand - if only we could say the name but that might just be the appeal :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Fav Five - Zara

I heart Zara! I will admit it - it's true!

They translate trends in a smart, polished and stylish way that is affordable. Let's me honest, everyone has something from Zara in their wardrobe and for some of us it is our go to shop.

So I went through their online shop and picked out my must haves for this month. Yes this month because clever as they are every month brings something new to tempt us with.

1. Leather trousers - or leatherette really - I know I mentioned this last year how much I envy the leggy girls who can get away with wearing these but I am now going to take the plunge and find the curvy girl's version. I reckon with enough stretch and the right fit we curvy girls can get away with it too and look pretty fine doing it. So watch this space as to how I get on!

2. Fur vests - when I told my sister I loved this vest she compared me with a grey Big Bird. So needless to say we have very different tastes but I love the length and the colour. So have it on my fav list. I wonder what you think?


3. Studs - studs and more studs - if you saw my earlier post you will have read about my latest obsession and that I think Zara has stayed very true to the Valentino take on studs, keeping them polished. So I thought revamped the ueber popular shopper with studs is genius! I love it.


4. Embellished jackets - or cardies is you prefer. I love combining opposites in fashion - leather with floaty, studs with pastels and here embellished with softness. For me, the 1950s with their collars and pearls and embellishment was too ridgid. It makes me think of Mona Lisa's Smile which immediately makes me cringe in the closed mindedness it portrayed. So this jacket gives the best of boths worlds. Embellished for then, flexible for now.


5. Shoes - A girl can NEVER have too many shoes although in my case she can make a few very odd choices. And these sandals are sexy and so now but also super practical with black tights for winter and bare legged for summer. You could almost call it an investment!

So these are my fav five - how about you? What do you love?


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Nailing it ...

I love manicures or just colour changing. Apparently in the past when the economy was tricky, women indulged in lipstick to cheer themselves up but in today's world it is nail polish.

Who can blame us when the likes of Essie and OPI make us feel like a kid in a candy shop. Chanel gets us up in a Frenzy (literally with the latest shade) with their must have shades of each season. I couldnt resist going for Holiday and Delight this year.

I will admit it doing my nails is therapeutic for me and I will change my nail colour as often as 5 times a week even when on holiday.

During the summer I loved the light blues and light green ones - like ice cream.

But I was also inspired by another blog I frequently read (let's be honest two of the best things in the world) and was inspired to try doing the sunset manicure too. I was cheerfully pleased with the result.

When I buy polishes the names also inspire me - and they help me remember which is which. So whether it is OPI Lincoln Park after Dark or Roll in the Hague - the name alone can make me happy. I am a huge fan of the coral tones. They suit my skintone better than red and make a nice switch from black in winter.

But I love how black and greys have become the new staples for winter.

So tell me ... what is your favourite nail polish colour?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tell me about it stud!

Oke I will be honest - the title made me chuckle. Yes laughing at my own jokes and then outing myself on the never-ending internet - sad I know.

So unless you have been blind - you will have noticed the stud trend and personally I think Valentino started it all. I fell in love love love with a side studded handbag and have now seen clever and thrifty (my catch phrase of the season) at Zara.

But this season Valentino upped the game with the beautiful mixed versions. So you can be a hard punk rock fashionista with the Noir collection.


Or a soft on the inside hard on the outside fashionista with sweet coloured studs.



And it you need to be a little flashy you can go a little pave. So if you are thinking of going the studded route, consider an investment piece from Valentino all to be found on online shopping but also try my-wardrobe and

Hope in true Grease style if makes you feel like Olivia Newton-John in skin tight leathers....


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A sucker for a bangle

My latest obession - bracelets!

Lots of them, as many as possible together without looking like a total idiot. In my fav blog term 'A true arm party' and if you are a cute bangle you are so invited!

So I had a look around the internet to give a clue as to what is excited my right now!

Source: Shourok
First off in line with the embellished trend - I love sparkle. In fact I am surprised to find that Zara has been helping me indulge. But I also some amazing ones on So here are few to get you drooling...

Then there is an unexpected newcomer in the field that I honestly wasn't expecting : J.Crew. I love Jenny Lyons with her quirky style and the fact that on their website they do Styles we love which even if it isn't exactly my sense of style it does make me think out of the box and rethink my wardrobe ... being a bit more creative...

So here are my fav picks from J.Crew ... They have fab bangles in leopard, fushia, cobalt blue oh my but also a pave link bracelet that does uptown chique in a new and quirky way.

For me jewellery let's you re-invite an outfit each and every time. In today's world, being thrifty and clever is important so taking your fav black pencil skirt and work white, crisp shirt from last season to being completely up to date - is as simple as finding some super bangles. A smart investment that will work with lots of your favourite outfits - ohhhh and do let me know how you get on!
Am curious to see x


Back from beyond ...

It has been ages ... I know but I lost my mojo!

Really shocking actually, here I am supposed career girl, happy go lucky, cheerful and stylishly smart but then - boom - as out of no where the dreaded word ... burnout. I am still not comfortable with that word because it makes me think of a match burnt to a crisp with no chance of relighting. But that isnt the case for me. It is more a case of losing energy and not being able to re-egnite. Not getting excited or enthusiastic about things that normally thrill me - like fashion or writing on my blog.

But that was then this is now... and I am back - well in baby steps. Working on my energy and the things that make me happy. Revisiting my world. and my work. Maybe this is the dreaded pre-40 crisis that I am feeling. Or maybe just the outcome of 15 years in advertising as an account person being dealt it by both sides. Hmmm I will think that one through and whilst I am still coming to a conclusion I will be back to writing and sharing what I find fashionably inspiring!

Get ready - I am back!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Making a list ...

As the song says it is the most wonderful time of the year. I had to admit I am a sucker for Christmas - for me it is all about the lights in the shop windows, the crisp air and the feeling of wanting to return home light candles and cocoon for the evening. Living in Holland it is just not the same so every year I have to kick off the season with a trip to Londo to see the lights. Having lived in Hamburg, New York, London, Paris and Holland I can compare and nowhere does Christmas lights like London. New York and Chicago are fantastic when it comes to shop windows but for simple twinkling white lights you have to visit London. And with only a weekend to do some specific Christmas shopping a list is needed.

I personally am a huge fan of the White Company - which thankfully has more in store for then just white and so many lovely truly induglent gifts. To me Christmas is about giving that gift that you wouldnt necessarily give yourself and that it was makes it truly special.

Here are a few treats to inspire you all courtesy of The White Company ( ...
Picture frames may seem like an easy gift but everyone loves silver-plated frames they add sparkle to a room and help capture your favourite memories....
This stunning cashmere poncho is high on my wish list. Cashmere is perfect for Christmas whether it is socks or a jumper or a poncho. Everything about it just begs for warm cuddly nights and days.

Gorgeous candles - handmade candles can be so pricey but so lovely to have in the home. I spent a fortune on candles a few months ago and every evening that I light (which is a bit of an effort) the room transforms to a magical warm and lovely place.

And special decorations to me a special extra gift that you might not automatically give yourself. My mother has the tradition of buying one new Christmas ornament a year but the really special ones are those that we as children bought or gave as a gift.

But if you are short on time and still want special gifts online is the way forward and if I can recommend one website here it is... part of Red Magazine Uk and they have amazing gifts ... here is a pick of my favourites...

Maybe it is because I miss London or I think the colour red is linked with Christmas but these Christmas baubbles are too lovely and unique to not mention as a must have.

Or something a little more special than your chocolate advent calender. A calender that will last for years and years which to me really symbolizes the essence of Christmas - it doesnt have to be big just meaningful and from the heart to surprise the person it is for.

And if you are looking for inspiration these prints will do just that. Something to remind yourself of everyday...

I do hope you are making plans for a very specialy Christmas and if I run into any more ideas that completely get me inspired I am warning you I will just have to let you know about them!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Queen of my Castle

I find commitment hard to do - it's true. After years of moving about it is in my genes, I am sure of it.

But only recently have I managed to find and make my flat just to my liking and I just had to share.
I have lived in some pokey furnished flats in London and New York and have had my fair share of nightmare landlords to deal with (I am sure we all have a tale or two to share about those).

One of the reasons I wanted to move to Holland was space - I wanted a flat that 1) could fit my wardrobe comfortably so I can colour coordinate the contents (sad I know) 2) was large enough to let me place my families heirloom furniture in it and 3) light & bright to never ever be pokey again.

When I saw my flat for the first time it was love - just like that. Even though it is in Holland the huge industrial-like windows reminded me straight-away of New York and with a view (from the 12th floor) of the city there are always pretty lights to stare at. Although today it is super foggy which makes you feel as though you are floating in mid-air without any idea of your surroundings and that too is pretty spectular.

The reason I wanted to share this pics of my flat with you is because I am a firm accessories believer in fashion and in my home. Ok some of the furniture is inherited (which means 3B's : big, bulky and brown) but the majority of items are from that well known Swedish furniture haven Ikea and I love it. So style doesnt have to be expensive just clever. Plus the eye can be decived. What's looks silver doesn't have to be real silver or even silver-plated for that matter to give the same effect. I love how mentals reflect light from candles or sunshine. Plus with darker elements in my house I wanted to make sure there was a enough light and airy elements to balance it all out.

I personally believe that we in Holland have some amazing home decorating stores. The likes of Lifestyle and Riviera Maison but even borrowing from our neighbours I think Flamant is fantastic and adore getting inspiration from Eric Kuster, Piet Boon and Jan de Bouvrie. I am after all LUSTING after a velvet sofa from Eric Kuster (if you dont know what to get me for Christmas - that was a subtle hint, no?).

But I also love Rofra Home for deco items, Graham & Green in the UK (divine) and the creative cleverness of West Elm and Crate & Barrel in the US is never to fail (shame we cant even access the website from abroad but I have ranted before about how some US shops are still US only - sad face).

These pictures were taken on a particularly glourious day, so anyone who thinks it only rains in Holland is mistaken and I think this is when my living room is at its best.

I have moved around alot but this home definitely makes me feel like staying just a little longer.

Hope the pictures give you a little inspiration and I added the websites of the others I mentioned for good measure.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

She's a lady ...

Although fashion in recent years has been rekindling lady-like fashion from decades ago - with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton at the forefront -  I cant help but wonder does it really translate to today's woman. In the cruel business world does being lady-like help or work against a girl about town? Or is it maybe lady-like in doses depending on the industry you are in?

Source: Louis Vuitton
For example Angela Merkel is without a doubt the strongest lady in Europe with the French president throwing her a flash of a smile or a nudge here and there as a show of partnership - saving the Euro and the world together. But does she come across as lady-like? It is really important for her? Or is she maybe in a boys club and needs a bit more masculinity to be taken seriously?

Same case, different rules - Christine Lagarde - granted is in pencil skirts and feminine fashion but does she strike you as lady-like? In the hard world of finance (let alone the politics that mix in) she being lady-like a good thing?

And what is lady-like in today's world anyway? Am I meant to be the one in a meeting to ask if anyone wishes anything else to drink? Am I supposed to wait for some one to hold the door for me? When trying to make a point do I gently nudge my male colleagues and make it seem like it was their idea? Ok some of these examples could be straight out of  Mona Lisa's Smile but what I am trying to say is that today's world means lady-like is refined, smart, savvy and ballsy with a touch of male attitude and a splash of rough and ready. The world demands a clever approach for anyone really and maybe the lady-like look in fashion is just that a clever approach in today's world. Perhaps the gentle touch a hint of curve and the illusion of skin flahsing through are a new hint of mystery that we havent seen earlier - in the years of bandage style minidress - stunning and seductive but less subtle. The midi length in flowy dresses add for kicks and twirls. In my opinion fashion makes you feel confident - a better version of yourself. Just what you need really to take the world by storm.  I think I will be putting lady-like fashion to the test and watching for results...with the ultimate result being how I feel. We shall see.

PS one last comment just because you're a lady doesn't mean you can't mix in a but of the femme fatale...seductive comes in various lengths and styles - now won't that be fun experimenting with.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

The best moments ...

Sometimes when you are glum it helps to remember you favourite moments and try to recapture how you felt right then and there in the moment. For some it is a much needed girlie lunch, or the day you were proposed to but for others it is just a walk in the park with a loved one. So I tried to really think hard about a top 10 list (obviously the fact that there was far more than 10 moments to choose from made me feel so fortunate)… Maybe this inspires you to do the same.

1. My Mint Green & White Princess Dress
My grandmother had the habit of bringing clothes from her favourite children’s clothing shop to us when she came to visit. And my 6th birthday I remember so well. We still lived in Germany and I was in Holland to celebrate my birthday it was just before we were to move to America so it was an extra special birthday and I had seen THE dress. I imagine this is what brides feel when they meet THE dress but this was my moment. It was a princess dress that my mother would hate and I loved it. So thanks to my granny I was given the dress. And to this day I will be ever so thankful

2. The 9 year old Saks experience
As a little girl we would go to Chicago for December 5th (a holiday Sinterklaas in the Netherlands) and would always do a spot of shopping. I think this instilled the need for shopping at a young age (I blame my parents). On one occasion in the children’s clothing section I think my father just couldn’t be bothered so he simply sent the sales lady on her way to pick the best of the bunch and my sister and I spent hours trying and twirling I was in heaven (not realizing she works on commission – the greedy reality of the world). I will never forget the pinstriped YSL navy dress I came away with. I felt special for moments to come.section I think my father just couldn’t be bothered so he simply sent the sales lady on her way to pick the best of the bunch and my sister and I spent hours trying and twirling I was in heaven (not realizing she works on commission – the greedy reality of the world). I will never forget the pinstriped YSL navy dress I came away with. I felt special for moments to at a young age (I blame my parents). On one occasion in the children’s clothing section I think my father just couldn’t be bothered so he simply sent the sales lady on her way to pick the best of the bunch and my sister and I spent hours trying and twirling I was in heaven (not realizing she works on commission – the greedy reality of the world). I will never forget the pinstriped YSL navy dress I came away with. I felt special for moments to come.

3. My first designer handbag
My mum has always been a handbag fan (as has my grannie maybe its in the genes) but all those tiny lady-like variations. Me I like my handbags BIG, voluminous and with enough space to carry silly things like my filofax, 2 blackberries, make-up, a camera and a brally (in some case a plant, light, measuring tape but only if a spoon full of sugar is in the picture). So there she was a classic Gucci black bamboo handle hobo with my name on it and one sale so the dream could become reality. I had just been given a EU subsidy for EU students studying abroad and it was immediately put to good use. This is now 12 years on and I still adore this bag and just yesterday was complemented on it. Bless.

4. The Madeleine / L’Opera debacle
My first year away to university, away from home in Paris with the most charming of Frenchies and yes a little homesick when my at the time 16 year old sister came for a much needed catch up trip. There are two classic moments from this trip (see number 4) but when walking through the streets of Paris specifically down Boulevard l’Opera and standing in front of the Madeleine only to look at my sister and say look here is the L’Opera will in my family remember a classic.

5. These boots are made for walking
We did huge amounts of walking that first sisterly visit in Paris and obviously needed a theme tune (doesn’t everyone – think Ally McBeal). Ours for that trip was the Nancy Sinatra classic. It kept us happily stomping away to the Les Bains, visiting the Louvre and to this day is my sister and mine favourite karoke tune. The song has brought us a long way and I smile each time I hear it.

6. Christmas – Home where my mum’s tree is
I am sure everyone feels this way but as a child we had the most beautiful Christmas tree. With glass balls and wooden figurines from Germany. When we used to decorate the tree my sister and I would tell each other stories under the watchful eye of our mother. The queen figure lived high in the tree in the shiny beautiful ball and the rest of the tree was the village. Accompanied by the required Christmas Carols I can now wow you all with my rendition of "Do they hear what I hear?" . To this day I search the tree to find my favourite baubles and still (yes even now) find my mother’s Christmas my favourite Christmas – even in comparison to my own.

7. Grown-up Dinner Date with Dad
During my first year in Paris at university I lived with this terrible French family (a feeble attempt by my father to teach me French but I do speak it now so maybe he was on to something). On one occasion my dad came to Paris for work and I met him after school at Café de la Paix and felt so grown-up having a pre-dinner drink and then followed with Fruits de Mer. It was such a lovely time. I have the fondest memories of Paris with my father.

8. Windows of the World
When I first moved to London, my sister was first to visit. We met on November 5th a few days after her birthday at the London Park Lane Hilton at their bar all the way on the top floor and had an amazing view of London. All the better that it was Guy Fawkes night and all over London you could see little fireworks scattered about. Magical.

9. The BIG 3-0 and 29+2
I really lived up to the moment of turning Dirty Thirty and wanted to do something with friends and family separate. So the weekend of my actual birthday I flew my grannie (81) and mum to London and all the usual suspect things – high tea, dinner here, drinks there but for my birthday itself we had dinner at the Oxo Tower restaurant thanks hugely to my sister working there and us being able to get a discount otherwise it might never have happened. The was an amazing night, and all the better for having my family there with me. 31 was funnily enough an equally brilliant birthday with post bday celebrations in Holland with my mum in grannie at my grannie’s favourite restaurant (where she wined and dined with my grandfather). I am silly in that I get very excited about birthdays (yes still) and truly enjoy each and every one for very different reasons.

10. Lying on the beach with dear, dear friends
Cannes is very special to me and every year I return. It started as a girlie holiday for partying and now has transformed to a girlie holiday for nice wine, good food, glorious sun, a bit of pampering and much needed catch up with friends. I think you can make Cannes as crazy as you want but I love the city for its glamour and laid back-ness all in one. I have the best chats with my girlfriends on the beach and come back inspired, recharged and ready for the next visit. My dream is it to own a little haunt of a flat there with balcony and crisp white sheets to grow old with the heavenly drops of Cotes de Provence rose at my finger tips.