images by eclectic cool
Lyndie Dourthe describes her work as a little botany, anatomy and voodoo. Slightly creepy but very nicely constructed this could be quite the talking point for your next dinner party. You always need a bit of artwork that either everyone hates or is interesting enough to talk about.
30 March 2012
astier de villatte’s store in Paris is full of their fine ceramics. The store is fitted with old store displays. I love the ship chandelier which we have seen before in Nanette Lepore’s bedroom. Anyone know who is is by? I think it is by Rock and Royal but I’m not sure
I have told you about Astier de Villatte before. Enjoying a popularity surge, you can find them in all the coolest boutiques around the world. They started off producing a range of ceramics, moulded finely and dipped into a semi-translucent white glaze. They have since expanded their range to marbled patterns which are beautifully rendered; made possible by the thin glazes that can be mixed with an oil resist to create the patterns. Recent collaborations with French brand, Commune de Paris and American designer, John Derian have mixed in colour and pattern into their range.
Other products that they have introduced are candles sometimes inspired by exotic places around the world-even Hong Kong. Their notebooks are fun as well, simply printed pages with a geometric shapes and luxurious gilt edges.
Walking into the store in Paris, you feel you have stepped back in time. The store uses old shop fittings, soft lighting and peeling paint to create an atmosphere that is both old and contemporary in its sensibility. It’s well worth a visit.
Astier de Villatte
4 February 2012
the light fittings are made of bread dough!
images by eclectic cool
When in Paris, eat as the Parisians do and start your day off with delicious croissants and breads, washed down with a café au lait or chocolat chaud. No one does it better than Poilane.
Like Ladureé for macaroons, Poilane is synonymous with bread. This robust sourdough is made from stone-ground flour and baked in a wood fired oven. Poilane has been baking bread since 1932 and the experience and quality shows.
The last time I was in Paris, I was a little lazy and went down the road to Café de Flore, where I had a passable café au lait and an ordinary croissant- for the price of 12 euros. This time I got smart and discovered that Poilane had opened a pretty fancy cafe nearby my hotel in the Marais. For the price of 9.80 euros I got a basket full of breads and croissants, a selection of jams and fresh unsalted butter ,a bowl of thick chocolat chaud and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Arriving on the dot at 9am there were only a few people around, so I had a lovely quiet breakfast and planned my day. It was wonderful- so wonderful that when I went back the next day for round 2 and discovered it closed, I was very disappointed.
Poilane Bar Cuisine
38 rue Debelleyme 75003 Paris
Tel +33 (0) 1 44 61 83 39
Opening hours :
btw…for we hong kongers- you can pick up Poilane bread at Great in Pacific Place.
4 February 2012
images by eclectic cool
Merci is a cool lifestyle and fashion store. Off the Boulevard Beaumarchais, it is a design haven. When I visited a couple of days ago, they had a fabulous selection of products for bicycle enthusiasts, including the most beautiful and stylish bicycles you have ever seen as well as lots of gorgeous accessories. It almost made me wish I could ride around Hong Kong ( I said almost).
I love the design department on the 2nd floor. They have such cute things, I could have bought everything. They also have a great selection of bedlinen- just like Society bedlinen, but much cheaper!
They also have a lovely café where you can peruse books and watch the world go by. And best of all, Merci donates 100% of its profits to women’s charities. There is nothing more stylish than that.
Open 11am to 7pm
111 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 3e
3 February 2012
No matter what the season, Paris still has allure. This was the first place I ever visited where they did not speak English. I remember getting off the Metro at Montparnasse and really feeling totally overwhelmed. I was 16 years old! How did my parents ever let me go? I survived not speaking a word of French but managed to subsist on a diet of pain au chocolat and McDonald’s. What a trip down memory lane!
The food is better and the accommodation definitely is. But Paris still has the ability to make me feel 16 again, full of the wonder and romance of it all
31 January 2012
images via louis vuitton
I’ll be in Paris next week on a sourcing trip but I doubt that I will have as glamorous a time of it as Arizona Muse shot by Mark Segal for LV Cruise 2012. She is, as always, breathtakingly beautiful ( I mean Paris, though Arizona isn’t bad either). I am also a great fan ofMark Segal’s photography. His images are always strong and devoid of gimmick.
I am sure Arizona is having her coffee in my favourite café in St Germain, where a pain au chocolat and cafe au lait set you back 10 euros. I’m staying in the Marais this time (I work my way around the arrondissements every time I go to Paris) which has become more and more hip and has loads of design stores. Check out my posts from there.
27 January 2012
sofia coppola this year, couture wedding dress by alaia
image via vogue uk
images via anothermag
I’m probably not skinny, tall or cool enough to wear Alaia’s designs, but I don’t care- I do anyway. In Alaia I feel confident and sexy. They are easy to wear and move in. Timeless in design, they give your body shape and the fabrics are absolutely stunning.
I also admire Alaia’s complete disregard for people’s opinions. He recently said about Anna Wintour: ”She runs the business very well, but not the fashion side. When I see how she is dressed, I don’t believe in her tastes one second. Anyway, who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion? No one.” This is because Wintour left Alaia out in the ‘Model as Muse’ exhibition at the Costume Institute in 2009. Obviously no one has told him to let it go!
He also takes on Karl Lagerfeld, saying this:”I don’t like his fashion, his spirit, his attitude. It’s too much caricature. Karl Lagerfeld never touched a pair of scissors in his life.” I don’t know what Karl did but I have to admit I disagree with this one. I do think Karl is a bit of an artist ( a populist artist, however, not like the more edgy Alaia).
On my exhibition calender this year, Alaia’s exhibition at the Groninger Museum in The Netherlands. Following on with their previous Alaia show in 1998, the exhibition looks at his work since then and his role as one of the last true couturiers.
Azzedine Alaïa in the 21st Century
11 December 2011 to 6 May 2012
Also if you are in paris…you can stay in Alaia’s own apartment, next to his atelier in Rue de Moussy, full of designer furniture- a trip through the 20th century! The 1,100 sq ft apartments start from around 450 euros per night. you can email
12 January 2012
1. rugs by tai ping 2.table by boxwood interiors 3.candlesticks by ted muehling 4,5 &6 by 1st dibs, 7. regent chair by jonathan adler 8. custom made screen
Kenzo recently sold his apartment in the Bastille and moved to a new apartment on the Left Bank. Vogue Living Australia recently covered the apartment in the January/February edition, but the images and feel of the apartment was great I thought I would share some of Kenzo’s design tips.
The look of this apartment is interesting because even though it is in one of those typical Haussmann fin de siecle buildings, there are tricks here that we can all learn from, particularly those of us influenced by oriental design.
Of course, oriental elements have always been a big part of European design from the 16th century onwards. You can find blue and white porcelain in 17th century Dutch art for example, so oriental design sits very well with 18th and 19th century furniture.
First of all, Kenzo uses a dark, highly polished floor as his base, reminiscent of lacquer, the colour contrasting with the white walls and the bright splashes of colour. He has maintained the panelling, giving dimension and texture to the walls as well as emphasising the apartment’s period character.
Then he fills the space with a selection of antique and contemporary furniture. He chooses French furniture from the Empire period. This period is characterised by its detailed carving and use of classical ornament. The straight lines of the furniture of this period mixes well with the unadorned oriental lacquer furniture. Upholstery on these french pieces are left deliberately plain, patterns are introduced by cushions and other textiles. Of course you can buy the real thing from Eclectic Cool or via 1stdibs but copies are also widely available.
Other oriental elements include the use of lacquerware as well as Buddha (6) figures. I am sure his are original but be aware that some of these figures have been removed without official permission so be sure to check the provenance.
I also love the collection of black and white drawings. To get the look, you could start collecting small works on paper. I love Hugo Guinness‘ linocuts which look great in black frames and as a collection.
A Baccarat chandelier (3) always looks amazing in any space. This is a piece that you can take with you no matter where you live. Be sure that you choose one in direct proportion to your space and that your ceiling can take the weight- they are very heavy as they are made of lead crystal and bronze.
Ultimately, the reason why this interior is so successful is that it is filled with things that Kenzo loves. His artwork and collections of objects are showcased by their surroundings, proving that a white interior does not need to be boring.
12 January 2012
The simplest things need to be well designed. Karl Lagerfeld has just launched his new collection for Orrefors. While not totally reinventing the wheel, Lagerfeld is correct when he says that even a simple thing, like a diet coke or a glass of sparkling water, tastes better if you have a great glass to drink it out of. He has kept the palette very simple, clear, white and black. I do like the champagne saucer, I am getting a bit tired of flutes and this is a shape that needs to come back in style.
Lagerfeld has also thoughtfully provided a coaster to go with your glass….may be a little difficult to use if you are standing up, but very useful if you hate marks on your tables. Check out the video, I love watching people draw and Lagerfeld has an enviable loose style of designing.
2 September 2011