Well, the week in Paris flew by but the memories will last forever. If anyone asks, no – I didn't spend hours going through the Louvre (been before) or visit the Musee de Orsay or trip out to Versailles. Instead I shopped. And drank countless coffees in great little cafes and explored several arrondissements (or neighbourhoods) including the back streets. If there was any sightseeing it was more of the “wow, isn't that beautiful?” kind as we emerged from a Metro or turned a corner: because that's Paris – a city you fall in love with as you round every corner.
My favourite discoveries? The smaller streets of the Marais District where several edgy designer boutiques were clustered, the tiny shop in St Germain crammed full of vintage Chanel and Hermes, the intimidating glamour of the stores on Rue St Honore and the vast floors of Galleries Lafayette where I lost an entire day and possibly destroyed my feet forever. Thank goodness for the haven that was Hotel Victoria Palace in St Germain.
Sitting on the Eurostar heading to London I did a quick tally – what had I bought and how much had I spent? It was a very long list but unbelievably it came in well under the budget I had set. I have so far bought ten dresses, three pair of boots, a coat plus assorted other bits and pieces. Now I have London to hit.
If Paris is the capital of understated elegance, London is surely the capital of style. Because it is everywhere – nowhere in Paris did I see anyone that made me do a double take (except for the occasional gorgeous French man) but here in London you see people looking amazing everywhere – from quirky tights, great shoes and amazing haircuts through to unexpected colour clashes that just work. London has a really fun, hip vibe – this is a city that is loving life. Yesterday we did the boutiques of Sloane Square and the Kings Road, today the chain stores of Oxford Street.
While in Selfridges we were sidetracked by uber-cool new make up brand, Illamasqua. This range is rooted in the goth movement and has intense colours and gorgeous shiny black packaging. Staffed by very cool young things wearing incredibly dramatic make-up, the tag line for this brand is “for your alter ego”. My younger sister sat and had her eyes done while I chatted to a freakishly made up boy who told me he couldn't live without amazingly colourful eyeliners.
FashioNZs Style Doctor Jackie OFee is owner of Signature Style, Aucklands leading Personal Style consultancy. If youd like an honest shopping partner who has a vested interest in making sure you look great, give Jackie a call on (09) 630 5115, or check out her website: http://www.signaturestyle.co.nz/