OMEGA 'Her Time' Exhibition, Paris


There are invitations, and then there are INVITATIONS.  Last month I visited Paris with OMEGA for the latter. With an itinerary that included meeting supermodel (and all round superhuman) Cindy Crawford, a spoiling stay at Le Meurice, a sunset cruise down the Seine for dinner, and an opulent party celebrating the ‘Her Time’ exhibition where the latest brand ambassadors were to be revealed had this girl, someone who let's not forget, hasn’t moved quicker than a strut since the mid 90’s, sprinting to catch the Eurostar!!


OMEGA is recognised as one of the greatest watch brands all over the world (and even outside of it, thanks to their buddies at NASA), and since 1848, this Swiss brand has continuously redefined watchmaking, with their ground breaking and stylish watches accessorising the most glamourous and adventurous of wrists, from Olympians to presidents, and even Bond. James Bond.


It was wonderful to meet with the eye-poppingly beautiful Cindy Crawford at the Paris Peninsula (see my hotel review here) ahead of the party, and hear her talk so passionately about her relationship with the brand, one she quipped, she’d been in a marriage with longer than the one with her husband.  Cindy joined the OMEGA family in 1995, and has relished the experiences she has had with them, specifically visiting Peru to see first hand the amazing eye surgeries OMEGA funds through their charity partner Orbis International, a non-profit non-government organization of doctors who volunteer their free time to fly around the world providing life changing eye surgeries and training local doctors.  Cindy revealed she didn’t have a stand out favourite style of OMEGA as she feels attached to all her watches, and like bracelets, she likes to change up her watch style according to her outfit and mood, however, she did say she felt very connected to the Constellation design.


Above:  Here’s a great idea Kelly; How about standing next to Cindy Crawford for a photo whilst wearing flats that resemble penguin feet? Not enough filters in the goddang world…!


Above:  Le Room Service (F.Y.I. My favourite French word? Pamplemousse.)


Above: TIME to party with OMEGA

Despite it BUCKETING it down that evening, the OMEGA Her Time exhibition and the party, held in the historic Hôtel de Sully’s courtyard, was just as stylish as you might expect, complete with many a handsome garçon holding a smart parapluie to guide you in between the differing displays.  After exploring the selection of OMEGA’s most famous and exquisite women’s watch designs, the company’s charming President and CEO Raynald Aeschlimann introduced Cindy and the brand’s newest ambassadors onto the stage; Her model children, Presley Gerber and (girl du jour) Kaia Gerber

To celebrate the family’s sponsorship, a series of black and white family portraits of the beyond genetically blessed Gerber family, taken by renown Peter Lindberg, were presented (below). With legacy, history and family being at the core of OMEGA’s brand ethos, there couldn’t have been a more fitting reveal.  


Below:  After the After Party... Putting the French into French Fry back at Le Meurice


At a time where so many of us are leaning so heavily towards the digital, and can so easily read the time on our phones, there is something so reassuring and special about wearing a traditional watch, and I really enjoyed borrowing an OMEGA watch in Paris and for the week that followed, back in London-Town... 


In collaboration with OMEGA

London Photography:  Frances Davison

London Hair: Taylor Taylor London

Nails: Swanky London

Watch More Here...



Hotel Chantelle

I was really excited to be invited to brunch at the new Hotel Chantelle behind Selfridges, having heard fantastic things about its famed New York’s outpost in the Lower East Side. Named after a World War II safe house, Hotel Chantelle is not an actual hotel.  Confused?  I was too. Hotel Chantelle is a ‘relaxed,’ but actually a strictly chic, restaurant with a late night bar set across just the one floor, with two outdoor terraces and a healthy wash of graffiti by the renowned, and super cool, New York street artist Bradley Theodore, who I had the pleasure of meeting.  There is, for your guidance, an enforced ‘dressy chic’ dress code, which may well result in putting off the very same London crowd they wish to attract, but I would ask you, even if in your forced finery, to venture in to taste the food – it’s worth it. 

With live jazz from the dapper Dandy Wellington and over-flowing Bellini's (surely what a good Sunday is all about?!) my friend Kalita and I settled in to what soon revealed itself to be, an EPIC brunch of EPIC proportions.  Advertised as having an American and French inspired fare, the imaginative menu (featuring a glorious Holly Golightly image) full of beyond unique recipes would make you assume it had been created by someone completely buzzed… Full English Breakfast Pizza anyone?! 

We were assured by the talented chef, Seth Levine, that he was not actually the ultimate stoner, and that his ‘molecular gastronomy, comfort food and haute cuisine,’ menu was all just down to his whimsical Willy Wonka’esq imagination!  Not a smashed avocado on toast in sight, I tell you!

Kalita and I were both soon presented with an assortment of delicious (and at times, potentially heart attack inducing) dishes that included Thyme Pomelo Brûlée, Frosted Flake-Encrusted Brioche French Toast, Baked Alaska Waffles (these were amayyyzing!) and Lobster Benedict. Forget ‘dressy chic,’ they should encourage diners to wear elasticated trackie-bums before rolling them home!  I'm intrigued to try the lunch menu next.

Hotel Chantelle is open seven days a week between 11.30am-11:00pm.
Late night dining will be available between Thursday and Saturday until 3am. 
Weekend brunch will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm


Culture Vulture: London 2014

London in 2014 looks set to be brim-full of excellent restaurant openings, exhibitions, theatre, and of course, fashion, making this a VERY Happy New Year indeed!  


A big year lies ahead for restaurateurs Russell Norman and Richard Beatty as firstly, they re-open Polpetto after their 2-year residency above the legendary French House ended.  We can now once more enjoy the romantic, characterful restaurant from January when Chef Florence Knight and her team move to their new home at 11 Berwick Street.  The restaurant will seat a hungry 70 (opposed to only 23 like before!) and it will feature an aperitivo bar and open kitchen serving Venetian tapas.  The group will also be opening a second Polpo restaurant in Notting Hill early in the year, with the 100-cover restaurant set to be the largest of their portfolio.  All Norman and Beaty’s restaurants operate a strict no-booking policy but they are certainly worth the wait!  

After her shock departure from Michelin starred Petersham Nursaries Café last year, chef Skye Gyngell is set to open her own London restaurant early in 2014, in partnership withHeckfield Place in Hampshire.   Excitingly for South Londoners, Gordon Ramsey’s London House opens in a former coal warehouse in Battersea Square this February.
With Head Chef Anna Kelly promising a modern European menu using local British and artisan ingredients, there will be separate bar serving bespoke cocktails, London brewed beers and a lengthy wine list.  No Kitchen Nightmares expected here!

If this all sounds a little too fancy pants, and you’re looking for more of a quick fix, the first UK branch of the American shrimp chain Bubba Gump opens in Piccadilly Circus this year.  The restaurant is based on the characters in the epic film Forrest Gump and you can expect (in the words of Bubba…) “pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. with garlic… shrimps with mayonnaise… shrimps with…” 


There are two particular exhibitions I am looking forward to in 2014 and they couldn’t be more different. The history geek in me is so excited to visit the British Museum in March to explore the ‘Vikings: Life and Legend’ exhibition (BOOK HERE), the first of its kind in London for more than 30 years.  Expect artifacts dating between the late 8th Century - early 11th Century, including a life-size replica of a Viking Ship, using some original timbers. Alternatively, the V&A will be hosting ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’ (BOOK HERE) sponsored by Bulgari.  A beautifully detailed insight into the history of Italian fashion will have every London fashionista rushing to buy tickets, desperate to see the stupendo contributions from Georgio Armani, Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Missoni, Prada, Valentino and Versace…. Swoon! 


There will be a series of exciting theatrical offerings in London this year, with Fame and Miss Saigon both returning to the West End.  Simon Callow and Felicity Kendal (LOVE them!) will star in Michael Morpurgo’s ‘The Butterfly Lion’ and the wonderful Stephen Fry is to play Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (one of my all time favourite plays!)  I hear (stage) whispers that 2014 will also see Will Young starring in 'Cabaret' with musical adaptations of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Bridget Jones’, and ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ soon to be announced... My jazz hands can barely contain their excitement (*sits on hands).  

The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse will also open in early January at the Shakespeares Globe after much anticipation.  The totally unique, Jacobean theatre will provide both indoor and outdoor playing space and as such will host a wide variety of events throughout the year.  With a handmade oak structure, pit seating and performances lit by hundreds of candles, this venue is going to be magical.


Get ready to feel utterly spoilt with some WOW new store openings in the capital in 2014.
Karl Lagerfeld is to open a flagship store on Regent Street this March for his self-titled Karl Lagerfeld label.  The shop will be his largest European to date (2700 sq ft!!) filled with (probably all monochrome) ready-to-wear collections and accessories.  iPads will be integrated into the display racks so you can watch digital footage showcasing the collections, and the fitting rooms will come equipped with photo booths… Just YES.  
Mayfair’s Mount Street will also be welcoming two new shops this January; Scottish designer Christopher Kane, adored by Alexa Chung and her merry band of cool cats, will be opening a flagship store as will dreamy dress creator Roksanda Ilincic.

Galvan Preview

Last week I attended a sneak preview of Galvan, at Kettners in Soho, a new London-based label established by Sola HarrisonCarolyn Hodler and Katherine Holmgren, three young and beautiful ladies with backgrounds in art and fashion.  Alongside designer Anna-Christin Hass this gorgeous team have created timeless designs; elegantly constructed, boldly cut, and achingly beautiful.  Galvan launches officially in 2014 but both Sola Harrison (with husband, Dhani) and Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko have been seen wearing the label’s stunning and sophisticated eveningwear earlier this year (below)

Below:  With Creative Directors Sola Harrison (left) and Carolyn Hodler (right). 

Halloween 2013

Celebrating Halloween in the UK has become increasingly popular in the last few years (thank you Heidi Klum!) and now there is no shortage of thrills and chills to enjoy come October 31st.  With this ghoulish night fast approaching us (like a serial killer in a dark alley) costumes are now firmly on my mind.  Usually the ladies of London use this annual opportunity to leave as little to the imagination as possible... something spooky + clevage = (Sexy) Vampire/(Sexy) Cat/(Sexy) Skeleton/(Sexy) Devil, etc.  I however, would love to see more effort on the whole and witness some really spooky, stomach-churningly dramatic outfits on the big night;  a tormented zombie, a rabid hybrid werewolf, a two-headed cannibal, a VMA’s Miley Cyrus… Now THAT would be terrifying! 

Above: (Clockwise) L-R: Moto Bat Print Leigh Jeans at Topshop RRP. £40.00,  Topshop Sadie Lazer Cut Heels - RRP. £80.00ASOS Full Midi Skirt in Mesh – RRP. £55.00ASOS Halloween Bat Print Unitard – RRP. £38.00H&M Super Stretch Treggings – RRP. £12.99,Skeleton Print Unitard – RRP. £32.00

Above:  No Tricks, Just Treats:  Loving these Limited Edition shoes by Charlotte Olympia!
Vampira - RRP. £975.00Bite Me Kitty - RRP. £495.00Nocturnal - RRP. £745.00

Above:  Hummingbird Bakery Limited Edition Cupcake Gift Boxes - From RRP. £19.50
HOW awesome did Emma Roberts look dressed as her Aunty Julia's character Vivienne Ward from Pretty Women at last year's Halloween?! Genius. 

Left:  If you are still in need of some more devilish sinspiration head to Austique where flamboyant fancy dress boutique Violet’s Box are holding a pop up shop for the next two weeks. Stylist Violet Day will be on hand to help you choose a perfectly show-stopping/heart-stopping outfit.


LFW: House of Holland SS'14

With a catwalk covered in fluffy purple clouds and a FROW filled with the coolest cats in town (including Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof and HARRY STYLES – a name I can’t even read without hearing 100,000 girls hysterically screaming it!) this could only be the setting forHenry Holland’s forthcoming House of Holland SS’14 collection.

I once worked under Henry’s instruction at a teen fashion magazine and still remember how fun he was even all those years ago, with such real creative vision, once hand decorating, sequin by sequin, a pair of heels he had found in a vintage shop for a photo shoot we worked on with a teenage Poppy Delevigne.  I am always excited to see what tricks Henry will pull out of his hat and this show did not disappoint.  In the an ode to Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 ‘Romeo and Juliet’ the collection merged the idea of the chola girl gangs of the nineties with the Mexican Tybalt-style feuding boys in the film. With brilliant bright colours, fun flowery designs, kitsch sunglasses and religious tattoo designs, the designer explained the designs were "really a love letter to that film."  I really loved the orange floral sleeved white trench coat! Oh… did I mention HARRY STYLES was there?!!

Wimbledon 2013

I was lucky enough to spend this year's first HOT day in London at Wimbledon, wearing my Current Elliot pale blue leopard print jeans and white Zara shirt, watching tennis matches from Court 1 and from Henman Hill/Murray Mound.  Whether you are a serious tennis aficionado or you just enjoy an afternoon of Pimms and strawberries with cream (I fall somewhere in between!) then I really encourage you to embrace the Murray Mania...

Wimbledon Tennis Championships (Mon June 24th – Sun Jul 7th):
If you have missed out on tickets fear not… You can queue EARLY in the morning at Gate 3 for a chance to grab one of the 500 tickets available each day for Court 1 and 2 or one of the several thousand grounds tickets.  The late entry queue opens at 5pm daily where you can also pay reasonable rates for the seats of spectators who have left the venue early.  Alternatively, there are plenty of atmospheric places around the capital which show live screenings (I recommend 
The Bluebird in Chelsea for Pimms on tap and BBQs) or if you want no distractions, the tennis will also be streamed live on BBC 1 and BBC 2.   


Trooping The Colour

The Duchess of Cambridge wore pale pink Alexander McQueen to Saturday's Trooping The Colour, a spectacular display of pageantry dating back to the eighteenth century, in what is expected to be her last official public engagement before she gives birth next month.  More than 1000 soldiers, horses and musicians took part in the annual parade which marks The Queen's official birthday.  The Royal family later gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fantastically loud and proud aerial display by the RAF Red Arrows (left).

Queen Elizabeth II Marks 60th Coronation Anniversary

Today marked the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation and this was celebrated in a service at London’s Westminster Abbey this morning. 

In 1952, the then Princess Elizabeth, whilst on holiday in Kenya, received the news of her father George VI’s death and subsequently flew home a Queen.  16 months later she was crowned at the age of 27, with the service broadcast live to the nation.  Only Queen Victoria, who was Queen from 1837 to 1901, has reigned longer than Elizabeth II

The Dean told the congregation, “we gather to give thanks to almighty God for the faithful ministry and dutiful service the queen continues to offer God and the people of this nation, the overseas territories and the realms, and as head of the Commonwealth.”

Further events are being organized to celebrate the queen’s 60 years, including a four-day Coronation Festival in the gardens of Buckingham Palace (July 11 to July 14) and an exhibition of coronation outfits.  'Long Live The Queen!'

Above: I love the Emma Bridgewater special commemorative mug celebrating the coronation, now available for ½ price here (RRP. £19.95 £9.95)