Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dream Destination #1 - Paris

I'm cheating slightly here because I've visited Paris three times already, but Paris is one of those cities that I will always long to return to.

My Paris packing essentials...

I would love to visit Paris in the winter, perhaps in December around my birthday. My packing essentials will therefore consist of A/W items.

Paris A/W Essentials

Paris A/W Essentials by emmatje

1. Coat and other winter warmers - A wonderfully cuddly coat that I can snuggle up in as I explore the city, plus a faux fur headband for chilly moments, my Alexander McQueen scarf that I just can't live without, and the most beautiful kidskin, silk lined gloves by Dents. To enjoy the city in the winter, it's essential to be warm.

2. Mary Poppins handbag - I plan on acquiring this H&M A/W '12 handbag as soon as it hits the shops. For my dream trip to Paris I will fill it with lovely bits and pieces, including, but clearly not limited to: a Paris guidebook (it will make planning museum and gallery trips so much easier - no arriving after they've closed!); a pretty notebook and pen (to facilitate drawing, dreaming and musing); a camera (I think it would be fun to capture my adventure on film rather than on a digital camera, and what better than a pink SLR!); sunglasses (I cannot live without them, and how darling are these minty green cat eye glasses from Topshop); my kindle (loaded up with romantic novels set in the 1920s); phone, tissues, etc, etc...

Evening bag - a simple clutch for the evening. After carrying my life around all day (a necessary exertion, believe me), I will relish the chance to grab my clutch and get myself to the nearest quaint restaurant for some moules et frites.

3. Tops - Comfortable loose blouses (I'm obsessing over the army trend already and all the green it brings) and plain cotton tops in dark hues.

4. Skirts - Chic black skirts (yes, pleather can be chic). Peplum is a godsend - instant chic and it hides those pesky love handles!

5. Trousers - Pleather leggings and skinny printed trousers (both by Topshop and both will be appearing in my wardrobe ASAP)

6. Evening dresses - Plain, modest dresses to ensure a hassle-free and relaxing evening in gay Paris.

7. Knitwear - Knitwear galore in fact. The gold beaded beauty is in the H&M A/W '12 collection and will be perfect for Paris. A cosy waterfall cardigan will be ideal for colder days, and a thin knitted jumper will look gorgeous over a crisp white shirt.

8. Shoes, glorious shoes! - Knee high boots will keep my calves toasty; ankle boots will be handy if it's icy and/or snowing; sturdy leather flats will be great with tights and a skirt, and with the skinny printed trousers; and finally some simple but gorgeous heels for the evening paired with thick black tights - perfection. 

Top three must-see sights and attractions...

1. Notre Dame Cathedral

I drank the most expensive Diet Coke I've ever bought in my life in a cafe opposite Notre Dame, but I've never actually been inside. I love old buildings so I will brave the queues to get inside on my next trip.

2. Cafe Louis Philippe

I've eaten here before, but I will most certainly return, mainly so I can pretend that I'm in Gossip Girl. I actually ate at this restaurant before the Gossip Girl episode was aired, and was so excited to see Serena and Blair in a restaurant that I recognised. Seeing it again brought back so many great memories. 

3. Les Arts Décoratifs

A museum with a gallery dedicated to fashion and textiles. I will be spending many hours in and around this heavenly place.

Do you want to visit Paris? When would you go? What would you see and do?

Much love, Bemsy x

Saturday, 28 July 2012

I want it and I want it NOW!

My Jeffrey Campbell collection (so far!)

Jeffrey Campbell (JC) captured the hearts of shoe lovers several years ago, and it seems like the brand's popularity will never stop growing. As with all things that are highly sought after, the demand for fakes or dupes has also grown massively, and it is now possible to buy counterfeit JCs in pretty much every design from a myriad of websites.

While I understand that JC shoes are not cheap, it pains me to read blog after blog encouraging their readers to buy fakes. JC is a family-owned brand that has worked tirelessly to design and produce shoes that are recognisable the world over and desired by every fashionable girl. Buying fake JCs is not only damaging to the brand, but it's also so disrespectful to the creative minds behind the designs.

The fast pace of fashion today hardly helps. The emphasis is on getting your hands on the must-have item, and getting it yesterday. There is nothing wrong with this, but I think there's a difference between buying that pair of pastel coloured jeans that you probably won't wear again for a while, and that pair of JCs that will last you many, many years.

My point is, there are some items that should be saved up for. Handbags, shoes and coats fall in to this category, because these are items that are going to be used from season to season, year on year. Real JCs are far superior to the fakes in so many ways (quality or workmanship, quality of materials, comfort...), and if you become a savvy saver then they aren't as unattainable as you might initially think.

A few tips for saving...
1. Find a cute jar, pot or piggy bank in your house and put it somewhere where you can easily find it. I have mine in the kitchen (a giant Marmite jar!)

2. Set a saving target for each week/month.

3. Think about the things you can go without - a chocolate bar, popcorn at the cinema, yet another pair of disco pants...

4. Put all your loose change in the jar. I put all 1p, 2p and 5p coins in my piggy bank. Sounds like nothing, but trust me, it adds up!

My JC Wish List!
JC Wish List

Which items do you save up for? Do you agree that the real thing is better than the fakes?

Much love, Bemsy x

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Travel Essentials #2 - Verbier, Switzerland

Verbier Essentials

Verbier Essentials by emmatje featuring printed shorts

Jetting off to Verbier on Thursday. It's going to be hot hot hot but I can't wait to go walking in the mountains and swimming in the lakes with my lovely doggies.

1. Bottoms - One pair of thin jeans for cooler evenings, plus a few light and airy skirts.

2. Sports gear - I plan on doing lots of hiking and cycling so I'll be bringing my most colourful gym gear with me, plus some comfortable trainers.

3. Linen shorts - I have several pairs of linen shorts and they are perfect for the hot weather.

4. Sunglasses - obviously!

5. Bikinis - for sunbathing on the lawn and swimming in the lakes.

6. Sandals - I love my leather sandals, they go with everything!

7. Backpack - For transporting picnics.

8. Casual tops & shirts - Lots of loose and casual tops that I can just throw on.

9. Knitted cardigan - A light cotton or linen knitted cardigan that will come in handy when the sun goes down.

Much love, Bemsy x

Monday, 23 July 2012

Everyone wants a piece of Vuitton

The legal team at Louis Vuitton are notorious for their no-nonsense approach to protecting the brand. Anyone who dares to use LV's famous monogram, which ironically was designed to prevent counterfeiting, are sure to receive a damning letter from the brand's Director of Civil Enforcement, Michael Pantalony.

While the spat between Warner Bros. Inc. and LV over the use of fake LV bags in The Hangover 2 is still ongoing,  Machine Guns Vegas is the company responsible for LV's most recent headache.

I don't think it's difficult to guess the outcome of this one, although it will be interesting to see how Machine Guns Vegas responds.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Travel Essentials #1 - Biarritz, France

Biarritz Essentials

Biarritz Essentials by emmatje featuring plastic flip flops

I plan on heading back to Biarritz at the end of August, so I thought I'd share a few essential items that I will be packing in my tiny suitcase...

1. Bikinis, of course! I'll bring at least 3, it's nice to have some options.

2. Sun cap and sunglasses - practical yes, but in Biarritz my cap will also be trendy haha! I'm not one of those girls who likes to look particularly well groomed at the beach. Basically it's too much effort! Nothing wrong with salty, wavy hair under a cute cap and big sunglasses.

3. Light sweater - perfect for when the sun starts to go down at the beach.

4. Shoes! - Thanks to ryanair, I have to pack light. So flip flops for the beach, and a pair of comfy heels for going out. If possible I will squeeze in a pair of Vans as well. I'll bring my JC Foxy in turquoise as they're so comfy and such a great colour for summer nights.

5. Shorts - cute shorts galore! I'll be bringing a pair of beach shorts and then a couple of other pairs for the evenings in neutral tones and light fabrics.

6. Tanks & vests - Biarritz is not a fussy place, so a couple of tops that I can just throw on will make life so much easier. Pretty vests for the evening, and casual, cotton tanks for the day time.

7. Dresses - A maxi and a mini, but aren't they both sexy?!

Much love, Bemsy x

Monday, 16 July 2012

Girl Crush #1 - Blake Lively

Blake Lively, what a babe. To begin with, I loved her as Serena in Gossip Girl, but I soon realised that as an individual, she has incredible style.

I love the mix of textures in this outfit, and the interesting choice of colours, which work so well together! Would you have ever thought of mixing purple and browns/greys? Me neither!

So simple, yet so chic. This girl knows how to work neutral tones to her advantage, and shows how a beautifully tailored blazer can make an outfit.

I don't know how she does it, but even in comfy casuals she oozes style. Chunky knits and cute booties are clearly the way to go.

Blake is the master of layering. I also particularly love her penchant for cosy coats and knee high boots.

Fancy recreating Blake's style? I've put together a board with a few affordable suggestions. View the list of items used by clicking on the link below the board.

Girl Crush #1 - Blake Lively

Much love, Bemsy <3 

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Louboutin fakers - hold your heads in shame!

Poor Christian Louboutin. He has been desperately trying to protect his famous red soles over the years, and has waged war against brands such as Zara and YSL.

Unfortunately, the latest dilution of the Louboutin brand comes in the form of painting the soles of your shoes red. Yup, you heard me, women are heading in their droves to paint stores and buying up tester pots of red paint, and staff have even been asked for advice on how to paint on to rubber and plastic! Outrageous if you ask me. Much as I would love to strut around in my own pair of Louboutin heels, I can't imagine going as far as painting the soles of a pair of Topshop courts. For me, the pleasure comes from owning the real deal, not from pretending that my cheap shoes cost me an arm and a leg.

I really feel for Louboutin. On the one hand, it's great that so many women lust after his shoes, but if women are content with simply painting their own shoes, the Louboutin brand is really going to suffer. I would much rather wait until I have saved up enough money to buy a real pair, but apparently I'm in the minority, and the majority want red soles, and they want them now!

Much love, Bemsy x

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Counterfeiters beware!

While in France, I made sure that I kept up to date with fashion law news, and I was particularly excited to read that French police had arrested several members of an international counterfeiting ring of Hermès bags. Although one ring alone made $22 million in sales, what really caught my attention was the fact that several Hermès employees were involved in the dirty dealing. 

Clearly these employees were aware of the risks involved, but something clearly persuaded them that the benefits outweighed the risks. Maybe they were motivated by greed, or perhaps they were under the impression that, as a brand, Hermès were not serious about clamping down on counterfeiting. Either way, this news sends a clear message to counterfeiters, especially those who are employed by the brand affected - don't mess with us, we will find you, and we will force you to face the consequences!

Much love, Bemsy x

P.S. It will never cease to shock and amaze me how difficult it is to find the official website of a designer. The web is crawling with counterfeit online shops, it's unbelievable.