Tag Archives: shopping

A French Affair


Forget the Presidential love triangle; the high street is in love with France. Bag your own bit of Gallic flair with le sac du jour – the bucket bag. Update your wardrobe with the bag created by Angele Lancel in 1925.

Lancel opened her store near the lively new Opera Garnier in Paris in 1876, selling smoking accessories. In 1925 she creates the iconic bucket bag renamed the Premier Flirt in 2006.

Brigitte Bardot with her famous basket in beloved St Tropez.

Brigitte Bardot with her famous basket in beloved St Tropez.

In 1987 the bucket bag is rereleased under the name Elsa. It quickly charms millions of women to become an international bestseller for the house. I succumb to its charms buying two in different sizes.

My big Lancel Elsa bag photographed during a 2003 stay at Ma Cachette chambres d'hotes in Arlanc in the Auvergne.

My big Lancel Elsa bag photographed during a 2003 stay at Ma Cachette chambres d’hotes in Arlanc in the Auvergne. (photo – worklondonstyle)

My small black Elsa bucket bag ideal for work and short trips. (photo - worklondonstyle)

My small black Elsa bucket bag ideal for work and short trips. (photo – worklondonstyle)

Lancel reinterprets its cult bucket bag in 2006 and rechristens it the Premier Flirt.

The. Lancel Premier Flirt 2006. (photo - Lancel)

The Lancel Premier Flirt 2006. (photo – Lancel)

Lancel expresses its proximity to the French cultural background with collaborations with French icons Isabelle Adjani and Brigitte Bardot. The design elements of the 2012 BB bag respected the actress’s strong conservation convictions as all materials were environmentally friendly and the leather look required no animal hides.

The curvaceous Brigitte Bardot bag created in 2012. (photo - Lancel)

The curvaceous Brigitte Bardot bag created in 2012. (photo – Lancel)

For Spring/Summer 2014 the slouchy bucket bag is the perfect accessory. Topshop, Next, H&M, Zara and French Connection amongst others, all have affordable versions of the bag, allowing for a balance between casual and chic.

The 2014 high street version of the bucket bag from Zara. (photo - Zara)

The 2014 high street version of the bucket bag from Zara. (photo – Zara)

Oxford Street Christmas Lights.


This year’s Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch-On set for Tuesday, 12 November, will be hosted by the iconic Selfridges store. The lights are always spectacular and this year will be sparkling with a new ‘snow flake’ inspired theme.

Photo: New West End Company

Photo: New West End Company

Christmas lights switch on at House of  Fraser 2012. (photo worklondonstyle)

Christmas lights switch-on at House of Fraser 2012. (photo worklondonstyle)

Robbie Williams hosted the 2012  Christmas lights switch on. (photo worklondonstyle)

Robbie Williams hosted the 2012 Christmas lights switch-on. (photo worklondonstyle)

Most stores have been sparkling with Christmas cheer since October.

Warehouse Christmas window (photo worklondonstyle)

Warehouse Christmas window (photo worklondonstyle)

Singer-songwriter Jessie J will be performing some of her greatest hits before switching on this year’s ‘snow flake’ inspired Christmas lights. She will be joined by X-factor winner James Arthur and international pop star Conor Maynard.

Jessie J will be performing and switching this year's Christmas lights. (photo New West End Company)

Jessie J will be performing and switching on this year’s Christmas lights. (photo New West End Company)

The event with a specially built catwalk stage outside Selfridges’ main entrance, starts at 5pm with the ‘switch-on’ at 6.15pm. Capital FM presenters Lisa Snowdon and David Berry will be hosting the event.

Snowflakes Theme Christmas 2013

Snowflakes Theme Christmas 2013

Bobbi Brown – First UK Standalone Store At White City


Growing up in a small village with a personal preference for the natural make-up look, I first had the opportunity to purchase Bobbi’s products during a visit to the Konigsallee in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Konigsallee Dusseldorf Germany (photo Wikipedia)

Konigsallee Dusseldorf Germany (photo Wikipedia)

After graduation from Emmerson College in Boston with a degree in theatrical make up, Bobbi launched her first line with 10 natural coloured lipsticks in 1991, at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Estee Lauder bought the company in 1995 but Bobbi retains creative control of the brand. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and contributes how-to segments to The Today Show.

Her make up celebrates individuality and she believes in beauty from the inside out. Clean eating includes a regular coconut and kale smoothie, small portions of dark chocolate and coconut milk espresso.

Bobbi Brown (photo Alice Gao)

Bobbi Brown (photo Alice Gao)

Bobbi lives in New Jersey with Steven Plofker, her husband of 25 years and their three sons. She is an avid fan of Kanye, Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Jagger and Flo Rida. On days out of the lime light she wears worn – in jeans, Vans, motor cycle boots and sweaters but cleans up beautifully in sky high heels, bigger jewellery and sequins for events and photo shoots.

Bobbi is the author of six books on health, beauty and lifestyle. She says, ‘Knowing what you can do at any given time to look and feel better is pretty powerful’.

Bobbi's latest book 'Pretty Powerful' followed on from 'Makeup Manual'.

Bobbi’s latest book ‘Pretty Powerful’ followed on from ‘Makeup Manual’.

Everyday essentials worklondonstyle.com

Everyday essentials worklondonstyle.com

Bobbi explains,  ‘Women still need to understand what they put in their body is as important as what they put on their face’.

Earlier publications included 'Beauty Evolution' and the inspirational 'Living Beauty'.

Earlier publications included ‘Beauty Evolution’ and the inspirational ‘Living Beauty’.

Bobbi Brown White City (photo - worklondonstyle)

Bobbi Brown White City (photo – worklondonstyle)

Bobbi Brown opened its first UK standalone store, covering 927sq ft, at Westfield London in November 2013.

Postcards From Paris


Paris holds a special place in my heart. The annual Lycée book haul can prove less than glamorous unless combined with a brief visit to some favourite shops and stops. Journey with me.

A central place to stay.

A central place to stay.

Beauty boost from Sephora

Beauty boost from Sephora

Louis Vuitton - Champs Elysees

Louis Vuitton – Champs Elysees

Lunch at Cafe de Flore

Lunch at Cafe de Flore

Lycée book shop done. Tuileries garden.

Lycée book shop done. Tuileries garden.

Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare and Company

A walk along the river.

A walk along the river.

Sunset on the Seine

Sunset on the Seine

Tea And Sympathy – Mariage Freres


In 2005 finding it hard to adjust to my newly adopted country, my friend Sandra comforted me with a cup of ‘The Sur Le Nil’ from ‘Mariage Freres’ and some of her best baking.  Somewhat later she presented us with a selection of their beautifully packaged teas as a wedding gift.

The Sur Le Nil - Fruity & Lemony Green Tea

The Sur Le Nil – Fruity & Lemony Green Tea

The Wedding Gift - A selection of tea from Mariage Freres

The Wedding Gift – A selection of tea from Mariage Freres

Around 1660, Nicolas Mariage was dispatched to Persia, the East Indies and the Moghul Empire by King Louis XIV, whilst his brother Pierre travelled to Madagascar; both on behalf of the French East India Company. A 100 years later, Jean-Francois Mariage still traded in tea and spices and taught the business to his four sons in Lille. In 1845 two of the sons Aime and Auguste, founded ‘Auguste Maraige & Company’ in Paris. Having learned the trade from their father, Aime’s sons Henri and Edouard founded the Mariage Freres tea company in Paris on June 1, 1845.

Mariage Freres sells more than 500 high quality teas grown in 35 different countries. They uphold the fine art of serving tea by design and reproduction of beautiful tea services, teapots and utensils.

'The fragrance of adventure and poetry endlessly pervades each cup of tea' Henry Mariage.

‘The fragrance of adventure and poetry endlessly pervades each cup of tea’ Henry Mariage.

Mariage Freres tea is now available in the basement of Selfridges, Oxford Street, London.

Tea: Passion, Savoir-Faire And Tradition

Tea: Passion, Savoir-Faire And Tradition

Galeries Lafayette Returns To Beijing, China.


Fifteen years after its first foray into China, French Department store Galeries Lafayette is officially reopening in Beijing tomorrow. The chain opened a store in Beijing in 1997 but closed a year later as the market was not mature enough. Thierry Vannier, director of the international department says “we are planning to open 16 outlets in China in the coming 5 years.” Hong Kong based I.T. limited owns a 50% stake in the new store. The store is about half the size of the boulevard Haussman store in Paris, in the 9th arrondissement.

Galeires Lafayette Paris Flagship on Haussman.

Galeries Lafayette Paris Flagship on Haussman.

Theophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn opened the store in a small haberdasher’s in 1895 on the corner of rue La Fayette and Chaussee d’Antin. A year later they purchased the entire building at No 1 rue La Fayette. In 1905 they expanded by aquiring no 38, 40 and 42, boulevard Haussman as well as no 15 rue de la Chaussee d’Antin.

The stores unique Belle Epoque architecture by Georges Chedanne features and ornate coloured glass dome and Art Nouveau staircase.

The store’s unique Belle Epoque architecture by Georges Chedanne features an ornate coloured glass dome and Art Nouveau staircase. (Photo worklondonstyle)

The store is a Paris heritage site. The company also owns stores in New York, Berlin, Dubai, Casablanca And Jakarta.

Lafayette Homme connect to the Coupole through a covered passegeway.

Lafayette Homme connects to the Coupole through a covered passegeway. (Photo worklondonstyle)

Vice and Virtue! To buy or not to buy?

Vice and Virtue! To buy or not to buy?

My favourite spot in Galeries Lafayette Paris - the view of the rooftops from the books store window.

My favourite spot in Galeries Lafayette Paris – the view of the rooftops from the book store window.

The new Beijing store is located in the Xidan commercial district and comprises 47,000 sqm floor space, located over 6 floors.

Angela Ahrendts – Energy, Instincts, Courage And Compassion.


Shares in Burberry fell nearly 5% as boss Angela Ahrendts announced her departure from the fashion house to join Apple as senior vice-president of retail and online stores. In 2012 she became the first woman to top the FTSE-100 pay league with a pay package of £16.9 million. She joined Burberry in 2006.

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

Ahrendts will be replaced by Christopher Bailey in mid-2014 who will be joint creative head and CEO.

Christopher Bailey

Christopher Bailey

Burberry announced half- year sales of £1.03 billion; up 14%.

Burberry at London Fashion Week

Burberry at London Fashion Week

The Ahrendts - Bailey team turned Burberry into Britain's top luxury brand.

The Ahrendts – Bailey team turned Burberry into Britain’s top luxury brand.