Sunday, 31 August 2014

The August (un)packing edit

Hello everyone! How long does it take you to unpack and get organized after a long family trip?

On average, it takes me a week because I hate to have suitcases around for longer than that. This time though, with our return from Italy only a week before the kids had to go back to school/daycare (and Montreal's Festival of Fashion and Design), there was one suitcase still standing. I finished unpacking it today, to distract myself from the departure of my brother-, sister-in-law and our lovely niece (sob).

I have learnt a few years ago to pack as little as possible when we go to Italy. Shopping is so much easier and fashion-forward there that I definitely need extra space in my suitcase :)  My favorite pieces that I brought back are a pair of motorcycle boots by Patrizia Pepe, a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses (my first very own!), and a python bag that costed less than a Coach bag. They have already become staples in my closet...

(Art print and frame by Indigo Chapters)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The beachwear I wish I had bought

Hello everyone! Are you heading to the beach for Labor Day Weekend?

Our stay at the Italian Riviera is just a memory that came all back as I am trying to finish to unpack our suitcases (I know, more than a week after coming back). Our extended beach time for this summer would have been the perfect occasion to freshen up my stock of beachwear, but I did not follow my own advice and worried too much about CPW. Looking back, I regret not investing in a few pieces that would have gotten some legwork. I hope this post helps you to make better choices to bid farewell to summer in style!

At the top of my list was a new pair of sunglasses, like these by Illesteva that keep popping up on Purseblog's Instagram feed.  I also pondered for a good two months about buying this silver Rebecca Minkoff mini MAB tote for hanging around the two beach resorts we visited in Hawaii, which I had seen in a store in Montreal during the winter. By the time I decided to go for it, it was out of stock. Similarly out of stock were these beige patent Birkenstock for J. Crew that I would have gladly swapped my flatforms for. I would also have never imagined that the cool weather in Italy could have made this shell-embellished cotton cardigan useful as much as appropriate. (Halfway through our stay I actually tried to order it, but could not get it delivered to the remote town where we were staying). What to say about a stylish beach tote? I have been chasing this fashion souvenir since last year... and still not have the budget for it :)

Monday, 25 August 2014

'Til next year, FDM

Hello everyone! Did you attend Montreal's Festival of Design and Fashion last week?

I had to forego the catwalks on Tuesday due to our godson's birthday party. The rainy weather and two kids still on holiday also prevented me to check out the pop-up boutiques on Thursday and Friday. Yet I will always remember this event, because I met Garance Dorè. Not just because of the groupie factor (ok, maybe a little bit), but because the themes she touched during her interviews stroke a cord with me. Abandon the idea of perfection. Do what you love. Wear one earring, possibly by Maria Black.

Thanks Garance. I hope to meet you again next year. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

You had me at Garance

Hello everyone! Did you know that this week Montreal hosts its Festival of Fashion and Design?

After it was canceled last season, Garance Dorè and other big names have been enlisted to revamp it. This is why I have been looking forward to it for the whole summer.  (If you follow this blog you know I am a big fan). 

Late this afternoon I attended her presentation, which kicked off the Festival. Because I was curious to see her in person. She came in classy as usual, sporting a denim dress and one earring (who were they by? I wish I had asked). You know what I liked the most though? That she is in person as she emanates for her blog. Genuine. Fresh. Sincere. Talking too much. Full of human contradictions. (Like admitting that now she has the means of sometimes shopping at Hermes, but preferring more and more the non-brands like Zara). 

Garance said that her talent is being a good communicator. I couldn't agree more.

P.S. Garance will be giving an interview and signing her stationery line tomorrow at Chapters Indigo at Place Montreal Trust. Follow our hashtag on Twitter (#montrealfashionbuzz) to know more. You can also still attend the fashion show Garance curated tomorrow starting at 7 pm (tickets available here).

Goodbye summer!

Hello everyone! Are your summer holidays over?

We have come back from Italy a couple of days ago and I am spending this week to catch up with everything before school starts and my brother- and sister-in-law come to to visit us next week. I am glad I took care of at least a few things before we went to Hawaii but I still feel overwhelmed by what is left (I am looking at you, gigantic pile of laundry).

In spite of the jet-lag, I feel rested. I feared that spending two weeks at my parents' country home was going to be boring, but it turns out that we all needed it. Even my son, who did not get to play much with other kids (the little country town being a case-study for Italian low fertility and ageing population), needed the rest and the home-cooked meals. 

New academic year, here we come!

PS Every time we come back from Italy, I enter a sort of food depression (remember when we came back from sabbatical two years ago?) and I vow to commit to cooking. I spend the first few days buried under a pile of magazines and ripped off pages. This time my good start (life is paved of good intentions uh?) was this shrimp risotto, which turned out soooo yummy!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Rainy day

Hello everyone! Do you like rainy days?

I hate the rain (ask my husband). In summer, I find it particularly dreadful if we are at the beach. This year, the weather has gone wacko in Italy (remember our arrival in Milan last week?) and I was not surprised that, in the context of cool temperatures, today we had torrential rains at the Riviera.

The fact that this happened while we are staying at this museum of a hotel redefined a rainy day for me. Between meals, we took advantage of the forced stay indoors to explore the property. This included visiting the much hyped second floor, which hosts the room with adjoining throne room (yes, you can rent it, and it now occupied so we could not peek inside). I cannot believe how beautiful this villa is, and how lucky we are to be here. Rain or no rain.

Monday, 28 July 2014


Hello everyone!

After a brief passage to Milan, we have arrived at the beach. Breaking with a long tradition, we are taking advantage of a special and we are staying at the Grand Hotel Villa Balbi. It is a seventeen-century villa built by the doges, and inhabited by king and queens over the years. (There is still one room with adjoining throne room!)

I always dreamed of staying there, but reality trumped all my expectations. The hotel is, for lack of a better word, grand. I feel like Coco Chanel staying at Etienne Balsan's estate. Or like the model in the latest Dior ad campaign.

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