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Romantique

Posted on March 21, 2016

London’s Hipster East: What to do in Shoreditch

Featured/ London/ Rebel/ Romantique

 

Shoreditch London

On Rebel’s recent visit to London, I was determined to show her a new side to London that she hadn’t experienced previously; The cool and historic East. Whilst Rebel and I prefer the manicured gardens and cultural landmarks of of West London (Kensington & Notting Hill), London is very diverse with different pockets that all have their own unique feel and atmosphere. London’s East used to feel very gritty, shabby and run down before it arose as one of London’s most expensive areas thanks to gentrification by creative industries and tech start-ups.

At Redchurch Street

At Redchurch Street

Shoreditch and neighbouring Brick Lane have an urban feel with their views to the high rise buildings of the City of London. mixed in with factories, lofts and industrial buildings. Home to celebrities such as Keira Knightly and London’s best restaurants and bars, this pocket feels like real London. Not tooo polished and established. You can dress and live without being judged and simply be accepted for who you are. No one will bat an eyelid when you wear Doc Martins and pink hair. Or a Bavarian dirndl. Or whatever you feel like! Make no mistake though, this is not Berlin Kreuzberg: Shoreditch is hugely popular and rents are out of control. If you bought a flat here 10 years ago, chances are you are a millionaire now. Expensive Italian designer labels have taken up commercial space in the hope that London’s East coolness will rub off on them.

Street art in Shoreditch

Street art in Shoreditch. Rebel is wearing sunnies by Stella McCartney and stripey jumper by St James.

What to do in Shoreditch:

  • Stroll along Redchurch Church Street. Browse the designer shops and have a coffee and brownie from one of the many independent café’s
  • Eat at Pizza East for arguably London’s best pizza, at  Andina Restaurant for the best Peruvian food or gorge on Honest Burger, my favourite in London (forget Patty & Bun and Meat Liquor!)
  • Don’t run into a hipster
  • Check out the street art
shoreditch impressions street

Shoreditch impressions

shoreditch street art

honest burger shoreditch resized

So good! Honest Burger

Very East London: For her exhibition in Jan 2016 , Annie Leibovitz chose an unused power station. Just like her portraits, free of fake glamour.

Very East London: For her exhibition, Annie Leibovitz chose an unused power station in Wapping, East London. Just like her portraits, free of fake glamour.

Posted on March 15, 2016

My Burberry Heart Scarf or how to recognise a fake

Accessoires/ Featured/ Romantique
Burberry heart scarf

In London, wearing my Burberry scarf and Sicily Bag

Burberry is a remarkable British success story, especially as the tale possesses all the elements of a true drama: Fallen from grace, only to then re-emerge stronger like a phoenix out of the ashes:

In the early 2000s, Burberry’s image started to rapidly fall  due to a lower price strategy, counterfeit goods and it’s association with hooligan and “chav”, low class culture.

New CEO Angela Ahrend and Christopher bailey, Chief creative officer,  were appointed in 2006 to turn around Britain’s most recognisable, ailing brand. They re-invented the brand by concentrating on the core strengh: The outerwear, including the iconic trench coat. By shaking up the company through a new vision, leadership changes and factory closures, Angela faced a lot of adversity but stood by her vision and managed to turn the company’s fortunes around.

After living in the UK for more than 11 years, I decided that its time to treat myself to one of Burberry’s iconic basics: The checked scarf. Rebel invested in a trench coat and scarf back in 1998 (!!!!), and she still wears both today as they are in mint condition!

After spotting the GORGEOUS giant check scarfs with adorable heart design, I knew I had to have one! It’s basically a Romantique version of the classic tartan scarf. The price tag of 395 GBP seemed prohibitive so I had the ingenious idea to browse Ebay and scout myself a bargain. After some searching and bidding, I was thrilled to win an auction for the scarf  for half of the retail price.

After a few days, I received the scarf (see below) and whilst I was ecstatic at first, I  noticed a few irregularities which raised doubts in mind as to whether this was a genuine Burberry article. Making the most of my lunch break, I trapsed over to Burberry’s flagship store in Regent Street, London,  where to my horror, my doubts where confirmed; the manager telling me that despite it being one of the best replicas she’s yet seen, that the scarf was indeed a counterfeit. I have to say that the professionalism shown by this lady impressed me; she took the time to point out the main differences between my replica scarf and the real deal:

Spot the fake...it's the one on the left. Note the replica is more tan hued, not camel/beige

Spot the fake…it’s the one on the left. Note the replica is more tan hued, not camel/beige

  • Material:All Burberry scarves are made of 100% Cashmere. My ebay scarf was soft, it was almost too soft, and it was pilling noticeably, despite being ostensibly brand new. My black skirt was littered with white fuzzy bits. Did this scarf skip quality control? No of course it didn’t. The material is the tell tale sign of authenticity. It has to be of the highest quality. No pilling, no fuzzy graphics, no flimsyness.
  • Packaging:The scarf came in a cardboard roll, embossed with the Burberry knight and adorned by a bow. Whilst this was an elaborate attempt to duplicate the Burberry packaging, the bow wasn’t made of gerbadine (like all Burberry bows) and the two parts of the roll didn’t seem to fit. Again, would Burberry really sell a 400£ scarf and then skimp on ill-fitting packaging with non perfect design? No!
  • Label:When you look online for help on how to spot a replica Burberry product, you will find many tips pointing to the clue which lies in the “R” in “Burberry”. Apparently it has a “rats tail” at the end. I’m not really a caligrapher and didn’t see a difference when I compared the label of my ebay scarf and the real logo. However, if you put the labels side by side, you will see that the genuine label is made of a high quality, textured label. Unlike the replica, it also contains the subline “100% Cashmere” and “made in Scotland”.
  • Hearts: The hearts on my ebay scarf were printed onto the original check design. Holding the scarf against the light, you can see the check pattern shining through the scarf. On the original scarf, the hearts are woven into the fibres of the scarf. They are part of the check design.

fake and genuine burberry scarf

These are just a few of the differences but they are the most glaring ones which hopefully will help my beloved followers spot a counterfeit. My advice is to look at the real thing in the shop, compare and listen to your gut feel. If you are unhappy with the quality of your purchase, more often than not it’s dodgy copy.

Burberry scarf hearts Zurich

Burberry heart scarf fake and genuine print

Look out for designs woven into the scarf, not printed on.

Posted on February 28, 2016

How to wear a Straw Bag in Winter

Bags/ Featured/ Romantique/ Wardrobe

Sicily Bag Claudia Street Style

Most people associate straw and wicker with summer. But who needs rigid rules these days? So many looks have transcended their former boundaries – e.g. sequins are now part of regular office attire. Sneakers are worn with delicate jacquard dresses. So why not wear a straw bag in winter? They’re cute, chic and express a unique counterpoint that says “to hell with the cold – I feel warm regardless!”. The colourful poms poms, ranging in hue from soft pastels to deep turquoises and reds, are your best friend to combat the winter blues. Imagine the colourful, pom pom embellished Sicilian cofa straw bag with a pea coat and ankle boats! Or a more understated straw bag in subtler tones. I love Sicily Bag’s model “Claudia”  with its signature honey comb pattern worn with pleated knits and a woollen hat. The possibilities are endless.

Sicily-Bag-Street-Style-Notting-Hill

Crispy cold, sunny winter day? Free the pom poms and let them shine!

I’m wearing above: Pink bathrobe coat by Max & Co. Moccasins by AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni. Straw Bag “Gig” in size medio by Sicily Bag.

Sicily Bag straw bag winter street style london

All straw coffa bags are by Sicily Bag, my own web boutique I opened last year.

Every straw bag, handcrafted by Luigi and his family, carries history in its weaves. The age old Sicilian craft of embellishing straw bags is sadly fading. Luigi and his family are part of the last generation of artisans keeping this tradition alive.

Sicily-Bag-Street-Style-Berlin-Winter

I’m wearing: Sicily Bag “Gigi” in size grande. Caban sailor jacket by Max & Co, navy skirty by Claudie Pierlot. Sunglasses my Miu Miu.

Sicily-Bag-Winter-Street-style-london

I’m wearing a Sicily Bag in size piccolo. Gingham trousers by Max and Co. Lace collar shirt by Hallhuber. Beret by Seeberger.

Posted on February 11, 2016

The Fashion Sisters Bomber Brigade

Blazer / Jackets/ Featured/ Rebel/ Romantique

Streetstyle London Bomber jacket

Vogue is declaring the bomber jacket the new coat du jour this year! A classic fashion staple and darling of Hip Hop community in the naughties, the bomber jacket must be the coolest way to stay warm! All major designers from Gucci to Acne offer a variety of styles of the off-duty staple this year.

This uncomplicated blouson, as the bomber jacket is also know as,  is easy to style and pair: Imagine unexpected combos like a sequined evening dress with the sporty jacket or do it like Romantique and Rebel, making it your sartorial choice for a day of sight seeing in London! 

Rebel:

My favourite way of styling the bomber jacket is just like Mossy does it in the photo: Offset the casual bomber with a carefully ironed, crisp shirt, skinny jeans, ankle boots and structured bag and you’re good to go!

For a day of sightseeing in London’s East  (check back for the full report soon), I’m wearing skinny jeans by J Crew, Breton jumper by St James, ankle boots by Jil Sander and a blue satin bomber jacket.
Streetstyle London Bomber jacket

Romantique:

Yes I freely admit wearing bomber flight jackets is not really my forte. But now and then it’s good to mix things up, one can’t always wear Swiss lace and  brocade dresses. My bomber jacket is made of wintery wool – a toned down version of the classic shiny nylon or silk.  Paired with denim and ankle boots, this is an easy and relaxed look for every day.

I’m wearing a wool blouson by Closed, denim by Hugo Boss Orange, ankle boots by AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni.

London Streetstyle Bomber jacket

Mirrored sunglasses by Topshop and pink quilted leather crossbody bag by LCredi.

London Street style bomber jacket mirrored glasses topshop  

Rebel's style inspiration: Kate Moss wearing a military bomber.

Rebel’s style inspiration: Kate Moss wearing a military bomber.

Romantique's style inspo: Classy Karlie Kloss wearing a personalised Rag and Bone Bomber jacket.

Romantique’s style inspo: Classy Karlie Kloss wearing a personalised Rag and Bone Bomber jacket.

 

 

Posted on February 3, 2016

Romantique and Rebel Style French Beret

Accessoires/ Featured/ London/ Rebel/ Romantique

French Beret Street style London

The fashion sisters are back together in London again! When we brain stormed subjects for a new sisters fashion blog post, we couldn’t wait to show our readers  two different styles on how to wear the classic French beret. Romantique or Rebel, which one are you?

Rebel:

The French beret is back on the fashion scene with a vengeance! It was seen on all catwalks, from Saint Laurent to Gucci. In my opinion, the beret was unfairly underestimated for much too long. It’s such a simple accessory yet receives maximum impact. Women wearing berets looks intelligent as well as cute. But when you’re in your mid forties, do you still want to look like a girly student? Can one be too old for the beret? I don’t think so! The gallic hat is timeless and the secret is all in what you pair the it with.

Gucci-Runway-RTW-Spring-2016-Milan-Fashion-Week

Gucci lovingly styled the beret girly with ruffles and a pussy bow blouse.  I’m not a girl anymore and don’t want to pretend to be one, so this style is out of the question for me.

IMG_7372

On the other hand, the Saint Laurent’s beret runway style has nothing playful or girly about it. The beret stands for confidence and nonchalance – attributes us women over 45+ can relate to easily!

French Beret Street style London

Rebel is wearing: Leopard ankle boots by Neil Barrett, high  waisted skinny jeans “Maria” by J Brand, bomber jacket by Kuyichi, jewel collar by River Island, embellished straw bag by Sicily Bag, beret by Seeberger.

Romantique:

I love the Parisian, classic French Style so a beret is a must-have item in my wardrobe. It’s not a fickle, trendy accessory but a timeless piece that never goes out of style. I own the beret in two colours: In classic navy blue and in orange-red to brighten up darker or monochrome outfits.

I love to pair the beret with classic French pattern such as  Breton sailor stripes or Vichy gingham checks. Add a feminine lace collar et voila, you instantly exude French charm!

red Beret Street Style London

Romantique is wearing: Gingham Vichy trousers by Max & Co. Lace collar shirt by Hallhuber. Beret by Seeberger. Little embellished coffa straw bag by Sicily Bag. Sunglasses by Valentino.

Red Beret Style and Stripey breton shirt

London street style paris cafe red beret

Un café au lait, s’il vous plait!

Posted on January 24, 2016

Sicilian Lemon Yellow – Get in the mood for summer

Australia/ Bags/ Dresses/ Featured/ Romantique
Jump!

Jump!

I know know, I’m very lucky to escape to Australia every winter to get a healthy dose of vitamin D, sand between my toes, watermelon and shrimp on the barbie food feasts! All the while Europe is wrapped up snug to survive winter. The good news is that summer is coming in Europe and hopefully my Australian summer outfits I’m going to share in the next few weeks will make you excited for the summer to come!

My favourite summer colour is yellow! It’s the kind of colour that suits every skin tone: From dark mustard yellow to light citrus yellow. You can go all out dressed head to toe in a yellow dress like me, or just set an accent by wearing a yellow blouse or yellow shorts.

Bondi Beach Straw Coffa Bag

For a stunning beach day at iconic Bondi Beach, I’m wearing a dress by Calvin Klein, accented by a brown belt, leopard print toe sandals and my beloved straw coffa bag by Sicily Bag. For those of you who don’t know the story behind Sicily Bag: In summer 2015, I travelled to Sicily and instantly fell in love with the brightly embellished straw bags. I have since opened an online boutique, spreading the pom pom love whilst supporting an age old craft. Every bag is handmade by local artisan Luigi in Palermo and  each bag is one of a kind.

Sicilian Straw Bag Sicily Bag

Sicilian Straw Bag Sicily Bag

Bondi Beach YEllow Street Style

I’m wearing:

Yellow Dress by Calvin Klein

Toe Sandals in leopard print by Unisa

Straw Coffa Bag by Sicily Bag

Straw Panama hat by Billabong

Posted on January 6, 2016

Summer in Sydney: Top 5 things to do

Australia/ Featured/ Romantique/ Wardrobe
Bondi Beach Australia Sicily Bag

Overlooking Bondi Beach at New Years Day 2016.

Every year over Christmas and New Year, I’m lucky enough to fly to the other end of the world, to Australia, to meet up with Mr Romantique’s family and friends, to enjoy Australia’s fresh produce and to relax on one of the best beaches in Sydney. Whilst I aim to do something new every year, I also love revisiting my favourite spots in Sydney. As a sun-deprived European in winter, you can imagine that most of the spots are related to beaches and outdoor activities. Here’s a list of my Top 5 things to do when in Sydney:

Bondi Beach / Icebergs pool / Bondi to Bronte walk:

I have a love-hate relationship with Australia’s most iconic beach Bondi. In summer, this bustling beach is invaded by hordes of tatooed backpackers and plastic-fantastic gym junkies. On the other hand, Bondi boasts the finest, sugary white sand, an array of nearby coffee shops and restaurants as well as the most stunning beach walk Bondi to Bronte. Last but not least, Icebergs Swimming club houses a pool built into the sea on the Southern end of the beach. A stunning landmark!

Iceberg's swimming pool.

Icebergs swimming pool.

Sydney Fish Markets

For seafood lovers, this iconic destination is a must-see pilgrimage when visiting Sydney. A plethora of busy and hectic stands offers the freshest of seafood imaginable. The market is a working port where the fishermens’ catches are auctioned each day. Whether you are wanting delicious prawns to take home and barbeque, fresh oysters to eat on the spot, or grilled takeaway to eat by the water with the pelicans, your taste buds will thank you. For desert, try the chocolate-covered, giant strawberries.

Fresh oysters from the Sydney fish market.

Fresh oysters from the Sydney fish market.

Mr Romantique on the ferry to Circular Quay.

Mr Romantique on the ferry to Circular Quay.

Catch the ferry to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge

A stunning way to see Sydney’s most recognisable sights is to take a ferry to the city. Enjoy the salty breeze and the stunning views and alight at Circular Quay, just a short walk from the Sydney Opera House, the historic area of the Rocks, the Harbour Bridge and the Botanic gardens.

Romantique Sydney Opera House with Sicily Bag.

At the Opear House, I’m wearing straw bag by SicilyBag.com, skirt by Moschino, sandals by L’Autre Chose.

Relax at one of Sydney’s secrets swimming spots

There are many secret little harbour beaches, secret tips passed on only by the best of friends. One of my favourites is Gordons Bay. Reminiscent of Italian beaches with it’s turquoise, calm waters and the rocky cliffs, this little gem is perfect for snorklers and relaxation for stressed city dwellers.

Gordon's bay.

Gordon’s bay. Straw bag by SicilyBag.com

Walk along the unspoilt beaches of the North

If you love empty, wild beaches that go on for kilometers, you will fall in love with Sydney’s Northern beaches. Long stretches of golden, endless sand are made for beach walks. My favourites are Mona Vale, Whale Beach and Palm Beach. The latter being my all time favourite beach in Sydney!!

Posted on December 15, 2015

Sisters Style Staple: The French Caban Jacket

Blazer / Jackets/ Coats/ Featured/ Rebel/ Romantique

Berlin Street style caban jacket pea coat

The Caban Jacket, known as a “pea coat” in English speaking countries, is a classic sailor jacket, the coat equivalent to the striped Tee. It’s a French style icon worn by the “usual suspects” – the heroines of French chic: Alexa Chung & French Vogue Editor Emannuelle Alt.

It comes in a variety of styles so there is one for every body type: From short jacket to longer hemmed coats, traditionally double breasted with gold buttons and a wide collar.

Let’s see how we style this classic in our two different styles, Romantique and Rebel:

Rebel Street Style Berlin Pea Sicily bag straw bag

Rebel:

For me, the best way to style this shorter length caban jacket is casual with skinny jeans and flats. This is my Sunday morning brunch outfit, relaxed yet still chic without looking over-engineered. A striped mariniere shirt is also one of my favourite combos. After all, I live in Hamburg, near one of Europe’s biggest ports so the sailor style is always en vogue here up north.

Rebel is wearing: Navy pea coat by Max & Co. Skinny jeans by JBrand. Pointy boots by Buffalo.  Adorned straw bag by Sicily Bag.

Berlin Street Style pea coat sicily bag straw bag

Romantique:

I decided to go for a risky experiment: How about pairing the sailor pea coat with a sailor skirt? Straight cut navy twill with a double row of white buttons. At first I was afraid of the clashing buttons but it turned out well! The navy beret brings the whole outfit together, parfait!

Romantique is wearing: Navy pea coat by Max & Co. Navy skirt by Claudie Pierlot. Leopard print flats by Kurt Geiger. Navy beret bought at John Lewis. Embellished straw bag by Sicily Bag. Sunglasses by Miu Miu.

Berlin Street Style pea coat caban jacket beret

Photo location: Berlin Museum Island.

Emmanuelle ALt Pea coat caban jacket

French Vogue Editor Emmanuelle Alt wearing a caban jacket with gold buttons.

Alexa Chung wearing a long navy pea coat

Alexa Chung wearing a long navy wool pea coat

Posted on December 2, 2015

Stylish Advent Décor

Decor/ Featured/ Romantique
Stylish Red Gourmand Advent Wreath

This is my own advent wreath: Wrapped in traditional red bows. I loved the gourmet theme with frosted winter berries, cinnamon sticks, mushrooms and sugared gingerbread.

Now that it’s getting cold, dark and miserable outside, it’s time to snuggle up and decorate the house, transforming it into a cosy, magical winter hut to shelter from the howling wind outside.

On my recent trip to Berlin, I visited my favourite flower shop in Potsdam. The owner is a passionate and gifted lady, who creates stunning advent wreaths in the winter time.

The tradition of the advent wreath is a very old one: For centuries, homes in winter have been decorated with the evergreen branches. In the darkest time of the year, when nature sleeps under a deep blanket of snow, they bring light and the hope of new life into the house.

Combining this winter tradition with Christmas has been a relatively recent occurence. A Lutheranian pastor in Germany invented the advent wreath in 1860. In a children’s home in Hamburg, he hung a wooden wreath from the ceiling, lighting a candle every day to celebrate the lead up to Christmas. A few years later the wooden ring was adorned with evergreen fir, red ribbons and Christmassy embellishments. The 24 candles were replaced with four to make the decoration suitable for private homes.

Cream and green coloured advent wreath

Today, you can chose from many different variations of the advent wreath. In UK abodes, you will often find one hanging on or beside the front door. In Germany, it’s traditionally put on a coffee table, crowned by four candles.

Here are my favourite creations for you to enjoy and be inspired by!

Advent wreath adorned with real pomegranates, iced berries and branches.

Advent wreath adorned with real pomegranates, iced berries and branches.

lighted advent wreath with white ice skaters

I love kitsch! Hence I adore this lighted advent tree embellished with fairy lights, pine cones, feathers and baubles.

This hanging  advent wreath looks like one of the very early incarnations that were first created in the late 1800s. if I ever own a big house, this is what will be gracing my hallway!

This hanging advent wreath looks like one of the very early incarnations that were first created in the late 1800s. if I ever own a big house, this is what will be gracing my hallway! Mummy Romantique in the background  is fittingly dressed in a Santa red coat.

This beauty is now sparkling in Mummy Romantique and Rebel’s home: themed like the white winter wonderland.

This beauty is now sparkling in Mummy Romantique and Rebel’s home: themed like the white winter wonderland.

A rustic creation of brown and bronze colours and retro ice skates.

A rustic creation of brown and bronze colours and retro ice skates.

Advent spray  fir branch

This decorated fir branch is perfect for sideboards.

 

Posted on November 27, 2015

Sisters style: One coat, two styles

Berlin/ Coats/ Featured/ Rebel/ Romantique

Rebel Berlin Street Style Egg Shape Coat

Romantique and Rebel are back together again for another weekend in Berlin. This time, we replicated what we always did when we were kids: Raiding our mum’s wardrobe! Oh the perks of having a stylish mother.

We chose a chic herringbone egg-shaped coat by Max and Co and decided we would both wear it, showcasing how one piece of clothing can look different depending on how you style and pair it, all based on our different personalities.

Rebel:

To ensure a curving coat looks chic, think about what you wear underneath. It is a silhouette that works particularly well if your general way of dressing is skinny-legged, i.e. slim trousers or short skirts. I paired mine with skinny jeans and pointy boots. Pointy shoes, whether they are flats, heels or boots, always elongate the leg.

Avoid wearing knee-length skirts or wide legged trousers or you will look like a marshmallow!

Romantique egg shape coat Berlin Street Style

Romantique:

Egg-shaped coats are cleverly romantic and feminine without alluding to the traditional hourglass silhouette.

The voluminous shape of the cocoon coat lends itself to pairing it with a shorter skirt and ballet pumps.

The leopard-print pointy ballet pumps serve as an eye-catcher against the grey colour and a mini pattern clash with the herringbone coat.

Sometimes, grey can drain the complexion so I perked up my make-up with a matte, pigmented red lipstick (blue based) to pop against the coat.

Romantique Street Style Berlin Egg shape coat and BERET

I’m wearing: Coat by Max & Co. Black turtle neck jumper by Max & Co. Grey knitted pleat skirt by Stefanel. Leopard printed flats with leather bow by Kurt Geiger & navy beret by House of Fraser.

Rebel Berlin street style egg shape coat beret

Rebel Stret style Berlin Egg shaped coat beret

How would you style the egg-shaped coat? A la Romantique, with skirt and ballet pumps, or like Rebel with skinny jeans?

Romantique street style berlin egg shape coat

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