Botanisk Have went to the top of my must-visit list after seeing various snaps pop up on Instagram of a beautiful white iron staircase surrounded by lush green tropical plants, inside a giant domed greenhouse. Having arrived in Copenhagen the day before, to spend four glorious days frolicking around the city for my birthday, and to take as many photos as humanly possible (obviously the real reason for the trip!), we got up early on Saturday (post a boozy dinner at Höst the night before) to head off exploring. With the weather undecided between cloudy and cloudy with spurts of rain (not ideal for cycling), I decided that after a coffee at Atelier September, that now would be a good time to saunter over to the botanical gardens, to pose on the staircase amongst the foliage. Living on a busy boulevard in Paris, in the middle of the 10th arrondissement, doesn't afford much greenery, so exploring the botanical gardens was easily the closest I was going to come to the hanging gardens of Babylon for a while. Not meaning to colour-coordinate, I dressed in grey, white and green for the occasion and happily blended into my surroundings like a chameleon. Cue David Attenborough voice over and a million photos.
Meet Marissa. No I'm not talking about myself in the third person - meet 'Marissa' the midi skirt. When I saw the Iris & Ink 'Marissa' tie-waist crepe midi skirt, I didn't even bat an eyelid. I knew I had to have her. A skirt with my name, that looks good and (thankfully) fits well = a no brainer. But I didn't just buy it for the name, it also makes the perfect trans-seasonal skirt. Wear in spring when it's not quite warm enough to don anything above the knee and it makes the perfect cover up for summer with sandals - when you're not on holiday, on a beach and don't feel like getting your legs out, along with the unwanted attention that comes with extra skin on show. It also makes a great evening option - I wore this exact outfit to dinner in Portugal (which you would have seen it if you follow me on Snapchat - marissacoxparis.) Plus it has a tie waist - big news for fashion this year (notice how you've been drawn to everything with a bow or tie recently?) - making a flattering addition. It certainly helped hide my full belly while I ploughed my way through the epic 15 course meal at Belcanto in Lisbon. Practical and stylish, I'll take it as a compliment.
Shop the post:
Photos by Haleigh Walsworth, edited by me.
If you're following me on Instagram, you might have seen some colourful, sun-drenched photos popping up on my feed as I spent last weekend in Lisbon. Having spent just a day a few years ago in Portugal's capital, I have been eager to get back and explore more of the city ever since. Luckily the weather was perfect - blue skies every day with an average temperature of 18 degrees - my idea of spring! Along with five other photographers and Instagrammers from Berlin, London, Paris and the US, I was invited to stay in the city with HERE, a navigation application that allows you to (among other things), find your way around a city or new country offline - a huge advantage when I travel so much and don't want to come home to a huge phone bill, having used all my data abroad.
So.. after checking into the beautiful Pestana Palace on Friday afternoon, I ordered a cab and quickly headed over to the centre of Lisbon to meet Alice at Cafe A Brasileira to get my chops around some tasty pastel de natas and make the most of the first afternoon in the city. We wandered around visiting A Vida Portuguesa to pick up some pretty soaps and Cutipol to drool over the cutlery (this brand has been on my list for a while). Then we headed back to the hotel to join the rest of our group for dinner. I have a ton of photos, so there's going to be a couple of parts, but first here's the city of Lisbon. Scroll down for my little guide and let me know if you have any other tips!
- Stay - Pestana Palace
- Eat - pastel de natas at Cafe a Braseilera // lunch at A Cervicheria or Cervejaria Ramiro or Mercado da Ribeira // dinner at Belcanto restaurant
- Cafes - Copenhagen Coffee Lab // Cafe da Fabrica
- See - Arco Triunfal da Rua Agusta // Basilica de Estrella // Sao Jorge Castle
- Shop - A Vida Portuguesa // Cutipol
Thanks to HERE for making this trip possible // All opinions my own.
According to Karl Lagerfeld, "One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress." So when I received the invite to Coach's Prom Party (to celebrate the opening of their new flagship store in Paris) with a dress code of 'Prom Chic', I thought wearing a LBD was probably the safe, but chic option. I usually reserve dress wearing for summer evenings and weddings, but a Prom seemed the ultimate excuse to dress up and don my heels.
I found this little Carven number on The Outnet, which has quickly become my go-to for occasion dressing, or any other wardrobe essentials for that matter (I'm currently mildly obsessed with their brand line, Iris & Ink). Already ticking many of my little black dress boxes, eg. it's sexy without being too revealing or tight, it also channels this season's off the shoulder trend, which despite not being able to lift my arms higher than my chest all evening (thank god for obliging friends who were willing to help me with putting my coat on) left me feeling, what I was aiming for: chic. I added a little pop of colour with the bright yellow Marni clutch (perfect for spring) and these play leopard print pumps from J.Crew, and then hurriedly took a few photos in the fading light before heading out for the evening. Do you have a favourite LBD?
Photos of me by Joann Pai.
I'll admit, I was little apprehensive about attending London Fashion Week this season, as it was the first time going registered under my own blog. I used to cover the shows for a website I edited back when I lived in London, so having Rue Rodier on my badge was a big deal. According to the late, great Eleanor Roosevelt you should do one thing every day that scares you. I think I averaged five a day, which included wearing blue sandals over tights in the winter, hoping that it didn't rain, photographing shows and generally trying to own my presence there. To me, fashion week is (apart from the circus that surrounds it) about the art, the creativity and inspiration that has gone into each collection. I've always viewed watching a show as rather like watching a live art exhibition. It's not just about clothes and trends, but the experience of seeing them walk by live - in other words I was pretty happy (but a little overwhelmed) to be there. Anyway here are some shots from a few of my favourite presentations and shows.
I know I'm a little late to the New Year party, but I've been redesigning (read: taking apart) my blog. Anyway more on that later. So, how did we get here so fast? It literally feels like yesterday that I was noting down last year's goals! 2015 was a whirlwind. It had its ups: travel, friends' weddings, creative work, and downs: the horrible events that happened in Paris at the beginning and end of the year, and a few things going on in my personal life, but all in all it was one of my favourite years yet. I racked up 25 flights, visited 8 countries (three new: Philippines, Iceland and Zanzibar) and that's not counting the monthly Eurostar trains to London. It also helped set me up: I laid the foundations for more photography work, content creation and without trying to sound too corny, more confidence to follow my dreams.
I am a big believer in making new year objectives or goal-setting. You can call them resolutions, but rather than label them so ('resolutions' are notoriously broken after the first few weeks and therefore I'm not calling the fact that I joined the gym last week a resolution) I prefer 'goals' that are hopefully a little more achievable. Inspired by Anne of Prêt-á-Voyager, who every year picks a theme (more on that here), I've come up with a few words that will hopefully help shape my year. I couldn't decide on just one theme, so I've settled on three words: CREATE, EARN, SAVE. This new blog space is the first creation. It's going to act as an interim until I get the blog design I'm really after, but that will take the work of my website guru friend Rachelle, so this will have to do for now. Either way, I feel it's heading in the right direction. I'm also working on a new photography portfolio and I hope to be creating more posts here, focusing on interiors, lifestyle, style, and documenting further travel. And as I have a (bad) habit of spending a lot of time (hours upon hours) searching for clothes online (if you tell me what you're looking for, I can probably advise you on where to find it!) I've decided to add a Wishlist section to the homepage, so all those hours spent searching don't go to waste. Hopefully it will help inspire your future purchases.
And finally a few things getting me through the January blues:
- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert & her podcast Magic Lessons, which you can find on Soundcloud.
- Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Denham - I'm officially a fan-girl after listening to her podcasts: Woman of the Hour, also on Soundcloud (thanks for the tip Meg)
- Wooly hats - the below is sold out unfortunately, but I'm also loving this and this.
- The film Joy - I urge anyone needing an inspirational kick to see this.
- Chai latte at Fragments and brunch at Pas de Loup.
- Shini's home tour - I want...everything.
- Comfy, yet sexy bras - I'm not exactly blessed in the boob department, but I'm more and more leaning towards being confident with what I've got rather than disguising them with a layer of padding. I just picked up the one above from the sale at Oysho, but I've also got my eyes on this and this.
- Jessica Comingore's creative goal-setting - lots of food for thought there and beautiful photos of her office space!
- Carin's beautiful photos of Bali here and here. I mean.. le sigh.
A couple of weeks ago it seemed like Paris had suddenly skipped a season. We went from 25c one day to 15c the next. For me, anything below 20 is cold..so I immediately started searching around for warmer clothes. I may have grown up in the UK, but I do not fare well in the cold (being half Californian might have something to do with it!) When looking for clothes I always make a list and I'm one of those people who will spend hours searching online to see what's out there. I know it takes the spontaneity out of spur of the moment purchases, but I like to know that what I’m buying will fit in with what I already own. Wardrobe essentials therefore (to me) are rather ingenious - not just a ploy to keep you buying, they actually make you look good easily and effortlessly. I usually add pieces every season - clothes that I know will stand the test of time and wear; spending my money on items that are timeless, elegant and have longevity. I like to think of myself as an intelligent shopper.
Despite now living in France, I still love British brands and ME+EM set up by Brit, Clare Hornby to offer contemporary clothing with a focus on cut, material and quality, caters to my taste perfectly. Luckily she gave me the opportunity to select my top five items from her collection that I not only consider essentials, but also the perfect foundations to a autumn/winter capsule wardrobe. I shot them around my neighbourhood (the 10th) in a few of my favourite locations.
Scroll down for more and I hope you enjoy the post!
I have a tendency to wear a lot of black during winter (clearly I’m subconsciously colour-coordinating with the weather), but it leaves me feeling a bit drab. While I don’t like wearing a lot of colour and pattern, I do like wearing lighter shades. This cream
is the perfect compromise between cosy and stylish. Not only is it warm, but it can easily be thrown over anything from jeans to being dressed up with a skirt and heels.
When I’m not lugging my laptop and camera around with me, I like to carry a clutch i.e. the lightest bag possible – this gorgeous cream l
is a perfect everyday one (and it's not black!), with different compartments (plus one central zipped) for all your small essentials for day or night. It also comes with a
strap so you can chose how to wear it. I personally like to carry it in my hand, but it's great to have the option.
(Photographed on rue Legouvé.)
I’ve had my eyes on a pair of leather trousers for a while. They’re a great alternative to jeans and these black
are seriously comfy.
If I didn’t think I was going to ruin them or the fact that they're just too nice to sit in for hours on end, I would happily fly in them! They also sit high enough on the waist that you can tuck tops into them.
The 'whiskey' merino wool
is a great transitional item that will take you from autumn (if there is one) to winter. And if you're like me and don't wear a lot of colour, this is a great shade to ease you into brighter hues. (Take note of the colour-coordinating wall!)
And finally the Breton stripe... A Breton top might seem a little clichéd for someone living in Paris, but it’s a piece that doesn’t go out of fashion, made timeless by the original chic Parisian – Coco Chanel. This
style has even been worn by the Duchess of Cambridge no less - if it's good enough for Kate...! It's got a good stretch to it, but is tight in the right places, with a nice ruching detail towards the bottom on the sides which look great when worn over jeans. Again this is a piece that can be dressed up or down, or used to layer under a knit when the temperature starts creeping to zero.
What are your wardrobe essentials?
This post was created in collaboration with
, edited by me.
Every time I go back to London, my experience of the city seems to get better and better, probably because now having lived away for two years, I enjoy the city with fresh eyes and can appreciate, as well as take full advantage of the city. Here are a few of the things I got up to during my week:
+ I purchased a few spring wardrobe updates from
, including these tees. It's by far my favourite brand for well-designed basics and wardrobe essentials.
+ I breakfasted at new Spitalfields restaurant
which is guaranteed to become a summer hotspot, with its outside terrace. Try the smoked trout, pouched eggs and avocado and I went with
- following him on Instagram for London culinary goings on is a must.
+ I went to Hackney based shoe brand
launch in Shoreditch with the talented designer
and walked away with these beautiful powder blue sandals, which I'm sure will be making many an appearance over the summer.
+ I enjoyed breakfast at the delicious
with my friend
- go for the fig toast!
+ Tried and tested tasty cocktails at new Shoreditch bar
, which opened just last week on Curtain Road - part of the Experimental Cocktail Group crew.
+ Ate pizzas from my favourite London pizza restaurant
I finally kicked my chest infection after taking a round of antibiotics, so was a happy to get out and about again in Paris and looking at what I got up to below, I think I made the most of it!
+ Friday eve I dined at
(a good choice for any vegetarians/vegans visiting Paris!) It was one of the best vegetarian meals I've had.
+ Saturday I guzzled pancakes at the
, wandered around le Marais buying candles at Muji, an umbrella at Uniqlo and a glass mug at Merci
+ Saturday eve we dined with friends at
in the 10th. A lovely little (and reasonably-priced) bistro serving small plates. 3/4 is enough sharing between two. Followed by drinks at
in the 18th.
+ Sunday we roamed around the market at Bastille on rue Richard Lenoir - open until 3pm, shopping for fruit, veg and the bunch of tulips featured on the mantlepiece.
+ Sunday afternoon I met friends for afternoon tea at the newly refurbished
Nothing updates a wardrobe for spring like a new tote, and this
from J.Crew is just the ticket for me. It's big enough to hold all my daily essentials, including my laptop, this fun
I picked up while in Manila whilst in the Philippines, as well as this month's must-read - the new
, complete with a fresh redesign. I love the colour and funnily enough already have a small clutch and silk top from COS in the same shade, which didn't even cross my mind when choosing it. Something subconsciously must have drawn me to it!
What will you be updating your wardrobe with this spring?
I am not built for cold weather. My hands are the first to freeze, then my feet, then nose and before I know it I need to be thawed out. I know that 'chilled to the bone' feeling oh so well - when they invent wearable hot water bottles, I will be the first to buy one. So this year, I vowed I'd be prepared for the first sign of frost. I bought my winter coat when it was still warm, having spied this
navy number in COS. It's over-sized, snuggly and keeps me warm. Better yet, it slots into my wardrobe.
Since moving to Paris and in my quest to live better, I've been trying to streamline said wardrobe and throw out the clothes that I don't wear, with the aim of building a uniform (note irony when you scroll and see the grey jumper/navy skirt schoolgirl combo) of items that are stylish, timeless and made to last. It's an ongoing task, this shopping better and only trying to spend money where it counts, (it helps to keep a list) and I am constantly on the search for classics that will last longer than a season. My taste is pretty minimal and varies between shades of black, navy, grey and white, with the odd shot of colour, usually in the form of lipstick. This winter, I have been literally living in a variation of the following looks, switching it up with a pair of jeans, white tee and navy cardigan (I have a thing for navy right now). And thinking I perhaps needed a little more colour in my life, I bought the trainers to match my lipstick, yep not the other way around.
How much thought goes into your wardrobe?
, edited by me.
This weekend was rather special as we celebrated our new apartment on Saturday, just before the arrival of the couch. Much fun was had and dancing done by all and admittedly I didn’t set foot outside yesterday.
Instead I spent the day cocooning at home, cleaning and watching films – lucky too as the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees in the last few days. Winter is finally here. Anyway this one’s short and sweet, so here are a few links and current favourite things from the last week.
+ The new
guide came out last week – it’s essential reading material for any Parisian foodie. I've already ear-marked a few places.
+ Friday night I attended a lovely soiree hosted by
and drank chocolat chaud, ate macarons and trotted off with a tasty box of chocs.
+ Chocolates were followed by tacos at the newly opened
. I went to the one in London when it was a pop up in Shoreditch. So to see it in Paris was a real treat, especially with it being so close to my new place.
+ The ceramic dish pictured was made by my mum, who has been making pots on and off for years. Every time I go to visit her back in the UK, I return to Paris with at least 3 more.
+ I found the perfect wooden
from Muji (ok it says 'salad', but I think it works for fruit too!)
+ I finally watched
last week. Incredible film and it had me getting a little philosophical and pondering about life...It also satisfied my inner Sci-fi geek. Don’t get me started on the new Star Wars trailer..
+ And I purchased this
from COS – it’s perfect for winter layering
See what they did there? J'ai cru in French means 'I believed' - it's the hashtag they're using. Clever. Pretty much sums the brand up, since the ever-inspiring Jenna Lyons took hold of the reins. I discovered
about five or six years ago whilst on a trip to LA to visit a friend and have been a fan ever since. It's a brand you can wear for every occasion - office, evening, party, wedding - and there is something for everyone. I popped along to their presentation last Thursday to check out the new SS/2015 collection that will be launching in Paris in March. Yes, we are getting a shop in le Marais. I am
I don't do a lot of fuss when it comes to clothes, opting for a palette of mainly black, navy, grey and white, but as I walked around the beautiful Parisian apartment with the lovely
(always good to have a partner in crime at these events), with a view of the
, I was picturing myself wearing almost every (colourful) look. Well, truth be told Carin was picturing me in various outfits: 'oh, I can so see you in this outfit come spring.' Am I that predictable? Clearly being 'normcore', as it's been dubbed in the fashion industry, has its disadvantages. I obviously need to shake things up a bit and up the ante in my wardrobe - luckily J.Crew has some lovely colourful and embellished pieces that would fit right into my various shades of grey and do the job of making what I currently wear a little more interesting.
I was one of those geeky kids with the glasses. I became a little four eyes aged 5, with a pair of My Little Pony glasses. Remember those? I had all four colours. Aged six I had to wear a patch over my right eye because it was lazy. Not a look that endears you to other kids. As I got older I hated wearing glasses and throughout my teenage years, I would only wear them during class for lectures, so I could see the whiteboard. During breaks I would walk around half blind, totally oblivious if someone was trying to make eye contact with me or trying to catch my attention. Walking down the high street on the weekend was an obstacle course. University was the same. I'm quite sure I missed a few winks and sneaky looks from fellow male students (I wish), because I just couldn't see them. As soon as class was over off came the glasses, which made walking around campus a little tricky, if not dangerous.
Thank goodness for contact lenses. In my last year of university I finally got my first pair. I remember looking in the mirror, whilst standing in the lift on the way up to my room in the university halls, mesmerised at how big my eyes were. I'd never seen them in focus except behind a pair of frames. It took me six months to get used to putting them in and taking them out (they still make me cry today). But I was determined to look 'cool' and 'normal' - I used to wear my contacts 7 days a week for a minimum of 14 hours a day. Sometimes I even slept in them and in the morning when I woke up, they'd literally be stuck to my eyeballs. (I can envisage opticians shaking their heads as I write this). But as I've gotten older, I've started wearing glasses again, it might have something to do with a little thing called fashion. Glasses are trendy, and people look cool in them. Geek is good. So when I was looking around for a pair of new specs that I'd happily be seen walking down the street in,
caught my eye, not just for their vintage-inspired designs, but also because when you buy a pair of glasses, they give a pair to someone in need. I love a good deed. And they don't take long to arrive. I chose the
as I wanted a bold frame that would stand out and match my usual monochrome look, sent off my prescription they made them for me in their factory, and I received them in just a few weeks. Fuss free, et voila.
I hope you enjoy the little story that was shot in the
, with the help of my friend and talented photographer,
. I wanted somewhere a little darker and moodier, and well bookish. Sadly I don't have much time to sit around drinking coffee, eating scones, reading books and staring out of the window contemplating life, but if I did this is where I'd do it, and with a good friend like Carin. I'd love to know what you think.
, edited by me.
, lipstick 'All Fired Up' by
is tucked just behind Rue de Rivoli, only a few minutes from the Jardin de Tuileries in the 1st arrondissement, in an ideal location for locals, as well as tourists wandering just off the tourist track. I headed over there on a particularly warm September day to photograph and chat to the owner,
- purveyor of fine, pretty jewels - in collaboration with my good friend Kate who runs the London-based jewellery blog
. If you're ever looking for an engagement ring, she's your girl!
opened WHITE bIRD a few years ago after the plug was pulled on an exciting project to launch a fine jewellery collection at Chloe because of the economic crisis. After putting a year of hard work into the project, only to see it cancelled,
decided the timing was right to go solo - and it was the push she needed to set up on her own.
She always wanted to work with luxury products and has spent most of her working life in jewellery or watches, starting at Cartier: "I had no special jewellery training. I just did some business studies, but I knew one thing when I was young - I lived with my parents in Bordeaux and I knew that I wanted to live in Paris. I also knew that I wanted to work with fashion or in the luxury industry." She later worked for Chaumet, and it was during her time there, whilst travelling to the US that she started exploring other jewellery designers. "I went to Barney’s when they'd just opened their little department of fine jewellery. It was just a tiny room in the beginning and they only had one or two brands. But every year it’s grown and grown, and it’s now a huge floor where they have a fantastic range of designers. One of the designers was
and I loved her designs. So I started to think about what I wanted to do for myself. I didn’t want to work for brands anymore, so I decided that in France, there was a real need for a space to showcase new designers." So she opened WHITE bIRD, which is very different to most high end jewellery shops - she wanted to create a space that was cool and cosy, a place where kids could come, and where husbands could happily sit on a couch answering emails while their wives perused the designs. She's done just that - it's warm, welcoming, cosy and beautifully designed to show off the pretty jewels, without being too stiff or strict; it doesn't have the stuffy air of a place like Cartier, where you feel afraid to go in.
Scroll down to read the rest of the interview!
Earliest fashion or jewellery moment?
The first collection I directed at Dinh Van with a freelance designer. Jewellery is a small piece of art that involves a lot of emotion from the designer to the wearer. It’s on your skin. It’s like perfume, it’s very sensual and personal.
Describe a typical working day…
When I’m in Paris, I take my youngest daughter to school, sometimes have a coffee with other parents, walk to the office which is half in the shop, half in a small office nearby and work non stop until 7pm, usually without lunch. I often meet and chat with some customers of the shop, which are delicious breaks
What do you do to relax?
Read and garden at our seaside house.
What piece of advice would you give someone who wants to launch their own jewellery brand or boutique?
Have faith in what your doing, don’t let people discourage you and when there are tough days always think: "tomorrow will be a better day".
Who are your clients?
People that come here are looking for something more personal – they are investing more of themselves into the piece, rather than buying it because it’s a particular brand.
What was the inspiration behind the boutique’s interior style?
I wanted natural and rough materials to contrast with the jewellery, which is precious and delicate. I wanted people to feel relaxed, finding a cool sofa was key and authentic 50’s furniture to make it a bit like a home.
Where did you source the furniture?
Vintage markets and online
Interior styles that have inspired you?
English homes, the Isabel Marant shop in Le Marais, Astier de Villatte, APC in Soho New York
How would you describe your personal style?
Last good book you read?
– it's quite dark, but I love historical books – this one takes place in Iceland in the 19th century.
What’s in your magazine pile at home?
ELLE and the rest is online.
Evening drink of choice?
Champagne and Chablis white wine.
Bedside table essentials?
My Aesop hand cream and my book
Favourite Paris places for coffee, clothes shopping, dinner?
Le Telegraphe coffee shop,
restaurant, Acne, Pierre Hardy,
(Palais Royal) and Stouls for leather clothes.
Words and photography by Marissa Cox.
I lived in London for a long time before I moved to Paris (I used to be an East London girl and spent 4 years in Dalston & Hackney), so it's quite refreshing coming back as a tourist and staying in a different area to my old stomping ground. I didn't have much time to explore this trip and seek out new places, so I snapped a few shots near where I was staying, at a friend's in West London. I literally hot-footed it to Portobello Road in Notting Hill yesterday morning, to capture a few of the cute buildings and vintage teapots - apologies for the lack, but I'll be back next month (and quickly next weekend for said friend's engagement party), and will actually plan my stay properly next time.
For more London, check out
Cheeky new purchase - grey jumper from & Other Stories and previous blue clutch from COS
I've had a pretty crazy couple of weeks, hence there hasn't been much action going on here. I've moved twice (and I'm still in temporary accommodation), travelled back and forth to London for a couple of days, had two interviews, covered Paris Fashion Week, collaborated with a brand and caught a cold. Must be the change in temperature, or a little thing called stress.
Photos by Marissa Cox.
|The new Porter magazine|
|Coat: Whistles | White shirt: Zara | Jumper: COS | Beanie: American Apparel | Lipstick: MAC|