Autumn Knits: Part Three

Photographed in Place Vendôme, Paris

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I'm not one for wearing a lot of colour and tend to steer clear of bolder shades unless it comes in the shape of lipstick or nail polish. But if you're like me and like to break out of your sartorial comfort zone for the festive season, by brightening up your wardrobe with a few key items that work for day or evening, then now's the time to invest in something fun like this Frilling Hemline Sweater from Chicwish

If you haven't heard about Chicwish yet, I suggest you swat up now. The brand creates fun fashion-forward feminine pieces that are perfect for sprucing up your wardrobe when it's feeling a bit drab, or when you need something a little more interesting than jeans and a white tee (literally my go-to look!).

I picked the Frilling Hemline Sweater for its flattering peplum hemline that draws your shape in at the waist (also great for fuller figures) and its nod to one of this year's biggest trends - ruffles. The sweater perfectly translates ruffles for colder weather and has just the right amount of flounce to make you feel like you're wearing something special and form hugging, without going overboard - if you're more of a minimalist like me. Paired with these wide-legged wool cropped trousers, which sport a subtle check and elevated with simple blue suede stilettos, it has maximum impact with minimal effort. We shot this look on a beautiful sunny day last week in the elegant surroundings of Place Vendôme - where it doesn't get much more festive than here during the holidays (Christmas trees have sprung up throughout the square), and with those cobalt blue doors providing just the right amount of pop against the violet pink of the sweater. 

I'm wearing Chicwish Frilling Hemline Sweater // Iris & Ink Cropped Trousers from The Outnet // Whistles Court Shoes, similar here // ME+EM Leather Saddle Bag // NARS Lipstick

I'm wearing Chicwish Frilling Hemline Sweater // Iris & Ink Cropped Trousers from The Outnet // Whistles Court Shoes, similar here // ME+EM Leather Saddle Bag // NARS Lipstick

Created in collaboration with Chicwish. Creative Direction by me, photographed by Roxy Matiz.

To Venice by boat with RIVA x The Gritti Palace

Ever since I inter-railed around Europe as a teenager (strapped to a backpack bigger than me) and stopped in Venice for a couple of days in, I've been wanting to return to the floating city. When I was last there I stayed in a 50 bed dorm room, which was a convent-turned-hostel, complete with a curfew set by nuns. This time (thankfully) was quite a different story. Getting invited to Venice to spend a couple of days exploring the city, whilst riding around on a beautiful RIVA boat to celebrate a new collaboration with The Gritti Palace - was one of those 'pinch me' moments, and one I couldn't say no to - I even delayed a much-awaited trip to Morocco.

By boat is the only way to get around Venice (although I'm still amazed that taxis come in the form of speed boats!), so a hotel that has its own private boat, available to guests for hire is genius. And the Gritti Palace, where the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Tom Cruise and Scarlet Johansson have stayed over the years would only opt for the very best boat brand to collaborate with, hence RIVA. Off to Venice soon? Scroll down for a little must-do city guide! 

I'm wearing Iris & Ink  top  and  skirt  from The Outnet 

I'm wearing Iris & Ink top and skirt from The Outnet 

The Gritti Palace Hotel

The Gritti Palace Hotel

Glass-blowing demonstration at  ARS Cenedese  

Glass-blowing demonstration at ARS Cenedese 

Island of Burano 

Island of Burano 

I'm wearing: Iris & Ink  crepe gilet , COS white jeans, J.Crew  sandals , ME+EM  leather clutch bag . 

I'm wearing: Iris & Ink crepe gilet, COS white jeans, J.Crew sandals, ME+EM leather clutch bag

Piazzo San Marco 

Piazzo San Marco 

Bellinis at the RIVA Lounge, Gritti Palace  //  Bridge of Sighs

Bellinis at the RIVA Lounge, Gritti Palace  //  Bridge of Sighs

Eat/Drink:

RIVA Lounge at the Gritti Palace: now I'm not just saying this because I stayed there, because if you want beautiful views of the Grand Canal, brilliant service and the best Bellinis you've ever tasted, this place should be top of your list!

Harry's Bar: grab a drink in this Venice drinking institution - go for the Bellinis here too if the peaches are in season!

Dinner at Trattoria Antiche Carampane: order the spaghetti vongole, you won't regret it. 

Lunch/ snack at All'Arco: located a little off the beaten track, it's a great respite from the Venitian tourist traps - of which there are many.. Order a bottle of Prosecco and their little open sandwiches. 

Get a taxi (or the RIVA if you're staying at the Gritti and feeling plush) and ride out to Ristorante Da Celeste for fresh fish and seafood (and more Prosecco!)

Do:

Wake up early: explore Venice while everyone is still sleeping. Venice is busy at any time of year, but in summer it gets crazy. You can barely walk down its narrow streets for the throng of tourists, so I went out at 7am before breakfast, which was still not quite early enough (others had the same idea), but I got to see an almost empty Piazza San Marco. 

Wander the fresh food market: and watch the gulls steal the fish from the stalls - it's quite a sight to see the giant birds swooping down onto the stalls to catch a quick meal! And the market in itself is perfect photo fodder. 

See glass-blowing on the island of Murano: call ARS Cenedese ahead for a little tour and check out their amazing showroom! Everyone from Nicole Kidman to Robin Williams has been there. 

I stayed at The Gritti Palace and big thanks to Starwood & The Luxury Collection for making this trip possible. 

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White Heat

Ah heat -  the sun briefly reared its head a couple of weeks ago, only to disappear behind a blanket of grey cloud more recently. These photos were shot on a fortuitously sunny day at the Palais de Tokyo (one of my favourite Paris galleries) before we had our little short-lived heatwave a couple of weekends ago (remember me wearing my off the shoulder Ganni top?). Luckily, in between passing clouds, brilliant white sun shone down onto the sand coloured stone building – making it look deceptively hot and like I'm basking in its rays. It was nippy at best (and freezing in the shadow).

{An aside note: now you may or may not know that I'm British (well half - other is American, but I spent my whole life in the UK before moving to Paris, besides an ERASMUS year in Valencia, Spain during university), and we are notoriously known for talking about the weather. I do it on a daily basis, it's part of my culture - having grown up on an island that is regularly battered by the elements, so forgive me if I often prattle on about it!}

As soon as spring hits, I fish out my parka – it’s lightweight so good for the (ever so slightly) warmer weather, and has a hood – protection for any of those frequent spring showers. I’m currently looking out of the window at a friend's in London, while I write this and am watching the grey sky fill with rain clouds – so a hood is a necessitiy, if not one of those clear hooded gagools that they dish out at the Niagara Falls for example? I joke (kind of).

This particular one is from A.P.C and I’ve had it going on 5 years.  A parka is a wardrobe essential and you can’t go wrong Khaki – it goes with everything and it’s refreshing adding a little green to your closet as the season changes. Other great options: here, here, here and here

I also start wearing white when spring comes around. This year I'm being a bit more daring and wearing it top to toe, rather tricky when you live in a city, it's better on the beach - but I will persevere!  It crops up on the catwalks every year as it's just so easy to wear (as long as you don't go near red wine, spaghetti bolognese, animals, general everyday life) and will keep you cool when the heat finally hits. [Scroll down for outfit links!]

I'm wearing:

ME+EM white jeans (they run a little big so take a size down // & Other Stories Silver Shoes // Ray Bans // COS bow front shirt shirt - similar Topshop one here, Ellery one here and Tibi here // Tom Ford  // Noir Jewellery earrings from the Outnet, similar here

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Photos of me by Roxanne Matiz, edited by me. 

'Marissa' the Midi

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. 

Leopard Print shoes from J.Crew, similar here // Iris & Ink Marissa Tie-Waist skirt from The Outnet // Bomber jacket from & Other Stories, similar here // Ribbed Tee from Topshop, similar here // Cream leather Clutch from ME+EM here // Ray Bans, here.

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Photos by Haleigh Walsworth, edited by me. 

Spring Blues

Iris & Ink bag, similar here,  Iris & Ink Gilet ,  Stan Smith trainers ,  Ray Ban Sunglasses ,  COS jeans , White tee, similar  here  and  MAC lipstick .

Iris & Ink bag, similar here, Iris & Ink GiletStan Smith trainers, Ray Ban Sunglasses, COS jeans, White tee, similar here and MAC lipstick.

As I write this, the rain is pummelling against the window (Tina Turner style – ironically she’s live from Rio here, which is where I’d much rather be right now…), and yes I can’t stand the rain. It's cold and it’s miserable out there, nothing I wear seems to protect me from the big huge drops falling left, right and centre, and I’ve literally felt like I’ve been cold for six months, travelling with a hot water bottle (unless it’s to somewhere tropical) wherever I go. Suffice to say, it might be time to emigrate to LA…

So my intention with shooting a spring(ier) style post (i.e. sans big warm dressing gown coat from COS, which I’ve been living in during those said cold six months), was to help kickstart warmer weather (even if it’s just in my mind). I photographed it on a much sunnier, yet not much warmer day (fittingly), outside a blue door that I spotted on a recent bike ride through le Marais - thinking it'd make a nice backdrop to my almost all blue attire. Despite being the colour of cold, I’m a big advocate for blue, or rather navy. It’s not as somber as black, but just as easy to wear - throw on and mix up with neutral shades and pretty much any colour and pattern. And it can be worn right through to summer – it’s an all season, all weather colour. Just top with a beige trench and slap on a lighter lip colour and you’re dressed for spring(ish), just don’t forget your umbrella!

Photos of me by Haleigh Walsworth, edited by me. 

Lisbon // Part 1

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! 

Pastel de natas at  A Brasileira

Pastel de natas at A Brasileira

Alice Gao  browsing books in  Livraria Sa Da Costa

Lisbon Guide:

  • 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. 

 

The Little Black Dress

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?

Carven dress, The Outnet, similar here / Marni Bag, The Outnet / J.Crew shoes 

Necklace, Links of London, similar here / Lipstick, Lady Danger from Mac

Photos of me by Joann Pai

Currently Coveting: the Striped Shirt

Every month I generally get a little obsessed with an item of clothing, whether it's new or if I revisit something old that hasn't seen the light of day for a while (you might have noticed my navy / burgundy combo that I think I might have almost had enough of!) Although I get bored easily and hate doing the same thing over and over again, I am nonetheless a creature of habit and get very attached to things. The same goes for my clothes. Once I fall in love with something I will wear it over and over again - styling it in different ways, until I realise that I'm meeting a friend wearing the same thing as I did last time we met. They probably don't even bat an eyelid, but I like to pride myself in what I wear. My current obsession is a striped shirt - in particular this silk pyjama style by Iris & Ink available on The Outnet, which I can already feel is going to become a wardrobe staple. I'm envisioning it over jeans, tucked into high waisted black tailored trousers or a denim skirt come summer.  But I'm also liking this (it says pyjama shirt, but you could easily wear it over a pair of black jeans), this and this. What's your favourite item at the moment? 

Thea striped boyfriend shirt, Iris & Ink