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Finding accessories in London

By Anna Reid

Finding the right accessories in London

Many a time have I, an Englishwoman, studied my French sisters with a green eye. How did they get to look so good? It's a whole host of things, from looking after their skin to endless dieting to compulsive window shopping. Ask a Frenchwoman and she will explain that for one thing, they are very good at buying accessories. When you learn that "Au Printemps" has an entire floor full of these, you will understand that the French are serious about accessories.

You may laugh, but if that's what it takes, let's review how you can purchase French accessories in London. That way you can look especially good during the party season. Bear in mind that when a Frenchwoman dresses to impress, she matches her bag, shoes, scarf and lipstick, however knows how to keep a subtle balance so that one element does not dominate; instead a pleasant harmony presides. Hey, no-one said it was going to be easy!

First and foremost, let's consider nice little French handbags in bright colours. I have one word for you: Longchamp. There is a range of handbags called "Le pliage", so named because they are made of folding canvas. The smallest size is pounds 36, the medium size is pounds 44:50 and the large size is pounds 48. The bags can be cleaned with soap and water and it's even possible to get them designed to your specifications and shipped out from the company via their website, adding a shipping cost (the cost of shipping one item - Euros 12) - the website address is Longchamp also have a store at 28 New Bond Street, phone number 020 7493 5515.

    Sac pliable Longchamp
Should you be looking for an elaborate, fun and feminine accessory such as a hair clip with feathers or for a sparkly pair of earrings, Cherry Chau sells her wares at Selfridges and at Harvey Nichols. This said, the range is charming but not cheap, with the feathered hair clips at around pounds 60 and the earrings at pounds 40. Some people have been known to wear the hair clips in place of hats at Ascot. La Redoute does an accessories section of the on-line catalogue which caters for many different tastes. They deliver to the UK and are very reasonably priced. Their address is: . and they have belts, scarves, gloves and jewellery on sale with pictures.
an example of Cherry Chau hair acessories
  Top of the page Now let us turn to that other standby of accessories, le maquillage, always remembering that there is no substitute for well cared-for skin. Bourjois makes some really good products at rock-bottom prices and can be bought at high-street stores such as Boots and Superdrug. I am particularly fond of their sparkling eye-shadows, which come in gold and silver. If you have good brushes you can create a much more expensive effect with this than you might think. I also think that Chanel's "Rouge Noir" nail varnish is certainly worth its weight in gold. Actual cost: pounds 12. Chanel nail varnish Rouge-Noir
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Finally, for leaving that alluring vapour trail behind you, step into Liberty's perfume hall on Regent Street, and check the latest greatest in French perfume. Particularly noteworthy is the latest Guerlain scent, "L'instant de Guerlain", which smells of mandarin and bergamot, comprises notes of magnolia and also has a vanilla, benzoin and musk accord. A new sort of perfume has been created, "l'ambre cristallin" and the three accords can be smelled variously over time on the skin. What is particularly attractive is the way that the picture in the ad campaign, of a woman's low-backed dress, is mirrored in the shape of the bottle. The 30ml bottle of perfume is pounds 31, and the accompanying body lotion and shower gel are pounds 27:50 and pounds 22:50 respectively. Good for Christmas is the gift set of eau de parfum (50ml) and body lotion, which come in a beautiful coffret at pounds 44.

Liberty sells all manner of fragrances from France, including Creed, the historic royal perfumer, and has particularly nice and patient assistants on hand. Another new perfume for this season is the fragrance by Lanvin, "�clat d'Arpège." This starts at pounds 35 for a beautiful purple bottle of light yet lasting scent, resting on base notes of musk after a fresh and flowery start, which includes lemon, lilac, peach flower and green tea. The scent was made to do homage to the original Arpège, which was created to symbolize the relationship between mother and daughter.

Guerlain perfume bottle L'Instant Guerlain

Lanvin perfume bottle Eclat d'Arpege

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Whatever you choose, be it new make-up, a belt, or new perfume, be aware not to overdo things. Just keep classic icons in mind such as Carole Bouquet. Judicious use of the new and the classics is the hallmark of chic French women, always in harmony of course with the total look. We can all take a little inspiration from our French sisters, especially when we remember they work hard to look that effortlessly beautiful.
  Top of the page Addresses
Selfridges - 400 Oxford Street, W1 - phone 08708 377 377
Harvey Nichols - Knightsbridge - phone 020 7235 1857
Liberty's - Regent St, W1 - phone 020 7734 1234
Longchamp - 28 New Bond Street, phone number 020 7493 5515.


30/08/2012 - natha_sk said :

Another site for great accessories is


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