An Afternoon at WilliamVintage

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One of the highlights of my trip to London was visiting the amazing WilliamVintage store in Marylebone and getting to spend some time with the shop’s owner, William Banks-Blaney. Simply calling Will kind would be a bit of an understatement – in the midst of his insanely busy schedule, which included prepping for a Monday morning Vogue shoot, he traveled clear across London on a Friday afternoon to open his store for me. Together we pored over his entire collection with him sharing stories and pointing out the amazing details in the construction of his pieces while I “ooo’ed” and “ahh’ed” and fell in love with everything.

I’ve said it before but – to me, Will has one of the coolest jobs around. He travels around the world unearthing forgotten fashion treasures, each replete with a rich history. He’s passionate about his work, has impeccable taste, and spends his days giving gorgeous vintage pieces a home in contemporary fashion. Sounds pretty good to me! His store is absolutely beautiful in every way and I’m so happy we were able to work out a visit. After all the dress “ooo” ing and “ahh” ing, we went on a little field trip to Borough Market where I was introduced to a satanically scrumptious sausage/pastry combo and amazing coffee. It’s always so great to see a city with a native who knows and loves it. Little known secret: if this whole fashion thing doesn’t work out, Will’s got an amazing future as a tour guide. Although, lets be real, I think the first option is working out pretty well!

Photos below including my very favorite burgundy 1956 Sybil Connolly dress and a to die for row of LBD’s. Also love the beautifully color coded racks, which somehow look way better than when I attempt this in my own closet…

IMG_0112On this rack: Louis Feraud DressSybil Connolly 2 piece ensemble, Dynasty two piece jumpsuit, Balenciaga Haute Couture Dress

IMG_0080Sybil Connolly Couture Dress

IMG_0078IMG_0107On this rack: Dior Dress, Hardy Amies Dress, Dior New York Dress

IMG_0116Ossie Clark Dress

IMG_0086Dior Haute Couture Dress Suit 

IMG_00752 Fortuny Delphos Gowns

Maggie Rouff Haute Couture TunicMaggie Rouff Haute Couture Tunic

IMG_0093Balenciaga Haute Couture Suit Jacket

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 WilliamVintage

2 Marylebone St.

London W1G 8JQ

Shop by appt. only (but don’t let that stop you!): +44 207 487 4322

Shop online here.

 And for even more vintage couture goodness, follow WilliamVintage on Twitter, FB, Pinterest and Instagram!

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Destination Wanderlust: London

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I was beyond excited to explore London for a few days last week; there’s nothing I love more than a new city to roam in search of coffee, markets, museums and cute shops. Here’s some things I learned in London: flat whites are far superior to lattes or cappuccinos, an ATM is called a “cash point”, cabs don’t take credit cards, the streets don’t always connect or lead where you think, post codes are really important, it will rain, and Shoreditch/Hackney is my ‘hood.

…sorry Chicago, London may have just a small bit of my heart now.

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1. The Modern Pantry – 47-48 St John’s Square. Clerkenwell. London. EC1V 4JJ

2. Tate Modern – Bankside. London. SE1 9TG

3. Columbia Road Flower Market –  Columbia Rd. London. E2 7RG

4. Zetter Townhouse – 49-50 St John’s Square. London. EC1V 4JJ

5. The Ginger Pig, Borough Market – London Bridge. SE1 1TL

6. Royal Academy – Burlington House. Piccadilly. London W1J 0BD

7. Camden Market – Camden High St. London. NW1 8NH

8. Charles Dickens Museum – 48 Doughty St. London. WC1N 2LX

9. Southbank Arts Centre/Queen’s Walk – Belvedere Road. London. SE1 8XX

10. WilliamVintage – 2 Marylebone St. London. W1G 8JQ

11. The Hoxton Shoreditch – 81 Great Eastern St. London. EC2A 3HU

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Style Crush: Hannah Reid of London Grammar

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Sometimes, you come across people who are just so achingly and effortlessly cool it hurts. This is an apt description of how I feel about Hannah Reid, lead singer of London Grammar, in a nutshell. Her minimalist, downtown, casual style is one of my ultimate style inspirations. Somehow my casual separates paired together never look this chic. Her style staples include vintage Levi’s, cozy cropped sweaters, black leather jackets, denim jackets and Converse paired with a chic bun and bohemian braids.

(Beyond her obvious ultimate hipness, she also endearingly likes to instagram many photos of her cat and somehow this makes me like her even more. Don’t mind me, dorky girl crush moment happening here.)

Check out some more photos of Hannah’s simple but awesome style below!

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 The best part is her style doesn’t take a ton of time nor money to emulate but you’ll still look amazing. (Though the worst part is the goddess like voice and British accent don’t come with it.)

Want to be as effortlessly cool as Hannah? Shop the post below!

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Smith Optics Summer Sunnies

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Doesn’t a great pair of sunglasses make every outfit instantly just a bit cooler? (Unless you’re wearing them inside. At night. In which case, you just look slightly douchey.) I’m so in love with my new Smith Optics sunglasses.  They’re a rounded frame with a cat eye shape. Slightly oversized but not enough to make you look like a bug. With some awesome polar gray green lenses, they’re just as perfect for summer walking adventures in the hills as they are for the pool or beach.  At just over $100, they won’t break the bank either. Black isn’t available online at the moment but snag this perfect for summer, bright pink pair from Altitude Sports instead!

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{H&M white dress/tunic (similar here or here), Madewell boots (similar here or here,) Free People bralette, Smith Optics sunglasses}

*sunglasses gifted, but my opinion that they’re awesome is completely true.

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Wanderlust: Santa Fe

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Sometimes, a day of wandering around a new place on your own without any set destination is just what the doctor ordered. On this day in Santa Fe, I found some beautiful bright colors, a calming park with a picturesque stream, some great coffee and a pretty fierce looking graffiti owl. Spent some afternoon time on a comfy couch in a local bookstore poring over photos from a travel coffee table book.  Ended the day at a chocolate house with some chili chocolate. (Where I was so excited about the chocolate apparently, all I could manage was a blurry photo.) If all this isn’t a great day, then I don’t know what is. Here’s to wandering!

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Places Visited:

1. Eldorado Hotel & Spa – 309 W San Francisco St.

2. Santa Fe River Park 

3. Holy Spirit Espresso – 225 W. San Francisco St.

4. Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse – 202 Galisteo Street

5. Kakawa Chocolate House – 1050 E. Paseo de Peralta

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