My favourite concept stores in 2014

As we are now in 2015, I am doing a retrospect on the places I appreciated shopping the most for different fashion.

Yes by that I mean, items not everyone will be seen sporting with a higher price tag than Zara, but most definitely a higher quality and that Oomph factor which can sometimes be seen lacking when it comes to the Spanish giant.

As most of you know, I’m regularly traveling around to see and find what clients want and dream.

I’ve been to many a place in 2014 and can only be grateful everything went smoothly and I got to meet great individuals who breathe and dream fashion.

Anyhow if, like me, you’re a bit difficult, want something edgy without being the 1000x twin of the girls on instagram, those are my favourite shops « concept stores » in Europe, Japan aannnd Seoul.

1. KURE Dansaert

Well I went there after looking for Anine Bing studded boots, I had been dreaming of these for a long time but I was definitely super scared to order from the US, you know the usual imma gonna pay my house rent on custom fees fright? Well thanks to Cyrielle (who’s a fab person trust me), I was able to get the boots I was totally lusting over (and the sandals too). The price was totally at par with the US price, what’s more? She’s got sick style (yes she does), so you kinda know that when you go there you’ll end up with good advice and fab items. The prices are much lower than your usual logo-ego trip (I can’t be hating cos I do love one of those trips every now and then). However it’s nice to wear something not a gazillion over-styled-‘grammers will wear. Although I do think they’re very successful. So i’ve ordered once, went to Brussels once, had a lovely waffle et all, drank beer and went shopping. I came back and realised I did not have everything I wanted so now, well I order online from here http://kure-eshop.com/.

This is what this lovely store looks like (thanks guys for the pics they’re much better than the ones I took).

KURE DANSAERT

 

The store is located in central brussels (www.sncb.be OR www.idbus.com if you’re on a budget) if you’re visiting europe i must tell you that Brussels is as much as London and or Paris, a must visit tag for fashion people. The prices are the same as Paris and there is less tourists, the shop owners are usually lovely and really want to make their stores stand out (which is not always the place in Paris where they simply don’t care). The customer service is beyond lovely, there is no word. It is different than London though, it’s a bit akin to italian SA’s, they really seem to care about their clients (empathy always works). In any case these are my ratings on the store

Pro: 9/10 (whether online or walking if you’re order the day after your package is on its way, even big french houses don’t go so fast)

Prices: 8/10 (it’s not upper fashion so don’t expect the prices of Chanel and the likes, it is more similar to Maje and Sandro, with a twist because no one else has it, great fashion at great prices can you do better?)

Sympathy: 9/10 (seriously when you visit, you just want to come back, again, and again, and again).

Variety of brands: 8/10 (they have many upcoming « not so big » designers who make great garments, a very nice selection in today’s minimalist trends). The list includes: Anine Bing, Chiara Ferragni (Ferragni seems to appreciate the store too so, pretty good thing right?), Samsoe Samsoe (my new scandi love), Margaux Lonnberg ( a favourite amongst french fashion lovers), and many more

Overal rating 8,5/10 (will definitely keep popping back).

IMG_4551_Fotor IMG_4566_Fotor IMG_4526_Fotor

Where to go: Dansaert Street 48 – 1000 Brussels (better to touch down at Central Station go for a quiet walk through the busy Brussels street and end up in the fashionable area of brussels, Dansaert Street).

2. Who’s who Gallery Kyoto

I went on honeymoon this year and decided that IF i was to hit Japan (country of many fashionista dreams at least for me), I had to own some of the coolitude japanese tourists demonstrate whenever they are in Paris. However I went to Tokyo and although I absolutely LOVED Dover Street Market i was left with a sour sweet taste in the mouth as most of what I WANTED, was sold out in nearly all the stores. Anyhow I did not think Kyoto would deliver, you know the whole Ginza/Shibuya dream thang. Whatever, as we were once again walking for literally AGES (and i thought i was going to collapse), I found my Oasis in the middle of arcades streets. Yes, they had water, nice smelly candles, lovely staff and that minimal thing of a concept store. I was wanting a crop top knit turtleneck and couldnt find it anywhere in Europe. Me the fashion-goer who’s got something new on her wishlist, every goddam day. Anyhow as i walked up and down the store (it is two storey high), i found around so many stuff that I wanted to purchase that I would have had to purchase a pack of new suitcases to come home (hubby said NAE), so i had to choose wisely (and i’m not renown to be wise, mostly crazy and unable to express myself when i’m overcome with fashion passion). After I had tried on nearly EVERY THING the store had, because I had to choose wisely remember? I finally picked up a hat, a trench (you know the ones that are all the rage right now waterfally-esque and black), a pair of shoes, jeans and a knit. I realised my hubby was looking in disbelief, I ended up taking the knit as it was far and foremost my one must have for japan (and a few stuff i’ll talk about later on and it’s not going to be glorious trust me).

Who's who gallery

I left thinking this meant revenge, or else a part II (or sequel as we call them). Well I soon realised when I came back that this store had a fab website and an even more fab … e-shop (http://www.whoswho-g.jp/ and the E shop is here -> http://www.palcloset.jp/shop/whoswhogallery/).

Pro: 8/10 (I don’t speak japanese so that’s why it’s an 8, because the salesgirl was just LOVELY, she was like a wee doll)

Prices: 7/10 (the prices were a bit high, but then again that’s Japan for you, the prices did not always reflect the quality of the clothing but the models were what I wanted)

Sympathy: 9/10 (they put up with me, unsure tourist that wanted to try on everything, nuff said).

Variety of brands: 7/10 (it’s not really a brand thing nor a designer thing, it’s really a model thing, the items they sell have flawless cut I thing, the variety may not be huge though cos everything was labelled who’s who).

Overal rating 7,5/10 (will definitely be thinking whether to order online but i’m a bit scared of customs and all).

Where to go: Yongle Town, address 225 down Kyoto Chukyo-ku Teramachi (best to look and check on google maps i found the store by surprise).

3. Aland Hongdae Branch Seoul

As my husband and I were staying in student-y packed Hongdae (I was being snobbed though, I found the youth to be a bit too trendy wombly), we passed by this use thing that looked like an alien in the middle of rich students’ hood. Obviously I was drawn to it. I really enjoyed all the items proposed there, the prices were MAD for the items they were selling (and good quality too), however the electronic music which made it look like a dancefloor really got me turn nasty. I suppose it’s age, although I do think it’s probably a taste thing. I simply HATE electronic music. Yes you read me right. I am a former Rough Trade Brick Lane London recruit. Obviously such lame music really made me pest (and you should have seen me OH MY GOD THAT’S BEAUTIFULLLLL, oh GOSH I HATE THAT GODDAM MUSIC). It was very much like Larry David with a love of frock.

DSC_1407 DSC_1405 DSC_1404 DSC_1403 DSC_1402

I ended up not buying a thing, but regretting it, but the sound, man.. the sound. Where’s rock’n’roll? I’m a rock girl. My dad used to hang with Jimmy Page, I used to hang out in the same pub as Kate Moss, I spoke for a brief moment with Stella McCartney at Glasto… no seriously THIS WAS NOT IT. Anyway, let’s get back to fashion. If you can afford losing your ears in favor of making your eyes happy, then Aland is the place to go shopping in Seoul. The brands are super cheap, the quality is pretty good and the diversity is simply astounding. It’s a bit of a shame though that koreans act in such a rude manner. I am korean don’t get me wrong, but I guess I simply cannot buy the whole you’re ugly and fat don’t buy in my store thing. It’s probably best to go online shopping at Aland (http://www.a-land.co.kr/shop/)

Pro: 5/10 (mostly young students working there)

Prices: 9/10 (the prices were so low for such sleek designs)

Sympathy: 3/10 (definitely not friendly, korea needs to learn something called « customer care » if you tell clients they’re fat and ugly no one’s going to come back).

Variety of brands: 9/10 (there really is a lot of choices).

Overal rating 5/10 (if it wasn’t for the prices, quality and variety of clothing I would say run, however if you can snob them even more than they do then go for it, e-shopping probably yes, but just the music, the horrible SA’s that you look you up and down like they’re the best thing since sliced bread… next).

Where to go: 서울 마포구 서교동 357-4  (best to look and check on google maps i found the store by surprise).

 

4 and 5. Dover Street Market London and Ginza

How could I not talk about those stores? they simply are some of the first ones that ever existed. The hipster chic at the highest and to me so much sweeter than Paris Colette. Why? Because there are more « simple » brands. For example in Ginza i found all the Comme des Garçons play shirts. Now if only it had not been the ones i already had (especially since they simply refused to sell me anything at CDG Kyoto… must write the store a note that was simply shocking). Anyway, DSM was just lovely. Such a beautiful store and the salespeople were beautiful. I must also point out that CDG is half the price in Japan as it is in Europe (yes plenty crazy), they had a lof oa cool contemporary lines but for me CDG was really the point of it.

London is very cool too, however too crowded (everytime I tried it was fully packed), so it’s a bit hard, however the store is really easy to find online.

In the meantime i’m presenting you DSM Ginza

1f01 4f02

Pro: 7/10 (a lot of young wokers who sometimes don’t have the experience in sizing as elder salespeople)

Prices: 7/10 (quite pricey but you know they’re classic and hip at the same time, difficult right?)

Sympathy: 7/10 (definitely better than Aland, but not at par with WWG).

Variety of brands: 7/10 (there is a choice yes but it’s hipster choice).

Overal rating 7/10 (i’d come back again just for that CDG shirt i want, now i probably don’t wanna go back to a proper CDG store).

Where to go:  6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo 104-0061, Japon  (hop off on the yellow line stop ginza).

J’ai testé pour vous le spa Nuxe

Hello les girls,

Ce petit billet dominical pour vous parler d’un spa Nuxe. Avec les vacances encore éloignées pour certaines d’entre nous (dont je fais partie … encore deux mois d’attente), mon compagnon et moi sommes tous les deux à cran et très fatigué. Du coup nous avons décidé de nous rendre en Normandie pour manger du camembert (non je déconne). Nous nous sommes rendus en Normandie pour un petit weekend détente en amoureux.

Départ : Vendredi sur les starting blocks (c’est à dire sac weekend Lancel déjà finalisé avec MacBook, iPad pour le côté geek et nouvel appareil Samsung nx1000 dans le sac). Le trafic était encore un peu dense mais aucun problème particulier. Bonne note pour la Normandie? Pas de péage  (bah oui ça compte). 1h30 plus ou moins de Paris Sud Est. La route vraiment pas trop compliquée et nous avons surtout roulé sur des nationales.

Arrivée : à 21h00 sur place, notre réservation était bien prise en compte, rien à redire l’accueil est vraiment top.

Notre joli hotel

Notre joli hotel

Notre chambre était tout aussi jolie et coquette

Notre magnifique chambre

Nous avons dîné sur place et voici le met succulent auquel nous avons eu droit ^_^

galette de sarrasin avec salade, pomme (du terroir), camembert du terror, cidre du terroir

galette de sarrasin avec salade, pomme (du terroir), camembert du terror, cidre du terroir

Le lendemain nous avons eu le meilleur petit déjeuner ainsi qu’une première idée du spa NUXE

Il y a plusieurs types de soins délivrés au SPA de Lyons-la-forêt.

Il y a plusieurs types de soins délivrés au SPA de Lyons-la-forêt.

Après ce petit dej gargantuesque nous nous sommes rendus vers la piscine et le spa, nous n’avions pris que certaines options : piscine, jacuzzi, hammam, sauna, douche avec des produits nuxe. Des notre arrivée nous avons été charmé par la petite maison dans laquelle se trouvaient la piscine et autres soins balnéo.

Le spa Nuxe

Le spa Nuxe

Terrasse du spa NUXE

Terrasse du spa NUXE

Nous avons donc commencé par le Jacuzzi

Jacuzzi: Nous étions seul et avons donc profité allègrement des jets d’eau puissant pour nous masser les épaules et dos. Verdict : j’en referais! j’ai adoré

Piscine: Bon bu la température du moment… comment ne pas kiffer? une mention particulière au côté in et out de la piscine. C’est à dire qu’une partie est sous les toits et là l’eau est assez chaude et l’autre dehors (avec transats etc) elle est un peu plus froide mais tout aussi douce et c’est tellement agréable. J’ai utilisé de l’huile sêche Nuxe au soleil… ça rend quand même un de ces hâle à la peau

Hammam: à visiter avant le sauna. Je rappelle que le hammam est une pièce très chaude et très lourde et humide. Mon compagnon à détester, moi j’ai adoré. J’ai senti mon esprit monter et mes bronches se nettoyer (après ma grosse angine du mois de juin)… nous sommes restés 10 minutes.

Sauna : super, j’adore les saunas et bains publics en corée que je visite dès que je peux quand je retourne à Séoul et ça m’a enchantée. Nous sommes restés 15mins le temps de se sentir revivre. Pour information le sauna est un endroit sec, mais chaud. il convient de jeter de l’eau sur les cailloux chaud pour diminuer un peu la température. Chéri a adoré, moi aussi

De là nous sommes partis bronzer tout en sirotant une des tisanes mises à la disposition des clients. Avant de partir déjeuner nous avons pris une douche avec des produits Nuxe (quelle qualité!). Du coup j’en ai profité pour acheter quelques produits: j’ai profité d’une promo (ok fête des mères mais c’est pas grave lol) deux huiles sèches normale et or ainsi que la crème hydratante prodigieuse (que j’ai essayé déjà et que j’ad0000re). Pour les voyages une petite trousse regroupant tous les best sellers de la marque.

Nuxe produits acheté au spa

Nuxe produits acheté au spa

Donc on récapitule. L’hôtel où nous sommes restés se trouve à Lyons-la-Forêt, l’hôtel se nomme les lions de Beauclerc et La Licorne Royale. C’est la même boîte qui gère les deux. Verdict final: j’y retournerai si j’ai la possibilité et le temps. Je suis tellement mieux, ma peau est vraiment douce, mes épaules et mon dos sont très relaxes. Ca m’a fait un bien fou.

a bientôt pour des nouvelles aventures modesques ou pas.