Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Joieria Bagués Masriera

In the heart of Barcelona's Paseo de Gracia, a gem of a different kind sparkles and shines with a century-long legacy of exquisite craftsmanship and unparalleled artistry. Joieria Bagués Masriera, a renowned jeweller and a true treasure of Catalonia, has been enchanting jewellery connoisseurs with its mesmerizing creations since 1839. As you step into their world, you're greeted not just by precious stones but by a rich history and an enduring commitment to excellence that transcends time.

Founded by talented jewellers, the Masriera brothers, Bagués Masriera is a name synonymous with innovation and sophistication in the world of jewellery. The company's origins can be traced back to the 19th century when Lluis Masriera, the patriarch of the Masriera family, established a workshop in Barcelona to create exceptional jewellery pieces. His pioneering spirit and dedication to the art of jewellery making laid the foundation for the iconic brand we know today.

One of the hallmarks of Bagués Masriera is their mastery of the art of enamel. The company's intricate enamelwork has captivated jewellery enthusiasts for generations. Each piece is a testament to the painstaking craftsmanship that goes into creating these miniature masterpieces. The delicate fusion of enamel with precious metals and gemstones produces jewellery that is not just beautiful but also a celebration of artistic expression.

´Nature has long been a muse for Joieria Bagués Masriera's artisans. Their jewellery often reflects the flora and fauna of Catalonia, with designs that incorporate elements like flowers, insects, and animals. The use of vibrant enamel to bring these motifs to life adds a unique depth and character to each piece. Whether it's a brooch adorned with delicate butterflies or a necklace featuring blooming roses, the jewellery captures the essence of the natural world in all its glory.´ - Charles Daniel McDonald

The brand has never rested on its laurels and over the years has continued to push the boundaries of jewellery design and innovation. Their commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry is evident in their innovative use of materials, such as titanium, which adds a contemporary twist to their classic designs. This forward-thinking approach keeps the brand relevant and ensures that their creations continue to mesmerise new generations of jewellery enthusiasts.

In 1917, Bagués Masriera became affiliated with the Bagués family, renowned for their expertise in diamonds and gemstones. This union of two venerable jewellery families marked a pivotal moment in the brand's history, elevating its reputation as a purveyor of extraordinary jewels. Today, the Bagués-Masriera connection remains strong, ensuring that the legacy of exceptional craftsmanship endures.

Whilst rooted in Catalonia, the brand has not limited its enchanting creations to Spain alone, and its global presence has grown steadily, with its jewellery now gracing the collections of discerning collectors worldwide. Each piece retains its distinctive Catalan charm while appealing to a diverse international audience.

´For those seeking a truly one-of-a-kind piece of jewellery, Joieria Bagués Masriera offers a bespoke service that allows clients to collaborate with the brand's master artisans. From selecting gemstones to crafting unique designs, this personalised experience ensures that the jewellery you receive is a reflection of your individual style and vision. It's a testament to the brand's commitment to delivering not just jewellery but a deeply personal and meaningful connection with their clients.´ - Charles Daniel McDonald

In an age where mass production often overshadows artistry, Bagués Masriera remains a torchbearer of handcrafted excellence. The brand's commitment to preserving traditional jewellery-making techniques is not just a nod to the past but a statement of their dedication to timeless craftsmanship. Each piece is a labour of love, meticulously created by skilled artisans who have honed their craft over generations.

When you wear a piece from Joieria Bagués Masriera, you're not just adorning yourself with jewellery; you're carrying a piece of history, art, and Catalonia with you. Each piece is an invitation to step into a world where elegance and artistry converge, where nature's beauty is immortalised in enamel and precious metals, and where the legacy of innovation continues to shine brightly.

Bagués Masriera is more than a jewellers; it's a living testament to the enduring power of artistry and craftsmanship. For over a century, this Barcelona treasure has been crafting jewels that transcend time, encapsulating the spirit of Catalonia and the beauty of the natural world in every piece. With each creation, Bagués Masriera invites us to embrace the past, celebrate the present, and cherish the future - where the magic of jewellery making continues to shine brilliantly.

Miu Miu’s Reality-Driven S/S´24 Show

Miuccia Prada’s spring/summer 2024 Miu Miu show continued her exploration of reality-driven styling, with dishevelled layering, lived-in knitwear and short-shorts and colourful plasters fixed to the feet as an accessory. Below, Anders Christian Madsen reports from Paris Fashion Week.

Things got real

Few brands are as present on the real pavements of the world’s capitals these days as Miu Miu. The momentum Miuccia Prada has created with the real-girl look she started carving out some four seasons ago reflects and impacts a current desire for realness. Because when you talk about Miu Miu that word keeps popping up: real. On the final day of the show season, she amplified and almost fetishized that idea as real-life real-girl representatives Sydney Sweeney, Emma Chamberlain and Mia Goth looked on from the front row.

The Miu Miu look intensified

Prada re-established the Miu Miu silhouette that’s seen recent collections fly off the shelves: skimpy hemlines expressed in knickers (worn as daywear), shorts and tiny tennis skirts paired with oversized blazers, bombers and coats. Triangular tops styled with low-slung tailored trousers continued the Y2K vibe beloved by a new generation of shoppers. The collection was underpinned by a decidedly preppy mood that riffed on an American idea of ease: crested jackets over polo shirts over shirts worn with Bermuda shorts.

The wardrobe felt lived-in

Prada imbued her garments and accessories with what she called “traces of living”: marks on leathers and suedes, and fabrics that faded as if they’d been washed too many times. She called the pre-worn sensibility an expression of “existing love” demonstrated by the repeated use of clothes. A similar sensibility was reflected in the “real” styling of the slightly dishevelled layering of dresses, jumpsuits, cardigans and T-shirts, which evolved the barely-got-out-bed look that characterised last season’s collection. As a brilliant nod to real life, the toes of flip-flop-wearing models were adorned wore neon-coloured plasters.

There were moments of gold

Fashion’s current appetite for the anti-ostentatious may have been represented in the realness of the Miu Miu collection, but Miuccia Prada is also aware that this mentality isn’t that real; that the young people who wear Miu Miu are driven by a desire to dress up. The gold-foiled dresses and skirt suits – not to mention the opera coat that closed the show – brought that element of fantasy to proceedings and served as a reminder that a real-girl mentality doesn’t have to be dull.

It was a Miu Miu hall of fame

As always, the Miu Miu show came with a stellar cast: singer Troye Sivan flew the flag for the Miu Miu boy, while actors Cailee Spaeny and Mame Bineta Sane were joined by the artist Petra Collins and the photographer Eddy Aldridge. New-era Miu Miu girls Gigi Hadid and Amelia Gray Hamlin were back to welcome the original models that paved the Miu Miu way: May Anderson, Rosemary Ferguson, Liu Wen, and Karolin Wolter.

Chanel’s Villa Noailles-Inspired S/S´24 Show

For spring/summer 2024, Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard was inspired by the gardens of Villa Noailles in Hyères, in the south of France. Below, Vogue fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen shares his key takeaways.

It was ease à la Chanel

The idea of ease has been omnipresent throughout the spring/summer 2024 shows. A product of quiet luxury – fashion’s current term for simplified sophistication – it’s not just about the notion of a casual wardrobe, but the desire for clothes that look put-together without being complicated; that look dressy in an effortless way. At Chanel, Virginie Viard went to town on that feeling in a collection that said relax.

It was inspired by Villa Noailles

Calling her collection “an ode to liberty and to movement”, Viard took inspiration from the gardens of Villa Noailles: the modernist masterpiece in the hills of Hyères designed by the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens in 1923 for Gabrielle Chanel’s art-patron friends Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles. Divided into square “gardens”, her show set evoked the geometry that defines the villa’s architecture.

It was pattern-centric

Viard translated the cubist chequered gardens and geometric colour patterns of Villa Noailles into a pattern-centric collection where every look – every weave, every patchwork, every silhouette – was a graphic explosion of lines and colours. She contrasted the sensory impact with a constant attention to the ease that defined the wardrobe, amplifying a sense of buoyancy and comfort.

It catered to poolside needs

“Sophistication and informality, the tweed throughout the collection, sportswear and lace…” Viard reflected. “I tried to bring one thing and its opposite together in the coolest way possible. And the gardens and swimming pool of the Villa Noailles, this exceptional setting, lend themselves to that rather well.” Chanel-ified takes on swimming costumes, robes and other poolside essentials underlined her intentions.

It was rich on holiday accessories

As a nod to the holiday spirit that inevitably filled the collection, Viard accessorised her looks with camera bags, flip-flops, sling-back Mary Janes, and an abundance of elegant necklaces adorned with charms. The tiniest of handbags encrusted with Chanel symbolism probably wouldn’t hold much more than a credit card and a lipstick. It cemented the collection’s message of freedom: come as you are.

Hotel Caron De Beaumarchais

In the heart of Paris, a city known for its timeless elegance and rich cultural heritage, one boutique hotel stands out as an ideal of sophistication and history. Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais, nestled in the charming Marais district, offers travelers a distinctive blend of old-world charm and modern luxury. This 18th-century gem, named after the renowned French playwright and author Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, is not just a hotel; it's an immersive journey through the annals of Parisian history, and a gateway to the enchanting soul of the City of Light.

At the heart of Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais lies a rich tapestry of history. The building itself once served as the residence of the hotels name-sake playwright, best known for his iconic works such as "The Marriage of Figaro." As you step through the hotel's grand doors, you're greeted by an atmosphere that resonates with centuries of French culture. The hotel beautifully preserves its heritage while providing guests with all the modern comforts and conveniences expected from a luxury establishment.


Within the historic building, you find yourself enveloped in an ambiance that seamlessly marries classical Parisian design with contemporary indulgence. Each of the 19 rooms and suites are individually designed, offering a unique and personalised experience. Rich fabrics, antique furnishings, and tasteful artwork create an atmosphere of refined luxury. Modern amenities such as plush bedding, high-speed internet, and flat-screen televisions ensure that guests enjoy every contemporary comfort without sacrificing the historical charm.


One of the highlights of a stay at the hotel is the culinary experience offered at its sister restaurant, ´Le Pierre Du Marais.´ Here, guests can savour authentic French cuisine crafted from the finest locally sourced ingredients. Whether it's a hearty brunch as a late start to your day or an intimate dinner under the Parisian sky, the restaurant's menu caters to all palates. Diners have the option to relish their meals in the cozy indoor dining area or on the charming outdoor terrace, which offers picturesque views of the bustling Marais streets.

´What truly sets Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais apart is its impeccable service. The dedicated staff, proficient in several languages, go above and beyond to ensure that guests have an unforgettable stay. Their insider knowledge of the Marais and Paris itself allows them to provide personalised recommendations and assist with bookings for tours, shows, and other attractions. Whether it's arranging a romantic evening for two or helping a family plan their Parisian adventure, the hotel's staff is committed to creating memorable experiences.´ - Charles Daniel McDonald

The location offers the great advantage of being situated within the centre of the Marais district - a historic neighborhood which is a treasure trove of museums, art galleries, boutiques, and cafes. Guests can leisurely stroll through the beautiful Place des Vosges, explore the Picasso Museum's vast collection, or wander through the labyrinthine streets dotted with quirky shops and concept stores. Every corner of the Marais exudes a unique charm that reflects the soul of Paris itself.


Beaumarchais is not just a place to rest your head; it's a window into the essence of Paris. The Marais district encapsulates the city's culture, history, and artistic spirit, and the hotel's commitment to preserving its historical significance while embracing modernity creates an enchanting experience that few other accommodations can rival.


Whether you're a history enthusiast, an art lover, a culinary connoisseur, or simply seeking a romantic getaway, the hotel offers a timeless retreat that encapsulates the very spirit of the city. It's a place where history mingles seamlessly with contemporary luxury, where every moment spent within its walls is a celebration of the beauty and culture that define its iconic name.

In a world where hotels often blur into a homogenous backdrop, Hotel Caron de Beaumarchais stands as a reminder that some places remain steadfastly unique, steeped in the captivating allure of their history. For those fortunate enough to experience it, this Parisian gem promises a journey that is nothing short of magical - a journey through time, culture, and the unparalleled charm of the City of Light.

Le Train Bleu

Le Train Bleu stands as a paragon of Parisian elegance and sophistication. Situated on the first floor of the venerable Gare de Lyon train station, it beckons patrons with the promise of gourmet French cuisine, ensconced within an atmosphere of unparalleled refinement. This establishment, with its opulent and lavish decor, transports diners back to the golden age of luxury travel, where the interior itself is a work of art.

While some may consider the decor to be extravagant and ostentatious, it has earned its rightful place on Paris's list of historical monuments since 1972, steadfastly preserving its original features, including the 41 magnificent paintings adorning its walls. The restaurant's history, characterised by its 1900s ambiance (parquet flooring, sumptuous leather-upholstered seating, rich wood paneling, and ornate gilt and painted ceilings), sets the stage for a gourmet dining experience within the heart of the Gare de Lyon. Here, one can follow in the footsteps of illustrious travelers who have graced this establishment with their presence.


From the moment of its inception, Le Train Bleu has been a magnet for locals and tourists alike. To this day, it serves approximately five hundred patrons daily, all eager to revel in the restaurant's breathtaking setting overlooking the railway tracks of the station while savoring exquisite French cuisine. Adjacent to the main dining area is the Big Ben Bar, a sanctuary of elegance and prestige, offering Sunday brunch along with a selection of coffees, cakes, and gourmet snacks, including club sandwiches, throughout the week.

´Offering traditional French cuisine, blending elements of both brasserie and gourmet dining, diners can choose from various menus, such as the Tasting Menu, served per table in the evening, accompanied by half a bottle of champagne per person for €98. For a slightly more economical option at €70 per person, there is the Sarah Bernhardt Menu, which includes a choice of starter, main course, dessert, and coffee. Those on a tighter budget may opt for the Rejane Menu, priced at €56 per person, offering a three-course meal with a glass of wine or mineral water.´ - Charles Daniel McDonald

As expected, an à la carte menu is also available, featuring starters ranging from €20 to €29, showcasing delights like Home-smoked Scottish salmon with crunchy vegetable spring rolls and balsamic cherry dressing or Lyon pistachio sausage with mashed potatoes in chive and mustard dressing. Main courses offer a selection of fish and meat dishes, such as Scorpion fish and scallops A la plancha with creamy shellfish risotto and cuttlefish ink dressing or Charolais beef steak tartare, prepared to one's taste, with homemade French fries and mixed salad.


Prices for main courses range from €30 to €45, with options like a whole grilled turbot for two at €95, or a vegetarian choice. For dessert, Le Train Bleu tempts diners with an array of indulgences, including vintage Rum Baba with whipped cream, lemon and lime tart, or bourbon vanilla layer cake. The restaurant also offers Sunday brunch in the bar lounge for €40 per person (€20 for children under 12), featuring a buffet of bread, jams, fruit juice, cheeses, and hot drinks, followed by a table-served starter and a main hot dish of meat or fish, concluding with assorted desserts.

Le Train Bleu is nestled in the 12th Arrondissement, within the Gare de Lyon train station and remains open every day of the year. The Big Ben Bar welcomes guests from 7:30 am to 11 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 11 pm on Sundays and French national holidays, offering beverages, pastries, and gourmet snacks. Sunday brunch in the bar lounge is available from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, except during July and August, and advance reservations are strongly recommended by phone. Le Train Bleu's restaurant hours are from 11:30 am to 3 pm for lunch and from 7 pm to 11 pm for dinner, with last orders accepted at least an hour prior. The restaurant welcomes guests every day of the year. For group bookings, business lunches, or special events, enquiries can be directed to Le Train Bleu at +33 (0) 1 43 43 09 06.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Stella McCartney’s Sustainable Marketplace S/S´24 Show

“Stella’s Sustainable Marketplace”, featuring her favourite eco-minded collaborators and her dad’s vinyl collection, formed the backdrop for Stella McCartney’s spring/summer 2024 show in Paris. Below, British Vogue critic Anders Christian Madsen shares his key takeaways.

It was Stella’s Sustainable Marketplace

Along the Avenue de Saxe in the 7th arrondissement, Stella McCartney set up temporary shop on the Monday morning of Paris Fashion Week. She created Stella’s Sustainable Market: a classic Parisian marketplace lined with stalls featuring her favourite sustainable collaborators as well as nods to parents, Paul and Linda McCartney. “There’s a music stall with some of my dad’s music. My mum’s vegetarian food company is here, too. Bringing families together is the most important thing.” The collection featured 95 per cent conscious materials, the activist designer noted. “We’ve never gone that high before.”

It was inspired by McCartney’s family

McCartney’s models walked the virtually mile-long marketplace runway in a shared wardrobe that represented the family feeling she wanted to convey. “This was one of the first shows we’ve ever had with women and men. It was about showing that everyone can wear it, and how you say what you are through what you wear. I think, if you’re part of the Stella McCartney community, you’re already in the now: you’re part of the next generation and part of the future of fashion,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what gender you are. Our brand is open to everyone.” That included Cate Blanchett, Robert Downey Jr and Chris Rock, who all came to support McCartney.

It featured a collaboration with Wings

In the spirit of the marketplace, the collection was a hotchpotch of the life and passions of Stella McCartney. She looked to her personal archives of clothes accumulated from her parents’ wardrobes and her own, and reworked them into a look that often bore evidence of stage costumes. “My parents made their owns clothes, too,” she said, explaining how she hadn’t messed too much with the original points of inspiration. “I used to wear them all and now my daughter steals them off me.” Wings materialised as couture-like gestures on dresses that billowed in the wind, but also in a formal merchandise collaboration with the band of the same name, formed by her parents in 1971.

McCartney worked with the artist Andrew Logan

The show was largely defined by the couture-like shapes McCartney proposed in a wealth of flowy dresses with dramatic sleeves, but also in dresses adorned with “wearable art” by the English sculptor Andrew Logan. McCartney exercised her excellent tailoring in voluminous his-and-hers suits that echoed the shape of her denim trousers. Her boldest proposition was a cummerbund silhouette incorporated into trousers and jeans, which continued the hip-centric focus of her recent Y2K nostalgia and made for a pretty cool idea.

It was about giving people access to sustainability

After the show, guests were invited to peruse the market and learn about the sustainable partners McCartney works with. “I want to give people access to all this information. That’s why I did it,” she explained, reflecting on the impact the environmental cause in having in our daily lives. “I think the next generation of people do it. You’re doing what you can. We’re not here to make you feel guilty about not doing it a hundred per cent. Meet people, learn about things, and try not to consume quite so much fashion. Because we don’t need it.”

Alexander McQueen Taps JW Anderson’s Seán McGirr As Creative Director

After much speculation during Paris Fashion Week, Alexander McQueen has tapped JW Anderson’s head of ready-to-wear Seán McGirr as creative director, succeeding Sarah Burton, who spent 26 years at the brand and 13 as creative director, the brand announced Tuesday.

Burton bid farewell to the house in an emotional final show in Paris on Saturday, dedicated to brand founder Lee McQueen, after her departure was announced earlier this month. Burton took over as creative director in 2010, following McQueen’s death.

“We are delighted to welcome Seán McGirr as creative director. With his experience, personality and creative energy, he will bring a powerful creative language to Alexander McQueen while building on its unique heritage,” said Alexander McQueen CEO Gianfilippo Testa in a statement.

McGirr joined JW Anderson in 2020 as head of menswear before taking over womenswear to lead all ready-to-wear. Prior to that, he was women’s designer for Dries Van Noten and was part of Uniqlo’s creative offices working on Christophe Lemaire’s collections. He started his career assisting at Burberry and Vogue Hommes Japan after graduating from Central Saint Martins’s MA fashion programme in 2014.

McGirr’s appointment continues a suite of shake-ups across Kering’s portfolio over the last year. McQueen appointed Testa in 2022. Gucci’s new creative director Sabato de Sarno debuted last week at Milan Fashion Week, and longtime CEO Marco Bizzarri departed following the show. Bizzarri’s permanent replacement is yet-to-be-announced. Francesca Bellettini, the CEO of Saint Laurent, was also appointed deputy CEO of Kering in July.

The appointment follows a trend of hiring designers who are relatively unknown to the public, but hold important design positions at key brands, following the success of Gucci’s appointment of Alessandro Michele from within its ranks in 2015. Matthieu Blazy was promoted to lead Kering’s Bottega Veneta in November 2021 after serving as design director. Simone Bellotti replaced Rhuigi Villaseñor at Bally earlier this year, while Ann Demeulemeester promoted menswear designer Stefano Gallici to succeed Ludovic de Saint Sernin, who departed in May after just one season. Replacing Burton with a male designer is a notable loss of one of fashion’s few female designers leading a major luxury house, industry observers noted.

“Alexander McQueen is a house we are passionate about, and we are confident that Seán McGirr will be able to pursue its journey with a new creative impetus,” said Kering chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault. “We look forward to opening this new chapter in the history of this unique brand.”