Laura, our guest hunter for the week. This Italian beauty is sassy, sophisticated and funny all in the one breath. We first met about 10 years ago while working together on Kenneth Cole photo shoot, and I was instantly impressed by her. Laura was the first person I knew who had the coveted No. 6 clogs (lucky girl previously had a stint working there). She’s got the brightest spirit, a handsome husband and gorgeous twin girls. But Laura really says it best herself, so keep reading below where she shares more of her story and some of her favorites:
I was born and raised in Milan where I received a Law degree. I left Italy to follow my love (my now husband Michele) to NY where I lived for 8 years working in fashion. Did a little bit of everything: catalogs shooting on the beach at the Bahamas, Golden Globe prepping for Salma Hayek when nominated for Frida, wardrobe assistant for a short film directed by Gwyneth Paltrow and shop girl at No.6.
I gave birth to twins and decided to get closer to my roots and family… but not too close. What a better pick than Paris! Here I can still get my fashion fix, stopping by the Azzedine Alaia outlet store, dangerously too close to the girls pre-school. At the same time take advantage of all the great parks, outdoor food markets and to-die-for flea markets. Now that I have a lot of free time, since the girls are FINALLY in pre-school, I have enrolled in a French Civilization course at the Sorbonne University.
There is nothing better to shop for home furniture, light fixtures and whatever not than the PAUL BERT section of the Flea Market of Clignancourt. The market has 220 stalls laid out along seven aisles and selling a wide variety of merchandise from Napoleon III furniture to industrial furniture and 1950s and 1970s furniture, all displayed in a carefully contrived state of chaos and disorder.
I know it barely needs an explanation. Whoever has walked into the store can understand my love for everything they sell. From their amazing hand made clogs, (I lived in them the whole winter), their carefully picked, beautiful and wearable vintage to the new designers they manage to discover. They also design their own line of clothing that’s almost always sold out before I can put my hands on it.
I love their beauty products. They work well, they smell like heaven and they are not too expensive. My favorites are:
Masque Thermo-Actif Désincrustant Aroma-Perfection – I like this mask because it’s quick to use and it leaves your skin glowing and your face looks rested. I use it before going out and to look less like exhausted mom who just managed to put the kids to bed.
Eau de Mousse Micellaire aux 3 Roses – great to clean your face morning and night. I adore the rose smell.
Crème Prodigieuse® Nuit – The best night cream!
I found this great website when I wanted to change the décor of my girls bedroom without spending a fortune painting it. Also Emma loves blue and Virginia pink, so I figured we would have had a hard time finding an agreement. Every sticker is made out of fabric and they are removable, so that if you want to change its place it won’t leave a mark. I love the big tree and the baby deer, but also the Tea Time one reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.
So difficult to edit all my favorite things. I am Italian, so food is definitely a major deal, and I love cooking too. But these are my top picks:
I have never found another restaurant out of Italy that screams AUTHENTIC and REFINED Italian food like Gottino’s in NYC. The choice of ingredients and its juxtaposition makes me think of a small family run restaurants in the middle of Chianti or Monferrato. The kind of place you would find in Italy that is just known by the locals.
My favorite creperie in Paris. The buckwheat crepes, savory or sweet are delicious. It’ a very cozy, but tiny spot, so it’s better to make a reservation. Very family friendly.
Its definition is “Bento Parisien”. The food in this place is all organic and exceptional. The chef is Japanese, but she has reinvented traditional European cuisine with an Asian approach. We usually go for the brunch on the weekend. You can order onigiri, but also a delicious pizza briochee and fresh squeezed carrot, apple ginger juices and refined Japanese teas. My favorite are the bento boxes that combine a choice of incredibly fresh and yummy salads (es: fennel, cucumber, orange and wakame seaweed) a choice of grains and yuzu marinated salmon filet. I have to mention their amazing choice of desserts: I love the matcha cheesecake.
Great market hall in the heart of the Marais with incredible food stalls where you can have lunch. My favorites are the Japanese stall (Chez Taeko) and the Italian stall for incredibly yummy pizza.
I love the idea of a miniature garden full of an incredible array of adorable tiny plants growing in bubble shaped hand blown glass containers. It gives me the idea of being able to a have a little forest on my desk. It’s very inspiring.
One of my favorite blogs is GROW LITTLE. Grow Little is based in Paris. The terrariums are made in hand blown glass vessels of various sizes, each is an original, hand made art piece with a unique miniature landscape design bringing nature’s poetry into the home.
The Velib’ is the Parisian short term bike-hire scheme that has made my life so much better. With an annual fee of only 34 dollars I can get a bike in one of the thousands Velib’ stations (there is one every 300 yds!) all over the city, use it to get somewhere and return it to the most convenient location. To cross the Parisian bridges at night on a bike is one of my most romantic and favorite experiences.