15 Dec 2011

Travel: Fete des Lumieres - Lyon, France

On December 8th I was lucky enough to travel to Lyon, France to witness first hand the annual Fete des Lumieres (Festival of Lights) which sees 4 million people visit the city over the course of a few magical nights. Buildings seemingly come alive as images and light are cleverly projected on to their ancient walls; residents decorate their windowsills with colourful tealights; and streets are closed to traffic and festooned with lanterns. Even the streetlights get a make-over, their glass being covered with coloured gells to tint the winding lanes in an enchanting spectrum of colours.  
The festival began in the 17th centuary as a way for the locals of Lyon to offer thanks and praise to the Virgin Mary after she miraculously lifted the onslaught of the plague from the city. To this day, banners proclaiming Mercy Maria hang from buildings and many visit the city's magnificant cathedral to light a candle and place it at her feet. These days, though still religious at its core, the Fete des Lumieres is just as much an excuse for families to take to the streets, revel in the beauty of their beloved city and sip on vin chaud!

The basilica by day and then by night:
The Cathedral by day and then by night:
As I was visiting the festival in my editorial capacity, I got a chance to chat with some of the designers of various light shows around the city. The most impressive of these took place in the Place des Terreaux and involvied animated video projections carefully mapped to match the exterior of the grand old buildings in the town square. Designer Marie-Jeanne Gauthe told me over lunch: "The biggest challenge of a project like this is coming up with something completely different each year. However, this year another big challenge is the full moon! It acts like a projector beam in itself so will change the way my designs look up on the buildings. I'm praying for a cloudy night!"

I had a great time at the Fete des Lumieres, but now have so much transcribing and writing to do to create my first cover-feature for the January issue of the magazine I work for. The downside of the event? My expensive camera got water-bombed! Luckily (*touch wood*), it seems to have made a full recovery! Mercy Maria! 

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6 Dec 2011

Anthropologie wishlist...

Clockwise from top left: Pragmatic vase 'let them eat cake': $48 | Trinkets and Treasures candle sticks - approx $398 each | Hitherto bug globes - approx $650 | Flower vases - approx $18 (limited range on UK site here)

Lily says: I don't often check the US version of the Anthropologie website now that we have a UK site, but after seeing this post on the Decor8 blog I noticed some pieces of homeware that were both right up my street and strangely absent from the UK version of the site! I keep a regular eye on the UK site for new items (by 'regular eye' I mean I could probably reel off their stock directory in my sleep. Perhaps I should get out more...) as I am constantly on the look out for quirky homeware, so I was both thrilled at the wonderous items present on the US site and dissappointed I couldn't get my mitts on them here in the UK! Does anyone know if Anthropologie roll out items in the US before adding them to other branches? Most of these pieces are out of my price range, but at $48 (around £30) the Let the Eat Cake vase might just find itself in my virtual shopping trolley were it available in the UK. Still, available in the UK or not, it's always nice to look at asthetically pleasing things :)

UPDATE: I managed to get to the Regent Street Anthropologie store last weekend and was delighted to see the Pragmatic Vases ("Let Them Eat Cake" etc) and flower vases in stock!

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2 Dec 2011

Lily Loves: Marquis & Camus by Sarah Kang

These pieces from the Marquis & Camus collection by Sarah Kang link vintage items with contemporary elements - and the result is somewhat breath-taking! The pieces above draw on Victorian romantic ideals and feature dusty-pink ruffles, flowers, beaded bows and antique velvet and lace. With collar jewellery 'having a moment', the two displayed above have to be the most perfect examples of the trend that I've come across. Below I've highlighted some items that have a distinctly military flavour. The medals featuring old stamps and charms are my personal favourite pieces here, and could make a fun DIY project if you could get your hands on some vintage stamps, ribbons and cabochon backs/findings!
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1 Dec 2011

That was: October & November . . .

Halloween | Clare as Jekyll & Hyde | Me as the Cookie Monster | Ele as the Black Swan | Dancing to spooky tunes | Lovely fish meal for the bf's birthday | New dress - lovely print | Sunset | Sunlight through roses | Honeycomb-smash cheesecake... om nom nom | 10 hour train journey to Yorkshire and back | Behind the scenes at the Ideal Home Show | Made 2011 - Brighton | The White Rabbit in Brighton Lanes | Home baked star-shaped cookies | Home-baked cupcakes | My friend's toddler, growing up so fast | Thomas the Tank Engine| Sorting out my new iPhone 4S with iTunes | OPI Ink | London again | Autumn | Wrap up warm in a nice new scarf Christmas gifts for friends & family start arriving!  

Lily says: October was quite a quiet month apart from Halloween so I decided to combine October & November for the regular 'my month in photos' feature. I can't believe it's now December! Where is the year going?! Good luck with your Christmas shopping :) 

NB: If you would like a more detailed post on my Cookie Monster Halloween costume, please let me know in the comments.

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