Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

I am so glad that the boys who have been trapped in the cave in Thailand are finally being rescued. I do admire the courage of the rescuers and my heart aches every time I think about the navy diver who lost his life during the rescue operation. I sincerely pray for all the people – the boys, the coach and the rescuers, to come out of the cave without any injury.

If someone asked me which street I loved the most during our road trip, I would answer Rue des Trois Faucons without hesitation. Avignon was such a charming city with many pretty streets and squares. However, I would recommend it because the street was free from chain stores. All the shops lining the street were unique and original.

A vintage book shop which was specialised in art.

Librairie Paroles was another vintage book shop specialised in history and literature.

Mum and I loved this boutique, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the most. I visited there alone first and returned with mum later because the shop was so pretty. We bought from them mainly jewelries – she bought a beautiful silver necklace and I bought five dainty bracelets which I wore them all at once.

Ahhh, how I wished if they were in my neighbourhood in London! I would shop there every week…

After loading laundry at the laundrette, I strolled up Place des Corps Saints to investigate the street. Further up, the street became Rue des Trois Faucons and I started to see more shops. ‘Shouldn’t I buy a notebook for mum?’, I thought when I walked past Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

Why a notebook?, you may ask.

Well, mum and I had a tiny discord that morning and the tiff was about her notebook.

One of my mum’s personal traits was being a bit disorganised and it sometimes drove me crazy. Perpetually, she was looking for something which she mislaid and it caused a mini havoc. ‘Oh no! I can’t find it!!’, was the dreaded cue for her messy search which involved turning a room upside down.

Ever since I was a teenager, I had been witnessing mum going around like a mini-tornado, flipping everything in her path upside down and inside out while moaning how she could lose the sight of it – spectacles, keys, a receipt, a handkerchief, etc.

So that morning, when she started to turn our room over because she couldn’t find her notebook, I became a bit fed up and complained, ‘How can you be so disorganised all the time?’

The corners of her mouth went downward and she looked miserable. Oh dear, I did it. The room was filled with air silently screaming “AWKWARD!” so I grabbed a paper bag with our dirty laundry and left her in the room with her missing notebook.

‘You know she was always like that and shouldn’t have been annoyed.’, I talked to myself as I pottered down the street.

‘Bonjour, madam.’, I greeted a woman behind the cashier as I entered the boutique. By the till, there was a pile of small notebooks and they were very pretty, black and white stripes with gold lettering embossed on their covers. This will do, I thought and bought it for mum.

When I returned to the room with the gift, she was sitting on a bed with bags which were emptied. ‘I think the notebook was gone. I am such a silly woman.’, she shrugged her shoulders and smiled. ‘Then, use this.’, I handed her a new notebook. ‘And you are not silly but a little careless sometimes.’

Mum’s face lit up like a 100w lightbulb and all the awkwardness we had between us early on flew out of the window and gone. Phew!

‘Once the laundry is sorted, we are going out, mum. Let’s tidy up! On the double!!’ Mum and I picked up bits and pieces which were sprinkled by Mum Tornado…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

DiGuardo @ The Dispensary

Guy Fawkes weekend is one particular weekend we dislike the most in the year.
Especially this weekend, Hubbie was away in China, therefore, I had to comfort our firework-phobe, Mr.B, singlehandedly. Once the bangs commenced, his tail went between his legs and his breathing became shallow and rapid. In the end, poor Mr.B was trembling like a leaf on my lap until all the shrieks and bangs in our neighbourhood died down around 21:00. I know lots of people, especially children, enjoy fireworks. But please take a moment to reflect that behind the fun, there are lots of cats & dogs suffering silently, being petrified and fearing for their live. I would be much happier if there were only one night during the weekend, Saturday or Sunday, to be designated for fireworks. How did your beloved furry friends persevere the fireworks?

2nd November was a momentous day for my darling friend, Letizia, because she renewed her boutique, DiGuardo, at The Dispensary…

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She invited me to join her at her new premises on 200 Kensington Park Road…

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Together with Sophie, the owner of The Dispensary, she created a cozy and chic fashion emporium. The signature of DiGuardo…

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Her selection was original, feminine and discerned. In short, Letizia knew what women would want…

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Sophie’s selection was equally original and elegant. A mixture of rare-finds and genuine vintages laden the shelves and rails…

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When I walked through their threshold, the boutique was already buzzing with customers, eagerly trying out their offerings…

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Probably, he was the only one who was not so keen on the experience.
His beloved mummy was in & out of the changing room and not paying the slightest attention to him. His expression spoke very loudly…

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Anyway, the new undertaking Letizia embarked on was already looking very promising. I was more than positive that her venture would surge forward in full sail…

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Around 18:30, we open a bottle of  Prosecco for a well-earned toast.
Let’s hope we all will be even busier towards Christmas…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Pop Up @ Hoxton Boutique

Temperature plunges and the sky is overcast – the autumn is knocking at our door.
Even though sweet memories of the summer still flicker with Instagram hues in my head, I am looking forward  to the change of season.

 

Last Friday, I was browsing my FB as usual and noticed the post announcing a pop up boutique this weekend…

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The post was put up by my friend, Alison, who was a founder of the legendary fashion treasure haunt, Hoxton Boutique.
The boutique closed its door at the end of May 2011 which saddened many of the shop’s avid followers who adored quirky & fun yet very wearable styles the shop offered as an alternative to mainstream fashion.

When my West End stockist, Koh Samui, went into liquidation in the summer of 2008, Alison kindly took my knitwear into the boutique which helped me to pick myself up and move forward. And I am forever grateful for it.
The reason Alison decided to close the boutique was her desire to concentrate on her fashion brand HOBO fully instead of having to divide her attention to running the boutique and designing. As a creator myself, I understood her frustration totally. I wouldn’t be able to work if my concentration was broken all the time.
However, I missed a purple neon, HOXTON BOUTIQUE, glowing on the white fascia every time I walked passed Hoxton Street. Hoxton had lost one very important character which made the area so worthy of a visit.

Hubbie & I hadn’t seen Alison since she permanently relocated the operation to Ramsgate. Therefore, we were very excited about the reunion. So, Mr.B in tow, we walked to the boutique eagerly…

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Alison, her dog, Charlie and a pop up shop participant,  Amelia were there…

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We caught up with each other about how things had been in the last 2 years.

The items on sale in a front half of the boutique were old stocks from the late Hoxton Boutique…

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And a rear half was occupied with a vintage clothing collection by Amelia…

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Amelia also has her own shop in ASOS Marketplace, MORE AMELIA.
The selection is modern and bang on trend. Please have a look and you won’t be disappointed.

Charlie knew Mr.B since he was a puppy…

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He had been making every effort to be on a friendly term with Mr.B ever since they acquainted each other 8 years ago. However, Mr.B hadn’t responded with the same enthusiasm…

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Mr.B just kept on slipping away from Charlie. Oh Mr.B, open your heart a tiny bit more…

At the boutique, Hubbie bought me necklaces by Tatty Devine…

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Aren’t they sweet?

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I’ve heard from Alison that a new Hoxton Boutique web store will open from the middle of this month. And she is suggesting a come back to the Hoxton scene in some way near future. I am so excited!
Viva la Hoxton Boutique!!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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