Cocktails and Fun with Toubab Paris


Toubab Paris invites YOU to a shopping event at the Millenium Broadway Hotel in New York.


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Judge a Book by Its Cover: Audrey Hepburn


It’s that time of the year. The time of the year, when you look back on all you had planned for the summer and wonder where the time went. We are in the same boat, and true to form our seemingly endless list of shoulda-coulda-wouldas has just grown a tad bit longer thanks to the well-intentioned publishers at Taschen. As mentioned before, a mini-detox has its bonuses. One such plus, you get a lot of reading done.

audrey hepburn Bob Willoughby

The stunning images found in Bob Willoughby’s recently released Audrey Hepburn: Photographs 1953–1966 caught our eyes. His stunning behind-the-scenes optics of the starlet, in the early days of her career and beyond, exude her effortless charm and grace. Seriously can’t wait to get our hands on this delightful œuvre.

Want to know more about how a humdrum commission can morph into beautiful and elegant photographic studies? Click here.

Happy Reading,

IMAGES: Left to Right. Before work for “Paris When It Sizzles” has begun, Audrey poses in the garden of the villa the Ferrers have rented for the duration of the shooting // Book Cover // Audrey poses with a phone during a 1953 photo session at Paramount Studios // Sean, Audrey’s son by Mel Ferrer, plays happily with his mother while James Garner beams his approval.
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Digital Girls Detox

pause_tsWith our busy schedules we can get bogged down and feel like our lives are on a never ending spin cycle. We know that our fabulous readers often feel the pressures of social media and fellow bloggers admitted to the same digital fatigue. While some liken a digital hiatus to solitary confinement, surprisingly even after a short pause we have both encountered greater moments of creative insight.

We hear you. What about work, Skype calls home and of course endless emails? But sometimes the merry-go-round needs to stop. I recently took time to quiet the mind and just enjoy the moments. I cannot pretend that its easy but after a while it becomes painless. Sometimes things we do full force do not work out, regardless of our best intentions. So here a three tested and certified tips to help you get under way.

1. Plan: Schedule Time- Off

  We highly recommend timetabling your mini-vaca sans technology. Tell people that you will not be available on Sunday or during weekend and to only contact you in cases of emergencies.

2. Start Small
  Take only a couple of hours off. Making a few minor adjustments can yield tangible results. Given my experience I have come away well rested and eager to start the day. Or better yet, make a personal commitment to switch off during dinner or after 10pm. Slow and steady, petit pas, and you will soon be ready to take an entire day..

3. Do an Activity  
Planning your digital detox around a trip or activity helps so much and almost feels effortless. Try painting or reading a book, playing or listening to music. While meeting with friends, resist the urge to capture moments for social media and just let the event unfold.

So who is with us?


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If the Shoe Fits: Prada Platforms

Here is a tidbit for those of you who have not met us in person, Tam is well…, petite. And in her endless search for the perfect classic Spring, Summer to early Autumn feminine shoe, she has settled on Miuccia Prada platforms for that subtle sense of height coupled with comfort. The design of these suede ankle-strap platform sandals are ideal for work day to evening events. Kerry Pieri’s article for Harper Bazaar, 5 Rules for Being a Short Girl in Fashion, helped sealed the decision as did our go-to retail strategy, “If the shoe fits, buy it!” and “Treat yo’self”


In some alternate universe, Tam would have snap up a pair in every colour but for now black will do just fine.

Live glamorously,

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Travelogue: Beautiful Barbados


It is not really that difficult to be enchanted with Barbados. For me, it holds the sights and scents evoke many wonderful childhood memories, making it one of the only places in the world where I feel truly restful.


It is true that there are countless of boastful reasons to visit sunny Barbados, but if you look closer there are many delights that are not so evident. Tucked away beauty, silent standouts and enchanting encounters. This gentle getaway I had the pleasure to explore beyond the regular.

Colloquially known as The Rock, from elemental rawness to delicious landscapes to seductive, tropical hotspots, long or short stays, there is something for everyone.

Live Blissfully,

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Every Color Under the Sun

Before there was Pantone…

Sam and I are both avid book lovers and if you did not notice from our Pinterest board, Required Reading and blog series Judge A Book by Its Cover, if it is well designed the deeper our appreciation runs. All this, combined with our thirst for colour, has us loving this once seemingly forgotten Dutch manuscript which in a nutshell logs Every Color Under the Sun. Found in Aix-en-Provence, France, this pre-Pantone era book is a true testament of its time.

pantonedutch_tsScans from Dutch Book From 1692 Documents Every Color Under the Sun: A Pre-Pantone Guide to Colors
The book was largely forgotten, gathering dust at the Bibliothèque Méjanes in Aix-en-Provence, France until Dutch art historian Erik Kwakkel, who translated the introduction, posted selections from the book on his blog. Herr Boogert apparently intended the book to be educational for aspiring artists. Unfortunately, only a few artists at the time ever got a chance to see the one-of-a-kind book. Open Culture

Live Colourfully,

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T’s Summer Style List

The summer is officially upon us and with a predicted spell of sunshine in London, I have been on the hunt for the perfect summer essentials.


FASHION  This season’s list comprises of the perfect-fitting jean jacket that will never ever go out of style — or so Madewell claims. I am taking their word for it and asking Sam to ‘pretty pleassssseeee’ send me this delightful denim piece during her #summerinnyc. It is ideal for brisk evening walks around the city.

GIVING BACK  Anything paired with a Sass and Bide’s Made in Africa shopper tote completes the look. We believe in doing good by shopping, and this ethical purchase gives back to those in need. Likewise, no summer voyage would be complete without flip flops. These British, bohemian babies are courtesy of a Gandys x Liberty collaboration that can help not just your feet, but also Gandys charity Orphans for Orphans. Please read the designer’s, Paul and Rob Forkan’s, inspiring interview, here.

MAKING MEMORIES  Designed in Dakar and made in Stoke-on-Trent, these silk-screen printed ceramic plates are perfect for evening dinners in the garden with friends. Frieda + Nellie’s colourful and modern take on friendship bracelets bring back wonderful childhood memories.

FUN + PLAY  A recent trip to Barcelona has me craving daily doses of Happy Pills alongside paddle-boarding lessons sporting a Stella Jean’s exotic yet retro bikini. This plain, white Moleskine notebook is excellent for writings, thoughts and sketches. This list would not be complete without a Digital Girls accessory — possibly an iPhone make over with this handsome case from Etsy retailer CaseCavern.



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Organized Perfection

Well known for his clean and neat photography for IKEA’s ‘Homemade Is Best’ Cookbook, Carl Kleiner’s simple yet intricate image treatments are works of art that ooze of beauty and play. In a recent interview with Trendland, self confessed organized perfectionist Kleiner admits to “feeling guilty staying indoors” and being “constantly surrounded by chaos”. His yummy, charming and lushful images are the perfect respite for cloudy, grey days.

11 10 7 6 5 4 3 2

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Four Things: Canada Day Ed.

truenorth_tsHappy Canada Day! Sadly, I am not celebrating Canada Day in my native land this year but I am lucky to be spending it with our Canadian friend in Barcelona (photos coming soon). In pursuit of some Canadian-ness, as difficult as it may be to define, check out our links below featuring the strong and free, from both far and wide.

+ Interviews with Canadian creators of Smythe les vestes, The Pink Ribbon, With This Ring, The Jubilee Portrait and À la mode Montréal
+ Blog Archives: Canadian designers and designs that we adore, here and here
+ Top Canadian fashion designers along with sensational style setters
+ Our favourite go-to Canadian graphic design resources here and there




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Foreign Affairs: Advice for Living Aboard

ts_goYou’ve asked, we answered. Our readers often ask us what is it like? How did we do it? And why? In these senarios they are referring to our lives aboard. Both Sam and I opted for this route and we have come to the conclusion that for all it challenges, fears and discomforts, there are tons of perks, definitely more good than bad and a truly rewarding experience. 

We have a plethora of things on that list — What I Wish I Had Known, How To’s, Advice Not Follow, Do’s and Dont’s, It Ain’t pretty Moments and What To Do If.  For now, here are 3 tips if you are considering an inspired life aboard…

GO WITH THE FLOW: When in Rome… Rather than relying on the familiar when aboard, we suggest opening to new situations, lifestyles, environments, experience and climates. This subtle shift in perspective could make all the difference. Trust. In London this attitude helped me in exploring the personality of diverse neighbourhoods. 

GO FOR YOURSELF: We don’t suggest that you pull a Coming to America and flip a coin to determine your location to find your Queen or Prince. Nor do we recommend following your crush du jour, as tempting as it may be. Likewise life aboard should not be an escape from your daily reality or used to to run away from something but to gain perspective and enhance your life experiences. 

KNOW YOURSELF: One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to living abroad. Don’t be boxed in, consider what will work for you — your wants and desires. Understandably some prefer a semester away, volunteering, foreign language course or a year aboard to solo far-flung adventurous treks to several years away or even the whole expat thing. In depth research into living costs, the job market and schools, followed by a mini-vacation to your chosen location could help put things into perspective. Don’t let the gloss of film and TV fool you. Friends, Girls and Sex and the City are not 100% realistic portrayals of New York. Similarly, Nottinghill and Love Actually are not indicative of London life.

Think, if you could live anywhere in the world where would that be? Need help, try this quiz. I got Paris. Who knows maybe that is my next destination. Whatever the case, give it a try. Be brave. Be bold.

Live beautifully.


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Liberty x H&M


Swedish meets English as refreshing H&M melds with iconic Liberty to create a promising autumn capsule collection. We have already fallen for Liberty’s legendary floral prints and works with J.Crew and Nike, many times over. So while I am not one to stand in line waiting for the chance to scoop up the perfect piece, with prices ranging from €14.95 to €49.99, this collab has me second guessing this stance. With an aim to mix classic and trendy we are both eagerly looking forward to September to inspect final pieces.


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The School of Life

School may be out for the summer season but these whimsical products from The School of Life are distinctive ways to keep to schedule, write notes and tote around goods. The virtue dolls whisper ‘zen’, perfect for me, while the I know that Sam would like the note set. Peruse more delights at your discretion.

pencils-landing Virtue_Dolls_Category_Page_Banner_02 emotional-banner 115_minutes_1362_x_900_shop_base_preorder notebooks-landing

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Putting Africa on The Fashion

Adama Paris is real a powerhouse. The 30 something designer who was in Montreal at the end of May for the second edition of her Black Fashion Week , spoke candidly of her love and passion for fashion: “I started making stuff at a very young age; at 11 I used to steal my mother’s sewing machine to make clothes” she says.

Designer Adama Ndiaye

Designer Adama Ndiaye

After a degree in economy and a short-lived career in the finance world, Ndiaye launched her fashion career with her line Adama Paris. Unable to penetrate the traditional world of Parisian fashion where she lived and, seeing the necessity for designers like herself to show their work, she decided to fill the void herself.
In 2010 she organized the very first edition of the Black Fashion Week in Prague; then Paris and now Montreal. And why exactly did she choose Montreal? “Montreal is a beautiful, vibrant [and bilingual] city full of creativity.” But Montreal is also a door to the North American market, one that this fierce business woman would like to explore. With cities like Washington DC and New York, Adama Paris is ready to bring her Black Fashion Week to the US. But, before that, she will explore Brazil with a first edition of the Black Fashion Week in Salvador de Bahia ” I want to give young Black Brazilian models a chance. I want them to be able to work because quite honestly it has for them to book jobs in Brazil.”

At the  2014 Montreal Black Fashion Week: Models wearing Adama Paris (left) and Helmer (right)  © Sachin Shrestha

At the 2014 Montreal Black Fashion Week: Models wearing Adama Paris (left) and Helmer (right) © Sachin Shrestha

Most recently, Ndiaye launched her latest project: Fashion Africa Tv, a 24-hour television channel, a platform that will promote both African models and designers. ” I want to create links between African from the East of the West.” The channel is only available in Senegal for now but will soon enter other markets.

Both with her designs and her projects, Adama Paris aims at bringing forth the actors exciting new scenes of African Fashion. She wants fashion lovers to see that they can options in what they can purchase and wear. The woman who wears Adama Paris can mix and match ready-to-wear and higher end pieces from Africa [and beyond].

Originally published on IAMAfrica by Sam

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