• What to wear

    Every so often a shoe appears that in just one small trotter, sums up the mood of the moment.

    The Lana by Bionda Castana is that very shoe. The shape is elegant but the tone is suggestive, with see-through panels and lace ties at the ankle. The Lana and her sister shoes Nicole, Dekokta and the fringed Garance are the strong, confidence-giving party or work shoe for the summer. And for those customers who want something specific or unique, alongside the mainline collections, Bionda Castana offer a Custom Made service; clients choose from 12 styles, 70 swatches and four different heel heights. The finished shoes arrive a speedy four weeks later.

    The brand was created by half-Italian beauties Natalia Barbieri and Jennifer Portman, who became firm friends while at business school, took jobs in the city only to leave their high flying careers to set up Bionda Castana in 2007. Each style is designed in London and handmade in Italy, not far from Lake Como. And next week, the brand beloved by stylers including Alexa Chung, Eva Mendes and Kate Bosworth, takes the next hop up the ladder, when Natalia and Jennifer open their first shop on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia. "It's a dream to be in this area," says Natalia Barbieri. "Everyone knows Elizabeth Street. It's so… quaint and has such a great local client base. There's Jenny Packham to the right and Philip Treacy to the left. We feel it's so well suited to us."

    Expect individual buttoned pouffes, soft carpet for sockless feet and virign soles, and a taupe, gold palette with hits of walnut, mimicking the brand's slick packaging. And there'll be coffee, water or champagne on tap; the elegant way to buy suggestive shoes.

    Bionda Castana, 73 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9PJ
    www.biondacastana.com

    Bionda Castana offers all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win a pair of Custom Made Bionda Castana shoes, (worth £595). Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.

  • Where to go

    Yet another reason to hang about in Marylebone, is the new Daylesford Farmshop and Café on Blandford Street - just off the main beaten track of Marylebone High Street.

    Surrounded by Cotswold stone and sliced-wood covered walls are market-style boxes of colourful organic fruit and veg, tempting dairy products from the creamery, even more tempting freshly baked bread and pastries and at the butchers, a selection of meat (beef, lamb, venison and poultry) reared on the Daylesford farms. Look out too for the new 'Eat to be healthy' product range that includes cold-pressed juices, bee pollen and - my favourite - the toasted nut granola.

    Breakfast through to supper is served at circular wooden tables, or on a sunny day at street-side café tables, the vantage point for spying Marylebone's ever-increasingly colourful world go by. And once you're sated, head down the street for kitchen design inspiration at Plain English. Or pop across the road to marvel at the English Gothic architecture of St James's Church on Spanish Place. Followed by a stolen moment at The Wallace Collection surrounded by Old Masters. Or for an extra treat, Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini opens his first shop in the UK on Marylebone High Street today. Frankly, who can resist a macaroon carousel?

    Daylesford Farmshop & Café - Marylebone
    6-8 Blandford Street, London W1U 4AU
    www.daylesford.com

  • What to see

    Sometimes knowing little encourages creativity more than knowing too much. There are times when inexperience enables boundary pushing, in a way that reality and experience can halt it.

    This is certainly the case for new Soho-based fashion gallery Maison Mais Non, a venture set up by life-coach Topes Calland and Micheál Neeson that opens next week with a show titled Artist:Artisan. The inaugural show sees four Central Saint Martins graduates paired with four Savile Row tailors, each working collaboratively on one piece. "People keep saying, 'How did you do this?' or 'This has never happened before'," says Topes Calland smiling through his Old Testament beard, "But we had no idea of the politics involved with both discplines. Because it seemed such a natural union to us, the designers and tailors responded as though it were entirely natural as well."

    The teaming of graduates taught to break the rules and tailors taught to abide by rules may have produced frayed tempers as well as hems. But the overriding result of the partnerships; Hayley Grundmann with Anderson & Sheppard, Charles Jeffrey with Chittleborough and Morgan, Krystyna Kozhoma and Richard Anderson and Masha Reva with Kathryn Sargent seems to be one of respect for each other's discipline, creativity and craft. 

    The Maison Mais Non gallery space itself is part of The Soho Revue, owned by property heiress India Rose James, granddaughter of 'The King of Soho', Paul Raymond. And the collaborative pieces will be shown alongside work by both designer and tailor, with added visual stimuli provided by photographer Toby Knott and videographer Eddie Wrey. With next season's London Fashion Week based down the road in Brewer Street Car Park and fresh exhibitions every six weeks, Maison Mais Non seems to likely to fill an original and pertinent space, tripoding fashion, craftsmanship and art. And with Micheál's father, actor Liam Neeson, working on next week's opening night guest list, the gallery will surely be blessed with added twinkle and starry support.

    Maison Main Non, 14 Greek Street, London W1D 4DP
    www.maisonmaisnon.com