• Where to go

    Every so often it seems that shops play a complicated game of Monopoly with undecipherable rules. Old, familiar stores are replaced with young upstarts, other shops more simply move a few places down the road, while some ageing friends disappear forever.

    Paul Smith is playing the game this year. Tonight he reopens his former wookedy furniture and antiques treasure trove on Albermarle Street, which has grown into the space next door. Why have one shop when you can have two?

    Architects 6a have smashed through the dividing wall to create one big shop filled with interlinking higgledy-piggledy rooms. There are standalone spaces for mainline menswear and womenswear, (look out for the men's knits - especially the oversized houndstooth - girls can take a size small for the perfect boyfriend sweater), a shoe department with walls entirely covered in dominoes (26,000 dominoes to be precise), a gallery in the basement and a space for furniture and other curiosities. The black painted façade is clad with cast iron panels - look carefully to see Sir Paul's drawings secreted amongst them.

    Meanwhile other players in fashion Monopoly are Isabel Marant, due to open her shop on Bruton Street later this month, and Belstaff who are launching their 'House' on Bond Street this Sunday with a motorbike parade.

    Paul Smith, 9 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BL
    www.paulsmith.co.uk
    www.isabelmarant.com
    www.belstaff.com

  • What to read

    Unless they just happen to be your best friend, style icons don't usually let you in.

    That's because part of what makes them an icon is the mystery. It's the gap between them and us. So to maintain their iconic status, we never see beyond the gloss; there's no hint of the prep, the stylists, the heaps of clothes on the floor, the magazine tear-sheets, the reference books, the bathroom shelves groaning with make-up, the bad hair day. You rarely see a style icon go shopping.

    But presenter, writer, model Alexa Chung is different. She's the girl whose style has been 'right' for right now for the past ten years. And will continue to be for at least the next ten years. And now she's made a book about it - aptly called IT - that lets us all in to her world. And guess what… looking so right is hard graft. Via her pink canvas covered book with its suitably insta-twittery-scrapbooky feel, Chung shows and tells that her mode has been honed through watching hours of film, analyzing her own icons including wonderfully varied characters Wednesday Adams, Winona Ryder in Heathers and Anna Karina in Une Femme Est Une Femme, or rubbing mud into new Converse so they don't look too new.

    There's nothing patronizing, prescriptive or preachy about Chung's book. Girls will be inspired and their mums and grannies won't be able to resist dipping. IT is a lovely, honest window into Alexa's life; which seems like a glorious combination of taking style just seriously enough with doing a lot of mucking about.

    Alexa Chung - IT
    Published by Particular Books, 5th September 2013, £16.99

  • Where to go

    The Mount Street area of Mayfair continues to lure interesting, exciting designers and the latest to hit the patch is Jessica McCormack.

    This talented New Zealand born jewellery designer has upped-sticks from her East End digs and moved into an entire house on Carlos Place. She's handily opposite The Connaught (they'll send over cream tea) and has Roland Mouret as a neighbour.

    McCormack is beautiful, clever and funny - traits reflected in her jewellery designs that sit upon Italian marble plinths of Jessica's own design alongside endless art works by Ryan McGinley, Rick Owens and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others.

    It's a sophisticated way to buy or dream of buying jewellery; the ground floor leads out to a pretty garden, while upstairs on the first floor is a clubby panelled library with a piano that plays all on its own.

    Jessica's design studio is just the next floor up, which adds something charming and reassuring for those lucky folk designing bespoke pieces; the wizard and her elves are in the house. And for those buying off the peg… there's an impressive new emerald necklace that Liz Taylor would've acquired an extra husband for.

    Jessica McCormack - 7 Carlos Place, London W1K 3AR
    www.jessicamccormack.com

    Jessica McCormack offered all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win one of twenty places at a champagne and jewels evening on Thursday 12th September at Jessica McCormack from 6.30-8.30 with talks by Jessica on her inspirations, the bespoke process and the house. Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.