• What to wear

    Fashion's done its thing in London and moved onto Milan, leaving us with dreams of spring looks to come. But wearing all that fashionable gear can be exhausting and often when you get home you want to change into something comfy. But the problem with comfy is it's rarely chic.

    This was the problem encountered by Paris-based Raphaella Riboud, who whilst working for Dior, Vogue and Tatler spent her days in heels and full-on elegant dresses. But found that when she got home the comfy options were either bad pastel-coloured or in grotty fabrics better suited to the gym.

    So Raphaella made herself some pyjamas. Tailored, chic, made in France with heavy silks from Italy. They were a success. Raphaella added to the line with prints and shorts and negligees. Boutique Colette wanted them.

    And the great thing is, not only do they fit the post-work-relaxing bill, but they're amazing for travelling as they don't crease. Wear them on holiday to ward against moquitoes or with heels to go out. Just don't think of them as pyjamas, but a smart silk pants-suit.


  • What to know

    Twenty years ago, wearing vintage was quite the statement. "Where's that dress from?" "It's vintage", would be the nonchalant reply from the wearer, secretly thrilled the fruits of her labour had been noticed. Because labour it was; to find 'the dress' you had to ferret through rails at Oxfam, spend chilly mornings scouring flea-bitten clothes in Portobello market or rifle through an ageing relative's cupboard.

    These days, if you want it, there's a sanitized, easy-peasy, mothball-free version of vintage shopping. At Atelier-Mayer.com in Connaught Village (ps. two doors down from the best hot chocolate at Coco Maya), vintage is offered as less of a statement and more as a smart alternative to buying current season.

    "Cool girls mix seasonal and vintage," explains Atelier-Mayer.com's owner Carmen Haid, who today relaunches a fresh new e-commerce website. The clothes are edited according to trend, decade, occasion, and there are masses of great accessories. Pieces are collected by Haid from all over the world; whether bought at auction (eg. a shearling coat from a recent auction of Suzy Menkes' collection) or a whole heap of Balenciaga bought from a former muse because she now lives in Ibiza and will only wear white!

    But for those folk who shy away from vintage for fear of stepping into the former clothes of a miserable, grumpy, evil lady, then Atelier-Mayer.com is for you. Each piece has been Feng Shui-d and comes with a certificate to prove it. So while you may be carrying an old bag, you won't be carrying an old bag's energy.

    47 Kendal Street, London W2 2BU
    Tel: +44 207 7067200

    Atelier-Mayer.com offered all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win a pair of 1980s Chanel Earrings (see image, worth £550).

    Atelier-Mayer.com also offered all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers a 10% discount on all vintage purchases. Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.

  • 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