Carmen Marc Valvo, Uchi and Me.

No trip to Austin would be complete without a visit to the amazing Uchi.  The chefs of the Uchi / Uchiko restaurant family have together won multiple awards – most recently Paul Qui took the title of Top Chef: Texas , proving there is more to Austin than BBQ and Tex Mex (both of which, I’d like to add, they also do extremely well).

I visited Uchi during my last trip to Austin and tried some of their amazing cold starters, a set of somewhat unusual combinations of ingredients that were all melt in the mouth perfect.  I’m not a very adventurous eater but the servers at Uchi were able to pick the best plates for me based on my likes and dislikes of tastes and textures.

This visit I wore an amazing Carmen Marc Valvo gown which I rented using a gift voucher I had for Rent The Runway.  I love that Rent The Runway can give you the experience of wearing something you’d never usually be able to afford and this one shoulder number made me feel wonderful stepping out in it. The couture arm of Carmen Marc Valvo’s label presented some breathtaking gowns this Fall, below are my favourites from the 2012 collection honouring Lauren Bacall (with modern, simple and stunning glamour and sophistication in each piece).

And for me, an evening of glamour and sophistication at Uchi with new friends it was!

Also, today I met another psychologist and blogger the lovely Psyched For Style to discuss fashion, psychological theory and life in the USA /UK – it was so interesting to discuss in person how we bring our work and life passions together – I’ll be forever grateful to this blog for helping me to meet those with similar interests.

I hope you had a great weekend, Blog Reader! xo

Pictures: StyleOnTheCouch; Uchi restaurant and catwalk images from Elle.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Tibi

I borrowed this gorgeous Tibi dress from Rent the Runway to wear on my birthday weekend.  The blood red and cream colours combined with the baroque style print was such an unusual combination for me but I loved wearing it – I received some lovely compliments on the dress that night!  I wasn’t at all sure what to wear on my feet – my red suede pumps just felt “too much” and none of my black shoes would work…  In the end I settled on a)compiling a hefty a shoe/boot wish list for next year to cover all manner of clothing eventualities and b)wearing my nude pumps.  It was then off to the lovely Gottino in the West Village for wine and tapas and an unexpected birthday dessert on the house (I love Gottino, it’s one of my favourite places to eat and drink in West Village – go visit!)

Wearing Tibi of course had me recalling their spring 2012 collection.  I was a big fan of their streamlined silhouettes and sportswear inspired pieces and would love to invest in one of these next year.  A palette of monochrome was complimented beautifully by ice cream pastels and the odd jazzy print, with the soft layering of different colours preventing the collection as a whole from being viewed as overly minimalist.

Above and below: images from Tibi.  Middle: photos from the 2012 runway show I attended with Lani of Mon Petit Chou Chou, who did a lovely write up here.

I remember thinking at the show in September this was a very laid back collection, with a hint of menswear, a hint of sports luxe.  My favourite pieces were the gowns, but I was impressed with the wide legged trousers (actually these looked like gowns at first glance because the pants were so very wide) and the tailored shorts.

There is an interesting quote from Amy Smilovic, designer and founder of the label, on their website:

“I always think a woman should dress in contradictions – youthful and sophisticated, masculine and feminine, bold and muted colours”

I think she has this down perfectly here with spring 2012.

Tibi was a perfect birthday choice this year – and again next year, it would seem! Do you like the style of the brand, Blog Reader?

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Birthdays :-)

Today is my birthday.  It is my first New York City birthday celebration since I moved to the US!

This weekend I’m having a very “Manhattan” style celebration but with the inevitable European twist.  Yesterday morning I met Lydia Hudgens for a photo shoot featuring some of my new birthday presents – this year I have been blessed with some very stylish gifts, including a bespoke dress from Bordelle and my favourite Diptyque candle (from who else but Anne of Ritournelleblog, merci Anne!).  In the evening I wore a beautiful dress by Tibi from Rent The Runway for dinner at Gottino NYC and today I’m having a very glamorous and decadent afternoon tea….

But lest I forget, let me introduce you to ‘Mlle Sarah’, above, who as you can see really has been spoilt this year with her presents.  This lovely piece of art was drawn for StyleOnTheCouch by a new friend Barbara, an artist from France who studied at University La Sorbonne.  She was recommended to me by someone I am close to who thought she would be a fabulous fit for the blog, and I completely agree!  ’Mlle Sarah’ might become a permanent fixture around here, if you like her, Blog Reader…. she seems quite cheeky, I kinda like her already.  And she notices some very funny things about psychology and fashion, I’d love her to share more…

More of Barbara’s art can be found on her Magical Mystery Blog

The blog is in its infancy, but it is sure to grow, do visit sometime, her character and super heroine ‘Barbara Cadabra‘ is delightful.

A birthday weekend in pictures…..

I will put full outfit posts of some of my gorgeous gifts on the blog over the next few weeks.  Right now, I believe there is a little more celebrating to do…

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” (A. Lincoln)