Visiting the exhibition “CHRISTIAN DIOR, COUTURIER DU RÊVE”

Let me be completely upfront with you.

This review is going to be nothing but breathless prose, incoherent, uncritical admiration and lots of photos of THE most fabulous exhibition imaginable.

Yes, indeed, my reviewing colours nailed well & truly to the mast.

If you haven’t already seen the breathtaking retrospective of the work of Christian Dior, then make time.

Go. See. It.

Go to Paris, if you are not lucky enough to live there.

Go.

See this stupendous exhibition of wondrous clothes, exhibited in an absolutely stunning way.

BUT – if you do go, be sure to book in advance, but that will not stop you having to queue, I warn you.  Pre-booked tickers make for a shorter queue, but there is still quite a lot of waiting involved.

And whatever you do, do NOT go on a holiday or over the weekend, if you can avoid it.  We couldn’t, being only briefly “de passage à Paris,” and the crowds and the heat definitely spoiled a lot of the enjoyment.  I was surprised at the lack of crowd control and crowd flow.

There were, quite frankly, w-a-y too many people in each room, and there were several exhibits in the early stages, in the first 2/3 rooms that we could hardly see, so thick was the crowd.  Have to wonder why they don’t have a system of timed tickets, enabling better crowd movement.

Right, having got that off my chest, let me rave about the clothes on display.

From the museum’s website, in their own words:

“The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Dior. This lavish and comprehensive exhibition invites visitors on a voyage of discovery through the universe of the House of Dior’s founder and the illustrious couturiers who succeeded him: Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and, most recently, Maria Grazia Chiuri.”

There are sumptuous gowns and frocks and dresses on display, grouped sometimes by designer, sometimes by theme, sometimes accompanied by a work of art that inspired the designer.

And by “work of art” we are talking Old Masters and Egyptian statues.  Too fabulous.

Like so.

There were dresses that were simply breathtaking in their beauty:

Seriously, how utterly jaw-droppingly gorgeous are these 2 confections (above)?

Sometimes, you need to stop drooling over the outfits, and take a moment and try & separate the clothes themselves from the way of displaying them, to admire the genius of the people who curated the exhibition (below).

There is drama and theatricality in the presentation, but never too much so as to overshadow the clothes.


I loved the groupings by colour:

I loved the groupings by country and influence… will you just look at that flamenco inspired dress!  To die for.  Total perfection.

Now look at these 3 dresses in luscious shades of pink (below).

The reverential atmosphere was lightened at this display by a tiny, wee Australian muppet, who pointed to the dress at the left and said in a loud voice, “That’s my dress, Mummy”.

There was a sigh of agreement from every woman in the vicinity.

I loved every single thing about this exhibition.  Except the crowds.

Totally & utterly recommended.  Even with the crowds.

CHRISTIAN DIOR, COUTURIER DU RÊVE  from 5 July 2017 to 7 January 2018

Musée des Arts décoratifs
107, rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris
France

We paid for our own tickets and no-one knew that I blog and review.

Testing Reebok’s reversible running shorts

Late September & Delhi is at its worst.

Hot, humid, the fag-end of the monsoons – which explains all that heat and humidity.

So, of course, that is exactly when I decide to buy some new running trousers, and test drive them (as it were) in such an unforgiving climate.

Because I’d just bought some Reebok running shoes, I decided to try out their clothing range as well, and bought a pair of reversible running shorts –  well, more capri-length to be exact.

They are indeed reversible –  grey one side, black the other:

I have subsequently used these running shorts at least twice, if not thrice, a week since then, and 2 1/2 months on from humid September, I am every bit as pleased with them, and they show no sign of wear and tear.

They really do wick away the sweat, as advertised:

The only adjustment I made to the trousers when I bought them, was to cut off the care label, in order to make them truly reversible.  Like so:

 

It was stitched on in such a way that removing it was easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My only cavil – I do wish there was a pocket.

I bought & paid for the trousers myself, and no-one in Reebok knows that I blog.

They cost Rs 2699 (in late September 2016).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to buy these running shorts, you can get to Amazon very quickly, straight from this page.  Just click on either of the links below, and they’ll take you straight to their website…but, hey, you know all this stuff, right? 🙂

Running in Adidas Ultra Boost

I sadly retired my Adidas Supernova Glide 6 running shoes a month ago –  boy, how I loved those funky colours –  and replaced them with (yet) another pair of Adidas.

Their Ultra Boost.

The ritual “out with the old and in with the new photo” follows, a comparison which always makes me feel sorry for my old, well-loved, slightly battered looking, soon-to-be-discarded shoes.

Actually, rather than feeling sorry for my old shoes, I feel disloyal.

That’s it.

Disloyal, after hundreds of kilometres together.IMG_3388

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The Ultra Boost are every bit as comfy and easy to wear as the Supernova Glide 6, but there is one thing I prefer in the latter – the fact that there is a tongue.

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As opposed to a rounded, moulded shape –  can you see from the photo below, that there isn’t a separate tongue per se?

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It’s purely personal –  I have a high instep, so the tongue fitting is easier to put on.

But that’s it, as far as “criticism” goes, and the lack of a tongue is hardly a criticism, to be honest.

Lovely cushion-y soles:
IMG_3399There is nothing like the first few runs with brand new shoes- you definitely feel as though you have a spring in your step.

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The photo below shoes the difference in the soles of the 2 shoes

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Prime-knit is used and makes for a snug, comfy fit.

Easy lacing

IMG_3394Given the amount I’m running at the moment, these shoes are already well run in, after exactly a month.  I’m taking part in a #100daysofrunning challenge which, for those of you who don’t know Delhi in the summer, is a major challenge.  It is blazingly hot, the rains haven’t yet come, and so this challenge really pushes us all to get out there and run, 43C temperatures notwithstanding.

My first run in these new shoes was exactly a month ago on 4 May and today, 4 June, I have notched up some 235km already.

So, yes, I might only have had these shoes for a month, but I can safely claim that I like them and enjoy running in them.

I bought the shoes myself.

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In love with my T10 sports polo

Since I started running 2 1/2 years ago, I have acquired quite a collection of T shirts.  As one does.

Races, promotional runs, fun runs, our running club –  many of these events come with a T shirt.

t10sports in Gurgaon, just over the border from Delhi, makes Tshirts, fleeces, running jerseys, cycling shorts – pretty much all the essentials for sports, clothes-wise.  Caps, jerseys, polos, corporate gifts –  they are the go to people.

We used t10sports when we had our running group Ts made, with custom printing, logos, names etc, and the works was done quickly and efficiently.

I was lucky enough to win a voucher for a free personalised shirt from them in the recent Women’s Day 10km and opted this time for a polo, the first I’ve had from them.

I really like the fact that their polos are designed for women, meaning the cut and the sleeves are different and better suited to our body shape.  Mine was comfy from the first time I wore it.

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Nice cotton, and I really like the striped inset (below).

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Detail of the buttons.

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Check out their website for prices and sizes.

Prompt, efficient service.

Recommended.

I didn’t pay for this polo, since I won it as a prize, but we all paid for our running group Ts, and t10sports has no idea that I blog or write reviews.

Taking my Adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost shoes on safari in Africa

I am still totally in love with my Adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost shoes but, tragically, they are now officially finished.

Finito.

Dead.

Khatm.

Well, that’s if I choose to believe the doleful message from mapmyrun.com received 2 weeks ago :

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I ignored them, continued with my #dailyrunning and now I’ve clocked up 720km, meaning I am technically “in the red”, as it were :

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But, as an aside, not half as much “in the red” as I am with my alternate shoes, my “old” Adidas Energy Boost:

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Yikes –  546 km OVER the recommended usage…time to go shopping, quite clearly.

But, yes, back to Africa.

We have just got back from a brilliant trip to South Africa, where I ran ever day, and where my shoes had a couple of fun moments.

We stayed at a friend’s game farm, about 4 hours north of Johannesburg, and since the farm does not have lion, elephant or rhino, it was deemed safe for me to go running in the bush, which was stupendous.  Watch out for rhino, I was told.  And leopard.  But otherwise, no problem.  And so I went for long solitary runs through the bush.IMG_3301

One morning, as we all set off in the Landrover for our early morning game drive, my running tracks from the previous evening were still clearly visible, and so our host suggested we try and identify the pug marks of the wildlife that had walked down the same track after me.   So we all hopped off the Landie and started spotting.

Here, you can clearly see the Adidas logo, and that a blade of straw has found its way on top of my footprint.

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Enough critters had wandered over my footprints…impala…baboon…wild boar.

All pretty exciting.

And then…no, that couldn’t really be a leopard’s pug mark, could it?

Yes it most definitely could 🙂

How exciting to think that during the night a leopard had walked in my footsteps.  Actually, he had walked over my footsteps.IMG_3356

But my shoes’ African adventures were not yet over.

The next week saw us in a friend’s fishing estate in the hills around Lydenburg.

Joy of joys, the estate manager has a tame meerkat, who is cute as a button and super friendly.

And this lil chap fell seriously in love with my shoes.

All that webbing!  He sniffed and poked and clawed away –  in the wild, they grub for food with their long (sharp) nails, so my shoes presented lots of temptation for him.

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Some times, we sat in companionable silence, while he rested from checking out my shoes.

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Another day, he checked out my socks with great interest.

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And yet another morning, when I knelt down to try and take a low-level photo of him, he pounced upon the soles of my shoes with great glee, since things do indeed get wedged in the holes, and I could feel him happily scratching and scraping away.

After a while, perhaps tired from all that exercise with my shoes, he scrambled onto my knees, and settled down for a nap.

Now how special is that?South Africa_Finsbury_3377

One thing is for sure –  all this African excitement sure beats pounding the streets of Delhi every day.

Putting the Adidas Climachill Cosmic Boost Shoes through their paces

Having seemingly only “just” bought a new pair of Adidas Energy Boost running shoes, it hardly seemed possible that I was running through them so quickly. (Pun intended).

But the facts were there for all to see.

I bought my “old” shoes at the end of April, and by dint of running every day, I was indeed using them up.

The demands of a #100daysofrunning challenge I signed up for on 1 May, made me realise something: you really do need a second pair of running shoes, especially when you are training through the Indian monsoon season.

And so, since I am rapidly becoming something of a one-woman Adidas fan club, I went for another Adidas shoe, the Climachill Cosmic Boost.

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What attracted me to these shoes was the new climachill technology, which is supposed to keep you cool and is quick drying –  both ideal features in our hot muggy summers.  Between the heat and the monsoon downpours, this new technology seems to fit the bill.

Here, let Adidas tell you all the technical specs in their own words:

Climachill Cosmic Boost Shoes

Log more miles, log cooler miles with these men’s running shoes. Made with boost™ in the midsole, the shoes return energy to your step. Featuring a breathable mesh upper and climachill™ that cools your feet.
  • Weight: 7.6 ounces (size 9)
  • boost™’s energy-returning properties keep every step charged with an endless supply of light, fast energy
  • climachill™ helps keep you cool with active 360-degree ventilation and quick-drying, micro-perforated Aerocool fabric
  • Engineered mesh upper with various types of mesh in different areas of the foot
  • Bootee construction for comfortable fit
  • Grippy outsole
  • Imported

 

The first thing I loved about these gorgeous shoes (other than the colour…ooh, the colour) was the ease of putting them on.

Don’t laugh.

The only thing I don’t like about my lovely Energy Boost shoes (and I mentioned this in my review) was the fact that the tongue doesn’t open very wide, meaning it’s a bit of a struggle to get the shoes on without damaging the back.  I have resorted to using a shoe horn to get them on.

No such problem with the Climachill Cosmic Boost.

They are oh-so-light and slip on easily, from the first wear.

The design of the tongue is different, the backs of the shoes are flexible, and they feel comfy from the start.

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I was intrigued by the soles, which really do have holes going all the way through.

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Foolishly, for their very first outing I wore thick double-layered running socks, and the inevitable happened.

The shoes felt too tight and not particularly light and airy as they should have done.

It was silly of me, agreed, because the whole USP of these lovely shoes is their airiness, their quick-drying and their ventilation –  and so wearing thick socks was clearly counter-productive.

Entirely my own fault.

So, on the second day I wore thin socks and boy, did the shoes feel lovely and light.

I have wide feet, and so on the first day, when I was wearing those wretched thick socks, I panicked that the shoes were the wrong size.  But as from day 2, no such issues.  Thinner socks means they feel comfortable and (I realise this isn’t a technical term) I hardly notice I am wearing them.

 

Is it shallow of me to love their looks?

Nah, not a bit of it.

I love the colour, love the fabric, love the laces, love the eyelets…in a word, love the look of these shoes.

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One of the main things that struck me about these shoes was their lightness.  They cushion your feet, but don’t feel at all weighty.

The souls felt nice and flexible from the start, but I do have one unresolved question.

To wit: I am a new runner, and so possibly not as savvy as I should be, but with shoes like these –  designed with vents in the soles – I clearly can’t wear my special orthotic insoles, as they would be as counter-productive as my thick socks.

So…where does that leave me?  Should I alternate these shoes with my others (in which I have orthotic soles)?

 

I have run several times in the rain in these shoes, and they really did seem to dry quickly.  There was no sensation of splashing along, weighed down by damp fabric or damp socks.

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I wore these shoes for the first time on 15 July 2015 which means that today (5 August) I have had my Climachill Cosmic Boost shoes for precisely 22 days.

I have so far run  a little over 200km in them, and so imagine my horror when I got a chatty message from the running app on my phone, telling me I am already over 1/4 of the way through the suggested life of these beauties.

Conclusion?

Delighted with my Climachill Cosmic Boost.

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Would I choose them again when  –  sadly – they wear out?

Most definitely.

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How good are M&S sports socks?

At £6 a pair, these super cool-looking running socks are not cheap.  But after a month of daily, intensive use, I am happy to report that they are good and soft and cushioning and, actually, yes, well worth their £6.

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You see, they are more than “just’ a sock.

Here, read the M&S literature for yourself:

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They really do feel good.  Ditto my feet, after pounding the unforgiving Delhi pavements in our equally unforgiving pre-monsoon heat.

Am a sucker for L & R on my socks, I have to confess.

Ditto the cute message inside the sock, hidden from view.

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Personally recommended.

Value for money?

Yes, I think so.  Can’t quibble with something that keeps your feet blister-free.

Would I buy them again?

Yes, already did.  I tried them out for a couple of weeks in London & stockpiled before returning to Delhi.

How good are Adidas Energy Boost running shoes?

First things first.

I am not a running/fitness/shoe expert.

I am simply a freshly minted runner, who has gone from 0 – training for her first marathon in 18 months.  In other words, what I have to say about my new running shoes is 100% personal, and not “professional”.

After (literally) running through my old Revenergy Boost which saw me through my first-ever half marathon, as well as my second, third, fourth and fifth HMs, the time had come to replace them.  It almost felt disloyal to replace them, since they had shepherded me through so many late-in-life thrilling milestones, but after 7 months they were pretty worn out.

So, yes, I loved my old shoes – everything except the dull grey colour, if I am being honest – and decided to stick with what I knew, and bought another pair.

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Oh joy! The new version comes in a fab colour. Despite my age, there is nothing wrong with loving jazzy pink and purple shoes, now, is there?

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Aren’t they gorgeous?

Love the noticeably bouncy tread.  You really do feel as though you are bouncing along with extra energy, when you run in these shoes-see how worn down my faithful old ones were in comparison.

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The only thing I am less enthusiastic about in this new version of the Energy Boost is the tongue, which doesn’t open as wide as the older version did.  So I have taken to using a shoe tree to help me put them on, rather than forcing my foot in and damaging the back.

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Other than that, love ’em.

I have a tendency to pronate, and was told that these shoes will definitely help.

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Buying these beauties coincided with my signing up for a #100daysofrunning challenge, so I now have a clever phone app predicting the life of my new shoes.

Alas! After exactly one month, to the day, I have (it would appear) already used up over a third of their predicted lifespan.

Oh woe is me.

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I bought these shoes, paid for them myself, and did not tell the shop that I review and blog.

Recommended?

Absolutely.

Would I buy them again?

Yes, going to do exactly that.

Which sports bra?

Although I am going to review a sports bra here –  the one I use for running –  I really would appreciate feedback and input from women readers, please, not only for this bra but other makes, too.  It would help to make this post more inclusive.

Please?

So, ever since I started running in September 2013, I have experimented with different sports bras, and the one that suits me best is the Nike Dri Fit.  It is firm without being too constricting, and it seems to last and last.  I bought 2 last February –  so 11 months ago, give or take –  and they have been washed constantly, yet show no signs of wear and tear.  I then bought 2 more in October, and other than the thick wedge of labels which I had to cut out of all the bras (are so many labels really necessary, Nike?) I have no complaints whatsoever.

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See what I mean about the labels?

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I couldn’t actually find these bras in Delhi so bought them overseas, but I would love to hear from you if this style is indeed available locally in India.  Hope so.

And as I said at the outset, I welcome your recommendations of other bras.