Ellie and Nuria are Riviera Ready
The Summer Express has arrived on the Côte D'Azur. In crisp cotton, breezy linen and the season's coolest swimwear, Nuria Val explores the warm shores with Ellie from Slipintostyle.
Exactly half-way between Paris and Rome lies Menton. A coastal town that is so captivating that generations of royals and nobles – including Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill and the princes of Monaco – have spent time in the little village that hides behind the maritime alps and is embedded among lush botanical gardens, lemon tree plantations and picturesque pastel houses.
Ellie, the style maven behind Slipintostyle, grew up in Martinique but moved to the south of France at 20. After four years on the glittering stretch of coastline she relocated to Paris, but still makes her way down south whenever she gets a chance.
"There's a very special atmosphere down here that's different from anywhere else in France. The people are so hospitable, and there's an air of mid-century glamour that creates a pretty unique lifestyle. Film classics like Bonjour Tristesse, To Catch a Thief and La Piscine, still convey a pretty accurate picture of what the Riviera is like."
When the word style slips into question, Ellie lightens up even more. A self-proclaimed shoe and mini-bag aficionado, she launched her inspirational account just over a year ago and has gained both followers and made fashion friends since. One of them is photographer, creative director and style icon Nuria Val.
"I got into to fashion very early on. It all started with me always observing how my mother got ready for work in the '90s and '00s, how elegant and chic she was. She's still my fashion icon," Ellie says and continues: "Coming from the Caribbean, I've always been really into bright colours, big prints and mixing and matching things together."
With Nuria fresh in from Barcelona, the Mediterranean is calling.
For a perfect summer day, Nuria and Ellie keep their packing lists short and sweet: fruit, sunglasses, ice cream, kaftans, playing cards and – of course – swimsuits, bikinis, and some more swimsuits.
"I usually just bring a friend, some fruit and my favourite music. Then we eat and talk and sunbathe all day long. It's perfect," Ellie says.
The two have a lot of things in common, but their love of nature might be their biggest shared passion – drawing inspiration from it in all they do. Further proof of this is the fact that they both concur that summer style are just other words for always wearing bikinis or swimsuits underneath any outfit to be ready to plunge in at any given time. Function is always the most important thing when it comes to beachwear.
"All my inspiration and motivation come from nature. Wherever I travel, my goal is always to find something different and something beautiful," Nuria says as she stares at sea wearing a one-shoulder bikini paired with a crisp cotton shirt.
There's more to the Côte d'Azur than fast sports cars, massive yachts and luxury beach clubs. Ellie shares her top spots to travel to – and things to get your hands on – when you're rolling on the Riviera.
"Menton is my favourite summer getaway, and a hidden gem on the Riviera. With long pebble stone beaches, hidden cliffs and delicious French and Italian food everywhere, it's a must-go if you're on the coast."
"La Belle Époque is still alive and well at Hotel Negresco. It's a landmark in Nice and its restaurant, Le Chantecler, serves scrumptious French food and invites to some of the most interesting people-watching there is."
LA PROMENADE DES ANGLAIS
"Beautiful views, fantastic food and cute little shops that hold everything you need. I collect magnets wherever I travel to stick on my fridge at home. The souvenir store supply seems endless on Nice's most famous promenade."
"You can buy good olive oils at the supermarket, sure, but you'll taste the best olive oil in the world on the Côte d'Azur. Every little town has an array of local shops that cater to all your cravings."
THE RIVIERA LOOK
Nothing says Riviera quite like a long, printed skirt paired with a cropped crochet top. And few do it better than Ellie, who's Caribbean cool matches the coast perfectly. Nuria, true to her own laid-back summer style, gives a girly straight-cut cotton dress a cool twist by pairing it with her signature straw bag, a pair of edgy slippers and one of summer's trendiest sunglasses models.
Describe the perfect summer look!
"The perfect Riviera look should be easy and breezy. I prefer things that are easy to get in and out of. Dresses, sandals, T-shirts and cute tops. I love crochet, and since it's something that's hard to wear in the cold months I sometimes overdo it in the summer," Ellie says.
Cue the pizza, pasta, gelato, the espresso breaks and peach picking sessions – cue the endless views! Nuria is heading east, to Italy where she'll explore Lake Como with dreamboats Andrea and Paolo Faccio. See you when she gets there. Till then – ciao!
PHOTO Jacqueline Harriet
STYLING Ellen Pålsson Norberg
MAKEUP Veronica Aldrin | Mikas Looks
HAIR Joanna Rask | Mikas Looks
PRODUCTION Koster Production