Recently, I was reminded of one of my other passions, and that is paper. While creating a new board on Pinterest, I remembered just how much I love fabulous stationery, exquisite business cards, passport covers, hand-stitched leather diaries, and gold stamped notebooks. The beauty of paper is that it can be felt, touched and kept. And like fashion, it reflects tastes and personality.
My favorite paper is handmade cards, preferably with a humorous illustration to go with the message. I come from a very creative family so I have accumulated a wonderful collection over the years. However, if I had to choose two purveyors of luxury stationary I would have to say Italy’s Il Papiro and the U.K.’s Smythson of Bond Street.
I discovered Il Papiro when I lived in Florence as an Art student. One of their stores was right along my main route to school. By the end of my stay, I had purchased several cards and envelopes and four gorgeous warm amber-colored leather bound books. I still have them and they look brand new.
My introduction to Smythson came after I had returned from Italy. It arrived in the form of an article in a British Fashion Magazine. Their famous Little Black Book was prominently displayed and I knew I had to have one. I wanted something compact yet elegant to store certain personal information and this little lady-like wafer book fit the bill! Featuring the label’s signature nile-blue featherweight paper, a hand-stitched grosgrain leather binding, and an understated sophistication, this portable journal served as a diary for my single girl escapades. I still have it nearly ten years later. Naturally, my Little Black Book became my Smythson “gateway drug”. Since my first purchase, I have bought many more of Smythson’s love-forever accessories. It is no wonder that the British heritage brand has become the first choice of organised style mavens everywhere.