‘t is the season to be gifting – have you figured out what you’re going to wrap up for your loved ones yet? as promised, i have put together a little list of ideas gathered at my most recent trip to GALERIA INNO in antwerp, where i searched every floor for the nicest brands and items to get your friends and family (and yourself) that perfect present.

one of my favorite departments to browse has always been beauty and cosmetics. it’s something that i won’t ever start buying online, for example, because i prefer to try everything on my own skin before committing to it. i had a lovely little chat with the beautiful girl at the dior counter, who was rightfully proud of its recent new design. she guided me through the different make-up collections to help me find the perfect little gift for myself – a new concealer and mascara. i’m planning to approach 2020 bright-eyed, and to be completely honest i also fell completely in love with the gorgeous dior gift-wrapping counter. anything you buy here will be wrapped to perfection, in an elegant, glamorous little bag or box. of course you could also head over to mac, which displayed breathtaking special christmas editions of its best-selling products, in shiny star-shaped packaging. perfect present under the tree for those glam girls in your life.

i also loved discovering the small antwerp-based jewelry brand that had a beautiful pop-up shop at galeria inno. the necklaces, bracelets and earrings all come packaged in a pretty see-through tube that can be used for so many different purposes afterwards. i especially loved the different kinds of pendants to carry your favorite initals close to your heart. also close to any woman’s heart is lingerie – and though i didn’t take a lot of photos in that department (too busy trying on every single style from love stories, aubade and marie jo), rest assured that it is well worth a visit on its own. i basically grew up in the lingerie shop my mom and grandmother ran together while i was young, so i have a very good idea of what makes a well-fitting bra and what i like. that’s why i like being able to browse entire collections on my own – and there’s always someone to help if you do need a second opinion or some assistance.

realizing i had mostly been browsing for myself up until that moment, i headed upstairs to the men’s department to score some gifts for the men in my life. most of them are pretty classic and like iconic brands, so i had plenty of options to choose from between the ralph lauren and tommy hilfiger corners. they both have really nice packaging, so if you ask to have anything gift-wrapped, it will be in the signature style of the brands. my go-to’s are the super soft plaid scarves and 100% woolen gloves, but i personally also love the semi-ironic cutesy bear and christmas prints at ralph lauren. perfect if you’re still looking for an ‘all the way into christmas eve’ outfit to take your annual family photos!

on the next floor i got sidetracked again, because – surprise, surprise – i also love timeless style and classic, iconic brands. i may or may not have tried on the entirety of the weekend by max mara and lauren by ralph lauren corners. that gold sequin dress took my breath away (but it left my muffin top firmly in place so we didn’t hit it off in the end). i bought a really beautiful outfit that will be perfect for informal holiday dinners with family, but plenty of the beautiful accessories would make amazing gifts for those who love a clean, minimal look.

i found so many more really good gifts in the home & kitchen department, because who doesn’t like a pretty new pillow cover or water carafe with matching glasses? sergio herman’s collection for serax is obviously also available in antwerp, and a ‘starter kit’ to start collecting this series would make someone like myself extremely happy. and a last little tip i found on the top floor between the travel accessories – a super lightweight, bright and shiny samsonite carry-on trolley would be perfect for those frequent travelers among your tribe.

so tell me – what would be your favorite department to score a gift for yourself? and do you fall back on the ‘gifting classics’ like socks, scarves, hats and perfume, or do you prefer to take more risks in finding the perfect gift? do you spend days browsing the entire city, or are you like me and do you prefer the one-stop-shop to satisfy your gift shopping needs?

post in collaboration with GALERIA INNO • as usual – all opinions, stories and photos are my own

last weekend was one for the memory books. my friend MARTA and i had been trying to get our families together for a cozy brunch or lunch since a few months, but our calendars never seemed to line up. we finally booked a date several weeks in advance – a saturday in october it would be. as the weather stayed nice for so long, we decided it would be the perfect time to do a joint photo session, too. there are never enough opportunities to get some beautiful family portraits, right?

so last saturday we were en route to our lunch and shoot location in the gorgeous countryside close to geneva, when i started smelling trouble from the back seat about twenty minutes into the drive. we figured we’d wait to change eloise’s diaper until we arrived at the restaurant, thinking nothing much more of it. but when another twenty minutes later i opened the car door and lifted eloise out of her car seat, a million thoughts started running through my head – the loudest one being ‘why for the love of god do i never pack a change of clothes for this baby?’ i’ll spare you my other thoughts. her diaper’s contents had exploded all over her beautiful onesie, pants and socks, and i had brought absolutely nothing else for her to wear. we panicked and almost turned the car straight around to head back home and cancel all plans, until we realized that shit indeed does happen in life and it’s way better to just roll with the punches.

so instead of having our lovely photo shoot i packed eloise into her super warm sleeping bag and tucked her under a blanket in the stroller, and we all enjoyed a little walk before enjoying a lovely lunch together. eloise slept through the entire thing. i guess marta and i had also romanticized the idea of being able to carry an actual conversation with so many kids at the table, but hey – it still counts as spending quality time together. afterwards we all drove back to our place in begnins to change eloise into a new outfit and have some coffee and cake, and then we went out for another little walk in our neighborhood. not even five minutes from our home, and of course we ended up taking the most gorgeous photos there. that’s #reallife for you.

the kids had fun picking some of the last left over grapes from the vines, while marta and i got completely snap happy and freaked out about the perfect light and the gorgeous fall colors. our husbands must have rolled their eyes a few times but they were polite enough to let us carry on, even posing for some family photos. keep the momtographers happy, and everyone gets to be happy, right? also – can we talk about these beautiful fall outfits? i am practically living in that red dress i found at MARGARETA, and all the kids are dressed (nearly head to toe) in things we found at STADTLANDKIND, both marta’s and my favorite swiss children’s web shop.

photos by stephanie duval and marta villacampa • my dress is from MARGARETA, all the kids are dressed in STADTLANDKIND outfits • théo’s SWEATER, inès’ DRESS and T-SHIRT, eloise’s CARDIGAN, ROMPER and PANTS, juliet’s DRESS, SNEAKERS, SCARF and POM POM SWEATER


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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