Saturday, 29 September 2012

beaton & luxembourg

Do you know the feeling when you hold a book in your hand for the first time, start reading it and you just know that you and that book are about to have a fabulous time together? That's how I felt on the train on my way home from the city on Thursday, after going to the library and borrowing The Unexpurgated Beaton, Cecil Beaton's diaries from 1970-1980, as he wrote them. They have not been edited in any way but Hugo Vickers writes introduction and footnotes (he wrote Beaton's authorised biography). So far, the book has been a pure delight.

The Luxembourg photos were taken last Saturday, when I went into the city with my daughters. All the photos, except the above one to the left taken on Rue de la Congrégation, were taken on the Avenue de la Liberté. We had crossed the Adolphe Bridge and were on our way to the train station to head back home.

Beaton's sketch above of Katharine Hepburn is in his first entry, called 'Coco and Katharine Hepburn in Retrospect'. Beaton had designed a musical called Coco based on the life of the fashion icon and it was Hepburn who played Chanel. (Beaton wanted Rosalind Russell to play her.) In the intro to the first entry, Vickers says that Beaton and Hepburn 'were not soulmates' (p. 20). He had e.g. written about her earlier that she had 'rocking-horse nostrils' so Hepburn made sure that in her contract it stated that Beaton was forbidden to publish anything about her. Well, what he wrote in his own diary was his business and here is a little extract for you to enjoy ... or not:

She is the egomaniac of all time and her whole life is devised to receive the standing ovation that she has had at the end of her great personality performance. As the play nears its end and she is sure of her success, she becomes raged, the years roll off her, and she becomes a young schoolmistress. Up till then she has, to my way of thinking, been as unlike Chanel as anyone could be. With the manners of an old sea salt, spreading her ugly piano-calved legs in the most indecent positions, even kicking her protégée with her foot in the "London" scene, standing with her huge legs wide apart and being in every gesture as unfeminine and unlike the fascinating Chanel as anyone could be. Her performance is just one long series of personal mannerisms.

I would not have thought audiences could react so admiringly, yet the first time I saw a run-through rehearsal, I was impressed and even touched. But ever since I've found her performance mechanical, inept (her timing is erratic), she stops and laughs, she falters over words, she is maladroit, and she is ugly. (p. 21)

He goes on and on and the entry ends with these words: 'I hope I never have to see her again' (p. 23).

Saying that Beaton was frank is perhaps an understatement.

Have a wonderful weekend dear readers and blog friends!

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Friday, 28 September 2012

charming spaces: white & rustic

Just give me any ingredients and I am ready to spend a day in this white and rustic kitchen cooking up a
storm. You want home-made ice cream for dessert? I'll make it. Cake too? No problem, you can have it.

As much as I love elegant kitchens I find myself more drawn to ones that have a bit of that rustic vibe going
on. I don't know what it is; it just feels more real somehow. I guess it has something to do with me liking
kitchens that are easy to maintain, kitchens that just look very homey. This one is in a house on the French
island Île de Ré, just outside of La Rochelle, which is on the west coast. I love how bright it is and how the
decor is kept to a minimum. It's the food that matters.

How has your week been? I'm ready to give the alarm clock a rest and sleep in just a little. Today I have
prioritised things that need to be done so I can enjoy relaxing this weekend. I'll be back tomorrow with a bit
of Luxembourg. Enjoy your Friday!

photo credit:
Christophe Dugied for Marie Claire Maison

Thursday, 27 September 2012

lost highway by peter lindbergh

Finally an editorial in a fashion magazine that speaks to me! I enjoy fashion but I also love a good story and here is one. It is called 'Lost Highway' and features model Kati Nescher and actor Garrett Hedlund, photographed by Peter Lindbergh for the October 2012 issue of Vogue US. Fashion editor Tonne Goodman and menswear editor Michael Philouze created this and their inspiration was of course the film On the Road (2012). Hedlund plays the character of Dean Moriarty in the in the film. Here's the trailer.

Jack Kerouac's book, On the Road, has been on my reading list for only God knows how long. I actually borrowed it at the library when we lived in Antwerp and started reading it, but I couldn't renew it as someone had reserved it. Now it's time to do something about that and finish it before seeing the film.

photo credit:
Peter Lindbergh for Vogue US, October 2012 | Kati Nescher + Garrett Hedlund in 'Lost Highway' styled by Tonne Goodman via Fashion Gone Rogue

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

notes à la mode 15

Today's post could just as well be called 'Blogger Garance Doré at the Milan Fashion Week' because she took all these runway photos. I so enjoyed the Milan Fashion Week this season and if I were to feature all my favourites that would make one long post. Too long! That's why I decided to go for Garance's photos only and was of course limited by the collections she has featured on her blog.

There is another reason why I chose Garance's photos. It wasn't until the MFW started that she was posting photos from the runway on her blog again. Before that she had only been posting videos and even though I liked those, I missed her photos. I missed viewing the collections through her lens. She simply has that wonderful eye for certain details that I always enjoy viewing. I guess yet another reason is that I'm a bit tired of the classic runway photos posted by all the Vogue websites, and others. Of course it is valuable to have access to all those but they always have that same look and today I was in the mood for something different.

I'm not adding many words; I will let the photos do most of the talking.

I'm starting with Gucci because that top photo has been on my desktop since I first saw it. I know it doesn't sound deep but I loved their spring/summer 2013 collection. There is really nothing I can add to that. Love is enough, right?




In case you missed it, Jil Sander is back at Jil Sander. Does this sound weird to you? I think it's best to quote Sarah Mower because she explained the situation pretty well in her review of the spring/summer 2013 collection for Vogue US:
The drama that has resulted in the third return of Sander to her eponymous label has had more corporate and personal twists, intrigues, plots, subplots, and hysteria than a soap opera. Suffice it to say that the conflagration fanned out to include the firing of John Galliano from Christian Dior, the abrupt departure of Raf Simons from Jil Sander, the eventual hiring of Raf Simons by Dior, the hiring of Sander by Uniqlo, and her departure from the Japanese mass retailer. Further back in the mists of the millennium, it’s complicated by the fact that Sander sold the house she founded to Prada, and then quit it, twice. Now she has been rehired by the new owners of the company, Onward Kashiyama.
[grey font, mine]

And I had to add this fabulous photo.


  There were many other collections shown in Milan that I would have loved to feature here, like Bottega Venetta, Missoni and Salvatore Ferragamo, but I have to add something from the spring/summer 2013 collection by Massimo Rebecchi. I really liked what he showed on the runway and I have already pinned the stripes and butterfly top
  What was the styling of that last outfit by Giorgio Armani all about? I expect to see something fun from the likes of Marc Jacobs but Armani ending a show with stars orbiting around a model? No thanks, that wasn't funny at all, that was tacky
  On Saturday I bought the September issue of Vogue Italia, which is actually a huge package containing the magazine and a few extras. One extra is a beautiful photo shoot for Dolce & Gabbana, taken in Taormina, Sicily by photographer Paolo Roversi. One of the models is the Italian beauty Monica Bellucci who simply nails it. The photo to the right is just one of many from that shoot
  The Paris Fashion Week has started and today I'm waiting to see what Dries Van Noten will represent for spring/summer 2013. If you have been following my blog for some time it shouldn't be a surprise; that Belgian is one my favourite designers. Tomorrow we have a feast: Balenciaga, Ann Demeulemeester (another Belgian), Balmain, Nina Ricci and Lanvin, just to name a few. Here is the schedule
  Dior has released the second episode of their Lady Dior Web Documentary featuring Marion Cotillard. This one is called Up and Up - a good dose for couture junkies
  Natalia of Fashioned by Love has a beautiful Reiss scarf giveaway on her blog
  Ada of Classiq has a The Sartorialist: Closer giveaway on her blog. I can highly recommend that new book by Scott Schuman; it's filled with wonderful street style photos

photo credit:
Garance Doré at 1-3 Gucci / 4-5 Dolce & Gabbana / 6-7 Prada / 8-9 Fendi / 10-12 Jil Sander / 13 Jil Sander / 14: Paolo Roversi for Vogue Italia

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

new pillowcases

It will soon be time to start using our winter duvets and because they are not of the same size as our summer ones, I cannot use the same bedlinen. I'm getting a little tired of the ones we use in winter and would like to buy new ones. I don't want anything bold but as I was searching online I came across Adele pillowcases (I love the name!) from Sanderson that gave me an idea. Instead of buying a new set I could buy new pillowcases only and mix it up like that. I really like this idea of using both stripes and floral prints for the pillows. All our duvet covers have a solid light colour and the throw too so this would be an ideal way to give the bedroom just a little pop of colour.

To me this mix of pillowcases also feels a bit summery and romantic, which is nice when the cold really starts kicking in. What do you think? What kind of bedlinen do you go for?

photo credit:
via Fields

Monday, 24 September 2012

my corners III

This old stone barn is what greets us when we drive into our town. I don't know anything about its history; I have no idea when it was built, but it belongs to a small horse farm. Sometimes they walk the horses on the bicycle route next to our garden and as soon as I start hearing a horse's walk in the distance, it has some kind of soothing effect. Then the horse appears from behind the trees and I find myself gazing at it in awe until it disappears again.

How was your weekend? As I said in my Saturday post, we went into the city to go to the library. As I'm still reading the books I borrowed the last time we went, I got two films and watched them this weekend: Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) by Woody Allen and Out of Africa (1985) by Sydney Pollack. I hadn't seen the former and absolutely loved it. It's been awhile since I watched the latter. The African scenery took my breath away and I had almost forgotten how good Meryl Streep and Robert Redford play their roles. In the city we also walked around and enjoyed refreshment outdoors while people watching. The city was full of life but the pace of people was unhurried; there was no stress. It was a beautiful autumn day.

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt

Saturday, 22 September 2012

welcome autumn

There is something in the air. I'm feeling so excited about the arrival of autumn, which is the exact opposite of how I felt about it last year. I guess an upcoming short trip to Paris has something to do with it, but it's not only the Paris trip; there is just something about this autumn that I can't fully explain. Maybe it's about experiencing this season in a new country, with a garden that has apples and grapes. Maybe it's all the wonderful books I'm reading and the September issues on my coffee table. Maybe it's the walk or bicycle ride with the children to and from school - the routine.

On Friday last week we went into the city and visited the library for the first time. I wish we had gone sooner because it's a good one with great selection. It's located right in the city centre where are all the shops are so there is no traffic. There is even a sushi place above the library! Books + sushi = heaven. We plan to make it a tradition to go to the library every other week and it's on the agenda later today. First, let's take in autumn scenes from Paris.

Did anyone recognise the chapter in photo no. 2? That would be the beginning of Ernest Hemingway's Moveable Feast, one of the books I got at the library. It's about Hemingway's experience of 1920s Paris and it's hard to put it down. The man in photo no. 4 is Scott Schuman or The Sartorialist. It's a spread from his new book The Sartorialist: Closer that arrived in the mail yesterday. It was a belated birthday present from a close friend in Iceland and such a wonderful addition to my coffee table books. It's funny but I didn't realise until after taking the photo that the photo of him was taken in Paris, in September 2009.

I follow many amazing bloggers that inspire me on a daily basis but this week my favourite post was by Petra of Indivisualism who shared the work of photographer Peter Lindbergh for the J.Lindeberg biannual book / AW 2012, called 'The Documentary and a Dream'. It has beautiful black and white photography and a short video.

Have a wonderful weekend dear readers and blog friends!

photo credit:
01 Melanie Alexandra on Etsy / 02 & 04 Lisa Hjalt / 03 & 05 Vita Nostra on Etsy

Friday, 21 September 2012

charming spaces: nook in paris

This nook, with its velvet-upholstered seating, is in the dining room of this luxurious flat on the Left Bank
in Paris, designed by Jean-Louis Denoit. I don't know about you but first I just want to get to know the
owners, then grab a few of my books and a cup of tea and crawl into that nook and stay there ...
indefinitely. They wouldn't even know I was there.

On Tuesday I told you that you would see more Paris related on the blog this week and maybe, just
maybe, there will be something Paris related tomorrow as well.

Have you been enjoying a good week? I admit that I have been rather busy and I'm looking forward to
the weekend. Yesterday we had friends over for dinner and enjoyed delicious Indian food. A made the
dish and I made chapati. There is plenty left so lunch is decided.

Enjoy your day!

photo credit:
Miguel Flores-Vianna for Elle Decor, May 2011

Thursday, 20 September 2012

eames chair & ottoman in the bedroom

Can someone tell me why people are hiding their classic furniture in the bedroom? Some of you may remember my recent post on the Egg that also was kept in the bedroom. Shortly after posting it I came across the photo above. That bedroom has really lovely features - I love the mix of white and wood and don't get me started on the swimming pool outside - but what I spotted first were the vintage Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Charles Eames.

The photo is part of a feature in AD of a beautiful Los Angeles home, belonging to fashion designer Jenni Kayne and her husband (click the link below for more). I have always been fascinated with the lounge chair and ottoman in black and, honestly, I don't even remember viewing them in other colours. Then I came across this reproduction of the Eames Ottoman in white and I loved it.

I have now added a set in white to my future wish list but I won't be hiding them in my bedroom. No way!

photo credit:
1: Roger Davies for Architectural Digest

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

notes à la mode 14

The London Fashion Week has now come to an end and I still have so much catching up to do. I haven't had the time to view half of the shows at LFW so at this point I don't have a list of favourites. If you are interested in the collections shown at LFW but too busy to view them all then Lisa Armstrong at the Telegraph has a good summary with some photos.

The show I was waiting for was Mary Katrantzou's spring/summer 2013 collection and I certainly wasn't disappointed. This talented girl of Greek origin with her amazing prints is like a breath of fresh air on the runway. Her design is so unique. Have you ever seen clothes with postage stamps and banknotes before? If you haven't, then view her collection, especially the close-ups to get a really good view of the prints. (I have been clicking the refresh button all morning on The Sartorialist blog as I was hoping that he would post photos from her show that I could use. I couldn't wait any longer so if he does then I will simply have to pin them.)

There was so much to love at the Mulberry show and I had considerable difficulty choosing which photos to use in my post, as I didn't want to drown you in photos. I find their spring/summer 2013 collection shown at the LFW absolutely gorgeous and Emma Hill, their creative director, is my new favourite person. Okay, the list is long; I love creative people.

The clothes ... the bags ... the belts ... the colour palette ... be still my beating heart. Words aren't needed here; please watch this short video and you will see what I mean.

There wouldn't be any fashion shows without the people attending them. Here are just a few shots from London and New York by Nam of Streetfsn and Phil Oh.


  The Sartorialist took this wonderful photo of Bill Cunningham at the Ralph Lauren show at the NYFW, wearing his classic blue jacket and Nikon. Pinning it wasn't enough; I had to include here
  Giles Deacon put on quite a show at LWF. I love being entertained like that
  I was drawn to the the details and colours of this Erdem dress that he showed at the LFW - so pretty
  I really enjoyed Garance Doré's Pardon My French video Lunch at Miss Lily's. A lunch with girlfriends can be just the best

photo credit:
1-5: Mary Katrantzou / Gianni Pucci + Marcus Tondo for Vogue US
6-11: Mulberry / Yannis Vlamos +  Alessandro Viero for Vogue US
12: LFW / Nam of Streetfsn
13: NYFW / Nam of Streetfsn
14-16: Phil Oh for Vogue US
17: The Sartorialist