Posts from September 2015

Seeing Orange

September 11, 2015

I’m on the hunt for an orange lipstick. For someone who doesn’t wear a stitch of makeup, I understand, satsuma lips are quite the statement. I’d say it’s more of a sheer orange I’m looking for, a subtle pop of colour to go with gently tanned skin. In a month or so, orange (no matter how subtle) will look brash against my pale skin, so if I find a winner, expect to see me wearing me it everyday. I may even go wild, and add a quick fleck of pink blush to each cheekbone.



Pleats, please

September 10, 2015

I adore pleats, only they can be such a nuisance to keep crisp. My husband is an excellent ironer –– one of the many skills his mother armed him with when he went off to live in Italy at 21 –– but who has the time to press twenty pleats? So I’ll keep admiring accordion skirts and blouses with pleated cuffs in shop windows and magazines, until such day as I decide a dress is so exquisite, that I simply have to pick up an iron myself.



The Queen’s Tea

September 9, 2015

Iole and I were discussing what the Queen has for afternoon tea. I actually don’t think she drinks fancy tea from Fortnum’s or Farrer’s, I think Tetley’s does quite nicely. And I bet she loves a plain old Digestive. If she’s going to have a sandwich, my guess is that the ham is from a Sainsbury’s packet, and that it’s served between two slices of thinly buttered Hovis bread. I’m sure Iole likes to imagine her eating strawberries and meringues and scones with clotted cream, but I’d say that rarely happens.

by Sir James Gunn, oil on canvas, 1950

by Sir James Gunn, oil on canvas, 1950


Double Six

September 8, 2015

Backgammon is one of my favourite games. My father has a beautiful board, made of English saddle leather, that as children we played on for hours. Jason and I have a lovely set, too, handmade in wood by our dear friend, Nicholas. This collection from Peter Pilotto takes reference from Ancient Greek and Mycenaean motifs, with some pieces inspired strikingly by the patterns of a backgammon board. The red dress is one of the most spectacular dresses I’ve seen in a while. Roll the dice in this, and you’re home free.




Line Up

September 8, 2015

This evening we read a book called Mister Horizontal & Miss Vertical, written by Noemie Revah and illustrated by Olimpia Zagnoli. I was drawn to the bold, minimal graphics –– plus, Olimpia was on our shortlist of girl’s names when I was pregnant with Luma. The book is inspired by a Rene Maltete photograph of a family walking along a boardwalk, the Dad wearing horizontal stripes, the Mum in vertical stripes, and their child sporting a checkered shirt. It’s one of the best family photos ever, and this book is all sorts of wonderful. There are the books I buy for my children, and the books that I buy for myself, in the hope that my children will appreciate them, too. They loved it, and they’re pretty ok. at saying, “harlizentil.”




White Flag

September 7, 2015

My grandmother had impeccable etiquette. But the old adage of no white after labour day, was one she never adhered to. Crisp white shirts worn with white cotton slacks were her staple. It made a difference that she lived in hot climates all year round, but regardless, she would have worn white in Reykjavik in November. Because a sophisticated woman knows when to break a rule.



Tea For Two

September 4, 2015

Tea always tastes better when drunk out of a pretty mug. The classic Falcon mug reminds me of something you’d bring on a camping trip while Emma Lacey’s ceramics belong at the kitchen table of warm and cozy country house. My friend Alison, (who serves a lovely afternoon tea) introduced me to Brickett Davda, a British ceramic workshop that produces simple, beautiful mugs and tableware that could find its place in any home. And this gem, by the whimsical Jonathan Adler, has my name written all over it. Now, be a love and put the kettle on, won’t you.



Summer Scrapes

September 3, 2015

When I was a child I’d gauge how good a summer I’d had by the number of scrapes and bruises on my body. Knees scuffed from running on rough, dirt island roads, elbows grazed from falling off rocks and fighting with my brother, and an entire body of scratched and picked to death Mosquito bites. Yesterday, Iole gashed her knee racing down our garden path, and to quell her tears, I talked her through her summertime scrapes, reminding her of what fun she was having just before she got each one. “You can’t race around the laneways, bare foot and bare legged, without risking the odd scuff or two,” I told her. She’ll no doubt show her friends when she goes back to school next week, and with each scrape, will come a story of cycling with her Papa, climbing trees at the local playground, jumping off backs of boats into an ice cold lake and playing hide-and-seek with her pals on the street well past bedtime.





In Bloom

September 2, 2015

My all time favourite wedding bouquet wasn’t a bouquet at all. It was a single white magnolia the size of the moon that my friend Zelmira carried when she married her long-time love at the Mairie de Biarritz. If I was to re-imagine my own wedding day blooms (big, beautiful and classic) I would carry as many colours and varieties as I could pack into my two hands. Think of it as the Monsoon Wedding of bridal bouquets!

pink orange and yellow color palette - summer wedding bouquetsrustic summer wedding flowers-f47341




Cinderella’s shoes

September 1, 2015

When shoe designer, Charlotte Olympia Dellal got married she wore leopard print platforms under her Giambattista Valli wedding gown. It’s always a sweet surprise when an unexpected colour or print peeps out from underneath froths of classic white fabric. Red shoes are a playful, flirty twist on the pure, white dress, while cornflower shoes tick the “something blue” box. When I got married I wore beautiful stilettos in the softest peach, with a swatch of delicate pink fabric across the toes and Louboutin’s signature lipstick red on the soles. I wore them from 7 p.m. until the sun rose the following day. So happy was I, that I may as well have been barefoot. For the bride who wants something different, that’s still in keeping with the sophistication of her day, these bronze beauties are your girls. City hall wedding? These glitter bugs would look gorgeous with that cream day dress. And for sheer whimsy, pale blue butterflies on sliver strappies mean you’ll flutter down the aisle. 




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