Last night Luma went to bed wearing two pairs of pajamas, because she’s two, and one pair just wasn’t enough. The day before, she walked to the ROM wearing a full length mille feuille tutu over her clothes. Most days, she walks out the door looking like she got dressed at a jumble sale. My children have always had a strong sense of how they want to dress. Antimo wore a tutu and a dragon suit through his toddler years, and Iole has pretty much been in fancy dress since birth. Wouldn’t it be fun to leave the house with a Carmen Miranda fruit bowl on your head, or to wear a full length ballgown to the dentist, just because? And why one pair of jeans, when you can wear three?
I’ve seen a lot of bomber jackets about lately. In our early teens, my brother and I both wore bombers. Mine was a Yankees one with white leather sleeves. It was baggy on me, but as a kid in London, an American baseball jacket was the coolest thing. If it hadn’t ended up on the racks of Oxfam, (my Mum is a regular purger) I might be inclined to still wear it. It was a good jacket. My Plan B is this Tahitian beauty, smoking a ciggy in the palm trees. The gold and green combo is pretty cool, too.
Some shoes are just too beautiful to live in a box. Years ago, I bought a breathtaking pair of Marie Antoinette style Manolos in the most perfect pink imaginable. They were a sample sale impulse buy, because they were a size too small. Sometimes, I’ll squeeze my foot in, like one of the ugly stepsisters, and waddle around the house, but the rest of the time, the shoes sit on our drink’s trolley. I think they look rather lovely among the crystal glasses, Whiskey and Gin, and at least this way, I get to enjoy them everyday.
The last time I went to the spa, was with Mum in 2009. I was freshly pregnant with Iole, and Maria was in town to do what we do best. Shop/Talk. I’m actually not a big fan of spas. I find them all –– the ocean waves, sotto voce talk, eucalyptus burning in the fireplace –– too contrived. I would rather get my toes painted or my legs waxed somewhere bustling with energy and gossip. This girl has the right idea. Sure, cucumber water would be better than nicotine, but how zen is she, with her Pepto pink towels and matching flamingos? Yes, this is the kind of spa I could get behind.
I was talking to an old school friend of mine last week, a textile designer who works in a disused greenhouse adjacent to her family home in Florence. It’s a stunning space, full of light and colour, both of which are inspiring to me. And then I happened upon images of this room that with its high ceilings, huge windows and pops of gorgeous colour, reminded me of Margherita’s greenhouse studio. You can see the entire Paris apartment here, built at the same time as the Eiffel Tower, and given new life by architects Yann Le Chadic and Alessandro Scotto. It’s all kinds of wonderful.
I’m a magpie for anything colourful, and Duro Olowu’s collection of printed frocks, tops and skirts for spring/summer 2017 is simply gorgeous. I know it’s far off, but colour like this kimono-inspired dress is just what we need in the depths of February. (In the meantime, please watch his beautiful interview with his rare bird friend, Iris Apfel. It really is moving and inspiring.)
Of all the vases we own, I realize all are made of glass, and none ceramic. It would be too ambitious for me to make one –– now, at least –– but I’m sure I could find some pretty rustic pitchers at Anthroplogie. This beautiful image is my inspiration. These ones are probably from a flea market in Brussels. But then again, maybe they’re Anthro, too.
when Jason and I moved in together we didn’t have a stick of furniture — except for a rattan rocking chair that his parents used when Jason was a baby. With all our moves, I’m not sure where it ended up, (back in his parents basement, I hope) but I do have a soft spot for rattan. My parents had rattan in the kitchen, and I’m quite sure my grandmother had plenty of it in her home Palm Beach. If we lived in Marrakech or some other hot, sandy place I might be tempted by a chair like this one. More beautiful than our rocking chair, but nowhere near as comfortable, I bet.
The Japanese have a long tradition of repairing pots with gold; it’s called “kintsugi” or “kintsukuroi.” It’s linked to wabi-sabi, the Japanese philosophy of finding beauty in flaws and imperfections. The technique speaks also to the Japanese feeling of mottainai, the dislike of waste. How beautiful, and how forgiving to embrace the cracks, and the possibilities they present.
We went apple picking on the weekend. Picture the five us running wild through an orchard of Galas, Russets and Ginger Golds. And then don’t. Tantrums, hoards of people and squashed, rotten apples aside, it really was a nice way to spend a morning. And we came away with enough apples to warrant putting a pinny on. I’m going to make a crumble, because that’s easy and messy. And if I can find custard, I’ll pour that on, for a quintessentially English tea.