Here’s a question –– which of Bijou Karman’s painted girls would you most want as your friend? With her sweet bob and fuchsia rosette, this one tops my list. She reminds me of Margot Tenenbaum. I’d hazard that she doesn’t talk much, but has a lot to say. And that she’s brilliantly funny, in a dry, sardonic way. I’d also like to be friends with this bicorne-wearing gal. She looks serious, but I bet she’s hilarious. I also know who I wouldn’t want to be friends with — but that’s not kind to say.
At a glance, this girl looks a lot like Stella Stenant –- she has the same aristocratic profile. I love the loose low bun, voluminous coat, large hydrangea print and pretty silk pumps. It’s all so elegant. And to think, this is how women dressed to go to the movies. My grandmother’s rule was no jeans after sundown. Even to an evening film, she would have worn silk slacks and a blouse. I had such a laugh when she called me from New York a few months before she died to tell me that she and a friend had gone out to dinner in the Meatpacking district, “and we wore jeans!”
If you close your eyes and imagine sea the colour of an aqua marine, and chalky white cliffs speckled with the softest pinks and corals, this is Polyaigos. It’s a speck of an island in the Cyclades, just next to Kimolos, and it’s only inhabitants are goats. Polyaigos translates as “many goats.” I’ve been to Polyaigos by boat a couple of times, and it’s truly the most exquisite beach island you’ll ever see. This image here reminds of the rock, only I doubt you’d find sand this soft and fine. Aphrodite in pink silk, however, you may find.
With the chilly weather well and truly here, please don’t forget the sweater dress. My friend Bianca was wearing one today, and it really is an easy way to feel feminine and chic while keeping warm. A good pair of woolly tight is all you need. I have an Orla Kiely one, that I wore in the early months of my third pregnancy. I don’t know why it lives in the cupboard. Expect to see me running about town in it a whole lot more.
I was browsing the Met Museum’s fashion archives, and I came across a Mainbocher gown that I adore. Main Rousseau Bocher (Main was his mother’s maiden name) was born in Chicago in 1890 and is known as America’s first true couturier. A career that spanned 41 years, saw him creating gowns for the country’s elite, from Diana Vreeland to Gloria Vanderbilt and Babe Paley. It was Mainbocher who designed the custom wedding dress Wallis Simpson wore to marry Prince Edward VIII. Take a look at some of the frocks on display at the Met’s Making Mainbocher exhibition. The sleeves on Mrs. Clive Runnells’ ivory 1940s gown will take your breath away.
Here’s an outfit that I’d steal from top to toe. High waisted, pleated trousers, (the blue tweed is divine) an antique inspired white shirt and a bold, printed scarf. I love outfits that stop the show with their chic, understated brilliance. Yes, Madame — you belong at Chanel.
I’ve never had a ski suit that I love. As a kid, I wore a lot of puffy, pastel-coloured one-pieces that were cinched at the waist. As a teenager, I moved to black salopettes with a baggy ski jacket, a beanie and a cigarette. By adult life, I’d given up the slopes for sun and gluvine. But if I were to hit the piste again, my dream is to look something like this. In reality, I’d opt for a jacket that throws back to my early ski days, like this retro inspired one with a pair of black ski leggings. A few runs would be enough before I’d hear the call of après ski echoing from mountain to mountain.
My mum and Iole watched Houseboat, with Cary Grant and Sophie Loren, over the holidays. I sat in for the second half, just in time to see Loren in that sensation gold lurex dress. It takes a certain amount of va va voom to pull of lurex, and Loren, of course, overflows with voooooom. I had my eye on several lurex pleated skirts over the holidays. I kept seeing them in shop windows –– Zara, Kate Spade, Gucci et. al. –– styled with a festive sweater. I resisted the urge, but I am tempted to snap up a pair of gold lamé leggings just for the fun of it. I may not have the voom, but va va, I have plenty of.
As important as a little black dress, is a pair of little black shoes. Once in a while, the occasion may even call for them to be worn together. I have one pair of black shoes, and they’re Chanel. It’s the most perfect shape, with a tiny velvet kitten heel. I’ve had them for almost 20-years, and I’ve worn them to parties and funerals and everything in between. I’ll mostly always choose a colour for my feet, but sometimes, only my little black Chanels will do. Now, add diamante and bows to a comfortable Valentino, and you’ve got the ultimate evening flat.
Most people have a colour –– or a palette, at least –– that best represents them. My friend Alison is drawn to the seafoams and aquas of the ocean, while my mother-in-law loves the ochres and rusts of Fall. I’d say my palette is abundantly red and pink. The reds –– from ruby to vermilion –– have long been with me, but the pink is somewhat more recent. And these days, I can’t get enough of it. Now, put the two colours together, and I’m in flash, clash heaven.