Life

coat check

November 3, 2017

My introduction to fur came early in life, at about eight-years-old. My father used to take me with him to his fancy parties and I’d hide in the cloakroom fawning the furs all night. There were minks, sables and chinchillas, some jackets and gillets, others long to the ground. This was Gstaad in the 80s –– decadent, flashy, over-the-top. The chinchilla was the softest thing I’d ever felt. Then came the lessons from my grandmother. Yiayia loved fur coats and she had plenty of them. Hats and cuffs, too. When I was in my mid-20s, she sent me a mink in the mail. She’d picked it up at a consignment store at the plaza near her apartment in North Palm Beach. It was beautiful, but I was never sure how to wear it. I’m still not sure. The truth is, I haven’t loved fur since my cloakroom days. I don’t feel comfortable in it. Maybe if ever go to the ballet in St. Petersburg, I’ll bring out my mink. It even has my name stitched into the lining.

off season

November 1, 2017

If we’re on a beach, it’s because we’re on a beach holiday, wearing bathing suits and sunhats and slathered in SPF. Few people think to book a beach holiday, off season. It’s a very different experience. The water is often too cold for a dip, and a sneaky, noontime daiquiri ain’t on the cards. No jet skis for rent, and no Kokomo at full blare. But you do have the whole beach to yourself. And who doesn’t love cold, squidgy sand under their feet? And if you’re brave enough to strip off your woolies for a quick splash, it’ll be the best swim you take all year.

Fall

October 30, 2017

Summer is my very favourite season, and then Autumn. Only sometimes, I’m too busy lamenting the end of summer to fully enjoy the beauty of fall. But yesterday evening, walking through Little Italy, I happened upon the most majestic amber sky simmering above our grey town. And I was immediately reminded how easy it is to miss those skies, when we’re not paying attention.

All Dressed

October 27, 2017

On what occasion might I wear white lace under tiers of chartreuse silk? Certainly not to drink a glass of rosé on my friend’s terrace as this señorita is so chicly doing. I love getting dressed up, and I wish I made more of an effort, even it’s just drinks with a neighbour. But comfort and ease, i.e. jeans and t-shirt, always win. Yesterday, I mentioned accessories, and shoes, belts and tiaras are an easy-peasy way to up the ante on an outfit. Here, just the earrings, rings and teal velvet shoes would do it for me. But it’s a good reminder though, that sometimes, it’s fun to get totally over-dressed for no reason.

accessorize

October 27, 2017

“If there was a choice on spending a lot of money on accessories or dress, I always chose accessories,” said the fabulous Iris Apfel. Some women have a knack for taking cotton basics to the next level with one or two carefully chosen accessories. My friend Patricia is one such woman. Yesterday, she paired a black turtle neck and grey joggers with huge cardinal red plastic hoops. Her look reminded me of Balenciaga Spring 2018 –– simple, sexy, standout.

forever in blue jeans

October 25, 2017

Jeans are the most ubiquitous clothing item ever –– how you wear them is what makes your pair unique. Paired with bare feet and a simple cotton t-shirt is always a favourite. I personally love to see jeans dressed up with a breathtaking top and standout heels. And much to my grandmother’s chagrin, (she had a strict no denim after sundown policy) I’m fine with denim at the opera. In fact, I think denim can go anywhere.

face time

October 25, 2017

I love seeing family resemblances and I’ve always enjoyed the resemblance between Ingrid Bergman and her daughter, Isabella Rossellini. It’s the same thread that runs through both women. The similarities are uncanny, and yet both faces are utterly unique. “I’m not trying to look like my mother,” Rossellini said in the Telegraph once. “But I’m feeling more Swedish as I grow older. And no matter what I do to my appearance, people say: ‘It’s Ingrid!’ If I wear my hair short, I’m the Ingrid of For Whom the Bell Tolls. If I wear it long, I’m the Ingrid of Casablanca.” I’m sure there’s frustration and pressure in a lifetime of comparison. But there’s also pride. This is my favourite photo of Rossellini, and this is one of my favourites of Ingrid Bergman. It’s the same laughing face, but different.

 

les baigneurs

October 24, 2017

Last week, while swimming, it occurred to me how utterly bizarre it is to be sharing a large tank of water with strangers. I thought about all our bodies –– fleshy, plump, boney, hairy ––  floating in the same salty water. I thought about how few other situations bring us as close to next to naked strangers. Saunas, beaches, Bikram, orgies. I like how swimming is both communal, and solitary. We’re in the same pool, but all moving to our own rhythm. Sometimes, when I see my fellow swimmers out in the world, on a streetcar or at the supermarket, I barely recognize them. How different we all look with our clothes on. We smile at each other, and walk on.

columned wondrousness

October 23, 2017

Please take a few moments today to wander through Jasper Conran’s exquisite Wiltshire home. “This house is built as a huge piece of theatre,” says the designer of the Palladian style home. Designed by James Paine in the 1930s, the house features a dramatic sweeping rotunda staircase and full-sized pipe organ made of wood, ivory and gold. “The acoustics in the rotunda are absolutely extraordinary. If you stand in the middle of the ground floor and sing, it has the most remarkable effect. The sound goes right thorough you.”

wabi sabi

October 20, 2017

The best potters are the ones with a wabi sabi attitude. They embrace imperfections of the handmade, and accept and respect the fragility of the medium. Museums are filled with ceramics that have survived centuries –– other pieces crack before they get to the first firing. I’m learning from the dozens of binned pieces, that one cannot get too attached to a plate. Last week at the studio, while making room for my work, I carelessly broke another potter’s bowl. “I learned in my first session of pottery classes, that it is truly the practice of non attachment,” Adele wrote in response to my apology. “Each pot teaches us something.” On a shelf in my living room, sits the first bowl I made. It has a crack in it that renders it useless. But I keep it, display it, as a reminder of where I started and how far I’ve come.

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