There is so much to love in this seaside photograph by David Alan Harvey; The pops of tomato against the sky and denim blue, the gaggle of girls chatting away, the beautiful old pram and charming parasol. The photo was taken in Bermeo in the Basque Country in 1977, (hence the bell bottoms) and it’s just the sort of wonderful everyday scene you happen upon all the time in small European towns. It’s possible that these women have known each other since childhood. And just as likely that the couple’s fathers met in nursery school.
This early 70s Givenchy dress, organza with raglan sleeves, is just the sort of thing I’d like to have copied in various fabrics. I find it so versatile and chic. I might choose a different neckline, a boat neck, perhaps, and a three quarter length sleeve instead of the full length. It belonged to Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, who likely wore it with heaps of Cartier diamonds to a casual dinner for 40. I’d throw on Rebeca de Ravenel’s bonbons and a pair of chartreuse satin mules and head out for wine and frites.
My son was born in the Spring. It was warm outside the evening I went into labour, and by the time he was born 12-hours later, the city was covered in a light dusting of snow. Antimo is the baby boy I had long dreamed of, and when he appeared in my arms on April 17 2011 it was as if we’d known each other all our lives. I felt such peace. Our love, thus far, has none of the unpredictability and extremes of April. It is tender, quiet and uncomplicated. But life is long, and this may change. And like the daffodils that spring up despite the cold, we’ll be just fine.
I walked through sunny Parkdale yesterday with a huge bolt of red and white stripey fabric under my arm. I got as far as Queen and Ossington before I hailed a taxi, lest I toppled over. The candy cane cotton is for curtains that I’m having made for the children’s bedroom; I see Victorian beach tents or the circus! This morning I stumbled upon the home of Dutch fashion designer Marie-Anne Oudejans and it gave me even more inspiration. All those tented daybeds are a dream. The apartment, on the ground floor of the Narain Niwas Hotel, opens up onto a pool and leafy garden with tropical flowers, parrots and monkeys. It’s all so magical. Like the circus.
I have a wardrobe of lovely evening dresses, and too few opportunities to wear them. But this brave woman is a reminder that we don’t need an invitation to a ball to wear a ballgown. I love the mix of lamé with scuffed up denim and Vans. I’m not sure I’ve got the attitude to pull this look off, but I do like the idea of frocks in lieu of Spring coats this April.
Marc Ange’s Le Refuge reminds me of a Rousseau painting. It’s part of the designer’s Invisible Collection, created in collaboration with the Green Gallery. Because I have a penchant for pink, I think I’d select this beautiful dusty rose for my leafy oasis. Now where to put it? Ah yes, beside the bougainvillea, oleander and orange trees.
I can’t imagine a more delightful bed for a child than this one. I love the natural wood, and all the intricate carving on the headboard. I think this little girl must only dream of lovely things. Take a look at the rest of the house. It’s filled with a lovely light and life and appears so warm and charming.
At school, my friend Alina wore her hair in tight french braids tied at the ends with beautiful grosgrain ribbon. As my hairdos were a bit lopsided, I was always envious of hers. To this day, I love beautiful ribbon, and a grown woman who wears ribbons in her hair is all sorts of fabulous in my book. I’m not sure that I can get away with grosgrain around my top knot, but on a low ponytail, well, that looks super chic.
My grandmother’s staple evening attire was a crisp white shirt worn with tailored black pants and plenty of diamonds. She must have owned at least 20 shirts; the grander the event, the more ruffles on the shirt. I have one of her shirts, a Theory one with ruffles a plenty. It’s completely unlike me, and yet I feel very much myself in it.
This is by far my favourite neckline on a dress. If a bride were looking for something ultra simple, modern and effortless, I might suggest this Gabriela Hearst dress. I love the white silk cigarette pants underneath. I’d pair the dress with these Manolo brogues; veil, optional.