smocked

September 27, 2018

I can’t resists a good smock, and these ones, from Aussie designer, Innika Choo are gorgeous. Inspired by vintage wallpapers, these beautifully embroidered smock tops and frocks are right up my boardwalk. I love this sky blue blouse, and this dusty rose dress is divine.

rough diamond

September 25, 2018

Sometimes, I look at my hands, and I can’t see how they’re related to the rest of me. I don’t like my hands, but I don’t mind them either. My paternal grandmother, Nana, had hands like mine. A cigarette –– Karelia Lights –– was always in one. Her nails were rarely painted, and her rings sat tight around the thickness of her fingers. She didn’t wear many –– a gold wedding band, and a band of white diamonds. I have the latter, but it’s a bit too big to wear. I keep meaning to have it re-sized. She had red velvet hair, big bunions and an Essex accent thicker than cement. She called my grandfather, “The Governor” and cooked excellent Yorkshire Puddings. She went to church every Sunday and brought us bags of crappy chocolate every time she’d visit. Her funeral –– a massive stroke in her late 60s –– was the first time I saw my Dad cry. The setting isn’t as refined as I’d like, but I’d never change it. It’s beautiful and crude, like she was.

Orla

September 24, 2018

I was sad to read that Orla Kiely has closed her shops. Her King’s Road location was always a go-to on my London visits. Over the years, I’ve bought five or six sweaters there, all of which have made winter a happier experience for me. There was the one cardi that got away –– I left it in a New York taxi –– but the others all sit stacked in my cupboard like a chunk of rainbow. Of course, my very favourite is a bobbled pink cardigan that I bought freshly pregnant with my third baby. I felt lousy at the time, and that pink cheered me up no end. I’m convinced it was the pompom pink cardi that made people think I was carrying a girl. There’s another one, yellow like a daffodil, that has shrunk from too many washes, but still remains sunshine on a rainy day. And a nudie pink one, with hearts as buttons, that I wore over a trusty black dress to my wonderful friend, Polly’s memorial. Oh Orla, I wish I’d bought more of your gorgeous jumpers. No one does knitwear like you.

Hear me

September 21, 2018

“My work is my body, my body is my work,” said the Portuguese painter, photographer and performance artist, Helena Almeida. But even though the artist’s body –– her hands, her feet, her legs, and her shadow –– appears throughout her work, she refuses to see what she does as self portraiture. “I wasn’t going to hire a model when I myself was in the studio… I know what positions I need to place myself in, which postures I should assume and how to understand the settings… But it’s not me. It’s as though I were another person.”

instrumental

September 20, 2018

This dress, by Iris van Herpen, looks like a harp to me. It’s called ‘Aeolian,’ which in musical terms refers to a diatonic scale called the natural minor scale. It also references the winds, and Aeolus, the Greek God of wind and patriarch of the Greeks. We spent our honeymoon in the Aeolian Islands. This is just the sort of dream dress a new bride should toss in her valise for warm nights under the bougainvillea and stars.

still life

September 19, 2018

I stumbled upon the photographs of Paulette Tavormina today, and I was captivated by the moody decadence of her work. Her images are inspired by seventeenth century Old Master still lives. The peonies and pomegranates are terribly beautiful, as is this scene of shellfish and lemons. Tavormina’s botanical series is stunning –– I’d like six of them, framed in something grand and gilded.

wit and delight

September 18, 2018

One of the things I love about Instagram, are all the beautiful homes I get to peek into. Today, I discovered the home of Tomas Colaco –– a real feast for the eyes. The professor and his wife divide their time between Tangiers and Lisbon, and the influence of both cultures is evident throughout. I love the mix of murals, suzani textiles and antique furnishings. There is such humour, whimsy and romanticism in their style. Have a look. The donkey is what pulled me in!

closet encounters

September 17, 2018

It’s hard to beat a Pax, but if you’re buying for love, your heart may land here. You so rarely see stand alone wardrobes anymore –– let’s be honest, they’re not that practical –– but if you have the space, it’s such a lovely addition to a room. This Victorian is kind of dreamy as is this deco number. And really, don’t our clothes deserve a beautiful home?

Big

September 17, 2018

Small gestures of kindness make the world go around. But every now and then, we’ll feel compelled to do something big and audacious for someone. Just imagine these flowers landing on a doorstep. They’re too much of too much. But when the moment calls for a ridiculously, over-the-top, extravagant, knock-you-sideways gesture, don’t hold back.

shades of earth

September 14, 2018

It’s the palette in this decor that I really love –– the brass, the rust, the sand and nude. The brass light in the kitchen is a piece of sculpture, and I love the metallic pink paint brushed on to the underside of the archway. The light millwork, and custom joinery is so beautiful, especially against the choice of black counters and backsplash. It’s a dramatic space, Designed by Decus with lots of inspiration to be drawn from it.

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