Posts from November 2015

Portrait of a lady

November 16, 2015

Many years ago, I went to a Francesco Clemente retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York. I remember loving his work, especially his portraits. Exaggerated features on beauties like Alba Clemente and Jerry Hall, are a signature of the Italian-born artist.  The Unskilled Worker is another artist I love, perhaps because her portraits remind me of Clemente’s. The features are large and exaggerated, and any flaws and quirks (like pimples or over-sized specs) are highlighted rather than hidden. “I like to create imperfections and warmth I feel is missing,” the artist (who is anonymous) told Dash Magazine. “I’m looking through thousands of images a day, mostly of an unattainable idea of beauty. Why can’t girls with spots look happy? A combination we’re told can’t exist. The unskilled way is messy, a little bit gnarly and closer to the truth, I hope.”








Fish Tail

November 13, 2015

Trust Manish Arora to create the most perfect Mermaid dress. Who knows if Arora –– “king of kitsch” –– had mermaids in mind with this gorgeously embellished dress, but all I see are pink fish scales glistening in the bright runway light. This is just the dress for a cocktail party around the pool at The Setai in South Beach. Just don’t fall in. Who knows what might happen to your tail.


Back to Back

November 12, 2015

I’m always excited by a dress with an exciting back. Better yet, I love to see a woman wearing a dress with a daring back and a demure front, let’s say, because I think it hints at the contradictions that all of us possess. I have no idea what the front of this dress looks like. But I’m quite certain it’s nowhere near as brave, bold and breathtaking as its back. And that, is good design.




November 12, 2015

Every now and then, I come across a collection that I can only say, “holy moly” to. That’s what I wrote to my friend Bianca last night when she e-mailed me a link to some outrageously gorgeous dresses and tops and skirts designed by Aussie label, Romance Was Born. There’s a black and white print in the collection that reminds me of the designs we see on ancient Greek pots and a blouse with sleeves as large as lamp shades. It’s all so fabulously over the top. Yes, sign me up.





November 11, 2015

I’ve promised Antimo that I’d get him a poppy today. “It’s how we show our respect for the soldiers who died in the war,” I explained. At the end of the First World War poppies were the only plant growing on the barren battlefields of Northern France. It was Canadian surgeon, John McCrae that captured the image of the poppy in his beautiful “In Flanders Fields” poem written while serving in Ypres in 1915. “In Flanders fields the poppies blow….. To you from failing hands we throw the torch; be yours to hold it high.”



Potter About

November 10, 2015

Every now and then I get the urge to throw a pot, occasionally at a wall, but mostly on a wheel. I’m not sure I’d be any good at it, but I love the feel of cold clay in my hands, and I’m pretty sure I could manage a pot. Besides, imperfections add charm, at least that’s what I would tell myself. I really like the work of Australian ceramic artist Sharon Muir. Her pieces are pretty close to perfect, actually. And the bold black and white graphics are so punchy against the richness of red terracotta.


Souks me fine

November 10, 2015

While I haggled with the children this morning over how many bowls of coco chimps they could have for breakfast, Jason haggled for rugs in Marrakech. For a moment, I almost felt like I was right there with him in the souk, as one gorgeous picture after another appeared on my phone. If you have ever shopped a souk, you’ll know that it’s a mad and chaotic and intensely colourful experience. Whether you mean to or not, it’s virtually impossible not to walk away with baubles and babouche and tea glasses in every hue. I can’t wait to see the rugs he chose, especially the giant Beni Ouarain that is rugged and refined and warm all at once.


Running in heels

November 6, 2015

I came across this Eisenstaedt photograph for LIFE magazine and it made me want to do a forward roll. And so I did. The good news is I still can. The bad news is that I’m as stiff as an iron rod. I need to join a stretch class, and this one here looks just my speed. Rose Dor Farms was a “reducing” school for women in upstate New York in the 30s. I’m not sure how far these gals got, but I like their sense of occasion.



Lettuce Patch

November 5, 2015

Somewhere in my childhood I ate off large green lettuce leaf plates. I don’t remember at whose table I was sitting, but those plates are so vivid to me. I would love to get my hands on a few, and fill them with raspberries or radishes, or any other colour that looks great with green. It was Dodie Thayer, the Palm Beach pottery queen, who made them. They’re so peculiar looking, and so very fabulous, don’t you think?



Funny Face

November 4, 2015

There’s a rooster and a tiger and two cats in our living room. There would be a wolf too, if Antimo hadn’t decided to sit on it. They’re made of papier machee by HAY Denmark, and each one was a gift from our friend, Olivia. Today, I’ll be hanging them on the wall –– a menagerie of oddball looking creatures –– to add just a bit more eccentricity to our home.


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