Posts from March 2019

chintz!

March 15, 2019

Chintz on chintz on chintz, I just love it. The Royal Ontario Museum is unveiling its collection of Indian chintz this October, and I’ll be there swooning over all of it.  In the meantime, have a gander around Lee Radziwill’s English country house. It was decorated by the Italian theatre set designer, Lorenzo “Renzo” Mongiardino, and reflects its owner’s love for florals.

view of fashion

March 15, 2019

I was going through some old papers and I came across a magazine clipping that resonated with me as much today as I’m sure it did ten or so years ago, when I cut it out of a magazine. Maybe it was for different reasons, but I was thankful that I had kept it. It’s a passage from Alison Adburgham’s, View of Fashion. “And sometimes, something more emerges after the main assignment is completed. At the back of the mind here have been stored some small but treasured vignettes. It is as with the child’s suitcase at the end of the seaside holiday; after the clothes have been unpacked there is underneath a collection of cowries and cockles, dried seaweed, pieces of coloured glass worn smooth by the waves, a piece of cork, an uninhabited sea-urchin, a mermaid’s empty purse. So are the impressions left, not by the dress shows themselves, but by the people in the bars and the bistros, girls on motor scooters, the children’s balloons in the Tuilleries, the pictures in the Jeu de Paume, the shop windows, the smell of Gaulouises, garlic, and Arpège, the dim interior seen through an open window, the concierge in the courtyard sunning herself on a kitchen chair, the lovers in the Vert Galant disregarding the world in their island garden. All these things suddenly fall into a pattern, and fashion is part of the pattern, and the pattern has meaning because it is quickened by ordinary, everyday life.”

Xray

March 13, 2019

I was looking at x-ray images of flowers today, specifically the work of Dr. Dain L. Tasker, a 1930s doctor who used his x-ray machine to photograph the anatomy of plants and flowers. The images are so delicate and ethereal. Steven N. Meyers — a medical x-ray technologist — is another photographer known for breathtaking floral xray images. Just look at these beautiful Eucalyptus leaves.

mural, mural in the wall

March 12, 2019

Look at this divine mural –– rabbits enjoying a spot of tea, smoking under a tree. What a beautiful idea for a children’s room, to commission an artist to illustrate the walls. In fact, what a lovely idea for any room in the house. I’d love local artist, Barbara Klunder to paint a wall in my house. Something like the horse and dragonflies at Union. As for the canopies and ceiling light, both are pure whimsy.

white space

March 11, 2019

Just look at this apartment in a 1914 Belle Époque building in Antwerp. The archway between the rooms is heavenly. I’m not one for house plants, but these ones bring whimsy and colour with every leaf. Please note the lighting –– sleek and minimal –– and the abundance of white, unadorned walls.

winter wooley

March 9, 2019

Is this jumper following me, of am I following it? It’s the sleeves that have me swooning most of all. It’s never too late to splurge on a winter woolly. As we know too well, April can bring spring one day, and winter the next.

mutard

March 8, 2019

I see the flowers, they’re delightfully springy, but what I’m really looking at is the mustard pulley on that girl. I love the volume in the sleeves, and the chunkyness of the cable knit. The colour is one of my favourites. Soon enough, we’ll all be in flip flops and woolly sweaters. Soon.

scent of a woman

March 6, 2019

Rita Hayworth wore Shalimar by Guerlain, and Jacqueline Kennedy  wore Joy by Jean Patou. It’s details such as these that I love to know about old Hollywood icons. I found a whole list of who wore what scent. If you’re curious like I am, read on:

Elizabeth Taylor –– Bal a Versailles by Jean Desprez

Audrey Hepburn –– L’Interdit by Givenchy

Katharine Hepburn –– Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

Lauren Bacall –– L’Ombre Dans L’Eau by Diptyque

Ava Gardner –– Fleurs de The Rose Bulgare by Creed

Grace Kelly –– Fleurissimo by Creed

Marilyn Monroe –– Chanel N5 by Chanel

Natalie Wood –– Jungle Gardenia by Tuvache

in the bag

March 5, 2019

It’s always a little adventure, to delve into a handbag I haven’t used in months, years. This morning I found one in the laundry hamper –– goodness knows why I put it there –– filled with coins, pens, Bermuda dollars and prenatal pills the size of kidney beans. It was last used in 2014, I’m pretty sure. I also found a scrap of yellow paper, with my husband’s notes the week after our first baby was born. “Ask the doctor about swaddling.” Very often, I find an order of service slipped into the pocket of a bag. I love to re-read the poems and passgaes the couple chose. Velveteen Rabbit. Winnie the Pooh. Sometimes, I’ll find an old lipstick, a shell or some sugared almonds at the bottom of a bag. And once in a while, I’ll discover a pair of earrings or a ring I haven’t worn in years. I like to go through old receipts and business cards, notes to myself, and scribbles from my kids. I toss most of it, but there’s always a gem or two to be found.

quattro stagione

March 5, 2019

That I once lived in Florence –– that I’d skip across the Arno to get to school –– all now feels like a bit of a dream. So, when I happened upon this post about the new Four Seasons Hotel in Firenze, it whisked me back. With many of its original Italian Renaissance details intact –– the  frescoes and chinoiserie walls –– the hotel (once a 15th Century convent) is grand, sumptuous and decadent. A Cioccolata calda in the lobby would be a lovely way to start a walk down memory lane.

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