Saturday, 18 December 2010

Indian Christmas

This is really a quick post to say thank you all so so much if you've taken the time to read my waffle this year as it's nearly at an end. I didn't think I'd have time to do a little Christmas post as it's been frantic this week at work and then today I was meant to be flying to India.  However thanks to the horrific British weather and the inadequacy of Heathrow (grrrr), I spent the entire day at the airport without getting off the ground and have to be back at 9am tomorrow. Giggles all round. I also will be away from the Boy for two weeks which is never fun but we're having a week in the Shire when I'm back and a weekend at a lovely little boutique hotel in Wales which I'll post a review of. In the meantime, I want to leave you with some beautiful images of India, in particular some featuring Lily Cole in South India for British Vogue, July 2005 and some by one of my favourite photographers (and also a lovely chap!) Steve McCurry.  See you on the other side!x

UPDATE!! Did I go to Heathrow this morning? Yes Did I manage to fly? Clearly no. So here is a little bonus of some uplifting Steve McCurry pictures for all my lovely suportive friends and the boy. In the words of Scarlett O'Hara, tomorrow is another day!
Hold a true friend with both your hands.  -  Nigerian Proverb      
What is a friend?  A single soul dwelling in two bodies.  – Aristotle
Friendship is a slow-ripening fruit - Aristotle

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Natalie was wondering of she'd overdone the eyeliner...

Although Christmas is on the horizon, my excitement has not yet peaked.  This isn't because I'm being all bah humbug (well..not too much) but this year I will be India for the festive season and it will be a wonderful but very different experience. One of our family traditions has been to take in a pantomime or ballet or both! Ballet, especially leaves me awestruck. The athleticism, the grace and the costumes. Last year, The Boy took me to see Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake at Sadlers Wells, it was magical and he won a whole load of brownie points.  This year the performance that has got my pulse racing in anticipation is Natalie Portman's work in the new big-screen Black Swan. However before you start thinking I've wondered off the fashion piste, the film's forward-thinking ballet costumes by Rodarte, the insider-favourite label by sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy.

Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky said he and the costume designer Amy Westcott wanted to use a contemporary fashion designer "to take it to a new level." "We wanted to reinvent the whole sense of 'Swan Lake,'" he said.  Portman, who has been spotted in the front row of Rodarte runway shows during New York Fashion Week, had a relationship with the designers.
"I remember seeing a dress of theirs at a photo shoot, and just going, 'What is that?'" recalled Portman. "I don't have that reaction to clothes very often. It is not something that I really pay attention to that much. But it was just so beautiful. When we were doing this film, I just knew how balletic their clothes were."

Rodarte had, coincidentally, already tapped into horror films and ballet - the same elements that are the foundation of "Black Swan" - as inspiration for past collections.

"We had an affinity for the subject matter," noted Kate Mulleavy. "We had never done a film. ... This would be a dream job in terms of just getting to make tutus. But, then we had, I think, something that allowed us to add to access the psychology of the film in a different way, which was understanding the darker nature and more of the twisted kind of underbelly of that world."

Nevertheless, producing fashion-forward ballet costumes proved a challenge. "Well, I think that the big question was, 'How do you make something look realistic as a tutu and function?'" explained Laura Mulleavy.
Sometimes style took precedence over function. "You would never go and do 'Swan Lake' and wear a full-on swan outfit without having a strap" to hold the outfit up, said actress Mila Kunis. "Given that it is in a movie and it is a certain form of disbelief. They had no straps. So, the busts kept constantly falling, you know. And so you make it work. You figure it out. But they were beautiful."

The film isn't out in the UK yet but if you've seen it already (I believe it's out in the States this weekend) let me know what you think! The trailer alone gave me chills....also have a slight crush on Mr Vincent Cassell..X

Friday, 3 December 2010

'Never Complain, Never Explain'

"If you're tired of shopping, you are using the wrong shops"   The Duchess of Windsor
For my UK readers, I am sure you were aware of the lucsious Sunday evening drama that was Downton Abbey. Showing the upstairs/ downstairs class dynamic of early Edwardian life it was a feast for the eyes and ears and the perfect antidote to the dread of Mondays, work and real life in general. (For my foreign readers I would suggest visiting Amazon right now and trying to lay your hands on the box set!)

I was bereft when it finished so went to my local library in search of something to heal the wound.  I found it.  Edward and Mrs Simpson , a seven part drama from the late 70s/ early 80s that dramatises the events leading to the 1936 abdication of King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, who gave up his throne to marry the twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson.  The series won the 1980 Emmy award for Outstanding Limited Series, and BAFTA Awards in 1979 for Best Actor, Best Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Series or Serial..and I found a new style icon.  

The way the full-of-pep Simpson looked in London in the '30s — when she was secretly dating the Prince of Wales and future king — would be right on for Phoebe Philo's Céline vision in 2010. "As compact as a Vuitton traveling case," said society photographer Cecil Beaton, calling her "tidy, neat, immaculate." You would not have found this elegant, outgoing, married woman (thirtysomething when she met her prince) in provocative clothes, despite the raging affair that threatened to topple the British monarchy.

 The W and E style was the essence of chic. The duke's look was primarily English: three parts aristo to one part eccentric in his mad mix of Prince of Wales checks, baggy golfing plus fours, and Fair Isle sweaters. Meanwhile, Simpson's style was quintessentially French, from the time when haute couture ruled the fashion world. On friendly terms with designers like Hubert de Givenchy and Christian Dior's Marc Bohan, the duchess worked to reduce every outfit to its essence, even asking the couturiers to dispense with pockets.
A fraction of the Duchess's shoe collection!

"I began with my own personal ideas about style and I've never again felt correct in anything but the severe look I developed then," Simpson told her friend Fleur Cowles, the magazine editor and society hostess, in an interview for Bazaar in 1966. That pared-down, urban elegance of her early days remained her style until her death in 1986.

A rather wonderful montage from Net-a-Porter on we can achieve Wallis style
Her Madge-ness is apparently utterly obsessed with Wallis and frequently channels her style.  There are even rumours that she is directing a film about her life..Watch this space!

Gillian Anderson as Wallis in the current Channel 4 drama, Any Human Heart.

Lastly, I found this wonderful picture and had to include it..Have a wonderful weekend everyone X