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22 March, 2013

next time you're in paris

Delicate jewellery & perfectly manicured hands - what's not to love?!
Essie's All Tied Up has been a huge favorite of mine lately in the nail polish department.
In the jewellery department, I still wear this Oui ring a lot, as well as this watch by Seiko.
From Pierre Caron in Paris, I have a wonderful tiny pearl necklace & a very simple bracelet I practically never take off. Next time you're in Paris, definitely stop by there (52, rue des Archives) - it's the kind of place where you have to ring to be let in, but they are perfectly nice & helpful.

(Picture by The Edit)
P.s. I discovered Pierre Caron thanks to Cecilia, who showed me the place when I met her in Paris last year.

fine weather

White tulips with tea and a book; strawberries in deliciously rich & ridiculously heavy cream.

"An immense joy came over her. It was indescribable. It had nothing to do with humanity, and most resembled the all-pervading happiness of fine weather. Fine weather is due to the sun, but Margaret could think of no central radiance here. She stood in his drawing-room happy, and longing to give happiness. On leaving him she realized that the central radiance had been love."
Howard's End, by E.M. Forster

a modest proposal, by suzy menkes

Right now, covering up seems way sexier and far more modern than baring it all.

The word that best describes their clothes is so ancient and out of fashion that it requires a good dust off: modesty. Yet this is not a sackcloth-and-ashes denial of sexuality but rather a fresh take on the female factor. The modern woman is not prudish about her body. She just may not want to put her erogenous zones on display. There has always been an eroticism attached to what is behind the veil — not least in Italian art. (...)

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who are the Row designers, have caught the essence of the look by using fine fabrics from cashmere to silk, allowing the body to undulate beneath the gentle cover-ups.

There is a sweet poetry in clothes that are womanly without being sexually provocative. But if the purpose of clothing from Adam and Eve onward has been linked to the idea of attracting the opposite sex, does it really make sense to take sex out of the fashion equation?

Perhaps the question should be asked the other way around: is covering up the body the death of sensuality? The answer, surely, is no!

Read more here.

18 March, 2013

out of ireland have we come

I could blame it on the weather, or on the fact that the world now expects to be a proper adult, but I've been watching one comfort movie after the other lately & it feels good. All those corny & completely clichéd movies (Notting Hill, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood etc. etc.) are pumpkin soup with buttered toast to my soul. 
Anyway, a day late and a dollar short, here's a little somethin' somethin' in celebration of St. Paddy's Day.
I'd wax poetic about the beauty of the country, but why don't I let Ireland speak for itself.

Leap Year

P.S. I Love You

"In Ireland, you go to someone's house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you're really just fine. She asks if you're sure. You say of course you're sure, really, you don't need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don't need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn't mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it's no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting.

In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don't get any damned tea.

I liked the Irish way better."

C.E. Murphy (Urban Shaman (Walker Papers, #1))

15 March, 2013

bolshoi means grand in russian

"I kept saying, ‘Please call Masha, please call Masha.’ I really thought I was dying. (...) I don’t want to discuss the nightmare that came next: my wife’s reaction, the reaction of my relatives who saw me in this condition. I could hear them crying and I understood that what they saw in my face was something . . . horrendous.” (x)

Is anyone else ridiculously intrigued by the acid-incident at the Bolshoi Theatre?
All the drama, all the egos involved etc. etc.
The reporting on it has been top-notch & such an interesting behind the scenes look at this industry,
which is why I thought I'd post a bit of what I've been reading about it.

"The Bolshoi is a mini-cosmos, corrupt and crumbling, like the country in which it exists."(x)

"Sometimes an institution has an uncanny way of embodying the society to which it belongs. (...) So it is at the pinnacles of Russian dance. Since the nineteenth century, the country’s two principal stages—the Mariinsky, in St. Petersburg, and the Bolshoi, in Moscow—have acted as microcosms of imperial Russia, Soviet Russia, and, now, Vladimir Putin’s Russia." (x)

"Ballet is all about beauty, and all that dancers have is their looks and their bodies. It's the tool they use to make a living. The assailant didn't want to kill Filin, who still appeared boyish despite his 42 years. Instead, he wanted to destroy him." (x)

'Ballet really matters in Russia. "That's very good for us," says Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova. "But it can also be part of our problem." For generations, tsars spent lavishly on the two main companies, the Mariinsky in St Petersburg and the Bolshoi in Moscow. (...)
Ballet is also a source of passion and pride among ordinary Russians. "In the theatre, I see people who look as though they don't know where their next meal is coming from. But there's an expression on their faces, an intensity that I don't think I ever saw at Covent Garden."' (x)

Pictures from The New York Times.

13 March, 2013

ana girardot


Elegance is different than chic; elegance has to do with money, with leisure time, with upbringing, and education. The chic woman looks natural, not dressed up. Chic is not a matter of money. Chic means that, from head to toe, there is a sense of proportion."
Secrets of French Girls, by Ellen Wallace (x)

"Her number one rule for elegance; elegance is refusal.
The tendency for moderation in France also applies to their clothes and accessories." (x)

09 March, 2013

best dressed, part i


"I think it’s more exciting to reveal less.
Maybe wear layers of smocks and then have super-sexy underwear on."

Alexa Chung

sweeping the floor and making tea

Some nice pieces of journalism from around the web.
  1. "With her sinuous deportment and regal, Roman profile, Hewitt is a figure you feel you have seen before, on the side of a Greek vase, or as one of those alluring, slightly mysterious ladies of sensibility John Singer Sargent loved to paint."
    On pianist Angela Hewitt (x)
  2. "And it is true that only someone who leads a deliciously luxurious existence could write such a book. Sensual and satin-soft, reading it is like dropping milk chocolates into your mouth while reclining (naked, naturally) on a goosefeather eiderdown. It presents a world where characters have names like "Mr Beaney" and heartbroken heroines sigh "Alas": this is an author raised on fairy tales, old-fashioned English storybooks and glorious stilettos."
    On Sophie Dahl's The Man with the Dancing Eyes (x)
  3. "Aged 17 he took it one step further. Having got into Cambridge, he deferred entry to take up a two-year apprenticeship with Whiting. "Was I a normal teenager? No, not really. I had a strange, attenuated life – living in the Deanery in Canterbury, which is a vast medieval and Elizabethan house, with 15 bedrooms and a library and 50 portraits of deans on the wall; and there was a curfew bell at 9 o'clock, when the cathedral gates were locked, and you had to be let out by a porter. Early every morning, I'd let myself out the back-garden gate with a key, and walk to the studio of an elderly, austere potter. And I took on the whole thing, sweeping the floor and making tea."'
    On potter/author Edmund de Waal (x)
  4. "He also describes her fairytale, women's magazine attempts to make her house and clothes conform to an idea she has of decorum and elegance. What makes it impossible for her to inhabit her house or her marriage is her romantic sense that there is something more, some more intense experience, some wider horizon if she could only find it. Her desires are formed by her reading and her education."
    A.S. Byatt on Madame Bovary (x)
  5. "Rebecca Sieff fell in love with Castle Howard when she was 14 years old. Every week she was glued to her TV set watching Brideshead Revisited, ITV's epic drama series, filmed at one of England's largest private stately homes. She remembers,"It looked so glamorous and so wonderful, and you thought, I'm not going to end up in a shitty little house anywhere.… I want to live there." The obsession remained. When Rebecca was 20 and a budding socialite, a magazine interviewer asked her where she would like to live. She responded, "Oh, somewhere like Castle Howard." Now, 14 years later, she does."
    The Woman Who Set Out to Marry a House (x)

03 March, 2013

an english rose

After an especially sun-poor winter, I hope wherever you live it's a most gorgeous day.
What the soul, or at least mine does, needs right now is the first steps of a little spring cleaning.
Bach's Inventions tend to help in that regard. Or some light pasta does the trick as well.

Most importantly, though, it is the perfect time for that whole English Rose look.
A time when you haven't yet tanned & still have that fair complexion left over from winter,
with the one exception of a bit of a rosy blush to the cheeks. It is a modest kind of beauty.

The prevalent colors being the one's featured in John Singer Sargent's portraits of his slightly mysterious ladies of sensibility & their lavender-powdered cleavages.
Add to that a well-mannered demeanor, a good heart & decorum no matter the situation,
and you're well on your way to living la vie en rose.

Hope all of you have a lovely spring!

(The quote is from Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens & the pictures are from The Gentlewoman.)