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29 March, 2014

the ritz london book of afternoon tea

"Tea at the Ritz is the last delicious morsel of Edwardian London. The lights is kind, the cakes are frivolous and the tempo is calm, confident and leisurely. Takers of tea perch on rose-coloured Louis XVI chairs at marble tables, sipping their steaming cups of Darjeeling or Earl Grey, while the belle époque nymphs look on in Olympian disdain."
The Ritz London Book of Afternoon Tea, by Helen Simpson

"So at this kitchen table, there’s a lot of cake. There are babies on knees, there’s probably a dog or a cat skittling around underfoot. There’s likely some Nina Simone playing. There are blowsy flowers. There may be some flaws, chipped china, bruised hearts and conundrums. There’s also a roof beam raising sense of joy. Some slow cooked stew laced with a dirty laugh."
At The Kitchen Table, by Sophie Dahl (x)

27 March, 2014

audrey classic pyjamas

Finally got around to watching Charade & immediately fell in deep lust with Reggie Lampert's navy silk bathrobe. 
I recalled seeing something similar on the interwebs before and lo and behold -
Poplin, pyjama-maker extraordinaire, has a pair of pyjamas titled "Audrey Classic Pyjamas" that very much resemble Audrey's characters bathrobe.
I am also a super huge fan of their "Bardot Classic Pyjama" & the "Indochine Classic Pyjamas". 

By chance, they are having a Mother's Day sale at the moment.
To get 25% off one simply has to enter "makemamasmile" at the checkout.
As Cary Grant's character says to Audrey's: "How about making me vice president in charge of cheering you up?"
And I think these pyjamas will do just that.

Their Instagram account is worth a look as well.

P.s.: I wrote everything of my own accord. Nothing sponsored here.

if money grew on trees

(Click on the picture for details.)

  1. Charming new blog: Waiting for Saturday - a website dedicated to off-duty style.
  2. 12 must-see fashion documentaries: Watched McQueen & I last night. Nothing terribly new, but still - it was nice to be reminded of some of his (more scandalous) collections.
  3. Beyond in love with the Honor pants pictured above, after seeing them on Vogue Turkey's Konca Aykan.
  4. Also crying myself to sleep at night over the fact that I don't own this shagreen jewelry box by Aerin Lauder.
  5. And if somebody were to randomly throw some money at me on the street, I would also buy these two books: Swans - Legends of the Jet Society & Chloé: Attitudes.

25 March, 2014

the modern apothecary

While I could say that it is the reductionist approach to beauty and product design that appeals to me most about brands like Aesop and Korres - really, it's all about the smell.

Incidentally, over at Aesop not "one of those 79 formulas has been contrived to smell good. The ingredients are chosen because they will deliver the outcome that we want for your skin. The aromas are an extraordinary benefit for us, but they’re not sought in a formulaic way." (x)

However, with it's medicinal-looking amber glass bottles Aesop does have a certain old school appeal for those of us who prefer their beauty shelfs uncluttered & looking like all they do is read Allen Ginsberg and drinking black coffee. 

In any case, what these nouvelle vague brands stand for most is a balanced approach to skincare and life in general. As such, Aesop recommends "a healthy diet, sensible exercise, a moderate intake of red wine, and a regular dose of stimulating literature." (x)

Here are a couple of my newfound discoveries:: 
  1. Both the Aesop Amazing Face Cleanser and the B & Tea Balancing Toner have a nice barely-there feel to them. I think even from just looking at the restrained flacon design with its typewriter font, you can tell that the scent would have a crisp & tangy air to it. Yet, the products don't feel stingy. In hindsight, I am super bummed I didn't also buy the Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream. Back in the day Gaia Repossi would fly to Paris from Italy to stock up on it & I get why.
  2. Aveda's Color Conserve Shampoo smells so wonderfully like lavender - if the scent wasn't so strongly connotated with old ladies crocheting doilies I would swathe my whole body in it.
  3. With the Cowshed hand balm it's also all about the texture - the lotion has such a nice velvety finish to it. It feels almost like you're wearing velour gloves. 
  4. The Korres Ginger & Vitamins foundation leaves my skin so buttery soft & dewy. And since the product is water-based it's also immensely blendable & most importanly hydrating.

"Our design sensibility is somewhere between the utility of Muji and the luxury of Hermès. It’s about substance, not spin. Understated, discreet, refined. It’s the way we see the world, which is perhaps not for everyone but certainly appealing to those who connect to our views."
Dennis Paphitis, Aesop founder (x)

23 March, 2014

the carpet-colored ordinariness of the everyday

"My first thought was, "Can I make a film about breakfast, lunch and dinner with people you like?" But I couldn't. So I then made this huge machine." (x)

Here's the thing to remember about Richard Curtis movies: they are there to be watched on a grey Sunday night in bed with wool socks on. They don't exist to be intellectualized, but rather to revel in the charming failures that are the characters. Criticising his movies is, as Peter Bradshaw put it in The Guardian, "like vivisecting a Labrador puppy."

With About Time Curtis wanted to show that there's happiness in the carpet-colored ordinariness that is our life. And what better way to bring the point home, than with someone who can travel in time - pick any day of his life to revisit over and over again - and then have that person decide "that a perfect day would just be an ordinary day." 

I enjoyed the London tube montage in particular, because living in a city as I do I can't imagine anything more unromantic & day-to-day than the tube. Richard Curtis' London is, of course, "a sanitised, poshified and sucrose-enhanced romcom-parody of the actual city". The tube, however, is about the same amount of horrendous for everyone involved. Yet it is also where I have done about half my life's reading, forged friendships with classmates taking the same route home & ate my weight in kebaps after a night out.

The movie is far from a masterpiece (& Notting Hill will stay forever my favorite), but it is a good Sunday evening watch. Hope everyone's being as lazy as they naturally should on a Sunday!

'People never tell you to have a pleasant journey in the underground, just as people will say 'enjoy your meal', but never 'enjoy your cigarette' if you're a smoker.'
A Northern Line Minute, by William Leith

'Trains show you a particular version of the urban landscape, the unpolished and undressed rear of buildings. I've always liked that about the view from the train, that you're seeing a town or city as it looks in private, before it's dolled itself up to go out.'
What We Talk About When We Talk About The Tube, by John Lanchester

17 March, 2014

shoes so stripped back and ordinary

Five months of traveling in warmer climates, armed with only the bare essentials assembled in a backpack does something to one's sense of clothing. Where once much thought was put into the day's wardrobe, while traveling only the no-brainers, the uncomplicated pieces of clothing survive. All others - the ones with too many buttons, the delicate pieces, tops you have to iron - have to go! One simply grabs the first clean dress one finds, steps into one's sandals and heads out the door. And so lately, unfussiness in clothing has once again become the ultimate for me.

Many a place you will go in Southeast Asia one finds shoes strewn about the front door, as they are to be taken off as a sign of respect. This can get a bit tedious with more complicated footwear. Add to that nights of drunkenly fighting with a heel strap & buckle and suddenly a mule, or the slip-on sandal seems the most elegant solution to the scenario. 

And don't they seem almost cheeky in their carelessness? These are shoes so stripped back and ordinary, the wearer can't but be blasé about them. They are the kinds of shoes you don't store away in your cupboard, but stand ready at the door for when you are once again hurrying out the door and simply putting on the tried, tested & proven. And as with the simple white shirt, nothing could be sexier than that added bit of nonchalance.

"The shape has endured because it makes women move in a very sensual way. The backless design requires more balance and poise. Even the sound they make is seductive. That flirtatious little click clack, tip tap - how divine!"
Manolo Blahnik on Mules in Porter, Issue 1

"There’s something so easy about a mule. It’s almost like a flip-flop. You just throw it on, almost like an afterthought, but at the same time, it’s these beautiful leather or suede stilettos, in natural, gorgeous tones. So it’s a nice contradiction of this stompy kind of shoe, but with a delicacy and elegance.”
Vanessa Traina (x)

Céline (alternative: Zara) | NewbarK

11 March, 2014

view from the topp


Don't we all just love taking pictures of our feet as prove of where we've been?
Certainly relieves of us of our face having to be in tip-top shape and having to pose just so.
Stylist Kate Brien has been making use of that fact and started documenting what she wears each day that way. And the result couldn't be lovelier and more down to earth (literally).