Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Peace on earth this Christmas is unlikely if you don't get me something gorgeous from Harvey Nichols

#CouldIBeAnyClearer

an early morning walk in Green Park

St Paul's in the distance

somewhere off Bond Street

a stunning desk at Paul Smith

my favourite food shop in the world - Ottolenghi on Ledbury Road in Notting Hill

Anya Hindmarch's handbag stickers - Ledbury Road is reflected in the window

it is at once incredibly comforting and disturbing that Emma Hope's shoes are exactly the same as they were 10 years ago

Joseph shops are everywhere in Notting Hill and Chelsea

we looked at many flats to buy in 1999 - a two-bedroom used to be around £350,000 in those days around Holland Park or Notting Hill - we thought that was sooooo outrageous that we decided to pay rent instead for the next 10 years... look at the garden apartment advertised above - we were clearly idiots

our flat on Kensington Park Gardens

the kitschy antique shops on Kensington Church Street between Notting Hill Gate and Kensington High Street

I love how shops with glitzy lights are not necessarily glitzy shops in England - in Hong Kong a shop with chandeliers would be made of marble - its customers would expect that, rather than a rickety drafty door with an old fashioned bell to announce the customer's arrival to the shop's tweed-clad, frazzled but passionate owner...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I LOVE LONDON

first stop Surrey - icy cold sunshine

no country house is complete without a proper drinks cabinet

I love discovering other people's art - this one is from Martha's Vineyard

I love a host who goes through the trouble to make yorkies - thanks Tom and Chris for a fabulous weekend - we love you guys

on to Central London - Brompton Road at night

our flat at Cheval Place

Scandinavian wood meets flowers and tweed

the master is so deliciously girly

marble and copper

selfie with loo roll
Michelle from JCrew I love my cardigan! Water rnelon delight

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Parisian Christmas at the Landmark in Hong Kong, designed by Ines de la Fressange

coffee at Café Ines

Rushing home on the Metro

a fashion exhibition

a huuuuuuge tree

Ines inspired me to stop at the Roger Vivier shop on the second floor - her eclectic interior designs for the shop are so lovely - and the shoes were pretty fabulous too. But I contained myself.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Party with Roland Mouret, Christian Louboutin and Valentino

I almost bought some fake berries at Indigo - they looked pretty good I thought, but there is nothing like the intense natural red of the real thing.

the hostess, a little bit shy, is stunning in her red Roland Mouret dress

there are glitter shoes, and then there are sparkly crystal encrusted shoes - these Louboutins with crystals are the most beautiful shoes I have ever laid eyes on -  e v e r

shoe selfie with little Gigi - how great are those patent leather bow shoes - I wish they made them in my size

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

On my Christmas list: Fendi, Bottega, and Louis Vuitton - oh, and some videos you can't miss...

I have been thinking of doing a post titled "Never Buy A Boring Winter Coat", but I suppose if you carry this bag, you may benefit from a boring coat. I love these Fendi patchwork totes. They hint at the seventies trend so prevalent in shops this season, but the sharp lines and slick materials take it away from the houtje touwtje feeling of said decade (the rope and toggle of a toggle or montycoat).

Fendi has also been bringing baguette bags back into the mix... They remind me too much of Samantha from Sex in the City nowadays, but this Christmassy sample is rather cute and festive. Watch Samantha and her fake baguette get evicted from the Playboy Mansion HERE.

This is one of the most interesting bags of the season for me. From a design point of view it is brilliant how Thomas Maier makes Bottega's traditional woven leather look like exposed brick behind plaster. It reminds me instantly of a scene in the movie Wall Street, from 1987, in which Daryl Hannah gives Charlie Sheen's flat a make-over. That said, I am not sure if this bag will ever look nonchalant on anyone - when fashion gets too conceptual, it can lose its impact sometimes. When in doubt, I always wonder what Kate Moss would look like carrying it, as she is the master of looking great without trying too hard, and somehow I can't see her with this bag.
PS: If you have not seen Wall Street, then you must see it today. Watch the trailer HERE.

I really want this little purse desperately. It is so sweet, the perfect size, the shape of the handles is so beautiful, and I am a sucker for a red purse at Christmas. Santa baby, don't slip a sable under the tree for me, but I would love this happy little purse... (to get into the Christmas spirit listen to Eartha Kitt's Santa Baby HERE).
I have not been a fan of LV for a long time, feeling that Bernard Arnault turns all that is unique about the companies he buys into mass market sameness - but maybe I am wrong. Nicolas Ghesquiere's collections for Louis Vuitton have so far been exciting and different, and as far as I can tell the runway clothes are making it to stores without too much dumbing down.

Look at this LV dress for instance: it is absolutely fascinating to me. The zipper, the wide pointy collar and the shiny edging on what appears to be a rib-knit collar remind me of the winter jackets poor Eastern European immigrants wore after the iron curtain came down in the late 1980s (Miu Miu did those actual jackets this season, I swear Miuccia copied them straight from a vintage ski jacket - HERE). 
And then the rest of the dress is made of something that looks like a rich woollen carpet, with curly tufts of wool laying thick on the surface.

Enlarge this picture by clicking on it to see the fabric more closely. How beautiful is that material? This is what makes me love fashion, this craftsmanship, these disparate materials coming together to make a very cool little dress. Would Kate Moss be able to carry this off? Yes, on a night out with patent booties she would look pretty great, but I don't think she would choose it?
This dress highlights the difference between fashion's effect, and fashion's intrinsic value. In this case the intrinsic value of this dress is not just about the edginess of its designer or its silhouette, but also about the special materials, the artistry of the designer and the craftsmanship necessary to produce it (notice the diagonal quilting on the skirt).
 The effect is simply a sporty young little seventies dress - it is this effect that we will see replicated by  the likes of (my also beloved) Zara very easily in a matter of weeks.
In my every day life, I totally dress for effect, possibly because I can't afford Louis Vuitton but more likely because delicate clothes like these don't necessarily fit in our busy daily lives. Even if you were only wearing this dress out at night you'd still possibly have to sit down on the greasy seats of a Hong Kong taxi. Then you'd have to find a dry-cleaner with a delicate hand in ironing the garment, so as not to flatten the lovely pile - that is if the grease on the taxi seat did not already turn the fabric into a felted mess before you got to your destination..
Not for every day life, but its existence on this earth so very much appreciated by I LOVE FASHION nonetheless.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday - with Valentino in the winter of 1984

I love these exuberant layers of tartan and bouclé - and also love the pink nails and frosty lips in combination with all the red.

Someone somewhere may have found this under the tree that year... What is on your list for Christmas?

(photos taken from my own copy of Vogue Paris August 1984)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gucci leopard print loafers


This was a much better photo before I noticed my feet were hairy and had to crop the shot drastically. That said, it now better illustrates my point about the leopard pattern. Never buy leopard print shoes online - the pattern is almost always placed differently on the shoe, and often they don't match at all. Sometimes that is cool and gives them character, but sometimes it is really distracting and you end up not wearing them cos something feels wrong.

When you buy them in the store, you can pick the patterns you like best, or like I have done before, ask for another pair, make a mess on the floor by throwing lefts and rights around with abandon, then pick the best pair and put them back in the box together.

Something has to be done about these. The pair on the right is my favorite one, it has more of the camel color and the black lines are longer and continuous. The lines of the left are too dotty and overall this shoe seems a lot lighter in color. I've had a rummage through my art drawer and after a bit of experimenting on the heel of the shoe I think I have found the right markers to fix it. A 15-year obsession with finding the perfect set of skin color markers for fashion drawing has finally paid off. To be continued.