16 April 2010

Weekend Reading List

For me, Agatha Christie, the queen of crime, is pure escape. This week, instead of filing my income tax, I started on two of her books which I probably read in my teens, but haven't since. Crooked House is quite the masterpiece and Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (what a fantastic title, right?) is wonderfully convoluted. I picked thes up because I think I've exhausted all her books that feature Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. These two are unfamiliar because I love her two legendary detectives (well, actually Miss Marple isn't strictly a detective) so much I never look at those that feature the others (for instance, there's a series that features a couple, Tommy and Tuppence). I can't wait for bed time to come when I crawl under the covers, burn my L'Artisan candle and devour the books. Which reminds me that there is a new perfume guide out by husband and wife team Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez called Perfumes: The A- Z Guide. It's the updated 2009 version of their 2007 Perfumes: The Guide. It's a little confusing isn't it? Anyway, it's a must for any perfume junkie.
I'm drawing again so I started to glance through The Diary Of Frida Kahlo, which I find inspiring and really more interesting than her paintings, some of which are, frankly, quite bad. Frida Kahlo's personal iconography is endlessly fascinating, of course.

He Said She Said: Aunty Karla

"And I personally only like high-class escorts. I don’t like sleeping with people I really love. I don’t want to sleep with them because sex cannot last, but affection can last forever." - Karl Lagerfeld
(In a self-portrait: Now, that's what I call a library...)
"The three things I like best in life are fashion, photography, and books. There are a lot of other things I may like but that I’m not gifted for. I’m not gifted for music. I’m not gifted for singing. I don’t like to act because my life is a pantomime anyway."

15 April 2010

Beauty First

A first for Estée Lauder: The beauty giant just announced their newest brand ambassador, Chinese model Liu Wen. Ms Liu has become the first Chinese model to be signed to the luxury beauty brand (she was the first Asian model on the Victoria’s Secret runway, too). Aerin Lauder said: “Estée Lauder has always searched for global beauties that define a generation... and Liu Wen has quickly captured the attention of the fashion and beauty world.”

Pillow Talk

14 April 2010

13 April 2010

A Surge In Demand

“A surge in demand for expensive jewellery, fashion goods, perfume and champagne has sent sales soaring at luxury goods firm LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. LVMH saw revenues jump by 11% in the first three months of this year to €4.472bn.” - The Guardian

Hugo Boss AG, Germany’s largest clothing maker, expects ’single-digit’ sales growth this year on rising demand for suits in North America and Asia." - Business Week

“Fashion house Jil Sander has announced that it will be launching a brand new, lower priced line… designed by Raf Simons after all – the line will be less expensive than its catwalk counterpart.” - elle.com

Perfume Candy Girl

It cheers me up no end: This Miss Dior Cherie commercial by Sofia Coppola marries many things I j'adore... Paris on a summer's day should always be like this! And the perfect soundtrack is Moi Je Joue performed by Brigitte Bardot. Oui! It's the modern day, version of Ms Coppola's Marie Antoinette. The song: I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow. Don't you love the name?

Borderline Case

This (together with Electric Youth) seems to be a new genre of magazine that's two parts Tiger Beat, three parts The Face, three parts Teen Vogue and a whole lot of Bel Ami...

Irving Penn's Beauties

Linda!Christy and Cindy!Those were truly the days. The supers in October 1987, Vogue.

12 April 2010

Two New Magazines


Something to have? Paris Vogue Covers: 1920-2009 is ready for shipping at Amazon. The covers were edited by Carine Roitfeld.

11 April 2010

Demise of the European Craftsman

To complete the idea of Europe as one glittering jewel-box of a theme park, with its denizens costumed players, Europe’s luxury goods makers are alarmed that numbers of skilled craftsmen (like this man here who is meauring out your Birkin) – prized by dressmakers, perfumiers and watchmakers for their expertise – are dwindling rapidly as suppliers have sourced more production from Asia. (Sourve: The Financial Times)
"China makes up less than 10 percent of the global US$206 billion luxury-goods industry, and even if its share grows in step with the buying power of Chinese consumers, it could take several years before it has a chance of surpassing the sector's more mature markets in the US, Europe and Japan." - Shanghai Daily

10 April 2010


To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Mound Of Butter

Antoine Vollon, Mound of Butter, 1875.
I love butter, don't you? This painting is the soul of butter, it feels like it was painted with butter... French Proverb:
“You cannot have the butter and the money for the butter.”

C'est Si Bon

Eartha Kitt, C'est Si Bon, 1962. The flower-like hands, the feline allure the tiny waist... they don't make them like they used to anymore!And then watch An Englishman Needs Time: I love the part when she whacks his paper with the golf club. It's just pure crazy!

New Fantastic

Doesn't this look promising? By the way F said: "Oh I must say I so regret buying The Gentlewoman; it's so gentle you know what I mean?"

Sunday Self Pic

Weekend Reading List

People are becoming ruder everyday, and one can only wish they would read books like Excuse Me, But I Was Next: How To Handle The Top 100 Manners Dilemma by Peggy Post. Don't even ask why I have this book, or have decided to read it now. My favourite Miu Miu sunglasses are broken, and my toe hurts, and rude texts ruined a weekend is all I need to tell you of my close encounters of the unapologetically rude kind.
Another must-read, if for an altogether different reason, is the Ingres monograph by Manuel Jover. I picked this up on a whim passing by the Borders bargain bin one day, and I must say it is an engrossing study of this artist with just enough biographical detail, while going directly to the criticism of the works. (I'm not one of those that like to read exhaustive research on any subject's childhood, the how-the-parents-met-what-the-grandparents-ate-for-supper kind of bio.) I'm interested in his work, period. If such of his biography has bearing on his work, then I'll greedily lap it up, but not the circumstantial kitchen sink please. This book is not lushly reproduced, but it's wonderfully edited, with a careful assessment of Ingres's strengths and weaknesses. Aren't bargain bins glorious?CC gave me Portraits and Observations: The Essays Of Truman Capote to add to my collection of Truman Capote books (In fact, I have it all: Not a big boast as Capote's output is famously slim). It's a nice new cover (2007) with a photo of Capote on the dust jacket I've never seen before but that's all that's new. I've read all that's in there at least a dozen times."Writers, at least those who take genuine risks, who are willing to bite the bullet and walk the plank, have a lot in common with another breed of lonely men - the guys who make a living shooting pool and dealing cards" - Truman Capote

08 April 2010

Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die

“We set out to make an environment where we could truthfully run wild.” - Malcolm McLarenPunk legend, musician and fashion designer Malcolm McLaren, 64, died yesterday in Switzerland. He was battling cancer.
Operating the boutique Sex, which he and Vivienne Westwood ran, he brought together the Sex Pistols and promoted an attitude of nihilistic rage, and fathered punk.
Until their breakup in 1978, the Sex Pistols epitomized the look, sound and attitude of this British movement.
In 1972 Mr McLaren and Ms Westwood opened a King’s Road store called Let It Rock and sold Teddy boy fashions. Mr. McLaren managed Adam and the Ants and created Bow Wow Wow. The store was renamed World’s End.
He went on to record his own albums Duck Rock (1983), a blend of world music and hip-hop, and had hit singles Buffalo Gals and Double Dutch.
He is survived by his son (with Ms Westwood), Joseph Corré, a founder of the lingerie company Agent Provocateur.

07 April 2010

Terry Richardson Shoots The Boys

"I love shooting guys. Some of my favorite pictures over the years have been the things I've done with guys. In a commercial context too, there's no hair or makeup with guys, which is great. I love shooting nudes of guys, but it's harder to get guys to do full nudes, I don't know why, but they don't want to show their junk. I love doing guys." - Terry Richardson


Matisse in his Venice studio in the 1940s. I think it's such a pretty idea to set out all your vases and fill your room with casual arrangements of flowers...

06 April 2010

A Backward Glance

Those innocent days:
Walter Albini
Ted Lapidus
Guy Laroche
Maud Frizon
Charles Jourdan

He Said She Said

"The only time I sleep with closed windows is when I have tuberoses in the room. I jealously keep the smell all for myself. They taste good too." - Marlene Dietrich

About Nicholas Hoult

April Crush:Still on the subject of A Single Man, Nicholas Hoult, the glossy youth who rescues the Colin Firth character was a child star. Remember him from About A Boy? Well, he was that chubby boy...
And he became this...

And this...
6' 2" of Oh. My. Gawd.

05 April 2010

A Single Man

"Just get through the goddamned day: bit melodramatic, perhaps, but then again, my heart has been broken. Feel as if I’m drowning, sinking, can’t breathe."
Tom Ford’s début feature, an adaptation from of the Christopher Isherwood novel A Single Man, is a mood piece not unlike Wong Kar Wai at his best - all that smoking, the evocative soundtrack and the fey closeups! It's polished and assured, and without a beginner's stumble, if slight and glossy like a fashion pictorial.
The wonderful Colin Firth plays George, a literature prof in LA of 1962; In truth, I have never understood Mr Firth until this. His lover, the impossibly dreamy Matthew Goode, has died in a car crash. The day-in-the-life is barely a plot, and much of the movie is a gleaming haze; The characters are all dressed immaculately of the period, all beautiful. Yet I loved it. The film is saved from over-fabulousness by weighty performances: Firth demos how a person is tightened and undone by grief, and Julianne Moore explains the fag hag in all her fragile strength. The two model boys kept me agog: Nicholas Hoult, 20, as the precocious (definitive!) twink is etched in my mind, holding up amazingly well against Mr Firth. And model Jon K, at the liqour store car park, is as beautiful an apparition as the angel Gabriel (this scene should be a movie all its own!). The film slow burns with beauty, with the majestic set pieces of Mr Firth's acting. When he learns of Goode’s death in a phone call, his voice and his face tell the entire tale.
Unexpectedly, it's worth watching again.

With Love From Kate

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"Oh my god." - Kate Moss

04 April 2010

He Said She Said

"I cannot bear dirty shoes. If a shoe has one scratch on it, I cannot even look at it." - Christian Louboutin