30 April 2011

Weekend Reading List: Royal Wedding Long Weekend

"Nothing has changed in the royal household since the time of Queen Victoria, and it remains a very old-fashioned house," Burrell warns, in a new interview. Be careful, Kate. Try to draw on the experiences of your late mother-in-law and understand that not everyone in the royal household has your best interests at heart." - Paul BurrellThis long weekend, I'm mostly pottering about and fussing with my plants (they are not looking all that well due to the wilting heat) and reading books inspired by the royal (to-do) wedding of William and Kate. Yes, that wedding. I remember immensely enjoying the vivid gossip provided by Princess Diana's controversial ex butler. Paul Burrell is a former member of the British Royal Household, and was a footman for Queen Elizabeth II when he begain service at the age of 18. I think I must have been one of the first to dash down to Kinokuniya in 2003, to buy Mr Burrell's just-released autobiographical book, A Royal Duty, which revealed frank details about life as a member of the Royal Family staff. It was fascinating, voyeuristic, behind-the-scenes tattle about the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales at home in Highgrove and at Kensington Palace. It was no wonder that the book was an international bestseller because it was a complete tell-all, masquerading as a defense of Diana's morals and an apology for her behaviour. I'm a rabid anglophile and true royalty fanatic so you can imagine how I lapped it all up. This was followed by his 2006 The Way We Were. It became apparent that he was milking his connection with the late Princess for all it was worth: We learn of her tawdry Hollywood affairs, her happiness with Hasnat 'The One' Khan; The stable lad, etc. There was also that bizarre episode that involved the interment of the Princess's best friend's baby in the garden; Her ambiguous rivalry with Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of Pork; And the seedy and tragic story of the affair with Dodi Al Fayed.I made another mad dash down to the shops for Tina Brown's 2007 The Diana Chronicles. It goes through much the same high/low ground as the Burrell books, but with less inane slobbering and much better subtext. It certainly was less sympathetic to Princess Diana (in fact, it was unsympathetic to almost all concerned, and no one, royal or otherwise comes off looking very well). And as ex editor of Tatler, Vanity Fair, Talk and The New Yorker, Ms Brown certainly has more credibility, if less access, than Burrell the Besotted Butler. Ms Brown's book also has more bite: She described Dodi Al Fayed vividly as "an Egyptian lounge lizard". You like? I couldn't put it down - even today."Don't be afraid of the Queen. Her Majesty is one of the friendliest, most approachable ladies. The way to her heart is through her corgis, so accompny her on walks often. Make friends with the palace's downstairs. Make friends in low places, because it is the downstairs that makes the upstairs work. It's not the royal family who are the snobs at Buckingham Palace. The real snobs are the people who work on behalf of them." - Paul Burrell

Sunday Self Pic

Vogue In Stitches

29 April 2011

28 April 2011

Aunty Karla's Chocolate Fix

Dessert in bed, anybody?
As promotion for Karla’s new short films about Magnum Ice Cream, she is pictutred in a chocolate fantasy suite, complete with a candy bar headboard, dark chocolate armchair and cocoa dusted sculpture of his Beloved Baptiste Giabiconi. Isn't it all kinds of weird to make a chocolate replica of Beloved Baptiste (albeit one that got the eyes un-crossed)? Isn't it all kinds of creepy-crazy?
And Magnum paid for it!
“I like chocolate. I don’t eat it, but I like the smell of it. People can drink with their eyes; I can eat with my nose. I would love to have a perfume based on chocolate.” - Karl Lagerfeld

Garrett In My House

Photographer Jannis Tsipoulanis's wishful pictures of Delaware-native Garrett Neff as an ideal houseboy. Isn't he the most perfect? Isn't he full of grace? Can he come and errr... water my lawn?

27 April 2011

Kate's Behind

A sneak peek at the cover of the May issue of Vogue Brazil, edited and photographed entirely by Mario Testino, with a very naked (and completely photoshopped) Kate Moss on the cover. It's a distant echoe of that very famous 1973 portrait of Charlotte Rampling by Helmut Newton, of course.

And Who is This Snow Queen?

I like this cover... for November, maybe? Isn't it awfully winter-y for August? And they say that this is Michelle Williams (does Ms Williams warrant a cover? Even if it's only an Interview cover?), but it could very well be anybody else. She even looks vaguely Asian, dosen't she?

Does Not Read

I bet this ad was workshopped at a big conference table: It's completely meaningless and actually quite crazy. Firstly, the styling is bizarre - why the pink tights with the sparkly ballet pumps with the trench? To what does it allude? It's certainly not "strong".
Secondly, the backdrop clearly says "concrete jungle" - therefore Karlie Kloss swinging on a rope is supposed to allude to Tarzan? That's where the "strong" comes in I suppose, she's the lord of the concrete jungle, and yet her outfit and pose is more "circus"?
Perhaps I give it even more meaning than was meant. It's just STOOPID.

25 April 2011

Steven Klein Studio

All kinds of crazy at this site:http://kleinstudio.us


Kate in Emmanuelle Alt Vogue Paris May's Haute Couture story by Mert & Marcus.

"I Don't Like Ze Hear"

Beloved Baptiste and Rachel Bilson in a Magnum ad by Karl Lagerfeld. BB actually screams "fockers fockers" in this ice cream ad?


Nils Butler modelling Lucien Pellat Finet (question: Does this label even still exist?). Is it just me or does he look entirely divorced from the garments? He looks like he's not even there - and his face looks merely photoshopped in - especially in that last one?

Rupaul Is That You?

Naomi looking like she's the comedy number a Tiffany drag show. I'm sure Anna Dello Russo has something to do with this.

24 April 2011

Carine, Designer?

Is Carine designing an eponymous line? I certainly hope not! How dreary/ unimaginative would that be? Don't, Carine!

22 April 2011

Old and Older

Contributing to the idea that magazines are losing ground, and fashion is just plain dull... Why don't they put someone young and beautiful and glossy on the cover like the under-appreciated Garrett Neff?

Let the Bullets Fly

Unexpectedly, I liked the very masculine Let the Bullets Fly (2010). I don't usually like political satires but China’s biggest domestic box-office hit to date is a fast, freewheeling romp full of wit, violence, and humor. Set in the 1920s, after the Qing dynasty ended in the era of the warlords who fought over the empire’s pieces, Let the Bullets Fly tells the tale of a notorious bandit facing off with the local strongman for control of Goose Town.I liked its crackling amorality and lack of ideology, which feels truly modern. Jiang Wen, who directed the film, plays the bandit chief, whose band of brothers robs a train, along with the governing seal to Goose Town, where they steal from the rich to distribute to the poor. Opium smuggler, played by Chow Yun Fatt tries to kill the bandit and regain his town. The weasly former governor, played by Ge You, tries to gain at ever twist and turn of the plot. The chemistry sizzles amongst the charming leads (I liked the casting), and all the art direction is fresh. As my friend BLA observed, the clothes are beautifully made. However it is a bit long, and as it ends, sags rather a bit. It's thought-provoking nonetheless, and clever, and way ahead of much that is coming out of Hollywood, for instance, or Hong Kong.

21 April 2011

Un Jardin Sur Le Toit

I've just added Hermes's new fourth fragrance from the collection of garden-inspired fragrances Un Jardin, named Un Jardin Sur Le Toit (a very charming, very Hermes name "A Garden on the Roof") to my perfume closet.The inspiration: The garden on the roof of the Hermès flagship at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. The new unisex fragrance is the fourth in the garden series that already includes Un Jardin en Méditerranée (2003), Un Jardin Sur Le Nil (2005) and Un Jardin Après La Mousson (2008).Like the others in the series, Jardin Sur Le Toit was developed by Hermès house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, and is sold as a fruity floral. The notes feature apple, pear, rose, green grass, basil, magnolia and ...compost.
Review by Bois de Jasmin: "There is something joyful and vivacious about this fragrance. The essentially reads as a crisp, sheer rose on the skin. The first few minutes are all about the effervescence of green and aromatic notes. Then the initial sparkling freshness of basil leaves and grass slowly turns into the juicy impression of a green apple and pear. The fruity accord is rendered as an abstract idea, rather than as the photorealistic fruit salad. I find that its fruity-floral orchestration oscillates between sheer petals and tart fruit flesh--jasmine becomes a green apricot, rose turns into a lychee and violet suggests raspberries. I find it unexciting to wear and lacking the comparatively strong character of the previous Les Jardins. Moreover, as time goes on, Un Jardin sur le Toit loses its charm. While the fragrance gives its wearer a pleasant aura, it is quite ephemeral. After a couple of hours, I cannot detect much on the skin other than a whisper of musk, moss, vetiver and tart fruit. Die-hard fans of Jean-Claude Ellena’s crystalline style will find it lovely."
Review by Now Smell This: "Jardin Sur Le Toit starts out grapefruity-citrusy and sharp — it almost recalls Jardin Sur Le Nil — but only briefly so, then it’s crisp apple and pear with plenty of green. It’s bright and tart, and the green notes add a decent bite. It’s young and spring-like and fresh. The fruit gives way to the flowers: a rosewater and magnolia blend that vaguely recalls Kelly Calèche. The base is a pale gentle musk, more vegetal than animalic, with just the slightest suggestion of warm soil.
In keeping with the rest of the series, it’s a transparent fragrance that lends itself to liberal application, and it’s probably better suited to warm rather than cool weather. I found the lasting power to be just so-so. Do I love it? I do not. I found it quite easy to wear, and there is something cheering about it; it made me smile, but it does not captivate me."
Review by 1000 Fragrances: "Like a poem written on the lightness of clouds, where the fresh colours of an aquarelle are mixed by the wind, Un Jardin sur le Toit speaks about the tender quality of fresh green fruits. The perfume opens with an explosion of green notes where apple and pear are mixed with the odor of grass, lemon and grapefruit. Jean Claude Ellena seized the ephemeral scent of the early spring magnolia flowers with their strange note of decomposing fruits, watery herbs and macerating tea. The sparkling quality of the perfume, after the short transition of the obvious fresh fruits, suggests the quality of champagne and white wine. A delicate litchi note, a bubbling butyric aspect suggesting "lie de vin", the acidic freshness of the pomegranate and delicate rose-violet notes, like those found inside the elder flower, contribute to the unusual effect. I appreciate the early moments of the scent but I would like also that it had more character, and more tenacity on the skin. After less than 2 hours, a generous splash on my skin becomes a very faint odour that could be any Roger & Gallet cologne.

20 April 2011

Kiss Me Kate!

This is an oddly festive cover... is it Christmas in Paris already?

18 April 2011

They Gradually Ascended

"They gradually ascended for half-a-mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste." — Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Kiera and Cate

Just Another Manic Monday

"I have been uncompromising, peppery, intractable, monomaniacal, tactless, volatile and ofttimes disagreeable. I suppose I'm larger than life." - Bette Davis Just another crazy day at the office when I have to repeat myself over and over again. Sigh.

16 April 2011

No Galliano At John Galliano

John Galliano has been officially let go at his eponymous label. The firm's board decided to eject the disgraced designer and let the design team at John Galliano produce forthcoming collections. Christian Dior, which owns 91 percent of John Galliano, has received expressions of interest in the label from its Italian licensing partner Ittierre, as well as a Chinese group and a firm from the Middle East; however, a sale of the company is reportedly not now considered. Mr Galliano was recently spotted at the Los Angeles airport after recently completing an "intensive" one-month treatment at an Arizona rehab center and is now in extended "aftercare." A date for his impending trial — which will determine whether he faces months in prison and a fine of 22,500 euros on account of public insult — is expected to be announced on May 12.

Sunday Self Pic