Wednesday, 23 November 2011

tell me

What's New?

Miss Ronstadt

It isn't much, but it will have to do until the real thing comes along.

Friday, 4 November 2011


nesca, that is.

using Nigel Slater's quick and simple recipe

Now playing - Frank Sinatra,  Pal Joey (1957) - The Lady Is a Tramp

Saturday, 22 October 2011




Thursday, 20 October 2011

Mission: Impossibly Smart

Boiled leather and stainless steel chair


Simon Hasan


Now playing: Sade - Skin

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


I've been doing my washing today, haven't got a stitch on except my shoes.
I'm all in the rude under this dress...
I only tell you 'cause you are bound to have noticed.

Imperial Chinese court summer robe of embroidered gauze can't see through this dress can you? 
I have been worried for fear of embarrassing you...

Oh, Mr. Sloane! Don't betray your trust...

Kath in the film version of Joe Orton's Entertaining  Mr. Sloane

Now playing:  Siouxsie and the Banshees - Peek-A-Boo

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Make room for ...

 Edited by Thomas Messel 

Introduction by Lord Snowdon, epilogue by Anthony Powell with texts by Stephen Calloway, Keith Lodwick, Jeremy Musson, and Sarah Woodcock. 

Now playing: Tchaikovsky - The Sleeping Beauty, Act II. Panorama

Monday, 17 October 2011

S is for...




Now playing: Blondie - Heart of Glass

Sunday, 16 October 2011


Atsuko Tanaka

The formally trained Japanese artist who rejected the traditional notions of art 
and went in search of what she called... unknown beauty.

Untitled, 1964

Golden Work A, 1962

87H, 1987

Untitled, 1961

Round on Sand, 1968

Now playing: The Beauty Room - Don't You Know

Friday, 14 October 2011

Reformation of a minimalist

There are deep gouges in the parquet flooring, and paint flakes off the ceiling in the fashion designer Sacha Walckhoff’s fifth-floor apartment. He describes it as 'a little shabby’, and explains that the hairline cracks that creep their way up the walls are the result of this part of Paris’s 9th arrondissement being built on swampy ground above a small underground lake. Thus the building, from the 1820s, has been subjected to a fair bit of movement in its lifetime. 'When my mother visits she always says that we should repaint. But I love this. It feels so Parisian.

Now Playing: Julie Driscoll - This Wheel's On Fire

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Miss Hendryx

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Above all else...

Jacqueline de Ribes  


Richard Avedon 

Shortly after meeting Diana Vreeland, de Ribes was photographed for the Beauties of Our Time feature which appeared in Harper's Bazaar, April 1956. On working with Vreeland, de Ribes recalled -

 She taught me that day to be very self-confident, and she told me something very important: 
Whatever you are going to decide for yourself is going to be the the right thing. Don't get influenced. -

Now playing: Nona Hendryx - Now That I Know Who I Am

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Let the mind and heart follow

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel


 Lisa Immordino Vreeland

The book that inspired Immordino Vreeland to direct her first film, a documentary by the same name.

Last year, as I was conducting research for a book I’m writing on Mrs. Vreeland, I realised that her real strengths and subtleties needed to be conveyed in a three-dimensional platform in which she could come alive. Film is the most obvious and effective medium to communicate Mrs. Vreeland’s unique and visual journey. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel will be more than just an intimate portrait of the legendary fashion icon. It will capture Vreeland’s life visually through a multitude of media. Vreeland’s own voice and persona – strong, eloquent and often very exaggerated – will guide us through her life, adventures, accomplishments and passions.

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel premiered at the Venice Film Festival on 3rd September, 2011.

Now playing: Blueboy - Remember Me

Friday, 7 October 2011

Ab Fab

In the 1980s and 90s Sara Thorn was Australian clubland's answer to Zandra Rhodes.

Galaxy,  Melbourne
photograph by Kate Gollings, 1986

The joint venture that Bruce Slorach and Thorn (pictured reclining) established in 1985.  
Galaxy was Thorn's and  Slorach's first shop selling their Abyss Studio label. 

I see textiles not just as fabric, but as a form of cultural communication. - Sara Thorn

Thorn's latest incarnation is WorldWeave, a collaboration with Piero Paolo Gesualdi.

Embroidered Felt Throw

Now playing:  Eskimo Joe - Sarah

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Lost and found

In 1964, the then up-and-coming  Friedlander was hired by Harper's Bazaar art directors Ruth Ansel and Bea Feitler to photograph the year's new car models. As Friedlander's album covers (for many of the jazz artists at Atlantic Records) had already proven his ability to work on assignment and wishing to obtain his best work, Ansel and Feitlier decided that he should be left to his own devices.

Rather than glamourising  the then ultimate symbol of success, Friedlander ...just put the cars out in the world, instead of on a pedestal. The then editor-in-chief Nancy White was less than impressed and well aware that offending the car manufactures could ultimately harm advertising revenue. 

Though Friedlander was paid, the shots were never used and all but forgotten. That is, until Friedlander rediscovered the negatives in 2010.

Now playing: Gary Numan - Cars

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Mistress of swing

French born American designer Pauline Trigère (1909-2002)

Patricia Neal dressed by Trigère in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Pauline Trigère was famous for her coat designs, especially for her swing coats. This notable example shows how she has adapted her swing silhouette for use with leopard skin. The dolman sleeves are an interesting touch that allows for an attractive display of this handsome fur. Designed by Trigère, this coat, according to accession information, was made by Jerry Sorbana in 1962.

Now playing:  Ella Fitzgerald - It Don't Mean A Thing (1974)

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Miss Jones

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

photo synthesis

Now playing: Yma Sumac - Tumpa

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Who is she?

Who was she?

Who did she hope to be?


Now playing: America - Sister Golden Hair

Sunday, 18 September 2011

the figurative abstract

Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003)

Now playing: David Byrne - This Must Be The Place

Saturday, 17 September 2011


Prototype 576 table light, 1971 

Made by Arteluce, 1971

Based on an idea of Germano Celant. Lights in the style of the Russian avant-garde of the 1920s, particularly after works by Alexander Rodchenko. Having acquired consent from the artist's widow, lights 576 and 577 were realised in very limited editions in the early 1970s.

One has to take several different shots of a subject,  from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again - Alexander Rodchenko

Now playing: Arthur-Vincent Lourié - Synthesis for piano op. 16

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Almodovar's women

Luz Casal - Un año de amor

La Lupe - Puro teatro

Chavela Vargas - En el ultimo trago

Lola Beltran - Soy infeliz

Mina - Esperame en el cielo

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

November came early

 Almodovar's  The Skin I Live In is in the cinemas.

Part of the Almodovar magic has always been his choice of extraordinary singers.
And Concha Buika is no exception.

Here she performs Oro Santo with her artistic producer Javier Limón.

... un lamento como preludio de las horas muertas
horas que pasan con la agonía de una muerte lenta
vuelve el silencio a vestirme de oro mi santo...

Friday, 9 September 2011


Upstairs, Louis is gone...

replaced by  George.

A quick snap after installing the artwork.

Now playing: Adele - Rolling In The Deep

Saturday, 3 September 2011

September issue

And it's back to school.

From the ground up.

The basement kitchen of the house that I originally, and rather wantonly, described as a very poor mix of neo Georgian, Arts and Crafts, and contemporary Scandinavian elements. With an absolutely hideous reproduction Louis XV chimney thrown in for good measure.  Whilst the assessment may have indeed been accurate, it failed to acknowledge that this was in fact once someone's house. And they undoubtedly thought it perfect. For them, it more than likely was.

However, to this jaundiced eye,  the house was lacking. 

Beginning with the kitchen and its adjacent rooms. The cherry wood cabinetry (replete with its quasi-Shaker details) and granite work surfaces looked dated and commonplace. And the overly bright colour scheme throughout seemed desperately cheerful.

Luckily the cabinets were beautifully made. And contrary to the current vogue of ripping out for ripping out's sake it was unilaterally decided to restyle the existing kitchen. Which, incidentally, had the most beautiful copper clad baseboards that would inspire the colour palette and the kitchen's details.

On the way to completion.

The kitchen walls were painted a dark green that was further deepened by 20%. The adjacent spaces were painted different shades of verdigris. With the space farthest away from the kitchen painted in the same dark green used as a tent stripe.

The morning room's rather innocuous cast iron Art Nouveau  chimneypiece was replaced

 with a larger ceramic Arts and Crafts example.

Now playing:  amp fiddler - Faith