I tip-toed away and had a quiet little birthday this week. Not a momentous one, nothing ending in a “0″ or marking another decade. Just one of those that glide by with the swiftness of a bird’s wing, a gentle whoosh,silent … Continue reading
It feels, at least to me, like it’s been quite a while since I’ve done a “Colour” post.
In fact, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written a post
So what better combination to jump back in with than Black & White?!
Especially since I started compiling these, and scads of other images way back in the Spring, when the runways were absolutely choc-a-bloc with black & white stripes-particularly Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors & Balmain, to name just a few.
Alas, the summer has slipped by as quickly as those looks hit the shops and streets
and look who’s finally getting around to the “White & Black” post”?!
(I’ll be sharing that “Best Sunscreens” post any week now too!)
But seriously, the combo was positively inescapable this summer.
I snapped this Harvey Nichol’s window in London in June.
This cool arrangement, a particular favourite of mine, I shot at The Tintagel Hotel in Sri Lanka last year.
The round black vases sit on a large lacquer tray perched on a leather ottoman. So chic and unusual, and even more beautiful in person.
Just one of my all time favourite black & white bedrooms ehvver, that’s all.
I wish I knew where it was and who to give credit to.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (then protest that I did not already say that)
Black & white stripes work in every possible permutation
photo Jeff McNamara
or flat out modern
They worked for Matisse and his models
and with every shade in the colour spectrum (speaking of Matisse)
They’re the perfect touch of homespun textile in an industrial space
A cheeky, yet classic addition to an eclectic vignette
And don’t even get me started on how cool these stairs are.
Of course you’d have to install railings in America, by code, which would totally spoil the look-
but you could then remove them after inspection.
Woops-was that my outside voice again??
Speaking of being naughty, I pinched this great set of china for practically nothing at Target. I might have posted this Instagram photo once before, but it fits so well here, I couldn’t pass up the humble brag.
I think the ‘china’ looks great with the linens-
From the markets of Sri Lanka to Target in Ventura- a truly International table setting!
Seriously coveting these black & white pots but don’t know where to find them- I just know they’re made in Italy.
I also scooped up about a dozen of these mini metal beach pails at Target for like 99 cents. Filled with herbs and interspersed with votives, they’ll be fun down my long barn table. That’s the plan anyway. If I ever get around to throwing a dinner party again.
HOW DOES MARTHA DO IT??!!
(but that’s another post, right? I guess getting up at 5 AM helps)
How about striping just one wall for a great effect that’s easily removable if you tire of it-
which you probably won’t, but I always worry about that. Virgo.
Cute chair, no credit, help me out here Pinterest People.
*Ahh-and already “Linda” has written in with the credit here Thank you!
Super simple to paint your own floor, right?
Says she, with the lantern still on the floor of the garage…
My Instagram pic of the bikes outside the Mark Hotel in NY this summer.
Let’s forget about stripes for a moment.
In my next life I want to be able to carry off six wacking great bangles on each arm and act all blasé about it.
“Oh, these? these old things?? I wear them all the time…don’t even notice they’re there”
I’m also loving this poncho by Rag & Bone, which I would wear to death.
Keds by Kate Spade
Love the pic but I wish the shoes weren’t so pointy.
I SO coveted these sequined pants from Etro. I figured (justified) they were a timeless investment.
But were they in any of the shops?
loved the sandals and the toenail polish colour, which I bought but looked totally vile on me.
Is it Kate? So French, so cool. Even though I hate smoking.
Carolyn Murphy via Vogue
My favourite model, besides Christy Turlington, Daria Werbowy.
OK, so in my next life, I’m coming back as Daria with a whole armload of cuffs & bracelets.
I won’t say no to the jacket if that’s thrown in either.
Edie Campbell by Peter Lindbergh
This was one of the best editorial spreads of the summer-I’m still saving one of the other photos for an upcoming post.
But I think what we’re really learning here People is that we all need to get some black & white striped trousers.
Sooner than later.
and how about that face?!
BTW, Summer still isn’t over, especially for us here in Southern California
For those of you Down Under, it’s just about to start (lucky!!)
Kate Moss in Dolce & Gabbana. Photo Patrick Demarchelier
Hat by Monet, photo Herman Landshoff, Mademoiselle, 1959
In fact, Really timeless!
and if you’re still left with even a sliver of a doubt…
a glimpse of Anne Demeulemeester Spring/Summer 2014 Men’s collection.
White & Black Forever!
Last year’s “Black & White Redux” post HERE
Balloons & pencil photo via Pinterest
When you think of Summer do you think of popcorn?
Drive-Ins, Summer movie dates, pool parties..
It’s not the first thing, mind you, but I think of it.
Oh, let’s be real, I think of popcorn just as much in the winter. I’m a complete kernel fiend but it was a so-so (desperate) segue into the post.
BTW, Do you think it’s easy to find a photo combining fashion with popcorn?! NUH-UH Girlfriend. Was so excited when I snapped the above window in NY!
But I’m thinking about popcorn pretty much every day, now that I’m on my gluten-free trial period (I hate the word DIET).
In fact it was one of the very first things I looked up before deciding whether or not this G-F choice would even be doable for me.
Because It’s absolutely, positively, your chances are zero, IMPOSSIBLE to get me to go to the movies and not eat popcorn.
If I’ve been to Bouchon for lunch and The French Laundry for dinner and you say let’s go to the movies I will at least get a medium, butter 1/2 way down.
Here’s an insider’s trick for the cinema: establish two straws at different levels of the bag and shoot the “butter” down the straws.
24 carat good news?
There’s NO GLUTEN IN POPCORN
Now I know there are a million & one different ways to doctor popcorn. Whether you like it sweet or savoury, the possibilities are truly endless.
Basically, when it was suggested to God He create the perfect vehicle to deliver every possible flavour, He created popcorn.
I like both sweet & savoury, though I’m partial to salty for sure.
When I first moved to London, not all theatres even sold popcorn and if they did it was only sugared, which horrified me, but after my boyfriend put an end to bringing my own (spoilsport) I grew to sort of like the sweet stuff. Amazing how the human body adapts under pressure.
But enough about ancient history and uptight old beaus who care about car smells.
I have this great tip for popping corn that I’d like to share with you.
First, I would highly recommend dumping your microwave popcorn. I hear it’s very unhealthy and possibly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Just saying. I certainly have no idea if this is a valid accusation, but what I do know to be true is that freshly popped corn is way more delicious and only takes a few minutes extra to make, so why not make the switch?
Another benefit to popping stove top style is you may choose healthier oils such as olive, or coconut, for example. Who knows what Redenbacher really puts in that reservoir of goo at the bottom of the bag?
Pre-popped popcorn stores really well for at least a week. Make it when you have time, store in the same type of container you would keep cereal in and add the fixins’ when the movie starts.
Which is how we get to the popping tip below…
We were staying with dear old friends in Lake Tahoe earlier this year and I commented on how incredibly good their popcorn was (as we were watching an incredibly bad movie)
I was digging for every last ‘Old Maid’ (what’s your euphemism for un-popped kernels? I admit my old British one is so politically incorrect :-()
My friend said it was all in their friend Khalil’s “Top Secret Tip” which she gave me permission to share here;
KHALIL’S TOP SECRET POPCORN TIP:
Slow roast the kernels first!!!
I know. omg. Shhhhhh. Promise not to tell any other blogs…especially that Pioneer Lady.
What looks tastier-These?
So, the secret’s out of the bag. Do with it what you will.
It does take some time and yes, skills to achieve just the right deep golden colour before cranking the heat up and commencing a popping.
On my stove it takes about 15-20 minutes but it is old and the gas control is either “Rainy Campfire on Survivor!” or “Industrial Kitchen Bake Off”
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have one or two “Incidents”
Who amongst us hasn’t thrown a ‘seriously burnt popcorn’ microwave away?? (our score is 2)
I’m thinking of spreading a bag of kernels on an oiled cookie sheet and slow roasting them in the oven, as I do with steel cut oatmeal, to see if I get the same results.
Popcorn kernels may also be pre-toasted and saved to pop later, but I’ve found they don’t save for very long, maybe 3 or 4 days.
Then for some reason, husbands can’t get them to pop anymore and they burn.
They burn badly.
And your “Ray Donovan” Sunday evening viewing will be scarred.
As if you’re not being scarred enough just watching that show.
A few of my personal fav’s; “Olive Oil & Sea Salt” butter from “Land O’ Lakes” (new, at least to me) , ghee, celery salt, Sriracha, Old Bay Seasoning, parmesan cheese, truffle salt…you know the drill.
I totally love the popcorn maker I asked for last Christmas after reading about the perils of micro-waved popcorn.
I’ve never looked back.
Charlotte Olympia leather bag.
Thanks to L & E & especially Khalil!
Ciao Orville Baby. It was fun while it lasted.
Meanwhile, back in London…
The town was abuzz not only with the 60 year Coronation anniversary, but also the Bowie exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum.
Needless to say, being the dyed in the wool Bowie Fangirl I am, there was no way we were going to miss the show!
A beautiful summer day on the steps of the V & A, London
The show was good, slick and definitely worth seeing
In my humble opinion however , it could have been bigger. Granted there was and continues to be SO much great material to document over Bowie’s decades long career, but it’s not like the V & A doesn’t have the room…and I’m sure the budget must have been formidable.
Then again, perhaps it’s fitting to leave the show feeling the man still remains a bit of an enigma (aren’t you glad I didn’t say chameleon )
We were also just in time for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition Preview party
Where the fashion and art world’s ongoing love affair with fluorescents was to be clocked everywhere.
People, the “Red Carpet” was green!
Even the canapés were served on glowing fluorescent green trays. (fyi-I didn’t eat all those)
Though I felt slightly underdressed (it’s a long story) at least my belt matched the theme of the evening.
Cute young girls in Louis Vuitton SS13 frocks
and stripes were certainly a popular fasion statement.
A triptych of pics from the party
Prawns on fluoro ice.
and a glowing green bar
Leaving the party to go to “Le Caprice” off Piccadilly for a late dinner with old friends
A restaurant we frequented-yikes, often and more years ago than I really care to divulge, and it’s still as busy as ever.
Though the signage remains the same, the interior has enjoyed a subtle face-lift.
Hmmm…oh forget it. I can go back to the same places, but I’ll never get the old face back, and that’s OK.
No, really, it’s fine. Pass the whine. I mean the wine.
BTW, If you were going to buy a Bentley, would you pick purple?!
More fun to be had window shopping in Mayfair
The new Assouline book shop next to Claridge’s Hotel.
and Knightsbridge at Harvey Nichols
Where I bought this Christopher Kane silk jacket that is amortizing nicely.
More Harvey Nic’s
and simply strolling in the streets of my old ‘hood sharing my old memories with my husband.
And lest one precious moment of London time was wasted, a girlfriend and I also took in the arts & antiques fair at Olympia.
Where I became quite fascinated with this 3D piece. Doesn’t it look like an aerial view of a crowd of people milling about?
Closer inspection reveals it’s simply tiny dollops of layers of paint. Very clever.
Sadly, I’m unable to find my program from the show at the moment so I cannot credit the artist.
My friend was taken with this cheeky Bazooka bubblegum snapping Renaissance-looking maiden, carved in alabaster no less, by the artist Gerard Mas.
The subtly veined and translucent nature of the alabaster made her appear unsettling life-like. It also made me want to wear more sunscreen.
Our last evening found us at the ridonkulously chic “5 Hertford St.” in Mayfair, just off Curzon St.
The good news is it’s owned and very personally presided over by Robin Birley, son of the infamous Mark Birley who ran “Annabel’s” in Mayfair for forever and a day
The family are true restaurant and private nightclub royalty-oh the stories they could tell! and wow, Birley’s newest establishment does not disappoint.
Robin and Lucy Birley
The decor was conceived by 80′s & 90′s renowned fashion designer Rifat Ozbek, though I can’t imagine that Robin Birley and his wife (Bryan Ferry’s ex) didn’t also have a strong hand in final ambiance of the place.
The bar area in “Loulou’s” downstairs
Downstairs is like Safari-meets-The Water Babies. Sorry if that’s a difficult visual to summon up, but that’s how it felt, so overcome was I with the general effect. Upstairs, you just want to live in every single room, sit by the multiple fire places, smoking cigars whilst reading Maugham and discussing the merits of whippets above all other canines with Mr. Birley himself. (Who I just happened to see carrying his one grey whippet down the stairs in his arms, with the other close to heel. It was The Perfect English Moment)
The Bad News is, and this is pretty bloody bad-it’s private.
One must know Some One in order to get One’s self through the very discreet little door of “5 Hertford St”
So, if your travels include a trip to London on the horizon, One best get on the horn and start calling friends, friends of friends, bosses of friends, and listen, if things get desperate, even rebuilding a broken friendship bridge or two if necessary.
This is one of the chicest, coolest places I’ve been to.
And I really don’t think it’s just because I love London so much.
PS. Don’t flipping tell anyone I snapped the photo of the dining room with the roses above-I imagine they don’t take kindly to people clicking away with their iPhones.
PPS. Can’t tell a porkie-pie, I also snapped the flowers in the Ladie’s room.
Who could resist these and who does it hurt, pray tell??
OK, and really, really, lastly…cause it’s like 2am in the morning here,
We’re on High Alert Royal Baby Watch now are we not?!
I shot this little “Instagram”vignette in our guest room in honour of the Big Event.
I love that CNN announced today that ‘Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are eagerly awaiting the birth of either a boy or a girl!”
Righty ho, time for me to go to bed and dream of England!
What are you doing in your part of the world right now?!
*all photos of “5 Hertford St.” except my first Instagram pic and the Ladie’s room flowers are via “Vanity Fair” magazine.
It’s now even later than 2am so excuse any typos-I might as well be running a nightclub at this hour.
Coat check tag,please. And No, I don’t have any change.
It’s that time again!
When I go to my “happy place” with the annual red & white stripes post.
And what better day than on the eve of celebrating America’s Independence?
I have so much to be thankful for living here and not, say, in Egypt right now.
Not that I’ve ever even been to Egypt, so it’s not like it was a close call or anything,
I’d love to go there someday. Prayers for the situation there to settle peacefully and soon.
and now let’s get back on a much lighter note,
I’ve always got an eye out for a good red & white stripe when I’m traveling.
I’m delighted by what the smallest dose of it can bring to a room.
On my recent trip to Morocco I spotted this lovely display in a great shop in Marrakech.
They had wonderful linens, textiles, place mats etc. so I hope someone will leave a comment reminding me of its name.
*LATE ADDITION: The music I forgot to add last night! Great summer song
(must be turned up really loud)
An All American classic porch vignette
Ice cream filled watermelon rinds via Bakers Royale
Glasses via Taigan.com
How cheery is this kitchen wall painted like a dish towel?
If you’re in a bad mood in the morning in a room like this there’s pretty much no hope for you.
I spotted these cute “vintage” serving boxes in an antique store in Carpinteria and bought the entire stash of them. Perfect for popcorn or hot dogs and chips by the pool. I propped them on my cotton throw/tablecloth in the “new” conservatory (which has basically become my new office!) for this photo.
Ask me if I painted the vintage lamp hot pink for the conservatory yet.
OMG Ines-copy me much??
and Ines de la Fressange’s home in Provence
image via Tumblr
Costa Nova, Portugal
Lovely to make up the bed with crisp, cool rouge stripes in the summer.
cotton sheets via West Elm
Stripes Then. Jean Shrimpton
Stripes Now. Kate Moss in Dolce & Gabbana
photo Cihan Alpgiray
Adorbable striped ‘kini from Ete via Moda Operandi
Or a one piece from Golden Goose Deluxe Brand
I highly recommend it for the perfect combination of luxury & friendly ambience. Not too stuffy for kids and wonderful restaurant, bar & room service.
It’s amazing how well red & white stripes work in old world interiors as well as new.
They can feel totally Euro or quintessentially American. Take your pic.
They’re the Switzerland of stripes.
OK, so I know this is not red & white exactly but how could I not put these 5 photos together? I wouldn’t have been able to sleep otherwise.
It’s not easy being me.
No stripes at all here in fact, but don’t you think this room was “inspired” by Matisse’s “Checkers”?!
French Elle Magazine
But back to red & white stripes
Consider the turban.
Conversely, the Converse
How about Roasted Strawberry & Toasted Coconut popsicles from Joy The Baker
Or classic snow cones (snapped at Williams & Sonoma)
And just in case you missed it the first time; my Red & White Stripes post from last July.
Timeless is timeless after all.
HAPPY 4th of JULY to All You Wonderful Yankees!
Be safe and joy-filled this holiday.
And thanks as always to the troops that afford us this day to celebrate.
More Stripes for the die-hards;