Meanwhile, Back in London…

David Bowie

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!

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A beautiful summer day on the steps of the V & A, London

David Bowie

The show was good, slick and definitely worth seeing

David Bowie

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.

David Bowie Aladdin Sane

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 :-) )

Royal Academy of Arts London

We were also just in time for the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition Preview party

London Royal Academy of Arts

Where the fashion and art world’s ongoing love affair with fluorescents was to be clocked everywhere.

People,  the “Red Carpet” was green!

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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.

Louis Vuitton Summer 2013

Cute young girls in Louis Vuitton SS13 frocks

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and stripes were certainly a popular fasion statement.

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A triptych of pics from the party

PrawnsPrawns on fluoro ice.

fluorescent bar

and a glowing green bar

Royal Academy of Arts London

Leaving the party to go to “Le Caprice” off Piccadilly for a late dinner with old friends

Le Caprice London

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.

Purple Bentley

BTW, If you were going to buy a Bentley, would you pick purple?!

Louis Vuitton windows London

More fun to be had window shopping in Mayfair

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The new Assouline book shop next to Claridge’s Hotel.

Windows Harvey Nichols London

and Knightsbridge at Harvey Nichols

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Where I bought this Christopher Kane silk jacket that is amortizing nicely.Harvey Nichols London

More Harvey Nic’s

Black door, Mayfair, London

and simply strolling in the streets of my old ‘hood sharing my old memories with my husband.

Window boxes Mayfair

And lest one precious moment of London time was wasted, a girlfriend and I also took in the arts & antiques fair at Olympia.

Modern art

Where I became quite fascinated with this 3D piece. Doesn’t it look like an aerial view of a crowd of people milling about?

Art, London

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.

Gerard Mas

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.

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Our last evening found us at the ridonkulously chic “5 Hertford St.”  in Mayfair, just off Curzon St.

5 Hertford St. London

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

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The family are true restaurant and private nightclub royalty-oh the stories they could tell! and wow, Birley’s newest establishment does not disappoint.

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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.

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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”

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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.

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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,

Royal Baby in the Bedroom

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!”

Genius.

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?!

xxSP.

*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.

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Cats, Queens & Other Things

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The Queen

 Phew.

Finally downloaded and edited all my photos from our recent trip to London.

What an AMAZING city. No wonder I loved living there for so many years.

 It was my husband’s first time back in I don’t know how long, so I was anxious that everything go well, including the fickle English weather.

Incredibly, my prayers, crossed fingers & toes and midnight sacrifices to the Gods of Good Favour were answered.

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All those familiar with the Spring/early Summer/Summer/late Summer weather in Blighty will appreciate the wonder of the above photo.

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Streets of LondonNot only that, but there was a lovely buzz about the city as we just happened to be there for the 60 year celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation.

I love the Queen. I do. Perhaps it stems from singing “God Save the Queen” as a child in school. I know the entire concept of royalty seems antiquated and unnecessary to countless people (including my husband) but I like me some old-fashioned tradition.

Yes, I get that she was born into almost unfathomable privilege, but she has also spent almost her entire life in service to her country and ‘subjects’ and there’s something to be said for that. Take a look at some other countries around the world to see how power and position has been and is outrageously abused. Imagine how many thousands of events, whether they be joyous or sad, important or inane, in good weather or bad (and you know it’s mostly bad!) she’s had to trot herself out for over the decades (always with heels and hat) when she might have preferred to stay home with a good book or to watch “Breaking Bad”.

or “Game of Thrones” :-)

Bailing is not really an option when you’re the Queen of England. She has only 3 more years to go to beat Queen Victoria out as the longest reigning British Monarch.

Go Liz!

Plus, she has great skin, ya gotta give her points for that.

Crown shopping

I don’t wish to imply I got completely caught up in the pomp & pageantry, but I do confess to a little crown window shopping…

Strangely enough,  the Queen’s 350 year old coronation crown was removed from The Tower of London and “escorted” to Westminster Abbey in its own private carriage for the ceremony, but apparently she didn’t put it on.

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It just sat on a velvet pillow along with the ampulla.

The last time she wore it was 1953?

What up with that?? I would have put it on and posted a quick “selfie” on Instagram.

Probably another reason why I wouldn’t make a good Queen.

But you know what they say…If you haven’t worn it in two years…

Smokin catAnd as another saying goes… “A cat can look at a Queen” (is anyone on this side of the pond familiar with that?!”

This is “Jinks” who was obviously so beloved at “Bates Hatters” they decided to keep him around when he finally “passed out” in 1926.

Panama hatsThis is the most amazing old world hat shop in London, located just behind Fortnum & Mason, off Picadilly.

fine Panama hat

This is where you might pick up one of those $10,000 Panama hats that take 6 months to weave.

The example above costs about $2,500. You can see how fine the weave is compared to the one on the left.

Top hats, London hat shopOr perhaps just a top hat for “The Season”?

Sadly, I didn’t buy anything there except postcards. Hat or crown, hat or crown…I had to pace myself and consider my luggage restrictions.

Men's shaving brushesI popped into “Bates” while the hubs was getting a little well deserved pampering next door at “Taylor’s of Old Bond St” on Jermyn St.

IMG_5483He said it was fabulous.

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Hard not to be inspired just a little bit by all the shops and possibilities of sprucing One’s self up a wee bit in London.

I had to think of the always dapper Scott Meacham Wood’s blog “The Adventures of TartanScot” when I took these photos.

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A most dapper older gent.

Selfridge'sMy husband also wanted to see Selfridge’s after watching the mini-series recently.

 I said, OK, if you insist…(the things we do for love)

Selfridge's, London

Having spent many a day in this monolith of a department store in my day, I was still surprised to see the madness inside. I admit, and with no sense of pride whatsoever, it was the first time I’ve ever felt a tad overwhelmed by the shopping experience. Don’t tell anyone. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the mini-series, the coronation celebrations, or the simple fact it was the first week of summer holidays, but the crowds were reedonkulous inside.

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The new addition (at least new to me) of “The Silence Room” did alleviate my  anxiety.  I was obviously not alone.

I hadn’t lost my shopping mojo after all!

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PS. there were two people making out in the corner.

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After the madness of Oxford St, we were relieved to come back to the cozy cocoon that is Claridge’s.

OK, some of the rooms could use a little re-do and the electrical outlets have been painted over so many times they look like pig snouts (Jerry Seinfeld) but it’s hard to beat for location, charm and a sense of history.

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Churchill entering Claridge’s

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The Duke of Windsor exiting

Claridges, London

Claridge’s

I adore the main entrance and tea salon. The flowers are always interesting and the people watching is fab.

Claridge's, London

Claridge’s London, lobby

Flower arrangements, Claridges

Coming up; more window shopping, the London social calendar, gardens and the Bowie exhibit.

Happy Weekend to All!!

xx SP.

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*First image of the Queen from Maison Bertaux

In The Trenches

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Carolyn Murphy

So, I’m in London and it’s lovely to be back

but it’s cold. I mean rhilly, rhilly cold.

Like there’s no chance in hell of me trotting out my new “Joseph” trench coat COLD

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or asking my husband to take a photo of me for a blog post I’m writing about “cute trenches”

However…

with Spring around the corner, it was now or never for this baby.

234468724319519004_40Q19iQY_cphoto by Signe Vilstrup

 Besides, what city in the entire world is more famous for trench coats than London?!

And I just love a good T.C., don’t you?

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So does Lady Mary.

sniffle. I miss Downton already.

breakfast-at-tiffanys

Breakfast at Tiffany’s” double sniffle 

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Burberry Prorsum

Oh oh. lost credit.

Karlie Kloss in the trench I was really coveting this year.

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Oh lovely leather & khaki trench, spectral sylph of my rain-lashed dreams, where art thou?!

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I kind of really want these shoes too, but we won’t get off topic will we.

Super Styling the trench

Do you think her husband/boyfriend took the photo? Me too. 

Do you think she has those leopard flats in the pic above? Me too.


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Constance Jablonski

Studdy Trench

Kate. Trench. Done.

Model of the moment Cara Delevigne in Burberry

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Two Classics of Fashion & Film in one photo

The Not Trying But Really Trying Trench

Jean-Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2013

Rosie Huntington-Whatever, I mean Whiteley  in the gorgeous Burberry lace trench

Fierce Trench

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Frothy Trench

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Chicest Trench

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Bureaucratic Trench Warfare

(Prada)

Pop Goes the Trench

 Cheeky Trench

(Both Burberry)

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and the darling teeny weeny trench I bought for my adorable God-daughter at Phillip Lim.

(A little worried Suri ??)

Tinier still, there’s even one for your iPhone  by Moschino

I know. Shut The Door!

I think we’re all kind of hoping for just a little rain now, aren’t we??  

( Vancouverites don’t all answer at once :) )

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Just not in…

Humphrey Bogart

CASABLANCA

My next stop!

Alright, Marrakech, but so close. Who knows, we could end up in Casablanca-

“What in Heaven’s name brought you to Casablanca?”

“My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.”

“The waters?? What waters? We’re in the desert!”

~

Ciao for now

xoxo

PS. Don’t forget to follow @Slimpaley on Instagram where I’ll hopefully be gramming daily from all the gin joints in Morocco

and a few gardens too :)

~

(uncredited photos via Pinterest or Tumblr)

Jean Genie

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I‘m packing again.

Hey, Life is short.

Last time I checked, I wasn’t getting any younger and there’s a great big world out there.

Given the disparate nature of my two destinations; London and Morocco, packing has been a week long Herculean task.

 First of all, London in late February… Dude, definitely not Santa Barbara weather. But with boots, coats, sweaters…Mon Dieu! How to save luggage space for all the souk spoils of Marrakesh?!

And then the wardrobe to indulge my Talitha Getty/Marisa Berenson  Moment?

STYLE_Inspiration_Morocco_PostPhoto of Marissa Berenson by Henry Clarke

tumblr_m2wu7jPHGu1qkzwano1_500Talitha Getty in Marrakesh circa 1960′s

I am NOT coming back from Morocco without sandals, spearmint tea & spices, black soap and my Riad rooftop photo. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, as I receive multiple last minute warnings from friends (I guess I should’ve enquired sooner) that Morocco gets COLD the moment the sun sets and rain is likely this time of year, I’ve repacked my bags more times than the guy in ‘Midnight Express’

And of course, the eternal question of JEANS

How many is too many?

890A0259Perhaps there are some I can take and leave there, thus freeing up room in my homeward-bound bags?

Uhh, NO.

 Because as you can see, I really like my jeans.

Call me crazy, but I actually become quite attached, despite the fact I now split them into the following categories:

“REEEELY ???”

“OK, No Wine for a Week”

“Who Cares? They’re So Comfy”

“@#^&  it. Pass the Wine”

“I Still Love You After all These Years”

“Sexier Than Sweatpants”

“Still Good From the Side”

“Was I Drinking When I Bought These?”

and, my newest category;

“Muffin Top Madness”

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890A1806Jean shopping Paris

la-modella-mafia-The-little-black-jacket-from-Chanel-Sophie-Hulme-x-STYLEBY-photographed-by-Oliver-Stalmans-styled-by-Colombine-Smille-11 2Photo Oliver Stalmans, Stylist Columbine Smille

In a Perfect World we’d just cut out the bits that don’t fit :)

 a few more fav’s

20120922-063239Jeans, heels & false eyelashes-Done!

22711Flare_0314WebAdd a Birkin? Even better

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25121710392599284_IfWgk6JH_cI have this jacket!  Alas, this isn’t me.

20121011-073047Elle McPherson

20120314-024330Daria Werbowy

If you could have just ONE constant in your wardrobe what would you choose??

It would be jeans for me, no question.

(& Uggs)

OK, so I better go finish packing. I might be pulling an All-Nighter.

Have a great weekend and let’s chat after the Oscars!

~

Until Rio…

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Union Jack Lips

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Well?

That was fun, wasn’t it?!

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So happy everything went so well in London tonight!

Cheers to all the athletes, all the competing countries

and let’s not forget  those who worked diligently to keep everyone safe and things running smoothly-God knows it must be an Olympian task.

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Congratulations to the U.S. for securing the most medals!

As for the closing ceremonies, I must say the blinged out taxi cabs did tickle my fancy

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Spice Girls seem to be holding up quite well.

It was nice to see Annie Lennox again, though didn’t love the dress and George Michael can still sing live- it’s been awhile!

Hey- just me, or did the Eric Idle bit go on a bit L O N G ??

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A perfect 70 degree evening in London- how lucky is that?!

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I love that they matched the stadium to Alexander McQueen’s iconic Britannia clutch  :)

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While we’re on bag chat,

 coveting this cute Charlotte Olympia perspex charmer

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especially love the clasp!

available on Net A Porter.com

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Penhaligon LondonSlim Paley Photo

A salute to Britannia in the Penhaligon windows in Paris

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I was a little disappointed with the “Fashion” segment of the show weren’t you?

It was a bit of a nothing really and poor Ryan Seacrest didn’t know who any of the models were besides Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell

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Couldn’t someone have texted him for goodness sake?!

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Still, a fine time appeared to be had by all, including Kate and her brother-in-law

Where the heck was hubby??

Me too!

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We’ll just have to order the newest tome from Taschen for our London fix.

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It’s groovy baby, yah.

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By Kyle Bean & Victoria Ling

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Make yourselves a nice hot Horlicks and

Sleep tight Loves.

xox

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