Individuality Schmindividuality! I've been telling all my friends that I want to live in a Muji house since the trip to Japan, back in 2005 (surely it's time for another one?!), and I still stand by it. I have, of course, been a devoted Muji fan for years now (friends in the States, I suspect, got a bit bored with their Muji parcel gifts!) but nothing, nada, rien, compares with the extravaganza that is Muji in Tokyo, complete with a cafe and yes, model Muji houses!
As this is a brand new year, I'm willing to swap Japan for Sweden (as you do!) and have now decided that I do indeed want to live in an Acne house. It must, bien sur, come with a wardrobe fully loaded with their latest wares and oh, perhaps a separate rail for every single leather jacket they've designed so far and oh, oh, their lovely candles burning around the house and...you get it! This latest Acne-over-excited-installment follows the recent launch of the Swedish label's first furniture line, one that according to law Acne101 that "all Acne presentations must take place in uniquely and achingly 'sval' locations that make people wonder 'why didn't I think of that?'" took place in Uncle Karl's old apartments at Hotel Pozzo di Borgo.
This seems a natural move, to me, as Jonny did start as a furniture designer (minus the rock God-stint he confessed to here) and it was, in fact, his designs of the first Acne studio in Stockholm that grabbed a certain Tyler's attention and the rest is history (again, here). No matter what, who, why. I want to live in an Acne house, snälla!
I find Maya's images, at her blog Turned Out, to be so well-thought out and carefully chosen that they always make me pause for thought (not an easy task for this image-addict, trust me!). This is how I long to spend my summer; stripes, floaty long skirts and dresses, chunky heels, hair up. Easy!
Tomorrow sees the start of the SS10 Haute Couture week in, where else, Paris, and I'm really looking forward to checking out the images from Alexis Mabille's show. Sure, it's always a trip seeing what John Galliano will do at a Dior couture show but here's the truth: lately, it's Michael Howells' sets that have been getting my applause (yes, I do applaud images on my laptop screen!) and I can't wait to see what otherworldly fantasy scene he creates again.
Quick Michael Howells story. One day during my SHOWstudio internship, a few years back, I had to deliver an audio recorder to his Absolute Highness Sir (c'mon Lizzy, he has to get one soon) Nick Knight on a Vogue shoot and while waiting by the set a lovely, and very tall, man said hello and introduced himself as Michael. He then went on to chat to someone else about the sets he was designing for Nanny McPhee and Major Ignoramus Me did not as much blink until I returned to the studio and had the Loveliness that is Penny Martin enlighten me as to who Michael was. You live and learn, my friends. You just do and feel all the better for it!
There can't be anything more discombobulating (really wanted to use that word in a sentence today!) than feeling so cold you're wearing gloves indoors while looking at images of pretty, light and breezy summer clothes and trying to imagine yourself in them. It just feels more odd that I will ever be wearing anything less than longjohns under jeans plus three layers under jumper and two sets of gloves than waking up tomorrow morning having won an Academy Award for Leading Male! Yes, really. That odd.
Having said that, the images just keep coming and as I'm having the sartorial equivalent of food shopping after consuming a gigantic luncheon (fed up with winter clothes now, thanks) I look and sigh, how long till I wear shorts and bare legs again!
Net-a-Porter's exclusive small collection with Markus Lupfer is the perfect in-betweener, with some great merino wool sweaters and cotton tee dresses in sailor stripes, navy and white colours and Lupfer's signature scribbles. "Love Hurts"? "This Cold Hurts", is more like it!
Walking into Gap's press day, earlier this week, was like walking into another world. One full of floral prints and lightness, so much so that I almost felt the sun's warm rays on my face. I was hallucinating yet again, of course, but could still see they key pieces that will be in everyone's 'must have' lists come spring. Perfect patchwork denim shorts? Tick. Knee length floral shorts? Click. Light denim gilet? Yes, please!
I like seeing Gap and Banana Republic together, they're clearly a family and moving on to Banana felt like chatting to the very chic older sister. With Gap steadily on the Liberty-esque floral trend, Banana did safari and natural and warm colours really well. I particularly loved the big bang necklaces as seen on light knit tops!
So, there you have it. Florals, safari, nautical. All that's left now is for the sun to come up. I will let you know once it does, bien sûr.
Also during my last visit home, I looked at these little plates for what must have been the millionth time, hanging on the wall of my bedroom, and saw them in a new light. I remember liking their colours, inspecting every detail closely for another hint of the lives the characters lived (I had quite the imagination!) and deciding that the Snow White one was my favourite (quite possible because with her dark hair she was the closest to me! Kids, fairly narcissistic, no?!)
This time round, I appreciated them for what they truly are; a direct link to my childhood. And though clearly fairy tale fed I always managed to see through them for what they really were; great little stories about a girl's life. Those are always the best!
On my last visit home I found this little guy, hiding on top of a pile of old magazines in my room. My first laptop, a second-hand Mac, that I was completely in love with until it got too old and retired on an island in Greece (no kidding!) while I travelled for a few months. Isn't it a beauty? Oh, and Apple, you guys have come a loooong way! This old buddy of mine is p r e t t y heavy!
Here's one terrifying thought for you: next month sees the start of another round of Fashion Weeks. Yep, here we go again and doesn't it just feel that the last one has only just finished? Or perhaps, is still going strong? I blame it on the resort/cruise/pre-fall/I'm-so-confused-over-what's-now-what cycle of shows that are, somewhat rightfully, getting more attention than ever before. I say rightfully because these are the collections that actually sell in stores and in many cases, they're as or more interesting than many of the actual season shows. Still, my poor head is just about managing to stay on board with it all.
What I do know is that Sir Christopher Bailey (surely he IS one, now?!) of Burberry showed a fantastic pre-fall '10 collection, full of what I want to wear now, in this freezing cold, without having to wait for next winter! Cruel, Sir Chris, very cruel and so unlike your lovely little self!
This is such a belated post it's silly but I wanted to mention this as part of 2009's spring clean (which is taking place in 2010, I get it) firstly, as a big Thank You to LibertyLondonGirl, secondly because these are truly good and lastly because I WON THEM!!!
Now, I adore LLG's blog and it happens to be one of very few that I actually leave comments on, simply because of how interesting and relevant her posts are. So, it was on one of her giveaways that I won these cool series of books, published by the Design Museum. I actually thought I had won one of them so imagine my surprise when the full set arrived at my door! Thank you, thank you, thank you LLG and Design Museum! "Fifty cars/dresses/chairs/shoes that changed the world" are actually interesting little books in that I've found myself debating whether I agree with each entry or not rather than simply stare at a beautiful image and dream away (nothing wrong with that either!)
Surprisingly, it's the "Fifty Dresses" selection I found the least interesting whereas "Fifty Chairs" and "Fifty Cars" were fascinating, and this is to someone with limited interest in chairs (are they comfy? Done!) and zero head space for cars (nil point zero!) It is "Fifty Shoes" though that I actually learned the most from. For example, I loved reading about the story of the humble plimsoll, manufactured in the 1830s by the Liverpool Rubber Company (later to become Dunlop!) and especially, the Frye boot, created in 1863 in the US by an English immigrant bootmaker, John A Frye. I must confess complete ignorance as to the history of Frye. I recently saw some great boots by the company but really thought they were a new name from the States. Little did I know that their boots were worn by both sides during the American Civil War and by many of the West's pioneers!
I'm a freelance writer based in blazing-hot ol' London. This is my personal blog about people I like, designers I admire, blogs and magazines I read religiously, cities I crave, food I can't stop thinking about and that odd, little story that shows up now and then and brightens up my day. So there, an instant delivery of positivity. From London with love!
All the images used here are strictly not for commercial purposes (unless otherwise stated) and always credited at the bottom of each post unless taken by myself and stated as such. If you would like me to remove an image that belongs to you please get in touch and I will do so.