Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Lovely Tiffany sent us a beautiful surprise package of petites choses from Paris so that we didn't miss Paris so much. Isn't that the most amazingly nice thing ever! It was such a fantastical mystery - first the package came wrapped in cat wrapping, carefully opened to reveal the little packages inside - also beautifully wrapped - then a funny and sweet note explaining about how the macaron didn't make it into the package! We loved it, especially the macaron confession. Lola assumes that everything that arrives at this house is a present for her, so I told her this pink shell was a beret for cats.

Merci Tiffany! xx

Monday, June 27, 2011


Rutzou has a magazine of sorts called The Chronicle, which well - chronicles their creative inspirations and references. In its paper form what I quite like about it is that the pages are bound in a way that invites you to easily tear them out and stick them up on the wall - or do whatever you want with them. I also like that they've resisted the usual path of inserting any pictures of models wearing their clothing in the magazine at all - keeping it to external inspirations - which ensures it doesn't become just a promotional brochure in disguise. The reader is left to make their own connections between what's featured and what might influence part of a collection.

I had the first issue because my friend works for Rutzou - then they were looking for suggestions of what they might feature in London for their second issue. I suggested Rochelle School & Canteen in East London and they've featured it; along with the creative colour investigation pictured above (genesis of a new print?), an interview with Marc Newson, a piece on Montparnasse studio Idem where David Lynch has been working, a studio visit with Julie Verhoeven (who coincidentally was my fashion illustration tutor a very long time ago - and no I can't draw like that!) and lots and lots that I haven't mentioned.

Julie Verhoeven's studio   © Sacha Maric
Idem  © Patrice Forest/Anne Dorothea Bruun

{The Chronicle is available to buy at Merci and Ofr in Paris, Beyond the Valley and The Darkroom in London, Ace Hotel in New York and at the Rutzou shop in Copenhagen. Or you can read the online version here.}

Thursday, June 23, 2011


So many cats, so little time... I'm really glad to introduce Hila of Le Projet d'Amour and darling Kobi as our next interviewees. Hila's is one of my favourite blogs - I know when I check over there I'll find not only gorgeous imagery but thoughtful, considered writing that always makes me think. But nothing about her beautiful blog let on that she had a cat! (Or maybe I'm just very unobservant.) I now realise it's my life's calling to find more hidden bloggers with cats - I will make that my raison d'etre - you can help me by emailing me if you are a secret cat freak and want to be interviewed, or if you know of one. I promise your submissions will be treated in the strictest confidence, until such time as they are plastered all over the internet.

Onwards, to lovely Kobi - I want to hear his chattering now - you don't get that with Lola. I feel robbed. Thank you Hila, and Kobi!

The basics: What breed is he, how old, how did you come to live with him, why did you call him Kobi?

Kobi is a regular Tabby cat and he’s about 3 and a half years old. He had a difficult start to life before he came to live with me. His first owners mistreated him and the litter he was born into. They were all kept outside without much cover and fed very little. They were eventually rescued by the RSPCA along with their mother, but unfortunately she died soon after. After spending some time at the RSPCA, Kobi was scheduled to be put down along with his sister, but luckily, they were both rescued by a kind lady who works for a rescue organisation in my local area. This organisation fosters all sorts of animals until they find a permanent home. I saw Kobi’s picture on their website and I immediately fell in love. Something about his little face told me he would be my little guy. I made an appointment to visit the lady who rescued him and the first thing he did when he saw me was give a little meow, crawl onto my lap, and fall asleep. It was decided then that I would definitely take him home. He was about 5 months old then, and he’s been with me ever since.

He was named ‘Colby’ by his foster carer, so the transition to ‘Kobi’ wasn’t too confusing for him. I named him Kobi because that was the name of my grandfather’s dog in Israel, whom I adored as a little girl. He has lived up to his namesake who was also a big, loveable, gentle and pensive creature.

How would you describe Kobi's personality?

He really is the sweetest, gentlest and most affectionate cat I’ve ever met, which is quite ironic as he also happens to be a big cat, so most people assume he would be territorial or aggressive in nature. But he’s the exact opposite. I like to describe him as a big smoochy teddy-bear. It took a while for his real personality to develop when I first got him as he was understandably frightened by his past experiences with people. But eventually, he began to trust me and has developed the most easy-going personality. I’ve honestly never been scratched by him, nor does he scratch the furniture. He’s also not really a loner, he likes to be around people, to sit on their laps and to interact with what goes on in the house. One of his cutest personality traits is that he’s very talkative, which has earned him the nickname of ‘pigeon’ because when he talks to you, it usually doesn’t sound like a meow but more like a cooing pigeon. The minute my feet hit the ground when I get out of bed in the morning, he will start chatting away and following me around the house all day.

Also, another nickname I’ve given him is ‘little professor’. He’s my writing companion and he’s seen me through all the stress and late night writing sessions that came along with writing my PhD. Although he’s extremely talkative and affectionate, he can also be very pensive and observant. He will sit and stare at my laptop screen for hours, almost like he’s trying to understand what I’ve written, and he loves to pass the time by watching my typing fingers move across the keyboard, with the most intense concentration.

What is Kobi's favourite food?

He will literally eat anything. I once caught him eating pineapples I had taken off my pizza on my plate. And then he promptly threw up. He’s partial to chicken and tuna though, and loves his dry cat food (kibble).

Where is Kobi's preferred lounging location? Does he have any signature poses?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Way back in the olden days I used to have a feature here called J'Adoring - ok, yeah - it had an exclamation point after it. Hmm, even the thought of that title seems so pre-recessional/Carrie Bradshaw. It suddenly seemed woefully crass to be getting excited about things you could buy in that exclamation point way, so I ditched it. Looking back at it, I don't know why I felt so guilty - I never proposed anything that was wildly extravagant or expensive. I leave that for the imaginary wishlist.

So - a new, not necessarily shopping related type of list of things I like each month - can I just call it that? Who needs fancy titles anyway.

Oven roasted asparagus
I was always a bit take it or leave it with asparagus (you know when it's over boiled and goes all slimy and limp) until I saw somewhere (and I cannot remember where) about roasting it. I break off the tough ends one by one (instead of cutting them - then they break off in exactly the right place), line the stalks up in a baking tray, sling over some olive oil, a bit of sea salt and loads of pepper and put it in a medium-hot oven for 10 - 20 minutes, depending on how thick the asparagus stalks are. My new favourite dish. I'm not joking when I say I've eaten this almost every day this month. Variations are to add sliced garlic or crack an egg over it or crumble feta cheese over the top a few minutes before taking it out of the oven. It's a revelation. It's not like I invented it, but I'm glad someone did.

My Clare Vivier royal blue pebble foldover clutch
I'm still in that 'I'm not allowed to buy anything, ever' mode, but after a while only spending money on council tax, dental bills and grocery shopping becomes mildly depressing. What is not depressing is this clutch bag. I was in love with the blue pebble leather, but deliberated for ages over which clutch to get. The blue sort of glows from within - the pebbled leather is just gorgeous and I love the way you can sort of slouch it under your arm like a cat, like I'm not doing here by cradling it awkwardly to take a photo. When you take this bag out and about this is what happens: someone is talking to you, but they keep glancing at the bag. You put it beside you, they keep looking at it. Eventually they break down and say, "That bag! What, where, I...can I see it? How can I get one?" It also goes really well with dark grey English summer skies.

Appreciating English-ness
I know it sounds weird, but being English it's often easy to overlook the aspects of England that make it English and that are...good. June is a good time to remember, even if it has rained every. single. day. I've been appreciating the lush green countryside, enormous roses everywhere, little lambs that run up to you and baa at you like you're their mama, weird little old fashioned shops that have somehow survived cultural homogenization, even the bizarre obsession people have with their lawns is quite amusing; Antiques Roadshow, a new found love of Victoria sponge cake, the above mentioned Kent asparagus, a nice cup of tea and just observing people in all their funny, weird, usually good humoured English-ness. Summer is a good time to do this, as there are loads of open gardens, open studios and open house events. Of course I could write a list ten pages long about all the stuff that pisses me off about England, but I'm trying to stay positive while it's midsummer and I've just turned my heating up another notch so that my hair dries out from the rain faster.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I think it's clear where the source of my obsession with this particular washed out linen stripe lies. Never underestimate the power of childhood reading. In fact, Milly-Molly-Mandy's dress was coloured in red stripes in later versions of the books; but it's the earlier ones printed in black and white that are clearly seared into my subconscious.

I still want a shop like Miss Muggins and to live in a white cottage with a thatched roof on the edge of the village. I could wear my striped dress, satchel, boots and straw hat to go blackberry picking with Billy Blunt and Little-Friend-Susan. I'm pretty sure I could get a couple of my friends to respond to those names all summer.

{Dress: Le Vestiaire de Cle (basics) top: Le Vestiaire de Jeanne (from summer 10) espadrilles: Toast (I bought these and had to send them back because one of them kept falling off!)}

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I haven't talked about films here for ages, because I haven't been to see any! Something weird is going on in the film industry and I know it's all to do with the financial crash, but come on! All I know is I love going to the cinema and I used to go at least once a week, or be lucky enough to go to the occasional preview screening. I think I haven't been to the cinema in London since January? The films that are getting released here aren't exactly those that appeal to me - hmm, let's look at the latest offerings at my local (usually arthouse friendly) boutique cinema: The Hangover II, X-Men: First Class, Kung Fu Panda 2, Bad Teacher. Oh, here's a link to an article about how one in five films released this year will be sequels. *Burns cinema membership card.* Surely this strategy of only backing films that are projected to make a certain box office return isn't working, if it's putting cinema lovers comme moi off going at all. The weird thing is, once you get out of the habit of making a night of going to the cinema, it's hard to get back into it. I finally joined the BFI because I went there so often - and since I joined I haven't been once! I have no explanation for this.

However, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris has been getting big thumbs up from a lot of people whose taste in film I respect so I'm really looking forward to that. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be excited about the new Woody Allen film. Except it has no UK release date - what! And Miranda July's new film The Future will be out (or maybe just shown at the BFI London film festival?) in er, November. So that's ONE FILM in a year to look forward to? Odd. Very, very odd.

But there is hope! Tonight on BBC HD (or rather tomorrow) at one o' clock in the morning there is a screening of Kinga Burza's first short film Candy, which will then be available to watch on BBC iPlayer for the following week. If you've seen the new issue of Lula you'll have seen the article about the film. Kinga Burza has directed music videos for Ladyhawke, Kate Nash, Patrick Wolf, La Roux and The Teenagers among others, and she directed this cute little film for Kate Spade earlier in the year. So yeah, Candy, a thirteen minute long film I'm interested in seeing, being screened in the middle of the night on TV. It's a start!

(p.s. If your internet connection isn't fast enough to watch it online in HD (hello me) you can download the BBC iplayer to your desktop, then download the film and watch it.)

{Candy poster shot by Kasia Bobula, photo from Lula by Ren Rox}

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Just one of many charming times I've had recently avec mes amies du bloggage was the little bun moment. I first started going on about the little bun moment to anyone who'd listen months before the St.John hotel opened, as soon as their website was up, which detailed this most civilised sounding and curious interlude: between 3pm and 5pm they would serve three warm little buttock-like buns (their words), one filled with anchovy, one with prune and one with chocolate, "which should be enjoyed with champagne. Or tea, if you must."

In my eagerness I even phoned the number on the website to ask about it and got slightly short shrift from someone who told me it would only be available to hotel guests. Oh. (It isn't.) Then the hotel opening was delayed, I lost my bun momentum somewhere, everyone round here got sick of me rhapsodising about the idea of the little bun moment and it didn't end up happening. Until last week, when sweet C, perhaps realising the importance this whole bun thing had assumed in my psyche, and I arranged to meet there at 3pm one afternoon. I was extremely excited about the little bun moment, as you are when you get to do something you've been wanting to do for ages, and that something involves champagne on a Wednesday afternoon. I opened my front door to a raging monsoon, then I spent the whole journey from home battling pathetically with my umbrella and talking to myself going, I really am never going to get one of these bloody buns am I? All I ever wanted was a little bun, etc...

The rain cleared as I headed through Chinatown to the hotel and went up to the bar, which is as you'd expect, minimally decorated - a light filled room with sofas facing each other, blue rubber flooring, white walls with pretty fantastic lights lining them and a table with a pile of newspapers on. C arrived, also soaked through, and we perused the menu. It seemed rude not to have a glass of champagne to start, seeing as we were here to do things properly. They brought our little steamed buns on a tiered stand and advised us to eat them in the correct anchovy, prune, chocolate order. I like a sense of ceremony to an occasion. It felt like being in a foreign country and culture, sitting by the slightly open window, a breeze wafting in, the outside view of Chinatown changing from heavy rain and wind blowing people's umbrellas inside out, to sunshine and back again a few times. The anchovy bun was perfect with champagne, and by the time we got to the chocolate buns, we'd moved onto tea, which was also a perfect pairing. I'm sure that's no accident and I like that thoughtfulness. Of course you're going to have one glass of champagne, go oh, better not it's only four, and move onto drinking tea. The little bun moment was pretty much as great as I had hoped and expected. It was a perfect afternoon, ensconced away from the elements having a ritual to savour and appreciate.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Fashion Rocks asked me to do a guest post for their site and I chose to write about my love for menswear - for me to wear, that is. I'm their very first blog collaborator - check the article here!


The roses blooming all over London are blowing my mind this year. It has rained every single day for over a week, and the only thing stopping me from emigrating is knowing that the roses aren't going thirsty. Everywhere I go, I have to stop and smell the roses: tumbling over walls (that top one is at my aunt's house in Oxfordshire actually, not in London), reaching straight up to the sky, or picked straight from my garden, where my one rosebush keeps flowering all "summer" long.

{Photos: Yes, Instagram again!}

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Oh hello, Louis Vuitton AW12 resort collection, on which Sofia Coppola consulted on *all aspects*, not just the bags and shoes she's been doing for a while (still holding out for some kind of dream scenario in which someone gives me the bag in the leather, large size, colour jasper, thank you.) Sofia was the official muse of the collection and the idea was to give her a new wardrobe. (I can't imagine she had anything to do with the motorcycle helmets at the presentation.) But (definitely) look past the styling and there are some very Sofia pieces - and she wore one of the more understated pieces from the resort collection to the CFDAs (above), that wasn't shown in the presentation. Or maybe just by her wearing it, it looks more understated. Ain't nothing understated about the LV flagship store in Bond Street where I nearly walked into walls and fell down the stairs last week, so blinded was I by all the shiny gold and reflective surfaces. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Still, maybe they could give Sofia's stuff its own room with plain white walls and Ed Ruscha paintings on the walls. (That is not a bad idea at all and they have that gallery space. LV: call me, I'll set it up.) Not that any of us could afford any of it anyway. More about it here.

 {Pics: 1 Zimbio, the rest from LV AW/12 resort presentation}

Thursday, June 09, 2011


Bloggers + Cats returns with Gidget and Siri (and a bit of Bean!), the very lucky felines of Fanny Bostrom and Bill Gentle. (For some reason I always ask the female half of a couple to do the bloggers and cats thing - I'm not purposely discriminating, but I feel there might not be that many guys willing to fill in a questionnaire about their cats?! You're welcome to prove me wrong cat loving dudes...)

I'm sure you all know Fanny's work and blog - she's an amazing and prolific artist and now we know she is also an amazing cat mama! This is why I love doing this series - otherwise how would we ever know these things? This is the thirteenth Bloggers + Cats interview I've done and at this point I'd like to raise a glass and say a heartfelt cheers to everyone who has ever rescued a cat/chosen a rescue cat from a shelter - it takes a lot of hard work and patience - as you will hear below, but it is so worth it.

Thank you so much Fanny for answering the questions!

Fanny with Bean        © Todd Selby
The basics: What breed are they, how old, how did you come to live with them, why did you call them Gidget and Siri?
I got Siri when I first moved to New York six years ago. I bought her from a store in Chelsea, her mum was a rescue and an Abyssinian cat so they took her in and then sold the kittens for a small sum. She was so beautiful! All her sisters and brothers where playing around but she just sat in the middle looking out. As soon as I held her she started purring. I was choosing between Signe or Siri both old Swedish names but I went for Siri, it was more her.
Gidget I found on a garbage pail just by my studio three years ago, she was so ill she couldn't outrun me. She was all dusty with tarmac caked into her fur lying on a heap of trash taking some sun. Then she hid under a truck and I got a person there helping me to hold up the fence to the enclosed parking space and I crawled in and rescued her. She had toxoplasmosis, giardia and worms and she was real feral.
I had to keep her in a cage for the first weeks and give a lot of medicine and salt baths. I would keep her in my lap when I was drawing to get her more familiar to humans. She is still a tiny little runt with a head too big for her body but she is the kindest sweetest little girl! My friend Simon named her after the sixties girl surf movie Gidget.

How would you describe their personalities? Are they friends?
Well, I used to have three cats but unfortunately my husband is allergic so I sent one of my cats Bean home to my mum's in the countryside in Sweden. I'm actually here with Gidget right now. Gidget and Bean used to be best of friends and they are reconnecting right now with lots of hisses.. It's funny, you'd think they'd recognize each other. Gidget is a sweet little couch potato, she doesn't really like going out or lying in the lap but she wants to be close, lay next to you, it's a big honour when she comes for one of her rare lap sitting sessions.
Siri has always been a loner, if it was just me and her in the world she would be happy. She loves to be wherever I am at all times, sometimes it gets on my nerves, if I've got to do something, since she just wants me to look at her and get petted. She loves going out so I think she's a bit bored at the moment since we live in an apartment.

{Siri and Gidget modelling Fanny's Folki jewellery for Anthropologie collection}

What are their respective favourite foods?
Siri likes cooked chicken, prosciutto and lots of greenies...and of course dry and wet food. Gidget once been a scavenger likes anything you are eating, if you leave her a second alone with a bone with some meat she will drag it into the bed for a snack. She likes chicken, fish, most anything really!

Do Gidget and Siri have preferred lounging locations? Any signature poses?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Well, most of it anyway. As seen via Instagram.

Monday, June 06, 2011

AE-1, I LIKE IT...

A couple of weeks ago I went down to the Dorset coast with the Canon AE-1. My photos are nothing to shout about, I was just playing around, but the satisfaction of winding that film on is completely addictive. The first picture is from an old roll I had developed, taken with Fujipro 400H I think last year, the rest were taken with Kodak Portra 160 that Elle very kindly sent me. The tones are so different - forgive me for being so late to the party on the analogue rediscovery front - well, I've had little dalliances with Lomos/Dianas but that never lasted long. I feel this might.

I like that the camera I'm now using is the same one that my dad used to take photos of me on holiday in the same place nearly 3 decades ago.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


© Bettmann/CORBIS
These photos I found of Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill en vacances have been a huge inspiration to me for the summer, but I hadn't posted them because maddeningly, eye ball ripping out annoyingly it is IMPOSSIBLE to find credits for them and I really try not to post pictures that aren't mine without a legitimate source. So please, if you know, tell me who the photographer is and I will stop being wracked with guilt. (Edit - I got one! Thank you kind reader.) From the looks of it, some of them were taken in Greece Amalfi in the '60s and I just love them, so I am going to post them in the hopes that someone can shed some light on the original source, i.e. not The Fashion Spot.

© Bettmann/CORBIS
Do they not just make you want to go on holiday immediately with friends and family, befriend someone with a yacht, eat calamari and drink rosé, dive off rocks into deep green sea and emanate a glow of health and well-being while wearing a headscarf, capri pants, Greek sandals and sunglasses? I could possibly do without the being followed everywhere by ten security agents and the big "Welcome" signs everywhere I went or indeed, being followed by the paparazzi that probably took these photos, but hey, why kill the dream?

It's the slightly sporty/preppy clothes that get me - Lee Radziwill was effortlessly stylish in those days - and that look: the slim cropped trousers, a shell tank, sandals and a shoulder bag are exactly what I want to wear this summer.

I've also been hugely inspired by the book, Elegance, The Birth of Fashion Photography about the Seeberger brothers, (I bought it used for £20) who began photographing the beau monde at places like Biarritz and Deauville in the 1920s - and again it's the sporty looks that get me - like these two in Hermes:

And this girl, whose photo (taken again by the Seeberger brothers in 1939) has made it round all the fashion blogs due to the sheer modernism of her outfit, which wouldn't look out of place on the Celine catwalk today. Sadly, in the caption I noticed it said 'Film actress Corinne Luchaire, (1921 - 1950)' so I wondered what had happened to her. And now I will destroy all your illusions because well, she was a Nazi collaborator and died of tuberculosis at the age of 28 while serving a ten year sentence of 'degradation nationale' in France. (Oh dear, read more of the sorry tale here and here if you want to...) How do I bounce back from that into fashion inspiration? Talk about killing the dream, sorry. But if you read about her, she didn't stand much of a chance, being brought up around the Nazis. But I'm so shocked (I just looked it up as I was writing). Being pretty and having amazing taste in clothes does not excuse a lethal in her case, lack of a moral compass. When I look at the picture closely now, you can see something very mixed up in her eyes, that I might have previously mistaken for sultry allure.

I don't think I can make it back to sailor pants after that. Leave it for another post.