warm minimalism

September 25, 2012

Krakoff is determined to carve out a signature look for his ready-to-wear—warm minimalism, he calls it—and step-by-step, he’s doing it. (x)


clare waight keller

September 19, 2012

It’s about a British girl falling for the classic elements of Paris . . . pearls, lace,” said the designer, a British girl who moved to Paris last summer when she assumed creative direction of the house. Asked just how autobiographical this inspirational narrative is, Waight Keller conceded with a laugh, “I really like it here. It feels a lot more grown-up.”

Clothes that are by nature casual—a hooded parka, a sweatshirt, a loose skirt—were reimagined in delicate laces and silks in a quiet, pastel palette and beautiful quilted georgette. (x)

“When it snowed my family and I went to the Rodin Museum, and it was so beautiful and still.” (x)

“Packing is always sneakers, flats, heels and then really beautiful blouses and dresses. I always bring silk blouses—well, a couple of those and my tuxedo jackets from Chloé. The tuxedo blazer is the ultimate throw-on-with-a-pair-of-jeans jacket.”

“I miss everyday things of London: maybe the rain, maybe jumping on the bus…the informalness of London; it’s so laid back and easy.”

“In Paris, you buy a lot less, but better quality. So I end up going to really nice patisseries and buy tons of fresh food all the time. In England, I do big shop on the weekend. In Paris, you go every day! You buy little bits from the grocery store, little bits from the bakery, which is really nice in an old-fashioned way.” (x)

palazzo margherita

September 17, 2012

“Here the concept is a 19th-century palazzo with a patina of age. But then there are a million details to get right if it’s to work as a 21st-century hotel.” (x)

Imagine spending a slow morning in the Sofia room, breakfast en famille in the kitchen, followed by a long soak in the jewel box of a bathroom: blush-pink walls and a Moorish ceiling painted in jewel tones on a background of delphinium blue, with doors open to the terrace. (x)

“Its magic gardens, the family gathering in the magnificent salon for whatever purpose: celebrations, intimate teas, evenings of films…”

All have indulgent bathrooms, luxurious linens and state-of-the-art technology. Some of the rooms have a large terrace or a Juliette balcony from which you can look down on the cloistered garden with its fruit trees and bougainvillea and the secluded 10-metre swimming pool at the far end. At night with the windows open perhaps you’ll hear the gentle splashing of the ornate baroque fountain. Fresh flowers in every room make you feel as if an aged family retainer in a starched apron has just left them there especially for you. (x)

…the high point came with Sofia’s wedding this past summer to Thomas Mars, frontman for the French band Phoenix.
“It was such a great setting,” Sofia says. “Our friends all gathered in the garden, and we had a small ceremony at the end of a trellis walk with rosé from my father-in-law’s winery, Chateau Thuerry, and prosecco at the bar after.” (x)

“Hotels are always a little world in themselves,” Coppola said. (x)
“Versailles was like a hotel, too.” (x)

on bathrobes and pyjamas

September 17, 2012

Soft bathrobes and proper pajamas seem in this day and age – the age of a thousand towels, leggings and old moth-eaten sweatshirts – to be a rather outdated pleasures. And yet, staying in a hotel on holiday recently after a good shower my friends and I always found ourselves cozying up in the hotel bathrobes. As it is, the comfort of lounging around in a bathrobe seems to have been relegated to hotels, and hotels only.
I do own a bathrobe, it’s just that it isn’t necessarily up to par and I really just use it for the sole purpose of getting dry.

I can’t even remember a time, though, that I ever wore a proper pyjama – top and bottom of the same set, that is. Or one of those wonderfully old-fashioned silky ones. I’m not really sure why boring old stuff like pyjamas and bathrobes have been so much on my mind recently, especially seeing as they are garments for behind doors, garments not many people might get to see.
And yet, precision like that, like getting even your bathrobe and pyjamas just right & paying attention to these private details, speaks of grandeur in all things of life. It’s telling in the same sort of way wearing the right kind of lingerie beneath a slinky dress is.

True, a two-piece pyjama might not be the sexiest of sleepwear, but in all its rumpled gloriousness it seems just right for the upcoming fall and winter season.
And as the two ladies beneath show also the right kind of garment for showing your husband you are not the fool he thought you were & for receiving a suitor, while rubbing the sleep from your eyes. Plus, you can always open another button…

(Marion Cotillard in ‘Nine’ & Karine Vanasse in ‘Pan Am’.)

the continis

September 11, 2012

Come summer I always turn, in thoughts at least, to Rome with love. Even though this summer didn’t deliver, I did get to go to Florence back in February and passionately hold on to the belief that some day in the not too distant future somebody is going to take me to the Amalfi coast.

This film, of course, speaks of old time luxury – tells the story of Italy at it’s cinematic height. This is affluent Italy with all its speedy little cars and hip coffee bars. This is Italy with all its lakes and sunlight at the foot if its hills. A time when cigarettes where still smoked at press conferences and in lobbys. Long gone the Viscontis, Borgias and Medicis.

I seem to have a love for those upswept Audrey Hepburn bangs (here sported by Marion Cotillard’s Luisa Contini), though I would never dare to get them myself. While the rest of the costumes, as well as the movie, tend to veer towards the dramatic Luisa as the resigned wife, as opposed to the curvaceous mistress, shows restraint in her outfits, being very much one for delicate jewellery, defined, thick eyebrows and eyeliner done just so. Meanwhile the Fellini-like Guido, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, drives around Italy in a 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta in search of a seaside spa resort, preferably amongst beautiful ruins, looking the very picture of Italian elegance in slim suits, even skinnier ties and ever-present shades.

“I love the dark handsome guys with their skinny
little ties dressing mod looking out of sight
I love to watch them as they cruise with their pointy
leather shoes wearing shades in the middle of the nights
Whatever Guido does it makes me smile
He is the essence of Italian style.”