Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Chelsea Flower Show Highlights / Lowlights 2015


I had so much expectation for the Chelsea Flower Show that I had bought tickets back in January - especially as the surrounds of the neighborhood of Chelsea was getting into the spirit and displaying their homage to this institution of an event.


Sloane Square had installed a fake wisteria tree with a bar and even organized rickshaw tours that would take tourists around the best of the shop windows in the area.

The best strip was this section where two shops next to each other created a great visual that stopped traffic.
The gown of flowers and the golden coach belied the hailstones and got me into the spirit.


It is the 150 year anniversary of Alice in Wonderland and there were homages inside and outside the show.  This was the most amusing and fun bit of the whole show.


Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Royal Kensington Gardens in bloom, Tales from the French Riviera andother stuff


Forgive the poor editing but if I don't get this out then I never will and that might become a habit so this will be a pictorial stream of consciousness/diary sort of thing.

This was the lovely tulip planting situated in the Italianate section of
Kensington Gardens which is by Lancaster Gate.


It's one of my favorite bits of Kensington Gardens.
Not only were there great flowers but it's birthing season.
Dotted around the Serpentine were new families of ducks.
Speaking of birthing...

And of course in the edifice on the way left is Apartment 1A which is the London home of the Cambridges.
Looks peaceful here but...
 It was surrounded by Japanese press, Australian channel 9, the AP, ITN and a few passing people like moi.
You forget it is a "royal" park sometimes but there are reminders.
Here are some guards practicing for the Queens Parade in June.

Went to the South of France for a few days.
I forgot how nice it is - off season.
Otherwise during the heights of summer it really isn't to my liking and way too crowded and all the angst and insecurity of city folk gets magnified.
Maybe it's the shedding of clothes into swimwear or the hopes and dreams of possible mating that applies to both men and women.


It's pretty now but it can get pretty ugly in other ways.


It's been years since I went.
I told myself twice I should never go again.
First was when the Siberian ex gulag prisoner / bodyguard told my friends and myself that we could not lean on a column by our table in a St Tropez nightclub because some gangster bitch (literally) had paid 250,000 euros for the privilege of dancing on the podium exclusively for the month of August.
This was a decade ago when 250,000 euros was a lot of money.
( I am being facetious people.)


Then I made an exception and went to the Riviera with Mr CSW a few years after that incident.
We were staying in a lovely hotel for some R&R and some Russian magnate insisted on flying his helicopter and parking it by the hotel pool.
With people like that, you can't exactly have a word with anyone.
But he did make us laugh because he wore animal print speedos with a sailor's cap and smoked a cigar like Popeye by the pool.

But you get my drift.

There is architectural evidence of some characters that are down these parts.
Very dirty rotten scoundrels.
Do you see the almost ancient Roman villa above and below?

It has been deserted for more than a decade because an Arab multimillionaire decided he would just build what he wanted and just pay the penalty by not adhering to planning permission.
But the socialist French council kicked in and didn't give him the easy option of paying the fines but deemed it uninhabitable and is still empty.

Was it W Somerset Maugham that said about Monaco - where the weather is sunny but the people are shady? Well with pink cars like this...

This pink building is part of the Monagesque government buildings.
Doesn't it look like it's in Vegas pretending to be in the south of France almost?
Speaking of shade, it was a refreshing change to need it.
But I rediscovered the beauty of the south of France and was reminded how it became such a popular destination.

There are lots of walks by the coast that offer incredible fresh air and views.


My friend who lives there knows a lot of spots and paths known only to locals and took me for the first swim of the season.

The Jack Russell joined us too.
It was just the three of us!
Yes the water was about 14 degrees but the plus side is we had it to ourselves.

This is what you can do in a park in Monaco.
You are allowed to walk with your dog and throw rubbish away.
It's a blast!

Here is a picture of a boat that is sinking - sorry for the blur.
But the Med is actually quite treacherous.


This is the famous hilltop villa where Karl Lagerfeld has used as a photoshoot for many of his personal work and Chanel ads.
It's one town out of Monaco.

Monaco reminds me a bit of Hong Kong.
Dense high rises and ridiculous prices of homes.
But it was quite nice to wake up to the beach.


The preparations for the Monaco Grand Prix were already in place.
These pics are for you Louise!

It was fun driving pretending we were in the race.

This next picture won't mean anything unless you play the video game.


We went to the finals of the Rolex Masters which is the Wimbledon of Monaco.

It rained and I got blamed for bringing it over.

But playing resumed and Prince Albert was there in this royal box.
Without Princess Charlene...Rumour mills are busy!


Yellow is gorgeous.
Loro Piana never gets it wrong.
Here is the yellow turned apricot with the sun blushed roses in my window box.

I have been posting pics called live rose cam on my facebook and I got a few messages from a few friends that I was turning into an old lady.
Aren't we all!?

I need a spiralizer because strips aren't the same.

But considering we got a Vitamix and now aren't using it I am reluctant.

Fresh almonds ain't all that.
Such a disappoitment.
Plus almonds use so much water so now this is the new guilt food and eating it or drinking almond milk is the new not recycling apparently.

I can't get over how much I love Millie.

Friday, 1 May 2015

May 2015 French Vogue and Architectural Digest Magazine round up


I haven't done these in ages because they actually take a lot of editing so I thought I would pick some pictures from various magazines instead of focusing on just one issue like I normally do.

Shall we do the French April 2015 issue of Vogue first?
Cuz you know I am not talking to Anna Wintour right now after our recent disagreements.

Madame Alt did this editorial called 5 a 7
( can't find the accent so could the French punctuation police just let this one run by please) ?

There is no real translation needed as it is numeric but
the implication in France of this is the hours between 5 and 7 pm where people might have a quick dalliance and rendezvous with a lover before they go home.

There were far racier photos I might put on my Pinterest board.
Don't worry nothing you haven't seen before.
Interestingly they don't tell you where the underwear is from.

Regular readers know that I have a brand crush on Celine.
But there is always that moment where things get knocked from a pedastal.
This is that moment.
This reminds me of those horrible 1970's photos where kids who had no control of their lives had to wear.

Love Princess Charlotte.
Normally there is a sycophantic and obligatory fawning over a female royal's looks.
I though Princess Di was striking but no real model caster would have hired her.

There are the usual suspects like KMid and Danish Mary but Princess Charlotte would have turned heads even as a working class civilian with that face.
Mind you she has inherited her grandmother's genes!

This picture is from the recent issue of US Architectural Digest.
Sometimes I find nowadays design is always thought of from a photogenic angle.
This inner courtyard pool area looks so calming and will be pinned and put on inspiration boards.

But then you see if from the aerial view and you realize how convoluted it all is and I would have changed the staircase around.
 But that's just me.


Oh Martha, you always please.
She does flowers in a way that you think you could do.
Of course one can't forget Carolyn Roehm but you couldn't achieve what she does without a floristry degree and some help.

Of course she didn't do this but her team always finds the newcomers and I like this lateral form of these bouqets.




One of the closest modern versions of the Mitford sisters is the Miller sisters.
I wonder if in 50 years they will be treated with the same mythic view.
This is the LA home of the youngest Miller sister Alex.

The Borromeo sisters are cooler but they are Italian and not within the Anglo culture sphere of 
North America, the UK, and the Antipodes.


The house is very AD in its design qualities.
White, stark, and of "that school".
As closets of billionare heiresses go - this was kinda boring.
Where is the refrigerated bag storage area?
Where is the dry cleaner like electric clothes hangers that turn round and round?

She must be chilled out because
I would be having a word with my housekeeper for not folding and putting away that sweater 
on the chair especially when 
I told her Architectural Digest was coming to take pictures for crying out loud!!

It's just my sense of humour and taste but this bedroom encapsulates the reason why the Miller sisters don't hold that much allure for me.
There are a few no-no's and when you have a limitless budget and zoning laws in LA are rather lax compared to many areas so I wonder how the couple chose this as their ultimate bedroom.

I have been to homes with better art than that who had a much smaller wallet.
I try not to judge so much as I get older and I have questionable art for some but unfortunately I tend to do a basic pop psychology assessment with art.
Is the postmodern hastag #sorry not sorry apt here?

But also that Louis Vuitton throw!
It's like the double ironic decor statement.
"I am rich" is what that throw primally states.
But most in the design world wouldn't construe that throw in that way.
It would be seen by most in the design world as something a mistress in Beijing would have put on her bed while waiting for her sugar daddy to visit her.
And yet no - it's back to - hey I am rich!

Anyway, who knew furniture placement was so important?

I reckon this family has some major issues - like the Carrington's from Dynasty kinda issues.

I am always excited to see a home by Pierre Berge or rather a home he commissions.
His homes are the few homes that AD and I consistently agree on but this home was a bit standard and as nice as it is - it is exactly the sort of house you expect from an immensely wealthy home that is located in Paris. ( link on his name above if you would like to see more)

Gosh I am so obvious.
My favorite bit was the leopard carpet with wood details and brass touches based on a deep tonal green like any other girl who went to private school.

This was a rather juicy issue of AD because it was a cross of society gossip and decor.
Looking at the picture above - 
I have nothing really nice to say and don't have the energy to word it diplomatically.

But it is the home of THE power gay couple in London.
I can't delve too much but let's just say that even the hottest, youngest, thinnest girl with big boobs hedge fund wife was not feeling safe after their affair.


I never tire of a Moroccan home.
A riad is just so balanced and even in small dimensions still have an allure.
It might be the balance and features incorporated into the edifice itself.

There was nothing original in this riad but because I have such a soft spot I don't mind.

One of my design favorites is Alberto Pinto.
This was the flat he left to his sister in Paris.

Geez - maybe beautiful is a bit boring because I got nothing to say but I love it!

Have a great weekend, May day and while we are at it - hope you have a wonderful month of May! xx