Saturday, 30 April 2011

Long Live McQueen – from gorgeous gowns to regal rugs

Whilst the legendary Alexander McQueen is recently deceased his ubiquitous fashion house has the worlds media buzzing with the dazzling, fitted, long-sleeved lace gown designed for Kate Middleton by the creative director Sarah Burton.

“Miss Middleton chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing," the palace said. " Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterizes Alexander McQueen's work."  In the evening Catherine changed into yet another McQueen head turner - a white satin strapless evening gown with a circle skirt and diamante detailing around the waist. 

Even her sister Philippa Middleton wore McQueen - made of a heavy, ivory satin-based crepe, with a cowl front and with the same button detail and lace trims as the Bride’s dress.  

Having met him once, I am so pleased that the McQueen brand has had the opportunity to shine on this fabulous Royal occasion showcasing the Best of British.

McQueen also recently launched collection of Rug’s through the wonderful Rug Company.  Three years in the making, the Rug Company’s collaboration with Alexander McQueen encapsulates their combined commitment to arresting design, superior qualities and luxurious yarns.

Taking the inspiration from various embroidery seen in his collections - the dramatic Military Brocade design originally created for a coat, the instantly recognisable skull motif. The rugs are recognisable as strong McQueen designs. However my favourite is the hummingbird design with its extremely delicate design with lustrous iridescent silk set against a dark wool background.  So now I’ll just have to save for one or marry a prince!


Thursday, 28 April 2011

Congratulations to Catherine Middleton and Prince William

I hope that Catherine and William have a wonderful wedding day and a happy and loving marriage.

29th April 2011 a historic day for all Middleton’s everywhere


Saturday, 23 April 2011

Why so Angular and Spiky?

Today for unknown reason’s I am being drawn to angular and almost uncomfortable shapes. So I thought I’d share some that have captured my imagination.

Nucleo, a collective of artists/designers is participating in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy for which they have created the below table - 1000 camice rosse. It incorporates a thousand red shirts in blocks of resin. The project by Piergiorgio Robino and Alice Occleppo, is inspired by the army of Garibaldi, and interprets the passion, heart, heroism and unselfishness of its members.

I actually find this quite fun – the art world will strike me down now. The shape is playfully constructed of cubes or building blocks.  Whilst this piece of art makes a powerful statement, I can just imagine it in a wonderful loft style apartment with fantastic lighting.
image via here 

The exhibition in which 1000 camice rosse is exhibiting is open between the 17th March – 17th of November, 2011

The Miuu suspension lamp by Arturo Alvarez has fabric that wraps the shade of this light in an unexpected way creating colour and volume. It kind of reminds me of flowers but maybe the sharp spiky kind that eat insects. The only detractor I have, as this is a suspension lamp is the dust collecting in those folds!
The Sea-Urchin lounge chair by the Dutch design studio OOOMS is handmade using 8000 cable-ties to give it the spiky appearance of the simple sea creature it’s named after. Oh how I want to feel its spikiness as I sit and read a book.

Now this is from a restaurant in Kiev, Ukraine by Sergey Makhno and Butenko-Vasiliy. Quite a big statement here - spiky textured walls and an irregular angular chair. I really want to try out that chair and see how comfortable it is. Enough comfort to sit back and have leisurely drink? Or does it make you hurry up so you go visit the comfort of the restaurant? I suppose I’m really looking at the squish factor. However I am quite taken with the colour of the chairs.
image via here


Monday, 11 April 2011

Monday Inspiration

Glorious Cotswold, how I wish I was away at Cowley Manor.  Fabulous setting, great architecture and interiors, sublime food - a wonderful place to stay. And I wish I was back there.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Saatchi Gallery NEWSPEAK and Dinesen Floors

I recently went to an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery Newspeak: British Art Now Part II.  Aimed at giving an insight into the art being made in the UK today, the new YBA’s as it were.  I always like a gallery, museum or historical building to have a mooch and gain inspiration. Whilst the art was the reason for going to the Saatchi I have to say the building alone is worth a visit.
The Saatchi Gallery is in the listed Duke of York’s HQ building in Chelsea with over 67,000 sq ft of gallery space most of which is contained in the original classical Victorian building.  The gallery has clear and simple interior spaces so that the art is the focus.  With an ERCO lighting scheme based on stretched fabric light boxes the gallery spaces are fantastically evenly lit.  In some rooms the ceiling heights are over 4m, completely jaw dropping.  With a neutral palette throughout white walls are stripped of all detail such as door architraves, mouldings and skirting boards.  
Floor to ceiling openings some with pivoting doors create interesting vistas between the white spaces. However it’s the floors that are the scene-stealers, from Dinesen the distinctive wide timber floor planks are 450mm wide and span the full width of the gallery and are finished in a white stain.  I want to use them so badly but so far no project has had the scope, but one day I am going to use this beautiful and elegant product.
As for the art, Jonathan Wateridge’s ‘Space Program’, the Loved Untitled sculpture by Marcus Foster and Richard Wilson’s 20:50 were my favourites.  Wateridge’s  blown up photograph felt like something I might have seen a magazine.
Foster’s sculpture standing at nearly 2.5 metres tall, made from steel and painted in a blue tone called to me.
Wilson’s 20:50 takes its name from the type of recycled engine oil used. Look at those sharp edges...


Monday, 4 April 2011

My town in yellow

Yellow wakes me up in the morning and makes me think of sunshine and nearly always makes me smile. This weekend I took inspiration from my own bright yellow fisherman’s jacket and went out  and about in Brighton in search of all things yellow. 
The daffodils appear to be on their last flush of the season but I love how they make me rejoice that spring is here at last
Beautiful Regency house in Brighton painted in pale yellow
These brightly painted Hove Promenade Beach huts sell for £12,000 + and rarely come on the market
Children’s rides on Brighton promenade, normally a place I scuttle through as all the children want to stroke my very small and cute dog – and he’s not so keen on the attention
Wandering through the Lanes and North Laine. On Sundays at 11am you can join a guided walk through North Laine and learn about the history and the uses of the older buildings
Upper Gardner Street Flea and Street Market plus unlimited editions  – more posts on this
My own bunch of daffs on the mantelpiece, time for tea & crumpets I think…..


Monday Inspiration

Monday’s Inspiration is the magnificent Horseshoe bend in Arizona with the Colorado River running through, just a short way down stream from Lake Powell. 
This look out point whilst only a short hike off the highway is without barriers and a jaw dropping 1000ft+ drop. I also managed to melt my hiking shoe on the way out – it was 114 degrees. If I can stand at this ledge I can put my mind to anything
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