A Bit of a Moment (a.k.a. mummy is having a mini meltdown)

There just isn’t enough hours in the day sometimes.

I have no time today to finish writing the post I had planned and I am freaking out a little over the party preparations I am supposed to be doing for Annabel’s birthday party on Sunday.

 My youngest Princess, Annabel Jade, frolicking on the beach. 

There is sooo much to do and even though there is only going to be 8 little princesses attending this soirèe, I am going out of my mind with all the preparations!  List after list is being written up so I don’t forget a thing.  Being as prepared as I possibly can is the only way to avoid disaster at this point.

And so I am going to take a deep breath, let it out slowly and get on with it – because this is not about moi.  This is about Annabel and making wonderful memories of childhood with her.

  

I shall begin by taking some advice from a friend:

or even better…

Thanks Mrs B. xx

Wish me luck!

Hx

Sources: Ffffound!

A Scarf for all Seasons

Recently a friend asked me for some fashion advice.  She is planning a winter holiday to Europe and wanted to know what type of scarf she should look for.  I love hearing travel plans because I get to live vicariously through my single friend’s lives!  Winter in Europe is nothing like winter here in Australia or New Zealand.  For most of the winter here, it is wet and windy and the snow fields… well, lets just say that I’m sure our slopes are the main reason why snow makers were invented.  Europe is a real winter wonderland with powder snow and there is always enough snow on the ground to make your own snowman. 

A very funky Alexander McQueen silk skull scarf (try saying that 3 times very quickly!)

Hands down, the scarf is my favourite accessory.  I love to knit myself a new scarf every winter because it gives me an excuse to lounge in front of the fire for hours and also the sense of achievement I feel when I finish my scarf is like no other (that’s because I am unable to follow a pattern and knitting in straight lines is the best I can do!) 

 Freha gets it right.

I want to tell you a little story about an experience I had with wearing a scarf.  Some years ago, I was on my way to a job interview and I had tied a silk scarf around my neck to zjusz up my outfit.  But I wasn’t happy with the way I had tied the scarf, and instead of listening to my instincts and taking the scarf off, I went ahead and wore it anyway.  I felt so uncomfortable during the interview, that I still believe I did not get the job because my confidence was so shaken – all because I didn’t know how to tie my scarf.  I vowed to myself that I would learn how to tie scarves properly.  I promise you, if your scarf is tied properly, you will feel more confident which as we all know enhances our natural beauty – what more could a girl ask for?

 

Sometimes it is good to look at how other people are wearing their scarves – this helps to get ideas on different ways to tie yours.

I took this attitude with me when buying a ubiquitous sarong in Ubud when hubby and I were on our honeymoon.  I made a point of having the store owner show me how to wear and tie my sarong in the local fashion.  I remember so well the knowing looks I received from the local women because I was wearing their national dress in the correct fashion, it made me feel distinctive.

By doing justice to the sarong I didn’t look like your typical tourist.  Wouldn’t we all like to feel the same when strolling down the street? (Or the Champs Èlysèe for that matter.)

The weather doesn’t have to be cool to necessitate the wearing of a scarf either, because light weight fabrics like cotton, silk, and linen mean that a scarf is an accessory that can be worn all year round.

Even in the height of summer, a scarf can be a feature of your ensemble.

The Pashmina is a scarf that has become a considerable addition to every woman’s wardrobe over the past decade.  If you own only one scarf, make it a Pashmina. 

Jessica Alba is a huge fan of the Pashmina and of scarves in general – she wears them well.

I think it is important, if you can, to have various types of scarves in your wardrobe.  Silk, Pashmina, fine wool, chunky wool knit, crocheted knit, and in as many different lengths and finishes; skinny, long, short, square, rectangular, embellished with sequins… etc. etc.

Celebs use their Pashmina to keep warm and to keep the Paparazzi at bay (or maybe Jen simply forgot to brush her teeth?)

Fashion trends come and go, but rarely has one appealed to such a wide audience – age plays no part and you don’t have to be a size zero either to wear your favourite scarf. 

 Giselle and Jennifer and their Pashmina. 

If you want to add a little excitement to your ensemble or to change the look of a favourite outfit, a scarf could be just what you need. It just has that knack of adding a little something extra.  Which brings me to how scarves are being worn besides around your neck.

Chic Cameron.

For Autumn/Winter, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith and Jean Paul Gaultier have all sent models down the runway wearing headscarves in manner of Her Majesty.  I want to officially caution you here though, because I think that one would have to be very confident to carry this look off.  I feel that this is not a look for most of us ladies.

 
But, if you want to give this trend a go, take my advice and let your scarf be the only element that embellishes what should be a simple and plain outfit.  Take your inspiration from the only other headscarf queens (also the only others who could successfully carry this look off in my opinion) – Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. 

Give your headscarf a bohemian edge a la Nicole Richie.  These days she is probably the only one of us that is successful in championing the headscarf.

Diane Kruger and her favourite scarf – dressed up and dressed down.

When it comes to silk scarves, there is no finer than the legendary French label Hermès.  I suggest downloading the Hermès handbook entitled “Playtime With Your Scarf” from their website.  It illustrates the many wonderful ways to tie your scarf in easy-to-follow instructions.

 An example from the Hermès handbook, “Playtime With Your Scarf”.

We have now seen why scarves are such a versatile accessory because you can wear it around your neck, tied, knotted or draped.  But have you tried tying one around your hips, or through your belt loops in lieu of a belt for a little added colour?

Balenciaga has sent scarves down the runway over the past few seasons. 

Try wearing a large scarf around your shoulders as a shawl.  I love to carry a light weight scarf with me on warm evenings when I go out just in case the weather turns cool and when it invariably does, I wrap the scarf over my shoulders like a shrug and tie it behind my back between the shoulder blades. 
 

Dolce and Gabbana and Paul Smith following in the footsteps of Hermès.

So Deb, my lovely friend, I hope I have given you some ideas for scarf shopping.  I also hope you will be daring and look for more than one style – we wouldn’t wear just one style of shoe or own just one handbag would we?  Variety is the spice of life, my love!

Ciao for now,
Hx


P.S. Happy 4th Birthday to my baby, Annabel Jade!  Mummy loves you so much – you are my little accessories queen! xxxx

Sources: Hermès, Google, Garance Dorè.

Interiors: Librarian’s Rule

 This post is a tribute to a favourite inside feature.

Doesn’t this lovely room look inviting?  I can see myself curled up on this love-seat, book on my lap, a warm cup of tea and my dog lying next to me.

Once in a while I like to have a good long look at my bookshelves – or my library, as I like to call it.  I look at it for quite a while, sizing up how the books are placed.  Sometimes I’ll shuffle them around a bit, take one out and flick through it, maybe even get excited about discovering a book I had thought once lost.

Mostly I like to admire it.  This probably seems like strange behaviour to some of you, but this is just one of my little quirks, (of which there are many…), those of you who know me well, know what I’m talking about.

A place for quiet time, not something I get a lot of these days, but a sneaky Nana nap goes down well in a place like this.

When I am scouring the internet for images for my posts, I often come across images that are just so pleasing that I simply have to save them for a rainy day.  Often I end up using them in a post, but some just sit there in a folder waiting for that rainy day.

I just adore the colour coding of the books in this library.  So pleasing to the eye.

 
And so, after editing my pictures folder, I discovered that I had collected quite a few images of home libraries.  Goody, goody I thought – there’s a great post already in the making!

 A home library can become a place to lose yourself in.

In my home in the mountains, I made a home library and reading retreat out of a small nook in our main living area.  A spot that was difficult to find a use for was suddenly the most popular place in the house.

Floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall, above a door, there are many places a library can be built to make room for your collection of much-loved reads.

This bookcase is an objèt d’art all on its own.

I scoured the Net for inspiration and boy did I find some!  There are a tonne of blogs and designers and websites out there dedicated to the home library, bookshelves, book displays and bookcases.

Arranging your books and objèt d’art can be fun and an excellent rainy day past-time.  I like to keep Shakespeare and Jane Austen together, books relating to fashion and design are shelved together.  I also have a section for books about movies and film-making, as well as an entire shelf dedicated to J.R.R.Tolkien and one for my collection of beloved Jilly Cooper.

There are many different ways you can display and store your books and magazines.
I love this idea of using space under stairs to store books.  It’s ingenious and space-saving.
More stair storage. 

My first bookcase was an old falling-apart piece of junk I “inherited” from a flat-mate.  I use the word “inherited” loosely because basically she left it behind after she moved out.  It was unpainted, and it wobbled and swayed from side to side.  It’s shelves were uneven and it was literally falling apart at the joints.  But as I had nowhere else to keep my books, it was better than nothing.  I went to the hardware store and I bought sandpaper and glue.  I sanded it back, glued it together and voila!  What a difference.  ‘Course, I think I ended up giving it to the Salvation Army when my hubby and I decided it was time to purchase grown up and married furniture, I didn’t even think twice about discarding what was once the only piece of furniture I owned besides my bed!

This diagonal design turns a plain wall into a feature wall.

Think of them as decoration, not just as books.  A few of my friends don’t even own a bookcase because once they have read a book, they discard it by giving it away.  I have never understood this because to me, a book I have read always becomes a memory for me and discarding a book would be like losing part of my memory.  That and the fact that I often re-read favourite books.

 The smallest of nooks can be your saving grace – a place of solitude and respite.

I also believe that books make a home.  And they don’t have to be cerebral and artsy-fartsy books either.  Don’t go putting on a show with books that you’ve neither read nor understand because when you have guests around, chances are someone will ask you about one of your titles and if you haven’t the faintest idea what they are referring to, then what’s the point?  Books can be conversation starters, even makers of great friendships.

Make good use of an extra wide hallway by having a carpenter build you a wall of shelves and seats for your reading pleasure. 
 Another space saver is to have shelves go over a doorway.  I personally love this look, especially in older homes where doorways are usually not as high as they are in modern homes.
 
 A custom step ladder looks great for those walls of books that are above your reach.  A wall of fabric to curtain off your library adds intimacy to a room, love that idea too.
This library is a major feature of this home. It takes up two walls and is functional and suits this space beautifully. 

Your library at home doesn’t have to be a huge affair, nor does it have to be built-in, custom-made, designer influenced or a permanent structure.  We are currently renting our home and that has in no way restricted my home library vision.  We have a fabulous white MDF square structure from Ikea that serves as a room divider and bookshelf in one.  It is a great piece of furniture because it serves more than one purpose.  It houses many books, as well as photo albums, a stereo, speakers, photo frames, trinkets and divides our living room so that I can have my home office where I can keep an eye on my girls while writing.

Your options are only as small as your imagination.

Ciao for now,
Hx

Sources: Domino Archives, Style Carrot, DesignSponge, DesireToInspire, Google.

Happy Birthday To My Blog!

Today is the first anniversary of my very first blog post, yay!

I am so happy with how my blog has evolved over the past year, particularly in the last 6 months since settling here in New Zealand.  Life has certainly turned around for my family and I since moving here and my writing is testament to that.

My heart felt thanks to you all for visiting I like, I wish, I heart.

I know that some of you visit everyday, so I cannot thank you enough for supporting me and for keeping me motivated.
The other wonderful motivator is the comments that you leave.
I know this might sound a little weird, but your comments are so wonderful to me because I feel they help validate my existence in this crazy world.  I am happier than I have been in a very long time and that comes down to being free to be me and to express my passions through my blog. 

I look forward to seeing how I like, I wish, I heart evolves over the next year with you.

Ciao for now,

Hx

Bambi and Friends

We all know that Stella McCartney is an out and proud vegetarian, eco and animal friendly designer and well-known supporter of Animal Rights.  Well she goes a step further with her Autumn/Winter 2009 campaign which features a childhood Disney favourite – Bambi and some of his furry forest friends.  The campaign was shot with a live deer and fox, with Bambi and the other characters added later in post production.

 
 

 The campaign features model Sigrid Agren and was shot by photographer Ryan McGinley.

 
Stella explained the concept to WWD: “I’m a huge Bambi fan, and the film reminds me of my mum,” adding, “the clothes in the campaign are looking quite fierce, and we wanted to contrast them with the innocence of Bambi.” 

The campaign will launch as a double page spread in magazines this September and as you can see, features Stella’s beautiful designs, but also featured are beautiful scenery and, some gorgeous cuddly characters we all remember from childhood.
 
I think it’s very cute.

Ciao for now,
Hx

Source: WWD, InStyle.co.uk

Julianne Moore: Stylish Girl

Julianne Moore is a natural beauty, and yes, even though she may have been blessed with good genes, it is her self-effacing and down to earth attitude that no doubt add to her beauty.  That and her steadfast rule of sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

 How many 47 year-old’s do you know have graced the cover of Paris Vogue?

Even though Julianne works in a business that is fraught with expectations of goddess looks, unattainable physical perfectionism and a never-say-your-true-age mantra, Julianne is refreshingly à là naturàl.  Most of the time you will see papp shots of Julianne wearing jeans, jackets and Converse sneakers.  “I always say this… but it’s because it’s true: I live a very, very pedestrian life.” – Julianne Moore.

 
Julianne out and about in her Brooklyn neigbourhood, walking her pooch. 
 Julianne in casual mode (she had a brief stint as a blonde for her role in Blindness in 2007.)

You could be forgiven for thinking that her aversion to dressing up is a ruse when you see her in this month’s British Vogue.  But she truly prefers an unfussy life (a woman after my own heart).

 Julianne on the cover and featured in British Vogue July 2009.

Julianne says that she didn’t get into the movie business for the glamour; “All I wanted was to be a regional-theater actor, to be in a company.  I thought it would be a great life. I don’t think I understood how difficult it would be.” 

Julianne cut her teeth in the soap As the World Turns, won a Daytime Emmy, and then after Hollywood came calling which led to her breakout role in Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (1993).  Some of her more notable roles are: Boogie Nights (1997), The End of the Affair (1999), Far From Heaven (2002), The Hours (2002), Children of Men (2006) Savage Grace (2007).  In this time she has garnered 3 Academy Award Nominations for Best Actress.

Julianne is happily married to filmmaker Bart Freundlich, whom she met on the set of The Myth of Fingerprints (1997), which Freundlich wrote and directed.  She is also mother to Caleb, 12 and Liv, 8.  “We have a very solid family life… we’re really lucky because of what we do; our lives are so flexible.” – Julianne Moore.
 Julianne with her family.

When it comes to style, Julianne prefers elegant, tailored clothes, mostly monochromatic colours but occasionally she dazzles us with a perfectly chosen colour.  She does however have the help of designers like Stefano Pilati, Creative Director at Yves Saint Laurent since 2004.   Which I am sure makes the ordeal just a tad easier for her.

Some of Julianne’s eclectic mix of red carpet looks.  I would never have thought that a redhead could wear hot pink, but she pulls it off beautifully. 

 “Julianne is the essential modern woman,” says Pilati. “She possesses a kind of beauty that is hard to find: effortless, elegant. She is as passionately accomplished a mother and wife as she is an actress — balanced, with her feet on the ground. And she is a true and loyal friend.”- Stefano Pilati.

Other favourite labels of Julianne’s are Martin Margiela, Comme des Garçons, Lanvin, and Calvin Klein.  “Julianne knows what complements her gorgeous coloring and body and always looks polished, minimal, and stylish.”  – Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa.

Julianne prefers to simplicity and shades rather than bold colour, and even though we have seen her in some very bright colours, she feels as a redhead that it is hard to get it right.  “I’m a very basic dresser.  I’m not interested in calling too much attention to myself.  I like to look cool without being too noticeable… it’s a tricky line.”  – Julianne Moore.

Even though she may appear confident and at home on the red carpet, Julianne doesn’t love it.
“I always feel stiff! And it’s become such a big deal.  I’m telling you, people did not used to care so much.  People did not stand with their hand on their hip.  I have never gotten used to it.” 

 In Christian Lacroix at Cannes 2008 and in Yves Sain Laurent at the Academy Awards 2003.

As for Julianne’s exercise regime?  Well she works out regularly but not fanatically — a few days of running, a few yoga classes a week — and skips makeup. “I think that less is better, especially as you get older,” she says. “Too much makeup on an older woman can really make you look like a freak.” 

Somewhere between the acting and raising of kids, Julianne wrote a children’s book called Freckleface Strawberry, which is about coping with teasing and finding self-acceptance.

So what does this Celtic beauty have in her make up bag?

1. YSL Besace Flap Bag in Sky Anthracite.

2. Kiehl’s Original Musk.

3. Chelsea Piers bottle: “We all drink good NYC tap water at my house and carry it around in these bottles.”

4. Tarte Cheek Stain in Blushing Bride.

5. YSL Luxurious Mascara in Rich Brown: “I wear mascara when I’m feeling depressed.”

6. Kérastase Nutritive Masquintense: “My hair is coarse, and if I don’t have a blowout, I’ll pull it into a tight ponytail so it dries straight at the crown.”

7. Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey Body Lotion and Replenishing Lip Balm: “Our whole family loves these. With the tinted balm, my daughter thinks she’s putting on lipstick.”

8. By Terry Laque de Rose lip glosses: “The pink and lavender shades are closest to my natural lip color.”

9. Olay Complete Defense Daily UV Moisturizer: “Along with walking on the shady side of the street whenever possible, I’ve been using sunscreen every day since I was 25.”

Julianne on herself: “When I go to a movie premiere and have to be very dressed up, it feels like there’s a disconnect between who I am and who I am dressed up.  That doesn’t feel authentic to me, because I’m not that way.  I’m not particularly glamorous.  I love sweaters and jeans more than a fancy gown.  I don’t feel real.”

Don’t ever change Julianne Moore – we love you, just as you are.

Ciao for now,
Hx
Sources: Harper’s Bazaar, British Vogue, US Vogue, Style.com, Marie Claire and other various Google.com sources.

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Cargo Comeback!

The sun is shining today, which is not something that happens a lot lately here in Wellington.  Sitting outside taking in the warmth of the sun’s rays, I was enjoying my morning lattè and flicking through the pile of glossy magazines brought back from the States by my adoring hubby on the weekend (so spoilt, I know).  Anyway, while marking pages and dreaming up blog ideas I started thinking about glorious spring –  how I could hardly wait for it and then of course this led to the inevitable “what about my wardrobe?”  Argh panic! 

I know I have written about cargo pants before but it was only a little post about shopping and given my penchant for a good pair of cargos, I’ve decided to re-visit the topic because I want to show you how important cargo pants are to your wardrobe – your spring wardrobe that is.

 As seen in Vogue Australia November 2002

I guess many of you may have thought that cargo pants were passè, even gauche.  Well I’m here to tell you that they’re back and they are looking better than ever.  Designers are taking their lead from master cutter Nicolas Ghesquiere.  We are seeing cargo pants in many new interesting cuts and finishes.  I’ve seen them (and bought them) in flared ankle, a tied ankle even capri length.  Some have been finished with drawstring waist and belt loops and some even have embroidery down the legs.  They can be made out of just about any fabric you can think of, thereby making them as comfy as a pair of tracky-daks but without the daggy-factor.  I believe that cargo pants are as essential to every girl’s wardrobe as jeans.  Seriously I do!  Yes jeans are fabulous and without doubt, super important to our wardrobe, but not all are cut for comfort now are they?  Try sitting on a long-haul plane journey in jeans and you’ll know what I mean.

Sass and Bide silk cargos – on my wish list.

I have loved cargo pants from day one and I have always owned at least one pair in my wardrobe since 1998.  My first pair were of course, khaki, made of raw silk and purchased from Sportsgirl for the exhorbitant sum of $89.95 – back then that was a lot of money.  I wore them right up until the seat wore out in them.  Such a sad, sad day when I finally had to part with them… 

All Saints (top left) on stage in their baggy cargos.

In 1998,  cargo pants became mainstream when British girl band All Saints took to the stage wearing baggy cargo pants with trainers.  For several seasons now this ubiquitous garment has been available in just about any high street store.

If only we could all look this hot in our cargos… Jennifer Anison shows us how it’s done.
Paris Vogue’s Emmanuel Alt wearing cargos – the ultimate in chic – if they’re wearing them in Paris, then shouldn’t we all be wearing them?

Carrie Bradshaw in cargos and Manolo’s.

Nicolas Ghesquiere brought cargo chic to the house of Balenciaga back in 2002 when he sent models down the runway in silk le dix cargo pants in khaki and pink.  I remember these Balenciaga silk cargos – they broke the mould and sent the cargo upscale – the haute cargo, if you will.  Trends show that it is the fabric shift and design nuances that have helped bring the interest in cargo pants back.

Balenciaga Prèt-a-porter Spring 2002.

Cargos look best in khaki, white and black but there is also some that are orange and red and they are gorgeous, it’s a shame that more designers don’t make them in vibrant colours.  I hear that they do exist, but I am yet to find them in my part of the world.  If you know where I can find them in more colours, can you let me know?

  For your first pair, you should buy khaki – what else?

I remember seeing pictures of Jennifer Aniston in gorgeous Maharishi cargos back in 2002.  These pants were suddenly a hot style item thanks to these pictures.  I’ve been able to find a picture of Jen in her Maharishi cargo pants – the same pair she’s owned since 2002.  It’s gives me a sense of solidarity knowing that someone like Jennifer Aniston still wears favourites and doesn’t throw them out just because she can afford to buy new ones at her leisure.  I have been known to wear clothes until they are so worn out that they are full of holes and even after I’ve patched them up and they are beyond repair, I turn them into gardening and house painting clothes.  I just find parting with favourite clothes unbearable and I refuse to get rid of them until they are not even good enough to be used as a rag.  My best friend Kirsty will back me up on this – she has seen me wear my favourite clothes until they basically fall apart, for as long as she’s known me, (remember those blue and green batik Esprit shorts Kirst?)

 Jennifer Aniston in her beloved Maharishi cargos.

Women’s cargo pants are more draped, especially when constructed of silk and that is why they can be worn in the evening dressed up with a stiletto.  They are also multi-generational, which is to say they can be worn by women of all ages.  The right pair can be extremely flattering on a woman.  These days we are seeing the cargo pant being cut a lot like our favourite pair of jeans.  Case in point, the skinny cargo pant (see below).

 DKNY
 Impure Minds
Guess

Cargo pants are so basic, so versatile. They’re masculine pants but when worn on a woman, they are given a feminine twist by nothing simpler than the shape of her.

 Sarah Jessica Parker in cargos as seen in UK Elle, September 2000.

While flicking through some old Australian Vogue’s for research on this topic, I found a fantastic article; “How To Wear Cargo”.

1. Forget high-tech trainers and combat boots, instead, dress up cargo pants with sky-high stilettos.
2. Consider khaki the new neutral and brighten the look with summer pastels.
3. Do wear cargo pants slung low on the hips.
4. This is not a G.I. Jane moment, do not wear cargo head-to-toe.
5. Soften the look with ethnic and romantic tops.
6. For an easy weekend option, invest in a khaki parka.
7. Mix and match cargos with denim by day or sparkly vintage tops by night.
8. Don’t borrow from your boyfriend unless you have his cargos tailored to fit.
9. Swap the 90’s nylon versions for soft, slouch cotton drill.
10. Do customise them: taper the legs, add a drawstring, or crop the length.

And that was how it was done.  I don’t think much has changed, do you?

How cargo pants were worn in Paris and New York in 2002 – not much has changed.

Look, I know that cargo pants are not the most stylish or elegant piece of clothing out there, but for my money, they keep me from feeling like I’m getting too old to wear something that I might see on a person half my age, and most especially, as comfort is key, you just can’t go past them.

Sass and Bide cargos as seen in Madison magazine, May 2009.

I might just add that their only down side, is the ridiculous amount of ironing they require!

Ciao for now,
Hx

Sources:  Style.com, Vogue Australia, Madison Australia, Google.com, British Vogue, Garance Dorè.

I am Shoe-Gal

I think we could all do with a dose of shoe candy, couldn’t we?

Garance Dorè in her Pierre Hardy mesh boots.

Here are some pics from the web of what’s being seen on the tootsies of those who can afford the best!

Christian Dior from the Fall 2008 Couture runway.  Could they be an higher?

As we are still in the midst of winter here in the southern hemisphere, here are some boots to enjoy.

Chanel – yes, I can see my tootsies in these.

 Gorgeous fold-over leather boots.  I like her clutch too.

Alexander McQueen

And now for some colour!

Balenciaga – a bit like a Leggo creation, but it works.
 
Jil Sander – I’m a sucker for anything green
Jimmy Choo
 
 Balenciaga
 
Balmain – lovely
 
Carin Roitfeld wearing her Givenchy heels.
 
Calvin Klein – I love these
Miu Miu

 
Nicholas Kirkwood – sex on heels
 
Pierre Hardy – they kind of remind me of my Asics Gel runners.
Yves Saint Laurent
And now for some architectural and theatrical triumphs.
Stella McCartney- très avant garde, oui?

 

Alaia – now these look comfortable and sexy.
Dior Goddess heels.  These are so high I would probably get vertigo!
Photo by Garance Dorè.  Stunning.

Christian Louboutin for Rodarte.  The spikes are a little reminiscent of Bond baddie Rosa Klebb?
Balenciaga

Alaia

Balenciaga

I don’t know who designed these, but aren’t they gorgeous?
Givenchy
Christian Louboutin – the red sole and the red varnish on her nails = perfection.
Prada – green is my favourite colour.
Proenza Schouler – these are on my wish list. 

Sigh… well that brings us to the end of another gorgeous designer heels extravaganza.
I think that designers are getting more out-there and more daring with their designs and what they expect us to teeter on.
I am also in awe of the fearless women who wear these amazing heels.  They walk in them and manage to stay upright – all for our viewing pleasure!  I salute you ladies.

Ciao for now,
Hx

P.S.
By the way, thank you to those who have been leaving such lovely and encouraging comments on my posts.  I love hearing from you so much!  It makes my day every time, so thanks lovelies! xx

 

Sources: JakandJil , beatrice, Garance Dorè

I just don’t know what to do with Myself…

 

 
As you know my girls are on school holidays and it has been a challenge, not just because it is only the second time that I have had to go through this experience, but also because it has RAINED every single day.  If there has been a day that it hasn’t rained, I’m afraid that I am unable to recall it because my brain has turned to mush.

And so, because said brain is mushy, I have decided that today’s post is going to be filled with rainy day inspiration, fun and frivolity… just to make me feel good about the fact that my husband has had to go to LA (again!) during the school holidays and I am left home alone to wrangle the children – eek! 
I know, woe is me.  Look, I’m not asking for your pity, just to ride it with me!

 I’m dreaming of warm, sunny days.

I miss my kitty. 
 
Having fun with my girls and making the most of the wet weather.

Enjoy frivolity.

I know I should be doing some work, but instead I will play dress ups and make inside tents with my girls and hope that the rain stops soon so that we can go for a walk with our dog Jet along the beach.

Some handsome men to ogle…
Why?  Because well frankly, who needs a reason?

Maybe just a few more handsome men because one can never get tired of them, can one?

 
I’m on a roll here, and it feels like I should go with it…

I am going to try really hard to stop fighting life and do my best to enjoy the challenges I am faced with and to remember to focus on the wonder of it all before it passes me by.

Ciao for now,
Hx

Sources: ffffound!, people.com, fuckyeahhughjackman, GQ, if I’ve missed anyone out, please forgive me.

Garance Dorè – Style with a Canon 5D

People watching is one of my favourite past times.  I can spend all day watching the passing parade of people and noting their style for my own personal cachè of style ideas.  This has definitely been a contributing factor in my learning about fashion and personal style.  People watching has taught me be to be daring and bold in my wardrobe choices.  I have witnessed moments of fashion triumph and tragedy, but the most important thing I have come to realise is that style is all about doing what you want.  Having confidence is where it all begins and a woman who also knows this to be true is street style photographer, illustrator, writer and Parisienne, Garance Dorè. 

Garance Dore (photo by Scott Schuman)

About 8 years ago I had an original idea.  That idea was to take my camera and photograph strangers on the street who I thought displayed original style and to post them on a website that I updated daily.  I was unsure how to ask people for permission to take their picture, but ultimately I lacked the confidence to see my idea through.  In fact I lacked everything I needed – except a sense of style.  I didn’t even have a camera.  So sadly the idea stayed just that, an idea.  It wasn’t until I came across the Sartorialist and Garance Dorè last year that I realised how I had missed out on an opportunity to be at the beginning of a pop-culture phenomenon that is what I like to call “the roving fashion editor”.   And so, like many of my ideas, I have to accept the fact that if you snooze – you lose. 

 Garance at work.

Garance Dorè’s blog is a testament to great style.  She has been documenting effortless chic since 2006 and her friendship with Scott Schuman (aka The Sartorialist)  has recently blossomed into a relationship.

Garance photographing Scott Schulman.

Garance started out in PR for a cinema in the south of France, and after attending the film festival in Cannes a few years running – as well as being young and fearless, she took her book of illustrations to some art directors.

 
 Some of Garance’s illustrations.

But the job was not as it seemed, the commissions were uninteresting and she was cut off from mixing with people as she mostly worked from home.  This led to her blog and to a realisation that she liked to write.
“I was the first in France to talk about fashion and illustration this way. I did that for a while but fashion goes with photography, so I picked up my camera. I never thought years ago this would be big, it was just something I thought was different.” 

 Garance at work and shooting Paris Vogue’s Emmanuelle Alt.

Garance has a style that is based on simplicity.  It is obvious from the photographs of Garance that she loves to wear greys and blues, pants and cotton t-shirts.  She also loves to wear heels and knows how to accessorise… is there a Parisienne whom doesn’t?
“I love shoes. I’ve got a thing for accessories as well. I have a lot of belts, gloves, scarves… you name it! So, I try to do simple, but always add in a striking detail to catch your attention.” – Garance Dorè

Garance’s personal style is typical la femme française, a mix of everything, wearing Yves Saint Laurent with Gap t-shirts.

Garance’s earliest style influence was her mother.  “She was quite daring in the ’80s with her Mugler, Alaïa, and Montana outfits. I would spy on her in her wardrobe where she would spend hours trying stuff on before going to the night club.” – Garance Dorè

 Garance’s inspiration wall of family photos.

As a writer and commentator of fashion, I know I must remain impartial, that a person’s confidence shines through in their clothing and to appreciate fashion and all its trends.  Garance says the same about trends: “Every time I find something I don’t like, I end up finding someone who wears it in a beautiful and interesting way. Fashion changes so fast that it teaches us to never say never.”

In her own words, this spring’s trends that Garance will be seen wearing are – “Shorts! Harem pants! My green YSL Tributes!”

 Garance on the streets of Paris.

Paris is her favourite city to photograph in: “I love Paris. I love it because it is chic and rock at the same time. A certain kind of deconstructed sophistication, effortless, sexy, at least for the girls. Because girls wear heels in a casual way, because they don’t wear too much makeup, and because I love the color of the gray skies here. I haven’t visited the whole world yet, but Paris is my home. Maybe it’s not quite fair, but it will always be my favorite. Paris, je t’aime!”

It is interesting to me to see where the future lies for Garance and her work.  The doors that are opening to her now that she is an accomplished photographer and style spotter would be incredible I’m sure.  She is taking on work as an editorial photographer and even styling those shoots, which she says is extremely exciting for her.
But her blog remains a huge part of her artistic life – “I’m always trying to improve it, keep it going, and keep street style on the cutting-edge. I don’t want street style to become some gimmick. Inspiration is everywhere, and I don’t want to trap it in one format.”
But if there were no Internet? Where would she be?  “I really don’t know… it gives me the opportunity to do different things and meet new people. I think it’s my destiny that I fell for the internet.”

Garance’s words of wisdom in dressing like a French Woman are not unfamiliar when we think about women in Paris.  One only has to scour Garance’s work on her blog to see how her list has been made.  Stripes, scarves and layers.  That sexy detail when dressing up – short skirts, la Perla lingerie, off the shoulder blouse, etc… Messy, long hair, monochromatic colour, heels or flats, it’s up to you.  A nonchalant air, smoky eye make-up, and finally… “The French woman is. The present is her sole religion. In fact, the mystery behind the French woman is that she has confidence in herself, despite all the nonsense she says.  There’s the secret to her indestructible Frenchitude.”

Asked if she has ever been confronted with a subject unwilling to be photographed (a fear I had when dreaming up my idea all those years ago) she says that it has never happened because she can usually feel when not to ask a person.  She is instinctual and stylish, oui?


A Day in the life of Garance Dorè – Mid Fashion Week…
(from Style.com)

9 a.m.
Oh my God, 9 o’clock and I’m already tired! First things first: I log on to my computer to post my newest fashion week pictures in my blog. Have a coffee while checking my e-mails, then grab a taxi over to the Karl Lagerfeld show near the Eiffel Tower.

10 a.m.
Hmm, good-looking crowd. I take a few pictures outside the tent before going in. These clothes always seem like a good appetizer before the king’s finale!

11 a.m.
There are no taxis to be found after the Lagerfeld show, so I jump onto a bus that will get me back to the Tuileries. The bus is jam-packed, but it is by far the most fashionable bus I’ve ever seen. I run into my friend Jil Ann and we talk about the shows; we both loved Anne Demeulemeester yesterday. Fashionistas have a hard time standing on the bus with their high heels. At every turn they teeter-totter and almost fall down. Quite funny.

Noon
I have a few stories to write. I’m also a journalist and these fashion weeks make my schedule totally crazy. I love to work at home, but there’s no time to go back to the Marais. I have a coffee and a cigarette in a café on the rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré. During the fashion weeks, this street looks like a catwalk, with all the fashion people making a stop at Colette. But I should stop looking at the street and get back to my work.

1 p.m.
OK, time to get organized. If I want to eat today—and I do—this might be the perfect moment. I meet with a friend and we have a typical Parisian fashion lunch—steak tartare and too many glasses of Sancerre; all the while talking about photography and how to find inspiration.

2 p.m.
Off to the Dries show! I always love to get there early. This season the show is in the Palais Royal. Ooh la la, that is one great location. Beautiful waiters are offering me mint tea and macaroons. I have a hard time resisting, but I bought leather leggings recently and I really want to be able to wear them soon. So no macaroons.

4 p.m.
Lacroix shows at the Tuileries. Each time I go there I am reminded of the beauty of fall in Paris.

5 p.m.
Kim, from a Hong Kong magazine I will never be able to spell the name of, wants to interview me. We have a hot chocolate together.

6 p.m.
I spend one hour in a taxi trying to reach the Givenchy show.

7 p.m.
Givenchy, Givenchy, Givenchy. Everyone wants to be there. I run into Marie-Pierre Lannelongue from Elle, who is quite pleased with the results of a shoot I worked on for her. Good feedback is the food of any artistic work, (I hear that! – H).

8 p.m.
Back to work. I want to rest a little bit before going to the Sonia Rykiel party.

9 p.m.
Never go back home if you want to party. I’m too tired and still have a lot of work to do. I call my friends to tell them what an old nanny I am, order Thai food, have a glass of wine, and start my computer. There’s a good chance I will still be working in four hours. I want to be fresh for the Stella McCartney show tomorrow morning.

Sigh… Je suis assez jaloux!

ciao for now, Hx

Thank you to The Swelle Life, a fabulous blog that you should all visit!
Sources: Refinery29.com, Garance Dorè, The Swelle Life, Style.com, A Cup of Jo.

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