Zooey Deschanel: Stylish Girl

Zooey is one of those actresses that continues to evolve in front of your eyes.

She has one of those gorgeous self-depracating personalities that is so infectious you can’t help wanting to see more and more of her on screen.

She also has a singing voice to die for. I just love her singing in the shower in Elf, it’s so pretty and old-fashioned like Rosemary Clooney.

Click here to have a listen to her velvety honey-like voice.

This blue coat is gorgeous vintage and paired with the white pumps, short shift and plaid scarf, she looks relaxed and chic.

Sassy and quirky as well as sexy, Zooey does dressing up to perfection.

A big fan of vintage clothing, she always knows exactly what suits her.  She dresses like a lady, as my mum would say.  It’s like she was born in another time, she would have done well in Katherine Hepburn’s time I think.

You know how fond I am of pictures of girls and their bicycles, this is such a lovely shot.

Zooey is obviously a big fan of wearing dresses and skirts. Most of the pictures I found of her she is wearing exactly that. It would be strange to see her in jeans I think.

She is definitely a style icon in the making and I do believe she is also going to be a big, big star.

Have a great weekend everyone.
xx

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I Dream of the Perfect Boudoir

I can’t seem to fully wake up today.  You know those days when you wish you could just laze around in bed for as long as you wanted?  


Alas those days are gone for me, having children fixed that pretty quickly.  

I just want to laze around in bed, reading, writing and snoozing. 


This is a very clever use of printing on fabric.  Almost like a tromp l’oeil yes?



If ever I do get to spend some time in bed, (usually when I am unwell), I tend to start pointing out to myself all the things that are wrong with it. 


 Like the fact that I would love a king-size bed, the constant lack of storage, the  dilapidated lighting fixtures and the piles of stuff lying on any available space.

I have always liked painted floorboards, but with a black labrador that sheds like nobody’s business, this would be a nightmare.  I also like the very simple platform here for the mattress.  

Every room in our house has been finished just how I want it, all except for the master bedroom.  Instead it has become a dumping ground for paperwork, clothes and just stuff we don’t know what to do with.  I’m quite sad about it.

This reminds me of a hotel we stayed at in Florence.  Quirky decoration but functional with a lovely use of colour.  We even had a view of il Duomo and it was only 75 euro a night!  

I know this is a single bed, but I am loving the warm sunny yellow doonah, it is just so inviting!

Simple, minimalist, easy to maintain and yet comforting.  


This is the ultimate bedroom I think.  Having doors that open up to the outside is just perfection for me.  The hint of the tropical surroundings makes me feel like I am waking up in a resort on some hidden island (I wish!).

This doonah is gorgeous.  If only I could dress my bed in something like this. Keeping the dog off the bed would then become a full-time occupation though – and not a very successful one either.



I want to buy a new bed, and turn our bedroom into a sanctuary for two long-married lovers and a haven for exhausted parents. A place that we can retreat to when we don’t wish to be disturbed. But how to do this on a budget is the big question. I have been collecting images to help keep me inspired. I think that I may have a little anxiety about it which could explain why our room is still unfinished…


One day I guess?




Ciao for now,

Hx



Le Divorce: An American In Paris

Le Divorce (2003), directed by James Ivory, tells the story of Isabel Walker (Kate Hudson), a young American woman who comes to Paris to help her pregnant sister Roxy (Naomi Watts) only to find upon her arrival that her sister’s husband has left her to be with his married lover.  

One of the primary pleasures of Le Divorce is its cast. Leads Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts, are well cast as sisters. The supporting cast is filled with great names such as Glenn Close, Stephen Fry, Stockard Channing, Sam Waterson, Matthew Modine, Bebe Neuwirth and Leslie Caron. Based on the novel by Diane Johnson, Le Divorce was billed as a comedy but I while there are humorous moments, the film is also punctuated with moments of tragedy, loneliness and deep sadness. This film has two plots. One plot, which I shall call Roxy’s story, and then there is Isabel’s story and of self-discovery. 

 

Isabel arrives in Paris, the quintessential California girl. Very quickly she takes it upon herself to become the mistress of her French uncle-in-law Edgar. In order to woo Edgar, a man much older than she, Isabel changes her hair and buys expensive lingerie from La Perla and calls him up whereby Edgar invites Isabel to lunch where the “frisson” is apparent and the rules of engagement for the affair are laid down by Edgar. Shortly after she receives a hand-delivered Hermès Kelly bag symbolising the beginning of the affair – a symbol which we later discover Edgar has used many times before.

What I love about this movie is that it so cleverly illustrates some of the cultural clashes between American and French views regarding marriage, divorce and adultery and their inevitable incompatibility.  

Glenn Close’s plays an American writer making Paris her home and it is such a great role for her. She looks fantastic, her long, grey hair so beautiful and so French. I enjoy her wit and intelligence, and her role as mentor to Isabel makes me Iike her even more. One of my favourite scenes is when Glenn’s character talks about writing a book on French women and how their scarves alone could fill entire chapter.  I love it!

Isabel meets Yves through Glenn Close’s character Olivia Pace and they become casual lovers, even throughout her affair with Edgar.
Sam Waterson, Stockard Channing, and Thomas Lennon are each excellent as members of Roxy and Isabel’s Santa Barbara-based family. The film is a love letter to Paris, which is of course one of the reasons why I enjoy watching it so much.  Director James Ivory presents a portrait of the city that’s so infused with romance that it’s impossible for Isabel to feel terribly displaced for too long.  It embraces the city’s food, culture and language enthusiastically. 

As we watch Roxy and Isabel ride through their individual romantic roller coasters, the two plots complement each other well. Isabel’s might superficially feel a bit frivolous, but the seriousness of her sister’s life diffuses some melancholy throughout her scenes. By crosscutting between the two narrative threads, the film seems to be both commenting on the inevitable fall that awaits the younger, more idealistic sister and suggests new possibilities for Roxy and when the film does end, I always feel that I am not ready yet because I would like to follow the characters around a little more as some of them were just beginning to get interesting.
  

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Bags: A Mere Bagatelle?

Hermès Birkin bag, in red.

I probably have put this post off for so many reasons.  I think the main reason being is that as much as I love a good handbag, it’s just not something I have a real passion for because in truth, I wish that I could buy any bag I wanted, whenever I wanted and without question or concern of finance.  But for most of us, this dream will always be just that – a dream, yes?  

bag unknown but photograph from JakandJil.com/blog

I remember spending many lunch breaks in the handbag section of David Jones.  I would amble from the wallets to the clutches, to the handbags, and then I would spend the rest of my time at the designer section, looking for any markdowns.  And while markdowns did occasionally pop up, alas they were very rarely attached to any bags I liked, and so I would leave empty handed, clutching my Joan Weisz black kid leather bag (which I had bought with my first pay cheque).

bag by Chloè, photo by Tommy Ton.

A lot of people are huge fans of Louis Vuitton and I am afraid to say that I am not one of them.  While I admit that I like some of their designs, their label has become so copied that if I see another track-suit-wearing-diet-coke-slugging-loser carrying one around I shall go mad!  These knock-offs have truly de-valued the label’s bags for me.  I’ve never been one to be into “It bags” – you know, those popular-beyond-belief bags that seem to make ordinary women spend ridiculous amounts of money on – whether they can afford it or not.  Designers are making a fortune from these bags and as a result, so are those manufacturing knock-offs.  

bag by Louis Vuitton – this one I like!

If money were no object, I think that I would like to own an Hermès Birkin, in black.  Pretty simple colour I know, but when you’re looking at US$5000 starting price for a bag, you probably want to buy one in a colour and size that is most useful, wouldn’t you say?  The price of these bags can reach up to 6-digits because they of how they are finished – exotic animal skins, etc and the waiting list is over two years for a Birkin but if you were just the average person on the street, I think that you would have to wait a smidgen longer.  If you want to know why these bags cost so much, well it is most likely due to their being hand-made by experienced craftsmen, with each bag taking from 48 hours to weeks to finish.

Katie Holmes and her Hermès Birkin bag – the oversized version.  Beautiful, even if it is just a tad excessive.

I guess you could call Hermès the manufactures of haute couture handbags to the world, and while I think that in some ways, the Birkin has become like the bags of Louis Vuitton, in that they have prostituted themselves to celebrities and lost their true uniqueness because any try-hard celebrity can obtain one, I still think that they are the best and the most beautiful.

le dix motorcycle bag by Balenciaga
 
The next on my wish list would be the one above – a Balenciaga Le Dix Motorcycle bag – again in black.  The beauty of this bag is it starts at only around US$2500 and comes in a myriad of gorgeous bright colours and leather finishes too.  Kate Moss, Sienna and Nicole Richie are huge fans apparently (lucky girls).
clutch by Alexander McQueen, photo by Garance Dorè
 
For an evening clutch, I would call upon Prada (of which I do own one – thank you hubby) or Alexander McQueen.  They just have the right stuff I think.  I like my clutch to be edgy and to standout because I see it as a crucial part of my whole outfit. Just like a piece of jewellery is because it can totally make or break your ensemble.
 
bag by Chanel, photo by Vanessa Jackman
 
For the all-time classic of classics, there is no going past the Chanel 2.55 – it is quilted and the chain is the same chain that goes in the lining along the  bottom of the famous jackets – (the weight keeps it sitting properly).
 
Mid Priscilla by Corto Moltedo
Garance Dorè and her Sophia Coppola for Louis Vuitton bag

bag by Chanel
 
Angelina and her Fendi
 
In the end, we all make do with what we love to carry around with us on a daily basis, don’t we?  Our bag becomes a symbol of ourselves, a utility bag carrying all that makes up who we are in case we are stranded, pulled-over by the cops, stuck in a lift, or just going to and from work or school.  I couldn’t do without it, as much as I’ve tried, I am very attached to my handbag, whichever one I choose to drag out of the back of my wardrobe – I know that they represent a part of me and I love it.
Ciao for now,

Hx
Sources: GaranceDorè.com, VanessaJackman.blogspot.com, JakandJil.com/blog, TheSartorialist, Vogue Australia, People.com

She’s so lovely

I came across these pictures of Grace Kelly taken in Jamaica in 1955 by Howell Conant.  He was such a favourite that he later became the Grimaldi’s favourite photographer.  


She was stunning, wasn’t she?  Beyond beautiful, she was so darn photogenic and charismatic too.  


Her persona on-screen was always beguiling and her voice… it was so sexy.  I always thought that she sounded ever-so-slightly tipsy.  I don’t know why I think that, I just do.

She was so lovely to watch on screen I was always disappointed that she made so few movies.  


Mogambo – featuring two of the most beloved and beautiful women ever to grace the screen, Grace and Ava Gardner, of course the always incredible Clark Gable was in it too).


High Society (all-time favourite, especially because of the songs and her wardrobe.)


Rear Window (amazing wardrobe and don’t you just love Jimmy Stewart?)


To Catch a Thief (the ultimate Hitchcock film – Grace and Carey Grant, need I say more?)

She was blessed with a gorgeous figure and her clothes always looked perfect on her.  But then, she probably had all of her clothes made for her, especially after she became Princess Grace.

These pictures could have been taken today instead of in the 50s.  They are beautifully shot, the setting is glorious and the subject – unforgettable.


Ciao for now,

Hx


Sources: Lolita, The English Muse, Google.

Colour Therapy

Orange says (- it even shouts) bold to me.  Once worn, it is never forgotten and will always be a secret favourite of mine.  Although I try not to play favourites, I am naturally drawn to the colour green.  I cannot deny its appeal.  My daughter Chloè is always asking me, “What’s your favourite colour today Mummy?” and my reply is always the same – “Green”.


Elizabeth Taylor is stunning in this emerald gown.  It offsets her violet coloured eyes perfectly.
Italian Vogue’s Carla Sozzani’s green skirt inspired me to buy a green skirt of my own in exactly the same shade.  I wear it to death.

I love Liza’s  green nail polish.  I bought some just the other day and painted my toenails with it for a Halloween party.  One week later and my toenails are still painted green and I love it!  The ironic thing is that I had been wearing Revlon’s Tropicana – a very orangey-red polish on my toenails.  I guess my passion for orange and green is deeper in my psyche than I thought!

The Blue-footed Booby (I am telling the truth here, that is what they are called!) from Galapagos have the chicest feet in the bird-world I think.  I wonder if there is a green-footed Booby?

Bright azure blue with stripes screams Française to me.



But the truth is that I can be drawn to many colours, orange is one, red, another.  Today I decided to buy a pair of Haviana’s – my first actually.  I could not decide which colour to get.  I must have tried on over 10 different pairs.  In the end I narrowed it down to pink or brown and I had my hubby choose for me because I just couldn’t decide – a rarity for me.  So I came home with the pink.  I am not a  person that wears pink usually, but they just looked good and there you have it.  

I love the colour in Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette, it is so gorgeous.
Peonies are so pretty, they have so many variations of colour.

Pink is girly, it’s frivolity, it’s a truly happy colour.  I love this pink Christmas tree, don’t you?


Dries Van Noten, the master of colour use in his collections always inspires.  

I have been on the lookout for a yellow clutch every since I saw this one on the Bottega Veneta runway.

The white background in this kitchen is given a vibrant injection of colour the kitchen furnishings and wall hanging.  This is just gorgeous, I can see myself at the kitchen table, blogging away on my laptop!

Little accents of colour. 

A field of mauve,..

Jackie Onassis never shied away from bold colours, they suited her personality well.

Moschino Spring/Summer 2010, lots of summer fruits and berries – delish!



I have been busy working on my fledgling business and so my creative juices and my days have been taken up with working on that, so I am afraid that my blogging has been a tad slack this past week.  I have so many ideas that I don’t want to lose, I hope I can get them all down this month!  I have also been busy getting Chloè started at her new school, which aside from the terrible separation anxiety she seems to be suffering, she is however loving it there and runs up the path every morning in excitement and anticipation.  She is making friends and loves her teacher too.  I have a plan for tomorrow morning, I hope it helps her… I’ve never really had to worry about this sort of thing before with her… I guess you can’t blame her with all the moving and changes in her life this year.  She’s just being herself.  Wish me luck.


Ciao for now,

Hx

Sources: Style.com, GaranceDorè.com, TheSartorialist.blogspot.com, VanessaJackman.blogspot.com

The Street: Stylish Strangers

I can’t help it, I am in love with fashion on the street.  It is my own personal runway.  I have always been intrigued by what others are wearing, how they wear it and how they put their own spin on things.  It’s how I learnt to dress over the years.  I used to love catching the bus to work into Sydney town so that I could watch the people on the street and those hopping on and off the bus.  

I love how she has mixed her primary colours with the stripes.  The jodhpur-style pants and the wicked heels – yummy!  Oh and her hair, how gorgeous is it?


I have put here some recent collections of looks and ensembles that have captured my eye.  I always learn something new from these stylish strangers.

The Cherry Blossom Girl

I am feeling her use of a belt here – belts transform a look so easily.  Those red pumps are gorgeous too, don’t you think?
The gladiator sandals says this is more casual than dressed up, but on the whole, the look is still classy, n’est-ce pas?

Cute sweater and jeans.  The string of pearls and the red lips zjusz it nicely I think.

I’ve been going through an oversized ring phase for about a year now.  The bigger, the bolder, the better!

Simple colour therapy.

I want her cardie.  I wonder how long it would take to knit myself one like this?

Lingerie on worn on the outside is always hot.  So are her killer heels worn with!

Doesn’t she just ooze coolness?  Here we have an example of something that I have been noticing a lot of recently – no handbag.  She carries everything she needs in her hands.  I wish I could do this.  I know at some point I did.  What happened?  Why do I feel the need to carry half my life around with me whenever I leave the house?    

Gingham, checks, prints and plaid.

How great is this leather jacket?  Another bag-free woman.  Yes!

It’s all in the details – pockets have become what I have always known them to be – essential!  To be able to buy a dress or skirt that has pockets you can put hour hands into – oh the joy!  

Modern Mod.  Lovely legs!

The shoes! The shoes! The shoes!

Her hat and her shoes just makes this for me.  

Plaid is everywhere right now.  Plaid is going to be huge again by the looks of things…  Look at this bag… I cannot have it both ways, can I? I have to accept that I require a bag to live my life properly – that is to co-exist with a fabulous selection of handbags, because whenever I choose to leave the house sans bag, I inevitably end up losing my keys, phone, wallet or sunglasses because I keep putting them down and forgetting about them!

Loving the purple hosiery Leigh! I still think she has the best ‘do’ around right now.

Maria-Carla – oh those Valentino heels with distressed denim and simple white tee – and those red, red lips!

Elegantly put.  Great shoes!  Working those harems!

All black.  Stunning.  Love her belt and her Hèrmes watch.

Love the bag, love the shoes, love the coat – love the whole outfit.

Tailored cargos, j’adore!!

J’adore her use of shoes and accessories to inject colour to her look.  So simple.

We are riding a wave right now.  We are privy to the daily style of some of fashion’s biggest names and influencers and all because of some clever shutterbugs.  But are street fashion photographers like Garance Dorè, The Sartorialist, Vanessa Jackman and JakandJil’s Tommy Ton become a little like an acceptable incarnation of paparazzi?  All the shots we see of the fashion elite turning up to shows and walking the Champs to their office or to a meeting – and all the while being stalked and photographed for their designer ensemble – is dare I say it – not much different to the celebrity-chasing paparazzi?  How long before these style-spotters become someone to avoid? (Just putting it out there is all.)

Street Style en masse.  

The juxtaposition between her hair colour, her jacket and her heels.  Daring.  Something to be noticed!  I love her polka-dot skirt too, so cute!

I buy magazines on the regular, but the truth is that you can find anything you need for wardrobe inspiration just on your local street.  You just have to look between the lines and its there.  Don’t be afraid to try something outside your comfort zone.  

I don’t know what you think, but this girl’s use of colour is unabashedly bold and looks amazing!  It’s not easy to mix too such strong colours, but she looks amazing!

Lovely Yasmin Sewell, she just knows how to look fab without any trouble whatsoever, am I right?

Giovanna is another of those ladies with a innate sense of their own style and what suits them best.  Love her!

I hope that you find some inspiration amongst these girls… they are incredibly stylish and would be very hard to miss should you be strolling in Milano, Paris or New York.  But you don’t have to be in some far-flung city to spot a stylish stranger.  All you have to do is open your eyes as you walk along your local streets.  Something inspirational is not far away.  I promise you.

Ciao for now,

Hx

Sources: GaranceDorè.com, TheSartorialist.blogspot.com, VanessaJackman.blogspot.com, JakandJil.com/blog.

She Wears Short Shorts

Moving back to the sunny side of the world has been a bonus for so many reasons.  One of which is I now get to wear shorts again! 



Ahh shorts… long, short, baggy, fitted, capri, over-the-knee, above-the-knee, denim, striped, batik, hemp, linen, cuffed, rolled, designer, high-street…

Shorts have always been a wardrobe staple of mine but alas I have suddenly realised that I now own but 2 pairs of shorts in my entire wardrobe.  This is a shocking and at the very least, very pitiful discovery.  

I love that this Parisienne knows how to work her shorts, even in the autumn!  

If you feel that you don’t have want to bare your legs to the world in shorts, try pairing them with some tights.  It looks cute and also keeps you from having to worry about a cold-snap, whether you’ve shaved or if you have any bruises on your legs (which I inevitably have due to my kids and my dog jumping and crawling all over me all the time).  

Elegance in white.

Casual street chic.

These shorts appear to be made of leather?  They look hot anyway, I love the ballet flats and the jacket.  Sophisticated and sharp.

Cut-offs are huge this season.  Get a pair of your own old jeans, steal your boyfriend’s (or hubby’s) or go to a thrift store and buy a pair that you can cut off that cost you next to nothing.

Sexy, stylish, ankle boots, knee-high boots, doc martins, espadrilles, thongs or ballet flats.

Etro Spring/Summer 2010.

Marni Spring/Summer 2010.

Cut-offs Hollywood style – worn with plaid) shirts.

I think I may just have to raid my hubby’s side of the wardrobe now and steal any jeans he may have forgotten about!  Cut-offs look good!


Ciao for now,

Hx



Sources: GaranceDorè, The Sartorialist, People.com, Style.com,leblogdebetty.blogspot.com,  VanessaJackman.blogspot.com, lefashion.blogspot.com, LittlePlasticHorses.blogspot.com, Styleandthecity.com

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