Give a frock Friday

Natalia Vodianova stars in Grace Coddington’s vision of Lewis Carrol’s classic Alice in Wonderland, photographed by Annie Leibovitz for American Vogue, December 2003. In this shot, Christian Lacroix is the March Hare and Stephen Jones is who else but The Mad Hatter.  Natalia wears Christian Lacroix Haute Couture with painted and sulpted mink dickey over lace top and frilled lame skirt and her hat is custom made Stephen Jones, of course.  A classic novel and a timeless editorial. See the whole thing here.

Enjoy your weekend. xx

Give a frock Friday

Lovely Kate Moss and her even lovelier daughter Lila Grace, photographed by Mario Testino for the special wedding issue of Vogue featuring Kate on the cover and pictures of her big day with hubby Jamie Hince.  

Kate wears Nina Ricci linen top and skirt and Lila wears a frock coat and slip dress from cool New York vintage haven Melet Mercantile.

I thought I would post a picture of a mother and daughter today because it is the last day of summer holidays here and so it’s back to school for my girls on Monday.  I am quite sad abut it too, which is to say, normally I am full of excitement to have my freedom back for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week.  But not this time. This time I am truly going to miss my girls.  

I hope you have a great weekend, I’m going to spend it hanging out with my girls!


Image source:

Michelle as Marilyn

I am so looking forward to seeing Michelle Williams in the new film My Week with Marilyn.  I’m not sure when it opens here in Australia (February 16, I think?) and when it does open, I am going to be the first in line.  
Michelle Williams in character, photographed by Annie Leibovitz for American Vogue, October 2011.

Marilyn and new husband Arthur Miller (played by Dougray Scott) in a scene from the film.

I have always been an admirer of Marilyn Monroe, I read everything and anything I could get my hands on over the years.  

Set in 1956 and based on a memoir written by Colin Clark, a third assistant director on The Prince and the Showgirl, the movie Marilyn was in London to make along side British thespian Sir Laurence Olivier.

Watch the trailer for the film below:

I have read some interviews with Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh (whom I adore) and it has given me even more incentive to see it because they both seem to be so invested in their respective roles.  

Biopics always face a tough audience because they are always going to be judged and scrutinised by die-hard fans.  This is the first film about Marilyn to be made in some time, just when you thought there are no tales left to tell…  

Personally, I can’t wait.



Yoga and Me

Christy Turlington photographed by Steven Klein for Vogue October 2002

The truth is I have been trying to find an angle to work in a post about yoga for a while now. I’ve not written about yoga before and as it quite an important part of my life I have wanted to write about it over and over but I have struggled with how it would fit in with the whole ethos of my blog. I write about personal style, fashion and lifestyle, yoga seems so far removed from all of that to be honest. But, when I look at these pictures of Christy Turlington taken for Vogue in 2002 I kind of think… oh well, I’m just going to jump right in!

I guess you could say I have a deep and meaningful relationship with yoga. I find that my life is so much more chilled when I have a regular practice. I love the feeling I get when I am in what I like to call the “yoga zone”, which is me in yoga class practicing my asanas with my eyes closed, while all the while listening to the guidance of my amazing yoga teacher Angela. I love that certain poses challenge me from week to week, and how each time I practice, I get more accomplished with other poses.  

Yoga can offer up unexpected challenges too depending on what’s going on inside my head or with my body.  Sometimes this might be as simple as not being able to fully extend into pigeon if one of my hips is particularly tight, or if my shoulder is playing a game of “no, you’re not gonna get there tonight Heidi”.  Each class offers up the same wonderfully fulfilling mind, body and spirit benefits of yoga but it also allows me to be open to receiving and accessing insights that being in tune with my mind, body and soul offers.

I always feel like I’m really living in the moment when I practice yoga, do feel that way too?  

Here are a few perspectives from other yoga enthusiasts on the practice of yoga.

“I was interested in cleaning my body on a deeper level. Yoga really purifies your organs and blood. You feel that. You feel that circulation of energy. But the real lesson yoga gives you is learning how to be present.” – Christy Turlington
“Yoga is a metaphor for life. You have to take it really slowly. You can’t rush. You can’t skip to the next position. You find yourself in very humiliating situations, but you can’t judge yourself. You just have to breathe, and let go. It is a workout for your mind, your body and your soul.” – Madonna
“Like music, yoga is a journey — one that is long enough so you keep developing, and keep learning. I don’t see an end to it.” – Sting

“Yoga is for everyone. I do an hour-and-a-half a day. It restores you. […] People say: ‘Oh no, it’s all right for you, but I haven’t got time.” It’s a false notion. We can all make time. There’s only one you – you’re only given one body, not a load of bodies.” – Trudie Styler
“Yoga gave me relief like nothing else; it made me a better person and a better mother.” – Michelle Williams
I just love this one from Gwyneth Paltrow: “Ashtanga yoga has completely changed me. I try to do it every day, and the effect is amazing. It’s not just during the hours that I’m practicing. It’s about how it filters through into the rest of my life. It makes all the other bullshit dissipate. Who I am has emerged, and everything else has gone by the wayside.” 

What’s my favourite pose?  Child pose, for it’s restorative qualities.  I love how you can be holding a pose, sweating, breathing, really feeling it and then you get to go into child pose afterward.  You don’t get to do that in a gym work out, right?



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Give a frock Friday

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to rock a gorgeous frock and so here it is…

Karlie Kloss wearing Zac Posen’s romantic ruffled duchesse-satin dress, photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue US July 2009.  

Dream a little dream…

Have a great weekend.


Vogue + Ewan McGregor = Swoon!

I came across the July American VOGUE today (with the gorgeous Marion Cottillard on the cover) and while casually flicking through it I came upon a very luxe and beautifully shot editorial.

Photographed by the masterful Peter Lindbergh featuring Natalia Vodianova modeling the best of the Fall/Winder 2010 collection and styled by none other than Grace Coddington.   

What I love most about this splendid pictorial is Ewan McGregor. I have always had a crush on Ewan and seeing him looking so well-dressed in the pages of VOGUE, well, how fantastic is he?  I’m pleased as punch!

The story is a play on a 50s marriage gone wrong, (or is it 60s?  Because with her hair very much styled in 60s fashion, the story seems much more a 60s marriage gone wrong).  It reminds me a little of the famous W shoot by Steven Klein “Domestic Bliss” with Brad and Angelina.  

Anyway, I digress… As much as I believe in Ewan’s character in these shots, I’m not so convinced about Natalia.  Sure she looks amazing in the couture, but she doesn’t carry the role of 50s housewife and adulterer.  She looks too European really and even though she’s the mother of 3 children in real life, she still looks too doll-faced for me to appear anything other than Lolita-esque (sorry Natalia).  I think perhaps a better choice for this may have been Jessica Stam, Raquel Zimmerman, or Angela Lindvall.

Peter Lindbergh’s photographs convey a lot of emotion, and it is divine to see him back shooting for VOGUE for the first time in (I think) fourteen years.  I’m not sure why Ewan was selected for this editorial, perhaps it has something to do with an upcoming movie promotion, but no matter the reason, it sure is nice to see him in a Dior Homme 3-piece suit nonetheless. 

Oh and the couture wasn’t half-bad either.


Great Expectations

To say I am eagerly anticipating the release of the film NINE would be a massive understatement.  I cannot tell you how many times I have watched the trailer, hoping against hope to see something new or gain further insight into the production.

To watch the trailer for NINE, click here.

November VOGUE in America features four of the cast members on its cover, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz and Kate Hudson.  

Shot by Annie Leibovitz, another portrait features all the female leads; Judy Dench, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudson, Fergie, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz and Sophia Loren.

To read the VOGUE article written by Plum Sykes, click here.

To all of my friends and followers and readers, thank you for your lovely comments these past couple of weeks.  Life has been very challenging but so far, so good.  We are feeling very much at home with our family here in Oz.  Yesterday we experienced the joy of spending the day all together.  Three generations of us, and it was just as I expected – wonderful and touching, and so lovely watching my girls bond with their cousins… I couldn’t ask for anything more.  Pure joy.

Ciao for now,



Amazing Grace

So on Monday night night I finally got to see The September Issue!  It was great, very very interesting and by the end of it I was wanting to see more.  More of Grace Coddington, the supremely talented misstress of styling and VOGUE’s Creative Director.  Don’t get me wrong, Anna Wintour is the queen of decision making, she never hesitates.  But is it always the right one?  Most of the time it probably is, but when you see the work (and the money) and the HEART that Grace puts into her stories only to have them treated second-rate or to have important parts of her story canned because they don’t fulfil Anna’s vision is both heartbreaking and infuriating.

I wanted to see more, much more of lovely Grace and her sublime creations.  A truly innate talent that somehow she is able to transfer from her mind to reality with the help of gorgeous models and gifted photographers.

Grace began her work in fashion on the other side of the camera as a model in the late 50s.

Grace has worked as a stylist for more than 30 years and if you think back to any editorial of the past that may have stuck in your memory – chances are it was Grace’s work.

So you might be wondering, what exactly does a fashion editor do?

“Of course, choosing the clothes to shoot is part of it, but it’s also much more than that… it’s playing with everyone’s personalities and making sure that everything is jelling.  When I’m on top of a mountain with a photographer who doesn’t want to shoot something because it doesn’t look sexy, and the magazine wants it in the issue – at that point, I’m the one who has to keep everyone motivated.”  – Grace Coddington

Following is some of Grace’s sublime work for VOGUE over the years and an interview with Jay Fielden of VOGUE regarding her “role” in The September Issue.

You were reluctant to be in The September Issue.But you eventually decided to do it. Why?
I really wasn’t given an option, and I guess R.J.[Cutler, the director] noticed I was the only one who argued. I was even a bit spiky with them. And they wanted that dynamic. I still didn’t want to do it. It’s not what I do, but I gave in. These things do come back to haunt you.
What was your reaction the first time you saw the movie?
Shock! Shock that I was in it as much as I was. I thought I would end up on the cutting-room floor. . . . It has happened before.

Does the movie accurately portray life at Vogue?
It portrays a small part, I think. It showed the racks whizzing by. And it showed us all sneaking into the art department when no one is looking to see what pictures made it up on the board and how they’re jumping around. Everyone does that, though maybe I’m a bit more like a dog with a bone.
I think work is actually busier than it appears in the movie, more frantic. At the time we were shooting the September issue, we were doing shoots for Teen Vogue and Fashion Rocks out of the same office space. There were so many racks in the hall at one point I went on strike. They filmed that, but it didn’t make the cut.
I don’t think you’re made aware of quite how many fashion editors are working here, either. Phyllis [Posnick, Executive Fashion Editor], who you see in maybe one scene, has a very major role in the magazine, but she mostly works with Penn, who doesn’t allow cameras in the studio. Her contribution might be just one page in an issue, but it’s huge in making Vogue Vogue. And besides the Neiman’s breakfast and the Fashion Fund, you’re not given a sense of just how many huge extracurricular projects Anna’s always involved in, such as Fashion’s Night Out.

Of the photo shoots you did in the September 2007 issue, which is your favorite?
The one I make such a fuss about in the movie—the twenties story I did withMeisel, who also won’t allow cameras on his set. He was allowed not to allow it.
The New York Times characterized your most important relationship here as one like that between Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. . . .
What I want to know is which one’s me. Anna’s the leader like Mick. I guess I’m Keith because I’m wrinkled. Seriously, though, a lot of people say Anna’s the business one and I’m the creative one. It’s not true. She’s the creative one. So many of the shoots I do start with her ideas. She was the creative director ofVogue before I was, after all. I also believe that everyone needs an editor. What she does is edit and make my work stronger.
What is your favorite moment in the movie?
I like the part when I’m walking past the feathers and spitting them out. And I loved the bit about Andrè’s diamond tennis watch, I also like the cameos at the end—I hope people stay to watch that part, which comes after the credits have rolled by.
But my very favorite scene is when Raquel [Zimmermann, the model] was eating pies at the couture. She kept looking at them and saying she wanted one, while we were lacing her into this tiny corset and reminding her she wouldn’t fit if she ate one. So she didn’t eat them. . . . and she didn’t eat them. Then when the shoot was over she ate, like, a whole pie! It’s a funny scene, and she looks absolutely beautiful.
What do people who have seen the movie say to you?
Well, I wish people would stop saying to me, “You were great in the movie”—as if I were acting! I wasn’t acting!

What’s it like watching yourself on-screen?
I’d much rather see myself in a still photograph than a moving one, because a still is more controlled and they can get rid of the double chins. I really thought I looked younger than that.
What was going through your mind in the infamous silent-elevator scene?
“Oh, God, I hope it’s not too many floors up.”
What if the movie makes you famous beyond the fashion world?
I’m in denial about that. I don’t think it will happen. If it does, I’ll allow my hair to go naturally gray, and then no one will recognize me.
What’s the secret of surviving for 27 years in fashion?
Twenty-seven! Are you kidding? Do I look that young? Try 50!
There is no secret—just by absolutely loving what you do. Maybe it looks easy in the film to get great pictures. But there’s a lot more lead up, which you wouldn’t want to film because it’s boring. There’s all the wheeling and dealing to get the people to do the picture. There’s making sure you get the best clothes first, getting the right photographer and model, hair and makeup. The precise team is all-important. I do not accept second best. That’s my strength and my downfall, at the same time. Because I’m so stubborn I often do end up getting what I want. Even at school. On my reports it used to say, “Grace has a sweet way of getting her will.” I mean, I AM aware that sometimes I can be very annoying.
So if you haven’t seen The September Issue yet, it is well worth it, for it’s not so much about the fashion, but the working relationship between a pair of alpha females that know their stuff and work day and night to achieve the ultimate in fashion publishing, month after month after month.

Ciao for now,



I Heart Natalia as Alice.

There is no other photographer like Annie Leibovitz because she has the innate ability to bring life and light to the subjects in her photographs.  

Natalia Vodianova in blue flower ruffle dress designed by Olivier Theyskens (as Lewis Carroll) for Rochas. 

This US Vogue editorial was shot in 2003 and stars Natalia Vodianova as Alice.  Honestly, I’ve always wondered what the fuss is about Natalia but after seeing these images I now see her in a whole new light.  What’s bizaar about that is these shots are six years old! 

Vodianova in sky-blue silk satin dress by Tom Ford (as the White Rabbit) for YSL Rive Gauche.

Also featured in this editorial are designers of the couture modeled by Natalia.   Annie has become known for her elaborate editorials for magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair.

 Helmut Lang organza mini-dress.

How great is this shot of Alice after she drinks the potion so she then grows too big for the room.  I love Vodianova’s expression in this shot, and the colour of the dress is gorgeous.

Vodianova with Marc Jacobs (as a mushroom dweller) in his ruffled chiffon mini-dress.

I can only imagine the size of her budget for this scale of work.  Most other photographers can only dream of having the budget she must have to work with.

 Vodianova in blue silk-jersey draped dress by Jean-Paul Gaultier (as the Cheshire Cat).

The logistics of organizing a shoot of this scale is mind-boggling.  Getting the designers to agree to the shoot too would not have been easy I’m sure (the size of the egos involved – can you imagine?).

 Vodianova in Viktor & Rolf multi-layered silk dress.

Brilliant but eccentric designers Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren as Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee is casting genius!  Magically Annie uses her lens to bring these characters to life.  How does she get her subjects to show such depth?  You can see it in their eyes, their facial expression and in their body language.

Vodianova in Christian Lacroix Couture dress of lace and frilled lame.

Alice joins Christian Lacroix as the March Hare and Milliner Stephen Jones as the Mad Hatter for tea.

Vodianova in Dior Haute Couture hand-painted polka-dot dress by John Galliano.

John Galliano (wearing a Dior Haute Couture coat) as the Queen of Hearts looks like he had a ball doing this shoot.  He is accompanied by his King, Alexis Roche.

  Vodianova in Atelier Versace layered silk-tulle and chiffon-organza dress lined in lace.

Donatella Versace as the Gryphon and Rupert Everett as the Mock Turtle, his sorrow is that “once, I was a real turtle”.  Annie’s work is now so stylised that it is not difficult to know you are looking at a Leibovitz photograph.  Much like knowing a garment is made by Chanel, you just know, it’s unmistakable.

 Vodianova in ocean-blue crystal pleated chiffon Balenciaga Couture dress by Nicholas Ghesquiere.

Although these days I’m sure all Annie has to do is turn up and take the picture because all the hard work is done by staff.  But she still has to start with a vision and a concept. 

Did I mention that the couture is to-die-for?  Goes without saying really.

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