Sunday, 29 July 2012

Tim Walker - Lily takes a trip

Good dawning to thee, friend! (King Lear, Act 2, Scene 2, Line 1... if you are interested)
In my last post, I stated that the Olympic Opening Ceremony could not live up to the level of expectations set by all the publicity set - I have never been more wrong. I don't care for cynicism and I don't care for pessimism.... I am hardly ever even minorly partriotic but last night I was. It was a damn impressive revue of all that is good about this country I live in and proving once again that Danny Boyle is a genius. It was a beautiful run through british culture and history. Pastoralism, the industrial revolution... Running from Charlie Chaplin to Dizzee Rascal via Stairway to Heaven and Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and everything in between (Mary Poppins, Voldemort, James Bond, Mr Bean... and the ever brilliant Sir Kenneth Branagh) Proud of my british half. In my humble, and possibly biased, opinion London was better than Beijing. Whereas Beijing was a triumph of sheer volume, precision timing and power, the London Olympics had imagination, artistry, humour, creativity, depth and innovation. Don't shoot me for saying so, because I adored Beijing... I didn't stop watching for a second and was impressed by the sheer size of it. It's a matter of personal taste and I liked the more light-hearted approach.

 Anywho, finally on route to some sort of Holiday. A holiday I am more than ready for, being a person of a naturally more lazy than hardworking disposition. Until this point I have been surviving on sheer hope of more Sunshine appearing, Pepsi Max, a bucketful of dreams and expectations, 2 minute microwave rice and beautiful photos of exotic or culturally significant locations:

Beach < City Break.
(Again, a matter of personal taste.)

So, before I leave for my holiday, I leave you with this July 2005 UK Vogue Editorial. I have never personally been to India, but it is items like this which make me consider it and photos of women in their colourful saris carrying spices (I don't mean to stereotype) their eyes rimmed with Kohl and bangles on their wrists which make me desperate to visit. Enjoy! If you are not going on Holiday then I hope this brings you a piece of the sun.

Join model Lily Cole on a magical fashion odyssey through India. Discover secret palaces and jewel-bright dreamscapes, dazzling fashion and an explosion of colour shine and sequins. Photographed by Tim Walker.

^^^ I shall simply be pointing out my four favourite images and this is one of them. Lily is unfortunately eclipsed by this lovely room, complete with it's vibrantly coloured ribbons and stunning ceiling and wall decor. It makes for a very pretty picture. As for the dress worn in the photo, it is absolutely beautiful and there is an ethereal, angelic side to it, if it is a little low cut for anything other than posing. Not a dress to 'rock out' while wearing.

^^^ Miss Cole looking mysterious with a... net (Not being the most knowledgable in subject of fishing and insects and the like, I hesitate to call it a butterfly net) wearing a very simple and elegant outfit, perfect for the Indian late afternoon heat. A very visually striking photo, with the soft reds and oranges of the evening sunset contrasted with the blue of the dress.

^^^ Again, Lily is eclipsed by the room, though the picture would not be complete without her, bringing a sense of enigma to it all, dressed in her peacock dress, perched on a cabinet amidst the faded ornament and destruction of the room (which only adds to its overwhelming beauty - vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas)

^^^ I WANT THIS DRESS! All of these photos have a sense of faded grandeur and richness, but in this one there is also a look to the future with the arrival of a beautiful woman dressed like a princess, descending the delicately delicious spiral staircase (and the door in the background! *Flails* Very beautiful methinks)

Oh, and I consider this song, Carmensita by Devendra Banhart, the sound of this editorial. Although it is not an indian singer, the editorial, model and photographer are british, so I feel it falls in line with 'inspired by the beauty of' rather than 'an example of'' concept here.

'I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks' for your reading this, I beseech you to follow me and entreat you to comment!
Arrivederci, Toodaloo and Ciao. :) 

Friday, 27 July 2012

Ready for the Olympics?

Writing this, we are an hour away from the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics - and watching the countdown on BBC 1 - green lawn, rolling hills, a little cottage, clouds on strings, peasant women in scarves and shire horses galore! Finally here - after what feels like ages of publicity and TV and Magazine Covers, even of Vogue, on the subject. Can't wait for it to start!

Salutations! Finally reached 180 followers, with my next target being the 200 margin and looking forward to being in Prague this Sunday. So many exciting things, even if this is one of my least active holidays ever - at this time of year, I'm normally at my grandmother's house in France.

The events:

Archery, Athletics, Badminton,Basketball, Beach Volleyball (Prince Harry has tickets for the Women's) Boxing, Canoe Slalom, Canoe Sprint, Cycling - BMX, Cycling - Mountain Bike, Cycling - Road, Cycling - Track, Diving, Equestrian, Fencing, Football, Gymnastics - Artistic, Gymnastics - Rhythmic, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Modern Pentathlon, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Trampoline, Triathlon, Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

I could have fashion-ed it with some of the many dynamic editorials of Sport directly on the subject of the Olympics, but since you are sure to find those easily enough, I instead wish to present you with this editorial I found of Lily Cole with a range of diverse gymnastics pieces... Gymnastics perhaps being my favourite part of the Olympics, in terms of events, since the Opening Ceremony is altogether the best bit - the artistry along with the pure skill. It's breathtakingly beautiful. If you have time, check out Nadia Comaneci at the 1976 olympics for Romania; always worth re-capping on.

I also could have given you pictures of actual Olympians, rather than Fashion models (as much as I like Lily Cole) but there are so many to choose from and since I will be supporting two teams (France and UK) even more! So, I just had to go for this striking, colourful imagery.

Things I am looking forward to (In Olympic Terms):
  • Danny Boyle's Fabulous Spectacle for the Opening Ceremony.
  • The Gymnastics (Both Male and Female)
  • Seeing what will happen with Ussain Bolt in the Athletics - will he hold on to his title? (Probably) Can he be beaten? (Probably not)
  • Seeing all the different teams' Uniforms for the Opening Ceremony. USA in Ralph Lauren, Italy in Armani and France in... Adidas.
  • It all dying down and life going back to normal - yes, there is a cynical side to me.... but not that cynical. Olympic-bashers, who go on about the cost etc, irritate me.
  • The closing Ceremony... and the Rio takeover of the Olympic Flame.
  • The Rio Olympics! Snapshot images of Christ the Redeemer, beaches, blue skies and all that. Oh, and not being hit constantly with Olympic imagery 24/7 once the pressure is off the British. Anybody for a Samba?

Personal Note: In Britain, this event has been given a lot of hype. Proof that I didn't organise it. I am a strong believer in lowering expectations - people will be less disappointed if they expect less, or more impressed if you will - so this spectacle had better be damn good. If I had done it, I would still have conducted it like it is done now, but I would have told everybody that it was just a little do behind the local pub with people prancing around in tutus. Then, you would be sure that, everybody would be blown away.

Big Flaw in this Plan: Nobody would turn up or tune in.

Conclusion: They've done a good job.

^^^ The Stadium! ^^^

Anyway, I would stay and do more but there is an Olympic opening ceremony in fifteen minutes and we've just cracked open the crisps. Keep safe. Stay healthy. Thank you for reading the blabberings of somebody who is possibly insane, Do comment and please follow!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Twisting the Edwardian Summer

Salutations! I have spent today very idly and I am ashamed of myself for being such an unproductive member of society, spending it lounging around like a Pasha, watching films, learning to do this hairstyle, realising that there are some things about girls I will never understand (((Why on earth do they talk about their friends behind their back the way they do? Left, right and centre... all I can hear are girls going on about all that is wrong with their mutual friend, finally deciding that they don't like them, but then act all nice when that person is around. Why?)))  and thinking about eventually making Chocolate Roulade (Unless I make something more healthy, and useful to practise when I eventually have to start cooking for myself)

 I've got a few blog posts coming up, all set until my Marilyn Monroe tribute on the fiftieth anniversary of her death... and hopefully the weather will stay this good for my next few outfit posts, since taking outfit posts when it's raining or cloudy out of season makes me sort of sad, unless I have a different setting to take the photos of them in.

So, today I wore something reminiscent of the edwardian era but made more modern (and by the end of the day, when the hair I took so much pain to put up was half falling down, I was chanelling Helena Bonham Carter in more than one way) with a long white skirt underneath, vibrant red shoes, a funky necklace and a vintage parasol.

Modernising Historically-reminiscent Clothing:
  • Adding accessories, such as the funky, brightly coloured necklace I'm wearing.
  • Shortening things can be a good way to go; regency-style dresses but above the knee or the way, that I have a modest strip of midriff showing (The skirt is a little loose at the waist, so it hung down in a way I had not noted until I looked at the pictures)
  • Shoes - brightly contrasting colours, killer heels or, at this time of year, sandals.
  • Contemporary hairstyles, which of course I did not try since I was attempting a Gibson Girl style.
  • Make-up - Whether more of it or less of it depending on the era being replicated. Or you can simply create something historically-reminiscent purely through the use of make-up, especially if going for something along the line of the sixties, or 18th Century. This also applies to hair, e.g. A pompadour a la Marie Antoinette paired with blue jeans, a floaty blouse, beauty spot and a choker.
  • Why do this? Why not! :) 

 I'm not going to state that you pass completely 'inapercue' when wearing this, but it's not as if you are wandering through town in a fluorescent pink jumpsuit with yellow polkadots (Feel free to do this if it is your 'thing' - I don't judge, though I will probably have to conceal laughter if ever I came across you ;) and it really feels nice. Bonus: You don't have to worry about people seeing anything when you bend over. Always a positive.

Anyway, Thank you for reading - please comment and do follow!
It means a lot to me. :)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Sweet Side of Summer

Yippedee! Yahoo! Wooh! We. Have. Summer! - The British Summer is not just a myth passed down from generation to generation, since today there is conclusive evidence to support the idea that such a thing exists! ... Hello Folks - forgive my absence of nine days - I can assure you that I was not idling away my Summer Holidays, rather stressing about the fact that in a month my fate and future shall forever be sealed as I receive my exam results, and the impending wrath of my parents. In the mean time, I have the three musketeers (Play I'm in) for another two and a half weeks, a trip to Amsterdam and a trip to Prague coming up. *Exciting* Today, I went to see Twelfth Night, and it was one of the best Shakespeare performances I had ever seen complete with delectable 18th centure costume and wigs, some excellent physical comedy and an inimitable Sir Andrew, an absolute delight and very accessible, even to my young French cousin.

Anyway, egotistical thing on the subject of me, myself and I - for your pleasure and degustation.

What I love about this outfit is the contrast of the green and the orange; I adore bright colours and these two feel well together, like the rose I am holding in my hand in a few of the photos. It feels like something to wear on a slow, langorous July day when I wish to avoid Sunburn and I'm worried about the weather turning for the worse, but still want to feel Summery, colourful and elegant.

 Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
- Henry James


Like a horse flicking away flies,
And drunk on heat and white wine,
And the smell of a freshly mown lawn.
And Limbs like long, white tree roots.
And a Ladybird climbing a blade of grass nestled with the cuckoo spit.
And the sun through diamond-shaped windows casting rainbows across the first floor landing.


 While we’re young and beautiful, living free and easy. Here without a worry, dancing in our bare feet because when the summer’s done we might not be so young and beautiful...

  • Floor-length Green Skirt - Coast @John Lewis
  • Blouse - Country Casuals
  • Platform Shoes with Polkadots - Iron Fist Girls
  • Orange Bag - Monnari
  • Green Leaf Brooch on Bag - Ruby Loves, Stamford, UK
  • White Ribbon - From a Chocolate Box

File:Nordisk sommarkväll (1889-1900), målning av Richard Bergh.jpg

I would do more but, as I have already mentioned, I have just been to see a play and I might add that I am quite tired, so all I have to do is wish you happiness and good health.

Thanks for reading, do comment and please follow!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Jacqueline de Ribes

Greetings and good will to all! Pleasantly sipping champagne with a drop of cassis, my nose pressed (not literally) against the computer screen while my brother brushes my hair (literally) and I venture out on posting today's blog post on the subject of Jacqueline de Ribes. Having spent a day dressed entirely in a black turtleneck, floor length black skirt and black jacket in the middle of July, the weather is starting to depress me. I can not but think sadly of all the lovely summery clothes I could be wearing right now. My sister, of course, refuses to let the bad weather get her down, clad in tight shorts and one of my red shirts. Maybe I should take this stand, "Weather - I shall not be defeated!" but I do so detest being cold. The very british grit (grit on which they built their empire, stiff upper lip and all that) or optimism of having picnics in the rain, while teenage girls travel around with sunglasses and shorts, cannot transfer to my french half.

jacqueline de ribesJacqueline de Ribes - Comtesse, Socialite, Icon of impeccable French chic, member of the International Best Dressed list since 1962 and eventually designer. She was born in an atmosphere of aristocratic wealth and privilege on the 140th anniversary of Bastille Day, the 14th of July 1929 (Making today the day of her 83rd Birthday) to the Comte and Comtesse de Beaumont.
She spent most of early childhood residing with her maternal grandfather, and described him as being 'the only one who loved me' devastated by his death in 1939. During the Occupation of France, Jacqueline and her siblings were sent to Hendaye with their Scottish nanny, who was soon after locked up in a labour camp, she being British national. She and her siblings lived parentless with a guardian in the concierge’s cottage at Hendaye after the Gestapo had requisitioned the main house, where her former bedroom was used as a tortured chamber. When Jacqueline was thirteen, she was moved by her parents to the château of the Count and Countess Solages, in the centre of France, where she shared the chateau with german officers,. This is where she stayed until the liberation.

Jacqueline was then sent to the convent of Les Oiseaux, in Verneuil, where she took a key part in the school dramatic productions, making costumes. In 1947, she was taken by her uncle to meet Christian Dior shortly after he opened his couture house. Later she studied architecture.

In 1948, she married Edouard, Vicomte de Ribes who later became Comte de Ribes, and whom she had two children with. By the age of twenty-five, and having worn haute couture most of her life, she was appearing on all the lists of best-dressed women of the time.

"A cross between a Russian Princess and a girl of les Folies Bergère."

 Her beauty and sense of style catapulted her into the limelight and all through the 1960s and 70s, de Ribes cultivated her image of a elegant clotheshorse.
By the 1950s, she played a key role in Parisian High Society, and was one of the invited to Carolos de Beistegui's 1951 Bal du Siècle, or Bal Oriental, still considered the party of the century, where the guestlist included Cecil Beaton, Orson Welles, Natalia Pavlovna Paley (of Romanov Royalty, a socialite who later pursued acting) Leonor Fini and many others, this being just an example. Christian Dior and Salvador Dali designed each others costumes for the event, which helped to launch the career of Pierre Cardin. On a side note, I could not invent the lavishness of this ball - Photos taken by Cecil Beaton of this event are almost surreal, harkening back to an 18th century venetian high society. Sincerely worth studying, and mouth-wateringly delicious.

In 1957, she was an invited to Alexis von Rosenberg-Rédé's 'Bal des Têtes'. 1965, the 'My Fair Lady' Ball. 1966, Truman Capote's 'Black and White Ball'. In 1968, The Patiño Ball. Again in 1968, 'La Dolce Vita Ball'. The 1969, 'Oriental Ball', and the 1971, 'Proust Ball'.
    She has been the muse of many designers such as Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and Guy Laroche, being a stunningly beautiful woman, often paralleled with the egyptain queen Nefertiti. Jean Paul Gaultier dedicated his Spring/Summer 1999 collection to her.
She was interested in designing, making suggestions to the couturiers who dressed her, bringing sketches, making changes, and considered Coco Chanel one of her heroes... though, because she never hesitated to change a sleeve, add feathers or otherwise alter a dress she fancied, she never wore Chanel, who would not let the slightest element of her designs be changed.

Her upbringing did not encourage women of her class to work, though she would be far from the first socialite to turn her hand to fashion. Warmly encouraged by Italian designer Valentino, de Ribes took the plunge with her first collection shown in 1983, though her  friend Yves Saint Laurent was arguably less enthusiastic, calling her 'crazy'. Fashion in one guise or another had always been part of her life. As a child she recalled sneaking into her grandmother's fittings when the dressmaker came to call. As a willowy, tall teenager she cut her first ball gown on the floor of her mother's sitting room.

Her first collection was shown in Paris and New York in 1983. Her aura of glamour, grandeur and good taste ensured that her gowns were admired. She designed what she new best - Long, slim evening gowns with shoulder dramatic ruffles, drapes, or simple bows. Tailored suits detailed with black velvet... expensive ready-to-wear, each suit or gown priced at thousands of pounds. De Ribes was designing for herself, consistent with her emphasis on color and line, designing plain, almost severe, dinner suits in bright pastel satins.  Lace found an eye-catching use in a slim black de Ribes gown featuring a V-shaped bodice and side insertions of see-through fabric. By 1990, de Ribes had softened her look, her evening gowns began to be made of gathered, draped bodices and yards of sherbet-hued chiffon. The next year, she introduced above-the-knee cocktail dresses, with seductive side draping or layered organza. Her collections were quite a commercial and critical hit, though as the then publisher of Women’s Wear Daily,  commented “Everybody was prepared to ridicule the society lady making fashion."

She retired from designing in 1994 for health reasons, after dreadful back pains which left her in hospital and unable to walk for three years.

In April 2010 the French President Nicolas Sarkozy decorated her as a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur at the Elysée Palace.


She is the pearl in the king of Poland’s ear, the Queen of Sheba’s tallow-drop emerald, Diane de Poitiers’ crescent tiara, the Ring of the Nibelungen. She is a castle in Bavaria, a tall, black swan, a royal blue orchid.” - Yves Saint Laurent

Thank you for reading! Please follow and do comment. :)