‘I’ve heard of worse things, Madame.’

September 21, 2017

FIRST ‘Workers’ Educational’ (WEA) presentation today! About Fashion and clothing and how we wouldn’t look the way we do without Audrey Hepburn!

Simon’s in Paris at a Beat conference. Bit of a waste in the world’s first Fashion city, I’d say! What’s the matter with Minnesota or Lyons?

I know about the theory of Fashion, but I’ve spent hours and hours with my friend Anita Damiano so I also know what to do if you’re not a natural at the game.

Anita’s fashion drawings distracted me from boring Maths lessons, all those years ago. She became a fashion tutor and among other splendid creations made an academic gown for the Dalai Lama!  I’ve learned from Anita that if the look is not necessarily, perfectly, enchanting then neat grooming is essential.

How could I present with slightly dodgy, but still intact gel nails?  To the rescue, ‘Nature’s Fairy’ a deep, pinky, purple Jessica custom nail colour. It was given as an added extra after the best pedi I’ve ever had at the St.Ives Harbour Spa hotel a couple of weeks ago.

The treatment reflected the ambience of the hotel as a whole. The service was civil friendly without being intrusive. Our shower seemed not to be warm enough. I spoke to reception.

Me: We don’t seem to be able to make the shower warm enough. Can you give me any tips?

Receptionist: Have you tried turning the handle completely over to the right?

Me: We may have done, but do you think we might need to have some help with working it?

Receptionist: We could send someone to your room but I think it should work if you try the technique again.

Me: Are you able to show us how to do it?

Receptionist: I could I think.

Me:  I’m a fraction away from asking you to come and shower with me!

Receptionist: I’ve heard of worse things, Madame!

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I’m coming for you Tavi Gevinson!

September 12, 2017

‘Vogue’ and  ‘Vanity Fair’ spreads show the irrepressible magic and impact of CHANEL’s heritage, worn here by Cara Delevigne and Lily-Rose Depp.

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We have to ask how do they do it?  How does Chanel continue to create links with the mistress of allure and couture?  How does it capture the dissolute deceptions of the little singing milliner who was their founder? It’s partly Coco’s ability to constantly reinvent herself so that the archive is rich and multi faceted. But it’s also because Chanel knew how to pose, to be en vogue, to socialise through the media, and to become society’s first working woman celebrity.

ChanelStudio

Top Tees

August 26, 2017

When the Chinese clothing manufacturer Tianyuan Garments Company opens its newest factory in 2018, it will be in Arkansas, not China, and instead of workers hunched over sewing machines, the factory will be filled with fully autonomous robots and their human supervisors.

Once the system is fully operational, each of the 21 production lines in the factory will be capable of making 1.2 million T-shirts a year, at a total cost of production that can compete in terms of cost with apparel companies that manufacture and ship clothing from the lowest-wage countries in the world. The factory will be one of the first to use a technology that could herald immense changes in how the apparel industry works.

To discover more about this fascinating world come along to the Orange Box, Halifax for the WEA course, The Fashion Revolution at 1pm on Thursday 21st September 2017.

 

 

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Le paradis des enfants

August 15, 2017

When I take Toby and Linus to St.Ives next month it won’t be as metropolitan as this but the light, the rock pools and the new Tate extension will be just as spectacular.

The new black magic

IN 1997 I read about a park in Paris donated by the Citroen foundation. Luckily I had a son and two grandsons who were exactly the ages to see such wonders. So we booked, sailed the channel and crossed the summer fields of la belle France by train.

Parc Citreon is pres le Tour Eiffel so we did both spectacular sites on our first day, only stopping for food and wine at the best restaurants we could find.

parccitreonParis is also the home to La Villette designed by Bernard Tschumi, a French architect of Swiss origin, who built it from 1984 to 1987 in partnership with Colin Fournier, on the site of the huge Parisian abattoirs (slaughterhouses) and the national wholesale meat market, as part of an urban redevelopment project. The slaughterhouses, built in 1867 on the instructions of Napoléon III, had been cleared away and relocated…

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Disobedient Bodies!

May 29, 2017

TODAY we caught JW Anderson’s exhibition, ‘Disobedient Bodies,’ at the Barbara Hepworth, Wakefield. Very soon I shall be sending off for one of his jumpers but I need to tell you a little story first!!

Anderson has curated an eclectic show making exciting links between styles we currently wear close to our hearts and body shapes from works by Hepworth and Henry Moore, his favourites I’m told.

Then something happened. A two year old girl in tasteful pink, walking confidently between exhibits, suddenly caught sight of my top! She cried out twice, making a slight terrified sound! I said to her father, a step behind her, “My Vivienne Westwood’s frightened her!” We both laughed. It’s good to know the old girl can still hack it!

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Below Anderson’s international Loewe collection next to Barbara Hepworth plasters. Children are encouraged to play with giant knitwear hanging 20feet in the air and students are invited to design their own ranges, shown next to Issey Miyake models. And everywhere happy  babies, toddlers and absorbed teenagers, mostly unaware of frightening punk clowns displayed on avid art lovers!

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As Time Goes By….

February 24, 2017

allandalecentreIt wasn’t Sam playing the nostalgic theme tune from Casablanca at Allandale Community Centre in Wimborne today. It was part of Kate Sheridan’s matinee performance. Next week I’ll be hearing her in rehearsal but lucky lunchers listening today caught the  premiere!

Game of Thrones?

February 19, 2017

ALTHOUGH my children are modest and kind they seem to be able to find friends and influence others by doing very little. My sister, Ann, thinks it’s something they’ve inherited from her ancestors! I think it’s a mixture of worldwide genes, Galt Toys and Maria Montessori!

Sally insisted on sitting for a place at an independent school but her time at the grammar/comprehensive meant she was able to spread her parents’ democratic educational aspirations to her college, school friends, partners and now her four sons.

Kate is inspiring to her musical, artistic, political friends and continues to teach piano, keep the books, and entertain her numerous boys. Jo also couldn’t live without technology and art. He thought a snail had walked just a metre when we were still seeing yards and inches; described marzipan as ‘eating soap’ and hail stones as ‘ice balls.’

Eve taught herself to read, ride a bike, swim, speak French, fish, drive and generally has led a life chosen for herself. Currently she walks with a large dog twice a day in the Derbyshire hills, through a farm which takes her back to glorious times with her grandparents in Waley Bridge.

Tolerant and only a little self-obsessed she’s recently been watching her youngest nephew on Face Time. Suddenly she saw as clear as mud that the two year old’s behaviour was identical to her own. His personality – set to be clever, pragmatic, determined, confident, sociable and bold, she’d only been with him for about four or five hours in his two/three years. How could she be watching a doppelganger? Why should she argue nurture rather than nature when the answer could only be lying in the genes?

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Here they are walking the same walk and talking the same talk in Yorkshire Sculpture Park!

Le paradis des enfants

February 17, 2017

IN 1997 I read about a park in Paris donated by the Citroen foundation. Luckily I had a son and two grandsons who were exactly the ages to see such wonders. So we booked, sailed the channel and crossed the summer fields of la belle France by train.

Parc Citreon is pres le Tour Eiffel so we did both spectacular sites on our first day, only stopping for food and wine at the best restaurants we could find.

parccitreonParis is also the home to La Villette designed by Bernard Tschumi, a French architect of Swiss origin, who built it from 1984 to 1987 in partnership with Colin Fournier, on the site of the huge Parisian abattoirs (slaughterhouses) and the national wholesale meat market, as part of an urban redevelopment project. The slaughterhouses, built in 1867 on the instructions of Napoléon III, had been cleared away and relocated in 1974. Tschumi won a major design competition in 1982–83 for the park, and he sought the opinions of the deconstructionist philosopher Jacques Derrida in the preparation of his design proposal.

Since the creation of the park, museums, concert halls, and theatres have been designed by several noted contemporary architects, including Christian de Portzamparc, Adrien Fainsilber, Philippe Chaix, Jean-Paul Morel, Gérard Chamayou,on to Mr. Tschumi.  In the middle of the week we travelled on the Metro out to the sites of the former abbattoirs. Although it was all a bit scholarly its novelty enchanted us and later inspired my part in instigating Eureka! in Halifax, UK.

villetteAs Jo, Adam and Matt were encouraged to take in Geography, History, Geometry I thought our weekend treat, Parc Asterix,  with its giant Obelix, golden goddesses and bronzed living statues  would be relaxed and low key enough to take the pressure off! It was, and yet far enough away from the theme parks of Hollywood to feel like art. There were actual horses, actors, underwater swimmers  and as a treat from the gods – Delice de Zeus –  ice cream created to make Neapolitans seem dull!asterixJo, Adam and Matt now have projects of their own designed to amuse and entertain, and although I’m not employed by the Paris Tourist Board I’m open to offers!

Paris – City of flowers and lights!

February 16, 2017

‘I want to be there, NOW!’ to quote Axel Sheridan.cafe-de-flore

It might have been fun in 1954 with Barthes but in Summer 2015 I was on my way but I had to cry off.  I will make do with a Chanel presentation in London this July and maybe I can make Paris somehow, before 2018.

‘What was it about her face?” thought Roland Barthes sitting in Café Flore, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris, after seeing Audrey Hepburn in the first French screening of ‘Roman Holiday’ on April 4th, 1954. Surrounded by Alain Robbe-Grillet, Michel Butor, Françoise Sagan, Nathalie Sarraute, Romain Gary, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé, Marcel Rochas, Gunnar Larsen, Givenchy, Lagerfeld, Paco Rabanne, Guy Laroche, Tristan Tzara, Alberto Giacometti, Dali, Jacques Lacan, inspiration came thick and fast for Barthes.

Between 1954 and 1956 his stunningly provocative and most influential text, ‘Mythologies,’ observing cinema, advertising, fashion magazines, motor shows, began challenging ideas about Hollywood, striptease, steak, wrestling, wine, and film forever.

 Born in 1915, Barthes has become the ‘go-to’ guy for story angles and inspiration for 21st century art, media, advertising, fashion professionals and his reputation today rivals that of any of his Parisian contemporaries.

Of Fashion he wrote that it became an industrial synthesis between its making, and its selling. He recognised the contradiction, inherent in the industry, of Fashion being readily available for the many, without losing its ability to raise stakes or status for an individual.

Tomorrow I’ll write about Parc Citroen, Parc Asterix and the pack of peanut butter sandwiches!

The Saint Wears Black

February 14, 2017

THERE’S really only one stylish religious icon. It’s the image of Pope Joan wearing a tiara.  She appears on my blog with Amy’s hysterical outburst in ‘Big Bang Theory’ when Sheldon buys her the diamante encrusted headpiece as an apology gift.

Really this opening paragraph is just a way to get back in to my meanderings and connecting with today. St Valentine’s images are all too garish to collect and so I’m posting Fashion.

Sarah Pacini, the 20 year old high end, chicest street styles puts clothes you and I have in our wardrobes together twice a year and makes them look new. Here’s one for today which is inspiring me to layer up and walk.

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For ex convent girls there’s nothing as inspiring and intimidating than black, especially if spiked with white near the face. Sarah Pacini’s looks are much more friendly and relaxed. When the nuns layered up it was with thick pleated serge and heavy rosary beads.  Since ‘Roman Holiday’ when Audrey became everyone’s favourite gamine we are suckers for the sacred and everyday clashing together on our streets.

Saints should wear black. Then Rock chicks and Goth sweets can be doubly confused and no-0ne needs to do the embarrassing goody-goody Adele act, trying to disguise our passion for well-natured tarts and kindly villains.

So this brings me to my favourite, totally delightful destination, haunted by Hollywood stars,  gardens overflowing with exotic scented flowers, the sea pannning out from cliff tops over a never-ending sparkle of reflected sunlight, at 26 degrees on the breeze.  Yes we’re back to Normandy as this Oscar de la Renta number recalls the gardens Christian and his mother tended in Granville.

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