One of my favourite things, the Pantone colours of the year. The nominated colour of 2012 was apparently Tangerine Tango, which makes sense to me as I have been wearing Mac’s Morange lipstick a lot recently and Essie Peach Daiquiri nail varnish, as well as a lot of orange clothing. It’s been having a moment.
The colour of 2013 will be Emerald. I am similarly pleased because I already have a Whistles dress in just that shade of cool green, insisted upon by A, who always knows best. I haven’t yet brought Morange and the Dylan dress together, but maybe it’s time.
Festive chromatographical wishes,
Neither too literal nor too weirdly opaque, I love this graphic retwisting by Marc Jacobs of the 60s/70s look. What makes it is the long hemlines, which offer a new way to do the bouffant and eyeliner thing that practically every girl in London is doing, and the cropped suits that surprise you with the strange bits of skin they reveal. I’m keen to find a long navy and white dress with winding lines on it now, to provide strangeness against the primness and avoid the grungeness entirely.
I love the colours of these historical adverts for women’s bicycles. Particularly as a non-driver, I can imagine myself as a nineteenth century lady being extremely keen to get a bike and access the freedom of movement that would come from being able to zip about whenever I liked, using my own body to power myself. By the time of these twentieth-century ads, the clothes have also caught up and look both practical and dapper (red-haired American maxi-wearing goddess aside).
Images from Art.co.uk and Mark Gell’s Flickr photostream.
I wrote a long, glowing and exhaustive post about my love for Edith Wharton, Vogue and my love for this Edith Wharton-inspired editorial in US Vogue. Then WordPress ate it. Curse you WordPress! Here instead are simply these pictures representing EW and her friends, including Henry James. I leave you with these words from The House of Mirth, with my recommendation to read it:
“They had paused before the table on which the bride’s jewels were displayed, and Lily’s heart gave an envious throb as she caught the refraction of light from their surfaces—the milky gleam of perfectly matched pearls, the flash of rubies relieved against contrasting velvet, the intense blue rays of sapphires kindled into light by surrounding diamonds: all these precious tints enhanced and deepened by the varied art of their setting. The glow of the stones warmed Lily’s veins like wine. More completely than any other expression of wealth they symbolized the life she longed to lead, the life of fastidious aloofness and refinement in which every detail should have the finish of a jewel, and the whole form a harmonious setting to her own jewel-like rareness.”
If you like tragic rich people and poetic descriptions of beautiful things, you’ll love it. Also, I hope that Edwardian is going to be a big trend.
Cycling is becoming more and more popular: it’s cheap and convenient, but it’s also become one of those illustrator-friendly trendily twee activities that works particularly well if you. I think there’s nothing to like about a cute colourful bike with a basket and its associations with war-time Britain, the countryside or the university town, and the obvious enviromental benefits.
Cycling in London is more of a mixed bag than, for example, Milton Keynes (underrated town it turns out, very pretty), where I hopped on a bike recently. They have dedicated “Redways” running parallel to the main roads, where you can cycle safely. It’s very reminiscent of summers spent in Scandinavia, where cycling is part of road and town planning, unlike here in the UK where Cycle Superhighways are a new innovation. I would never cycle through a big junction like Elephant & Castle or Old Street but then I am a very cautious cyclist ever since I took a bad tumble a few years ago, and I have sometimes been overtaken by pedestrians.
If you are a braver urban soul than me and want to cycle about but can’t face a serious-looking black bike, I’ve been recommended Bobbins. I originally considered a Pashley but was told that although lovely, they are very heavy and as I live in an upstairs flat, they just don’t make sense. I want something light, easy and cute to sit on, that I can just pootle around my area of town on, not commute on or go for long treks. The website is very friendly to non-mechanics and looks more like a blog.
It’s imperative to go and be fitted for a bike at a shop so the website is really just about getting a sense of where and how the bikes are made and whether they have the right specs for you.
One last note: no matter how cutesy the bike and how important “the look” is to you, I feel pretty strongly about wearing a helmet. Reports differ as to whether they make you safer overall, but they definitely make you safer if you fall off and hit your head. I see people cycling every day in London without helmets or visibility gear and taking crazy risks with their safety. There’s too many sad stories in the news about cyclists to make it easy to ignore.