A and I are lucky enough to have birthdays but one day apart so this is a big week for us. I had very few wishes for my birthday this year and I got all of them: a lovely party with my friends, an Iitala wibbly glass vase and flowers to put in it and a couple of hilarious-sounding books:
This has turned out to be a gem. Written in 1936, Marjorie Hills takes a stern look at the lives of women of all ages who find themselves living alone (it seems to have been relatively easy to find a studio flat in 1930s New York, lucky ladies). She has no truck with feeling sorry for yourself and sets a lot of store by bedjackets. As I type, a maid is bringing me my nightcap while I recline in a quilted bedjacket. Where can I get one or, indeed, an affordable maid?
I did follow Marjorie’s instructions to some extent this weekend by being taken off for a pedicure at the London Bliss Spa on Sloane Avenue. I went with a new colour, “Not Just a Pretty Face” and sadly it makes me look a bit dead, but it’s satisfying that at least one bit of me is being well taken-care-of. Tomorrow I am off for the best meal of the day, brunch, which calls for taking care of the whole package in case I sit next to a celebrity, which happened once at my local place (it was a Strictly dancer, so I didn’t throw myself across the table at him or anything. Fingers crossed for Keira Knightley or Adele or something next time).
My two imperceptibly different nail colours. I think the second one is my usual colour, BBF Best Boy Friend. Next time I go I will be ringing the changes and getting Movers and Shakers. You will be able to pick this one out of the lineup below I imagine.
Happy birthday us.
I am in colour palette heaven at the moment with all the pastel, rosy pink, pops of neon and general fluff around. I appreciate it must be driving less whimsical souls a bit mental but I really enjoy “pretty” and so do the magazine editors. Funny that Elle and Vogue feature the same outfit, especially as it bears a similarity to the ubiquitous Miu Miu pastel dress of a couple of years ago.
I especially love the Elle cover with Alexa for it’s soothing colours and promise of shopping pages that will lead me to my perfect bow-embellished shoes and sheer or lace dresses. And I always love the Vanity Fair starlets cover – I love a starlet, especially when they rise to prominence via a teen drama. British actress Felicity Jones features on the cover. Sadly, Chalet Girl was a pretty hateful film so she’s yet to win me over and frankly they underestimated how my (and surely all viewers’?) love for Sophia Bush would derail any storyline that slights her.
I have no idea where we are with the Lana Del Rey love or hate, you have to check Twitter hourly for that, blogs are such a slow medium! But I’ll still get this issue for its promise of introducing “fashion’s most fabulous florist”. I am a very committed consumer of flowers and am considering taking a course in flower arranging, plus I’m very bored with supermarket flowers and need to head to a cut flower market if there is such a thing to provide myself with resources. The downsides of floristry includes bug immigrants and very cold hands but I am prepared to suffer for my art.
The vaguely spring-like weather has made buying flowers less of a forlorn yet noble task (or maybe buying cut flowers is always a bit like this) and into one that seems appropriate for the days we’re in.
But I’m posting to alert you to the fact that tulips are over. Sorry. No longer fresh and unpretentious, they’ve become the roses of the 2010s. Everywhere, in so many jaunty colours, with their three petals or whatever, just being TULIPS. And I am beyond sick of the way they act when they dry up and die.
They have been replaced in my heart by the unlikely chrysanthemum. Because they’re so unloved and often so hideous it must be hard to see why. But nice ones last for ages and their pure, fleshy perfectness and roundness is really enjoyable. I think we’re ready for their 70s-style colouring (mustard yellow, fuschia) this year.
I’m also enamoured of carnations for their amazing, frilly girlishness and the satisfying way they look, all bundled up like a ballet skirt.
Just to clarify, neither chrysanths nor carnations are acceptable in red. The best picture at the moment is pastels and white.
I love the Pantone ‘colour of the year’ idea. Apparently in 2010, this hot pink colour will sneakily invade our lives. It represents ‘tackling life’ or something. I don’t think I have noticed last year’s ‘escapist’ turquoise particularly imposing itself on my consciousness but maybe pink has a brighter future. Ha?
As ‘honeysuckle’ is also a flower, we can annoint a new flower trend. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some honeysuckle in fashiony party coverage. We love a good vicarious party experience at DNL.
Hydrangeas, and Jessica Stam, in this month’s Vogue.
I’m a massive fan of flowers, to the extent that I mentioned to A yesterday that I once considered going on a flower-arranging course. As a keen floral observer, I’ve noticed a sudden trend for that ultimately old-fashioned flower, the hydrangea. Although I like to think that I believe in true beauty and enduring style, I clearly don’t because since time immemorial, the dried bunch of hydrangeas in my grandmother’s hall have been sweet but representative of the olden days.
Now, much as her dark wood furniture suddenly looks awesome again in the wake of Mad Men, I’ve noticed these flowers popping up everywhere and making sense – blogs have started to feature them and I saw a man with a huge bouquet of pure white ones last week. It could just be me but it seems like hydrangeas could be the next peonies.
Flowers and fashion go together – nothing could be more apropos for an industry like that than something beautiful, expensive and that fades away away in less than two weeks. This picture from Sydney Fashion Week shows that the vaguely 1970s pastel shades of the flowers might be making a comeback.
Etsy has several vintage hydrangea-print dresses on sale (AdelinesAttic, SpanoVintage), so it’s clear that in past decades, it’s been a common print, just like a rose-print is now.
A quick bit of research reveals that designers have been incorporating more or less abstract hydrangeas into their prints for the past few years, like this S/S 2010 “Hydrangea” dress by Phillip Lim, which bears little obvious connection to my grandma’s dried plants:
Some little bits:
The headdress also reminds me of this seal. That’s good.
It is Sunday so I am going to indulge my Nap side and think about home stuff. For a long time my favourite flowers were tulips but they have been usurped by a new queen, the peony. Peonies are dramatic and blowsy; they always look like they’re on the turn so they’re like the ultimate flower as a symbol of mortality. How I can work this into my “rented accomodation” interior design look of late I am not sure.
These arrangements are from a US online shop called Saipua (the Finnish word for soap, which they also sell). I am always thinking about colour combinations and I love the way these arrangements zing. It’s so sad that flower arranging is considered to be a nerdy hobby for old ladies because, like other domestic activities, it can be satisfying to do and does not necessarily give you points on your feminist license.
I have also been giving some thought to the big, blank, white wall in my living room. I can’t bang nails into it to hang pictures because it will crumble apparently but I want to put something there. I had the idea that I could build up a mural with carefully applied paper or hang things on strings from the picture rail. So far I haven’t come up with anything brilliant but it needs to be something bright, maybe a few images or objects in a range of colour tones.
Inspiration from Kaffe Fassett:
Enjoy your Sunday.
I blogged a little sadly about a beautiful pouffe (or footstool if you prefer) that was covered with laser-cut white wool flowers…and cost over £350. I’ve found a good alternative at John Lewis department store, which clocks in at £117, much more affordable but still a quality bit of furniture.
It comes in a sort of buff colour but now I think something much more dramatic could be achieved with a blood red or soft black version. I am going to Ikea tomorrow to get a wardrobe or shelves of some kind for my wardrobe room and I cannot wait to blog about the results. Hopefully it will look chic and not like someone’s storage room.
Cred: Observer Magazine
I love this picture from the Life&Style section of the Observer Magazine and it particularly reminded me of my pal’s hair as documented on this very blog a few weeks ago.
Not practical though, eh? Who cares if you get to look this good in a little bra & knicker set. And the hair would act as an ideal decoy if you were feeling a little self conscious in such teeny tiny pants. A.